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Where is the love?

From what I observed in the media, one of the things that worry me about this country is the tension between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the newly created Prosperity Party. One of the channels we watch at home every night is Tigray TV. Sometimes, I feel that I am watching Eritrean TV, back in the times where Ethiopian and Eritrea were still in the ‘no peace, no war’ situation. What you hear in the Amharic news is just scary. For me, the extent of bitterness you observe on the side of the Tigrean people is just too frightening for me. How did we end up like this? Not once have I heard positive views of the new party being reflected in their news. Not a single thing the current government is currently doing is viewed positively and without suspicion. Thankfully, the same stand is not being reflected on national TV channels such as ETV and Fana. Otherwise, I am sure we would be engaging in a full-fledged war already.

I often ask myself about the reasons behind all these feelings of bitterness. I am no political analyst, but as a lay person, I have my own views. The one thing that our newly elected prime minister has been advocating for is forgiveness and love. The flowery heart statues near the roundabout close to the airport is clear evidence for this, among several of his speeches that awed many of us, of course. But why isn’t the love and forgiveness being reflecting on the ground? I personally felt very proud when the award of the Nobel Peace prize was announced. I felt that love and forgiveness is indeed powerful enough to end an animosity that lasted for decades between Ethiopia and Eritrea. But now I am asking myself if we are creating a new enemy as a replacement to the old one.

You may say it is a simplification of what is really happening, but the way I see it, there are two problems in this country. The first one is that a new government that takes over power rarely appreciates what its immediate predecessor has accomplished. The second problem is that the government that is overthrown rarely wants to admit that it is actually no longer in power, and would do everything in its power to reclaim its previous status. Acceptance of failure is just not an option. Even slightly considering the fact that there may be another party that can do the job much better is just not an option. History is evidence that governments in Ethiopia never take over power through a peaceful transition but rather through armed force. Since the sacrifice involved in taking over power is just too much, accepting defeat and letting go of power easily is definitely not an option. The only thing that these kinds of governments would like to have in return for the sacrifice paid is eternal power.

For me, the ball is in the court of the current ruling party. It is the one that has the power. I think that the current government should do something to ease the tension with TPLF and the Tigrean people in general. It is simply not something that can be given deaf ears. Much is expected from a government that has made it its job to preach love and forgiveness to its people. Where is the love and forgiveness? This goes to all supporters of our Prime Minister. Isn’t there really anything good that the TPLF has accomplished? Isn’t there any way for them to work together with the current ruling party? Isn’t there any way to end the animosity?

Contributed by Tsion Taye
Contributed by Tsion Taye