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Incapacitated Caretaker Ethiopian Government:

By Mogos Abraham, PhD
Centre for Middle Eastern Strategic Studies Tigrai Online, Feb. 28, 2019

Incapacitated Caretaker Ethiopian Government
Mr. Ali has no sense of direction. He appears publicly and on TV completely confused. He is dreaming to establish a centralized supreme unitary government, equivalent to that of Emperor Haile Selassie.

Meaning and Mandates

His childish behaviour and treacherous actions have revealed that Abiy Ahmed Ali (hereafter Mr. Ali) [1] does not understand the meaning and mandates of a caretaker government. Conventionally, caretaker government is a temporary government mandated to make sure stability of a country’s prevailing governance system until a democratically elected government takes over. Ensuring social, economic, and political stability and territorial integrity of the country is a caretaker government’s obligation. Caretaker is just a gatekeeper, waiting for the democratically elected boss to arrive. A well-defined code of conduct in governing is constitutionally binding. For example, the president, the prime minister, speakers/deputy speakers of both the House of Representatives and the House of Federation, federal ministers and their respective officials, presidents of the regional states and their respective officials, and other public office holders shall not be involved in election campaigns in any manner whatsoever.

Accordingly, a caretaker government shall not: (1) take major national policy decisions (e.g., privatization of public enterprises and infrastructure) except on urgent matters; (2) make policy that may have effect or pre-empt the future elected government to exercise authority; (3) enter into major contract or undertake that might be detrimental to public interest; (4) enter into major international negotiations with any foreign country or international agency or sign or ratify any legally binding internal policy instrument, except in an exceptional case; (5) make promotions or major appointments of public officials, but may make acting or short-term appointments in public interest; (6) transfer public officials unless it is proven to be nationally expedient by Parliament; and (7) attempt to influence elections or do or cause to be done anything which may, in any manner, influence or adversely affect free and fair elections. These are inviolable, conventionally accepted, guiding principles. However, to satisfy the external forces that hired him, Mr. Ali has violated all of them.

As a Chairperson of the EPRDF and by default an Ethiopian Prime Minister, Mr. Ali started his day in office with hurling insults at TPLF emotionally. He attacked with his big mouth all members and supporters of the TPLF, the Mother of all victories, calling them daylight hyenas, leaders of 27 years of darkness, persons with abnormal dresses and hairstyles, etc. etc. These insults, of course, are from someone who is suffering from inferiority complex. Tigraians know more than this cheap psychological tactic. Minelik, Haile Selassie, and Mengistu tried it and failed to force Tigraians into submission. Mr. Ali knows the Tigraian spirit very well, because the TPLF leadership trained him to be a good soldier, not a PM. His bad mouthing against Tigraians is a cheap and laughable bravado; and that will cost him dearly.

By the way, the group of four (G-4) saboteur traitors, Mr. Ali himself, Lema, Demeke, and Gedu manufactured the childish insults in order to intimidate and humiliate the TPLF; and simultaneously to please the external forces that hired them. Now, these disgraceful traitors are so ashamed, because their evil plan backfired right at them. TPLF is more united and stronger than ever before. Thus, regretting what they did, the G-4 puppets of foreign forces are publicly asking for forgiveness from the TPLF and other concerned Ethiopians by officially forming a commission called Peace and Reconciliation Commission.

In the meantime, however, Mr. Ali has no sense of direction. He appears publicly and on TV completely confused. Ethiopia is in a quagmire of tragic crises. On Feb. 25, 2019, I heard him declaring in Amharic on TV that there will not be, “Gambela party, Benishangul party, Oromo party, Amhara party, Tigrai party, etc. etc.; there will be only one Ethiopian party.” It sounds an emperor’s declaration. Mr. Ali is struggling to fulfill prophecy of his mother being “the 7th King of Ethiopia”, in his own words. In any case, the statement is very worrisome. As a hired agent, he is working hard to dismantle the uniquely Ethiopian Federal System. He is following instructions from his employers, the multiple external forces. I call upon the Ethiopian Defence Forces (EDF) to be ready for any eventuality to avoid bloodshed. This is declaration from a mentally unstable person is very dangerous.

He is dreaming to establish a centralized supreme unitary government, equivalent to that of Emperor Haile Selassie. In this type of governance, all regional states will have to exercise only powers that the Addis Ababa-based supreme government delegates to them. This is what Mr. Ali (King Ali) is dreaming to realize. He has support of self-serving reactionary-Diasporas of Ethiopian origin as well as some imperialist powers and, of course, the Arabs, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates. These supporters have their own respective goals that do not match. That is, (a) the Diasporas are those residual human elements craving for political power; and (b) the neoliberal imperialists and the Arabs are striving to grab the huge Ethiopian marketplace. Lately, however, Mr. Ali appears to be confused. He has understood that the unique Ethiopian Federal System is a sacrosanct (sacred, unchallengeable by any means).

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The Current-Tragic Scenes

Mr. Ali is an accidental Prime Minister (PM). Through a conspiratorial strategy, designed out of Ethiopia by foreign forces, the G-4 facilitated the accidental ascendency of Mr. Ali to the PM position. The strategic conspiracy took the G-4 years to create social upheaval, which created conducive environment for an emergency meeting of the four member parties of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). At that emergency meeting, Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, the Prime Minister, was forced to resign for various manufactured reasons. To complete the 2-year term, remained out of the 5-year term of Mr. Desalegn, Mr. Ali was made a caretaker PM until the 2020 democratic elections, as enshrined in the Constitution.

To the dismay of Ethiopians, Mr. Ali has created a national mess in a time span of ten months. Because of his immaturity, ignorance, and highly charged emotional temperaments, he is consistently violating the rules a caretaker government must respect and uphold. He does not seem to understand sanctity of the Ethiopian Constitution. No one can tamper sanctity of this sacred book. It is like the Holy Quran and the Holy Bible. Nevertheless, a constitution is not a static, carved in stone. There are constitutional rules for improving it, but only by the people for the people. Mr. Ali’s caretaker government does not have a clearly designed roadmap that can reverse the dangerous trends. A sane person does not want to imagine where Ethiopia is heading. Hard to believe, but it is true, Ethiopia is back to the tragedies of the 1984-85, when millions of human beings and animals perished. Dysfunctional governance systems, drought, civil wars, internal and external displacements, famine, hunger, and starvation caused the tragedies.

Currently, an absolute absence of primacy of the rule of law has put the Motherland in a tragic social turmoil. Hired-aimless-armed gangs are killing people indiscriminately; they are destroying public and private properties and commercial enterprises. The socioeconomic fabric and political apparatus are collapsing; and lawlessness is reigning throughout Ethiopia, except in the Regional State of Tigrai. The Ethiopian macroeconomic structure is in shambles; and the education system in all regional states is collapsing, except in Tigrai. Youth unemployment is so rampant and soaring. More than four million Ethiopians are internally displaced. Ethiopia was ranked first in the world in terms of internally displaced persons (IDPs) globally. Think about it, this rank is way above Syria, Yemen, South Sudan, and many tragically failed states.

The unfortunate Ethiopians, the IDPs, are left out in open-air concentration camps throughout the country. They are suffering from lack of the essentials of life: food, clothing, shelter, clean water, energy (for cooking, heat, and light), healthcare, security, peace, and justice. Most of these camps are not accessible by humanitarian agencies. The IDPs are starving to death; and are exposed to various diseases, such as malaria, cholera, diarrheal, dysentery, and typhoid fever. Mr. Ali’s caretaker government does not seem to care. The show-off boy, Mr. Ali, has never mentioned this national tragedy in all his formal and informal speeches and reports. He shows off in public as if everything is rosy under his rule. As a national leader, he never acknowledged this national tragedy; and never visited anyone of these camps of human misery to comfort the citizens. What a shame!

Added to the complex problems, political infighting within the EPRDF has created a political climate of distrust and a dangerous hostility. In effect, the G-4 internal informants (Ali, Demeke, Lema, and Gedu) have killed the EPRDF from within; and Mr. Ali has created a disastrous political vacuum to please his employers, the external forces that are working hard to create a failed Ethiopian state. Every minister in Mr. Ali’s caretaker government gropes in darkness aimlessly with fear, distrust, and total apathy. The strong Ethiopian nationalism that flourished during the 24 Golden Years (1991-2015) under the unique Ethiopian federal system, which had uplifted the spirit of all citizens, has evaporated. Thus, all Ethiopians must rise up against this incapacitated gatekeeper government to remove it immediately, before an unprecedented bloodshed ensues nationwide.

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Dark Days for Tigraians after the Golden Years: a Case in Point

The days of July and August 2016 were days of darkness for Tigraians who lived in the Amhara Region. Working within the EPRDF as internal informants, the G-4 worked for the external forces that hired it. A plan of terror to destabilize Ethiopia was designed. The strategic target was Tigrai, the core of Ethiopian unity in diversity. An underground network of flash-mob of armed hooligans was established. The minimum wage paid hooligans unleashed a genocide rampage against Tigraians, who lived for generations in their own Motherland, Ethiopia, in the Amhara region. Under the watchful eyes of Demeke and Gedu, thousands of Tigraians were mobbed and massacred; their properties were ransacked and torched; and about 50,000 of them, including mothers, fathers, children, and the elderly were uprooted and forced to escape to neighbouring North Sudan. They are now in Tigrai. About 20,000 other IDPs, who were uprooted from Oromia and other regions, were added to the 50,000. The Government and people of Tigrai are taking care of more than 70,000 IDPs. The caretaker Government of Mr. Ali has neither the will nor the required resources to offer help. Hope and optimism of these Tigraians rest on the determination of Tegaru and the Government of Tigrai to help them resettle and rebuild their lives. An extensive and intensive campaign is underway successfully. Tigraians believe in self-reliance. They have demonstrated successes of their unique attitude of we can do it.  This has been the determinant force behind their shining victories in all battlefields against their enemies. History books will record these cruelties of the Amhara extremist elements  to be lessons for the present and future generations to prevent a repeat of such tragedies.

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Best Way Forward

Mr. Ali’s caretaker government is in a near collapse. His immaturity and the external forces that hired him have incapacitated him. This is the high time for TPLF to forge close strategic alliances with all progressive-Ethiopian forces. Many of them are waiting for a call from the Mother of all victories, the TPLF. The time is right to declare a unified national party, involving all progressive parties from all regional states to form a federal government from the bottom, i.e., a federal polity formed by the regional states. EPRDF no more! A brand new strategic policy based on the worldview of a revolutionary democratic developmental state (NRDDS) is timely. NRDDS is a unifying dynamic model, which can usher in a genuine sustainable development that fosters inclusiveness, accountability, transparency, efficiency, equity, empowerment, freedoms, and justice in a modern federal system. Institutions, which are the rules of the socio-political and economic games, of an NRDDS are effective tools for fighting neoliberalism, as the genius, Meles Zenawi, did it successfully against pressures from the IMF, the World Bank, and the EU. Keep in mind, neoliberalism (imperialism) is determined to create a fragile Ethiopian state vulnerable to the dangers of regime change through a hidden revolution, using Mr. Ali & Co. as internal instruments. Now is the high time to pre-empt the dangerous conspiracy!

Long live Ethiopia’s unity in diversity!

[1] I am using his legal last name, Ali, preceded by Mr., because his PhD is fake, they say.

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