Ethiopia: Road Map, Road Map and Road Map: What is in a Road map?

By Mekuria Gize

Ethiopia is watching two aspects of citizens: one group are the regular citizens who struggle for subsistence. Their main interests are how to win their daily bread, and are not interested in any other political friction. They try to live by selling items in the streets, hiding from police. Peasants are toiling day and night to feed their family and us the elites. Girls are scrambling to go to the Middle East to support their families back home, indirectly supporting the government’s foreign currency needs

On the second front we have warring elites who do not understand the level of poverty our people are destined to live. We have the likes of Jawar Mohammed, Eskial Gabissa and Tsegaye Ararsa, the most fundamentalist Oromos advocating for an exclusive right – more equals than others  status for  Oromos within the state of Ethiopia, without any regard for other Ethiopians. TPLF and its henchmen are also busy  advocating about Tigray’s “natural right”  that Tigrayans are superior race who deserve to rule over the rest of Ethiopia, and exclusively siphon the country’s resources to Tigray. They do not want to engage themselves in free completion. Their daily slogan is, “we overthrew the Derg and so we rule over you” which defeats the very purpose of removing the Derg in the first place. Pan Ethiopianists emphasize that when we respect the rights of individuals, the groups will be taken care of. Amaras are playing the victim card and demand more development work to be done in their region. Ethiopia is stretched  among these political warriors.

On the other hand, activists, freelance writers, journalists and media outlets, political pundits, opposition party representatives and TPLF apologists and others  who harboured in one way or another in these contradictory political  thoughts are often heard blaming PM Abiy’s government for not chartering  the road map (finote-carta) ahead. They are saying PM Abiy should tell us where we are going. In my opinion there are several things in the open air  PM Abiy’s government is working on: 1) open up the political space, 2) prepare the ground  for a free and fair election 3) preparation for 2020 election 4) Reform the justice system. 5) Reform the security and military institutions 6) Maintain Peace and security. As far as the road map is concerned the first three are key points, and I add, defeating the TPLF as the fourth element, beside running the economic affairs of the nation.  A lot of highly regarded intellectuals are misguided when they demand a road map from PM Abiy. His Excellency’s  role is no more than facilitating the transition and defeating the TPLF. Opposition parties are now free to organise and participate in the election. The prime minister has elected a well respected personality as the head of Election Board, has put a new president for the Justice system and is trying to balance the composition of the security and military apparatus. In my opinion PM Abiy’s performance is super except some glitches in the area of peace and security. Critics should be specific on what they want. EPRDF is not their party, they have to ask  more explanation from a party they support. The road map is clear: we are going for an election next year if situation permits. The winner will then charter the road map ahead. On defeating the TPLF, PM Abiy is not expected to gives a road map explanation on how to do it; these are the rules of the game.

With that note, PM Abiy needs to use all available tools, including economic sanctions, to defeat TPLF if they do not concede to the rule of law. If I were the PM, I will start from a simple measure – I would order all bankers not to lend money to investments in Tigray because there is no guarantee bankers can recover their assets since TPLF is known to  harbouring  defaulters and criminals. TPLF and Tigray elites robbed us who we are, our country and our pride. I have never been so emotion in my entire life until I watched the video streaming of the reunion of Ethsat journalists with their family and loved ones. TPLF came 700 km down south and decided who should be in Addis Ababa and who shouldn’t. Cry the Beloved Country!!

Let us keep reminding PM Abiy where it due – keeping peace and security,  and to be  resilient until  TPLF’s  and Tigray elites’  ego subsides.

ADP’s Press Release

ADP’s press release was timely and forceful by any measure. All the contents Migbaru Kebede and Endawek Abite explained were to the point, and a warning to ODP hardliners. When ADP says Addis Ababa is for its residents, the seat of the Federal government and international organization, they meant it. ADP did not claim it Amara people own Addis Ababa. When ADP says anti-change elements are behind problems on the issue of Addis Ababa, it is referring to ODP hardliners that ADP is not on board with ODP on the issue of Addis Ababa, even if it means endangering the revolution ahead. Some in the social media tried to undermine ADP’s press release as something with the intent of demobilizing Amaras, which I say is simplistic, with the mere intent of opposition. So let us give credit where it is due. The African union and the international community will be in support of ADP’s position.  It is clear hardliners such as Addisu Arega within ODP are in collusion with Jawar, Tsegaye Ararsa, and prof. When Jawar  et al., say they are working to win the election they mean ethnic cleansing from Oromia.  ADP should carefully watch these hardliners and should not be bullied by ODP cadres. Opposition parties should note this and report the matter to Election Commission. Do not be fooled when the ODP says they are removing “illegals.”

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