Unity in a given nation is an essential ingredient that cements togetherness. It is a cornerstone to promote mutual confidence and trust and bridge up relations. Unity creates an environment that fosters collaboration and promotes national cohesion, which binds all for cooperation and collective action towards optimal and sustainable social and economic development.
On the contrary, disintegration and fragmentation are calamities that cause mistrust, dissension and feuds between and among citizens, and bring devastating human and economic costs.
As it is learned from history, and as number of practical evidences show, countries with a history of division and animosity are always prone to continual conflicts and higher prevalence of civil war. They are also safe havens for lawless elements, violence instigator groups or organizations who aspire to benefit from chaos.
It is quite clear that Ethiopia is a multiethnic society where over 80 nations, nationalities and peoples with diverse culture, tradition, norms and religious backgrounds live together harmoniously for years. However, this does not mean that the country is entirely free from tribal cleavages and ethnic-based conflicts. Rather, in various times and situations, its peace has been havocked by conflicts associated with tribal and ethnic based violence, apart from external forces.
Paradoxically, even these days while all Ethiopians (those living within the country and abroad) are striving to restore national unity and envisioning to see a united, prosperous Ethiopia, tribal and ethnic politics are adversely challenging the country and its communities.
Unfortunately, groups with different interests are also adding fuel to the flame, and worsening the situation so as to realize their own hidden agendas. The current violence, which caused death, injury, and displacement in a number of citizens in the Ethiopian Somali State, in Jiggiga and the surrounding areas, is the result of such anti-peace elements.
However, the conspiracy would not impede the broad-based political reforms the country has currently embarked on: synergy, inclusiveness and consensus building among different groups, peaceful ways of solving disputes, forgiveness, collective inter-group cooperation and strong commitment can lead us to a highest goal in which we all could benefit.
Thus, by understanding the concept of synergy and a call for a radical change of attitudes to bring peace and security across the country, we all should stand together.
In the same manner, the government, side to side with its current effort for peace and forgiveness, should devise a meaningful conflict prevention strategy in order to address concerns in advance and avoid conflicts in the future; as it is the only cure to live in peace and harmony.