Lest the youth are co-opted into dismantling Ethiopia
The instigators of the recent violence in which hundreds of innocent civilians were brutally massacred and had their properties burned to the ground are now accusing the government of using excessive force to quell the violence and pontificating about respect for human rights. Loath to condemn barbaric acts perpetrated during the 21st century, they never tire to dig into the annals of history and lambast the atrocities committed by past dictators. They also work hand-in-gloves with their partners-in-crime at home and abroad to infect the youth with their vitriolic propaganda and enflame them to stoke ethnic and religious strife. Moreover, aside from hampering the fight to control the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic and mitigate its impact in Ethiopia, they are aiding and abetting Egypt’s plans to disrupt the completion of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. If the diabolic design of these elements is to be defeated the youth of Ethiopia need to stand together.
The singular defining feature of radical ethno-centrists is that they live in the past. The history of each and every country, including Ethiopia, is a mishmash of both the good and the bad. Many nations were for a significant part of their existence ruled by tyrants guilty of holocaust, slave trading and other barbaric acts. The founding fathers of the U.S., the titular cradle of democracy, were proud slave owners. The legacy of slave trade continues to this day in that country with blacks still suffering from institutional racism. If nations were prisoners of the past, they would never have made advances. Regrettably, the present generation of Ethiopia is caught up in wrangling over the past and dismantling the country instead of endeavoring to make its own history. The youth must not fall prey to the honey-laced yet poisonous narrative of radical ethno-centrists determined to incite them into wreaking mayhem and destruction so that they may assume the reins of government.
The youth have to be discerning about how they consume the different iterations of Ethiopian history. They have to be constantly reminded by parents, teachers, religious institutions and particularly the media that in this day and age of information they need to think twice before acting on information that appeals to their bias. If they don’t ask themselves who the owner of the information, how it is sourced, to what end it was publicized as well as why it should be disseminated they are liable to do something imperiling the national interest. They need to wise up to the fact that the unholy alliance formed by the group swept from power and the forces it used to persecute, which have no qualms about using them as cannon fodders, are peddling false and toxic narratives to prod them into committing horrific acts in a bid to destabilize Ethiopia.
Parties which hold themselves out as the “paragons of democracy” and “federalist forces” are leveling patently false accusations that the government in power is intent on building a unitarist state knowing in utter denial of the fact that each regional administration enjoys the right to self-govern. Ethiopia is a kaleidoscope of communities with diverse identities, cultures, languages, beliefs and mindsets. These differences have not prevented Ethiopians from forging shared values that have helped them to co-exist in harmony and preserve the nation’s unity for centuries. Although it’s incumbent on citizens to build on this pluralism and make strides together, elements bent on tearing the country to pieces and have not contributed anything of value to the nation are losing sleep over how to stir the youth to achieve their evil objective. As such the youth must be vigilant lest they are exploited for nefarious purposes.
Ethiopianness is a centuries-old project into which countless Ethiopians of all ethnicity and belief poured blood, sweat and tears; it’s an ideal on whose altar heroic citizens paid the ultimate sacrifice to maintain to this day. The Great Adwa Victory of 1896, the epoch-making defeat of a colonialist force by our brave ancestors, was Ethiopia’s gift to the black people of the world under oppression. Sadly, parochial ethno-centrists consumed by hatred always belittle the role of the architects of this unprecedented feat. What they fail to understand is that Ethiopians’ unity can and will weather no matter how hard they try to instigate bloody intercommunal conflicts. Following the catastrophic havoc wreaked in some parts of Ethiopia by the recent violence the people and government of Ethiopia have come to appreciate the dangers of inaction and have vowed that they will no longer tolerate politicians and other individuals that toil to rent the nation asunder. These rabble rousers better distance themselves from destructive acts in the realization that the sole path to power lies in the peaceful pursuit of one’s political program. The youth can and should play a crucial role in compelling anyone contemplating to dismantle Ethiopia to come to their senses.
The leaders of government and political parties must always bear in mind that Ethiopia is a nation whose interest should be put above theirs and that they owe a solemn duty to build a great country. They also need to desist from poisoning the youth with false narratives that only serve to unravel the tie which bind Ethiopians together. Instead they should empower them to make their own bit of history. Politicians, activists and for that matter anybody else collaborating with Ethiopia’s strategic enemies must be told in no uncertain terms that they should not mess with it and will be brought to justice wherever they may be if they persist with harming its vital interests. Meanwhile, the government should purge corrupt and double-crossing individuals which had infiltrated its ranks. At the same time the youth have to rebuff anti-Ethiopia elements lest they co-opt them into dismantling Ethiopia.