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Ethiopia: Still Time To Prioritize Peace Above Ego – OpEd

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The ongoing Tigray conflict in Ethiopia has been described by observers as a taste of déjà vu and an impending balkanization, given the dimension the war has taken in the past year, especially in recent months.

The greatest fear, however, is that the actions of the two warring parties – the Ethiopian federal authority and the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – are fast tilting the country towards another anarchical state that could make today’s Libya a child’s play.

Ethiopia’s deep sense of independence and freedom as the only uncolonized country in the continent, coupled with its recent developmental strides and political reforms, makes it Africa’s pride.

Many countries in the horn of Africa and continent-wide look up to it for leadership. Its highly ambitious developmental measures have also been cited as a model worth emulating by other countries.

Unfortunately, the downsides of the war have battered the country’s economy and derailed its developmental movements, as it now suffers some of the greatest humanitarian tolls, including famine.

Reports say thousands, including children, have died, tens of thousands have fled the country, millions are internally displaced, and over 400,000 in urgent need of humanitarian assistance.

Like Ethiopia, Libya was for many years one of the fastest-growing economies in Africa and regarded among Africa’s richest countries until the 2011 uprising that led to a civil war and international military intervention.  Today, the once oil-rich prosperous North African country is now a shadow of itself, a socioeconomic retarded state, and a den of human trafficking and modern slavery.

Recently, as the TPLF rebel forces and their allies closed in on the capital, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed travelled to the frontline and vowed to lead Ethiopian troops into battle himself. “We won’t give in until we bury the enemy,” he boasted.

In its response, a spokesperson of TPLF claimed Abiy’s leadership “chokehold on our people” and vowed to continue the rebels’ “inexorable advance.”

The ego-driven adamance from both parties explains why the conflict is biting so hard on Africa’s second-most populous country.

The good news, however, is that there is still time for the Ethiopian federal government and TPLF leadership to prioritize peace above ego and avert the impending Libya-like deep turmoil.

*Olusegun Akinfenwa writes for Immigration Advice Service, a law firm based in the United Kingdom and offering immigration services globally.

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4 thoughts on “Ethiopia: Still Time To Prioritize Peace Above Ego – OpEd

  • December 10, 2021 at 12:55 am
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    No, it is not the action of the waring parties that is the major problem here. It is the countries that profit from the war which is the problem. No one thought when an elected government fights with terrorists, democratic countries would line up on the side of the terrorists! Belive it or not this is what we are seeing.

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  • December 10, 2021 at 5:10 am
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    PM Abiy’s government was democratically elected and is highly popular with many ethnic groups in the country. Why would other democratic countries favor a rebel and secessionist uprising? War crimes have been committed by all sides. That cannot be the reason. It’s very strange, and not at all helpful to have the world powers turn their backs on a legitimate government. They are imposing sanctions that are causing economic suffering for the entire population of one of Africa’s most populous states.

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  • December 10, 2021 at 6:12 am
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    Olusegun Akinfenwa, I don’t know how well you understand the complexity of what’s going on in Ethiopia as an immigration advocate in England. Do you really believe Abiy Ahmed is fighting the TPLF to pump up his ego? You just copy and pasted the west narrative of the conflict. As an African yourself you made ZERO effort to research in depth how and why this conflict begun! Yes there is an ego involved in this war, and the ego is from the people of Ethiopia that will never accept a proxy agenda that is fueled by the west. The balkanization of Ethiopia has been in the peanut gallery for centuries, it’s nothing new. The reason being, you as an outsider sitting in London, it is impossible for you to understand the psyche of Ethiopians. I am pretty sure you’re good in what you do, but analyzing the present situation in Ethiopia is not one of them. You just don’t have any clue!

    Reply
  • December 11, 2021 at 2:24 pm
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    The worst enemy is not your enemy, but the betrayers your trust. Who works for the enemy. Betrayers were always manipulating the good. For their belly ego.

    Reply

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