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Make Awassa a Federal City

By Damo Gotamo

A number of months ago, I wrote a temporary article entitled “Awassa too Belongs to its Residents.’The following piece has the identical content material, however I have added a few updates on it. I feel that is a timely article because of the current precarious state of affairs in the so-called Souther Nations Nationalities and Individuals’s Area( SNNPN) and Awassa.

Unbeknown to the residents in Awassa, the town has been very quiet for the previous few weeks. The Fiche Chambalala vacation ended peacefully, and people who used to distribute the peace of the town every time they happy haven’t been making any noise recently.

Individuals are giving numerous opinions to the present peaceful environment within the city. Some are saying the federal authorities has promised the extremists to create their very own kelil. Others are claiming the government has warned the leaders of the infamous Ejjeetto to stop agitating the unemployed youth to distribute the peace of the town.

The Sidama extremists, at the moment, have been very busy. They’ve been printing hundreds of flags for his or her new Sidama Kelil that might be created in July 18, 2019. They’re also claiming they’ve drafted a Sidama Kelil structure, and they’ll introduce it once they unilaterally declare their own Kelil in July. Residents in Awassa are very edgy and eagerly awaiting the upcoming drama to unfold. The extremists are bragging everyday that they may declare their Kelil even at the price of sacrificing half of the individuals of Sidama! They may do anything to get extra money from the federal government as long as it will get into their pockets.

No matter occurs next, the federal authorities should not compromise the town of Awassa to appease a few corrupt extremists.Like different cities in Ethiopia, Awassa has been a dwelling hell for its multiethnic residents. The federal government has all the reasons to make Awassa a federal city. Removing the town from the jaws ethnic entrepreneurs and making it a city for all Ethiopians is the one strategy to create peace and stability in the metropolis.

Ones dubbed as a ‘small Ethiopia’ and a favorite vacation spot of everybody, Awassa has been beneath siege by Sidama extremists since prime minister Abiye Ahmed got here to energy one yr in the past. In a metropolis the place ninety-eight % of residents are non-Sidamas, a few Sidama extremists have been operating the town like a personal corporation. They have been allowed to create a system just like the defunct apartheid rule in South Africa. The system they have established helps and benefits a single ethnic group excluding other teams within the metropolis.

Virtually all key government positions are held by ethnic Sidamas. Benefit system doesn’t work in the city. Ethnicity is the only requirement for employment and advancement. Individuals who don’t possess a third-grade schooling and with cast diplomas have been introduced from a place referred to as Benesa and given a free cross to deprave the paperwork. The first thing a new recruit learns is tips on how to ask a bribe. One only wants to go to numerous authorities establishments in the city to see incompetent and illiterate people struggling to read and write simple sentences associated to their jobs. Many educated residents left the town in frustration; and people who chose to stay misplaced any hope of dwelling. Additionally it is widespread to see, in each nook of the town, helpless youths chewing khat from daw to nightfall.

Schooling institutions are overrun by those that don’t have anything to point out besides cast levels and diplomas. I’m wondering how many illiterate instructors have infested our learning institutions. We’ll find out their numbers when the federal government starts cracking down on them. However, I can guarantee that here in Awassa there are numerous quacks roaming in several campuses where they shouldn’t belong in the first place.

Corruption is rampant in Awassa. Non-Sidamas get nothing accomplished for them with out paying bribes to ethnic lords who occupy all key positions in the metropolis. The Sidama ethnic entrepreneurs have two sources of incomes: regular government wage and bribe. In addition to paying taxes, citizens must pay bribes to get things completed.

The ethnic bosses haven’t any disgrace asking for cash the very individuals they harass commonly. Because of the current unrest and slowdowns in economic actions, bribe monies will not be coming straightforward. To deal with the problem, ethnic lords have concocted a new trick to get bribes: to visit businessmen of the town at their work and ask them to pay them ‘little money for gas’ and get something they want.

A couple of days ago a trusted supply with the information of the difficulty informed me that the Sidama politicians paid ten thousand birr to every Oromo delegate who attended the Fiche Chambalala holiday. Apparently, the Sidama ethnic entrepreneurs consider that by bribing the Oromo delegates, they might safe their own Kelil. No marvel the Sidama Zone had completed its finances in the first seven months of the new yr!

Awassa residents are being victimized by incompetent judges and regulation enforcement officers. I’ve seen individuals who have dedicated murders launched from jail after serving solely six months, while those who are in jail for petty theft locked up for years. Final month, a man fired eight bullets at individuals indiscriminately, and at present he’s a free man strolling on the streets as if he had executed nothing. He paid a bribe to get released, and he’s free to do no matter he needs. The police drive of the town, which is completely made up of the Sidama ethnic group is the first purpose for the suffering of Awassa residents by the hands of ethnic lords.

The gun-wielding incompetent and poorly educated police drive harass and displace city residents with impunity. Its members accept bribes and collaborate with a terrorist group which calls itself Ejjeetto.

True change in Awassa starts when the current police pressure is completely disbanded, and a new drive comprised of the residents of the town is established. Individuals are anticipating a multi-ethnic and competent police pressure which doesn’t serve the curiosity of a few ethnic lords within the metropolis.

Along with making certain the security of the citizens in the city and emancipating them from ethnic entrepreneurs, the federal authorities has other necessary reasons to make Awassa a federal metropolis.

The government has made giant investments in Awassa with a view of making employment opportunities and alleviating the individuals of the nation from poverty. One of many largest industrial parks in Africa has been inbuilt Awassa. When absolutely operational, the park will employ sixty thousand individuals and expected to generate one billion dollars a yr in exports. Since coming to power, Prime Minister Abiye has delivered to the park overseas leaders and dignitaries for official visits, signaling the importance of the town and its industrial park to the nation.

The categorical freeway which can join Addis Ababa to Awassa is another vital investment the federal government has made in Awassa. When the work is completed, it can take lower than three hours to journey between the two cities. The street will help the economic park ease its supply chain process, growing its competitiveness on the earth markets.

The federal government has also spent an unlimited sum of money building a world airport in Awassa. When absolutely operational, it is going to instantly join massive cities like Washington DC to Awassa. The airport will play an essential position in bringing vacationers to our county, which can assist ease the need for overseas foreign money.

Awassa is massive, lovely and multiethnic metropolis endowed with handy weather. Its position in serving to ease the over-population of Addis Ababa have to be considered when making it a federal metropolis. Addis Ababa is the seat to the federal authorities, African Union, embassies, and totally different international organizations. It will possibly’t handle all of the activities which are happening all yr long. The federal government can make Awassa a seat of the Ethiopian parliament.

Like america and other developed nations, Ethiopia also wants a number of enterprise cities to assist the nation obtain its developmental goals. Who doesn’t need to have cities like Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, and New York in his nation? Subsequently, the government has the obligation to make Awassa, not solely a place for all Ethiopians but in addition residents of the world.

Awassa was founded within the early 1950s by totally different ethnic groups within the nation. It was only after the TPLF had invaded the country and launched ethnic politics that some ethnic lords confirmed up and started telling us the town is theirs. Many are wondering why they didn’t increase the identical claim earlier than. As an alternative of dwelling in peace with their fellow human beings who have contributed to the creation and improvement of Awassa, ethnic entrepreneurs unfold hate and worry among the city’s residents. They need to own things that they haven’t worked for.

By wanting on the names of locations in Awassa, one can simply discover out who the unique settlers of the town. Names like Pizza, Harrer Sefer, Wokuro Sefer, Philadelphia Sefer, Gabriel Sefer, and others are enough proofs that who was behind the creation and improvement of Awassa. It is just after the arbitrarily imposed ethnic federalism that Sidama extremists began to exchange the original names with their new versions together with the identify of the town.

In the intervening time individuals in Awassa live in fixed worry, not sure of what the longer term holds for them. All of them assume that one thing has to happen soon to vary the current gloomy environment driving over the town. Everyone is uninterested in ethnic entrepreneurs, who’ve besieged the town. Enterprise activities have cooled down affecting everyone. Youngsters are afraid of going to high school.

The hesitation of the federal government to undertake decisive action has left the town population baffled and costing its residents. Many business activities in the city have cooled down significantly.

The prime minster has to stop giving sermons and act decisively on the difficulty of Awassa. It also needs to be underlined that the Hadiya, Wolita, Gurage, Kefecho, and Kembata zones have an equal stake in terms of Awassa.

As I write this piece, the zones are organizing a protest to demand Awassa be a federal metropolis, where individuals of fifty-six ethnic teams performed a main half in its improvement. Something in need of making Awassa a federal city is sending the complete country into the darkish ages. All Ethiopians have an equal stake in Awassa and it MUST be made a federal metropolis with out additional delay.