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Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Ethiopia: has federalism gone wrong?

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Junior William Deng – Ethiopia has been held backward by two issues: The first is Toxic cultural hegemonies and the second is Revolutionary legacies. This irks Abiy and his lieutenants after a successful demolition of EPDRF.

I understand where Abiy is coming from, he’s genuine in terms of building a united state of Ethiopia but TPLF thinks that everything starts and ends with them because they have dominated political and economic power, yet they are a minority – 6% of Ethiopia’s population.

Their interest is not to lose power – military, political and economic power. They have been at the cold for the last few years of Abiy’s radical transformation, this worth a scare of war or actual war. Anything that brings them to the table with Abiy is their main interest.

This war reveals the inadequacies of federalism and state formation. Ethiopian state under PM Meles preserved the forces that liberated the country from Derg regime, with each ethnic group attaining self-governance through federal arrangements.

TPLF through Meles dominated state institutions and remained large in the Tigray region. As intifada installed Dr. Abiy as their new leader, things changed.

A kaleidoscope change took place with most institutions becoming restructured and rearranged to meet new Ethiopian’s agenda for democracy and development. To achieve this, PM Abiy started to balance the equation in the public sector, a decision that saw many leaders of the TPLF losing “their jobs” and influence.

This fear of losing power and resources provoked TPLF to withdrew to their region in contemplation of either remove the regime or to sabotage the regime in order to get back to the echelon of power.

They refused to join nationwide integration, but they want to use force to intimate and cow the government to negotiate a coalition government. This, however, is a redline drawn.

TPLF, notwithstanding their military power, peace is the only way to salvage their legacy, their people, and the region. Otherwise, PM Abiy shall win the war and military federalism shall come to an end.

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