Opinion: Prime Minister Abiy’s hope went up in smoke
The picture isn’t as rosy or hopeful as when he took power. Prime Minister Abiy Ali Ahmed has spoiled his opportunity to make significant changes. Instead he has focused on consolidating power. Ensuring his men is in-charge in Amhara. Continuing to use force and Command Post in Oromia. Still persistent violence in the Ogaden. While, he still has flex and popularity abroad. Which is only there because of the PR and positive press surrounding him.
PM Abiy have reformed the Ethiopian People’s Defence Front (EPRDF), first making it Oromia based and taking away power from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). To now start it as one entity, the Prosperity Party (PP) without the TPLF. The other parties has joined into the one party, but it shows frictions. Not only has the Oromo Liberation Front and other Oromo parties gone into an alliance. Even in Oromia, Mohammad Jawar is ahead and has a grand standing.
That means, both Oromia and Tigray are areas where the Prime Minister standing is weak. As he can only survive there on fear and intimidation. He can only get traction, if he suppress the voters and silence the voices of these regions. While Amhara whose been in conflict too, will cause issues as well. It is like the lid is open to several of places, instead of the man of peace mending these. He amplifying them to gain an advantage. Just like his using the violence of Ogaden to export oil too.
The PM has had the opportunity, but he has squandered the momentum. The killings in Addis Ababa, the horrific affairs in Oromia and Ogaden is a sign of what to come. There is no ending and the Command Post and the Liyu Police are both controlling the regions with fierce force. While the Queerro of Jawar is answering these. All of this doesn’t cease the conflict, but enhancing it. Its like he wants this to ensure enough chaos to rule supreme.
The PM could have found other ways ahead of the elections, but he seems to want it like this. That he wants to usher in new public projects every week ahead of elections. Now deals in the sphere of the horn of Africa. Look good with Somalia, Djibouti and Eritrea. While that will overlook the internal problems, which the PM is not solving. His only undermining it and not doing the bidding of the local leaders. The ones whose supposed to follow his medemer.
It seems his making things liberal in the sense of pleasing donors, instead of truly believing in it himself. Doing it to state enterprises to ensure donor support. Some might even call it all a “hijacked revolution”. But at this point, we cannot know.
What we do know is that the elections in August 2020 will either be free and fair or rigged to the smallest detail. Don’t expect PM Abiy to play totally fair, even if he opens up to plenty parties, but that will be for the facade, because he will not loose himself. Then he will loose the power his gained and consolidated in office.
Two years is a mighty long time in office. A lot has happen, a lot of promise and pledges, but not acted upon. The coming months will show, if it was all a play or if it can be a reality. If the PP and Abiy cares about the people or using them as pawns. We can just await, but don’t expect magic, but expect a hard reality. As the forces are still in the fields. The atrocities are still happening and the escalation of it. Is only a few small steps away and that can ordered directly from the PM.
It’s easy to speak of unity and peace, but it’s harder to actually make it happen. When the PM himself hasn’t acted upon those words, but instead amplified it in certain regions. The Ethno-politics are not over, but at a stage where the PM and his folk better be cautious and not reckless.
However, who knows what path he picks, but don’t expect it all to be fair. Instead, expect it to be fanfare and filled with empty promises. As it is not like he has delivered to the hope he spread in the beginning of his term. Peace.