The 20th century has been shaped by class and national struggles intended to end the asymmetrical relations that arose in the historical process of the creation of the multi-ethnic polity of Ethiopia. This study explores and assesses the democratization and decentralization experiment in Ethiopia. It focuses on the Oromia region, which is the country's largest region as well as housing its single largest ethnic group. It describes the demand of the Oromo people for self-rule and democratic governance on the one hand, and the promises made on paper by the government in power, on the other. It concludes that the Oromia region is a classical case in terms of the degree of failure of the regime's policies on the national question and the continued struggle for real autonomy and democracy on the part of the local population.