To break free from the cycle of civil war and mass violence:

Read the Amharic version here. በአማርኛ ለማንበብ ይህን ማስፈንጠሪያ ይጫኑ።

Let us adhere to the fundamental principle of unwavering belief in our country’s sovereignty, which is of paramount importance. The cornerstone of this belief is to respect and safeguard both the sovereignty of our nation and the welfare of our people. Succumbing to external influence and relinquishing our nation’s sovereignty leaves us beholden and powerless. In particular, we must learn from our past and present history that engaging in meaningless alliance with entities like Shabia (aka PFDJ), which have openly sought our nation’s destruction for three decades, will only lead to further strife.

A tangible demonstration of our commitment to sovereignty is upholding the existing constitution. If changes or amendments to the constitution are necessary, they should be carried out through legal channels, and we must adhere to the current legal framework until such changes are made. The constitution stands as the bedrock of our nation and political society.

This implies that individuals and groups must refrain from pursuing unconstitutional short-term solutions until all constitutional issues are addressed through constitutional means. The forced displacement of citizens based on their identity must cease, and illegally occupied territories must be returned to their rightful constitutional place, among other measures.

It is crucial for everyone to realize that the current path leads to nowhere but perpetual instability. The solution lies in setting aside personal egos, hypocrisy, and preconceived notions, and returning to the comprehensive national dialogue and negotiation forum that was rejected in the past. Whether our nation remains united or not, there is no alternative for a peaceful future than pursuing a dialogue. After bloodshed and lose of innocent lives, it may seem challenging to sit down for negotiations, but it is a step we must take voluntarily. Throughout history, governments have made mistakes, groups have committed atrocities, and people have clashed, yet many have healed past wounds and moved forward through dialogue.

Regrettably, Abiy Ahmed remains resistant to negotiation, debate, and dialogue, unless circumstances force him to reconsider. He could have embraced these approaches during those days when he reigned in the hearts of millions without even accomplishing any meaningful work. He could have reconciled opposing factions, facilitated conversations between estranged parties, and paved the way for a shared solution and a brighter future for the nation. However, events unfolded differently as his desire was and still is for power. With it, the opportunity to leave a lasting, positive legacy has slipped away. It is unlikely that he will change course now, as political calculation continues to guide his actions. Given his penchant for maintaining power through conflict and turmoil, the primary objective should be the establishment of a temporary interim or transitional government. Achieving this necessitates dialogue among adversaries, even those who are deeply divided and hold animosity towards one another.

To steer toward a successful transition and establish a functional government afterward, we must all adopt a mindset of reconciliation. While this may appear challenging for a people characterized by zero-sum game, it only necessitates adhering to the basic principle of “treating others as you would like to be treated” to achieving peace. This principle forms the basis of Consensus Based Democracy. Over the past five years, we have witnessed the consequences of forsaking this approach. Let us not repeat that mistake. We should learn from our recent history and strive for a brighter future.

Finally, as the great Archbishop Desmond Tutu once said, “Stability and peace in our land will not come from the barrel of a gun.” Succumbing to use of force will only lead to further entanglement. Meanwhile, the current leadership will cling to power relentlessly.

As the year draws to a close, it is essential for us to pause and reflect on this call as the first step towards lasting peace and stability..

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