Obang urge for more dialogues to accelerate pace of reform

Political activists have said that more constructive dialogues are imperative to speed up the pace of the reform that would enable to alleviate Ethiopia’s deep-rooted problems.

In an exclusive interview with Ethiopian News Agency, two political figures said despite the far-reaching and historic reforms initiated by the government the pace of the reform has not been good enough.

Engaging more concerned bodies into comprehensive discussions is pivotal as political and ethnic polarizations have been obstructing constructive dialogue, they added.

The political and human rights activist, Obang Metho told ENA that Ethiopia is in historic reforms since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed shattered the political status quo by releasing prisoners, making peace with Eritrea, and inviting opposition forces in exile to come home.

“We thought that the concept of Ethiopiansim has died, but the prime minister revived it through the various actions he took to promote unity, love and democracy. Particularly, releasing political prisoners, making peace agreement with neighboring Eritrea and the subsequent discussions with Ethiopians abroad stand out as important steps in the reform process. For me, all of those are great,” he stated.

The activist explained that people loved the new Prime Minister Abiy who pledged to take them to the promised chapter. The people listened to him and loved him. Many songwriters composed poems to that effect.

Yet, Obang strongly argues that the reform has not yet settled some of the grand challenges Ethiopia has been facing, including reviewing the constitution that is fundamentally ethnic in approach.

“Right now, we need to support and tell the Prime Minister and his government that nurturing a real genuine change is crucial because we don’t want to repeat the past,” he said.

Obang blamed the competing political forces that have not been contributing their share to the swift and meaningful transformation.

“The politics of silence, not talking to one another is very dangerous. Talking is the key thing, but we are not talking to each other. We cannot harbor the politics of pretending…… As a result, the opposition leaders are not united right now in our country. Some of the opposition have divided attention between unity and ethnicity,” the activist elaborated.

However, Obang pointed out he is still convinced on the importance of giving more chances and time to the reform. “There are many countries that passed through the same process,” he noted.

He insisted that the political elite should engage in a genuine reform-based, principle and values based dialogue in solving every interest, whether “tribal” or other. All interests could be accommodated under an umbrella of Ethiopia.”

The other political analyst, Mussa Adem said Ethiopia has been making tremendous consultations to harmonize the political contradictions in the country during the past one year.

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