Don’t Add Salt to Ethiopia’s Wounds

Jul 27 , 2019
By Eden Sahle

There may be as many toxic people as we can imagine anywhere in the world, but recently, it seems like we have more of those individuals in Ethiopia. We are learning that the Ethiopian identity, which prizes respectfulness and always being there for each others, is fragile and bogus. We saw how most believe that other people should always be responsible for their own difficulties, feeling entitled to abuse and even end others’ lives. This is one of the reasons our national snags still eerily resemble the problems we have had for generations.

This past week, I have been hearing about homicide, theft and violence that is taking place in Hawassa. It is frightening to listen to the horror stories from individuals who fled from the town to the capital city to seek refuge with their relatives. The crimes are so heinous I do not choose to write about them, as I do not want to give publicity to evil deeds. We need to leave terror to the terrorisers themselves. Among the things I have noted from the interviews, is that Sunday is always peaceful in stunning Hawassa. Not because the brutal gangs have a change of heart, but because they go to church to pray. I was staggered to learn this fact.

It made me wonder how that does not stop them from going out and committing unthinkable crimes against the vulnerable. Sadly, even religious institutions are breeding unhealthy individuals who are dangerous to themselves and others. This is not particular to Hawassa. As a person who has always been closer to religious institutions since childhood, nothing makes me more traumatised than seeing injustice, corruption and immorality coming from them.

Unfortunately, we have abundant teachers and followers who lead a double life. Pretending to be nice on Sundays is not helping anyone. Both leaders and followers alike are blaming everyone out there for the struggles they face in life. Victim mentality is common in Ethiopia, shockingly in all ladders of life.

For such kinds of people, the hardest thing to do in the world is to hold themselves accountable for their problems. Evil identity is kicking in many minds who believe they can do whatever they want and even get away with it. Imposing fear and intimidation are considered being powerful, while it just shows small-mindedness and uncivilised character. A dangerous mindset is growing in all corners of the country where people believe that others must be sacrificed for them to have what they are looking for.

This terrifying thinking is the first step of wickedness, where people are convinced of my way or no way. People with distorted attitudes throw temper tantrums and endless violence.

Without having dependable institutions and compassionate individuals, there can be no good country. We need the necessary collaborative mentality that can cement us all together to build each other up and become a better society. I think Ethiopia is mostly suffering because of this deficiency.

These difficult times are showing us the true identity of the majority, the arrogant character that does not hesitate to wound, kill and force people to flee from their homes.

We all need to learn to differentiate between personal battles and political battles — no exception for political, spiritual, social and family leaders. Although most do not believe so, even the negative experiences help us become better people. We need the problems, the diverse opinions and disagreements to grow. That is how we will develop thoughtful minds for the creation of a refined and tolerant nation.

Because our culture is not strong when it comes to how to hash out differences directly, openly and honestly, lethal personalities are flourishing. Some good can come out of the fact that never-before-seen terrorist characters are coming out into the open. The horrible brutality must become a topic of public discussion only because it allows us to genuinely work to eradicate the source of the problem.

Respect is the most critical component for any society, for the simple reason that without respect, everything loses its meaning. Understandably, the trauma of poverty, severe inequality and a dawdling economy frustrates anyone beyond measure. It can even lead to mental illness as psychiatrists point out. We cannot deny this reality, but we should come to terms with it as best we can. Being evil is not beneficial even for the doer.

Society should not be desensitised to brutality. The underlying evil character motivating those who have ambitions to commit crimes must be stopped before it completely wipes out the little goodness left in the country. Aside from the politicians, let the religious institutions activate the good deeds they are intended to do, instead of losing focus and adding salt to the wounds of Ethiopia.

PUBLISHED ON Jul 27,2019 [ VOL 20 , NO 1004]

Eden Sahle is founder and CEO of Yada Technology Plc. She has studied law with a focus on international economic law. She can be reached at

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