The first two years of Abiy Ahmed’s administration were marked by a widespread security crisis in the country. From Benishangul Gumuz to the Oromia region to South Ethiopia violence claimed tens of thousands of lives. There were also assassinations from regional state heads to the Defense Chief of Staff of Ethiopia to the assassination of an ethnic Oromo singer.
Initially, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration attempted to explain the situation as the work of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), he called them “Day time hyenas!” at the time. Also, it was linked as the works of external forces – primarily Egypt- who have a vested interest in the destabilization of the country.
However, the situation is not improving even after the TPLF and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ended their hostility after concluding a two years long war that claimed the lives of over one million citizens.
The Gambella region of Ethiopia introduced a state of emergency earlier this week after dozens of people were killed in an incident that was rather given an appearance of ethnic violence.
In Benishangul Gumuz region, over 700 armed militants who were earlier said to have made peace with the regional administration, after years of incessant violence that mostly targeted ethnic Amhara, are reported to have returned to the jungles – and armed. Residents and eyewitnesses from the region have confirmed the news to Ethiopian Media Service earlier this week. Federal security forces deployed in the region were unable to stop them while heading to the jungle – seemingly to wage an organized banditry attack on civilians.
In the North, the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has reportedly reorganized and mobilized forces with the aim to wage war on Amhara region over Wolkait and Raya areas – areas which the TPLF included to the Tigray region through a combination of military force and political drama.
In the Amhara region, FANO force – a volunteer group that helped the Federal Forces defeat the TPLF forces who marched all the way to the 150 kilometers north of the capital in a period of less than two years after the TPLF leaders ordered attack on the Northern command of the the Ethiopian Defense Force in November 2020 – are under attack from the Federal government forces. The report from local sources is that the government forces are losing in some places. There are even areas and towns that are said to be under the control of the FANO. To describe the situation with better accuracy, at least the Federal government is not fully in control of the situation in the Amhara region and there is noticeable animosity towards the Federal and regional governments.
In the Oromo region of Ethiopia, what the regional government calls -OLF- Shane – has made it practically impossible to have stability in the region. It is not secret now that majority of Ethiopians think this radical ethnic nationalist group is armed and supported by the government (both at the federal and regional levels). It is intended to be a tool for the campaign to consolidate power and Oromize – at least the region and Addis Ababa. At times the group is used as a disruptive forces with the mission to make the region ungovernable. At other times, it seem to be used as a bargaining power to leverage more power to the dominant Oromo elites at the government. In fact, even opposition radical ethnic nationalist Oromo elites who are “peacefully” struggling from the center seem to be emboldened in their claims (and some of them advocate for ‘peaceful resolution’ of the crisis in the region in as exercise of lip-service) as the “OLF-Shane” increasingly appearing “intimidating” force making passengers travel to and from the capital impossible, massacring ethnic Amhara civilians in the Oromia region.
Overall, the security situation in Ethiopia is not improving. In fact, it is getting worse. Ethiopians are concerned for their safety on a daily basis to the point that traveling from one part of Ethiopia to the other has become a risky business as citizens are not sure if they are able to make it safely to and from the capital, Addis Ababa, from . For that matter, the security situation in Addis Ababa itself is not reliable for residents.
In the meantime, the Federal government continues to deflect attention from the security crisis situation that is literally threatening the existence of the country. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration seems to be rather mobilizing state-owned media outlets to project an image of Ethiopia that is marching towards “prosperity” while in reality the country is fragmenting and experiencing multiple active security problems in different parts of the country. From “What export” ( while the country is starting and food prices are unbearable for the majority of Ethiopians) to “green legacy,” narratives, in which the Prime Minister is at the very core of it, are meant to cover the crisis. The result is that the security situation is getting worse.
All this is happening at a time when the Federal government and the Defense Force is claiming that the Defense Force is in a better standing, than ever before, to deter any form of threat to Ethiopia.
Some members of the parliament from the opposition quarter have been calling for, twice, the resignation of the prime minister – to which he kind of bluffed.
There have been calls for the formation of a transitional government which fell on deaf ear too. Although on the surface, Abiy seems to be at odds with the west on the surface, deep down his government , as a stooge, seems to be getting all sorts of support from western powers. He is getting the support not because His government is better on the human rights front as rights abuse is now pervasive in the country.
When Abiy took power in 2018, the hope was that he would deal with the chronic political problem that divided the country along ethnic lines – a reality where most of Ethiopia’s security and political problem is emanating from. As it turns out, Abiy played it even worse than the TPLF. There were times when he was name calling an ethnic group in the parliament in a sense of ethnic profiling ( and this has audio visual evidence).
Now, clearly Abiy’s administration is not the answer to Ethiopia’s problem as it is worsening it (all these without mentioning the economic hardship that Ethiopians are living on a daily basis) . How worse is the problem to be before the upper echelons of the Prosperity Party admit it and start internal conversations towards not only finding a way out of the problem but also addressing it head on in a lasting fashion. The Defense Force has to be careful not to forget its core mission – Ethiopia, not serving the Abiy Ahmed regime – whose mission has turned out to be, from what is existing on the ground, demolishing Ethiopia as we know it.
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