By Birhanemeskel Abebe Segni
Prime Minister Abiy and his Team of Progressive leaders (#TeamLemma) are managing and dispensing the transformative regime change process in Ethiopia in meticulously choreographed phases. Nothing is happening by chance. It is all well organized, worked out and dispensing in phases.
Let me try to chronicle the phases of the Transformative Regime Change currently taking place in Ethiopia which is closely mirrored after South Africa’s transition from Apartheid Regime to the ANC led Rainbow State.
1. Phase one:
The current change taking place in Ethiopia seriously started on November 12, 2015, four years ago, when the Oromo people started protesting against the Addis Ababa Master Plan, Land grab and large-scale mass detention of the Oromo people throughout the country. Lemma Megersa, then the Speaker of the Oromia Parliament, and other Progressive leaders within the current change leadership joined the people in legitimizing the demand of the Oromo people and forced the suspension of the Master Plan.
2. Phase two:
Once the master plan was suspended, the Oromo people, both in the country and in the Diaspora, mobilized, organized, broadened the reach, coordinated and continued the protests throughout Oromia by using social media, OMN, and other networks. The demand of the Oromo people also got broadened from the Addis Ababa Master plan and land grab to ending the political, economic and social exclusion and marginalization of the Oromo people in Ethiopia.
3. Phase three:
Progressive leaders within the OPDO under the leadership of #TeamLemma took over the leadership of the Oromia Regional Administration and the OPDO by overthrowing the TPLF wing of the OPDO. Lemma Megersa became the President of Oromia Regional State. Dr. Abiy Ahmed became the Secretary-General of the OPDO. The Oromo protests got organized leadership from within the OPDO. Oromia Police stood with the Oromo people. OBN, under the leadership of Dr. Abiy Ahmed, become the voice of the people. The structure of the TPLF in Oromia crumpled and collapsed.
4. Phase four:
The Amhara people joined the Oromo protests. The resistance became nationwide. #TeamLemma helped the emergence of Progressive leaders within ANDM. Progressively, President Gedu Andergachew and Mr. Nigusu Tilahun, the communication chief of Amhara Region, took the footstep of President Lemma and Dr. Abiy Ahmed. President Lemma and Secretary General of the OPDO, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, organized people to people collaboration and unity conference. They took Oromo public delegation to Bahir Dar, the regional capital of the Amhara region. One public delegation conference held in Bahir Dar between the Oromo and Amhara people broke the TPLF built wall of separation between the Oromo and the Amhara people. Ethiopia’s Berlin wall collapsed with the Bahir Dar Conference. The Amhara and Oromo people stood together against the repressive regime.
5. Phase five:
Once the TPLF built wall of separation between the Amhara and Oromo people collapsed, #TeamLemma set its eyes on removing the TPLF and its satellite cohorts from the federal government. In a very critical and tactical move, Dr. Abiy became the Chairman of the OPDO while President Lemma Megersa became his deputy and retained the presidency of the Oromia Region. Prime Minister Hailemariam Dessalegn was forced to resign. Dr. Abiy Ahmed became the chairman of the EPRDF and elected the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. TPLF lost the federal government. The TPLF old guards abandoned the capital and moved to Tigray Region.
6. Phase Six:
Prime Minster Abiy stabilized the country and held big rallies in all Regions of Ethiopia and held Townhall meeting with the Ethiopian people. He visited Ethiopia’s neighboring countries and mended lost trusts and restored the confidence of these countries on Ethiopia. He removed the TPLF army chief of staff and heads of the national security and the federal police. He released all political prisoners and closed the TPLF torture chamber in Addis Ababa. He suspended all oppressive laws including but not limited to Anti-Terrorism laws, the press law and the civil society laws. He removed all the opposition parties categorized as terrorist organizations like Ginebot 7, OLF and ONLF from the list.
7. Phase Seven:
Prime Minister Abiy, President Lemma and Foreign Minister Workineh visited the Ethiopia Diaspora in the United States. Met with opposition parties. Healed and bridged over half a century old Ethiopia and Ethiopian Diaspora divide. Allowed Ethiopians who abandoned their country for almost as long as half a century to return home. All Ethiopian opposition parties, including those listed as terrorist organizations like the Ginbot 7, OLF and ONLF were allowed to return home. Terrorism charges against the Diaspora based individuals were dropped and they all are allowed to return home.
8. Phase eight:
In a prelude to the 11th General Assembly of the EPRDF, reforming the EPRDF and EPRDF member parties become another priority of the change leadership. First, came Prime Minister Abiy’s own OPDO. OPDO was first established by the TPLF for the TPLF use until it was taken away from it by Team Lemma. Now that Team Lemma is on power, overtaking the OPDO was not enough. It has to be fully transformed. At the 9th General Assembly of the OPDO in Jimma City, all the old leadership of the OPDO were removed and forced to retire. OPDO was reorganized as ODP with a new vision, new leadership, and new structure. What remains now as the major task for the new leadership of the ODP is flushing out the old and corrupted members of the old OPDO who were recruited by the TPLF. Then, comes ANDM, which was nothing more than one of the tools in the toolbox of the TPLF. Now ANDM became ADP by removing all the TPLF cohorts. Like ODP, ADP elected new Progressive leaders, drafted new visions and structures. Prime Minister Abiy was reelected as the Chairman of EPRDF with unanimous vote except that of himself which he cast for Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonnen. After the 11th General Assembly of the EPRDF, Prime Minister Abiy reconstituted his cabinet and consolidated his administration by appointing 50% of women in his new cabinet. He appointed new President and Vice President of the Ethiopian Supreme Court in his bid to strengthen the Judicial Branch of the Government.
9. Phase nine:
With the arrest of the top leadership of the highly corrupted TPLF military officers run METEC and the top leadership of the INSA, the national intelligence agency, this week, Prime Minister Abiy opened another new chapter in Ethiopian history by breaking the culture impunity that reigned for the last 27 years of the TPLF rule. This again is another critical phase of the change. Under the 27 years of the TPLF rule, there was not a single government official who was held accountable for massive human rights violations including crimes against humanity, massive government sanctioned and institutionalized embezzlement and corruption where government and private properties were taken at-will by the TPLF affiliated officials and individuals. Prime Minister Abiy, under his able Attorney General, Mr. Birhanu Tsegaye, ended the era of government officials impunity by apprehending and bringing to justice the formerly untouchable and highly feared TPLF military and security officers. This is another new dispensation and a new phase in the transformative regime change process in Ethiopia.
The 10th and subsequent phases are loading!
Prime Minister Abiy and his team of Progressive leaders are moving in highly choreographed phases to change Ethiopia for good and establish the government of the people by the people for the people. The support of the Ethiopian people is fully and firmly behind them. Let’s all play our own positive part in this historic dispensation to change and move Ethiopia forward.
Editor’s Note : This article appeared first on the facebook page of the writer,Birhanemeskel Abebe Segni
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