Lemma Megersa and his security apparatus leaders have to stepdown
By M. Gettaw
Tigrai Online, August 14, 2018
Recent violent events are manifestations of the inherent characteristics of the coalition of current political players in Ethiopia. In the name of ‘medemer’ unholy alliances among violent groups is giving energy and fuel to violence and hate. It is very sad and barbaric to see a citizen of Ethiopia crucified in the middle of the day by none other than those who have taken credit and given credit for bringing the current leadership of Ethiopia to power – the Kerros. These symptoms are deeply concerning unless addressed right now with unequivocal denouncement of these groups and immediate prosecution of the perpetrators and their political leaders. It is very sad to see the Police Commissioner of Shashemene spend almost an hour talking about tangential issues like burning of a police car and stampede when a citizen is crucified barbarically under his watch as the security head of the city. It is sad that such people don’t have the courage to resign for their failure to keep the rights of citizens to live their God given life. The responsibility shouldn’t stop in Shashemene as the regional government is also responsible. Obbo Lemma Megerssa is shuttling between foreign capitals while the region he is assigned to lead is in chaos with erratic and violent youth gangs or Kerros. Lemma and his security leaders should take responsibility for this and they should stepdown if they can’t guarantee peace and security of residents of their region.
In the next few paragraphs, I will discuss the unholy alliance of some media, religious personalities, politicians and foreign actors their consequences.
Media, ‘religious’ personalities and foreign actors: For the naïve observer, it seems that the coordination between some people who were known for their religious activism (eg. Daniel Kibret) and those who were on opposite ends of political and media activism (eg. OMN, ESAT and ETV) is a coincidence. However, for a careful observer, these groups seem to be organizing or are being organized to undertake a coordinated campaign against those who have any questions about the new Ethiopian PM’s maneuvering of the political and security order in Ethiopia and beyond. It is testament to the stated admission of the new PM in Minnesota that the group that made a ‘silent coup’ within EPRDF has been working sleeplessly. Now a days, the coordination has reached a state for which it is hard to distinguish who is saying what- they all praise the ‘new EPRDF’ and denounce the ‘old EPRDF’. They have all become propaganda machines for the new PM and his team as if the PM has not been part of EPRDF (in all ranks including a Minister). According to Finian Cunnigham (Strategic Culture, 02-08-2018), there seems to be another layer of coordination with foreign actors to destroy the China-Africa partnership which should be a point of huge concern.
Selective Sympathy and crying foul: While it is human to show more allegiance towards a certain political group than another, what saddened me the most is the reaction of these coalition members to the most barbaric killing of Engineer Simegnew. The level of calm and quietness by the likes of Daniel Kibret on the killing of Engineer Simegnew when they could have barked day and night if this happened 5 or 6 months ago is hard to justify. It is very sad that those who claim to be the most religious and moral people don’t have the courage to out rightly denounce the killing when they have the platform of leading the events in the US tour of the new PM. One the other hand, Daniel Kibret had the audacity to preach to us that he is holier than holly condemning the killing of Keero and Fanno activists by police forces amidst protecting innocent Ethiopians who were gunned down and their property looted and burnt. He and his peers were telling us that the country will disintegrate if the Ethiopian police forces don’t stop use of force against those barbaric and violent youth. Where did the morality go when three innocent Tana Beles Sugar factory workers are killed by Fanno mobs? How about the barbaric crucification of an Ethiopian citizen the middle of day light in Shashemene? Where is the crying? Isn’t it clear that the 100 days or so of the current government has led to more deaths and disruptions to civil life than the last several years (prior to the advent of the violence by Keero and Fanno)? As someone who has known Daniel from AAU and Mahbere Kidusan days, I never expected that he would go this low- very unfortunate. As the adage goes, the only constant in politics is change. So, things will soon change and there may not be another chance for wearing the hat of morality and religiosity after mudding oneself.
Ethiopian Somali state – the recent appointment of Ahmed Shide to replace Abdi Ille is another manifestation of the meddling of the federal government. A few months after his appointment as the Spokesperson of the FDRE, he is now given the assignment to extinguish fire that is started by the arsons in the Oromia regional government. Lemma and his team are working day and night to dismantle the national order and Ahmed seems to be a recruit for implementing this agenda. I fear for him as he will be boxed in by different interest groups in the violence prone region. Hope he doesn’t succumb to pressure from the federal government. He should remember that the current coalition is not here forever and betraying the people and party that made him who he is now might make him pay dearly.
ETV or EBC: The Ethiopian government media is again at it; being the echo and propaganda machine of the executive instead serving the people. They seem to coordinate with certain people in the government to continuously propagate certain issues. Previously, I thought these so called journalists were being coerced to become propaganda tools of the executive body of the FDRE. However, it seems that they don’t know any better. They are just opportunists- they are a bunch who respond ‘how far when they are asked to jump’ than questioning why they should jump. My advice is similar, these so called journalists should realize that the current situation and leadership is not here to stay forever. It is natural for change to happen again and it will be hard to defend what they are doing or deliberately ignoring.