We are continually learning that for the past one-month shocking and horrible news from the seat of Africa Union that is Ethiopia with great humiliation and grief. The protests have been sparked by fears young suburbs habitat of Addis Ababa and other constituencies against land grab that is planed by Addis Ababa municipality to expand the capital with an integrated master plan. As a result, the Ethiopian security forces have killed more than 144 protesters who took part in mass anti-government demonstrations since mid November.
The Ethiopian government should respect the basic United Nation Human Right declaration on the freedom of expression and peaceful assembly for its citizens’. While police have the responsibility to maintain law and order during protests, they should only use force when strictly necessary and in a proportionate manner to prevail peace and tranquility in the country.
Africa Speaks condemns in the strongest term such excessive force and mass killing of peaceful civilian protesters by security forces is totally barbaric and unacceptable. The emergence of ethno-political violence could be linked to the process of competing identities, loyalties, and interests. We have to learn how to resolve our differences, hunger and concern in non-violent way.
Equally we denounce those who are in the opposition camp promoting ethnic based bluster for political gains inciting violence and hatred should be condemned in all its forms. Our motherland of “Africa” shouldn’t be a place for those chauvinists, narrow nationalists, and tribalist tendencies. These are outdated, unethical, and immoral in the 21st century.
As a Pan African organization we embed in our basic philosophies based on one of our founding fathers; one of our own respected Pan African leaders Kwame Nkrumah, once call to be outlawed parties should not be organized on tribal or ethnic bases. We share this value for the betterment of our beloved continent. With the same note we call upon all African countries not to embrace ethnic based administration and political systems; that are a chronic problem to achieve our common development and integration agenda of 2063.
Africa Speaks believes that the current Africa sociopolitical system if led by ideological classification and class-consciousness is the only way to achieve the fullest emancipation and to lead our people. A leadership shouldn’t galvanize our future fundamentally whether from numerically large or small ethnic groups, using an ethnic ideology to consolidate a substantial political base and power.
Ethiopia is one of the independent pillar and exemplary country for the liberation movements in Africa. Ethiopia shouldn’t fall into retrograde ethnic based thinking that will be a shame and embracement for Africa. The manifestation of the recent clash is a prototype of ethnic classification and policy, inevitably will take us to the biggest bing bang. Unless otherwise the government of Ethiopia should reengineer its governance policy that is based on globally accepted ideological orientation. At the end of the day ethnic based party/policy will harm more than anyone the very promoters and followers as well it will incapacitate the leaders since it’s a divisive and wrong proceedings for Africa.
To begin with, we have to decolonize our mind from narrow nationalism and ethnic chauvinism that changed politicization to political ethnicity and not to govern our future. Conventional wisdom suggests that ethnic based party/policy is phenomenally problematic in Africa. It is held partly responsible for the 'irrationalities' of development projects, for political instability and weak Pan African identity.
Ethnic party/policy by itself it’s violence and is to blame for outmoded values and regressive consciousness, for fostering corruption and destructive conflict. Nations and nationalities political equality and democratic rights can be secured with political inclusion and by laying a foundation equal right across the society not by ethnocracy.
“Development agenda without citizens’ endorsement is a hole in the Bermuda triangle” Development agenda by all standard is commendable when it is inclusive, participatory and beneficiary. The people of Africa in general and Ethiopians in particular have to advance their development agenda more than anytime with full participation of the grassroots, without any impositions.
We unpretentiously propose to the Government of Ethiopia to contemplate a fundamental peace and reconciliation process in Ethiopia with its people, and with all political parties including those who are participating peaceful oppositions and those who are in arm struggle for a lasting solution to shape the past, the present and the future.
We call upon the Ethiopian government to support an independent investigation into the recent mass killing by security forces as a matter of urgency.
The liberated mind once cannot again become colonized?!!
Yours In Pan Africanism
Seife Tadelle Kidane