Seven Point Turn - Around Strategy to Bring Ethiopia Back to Peace and Stability
By Ermias Hailu
Tigrai Online, Ethiopian News, Sept. Oct. 10, 2016
Currently Ethiopia is facing one of the most difficult challenges of its history. However, this is a country with world class reputation on resilience and has been able to survive as an independent nation against all odds for thousands of years. As far as EPRDF corrects its mistakes rapidly and succeeds to stabilize the country the best days for Ethiopia are ahead of us.
Ethiopia has formidable historical enemies that have not stopped their sabotage for generations. Though, Ethiopia depended on Egypt - Alexandria for its Abun , the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, for about 1650 years and Egypt has been depending on the river Nile (86% of it originates from Ethiopia) for generations, there have never been any shared vision between the two ancient civilizations on how to cooperate for mutual strategic benefit and survival . Instead Egypt has been always suspicious of Ethiopia and has been playing a number of cards to keep Ethiopia weak and in perpetual instability. It has been trying to disintegrate Ethiopia from within exploiting Islam-Christian rivalries, ethnic differences and myths related to Sematic and Cushitic origins of Ethiopians. Egypt has also been instigating proxy conflicts from time to time using Ethiopia’s neighboring countries.
On direct military confrontation between the two countries, medieval time Emperor of Ethiopia Dawit (1381) invaded Egypt and inflicted heavy damage. In 1875/76 the Egyptians also tried to conquer Ethiopia but received a humiliating and fatal defeat in the hand of Emperor Yohannes IV.
Egypt which failed from grace and trampled under the yoke of different colonizers such as Greeks, Romans, Persians, Arabs, Ottomans, Mamluks and the British does not currently have ethnic identity. Egypt claims it is “Arab” when it faces toward the Middle East to appease its colonial masters, where as it claims it is Cushitic when it faces toward Africa to win the black Africa.
The agents of Egypt through their agents have penetrated the ongoing revival of the “Wake Fata religion” that has been expanding following the constitutional freedom EPRDF has given to all religions two decades ago and they have been brain washing the youth of Oromia to riot against EPRDF/Weyane, claiming that Oromo’s are more Egyptians than Ethiopians as both share the Cushitic identity. This is against the constitution that forbids mixing religion and politics but it was allowed to grow with full participation of the ultra-corrupted EPRDF members in Oromia (weekly and monthly political meetings have been conducted in each village of Oromia throughout last year under the cover up of the Wake Fata revival meetings). What we witnessed during the recent irrecha celebration is the ugly face of this political movement, disguised under a religious revival. The big question is why the intelligence of EPRDF could not timely abort it? Is that because they spend their full time collecting rent from the people? Big home work for EPRDF!
Some Oromo scholars are also recently claiming that “Amhara’s are Cushitic contrary to the long held belief that claims Amhara’s are Semitic”.
However, the truth is Ethiopians are all one and the same, despite the language they speak. If anyone is in doubt it could be easily proved through DNA test.
What Egyptians may never understand is how the seemingly weak, divided and under civilized Ethiopia kept its independence and they have been propagating myths for generations to demonize Ethiopia( such as: Ethiopia will conquer Egypt! Ethiopia will dam the Abbay River and destroy Egypt! Ethiopia will march to Mecca and destroy the Kaaba and Islam etc.). I have no doubt that the current riots throughout Ethiopia and the Muslim riots that started about six years ago are/were instigated, planned and executed by Egypt’s intelligence through their agents.
Though, I have full confidence that the EPRDF strategists are capable of developing and executing the right turnaround strategy, I felt to contribute my bit as summarized below:
- Effectively manage threats from Egypt and its agents and reinstate peace and stability within the next three to six months.
- Establish “meregagat committee” from citizens for each Kebele and Ketena . Mobilize all EPRDF members to lead each Kebele and Ketena “meregagat committee” and proactively counter and control anti peace elements, home grown or external terrorists.
- Safeguard our embassies from vandalization by anti-peace elements by hiring foreign security firms and installing a security system that enhances control.
- Increase surveillance on all of our borders to prevent any anti-peace elements (trained in Eritrea or elsewhere) crossing to Ethiopia.
- Instate proper screening and movement control of all refugees coming to Ethiopia.
- Lobby hard to expose Egypt & gather support from USA, Israel, African Union, United Nation, European Union etc. On pressurizing Egypt to halt its destabilizing activities through proxy war using Eritrea and its agents such as OLF and Ginbot 7. Explain Ethiopia’s right to defend itself by whatever means against the sabotage of Egypt
- Give Eritrea one month warning to expel all anti Ethiopia elements and cease any activity that destabilizes Ethiopia or face military action.
- If Eritrea fails to comply, march to Asmara and destroy the command center of Ginbot 7 and OLF. This is an overdue action!
- Strengthen intelligence in the Horn of Africa with alliance partners like Israel, Sudan, USA, China, and European Union.
- Closely work with Horn of Africa neighboring countries and timely frustrate (including covert surgical military actions) any Egyptian efforts to gain foothold.
- Iran may be interested to cooperate with Ethiopia to use us a proxy against Saudi Arabia. The Ethiopian government should avoid that. Never support any country which is against Israel and USA. Iran (the Persian Empire) has never been a friend of Ethiopia. The army of the Axumite Abraha that was ruling Yemen in the 7th century was liquidated by the Persian Empire. It will be a huge strategic error if EPRDF cooperates or allies with Iran.
- Advise Egypt to stop meddling in Ethiopia’s internal issues directly or through third party, to stop funding and close offices of any Ethiopian opposition in Egypt and warn Egypt that Ethiopia will revoke all bilateral agreements including those related to the Nile.
- Open communication channel and start genuine discussions with any Ethiopian oppositions that are allied to Egypt or Eritrea and those who are independent.
(2) Reinstate implementation of the democratization of Ethiopia based on incremental administered dosage while creating democratic culture among EPRDF members and the society at large immediately. Support the creation of sound opposition parties that will freely compete in the next election. At least 30 % of the parliament has to be filled by the opposition after the coming election.
(3) Within a year time, transform EPRDF to be coherent non ethnic centered party that represents all cross sections of Ethiopians (Afar, Somalia, etc.).
Campaign with facts and figures that EPRDF or the new party is not dominated by one ethnic group.
(4) Transform EPRDF members and official’s alignment with the party motto of “Serving the people burning like a candle “and significantly reduce corruption within the next six months.
- Create strong and independent “good governance monitoring” intelligence unit that follows each EPRDF official up to Kebele and Ketena label day to day activities and takes timely action on corrupted individuals. This unit also has to identify informal networks within EPRDF members that already exist and emerge from time to time to disrupt them timely.
- Salary increase in line to the capacity of the country
- Any member that commits corruption or any crime has to face justice.
- Activate effective performance management system that purges 20% of EPRDF members by their merit and replace them by new blood. Stop recycling/rotating of incompetent or corrupted members.
(5) Radical policy change on land ownership policy immediately
Progressively allow land to be privately owned. Farmers should immediately be allowed to sell their land to government or individuals based on market values. This action will drastically reduce the acquisition cost of land for the masses and farmers will also make peace with the government. This action will address 50% of grievances of the Ethiopian people.
(6) Restructure regional states structure.
Within the next three years restructure the existing regions as follows:
- Split Oromia to three manageable states( Addis Ababa could be part of one of the Oromia states and resolves once for all Addis Ababa to Oromia expansion myths, misunderstandings and conflict )
- Split Amhara in to two manageable states( Gondar and Gojjam together, Semien Showa and Wello together)
- Integrate Gambella and Benshangul Gumth to be one regional state.
- Integrate Harare with one of the three new Oromia states and make it a capital city.
- Leave Southern Nations and Nationalities, Tigray, Somalia and Afar as is.
- To counter the threat of marginalization by the big regional states, integrate the party structure of Somalia, Afar, Tigray and Gambella/Benshangul regional states (separate regional states but unified party structure).
- The widely spoken Oromo language has to be introduced to the education system to enhance communication among Ethiopians.
With immediate effect create a policy that directs regional states media to build Ethiopian brand mind set “Ethiopia and Ethiopianism” on every citizen rather than focusing on narrow nationalism. A monitoring system to that effect has to be established and implemented by the Federal government.
(7) Review the Revolutionary Democracy in line with current and future internal and external developments and update it as required immediately. Avoid any conflict with the Constitution and make sure that whatever Ideology that EPRDF follows has to be coherent with the constitution.