Proposed New Ethiopian Government Administrative Boundary System for Unified Nation Building (By Engidashet Bunare and Shiferaw Lulu)

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Abbay Media Articles

Proposed New Ethiopian Government Administrative Boundary System for Unified Nation Building

Presented for National Debate

By
Engidashet Bunare (Water Engineer) and
Shiferaw Lulu (Hydrogeologist)
E-mail: [email protected]/[email protected] [email protected]

August, 2018 Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

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Table of Content

Contents

Forward
Executive Summary

1 2

INTRODUCTION………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 17

BACKGROUND ON THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNANCE SYSTEM…………………………………………………….. 19

  1. 2.1  Pre-Aksumite Civilisation …………………………………………………………………………………………… 19
  2. 2.2  Kingdom Of Aksum …………………………………………………………………………………………………… 20
  3. 2.3  The Regional Kingdom ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 26
    1. 2.3.1  Shoa …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 26
    2. 2.3.2  The Sidamo Kingdoms………………………………………………………………………………………… 26
    3. 2.3.3  The Kingdoms of the Gibe …………………………………………………………………………………… 26

2.4 Government and Administration ………………………………………………………………………………….. 29

  1. 2.4.1  Government and Administration in Medieval Times………………………………………………… 29
  2. 2.4.2  The Church………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 29
  3. 2.4.3  Government and Administration in Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries ……………………. 30

CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY OF ETHIOPIA……………………………………………………………………………… 36

  1. 3.1  The 1931 Constitution ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 36
  2. 3.2  The 1955 Revised Constitution ……………………………………………………………………………………. 37
  3. 3.3  The 1987 Constitution ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 38
  4. 3.4  1991 Transitional Period Charter of Ethiopia…………………………………………………………………. 39
  5. 3.5  The 1995 Constitution ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 40

ETHNO-LINGUISTIC FEDERALISM AND ITS CONSEQUENCES ……………………………………………………. 42

  1. 4.1  Ethnic group ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 42
  2. 4.2  Tribes and Nations …………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 44
  3. 4.3  Clan…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 45
  4. 4.4  Nationality ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 45
  5. 4.5  Nationality Versus Ethnicity ……………………………………………………………………………………….. 45
  6. 4.6  Ethiopian Federalism …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 46
  7. 4.7  Ethnic Federalism and Conflicts ………………………………………………………………………………….. 50

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  1. 4.8  Misconception of Language and Ethnicity …………………………………………………………………….. 56
  2. 4.9  Ethnicity and Politics …………………………………………………………………………………………………. 57

THE UNIFYING FACTORS IN ETHIOPIAN EMPIRE ……………………………………………………………………. 59 PROPOSED FEDERAL STATES ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 63

  1. 6.1  General…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 63
  2. 6.2  Geographic Region Concepts ………………………………………………………………………………………. 63
  3. 6.3  Past Efforts towards provincial boundaries and the Country Modernization……………………….. 66
  4. 6.4  Model Federal Territories for the Ethiopian Empire ……………………………………………………….. 68
    1. 6.4.1  General ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 68
    2. 6.4.2  The Beginning of Civilization ………………………………………………………………………………. 70
    3. 6.4.3  Proposed Federal Administrative States …………………………………………………………………. 72
    4. 6.4.4  Salient Features of the River Basins ………………………………………………………………………. 81
    5. 6.4.5  An Integrated Approach to river Basin Planning……………………………………………………… 84
    6. 6.4.6  Current Status of River Basin Studies ……………………………………………………………………. 88

CONCLUSION……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 90

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Tables

TABLE 1. PEOPLE DISPLACE BECAUSE OF INTERNAL CONFLICT (EXTRACTED FROM UN DTM REPORT ROUND 9 TO 11) … 54TABLE 2. IMPORTANT PHYSICAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE ETHIOPIAN BASINS …………………………………………………….. 81TABLE 3. IMPORTANT CLIMATIC FEATURES AND WATER RESOURCE POTENTIAL OF THE ETHIOPIAN BASINS ……………….. 82TABLE 4.IMPORTANT SOCIO-ECONOMIC FEATURES OF THE ETHIOPIAN BASIN……………………………………………………… 83TABLE 5.SIMPLE PARAMETERS INDICATING THE POTENTIAL OF THE BASIN …………………………………………………………. 83TABLE 6.MINERAL RESOURCE OF THE BASINS………………………………………………………………………………………………. 84TABLE 7. STATUS OF RIVER BASINS STUDIES ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 88

Figures

FIGURE 1. PROPOSED BASIN STATES …………………………………………………………………………………………………………. 11FIGURE 2. PROPOSED RIVER BASIN STATES AND THE CURRENT ETHNIC BASED REGIONS……………………………………… 12FIGURE 3. PROPOSED RIVER BASIN STATES AND THE CURRENT ZONE ADMINISTRATIONS ………………………………………. 12FIGURE 4. MAP SHOWING PLACES MENTIONED IN THE PERIPLUS, THEIR MODERN EQUIVALENTS AND EXPORT AND IMPORT.

(A SHORT ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF ETHIOPIA, EDITED BY KIROS HABTE SELASSIE AND MAZENGIA DINA) …………. 22FIGURE 5. AXUM AND TRADE IN THE 4TH CENTURY AD. (A SHORT ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF ETHIOPIA, EDITED BY KIROS

HABTE SELASSIE AND MAZENGIA DINA) ………………………………………………………………………………………………. 23FIGURE 6. ETHIOPIAN AND MUSLIM STATES DURING THE MEDIEVAL PERIOD. (A SHORT ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF

ETHIOPIA, EDITED BY KIROS HABTE SELASSIE AND MAZENGIA DINA)…………………………………………………………. 25FIGURE 7. REGIONAL KINGDOMS OF SOUTH CENTRAL ETHIOPIA. (A SHORT ILLUSTRATED HISTORY OF ETHIOPIA, EDITED

BY KIROS HABTE SELASSIE AND MAZENGIA DINA) …………………………………………………………………………………. 27

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FIGURE 8.ETHIOPIA 1935 (SOURCE: A HISTORY OF MODERN ETHIOPIA (1855-1991) BAHRU ZEWDE)………………….. 30FIGURE 9.THE 13 PROVINCES AFTER BALE SPLIT FROM HARARGHE IN 1960 ……………………………………………………….. 31FIGURE 10.THE 13 PROVINCES AND ERITREA FEDERAL STATE AFTER 1962 ………………………………………………………… 32FIGURE 11.THE 30 REGIONS OF THE PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF ETHIOPIA PERIOD, 1987-1991……………….. 33FIGURE 12.THE REGIONS AND CHARTERED CITIES OF ETHIOPIA……………………………………………………………………….. 35FIGURE 13. LOCATION OF PEOPLE DISPLACED. THE RED SPOTS INDICATE PEOPLE DISPLACED DUE TO CONFLICT (SOURCE:-

DISPLACEMENT TRACKING MATRIX (DTM) ETHIOPIA. ROUND 11: MAY –JUNE 2018) ………………………………….. 55FIGURE 14. LOCATION OF THE BEGINNING OF CIVILIZATION (SOURCE: WWW.MAPSOFWORLD.COM) ……………………………………….. 71FIGURE 15. THE HYDROLOGIC BASINS OF ETHIOPIA ……………………………………………………………………………………… 73FIGURE 16. THE PROPOSED STATES OF ETHIOPIA ………………………………………………………………………………………… 74FIGURE 17. THE PROPOSED STATES WITH THE CURRENT ZONE ADMINISTRATION OF ETHIOPIA ……………………………….. 74FIGURE 18.THE ABAY BASIN STATE …………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 77FIGURE 19.THE AWASH, AYISHA AND DENAKIL BASINS STATE ………………………………………………………………………….. 77FIGURE 20.THE BARO AKOBO BASINS STATE………………………………………………………………………………………………… 78FIGURE 21.GENALE-DAWA RIVER BASIN STATE ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 78FIGURE 22. TEKEZE AND MEREB BASINS STATE ……………………………………………………………………………………………. 79FIGURE 23.THE WABI-SHEBELE & OGADEN BASINS STATE ……………………………………………………………………………… 79FIGURE 24. OMO GHIBE BASIN STATE ……………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 80FIGURE 25. THE RIFT VALLEY BASIN STATE ………………………………………………………………………………………………… 80

Acronyms/ Abbreviations

AAWSA Addis Ababa Water Supply Authority AIDS Acquired Immunodeficiency SyndromeAD Anno Domini
AU African Union

AVA Awash valley authority
AVDA Awash Valley Development Agency
BC Before Christ
E.C. Ethiopian Calendar
DNA Deoxyribonucleic Acid
DTM Displacement Tracking Method
EPDM Ethiopian People Democratic Movement
EPRDF Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front EWRA Ethiopian Water Resources Authority
EVDSA Ethiopian Valleys Development Studies Authority EWWCA Ethiopian Water Works Construction Authority GoE Government of Ethiopia
HIV Human Immunodeficiency Virus

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IRBMP Integrated River Basin Master Plan
IWRM Integrated Water Resources Management
MoNRDEP Ministry of Natural Resources Development and Environmental Protection MoWIE Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Electricity
MoWR Ministry of Water Resources
NMSA National Meteorological Services Agency
NWRC National Water Resources Commission
OAU Organization of African Unity
RH Blood group
TPLF Tigrayan Peoples’ Liberation Front
UN United Nation
US United States United States (U.S.) or America
USSR Union of Soviet Socialist Republics
VADA Valleys Agricultural Development Authority
WPE Workers Party of Ethiopia
WRDA Water Resources Development Authority
WSSA Water Supply and Sewerage Authority

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Forward:

We had long standing worry about the country’s future fate and we had been discussing for theway out from ethnic based politics that triggered hatred, greed and corruption that would ultimately result in destruction and disintegration of the country. During such discussion the idea of this paper was initiated in 2006/7 while we were carrying out a Consultancy Service for Water Resources Potential Assessment in 10 Woreda’s and Lake and River Pollution Study in Southern Region. Since then we were sharing ideas on how we can bring forward to people having similarconcern about the country’s future. Until 2016 the situation was difficult to bring this type of idea on board as people are divided along ethnic lines.

Starting from 2015 the condition in the country started rapidly declining and ethnic & political conflicts escalated with fast momentum. From 2017 people started questioning the ethnic politics and started publicly raising the ills of the ethnic politics. This situation motivated us to write down the idea and by some means to bring it on board. Since beginning of 2018 we have started writing little- by-little and at the same time started watching the development of the political situation. Suddenly in March 2018 the situation has dramatically changed with H.E. Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed. People started publicly singing for a unified, democratic and developed Ethiopia. Then we have decided that it is the time to bring some sort of proposal based on the idea that will help politicians to discuss upon as one alternative solution for a democratic unified Ethiopia with respect and dignity of its people.

The paper is prepared in a haste to cope up with the fast changing situation in the country. We have tried to refer all available books at our hand and googled the remaining ones to fit into the gaps. We have not followed the formal methods for preparing a book, since our motive is not writing a book. We believe that there would be grammatical and errors in consecutiveness of the presentation of the idea as it is prepared in short time. Please consider the idea and try to develop it as one alternative for administrative division of the country for peaceful co-existence between different people, unified and developed nation building.

“ያለውን የወረወረ ፈሪ አይባልም”

Good Reading!

Engidashet Bunare Shiferaw Lulu

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Executive Summary

The objective and scope of the current paper is to review the historical and legal basis of governance system in Ethiopia with a focus on solving the problems of the current border and ethnic conflict between various regional states and ethno-linguistic groups in the country due to demarcating territories based on language and ethnicity and to recommend feasible administrative state boundary in order to alleviate the current ethnic based political and boundary conflicts.

Nation building requires in-depth consideration of its history, culture, geography, economic and social conditions and identification of the factors that tie coherently its people and building on the unifying factors to develop trust, love democracy and the rule of law with equal status and dignity of its people. A nation for the purpose administration can make internal divisions. These divided administrative regions can be autonomous federated or unified territories. Administering / dividing administrative regions along ethnic, color, appearance or along religion lines are the key destabilizing factors in a country. These factors are non-unifying and disintegrating agents for a nation and needs to be replaced with other unifying factors that would enable a nation peaceful development.

A region is essentially a part of the land surface of the earth. In the geographical literature regions are defined in three ways as, uniform, functional and administrative areas. Regionalism is a sub-nationalism and political concept and it is a movement which seeks to politicize the territorial predicaments of its regions with the aim of protecting its regional interest. Generally, regionalism evolves on the basis of some social and cultural characteristics like ethnicity, language, color or culture. Sometimes local leaders use this concept for achieving greater autonomy and local power especially political and economic power.

Despite globalization and modernization, regionalism is widely observed in both developed and developing countries across the world. Sometime regionalism may help in solving some socio- political and economic problems at local level, but it is one of the big obstacles in nation building process or national integration.

There are several border definitions generally referring to physical and/or ethnic characteristics. However, there are also boundaries that depend neither on physical nor ethnic characteristics.

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Proposed New Ethiopian Government Administrative Boundary System For Unified Nation Building
These types of boundaries can be classified as artificial boundaries. Unfortunately, this type of

boundaries causes many disputes.

The artificial and poorly demarcated borders of many countries were considered the most potent source of conflict and political instability. Political boundaries in the national state may not be permanent, which is subjected to change as a result of internal and external pressure. The fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany is a good example. Obviously, stable and mutually agreed boundaries are a major pre-requisite for a peaceful cooperation between states and/or countries.

In this paper geographic region concept is considered as good alternative for boundary making principles for state administrative boundaries to abolish ethnic radicalization which served as a source of border conflict and political instability in the country. Geographic region concept in conjunction with hydrologic boundaries / river basin boundaries for administrative boundaries considered to serve as a natural / physical boundary that can serve irrespective of ethnicbackground to respect both people’s diversity and nationality in the country.

The ethnic based politics and administration resulted in hatred and massive conflicts which is one of its kind in Ethiopian history. It has to be taken that the past 27 years was an experimental year for Ethiopians to learn from ethnicity. Although, it is not advisable to experiment on our self, it has already happened we cannot change it. There is a saying in Amharic;

“ሞኝ በራሱ ይማራል፤ “The foolish experiment on himselfብልጥ ግን ከሌላው ይማራል፡፡ ” The wise learn from the other”

However, still it is not late to learn from the mistakes and to take corrective measure. From Ethiopian experiment it is well understood that ethnic based administration is one of the main stumbling block for the people of Ethiopia. Thus there should be a way out that can bring unity, prosperity and integrity among the Ethiopian people. One of the way out would be basing the administration on non-ethnic based criteria. The main aim of this paper is to present one way out for discussion and debate among Ethiopian people for their better future. There may be other proposals from any other source. But we think this proposal is one of the best proposals and we believe it would be acceptable by the majority of Ethiopians.

The current constitution declared that sovereignty lays in ‘nation, nationality and people of Ethiopia’. The Ethiopian federal arrangement accepts ethnic identity as a genuine form of statearrangement and base for organizing administrative organs.

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Accordingly, the “National/ Regional self- Governments Establishment proclamation No 7/1992was promulgated” with a view to giving effect to the right of Nations, Nationalities and peoplesto self-determination.

The nine National Regional Self-governments, which were established during the transitional period, are incorporated in to the new Constitution and renamed regions that make up the Ethiopian Federation (Art. 46 (1)). These regions are:1) the Region of Tigray, 2) the Region of Afar, 3) the Region of Amhara, 4) the Region of Oromia, 5) the Region of Somalia, 6) the Region of Benshangul-Gumuz, 7) the Region of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and peoples, 8) the Region of Gambela Peoples, 9) the Region of Harari People (Art. 47, (1), (1-9).

Such arrangement created the prevailing negative impact, .i.e. ethnic based region/state conflict between: Oromo and Somali; Oromo and Amhara; Oromo and Southern Nation Nationalities; Benshangul-Gumuz and Amhara, Tigray and Amhara, etc., Further, the impact prevailed within the same region, i.e. conflict between: Sidama and Wolayita; Gurage and Kebena.

We have to use history and past events as a learning tool to improve our future. Neglecting history and the true binding agent between Ethiopian people has led to the current language- ethnic based states administrative boundaries related conflicts.

In order to keep the coherence of Ethiopian people, to plan for development and implement Ethiopian people resources, to advance in technology, for allocation and prioritization of projects and programs without conflict of interest, requires paradigm shift from the current ethno- language based states administration system. Such action is required in order to pave the way and to address interests of the community equitably without ethnic conflict in harmony with securing national interest.

The current ethnic based states administrative boundaries and inequitable and insecure political system will not bring long lasting sustainable development, enabling environment for investment and free social movement in the country.

We believe that ethnic based political sickness cannot be resolved using the same medicine, i.e., ethnic based politics, which has already adapted the bacteria. Our main sickness in the past 40 years was the Marxist based ethnic-politics which was extraordinarily implemented and that developed into pseudo-apartheid thinking. We have to start to think out of the ethnic box and try

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to see other feasible options which would shape our ideas and the ideas of the coming generation towards democracy and prosperous nation based on the rule of law and dignity of its people.

As history teaches us, except the past 27 years, Ethiopia has never been administered based on ethno-language administrative system. The administrative system in history included both political and geographic/physical boundaries. It was based on the power of nobilities to include as much territory in their jurisdiction and geographic or physical boundaries suitable to defend their territories.

The modern history before the ethno-language federalism indicates that the administrative regions combined historical events, physical and geographical boundaries. Ethno-language has never been criteria. Each administrative region has included a number of ethno-language societies.

To get rid of this deeply entrenched ethnic based state system and to preserve Ethiopia from fracturing across Kilil lines and ultimately disintegrate into several ungovernable mini states; we have to change the States system and redrawing viable administrative states/provinces that contribute to minimize divisiveness, and remove the negative impact of the ethno-Kilil / regional system.

Hence, for avoiding mistrust between different ethnicized regions, ethnic conflict and for enhancing development and integration of the Ethiopian people we believe the best model would be the one based on hydrological physical region. Ethiopia is endowed with great natural gift. This great natural gift of Ethiopia is that, the county has distinct hydrological regions that can be best used for administrative purpose.

In order to alleviate the current ethnic based states administrative boundaries and related conflicts, we recommend/propose alternative solution to use the administrative regional states system based on river basin hydrological boundary in changing the Ethiopian government state structure and political divisions of the country. Such state boundary arrangement could also help smooth development intervention i.e. planning, implementing and managing the water and other natural resources sustainably without conflicts of resources allocation and prioritization of project and programs. Such set up will pave the ways to address community of interest equitably without ethnic conflict based on impartial system in harmony with national interest and to address the need of the present society without compromising the needs of the future generation.

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Therefore, we have recommended/proposed the following eight river basin states for better development/ civilization, and greatness of the nation as to better facilitate national cohesion:

  1. Abay basin state;
  2. Awash, Ayisha and Denakil basins state;
  3. Baro-Akobo basin state;
  4. Genele-Dawa basin state;
  5. Tekeze and Mereb basins state;
  6. Wabi-shebele and the Ogaden basins state;
  7. Omo-Ghibe basin state; and
  8. Rift valley Lakes basin state;Figure 1. Proposed Basin States

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Figure 2. Proposed River Basin States and the current Ethnic Based Regions

Figure 3. Proposed River Basin States and the current Zone Administrations

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Moreover, the administrative boundaries and hydrological units that coincide/ falling within the same basin boundary will create an appropriate units for implementation of integrated river basin master plan. It will also help for developmental strategy of the basin states to disaggregate sub basins, zones, etc., as required. Both basin State administrations and River Basin Organizations will be managed on the basis of a hydrological unit.

The national all river basins Federal Government will serve in addressing the nation interest to make balance on resource deficit and resource abundant basins and follow the implementation as per the national development plan. Such basin states arrangement avoids barriers and challenges related to ethnicity and creates conducive environment for political and economic commitment rather than ethnic commitment.

History tells us that Ethiopia was one of the founding members and major role player during the establishment of Organization for African Unity (OAU). Similarly, the idea of river basin demarcation/delineation for administrative regional state boundaries will contribute to other African countries having similar problems and will serve to play a leading role in regional economic integration for AU Agenda 2063 establishment for unity, integration, and free movement of people in Horn Africa.

Change can be painful and is often resisted as it makes people feel insecure even if they understand the need. Often good laws or revised procedures can fail if they are not understood or accepted by officials or citizens.

While each country must decide how to enact reform—depending on its current situation and what it wants to achieve in the future, experience collected in the IWRM provides some basic lessons:

  •   Reforms should be done in a coherent and integrative way and suit the broader social and political policies of the country,
  •   Raising awareness, sharing information and meaningful participatory debate are key elements of any reform process, and
  •   Water governance reforms must not be limited to the water sector, but must take into account other sectors that impact and are impacted by water decision-making.The proposed river basin states besides facilitating national cohesion it will have the following benefits for the country:Engidashet Bunare and Shiferaw Lulu, E-mail: [email protected]/[email protected], [email protected] 13 of 95

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  •   The problem related with diversity and unity will be resolved,
  •   Both diversity and nationality will be respected and ethnic based conflict will beresolved,
  •   Ethnic based political parties will be discouraged,
  •   All the right of citizens’ will be respected in looking employment, investment andother requirements in the country without ethnic barrier and geographic boundaries,
  •   Potential conflict with respect to water allocation and prioritization of projects withinthe basin will be managed,
  •   The investment security will be enhanced and improved,
  •   maximize the economic and social welfare,
  •   Agro-climatic development zones can be established
  •   Sustainability of development and attention for national interest will be guaranteed,
  •   Strategy for National development plan, regional plan and integrated water resourcesdevelopment plan will be managed in harmony without challenge and any adverseimpact for upstream and downstream users within the basin,
  •   Duplication of effort will be managed and harmonized program will be implementedand resource allocation and utilization efficiency will be improved,
  •   Along with administration, appropriate river basin organizations can be established for planned development and management of a river basin as a whole, wherevernecessary.
  •   It will pave a way for AU agenda 2063 regional social and economic integration withneighboring countries.The Ethiopian federal arrangement accepts ethnic identity as a genuine form of state arrangement and base for organizing administrative organs. However, this administrative arrangement was not based on the History of Ethiopia, natural and physical boundaries and on the unifying factors of the people of Ethiopia. As a result it has created continued conflict between people.The current proposal for “New Ethiopian Government Administrative Boundary System for Unified Nation Building” emerged from long standing concern of the country fragile politicaland administrative situation. It has emerged from an in depth evaluation of the history of Ethiopia, reasons and factors of conflicts in the current political and administrative system. This is a proposal for the people of Ethiopia to debate on it for better future administrative divisions in

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line with current change. We believe that only commenting on past mistakes does not bring a better future. A better future can be created by learning from the past and bringing a better idea that can hold true for the future.

The analysis and recommendations are based on the review of relevant constitution, government administration system and Integrated River Basin Management. A hydrological physical boundary includes different people, water, mineral, plant and animal, etc., resources affected by hydrological cycles within it. It is the most suitable physical boundary to develop, manage equitably the resources for the society leaving within this physical boundary and beyond. A hydrological boundary does not fit into ethno-language boundary and would help to minimize the greedy motive of ethno-linguistic politicians to use ethnicity for propagation of hatred along ethno-language boundaries to attain power.

Furthermore, Ethiopia has historical, social, economic, political, cultural, religious, moral/ethical, and legal values that are key agent for unifying the Ethiopian Empire. Thus, we have to genuinely work on the common national historical, social, economic, political, cultural, religious, moral/ethical, and legal values in order to pave the way for nation building and for future sustainable and safe development by giving emphasis for diversity and unity. In addition, we have to carry out national reconciliation events/program to conclude once and for all past mistake agenda.

Based on common historical, social, economic, political, cultural, religious, moral/ethical, and legal values we have to establish institutions that are responsible and accountable to the role assigned to them. To review the legal system and all sorts of the legal instruments and the administrative issues it requires reviewing the relevant parts of the constitution, in order to pave the way for feasible justices and administration. All development sectors and others need to review their policies and strategies in line with the modified legal instruments.

Ethiopian Kings and their descendants can serve in unifying and integrating the Ethiopian people. Thus we recommend a government system to be established to recognize the descendants of these kings to play their role as their ancestors to work towards unity and integrity of the Ethiopian people.

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Finally, we propose political parties to organize based on only ideas not on ethnic liberation front. Organizing party along ethnic, religion or language lines is the most dangerous that would lead the country into chaos and divided and ungovernable mini states in the horn of Africa.

May God Bless Ethiopia, and give wisdom to the people of Ethiopia!!

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1 INTRODUCTION

Nation building requires in-depth consideration of its history, culture, geography, economic and social conditions and identification of the factors that tie coherently its people and build on the unifying factors and develop trust, love democracy and the rule of low with equal status and dignity of its people. A nation for the purpose administration can make internal divisions. These divided administrative regions can be autonomous federated or unified territories. One of the key factors in administering a country is to avoid division of regions along ethnic, color, appearance or along religion lines. These are the non-unifying and disintegrating agents for a nation building.

A region is essentially a part of the land surface of the earth. In the geographical literature regions are defined in three ways as, respectively, uniform, functional and administrative areas. Regionalism is a sub-nationalism and political concept. It is a movement which seeks to politicize the territorial predicaments of its regions with the aim of protecting its regional interest. Generally, regionalism evolves on the basis of some social and cultural characteristics like ethnicity, language, color or culture. Sometimes local leaders use this concept for achieving greater autonomy and local power especially political and economic power.

Despite globalization and modernization, regionalism is widely observed in both developed and developing countries across the world. Sometime regionalism may help in solving some socio- political and economic problems at local level, but it is one of the big obstacles in nation building process or national integration.

In developing administrative or state borders there are two types of boundaries: natural and geometric or artificial boundaries. Natural boundaries are the hydrological boundaries, or watercourses, dry boundaries (wadis), mountain ranges and other natural landmarks. Artificial boundaries are boundaries marked by monuments.

There are several border definitions generally referring to physical and/or ethnic characteristics. However, there are also boundaries that depend neither on physical nor ethnic characteristics.These types of boundaries can be classified as artificial boundaries. Unfortunately, this type of boundaries causes many disputes.

The artificial and poorly demarcated borders of many countries were considered the most potent source of conflict and political instability. Political boundaries in the national state may not be

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permanent, which is subjected to change as a result of internal and external pressure. The fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany is a good example. Obviously, stable and mutually agreed boundaries are a major pre-requisite for a peaceful cooperation between states and/or countries.

The current problems in the country are mainly due to demarcating territories based on language and ethnicity and a political system which is based on ethnicity that opens a way for ethnic politicians a breeding ground for power and selfish motives in the name of the representative ethnic groups. The objective and scope of the current paper is to review the historical and legal basis of governance system in Ethiopia with a focus on solving the problems of the current border and ethnic conflict in various regional states and places in the country and to recommend feasible administrative state boundary in order to alleviate the current ethnic based political and boundary conflicts.

This paper consists of six sections and presents: Background on the Ethiopian governance system; Constitutional history of Ethiopia; Ethno-linguistic Federalism and it consequences; The Unifying factors in Ethiopian Empire; Proposed Federal States; and Conclusion in order to alleviate the current ethnic based states administrative boundaries not to serve as a source of border conflict and political instability for the country.

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2 BACKGROUND ON THE ETHIOPIAN GOVERNANCE SYSTEM

2.1 Pre-Aksumite Civilisation

In ancient times Ethiopia extended over vast domains in both Africa and Asia. “It seems certain,” declares Sir E. A. Wallis Budge, “that classical historians and geographers called the whole region from India to Egypt, both countries inclusive, by the name of Ethiopia, and in consequence they regarded all the dark-skinned and black peoples who inhabited it as Ethiopians. In modern geography the name Ethiopia is confined to the country known as Abyssinia, an extensive territory in East Africa.

Mention is made of Eastern and Western Ethiopians and it is probable that the Easterners were Asiatics and the Westerners Africans.” (History of Ethiopia, Vol. I., Preface, by Sir E. A. Wallis Budge.) In addition Budge notes that, “Homer and Herodotus call all the peoples of the Sudan, Egypt, Arabia, Palestine and Western Asia and India Ethiopians.” Herodotus wrote in his celebrated History that both the Western Ethiopians, who lived in Africa, and the Eastern Ethiopians who dwelled in India, were black in complexion, but that the Africans had curly hair, while the Indians were straight-haired.

The cultural significance of the southern Arabian and the East African cultures mixing was enormous. One consequence was the emergence of a number of Afro-Asiatic languages,

including Ge’ez which laid the foundation for modern Amharic (much like Latin did for Italian).

Most significant was the rise of a remarkable civilization in Africa’s Horn in 1500 BC. This civilization appeared to mushroom, and that it benefited from specialist crafts, skills and

technologies previously unknown in the area, led many scholars to believe that the civilization was spawned by Arabian settlers and not Africans. However, scholars of late argue with great conviction that this civilization was indeed African and while undoubtedly influenced by Sabaean ideas, it developed from within from local effort and initiative. If proved correct, histories of the Horn will have to be completely rewritten. Whatever the origin, the civilization was a very important one. The most famous relic of the times is the extraordinary stone ‘temple’

of Yeha.

The outline of History, being a plain History of Life and mankind by H.G. Wells Vol.-I (page 140) states that an Ethiopian conqueror from the Upper Nile founded the XXVth Dynasty, a foreign dynasty, which went down (670 B.C.,) before the new Assyrian Empire was created.

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World’s Great Men of Color 3000 B.C. to 1946 A.D. J.A. Rogers also wrote about King Piankhi of Nubia, King of Ethiopia and Conqueror of Egypt (B.C. 720). Takla-Tsadeq wrote– Nubia, Axsum, Zagwe which includes the 25th dynasty Ethiopian king ruled Egypt. Thus, Ethiopia had a very important position among the Egyptian dynasties.

Ethiopia is considered the origin of human beings and human technologies longer than almost anywhere else in the world. The Biblical records and archeological discoveries indicate that Ethiopia is one of the oldest nations and place for the rise of civilization. As per the evolutionists the Awash valley is considered the early home of human ancestors-the hominids. The discovery of Lucy on 30 November 1974 in a dried-up lake near Hadar in Ethiopia’s northeast, the oldest and most complete hominid ever found, was famous and Ethiopia was tipped to claim the prize as the cradle of humanity.

2.2 Kingdom Of Aksum

The Aksumite kingdom, which grew to rank among the most powerful kingdoms of the ancient world, was the next civilization to rise in present-day Ethiopia. The first written evidence of its existence (Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, written by a Greek-speaking Egyptian sailor) was from the 1st century AD, but by this point its realm of influence was wide, suggesting it rose to prominence much earlier. New archaeological evidence hints it may have emerged as early as

400 BC.

Periplus was the name applied to a numerous class of writings in Roman times, which answered for sailing-chart and travelers hand-book. The title might be rendered as “Guide-Book to theErythrean sea.”

Erythraean Sea was the term applied by Greek and Roman geographers to the Indian Ocean, including its adjuncts, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf.

Glaser derives the name Habash from a Mahr (South Arabia) word, meaning “gatherers”.Synonymous with this is Aethiopian or Itiopyavan, which he derives from atyoh, “incense;” and it is Significant that even in the time of the Periplus their ancient home in Mahra as still the

“Frankincense Country.” As “gatherers of incense,” then, we have the mission of the Asachae- or Axumites. This people, like their predecessors from the same region, the Cushites who traded with Babylon and Thebes, a branch of whom, ‘Intermarrying with the natives”

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(‘Periplus, 16), helped found the Nubian Kingdom, and like the Punt or Poen-people of the Theban inscriptions, left their settlements in Mahra, Socotra and Somaliland (the true frankincense country) and migrated westward, settling finally in the Tigre highlands, where for the first time they established an enduring power.

Berber Country – This word means more than the “land of the barbarians,” and seems, like our modern “Barbary States, to refer to the Berber race, as representing the ancient Hamitic stock of

North Africa.

The Berbers of the Periplus probably included the ancestors of the Bejas between the Nile and Red Sea, the Danakils between the Upper Nile, Abyssinia and the Gulf of Aden, and the Somalis and Oromos.

Meroe was the final capital of the Kingdom of Nubia. It became the royal seat about 560 B. C. and continued as such until after this Periplus.

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Figure 4. Map Showing Places mentioned in the Periplus, their modern equivalents and export and import. (A short Illustrated History of Ethiopia, edited by Kiros Habte Selassie and Mazengia Dina)

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Figure 5. Axum and Trade in the 4th Century AD. (A short Illustrated History of Ethiopia, edited by Kiros Habte Selassie and Mazengia Dina)

The Chronicle of Zuqnin, Parts III and IV A.D.488-775 translated by Amir Harrak wrote that Ethiopians, South Arabians (Himyarites), Indians proper, and sometimes all of these were included under the term “Indians” in early Byzantine (and Syriac) sources.

The king of the Kushites sent word to the king of the Himyarites: “You acted wickedly by killing Christian merchants of the Romans! You cut off trade and you stopped the revenues of my kingdom and of the other kingdoms, but you deprived my kingdom most!” On account of this they got to the point of great enmity and met for battle. When they drew near to fight each other, Andug, King of the Kushites, said: “If it is granted me to defeat this tyrant king of the Himyarites, I will become a Christian, for I am seeking to punish him for the blood of the Christians.”

Then they fought each other and the king of the Kushites defeated the king of the Himyarites. When the Christian king whom the Kushite king had established there died, they appointed a king from their own over the Himyarite people.

Historians agree that Ethiopia is among the oldest civilizations in the world. One of the earliest kingdoms to rise to power in the territory was the kingdom of D’mt in the 10th century BC, which established its capital at Yeha. In the first century AD the Aksumite Kingdom rose to

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power in the Tigray Region with its capital at Aksum and grew into a major power on the Red Sea, subjugating Yemen and Meroe and converting to Christianity in the early fourth century. The Aksumite kingdom fell into decline with the rise of Islam, forcing the Ethiopians to move south into the highlands for refuge. The Aksumites gave way to the Zagwe Dynasty who established a new capital at Lalibela, before giving way to the Solomonic Dynasty in the 13th century.

In 1529, a conquest of Abyssinia (Futuh al-Habash) by the Ottoman-allied Somali Muslim Adal Sultanate devastated the highlands, and was only deterred by a Portuguese intervention.

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Figure 6. Ethiopian and Muslim states during the medieval period. (A short Illustrated History of Ethiopia, edited by Kiros Habte Selassie and Mazengia Dina)

With both Ethiopia and Adal greatly weakened by the war, the Oromo people were able to expand into the highlands, conquering the remains of the Adal Sultanate and pushing deep into the northern Ethiopia. The Portuguese brought modern weapons and baroque architecture to Ethiopia and in 1622 converted the emperor Susenyos I to Catholicism, sparking a civil war which ended in his abdication and an expulsion of all Catholics from Ethiopia. A new capital was established at Gondar in 1632, and a period of peace and prosperity ensued until the country

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was split apart by warlords in the 18th century during the Zemene Mesafint (the period of local Nobles).

2.3 The Regional Kingdom

2.3.1 Shoa

The foundation of Shoa as an independent state goes back into the 18th Century. Asfa Wossen reorganized the area into four provinces sub-divided into thirty nine districts. His younger son Sahle Selassie appeared to re-unite the kingdom. Sahle Selassie, who ruled from 1813-1847, was the most important shoan ruler. Sahle Selassie was succeeded by his son Hailemelekot, who was the first Shoan ruler to interfere in the struggles of the Mesafint.

2.3.2 The Sidamo Kingdoms

There were a very large number of these, the Muslim ones: Hadya, Dawaro, Bali were all east of the Gibe River. Others, Janjero, Mansho (in Kaffa), Enarya, Kaffa were west or north of the Gibe.

2.3.3 The Kingdoms of the Gibe

There were five kingdoms which are known by the name: Limu-Enarya, Jimma, Guma, Gera and Gomsa.

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Figure 7. Regional Kingdoms of South Central Ethiopia. (A short Illustrated History of Ethiopia, edited by Kiros Habte Selassie and Mazengia Dina)

From 1784 the emphasis changed from the Emperors to the great lords. As the power of the Emperors declined so did the centralized power of the church. The monasteries remained highly important but this reinforced the growth of regionalism. The chief lords were Ras Goshu of Gonder and Amhara who overthrew Ras Michael Sehul at the battle of Sarbakusa in 1771; Ras Abetu of Gojjam who removed Tekla Giyorgis in 1784; Ras Ali of Begemder and Ras Wolde Selassie of Enderta and Tigre. Ras Gugsa of Begemeder had ruled the whole except Tigre and Shoa.

There were three major powers that grew out of the wreck of Gondar:

 The Ras of Begemeder, leader of the Yejju Oromo-Ras Ali The Ras of Tigre, Ras Webe
 The Negus of Shoa, Sahle Selassie

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Ethiopia had a decentralized governance system throughout much of its existence as a state. This decentralized system was characterized by the co-existence of triple authorities: Autonomous kings and provincial and local nobility’s exercised powers within their area while at the same time recognizing the imperial throne as the central authority. During such periods the Kebre Negast, served as constitution between Autonomous kings and provincial and local nobilities.

Scholars maintain that the colossal size of the country, its rugged and broken landscape, the economic and cultural diversity of its people, and the absence of a modern means of communication were the root causes of the decentralized system and structure.

The rise of Tewodros resulted in restoration of Ethiopia and to reform the church. In the second half of the 19th century, however, Emperor Tewodros II (1855-1868) set the centralization process in motion by bringing an end to the autonomy of regional and local nobilities. This process of the centralization was continued by Emperor Yohannes (1872-1889) after Emperor Takla_Giyorgis (Lasta, Wag Shum Gibaze) (1868-1871) and pursued vigorously by Emperor Menelik II (1889-1913) in which he created the country’s current boundary. Parallel to these events the European colonial powers surrounding the eastern Africa were successful in splitting Bahirenegash (the current Eritrea) in the north and the Somali territories in the east from Ethiopia.

The centralization process was further pursued by Emperor Haile Selassie I (1930-1974). The Emperor used formal mechanism to centralize power. In 1931, the Emperor proclaimed the first written Constitution of the country. The Constitution provided the Emperor with absolute power over the central provincial and local government. It also ended the autonomy of the nobilities and the provincial governors.

Subsequently, in 1940s with declared intent to modernize and unify the country, the Emperor introduced a uniform local administrative system. The country was divided into a number of teklaygizat (provinces). Each teklaygizat (province) was divided into awraja ghizat and, woreda ghizat and mikitil woreda.

History shows as that Ethiopia has never exercised ethnic based administration system. In addition the decline and rise of the empire forced the Ethiopians to move from south to north and from east to west and vise-versa and resulted in anyone not to have distinct identity and legal right to claim any place of Ethiopia as a unique area of authority on others. In this

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connection, the right of citizens’ to live invests and to enjoy all privileges without ethnic tag have to be legally recognized in every administration areas without any ethnic difference. Moreover, the administrative boundaries in the country ruled by Emperor and nobilities were not based on ethnicity in the history of Ethiopia. Further, the Emperor and nobilities were used marriage for their ruling strategy without ethnic barrier, hence, helped the society to focus on national, enlargement of power, and/or class struggle issues.

2.4 Government and Administration

2.4.1 Government and Administration in Medieval Times

The Emperor was all powerful in theory. In his administration he was assisted by leading political and religious figures who talked matters over with the Emperor. The decisions however were those of the Emperor.

The country was divided into provinces at the head of which was a governor and the provinces were divided into districts, each under a shum or administrator. The governors were appointed directly by the Emperor. The shum were in some cases appointed by the governor, more often by the Emperor- but in many districts the shum had to come from certain families.

The authority of the governors was also limited by royal grants of land to certain people or monasteries which allowed these areas to be free from any control by governors or shums. Most of governorships were hereditary as well. The Emperors had power to remove unsatisfactory governors; their successors were usually from the same family.

2.4.2 The Church

The church was the greatest landowner after the king, and most of its wealth came from its lands and from gifts by the emperors.

There were very many monasteries and churches, and enormous numbers of clergy. The monks and priests were the only educated people, and the church schools were the only schools. They also gave charity to poor people. It was the greatest unifying force in the Empire.

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2.4.3 Government and Administration in Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries

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The major themes dominated Ethiopian history in the nineteenth century- the process of unification and the repulse of foreign incursion. Unification broadened the economic basis of

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power of the Ethiopian ruling class.

Figure 8.Ethiopia 1935 (Source: A History of Modern Ethiopia (1855-1991) Bahru Zewde)

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Ethiopia is the oldest independent country in Africa and one of the oldest independent countries in the world. During the late nineteenth and twentieth century, Ethiopia was divided into 12

provinces (taklai ghizat) by Imperial Ethiopian Government Decree No. 1 of 1942 and later amendments.The 12 provinces were:

 Arsi, Begemder, Gamu-Gofa, Gojjam, Hararghe, Illubabor, Kaffa, Shewa(Shoa), Sidamo,Tigray, Welega, Wollo. Bale was created as a 13th province when it was split off from Hararghe in 1960.

Eritrea was reunified to its motherland as a con-federal state in 1952 as per the UN ruling. Later Eritrea was reunified by Ethiopia and made a 14th province in 1962, which led to the civil war that ended up by splitting Eritrea as independent country in 1991.

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Figure 9.The 13 provinces after Bale split from Hararghe in 1960

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Figure 10.The 13 Provinces and Eritrea Federal state After 1962

Emperor Haile Selassie ruled Ethiopia until 1974 when civil unrest broke out. The Derg, led by Lt. Col. Mengistu, staged a Marxist coup, which overthrew Emperor Haile Selassie and installed a socialist military government.

When the Derg took power in 1974 they relabeled the provinces as regions (kifle hager). By 1981 Addis Ababa had become a separate administrative division from Shewa, and Aseb was split off from Eritrea in 1981, making 16 administrative divisions in total. All of the provinces were drawn to include multiple “tribes” (or ethnicities) as to better facilitate national cohesion.

Under the 1987 Constitution of Ethiopia, the military rule of the Derg evolved into the civilian government of the People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, and chapter 8 of the Constitution determined that the state would be subdivided into “autonomous regions” and “administrative regions”. Chapter 9 gave to the National Shengo (the legislature) the power to establish the

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regions. The Shengo established the regions in Proclamation No. 14 of 1987, on 18 September. There were thirty regions, consisting of five autonomous regions, and twenty-five administrative regions. The five autonomous regions were:

 Aseb, Dire Dawa, Eritrea, Ogaden and Tigray The twenty-five administrative regions were:

 Addis Ababa, Arsi, Assosa, Bale, Borana, East Gojam, East Harerge, East Shewa, Gambela, Ilubabor, Kefa, Metekel, North Gonder, North Omo, North Shewa, North Welo, Sidamo, South Gonder, South Omo, South Shewa, South Welo, Welega, West Gojam, West Harerge, West Shewa

Due to the Derg’s oppressive regime, rebel groups led by the Tigrayan Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF) and the Ethiopian Peoples’ Democratic Movement (EPDM) merged to overthrow

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Figure 11.The 30 regions of the People’s Democratic Republic of Ethiopia period, 1987-1991

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Mengistu in 1991. Eritrea declared its independence from Ethiopia one week after the defeat of the Derg.

Ethiopia’s 1994 constitution is a direct result of the government pursuing a policy of “ethnic democracy.” Ethnicity served as the foundation for Ethiopia’s political parties and is what motivated the Constitution’s two-tiered federal system which, at least in principle, emphasized ethnic groups’ rights and the right to self-determination.

The Ethiopian constitution created a two-tiered federal structure. The Executive Branch consists of the President, Council of State, and the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister maintains the executive power. The Constitution creates a bicameral parliamentary system consisting of the

House of People’s Representatives and the House of Federation. Electoral districts elect representatives for the House of People’s Representatives every five years. The House ofFederation consists of at least one representative from each “Nation, Nationality and People.” The House of People’s Representatives decides issues related national infrastructure, nationality, war, and federal statutes. The House of Federation maintains control of issues related to states’ rights, including “the right to secession.”

There are also nine states within Ethiopia, which are drawn along ethnic lines. Each state maintains its own legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The State Council is the highest authority in each state, and it has the authority to amend the state constitution. Each state is subdivided into smaller local governments. The Constitution calls for each State Council to decentralize the administration to the local authorities.

Ethiopia is administratively divided into regional states and chartered cities, zones, woreda (are smaller subdivisions /districts) and kebele (the smallest administrative division/ wards).

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Figure 12.The regions and chartered cities of Ethiopia

The 9 regional states or kililoch are based on ethnic territoriality:
 Afar, Amhara, Benishangul-Gumuz, Gambela, Harari, Oromia, Somali, Southern Nations,

Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region, Tigray
Additionally there are two chartered cities: Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa

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3 CONSTITUTIONAL HISTORY OF ETHIOPIA

3.1 The 1931 Constitution

The coming to power of Emperor Haile Selassie in 1930 and the subsequent grant of the 1931 Constitution marks a new epoch. On the one hand this epoch reinforced the traditional positionof the emperor as ‘Siyume Egziabiher, Niguse Negast Za-Ethiopia’ which literally means: Elect of God, King of Kings of Ethiopia’ but on the other marked the end of the role of the nobility orat least the gradual reduction of their role in local leadership, the traditional check against the power of the king of kings, to insignificance. Yet, it is important to note that Haile Selassie was crowned with full support of the pre-war modern elite with a mission of ‘Japanizing Ethiopia.’

This also marked the beginning of the culmination of the struggle for centralization, which began with the attempt at unification by emperors during the 19th century and reached its consolidation under the absolutist rule of Emperor Haile Selassie to be further reinforced by the military. The consequence was the alienation of the bulk of the regional kings and nobeles leading to the center periphery polemics.

The first measure the Emperor took along the process of centralization was the grant of the Constitution. It was a fairly brief Constitution containing fifty-five articles. The first chapter with five articles dealt, as one might expect, with the emperor and the succession to the throne. Thefamous article three states ‘…the imperial dignity shall remain perpetually attached to the line ofhis majesty Haile Selassie I, descendant of king Sahle Selassie whose line descends without interruption from the dynasty of Menlik I, son of King Solomon of Jerusalem and of the Queenof Sheba.’ Article four stipulated about the succession to the throne and the subsequent provisionexplained ‘the person of the emperor as sacred, His dignity inviolable and His power indisputable’. His authority was unlimited and unquestionable and his function multi-faceted: the emperor was the head of the executive, the fountain of justice, the agent of change and the law- giver, albeit moderated by parliament that lacked the competence to enact law. To a careful observer such clauses represent a significant departure from the Ethiopian tradition of the right to rule which was open for any one (presumably from the regional nobility) who combines competence, might and Solomonic legend. With the coming to power of Haile Selassie and his constitution, it was planned to take a different course.

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The bulk of the other provisions provided about the power and prerogatives of the emperor. The Constitution vested supreme power in the hands of the emperor and heralded the establishment of the institutions of the chamber of Deputies and the Senate. These two houses were important instruments for curbing the power of the nobility. Close scrutiny over the provisions and the practice revealed that both houses were merely meant to play a strictly advisory role. According to Article 31 members of the Senate were appointed by the emperor from among the nobility and the local chiefs. As for the chamber of Deputies, they were chosen by the nobility and the local chiefs. The presence of the nobility while providing some semblance of legitimacy at the center, on the other hand became part of a toothless legislative body and in a way remained the instrument of the centralizing and modernizing process launched by the regime.

Consequently, the Constitution’s major outcome was its ability to establish the legal frameworkwithin which governmental power was to be channeled and distributed. It was aimed against the personal, arbitrary and ill-defined powers traditionally held by the nobility. It reflected the traditional principle of absolute imperial power without any practical limitations. The Emperor was granted full executive power over both central and provincial government and the nobility and provincial governors were granted no independent authority.

3.2 The 1955 Revised Constitution

The Revised Constitution continued to reinforce the process of centralization. The sketchy provisions regarding the powers and prerogatives of the Emperor were extensively elaborated in the new Constitution. The Constitution spent one chapter settling the issue of succession on the rule. Detailed provisions vested in the Emperor wide powers over the military, foreign affairs, local administration and so forth. Interestingly enough it also contained an elaborate regime of civil and political rights for the subjects. In theory, the Constitution was the supreme law of the land governing even the Emperor. It contemplated even an independent ministerial government responsible to the monarch and parliament, an elected chamber and independent judiciary but these liberal provisions were overshadowed by executive prerogatives reserved to the Emperor who exercised them expansively. Despite the apparent inclusion of the notion of separation of powers, little change was introduced regarding the position of the Emperor. He was both the head of state and of the government and he continued to oversee the judiciary through his Chilot (Crown Court).

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In 1966 the recommendation to make the Prime Minister become the effective head of the executive with the power to appoint his cabinet, leaving the Emperor in a largely ceremonial role was partly implemented when the Prime Minister became formally responsible for selecting other ministers, but later developments indicated that it was a far too premature gesture to be taken seriously. The same dilemma was to be repeated in 1974 when the Revolution was about to erupt.

3.3 The 1987 Constitution

Final stage to complete the institutionalization and monopolization of power was the promulgation of a new constitution and the proclamation of the Republic. The process of establishing a vanguard and single party culminated with the set-up of the (Workers Party of Ethiopia) WPE in September 1984 with its chairman Colonel Mengistu. The draft constitution was completed in 1986 and was formally submitted to public debate and ratified by a referendum in February 1987.

In an election in which a single party, WPE members, participated members of the National Shengo (parliament) were elected. While formally the Shengo constituted the highest legislative body, in practice, the Shengo was not to be sitting continuously but only once a year for a set period. The role of the Shengo was undertaken by the State Council. It was the visible administrative organ of state power with the highest responsibility for undertaking the day-to-day state functions. It was also the permanent executive, legislative and administrative organ of the National Shengo. Thereby the National Shengo’s role was reduced in a rubber-stamping body of the WPE.

The Constitution stated that Ethiopia is a unitary state constituting administrative and autonomous regions. It stated that the nationalities are equal and ensured the equality ofnationalities ‘through … combating chauvinism and narrow minded nationalism, [and byenhancing] the equality, respectability of the languages of nationalities as well as through equal participation in political, economic, social and cultural fields and through realization of regionalautonomy’.

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3.4 1991 Transitional Period Charter of Ethiopia

A Country convened from July 1-5 /1991 in Addis Ababa, have discussed and approved on 22ndJuly 1991 Transitional Period Charter of Ethiopia. The Charter laying dawn the rules governing The Transitional Government as well as setting down the principles for the transitional period Based on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations, adopted and proclaimed by the General Assembly by resolution 217 A (III) of 10 Dec. 1948 individual human rights shall be respected fully.

The right of nations, nationalities and peoples to self-determination is affirmed. To this end, each nation, nationality and people is guaranteed the right to:

  1. Preserve its identity and have it respected, promote its culture and history and use and develop its language;
  2. Administer its own affairs within its own defined territory and effectively participate in the central government on the basis of freedom, and fair and proper representation;
  3. Exercise its right to self-determination of independence, when the concerned, nation/nationality and people is convinced that the above rights are denied, abridged or abrogated.

A Transitional Government consisting of a Council of Representatives and a Council of Ministers were established.

The Council of Representatives composed of representatives of national liberation movements, other political organizations and prominent individuals, to make-up a total of no more than 87 members were formed.

The, Transitional Government were exercised all legal and political responsibility for the governance of Ethiopia until it hands over power to a government popularly elected on the basis of a new Constitution. The Council of Representatives was constituted the Constitutional Commission to draw up a draft constitution.

The Constitutional Commission was submitted to the Council of Representatives the draft constitution. There was a law establishing local and regional councils for local administrative purposes defined on the basis of nationality. Elections for such local and regional councils were

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held within three months of the establishment of the Transitional Government, wherever local conditions allow.

3.5 The 1995 Constitution

The 1995 Constitution adopted a constitution that creates a two-tiered federal structure, which, at least in principle, emphasized ethnic groups’ rights and the right to self-determination.

On June 5, 1995, elections were held to elect a Constituent Assembly for the purpose of reforming the constitution. After all the talks failed, the major opposition parties did not participate in the elections. As a result, the EPRDF won 484 of the 547 seats in the Constituent Assembly. Without any major opposition, the Constituent Assembly ratified the constitution on December 8, 1995.

As noted above, the Ethiopian constitution creates a two-tiered federal structure. The Executive

Branch consists of the President, Council of State, and the Prime Minister. The Prime Minister maintains the executive power. The Constitution creates a bicameral parliamentary system consisting of the House of People’s Representatives and the House of Federation. Electoral districts elect representatives for the House of People’s Representatives every five years. TheHouse of Federation consists of at least one representative from each “Nation, Nationality and People.” The House of People’s Representatives decides issues related national infrastructure,

nationality, war, and federal statutes. The House of Federation maintains control of issues relatedto states’ rights, including “the right to secession.”

There are also nine states within Ethiopia, which are drawn along ethnic lines. Each state maintains its own legislative, executive, and judicial branches. The State Council is the highest

authority in each state, and it has the authority to amend the state constitution. Each state is subdivided into smaller local governments. The Constitution calls for each State Council to decentralize the administration to the local authorities.

This constitution has allowed for the first time in history (greatest mistakes in Ethiopian history) parties to organize along ethnic lines. As a result hundreds of ethnic based parties mushroomed with main target for power and economic benefit without having interest in nation building and

pan-Ethiopian politics. The competition for power and economy between the ethnic based parties resulted into writing false history and hatred and mistrust between the Ethiopian people. This

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mistrust and hatred slowly started to create ethnic conflict that have grown to its max in the past 27 years finally resulting in mass conflict displacing over 2,000,000 people the first of its kind in

the more than 3000 years of Ethiopian history.

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4 ETHNO-LINGUISTIC FEDERALISM AND ITS CONSEQUENCES

4.1 Ethnic group

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia presents the different definitions and understanding of ethnicity. An ethnic group, or an ethnicity, is a category of people who identify with each other based on similarities such as common ancestry, language, history, society, culture or nation. Ethnicity is usually an inherited status based on the society in which one lives. Membership of an ethnic group tends to be defined by a shared cultural heritage, ancestry, origin myth, history, homeland, language or dialect, symbolic systems such as religion, mythology and ritual, cuisine, dressing style, art, and physical appearance.

The largest ethnic groups in modern times comprise hundreds of millions of individuals (Han Chinese being the largest), while the smallest are limited to a few dozen individuals (numerous indigenous peoples worldwide). Larger ethnic groups may be subdivided into smaller sub-groups known variously as tribes or clans, which over time may become separate ethnic groups themselves due to endogamy or physical isolation from the parent group.

Ethnography begins in classical antiquity; after early authors like Anaximander and Hecataeus of Miletus, Herodotus in ca. 480 BC laid the foundation of both historiography and ethnography of the ancient world. The Greeks at this time did not describe foreign nations but had also developed a concept of their own “ethnicity”, which they grouped under the name of Hellenes. Herodotus gave a famous account of what defined Greek (Hellenic) ethnic identity in his day, enumerating

1. 2. 3. 4.

shared descent
shared language
shared sanctuaries and sacrifices shared customs

Many
ethnic identity to be universal. They regard ethnicity as a product of specific kinds of inter-group interactions, rather than an essential quality inherent to human groups.

According to Thomas Hylland Eriksen, the study of ethnicity was dominated by two distinct debates until recently.

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social scientists, such as anthropologists Fredrik Barth and Eric Wolf, do not consider

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  •   One is between “primordialism” and “instrumentalism”. In the primordialist view, the participant perceives ethnicities collectively, as an externally given, even coercive, social bond. The instrumentalist approach, on the other hand, treats ethnicity primarily as an ad- hoc element of a political strategy, used as a resource for interest groups for achieving secondary goals such as, for instance, an increase in wealth, power, or status. This debate is still an important point of reference in Political science, although most scholars’ approaches fall between the two poles.
  •   The second debate is between “constructivism” and “essentialism”. Constructivists view national and ethnic identities as the product of historical forces, often recent, even when the identities are presented as old. Essentialists view such identities as ontological categories defining social actors, and not the result of social action.According to Eriksen, these debates have been superseded, especially in anthropology, by scholars’ attempts to respond to increasingly politicised forms of self-representation by members of different ethnic groups and nations. This is in the context of debates over multiculturalism in countries, such as the United States and Canada, which have large immigrant populations from many different cultures, and post-colonialism in the Caribbean and South Asia.Max Weber maintained that ethnic groups were künstlich (artificial, i.e. a social construct) because they were based on a subjective belief in shared Gemeinschaft (community). Secondly, this belief in shared Gemeinschaft did not create the group; the group created the belief. Third, group formation resulted from the drive to monopolize power and status. This was contrary to the prevailing naturalist belief of the time, which held that socio-cultural and behavioral differences between peoples stemmed from inherited traits and tendencies derived from common descent, then called “race”.Another influential theoretician of ethnicity was Fredrik Barth, whose “Ethnic Groups and Boundaries” from 1969 has been described as instrumental in spreading the usage of the term in social studies in the 1980s and 1990s. Barth went further than Weber in stressing the constructed nature of ethnicity. To Barth, ethnicity was perpetually negotiated and renegotiated by both external ascription and internal self-identification. Barth’s view is that ethnic groups are not discontinuous cultural isolates, or logical a prioris to which people naturally belong. He wanted to part with anthropological notions of cultures as bounded entities, and ethnicity as primordialist

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bonds, replacing it with a focus on the interface between groups. “Ethnic Groups and Boundaries”, therefore, is a focus on the interconnectedness of ethnic identities. Barth writes: “… categorical ethnic distinctions do not depend on an absence of mobility, contact and information, but do entail social processes of exclusion and incorporation whereby discrete categories are maintained despite changing participation and membership in the course of individual life histories.”

Although there is confusion in the definition of ethnicity among different scholars, ethnicity is the word used to explain certain group of people whatever their origin is the way they identify themselves from the neighboring group. The identifying factor can be language, history, religion,culture etc…. Whichever is the identification, the group inherited this through its historical development such as geographical isolation from the other group, migration as a result of natural or social factors and settlement in other territories, different social structure, different culture, environmental impact, impact of available resource, interaction with other groups etc… Forexample the Gurage people is known to have migrated from a locality of Gura in the Eritrea and has developed different culture, languages and living style than the people in Eritrea. This was because of complete geographical isolation from Gura, different environment, resources and people in the area that they have settled and developed different style. The Wellos have originated from the Oromo and assimilated into Amhara culture and identify themselves asAmahara. Part of Arsi are assimilated Hadiyas and etc… Thus ethnicity is something inherited based on different factors and is not biological factor. Ethnicity is not a measure for a different human being, blood, colour or appearance. It is only expression of the way of living that can be distinctly identifiable from the other group of people. Sometimes the group can be named by a collective name based on their original locality, leader, language, etc.. this name may be used by the group of people to identify themselves from the neighboring group. For example it is common in our country to name based on family heads, environment or local name such as Were Illu, Were Babo, Were Himenu, Sodo, Gamo, Kombolcha, MaiChew etc… names based onfamily leaders, environment.

4.2 Tribes and Nations

The word tribe first occurs in English in 12th century Middle English-literature, in reference to the twelve tribes of Israel.

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Considerable debate has accompanied efforts to define and characterize tribes. When scholars use the term, they may perceive differences between pre-state tribes and contemporary tribes; there is also general controversy over cultural evolution and colonialism. In the popular imagination, tribes reflect a way of life that predates, and is more natural than that in modern states. Tribes also privilege primordial social ties and are clearly bounded, homogeneous, parochial, and stable. Tribes are an organization among families (including clans and lineages), which generates a social and ideological basis for solidarity that is in some way more limited than that of an “ethnic group” or of a “nation”.

4.3 Clan

A clan is a group of people united by actual or perceived kinship and descent. Even if lineage details are unknown, clan members may be organized around a founding member or apical ancestor. Clans in indigenous societies tend to be exogamous, meaning that their members cannot marry one another. The kinship-based bonds may also have a symbolic ancestor, whereby the clan shares a “stipulated” common ancestor that is a symbol of the clan’s unity.

4.4 Nationality

Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia defines Nationality is a legal relationship between an individual person and a state. Nationality affords the state jurisdiction over the person and affords the person the protection of the state. Nationality differs technically and legally from citizenship, which is a different legal relationship between a person and a country. The noun national can include both citizens and non-citizens.

The most common distinguishing feature of citizenship is that citizens have the right to participate in the political life of the state, such as by voting or standing for election. However, in most modern countries all nationals are citizens of the state, and full citizens are always nationals of the state.

In English and some other languages, the word nationality rather than ethnicity, is often used to refer to an ethnic group (a group of people who share a common ethnic identity, language, culture, descent, history, and so forth).

4.5 Nationality Versus Ethnicity

Nationality is sometimes used simply as an alternative word for ethnicity or national origin, just as some people assume that citizenship and nationality are identical. In some countries, the

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cognate word for nationality in local language may be understood as a synonym of ethnicity or as an identifier of cultural and family-based self-determination, rather than on relations with a state or current government.
In some cases, especially involving transnational migration, or colonial expansion, ethnicity is linked to nationality. Anthropologists and historians, following the modernist understanding of ethnicity as proposed by Ernest Gellner and Benedict Anderson see nations and nationalism as developing with the rise of the modern state system in the 17th century. They culminated in the rise of “nation-states” in which the presumptive boundaries of the nation coincided (or ideally coincided) with state boundaries. Thus, in the West, the notion of ethnicity, like race and nation, developed in the context of European colonial expansion, when mercantilism and capitalism were promoting global movements of populations at the same time that state boundaries were being more clearly and rigidly defined.

4.6 Ethiopian Federalism

The anomalous fit of Ethiopian federalism in the distinction between coming-together and holding-together federalism has to do with the peculiarities of ethnic federalism: ethnic communities are the ultimate agents and bearers of rights. The paradigm of a coming-together federal sate is an agreement of free and equal political communities to form a shared political community that preserves their distinctness. Ethiopian federation tries to fit this paradigm since it is an agreement between free and equal ethnic communities to join a political community that protects their distinctiveness. The difference is that an ethnic community, unlike a political community, lacks a well-defined jurisdiction.

Stepan sees coming-together federalism as “the result of a bargain whereby previously sovereign polities agree to give part of their sovereignty in order to pool their resources to increase theircollective security and to achieve others goals, including economic ones.” The United States, Switzerland and Austria are examples of this form of federalism. Holding-together federalism isthe result of unitary states reaching “the decision that the best way—indeed, the only way—to hold their countries together in a democracy would be to divide power constitutionally and turn their threatened politics into federations.” Examples of holding-together federalism are India, Belgium and Spain. No one, of course, pretends that the types are mutually exclusive so that any

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federation must belong to one or the other kind. It is, for example, often noted that Germany is a hybrid.

The Ethiopian government has created nine ethnic-based regional states and two federally administered city-states. Research findings shows that Ethiopian ethnic federalism encourages political parties to organize along ethnic lines, and champions an ethnicized federal state (Alem Habtu, 2003).

The main reason for making ethnic identity the core of political restructuring is the result of deeply entrenched Marxist ideology and the fashion of the fight for liberation of minorities that flourished after the Second World War that engulfed the minds of the young Ethiopians. In addition the division of the world into two powers; US lead and USSR after the Second World War, contributed towards ethnicity and conflicts for power and cessation. These two powers blindly supported liberation fighters with only criteria of comrade-ship. In addition the strategic location of the country and the fight to control the horn of Africa by the above powers and the Arab states supported blindly the liberation fighters expecting that in one way or the other can fulfill their interest. In addition the dream to control the source of Nile or creating a divided and weak state in the Horn found a good cause to support the fighters. The Marxist military dictator government (Derg) has also facilitated the situation by considering the other parties that vow in Marxism as enemy. Thus the inexperienced politically rigid young Ethiopians espoused with Marxism and charged with ethnic idea exploited the above different interests and came to power. For these groups the only way to cling to power and a solution for the country’s economic and political problems was ethnic issue. Ethnic is found to be a rose bed to stay in power and control the economic and military power. Thus the best card to play with to fulfill the dream of political and economic power considered to be ethnic politics. Politicians are encouraged to organize along ethnic lines and motivated while teaching fake history and hatred. Whereas pan-Ethiopian politicians are discouraged not to flourish.

Proponents of ethnic regionalization, however, acclaim the recognition of group rights, seeing creation of ethnic based administrative entities as the only meaningful approach for defusing ethnic discontents. According to this view – actively propagated by the government – Ethiopia’sethnic and minority groups have suffered centuries of domination by a central state that forced

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Amharic language and culture upon them. Granting “nationalities” their cultural, ethnic, and political aspirations is necessary to redress historic injustices and decolonize the country.

Although Ethiopia is considered as federal state, its federal entities were controlled by the strongly centralized EPRDF advocate of Marxism and ethnic division that predeterminesdecisions from the prime minister’s palace in the capital to remote rural kebelles.

All important political decisions must be taken at the centre or be in line with central policies. The EPRDF relies on total control of the state bureaucracy, not only because it wants to cling to power, but because public resources are the main patronage it can provide to its followers. A well-organised party network extends from the federal to the regional, from the regional to the woreda, and from the woreda to the kebelle and sub-kebelle levels. Even control is extended to one to five persons.

Ethnic-based federalism is the most controversial EPRDF policy. Celebrated by some as the panacea for holding multi-ethnic Ethiopia together, it is decried by others as a dangerous concept that will eventually dismember the country. Behind the controversy are contested definitions of citizenship and of what it means to be Ethiopian.

For nationalists, the policy is a deliberate ploy to undermine national identity, pride and self- esteem flowing from the exceptional history and continuity of the Abyssinian empire and Ethiopian state. They see the constitutional granting of self-determination to ethnic groups as a deliberate step backward from the nation building process.

The preference for group over individual rights is criticised as counterproductive, especially when attempts are made to develop a more liberal political culture. Members of the urban, educated middle classes who identify as Ethiopian rather than with a particular ethno-nationality feel degraded at having to confess allegiance to a particular national group. Many describe ethnic federalism as a malicious TPLF tactic to plant divisions among ethnic groups so as to facilitate rule by the Tigrayan minority. The allegation that the TPLF manipulates ethnic identities and conflicts to stay in power is made by most opposition supporters.

In line with this, from the point of view of instrumental understanding of ethnicity Aregawi Berhe forwarded a strong argument against the claim that ethnicity can be rational tool fororganizing a state. He continued saying “ethnicity helps opportunist ethnic entrepreneurs to

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manipulate the legitimate movement of the people in the direction that satisfies the ethnic elite’sparochial interest of which the crux of the matter is the appropriation of power andresources.”(Aregawi Berhe).

Similarly Messay Kebede (2008) stated that ‘Only by propagating an ethnicized polity couldthese marginalized elites successfully vie for power. Only as representatives of oppressed ethnic groups rather than of oppressed classes could marginalized elites pursue the political ambition of enthroning regional elites at the expense of the cosmopolitan or Ethiopianized elite’. The same author continue arguing that ‘Ethnicity is thus a construct of disgruntled and marginalized elites whose ambition for political prominence could not be achieved by means of liberal institutions’.For Messay ethnicity is actually a product of elite competition.

For critics, Ethiopian ethnic federalism has never allowed democratic participation of the constituent units but served as a mechanism of divide and rule for the ruling elite of the TPLF/EPRDF (Aregawi Berhe, and Merera, 2003). There are those who regard federalism based on ethno cultural consideration as dangerous and destructive. In this regard Daniel Elazar (1996)contends that “Ethnic nationalism is at odds with the principle of federalism. In federalismconsent should be the basis of division and sharing of power not language, religion or nationalmyth”.

For some critics the fluid nature of ethnicity makes political outcomes unpredictable. AregawiBerhe argued that “to maintain the dominance of the political group that seized power through sheer military force, it (The EPRDF) devised a kind of ‘ethnic federal system’ without theparticipation or consent of the concerned people on the necessity for and application of such a structure. It was a top-down directive and imposed in such a way that only the TPLF would clingto and remain in power”. The same author continues: Politicized ethnicity, which could easilyevolve to ethnic-nationalism, is, therefore, a risky enterprise in a society where resources are scarce and power has been contentious ever since. …In the absence of institutional mechanismsto regulate or resolve interest-group differences and where traditional mechanisms are receiving staggering blows from all directions, the carving out of a federal structure based on ethnic identity may invite risks of protracted instability that could end up in violent conflicts.

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Equality among citizens cannot be realized by forcing a pre-defined national identity upon them but only by recognizing existing differences and allowing the articulation of their interests at the central level.

Defining ethno-linguistic groups and circumscribing ethno-territorial entities at regional and local level have been challenges for the government. The constitutional definition of nationality is imprecise. Initially, the EPRDF relied on institutional research to determine the number and location of almost 90 ethno-linguistic groups.

The number and shape of regions, districts and kebelles have continuously evolved since 1991, as groups were awarded or denied self-administration. While the federal architecture is dynamic, its underlying principles are not.

Ethnic federalism assumes that ethno-linguistic groups are homogeneous and occupy clearly delimited territories.

Although groups relate to distinct locations, their settlement patterns are often complex. Pastoralists have different relations to territory in the semi-arid lowlands than farmers. Labour migration and mixed parenthood are old practices that defy simplistic delineation between ethnicity and territory. Differentiating ethnic groups’ status has also been a challenge. Thetransitional government gave Tigrayans, Amharas, Oromos, Afars, Somalis and Hararis the status of nationality with their own regional state but denied that right to groups with similar claims like the Gurage, Sidama and Woleyta, which had to find self-determination in special zones or districts.

4.7 Ethnic Federalism and Conflicts

The emergence of new regional elites is a major consequence of ethnic-based decentralization. For the first time, political representation and bureaucratic appointments at all levels are reserved for educated members of the local ethnic group. Ethnic federalism thus quickly replaced the non- ethnic administrative regions and the bureaucracy. Even the education system is occupied by ethnic bureaucracy and the teachings in the schools and universities focused on ethnicity. Civil servants, previously sent from the centre, are now recruited in the locally dominant ethnic group, the focus of whose elites changed from a post in Addis Ababa to one in the regional or district administration. Competition over public sector representation and appointments shifted to the

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regional and district level. But the EPRDF’s conception of ethnicity did not always match the multi-ethnic makeup of many cities and areas.

The Southern region, Gambella, Benishangul-Gumuz and Harar are inhabited by multiple ethnic groups. Tigray, Amhara, Oromo and Somali states are dominated by one ethnic group but host others. By some accounts, 30 to 45 per cent of the population in parts of Amhara is Oromo.

Ethnicity also has become the primary means of mobilisation. Since political representation isorganised on ethnic grounds, groups are encouraged to claim “ethnic rights” at the expense of others. The constitutionally enshrined self-determination clause incites them to control kebelles, districts and regions in order to have a share of resources channeled from the federal to the local level. Local politicians and party officials from all ethnic groups – and from both government and opposition – have at times incited followers to engage in conflict with competing groups. Territorial gains translate into more administrative power, land, tax revenue and, potentially, food aid.

Since ethnic mobilization is a rewarding strategy, numerous conflicts, both political and violent,have been sparked by decentralization. These are routinely described as “ethnic conflicts”, butthey are more often the result of rivalry over state resources than of irreconcilable ethnic differences. Many are about administrative boundaries.

In Southern region, playing the clan card has become politically rewarding among the different elites. Existing tribal divisions, for example among the Arsi Oromos, are exacerbated by decentralisation, as increasingly smaller kinship groups compete for influence and territorial control. As a result, many conflicts have become more protracted as struggles over land, political power and administrative control become intertwined.

Beginning in the first half of the 1990s, a wave of local conflicts gripped the country, as groups were incited by the transitional charter to settle old disputes or claim territory they felt was rightfully theirs. Some of the most severe were between Amhara settlers and Anuak in December

2003 in Gambella, where the federal army apparently sided with the highlanders. In Somali after 2000, several hundred were killed in repeated fighting between the Sheikash, a small clan that sought to establish its own district, and Ogaden sub-clans. A border dispute between the Guji and Gedeo exploded into large-scale fighting in 1998 over control of Hagere Mariam district. Land

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disputes triggered by administrative boundary changes incited a confrontation between the Guji and Boran in June 2006, causing at least 100 deaths and massive displacement.

Some 70,000 fled the border area between Oromiya and Somali after conflict erupted between Boran and Garri over a borehole. By a very conservative estimate, several thousand people were killed in interethnic conflicts in Ethiopia between 1991 and 2005.

The redrawing of administrative boundaries was particularly painful for groups that had historically changing identities, such as Oromo-Somali pastoralists like the Garri, Gabra and Guji. Resource-sharing agreements with neighbouring pastoral groups became increasingly difficult, since territorial control is a prerequisite to claim a district. They were forced to settle for an Oromo or Somali ethnic identity and ally with the predominant ethnic group in those regional states. Oromiya and Somali claimed their territory, leading to disputes between the two states.

Following a federal arbitration proposal in 1995 and a federally supervised referendum in 2004, the disputed kebelles and territory were allocated between them.

Existing constitutional mechanisms and the federal government’s conflict management haveproven insufficient to resolve such competing ethnic self-determination.

The House of Federation is formally mandated to deal with nationality issues and federal- regional relations, but it meets only twice a year and lacks the authority to effectively mitigate ethnic conflicts; it has been reluctant to approve referendums to decide the status of disputed

localities. Exceptions include the 2001 referendum in which the Silte, until then largely considered part of the Gurage clan federation, established their own zone and thereby ethno- political identity. The 2004 referendum cited above allocated some 500 kebelles to Oromiya and 100 to Somali, but the border is not yet fully defined.

Grants of special districts are another strategy to defuse ethnic tensions. Establishing special zones (woredas) is a regional state prerogative initiated by either the concerned ethnic group or the administration. Eight special districts existed in 2000, five in Southern region, two in Benishangul Gumuz and one in Afar, as well as three special zones in Amhara. At the end of the 1990s, the EPRDF became less willing to grant self-administration to Southern region groups

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after its attempts to engineer ethnic identities that matched its institutional proposals met limited success.

Many describe ethnic federalism as a malicious TPLF tactic to plant divisions among ethnic groups so as to facilitate rule by the Tigrayan minority. The allegation that the TPLF manipulates ethnic identities and conflicts to stay in power is made by most opposition supporters.

There are some commentators who questioned the practicality of the right to secede. Berhanu Gutema stated that ‘the constitutional pledges for a right to self-administration or secession is more of rhetoric than an achievable promise for many of the ethnic groups, as the long andcomplex procedures seem difficult to fulfill’(2009). According to the same author the secession right has produced two challenges:

First, it becomes an incentive for various ethnic groups to demand for a separate self- administrative constituency and separate regional state that has resulted for bloody conflict, displacement and ethnic hostility. Second, the rhetoric has generated a big voice that denouncedthe ‘secession right’ as a hidden motive to destroy the Ethiopian state. However, such bigdenunciation has created confusion among many ethnic groups who are suspicious regarding the motive behind the denunciation. And the ruling group successfully maneuvered the denunciation as an opposition to the rights of ethnic groups for self-administration, thus it restlessly worked for deepening the suspicion in order to capitalize political support from various ethnic groups for its hegemonic interest.

In the absence of institutional mechanisms to regulate or resolve interest group differences and where traditional mechanisms are receiving staggering blows from all directions, the carving out of a federal structure based on ethnic identity may invite risks of protracted instability that could end up in violent conflicts.

As a result the current ethnic Federalism state system did not take us far due to the prevailing negative impact,.i.e. The following ethnic based region/state conflict between: Oromo and Somali; Oromo and Amhara; Oromo and Southern Nation Nationalities; Benshangul-Gumuz and Amhara, Tigray and Amhara, etc.,. Further, the impact prevailed within the same region, i.e. conflict between: Sidama and Wolayita; Gurage and Kebena.

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The recent 2017/18 conflict between Oromia and Somali displaced over 1,000,000 people and killing and wounding over 1,000 people. Apart from killing and mass displacement properties are looted, houses are burned and cattle are raided. In the same year the conflict between Guji and Gedeo displaced over 1,000,000 people houses burnet unknown number of people killed. The ethnic conflict further displaced over 25,000 Tigreans and over 5,000 Amahars displaced and over 828 killed from different parts of the country. The conflict between wolaita and Sidama resulted in killing and displacement. Houses are also burned and properties were looted. The conflict between Kebena community once part of Gurage entered into conflict with Gurages around Welkite for resource and authority resulting in death, displacement and property destruction.

The report of the UN Displacement Tracking Method (DTM) shows that displacement of over one million people between January and June 2018 due to conflict. This data does not include the displacement in SNNPR and Benshangul Gumuz. The following table is summary extracted from DTM report. The areas affected by conflict are shown in figure 12 below. As can be observed from the figure the conflict has covered almost every corner of the country.

Table 1. People displace because of internal conflict (Extracted from UN DTM report Round 9 to 11)

Region

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Round 9 (Jan to Feb 2018)

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Round 10 (March to April 2018)

Round 11 (May to June 2018)

HHs

Individuals

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HHs

Individuals

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HHs

Individuals

Addis Ababa

1,816

5,720

1,816

6,355

1,816

6,355

Afar

668

4,008

668

4,007

668

4,008

Amhara

1,795

9,001

1,072

4,979

1,243

5,097

Dire Dawa

2,716

15,060

2,390

11,950

2,390

11,950

Gambela

4,047

20,234

2,453

12,277

2,695

13,477

Harari

122

590

805

4,027

721

3,605

Oromia

106,901

653,215

96,317

576,680

104,320

631,169

Somali

71,657

488,154

71,287

424,838

81,197

500,003

Tigray

7,614

21,320

10,465

28,651

10,567

28,913

Total

197,336

1,217,302

187,273

1,073,764

205,617

1,204,577

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Figure 13. Location of people displaced. The red spots indicate people displaced due to conflict (Source:- Displacement Tracking Matrix (DTM) Ethiopia. Round 11: May –June 2018)

Ethiopia has never in history faced such a massive and devastating ethnic conflict. This has resulted as product of wrong ethnic based ethnicized administrations which lead to selfish motives for resource grabbing and cling to power which is considered the only way to become rich and to subjugate the other ethnic group that is considered as an enemy or a threat. Ethnicity has become the basis for breeding of politicians who wanted to exploit the ethnic politics for resource grabbing. The ruling party that lead the country into such ethnic politics since 1991 has deeply supported and motivated ethnically charged politicians considering them as the best tools to maintain and sustain power without challenge. A divided country along ethnic lines with indoctrination of one ethnic group as a historical enemy to the other for the past 27 years for mere political and economic power lead the country to the edge of collapse.

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4.8 Misconception of Language and Ethnicity

Language is one of the factors used by an ethnic group to identify itself. However, it has to be clear that there are different ethnic groups that use the same language. There are ethnic groups that identify themselves based on common history, culture, religion, geography or etc… For example there are many ethnic groups that speak Arabic related to the expansion of Islam. Thus speaking Arabic does not make the same ethnic group. English is spoken by many countries as a result of the colonial expansion and this does not make English speaking people of one ethnic group. However, it cannot be discarded that these group over due course of time can identify themselves as an ethnic group.

Language is still the main inhibitor for any kind of unity, and is the main force behind the inability of any nation to unite in common causes. The account about the creation of nations in the Bible teaches us that the different languages emerged as a result rebellion against God. It is the result of curse to stop humanity from rebelling against the creator in one accord and unity (Genesis 11: 1-4). Still language is serving as main agent for rebellion of one language-ethnic group against another language-ethnic group and serving us non unifying factor in nations.

Politicians now a day’s think that speaking the same language is a derivative of the same ethnicor genetic background. Except in some instances language has nothing to do with genetic background it is something that is learned after birth, it is not genetically transferable. There is no language that is based on DNA or it is not something coded in the DNA. Division of language is the result of curse; it is not a result of blessing. As we learn from practice, language has become the main driving force for ethnic conflict and ethnic cleansing in the 19th, 20th and 21stcentury. Our country is the one perusing this curse of non-unifying language federalism and is becoming victim and will certainly face similar problems that have been faced by different nation who have based their politics on language based ethnicity.

Human language is a signaling system. Language is not a territory and has no boundary. Language is a means of communication between certain groups of people that developed due to different historical reasons. Language may be limited to certain people and geographical area or it can expand and can cover many nations as that of French, English, Spanish, Portuguese and Arabic. Language has no boundary any one can use any language as far as it is found useful for communication and to deal common economic and social affairs. Language has no color and

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cannot be attributed to certain color. Language has no owner and no one can claim as his own property. It is the wish of every group of people to spread its language to other places, to other nations. Language has no blood group or RH factor. Apart from spoken languages, there are sign languages which are used for communication. Spoken languages can be limited to certain area and certain group of people; however, sign/gesture languages are universal and are not limited by geography or with certain group of people. For purpose of communication special sign languages are developed for deaf people. Deaf sign language cannot or does not make deaf ethnic group. Language is something inbuilt in humanity for communication whether it is spoken or sign language. It is not a tool for division. It is basically a tool for communication between people andhelps to bring together different people to share their idea culture, wealth etc…

But in Ethiopia language has territory, sometimes have color, and we try to create an ownership and limit it to a certain group. Language in Ethiopia has boundary and limited not to cross its boundary. In Ethiopia language has blood group and RH factor and it can be only transferred to certain blood group and RH factor. In Ethiopia language has ethnicity and only it has to be confined in that ethnicity. In Ethiopia Language has territory and has the right to secede. A real genuine mind cannot and will not base his country on a non-foundational factor.

4.9 Ethnicity and Politics

The Ethiopian politics is aligned with ethnic lines. Ethnicity and politics are different issues. Politics refers to achieving and exercising positions of governance—organized control over a human community, particularly a state. Political party is defined as an organized group of people, often with common views, who come together to contest elections and hold power in government. The party agrees on some proposed policies and programmes, with a view to promoting the collective good or furthering their supporters’ interests. Political parties organized with ethnic tags are not political parties. They are as one of civic and religious organizations or activists dealing with ethnic issues and are not political parties. It is the most dangerous and destabilizing agent organizing political party along ethnic and religious identities. It is a breeding ground for extremism for exploiting ethnic or religion issues for power and selfish economic motifs of politicians in the name of the tagged ethnic or religious group. Ethiopian constitution allows for parties to organize with ethnic tags, but does not allow religion tags. In practical

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implementation there is no difference between these two tags. Logically it is not clear why the constitution has allowed one tag and the other is not.

It is therefore, the Ethiopians in one accord have to abolish political parties aligned with ethnic lines. The constitution needs to be revised legally to stop organization of political party (although they are not political parties) along ethnic lines.

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5 THE UNIFYING FACTORS IN ETHIOPIAN EMPIRE

Different nations emerged after about 100 years from the flood when God has dispersed humanity from rebellion against God somewhere around 4000 BC. No one is sure what that language may have been. However, since the Assyrian land seem to be the central point from which the earth was populated after the supernatural change in the common language, it may be that the core language was related to the early old Akkadian preserved for us in conform writings. As it is recorded in the Bible the grandson of Ham the son of Cush Nimrod who was so powerful and began the first kingdom. His kingdom was Babel in the land of Shinar. From that land he went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (Genesis 10: 8-12). About 70 groups of people were assembled at Babel which have letter dispersed by God and constituted the beginning of the dispersed nations of earth as they migrated away from the city-center in Shinar (Mesopotamia). Genesis 10 identifies 14 nations coming from Japheth, 30 from Ham and 26 from Shem family. From Babel (Babylon) people have dispersed to different directions of the world and developed different languages, culture, technology etc.. Thus from this we learn that the origin of all nations and all humanity is from common ancestor, which however latter on as a result of dispersion over different continents, mixing, re-mixing and separation from each other have resulted in development of different language, culture and variation in physical appearances. In general language was the main driving force used by God to disperse human race to avoid from rebellion against Him, which resulted in different language, culture and different nations.

Ethiopia has in its history has never exercised ethnic based administration. This has its own historical background. Ethiopia as we note from the Bible, could be one of the candidate places (due to the changes after Noah’s time flood actual location not known) of God’s creation as we read from the Genesis Chapter 2. As an ancient country from the Biblical time, it is one of the areas where different group of people have mixed since the dispersion of the first unified civilization at Babel. Almost it can be traced back to about 4000 years where different groups of people have settled and mixed with each other tracing back to the 70 groups of people that were assembled at Babel which have letter dispersed by God and constituted the beginning of the dispersed nations of earth as they migrated away from the city-center in Shinar (Mesopotamia).

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The unique location of Ethiopia that connects Asia, Africa and Europe has also contributed for mixing of different people from different origin that travelled from different continents. The ancient civilization in the eastern Africa (Ethiopia) has attracted many different groups of people for trade, settlement and also the military expedition by the kings and powers to consolidate territories resulted in mixing of people. As a result of this in the history of Ethiopia there has never been an ethnic based administration, because of deep rooted mixing of people and the strong unifying factors than dividing lines.

Ethiopia is multi-ethnic national society that emerged from thousands of years of interaction and mixing between different ethnic groups. Except the different languages spoken by different people in different parts of the country, none of them can trace back to any single ethnic background. Thus language cannot be a boundary line between the people of Ethiopia. Language is inherited by different group of people by living together, interaction or intermarriage, similargeographic settlement etc…. Although the EPRDF encouraged the ethnic based administration and tried its best to exclude the pan-Ethiopian opposition, the huge defeat of EPRDF by the pan- Ethiopian opposition during the 2005 election has given a good lesson for politicians that try to cultivate ethnics for political power.

As history teaches us Ethiopia has never had ethnic based administration throughout history. Instead the country has kept its unity throughout history in spite of the challenges from interference from other nations and internal conflicts between nobility, lords and kings. Thus we have to ask and figure out that what has unified the people of Ethiopia together in spite of the different languages (more than 80) spoken in the empire. A genuine politician has to ask this and find out the unifying agent.

Language based ethnic politics is like HIV AIDS; it is transferable among who do not fear it and it is a killer for those who play with it. We may increase the longevity by certain mechanism like HIV drugs but death is inevitable. Still what we see among Ethiopian ethnic politicians is that they are experimenting different drugs to increase its life expectancy. They do not use their mind for better and greater ideas such as for prosperity of humanity, for good relation of all humanity, for development and equality of Ethiopians, for bringing Ethiopia at the top, etc… We hadpeople of Great mind that built the Axum Oblisks, the Lalibelas, the Zereyekobs (philosopher),the Yareds (musician) etc… In this country of great mind it is shame for our generation to fight

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with each other based on theory of ethnicism. Political rigidity that killed Ethiopians and reduced our great mind into little in the past 40 years is still continuing. It is sad to use our great mind for divisiveness and conflict.

Ethiopia may be a unique country in the modern history that hate its past history and try to live on theory of tower in the sky (Hiwot Tefera, Tower in the Sky 2013). An Engineer does not design a building on a loose foundation that crumbles easily. He designs buildings on a firm foundation. History is our firm foundation. A nation that does not recognize its history is like that of a building built on loose foundation that crumbles easily.

Ethiopian people in the course of history inseparably mixed, lived together, mourned together in time of problem, fought together against foreign aggression, defended their nation together etc.. They have special conflict resolution mechanism; have similar cultural laws, have similar life style, etc… It is one of the pioneer nations that introduced technology to the world. Even other nations consider Ethiopia as the origin of human being. What was the language of Luci? Certainly it is not Amharic, oromiffa or Afarigna. If language and ethnicity is the criteria then why do we claim that Luci is Ethiopian?

Whether we believe or not; there is God. God has given for each of us a chance to live in certain area and to serve. Why each us are born in Ethiopia? Why not in Europe, Asia or America? Is it a mere chance? No. None of us have decided our birth place and our ethnic group. No one hasselected his birth place to be in Addis Ababa, Nekempte or Awassa, etc… No one has selected tobe born as an Oromo, Dorze, Somali or etc….It is Gods will that each of us are born in Ethiopia. We are given the chance to serve Ethiopian People, not to divide them. Ethiopia is mentioned in 43 places in the Bible. God has not mentioned any of the languages that now we are considering as a line of division. God knows us as an Ethiopian. Thus one of our unifying factors is that; God has given us the chance to be born in Ethiopia, to be an Ethiopian, to live as an Ethiopian and to serve the Ethiopians in spite of over more than 80 languages.

Ethiopia is one of the ancient nations with organized government and military power and kings. The kings have served to bring together the Ethiopian people. Although they had differences related to state power or authority, they have never questioned their Ethiopian identity and have never based their government on ethno-language identity. They fought for Ethiopian people unity and territorial integrity. If we consider the recent past history we had Emperor Haile

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Selassie I, Negus Tekla-Haymanot of Gojjam, Ras Gugsa Wale of Bagemder, Ras Mengesha of Tigray, Ras Mikael of Wello, Dajjazmach Gebra-Egziabher (Kumsa Moroda) of Leqa Naqamte, Dajjazmach Jote Tullu LeqaQellam, Aba JiffarII of Jimma, Sheikh Khojale al- Hasan of Benshangul, Kawa (king) Tona of Welayta, Emir Abdullahi of Harar, Alimirah of Afar, king Gallito and his son Kennito (or Tato Gaki Sherocho) of Keffa nobilities etc.,, These kings and their descendants have played a key role in unifying Ethiopia. Thus Ethiopian Kings are one of the pillars in the unity of Ethiopia. As an Ethiopian we have to give due recognition to these kings and their descendants. They can serve in unifying and integrating the Ethiopian people. Thus we recommend a government system to be established to recognize the descendants of these kings to play their role as their ancestors to work towards unity and integrity of the Ethiopian people. Wise nations such as UK, Japan, Thailand etc.. recognized their kings as the pillar of their history and serve as symbol for unified and prosperous country. If we cannot learn from our history, at least let us learn from others.

Ethiopia has historical, social, economic, political, cultural, religious, moral/ethical, and legal values that are key agent for unifying the Ethiopian Empire.

Initially, we have to agree on the common national historical, social, economic, political, cultural, religious, moral/ethical, and legal values in order to pave the way for nation building. We have to work on our common unifying issues than dividing lines. In addition, we have to carry out national reconciliation events/program to conclude once and for all past mistake agenda.

Secondly, based on the agreed common historical, social, economic, political, cultural, religious, moral/ethical, and legal values we have to establish institutions that are responsible and accountable to the role assigned to them. The assignments must be knowledge based and based on merit system.

Thirdly, the legal system has to start reviewing the constitution, all sorts of legal instruments in order to pave the way for feasible justices.

Fourthly, all development sectors and others have to review their policies and strategies in line with the modified legal instruments. Finally, we propose political parties must organize based on only ideas not based on ethnic liberation front and religion lines.

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6 PROPOSED FEDERAL STATES

6.1 General

As discussed above ethnic based politics and administration resulted in hatred and massive conflicts which is one its kind in Ethiopian history. It has to be taken that the past 27 years was an experimental year for Ethiopians to learn from ethnicity. Although, it is not advisable to experiment on our self, it has already happened we cannot change it. There is a saying in Amharic;

“ሞኝ በራሱ ይማራል፤
ብልጥ ግን ከሌላው ይማራል፡፡”

“The foolish experiment on himself The wise learn from the other”

However, still it is not late to learn from the mistakes and for corrective measure. From Ethiopian experiment it is well understood that ethnic based administration is one of the main stumbling block for the people of Ethiopia. Thus there should be a way out that can bring unity, prosperity and integrity among the Ethiopian people. One of the way out would be basing the administration on non-ethnic based criteria. The main aim of this paper is to present one way out for discussion and debate among Ethiopian people for their better future. There may be other proposals from any other source. But we think this proposal is one of the best proposals and we believe it would be acceptable by the majority of Ethiopians.

6.2 Geographic Region Concepts

Basic geographic concepts are: Location, Region, Place (physical and cultural attributes), Density, Dispersion, Pattern, Spatial Interaction, Size and Scale.

Regions are groupings of geographic information. A region is a geographic area defined by one or more distinctive characteristics. Regions can be based on physical features (such as a watershed), political boundaries (a county, country, or continent), culture or religion, or other categorized geographies.

Before discussing the concepts of Region, basic attributes and classification of a region is discussed as follows:

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Attributes of Region:
a) The region has areal extent: Each region has spatial extent with some sort of homogeneity in

its physical and cultural characteristics.
b) Regions have a location: Each region is often expressed in relation with its regional name.

c) The region has boundaries: Each region has a boundary. This boundary could be either well- defined or transitional in nature.

d) Regions may be either formal or functional: An area is defined as a formal region if there is homogeneity in its physical or cultural features. After the 1960s, geographers inclined to demarcate the Functional region. A functional region is a dynamic concept which is demarcated on the basis of functional interactions and connections. Its boundaries change over the space and time depending upon interchanges of goods and services between the core and surrounding areas.

Classification of Regions:

The regions may be classified on various parameters. Regions may be based on physical characteristics, cultural characteristics, an amalgamation of the physical and cultural variables. As discussed previously, based on functionality, regions may be either formal or functional. Based on physical characteristics, regions are as follows:

A. Physical Regions: It is a kind of formal region based on a single characteristic. Some are main physical regions are as follows:

1. Landform regions: The landform regions are delineated on the basis of relief, structure, configuration, Genesis, and age.

2. Climate region: An area with homogeneity in various combinations of climatic elements (temperature, rainfall etc.) is termed as a climatic region.

B. Cultural Regions: An area with homogeneity in various combinations of the culture and cultural elements is defined as cultural regions.

C. Political regions: In modern time, boundaries of political regions are defined after careful survey. Boundaries of the national state is a good example. Political boundaries in the national state may not be permanent, which is subjected to change as a result of internal and external pressure. The fall of the Berlin Wall in Germany is a good example.

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D. Economic regions: The economic regions are defined on the basis of homogeneity in economic activities and resources over the space. The economic region has been widely used for planning and in solving the problems of poverty, hunger, underdevelopment, and malnutrition.

E. Natural Resource Regions: Resource regions are delineated on the basis of homogeneity in nature and types of natural resources.

F. Urban Regions: There is uniformity in urban activities like production, exchange, administration, distribution, and consumption in a region. Such region is defined as a formal. Urban regions are defined on the basis of interconnection and interaction between center and periphery. Such area is defined functional regions.

A region is essentially a part of the land surface of the earth. In the geographical literature regions are defined in three ways as, respectively, uniform, functional and administrative areas. Most useful for economic development purposes are functional areas which combine places characterized by strong degrees of interdependence and strong complementarities.

Although functional definitions are from a scientific point of view the most useful, most used are regions defined for administrative purposes. Once a regional division is put in place it can acquire a historical justification especially if its development is associated with the creation of relatively strong regional identities and with the development of social movements that press for the preservation of the resulting regional entities.

Administrative regions can coincide with uniform regions, functional regions or neither. There are reasons related to the criteria that an administrative system should satisfy that an administrative region should make functional sense.

Regionalism is a sub-nationalism and political concept. It is a movement which seeks to politicize the territorial predicaments of its regions with the aim of protecting its regional interest. Generally, regionalism evolves on the basis of some social and cultural characteristics like ethnicity, language, color or culture. Sometimes local leaders use this concept for achieving greater autonomy and local power especially political and economic power. In fact, it is a political rhetoric and self-assertiveness based on a deep seated mistrust of central government. Regionalism opposes pan-cultural concept. Despite globalization and modernization, regionalism is widely observed in both developed and developing countries across the world. Sometime

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regionalism may help in solving some socio-political and economic problems at local level, but it is one of the big obstacles in nation building process or national integration.

6.3 Past Efforts towards provincial boundaries and the Country Modernization

Ethiopian’s made significant effort towards creating awareness for the citizens on the country modern civilization and proposing ways and means for better government administration for the country.

One can also sense the hand of Tekla Hawaryat behind the reorganization of provincial boundaries recommended by a committee set up for the purpose. The most interesting feature of the recommendation was the division of the country into 14 provinces and the designation of Addis Ababa, Axum and Gonder as imperial cities to be administered by Kantiba.

The recommended number of provinces was strikingly identical to that adopted in the final years of the Hayle Sellase regime (1941-1974).

Tekla Hawaryat followed up this scheme for provincial reorganization with an elaborate memorandum, in which he set down the principles of fair and equitable provincial administration and drafted a work schedule for the ideal provincial governor.

The three guiding principles of good provincial administration, he continued, should be ensuring public prosperity, organizing an armed force and guaranteeing fair justice.

In his work schedule for the provincial governor, Tekla Hawaryat developed a three-year programme. In the first year, the governor was to determine the administrative subdivisions of his province, choose the site of his capital and evolve a master plan for it, and establish an armed force along modern lines. The second year was to be devoted to the promotion of agriculture by launching a cadastral survey and setting up model farms. The third was to be occupied with the encouragement of trade and crafts, granting concessions to exploit mineral and other natural resources, the institution of compulsory universal education and the provision of medical care.

Negadiras GebreHiwot Baykedagn dwelt at some length on the cardinal importance of what he called serat, which could be translated as ‘order’ or ‘constitutional government’. This he argued,is what distinguishes government of the civilized from that of the uncivilized. He then concludes that a people without intelligence have no serat, and hence no secure power. The source of all power is serat, not the size of an army.

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In his book Mengest ena YeHezb Astedadar, Gebra Heywat goes even deeper into an analysis of the genesis of the warlord or shefta and establishes the link between warfare and political power. He argues that warfare has been a greater menace to public life than droughts or earthquakes andhas been the most important factor in arresting the country’s development.

Gebra Heywat further explain in his book “Mengist ena Ye Hizib Astedader” the importance of knowledge, natural wealth, educated society, skilled citizens, the economic analysis and strategy to be followed by the government for development of the nation and the country.

Addis Alemayehu shows the way for better government administration on the book “Ethiopia Min Ayinet Astedader Yasifeligatal?” he analyzed the economic, social and political situation of the country and proposed improved development and administration program on transport, education, health, agriculture, industry, minerals, public administration, role of legal department, foreign affairs, defense, program implementation plan. In addition, he proposed government organizational structure for the improved administration.

Mesfin WeldeMariam made his contribution on the book “Ethiopiawinet Limat Be Hibret” and others, the book describes the Ethiopian government, people and resources; about civilization, development objectives and idea of cooperation for shareholding as means and ways for the nation development.

Kebbede Mikael his unlimited effort shows that the global experience shared with his major books on civilization: i.e. “Japan Endemin Seletenech?”, “Silitanie Malet Mindinnech?”, “Ye Silitanie Ayer” “Ethiopia Ena Mirabawi Silitanie”, he contributes to enhance the awareness on the history of literature, the Greek philosophers, the formation of states, civilization and world known great leaders who significantly contributes for their nation freedom and greatness to inspire others;

Bahru Zewde – he contributes on the books on Pioneers of Change in Ethiopia and A History of Modern Ethiopia (1855-1991) and others, in relation with this paper focusing on the concept of modernization and the role of Intellectuals, modernizer leaders and constitution, etc.

In the contrary Messay Kebede on the books on “Survival and Modernization Ethiopia’sEnigmatic Present”: A philosophical Discourse, the assumption that Ethiopia, owing to its

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stubborn will to survive, should have espoused modernity all the faster is based on a reasoning that equates modernization with survival.

He further, wrote a comparison of pre -1935 Ethiopia and Japan before and during the Meiji Restoration runs the risk of being content with superficial similarities. The Ethiopian historian Shiferaw Bekele contests the seriousness of such a project, arguing that the Ethiopian elite had only superficial knowledge of Japan and its modernization as follows:

  •   I see it written that Japan served as a ‘model’. This word is not helpful because it gives the wrong impression. The knowledge that the so-called Japanizers had about Japan’s westernization was at best elementary…. That westernization meant total overhaul ofstate and society including its mores and values, eating habits, dress and lifestyles was not at all realized. Most thought in terms of superficial changes.
  •   Another historian, Bahru Zewde, while admitting some analogies, thinks that the social and technological gap between the two countries was so unbridgeable that the model ofJapan “remained a subjective urge unsupported by the objective reality.Most of the civilization ideas contributed by the above mentioned writers aim is to contribute for the greatness of the nation and wealthiest Ethiopia. Moreover, it also enhances the citizens’ levelof awareness on the subject matter.

6.4 Model Federal Territories for the Ethiopian Empire

6.4.1 General

The current constitution declared that sovereignty lays in ‘nation, nationality and people of Ethiopia’. The Ethiopian federal arrangement accepts ethnic identity as a genuine form of state arrangement and base for organizing administrative organs.

As a result the current ethnic Federalism state system did not take us far due to the prevailing negative impact, i.e. language based ethnic federalism made a strong unity within the same language-ethnic box making to mistrust see as opponent and /or enemy to the other language- ethnic box. The following ethnic based region/state conflict between: Oromo and Somali; Oromo and Amhara; Oromo and Southern Nation Nationalities; Benshangul-Gumuz and Amhara, Tigray and Amhara, etc., Further, the impact prevailed within the same region, i.e. conflict between: Sidama and Wolayita; Gurage and Kebena.

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We have to use history and past events as a learning tool to improve our future. Neglecting history and the true binding agent between Ethiopian people has led to the current language- ethnic based states administrative boundaries related conflicts.

In order to keep the coherence of Ethiopian people, development plan and implement Ethiopian people resources, advance in technology, allocation, prioritization of project and programs without conflict of resources require paradigm shift from the current ethno-language based states administration system. Such action will pave to address community of interest equitably without ethnic conflict based on merit system in harmony with securing national interest.

We conclude that the current ethnic based states administrative boundaries and inequitable and unsecure political system will not bring long lasting sustainable development, enabling environment for investment and free social movement in the country.

We have to use history and past events as a learning tool to improve our future plans. This problem may not be resolved with the current ethnic based states administrative boundaries and ethnic based politics.

As history teaches us and discussed in previous chapters, Ethiopia has never been administered based on ethno-language administrative system. The administrative system in history included both political and geographic/physical boundaries. It was based on the power of nobilities to include as much territory in their jurisdiction and geographic or physical boundaries suitable to defend their territories.

The modern history before the ethno-language federalism indicates that the administrative regions combined historical events, physical and geographical boundaries. Ethno-language has never been criteria. Each administrative region has included a number of ethno-language societies.

Therefore, for avoiding mistrust ethnic conflict and for enhancing development and integration of the Ethiopian people we believe the best model would be the one based on hydrological physical region. Ethiopia is endowed with great natural gift. The great natural gift for Ethiopian is that, the county has distinct hydrological regions that can be best used for administrative purpose.

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6.4.2 The Beginning of Civilization

All civilizations have originated — Mesopotamia (the valleys of the Tigris and the Euphrates), the Nile, the Indus, the Yellow River, the Rio Balsas — have been geographically located in tropical or sub-tropical latitudes.

Civilization first began in 3500 BC, which along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the Middle East; the name given to that civilization, Mesopotamia, means “land between the rivers”. The Nile valley in Egypt had been home to agricultural settlements as early as 5500 BC, but the growth of Egypt as a civilization began around 3100 BC. A third civilization grew up along the Indus River around 2600 BC, in parts of what are now India and Pakistan. The fourth great river civilization emerged around 1700 BC along the Yellow River in China, also known as the Huang-He River Civilization.

Civilizations tended to grow up in river valleys for a number of reasons. The most obvious is access to a usually reliable source of water for agriculture and human needs. Plentiful water, and the enrichment of the soil due to annual floods, made it possible to grow excess crops beyond what was needed to sustain an agricultural village. This allowed for some members of the community to engage in non-agricultural activities such as construction of buildings and cities (the root of the word “civilization”), metal working, trade, and social organization. Boats on the river provided an easy and efficient way to transport people and goods, allowing for the development of trade and facilitating central control of outlying areas.

Water provides the lifeblood of natural systems, societies and economies. People have lived near and on rivers, lakes, wetlands and deltas for many centuries. Rivers provide a multitude of services such as water supply, waste assimilation, fisheries, energy production, flood attenuation, spiritual, cultural and recreational benefits, and the habitat that supports a wide range of ecosystems.

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Figure 14. Location of the beginning of civilization (Source: www.mapsofworld.com)

Effective basin planning is the starting point for sustainable management of river basins. The concept of integrated water resources management (IWRM) articulated in the 1990s. IWRM is a process of coordinating, conservation, management, and development of water, land and related resources across sectors within a given river basin, in order to maximize the economic and social benefits derived from water resources in an equitable manner while preserving, and where necessary, restoring freshwater ecosystems (Global Water Partnership, 2000). Many countries have since embarked on policy and law reforms including Ethiopia, in most cases embracing the suite of approaches typically associated with IWRM, including basin planning. Water stands at the Centre of the challenges around food security, economic development, energy generation and climate change. Its objectives related to protection, development/use, disaster management and institutional development in order to satisfy social, economic and environmental priorities.

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Thus we propose hydrologic boundaries (Gods gift) to be used as a core for administrative issues of Ethiopia.

6.4.3 Proposed Federal Administrative States

Accordingly, the “National/ Regional self- Governments Establishment proclamation No 7/1992was promulgated” with a view to giving effect to the right of Nations, Nationalities and peoplesto self-determination.

The nine National Regional Self-governments, which were established during the transitional period, are incorporated in to the new Constitution and renamed regions that make up the Ethiopian Federation (Art. 46 (1)). These regions are:1) the Region of Tigray, 2) the Region of Afar, 3) the Region of Amhara, 4) the Region of Oromia, 5) the Region of Somalia, 6) the Region of Benshangul-Gumuz, 7) the Region of the Southern Nations, Nationalities and peoples, 8) the Region of Gambela Peoples, 9) the Region of Harari People (Art. 47, (1), (1-9).

Such arrangement created the prevailing negative impact,.i.e. ethnic based region/state conflict between: Oromo and Somali; Oromo and Amhara; Oromo and Southern Nation Nationalities; Benshangul-Gumuz and Amhara, Tigray and Amhara, etc., Further, the impact prevailed within the same region, i.e. conflict between: Sidama and Wolayita; Gurage and Kebena.

To get rid of this deeply entrenched ethnic based state system and to preserve Ethiopia from fracturing across Kilil lines and ultimately disintegrate into several ungovernable mini states, we have to change the States system and redrawing viable administrative states/provinces that contribute to minimize divisiveness, and remove the negative impact of the ethno-Kilil / regional system.

In order to alleviate the current ethnic based states administrative boundaries and national related conflict issues, we recommend/propose alternative solution to use the administrative regional states system based on river basin hydrological boundary in changing the Ethiopian government state structure and political divisions of the country. Such state boundary arrangement could also help smooth development intervention i.e. planning, implementing and managing the water and land resources sustainably without conflicts of resources allocation and prioritization of project and programs. Such set up will pave the ways to addressing community of interest equitably without any ethnic conflict based on impartial system in harmony with national interest and

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addressing the need of the present society without compromising the needs of the future generation.

Therefore, we recommended/proposed the following eight river basin states for better development/ civilization, and greatness of the nation as to better facilitate national cohesion:

  1. 1)  Abay basin state;
  2. 2)  Awash,AyishaandDenakilbasinsstate;
  3. 3)  Baro-Akobo basin state;
  4. 4)  Genele-Dawa basin state;
  5. 5)  Tekeze and Mereb basins state;
  6. 6)  Wabi-shebele and Ogaden basins state;
  7. 7)  Omo-Ghibe basin state; and
  8. 8)  Rift valley Lakes basin state;

Figure 15. The Hydrologic basins of Ethiopia

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Figure 16. The Proposed States of Ethiopia

Figure 17. The Proposed States with the current Zone Administration of Ethiopia

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Moreover, the administrative boundaries and hydrological units coincide/ falling within the same basin boundary, hence, it will create appropriate units for implementation each integrated river basin master plan. It will also be a development strategy of the basin state to disaggregate sub basins, zones, etc., as required. Basin State administration and River Basin Organization, both managing on the basis of a hydrological unit.

The national all river basins Federal Government will serve in addressing the nation interest to make balance on resource deficit and resource abundant basins and follow the implementation as per the national development plan. Such basin states arrangement avoids barriers and challenges of implementation and will also create conducive environment for political commitment.

History tells us that Ethiopia was one of the founding members and major role player during the establishment of Organization for African Unity (OAU). Similarly, the idea of river basin demarcation/delineation for administrative regional state boundaries will contribute to African states having similar condition. It can contribute for the African Union for economic integration and can be used in AU Agenda 2063 establishment for unity integration, and free movement of people in Horn Africa.

Change can be painful and is often resisted as it makes people feel insecure even if they understand the need. Often good laws or revised procedures can fail as they are not understood or accepted by officials or citizens.

While each country must decide how to enact reform—depending on its current situation and what it wants to achieve in the future, experience collected in the IWRM Tool Box provides some basic lessons:

  •   Reforms should be done in a coherent and integrative way and suit the broader social and political policies of the country,
  •   Raising awareness, sharing information and meaningful participatory debate are key elements of any reform process, and
  •   Water governance reforms must not be limited to the water sector, but must take into account other sectors that impact and are impacted by water decision-making.The proposed river basin states besides facilitating national cohesion it will have the following benefits for the country:Engidashet Bunare and Shiferaw Lulu, E-mail: [email protected]/[email protected], [email protected] 75 of 95

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  •   The problem related with diversity and unity will be resolved,
  •   Both diversity and nationality will be respected and ethnic based conflict will beresolved,
  •   Ethnic based political parties will be discouraged,
  •   All the right of citizens’ will be respected in looking employment, investment andother requirements in the country without ethnic barrier and geographic boundaries,
  •   Potential conflict with respect to water allocation and prioritization of projects withinthe basin will be managed,
  •   The investment security will be enhanced and improved,
  •   maximize the economic and social welfare,
  •   Agro-climatic development zones can be established
  •   Sustainability of development and attention for national interest will be guaranteed,
  •   Strategy for National development plan, regional plan and integrated water resourcesdevelopment plan will be managed in harmony without challenge and any adverseimpact for upstream and downstream users within the basin,
  •   Duplication of effort will be managed and harmonized program will be implementedand resource allocation and utilization efficiency will be improved,
  •   Along with administration appropriate river basin organizations can be established for the planned development and management of a river basin as a whole, wherevernecessary.
  •   It will pave a way for AU agenda 2063 regional social and economic integration withneighboring countries.

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Figure 18.The Abay Basin State

Figure 19.The Awash, Ayisha and Denakil basins state

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Figure 20.The Baro Akobo basins state

Figure 21.Genale-Dawa River Basin State

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Figure 22. Tekeze and Mereb Basins State

Figure 23.The Wabi-Shebele & Ogaden basins state

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Figure 24. Omo Ghibe Basin State

Figure 25. The Rift Valley Basin State

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6.4.4 Salient Features of the River Basins

Ethiopia, with its different geological formations and climatic conditions, is endowed with considerable water resources and wetland ecosystems, including twelve river basins, about 14 major lakes, and some manmade reservoirs. About 123 billion cubic meters of water runs off annually from the above sources. Most of them are trans-boundary Rivers. The country is also known for its ground water resource, but the potential has not been assessed in detail.

Almost all of the basins radiate from the central ridges that separate the Rift Valley from the highlands of Ethiopia to all directions out of the country. Basins drained by rivers originating from the mountains west of the Rift Valley flow West into Sudan, and those originating from the Eastern highland flow east into the Republic of Somalia.

The physical setting of the country is generally characterized by highland in the center circumscribed by the lowlands. High raising mountains with flat top and steep sides are common features of the Ethiopian Highland. The lowlands are flat with frequent incision by ravines and gullies. The transition from highland to lowlands is very abrupt with sharp falls and cataracts.

Table 2. Important Physical characteristics of the Ethiopian basins

No.

Basin Name

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Type

Source

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Area (Km2)

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Direction of Flow

Terminal

1

Wabishebelle

R

Bale Highland

202,220

East

Indian Ocean

2

Abbay

R

West, Southwest HL

199,912

West (Nile)

Mediterranean Sea

3

Genale Dawa

R

Bale Highland

172,259

East

Indian Ocean

4

Awash

R

Central Highland

110,000

North East

Terminal Lakes (Internal)

5

Tekeze

R

North Wollo Highland

82,350

West (Nile)

Mediterranean Sea

6

Denakil

D

North Wollo Highland

64,380

NF

Internal

7

Ogaden

D

No Flow

77,120

NF

Internal

8

Omo-Ghibe

R

Central, western HL

79,000

South

Rudolph Lake (Internal)

9

Baro-Akobo

R

Western Highland

75,912

West (Nile)

Mediterranean Sea

10

Rift Valley Lakes

L

Arsi and Central HL

52,000

South

Chew Bahir

11

Mereb

R

Adigirat HL

5,900

West (Nile)

Swamp in Sudan

12

Aysha

D

No flow

2,223

NF

Internal

Source: Respective Basin Master Plan Studies. HL- Highland D- Dry R-River L-Lake NF-No Flow

Topography and altitudinal settings of a basin are the main functions of geological formations and can clearly reflect the potential for and constraints to the development of the given basin.

The major climatic conditions in Ethiopia can be categorized as tropical in the south and southwest, climatic in the highlands and arid and semi-arid in the Northeastern and

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Southeastern lowlands. Climate has a direct implication on the development of the basin with particular influence on the availability and use of water and pattern of settlement.

Table indicates important climatic components and water resource potential of Basins in Ethiopia in terms of mean annual run-off, storages in major lakes and impoundments and underground.

Table 3. Important Climatic Features and Water Resource Potential of the Ethiopian Basins

No

Basin Name

Temperature (0C)

Rainfall (mm)

Evaporation (mm)

Catchments area

Water resource Potential /Annual Discharge

Min.

Max.

Max.

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Min.

Average

Average

(km2)

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%

(Bm3)

%

1

Wabishebelle

6

27

1563

223

425

1500

202,220

18.00

3.16

2.59

2

Abbay

11.4

25.5

2220

800

1420

1300

199, 912

17.80

54.4

43.05

3

Genale Dawa

<15

>25

1200

200

528

1450

172, 259

15.34

6.1

4.81

4

Awash

20.8

29

1600

160

557

1800

110,000

9.79

4.9

3.76

5

Tekeze

<10

>22

1200

600

1300

1400

82,350

7.33

8.2

6.24

6

Denakil

5.7

57.3

1500

100

na

na

64,380

5.73

0.86

0.7

7

Ogaden

25

39

800

200

400

na

77,120

6.87

0.0

0.0

8

Omo-Ghibe

17

29

1900

400

1140

1600

79,000

7.03

16.6

14.7

9

Baro-Akobo

<17

>28

3000

600

1419

1800

75,912

6.76

23.23

19.31

10

Rift Valley Lakes

<10

>27

1800

300

na

1607

52,000

4.63

5.64

4.62

11

Mereb

18

27

2000

680

na

1500

5,900

0.53

0.72

0.21

12

Aysha

26

40

500

120

na

na

2,223

0.20

0.0

0.0

Total

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1,123,276

100.00

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123.81

100

Source: Respective Basin Master Plan Studies. Na- data not available

The socio-economic features of most of the basins of Ethiopia can be characterized by a simple but strategic terminology of Poverty and Isolation. Poverty expressed both in terms of absolute poverty or through some socio-economic indicators is one of the lowest in the world. The physical isolation is mainly due to the terrain which is very rugged and impenetrable making accessibility and the development of infrastructure very challenging and the severe shortage of communication infrastructures and systems.

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Table 4.Important Socio-economic Features of the Ethiopian Basin

No.

Basin Name

Population

Urbaniz ation

Other Social Indicators

Administration

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‘0001995

‘0002010

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GR%

Density P/km2

%

Productivity Force

Illiteracy %

Regions

Woreda

1

Wabishebelle

5880

9489

3.9

29

7

49.7

80

O, SN, H,S

76

2

Abbay

14231

22000

2.6

72

7.9

na

74

O, A,BG

162

3

Genale Dawa

5100

5100

31.9

9.8

46.7

81.5

O, SN, S

43

4

Awash

11000

14000

2.9

100

10

na

Na

O, SN, A, Af, S, DD, AA

80

5

Tekeze

4720

7550

3.7

57.3

10

51.7

84.4

T, A

54

6

Denakil

2068

na

3.9

na

na

na

na

A, Af, T

na

7

Ogaden

1464

na

3.9

na

na

na

na

S

na

8

Omo-Ghibe

6500

10000

2.9

81.5

7.5-11.7

43.6

na

O, SN

81

9

Baro-Akobo

2211

3077

2.2

26.7

8.3

49.6

na

O, BG, S, N, G

72

10

Rift Valley Lakes

7964

12407

3

153

7.3

na

79

O, SN

60

11

Mereb

437.5

671.8

2.84

74

5.54

51.4

82

T

11

12

Aysha

56.6

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na

3.9

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26

na

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na

na

S

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1

Source: Respective Basin Master Plan Studies. A-Amhara, A.A. Addis Ababa, Af-Afar, BG- Benshangul Gumuz, DD- DireDawa, G-Gambella, H-Harari, O-Oromia, S-Somalia, SN-Southern Nations and Nationalities and Peoples, T-Tigray

By virtue of its high potential and less inhabitants, the Baro-Akobo basin has the highest value in most of these indicators. The efficiency of the basin to generate run-off is also the highest when compared to other basins. On the other side of the picture come the Aysha, Denakil, Mereb and Ogaden Basins with less prospect for future development of their water resources.

Table 5.Simple Parameters Indicating the Potential of the Basin

R.No.

Basin Name

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Water Resources

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Irrigation

Hydropower

Specific Yield (l/s/km2)

Per Capital availability M3/person

Potential‘000ha

Per capital ha.

Firm Energy GWH

Per capital KWH/Person

1

Wabishebelle

0.53

578

209.3

0.04

7457

1268

2

Abbay

8.63

3823

1800

0.13

55000

3865

3

Genale Dawa

1.10

1176

1070

0.21

9270

1818

4

Awash

1.41

445

206

0.02

5589

508

5

Tekeze

3.16

1737

186.9

0.04

8384

1776

6

Denakil

0.42

416

0.00

7

Ogaden

0.00

0

0.00

8

Omo-Ghibe

6.66

2554

90.4

0.01

26026

4004

9

Baro-Akobo

9.70

10507

631

0.29

19826

8967

10

Rift Valley Lakes

3.44

708

131

0.02

12240

1537

11

Mereb

3.87

1646

5

0.01

12

Aysha

0.00

0

0

0.00

Source: Respective Basin Master Plan Studies

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Minerals

The study of mineral is categorized as metallic and non-metallic deposits. During the River Basin Master Plan studies a variety of minerals have identified as shown in the table below.

Table 6.Mineral Resource of the Basins

Basins

Metallic

Non-Metallic

Abbay

Gold, Iron, Base Metals (Cu, Ph, Zn), Cr, Ni, Co, Radioactive Minerals

Gemstones, Limestone, Marble, Lignite, Clay Kaolin, Granite, Sandstone, Coal

Tekeze

Gold, Graphite, Base Metal, Silver, Iron Oxides, Radioactive Minerals

Pyrite, Gypsum, Industrial clay, Lime stone, Talc, Sulfur, Coal, Marble, Diatomite, oil- shale, slate

Tekeze/Mereb

Gold, Graphite, Copper, Radioactive Minerals, Iron ore

Limestone, Marble, Talk, Granites, Silica

Baro Akobo

Gold, Platinum, Iron ore

Oil, Industrial clays and aggregates, Granites

Omo Gibe

Gold, Base Metals, Silver, lead, Radioactive Minerals

Gemstones, Iignite, Coal (high potential), Oil Industrial clays and aggregates, Granites

*Awash

Gemstones, Iignite, Oil, Industrial clays and aggregates, Granites

Rift Valley Lakes

Soda Ash, Diatomite, Bentonite,

Genale Dawa

Gold , Copper, Tantalite, Nickel, Iron Chromate

Gemstones, Industrial clays and aggregates Granites

Wabishebelle

Iron ore, Lead, Platinum, Mognesite, Copper, Granite, Molybdenum

Silica Abrasives, Asbestos, Feldspar, Mica Limestone, Morble/colcrroussclnists/

Granite, oil and gas, salt

Danakle

Copper, Nickle, Zink, Lead

Salt, Potash, Sulfur, Gypsum

Ogaden

Petroleum, Limestone, Sandstone

Aysha*

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Industrial clays and aggregates

*Data is not available. Source: Profiles of Basin Master Plan Studies, Basin Development Studies Department, July, 2001(with some additions)

6.4.5 An Integrated Approach to river Basin Planning

In Ethiopia, Water Resources Development started as a mere sporadic activity during the early years of the 20th century as introduction of new technology into the country through the good will of some of the early European Ambassadors.

As the implementation of modern Government structure and creation of modern institutions, continues, the importance of the sector was understood and a small department was created in 1956 under the Ministry of Public Works and Communications to handle a multi-purpose investigation of the Blue Nile Basin.

It was the evolution of this Department that resulted in the emergence of several institutions over the last five decades. The Awash valley authority (AVA) in 1962, assumed responsibility for

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all water resources activities In the Awash valley. Its mandate included all aspect of water planning, development and operation, and water rights administration.

In 1971, the establishment of the National Water Resources Commission (NWRC), there were several line ministries and government bodies whose activities are related to water before 1971.These were Ministries of Agriculture, Health, Interior (Municipalities), Foreign Affairs, Public Works and Water Resources, Transport and Communication, Ethiopian Light and Power Authority, AVA, Addis Ababa Water Supply Authority (AAWSA), etc., However, their activities were not coordinated. Therefore, the water organizations have, in the past, tended to fragment responsibilities for different aspects of water administration. To create better coordination and improve water administration, the then Ethiopian Government, by Order No. 75/1971, created a new autonomous government organization, the NWRC on October 27, 1971. The primary purpose of the Commission was to coordinate the policies, plans and activities of the many bodies involved with water use. In fulfilling this objective, the commission would review plans and activities relating to water in order to keep them up-to-date; and to ensure that the various development programs would conform to the changing national economic and social conditions. Following either national or regional plan, the Commission, in accordance with the law, would ensure the allocation of water to various uses; and would authorize the construction of water works.

The commission’s powers were broad. However, they were not fully exercised because of financial constraints, unwillingness of public authorities to accept national authority over water use and, particularly in the water sector, a serious lack of trained manpower. Moreover, the organizational structure that was envisaged for the new set-up has never been totally implemented due to change of government in 1974.

In 1975 after the 1974 revolution, the water resources department was recognized and given the name of Ethiopian Water Resources Authority (EWRA). This authority had under it: The land and water studies agency; the rural water supply agency, and the urban water supply agency, which was transferred from the then Ministry of the Interior.

There was a general lack of coordination and duplication of effort between the Commission and the AVA. To overcome some of these problems, the Valleys Agricultural Development Authority (VADA) was proclaimed in 1977. It had similar powers and duties as AVA except

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that its jurisdiction was limited to water resources. (AVA responsibilities included all resources); but, its authority covered the whole country. To avoid conflict with AVA, the Awash Valley Development Agency (AVDA) a creature of the VADA was formed. The AVDA had diminished powers as compared to those AVA had enjoyed.

Also in 1977, the Ministry of Agriculture was empowered to investigate, use, control, protect and administer the water resources of Ethiopia not only for irrigated agriculture, but also for other uses. Its programs deal mainly with small-scale irrigation (less than 200 ha) and soil and water conservations.

In a further attempt to strengthen coordination and avoid duplication, the National Water Resources Commission (NWRC) was reconstituted in 1981 so as to absorb all the functions of VADA and others. The NWRC included a new Water Resources Development Authority(WRDA), the Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (WSSA), Ethiopian Water Works Construction Authority (EWWCA) and the National Meteorological Services Agency (NMSA).WRDA was given the objectives of conducting studies to utilize, administer, regulate, protect and allocate inland waters and to supervise government water policies and plans.

Problems of rampant drought overtaxed the ability of the NWRC to move quickly with the construction of Irrigation projects to alleviate food shortage and to increase agricultural output. Because of the emergency, some projects were undertaken without sufficient investigation and construction proceeded more slowly than anticipated, it became clear that, in spite of the urgent need for development, it was essential to ensure that future projects were technically feasible, in harmony with other needs in each basin, and further, that there would be firm quality control over design and construction.

In partial response to this need, the Ethiopian Valleys Development Studies Authority (EVDSA) was proclaimed in July 1987. The mandate of the EVDSA was to prepare country- wide and basin-wide Master Plans for the use of water and related resources and to investigate water projects to the feasibility level. To get the new organization started the personnel from the irrigation studies section as well as equipment, from WRDA were transferred to EVDSA. Responsibility for design and implementation of water projects and various functions related thereto remained with WRDA.

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After EPRDF Government came to Power in 1991 many reshuffling of institutions took place in the country. In the Water Sector a transitional institution which brought together most of the fragmented institutions was created as the Ministry of Natural Resources Development and Environmental Protection (MSRDEP) in 1993. Thereafter, the new Ministry of Water Resources (MoWR) was created in 1995.

The Ministry of Water Resources was given the powers and duties unprecedented in the past by any institution in the sector, which included: determination of conditions and methods for optimum allocation and utilization of water; drafting laws for protection and utilization of water resources; issue permits; collecting water charges; undertake studies and utilization of Transboundary waters; prepare plans for utilization of transboundary water; prescribe quality standards for water for various purposes; and supervise proper rendering of meteorological services.

Water resources development is considered to be sustainable if it is socially, environmentally, economically and technically acceptable and the water resources system is in a dynamic equilibrium over a long period of time. Sustainable development means optimizing these values and consideration of inter- generation equity. Sustainability, therefore, embodies two basic principles i.e. providing for the need of the present society without compromising the needs of the future generation.

Strategies for sustainable development of water resources call for integrated river basin planning and implementation. Water resources development, therefore, should be carried out within an integrated socio-ecological framework River Basin Planning has its origins in the need to identify water resources development projects in a systematic manner which acknowledged their interrelationships with each other, and the river system as a whole. Obviously upstream consumption use affects downstream users, and projects should only be put forward in the context of their effects on the overall water balance for the basin.

River Basin Planning Studies have been concerned with matters related to the surface and groundwater regimes of the basin, such as: water supply, irrigation, hydropower generation, flood control, watershed management etc. To undertake the basin study in an integrated framework, information on the following should be availed:

 Physical characteristics of the basin,

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  •   Natural Resources,
  •   Water Resources,
  •   Infrastructure,
  •   Socio-Economic development,
  •   Environmental Issues, and
  •   Institutional Framework.
    The concept of integrated river basin master planning, therefore, considers that water resources should not be considered in isolation based on hydrological boundaries but that it can only be effective when other natural resources and socio-economic conditions are similarly considered, within an overall ecological and economic balance.The river basin with its hydrological limits provides natural geographic boundaries within which multi- objective modeling can be performed. There are, natural phenomenon, which may not be constrained by river basin boundaries such as groundwater, wildlife, transportation, ethnic areas, pastoralism etc. Other boundaries based on administrative units are also considered along with the Basin Boundary as they are appropriate units for implementation.

6.4.6 Current Status of River Basin Studies

Reconnaissance level studies have been carried out for all other river basin. The Basins for which such study has been carried out include Aysha, Danakil and Ogaden Dry Basins.

Integrated Development Master Plans have also been completed for seven river basins: Omo- Ghibe, Baro-Akobo, Abbay, Tekeze, Mereb, Wabi-Shebele, Genale Dawa River Basins and Rift Valley Lakes. Unlike other basins Awash River has only Master plan for the development of surface water resources of the Basin as shown in the table below.

Table 7. Status of River Basins Studies

No.

River Basin

Area (Km2)

Year of study

Status

1

Abbay

199,912

1994-1998

Completed

2

Awash

110,000

1989

Surface Water Master Plan – needs integration and updating

3

Baro-Akobo

75,912

1993-1996

Completed

4

Genale-Dawa

172,259

2003-2009

Completed

5

Mereb

5,900

1997-1998

Completed

6

Omo-Gibe

79,000

1993-1995

Completed

7

Rift Valley Lakes

52,000

2006-2009

Completed

8

Tekeze

82,350

1994-1998

Completed

9

Wabe Shebele

202,220

2001-2004

Completed

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10

Danakil (dry)

64,380

A reconnaissance study has been conducted

11

Ogaden (dry)

77,120

A reconnaissance study has been conducted

12

Aysha (dry)

2,223

A reconnaissance study has been conducted

Source: Respective Basin Master Plan and Reconnaissance level Studies
When all Basins will be covered by an Integrated River Basin Master Plan Studies (IRBMP), the Government of Ethiopia (GOE) will prepare a National Integrated Water Resources Master Plan, which is expected to guide the overall development of water resources including possible inter- basin transfers.

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7 CONCLUSION

The current constitution declared that sovereignty lays in ‘nation, nationality and people of Ethiopia’. The Ethiopian federal arrangement accepts ethnic identity as a genuine form of statearrangement and base for organizing administrative organs. However, this administrative arrangement was not based on the History of Ethiopia, natural and physical boundaries and on the unifying factors of the people of Ethiopia. As a result it has created continued conflict between the people.

The current proposal for “New Ethiopian Government Administrative Boundary System for Unified Nation Building” emerged from long standing concern of the country fragile political and administrative situation. It has emerged from an in depth evaluation of the history of Ethiopia, reasons and factors of conflicts in the current political and administrative system. This is a proposal for the people of Ethiopia to debate on it for better future administrative divisions in line with current change. We believe that only commenting on past mistakes does not bring a better future. A better future can be created by learning from the past and bringing a better idea that can hold for the future together and better.

The analysis and recommendations are based on the review of relevant constitution, government administration system and Integrated River Basin Management. A hydrological physical boundary includes different people, water, mineral, plant and animal resources affected by hydrological cycles within it. It is the most suitable physical boundary to develop, manage equitably the resources for the society leaving within this physical boundary and beyond. A hydrological boundary does not fit into ethno-language boundary and would help to minimize the greedy motive of ethnic-linguistic politicians to use ethnicity for propagation of hatred along ethno-language boundaries to attain power.

A river basin administration promotes an Integrated Water Resources Management approach and coordinated development and management of water, land, and related resources, in order to maximize the resultant economic and social welfare in an equitable manner without compromising the sustainability of vital ecosystems. This includes more coordinated development and management of:

 land and water,
 Mineral Resources,

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 surface water and groundwater,
 the river basin and its adjacent environment, and upstream and downstream interests.

Administration based on hydrological boundaries is not just about managing physical resources; it is also about reforming human systems to enable people to benefit from those resources.

For policy-making and planning, taking an IWRM approach requires that:

  •   policies and priorities take water resources implications into account, including the two-way relationship between macro-economic policies and water development, management, and use,
  •   there is cross-sectoral integration in policy development,
  •   stakeholders are given a voice in water planning and management, with particularattention to securing the participation of women and the poor.
  •   water-related decisions made at local and river basin levels are in-line with, or at least do not conflict with, the achievement of broader national objectives, and
  •   water planning and strategies are integrated into broader social, economic, and environmental goals.In practice, giving hydrologically bounded administrative states on national agenda; creates greater cohesion among different ethnic groups, decision-makers responsible for economic policy; creating more effective channels for communication and shared decision-making between government agencies, organizations, interest groups and communities; and encouraging people tothink “outside the box” of traditional sectoral definitions .Furthermore, Ethiopia has historical, social, economic, political, cultural, religious, moral/ethical, and legal values that are key agent for unifying the Ethiopian Empire. Thus initially, we have to recognize the common national historical, social, economic, political, cultural, religious, moral/ethical, and legal values in order to pave the way for nation building and for future sustainable and safe development by giving emphasis for diversity and unity. In addition, we have to carry out national reconciliation events/program to conclude once and for all past mistake agenda.Engidashet Bunare and Shiferaw Lulu, E-mail: [email protected]/[email protected], [email protected] 91 of 95

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Based on the recognized common historical, social, economic, political, cultural, religious, moral/ethical, and legal values we have to establish institutions that are responsible and accountable to the role assigned to them.

Ethiopian Kings and their descendants can serve in unifying and integrating the Ethiopian people. Thus we recommend a government system to be established to recognize the descendants of these kings to play their role as their ancestors to work towards unity and integrity of the Ethiopian people.

For administrative and other issues the legal system needs to start reviewing the relevant parts of constitution in order to pave the way for feasible justices. Furthermore, all development sectors and others have to review their policies and strategies in line with the modified legal instruments.

Finally, we propose political parties to organize based on only ideas not based on ethnic liberation front. Organizing party along ethnic, religion or language lines is the most dangerous that would lead the country into chaos and divided and ungovernable mini states in the horn of Africa.

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  1. Alessandro Triulz ena Tesema TaA, 1996 E.C., Ye Welega Ye Tarik Senedoch (1880- 1920),
  2. Beminet GebreAmlak, 1947 E.C., “Ye Anid Quanqua Ediget or Amarigna Ende Tesfafa”
  3. Bilatien Gieta Hiruy Woldesilasie 1921 E.C. “Waziema”
  4. Bilatien Gieta Hiruy Woldesilasie 1999 E.C. “Ye Ethiopia Tarik ke Nigste Saba eskeTalaku Ye Adewa Dil”
  5. Bilatien Geta Mahateme Silassie WeldeMeskel , 1962 E.C. “Zikre Neger”
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Abyotawi Tarik, Kits Hulet”

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  2. Mersi Hazen W/Kirkos, 2002 E.C., ““ Tizitayie Silerasie Ye Mastawisew”,
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  4. Mesfin WeldeMariam, 1966 E.C., “Ethiopiawinet Limat Be Hibret”
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  1. Tsehafi Tizaz Aklilu Habteweld, 1967 E.C.,”Aklilu Remembers/ Ye Aklilu Mastawesha, Le Mermari Commission Yakerebut”
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  4. Bahru Zewde-2002, Pioneers of Change in Ethiopia,
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  8. Henery M. Morris III, 2013.The Book of Beginings. A practical Guide toUnderstanding Genesis. Institute of Creation Research
  9. H.G. Wells Vol.-I, 1920-1956, the outline of History, being a plain History of Lifeand mankind,
  10. Hiwot Tefera 2013.Tower in the Sky. Addis Abeba University Press
  11. James Henry Breasted, Ph.D, 1906, Ancient Records of Egypt, Historical Documents,Volume IV, the Twentieth to the Twenty-Sixth Dynasties,
  12. J.A. Rogers, 1947, World’s Great Men of Color 3000 B.C. to 1946 A.D.
  13. Jon Abbink, “Ethnicity and Conflict Generation in Ethiopia: Some Problems andProspects of Ethno-Regional Federalism”, Journal of Contemporary African Studies,vol. 24, no. 3 (2006),
  14. John G. Jackson (1939), Ethiopia and the Origin of Civilization
  15. Kiros Habte Selassie and Mazengia Dina, 1969, a short Illustrated History ofEthiopia, edited,
  16. Lahmeyer International and Yeshiber Consult , July 2007. Integrated ResourcesDevelopment Master Plan Study.
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  18. Nahusenay Belay, the New Federal Experiment and Accommodation of Diversity in Ethiopia: Exploring a Novel Experience,
  19. Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, travel and trade in the Indian Ocean by a merchant of the 1st century written by a Greek-speaking Egyptian sailor translated byWilfred H.Schoff 1912
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  21. Published by Friedrich –Ebert-Stiftung (FES), December 2012What is“Zemenwine”? Perspectives on Ethiopian Modernity,

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22. Relief Web reports over 30 thousand Tigraians displaced in March/April 2018
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Ethiopia, Working Paper 123.

24. The Holy Bible. The king Jemes Version 25. Wikipedia/internet

Legal/Strategy documents

1. Ethiopian Constitution of 1931 established in the reign of His Majesty Haile Sellassie I 16thJuly 1931
2. 1955 Revised Constitution of Ethiopia, 4th November 1955
3. Proclamation No. 1/ of 1987 the Constitution of the People’s Democratic Republic ofEthiopia, 12th September 1987

4. Transitional Period Charter of Ethiopia, 22nd July 1991
5. Proclamation No. 1/1995 Proclamation of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

6. The Law Making Process in Ethiopia, Professor Kenneth Redden, Ato Aberra Jemere, Ato Nabiyelul Kifle

7. Ethiopian Water Resources Management (WRM) Policy, 1999
8. Ethiopian Water Resources Management Proclamation, Proclamation No. 197/2000.

9. Ethiopian Water Resources Management Regulations, Council of Minister Regulation No. 115/2005

10. Implementation Strategy for River Basin Integrated Development Master Plan, Final Report, August 2001 MoWR

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