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Comment on Professor Desta’s Review of Lt.General Tsadkan’s Article

Jelal Nurligne, BSc

Arat Kilo

Wow, Professor Desta, this was a low punch. I heard it before from people who tried to muzzle Ex-EPRDF members and deny them credibility to cast or offer their views, but never expected it from a distinguished professor. I think Lt. General Tsadkan is a very courageous individual who has stepped forward to offer remedies because he believes that his country he risked his life for to liberate from brutalization is in danger. I only wish there were more him who would break ranks and their silence to change Ethiopia’s course peacefully and democratically.

Lack of ethnic tolerance and absence of constructive, inclusive and democratic debate among Ethiopians has stifled progressive political, social and economic discourse. The majority of our scholars across America and Europe have chosen silence over hateful labels by those who would disagree with them, including those in the EPRDF leadership. I am a technician with life experience, but not a scholar or credentials in politics, sociology and economics. Lest, i join the ranks of those who spew hate and criticism without an iota of a solution, I will offer a couple of commonsense suggestions:

1.      The smoldering fire of ethnic tension/unrest is an existential threat to Ethiopia. The scorched earth policy of hate groups and power seekers must, therefore, stop before it ignites the smoldering fire by providing needed oxygen. No group or party has the capacity to extinguish this fire without untold destruction. I am not condemning or discouraging dissent; I am simply advocating for the observance of the rules of democracy where the rights of others is respected. Otherwise, we would be sanctioning protests in perpetuity as ethnics rise and fall…a compelling reason why we all need to rise above ethnicity in order to champion selfless ideas, inclusiveness, and rules of law for collective security, freedom and development. 

2.      In the meantime, EPRDF must immediately open and facilitate full and legitimate (those who embrace peace, democracy and equality) access to opposition groups/parties to exercise their rights. This is where we need our scholars and experts to debate policies and propose implementation guidelines.

3.      We should all soberly realize that nothing happens in a vacuum and that political reforms take time. On the other hand, where there is will, the cause of population volatility that would lead to violent confrontations of unimaginable consequences could be tackled without delay.

4.      With the silence of those who could contribute positively, we all lose, Ethiopia loses and evil undoubtedly will triumph. With the same token, we should all recognize that campaigns of hate and violence will push the current situation to the brink. This is, therefore, a plea and a call to action of all who love Ethiopia to submit to humility in order to save our people. May God give us the wisdom and strength to love our enemies in order to be loved; to understand that there is no winning in getting even, especially at moments like this when everything is pointing to forgiveness and reconciliation?


God bless and protect Ethiopia!


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