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It is Time for the United States to Abandon Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia (Part 2)

Aklog Birara

Aklog Birara (Dr)  
Part 2 of 3.  

I provided the broad setting for this commentary in Part 1. In Part 2, I shall examine in greater  detail the intent of the U.S Congressional hearing on Ethiopia held on November 30, 2023, that I  was privileged to attend.  

In Part 3, I shall offer a set of recommendations and action steps for consideration by the  government of the United States as well as by the Ethiopian community in the Diaspora,  especially Amhara.  

I offered my own salient points Her Excellency Sahlework Zewdie, President of Ethiopia  presented last week. By design, Ethiopia’s presidency is titular. Therefore, Sahlework Zewdie’s influence  in terms of public policy and program is minimal. Abiy Ahmed, the Prime Minister, on the other hand  wields a monopoly of power over both policy and programs.  

By design, the Ethiopian ethnic federal system is void of checks and balances to prevent excesses of any  sort. Opposition parties are non-existent. Civil society is weak. Peaceful dissent is banned. Independent media does not exist. This is the reason why Abiy is tyrannical.  

I want to add that Sahlework Zewdie’s facial expression spoke volumes concerning the senseless  and brutal bloodletting inflicted on the Ethiopian people, especially Tigreans during the two year war and Amhara over the past half century. Her speech may or may not resonate across  the globe, especially in the West. But it might. Based on past practices, it is plausible that Abiy  Ahmed and his diehard Oromo ethno-nationalists may act against Sahlework Zewdie too.  

On December 12, Reuters confirmed the firing and incarceration of Ethiopia’s minister of peace,  Taye Dendea. He is accused of plotting to overthrow the regime he has been serving loyally. It is reported that Abiy’s security apparatus planted evidence to buffet its action against Taye Dendea. So, there is more drama that we can expect from this incident.  

Taye blamed the government for the failure of a second round of peace talks between Ethiopia  and the rebel group Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), which took place in Tanzania last month. It is  clear Taye supports OLA/Shine.  

Taye Dendea blasted Abiy Ahmed Ali calling him “a barbarian who plays with human blood,” a  characterization I and millions of Ethiopians share. This “barbaric” man continues to import  huge quantities of armaments, especially drones with the intent to “kill, maim and destroy  Amhara.” 

Evidence on the ground shows that Abiy Ahmed and his generals are among the crudest, most  cruel, most blood thirsty, asinine, insane, anti-democratic, anti-Ethiopia, anti-brotherhood, anti diversity, “barbaric” and corrupt folks on this planet. This is why millions say five years of hell is enough!!

Taye Dendea is also quoted saying “I understand that you removed me from power because I  stand for the for peace so that the killing of the brothers would stop.” The international  community, especially the Biden Administration ought to consider the cataclysmic picture both  Sahlework Zewdie and Taye Dendea are echoing.  

Members of the Oromo community who believe in justice, the rule of law, genuine equality, fair  play, brotherhood among all ethnic groups, democracy and Ethiopia’s continuity as a country  have a plethora of evidence to reject and eject Ethiopia’s “barbaric” leadership. Abiy’s regime does not represent ordinary Oromo let alone Ethiopia’s future. 

On the other side of the debate, it is clear from ground level evidence that Fano represents  Ethiopia’s core values and its future. Fano treats captured soldiers with a high level of respect,  demonstrating brotherhood and human decency irrespective of ethnicity and faith affiliation. It  treats girls and women with respect. It never ever destroys economic or social infrastructure.  Fano commitment to Ethiopia is beyond reproach.  

The Ethiopian ex-military officer and current social media phenome, Omer Ejersa is on the mark  when he said “Fano is the future of Ethiopia.” 

The opposite is true of the “barbaric,” and militarist Oromo elite-led regime Taye Denea  critiqued sharply.  

I mentioned the official reason why U.S. Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa, Mike Hammer  traveled to Ethiopia. It is to assess implementation of the Pretoria Agreement. But there is more  to it than that, I believe. Mike Hammer knows fully that Ethiopia is in trouble. It faces existential  threat. So does Amhara.  

The government of the United States knows well that the war between the TPLF and the Abiy  regime demonstrates the dire effects of war and “Brothers killing brothers.” Close to one million  Tigrean perished. Hundreds of thousands of Afar, Amhara and others died. Amhara civilians are  being killed each day. Tigrean and Amhara youth face a bleak future because of war and ethnic  animosity promoted by ethnic political and social elites.  

The financial cost is estimated at $28 billion. Since then, Abiy’s war of state and government  terrorism against Amhara has caused the deaths of hundreds, the rape or more than 200  Amhara girls and women, the destruction of an estimated two billion dollars of social and  economic infrastructure in the Amhara region alone. This is a low estimate. 

Drones: Field Marshall Berhanu Jula’s weapons of choice  

Ethiopia is a heavily indebted country. One Ethiopian economist who has done research  estimates that Ethiopia’s total foreign debt stands at $50 billion.  

Ethiopia does not have foreign exchange to import medicines that save lives. Debt repayments  will affect generations to come. Yet, Abiy Ahmed spends millions of dollars and other hard  currencies and imports heavy weapons like drone, primarily from his closest ally, the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The UAE is fully aware that the drones and bullets that it continues to  avail to Abiy Ahmed, and his generals are used to kill and maim innocent civilians and to destroy  economic capacity of the Amhara population. By implication, the UAE is a partner in war crimes,  crimes against humanity, crimes of rape, crimes of genocide and economic crimes.  

The use of drones against innocent civilians is costly in human, psychological and economic  terms. Abiy and his Chief of Staff figure that fighting Fano on the ground has proven deadly for  their army. They are losing thousands of combatants. They therefore figure the most effective  way to combat and subdue the Amhara population that supports Fano is to use drones and kill  as many Amhara as possible.  

I urge all Ethiopians and the international community to recognize the following facts. The  operational cost of each drone deployed each day is $50,000. Abiy and his Chief of Staff have so  far conducted 100 drone attacks against innocent Amhara civilians since Abiy Ahmed launched his war against Amhara seven months ago. I estimate hundreds of children, women and the  elderly have perished.  

The estimated operational cost to Ethiopia of these 100 scandalous, irresponsible and  “barbaric” drone-based attacks against the Amhara population is 5 million dollars. This is  foreign exchange that could have been used to buy medicines and other essentials that save  lives.  

In the light of this irresponsible and scandalous use of foreign exchange by Abiy Ahmed and his die hard and ethnicized military, it is prudent for bilateral and multilateral donors to cease  providing aid until the horror of war, ethnic cleansing and ethnic genocide of Amhara and  Ethiopia’s slippery road of no return stop.  

Amhara in the Diaspora and all Ethiopians who believe in justice, human rights, the rule of law  and democracy have an obligation to challenge the UAE. Among other things, they can write  letters and appeal to the United Nations Security Council, and lodge complaints to the ICC. 

In this connection, I commend the Diaspora community that sent a well-crafted letter of appeal  to UAE Ambassadors in NYC and Washington DC. Protest marches in front of UAE embassies across the globe will raise global awareness and should be considered.  

There is more than one way to skin a cat.” 

Abiy Ahmed’s regime is determined to use different tools to diminish the Amhara population.  

I urge you to consider that Ethnic cleansing and genocide take different forms—killing, starving  displacing, dispossessing, demeaning, and depriving Amhara children the education they need  and deserve. If you wish to diminish a specific ethnic group, the best tool is to degrade and  incapacitate future generations. This is being done to Amhara children.  

All schools in the Amhara region are closed. This intentional scheme to deny access to education  will have far reaching consequences on Amhara wellbeing in the decades to come. The same is true in Tigray. Whether they accept or not, Tigreans and Amhara are effectively on the losing  side under Abiy Ahmed. If they wish to survive, they must build bridges and improve relations  now.  

The urgency of now for the U.S. to act. 

A reminder that on November 30, 2023, The US House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa  chaired by Congressman John James (Republican) held a timely hearing on “Ethiopia: Promise  or Perils, The State of U.S. Policy.” Witnesses included Mike Hammer, US Special Envoy to the  Horn of Africa and Tyler Beckelman, Deputy Assistant Administrator, Bureau for Africa, U.S  Agency for International Development. 

I believe the motivating factor behind this hearing is Amhara defiance and Fano insurgency. It is  not clear to me that the Biden Administration’s State Department movers and shakers recognize  the reasons why Amhara Fano started fighting against Abiy Ahmed’s “barbaric” military establishment. Contrary to the norm, Abiy’s Oromo dominated and commanded military serves  on the behest of the Prime Minister, his Oromo dominated Prosperity Party as well as the  Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). They operate in tandem.  

The U.S. knows this is the first time in Ethiopia’s long history that Ethiopai’s military has taken  sides, attacking, killing, maiming and displacing innocent civilians. The daily use of drones and  other heavy weapons financed by Ethiopian taxpayers to go after and kill Amhara civilians,  engender fear among children and destroy social and economic infrastructure is unprecedented  in the 21st century.  

I am confident that in their heart of hearts, American policy and decision-makers understand  that Amhara do not have any other option but to defend themselves. The right of self-defense is  a core principle of the UN Charter and is routinely espoused by the U. S. The most recent  examples include the Russia-Ukraine war and the war between Hamas and Israel. The  government of the United States is prominent in both.  

Amhara Fano is not doing anything different. Fano is conducting a defensive war with the sole  intent of mitigating the existential threat faced by all Amhara regardless of where they live.  

One would have therefore thought rightly that the Biden administration would recognize and  acknowledge Fano’s resistance as just and legitimate. One would have also thought that state  and government sponsored terrorism undermines American values and U. S. national security. 

Part 3 of the article is available HERE

Editor’s note : Views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of borkena.com 

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2 COMMENTS

  1. Subject: “It is Time for the United States to Abandon Abiy Ahmed Ali of Ethiopia (Part 2)”. December 15, 2023

    Humble Opinion, 16 Dec 2023
    Surely the Great United States of America knows EXACTLY what, where, when, how’ to do things.

    a) In the specific subject above, be sure the USA will not give a special treatment to the Honourable, Dictatorial, Master
    of Ethiopia: His excellency Mr. Abiy Ahmed Ali .

    b). The secrete is PATIENCE. In fact, it is the norm in Ethiopia.

    c). In may opinion. the Honourable, Dictatorial, Master of Ethiopia: His excellency Mr. Abiy Ahmed Ali will have his
    way out, at his own unexpected choice of hour –minute — second time and surprising us all

    d). Just be patient

    e). And that goes with the characteristic of Mr. Ali.

    f). The rest — after Mr. Ali — only God knows.

    g. I leave it to your reaction; Dear, Readers

    ——————— ALEM BETTENNA —————————-

  2. No, absolutely no!!! 1976-77? Never again. USA’s disengagement will create a power vacuum and that will ring the death knell of that country sending its entire 120 million citizens in all directions. If we look at the political environment over there honestly we will find the opposition so divided that denied the chance for a strong opposition part to form. This lack of a 2nd strong opposition party has obviously been posing problems for USA and its allies. We have seen it all. How many groups were there at the panel discussions US special envoy Ambassador Mike Powers participated in? 8, 10, 12? Then if you head home over there more than 30 morbid ‘opposition’ groups await you with some of them having their ‘Communist Manifesto’ hidden in their unsearchable body parts. It is wild, wild west, a frontier territory when it comes to the opposition.
    No, USA’s disengagement with the current regime over there will be a death warrant for that nation. Such calls should instead be addressed to the two ruffians in Moscow and Beijing.

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