It is important to recognize that solving these problems is not about merely removing a dictatorship, but about implementing meaningful changes that will result in long-term improvements. Similarly, when children seek independence from their parents, they may cry out and resist being held back, but it is ultimately the parents’ responsibility to ensure that their children have the support they need to grow and thrive.
BY ADDISALEM MULAT
On Tuesday, Prime Minister appeared before the parliament to respond to the questions raised by MPs in relation with the six-month performance report of the government and other current affairs. The following is an excerpt of the premier’s responses with regard to peace and stability and media.
Regarding to the issue of hostile media outlets, Prime Minister Abiy said: “We are inundated with a plethora of media options, both globally and locally. However, this paradox of choice means that we need to be selective and discerning in our choices. Consuming too much media can be harmful. It’s important to avoid being overwhelmed and to choose credible, relevant, and educational media outlets. For instance, trying to watch and listen to everything on platforms like YouTube can be dangerous. Therefore, we should be mindful of our media consumption and seek quality content that brings value to our lives.”
Another important aspect to consider is the responsibility of the listener. We need to listen selectively and be critical of what we hear. If we consume media solely because it is available, we expose ourselves to biased and unverified information propelled by a political agenda or a conspiracy theory, the prime minister added.
“As most media is financed and controlled by such forces, it will lead to us follow fake news stories. This in the fullness of time brings us to the issue of media freedom. Does media freedom imply the right to propagate lies or instigate war? Similarly, with freedom of speech, religion, or country, it is important to understand that it does not equate to discarding responsibility.
We need to strive towards positive freedom and use our freedom wisely.” Addressing the issue of peace and stability, Abiy stated that Ethiopia’s peace situation has improved significantly in the past six months, and even more so compared to eight months ago. However, it is important to note that the concept of peace is relative. While there is still much work to be done to achieve complete peace, it is encouraging to see progress being made.
For instance, the conflict in the northern part of the country, which claimed many lives, has taken a step toward a peaceful resolution. It is heartening to acknowledge that while challenges still exist, Ethiopia is moving in the right direction toward long-lasting peace, he added According to the premier as a country, a government, and people, we must recognize that there is a lot of work yet to be done to achieve complete peace. As conflicts that occur regularly continue to disrupt and destroy human lives and hinder our progress as a nation, we remain hopeful that these initiatives will bear fruit. It is important to note that peace is not achieved simply by ending shooting or killing.
It demands a sustained effort to recognize and address the root causes of conflict, as well as empowering communities to resolve disputes using peaceful means. We must remain focused and committed to building a peaceful, united, and prosperous Ethiopia.
Even in the aftermath of a conflict, there remains significant pressure to ensure lasting peace. The wounds inflicted during the war may continue to linger on long after hostilities have ceased, with people having lost their lives, suffered injuries, and had their property destroyed. The damage done, as you rightly pointed out, is not easy to forget. It is natural to feel this way, for the memories of a traumatic event can take a while to fade. Therefore, while the conflict may have ended, it is unrealistic to expect an immediate return to a peaceful environment, the prime minister added.
As many beat the drums of war, it is understandable that many people may struggle to accept or believe in the existence of a peaceful atmosphere. Those who seek to incite and perpetuate conflict do so from a safe distance often without any direct experience of war. They undermine efforts toward peace and sow discord among the people. These hostile forces are in constant conflict with one another and are always scheming and preparing for instigating clash. They cause chaos and destruction, with little regard for the lives they take or the communities they harm, Abiy explained
As a result, creating an atmosphere of peace in Ethiopia has been a significant challenge. It’s no secret that for the past fifty to sixty years, our politics have been characterized by interference and conspiracy. The second plot is one of manipulation, where powerful actors seek to control the narrative and the actions of others. The third plot is political cohesion.
Instead of sparing no effort to achieve peace through speech and dialogue, they make an effort to achieve their target through force. It is worth mentioning that peace requires energy and commitment from all parties involved. Conflicts can often be fueled by conspiracy and a lack of good faith. The result of this kind of politics is the sale of innocent blood and a denial of tangible change.
“As leaders, we must stand up against anything that threatens the good of the country and its citizens working towards creating a sustainable and just society. Achieving this peace will not be easy, but it is a goal that we must all strive towards achieving the desired goal.”
Abiy further noted that pursuing peace requires courage just as fighting a war does. The task of bringing peace is not an easy one. In times of war, it is often simple to gather support, whether or not people have a direct role in fighting. Conversely, during peacetime, convincing people to rally in support of peace can seem more challenging. Let us not forget, however, that the work of peace is in many ways, just as demanding as any war effort. It demands our unwavering dedication, perseverance, and commitment.
Have you ever watched a duck swimming in the water? From the surface, it appears to move peacefully without any effort, but beneath the water, it is paddling diligently. Achieving peace is much like this. It takes tremendous effort, dedication, and persistence. Positive peace, in particular, cannot be guaranteed through force or power alone. Rather, it requires a deep belief that we stand to gain more from peace than from conflict.
“We must recognize that the peace movement does not necessarily mean forgetting the conflicts of the past. It is about acknowledging the challenges we have faced and working towards building a brighter future for all. It is essential to remember that the pursuit of peace is driven by a desire to create a better outcome for everyone.”
“Regarding peace, I urge all to join hands and approach the process with a positive mindset from the depths of our hearts. Those who are not inclined towards peace must be aware that unless they support these efforts, it becomes quite challenging to establish peace in society. We all know that peace is pivotal and can save lives. Reasoning from this fact, we should step up and be the pioneers of change. Let us endeavor to make peace our priority, and work towards this noble cause with sincerity and dedication.”
If you continue to disregard peace, the implications for society can be tough. However, since peace is fundamental to saving lives, we must initiate efforts toward achieving it. As representatives of the people, supporting the government and working towards this cause is our responsibility. We are striving to bring about complete peace. Consultations, dialogues, trust-building, and other necessary actions that will foster positive peace have been taking root. It is important to recognize that peace is a relative concept, and requires a collective effort from all parties involved to succeed.
The premier also said that it is true that many African countries fought for and achieved their independence from colonial powers several decades ago. However, many of the problems that these countries face today can still be traced back to the legacy of colonialism. It is not uncommon to hear that colonialism is to blame for some of the current challenges faced by these countries.
“While it is important to acknowledge historical factors that have shaped the current situation, it is equally important to take responsibility for addressing these issues in a way that is sustainable and meaningful. If we do not look at these issues holistically and make a concerted effort to solve them, there is a risk that authoritarian figures could emerge, seeking to take advantage of the situation,” Abiy noted
“It is important to recognize that solving these problems is not about merely removing a dictatorship, but about implementing meaningful changes that will result in long-term improvements. Similarly, when children seek independence from their parents, they may cry out and resist being held back, but it is ultimately the parents’ responsibility to ensure that their children have the support they need to grow and thrive.”
It is natural for young children to blame themselves for their mother’s missteps, but as they grow into adolescence, they develop a greater sense of independence and resistance to being told what to do. They may sometimes go against rules and restrictions. They also understand that with freedom comes responsibility. They may become annoyed when questioned about their whereabouts, but they also understand the expectation that they need to contribute back to the household.
The Ethiopian Herald march 30/2023