To the Ethiopian people, this is now a call to all of us, to not lose our focus. That means we must refuse to feed on these ethnic or religious problems or we will helped them achieve their goal. Do not be tricked into hating your neighbors–whom we are to love– in order to keep the ethnic apartheid regime of the TPLF in perpetual power. Instead, the rights we all have wanted for the last 23 years are truth, freedom, justice, equality, accountability and prosperity. This is not the right of one ethnic group, but the right of everyone in the country, including those who are not part of the TPLF/EPRDF.
All of us Ethiopians should try to stand together to replace this ethnic hatred regime with a better system where neither the Oromo or the Afar or anyone else is excluded from the benefits of citizenship. Now is not the time to lose sight of the bigger goals, which is a free Ethiopia for all. Because of this, other groups cannot stay on the sidelines. We should have learned how to defeat their favorite manipulative tactics by now, since they use them repeatedly.
We know our beautiful country of Ethiopia is not perfect and we know many of our problems are not only recent, but go back much further than the last 23 years of TPLF/EPRDF rule. To resolve these problems, we must do it as a family. In any family with a conflict, they must come together and talk about the pain, reconcile and make meaningful changes so they can forgive each other and move their family on to a better future. These issues should not be passed on, but resolved by the present, not next, generation.
Whether we Ethiopians agree or not with many issues, our ancestors have given us much in common. They lived together, intermarried and passed on their blood to those now living. This mixture of blood, which runs through the veins of each one of our ethnic groups, gives us life and nourishment to carry on as a one people. Even more importantly, we Ethiopians do not only share the land, language, and customs, but what we really share is the same Maker of our lives, a Holy God who views his children equally, regardless of ethnicity. With God there is no favoritism.
Dear fellow Ethiopians, we cannot give in to ethnic hatred, bitterness, and revenge, which is like giving our lives up for destruction and passing on the curse to our descendants. Worse yet, it is totally misusing the gifts God gave to us; gifts meant to become a blessing to others.
Let the death of these Oromo students and Afar civilians, the pain of those wounded, the grief of family members facing the loss of family, the suffering of those locked up in jail, the hardship of all Ethiopians who are not seeing any future in this country, the mothers who cannot feed their children, the orphans who have no family to care for them, and those Ethiopians living in poverty and misery, bring us to humbly love God and neighbor in ways that will change our land. Let us start seeing others as ourselves. In the eyes of God, there is no us and them for we are all created in the image of God.
As we mourn for these people, let us start talking to each other rather than talking about other. May God heal the hard spots in our hearts where we have been carrying hatred and bitterness instead of loving one another for our humanity has no boundaries. With changed hearts and forgiveness of self and others, a new, more unified and more prosperous Ethiopia for all is possible. Let us stand together for what is right and good, starting today.
May the rivers of love, forgiveness, kindness, acceptance, and justice overflow from our people, bringing life and blessings not only to Ethiopia but to Africa and the world.
Posted by: Kumilachew Gebremeskel Ambo