Today is May 28th and every year I have lived there been an anniversary celebrating Ginbot or Genbot 20, when the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) ousted the Derg regime on the 28th May 1991. However, today it is mostly “radio silence” and a bunch of nothingness.
There is no statements from High Ranking Officials. Neither is there any proof of state functions or celebrations. It is the “national day” and a “victory day” that seems to be forgotten. Yes, people say this day was forced down the necks and the people of the last victor, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). A day of Weyane to celebrate the victory and the start of ethnic federalism and a new constitutional order. However, was that it?
The Prosperity Party (PP) will not continue the tradition and celebrate the end of Derg, which had been ruling the nation between 1974 to 1991. After that the EPRDF and the TPLF in-charge of the political coalition took power.
The current Prime Minister forged out of the old EPRDF a one state party – the Prosperity Party out of most of the coalition parties ahead of the 2020 election in 2019. This means the EPDRF, which had been in existence since 1998 ceased to exist and therefore the TPLF was on the outside. We know how the PM acted on this and went to war to annihilate it. However, that isn’t the story of today.
Today is about another past and how it can seem to get forgotten. The one tale of one dictatorship which ended and some say another type took over. Yes, the Derg, the Marxist rulers lost power in Ethiopia. Nevertheless, TPLF did their bid and they continued with dictatorial practices, which are now perfected by the PP. Therefore, the plights and suffering is never ending.
That is why the EPRDF and the TPLF ended the “red terror” and unleashed their own. Now the next generation is working steadily, which is serving the “medemer terror” on the public. This is maybe why people aren’t celebrating victory or the tanks that was on the streets of Addis Ababa in 1991. The years of suffering under the TPLF is hard enough to swallow and the leaders of that time have never answered for their injustice. Therefore, the people don’t seem to feel or see a reason to celebrate it.
I can see online some celebration of the day, but not considering how big it used to be. There is no real fanfare or gravitas. No, the PP and the TPLF seems to have ditched the day. It isn’t strange if the Tigray region or TPLF is licking wounds or just have enough with getting back-up. As the TPLF and the Tigray is still hurting after the brutal war fought against it.
PP are trying to create a new history and legacy surrounding Abiy. It wouldn’t be fitting to use the heroics of others. That would undermine the “greatness” of the new generational leader. He cannot take the greatness of Meles Zenawi or anyone else. Abiy needs to show his own path and achievements. Therefore, he is not in the realm of seeking the glory of the EPRDF.
The PP can force people to the streets to salute the Ethiopian National Defence Force on this here day. However, we are seeing the PP is using Ginbot 20 to demonstrate in support of the army and the security forces. The PP isn’t celebrating the end of a tyrant and the butcher of Addis, Haile Mariam Mengistu is a footnote in regards too it.
The current regime and Prime Minister can easily write statements, press releases and proudly proclaim things. Nevertheless, today on the Ginbot 20… it is static radio silence and nothing unleashed on the public. Not even a FDRE Government Communication Service vibes.
This year is 32 years since the EPRDF and their rebels stormed Addis Ababa. It is over three decades ago now. That is a long time and one generation can easily forget what the predecessors went through to get there. The EPRDF fought for 17 years to in power and takeover from Derg regime. Therefore, their multi-ethnic federalism was a big game-changer in Ethiopia. It wasn’t perfect, but at least to some extent better then the Derg.
Now the PP is re-inventing the EPRDF in their “one-party” state bonanza. Where the PP is coming with their forces, armies and serving plights to the civilians. Abiy was given the reigns in August 2018 and consolidated power in 2019. While getting “re-elected” in 2021 and swearing himself for his full first term (or his second one). Therefore, this is only the beginning of his reign. Abiy is just beginning in some aspects, even if he already is showing what sort of nation he will achieve.
Certainly, his not a man of the EPRDF and not a man who holds the history of victory high. Since, he isn’t even acknowledging it. That is saying something on the 32nd Anniversary of it. The PM could have and so could others in government. Instead we are reading slogans, praise and glory on the ENDF. This is what the day means or is used for under his rule.
Abiy is distancing himself and dancing himself away from the achievements of the EPRDF. Even if he wouldn’t have been there or gotten into office without it. Abiy couldn’t have gotten through the ranks and in the position to become the PM without the reforms of the EPRDF. Therefore, it is weird that he isn’t celebrating it or making a statement.
Well, Abiy is the man behind the “medemer terror” and he has unleashed a vindictive way of politics. Which is a far stretch from what the EPRDF tried to do. Yes the EPRDF and the TPLF who ran it did their sins and grievances. The TPLF and the EPRDF has to atone for their misgivings and plight. However, Abiy should do the same and answer for his usage of force. The current regime is using war, conflict and extra judicial killings to furthering his cause. The current regime has no trouble using vile means to get ahead. Therefore, he is replicating the ills of the Derg and is doing it proudly. He don’t mind massacres, starvation and mass-arrests, if it benefits the throne. That’s what Abiy does and will be remembered for.
The EPRDF toppled the Butcher of Addis Ababa. I wonder who will and what it will take to get rid of Abiy. Abiy won’t back down and he will assassinate anyone in his way. He will use all tools at his disposal and silence his critics. The ones who dissent or stands up against him will met lethal means and could easily vanish. Therefore, Abiy isn’t a man who forgives or offers shelter to others. No, he tricks you into trusting him and later he might back-stab you. The ones who deals with him should be careful.
It is just tragic that this has come to this. The legacy and the memory of it is going away. The Ginbot 20 is watered down. That’s done by default by the PP and Abiy. They want to signal that an era is over and they are new big-men in town. Peace.