By Obang Metho
If we Ethiopians are not going to repeat the mistakes of the past, we must think about what we want for the future and how to actually accomplish that vision.
This discussion cannot simply be about defeating a common enemy—ethnic apartheid regime of TPLF—but about how to build an Ethiopia where “humanity comes before ethnicity,” or any other distinctions and where we seek a humane, just, fair and inclusive society for “no one will be free until all are free.”
What worries me most is that ethnic hatred regime of TPLF/EPRDF will collapse without any clear forewarning and then what?
There may not be any opportunity to follow a legitimate process of selecting a political parties and instead, it might be wise to plan for a transitional or caretaker government that would be time-limited, perhaps to three years or less, that could work to set up an atmosphere conducive to genuine multi-party democracy and free and fair elections.
Once that was in place, political parties could present their platforms and candidates. They could then compete with each other for the votes of the people.
Right now, there are many signs that this ethnic apartheid regime is fragile. It is very possible that some unexpected event or surge of effort may cause it to collapse. If that happens, will Ethiopians be prepared to step in with something better?
The TPLF/EPRDF regime is like someone trying to maintain his balance while standing on a table with loosened legs. Those legs, made up of the TPLF cronies, are rotting from the inside from their corrupt and abusive practices.
If someone kicks a table leg or if the weight on the table keeps getting heavier from the 26 years of abuses against the Ethiopian people, the table and legs may not be able to withstand the increasing pressure and will collapse. Then, very suddenly, the whole thing will be over.
The TPLF regime is like a hollow tree which produces bitter fruit no one wants. Because what the tree has produced is inedible to others, it can end up becoming such a heavy burden to the tree itself that it collapses.
There is no doubt that the TPLF will bear responsibility for bringing itself down, but our concern is about being prepared for the inevitable so that an emergency will not result in instability or crisis beyond what we are ready to effectively manage.
When this happens, Ethiopia will be in too much crisis to hold political debates over platforms of various candidates. Because of this, we must be ready to jump in with a plan for a transitional government that will bring quick security, emergency help, reconciliation, reforms and the mobilization of civil society; all undergirded with the principles that advance the respect, worth and rights of all citizens.
We Ethiopians need to start paying our own way now. People need to know not only what is going on, but also what we are planning on doing and how they can become part of it.
Nothing is for free and it is time for Ethiopians to take full responsibility for their freedom.
Ethiopia must move as a people and nation from being overly dependent on outsiders for our basic needs, to a fully capable people, willing to work hard, to sacrifice and to join together to set in place a firm foundation for a New Ethiopia. Will you do your share?
May God guide and empower us!