22 December 2017

Ethiopia: Keep Peace to Keep Fast Pace

editorial

Peace has been central to the rapid pace of the economic growth registered over the last decade. In light of this, the violence which has been erupting at few towns and administrative districts in recent time serves no purpose other than obstructing the ongoing efforts of transforming the nation into a middle income economy.

For a country which has lifted itself from the abyss of extreme poverty, paying all kinds of sacrifices, such violence is highly likely to derail the hard-won gains. It erodes the age-old culture of respect among the diverse people and leads to loss of life and property. In fact, the past violence in some parts of the country has claimed the lives of citizens while posing destruction of property. If goes unchecked, if not stopped somewhere, it would undermine the national security and will degenerate into very unpleasant situation--may also cause a complete U-turn of the socio-economic development-- which is against the wishes of all Ethiopians and their lovers--God forbid that!

No doubt, the situation can be put at least into two dimensions. Limitations in rendering quality services to the growing demands of the public, and the large size of youth part of the population, in one hand. And abuse of power among few individuals in the leadership--using power to personal gains. This is just to be fair in the analysis. However, the hands of individuals and groups who always conspire behind the scene, and publicly as well, to see a weak and fragile Ethiopia is beyond doubt. The youths who are driven emotional are targeted by the unscrupulous individuals and groups to be used as an instrument of destruction.

As Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn unequivocally put it in his condolence message regarding the mass shooting of ethnic Somalis in west Hararge last Sunday, a cloud is on the horizon which may lead the country to instability; hence, the government will take appropriate measures. True to his statement, appropriate and legal measures have to be taken by the government. Indeed, the range of measures ought to include probing into the genuine causes and the aggravating factors. And the measure has to be adequate enough to give the problem a lasting solution. And all who have involved in the violence, intentionally and unintentionally, should be met with stringent measures. Hopefully, the current evaluation which Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front is undertaking would come up with lasting solution.

But the government is not the sole actor in healing the wounds. The media have to play its pivotal role in educating the youths about the value of peace, and have to urge the youths to strongly denounce doomsayers' illusions.

The media as well should be clear and succinct in providing the youths with ample information as to what the situation in Ethiopia had been before a quarter of a century, and the remarkable changes during the last quarter of a century. Particularly, the broadcast media have to put informed insight into the current progress of the country as well as ways and means of sustaining the gains and working hard to secure more achievements.

Faith fathers and elders play no fewer roles in educating the youths and the entire faithful. In this regard, these entities should continue preaching the value of love, unity and prosperity. They as well need to show the youth the light of peaceful coexistence which the people of Ethiopia exercised for centuries.

It is clear that the people of Ethiopia have shown their unity in various times. They defended their sovereignty from foreign aggressors. They also fought inequality and dictatorship in unison. Likewise, the people are working harmoniously to list their country in the ranks of middle income economies. The entire vision of the people is to build one political and economic community. This sacred vision should not be hampered, and any sign of hindrance which stands against this noble vision should be in the strongest term possible for it helps to sustain peace and accelerate the pace in pursuing the vision.

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