Firehiwot Guluma Tezera
25, Feb, 2014
Their first move upon assuming power was to declare that Ethiopia, would henceforth, be a Federal Democratic Republic consisting of ‘nations and nationalities’. These nations and nationalities will have equal rights. Each of them shall have its own flag, language, borders, and parliament. Those that are unhappy with the union have the right to secede.
According to Article 39, in section 3 of this constitution which deals with the rights of nations and nationalities: “Every nationality in Ethiopia shall have the full right to administer itself .This right shall include the right to establish government institutions within the territory it inhabits and the right to fair representation in the federal and state governments.”
The TPLF further undertook to end the highlander domination of Ethiopian politics in the past and promised that every ethiopian will enjoy his/her share in the economic and political sun of the country. Many rejoiced when they heard these from the TPLF – which was, itself, a highlander guerrilla party founded on secessionist platform – and wholeheartedly welcomed it.
But it was not to be so. The Oromo’s were the first to discover this treachery when their political organization (OLF) withdrew in response to unfair election practices held on June 21,1992, the leaders either arrested, killed or made to flee the country, when they tried to get their rights using the legally allowed provisions in the TPLF drafted constitution. Also other political organization that disagreed with TPLF was led to slaughter house and chopped down. The provision of constitution which guaranteed freedom of thought, speech, association and other fundamental human right, took a holiday.
Again in 2005, when the regime organized elections thinking it will win, surprisingly the opposition had outperformed the EPRDF coalition and won the election. But the regime did not honor its word, and as was expected, rigged the election and declared itself winner of the vote. The people took to the streets and protested against the election swindle. The regime, again as was expected, but not so harshly, resorted to brute force by gunning down the peaceful protestors right in center of the metropolitan city of Addis Ababa in the full view of the whole world. The regime declared the protestors as anarchists, thugs, violent mobs, and arsonists, criminals who were instructed by their party bosses to cause chaos and illegally topple the government. Subsequently, the leaders of the opposition were rounded up, charged with trumped up accusations and thrown into jails.
After the crackdown of the opposition many Ethiopians realized they could not unseat the TPLF democratically and started agitating for an armed struggle, created groups such as the Ginbot 7 and others.
The regime devised a subterfuge campaign to divide the ruled along ethnic lines in order to dominate and exploit them. When they were fighting the OLF they sold a vile propaganda to other ethnic groups, specifically to amharas, and said that Oromo are racist and narrow minded people, if OLF come to power, they will expand waqefata religion. Many listened to this nonsense as it echoed historically held perceptions about Oromo in Ethiopia.
Already the regime had panicked had even started sending, through backdoor channels, emissaries to representatives of the parties concerned. The message of the TPLF emissaries is again the same old tired clichés. To the oromos, they say: the Amahars will not allow you to break away from Ethiopia; they’re only using you and they’re unwilling to forfeit their ‘Ethiopia Andinet’ concept, and so on. The same old game. It seems the TPLF has run out of ideas and is still regurgitating the only thing it knows best: the ethnic and clan cards.
However all things circumvention will eventually run aground and be exposed. It is time to say in union: Enough, to the TPLF and its rule of circumvention!