Today’s guest is Dr. Moha Farah Jire (@JireMoha). She has rich experience in peacebuilding and stability. She was the former President of Journalists for African Reassurance (JAR) Ghana’s envoy for humanitarian. She was awarded African Queen of the Century in 2010 by Ethiopia’s late prime minister Meles Zenawi.
Likewise, she is an Ethiopian Diaspora. She is a highly educated person. She has done her Ph.D. in diplomacy and international relations in Europe. She is married to a Djibouti diplomat and has two kids at this point in time.
The Ethiopian Herald had a short stay with Dr. Moha Farah Jire with a view to familiarizing her personal and professional life with our readers. She has touched upon a number of issues revolving around Ethiopia and Eritrea. Excerpts:
The Ethiopian Herald: What do you know about Ethiopia?
Dr. Moha Farah Jire: If truth be told, I know quite a lot of interesting facts about Ethiopia. To begin with, the country is the cradle of mankind and one of the oldest nations in the world. Above and beyond, the country year on year enjoys “thirteen months of sunshine.” More to the point, Ethiopia is the only country in Africa that had never been colonized and the country is known as the birthplace where Pan-Africanism gained ground. Besides, being the sources of the Blue Nile, the world’s longest river, this ancient civilization is known for its broad-array of tourist attractions.
As a matter of fact, I only knew some of the few touristic spots of the country. In actual fact, the country possesses thousands of places to be visited at a national level. The peace and tranquility of the country is out of harm’s way. Not missing comfort, tourists can visit the different corners of the country as they wish. The country is inhabited by cordial people. Hence, as it is absolutely safe, tourists do not have to think about security matters.
I have been to Dire Dawa, Jigjiga, Hawassa and other parts of the country. I am an eyewitness to the development afoot in the country. Ethiopia is really heading in the right direction. Whenever I see the construction boom, I cannot really believe my eyes. It is really a miracle. Due to the commitment and determination of the government, the country is on the ball. To cut a long story short, words fail me when I attempt to express my appreciation. What is more, the country is opening up for all international investors.
The Ethiopian Herald: What is your reflection on the ongoing reforms by Prime Minister Dr. Abiy?
Dr. Moha Farah Jire: I sincerely appreciate Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed. He is absolutely genius. He has the talent beyond education. Despite the presence of quite a lot of educated people all over the place, few only achieve the desired goal. The fruitful ones are finger-counted. Dr. Abiy has the experience, dynamism, bravery and God-given knacks. He is very different. He has an untapped potential of successfully leading the country. He is the leader that Africa, especially Ethiopia, badly needs.
Some months back, the situation of the country had reached a fever pitch. It was falling from the frying pan into the fire. Everything was getting out of the hands of the people. Most people were anxiously talking about the state of emergency over and over. Everything was stuck. It was a terrifying moment that it was even difficult to predict where the country was heading. Things were falling from the bad to the worse over and over again. I was really terrified. Currently, hope is restored and thus people are extremely happy. But there are still challenges as there are people who pour cold water and discredit the achievements of the Premier. To the best of my knowledge, Dr. Abiy Ahmed should continue his cautious and courageous measures. We do need his extreme bravery. The peace agreements between Ethiopia and Eritrea is one of the remarkable progress he made.
The Ethiopian Herald: What benefits do the two countries get out of the peace agreements?
Dr. Moha Farah Jire: In the first place, the peace agreement is a historic and mammoth step. Prime Minister Dr. Abiy believes that peace can make privileged circumstances. Almost for two decades, the two countries were a place of no-war-and-no-peace situation. They were at loggerhead for quite a lot of years. Currently, Dr. Abiy is enthusing citizens with optimism. The peoples of both countries pin hope on the two leaders. War is nowhere near to the value of peace. It is both countries that benefit most out of the peace deal. Besides strengthening people to people ties, the economic gains are enormous. Above and beyond, it will be important for the horn of Africa, a region that has been rocked by years of confrontations.
It is time for Africa to rise up. Rampant civil wars, corruption, and terrorism are rocking the continent. What is happening with regard to the Ethio-Eritrea peace deal, mainly led by the commitment of Prime minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed, could be an important lesson for other African countries. Addis Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia, is a diplomatic city of Africa. And as such, it hosts other international and regional organizations. This gives the country a vantage point to influence the continent.
The Ethiopian Herald: Dr. Abiy has requested the UN to lift the sanction it imposed on Eritrea, What is your take on this?
Dr. Moha Farah Jire: I really appreciate the fact that Dr. Abiy Ahmed has asked UN to lift the sanction imposed on Eritrea some years back. As Ethiopia is only one country, I do not think the sanction will be put into effect almost immediately. To lift the embargo, Ethiopia together with the African Union, should make an extraordinary summit. In this fashion, it will be possible to lift the embargo.
Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) benefits much out of the peace deal between Addis Ababa and Asmara. In fact, IGAD is a regional organization. Every so often, it deals with peace. What is more, Eritrea is going to be one of the members of IGAD countries. That means, without a shadow of a doubt, they will have a peace of mind and the regional bloc will gain more power. And it will throw its full weight behind other regional problems such as Sudan and Somali and make the deal happen.
The Ethiopian Herald: How do you express your satisfaction with the peace deal pace?
Dr. Moha Farah Jire: The path to cooperation has already begun. It is going at a speedy pace. I am very proud of Dr. Abiy’s achievements. He is a brave man and a lionhearted leader. He has opened a new chapter between the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea. At this point in time, Ethiopians and Eritreans are clicking each other. People-to-people relations are at the foundation for their chemistry. It has already resumed. It is a very historic moment for the two countries. Now all the challenges are behind the two countries’ back.
Ethiopians and Eritreans are one and the same. They are one background. They had lost a lot of time. Hope is back now. Now people are infinitely happy internally. They are very happy with what is happening between the two countries. South Sudan can learn something out of the Ethiopia Eritrean deal.
The Ethiopian Herald: How do you see Ethiopia’s contribution to global and peacekeeping missions?
Dr. Moha Farah Jire: More often than not, people say I am always pro Ethiopia. I am very sincere about the situation. I am stuck with my ideology. I do not need to change. There is nothing which makes me change my mind yet. Ethiopia is still heading in the right direction of development. The country has been contributing not only to East Africa but also to the entire continent. I would say, Ethiopia’s contribution to South Sudan is a big achievement for the most part in the installing peacekeeping mission to South Sudan. The Ethiopian soldiers have as well contributed to the cause of South Sudan peoples. The country has contributed to the region and the continent. I am also proud that late prime minister Meles Zenawi has also played a great role for the sake of the continent. He was an advocate of Africa and the pride of the continent.
The Ethiopian Herald: Do you think Ethiopia is heading in the right direction in terms of peace and tranquility?
Dr. Moha Farah Jire: Ethiopia is heading in the right direction. In the past, Ethiopia was off the track in many aspects of development. At that point in time, there was nothing that we call our own. Now, everything is heading in the right direction. There are peace and tranquility in every nook and cranny of the country. There is increased optimism from the Diaspora community to return and restart life at home.
Currently, the country is open for everything and everyone including the was used to be very restricted security institutions. It is politically and diplomatically opens not just its citizens but also for all international community.
The Ethiopian Herald: What should be done to avoid a downslide?
Dr. Moha Farah Jire: What has been done is a big job. The people-to-people relation is very important. Above and beyond, it is the most important thing for the development of the country. We all have one background. We have lost a lot of time. We have lost energy and time for no reason at all. I would like to congratulate both Dr. Abiy and President Esayas Afeworki for the fruitful peace deal. I do believe South Sudan and Sudan and other African countries can learn something out of the deal between the two countries. What is more, other countries can follow suit.
The Ethiopian Herald: What roles should journalists play to promote peace and tranquility in the region?
Dr. Moha Farah Jire: To the best of my knowledge, journalism has a lot to do when it comes to promoting peace. As forgiveness is a way of moving to the next chapter of life, emphasis must be placed on it. Journalists are power hangers. They also make good news out of bad ones happening out of Africa. Mostly, when they talk about Africa they talk about bad things. So, as we Africans belong to the continent, we should show them the right direction the country is in. Ensuring peace is not the leaders’ job alone, it is the journalists’ role as well. In this regard, I have almost worked in the profession for many years.
The Ethiopian Herald: As a final point, is there anything you would like to convey?
Dr. Moha Farah Jire: Well, I call for all Ethiopians for unity. A division is a failure while unity is strong and profitable. It is time for eternal unity and development. Forgiveness is a way of moving to the next chapter of life. What is more, as it is the time of enjoying peace and stability, Eritrea and Djibouti should take a courageous step towards peace so that we all enjoy stability in the horn.
By Addisalem Mulat