Abiy Ahmed and Prosperity Party revoked all their promises of hope and unity for Ethiopia

The growing paradox between what Abiy Ahmed promised and what reality has emerged under his leadership

The glow of hope was replaced by the tarnish of despair in just three years after Abiy Ahmed came to power in April 2018 as the Prime Minister of Ethiopia. The world watched initially with awe as the new leader freed political prisoners, took up the plight of Oromo interests being ignored in the growth of Addis Ababa, promised democratic elections, and a dialogue with all of Ethiopia’s varied and many ethnic groups. But this new wave of democracy would not last.

A major part of his rise in political popularity was the civil actions of the Qeerro demonstrators and support of Oromo activists including Jawar Mohammed who accompanied the new Prime Minister on his tour meeting diaspora in the United States. Today Jawar Mohammed and others sit in jail without a real due process. The Oromo whose cause was once championed by the Prime Minister suffer extrajudicial killings without restriction.

Early in his new role, Abiy Ahmed complimented the Tigray as an example of a good regional government in discussing with the Ethiopian parliament what should be expected of elected officials.

Now Ethiopia is involved in a civil war with an ever growing number of participants from almost all regions of Ethiopia joining the Tigray and Oromo fighters who clearly see that the Prime Minister has violated his supreme duty to follow the Ethiopian constitution and act in the best interests of Ethiopia.

The Tigray regional state had only 9000 armed forces in its service in November 2020 not the 250,000 claimed. Build ups in Eritrea and Amhara as well as severe cutting of budgets normally allotted by population and most importantly the characterization of the Tigray leadership as “terrorists” even after they had left power peacefully created an intolerable environment. It is literally a miracle that they were able to survive the initial onslaught of the combined forces of Ethiopia and Tigray estimated to be over 150,000. No doubt that a part of this revival was due to the will to overcome the intentional and massive genocide being acted upon the innocent Tigray population.

As someone who has lived and worked in Tigray for the past 7 years until I was forced to evacuate I have spent time in many regions talking to farmers, city dwellers, and thousands of patients and their families. The representation that the Tigray were subjugated to an unpopular despotic regional government is nonsense. What ever differences existed have been dismissed as the vast majority of Tigrayans, the Tegaru, are united in the purpose of avoiding an intended complete genocide. No doubt this is why Abiy Ahmed and his followers have such a fear of children, the elderly, and mothers of the Tigray that they want to arrest all of them immediately.

Today, Ethiopia is a failed state due to the chameleon nature of the Prime Minister and his followers which have now revoked all their promises. Many of his former supporters are now in prison. There is no free speech, no free press, no growing economy, and now Ethiopia is becoming identified most closely with outlaw nations like North Korea, Iran, and yes especially Eritrea. Ethiopia has allied itself with the enemies of all the values it once promised to hold most dear.


Jawar Mohammed predicted Abiy Ahmed would bring civil war and state collapse

Jawar Mohammed predicted in October 2020 that Abiy Ahmed would build a personal authoritarian rule that polarized Ethiopian society leading to civil war that collapsed the state.

Jawar Mohammed accompanies new Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on his USA tour in July 2018(photo from Ethiopian MFA twitter)

In late October 2020 Jawar Mohammed an Abiy Ahmed ally who was key to Ahmed coming to power wrote a prophetic prediction of a disaster the leadership of Abiy Ahmed could bring to Ethiopia. His work was published in the Addis Standard, the leading newspaper of Addis Ababa on October 28, 2020 but had been written some time before. Jawar Mohammed was in prison awaiting trial for terrorism and remains there still. A review of his predictions is chillingly accurate to the chaos and loss of life that has come to pass. Note that the members of the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front expressed similar views having known Ahmed well during his time in the security services.

From 2014 through 2016 growing protests occurred in the Oromo Regional State of Ethiopia which constitutes in excess of 30% of the total 110 million Ethiopians. An Oromian, Jawar Mohammed  ran a media company based in the United States emerged as a leader of the new movement. He lead a nonviolent but very massive uprising called the Qeerroo (young unemployed unmarried men) movement which spread to all of Oromia, Addis Ababa, and inspired similar actions in other regions.

As they gained momentum the leaders including Jawar Mohammed felt they had three options in changing from an authoritarian state under the coalition organized by the late TPLF leader Meles Zenawi. They felt an overt overthrow was too dangerous and a prolonged negotiated transplacement was too complicated and lengthy. Instead they decided a transformation through a transitional leader was the best way to join moderates throughout Ethiopia together.

Working with Lemma Megersa, the leader of the Oromo Peoples Democratic Organization, a “soft coup” was done. In the course of this process Lemma suggested that his protégé , Abiy Ahmed be the new leader. However, Jawar Mohammed had his doubts because of Ahmed’s inexperience with politics and administration. He felt Abiy Ahmed demonstrated a simplistic view and extreme personal ambition which was concerning..

Despite his concerns Jawar Mohammed became an ally of Abiy Ahmed who initially welcomed the return of Oromia opposition groups with open arms. He felt could play three roles to Ahmed including advisor, providing constructive criticism, and working for stability. However soon a downward spiral began. As soon as he assumed power, Ahmed began to remove other reformers who had helped him. Suddenly they became terrorists. Jawar Mohammed sees the disunity of the reform movement as being complicit in allowing Abiy Ahmed to rapidly change from reformer to autocrat.