I think many people (including myself) believed the propaganda that the succession groups of OLF and ONLF were terrorists to the Ethiopian nation. And in a way, I understand why the EPRDF went that route, as it was trying to build Ethiopia, and had any region succeeded without economic and political visions, the possibly of extreme poverty in the face of modernisation may have happened. Perhaps the idea of Meles was, let the people catch up to the modern worlds industrialisation and then separate, that way we can have a thriving and competitive economy in the Horn of Africa. And this I understand. But I also understand that each region, Oromia in particular took the call for dismembering OLF as a very serious issue. The reason I believe has not much to do with the EPRDF dream of one Ethiopia, rather OPDO dreamed of the power over the people and IF OLF became dominant, they will never have that wish.
The case with the Ogaden is so clear cut. They are not part of the empire, the name is in the state itself the “Somali Region” of Ethiopia. Does that even make sense? How did these people who have the same culture and language as Somalia come part of Ethiopia if it weren’t for the colonisation of the horn and the deals Menelik made with the Italians, French, and English.
As for Tigray, there is a myth that the Tegaru are as much to do with the “highlander” colonisation as the “Amhara”/ ”Ethiopian” (or as I like to say, the original OroMara). This is incorrect from my understanding. The idea of Ethiopia in theory starts with Atse Tedworos (a Kiment Tigrayan) to consolidate the fighting parties of the Zemene Mesafint. The wars between the warlords were gruesome. And the assimilation of the Agew nations into an Amhara identity was in full swing. Some of the fights between the Oromo (at the time, Galla) and Amhara in Shewa are enough to make your skin crawl. Explorer James Bruce discusses much of it in his journals. Atse Yohannes, then sought to finish off the consolidation and succeeded in bringing much-needed peace to the region, and with his role along with Alula Aba Nega, they defended the new country from many foreign invaders.
It is after his death that the OroMara “Ethiopian” King Menelik sought out to expand his territories using Christianity and the completion of garrison towns and Amhara cultural dominance overall he conquered in the south of the country, including all minorities, such as Hadiya, Sidama and Woliata and Afar who all used to govern their own lands under their own ways, culturally appropriate to them. And split the mighty Tegaru in half, giving half the gallant fighters to the Italians to form their Italian colony of Eritrea. As well as ensuring the Afar would be damaged by the split and again breaking up a cultural groups over borders.
With such a diverse history, and the failure of the Ethiopia project to deliver true unwavering unity and respect, it is no wonder people are creating images such as this! And as I always say, the people should have the right to choose their fate from now on.
(Ps, I saw someone say Tigray was spelt wrong, I took it upon my self to fix, is it right now?)