Ethiopia under PM Abiy: a Failed State in the lurking
By Faisal Roble, August 11, 2020
If anything is unambiguous about the state of contemporary Ethiopia, it is that it looks more like a failed state for many political and historical reasons.
The country is supposedly administered by a constitution that upholds the federal system. Yet, in practice, it is a ridged unitary and highly centralized system that is more like North Korea than any federal state we know of.
The PM himself purposely undermined the spirit of the constitution and does not believe in any sort of federalism. He has already decided that he is the chosen 7th King to be resurrected.
Also, the Prime Minister who was prematurely awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace is an agent that is quickly losing peace from east to west and from north to south. Ethiopia’s peace matrix is at the doldrums and is more reflective of autocratic anarchy on the verge of civil war.
One of the factors contributing to the failed status is the vexing question and the unresolved historical issue – the nationality question.
On top of all that, the Nobel Laureate is pulled to the side of authoritarianism for that is the only way he thinks he can resuscitate a dismally failing system of governance.
And that is the wrong recipe.
The unending internal purges of the PM’s own party, including the purge of Lemma Megarsa, who prepped the PM to take the mantel of the Oromo leadership, is a salient sign of internal anarchy and a festering political crisis within the Oromo elite.
Chronic youth unemployment both in the rural and urban areas, almost non-existent service delivery in the cities, the ravages of Covid-19, the diplomatic difficulties brought about by the GERD (disagreement on the use of the Nile water) are also some of the underlying factors contributing to the failed status of the state of Ethiopia.
Add to all these the lack of loyalty to the state by the peoples of the periphery regions such as Somalis, Oromo, Sidama, Afar, Gomoz, etc, and you have a state that is as weak as a heap of hay with no strong pillars to stand on.
Genuine federalism would have given the hay real legs to stand on. However, autocratic Abiy and the propagandists for a unitary state are all agents towards the coming of a failed state. And we shall see what comes next.