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Ethiopian observer editorial

We are now living in Ethiopia in a volatile political situation and in an economic disaster looming all around us. We are surrounded by our historic enemies and newly minted ones that are getting stronger by the hour. Those of us in the Diaspora have a moral obligation not to promote ethnic conflict with harmful propaganda on the supremacy or corruption of any ethnic group thereby inflaming further a situation that is highly charged with hate and conflict already. Any ethnic based conflict within the Ethiopian community is a victory for Arabs and their foreign masters. Our enemies have become very powerful because we are a divided people. Thus, we urge all opposition leaders and their supporters to tone down their accusations of this or that ethnic or nationality group as the guilty party for all the problems faced by Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

When a nation faces a crisis, major changes in its political, social, economic or international position, the political parties in that nation as a whole must assume much greater responsibilities than would have been the case under normal peaceful national reality. Every member of the Ethiopian community (political parties and individual Ethiopians) must assume greater responsibility for the well-being of the nation. Sadly, Ethiopia’s ethnic diversity will always be exploited by those with their own nefarious agendas. While the ethnic factor is a complex one and can be viewed from a range of angles, our people’s positive contribution can be a simple one: a dedication by each of us not to do anything that will endanger ethnic harmony in our country.

After the nomination of Dr. Abiy Ahmed, as a Prime Minister, Ethiopia was blanketed by a wave of euphoria that was characterized by a sense of relief and enormous hopes whereby high and ambitious goals seemed obtainable. Regrettably, We Ethiopians are faced with the worst historical event in our long history. We are in pain and agony and fearful of the fate of our country. The social media is being used for mounting massive propaganda by dishonorable and hateful individuals in the Ethiopian Diaspora, a futile attempt to destroy minorities within the diverse ethnic enclaves that will result in a civil war and the disintegration of Ethiopia. This is the time for a wakeup call against deceit and manipulation. I am hopeful that the tide of violence will turn back; I have great confidence in the judgment and common sense of the Ethiopian people. In the last six months, every one of us has been aware of the stakes, but sadly the crisis that is brewing right in front of our eyes is perceived differently by each interest group, each political group, and individual Ethiopians. This rift of serious political dissonance is tearing apart the heart of our nation. The reasons for this rift are many and are rooted in our national characteristics. 

We Ethiopians are at crossroads; we are faced with a choice on one hand that leads to further escalation and bitterness or another choice of peaceful reform. The choice that our Leaders make during those crucial few months ahead of us will determine the conditions that enhance or undermine our future peaceful coexistence with each other and the survival of our Motherland. The choice for peace is not easy to make with difficult and dangerous political leaders who seem to be set to drag a nation to destruction in order to cover their misdeeds. What is needed is creative effort to educate the public, mobilize key constituencies, and persuade hesitant partners to participate in saving our Ethiopia from disintegration. Ethiopia belongs to every one of us equally, and each one of us has equal political and civil rights like everyone else. The Ethiopian people have struggled for democratization and democracy. Democracy is the final end product of democratization. 

EPRDF leaders have asserted and posited that democracy can only be achieved in Ethiopia only if Ethiopia adopts the western Liberal Democracy model and its attendant political economy. The development of a democratic system of government would require putting in place of a legal system that delineates the rights of citizens, guarantees freedom of speech, the press etc. and a competitive party system must be developed, free and fair elections must be held regularly. Thus, such a system of government will ensure that the governors are accountable to the governed. Election will serve as form of referenda on the performance of the governing party and/or leadership. Lastly, a strong civil society needs to be established; in short this is the blueprint of liberal democracy. However, Ethiopians are demanding both political democracy and economic democracy. In Ethiopia, liberal democracy is a basket case; it has fostered authoritarianism, repression and oppression, corruption and exploitation. 

The documented evidence of corruption collected in the last few months alone supports that party officials illegally enriched themselves at the expense of the states. Hence, it is a great paradox for a number of officials to be caught in a web of corrupt practices in Liberal Democracy adding to the fuel of ethnic conflict and abuse and ethnic cleansing of minorities in the Kilil System. I am cognizant that nation building requires time and patience, but we are mired in ethnic conflicts and setbacks due to corruptions. It is sometimes argued that there are several varieties of “Nationalism” the linguistic being only one of many. The Nazi doctrine of racism is used as the base for several anti-people divisive and discriminatory doctrines of “nationalism” that there can be racial, religious, and other forms of nationalism. But in fact, there is no definite clear-cut distinction between linguistic and racial nationalism. The doctrine of ethnicity emphasized language as the test of nationality. Therefore, we have to define our own form of democracy. 

This controversy could emerge as a major flashpoint for violent arguments and brawls even in a learned community. A mixed message of victory and serious conflict emerged from the drama surrounding the election of PM. Abiy Ahmed. The EPRDF political order is devoted to maintaining an unequal structure of power, with the idea that no opposition party or leader emerges in Ethiopia who will change the situation by mobilizing the people. It undermines the development of a genuine democratic movement at great cost to innocent Ethiopians and the Nation. Irrespective of the innocence/ignorance of the Leadership of the EPRDF, the fact remains that as a political organization it is accountable to the type of national disaster it that had resulted in the fragmentation of Ethiopia under ethnic Kilil system. 

I call upon concerned EPRDF officials who had so far lacked the courage to openly arrest and handover corrupt and/or criminal officials irrespective of their ethnicity, and they have failed also to elect new officials democratically to salvage Ethiopia’s future and glory. I call upon genuine Ethiopians to stop their loyalty to a treasonous mafia type of organization and join the reform movement underway for the sake of our nation. As Jimmy Cliff captures the sentiment and puts it to reggae beat: “I’d rather be a free man in my grave/Than living as a puppet or a slave.” 

December 23, 2018















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