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Averting prospect of eternal trials and tribulations!

Averting prospect of eternal trials and tribulations!

Ethiopia is a nation that its people often lament has been condemned to constant tribulation. If we just hark back some 46 years when the reign of Emperor Haile-Selassie collapsed on the heels of the February 1974 revolution, the country has been roiled with internecine conflicts and other deadly incidents. The killing, incarceration, torturing, and displacement of countless innocent citizens and the wanton destruction of property beginning with the red and white terror campaigns to this day are simply mind-boggling. Year after year poverty, backwardness and violence have made life an ordeal for many. The transitions from one dictator to another have only begot more trials and tribulations. The failure of the elite to engage in a constructive dialogue has brought about nothing but untold misery for Ethiopians from all walks of life. The absence of a genuine desire and commitment to put an end to this curse is a cause for despair than hope. Despite the existence of numerous issues over which a common understanding can be reached, some have chosen to go down the path to downfall by peddling a poisonous rhetoric. Consequently, the country is perennially on tenterhooks.

Any one in his right mind knows that instigating violence is not in the nation’s interest. There abound evil minds that lose sleep over how to sow discord between fellow citizens while the country is rich in traditions and values which can serve as launch pads for growth and prosperity. It’s disgraceful and indeed unpatriotic to set out in bad faith to settle old scores rather than endeavoring to take Ethiopia to greater heights in cognizance of the fact that its nation- building process is no different from most other countries. Inasmuch as there are Ethiopians toiling day and night to promote peace and unity through diversity, elements seemingly thirsting for blood are doing everything they can to wreak havoc all over the country. How long can Ethiopia and its people afford to go on like this? If the sons and daughters of Ethiopia are found wanting in discharging their obligation to protect the nation from the real threat it is confronted with, they are bound to pay a heavy price.

Some of the inept parties milling about in Ethiopia’s political sphere want power to somehow fall into their laps. If this does not succeed they will leave no stone unturned to achieve their objective. The go-to strategy they unfailingly resort towards this end is to use ethnic, religious, cultural and other differences to inflame sectarian tensions. Paradoxically, “activists” that fiercely advocated for freedom, equality and justice are now intentionally or otherwise stirring up trouble in complete disregard of what they stood for. They routinely make a mountain out of a molehill; reinterpret history as a means to reopen old wounds; incite Ethiopians to rise up against each other with intent to undermine their bond and shared values; and foment unrest by spreading fake news. Such demagoguery brings nothing but mayhem and mutual destruction for Ethiopians and therefore needs to be promptly nipped in the bud before it entails dire consequences.

The sole guarantee to Ethiopia’s survival is to build a democratic order founded on the will of the people. Under this order citizens cannot be bullied or subjugated by the powers that be; tyranny and bellicosity will have no place; the victim narrative wherein certain segments of the public hold a particular group responsible for past wrongs and retell over and over the pain that was inflicted on them will cease; and the rule of law under which the citizenry live in equality and freedom becomes will take root. Needless to say this can be realized insofar as there is an unswerving commitment on the part of everyone. Such commitment is manifested through, among others, the ability to engage in a constructive dialogue, displaying mutual respect and solidarity, working diligently in the public interest, and creating a just and enabling political environment. If the commitment is to be demonstrated concretely it’s imperative to ensure the prevalence of peace and stability so that any and all political parties operate freely in presenting voters with alternative agendas and policy choices. It’s also of the essence to empower the media, civil society organizations, institutions of democracy, and law enforcement agencies carry out their duties independently and impartially. It’s only then that free, fair and credible elections can be held and thereby allow Ethiopia to be at peace with itself.

Perpetrating egregious acts solely intended to destabilize Ethiopia and derail the transition to democratic governance is a crime history will not forgive. The creation of a truly democratic order founded on the will of the people, which Ethiopia has never witnessed before, ought to be accorded top priority. If the forces that have been active on the country’s political scene either overtly or behind the scenes abandon the conniving, infighting and constant provocation that has been their stock-in-trade and pass on the torch to the new generation, at least their conscience will not haunt them. History will be kind to only to individuals and groups who acknowledge the errors of their way and contribute meaningfully to the nation building process. It judges harshly those who perpetrate injustices out of a mistaken belief that they are and will forever remain untouchable; all will get their comeuppance one day. Failure to learn from mistakes is a recipe for the commission of the same mistake. That is why it is incumbent on all Ethiopians to do everything within power to avert the prospect of their beloved nation suffering from eternal trials and tribulations.