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Can Ethiopia be saved?‎

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This Week's Somaliland News


The TFG Collapses: A Yusuf To ‎Move To Galkayo, Gedi To Jowhar ‎And The Sharif Opts For Baidoa‎

Visiting UK Teachers To‎ Establish Links With A Somaliland School‎

Death Toll Rises To 73 In Djibouti Boat Accident‎‎‎‎‎‎

US 'Used Djibouti' In Rendition‎

Supplement To The Votes And Proceedings‎‎

Warlords Steal Aid Meant For Starving Millions‎

Universal Peace Federation Honors Dr. Saad ‎Noor As “Ambassador For Peace”.‎‎‎‎

Regional Affairs

MPs Worried Over Increasing Insecurity In ‎Baidoa

Almost 50 States Upgrading To ePassports‎

United States And Britain Increasing Presence In East Africa‎

USS Oak Hill Helps Distressed Vessel Off Somali Coast

UN Denies Tanker Hijacking‎‎‎

Didata Enters Tricky East African Region

DP World Builds Dh1.1b Djibouti Container Facility ‎And Nakheel Opens Djibouti's First 5-Star Hot‎‎

Somali Refugees In Yemen Feel Oppressed‎‎

'Kayamandi Thugs Are Targeting Somali ‎Shopowners'‎‎

Special Report

International News

Somali Justice Advocacy Center Expresses Grave ‎Concern Over Disappearance Of Many Somalis Due ‎To U.S. Rendition Program

Launching The Somali Voice Website‎‎‎‎‎‎‎


Somali Lawlessness, With Modern-Day Pirates, ‎Spills Into Sea

Haggle For A Missile: Somali Weapons Market Booms‎‎


African Union & Somaliland‎


Where Only The Strong And Well-Armed Prosper

22nd MEU Marines Train With African Soldiers‎

Food for thought


The Annual Budget‎

All Fair-minded Somalis Must Concede ‎‎“Garta” To Somaliland‎‎‎‎

PUPPETRY In Politics Is An Ugly Culture

The Yemen Government Owes ‎Compensation And Apology To Somaliland‎‎‎

Ikran Haji Daud Warsame: The Maverick Politician ‎Who Took The Horn Of Africa By Surprise‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎‎ ‎‎‎

Optimism Vs. Challenges That Still Ahead: Taking ‎The Pulse Of Somaliland’s Fledgling Democracy

By: A netter from Addis

Ethiopia has existed in its present form for about 120 years – a little less than 15 years to be more exact. For all practical purposes however, we can take the rise of Menelik II as the starting point the modern form of Ethiopia. A time of more than a century is not by any means small, especially in the African context, as today's African countries got their present form only after the colonial era.

The bitter reality is that we have not still found the working model of the country. We still have a big segment of the society - at least its supposed leaders, which refuse to understand the real composition of the country. And the other segments of the society are getting more fed up with the system every day and are increasingly looking for other alternatives, namely having their own independent country.

We are at a historical point, where the current generation faces tough challenges regarding the future of the country. We should listen to the voices from every corner of the country if we are to have a country with its current boundaries unaltered. Although it is getting difficult as every single day passes, I sill believe that there is sill a chance to save the country.

But why should the country be saved ? What is wrong with having 5 countries in what is today known as Ethiopia ? In principle, I don't see any problem at all. I am not of the opinion that this country is blessed or it's borders are drawn by the hands of angels. The only problem with the solution of separation is its feasibility. Here are some of the major difficulties.

Given the current reality it is not very easy to come up with divisions consisting groups of nations or nationalities who want to stay together. Even if that is achievable, the problem of people from other ethnic groups living in other parts of the country other than their own will still be a daunting homework.

The international community is not also ready to new borders drawn in one of the most volatile regions of the world – a case in point is Somaliland. The world would not accept more smaller and fighting nations in the horn of Africa.

So the only compelling reason to stay united is the difficulties associated with separation. But if we are to stay united, we should do it the right way - not the way it was done 100 years ago. No ethnic group should have an upper hand in the country. We have to come up with a system where every one, irrespective of their ethnic background, feel the country is theirs and should be given the chance to promote their culture and language.

Right now the biggest challenge is the fact that political power is in the hands of extremists. If only we have liberal people who are ready to listen to others and feel the pain of others to the political platform, the country can be saved. By the way, when I say saving the country, I don't mean at all protecting the 'God-given borders' or maintaining its present form. I mean saving the people in that land from fighting one other and hazards of nature. Nature has not been kind to us – the only way we overcome the recurring drought is through hard work. Unfortunately, we can't put our forces together and fight poverty and AIDS until we solve our organizational/political problems.

The way I see it, an Oromo very much passionate about the Gada system could be primarily regarded as an Oromo. By the same token, a Tigre/Amhara equally passionate about the Axum monument could primarily be considered as a Tigre/Amhara. But both can be Ethiopians with different backgrounds. The key point here is, the Tigre/Amhara should talk about 'our Gada system', when he/she is talking to e.g. a European. I also expect the Oromo to say 'our Axum'. Of course, when it comes to details, they could talk about the fact that the Axum monument or the Gada system represent only parts of the country.

It is obvious that this is hardly enough. But it is a beginning – a sort of a small test of being Ethiopian, if you like. Only when everyone from that land believes that there is a future in that land, can Ethiopia be saved. We should be open to talk about the how we should achieve that goal. It is a process – it can not be achieved in a short time, but we should start laying the foundations. All level-minded individuals should discuss about it and see if it works. Right now, I believe that the path leading to one Ethiopia, but a new Ethiopia, is our best option. But if someone can convince me that separation is the way, I am read to listen. It is high time that we reject ideas only because they don't suit us.

[Opinions in this article are solely that of the writer.]   


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