Ethiopia: where does ethnic policy take us?



Recently, the issue of ethnic politics has been fueled in social media and by ordinary citizens, who take top management for a way to optimize the benefits for their own ethnic group. If the political top position is taken by a leader of the X ethnic group, there are not a few who consider to unfold an opportunity followed by God. By using this as a ground, the Ethiopian Bode had contact with scholars about their reflections.

Abebaw Ayalew, is a historian at the University of Addis Ababa. For him, ethnic politics was not so characteristic of Ethiopian politics. "When we go back to the Middle Ages, the ethnic politics of the 1890s and the 20th century had no place in the heart of the leaders. The one who comes to power was considered a leader who represents the whole society, not a certain one. group.

At that time the Amhara king does not necessarily represent the Amhara people. An Oromo ruler does not necessarily represent the Oromos. Leaders represented all of Ethiopia. This system had been the case for almost a century in Ethiopian history.

Ethiopian politics have been legalized since 1991 when the EPRDF implemented an administration system based on ethnic and linguistic identities.

Administrative departments have largely become dependent on ethnic identity, "says Professor Abebaw.

He added: "For this simple matter, most people began to show a certain privilege and property right.Most people living in a particular state saw administrative separation as a means of political autonomy and ownership of property, land, resources, and everything."

This system has led to the development of a tendency seen only by a certain leader (in this case a prime minister). For example, in the days of the government of the later prime minister, some who came from his background began to claim: "This is our time, we must have a privilege. & # 39;

This trend seems to continue in the time of former Prime Minister Hialemariam Dessalegn, but to a lesser extent. Because he was under pressure not so powerful in exercising his authority. But some people from the South take it for granted that it is their time to have a special privilege in terms of economic advantage and political functions. But this is the understanding of ordinary people. It does not include the majority.

This type of people dreams of special privileges in the field of economics and political functions, among others.

Professor Abebaw recommends that the political system of the country separate itself from ethnicity. Moreover, political leaders must play a leading role by convincing the citizens that they represent Ethiopia and do not represent any ethnic group.

The ruling EPRDF party must reform itself. It must adapt to the political importance of the majority. Not necessarily ethnic identity.

As long as political parties, including the incumbent, follow the same trend, the problem will be there. This must be solved by an allocation of opposition parties. They must reflect the interest of the people and not the importance of a particular group. After all, the fundamental issue of Ethiopians is democracy.

Kassu Chamiso, is a History teacher at the Arba Minch University. According to him, divide and rule was the strategy of colonizers. It is the legacy of colonialism. But it is still working in most African countries.

Ethnic administration was used by colonists to dive and govern their subjects. But it had caused challenges for itself. After the decolonization, African politicians have tried to maintain the divisive trick. But for most of them it has become a time bomb. For example, the conflict between Ethiopia and Ertrees is not just a conflict between two countries. It is a repercussion of the colonial legacy.

Girmay Haleform is the other historian at the University of Aksum. He believes that ethnically based politics has never been profitable. Ethiopia is not suitable for such a type of system.

"Ethnic politics is not working well in Ethiopia because Ethiopians have developed an age-old culture of living in harmony and tolerance."

Ethnic politics is not a problem in itself. The problem is when people abuse the system. The way they perceive it will distort the real meaning.

This applies in particular to ordinary people who associate political positions with special privileges for a particular ethnic group.

In the parliamentary system, people will indirectly choose their prime minister through their representatives. He could come from Oromo, Tigre, Amhara Kembata or an ethnic group. But the moment he takes over power, he no longer represents a certain ethnic group. He represents the entire nation.

Emlalu Fisha, is a legal professional and a member of the Semayawi party. According to him, ethnic politics costs the country many things.

We are talking about the grandeur and the Renaissance of Ethiopia. At the same time we focus on ethnically based politics. If the system is not implemented in accordance with a democratic system, it will be a challenge for our greatness.

Each time a particular political party comes into position, it must join the system that represents the majority and not a particular group.

The political system must respond to economic and political injustices. The country must not be based on an ethnic party.

He suggests that the country needs a political institute that includes all members of society who are free from ethnicity. Political parties must be responsible and liable for their actions. Civil society and media also have a responsibility to promote a political system that is free from a political system based on an ethnic background.

Scholars also have responsibility in this respect, Emlalu says. "There are some scholars who succumb appreciably under the influence, they see the abandonment of the concept of Ethiopians to pursue an ethnically based politics.We must discourage them from fighting for the truth.We have divided the nation within two decades with ethnic lines It is not too late to restore things and unite the people in the shortest possible time. "


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