By Prof Mammo Muchie
- “All for one and one for all, united we stand divided we fall.”
- “United Ethiopia stands up; ethnically divided Ethiopia Suffers and falls. Let Ethiopian citizenship anchored civil and human rights unity prevail and all conflicts and wars end forever”
- “Stand up all you Ethiopians as one people and never enclave yourselves in the ethnically fractured division silos.”
- “Know only you the one and one Ethiopian people capably can make Ethiopia to unite firmly to keep on to stand upright together to deal and respond very rapidly to any challenges from now on by learning from the mistakes of the 2020-2021 totally unnecessary war to make Ethiopia never again to be in any war what so ever”
- “Ethiopia deserves to have leadership with full integrity, honesty, morality, humility, capability and sincerity to provide, appreciate and recognize high quality service to the people as the salary and not seeking to be served going for money-seeking by promoting selfish interests that keep creating conflicts and wars without end.”
II: Introduction: The Current Situation in Ethiopia: Election and the Crises in Tigray
The country was undergoing the election in circumstances where in 102 constituencies elections were not held. The good news is that where elections are held the process has been monitored to make sure no irregularities are accepted. If there is a problem, the electoral board keeps getting it re-done. There seems to be a commitment to make sure the outcome is a result where there is no irregularity. If the electoral board succeeds to achieve an election process where all that participated accept the outcomes as legitimate, then this 2021 election will become the first election that has been accepted as legitimate; as all previous elections have not been successfully done by observing all the required regulations. The outcome is still not declared and the expectation is that the electoral board is doing all they can to make the election outcome legitimate. The electoral board chair is following all the rules and we appreciate to see such commitment.
There is also another recent challenge where one of the Oromo parties declared a provisional Oromo area Government. We were expecting all the political parties will promote Ethiopianism and overcome ethnic division. This action taken to create a transitional regime based on Oromo ethnicity is very anti-Ethiopian. There is also claims that the TPLF is working to create a Tigray republic by creating a greater Tigray republic claiming more areas outside current Tigray with reported threats we read and hear in the media to wage war outside Tigray and even in Eritrea.
The election has been going on and as the final outcome is still not declared and before the results of the election are announced, the Government did the withdrawal of the army from Tigray.
So far on the Oromo regional transition there is not yet a public statement from the Government side. Ethiopia should not be subjected to a number of Governments. There must be one united Ethiopian Government and the regional administrations have to be part and parcel of the central Government.
On the whole the situation is very complicated. The politics is rough and very confusing; and we all are very deeply concerned about how things will evolve given all these contradictory actions by the different self-interested driven political parties and actors in the Ethiopia that should be undertaking smart, integrated, knowledge driven innovation in this current explosive digital technology 4th and 5th Industrial revolutions time rather than being distracted by the ugly politics of ethnic based driven varied conflicts.
III: The Decision by the Government to Withdraw the Federal Army from Mekele
The decision to withdraw the federal army from Mekele has generated debates on whether it is appropriate or not for the Government to take this action when the conflict is still not closed. The ceasefire is much needed if all the stakeholder politicians are on board. The best would have been for all who fought this very damaging and unnecessary war to evaluate the outcome and discover a route to march on a peaceful pathway for all the people to live with stability and decency valuing above all their full Ethiopian citizenship human and civil rights freed from the ethnic division curse they have been forced to live under since May 27, 1991.
The ethnic federalism copied from the Stalin nations, nationalities and peoples’ self-determination, the fascist Mussolini division into seven ethnically divided regions fully articulated in the book: Abyssinia: the Powder Barrel (1937) and the neo- apartheid type linguistically divided enclaves with Bantustans must have become a closed chapter. Eritrea splitting from Ethiopia did not violate colonial borders but uphold them from the Italian colonial rule and the 1884-85 Berlin Conference to divide and rule Africa by creating cynically borders that split families with heinous tribal enclaving. The 1998 Badme war was totally unnecessary to defend colonial borders drawn when Italy ruled Eritrea by splitting it from its own motherland Ethiopia.
Let us all be aware always that Ethiopia is seen by the colonial and imperial powers as a threat to their colonial and imperial project. Ethiopia remaining independent has made all the colonialists that did the imperial divide and rule strategy as if they are always being defeated unless they also weaken and divide Ethiopia. They supported the ethnic fracturing of Ethiopia with the TPLF as part of their strategy to destroy Ethiopia in 1991 in London. Ethiopia to this day is subjected to different vicious manipulations using both internal dividers and external intruders. Ethiopia is still not yet fully freed from this risk, danger and even onslaught. All the colonized world and oppressed humanity by colonialism should stand with Ethiopia and support her as the struggle of Ethiopia to remain independent has given spiritual strength for all the oppressed humanity that went through difficult colonial-imperial history. Ethiopia is all of you the colonially oppressed humanity and you are also Ethiopia. Ethiopia living forever is your humanity and dignity flourishing always and ever too!
Ethiopia that is truly the pride of Africa has been unfortunately subjected by locally colonially tarnished politicians to fall under ethnic division. Corrupt politicians value money, price and power, they do not value people and country. The politics that value people and Ethiopia must prevail and all those who demonstrate truly such values should create the noble political and social culture treating all citizens as the one and one family as mothers, fathers, uncles and aunts, sisters and brothers to live together with decency without fail. All in Ethiopia whatever differences they have must learn to live together with peace and stability with the practice of deep social values and moral and emotional intelligence. Even those who are not with them must not be seen or be treated to be as if they are against them.
Disagreement should not lead to war; ways must be found to live with peace even if there is disagreement. There should be always a way to move from disagreement to re-agreement without changing disagreement into conflict. That value and political culture to learn to agree even when disagreeing to re-agree by applying indigenous knowledge with restorative and rehabilitative social justice and social solidarity should be promoted to make sure all the people are capable to refuse to be manipulated to join warfare as the TPLF brutally started this current tragedy against our innocent people above all in Tigray on November 3 & 4, 2020. Why expose the ordinary people to death when they are all trying to carry on their poor livelihood existence and why did the TPLF leaders start the war in Tigray when they know full well the people in the war zone in Tigray will be subjected to all the massacres? Why did they fail to listen to all the elders advising them not to go to war? They must acknowledge this tragic mistake; if they do the Government should find a way to bring reconciliation and end the conflict and war finally for good.
The TPLF leaders that started this war should now learn lessons from the big mistake they made last year and stop going to war ever again and instead learn humbly to open the opportunity for the people of Tigray to value above all their Ethiopian citizenship. All TPLF and their internal and external supporters must value the peaceful lives of the people with no more killing above all else matters more than any power-seeking and engaging to continue war making.
I look for the earliest possible time for all to enter the peaceful and stable era to create the innovation, knowledge, creativity and imagination rich fully sustainably developed Ethiopia with the speed of light square marathon race by removing the gravity burden of ethnicity and all the conflicts based on language, religion, age, gender, color, tribe, ethnicity and all other differences. Let all the people value Ethiopia and the unity of the people and end all conflicts and wars forever.
IV: Support to Ethiopia with No Interference from the International Community
The international pressure and intrusion on the Ethiopian Government has been very heavy and threatening. The U.S. Government went to the extent of banning visa to the Ethiopian Government personnel. The social media in the cyber world was fully blackmailing the Government to a point of claiming that all the humanitarian crises has been generated by the Government. The public relation response from the Government against the accusations and blames have not been as effective to counter the massive information and disinformation that the world has been abashed with the cyber warfare from the TPLF supporters from all parts of the world such as Ireland, Scandinavia, U.K, U.S.A, U.N and so on. The different actors such as journalists, scholars, politicians and others globally have accused the Government for the on-going humanitarian crises in Tigray without including TPLF that started the war and brought this calamity to the innocent ordinary people in Tigray who should never have been in this tragic danger at all.
It should be known that the main cause for this humanitarian crises in Tigray is the war and some of the TPLF leaders have admitted they started the war. They should have known if they value the security and safety of the ordinary people in Tigray and the rest of Ethiopia; they should never have initiated this tragic war. The whole world should have recognized this and opposed them to begin with from going in this human massacring route. The Government appeared to be forced to enter into this war and tried so many times to mediate and negotiate. It is when the massacres of the defense forces took place when they were asleep which was done by the TPLF that the Government sent the federal army. There were also the civilian massacres at Mai Kadra based on their ethnicity that forced the federal army to enter Tigray and finally the war that subsequently led humanitarian crises in Tigray took place very unfortunately.
The Government army withdrawal must be complemented with the TPLF taking similar steps by stopping completely to continue ethnic killing. When the Government troops left Mekele, there are many students from different parts of the country that are still in different universities and the parents and sisters, brothers, uncles and aunts are crying not knowing their safety and unable to communicate with them with no working communication services. It looked the decision by the Government should have been done after making sure all citizens that will be confronted with all kinds of danger are also first and foremost informed and protected. Let us hope the Government will have ways to save all the innocent lives.
The international community that has close contact with the TPLF must make it a priority for the TPLF to stop completely to continuing the war and the ethnic based killings. Urgent action is needed to save all the students and to make all the parents know the safety of all the students. All stakeholders, Governments, civil societies, Non-Governmental organizations, media outlets in Ethiopia, the rest of Africa and the world should unite and demand that there must no longer be any war at all in any way in Ethiopia at all. It was totally unnecessary to have gone through many wars since 1974 in Ethiopia. All engaged in war must stop it. The priority is above all the humanitarian security of all the ordinary people. No one must be at the risk to suffer when the ordinary people that die have nothing to do with the ethnic dirty politics that TPLF imposed on the Ethiopia that has given spiritual wealth to all oppressed humanity in the world for a generation.
The action taken by the Government to withdraw can only bring a humanitarian outcome if the TPLF also stops continuing the warfare and a peaceful condition is created in all parts of Tigray and the rest of Ethiopia. The international community must support the security of all the people but not interfere and side partially with the TPLF.
The current election is still not over. Let the opportunity be created to create governance systems, institutions, and especially the leadership that do not stay for thirty and more years. TPLF/EPLF has been ruling with nine ethnic division of Ethiopia for 27 years and after it ran the election before it left with its fraudulent 99 % winning record and it faced nationwide protest that brought finally the new Government in 2018. How come if 99% electors support TPLF/EPLF the people who voted for them can protest against them? Time to go for creating rule of law, effective and legitimate governance, institutions, systems and quality and predictable people serving leadership. Stop all heft, lying, corruption and all politics tarnished with ethical loss forever in Ethiopia. We need to create morally and intellectually intelligent and vibrant Ethiopia and Ethiopians that radiate the pursuit and sun-shine of the innovation and creativity imagination. The time to remove the ethically and ethnically fractured hostile leadership and governance poverty and curse must prevail and end the ethnic divisive constitution. The international community can assist but must never interfere in the Ethiopia that has very rich history of remaining independent despite so much challenges. Ethiopians must include all the people to create the constitution to empower, enable and capacitate all citizens by celebrating their Ethiopian human and civil citizenship rights and identity above all else as one community without degrading them into ethnic silos and Bantustan type killer enclaves/killels!
V: Goal to achieve Peace and Security for all Ethiopians with No Further Delay
The fact now is that the Government has made the decision to withdraw the federal army in Mekele. What is needed very much from here on is to create peace and security in Tigray and address all the humanitarian crises that the war brought in the last eight months. The withdrawal of the federal army should not be seen in the win or defeat or gain or loss narrative perspective. Some of the TPLF leaders have declared in the media that they won and the federal army lost and they claim that is why the federal army left Mekele. It is better to see it with a different perspective by looking back at the war dangers imposed on the ordinary people to look forward at bringing new non-risky peaceful opportunities to all the people in Ethiopia as a whole.
How can all learn to think, to do, to act and to know using the current condition to create and restore humanitarian security and peace and stability in both Tigray and the rest of Ethiopia without engaging whatsoever in and with armed conflict? What must those that are fighting from the TPLF side learn from it for them to stop continuing the ethnic tragic divisive politics by taking the withdrawal of the federal army not bragging as expressing their victory, but rather more as an opportunity to re-think their own ethnic destructive politics they tarnished Ethiopia with for a generation.
We urge the TPLF leaders to learn and stop immediately and declare they will not continue any war and fighting in Tigray or anywhere else in Ethiopia. The humanitarian crises that the war created must be resolved and must become the priority of priorities for everyone to address not outsource the problem to bring external actors to use it to take advantage by exacerbating the conflict never to be closed and end. The TPLF leaders must stop also to continue to get external arms and aid to destabilize Ethiopia. They must support the GERD to be completed and not enter agreement with Egypt and Sudan to complicate the earliest possible completion of the GERD. Time to enter into a dialogue culture by ending the conflict by engaging with one another by treating one as all and all as one doing the necessary mediation and dialogue to create an entirely much needed peaceful and stable environment for the Ethiopia that deserves nothing else but to enter into invention, knowledge, learning, competence building, innovation and creativity great productive imagination to eradicate poverty, unemployment, inequality by creating full health, safety, security, and education for all the people and nature to make no one in Ethiopia ever to beg, to starve , to be thirsty, and to become homeless. Let all Ethiopians unite as all as one without exceptions as full citizens of Ethiopia with full civil and human rights forever freed from the ethnic killel enclaves’ destructive politics to build competently an exemplary sustainably developed Ethiopia by using digital technology in this time of the 4th/5th Industrial Revolution.
VI: Concluding Remarks:
Let me close this commentary with what is critically very important. This is a time when the world is under corona virus, climate change and rise in demography. The world is still not run with effective systems, governance, institutions and leadership. There are many challenges: health challenges, social, economic and political problems are mounting. These challenges can be addressed not by war and creating military weapons but addressing all the challenges by creating the humanity life-savoir complex by removing the military industrial complex. The whole world should become and behave as one community. If it is not possible, there should be moral, intellectual and emotional education to create the right communicative intelligence to make one humanity in the world to learn, live, work, share and care peacefully and intelligently as one and one community. Let us all morally learn to give rather than take, steal, lie, hurt and kill.
Let the world apply Ubuntu and Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam to create one humanity as one community with no wars, no army and no killing of any innocent human-being and not exacerbate conflict by magnifying religious, colour, ethnic, tribal, caste, gender, age and all other differences. Respect and appreciate difference and celebrate all humans by valuing all as one humanity family. That humanistic path way must now come to save all people in the world and the planet in this not easy time the world is going through in the 21st century.
Ubuntu originated from Africa that has suffered and still continues to suffer so much. Ubuntu is the wisdom for humanity to create the universe with one and only one community by appreciating all differences and celebrating all the universal humanity oneness! Let us go for Ubuntu and end war and conflicts by removing all weapons from guns to nuclear killers forever. Those who believe God created humans must never be killers. It is anti-God to kill any human being. Humans must all be life saviours not killers. Human beings must never kill each other by valuing their own interests to pursue for realising their selfish interests by creating wars. This killer and self-interested mind-set must change to save lives and make all humans to live decently with the provision of full health as the best service for all irrespective of any difference all humans have. Human similarity matters and let all celebrate humanity and appreciate difference and not use it to kill one another. Let a new universal moral intelligence prevail to save the world from any conflict and war forever.
Let us learn deep values from the Indian Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam life-savoir philosophy. Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam – वसुधैव कुटुम्बकं “The whole world is one single family” Do not call some relatives and others strangers. All humanity is one family.
Do not value money, power seeking, weapons; go and fast-track to value humanity, health, security, peace and decent livelihood for all without any discrimination using language, ethnicity, religion, gender, age, colour and any and all other differences.
The Ethiopian philosopher Zera Yakob, who created the African Enlightenment long before the European Enlightenment, said the rich are less happy than the poor. I can add the killer and the warrior cannot be happier than the peaceful ordinary God fearing and loving citizen. Do not be killers, be savers. Do not be warriors, be peace makers. Be a service provider and not a user of power only to be served.
The politicians love power and money, not service to the people. Corruption is still very high across the world. Politicians want to be served; they will create war to serve their own interests and agenda. As we see it now in Ethiopia with the TPLF should have been genuinely and sincerely apologising to all humanity for initiating on November 3-4, 2021 the most unnecessary war that should never have taken place at all. How can the TPLF say it stands for the Ethiopian innocent people in Tigray when they do war in Tigray knowing where many innocent people will be massacred as it tragically took place with all our heart–breaks sadly forever!
There is an appeal for all who engage in war to make a highly needed and essential mind-set change and paradigm shift very much now more than at any other time as people are dying every day as the world has not managed the corona virus diseases in all the political, economic, social, environmental, health, educational and moral spheres of life.
Let all in the world those that engage with war change. The world does not need the military industrial complex. We appeal to all America, Russia, China, Europe and others all over the world to go for one world humanity as one community. How great the leading power, the U.S.A starts the transformation from the military complex to creating the humanity life savoir complex, and from continuing becoming the differing countries that pursue self-interest to the extent of going to war to make all become one humanity community where they find peaceful ways to manage and control the diverse interests.
We appeal to America to go first and to lead in bringing the transformation from the military driven world to the humanity driven one. As a United states of America, go for the united states of the whole world. Do all you can to become the example in creating the Humanity Universal Complex(HUC) one world community as the whole world is in the U.S.A. Let us all appeal to USA to remove the Military-Industrial Complex(MIC) and become the example/model as the humanity life-savoir one for the survival of the universe in this not easy time the world is going through now at the present time. America please kindly chose HUC not MIC!
Finally, let Ethiopia, the rest of Africa and the world remove leadership poverty by choosing leaders that know the pathway and that can walk the way and can demonstrate effectively how the leader both walked and delivered quality service by knowing how to lead to serve people and country with values of deeply morally anchored humanity and not to seek to be served.
By Mammo Muchie, DSI/NRF Rated SARChI Research Chair, Faculty of Engineering and Built Environment and Department of Industrial Engineering ,Tshwane University of Technology: https://assistsarchi.wixsite.com/assist & www.sarchi.org