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This assembly, as it appears from its composition, made it crystal-clear that state restructuring, henceforth in Ethiopia, will scrupulously follow ethnic lines.Andreas notes: "The history and identity of the protagonists that emerged in the wake of the victory over tyranny thus explains why ethnic federalism proved to be a decisive political instrument in Ethiopia’s transition to democracy." The rise of regional self-government during the Transitional Period was thus largely due to a desire to establish democratic institutions which would guarantee the right of national self-determination.The Indian subcontinent was divided after decolonization into the two multi-ethnic federations of India and Pakistan.Africa has two federations, Nigeria and Ethiopia, while South Africa appears federal in all but name.Bosnia became a multinational federation under the internationally enforced Dayton Agreement of 1995, with one of its units itself being another bi-national federation of Bosnians and Croats.Belgium has recently evolved into a federation, and both Euro-optimists and pessimists think that the European Union (EU) is moving in the same direction.Together with electoral reform, federalism is the device to change the institutional format in which conflicts occur, “altering the structure of incentives for political actors without making any promises about ethnic outcomes”.
Then, a Constituent Assembly ratified the federal constitution in December 1994, which came into force in August 1995.Given its history of gross and systematic group domination and discrimination (ethnic, religious, linguistic, etc.), the adoption of a multinational federation is not a indulgence that Ethiopia can afford but a requisite.The adoption of a multinational federation was necessitated by the resolve and intensity of the need to address the claims of the country’s ethnic groups of historic discrimination and inequality, and to build a multinational democracy.The communist Soviet Union, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia were organized as multinational federations, and the Russian Republic (RSFSR), one of the constituent units of the Soviet Union, was itself organized along federal lines.These communist federations did not bestow genuine democratic self-government on their minorities, and fell apart in the early 1990s, although Yugoslavia continued as a dyadic federation incorporating Serbia and Montenegro until 2003, when it was transformed into a confederation renamed Serbia and Montenegro that looked likely to dissolve into two independent states.