That impudent decision on Christmas Day.
Regarding my decision to aggressively question the decision to release the Woyane criminal gangs, one thing all concerned parties must know is that my reaction was not a knee jerk one, nor was it motivated by malice or lack of foresight. I had explored every possible reason that the authorities could have considered in making their decision. In fact what has transpired thus far—both in public and in private—has convinced me I was right in my assessment. There was no legitimate reason whatsoever to make that impudent decision on Christmas Day. The only question one needs to raise to judge the pros and cons of the decision is, would it help the cause of people and country? And there is not an iota of evidence it would. In fact, we are witnessing the unraveling of a coalition and a consensus that was built painstakingly. Read the press releases of the opposition—EZEMA, NAMA, ENAT and etc…and other organized non-political bodies. The diaspora’s support is fracturing. Among ordinary people, those mothers that PM Abiy had called on to pray for him and had duly answered his call are now cursing him. I would say that is the best litmus paper to test public reaction. Most of these mothers are poor but not stupid. But they were treated as such.
Anyway, the speech at the inauguration of the new Defense headquarters was disturbing. If the PM really believes what he says and if he isn’t saying it for political expediency, it is desperate at best and naïve and dangerous at worst. Is it possible the PM ran out of creative ideas on how to resolve this war? We have been forced to speculate because we are too confused as to what must have driven him to choose this dangerous path at a very delicate moment in our struggle to save our country. And of course there’s also that issue of how forgiving Woyane and saying “let bygones be bygones and let’s move on” is indirectly forgiving his own leadership, his party, and his officials for the damage Woyane was allowed to do in Amhara and Afar regions. The shocking number of Colonels who were given medals posthumously provides a clue to the extent of damage done and the sacrifices paid under the leadership of those top commanders alive and honoured by the handing of ranks and medals. Does the conduct of this war merit prize giving to the military senior commanders, at this particular time? Now nobody is going to ask for explanations for what happened in Amhara and Afar because a new drama has been staged. We are in a forgiving mood. If we can forgive Woyane, how could we demand the government to account for its failures? I had indicated in another writing there is a lot of accounting to do once the war is over. That is another issue.
Let me finish. The war is not over. The most important question is: will the decision make it easier to end it? End it for all, including for the people of Tigray? No. There is a huge task of rehabilitation and reconstruction; will the decision make this task easier? Another big no. Will the decision help in creating a society at peace with itself? No sign of that. Is there emotion in my No’s? No.
(Just to begin a serious discussion with all concerned, I will be writing pieces in Amharic, looking into the fundamental problems that the country has been facing in the past four years and the ways out. I hope others will do the same and call all to join in the discussion with the sincere intention to add more to the common good.)
Ethiopian News, Current Affairs and Opinion Forum
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