Switching a Prime Minister and expectations of change in Ethiopia
On his inaugural speech Dr. Abiy apologized for the young people who lost their lives “fighting for freedom” but he didn’t mention anything for the over 11 thousand Tigraians deported from Amhara region
It has been less than a week since Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali was inaugurated as a Prime Minster of Ethiopia. Obviously it is too early to judge the new Prime Minister’s performance, but there is dispute he is coming to power when Ethiopia is facing unprecedented challenges and it will be a monumental task to steer the country back to peaceful and stable path.
The day of the inauguration and the next day there was limited jubilation in the capital Addis Ababa and in some towns of the Oromo region. The extremist groups are claiming the election of Dr. Abiy as a victory for their poisonous fabricated propaganda against the EPRDF government in Ethiopia and the TPLF. Is Abiy’s election a result of ESAT and OMN’s propaganda? Does Abiy represent EPRDF as a party and all the Ethiopian people or Oromos and the Oromo region? Dr. Abiy’s election is not a result of national Ethiopia election, but it is EPRDF’s internal election because his predecessor resigned from his post because he can’t handle the crisis in the country. The 64 million dollar question is can Abiy bring about peace and tranquility to Ethiopia while the issues faced by the former Prime Minister are still the same or worst.
Favorable points for Dr. Abiy:
- He is young, charismatic and excellent speaker.
- He is educated and he is a family man.
- He has a military background.
Points of Challenge for Dr. Abiy
- The external enemies still work against Ethiopia.
- Ethiopian extremist groups still want to overthrow the government.
- His party, the EPRDF is still weak and divided.
- He might be prone to be pressured by his Oromo nationalist friends.
It is fine to call for unity, but as long as the outstanding questions in the country are not dealt with in a transparent and satisfactory manner it is meaningless. For the past three years the Amhara and Oromo regions have been rife with conflict and mass demonstration. If that is not enough a bitter and deadly resentment is brewing in Tigrai which is supposed to be one of the strongest bases of the EPRDF government. It is not only the economic neglect of the federal government, but the targeting of civilians from Tigrai in Amhara and Oromo regions exasperating the anger of Tigraians in Ethiopia. The Hailemariam administration didn’t do much to listen to the people of Tigrai. In the contrary the people of Tigrai were used as a sacrificial lamb for Ethiopian unity. Based on the new Prime Minister’s speech we are not convinced there is desire to address the issues of the people of Tigrai.
On his inaugural speech Dr. Abiy apologized for the young people who lost their lives “fighting for freedom” but he didn’t mention anything for the over 11 thousand Tigraians deported from Amhara region. He didn’t say a word about those Tigraians and Somali’s who were decimated in Oromo region while they were in their schools, businesses, farms, and houses. Then, is there a reason for the people of Tigrai to be optimistic this year under Abiy’s government than last year under Hailemariam’s government?
If Abiy and the EPRDF government are going to assume it is business as usual in Tigrai, we advise them to look more closely before it is too late.