Dr Abiye appears to be moving away from his Oromo constituency and aligning himself with their strategic ememies
Dr Abiye: Aligning with Oromo’s strategic nemesis
By Berhane Kahsay
Tigrai Online, July 7, 2018
Dr Abiye has been in office for 3 months, and since his ascension, things have been developing at a breath-taking speed. The newly minted Prime Minister came to prominence after securing the Deputy Leadership of the OPDO in 2016. This was made possible when the previous incumbents identified with the so-called Addis Ababa ‘master plan’, which claimed the lives 140 Oromo protestors, were removed from office. However, aborting the planned expansion to nearby Oromia farm lands failed to quell the cataclysm resulting in the declaration of a second state of emergency in 2018 which has now been lifted.
Key external players including OLF and Jowhar Mohammed commandeered the legitimate multifaceted grievances of the populace to advance their own political agendas. Oromo youth (aka Qeerroos) were let loose in most parts of the region with the sole purpose of attaining federal power including the coveted post of Premiership.
It has been a while since OPDO fell under the spell of OLF and Jowhar; as a result, the entire political activities of the region throughout the upheaval were directed from their command posts in Asmara and Minnesota where the latter is located. No doubt, Jowhar’s spectacular success was down to the strong backing and direction provided by the likes of ‘Open Society Foundations’ funded by the Hungarian born billionaire philanthropist and neo-liberalist, George Soros.
Whilst the new PM was in charge of Oromia, he failed to armour the FDRE constitution which was desecrated with impunity. The unrest even crossed into neighbouring Ethio-Somali resulting in hundreds of fatalities and dislocation of nearly a million people on both sides. Neighbouring quasi Somaliland was also involved on the side of its kin south of the border by expelling 3000 Oromos as retaliatory measures. All the crises were engineered to wrestle power from ‘Woyane.’
One hundred days after the coming of the new PM, the country finds itself in a very precarious situation and can very easily slip into ethnic conflicts of epic proportions. Dr Abiye is failing to grab the opportunity that has come his way to unify the country and move on to deal with economy which is in dire straits. The PM talks about love, tolerance, forgiveness and unity ad nauseam, and yet, he goes out of his way to use very divisive languages that could endanger the safety and wellbeing of citizens particularly the Tigrians. During his recent parliament appearance, Dr Abiye said that the only region in Ethiopia with no democracy was Tigrai and that the people and the TPLF were not the same but not for OPDO and ANDM. This assertion was not out of concern for the Tigrian people but intended to place a wedge between the people and the party leaving the region that transformed Ethiopia without an organised political party able to defend its interests. The other objective is designed to initiate partition and discord among the Tigrians; and relegate them to a state where they would not be in a position to defend the federal system which is coming under serious peril from those that have been obstinately slogging to retrieve the old and despised unitary system of yesteryears.
It would not be an exaggeration to avow that the current political system that has made it possible for an Oromo to be installed as a PM for the first time in the history of the country was due to the sacrifices of the Tigrian people. A heavy price has been paid for this political order, and it will be doggedly shielded come rain or shine.
Dr Abiye appears to be moving away from his Oromo constituency and aligning himself with chauvinists who have been labouring for the last 27 years to establish a centralised form of government in place of the current democratic devolved system where nations, nationalities and peoples have been managing their own affairs including development of their languages, identity, traditional values and norms to great effect. It is to be recalled that the people living in southern and eastern parts of Ethiopia were treated as second class citizens in their own country, and some of them were on the verge of extinction under the erstwhile political system that was removed after 17 years of struggle costing 70,000 lives and 100,000 combatants with debilitating disabilities.
OPDO and other Oromo political organisations ought to be mindful of the fact that their tactical alliance with ANDM, G-7 and Amhara intelligentsia for a momentary gain against the TPLF is a grave strategic error that would haunt them for many years to come if not corrected forthwith. TPLF and all Oromo outfits are strategic partners because of their commitments to the present federal system that was instituted at a great cost. The chauvinists on the other hand want to re-establish a unitary mode of governance that was consigned to the dust bin of history after a bitter struggle that involved the TPLF, OLF, OPDO, old ANDM, SLF (Sidama Liberation Front), ALF( Afar Liberation Front) to name but a few. Divide and rule is a classic Amhara elite modus operandi and the Oromos, who suffered the most at their hands, should not fall for it.
What transpired in Bahir Dar last week was a defining moment. All the unitary disparate groups with their old Ethiopian flag hoisted by the regions police forces were in full display. The federal flag was nowhere to be seen and the participants were addressed by Gedu and Demeke. These two individuals are members of the EPRDF and did not have any qualms facing the Ethiopian flag with the diversity emblem removed in violation of Chapter one, article 3, of the constitution, and gazing at the picture of the mass murderer Mengistu Haile Mariam. Also in attendance were members of the National Movement of Amhara (Nama) who are claiming parts of Tigrai, Oromia, Gambella, Benshangul and all of Addis Ababa in contravention of Chapter 4, Article 46, Part 3, of FDRE constitution.
Dr Abiye must stop pandering to chauvinists and Derg left-overs by executing their agenda of eliminating the TPLF which is part of the EPRDF the PM leads. Even those associated with the TPLF are coming under attack, and some have already been removed from office such as Shiferaw Shigute and his deputy Siraj Fergessa. Similarly, Abdi Mohammed Omar of Ethio-Somalia, and Haji Seyoum Awol of Afar, are in line for dismissal in the not too distant future. It is time for the likes of Lencho Letta (Oromo Democratic Front), Bekele Gerba (Oromo Federalist Congress) and Merara Gudina (Oromo Federalist Congress) to challenge the PM who is closely working hand in glove with their historical nemesis. As far as the TPLF is concerned, it should remain focused and resolute as it is a matter of time before the PM’s discordant alliance with the chauvinists unravels in a spectacular manner. It is also imperative for the TPLF to have a contingency strategy in the event the EPRDF ceases to exist in its previous format.
Another point the Oromos need to be aware of is that, once the chauvinists are done with the TPLF, if at all possible, they will turn against your interests.