Ethiopia’s transition misrepresented. Reply to Obang Metho

Lemma Desta[1]

On 7th April social justice and human rights activist Mr. Obang Metho published an alarmist article that mispresent the transformation taking place in Ethiopia. It is indeed baffling to read such a negative characterization from a leader like him often associated with an inclusive patriotism under the auspices of Ethiopia as our common home and heritage.  Mr. Obang writes about the recent law enforcement in Tigray in a way that distances himself, downplays the treasonous attack on Ethiopia by tplf and hint to blame the Federal government. Reading Mr. Obang’s text make me wonder what happened to his conviction of TPLF as the culprit of many of the pain in our country of the last 30 plus years. Mr. Obang’s account of the law enforcement operations downplays the treasonous and dangerous nature of the threat. Moreover, its fails to recognize the unavoidable nature of the response of the federal government. Worse is the claims of accusations that federal government blocked access, shut down internet and telecommunication make Mr. Obang opportunistically aligning himself to the narratives of forces wishing to pressure Ethiopia to succumb.

Mr. Obang rightly claim that recent and unabated spiral of violence destroying and disrupting life as well as causing worry in larger parts of the country. But unfortunately, Mr. Obang, fails to address the intricate nature of source of violence in our society. True that he lists out places and incidents where violence has occurred but leaves to make readers understand the threats a society in transition is facing. We have a deep-seated injustice, maladministration but also are facing extreme pressure of power grab via polarizing identity-politics and radicalization from within and forces of divide-rule from outside. When Ethiopia is facing so enormous challenges from all sides, the least we need is Mr. Obang adding more doubt and benzene on the fire of distrust. Yes, it is true violence is taking lives in Oromia, Benishagul-Gumuz, in the adjacent areas of Afar-Somali region, in parts of SNNPR region, while hit and run crimes in Addis Ababa and the emerging terror style violence in Tigray. Sudan and Egypt are also beating drums of war, while one can not rule out the Atlantic powers could anytime make up their mind to find any excuse to bomb Ethiopia and Eritrea. Yes, the brave, patriotic, peace-loving Ethiopian people of all walks of life, ethnicity or faith, are not the source of the violence, nor the Federal government entities are killing people at will, as we used to.  Much of the ongoing threat of violence in Ethiopia are orchestrated by invisible forces utilizing our vulnerable entry points. In such a desperate hour for our county and our society, the least we expect is one of us to echo the same claims of our enemies and distractors. Our motherland might be struggling, facing mounting pressure from inside and outside, but there is an impressive resilient side amid challenges. Ethiopia is standing up for her just cause and defining her sovereignty, integrity and ability to deal with her domestic affairs without orders from London, Brussels or DC.  Our leaders have taken principled stand to defend not only our country but also our continent in the GERD negotiations proving the fact that our world must get used to the fact that Ethiopia and Africa are rising. Much of the violence on the ground, boarder, in diplomacy or on twitter is aimed to weaken Ethiopia from inside and outside. It is aimed to cause us to fight each other, become enemies of each other. Singing out one group to attack or to favor is part of the game of causing us distrust, divide and kill each other. Ethiopians expect the leader like Mr. Obang understand this and work to rally to unify Ethiopians. In many countries, when tragedies occur leaders across the political divide unite to focus to defend and address the problem as a nation. When Americans go to war in the name and for the interest of the American people, at least at the starting phase, all Americans rally behind the nation. I still have high hopes Mr. Obang makes up his mind towards rallying all our people to stand in unity towards among others

  • ending the instability in all parts of the country specially Tigray
  • heling the reconstruction and healing trauma in Tigray
  • securing our interest in GERD negotiations
  • debunking misinformation causing undue international pressure
  • manage the rising COVID-19
  • completing the political reform by conducting a peaceful, credible parliamentary election
Read Aloud:   'Pressure from US, EU could destabilize Ethiopia'

To set the record, Mr. Obang, my self as part of his admirers and supporters, started out his career in search of justice for his own people, the Agnawa, who were massacred cold bloodedly by tplf in 2003. His search for justice led him start the Anuak justice council, from where he realized the need to advocate for the rights and freedoms of all Ethiopians, even all humanity. It was those convictions that led to the establishment of the organization “solidarity movement for a new Ethiopia” with the overarching motto of “humanity before ethnicity and no one is free until we all are free.”  Mr. Obang must return to promoting those values ushering the emergence of a new Ethiopia where we no longer be divided and kill each other on the account of ethnicity.

[1] Engaged for Ethiopia, a former member of SMNE, reside in Norway working as advisor in the field of migration and multiculturalism.

Read Aloud:   I’m longing for you, comrades


Ethiopia is at Risk of Becoming a Failed State! What Will You Do?


  1. The writer deliberately ignored the hard fact that the OLF led government run by abiy ahmed and shimeles abdisa is responsible for the ethnic genocide in wollega, benshangul and other parts of the country. Really sad! You have no moral authority to accuse the great Obang Metho.

    • What makes you think you have the moral authority to accuse those who don’t agree with you without providing the evidence?

  2. I do not think the writer has accused the honourable Obang Metho. He just wanted him to be less alarmist and more of inspirational and resolute leader. I share the writer’s views and concerns. What Ethiopia needs in a politician at this extraordinarily trying time is someone who unites Ethiopians, builds their hope and resilience, not someone who scares them by invoking a fate of a failed state. On the other hand, blaming Abiy or Shimels is not a solution. The massacres around the country, are tragic. However, driving wedge between the Amhara and Oromo elites would bring more chaos and mayhem. Ethiopians need to be strategic if they wish to avoid disintegration. There is no much option other than supporting Abiy. Just a thought.

  3. Why don’t you raise the following big issues?
    a) Why are the Federal and Regional governments allowing the crimes of genocide and ethnic cleansing in the country?
    b) If they cannot administer and maintain peace, why don’t they admit and resign, and facilitate the formation of a transitional government?
    c) Is it not a bluff to expect national election under the current situation where one cannot even go in and out with certainty?
    d) Supporting dictatorial regimes blind-fold will not even benefit those very regimes in the long run. They will end up in great shame and disgrace like the Derg and TPLF regimes.

  4. በረሀብ መግደልም ከዘር ማጥፋት የግድያ ዘዴዎች አንዱ ነው። በኢትዮጵያ ቤት ፣ ንብረቱን እና እርሻውም ተዘርፎበት ህይወታቸውን ከአራጆች ለማትረፍ ተሰድደው፤ ተወልደው ከአደጉበት ስፍራ ተፈናቅለው ፤ መንግስት ምንም ሳይደርስላቸው እርዳታ ሳያደርግላቸው በአማራ ክልል ፣ በኦሮሚያ ክልል ፣ በደቡብ ክልል ፣ በቤኒሻንጉል ጉምዝ ክልል እና በአዲስ አበባም ጭምር በረሀብ የሚሞተውም ሰው የአማራ ዘር ማጥፋት ሰለባ ቁጥሩ አናሳ አይደለም።

    ይህ ሆኖ እያለ በትግራይ በጉሬላ ጦርነት መዋጋት ያዳገተው የኢትዮጵያ ፌደራል መንግስት ትግራይን በምግብ ደልሎ ፤ ጁንታ ከትግራይ ገበሬ እቅፍ እንዲወጣ ለመደለል ፤ ምግብ ለትግራይ ያጎርፋል ፤ ማለትም ጁንታ ጉሬላ ጦርነት መዋጋቱ ፌደራል መንግስትን የምግብም ሆነ ሌላ ሌላ እርዳታ ለትግራይ ህዝብ እንዲልክ አያስገደደው ነው። የትግራይ ህዝብም ጁንታ ከተያዘ እና የጉሬላ ጦርነቱ ካለቀ ተረኞቹ እንደአሁኑ ትግራይን ለመርዳት እንደማይጥሩ ታውቆታል።

    ጦርነት የማያውቁበት ተሹመው ፤ ለመቶ አለቃ ለሻምበል ባሻነት ብቻ የሚያበቃቸውን ግዜ ብቻ በውትድርና አገልግለው በህይወት ዘመናቸው ፤ በተረኝነት ብቻ ሹመት እደላ እየታደሉ ያለችሎታቸው ለመከላከያ ጄነራልነት ተሹመው ባለበት ግዜ፤ ሰባ ሶስት ሺህ በላይ የኢትዮጵያ መከላከያ ወታደሮችን እና የአማራ ልዩ ኃይልን እሳት ውስጥ ከተው ለሞት ዳርገው አስገድለው ፤ለወራት ከአመራር ብቃት ማነስ የተነሳ ለጁንታ እያስማገዱ አስገድለውም ይኸው በቅርቡ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ ከባድ አዳጋች የጉሬላ ውጊያ ሆኖብናል ከጁንታ ጋር መዋጋት አሉን። የጦር ወንጀልም በመከላከያ ሠራዊት፣ በአማራ ልዩ ኃይል ሠራዊት እና በኤርትራ ሠራዊት ተፈፅሞም ይሆናል በትግራይ ብለው እንደሚጠረጥሩ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ ነግረውናል።

    በኢትዮጵያ ብዙ ንፁሀን ገበሬ ከእነ ቤተሰቦቹ አራጆቹን ሸሽቶ ጫካ ውስጥ ተደብቆ ወይም በልዩ ልዩ ከተሞች ተሰድዶ ተጠልሎ ከዛሬ ነገ መንግስት ይደርስልኛል ደህንነቴን ያስከብርልኛል ብሎ ሲጠባበቅ ፤ መንግስት ሳይደርስለት ስንብቶ ረሀብተኛ ሆኖ በምግብ እጦት የተነሳ በረሀብ በሚሞትበት እንደ ኦሮሚያ ፣ ቤኒሻንጉል ፣ አማራ ክልል እና የመሳሰሉት ለተራበው የምግብ እርዳታ ሳይደርስለት ለጁንታ ግን የምግብ እርዳታ እየጎረፈለት ነው በአሁኑ ግዜ ከውጭ መንግስታትም ከኢትዮጵያ መንግስትም፤ አሜሪካ 150 ሚሊየን ዶላር ለጁንታ ምግብ ፣ ኢትዮጵያ ፌደራል መንግስትም እንዲሁ ምግብ ለጁንታ ፣ የተባበሩት መንግስታትም እንዲሁ ምግብ ለጁንታ ፤ ይህ ሁሉ ሲሆን ከትግራይ ውጪ ያለ ረሀብተኛ ኢትዮጵያዊን ጉዳይ መርሳት አይገባም ነበር ፤ ሆኖም ግን ኢህአዴግ ከምስረታቸው ለትግራይ ማጎብደድ ስለተካኑበት ይኸው ለትግራይ የማጎብደድ ፀባያቸው ሪፎርሙም የተባለው ተክያሂዶም ፣ ብልፅግናም ተብለውም ፣ ህግ ማስከበር /ጉሬላ ጦርነት እየተዋጉም ለትግራይ የማጎብደድ ፀባያቸው አልለቀቃቸውም።

    ከመከላከያ ሚኒስቴር ባጀት እየተከፈላት የስብሀት ነጋ ባለቤት ትግራይን ስትቀልብ በርከት ያሉ አመታትን አሳልፋ የፌደራል መንግስት ባጀትን እንዳላከሰረች ይኸው ዘንድሮ እነ አብይ አህመድ ጁንታን ለመቀለብ የስብሀት ነጋን ባለቤት ይመስል ሲሩዋሩዋጡ እየታዩ ምነው መሬቱ እየተቀማ ቤቱ ንብረቱ ተዘርፎበት በኦሮሚያ ክልል፣ በደቡብ ክልል ፣ በአማራ ክልል ፣ በአዲስ አበባም ጭምር እና በጋምቤላም ሜዳ ላይ ለሚወድቀው የፌደራልም የክልልም ብልፅግና ፓርቲ ሳይደርስለት በረሀብ የሚሞተውን መርሳታቸው ታሪካዊ ስህተት ብቻ ሳይሆን ፤ ታሪካዊ የአማራን ጎሳን ዘር የማጥፋት ወንጀል ነው።

  5. I don’t agree with Mr. LEMMA CRITICISING Mr. OBANG. innocent Amharas are killed everyday with the help of government officiels and we have to keep quiet because of other problems. This is ridiculous, the first duty of à government is to protect its citizens . In the last 3 years, the killings and displacements of Ethiopians have become à part of life. With every killing, we were told it is a transition period and things will settle. Not only the slaughtering continues but the way these innocent people are killed has become gruesome, unbearable to hear and see the disgusting vidéos released by the murderers and Mr. LEMMA lacks humanity and empathy to the innocent people who are being exterminated in a kind of killings we see in Syrie and Yemen . The Gerd and other development are secondary to the well being of our citizens.

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