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A Call to Fill the Leadership Vacuum Urgently

February 16, 2022

Asfaw Regasa

The humanitarian, political, and economic crisis in our country is worsening by the day. Our people in various parts of the country, including in the Northern, Western, Eastern, and Southern regions are suffering every single day from war, genocide, and other conflicts in historic proportions. Massacres of innocent civilians, including children, women, elderlies, and men in extremely terrifying manner, evictions of millions of our fellow citizens, gangraping of women, and the destruction of religious, cultural, historic, and economic institutions continue unabated.

The war is continuing in the Afar region with no action on the part of the Government resulting in the deaths of our citizens and evictions by hundreds of thousands. Atrocious crimes against our fellow citizens with complicity and material and logistical support from Oromia and Beningshangul governments continue to be committed by extremist groups to this day. Only about a week ago 168 innocent Amharas were indiscriminately massacred in Wollega by OLF Army and tens of thousands are still in siege. Our people in the southern and southwestern regions get killed and displaced due to various conflicts. Leaders of the ruling party including the Prime Minister continue to heartlessly ignore the massacres and sufferings of our people. We saw pictures of the Prime Minister just a few days ago visiting farms in Jimma and playing a Hollywood Actor making us question his sanity beyond his narcissistic behavior.

What should we do as Ethiopians to curb this complex and difficult situation in our country? Do we simply sit on our hands and watch the worsening situation that is unfolding under our eyes or is there something that we can and should do? What will a mere following up of the tragic news that comes out of the various parts of our country and talking about them with families and friends do if we don’t take meaningful actions as responsible citizens in an organized and strategic manner to alleviate the sufferings of our people as well as avert a potential dismemberment of our country?

In my opinion, each of us in Ethiopia and in the Diaspora has not only a responsibility but also an obligation to do what we can to turn the tide before it engulfs the whole nation and we become a nationless people! And this applies to all of us from any part of our country, regardless of our ethnic affinity since if Ethiopia fails, we will all fail. No Ethiopian is insulated from this great danger that is hovering over our country.

It is appropriate to acknowledge and thank here our fellow citizens who have been fighting the schizophrenic and brutal terrorist group, TPLF, and paying the ultimate sacrifice to ensure the continuity of our country over nearly the past one and half years, including, Fanno, the Amhara Special Forces, the Afar Special Forces and Defense Forces. Similarly, it is appropriate to acknowledge and thank other fellow Ethiopians, civic organizations, and political parties who have been fighting the current ethnic apartheid system under difficult circumstances. Of these, Balderas’ recent move to bring the genocide that has been perpetrated against our people merely because of their Amhara ethnicity to the United Nations is remarkable. All Ethiopians Union Party’s open letter to the Prime Minister and Members of the Parliament are also important steps as they put both branches of the Government on notice of accountability. The sacrifices that are being made by fellow Ethiopians in the media at home under difficult circumstances and those in the diaspora are also noteworthy. The humanitarian and emergency relief aid that is being made by the diaspora community and fellow Ethiopians at home to our people in war-torn regions are worth mentioning. Furthermore, the recent Statement of Worldwide Ethiopian Civic Associations on Government Transparency and Accountability is encouraging since it heralds the coming together of different civic groups to discuss and take a stance on our country’s dire political situation and it gives us hope that these and other similar groups will join hands and work together even further.

It seems that to curb the sufferings of our people and avert further mayhem and destruction, we need a much more organized, globalized, integrated, and strategic movement both at home and in the diaspora. It by no means is an easy undertaking to embark on such a globalized movement, however, we have no other choice but to do just that! This sounds ambitious considering the magnitude and complexity of our problems. However, as mentioned earlier, we have no choice but to come together and do what we must to avert the continuous crisis.

Organizing our people in the diaspora and at home is of paramount and immediate importance. Of course, to organize we must have leadership that truly and genuinely stands for all Ethiopians and our country. We need a leadership that is visionary, strategic, inclusive that can identify our country’s problems, determine short-, medium-, and long-term strategic goals, and come up with actionable plans that help attain those goals. The clock is ticking, and we do not have the luxury of disregarding all that is happening in our country under our eyes!

In my humble opinion, the tasks that need to be completed should include, among others, organizing Ethiopians in the US, Europe, Africa, and Asia via chapters, creating a synergistic movement with organizations (political, civic, professional, and religious) back at home that endeavor to avert the current crisis and fight to bring about a political system where justice and equality prevail, organizing fora for our people to discuss issues as well as create awareness, raising funds needed to undertake various tasks through transparent and accountable means that is worthy of our people’s trust, immediate humanitarian assistance (emergency food aid, medicines, clothing, etc.), engaging the central government to the extent practicable, cross-ethnic community outreach to counter the extremists’ divisive propaganda, outreach to domestic and foreign media, engaging African and Western governments, particularly those that have stakes in our geo-politics, constitutional review and making recommendations to the Ethiopian people and the government, etc.

We inherited an ancient country whose sovereignty has been protected through the sacrifices of our forefathers and foremothers from ALL ethnicities! The question is, will we be loyal and true to our forefathers and foremothers and pass on a more stable, united, developed, prosperous, democratic country in which equality, freedom, and justice prevail for all our people in the North, South, East, and West, or will we be disloyal to them and fail their sacrifices? Do we want to be remembered in history as a generation who saved our country from disintegration, or do we want to go down history as betrayers of the enormous sacrifices of our forefathers and foremothers? The choice is ours!

We need patriotic Ethiopians who can stand for all Ethiopians and fill the leadership vacuum immediately! Leaders who are trusted by most Ethiopians for their selfless sacrifices for their country and people over the years and who can bring Ethiopians from all walks of life together, as well as civic, religious, professional, and political institutions for this enormous and historic undertaking at a global level

I understand that we may have some differences on how we view our country’s problems and how we think they should be resolved; however, the enormity and complexity of our problems, the immense sufferings that our people and country are going through, and the danger that hovers on the sovereignty of our nation are compelling reasons for us to set aside our possible differences for now, come together, discuss, and come up with some consensus based actionable strategic plans to Save Our Country, Ethiopia.

For this enormous historic responsibility, I implore the Worldwide Ethiopian Civic Associations that issued a statement recently (mentioned above) to take an initiative in this regard and start the engine to save Ethiopia movement – a Global Ethiopians Movement (GEM), NOW!

May Almighty God protect our people and country, Ethiopia!

Asfaw Regasa


1 Comment

  1. “a Global Ethiopians Movement (GEM)!” Wow.
    So GEM is remotely going to “save” Ethiopia from itself?
    Funny thing is that you excoriated Tplf, Olf, Abiy because he is “Oromo” but praised Bladeras, AUP!
    And you are Asfaw Regasa, the objective and patriotic Oromo, right?!
    If you thought the reader would fail to see beneath the veneer you are dismally mistaken?
    So you “saw pictures of the Prime Minister just a few days ago visiting farms in Jimma” while the nation is suffering?
    In other words, you really believe everything has to come to a full stop just because there are numerous problems in the country? No weddings? No schools? No farming? etc? You need to wake up from your deep dark sleep!

    Zehabesha publisher: please publish my comments to Dr. Yonas’s “mythological” article posted February 3 and again Feb 16! I am assuming you intend to serve the public!

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