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Ethiopia’s President Sahle-Work Zewde admits Ethiopians are unable to create a “national narrative” that “unites us”, unable to build a state that enjoys “legitimacy” by majority of Ethiopians, and unable to “reconcile our differences.”

The president said this in her annual opening speech outlining the government’s priorities at the joint session by the House of People’s Representatives (HoPR) and House of Federation (HoF) this afternoon.

Sahle-Work Zewde

President Sahle-Work also highlighted that these failures have led Ethiopia to “become two-faced”: one that signifies the failures and the other that defines a country that has rich national gifts, culture, and the history of independence.

Sahle-Work Zewde

She also admitted that Ethiopians have failed to reconcile their differences with each other and instead resorted to have “civil wars” and violence that are costing the country incalculable prices.

The President cautioned that the country should mend this broken track-record and correct these contradictions. In order to do this, Ethiopians should “pause and evaluate” the road that the country came so far to consider what’s been beneficial and what’s been costly for the country to ensure the foundations to hand over a better country for future generations are laid.

Sahle-Work ZewdeThe new chapter the country is going through now is not of “few individuals”, but of a collective chapter for “all Ethiopians”, she said.

Ethiopians should move head with the issues they agree on and engage in dialogue on the issues of disagreement. “History should not become the source of our differences,” the president said, adding that more time must be invested in mapping out the future of the country.

Joram Jojo