(By Yared Huluf, 07 May 2021) –
Yes, once a political system is set in place, it does not matter if a donkey, a baboon, a dog or a pig is appointed at the top the system would run its course with a few stumbles here and there.
Once the Industrial Revolution was completed and market economy was developed 1760-1840 nations began looking for outsources for raw materials and market – hence the advent of the Scramble for Africa began in earnest,
Some historian assert that western nations, including Japan, were able to colonise and exploit other less developed nation because they had the political and military might and they were in need of the resources the system required.
How then did Ethiopia which was a feudal system which hadn’t gone through industrial revolution nor didn’t have had the means to flex its muscles managed to subjugate and “colonise” neighborhoods nations?
It was true that of most the feudal nations the Europeans put on table to colonize, Ethiopia was a bit hard to chew because of its own prehistoric and historic records.
The Turkeys, the Egyptian and twice the Italians tried to colonise but did not succeed.
Menelik as the king of Shewa, 1866-1889 and thereafter as the Emperor of Ethiopia, 1889-1913 entered in to numerous deals with western colonial powers to maintained and expand his empire. He agreed to partition northern Ethiopia and sold off present day Eritrea to Italy in return for cash, armament. But equally and more importantly to weaken the threat to his throne from the Tigrayans.
He also traded off Djibouti to the French in 1884 as he did the use of Nile River to Anglo- Egyptian autocrats in 1902.
This way a feudal state by its very nature, acquired a peculiar Feduo-imperial statues, which provided political and military continuity for the Amharas to dominate the Ethiopian polity.
From then on Amhara, Amharic language, Amhara way of life meant Ethiopian way of life.
All nations thereafter were denied the institutional means to expressing their identities.
This went on for 130 years until the oppressed nations could not bear it anymore. Ignorance, wide spread unemployment, poverty, widespread hunger and diseases torn apart their social cohesion – hence the start of armed struggle.
Upon the fall of the Derg, a federal structure was set to address the issues of inequality, injustice and hegemony of one ethnic group, the Amhara, in deciding the fate of the rest.
The Amhara elites would want you believe the current Ethiopian problems of ethnic tension and conflicts are due to the implementation of a federal arrangement set up by the EPDF.
This is wholly furphy, far from reality! It is like say a person suffers from headache when the person consumes prescribed dose of pain killer!
Federalism, if anything is anodyne to ethnic tensions and conflict: it cannot be, it will not be the cause of the conflicts: pure and simple!
Furthermore, conflict in whatever and shape is no good to anybody, be it the one who instigated it or is a victim of it.
So much physical and psychological damages have been perpetrated, the Amharas have now the choice to accepting that oppressed nations can in fact break away and form their own nationhood. If that were to happen, the best option for all is to live as good neighbours, short of accepting a federal system agreed by all.
Which way to go would ultimately rest on the decisions people of the nations, nolens volens!!