by Tullu Liban
I have been following social media stuffs associated with Prime Minister Abiy’s tours and discussions he made in regions.
I observed that the PM is well aware of the volatile situation in the country. Even though I am not much impressed by the visits he made, I believe his deliberations with members of communities (in fact, most of them still invited cadres) during the tours must have further enabled him understand the level of polarity, negative attitudes, intolerance and hostility unleashed in the country.
I am personally much attracted to his tone of understanding the diffrerences, his call for working together and helping each other for reconciliation and positivity than the uprorars on catchy phrases like “gold people, Wolkait development demeans, Anole monument and village nationalism” among others. I expressed my disagreement with the PM on his inappropriate cremark on Wolkait issue. Other issues are also very sensitive in this divided society of ours. I am not indifferent to some of the tongue slips (I believe) we observed in the PM speeches for every word he utters is carefully analized and sometimes misinterpreted in the polarity we are living in.
Still I appeal to fellow citizens not to be phrasemongers and hair splitters. Let us put things in context and let us give this man the benefits of the doubt. Let’s not run after each bit of his word for criticism. I believe we have to evaluate him by what he does than what he says. I know Abiy is an EPRDF member and he is chosen by his party not by the people of Ethiopia. However, peoples’ struggle brought him to this position. Thus, when he is trying to bring something new into people’s demands, he deserves support not a lash out. I am talking only about critical support.
As regards Oromo nationalism, I don’t think we need to spend much time and energy on it. Neither Abiy nor other forces can reverse Oromo nationalism until Oromo questions are properly addressed. I don’t think PM Abiy and his colleagues would miss this point. Once we showed him the delicacy of the issue, I think we don’t need to dwell on it again and again for we have tons of other issues to discuss.
I don’t know how much PM Abiy and his party are convinced to transform the country or if they are still contemplating to buy time and rebuild themselves for another round of TPLF monopoly rule. If they are working to reinstate themsleves to rule once again that is a dangerous game.
Dr. Abiy is heard talking about reconciliation and hopes.
Here is where my ear is to the ground. How does the reconciliation come? Can it be achieved because the PM makes flowery remarks about its importance?
A big no! Reconciliation needs truth finding, justice making where it is due, accountability where law is breached. It needs to create an open platform and necessary institutions for inclusve dialogue.
Therefore, if the PM is serious about reconciliation, he needs to work towards enabling this project come true. That is the only way for us to bring about lasting peace and to narrow down the intolerable differences.