It is a well-known reality that Ethiopia has for long been a major player in the Horn of Africa, particularly in maintaining peace and stability. As Ethiopia is passing through an overall national reform in the past year, the administration of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has exerted maximum effort to carry on this tradition.
Consequently, the country has been advocating regional stability and economic integration as has been the case in the past. That is why neighboring countries have been one of the top priorities of the new administration.
The Prime Minister, as well as his diplomats, have been repeatedly visiting and contacting the leaders of neighboring countries. In the process, Ethiopia has had fruitful bilateral and multilateral discussions with its neighbors in the Horn.
At the same time, observers might raise concern regarding a few unfortunate incidents in Ethiopia after the start of the reform that almost filled every Ethiopian with a sense of hope and optimism. True, as a country that has a long history of dictatorship; it would not be easy for Ethiopia to achieve a smooth transition to democracy.
In the past one year, as there are millions of reasons to be optimistic about the future of the country (thousands of political prisoners were freed, freedom of speech is flourishing….) at the same time it has also witnessed many worrying incidents that may cause concerns for partners (there has been ethnic conflicts, displacement of a large number of people…).
Recently also, senior military and civilian leaders were shot dead, in what the government claimed is part of an organized failed coup attempt in Bahir Dar and the capital Addis Ababa.
The plotters of the coup, The Federal Police claimed, tried to topple the Administration of the Amhara State by assassinating senior members of the Amhara state administration, including state president Dr. Ambachew. On the other hand, the assassination of General Seare Mekonnen, Chief of Staff of the Ethiopian Defense Force and his retired colleague in Addis Ababa had the purpose of bringing to a standstill the intervention of the federal government against the coup.
However, the government and people of Ethiopia are more than ever committed to tackling the political problems internally. The government has been implementing various majors to manage such incidents in a careful manner. Since recently, we have been hearing reports that a large number of displaced people have been returned to their homes. There have also been various people-to-people meetings to strengthen the old age harmonious existence of Ethiopia’s ethnic groups.
The coup attempt was also aborted within an hour and law and order are restored both at state and federal level. The coordinated effort of the government has restored stability and confidence among the public. More than ever, the government and peoples of Ethiopia are committed to making sure that there is a smooth transition to democracy.
Hence, as always, the country will continue to play its constructive role in pacifying the Horn. In the past, Ethiopia has passed through similar incidents. But, both during good times and bad times, it has demonstrated its relentless effort and commitment to the cause of regional stability.
In general, as Ethiopia is aspiring to realize an economically developed democratic society, it is crystal clear that this lofty goal will not be realized without the strong support and cooperation of the brotherly peoples of East Africa. Hence, as the country is committed to economic development, democracy and stability internally, its relentless commitment to regional issues remains unchanged.
The Ethiopian Herald, July 4/2019