The Real Abiy Ahmed: He is Not Who You Think He Is!
By Rundassa Ashete Hunde, July 7, 2018
What Abbayi Ahmed has been saying for the past three moths blew millions away: “It is the government who is the terrorist! Unity is the only way out of the political crisis Ethiopia is suffering from; We will build modern industrial parks, high-speed trains, gleaming infrastructure, dazzling skylines!” He would said.
His speech was magnificent and his enthusiasm sounded so great to everyone that opposed to the TPLF rule. As a result, even the former military government officials who had been exiled for over three decades returned home and that includes two Oromo Tigre generals. Jawar Mohamed who became famous because he showed the gruesome images to the mass on his Media outlet also joined his tribe and went to Kenya to recruit few hundred Oromo refuges who are willing to put on a military uniform and let Jawar take their pictures, which he is going to present to Abayyi Ahmed. Overwhole, the Ethiopian empire has never seen anything like what took place over the last three months.
On the other side of the equation, the Oromo people’s stand off against the brutal killer of the Tigre army called Agazii contributed to a growing fear in the minds of the American state department officials that the Oromians are about to brake up their military base known as Ethiopia. Most importantly, the Chinese government aggressive development model in Africa inadvertently exacerbated America’s fears. Although TPLF’s usage of Chinese authoritarian political model didn’t seem to bother the American government, Chinese outperformance and legitimatization effort in empire Ethiopia has worried the Americans.
To permanently overcome their panic and paranoia, the Obama government trained future African politicians labeled as “young leaders of Africa” in which Lamma Magarsa and Abayi were trained. Despite the economy boom claimed by the Tigre rule, Abayi and Lamma were trained that real economic growth can only happen under Western-style economic liberalism where the corporations own everything and become responsible for country’s capitalist success. Based on this theory, Abbayi Ahmed decided to sell the Ethiopian airlines, the Ethiopian Electric and Power and other state owned corporations. Political direction wise, it was decided to follow the American imperial paths under which many independent states such as Somalia, Sudan, Djibouti, Kenya and Eritrea are put together in the form of confederation in order to allow poor nations such as Eritrea to have access to other states wealth. The horn of Africa political master plan that has been under a study for many decades by USA mainly focused on the economy and entirely ignored social development in empire Ethiopia that has been under a permanent crisis. Because Eritrea seem pleased with this arrangement, they consistently promoted the unity of the Ethiopian empire and ignored issues that matter for social development. As a result, the Oromo quest for freedom is besieged from inside and outside. In the process, democracy continued to decline in Oromia by every passing day.
From economic front, the empire’s economy failed to significantly raise incomes for the majority and the rising conflict between the expansionist Tigre tribe and the emergence of strong Oromo nationalism threatened the lives of millions in Oromia while the Amharic speakers absolutism created instability. At the same time, the ongoing catastrophic war created by wealthy Tigreans define the Oromo people’s lives and that is clearly visible by the disruption the Tigreans are making everywhere in Oromia. Because they command the military, intelligence, the resources and have a greater influence on Abbayi Ahmed, Lamma Magarsa and Abiyyi are forced to aligned themselves with Amharic speaking racists and its effect can be felt in the political atmosphere of the empire.
Since then, Abbayi Ahmed’s concentration on the empire’s unity and trying to undermine the Oromo nationalism exceeded all the bad things done by Minilik, Hailesilse, Mangistu and Malasa combined. The consensus among the Oromo intellectuals is that everything Abbayi has said increased the Amharic speakers arrogance and avoiding the dangerous challenges that will follow stops short of the political threshold that took place in Somalia. Although the rise of the Amharic speakers arrogance can be found on an arbitrary level, there is no guarantee that its effects are not going destroy what has being gained so far.
If Abayi Ahmed never spurred the Amharic speakers ego and arrogance, the Oromia’s would have continue to believe that past evils are defeated and swiftly remove negativity out of their memories. But Abayi never erased Minilik’s Ethiopia from his memory. Hence, he became a promoter of the Abyssinians 150 years evil colonialism and the actual existence of the Amharic speakers hate and arrogance. Instead of urging the people to hastily scrabble away the Abyssians Nazism, Abayi end up promoting the Ethiopia which the Oromians want to chisel off. In reality, the same way the Nazi insignia were taken down from flagpoles, and, in towns and cities across Germany, streets and squares named after Hitler revert back to their previous designations, Abayi should have told the mass that Minilik’s statue to be removed, the names of Oromian towns and cities to be restored back to their original names.
In stark contrast to the wishes of the Oromo and other colonized people however, Abayi praised Ethiopia’s Nazis. As a result, the Oromo youth, mothers, little kids and elderly men who were killed by the Tigre army are reduced to rubbish and every Oromo is taking note of this betrayal.
In general, it is important to know that the political storm upon which Abayi and Lammaa are standing has its own characteristics. It introduced democratic features, specifically accountability, and the need to limit groups power. Such demand wasn’t about taking empire Ethiopia back 150 years, nor it asked for a reform that transforms the empire from crisis to autocratic system that unleashes tremendous amount of Amharic speakers arrogance.
It is clear that the OPDO, whose livelihood is sandwiched between the Oromo revolution and her Tigre masters believe that “when you are drowning in a shark infested river, it does not matter who is pulling you out”.
It is also true that the Americans are worried that the set of political institutions and the economic interest they have fought for against communism will be lost if they allow empire Ethiopia to fall apart. But allowing western countries to buy the entire country does not lead to industrialization.
Similarly, giving into the Eritreans demand will not ease export challenges nor can it destroy the Oromo nationalism as Abayi Ahmed wishes to. True, disgruntled men like Lenco Lata may tell the Oromo people that we can’t win our freedom by fighting in the mountains and plains of Oromia. But the truth remains that it is impossible to safeguard everybody’s interest by promoting the Minilik era Ethiopia.
At any event, now things are clearer than ever. There will be two political camps in empire Ethiopia, i.e, the free Oromia proponents and the Ethiopian unity supporters. For more than a a century, the pro Ethiopian unity groups ideas has been cemented in the theories that their idea must be the center of everyone’s thinking. This theory was influenced by the Orthodox church and adopted by the feudal families and their servants. When the Oromians and the Ogadenians refused to accept the Ethiopia that rotates on the Orthodox church axis, the Amharic speakers awed into humility by the tremendous scope of the Oromo Freedom Movement. That’s why we refused to be measured by Abyssinians yard stick.
Today, when tens of thousands of Oromo Liberation fighters (WBO) live in the forest, their machine guns propped against the enemy and when the Qeerroo is protesting everywhere wearing the OLF T-shirts, the 1991 type peace is not going to be acceptable. Abayi’s Doctrine and commitment to roll Oromia under the Minilik era Ethiopia defies the meaning of peace. That means, he is making the same mistakes that the Darg made because the idea of giving up on free Oromia is not the answer for the Oromo people. The answer is to pay the price for freedom.
A recent compromise speeches made by Abayi Ahmed has no timetable for anything and there is no principle laid out involving the formation of a new government. There is no sign that the EPRDF is going to talk with the opposition either. That means, if there is no national reconciliation, no transitional government of which all opposition groups would be a part after a certain period of time, if there is no timeline as to when elections would be held, then the EPRDF is going win again 100%. Even if Abayi is able to destroy the OLF as he wishes, doing just that alone poses a problem for the Oromo people who have spent 150 years fighting for freedom and dignity. In fact, Abayi talked about negotiations because the Oromo people and the OLF stood firm.
Either way we look at the situation, Abayi will be vulnerable unless a new government of national reconciliation is formed. That means, betraying the Oromo people and talking about the return of old Ethiopia will not bring democracy to empire Ethiopia.