By Alemayehu G. Mariam
I’ve a dream that Ethiopia’s younger individuals will put their shoulders to the wheel and take full cost of their country’s future; depart behind the politics of hate and ethnicity; flip their backs on these wallowing in moral chapter and create a New Politics for a New Ethiopia based mostly on dialogue, negotiation and compromise. I dream they may study from the wisdom of their ancestors: “Tomorrow belongs to the younger people who prepare for it as we speak.” Alemayehu G Mariam, January four, 2015
Writer’s Word: In a unique place and a unique time, people like myself would take an honored place in society and play the position of elders like our ancestors did over the eons. We might be educating the youthful era the moral values and virtues of peace, justice, equity, equality, humility, reconciliation, forgiveness, truthfulness, respect, cooperation, and unity.
However that was not in the cards for a misplaced era – a era directly traumatized by prolonged wanton political violence, persecution and forced exile and marginalized by its own silence, cowardice, narcissism and depraved indifference.
At this time, I’m ashamed to say my era has little to offer the youthful or coming generations.
We’ve got squandered our ethical and social capital like a drunken sailor on shore depart.
We now have abandoned the commanding moral heights to the lunatic fringe and to the armies of ignorati trolls who immediately wage a confrontation, disinformation and lies on social media and cyberspace.
In America, people who grew up through the Great Melancholy and helped win World Struggle II are typically referred to as the “biggest era”.
I call Ethiopians who came of age beginning in the mid-1960s and have been privileged to receive trendy schooling and subsequently achieved comparatively high professional and leadership positions of their respective fields but did not do diddly-squat for their motherland, the “failed era”.
We’ve got failed in our moral, moral, skilled, social and political duties.
We now have remained silent in the face of outrageous evil for many years.
We now have did not reside by ethical imperatives and rise up for the little man who’s afraid to talk, and converse fact to the large highly effective guys on behalf of the little man.
As professionals, our moral standards have been nearer to those that apply the world’s oldest career. We’ve bought our souls and expertise to dictators and thugs.
We’ve got failed to point out social duty.
We now have failed politically by turning into part of the issue as an alternative of the solution.
We are so shameless we’ve got joined outsiders in pointing an accusatory index finger calling our motherland a “failed state”, a “failed nation” when she is struggling to stand up and yearn to breathe free after many years of tyrannical thug rule.
All along, we overlook and we’re blinded to the fact that as we point an index finger of failure on our homeland, three fingers are wagging at us as the failed era.
However Ethiopia is doing alright. The youthful era is within the saddle.
We’ve got an excellent 43-year previous prime minister whom the world admires for his extraordinary and exemplary management.
We have now young ladies within the highest workplaces in Ethiopia.
We now have younger individuals exercising expressive freedoms to such an extent that the world at present is looking Ethiopia considered one of two brightest spots of press freedom on the planet.
The younger era of Ethiopian political and civic leaders immediately are doing a powerful job of main the nation into a new period of peace, reconciliation and prosperity.
And they’re doing it all towards all odds!
In exactly a yr, they are healing the injuries of ethnic division inflicted on Ethiopians over the previous 27 tears.
They are reviving an financial system that was left nearly bankrupt by a corrupt, inept and felony regime.
They are organizing the primary free and truthful election within the country’s 2000 yr plus history.
I’m so pleased with them.
However I’m not pleased with what my era has and has not accomplished to make Ethiopia extra equal, extra simply, extra united, more peaceable and more democratic.
I supply my deepest apologies for our failures in writing in the present day as I look ahead to the day when I will supply apologies in a public discussion board sometime.
I shall admit my era is the greatest impediment to peace, progress and improvement in Ethiopia at the moment.
That may be a arduous fact that have to be proclaimed.
The greatest crime of my era is its relentless insistence on persevering with the lethal, discredited and shameful politics of polarized id, ethnic exclusivity, ethnocentricity and tribal territoriality.
We insist on enjoying the lethal recreation of ethnic brinksmanship (EB) and mutual assured destruction (MAD) in willful disregard and indifference to the atrocity, brutality and inhumanity of communalism, tribalism and sectarianism.
However there’s plentiful hope in Ethiopia’s bosom.
Ethiopia’s young leaders are rising to satisfy the problem.
I’m supremely encouraged as a result of the younger era are doing their greatest NOT to comply with in our footsteps that has introduced so much suffering, dying and destruction to the peculiar individuals of Ethiopia.
The youthful era doesn’t dance to the beat of the tribal drummer.
They sing songs of peace, love and understanding. Like I did one-half century ago.
But there’s one final hope for my era to save lots of itself before we face the ultimate verdict of historical past.
One last act of atonement we should carry out to save lots of ourselves.
We must train the younger era one and only one lesson to pay for our generational crimes of commission and omission:
Starve the Dangerous and Feed the Good Wolf in Ethiopia.
Learning from a Cherokee fable of the great and dangerous wolf
The Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma is among the largest native American nations in the USA.
The Cherokee individuals have been subjected to unspeakable struggling. History remembers their suffering because the ‘Path of Tears’.
The Cherokee have fantastic folktales and traditional tales.
One among my favorites is the folktale of a grandfather educating his grandson about good and evil. I used this instructive folktale in my April 2013 commentary.
‘A battle is occurring inside me’, the grandfather informed his grandson.
‘It is a terrible battle and it’s between two wolves.
‘One is an evil wolf who is filled with anger, envy, sorrow, remorse, greed, vanity, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false satisfaction, superiority, and ego.
‘The other is an effective wolf. He loves joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, fact, compassion, and faith.
The grandfather added, ‘The identical battle is occurring inside you and each other individual, too.’
The grandson considered what his grandfather stated and requested, ‘Which wolf will win?’
The grandfather replied, ‘The one you feed.’
How the great wolf gained towards the dangerous wolf in Ethiopia
Have been I to tell the Cherokee folktale to the younger era of Ethiopians, this may be the story:
For a era, my era has been feeding the dangerous wolf in Ethiopia the uncooked meat of ethnic hatred, nationwide disunity, communalism and sectarianism.
For the previous 27 years, my era has been feeding the dangerous wolf a excessive caloric food plan of hate, anger, division, strife and ethnic superiority.
For the past 27 years, the dangerous wolf nurtured by my era has crushed down, bitten to items, overpowered and crushed the great wolf dwelling within the hearts and minds of the atypical individuals of Ethiopia.
For the past 27 years, our dangerous wolf tried to make atypical Ethiopians the proverbial, “Man is wolf to man.” (homo homini lupus) and create a dog-eat-dog world in Ethiopia.
Final yr this time, the dangerous wolf which had grown monstrously massive was baring its tooth to eat the nation.
But the doggone dangerous wolf in the future was gone, vanished underneath the rock from whence it got here.
The younger era must now increase the great wolf.
The great wolf have to be raised to be robust, fearless and determined to interact the large previous dangerous wolf and beat him at his personal recreation.
The younger era should know that it isn’t the dimensions of the wolf within the battle that determines the winner. It the dimensions of the battle within the wolf that does.
The little good wolf can beat the large, dangerous evil wolf.
Although the large previous dangerous wolf is damned, doomed and accomplished, its cubs lurk and roam in the dead of night recesses of the hearts of every Ethiopian.
So, an epic do-or-die battle have to be waged with the dangerous wolf within the hearts and minds of each Ethiopian.
Who shall win?
The victory of the great wolf over the dangerous is preordained.
For ages and ages, the individuals of Ethiopia have lived together in holy matrimony, as pals, as neighbors and as compatriots.
They’ve all the time been “man to man”, not “man is wolf to man”.
This is true for the widespread man and lady who stay their every day lives in hardship, in fellowship and holy worship.
I wish I might say the identical for Ethiopian elites, (the well-to-do, the educated, the privileged, the ones with social media accounts).
We, the elites, can’t help however feed and nurture the dangerous wolf that has taken up permanent residence in our hearts and minds.
We’ve got weaponized the dangerous wolf of tribalism, communalism and sectarianism in our feeding frenzy for power, influence and cash.
In our obsessive quest for “what’s-in-it for I, me and myself”, we now have decided to feed the tens of hundreds of thousands of poor Ethiopians who can barely feed themselves to the dangerous hungry wolf.
Fortunately, we’re the final of our breed.
The young good wolf is rising and profitable the hearts and minds of the widespread struggling individuals of Ethiopia.
Such is the story I might tell the younger era of Ethiopians.
You’re what you assume: The facility of constructive considering and feeling
People wish to say, “You’re what you eat”.
In different words, should you eat wholesome meals, you will take pleasure in good health and longevity.
Philosophers and psychologists inform us we’re what we expect.
If we expect hate, we turn out to be haters.
If we expect love, we turns into lovers.
Adverse thoughts produce unfavorable actions.
Constructive ideas produce constructive actions.
Destructive power is disempowering.
Constructive power is empowering.
Worry produces inaction and indifference.
Courage produces action and alter.
In the long run, we all turn into what we expect.
If we permit the dangerous wolf of damaging considering and hate to rule our hearts and minds, we’ll deplete our mental and religious power. We grow to be indignant, hateful bitter and even violent.
If we permit the great wolf in us to feed on love, reconciliation, forgiveness, tolerance, civility and humility, we shall be energized and build an incredible society and shining city upon a hill.
So, we should make efforts to vary our minds (considering) and hearts (emotions).
It has been stated those that can’t change their minds can’t change anything.
Earlier than we will change Ethiopia, we should change our particular person hearts and minds.
It is straightforward to hold forth about how others should change.
However like charity, change must start at house, on the individual degree.
Changing ourselves requires consciously changing the best way we take into consideration our beliefs and ideas and the way we really feel about others we dislike and despise.
However altering our hearts and minds is a most troublesome activity.
What I have observed amongst Ethiopian elites over a interval of many years is that the vast majority of them are troubled by herd mentality/groupthink syndrome.
Groupthink among Ethiopian elites has to do with rational and well-meaning individuals making irrational selections because they really feel the urge to evolve or not seem to oppose.
In a groupthink state of affairs, group members refrain from expressing doubts and judgments or disagreeing with the consensus.
In Ethiopia as we speak, notably among the many elites, there’s groupthink about ethnic and id politics, which teams in society ought to be the objects of hate and mistrust, who’re the “actual” Ethiopians, which teams have a birthright to rule and which of them are doomed to be dominated and so on.
Few among these elites are prepared to return out in public, rise up, level a finger and challenge such groupthink. Consequently, groupthink continues.
Herd (tribal/ethnic) mentality amongst Ethiopian elites is clear in the fact that well-educated professionals abandon rational considering simply to fit in with other dominant elites who hold a specific viewpoint poisoned by id politics.
I’m all the time amazed how these elites tow the road blindly and comply with the tribal flock like sheep simply because that is what the elite herd does.
Herd mentality is clear in the best way the elites circle their ethnic/tribal wagons.
Each ethnic herd is poised to attack the opposite ethnic herd.
Some Ethiopian elites have been speaking about an imaginary genocide about to happen. They search to contaminate the wider inhabitants with this herd mentality.
Herd mentality amongst elites might end in mass hysteria.
The difficulty of “Who owns/to whom does Addis Ababa belong?” fiasco is a superb example of herd mentality and groupthink.
One set of elites and their sympathizers declare the capital belongs to them. They need to rename it and make it an ethnic enclave.
One other set claims the capital belongs to the nation and even the continent. They need to arrange a defensive vanguard to resist the opposite group.
Suffice it to say, it’s much ado about nothing!
A whole lot of noise, commotion, fuss and Sturm und Drang about nothing.
However totally different elites try to use the difficulty to awaken up their rabble and poison the nicely of political dialogue and good will by stoking up feelings.
How do we modify the unfavorable political power that permeates the minds of so many Ethiopian elites into constructive power?
THINK SOLUTIONS, FEEL SOLUTIONS, NOT PROBLEMS
If the proposition, “you’re what you assume”, then it follows that if we expect problems, we worsen present and create new problems.
Similarly, if we expect and feel options, we’ll naturally attempt to create options to problems.
So, I ask the elites of my era a number of questions:
Why trot out the lifeless horse of ethnic/tribal politics and beat it?
Why not speak about and present competing solutions to all the issues created by ethnic, tribal, communal and sectarian politics?
Why not speak about and present competing options to the structural problems of rule of regulation and political accountability?
Why not speak about and present competing solutions to the issues of stolen elections?
Why not speak about and current constitutional solutions to constitutional issues?
I follow what I preach: Constructing on successful African experiments
I delight myself as a man who says what he means and means what he says.
In other phrases, I converse fact to power, the powerless, the power-hungry and -thirsty and anybody who cares to pay attention.
I speak and write about problems but in addition present sensible options.
Over a decade ago, I proposed solutions to the issues Ethiopia is dealing with in the present day.
It was not a solution imported from the West or the East.
It was not an answer based mostly in summary principle, political ideology or philosophy.
It was an answer borne of the African expertise and created by Africans, for Africans.
It was an answer based mostly on a profitable experiment in Ghana.
I don’t consider in reinventing the wheel. Just enhancing and refining it.
In 2009, I proposed sensible and tested constitutional options to the TPLF-created problems of id and ethnic politics in Ethiopia, the flagrant disregard and depraved indifference to the rule of regulation that has been the hallmark of the TPLF regime and prevention of daylight electoral robberies.
I proposed adoption of confirmed cures from the African experience not because Ghana has achieved superlative democratic status in Africa but because it has remained a secure and sturdy democracy in Africa for nicely over 20 years bu relying on sure cures.
I. Exchange the politics of unique ethnicity/id politics with inclusive democratic politics
The basis of all political evil in Ethiopia is ethnic/id politics planted by the TPLF.
But that is nothing new. Ghana has had inter-ethnic conflict.
What was their answer?
A easy however effective constitutional amendment.
In 2009, I urged adoption of the language of Article 55 of the Ghanaian Constitution as an antidote to the illness of tribal and ethnic-based politics in Ethiopia.
Article 55 (four) of the Ghanaian Constitution supplies:
Each political social gathering shall have a national character, and membership shall not be based mostly on ethnic, spiritual, regional or other sectional divisions.
For the past 27 years, the washed-out and now-in-hiding Tigrean Individuals’s Liberation Front (TPLF) made ethnicity and tribal affiliation the rock-solid basis of its ethnic apartheid divide and rule technique.
In Article 46 (2), the TPLF devised and inserted the next constitutional language: “States shall be structured on the idea of settlement patterns, language, id and consent of the individuals.”
Obviously, the central purpose of Article 46 is to make sure get together and electoral politics in Ethiopia will necessarily be based mostly on ethnic, spiritual, regional or other sectional divisions.
The answer is to purge Article 46 (2) out of the constitution and exchange it with the language present in Artwork. 55 (4) of the Ghanaian Constitution as follows:
Article 46 (2): “States shall be structured on the idea of settlement patterns, language, id and consent of the individuals.”
Each political social gathering in Ethiopia shall have a nationwide character, and membership shall not be based mostly on ethnic, spiritual, regional or different sectional divisions.
II. Ensure the primacy and supremacy of the rule of regulation
For the previous 27 years, the rule of regulation in Ethiopia has meant the rule of one man, one-party pretending to be inclusive of several others and one small group of rapacious and predatory gangsters.
Ghana has a constitutional answer to the issue of disregard for the rule of regulation.
The Constitution of Ghana is the supreme regulation of the Republic of Ghana.
Article 125 supplies that the Ghanaian “Judiciary shall be unbiased and subject only to the Structure.”
The Ghanaian Supreme Courtroom serves as the last word guardian of the rule of regulation.
The Supreme Courtroom of Ghana has judicial evaluation powers (the facility of courts to determine if government actions violate the structure).
That Courtroom ensures the institutional independence of the judiciary and is not timid about overruling unconstitutional laws and government policies and selections.
Article 127 (2) empowers the judiciary by further providing that “neither the President nor the Parliament nor any individual by any means shall intrude with judges and judicial officers or other individuals exercising judicial energy, within the exercise of their judicial features”.
All state organs are constitutionally required to adjust to judicial orders.
The chief and legislative branches of government comply with and respect the Structure. They abide by the rulings and selections of the courts and different fact-finding inquiry commissions.
The federal government of Ghana has undertaken actions to evolve its laws to the standards of international human rights conventions.
Underneath Article 2 (4) of the Ghanaian Structure, failure to obey or carry out the phrases of a Supreme Courtroom order is a “a high crime”, which in “the case of the President or the Vice-President, constitutes a ground for removing from workplace underneath this Constitution.”
Beneath Article 2 (1), “an individual” can search declaratory aid towards an alleged unconstitutional regulation or act of any individual by petitioning the Supreme Courtroom. Amazingly, beneath Article 64, any Ghanaian citizen has the suitable to “challenge the validity of the election of the President within the Supreme Courtroom within twenty-one days after the declaration of the results of the election.”
An unbiased judiciary is significant to the observance of the rule of regulation and safety of civil liberties is a non-negotiable situation in Ethiopia’s march in the direction of democracy and rule of regulation.
The constitution drafted by the TPLF is just not in the rule of regulation. It was designed to ensure the rule of outlaws and felony gangsters.
Incorporate the foregoing parts of the Ghanaian Constitution into a new Ethiopian Structure.
III. Ensure the integrity of electoral politics by institutionalizing an unbiased electoral fee
In contrast to Ethiopia, Ghana has a competitive multi-party political system.
Ghanaians have proven multiparty democracy just isn’t some fanciful Western ritual but a practical and efficient system of governance. They have proven that a non-ethnic, non-tribal multiparty democracy is the only viable choice that would assure stability, equity and financial improvement in Africa.
Article 55 of the Ghanaian Structure guarantees, “Each citizen of Ghana of voting age has the appropriate to hitch a political get together.”
Political events are free to arrange and “disseminate info on political concepts, social and financial programmes of a national character.”
There are some eight registered political events (not 108), but the two dominant events, the New Patriotic Celebration (NPP) and the National Democratic Congress (NDC) are stated to symbolize an estimated 80 per cent of the Ghanaian voters.
Beneath Article 46, the Electoral Fee is assured independence and is insulated from political interference.
With certain exceptions, “the Electoral Fee shall not be topic to the path or control of any individual or authority…”
The Electoral Fee and is extensively credited in Ghana and internationally for sustaining democracy, political pluralism and constitutional rule.
The problem of elections in Ethiopia is that they are stolen in broad daylight.
In 2005, the TPLF was trounced in the parliamentary elections and had to resort to excessive violence massacring tons of of unarmed protesters to cling to energy.
In 2010, the TPLF stole the election by claiming it had gained 99.6 % of the seats in parliament.
In 2015, the TPLF stole the election by claiming it had gained 100 % of the seats.
Step one is to restore religion in an electoral board that has a history of partiality and unprofessionalism.
The appointment of former decide Birtukan Midekssa as head of the election board is a big first step. Birtukan was jailed for challenging the TPLF’s kangaroo elections course of.
Fixing an election system that has been broken for decades won’t be straightforward.
However it can be completed in the run as much as the 2020 election.
Unbiased election administration our bodies, nonpartisan domestic and international civil society election monitoring groups and unbiased media providers might be established.
Pre-election course of which are inclusive of residents have to eb established.
The casual code of conduct amongst agreed to by the varied events ought to facilitate civil political discourse.
Cross-party cooperation is more and more turning into a reality as coalitions are forming for the 2020 election and will serve to stop battle and election violence.
Police and safety providers should develop a coordinated election safety strategy to ensure the election is carried out in a peaceful method.
Simply said, there’s much to be discovered from the practices and experiences of the Ghanaian Electoral Fee.
Let’s train the youngsters to starve the dangerous wolf and feed the great one
As I observe Ethiopian elite politics right now, it’s all concerning the unholy trinities of dangerous wolves, “I, me and myself.”
When the elites are in a generous mood, they embrace the second set of unholy trinities “we, us and ours”.
However what can we move on to the youngsters, the subsequent era?
We should always train them one and just one lesson:
Feed the great and starve the dangerous wolf within the hearts and minds of Ethiopians!
Assist the youth: Create tribal/ethnic/id politics free zones in Ethiopia.