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No messing with Ethiopia!

No messing with Ethiopia!

The rule of law is the abiding principle on which a nation’s survival rests. The moment this principle is flouted the specter of lawlessness endangering the constitutional order becomes all too real. It’s up to the government and the general public to avert such a prospect. Lately elements bent on advancing their sinister motives by taking advantage of conflicts of varying forms are jeopardizing the continued existence of Ethiopia and its people as a cohesive polity. These irresponsible elements are spewing poisonous propaganda day and night to fuel ethnic tensions with a view to provoke an endless internecine conflict and induce a state collapse. The federal and regional governments shoulder the solemn responsibility of bringing the culprits to heel. Failure to do so constitutes a gross dereliction of their duty to enforce the law.

As we always say the proud and far-sighted people of Ethiopia have coexisted harmoniously for millennia in spite of ethnic, religious, linguistic and cultural differences; in fact they embraced their diversity and lived through the good times and bad times together. Deeply patriotic they have never harbored animosity towards each other throughout their history. Forces incapable of seeing beyond their selfish interest are plotting to tear asunder this historic bond. They stoke the embers of destruction by falsely characterizing clashes between private citizens as attacks carried out by one ethnic group against another. Their iniquitous misdeed, which is akin to the inflammatory practices that triggered the horrendous genocides in Rwanda, Burundi and other places, is wholly un-Ethiopian and as such should be roundly condemned.

Ethiopianness is a manifestation of courteousness, farsightedness, bravery, hospitableness, generosity, etc. These attributes describe Ethiopians living in all corners of the country. Sadly nowadays it has become alarmingly commonplace to come across toxic rhetoric, particularly on social media, that seemingly is aimed at sowing ethnic discord and anarchy. The deadly conflicts of the past two years that have resulted in the death, maiming and displacement of thousands as well as considerable property destruction were prompted by their evil action. The reaction to such reprehensible acts has been to say the least wholly inadequate. Enough is enough!   

The Ethiopian people will soon pay a heavy price if the political crisis besetting the country is not tackled with the urgency it requires. Those who foment hatred and beat the drums of war on various platforms, including social media, must be stopped in their track. There is no place for hate speech in a country where citizens are greeted daily with news about the death of compatriots. Though freedom of expression is guaranteed by the constitution, one cannot hide behind this right to justify any form of hate speech. Actually the constitution explicitly prohibits any propaganda for war and the public expression of opinion intended to injure human dignity. The times we are in make it imperative to take all the necessary measures to safeguard Ethiopia’s unity. Once the country goes downhill due to tug of war between the proponents of extreme views on the opposite end of the political spectrum there is no going uphill. That is why it is imperative to always put the national interest above anything else.

The rapidly fluctuating political fever gripping Ethiopia is increasingly becoming a cause for grave concern. The ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and the administration it heads are not availing the public with adequate information at a time the country finds itself at a crossroads. The conflicting information and narratives coming out of feuding elements within the ranks of the government are confusing the public. This is proof that the regime is on a downward spiral. No one is trying to allay the public’s anxiety over the fact that it is none the wiser about what the government is doing to forestall the impending doom that the people think will befall the country. Citizens are getting killed in broad daylight at the hand of thugs owing to the inability of the federal and regional governments to duly discharge their law enforcement obligations. Meanwhile, forces intent on exploiting this vacuum shamelessly play the ethnic card with an eye to inciting the youth to violence and thereby advance the dubious agendas of certain individuals or groups. This is precisely what is happening these days. Whose responsibility is to put a stop to this lunacy? All those invested in the fate of Ethiopia need to stand up and be counted.

A country can be home to all its citizens insofar as they are able to engage in a civilized discourse. Whether one likes it or not Ethiopia belongs to all of its people. Future generations and history will never look on kindly anybody who destabilizes the nation by way of acts which harm the public interest for the sake of the narrow interests of the few. Ethiopians do not deserve to be stirred up through provocative slogans. No one should be complicit, either directly or otherwise, in such a dastardly act. Rather it is imperative to work diligently towards upholding the rule of law, building a democratic which ensures equality and freedom as well as eradicating self-destructive attitudes and practices. Fanning the flames of hatred and narrow nationalism is an unforgivable sin. Endangering national unity through a blind loyalty to ethnic considerations is contrary to the collective psyche and shared values of Ethiopians. Let’s stop messing with Ethiopians and Ethiopia.