Entoto Park completed within a year. Abiy calls it a demonstration that Ethiopia could achieve great things. Critics worry that his government is proved incapable of providing security to Ethiopians, and still not prioritizing the issue
October 11, 2020
Ethiopia inaugurated the Entoto Park project on Saturday. It will open for visitors in the days to come.
Entoto park is part of the “sheer beautifying” project which aims to change the look of the capital Addis Ababa by beautifying the riverside that stretches from Entoto in the north to Akaki in the South.
Entoto park inauguration came a little over a month after the inauguration of the Sheger park — which is also part of the riverside development project.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, other high-ranking officials of his government, and members of the diplomatic corps attended the ceremony at Entoto.
It contains multiples of recreation facilities including restaurants and sporting events. Abiy Ahmed himself demonstrated some activities in the park which already generated several satirical contents circulating on social media.
The government anticipates that it could create hundreds of employment opportunities. Abiy Ahmed was seen on national TV during the ceremony with a noticeable euphoric mood. The reason is project completion in less than a year.
“Entoto Natural Park demonstrates the capacity of Ethiopians to achieve big things when united,” he said, as reported by Ethiopian News Agency.
Indifference, opposition to Abiy’s jubilation over small projects
For prime minister Abiy Ahmed what he calls “Prosperity”, note that the party he formed after merging the former members of the ruling coalition is Prosperity Party, is achievable through a series of “development projects.” That is the road to prosperity.
For critical observers, political stability and security of the country are a priority for development efforts to have a lasting effect.
Abiy Ahmed dared to criticize those Ethiopians in the Diaspora who he said are writing about deaths in the country in social media. “There is death even in America,” he said.
Less than a couple of months before the inauguration of Sheger Park, Ethiopia witnessed one of the most horrifying ethnic-based massacres in the Oromo region of Ethiopia following what authorities in the region called “a protest on the death of Hachalu Hundessa.” As it turned out, government authorities had involvement in the massacre, in most cases indirectly, that claimed the lives of over 240 people.
Even after the Sheger project, a politically motivated ethnic-based attack in the Benishangul Gumuz region (western Ethiopia) claimed hundreds of lives. But senior defense force officers described it as one that was perpetrated by “disenchanted youth groups in the region.”
Observers do seem to think that a large-scale ethnic-based attack could happen in the parts of Ethiopia mentioned above. There is a sentiment that government structure is weak in the Oromo region of Ethiopia to the point that people doubt that government security forces could fail to protect them from radical ethno-religious Oromo nationalist groups.
It is in light of such recurring tragedies and fears about the future that an increasing number of Ethiopians demonstrate indifference to his micro-economic projects and subsequently give up support for Abiy Ahmed. The thinking is that Abiy Ahmed lacks decisiveness to deal with the security problem in the country. Some even go further to assert that Abiy Ahmed is systematically implementing radical ethnic Oromo nationalists’ agenda. On the other side of the spectrum, radical ethnic nationalists claim that he is working for “neftegna agenda.”
What is agreeable to most people seem to be that Abiy is a weak leader who lacks determination and foresight to resolve Ethiopia’s pressing priority, security.
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