Discontents raised over Ethiopian federalism

Posted on 26 May,2017

Scholars and researchers said that although the Ethiopian federalism has an immense contribution to the country’s development and strengthened interaction among different ethnicities, it, on the other hand has brought a sense of being a second citizen in some regions, Sheger FM reported.

During a panel discussion about Ethiopian federalism and the Constitution at the Addis Ababa University, Professor Assefa Fissiha disclosed, “the federalism has endowed regions with a right to self-administration and unity in diversity of nations, nationalities and peoples”.

But, he said, “Violation of citizens’ rights is a threat to the system,” without a much delve into the issue.

Mr. Kassa Teklebirhan, Minister of Federal and Pastoral Development Affairs and Board Chairman of Addis Ababa University, said on his part, “Federalism helped the end of war and a robust economic growth as well as peace and stability in the country”.

Professor Kassahun Berihun, another research paper presenter during the discussion warned: “Strict application of the constitution is a most; failure to do so otherwise will incite discontent and conflict.”

The government has created nine ethnically-based regional states and two federally administered city-states—Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.

The result is an asymmetrical federation that combines populous regional states like Oromia and Amhara in the central highlands with sparsely populated and underdeveloped ones like Gambella and Somali regions, according to some political analysts.