by Robele Ababya
Symbiotic collaboration to revive gravely ill democracy
Democracy in lawless Ethiopia has been seriously ill and bed-ridden for a long time; but now, there is a glimmer of hope to reverse course and revive it. However, the one and only one hope of resurrecting the dying democracy is by forging strong unity through symbiotic collaboration among all forces that have stake in a democratic Ethiopia that would emerge by nationwide consensus. To that end, the following three examples in my opinion would serve as a lesson.
Snapshot of stride to lawlessness
Ethiopia is the first country in the world to develop and implement system of laws by which to administer the affairs of state. It is therefore ironic, brutal and cruel that lawlessness has sunk so low in the 21st century under the misrule of tyrant Zenawi that citizens are: denied freedom of expression; indiscriminately killed in cold blood by special security forces; and brutally beaten, gassed and incarcerated en masse by the Federal Police while holding peaceful public demonstrations exercising their constitutional civil rights to demand the repressive ruling party not to interfere with freedom of religion stipulated in the supreme law. It is argued that the receding regimes were not as harsh as the TPLF regime as argued in the paragraphs below. For more details readers are advised to refer to the book in Amharic entitled “History of Atse Haileselassie” by Beryehun Kebede”
Emperor Haileslassie faced several serious challenges to His authority including political intrigues, insurrection, rebellion, treason, mutiny and coup d’état. To His credit the Monarch skillfully applied persuasion, mediation, the judicial system, His rich diplomatic experience, patience and charismatic personality to overcome all the challenges to His authority but one – His dethronement by the Derg Military junta. For example, from His ascendancy to the throne on 31 October 1931 to His dethronement on 12 September 1974 His Majesty was met with the following formidable challenges aimed at overthrowing Him :-
Due processes of law was working in that offenders were receiving fair trial; His Majesty exercised His authority of granting clemency gracefully, save in the case of Dejatch Belay Zeleke. The demise of the Imperial regime is however attributed to: poor response to the 1973/74 famine in the north of Ethiopia; old age of the Monarch; and failure to implementation of private land ownership proclamation issued much earlier by the Monarch Himself. The bureaucracy and sabotage on the part of large chunk of feudal land owners, some in high position in government, were also blamed for the fiasco.
In sharp contrast however:-
Future leaders in Ethiopia should always recognize that the masses are the true source of authority and that their participation is imperative in making the laws by which they are governed.
The advice in quotation below by Emperor Menilik II puts in a nutshell the import of unity, without divisive jealousy culminating in internecine carnage detrimental to the country:
“«እናንተ አንድ ልብ ከሆናችሁ በምቀኝነት እርስ በርሳችሁ ተዋግታችሁ ካላለቃችሁ በቀር ኢትዮጵያን አገራችንን ለሌላ ለባእድ አትሰጧትም፤ ክፉም ነገር አገራችንን አያገኛትም። ነፋስ እንዳይገባባችሁ አገራችሁን በያላችሁበት በርትታችሁ ጠብቁ፤ ወንድሜ ወንድሜ እየተባባላችሁ ተደጋገፉ፤ የኢትዮጵያን ጠላት ተጋግዛችሁ ተደንበር መልሱ። የኢትዮጵያ ጠላት ባንዱ ወገን ትቶ ባንድ ወገን ቢሄድና ደንበር ቢገፋ፤ በኔ ወገን ታልመጣ ምን ቸገረኝ ብላችሁ ዝም አትበሉ፤ ያ ጠላት በመጣበት በኩል ኁላችሁም ሄዳችሁ አንድነት ተጋግዛችሁ ጠላታችሁን መልሱ እስከ እየቤታችሁ እስኪመጣ ዝም ብላችሁ አትቆዩ»” ዳግማዊ ዓፄ ምኒልክ፤ ግንቦት ፲ ቀን ፲፱፻፩ ዓ.ም. (Emperor Menilik II, 18 May 18, 1908)
This is time to end forever the destructive divisive politics of the last 21 years of the reclusive TPLF minority racist regime characterized as pathological liar and perpetrator of heinous crimes unprecedented in the history of Ethiopia.
The colossal damage done to Ethiopia requires united participation of all stakeholders. If possible, the establishment of a Transitional arrangement should be preceded by nationally held truth and reconciliation, which itself is going to be a Herculean task.
LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!!!
Release all political prisoners including Andualem Aragie, Iskinder Nega et al
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