Today: June 18, 2024

Negotiated Settlement is the Only Way to Avert a Civil War

August 3, 2023
Yonas Biru, PhD

The Oromo Prosperity Party-led government’s utter incompetence, Oromummaa’s lust to revive the long-expired 16th century hegemonic tribal rule in the 21st century, Abiy’s unending lies, and Shimelis Abdisa’s and Adanech Abebe’s mix of stupidity and arrogance have led to a Fanno Uprising.

The uprising is organic, spontaneous, and widespread, not strategically guided, or centrally coordinated. So far, there is no PR to win the support of wider Ethiopia or the international community. There is no road map to mitigate unforeseen and unforeseeable catastrophe. The danger for a civil war is real and the potential devastation is unimaginable.

Negotiated settlement is the only way. This requires understanding three crucial factors.

FIRST, the Prime Minister cannot be trusted. His track record of bold and often stupid lies and his betrayal of even people most loyal to him and instrumental to his ascension to power make him untrustworthy. His pathetic know-it-all attitude and refusal to learn from his mistakes have led him to squander the near unanimous national and international support he enjoyed in 2018 and 2019.

SECOND, the fast-growing Fanno uprising does not have a leader that can negotiate with the Federal or the Amhara tribal government. Even worse it has neither a national agenda nor a roadmap for a peaceful transition of power. Traditionally, Fanno is an expression of protest, dissatisfaction and call for change. Its traditional scope does not include transition politics. That is what we are seeing now. Political figures who are hovering around Fanno to fill the cap have proven unfit or unprepared. They are a narrow-based clique of Amhara extremists who have proven incapable to embrace the wider political space in the Amhara political landscape. If they cannot or are not prepared to build consensus within the Amhara tribal universe, how in the hell are they going to build national consensus?

THIRD, the status quo as it is and as it is evolving is dangerous and can potentially lead to an irreversible civil war that will make the ENDF and TPLF war look like child’s play. Whether the risk of a civil war is 10% or 90% or somewhere in between cannot be determined with certainty. But given the current polarization along tribal lines, even a 10% chance of civil war must be avoided by any means necessary. Ethiopia cannot go through another round of devastation without breaking apart. The hope that some people express that everything will work out in the end is beyond risky. It is reckless. It is dangerous.

The following are possible soft landings for a peaceful settlement or transition. The aim is twofold: Put a break on Oromo-PP’s and the Prime Minister’s self-destructive governance and mitigate the risk of a breakout of civil war. Neither the government nor the Fanno movement may get all it wants. But that is the essence of a negotiated settlement.

I believe as most people do, the Prime Minister is not worthy of the office he holds. I also believe we are where we are because of his arrogance, never-ending lies and lack of integrity and human decency, not to mention his psychopathic traits that have made him devoid of human sympathy. However, all said, I do not think Ethiopia should risk disintegration in the quest to remove him from office. That process needs to be judicious, well organized and planned. Short of that the focus should be using the constitutional means for change.

Here are some preconditions for a soft-landing.

  1. Immediate withdrawal of all National Federal Forces from the Amhara tribal land.
  2. Immediate suspension of the disarmament program in the Amhara tribal land.
  3. Immediate suspension of hostilities between Fanno and the Amhara-PP government.
  4. Immediate action to organize national and international humanitarian support to forcefully displaced Amhara people.
  5. Release all Amhara political prisoners in the Amhara tribal land and across Ethiopia.
  6. Immediate suspension of media crackdown and harassment of opposition leaders.
  7. International investigation of mass killings and mass evictions of the people of Amhara. The investigation must be unfettered and time bound – no more than six months.
  8. Full accountability based on the findings of independent international investigation and full redress for those unjustly victimized.
  9. Vote of confidence for the Amhara Prosperity Party-led government in the Amhara tribal land within three months. The aim is either to establish confidence in the Amhara leadership or recall them followed by new elections if the recall through a constitutional means leads to removal from office of Amhara-PP leaders. This may be done in other tribal lands as well if there is demand for it by the people of respective regions.
  10. Vote of confidence for the Oromo-PP led government in the Ethiopian Parliament. This must be held after a vote of confidence in the Amhara tribal land and other tribal lands if the people in the other tribal lands so choose. This opens the door to replace the Prime Minister if the majority of the Parliamentarians so choose.
  11. No disarmament program until the next election that will be fully monitored by international agencies.
  12. No hegemonic Oromummaa.

If these conditions are met, they can lead to a democratic election in two years. That can result in a democratic constitutional formation process. The only demand the opposition must have is a democratic constitutional formation, including drafting, ratification, and implementation. Whether that may lead to reaffirmation of the current system, some reform or a total overhaul should be left to the people.

Oftentimes, knowledge of economics, business and mathematics is critical to conceptualize and articulate politics. I share an interesting article for your consideration.



  1. Yonas Birru,

    You are classical opportunity what George Ayittte calls intellectual P. You were considering Abiy as the Mesiah of Ethiopia and working for him as a cadre so that the people can follow him. Weeks before you were blackmailing Fano and spreading propaganda against them. All of a sudden you became supporter of Fano, and now you are talking negotiation with Abiy Ahmed who is a follow of Satan.

    Shame on you!

  2. Yonas,

    I think you were probably on some kind of drugs that helped you think a bit straight and you wrote a few good articles.

    However, now the drug must have wore off or something, you are churning out one rubbish after another. Man, this current article is pure stupidity, pure stupidity, I don’t know what part of your body you used think about the details you are going about in the article, it defies imagination!

    You were saying: “Abiy’s unending lies, and Shimelis Abdisa’s and Adanech Abebe’s mix of stupidity and arrogance have led to a Fanno Uprising,” well, no argument there.

    But these same people are now going to stop being stupid, arrogant, liars, as you were saying they are, and start negotiating in good faith and solving all the problem they were creating and continue to create – all just because you said so?

    What planet are you on?

    Here, another one, “FIRST, the Prime Minister cannot be trusted,” stating the obvious, then who would want to negotiate with this man?

    What do you know about FANO leadership, anyway? You are a deluded soul churning out rubbish, there is no way you could know about their leadership and structure, as the article makes very clear.

    Here, another gem, “If these conditions are met, they can lead to a democratic election in two years,” right, brilliant, brilliant, how did you come with that? And you would guarantee it, won’t you?

    Now, the FANO, the Amhara people in general, after being humiliated, mass murdered, dislocated and made 2nd or third citizens in their own country, having less right than a Sudanese, or Somalian, refugee, and more – they finally started struggle to get their right.

    And you come along, and tell them, it is no good, go home, and trust the man, his fellow miscreants, who were murdering them and all, are you out of your f**king mind? No, one sane would write this article!

    Where you on some kind of drug when you wrote this article? Or is this the level of intelligence you have? Well, you have outdone yourself, now what is next, I cannot wait!!!

    Thank God, they don’t need your advice, they have better minds working with them.

    The supremely intelligent, a very courageous man, an exemplary leader, Eskinder Nega, would be able to come up with incomparably better ideas than you ever could, anytime!

    There is no way, for instance, he would have come up with kind of rubbish you are written here, none at all!

  3. The words of wisdom I see in this article are ‘Negotiated settlement is the only way to avert a civil war’. Peace y’all!!!

  4. What is there to negotiate? They told you, “you have no right to live on this land”. They acted upon their belief and killed innocent people based on their ethnicity. They demolished their homes, incarcerated them in the tens of thousands. Purely because they were Amhara. The crime of this people, if any, is supporting this government with all their heart and defending it and their country with their lives. What is their to negotiate with someone that has denied your right to exist?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Do Not Let an Extremist Amhara Wing Hijack the Fanno Movement
Previous Story

Do Not Let an Extremist Amhara Wing Hijack the Fanno Movement

Abiy’s Official Declaration of War: Unleashing an Open Season of Attacks on Amharas Across Ethiopia
Next Story

Abiy’s Official Declaration of War: Unleashing an Open Season of Attacks on Amharas Across Ethiopia

Latest from Blog

State Fragility in Ethiopia: A Book Review

By Worku Aberra Over the past 50 years, Ethiopia has faced profound political changes. The restoration of Haile Selassie’s rule in 1941 marked the beginning of systemic shifts in Ethiopia, with modernization

Shambel Belayneh presents Ayzosh Addis Ababa, the latest Ethiopian music release of 2024

Shambel Belayneh presents Ayzosh Addis Ababa, the latest Ethiopian music release of 2024 የወሎ እዝ የላስታ ፋኖዎች የአሳምነው ግልገሎች ለኦሮሞ፣ ለደቡብ፣ ለአፋር፣ ለሱማሌ እና ለሁሉም ለኢትዮጵያ እናቶች መልእክት አለን እያሉ ነው።#FanoCourage#WarOnAmhara pic.twitter.com/BqebDQhD1g
Go toTop