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My Advice to US Special Envoy to the Horn Mike Hammer on Priorities for Ethopia

I appreciate the notion that Mr. Mike Hammer  left for a 12 days mission to Kenya and Ethiopia. This is a welcome development. The entire Horn of Africa and Sudan are in turmoil. The ramifications of this unfolding tragedy for peace, stability, securing and long term sustainable development are consequential. Left unaddressed, the impacts on ordinary citizens are huge.

A piecemeal approach to the conflict in Ethiopia will not work. I shall reiterate the key steps that will contribute to the restoration of peace and stability in Ethiopia:

  1. Abiy must retract the state of emergency and annul martial law his government imposed on the Amhara region.
  2. Abiy must withdraw his military from the Amhara region without preconditions.
  3. Ethnic killings and displacements of Amhara, Gurage, Gamo and other targeted groups must stop immediately.
  4. Ethiopia must arrive at a comprehensive resolution of all ethnic conflicts throughout Ethiopia by involving critical stakeholders, for example, Fano, the Amhara Popular Front and relevant others in the Amhara region as well as key stakeholders in Oromia without delay.

In the long term, and as the below video informs, Ethiopia must deal with the core triggers of ethnic conflict and war in Ethiopia, including amendment of the constitution. Associated with this is the imperative of sustained and constructive dialogue among the Ethiopian people, civil society, youth, women, elders, spiritual leaders, the Diaspora and so on.  I do not mean a top down approach led by the ruling party and or government agencies and cadres.

I urge US Envoy Mike Hammer to appreciate the notion that the Amhara conflict triggered by the Abiy regime’s unfortunate and arrogant military intervention destabilizes Ethiopia and the rest of the Horn of Africa. An insecure and war torn Ethiopia is not  in the long term strategic interest of the US or the rest of the world.

Aklog Birara, PhD


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