The matter Abiy Ahmed got wrong in Mekelle

Abiy Ahmed, the new prime minister, has been to three different regions of Ethiopia in a matter of two weeks. He started his working visit in the country with Somali-Ethiopia, a region where unprecedented ethnic-based violence that displaced well over half a million Ethiopians. And then he visited Ambo, a town in central west Ethiopia that has been the bedrock of resistance to the regime in power since it took over power in 1991. And a few days ago, he was in Mekelle in Northern Ethiopia, part of the ethnic/political base of the dominant party in the ruling coalition, Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Out of what appeared to be long and arduous evaluative meetings of executives of the ruling coalition, the regime pronounced for the first time in its nearly three decades of rule that it needs to work on “unity” – of course without making a paradigm shift regarding the political foundation of the system, ethnic politics, for which a constitutional provision is arranged under the guise of identity politics.

Sold as a change maker who speaks with a tone that helps attain the task of uniting Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed was celebrated until Ethiopians found out, in no time, that he actually is being consumed by the status quo to create the illusion that change is coming. He tries to talk authoritatively about a range of issues while the power is still in the hands of TPLF power elites.Read more.

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