Andargachew Tsige could not hold it any more. He revels that political space in the country is completely closed and the existence of Ethiopia is endangered. He was abducted from Yemen in 2014 and handed over to Ethiopian Authorities, and was in death row for four years until he was released in May 2018 after Abiy Ahmed took over office as prime minister.
It is not even a year since Ethiopia’s ruling coalition decided to “broaden political space,” following several years of persistent protest in different parts of Ethiopia.
Now Andargachew Tsige, Secretary of one of the largest opposition party in the country – Arbegnoch Ginbot 7 – argues that political space in the country is entirely closed.
“Although political space started to broaden following Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s take over of power, members of the ruling EPRDF coalition parties in regional states have completely closed the political space. Advocates of citizen politics are labeled as enemies,” Andargachew told Deutsche Welle Amharic service on Thursday.
He went on to say that regional states have formed their own ethnic-based security apparatus, military, and media institutions, and they have developed more power than the Federal government.
The impact of that all, says Andargachew Tsige and rightly, created a serious impediment for the effort to build a democratic system in the country.
Andargachew accuses the ruling coalition member parties governing regions of restricting political parties whose political programs are based on citizenship politics, not ethnic politics. Consequently, the existence of the country is in danger than ever before.
Besides, ethnic parties governing regional states increasingly came under tremendous political pressure from radicalized youth groups.
From what has been seen so far, and as admitted by government authorities, maintaining the rule of law and guaranteeing the safety of citizens has turned out to be a challenge, at times, a difficult undertaking for government bodies.
In that regard, part of the challenge that has been repeatedly reported by activists and politicians alike is that law enforcement forces in regional states have become indifferent to rights abuse of Ethiopians outside of their ethnic group.
Ethiopia is now the leading country in the world in terms of the number of internally displaced people. Over two million Ethiopians are displaced following ethnic-based violence, and due to lack of government protections.
At times the Federal government was compelled to deploy defense force, for example in Wollega and Guji areas of Oromo regional states, after an armed militant group created security problems in those regions.
In Guji region alone, southern oromo region, nearly one million ethnic Gedeos are displaced.
Join the conversation. Like borkena on Facebook and get Ethiopian News updates regularly. As well, you may get Ethiopia News by following us on twitter @zborkena