By Aregu Balleh– Well, it has been a tumultuous six months: the hope and the fear; the ups and downs; the support and the opposition. With the fever of change gripping the country, a lot happened within a short period of time.
The removal of the 27 years old TPLF/EPRDF dynasty undoubtedly brought joy to the people and healing for the nation that has sustained serious wounds due to the divide and rule policy.
Dr. Abiy’s ascent to the realm of power brought a new hope for the people and the country whose stability seemed to be hanging in the balance Sadly before the people started to enjoy the fruits of the change numerous challenges started to surface.
The euphoria of change was soon followed by sad news of the killing and displacement of people. For the past couple of months PM Abiy’s power seemed weak and fragile, and with ethnic violence here and there, the country’s future remained uncertain.
To the relief of the people supporting the ongoing change the EPRDF conference concluded last week electing the two prominent change leaders, namely Dr.Abiy Ahmed and Ato Demeke Mekonnen as Chairman and Deputy Chairman of the party which also entitles them to hold their positions as Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister respectively.
That marks the beginning of a new chapter in Dr.Abiy’s leadership.
Now that he has consolidated his grip of power and massive popular support rallies behind him, it is time for the PM to step up and take practical measures to stop ethnic conflict that are seen in different parts of the country.
Most of all, it is time to stop beating about the bush and take proper action against those who are behind those conflicts and all other actors who are trying to derail the change.
Dr. Abiy’s leadership has to reassure the people that the ongoing change goes beyond being a dream of a great dreamer.
Personally, much as I am impressed by his forgiving and inclusive approach, I would also like to see his tough stance on the change detractors and sympathizers of the TPLF-led regime, as well as advocates of ethnic politics who feel threatened of losing their support base as a result of his inclusive and nationalistic approach.