Peace is Simply Indispensable

By Yohannes Gebresellasie (Ph.d) Canada

Because democracy is not simply static rather, because it is dynamic, vibrant and a growing process, there exists some technical and administrative set-backs, disputes and discrepancies here and there just like what we have been currently witnessing. When that happens however, a civilized society opts for a peaceful and democratic ways and means of resolving and settling existing disputes or differences avoiding any violent action as ways and means of settling differences that may exist. Further, a civilized society always takes a lesson or two from the mistakes of others and from its own mistakes in order to avoid lawlessness and anarchy.

Whereas peace and stability is a key factor for developmental endeavors, peace process in not an easy task. Peace process requires continual commitment and effort by politicians, the public at large, the civic society and the international community working together. When that happens, dreams of a free, fair and democratic society can become a reality and that is what is hoped for; therefore, everyone should work together to make it happen. Generally, any society is not immune to incidents; however, people learn from those incidents and dream for a better and smoother life standards. As for tomorrow, there is still the Ethiopian Dream and there is no reason why that dream cannot be realized with equal vigor. Since expectations are becoming very high amongst the public at large for a better standard of living and since democratic values and norms are by themselves significant to human freedom, the prevalence of peace and stability in that regard is not only important but indeed indispensable.

Peace and peace process can be difficult. This is partially because people hold different values about the causes of a conflict or causes for the lack of peace even though everyone hopes that everything has to be done to avoid conflicts and ciaos. Since the desire for a better standard of living and a better administrative process is a top priority for everyone and since the implementation of this top priority depends solely on one factor i.e. the prevalence of peace; it should be underscored that the prevalence of peace has to be the number one priority of the government and the public at large. Also, the government must make sure that peace is effectively safe-guarded and maintained in order for democracy and good governance to flourish. Further, it is important for politicians to address this fundamental issue very seriously. Also, the public at large must have a greater understanding, respect and capacity for democratic concepts such as tolerance, accountability and the rule of law. A prominent concern in that regard is the rule of law. Any democratic progress including the prevalence and protection of human rights and other worthy objectives are all believed to hinge, at least on part; on the rule of law therefore, policy makers must understand and be prepare to address and answer the demands put forward by the public at large as soon as possible and the public at large must be tolerance in order to establish and strengthen the rule of law.

Developed nations with many years experience in democratization and good governance are not without discrepancies and drawbacks as well. However, there is one very important issue these countries take into a very serious consideration and that is: When disputes, difficulties and discrepancies occur, they know that there are mechanisms some civilized and others uncivilized ways and means of resolving prevailing conflicts. These countries always opt for a peaceful and democratic ways and means to resolve and settle their differences because the issue of tolerance takes precedence to anything else and because the adherence to the rule of law prevails. As a result, if differences occur, they sit and discuss their differences, agree to dis-agree and accept their faults with grace and elegance. All disputing parties become tolerant and patient because these are signs of societal maturity. All parties must learn to follow the rule of law, the constitution of the land and all other legal and institutional framework in the country in dealing with disputes and conflicts . All parties must at all time refrain from advocating violence and use of power, instead, opt for a civilized dialogue any time in order to pass their messages across and sometimes they must agree to disagree. Tolerance and patience are not sighs of weakness, tolerance and/or forgiveness is in fact a sigh of strength, self-confidence and a measurement of a civilized society. Civilized societies never go for violent and destructive ways and means; for, that will destroy their nation. This is the main difference between a civilized society and a non- civilized society and this is a very important lesson to draw during any disputes or conflicts.

The Ethiopian people have understood the significance of their fundamental democratic right over the years. This fundamental right has been entrenched within the highest law of the land: articles 38 of the Ethiopian constitution. This fundamental democratic right was non-existent prior to the current government came to power. Ethiopians were denied of their basic and fundamental democratic right before the current government came to power. What an achievement it has been! Within a very short time the Ethiopian people have conducted five elections and the Ethiopian people have shown maturity and tolerance from time to time. For that, peace has been fundamental to the implementation of a true, fair and democratic election; for, without peace nothing can be achieved.

Leadership from all parties can also positively contribute to the prevalence of peace and stability in a nation especially when people face some confusion, when they become unstable, when they lack clarity and generally, when they are of less direction regarding national vision etc. an effective, tested and committed leader of any party can make things work because an intelligent and tested leader will have the ability and the know how to make his team work efficiently and effectively in order to maintain peace and stability within the nation. That leader is equipped with skill and experience, a mental strength even under precarious situations and a high level of communication skills a quality that makes people listen carefully and this is vital and at times a key factor to be a leader and that makes a difference between and among leaders. An effective leader has a vision for the nation and is highly respected not only within his/her own party, his/her own nation but indeed internationally because of his/her track record representing not only his/her nation but at times his/her region as well. An effective leader also knows how to choose and motivate his/her team because a lousy team will discredit his/her effort. On the other hand, an effective team will help him/her pursue his/her vision and the vision of his/her party effectively. Leadership is therefore fundamental in any nation’s success or failure. Here, the personal intention /willingness of a leader to stay in office or to leave cannot be under-estimated; however; it is usually the intention of his/her party that takes precedence to his/her personal desire; therefore, the intention of the party vis-à-vis the PM’s leadership and term of office has to be respected. This is so because his/her leadership at times becomes critical to his/her party’s progress, strength, success and even survival and most importantly, to his/her nation’s national interest. However, when a leader is very strong and somehow better equipped with knowledge, skill, experience or generally when a leader is strong and effective, many foreign media outlets, few opposition parties etc. often focus on his/her term of office rather than his/her accomplishment because they know deep down that his/her absence creates a vacuum and opens the door for them and their fellow “friends” to manipulate their agendas because they know that they do not possess the right staff to peacefully and democratically compete against a very strong and experienced leader. Therefore, they focus on a rather simple and trivial issue. Also some governments mainly from some developed nations often do not like to see a very strong, firm intelligent leader within the developing nations in power because they cannot maneuver and easily influence such a leader as they wish or use such a leader to pursue their personal or national agendas.

The proponents of the “domino effect” with their biased analysis and bizarre meteorology are busy forecasting and praying that a “cyclone of revolution” would somehow blow from certain Arab countries and cause havoc, devastation and revolution in Ethiopia that would instantly install them to power. Except expressing their emotional and wishful thinking and desire, these people cannot come up with any solid fact and scientific explanations to back their hypothesis. These groups need to realize that revolutions are peculiar home-grown phenomena that are borne when peoples bitterness, discontent, anger and rage reaches boiling point or overflows as a result of massive violations of human and democratic rights, excessive corruption, mismanagement and unbearable economic hardship. Whenever and wherever these ingredients for revolutions exist, revolutions erupt irrespective of their occurrence/ non-occurrence in other countries. Countries possess their own peculiar history, distinct socio-economic levels and unique political conditions. The prevailing socio-economic and political conditions in Ethiopia is totally different from that of Tunisia and Egypt and do not warrant the occurrence of any revolution at all. Therefore, ingredients for a revolution are not there and any revolution with the exception of economic revolution is not feasible and is unrealistic and unthinkable in today’s Ethiopia. The only place that could occur is in the minds of these few hallucinating Diaspora individuals and/or groups of North America and Europe. History has taught us in numerous occasions that people don’t rush and jump into the bandwagon of revolution by lobbying, bullying or some conspiracy unless they are forced by and faced with unbearable political and economic conditions. The fact that such uprisings and revolutions occurred only in Arab countries and non in Sub-Saharan countries is not a mere coincidence. It is something to do with the common history, culture, psychology, socio-economic and political conditions these countries share among themselves and that the other countries don’t. The Ethiopian people did not need a model revolution to wage their 1974 or 1991 revolutions. If the need really warrants, they don’t either need to wait until certain revolutions erupt in other parts of the World. Just because it happened in another country or next door, it can not necessarily happen here. We can observe from history that when it occurred in Ethiopia in 1974 and 1991, it didn’t happen in Egypt, Tunisia or Kenya. When the Iranian revolution erupted in 1974, it did not happen in Iraq. When the Cuban revolution occurred in 1960, nothing happened in Haiti or Jamaica.

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