Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is making a news headline for having expressed interest in resolving conflict in Ethiopia while the Ethiopian Defense Force – now dubbed in the Amhara region, where the Fano Forces have broad-based popular support, as Abiy Ahmed’s forces – is unleashing massacres of civilians including with drone strikes.
From news reports from local Ethiopian sources, the large-scale military campaign and recurring drone strikes in the Amhara region of Ethiopia could dwarf the loss of lives and property destruction from the two-year war between the TPLF and the Federal government. Among many other possibilities, the ruthless military measures targeting civilians in the Amhara region could be a way to intimidate the support base of FANO.
The Prime Minister did not call a press conference nor did he release a statement via the office of the Prime Minister to spell out his “interest in resolving the conflict in the country.” The message is released through a third party.
According to the Ethiopian Reporter, it was during a meeting with the President of the Confederation of Ethiopian Trade Union representatives in his office that he said he wanted a peaceful resolution to the conflict.
From the report, it seems that CETU representatives, whose meeting was about labor relations issues in the country, asked the Prime Minister to end the conflict in the Amhara and Oromia region through peaceful dialogue.
Abiy Ahmed’s response is, as reported by the Ethiopian Reporter, that his government wants to resolve the problem through peaceful dialogue.
He has put conditions for the peaceful resolution; “non-interference of foreign powers.”
His message has triggered criticism among Ethiopians – the manifestations of it are seen in social media conversation.
Why the Prime Minister failed to make a call for peace on his own instead of seizing a meeting with trade union leaders in Ethiopia is a question that many are questioning. Others do not seem to care that the message came through a third party. They rather underline the message that the Prime Minister is not trustworthy and that his indirect proposal might be a sort of manipulation.
Foreign Interference was an integral part of the Pretoria Peace Agreement and perhaps the reason, as many point out, why the TPLF emerged as a relevant political force despite losing the war. But it is unclear if the Prime Minister was making reference to the same foreign forces when he said that he would accept a peaceful resolution if there was no foreign involvement.
It is also noticeable that many politicized Ethiopians do seem to believe that Abiy Ahmed himself is a mercenary working for foreign powers. Some even think that the plan to attack Eritrea is part of Western government’s regime change agenda.
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