jump to navigation

The Nobel Lecture given by the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Abiy Ahmed Ali December 10, 2019

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

The Nobel Lecture given by the 2019 The Nobel Lecture The Nobel Lecture

“Forging A Durable Peace in the Horn of Africa”

Your Majesties, Your Royal Highnesses,

Distinguished members of the Norwegian Nobel Committee,

Fellow Ethiopians, Fellow Africans, Citizens of the World

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I am honored to be here with you, and deeply grateful to the Norwegian Nobel

Committee for recognizing and encouraging my contribution to a peaceful resolution of the border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

I accept this award on behalf of Ethiopians and Eritreans, especially those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the cause of peace. Likewise, I accept this award on behalf of my partner, and comrade-in-peace, President Isaias Afwerki, whose goodwill, trust, and commitment were vital in ending the two-decade deadlock between our countries.

I also accept this award on behalf of Africans and citizens of the world for whom the dream of peace has often turned into a nightmare of war.

Today, I stand here in front of you talking about peace because of fate.

I crawled my way to peace through the dusty trenches of war years ago.

I was a young soldier when war broke out between Ethiopia and Eritrea.

I witnessed firsthand the ugliness of war in frontline battles.

There are those who have never seen war but glorify and romanticize it.

They have not seen the fear,

They have not seen the fatigue,

They have not seen the destruction or heartbreak,

Nor have they felt the mournful emptiness of war after the carnage.

War is the epitome of hell for all involved. I know because I have been there and back.

I have seen brothers slaughtering brothers on the battlefield.

I have seen older men, women, and children trembling in terror under the deadly shower of bullets and artillery shells.

You see, I was not only a combatant in war.

I was also a witness to its cruelty and what it can do to people.

War makes for bitter men. Heartless and savage men.

Twenty years ago, I was a radio operator attached to an Ethiopian army unit in the border town of Badme. The town was the flashpoint of the war between the two countries.

I briefly left the foxhole in the hopes of getting a good antenna reception.

It took only but a few minutes. Yet, upon my return, I was horrified to discover that my entire unit had been wiped out in an artillery attack. I still remember my young comrades-in-arms who died on that ill-fated day. I think of their families too.

During the war between Ethiopia and Eritrea, an estimated one hundred thousand soldiers and civilians lost their lives. The aftermath of the war also left untold numbers of families broken. It also permanently shattered communities on both sides. Massive destruction of infrastructure further amplified the post-war economic burden.

Socially, the war resulted in mass displacements, loss of livelihoods, deportation and denationalization of citizens. Following the end of active armed conflict in June 2000, Ethiopia and Eritrea remained deadlocked in a stalemate of no-war, no-peace for two decades.

During this period, family units were split over borders, unable to see or talk to each other for years to come.

Tens of thousands of troops remained stationed along both sides of the border. They remained on edge, as did the rest of the country and region. All were worried that any small border clash would flare into a full-blown war once again.

We recognized that while our two nations were stuck on old grievances, the world was shifting rapidly and leaving us behind.

PM Abiy Ahmed

As it was, the war and the stalemate that followed were a threat for regional peace, with fears that a resumption of active combat between Ethiopia and Eritrea would destabilize the entire Horn region.

And so, when I became Prime Minister about 18 months ago, I felt in my heart that ending the uncertainty was necessary. I believed peace between Ethiopia and Eritrea was within reach. I was convinced that the imaginary wall separating our two countries for much too long needed to be torn down.

And in its place, a bridge of friendship, collaboration and goodwill has to be built to last for ages.

That is how I approached the task of building a peace bridge with my partner President Isaias Afwerki. We were both ready to allow peace to flourish and shine through. We resolved to turn our “swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks” for the progress and prosperity of our people.

We understood our nations are not enemies. Instead, we were victims of the common enemy called poverty. We recognized that while our two nations were stuck on old grievances, the world was shifting rapidly and leaving us behind.

We agreed we must work cooperatively for the prosperity of our people and our region.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

Today, we are reaping our peace dividends. Families separated for over two decades are now united. Diplomatic relations are fully restored. Air and telecommunication services have been reestablished. And our focus has now shifted to developing joint infrastructure projects that will be a critical lever in our economic ambitions. Our commitment to peace between our two countries is iron-clad. One may wonder, how it is that a conflict extending over twenty years, can come to an amicable resolution.

We resolved to turn our “swords into plowshares and our spears into pruning hooks” for the progress and prosperity of our people.

PM Abiy Ahmed


Allow me to share with you a little about the beliefs that guide my actions for peace.

I believe that peace is an affair of the heart. Peace is a labor of love. Sustaining peace is hard work. Yet, we must cherish and nurture it. It takes a few to make war, but it takes a village and a nation to build peace. For me, nurturing peace is like planting and growing trees.

Just like trees need water and good soil to grow, peace requires unwavering commitment, infinite patience, and goodwill to cultivate and harvest its dividends. Peace requires good faith to blossom into prosperity, security, and opportunity.

In the same manner that trees absorb carbon dioxide to give us life and oxygen, peace has the capacity to absorb the suspicion and doubt that may cloud our relationships.

In return, it gives back hope for the future, confidence in ourselves, and faith in humanity. This humanity I speak of, is within all of us. We can cultivate and share it with others if we choose to remove our masks of pride and arrogance.

When our love for humanity outgrows our appreciation of human vanity then the world will know peace. Ultimately, peace requires an enduring vision. And my vision of peace is rooted in the philosophy of Medemer. Medemer, an Amharic word, signifies synergy, convergence, and teamwork for a common destiny. Medemer is a homegrown idea that is reflected in our political, social, and economic life.

I like to think of “Medemer” as a social compact for Ethiopians to build a just, egalitarian, democratic, and humane society by pulling together our resources for our collective survival and prosperity.

In practice, Medemer is about using the best of our past to build a new society and a new civic culture that thrives on tolerance, understanding, and civility.

At its core, Medemer is a covenant of peace that seeks unity in our common humanity. It pursues peace by practicing the values of love, forgiveness, reconciliation, and inclusion.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I come from a small town called Beshasha, located in the Oromia region of Western Ethiopia. It is in Beshasha that the seeds of Medemer began to sprout.

Growing up, my parents instilled in me and my siblings, an abiding faith in humanity. Medemer resonates with the proverb, “I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper.”

I like to think of “Medemer” as a social compact for Ethiopians to build a just, egalitarian, democratic, and humane society by pulling together our resources for our collective survival and prosperity.

Pm Abiy Ahmed

In my little town, we had no running water, electricity, or paved roads. But we had a lot of love to light up our lives. We were each other’s keepers.

Faith, humility, integrity, patience, gratitude, tenacity, and cooperation coursed like a mighty stream. And we traveled together on three country roads called love, forgiveness, and reconciliation. In the Medemer idea, there is no “Us and Them.”

There is only “US” for “We” are all bound by a shared destiny of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

For the people in the “Land of Origins” and “The 13 Months of Sunshine,” Medemer has always been second nature. Ethiopians maintained peaceful coexistence between the followers of the two great religions because we always came together in faith and worship.

We, Ethiopians, remained independent for thousands of years because we came together to defend our homeland. The beauty of our Ethiopia is its extraordinary diversity.

The inclusiveness of Medemer ensures no one is left behind in our big extended family.

It has also been said, “No man is an island.”

Just the same, no nation is an island. Ethiopia’s Medemer-inspired foreign policy pursues peace through multilateral cooperation and good neighborliness.

We have an old saying: “በሰላም እንድታድር ጎረቤትህ ሰላም ይደር”, “yoo ollaan nagayaan bule, nagaan bulanni.” It is a saying shared in many African languages, which means, “For you to have a peaceful night, your neighbor shall have a peaceful night as well.”

The essence of this proverb guides the strengthening of relations in the region. We now strive to live with our neighbors in peace and harmony. The Horn of Africa today is a region of strategic significance. The global military superpowers are expanding their military presence in the area. Terrorist and extremist groups also seek to establish a foothold. We do not want the Horn to be a battleground for superpowers nor a hideout for the merchants of terror and brokers of despair and misery. We want the Horn of Africa to become a treasury of peace and progress. Indeed, we want the Horn of Africa to become the Horn of Plenty for the rest of the continent.

Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,

As a global community, we must invest in peace.

Over the past few months, Ethiopia has made historic investments in peace, the returns of which we will see in years to come. We have released all political prisoners. We have shut down detention facilities where torture and vile human rights abuses took place.

Today, Ethiopia is highly regarded for press freedom. It is no more a “jailor of journalists”. Opposition leaders of all political stripes are free to engage in peaceful political activity.

We are creating an Ethiopia that is second to none in its guarantee of freedoms of expression. We have laid the groundwork for genuine multiparty democracy, and we will soon hold a free and fair election.

I truly believe peace is a way of life. War, a form of death and destruction. Peacemakers must teach peace breakers to choose the way of life. To that end, we must help build a world culture of peace. But before there is peace in the world, there must be peace in the heart and mind.

There must be peace in the family, in the neighborhood, in the village, and the towns and cities. There must be peace in and among nations.

Excellencies, ladies, and gentlemen:

There is a big price for enduring peace. A famous protest slogan that proclaims, “No justice, no peace,” calls to mind that peace thrives and bears fruit when planted in the soil of justice.

The disregard for human rights has been the source of much strife and conflict in the world. The same holds in our continent, Africa. It is estimated that some 70 percent of Africa’s population is under the age of 30.

Our young men and women are crying out for social and economic justice. They demand equality of opportunity and an end to organized corruption. The youth insist on good governance based on accountability and transparency. If we deny our youth justice, they will reject peace.

Standing on this world stage today, I would like to call upon all my fellow Ethiopians to join hands and help build a country that offers equal justice, equal rights, and equal opportunities for all its citizens. I would like to especially express that we should avoid the path of extremism and division, powered by politics of exclusion. Our accord hangs in the balance of inclusive politics.

The evangelists of hate and division are wreaking havoc in our society using social media. They are preaching the gospel of revenge and retribution on the airwaves.

Together, we must neutralize the toxin of hatred by creating a civic culture of consensus-based democracy, inclusivity, civility, and tolerance based on Medemer principles.

The art of building peace is a synergistic process to change hearts, minds, beliefs and attitudes that never ceases.

It is like the work of struggling farmers in my beloved Ethiopia. Each season they prepare the soil, sow seeds, pull weeds, and control pests. They work the fields from dawn to dusk in good and bad weather. The seasons change, but their work never ends. In the end, they harvest the abundance of their fields. Before we can harvest peace dividends, we must plant seeds of love, forgiveness, and reconciliation in the hearts and minds of our citizens.

We must pull out the weeds of discord, hate, and misunderstanding and toil every day during good and bad days too. I am inspired by a Biblical Scripture which reads: “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called the children of God.”

Equally I am also inspired by a Holy Quran verse which reads: “Humanity is but a single Brotherhood. So, make peace with your Brethren.”

I am committed to toil for peace every single day and in all seasons.

I am my brother’s keeper. I am my sister’s keeper too.

I have promises to keep before I sleep. I have miles to go on the road of peace.

As I conclude, I call upon the international community to join me and my fellow

Ethiopians in our Medemer inspired efforts of building enduring peace andProsperity in the Horn of Africa.

ሰላም ለሁላችንም፤ ለሰላም አርበኖች እንዲሁም ለሰላም ወዳጆች።

I thank you!

Ten Ethiopian oppostion parties agree to work together in 2020 polls December 8, 2019

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
add a comment

Ten Ethiopian oppostion parties agree to work together in 2020 polls

Ten Ethiopian oppostion parties agree to work together in 2020 polls

Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban Africa News

ETHIOPIA

It is a season of political alignments and adjustments in Ethiopia ahead of elections slated for 2020. In the capital Addis Ababa on Friday, ten opposition parties from across the country also announced a plan to work together.

The ten include two former rebel groups that returned from exile in Eritrea taking advantage of the opened political space in the aftermath of the coming into office of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.

Although details of the said agreement remains sketchy, the parties listed as signatories were: Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) – the two returnee rebel groups.

Others were: Afar Peoples Liberation Party (APLP), Sidama Peoples Liberation Mov’t (SPLM), Agew National Council (ANC). Kafa Green Party (KGP),Benishangul Gumuz Peoples, Liberation Mov’t (BPLM), Kimant Democratic Party (KDP), Gambella Peoples Liberation Mov’t (GPLM) & Mocha Democratic Party.

The ruling coalition recently metamorphosed into the Prosperity Party with eight parties led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. The new national party replaces the disbanded Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front, EPRDF.

The EPRDF’s dissolution was opposed by a key member, the Tigray Peoples Liberation Movement, TPLF, who refused to join what they called an ‘illegal’ merger.

PM Abiy’s party is also rumoured to be split on the new party, proof of that came recently in the open opposition to the Prosperity Party issue by Defence Minister and Abiy’s right hand man Lemma Megerssa.

Related Articles:

Why Abiy Ahmed’s Prosperity Party could be bad news for Ethiopia,

The new pan-Ethiopian party created to replace the EPRDF coalition risks bringing the country to the edge of an abyss. Click here to read the full article

Africa News: Jawar Mohammed, an influential pro-democracy activist in Ethiopia, in diaspora to map out political future December 8, 2019

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: , ,
add a comment

Ethiopian activist, Jawar Mohammed, in diaspora to map out political future

Ethiopian activist, Jawar Mohammed, in diaspora to map out political future

Abdur Rahman Alfa Shaban, Africa News

ETHIOPIA

Jawar Mohammed, an influential pro-democracy activist in Ethiopia is leaving the country 15 months after he returned to the country following years in exile in the United States.

In a Facebook post, Jawar said he was on a mission to go and engage the diaspora on events back home and how to chart a political future.

He specifically mentioned engaging Ethiopians in North America and Europe stressing that it was “ to reengage the diaspora then return the homeland for full scale ground work.”

Jawar’s security was at the center of recent violence across the Oromia region, which incidents led to deaths of 86 people and injuries to scores. Authorities also confirmed the arrest of hundreds in connection to the violence.

Despite being influential in the mass protests that brought Abiy to power in 2018, Jawar and Abiy engaged in public spats around political and security issues.

Abiy’s comments in parliament on media people formenting trouble despite not having Ethiopian citizenship was interpreted by Jawar as a a dig at him. An attempt to withdraw his security detail led to the protests that claimed lives.

Jawar’s full post

After tumultuous past weeks, now I am headed to the diaspora to consult and converse with our communities about whats happening in our homeland and what awaits us ahead.

In towns hall meetings in selected cities in North America and Europe we will be reviewing the course we have traveled thus far, our mistakes and accomplishments. We will brainstorm, debate, plan and strategize our nations path towards the future, election 2020 and beyond.

Since the ‘Oromo First’ campaign days, town-hall discussions have been instrumental settings to draw inspiration, enrich our thoughts with unfiltered feedbacks and energize our base.

We have had continued these tradition of town-hall conversations in Oromia in the last year and half and have been very rewarding in helping us understand the aspirations and views of our communities.

Now its time to reengage the diaspora then return the homeland for full scale ground work. See you in one of the towns.

Prof. Mekuria Bulcha's Urgent attention!! Neo-Naftanyas at United Nations and Eskender December 8, 2019

Posted by OromianEconomist in Uncategorized.
Tags: ,
add a comment

Dear OSA members,
We know that the Oromo nation is being demonized daily by neo-naftanyas in the diaspora and their media in the name of the Amhara people. As you can hear in the attached radio interview given by Professor Getachew Haile, now they are accusing our people at the UN. Ironically, the Oromo people are being insulted and wrongly accused than ever before in their history by known Oromo-phobic individuals like Professor Getachew Haile whose hatred, false accusation and demonization of the Oromo people is well documented in his own social media and ”academic” writings. These false accusation should be met in an organized manner in public. Therefore,

I urge Oromo Community members in the US to contact immediately the UN office where Getachew Haile and Eskinder Nega and their associates had been and explain the Oromo view about what is happening in Oromia.
Ask the UN Human Rights Office to conduct an immediate on site investigation of the accusations tabled against Qeerroo/the Oromo nation by Oromo-phobic individual like Professor Getachew Haile. Ask from the UN officials they had met for a copy of their accusation against the qeerroo and the Oromo nation.

Hatemongers should brought before law. They will provoke civil war which could lead to mass killing they wish to occur in Oromia. They think and wish to achieve their objective that way; return to naftanya dominated Ethiopia. NB. They want to create conditions for genocide to occur in Oromia. (for the history of genocide in Ethiopia, I urge you to read my article ”Genocidal Violence in the Making Nation and State in Ethiopia”, published in African Sociological Review, vol. 9, no. 2, in 2005. The article will tell who the genocidal killers were and could be even today in Ethiopia.

We must also demand that the Ethiopian government to a report regarding the accusation tabled against the qeerroo and the Oromo nation.

The neo-naftanya in the diaspora will divide our people along religious lines by accusing the qeerroo as messengers of a Muslim leader. The trick had served them in the past to get assistance from the Christian West. It shouldn’t be allowed now!

I alert Oromo organizations in Europe and around the globe to give attention to the ongoing defamation campaign against the Oromo people. The neo-naftanya are accusing us for crimes their forefathers had committed against the peoples of the South. The Oromo, the Kaficho, Walaita, Gimira, etc. still remember what the armies of Menelik did to their forefathers in the 1880s and 1890s and even later.

I urge Oromo media to deal with the matter with their usual dignified safuu and professional approach. Mind you, it is hooligans not journalists, who are accusing our people on the naftanya media outlets. Ethics, traditional or journalistic, is unknown even to them.
Let us defend the truth, the name and dignity of our people in a dignified manner with evidence. Please spread this information. Truth will prevail as usual!