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HomeOpinionEthiopia at a Crossroads: Objections on Abiy’s Administration and Its Military Force 

Ethiopia at a Crossroads: Objections on Abiy’s Administration and Its Military Force 

Agenagn Kebede _ Abiy Ahmed

By Agenagn Kebede

A new political organization assumed the place of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF)-dominated Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) following internal reconfiguration in 2018. Under the leadership of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian prime minister from 2108–?, this political organization called itself the Prosperity Party. 

Many expected peace once Abiy became a leader, but from 2020 to 2022, Abiy Ahmed’s administration had been engaging in wars with the TPLF. Concerned that the country would spiral into a full-fledged civil war, conflict, and violence, several international organizations, including the United Nations, European Unions, and the International Crisis Group, had been pushing for dialogue; however, Abiy’s administration fought the TPLF without taking into account these organizations advice(https://www.crisisgroup.org/africa/horn-africa/horn-ethiopias-slide-toward-civil-).

As a result of spotting Abiy’s administration’s conflict with the TPLF as a good opportunity, a number of ethno-political actors, along with foreign actors, permitted the war and joined the conflict to advance to other areas as an assurance of their political, social, and economic desires. Accordingly, many actors have been engaging in violence in various parts of the country both during and after the conflict between the TPLF and the Federal Government of Ethiopia.

During the war, which occurred between Abiy’s administration, which wants to secure Oromo’s elite dominant political system, and the TPLF, which interests the continuity of Tigray’s elite dominant political system, from November 2, 2020, to November 2, 2022, Abiy’s administration had been getting objections from the Tigray people. The Tigray People complained that during the conflict, the military force of Ethiopia committed crimes against humanity like murder, rape, sexual violence, and persecution (Ethiopia: Crimes Against Humanity in Western Tigray Zone amnesty.org-https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/04/ethiopia-crimes-against-humanity-in-western-tigray-zone/) 

Nevertheless, TPLF forces were also the perpetrators of the slaughter, ethnic cleansing, and rape committed against the Amhara ethnic group in Chenna’s North Gonder surrounding area, as well as the violence that occurs in the Afar region (Ethiopia: Tigrayan forces murder, rape and pillage in attacks on civilians in Amhara towns – Amnesty International https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2022/02/ethiopia-tigrayan-forces-murder-rape-and-pillage-in-attacks-on-civilians-in-amhara-towns/) 

Abiy Ahmed’s administration has been also  getting complaints and challenges from the Amhara ethnic group that his government’s military force has not been preventing a continued attack on huge Amhara ethnic groups by Oromo ethnic irredentists, pro-TPLF youths, and the TPLF’s military force. The Ethiopian military force has been accused of helplessness in protecting the killings, genocide, and ethnic cleansing of the Amhara ethnic group in Oromia National Regional State and Amhara National Regional State (Ethiopia’s Amhara crisis: Abiy’s political failures threaten a return to war -theconversation.com ). 

For instance, an armed group has been killing Amhara civilians in Western Oromia Regional State (around Wellega) and Amhara National Regional State; this includes the North Shewa (around Ataye), Wolkayit, and Raya since 1991. For instance, heavily armed assailants shot and killed about 400 Amhara ethnic group members at Wollega in the village of Tole, Sena Kebele, in one day, on June 18, 2022. When this happened, this Ethiopian military force could not protect the civilians, even a few of whom were considered participants in the crime (Ethiopia: Civilians in Western Oromia Left Unprotected | Human Rights Watch – hrw.org).

Following this, the Amhara ethnic groups have been demonstrating and rebelling against Abiy Ahmed’s regime, which has targeted and victimized them. Regarding this, the Abiy Ahmed’s administration has been conducting ongoing military operations and intervention to quell disorder and violence in the Amhara regional state; however, this has been met with opposition and has escalated the conflict. The FDRE Military Force is regarded as a violent actor and has been less effective in bringing about peace. (Ethiopia’s Amhara people are being portrayed as the enemy: the dangerous history of ethnic politics – theconversation.com ). 

Similarly, the Afar people have had objections to Abiy’s administration and its military force. These people were unprotected and victims of the war that took place between the Federal Government of Ethiopia and TPLF forces from 2020–2022. The Ethiopian Military Force could not protect the destruction of civilian infrastructure by Tigrayan forces in the Afar regions of Ethiopia (Ethiopia Tigray crisis: New front opens as aid fears grow – BBC News) even if Afars have continued to exhibit intermittent or passive violence against Abiy’s government.

Allowing Eritrea to interfere in the sovereign politics of Ethiopia also put hard critics on Abiy’s Administration. Eritrea engaged in the war between the Federal Government of Ethiopia and the TPLF at Abiy’s invitation, supporting the FDRE government in order to safeguard Badime and other areas that were given to Eritrea following the peace agreement in Algiers in December 2000. However, during the war, the military forces of Eritrea had been associated with ethnic cleansing, massacres, and killings in Tigray (The New Humanitarian | Tigray aid access improves as peace deal makes headway  – https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/analysis/2023/01/31/Ethiopia-Eritrea-Tigray-peace-deal).  

Due to the Federal Government of Ethiopia’s inability and reluctance to provide protection during and after the Federal-TPLF battle, the Oromo Liberation Front has expanded their conflict to include Western Oromia, especially Wollega, and has committed terrible ethnic annihilation and genocide against the Amhara ethnic groups (Western Oromia Conflict – Ethiopia Peace Observatory – acleddata.com) however The government has been claiming that it has been pushing back and punishing the Oromo Liberation Front.   

Here, this essay can argue that after Abiy Ahmed came to power, large-scale conflicts, chaos, massacres, and killings occurred in many parts of the country, such as Tigray, Wollega, Chenna, and so on. Relating to this, the FDRE Military Force of the Federal Government of Ethiopia could not manage and control these incidents, and sometimes it has been taking part in the violence. Thereby Abiy’s administration and its military force have been getting objections and challenges. 

Thus, from the above statements, this essay concludes that the Abiy’s Administration and FDRE Military Force has been facing objection because of

  1. Inviting neighboring countries for internal political issues. 
  2. The intertwining of militarization, ethnicity, and political system.
  3.  The military failure to secure innocents.
  4. Governments’ intention to solve conflict in military measurement.
  5. A long culture of Ethiopian society that increasingly relies on military solutions for social, political, and economical drawbacks.

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

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1 COMMENT

  1. Good and referenced article which did not show bias. The concluding remarks are right the spot. The only issues that I disagree with the writer is that the PM is working to assert Oromo elite dominance. This claim is not supported by any evidence except popular defamatory allegation by those who think Oromo is an enemy no matter what. Today, not a single ethnic, political or other organization can dominate as the era of EPRDFE, Derg, and the feudalism. Thus, working towards mutual benefits and equal dispensation will result in better outcomes

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