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Open Letter to PM Abiy: Your Hand and Footprint in the TPLF’s Renewed Aggression

Yonas Biru, PhD

Mr. Prime Minister, this letter is triggered by your signature shortsighted political calculus that led to TPLF’s violation of the Pretoria agreement. It is hard to imagine the TPLF can forcefully take over Alamata without your underhanded encouragement and order to the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) to let the TPLF march in. Let us establish some hard facts.

  • The TPLF was supposed to be disarmed. The weapons they used in their aggression were not only small weapons but large ones.
  • The Pretoria agreement was unequivocal that the secession of hostility was to be enforced by the Ethiopian and TPLF interim administration.
  • Any outstanding matter including contested lands was to be addressed peacefully.
  • The federal government and the TPLF were the only two forces whom the Pretoria agreement mandated to keep the peace.
  • There is no Fano force in Alamata. As the Amhara administrator of Alamata stated in public, the military forces in Alamata were Amhara Militia forces managed by the Amhara government and the ENDF.
  • When the TPLF forces entered Alamata the small Amhara Militia forces were overwhelmed by the TPLF massive weapons and forces and forced to retreat. The ENDF that was mandated by the Pretoria agreement to enforce the terms of the peace agreement did not raise a finger.
  • It is hard to avoid the conclusion that the operation was instigated by the Ethiopian government that is (1) frustrated by its failure to defeat Fano forces, and (b) spooked by recent discussions about Tigray-Amhara coalition. Par for the course for Prime Minister Abiy, he went for a myopic, knee-jerk, and short-sighted miscalculation.
  • Another possibility is that the TPLF sees the ENDF led by the Field Marshal of retreat ad surrender as thinly spread and weakened by Fano and therefore incapable of defeating TPLF.
  • Regardless of the reason behind the aggression, the Tigray administration has openly breached the Pretoria agreement. If it does not retreat to the status quo at the Pretoria agreement, the government must stop providing federal funding to the Tigray administration that it was required to do.

 

Dear Mr. Prime Minister:

The purpose of this article is to show that your street savviness, sophomoric sophistication and short-sightedness to win inconsequential victories have subjected you to long term consequences.

In 2018, Abiy-Mania spread across the nation like wildfire as Ethiopians of all hue, creed, class, and tribe whipped themselves into a frenzy. I was one of your early supporters with both enthusiasm and unbounded hope for a fundamental reform. On June 16, 2018, I wrote an open letter stating:

Sir, Ethiopia gave birth to you out of pain, with a cacophony of ኡኡታ. She awaits to be born out of you with a symphony of እልልታ.

Truth be told, there will be challenges. The melancholy and vagaries of tribal politics cannot be wished away. But one thing I know for sure. Dawn has arrived to announce the arrival soon of a high noon for change.

There is no power on earth that can stop the deliverance Ethiopia that has been announced through the symphonic of birds, the lifting of the dark cloud, the sparkling of the rainbow, and the bursting to life of spring flowers. Let the እምቢልታ trumpet and the እልልታ echo from the top of Ethiopian majestic mountains to the underbelly of her deepest gorges.

I praised your proposed economic and political reforms. To top it off, you promised: “We will not arrest before we investigate” and “freedom of the press will be the cornerstone of the reform”. I shared my humble advice on three specific areas: (1) taming the local political market; (2) leveraging the evolving geopolitical space; and (3) getting the rules of engagement with the international community right. I highlighted:

You have come to office as the US and Europe are witnessing major social transformations. Part of this is what has casted TPLF out of favor in Brussels and Washington. Europe and America are trumpeting your economic and political reform on their newspapers.

This is not a mere editorial decision. Their governments are behind the media blitz to show international support for your agenda. This is also an important step to increase funding to Ethiopia during their budget appropriation process.

The international community is readily and excitedly available for a promising reform in Africa. They want a success story to replicate across Africa. Positioning your administration to such a global play should be your priority. The international community and the Ethiopian people have vested interest to see this through.

Your administration should proactively leverage Ethiopia’s aggressive development agenda and position its strategic development framework at the nexus of the emerging global geopolitics and the ensuing international development policy.

Indeed, the international community made you its poster child. World leaders flocked to Addis to praise you and pledged their allegiance. In the first three years, they provided Ethiopia with an unprecedented over $20 billion in aid and concessional loans. In 2019, the Nobel Foundation bestowed its prestigious Prize in Peace upon you.

 

My April 6, 2019, Open Letter Ringing the Bell of Change from ተደምሬያለሁ to ተቀንሻለሁ

In the open letter, I highlighted several fault lines in your administration. First, I appraised you of incidents of unforced errors on your administration’s part with dire consequences in terms of slowing down the pace of the reform that had started with a phenomenal speed.

Second, I noted: Your administration failed to create a platform to engage, inspire and mobilize supporters of the reform. This was a critical mistake because a large section of the people who are not part of the EPRDF political universe felt left out without a channel that would enable them to have a constructive influence in the political process.

Considering the above, I provided you with three urgent areas for mid-course correction to rekindle the enthusiasm and energy of your supporters, bring the silent majority on the reform bandwagon and win the hearts and minds of your doubters. I wrote thus:

The first recommendation provides a way to revive our nation’s psychology to effect policy and politics. Weighed by poverty, tribal conflicts, and a lack of hope for a brighter future, our collective psychology has been battered to the brink and become chronically pessimistic. To reset the tone and tenor of our political discourse we need to heal our hearts and minds. This cannot be done when the national psychology is dominated by a deep sense of despair and addiction to anger, feeding the flames of discord, recrimination, and retribution.

The second recommendation dealt with fixing the management of the change process. I highlighted you need a competent team in key positions. Instead, you chose people with neither subject matter knowledge nor experiences to run the government. You wanted yes-men when the nation needed people of integrity and substance.

The third recommendation focuses on establishing a robust communication ecosystem and public relations strategy. This is essential to articulate and promote the reform agenda, inspire the people’s hope focusing on what has been achieved and what is achievable, mitigate the confusion and instability created by dark forces of the social media, and above all control the policy debate and build a broad-based support.

I concluded the letter stating the success of your reform hinges on your ability to address these issues. On April 10, Feseha Yetagesu (a state ministers in your office) sent me an email, stating: “This is to acknowledge the recipient of your letter that has been sent to H.E PM Abiy for his personal review. We highly value your suggestions, and they will be used as an input in our future plans.” His email proved to be an empty gesture with no intention of paying heed to the letter’ advice. You do not consider any advice from anyone outside your circle whose advice is to affirm your brilliance and messianic role to make Ethiopia one of the two super-powers by 2050.

 

Fast Forward to April 2024

You have lost your support both at home and abroad. World leaders from Europe to North America who, in 2018, regarded you as the hope for Africa have turned their back on you. They see you as a menace and the source of instability for the Horn of Africa.

In 2018 and 2019, they were coming to Addis with billions of dollars on their own accord. Today, you are begging for a fraction of that. Ahmed Shide and Mamo እስመ ለአለም ምህረቱ have become Ethiopia’s panhandling extraordinaire, having mastered ነጠላ አደግደጎ እግር ላይ መውደቅን. Leave alone European and North American leaders, African leaders have stopped answering your call.

Your bravado about BRICS brought you nothing to write home about. It has not changed your government’s economic model of አደግደጎ Western Nations’ እግር ላይ መውደቅን with official and spiritual message of እስመ ለአለም ምህረቱ. Your amateurish engagement with Somaliland proved a humiliating experience with no chance for success. You are jumping from one agenda to another hoping to land a groundbreaking deal. The world has figured you. You have failed to figure out what ticks and tickles the world.

 

My March 12, 2022, Article and March 20, 2022, open letter

On March 12, 2020, I wrote an article titled “Prime Minister Abiy’s Problem is Partly Rooted in Religion”. On 20, 2022, I followed it up with an open letter that I called “my umpteenth open letter titled “Ethiopia Needs a Statesman Not a Party Leader.”

You are where you are because of two phenomena. First, you believe you have a direct line of communication with God and work under the illusion that you are getting bureaucratic directive from God. You have said in public you won the war against TPLF because God was on your side. You neither seek nor take into consideration expert advice because you believe no one on earth can be more capable than God to guide you.

The God I know does not take side in a war that kills nearly a million people. Nor does he say anywhere in the Bible “come to me for economic advice.” You are using God to mask your futile effort to be a cross between God and an absolute monarch with a prefix of ስዩመ እግዚአብሄር. You are destroying the nation to quench your never-ending thirst for omnipresence.

Your ministers are nothing more than dignified secretaries whom you humiliate and insult in meetings. You may consider this as a sign of strength of an omnipresent leader. Truth be told, it is a sign of a crude and boorish personality.

You have no training in economics. Nor are you trained in geopolitics. Anyone who knows anything that has anything to do with anything related to economics and geopolitics can see from a mile that you are ill-equipped to run a nation of complex problems. Your focus on parks and palaces is akin to a person whose house’s foundation is being ravaged by termites while he is obsessed in painting his roof and beautifying the front façade.

 

You Exist Not by Your Strength but By Your Oppositions’ Utter Utterness

If there is any sign that God is on your side, it is revealed by your primary oppositions that come from the Oromummaa colony and the Fano enterprise. Oromummaa ideologues and their blind followers are pursuing the same failed agenda for 50 years. They have a downward learning curve. The longer they stay in politics, the less enlightened they get.

Fano was a real threat to your government. Had Fano focused on building a broad-based political agenda with a robust strategic roadmap and clear end game, Ethiopia would have found a new path to a democratic future. The promising movement was hijacked by a certain power-hungry Shaleka and a random walking and noise making clown, whose claim to fame is being a recycled human rights activist. As if that is not enough, the movement is undermined and weakened by high-octane Amhara extremists in the diaspora, consisting of English-speaking, Twitter-using, hermitized አማራ አባ ገዳዎች.

የኢትዮጵያ አምላክ ወይ ተኝቷል ወይ ሞቷል አለያም ኢትዮጵያን ረግሟታል። Nothing else explains why he has left her in the hands of your excellency (a Boy King with weapons for adults), primitive Oromummaa idiots, and hermitized Amhara intellectual knuckleheads.

 

You Are Where TPLF Was in 2016

In 2016, TPLF had an opportunity to lead a genuine reform agenda. Instead, it chose to hang on to its hegemonic rule. You are standing on your last leg, much like TPLF in 2016 was.

You still have an opportunity of a last resort to mitigate the crisis. This requires you to acknowledge that your attempt in being street smart has done you and the nation a disservice. It is past time that you recognize the fact that in five years you have reduced yourself from a praised and widely supported leader to a failed pariah.

The $5.2 million that was supposed to be transferred to the African development Bank but ended in a private account in an offshore bank shows the level of a failed government. Your refusal to have an independent investigation in a transparent manner shows your administration or powerful Oromo mafia is directly involved. This cannot continue for long. You are standing not by your political, military, or administrative strength but by the idiocy and weaknesses of your opponents.

Neither lying about the economy nor forcing the Ethiopian Statistical Agency to publish fabricated data will do you any good. Ethiopia is a New York second away from a mass revolt. Your street smart will do you or the country no good. Here are some steps that you can take before it is too late.

 

  1. Come to the realization that you do not have the experience, temperament, or integrity to rule a nation by the whims of your untethered fancy. God does not advice you in any way. God does not associate himself with psychopathic people who have no sympathy for human life. In a span of five years, the country has become a no man’s land run by criminal gangsters and kidnapers who are part of your government. There are many cases where the police and Bank managers collaborate with kidnappers to transfer money to the Bank accounts of the criminals. You must own all this failure.

 

  1. Provide unfettered access to international investigation in every nuke and cranny of the nation to investigate human rights violation and organized economic looting. Ethiopians have no reason to believe your government can undertake such investigations since it is a part of it.

 

  1. Declare a unilateral ceasefire both in Amhara and Oromo tribal lands without any precondition. You know and Ethiopians knows that you have not forced TPLF to put down its weapons. No reason to demand complete disarmament in Amhara and Oromo tribal lands. You have declared two uniliteral cease fire without any condition during the TPLF war. You must do it in other tribal lands as well.

 

  1. Release all political prisoners without any condition.

 

  1. Stop your vanity projects that you are financing by printing money and borrowing from local banks. Only you and your paid bloggers believe that you are raising money from external sources. That is a lie. You are using money from the federal budget without any constitutional oversight.

 

  1. Establish an economic commission co-chaired by Professors Lemma Weldesenbet and Alemayehu Geda. Allow them to choose three to five members and let them provide an independent assessment of the economic reality. Your ministers are telling you fiction to serve your thirst for glorification. I have no interest to be a part of the proposed economic commission and will not accept such a role even if asked.

 

  1. Propose a three-step time bound national dialogue. First,such dialogues must happen at every tribal homeland to build consensus. Second, a dialogue preferably internationally mediated one is needed between all opposition groups to identify issues of fundamental interest. Third, only if dialogue is successful at the first two levels can you have one between your administration and all opposition groups.

 

  1. Give the TPLF unequivocal and swift order to pull back and hold the people who ordered the operation accountable. They have openly breached the Pretoria agreement. If they do not pull back, the government must stop providing federal funding to the Tigray administration that it was required to do.

 

1 thought on “Open Letter to PM Abiy: Your Hand and Footprint in the TPLF’s Renewed Aggression”

  1. ዶ/ር ዮናስ፡
    ከ 1983 እስክ 1986 በደቡብ አፍሪቃ የAPARTHEID መንግሥት መሪዎች BOTHA እና DE CLERK ለአያሌ ዘመናት ሲረግጧቸውና ሲያደሟቸው ከነበሩት ከ NELESON MANDELA እና 25 ሌሎች ተቃዋሚዎች ጋር ያደረጉት የተሳካ የሶስት ዓመታት አገርና ሕዝብ አክባሪ ድርድር ለዲሞክራሲያዊት ደቡብ አፍሪቃ መወለድ ያበቃውን በሳል ዘዴ መከተሉ ከደቡብ አፍሪቃ አገዛዝ ጭካኔና ጥፋት ጋር በጣም ያነሰ ችግር ውስጥ ላለፍነውና በተለይ በቅርብ ዓመታት ባላዋቂ አመራር ለተቋሰልነው ኢትዮጵያውያን ሁሉ የሚጠቅመን ይመስለኛል።

    ስለሆነም፣ በወቅቱ ለጠቅላይ ሚኒስትርና ለወገኖቻችን ሁሉ የሚበጀው ምክር ፣
    1ኛ/ አገር እንገንጥላለን፣ ኢትዮጵያን እናፈርሳለን እስካላሉ ድረስ፣ መከላከያን ከሁሉም ክፍለ ሀገራት በሙሉ አፋጥኖ አስወጥቶ ወደ ካምፕና ጠረፍ ማስከበር ሥራ ማሠማራት፣

    2ኛ/ በውስጥ ፖለቲካ ቀውስ ምክንያት መከላከያ ከሕዝብ ጋር ጦርነት በገጠመባቸው አካባቢዎች የሕዝቡን ፍላጎት በማክበር የብልፅግና መንግሥት ሙዝዝ ብሎ እኔ እንደፈልግሁት ካልገዛኋችሁ እወጋችኋለሁ ማለቱን ትቶ፣ የመንግሥት ሥልጣን ምንጭ ሕዝቡ መሆኑን አምኖ፣ የኢትዮጵያን አንድነትና ሉዓላዊነት አስክብሮ ለሀቀኛ ፌደራል ሥርዓት የሚያበቃ የሽግግር ጉባዔ ከሁሉም ተቃዋሚዎች ጋር በመመካከርና በመስማማት መሥርቶ፣ የሽግግር ጉባዔው የሚከተሉትን ተግባራት እንዲያስፈጽም ማድረግ ለወቅቱ ትርምስ፣ ዕልቂትና ውድመት የመፍትሔ እርምጃ ነው፦

    (ሀ) የሁሉም ፓርቲና ቡድን ድጋፍ ያለው የሽግግር መንግሥት ማቋቋም፣
    (ለ) ከአድልዎ የነጻና ያለውን ሕገ መንግሥት ጉድለቶች ያስተካከለ ጊዚያዊ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ሕገ መንግሥት ማርቀቅ፣
    (ሐ) እንደዛሬው በዘጠኝ ክልል ቢበዛ ዘጠኝ ጎሣ ያነገሠና የአገር ባለቤት ያደረገ ሳይሆን፣ ሁሉንም የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ፣ ጎሣና ሃይማኖት ሳይለይ፣ እኩል የአገር ባለቤት የሚያደርግና ለዲሞክራሲያዊ የምርጫ ሕግና ምርጫም መሠረት የሚሆን አከላለል የሚያዘጋጅ የአከላለል ኮሚሽን ማቋቋም፣
    (መ) በሕዝብ የተመረጠ ሁሉንም ረቂቅ ሕጎች የሚያጸድቅ የተውካዮች ጉባዔ ( CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY) ማቋቋም፣
    (ሠ) (1) የዲሞክራሲያዊ ምርጫ ሕግ ከነፍርድ ቤቱ፣ (2)የዲሞክራሲያዊ ምርጫ ኮሚሽን ሕግ፣ (3) ገለልተኛ የብዙሀን መገናኛ ተቆጣጣሪ ባለሥልጣን ሕግና (4) ገለልተኛ የብዙሀን መገናኛ ኮርፖሬሽን ሕግ ማርቀቅ፣
    (ረ) የተረቀቁትን ሕጎች ሁሉ የሽግግር ጉባዔ ከተስማማባቸው በኋላ በተወካዮች ጉባዔ እንዲጸድቁ ማድረግ፣
    (ሰ) ፍጹም ግልጽና ተጠያቂነት ያለበት ዲሞክራሲያዊ ምርጫ ማድረግና የመንግሥትን ሥልጣን ለአሸናፊው ፓርቲ ማስረከብ
    የሽግግር ጉባዔው አቢይ ተግባራት ናቸው።

    በደቡብ አፍሪቃው ሽግግር፣ የተወካዮች ጉባዔ አልተመረጠም። ሌላው ቀርቶ ኔልሰን ማንዴላም በፓርላማው ሙሉ እምነት ስለነበራቸው ረቂቅ ሕጎችን ሁሉ ያጸደቀው ፓርላማው ነበር። በኢትዮጵያ ግን ፓርላማው ከሞላ ጎደል የብልጽግና ፓርቲ አባላት ስብስብ ስለሆነ፣ ብዙ እምነት የሚጣልበት ስላልሆነ፣ በ(መ) የተወካዮች ጉባዔ መመረጥ አለበት ። ሌላው የሚገርመው የደቡብ አፍሪቃው ሽግግር ላይ ራሳቸው ኔልሰን ማንዴላም ደግፈውት የምርጫ ኮሚሽኑ ሊቀ መንበር የሆነው የAPARTHEID ደቡብ አፍሪቃ ጠቅላይ ፍ/ቤት ሰብሳቢ ዳኛ ነበር፣ ምርጫውንም አሳክቶ ስለመራው፣ ስለ ምርጫው ፍትሐዊና ነጻ መሆን ቢያንስ 94 በመቶ ጥቁሮች፣ ክልሶች፣ ሕንዶችና ነጮች ለየብቻ ተጠይቀው ግሩም ምርጫ እንደነበር መስክረዋል። ላይ የተዘረዘሩት ሌሎች ተግባራት ግን የደቡብ አፍሪቃው የሽግግር ጉባዔም የተገበራቸው ናቸው።

    የወቅቱ የደቡብ አፍሪቃ ፕሬዚደንት የነበሩት፣ ከኢትዮጵያም እጅግ የጠነከረ መከላከያ ቢኖራቸውም፣ የፖለቲካውን ችግር በሰላም ለመፍታት የሽግግር መንግሥት በማቋቋም ዲሞክራሲያዊት ደቡብ አፍሪቃን በማዋለዳቸው ለሠሩት በጎ ሥራ ዓለም አቀፍ ሽልማት ከማግኘታቸው ሌላ፣ በሙሉ ሕዝባቸው ተወድሰውና ለራሳቸውም ቋሚ ታሪክና ሐውልት ሠርተው አልፈዋል።

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