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What is wrong with the Prime Minister?

July 7, 2022

Abebe Gellaw

Victims of all sorts of injustices, violence, genocide, mass atrocities, and ethnically motivated killings deserve justice more than anything. Even if they don’t demand it, those criminals who have destroyed the precious lives of other human beings out of ill-will, hatred, ignorance, or any other motives must be held accountable. To that end, the primary responsibility of a government is not planting trees or laying wreaths to honor the dead. The top priority must be ensuring peace, security, and the rule of law.

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s latest appearance in Parliament was anticipated to address the widespread outrage over the genocidal mass atrocities being committed against innocent civilians. To the dismay of so many people, the Prime Minister failed to properly identify the tragedies that have threatened to tear the nation apart.

The recent genocidal killings in Wolega against Amhara civilians including toddlers, pregnant women, the elderly, and the infirm are by no means isolated. They are not ordinary crimes that are comparable to killings in Los Angels and New York. While it is an unfortunate fact that killings happen everywhere, ethnically motivated genocidal mass atrocities are the most dangerous that can destroy a nation and trigger civil wars. While communities and families are devastated and impacted by any sort of mass killings, a highly vulnerable and volatile country like Ethiopia faces an existential threat due to genocidal killings. These genocidal killings and ethnic cleansing against the people of Amhara, which has been going on for over three decades, portend another Rwanda in the making.

The genocide in Rwanda or the former Yugoslavia did not happen overnight. Like Ethiopia, both nations were playing with the fire of ethnic politics fueled by hatred and division for decades. The ensuing genocide whether it be in Rwanda or Yugoslavia could have been prevented had the leaders of the day played responsible roles.

The Prime Minister needs to reassess what went wrong since he came to power galloping on a wave of unprecedented popularity. Why was he able to connect to ordinary people at the onset of his leadership as a dynamic young reformist? Why is he now acting more like a typical African ruler who listens to himself more than his people who had embraced him wholeheartedly as their leader? The difference between now and then is self-evident.

The ordinary people who are being killed because of their identity are not just numbers. They are beloved mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, nephews, and nieces. They have families and friends. Their lives are as precious as anyone else. What is even more worrying is the scale and viciousness of the killings that are likely to annihilate more villagers and innocent civilians who have done nothing to deserve being slaughtered, executed, beheaded, or lynched.

In a country like Ethiopia where the effects of desertification wreak havoc, planting trees is very important. Nonetheless, it needs to be done at the right time. If the Prime Minister continues to pretend like an unperturbed gardener who cares more about his seedlings and trees than the safety and security of his people, then the disconnect between him and his subjects will dangerously widen. While ordinary people become more and more insecure in the face of the ongoing genocide and ethnic cleansing, the Prime Minister will be equally uncertain about his future in power.

Abiy is obviously leading a nation in crisis. Even if he began his leadership with an impressive reformist agenda, things have now backtracked. An array of missteps and blunders have turned the clock back. Human rights violations, mass arrests, kidnappings of dissidents and critics, and lack of respect for the rule of law, among other things, have made people lose hope in the PM and his inner circle.

While it is understandable that the terrorists are bent on creating instability, fear, and insecurity, Abiy, and his henchmen can only stabilize the nation and save the lives of millions of people living in fear if only they have the full backing of the nation. For that to happen, the ruling party needs to listen to the grievances and concerns of the people. At the very least, ensuring peace and security should be the top priority of the ruling party. Planting trees while people are grief-stricken sends the wrong signal. As leaders do, they need to come out of their comfort zone, express their condolences, visit the victims, show their resolve to bring the perpetrators to justice, and follow it up with swift and tangible actions.

People are not demanding a lot. They need leaders who rise to the occasion in times of great need, crisis, and grief. Otherwise, this government cannot save the nation from the perils it is facing. It seems impossible to ride out of the whirlwind in reverse gear.


  1. Abiy Ahmed Ali’s genocidal goal is in the millions. So, the tens of thousands of citizens that perished in the ethnic cleansing and genocidal campaigns under his watch are only a trifle. We have to understand that genocide is in his job description, whoever groomed him for that job.

  2. Abe, Abiy Ahmed is a deceiver noting more nothing less. Abiy is such a person with two personalities like chameleon listen Tedy Afro recent song. Abiy said the same statement Shimelis said in Addis at Bale ,”We crushed Neftegna” that is the people of Amhara murdered by his meditated hate crime especially in Woelega. He lied us saying he will resign if one Amhara murdered in his region but this time we hear more than 1500 killed just in a weke.

  3. Abiy is a millionaire [Nobel Prize] and he loses NOTHING if he quits. However, The Enemy Within will sell Ethiopia to Egypt and the White Supremacist West! NO to Colonialism! NO to Neo-Colonialism!

    What should Ethiopians do with Self-serving Ethnic Activists who can’t see & can’t think beyond their Ethnic Zone Line marked for them by the Anti-Ethiopia Secessionist TPLF-EPLF duo in 1991? Aren’t they the major problems? I am pissed off with their lip service to Ethiopia & their service to their ethnics wearing the Ethiopian flag.

    TPLF left Ethiopia with no army & no money thus paralyzing Ethiopia from fighting back! When TPLF packed for Mekelle, it didn’t even leave a month’s salary for government workers. It was TPLF’s recipe to bring Ethiopia’s collapse: unpaid workers go on general strike →it triggers government shutdown →that brings Ethiopia’s collapse.

    Military Front: When the TPLF launched its ENDF Northern Command Massacre, it had 250, 000 soldiers right in Tigray [well-trained/well-armed with the latest weapons imported for the ENDF]. That left Ethiopia with only 44,000 troops stationed all over Ethiopia BUT under TPLF Officers’ command. How can Abiy fight TPLF & its proxies?

    OLF-ኦነግ ሸኔ Front:- They used Abiy’s Amnesty to enter Ethiopia & wreak havoc. Lemma M. [Defense Minister back then], OLF General Kemal G., etc. turned a blind eye to let OLF arm-and-fund itself [Wollega Armory assault (95, 000 latest assault rifles looted); over 20 CBE banks robbed (millions in cash looted); kidnapping & murder; etc.].

    So, Abiy had to find money to keep Ethiopia afloat; dismantle TPLF-infested ENDF; and build an Ethiopia-serving ENDF. He got USD $1 billion from UAE’s Prince MBZ. Building ENDF is underway. He is fighting back all The Enemy Within: TPLF, TPLF’s Proxies, and the Fake Fannos [the General Asaminew-Negadras Eskinder Fannos!]

    i_Mognu / don_Q

  4. Subject: What is wrong with the Prime Minister? HUMAN RIGHTS, by Abebe Gellaw, JULY 7, 2022

    Humble Observation based on Freedom of Expression, 7 July 2022
    The criticism against the Prime Minister is revealing.
    Had the wonton savagery of killing was upon other RACES in ETHIOPIA would there have been such a vast needed reaction as we are reading so many Articles? Deep honesty, sincerity, equality of justice would requirei to answer the question. And so the Amharic word comes to be the most insightful expression. “TAZEBNOT ” NO need to say more. THE END

  5. I may be wrong but I don’t know who can get in the leadership role and do a better job than the current prime minister. Who among the opposition has proven himself/herself to have the much needed skills to be a leader? When these opposition groups who are at a loss to devise ways to come into a union how in the dickens any of them will be able to unite the country better than what it is now? How? Here is the problem with the identity of the premiership. It is my conviction that the next prime minister should not come from Oromia, Amhara and Tigray regions. Anyone who comes to the top job from these three groups is bound to bring cumbersome baggage all the way to the office with him/her which will be a wasteful distraction. For me the next prime minster should be from a Somali or Afar region or it is a bust!!! I may have a 2nd thought only if it is a woman and then the country should not see any male in a leadership role for the next 100 years. Full stop.

  6. Abebe Gellaw was the supporter of Abiy Ahmed Ali when the latter assumed power. Tigray is now the only region where citizens enjoy peace and security. This is because of Tigray` s existence as a nation and state and system of modern government. On the other hand,the backward and primitive tribal communities to the south kill each other and cause instability. The Eritrean government through its viceroy Abiy Ahmed Ali is using divide and rule methods to control the resources of these tribal communities. These tribal communities will continue to kill each other as long as they are under the indirect rule of the dictator Isaias Afewerki.

  7. Hi M’ognu,

    Lies, lies and more lies !

    1. “The TPLF left Ethiopia with no army & no money. ” Really? Are you telling me A. Ahmed built a huge army from zero with no money in the coffers to invade Tigray in a few months after he took over.? Due to justified fear of Eritrea, the country has some of the army and the hardwear in Tigray, but not everything. Go back in time and see analyse the situation to find out that the facts speak louder than anything else.

    2. “Abiy was the OLF’s first assassination target at Mesqel Square.” Really? If so, how come no OLF has been charged and sent to jail for the attempt on A. Ahmed’s life? Abiy has, in more than one occcasion, said he has helped OLF members to escape arrest when he was a security chief under TPLF. This said, he does not give a rat’s ass to Amhara life. Proof is he never condemned the killings until the recent international outcry which made him uncomfortable. The killings have continued and he’s back to his deafening silence. As the saying goes, “silence amounts to acceptance” of the killings. By the way, every Oromo I know is married to Amhara woman because they think marrying Amhara woman is like a black man marrying a white woman in the 1920s America. It is like getting the best stuff. Say, a commoner marrying a queen.

    3 “Abiy had to weed out TPLF & rebuild ENDF!” Weed out TPLF, maybe. But what choice did he have at the time? Keep TPLF in the army and fight it at the same time. I think, TPLF itself left in good time and A. Ahmed had the shell. TPLF called its officers in good time way before A.Ahmed tried anything which you called “weed out”. What’s there to weed out if TPLF has taken its people in good time? This is another big lie.

    4 “Abiy kept Ethiopia afloat with the USD $1 billion obtained from UAE’s Prince MBZ!” Another lie. Reports suggest this money did not go to government coffers (Ministry of Finace) and was personally spent by A. Ahmed. In one occasion he was quoted to have said “I begged for the money and got it and its me who will decide how and on what to spend it”. So, what do you say Mr. Abiy did this Abiy, Abiy did that guy? Tell us if Ministry of Finace knows where all the money went and if it was ever audited and the expenditures conform to the country’s finance rules? Tell us also if the money is loan or aid and what A. Ahmed signed in return for it.

    What is the economic growith of Ethiopia now? Negative.

    5. “OLF [OLF-Shèné] used Abiy’s Amnesty to enter Ethiopia and wreak havoc.” This is partly true, but what did he do about it? Nothing. Now we have reached a point of no return to a fullblown civil war which will engulf the entire country. All responsibility lies on A. Ahmed who goes out to plant trees when people are dying in thousands and banks are robbed in broad day light.Buddy! . Lemma Megersa and General Kemal Gelchu are patsies who will not help to exonerate A. Ahmed. ,

    6. “They (Civil Society Organizations) ask Abiy to fight the Egypt-US-EU-backed TPLF – OLF while opening new war fronts on the over-stretched ENDF.” This is another lie from i_Mognu. What Abiy i’s asked is to do is preserve peace and security of citizens throughout the country. In every country, preserving peace and security of citizens is a police work pooling resources at different levels (municipal, regional and country wide). Becuase Abiy did not take peace and security of citizens seriously from the start, private armed groups have reached a level that required ENDF to help which it invariably failed to do. So, tell me who’s responsible for all the chaos ithe country and its people are undergoing right now? Abiy ignored the problem and now it’s biting him. Don’t blame TPLF-OLF for the incompetence of Abiy. They were and still are contenders to his rule and it appears that they are succeeding.

    7. i_Mognu” Does the Amhara Zone itself generate even 20% of the GDP?” It contributes over 60% of the country’s GDP and it’s growing as we exchange this comments. Think of the DAM which will contribute 90% of the country’s GDP when it enters full operation. Where does all the water come from? Sooner or later, Amhara will control the Dam to negotiate a deal with Abiy so that it gets 70% from the dollars the dam generates. If not Amhara is likely to build another dam up stream to collect its own revenue. It needs a lot of dollars to develop the region which Abiy is blocking. So much for the GDP.

    8. “More Amharas live in other Zones than in the Amhara Zone itself!” This is another lie. Majority of Amharas live in Amhara region. They live in other regions as well. After all, it is their country and they have the right to live in any corner of the country. The constitution allows it. It only under Abiy’s rule that this became a problem. Even him does not directly negate this practice – only indirectly – say when he talks in Orommiiffa. Amharas will continue to live in other regions and any pressure to force them out will face resistance and if it does not back off the country will disintegrat for good. What’s the purpose of a country if its people can’t live together freely mixed up as they please? NONE.

    9. I_Mognu says : “I haven’t met any Oromo in Gojjam & Gonder during several trips” Check history. During the Oromo expansion in the 16th and 17th centuries, Oromos were able to reach Gondar. Gondar even spoke Orommiiffa before they assimilated to Goneres and adopted Amharic as their language. If we do genialogy and DNA telsts, half Amhara in Amhara region will be Oromo. The same is true to present day Oromia where Amharas lived for centuries. Tests will show half Oromos are Amhara. Even today, Amhara children in cities and towns in Oromia are forced to do their schooling in Orommiiffa which makes them forget Amharic. In a generation, these Amhara children will present themselves as Oromos. This is the way Oromo forced integration and assimilation works.

    I_Mognu , some of the Amhara you met during your travel to Amhara region are Oromo. In any case, the same is true about Tigray region. Half of the Tigray people are Amharas and Oromos combined. TPLF’s social engineering to preserve “Tigray for Tegaru” has blurred this fact even if has not completely eliminated it. . Oromia repeating the same mistake by trying to cleanse Oromia from Amharas and other ethnic Ethiopians. It is a futile exercise.

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