War no panacea to Ethiopia’s multi-faceted challenges
The civil war presently raging in northern Ethiopia must come to an immediate stop before it lands the country in the rank of failed states like Syria, Libya and Yemen. In a country that has been beset with a set of interminable problems internecine strife cannot be a solution. Though numerous attempts have been made to amicably resolve the long-running tensions between the federal and Tigray regional state governments, it’s tragic that the two sides are now engaged in a full-scale war following the unexpected attack by Tigray Special Forces on the Northern Command of the national defence forces. Ethiopians need to demonstrate that they stand for peace as the safety and security of ordinary folks is threatened by bellicose elements that have turned their back on peaceful political rivalry. These elements should not need reminding that any conflict destabilizing the nation only benefits its historical adversaries and that as such it’s not too late for them to come back to their senses. There are no winners in a civil war for it only begets death and destruction.
Forces waging the kind of war which has long made life an ordeal for Ethiopians have to desist from any and all acts endangering national security. Particularly, warmongers inflaming conflicts after sending their children and close relatives to safety overseas need to realize that their acts are liable to get them charged with war crimes. Igniting the flames of war instead of developing a culture of constructive dialogue and improving the lot of citizens through good governance will exact a heavy toll on the public. Ethiopians must in no uncertain terms tell belligerent forces bent on using them as cannon fodders for political ends that enough is enough, that they have to stop the destructive war they are prosecuting; they need to come together as one to defend their beloved country against the evil design of entities that do not care an iota about the welfare of the public.
Ethiopia cannot become a land of peace, freedom and justice as long as warmongers continue to operate with impunity. If its people are to be extricated from the clutches of abject poverty and taste the benefits of prosperity insofar as social justice reigns. This may be achieved through a mindset valuing a civilized political engagement, not the outdated view that might is right. A system on which the foundations of an inclusive nation are laid requires the consent of the people which they give freely, not coerced to. It’s a travesty to claim to stand for democracy while one still nurses a backward mentality that in no way helps move the democratization processes forward. So is beating the drums of war for the purpose of grabbing the reins of power while invoking the public’s name in vain. The naked attempt to accomplish sinister agendas by jeopardizing the lives and livelihoods of peace-loving citizens has to be thwarted. War has never been in the interest of anyone except those who profit from t.
The escalation of the animosity between the federal and Tigray regional state governments into a full-blown war, the proliferation of crimes in different parts of the country, the continued slaughtering and displacement of defenseless people for their ethnicity, the implacable hostility among the nation’s political forces and the inadequacy of efforts to build public confidence have undeniably rendered Ethiopia vulnerable to attacks by foes that have always sought to exercise hegemonic power over it. It’s being stabbed in the back at a time it’s facing an onslaught of debilitating challenges. Ethiopians should not doubt for a moment that the country’s strategic enemies will not fail to make use of the opportunity that the struggle for political supremacy at the expense of the national interest presents them with. For the sake of protecting public safety and preserving national security it’s imperative to negotiate a cessation of hostilities with immediate effect.
Ethiopia is a nation that has bright prospects. It’s up to citizens and citizens alone to realize its huge potential. If Ethiopians were to respect their differences and stand united for a shared cause, they can do wonders. The Great Adwa Victory—the unprecedented anti-colonialist feat of our forefathers that inspired the independence struggle of black people all over the world—is a living testament to this indisputable fact. The first order of business in replicating the unity that made the Adwa victory possible is to cool off the antagonism between the warring sides and bring them face-to-face to the negotiating table. Ethiopians have shown time and again it’s not beyond them to overcome temporary disputes and forge unity when they sit down and talk. Aside from an honest national dialogue between the relevant stakeholders, the media can play a vital role in turning the prevailing crisis into a wonderful opportunity by refraining from spreading false or inflammatory news. That is why it’s incumbent on each and every citizen to conduct a civilized conversation so as to bring the war to a swift conclusion.
Ethiopia’s survival must never be compromised no matter what. It’s not in Ethiopians’ nature to sacrifice the national interest on the altar of the narrow interests of certain individuals or groups. They know that any grievance they may have can and should be addressed without harming the vital interests of the country and its people. Anyone contemplating attacks imperiling Ethiopia’s national security better think twice for its people will not countenance such foolhardy acts. Ethiopia ought to be respected more than parochial political interests, ethnic and religious identities, contentious narratives and symbols as well as other considerations unfitting for the times. It’s only then that Ethiopia can be united, peaceful, prosperous and democratic. War has never been and cannot be a panacea to Ethiopia’s multi-faceted challenges.