Go ahead, open the magazine and look at the inside page of the cover. A map of the Ethiopian empire, adorned with the green, yellow and red of the empire’s flag with a caption reading “Ethiopian people’s Ethiopia” appears. The implication is that this is what the people of the empire would want to maintain. You would feel you were looking at an organ of, say, CUDP not at a magazine produced and distributed by Isaias and Co.
No don’t read the magazine. Not yet! Don’t even glance at the next page. Jump directly to the inside page of the back cover.
A map of the Ethiopian empire, partitioned into nine (9) separate territories with various flags and a caption reading “Woyane’s Ethiopia” appear on the page. Even Oromia, as we know it today, doesn’t appear as a contiguous territory. God only knows what Isaias meant by that! The intention here is to show the reader what would happen to the empire if it is to continue along the path the TPLF is taking it. Compare that with "Ethiopian people's Ethiopia" and what is implied is crystal clear.
The gist of his message, however, is to reach out to the likes of CUDP by assuring them that he will strive (struggle, fight forcefully) along side them to keep the empire intact. Echoing the CUDP and speaking about the current TPLF constitution, and particularly about Article 39 (which is only on paper anyway) Isaias says:
“Since they [TPLF] have no faith in the Ethiopian people as a whole, they divided them into the Amhara people, Tigre people, Oromo people and many others. Because that is what their constitution asserts. The constitution allows the right to self-determination up to secession. We can say that the regime’s mental instability and dangerous political approach has taken a constitutional shape in the name of federalism and democracy. Ethiopia is thus exposed to a never seen before ethnic polarization, although it would take longer to discuss the dangerous consequences of such a situation.” (p. 46)
I don’t believe it is lost on Isaias that this is music to CUDP’s ears.
That TPLF’s mental instability is endangering the whole region, well beyond the empire’s boundaries, is no brainer and is widely acknowledged. However, it is not clear why Isaias Afeworki considers inclusion of self-determination up to secession in the constitution a dangerous political approach and why such a provision should be blamed for “ethnic polarization.” Unless, of course, the purpose is to pander to CUDP and the likes! What should the Oromo political party which he is currently hosting in his country, and who has repeatedly expressed the desire to make use of that part of the TPLF constitution, understand from this statement? That Isaias would sell them to the highest bidder?
As a former colony of the same empire Oromos and others are struggling to free themselves from, one would have thought Eritrea would take a principled approach and support the decolonization struggles of those nations who are still suffering under the yoke of Ethiopian Empire. Instead, Eritrea’s leader chose to pander to a party with retrograde Amahara-centric agenda. Apparently, to Isaias “What is good for the goose is [NOT] good for the gander.” In other words, what is good for Eritrea – an independent state - is NOT good for Oromia. If unity and territorial integrity of the empire is to the benefit of the colonized nations and nationalities, then why did Eritrea fight 30 years to decolonize herself?
It is the apex of hypocrisy to strive for a “unity” to which one does not want to be a party.