Our Motto: True Federalism or Secession!
Our aim in publishing gambelatoday.com, a nonprofit news organization based in the United States, is to create a place we can report news on ongoing genocidal policy Ethiopia is carrying out against Gambellans, and more importantly, to encourage constructive debate to create an environment that could lead to a democratic and federal Ethiopia that will stop the traditional culture of ethnic cleansing/genocide policy that have been practiced by previous regimes as well as by the current. These are the major reasons that propelled us to establish this organization, in hope of creating a truly federal political system in Ethiopia where each region governs itself and send its own representatives to the central government to participate in governing the country- which is very essential to obtain a stable politics.
Understanding of both Federalism and unitary systems drives our firm trust in federalism. Unitary is a system where political power rests in the central government: president or prime minister of the country appoints leaders to fill political positions in the national government, regional government as well as in local principalities. But in Ethiopia the president, who is likely to come from one ethnic group, as the history of Ethiopia tells us, appoints its own ethnic groups and puppet leaders from other ethnic groups only to save their faces, as past regimes did and the current regime is doing. In a federal system, the president of the country would have only the power to appoint people to his cabinet, and each regional state as well as principalities would elect their own leaders.
If creating this truly federal political system in Ethiopia is not agreeable or feasible, we believe each nation in the country should be allowed either to choose a new entity or work with other nations within the country to create a new political and peaceful entity. We sincerely believe that all countries were created by man; and there fore, man can also deconstruct them when they are found not to serve all the nationalities, like the state of Ethiopia has demonstrated. Scholar Mark Mazower highlights re-inventing of states by giving an example of his family citizenship- “When my grandmother was born in Warsaw, it was part of the Tsarist Empire; Trieste belonged to the Habsburges and Salonika to the Ottomans. The Germans ruled Poles, the English Ireland, and France Algeria” (Mazower: 1998:1). As this shows, borders of Ethiopia, like these others, can change for sake of peace.
We are not in favor of the current political system in Ethiopia led by the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) coalition, which claims to be “Ethnic Federal”, but in fact is a system dominated by a single ethnic group, which has proven to be a recipe for more instability and genocides. We are also not in favor of plans by some opposition groups to reestablish a unitary political system that existed before1991, a political system in which one powerful “His Excellency” in Addis Ababa directs and appoints leaders of the country. We believe any repetition of such political system is a disastrous policy because of the historical fact that past unitary political system led only to one ethnic group domination of all other ethnic groups and where, unfortunately, such temptation for one ethnic group to dominate other ethnic groups remains a vibrant reality up to the movement.
Board of Directors, Gambela Today