What does Abiy Ahmed Really want?


Rundassa Asheetee Hunde, July 25, 2019

The first time Abiy Ahmed assumed empire Ethiopia’s prime ministerial position, he produced mixed results.

Out of the most significant actions he took, the creation of a short-lived open political platform and the release of some Oromo political prisoners still lingers in our minds, even though what was accepted by some Oromians as positive went down when Abiy failed to take a meaningful step forward in answering the Oromo question.

On the positive side of the equation, Amharic speaking people (the Amharas) accepted Abiy’s rise to power as a breakthrough for the unity of empire Ethiopia. They were pleased that Abiy and his team were able to remove the TPLF from power but they wanted political power to be returned back to them. The chance they were given to network freely and organize themselves also produced favorable view for Abiy.

As a result, they produced Abiy, Lamma and Gadduu’s posters and T-shirts and the sales volume was astounding. They also formed a team that would collect $1 per day with the goal to raise millions of dollars to fund Abiy’s lofty political ideals.

On the negative side of the ledger, Amharas love for Abiy disappeared unveiling unimaginable hatred for the man.

Although the groundbreaking matter for the Oromos who supported Abiy had been his willingness to engage the OLF and convince it to return back to Oromia, that too went bad.

The question that begs for an answer now is, why the Amharas turned against Abiy all of the sudden?

What happened to all the praise they rained upon him during the first quarter of his rise to power.?

The answer to these questions is that Abiy’s premature political drama produced manyfold disappointments for the following reasons.

Abiy resisted Amharas pressure to accept their political plan of downgrading the Oromo demand to self-rule. Such resistance was reflected in the speech Abiy gave in Jimmaa city.

The Amharas feel that Abiy has a hidden plan to help the Oromo dominate empire Ethiopia in the long run. They sense this every time he gives a speech in Afaan Oromo.

Abiy’s hostility against the OLF and making the crashing of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) is his high priority.

Confronting the Sidama people with military force by turning against his own encouraging words where he said that the Sidama people have full right to demand statehood.

It is clear that Abiy Ahmed wants to improve the power relations between the Oromo and the Amharic speaking people by sustaining the Amharic speakers’ hegemony disguised behind the unity of Ethiopia.

The so-called Citizenship based propaganda is conceived and became Abiy’s political road map necessary to produce comprehensive condition to keep the OPDO in power, whereby satisfy the interests of the Amharic speakers.

The goal of this propaganda is to change the perception the Oromo people have for empire Ethiopia by placing the term “citizenship” at the central stage. Abiy Ahmed and Birhanu Nagga want to accomplish this objective through two stages.

Stage 1. The period of convincing the public that CITIZENSHIP really matters more than ethnic identity.

Stage 2. The period of creating exceptional circumstances which will be used to throw public figures into prisons.

The propaganda

Emphasize that empire Ethiopia is interconnected because of Minilik’s work, which is far more important than the Oromo self-determination question. In other words, what had been done against the Oromo people by Minilik is more important for Ethiopia compared to what the Oromo people want.

The logic behind such an idea comes from a belief that destroying the Oromo nationalism will foster unity by reducing the Amharic speakers resentment against Oromians quest for freedom and equality.

The major component of Abiy’s thinking presupposes the notion that the crimes perpetrated and the racist discourses that have been going on since empire Ethiopia was created, is nothing more than fictional stories made up by the Oromo, the Tigreans, the Eritreans and the like.

This idea was expressed by Lamma Magarsa and Adisu Araga when they said: “the conflict between the Oromo and Amhara is a false story constructed by nationalist Oromians.” According to their narrative, talking about the crimes perpetrated by the so-called Amharas (Amharic speakers) is a wrong interpretation of family feud.

When asked about destruction of the Oromo Civilization and the exclusion of the Oromo from empire’s political life, they downplay everything fearing the negative implications of Acknowledging the Habasha crime may have on their quest to rule the empire.

Generally speaking,“Oromo” is a political problem for the OPDO. Regardless of what Abiy and Brihanu Naga are trying to do, the political road map that does not address the Oromo question could push empire Ethiopia back to its warring tradition.

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