As Ethiopians celebrated the advent of 2013 on September 11 the messages conveyed by different sections of the public underscored the importance of averting a recurrence of the ills of the past during the New Year.
As Ethiopians usher in the Ethiopian New Year the first order of business must be to resolve the dangerous standoff between the federal and Tigray regional state governments over the regional elections held by the latter this week.
Ethiopia cannot be a land of peace, democracy and social justice as long as all political actors disrespect the public. A peaceful and democratic political engagement will remain elusive if the ruling party in particular and its rivals do not put the public interest above theirs.
Ethiopia continues to be beset by multi-pronged challenges endangering public peace and national security. Politicians loathe to engage in a constructive dialogue are not stopping at anything, including spilling the blood of innocent citizens, to settle a score.
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.