10 July 2018

Ethiopia: Understanding Our Past Socio-Political Atrocities

In any society, political atrocities are violations against the values of social structures, moral/ethical, cultural, linguistic, traditional, and religious integrity of a given society. During the past political systems, in Ethiopia the majority of the ethnic communities have been negatively affected and impacted by socio-political, religious, and economic dictatorship of the self-proclaimed political elites claiming to represent one culture; one religion; one language; one nation under one flag, yet suppressing, silencing, oppressing, and destroying values of diversity. Today, the need and demand of the majority of Ethiopian people is loudly pronounced and represented. However, such atrocities against the Ethiopian people cannot or/and will not or would not be buried or eliminated unless the existence of such atrocities are acknowledged without any pre-condition.Denying or/and trying to rationalize or even trying to justify these atrocities will not bring or/and resolve the problem. The wounds caused by these atrocities have been exercised, inflicted upon, and applied in Ethiopia cannot be easily healed unless the aggressor recognizes and accepts the responsibility. Atrocities of this nature, went to the extent of destroying and dismantling human lives; exploiting local economies and socio-cultural/religious values. The motives, intentions, and actions of the aggressor were inhuman and antisocial, thus intolerable and unacceptable.

Today the stories of the past atrocities are being told and pronounced not around the coffee table but in action, by reshaping the course Ethiopia's history where all peoples enjoy the rights of life, respect, and human dignity,by managing their affairs based on their needs and demands of their respective settings. However, the challenging part of the story-telling is that the aggressor is on the run, not on the level of change-mode instead continued resisting and have shown no remorse and willingness to take the responsibility, thus attempting to bury the past or to silence it or trying to be indifferent. The key for establishing the healing process is confessing those atrocities as they occurred/happened and why they happened. We cannot kill and bury atrocities by denying to tell them.

It is common wisdom that the pre-conditions and requirements to restore productive and inclusive Ethiopian socio-political order is by telling the terrible atrocities that were implanted, introduced, and implemented until the 1991 Ethiopian peoples' revolution. To this date, the actors of these atrocities in Ethiopia remained at large and on denial-mode in terms of justifying their criminal behaviors, motives, and actions with the good of the country, to keep the country united. The country they talk about is Ethiopia composed of hills, mountains, rivers and forests, but with no or minimal interest in its people.

The motivating factors to committing socio-political, economic, educational, religious, and cultural atrocities have been unity of the nation, Ethiopia and for the honor of the flag but peoples, nations, and nationalities sacrificed their lives; their languages; their economic resources; their moral/ethical; and traditional and popular religious values. The aggressors defined the nation, Ethiopia in terms of geographic integrity without giving an absolute respect to its people and cultures.

Until the 1991, Ethiopian history has been well characterized by political manipulation with exclusion of the majority from political arena. Our recent past Derg regime has been well known for its "butcher", political systems that destroyed lives and economy; Ethiopians were owned, managed, controlled, ruled by elites and their associates. The majority of the people were to serve the system and elites' ego.

Socio-political problems that Ethiopia faces today is primarily the conflict between those who deny past atrocities and those who undergone/experienced, victims of those atrocities. Today, Ethiopians who experienced, victimized due to intentionally perpetuated socio-political atrocities telling their stories while engaged in rehabilitating their respective localities. The way these stories are told depended on the gravity; frequencies; level of impacts, which varies from one ethnic community to another; from locality to locality. It is imperative that atrocity story telling should and must serve the truth-telling. It is only when atrocities are recognized, acknowledged, and not denied, and stories are told as they happened thus Ethiopian social integration, national unity, and co-existence would be preserved.

Story telling of the Socio-political, economic, educational, structural, cultural, and religious atrocities in Ethiopia making progresses namely; such atrocities that occurred, affected, and made us hostages of political cruelty are no more just symptoms but also verbally expressed and pronounced. During the past political systems Ethiopians were prisoners of poverty, man-made famine, and wars. Healing comes with truth-telling, rather than indifferences, avoidance, negative reactions and so on. In Ethiopia dissociation from truth-telling, verbalization of our past political misery that dehumanized and demonized the majority of peoples seems taboo and suppression of which would bring more social disintegration.

The 1991 Ethiopian peoples' revolution, born in the birth place of Ethiopian history and socio-religious and artistic civilization brought to light the values of unity in diversity. The transition from mono-linguistic; mono-cultural; mono-religious; mono-political thinking to culture of inclusive and representative thinking encountered resistance and opposition from political and ethno-elitism. The remnants of the past political regimes, both from Emperors' and Derg regimes continued with information-war, spreading fake propaganda with an attempt of reversing the course of our history to dark age. The matter of fact is that Ethiopia's socio-political, economic, and expansion of academic opportunities to all has shown tremendous progresses and made positive impacts in the world stage. Ethiopia is more engaged in the peace-keeping, diplomatic, and conflict mitigation and transformation roles in the continent of Africa.

Regardless of opposition from incompetent domestic political unions and diaspora political fugitives barriers of atrocities are broken, imprisoned, social, cultural, traditional, religious, and local structural values are released; sanctioned on self-expressions are lifted; connections between public and private sector is restored; claim culture and sense of entitlement gave way to fact-telling; equal educational opportunities for men and women promoted; sense of socio-political and economic entitlement gave way to public engagement and dictatorship gave way to representative democracy. Ethiopia entered into the era of public discussion by eliminating little gods. Ethiopians are productively harvesting the outcomes of 17 or more years of bitter war of liberation from butchers. Socio-political atrocities in Ethiopia were human design and are dismantled by individuals with vision, guts, big dreams, and conviction of people's success and equal opportunity.

During the past 26 years, the current Ethiopian government created a political movement that gave voice to the disempowered, voiceless, and oppressed. The political philosophy of the current government was/is to defend the cause of justice for all Ethiopians. In Ethiopia, for the first time in the history the cult and love for war collapsed and the focus became fight against poverty; productivity and community engagement; national unity is explained; the nation, Ethiopia is defined in term of people not just geographic integrity; education system and opportunities expanded in such a way all have access; all nations, peoples, and nationalities have representation and voice to determine and respond the needs and demands of their respective communities. Their names, traditions, languages, cultures, stories, popular religiosity, and moral/ethical values are equally respected. This is what the US congress should be informed about; learn about; and know about. Thus, No to HRs 128.

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