Siye Abreha and his failed politics

By Fanowedy Samara
Feb. 02 2010

I come across an article entitled “Ethiopia: The Politicization of Food Aid under One-Party Rule”, which tries to create a sort of illusionary perception of the political reality of the nation. Moreover, although the title of the article gives significant emphasis to politicization of food aid, its whole content in contrary speaks about the unfounded personality of the author-Siye Abreha. That is why the author of this article wants to say a little about the objective reality of the situation in relation to with what Siye is trying to create a sort of unfounded political island in some parts of Ethiopia.

The Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia are entering in to a turning point era where  they strongly fight against poverty, backwardness, and ignorance in order to see a nation where democracy and good governance reign through popular participation and full involvement of its people, social justice prevail and being emancipating from poverty. This is the shared and common vision of all the Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and peoples. Hence, all their endeavors and united efforts target to materialize their prudent objectives. They adjust all their deeds and dreams towards the realization of the Ethiopian Renaissance. At the same time they strongly combat against all sorts of pitfalls that hamper their efforts to sustain their shared vision.

Furthermore, all the Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities, Peoples as well as individual citizens have a constitutional right to have equal opportunity of growth and development. Article 43/1of the Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) states that the Peoples of Ethiopia as a whole, and each Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia in particular, have the right to improved living standards and to sustainable development. The objective of the development endeavors of the nation is clearly put in paragraph 4 of the same article. It says that the basic aim of development activities shall be to enhance the capacity of citizens for development and to meet their basic needs.

The democratic and human rights of the Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities, Peoples as well as individual citizens are constitutionally guaranteed. Hence, no one regardless of his/her political, social, religious, and economic and/or other status can violate these constitutional rights of citizens. 

The Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is the supreme law of the land according to article 9/1of the constitution. The sovereign power of the nation resides in the hands of the Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and Peoples. Their sovereignty is expressed through their representatives elected in accordance with the law and through their direct democratic participation.

Freedom of religion, belief and opinion is ensured according to article 27 of the Constitution. Moreover, rights of thought, opinion and expression are constitutionally ensured.   Article 29/2 of the constitution states that every one has the right to freedom of expression without any interference .This right includes freedoms to seek, receive and impart information and ideas of all kinds regardless of frontiers, either orally, in writing, or in print, in the form of art or through any media of his/her choice.

Furthermore, freedoms of press, other mass media and artistic creativity are guaranteed. Freedom of press, according to article 29/3 of the constitution, includes prohibition of censorship and access to information of public interest. Moreover, the Proclamation to provide for freedom of the mass media and access to information 590/2008 strengthens article 29 of the constitution. Article 4/3 of the proclamation  states that all public bodies shall have regard to the right of the mass media in fulfilling its public function to seek, receive and impart news or information, express opinions or criticism on various issues or participate in the process of forming public opinion through other means. Every one has the right of access to information according to this proclamation.

Article 12/1 of the proclamation indicates that all persons have the right to seek, obtain and communicate any information held by public bodies, except provided by this proclamation.  Moreover, article 12/2 state that these rights shall include the right to be informed whether or not the public body holds a record containing the requested information and to obtain information from any public body by means of (1) inspection, taking extracts and notes, (2) certified copies of any records such public authority and (3) diskettes, floppies and other electronic mode or through print-outs where such information is stored in a computer or in any other device.

Rights of assembly, demonstration and petition are also constitutionally ensured according to article 30 of the constitution. Likewise, every citizen has the right to freedom of association for any cause or purpose (article 31). Article 38 of the constitution also indicates that every Ethiopian national, without any discrimination based on color, race, nation, nationality, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion or status has the rights (1)to take part in the conduct of public affairs directly and through freely chosen representatives, (2) on attainment of 18 years of age , to vote in accordance with the law and(3)to vote and to be elected at periodic elections to any offices at any level of government.

Moreover, the rights of every one to be a member of his/her own will in political organization, labor union, trade organization or employers’ or professional association shall be respected if he/she meets the specific and general requirements stipulated by such an organization. According to article 4 of the Political Parties Registration Proclamation 573/2008, every Ethiopian shall have the right to form a political party or to be a member of any political party. The independence of political parties in respect of their own affairs is guaranteed according to article 16 of the proclamation. Moreover, political parties have the right to form Unions, Fronts and Coalitions as per articles 32, 34 and 35 respectively.

Practically no Ethiopian citizen is arbitrarily deprived of these constitutionally ensured democratic and/or human rights on the basis of color, race, nation, nationality, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion or other status. The FDRE government is also committed enough to take adequate measure whenever these constitutional rights of citizens are violated or illegally abused.

In general, Ethiopia has become a nation where democratic culture and good governance are remarkably growing, the rule of law is constitutionally ensured, and participation of citizens in the political, legal, social, economic, cultural, development endeavors is escalating more than ever.

Citizens actively participate in all spheres that directly or indirectly affect their lives. That is why the country is scoring a fast and successive economic growth in the last six consecutive years.

Hence, the Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and Peoples start realizing the benefits of the last eighteen years in the areas of peace, stability, democracy, development, good governance and mutual cooperation. However, this does not mean that there was not any minor problem in these eighteen years of Ethiopian new age. Next page >>>2