Commentators on the highly polarized political schism currently within Ethiopia appear to wrongfully point out the current mass unrest within the Amhara Regional State as being a road block to the peace agreement signed in Pretoria between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE) and the Tigray Regional State. Instead of recognizing the unrest as being the result of the direct failure of the sham peace agreement itself.
The mistaken criticism and misplaced blame of the current unrest arises from failing to take into account the narrow ethno-centric FDRE constitution as it applies to sovereign powers of regional states vis-a-vi the agreement signed in Pretoria and the limited authority of the FDRE, led by the Prosperity Party (PP) – Abiy regime – the governing political party.
A cursory review of the narrow ethno-centric based constitution clearly and expressly delegates all sovereign powers to the regional states who are recognized as those “nations” and “nationalities” under Article 8 and listed under Article 47 of the constitution.
The ethnic based constitution not only acknowledges their sovereign powers but goes on to reinforce these powers under Article 52 where the document states:
“1. All powers not given expressly to the Federal Government alone, or concurrently to the Federal Government and to the States are reserved to the States.”
While the limited powers of the federal government, is clearly defined and granted under Article 51.
Inherently within the concept of state sovereignty, the ability to defend oneself is a fundamental feature of state security. Recognizing this, the ethno-centric based FDRE constitution acknowledges the right of regional states to have an undefined term called “state police force” under Article 52.
The point here is not whether one argues if a “state police force” can be a militia, special forces, state police or a full-fledged army in the case of TPLF but that one can make a case that a sovereign regional state has the fundamental responsibility to provide “public order and peace” and define the extent of its security, without any federal interference.
Such an important feature of sovereignty secured in the narrow ethno-constitution, and residing with the regional states, cannot be delegated away to a third party, in this case the FDRE led Prosperity Party for any political convenience.
The ethno-centric constitution is very clear on this. It leaves the creation and accountability of the “state police force” only to the regional states. Out of the reach of the federal government. Any changes will require a constitutional amendment following strict guidelines involving both federal and regional institutions, ideally with consultation and consent of the people, through their representative, in whom ultimate sovereign power lies. With a two-thirds majority vote in the House of Representatives as outlined in Article 104 of the constitution.
Any strawman excuse, such as political expediency, which the agreement in Pretoria appears to be, cannot be grounds for the federal government to over reach its delegated authority impacting all regional states.
One needs to realize that the federal governments power to declare national/state emergency is restrained under Article 93, and clearly coached, under Article 51, to be “limited to certain parts of the country”. Which in this case is meant to target Tigray regional state and particularly directed at the aggressor, the TPLF party.
Recognizing this, the Abiy regime limited its language in the agreement to state “ … Ethiopia has only one national defense force” (See Joint Statement between FDRE-PP and TPLF) as it relates to “safeguarding the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ethiopia” enforced through Article 3 of the agreement on Permanent Cessation of Hostilities. Where again there is no mention to dismantle or erode any of the exclusive rights of the regional state security and policing powers inherent within the regional states themselves as a condition to the peace agreement. The mandate of the peace treaty was to primarily deal with the aggressor, the TPLF and by extension the Tigray regional state for starting this war.
It is clear now that the Abiy regime has failed to strictly enforce all necessary measures as stipulated in the agreement to neutralize and disarm the TPLF. None of which has been independently verified.
But instead, his regime has been laying out the ground work to mitigate the warmongering terrorist TPLF cabal of any criminal wrongdoing subject to war crimes. And at the same time facilitate their transition from war criminals to being legitimate political power players, and maintain their security forces intact within their regional state without taking any accountability for the devastation and suffering they caused to the Ethiopian people – particularly in the Amhara and Afar regions.
Furthermore, the actions of the Abiy regime, post Pretoria has been a purely political maneuver to grab dictatorial powers at the expense of the regional states and by extension infringing on the sovereign rights of the Ethiopian people, by circumventing the narrow ethno-centric constitution, and demanding the unlawful dismantling of regional state security forces of all regional states. It appears this unconstitutional power grab is particularly aimed at the Amhara regional state and by extension the Amhara people. Who, along with the Afar people, have suffered greatly due to the aggression and invasion of TPLF.
This begs the question why the excessive unlawful use of power against the Amhara people?
By targeting the Amhara state region first, in this unconstitutional power grab, the Abiy regime has identified the Amhara people as a threat to his ultimate quest for absolute unbridled power.
What the Abiy regime has done, through the peace process and post, is tantamount to saying the Allied forces without England, signing a peace agreement with the Nazi Germany instead of prosecuting the top brass for WWII. An agreement not only paving the way for the Nazi to gain power back with their military intact, but also punish England for questioning and challenging the agreement, by demanding that they disarm or suffer severe consequences – this case military action.
The ongoing mass uprising in the Amhara regional state is a direct result of the failed peace agreement and a response by the Amhara people and freedom loving Ethiopians, of the subsequent unlawful usurpation of power by the Abiy regime.
In response to defusing the ongoing uprising, the Amhara regional President Yilkal Kefale has been quoted by Reuters stating the federal government order was “misunderstood as requiring the disarmament of the special forces”, and has further back-tracked to state this was only a minor effort to “organizing regional forces under federal security” apparatus. Facts on the ground and Abiy’s press release posted on his Twitter page clearly contradict his statement.
The current efforts by Abiy regime in using disproportionate and deadly force in the Amhara state region in response to what is a peaceful mass demonstration in opposing the unconstitutional power grab, has escalated to all regions of the Amhara state.
To counter this popular uprising, the Abiy regime is using excessive force. There are now numerous confirmed unwarranted killings of unarmed civilians by federal security forces in the Amhara region. In fact, eye witness accounts are flooding in stating heavy artillery is being used in some civilian areas – indiscriminately.
Lawful regional Amhara special security forces, who were called upon by the federal government to support the federal army in the war in Tigray, are at the present moment being hunted down for protecting their civilian population and refusing to comply. The uprising does not appear to slow down but has escalated further with the despotic Abiy regime setting up command posts – which are basically full-blown military command centers engaged in all kinds of unconstitutional violations; a state of emergency will most likely follow soon.
The path Abiy’s regime has taken is exactly the same as the previous dictatorial regime of the TPLF led Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).
It failed. Abiy’s regime shall share the same fate.
By Concerned Ethiopians – concernedethiopians.org