In a startling revelation, the Ethiopian government has acquired a substantial arsenal of weaponry from China, triggering apprehensions and prompting queries regarding the country’s financial capacities and diplomatic strategies. This acquisition took place on December 22nd and 23rd, 2023, involving the arrival of four cargo planes laden with an assortment of arms and ammunition. Among the notable items were AK-47 and AF56 assault rifles, complete with their respective ammunition, alongside two Wing Loong JG1 drones.
The manner in which the Ethiopian government managed to secure these arms remains cloaked in ambiguity. Under the leadership of Abiy Ahmed, the current financial strain casts doubt on the plausibility of a straightforward cash purchase. Moreover, Ethiopia’s formal default on debt payments exacerbates the challenges of securing loans for such acquisitions.
Sources, that can not be named officially, have suggested a potential trade-off scenario between this arms deal and Ethiopia’s negotiations with China. Speculations revolve around potential stakes in Ethiopian Airlines or commitments to procure Chinese passenger planes, potentially at the expense of severing longstanding trade relations with Boeing, the American aviation behemoth. Serving as a linchpin in these alleged negotiations is ex-president Dr. Mulatu, a recent recruit and a fully-fledged member of the Oromo PP network of corrupt officials, is orchestrating dealings between various Chinese companies and the Abiy regime.
Reportedly, during his recent visit to China, sources close to the Ethiopian regime claim that Dr Mulatu signed exclusive deals with numerous Chinese companies, granting his private entity, the “Centre for Investment Networking in Ethiopia,” exclusive rights in their negotiations with the Ethiopian government.
These agreements allegedly include provisions for substantial commission payments to be extended to Mulatu for his services as part of the deals signed with the Chinese companies.. All this is done with the full knowledge and support of PM Abiy Ahmed.
Dr. Mulatu, acting on explicit directives from Abiy Ahmed, has been granted a government building formerly occupied by defunct peace and reconciliation committees, transforming it into the headquarters for his private enterprise, the “Centre for Investment Networking in Ethiopia.” Despite its private status, this entity purportedly receives funding from the Ethiopian government. Notably, it operates with a staff of 23 full-time employees, encompassing administrative, support, and security personnel, all carrying identification cards issued by the Prime Minister’s office. The security arrangements for Mulatu’s activities are overseen by Major Tewfiq and a Battalion Republican Guard.
The involvement of Mulatu’s CEO, Lema Degefu, known for expressing vehemently anti-Ethiopian sentiments, has further intertwined the connections between the Centre for Investment Networking and Mr. Guo Chongfeng, the General Manager of CCECC (China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation) Ethiopian branch. Chongfeng’s extensive network in Ethiopia since 2010 has facilitated numerous lucrative contracts for major Chinese companies in the country.
These contracts encompass various substantial projects, some predating Abiy’s rise to power including, June 16 2017 the construction of the Mojo dry port at $110 million,
December 22 2017,road construction spanning 290.5 kilometers in various regions $244 million, on June 19 2018 in Wolayta Sodo for the construction of 500 KVolt HVDC exchange station and another 2000 megawatts HVDC power linking project to Kenya, on October 8 2018 Ethiopian electric services and CCECC for the construction of a technology excellence centre in Kotebe Kifle Ketema to be constructed in EEEU compound for 9 billion 596 thousand 232 Ethiopian Birr, On February 5, 2019, the electro-mechanical substation for the Renaissance Dam valued at $420 million, on February 5 2019 Ethiopian railway corporation for construction of 657 km eclectic line 1.2 billon dollars CCECC, on October 1 2022 staggering $500 million deal for 1876 buildings in collaboration with the AA Housing Development Administration Bureau in October 2022.
This intricate web of interconnected dealings raises concerns regarding transparency, accountability, and potential geopolitical ramifications tied to Ethiopia’s recent arms procurement and its complex ties with China. The intermingling interests of key governmental figures, private entities, and foreign stakeholders emphasize the urgency for a comprehensive investigation and transparent handling of dealings that impact national security and financial stability.
Department of Education and Special Education
Västra Hamngatan 25, A-hus room 168
Mail address: Box 300, 405 30 Göteborg
office: +46-(0)31-786 2325
mobile: +46 704731818