I have heard many times from others regarding the above topic. There seem to be lack of consensus on opinions. Although they may not be dramatically different from most of the rest, I have my own views on the issue and thought to share them through the media.
Let me first establish a few facts. I was born and raised in
As a patriotic Ethiopian, my loyalty lies to the country and nobody else. Given the above dream, I am not sure what else it can be. Organizations and individuals I admire and respect are not objects of worship for me but instruments of change for the betterment of my native country. Why am I wired like this?
In my view, as I usually express whenever I get any opportunity, the main cause of the problem for achieving the above goal is the lack of strong unity among the Ethiopian people for a common purpose. I believe ethnicity/ethnocentrism lies at the core of this problem. If this has not been the case, dictators would have not been able to stay in power in
Progressively weakened and dominated/dictated by pro-ethnic proponents, we ultimately reached where we are now, serving as a model for the ultimate human misery in our planet. Lacking patriotic zeal for their country, these ethnocentric groups are always prone to be collaborators of foreign adversaries/opportunists who are also a threat to the very survival of the nation, as witnessed time and again. Therefore, it is my stand that fighting ethnocentrism of any origin or cause should be given prime importance while efforts are being made to establish a democratic system and build a stronger Ethiopian nationalism. No matter who is pushing ethnic politics and for what purpose, it should always be discouraged and rejected.
Ethnocentrism is a deadly poison that can chronically eat the fabrics of societies to their detriment and acutely it can explode to uncontrollable catastrophe any time. Representing group interests rather than standing for individual rights encompassing all citizens, it is contrary to the principles of democracy by any measure. It is thus a mistake to entertain any form of ethnic politics for any kind of perceived short-term advantages.
With this understanding, I believe ethnic-based political parties in
While the handling of ethnic political organizations is recommended as described above, multiethnic parties should be supported with some sort of prioritizing parameters based on their programs and performances in fulfilling the interests of the Ethiopian people. They should be asked to be transparent for evaluation if they are not accustomed to do so. Objective assessment scales should be established and their accomplishments reviewed accordingly from time to time. The fact that priorities are given to support nationally-focused multiethnic organizations can also encourage the ethnic-based political groups to become more nationally-oriented.
As to defectors from TPLF or any other ethnic-affiliated organizations, I welcome them very much to join groups representing the entire Ethiopian people. While this process weakens the primary cause of the countrys problem (ethnocentrism), it contributes to the efforts being undertaken towards the direction of finding solutions. However, until proven with certainty, such defectors should not automatically be accepted as leaders in key positions in their new political homes. This should be taken as a standard procedure for any defector. As pointed out earlier, the reason for the probation period is the historical fact multiethnic democratic organizations, particularly EPRP, underwent in the hands of ethnocentric infiltrators and dividers. This should be a big lesson demanding caution. For instance, while I welcome the split of Ato Seye from TPLF and his campaign against the leadership of the Front, presently, I am uncomfortable to give him a determining political role in the affairs any other organizations standing for
These are my simple views mentioned above in the title of this article.
God bless you and God bless