Ethiopia: Abiy is in a foxhole [looking for the ones jumping out of the trenches]

At this point of time there is nothing that surprises me nor shocks me about the ways the Prosperity Party behaves and manoeuvrers. Why do I say that? Well, this week the Parliament have accepted the postponement of the August 2020 elections. As the transition period of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali would be over. However, that is squashed now because of the convenient crisis of COVID-19 or the Coronavirus.

That is just how things goes. Just like the convenient ways of “State of Emergency”, the easy way out of a “Amhara Coup” to install his puppets and so fourth. Everything just falls in line and works out well for the man on the top. He can easily send in forces without a mandate into Somalia. This man can return asylum seekers (political refugees) to Djibouti without any concern. That is just what the PP does.

With this in mind, the postponement of the elections isn’t surprising either. It would be a paradigm shift if there was elections made without any violence, intimidation and rigging. Nevertheless, the supposed reformist has only consolidated the power within the PP. He lost also an ally by doing this. That was the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) the party who ran the old coalition. The Woyane are now trying to flex themselves and are righteous in their motives here. That they are running elections on schedule shows finesse in their region. As a stark contrast to the PP who intend to rule on borrowed time.

As well as joint statement from Oromo parties shows their dissent to the idea of a postponed elections as well. It is not like the PP are winning favours by doing this. We cannot expect a harsh statement from Amhara, as they are already muffled and have loyal men to the PP in power there. Just as the house of Ogaden or the Somali Region has been cleared to secure more friendly foes there too. The PP has taken slowly steps to get the right people in order.

That is why the only questions from the region where the PP should have the most support, as the PM and comrades come from the old OPDO. That is why the strong statement, the resentment and the continues violence in that region is a warning itself. As the state have changed it head, but the actions are the same. The Prime Minister haven’t done anything significant with this. He came in with lots of promises, but they have been shattered with time.

Now its all in the open. There is no surprises anymore and his not even trying. The Prime Minister is only showing his true side to the world. As all parties involved are working for him and ensuring his ways. That is why the Parliament accepted the postponement. Though there are some questionable concerns in doing it. Unless, he wants all his enemies to sprint up and show their facade. Some has and maybe he await more than the three parties mentioned: TPLF, OFC and OLF. He was maybe hoping for more.

What is clear that Prime Minster Abiy isn’t a true reformer. His not a what he meant to be. He did some PR stunts and some speeches, but his true character is out. There is no denying in that now. The Prime Minister has had the time to what he felt was right, but has squandered it or haven’t even cared.

He is playing with fire. A man like Abiy should know this. The PM has already seen the bloodshed in Oromia before. That is still happening with arbitrary arrests and other violent actions done to the population. Therefore, the PM could have acted upon this, but instead turns a blind eye. As he is busy finding new schemes to earn fortunes in office.

This last postponement only shows he uses the pandemic as an opportunity to buy time and see who jumps up from the trenches. The PP will navigate this and figure out what to do. They will have the time to set-up shop and secure the game before its set. The elections isn’t about creating change, but to validate the PP and the Prime Minister. That is why he needs more time to secure all bases. So, that he can rule supreme and have the legitimacy he needs. Because right now, his the “interim” who wants to permanent. Peace.

Ethiopia: Will Abiy use this State of Emergency to crack-down on others?

I tend to support ‘State of Emergency’ measures put forward by a state or a government, when it will be done to battle insurgency or against epidemic. I understand them both. The Prosperity Party and Prime Minister Ali Ahmed Abiy is issuing his first one. It is not new with “State of Emergency” in Ethiopia. Therefore, I am sceptical and hesitant.

Even if this State of Emergency is issued for 5 months. The plan is to be delegated and controlled by the Council of Ministers, instead of the Command Post. Because of the history of Command Post. Just like people doesn’t trust the Liyu Police in the Ogaden Region. It is reasons for that, the violence, the crack-down and misuse of power towards the citizens. The same is the worry of the soldiers stationed in Amhara beating on supports of FANO. Just like the soldiers going against the querro in Oromia and so fourth. This sort of State of Emergency usually tends to be like that.

Even if this State of Emergency is placed because of the COVID-19 or Coronavirus. I have a feeling it will be used to get people more submissive to the Prosperity Party and the leadership of Addis Ababa. Expect Gondar, Jigjiba, Dire Dawa and Bahir Dar to be hit in these times. I wouldn’t be shocked to see leaked viral clips of assaulting soldiers to innocent civilians. Even reports of arrests and burning houses. Because, that is how these things to spiral out.

I’m awaiting blocked phone-lines, expect social media black-out and internet blockage, which the state has used rampantly in the Oromia region. Therefore, now that they have a legal basis. Have orders from the Central Government, the PP can act like the EPRDF did in the past and can shield information will suppressing the voices of the various regions. While using the COVID-19 as a excuse to do it. It is the perfect storm. The way of preparing the violence before the postponed elections and ensure supremacy. Without having to battle the alliances elsewhere.

The social distancing, the washing hands and the closure of state has happen elsewhere. The world is under a near global lockdown and states has issued similar means. However, the PP and its predecessor EPRDF has misused this in the past and that is not in ancient times. But it was done in the last decade and lots of systemic violence to stop the eruption of protest against the regime. Therefore, with the knowledge of that. I am worried. That is done to dismantle the voices against the government and not stop the spread of the virus itself.

The pictures of soldiers walking in the streets of Amhara, the voices of concern from Ogaden and the arrests of OLF leaders in Oromia. Shows the reasons for fear and worry. If your not, your ignorant to the way the leadership in Addis Ababa has controlled the Republic.

I hope I am wrong, because this COVID-19 is no joke. It is dangerous and contagious. It spreads so quickly and kills. While we have no direct cure or have vaccine for it. Therefore, there is a need to drastic measures to await the possible cure. However, the state who uses lockdown measures has to do it transparently and do it in the open. So the public can trust and live with it in hope, that the government act for their best interests.

Well, in this regard, I am worrying. I hope I am wrong. Because, that would have been nice. However, history teaches us things and the way people operate. Leadership can do reforms, but the reoccurent theme is that only goes skin-deep and is in rhetoric. Not in actual change of protocol nor actions. This is why I fear things. The TPLF is maybe out of the PP. However, the PP is still more of the same and they might strike with vengeance. Now that they have the opportunity. Peace.

Opinion: Abiy’s Anti-‘Medemer’ Law Approved

There are sometimes ironies in life. Today that comes from Addis Ababa and Ethiopia. Where Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali was supposed to reform things. However, with time that isn’t sincere and today the nail in coffin of that was with a disingenuous law. Laws like these aren’t to save the nations from certain speech, but to muffle critics and opposition.

The Prosperity Party and the Prime Minister are really showing that there is no difference in them compared to the previous regimes, which it came from. This is happening in the months ahead of elections. So, expect the leadership of opposition and journalists to be arrested because of this law. As there are easy steps to be hit by this sort of law. Because of this, I am first dropping the key news about the law, before a simple explanation of the “Medemer” and after that breaking it quickly down.

The State own report on it:
“Addis Ababa, February 13, 2020 (FBC) –Ethiopian parliament today approved a hate speech and disinformation prevention and suppression law. The law was approved with a majority vote, 23 against and 2 abstentions” (…) “It is also intended to control and suppress the dissemination and proliferation of hate speech, disinformation and other related false and misleading information.
The law prohibits disseminating hate speech by means of broadcasting, print or social media using text, image, audio or video” (Fana Broadcasting Company – ‘House approves hate speech and disinformation prevention law’ 13.02.2020).

What is Medemer:

Since reformist Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed came into office, his concept ‘Medemer’ has become a phrase of common currency within Ethiopia’s political landscape. ‘Medemer’ literally means ‘adding’ or ‘being added’ based on how its read, and contextually means to come together. According to the Prime Minister, ‘Medemer’ is a homegrown approach that aims to solve the country’s challenges by bringing together polar views, and finding compromise” (Ethiopian Press Agency – ‘Inside ‘Medemer’’ 13.01.2020).

This law is clearly aimed at the ones not speaking their language or their rhetoric, as they can charge and make their expression illegal. As they will control the media, the public online and elsewhere. That is why this is totally opposite of the ideals of ‘Medemer’, as that was to bring together polar views and find compromises.

Now, the state is instead made way to stifle the voices, instead of listening they can ban and make voices illegal. Even if there are ethnic hate-speech, if there is tribal sentiment growing. This law will be most likely hit the dissidents and opposition.

This is the opposite of finding compromise and it’s actually silencing them. If this would target Mohammad Jawar’s Oromo Media Network or Eskinder Nega for that matter. I wouldn’t shocked, if they got into trouble for something they wrote or stated online. Neither, if some media forums like Tigrai Online or Aiga Forum for that matter. Don’t be shocked, if these would be banned or seen as illegal by the authorities ahead of the elections. Because, they just need to write or state something online, which is deemed as disinformation, hate-speech and you got it cracking.

This wasn’t a move of reform, but of going back. They might renamed themselves the Prosperity Party, but this is the old-EPRDF oppressive style of move. Peace.

Opinion: Abiy’s two giant losses

That Prime Minister Dr. Ali Ahmed Abiy are currently loosing a bit of prestige at home and its very visible. His able to get through positive bills, like the recent bill on assembly and such lately. However, that doesn’t overshadow two important things for alliances and to get a bigger picture ahead of upcoming elections in 2020.

He has lost one important party, which was seen as the steering-wheel and the ones behind scenes controlling the old coalition of Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Front (EPRDF), which is now created into one party, the Prosperity Party. The other parties in the old coalition has made itself into one, but the ones now joining is the Tigrai People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that has deemed the new party even “illegal”.

If the Prime Minister see this as a minor flinch, he should be wrong. That they are still viable and able to create trouble for him. No one should underestimate the TPLF and what they can do. Even as all the lights and stars are directed at Abiy. His still not walking alone in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia (FDRE).

What makes him even more alone is from his own region, where there is still reports of killings and oppression from the state. As the endless violence persist. Something, that the former Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) could have reacted to and hasn’t acted upon. That’s why you know he has more trouble ahead. As his nemesis in Oromia, Mohammed Jawar have not only plans to join the race in the elections, but also joined the Oromo Federal Congress (OFC). Just merely a weeks after he did that. His been able to get Oromo Federal Congress, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Oromo Nationalist Party (ONP) to all be one alliance into the upcoming election.

Therefore, there is not only issues with the Tigray and the TPLF, whose not being a part of the new party. Which is a warning signal in itself. But that Jawar is able to become such a figure in Oromia. Says that Abiy doesn’t have the love in his own region, where OPDO was supposed to reside and represent in government.

I’m not defending the TPLF, no their vindictive and vicious history will be reflected in due time. But however with an upcoming election. Abiy needs as many friends as possible, if he wants to reflect positive on him. Unless, he plans to rig it like there is no tomorrow. Than, all of these movements doesn’t matter anyway. Because he will win and the Prosperity Party will be signed off as the victor. A giant launch of the One-Party State, while the others are allowed only to be mediocre parties locally, who has no say in Parliament or in the Federal system.

We should worry that TPLF and Jawar is doing what he does. Because, the undermine the central government. They are making the PP looking foolish. This is not dialogue and not the talks, this is not the acts of strength, but acts of the weak.

Debretsion Gebremichael might have the ability to sound prestigious with his party. The Press Release was a big-man statement from the Party too. However, that doesn’t change the narrative. Other than they are leaving the EPRDF legacy behind. They are the only boat steaming ahead with non of the former parties. They are becoming an opposition party, instead of being a governing party.

The PP is weaker by this. They have lost one big piece of the EPRDF. One that was historically vital to it all. The Woyane will be missed by some and cursed by others. For all the right reasons. Nevertheless, the loser here right now is Abiy. He needs his buddies. While he gets less and less. Even fewer in Oromia too. Where he get more and more united opposition there. That is what is visible and obvious.

Whatever, Abiy is doing, the state apparatus, the yes-men around him isn’t helping. His not solving or revolving the doors correctly. He is losing, one after another one. There cannot be more sudden rash coup d’etat in the regions. This election has to look real. If he wants to still look like a shining star. However, that star is dimming and its does so slowly. Peace.

Ethiopia: OPM – Government Support to Displaced Gedeo (16.03.2019)

Ethiopia: ONLF Press Release (23.01.2019)

The Somali people in the Somali regional state(Ogaden) have a legal right to manage their political affairs and full self-rule upheld both by the Ethiopian constitution and international law. The most fundamental tenet of these entitlements is the right to choose their own leaders. Furthermore, Premier Abiy has promised to all peoples in Ethiopia to respect their democratic rights and open the political space.

ONLF calls for both the ruling party and the federal government to respect the wishes and dignity of the Somali people and desist from any acts that could jeopardise the stability and the wellbeing of the Somali regional state and the people.

Any political differences shall be resolved in a transparent manners where all stakeholders are consulted.

ONLF is committed to peace and democratic governance in the Somali state and Ethiopia in general and calls upon all stakeholders to adhere to the same principles.

Finally, ONLF calls upon the ruling party in the Somali state to resolve any difference internally in an amicable and transparent manner.

ONLF

23/01/2019

A Silent War: Persistent fatalities in the Ogaden Region

People are steady praising the reforms of Addis Ababa without recognizing that the state and the authorities are still violently oppressing people. The Oromo isn’t in the same regards as before, because of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) have now Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali, who is a Oromo himself. That is why the besieged regions of the past isn’t as much. Even as the Amhara and Ogaden, still has it coming.

The Prime Minister have made peace with Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia. Where the troops close to the border with Eritrea is promised to cease to exist or to be redeployed. The Ethiopian troops is steady and active within the Federal Republic of Somalia. Still, the narrative, that everything has turned funky dory in Ethiopia. Isn’t all true.

That the ones who asked for better pay and went to the Prime Minister office in Addis Ababa, the young soldiers doing so is charged with 14 years in prison. That is a proof, that the state still expect respect first and later will retaliate.

The EPRDF is also trying to make peace with opposition groups, that is to show signs of betterment, but still, there should be doubts. Since there are still violent activity and killings going on. There is steady ambushes and killings in the Ogaden Region. It has been going on all of the month of December and November. Not, that it has hit the headlines, because the agreements made with Ginabot 7 (G7), Oromo Liberation Front, (OLF), Afar People’s Liberation Front (APLF), Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and Tigray People’s Democratic Movement (TPDM).

All of those agreements and movements are good news. But, likewise the sad news is that in Moyale on the 15th December, there was report of 25 Somalian killed in the town. This as Oromo militias are targeting the Somali citizens of the region and does it systematically. That should be worrying, but not like the Police either. Why I am saying it is systematic, is that on the 13th December, the same militia assaulted 60 people in the same town and killed another 17 Somali citizens there. That means around 40 people died within a week. If that isn’t striking, nothing is, but because the reforms and positive vibes comes from the capital. That overshadow the dire distress and hurt done in the Ogaden region. Which shouldn’t be forgotten in the scheme of things. Just like the distress and hurt under the State of Emergency in Oromia and Amhara of recent years. All of this should be messaged about.

Because this is lives in general, that is taken out by one group going against another. This is the group (Oromo) who was oppressed strongly during the EPRDF era. Now they are generating a para-military militia avenging their own oppression with killings in the Ogaden. This is the Oromo people attacking and killing Somali civilians. That should be told and not forgotten, as the authorities are not stopping them. The continuation of the killings should be remembered and the lost ones. Shall, not be revenged, but get justice for. So, that the ones who are in-charge and the ones who pushes this to happen. Get their punishment through court of justice.

The lives taken in Ogaden must be remembered. These lives has value and their lives deserves credit. As they were lives taken for another groups will to annex and control it.

The EPRDF if it was a reforming force, who cared about the lives in the Republic. They would have reacted and not let the continued violence happen, but they do. It continues and the Police Force, the army doesn’t stop it. Even when it persist, they are looking the other way. That is the sad reality. What is even worse. Is that the amounts of killings doesn’t make headlines or bothers any of the allies of Addis Ababa. As the villages, the border-town and other places are burning, the people are dying and the Oromo para-military groups are allowed to their part in the Ogaden region. Peace.

Ethiopia congratulates the people and the Government of the State of Eritrea on the lifting of the sanctions (14.11.2018)

Joint Declaration between the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia and the Ogaden National Liberation Front (21.10.2018)

Joint Press Statement following the visit by the Foreign Ministers of Eritrea and Ethiopia to Mogadishu Somalia, October 2018 (17.10.2018)