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National Dialogue or National Monologue? Abiy Ahmed’s One-Man Show

Sisay Mulu _ National Dialogue

By Sisay Mulu (Amoraw)

As Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s popularity wanes and disillusionment grows among Ethiopians, the proposed national dialogue effort stands exposed not simply as a tactical maneuver but as a direct assault on the very tenets of democracy and accountability. Abiy Ahmed’s tenure has been characterized by a litany of failures and betrayals, reflecting a leader more engrossed in sculpting his public image than addressing the real hardships faced by his nation.

The so-called national dialogue has unfolded as a calculated charade, orchestrated by Abiy Ahmed to consolidate his power and cleanse his sullied reputation. This initiative is strategically designed to reshape public perception, showcasing a veneer of unity and reconciliation while conveniently shifting focus away from the regime’s grievous violations and courting favor with an international audience that too often prefers the semblance of stability over the hard pursuit of justice.

By deploying the National Dialogue, Abiy Ahmed pursues four specific goals, each cunningly crafted to secure his continued grip on power. 

  1. Dialing for Legitimacy: Abiy’s Last Call for Public Approval

In the wake of Abiy Ahmed’s plummeting popularity and the deep disillusionment among Ethiopians, the notion of him seeking to legitimize his rule through the so-called National Dialogue Commission is not just opportunistic; it’s an affront to the very fabric of democracy and accountability. Abiy Ahmed’s tenure as Prime Minister has been marred by a litany of failures, betrayals, and a callous disregard for the plight of his own people.

Firstly, Abiy’s leadership has been characterized by a reckless pursuit of personal glorification at the expense of addressing the pressing needs of the nation. Rather than tackling the multifaceted challenges facing Ethiopia, Abiy seems fixated on cosmetic projects  such as lavish recreational park developments in Addis Ababa. These projects, far from addressing the fundamental issues of poverty, inflation, and instability, serve as nothing more than vanity projects for a leader disconnected from the harsh realities of his people.

Moreover, Abiy’s authoritarian tendencies have further eroded any semblance of trust or confidence in his leadership. His heavy-handed approach to dissent, exemplified by the brutal crackdown on opposition voices and the suppression of free speech, has alienated vast swathes of the population. The rampant human rights abuses, ethnic violence, and government-sponsored atrocities under his watch have left Ethiopians rightfully questioning his fitness to govern.

In this context, the National Dialogue Commission appears as nothing more than a cynical ploy by Abiy to cling to power and whitewash his tarnished image. By seeking to co-opt the dialogue process to his advantage, Abiy hopes to manipulate the narrative and present himself as a champion of unity and reconciliation. Abiy Ahmed’s bid to use the National Dialogue Commission as a means to regain legitimacy is an insult to the intelligence and resilience of the Ethiopian people. It is imperative that Ethiopians reject this thinly veiled attempt to prolong his authoritarian rule and instead demand genuine accountability, justice, and inclusive governance. Abiy Ahmed is not the solution to Ethiopia’s woes; he is the problem that must be removed for the country to chart a path towards true democracy and prosperity.

  1. Abiy’s National Dialogue as a Tool for Deception

In recent years, Abiy Ahmed’s regime has faced mounting criticism and scrutiny over its dismal human rights record. Reports from reputable sources such as Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, and Reuters have documented a litany of abuses, including repression, violence, and crackdowns on dissent, across various regions of the country, including Amhara, Addis Ababa, and even within the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. These egregious human rights violations have not only tarnished Abiy’s once-promising image as a reformer but have also led to a significant erosion of his legitimacy as the leader of Ethiopia.

The Amhara region, Ethiopia’s second-largest, has been particularly hard-hit under Abiy’s rule. Since August 2023 the region has been subjected to a draconian state of emergency lockdown, ostensibly implemented to quell unrest but in reality serving as a tool to suppress dissent and opposition. Reports from Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have detailed numerous war crimes committed by Abiy’s forces in Amhara, including extrajudicial killings, arbitrary arrests, and forced displacement of civilians. Instead of addressing grievances and fostering dialogue, Abiy has resorted to silencing peaceful dissent through the abuse of emergency laws, further exacerbating tensions and fueling resentment among the Amhara population.

In Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, Abiy’s regime has established concentration camps to incarcerate thousands of ethnic Amharas, reminiscent of darker chapters in human history. Reports of cholera outbreaks and dire living conditions within these concentration camps highlight the inhumane treatment endured by those deemed undesirable by the regime. Such actions not only violate fundamental human rights but also underscore the authoritarian nature of Abiy’s rule, where dissent is met with violence and repression.

Similar accounts of human rights violations have emerged from other regions of Ethiopia, including Oromia and Tigray, where Abiy’s government has faced accusations of genocide and ethnic cleansing. The Reuters investigation from last February reveals a clandestine “Security Committee” formed after Abiy Ahmed’s rise to power in 2018, tasked with suppressing dissent in Ethiopia’s Oromia region. This committee is implicated in severe human rights abuses, including extrajudicial killings and mass detentions without warrants, aimed particularly at critics of Abiy Ahmed. The actions, denounced as violations by Ethiopia’s Human Rights Commission, underscore a disturbing trend of governmental overreach and oppression under Abiy Ahmed’s regime. 

Despite these damning reports, Abiy seeks to portray himself as a beacon of peace and stability through the guise of a national dialogue commission. By engaging in superficial dialogues, Abiy hopes to deflect attention from his government’s atrocities and curry favor with the international community, which often prioritizes stability over justice. However, the reality is starkly different. Abiy has repeatedly demonstrated his unwillingness to engage in genuine dialogue or compromise with dissenting voices, opting instead for a my-way-or-the-highway approach. His government’s heavy-handed tactics and blatant disregard for human rights undermine any semblance of legitimacy or credibility. While Abiy may seek to portray himself as a reformer, his actions betray a regime entrenched in authoritarianism and repression.

  1. National Dialogue: A Shield for Delayed Accountability

Abiy Ahmed’s once-promising leadership has faltered, leading to widespread disillusionment and the erosion of his legitimacy as the leader of the nation. His failed policies and inability to address pressing issues have fueled discontent among various factions, both armed and unarmed, who demand transformative change. The Amhara fano, in particular, has emerged as a powerful force challenging Abiy’s authority and resisting his genocidal campaign against the Amhara people.

Over the past year, the Amhara fano freedom fighters have not only withstood Abiy’s military forces but have also garnered significant support from within the Amhara community and other Ethiopians sympathetic to their cause. Furthermore, Abiy has lost control over significant portions of key regions such as Oromia where the regime has no full control over 18 of the 21 zones in Oromia and  75% of the Amhara Region, leaving only the capital, Addis Ababa, relatively secure.

In response to mounting domestic pressure and dwindling international support, Abiy has resorted to the facade of a national dialogue to buy time and mitigate immediate consequences. By leveraging the guise of dialogue, Abiy seeks to stall international intervention and maintain unchecked authority to pursue his internal policies, including suppressing opposition forces across the country.

This period of supposed dialogue serves as a smokescreen for Abiy to continue his oppressive tactics without facing immediate repercussions from the international community. By feigning a commitment to self-correction through dialogue, Abiy aims to alleviate international pressure and forestall sanctions or diplomatic actions, all while perpetuating his genocidal operations under the guise of dialogue.

Crucially, Abiy’s manipulation of the national dialogue process extends to the selection of commission members loyal to him, who are tasked with controlling the narrative and shaping outcomes in favor of the regime. The government’s involvement in setting the agenda and selecting participants further underscores its intent to suppress dissent and advance its interests.

Abiy’s utilization of the national dialogue as a tool for self-preservation and image rehabilitation is a cynical ploy to deceive both the international community and the Ethiopian public. By exploiting the rhetoric of unity and reconciliation, Abiy seeks to whitewash his tarnished reputation and consolidate power at the expense of genuine dialogue and meaningful reform. As such, the national dialogue serves not as a vehicle for genuine change, but as a shield behind which Abiy can continue his authoritarian rule unabated.

  1. Dialogue or Deception? Abiy’s Calculated Move to Secure International Aid

In the wake of Ethiopia’s economic turmoil and Abiy Ahmed’s plummeting reputation on the global stage, the National Dialogue emerges as a strategic ploy for the embattled Prime Minister to salvage his tarnished image and secure crucial international support and aid. Abiy’s leadership, once hailed as a Nobel laureate, has devolved into a narrative of failure and mismanagement over the past six years, plunging Ethiopia into a state of crisis marked by rampant inflation, dwindling foreign currency reserves, and a mass exodus of foreign investors due to escalating instability and violence.

The dire economic conditions, exacerbated by man-made factors stemming from the regime’s policies, have pushed Ethiopia to the brink of collapse, with mounting debt obligations left unpaid and negotiations with international financial institutions like the World Bank and IMF  yielding little promise of relief. Recognizing the imperative of maintaining vital relationships with key donors and economic partners, Abiy maneuvers to present the national dialogue as a legitimate effort to address Ethiopia’s challenges and foster stability.

However, beneath the veneer of dialogue and reconciliation lies a calculated facade orchestrated by Abiy to shore up his grip on power at any cost. The purported commitment to dialogue serves as a thinly veiled attempt to forestall the imposition of financial sanctions and ensure the continuation of crucial international relationships that underpin Ethiopia’s economic lifeline. By masquerading as a reformist leader open to dialogue and engagement, Abiy seeks to deflect scrutiny from his authoritarian tendencies and the regime’s suppression of dissent, thereby safeguarding his grip on power.

As Ethiopia teeters on the edge of collapse, it is incumbent upon the international community to see through Abiy’s charade and hold the regime accountable for its transgressions against democracy and human rights. Only through concerted pressure and unwavering solidarity can Ethiopia chart a path toward genuine reform and inclusive dialogue that addresses the root causes of its myriad challenges and paves the way for a brighter future for all its citizens.


In conclusion, the National Dialogue Commission under Abiy Ahmed’s leadership is not a genuine effort to address Ethiopia’s deep-seated problems but a calculated attempt to extend his rule under the guise of democratic engagement. It is a cynical ploy to cloak his authoritarian regime in the veneer of legitimacy and reconciliation. The Ethiopian people, who suffer the consequences of his policies, deserve more than mere rhetoric and superficial measures. They require actionable, substantial change that addresses the root causes of their grievances—a change that seems increasingly unlikely under the current regime. The international community must look beyond the surface and support the call for true democracy and accountability in Ethiopia, ensuring that any dialogue not only includes but listens to the voices of all stakeholders, particularly those who have been most affected by Abiy Ahmed’s misguided actions.

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


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  1. Amoraw,
    You seem to be one-sided in your views; look at few of the blanket no-evidence statements you’ve made in article above:
    “As Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s popularity wanes and disillusionment grows among Ethiopians”
    “In the wake of Abiy Ahmed’s plummeting popularity and the deep disillusionment among Ethiopians”
    “As Ethiopia teeters on the edge of collapse”

    What you should have made clear to your reader is that you are a/ Amhara of the Fan-No variety b/ you believe with all your heart that Amhara (read: Ethiopia) are all that mattered in considering Ethiopia’s struggles and c/ that no one would catch you being your silly self when “Amhara” pops up 10 times in your short article.

    Here is a suggestion for you. Get rid of “Amoraw” as a moniker. Your wings are causing you great distress as you are kept suspended in the air not finding a place to rest your clawed bird feet.

  2. This guy is here again trying to be a keyboard fighter and claiming himself to be the Ras Wubneh Tessema our time. But this is doing the fighting from his tranquil home at a distant place. Ras Wubneh Tessema fought those savage foreign fascists forces on site. He could see them coming in his direction days before they arrived. That was why the blood thirsty fascists called him ‘Amoraw’. He was one of their worst enemies. He did not do that in luxury. He did not do that from thousands of miles away but right there at the fascists doorway. This one is a con artist who wants to profit from the sacrifice our forefathers who paid dearly including their own lives. Stop using a title you don’t deserve.


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