Abiy Ahmed could have become a positively transformative leader. He could have reduced the role of tribalism in politics and put Ethiopia on the path of unity and prosperity. He could have brought peace to Ethiopia and the entire eastern Africa region. Despite his background as a former spy and senior member of the now-defunct TPLF regime, Ethiopians throughout the country embraced him when he came to power. Because he preached Ethiopian unity. He presented himself as a religious person who wishes to do the right thing. He spoke out against injustice, human rights abuse and corruption. He made peace with Ethiopia’s former province, Eritrea. He was on the right track. But…
But Abiy made a sudden turn. He has become more tribalist than the TPLF. He has become more deceitful than Melez Zenawi. He has narrowed the political space even more than the TPLF by arresting thousands of political prisoners. His forces started carrying out extrajudicial killings. He surrounded himself with sycophants who tell him only what he wants to hear. He has conducted a sham election. He has caused the mass murder of Amhara residents in the Oromia and Benishangul regions for the purpose of ethnic cleansing. He allowed the burning of Ataye and other towns in the Amhara region. His security forces have done nothing while those towns were burned and over 300,000 people became homeless overnight. Oromia Police took part in many of the pogroms against Amharas. He took military action in the Tigray region without a well-thought-out strategy, which led to a catastrophic humanitarian crisis. He then suddenly withdrew Ethiopian troops from Tigray, allowing his former masters, the TPLF, to return to power in the region. He created an atmosphere that would allow the TPLF to accomplish its founding goal of breaking Tigray away from Ethiopia. After withdrawing the troops from Tigray, Abiy launched propaganda of hate against the entire Tigray population, trying to pit Tigrayans against Amharas and other Ethiopians. He has started mass arresting Tigrayans in Addis Ababa and other cities just for being from Tigray. He is filling up Ethiopian jails with prisoners of conscience once again after they were emptied by his predecessor Hailemariam Desalegn. He allowed Sudan to invade and occupy Ethiopian territories.
Abiy has fooled almost all Ethiopians into thinking that he was going to bring positive changes to Ethiopia. There are still a considerable number of people who continue to believe in him. But as the recent sham elections show, Abiy is no longer a popular leader. He has expended almost all of his political capital by refusing to work for the unity of Ethiopia and choosing, instead, to embrace TPLF’s ethnic apartheid constitution. After 3 years of empty propaganda and broken promises, many people who once supported Abiy now consider him to be a pathological liar.
The confederation or commonwealth of eastern African nations is a great idea. Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia share the same cultures, languages, and religions. Once upon a time, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia were all parts of Ethiopia before foreign interventionists and colonizers facilitated their break away from Ethiopia. Eritrea was separated from Ethiopia at the insistence of TPLF while Isaias Afwerki and other Eritrean leaders preferred autonomy, similar to Canada’s Quebec province, to their credit. Creating the Confederation of the Horn of Africa is Isias Afwerki’s dream. The President of Eritrea has been thinking about, discussing, and planning for this idea for over a decade.
The confederation plan that Isaias has been advocating seems to have shifted over time to a more sinister plot that would break up Ethiopia. He may have convinced himself, or maybe he was persuaded by conditions on the ground that were created by TPLF after 27 years of misrule that Ethiopia cannot be held together any longer. Maybe the break up of Ethiopia was his original plan that he withheld from sharing with Ethiopians. As things stand now, the Isaias-Abiy plan will not keep Ethiopia intact. Their plan will:
1) Systematically break up Ethiopia into several small countries.
2) Erase the name Ethiopia from the map altogether.
3) Implement the Oromumma map that will include Benishangul, Shewa (including Addis Ababa), Wollo, Harar, Dire Dawa, and Sidama.
4) Bring Tigray under Eritrea since Tigray is too barren and too small to become a country.
The Horn of Africa confederation plan, as devised by Isaias and Abiy, is currently in its initial stage, and it is already causing havoc. Some of the measures that have already taken include:
1. A marauding paramilitary that Abiy Ahmed armed and named Shene is conducting ethnic cleansing of Amharas in the Benishangul and Oromia regions. Hundreds of thousands of Amharas have been displaced from the two regions.
2. Shene has burned down several Amhara towns in North Shewa, including Ataye, Majete, Karakore, and others. In Ataye alone, close to 200,000 Amharas have fled. While Ataye was set on fire and looted for 3 days by Shene, federal security forces under Abiy Ahmed’s command refused to take action. The war on North Shewa stopped after people in the entire Amhara region went out on the streets to protest.
3. Abiy has intentionally crippled the Ethiopian military and destroyed the troops’ morale by ordering a sudden withdrawal from Tigray Region.
4. Abiy is instigating an ethnic war between Amhara and Tigray regions by demonizing Tigrayans as traitors.
5. Abiy is allowing the U.S. Biden Administration to foster further animosity between Amharas and Tigrayas.
6. Abiy is building a massive Oromia military force that is now outnumbering the Ethiopian army.
7. Ethiopian flag is practically outlawed in most parts of the Oromia Region under Abiy’s leadership.
8. The entire senior leadership of Ethiopia’s armed forces is made up of OPDO.
The pitfalls of the Isaias-Abiy plan
The plan by Isaias and Abiy to create a confederation after breaking up Ethiopia will blow up in their face, if that is really what they are intending to do as their current actions are indicating.
Amhara Region, more than others, is in a position to prevent the break up of Ethiopia, but unfortunately, its current leaders are puppets of Abiy Ahmed. It is up to the Amhara people to unite and force the current Amhara Region leadership out of power to be able to not only protect their people who live throughout Ethiopia, but also preserve the territorial integrity of the whole of Ethiopia by joining forces with Ethiopians in the other regions. Once again, it is time for Amharas to rise up to the occasion. It is time for all patriotic Ethiopians to rise up and defend their country from the impending danger.
Confederation that preserves Ethiopia’s integrity is the way to go
Despite 40 years of sustained attack, Ethiopianism remains a powerful force. The entire Amhara people and a significant number of people in other regions of Ethiopia will fight to the end to preserve and protect Ethiopia. A confederation of Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia where the individual rights of everyone are respected is the only way. If this idea is taken up, it should be implemented with the support of the people in all the participating countries — Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Somaliland, and Djibouti.