Many observers have been saying that Ethiopia is in a very dangerous time. It is rooted in institutionalized ethnic politics which brought about a security crisis in the country – especially in the past five years under the leadership of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. In fact, the national security of Ethiopia as a country has been at risk because of the ethnic politics.
Apart from pervasive and recurring ethnic violence that has claimed tens of thousands of lives, Ethiopia experienced and is experiencing deadly civil war.
Despite all that, there does not seem to be will on the part of Abiy Ahmed’s government to deal with the problem head on to the point that his government is now even linked to the Oromumma ideology.
Abiy Ahmed’s government effort to tackle the problem has been mostly a sort of window dressing rather than real effort. Some see incompetence as a reason. Others tend to think that the government is too weak to effect real change – change that it promised six years ago.
Last week, he deployed cabinet ministers, regional leaders and party officials to the Amhara region of Ethiopia – just a few days after the Merawi Massacre where government soldiers killed over hundred civilians shortly after fighting with Fano Forces – for a political engagement with the public. It was also days after extending the state of emergency imposed in the region that Abiy Ahmed’s government tried to “engage” the public in the region. The meeting took place in 15 towns across the region. Nothing concrete emerged from the meeting other than reiteration of “Amhara demands” as “constitutional reform, development and identity question,” – something that Fano forces are no longer accepting. For Fano, and they have extensive support in the region and beyond, the demand is now a fundamental change in the country and it starts with the end of Abiy Ahmed’s administration.
Today, Ethiopian News Agency, state media, reported that government officials were holding meetings in 20 towns across the Oromia region of Ethiopia. Federal and regional leaders as well as party officials were attending it. The ruling party was holding the meetings under the motto ” Multi-ethnic brotherhood and sisterhood for lasting peace and prosperity.”
Noticeably, the response from the public is indifference. Meanwhile, war continues in the Amhara regions of Ethiopia. The Oromia region is not free from conflict although not as intense as the Amhara region. The crisis in Oromia is mostly kidnapping which the government links to the group “Oromo Liberation Army.” The group targets civilians and is extensively engaged in kidnapping business and destroying vehicles including buses operating in the region.
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