In statement sent to UMD Media, Oromos for Justice, Peace and Truth (O-JUST) said Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who is the leader of the ruling Prosperity Party (PP) is intent on re-writing the constitution to serve his interest.

“It is now apparent that the PP leader is intent on writing a constitution that serves his purpose of dismantling the existing parliamentary system and replacing it with a presidential system in which he will be the all-powerful leviathan. This change entails the end of the regional state, the deracination of ethnonational groups, and the abrogation of the constitutionally enshrined rights of nations. This will make the ongoing civil war even more deadly, leading to the violent collapse of the state that will make the task of reconstitution all the more difficult. The PP trajectory will ensure its self-destruction while taking the country down with itself. This needs to be condemned and resisted in unity.”

According to the statement from O-JUST, the PP-led government’s “national dialogue” excludes genuine representation, particularly of the Oromo people, and serves to entrench its own power. The Oromo, like other oppressed groups, have suffered under longstanding oppression and have fought for self-determination and cultural recognition. For the O-JUST, the PP government’s failure to implement true multinational federalism has led to continued conflict and repression. The national dialogue, controlled by PP loyalists, aims to amend the constitution to eliminate ethnic-based politics and reinforce a unitary state, threatening the rights and identities of various ethnic groups. The O-JUST statement underlined for a genuine national dialogue to occur, it must ensure the right to self-determination and involve authentic representatives of all nations and nationalities.

Full statement in PDF.

UMD Media

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