May the peace of God reign in you!
Mr. Prime minister
We are a group of concerned citizens who have been staunch supporters of the change that ushered in our country with the coming of you to power, even when some radical ethno-nationalists in the name of the Oromo people tried to undermine you. We are deeply worried by the turn of events during the last few months and took the initiative to write you this open letter.
Since you came to power five years ago, much has happened in the country. Some remarkable steps and endeavors have been undertaken to your credit. We recall that your inaugural speech did usher hope among Ethiopians, including those in the diaspora. People from all ethnic groups supported your vision, and everyone except a few stood with you. The Nobel Peace Prize award was a vivid testimony to recognizing your efforts. However, without exaggeration, there has never been so much destruction and mass killings in the history of Ethiopia in such a short period as in your five years of reign. This should wake you up! It is high time to show sensitivity and stop the aggravating situations that allow the continuation of this mayhem and absurdity. There are matters which are very sensitive and delicate for the people which should and could have been avoided, such as the incident with the Orthodox church. Some issues should be solved with time; others need a passionate discussion and dialogue well in advance. For example, deciding to disarm the special forces in every region is a case in point. Our country’s age-old problems, many created by the previous regimes, demand patience, time, and wisdom to solve. A temptation to impose and enforce changes would only be counterproductive. ነገሩ ሁሉ “ሲሮጡ የታጠቁት ሲሮጡ ይፈታል” ሆኗል::
Dear Prime Minister, sorry to be blunt, it seems you are using every institution and resource to keep Ethiopians in a continuous state of distress and chaos.
To provide examples:
- During your first year, there was a bloody conflict between neighboring Somalia and the Oromia regions. The problem was created before you came to power; at that time, almost all Ethiopians were with you to solve that problem. With one of the best regional leaders at the top, the region has been more stable during the past four years. But that problem has displaced many and tens of thousands of people.
- During the second year, there were more bloody conflicts within the Oromia region, especially in Wellega. It has been in turmoil since then. The people in the region have endured so much suffering and trauma, including loss of life and property, as well as large-scale displacement. This was created mainly because the OLF forces were allowed to run free and unchecked. You tried to control it with command force, but it backfired. Thousands have been killed, and tens of thousands of people have been internally displaced since then making Ethiopia the country with the most IDP in the world. Since then, these forces have controlled rural areas, including Borena, the West and East Wollega, and North shewa.
- During your regime’s third and fourth years, your government was at a bloody war with TPLF and TDF forces. This time, you used the hostility of TPLF to galvanize support from the Amhara, Afar, and other Ethiopians, including Eritreans, to fight against the forceful enemy that was ready to take back power from your hands. You have hailed Amhara, Afar, and Eritrean forces for their unwavering support and sacrifices. Primarily, you depend highly on Fano, Amhara, and Afar special forces. If not for these forces, your government could have been history like that of Mengistu Hailemariam, who had the strongest military in Eastern Africa, if not the whole of Africa at the time. Today, you want to dismantle them in no time without showing any sign of sensitivity and regard for their contribution during those times of difficulty.
- During the fifth year, your government is making peace with the TPLF while making all efforts to create new conflict with one ethnic group in one region and across the country. In your speech and propaganda, you target one group of people. While you offend one group, you are trying to please the other ethnic group. As we are writing this letter, you have proceeded with your unfortunate and regrettable military operation against the very people who paid the ultimate sacrifice to save your government from crumbling. You have decided to carry on with dismantling the Amhara special forces without going through rigorous processes and communication with the people. As an elected leader, you should have a political dialog across the system to create consensus and understanding among the people. As people are known for their respect for government and the rule of law, they could have accepted your plan if provided with sufficient and timely information about the intentions. But for unclear reasons, you are acting in a hurry, completely disregarding their legitimate concerns. Lately, Mr. Lencho Leta who said openly on media “አማሮች ቸኩለዋል!” Are you trying to address his concern by going against the people in the region? Don’t you see that you are again on the verge of another bloody massacre unless you urgently stop this madness?
If you carefully see the pattern, you will observe the vast destruction and instability created in the country during your administration. Even your mentor, Mr. Lencho Leta, is confused about the country’s future. The most disappointing aspect is that you are using the institutions that were supposed to defend Ethiopians and Ethiopia against the people. To begin with, ENDF was attacked by TPLF due to your reluctance. You had the intelligence that TPLF was preparing for war and was planning operations against the army. Now you are using the army to go against the people. You should stop using the army against the people. Your job is to negotiate and dialogue with the people whenever you have some agenda that is sensitive for the people. But you are moving from one trouble to another without doing the political job appropriately. It seems the whole country is in the hand of an ambitious, inexperienced, power-seeking young man. For this, you have to blame yourself.
Our question to you is, when you wake up from bed every morning and look at yourself in the mirror, what do you see? A Nobel laureate or a bloodsucking person? From the patterns described above and many detailed incidents, the people have started to see the latter: a bloodsucker who wants to preserve his power by using any means. We are hoping the visionary who has become Nobel Laurate to strive. But now even your motive for doing good things like planting billions of trees, producing huge amount of wheat and exporting it, and building parks and beautiful buildings, seems for a craving for recognition and acceptance among the Ethiopian people and so that it helps you to hold fast to power.
The war with TPLF/TDF killed one million people in the country. This could have been enough for all Ethiopians to take time to reflect and reconcile. Instead, thousands of kids are without homes, tens of thousands of internally displaced people in many cities, hundreds of homes are destroyed daily in the name of new city formation, and so on. Still, you are doing not that much to stop this. It seems it pleases one ethnic group, which you have hoped will defend your power if a difficult time comes, as you have mentioned many times in your speech.
We used to give you the benefit of the doubt when you planted trees or went to farm places while people were massacred in several places. We thought everything was out of your control and those ethnocentric people around you were the ones who were orchestrating everything to sabotage you. We used to blame it all on TPLF and other enemies of the country. But looking back, it seems you were complicit in most things. In that case, one more question: why did you go to Norway for the Nobel Peace Prize award when you know you are such a bloodsucker? You know it is a problem to be called a Nobel laureate while you have millions dead during your 5-year tenure. Even if you claim that you have made peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea, now we see that it was an unfortunate political miscalculation. Since the Tigray people are not yet reconciled with the Eritrean people. To say it more correctly, the power in Tigray, TPLF, and the government of Eritrea was not at peace when you took the award. Even now, when you go to Pretoria to make peace with TPLF and your party, the people of Afar and Amhara and their concerns are not considered. That is why a new sense of war is developing in the area. It seems you get the credit for half-backed work.
As you face massive resistance due to an executive decision to dismantle the Amhara special force, you are out in the media saying the plan will carry on at “any cost.” How many lives, thousands or millions, is that cost? What happened to you? Are you going to war with millions of people again? This time using the military apparatus and another region’s special forces as you did earlier in the two years? You have continued to contribute to more hatred, division, and killings than any other leader in the country’s history. Please calm down and think thoroughly together with others. Do not listen to mad people who are engulfed with bitterness and resentment. Instead, commit yourself to genuine reconciliation and peace. PLEASE STOP this madness and build the country in the right way or QUIT your job as your predecessor did! Leave the country alone, and let another wise, mature, and more stable person lead the great nation of Ethiopia. WE send this letter just to contribute our part to save the Ethiopian people from further destruction. Most importantly, we write this to appeal to your sound mind so that you do not depend solely in the strength of your military hardware and power to solve problems in the country.
A group of concerned citizens
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