Since the end of March 2018, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) selected their new Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ali. That happens after the end of February, when the Command Post and the Minister of Defense Siraj Fegessa announced another State of Emergency, that was approved by the Parliament early March and means the continued oppression of the protesters in the regions of Amhara and Oromia would continue. As it has, it hasn’t stopped with the selection of Dr. Abiy as the PM. The Command Post and Agazi Squad has continued their raids, the terror and tyranny in the Somali Region, Ogaden, Amhara and Oromia.
James Moody reports: “The Somali region protests erupted on 20 April. The first protests called for the regional government to release 1,500 prisoners, as it had promised to do in February (Africa News, 28 February 2018). In the following days the protests gained momentum, spreading to other towns in the Siti zone, and the scope of the complaints widened – the protests were increasingly against corruption and abuse by the regional president, Abdi Illey. Illey is generally unpopular in Somali province because of his violent deployment of the Somali regional militia, the Liyu Police (ACLED, 12 April 2018) and because of corruption accusations. However, not only is Illey facing challenges from the population, he is also balancing leadership turbulence within his own party. On 24 April, Illey fired the deputy regional president, Abdikarim Igali, fearing that Igali would capitalise on the regional protests to mount a challenge to Illey’s position in the Somali government (Addis Standard, 27 April 2018). This strategy backfired, instead provoking increased protest, particularly from Igali’s home district of Shinile. Illey’s other response to the protests has been to reinforce security by ordering Liyu Police forces back to the regional capital Jijiga. There have been relatively few confrontations between the Liyu police and protesters, but responses to calm the protesters should be cautious to avoid further conflagration” (James Moody – ‘ETHIOPIA: PROTESTS SHIFT FROM OROMIA TO SOMALI PROVINCE’ 05.05.2018, link: https://www.acleddata.com/2018/05/05/ethiopia-protests-shift-from-oromia-to-somali-province/).
So the government hasn’t changed, the new PM makes a shining light with speeches and public gatherings. However, the actions of the EPRDF is still fueled with aggression against the population. That hasn’t changed, not with the new PM. It is more of the same. Just nicer speeches and impression of hope. While the dire needs are still there and the authorities are still acting oblivious world-wide, while locally cracking down on anyone questioning the EPRDF, the TPLF infused government.
For the second time within the three months, there is again violent skirmishes from the authorities in Moyale, which happen last time in February 2018. The reason this time is unknown, there are reports of casualties, but none verified as the gun-shots has appeared, as well as fires in the town. Also that people are fleeing from the town to Kenya. Just like they did in February. Therefore, the government has no direct solution.
We know also that things aren’t getting better with the problems in various regions as the reports on the 3rd May 2018, when the Federal Attorney General ordered that all arrests done by the Command Post in regions, would be taken care of in the states and not federal. Meaning, the local leaderships and their courts will be in-charge of the ones detained while it occurred during the State of Emergency. Also, securing that the TPLF central government isn’t the ones who are keeping people arrested, but the local leadership.
There been little sign of hope, less if you look at the beautiful words, but those words doesn’t bring justice to oppressed, to the ones shackled and detained, the ones afraid of speaking, the ones afraid of gathering and the ones who might lose their lives. Just for standing up against a government, which doesn’t represent them or their kind. They are just representing businesses and foreign interests. Not the public, not the regions and not the unemployed youths or poor peasants, who deserves a government that actually represent them. Peace.