CDRC: A thorn in the side of Dr Abiy Ahmed

By Puntland Post Monthly political editor

The political transformation Ethiopia is undergoing since Dr Abit Ahmed became the prime of Ethiopia one year ago does not sit well with the Centre for Dialogue, Research and Cooperation ( CDRC).

The mission of CDRC is “to provide a forum for dialogue and action based on objective, relevant policy analysis which takes into account all the new developments taking place regionally and internationally and has a bearing on political and social conditions, thus enabling exploration of novel ideas leading to comprehension and their successful implementation. “

As mouthful as the mission statement sound one can test if CRDC lives up to the expectation of its founders.

Its latest Digest has taken a tack different from the one it the CDRC took in its  January 2017 Digest in which it called for continuity at Villa Somalia instead of a change of administration. The sole justification for the uncalled for prescription was that the incumbent President  belonged to Mogadishu clan-wise.

When CDRC published the controversial 2017 report Ethiopia was under emergency law introduced following demonstration in Oromia and Amhara region. Demonstrations culminated in the ascendency of Dr Abiy Ahmed.

CDRC Digest published in October 2019 subtly criticises the Horn of Africa economic integration agenda unveiled by the Ethiopian Prime Minister. CDRC posits that the Somali government that does not have monopoly on coercion, a reason that disqualifies it from the economic integration agenda.

“As indicated earlier, the changes in Ethiopia and the rapprochement that followed with Eritrea created an opportunity to bring the Somalia Federal Government onboard for regional integration. But this goodwill might have complicated the situation in Somalia as the SFG misused the effort to undermine the… Federal Member States”  CDRC Digest writes.

CDRC argues that the Federal Government of Somalia is undermining federalism. ” It appears that the …  [Federal Government of Somalia ] has been advised to reverse federalism in Somalia. But this is not an easy feat. In actual fact, rather than contributing to regional integration by mobilizing the regional administrations to consolidate peace and security, the SFG is using the tripartite framework as a source of power and external legitimacy to intimidate the FMS. Eritrea’s leaders consider federal structures as balkanization of Somalia and do not support federal arrangements” writes CDRC Digest.

 Although CDRC seems to be reluctant to disclose who advises the Somali government to dismantle federalism adopted in 2004, it lets on whom it thinks is advising the Mogadishu-based Federal Government: “The Eritrean leaders have encouraged the SFG leadership to destroy the federal structures in Somalia. Since the leaders of Eritrea have a very hostile attitude towards federalism in general, including in their own country, it would not be too surprising if these suspicions were found to be well-grounded based on Somalia’s experience and … [ the Federal Government’s ]  actions.”

A visit to CDRC websites reveals a lot. Three sections  of the website menu – Goals, Our people and Partners – are not accessible. Clicking each of these three sections leads to a page with no content. The Centre for Dialogue, Research and Cooperation remains a in the side of Dr  Abiy Ahmed.

© Puntland Post Monthly, 2019

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