Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed, from Hero to Zero!
By Cabdi Cade
Ethiopia, as a mosaic communities with rainbow federalism, it’s unacceptable to apply on ruthless and relentless policies. The second most populous country in Africa is bemoaning and echoing nowadays. There are egregious and conspicuous demonstrations which are going on these days in Addis-Ababa, the capital city of Ethiopia and several other regions. These protests against the incumbent government and its leader his Excellency Dr. Abiy Ahmed begun after the government declared its draconian action against the well-known Activist and Media Entrepreneur, the so-called (Jawar Mohamed).
This famous activist, who also has the American Citizenship has enormous clout in the country. Especially, he participates the demonstrations against the previous government which begun in 2015 andled to resignHaile Mariam Desalegn, the former prime minister.
Abiy, the incumbent and Jawar were close friends during that demonstration, and plenty of talking heads believe that, Jawar was one of those enabled Abiy to become the prime minister.
But, the last months their relationship was deteriorating which leads finally to this dichotomy and loggerheads among them. Abiy and Jawar belong the same community, the so-called (OROMO) which is the largest community in Ethiopia closely 40 million. Additionally, Jawar has an extreme support from QEERROO who is a young Oromo movement who participated to end more than 20 years of Tigray rule under iron fist.
The other side of the coin, when Abiy takes the office in April last year, he undermines his relationship with several politicians including Jawar Mohamed and Daud Ibsa. In the meantime, he uplifts and improves his relationship with Lemma Magersa, who is currently Minister of defense, formerly the president of Oromia region. As different media stations reported, several people have been killed since these demonstrations erupted. After the government was taken off Jawar’s escorts, a lot of people got angry against this reckless decision taken by the Abiy’s government.
Many people are asking themselves, why the government did give Jawar escorts at the beginning as longest he doesn’t have a political position?!
Abiy with Lemma Megersavs Daud Ibsa with Jawar?
Ibsa, is the leader of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), which is the oldest opposition movement in Ethiopia. OLF was established in 1973. OLF’s mission was to fight against Abyssinian rule under Amhara lead. But, when Meles Zenewa, the former prime minister in Ethiopia ousted Mengistu Haile Mariamin 1991, OLF started opposing Melez’s rule who used to oppress Oromo people.
On the other hand, when Abiy takes the lead, he invites the oppositions including OLF, Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and Ginbot 7. He releases them from the label of oppositions. But, what happened after that? Abiy and his government shambled and became reluctant to pursue and implement all the agreements between the oppositions and his government. That is why, several battles have been witnessed between federal troops along with Oromia regional troops against OLF’s fighters. Because, OLF believes that, Abiy and Lemma belong the same party Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), formerly known asOromo People’s Democratic Party (OPDP).
So, it’s not fair to take the leadership of the federal level and the regional level this party alone. Finally, Abiy appoints Lemma as the new defense minister in federal level. But, the problem was, OLF was expecting to take the lead of the Oromia regional state. Unfortunately, Abiy nominates that position someone who was working on his office as the new president of the Oromia region.
Then, the conflict between OLF and Ethiopian government peaked and becomes amok and an intractable. Plenty of political commentators believe that, Abiy’s invitation of the political oppositions was just inviting the system and marginalizing them. And his pledges were just hollow rhetoric and vulgar remark.
OROMO and SOMALI border conflict
These two communities are neighbor, and mostly there is conflicts among them which is about the border. They share many things including the religion, culture and many others. Because, the largest portion of Oromo is Muslim, and Somalis are Muslims. Unfortunately, with all these commendable things they share, there is egregious border conflict always.
On the other hand, many people believe that, there are other external actors who always trigger the conflicts among Oromo and Somalis. Some say, Amhara, the longest runner in Ethiopia, and Tigray are mostly who instigate the conflicts for their political mileage and their vested-interests.
Abiy: lame duck internally and zealous externally!
If we observe and mull over the situation in Ethiopia. The country is divided into 9 regional states including: –
- Oromia region
- Somali region
- Amhara region
- Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ region
- Tigray region
- Afar region
- Gambella region
- Harari region
- Benishangul-Gumuz region
So, Somali region, is the second largest region in Ethiopia after Oromia region. And they are third largest community in Ethiopia after Oromo and Amhara. Unfortunately, Ethiopia mistreats and despises the Somali community, and Somalis don’t get fairly their rights politically, economically and socially.
Moreover, there are several conflicts within the country. Tigray, the former ruler in the country is currently cuts its collaboration with the Ethiopian federal government. Because, they believe that, the federal government is diluting their existence and not treating properly. So, there is no collaboration among the federal government and the Tigray rule so far.
Amhara region, there is no much collaboration with the federal government. Because, several times have been witnessed dichotomy and snafu between the federal government and the Amhara region. Furthermore, Amhara, as a triumphalist and greedy community, they mostly advocate central government under their leadership. That is why, tremendous times Tigray and Oromo are refusing Amharic language to adopt their education system as a mandatory.
So, Abiy, the prime minister who wins days ago the Nobel Peace Prize is neglecting and disregarding all these conflicts exist in the country, while he is busy on meddling the internal affairs of Somalia and other unnecessary issues. So, it’s better to fix the endogenous issues instead of exogenous ones.
Somali region is under clueless traitor!
The second large, and the third most populous region in Ethiopia is under chaos. Because, the leader in this region Mustafa, aka Cagjar and his lame duck government is busy on themselves. There is hefty corruption and embezzlement in the region. Also, the leader is busy on dislodging his predecessor’s administration. No service at all. People are all the time bemoaning with lip service, unemployment and inter-clan conflicts. When it comes to the federal level, Somalis are the most ones who are left behind.So, for the sake of this inward looking and busyness of each other, the region doesn’t aware of much what is going on in the federal level.
EPRDF is the only political player in the country!
Closely three decades, Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), is the only political party which was/and running the country. So, why Abiy evokes all the time that he is democracy champion if he didn’t open the door the other political parties to contest? And in 2020, there is an upcoming election in Ethiopia. So, there is no democracy unless the country applies Multi-Party System and give a chance the other political movements.
- As the Ethiopian constitution which has been adopted in 1995 stipulates in the Preamble “We, the Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia” there is a drastic need for respecting all the communities in Ethiopia, and to treat them equally in order to keep the balance and abhorrent the injustice
- Abiy should focus on and concentrate on the local issue first
- Oromo and Somalis border conflict is fixable and should be fixed out immediately
Anwar Abdifatah Bashir: (Freelance Journalist/Horn of Africa Geopolitics Analyst and Independent Researcher). The Author is undertaking his fourth Post-graduate education in KOREA at Korean Development Institute (KDI) for MASTER of Global Governance and Political Economy.