Today, is a historical day, in the terms that the Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali visited the Eritrean capital Asmara and had talks with Eritrean President Isaias Afwerki. The last time an Ethiopian delegation was in Asmara must have been before the 2 year between the parties that lasted from May 6th 1998 ended on the 12th December 2000. There been skirmishes and smaller firing between the nations on the borders. As the state hasn’t been as friendly and even had interests of securing a friendship.
Therefore, that the Eritrean delegation was in Addis Ababa in June 2018, was already a show of a new direction, as well as the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defense Force (EPRDF) was talking about respecting the Algiers Agreement in regards of Eritrea. That has already shown positive directions, as the annexed land and the questionable boarder areas. Would go to their rightful owners and to the ones that has fought bravely for that land.
For now that is just dreams for the Horn of Africa, however, just the pictures of the Ethiopian PM together with the Eritrean President is a good look. Though, this is just the beginning. We should not jump the gun and think this is the end, there will be more twists and turns. As the uncertainty of what the Ethiopian leadership wants, if the Council of Ministers and the Parliament will enact to deliver back Badme and the questionable land back to Eritrea. If both parties will demilitarize this zone, to show as token of peace. Than, we are talking of a real progress between the nations.
That sort of act will not be over just sharing a few cups of tea and enjoy joyful celebration in the streets of Asmara. There needs more dialogue and negotiations, even if the Eritrean has told their stance. However, the Ethiopian also want their bargain. Who knows what that will be and what the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) want, as they would loose the land they started fighting over for over 20 years ago.
These talks today might be positive, the gesture of the PM to travel and meet the President is grand step for normalization of the nations, but until there is respect and works combined towards peace. There is uncertainty, as the military is still on stand-by on both sides.
It is a special occasion today, but I will not celebrate or be to joyful, until real progress is signed and respected by both parties. The PM still have to walk sideways with the TPLF. Who knows how they will react or let this play out. Because I cannot trust the TPLF or their ways, I am also skeptic about Afwerki, as his government is controlled by him and his tyranny. It is not like Eritrea is a peaceful utopia. Than, this would have made sense from the get-go and that the Ethiopian government was a fruitful democracy, which it is not.
There are many hurdles for both parties, but this is a good token of good faith and trying to establish need channels of communications and ways out of a stalemate between the parties. However, the narrow escape isn’t there yet.
But by the ways things are moving, it might be there in the near and not to distant future. Peace.
The strong state and the control of the government coalition of Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) and strongest party the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) are still trying to control the affairs. But the Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed is showing the way. That is why the TPLF are going regressive and dismissive against his policies. This internal problems will come more to the forefront as the days goes by. They will challenge him.
Today in Addis Ababa, a biggest rally in ages was happening and also marches with the banners and flag, that has been banned. They were a massive and biggest crowd in decades standing and listening to the Prime Minister speech in Meskel Square. What was sad that someone threw a grenade into the crowd and trying to assassinate the PM. This has again hurt innocent civilians in Ethiopia, the PM Cheif of Staff Fitsum Aregaa states that 83 is injured and 6 are in critical care. Other sources has already claimed up to 3 dead. But these numbers will vary. According to a Addis Ababa Police Commissioner Mr. Girma Kasa that 15 people endured life threatening wounds, while the rest bear less. Daniel Berhane reports that it wasn’t a grenade, but a F-1 Bomb on the gates of the Meskel Square. It is also reported that the ones attack burned a Red Cross SUV close to the square. Therefore, they we’re really trying to hurt the peaceful march and rally today.
This is happening a day after the state has also stopped their online censorship of web-pages and television channels, that was unleashing again over 200 web-pages that has been blocked. Clearly, the EPRDF and the PM are trying to make the government more open. While still, the State of Emergency is still on and the Parliament hasn’t stopped it yet.
Therefore, the PM is showing signs of positive changes in the Federal Democratic Republic, however, there are growing pains and it doesn’t happen over night. He has still a long walk to get there, but he is showing swagger and positive signs. With not only words, but state actions, freeing leaders and talks with leaders of the Opposition. Also, even meeting the delegation from Eritrea. The PM has taken steps in the right direction.
Today was to be a celebration and a march for the future of Ethiopia, today could have only been joy of the people expressing their hope and their wish for more free republic. However, the ones who cannot muster to live with that attacked the square and even tried to hurt the reformist PM. I have been skeptic to his methods, but he is really doing small steps and showing progress in a good direction. Within the system of EPRDF.
Today, the PM has proven not only with eloquent speeches, but in actions even as the enemies of change are trying to thwart it. It will not be easy, but the walk to freedom is hard. The good news is the crowds supporting the changes and that the people are ready to signal a different Ethiopia. They are ready for the New Ethiopia and not being besieged by the authorities, but actually express themselves without fear. That is about time.
The PM is showing it is possible. That is progress. Peace.
The Ethiopia’s government lead by the new PM has yesterday released eight some of key ONLF’s political leaders and officers, whose freedom it deprived years ago. These leaders were part of thousands of Ogaden Somalis detained whilst fighting the right of their people to self-determination. These heroes paid an ultimate price for their people as they languish for a period of time in various substandard detention centres under torture and the other appalling conditions. Their selfilsess sacrifices for their people won’t be forgotten for generations to come.
Although releasing them is a positive step in the right direction, still millions of Somali people are in open prison while, thousands are languishing in both official and undisclosed detention centres in Ogaden. Around two thousand who were released recently from the infamous jail Ogaden, were sent to quasi-slave labour camp under the disguise of rehabilitating them and forced to till land taken from the local people along the Shabelle river. The ONLF advises that the new Ethiopain government lead by Dr Abiy Ahmend speeds up the release of all prisoners of conscious whose freedom is denied; and stop any further abuses in Ogaden and Ethiopia.
Furthermore, the ONLF believes that as a new leader, the new prime minister has an opportunity to turn a new chapter by genuinely and seriously addressing the core issues that are the source of conflict and inestimable suffering that befell all corners of Horn of Africa with Ogaden and Eritrea as the Epicentre since the Second World War.
The only means through winch genuine and sustainable peace and security could be achieved is by mathematically recognising the rights of all nations to unfettered self-determination and genuine democracy in the Ethiopian Empire state. Moreover, the Ethiopian state must change the culture of violence in dealing with genuine demands of all peoples under its rule and its neighbours.
The ONLF is always open to genuine dialogue that is based on mutual respect and principled negotiation that adheres to internationally accepted norms and genuine desire to reach a win -win solution which is meant to seriously address the rightful demands of the Somali people in Ogaden, instead of attempting to achieve quick fixes for a problem that existed for almost a century, where many lives were lost on all sides.
Finally, the ONLF strongly believes that the multi-faceted conflict in Ethiopia only can be solved through the genuine participation of all stakeholders and that none shall be left out, including neighbouring countries that are affected. Similarly, if the International community involvement is to bear positive results, it must engage all stakeholders, instead of conveniently being selective and ignoring the multitude who bears the cost of the perennial conflict in Ethiopia
Ogaden shall be free. The Ethiopian people shall Genuine Democracy and peace.
Issued by ONLF