Abiy Ahmed missed a golden opportunity to save the country and himself from falling off cliff.
Few days ago, The Finfinne Intercept Station, reported that Abiy Ahmed is planning to dispatch a group of diplomats to the United States to convince officials in the State Department to reverse the sanctions. Today we are reading news reports that Dagmawit Moges, the minister of the Ministry of Transportation, and Adem Farah, spokesperson of the House of Federation, handed Abiy Ahmed’s message to the government of the Netherlands and the Parliament of the European Union respectively.
President Joe Biden made unprecedented effort to persuade Abiy Ahmed to change course. He sent Senator Chris Coons to Ethiopia to convey his message directly to Abiy Ahmed himself. This is unusual for the president of the United States to send his personal friend to meet with an African leader whose government is accused of committing genocide. President Biden also went extra miles and appointed Jeffrey Feltman as his special envoy to resolve issues in Ethiopia and the Horn. Finally, he issued a statement asking for immediate withdrawal of Eritrean and Amhara forces from Tigray, unhindered access to humanitarian assistance to victims of the war, and independent investigation into human rights abuses.
But Abiy gave a deaf ear to the warning, and instead he continued to dance to the nationalist tune of the Amhara elites.
Abiy should have taken president Biden’s direct engagement with him as a respect. He should have understood that in diplomacy no one is more “right” than the president of the United States, and no one’s message is more powerful and serious than that of a leader of the free world.
But Abiy chose to lie as he always does. He listened to the advice of YouTubers and asked the parliament to designate TPLF and OLA as terrorist organizations. By the way, the United States has never designated Afghan Taliban a terrorist group. It just labeled some members, not the organization.
In response to the United States effort, Abiy Ahmed asked officials in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to issue a statement saying “we will reassess our relations if the United States doesn’t stop interfering in our internal affairs.”
In just a few days, the sanctions started to hurt the economy. The United States is threatening to take more actions.
Now Abiy is dispatching diplomats to the United States and Europe. Too late!