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Ethiopia’s Premier Fantasy about a ‘would-be Kush State’ in the Horn of Africa

Kush State - Abiy Ahmed
Abiy Ahmed with his “brother” , UAE president Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan (Photo : PD)

By Fessehaye Kidane 
Eritrea, Asmara 

  1. Fecklessness of Ethiopian Premier

In hindsight, when one goes back to 2018, it seemed that everyone was optimistic about Ethiopia’s political trajectory. In one way or the other, there seems no doubt that the earlier political rhetoric of Ethiopian Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, has either enlightened or hoodwinked to many onlookers of Ethiopian politics. Among others, the fact that he declared ‘an apology to all political prisoners and proposed a ‘Medemer (synergy) Vision’ not least his bold measure towards reconciliation with Eritrea’ seemed a landmark of his achievements. As a result, in the phrase of one renowned political scientist, Thomas Carothers, as cited in Francis Fukuyama’s book of 2011, it seemed that Ethiopia was in a course of ‘transition paradigm, but it was an unwarranted assumption’ upon few years. Although with a miscalculation and ill-motive, even the Oslo Noble Prize Institute rushed to award the PM a Noble prize while his theoretical initiatives were in vain on the ground. In this case, on the one hand, the prize was unequivocally meant to isolate the Eritrean president while, as a partner, he had a lion’s share as far the peace deal of Eritrea and Ethiopia is concerned. On the other, it was purportedly used as a ‘carrot and stick’ to the Premier so as to serve the West’s political agenda.  However, in no time his TPLF counterparts unleashed war to topple the PM and his PP Party mainly to reverse his course of actions and aiming to divorce his new marriage with Eritrea. No matter what the motive of the TPLF was, the leadership was impelled to do so for a novice leader as itself was a puppet and an agent of Western countries.  However, unless Eritrea had intervened for a common strategic foe, had the TPLF been left to be astray in its adventure of the war, there was no question that the demise of the PM’s government was inevitable. Anyway, the war with the TPLF was a testing time for the PM of Ethiopia both politically and militarily. Soon after, the first indications of the PM’s weaknesses and inability as to how to govern war and diplomacy side by side came to the fore. In brief, all the PM’s actions during the course of the war prefigure the scenarios that followed afterwards.   

To begin with, it is worth noting that the PM of Ethiopia, as a political mouthpiece of the war scenario has committed a number of political errors. Among others, firstly, he was utterly intoxicated with the first signal of defeat of the TPLF army just within two weeks. He soon declared that the ‘war paces were overstepping the planned time and thereby the TPLF junta is changed to flour’ merely as a result of Drone attacks disregarding the ground forces’ victory.  As far as such an assessment in the process of war is concerned, it is immature by any standards and it might have misled the public opinion as well. Secondly, the PM was unprincipled in his political justifications as far as Eritrea’s support and involvement in the war was concerned. In the first speech to his parliament, though he acknowledged to Eritrea’s role, the fact that he said ‘Eritrea’s involvement was for its own vested-interest’ was unreasonable and made Eritrea a scapegoat for an international attack and media hype. In this case, he could have flexibly managed it as Eritrea had an obligation of guarding the international border of the two countries replacing the vacuum of the Ethiopian army up to 50 kilometers radius at the disposal of the security pacts of the two governments. It seemed as if he deliberately derailed from wise political justifications which could serve for the interest of both countries. Moreover, it is also quite amazing and irrational that disregarding that while ‘his army was stabbed in the back’ by the militia forces of the TPLF to give more credit to Drone attacks which have only limited roles in guerrilla war terrain. Thirdly, he couldn’t have allowed western international media outlets and diplomats during a ‘state of war emergency’ upon the capture of Mekele. No one forgets what such permission transpired; all the so-called neutral eye-witnesses sided with the TPLF and all the more supported even with sophisticated communication equipment and armaments. Fourthly, the grave political decision was ‘ordering his troops to withdraw’ from the gate of Mekele in each of the three rounds of the war. As a consequence, the Ethiopian and Eritrean armies’ bloodletting was meant good for nothing regardless the TPLF elite was incapacitated as it would not become a threat in the future. Nonetheless, whether at the behest of the Pretoria Agreement or otherwise, it was a strategic mistake to allow the TPLF, which was dubbed as a terrorist by the Ethiopian house of parliament, as a political organization. 

In this juncture, any one is prone to raise and prove an important hypothesis. ‘Why is the PM of Ethiopia is spontaneously leading the country both during and after the war?’  For sure, one may speculate from what the ground facts spoke so far both from domestic and international standpoints. There is no question that a political leader at the top layer of leadership in one country does not only represent to the mere politics and diplomacy of his nation, but also has to reflect to the collective wisdom, culture and psychological thinking of his people as well. 

Nowadays, the Ethiopian PM seems to have lacked an all-rounded political culture and orthodoxy which Ethiopians are expected to be proud of him whether in domestic or international arenas. In this case, one may daresay that it seems that apart from being libertine and tactical in handling sensitive political issues of his country, the PM of Ethiopia is also not trustworthy to his houses of parliaments and to his people at large. It seemed that the PM proved to be utterly feckless with the failure of his political system if one traces back to his pervious promises. The fact that he is unreadable both in his characters and actions seems to give him a credibility deficit both among his people and around the international community. A PM who was once considered as a beacon of hope has now become a dark image of Ethiopia and Africa at large. Ethiopia has hardly enjoyed even twilight of peace ever since he assumed power. The fact is that let alone ensuring peace and security in his country, he seems to disappoint his people for the fact that the government is supposedly unable to give even  basic services to some regions of Ethiopia, for that matter the Amhara and Tigray regions.  As a result, almost all regional administrations of Ethiopia are in internal strife: OLF-Shene in Oromia, Fano in Amhara, TPLF wings in Tigray and Somali-Afari conflicts are cases in points. The reason that all such functions are in a revolution against the Federal Government of Ethiopia may be read as if Abiy’s government is grappling with a legitimacy crisis. In other words, on the one hand, all Ethiopian opposition parties are fighting with a barrel of a gun to snatch the legitimacy of the Federal Government. On the other, the government is struggling to reverse the objective and pressure of the opposition parties. 

At the moment, the Ethiopian government is dictated to enter into a political peace deal with any military faction putting its ‘verdict of terrorists’ in a dustbin. What it did with the TPLF wing is now being dealt with the OLF-Shene in Tanzania. There seems no doubt also that if the Fano movement is politically shaped and militarily strengthened, the Ethiopian government would follow suit its usual peace tactic whether it likes or not. However, the government ought to be free of ‘conspiracy theories and manipulative approaches’ which are sheer intrigues of western backers.  In other words, history has clearly shown that whether the US or European Unions’ agenda of peace has neither helped in Afghanistan or in the Sudan. Prior to that, the US-Rwanda proposal of peace between Eritrea and Ethiopia had only complicated matters rather bringing genuine solutions among the two respective peoples. In the final analysis, a ‘win-win’ solution of Ethiopian government and opposition parties also needs only recognition and funding of other international parties, but not prescriptions as a US Peace envoy, Michael Hammer, is delving and practicing in Ethiopian affairs.

  1. Obsession of Sea Access

This time around, the Ethiopian Premier’s preoccupation seems not to point at the internal political crisis of his country. As usual, he rather is on his way to teach and preach to his parliaments, cabinet ministers and army officers about sea access in the Red Sea Region which is actually not a priority to all walks of Ethiopians right now.  As many Ethiopian writers would prefer to call him, on the one hand, ‘he is always fond of to be a teacher who lectures about unattainable subjects and his own illusions. On the other hand, he considers his country fellow men and women as if they are his naive students irrespective of their social and professional wisdoms and careers.’ Such trend of lecturing and indoctrinating started while he was a novice Premier when he dared to teach his first cabinet ministers about institutional governance associating it with body systems and functions of human beings. In the same manner, at the end of 2023, he repeated the same platitudes focusing on sea access as a bloodline to Ethiopia and correlating it with the significance of water composition of a human being. 

When one meticulously examines the speeches and lectures of the PM, it is easy to observe that most of them are ‘copy-and-paste’ of others or in the parlance of academics full of ‘plagiarism’ which were imitated from famous politicians (like Kissinger and Obama), pastors  and even  including that of children’s idea.  The fact that he often wastes the time of his cronies in an unnecessary discourses is a litmus paper as to how much he denigrates to his Ethiopian fellows. Besides, the fact that he inflates so much to his capacity and skill as a brilliant and omniscient trailblazer of Ethiopian politics is something that defines to the lack of character and moral integrity of the contemporary Ethiopian leader. 

In many formal occasions, it is seen, however, that he does not weigh the impact of his words. Regardless of the other nitty-gritty of his speech on sea gates or Red Sea issues, what he said regarding Djibouti ‘that it may one day bring a chaos in the Red Sea basin since it is a hub of competitive Big Powers,’ is really unwise prophesy by any standards. Nonetheless, whether the sea access proposal is achievable or not, the PM’s fantasy of sea and port access is projected in two alternative tabled scenarios: if the need arises, by way of ‘Phase I and Phase II strategies’ respectively.

2.1) Phase One: Pretention under the ‘Bravado and Guise’ of Ethiopia 

Firstly, he wants to achieve ‘Scheme I’ of sea accesses as long as he remains at the helm of power as a PP chairperson and PM of the country.  Such an ‘opportunist scenario’ of the Premier of Ethiopia is supposedly to be practiced under the ‘bravado and guise’ of being an Ethiopian more than other Ethiopians.  Perhaps, the ‘Medemre (synergy) philosophy’ which has been disseminated through a book and numerous discourses is meant for this purpose. At present, the fact that he reveals his obsession of access to sea while Ethiopia is besieged with multiple social, economic and political crises is simply for consumable reasons probably to capture the attention of the people from domestic politics. Secondly, if the PM of Ethiopia loses his vote ticket in the upcoming election, the illusion of sea access is seemingly to be attained through ‘Scheme B’ which is establishing a new ‘Kush State’ in the Horn of Africa. Granted that, however, one anyway may conclude that the PM of Ethiopia’s vision of sea and port access is pretty utopian. Moreover, as it does not represent all Ethiopian aspirations and priorities right at the moment, apart from being untimely, it is also bereft of pure Ethiopian consensus and ownership. In fact, it is only a historical amnesia of the PM as it is not a new agenda right from immemorial time. 

As far as sea access is concerned, Ethiopian successive regimes have tried it age-long as much as they could. However, upon Eritrea’s independence, Ethiopian governments and Ethiopian citizens have learned and also well know that, access to sea is not possible by coercion as the PM hinted in his speech. As a result, whether he highlighted to get a sea access by way of coercion and later by a peaceful means, showed to his substandard politics. The fact that Eritrea, Somalia and Djibouti soon after rebuffed or belittled to his rhetoric is really a heavy blow to his government’s policy of sea access. Needless to say, the terse statements of the concerned neighboring countries as regards the matter simply imply that the PM of Ethiopia should have calculated his words if the benefit could outweigh the costs. In this case, what one Somali Political Analyst, Abdirashid Hashi (October 17, 2023), wisely replied about the sabre-rattling of the Premier of Ethiopia seems to suffice enough, since apart from being representative to the respective countries, it is also quite slapping both in tone and substance. Quote in quote: “Rather than posturing, [the Prime Minister of Ethiopia], ought to study the best practices of the 43 landlocked countries and adopt strategies that not only benefit his nation, but also uphold peace and regional cooperation.” 

Above all, what are absurd are his justifications of a ‘give and take’ offer. He said that despite experiencing significant growth in Ethiopia’s population and economy, Ethiopia finds itself without a direct route to the sea. As such, his government is prompted to explore innovative solutions to address a strategic concern. Besides, what he termed it as a ‘win-win solution’ is Ethiopia to offer a part of its Renaissance Dam project and shares of airlines to countries which are considerate enough to offer sea outlets since access to sea is an existential question. Moreover, upon referring to one of Ethiopia’s general, Ras Alula Aba Nega, in the 19th century as having a natural boundary of sea access, he reiterated that Ethiopia is in need of an international rule-based access. 

In this light, if one reads between lines to the so-called a new proposal of the PM, he finds no sounding evidences. First of all, one may wonder as to how a ‘naturally-gifted water resource’ is to be exchanged with man-made resources which any country can create as Ethiopia has done so.  In fact, what is suggested as a ‘win-win panacea’ is like a very old barter system tradition of exchanging a kilo of ivory with a kilo of amber which are diametrically different in weight and value. If the ‘innovative solution’ is ‘offering Ethiopian man-made resources’, it is only a cheap idea other than becoming a magic solution. 

Moreover, the general who was mentioned as struggling for a quest of a sea or otherwise was during a pre-colonial period before Italy legitimized Eritrea as an official country. Even upon Italy’s colonial era, Emperors Yohannes and Menelik of Ethiopia used to use access of sea through payment of maritime service dues like what the TPLF-government of Ethiopia enjoyed during 1991-1998 with Eritrean port docks. There is no doubt that such an opportunity is still in place either on the part of Eritrea or otherwise as long as international borders are not violated by any means necessary. Thus, one only sees an infantile idea of the Prime Minister of Ethiopia let alone brilliance of so-called ‘innovative solutions.’ Rather, what he proposed as a solution leads to open a Pandora Box, troubles or misfortunes, on colonial boundaries of African nations which was formally and explicitly sanctified by the declaration of OAU of 1964 which Ethiopia was a signatory at the time. Even if one posits that Ethiopia’s claim of sea access is proved to be true by the logic of force today, the reverse will be true tomorrow on the part of the other country which may be coerced. Besides, there is no international law that the PM can refer to or substantiate his evidence which can guarantee a landlocked country for a sea access. There is no question that international laws and conventions are equally respected regardless of a country’s geographic or population size.

At the moment, according to the ‘2023 Fragile Index’ report, the country that PM Abiy Ahmed is leading is one of the ‘high risks’ countries of the world which is unable to uphold law and order in all its respective administrative regions. The fact that the Ethiopian Defenses Forces are too weak to defend and control Ethiopian sovereign territory is the most worst scenarios that may take Ethiopia to follow suit the Libyan or Sudanese example of breakdowns and disintegration among different functions. As a result, besides the Amhara (Fano) and Oromo (OLF-Shene) Liberation Fronts’ threats, even the Al-Shebab Somali incursions are becoming beyond the state’s machinery control. Such threats in turn have rendered interethnic conflicts and displacements notably around the area, Beni-Shangul, where the Great Renaissance Dam (GERd) is situated. As such, primarily Ethiopian citizens need daily staple foods, durable peace and security, unity among themselves as well as peaceful coexistence with their neighborhoods.  In other words, it is all these problems and challenges of Ethiopia that are awaiting magic solutions. Otherwise, the Premier’s attempt to deflect the attitude and attention of Ethiopian citizens and the international community through a projection of so-called magic solutions as regards sea and port outlets is only an outright escape from Ethiopia’s strategic priorities. This can be named nothing but only ‘fleeing forward and flying in the air’ while putting the predicaments and messes of the country aside. On the other hand, wise and seasoned leaders who face situations and at the same time if they failed to bring solutions only tend to ‘flee backwards’ which is resigning in this modern time. In fact, this option is not new even in Ethiopia.  Indeed, what Abiy’s predecessors, namely Menghistu Hailemariam and Hailemariam Desaliegne, acceded either upon their defeat or governance crisis was the later alternative which is difficult to do so. Nevertheless, on the other way round, it seems that the Prosperity Party of Ethiopia is on its way to march towards the fallacy of establishing a Kush State in the Horn of Africa. 

2.2) Phase Two: The Folly of the Oromo Prosperity Party about ‘the Kush State’ Fallacy

In the meantime, according to some declassified sources, if the ‘Phase One’ flows in the air, the Premier of Ethiopia has another contingency ‘Phase Two Blueprint’ of achieving his dreams to create a ‘Kush State’ while he is still alive in person.  The fallacy of a Kush State is to be attained through a demographic change of the Horn of Africa’s map. This methodology of ensuring the Kush State is presumably a naked movement right at the time notably within the Oromo PP circles. 

As a matter of fact, it has been rumored that, the project of a Kush State formation is supposedly suggested by a US government and its allies. According to this project, it is speculated that if some willing and purchased East African leaders may be obedient to adopt the US proposal, redrawing borders of the Horn of Africa will be considered and materialized as a long-term vision and solution of the Horn of Africa conflicts. Presumably, the aim is an attempt to unite several weak confederate states which have been competing and fighting each other due to ethnic reasons, the unbalanced geo-political locations and uneven potential resources. It seems evident that the Ethiopian PM might have been purchased to borrow and adopt such ill-proposal of Western governments. That’s why the Ethiopian PM is lenient while the US Mission in Ethiopia is engaged to campaign parochial sentiments among the Ethiopian public including via consultation with regional presidents. 

In the first place, it is worth noting that the USA policy in the Horn of Africa and in the Red Sea basin is always ill by nature. It is, however, covered under a fog of lies and misinformation; the double-standard approaches of the US officials are no more hidden by now. Indeed, the US has never helped the people of Africa in general and the Horn of Africa in particular as of the 1940s during the heyday of western colonial powers. After the cold war era is over, the White House US governments respectively have been creating chaos and abyss through the policy of ‘divide and rule tactic’ among the political leaders and people of Africa at large. It is not a recent historical amnesia that the US has been an enemy of Africa by way of conducting a proxy war through its forensic devices of anchor countries and Africa Commands (Africom) with the help of African puppet leaders. 

The fact that the US has done its level best towards the secession of South Sudan is a case in point in changing the geographic and political landscape of Africa. In this case, history can tell facts for its own sake that the SPLM of South Sudan’s revolution movement under the leadership of the charismatic Dr. John Garang was initially for an independent state. There was no doubt that the objective of Dr.Garang was meant to make the South Sudanese free of slavery, oppression, non-governance and unemployment  so that they could have enjoyed a brotherly coexistence with the other Sudanese under an umbrella of federation (paraphrased from John Markakis; National and Class Conflict in the Horn of Africa, 1987). However, just because the US and its allied strived and lobbied, upon he was killed, the reverse became true. No one also fails to recall that the Ethiopian government, under the premiership of late Meles Zenawi through its permanent envoy in South Sudan, late Siyoum Mesfin, was behind the conspiracy of the US just because the EPRDF-TPLF government of Ethiopia at the time was underpinning a political ground for its twin policy: either governing Ethiopia if it could manage it, or for a secession policy of a Tigray State if deemed necessary. 

Be that as it may, it appears that the current Premier of Ethiopia has only changed a jacket of ‘Oromifa ideology and Oromia state,’ but no new idea of secessionist policy is designed. Earlier, the TPLF had enjoyed a US blessing, while at the same time the Oromia Prosperity Party chairperson also seems sure that he wouldn’t hesitate that the US would be ready to pave a way for his vision of a Kush State.  Anyway, it is sad that history of doomsdays would repeat once again!  The support of the Western countries and the USA in particular may be expected in accordance with the US proxy war against Russia in Ukraine.  The assumption of the Oromia PP is likely to put in to account as if a proxy war of Protestant/Catholic against Orthodox is taking place under the pretext of the Russia-Ukraine war.  In the same vein, as the Oromia PP elite is also likely to form a Kush State with the expectation of either weakening or eliminating the Semitic people and the orthodox church, there seems no question that the applause of the  USA and its western allies, notably the British government, may be in place. Presumably, even western diplomats, the likes of Ambassador Michael Hammer of a US peace envoy in Ethiopia, might have been shared their hostile advices to ‘weaken and terminate the Amhara people, as they are always the potential threats and thereby dubbed as ‘fascists’ in accordance with their records of  dominance in Ethiopian politics. Perhaps, the fact that the western countries have neither a religion nor a friend, but only vested-interests in geopolitical dominance and natural resources in Africa would be taken as an opportunity. Besides, even it is expected that some Arab countries also would back the project of the Cush State formation. 

 As far as the ‘Kush State’ is concerned, a new map is seemingly not obscure so as to create an alliance of the Kush people to control 65% of Ethiopia and big part of Eritrea such that the Red Sea Afar people who live at the coastal areas of the Red Sea are to be included.  In this case, the Oromia PP’s assumption is that Eritreans and Tigrayans had been at loggerheads with the Afar ethnic groups as both political elites have been underestimating them.  As such, if the Cush State is to be established the Afaris could be simply coaxed and exploited as long as they are made to enjoy the Kush hegemony. Moreover, ostensibly the dream of the Kush State is even envisioned as to expand to the Red Sea, Metema region in western Amhara and all other relevant peripheries including up to Kenya so as to bring all Oromos of Kenya and other Cushitic peoples as well. 

According to some sources, the Kush State doctrine of Oromia PP has been covertly aired by an Ethiopian ambassador in Saudi Arabia to some prominent Oromo residents of Riyadh accompanied with a new map as well (Y2mate.com-gDrar). What makes this vision dangerous in the Horn of Africa is, however, that the Oromo-Prosperity Party which serves as a safe-haven of Abiy is meant to prove its dominance by weakening the Semitic settlers of Ethiopia (Amhara, Tigray, Showa Oromo) and Eritrea. Clandestinely, the campaign towards this ill- intention has been gaining a momentum even as to be relentless till paying a sacrifice regardless of the costs ahead (ibid). As per the derogatory words of the Oromo fundamentalist PP Party elements, what they call as ‘the Semitic invaders and settlers who are categorically named as the Northern Society aka the children of Yohannese, Menilik and Gobona among them Eritrea also to be part of the trap,’ are to be defeated for good as to end their centuries of dominance in the Horn Region. The long strategy designed is creating a condition of destroying each other. To this effect, it is primarily to be materialized ‘wisely and peacefully’ through creating of infighting Eritreans with Tigrayans, Tirayans with Amhara and Amhara with Eritreans. On the topmost, the Orthodox Church which has a pivotal role in unifying the Semitic society and alliances is taken as a prime target either to break its bonds of unity or to totally dismantle it as an institution.  The fear, however, is that Eritrea and its government should not know about the hidden plot such that they have to be approached ‘friendly and tactically’ till the end fruition becomes ripe. 

Moreover, in the long term, the project of the Kush Republic is meant to merge the Agew, Kimant, Afar, Somali and the Red Sea Afar as one sate. Upon execution of the project, it is expected that the Amhara, Tigray and Eritrea to be confined in their mountains destroying each other upon swallowing the seed of incitation from the shrewdness of Oromo PP shakers and movers. Far beyond that, the so-called ‘young breed of Oromo leadership generation, think-tank elite and ideologues’ even tend to criticize the 60-years old of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) political and military struggle as good for nothing since its long-standing vision is only about a landlocked Oromia. A far as such an assessment is concerned, the TPLF’s experience and failure of not being able to establish a Tigray State is taken as a comparative milestone and analogy with regard to Cush State. In this case, as Tigray lacks resources and access to sea besides being besieged by enemies such Eritrea and Amhara, such a fake vision is not needed to be repeated once more.  The elite thus further reiterates that it should foresight farther and transcend far away from the prior Oromo and TPLF wrong aims. In par with this, it is also reconsidered and evaluated that the so-named brothers and sisters of Afar, Somali, Agew, the South and the Gurages have never been seen as challenges except the Semitic settlers. To this end, the dreamers of Oromifa will turn no stone by way of mounting, emboldening, rearming and eventually making the Oromo special force as to be outstanding modern combatants at the expense of the national army. As opposed to this maneuvering, Eritrean successive governments and young generations ought to be weakened by any means necessary either by way of clandestine political intrigues or changing the color of religions such as to the so-called modern religions of Pentecost who have no regard to nationalism. 

In the final analysis, the Oromo PP will be very cautious and smart enough to do all it could towards the establishment of a Cush State till the time suits it.  As its first homework of its shrewdness, on the one hand, the party is likely to either reduce or dissolve the Amhara and Tigray or Semitic top army officials till the last day of the Oromo elite governance.  On the other hand, in one way or the other, a trap of cultivating, corrupting and staining hands in a crime of the Amhara Prosperity Party officials and collaborators will be in place most probably exploiting the naïve ones. In a word, the elite are likely prepared not to lose its grip of power as much as it could. Thus, in due course, the scheme of viable Kush State which seats at the shore of the Red Sea is in advance reserved as a contingency scenario in case the Oromia PP Party may lose its leadership card in the next election. That’s why the current government of Ethiopia is distantly watching while ethnic conflicts and day-to-day deaths become mundane news of mainstream media outlets. In this case, it is worth noting that as to why the Ethiopian Federal Government keeps mum while all sorts of animosities and loss of lives are taking place may be translated as if it may be working deliberately towards making the ‘abnormality to normality’. 

It is thus pretty important to be socially and politically conscious that what is happening today in Ethiopia is not to be taken as the order of the day. As a matter of fact, no one is oblivious that the PP Party in general and the Oromia authorities in particular are transferring millions of young non-Showa settlers to Sheger city. There seems no question that there may still be an intensive job of indoctrinating the young Orthodox Oromo of Shewa and Finifinnee in an effort to disconnect them from the religions of Amhara and Tigray.  The Oromo radical party may even not sleep to minimize the migration of Tigrayans as well as Eritreans towards Finifine and Oromia towns in case there may be a fear of disrupting the demographic changes of the respective so-called Kush region. Over the five years since Abiy’s reign in power, such overt resettlement project and brainwashing schemes have been conducted deliberately and by design under the tacit objective of frustrating the native orthodox settlers. In short, such forced resettlement is likely to make the Finifinnee free from the Semitic and orthodox influences. According to the political calculus of the Oromo PP, the Sheger City is seen as an economically and militarily beneficial and strategic.  In the near future, there are some speculations that an independent Tigray Synod is to be created and encouraged by the Federal government just to set precedence for Oromia Synod to become legitimate. 

It also seems quite apparent that the Interim Regional Government of Tigray which is headed by Mr.Ghetachew Reda and his cronies is supposed to serve as a pawn of Abiy till the processes of the Kush State are facilitated.  In retrospect, one may thereby infer that the ill-theory of the Abiy government that it wanted to resuscitate the TPLF from the brink of death during the 2022 war of attrition may be associated with such naive policy. In other words, why the Abiy government of Ethiopia opted to come to terms with the mediators and the Pretoria Peace Accord was nothing but to make use of it putting into account that the Oromo PP Party and TPLF are two sides of the same coin in terms of dreaming to be a nation. Notwithstanding, the Abiy government would never give an eye to solve the disputed territories of Ethiopia notably the areas around the Amhara and Tigray borders just to foment ever-ending tensions between Semitic Ethiopians. On the other hand, it is assumed that the Gurage, Gamo and Konso regions are to be considered as important strategic locations and corridors to the would-be Kush state. As such, despite their religion is Orthodox, since the Jima Oromo could have been amputated, it is proposed that they will remain as part of the Kush State. That’s why the Federal Government gave their demand of being a region a deaf ear.  

In general, the pregnancy of the fallacy of Kush State seems to have been conceived since the early inception of the Oromo OPDA while it was a partner (agar) of the TPLF-dominated EPRDF. It may be apparently presumed that the mentors of Abiy, namely Aba Dula Ghemeda who was once a prisoner of the EPLF and Lema Meghrsa, ex-OPDP chairman, were also champions of the project. In fact, there is no doubt that the late TPLF leader, Meles Zienawi, has established the OPDO Party under the premises of achieving a similar aim with his party. In this case, if the need arises, both parties were to declare independence respectively so as to disintegrate a united Ethiopia into different states. Akin to that end, the Somali Region which was under the leadership of Abdi Ele was meant to follow suit as soon as Tigray and Oromia marched towards a state. 

Nowadays, in accordance with the formation of the Kush State which the strong Oromo PP dreamed and is purportedly capable of doing so upon weakening the TPLF, the weak TPLF, however, is apparently still needed and to be treated so as to make it instrumental in giving a flesh to Oromo PP’s fallacy. Nonetheless, the Oromo PP only would treat the TPLF via intrigues and fomenting strife along the Adwa radicals and other Tigray elites’ cracks of infighting; exploiting and blazing notably the deep frictions between Mr. Reda and General Tsadckan’s sides and Dr. Debretsion’s sides. In other words, one may also assume that as the TPLF is no more considered as a strong organization, the Oromia PP seems to give it payback compensation now, but always making it a servant and a coward as the OPDO had been before. 

By this time, it is taken for granted that the Oromia Prosperity Party is no longer to look back from creating a Greater Oromia under a united Kush Sate. This vision is, however, like a ‘march of a folly’ regardless of such a dream is achievable or not. The fact is that in this modern time no one is ready either to entertain or allow any daydream of disentangling an age-long legitimate sovereignty and boundary of a nation, be it Ethiopia or the Horn of Africa at large. Thus, it seems that it is high time that such a ‘folly and fallacy’ of a Cush State project is something to serve as a ‘uniting factor and rallying point of struggle’  not only to all walks of Ethiopians, but also to all walks of the people of the Horn of Africa at large. 

In this context, it is worth reminding about a book entitled ‘The March of the Folly: From Troy to Vietnam’ which was written in March 19, 1984 by an American historian, Barabara W. Tuchman. The reason is that the Oromo PP dreams appear exactly to dovetail with the book’s main contents. In brief, the content of the book is about one of most compelling paradoxes of history pursuit by government policies which are contrary to their interests. It reveals four major instances of government folly in human history namely about the Trojan War, The Corruption of the Renaissance Popes, British Mismanagement of American Colonies and more importantly about the American intervention and its mishandling in the Vietnam War. Moreover, Tuchman applies the concept of folly to ‘historical mistakes’ with certain features in common.  


In the same manner, the Oromo PP is also engaged in a paradox of history which is contrary to the interests of a united Ethiopia. Many a time it has been a public secrete that the Premier of Ethiopia is in a due course to lead his government through a policy of political adultery.  Nowadays, it seems that the party which is led by radicals of fallacy is swimming in a Trojan war of its own in this modern day. However, the fact that it is on its way to march in creating ‘unimaginable story of map changing of the Horn of Africa’ is like tilling in unfertile land. It has to be clear that it will never be possible to redraw maps of colonial legacies by any means necessary. No political leader of any nation is capable of outwitting his counterparts as far as historical legacies and sovereignties are concerned. Moreover, what is amazing is that the PP of Ethiopia wants to prove and achieve is merely based on ‘intrigues, depravity, mismanagement of ground realities, through corrupting of subordinates and meddling in neighboring countries’ affairs and borders. In brief, as Tuchman rightly put it, you can call it nothing than a march of a folly. However, whether the fate of Oromia Prosperity Party’s Ethiopia is to march towards its bloom days or doomsdays will be only a question of time…!  

About the Writer 

Fessehaye Kidane Melaky is based in Asmara. He is a cadre of education in the  Eritrean Ministry of Education at the Office of the Minister. He is an author of two books namely „A  Handbook: Anthology, Basic Tigrigna Grammar and Writing Clues (ማሕዘል ኣደ፥ መሰረት ሰዋስውን ስነ-ጽሕፈትን ቋንቋ ትግርኛ…; Tigrigna version, 2023) as well as an English one which is entitled „Star  Reader, 2009.‟ Besides, he has also written dozens of articles both in English and Tigrigna (mother tongue language) versions in the State-owned Newspapers namely Eritrea Profile and New Eritrea. As a  case in point, the writer‟s recent publications in Eritrea Profile and Hadas Eritrea respectively include  „From Home Song‟ to „Family in an Ordeal‟ (Shabait.com, Feb 16, 2019) and (መጕስዕ ኲናት ስነ-ልቦና ኽሳዕ መኣስ፧ ጋዜጣ ሓዳስ ኤርትራ፣ ሚያዝያ 2022 or „Rumination of Psychological Warfare: For  How Long Will It Last?‟). Prior to that, he has contributed various articles regarding education,  linguistics, book reviews and political history of Eritrea. As of 2023, he has also contributed numerous  articles to the borkena.com Website. 

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

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2 COMMENTS

  1. It would highly plausible is our Eritrean cadre keeps his hands and minds out of Ethiopia. Sir, you have too much on your plate already and you need to focus on those. If you come to think of it, the entire region of The Horn of Africa that includes Somalia, Eritrea, Ethiopia and Djibouti has a population whose origin were Cushitic tribes(people). They did not originate in Abruzzi or Tuscany. I’m not talking about the languages they speak now but to remind you that their origin is the same; people of the Cush. I am not also speaking about their current cuisines. Some eat buddenaa(injera) and some have re-invented lasagna or bistecca alla Bismarck. Some are furiously proud of their ‘blackness’ and some have been desperately to negate it! All these 4 countries have pressing issues on their plate with some of them recognizing this fact and others pompously claiming they have amicably addressed/solved them.
    So my dear Cushitic brother! Have a crack at your own internal priorities.

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