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HomeOpinionAbiy Ahmed: A national Disgrace and an International Embarrassment (Part III)

Abiy Ahmed: A national Disgrace and an International Embarrassment (Part III)

PM Abiy Ahmed speaking at the First Extraordinary Session of the General Assembly of the OEC (Photo : public domain)

Part III

Abiy Ahmed’s Mendacity on the International Stage

By Haile Tessema 

(This is part III, the last instalment covering the embarrassing behaviour of Abiy Ahmed) 

Abiy Ahmed has been treated as an international pariah due to his frequent lies, deceptive behaviour, and bombastic statements. Here are some instances of Abiy Ahmed’s public mendacity on the international stage. On June 10, 2018 Abiy Ahmed “swore by Allah”  (Wallahi) to President El Sisi of Egypt that his government would not full up the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam  (GERD) without signing an agreement with Egypt, but two year later he started filling up the dam in July 2020 without any agreement with Egypt. 

Swearing in a public setting is juvenile. Children swear; adults agree. Making a commitment that he had no intention of fulfilling was fundamentally wrong, particularly when such a commitment was made in public to a state. Moreover, invoking a higher power when swearing intensified the gravity of the breach. There was no need for him to swear; instead, he could have simply said, “we will reach a mutually beneficial agreement” or use diplomatic courtesy. The issue is not safeguarding Ethiopia’s national interests; it is honouring one’s word. By all means, he should protect Ethiopia’s national interests, but without lies. 

He has consistently deceived the UN and Western governments by repeatedly lying about the presence of Eritrean troops. On December 9, 2020, he assured Antonio Guterres that there were no Eritrean troops in Ethiopia, but in March 2021, he acknowledged the presence of Eritrean troops in Tigray. Subsequently, he promised the world that Eritrean troops would soon withdraw from Ethiopia, but Eritrean troops are still in disputed territories. Once again, the issue at hand is not about the Ethiopian government’s sovereign right to invite Eritrean troops; the crux of the matter lies in his dishonesty.

Other than the withdrawal of Eritrean troops, Abiy Ahmed made other commitments to the Biden administration concerning the conflict in Tigray and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) but has failed to fulfill most of it. He promised Blinken that those responsible for war crimes will be held accountable. He promised that he would restore Wolkait, Tsegede, and Raya to TPLF governance; he would release all TPLF prisoners; he would reinstate TPLF’s assets, among the other commitments he made to the Biden administration. He has not delivered on his promises. The US has no confidence in Abiy Ahmed. It has reset its alliance with Kenya.  

Once again, the issue lies not in whether the US should dictate policies to the Ethiopian government—it should not—but rather in Abiy Ahmed’s acceptance of these demands, only to later renege on them. Furthermore, he consistently makes contradictory statements concerning the Biden administration. While assuring the Ethiopian public that Ethiopian sovereignty is not for sale, he consistently pleads with the US for additional funds and support in return for advancing US interests in Ethiopia and the region. His equivocation, duplicity, and erratic diplomacy have had negative consequences for Ethiopia’s diplomatic relations, foreign investments, and global public perception.

Abiy Ahmed has frequently attempted to placate the World Bank and the IMF by feigning his wholesome acceptance of their structural adjustment programme, packaged as Ethiopia’s homegrown policies. On June 5, 2018, he announced that his government would privatize Ethiopian Airlines (EAL), the largest and most profitable airline in Africa, but  on October 10, 2020, the Minister of Finance declared the privatization plan has been postponed indefinitely. 

Five years since the privatisation announcement, the airline remains under government ownership. Considering that EAL is the most reliable source of foreign exchange earnings for the cash-strapped Ethiopian government, it’s most unlikely that the government will privatize EAL. The announcement appears to be a scheme aimed at securing loans and grants from the World Bank and the IMF. Once again, EAL shouldn’t be privatized; the problem is his deceit. 

Some African leaders have openly expressed their disgust with Abiy Ahmed’s dishonesty. Two years ago, during a meeting of East African leaders in Djibouti, Uhuru Kenyatta snubbed Abiy Ahmed, when he ignored Abiy’s extended hand for a handshake. In 2022, the leader of South Sudan openly called him a liar. Recently, when countries in the Horn of Africa attempted to intervene in the Sudan civil war, initially they excluded Ethiopia, but Abiy eventually managed to join them. Recently, when the South African government formed a committee of six African countries to mediate between Ukraine and Russia, it excluded Ethiopia because of Abiy’s international bad reputation. According to recent news reports, even his once ally, Isaias Afwerki, no longer responds to his phone calls. When a leader is publicly snubbed, labelled dishonest, and his calls are unanswered by fellow African leaders, it underscores the gravity of Abiy Ahmed mendacity.

Accusation of Plagiarism and Self-reporting as a US Spy 

Abiy Ahmed’s dishonesty extends beyond politics; he has been accused of plagiarising a substantial proportion of his PhD thesis. A group that has thoroughly examined his dissertation concludes, “There is now sufficient evidence to demand Addis Ababa University to re-examine Abiy’s thesis; it is adequate to suspend or revoke a doctorate.”  To be sure, the group that investigated his dissertation consists of TPLF supporters with a political motivation. Nonetheless, they have presented compelling evidence to support their claims, which can be independently verified using plagiarism detection software like Turnitin. The allegations raise concerns about Abiy Ahmed’s academic credentials and cast a shadow over the reputation of Addis Ababa University. His cheating reveals a shady character. Once a thief, always a thief. 

Even more disturbing for Ethiopians is that Abiy Ahmed claims to have worked for the NSA.  In an interview with the New Yorker Magazine in September 2022, he boldly asserted his involvement with the US spy agency. He proclaimed: “I was the one who would send intelligence from this part of the world to the N.S.A., on Sudan, Yemen and Somalia. The N.S.A. knows me. I would fight and die for America.” The revelation that he spied on neighbouring countries has angered, dismayed, and demoralised Ethiopians.  

It is not the first time that Abiy has admitted being a spy. In the summer of 2018, he confessed to spying for the OLF while working for the Ethiopian intelligence agency. Such acts of espionage constitute grave offenses, punishable by long-term imprisonment or even capital punishment. 

His admission of espionage for a superpower raises disturbing questions about the integrity of Ethiopia’s National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS). Is the NISS truly independent of the CIA? To what extent does the CIA exert control over the NISS? Will he use the resources of the Ethiopian government to enforce US policy in Ethiopia and the rest of the Horn of Africa? These and other questions weigh heavily on the minds of Ethiopians and African leaders, particularly those from neighbouring countries.  It is understandable that African leaders regard him with suspicion. It is also clear why Isaias Afwerki may have legitimate concerns about a potential regime change in Eritrea orchestrated by the US, effected by Abiy Ahmed. 

Abiy Ahmed’s statement that “I would fight and die for America” implies that his allegiance to the US is high. This statement signifies his unwavering loyalty to the US, but his allegiance to a foreign country angers Ethiopians and irks Africans.

It is possible that he may have fabricated his involvement with the NSA, yet the NSA has issued no denial about his working for it. The NSA’s silence lends credence to the possibility that he might have indeed worked there. If he had no affiliation with the NSA and spread such a major falsehood, it further reinforces his reputation as a deceitful individual.

We have explored several reasons for why Abiy Ahmed has been ostracised on the international stage. The accusation of plagiarism further casts doubts on his character. His claim of working for the NSA adds justification for why world leaders, particularly African counterparts, distance themselves from him. Ethiopians have experienced a dual sense of shame: their prime minister being rejected by world leaders because of his dishonesty and his admission of engaging in espionage for a foreign government.


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  1. Thanks, Haile Tessema, for the excellent article, it is a very well researched and factually highly accurate and more.

    I have read all the three installments you have written and have been impressed by them all.

    You have covered a great deal, and covered it well, but there is so much more that can be said about Abiy Ahmed that defy comprehension and mind boggling stuff in general.

    Among those include the fact that Abiy Ahmed’s led Ethiopian government being directly and indirectly responsible for the terrorism that was targeting Amhara for mass killings and dislocations in the Oromo region.

    He has now reduced the whole of the Amhara region to a war zone, where civilians are imprisoned and slaughtered daily.
    It is interesting about his spying for the OLF and NSA or whomever else give him a bit of crumbs.

    Still, the man being mad, really niceties and so on aside, we don’t need any more proof than the daily spectacle of the man we have been witnessing to clearly understand that the man, Abiy Ahmed, is out of his f***ing head – how would the US or anyone be able to put any value on the information or whatever else that he has been providing to them.

    It is difficult to understand how the US continue to associate themselves with this out and out lunatic, a bungler in chief, we don’t believe that they care much for what the mad man does to Ethiopians, what about their own selves?

    They just cleared him of human right abuses, this is a man who has been and continue to be behind so much war crimes, mass killing, dislocations, continued mass imprisonment and torture of journalists and others, widespread lawlessness and gross corruption and more – they said, it is all okay.

    It will do your mind in thinking about a country who use the propaganda about its love for democracy, human right, the rule of law to say this man, Abiy Ahmed is okay.

    Well, so much madness in the world, the poor die, they count their money and celebrate – or some such, and this is the world we are in.

    We have also our own idiots, fools and mercenaries such as Ittu Aba Farda, i_Mognu and a host of others, commenting on the article, whether paid or lying for free, who support the bungler in charge, or not in charge, Abiy Ahmed.

    Well, thanks again for your excellent article, Haile Tessema, and keep up with the good work!

  2. This article has some truth but it lacks critical thinking and intellectual effort. It includes irresponsible statements with no editorial effort to correct grave mistakes even from the website owners.

    • Well, then, why don’t you point out to these particular statements, it would be good if you could do even one.

      The fact that you don’t indicates that you are either too lazy, or there is nothing to point to, you just making it up.

      The article is excellent, very well written, and nothing what you said it is, in realty.

      You are, just like that childish fool, the mercenary Ittu Aba Farda, a troll, that is all.

      Speaking of Ittu Aba Farda, I am coming to think beyond being a childish fool, a simpleton, he might be actually mad.

      It is embarrassing the way goes on, what mother gave birth to this idiot, wow, I feel sorry for her/

  3. This is it!
    What is it now, Ittu?
    PM Abiy has to resign because of what he did to me the other day.
    What did he do to you for you to make such a demand suddenly?
    I was watching a video clip of him making a speech at an occasion and I noticed that he was looking for someone.
    Who was he looking?
    I realized he was looking for me. He sorted me out among millions who were watching and fixated his bloodshot eyes right on me. He tortured and poisoned me with potassium cyanide.
    How did you survive from the torturing and upmost from the lethal cyanide?
    I used my PhD in quantum physics to to escape death.
    You have PhD now, Ittu?
    What was the title of your doctoral thesis?
    It is called ‘Neftegnas and Neo-Gobenas killed 15 million Oromos, Filipinos, Zulus, Minnesotans and Gojjamians in 1896 at Adwa.
    That has nothing to do with Quantum Physics, Ittu.
    I made it to sound related to the concept. I successfully defended my thesis mumbling thru it with my turtle shell accent. They got tired of my mumbling and gave me the PhD. Yep, why not? Everyone claims to have one. So I joined the party. Anyway, PM Abiy must resign and I have the best candidate to replace him.
    Who will that be?
    Roger Rabbit and Kermit the Frog as PM and Deputy Prime Minister respectively with Ms. Piggy as the defense minister. You see how I made it so easy for you bigots, eyal-al-souqs, af-mishars, pants-on-fires and connivers. See yaa!!!!!


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