BY MOLLA MITIKU 03-01 -18
The multifaceted intrinsic and extrinsic confronts in Ethiopia have demanded the ruling party and the government unprecedented sacrifice. Intrinsically, the persistent violence in some parts of the country claimed the lives of innocent citizens and the displacement of tens of thousands of people from their villages. As it disrupts the country's peace and the day to day public activities, the government is obligated to decree a state of emergency for about six months with possible elongation.
Besides, public power misuse, bad governance, rent collection and corruption coupled with other extraneous violence instigating factors added fuel to the country's insecurity.
Premier Hailemariam Desalegn, through his televised press conference, recently told the Ethiopian people that “The country is currently in a critical situation”. The rent-collectors, jingoists, radicalists and narrow-minded nationalists are strongly striving to maintain the existed safe haven for themselves and their accomplices. They have been wielding their possible elbow grease to jeopardize the country’s growth and subvert its peace.
The Premier’s quest for resignation is another defy that Ethiopia is now at a defining moment and its people are just at the crossroads. One of the crossways leads the country to dissolution and bloodshed; whereas, the other one promotes its consolidated unison and maintains peaceful coexistence among all nations, nationalities and peoples.
Berket Simon, during the Amahara-Tigray peoples' conference, said, " This country has both opportunities (hopes) and threats. If the leadership looks inward, it could minimize the threats and maximize the hopes. In that sense, Ethiopia will certainly transform to a better position and will be convenient to its people to enjoy democracy, peace and development."
Therefore, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has the ball in its hands. It can kick it in any of the two possible ways. The festering question is “which way?” All Ethiopians are pending for the final upshot whether the Front could choose ‘what it should be’ or the one that could possibly be? In fact, past experiences could give us some clues whether the current situation will be out of the Front’s capability.
Nowadays, we observe both hope and despair. On the one hand, the economic development, the booming infrastructure and expansion of investment as well as social services including health and education offer hopes to the people that they see light at the end of the tunnel. On the other hand, there will be a catastrophe if current ill situations go from bad to worse.In fact, the Front faced a number of bottlenecks in the past. Situations in the aftermath of the fall of the military rule, the 2000/01 division in Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), the revolt following the 2005 election and the untimely death of the visionary leader Meles Zenawi were some among many others challenges that tested the ruling party. Past experiences witnessed that EPRDF resolved all of those hurdles with affirmative impacts.
At this moment, the people are requesting the government to take action and improve its governance, ensure peace and sustain the development of the country. It, by no means, should amputate its rotten body parts and avoid the the devastating inclinations of narrow-minded nationalism flaring in the party.
Currently, there are both optimistic and pessimistic views regarding the current political scenario and the country's endeavors in restoring peace and stability and maintaining its fast sustainable economic growth. On the one hand, there will be hope to restore its political stability. On the other hand, there is an option for disintegration and bloodshed. The optimists knew the Front and the grounds of the current bottlenecks; whereas, the pessimists have the understanding of only the scope of the bottlenecks.
However, EPRDF's profound past experience both in armed struggle and post 1991 could play significant roles in assuaging the current hurdles including abusing political power, bad governance, rottenness, chauvinism and extremism.
The people are demanding for leaders who could think “out of the box". They want leaders who could further transform the country in all aspects. They also need to see the fruits of the in-depth reform, how it could impact their lives, alleviate their arch foe, poverty and eventually ascertain the renaissance of the country.
The anti-democratic activities within EPRDF member parties and government structures, lack of good governance and the expansion of unhealthy relations and networks added to the efforts wielded by different groups to poison peace and jeopardize development of the country are demanding earnest actions.
As the sequel effects of the in-depth reform, there will be changes both in the Front and governmental structure that we might not easily predict. But we can conclude that current challenges are not out of the hands of the Front as it has inherent basic features in looking inward in time of difficulties. In my view, the current status could rather instigate the party to make another remarkable leap in the socio-political system.