ETHIOPIA: The War Between Two Diverging Visions

ETHIOPIA: The War Between Two Diverging Visions

Ibrahim Hassan Gagale, August 27, 2021

[The civil war in Ethiopia today is a war between the past and the present, between colonial kingdoms and freedom seeking nations, between revisionist forces and progressive forces, between indignity and dignity, between domination and liberty].

In 1991 Ethiopia established an ethnic federal system that granted full recognition to ethnic autonomy and its new constitution created a federal system largely consisting of ethnic-based territorial units. This was the best option of coexistence for a multiethnic nation like Ethiopia with historical animosity and hatred extending that far as only democratic federal system with fair and free elections can restore trust to keep it together. No people or ethnic group will accept black colonial domination based on false superiority and racism in the 21st century. People want to protect their rights, dignity and prestige to live in peace, freedom, justice and social equality on their land. The ethnic-based federal system in Ethiopia was intended to end Abyssinian racist, brutal colonial occupation against Cushitic peoples and their lands for over 135 years regarding it vestige of the past. Ethiopia should not have been practicing anymore the ugly colonialism that African continent rejected and defeated over 60 years ago.

For the history of Ethiopian empire, Cushitic peoples were not allowed to rule Ethiopia but they were treated as owned subjects including their lands. Amhara treated Cushitic peoples much worse than European colonizers did to Africans and regarded them as owned humans without dignity and honour. Thus, Abyssinian colonial occupation against Cushitic peoples and their lands was much worse than European colonialism in Africa in nature, particularly the way Amhara repressive, brutal governments and kingdoms treated Cushitic peoples by committing unabated serfdom, denying them of opportunities for better life that forced many to live in ghettos, killings, atrocities, massacres, injustices, repressions, oppressions, destructions and displacements against Cushitic peoples.

Amhara people believe that they are not Africans but came over to the Horn of Africa from the Middle East in ancient times. They also believe that they own Ethiopia and Ethiopians claiming that they inherited them from their forefathers even if they contend that they came from the Middle East. When Amhara people claim that they own Ethiopia and Ethiopians and that they inherited them from their forefathers they just mean that their son, atrocious King Menelik II, seized Cushitic peoples and their lands for Amhara through violent invasions and annexations in 1889. Because of that racist colonial mentality and arrogance, Amhara becomes the most disliked ethnic group in Ethiopia.

Amhara needs to understand that today is not yesterday and that they are particularly blamed for most of Abyssinian colonial destructive consequences on human life as it was yolk of Ethiopia colonialism.

Current Ethiopian Federalism is based on autonomous ethnic regional administrations where the leaders are independently elected by their people so that no ethnic group can dominate, influence or rule another ethnic group or even trespass to the land of another ethnic group. With this system, an ethnic group can not invade the region of another ethnic group or dictate on them. Abolishing ethnic identity in Ethiopia and dividing the country into what is called “Zones” promoted by Abiy Ahmed and Amhara erases cultural identity, religion, language and native land ownership of ethnic groups and restores the dominant, colonial system of Abyssinians. Only democratic federal system with fair and free elections can keep Ethiopia together to heal, coexist and trust one another and to become prosperous and friendly nation in the Horn of Africa.

Because PM Abiy Ahmed tried to abolish the autonomous ethnic-based federalism and democratic elections in order to restore Abyssinian repressive, brutal, colonial kingdoms on behalf of Amhara, Ethiopia is currently burning and engulfed by devastating civil wars. It is under total disintegration. Civil wars become more violent and wider. Economy and regular military collapsed. Foreign diplomacy in shambles. Abiye lost control of the country and each ethnic group is armed to the teeth taking matters in their own hands for their own existential survival as hope for coexistence is bleak. PM Abiy Ahmed tries to slow down the defeat of his genocidal regime by turning ethnic groups against one another but the federalist armed coalition of the awakened revolutionary popular forces are unstoppable with guaranteed victory. The civil war in Ethiopia today is a war between the past and the present, between colonial kingdoms and freedom seeking nations, between revisionist forces and progressive forces, between indignity and dignity, between domination and liberty.

There are two diverging visions competing in Ethiopia today that are responsible for the catastrophic situation. PM Abiy Ahmed, Isaias Afwerki and Amhara leaders espouse colonial vision of abolishing current autonomous ethnic-based democratic federal system and reinstating racist, repressive unitary government dominated by Amhara that finally leads to imperial kingdom led by Abiy Ahmed with one language, one religion and one flag subjugating and humiliating the rest of Ethiopia with restored colonial occupation as before. The rest of Ethiopia espouses the federalist vision of keeping the current autonomous ethnic-based democratic federal system where all ethnic groups have equal rights with fair and free democratic elections from local to federal and without interference of an ethnic group by an another in land ownership, regional administration, regional elections, native security forces and with fair participation in federal parliament and federal government in civil sector, military, police and secret services.

The Cushitic peoples, who are the majority of Ethiopia, adamantly reject the restoration of the humiliating savage, atrocious black Abyssinian colonialism imposed on them since the conquests and annexations of King Menelik ll in 1889, and Haile Selassie till his demise in 1974. If PM Abiy Ahmed and Amhara continue pursuing the revisionist, colonial, reactionary policy, Ethiopia will unravel and disintegrate into small, independent republics like Yugoslavia because Cushites will never accept the return of the dark colonial past.

If coexistence among Ethiopian ethnic groups becomes difficult and interethnic civil wars become rampant, frequent and persistent with no hope of accepting one another, then it is reasonable to support ethnic states go on their separate ways for self-determination to have independent republics taking article 39 of Ethiopian federal constitution in order to have peace and stability instead of having perpetual bloodshed, gun violence, massacres, ethnic cleansing, genocide, displacement, fleeing, influx of refugees, instability etc in the Horn of Africa. The Abyssinia colonial occupation in Ethiopia began mainly in 1850 and ending in 2021-2022 through restoring democratic federal system of Ethiopia or through becoming independent republics.

Ibrahim Hassan Gagale
August 27, 2021

SOME IMPORTANT REFERENCES

– Mekuria Bulcha, “Genocidal Violence in the Making of Nation and State in Ethiopia”, African Sociological Review Vol. 9(2), 2005.

– Bulatovich visited much of the Oromo territory between 1896 and 1898 and witnessed and acknowledged the damage done by the Abyssinian conquest.

1 Comment

  1. Re-posted from Kichuu

    There was a time when “Ethiopia” or “Ethiopian” as a label applied to the Habesha in general, i.e, the Amhara & Tigray; but today, “Ethiopia,” or “Ethiopian” is a SYNONYM for an EXCLUSIVELY Amhara owned Political & Economic entity! The Amhara elite and their sole representative State of Abiy Ahmed has seen to it that Tigray are STRUCK OFF of or REMOVED from Menelik’s Will at least for now! Whether or not the TPLF, as a representative entity for the people of Tigray, has learned its lessons to not fight to be reinstated back on to Menelik’s Will, as it did in 1991 by DECLARING its Ownership Rights to ‘Ethiopia,’ through the act of re-conquering Oromia and the South remains to be seen. I surmise today though, that the current TPLF leaders are aware of the result of their BLUNDER OF HISTORIC PROPORTIONS of NOT supporting the TRUE FREEDOM AND SOVEREIGNTY of the Oromo people and the South in general. Just in case they are not, here is a reminder: Abiy Ahmed is using the resources of the Oromo, the Sidama, the Gamo, the Ogaden and the rest of the South as COLLATERAL to buy Turkish Drones and other DEADLY Weapons of war, AND he is PROMISING Afewerki,the Eritrean Dictator, access to the IMMENSE NATURAL WEALTH of the South TO ENTICE HIM TO SEND IN HIS MERCENARY ARMY, to try and annihilate the TPLF AND DECIMATE THE PEOPLE OF TIGRAY TO A LEVEL WHERE THEY COULD NO LONGER POSE A THREAT TO HIS DICTATORSHIP! Yes, the OPEN HATRED Eritreans harbor for the Tegaru (familiar with the degrading phrase “Leebee Tigray,” any one, need I say more?) oils the ferocity with which an Eritrean Conscript Solider engages the TDF in battle, but hate alone can not sustain continuous warfare!!! Afewerki will CONTINUE to send in his MERCENARY Soldiers to AID THE Amhara elites in their wars of DOMINATION, AS LONG AS HE CAN CONTEMPLATE HIS NOW DESOLATE AND EMPTY PORTS AT MASSAW AND ASSAB THRIVING WITH THE IMPORT EXPORT BUSINESS TO BE GAINED FROM THE RESOURCES OF THE OROMO, IF AND ONLY IF THE OROMO REMAIN THE COLONY OF ETHIOPIA! The People of Tigray and the TPLF are, literally, the MAN-IN-THE-MIDDLE ROADBLOCK to the grand dream of the wealth to be freely gained from the Oromo and the people of the South by the Eritrean State! There in lies the TRUE MOTIVE OF AFEWERKI’s MURDEROUS CALCULATIONS! To go back to my point about the mistake of the TPLF with regards to their dealings with the Oromo in 1991, it should now be CLEAR to the TPLF that AN INDEPENDENT AND SOVEREIGN OROMO REPUBLIC WOULD HAVE BEEN A MUCH BETTER NEIGHBOR TO HAVE TO THE SOUTH OF AN INDEPENDENT REPUBLIC OF TIGRAY RATHER THAN AN AMHARA RULED ETHIOPIA! THE OROMO HAVE NO INTEREST TO RULE OVER OTHER PEOPLE, HENCE THE CURRENT WAR WOULD HAVE NEVER OCCURRED AGAINST THE PEOPLE OF TIGRAY, HAD THERE BEEN AN INDEPENDENT AND SOVEREIGN OROMO REPUBLIC IN THE HORN OF AFRICA! The meaning of “Ethiopia” or “Ethiopian,” as it is LIVED DAILY AND THEREFORE UNDERSTOOD by the People of the South: the farmers and common people of Oromia, Sidama, Afar, Somali/Ogaden, Wolayita, Hadiya, Gamo, and ALL the other conquered peoples of the South have KNOWN the TRUE meaning of the LABEL since the time of Emperor Menelik. Their daily lives of serfdom and Slave-Master relationship to the Armed Amhara Settlers on their land, their humiliation in the hands of the descendants of the Amhara elite and ETHIOPIAN State Bureaucracy running the garrison towns, their getting ROBBED by Amhara Tax Collectors of the State without getting any protection or services in return forget political representation; AND their having to surrender their sons and daughters ON DEMAND by the ETHIOPIAN Settler State for the purposes of fighting in its NEVER ENDING WAR of one kind or another, HAS TAUGHT them that “Ethiopia” or “Ethiopian” is a TRADEMARK under which the Amhara Royalty and elite have OWNED them as Slaves, including their immense natural resources and wealth for their EXCLUSIVE benefit and enjoyment! THE ONLY PEOPLE WHO ARE WILLINGLY REFUSING TO SEE THE TRUE NATURE OF WHAT ‘ETHIOPIA’ OR ‘ETHIOPIAN’ MEANS TO THE CONQUERED PEOPLE ARE THE CO-OPTED ELITES FROM THESE SAME NATIONS WHO SERVE THEIR AMHARA MASTERS, AND THE EUROPEANS AND AMERICANS WHO HELPED, TO FIRST CREATE AND THEN CONTINUE TO SUSTAIN THE ENTITY CALLED ETHIOPIA ITSELF! Until the World WAKES UP and sees Ethiopia for what it is, i.e, an EMPIRE built on the SAME, EXACT, principles up on which ALL OTHER EMPIRES were formed, but CONSIGNED TO, AND GIVEN TO A PEOPLE WITH BLACK FACES BY THE BERLIN CONFERENCE OF 1884, WHO WERE KNOWN AS ABYSSINIAN THEN, but morphed into “ETHIOPIAN” by registering their newly acquired name with The League of Nations, the frequent crisis in the Horn of Africa will never end! IN FACT, IT WILL CONTINUE TO GET WORSE WITH THE PASSAGE OF TIME, AS IT HAS BECOME CLEAR OVER THE PAST FORTY YEARS! The only sane ‘solution’ is to apply the natural Political & Diplomatic remedy applied to ALL EMPIRES TO HEAL THE MISERY OF THE PEOPLE TRAPPED IN ETHIOPIA AS WELL: Let the People DECIDE THEIR OWN FATE & FUTURE, INCLUDING GOING THEIR OWN WAY IF THEY SO CHOOSE! AND THAT IS WHAT WE THE OROMO PEOPLE WILL CONTINUE TO DEMAND AND FIGHT FOR UNTIL OUR DEMAND IS FULFILLED THROUGH AN INTERNATIONALLY SUPERVISED OPEN, FAIR, AND CREDIBLE REFERENDUM!

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