The controversial mayor of Addis Ababa, Adanech Abebe, made some comments during a recent interview including that rape of Tigrayan women did not occur, that the number of Tigrayans to be placed in concentration camps will be increased, and finally that Tigray has a right to become independent following rules in the Ethiopian constitution.
Whereas before many Amhara and other Abiy Ahmed loyalists had contended they were on some kind of mercy mission to save the Tigray from the leaders of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front as well as the idea that the rest of Ethiopia had complete say on the future of the Tigray this new statement is an important retreat. One wonders if this new viewpoint is of convenience to be able to lock up all Tigray as “enemy aliens” and permanently confiscate all their assets. No doubt they plan to permanently expel Tigray from Addis Ababa and perhaps all of Ethiopia.
The mayor has been the subject of controversy since coming to power in August of 2020. Allegations arose that she had over 40 million birr in a bank account. Prior to her current post she had served as the Minister of Revenue and Customs Authority as well as Federal Attorney General. Previously Abiy Ahmed had promised a new election when questions arose about potential embezzlement but now she appears to have been forgiven in return for staunch support of Abiy Ahmed and his Prosperity Party.
In speech made at Addis Ababa University in 2019 she had promised to “perform her duty” in collecting taxes from those avoiding it. However the initiatives to collect back taxes from wealthy merchants and others in Addis Ababa seem to have diminished soon after her speech.