Major problems pertaining to Ethiopia and the people thereof are being pulled from one regime to another. As a result, today’s citizens are living being deprived of their common rights and opportunities to prosper. It has become tradition for those on power to be reluctant and irresponsible to the needs of the people. The challenges our people passed through during the imperial period are still apparent in their worse state and thus, Ethiopia has become a land of curse and shame.
The root cause for the problems we are facing was and is a defiled political system. During the Haile Silassie regime, it was the exploitation of the farmer that made the “Land to the Tiller!” inquiry a concern of the majority. The “Land to the Tiller” motto was not rootless and in vanity. It was developed because the farmer lost lands to till and moreover, became voiceless and powerless. Students who shouted “Land to the Tiller” were able to stand high by condemning the system and seeking a radical change. The sufferings of the tiller could not get a minor solution, let alone an absolute one. These problems then became triggers for the combat against the abusive system, hence the rise of the “Yekatit Abiyot” (the February Revolt). The next government, Derg, pushed the problems far from the solution sphere. By exercising a brutal political system that used killing, oppressing, grabbing and molesting to rule the governed, it worsened the tillers’ life challenges by turning them in to absolute peasants and filling their fate with bondage and doom. The establishment of a production quota scheme enforced farmers to give much of their production to landlords and the powerful. After the fall of Derg, the coming to power of EPRDF worsened the situation. Individual ownership of lands was totally forbidden and this buried the “Land to the Tiller!” request in dust. It is by permitting the farmer for land ownership that the “Land to the Tiller!” inquiry could be answered. It is not when the greedy and hypocritical, veiling their wicked plans, appear as protectors and land guardians for the tiller.
The other major problem pertaining to Ethiopia is the absence of democracy. The imperial regime was a system that deprived citizens of their rights and grant the king absolute power. The Derg regime that went to power after the aforementioned was also anti-democratic. The current regime, EPRDF, is much more anti-democratic and brutal since it is racist and anti-unity which is in favor of one ethnic group.
All of the three regimes have put the people without right and power. After the fall of the imperial regime few powerful abused their position and commenced their cruelty in contrary to what was originally planned – to establish a democratic transitional government. When requested to treat concerns of equality in a democratic manner, they turned back with hostility. As a result, workers were left without the right to form associations and civil societies were subdued and vanished for the sake of establishing and strengthening state societies and institutions. Behind the banner of socialism was the autocracy and indulgence of one person, not the equality and prosperity of the people. A multi-party system became condemned, democracy tossed away. The ethnic conflict, especially in Eritrea, brought by those on power deteriorated. The people became denied of the right to express ideas, make press releases, assemble and associate, etc. This state – absence of democracy – turned Ethiopia into a battle field. EPRDF then came to power preserving the existing oppressive system. It poured its racist and anti-Ethiopia toxin on the already democratically ruined condition. Though it professed to be protector of the people via democracy, EPRDF passed article 39 so as to make the Tigray region independent and to practice more and more forms of inequality and oppression. We have thus lived for the past 23 years in a worse political system.
The concern on sovereignty has also remained a question from generation to generation. During the imperial regime, though England did not succeed, USA broke our sovereignty by possessing lands for its troops and acting as a supporter and contributor to the system. Derg also divested Ethiopia’s sovereignty by welcoming the interference of an external body, Russia. EPRDF, since it is a party that has subdued to others its pride and combat starting from revolt commencement, did not take time to be under the yoke of USA. This nation has played a major role for the separation of Eritrea as an autonomous state, and for the long life EPRDF now is enjoying. EPDRF’s governance has threatened Ethiopia’s aliveness, and fertile lands were sold to Sudan, China, UAE and India. Since EPRDF is against patriotism, it is directly opposite to sovereignty. This threat on sovereignty made our economic development nothing but a dream. Opportunities for citizens to participate in and contribute for national economic development are blocked as our country’s economy is being manipulated by only EPRDF and some strangers – mostly UAE, China and India. Though it is assumed in figure that our economy has shown an increase, we are in desolation as far as national development and individual prosperity are concerned. What national economic growth costs is not offered so far, and will not be henceforth. EPRDF is not a patriotic party willing to flourish citizens, rather to long for their pain and anguish.
The request for a loyal troop to protect our nation’s territory was denied of heed during all of the three regimes. The military system of the past governments differs from the now existing: generals and soldiers of the past were absolute submitters to rulers, today’s ones are led by the will of one ethnic group. Generals and commanders whose origin is in Tigray mainly control EPRDF’s current troop. It is plain, therefore, that our military is an entity keens to oppress citizens and serve the racist system. We no longer call it a national military hence. Rulers and the ruled have never been in a smooth relationship in Ethiopia since we have never had the opportunity to be ruled by those we want. Many who do not understand this fact are being deceived by EPRDF these days. Discernable is the mystery behind the Renaissance dam project, behind EPRDF’s invasion in Somalia! The goal is not peace or development. It is not a help for our nation, but for strangers.
The vulnerability of women and children to different forms of abuse is another national concern to be mentioned. These segments of our society are facing more challenges and violence than before due to EPRDF’s reluctance. Commodification of children, high vulnerability of young girls to commercial sex work, rape, and involvement of women in modern slavery has become distinctive features of EPRDF. It has preserved traditions harmful to women and children.
The education and health care system in other regions than Region 1 has become worse. The children of the rulers are enjoying well-organized and advanced education abroad whereas the children of the majority are longing to attend the lowly education here. The country’s education system, even if weak and disorganized starting from the previous regime, is now very low and underdeveloped in quality. Graduates are receiving ‘certificates of unemployment’ with their diploma. Political, economic and social problems are growing and advancing from day to day putting the blame on the governing party. This fact makes the fall of EPRDF crucial to national development.
Nevertheless, EPDRF is hindering the needed movements to change and betterment of societal life by shouting propagandas of peace and negotiation through its media journalists and superficial intellectuals. There are many who are zealously working to redeem EPRDF by condemning opposing ideologies and concealing its true image under the veil of reformation. Deserters are not new to us; they were among us during both of the earlier regimes. But since EPRDF is sharp enough to deceive the greedy, traitors have increased a lot in number. Solution is needed hence.
It is, or must be if we think it is not, our obligation to assess our nation’s problems, look for solutions and work for change. We need to have the zeal to get to the root of our challenges. We should not wear EPRDF’s odor by criticizing those who sacrificed their life for national advantage. The reason behind our problems is not our people. They may err while looking for solutions, and this does not make them problem makers, rather active citizens. If we want to know the barriers of our effort to democratize our society, we can realize that it is them – those who pretend to be sensitive for collective interest, those who are companions of our problems.
The solutions are vivid. But EPRDF does not compromise its greed. Land to the tiller! Unlimited democratic right for the oppressed majority! Sovereignty to Ethiopia! Strength to national economy! National unity through democracy! Patriotism! ………. all these are anti-EPRDF. The country saving tread demands the fall of EPRDF. We need to get prepared for this national mission.
Our anti-EPRDF revolt should shine out!
We ought to debase traitors and trickers!