Last updated March 10, 2023 at 9:04 A.M. Toronto Time
Let me first explain the title of this text. I write “Shimelis-Abiy” rather than “Abiy-Shimelis,” because it is now clear that Shimelis Abdissa, the President of Oromia, is the person who calls the shots in Ethiopia. Dr. Abiy Ahmed, has been reduced to play the role of the PM of Ethiopia in a political drama composed and directed by Shimelis Abdissa.
Shimelis served as Chief of Staff of the PM from 2018-19 and became the President of Oromia in 2019. It is during his time as Chief of Staff that he established his ascendency over PM Abiy. Since then, he has been playing Abiy as a fiddle. Thus was born the Shimelis-Abiy duo, with Shimelis at the helm.
The Shimelis-Abiy duo are engaged in a political project whose goal is the establishment of an independent Oromia. To reach their goal, the Shimelis-Abiy duo are using various approaches. These relate to the following factors: territory, demography, language, education, information, religion, political space, economics, and isolating and destabilizing Amhara. The responses to save Ethiopia from the demolition work of the duo must take into account all these factors. Let me briefly unpack each of them.
Territory: The Shimelis-Abiy duo are using informal methods—armed groups such as Oneg-Shene—and official institutions such as the Oromo Special Forces to expand the territory of Oromia and seize, to cite an Oromo nationalist, “every piece of land where an Oromo has set foot.” Thus, the duo are conducting overt and covert campaigns to grab territory from Amhara, Afar, Somali, Sidama, Gambella, Benishangul-Gumuz, and other areas.
Demography: The Shimelis-Abiy duo are engaged in the ethnic-cleansing of Amhara and other non-Oromos from Oromia and the areas that they want to annex. The ethnic-cleansing has two forms: ethnic killing, and forced displacement through various means such as the destruction of dwellings, farms, and property. The Shimelis-Abiy duo have displaced more than 3 million Ethiopians. For the duo, the crown jewel of this ethnic cleansing is the purging of Addis Ababa of Amharas and non-Oromos and its transformation into Finfinne. Note that since the Shimelis-Abiy duo came to power (2018) Addis Ababa had two non-elected, Oromo Prosperity Party (PP) members, as mayors: Takele Uma Benti and Adanech Abeibei. Both were hand-picked by the Shimelis-Abiy duo and are known for their schemes to “cleanse” Addis Ababa of Amharas.
Language: The Shimelis-Abiy duo have the firm intention of “killing Amharic,” dixit Shimelis, in all of Oromia, including Addis Ababa. The effort to impose the Oromo anthem and flag in Addis Ababa schools, instigated by the Shimelis-Abiy duo and implemented by the anti-Amhara mayor, Adanech Abeibei, was to test the waters. Though it has stalled, the idea has not been shelved. In all other urban centers of Oromia, where for historical reasons Amharic is the lingua franca, the duo are introducing measures to asphyxiate and “kill” Amharic in all official and unofficial public transactions.
Education. Unlike Mandela who criticized undereducation—”Destroying any nation does not require the use of atomic bombs or the use of long-range missiles. It only requires lowering the quality of education”—the Shimelis-Abiy duo cultivate the miseducation and undereducation of Ethiopian youth as a tool to demolish the country. They believe they could easily intoxicate the undereducated youth with ethnic hatred and brainwash the Oromia youth into believing that independent Oromia is a political-economic heaven, and that achieving it requires the elimination of the Amhara from Oromia. Only 3% of Ethiopian Students scored above 50% on the National Exit Exam in 2023, and the failure rate is higher in Oromia. This is music to the ears of the duo, for there is no better audience for their gospel of Ethiopia demolition than a miseducated and undereducated youth.
Information:The Shimelis-Abiy duo know that a non-informed population is more pliant than an informed one. Since 2018, the duo has closed access to the internet 11 times. Ethiopia is now the number one African country that censors social media. Censorship enables the duo to disintegrate the national information space, thus creating informational apartheid that facilitates the malleability of the public and the disintegration of Ethiopia. Government information outlets (TV, radio, etc.) never publish news and ideas that counter the government views, propaganda, and actions. They pass in complete silence important events such as the massive opposition to the ethnic fragmentation of the Tewahido Church, and the popular resistance to the government in Guji. Independent journalists are arrested and detained illegally for expressing critical opinions or for having exposed the illegal activities, the power abuses, and corruption of PP members and government officials.
Religion: The two historical religions in Ethiopia are Tewahedo Christianity and Islam. Their importance to Ethiopians is not only other-worldly but also this-worldly. The two religions are historical institutions that embody the unity and longevity of Ethiopia. After having meddled in the affairs of The Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council, the Shimelis-Abiy duo interfered in the internal affairs of the Tewahido Church and successfully engineered the creation of an Oromia Synod, setting up a secessionist religious wing supportive of an independent Oromia. The duo concocted a fake reconciliation between the official Tewahido Synod and the renegade Bishops to enable the latter to continue taking over Tewahedo churches and their properties in Oromia, which they are doing with the help of the Oromia police. The latter still continue detaining and physically abusing active members of the Tewahido Church.
Political space: The Shimelis-Abiy duo has been whittling away the political space. The duo has transformed parliament into a zombie institution. Government policies are developed outside parliament. Parliament has been reduced to a lecture hall where the PM Abiy perorates on matters that Shimelis has already decided upon. Pro-Ethiopian parties are subjected to pressures and subterfuge that prevent them from holding meetings or recruiting members. Pro-Ethiopian unity politicians and activists, human rights investigators, critiques of government policies, those who expose the corruption of officials and PP members are harassed and arrested. Remember how the duo killed the Bandera Party through police harassment, intimidation, and the detention of its leaders. The duo have put the police above the law and institutionalized police lawlessness for pursuing their agenda of Ethiopia demolition.
Economics: It appears that the Shimelis-Abiy duo believe that the Renaissance Dam will fall into their laps like a ripe plum with their armed takeover of the areas of Gumuz they consider Oromo-land. The duo believe that the Renaissance Dam will not only be an engine for Oromia development but a political tool for imposing the will of an independent Oromia on the other ethnic states of former Ethiopia by making access to hydroelectric power conditional on accepting Oromia’s political and economic preconditions. The duo also plan to expand the Oromia International Bank (OBI) to give Oromia an independent presence in international banking and finance. It seems also that the duo have started a creeping campaign against Amhara-owned businesses. The harassment of some businesses in Addis Ababa such as the recent interdiction of Bajaj transport vehicles could be traced to the fact that most of these businesses are Amhara-owned. The idea seems to force the exit of Amhara from economic activities and from Addis so that Oromo independentists could take over the economy and the city.
Isolating and destabilizing Amhara: The Shimelis-Abiy duo believe that the success of an independent Oromia depends on keeping the Amhara bottled up in their kilil and in a state of destabilization. The duo have elaborated two strategies to achieve this. First, they are allowing the political and military resurrection of the TPLF. The aim is to use the TPLF as a tool to put constant pressure on Amhara from the East and create a war zone in Walkait so that Amhara defense forces will be tied down. Oromia’s armed forces will keep a constant pressure on Amhara from the South. Thus, the Amhara kilil will be caught in a pincer movement and will be under the constant threat of losing territory to the TPLF and Oromia. Second, the duo plan to destabilize Amhara by sending there more and more displaced Amharas and non-Oromos, thus creating a constant state of impoverishment and social unrest in the kilil.
To reiterate, since all of the above factors are intertwined, the responses to save Ethiopia from the demolition work of the Shimelis-Abiy duo must consider all of them.
One is forced to ask what motivates the two most powerful leaders of the country to destroy Ethiopia, the country of their birth, and the symbol of dignity, honor, and freedom for all Black People on Earth? Is it because Ethiopia was a feudal state that “oppressed the Oromo,” as one Oromo intellectual put it?
But all Ethiopians, including the Amhara, have lived under feudal oppression for centuries. All Ethiopians, with the exception of the elites, among whom numbered Oromo elites, were oppressed and exploited. A Swahili aphorism says: Mkono wenye uchafu husafishwa, haukatwi / “A dirty hand is cleaned, not cut.” Amputating Ethiopia by creating an independent Oromia is not the answer to past oppression. Amputating Ethiopia because there was oppression in the past is as irrational as amputating a hand because it is dirty.
The rational response to the oppression that affects all Ethiopians, irrespective of ethnicity, is to bring about systemic changes that emancipate all Ethiopians. Amputating Ethiopia is not a systemic change; it is not an emancipatory act. The proof: every one of us could name a region that has seceded from its motherland but whose people now live under conditions even more oppressive than before the secession.
So could anyone explain why the Shimelis-Abiy duo hate Ethiopia so much that they stop at absolutely nothing to destroy it?
In his 1963 poem, Ethiopia shall rise, Nkrumah extols Ethiopia as “Africa’s bright gem…land of the wise… fertile school of our African culture,,, Ethiopia, the wise / Shall rise…” Let us hope that “Ethiopia the wise”—the one that made possible the Victory of Adwa—”shall rise” again and rescue herself from the political insanity of the Shimelis-Abiy duo as she did from the Italian invaders of 1896.
Editor’s note : views in the article reflect the views of the writer, not the views of borkena.com
Correction : It was indicated earlier that the article is co-author. That was a mistake. Leo Okere is the sole author.
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“Abiy the slake charmer”,
Such people always end with a snake bite, throughout history.
Germany went through one such man, that left his “assumed nation” as a vassal in perpetuity; such “dreams” do not always come true, at the END.
Abiy’s is not any different.
Recently there was an article asking “Is Abiy an asset or a liability?”
I was in the camp of “Abiy is an asset” until March 2nd 2023, ADWA celebration debacle; even though Abiy did not lift a finger to STOP the Amhara mass-killings in Oromo in general and Wollega in particular, I was willing to give him the benefit of the doughty, thinking he will do something soon enough. But now since ADWA betrayal I am convinced Abiy never was an Asset, as originally thought.
Why I took him as an Asset?
I was told his chidden are 3/4 Amhara, and based on that I thought he cannot possibly be like these others bigots who are utterly-filled & blinded with their BOTTELED-UP HATE.
In fact since Abiy’s rise to the PM-office with the HELP & Support of the Amhara politicians in the old (dead party) 3.6 million Ethiopians have been displaced millions killed/raped/looted, and exposed to many unspeakable crimes by Abiy and his ARMED-KILLER-GROUP (“Oromo Shene”) that are FUNDED & Run by Oromo PP.
Amhara supported him becoming PM, and in forming the PP party, yet all he was able to repay the favor is by KILLIN the POOR and Vulnerable Amhara women, Children, and the elderly, what a shame for the PM to do the this nation and to these innocent people of Amhara and Shewa-Oromo that are exclusively abused endlessly for no apparent act they have committed but for simply being born Amhara, & Shewa-Oromo; God will pay him handsomely for all his actions & inactions, in the last 5 years.
#1) Celebrating ADWA in their city where HM Emperor Menelik II statue is located was prohibited.
#2) Ethiopian Flag was not allowed.
#3) Clothing that has Emperor’s & his wife picture on it were prohibited, businesses printing them were confiscated.
#4) Homes of Amhara-origin are being selected & demolished, in the very city the PM lives (like in South Africa, and other such colonies during apartheid rule).
#5) For the mass-killings in Wollega and other Oromo regions, the PM was heard comparing it to the killings in US cities such as Chicago (drug dealers turf war) comparing it to a peaceful-citizens targeted-mass-killing in their places of residence /farm where he is the PM of, and cannot lift a finger to STOP the KILLINGS.
It is very obvious things has not been going the why many have hopped, but that it life under Abiy’s leadership and the lack there of.
All the above crimes and many others were instigated since 2018, after Abiy took office.
Many traveling from Amhara region at times CANNOT enter Addis Abeba, perhaps even all the others from south, East, North, and West.
The 2 Mayors of Addis Abeba since Abiy’s PM ship, were not even Natives of Addis Abeba, but were appointed to ethnic cleanse the city.
Why the native born citizens of Addis Abeba cannot run their city?
Abiy in my opinion is playing “a snake-charmer-role” on VPM Demeke Mekonnen et al. and all Ethiopian people the supported him in every way possible both inside the country and all that live abroad. But unfortunately his betrayal is beyond excusable, to see all the innocent life lost since he came to power breaking the oat he took TO PROTECT all citizens: women, children and the elderly, and the poor farmers, businessmen, laborers alike became the sacrificial lamb for his power –grab, it is a shame.
It is crucial to the nation of Ethiopia, its citizens and its future that , the “sleepy” Amhara-politician to wake up and “smell-the -coffee”, and realize that, Oromo under Abiy is NOT the majority in Ethiopia (until they become 150 million by themselves, which is possible in the next few years, as an interviewee I heard say on YT recently, “we may not need Amhara PP to run the country…, and the PM ship is secured, there is not going to be a Haile-Mariam to vacate the PM office from here on…get over it” ) .
Well, all that became before him have gone unceremoniously, and naturally his time will come, it is not going to be decided by a single individual, but by the Nation.
We live and learn.
The Amhara politician MUST coordinate with the other zones of: Afar, Somali, Southern nations, Gambela, Benishangul-Gumuz and create an all- inclusive-Coalition-of-the-willing to remedy this Train-wreck from going off the rail, and put the nation in shambles.
Once Abiy moves to Dubai, and Shameless Abdias, Jawar, or Gerba happen to take office it would be a a point of no return , kiss Ethiopia good bye, unless the work is done now and make a CONNECTION-with-those-zones-that-are-left-in-the-PERIPHERY looking in from outside; as designed by TPLF in the 1990’s.
Time is running out and it needs to be done staring now, the recent shootout between the Southern-nations & Oromo is a bad sign that things could escalate very fast; the Welkite -water-protest & the shooting is also a bad sign…
Personal-interests of the Amhara politicians & their comfort as a “second-fiddle” to Abiy till he does not need them, is not worth the consequences of watching the nation collapse.
US’s Feldman’s talk of Ethiopian balkanization via TPLF (dream) must be defeated and NOW.
It is in Afar, Somali, Southern nations, Gambela, Benishangul-Gumuz, and Amhara regions interest to stand up and get counted, and do what is necessary to create the condition to FORM a “Coalition-of -the-Willing” for the LOVE of COUNTRY.
Let God send Ethiopia and her people the renewal they desperately need, and awaits. And let her ENEMIES PAY, accordingly.
Fist line’ “Abiy the slake charmer”,
Should read ” Abiy the Snake charmer”.
This article seems to have few important issues. But it more of poisonous, focused on ethnic politics that tempt illiterates to set rift between Amhara and Oromo. One live example the writer used to destroy Abiy and Shimeles was about the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) .The Dam was not the plan of Abiy and Shimeles. Even if that was the Case, they should be praised for it instead. One important thing PM Meles did for Ethiopia is GERD is his son
Leo, no wonder why the White Supremacist West [WSW] treats African Intellectuals like Dumb Chimps [DC] that it can use as the WSW’s Muppet Condoms [MC] at will.
Abiy vs. ኦነግ ሸኔ: Wasn’t Abiy ኦነግ ሸኔ’s first ever assassination target at Mesqel Square? Only Egypt’s & Egypt’s WSW Patron’s DC & MC bundle Abiy with ኦነግ ሸኔ et al.
Abiy & Ethiopia: Only Egypt & Egypt’s WSW Patrons want Ethiopia ground in to tiny ethnic pieces. Abiy slammed that door shut & they unleashed their Proxy Dogs on him!
Ethnic Enclaves [EE]: Gojjam & Gonder were Amara EE for centuries. The Oromo Extremists [ኦሮሞ ሸኔ] are just catching up with their Amara Extremist Twins [አማራ ሸኔ]!
Ethiopia & Languages: Ethiopia is 86 ethnics. None is a Step Child. They should ALL go to the polls and decide which language(s) to use as Official Language(s), in schools, etc.
Amara Economy: Received ≥1,500 tractors+heavy machinery+pumps Harvested ≥242, 000 hectares in summer alone Built Industrial Parks/factories/roads/bridges/schools/etc.
Orthodox: Abiy’s regime didn’t interfere. If EOTC is unbiased and all-inclusive, why has the Synod been almost all Amara since the dawn of Orthodox Christianity in Ethiopia?
Addis Ababa [AA]: AA is ≈6 million! Amaras are ≥3 million! ≥60% AA’s government workers are Amaras. Oromos only came in to AA’s demographics after TPLF annexed their farms. Even then, they don’t make even 1% of AA.
If Abiy was really anti-Amhara the Amharas would be suffering so much more. People fail to recall the fact that shene fought alongside tplf and against Abiy and the federal government. So how can he be their leader? The issues in Wollaga should be entirely blamed on the Oromo regional government and not on the federal government. In Ethiopia, it is the responsibility of the regional government to deal with issues in its region;therefore, Shimelis and his administration should be dealing with shene and the issues in Wollaga.
Next, stop expecting one man to fix the nation. Even if the PM of Ethiopia was 100% Amhara it doesn’t mean the issues will go away. People will still continue to complain and not be satisfied. We have identity politics in Ethiopia and it doesn’t go away that easily.
Excuses, excuses and more excuses. Lies, lies and more lies. Let’s start calling a spade a spade. This so called abiy is chairman of the pp. He chose and handpicked the current ignoramuses surrounding him both at the federal and regional levels. This incompetent neophyte thinks he is an expert in everything: science, education, law, politics, governance, technology, military, morality, religion, philosophy, ethics and on and on. He talks ad nauseam, 24/7 and he thinks he is believable and convincing. In reality, he is tear jerkingly boring, illogical, imbecilic, quite illiterate, and utterly nonsensical. His understanding of federalism is garbage. It is not like he is teaching Ethiopians about the works of Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay. He has no commitment to the rule of law and due process. He is an individual with severe character flow. He is immoral, callous, very cruel, unrepentant, inhumane, unscrupulous,mendacious, vindictive, petty minded, power hungry, throne obsessed, psychopathic and sociopathic. These are his character traits that have slowly been unmasked over the past 5 years.
He surrounds himself with idiots like shimeles abdissa and adanech abebe, nobodies but just coo on thieves and thugs. How on earth people expect him to be any better?????
The poetic justice is abiy has sealed his pathetic legacy with the repulsive and offensive outrages and crimes against humanity he has committed and continues to commit against defenseless millions. There is no redemption for him or his thugs. There is no moral standing, no ethical ladder or respectability for his pathetic regime.The world knows it, he knows it, his thugs know it, and all Ethiopian know it. Five years of misery, chaos and disorder; every second he stays in power that will be his fate – and that is the poetic justice from the Almighty!!!!!!!!!!!!
“character flow” is typo error: should read “character flaw”