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Ethiopia : it is getting more difficult to remain silent

By Ezana Minas
December 19, 2020

It is difficult to speak but more difficult to remain silent. The silent majority has started to speak. There is nothing so finely perceived and finely felt, as injustice with a violent coercion of the majority. There are clearly remediable injustices around us which we want to eliminate. Therefore, emotionally lashing out with demagogy will not help to solve the problems. Our problems. The Amharic proverb “Chew Leraseh setel taft” is appropriate here.

What happened the last four years in Ethiopia is there to see if we have eyes to see it. This is evident enough in our day-to-day life with inequities or subjugation from which we suffered. Thus the majority of the people have good reasons to resent and revolt. The widespread diagnoses of injustice was there to see.

Ethiopians are not trying to achieve a perfect just world. We know the world is partly just and partially unjust depending how powerful one is. However, Ethiopians want to remove clear injustices to the extent possible. For those who want to see the injustices, they are clearly written on the wall. Even the TPLF ruling Oligarchy has accepted it. The so called endless “TEHADISO” they conducted but come up short of facing reality and ended up with an attempt to preserve their domination and exploitation is a clear manifestation.

Understanding the demand for justice inescapably involves reasoning. A sense of injustice serve as a signal that should move us. A four years continued signal demanded examination and scrutiny. The sense of wrong doing needed to be critically examined through seasoned scrutiny as opposed to an active attempt to suppress it through violence and ethnic arithmetic with short lived gains resulting in long term loss and damage to all sides. The Oligarch could have addressed the issue without total detachment from their own vested interest or from loosing it all. The room for compromise was there. The magnanimity from the other side was there. However, their preoccupation with Ethnic prejudices and greed did not allow reasoned give and take and chose confrontation.

People to People is an intellectual forum most members being in the medical and scientific fields setting an example for the rest of us. Science means scientific reasoning. Therefore, when some of us come to use this forum we should learn on how to reason scientifically. That means there is a need for reasoned argument with others dealing with conflicting claims. Reasoning and impartial balanced scrutiny is an essential part of this community. Lazy generalization loaded with emotional and primordial instinct will end up being laughable. We can present vigorous and critical examination of issues still with conflicting arguments. However, the plurality we live in needs reasoning. Our capacity to enrich reasoned engagement through enhancing accurate informational availability and feasibility of interactive discussion are helpful. The forum is to encourage reliance on reasoning and the involving of public discussion. I believe this is not a forum for tribal instinct with an impulsive mental attitude or emotional outburst while it makes room for good reasoning and relevant emotion. It is not a forum for reasoning that points to irrelevant unreasoning based coercive reasoning.

The prevalence of unreason made reason-based answers far less effective as we see in some of the posted articles. Of course we can see ethnic prejudices riding on the back of some kind of self-justification reasoning – weak and arbitrary though it might be. Dogmatic persons tend to have some kinds of reasons, very crude ones, in support of their dogmas such as ethnic, racist, chauvinistic cast based prejudices with bigotry and coercive primitive reasoning.

The effectiveness of informational distortion has lost a lot of ground. The Ethiopian reality is far too complex and the various easy and instant generalization as well as propagandistic brandings like “Neftegna” will no more work. The manipulation of ethnic calculus and stirring up tribal instinct is rapidly loosing ground. We need critical analysis and wise observation.

The major concern we all have is helping our country to go on sustainable reform for the well being of all our people. The reform in Ethiopia came from within. Those who tried to stifle the reform with stronger and more powerful means have failed. They are left with their external propagandists and lobbyists which will end soon. We need to address the issue of freedom of the majority from several perspectives and dimensions, including the intellectual foundations, legal and political structure, its regional and subregional conditions. The reality in Ethiopia has totally being changed. Effective participation and positive action at all political, economic and social spheres is known to increase people’s capabilities and potentials. Majority unanimous democratic representation with legal protection of minority rights, not minority domination, is the order of the day. Exercising freedom within institutional and constitutional framework and good governance is the most catalytic factors for achieving these capabilities and potentials.

Emphasizing the rule of law, enhancing freedom, independence of the judiciary, equal opportunity at all levels enhance the prospect of successful development in Ethiopia without minority coercion. Those will help us work towards the already recognized needs of equality of all ethnic groups towards political, economic, human and cultural developments.

Editor’s note : This article first appeared on People-to-People forum. To publish article on this platform, please do send submissions to

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