Peaceful alternative indispensable in resolving conflicts in Ethiopia
By Gemechu Tussa
Tigrai Online, Sept. 4, 2017
Peaceful alternative indispensable in resolving conflicts in Ethiopia
It is customary for conflicts to appear in any society. This is true for all countries including the well developed ones. One of the significant pillars in Ethiopia's achievement in the past decade is the thriving of peace and stability.
The country has been exerting tremendous efforts to mitigate insecurity and instability challenges and maintain an enduring peace. Despite segmented conflicts here and there, the country has a success story in ascertaining its enduring peace.
However, a few individuals or groups have been attempting to use such conflicts as pretexts to overshadow the entire peace and stability situation in the country. However, this is contradictory to the very essence of peace. Most scholars agreed that peace doesn’t mean absence of conflict; rather it is the ability of handling conflicts in a responsible, democratic and peaceful ways.
Worldwide experiences witnessed the highest number of casualties occurred due to either interstate or civil wars. Such wars, religious or ethnic conflicts had ravaged Ethiopia in those previous regimes. Since it was impossible to solve conflicts peacefully at that time, many of them were resolved by armed struggles that took millions of lives and destroyed billions of assets.
The need of peace for healthy economic and human developments in the real sense demands too much sacrifice. Ethiopia has been committed to ensure both internal and regional peace in a bid to sustain its fast economic development and poverty alleviation schemes.
In the aftermath of the seventeen years' civil war in Ethiopia, the expectation and analysis of many political and economic analysts was Ethiopians engagement in bloodshed and the country's disintegration.
Since the past two decades, the country's tendency with regard to conflict resolution mechanism has shifted towards peaceful and democratic conflict resolutions. However, the consolidated efforts exerted at regional and national levels managed to bring an enduring peace and stability, which was further strengthened following the Ethiopian millennium.
As a result, Ethiopians have been enjoying freedom, justice and peace under the umbrella of the federal System. In fact, this doesn't mean there is no conflict in any part of the country. But the conflicts that took place so far in different parts of the country could, by no means, overshadow the entire image of the country's peace and stability. In fact, a conflict is a worldwide inevitable phenomena but the crucial issue is the way it is solved.
The conflicts that took place in the Amhara and Oromiya States since the past three years have their own causes which are quite different from the entire rule of law in the country.
They were basically instigated by lack of good governance at the grass root levels, which were then aggravated by rent collectors, chauvinists and narrowest who planned either to benefit from the chaos or to jeopardize the developments in Ethiopia for different interests.
However, Ethiopians have taken a lesson from their past experiences; the number of wars and conflicts they had engaged with at different times. The entire people realized how wars and conflicts had devastated their lives, displaced them and destructed their properties.
Incredibly, Ethiopians have been enjoying peace in the past two decades. No one could deny this very fact. But the people want to influence government officials to avoid maladministration, bad governance and nepotism so that they could get proper services.
Although that was the reality, some groups engaged in garbling its essence and attempted to show the international community as the country's entire peace situation and stability is challenged having diverted the peaceful request of the people to a chaotic situation.
However, the reality vividly indicates that, Ethiopia has become one of the stable countries in the volatile Horn of Africa since the coming of EPRDF to power in 1991, despite the endeavors of some individuals or groups who vested different interests to hamper the sustainability of the country's peace and stability.
These challenges are supported and sponsored by external forces that have been dreaming to jeopardize Ethiopia's development. They usually carried out such anti-peace activities through innocent people at home using internal sensitive situations as pretexts.
However, these peace poisoning attempts have become futile. Ethiopia has remained being a stable and peaceful country. Those conflicts that took place in different parts of the country would not reflect the entire peace and stability situation in Ethiopia.
It is a bare fact that all Ethiopians have been striving to maintain their peace cognizant of the significant contribution that peace and stability could play in poverty alleviation.
As for conflicts between tribes are concerned, it is known that, Ethiopia has been solving various disputes using various mechanisms. However, their composition, number, and the procedure they follow may vary from ethnic group to ethnic group depending on specific local customs and practices.
Unlike the judges of the formal legal system who are appointed by a state on the basis of their knowledge of state laws, elders are chosen by the conflicting parties themselves or their families on an ad hoc basis of their reputation for high sense of justice, impartiality, deep knowledge of community norms, wisdom and rich experience.
However, anti-peace elements have been attempting to change even such boarder conflicts to a higher scale of chaos in order to disturb the entire economic and political situation of the country. Some members of the Diaspora also participate in those conflict escalating activities. There are also states in the horn that have been supporting and sponsoring such terrorist activities.
Eritrea is one of the well known peace poisoning element in the region. While its people are suffering of hunger, murder and torture, the rogue state has increased its logistic support to terrorist groups from time to time to destabilize Ethiopia. Previously, a lot of schemes to destabilize Ethiopia had been plotted by the state in Asmara.
It is vivid that the Eritrean government has been plotting coordinated terrorist attacks in Ethiopia at different times on various projects of the country and also on African Union summits. The leadership in Asmara apparently intends to pursue its objectives of destabilizing not only Ethiopia, but also the entire region even beyond.
Though conflicts are inevitable, the most crucial one is the way it is resolved. Hence, Ethiopia has been resolving any kind of conflict democratically. These conflicts raised here and there for minor reasons couldn't be taken as if the peace situation in the country is so gloomy. Ethiopia is a strong country with lasting peace and well strengthened security system.