Who could possibly be behind the assassinations of General Seare Mekonnen and Major General Gezae Abera?
By Berhane Kahsay
Tigrai Online, June 30, 2019
If Abiy remains at the helm of power, the situation in Ethiopia will deteriorate, the TPLF should now consult Tigrai people and parliament to come up with options for Tigrai including invoking Article 39.
Ethiopia is passing through stormy times where assassinations and internal displacements running into millions have become the norms. Twenty-seven years of hard work which delivered an uninterrupted economic growth and stability appears to have careered off the right path since Abiy Ahmed came to power in April 2018. What we have instead at present is a complete break down of law and order and lack of security where high-ranking government officials and decorated army Generals have been brazenly slayed with complete latitude.
On the economic front, the country is on a downward spiral with a depleted foreign currency reserve which is gravely affecting the manufacturing sectors which are operating at a fraction of their full capacity now. Similarly, the construction segment is in a very perilous state, and it is just a matter time before it crushes taking with it hundreds and thousands of jobs. Feeding sectors related to construction industries are also bound to experience the same difficulties causing a huge increase in the number of people out of employment. To exacerbate the situation further, foreign direct investments have dwindled, and export earnings from agricultural produce, manufacturing and mining sectors were projected to be $3.92 billion but the actual receipt was only $2.39 billion. (Reporter, 23 June 2019)
Moreover, the prevailing lawlessness and lack of security is certain to hamper food productions and the possibility of famine in the immediate future could not be wholly ruled out. Because of foreign currency constraints, the government of Abiy Ahmed will have no choice but to go around the world seeking for food aid as the he will not have the pleasure of importing grains to cover the short fall. Before the appearance of the current PM, any short falls were covered from reserves and imports.
To just cite a single example, in late 2017, Ethiopia imported 800,000 metric tons of wheat at a cost of $300,000,000 from the Black Sea region. This was made possible because the country had a visionary leader, Meles Zenawi, who laid the foundation that made Ethiopia prosperous and economic nucleus of the Horn region. What we have today is a mediocre Prime Minister who spends his time planting trees and thinking from where his next photo opportunity event would materialize. And to top it all, Prime Minister Abiy has been acting as a mediator in the political crisis gripping the Sudan when his own people are in dire straits, and the country is edging towards ex-Yugoslavia type of civil war. How did we get to where we are today?
The problem started when Meles Zenawi announced the construction of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Ever since this date, Egypt set in motion a three-pronged strategy to stop the project from being realised to ensure an unhindered flow of the Nile. The first approach was to enter into ‘’negotiations’’ by citing the 1902 agreement with Menelik which states His Majesty the Emperor Menelik II, King of kings of Ethiopia, engages himself towards the Government of His Britannic Majesty not to construct or allow to be constructed, any works across the Blue Nile, Lake Tsana or the Sobat, which would arrest the flow of their waters into the Nile except in agreement with his Britannic Majesty’s Government and the Government of the Sudan” and the 1929 Nile Waters agreement. This was simply a delaying stratagem with the real motive being to foster a political crisis in Ethiopia and stop the construction of the GERD all-together. And his is exactly what has transpired. The third option was a non-starter as it would require invasion or aerial bombardment of the dam which would not be practical for Egypt to do. What made this possible for Egypt to devise these strategies?
When Meles declared the project, he should have ensured the political space was conducive for all players to prevent a formidable enemy, Egypt, the opportunity to interfere in the country’s internal affairs to fulfil its strategy of scuppering the GERD. It is to be recalled that when President Morsi was in a meeting with his cabinet, some of the attendees were openly proposing supporting opposition groups to force Ethiopia from going ahead with her popular plan. Meles believed his strong personality and leadership qualities coupled with first class Intelligence Agencies would neutralize Egypt’s threat of destabilizing Ethiopia. During his tenure, the country was not only stable, but it also became East Africa’s economic power and a model for the rest of the continent to emulate.
But this did not stop the Arab Republic, and her perseverance paid off in the end when the formidable former prime minister died unexpectedly and replaced by an incompetent leader with very poor grasp of complex politics. Apart from the close confidants of Meles, no one else knows the cause of his death. Many people believe that Egypt was behind his early departure which was consistent with the Arab Republic’s agenda of preventing the materialisation of GERD by eliminating the brainchild of the project. Ever since Meles’s replacement came to power, Egypt went about with its plot of destabilizing the Horn nation with a new vigour via its client state, Eritrea.
At the orders of Egypt, the Eritrean President, who obeyed similar instructions to make ‘peace’ with Ethiopia, made links with Ginbot-7, OLF and other minor players and started financing, training and arming them with a view to executing Egypt’s mission. ESAT, which played a pivotal role in unseating PM Hailemariam, was receiving funds from Egypt through Eritrea. Egypt’s protracted efforts paid off in April 2018 when Abiy Ahmed came to power with its backing. The Muslim PM’s first mission was to assassinate Engineer Simegnew, who was the project manager of GERD. This was followed by the cessation of the entire construction of the dam that was envisaged to accelerate the persistent and spectacular double-digit economic growth.
Now, it is becoming clearer that all-along Egypt’s agenda was not only to stop the building of GERD, but it was also to ensure equitable use of the Nile Waters would not be an issue now or in the future by placing Ethiopia in a perpetual political crisis. And it was for this reason that there has been a massive flow weapons to Amhara kilil from Egypt through Eritrea. PM Abiy has completely come under the spell of Egypt and the recent organised murders in Bahir Dhar and Addis Ababa were part of Egypt’s strategies to aggravate the already volatile situation by igniting a full scale inter-ethnic strife.
After incapacitating GERD, Abiy embarked on removing Tigrians in high government positions and other institutions including INSA’s Director General, Major General Teklebrehan and Getachew Assefa, head of NISS. At this juncture, the country is in a very precarious situation because of the untimely and unceremonious dismissals of these two exceptionally seasoned ex-Intelligence chiefs who were able to maintain peace and stability in the country whilst they were in charge. It was also down to them that Egypt was not able to succeed with its clandestine destructive stratagems through its surrogate organisations handled by Eritrea.
Now the Intelligence establishments appear to have come under the influence of outsiders and circumstantial evidence point the involvements of America and Egypt which has a lot to gain if Ethiopia was to be in an insoluble political and economic crisis. No doubt INSA and NISS chiefs knew in advance the plot against General Seare along with the PM---- and it was for this reason that Abiy did not sacked them. For a job well-done, Abbey has now appointed General Adam Mohammed, the current Director-General of NISS, as the new Chief-of Staff. Was it also a coincidence that Demeke and Gedu were abroad when the massacres were unfolding in Addis and Bahir Dar? And why was General Seare not allowed to select his own body guards to protect him?
If Abiy remains at the helm, the situation in Ethiopia will certainly deteriorate. It is now time for the TPLF to consult the regional parliament and the people and come up with options for Tigrai including invoking Article 39.
If Abiy remains at the helm, the situation in Ethiopia will deteriorate, TPLF should now consult Tigrai people and parliament to come up with options for Tigrai including invoking Article 39.