Violence is never a solution!

14 Mar 2018

“Democracy is not an easy journey; it takes time and effort. [Thus,] the people should not resort to violence as it is not a solution” said US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson during his first official visit to Ethiopia.
Tillerson made the remark in relation to the violence in some parts of Ethiopia where the legitimate questions of the public were hijacked by anti-peace elements and the following State of Emergence declared by the government with the objective of ‘protecting the constitutional order and peace and security.'
True, besides the saddening human and material loss, such unrest would result in catastrophic consequences by causing prolonged conflict, instability and anarchy, as it has been witnessed in Somalia, South Sudan Syria and Libya.
What would make the inability to contain such incidents regrettable is the fact that Ethiopia, a sleeping giant for long, has just woken up to astonish the world with rapid economic growth. That is why the burden of lengthy unrest would have far reaching consequences by destructing what the country has already built and achieved to get rid of poverty and underdevelopment.
Since recent times, the unrest in some parts of the country has resulted in dire calamity, disturbed the day-to-day activities of the public and created tensions. Main roads that connect different regions of the country have been blocked with stone piles and citizens have been forced to quit their daily business and stay at home.
Sadly, industries which have become sources of livelihood for hundreds of thousands of people were destroyed and their properties were vandalized by unlawful protesters. Vehicles, including public transportations service were burnt, causing enormous loss of hard-earned currency. Worest of all, civilians were targeted for their ethnic background.
However, in a number of cases, these actions cannot be justified as a quest for peace, democracy and development. There is no way that one ensures democracy and development by instigating ethnic violence and destroying factories. Any party that wants to see a prosperous Ethiopia would by no means involve in activities that aim at hampering peace, stability, the inflow of Foreign Direct Investment and sustainable development.
It is clear that over the past few years Ethiopia has witnessed unprecedented growth and progress in all social, economic and political frontiers. The rapid infrastructure expansion, improved access to education and health, and successful poverty reduction are the outcomes of relative stability and successive economic growth. And these success stories have been praised by the international community. Unluckily, the unrest has put under threat all the achievements that are set to bring about overall transformation.
In fact, diversity and the resulting differences in perspectives make conflicts a normal aspect of society. What matters here is how conflicts are settled, managed, resolved or transformed.
Hence, to manage such things, the culture of democracy and dialogue should be nurtured. And everybody has to understand that a well developed culture of democracy cannot be achieved within a day as it is a process. What all citizens, including politicians, who really love their country should do to avert the situation and should come to the table to find peaceful, sustainable and inclusive solutions for the problems. Once they start discussion and dialogue, they would be able to close the door on anti-peace elements that try to hijack the legitimate demands of the public for their evil agendas.

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