Abiy Ahmed is likely to militarilise Ethiopia like neighboring Eritrea
Speaking at the graduation ceremony, Abiye Ahmed requested the graduating students to join the Ethiopia National Defense (EDF), as he claims that currently there are many challenges that surround our country.
Abiy said the youth of my country instead of taking up arms and joining the military they are fighting on Facebook, he said we cannot defend the country through Facebook. I call on the youth to stand up for the country and accept the call to join the national army.
Abiye Ahmed highlighted that lies and media warfare to destroy our reputation are waged on our country, adding that hundreds of years ago, Ethiopia refused to be colonized and set an example for Africa.
He underlined that Ethiopia may be poor but we are not a country that will negotiate our sovereignty. Threatening Ethiopia for coins will not work. ‘’Ethiopia continues to set an example for Africa again in eradicating poverty and this is the reason why our efforts to eradicate poverty are being undermined,” Abiye Ahmed said.
This remark comes at a time when U.S. Secretary of State Blinken spoke to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy early this week and demanded that Eritrean and Amhara forces must be withdrawn from Tigray within 72 hours. Reportedly, the US further informed the Prime Minister had to dissociate himself from the Eritrean regime, cease all hostile activities immediately (without pre-conditions) and allow full and unimpeded humanitarian assistance to all parts of Tigray.
Ethiopia is going down Eritrea’s dark path. The 2018 peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia meant a breath of new life for both countries. For the youth, the peace gave hope that they can look forward to a normal life where they can aspire for a career; make a family, live a stable life, heralding a life of no flight from their country; an end to living in inhospitable refugee camps; and dying in the Sahara and Sinai deserts and drowning in the Mediterranean Sea.
Needless to say, this was not to be. Instead of building democracy, Eritrea exported dictatorship; instead of reconciling with former enemies, Eritrea sought new ways to vanquish them. The Eritrean President attempted to carve a new grouping of Ethiopia, Somalia and Eritrea as an axis of autocracies.
Abiy Ahmed is likely to militarize Ethiopia like Eritrea and North Korea. The Eritrean government introduced compulsory national service in 1995. By law, every high school finalist undertakes 18 months of national service, which includes six months of military training. When relations deteriorated with neighbouring Ethiopia following the bitter 1998-2000 border war, the national service was extended indefinitely.
The indefinite national service has torn apart many families and ripped apart the fabric of society. It is common for several members of the same family to be conscripted at the same time and posted to different parts of the country. Many children are growing up without both parents and girls are married off early to avoid conscription.
Students have come to view the education system as a trap that delivers them right into the jaws of national service. Some drop out of school to escape conscription, but this is a dead-end choice because without a clearance certificate from national service, they cannot access food rations, or register a business, acquire a mobile phone line, a driving license, or open a bank account.
Furthermore, the military conducts impromptu house to house searches to round up anyone suspected of trying to evade national service. Not only is national service never-ending, but it also pays a pittance – certainly not enough for people to live with dignity and enjoy their rights to food, shelter and healthcare.
Abiy Ahmed appears to have not yet grasped the political, economic, and security challenges the country faces as a result of his impulsive decisions.