Ethiopia: Abiy Ahmed warns two-faced members of his government

“No one is above Ethiopia,”Abiy Ahmed. He hinted impending purge in his government

Prmie Minister Abiy Ahmed answering question in parliament in June 2020. (Photo : from EBC video)


July 7, 2020

Last week, Ethiopia has foiled what it said was a planned plot to disintegrate the country. Based on the narrative from the government, the assassination of Ethiopian singer Hachalu Hundessa on the evening of June 29 in the capital Addis Ababa was meant to be a flashpoint to achieve the plan.

Although the government claimed success in foiling the plot, extremists ethnic Oromo nationalists were not stopped in the Oromo region of Ethiopia when they unleashed what many believe to be is ethnic cleansing against ethnic Amhara, Gurage, and Wolaita in the days following the death of the singer. Moderate ethnic Oromos who reportedly opposed the carnage were also massacred. 

A report by VOA Amharic on Tuesday revealed there was an orchestrated attack in 40 districts in the Oromo region of Ethiopia.

Emerging reports on social media, with verified sources, indicate that carnage was politically motivated and that it targeted people based on ethnicity and religion. 

Security authorities in the region admitted that at least 166 people have been killed in the region in a span of two or three days. The magnitude of destruction of property is unprecedented in the history of Ethiopia. In Shashemene town alone, more than 20 buildings have been destroyed. Hundreds of residences are blazed leaving hundreds of families homeless.   And there are many horrifying stories of the killings in the region.  Attackers were allegedly covering their faces to avoid being noticed.

The region has hundreds of thousands of special police forces. And the question that many Ethiopians are asking is “why was it so easy for the attackers to unleash their brutality and claim hundreds of lives and destroy properties worth hundreds of millions of birr?”

In the latest parliamentary session, which was held in the office of the Prime Minister for reasons related to the Coronavirus, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said that there are two-faced officials in his government. They pretend to work with his government, and at the same time, they also work with extremists’ elements.

He hinted that there will be a purge of those who are playing a double game. During the struggle against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) dominated government, Abiy Ahmed was among the people who were aiding the struggle for equality and freedom. He might use that experience to clean up his government. 

“No one is above Ethiopia,” Abiy Ahmed said while addressing questions from the parliament on Tuesday. The remark sounds like there is no mercy for those who were part of the reform movement, half-heartedly, and later drifted from the movement while still working within government structure. The purge is certainly something that requires tact as it could bring about more division within his government.

His critics in the radical quarter of ethnic nationalism accuse him of betrayal of the “Oromo cause.” They went to the extent of disowning Abiy Ahmed “as an Oromo.” 

Abadula Gemeda, the former speaker of the house who is said to be the mentor of Abiy Ahmed, does not subscribe to the allegation that Abiy is not an Oromo. “I know his family,” he said during an interview with Arts TV world.

Prime Minister Abiy has his own answer for those who are “why do they deny my Oromo identity when I became Prime Minister?”

If I am not good for the Oromo, I can not be good for other groups, he further elaborated. What he is facing seems to be a manifestation of the dangers of ethnic politics.  

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