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US Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa Mike Hammer meets Oromo politicians 

“United States Government is diligently working to resolve the multifaceted conflicts in Ethiopia,” Mike Hammer 

Mike Hammer (left) with Merera Gudina, leader of OFC. (Photo : OFC/resized)

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Toronto – Mike Hammer, US Special Envoy to the Horn of Africa, on Monday met with Merera Gudina, Leader of Oromo Federalist Congress, and Dawud Ibsa, leader of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), at the U.S. Embassy in Addis Ababa. 

Mike Hammer held the meeting with these ethnic Oromo nationalist leaders separately. Merara’s meeting lasted for an hour and a half, according to BBC Amharic. 

The purpose of the meeting was to “discuss issues and solutions surrounding the political stability of Ethiopia,” as disclosed by  Oromo Federalist Congress Party. 

A statement from the party highlighted that the political and security challenges that Ethiopia is facing were discussed. Merara is said to have emphasized “the urgent need for a credible political arrangement that guarantees the free participation of all major political forces in the country through exercising a fairly shared responsibility to facilitate comprehensive political settlement including the next free, fair and all inclusive election.”  However, the statement is unspecified if the U.S. also has the understanding that there is “an urgent need for a credible political arrangement.” 

The statement also unveiled that Merara sees the importance of international pressure – including from the U.S. government – on Abiy Ahmed’s government “to prioritize the safety and security of its citizens that are currently going through mushrooming civil war, dangerous political instability and unbearable economic hardship.” 

According to the OFC statement, “the stability of Ethiopia and the need for all stakeholders coming together to solve the country’s political problems for lasting peace and stability,” is a matter of concern for the U.S. government and Mike Hammer has reflected it during the meeting with Merara. 

Dawud Ibsa (left) and Mike Hammer (right)

Dawud Ibsa, OLF, Chairman reportedly briefed Mike Hammer about the situation in the Oromia region. In a statement his party released on social media, Dawud talked about what he called a “seriously difficult situation” under which his party is operating. Dawud sees the unconditional release of all members of his party and the reopening of OLF offices in the Oromia region as important measures in the direction of solving the problem. 

Since the time of the late Meles Zenawi, the United States has established the practice of calling opposition leaders to the U.S. Embassy to discuss political issues in the country. Under Abiy Ahmed, the United States has been increasingly treating Ethiopia as a sort of vassal state influencing – if not dictating – policies in many areas including in the military. 

On Tuesday, Mike Hammer met with State Minister For Foreign Affairs, Misganu Arega. The Ministry said “issues of mutual concern” were discussed. Implementation of the Pretoria Agreement and DDR process were among the issues discussed during the meeting. 

US Special Envoy _ Horn of Africa _ Ethiopian news
Mike Hammer with State Minister in the MFAE, Misganu Arega (Photo : PD)

After the end of the war between the TPLF ( whom some critical activists describe as the “spoiled child of the U.S.” ), Ethiopia continues to experience war in the Amhara and Oromia regions. The Amhara region has been under a state of emergency since August 2023. 

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1 COMMENT

  1. Who wrote this article? I doubt it was written by someone who is concerned about the old country, Ethiopia. One of the phrases in the article goes: ‘Under Abiy Ahmed, the United States has been increasingly treating Ethiopia as a sort of vassal state influencing – if not dictating – policies in many areas including in the military.’
    Say it again? Where did that come from? It sounds the writer has been successfully brain washed by those who push this ultra leftist theory that assumes the global Geo-politics landscape is dictated by a uni-polar power and that dominance is slowly being chipped away and replaced by multi-polarity. That leaves me with roaring with laughter until it hurts, man!

    In this case, Special Envoy Ambassador H.E. Mike Hammer is doing his job by having a conversation with different groups inside and outside the country. That was never done at such extent by others before him. What is wrong with that? How does that become USA treating Ethiopia as a vassal state? It is just as silly as it gets.

    Now let me guess what the defunct leader of the defunct OLF might have told the Special Envoy. He would tell how he cheated death by surviving Mengistu who poisoned him with the lethally toxic potassium cyanide in the 1970’s and 80’s. His 2nd demand would be an immediate referendum in Oromia. I don’t believe Dr. Merara would go for a referendum. He just does not agree with OLF’s agenda but just like me he despise its leaders. I had seen an article he wrote about them in the 1990’s. He has utter contempt for them. My bone with him and his group is if he believes in federal system why he does not welcome individuals from other ethnicity into his group.

    My final message to the writer of this article is this: Stay in your country. Stop sticking your nose where you don’t belong.

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