Result of Study on South Ethiopia regional state administrative arrangement tend to see the formation of new regional states as last preference by people in the region
July 24, 2019
The leadership of Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region and the party governing the region, SEPDM, have been saying that a group of experts are tasked to study problems related to administrative arrangements in the region.
The result is released in a press conference organized by the research team on Wednesday.
The study that was underway for the past seven months is released on Wednesday, according to a report by Fana Broadcasting Corporation (FBC).
Members of the research team, twenty in number, are drawn from academic areas of anthropology, history, public administration, political science – among others.
The researchers gathered data from all zones, except one which is not disclosed, and 17 thousand people were involved in the study.
One of the issues that the researchers looked at, according to FBC report, is if the 1995 federal arrangement that created Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region was arbitrarily created or there was public participation. And the research team determined that the region was not created arbitrarily and there was public participation.
Intellectuals and elites from the region also agreed for the formation of the regional state, added the statement from the researchers as reported by FBC.
FBC cited the team as saying that Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region is an exemplary case of diversity and living together.
The team also noted that currently there is extensive demand for regional state formation in the region.
However, the result of the study suggests the majority of people in the region prefer a continuation of the existing administrative arrangement for the region.
Breaking the region into two or more administrative units is suggested as the second alternative but it is unclear on what basis the alternative could be implemented if was to be accepted.
The formation of new regional states in the region is another alternative which needs to be given more time, according to the study. Political expediency aside, it remains a question as to whether it is possible to convince those who are pushing for the ethnic-based state in the region to see to wait further.
Sidama ethno-nationalists clashed with government forces last week when they unilaterally declared Sidama as a federal state since July 18, 2019. In no time, what appeared like a political movement degenerated to what rather looks like ethnic cleansing as the radicalized youth launched attacks on non-Sidama ethnic groups in the region.
Over 60 civilians are reportedly killed and dozens wounded, not to mention the destruction of private properties.
Currently, the region is under a state of emergency. The Ethiopian military took over the task of maintaining security in the region since Monday.
Towards the end of 2018, Abiy Ahmed’s administration has established the Identity and Boundary Commission, and Truth and Reconciliation Commission to deal with disputes regarding identity and boundary across the country.
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The study did not ask us if we like the ethnic federalism system to continue or if we want the ethnic federalism system abolished.
The study only asked us if we want Sidama to become it’s own state separated from the Southern state or not , obviously we said we like to see the Southern state stay as it is now rather than seeing Sidama separating from the Southern state.
Many Southern state residents want to see a Fiscal Federalism system replacing the ethnic federalism system in a much faster pace in Ethiopia, the current slow pace the replacement of ethnic federalism system with fiscal Federalism System is going is main reason for unnecessary growing crisis we see in Ethiopia.
Fiscal federalism is the type of Federalism in which the money bag controls everything. This gives Congress massive amounts of power as it is responsible for the American treasury. It can therefore limit the budget of any other political department it does not belive is working towards the best interest of America. There have been several instances in our history however of times when Congress has given full of the treasury to the President. One example of this would be the Tonkin Gulf Resoultion in 1964 which gave President Johnson the ability to, “expressing the unity and determination of the United States in supporting freedom and in protecting peace in southeast Asia”. Which as anyone can see leaves a wide space open for interpretation. To quote Dr Berry, it was essentially a “blank check”
The definition has changed over time and history has shown us that our own actions have created a few new forms of Federalism in American’s times of crisis.
As far as I am concerned, there was no public participation when the region was created. I saw the reflection of personal views & interests in the members of the study group. Therr is no one who hates unity. But when we see the administrative structure of SNNPR, it is not strategic to provide social services.The study seems to lack clarity & independence.
If it the study units are purposively selected (collection of Cadres), the reliability of the study is under question. If it is random which is unlikely to consider, it is not bad. To confirm second term FGD (focal group discussion with a mix of different individuals) study is may suggest the genuine opinion of residents in different zones.
I have been working in Gamogofa, Wolayita and Dawro Zones. I was born and grew in Hossana, Hadiya Zone. I have been in Yirgalem, Sidama Zone , for more than 5 years and I have friends all over the Southern Region. I could not get a single reason why Sidama wanted own Regional State because the existing system benefited them ……even other parts of the South are losers !!! But I can say that there are people in the region withput Land…(Highly populated like Sidama, Gedeo. Kambata. Wolayita, part of Hadiya,…) and there is Land Without people ( Bench Maji Zone, South OMO, Gamogofa,….) . If the South State remains together, those people without land may benefit. Otherwise …….. who cares if Sidama becomes Regional State !!! I tell you,…..others have much more potential and Natural resources,……look that of Bench Maji, South Omo,…Gamogofa……..etc…….MUCH MORE BLESSED ZONES with Land and Mineral Resources………….
Tell them the Truth. Sidama will lose !!