Ethiopia: A brief assessment of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as he starts his second term

Ethiopia: A brief assessment of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed as he starts his second term

2018 – a bright new dawn

Author: Martin Plaut

It seems an age ago, but it was just 2018 when Prime Minister Abiy took the helm in Addis.

At the time Ethiopia was among the fastest developing countries in Africa. The country had grown at over 10% a year for more than a decade.

At the same time it had many in jail and suppressed the media, but the outlook was optimistic.

Very soon Abiy Ahmed appeared to be a miracle worker.

In a few short months he:

  • Reached out to his neighbouring states – resolving many long-standing issues
  • Made peace with Eritrea
  • Released journalists
  • Unbanned political parties
  • Was hailed as the first Oromo ever to lead the state.

The prospects were bright. So bright that he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize – a huge honour!

2021 – how different

Today Ethiopia is trapped in a bitter civil war in Tigray and Oromia.

  • The Ethiopian army – once among the finest in Africa – has been decimated
  • Areas of the North and the West are occupied by Eritrea, apparently with PM Abiy’s consent
  • Eritrean agents scour Addis Ababa and other towns for enemies and deport or attack anyone that stands in President Isaias’s way
  • Tigrayans – although fighting back – are almost hermetically sealed from the outside world. Some 5.2 million people are facing starvation, yet UN convoys are not allowed to supply them
  • The Oromo are deeply alienated
  • Ethiopia’s relations with Sudan are terrible, with clashes along the border
  • Ties with traditional allies in Europe and the United States have deteriorated to breaking point
  • The economy is in tatters with growth falling and debts rising.
  • Journalists have been arrested, freedoms are being curtailed.

This is the legacy Abiy Ahmed has made for himself. It is hardly a positive outlook at the start of the Prime Minister’s second term.


  1. Hello Mr Plaut,
    Hurray for us, you are finally beginning to mention the Oromo/Oromia by name in your reports! LOL

    However, may I beg to differ with you on one account of fact please, sir?

    Abiy Ahmed is as Oromo as a Japanese is Chinese! He learned to speak the Oromo language when his Bartender mother, REJECTED by her own people because of her occupation, met an Oromo man who married her, and HELPED her raise Abiy as if he were his own son… (Oromos have a WONDERFUL cultural gem regarding this undertaking, so if you are unfamiliar, please ask some well versed and trusted educators from this part of the World!) Abiy Ahmed is a crossbreed of an Eritrean father and an Amhara mother genetically; AND he is an ENEMY of the Oromo people politically, period! Oh, one more thing: we know what he is doing to the Oromo and the Tigray people today already, but those who knew him growing up in Agaro, Oromia, will tell you today that he ALWAYS identified himself as SOMEONE OTHER THAN AN OROMO! Surprise,surprise!

    But for an arguments sake, let us agree he is an Oromo: Then what? Is that GOING TO CHANGE THE FACT THAT THE MAN HAS NOW PROVED BEYOND ANY DOUBT THAT HE HATES THE OROMO BECAUSE HE SEES THEM AS AN OBSTACLE FOR HIS DREAM OF RESUSCITATING MENELIK”S “GLORIOUS” VERSION OF ETHIOPIA? You are a learned man sir–doesn’t that remind you of many in history who worked for the enemy of “their” own people and tried to erase the unique cultural markers/identity of the people and community which gave birth to them and raised them? Among many examples I can offer, Max Naumann, founder of the “League of National German Jews,” has to be second on my list! Take a guess at who occupies the number one position on my list, Mr Plaut…If you guess correctly, I will invite you to a Free Oromia, soon, all expenses paid!

    Mr Plaut,
    Kidding aside, I have read your reports on the Horn of Africa via an email subscription for sometime now, and I am delighted you are beginning to RECOGNIZE that the abrogation or affirmation of the “Ethiopia” hoax/colonial project hinges on what the Oromo choose to do with their future! Everything else is a SIDESHOW!

  2. IJ Bareentoo,
    Agreed! Now, when Alex De Waal begins referring to us by our name, we will have a party! You have been a great addition to our small circle of Kichuu and Ayyantuu News crawlers who actually say something! LOL

  3. Ij Bareentoo,
    Can I get the free all expenses paid trip to a free Oromia if I can guess the number one name on your list of Traitors who worked in service of the enemies of their own people? LOL

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