Nation Moving in the Right Direction in Peace Building: Award-winning American Journalist

Addis Ababa January 27/2023/ENA/Ethiopia is moving in the right direction in terms of building peace in the country and the Horn of Africa, an award-winning journalist and fellow with the Center of Media and Peace Initiatives told ENA.

The award-winning American journalist and fellow with the Center of Media and Peace Initiatives, Joseph Hammond, said Ethiopia is moving in the direction of implementing the peace agreement.

The agreement is considered as a breakthrough for African solution to its challenges since Ethiopia ended a two-year long conflict after signing the cessation of hostility agreement in early November 2022.

The Ethiopian government has swiftly implemented the deal and also restored basic services, and the return of life to normalcy is observed in the war-torn areas, the journalist noted.

Hammond stated that the restoration of basic services like air flight is a positive sign for peace development in Ethiopia.

“I think the resumption of flights to Mekele, Tigray regional capital, is positive. You know, I think it suggests that we are moving in the right direction in terms of building peace in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa.”

According to him, the resumption of flights shows that there will be a greater free movement of people within Ethiopia, which is a return to the situation before the war. So, these are very welcome developments.

He pointed out that the Horn of African nation also has reliable global friends and partners which have been yearning to see a peaceful country above all.

“I think that Ethiopia should remember that it's not alone. There are stakeholders within the Horn of Africa and in the world that are keen to see Ethiopia strong, successful and a peaceful country above all.”

For this reason, Hammond thinks that “Ethiopia should work with its partners and continue down the timetables laid out in the peace agreements.”

He also hoped that Ethiopia will continue on that path to achieve lasting peace.

“I think the signs are positive as well as bold here. The government, all active stakeholders, the international community can all build towards the goal of a peaceful, stable, prosperous Ethiopia in the 21st century,” Hammond noted.

He underlined that war is easy, peace is bravery. “You know, peace is very tough. But the other part of that is engaging with stakeholders to make sure it's a long term, sustainable peace --- the kind that we will see building a prosperous and stable Ethiopia I guess.”

The award winning journalist stressed that the political peace needs to be built upon the redemption of the shared heritage between the communities in Ethiopia.

Hammond also stressed the need to engage in peace building initiatives between the different communities in Ethiopia to put this chapter behind in the rearview mirror as quickly as possible.

For the journalist, Ethiopian Airlines is one of the real pearls and gems of Ethiopia's legacy.

“I mean, this is one of the real pearls and gems, part of Ethiopia's legacy. You know, I recall reading Nelson Mandela's memoirs about how he was struck flying on Ethiopian Airlines and seeing African pilots and African air crew on a plane and how much that symbolizes for him. So the legacy that's all important.”

Ethiopia is a short flight for billions of people, Hammond noted, adding that some of the world's largest markets can be reached in a very short flight from Ethiopia.

“Not just in Africa, obviously. When we talk about the Middle East, we started talking about Southern Europe. Even into Central Asia and beyond that you already have Ethiopian Airlines flying to North America. You have them flying to Asia. So there's a lot to build on.”

Ethiopian Airlines has still kept its net profit margin well despite COVID-19 pandemic and a two-year long war in northern Ethiopia.

Besides Ethiopian's role to connect every corner of the globe, the airline, given the country's mountainous terrain is going to be so important for all regions of Ethiopia going forward.

Ethiopian News Agency