Ethiopia: Will Abiy use this State of Emergency to crack-down on others?

I tend to support ‘State of Emergency’ measures put forward by a state or a government, when it will be done to battle insurgency or against epidemic. I understand them both. The Prosperity Party and Prime Minister Ali Ahmed Abiy is issuing his first one. It is not new with “State of Emergency” in Ethiopia. Therefore, I am sceptical and hesitant.

Even if this State of Emergency is issued for 5 months. The plan is to be delegated and controlled by the Council of Ministers, instead of the Command Post. Because of the history of Command Post. Just like people doesn’t trust the Liyu Police in the Ogaden Region. It is reasons for that, the violence, the crack-down and misuse of power towards the citizens. The same is the worry of the soldiers stationed in Amhara beating on supports of FANO. Just like the soldiers going against the querro in Oromia and so fourth. This sort of State of Emergency usually tends to be like that.

Even if this State of Emergency is placed because of the COVID-19 or Coronavirus. I have a feeling it will be used to get people more submissive to the Prosperity Party and the leadership of Addis Ababa. Expect Gondar, Jigjiba, Dire Dawa and Bahir Dar to be hit in these times. I wouldn’t be shocked to see leaked viral clips of assaulting soldiers to innocent civilians. Even reports of arrests and burning houses. Because, that is how these things to spiral out.

I’m awaiting blocked phone-lines, expect social media black-out and internet blockage, which the state has used rampantly in the Oromia region. Therefore, now that they have a legal basis. Have orders from the Central Government, the PP can act like the EPRDF did in the past and can shield information will suppressing the voices of the various regions. While using the COVID-19 as a excuse to do it. It is the perfect storm. The way of preparing the violence before the postponed elections and ensure supremacy. Without having to battle the alliances elsewhere.

The social distancing, the washing hands and the closure of state has happen elsewhere. The world is under a near global lockdown and states has issued similar means. However, the PP and its predecessor EPRDF has misused this in the past and that is not in ancient times. But it was done in the last decade and lots of systemic violence to stop the eruption of protest against the regime. Therefore, with the knowledge of that. I am worried. That is done to dismantle the voices against the government and not stop the spread of the virus itself.

The pictures of soldiers walking in the streets of Amhara, the voices of concern from Ogaden and the arrests of OLF leaders in Oromia. Shows the reasons for fear and worry. If your not, your ignorant to the way the leadership in Addis Ababa has controlled the Republic.

I hope I am wrong, because this COVID-19 is no joke. It is dangerous and contagious. It spreads so quickly and kills. While we have no direct cure or have vaccine for it. Therefore, there is a need to drastic measures to await the possible cure. However, the state who uses lockdown measures has to do it transparently and do it in the open. So the public can trust and live with it in hope, that the government act for their best interests.

Well, in this regard, I am worrying. I hope I am wrong. Because, that would have been nice. However, history teaches us things and the way people operate. Leadership can do reforms, but the reoccurent theme is that only goes skin-deep and is in rhetoric. Not in actual change of protocol nor actions. This is why I fear things. The TPLF is maybe out of the PP. However, the PP is still more of the same and they might strike with vengeance. Now that they have the opportunity. Peace.

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