A major opposition political party relates existing security problems that manifests itself in the form of ethnic based violence in Ethiopia to the nature of the Federalism and the constitution
Ethiopian Citizen’s For Social Justice Party (EZEMA) this week said Ethiopia’s existence as a country is in danger given the constitution is intact.
The major opposition party with non-ethnic structure in the country said ” EZEMA believes that so long as the current constitution is intact, our existence as a country is in danger let alone to build a ‘Democratic Ethiopia’ ”
The party views, as is the case with many million Ethiopians, the ethnic based federal structure and the constitutional provision as the major problem for the security problem in the country.
Thousands of Ethiopians have been severely massacred in the Oromo and Benishangul Gumuz region of Ethiopia, not to mention many other pocket areas in the Southern part of the country where there has been ethnic violence over resources, since Abiy Ahmed became prime minister in 2018.
The problem existed before Abiy took power after Hailemariam Desalgne’s resignation in the same year.
However, the massacre in the past four years bears an omen of government authorities’ involvement in the form of facilitating the massacres for the radical militant groups operating the regions mentioned above.
EZEMA professes that it struggles for the realisation of self-governance and for citizens to be the source of political powers in the country.
A federal form of government is beneficial to accommodate diversity and ensure inclusiveness, the party pointed out.
However, it believes that the constitutional process that created the federal system in Ethiopia was not participatory which made it one that was not democratic.
Furthermore, said the party, Ethiopian Federalism is based on ethnicity and language. That has worsened the problem that it was meant to solve.
Among the major pitfalls of the constitution is, the party pointed out, that it linked ethnic identity with land ownership. It has caused bloodshed in areas that were not separated by boundaries based on ethnic identity.
The party recommends that the National dialogue that Ethiopia is working on should identify dangers related to the nature of the federal system and dangerous constitutional provisions , and make it part of the dialogue.
When Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018, there was a great anticipation that the reform he promised would bring to an end ethic based violence in the country by introducing constitutional reform. Perhaps, one of the possible reasons why he enjoyed popular support at the time.
Recurring massacres, and worsening, over the past four years seem to have made people question if Abiy is part of the problem too.
In fact, there are views that the Prime Minister, in recent years, demonstrated an increasing appetite to appear appealing to the radical ethnic nationalists in the Oromo region of Ethiopia.
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