The Washington Post interview of the former Ethiopian Minister of Children, Women, and Youth, Filsan Abdi, shows the bravery and honesty of one high ranking official who chose to leave an immoral government at risk to herself and family choosing now to tell the truth about the Ethiopian leader Abiy Ahmed. Now outside the country she feels the need to speak out about why she left Ethiopia.
No one can accuse Filsan Abdi, sometimes identified as Filsan Abdullahi Ahmed, of being a Tigray Peoples Liberation Front sympathizer. She recalls the unfair treatment her family and other Ethiopian Somalis underwent at times under the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front formed by Meles Zenawi. She had hoped that Abiy Ahmed would create a better democratic Ethiopia but instead felt she was being drawn into another “ethnic domination”.
A pious Muslim whose faith teaches peace over war, that war has strict rules of engagement, and that protection of women and children as paramount she notes that what Abiy Ahmed was doing was more about “revenge” and power then justice. Hers was the lone voice in a government based upon deceit that loudly proclaimed that violations against women and civilians had been carried out by Eritrean and Ethiopian forces in Tigray following and investigation carried out by herself and the attorney general. In her recent interview she said the following about Abiy Ahmed’s cruel policies:
“But if we don’t back away from it, we are doomed,”
“One day we will wake up from this nightmare and have to ask ourselves: How will we live with the choices we made?”
The environment of Ethiopia under the current grasp of Abiy Ahmed and his Prosperity Party is of tight control of media and messaging. No dissent is allowed. Any expression of disagreement with official party views or news is considered an act of terrorism subjecting the offender to imprisonment without trial or hearing.
The political mechanism controlling the messages approved by Abiy Ahmed extends beyond the borders of Ethiopia into the internet alliances subsidized by China, Russia, Iran, and other authoritarian states. These alternative news sites, although perhaps they are better called “opinion” sites all claim victim hood suffered Western democracies against Iran, Eritrea, and all of Africa. For them they belief in a nefarious claim that Abiy Ahmed is the necessary hero taking the necessary actions even if grave in nature to free all Africans from this legacy.
The world as well those blindly following Abiy Ahmed’s inhumane policies should listen to this righteous woman who is pleading for a just outcome to the current crisis in Ethiopia which begins by recognizing truth from propaganda.