Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, 44, burst onto the international scene as a leading light in African politics when he won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019.
The Ethiopian prime minister compared to Nelson Mandela is now ruling with an iron fist.
Elections have been twice delayed this year, now indefinitely, due to the pandemic. Those same opposition groups who were invited back from exile have since been locked up, according to Allo."The man came out of nowhere, changed the party, and he knows the party could not win a competitive election," he said."So what did he do? He rounded everybody up and put them in jail."
Anwar Amro/AFP via Getty ImagesMembers of the Oromo Ethiopian community in Lebanon take part in a demonstration to protest the death of musician and activist Hachalu Hundessa, in Beirut, on July 5, 2020. Hundessa was shot and killed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on June 29, 2020.
Members of the Oromo Ethiopian community in Lebanon take part in a demonstration to protest the death of musician and activist Hachalu Hundessa, in Beirut, on July 5, 2020. Hundessa was shot and killed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on June 29, 2020.
Most shocking of all, Ethiopia's security services wereaccusedof"horrendous human rights violations" in response to communal violence and attacks by local armed groups in the Amhara and Oromia regions, including rape, extrajudicial executions and arbitrary detentions.
"The Ethiopian authorities have made notable progress in changing the country's bleak human rights record," Amnesty International's director for East and Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena,notedback in May."However, it is unacceptable that the security forces should be allowed to carry on committing human rights violations with impunity."
What can explain the change in Abiy, a former darling of the international human rights community now accused of leading a police state?To understand Abiy, according to Allo, you have to look back to the time, before the 1974 Revolution, when Ethiopia was ruled by emperors -- the last of whom was Haile Salaisse. Now, Ethiopia is governed under a federation of nine territories given autonomy. But in the imperial period, Allo said, the Amhara ethnic group proved dominant in culture and language, exercising national control over the provinces.
Allo said Abiy's dream is to take the country"back to the imperial era.""He seems fairly determined to impose his idea of national unity on an ethnically diverse country, and I think that is the central problem the country is facing," Allo said."He wants to move away from ethnic-built politics to what he calls pan-Ethiopian, that returns a particular glory of the Ethiopian state. But most people see the glory that he talks about were the glories of one particular ethnic group -- the Amharas."
Simon Dawson/Reuters, FILEPeople gather to protest against the treatment of the ethnic Oromo group in Ethiopia, outside Downing Street in London, July 3, 2020.People gather to protest against the treatment of the ethnic Oromo group in Ethiopia, outside Downing Street in London, July 3, 2020.
Daniel Mekonnen, a Geneva-based independent consultant and director of the Eritrean Law Society, who counted himself among the optimists when Abiy rose to power, agrees."One of his main problems," Mekonnen explained,"is his fantasy with an old and dysfunctional dream of Ethiopia as an empire, a project too dangerous to be implemented in present day Ethiopia without a huge cost to human security."
A fractured countryAbiy created a pan-Ethiopian Prosperity Party in December 2019, but even in his home region the idea of an imperial government is unpopular. The Omoro, the ethnic group from which Abiy descends, are fiercely federalist, and Abiy's recent maneuvers to centralize the government cost him support from that base.
Domestic turmoil also threatens to undermine that newly negotiated peace. Last month, authorities in the Tigray region, led by the Tigray People's Liberation Front,pushed ahead with their own regional electionsdespite a pandemic-induced delay to an August 2020 vote. In response, Abiy's government has effectively frozen them out, sparking fears Ethiopia not only could fracture but also undermine the peace deal with Eritrea.
"As far the stalemate with Eritrea is concerned, yes he tried but he did not succeed, simply because he cannot do so without including in the TPLF," Mekonnen told ABC News."This should not be confused with exonerating the TPLF from past misdeeds. ... I am afraid he has failed in both fronts -- in making meaningful peace with Eritrea and in fixing Ethiopia's deep-seated political problems."
In recent months, sporadic, but little is known about who is instigating the fighting. Abiy has a strong hold on the state's security services despite having been appointed as a caretaker, and he's regularly blamed Ethiopia's internal problems on foreign agents, according to Allo.
John Macdougall/AFP via Getty ImagesA protestor, wearing a face mask with the flag of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), marches during an anti-Ethiopian government demonstration in Berlin on Sept. 4, 2020. The demonstrators urged Ethiopia's current prime minister and Nobel Peace prize laureate Abiy Ahmed to step down over alleged human rights abuses following unrest after the killing of popular Oromo singer Hachalu Hundessa in June 2020.
A protestor, wearing a face mask with the flag of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), marches during an anti-Ethiopian government demonstration in Berlin on Sept. 4, 2020. The demonstrators urged Ethiopia's current prime minister and Nobel Peace prize laureate Abiy Ahmed to step down over alleged human rights abuses following unrest after the killing of popular Oromo singer Hachalu Hundessa in June 2020.
Other experts, such as Yohannes Gedamu, a lecturer in political science at Georgia Gwinnett College in Lawrenceville, Georgia, are not so pessimistic. He points to Ethiopia's long history of suppressing descent and the problems of a"highly entrenched ethnic state" as reasons for Abiy's policies.
"The problem is that Abiy has inherited a highly repressive state, and, to this day, he is working with individuals from the old regime," Gedamu told ABC News."While I think that [the prime minister] could still be committed toward a democratization process, I highly doubt that he has been surrounded by capable individuals and advisers in his administration that would join hands to lead the country."
In the meantime, however, there looks to be no let-up in what analysts perceive as an increasingly oppressive regime. For now, the risks of Ethiopia fracturing ever further are"high," the impact of which would be"too much to bear for the entire Horn of Africa," according to Mekonnen.
"He is intent in winning the next election, whatever it takes, even if it drives the country to the cliffs," he said."It is frightening to think about it, from a human security point of view." Read more: ABC News »
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Can't say I am Surprised matigary 🤣🤣🤣 If you see whites starting to hate him you must know he's doing the right thing thabanimnyama do you remember when this guy was a darling and even Zimbabweans were SBWLing him vargoe21 your friends ZimMediaReview spent the whole of last year hyping PM Abiy. Look at him now lol. Its not easy to be a leader.
This is VERY sad. In 50 yrs, no African will be head of government in Africa. In another 10-20 yrs, Africa will see its first Asian leader; and that will only be the beginning of the end of 'black' leadership in Africa. This just lowers your value and status and wont affect the democratic and prospers route Ethiopia has started with her legend.
It is very irritating you mention the name awol allo here. Every problem in the country is created by the ormo extremists and tplf. You should follow up the countries situation before putting yourself in the side of awol allo which is an extremist oromo . They want him to please Egypt. No way!? Yeah, after surviving a coup.
I like his stand on the Ethiopian Nile dam project. Africa should decide on what to do with our resources without interference from the damn imperialists Nothing that comes from Awol Allo mouth is true! do better! PM Abiy Ahmed is the best thing that happened to the country! Awol Allo is a toxic human being who wants his party to dominate and above the law!
It’s an opinion of a single person. We know Awol’s stance on Ethiopian politics. Just because he has access to media, it does not mean his opinions are fact. Ethiopian politics requires a thorough research. Abiy is not innocent but this opinion is not genuine either. Western journos don't get it. This Pm was on the verge of being coupe de tat if he didn't flex. People were randomly being murdered on the streets by his detractors. Matter of fact, he was too patient. I was not even his biggest fan but now I support him 100%. Do your homework!
Any reporting on Bidens laptopgate? Boring. U people go to no ends. Who really gives a shit about a Ethiopian Prime Minister. All of a sudden this is important. Unreal. This is a very biased report, i’m a little surprised is not reporting it as “Opinion” instead of an actual news Ismét itt egy hozzászólás.Nomen est omen.
I HOPE THINGS GET BETTER It doesn’t take long once you taste power! Biden The more things change, the more they stay the same - Jean-Baptiste Alphonse Karr Smile your on Candid Camera.
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Donald Trump Tries ― And Fails ― To Get Bibi Netanyahu To Attack Joe BidenThe president asked the Israeli prime minister, “Do you think Sleepy Joe could have made this deal, Bibi, Sleepy Joe?” He doesn't want to piss of the next president Unprofessional. Grow up and act like a president.
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