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POLITICIZING A TRAGEDY TO PROMOTE A HIDDEN MOTIVE IS MORALLY UNJUSTIFIED

POLITICIZING A TRAGEDY TO PROMOTE A HIDDEN MOTIVE IS MORALLY UNJUSTIFIED  

It is so sad that our compatriots (the poorest of the poor) lost their lives in the garbage dump landslide tragedy at the outskirt of Addis Ababa (locally known as Koshe dump). But I also believe that it is also morally wrong to divert (hijack) the issue from the very interest of the victims and to politicize the unfortunate tragedy to gain some hidden political motives as one can observe from some news outlets and the Facebook Empire. In my humble opinion, to score a political goal at the expense of the unfortunate victims cannot be justified by any plausible moral theory, never, never, never …

I think, at this very moment, the discourse should focus on what should be done to the surviovs of the unfortunate tragedy, to the families of the dead ones and to those who are relocated from the landfill. Or to put it in other words, we should focus on how to change the lives of these unfortunate ones in a sustainable way. In this regard, I would like to extend my deep heart felt appreciation to fellow compatriots (like his Excellency Shiekh Mohammed Alamudi, civic and religious organization and others) who are humanely contributing a huge amount of money (depending on the depth their pockets) to change the lives of the survivors of the tragedy, their families and of those who are relocated from the landfill. I appeal to all my compatriots that we should follow their footsteps. Of course, if it is not established yet, it might be a good idea to establish a committee (composed from the affected community, civic and religious organizations, relevant government institution and others) to address the tragedy in a participatory and sustainable way once and for all.

However, I am also quite aware that any issue is not devoid of party politics but for the time being I feel it is urgent to concentrate on the immediate needs of the victims per se—the vested interest of the unfortunate victims. If we totally concentrate on a blame game (or if we introduce party politics or individual political interests in the equation) the unfortunate victims will be forgotten, sidelined.

Of course, I am not saying blame game (party politics) should be banned but it should be done in its proper forum and through its proper procedures. At this moment vested interest of the victims and party politics should not be mixed up. We should all stand united to address the unfortunate tragedy irrespective of our ideological differences. Humanity should prevail above our ideological differences. Vested interest of the unfortunate victims (of course, which should be given primacy) and party politics should take their own separate courses. For instance, party politics could ask for the establishment of an Inquiry Commission to investigate—the cause of the tragedy, the responsible body, what measure to be taken and what lessons to learn from the tragedy. I believe this is the realm of party politics and it should push on aggressively on this. But all political parties like the philanthropists, civic and religious organizations and devoted citizens need to contribute money or should urge their supporter and international donors to contribute money in order to solve the vested interest of the unfortunate victims once and for all.  

So, at the moment, I believe it is urgent to concentrate on what should be done to the surviovs of the tragedy, to the families of the dead ones and to those who are relocated from the landfill. Or to put it in other words, we should focus on how to change their lives in a sustainable manner. Or, as the saying goes, first things first.  

As to the blame game (party politics), let the law of the land take its course side by side to the promotion of the vested interests of the unfortunate victims of the tragedy. May the souls of our unfortunate compatriots rest in peace. RIP, RIP, RIP …

God bless Ethiopia!!!  

Tsegai Berhane (PhD)

Mekelle University, School of Law

March 16, 2017


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