Game over for ethnic federalism: Isaias
On February 7, Eritrean state television broadcast a Tigrinya interview of more than two hours with Eritrean President Isaias Afewerki where he criticized at length Ethiopia’s multinational constitutional order and the “narrow clique” that promoted it. Below are translated excerpts.
The reason why this area is immersed in unceasing conflict is because of the direct interference of external forces. The enduring bloodshed in parts of the Horn of Africa is the upshot of substantial impact of these hostile powers.
After the completion of the Cold War, we had not carefully understood the dramatic repercussions of the war. The dangerous after-effects of the war have caused internal threats in Ethiopia. The present-day ethnic federalism was not single-handedly promoted by the narrow clique. External powers have played their fair share in establishing such a system for their benefit when Ethiopia became free from the military regime in 1991.
Within Ethiopia, the advantage of ethnic federalism is not vitally essential for all Ethiopians other than for some narrow cliques. That was why the regime of narrow cliques of Ethiopia lacks considerable recognition from its inception. If we delve into the causes of the imminent underlying current unrest in Ethiopia, the leading root of this strife is ethnic federalism, though the narrow clique has named ethnic federalism saying ‘right to self-administration, secession, blah-blah’.
Ethnic-centered administration has severely damaged Ethiopia. The system has empowered deliberate ethnic schisms among the peoples of Ethiopia. It is impossible to have an appropriate process of nation-building once you have institutionalized ethnic schism on the authority of pretentious federalism. Taking everything into account, the system of ethnic federalism applied in Ethiopia for the past 20 years and more by the narrow clique is bankrupted now. In our language it is called ‘game over’. And Ethiopians have said ‘enough’.