Ethiopia: Is there a brewing Internal-Conflict with a fake Messiah at the steering-wheel?

The urge to save humanity is almost always only a false-face for the urge to rule it. Power is what all messiahs really seek: not the chance to serve. This is true even of the pious brethren who carry the gospel to foreign parts.”H.L. Mencken

It looked so hopeful, when Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali took over a year ago. The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) coalition government, which have had sole control from the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the other parties been controlled and manoeuvred on their behest. Therefore, people where hopeful when a Oromo leader would take the wheel. However, things has gotten worse. Some things has changed for the better, but there are many worrying signs on the horizons. The sun is setting and the next day looks tense.

The Prime Minister wasn’t taken over something finished, something that was strong. He came in the midst of a oppressive regime, using the army against civilians and using draconian laws to keep people under their wings. The EPRDF have arrested so many because of their political affiliation or their activism. Now, the EPRDF is struggling with the newly released former political opposition and legality of Queero, Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF). As the Oromo youth have gone house-to-house, the army and others has done direct assaults and killed within the Ogaden region. Like there been violence happening between other ethnic groups to in other parts of Ethiopia. While the government let it happen and doesn’t stop it.

That is why the situation is getting worse. The Internally Displaced People in about 800 sites in the Federal Republic.

There are several other issues like this from OCHA:

The lives of 8 million food insecure people will be at risk if food assistance does not reach them in time. Additionally, the number people in need of emergency food assistance activities will continue to grow” (OCHA – ‘Ethiopia: If funding remains insufficient, most life-saving operations will cease beyond March’ 07.03.2019).

So there are millions who are struggling to eat, there millions struggling with a place to stay and has been forcefully evicted from their homes. This has escalated under the time of EPRDF and Prime Minister Abiy. That is well known, as the EU have offered assistance because of this.

As stated here from the EU:

Ethiopia is undergoing sweeping reforms, but the winds of democracy and new-found freedoms have also fanned ethnic tensions, very often boiling over into an all-out conflict. In 2018, conflict resulted in an exponential increase in the number of internally displaced to more than 3 million people, one of the fastest growing displacement crises in the world. EU Humanitarian Aid, once focused on helping refugees and Ethiopians uprooted by drought and food shortages, is now increasingly needed to help Ethiopians displaced by violence in hundreds of sites across the country” (European Commission’s Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations – ‘Helping people displaced by ethnic violence in Ethiopia’ 28.03.2019).

Even though the state will make everything look like a golden era:

A discussion forum reviewing the one-year journey of reforms held at the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA) hall today. The event, which is a continuation of the political party forums of the past few months, explored the political, economic, foreign relations, justice and security sector changes undertaken during the past one year. During the discussion, it was indicated that 45,000 people have benefited from the amnesty law at the federal level. Moreover, over 100,000 prisoners were released at a national level following the reform initiative” (FanaBC – ‘Forum Reviews Ethiopia’s One-Year Journey Of Reforms’ 30.03.2019).

As that was happening, the same state saluting itself, did this:

A press conference called by Ethiopian journalist and activist Eskinder Nega in Addis Ababa blocked by police. The police officers were unable to give reasons, but told people to disperse, later they said the order came from high up” (ECADF – ‘Ethiopian government blocked activists press conference’ 30.03.2019).

So, even though surely, Prime Minister Abiy has done a lot of good. His still showed lack of progress, concerning the ethnic violence, the lack of food insecurity and the issues of the state. Which is supposed to help all citizens. There are regions and groups taking advantage of their new role in government. This being Oromo whose using force in the Ogaden, where the Somali are attacked and killed. That has been reported and this sorts of violence have grown during his term. Therefore, there has to be a striking need to address and settle this, before it boils over.

We can see, there other worrying signs too. There are lack of coherent and strong message from the Addis Ababa. Who are busy playing international peacemaker, while internally brewing chaos. Where the TPLF are toying with the other groups. Where there are questionable actions, as the state isn’t issuing needed reforms to make peace with all of them whose been hurt. This is happening, as the state is preparing for new elections in 2020. That will surely be shambolic as in the past. As the EPRDF plans to totally control it and force people to vote for them. Something else, would be a revolution. That revolution would not be televised.

Even the hardcore Tigrai is tired of him after a year, as stated here:

Now the masters of Abiy Ahmed are not sure if they picked the right person to lead their silent coup in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian population is disappointedly aware about the true identity and intent of Abiy Ahmed in Ethiopia. A massive tide against Abiy Ahmed is gathering in every corner of Ethiopia. Abiy Ahmed Ali is stuck between a rock and hard place so he is changing his tactics on dealing with the people of Tigrai and the Tigrai state government. Mind you the strategy of Abiy Ahmed and his masters is still the same, it is to systematically weaken and destroy TPLF and Tigrai, but their tactics so far backfired and their plan is in disarray. The new plan is to appear gentle and friendly towards TPLF and Tigrai instead of the harsh treatment they used until now. At the same time they are planning to manipulate any political differences among Tigraians and use them to create gaps between Tegaru” (Tigrai Online – ‘Abiy Ahmed Ali and his masters are changing tactics towards Tigrai’ 26.03.2019).

We can see that the PM is losing ground. That his in trouble. His not trusted by the ones whose the major benefactor of the coalition. Neither, trusted by others either. His seen as puppet from both sides. While playing big-time abroad in Somalia and with Eritrea. We have to see how this goes. But there are many question left unturned.

There are plenty more of hardships, needed efforts and finding peace between dozens of communities. As the state are having more and more people displaced. More and more people lacking food, while the state is trying to look as striving. This is a miss match of ideals and the image the state tries to portray for the world to see. We have to question this, I don’t have the answers. But certainly, the EPRDF have figure this out. They cannot live on PR Stunts and fancy speeches amidst of the internal conflicts and the lack of systems, which is not taking care of their own. Therefore, the EPRDF is waiting for the international community to sponsor and aid these people, by the default of the state is left behind. Peace.

Ethio Telecom: Statement to Correct Misleading Information on International Internet Gateway Capacity (11.02.2019)

Ethiopia: PM Abiy Ahmed have to stop the internal conflicts!

The Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF), the Council of Ministers and the Parliament should intervene and find solution together with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali. As the reformist of the Oromo Democratic Party and the other parties in the coalition government in the EPRDF.

The Prime Minister whose known for being a reformist and a game-changer. If he really is it. There has not been less of ethnic violence or even use of force against civilians since he took the reign. The stint with the PM hasn’t changed it. Here is three recent reports from Afar, Ogaden and Oromia. All of them shows the issues within the Republic.

Reports from Afar Region:

Afar forum condemns the well-coordinated and planned attack against civilian Afars by Issa-Somalis in the Afar region of Ethiopia. The Issa-Somalis tribe waging a coordinated and well planned attack since December 25,2018 in Qunxafaoqo, Gadamaytu, and Qadaytu the illegal settlements killing several civilians and police forces. Reports that reaches us now also indicates that the Issa-Somalis are also attacking the federal army who come to stop the senseless bloodshed. It is report that several people lost their lives from both sides” (Afar Forum Executive Committee, 30.12.20118).

While Halgan Media reported on the Ogaden region:

On the early hours of Wednesday December 12th heavy artillery rained down on the city of Moyaale in Ogaden, as Ethiopian Govt backed Oromo paramilitaries stormed the border town. A vicious onslaught besieged the town as Oromo paramilitary forces went door to door gunning down Somali civilians and maiming women and children in broad daylight. Smoke was billowing through the sky as hundreds of homes and shops where burned down. A total of 15 civilians where killed with over 60 wounded. The wounded survivors where treated in makeshift clinics in alleyways. Oromo paramilitary militias and armed Oromo factions continue to launch cross border raids indiscriminately targeting Somali inhabited towns on the Ogaden-Oromo border region” (Halgan Media – ‘Oromo Militias Masscre Somalis In Moyaale’ 14.12.2018).

ESAT report from Oromia:

Police commissioner for the country’s Oromo region say 41 people, including police officers and local officials, were killed in the western part of the region in the last four months. Commissioner Alemayehu Ejigu blamed the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) for the violence in western Ethiopia, according to local media reports. He said 29 civilians, 10 police officers and 2 local officials were killed while 77 police officers and 40 members of the local militia were injured. The perpetrators have also took 2,072 kalashnikovs from the police force, the commissioner said. Public and private properties have been destroyed” (Engidu Woldie/ESAT – ‘41 killed in violence in Western Ethiopia, suspects apprehended’ 24.12.2018)

When we know this sort of activity happening in Ethiopia. This is happening on the watch of PM Abiy, who are responsible and has to act on this. The actions in Afar region, the acts in Ogaden and the ones in Oromia. All of which, is innocent lives taken by the militias, the youth and other who spark ethnic conflict. This is all showing the problems within the state. That the PM has take care of, if he cares about the violence, the losses of life and the people who are hurt on his watch.

If the PM is a true reformist and someone who is in-charge. This should be top priority. Not getting people to remit money or get the Diaspora Fund working. No, this should be the first thing to do in 2019. Because, the PM has to act on this. That the EPRDF should react and finds solutions to this. Need to create space that stops the militias and violence in Afar, Oromia and in Ogaden Regions. They need to see to it.

The PM time to step your game up. This is sinister action, which results in people losing their life. That should be unacceptable. Peace.

Ethiopia: Press Release from OPM on negotiations with the Defence Force (08.11.2018)

Ethiopia: OPM – The Press Secretariat within the FDRE Prime Minister’s Office holds first Press Briefing (05.11.2018)

TPLF fears the changes: As chairperson Debretsion Gebremichael will defend their ways!

The change of getting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO) and Demeke Mekonnen Deputy Prime Minister from the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM). This change after resignation Hailemariam Desalegn has changed a lot and also many political movements. That many wasn’t prepared for and also the negotiations with former terrorist organizations in the view of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defense Force (EPRDF) this being Oromo or Ogaden organizations that has been deemed illegal and has been in exile. Therefore, this movement is change in the political life. While there are still violence and killings since the new PM. Actually rising in certain areas like in the Ogaden/Somali Region. Which should bring fear to anyone.

While the Woyane, the TPLF who has controlled the EPRDF seems to feel they are losing power. At least it looks like it on the vision and the words. They wasn’t prepared for what the PM and his men would do. That is how it sounds like, but they are blowing the horns. Saying their normal ways, of you don’t follow us. You have to be part of our revolutionary democracy. Where we the TPLF selects people and delegates who get to rule. That is what the Chairman was saying. Just take a look!

I have taken an outtake of the “TPLF Chairperson Debretsion Gebremichael’s speech to the party’s Congress in Mekelle on September 26, 2018:

We have pardoned political parties who reside abroad and came to their homeland. Unfortunately, they are working so hard in collaboration with foreign forces and exploiting this chance to topple the government. They a created a situation where they can engage in both peaceful and unlawful activities. The constitutional rights of the people are undermined and individuals from any ethnic background do not feel safe to work and move anywhere they want and are being attacked” (…) “We, along with other nation and nationalities, should battle these threats in order to maintain peace, development and democracy. We should also battle those who want to establish their own system by creating ethnic tension, disturbing our peace and creating chaos. We are in a very difficult situation and if it is not handled properly it can cause a huge destruction. Therefore an all-round struggle in defense of our revolutionary democracy, constitution and federal system is expected” (Kibreab Beraki – ‘TPLF: ‘Struggle in defense of revolutionary democracy…and federal system is expected’’ 24.10.2018, link: https://www.ethiopia-insight.com/2018/10/24/tplf-struggle-in-defense-of-revolutionary-democracy-and-federal-system-is-expected/?platform=hootsuite).

Somethings doesn’t go away quickly. Like the will of the TPLF to control the agenda and willingly to seek to rule over the rest of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia. That is just their intent. By any means. TPLF and their chairman are using these, because the changes has occurred and therefore, he has to warn people. Especially the ones just pardoned and the ones political parties who could come home. As long as they doesn’t create chaos and interfere in their revolutionary democracy. That is initially what he is saying. Not that it is new, but shows the sentiment of the TPLF and their central leadership. Which haven’t changed a single bit. They are more about the same, they are the ones who had no trouble silencing the Oromo or the Amhara. Now, the Oromo acts wild on the Ogaden. But they can do that, as long as they doesn’t interfere in the power struggle in their revolutionary democracy. Because that is just the fringes.

The TPLF. The Woyane wants to stay supreme. They want to rule from their Iron Throne. We just has to wonder. How long will people accept it? And how much change can the PM Abiy really do?

As all the changes make it seems like the TPLF Chairman cringes and wants to overpower. That is what it seems. Peace.

PM Abiy Ahmed – Press Release: Ethiopian Diaspora Trust Fund is Now Live! (23.10.2018)

Ethiopia: Should we worry about the Growing Violence during the short tenure of PM Abiy Ahmed?

The Ethiopian government continues their crackdown on demonstrations and protesters, even if there are positive steps towards better governance within the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF). Still, the government have not stopped using the army and there has still be lots of fatalities since the appointment of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali in April 2018.

Though Abiy’s tenure has been heralded as a pacifying influence, the number of violent events and protests have actually increased by over 8% in the 6 months since he has taken office, relative to the 6 months prior (from 388 to 420 events). This has corresponded to an increase of over 48% in the number of reported fatalities from 644 fatalities in the 6 months before Abiy took office to 954 fatalities from April to October” (ACLED – ‘CHANGE AND CONTINUITY IN PROTESTS AND POLITICAL VIOLENCE PM ABIY’S ETHIOPIA’ 13.10.2018).

This is from someone who follows conflicts and violence has not stopped, but surged a bit. The positive vibes and the diplomatic steps within the Horn of Africa haven’t helped internally. As the sins of the past and the seemingly revenge of the Oromo’s has happen too.

This was also proven further in the report from ACLED: “There has been a marked increase in intercommunal violence since April 2018, concentrated largely in Oromia, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ (SNNP) Region, and Amhara. Between April and October 2018, there were 43 violent interactions between communal militias (an increase of over 168%); over that time period, such intercommunal violence accounted for 10% of the overall number of violent events. Violent events between communal militias and civilians have also been on the rise since Abiy took office, rising from 1% of events in the six month period prior to Abiy’s swearing in to 5%.The prevalence of this violence suggests that local flashpoints over access to resources and mobilization around ethnic lines is on the rise since Abiy took office. Mobilization along ethnic lines during this period of political change may be a result of the Ethiopian government’s system of ethno-federal regionalism; emphasizing ethnic identity may be a way for ethnic groups and ethno-regional politicians to signal their strength and jockey for influence” (ACLED – ‘CHANGE AND CONTINUITY IN PROTESTS AND POLITICAL VIOLENCE PM ABIY’S ETHIOPIA’ 13.10.2018).

We should really worry with the risign communal militias that has sky-rocketed, this has happen in the Ogaden Region or Somali Region. The Oromo and Queero and Liyu Police has really taken it in their own hands and held the ethnic Somali people down. This is worrying, as the Djibouti government even became worried about the escalated violence in the region, but there have been nothing from Villa Somalia on the matter. Maybe, because the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) is part of AMSIOM.

I am worried about this and the consequences, as the Oromo are doing what the Tigray did to them. But instead of retaliating, they are acting supreme elsewhere. Amhara is also played around with, as the former terrorist organizations are now allowed to return from Eritrea, as the peace between the neighbors are making it more possible to work together. This being Ginabot 7 and Oromo Liberation Front. These will also add possible local conflicts and surge mobilization, which is now combined with the return of other heroes. Could either create a better regime or more hostility, which have already seen.

These numbers are really worrying. This is not positive news, also the grand amount of fatal deaths during protest isn’t winding down, but become worse.

PM Abiy has work to do and clearly change even more within the ethical borderlines, but also the need for dialogue. This dialogue has to happen internally, PM Abiy have been busy with the neighbors, but not within region since he quit his national tour early in his tenure. 

Should we worry if this persist or change, as the numbers of mobilization and fatalities, are showing signs of not hope, but of death. The EPRDF and the PM needs to focus on what the internal issues and the concerns of these numbers. However, we should also know these numbers of fatalities are people, not just mere statistics. That is why the PM should take action and not see the surge, but a healthy decline. As the public should worry about this too. Since the appointment of the PM gave us much hope, but the reality of his reign isn’t as positive as it could have been. Peace.

Ethiopia: Agazi Squad strike a possible salary increase at the Menelik Palace today!

Today, because of a sudden change of power and lack of progress, the authorities ensured the capital of Ethiopia was without Internet. That was because the soldiers of the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) strike at the Menelik Palace, as the Prime Minister Dr. Ali Abiy Ahmed (Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) and Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen (Amhara National Democratic Movement), which is part of the political coalition Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Force (EPRDF). That is the one who controls it with its parties and leaderships, that the EPRDF Council of Ministers are where the final say, as the National Assembly are rubber-stamping their agenda usually. The EPRDF have usually also solved their internal troubles by keeping people down or groups of people with the guns. That is why today is significant as the ENDF has reacted against their leadership and settled down with guns around the Menelik Palace.

We know this is serious and the ENDF are reacting to their lack of the pay raises for the soldiers. Many of the ones who was protesting in-front of the Palace today, was the Red-Berrets or the Agazi Squad. The ones who has been ordered to quell protests in Oromia and Amhara in the recent years. The are the ones that is called upon as the trained soldiers of the Republic.

This is not a sign of strength, as the military men in fatigue, the capital filled with them in the streets and the government shutting down the internet. Are showing to all parts of the world, that they are not as strong and secure it at some point has seemed. Since, the Aghazi has now entered the gates and negotiated directly with Deputy Prime Minister while at the Menelik Palace in Addis Ababa in an unscheduled meeting.

What was negotiated other than salary increases and whatnot, isn’t easy to know, as the minutes and the agenda of the meeting wasn’t following any protocol. What we do know is that it went down, put the authorities on alert and was enough reason for an internet black-out. Like they have done in any area they have pushed for state emergency and the need for Agazi Squad to quell any protest. Therefore, the EPRDF under the new leadership follows the pattern of the past without a doubt.

We know it is serious when Fitsum Arega writes this on Twitter:

HE PM Abiy Ahmed listened to the grievances carefully, reprimanded them for the wrong procedure they followed to express those grievances, but concluded the meeting with a promise to meet properly in the near future to positively consider their demands” (Fitsum Arega, 10.10.2018).

We knew this wasn’t the ordinary way, but we neither knows if the PM and Deputy would have listen to their grievances if they did file in the right paperwork. As the EPRDF have been more preoccupied with keeping power, than servicing the public. That is why there been so much protest over the recent years. Which the army has been used and therefore, there are huge amount of internally displaced people within the Republic.

There will be more to this and what really went down. We don’t know yet as the initial agreement isn’t released and neither the total reason for the Aghazi squad to strike at the Menelik Palace. This wouldn’t happen if they didn’t feel unjustly treated by the government. But this is also showing how powerful the feet is and how little the need for protocol is. Therefore, we might expect more of this, until people are able to eat and not faring the authorities anymore. Peace.

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.