The second most populous state in Africa faces political volatility. Closely several times encountered coup d’état, mostly from Amhara and Tigray ethnicities. These two ethnicities tended to run the country under political dynasty, and currently, they freaked out to witness, Oromo’s leadership in the country. Amhara is the longest runner of Ethiopian history from Menelik, Emperor Haile Salesse until Mengistu Haile Mariam under the iron fist and patrimonial leadership is currently bedeviling Abiy’s term. Abiy, himself was over trusted Amhara, as far as his mother and his wife are Amhara ethnic group. Abiy, though Amhara as his guru and coterie group and he was anticipating that Amhara will give him unwavering support in order to ostracize Tigray. Abiy’s speculation and hallucination became blowback after last month June 22, 2019; Amhara orchestrated putschism against Abiy’s leadership. First, they implemented the coup for their region (Kilil), and they brutally killed the president of their regional administration his Excellency Dr. Ambachew Mekonnen, in the meantime, they were killed Ethiopia’s military chief of staff General SeareMekonnen (Tigray Ethnicity) and several other officials.
In 23, the next day, Abiy declared that his government handled and vanquished the coup plotters while wearing military fatigue. But, the most dubious and ambiguous thing was, Abiy was addressing behind a white screen, and he was giving the interview only one media station. So, plenty of political commentators opined that Abiy was hiding his position at that time, in order to bewilder the coup perpetrators. If this is true, then the coup was between success and failure.
On 28 June, PM AbiyAhmed appointed:-
– General Adem Mohammed as Chief of General Staff of the National Defense Force
– Lieutenant General Mola Hailemariam, Chief of Ground Forces
– Demelash Gebremichael, Director of National Intelligence and Security Service
On the other hand, Abiy’s capricious and infantile transformation led to indiscriminately release the prisoners and former criminals. Including the master-mind behind the coup Brig-Gen Asaminew Tsige who spent nine years in custody for allegedly plotting the same coup against the previous ruler Atto Meles Zenawi. So, Abiy’s action mostly creates self-delusion and self-inflicted headache. Though the coup plotter was shot dead, still, the fear remains active.
And during his funeral ceremony, a big fat of his supporters also showcased that, he was a hero.
The other side of the coin, National Movement of Amhara (NAMA), who is chauvinist, ultraconservative irredentist, was backing behind the failed coup. Because, they believe that, Ethiopia belongs to their specific ethnicity. And this latest coup attempt is preponderant and egregious evidence that Amhara wants to unseat and kick out clueless Abiy and his lip service government. Additionally, Abiy’s ethnic group (Oromo) tended greedily, and they want to seize everything. So, Abiy failed to control his ethnic group. For instance, Abiy is the prime minister, and Lemma Magersa, is the federal minister of defense. And the two dominant ethnicities, the so-called Oromo and Amhara are claiming equally that, they belong to the country. Moreover, Amhara is lobbying to impose the country a strong central government under its leadership. Jawar Mohamed, Oromo-Muslim Diaspora, and other talking heads mainly form Amhara ethnic evoked publicly and famously that, Ethiopia needs to go back to central government and deplete, obliterate and chase away the regional administrations and the Liyuu Policies. This means Amhara wants to control anyone and everything. But they lack that, in 21century there is no need high-handed and iron fist rule. And nobody obeys dictatorship.
Meanwhile, Tigray, one of the minorities in Ethiopia, and ruled the country closely three decades from 1991 until when Melez Zenawi who was died in 2015 ousted his predecessor Mengistu Haile Mariam (Marxist-Leninist). Tigray keeps bemoaning since Abiy takes the office in April 2018 that, Abiy wants to target and marginalize Tigray people. So, they are part and parcel the collision of undermining and puzzling the newly elected, and the youngest leader in Africa Atto Dr. Abiy Ahmed.
Somali region becomes the epicenter of the contestation!
Somali region (Ogadenia), the second largest land, and the third most populous region in Ethiopia become the hotspot where the three political dynasties compete. During the Amhara era (Derg), Somali community encountered castigation, killings, torturing and other painful punishments. During Tigray rule under TPLF, the Somali ethnic faced the same castigation. I remember when I was young and grew up Kebridahar city in the Somali region that, when Ethiopian troops were heading to a mission, they used to take the civilian’s cars. Even if, the passengers are heading to their destination under the guise of what was called (GIDHEESH).
The former president of the Somali region, who is currently behind bars, was a close ally to Tigray’s rule under TPLF. And that is why, plenty of his oppositions were accusing him that, he was a sycophant and true staunch of Tigray rule. Now, the president of the Somali region is yet teetering and dithering whether he becomes obsequious to Oromo or Amhara ethnicities. Mustafa, aka Cagjar several times attended occasions which were gathered by Amhara. Suffice to say that, Cagjar prefers to be a close ally to Amhara instead of Oromo. And this misstep freaked out and fizzled out Abiy and his Oromo ethnicity. Because, as far as Abiy brought Cagjar, they were expecting to be their docile leader.
Additionally, Mustafa Cagjar himself scores of times suggested terminating the Liyuu Police. This unripe, infantile and reckless speech demoralized the Somali region. Because, they were bemoaning decades and decades the badness repercussions of the Amhara and Tigray rule, and when they received special independent regional troops was their first sense of live. But, clueless Cagjar and his team who is swimming a cesspool of corruption want again to lead Somali region and to pave the way Ethiopia to enslave the Somali community in Ethiopia which is creepy, sad, ordeal and hocus-pocus. Because the Somali community in Ethiopia is recuperating to their posthumous damages. So, Cagjar tends so meekly and mild, and his words are totally like prank call and profanity utterance.
Upcoming Election in Ethiopia 2020
There is anticipation which regards to be taken place an election in Ethiopia somewhere in 2020. But, the big question is, what type will be that election? In my gut feeling, the free and square election can’t be witnessed in Ethiopia. Because, EPRDF, the single party which was/and ruling the country for the last three decades still wants to extend their mandate. Knowingly, EPRDF conglomerates only four parties from four ethnic groups the so-called Oromo Democratic Party (ODP), Amhara Democratic Party (ODP), Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and Southern Ethiopian People’s Movement (SEPDM). Bear in mind that, Ethiopia is nine regional administrations. So, EPRDF unites only four parties out of nine. Suffice to say, there is no totally political inclusiveness in Ethiopia. The ostracized regions are Somali region, Afar region, Gambella region, Harari region and Benishangul-Gumuz region. So, this political disparity is outstanding and conspicuous in Ethiopia. And Abiy keeps telling the world that, he is a pioneer of transformation in Ethiopia and Africa as well. This is a totally self-contradictory and self-defeating concept.
If Abiy wants to be a catalyst, he should include these five regions into the political laundry under EPRDF’s party. Or he should dismember EPRDF and supersede open democratic parties so they can contest freely and fairly the political landscape.
On the other hand, these five excluded regions should express their political future famously, loudly, courageously and independently. But, if they keep their nebulous stance and tending quietists, they remain marginalized, underdogs and sycophants which is a disaster.
- Abiy should stay away and dodge trusting Amhara as his staunches anymore
- Amhara should relinquish to their rapaciousness and patronizing. And in the meantime, they should aware of that, their powwow of lobbying patrimonial leadership under their tutelage doesn’t work anymore. In 21 century doesn’t accept an iron fist
- Oromo should forget to their insatiable desire and frivolous demands of seizing and overarching everything
- Tigray should refrain to their collision and conspiracy against the incumbent Dr. Abiy
- Somali region should showcase their maverick stance towards the waves and contestation among the three political dynasties in Ethiopia the so-called Amhara, Tigray, and Oromo
- EPRDF should be dismembered and replaced free and democratic parties who are open to anyone belongs to Ethiopia
- Article 39 of the Ethiopian constitution should be invoked, which gives to every region of Ethiopia the right of (Self-determination)
Anwar Abdifatah Bashir (Freelance Journalist/Horn of Africa Geopolitics Analyst and Independent Researcher)