It is with immense pleasure when I extend to you this Ethiopian New Year message on behalf of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia. As a manifestation of changes in the spirit of Ethiopians, the New Year also comes up with sunshine and a colourful landscape. I wish you all a New Year where you will be uplifted by new spirits and adorned with the ideals of fraternity and unity.
This past year, we have handled issues related to the construction, operation, and filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) in a way that reflected our unity and assertiveness to protect the sovereignty of the country. We have never lagged in contributing our level best, both in terms of financial donations and in technical support, in order to build the dam. In this regard, I am also delighted by the immense role played by Ethiopians and people of Ethiopian descent that are living abroad. I urge you all to continue supporting the flagship project and to help us register even more spectacular results in the years ahead.
In connection to this, we should also laud our diplomats and experts from various walks of life for scoring winning points in all matters related to the GERD. Following a series of discussions with President Felix Tshisekedi, Chairperson of the African Union (AU), they maintained the spirit of “African Solutions to African Problems.” We appreciate their struggle to make the AU-led process and the DoP decide the course of the trilateral negotiation over the GERD. The second filling of the dam was also a milestone in fulfilling our quest to stimulate economic growth and lift many Ethiopians out of poverty. However, we should not spend too much time focusing on our success and lose sight of the final objective. A lot remains, and with a united front, we will materialize our dreams of prosperity!
This past year was a year that Ethiopians showed their resilience and unbroken spirits in the midst of internal and external challenges. Ethiopians will remember the night of November 4, 2020, as one of the darkest moments in Ethiopian history that shocked the nation to its core. We have lost many of our brave soldiers of the Northern Command of the Ethiopian defence Forces by the hands of the short-sighted and wicked TPLF clique. None of our soldiers deserved that horrible death. Nevertheless, we could show our ultimate respect to their sacrifice by standing tall and combating the challenges posed by the country’s worst enemy. Creating a united front against our adversaries is the ultimate honour we can give to our soldiers.
The challenges posed by the TPLF are not over. We have yet to make sure that our people in the Amhara, Afar, and Tigray regions are free from the grips of the terrorist group. We need to make sure that the IDPs are back home and affected people return to normalcy. It is inevitable that our wounds will heal at last and we will compel the forces of darkness to choose either peace or face our fury.
Aside from making us vulnerable to external pressure from opportunists, our enemies have also launched attacks on the economic front. However, we will no longer allow them to impoverish us and do their best to deprive us of the fruits of our labour by hoarding items and transacting hard-earned foreign exchange through illegal financial institutions. It is time to say no! I urge Ethiopians and people of Ethiopian descent living abroad to support Ethiopia using legitimate financial institutions when sending money to their loved ones in Ethiopia.
Although we witnessed the plight of many Ethiopian migrants in the Middle East, we never stopped providing the necessary assistance to some of them and repatriating many others. The pandemic coupled with the sheer size of the migrants stretched our capacity to reach out to all of our citizens who need help. However, I would like to affirm that our Ministry will continue to collaborate with national and international stakeholders to alleviate the problems of our citizens and reach lasting solutions.
Many had doubted our capacity to hold a credible and peaceful election. Nevertheless, given the deep-rooted love of Ethiopians for peace, the 6th General Elections proved to be the most transparent election that helped Ethiopians exercise their free will. The results of the elections are expressions of confidence and expectations of Ethiopians from the new government to be established in late September in our New Year. Ethiopians have chosen peace, prosperity, and unity, so we have to deliver that. To this end, we will provide an all-inclusive political dialogue and accelerate the multifaceted reform we have been carrying out for the last three years.
At this juncture, I call upon every one of us to stand firm and join hands with the view to ensuring our solidarity through combining drum-up efforts in all walks of life in a bid to realizing a self-reliant and prospered nation disregarding differences.
As one of the principal institutions that reflect the strength of our new government, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia will also experience the fruits of an upcoming reform. It is my hope that our institutional reform will arm Ethiopians with a tough diplomatic team that is fitting to the country’s rich history of diplomacy. It is also my hope that the reform will help us protect the interests of our beloved country at bilateral and multilateral spheres.
May the New Ethiopian Year bless you all with good health, happiness, and prosperity!
The Ethiopian Herald 11 September 2021