Opinion: Does the EU know how the EPRDF/TPLF uses the force during a State of Emergency? – Doesn’t look like it.
Just as the State of Emergency is setting effect. The Amhara Region has started their new protests against the regime. They are now having city wide demonstration and stay home one, where people stayed home instead of going out or opening shops in Gonder and Bahir Dar. That is the proof of the word of mouth and tiredness of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF ) and also the dominant party of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). Those are the ones who most likely put the force in the State of the Emergency at the “Council of Ministers” during the weekend. After the Prime Minister resigned.
So its a setback and proves the lack of proper mentality or even understanding the tiredness, that the European Union, doesn’t see the hour of need, the strength of the public will and the demonstrations in Amhara and Oromia. That they could offer moral support, if any. Since, they are supposed to be on the barricades for democracy and for human rights. Instead, they are now limiting their statement and making less progress. In the view of stability over the democracy and over justice for the Ethiopian people and the groups who has been neglected by the EPRDF.
European Union Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Catherine Ray in a statement today said this:
“The announced reinstatement of the State of Emergency risks undermining this very objective. It is therefore of the outmost importance that it should be as limited in time as possible and respectful of human rights and fundamental freedoms, notably those enshrined in the Ethiopian Constitution. Violence should also be avoided. As a committed partner of Ethiopia and of the Ethiopian people, the EU will continue to encourage all actors to work constructively towards a democratic and stable Ethiopia” (EEAS – Catherine Ray – ‘ Statement on the situation in Ethiopia’ 19.02.2018).
The Oromo Party in the coalition the Oromo People’s Democratic Organizatino (OPDO) has today elected new leadership. They have elected or selected Ahmed Abiye, instead of the one everyone though would win and might become PM, that being Lemma Megersa. So, this also changes the battle and the question of who will be appointed the next PM. That can be the saving grace or create even more hostile atmosphere. Since the TPLF might put enough stones on the scale to crash the whole regime. There are even reported that Lemma Mergesa are today put under house-arrest. That is from credible sources within the EPRDF and TPLF. This could be reason for why Abiye became the new leader of OPDO.
While in the party of the former PM, there has been election where now Defense Minister and the one who announced the State of Emergency Siraj Fegessa has become the party chairman of the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM). Therefore, he might be a front-runner to, unless the TPLF are weighing the scale to get someone from the regions, which the EPDRF has used force in. That being the Amhara and Oromia regions, that the state has used the army, detained and killed.
That is why, its like the EU are looking the other way, asking the EPDRF to act nicely, when they have a reputation and has a history of open violence, actual takeover and invasions of armies into the public sphere and against civilians to quell the uprisings of the citizens there. It is like the EU doesn’t want to know about the destruction and the killings in the provinces. Like please be nice, but not hurt the Ethiopians, the Amhara people or the Oromo people either.
Today as the EU wrote about peace and non-violence, there are report in the midst of the stay-home demonstrations as Col. Demeke Zewde came home to Gonder, the Aghazi Squad shot live bullets at the crowds. Clearly, the TPLF and EPRDF are continuing their oppression and has no plans of doing otherwise.
We can wonder if the EU gets it, but don’t expect it too. They are now showing compliance and not understanding the situation and the dire need for change. That the society and the state, needs a new leadership who actually listens not only to the protesting regions, but the whole amount of citizens. Not only the Tigray and their hunger for power. If Brussels cannot understand that, then they are blindly looking the other way.
It’s a terrible look if the EU is serious about human rights, working for democratic institutions and actually caring about more than stability. They should support the rising uprising, the defiance of the state and the protest, which has lasted for years. Because their tolerance of oppression is over. It is just the TPLF and EPRDF who cannot muster change, since they want it by any means. Peace.