Abiy Ahmed’s persistent refusal to learn from the catastrophic mismanagement of the Tigray conflict raises serious concerns. Rather than internalizing his past mistakes, he continues down a path of error, marked by a succession of misjudgments to his inability to secure a favorable outcome. The result has been a crushing defeat, propelling a prolonged and costly conflict spanning two years, with a toll both in terms of financial resources and precious lives lost. It’s an unfortunate truth that starting a war is far simpler than achieving victory.
Regrettably, Abiy’s reckless approach transcends the confines of the Tigray crisis, manifesting once more in his ill-conceived actions against the Amhara population. His repeated missteps have inflicted lasting damage upon his reputation. Employing drones to target innocent civilians, resorting to derogatory language, and unjustifiably incarcerating Amhara politicians, activists, and journalists have only served to further stoke tensions. Moreover, his reliance on divisive figures such as Diakon Daniel to propagate hate and unfairly brand an entire society is emblematic of his shortsightedness. The spectacle of Daniel and Abiy standing together during an army military event, deliberately antagonizing the Amharas, sends a clear message of the Prime Minister’s lack of maturity in addressing a national crisis of this magnitude.
It’s unfathomable that a rational leader would commit the grave error of declaring war and indiscriminately attacking civilian populations, particularly in the aftermath of the disastrous Tigray campaign. It is crucial to differentiate between the TPLF’s war in Tigray, where the conflict was waged by an established Tigray government with a long-standing hold over Ethiopian institutions, controlling a significant portion of the nation’s military hardware and staffed by Tigray-originated military officials, and the situation in Amhara. The Amhara uprising embodies a grassroots movement rooted in historical marginalization, grievous atrocities, and betrayals. This rebellion is not orchestrated by a unified military entity like the TPLF or OLF Shene; rather, it has united a diverse array of individuals spanning farmers, students, and people from all walks of life, united in their pursuit of justice.
Some analysts try to create equivalency between Tigray and Amhara conflict with the Federal government. The Tigray conflict primarily constitutes a power struggle between the Tigray regional administration and the Abiy administration, a clash centered on asserting control. In their approach, Amhara are markedly distinct. They consciously abstain from advocating for the dismantling of the prevailing system merely due to perceived mistreatment. Instead, they channel their efforts toward the pursuit of constructive avenues for transformation within the established framework.
Amharas persist as steadfast champions of foundational values, foremost among them being the commitment to the rule of law. Their unwavering faith in the system’s potential to mend its shortcomings and advance in the right direction is profoundly woven into their identity. This enduring belief is what fuels their exceptional patience over the past five years, wherein they have stood resolute amidst an ongoing deluge of atrocities unfurling under the Abiy Oromo PP government’s leadership. Their unwavering determination persists despite the disconcerting prevalence of ethnic profiling in Addis Ababa and the enduring injustices.
Adding Injury to insult Abiy’s decision to allocate a staggering 15 billion dollars for the construction of his palace takes on an even more disheartening tone. This financial choice serves as a painful reminder, underscoring a glaring disconnect in both understanding and priorities. The marked contrast between such extravagant personal endeavors and the urgent needs of the Amhara region is a clear indication of a significant disparity.
The state of essential infrastructure in the Amhara region, encompassing pivotal sectors such as hospitals, schools, energy, transportation, civic facilities, industrial zones, healthcare centers, and educational institutions, stands in dire straits. Marred by decades long marginalization and left in shambles during war with TPLF.
In stark contrast, the substantial financial resources directed toward Abiy’s opulent palace project emphasize a perplexing set of priorities. As the region’s infrastructure crumbles under the weight of neglect and conflict-induced devastation, the decision to channel such considerable investments into a personal venture appears to underscore a troubling misjudgment. This discordant allocation of resources magnifies the disheartening reality of a leadership seemingly out of touch with the immediate needs of the people and the state of the nation.
A former head of the Amhara regional government, who later served as foreign minister and continues to be affiliated with Abiy’s Prosperity Party (PP), has boldly illuminated the irreversible rupture between the Amhara populace and the Abiy-led PP Party. This assertion, voiced within the parliamentary chamber, underscores the profound discontent that prevails. Expressing such a statement requires a deep understanding and courage, and it’s not a sentiment that arises solely from opposition voices.
Gedu also issued a sobering warning about the government’s role in fomenting anti-Amhara sentiments. Abiy, representing the Oromo PP, which holds sway over state institutions including the military, security, and finances, has seen some of his Oromo PP members making disturbing declarations and hate against Amharas.
Jawar Mohammed’s media outlet, OMN, has undertaken the dissemination of lists identifying Amharas employed within federal government positions, as well as cataloging private businesses owned by individuals of Amhara descent. Remarkably, a substantial portion of these disclosures are being sourced from none other than the Ethiopian government, which is predominantly led by the Oromo Ethnic group. This perplexing collaboration seems to be aimed at initiating a campaign of purging and cultivating an atmosphere of widespread apprehension. This orchestrated approach draws unsettling parallels to the disreputable Nazi laws of a bygone era, characterized by their repressive methodologies and targeted marginalization.
Ethiopian national television has taken a deeply concerning step by publicly broadcasting lists that feature individuals of Amhara ethnicity, ranging from parliamentarians and journalists to activists, academics, and private citizens, complete with accompanying photographs. This televised showcase has had far-reaching consequences, triggering a palpable undercurrent of animosity .
The ramifications of such a broadcast extend beyond the surface and dive into the heart of societal dynamics. By presenting these lists with visual associations, a narrative emerges that could fuel distrust and skepticism among different ethnic groups.
In a system that hinges on ethnic identity, every move can have a profound impact. The televised display of these lists effectively portrays each and every individual with an Amhara identity or name as a potential suspect, instilling fear, fostering hostility, and fomenting animosity.
Moreover, the response from Abiy Ahmed’s Prosperity Party and various regional ethnic parties further fuels the sense of marginalization. By denouncing and issuing declarations against the Amhara community. This collective perception compounds the already fragile state of ethnic relations, casting shadows over the nation’s path towards stability, coexistence, and shared progress.
Abiy’s inability to assimilate lessons from the Tigray crisis is perplexing. The dust had barely settled on that conflict, having concluded nine months prior, before he recklessly plunged into another bloody confrontation. This time, he directed his military might against the second most populous state, an act of inexplicable folly. His Oromo PP officials continue to contribute to this unsettling narrative. By potentially casting suspicion on every Amhara in a region where they constitute a substantial proportion – an estimated 40 million plus – he is effectively driving the nation further into disarray.
To compound matters, both Abiy’s administration and certain Oromo officials are exploiting the ongoing conflict as a pretext to target Amhara students, professionals, and businesspeople in Oromia and Addis Ababa. These actions foster a disturbing environment where Amhara individuals appear to be open game, a situation that the government appears either deliberately ignorant of or dismissive toward. Such actions lay bare a distressing lack of accountability, as the government disseminates fabricated information without regard for the consequences.
It’s evident that Abiy’s infatuation with bloodshed and atrocities persists. His consistent pattern of making poor decisions demonstrates an alarming disregard for the well-being of his nation and its people. Recycling his ill-fated Tigray strategy only serves to amplify the chaos. The international community, particularly the Western world, must recognize that this crisis threatens to irreparably fracture Ethiopia. Many Amharas, particularly those who have resisted ethnic affiliations and politics, are becoming increasingly nationalistic in response.
Abiy’s striking lack of regard for essential tenets such as the rule of law, ethical standards, morality, and basic human decency raises significant concerns. His failure to project an impartial image within a federal government framework that is constructed upon an ethnic-based political system presents a potential recipe for disaster, one that might usher in the disintegration of the state.
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