By Dawit Fanta
TPLF’s justification for the implementation of ethnic federalism lies on the provision of linguistic and cultural autonomy and political representation. However, it was conspiratorially featured asymmetric in the following manner:
(a) Although its Constitution promises to provide all the constituent ethnic groups the right of autonomy, practically only five ethnic groups are allowed to have their own ethnic regions. The rest have been setup either to live together in multi-ethnic regions or appended as minority ethnic groups to the bigger ethnic regions. As we can see here, in a country of more than 80 ethnic groups it is difficult to realize the right of autonomy based on only ethnicity parameter; but knowing this fact TPLF implemented it:
- To gain internal legitimacy by those who acquired their own region
- And insidiously to make a fragmented society which lost resistance as a unified force to defend the political monopoly of the minority TPLF.
(b) The political power tilted towards to those who contribute only 6% of the whole population. For example, 59 out of 61 highly placed military officers were from Tigray region until the mid of 2011; and before 2005, most ministry posts were occupied by TPLF stuffs. But following the barrage of complaints during election 2005 campaign, the same TPLF relics and the new recruits are assigned as a de facto but deputy in every level of the federal offices.
(c) De facto leaders from TPLF circle are assigned to all regional states as an advisor but control every activity behind the servile puppet regional presidents; and such aura of monopoly calls into question the right of self administration.
Consequently, this conspiratorially asymmetric ethnic federalism results to:
(a) Breed ethnic tension in multi-ethnic region on the basis of:
- Identity conflict
For example the conflict between Silte and Gurage is a case in point.
- Boundary conflict
- Representation in local and regional councils
- Sharing of Resources
(b) Breed ethnic tension between privileged and non-privileged.
For example: in South region the Sidamas are more privileged than others and in Harari region though the number of Amharas are second next to Oromos they haven’t representatives in the regional council rather the Oromos and the Hararis are more privileged; as a result there is a significant ethnic tension between those who are privileged and non-privileged. And this is a way of TPLF’s dual containment.
(c) Provide a fertile ground for TPLF cadres to sow seeds of dissension and hatred between the locals and those transplanted from different region by way of historical recitation. By the way, currently there is a forced evacuation of Amharas from South region and Oromia region.
(d) Torn asunder the national politics.
(e) Ethnify the whole political edifice.
(f) Cause a disgruntled society with pseudo-autonomy.
So, when we scrutinize it from bird’s eye view, though TPLF’s ostensible claim on the essence of ethnic federalism is to stop the perpetual bloodshed and to avert the country’s total disintegration, their real goal is to divide and rule the Ethiopian people by small minorities and to pave road to their end purpose until their moment of truth comes.
(Next time I will explain in detail what their moment of truth is.)
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