Ethiopia: Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s Light-Speed Pace Changes Must Be Cautious, Consistent and All-inclusive
By Denboba Natie, July 24, 2018
For a country ravaged with protracted internal and external war, sheer level of terror and iron feast rule for the last 27 years, the changes the Ethiopia’s new PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed is introducing are staggering! Besides, the question remains as to whether these changes can become consistent, sustainable and fundamental or reformist whose basis could be easily undone. Regardless, the changes are moving at light-speed pace in the manner never witnessed before anywhere else in Africa.
Moreover, his courageous resolve, (although contentiously disputed) in acting as a uniting figure for all peoples in Ethiopia under the banner ‘We All Are Ethiopians – Dead or Alive’, ‘Let’s All Be Added into Similar Box-‘Endemer’ and ‘Love is Bigger than Hate’ have increasingly galvanized the support of most segment of the society in Ethiopia and beyond. The indicated little success gained thus far is currently under threat as euphoria began receding. The new PM needs to take this threat seriously and act accordingly for his ambitious project to succeed.
His pledge and practical action in ending over two decades protracted conflicts and war between Ethiopia and Eritrea has also lifted his credential, both within Ethiopia, Eritrea and World afar. Nevertheless, still it is unclear whether the current euphoria remains sustainable; the changes become all inclusive or temporarily as there are little or no answers to these questions from the official channel apart from his talk. The majority are expecting substantive and clear policy direction on all-inclusive approach in action without rhetoric.
Previously, following the inaugural ceremony of the new PM on April 02, 2018, I’ve argued that, his independence may be disputable diametrically opposing to his current performances that have earned him the support of the majority peoples in Ethiopia. I have argued so simply because he has been part and parcel of the system (EPRDF/TPLF’s apartheid) that has dehumanized the subjects for the last 27 years. Therefore, the theme of my argument was that, the loyalty of their boy who has been bred by them to his God-fathers never fade away easily to allow him to do what he is currently doing. I bravely concede that my previous predictive calculation was partially incorrect, but not totally.
This is simply because, my assertion was based on the facts that, the regime has evidently reduced the subjects to undignified masses whilst the ruling party the ‘Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front –EPRDF’ often manoeuvred by Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) controlling every aspects of peoples’ lives. Since 1992, peoples in Ethiopia had neither choice nor opportunity to reject the regime as its responses were sheer level of terror, unlawful incarceration employing brute forces and live bullets. Hence, it is imperative for any critical person to think in the first instance that it will be very unlikely for the new PM to easily extricate himself from the bondage of such systematically inculcated mental slavery in short period of time although he managed to do so. His ability to walk a walk still needs more time and we urge him to walk an inclusive walk.
Meanwhile, his ambitious project didn’t receive unanimous support of all peoples in Ethiopia; in particular of those who have ruled Ethiopia with iron feast for the last 27 years. To date the latter are posing serious threat to his projects in spite of his repeated calls for forgiveness and unity. For instance, fingers are pointing at the TPLF’s criminal oligarchs who are all working from the behind the scene as evidences indicate that the new PM has been targeted with assassination attempt whilst he was addressing millions of peoples who have gathered in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) on June 23, 2018 to overwhelmingly support his new model of leadership.
To date such plots are growing in their sophistication and dimensions as the former rulers are desperately aiming to sabotage the project and return to power. International intelligence community are also indicating that the TPLF’s Mafias never rest unless they silence or remove the new PM.
Although the return of the TPLF’s mafias will be delusional hallucination and distant from the reality; however, we hardly undermine their capability of inflicting pain on the peoples of Ethiopia and wider region if they are left to freely roam on the streets of Ethiopia whilst deserving jail.
Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s infant and ill-prepared system needs to understand the gravity of the danger, the seriousness and imminence of the threat to his government and the country at large; if he ignores the calls for an immediate, all-inclusive and unconditional transitional arrangement. I believe that his adversaries are formidable who’re prepared to do all they can to abort the current progress and glimmer of hope the majority smell. We know for sure that, his adversaries are highly organised, well equipped, abundantly funded, ill-intended criminals who have dehumanized all peoples in Ethiopia for the last 27 years. They are still at large and capable of inflicting serious damage to the country and its subjects if they were left without being effectively incapacitated. Intoxicated with the bloods of thousands of innocent Ethiopians and illegally acquired wealth in millions and billions of dollars; the TPLF’s mafias time and again proved their extreme sadism hence never stop from causing cataclysmic proportion damage to all peoples in Ethiopia not only to the new PM’s ambitious projects. This must be taken seriously!
To me the most important thing is, understanding the gravity of the threat to be able to find an effective remedy. It is evidently clear who is positing the threat and why? If the underlying causes for the ill of the country have been identified, only prescribing the correct, effective and full course of antibiotics will bring about cure to its malice. If the antibiotics are wrong and incomplete, the elements return with formidable resistance that will be impossible to treat.
Therefore, the new PM and his reformist groups must take the gravity of the threats seriously and plan for an appropriate and correct measure accordingly. In spite of these unequivocal facts, allowing the culprits to freely circulate on the streets of Ethiopia to wreak havoc after havoc in various part of the country will not only be fatal mistake the new PM and the other reformists are making, but also it will be catastrophe that potentially destabilises the entire region, not only Ethiopia. Let’s not forget for a second that, these are criminal Mafias whose motives the new PM know very well more than all of us do. If we assume that he knows them well, the following question will be; why does he allow them to freely circulate to continue with their criminalities?
Therefore, the new PM’s ambitious project can be successful only if his government understands these threats and prepares for a defining measure to incapacitate the capability of the TPLF’s mafias. Some of the key remedies also need to be an unconditional, genuine and meaningful engagement and accommodation of all stakeholders in action not with rhetoric. Let all stakeholders find remedy in unison for the ill of the country. Let all peoples in Ethiopia are called for an urgent and unconditional conference that paves avenue for genuine political arrangement. Let there be no room for the vultures that are hovering to sabotage the current glimmer of hope. Let’s all feel part of and the owners of the new change and Ethiopia at large. Let all feel that nothing has been imposed on them.
Meanwhile, the developing trends are extremely worrisome. To my dismay, to date the Oromo people are getting slaughtered in all parts of Oromia by the government apparatuses under Dr Abiy Ahmed’s premiership. Why is this happening? Why silence? Who is responsible for the death of innocent Oromo? Why pregnant Oromo woman is getting killed? Why? Let’s not forget for a microsecond that, mainly the ultimate sacrifice of the Oromo Qeerro has resulted in the current changes in Ethiopia. This is the change that has brought Dr Abiy Ahmed and Obbo Lema Magarsa to the position of premiership and meaningful leadership.
From now onward, I don’t want to see a single Oromo murdered by the Oromo people or anyone else in Ethiopia. I strongly believe that, this has to be the case for all peoples in Ethiopia. The Oromo youth and old, men and women underwent insufferable conditions in the past 3 years in particular. They suffered for our freedom and paid ultimate sacrifices with their precious lives. We’ve sensed freedom because of their death and suffering. I equally know that tens of 1000s of civilians were murdered by the TPLF’s mafias in the last 27 years. Besides, the precursors of the current changes mainly were the Oromo Qeerroos. No Oromo with belief in Oromuuma and their nearest cousins tolerate another massacre of Oromo people. This must be immediately stopped!
Additionally, the division within various Oromo opposition, activists, political analysts, scholars; and Oromo and Amhara factions are remerging in different forms. This is the most worrisome trend that needs to be immediately addressed. The infamous anti-Sidama and anti- Oromo Media, the ESAT is also calibrating its venomous propaganda toward negative angles to reverse the little gain thus far achieved. This is also extremely unsettling precedent most of us don’t want it to happen at this fragile time, but are seeing it negligently.
Furthermore, worryingly, Dr Abiy Ahmed’s infant government has also ignored the calls of the original OLF for a cease-fire instead allegedly targeting OLF’s army in various parts of Oromia, thereby targeting the Oromo people. Attacking both OLF and the Oromo people at this fragile time is neither wise nor farsighted political calculation of Dr Ahmed’s government. It rather will be similar to a suicide pact. For the new PM to be able to move in unison with the Oromo and the rest peoples in Ethiopia, he has to rethink his strategy and act in decisive manner. We strongly advise him to stop a talk and walk a walk to be able to continually galvanise the support of all stakeholders.
Finally, the current wobbly move of Ethiopian politics under his leadership is moving faster than one ever has imagined. In spite of my previous scepticism that is based on living experiences of the last 27 years; besides, I hardly hide my astonishment about the pace and complexity of the unfolding changes in Ethiopia. I can see that there are huge challenges and opportunities. Both are real and imminent. If there is sensitive, all-inclusive and wise handling of the situation, there will be huge potential for a momentum to continue to result in a meaningful fundamental change not a cosmetic reform. But if the formulate for these calculations are ignored, the danger will be catastrophe. Dr. Abiy and those who are increasingly engaged in an immature hullaballoo must stop for a while and rethink their strategy. No politicians can sooth the enemy prepared to cause disaster. The enemy must be handled humanely but in the manner it has to be.
Besides, my appreciation of the current PM’s courageous move to bring about meaningful changes in Ethiopia is genuine. However, the application of his project needs consistence, inclusiveness, unconditionally for all for Ethiopia to move on the right direction. His government also must take effective measures on those who have exploited and dehumanized all peoples of Ethiopia for the last 27 years, and to date are plotting to sabotage the change to direct it toward unnecessary eventualities. The new PM’s courageous move must employ wisdom, tactics and smart approaches by identifying both threats and opportunities. He has to act in either ways on those who reject the current call for a peaceful move to handle them in the manner that educates the generation by lawfully punishing those who have harmed the people and the country if they remain stubborn, unrepentant and prepared to wreck further havoc.
By Denboba Natie, July 24, 2018