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Abiy Ahmed should be defeated, not negotiated with

Ethiopian Pundits _ Abiy Ahmed _ negotiation

Mekuria

Recently, political pundits and social media activists have been discussing the policy speech of the American ambassador to Ethiopia. They wasted no time in endorsing negotiations with Abiy Ahmed. Despite their past inaccuracies in understanding who Abiy Ahmed is, I argue that these pundits and media activists missed the point. I will explain why.

1. Fano’s fighting force is highly motivated.

Currently, the Fano fighters are attacking Abiy’s soldiers relentlessly and pushing the army out of several places. In Gojam, the army is fleeing from rural areas and consolidating around the capital Bahir Dar and other major zonal cities. In Gonder, Fano is surrounding Abiy’s army on the outskirts. Abiy’s army is stretched thin on several fronts. There is intense fighting in Quara, Armacho, Dabat, South Gonder, and Kola Dembia. North Shewa is not a safe place for Abiy’s commandos, ordinary soldiers, and navies. Ataye, Menz, Shewa Orbit, Berhet, Minjar, Merhabete, Mida, Ensaro, Jihur, and the surroundings of Debreberhan are hotspots for Abiy’s soldiers. Abiy’s army is facing heavy losses as close as 50 km near Addis Ababa.

2. Abiy’s army is facing a significant morale crisis

Abiy’s army is not engaging seriously against Fano on all fronts. Fano holds the moral high ground and is fighting fiercely because their lives are at stake. Ceasing the fighting would mean certain death under Abiy’s army, so they have no choice but to continue fighting. In contrast, Abiy’s army lacks a legitimate reason to enter Amhara and fight against Fano. Preserving their lives is a better option than engaging in a futile battle and needlessly sacrificing themselves for Abiy. Abiy’s army has lost much of its force due to strong resistance from Fano, and right now, it is thinly spread. Its only advantage lies in possessing drones, helicopters, jets, and long-range artillery. The army is so depleted that the government is recruiting underage children for training, but even those children are escaping every day.

3. Ethiopia’s collapsing economy

Ethiopia’s economy is deteriorating rapidly due to a combination of factors such as political instability, inflation, and foreign exchange shortages. The government is struggling to pay teachers, doctors, and nurses. Acquiring fuel has become a major challenge. The worsening security situation in Ethiopia has led to a decline in revenue collection. The country’s financial reserves are dwindling. As the conflict between Fano and Abiy’s soldiers persists, Abiy Ahmed is depleting his resources and will soon be unable to pay the bureaucracy, resulting in a revenue shortfall. Besides, Oromia is in turmoil, and every checkpoint has become a place for militia tax collection. Soon, vehicle owners may form their own armies to pass these checkpoints, turning Oromia into a center of warlords. This situation will further suffocate the Abiy regime, depriving him of human and resource capital to wage the war in Amhara.

This situation on the ground favors Fano in advancing towards the capital and ultimately overthrowing Abiy Ahmed. Abiy will likely seek refuge in the Arab Emirates, while his loyalists, such as Berhanu Abega, Belete Molla, Daniel Kibret, and Seyoum Teshome, may be apprehended and imprisoned.

4. No conducive conditions in Abiy’s Ethiopia for negotiations.

Rather than advocating for dialogue and reconciliation with Abiy Ahmed, the media should focus on waging a propaganda war against Abiy’s forces. Currently, Abiy’s motivation to wage war against Amhara lies in bribing army generals with land, housing, and cash incentives. The ordinary soldiers receive nothing. The media should reach out to these deceived soldiers and present the ground reality instead of confusing Amhara fighters by discussing reconciliation with Abiy through Amhara-hating political pundits. At a time when Fano’s fighting spirit is strong, efforts should not be made to dampen it.

5. The West is not a reliable partner for the Amhara community

There is pressure from political pundits and social media activists on Fano to believe that the USA and the West are influential mediators. However, the reality is that the West is not a friend of the Amhara people. In Amhara, thousands of individuals are being killed by the ruthless Abiy army, civilians are being bombed by drones, millions are displaced, five million Amhara children are out of school, and Amhara intellectuals and investors are being arbitrarily detained, while ordinary Amharas are barred from entering Addis Ababa. The West has not taken any punitive measures against Abiy for these atrocities. Therefore, Fano and the Amhara community should rely on their own strength and determination to fight for their cause. Some media political witch hunts told us America is angry and that TPLF will not send its troops further in to Raya. They were dead wrong or were deliberately confusing Amharsas to not catch the moment.

Conclusion.

We understand that the situation on the ground in the fight against Abiy Ahmed is going to be challenging temporarily, largely due to his control over the resources of 130 million people in Ethiopia. He has amassed armaments to fight the Amhara with full force. However, the conditions on the ground are very favorable for Fano. Day by day, Fano’s fighting capability, force, and effectiveness are increasing. They have armed themselves with modern armaments by seizing them from the morally corrupted army of Abiy Ahmed. Their warfare tactics are largely guerrilla, allowing them to minimize losses while inflicting maximum harm on Abiy’s army. They are swift, easily dispersible, and can quickly regroup to launch attacks on Abiy’s forces. Their logistical and survival skills are far superior to those of Abiy’s army, making Fano an unbeatable force against Abiy Ahmed. There is no need for them to engage in negotiations with Abiy; they can simply state that the conditions in Amhara are not conducive to negotiations without further elaboration. Zemene Kasse is correct in stating that Abiy Ahmed must step down, and his Fano group should not be seeking rights from Abiy Ahmed. While I personally have reservations about Zemene’s handling of political and military matters with Eskinder, he is absolutely correct on this particular issue – no negotiation. As the saying goes, “Strike the iron while it is hot.” At this time, I urge media outlets to refrain from pressuring Fano into empty bravado for negotiations, reminiscent of the USA’s involvement during the Tigray war. We have witnessed the quick reactions of the West, including the Biden administration and the European Union, during that conflict. We have also seen how Guterrez reacted. It is clear that they are not allies of the Amhara people and do not harbor humanitarian sentiments towards them. Let us move past this notion. The West is not a friend of the Amhara people and has no intention of becoming one.

Fano’s struggle against Abiy Ahmed has two primary goals: survival and the establishment of a governance system based on principles of law and order. Abiy is intent on marginalizing and eradicating the Amhara people and their heritage, perpetuating lawlessness, nepotism, and governing through criminal means. Initially, Abiy enjoyed the trust and support of the Amhara community but failed to deliver on their expectations and advance the nation. He shows no willingness to compromise with the Amhara and may backtrack on agreements. The only way to bring relief to the Amhara is to remove Abiy from power or confine him to his palace. Otherwise, any progress made by Fano will be lost, and the lives of the Amhara people will remain in jeopardy. Amhara has no alternative except winning.

To Fano-supporting media outlets, and others advocating for negotiation, what kind of negotiation are you calling for when Abiy Ahmed controls the army, police, security, judiciary, election commission, and parliament? Even if you accept negotiation, you should not contradict Fano leaders.

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

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