Self-determination is a right, not an obligation!
If the neo-nafxanyaa Ethiopian elite (and ultra-right Amhara nationalists) hate to administer themselves, that is their right.
If they don’t want to enjoy or exercise their right to self-determination, they can renounce it.
If they don’t want to speak, write, and develop their language, they can do so at their convenience.
If they don’t want to enjoy, express, and cherish their culture, no one can force it upon them.
If they don’t want to write, preserve, and pass their history on to posterity, they are entitled to do so–especially if amnesia serves them best.
But it does not make sense for them to say, as they have always been doing, that the other peoples of Ethiopia should not:
1) administer themselves;
2) exercise their right to self-determination;
3) use their languages;
4) enjoy their cultures; or
5) write, preserve, and teach their histories.
For them to deny these rights to others is not only an indecent over reach; it is a flagrant act of wanting to dominate them. Likewise, for them to do so in the name of ‘unity’ or ‘love of country’ is an imperious act of denying liberty (in relation to their collective rights) and equality-in-dignity to the other peoples of Ethiopia. To do so is nothing but denying equality in the polity. To claim that unity is achieved only if the other peoples renounce what is their own only to replace it with the language, culture, history of the Amhara is simply a vulgar proposition. It is an act of misrecognizing their own privilege and promoting the supremacy of their own identity markers. That ought to be rejected outrightly.
It is one thing to dislike equality, or even to renounce one’s own rights. It is another to deny the co-equal humanity of others. It is untenable–in fact totally unacceptable–to denounce others’ rights in order to promote one’s superiority. If you hate self-determination, renounce it. But do no more. Because you can’t.
(By Dr. Tsegaye R. Ararssa)