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There was no intervention with the decision to release prisoners, says Ethiopian PM

intervention _ Ethiopia _ ABiy
Abiy Ahmed making speech at the dinner function for diaspora Ethiopia in the Grand Palace on January 16,2022 (Photo : screenshot from the video)


Ethiopians continue to express resentment over Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s decision to release Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) leaders who were captured on the field in Tigray January 2021. 

The latest expression of disapproval came from networked civic Ethiopian organisations outside of the country like Worldwide Ethiopian Civic Associations . It called the Prime Minister’s move as “inexplicable and confounding measures.” 

There has even been  a speculation that his decision was likely to be informed by western powers intervention. In fact, soon after the release of TPLF leaders, US president Joe Biden spoke to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed which the latter called “candid,” conversation. And this past weekend, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudea, did the same. For Abiy, Justin Trudeau is an “all weather friend.” 

Unlike what Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed revealed about the conversation, he always likes to paint them as positive ones focusing on discussion on bilateral matters. 

Readout on Joe Biden’s phone conversation with Abiy, which was published by the White House on January 10, seems to suggest that the U.S. continued to pressure Abiy Ahmed’s government for a negotiated ceasefire with the TPLF. In fact, it was hinted that the U.S. was pushing for the Ethiopian government to order Ethiopian troops not to advance to the Tigray region of Ethiopia after clearing TPLF forces from most of the areas in Afar and Amhara regions in late December 2021. 

There is a possibility that the U.S. government purposely released the information with a motive to broaden the difference between Abiy Ahmed and Ethiopians who supported him for the sake reversing existential threat that TPLF posed on Ethiopia by coordinating with internal and external enemies ( internal enemies are most of the time tools for external once and their political demands do not seem to be home grown ones based on historical and political realities.)

It is also possible that PM Abiy perhaps succumbed to foreign pressure. But he still talks differently. In a dinner function organised for visiting diaspora Ethiopians, at the Grand Palace, he said that there was no intervention that resulted in the release of the TPLF prisoners. 

He made claims that every decision that his government makes is based on three key principles : sovereignty of Ethiopia, national interest and the dignity of Ethiopia. He spoke as if his government will not accept anything, in its diplomatic and political dealings with “donor countries” , if any one of those items are missing. 

For now, members of the diaspora who were attending the dinner function seem to have clapped for his explanation. Deep inside, the feeling towards Abiy Ahmed will not be, it seems, the same again. He has lost significant public trust. The Diaspora Ethiopian Community was mobilized to visit Ethiopia as part a strategy to resist pressure from western countries.

Abiy is unquestionably pro-west as demonstrated occasionally. A significant part of his team has worked with or worked for this or that western government directly or indirectly, and in different capacities. It remains to be seen if the western powers will not impose their economic and cultural interest on Ethiopia one after the other. Some of the country’s key national assets are sold despite some notable economists in the country opposing the ‘privatisation’ measures. Others are in the process of being “privatised.” 

Culturally ( and religiously) some key institutions in the country are under unprecedented pressure from a political class who do possess legal and administrative power to make changes. 

Abiy plays it differently. And now he started to say “trust me my decision is in the best interest of the country.”  


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  1. The fundamental point that must be stated and restated ad infinitum, is democratic governance without the rule of law and justice is not possible. Abiy cannot play Attila the Hun and Mahatma Gandhi simultaneously. In democratic governance, there are divisions of labor, separate but equal branches of government comprising the executive, legislative and judiciary and due process of the law. These nonnegotiable pillars of responsive and responsible governance will be repeated until Abiy, his PP loyalists, and all other opposition parties in Ethiopia learn to honor them. In 2018, Abiy deafened everybody’s ears with his now familiar, laboriously boring speeches about the atrocities, crimes against humanity of the then EPRDF, promised the transitional government he would lead be better, asked Ethiopians for forgiveness and preached about the virtues of letting bygones be bygones. With gave him their support. Soon, massive amounts of displacements, murders, political assassinations, evictions and displacements ensued. For three years, Abiy claimed these were the battles waged on Ethiopia by Ethiopia ‘s external and internal enemies. He pointed his fingers at TPLF and the militant wing of OLF. When massive evidence started to reveal that the militant OLF attacks are done by members OLF in his own government, he said these are not OLF but coined a new term OLF-Shene. Despite these atrocities, he was elected and given a mandate to bring safety, security and economic development to all Ethiopians. His government has failed miserably in establishing the primacy of rule of law. He governs by diktat. He was not elected to play dictator perpetuo. However, he is becoming a one man’s show, his executive branch of government theoretically is only 1/3 the branch of government, He often sits before the legislative branch, not to be checked and be balanced by the legislative but as a lecturer, as a supreme Emperor over that branch as well. The judiciary is often absent from any overt action. It is secretly manipulated by the invisible hands of the executive, ie.Abiy. A society cannot be run on the benevolence of one man. Ethiopians cannot he asked to die in mass, be displaced in millions, and the perpetrators who cause harm, mayhems, destructions and murders be let to go free, not accounts before the laws of the nation. Most people do not want the sermons of Abiy.Ethiopia is blessed with thousands of priests, imams, pastors and spiritual counselors of all faiths and denominations to guide the in their spiritual lives. His assignment, his job, his mandate and responsibilities are of political and governance in scope, limited in function and circumscribed by the written laws of the land. Duplicity and incessant talking cannot erase these responsibilities. If Abiy sits to negotiate with active TPLF leaders, financiers and orchestrators, that means his rule of law operation was nothing but a facade, and the quest for many for freedom, security, equality before the law for everyone will not be realized on his watch. Abiy and his PP will thus be nothing but TPLF 2 and the new Junta!!!

  2. The PM is hiding behind oratory. Too bad, his empty words are perishable and the public has grown to know it well. Hence, his new nick name-Pastor’ Ayalkibet’. Basically, he is saying he can make decisions irrespective of public approval and support, and ask the public to suck it up and go about doing their daily lives. This is is a thing of megalomaniachs. I doubt if he can go a long way with this kind of egotistical and self-serving attitude. I also dont think any measure, short of dessimating TPLF, could heal Ethiopians wounded by his illegitimate, premature, haste and ill-timed decision to release the terrorists.

  3. Here is what I am getting from relatives who live both in and outside the capital. The PM is still immensely popular by ordinary people and can win an election by big majority if it is held today. But the opposition is taken as a joke and in contempt for it’s beyond count array of groups who don’t see eye to eye. That does not mean he is that leader with no fault of his own. What most of the ordinary citizens think is he has erred but they are all honest mistakes and they may be right. Who is that in the opposition that is capable of mustering such a majority of supporters? Which one? So-called ‘liberation’ fronts? Don’t start with me on those! Please don’t! Are those ethnic based groups you are thinking about? Just stifle!!! Again, I am not saying PM Abiy is infallible but looking at the opposition he is the much better choice for the current situation over there now. Some accused him of releasing criminals but none of them are telling me why not. It is not the first time the accused got clemency in our culture. I did not and do not see these critics complaining the pardoning of the worst murderers that country ever produced, Derg generals who were pardoned and released from prison. Those were the most merciless brutes who never showed any mercy to more than 500,000 cream puff of the crop in the 1970’s. They were so demonically possessed in taking of 60 of former government officials and machined gunned them in cold blood in the dead night. Many of them were former patriots and freedom fighters who stood up to bloodthirsty fascists in the 1930’s. Several of 60 victims were not even dead when thrown in the mass grave. They were still alive when massive earth was bulldozed over them. Even those demons were pardoned. There is one important question I have not heard some of these critics asking. There was one question that came to my mind when I heard some of the top TPLF officials were cornered where some of were killed and others like the ideologue Sebhat and Woldu were captured but Debre and others were not. How did that happen? It was not just a result of SWAG on the ENDF part. Someone must have told on them but who was it? Once again, I am not saying PM Abiy is untouchable. In fact he has to be kept on his toes. His feet should be put to the fire with constructive criticism because being a leader is majority of times a thankless job. This is the way I see it and you can criticize it but you must remain true to our legendary culture and remain civil. I have seen some eyal-al-souqs who desecrated this esteemed website with their rude manners because they did not like what I said.

  4. While denying and taking everyone for foolish Tplf keeps invading Afar and Amhara land and murdering innocent lives. Abiy’s plan is to make the war and destruction in Amhara and Afar land .Not taking it to Tigray where the Tplf terrorists keep its weapons and fighters who do not want Amhara and Afar people to live in peace.

  5. PM Abiy is loosing public support by every minute. All the trust and support gained after and during the war has up ended by his own untruthful and callous actions. He has become after Meles the most viscous lair, opportunist, advantageous person that puts government in a very precarious situation and who made government to appear like a collection of lairs, murder lover and opportunist thugs.

    Today Abiy is the most unpopular person.


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