Monday, June 30, 2008

IGAD Region Gets Chance of Peace Scholarships at Addis Ababa University

IGAD has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Addis Ababa University and the UN affiliated University of Peace, Africa office. The Addis Ababa University has opened an Institute of Peace and Security Studies whose implementing partner is the University of Peace Africa office. The institute is operational since the end of 2006 and is now training students in a Masters program of peace studies.

Tuesday, 01 July 2008
The objective of the MoU is to work together in capacity building in the IGAD region for Peace and sustainable development through promoting peace studies and related researches in the region. The collaboration program will specifically concern the admission of students from IGAD region for the Masters Degree program in peace and security studies offered by the Institute of Peace and Security Studies (IPSS) of the Addis Ababa University.

Based on the memorandum IPSS will waive the tuition fees for the program and IGAD provide subsistence allowance through the generous support of the GTZ. The scholarship program covers for two students from each member state. Based on the criteria of selection set by the institute the students will be nominated by their respective governments from among their civil servants involved in peace and related activities of the member state. IGAD and University of Peace together will support similar initiatives in member state academic institutions in the future.

Professor Mesfin Weldemariam Replies to Getachew Reda's Critique

በቅርቡ በአንድ ጋዜጣ ላይ ስለ ችጋር በተናገርኹት ላይ አንድ ስሙን የማላስታውሰው ሰው፣ ዛሬ ያለውን የገጠሩን ህዝብ የጥጋብ ኹኔታ ባለማወቄ አዝኖልኝ መልስ ሰጥቶ ነበር። ሰሞኑን በውጭ ቴሌቪዥኖች ከትግራይ እስከ ቦረና የተከሠተውን ችጋር በሚያሣቅቅ ኹኔታ ሲያሳዩን ነበር። ይህን በምጽፍበት ጊዜ ትግራይ ውስጥ ህዝቡ በቤተ ክርስቲያን ተሰብስቦ እግዚኦ እያለ ነው። አለማወቅ የሚባለው በኢትዮጵያ ቴሌቪዥን የሚባለውን ከሆነ ጸሐፊው ትክክል ነበር። ነገር ግን ችጋርን እና ሞትን መደበቅ በጣም አስቸጋሪ ነውና እያየነው ነው፤ ላስተዋለ ችጋር ያባረራቸውን በአዲስ አበባ መንገዶችም ላይ ያያቸዋል። ይህንን ለማንሣት የተገደድሁት «እየሮጡ የሚታጠቁት ፖለቲከኞችና የትም የማያደርሰው መንገዳቸው» በሚል በአቶ ጌታቸው ረዳ የተጻፈውን ሳነብ በጣም የሚቀራረብ ሀሳብና አስተሳሰብ ስላገኘሁበት ነው።

Getachew Reda Critiques the Political Opposition in Ethiopia

Click on the title to read a scan of the entire article that appeared in Addis Neger, the Amharic weekly.

FP's The Failed States Index 2008

July/August 2008
Whether it is an unexpected food crisis or a devastating hurricane, the world’s weakest states are the most exposed when crisis strikes. In the fourth annual Failed States Index, FOREIGN POLICY and The Fund for Peace rank the countries where state collapse may be just one disaster away.

hen troops opened fire in the streets of Mogadishu in early May, it was a tragically familiar scene in war-torn Somalia. Except on this day, soldiers weren’t fighting Islamist militias or warlords. They were combating a mob of tens of thousands rioting over soaring food prices.

On top of the country’s already colossal challenges, a food crisis seems an especially cruel turn for a place like Somalia. But it is a test that dozens of weak states are being forced to confront this year, with escalating prices threatening to undo years of poverty-alleviation and development efforts. The unrest in Mogadishu echoes food riots that have erupted on nearly every continent in the past year. Tens of thousands of Mexicans protested when the price of corn flour jumped 400 percent in early 2007. Thousands of Russian pensioners took to the streets in November to call for a return to price controls on milk and bread. In Egypt, the army was ordered to bake more loaves at military-run bakeries after riots broke out across the country. Kabul, Port-au-Prince, and Jakarta experienced angry protests over spikes in the price of staples.

But if few foretold the hunger and hardship that have followed the uptick in prices, the events of 2007 revealed that unexpected shocks can play a decisive role in the stability of an increasing number of vulnerable states. Primary among last year’s shocks was the implosion of the U.S. subprime market, which burst housing bubbles worldwide, slowed trade, and sent currencies into tailspins. A contested election in Kenya in December swiftly shredded any semblance of ethnic peace in a country that many had considered an African success story. And though Benazir Bhutto feared her own assassination upon returning to Pakistan, her murder reverberated in a country already contending with the challenges of ambitious mullahs, suicide bombers, and an all-powerful military.

These shocks are the sparks of state failure, events that further corrode the integrity of weak states and push those on the edge closer to combustion. As the food crisis has shown, these political and economic setbacks are not unique to the world’s most vulnerable countries. But weak states are weak precisely because they lack the resiliency to cope with unwelcome—and unpleasant—surprises. When a global economic downturn pinches the main export base, an election goes awry, or a natural disaster wipes out villages, the cracks of vulnerability open wider.

Because it is crucial to closely monitor weak states—their progress, their deterioration, and their ability to withstand challenges—the Fund for Peace, an independent research organization, and FOREIGN POLICY present the fourth annual Failed States Index. Using 12 social, economic, political, and military indicators, we ranked 177 states in order of their vulnerability to violent internal conflict and societal deterioration. To do so, we examined more than 30,000 publicly available sources, collected from May to December 2007, to form the basis of the index’s scores. The 60 most vulnerable states are listed in the rankings, and the full results are available at and

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Update Report No. 8: Ethiopia-Eritrea

Security Council Report

Expected Council Action

The Council is considering a resolution that would end the mandate of the UN Mission in Ethiopia-Eritrea (UNMEE) but there are divisions on whether to establish a military observer group, on the Ethiopian side of the border as a replacement or to ask the Secretary-General for specific recommendations to set up a new mission at a later date.

Key Developments and Background

The UNMEE mandate expires on 31 July but Council members are keen to act on the issue well in advance of the expiry date. A draft resolution, circulated by Belgium, would “terminate” UNMEE’s mandate with immediate effect but emphasise the continuation of the obligations of both parties under the 2000 Algiers agreement. The draft also proposes two options for the future:

deployment of a military UN Observer Mission for Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNOMEE), based in Ethiopia, until 31 December. Its mandate would be to report developments that could undermine the peace process promote confidence building measures and help mediate incidents along the border.
request ask the Secretary-General to draw up proposals for a future UN presence.
Eritrea, in a letter on 18 June from President Isaias Afwerki, said the only issue was Ethiopian withdrawal from its territories, adding that the UN cannot have legal authority to legitimise occupation.” Ethiopian Minister Meles Zenawi, in a 17 June letter, said Ethiopia was open to a UN presence, providing it did not imply or signify a “continuation whatsoever of UNMEE under a new arrangement.” He said he doubted anyone “would quarrel with the idea that this whole episode has not been exactly edifying for the Council.” It seems that Ethiopia prefers two separate resolutions.

UNMEE was established pursuant to the Algiers Ceasefire Agreement which ended the 1998-2000 Ethiopian-Eritrean border war in which tens of thousands were killed.

In November 2007, the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission (also established under the Algiers Agreement) dissolved itself, having delineated a “virtual” border in 2002. But it was unable to demarcate the frontier on the ground because Ethiopia rejected the binding ruling that the disputed town of Badme should go to Eritrea. Eritrea subsequently blamed the United Nations for not enforcing the Commission’s decisions.

In violation of the Algiers Agreement, Eritrea moved troops into the buffer zone, called the Temporary Security Zone. Ethiopia carried out exercises in areas adjacent to the 25 kilometre-wide zone. Asmara placed severe restrictions on the movement of UNMEE and in late 2007 cut fuel supplies for the peacekeepers. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in February relocated UNMEE troops out of Eritrea. Some remaining military personnel were relocated to Ethiopia.

In a report to the Council on 7 April, the Secretary-General presented several options. These included an observer mission in the border area, liaison offices in Asmara and Addis, or termination of the mandate. He warned, however, that the complete withdrawal of UNMEE could risk a resumption “of open hostilities”. On 30 April, the Council in a statement said Eritrea’s “obstructions” of UNMEE had undermined the basis for the UN mission, and urged both countries to refrain from threatening to use force against each other.

Key Issues

The underlying issue is the risk of resumed warfare between the two nations. The border dispute has progressively widened with conflict spilling over into Sudan, Somalia and very recently Djibouti—which serves as the main port for Ethiopian goods. (On 10 June, conflict erupted between Djibouti and Eritrea on the Red Sea shores. Djibouti reported at least 12 of its soldiers dead and 55 wounded. The Council issued a statement on 12 June condemning Eritrea’s military action and urging both parties to resolve the dispute peacefully.)

Immediate issues include whether to simply terminate UNMEE or whether to look at a range of measures to resolve the underlying problem.


The Council could press Ethiopia to accept the boundary commission decision by imposing sanctions. But this is unlikely. The Council could simply establish a UN buffer group of observers. Alternatively it could go further and begin to address the physical border demarcation issues and promote a dialogue between the two countries.

Council Dynamics

Council members seem equally divided between those favouring a military observer presence and those seeking a more far reaching strategy to address the underlying problems. Some are concerned that a failure to address the underlying issues will be interpreted as taking Ethiopia’s side.

AU sends team to probe Eritrea-Djibouti clashes


Fri 27 Jun 2008

SHARM EL SHEIKH, Egypt, June 27 (Reuters) - The African Union has sent a team to investigate fighting this month between Djibouti and Eritrea close to strategic Red Sea shipping lanes, the top AU diplomat said on Friday.

Djibouti accuses neighbouring Eritrea of moving troops across the border, triggering several days of fighting that killed a dozen Djiboutian soldiers and wounded dozens. Eritrea denies making any incursions.

Addressing African Union foreign ministers meeting in Egypt, the chairman of the AU Commission, Jean Ping, said he was concerned by the hostilities.

“I have sent a fact-finding mission to Djibouti that is also mandated to go to Eritrea as well,” Ping said. “I hope both parties will do everything to find a happy solution to this situation.”

The U.N. Security Council has also called for a U.N. fact-finding mission to visit both countries.

France has one of its largest overseas military bases in Djibouti. The United States also has a military base there.

Last week, Djibouti said the situation on the border had calmed, but that French warships would arrive off its coast soon. Paris signed a mutual defence pact with Djibouti after the Red Sea state’s independence in 1977.

At UN, Djibouti Admits French Copter Flights, Blames Eritrea for Shoot-outs, Distributes Photos

Inner City Press, NY

At UN, Djibouti Admits French Copter Flights, Blames Eritrea for Shoot-outs, Distributes Photos

June 24, 2008

Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 24 — The standoff between Djibouti and Eritrea was explained, at least by Djibouti, on Tuesday. Foreign Minister Mahamoud Ali Youssouf said Eritrea’s motive is to gain control of a military position and associated waterway at Doumeira. While advancing on the position, according to Youssouf, scores of Eritrean soldiers deserted. That, he said, was when the shooting started on June 10, implying that Eritrea fired at its own defecting troops. Djibouti responded, and soon there were deaths and captured soldiers on both sides.

Inner City Press asked Minister Youssouf about Eritrea’s claim that French helicopters landed on or near its territory, and that an Eritrean speedboat was recently sunk, allegedly by non-Djiboutian forces. To his credit, Youssouf did not dodge these questions. Video here. He acknowledged that a French helicopter had carried him, his President and Prime Minister Dileita Mohamed Dileita to the disputed area, so they could see for themselves. He agreed that an Eritrean speedboat was recently sunk, but said that Djibouti itself has been responsible. He said that a Velo-bound, hundred-some page pamphlet prepared for submission to the Security Council on Tuesday afternoon contained proof and even photos of all this.

Inner City Press obtained a copy of the pamphlet, which strangely is dated February 2008, before the conflict at issue. The timeline inside, however, contains Djibouti’s version of events, sometimes by the hour. On June 10 at 12:30, “the Eritrean troops opened fire to stop (”empecher”) their soldiers from deserting,” the Djiboutian presentation says. At 6:40 p.m., “the hour of prayer,” the Eritreans again opened fire, the pamphlet continues.

What is Eritrea’s side of the story? It appears that Eritrea will not make a presentation to the Council on Tuesday afternoon. To the President of Yemen, Ali Abdallah Salih, Eritrea has called the conflict a “fabrication,” and has blamed it on the United States. There are reports that the U.S. plans a second base in Djibouti, closer to Eritrean territory.

Inner City Press asked Minister Youssouf how much of the conflict may spring from Djibouti having hosted Somali talks between the Transitional Federal Government and portions of the Alliance to Re-liberate Somalia which have since left Asmara. Youssouf acknowledged some connection or effect, speculating that Eritrea is against peace in Somalia because it wants Ethiopian troops to have to remain there. Since Eritrea has not held a UN press conference, we must look elsewhere their views. According to reports, they have said there’d be peace if Djibouti “takes its hands off the affairs of the Somali opposition, and if the U.S. pressures Ethiopia to vacate Eritrean territories based on the ruling of the Eritrea-Ethiopia Boundary Commission.”

Djibouti is putting the matter before the Security Council, supported by France and the U.S.. Who speaks for Eritrea in this process is not clear.

The Horn of Africa: A Peace and Conflict Perspective

Alemayehu Fentaw

29 June 2008

Stadtschlaining, Austria

The Horn of Africa: A Peace and Conflict Perspective

Diagnosis: The term ‘the Horn of Arica’ refers to the region containing the countries of Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, and Somalia. As such, it covers approximately 2,000,000 square kilometers and is inhabited by about 90.2 million people (Ethiopia: 80 million, Somalia: 10 million, Eritrea: 4.5 million, and Djibouti: 0.7 million). The Horn of Africa is a region continuously in crisis. Ethiopia occupies a predominant position in the Horn because of its demographic importance: about 85% of the area's population lives in this country. Yet Ethiopia's history is largely marked by conflicts between ethnonational groups for resources, as well as between center and periphery in the country’s recent past for political power. The rest of the region also faces continuous wars: a civil war erupted in Somalia in 1986, resulting in the country having had no functioning national government since 1991.

The political conditions are not conducive to the non-violent resolution of the region’s conflicts, and indeed that the progress made in some countries is extremely fragile. The year 2006-08 has seen a succession of crises in the Horn, beginning with the Islamist takeover of Mogadishu and the subsequent Ethio-American invasion. Somalia’s Mbgathi peace process produced a Transitional Federal Government (TFG) that was supposed to establish a transitional government and administration based in Mogadishu. The TFG still exists and is recognized as the government of Somalia in the region. But it has proved quite unable to establish its authority inside Somalia. When the Islamic Courts took control of Mogadishu in 2006, Ethiopia decided to install the TFG by force for two legitimate reasons: on the one hand she was invited by the TFG and on the other hand, she had security reasons as long the UIC forces and the ONLF have been supported by Eritrean government. Since then Mogadishu has been in the grip of a powerful insurgency, part anti-Ethiopian, part Islamist, directed against the TFG and its Ethiopian sponsors. An undersized African Union peacekeeping force is helplessly caught in the middle. Moreover, the Eritrean military invaded the Ras Doumeira region in northern Djibouti on June 10,2008 and fighting broke out afterwards. The move seemed to fit with Eritrea's less-than-neighborly relations with just about all of its neighbors. In the 1990s, Eritrea clashed with Yemen over the Hanish Islands in the Red Sea; battled Sudan-backed rebels on its western frontier; and fought Ethiopia, the second most populous country in sub-Saharan Africa, over a little border town called Badme. That conflict killed 100,000 people and is still not resolved. There are renewed threats of war, as both Ethiopia and Eritrea are mobilizing their armies between their borders after the UNMEE was forced to leave out of Eritrea, despite the Algiers Agreement of December 2000. In sum, the prevalence of identity politics, and processes of state formation, and undelimited borders, are identified as common structural features of conflict in the region.

Prognosis: Wishing the problem away does not pay. Since the horn is one of the most fragile regions in the world, the relative in/stability will deteriorate through time and brutal inter-state conflicts and civil wars will occur. The situation will be regrettably hopeless if left alone.

Therapy: First and foremost, Ethiopia must withdraw its forces from Somalia consequent on its replacement by the AMISOL. Then, she and the US must undertake a reconciliation process as well as help in the reconstruction and rebuilding process. With respect to the Eritrea-Ethiopia border conflict, the Eritrean government should be encouraged by the international community to break the stalemate and begin to negotiate with Ethiopia, given that Ethiopia respects the Border Commission’s decision, to be followed by normalization of relationships between the two fraternal States. Besides, Eritrea must withdraw its forces from Djiboutian territory and be willing to settle their border dispute amicably. Second, a framework must be put in place with a view to bringing about regional integration that could permit the relaxation of strict boundary demarcations, allowing freedom of movement and interaction between peoples. This could reduce the pressure for the creation of new independent states by disaffected groups, since there would be a new regional forum to redress their grievances or address their interests and rights without their being forced to resort to secession. In this regard, the Coal and Steel approach of the EU is commendable. The fact that the Sudan is an oil exporting country is beginning to transform its relations with its neighbours, esp. Ethiopia. Thus, the presumption here is that economic cooperation leads to regional integration. One political arrangement that allows regional integration and freedom of movement is confederation and another is federation. Therefore, I recommend that the various states of the region come together, transcend their obstacles and competitions beyond economic cooperation to form one political community, viz., a confederation initially and, eventually, a federation. Finally, it has to be borne in mind that there is a need for a two-track approach: democratization and economic cooperation. The assumption here is that democratic institutions leave room for non-violent conflict resolution.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Five Steps to Sustainable Governance in Africa

June 27, 2008
Paul Collier, a professor of economics at Oxford University and the author of The Bottom Billion, discusses policy options for helping the poorest countries in Africa. He says "there are severe limits on what we as outsiders can do," but suggests the United States should work on developing a set of international guidelines for natural resource management. He goes on to outline five steps to put African nations on a path toward better internal management of resource wealth. He is deeply concerned about the current food crisis and advocates that the United States should eliminate biofuels subsidies and that the European Union should get rid of its ban on genetically modified crops.

Security Council Calls for UN Fact-Finding Team to Visit Djibouti Border

UN News Service (New York)

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25 June 2008

The Security Council has called on Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to send a fact-finding mission to the border between Djibouti and Eritrea, where several days of fighting earlier this month led to several deaths and dozens of wounded.

Council members also reiterated their call to the two countries, especially Eritrea, to withdraw their forces to the status quo, according to a statement to the press read out late yesterday by Ambassador Alejandro D. Wolff of the United States, which holds the rotating Council presidency this month.

In the statement the Council also voiced regret that Eritrea has not answered the calls it made in a presidential statement on 12 June, in which the 15-member panel urged maximum restraint and cooperation with diplomatic efforts to resolve the matter peacefully.

See the entire article here:

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The surprise result of Prospect Megazine's world's Top 100 Public Intellectuals poll

In the poll to find the world’s top public intellectual, over half a million people voted . When Prospect and Foreign Policy drew up the list of the world’s top 100 public intellectuals a few weeks ago, no one expected a Turkish Sufi cleric, barely known in the west, to sweep a victory. Nor did anybody expect every name in the top ten would be from a Muslim background. Noam Chomsky, who won the last poll in 2005, led the west in 11th place this time
You can see the entire list at:

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

The Reporter Interview with Alemayehu Fentaw

In an interview with the Reporter, the Amharic private bi-weekly, Alemayehu Fentaw talks about federalism, democratization, and the role of political parties in the country as well as ethnic animosity in Ethiopian institutions of higher learning.

The Reporter
Wednesday, 16 January 2008
Addis Ababa

"መንግሥት ወታደሩ በመፈንቅለ መንግሥት ያስወግደው እንደሆነ እንጂ የተቃዋሚ ፓርቲዎች አሸንፈው ስልጣን አይዙም"
አቶ አለማየሁ ፋንታው

የኢፌዲሪ ህገ መንግሥት አንቀፅ 8(1) "የኢትዮጵያ ብሔሮች ብሔረሰቦች ሕዝቦች የኢትዮጵያ ሉዓላዊ ሥልጣን ባለቤቶች ናቸው፡፡" ማለቱ አንቀፅ 39(1) ማንኛውም የኢትዮጵያ ብሔር ብሔረሰብ ሕዝብ የራሱን ዕድል በራሱ የመወሰን እስከ መገንጠል ያለው መብቱ በማናቸውም መልኩ ያለገደብ የተጠበቀ ነው" መባሉንና አንቀፅ 34(5) "የግል እና የቤተሰብ ሕግን በተመለከተ በተከራካሪዎች ፈቃድ በሃይማኖቶች ወይም በባሕሎች ሕጎች መሠረት መዳኘትን አይከለከልም" መባሉ ህጋዊ መድብለ ብዙሃን ስርዓት ከፌዴራሊዝም ጋር የጠበቀ ግንኙነት እንዳለው ያሳያል፡፡

ሆኖም የፌዴራሉ መንግሥት በትክክል በሙሉ ሀይሉ የተዋቀረ ሲሆን ዘጠኙ የክልል መንግሥታት ግን ዛሬም ከ13 ዓመታት በኋላ እየተሰሩ ነው፡፡ አንቀፅ 50(5) "የክልል ምክር ቤት በክልሉ ሥልጣን ስር በሆኑ ጉዳዮች የክልሉ የሕግ አውጪ አካል ነው፡፡ ይህንን ሕገ መንግሥት መሠረት በማድረግ የክልሉን ሕገ መንግሥት ያዘጋጃል ያፀድቃል ያሻሽላል፡፡" የሚል በመሆኑ ሁሉም ክልሎች ህገ መንግሥት አላቸው፡፡ ህገ መንግሥታቸው ከኢፌዲሪ ህገ መንግሥት ብዙም የተለየ ካለመሆኑም ባሻገር ክልሎች በህገ መንግሥት ትርጉም ያላቸውን ቀጥተኛ ያልሆነ ስልጣን ይቅርና በግልፅ የተቀመጠውንም ስልጣን ተግባራዊ እያደረጉት አይደለም፡፡ ፌዴራላዊ ስርዓት ከወረቀቱ ላይ እንዳለው በተግባር አያምርም፡፡ በኃይልስላሴ አስተዳደርና በወታደራዊው መንግሥት ላይ ይደርሱ የነበሩ ጫናዎችና የሕዝብ ጥያቄዎች በሕዝብ ተወካዮች ካውንስል አማካኝነት በረቀቀው የኢፌዲሪ ሕገ መንግሥት ረገብ ቢሉም አሁን በሕግ ማዕቀፉ ላይ የሚነሱ ጥያቄዎች በርካታ ናቸው፡፡

አቶ አለማየሁ ፋንታው በጅማ ዩኒቨርሲቲ የህግ ፋኩልቲ አስተማሪ ሲሆኑ የዩኒቨርሲቲው የህግ መፅሄት ምክትል ዋና አዘጋጅ ናቸው፡፡ የህትመትና ምርምር ተቋሙ ተጠሪ ናቸው፡፡ በቅርቡ ለህትመት በበቃው መፅሄት በብሔር ብሔረሰቦች (ክልሎች) የህግ መድብለ ብዙሃን ስርዓት ግንባታ ላይ ጥናታዊ ፅሁፋቸውን አቅርበዋል፡፡ እኛም በዚህና በሌሎች የክልሎች ራስን በራስ የማስተዳደር መብትና በተግባር እየታዩ ስላሉ አንዳንድ ችግሮች ዙሪያ አነጋግረናቸዋል፡፡

ሪፖርተር፡- ህጉና ፖለቲካው በተጣጣመ መልኩ እየተጓዙ ነው? ብዙ አካሎች ጥርጣሬ አላቸው፡፡

አቶ አለማየሁ፡- የህብረ ብሔራዊ ፌዴራሊዝሙን ስኬትና ውድቀት ለመመልከት ሁለት ነገሮችን ማዬት አለብን፡፡ በመጀመሪያ የህግ ማዕቀፉ ምን ይመስላል? የክልሎች ሚና ምንድን ነው? የፌዴራሉ ማዕከላዊ መንግሥት ያለው ሚና ምንድን ነው? የስልጣን ክፍፍሉ ምን ይመስላል? የገቢ ማሰባሰብ ክፍፍል ምን ይመስላል? ያለው የልማት አጋጣሚ ክፍፍል ምን ይመስላል? ለሚሉት ጥያቄዎች የህገ መንግሥቱ አንቀፆች ምን እንደሚል ከመመልከት ነው፡፡ ሁለተኛው ነጥብ ህገ መንግሥቱ እንዴት እየተተረጎመ ነው? የሚለው ጥያቄ ነው፡፡ ለመጀመሪያው ጥያቄ የህግ መልስ ለሁለተኛው ጥያቄ የፖለቲካ መልስ ነው የሚያሻው፡፡ ህገ መንግሥቱ የፌዴራል ስርዓት እሴቶች ከመያዝ አኳያ አንኳር የሆነ ችግር የለበትም፡፡ ምናልባት አንዳንድ ግልፅ ያልሆኑና ያልጎሉ ነገሮችን ልናይ እንችላለን፡፡ ይህ ወደፊት የሚዳብር ነው የሚመስለኝ፡፡ የፌዴሬሽን ምክር ቤት ህገ መንግሥቱን በመተርጎም ሊሻሻል የሚችል ነው፡፡ የመገንጠል መብትን የያዘች አገር በዓለም ላይ ኢትዮጵያ ብቻ ትሁን እንጂ ቀደም ብሎ ዩጎዝላቪያና ሶቭዬት ኅብረት በህገ መንግሥታቸው አካተውት ነበር፡፡ የኢትዮጵያን ለየት የሚያደርገው የመገንጠል መብትን ከመድብለ ፓርቲ ስርዓት ጋር አዳብላ በመያዟ ነው፡፡ የመድብለ ፓርቲ ስርዓቱ ምን ያህል ውጤታማ ነው? በምንልበት ጊዜ የኢህአዴግ አባል ድርጅቶችና አጋር ድርጅቶች ናቸው በክልልም ሆነ በፌዴራል መንግሥት አብላጫ መቀመጫ ያላቸው እስካሁን፡፡ ስለዚህ በመድብለ ፓርቲ ስርዓት ውስጥ የአንድ ፓርቲ ፍፁም አብላጫ የሚስተዋል በመሆኑና በፌዴራል ስርዓት አሀዳዊ የሚመስል የመአከላዊ መንግሥት እንቅስቃሴ የጎላበት ከመሆኑ አንፃር የህገ መንግሥቱ የ13 ዓመት ውድቀት ነው፡፡ የፌዴራል ስርዓቱን እንዲቀጥል የምናደርገው እንዴት ነው? ስርዓቱ አሀዳዊ ከመምሰል ወጥቶ መድብለ ፓርቲ ስርዓት መቼ ነው በትክክል የሚሠራው? የመድብለ ፓርቲ ስርዓት ካልዳበረና በዚሁ አሀዳዊ መሰል እንቅስቃሴ ከቀጠልን የፌዴራል ስርዓቱን ለማቆየትም እንቸገራለን፡፡

ሪፖርተር፡- የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች ለመድብለ ፓርቲ ስርዓቱ መዳበር ያደረጉት አስተዋፅኦ?

አቶ አለማየሁ፡- ዴሞክራሲ ከቆመባቸው መሠረታዊ አእማዶች አንዱ የመድብለ ፓርቲ ስርዓት መጐልበት ነው፡፡ ለዚህ ክፍት የሆኑ የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች ያስፈልጋሉ፡፡ ደረቅ "እኔ አውቅልሀለሁ" የሚሉ ፓርቲዎች አያስፈልጉትም፡፡ የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች አካሄድ የፌዴራል ስርዓቱን ለመጠበቅና የብሔር ብሐረሰቦችንና የክልሎችን መብት የማስከበር ሂደቱን ከማፍጠን አልያም ከማጓተት አኳያ የሚጫወቱት ሚና ላቅ ያለ ነው፡፡ ፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎቻችን ጠንካራ ተፎካካሪ ሊሆኑ በሳል አመለካከትና አጀንዳ ሊይዙ ይገባል፡፡ ያለመታደል ሆኖ እንዲህ ዓይነት የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች በጣት የሚቆጠሩና አንዳንዴም የሉም የሚባልበት ደረጃ ይደርሳሉ፡፡ ብዙዎቹ እንደ ብርጭቆ ተሰባሪ ናቸው፡፡ አንድን ምርጫ እንኳን አይሻገሩም፡፡ ከመንግሥት ጫና ይልቅ ከራሳቸው በመነጨ ችግር ነው የሚከስሙት፡፡ የሁሉም ብሔር ብሔረሰብና ክልል መብት እንዲጠበቅ አዳዲስና ጠንካራ የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች መደራጀት፣ ያሉትም ራሳቸውን መፈተሽ መንግሥትም ያለጫና ተወዳድሮ የሚያሸንፍ መሆን አለበት፡፡ የአሜሪካ ህገ መንግሥት ፊላደልፊያ ላይ ሲፀድቅ ሙሉ አልነበረም፡፡ ህብረተሰቡ፣ ፍ/ቤቶች ፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎችና ዴሞክራሲያዊ ተቋሞች ናቸው በሂደት ያዳበሩት፡፡ በየጊዜው ወደ ኋላ ከመመለስ የብሔር ብሔረሰቦችን መብት ያካተተውን ህገ መንግሥት ማስተካከያዎችንና ማሻሻያዎችን በማከል ዘላቂና ሁሉን የሚያስማማ በማድረግ ላይ ልናተኩር ይገባናል፡፡ ሁሌም ከዜሮ መጀመር ለእድገት ፀር ነው፡፡ የፖለቲካ ጨዋታ ህጉን በመከተል መከናወን አለበት፡፡ ህጎቹ የሚዳብሩበትን መንገድ በፖሊሲ፣ ስትራቴጂና የሃሳብ መለዋወጫ ፎረም ላይ በመሳተፍ ሁሉም የራሱን ሚና መጫወት አለበት፡፡ ፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎችም የሕዝቡን አመለካከት በመቅረፅ በኩል አማራጭ የተጠኑ አሰራሮችን በማሳዬት መወትወትና ጫና ማሳደር መቻል አለባቸው፡፡ ምርጫ በመጣ ቁጥር ሆሆታ ከመፍጠር በቋሚነት ሕዝብን ማገልገልና አማራጭ መፍጠር መቻል አለባቸው፡፡ አለዚያ የፌዴራል ስርዓቱ ላይዘልቅ ሁሉ ይችላል፡፡ ምናልባት የፌዴራል መንግሥቱን ሲደክም ወታደሩ በመፈንቅለ መንግሥት ያስወግደው እንደሆነ እንጂ የተቃዋሚ ፓርቲዎች አሸንፈው ስልጣን አይዙም፡፡ እናም መልሰን ወደ አምባገነናዊ ስርዓት እንገባለን፡፡ ወታደሩ ደግሞ የብሔር ጥያቄን በአግባቡ ስለማይመልስ እርስ በርስ ተበላልቶ ኢትዮጵያ ትጠፋለች፡፡ ስለዚህ ራዕይና ተስፋ ሰንቀው መታገል አለባቸው፡፡

ሪፖርተር፡- የተቃዋሚ ፓርቲዎች የፌዴሬሽን ምክር ቤት ንቁ የህገ መንግሥት መተርጎም እንቅስቃሴ ተሳታፊ ባለመሆኑ መንግሥት እንደፈለገ ህገ መንግሥቱን እየተረጎመው እና ስልጣንን በማዕከላዊነት እያከማቸ ነው በማለት ይወቅሳሉ፡፡ የዳኝነት አካሉንና የምርጫ ቦርድን ገለልተኛነትም በጥርጣሬ ነው የሚያዩት፡፡ ይህ አደገኛ አዝማሚያ በመሆኑ ችግሩ ምንድን ነው? መፍትሄውስ?

አቶ አለማየሁ፡- ህገ መንግሥቱ የዳኝነት አካሉም ሆነ የምርጫ ቦርድ ነፃና ገለልተኛ እንደሆነ በግልፅ ያስቀምጣል፡፡ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ የጠቆሙትና የሕዝብ ተወካይ ምክር ቤት ያፀደቀውን ቦርድ ነፃ አይደለም የምንለው ኢህአዴግ ገዥ ፓርቲ በመሆኑ ነው፡፡ ከመርህ አንፃር የተሳሳተ ነገር የለም፡፡ ተቃዋሚው ፓርቲ ሲያሸንፍ ያለ ችግር የሚሰራበት ስርዓት ተዘርግቷል፡፡ ተቋማዊና ግለሰባዊ ነፃነቱ በህግ ድጋፍ አለው፡፡ ለፖለቲካዊ ተግባራዊነቱ ሁላችንም ልንሰራበት ይገባል፡፡ ጥያቄው ገዥው ፓርቲ ያለውን የመንግሥት ተቋም በሙሉ የሚሽከረከር ነው፡፡ የዳኝነት አካሉንና ምርጫ ቦርድንስ ጫና ያደርግባቸዋል ወይ? የሚል ነው፡፡ ይህ ደግሞ ሊፈታ የሚችለው በህጉ ውስጥ መሻሻያ በማምጣት ሳይሆን ተወዳድሮ በማሸነፍ ተግባራዊ በማድረጉ ላይ ነው፡፡

ሪፖርተር፡- ክልሎች የተሰጣቸውን ስልጣን የመጠቀም ችግር እንዳለባቸው በቅርቡ ባሳተሙት አንድ ጥናት ጠቁመዋል፡፡ ክልሎች ይህን ስልጣናቸውን የመጠየቅ ችግር የፌዴራል ማዕከላዊ መንግሥት ያን የሚያፋጥኑ የዴሞክራሲ ተቋሞችን ካለመመስረቱና ካለመስፋፋቱ ጋር እንዴት ይታያል?

አቶ አለማየሁ፡- የስልጣን ክፍፍሉን ስንመለከት ለክልሎች ለምሳሌ ህግ የማውጣት ስልጣንን ብንመለከት ህገ መንግሥቱ ቀላል የማይባል ስልጣን ሰጥቷል፡፡ ዋና ዋናዎቹ በርግጥ ለፌዴራሉ ማዕከላዊ መንግሥት ነው የተሰጡት፡፡ የህገ መንግሥቱ አንቀፅ 52 በግልፅ ከተዘረዘሩት የፌዴራል መንግሥት ስልጣን ውጭ የተቀሩት ለክልሎች እንደተተወ ይደነግጋል፡፡ ይህን ያልተወሰነ ሰፊ ስልጣን ተግባራዊ ሊያደርጉት ይገባል፡፡ የብሔር ብሔረሰቦችና የክልሎች መብት የሚጠበቀውም በሚፈጥሩት የራሳቸው ልዩ ቋንቋ፣ ባህልና ፖለቲካዊና ኢኮኖሚያዊ ስርዓት ግምት ውስጥ የገባበት ህግ አውጭ፣ አስፈፃሚና ተርጓሚ አካል ሲኖራቸው ነው፡፡ ክልሎቹ እስካሁን የቤተሰብ ህግ ብቻ ነው ያወጡት፡፡ የወንጀል ህግ ማውጣት ይችላሉ ግን አላደረጉትም፡፡ እርግጥ የክልሎች ህገ መንግሥት አለ፡፡ በአሜሪካ ለምሳሌ የ3 ክልሎች ህገ መንግሥት የፌዴራሉን ህገ መንግሥት ይቀድማል፡፡ የክልል ህግ አውጭዎች ከራሳቸው ከሚመነጩ ጉዳዮች ላይ ስልጣን አላቸው፡፡ ከፌዴራል መንግሥቱም በላይ ለዜጎቻቸው መብት መስጠት ይችላሉ፡፡ መብትና ጥበቃዎቹ ከፌዴራል መንግሥቱ ጋር ተመሳሳይ ናቸው ማለት ድግግሞሽ ናቸው ማለት አይደለም፡፡ የፌዴራል መንግሥቱ ዝቅተኛውንና ከዚያ መውረድ የማይቻልበትን ስርዓት ነው የሚያስቀምጠው፡፡ የወንጀለኛ ህግ ስነ ስርዓት ህግ ማውጣት መብቱ እንዳላቸው በህገ መንግሥታዊ ትርጉም የተሰጠ ነው፡፡ በአጠቃላይ ብዙ ስልጣናቸውን ያለመጠቀም ነገር አለ፡፡ የፌዴራል መንግሥቱ ከቅርብ ጊዜ ወዲህ እየመሰረተና እያስፋፋ ያለው የዴሞክራሲ ተቋም ስልጣናቸውን እንዲጠቀሙ የሚያበረታታ እንደሚሆን አስባለሁ፡፡

ሪፖርተር፡- ለኦሮሞ፣ አማራና ትግራይ ብሔር ግጭት ለስልጣን ከሚደረግ ሽኩቻ ውጭ ሌላ መሠረት አለው? የእነዚሁ ብሔር የዩኒቨርሲቲ ተማሪዎችስ ግጭት መንስኤው ምንድን ነው?

አቶ አለማየሁ፡- በአብዛኛው ፖለቲካ እንቅስቃሴ የሚጀመረው ዩኒቨርሲቲ አካባቢ ነው፡፡ ተማሪዎቹ ምክንያታዊ ያለመሆንና ግብታዊነት ያጠቃቸዋል፡፡ አብዛኛው ከስነ አመንክዶ ወጣ የማለት ነገር አለ፡፡ የ1960ዎቹን የተማሪዎች እንቅስቃሴ፣ ከጥቂት ዓመታት በፊት ደግሞ በአዲስ አበባ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ተማሪ ሁኜ አይቸው የነበሩትን ሁኔታዎች አሁን በማስተምርበት የጅማ ዩኒቨርሲቲ የሚነሳውን ግጭት በማይበት ጊዜ በአንፃራዊነት አሁን አገራዊ አጀንዳ አይደለም የሚያጋጫቸው፡፡ በውይይት የሚፈታ ትንሽ ችግር ነው ወደ ግጭት እየወሰዳቸው ያለው፡፡ በ1960ዎቹ እነዋለልኝ መኮንን ይጋጩበት የነበረው የመሬት ጥያቄ አይነት ነገር ዛሬ የለም፡፡ የማንነት ጥያቄም ሲነሳ አላየሁም የስርዓት ግንባታ ጥያቄ፣ (የህግ ማዕቀፍ"፣ የመሬት ጥያቄ፣ የብሔር ብሔረሰቦች መብት ይከበር ጥያቄ አሁን ተመልሷል፡፡ አዲስ ጥያቄ አላየሁም፡፡ አንድ ጥያቄ ማስታወስ ካለብኝ የፌዴራል ፖሊስ ካምፓስ መግባት የለበትም በማለት ያነሱት ተገቢ ጥያቄ ነው፡፡ ከዛ ውጭ ተማሪው አዲስ ሀገራዊ አጀንዳ የሕዝብ ስሜት ሰምቶ እንደ በፊቱ መታገል ሳይሆን የሌላ ፓለቲካ ፓርቲ ወይም ውጫዊ አካል መጫወቻ ሲሆን ነው የምንመለከተው፡፡ በቅርቡ እንኳን በጅማና በአርባ ምንጭ ዩኒቨርሲቲዎች የተነሱት የብሔር ግጭቶች በህገ መንግሥቱ ማዕቀፍ ውስጥ መፍትሔ ያልተሰጣቸው ጥያቄዎችን ያነሳ አይደለም፡፡

ሪፖርተር፡- ተማሪዎቹ ራስን በራስ የማስተዳደር ነፃነት ላይ ጥያቄ ያነሱበት አጋጣሚ አለ፡፡ በህገ መንግሥቱ እንደተቀመጠው ሁሉም ብሔሮች በእኩል አይን አይስተናጋዱም ይላሉ፡፡ የፌዴራል ስርዓቱንም ሕወሓት በበላይነት እየመራው ነው በማለት ተቃውሞ መነሳቱ በኦሮሞ አማራና ትግራይ ብሔርና ዜጎችን በጥርጣሬ እንዲተያዩ በር ከፍቷል፡፡ ይህን እንዴት ማስወገድ ይቻላል?

አቶ አለማየሁ፡- የኢህአዴግ አባል ድርጅቶች ያላቸው እርስ በርስ ግንኙነት እና ሁኔታ የአሻንጉሊት ገፅታ ያለው ነው የሚመስለው፡፡ በ1993 ዓ.ም ኢህአዴግ ከፍተኛ ቀውስ ውስጥ የገባበት ዓመት ነበር፡፡ ያ ቀውስ አራቱ አባልና አምስቱ አጋር ክልሎች የራሳቸውን ህገ መንግሥት እንዲከልሱ አስችሏቸዋል፡፡ የሕወሓት የበላይነት ሊያሳስብ የሚገባው የፓርቲዎቹን አባላት እንጂ ሌላ ማንንም ሊሆን አይችልም፡፡ እየተጋጩ ያሉት የዩኒቨርሲቲ ተማሪዎች የእነዚህ አባልና አጋር ድርጅቶች አባላት ከሆኑ ይህ ጉዳይ የሚነሳው ዩኒቨርሲቲ ውስጥ አይደለም፡፡ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ከማንኛውም የፖለቲካም ሆነ የሀይማኖት ተፅዕኖ የፀዳ ነው፡፡ የአንድ የፖለቲካ ፓርቲ የውስጥ ጉዳይ ለማስተናገድ ዩኒቨርሲቲ አግባብ ያለው ቦታ አይደለም፡፡

ሪፖርተር፡- አማራውን የአለፈውን የበላይነቱን ለመመለስ እንደሚጥር፣ ኦሮሞውን መገንጠል የሚፈልገና በኢትዮጵያዊነት የማያምን፣ ትግራዩን ለገዥው ፓርቲ ፍላጎት ማርኪያ መሳሪያ እንደሆነ አድርጎ ማሰብ እንዲሁም አንዱ ከሳሽ ሌላኛው ተከሳሽ መሆኑ አደገኛ አዝማሚያ ነው፡፡ ይህ ዓይነት አስተሳሰብ በእንጭጩ እንዲገታ ምን መደረግ አለበት?

አቶ አለማየሁ፡- የዩኒቨርሲቲ ተማሪ ከማህበረሰቡ ሊቀድምና ማህበረሰቡን ሊያስተምር ለማህበረሰቡ መብትና ነፃነት መታገል የነበረበት ወገን ነው፡ አሁን የምናየው ግን ማህበረሰቡ ነው ተማሪውን ከፊት እየገፋው ያለው፡፡ የሚወደውና የሚግባባውን ጓደኛውን እንዴት ትናንት በታሪክ ተፈጥሮ በነበረ ጤናማ ያልሆነ የብሔር ግንኙነት የተነሳ ብሔሩን መዞ እጁን ይሰነዝርበታል? ይሄ ትግልም ትክክለኛ የዜግነት ስሜትም አይደለም፡፡ የዩኒቨርሲቲ ተማሪዎች ስሜታዊነት ያጠቃቸዋል የሚባለው ለዚህ ነው፡፡ መገንጠልም ቢሆን በህጉ ማዕቀፍ ውስጥ እስከተከናወነ ድረስ በእኛ ስርዓት መብት ነው፡፡ የትግራይ ተማሪም ከሌላው ብሔር ብሔረሰብ የተለዬ ጥቅም አያገኝም፡፡ ይህ የመቻቻል ፖለቲካ በሀገራችን ያለው ደረጃ ዝቅተኛ ከመሆኑ የመነጨ ነው፡፡ መንግሥት በተጠና መልኩ ይህን አደገኛ አዝማሚያ ለመግታት ሊሠራ ይገባዋል፡፡ ይህ ግን መሠራት ያለበት ለጥናትና ምርምር በሚውሉት የዩኒቨርሲቲ ቅጥር ግቢ ሳይሆን የፖለቲካ ቤተ ሙከራ በሚደረግባቸው የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች ውስጥ ነው፡፡ ራሳቸው የገዥው ፓርቲም ሆነ የተቃዋሚ የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች የብሔር ፖለቲካን እንደ መድረሻ ሳይሆን እንደ ግብ ሊቆጥሩት ይገባል፡፡

ሪፖርተር፡- ህብረተሰቡስ በፌዴራል ስርዓቱ እድገት ላይ የሚጫወተው ሚና እንዴት ይታያል?

አቶ አለማየሁ፡- በግንቦት 97 ምርጫ እንደታየው ንቁ ተሳትፎ ሊያደርግ ይገባል፡፡ የመምረጥ መብቱን በመጠቀም ትክክለኛው የስልጣን ባለቤት ሕዝብ እንደሆነ ሊያሳይ ይገባል፡፡ በተቃዋሚዎችም ሆነ በመንግሥት ባለፉት ጥቂት ዓመታት የተከሰተው አሉታዊ ድርጊቶችን ሊያቃናቸው እንደሚችል ሊያስብ እንጅ ተስፋ ሊቆርጥ አይገባም፡፡ ሊያገኛቻው ሁሌ የሚሻቸው ሰላም ዴሞክራሲ ልማትና ነፃነት በመንግሥት ብቻ የሚሰጡ የሚሻሩ ትግል የሚደረግባቸውም በፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች ብቻ እንደሆነ ሊያስብ አይገባም፡፡ እያንዳንዱ ግለሰብ ብሎም ብሔርና ብሔረሰቦች በህግ ማዕቀፍ ውስጥ ሊታገሉ ህገ መንግሥቱ የሰጣቸውን መብት ማንም ሊሸርፍና ሊያስቀር እንደማይገባ ሊያምን ብሎም ተግባራዊ ሊያደርግ ይገባል፡፡ በባህል፣ ኢኮኖሚና ፖለቲካ ላይ ያለውን እንቅስቃሴ ተፅዕኖ የሚያደርጉ የሲቪክ ማህበረሰብ ሥራዎች ሊስፋፉና ሊበረታቱ ይገባል፡፡ ያኔ ነው ፖለቲካ የ3 ወይም የ4 ሰዎች ጉዳይ ሳይሆን የሕዝብ ህልውና መሠረት የሚሆነው፡፡