Ethiopia: Prime Minister’s “Context” statement is a unjustified defence of injustice

I don’t know who advices the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. However, eleven days after the assassination Haacaaluu Hundeessaa. It seems like the Prosperity Party and the PM is feeling the heat. That’s why he published the “Context and Updates on Current Issues in Ethiopia”. A 6 pages piece trying to address what has happen lately. That’s why the Office of the Prime Minister has dropped this online for the world.

I will digest the parts, which makes sense to me. As there unverified numbers of 5,000 people arrested lately and close to a 1,000 killed. While the official numbers are 3,500 arrested and 260 killed. Therefore, within a short window of time, there been all this happening. The state ordered arrests of opposition leaders, Oromo leadership and set fourth the Command Post in Addis Ababa and the Oromia region. While sowing mistrust to other regions and blaming outside forces.

So, now the state says this about it: “It should be clear to friends and foes alike that the current Ethiopian government led by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has a strong desire, commitment and capacity to build a democratic order based on equality and respect of fundamental rights and dignity of every citizen” (OPM, 09.07.2020).

The wording here is inspiring, but the actions made on the round isn’t what anyone desire. As I write, I read that more of the Oromo leadership get arrested. It is hard to see democratic order, when one groups leadership is political prisoners. It is redundant to speak of democracy and dignity for all citizens. When some citizens are dying in the streets and the state trying to justify it.

So, when the state continues to say this : “This action of the government, however, was not positively welcomed and utilized by everyone. Some opposition parties and political figures began to misuse it. Some others began to throw offensive slurs against members of other ethnic groups. Some others engaged in defamation and finger-pointing without reference to established facts” (OPM, 09.07.2020).

It is really striking the wording here. It shows that the Prosperity Party and the government had a line of acceptable actions by the opposition. If they didn’t follow that line, they would be out of order. It is ironic that the government pulls the ethnicity card, when the government blame the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) for everything. The state are using them and saying they are inciting all violence, if not its outside enemies doing it. Seemingly, while the government are the ones with the soldiers in the streets and police officers ruffling feathers in the Oromia region.

They continue saying this: “Following the death of Hachalu Hundesa, the government has undertaken legal measures in order to maintain peace and security in the country and to safeguard the constitutional order. One of the actions undertaken by the government was to arrest those suspected of involvement in the killing of Hachalu as well as those involved in illegally hijacking his remains and inciting violence through media. The government also arrested certain political leaders suspected of attempting to undermine the constitutional order” (OPM, 09.07.2020).

It is weird calling it constitutional order and legal means to kill civilians, arrest all opposition leaders and pin other crimes on them. This seems like a political hit-job on the ones who cannot defend themselves. The OPM have an advantage to create a narrative, which it tries to do here. Pinning the blame on the ones arrested, opening up old prisons, which was promised to close. Dungeons, which is mentioned synonymous torture like Maekelawi Prison has inmates again. So, the new constitutional order is to kill civilians protesting and burning houses in Oromia? Is that the reforms the PM stands for?

The OPM continues saying: “The government of Ethiopia is no less committed today to democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights than it was when it started a new journey of reforms two years ago” (OPM, 09.07.2020).

This is just disrespectful, this is spitting in the face of the all victims of late. All the family members of the ones who has lost their loved ones. How can you talk of respect of human rights, rule of law and democracy, when you do all this. Sparking direct violence against citizens in this manner. While justifying saying it like this.

Also saying this: “Media entities are also encouraged to continue their work in accordance with the laws of the land and the ethics required in dispensing their information sharing responsibilities to the public” (OPM, 09.07.2020).

Closing Media Houses, stopping radios from their broadcast and arresting journalists. It is clear the state doesn’t want the public to get information. Neither want the information spread. The violence is supposed to happen in darkness and be written in the manner the state wants it out. Not say anything else.

I don’t feel the need to address more. The Prime Minister wants to peddle another story to make him look good. Use the tactic of rule of law and constitutional order over the heads of the public. Also, use it at as a shield to defend the arrests, destruction and silencing of the dissidents. That is very clear.

Enough nonsense. Peace.

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