“The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. This is true even of the pious brethren who carry the gospel to foreign parts.” – H.L. Mencken
It looked so hopeful, when Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali took over a year ago. The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) coalition government, which have had sole control from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the other parties been controlled and manoeuvred on their behest. Therefore, people where hopeful when a Oromo leader would take the wheel. However, things has gotten worse. Some things has changed for the better, but there are many worrying signs on the horizons. The sun is setting and the next day looks tense.
The Prime Minister wasn’t taken over something finished, something that was strong. He came in the midst of a oppressive regime, using the army against civilians and using draconian laws to keep people under their wings. The EPRDF have arrested so many because of their political affiliation or their activism. Now, the EPRDF is struggling with the newly released former political opposition and legality of Queero, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF). As the Oromo youth have gone house-to-house, the army and others has done direct assaults and killed within the Ogaden region. Like there been violence happening between other ethnic groups to in other parts of Ethiopia. While the government let it happen and doesn’t stop it.
That is why the situation is getting worse. The Internally Displaced People in about 800 sites in the Federal Republic.
There are several other issues like this from OCHA:
“The lives of 8 million food insecure people will be at risk if food assistance does not reach them in time. Additionally, the number people in need of emergency food assistance activities will continue to grow” (OCHA – ‘Ethiopia: If funding remains insufficient, most life-saving operations will cease beyond March’ 07.03.2019).
So there are millions who are struggling to eat, there millions struggling with a place to stay and has been forcefully evicted from their homes. This has escalated under the time of EPRDF and Prime Minister Abiy. That is well known, as the EU have offered assistance because of this.
As stated here from the EU:
“Ethiopia is undergoing sweeping reforms, but the winds of democracy and new-found freedoms have also fanned ethnic tensions, very often boiling over into an all-out conflict. In 2018, conflict resulted in an exponential increase in the number of internally displaced to more than 3 million people, one of the fastest growing displacement crises in the world. EU Humanitarian Aid, once focused on helping refugees and Ethiopians uprooted by drought and food shortages, is now increasingly needed to help Ethiopians displaced by violence in hundreds of sites across the country” (European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations – ‘Helping people displaced by ethnic violence in Ethiopia’ 28.03.2019).
Even though the state will make everything look like a golden era:
“A discussion forum reviewing the one-year journey of reforms held at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) hall today. The event, which is a continuation of the political party forums of the past few months, explored the political, economic, foreign relations, justice and security sector changes undertaken during the past one year. During the discussion, it was indicated that 45,000 people have benefited from the amnesty law at the federal level. Moreover, over 100,000 prisoners were released at a national level following the reform initiative” (FanaBC – ‘Forum Reviews Ethiopia’s One-Year Journey Of Reforms’ 30.03.2019).
As that was happening, the same state saluting itself, did this:
“A press conference called by Ethiopian journalist and activist Eskinder Nega in Addis Ababa blocked by police. The police officers were unable to give reasons, but told people to disperse, later they said the order came from high up” (ECADF – ‘Ethiopian government blocked activists press conference’ 30.03.2019).
So, even though surely, Prime Minister Abiy has done a lot of good. His still showed lack of progress, concerning the ethnic violence, the lack of food insecurity and the issues of the state. Which is supposed to help all citizens. There are regions and groups taking advantage of their new role in government. This being Oromo whose using force in the Ogaden, where the Somali are attacked and killed. That has been reported and this sorts of violence have grown during his term. Therefore, there has to be a striking need to address and settle this, before it boils over.
We can see, there other worrying signs too. There are lack of coherent and strong message from the Addis Ababa. Who are busy playing international peacemaker, while internally brewing chaos. Where the TPLF are toying with the other groups. Where there are questionable actions, as the state isn’t issuing needed reforms to make peace with all of them whose been hurt. This is happening, as the state is preparing for new elections in 2020. That will surely be shambolic as in the past. As the EPRDF plans to totally control it and force people to vote for them. Something else, would be a revolution. That revolution would not be televised.
Even the hardcore Tigrai is tired of him after a year, as stated here:
“Now the masters of Abiy Ahmed are not sure if they picked the right person to lead their silent coup in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian population is disappointedly aware about the true identity and intent of Abiy Ahmed in Ethiopia. A massive tide against Abiy Ahmed is gathering in every corner of Ethiopia. Abiy Ahmed Ali is stuck between a rock and hard place so he is changing his tactics on dealing with the people of Tigrai and the Tigrai state government. Mind you the strategy of Abiy Ahmed and his masters is still the same, it is to systematically weaken and destroy TPLF and Tigrai, but their tactics so far backfired and their plan is in disarray. The new plan is to appear gentle and friendly towards TPLF and Tigrai instead of the harsh treatment they used until now. At the same time they are planning to manipulate any political differences among Tigraians and use them to create gaps between Tegaru” (Tigrai Online – ‘Abiy Ahmed Ali and his masters are changing tactics towards Tigrai’ 26.03.2019).
We can see that the PM is losing ground. That his in trouble. His not trusted by the ones whose the major benefactor of the coalition. Neither, trusted by others either. His seen as puppet from both sides. While playing big-time abroad in Somalia and with Eritrea. We have to see how this goes. But there are many question left unturned.
There are plenty more of hardships, needed efforts and finding peace between dozens of communities. As the state are having more and more people displaced. More and more people lacking food, while the state is trying to look as striving. This is a miss match of ideals and the image the state tries to portray for the world to see. We have to question this, I don’t have the answers. But certainly, the EPRDF have figure this out. They cannot live on PR Stunts and fancy speeches amidst of the internal conflicts and the lack of systems, which is not taking care of their own. Therefore, the EPRDF is waiting for the international community to sponsor and aid these people, by the default of the state is left behind. Peace.