Ethiopia is plurinational state, a mosaic ethnic, rainbow federalism, and polyglot communities. The second most populous country in Africa was undertaking for the last one year topsy-turvy and vortex situation.
First and chief, there are voluminous factors which spiked this haphazard and volatility in the country including but not limited, the festering standoff among the federal government and the Tigray region, the deteriorating parade in the Oromia region, the resurrection of the Amhara chauvinism, and the new demand of the Wolayta for self-administration in the country which is clear bellwether the incompetence of the incumbent, and stultifies Abiy’s ill-conceived policies in the country.
Abiy’s Janus-faced, and his sneak peek policies are adding insult to injury the long-standing vendetta among the different ethnics in the Ethiopia. Abiy’s smokescreen agenda under the guise of reform becomes blowback. His sordid leadership can jeopardize the country’s role in the region, and will plummet Ethiopia’s superiority in the horn of Africa.
At the beginning, Abiy collected much kudos, applause, and plenty accolades for his unprecedented transformation in Ethiopia’s politics. In April, 2018 when Abiy becomes the PM of Ethiopia, he has promoted media freedom, he has unleashed the political prisoners, and augmented inclusion of women into the political arena.
He has also invited the opposition to the political arena. Moreover, he depleted the longue-duree tension between Ethiopia and Eritrea, which was the longest feud among two-African states, almost 18-years. As a result, some politically-minded Ethiopians believe Abiy has taken exquisite, inimitable, plausible and peerless actions and concatenation which paved the way to win the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019.
The flipside, Abiy since he becomes Nobel Laureate, he tended backward-trajectory, and he eats unwittingly all his credits. He several times imposed on Oromia region, the most populous region in Ethiopia internet-cutoff, and all communications, especially during the pandemic when the people were needed desperately the WHO healthy guidelines.
Also, Abiy arrested the prominent figures, and the talking heads of Oromo ethnic, including Jawar, who is the Mover and Shaker in Ethiopia’s politics, Bekele Gerba, the deputy chairman of Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), and plethora of civilians. These deplorable actions besmirched Abiy, and led to lost some of his cachet.
The situation becomes dumfounded and flabbergasted when Abiy dislodged his former boss, Lemma Magersa, the former defense minister, formally the president of the Oromia region, and superseded by Kenea Yadeta, who was the former security official in Oromia region.
Lemma Magersa denigrated and refuted Abiy’s “Medemer” vision, which is eviscerating and nullifying the federal system in the country which conglomerates more than 80 communities.
Abiy’s Medemer vision aims at uniting the country into one system, and obliterating the federalism. Plenty of talking heads opined that, Abiy is puppet for Amhara ethnic group. Amhara, as a chauvinist always advocates unitary system under their tutelage in order to turbocharge on the rest.
Because, Amhara, the longest-runner in the country wants to be pace-setter, and power-wielder, while the rest wants to coexistence under the umbrella of the federalism. In this regard, Abiy’s Medemer vision is pie in the sky as long as its complicit for Amhara’s chauvinism.
The delay of the ballot slated for August, this year spiked combustive politics
Since the House of Federations (HOF) announced the postponement of the election which was supposed to held in August, 2020 this year, the country undertakes political nemesis. The opposition parties indicated that, the election postponement is a sine die, and political gimmick in order to consolidate the power beyond the mandate. Moreover, the oppositions mentioned that, the singular decision of the HOF for delaying the election can create another political instability and communal violence. And they considered HOF as a lame-duck and rubber-stamper.
The former speaker of Ethiopia’s Upper House, her Excellency Keria Ibrahim who belongs Tigray ethnic group resigns in June this year after the house postponed the election. Keria denigrated Abiy that, he violated the constitution, and the sovereignty of the country. Keria is also, a top official of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Abiy, as smart in devilish way, he pioneered how he can include the Somali region in this political powder keg, and he pushed the House of Federation to elect Aden Farah, formerly the speaker of the Somali region’s parliament. As was anticipated, Aden Farah becomes lame-duck, and rubber-stamper.
Aden’s election comes after hours the House of the Federation voted another nine to twelve months of extension for all the federal and the regional parliaments. As common in Africa’s politics and all the authoritarian leaders, Abiy likes someone who doesn’t have any perspicacious and outstanding stance, but someone who imitates, mimics, and emulates his controversial personality.
Tigray’s regional election announcement is spine-chilling message to the incumbent
Tigray ethnic group under the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) was part, and the most powerful political party in EPRDF which was created in 1991, when the Communist Junta was overthrown in 1991, and vanished December, 2019 last year.
Abiy, right after he received the Nobel Prize, he pioneered Ethiopian Prosperity Party (EPP) as the successor of EPRDF. EPP conglomerates three-out of four parties of the EPRDF, namely Amhara Democratic Party (ADP), Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), and Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM). Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), is the only party which is included in this new party (EPP).
Since then, Tigray region becomes whipping boy, arch-enemy, and the black sheep in Ethiopia’s politics. The political incongruity among the ruling party in Ethiopia, EPP, and the Tigray region peaked and reached zenith when Tigray region announced last week famously and courageously that, they will hold their regional election for the next week, and adding that, any attempt to stop the election a “Declaration of War”. As a pushback, Saturday, this week, the House of Federation announced that, Tigray’s unilateral decision of orchestrating their regional election is unconstitutional, and they will not recognize the result.
In the meantime, colossal of veteran journalists, and other international observers are already in Mekelle, the capital city of Tigray region in order to witness the election. While some other journalists including the New York Times, Bloomberg, and Senior Analyst of Crisis Group are restricted in the Bole Airport by the government’s security forces to travel to Tigray region.
The Pipe dream of Abiy for becoming the 7th Emperor of Ethiopia by obliterating the federal system and supplanting unitary system under the favor of Amhara’s chauvinism (His Mother, and his Wife belong to Amhara ethnic group), the dog eats dog policy in Ethiopia, the exacerbating political disagreement among the federal government and the Tigray region, the resurrection of the Amhara’s chauvinism, the proliferating parade of the Oromo ethnic group.
The Dormant Volcano of the Wolayta ethnic group, the ruthless and the relentless of police brutality against the dissenting voices, the increasing armed to the teeth groups in the country, the elephant in the room in the Somali region under the pseudo administration and the handpicked vice-president, all these conspicuous squalid situations are clear litmus, how Abiy is incompetent, incapable of leading the country. Ethiopia’s politics tends obfuscation, intractable, amok, and unpredictable for the last one year.
As a caveat, if the world doesn’t intervene immediately, it will become slap in the face to the region, and the continent as whole.
Anwar Abdifatah Bashir (Freelance Journalist/Independent Researcher and Horn of Africa Geopolitics Analyst). The writer is the Author of Four Books, including “Horn of Africa Geopolitics, with especial consideration, the Somali region in Ethiopia”.
The Author, recently completed his Fourth Post-Graduate Study in KOREA majored in (Global Governance and Political Economy) at Korean Development Institute (KDI)