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Post-Victory Ethiopia

Ethiopia _ Post victory
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By Wubalem / Tariku 

Having frustrated [at least in the short-run] Woyane’s determined effort to undo  Ethiopia, we seem to be in a legitimate celebratory mood now that the united forces are  chasing them out of the areas they had invaded. But then, the question is: should  we? Instead, would not our past experience caution us to be perpetually anxious, even  in victory? And how do we define victory anyway, when gullible young Tigray  Ethiopians are used either as cannon fodder or as hateful beasts by their evil  demagogue leaders seeking a shortcut back to the lucrative power they lost? 

It seems that our memory is short when it comes to bloody wars – maybe a default  human psychological defense mechanism to repress appalling atrocities? How else  would we explain the recurring wars, and when we contemplate, preoccupied with the  prolonged celebration of our victories of the past, how we squandered all our heroic  victories? 

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Think of the following monumental Victories of Ethiopia: 

∙ The psychological victory of Tewodros’ heroism after the quick, scared  evacuation of the British from Maqdala in the 1860s 

∙ Post-Ras Alula’s victories over invading Italians and Egyptian incursions in  the 1870s, 1880s 

∙ The significant Victory of Adowa over the Italian Massive Invasion in 1896 ∙ The successful resistance and eventual defeat of Italy and liberation  of Ethiopia in 1945 

∙ The 1952 and 1978 victory over the Somali Invasion 

∙ The recent victory against the Eritrean invasion of Badme in 2000 

What is common to all of the above victories is that they were all followed by gloating,  indulgence, and consequently, self-inflicted defeats!! We never succeeded to leverage  our victories to strengthen ourselves or to learn from them and be better prepared for  the next! After the defeat of Adowa, for example, Italy undertook a four-decade  economic, military and diplomatic preparation and attacked us again in 1936, while we  waited for them with our business-as-usual internal bickering and attrition. We failed to  build strategically on our victorious national unity. Similarly, after we defeated Somalia  in 1952 in its first aggrandizement effort, we allowed it to rebuild itself and attack us in  1978 (while we were undertaking “revolution”)!! The Egyptians never stopped working  to undo Ethiopia since their Alula humiliation while we laid content in our defensive  success in repelling them. We can go on and on. It is therefore worth asking: why do we  Ethiopians consistently fail to leverage our military victories using the momentum to  build enduring power i.e. a sustainable and resilient economic base, modern, versatile  institutions, firm unity and societal transformation, and overall economic,  technological- military-diplomatic capabilities on a strategic base? We have seen other  countries turn not only their victories but even their defeats, into opportunities for  rising from the ashes, as did Germany and Japan.

Now that we have repulsed the Woyane (actually, Woyane is only a proxy) effort to  undo Ethiopia, we need to make sure that this victory will not remain ephemeral, a  mere spurious event. Those forces behind Woyane, now licking their wounds, cannot  be expected to give up on their long-term strategies only because one of their horses  has expired. We need to prepare ourselves for even tougher wars – physical, economic,  psychological, and cultural wars the defeated enemy will relaunch with ferocity. We  should consider the Woyane defeat not as the end, but the beginning of a long, long  struggle ahead. Also, we should never lose sight of the opportunity this victory is  offering to redeem ourselves, to re-think and recalibrate and prioritize our actions. We  need to build consensus on how and what got us here in the first place. This, above all,  should start with questioning our values in introspection, how we think as individuals  and as a collective, and how we discourse. Some say it is the culture that should be  under scrutiny, others argue it is a poverty syndrome, but scrutinize we must! 

Wittingly or otherwise, we have caught the “beast” by the tail! We have no choice but to  bring the whole thing to a successful conclusion; there is no choice of going back. And  a successful conclusion would mean, for example, the tedious and protracted work  against the ignorance that demagogues manipulate to install tribal hatred in malleable,  emotion-dominated young minds, and to be able to develop in our society the ethics of  transcendence above individual greed in favor of collective security through  collaborative intelligence.  

As all the above suggestions need a good deal of creative strategy thinking by leaders,  one will be forced to ask: Do we have such leaders? Has the educational system of the  last fifty years or so produced such leaders? It is high time we surveyed the arena. 

Let’s discuss collaborative intelligence.

Ethiopians in Ethiopia and even from the diaspora are on the battlefield for unity and  sovereignty against the enemies of our country. They have become comrades in arms,  putting their lives in each other’s hands, despite their otherwise distinct and sometimes  even contradictory philosophies. 

The war is getting momentum now that it is well-coordinated with unity of purpose. The Ethiopian diaspora in all parts of the globe is doing a great job, actively involved in  many fields. 

Since this war is engaged on many levels, nationally and internationally, we thought the  different organizations could learn from each other and even coordinate efforts to reap  the shared benefits of collaboration, both quality-wise and through the impact of our  sheer numbers. 

Many complex challenges are in front of us; incumbent sanctions from the West – self sufficiency as well as reconstruction are factors that demand strategic planning and  collaborative intelligence, often through the joined efforts of visionaries and operational  pragmatists. 

The concept of collaborating with different independent diaspora organizations by itself  needs a strategy. It is creating a new organizational culture from diverse established cultures, even if the purpose of the organizations coincides. The one thing that will be a  springboard in the endeavor is our shared love for our country and the mutual trust  thereof. Besides, there are specialists in the field willing to help us on our journey, for  example, Destiny Ethiopia. 

Not to leave the idea floating only as a postulate, here are practical suggestions  articulating priority action areas to embark upon as a matter of urgency to start  building a post- tribalism (Post-Woyane) Ethiopia that endures. 

ORGANIZATION: How to create a formidable global pan-Ethiopianism (diaspora) force  that can act in synchrony toward a shared goal, similar to the Jewish, Armenian, or Irish  lobbies. Not necessarily operated from one center but operating from one, overarching  shared goal, toward a unified direction. An umbrella entity, if you wish. 

MONEY/RESOURCES: Money and resource mobilization to mitigate likely Western  sanctions can be linked to the idea of self-reliance. In the short run how to encourage  Ethiopians to remit thru the formal, national bank of Ethiopia as a national duty. In the  long run, attractive and accountable resource allocation is needed. how to promote  investment, creativity, skills transfer, self-sufficiency in food, developing internal  market and flow of labor, investment and goods across the Kilils relegating their  divisive role into the ashes of history. 

There are many professionals who have provided excellent suggestions. 

YOUTH: How to nurture a defiant, patriotic youth able to shoulder an Ethiopia that is  arising from the ashes bequeathed to them. A revolutionary generation has to be  nurtured. We can help, drawing lessons of experience from our dismal performance (we  revolutionaries of the 60s, 70s got domesticated and remained serving the very entities  we designated enemies of the people). We can help craft the agenda. (Btw, National  service in the army?) An intellectual movement that abhors narrow nationalism, theft,  corruption and upholds a public sense of duty, patriotism, etc. Our youth building a  common future… 

COMMUNICATION, PR, TRACK II/CITIZEN DIPLOMACY: Provided we do it smartly  and organized it is possible to turn everyone into a diplomat speaking for the country’s  interests even though their governments may act in a contrarian manner. The recent VA  Election is an example. Not only like other communities do it, but we can also craft  simple talking points to convey a consistent message through ordinary folks and  sophisticated ones alike. Target: every American/European citizen we run across. Many  other communities have focused a concerted effort and succeeded. 

RECONCILIATION, PEACE-BUILDING :  Once the war is over, there will be so many  fissures to mend and scars to heal. This will take a long time. But then we have to craft a  way to be able not to get stuck in the trauma but to move forward. We need justice but  not necessarily retributive justice but that which restores our humanity and the best of  our Habesha magnanimity. All the same, we have to build on hope and stability, not  vengeance. 

RECONSTRUCTION : Resource mobilization for post-conflict reconstruction is an  endeavor we should be engaged in a large scale with a marshal plan for intensive work needed to rebuild after the massive destruction of farms, infrastructure, health care,  educational systems on all levels in Affar and Amhara regions, with goals of building  these dilapidated regions to a level much higher than the miserable state they were in  even before the invasion. This demands not only resources but even effective  coordination of the diaspora on an international level, including friends of Ethiopia. 

REGIONAL INTEGRATION (HOA): Building an immediate safe neighborhood involving  Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, Kenya, South Sudan. We need to turn this region into a zone of  peace and development, and not an area of proxy war (as has been the case for over a  century now). This is the only guarantee for Ethiopia to thrive in the long run. We need  to take the lead in pan-Africanism and the diaspora can play key roles here. Economic  integration through trade, for example, GERD will be instrumental to tie Kenya, Sudan,  South Sudan, and Eritrea through the East African Power Pool. The same goes for road  and transport which can grow into a large market. We can think of linking it to other  initiatives the Chinese might be interested in this (Road and Belt). The Gulf States,  Turkey, and even Russia and other friends of Ethiopia could be leveraged. 

In conclusion: What next? 

Ethiopians, within the country and without (the diaspora), from all corners of the  world, have rallied and acted in unison when all sensed the mortal danger the Woyane  invasion posed for the very existence of our country. The mobilization was spontaneous, genuine and overwhelming – and took the enemy by surprise. We have succeeded to  repulse the immediate threat. This said, though, our success has much to be desired for.  Our responses were less deliberative and more spontaneous; less planned, less  coordinated. Given the immediacy of the Woyane threat and the mortal danger the  country was facing, and the need for urgent response, there was no time to think,  deliberate and plan. We had to act urgently from wherever we were using our disparate  responses and creativity. The response was appropriate to the situation. Yet, going  forward, we need to be more deliberative, strategic and planned, if we are NOT to  squander this victory once again. Ethiopia has only gotten over a short-run immediate  threat such as the Woyane invasion was. Long-term, strategic threats are still looming  over Ethiopia. Such threats cannot be addressed adequately with spontaneous patriotic  response of citizenry – zeal, courage and commitment notwithstanding.  The adrenalin response is for short burst responses, and not for sustained response to  persistent stress with detrimental consequences.  

Long-term, strategic threats require commensurate strategic thinking, planning,  organizing and sustainable action. The foregoing are but only prompts to initiate  conversation toward collaborative thinking and action. 

Editor’s note : The article was first shared on P2P Ethiopian forum on December 11, 2021

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3 COMMENTS

  1. በጣም ጥሩ ምክር ለ ኢትዮዽያውያንም ሆነ ለ መንግስት። ኣሁን የሆነ ነገርም ኢትዮዽያ ላይ ዕየተሸረበ ዕንዳለ ዐያዳግትም። ዓርባ ዓመት፣ከዛም በላይ ጊዜ የታቀደው ያበቃል ማለት ዘበት ነው ነባሪው የነበረ ኢትዮዽያዊ ባንዲራውን ዓውልቆ፣ ዕምነቱን ትቶ፣ዐርቲፊሻል ማንነትን ተከናንቦ፣ የውጭ ዐገልጋይ ሆኖ ዒትዮዽያን ለማጥፋት እየተዘጋጁ ነው። ወዳጅ ነን ያለች ባፍ ዕያታለለች የዐለም ዐገራትን ገዝታ ከግብጽ ጋር ሆና ልታጠፋን እየተዘጋጀች ነው። ኢትዮዺያዊው አልደራጅም ብሎ፣ መስዋዕት ሳይወሥድ ዓገር ውስጥ በቀላሉ ሣይታገል ሢሞት ውጭ ያለው ተመችቶት ኖሯል የዚህ ቀን የማይመጣ መሥሎት። ዓሁን ከንቅልፉ ሢነሣ መንደፋደፍና ስለኢትዮዽያ ሁኔታ ጥናት፣ ድርጅትና ምን መደረግ እንዳለበት ሥለማያውቅ ምክኒያቱም የውሥጥም የውጭም የጎረቤት ዐገራት በቁጥጥር ሥር ሥላደረጏት ከነሡ ነጻ ለመውጣት የዘገየ ይመሥላል።

  2. A very well thought and a must do, for our country to stand long-term on firm grounds economically, politically, socially and militarily.

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