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Reining in forces of destruction!

Reining in forces of destruction!

Let’s put a stop to senseless bloodletting and the displacement of the innocent. Let’s bring culprits who are soaked in the blood of the innocent. Let’s make sure that reckless elements blinded by greed do not toy with a country that has survived for millennia through the civility, farsightedness and bravery of all Ethiopians. History would judge the generation which allows a great nation and its proud people to easily fall prey to the evil machinations of enemies. If Ethiopia is to become a motherland where its people live in equality in the real sense of the word feuding citizens should come to their senses. The alternative is mutually assured destruction. Rehashing old grievances with a view to disparage the great nation that Ethiopia is certainly is not in anyone’s interest.

Ethiopia needs to be rid of not only the poverty and backwardness that has bedeviled it for centuries, but also the paternalistic attitude of rulers towards their “subjects”. This requires first and foremost to loyally uphold the rule of law. It is particularly incumbent on the government to obey and enforce the law. There can be no justification to enacting draconian laws intended to perpetuate one’s hold on to power as such practice goes against the spirit of the constitution. The basic liberties enshrined in the supreme law of the land. It’s impossible to think of the rule of law where some are “more equal than others” while the rest are disenfranchised, if a select few are immune from prosecution for the same crime others have been indicted for, if justice is not equally accessible to all citizens, and if maladministration and corruption are rampant. The consequences of such bad governance, as has been amply demonstrated, are dire unless the underlying causes are promptly tackled.

The government should have learned by now that it ignores the public at its peril. The time when the government can willfully disregard the demands of the masses and impose a dictatorial rule is long gone. In cognizance of this fundamental fact it is imperative to root out illegality and maladministration, to enable the unfettered exercise of such human and democratic rights as the freedom of thought and expression, to broaden the political space, to facilitate favorable conditions for free and fair elections as well as to develop the culture of submitting to the will of the people. Failure to create an environment that helps citizens to engage in constructive dialogue is bound to engender discontent and thereby stoke violence that affects all segments of society. The forces of destruction must be reined in order to avert the specter of such calamity.

Similarly whether they are operating both at home or overseas political actors which have a beef with the government must refrain from engaging in destabilizing acts. In the first place it is obligatory for them to demonstrate that they respect the will of the people whom they claim to represent. They cannot move forward the democracy building process if they resort to instigating violence against perceived opponents or otherwise that jeopardizes the security of the country and its people for the sake of furthering their political agenda. How can they mount an effective political struggle without recognizing that it requires commitment, patience and wisdom? How is it possible for them to engage in productive dialogue when they are anathema to the concept of democracy and are consumed by hatred? How long can they carry on with pushing a bankrupt political ideology and making the same mistakes year after year after year? What good is the proliferation of political parties which lack the basic attributes of an organized entity and are the playthings of certain individuals? What benefit does the country or its people derive from a regressive ideology which does not keep pace with current realities? What possibly can be gained by fanning the flames of ethnic animosity?  The forces culpable of these destructive acts ought to be reined in.

The scars left by the death, injury and psychological trauma as a result of the conflicts over the past two years are still festering. At a time a nationwide discourse should have been held with the aim of healing the wounds inflicted by the conflicts as well as how to make sure that they do not arise again it is disheartening to witness this month the eruption of violent clashes along the Oromia and Ethiopia-Somali regions that saw scores die and tens of thousands displaced. A source of national disgrace the unconscionable acts visited on innocent citizens by the forces of destruction should be redressed by bringing the perpetrators to justice. The evil intentions of elements which misuse social media to foment conflicts can be defeated insofar as the government abides by the rule of law, fully respects constitutionally guaranteed rights, put an end to bad governance, submit to the will of the people, understand the psyche of the public and keep abreast of contemporary thinking. Then social media will no longer serve as a platform to stir brotherly people to rise against each other.

As we have said time and again Ethiopia’s continued survival and growth can only be secured by installing a system of government which operates under the rule of law. Though respecting the rule of law is primarily a constraint upon the behavior of government officials, each and every citizen must also uphold it.  As a representative of the people the legislature should see to it that the executive branch of the government obeys and enforces the rule of law. This should be augmented by efforts to bring about social justice and equality. Anyone who acts in a manner contrary to these principles and are bent on stirring social unrest are traitors no different Ethiopia’s historical enemies. Ethiopians are farsighted people who have a proud history and possess exemplary values. The forces of destruction that actively seek to pit them against each other need to be reined in!