By SOLOMON DIBABA
While the year 2013 according to the Ethiopian calendar has just ended last mid night, the Ethiopian New Year started with a lot of traditional jubilation, festivities and ululation. The keremt (the main rainy season) with its torrential rains, huge amount of run-off and floods coupled with landslides is gradually subsiding with some more rain even in September whereby spring will set in.
The Ethiopian New Year is naturally decorated with yellow wild daisies known as Meskel Flower or Adeye Abeba that carpet the entire country as a symbol of hope and prosperity. This is an occasion in which friends in the rural and urban areas meet as the river floods will gradually decreases.
Ethiopians are celebrating the New Year with mixed feelings of happiness and feelings of challenges and patriotism over the year that is ending. The year 2013 was full of events but the year ended in Ethiopia was heavily defined by the 6th National Elections, the Law Enforcement in Tigray, the second phase filling of the GERD and of course the COVID-19 Pandemic which posed socio-economic commotion even beyond.
Over the last 10 months in the fiscal year, the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the country was threatened due to the crisis that terrorist TPLF has triggered by conducting an illegitimate regional election on September 8, 2020 and the most savage massacre it conducted on the servicemen and officers at the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) in Tigray.
The year that just elapsed was compounded by a lot of events some of which will go through the annals of this country for years. The law enforcement measures taken by the government to ensure the peace and stability in Tigray was the major political event, in addition to various other historical episodes happened in Ethiopia.
The massive attempts made in the provision of relief and rehabilitation supplies for the needy people who were subjected to acute food shortage due to the wanton war waged by terrorist TPLF in several regions including Amhara, Afar, Benishanguel Gumuz and other parts of the country were also swelling incidents in the concluded year.
Moreover, the protracted struggle between the promoters of the status quo of repression, oppression, human rights violations and corruption as represented by terrorist TPLF and the reformist government, mushrooming of ethnic conflicts here and there, the conspiracies against the construction of GERD, escalation of venomous propaganda geared towards attempts to balkanize the country as well as the systematic social media war that culminated in huge loss of lives, public and private properties and infrastructures hogged the headlines through much of 2013, and we still have not seen the end.
The world witnessed in utter silence and indifference the advents of ethnic profiled massacre of 1,500 innocent citizens in Mai Kadra, over 200 civilians in Afar, 107 of which are children, recruitments of child soldiers and mothers in violation of international law. Surprisingly enough, although now they seem to be on track, international media outlets, UN systems, renowned human rights organizations did not need any evidence to falsely condemn the Government of Ethiopia for all the atrocities committed by terrorist TPLF in Tigray.
Great powers and their supporting countries tried to disrupt the construction of GERD in which the 2nd phase of filling has been conducted by putting the same and issues related to the situation in Tigray for eight rounds only to be rejected by the UNSC. The global proliferation of COVID-19 pandemic during the year that has just ended did not spare Ethiopia affecting the entire socio-economic and livelihood of millions.
The National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE) was previously forced by the advent of COVID-19 to transfer the national elections with endorsement from House of Federation (HoF). In the current fiscal year, the 6th National Elections, the first peaceful, democratic and credible election was conducted declaring Prosperity Party as the winner. The pandemic also caused the partial shutdown which resulted in the closure of schools, universities and places of worship and the introduction of working from home in line with the state of emergency seriously changed the landscape of daily life in the country.
The year witnessed a tremendous collaboration and swift response that was accelerated through public-private partnership that helped to partially check on the massive spread of the pandemic creating a new culture of generosity and concerns for the needy. The Meal-Sharing project launched by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was particularly instrumental in drawing food and sanitation resources that are being distributed to those affected by the spread of COVID-19 epidemic. The government introduced fiscal and monetary measures to put the pandemic in check. Over the last several months, frequent vaccination campaigns were conducted by the government in an effort to curb the spread of the pandemic in alliance with partner countries and international organizations.
This collaboration was also conspicuously demonstrated in the third national campaign of National Greening Project in which more than 6.7 billion trees were planted. Despite all the zigzags and loopholes the country had to cruise through, Ethiopians celebrated the New Year with a major hallmark of the first and second phases of filling of the GERD which vividly demonstrated the tenacity, unity and valor of the peoples and government of Ethiopia had a exhibited in making history before the eyes of the world and in front of those wished the gloom and doom for this nation.
Ethiopians and citizens of Ethiopian origin here and in the Diaspora have not only contributed funds towards the completion of the Dam which heralds a bright future for this country but have advocated at the international media in foiling the conspiracy that targeted GERD and global propaganda war by terrorist TPLF and its paid lobbyists
Although COVID-19 pandemic has markedly affected the pace of the economic development, the country has registered commendable achievements in the agricultural sector in which huge expanses of lands were farmed with lowland wheat as a decisive step in import substitution and cost recovery in food production. The government has also reported that despite the sanctions.
The regional governments have inaugurated a number of huge irrigation schemes and community focused development programs that were instrumental in meeting some of public demands. New schools, hospitals and other public amenities were constructed and put to use.
The rapprochement and joint consultations conducted during the year between the competing parties and the incumbent party showed a glimmer of hope for the expansion a democratic political culture in the country.
Despite the efforts made by the western powers to isolate Ethiopia from the rest of the world, during the year just ended, Ethiopia, thanks to the consistent diplomatic support provided by China, Russia, India, Kenya, Vietnam and other friendly countries, the UNSC has failed to come up with resolutions that could irrationally affect the sovereignty of the country.
Moreover, contrary to the wishes of the terrorists and their supporters abroad, the war perpetrated by TPLF has ushered unprecedented unity among Ethiopians. All Ethiopians abroad, citizens in Regional States, public and private companies here, peoples of all walks of life are either contributing to the efforts of the government to ensure the sovereignty of the nation or are being enlisted in the federal armed forces to defend their country against terrorists and traitors.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s successful shuttle diplomacy in his visits and telephone calls with leaders of Turkey, Uganda, Rwanda, Djibouti, Somaliland, South Sudan and Eretria has set the basic ground for economic integration among East African countries in the context of Agenda 2063.
The beginning of the Ethiopian New Year can be used as an occasion of rectification of errors and shortfalls that were observed during the year for better output in the future.
The New Year is expected to be a year of peace in which the war mongering terrorist TPLF-Shene wicked alliance will be ruined and Ethiopians will emerge victorious against the series of conspiracies and venture of destabilization orchestrated and financed by Egypt and Sudan. Besides, in the New Year, Ethiopians expect better justice at courts of justice, economic equity, generating schemes for income generation for unemployed youth and further gender balance in the political, legislature and decision-making processes in the country.