RebuttalLeave Ethiopia alone [Archives:2003/694/Opinion]

December 15 2003

By Tesfaye Negassa
Counsellor at Ethiopian Embassy, Sanaa,
For the Yemen Times

I am prompted to write this comment after having read Sadat Mohamed Yusef's commentary “Warlords and government struggle: Somalia a playground of foreign patrons” in the Dec. 4 issue.
In this commentary, Yusef accuses Ethiopia of “heavily in favour of the warlords because there is balance between them and obsessed with countering the existence of the interim government.”
I read the article with interest. He has tried to articulate his view in the issue he believes right and wrong. But there are facts I depreciate as lacking rationality and sprit of critical approach in the comment. I want to bring to his attention those points which are not visible to him due to his position.
Nation building is a political exercise undertaken to create, foster and sustain such an entity out of multiple nations, people or communities with otherwise different languages culture, customs and history living in a political State. Nation building is all about bringing different political groups for a common interest and creating a new national identity for all people within a territory. At this moment Somalia is a failed attempt at creating such a nation.
The Somali problem is part of the general problem of sectarianism that has plunged Africa into regressive tribal civil war. Therefore, it is in the long-term interest of Africans to look for a peaceful solution in Somalia's affairs. Ethiopia the immediate neighbour of Somalia has all along been active and genuine participant in the peace effort in Somalia which it always believe is only possible by the Somalia people alone.
Ethiopia has more than anything else demonstrated to have no interest other than peace in the region was a prerequisite for its much needed economic and democratic progress. Ethiopia has never held the illusion that war and instability in neighborly country was a source of wealth and progress.
This notion and doctrine had always been the notion and doctrine of parasite who think wealth was the only given not something to be created and created by human productive ability. And there is no way of discomfiting that such malignant view and urge have ever belonged to the country whether dealing with itself or the outside would include Somalia.
What is one to make of such a nonsense groundless accusation in general and the recent allegation in particular? For us such an accusation has not only any grain of truth but also “certain functions seems not to be happy with the outcome of peace process taking place in Kenya, therefore, in order to scuttle it they need an excuse and that the ready – made scapegoat is Ethiopia.” Therefore, no doubt, this is by now all too clear to International Community. But why then the need for blackmailing Ethiopia and taking it all the time as a scapegoat? And will that pay?
In general for Somalia to have a future, the gun has to retire from politics. Mumbo-jumbo of blaming the innocent has to stop. Political differences should not be shunned but rather welcomed.