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Ethiopian President Acknowledges Failure to Unite the Nation, Create a Legitimate State

Ethiopia _  President Shale-Work Zewde
President Sahle-Work Zewde making speech at the joint session. At her back hails ethnic flags from different ethnic based regions of Ethiopia. The absence of Ethiopian Flag hints the grim reality of what is happening in the country. (Photo : ENA)


In a candid admission at the parliament, Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde has expressed deep concern over the state of the nation. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s 2018 promise to unite Ethiopians and lead the country towards peace and prosperity appears to have faltered.

Since assuming office and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his reconciliation efforts with Eritrea, putting an end to a two-decade-long no-peace-no-war situation, tens of thousands of ethnic Amhara have tragically massacred  in the Oromo region by radical ethnic oromo nationalist group with clandestine links to government officials and other parts of Ethiopia.

Under Abiy Ahmed’s leadership, the government engaged in a bloody two-year war with the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), resulting in a devastating toll of over one million lives lost on both sides. Following a peace agreement with the TPLF in Pretoria, his government shifted the war zone to the Amhara region, where war had been unofficially ongoing since April. In August of this year, a cabinet meeting was convened to declare a state of emergency in the Amhara region, which was unanimously approved.

The country’s corruption levels have spiraled out of control, and the cost of living has become unbearable, with reported inflation exceeding 28 percent in August, according to the country’s statistical agency. The are views suggesting that the actual figure may be even higher.

Safety and security for citizens have deteriorated significantly since Abiy Ahmed’s government came to power, making travel between places a risky endeavor. Ransom kidnappings in the Oromia region have become increasingly common and political divide has been exacerbating. 

Despite these socio-economic and political challenges, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government remains resolute in its belief that Ethiopia is on the path to prosperity, with Abiy often declaring, “No force on earth could reverse Ethiopia’s prosperity,” while viewing his government as the best in Ethiopian history.

However, the stark reality differs from this optimistic view. Ethiopian President Sahle-Work Zewde candidly addressed these concerns during her  appearance, on Monday, at a joint session of the House of Peoples’ Representatives and the House of Federation, where she presented the government’s plans for the year.

She acknowledged, “We have failed to unite our people” and lamented that “we have failed to form a legitimate state.” Despite Ethiopia’s historical achievements, radical ethnic nationalist organizations mired in the country into a politicized controversy over history to the point that even Ethiopia’s struggle against and trump over colonial war is not accepted positively by all.   

With the protracted conflict continuing unabated in the Amhara region, where the majority of Ethiopia’s staple food, teff, is produced, and the looming threat of famine in various parts of the country, many fear the worst.

Creating a shared narrative that garners the agreement of all Ethiopians is a challenging task that may take years to achieve – if at all.  The national reconciliation commission, established by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, itself has been diligently working on a national dialogue agenda for several years. However, there is growing skepticism that the Prime Minister may already be manipulating it, dashing hopes for a solution agreeable to all. Thas is an indication the effort to create a shared narrative could turn out to be a mirage. The battle is between the ethnic nationalists – especially ethnic oromo – who are at the helm of power with a determination to perpetuate ethnic-aparthied like system on the one hand and the disempowered Ethiopian nationalists who seek to unite the country ending ethnic-aparthied system where citizens are relegated to a second citizen outside of their ethnic region. This is particularly the case in Oromia. 


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  1. Yes Madam President! Yes Ma’am!!! I hope somebody is listening to you! The conflicts that have proven to be deadly and destructive will not go away for good as long as the job of running the affairs of that gem of colored remain in the sole hands of men. We the men have monopolized political power over there for centuries that we have gone arrogant about it. We start stupid but deadly and destructive conflicts for stupid reasons. We have gone numb about learning from our previous stupid mistakes that led to so much misery.

    Dear Madam President,
    My wish is sooner of not later our natural born leaders women will take away the mantle of ruling the country from the men peaceful and tell us to go back, way back in line for the next 100 years. There will be nothing new for them as they are running the affairs of every household alone. I guarantee you that they will not start stupid war just to send their boys and children to awaiting fires for stupid reasons. Just look at the membership of every political party. Is there one party that has at least 50% of its members are women? Name one! Aha, aha! Not one, right? Our women make up more than 50% of the country’s population and have been running the affairs of every home alone for ages. I hope I will see the day when our women will finally run the affairs of the country show us men how a country should be run. And there isn’t much left on the hopper for me after all this high mileage blessed journey on this Good Earth. Insha’Allah!!!!

  2. Subject: QUOTE “Ethiopian President Acknowledges Failure to Unite the Nation, Create a Legitimate State UNQUOTE
    October 9, 2023

    Humble Suggestion :
    1. Create a PANEL of Ethiopians, composed of one member from each Province

    2. Their Task is to DEEPLY and BROADLY examine the current problems in Ethiopia

    3. Based on the above examination, the Group would come out with recommendation to the Government of Ethiopia for a course of action.

    4. Consequently, based on the above proposed action, the Government of Ethiopia must come with a final Course of

    5. Finally, the Government of Ethiopia will be responsible for the immediate application of the Parliament’s Decision



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