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Critical Time & A Defining Moment

Critical Time & A Defining Moment

Hagos Berhe


We are now in the most critical time here in Ethiopia. The term of the ruling party; the former EPRDF & its descendant the PP, will cease after ten days. We are counting down to Meskerem 25, the due date in which the contract of the ruling party ends up with fear but not with hope. What is to come next or after that? Nobody knows perfectly what is going to happen in the noticeably short future except god. We cannot foresee the future perfectly even though too short it is. The future time horizon that we can see as human beings is too short to see even what will happen in the next ten days. That is what makes the time so critical.

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Still we have not a countrywide negotiated solution & a roadmap at hand. The future does not look bright despite the fact that we are at the beginning of a new Geez year. Traditionally, we usually wish the forthcoming new year to be a blessed one. However, everyone is feeling a gloomy future because he/she is "uncertain" about where we are heading to as individuals and as a "nation". Naturally, we feel frightened as human beings when we are uncertain & we lose control on what is going to happen.


The ruling party & its allies extended the schedule of the election reasoning out the Covid-19 pandemic as an impediment via a controversial interpretation of the constitution on which consensus was not attained.


Suddenly, the government has already decided again & planned to carry out the election soon. Was the constitutional interpretation & postponement of the election appropriate & necessary as Covid-19 still is a potential health risk/danger locally & globally?


The government which robustly stood for having it not is preaching to have an election soon with no change in the underpinning reason for postponing it. Is the government controlling its own affairs & destiny? Seriously speaking, we have entirely lost & given up the reign of governing the country to somebody else outside. Had it been not, the government couldn't have made change of mind with such an alarming speed.


Therefore, we are not only in a critical time but also at a defining moment. A defining moment puts somebody under a dilemma of planning of choice between two morally acceptable alternatives. The choices that every Ethiopian is facing is just a choice between saving oneself & the country. Both choices are morally acceptable, but the question is to which alternative to give the priority. Saving self-interest & being or saving the country from disintegration? Sticking to ordinary moral standards or to lofty/superior standards? Whether we like it or not; whether we are conscious of it or not; the objective reality is agitating us to make that inevitable & unavoidable choice.


We are in a moment that defines our fate & destiny as people. We are in a time to give more ear to one another. It is a moment to subordinate self-interest to that of the country (the people). It is just a time to think of the big picture & be strategic to overcome all the obstacles posed by this defining moment.


This defining moment demands us more flexibility & compromise than rigidity. This defining moment will reveal the true image of each one of us. The time for talks has ended handing in to the time for deeds. The time for media show is over and we have to "walk the talks". We are in a critical time & at a defining moment.


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