Tag Archives: Abiy Ahmed

Why Ethiopians are losing faith in Abiy’s promises for peace

10 Nov

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Yohannes Gedamu

When Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018, the political reforms and initiatives he promised were met with much hope and optimism. He promised to address Ethiopia’s deteriorating ethnic relations, to build national unity, and reignite the stalled democratic process.

And his efforts to end the 20-year conflict with Eritrea won him the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. Despite this accolade, Abiy’s Ethiopia continues to witness recurring incidents of violence within its borders. As a result, the tide of enthusiasm for the premier’s reforms is waning. The reforms, from the promise to release political prisoners, to the opening of the media space, now seem distant memories.

Abiy’s administration has failed to adequately address the political wrangling within the federal government and recurring ethnic conflict. These two factors are putting the country on the path to destruction. The federal government has failed to assert itself as the top authority. This has created space for regional actors to violently oppose the state.

Spiralling instability

The ethnic federal government, which has divided the country along tribal lines, and the legacy of Ethiopia’s authoritarian system, are structural challenges that cannot be underestimated. These challenges have not been addressed by Abiy’s administration. It is understood that reform takes time, but the premier’s flip flopping on some of the issues has caused uneasiness with his leadership. One such issue is the creation of a non-ethnic federation.

His muted response to the rising ethnic violence is worsening peace and security. Today, Ethiopia’s ethnic violence is costing thousands of lives and millions have been displaced. The situation is also weakening the country’s economy.

To make matters worse, the political leadership within the governing Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) is divided. Over the past few months in particular, the political parties that make up the ruling coalition have been blaming each other for Ethiopia’s political dysfunction.

As the wrangling continues, EPRDF’s constituent parties from the Oromia, Amhara and Tigray regions are asserting themselves more than ever. Some of the parties are known for advocating the politics of ethno-nationalism which has historically polarised Ethiopia’s ethnic federation. Ethno-nationalism is an ideology that defines national identity based on ethnicity.

Today, ethno-nationalists are seizing the opportunity to gain the political upper hand. Abiy’s regime’s failure to stabilise the nation, and declining public trust in his administration, have given them fresh political momentum.

His position has also been weakened by forces like the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front, the dominant political force in pre-Abiy Ethiopia, which is throwing its support behind the ethno-nationalist movements that are opposed to his leadership.

The premier’s dilemma

Abiy seems to be the prisoner of Ethiopia’s federal government, the very system that propped him up. This federal system draws its legitimacy from citizens maintaining a strong ethnic identity at the regional level. In light of this the new premier has two options.

One is to actively pursue the unifying agenda that made him popular, which would alienate his ethnic Oromo constituency. The other is to align with the interests of the Oromo ethno-nationalist movement. This would secure the electoral support of his political base in Oromia. But choosing the latter could deprive him of the non-Oromo support he has been enjoying.

Indeed, since Abiy was elected the nation has gone down a renewed path of violence. It is not only the Ethiopian people who are divided, it is also the political elites who had previously shown support for Abiy’s leadership. Ethiopia’s two majority groups – the Amharas and the Oromos – have been particularly critical of the prime minister’s perceived inability to address the country’s political tumult.

This follows a coup attempt in the Amhara region that left its president Ambachew Mekonnen, the country’s military chief-of-staff Seare Mekonnen, and three others dead. The Oromia region has also been the scene of recurrent violence where rallies against Abiy have recently erupted after Oromo activist Jawar Mohammed accused security forces of trying to orchestrate an attack against him.

Abiy has also been criticised for the reemergence of ethnic bias in the federal government’s political decision making.

Abiy’s response

Abiy has so far defended his administration’s response to the violence and called on Ethiopians to shun those who try to divide them. However, he has not distanced himself from front-line Oromo ethno-nationalist activists. This has led to the perception there is a pro-Oromo bias in his administration.

There are signs of a burgeoning political dysfunction, from the way in which the administration attempted to resettle internally displaced Ethiopians based on their ethnicity to the complacency in addressing the violence.

Abiy’s promise to foster national reconciliation through the new national reconciliation commission seems to be forgotten. The political space that opened up with Abiy’s election is closing. And the notorious torture chambers that were closed have been replaced by new jails that operate like the old ones. This throws the promise of a fair justice system into question.

All things considered, it would appear that the EPRDF old guard is an obstacle to Abiy’s reform process. It could also be that the new premier is no longer fully committed to the promise of a new Ethiopia. Fortunately for the prime minister a section of the public still has faith that the newly minted Nobel Laureate can deliver on his promises.

But if Abiy doesn’t take decisive steps to stabilise the country, chances are high that the Ethiopian state could crumble. To prevent this, the premier must assert the federal government’s power to ensure peace and security. He must negotiate with his adversaries and allies on the direction the country is taking, and find a way to tame powerful ethno-nationalist activists. Importantly, unless he genuinely attempts to reinvigorate ties between the parties in the ruling coalition, the country’s violent trajectory might not be reversed.


/The Conversation



ታላቅ የተቃውሞ ሠልፍ በአሜሪካ!

5 Nov

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)


Congressman Coffman:  I stand with you shoulder-to-shoulder with a more just and peaceful Ethiopia.”

SPEAKER:  Unless this gentleman [Jawar Siraj Mohammed] is stopped, what happened days ago is only a down payment for civil war!




የተቀለበሰው የኦሮሞ ጥያቄ

5 Nov

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)




Failure to Deliver: The Journey of the Oromo Liberation Front in the Last Two Decades


Deadly unrest in Ethiopia hampers PM’s political reform attempts

3 Nov

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

Nobel peace prize winner Abiy Ahmed’s fallout with former supporter sparked violence that killed scores

Abiy Ahmed, the prime minister of Ethiopia who won the Nobel peace prize last month, is facing the most serious crisis of his term in office after the death of scores of people in a wave of violent disorder.

Billene Seyoum, Abiy’s spokesperson, blamed “a very senseless act of violence” and said the death toll of 78 could rise.

Seyoum said 409 people had been detained over the unrest and that this figure too could rise.

The violence began when political protests rapidly evolved into clashes fuelled by ethnicity and religion.

The unrest in the Oromia region – the heartland of the majority Oromo ethnic group – underlines the significant challenges for Abiy before next May’s scheduled elections.

Abiy is the country’s first leader from the Oromo community, who have long complained of economic, cultural and political marginalisation.

The 43-year-old was awarded the Nobel prize for the peace deal he concluded with neighbouring Eritrea last year, three months after coming to power. The agreement resolved nearly two decades of military stalemate following a border war that ended in 2000.

Abiy has also pushed through reforms at home, dramatically changing the atmosphere in what was regarded as a repressive state. Measures have included the lifting of a ban on political parties, the release of imprisoned journalists and the sacking of previously untouchable officials, some of them accused of torture.

The former military intelligence officer’s public renunciation of past abuses drew a line between his administration and those of his predecessors, as did the appointment of former dissidents and large numbers of women to senior roles.

The trigger for the recent violence was a Facebook post by Jawar Mohammed, an Oromo activist and media mogul, claiming that security forces had tried to orchestrate an attack against him.

Supporters took to the streets last week to protest. Crowds of young men from his Oromo ethnic group quickly turned their anger against Abiy, saying that he had betrayed them by mistreating Jawar.

Jawar is a polarising figure who is accused by critics of fomenting ethnic divisions. Though he helped Abiy come to power last year, he has recently criticised some of the new prime minister’s policies.

Officials have denied Jawar’s claim that he was targeted.

Abiy was booed by protesters on Thursday during a visit to Ambo, a site of earlier violence 50 miles (80km) west of the capital, Addis Ababa.

Analysts say Abiy’s reforms have lifted the lid on long-repressed tensions between the country’s many ethnic groups.

Temesgen Ababa, 17, described how security forces opened fire in Adama, a city of 300,000 people south-east of the capital, hitting an eight-year-old boy. When Temesgen rushed over to help the boy, he was shot in the chest.

“How can shooting at people like that become an appropriate response?” Temesgen asked from his hospital bed.

The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission estimates that 10 of the deaths last week were at the hands of security forces.

“Adama is a melting pot of Ethiopian ethnic and religious groups, with many different groups, so these incidents of violence rooted in religion and ethnicity can be very dangerous,” said Fisseha Tekle, a researcher with Amnesty International. “It can be a premonition for mass atrocities.”

Attacks on churches and at least one mosque were also reported during the clashes.

At Adama hospital, nearly 200 people sought treatment and 16 died – numbers hospital staff said were unprecedented. Medics described scrambling to find beds and supplies for patients who had been shot and beaten as protests erupted last Wednesday.

“Most of the people were under stress, even including the staff, because this was sudden and the first time like this in this town,” Dr Desalegn Fekadu, a surgeon, said.

Read the rest from The Guardian



ዐቢይ አሕመድ ዲፕሎማቶችን በስድብ ያጥረገረጉበት ዝጉ የቤተ መንግሥት ስብሰባ—ለታሪክ!

24 Sep

Posed by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)




የሰሞኑ ሁለት ዕይታዎች፡                      ‘ሌላ ትኩሳት’፤ ‘እውነታው ይሄ ነው’ ‘የመንጋ ክፋቱ እረኛ ማጣቱ ነው’!

15 Sep

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)





ስለ’መፈንቅለ መንግሥቱ’ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ በፓርላማ ያሰሙት ንግግር ኦክስጂንና ብርሃን እጅግ አጥሮታል!

1 Jul

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)


“ለውጡን የምንመራ ሰዎችም እውነት ከእኛ ጋር ስለሆነ ማንም አያስቆመንም” 

“ሕገ መንግስቱ የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝቦች ሠነድ ነው ያሉት ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ፥ ሕገ መንግሥቱ አይነካ ወይም ሕገ መንግሥት ጥቅሜን አይወክልም የሚሉ ኃይሎች ዋልታ ረገጥ ናቸው።

ሕገ መንግሥት በሕዝብና በመንግሥት መካከል የሚደረግ ኪዳን በመሆኑም የሚደረጉ ለውጦች ካሉ እነሱን ተቋማዊ የሚያደርግ ሠነድ ይሆናል።

ከዚህ ጋር ተያይዘው የሚነሱ ሃሳቦችን በሚዛናዊነት ማየት እንደሚገባና፥ የኢትዮጵያ መንግሥትም ሕገ መንግሥቱን ለማሻሻል በሩ ክፍት መሆኑን አውስተዋል።”

ጠሚ ዐብይ አሕመድ


የአዘጋጁ አስተያየት:

በአማራ ክልል የተወሰደው አሳዛኝ እርምጃና በአዲስ አበባ ከፍተኛ ወታደራዊ ባለሥልጣኖች ላይ የተፈጸሙት ግድያዎች የኢትዮጵያን ስላምና ደኅነንት በሚሹ ባይደግፍም፡ ጠሚሩ መፈንቅለ መንግሥት ተካሂዷል ብለው እንደሚያምኑ ተናግረዋል።

ሃቅን ተመርኩዘው ግን ያንን ማሳየት አልቻሉም፤ እንዲያውም በአስከፊ ገጽታው ምኅረትና ይቅርታ ሲሰብኩ ዓመት የቆዩት ግለሰብ፣ የፓርላማውን መድረክ ከእርሳቸው ጋር ያልተስማማውን ሁሉ ለመርገምና ማጥላያ አድርገው ተጠቅመውበታል!



“History is almost always written by the victors and conquerors and gives their viewpoint; or, at any rate, the victors’ version is given prominence and holds the field. “

p. 289 Jawaharlal Nehru: The Discovery of India


OMN: ኢሕአዴግና የዴሞክራሲ ማዕክላዊነቱ ደንዝዞ መገነዝ!

18 Apr

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)




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