Taking Addis will be the end of the beginning of a new era for Ethiopia

An end stage battle involving common people of Finfinne will serve no purpose to improve their lives but only bring more misery and death

The prospect of an end of a year of war in Ethiopia which saw insufferable loss may be upon us yet there will be no time to celebrate. I pray a bloody conflict in vain is avoided. Attempts to turn back time to the Zemene Mesafint solution of the past has failed. Jesus said war will always be with us recognizing the fallibility of man to solve his problems reasonably.

As Winston Churchill said about the Battle of Britain when the Royal Air Force though outnumbered managed to defeat the Luftwaffe by superior tactics it was not the end but the end of the beginning so it is for Ethiopia.

 The Federal government under Abiy Ahmed’s Prosperity Party now on the final step of defeat by Tigray and Oromo forces still has managed to destroy the economy in its last gasp. Means of manufacturing in not only Tigray but also Amhara have been destroyed by carpet bombing, artillery barrage, and intended ransacking. This has resulted in default of repayment of billions of dollars in loans made by Ethiopian banks to build these factories and businesses.

Discussions with knowledgeable sources in Addis Ababa reveals that government coiffeurs are now empty with almost no payment to government employees. The Ethiopian federal government is broke.

The airport for now remains open but thousands are fleeing the country. Inflation will hit 50% up and the birr will hit 50% down in value.  Millions are displaced and without employment. Food stocks and crops are sparse. Hope for the future is fragile at best.

Victory will bring a new challenge for the whole country but will only be the end of the beginning of new era which will take time.  Addis Ababa will be named Finfinne as it should have been all along.  Tigray  more then another region has been devastated and will have to rebuild its infrastructure, health system and economy from scratch. The Oromo region, the most fertile land of Ethiopia,  and her people deserve to finally have their say and I hope they will be heard.  Their concept of gadaa, that is learning from the past about the right use of resources for the community as a whole in consultation with elders, should be respected.

Once again the area we call Ethiopia will have to persevere to find a way to live together in mutual benefit and peace.

Author: Professor Tony Magana

Professor Tony Magana is Head of the Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, College of Health Sciences at Mekelle University in Mekelle, Ethiopia. He directs a neurosurgery residency and training program as well as neuroscience research.

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