Given everything else going on the world the rise of a new President of Ethiopia in January 2018 went largely unnoticed. But under his leadership a country, once synonymous with Biblical famine, has continued on a path of positive transformation. Amongst many changes has been the ending of a long-running border war with neighbouring Eritrea, simply achieved by giving up the disputed territory.
President Ahmed gave notice of the direction in which he would take things with a speech given in October 2017: ‘We have only one option and that is to be united, not only helping each other but uniting in order to live together. The only other option is to kill each other. However no sane person will opt for this. So, our option should be to trust one another, heal our wounds and work together to develop our country.’
Given its troubled past Ethiopia is surely blessed to have such a leader, but a word of caution. History is littered with the consequences of perfectly sane leaders who chose not to live in harmony but go to war. Something more than sanity is required if we are to live in peace, and that is a God-given change of heart best summarised in Jesus’ famous command that we should ‘love our neighbour as ourselves.’