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Impact of PM Abiy’s Pardons & Contemporary Status of EPRDF


Berhanu Tsegay, ( berha2020@gmail.com )
Tigrai Online, July 2, 2019

Impact of Pardons by Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and the Status of EPRDF

So what should be the way forward for PM Abiy Ahmed?39.

At the moment, the four founding political parties of the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) have different political statuses. In a nutshell, the Southern Peoples Democratic Movement (SEPDM) could be likened with a dormant volcano. Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM), the once strong party that bravely fought on side of the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front (TPLF) against the Dergu regime, has already become to be an arch enemy of its foster-father/TPLF. Obviously, ANDM could not control and establish rule-of-law within Amhara regional state where various firearms are disseminated at household and even at an individual levels.

At this time, the people of Amhara region are observed to be politically most divided. One clear indicator, among others, is that during the funeral ceremony made in Baher-Dar town for the recently massacred top regional incumbents, massive people had attended condemning Brigadier general Asamenow’s (the perpetrator) evil act. Oppositely, during the funeral ceremony of Asamenow conducted in Lalibela, a huge size of his supporters also showed up in the place appreciating his deeds as ‘hero’. This shows how much the people within this region are at loggerheads with each other. Therefore, we can comprehend that ANDM is not in charge of this region anymore. Countless political factions and illegally armed sects are prevalent and ruling the regional state in a very scrambled manner.

When we look at the Oromo Peoples Democratic Organization (OPDO), its contemporary political status seems indifferent. Its public acceptance as a leading government is vastly shrinking for its commands from 4kilo (the palace) are not meeting required public demands rather exasperating the instabilities thereby dragging the country into a harsher and worse condition.

Nonetheless, due to SEPDM’s nebulous political stands and ANDM’s practical nonexistence, as well as because of holding most influential federal government positions, OPDO could find itself relatively in a better political status within EPRDF’s domain. However, in some scenarios, some argue that OPDO has been following a wait & see tactical approach until ANDM has totally politically bankrupted and TPLF becomes weak enough.

Even though, TPLF retreated from the federal government positions, it has already abled to consolidate its political and regional government powers by delimiting itself within the regional state of Tigray. At this time, this party could rally a wide-range of public support in Tigray.

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Owing to the pacified and stabilized regional state coupled with its people’s strong unity within, TPLF could effectively manage and administer it. Additionally, following the ongoing political upheavals of the country, TPLF becomes to be politically profitable and seems militarily strong.

It was before Dr. Abiy came to power that EPRDF had decided to release all political prisoners and detained journalists. However, after coming to power, he indiscriminately set free all the murderers, corruptive-officials, coup-committers and rapists. As a result, we as a country have begun to face the downside of his devastating amnesties which are prompting a lot of turmoil in Ethiopia.  

For instance, B/General Kemal Gelchu who was a top military official of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) had been assigned as security chief of Oromia regional state, later he was removed from his position related with issues of the experienced conflict between Oromia and Somalia regional states that have resulted in killings of thousands and displacement of millions of citizens. Similarly, the correspondingly positioned B/General Asamenow Tsiga in the regional state of Amhara, was sentenced for-life for his coup-attempt some years ago and later released by the stepped-in PM. Now, we could see that Asamenow has cold-bloodedly murdered the regional state’s highest officials and top military generals of the country. Besides, there are rumors that more evil conspiracies had also been plotted against more government officials which are not yet disclosed officially.

The naïve and short-sighted decisions and actions made by the PM during his earlier months in office, have considerably affected the country’s long-sustained peace and tranquility.

Last time, the highest Ethiopian Muslim leader furiously said, “Whenever they release the murderers, corruptive-officials, coup-committers and rapists, so how can they govern the country with rule –of-law at the top?” criticizing Abiy’s government for its wrong pardons which have created unbearable chaos pushing the country to a verge of disintegration.

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So what should be the way forward for PM Abiy Ahmed?

It’s no use to have an ‘either-or’ options for PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed. It would have paramount importance for the country as a whole, for him and OPDO in particular to line up with TPLF and stick with this party’s cardinal political-economy principles which are already proved to be effective.

For PM Abiy, it is no more workable to put himself and his decisions in limbo for balancing power between ANDM and TPLF. He should remember that the Oromian people are the main guardians of the constitution and the ethnic-federalism. Equally, most of the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia are also pro the existing constitution and federal system. Therefore, it is advisable that Dr. Abiy had better restore his friendship with TPLF and iron out his differences with this powerful party.

In line with this, he should transform himself from being a monotonous preaching priest/pastor to an unequivocally directing leader. Otherwise, he ought to apply the lesson taken from his immediate predecessor for playing his own role in stabilizing the country by resigning instantly and relinquish power to other fitting an OPDO member one.

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