Dr. Taye Berhanu
A friend of mine from Kampala, Uganda, sent me a book titled “The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Humanity” by David Graeber and David Wengrow. This title attracted my attention. Without having a glimpse on the contents of the book, I envied the positive spirit which my country lacked for years. No wonder the title rekindles the feelings of the short lived hope of Ethiopians. But, to no avail. The ethnic federal political system in place is queer and odd not only to Ethiopia but to the international community as well. Since the EPRDF replaced the Derg, a new political system, ethnic federalism, has immersed the country to a horrendous situation menacing its unity, sovereignty, territorial integrity, peace and stability. Passing through immense trials and tribulations, Ethiopia has entered a new momentum which has cumulatively turned the dawn of everything to the down of everything.
Without exaggeration, Ethiopia, in its age-old history, has become the first country in the 21st century to have a government that relentlessly strived for the destabilization and disintegration of its own country. After ‘boldly’ facilitating the smooth secession of Eritrea, it has continued its audacious strategy of turning down the history of Ethiopia. The Constitution of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia has given a legal basis for division and unconditional right of secession to the so-called numerous nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia. The coined vague political terminologies of nations, nationalities and peoples were central in defining the objective of the political system of EPRDF, a deep-seated despise to Ethiopia’s one nation and one people analogy.
The EPRDF has laid down the groundwork for the dismemberment of the country. It has fomented tribal hatred and engineered genocidal crimes against humanity. The death tolls of civilians, destruction of public and private properties, persecution of political dissenters, journalists, activists and critics, internal displacements and fleeing abroad have astronomically escalated. This appalling situation had, albeit aborted, opened a new chapter in 2018 ousting the EPRDF leadership and installing a new leadership, soon crowned as Prosperity Party.
Paradoxically, though, the new leadership has stirred up and stimulated a new spirit of unity and Ethiopian nationalism that was buried for almost three decades. Some democratic and humanitarian measures had ushered in a new hope of peace, stability, unity, progress and prosperity. Deplorably, however, the demise of the Ethiopian people resumed so quickly with unbearable challenges. The new Government has hastened the implementation of the Constitution faster than its predecessor. The implementation of the Constitution means nothing but the actualization of Article 39, the right of nations, nationalities and peoples to unconditionally secede. Its implementation is the fueling of hatred and animosity among the people. In other words, the expected adverse consequences of ethnic federalism were in full swing. All sorts of sordid crimes instigated by ethnic politics got the free hand and space to hover without any hindrances.
The perpetuation of the atrocious crimes committed against the Ethiopian people on tribal basis has induced politicians, activists, the academia and the general public at large to ponder over the credibility and nature of the 2018 change. Questions like|, ‘Was it a real or camouflaged change? Was it a change of leadership or change of government?’ arose in the minds of many. It has become crystal clear for most that the change was not a change of government. Rather, it was, and is, a change of leadership. The flickering hope that was ignited by the words of the incumbent leadership of PP had, incontrovertibly, seduced the majority of the Ethiopian people that it was a change of government. But, through time, the unprecedented worsening situation has eloquently depicted that the change was merely a change of leadership.
Obviously, the Prosperity Party has firmly embraced the FDRE Constitution since its very birth in 2018. It has resolutely and vehemently strived for the practical implementation of the Constitution. Contrary to the whims and wishes of the people, the government has galvanized the long-awaited appalling political, economic and social consequences of ethnic federalism. The tragic consequences of ethnic federalism manifested in the northern, central, eastern, western and southern parts of the country, essentially in all parts of the country, are indelible inhuman records in the annals of Ethiopian history. The fratricidal wars that claimed the lives of more than half million people, the internal displacement of millions of Ethiopians in different areas; the genocidal crimes committed against the Amharas and Afars; the despicable destructions and devastation of public, private and individual properties and infrastructures; the barring of movement of people from Amhara region to Addis Ababa; the burning of vehicles and massacre of drivers and passengers; the looting of banks and private organizations and individuals; the burning of houses and churches; repeated abductions of students and nationals; the holding of hostages for ransom purposes are some of the major ignominious criminal activities that extremely haunted the country during the last four years.
The Down of Everything
Amidst the agonies the Ethiopian people have traversed through, the last devastating bullet was casted at the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church (ETOC}. This was meant as the last resort of the most obnoxious and heinous atrocities aimed to expedite the dismemberment of the country. The only remaining uniting force that has obstructed the disintegration process of Ethiopia is the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church. Since time immemorial, the ETOC, whose followers are drawn from all walks of life, has had historic spiritual tasks in defending the unity, sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ethiopia. Guided by the behest of its spiritual beliefs, the ETOC has remained determined to withstand all vicissitudes of hardships by taking various measures against all odds. It had ex-communicated and condemned numerous leaders in the past who betrayed their beliefs and country. History amply attests that the ETOC had successfully rallied Ethiopians – Christians, Muslims, non-Christians and non-believers – in the fight against all internal and external encroachments. Its strong spiritual threads that have netted Ethiopians together have always boosted their morale and dedication to sacrifice their dear and unreplaceable lives.
Whenever enemies of Ethiopia indulge in hostile activities against the ETOC, honest and genuine people express sorrow on the impending plausible horrendous consequences. It is said that an attack against the ETOC is like touching the untouchable that begets undesirable consequences for all. Likewise, the current politically motivated futile attempts made to weaken and divide the ETOC at this political juncture which can be epitomized as the down of everything, is touching the untouchable. The solidarity of the Ethiopian Muslims, other religion followers as well as foreign Christian churches and organizations with the ETOC is a clear testimony of the magnanimous role it plays at national and international levels.
The land of God, Ethiopia, has always encountered numerous challenges finding itself at times in deeper political, economic, social and spiritual quagmire. Yet, it never failed in stretching its hands
unto God. The recent attack on the ETOC is unprecedented in its complexity and nature of the crisis. It is more cumbersome and perplexing. It is a test not solely to ETOC but to the very existence of our Motherland. Frustrated and burnt at heart by the inexplicable abhorrent and loathsome acts against the ETOC, an Ethiopian had to say this; “What a punishment it is to be born and live in a hopeless and unpredictable country.” This amplifies in a nutshell that the all-round deteriorating situation in all corners of the country has made everything down. The Dawn of Everything is utterly replaced by the Down of Everything triggered by ethnic federalism targeted at the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church. The burning of churches, the flogging and massacre of priests, monks and followers of the Church eventually culminated in annihilating the ETOC through a political mantle of ethnic federalism.
The sinister conspiracies hatched by internal and external enemies of Ethiopia for years, particularly during the last three decades, have sought to hasten the demise of the age-old independent and free country by destroying the people’s spiritual basis. The Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church is not merely a spiritual basis. Adorned and magnified with its rich spiritual wealth, the Ethiopian Orthodox Church is the true basis of the creation of the Ethiopian state, the source of wisdom and civilization, a clean and sparkling womb that united and cemented the Ethiopians of various cultures or languages and beliefs together.
Alas, what a historical coincidence! The Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church which played a leading role in mobilizing and rallying the Ethiopian people at all times of tests and particularly during the Battle of Adowa against the colonialist Italy one hundred twenty seven years ago in the month of January/February, has demonstrated its indomitable force of truth, its stern belief and stance in an indivisible Church; its iconic and unflinching trust in God; its uniting force and its strong attachment with the Almighty.
The recent challenges poised against the Church have shown the world again that the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church cannot be intimidated and divided by any earthly force. The teachings of the ETOC for the millennia have crystallized the union of the Fathers and the followers irrespective of language differences. Fathers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, members of the Synod, have shown us, as always, their well-entrenched knowledge, leadership quality, patience and perseverance, selfless commitment to sacrifice their lives for their religion and their spiritual dear sons and daughters. By the same token, followers have demonstrated their commitment to obey and pay every sacrifice to implement the orders of the Synod at any cost.
Invariably, the Ethiopian Tewahedo Orthodox Church has served as a backbone of the country and oneness of its people. This was evidently proved by the support extended by followers and non followers of ETOC. All this clearly and vividly depicts that the existence of the ETOC is tantamount to the existence of Ethiopia, and the vice versa. Undeniably, the ETOC sparks and spreads the religion of peace and love and above all the teachings of Jesus Christ., the source of pride of Ethiopians. The government’s reluctance to take action against the wrong-doers and its support to ETOC deviants could be equated by many as dismantling the ETOC and dismembering Ethiopia. Therefore, in the interest of the nation and the people, the disintegration of the ETOC, the basis and pillar of Ethiopia’s unity, sovereignty, and territorial integrity, cannot and must not be tolerated by the Ethiopian people. Such an act could mean the down of everything. This is unacceptable not solely by Ethiopians but by all those who stand for religious freedom, democracy, respect for human rights, for progress, prosperity and independence the world over.
#No More Interference
The #No More Movement targeting the external forces has turned to internal #No More interference of the Government in the affairs of religion. #No More interference by the government is not meant to call for neutrality. Rather, the call is for the respect of the rule of law. The call is for the respect of the ETOC, which is the respect of the people and maintaining the peace and security of the country. The ETOC has earnestly appealed to the Government to discharge its duties and responsibilities by ceasing siding with the enemies of ETOC. The urgent call of the ETOC is to strictly abide by its own legal obligation of maintaining peace and security and by taking instant, effective and efficient measures against the parties that have hatched adverse conspiracies to divide the Church and dismember the country. The government shall no longer give deaf ear to the spiritual basis of the Ethiopians. The most perturbing situation that haunted the EOTC shall be reverted once and for all. There is no Ethiopia in the weak ETOC. Ethiopia and ETOC are inseparably interrelated, interconnected and interwoven.
Further, the resolute and fearless stand of the Fathers and followers of ETOC to pay every sacrifice in defense of their spiritual springs of wisdom, wealth and strength and the support earned internally and externally has, for now and will in the future, dramatically bent the downturn doldrums to a dawn of everything. The Ethiopian people who had shown stiff resistance to parochial or chauvinistic tribalism are yearning for a dependable and sustainable panacea to the chronic problems which had downed everything in Ethiopia. The response to the challenge of ETOC shall be NO; but Yes to the call of the Synod. The right path to the dawn of everything in Ethiopia is NO to the existing ethnic federalism political system. And, yes to a democratic and peaceful system that augurs true and realistic hopes.
The incumbent government and contending political parties shall emulate the remarkable qualities of the Synod of handling national problems. The intelligent, self-less commitment, dedication and well strategic approach of the ETOC Fathers have amply demonstrated what the Ethiopian people really want for success. It is high time that down everything has to relinquish its place to the dawn of everything. It is the best means to bring back Ethiopia’s glory and to halt the shameful and abhorrent hatred and fratricidal wars. Let the Dawn of Everything be blessed and cherish the Ethiopian people with peace, unity, progress and prosperity by casting away the debris of ethnic federalism .Ethiopia and ETOC shall triumph.
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