The massacre we see , according to the Ethiopian Prime Minister, has something to do with foreign powers that are working to weaken Ethiopia. In the past, it was mostly linked to the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)
Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Thursday appeared in the parliament to address questions related to the disastrous security situation in the country that claimed close to 2000 civilian lives in the Oromo region.
The proposed budget bill was also a topic during the question and answer period in the last session of the parliament for the current Ethiopian year (2014) until it opens after a recession , in the Ethiopian New year (2015) in September.
More than 325 members of parliament attended the session.
The massacre of ethnic Amhara in the Oromo region of Ethiopia and why the government failed to stop ethnic-based attacks were the key questions that the prime minister faced.
He was also asked to remark as to how long “Shane,” ( as the government calls it) continues to pose a security threat to Ethiopia.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed did not want to portray the recurring massacre in Wollega, which was clearly ethnic-based targeting Amhara, as an ethnic-based one.
He rather said that action is a terrorist activity and that terrorism is not affecting Ethiopia only. He pulled Al-Shabab as an example to portray how many actors were involved in the fight against it and how it proved to be difficult to eliminate the terrorist group.
He also talked about Nigeria’s experience in connection with Boko Haram. Not just that, he went to the extent of using the crime rate in the United States of America to make a claim that killings and crimes are common elsewhere too.
In the latest string of massacres in Wollega are of Oromo region of Ethiopia, the radial ethnic Oromo nationalist militant group massacred nearly 2000 civilians.
In shunning the criticism that the government is failing in its primary function of protecting the rights of civilians, the Prime Minister said that his government “saved many lives” and that the view that the government is not doing anything to protect civilians is “wrong.”
Abiy Ahmed said security forces are being killed every day on the line of duty while fighting what the government calls the “Shane” group.
One of the questions he was specifically facing was that the perpetrators of the massacre in Wollega do have collaborators in the government structures and the government does not seem to take action against them.
He answered, “we do not take action based on propaganda.” He added that the government is working to eliminate terrorists and is not a terrorist. There are views that paint the ethnic-based massacre against ethnic Amhara as state-sponsored terrorism and systematic genocide.
His government admitted in the past that some members of the government, at least at the level of regional government in the Oromo region of Ethiopia, collaborated with the “Shane” group.
During the first year of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration, the same militant group robbed 17 state-owned banks in the Wollega region – the part of the country where there had been dozens of massacres – mostly against ethnic Amhara. There were also targeted killings of government officials.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was criticised for focusing on tree planting (“green legacy”) at a time when there is an incessant massacre in the country. His answer was “the tree we plant is even good for those who are dead. it gives them shades.”
His remark has angered many on different social media platforms. The outrage is very visible. Some are saying the Prime Minister needs psychiatrist help. Others are making satire out of his remarks.
Still, others are making a point that the Prime Minister is incompetent to lead Ethiopia and should resign. But the Prime Minister thinks Ethiopia is on the way to prosperity.
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