The Ethiopian government signed an agreement with the Russian government to train Ethiopian troops and modernise the army. The agreement comes in the wake of major setbacks for the Ethiopian National Defence Forces following defeat at the hands of Tigray Defence Forces.
Abiy Ahmed, the Ethiopian Prime Minister who won an election his party single-handedly had organised, aims to consolidate his grip on power through a unitarist agenda. Abiy has fanned ethnic hostilities in Ethiopia. He mobilised ethnic militias against Tigray for conducting elections last year. What was hailed as a peaceful transfer of power iand a new epoch of democratisation in Ethiopia had become a return to Derg-like repression.
It is not only repressive policies that Abiy’s government has in common with the Derg; it shares reliance on Russians to fight multiple wars in Ethiopia. It has now become clear that Ethiopian government’s call for ceasefire was a strategy to regroup to restart the civil war in the north. Ethnic profiling and harassment of Tigrayans, and widespread destruction of the infrastructure in Tigray are compounded by traumas civilians have suffered due to a war that the Ethiopian government promoted as a campaign against one ethnicity.
Emboldened by Russian promise to arm the Ethiopian army, Abiy Ahmed has violated the ceasefire. What is happening in Ethiopia is abomination of sovereignty: Abiy damaged the multi-ethnic fabric of Ethiopia and sided with Fano, an extremist Amhara militias that committed massacres and rapes in Tigray.
The last time Ethiopia kowtowed to the former USSR, massacres and manmade famine put Ethiopia on prime time news throughout the world. The International Community should take its role to prevent the unfolding genocide from resulting in violent disintegration of Ethiopia. Abiy Ahmed must be reined in.
By Adan Essa Hussein