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Why are the unitarist Ethiopians calling on the Eritrean dictator to crush the Tigraians and the Oromos?

By Habtom Tesfa
Tigrai Online July 17, 2020

The unitarists in Ethiopia are anti federalists, they detest to see the multi national government system in Ethiopia. They wish to see an Ethiopia that speaks one language and manifests one culture.

Almost all ethnic groups of Ethiopia are intrinsically federalists. They want to see each language and culture of Ethiopia respected. The Tigraians and the Oromos are the most out-spoken supporters of federalism which has been in place in Ethiopia since 1991.

The unitarists have intensified their efforts to abolish the Ethiopian federalism in the last two years, i.e, since the coming to office of the current prime minister. He is a unitarist, the admirer of the pre-1991 Ethiopia. There are two huge obstacles in the dreams of the unitarists: the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia and its federalist defenders. The attempts at undermining the constitution have been relentless and intense for the last two years, and now are reaching their peak. These attempts include continuous misrepresentations of the Constitution in the media, attracting anti-federalist individuals to the government palace, demonizing, imprisoning and killing federalist forces. However, the federalists are resisting and do not intend to surrender. The federalists are convinced in the correctness and popularity of their stance. They are convinced that federalism is necessary and just to Ethiopia. Federalists are convinced that the great majority of Ethiopians are federalists too.

The unitarists now are calling on the Eritrean dictator's help. Why? There are three main reasons: the group psychology of the unitarists, the reality of Ethiopia and the personality of the Eritrean dictator. Let me explain these factors.

1. The group psychology of the unitarists.
The unitarists are basically selfish and parasitic in their nature. They want to own and dominate everything. They want to take the credit for all the good Ethiopia possesses. By demeaning the various languages and cultures of Ethiopia, they want to impose one language and culture, i.e, the Amharic language and culture, over all Ethiopians. This will enable them to dominate the politics and economy of Ethiopia. They are ready to accept anyone to the group as long as he/she is willing to be Amharized linguistically and culturally. They can be even generous to such willing persons, and give them the "honorific" name "a good Ethiopian". Unitarists have many strong qualities: they are historically good in controlling the media, they can simulate to be magnanimous to anybody who accepts the superiority of the Amharic culture; they are also really good at inventing myths that suit their purpose. Unfortunately for them, they have one crucial weakness: they are parasitic in their nature. They want others to fight for them. They want to reap the fruit of the sweats of others. They are forefront in the talk, but they are nowhere to be seen in the fight. They are ready to sacrifice every available person; but never themselves. They lack the sense of self-sacrifice. Thus, the obsessive urge to call on Eritrea, a foreign country, to crush their own country people.

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2. The reality of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is rich in diversity:
Over 80 different languages and numerous different cultures. Federalism has been in place since 1991. The last 3 decades have been crucial in developing the pride of the various ethnic groups of Ethiopia. The tendency to look or be an Amhara has become history. Now, every Ethiopian does not hesitate to speak in his/her own language. A simple analysis of the first names of Ethiopians is sufficient to see the enormous change that has happened in the cultural pride of the various ethnic groups of Ethiopia. It's rare to see an under 30 years old Oromo, Wolaita, or a member of other previously marginalized ethnic group with a typically Amharic name. The last 3 decades have also enabled Ethiopians to appreciate the importance of self-rule. People have experienced the possibility of electing their governors and administrators themselves. It's highly unlikely that the various ethnic groups of Ethiopia would give up the power of self-rule. The federalism has also enabled Ethiopians to participate in the national politics keeping in heart their points of interest. It's unlikely that a Somali, a Welaita or an Oromo would willingly participate in any aggression against Tigrai. Neither will a Tigraian or an Afar be an instrument for an aggression against Oromos by some crazy Amhara elite. Of course, against a foreign invader the various ethnic groups can unite their force. However, for internal affairs, every ethnic group will calculate the pros and cons attentively. This applies to the members of the Ethiopian army as well.  Thus, the unitarists can no longer depend on the sacrifice of the previously marginalized Ethiopians for their aggression against Tigraians or Oromos. Moreover, the Tigraians and Oromos have strong nationalism that will not surrender to any aggressor. History has highlighted numerous instances of this strong nationalism.

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3. The personality of the Eritrean dictator.
Well, not being able to depend on themselves because of their lack of the sense of sacrifice; and no longer be able to depend on the various ethnic groups of Ethiopia, and not wishing to abandon their desire to dominate others, the unitarists are forced to look for a foreign help. They seem to find this foreign hand from the person of the dictator of Eritrea. The dictator has personal resentment against the ruling party of Tigrai, thus he would be happy to quench his thirst for revenge, permitting he has the power. If he could, he would not only punch Tigraians hard, but he would have also loved to destroy the main legacy of the struggle of the people of Tigrai, i.e. the federal constitution of Ethiopia. That the Eritrean dictator is willing to help the unitarists is evident; that he has the ability is highly doubtful. The Eritrean dictator has long lost his legitimacy in Eritrea. He is still in office.  However, Eritreans have long stopped trusting him. He has lost credibility. The time when he was able to mobilize Eritreans easily citing national sovereignty has become a sad memory. The parasitic unitarists will continue to knock at the door of the dictator, and he would have loved to open the door for them, but, alas, he will not be able to raise himself from his chair.