A RESPONSE TO THE ECONOMIST’S
JAN 21st, 2010 PRINT EDITION
ANXIOUS ETHIPOPIA JANGLING NERVES AND MORE
Yohannes Gebresellasie (Ph.D) Canada
You don’t have to worry about anything really; thank you very much. In fact, I do not think it is your business either. For your information, Ethiopia is on a right track in its road map towards democratization, good governance and economic development. Within the last six years for example, the nation has consecutively scored a double digit economic growth and this trend continues to be going in the same direction even at the present fiscal year.
The issue of democracy, human rights protection and freedom of press, expression, movement and other fundamental citizenship rights have been flourishing here in Ethiopia unlike your unfounded observation in this country simply because those fundamental phenomenons are not only matters of choice but indeed matters of survival to the people and the government of Ethiopia. Further those fundamental issues are hard fought for and are there to stay despite your negative prediction. Therefore, the Ethiopian people and government do not need a lecture or two from foreign media outlets and/or self authorized presses such as your good self. You do not have to jangle your nerves or worry about issues that may or may not exist in a country you are neither familiar with nor have sources to support your rather negatively perceived predictions.
Droughts and other environmental cataclysms exist here and there unfortunately. That may exist even at your backyards. When that happens as it happened in some parts of Ethiopia, good thinking nations assist each other. The current situation in Haiti is a god example in that regard. Here in Ethiopia, some places were affected by successive droughts and the government unlike previous governments did not hide the situation; in fact, it was quick to react and reach the affected areas as promptly as possible. The government notified the situation as soon as it happened and brought food and other materials to the areas affected by the drought and the situation did not deteriorated as a result; it has been improving from time to time instead. Therefore, please do not try to politicize the situation; it is not a political issue; it is an environmental issue instead.
Your worries if it can be called a worry about the upcoming national election seems to go out of hand because you seem to be totally uninformed or perhaps intentionally biased about the current socio-economic and political conditions of the country in question. You seem to have no idea whatsoever about the over sixty-five different political parties agreeing to work hand in hand in order to make the next national election peaceful, fair and democratic. Further, they all have signed a code of conduct in order to make the next election exemplary. It is only one party that did not sign this code of conduct and that was the party’s decision which is respected but not excluded from running during the next election. Therefore, your analysis regarding the upcoming national election seems to be based upon a pre-conceived or perhaps biased conclusion as opposed to a well founded and resource oriented analysis. I advise you to get facts first before you rush to a preconceived judgement. Further, it may help to gather information from both primary and secondary sources before you give your concluding remarks about a nation you seem to have no clue about. Most importantly though, it is always healthy to advocate peace and stability as opposed to preaching and /or predicting violence because hate, violence and ciaos helps no one; peace and unity does.
The next national election will be peaceful, fair and democratic because the Ethiopian people do not want to make a mistake or two for they are well aware and conscious about their citizenship and democratic rights. They know well enough about the importance of peace and stability. They will not be confused by few self cantered individuals and groups anymore. They are saying enough is enough to those internal as well as external violence instigators.
They value their peace as source of their development and they want to maintain and safeguard it. They also want to cast their votes for any party they choose in a manner peaceful, democratic and legal. They do not want interference in their private affairs; not even from foreign press like your good self. What is surprising more is that you seem to mingle with the internal affairs of a sovereign nation.
You even want to act as a judge to an Ethiopian prisoner. No one wants this lady to go to jail and she was pardoned from the crime she denounced earlier and was again put back in jail for another crime the court decided. The government has nothing to do with it as the criminal court is independent from the government and therefore, the issue is within the court; to politicize this seems to be intended to discredit the government with regard to human rights violation; and that is simply not fair. It is thus advisable that you get the facts strait before you put judgement on the issues you raised.
Another fascinating conclusion of yours is with regard to Tigrians. Here also you got it all wrong. The country has a constitution like yours. There are different regions within the country that run their own affairs. The Federal government has its own responsibilities and there are different Ministrees within the Federal government. The compositions of those Ministers are from the different Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia.
You may see that if you wish for your own perusal so please do not confuse readers by trying to divide the same people into categories. The Ethiopian people despite linguistic, ethnic, religious and other differences are living in peace and harmony thank you very much. You may read more about the unity in diversity of the Ethiopian people for your further perusal. Finally, the country is run by members of parliament: The Peoples’ Representatives and the House of the Federation. These people are not Marxists, neither are the people within the ruling party as you wrongly or perhaps intentionally want to downgrade.
They are democratically elected peoples’ representatives; therefore, here again please get the facts strait and do not confuse innocent and less informed readers. Hope you get your facts next time around and come up with a peaceful informed and wise advice that may advance good values or keep your thoughts for yourself alone.