Ethiopia: Council of Ministers approved to draft law to lift the SOE, but will it make big difference?
“When one with honeyed words but evil mind
Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.” – Euripides
As things are standing in Ethiopia there are minor changes in the ways it is perceived, this mostly because of how the new Prime Minister is carrying himself. This being Dr. Abiy Ahmed whose been all around and visiting all parts of the Republic. However, there been continued oppression, detaining and killings during his tenure in the regions where the State of Emergency has hit the hardest. This being in Oromia, Somalia Region and Amhara. All of these areas has been hit hard by the State of Emergency, where the police and military, the Aghazi Squad has attacked civilians and killed too.
“Addis Ababa, June 2, 2018 (FBC) – The Council of Ministers in its today’s regular meeting approved a draft law that lifts the State of Emergency. The draft will be sent to the House of People’s Representatives (HPR) for consideration. The Council noted that law and order has been restored. Ethiopia declared a six-month State of Emergency on February 16, 2018” (Fana Broadcasting Company – ‘Council of Ministers approves draft bill to lift State of Emergency’ 02.06.2018).
Therefore I am reluctant about this move, as long as the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) is in power and using their methods. I wonder what is their safeguard and their next move, as they have done everything they can to silence dissidents. This being silencing phone-lines, blocking internet, stopping people from having sit-down strikes and generally banning all possible protests. While making activists, writers and everyone involved in these matters into criminals. Even as they fight for liberty and justice over their own. The EPRDF comes with the military as a hostile takeover and takes control. Instead of being in dialogue. That is what the State of Emergency and the provisions of the Commando Post is all about.
There is no reflection or anything saying that they will really change, the SOE now was really to stall for time. The demonstrations and the protest spirit is not gone, there are still lingering thousands upon thousands in jail. Even as high-profiled individuals has been released. The majority is still behind bars and the lack of freedom is still there. The New PM hasn’t changed that or the laws, not tried to repeal the Anti-Terror laws, which has used to oppress civilians who protest against the EPRDF.
We can hope for change, but its still lots of the same. The powers are within the same structures, a small change in the cabinet, but the reality is that Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) is still controlling the EPRDF. The government and its institution isn’t significantly changed, even as the Prime Minister has been in talks with Oromo Opposition leaders. That is positive step, just as the possible repeal of the SOE. However, as long as no one takes responsibility of the violence, the killings and the arbitrary arrests, there will not be real changes. It will just be patches on the hurt, but when the wounds are evident. The flair and the flames will start again, because no one acted upon the hurt. That should be the vision of the EPRDF, to take responsibility and charge itself. If they are real about the damage and hurt it has given over the years. Not just walk away because your in power.
Who knows if they within a months time repeal the SOE, will they do it again if the Queerro are starting to block the roads and stop businesses from moving goods from Djibouti to Addis. Will the army and the police accept that? As the TPLF and EPRDF will lose foreign exchange on it and also possible profits from doing so. Will they accept that the Amhara are also closing the roads into the capital. Would they accept it, as they are not listened to or even considered. As long as the government are caring about themselves. That is the reality.
This is a positive step, but if it is not followed up by more heartfelt measures, the reality will hit the fan and the possible violence will appear, because the government haven’t shown another side or character. Peace.