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Why Ethiopians fed up with Abiy Ahmed’s administration

Abiy Ahmed _ Ethiopians
Abiy Ahmed attending consultation on national agricultural transformation  in Adama. Photo : Office of the Prime Minister

May 28,2019

More than enough has been said, in the mainstream media or otherwise, about the positive reform measures that Abiy Ahmed’s administration introduced since the ruling coalition picked him as prime minister over a year ago.

Noticeably, most o reform measures were window dressing with little or no relevance for systemic transformation in the long term. The security situation in many parts of the country is a concern to most Ethiopians a year after the alleged “change.”

At this point, more than three million Ethiopians have been internally displaced mainly due to ethnic-based violence, as has been reported by the Financial Times. And the worst of ethnic-based violence does not seem to be over and many Ethiopians tend to think that way.

Ethnic-identity has been over-politicized over the past 28 years to the point that dispute between two individuals on personal matters could easily escalate into outright ethnic-based violence. It has happened in many university campuses. It has happened in regional state cities, as they call them. it has happened in zone towns and districts.

On the other hand, and oddly enough, Prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration and supporters who tend to view criticism against Abiy’s government as a form of “betrayal of the change” would want us to believe that the crisis that Ethiopia is going through, in terms of security or otherwise, is unavoidable aspects of the reform process, nothing else. Many opposition figures seem to buy into that thinking. The trend demonstrates the success that Abiy Ahmed achieved in his game of domesticating the opposition quarter in the name creating a peaceful working relationship with opposition parties. Essentially, there is no opposition party in the country at this time with a conviction and resolve to put pressure on prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s government as the predominant view in that quarter is “to support Abiy Ahmed’s government.” On the contrary, there is a militant and armed radical ethnic Oromo opposition (Oromo Liberation Front) that is bulling Abiy Ahmed’s ethnic party and seemingly mastering control over most of the governance structure. This same group has “robbed” 19 banks within a space of two days and the party leaders are still rubbing shoulders with Abiy Ahmed’s party officials.

The task of enforcing the rule of law in the regional states that constitute the Federal government has become difficult for the Federal government due to an ethnic-based administrative arrangement. The Federal government has to get first the permission of regional states before intervening, for example, to stop an ethnic-based massacre in a given regional state, and it has happened before.

The political situation in the country clearly calls for structural and systemic change and bold decision along that line. But the ruling coalition, now under Abiy Ahmed’s chairmanship, is basking in a superficial political ritual in which ethnic-based regional governments organize inter-regional travel for region-based political elites to hold a town hall meeting and they call it “people to people” relation. In fact, they seem to think that that is the direction to resolve inter-ethnic violence in the country which actually sounds unsound. At the same time, regional governments seem to exploit these “people to people” political trips to build a political alliance with ethnic-groups of regions with the plan to activate the alliance in the event of inevitable power struggle, which is expected- in the mind of the ruling coalition politicians-, to be struggle between “contending ethnic-groups.” Oromo regional state, for example, has been doing a lot of “people to people relation” in recent weeks involving Gambella, Afar, Benishangul, Southern nations and nationalities.

Apart from hesitation to transform the system into one that mitigates inter-ethnic conflict, the administration of Abiy Ahmed also seems to be curtailing democratic space including press freedoms. There have been two arrests of journalists this past week alone – one in the capital Addis Ababa and the other one in Oromo region – a region that Abiy Ahmed’s ethnic party (Oromo Democratic Party) is governing. And there is now a growing criticism, rightly, that prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s ethnic support base is developing a sense of entitlement and political privilege one alleged grounds that the “change” is the result of “Oromo struggle.”

The issue of Addis Ababa has become another layer of skepticism towards prime minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration. Thousands of residents in Lege Tafo and koye Feche were reduced to homelessness when Oromo regional administration ordered demolition of houses on grounds of “illegal settlement.” The Mayor of Addis Ababa, who is also from Abiy Ahmed’s ethnic Oromo party, also vowed that thousands of “illegal houses” will be demolished and he framed his policy as an effort to enforce rule of law as was the case in Legaetafo and Koye Feche.

Currently, it is noticeable that a considerable number of people who initially supported Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has lost faith in his administration. Some politicized Ethiopians anticipated from the outset that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration would be weak for his political support base including his ethnic party is influenced by the militant Oromo groups. but there was a belief that his government would ultimately free itself from the influence of radical Oromo politicians within his party and in the region, and become a government for all Ethiopians which does not seem to be happening. Abiy’s stand on the question of Addis Ababa and in light of the Lege Tafo incident demonstrates that radical oromo politics influence over Abiy’s ODP party is not over.

In fact, there is no sign that his administration would introduce fundamental structural reform that would promote peace and mitigate conflicts. One argument from Abiy Ahmed’s government is that there has to be an election first to carry out structural and administrative reform. The point is an election, even if it is possible to organize one under the existing circumstance which many seem to question, organized within same structural and administrative arrangement is likely to produce the same result. That is why his administration needs to act boldly to do things in the order of importance and in the interest of Ethiopians. Peace and security is a priority for the country and Abiy Ahmed’s leadership should not expect Ethiopians to forget that and hail his prestige projects and impressionist events he is organizing one after another.

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  1. Everyone is wounded.

    I have wounds that looks similar to your wounds. Let us find the medicine for our wounds.

    Only buyers are not wounded, all the rest are wounded.

    The hero PM Abiy Ahmed’s new reformed adminstrstion made it so any Ethiopian man 18 years of age or older regardless of the person’s religious background can just drop in and participate in any of the religious leaders meetings . Just be there at the right time when holy Sinodos is holding a meeting, you can drop in.

    This is same for all religions be it Orthodox , Muslim , Protestant , Catholic or anyother religion in Ethiopia.

  2. While exercising your critical thinking is a good start, you may have mixed up criticizing with critical thinking. If Ethiopians were concerned about the violence they would not have caused it on their brethren to begin with. Since you seem to have a clarity of thought and stream of solutions, why don’t you setup an opposing party with vision. Otherwise you are simply shouting as everyone else who does it.

  3. Subject: “Why Ethiopians fed up with Abiy Ahmed’s administration, borkena, Editorial, May 28,2019”

    Commentary, 28 May 2019
    In my opinion, it is ALWAYS healthy to have serious critic on the functions and performance of any Government. After all, the concept of Government is based solely on the cardinal intention and understanding that the people’s interest shall ALWAYS be served to the best possible outcome for the benefit of the people themselves.

    My opinion above, in the reality of our World – and in particular in our Dear Africa — would be taken as a joke for laughter in contrast to the permanent governance by dictators and intoxicated power-hungry individuals over their newly acquired authorities and glorification over the hapless people of any country. This trait, in its variable mode, is applicable to our entire Globe. It so happens, WE AFRICANS are not blessed with democratic system of governance. The narration behind the sad behaviour hurts very deeply – hence, I shall NOT dwell on it. In any case, WE ALL [and the World] know it.

    But there is always HOPE. In my honest opinion, the new Prime Minister of Ethiopia is a fantastic and refreshing young leader that Ethiopian people deserve. I hastened to add, however, he is a HUMAN BEING and it is up to the Ethiopian people – through representative such as, for example, Editorial of borkena – to be critically vigilant, lest the new leader tress pass his limitation of inherent delegated authority. Constructive criticism is of paramount importance for democratic system of governance in any country. Without such mechanism, any human creature can go astray and destroy the society. The Proof is around our Globe. I hope the young Prime Minister will pay attention to all critiques for the benefit of the ultimate CUSTODIAN of ETHIOPIA – THE PEOPLE
    Thank You Borkena for the privilege of space to express my humble opinion. THE END

  4. It’s clearly shows that your still into our ethnic differences as you repeatedly stated so and so belong to the prime ministers ethnic group!!

  5. It’s so easy to criticize other people, and so hard to give a single honest compliment and constructive suggestions (road map/way-out from our million problems). I hope you remember where we were before Dr. Abiy came to power….aye habesha 🙁

    Always remember – criticizing people is a complete lose-lose situation that only creates distance, spreads negative energies and causes tensions.

    Let me leave you with this simple message …”When you judge others, you do not define them, you define yourself. – Earl Nightingale”

  6. you sounded like some pathetic journalists who have to find any means to look serious. If the country does not have any opposition party at the moment as you allege, why so? Why don’t the likes of you become opposition and offer us an alternative to the current administration? No ideas are suppressed in the country today, even idiotic ones. No opposition nor journalist is barred or is in jail today. The only reason you sound so pathetic is because you peddle in bankrupt ideas. People with meaningful, alternative ideas run for office and rally support. sons of bitches don’t.

  7. dr aby ewnet aydelem. ahun eko eyetenekere yalew bezer yetederajew enji, ityopia yemilew hail bemin wist yegeba? Lemin yerasu yehone mewaker at least diaspora aykefetim? alebelezia zare bedenb eyetederaje yalew bezer yehonew, lelaw ityopia yemilew temelkach niw. behuala aand neger simeta wey andu wist zelo megbat endayhon.

  8. people who are in favor of the dictator abiy ahmed are involved ethinic based extremisim

    they can’t justify themselves with actions and reasoning

    abiy should get down and replaced by lions from Axumite kingdom

  9. Mr/ Mrs Botkena
    The name reminds me of some thing funny that took place during the rein of the Junta headed by the notorious colonel , Mengistu Hailemariam. It happened when the northern part of the country suffered from severe draught. The worried leader came up with an idea of putting up a dam on the Borkena riverfront irrigation.
    The local administrators bought the idea and immediately proceeded for the implementation with any feasibility study. Fast and ready approach to project design and implementation; a pattern repeated by METEC military brasses in the TPLF era. The result was predictable, millions of dollars down the drain. Borkena dam failed right on the day of inauguration . It is only a year since Dr Abiy sworn to office. Why do you rash to water down what has been achieved so far. What do you have On your creditional to miss judge him. You want to rebuild the failed Borkena dam in a day. Linguistic federalism is defended like some thing panacea to all Ethiopia’s problem by both TPLF and OLF,the secessionists . The proponents are working 24/7 on the agenda of polarizing the country in ethnic lines the prime minister doing a fire fighting job, what the heck the failed dam is trying to draw?

  10. Ethiopians are fed up with your lies and ignorant pseudo analysis and gibrish, not Abiy’s adminstration that is giving fresh air to breath from Millinia of your saphocating dark ages.Shame on you, but I realize you a de shameless.

  11. Doctor abiy is a gift of God to all Ethiopians
    Since he’s 1st day in office until now he’s doing a good job let us keep praying for him

  12. …if you hate PM Abiye or fed up with his administration…you’re one narrow minded incompetent soul.

  13. የጠ/ሚኒስትር ዓብይ ብቸኛ ድክመት ያን የመሰለ ህዝብ፤ህዝብ የሚሸት የተቀደሰ ሀሳብ ይዘው፤ያን የመሰለ ህዝብንና ሀገርን እየጠቀመ ያለ መንገድ እየተከተሉ ሳለ፤ይህንንም በመቀበል ድጋፉን በየአደበባባዩ በነቂስ ወጥቶ የገለፀላቸውን ዕልፍ ዐዕላፍ ህዝብ (social capital) አደራጅተውና ከጎናቸው አሰልፈው መንገዳቸውን ከመቀጠል ይልቅ በጥላቻ ታውረው ጎራ የለዩትን በጣም ጥቂቶቹን በመለማመጥ ጊዜ ማጥፋታቸው ዋጋ እያስከፈላቸው ነው፡፡ይህም እሳቸውን ብቻ ሳይሆን በለውጡ ተስፋ አድርጎ የነበረውን መላ የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ መቀመቅ እያወረደው ነው፡፡ከላይ ተንጠልጥሎ የቀረውን ለውጥ መሬት እንዲረግጥ አምኖ ለተከተላቸው ሰፊ ህዝብ አሳታፊ ምቹ ሁኔታ በመፍጠር ወደ ተግባር ቢያተኩሩ ለሀገር ይጠቅማል፡፡


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