EthioPoint: Ethiopians Analysis | Research Articles

Open Letter to H.E. PM Hailemariam Desalegn

4 mins read

Zelalem Eshete, Ph. D.
Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn speaks during an interview with Reuters inside his office in the capital Addis AbabaHere is a positive letter from an independent voice that solicits a positive response on the basis of human decency for the greater good of Ethiopia. I don’t attempt to convince you by using a lot of words. I want my words to be few and let the truth be self evident with no bias whatsoever. I hope you are accessible to an ordinary person, considering it comes from one with a heart full of love for all.
In ancient Israel, a Jubilee year was a time for setting people free and canceling debts. Imagine adopting this ancient concept by declaring a Jubilee year. Set all political prisoners free. Think of this as a reset point where the whole people choose reconciliation & peace as the only acceptable solution for the land. Violence and war has no place in Ethiopia.
The past governments majored in unity at the expense of diversity. The unity of Ethiopia was achieved and maintained by sheer force and abuse of power. Some may argue that the end justifies the means. In any case, we cannot glorify the unity that sacrificed the blood and dignity of people to secure dominion over all. The exception was the war against an outsider: Italy. Therefore, looking back, we only have marginal unity tainted by the mistake inflicted by a fallen humanity trying to do its best at the time.
Starting with Derg, a move to introduce diversity is a turning point in our history. Each ethnic group is coming out of its shell to celebrate its distinctiveness. Your government has contributed more to celebrate diversity. More of such diversity is warranted to further increase. However, just focusing on diversity alone is not enough. Diversity in the right context is meant to move Ethiopia towards unity forged by love and wisdom that is more glorious and authentic than ever before. There should no longer be a given ethnic group speaking of its pain alone. Now a pain of one should be shared by all of us. To that end, help us make a journey towards healing by framing our past pains using a Reconciliation Museum. A Jubilee year gives an opportunity for such national reconciliation wherein the past ills are dealt and a new identity is discovered.
Your work in the economic area is undeniably impressive. It is like Ethiopia is awakening from a long deep sleep. The Grand Renaissance Dam should be a national security issue we all need to come together as one and support it. Therefore, your government needs to do more on this front. By virtue of being in power, it is your responsibility to win the minds and hearts of all the people to this noble cause. A Jubilee year gives more momentum to bring more people on board and make the Grand Renaissance Dam Project non political. Let Egypt be put on notice that when it is a matter of national security, we stand united as one people regardless of our political differences.
I don’t demand, but humbly appeal to your good will. I respectfully ask you and your administration to rise above the usual political calculations and unilaterally declare a Jubilee year. I hope you choose to spotlight the beauty of Ethiopia by making an Ethiopian Dream come true for all. Thank you so much in advance for listening.
Dr. Zelalem Eshete may be reached at: [email protected]