The recent conflict between the Kemant ethnic groups and the local government in Gondar creates puzzlement for many of us who live in diaspora. Many unconfirmed sources are reporting that the situation is getting incomprehensive. They are blaming that the local government soldiers are executing civilians which is a retaliation for defeated on battles. I don’t know who is winning and who is losing the battlefield but the real truth is that we all are losing. It’s very shameful that we are still implementing forces to resolve internal issues. I remember that the former prime minister, Melese Zenawi indicated that, one of Ethiopia’s chronic problems is that we are adopting the cyclical patterns. He has suggested that we don’t need a cyclical partners. Instead he said, we need a continuous improvements. The former prime minister was correct! Attempting to resolve internal issues using armed force is a catastrophic and cyclical behavior that the “derg” regime used it and we all know that it has failed miserably. Why then we are back into the same situation which the former prime minister warned us not to repeat?
The real question now remains who is responsible? The federal government, the local government, or the Kemant people? I don’t know the real answer but my recommendation is that the federal government should use its superior authorities and it should bring the conflict into a halt. It has convinced me and many others that the federal government is the only option with its power and authorities to resolve this imprudence issues. The fact that the issue is transforming into problems and it costs many lives and properties should trigger immediate action from the federal government by now. Otherwise, the issue may continue and it will be a disruptive to our nation’s development and transformations and as a result, we might miss massive economic opportunities in that region. Our nation can’t strategically plan socio-economic developments while ignoring violence and civil unrest.
As far as we know the federal government has granted the Kemant people their civil rights and it was announced over the national Medias. Then why in the world the issue is still going on and why people are still killed and why resources are still destroyed? We heard that the Kemant people have complained that the local government refused to implement what was granted by the federal government. If there is a hidden agenda behind the scenes, then it’s unacceptable and will not work in the 21st century civilizations. If it’s a violation of civil rights which many Kemants are complaining, then the situation is directly related to the famous American civil right movement of the 1960’s. Injustice somewhere is a threat to justice anywhere, “Dr. Martin Luther king Jr.” For example, Dr. King had to fight paradoxical problems that too many self interest groups opposed his civil right movement activities and he himself had convinced American society by non-violence struggles; in conjunction by going into jails, by writing letters, and finally by giving his life. Dr. King had claimed a part of the US constitution, “all men are created equal” and he could mobilized the entire African-Americans in peaceful movements. Like Dr. King, the entire Kemant people requested their civil rights legally based on article 39 of the constitution. The request was rejected many times. Kemant people then demonstrated peacefully and respectfully (non-violence). Like Dr. King, many Kemant leaders had severed a bitter jail times and some are still continue to serve without parole. Like Dr. King many of us writing letters including this one, to communicate that Kemant quest is constitutional and it’s only for self-rule, identity restoration, and socio-economic developments. And finally, like Dr. King, manty Kemant liberators are sanctified their lives.
What more work is then society want the Kemant people to do? Why many subsistent peasants are becoming the victims of this nonsense conflict? If the local government is a failure to resolve the issue peacefully, then why the federal government took too long to react? Why too many deaf ears and blind eyes are created specifically not to hear and not to see the Kemant issues? It mystifies the whole issues to these days and too many of us in diaspora are very worried about the situation because it might get out of hand and we will regret later on.
We from diaspora are proud for the double digit growth of our nation. However, we really are perplexed about why the Kemant issue is lingering so long and cost the nation these much? We need to solve public issues and restore peace in the area before it creates more human damages and impacts our economic developments. Economic development can’t succeed with conflicts. Development and conflict are don’t mix well and they never coexisted at all. We from diaspora are ready to get participated into the 2016 summer diaspora festival scheduled in Bahir-Dar. Some of us here from diaspora are working hard recruiting people to support the government projects such as the Great Renaissance Dam, the housing development projects, and now we are working on the Amhara regional development plans. The real dilemma for us, is that how in the world we can convince people to invest in Gondar where civil war is still existing?
I really don’t know who to blame but the central government needs to use the power to resolve such precarious issues. Otherwise, we are going to miss not only the diaspora support but also massive foreign direct investments. If you are agree with me, then please write to the elective representatives in parliament. They are the once have the power and the authority to initiate solutions for this conflict.