Ethiopian PM seems to concerned that political activists and political cadres will challenge the unity of the Defence Force
The Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, on Thursday met with high ranking military officers in the capital Addis Ababa.
“The purpose of the briefing is to reflect on not only what we have recently but also to assess the situations we were in, and identify our next path,” Abiy said at the beginning of the briefing. He stretched as far back as the 1974 revolutionary situation in the country during his discussion about political matters.
The state media had published the video of the meeting.
A day before the meeting, the military generals were taken to a tour of projects recently completed, including the new building of the intelligence office and the Ethiopian Air force.
In an over an hour meeting with the general, the Prime Minister explained what his government has been doing in the political and economic sector since he took office in 2020.
Much of his explanation focused on what he portrayed as a promising economic prospect Ethiopia has by enhancing foreign trade through the export of agricultural and mineral resources. He was particularly passionate about the prospect of exporting wheat in about two years time from now.
He talked in an optimistic tone that Ethiopia could achieve development like most Asian countries in the next two or three decades provided that it is staying the course.
He also talked about security challenges from the Oromo Liberation Front – Shane, as the government, calls it. What he wanted to paint in that regard is an image of normalcy. He said there were times when the EPRDF government did not have control in all parts of Ethiopia. He was making a point that the current challenge from OLF-Shane should not be seen as something new.
However, he highlighted what OLF-shane is doing in the parts of Oromo region of Ethiopia where it is operating. In Wenchi , one of the three areas where there is a national development project that targets tourism activity, the armed group has destroyed machineries used in the infrastructure work. He described it as something that will harm the farming community in the area that will benefit from the project.
Abiy Ahmed did not spare the politics too. He attempted to highlight the evolution of political movements in Ethiopia starting from the era of the 1974 revolution and the “Land to the Tiller” movement.
The issue of “nationals and nationalities,” as it is called since the TPLF took power in 1991, he said, was first raised during the Derg time but it is the EPRDF that has addressed them. He added that they were not fully addressed – something with which he explained recent demands to ethnic based statehood like Sidama and Gurage.
But the key message for the military commanders as far as politics is concerned is that “don’t listen to this or that political activists or cadre.” He asked the military officers not to give them room and promote unity in the defence force.
No question and answer session was seen from the video published by state media. However, some military commanders were seen speaking to state media journalists after the meeting, and they seem to have a positive impression of the meeting.
Watch the video below
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