By Berhane Mewa
After noticing the danger of the balance in Forces of Power among stake-holders in the current Ethiopian politics, I was inclined and finally decided to come up with this write-up. Unless proper evaluation of the Balance of Power is used to make an alignment decision with the right forces, disastrous situation can lead the country to irreversible crisis. The emergence of the new thinking within EPRDF leadership is pretty much popular in the majority of the Ethiopian people with reservation in some.
We should bear in mind that this is not a change of government or regime. It is only a change in some of the thinking’s of the EPRDF leadership. Not only this, the change is not unanimously agreed upon, creating opposing force within the government. The change could be sustainable leading us to full democratization or will help the regime hold power with minor reforms or be fragile leading us to disastrous situation. Nevertheless, the Ethiopian people’s demand is nothing less than a completely free and democratic system. So where should we stand?
The Political situation in our country has been dramatically changing. The struggle of the Ethiopian People against the EPRDF regime which has been dominated by TPLF, with the boost from the civil disobedience resulted in a scenario which has not been anticipated. It is not only the current reaction of the Ethiopian people that resulted in this change but also the cumulative sacrifice made by individuals, political parties and various members of the community. The Ethiopian Youth has become surprising in driving the change. No one alone can take credit for this change; the result is a collective effort and sacrifices.
Millions of lives have been lost. Thousands have been barbarically tortured, beaten, inhumanly treated, destabilized, ethnically targeted, thousands of families destroyed and exiled. All the worst things one can imagine could happen have happened to the Ethiopian People. Equally, thousands benefited from the system individually or as a group, both legitimately and unfairly. Corruption, nepotism, tribalism has been the center of the system governed by EPRDF/TPLF. The system has mounted hopelessness, the deterioration of Ethiopian Nationalism, promoting divisive narrow ethnic agendas and corruption. All this happened against the will of the Ethiopian people. Therefore, one can summarize the time as, “most of the country and its people have been colonized by ‘the hateful Ideology’”.
Though, the struggle has been waged by all Ethiopians with different types of resistance, sacrifice and determination, the potential change started by creating crack within EPRDF, visibly targeting the dominance of TPLF. The irony is that the partial undoing of the system is coming from the EPRDF itself (which has been responsible for the destruction of the social, economic and political fabric of Ethiopia and the spread of hatred and ethnic cleansing). At the far front of this “CHANGE” The new PM Dr. Abiy Ahmed, The Team Lema, OPDO, ANDEM, (all from EPRDF) are seen. However, the driving force is the determination of the Ethiopian people for change.
We need to understand that this changing of attitude is not willingly developed inherent in this groups or individuals. They are rather the results of continuous struggle of all Ethiopians followed by the volcanic eruption of grievances and disobedience at the verge of possible civil war, which was visibly fearful, specially, for those in the country.
The demand of the Ethiopian people is nothing less than a completely free and democratic country. Though, we experience and witness a powerful unifying start with some unpredictable positive changes, some negative happenings are also on the rise. To properly align our thoughts on the current status in Ethiopia we can base our views from any vantage point. The result of our conclusion differs accordingly.
Given that the change in the thinking of the leadership in EPRDF (some in EPRDF do oppose the change) is positive and appreciated by most Ethiopians.
a. Let us give the PM chance, support and trust him, in which case we will relax make some adjustments with the existing law. Finally participate in the coming election to form a new Government.
b. Let us continue the struggle till we ensure the formation of a Transitional Government to get a complete change in the system including changing the constitution then have election to form a stable government.
c. Let us support the PM and demand national reconciliation and formation of a consultative body to ensure the installation of free Democratic Institutions (Media, Judiciary, Freedom of Assembly, Neutral military…), and establish independent electoral board by consensus and finally give our People a chance to conduct a fair and transparent Election.
We may add some other choices to this three.
Balance of Power
1. About two third of EPRDF support the PM (based on the vote in the PM election)
2. Those who oppose him do have upper hand in the security, the military and the economy.
3. PM has backing of most of the Ethiopian people, with a strong and vocal support from the younger generation.
4. The opposing group has installed a suppression instrument the “Command Post” which is assumed to be opposed by the PM. This CP has reportedly abused its power.
5. The opposing group has declared officially to use all its means to reverse the change during a recent meeting in Mekele.
6. Ethnic conflicts are popping-up in different parts of the country purported as designed to reverse the change. The politics in the ethnic conflict is based on the philosophy of the phasing out EPRDF/TPLF leadership.
7. Arbitrary killing and arrest is made in different parts of CP controlled areas.
8. There is some resistance to release all the political prisoners backed by the security which has aligned with the opposing group within EORDF.
The ABIY Syndrome
Many people wish to have a good leader and what will be expected of them is pretty much known. When you observe surprising move by leaders you will not have option not to appreciate, especially looking back to the last 27 years of hopelessness, hatred, suspicion, animosity among ethnicity. What we see is shockingly hard to believe. The People of Ethiopia who suffered and struggled to bring this change are to be credited.
Have you thought of:
• EPRDF releasing in mass, political prisoners who have been sentenced to death and long prison sentence.
• Have you ever thought of Andargachew Tsege, Andualem Arage, Eskinder Nega, Bekele Gerba,Merara Gudina, Temesgen Desalegn, the Generals accused of overthrow attempt and other political prisoners released?
• Have you ever imagined a leader who apologizes the public for all wrongdoings of his party?
• Have you ever thought to have a leader who goes looking for Ethiopians in neighboring countries to get them released from prison?
• Have you ever thought of a PM to shake hands with a prisoner (Andargachew Tsege) from the death row after 4 years in prison and 2 days of his release?
• Are you not excited when the new PM speaks about Unity, Love for Ethiopia, forgiveness and all me missed in our time?
• Are you not excited to see young people chanting with the unmarked Ethiopian flag freely on the streets of Addis Ababa.
Conclusion (FOR A PEACEFUL REGIME CHANGE)
After reviewing the above facts and scenario, I am optimistic that positive change is coming. The one condition we need to emphasize is that there is opposing group in the EPRDF leadership. This negative force is dangerously moving to reverse the situation. There are lots of things we need to pressurize and force the new administration to do. But we need to understand that whatever differences we have with the PM group we have to protect him from the reactionary force. That is the secret of PM Abiy leadership and the bright target we are looking for “a REGIME CHANGE”
Supporting PM Abiy to achieve to a peaceful regime change in Ethiopia
Let us support the PM and demand national reconciliation and formation of a consultative body to ensure the installation of free Democratic Institutions (Media, Judiciary, Freedom of Assembly, Neutral military…), and establish independent Electoral Board by consensus and finally give our people a chance to conduct a fair and transparent election.
The writer could be reached on twitter : @breemewa