Desisting from acts undermining Ethiopia’s unity
If it had not been dogged with misfortune Ethiopia was once a great nation. And its people have left legacies that live for posterity in the annals of world history. Should Ethiopians put our mind to it we can restore Ethiopia to its former glory, to symbolize multi-ethnic unity. Unfortunately, it is increasingly commonplace nowadays to hype up trivial issues with intent to desecrate what Ethiopia and Ethiopianness represent. Acts that would make our brave ancestors who paid in blood to put Ethiopia on its two feet turn in their graves are proliferating alarmingly. Ethiopians have lived in solidarity through good times and bad times alike; they have co-existed in harmony for eons due to the fact that they possess shared values which have withstood the test of time; and they have given everything to defend their nation against aggressors and expansionists. The present generation has a solemn duty to maintain the unity of a nation that has such a proud history. In particular, the leaders of today owe the obligation to see to it that Ethiopia becomes a land of freedom where all its children live in peace, equality and prosperity. Failure to discharge this grave responsibility will be judged harshly by history and future generations.
Ethiopia’s unity is vital to it becoming a stable, democratic and prosperous country. It can demonstrate that it is capable of harnessing its vast natural and human resource insofar as its people forge a shared vision to build a strong and unified nation. Sowing ethnic, religious, cultural and ideological divisions between Ethiopians with the express purpose of undermining national unity plays right into the hands of Ethiopia’s enemies. Citizens who truly love their country though work together on issues of common interest with likeminded compatriots while respecting each other’s viewpoints. Igniting sectarian skirmishes whose end game is to weaken unity constitutes an abhorrent tactic which is detrimental to the national interest. A country turns into a breeding ground for tyranny when irrational minds outnumber rational people. This prospect may be averted by providing quality education to the youth of Ethiopia so that they develop into inquisitive and responsible citizenry. Then they will have the wisdom not to fall for the alluring rhetoric of elements bent on fomenting conflicts and destabilizing the country.
Anyone who believes in the narrative that a select few individuals take credit for laying the foundation for Ethiopia’s unity is sorely mistaken. Ethiopianness was constructed through the valiant sacrifices of Ethiopians from all corners of the country. Trying to destroy this unity is akin to sailing on a collision course with over 100 million who passionately love their country. These Ethiopians do not countenance attacks against any ethnic group, religion, tradition or value; in fact they have always stood up for one another regardless of differences. Defined by a tapestry of shared values and interactions, this unity cannot be easily unwoven. Anybody who thinks that he can get away with instigating internecine conflicts would do well to heed the lessons of history—Ethiopians have always vanquished forces that had sought to subjugate them or rend them apart because the tie that binds them is unbreakable.
Each and every Ethiopian owes the obligation to thwart individuals and groups that have not contributed anything to speak of to improve the lot of fellow citizens from destroying the essence of what Ethiopianness stands for. Everyone has the right to demand the unfettered exercise of his freedoms and liberties. This said the manner in which the demand is made must not violate the legitimate rights of others and endanger national security. Elements toiling day and night to fan the flames of conflicts must be told in no uncertain terms to desist from their evil deeds. Just as preceding generations of Ethiopians were law-abiding, God-fearing, far-sighted and courteous the present generation should be morally upstanding. The full force of the law has to be brought to bear on those who engage in acts undermining national unity. Specifically, anyone who intentionally goads religious institutions to stoke deadly clashes ought to be brought to justice. There can be no compromising on the very survival of the nation.
At this critical juncture in the history of their nation Ethiopians are duty-bound to devote all their energy to preserving its unity. They must also strive to do everything in their power to build an Ethiopia where they can live in peace, dignity and mutual respect. This aspiration cannot be realized without ensuring that their beloved country comes to epitomize ideals like freedom, equality and justice. If Ethiopia is to prosper on all fronts it is imperative that its people show unity and resolve in defeating elements that desire to mire it in interminable conflicts and engineer its collapse. On the other hand, forces which equate unity with unitarism and those claiming to be on the opposite end of the spectrum need to understand that the only way forward for Ethiopia is a form of pluralism that is genuinely inclusive. Ethiopians who have their country’s best interest at heart know to distance themselves from any and all acts that only serve to hasten its disintegration. Ethiopia’s unity can be laid on a solid foundation through fraternity, empathy, the cherishment of diversity of views and a vision underpinned by equality and solidarity. That is why desisting from acts undermining Ethiopia’s unity is a matter of paramount importance.