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Ethiopia: A powder keg waiting to explode any time soon

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By Berhane kahsay, 14 October 2018, Tigrai Online

Instead of confrontation, a tactful discourse is required to settle the disengagement of OLF as this would definitely circumvent a potentially distractive and costly strife in the region and the country as a whole.

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Ethiopia has been a hotbed of unrest since the ‘fitness instructor’ PM came to power in April 2018. In the last six months only, nearly 2 million citizens have been internally displaced from their homestead as a result of the conflicts raging in SNNP, Oromia, Gambela, Ethio-Somalia and Benshangul.

 In its featured article of September 2018, The Globe Post, a US digital media organisation, commented that more people have been uprooted in Ethiopia than in Syria which is in the midst of a bloody civil war that commenced in 2011.

The tension and instability in most parts of the country, including the capital, shows no sign of abating. Only a couple of days ago, large numbers of  armed soldiers marched into the PM’s office, and true to form, King Abiy made a fool of himself by doing press-ups in front of those who failed to follow correct military procedures. This is a clear case of serious security breach which would not have been possible if the previous competent and seasoned directors of the Intelligence Services were not unceremoniously ejected by the PM.

How is it possible that several hundred armed soldiers marching through the streets of Addis were not halted before they stormed the PM’s office? Clearly, this is indicative of the ineptitude of the new personnel in charge of the Intelligence sector, and one wonders if the current incumbents are capable of stopping the sophisticated and resourceful terror group, Al-Shebab, from instigate mayhem in the capital.   

PM Abiy appears to be losing control, and to exacerbate the volatile situation further, he has decided to coerce Dawud Ibssa, leader of the OLF, to deactivate his army forthwith. This is a recipe for disaster. Instead of confrontation, a tactful discourse is required to settle the disengagement of OLF as this would definitely circumvent a potentially distractive and costly strife in the region and the country as a whole.

PM Abiy has to accept the fact that, the OLF, which came into being in 1973, has a huge following in Oromia especially among the youth, Qeerroo. When Dawud Ibssa, leader of the organisation, arrived in Addis, he was triumphantly received by hundreds and thousands of euphoric followers who trekked to the metropolis from all corners of Oromia.

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Dawud Ibssa has a strong backing from his people, and altercation with him has to be avoided at any cost in the interest of the country which is already in grave danger of descending into an all-out country-wide conflict. The leader of OLF has now realised the magnitude of support he has from his constituency, and this would certainly encourage him to stand-up to his former handler Isaias Afewerki, who is fighting for his survival. It would be wrong of Dr Abiy to consider strong arm tactics hoping for the Eritrean dictator to come to his aid if  things fail to proceed according to plan.

Dr Abiy has openly declared that there was an agreement for the OLF to surrender its arms, but this has been vehemently refuted by its leader. If PM Abiy believes he has the evidence, why not making it public? The populist PM, who has been intoxicated with fame, simply let every opposition in without any sort of covenant to play by the democratic rules of politics.

It was erroneous of the PM to allow OLF and G-7 to enter the country before handing over all their arms to the government or a third party. This is exactly what the Irish Republican Army (IRA) and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARCS) did when they signed a peace agreement with their respective governments.

In any case, why is the PM only concerned about the weapons in the hands of OLF, how about the huge cache of arms in the possession of outlaws in Amhara region engaged in looting consignments destined for Tigrai in broad daylight? Law and order has not only broken down in Oromia, but also in Amhara region and needs the immediate attention of PM Abiy. On daily basis, illegal weapons are entering Gonder from neighbouring countries, and some are making their way to the AU capital to counter Oromo’s claim of Addis Ababa as part and parcel of their land.

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Amhara zealots, sponsored and armed by Gedu, have also been making noises lately in relation to Welkait and Raya, but these have been part of Tigrai for generations and will remain so come rain or shine. To consider using force is suicidal but if pushed, the Tigrians would not settle until they decimate their enemy in the same way as they did to the Derg which had the largest army in sub-Sahara Africa. It would be quick to sort out those that fire with their eyes shut. TigraiFirst!!!!!

Ethiopia: A powder keg waiting to explode any time soon
Ethiopia has been a hotbed of unrest since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power in April 2018, now Ethiopia is A powder keg waiting to explode any time.

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