Tag Archives: rule of law

In Ethiopia’s long-term interests

4 Dec

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

 

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In Ethiopia’s long-term interests

 

 

In Ethiopia’s long-term interests: Diaspora engagement and dual citizenship

4 Dec

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

by Ayenachew Aseffa Woldegiyorgis*

Last summer during PM Abiy’s visit to the US one of the issues that surfaced was the question of dual citizenship. Some in the diaspora stressed that it was the right time Ethiopia reconsidered its citizenship law to make dual citizenship legal so that Ethiopian born foreign citizens and their descendants could enjoy the full rights and privileges of Ethiopian citizenship. The idea resonated with many in light of the unprecedentedly open arms approach the new PM extended towards diaspora members of all political views. However, not everyone was thrilled by this proposal. In consequent discussions on social media and elsewhere, many argued for and against dual citizenship in the context of Ethiopia.

Last week, when it was revealed that the newly appointed press secretary of the Office of the Prime Minister is a Canadian citizen (of Ethiopian origin, of course), the issue once again came to the fore. The citizenship of the press secretary raised a legal challenge, and controversies followed. The legal challenge comes from the provisions of a 2002 law (proclamation 270/2002) which not only restricts Ethiopian born foreign nationals from voting and running for any public office at any level of government, but also explicitly deprive them from being “employed on regular basis in the National Defense, Security, Foreign Affairs and other similar political establishments”. Some argued that, the press secretary being a position so high up in the political echelon and with a great deal of access to the work and person of the PM, her appointment violets the law and sets dangerous precedence. Others emphasized her qualification for the job as the most important factor while downplaying the fact that she ‘holds a different passport’. Dual citizenship was raised again as a solution to get around this challenge.

 

The debate:

This is not an issue unique to Ethiopia. For several decades, diaspora communities of many countries have been advocating for dual citizenship and/or voting rights – some with success. Some countries allow dual citizenship; others allow it only with specific countries (e.g. Spain with several South American countries with which it had colonial relations); and many others do not allow dual citizenship at all.

One of the most common arguments from members of the diaspora, in favour of dual citizenship, is that as major contributors to Ethiopia’s economy, they deserve to have a say in its political future. They also point out that having dual citizenship status would increase their economic participation. True that the economic contribution of the Ethiopian diaspora is unquestionably significant. But the counterargument in this regard refers to earlier sited law which stipulates that Ethiopian born foreign nationals are entitled to participate in all economic activities as Ethiopians would. One might even argue that they are entitled to privileges that are the envy of resident Ethiopian citizens. In all fairness, in the past years, these rights and privileges have been compromised by lower level directives, by the corrupt bureaucratic structure, and by political decisions. Nonetheless, if the law is effectively implemented (with the necessary reforms), the need for dual citizenship as a basis for better economic participation would be nullified.

On the other hand, in the past decades, the diaspora community has had an enormous influence on Ethiopian politics – for better or worse. Through the use of different mechanisms – from social media campaigns to armed struggle and everything in between (i.e. diplomatic influence, staging a series of demonstrations, financing the oppositions, establishing media organizations, remotely organizing and leading civic resistance, economic sanction by withholding remittance, etc.) – the Ethiopian diaspora was instrumental in shaping up the internal politics of the country.

As the country aspires to move into a more open approach to the political participation of all sectors of society, it is indeed prudent to have conversations on more formal and legally established ways for diaspora engagement in the political process. In doing so, there are some points to note, one can raise as the risk of legalizing dual citizenship. First is the age old question of loyalty. Being citizen of two countries, one is expected to pledge allegiance to each. The dilemma of divided national and patriotic loyalty becomes a serious concern in specific cases, although not in everyday life.

Second, dual citizenship gives foreign nationals to directly participate in the political process. As such they get to influence the electoral results the consequences of which they do not have to bear. This resonates with one of the most common and persistent criticisms against the political participation of diaspora members in the past years. Political hardliners in the diaspora push for heightened political resistance, they call for protests of different kind, and sometimes even instigate agitation and violence, while they are not the ones to face the repercussions which included the loss of thousands of lives.

Third, dual nationals assuming public offices and working in key positions pertinent to national security flags risks. On one hand, even if we rule out that such individuals may be more susceptible to external influence, the precedence could open a way for ill-intentioned individuals to infiltrate the political, military and security structures with agendas of their own that sway benefits to their ‘other country’. This is a more serious concern, as some argue, in relation to neighboring countries and foreign groups that have competing interests with Ethiopia on regional geo politics, as well as control over resources. On the other hand, dual citizenship provides individuals ‘a way out’ in times of difficulty. Therefore, the election of dual citizens, or the appointment foreigners in important positions of government, raises a legitimate concern on the possibility of reckless decisions the consequences of which they do not have to live. They have another country and another life elsewhere, hence it is reasonable to question if accountability in its real sense is even possible in such a case.

Fourth, in a more practical sense, besides the new power dynamics that such appointments can create in the respective work environments, corruption and illicit outflow of money could be even more difficult to trace. The registration of wealth of government officials, for instance, will be difficult to complete as well as to keep track of as it involves foreign jurisdictions.

Finally, all of this has to be seen in light of the precarious nature of our politics and the diversity of opinions among political actors that are very vulnerable to easily shift from political difference to disagreement and to conflicts. It is also important to note that the points raised here are not meant to reflect on any one, individually or collectively, but to indicate potential risks in hypotheticals.

The way forward:

It is indeed a legitimate concern that the Ethiopian diaspora needs to have a voice commensurate with its economic contributions to the country. Besides, as most diaspora members put it, they change citizenship because they are forced to do so either due to repression at home or practical necessity to them and their families. Most make a sentimental argument claiming to be Ethiopians at heart, despite what their passport says. Having family members, relatives and friends, and properties back home, it is indeed legitimate that they seek to have a voice in the [political] future of the country.

One of the ways such political participation can guaranteed is by giving representation for the diaspora community in the government. Instead of dual citizenship, or rights to directly vote in national elections, diaspora members may be represented in the executive and/or legislative branches of government. Several countries organize diaspora affairs at ministerial level, giving their concerns a representation at the highest executive level. The ministerial portfolio does not solve all the problems, of course. It has to be designed in a manner it can closely work with diaspora communities with several consultative working groups that directly involve the diaspora. Another option could be to establish a high level consultative board, perhaps at the Office of the Prime Minister, that advocates to the concerns and issues of the diaspora.

Alternately, diaspora members can also be allowed representation in the legislature. In a 2010 report, the Migration Policy Institute has documented that eleven countries around the world reserve seats in their legislatures for their diaspora. Such representations can also be cascaded to other levels of government, at regional level for example. It goes without saying that these are only major legal reforms that need to be accompanied by a number of initiatives that address different aspects of the engagement of the diaspora.

Most importantly, with some controversial cases floating in the public arena, and a national election coming up in just about a year and half, it is high time a clarity is brought on the issue. The claim that foreign citizens of Ethiopian origin should be allowed to freely participate in the political process is as problematic as the counter claim that they should ultimately and indefinitely be sanctioned from the process. It is possible to create a middle ground. If nothing else, those who choose to directly participate in politics can, according to proclamation 378/2003, easily reclaim their Ethiopian citizenship, by renouncing their foreign citizenship and relocating their domicile to Ethiopia.

 

Ayenachew Aseffa Woldegiyorgis is a PhD candidate at the Center for International Higher Education, Boston College, and researches diaspora engagement in higher education. 

/Borkena

 

በኦሮሚያ የተለያዩ ከተሞች የሕግ የበላይነትን ለማስከበር በተወሰደ እርምጃ 171 ተጠርጣሪዎች በቁጥጥር ሥር ዋሉ!

20 Aug

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

አዲስ አበባ፣ ነሃሴ 14፣ 2010 (ኤፍ.ቢ.ሲ) በኦሮሚያ ክልል በሚገኙ የተለያዩ ከተሞች የሕግ የበላይነትን ለማስከበር በተወሰደ እርምጃ እስካሁን 171 ተጠርጣሪዎች በቁጥጥር ሥር መዋላቸው ተገለፀ።

የኦሕዴድ የገጠር ፖለቲካ አደረጃጀት ዘርፍ ሀላፊ አቶ አዲሱ አረጋ እንዳስታወቁት፥ ግለሰቦቹ በቁጥጥር ስር የዋሉት በተለያዩ ሕግ ወጥ ተግባር ላይ ተሰማርተው ሲንቀሳቀሱ ነው።

በዚህ መሰረትም ሱሉምታ ከተማ በቄሮ ስም በመንቀሳቀስ የግለሰብ ሰዎችን ቤት በማፍረስ የቤት ክዳን ቆርቆሮ በመስወድ ላይ እያሉ 4 ሰዎች እጅ ከፍንጅ ተይዘዋል ብለዋል አቶ አዲሱ።

በሻሸመኔ ከተማም ባለፈው ሳምንት በከተማዋ ከተፈፀመው ወንጀል ጋር ተያያዥነት አላቸው ተብለው የተጠረጠሩ 7 ሰዎች በቁጥጥር ስር መዋላቸውንም አስታውቀዋል።

በቡራዩ ከተማ በቄሮ ስም ሲነግድ የነበረና የቄሮ ሊቀመንበር እኔ ነኝ በማለት ራሱን በመሰየም መታወቂያ በማዘጋጀትና የቅርብ ተጠሪውን የከተማዋን ፖሊስ አዛዥ ስም በመፃፍ የተለያዩ ተቋማት ስፖንሰር እንዲያደርጉት ሲያስገድድ የነበረ፤ እንዲሁም በቄሮ ስም ቲተርና ማሕተም በማስቀረፅ የቄሮ መታወቂያ በማሳተም ሲሸጥ የነበረ አንድ ግለሰብ በቁጥጥር ስር ውሏል ብለዋል አቶ አዲሱ።

Credit: Fana

በለገ ጣፎ ለገ ዳዲ ከተማ የ62 ወጣቶችን በማዘጋጀትና ፎቶ ግራፋቸውን ወረቀት ላይ በማሳተም፤ ይህ የቄሮ አደረጃጀት ከቀበሌ እስከ ክልል ድረስ ዕውቅና ማግኘት አለበት በማለት ወጣቶችን ሲያነሳሱና ሲያሳስቱ የነበሩ 2 ግለሰቦች በቁጥጥር ሥር ውለዋል።

በጅማ ከተማም በህገ ወጥ ሥራ ላይ የተሰማሩ፣ሕገ ወጥ ግንባታ የገነቡ እና ያስገነቡ እንዲሁም የመንግስትን ስራ ሲያደናቅፉ የነበሩ 42 ሰዎች በቁጥጥር ስር ውለዋል ያሉት አቶ አዲሱ፥ ከእነዚህ ውስጥ 8 ሰዎች ላይ ማስረጃ ተደራጅቶ ክስ ሊመሰረትባቸው በሂደት ላይ ይገኛል ብለዋል።

በተጨማሪም ሁለት ሽጉጦችና ከ180 በላይ ሕገ ወጥ ጥይቶች መያዛቸውን አስታውቀዋል።

በአዳማ ከተማም በከተማዋ በቅርቡ ተፈጥሮ ከነበረው ግጭት ጋር በቀጥታም ይሁን በተዘዋዋሪ ግንኙነት ነበራቸው ተብለው የተጠረጠሩ 8 ግለሰቦች በቁጥጥር ሥር ውለዋል።

በሞጆ ከተማም ጨለማን ተገን በማድረግ ፋብሪካ ለመዝረፍ ሲንቀሳቀሱ የነበሩ 2 ግለሰቦች በቁጥጥር ሥር መዋላቸውን አስታውቀዋል አቶ አዲሱ።

በሰበታ ከተማ ደግሞ ሕገ ወጥ ግንባታ ያካሄዱ፣  ምግብ ቤት ገብተው ተጠቅመው አንከፍልም የሚሉ፣ ተደራጅተው በመንቀሳቀስ ሕግ አስከባሪ አካላት ሲናገሯቸው ሲደበድቡ የነበሩ 14 ግለሰቦችም በቁጥጥር ስር ውለዋል ሲሉ አቶ አዲሱ ገልፀዋል።

በምስራቅ ሸዋ ዞን ሉሜ ወረዳ በቄሮ ስም በመሬት ወረራ ላይ የረሳተፉ 32 ተጠርጣሪዎች በቁጠጥር ሥር የዋሉ ሲሆን፥ ከእነዚህም ውስጥ 2 ተጠርጣሪዎች የአዳማ ከተማ መሃንዲሶች የነበሩና በሥነ ምግባር ችግር የተባረሩ ናቸው።

በተመሳሳይ በፈንታሌ ወረዳ የብሄር ግጭት እንዲቀሰቀስ ቅስቀሳ ሲያደርጉ የነበሩና ከዚህም በማለፍ የመንግስት መስሪያ ቤት ድረስ በመሄድ የስራ ሀላፊዎችን የደበደቡ 4 ተጠርጣሪዎችም በቁጥጥር ሥር ውለዋል።

በተጨማሪም በቦረና ወረዳ መንገድ በመዝጋት አመፅ ለማነሳሳት ሞክረዋል የተባሉ 55 ተጠርጣሪዎች በቁጥጥር ሥር ውለው ጉዳያቸው እየተጣራ መሆኑንም አቶ አዲሱ አክለው ገልፀዋል።

ተዛማጅ:

ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዶ/ር ዐብይ አሕመድ:    “መንግሥት እንደ ዕሴት የሚያራምደው ነጻነት፣ሰላምና ማኅበረሰባዊ ብልጽግናን የማረጋገጥ ራዕይ ሕገ ወጥነትንና አመጽን የማይታገስ ነው !”

ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዶ/ር ዐብይ አሕመድ:     “መንግሥት እንደ ዕሴት የሚያራምደው ነጻነት፣ሰላምና ማኅበረሰባዊ ብልጽግናን የማረጋገጥ ራዕይ ሕገ ወጥነትንና አመጽን የማይታገስ ነው !”

19 Aug

Posed by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ዐብይ አሕመድ ከወረዳ እስከ ክልል ከሚገኙ የብአዴን መካከለኛና ዝቅተኛ አመራሮች ጋር በባህር ዳር ከተማ እየተወያዩ ነው።

በውይይቱ ወቅት ዶክተር ዐቢይ አሕመድ እንደገለጹት የሃገሪቱ ሕዝቦች ለሕግ የበላይነት መገዛት ዘመን ተሻጋሪ ዕሴት ያላቸው መሆኑን በሥነ ቃሎቻቸው ጭምር የሚስተዋል ነው።

ለዘመናት የዘለቀ የስልጣኔ ባለቤት የሆነችው አትዮጵያ የመንግሥት መዋቅርና ሥርዓት በመዘርጋት በሕዝቦቿ ዘንድ ፍትህና ርትዕ የሰፈነባት ሃገር ናት።

ባለፉት አራት ወራት ሃገራዊ አንድነትንና ኢትዮጵያዊ አስተሳሰብን በማጎልበት አመርቂ ውጤት እየታየ መምጣቱን ተናግረዋል።

”በሃገር አቀፍ ደረጃ የተጀመረው ሪፎርም የይቅርታ፣ የነጻነትና የፍትህ ፋና ወጊሥራዎቻችንን በሃገር ውስጥም ሆነ በውጭ ለሚገኙ ዜጎቻችን ተስፋን ያጎናጸፈ ነው” ብለዋል።

 

ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ እንዳመለከቱት ሕግን እንደመሳሪያ በመጠቀም በሥልጣን የመቆየት አካሄድ ያመጣቸውን መዘዞች ለማረም ከተወሰዱ እርምጃዎች መካከል ያለአግባብ ይወነጀሉ የነበሩ ዜጎችና የፖለቲካ ቡድኖች በይቅርታና በምህረት እልባት እንዲያገኙ ተደርጓል።

በውጭም ሆነ በሃገር ውስጥ የሚገኙ ዜጎችን በማቀራረብ ለአንድ”በሃገር አቀፍ ደረጃ የተጀመረው ሪፎርም የይቅርታ፣ የነጻነትና የፍትህ ፋና ወጊ ሥራዎቻችንን በሀገር ውስጥም ሆነ በውጭ ለሚገኙ ዜጎቻችን ተስፋን ያጎናጸፈ ነው” ብለዋል።ገራቸው ልማት፣ ብልጽግናና እድገት የሚሰሩበት እድል ከምንጊዜውም በላይ ምቹ ሆኗል።

ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ እንዳሉት ለኢኮኖሚና ፖለቲካዊ ፍትህ የሚደረገው ትግል ከማህበረሰቡ የሞራልና የኃይማኖት እሳቤዎች ጋር ተዋህዶ እንዲዘልቅ ከኃይማኖት አባቶች፣ ከምሁራንና ከተለያዩ የህብረተሰብ ክፍሎች ጋር ተቀራርቦ መሥራት ተጀምሯል።

ሆኖም የሕዝቡን ዘርፈ ብዙ ፍላጎቶች በአንድ ጀምበር ማሟላት የሚቻል ባይሆንም በፈጣን ተስፋ ሰጪ መዘውር ውስጥ የተገባ በመሆኑ እንደ ሃገር መውደቅም ሆነ ወደ ኢ-ዴሞክራሲያዊ አሰራሮች መመለስ ተቀባይነት እንደሌለው ገልጸዋል።

“መንግሥት እንደ ዕሴት የሚያራምደው ነጻነት፣ ሰላምና ማኅበረሰባዊ ብልጽግናን የማረጋገጥ ራዕይ ሕገ ወጥነትንና አመጽን የማይታገስ ነው” ብለዋል።

የዜጎች መብት፣ ነጻነትና ፍትሃዊነት በማረጋገጥ የአካል፣ የሕይወትና የኑሮ ዋስትናቸውን ለማስጠበቅ ሕግንና ሕገ መንግሥታዊ ስርዓትን በሙሉ አቅም ማስከበር ግድ ይላል።

የመንግሥት የጸጥታ አካላትና አመራሮችም የሕግ የበላይነት በግለሰቦችም ሆነ በቡድኖች ሲጣስ በቸልታ ማየት እንደሌለባቸው አሳስበዋል።

በተለይም የግልና የቡድን ጥቅሞቻቸውን በሰላማዊ መንገድ ማስጠበቅ እየቻሉ ከዚህ በተቃራኒው በመሄድ ወንጀልን ለመፈጸም የሚያስቡ አካላት ከድርጊታቸው መታቀብ እንዳለባቸውም አስገንዝበዋል።

ሕዝብን ከሕዝብ እያጋጩ ጸጥታን በማደፍረስ በሕገወጥ ድርጊት ተሰማርቶ የተገኘና በማንኛውም መልኩ የተባበረ አካል ላይ መንግሥት ሕግን ተከትሎ አስፈላጊውን እርምጃ ለመውሰድ ቁርጠኛ መሆኑንም አስታውቀዋል።

ከ2ሺህ በላይ የብአዴን መካከለኛና ዝቅተኛ አመራሮች በተሳተፉበት የውይይት መድረክ ጠቅላይ ሚንስትሩ የመነሻ ጽሁፍ አቅርበው ተሳታፊዎች በሚያነሷቸው ጥያቄዎች ላይም ማብራሪያ እንደሚሰጡ ይጠበቃል።

ተዛማጅ:

 

 

/ኢዜአ/ኢቲቪ

The devil dead in Ethiopia, at last?   Eritrea to send peace mission to Ethiopia for talks with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s government

20 Jun

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin, The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

It is no surprise that since June 18, 2018, the famous quote by the English novelist Charles Reade: “Courage, mon ami, le diable est mort! (Take courage, my friend, the devil is dead!) has been on my mind.

After listening to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed that day in parliament, his pledge to institute the rule of law —”Presumption of innocence until proven guilty”—  for the first time ever in my life has made me trust our nation’s leader and as such identify myself with him. Thus, the pinned message on my twitter page now essentially reads: ABIY AHMED OUR PRIME MINISTER in the context of rule of law!

In response to Ethiopia’s acceptance of in its June 8, 2018 statement of the December 12, 2000 Algiers Agreement without any precondition, Eritrea too has today broken its silence and has expressed interest in sending a delegation to Addis Ababa for the necessary peace talks.

On account of what Abiy has demonstrated to date, more particularly inside the TPLF parliament last Monday, Eritrea seems convinced its infamous foe, the ‘clogger’ of peace to date now belongs to Ethiopia and Eritrea’s past. By the will of the Ethiopian people, the TPLF regime is very likely out of commission. However, there can be no certainty it would not try its usual mischiefs, as it has already been trying to fan ethnic tensions and conflicts. However, the prevalent mood in the country is, as stated in my response to similar concern Tuesday, the risks are more for the TPLF as well as the responsibilities for the consequent conflagration, leading to its final termination!

Eritrea responds to Ethiopia’s peace overture

The TPLF’s information outlet secured this Eritrean information from a tweet by Ato Estifanos Afeworki, Eritrea’s envoy to Japan, who revealed: 

A translation of President Isaias’ statement, as presented by The Washington Post reads:

“We will send a delegation to Addis Ababa to gauge current developments directly and in depth as well as to chart out a plan for continuous future action…The Eritrean people, but also the Ethiopian people, have lost an opportunity of two generations for over half a century”.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has responded positively, according to the Post, expressing “his readiness to welcome warmly and with considerable goodwill the Eritrean delegation.”We have heard in the past, the evidence for Eritrea of Addis Abeba’s acceptance has been Ethiopian troops withdrawal from Badme. Now, I feel, there may have been quiet contacts between Addis Abeba and Asmara for some time to return to status quo ante 1998.

I strongly feel that this Eritrean positive response comes after Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has exorcised in public in parliament on June 18, 2018 the 20 year-old demon that has locked Ethiopia and Eritrea into a permanent state of conflict. Abiy seemed to level the fault for this on the TPLF. He accused the Front of squandering a poor nation’s resources, as if acquiring the latest sophisticated ground and air warfare weapons could secure peace. It only proved a hindrance to peace, while it was too much, costly and burdensome for a country of 105 million population against a nation of 5.2 million. 

It is the case, I presume, possibly the prime minister’s first extensive reporting to parliament on the overall Ethiopian situation, with emphasis on the importance of sustainable peace with Eritrea that must have helped sway Eritrea to end its wait and see attitude.

I learn from my senses and close friend’s reactions to Monday’s development, i.e., Abiy’s vision, his logic, transparent approach, seriousness and the courage of his profound conviction have done the magic, gripping Ethiopians at home and abroad, possibly infecting Eritreans too.

Abiy’s “መደመር” Gospel

The sense amongst the majority of Ethiopians today is optimism, at last finally better days are coming. On the other hand, before our eyes, the TPLF has taken humiliating beatings with the truth and revelation of its injustices against our citizens and the nation. Therefore, for almost everyone the awareness of the possibilities of becoming one and whole again for real.

Equally important are the lessons from the past that remain valid: this wholeness must be constructed on the solidity of mutual respect, equality, freedom, rule of law and respecting the dignity of each and every Ethiopian, fully restored where infringed and wholeness within every citizen’s reach

Instrumental for the prime minister in doing his ‘healing’ is his now popular approach “መደመር”! It literally means, to be added, in the sense of readiness to pull together.

The prime minister believes his “መደመር” ensures sustainable peace, beat poverty and facilitate true development of Ethiopia, or a group of nations working together toward the same goal of changing the lives of their citizens.

This መደመር”,  Abiy has been harping from day one since he set foot on the political scene on April 2, 2018.

In its deeper meaning “መደመር” implies being conjoined, as one people i.e., to live in sustainable peace that facilitates working together toward enabling our people(s) to live qualitatively improved life.

This represents a complete departure from the nearly three-decade-old ideology and state politics of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). We saw in Ethiopia through its white lies and its mafia-esque robbery, ethnic politics has been TPLF’s goal of fragmenting society into its lowest elements, which literally is its war game, its strategy aiming to divide and conquer even relatively stronger party, eventually reducing it into its prey.

For Abiy, what“መደመር” or being conjoined means, Ethiopia internally achieving unity and cohesion— to stand as the Ethiopian nation and state. As pertains to the Horn of Africa sub-region, four days before reporting to parliament he was in Somalia. On his return, Abiy offered his vision for Ethiopia and Somalia. His effort is to spread his “መደመር” Gospel, that is replicating the same amongst Ethiopia’s neighbours. This he said would create better opportunities for the peoples of the Horn of Africa, a sub-region to date known for its restlessness and wretchedness of life. 

Because of my familiarity with the situation in Somalia, I am more surprised by the degree of welcome accorded to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to his “second home”. There is also the affirmative response of President Mohammed Mohamud to the Ethiopian prime minister’s “መደመር” Gospel, already affirming Somalia’s readiness  to work full time to benefit from economic integration as it his nation’s objective!

In formulating this, Abiy’s starting basis is the shared commonalities between the two nations, which capitalises on shared ethnic origin, culture, religion and history, as he put to Somalia’s leadership!

Ethiopia and Eritrea: One people, One nation

Speaking of his approach for peace between the two brotherly peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea, Prime Minister Abiy emphasised each and every exercise for peace heretofore has been exploited for political ends. 

It is in that context he vowed “There to be no democratic dispensation in Ethiopia in his administration, wherein we [the politicians] bring forth to the table only what we scheme and plot.” (“ከዚህ በኋላ የድብቅ ፖለቲካ ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ አይሠራም… በመደበቅ፣ በመሸረብና እኛ ብቻ አብስለን  የምናቀርብበት ዴሞክራሲያዊ ሥርዓት የለም”!) 

Instead, as a soldier who has paid his share with the lives of a close family member and friends and the damages Ethiopia has sustained during that war with Eritrea and the consequent losses in wealth continuing to this day, he made clear how his proposal can be realised, as follows:

“Our thinking is to talk together and work toward realisation of the objective of what the EPRDF Executive Committee has proposed. This makes sense because the people of Eritrea are our brothers. Brotherhood would not disappear irrespective of land taken, or land received.” (“እኛ የምናስበው እየተነጋገርን እንተገብረዋለን ብለን ነው፡፡ ምክንያቱም የኤርትራ ሕዝብ ወንድም ነው፡፡ መሬት ስለሄደና ስለመጣ ወንድምነት አይቀርም”)

In the barely three months Dr. Abiy Ahmed has been in office, he has won the accolade of politicians in foreign lands and the international media. A good friend of the Ethiopian people, who for long has sought and endeavoured through the United States Congress to change the untenable course Ethiopia has been orbiting, Congressman Chris Smith  (R-NJ), Chair of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, noted:

“I welcome news of Ethiopia’s acceptance of the 2000 peace agreement with Eritrea as well as parliament’s approval of a bill to end the State of Emergency. I remain cautiously optimistic that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed will continue along the direction of peace and respect for human rights.  The lifting of the state of emergency means that imprisoned journalists and peaceful activists must now be freed, and greater progress must be made toward inclusive governance.  Congress will continue to monitor developments in Ethiopia with guarded optimism.”

Abiy’s maturity and his reflection in everything leaves its traces for everyone to see. He has repeatedly acknowledged what has propelled him to office is the citizens’ opposition to decades of TPLF mode of governance by state violence, official burglary and torture and terrorism against the people, as he has put it, ‘the terrorism of those in power’.

Of course, Isaias has also picked this point, it seems as a reminder – I don’t know to whom — as The Washington Post quotes him saying “Ethiopians have said ‘enough is enough’… Ethiopia is now at a turning point or transition.”

In When Peace is a Problem, international observers The New York Times quotes think:

“If Ethiopia does withdraw its troops from the Eritrean territory it still occupies, a key excuse for Mr. Isaias’s iron rule will be removed.

His admirers hope that he would grab any historic opportunity for real peace with Ethiopia to display once again the visionary leadership that defined him as a freedom fighter and reset his management of the country.

His critics, who see him as incapable of shifting gears, believe the sustained bluff that was mass conscription may have just been called. If they are correct, Ethiopia’s recent peace overture could actually make the region more, not less, volatile.”

While there is always that possibility, this time I would like to believe the author Michela Wrong is wrong in subscribing to this view in this situation. I strongly believe Isaias is too foxy to recognise pulling the strings too tight this time would be against his sole interest — spending his last days in power!

Perhaps the story by The Financial Times bears some veracity in stating, even given what Prime Minister Abiy spelt out to parliament regarding access to international waters to Ethiopia’s goods and services – the accursed TPLF has deprived it of. It is of the view that peace between the two nations could, at least, pave the “way to resumption of commercial relations.”

What has surprised me most is the silence of the United Nations secretary-General preferring silence on this Ethiopia-Eritrea peace overture! Recall that the United Nations had managed the United Nations Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea (UNMEE) peacekeeping mission between the two warring nations from 2000-2008. The meaning of this silence has eluded me. 

The UN knows and Ethiopians know full well that the TPLF has been accorded, to the misfortune of the United Nations, the running of one whole UN peacekeeping force—the United Nations Interim Security Force for Abyei (UNISFA), free to exercise its ethnic discrimination practices since 2011— including its designation of force commanders, deputies and other officers, as I had tried to bring this breach of Charter principles to the  attention of all concerned.

What is more worrying is murderer TPLF officers assuming responsibilities as UN peacekeeping commanders, as I had made known in 2018 in Part I and Part II of my articles on the subject.

Perhaps with the coming to the political scene in Ethiopia of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the Horn of Africa could be main beneficiary —unlike the TPLF commanders selling masses of weapons— who would mercilessly get rid of Al-Shabaab terrorists, corrupt TPLF commanders-induced  problem. This I had discussed in my various articles on the basis of evidences accumulated by the Somalia Eritrea Monitoring Group reports. One of such reports, for instance, states:

“According to arms traders, the biggest suppliers of ammunition to the markets are Ethiopian and Transitional Federal Government commanders, who divert boxes officially declared “used during combat”. The Mogadishu arms markets are doing a booming business, S/2008/274 08-29068 7 and, according to precise information received by the Monitoring Group, their clients include parties in Kenya.”

*Updated.

ዶ/ር መረራ ጉዲና ቃለ መጠይቅ:            የዶር ዐቢይ አሕመድ 50ኛ ቀን እንዴት ያዩታል? — የፖለቲካ እሥረኞች በሙሉ አለመፈታትና የአሰቸኳይ ጊዜ አዋጅ አለመነሳት ለዴሞክራት ጠ/ሚ ጥሩ ምልክት አይደለም!

25 May

ዶር ዐብይ አሕመድ የሠጡት የመጀመሪያው ሲግናል: ሕዝቡ ለችግሮቹ መፍትሄ ማግኘት ይኖርበታል!

31 Mar

Posted by The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
 

 

Is world’s top billionaire Bill Gates uncaring & indifferent about Ethiopians under TPLF repression?

22 Jul

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin, The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
 

The story on Thursday’s (July 22) The New York Times, hinting by implication, Bill Gates indifference about repression and censorship in Ethiopia comes across as extremely troubling – to put it mildly. Its tone was very much Trump-esque, examined in the lens of the latter’s acceptance speech at the Republican Party Convention.
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