The announcement of the Biden administration to send troops to Somalia as well as discussion with Somaliland regarding their offer of air and sea base facilities to the United States is the latest development in the scramble to exert influence over the Red Sea. No doubt the Red Sea is of vital interest to the United States. The ongoing instability in the Middle East, Horn of Africa, and now Ukraine has strategists and diplomats focusing more greatly on this area as vital to American interests.
Ethiopia’s move from being unaligned to that of having military treaties with the Russian state and its denial of Russian immorality in attacking Ukraine expressed in the United Nations cast doubt on what it may offer Russia in terms of offering military bases on its territory to Russia or China which could threaten Red Sea security to Western powers. The massive war debt Ethiopia has incurred now approaching $66 billion renders it easily manipulated by China or Russia. Under Abiy Ahmed Ethiopia has gone from being a major force against radical Islamic terrorism in the Horn of Africa to being embroiled in increasing domestic instability with unresolved conflicts with Oromo and Tigray opposition. The tripartite alliance of leadership between Somalia, Eritrea, and Ethiopia has begun to be dismantled by the election of Hassan Sheikh Mohamud as President of Somalia. Still Al Shabab continues to survive creating havoc.
When I was a college student at Texas A&M studying military history in the 1970s and later as young Army officer we studied the strategic importance of the Red Sea mostly stressing the Suez canal which allows movement from the Mediterranean Sea to the Indian Ocean. Historically about ten percent of world trade went through this vital pathway. However today the importance of the Red Sea has been multiplied greatly by growing competition of the major powers, growing influence of the Arab states, Iranian expansion interests, and a late awakening of African states of the concept of naval power to protect their interests.
Analysts such as Alex de Waal in the The Africa Report and editorials for the SomiTribune have noted that the growing instability in the Horn of Africa in Sudan, Eritrea, and Somalia has progressed due to the weakness of the African Union, United Nations, and ineffectual influence of the Arab states.
Having lived and worked at Mekelle University since 2015 and in Ethiopia since 2012 I am some reflections on the New York Times article today which stated the war began before the Northern Command action by the Tigray Defense Force and what may lay ahead.
In the year prior to November 2020 the relations between Mekelle University and the Federal Ministries of Science and Higher Education as well as Health were deteriorating. Instead of the usual budget increases of about 13% there were discussions that Mekelle University had always gotten “too much” and that it was going to be downscaled even though what the University received was an appropriate amount for the population it served the same as the others. University Department heads and administers were suddenly no longer invited to be part of major discussions at the Federal level.
Several times Federal police showed up in Mekelle unannounced in violation of the Ethiopian constitution leading to tense moments on the streets in Mekelle and at the airport. Security was removed from leading Tigray military officers and Tigray People Liberation Front party leaders leading to the assassination of two generals in Addis Ababa. We all had the feeling that things were going to get violent eventually even if we prayed they would not.
Following the occupation of Mekelle, the Ethiopian Federal government never lived up to its promise to restore or rebuild society when the TDF looked all but defeated. The University was in effect deconstructed and unbudgeted for education and Ayder Hospital was abandoned by the Federal government as if it did not exist. The Tigray were less than human, they did not deserve healthcare, education, protection, or even food said the self-righteous religious cleric0-fascists directing the mob supporters of the Prosperity Party.
I still have flashblacks about the many hundreds of civilian patients we saw at Ayder Comprehensive Specialized Hospital especially as the Eritrean and Ethiopian forces where coming south from Adigrat through Wucro. Mutilated babies and mothers. Grotesque injuries to women. Many civilians shot in the back trying to flee combat areas. There was an intentional genocide to not just control Tigray but to wipe them out. I am convinced that eventually outside reviews will show the scope of this horror we have seen is just the tip of the iceberg of the mass murder committed. Apart from the Armenian genocide suffered in the early part of the 20th century genocide has never been successfully hidden for a long period of time. The truth will come out.
Ethiopia’s financial resources are quite diminished now. Some estimate their reserves are less than $150 million as it is reportedly spent $ 150 million in just the past two months for drones and weapons. As a result in every region of Ethiopia there is no money for education, health care, or infrastructure. The supplying “dogs of war” have eaten their fill and not left much left to plunder. Some might even argue that Ethiopia was a demonstration run for Turkey to convince other countries to buy it’s drone weapons which Ethiopia nicely paid for. Now in return for not giving more weapons they will use their new sphere of influence to get new deals from the West. That was a part of the plan no doubt along. They got paid to get in and they will get paid to get out. Like a confidence game criminal they will move on to the next victim when they have exhausted Ethiopia’s treasures. Whatever wealth Ethiopia had has been transferred to the puppet masters who controlled Abiy Ahmed.
Ethiopia was always the pawn in a larger power game between Arab states wanting to expand their sphere of influence, Russia, China, Europe and the USA. This is not about colonialism or African independence. I do not see how being $80 billion in debt to a foreign country for weapons is a step in the direction of self sufficiency.
The only winners in this disaster were the weapons dealers and loan providers. Ethiopian development is probably been knocked backwards 10 to 30 years at least even if the war stops now. So much hate has been generated between Tigray, Amhara, Oromo, and other peoples the idea of Ethiopia going forward as a united people seems more remote then ever.
The African Union is quietly abandoning Addis Ababa. Addis Ababa premier investment group Cepheus Capital which promised great investment rewards in a land of milk and honey cannot continue the false promises of high growth and stability. Ethiopia may default on its junk rated bonds in the next quarter. Ethiopia will come out of this most likely more divided or in a state of chronic war. With a primitive quality of living comparable to the times the prosecutors of the war like to fantasize about. Unfortunately the old saying TIA, this is Africa, which former President Obama warned us about is still true. The never ending cycle of self-destruction continues.
Esaias Afwerki and Abiy Ahmed despite his claim of Christianity seemed joined together in their hatred for Christians during the Ethiopia Tigray conflict.
About 40,000 Irob (sometimes spelled Erob) people live on the northern Tigray Eritrean border. They speak a different language Saho then the Tigray and high percentage of them are Roman Catholics due in part to schools and support services placed in the community by the Catholic Church since the 19th century. Traditionally they have been allies with the Tigray in opposing Eritrea and the Derg.
Many Irob who have lived in the areas recognized as Eritrean since Eritrean independence have suffered extrajudicial killings, imprisonment, displacement, and general deprivation for years. It was not unusual to hear that Eritrean authorities would come to dismantle Irob homes to use the lumbar for government projects. Authorities blocked church functions, funerals, and public gatherings to discuss local issues which were customary to Irob cultural tradition.
Since the Ethiopia Eritrean invasion of Tigray the situation only got worse. Investigation by the European Center for Law & Justice as well as the United Nations Commissioner for Human Rights reports numerous murders of priests, Catholic lay, destruction of worship facilities, and also of social supportive buildings for the Irob. Many families report many if not all the men in their family were executed by Eritrean forces. This barbarism against is not only for Catholics but also Tigray Orthodox believers where more than 80 priests and lay worshipers were murdered in Axum .
During the invasion of Mekelle, I witnessed the artillery barrage destroying much of the building housing Catholic Charities. Eritrean forces then came and removed all files and communication equipment. While meeting with lay representatives of the church to discuss how we could help offer medical help, I was accosted by Eritrean soldiers and my cell phone erased by them.
Esaias Afwerki’s prosecution of Christians in Eritrea is rated by Open Doors as the 6th worst in world. He has closed Catholic schools and hospitals throwing sick patients into the street. Even though Abiy Ahmed claims to be a Christian and member of the Mulu Wongel (Full Gospel Believers Church) in Addis Ababa his partner in the war, Esaias has expelled, tortured, and killed many members of this same church in Eritrea.
Vatican Newsreports that Ethiopian authorities have raided a center in Addis Ababa arresting many priests, Salesian missionaries, volunteers, and employees. Many of the Salesians have lived in Addis since 1975 with strong pacifist sentiments.
The World Council of Churches representing 50 million Christians from 349 churches in 110 countries sent letters to both Abiy Ahmed and Ethiopian Christian churches in February 2021 condemning violence, lamenting displacement, and widespread hunger in Tigray.
The conquest obsession of Abiy Abid is rapidly fading any future of economic growth and financial independence for Ethiopia. They seemed to have missed out on the first lesson in any college freshman economic class about the “guns vs butter” trade off.
This month the inflation rate for Ethiopia will reach a record 50% in one year the highest in the world. The consumer price index is expected within a short time to also reach a new high of 300 points above normal. The Central Statistical Agency which normally posts this finding has actually closed its normal reporting website.
The Ethiopian government probably has less the $400 million to run the country for the next 11 months which normally requires about $2 billion. The International Monetary Fund has decided that Ethiopia’s finances are in such disarray that it cannot issue a report on growth. Although the official government report is 6.6% growth this year most analysts are saying it will exceed -2% net loss. Fantasy will not feed the hungry nor create sustainable businesses to drive economic growth.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has spent all cash reserves and transferred most gold reserves out of the country. France and China are trying to broker a new repayment plan for debt that exceeds $40 billion requiring payments of at least $2 billion year alone in debt service. Meanwhile Abiy Ahmed promises to guarantee private loan deals between private companies in Ethiopia and foreign interests have been discovered adding another $25 billion in debt previously hidden. His armies have destroyed hundreds of billions of birr worth of businesses and industries in Tigray. The war damage blight to Tigray now extends to much of Amhara with Ethiopian and Eritrean blanket destruction adding billions of birr in economic production loss and human life.
At this point the continued war and misery are no doubt going to leave what was formally the prosperous state of Ethiopia in tatters. Severe austerity measures will need to be imposed just to get any country to fund loan repayment and it is likely that natural resources will likely be the mechanism of repayment but not at any significant profit to Ethiopia. The dream of Ethiopia being a second world country that escaped poverty is gone. The previous decades of progress will be just a memory traded for the false promise of conquest and repression. Ethiopia has become another Eritrea.
The paradoxical alliance of Abiy Ahmed and his religious supporters with the anti-religion regime of Eritrea’s Esaias Afwerki. Look at any survey ranking the world’s countries in religious observance and its importance in daily life and you will usually find Ethiopia near the top. Yet Abiy Ahmed has put together an unholy alliance with avowed anti-religious Eritrea to facilitate genocide as a means to gain power against the very vows of brotherhood and humanity which make up the core of the Christian, Muslim, and Jewish religions of Ethiopia.
Abiy Ahmed has placed the head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church on house arrest because he spoke out against genocide. He has conspired with Eritrea in performing acts of murder and desecration against Christian, Muslim, and Jews (Qemont) to their followers and sanctuaries.
Although Esaias was apparently raised as a Christian as far as anyone can tell he is now atheist. As a young man in the 1960s he was trained in Marxism under Chinese Chairman Mao who advocated a religious free world. In the early 1970s he complained that the early Eritrea independence movement, the Eritrean Liberation Front, was too full of Muslims leading to him to crush the ELF and start the Eritrean Liberation People’s Front. Although he has tried to curry favor with Islamic Arab league nations who deal with him based upon practicality without regard to his religious abhorrence in Eritrea there has been a long history of closing mosques and Islamic schools. In 2017 many demonstrations by Eritrean diaspora occurred in protest of Muslim oppression in a country where at least 1/3 of the population follows Islam.
At various times the Eritrean police state has imprisoned or assassinated religious followers. Like China it wants people to be devoted to the state not to God. In 2019 all Catholic Church charities including hospitals and schools were closed down and patients thrown into street. During my time in the first three months of Eritrean and Ethiopian occupation of Mekelle, the Catholic Church charities office was the target of artillery barrages, ransacked, and all equipment removed by Eritrean army soldiers. Several times I walked to meet with the representatives of the Catholic Bishop of Adigrat who was detained in Adigrat and was searched, my camera photos reviewed and erased, and warned not to return. The Tigray Ethiopian borders has about 40,000 Irob who are a separate ethnic group who are mostly Catholic and have suffered terribly by the Eritrean occupation.
Members of the Pentecostal Church denomination, Mulu Wongel, to which Abiy Ahmed claims membership have been arrested, detained, tortured and even worse many times in Eritrea since 2002. Although the exact numbers are unknown we know that at least several thousand Christians have been imprisoned without cause or trail in Eritrea for nothing more than practicing their faith.
The relationship between Muslims and Christians in Ethiopia and Eritrea has been historically mixed. Although an Ethiopian King granted refuge to followers of Mohammed’s new religion from Saudi Araba pagans centuries ago and now Ethiopia is recognized as a special place in Islam the relationship has always had flares of unrest. Some of the diaspora that met with Abiy Ahmed during his visit to the United States in 2018 support the concept shared by many Amhara elites that Ethiopia should be a “Christian nation”. Now many of his closest advisors echo similar dreams. Yet there are Muslim supporters who buy into his promise of Medemer unity.
Whatever claims Abiy Ahmed and Esaias Afwerki make in public there can be no denying that the orders they give their armies and militias are not to respect religion. Massacres at Axum’s St. Mary’s Ethiopian Orthodox Church of over 80 civilians and clergy and the near destruction of the Negash mosque in Tigray followed by ransacking and pillaging by Eritrean troops portray a clear aversion to respect of any religion by either Abiy Ahmed, Esaias Afwerki, and their supporters.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s problems with Sudan and Egypt are only getting worse by the day. Ethiopia remains in severe disagreement with Sudan, Egypt, and by alliance with much of the Arab league over who has sovereignty over Nile water use relating to construction of the Grand Renaissance Damn in the northeast west region of Ethiopia known as Beningshagul. Abiy Ahmed’s Eritrean alliance and land disputes with Sudan are also playing a big role in creating an increasingly adversarial crisis.
In July 2021, former Egyptian Minister of Irrigation Mohammed Nasr A’llam told the Al-Monitorthat Egypt was closely following developments of the GERD. They believed that the damn had some technical problems otherwise they might have considered military action against the dam at that time.
Tigray Peoples Liberation Front close advis0r to elected President Debretsion Gebremichael of the Tigray State recently appeared on an Egyptian Television interview to discuss the Ethiopia Tigray conflict and other issues. It appears he met a receptive and sympathetic audience in Egypt. Personal sources close to Egyptian leadership have told me that Egypt opted out of military action for two reasons, one that they believe there may be technical problems limiting the filling and secondly they look forward to a Tigray victory that will make for better negotiations.
The United Nations Security Council has discussed the issue without resolution for months. Apart from saying that Egypt, Sudan, and Ethiopia should have a binding agreement, in effect, giving standing to all three to which Ethiopia disagrees. Now it has referred the case to the African Union for resolution.
It is notable that President Debretsion was once the head of the Ethiopian Electrical Power Corporation and oversaw much of the GERD construction. Additionally it is now known that Tigray Army units have progressed northwest of Gondar in the direction of the Beningshagul region which has seen uprisings sympathetic to the same cause as the TPLF. Many speculate that the Tigray intend to open a supply route via Sudan.
Widely respected journalist Bashir Hashi Yussuf has suggested that Egypt is secretly supplying arms and aid to the Tigray via Sudan. This has also been raised as possible by Foreign Policy and other analysts. Sudan now has a joint defense treaty with Egypt. Additionally Ethiopia has demanded that Sudan remove its soldiers occupying a disputed region called al-fashaga which had been claimed by Ahmara expansionists supporting Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. Sudan claims the fertile farm area as its own.
Eritrean opposition groups to Esaias Afwerki, leader of Eritrea and ally of Ethiopia in the Tigray conflict met in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, to discuss how they could remove the Eritrean government. They may also be forming an armed movement as well based in Sudan. Sudan has long standing problems with the Esaias regime regarding his support of the Grand Renaissance Damn and respect of Sudanese sovereignty.
The Tigray insurgency plan has a considerable chance for success when compared with many previous historical fights. Insurgency against an established governmental institution have happened since prehistoric times. Scholars in schools of war and government policy have studied these occurrences to see if there are factors which can reliably predict who will prevail? Certain patterns emerge from these studies.
Of the past 59 cases of insurgency across the globe those occurring in Africa more than the other regions have tended to favor the insurgent force.
When we apply this type of analysis to the Ethiopia Tigray conflict we find there are some important factors which favor Tigray and go against Ethiopia prevailing with a successful counter insurgency plan.
Allowing the Tigray to switch from a guerrilla type of warfare to conventional warfare. The resurgence of Tigray from being trapped in mountains with only rifles to functioning as an army was an important step towards potential victory.
The large component of experienced professional fighters in the Tigray Defense Force. Upwards of 75% of the experienced officers and all important noncommissioned officers of the pre-existing Ethiopian Army are now fighting with Tigray Defense Force. Many of the leadership of the current Ethiopian National Defense Force were defeated by the the same Tigray leadership in the Derg war.
Ethiopia applying an “iron fist” of repression ethnic punishment. Case after case has shown that ethnic cleansing and repression builds support for the insurgency. A resilient fighting force with determination and high morale is created.
Ethiopian failure to include motives for negotiation and wither Tigray support. Offers to negotiate a peace take the power away from insurgents and tend to favor the government. Abiy Ahmed’s refusal to negotiate goes against conventional wisdom in dealing with insurgency.
Ethiopian reliance on a foreign nation to successfully fights it battles. The requirement of Eritrean support ex parte portrays weakness on the part of Ethiopia and emboldens the Tigray insurgency.
Ethiopia inability to counter diaspora support. World wide support by Tigray diaspora has resulted in condemnation of Ethiopian practices on the Tigray people including starvation, abuse, ethnic cleansing, and discrimination against noncombatants.
Most insurgencies average a 6 year duration yet Ethiopia cannot economically sustain its current military spending more than a few months. Ethiopia has already spent $ 2 billion in one year equal to its whole annual budget. It had only $480 million left to last the rest of year but spent another $51 million on weapons from Turkey. Inflation and the falling birr which may drop to 100 birr to the dollar predicts risk of state failure.
One has to ask why would Esaias Afwerki give back Western Tigray to Amhara if the TDF is defeated? Now that his armed forces have taken over Western Tigray while Amhara militia and ENDF forces are moving closer to Gondar in case of possible attack what is stop Isaias from annexing Western Tigray? Could the Dictator of Eritrea now decide to claim Western Tigray for his own? Described as having a split personality with bout of charisma, no doubt to which Abiy Ahmed succumbed, but also mixed with a brutal and cruel tendency to have no limits in attaining power. Some analysts have labeled him as being “addicted” to creating havoc.
Amhara and Ethiopian National Defense Forces have been increasingly replaced by Eritrean troops in Humera and Western Tigray. The cloud cover which obscured much of the views of the ground in Ethiopia, Tigray, and Eritrea are starting to clear some allowing the viewer of satellite images to get a better view of happenings on the ground as the rainy season comes to an end. We can see that some planting is being done in Western Tigray that is new. Yet we know that Tigrayan farmers have been blocked from planting and many are killed. Stories are beginning to come out that some “settlers” from Eritrea have been seen in the area of Humera. Hundreds of trucks are coming into Humera and the surrounding area daily caring more then just military personal.
A well written analysis of the Esaias Afwerki -Abiy Ahmed relationship written in March 2020 when the Tigray Ethiopia war looked all wrapped up had some interesting insights into these allies of convenience. Esaias has always wanted to be the predominate ruler of the Horn of Africa. The young and inexperienced Abiy Ahmed in his naivete offered him the chance of a lifetime to get rid of his archenemy the TPLF and too to dominate a new Ethiopian empire that he has dreamed about since his days as a rebel fighter against the Derg. In statement made on his own Eritrea news channel Esaias has previously state he would never sit by and watch Ethiopian affairs develop without his input again. Greater Ethiopia should be his to rule and now destiny may have finally arrived.
The three months I was in Mekelle treating patients at Ayder Comprehensive Hospital during the Tigray conflict from November 2020 to January 2021 I saw unarmed young boys shot down in the street, mutilation of babies and partial castration of boys, women dumped at the hospital after rape to be “cleaned” then kidnapped again to an unknown fate, and many other evil acts by Ethiopian and Eritrean forces. Today we see evidence from two reputable news sources, CNN and the Telegraph, that systemic mutilation and murder to imprisoned innocent civilians has been going on under Ethiopian supervision in Western Tigray. “Victims had their eyes gouged out and legs amputated before being shot.” This is occurring while we already know that tens of thousands of women from Tigray were raped while others were killed after in horrific acts of barbarism. Whole villages were wiped out in Hawzen as just one example.
All the while the Ethiopian Ministry of Foreign Affairs gives briefings everyday that they are “trying” to give more food aid to Tigray we see locals along the highway who are cued into the shipments stopping the vehicles and stealing their contents whilst saying it was Tigray Defense Forces.
Since the beginning of the Ethiopian and Eritrean invasion the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his government have said that their incursion was about catching leaders of the TPLF and protecting the people of Tigray. Yet the evidence clearly shows that that the intent of the leaders of the invasion forces both Ethiopian and Tigray were intent on nothing less then a complete genocide that rivals what the world saw previously in Yugoslavia, Germany, and Armenia. The Turkish connection to get weapons of genocide from a country that to this day refuses to killing millions of Armenian Christians.
How much longer will the world, the United Nations, and the African Union stand by to let a deranged dictator and his henchmen kill innocents. Will it wait to millions more are dead?
The hope for a new harmonious national Ethiopian identity has now transformed to Abiy Ahmed and his blasphemers proclaiming killing, raping, and starvation are ordered by God to restore order. It is curious that Abiy Ahmed who claims to belong to a Christian denomination devoted to the Holy Spirit would so viciously act against it.
The Mulu Wongel (Full Gospel) Pentecostal church to which Abiy Ahmed claims membership began in the 1960s as a result of European missionaries. A key feature of this Christian denomination is that following initial baptism the believer seeks repeated episodes of intense connection with the Holy Spirit often evidenced by speaking in tongues similar to what the Bible describes in 1 Corinthians 14. The Mulu Wongel Church says it wants to be transformative to communities including families, women, and children while being transparent, impartial, and demonstrating humility.
This faith now claims 4.5 million Ethiopian believers. In interviews with the press the Prime Minister has stated that his “faith dictates his political vision and actions”. Detractors say what he is really doing is creating a grand deception.
After coming to power as Prime Minister in 2018 he sought expansion of his religious advisors seeking out Pentecostal and evangelistic diaspora in the United States and Europe as well as congregations of diaspora Ethiopian Orthodox Church from unrecognized Synods by the domestic Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Out of this expansion of support there arouse a new concept of how Abiy Ahmed began to see himself. Reinforced by his new friends, he began to espouse this idea of medemer which outwardly looked like a fusion of different Ethiopia ethnicities into a central national unity and purpose. He has confided to reporters that he does not understand why “others do not understand him”. As more opposition developed he became more and more heavy handed. Instead what was underneath the surface was really an old recurring idea going back centuries of building an Ethiopian Empire with Amharic elite leadership at the helm. Whereas before he had seemed to identify with his Oromo identity this was tossed away when he saw a chance to gain power with the Amhara elite.
Although Abiy Ahmed came to power as the last minute leader of Oromia soon he ditched his Oromia allegiances and friends. Jawar Mohamed, the charismatic Oromo leader who lead the Qeero movement which could be said was the major cause of Abiy Ahmed coming to power was placed in prison where he languishes today.
Soon all things he claimed to stand for with the Mulu Wongel church were sinisterly transformed. Numerous diaspora protestant and unrecognized Ethiopian Orthodox churches began to speak of prophecy. That Ethiopia had survived and prospered by the marriage of church which proclaimed a manifest destiny under committed leaders in the vein of the Amharic monarchy which had been deposed by Derg Regime. They drew an analogy to the struggles of the early Jewish nation in the Book of Judges. In the midst of current unrest throughout Ethiopia seen following the withdrawal of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front(TPLF) in 2018 from national power they called for a return to this old concept insisting it was the will of God and Abiy was the intended “King”.
Although Abiy Ahmed had previously made speeches praising the TPLF and told a reporter in a televised interview he had no intent to ever go to war with Tigray that promise did not last. Following his meetings with the tyrant Isaias of Eritrea although not clearly evident then Abiy decided that Tigray would be the strawman in his quest for power with Isaias as his henchman. He cared little that Isaias has tortured, imprisoned, and killed members of the Mulu Wongel Church in Eritrea.
The diaspora clergy who had modest congregations found a cash cow with Abiy Ahmed. Many of them created GoFundMe accounts sometimes taking hundreds of thousands of dollars or euros with firery speeches about the threats to the survival of Ethiopian nationhood if the rats or cancer of the Tigray and others was not removed. God was making special allowances for Abiy Ahmed and fellow believers to do whatever was necessary to preserve their vision of Ethiopian state. Following God’s will would in fact create a new divine superpower to lead Africa and dominate the world. Whatever was necessary would be allowable under God such that no sin could be committed because it was for a higher purpose.
They seemed to have forgotten Jesus teachings in the Bible about sin. Although Jesus does say governments may ask citizens to perform functions as a part of their duty to the state there is a certain sin which is clearly unforgiveable. Blasphemy is especially egregious when a leaders of a group encourages others to do evil acts in the name of Jesus.
“whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an eternal sin” (Mark 3:28–29)
In three Gospels Jesus makes abundantly clear that blasphemy against the Holy Spirit is unforgiveable especially if the offender shows no sign of remorse. It is curious that Abiy Ahmed who claims to belong to a Christian denomination devoted to the Holy Spirit would so viciously act against it.