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How to Avert the Looming Battle for Addis Ababa

November 6, 2023

Author Contact Information:
Girma Berhanu (Professor)
Department of Education and Special Education
University of Gothenburg, Sweden
E-mail: Girma.Berhanu@ped.gu.se

The time has come. As it stands, the Fano have their eyes firmly on Addis Ababa. The capture of the city will send an unequivocal message not only in Ethiopia, but across the African continent, as the city hosts the headquarters of the African Union. At long last, the organization will no longer be entitled to its silence while Amharas are butchered mercilesly.

So far, the Fano has won all the battles fought in what is known as the Amhara Kilil. Thus, it is now feasibly to drive Abiy’s soldiers away, including the major towns that still function as garrisons for his army. However, the apparent shortcut for doing away with the entire regime is to march on Addis Ababa and topple the government altogether.

The greater metropolitan area of Addis Ababa is home to an estimated 10 million Ethiopians and a wide range of foreign diplomatic missions. All the major international organizations, including the ECA, UNICEF, World Bank, the European Commission, and UNDP, are in Addis Ababa. Any battles in Addis Ababa are accordingly viewed with the greatest of concerns. Hence, a way-out ought to be earnestly sought.

Abiy has reportedly organized a 500,000-strong militia to defend the city against Fano incursions, but the Fano is said to be capable of mobilizing twice that number of fighters. The figures may be exaggerated, but the seemingly impending reality is that the clash is going to be of enormous proportions. Pitched battles will likely ensue, and high-rise buildings will function as cover. Civilians will suffer significant casualties. That is why all should be done, at all costs, to avoid the Battle of Addis Ababa.

How can this imminent tragedy be avoided?

Here are a few possibilities:

  1. Abiy, along with his key officials and senior army officers, should peacefully resign after the US and EU arrange safe passage.
  2. The Fano Central Command should assume power.
  3. Most of Abiy’s soldiers should defect to Fano to avert the big clash.

Admittedly, it is all a frightening prospect, and all concerned parties should never sleep until they have found a way out of this horrible nightmare. All measures must be undertaken to avert, at any cost, the Battle of Addis Ababa; and Addis Ababans should stage a three-day stay-at-home strike to demand that no such battle should take place in the capital city.

(In collaboration med TG, Addis Ababa)

 

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