By Yinager Ewunetun
Ethiopia is not new to military leadership. After the fall of Emperor Haile Selassie, the Derg military came to power by taking advantage of its proximity to it. TPLF came to power by toppling the military government with Eritrean forces, Amhara region farmers, and other forces in the country. The Derg military was perceived to be one of the largest in Africa. At the time, the military was robust in many ways: airforce, marine, mechanized, and close to half a million fighting forces. But it crumbled. Some of the reasons it failed as an institution were: its policy against the Ethiopian people, the corrupted military generals, and the division within its hierarchy. Given such a military-led government with half a million forces failing miserably, could we see another military-controlled government in Ethiopia? Is PP a civil or military or a mixed type of government? Let us discuss it using the current problems the PP-led government is facing.
Problem # 1. Of course, from the outset, a PP-led government is a civil government elected by the people. However, it is now and then using the military to administer regions due to the several problems happening in the country. In the past election, in the Amhara region, something new happened. The election in the region was fake when the TPLF-led government controlled the central government. Only those who were faithful to TPLF represent the region, from the lower house to the upper one in the region. But in the last election, the participation of the people in electing representatives to the people in the region was not necessarily faithful to the new party, PP, but to their own people’s cause. A careful observer from the region once told me, “In this election, some good people have participated, and the result is promising.” These phrases of this friend are now clear to me. The main problem of the PP party, which is acting as EPRDF 2 dominated by Oromo politicians, is that it cannot have a faithful wing in the Amhara region like TPLF had. Especially the lower part of the representation aligns with the people, not the party. This makes governing hard for the PP-led government.
The central government, which is highly dominated by the Oromo PP forces, tried to intimidate their main partners, the top leaders of Amhara PP. Some are killed or kicked out of influence: Gedu, Boayalew, Ambachew, etc. They tried to get control of the Amhara PP party. Even Obo Shimelis tried to communicate with the party members in Bahir Dar. They accused him of genocide happening under his leadership in the Oromia region and rejected him in many ways. He left Bahir Dar with dismay. The primer gathered the region’s top leadership many times and tried to control the region’s administration but had no solution on the ground. What is their option? They think of dominating the region with military force. The so-called military leader came out and said in the open it is better to dismantle the Amhara region PP party and control the region with military leadership.
One of the justifications proposed at their meetings was that the military had done it in the Tigray region for eight months when the TPLF party rebelled against the central government. So why not now in the Amhara region? But the question is, how did it end in Tigray? The Military runs away from the region, leaving its hardware everywhere for the forces in Tigray, empowering them for the third round of war. Everyone remembers “Zemecha Alula- Operation Alua” employed by TDF and most Tigray people. Everyone was raised against the Military in the region: kids, women, priests, etc. What about now in the Amhara region? The military is operating in many parts of the Amhara region, and they are setting up command stations to control the region. Are these people blind? They know Derg failed miserably. But they also failed hugely after their endeavor to lead Tigray for eight months. They do not even learn from their failed history, at least. Why try it again, then? This is a paradox! There is a better solution, it is not military but political. Dialogue with the people is the way forward. If tomorrow another movement, like Operation Alua, against the Military rises in huge waves in the Amhara region, it will be a huge loss for the Military. It is also happening in many places. But if it rises to a climax, the situation will be difficult for the country.
Problem #2. One of the inherent problems of this government is that it has incapable people with a dysfunctional administrative system. The country’s institutions are undermined. Instead, few individuals, like the Prime minister, are controlling everything. Almost everything is done as a project work of the PM. The ministry offices have been reduced to low-level offices. For example, according to the OCHA report, “about 80 percent of the land has been cultivated across all Meher dependent areas; however, only about 50 percent has been planted in Amhara, 80 percent in Oromia, 48 percent in Benishangul Gumuz, 50 percent in SNNPR, and 30 percent in Tigray, according to the Agriculture Cluster.” Even if there are many causes, this is mainly the failure of the Ministry of Agriculture and other related government offices, which are dysfunctional since they could not even provide the farmers with seeds and fertilizers. This problem can only be solved if the primer pays 100% attention to it. Period. This shows how the institutions have become dysfunctional.
The individuals in power are focused on their benefits. They are not empowered to be real problem solvers. We do not see a reasonable creativity and problem-solving capability among the top leaders. If they do, they will get resistance from the corrupt system. Hence, they wait until the main leader, the PM, tells them what to do. Almost every serious problem in the country waits for the prime minister to act on it. He also enjoys solving them to boost his image. Even religious institutions are dependent on his intervention. That is why we say the country’s institutions are crippled. The Primer came from a military background and is Colene in the army rank. He uses the country’s military to solve the problems he is facing. The military has become his institution, and it is the best and easiest option to solve his problems. That is why we smell a military government system hidden in civil administration.
Problem #3. The core problem of the country is that its disintegration seems unstoppable. The TPLFites have this identity called Tegaru; the Oromo politicians run and build on Oromuma’s identity. The Amhara Renaissance is rising and forming to its maximum, almost to the point of no return. The PP-led government is worsening the situation more and more. Instead of building the country cohesively, they are deliberately creating divisions in the country. Especially the Oromia PP and OLA (OLF) forces are acting weirdly everywhere, creating huge resistance in every part of the country. Specifically, they have created a huge wall around Addis Ababa using Sheger City. This is a huge mistake. Now, they are leaving the rest of the Ethiopians to surround them. All in all, this leads the country to infighting and disintegration. Of course, outsiders and other forces within the country may be working hard to disintegrate the country. But, the forces within the country are enabling them and giving these foreign forces a free ride right now. The military was supposed to be saving the country from such. The civil government could have worked hard to avoid its own huge mistakes; instead, they are foaming it daily.
Another country dividing the actions of the people in power is their use of divide and rule principle. This principle has been the main strategy to stay in power for those who claim central power in many places in the world. Oromo, Amhara, and Tigrayan constitute about 70 % of the country’s population. The Oromo-led-PP party is using Wolkait and Raya as a means to divide Tigrean and Amhara forces so that they do not challenge it to share real power. The military is messing up the Amhara region to assist the Tigrean forces in taking over the two places that are now under the control of the Amhara people. The central government is doing this for many other reasons too. To get financial assistance from foreigners and to not be accountable for the war that led to the loss of one million lives. The military generals act in this operation since they are also accountable for that war. The problem is the people are aware of it, and the military is ineffective. Especially going against the people of Northern Wello, Northern Shewa, and Northern Gondar means the government cannot have effective leadership in these regions. The Derg regime failed shortly after the loss of these regions. Sheger City cannot be a defending wall for 4-kilo to stand against the movement.
Most importantly, the country will descend to disintegration if there is no meaningful share of power and dialog. Even the forces within Oromia are divided, and they may also assume Oromia region/country administration in a short period of time. The military has been ineffective in the Oromia region since the PM came to power. The military failed in Tigray during its eight months of administration and is showing a huge loss all over Amhara. So why use it to govern, then? Confusion is at the center of this administration. No one knows the solution to the mess created in the past few decades. It is time for genuine dialog and reconciliation. It is time for all parties and forces to come to their senses and solve problems sensibly and fairly. The ages of ignorance and arrogance have passed away. In this digital age, no one can deceive others for longer than a few seconds. Since facts surface in a matter of minutes. So stop the deception, stop the arrogance, and stop the madness. That is the way out!
Editor’s note : Views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of borkena.com
To Publish Article On borkena, please send submission to firstname.lastname@example.org for consideration.
Telegram Channel : t.me/borkena
Got a business? Get Listed on Business Listing
Join the conversation. Follow us on twitter @zborkena to get the latest Ethiopian news updates regularly. Like borkena on facebook as well. To share information or send a submission, use email@example.com