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Federal Day-Day of Nations and Nationalities in Ethiopia

Editorial Ethiopian Observer

 We, the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia: Strongly committed, in full and free exercise of our right to self-determination, to building a political community founded on the rule of law and capable of ensuring a lasting peace, guaranteeing a democratic order, and advancing our economic and social development; Firmly convinced that the fulfilment of this objective requires full respect of individual and people’s fundamental freedoms and rights, to live together on the basis of equality and without any sexual, religious or cultural discrimination; Further convinced that by continuing to live with our rich and proud cultural legacies in territories we have long inhabited, have, through continuous interaction on various levels and forms of life, built up common interest and have also contributed to the emergence of a common outlook; Fully cognizant that our common destiny can best be served by rectifying historically unjust relationships and by further promoting our shared interests; Convinced that to live as one economic community is necessary in order to create sustainable and mutually supportive conditions for ensuring respect for our rights and freedoms and for the collective promotion of our interests; Determined to consolidate, as a lasting legacy, the peace and the prospect of a democratic order which our struggles and sacrifices have brought about; Have therefore adopted, on 8 December 1994 this constitution through representatives we have duly elected for this purpose as an instrument that binds us in a mutual commitment to fulfil the objectives and the principles set forth above”.

The above quotation is from the Ethiopian Constitutions, adopted by the various nations and nationalities of Ethiopia . It is a genuine declaration of those peoples, who despite years of oppression of their cultures, customs, languages and were relegated to second class citizens endorsed a document, which guarantees them basic human and democratic right. This is also a document, which every Ethiopian has to now and again repeat as a mantra and defend as sacred for the very existence of Ethiopia . A country with so many nations/nationalities cannot simply afford alienating its own majority population and living in inequality and permanent quagmire of war and misery. This declaration has also become an inspiration for countries, which have similar heterogeneous composition of ethnic groups.

The mosaic composition combined with various religious beliefs, such as Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Animism, etc. makes Ethiopia unique by joining hands together to avert any disintegration and build up a federal system based on mutual respect and understanding. This formula of self-rule with local administration and devolution of power is a strength, which we have to be proud of both as a tool for the conservation of our entity and identity and for the distinctiveness of our common heritage as a State and people. Equally important as it is to celebrate this national holiday, this day also reminds us of the blow it might imply to those retrogressive forces, who get hold of the wrong end of the stick. There are still those haughty old guards living in their age old mentality trying to maintain a unitary state through forced integration under one language and culture in the name of fighting “ethnicization of Ethiopia ”. Similarly, despite the fact that radical and far-reaching autonomous rule has been on place for the last decade; there are those who try to dismantle the peace and stability of the country by trying to agitate among the people secession and independence. The common language for both groups is likewise undemocratic and unpopular decision based on violence and hostility. The main roadmap for the peaceful coexistence and development among the peoples of Ethiopia should therefore be recognition of our diversity in unity as well as acceptance of the democratic provisions and rules.

Ethiopia by adopting the federal system has made a stupendous achievement in improving the livelihood and empowering the marginalized peoples. Infrastructures have been laid in remote regions of the country, where being an Ethiopian is considered as an asset, giving rise to a positive prospects and opportunities. Inclusiveness of its agrarian majority in the overall developmental endeavor thus has given Ethiopia a bright future to be able to fight poverty, illiteracy, diseases, backwardness, etc. The role of all Ethiopians in preserving the territorial integrity and sovereignty has also been enlightening for those enemies of Ethiopia . The crushing defeat of Shaibya by the valiant sons and daughters of Ethiopia could not have been possible had there not been unity among the nations and nationalities. The same destiny will be true if any aspiring enemy tries to dismantle the peace and stability of Ethiopia . Shaibya may have learned a lesson for life, but the jihadist UIC along with the mercenary elements of the separatist movements may not have any exit to recuperate.

Happy anniversary to the Day of the Nations and Nationalities

Unity to the Ethiopian peoples


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