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HomeOpinionHope in Ethiopia?  (By Gregory Copley)

Hope in Ethiopia?  (By Gregory Copley)

Gregory _ Hope article _ Ethiopia
The author (file)

By Gregory Copley
Editor, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs

How is it possible to find hope for Ethiopia in the wake of hundreds of thousands of civilian deaths and millions of people displaced and impoverished by power-seeking militants over recent years?  

Those searching for positive developments in Ethiopia in mid-2022 could point to the fact that the massacre, on June 19, 2022, of at least 200 ethnic Amhara civilians by Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) militia in Tole — a village in Oromia region — may not have been just one more futile loss of innocent lives.   

This latest OLF genocidal atrocity may have finally forced Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr Abiy Ahmed Ali to go hard against the OLF and its associates. The deaths — on top of the tens of thousands of deaths, injuries, and displacements of the past two years — may finally been enough to have stirred Ethiopia and the world into action.  

Dr Abiy was quoted on July 8, 2022, as saying that, as a result of the June 19, 2022, OLF “massacre”, as Dr Abiy described it, and the June 27, 2022, mass killings in Hawa Gelan district of Qellem Wolega area of Oromia, the Government would now “eliminate” the organization. This would be difficult, given the extensive foreign support to the OLF, particularly from Egypt.    

Until now, Dr Abiy has held off dealing as harshly with the OLF secessionist, marxist rebels as he did with the Tigré (Tigray) Popular Liberation Front (TPLF) — another extreme marxist group which controlled Ethiopia from 1991 to 2018 — largely because the Prime Minister is himself half-Oromo (and half-Amhara) and is the Oromo’s political leader within the Federation. The OLF is, in essence, an enemy inside Dr Abiy’s own tent, and is committed to the secession from Ethiopia of Oromia, the most populous region, and to breaking up the Ethiopian Federation.  

The Tole mass killing event, which the OLF blamed on “retreating Government forces”, was just one of hundreds of OLF rampages, often conducted in concert with the now-quiescent TPLF which rampaged outside Tigré Region. Dr Abiy had been reluctant to prosecute a major suppression of the OLF — despite the fact that it was declared an illegal terrorist organization — for fear of being labeled “pro-Amhara”. The Amhara have suffered sufficiently in recent years to believe that Dr Abiy has proven his loyalty to the Oromo wing of the ruling Prosperity coalition.  

Even the US journal, Foreign Policy, has allowed itself to be used as a tool of the OLF, claiming that Abiy’s attempts to hold together the Ethiopian Federation were merely attempts to use “Christian nationalism”. The OLF is a radical marxist organization and the Oromo population is mixed between Muslim and Christian. Dr Abiy’s father was Muslim, although he is a protestant Christian, not Ethiopian Orthodox, and the OLF — and Foreign Policy — attempted to paint him as trying to restore the primacy of the Orthodox Church which has been dominant in Ethiopia since the Fifth Century CE.   

Dr Abiy has had enough, and was expected to use the National Defense Force to suppress both the OLF and any remnants of the TPLF (and several other terrorist and guerilla groups associated with both movements). The TPLF itself has not given up hope of pulling Tigré out of the Federation, and, despite the fact that Dr Abiy’s Government had, in June 2022, created a new reconciliation body to resolve the dispute with the TPLF, it was now attempting to control the reconciliation agenda. The TPLF rejected the African Union (AU) moderator in the peace talks, former Nigerian Pres. Olusegun Obasanjo, and has demanded that Kenyan Pres. Uhuru Kenyatta moderate, instead.  

The TPLF is militarily exhausted, but not yet defeated. The US Government has been seen as the discreet supporter of the body, and had attempted to persuade European Union states and the UK to support the TPLF against the Ethiopian Government. Most European states, however, have rejected that pressure from Washington, and the EU Commission itself had earmarked 1-billion euros in aid for Ethiopia until 2027.  

Many Ethiopians look to the Ethiopian Crown and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as overarching entities which could help restore harmony.  

Reacting on June 28, 2022, to “the senseless massacre of innocent Ethiopians in Wolega and Gambela”, the President of the Ethiopian Crown Council, Prince Ermias Sahle-Selassie Haile-Selassie, the grandson of the late Emperor, noted: “Nearly two decades ago, the Crown Council under my leadership announced its aim to be a strictly non-political institution. We stand by that goal. But it is not political to ask all Ethiopians to rise above party and ethnicity. It is not political to demand that our government and its leaders act quickly and decisively to protect the lives of all Ethiopians. And it is not political to remind Ethiopia that its Crown can help to unify and heal our country today, as it has at many moments in our past.”  

In July 2022, the Ethiopian Government began talks with foreign creditors to restructure its debt. And despite the widespread drought in the Horn of Africa due to the El Niño phenomenon, Ethiopian wheat production had now begun to surge.   

Inflation, which had surged immediately after the Tigré war began in November 2020, was, by May 2022, beginning to reduce (from 37.2 percent to 34 percent). A shortage of foreign currency, however, was limiting Ethiopia’s ability to import food and fertilizers, but some of the food shortage was also a result of the Ukraine-Russia conflict.   

According to World-Grain.com, Ethiopia’s wheat production in the 2021-22 marketing year was expected to be a record 5.18-million tonnes. Wheat production in Ethiopia has traditionally been limited to smallholder farmers who rely on rainfall, but the Government recently allocated $6-million to create better irrigation and provide access to farm machinery. Ethiopia remains a net importer of wheat, importing about 25 percent of domestic demand. Ethiopian barley production in the 2021-22 year was 2.36-million tonnes, a slight increase over the previous year. But Prime Minister Abiy has committed to making Ethiopia grain independent within the coming decade and, despite the vagaries of El Niño and La Niña climate cycles, that is now a visibly close achievement.  

Meanwhile, skirmishes between Sudanese and Ethiopian forces continue in the disputed border region of al-Fashaga, close to the Ethiopia-Sudan- Eritrea border conjunction, and this has as much to do with internal Sudanese politics and Egyptian support as it does to new territorial claims.  

US State Dept. attempts to isolate Ethiopia, and support the TPLF separatists, have clearly not succeeded, and US allies — along with Russia, the PRC, and even Iran — have been anxious to support the unity of the ancient Empire which is critical to the stability of the Suez-Red Sea trade route. Key to making the breakthrough into stability and a return to economic growth would be finding a creative solution to the Egypt-Ethiopia dispute over Nile waters, given that this dispute has fueled Egyptian attempts to destabilize Ethiopia.  

In the short term, it is up to Prime Minister Abiy to eradicate the terrorist movements, and make the reforms he promised before the 2021 elections to the communist-based Constitution.

Published by Permission from the Journal of defense & Foreign Affairs Special Analysis. Article was published first in July 2022

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10 COMMENTS

  1. What a conclusion! I couldn’t agree more:
    “In the short term, it is up to Prime Minister Abiy to eradicate the terrorist movements, and make the reforms he promised before the 2021 elections to the communist-based Constitution.”

  2. Mr Gregory Copley needs to be thanked for his brilliant article. Obviously, Mr Copley is saddened by the ongoing several ethnic based wars in Ethiopia. He shows his sadness clearly by providing accurate reports of the political and economic situation of Ethiopia. Let us see the main points:

    [1.] The US Government has been seen as the discreet supporter of the body [i.e., TPLF], and has attempted to persuade European Union states and the UK to support the TPLF against the Ethiopian Government. Most European states, however, have rejected that pressure from Washington, and the EU Commission itself had earmarked 1-billion euros in aid for Ethiopia until 2027.

    [2.] US State Dept. attempts to isolate Ethiopia, and support the TPLF separatists, have clearly not succeeded, and US allies — along with Russia, the PRC, and even Iran — have been anxious to support the unity of the ancient Empire which is critical to the stability of the Suez-Red Sea trade route. Key to making the breakthrough into stability and a return to economic growth would be finding a creative solution to the Egypt-Ethiopia dispute over Nile waters, given that this dispute has fueled Egyptian attempts to destabilize Ethiopia.

    [3.] In the short term, it is up to Prime Minister Abiy to eradicate the terrorist movements, and make the reforms he promised before the 2021 elections to the communist-based Constitution.

    To summarize, it is extremely important that Ethiopians understand the critical political situation the country is situated in. Stability and prosperity could not be found in any country while continuous wars are going on. No doubt, that stable Ethiopia can easily feed and supply electricity to at least half of the population of Africa. Egyptian and Sudanese governments must stop their fruitless attempts to destabilize ancient and historic Ethiopia.

    Really, a great man and brilliant writer!

  3. A ridiculous reportage.
    “Many Ethiopians look to the Ethiopian Crown and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church as overarching entities which could help restore harmony. ” Nobody recalls today they even existed. You could have written about the drought in Ethiopia that is currently threatening the live os millions next to Abiy’s PP.

    • The communist and hardline Marxist Jarra,

      It has been 50 years killing Ethiopians, that is your emblem for neocolonialism and Arabs. I am sure you are getting benefit selling your soul.

  4. Well, what is the alternative?

    Lidetu Ayalew, Tamirat Layne, ShaleQa Dawit, Yared Tibebu et al? forming a transitional gov’t with the OLFiets and TPLFiet? And you know with no ground support America will pick TPLF as the leader once again for ‘the combatant group’ which is TPLF and all of a sudden Abiy will be blamed for genocide of Amhara since 1991. A few well paid talkative people will try to deafen our ears but times have changed for the better, 1991 won’t come back again. Tigre superiority never happened and will never come. Dancing to laloye laloye and recording self and posting it on YouTube with a few fake ‘FANO’ won’t cut it either.

    Near the end, when it started to sink in, some Tigre couches were beating up referees at the football field while the opposing team that just happened to be the national army’s team was watching. Don’t you think that was happening on purpose?

    Aster Bedane the typical Addisababan has no filter when she wants to talk because after all Jesus is watching over her 24/7 neglecting his duties to over 7 billion. But some of the things she says are very fascinating. She said many have thought she was a Gurage just b/c she is Ethiopian without conditions and thousands of Gurage have Oromo sounding names as well. When TPLF was near Debre-Berhan many of her TPLF ex friends called her to express their sorrow on what is going to happen to her in a matter of days. The phone calls come in groups and they are well organized and timed. Simply put, TPLF is like a disease, if you are anywhere near it, you’ll catch it sooner or later.

    TPLF started the war but look at what MORESH Amhara wrote yesterday:

    የኦሮሙማው መንግሥት ባዘዘውና ባወጀው ጦርነት የአማራና የአፋር ህዝብ እንደቅጠል ረግፏል። ሀብት ንብረቱ ወድሟል። ከትግራይ ወያኔ ጋር ድርድር ለማድረግ ከተፈለገ….

    Is MORESH now the mouthpiece of TPLF?

    TPLF killed thousands of ENDF in their sleep after they put their guns in the storage on the night of Nov 3rd to 4th and then took all the heavy weapons under it’s control, up to 80 percent of the entire arsenal of Ethiopia, and then on their TV it announced it has done exactly that as a blitz krieg or/and pre-emptive strike. What part of the Amharic did MORESH miss?

    MORESH or any of it’s members will be not invited by TPLF when and if it was allowed by Americans to form another ‘EPRDF’ and come back to power in Addis, that is for sure. But some will be financially compensated, just as sure. Like Lidetu was with millions of Birr and even a hand gun from TPLF security boss, on his own admission. The market for a car salesman in a small but beautiful town couldn’t have made that much money in many years, let alone a p/t sales man that was hired to destroy any Amhara org at young age. He should’ve come up with a better story than that if he hasn’t forgotten his math. And what about the hand gun?

    The rest of them are no better either, discredited, disowned and humiliated by both the public and TPLF, there is nothing new to expect from them. How on earth one joins a murderous TPLF that has AMHARA IS MY ENEMY on it’s manifesto? They can fool themselves all they want and dream of using TPLF to kick Abiy from power but TPLF will humiliate them once again before that happens. That is for sure.

    Are there any uncontaminated leaders? Probably not. The Amharic language has changed a bit over the past few decades. It is now used for hurling insult on one another. The people that think they can fool others and make lengthy speeches are not mentally capable to fool children but they always have their fans that keep them going, financially and psychologically.

    Mesfin W/Mariam was a young boy at TMS when he became one of the leaders of the protesting students at TMS in the last century. A very arrogant and racist teacher has insulted all of his school mates that came from a certain region of Ethiopia and he was not one of them. The boys from that region openly cried like babies and quit the class and demanded that bad teacher be fired. Mesfin joined them in solidarity and was kicked out of school and he had to finish H/S at Wingate in his final year.

    The same Mesfin was a highly decorated professor when he argued there was no Amhara per se in 1991 on national TV. He had a point but it was missed on purpose. Professor Mesfin W/M was a prolific thinker as well as a poet. At the creation of EZEMA he just showed up at the hall uninvited but to a standing ovation. He had criticized some of the leading members in the past but he also has praised the parents of one certain individual that he called the engine that never gets tired. He probably felt guilty b/c that guy never said anything bad in response to the great man’s criticism. He was in prison with him on two different occasions and also his student at 6 killo when he was 18.

    There got to be a better way. There are tens of thousands of well educated morally up right Ethiopians whose only wish is the continuation of all inclusive Ethiopia in peace and justice for every one. They don’t care which tribe the leader comes from as long as s/he is democratically elected. The rest of the population is not much different but it was easily manipulated by a few power-hungry fast talkers that lie constantly. The dishonest educated elite is a different story and also the most dangerous. But there is no time for that right now.

    Ethiopia needs to stand united in the following few months. TPLF is up again with it’s propaganda campaign on social media. From Adhanom to any ‘known’ tigre that is TPLF member holding some office has started creating fiction once again. Tedros Tsegaye and Ethio 360 are very talented in manipulating the Amhara, the less educated Amhara that is. Ethio 360 was telling Amhara Fano to give the rapist of children and nuns, pillaging and cold blooded terrorist TPLF YEMARYAM MENGED to 4 killo just last year when Addis was ready to defend herself with over a quarter million volunteers. If anybody hadn’t had enough of TPLF and want it back in Addis again like Habtamu Ayalew does, that is a crazy person.

    The TPLF finances and trains the terrorist OLA through the ethnic Tigre Jal Maaro in Uganda and Sudan with the help of Susan Rice of America and Egypt to get Amhara mad at Abiy. The Amhara buys that and gets mad at Abiy as planned and bugs America/Susan Rice to get it them ‘transitional gov’t’ which will be the return to TPLF with Lidetu, Tamirat or yared fronting with a bigger share for Jaal Marroo and may be Jawar for a while until TPLF kicks them all out. This is what 360 means, you get to where you started, only after death and destructions in millions and billions. Habtamu Ayalew will be decorated by TPLF #2 and talking from a protective bullet proof glass windows and continue to insult your intelligence and say MINTAMETTALACHIHU WEDKIM TELAHIM blah blah blah

    Mengistu was not the best to lead Ethiopia in 1977 when Siad Bare invaded up to 400 miles deep into Ethiopian territory but EPRP was not an alternative at all, especially not through blackmail at the cost of tens of thousands of Ethiopian death of civilians and otherwise. The other parties were even worst than EPRP but again the TPLFs and other LF’s never even pretended to like Ethiopia so they are still proud about the support they gave to Siad Bare.

    We shouldn’t repeat the same mistake for history’s sake. Ethiopia will defeat and destroy terrorist TPLF and it’s proxy OLA shene and Al-Shabab that specialize in killing innocent children and the elderly. In this information age thing will not be forgotten easily once the dust is settled.

    • Very well said. For a long time l did not like Mesfin W Mariam as being part of the overthrow of H. Selassie. Why is it ok to have Kingdom for the West such as U.K, Netherlands, etc and not ok for Ethiopia?

      Ethiopia has lived, still living the most mass killings, opressive, divide and conquer hardcore Marxist and communist rule of Derg and Liberation Fronts, whose head of snake of Libertion Fronts Eritrean Liberation front aka Shaebia today still is in control of Ethiopia via Olf,, Tplf, and it’s wing Eprdf changed its face to be PP party under Any government. Shania Eritrea is double agent like Turkey for East and West. It’s job is to surrender Ethiopia for upcoming illuminati neocolonialism and Shabia is servant. U.S government is in the hand of Illuminatis for NWO. U.S population too must refuse.

  5. Let alone the government and so called defense average Ethiopians has information that the Amara people are a target from Liberation Fronts, really the government and defense were allowing terrorists to come in through Bole airport and get them meet with the terrorists who are also smuggled in inside the country waiting for them with ammunition and guns to attack civilians with the help of Olf. The government playing with people’s lives by allowing terrorists to kill civilians so that the defense and government wanted to be a hero going after terrorists to make themselves hero. Really? Why wait until terrorists kill civilians?

    Indeed, the government and defense is now waiting until the people forget the massacre, then they will invite the terrorists to massacre civilians, give it few months another massacre will take place. The entire Ethiopians, must come out and protest to stop killings otherwise after few months, the blood sacrifice for illuminati will continue

    • Don’t forget, government and liberation fronts maybe fighting for one another for power. It is possible Orimiya as we know it might replace Tplf style ethnic cleansing by three groups fighting for power grab: 1. the Oromoiya in Wellega that is Protestant wants power from current PP government and dominate Ethiopia under ethnic Oromo. 2. The Orimiya dominated by Islam under Jawar want power and Islamize Orimiya with strong relation with Egypt and Turkey Isis that is allied with the West (recent Orthodox church massacre as evident). 3. The PP government wants also Oromo only power replacing the previous Tigray ethnic rule by playing tune with both Middle East and West. So another monster against civilians have been created. While we are bickering for safety, Nile will be under foreign’s hand.

  6. In addition, the government concern is not civilians but how to sleep with domestic and foreign anti Ethiopians and stealing Ethiopian resources, so that it can continue to hold power.

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