Medrek’s Ethiopia Will Be A Prototype For The Future African Federation
By Fayyis Oromia
Ethiopia, a region-nation in Africa (i.e. a state formed based on colonial regions), in contrast to the nation-states of Europe, is one of the countries still suffering from the sequel of the attempt of European colonization in the region and from the impact of the realization of Abyssinian colonization over other nation-states like Oromia. We all know that the name Ethiopia is a contaminated and abused name. It has got different meanings: according to the Bible, it is Cushland; according to Greeks, it is the land of blacks (burned face); according to Tigreans, it is the Axum empire; according to Amharas, it is Abyssinia; and according to the Ethiopianists from the oppressed nations like those from the southern nations, it is the current geographical Ethiopia. For Oromo nationalists, it is the symbol for the system of domination. An Ethiopia that is free from this system of domination is the vision of Medrek (Medrek, also known as the Forum or FDD, is the major opposition coalition in Ethiopia), which is a very good vision indeed!
The system of domination has existed from the time of Minilik in different forms: as a monarchy of both Minilik and Teferi Mekonnen, as a military dictatorship of Mengistu, and as a dictatorial revolutionary democracy of Meles. Will the next step be the forging of democratic federalism by Medrek? According to the Mini-Program of Medrek, it is understandable that the move is towards democratic true Kilil-federation in contrast to Weyane’s dictatorial fake Kilil-federation. The only mistrust the oppressed nations in the empire had was based on the presence of UDJ, the unitarist party, in the Forum. Now we heard/read that as a precondition for the entrance of both Negasso Gidada and Siye Abraha into the party, UDJ made a reform of its program. What is this reform? Accepting the right of nations to have the right to self-administration (if not self-determination) in their Kilil’s? If so, then the mistrust of oppressed nations will be resolved!
Regarding Medrek’s Mini-Program on the administrative structure, it supports the right of all nations and nationalities to be organized in their territories at community (qebele) level, district (wereda) level, province (zone) level and at state level. What a fantastic structure! This can be a good example for the whole of African region-states. To tackle the problems of nations in Africa and to deal with the present global challenge, Africans are trying to come together and forge an AUG (African Union Government). We are looking at U.S. America (U.S.A.) or EU (European Union) as an example. For instance, Amhara democrats, who want to get rid of Kilil-federation and want to establish an Ethiopia of melting pot (melting all nations in to Amharaic speakers), do look at U.S.A. as a model, whereas Oromo liberation fronts, who want to establish independent democratic republics of different nations, which may further forge a union of independent nations based on free will, do like the model of EU. But both U.S.A. and EU can not be good examples for Africa. U.S.A. is the melting pot for all nations around the world migrating to America and learning the English language. EU is the Union of well developed and independent mono-national-states, all with their own respective languages well developed and used.
Africa can be neither a melting pot nor a union of well developed only mono-national-states. The nations in Africa are diverse in development and size. What is good for Africa is to build a union (federation) with autonomous national areas for all nations aka “ethnies”. Based on their size and development, some nations can forge mono-national-state like Oromia. The others, which are too small to have their own state can forge multi-national-state like SNNP of Ethiopia, with all nations having their own province, district or community as autonomous national areas based on their size. Relatively bigger nations like Sidama can have their own autonomous province, nations smaller than this like Alaba can have autonomous district, and the smallest nations like Dorze can have their own autonomous community. Based on their geographical position, certain small nations like Agew and Harari can join the bigger neighbor nations like Amhara or Oromia, but have their own autonomy, be it as province, district or community. Such 5 tier organization (African Federation — Mono-/Multinational States — Mono-/Multinational Provinces — Mono-/Multinational Districts and Mono-/Multinational Communities) is the best way of administrative arrangement for Africa.
In Short, Medrek’s Ethiopian model can be used as a prototype for African future federation, just changing Kilil-federation’s fake status under Weyane to a very genuine one, for which Mederek and AFD members, including OLF and the likes, are struggling. Then we will have not only an integrated region named Ethiopia/HoAfrica, but also an integrated continent Africa, which will be build on the center called Oromia with Finfinne as a capital. Oromia will be a sovereign state in a United States of Africa, so can be Amhara state, Tigrai state and other nation-states. The only question we people need to ask ourselves is that, at which administrative level are we thinking, talking and walking when we try to deal with politics? If we are ready to accept and think at the level of the above five tiers, then we can look at the fact that Kilil-federalism or language-based federalism, rather than Xeqilaigizat-federalism or geography-based federalism, is the panacea for regional integration of Ethiopia/HoAfrica and for the continental integration of Africa.
In respect to the development in this direction, thanks to CUD and OLF, the formation of AFD was the first nightmare Weyane ever experienced. Now the formation of the similar alliance at home aka Medrek by OFC and UDJ with parties of other nations like ATSD is the second nightmare. But if and only if UDJ accepts and respects Kilil-federation, then the move of Negasso Gidada to join UDJ instead of OFC is not disappointing for Oromos. If UDJ remains to be a unitarist party, Gidada is a failure, not only a disappointment. Otherwise, Medrek is a better hope in comparison to Weyane’s fake federation (mind you Weyane is good in comparison to unitarist Amhara elites), but not the best hope, AFD definitely will be the best hope for the nations in the empire. Having regional (Ethiopian) union of nations as envisioned by both Medrek and AFD is really good, but unfortunately, Medrek did it based only on the consensus of the involved parties, whereas AFD fortunately will have the same result based on referendum by the concerned public. AFD’s action will lead to the lasting result and the end-goal (regional union of nations per referendum), whereas that of Medrek is only temporary and leads us only to a mid-goal of nations in the region called Ethiopia, i.e to regional union of nations per consensus of the involved parties without taking into consideration the will of the concerned public.
The hope is because of the fact that both Medrek and AFD are on the same middle line (in the political spectrum of the empire) trying to establish regional union of nations, on the contrary to the ultra-left fronts needing to achieve only unconditional national independence without a possible union of nations in the empire/region and on the contrary to the ultra-right parties striving for unconditional regional integration in a form of assimilating all nations in to Amharinya speakers. Now MEDREK (the new AFD = Alliance for Federalism and Democracy at home) is sending a shocking wave in to Weyane circle. According to Negasso’s recent interview in VOA’s Afaan Oromo program, UDJ pursues to achieve the goal of regional union of nations per public verdict in the future (union per referendum). If this is true, then Medrek is almost the same to AFD proper aka Alliance for Freedom and Democracy. The only difference is that Medrek wants to get the freedom from Weyane fascists only legally and peacefully, whereas AFD tries all-inclusive method. Then, the future political move in Ethiopia will be from the status quo, from the position of the alliance of revolutionary democrats with their fake Kilil-federation, first to the position of the alliance for federalism and democracy aka Medrek to forge true Kilil-federation (self-administration) and then finally to the position of the Alliance for Freedom and Democracy aka AFD to realize the right of nations to self-determination!
According to the recent interview given by the leaders of the different Oromo liberation fronts on Oromo community radio of Minnesota, their fronts are moving towards a united front, then to move further together to revive AFD, the alliance with the democratic forces and the freedom fighters of other nations. This will be a very good move to strengthen the struggle of Medrek at home against fascist Weyane. I hope this alliance in Diaspora will be reactivated soon and will galvanize the struggle for freedom and democracy at home being cooperated and coordinated with the struggle of Medrek.
As far as other African region-states formed by colonial powers are concerned, they should learn from Medrek’s Ethiopia two things: firstly, they need to learn to accept and respect the God-given right of their nations and nationalities in order to help them to have self-administration and self-determination, so that they can use and develop their own respective national languages instead of still worshiping colonial languages; secondly, they need to foster Kilil-federation with different administrative levels of the five tiers as described above to promote cultural, economic and political autonomy of all nations and nationalities in Africa, which will be the democratic bases for the future United State of Africa, which should be free from the negative influence of both the hitherto colonial borders and colonial languages.