8th Nationalities’ Day colorfully celebrated in Jigjiga

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Addis Ababa, 8 December 2013 (WIC) -  The 8th Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day was colorfully celebrated on Sunday in Jigjiga town of the Somali regional state.

The day was celebrated with the motto “Our constitution for our renaissance”.

It was celebrated in the presence of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, Djiboutian President Ismail Omar Guelleh and government delegates of from Kenya and Rwanda.

Senior Ethiopian government officials, representatives of Ethiopian nations, nationalities and peoples as well as residents of the host town, Jigjiga were also in attendance of the event.

Guest of honor at the event, Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said the constitution replaced an imposed unity of the past regimes with a democratic one based on consent.

This, he said, is evident from current developments in the Somali regional state, the host of this year’s Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day.

The constitution is also a word of oath which salvaged the Ethiopian nation from disintegration and kept it together, the Premier said.

We should therefore defend the constitution which is the basis of this togetherness.

Owing to the constitution the Somali people who were marginalized by the past regimes have now become an active part of ongoing national development endeavors.

Speaker of the House of Federation, Kassa Tekleberhan said this was a day on which the national constitution that brought all Ethiopians to power was endorsed.

He said Ethiopian Somalis were an active part of the struggle Ethiopian nations and nationalities made for both national and democratic unity.

Kassa recalled that the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi had a special respect and love for Ethiopian Somalis.

The late great leader has addressed the intricate problems in the region which lasted for generations, he said. The federal system he left behind is been thriving.

Chief of the Somali regional state, Abdi Mohammed Umer said this was a day of rebirth for the people of the Somali regional state.

He said in the past the Somali people had suffered a lot from both domestic oppression and foreign aggression.

Thanks to the incumbent government, they are now enjoying the fruits of peace, development and good governance.

The region had only one secondary school 22 years ago, the Chief recalled. Now it has 97 secondary schools, over 1,000 primary schools, one university, as well as six government and four private colleges.

The region which had only one hospital 2 decades back now owns eight zonal hospitals, three referral hospitals and more than a 100 health centers.

He emphasized the role of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi for the remarkable development achievements registered in the state.

Benshangul Gumuz regional state is selected to organize the 9th Ethiopian Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Day next year.

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