Ethiopia: Peace: A Dwindling Commodity under PP
Ethiopia is today more militarized and less peaceful. Even the Somali Regional State whose mantra was “the most peaceful region” has been losing such a destination. The General commander of the Erhiopian forces, Mr. Jula, has announced on October 19, 2020, that his country’s army command centers have increased from 4 to 6, adding two new centers – one in the middle and another in the nortern regions of Ethiopia – read Oromia and Amhara regions. In the Oromo region, the command center is to be located in Addis Ababa, and would be positioned to control and fight Qero youth movements there. In the Amhara region, it is positioned to suppress the people of Binishangul who are fighting to ensure that settlers do not rob them of their land, and to make the army ready for in a repid deployment against TPLF if there is an open conflict in Tigrey.
In Ethiopia’s military history, the East, with its mechanized 3rd Division, used to be the most militarized zone. That changed with the demise of the Somali state in 1991.
Today, northern Ethiopia with TPLF, Eritrea, Amhara region’s Fano groups, and the new command center makes this region one of the most militerized zones in sub-Sahar Africa. It is Orwellian that Ethiopia is less peaceful under the stewardship of a Nobel Peace Laureate. In the Somali region, entirely all the compalints pertaining to the erosion of the little peace the region was claimed to have had is being eroded by the special forces called Liyu Police. Many abuses have thus far happened in the region. But the confict between ONLF and DDS , resulting in the apprehension of the head of ONLF’s Qabridahar office, is a new height in the erosion of stability.
So far, it smells inter-party conflict. It, however, has its roots in power struggle prior to the upcoming elections. It so far appears if the region’s leadership does not have confidence to share the politicsl space with anyone except for its party.
ONLF supporters are in a bind. ONLF leadership thinks it can appeal to PM Abiy to protect them from President Mustafa and the security Chief, Dr. Hussein, who technically orders the commander of the Liyu Police. The trio have a closely knit relationship.
Alas, ONLF’ s dependence of PM Abiy’s good intentions is not enough. After all, Dr Abiy is the father of rights abuser in that he arrested the Oromo leadership, including OLF and the OFC, without a due process. Also, one has to remember that DDS leadership is part of the web of PP headed by Dr. Abiy himselve.
It is incumbent upon ONLF to think hard to come up with a political road map that does not depend on the good will of PM Abiy but on a sophesticated and practical party politics. As to the leadership of DDS, it is better to smell the coffee and assess where it is headed.
Does it really think its politics, from Tuliguuleed to Raaso, from Qabridahar to Sittii, is sustsinable? In my observation, there seems a wide spread fear in the region that the region’s politics is sliding steadly to its past. The leadership has to either listen to its own comforting false music or change course, the first step of which is :
1. Stop and decipline Liyu Police soldiers, including arresting some of those with criminal acts.
2. Release all those arrested arbitrarily. A list compiled by some activists runs over hundred.
3. Release quickly ONLF leaders.
4. Create a joint working team between DDS and ONLF ro ensure stability.
5. Address corruption and provide basic necessary services like watter to those without it asap.
5. Call for an inclusive national conversation for the people of the region to.give you a vision for moving forward.