Dr. Barry Colley
It may take a miracle to stop an escalation into another stifling civil war as Government of Ethiopia (GOE) federal troops march on Makelle, the capital of Tigray Region currently controlled by the Tigrinya Peoples Liberation Front, TPLF. Perhaps Almighty God will favor Ethiopia with His Grace. In order to legitimize historically elusive national unity, the right to petition the GOE is paramount as is the right to practice civic engagement and power sharing by the people. These critical rights must add up in the short-run and be sustained in the long-term as the peoples' catalyst to wealth building In Ethiopia. Having served as a Program Officer and Country Director in Ethiopia for an American NGO during the oppressive rule of the Derg regime in the famine strife Ethiopia of the 1980’s, I raise a voice of concern in 2020. I caution against the eminent threat of another protracted civil war during the Novel Corona virus pandemic .
The persistent ethnic divisions or mirco nationalism in Ethiopia is fueling the current tensions and while Ethnic divisions are not the only source of the tensions, it is an historical impediment. Before and since the overthrow of Marxist leaning autocratic Derg government each of the eight major ethnic groups can claim they have been woefully neglected and overdue in obtaining basic needs and sustainable livelihoods. Meeting rising expectation in a national framework of governance requires that each ethnic group have access and benefits, access to a viable resource base to supply quality goods and services in sufficient demand to build a vibrant private sector that produces a hundred times more jobs and businesses than is possible in the public sector.