“Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed goes to direct the war effort from the frontlines, state-affiliated media report as Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen will take charge of routine government business in Abiy’s absence” (TRT World Now, 24.11.2021).
“Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed’s move to the frontline is a testament to his exemplary leadership and has inspired Ethiopians to return to their country. Victories on the battlefield are also being recorded” (FDRE Government Communication Service” (24.11.2021).
The Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen Hassen has gotten a more prestigious role in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. The loyal cadre and handler behind the Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed Ali. Have today suddenly risen to the occasion and will now deal with all the bureaucracy in Addis Ababa.
Mr. Hassan will not have it easily. As Abiy is somewhere else and not in office. Neither is he in-power either. His somewhere fighting the Tigray Defence Force (TDF) or Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). We cannot know where or have any idea, since the FDRE is holding his current whereabout silent. Still, the state-affiliated media is giving more power to his deputy Hassan.
This means the deputy will have the power of which Abiy used to have. We don’t know how long this will last or what sort of consequences this have. However, it is worrying sign and you can wonder, if he wants to go to exile or has another plan than going to the front-line. Abiy have already fought war, as an intelligence gatherer and certainly don’t want to see death again.
The 1995 Constitution says this:
Deputy Prime Minister
1. The Deputy Prime Minister shall:
(a) Carry out responsibilities which shall be specifically
entrusted to him by the Prime Minister;
(b) Act on behalf of the Prime Minister in his absence.
2. The Deputy Prime Minister shall be responsible to the
Prime Minister” (Ethiopia, August 1995).
So, Abiy is following the constitutional order by handing over power to the Deputy in his absence. That is stated clear in the article of 75(b) and we can wonder if he will act upon article 75(2). If he will be responsible for the PM? Will he order Abiy away from the front-line, if his life is danger? That is what we can wonder about.
The front-line and saying he might be there could easily just be propaganda. However, he must be absent and gone from office. Now Mekonnen Hassan will take responsibility and ensure things are running smooth. Which cannot be easy, as foreign envoys and internationals are leaving. The United Nations even sending out warnings to their staff. While multi-national NGOs and such is worried about their operations and helping with humanitarian assistance across republic; and not only in the Tigray Region where the blockade has been there for months.
The Deputy PM should wish he was somewhere else and not in office. The Prosperity Party and everyone is promoting the war, but don’t have the cash or the resources to do so. That’s why the FDRE Government Communication Services needed to spread the donation account to the diaspora. This time to lead must be hell and a wreck.
It is like Abiy is running away and hoping his Deputy can clean up his dishes. So, that Abiy can eat and enjoy the spoils of war later. However, we cannot know how that will go, but we do know his enemies are advancing slowly towards Addis Ababa. They are encircling it and will ensure capitulation of the capital at one point or another.
The PM might make this look like a strategic move, but it seems like his running. We just don’t know where. Since there is no additional proof of the Lt. Col. on the battlefield or the front-line. Peace.