Africa and Aboriginal Tuesdays: Why Is Ethnic Self-Determination Becoming Selective? by Addis

Selective freedom is the order of current events and political developments in the Horn of Africa, maybe even all of Africa. In America, did they fight for the civil liberty of black Americans but not for Hispanic Americans? Did they forget about the rights of Women while struggling for the rights of minorities? But such selective freedom is at the heights of hypocrisy in African politics.

In the horn of Africa, we have countries that are helping for the self-determination to secession of ethnic groups inside other countries. Ironically, they themselves have a multi-ethnic society that deserves no less to have these same rights of ethnic self-determination. For instance, since we live in the horn of Africa, we can use the Eritrea-Ethiopia-Kenya examples. Many anti-Ethiopia politicians and “authors” everywhere try to appear advocates of freedom by demanding the rights to self determination of the Afar, Sidamo, Oromo etc inside Ethiopia.

These part time Martin Luther King aspirants of Africa show their hypocrisy by ignoring that almost all other African nations are just as diverse as Ethiopia with ethnicities equally deserving of self-determination up to secession. For instance, Kenya has more than 12 ethnicities. Historically privileged ethnic Gikuyu in Kenya are very similar to the historically privileged ethnic Amhara in Ethiopia. These groups are the glues holding these two nations together and all other ethnicities in Ethiopia (Oromo, Tigre, Sidama, Somali etc) have one time or another pursued self-determination as much as the ethnicities in Kenya (Kamba, Somali, Luhya, Borana etc) The same can be said about the ethnic Kunama, Beja, Afar and others living in Eritrea, with some of them already having armed liberation fronts to gain independence.

As we go to other parts of Africa, some countries have one ethnicity living even in much as FIVE COUNTRIES. In fact, this has contributed to the various armed movements around central Africa bringing endless wars and triggering more ethnic militia around the region. In all cases, we have leaders and politicians who want to appear like freedom fighters for the “liberation” of ethnic groups in OTHER countries but they have closed off and suppressed numerous ethnicities in their own country. Freedom itself is becoming discriminatory.

Africa has to choose one or the other because unless all African nations respect each other’s borders, economic development will never become meaningful and permanent. Break down all of Africa into ethnic nations. Or keep the current status quo around Africa. Break down all of African nations to create more than 500 mini-countries or keep it the way it is now! One can’t have both of them at the same time.

This writing was originally posted at Jimma Times by a blogger named Addis whose e-mail address Jimma Times is an independent daily news media outlet. It is a privately owned company bringing local, national and international news to people in Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Diaspora and to friends of Ethiopia worldwide. It also provides blogs, calendar to publicize special events as well as music section for new artists needing exposure and for updates on all current related stories.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007