DIALOGUE AND NEGOTIATION: FOR WHAT AND HOW?

December 12, 2013

by T.Goshu

It was on December 2 of this year that the Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) broadcast the breaking news that the ruling party has extended its intention for negotiation with Ginbot 7 Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy.  ESAT has made a very brief but quite important follow up by conducting an interview with Dr. Berhanu Nega, Chairman of Gibot 7.   And this was followed by another very brief interview conducted by Solomon Kifle of the VOA of Amharic Service with Dr. Berhanu Nega. As the news has become extensively engaging and interesting (as it should be), EAST’s journalists have conducted discussions about their own impressions and tried to reflect their analyses from their own perspectives. Interestingly enough, ESAT has continued inviting those professionals and activists who wanted to express their own observations, impressions and analytical arguments. ESAT as a team in general and those journalists who are directly involved in particular truly deserve sincere appreciation. Great job!!

I truly believe that this kind of news should not be taken just as any other news and views. It is the news that holds a very serious political issue that requires a very deep, rational, objective and critical consideration and engagement; not just extensive but very emotional and shallow talks about talks.

On the contrary, the so-called state minister of the Government’s Communication Affairs Office, Shemels Kemal has as usual continued playing his role of extremely stupid way of miscommunication. I strongly believe and argue that it has to unequivocally be expressed that it is gravely disgraceful and embarrassing not only to the Ethiopian people but also to the ruling party itself to keep this type of person who is suffering from an incredible level of self- degraded state of mind in that position at the expense of the innocent Ethiopian tax payers money. I am not asking why he should not be trustworthy which is not of course the very nature and behavior of the ruling party to which he belongs. Not at all! What I am saying is that this guy has no sense of any ordinary norm or any elementary sense of self-discipline leave alone to represent the government at that level of responsibility. And we really should be worried about our country and her great people being under a ruling party full of political cadres such as Kemal who have never speak their minds, but have sold their souls and minds just for feeding their voracious bodily appetites.  I do not know what else can be one of the very clear testimonies of the very dirty political game of the ruling party if the “sate minister” Shemeles Kemal’s empty-mindedness, being not only a very simple speaking tool of his bosses but a tool with a very dysfunctional system is not the case in point.  I wish I could have better words to describe the way those cadres continue to behave and act. Unfortunately, that is the way it is!

I strongly argue that the more we encounter this kind of political idiocy, the more we need to not only be concerned but to be willing and able to interpret our words into deeds and get ready to deal with it accordingly. We cannot afford   to continue the very senseless question of “why Kemal and many of his cronies continue playing not only just stupid way of communication but most seriously dangerous political game?” We sincerely need to ask ourselves, “When and how we need to turn our slogan of ENOUGH IS ENOUGH into a powerfully concrete way of doing things?”

Any-how, what we should really be very mindful and courageous enough is on the question of for what purpose is dialogue and negotiation? What are the core principles that should not be compromised at all? What kind of give and take we should expect in the process of negotiation? Should the process be inclusive, not exclusive? Are we dealing with a party (government) that has either a history of credibility and courageous enough to learn from its horrible attitude and practice during its past 21 years? Is the ruling party that has been characterized by the very deep-rooted political conspiracy and tyrannical behavior and practice now ready to be a partner of peaceful resolution? And above all, is the ruling party ready to show its seriousness by taking some steps which reverse the very terrible politically motivated measures which grossly violated its own constitution? How we deal with engaging in dialogue and negotiation with a ruling party that always raise the question of being obedience to the constitution that has been used simply to attack innocent citizens who peacefully oppose the very ill-guided political system? And I strongly believe that the way Ginbot 7 responded to the said request from the ruling party is very appropriate as far as the very political reality in our country is concerned. Yes, the very essence and purpose of engaging in a political dialogue and negotiation with the ruling party should firmly geared towards the genuine realization of national reconciliation. Needless to say, the Ethiopian people cannot afford to entertain the political dialogue and negotiation that is vulnerable to the very dirty political drama of the ruling party which subsequently could take them back to square one , the story of things fall apart and our decry an endless dehumanization or untold suffering.

There is no doubt that genuine dialogue and negotiation is possible if it is accompanied by:

  • A real sense of respect for human rights/dignity. Is there any sign from the ruling party in this respect? The answer is absolutely negative at least at this point in time. Will the ruling party show some sort of change in this respect and make the very intention and purpose of its request for dialogue and negotiation with not only Ginbot 7 but also with all other genuinely concerned stake holders? This is the big question we have to deal with.
  • It goes without saying that it is extremely disingenuous to claim oneself as a true partner of dialogue and negotiation and subsequently peaceful resolution while keeping those innocent journalists , peaceful political opposition party members /supporters, those who decry the very dirty political intervention in religious affairs by a politically orchestrated charges and rulings. I want to believe that the ruling party knows that it has committed and continued to committing all this politically motivated crimes for nothing but to stay in power by any means. Now, the question is; is the ruling elites trying hard to come back to their common human sense and ready to take some kind of courageous steps in this regard at this time in point or ….?  This is the serious and genuine question one has to deal with when it comes to the issue of dialogue and negotiation. I think that is the approach Ginbot 7 is talking about.
  • It is absurd to talk about the effectiveness of political dialogue and negotiation in a situation where freedom of expression, freedom assembly and the right to organize peaceful protests are absolutely crashed by the ruling circle. I understand all aspects and details of a dialogue and negotiation are not expected to be public before they reached their final stages. However, the role of independent and free media is indispensable in informing the public and help the shape and reshape public opinion about what is going on and what is expected. Peaceful demonstrations and political gatherings equally have crucial roles in expressing the very interest of the people to see a dialogue and negotiation being in line with achieving their desirable common goals/destiny.  It is self-evident that the ruling party is not only not intersected but, very unfortunately, uses its crashing machine to silence all kinds of peaceful movements which stand against its extremely ill-guided political agenda and practice. Is the ruling party extending its request for dialogue and negotiation with a real sense of considering all those ugly political games or with the same nasty and fake way of doing things? To be seen?

I want to conclude by saying that it will be naive enough for us to expect the ruling party to change itself into a genuine partner of dialogue and negotiation as well as peaceful settlement of our serious political differences without our more serious engagements that will be bring about a powerful influence on the balance of power. This includes engaging ourselves in a substantive, analytical, rational/objective and far-sighted/forward-looking arguments and conversations whenever issues such as the one we are talking about arise.

4 Responses to DIALOGUE AND NEGOTIATION: FOR WHAT AND HOW?

  1. nebro

    December 28, 2013 at 8:29 am

    no need of negotiation with DEVILS!!!!

  2. setotaw

    December 23, 2013 at 12:39 am

    negotiation for peace is vital b/c if there is no peace no economic development no security in general it is destructive. the out come of fighting each other is what we have seen in the past regimes what so ever the case in my opinion civil war is not a solution for any country and I am sure it will be endless therefor we have to think about alternative solution.

  3. jojo

    December 18, 2013 at 7:26 am

    hellow dear !!One Response to DIALOGUE AND NEGOTIATION: FOR WHAT AND HOW?this is just facke .it bring no change .in the first place with whom ?

  4. Assefa

    December 15, 2013 at 4:22 am

    It is good to talk. It maybe the path to making others understnad more of each other for the better Ethiopia for its people sooner.

    It can reduce the waste of manpower, money, time and the misunderstanding of each other. But, not to be done for the sake of Politics and power, but for the country Ethiopia and we the people.

    Let God give the knowledge and wisdom to do so for all. “Ethiopia is for all and it is from Moyale to Red Sea with its all binding histry.

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