A New Vision for A New Ethiopia
By Kebour Ghenna
“Society in every state is a blessing, but government even in its best state is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one”. Thomas Paine
Last week someone asked me what would I say are the three immediate problems facing Ethiopia today, and how would I want them to be addressed. The following is my candid response. But first some thought about Ethiopia today. Most of you will have seen the sickening video footage of people running away from bullets and jumping into deadly ditches at the Ireecha festivities in Bishoftu, Oromya. Blame for all of this rests squarely on the Hailemariam administration, which is no longer prepared to tolerate even the truncated display of peaceful protest. It has deliberately (or not) created the conditions for a civil war to erupt. Everywhere in Oromiya today, there is mass social and political discontent directed against the ruling party. The fight against the regime now will be difficult to contain, and the resulting crisis, for better or for worse, will affect many aspects of our lives including the unity of the country.
It’s time for Oromos, Afars, Amharas, Tigrays, Somalis, Welaytas and the rest of us, to reach consensus on the type of society we want to live in. Indeed, if we fancy modernizing our country by reforming its institutions and replace the detrimental with the constructive we need to start this debate immediately. Well-informed people know that nations do break up like empires. Sometimes the process is inevitable, sometimes precipitated by folly. EPRDF should not commit an act of folly by attempting to direct the state on its own term i.e. by force. That would not be in anybody’s interest. Instead it should conduct considerable discussion and consultation with opposition leaders and genuine community leaders to hold the country together by strengthening the democratic influence and rights of the people. There is no other alternative.
Now, here are my eight [not three] comments [with no particular order of priority] to avoid the unwanted dismemberment of Ethiopia and move the country forward. None of these arguments are new. They have been discussed in great detail in the past twenty years.
But wait…What about the other serious problem.
From where we stand, the most serious problem is not personnel, rather the unwillingness of EPRDF leaders to accept that citizens are truly tired of a ‘democracy’ dominated by TPLF as the leader of the EPRDF. Now that memories of the horrors of the Derg period are fading, people demand more political rights and participation. Change in personnel isn’t going to cut it. At best, it may give us people who think things are under control…ministers who believe the present system works…and that it will deliver transformation….but real change? Nope.
The problem is that people have lost confidence in the system: a system that divide rather than unite, a system that dominate rather than liberate. Too bad the folks at EPRDF can’t see this. The question to answer is what kind of nation are we building? Are we in favor of one nation, albeit with distinct identities (like Switzerland) or rather separate multiple independent nations dominated by TPLF? This issue may seem for many settled and done and printed in black and white in the constitution, but the question of how to balance the promotion of national cultures with the creation of multinational statehood was never fully resolved in Ethiopia, or anywhere in the world for that matter.
The increasing rebellion, injuries and casualties that we all witnessed and continue to witness are the clearest early indicators of this failure. The time to reflect and engage citizens based on consultation and co-operation about holding the state of Ethiopia together is now. Fortunately despite the crisis there is still TODAY enough support within the broader public to wish to retain and nurture the unity of the state of Ethiopia. I underline TODAY, because history tells us that on such a fundamental issue opinion can change decisively overnight.
Perhaps it’s time for a new political order to redefine a new Ethiopia. An Ethiopia that is negotiated among all parties of the federal state (bottom up), not on terms laid out by TPLF, but rather on terms agreed by all administratively recognized ethnic groups with equal representation regardless of size or population. It’s important for TPLF (assuming it’s committed to a multi state united Ethiopia) to immediately pledge to the revision of the constitution and facilitate the process to calling a constitutional convention. On this matter, as they say: Time is of the essence.
How can this ‘movie’ possibly have a happy ending? Let me just say this, each of us has a choice. We can actively participate in the great initiative to keep our country united in the interest of all the people in Ethiopia; or do nothing, and see us loose our country. As Gandhi noted: ‘The future depends on what we do in the present.’ Now, more than ever, we must uphold that responsibility. What will you do?
The 7 Blunders of the World that Leads to Violence By Mahatma Gandhi:
& WE Would Add Also a Spiritual NOT Religious Nor Political Intervention In Addition, Apology, Amnesty, Peace and Reconciliation National Conversation Inclusive of ALL Old, New, Local & Diasporan For or Against AU, USA & EU ONLY as Onlookers for a New Utopian One United Ethiopian Peace and Green Nation for ALL Ethiopian Children!!!
& Add, 8. Anger, Racism, Clanisism, Cultism, Tribalism, Fanatism, Cultism, Hatred, Zeregninet, Gotegnet, Fear, Greed and Injustice ALL Not Inborn But Learnt and ALL Lead to Violence!
Anyway “An Eye For An Eye Leaves the Whole World Blind“!
Apology, Compensation, Amnesty FOR ALL, Inner Peace for Outer Peace, Reconciliation, Love, Forgiveness, Looking Eye to Eye Non Politics, Non-Religious Utopian Universal Brotherhood, Sisterhood, One Family, One Beher-ZeBehere EGZIABHER SPIRITUAL Human to Human Sew LeSew Conversation & Intervention is The ONLY Way to Peace & Justice.
Let the Creator Comfort Us All and R.I.P the Departed and Let God Make Those Who Command and Committed the Massacre Find Inner Peace!!!
Former Ethiopian Chamber of Commerce, a Man Who Before anyone else Said “Yichalal”- “Yes We Can”, a Man of Vision & Action
“Where Do We Go From Here?-MLK as Ethiopians, Africans, Americans or Just Human Beings!
Fact: Everything Will Pass, They Will Pass, WE Will Pass YOU Will Pass!
The ONLY Way Out: Apology, Compensation, Amnesty, Inner Peace, One Human Race (Family), Humanity & Green Living Conversation (Family, Communal, Regional, Local, Diasporan National, Continental & Global) OR…..
Vision & Goal: Living For Our Children and Children, Humanity & Our Higher Self Spirituality
BUT FIRST KILL THE EGO, EVIL SPIRIT OF FEAR, ANGER & GREED AND BRING ALL ETHIOPIANS AT HOME, IN THE DIASPORA, TRUE FRIENDS OF ETHIOPIA & AFRICA-THE RASTAS, THE SONS AND DAUGHTERS OF AFRICA & FRIENDS, TO FIND AN UTOPIAN ETHIOPIAN SOLUTION WHILE AMERICA, EU, ISRAEL, JAPAN & OTHER ETHIOPIAN FRIENDS WATCH!!!
OR LET’S CONTINUE TO LIVE FOR OUR EGOS, CONTINUE TO KILL, LIE, LOOT, DISRESPECT SO WE CONTINUE BECOME THE WORLD DRAMA-ANOTHER AFRICAN MADNESS AT IT’S VERY BEST!!!