Ethiopia: Political Stalemate: The current situation in Ethiopia can be summed up as a stalemate or just political stagnation which no one seems to know how this ends. However, it is not all that bad!
By Getachew TA
I recently heard, Prof. Berhanu Nega, stating his party’s improved stand regarding self-determination and the political rights of regions or nationalities of Ethiopia. In that speech, he stressed that, the party has an evolved position and hence forth recognizes the needs for wider roles of these regions in self-governance, except the right to secession.
While I admire and applaud his bold moves into these territories of wider governance rights of these republics, I still don’t understand why he shied away from rights of secession.
I humbly believe, being an Ethiopian has to be a solemn choice, rather than an imposition by a group or a political party. I am Ethiopian as long as my rights are respected, and in as long as the politicians I choose serve me right. When that contract is breached, I should have a right to say NO and demand a new contract in that representation.
Historically, the right of secession is taken, by many in opposition or ruling groups, for that matter, as an antithesis to the “indivisible one nation of Ethiopia” and a driving force for tacitly accepting any tyranny as a form of government, so as to maintain the divine UNITY. Lately, it is, however losing its stem, largely, because of the rising understanding of the people and the existence of such rights of secession in many, so called developing nations’ constitutions; and its implementations via a “vote of confidence” to get rid of a prime minister and his/her cabal.
Unfortunately, the past several regimes that came to power in our country, have shown not to respect the rule of law, and have resolved into brutal methods so as to rule without a mandate from the people, while maintaining the façade of “unity”. That did not end well for almost all in the past, and it will remain so in the coming years.
As constitutional republics, these regions should be allowed to rebel and refuse tyranny, and hence utilize their rights of secession as a tool to unload those who are overstaying their welcome. It is my greatest wish, through his wise leadership, the professor will convince his supporters to acknowledge the rights of secession and become a formidable political force in the country. (Even if these Kilils/Regions are not yet fully structured republics and lacking elements of a functioning democracies, we have to start somewhere.)
Well, I do not have to dwell on these ‘mysteries of the obvious’, and my intention today was to write about some list of items which are bothering me lately. I have listed a few of these items at the bottom, but first allow me to summarize some simple tasks that may help us get over the current stalemate and continue on peaceful transitions while prospering economically and keep the multi-national/global jackals at bay.
The current government:
They should stop trying propping up the Haile-Mariam cabinet. The current prime minister has lost his credibility, and he has no mandate or any political capital to govern. (I still don’t understand how he makes bilateral talks or seek deals with foreign countries while a state of emergency is imposed on the people?)
The state of emergency has partially or fully suspended the constitution, and he has no political capital to spend at this time. His capacity to rule is already suspended. Unless he is a king, or his power to govern comes from some mysterious source, his remaining constitutional obligation is to submit his resignation and the Parlama should dissolve his cabinet.
Trying to change the subject with some headline creating “Event” is futile at this time. These gimmicks might have had some effect, in the past but not today. The people, even those who cannot read English, are far much aware of their surroundings and all political theatrics. So, short of a complete overhaul of his cabinet, it will be like trying to fit a rectangle object into a triangle slot. It ain’t work!
(It is obvious, without meaningful changes, there will be a riot as soon as the current state of emergency is lifted. And will be back to square one!)
Please extend the state of emergency one more time, and call for an early general election which will allow the participation of new faces, resulting in a much inclusive parliament. The rest of us can relax and hope for a better outcome or a no-central government at all!
Belgium did not have a central government for almost two years. Spain does not have a government as of today, and the people seem to love it for the past ten months… The regions are in charge of almost everything and the dissolution of our central government would not bring any havoc. ( I wish to see a weak central government which cannot be bullied by these global multi-national corporations and coerced into signing a deal which they would not have signed, had the domestic situations were different. My fear is, the Prime Minister would be coerced into signing our futures just to bring “peace” to his cabinet. I strongly believe, He should bow and exit and enjoy his retirement which he deserves for the service, he and those in his cabinet rendered thus far.
I have a great respect for all in the opposition parties, specially for those operating in that country. Although, they have not been as effective as some of us had hoped; nonetheless, I see their tenacity coming into fruition. It is my hope; those on the outside will join hands and provide support where it is needed. I also would not deny the lack of a healthy political discourse in the country, for which we need a national dialogue on a larger scale.
Although, I may not understand their long or short term strategies, I would like to say, that the opposition in exile should quit activism and get a strategy to be able to govern the country, which is as diverse as it has been for generations. Lead their followers from the front, rather than waiting to be picked up by a sudden political tail wind, or an accident, which may not be forgiving to all of us. Using/ Amplification of only grievances without any substantive approach to solutions would never resolve our problems. ( This is not to discount pain and sufferings of individuals or families who are victims of these tensions. It is our collective pain! And a collective badge of shame for our indifference.)
I am merely suggesting the focus, to be shifted to the real enemy, and strategize how we survive this ever globalizing world. Save your country from becoming a complete subsidiary to these giant ruthless corporations. They really don’t care if you are “democratic” or NOT.
To be honest with you, these are not the topics I would like to write time again, but other issues like:
-Why Bill Gates foundation is sued in India, regarding a questionable vaccination his foundation has been pushing? Why are they destroying the natural Turmeric roots and replace them by GMOs?
-Why Coca-Cola was selling toxic soda, which is unfit for human consumption in Nigeria, and most parts of Africa? Has anyone looked at what they are selling in Ethiopia?
-Why Tanzanian farmers are going to jail for using indigenous seeds, other than seeds provided by foreign companies?…Is there a solution for that acid /blinding rain?
-What is the real stakes of these car tire companies in Liberian politics?…Why is cancer becoming as rampant as a common cold?
-Why is the local farm product becoming very expensive and loaded for export market, while a cheap equivalent import is flooding the local market? . ( In Ethiopia, local Zenjibel (Ginger-root) is 85 Birr per Kilo, while imported one is far much cheaper at a super market.)
-Why did the WHO pick an African, as a director? (Not so much about the person as such, (He is a good man from what I gathered.) but with the sordid history of the organization, it is will not be ominous or far-fetched to expect an impending outbreak of Ebola or Zika, etc. in Africa.)
Crisis has become a very profitable commodity, in the last two decades, and hope you understand my paranoia here….I am sure, that you may also have many questions regarding the crippling and mind corroding foreign “AID” to our country, and the mass exodus to foreign capitals in search of jobs? (EU is crumbling and the only way they can form a strong EU is via elimination of the member country’s borders with overwhelming migration, and the ensuing terrorism being used as a unifying factor?)
Are we being pawned into some high level scheme? I don’t see any winner among us.
We need to raise real issues and question our moves. However, that can only happen when we quit squabbling about local political parties and stop the bleeding and the systematic destruction of the country we all claim to love. Secession or no-secession, it is a non-issue, compared to what we are facing today. (Eritrea is still north of Tigray, as it was for centuries. Go figure!)
Understand the real enemy and save your country.