Ethiopia: Proposal for Reconciliation By Zelalem Eshete, Ph.D.

Reconciliation is hard, but if we choose to embrace it at any cost, its impact is supernatural. In this article, I discuss as to how we move from attacking each other to joining with each other so that we all can come out more united as One Family.

Considering each Problem as Our Common Problem

We should be tired of the usual accusatory attack at the ethnicity of another in self-defense. That has no place in reconciliation. We stand up on behalf of our own ethnic group and call for taking accountability by making the voice of the hurting people as our own. No room for accusations. Each ethnic group strives to take on the voices of the other and echo as its own in genuine sincerity. That way, we all voice against the ills of humanity in unison. We stand in the gap and get connected with each other to declare as a people that we all choose to feel each other’s heartbeat. There will no longer be a given ethnic group speaking of its pain alone. Now a pain of one is shared by all of us.

Framing Our Problem to Birth Our New Identity

We are handling our problems in a way that it would bring us together and not push us farther apart. The question now is how we can underline unity in the process of celebrating our diversity. Diversity in the right context is meant to move Ethiopia towards unity forged by love and wisdom that is more glorious and authentic than ever before.

We put a face on our problem by building say, for example, an Ethiopia Anew Reconciliation Museum. We even choose the name of the museum to reflect the solution and not the problem. We, the people, come together with shared values by making our problem take shape and form in the museum.

The museum is a symbol of our capacity to overcome the great divide between us for centuries. We make it a place where a new Ethiopian family emerges from the broken history of ours. We validate the pain, reframe history to its truest sense, and in the process display the decency and power of the human spirit to come together and redefine brotherhood in its purest form. We no longer live under the shadow of the past ghosts, for the truth would set us free. The museum becomes a place of conception for Ethiopia – a community of love and understanding.

Guarding the Journey from Political Abduction

I believe this government, or the opposition as a future government, has no intrinsic power to bring such reconciliation. No government by default can take charge of this endeavor. The responsibility for such healing journey falls on the people of Ethiopia alone. The hero is meant to be the Ethiopian People. That is why the people represented by independent elders from all ethnic groups should run the reconciliation journey, including overseeing the realization of the museum of hope in the midst of pain. It is high time to begin this journey soon while the elders who have a living testimony of the past century are still alive.

The government and opposition need only play supportive role by endorsing the move and by refraining from mixing politics with such sacred effort. The political landscape is divided: the government seems to major on the economy, and the opposition appears to major on democracy. However, neither group should hijack this reconciliation agenda in a divisive manner.  No exclusion whatsoever is allowed here.

Mission Impossible Requires Divine Providence

We have no other option than accepting this journey even if it seems to be mission impossible. This is a journey unlike any other in our entire history. It transforms the marginal unity of the past (3,000 years in the making) into authentic unity of the future (in a time frame of “at once generation”). Scripture declares: Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” (Emphasis mine, Isaiah 66:8 KJV).  We need to embrace the motto: One Family Under Our Creator for this reason: giving birth to the new Ethiopia during the time span of this lost generation of ours requires divine providence.


You may reach Dr. Zelalem Eshete at:

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Posted by on April 2, 2014. Filed under NEWS. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

9 Responses to Ethiopia: Proposal for Reconciliation By Zelalem Eshete, Ph.D.

  1. Abegaz

    April 2, 2014 at 1:55 PM

    Ato Zelalem,

    Why do n’t you preach free and fair election and in return a guarantee for protection of the ruling party in case they are defeated. This is the way to go. There is no problem between people.

    The Amaras were the principal force to overthrow their own king for the sake of equality and justice, and land for the tiller. They opposed their own fathers who owned a lot of land. They died the greater death during Mengstu fighting for democracy and for better Ethiopia. No one praised Amhars for doing this. Woyanie came and targeted them. An insult to injury apologist like you blame Amaars. When they are evicted from different parts of the country apologist like you and Alemneh rejoiced. Who in the normal mind would degrade his own clan like you guys? werk labedere teter endilu.

    The way to go is to amend the constitution, abolish article 39 and exercise true democracy. Those who win will come to power. As long as the country is intact I personally do not care who comes to power as long as they win it. And reconciliation comes from the government. Go to south Africa or India, the governing authorities started it. Third party came in as observers and conciliators. That is it. The elders cannot do anything when the governing party is not willing. You have to know this.

  2. ሳምሶን አምባዬ

    April 2, 2014 at 3:29 PM

    ዘላለም እሸቴ መቀባጠርህን ቀጥል። የሻቢያ ጌቶችህ በጃይንት ፕሪዝንነት የወያኔ ጌቶችህ በ57 አመት በመሞት የእግዚአብሔር መቅሰፍት ቢጨርሳቸው አማራን ለማሳጣት ተፍጨረጨርክ አሁን ደግሞ የእርቅ ሰባኪ ሆንክ። ግን እንደት ዲያቢሎስ ስለ እርቅ ይናገራል

  3. ሳምሶን አምባዬ

    April 2, 2014 at 3:46 PM

    ዘላለም እሸቴ ከመለስ ዜናዊ እና ከሻቢያ ጋር መቀበር ያለብህ ወያኔ ነህ መቀበርህ አይቀርም

  4. Garo

    April 2, 2014 at 11:47 PM


    Slow down bro!
    I think most of those students who struggled for better day were from poor families. As to which ethnic group died more we have no evidence to support one or the other and I don’t believe it is important either.

    One thing I agree with you is that there is no need for the so called reconciliation because our differences are political and they reflect our vision for the country.
    Article 39 whether it is taken out or stayed in the constitution does not really matter because people who don’t want to be part of the country are not going to stay in the union no matter what.

    So I propose let every group run on their vision and let the people decide. No precondition. Let all options be put to the test including people who want to secede

  5. ኪቦኮ

    April 3, 2014 at 5:21 AM

    ይእ ሰወየ ምነው ተው የሚለው ሰው ተፋ በየከኑ እብደቱ እየችመረ መታ እኮ

  6. Abegaz

    April 3, 2014 at 8:07 AM


    I have to state the role the Amars played in fighting injustice. No other ethnic people better than the Amaras did the fighting. Yet, day in day out,the blame is on them. This is fact you do not deny. Every where they are victimized as if they do not have the right in their own country. This is a funny country. Amars overseas have every right to live freely in other countries, yet it has become difficult to live freely in their own country.

    As to the free ride for every one to separate, I do not think that is good. No one owns Ethiopia for oneself alone. We all own it. As to me, exercising democratic rights without curbing others’ rights is the way to go.

  7. ታረቀ መንበሩ

    April 4, 2014 at 5:22 AM

    ጤና ይስጥልኝ!

    ባለፈዉ ይህ “እንደ አንድ አማራ ግለሰብ” ብሎ ዘብረቅ ያለ ድርስት አቅርቦልን ነበር:: አማራ ተንበርክኮ ይቅርታ ካልጥየቀና ንስሃ ካልገባ ኢትዮጵያ አለቀላት ይህንን ባማሮች መቃብር ላይ የተገነባዉን አዲሱን የአጋሚዶ ስርዓት ካልተቀበልን ብሎ አስቡክቶን ነበር:: መቸም እነ በረከት እና ተፈራ አማራ በሆኑበትና የመ አገር ዘላለም ሆነ ሞት ባይኖር ኪሮስ ሆነ ቡሽራ እንደ አማራ እየተምሰሉ ያማራን ጥቅም ክብር ህልዉናና ደህንነት ላይ ቢረማመዱበት አይደንቅም: ዛሬ አማራ ከተዎለደበት ከአባቶቹ አገር ቢፈናቀል ዎደከፍተኛ ትምህርት እንዳይገባ እገዳ ቢጣልበት ባጠቃላይ ኣማራ በትግሬ አገዛዝ ቀለበት ዉስጥ ቢገኝም ይህንን ቀለበት በሰብረነዉ ስንዎጣና ክንዳችንን ሲቀምሱት እነ ዶክተር ዘላለምም እንደ ቡንኝ የገቡበት ይጠፋል:: እስክዚያዉ የአባቶቻችን የታሪክና የስጋ ዎደሙ ልጆች ብቻ ሳንሆን የባህሪ ዎራሾችም በመሆን በህብረት ጠላቶቻችንን እንመክት:ተቀላቀሉ “አዲሃን”, “ሞረሽ”::

  8. Asefa Gultu

    April 5, 2014 at 8:51 PM

    I do not know Dr. Zelalem personally at all. I just red his articles. I like his idea of reconcilation. But his emphasis to make the reconcilation some what ethnic based really disturbs me. Reconciliation should be genuine and transformational. How is anything based on ethnic consideration be either of this?
    Am I so different from Dr. Zelalem that what I consider to be an easy issue becomes so hard to grasp for him? I believe we Ethiopians need reconciliation for we have all sinned and embarrassed ourselves by becoming a fertile ground for ethnic dictators and corruption. But our wrong doing is not ethnic based, it is individual. And our reconciliation should be dealt with as individual Ethiopians.

  9. Addis

    September 15, 2014 at 1:27 AM

    የ/ዶ ጊዳዳን ተረት አስታወሰኝ

    አስታራቂ ቡድን መጥትዋለ ከውጭ ሀገር ሲሉት ‘ማ ተጣላ’ አለ ይባላል

    አሁንም ዶክተሩ እንደወያኔ ህዝብ እያጣላ አስታራቂ ይመስላል::

    ሌላው አማራ የሚባለ ዘር ኖሮ አያውቅም ጣሊያንና ባንዳዎቹ የፈጠሩት ነው:: ቓነቓ ወደዘር እየለወጡ ህዝብ የሚያጋጩ ቅጥረኞች ናቸው ክወያኔ ጀምሮ:: እርቅ ከቅጥረኞች ጋር ነው የሚለን ዶክተሩ?

    ማንነቱ የማይታወቀው ይህ ዶክተር ሊያደናግር የመጣ ይመስላል ተጠንቀ ወገን