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HomeEthiopian NewsEthiopian PM Abiy Dismisses State Minister over Critical Remark

Ethiopian PM Abiy Dismisses State Minister over Critical Remark

Taye Dendea, Former State Minister for Peace (Photo : PD)

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Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on Monday removed State Minister for Peace, Taye Dendea, from his position. This decision was conveyed through a concise two-line letter directed to Taye, which was also copied to many other government institutions, including the Minister for Finance.

“Thanking you for your contributions as State Minister for Peace since September 29, 2014 [October 9, 2021, G.C.], you are removed from your position as of December 1, 2016 [December 11, 2023],” wrote the Prime Minister to Taye Dendea. 

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s letter to Taye Dendea (Photo : SM)

Beyond his ministerial role, Taye Dendea is a central committee member of the ruling Prosperity Party. He is recognized as an influential ethnic Oromo politician within the ruling party and is believed to command considerable political support in his ethnic region.

Abiy Ahmed’s decision swiftly followed a critical message posted by the Minister on his social media platform. Taye publicly criticized the government for its prohibition of an Anti-War Peaceful Demonstration scheduled for December 10, 2023. In his Sunday social media update, he remarked, “…we had been condemning EPRDF for banning peaceful demonstrations. But today we have banned peaceful demonstrations in Meskel Square. To ban anti-war peaceful demonstrations in a square where we beat drums of war gives bad meaning. It may mean for those armed struggle to continue and those who are not yet in armed struggle to resort to that.”

He further suggested that those responsible for banning peace should be held accountable. On Friday last week, the organizers postponed the demonstration after the government arrested four coordinators, labeling the peaceful demonstration as having intentions to create “turmoil and violence” in the capital, Addis Ababa. This was linked by the government to what it referred to as radical forces in the Amhara and Oromia regions, painting a picture of a “terrorist operation” stemming from the demonstration. Subsequently, a massive crackdown led to the arrest of hundreds of civilians in Addis Ababa. The ongoing conflict in the Amhara has witnessed intensified drone attacks, artillery shelling, and a state of emergency for over six months. In the Oromia region, the conflict between Abiy Ahmed’s government and radical ethnic Oromo nationalist groups has persisted for over five years.

Following the Prime Minister’s decision, Taye Dendea disclosed in an interview with BBC Oromo that the Prime Minister did not personally contact him to discuss his statement.

Taye’s Response to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s Decision

In a widely reacted-to Facebook status update, Taye responded strongly to the Prime Minister’s decision, becoming the first Minister to openly criticize Abiy. Addressing the Prime Minister directly, he wrote, “I followed you believing in the Medemer that you wrote and spoke about. Now I understand that not only do you not live by what you said, but you are also ruthless, playing with human blood. You used to praise me when I supported your war efforts. Today, when I understood it and started advocating for an end to bloodshed between brothers and stood for peace, you removed me from power… I will continue to advocate for peace and brotherhood as long as I am alive.”

Taye was highly critical of the government’s failure regarding the failed peace agreement between the radical ethnic Oromo nationalist group – the “Oromo Liberation Army” – and the Ethiopian government in Tanzania. He squarely blamed the government for the failure of the talks, asserting that the government, notably Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration, lacks interest in a peaceful Ethiopia.

Public Response

Numerous Ethiopians voiced their opinions across social media platforms and media outlets, commending Taye for his courage to speak truth to power, and for his “integrity.” Many are urging other members of Abiy Ahmed’s administration to follow suit. However, there are notable voices expressing reservations about the Prime Minister’s decision and Taye’s response, viewing it as a potential “convince and confuse” strategy.

However, there are speculations that Taye might be facing danger due to the remarks he made. 

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6 COMMENTS

  1. A week or two ago the media was all abuzz with what PM Abiy said about the issue of seaports. I personally believe that his comment was mercilessly misconstrued and slivered to make points of all sorts. His own way of presenting his views on the need of seaports might have played a part to fall into the hands of those who daydream of another bloody war between the two fraternal peoples of Ethiopia and Eritrea. He might have left it with loose ends. They wish of the war mongers did not happen so far and it ain’t gonna happen either.

    I hope those who are in the decision making positions of the two countries of Eritrea and Ethiopia would come to their senses and start talking about port facilities issues and come up with agreement that will benefit everyone. There are prospects of petroleum in both countries but the future of fossil fuel is in question with every car manufacturer is slowly phasing out current models with electric vehicles. Meanwhile, the population of the entire Horn of Africa is ballooning at an alarming pace especially in Ethiopia. That country will not be too long before its current population reaches the 150 million mark. 250 million is not that far either. To put it in the mildest form, it will be impossible for a 150 or 250 million people to go on without a seaside breather. I don’t think it will be willing to be suffocated. It should also be noted that all major rivers that traverse the Horn of Africa have their origins well inside the current Roof of Africa called Ethiopia. Things can go so dire and complicated. The current air of peace will be replaced by constant fear and animosity that can lead a generation or two later to the procurement/manufacturing of miscellaneous forms of weapons of mass destruction. I believe the knowledge is out there already but just lacking the desire to have one. Once one acquires it then it will all a domino effect. Avoiding such nightmarish scenario is in the hands of Brother Isaias and PM Abiy. The foundation for virtual peace and co-existence should be laid now, as we speak. Leasing port facilities for military powers will not bring big enough a dough to sustain the economic well being of any nation and it can turn out to be a liability if the big boys choose to duke it out. This runaway population growth has been a concern for me for quite some time now.
    This is my two cents worth of an opinion and as always fiercely independent.

  2. (US) Proxy-administrations worldwide such as “Prosperity Party” (TPLF) and those across Europe: European Union, UK, Japan, S. Korea, Ukraine, etc. are here “to carry water” for “Rules-Based-Order ” (“We set the rules, the rest of you accept & follow them.”) paradigm, put forward by their “master” to expand its -interests (beddings); not to serve the local people they “CONVINCE & CONFUSE” to VOTE them to office…

    Their “murderous” days are numbered, so are their master’s, in the 21st century, where “lies and deceptions” (“CONVINCE & CONFUSE”) have no place…

    US in Ukraine ” Innocent civilians are being killed by Russians”…
    US in Gaza ” Israel has a right to defend itself, and here is military AID worth $14 billion of Bomb” (as the occupiers are killing thousands & thousands of innocent Palestinian (BROWN) women, children, and the elderly with no place to run and with no end in sight for the 24/7 bombardments of GAZA…

    Where is the US cherished “human rights” slogan ? ( “Some are more equal than others”).

    In Ethiopia, Drones fly everywhere and kill everyone indiscriminately, except in DRONE-NO-FLY-ZONE where “OLF- Shene” is located & has been murdering & displacing millions innocent civilians since 2018 with impunity, with Abiy’s full support & approval.

    “The END is NEAR”,
    TIME.

    Be well.

  3. Have you looked toward Minnesota after this news of dismissal? The whole neighborhood is on the move to a joint in the western part of the old country where hooligans roam. I mean, 90% of approximately 55,000 of them including those who are here illegally. I mean, the sky is lit up. So be careful if you plan to go there for the holidays!!! They have F16’s, long range precision missiles and M1A1 Abrams tanks. They are indomitable, man! Abiy, they are coming for you. If I were you, I will cut and run quick and run to my country of the Philippines!!!

  4. The next news about this countryman could be about him detained by the regime. If not, the hooligans that are running amok in Oromia may try to harm him even assassinate him and blame it on others. I pray for his safety. Meanwhile I tell the regime to leave this man alone!!!

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