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Will Ethiopia as a Nation-State Survive the Present Ordeal and Counter-Revolution?
Ghelawdewos Araia, PhD July 21, 2021

Given the reckless, misguided, savage, violent, and incredibly cruel regime in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia could go down the drain and vanish altogether as a nation-state; historic Ethiopia could implode, and subsequent endless civil wars could be the preoccupation of the “nation” and nationalities of Ethiopia.

The above conceptual frightening scenario was also entertained by me when I participated as a panel in the “Ethnicity and Identity” Conference that was organized by the Ethiopian Students Law School Association at Harvard University in 2006; then, I argued that there could be certain masked elements who may have a grand design to dismantle Ethiopia; fifteen years after the Harvard Conference, the masked actors have done their homework by leading Ethiopia into the wrong path and made it stumble into a wholly unpredictable situation.
The masked elements are the supreme council of Abiy Ahmed, but the latter and his cohorts – the ministers, the rubberstamp parliament, the generals and commanders of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF)- however are not masked, though they are camouflaged by their policies, political programs, and other hidden agendas. Ordinary Ethiopians and relatively educated ones may not easily understand the ‘hidden agenda’ of the Mafia-type operations of the regime, but some who are highly conscious could detect the ill-designed agenda of the government.

The combination of the masked and unmasked political leaders of present-day Ethiopia are pathological liars who are very skillful at deception, but they were unable to conceal their counter-revolutionary measures that ranges from the internal displacement of Ethiopians everywhere in the country to declaring a major war against Tigray.

Ethiopia was doing very well during the relatively peaceful period of development of the EPRDF between 1991 and 2018; I say ‘relative’ because everything in the universe is relative and since I am a comparativist and internationalist, I see Ethiopia’s progress in the context of the local, the regional and the international. The advantage of being a comparativist, especially in political science, is that it enables a writer, a critic, and analyst etc. to view reality in a balanced way; following this logical premise, thus, I have always presented the strengths and weaknesses of governments, movements, parties etc. For instance, I personally was not happy with the EPRDF for failing to democratize Ethiopia, unnecessarily incarcerating journalists, and running the government in a very autocratic fashion, and also by the fact that the ruling party has effectively alienated professionals and intellectuals; but I also gave the EPRDF credit for its dynamic and transformative economic development agenda and strategies for Ethiopia; Ethiopia, under the EPRDF, showed for the first time in its history a double-digit economic growth; it expanded mechanized agriculture; installed industrial parks; connected the nation via all-weather roads; built railway from Addis Ababa to Djibouti (completed and operational); built another railway from Djibouti to Hara Gebeya-Kombelcha-Mekelle (discontinued); expanded elementary and high schools and founded numerous TVET’s (Technical and Vocational Education Training); established fifty universities (unheard of in modern Ethiopian history); initiated the construction of the grand dam, the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD); more specifically, it is the late Meles Zenawi who laid the cornerstone of the GERD project in 2011 and [then] said "Let every Ethiopian fingerprint be placed unto the construction of the Dam", but the current depraved elements in power would not even mention his name, let alone give him credit. Above all, the EPRDF maintained peace and order for twenty-seven solid years.

Now the counter-revolutionary regime of Abiy Ahmed, though initially portrayed itself as saintly, kind, and humane new government, it soon began to dishonor, discredit, and if it can put the EPRDF into disrepute by its opprobrium. It called the 27 years rule of the EPRDF ‘age of darkness’ when, in fact, it is abundantly clear that it is the Abiy regime that brought total darkness or permanent eclipse to Ethiopia.

The charlatans and flag-waving demagogues (those who carry the old flat Ethiopian flag) joined the chorus by singing the same song that Abiy sung: “27 years of darkness”, although deep down in their hearts they know too well that Ethiopia was heading toward a middle income status during those 27 years; they too are cognizant of Addis Ababa’s transformation from a shanty town into a major African cosmopolitan African city, and by extension the dramatic change of other cities like Hawassa, Adama, Bahir Dar, and Mekelle. But they are in a state of denial, or in plain English they have refused to accept reality.

Abiy and his associates (the opportunist elements with no integrity) brought to Ethiopia humans’ most toxic and destructive activity that we call war; the regime conducted incessant wars in the Oromia and Benishangul Gumuz regional states; it is the ENDF and the Federal Police that are engaged in counter-combat in these regions and in other sporadic skirmishes as in Konso, Sidama, Wolaita etc.

The wars in some parts of Ethiopia ultimately culminated in the major war against Tigray; I will come back to the genocidal war in Tigray later, because I want to touch upon the nature and characteristics of the regime in Addis Ababa first; without understanding the political behavior of Abiy’s so-called government, readers would not be able to grasp the essence of Ethiopian politics and the realities on the ground.

The present unparalleled ordeal that Ethiopians have encountered is a direct result of a counter-revolutionary behavior of Abiy and his associates; the current regime’s agenda is to dismember Ethiopia, notwithstanding Abiy’s lecture to the parliament that “Ethiopia will not be destroyed”; the regime is inherently treasonous and has betrayed the Ethiopian nation by compromising its sovereignty and territorial integrity (a case in point is allowing Sudan to occupy Ethiopian lands) and working hand-in-glove with Ethiopian enemies like Eritrea and the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Above all, the regime is illegitimate by all accounts because it has usurped state power after its term in office expired.

Because the Abiy regime is treasonous, it declared an all-out war against Tigray on November 4, 2020; it escalated the war by bringing all its ENDF divisions to Tigray, and by encouraging the Amhara militia and the Eritrean troops to invade Tigray by dispatching their forces from the western and northern parts, respectively. The sadistic Abiy government also allowed UAE drones to bombard Tigray Defense Forces (TDF) targets while its air force was engaged in carpet bombing of innocent Tigrayan civilians. The Amhara Militia, the Eritrean mercenaries and the ENDF have wantonly destroyed the farms and industries, institutions of higher learning, monasteries and churches, historical monuments, health facilities including forty clinics, savagely raped some 10,600 women of all ages, not to mention their plunder of Tigrayan homestead properties and their looting of industrial and farming tools. They have committed ethnic cleansing or genocide by violating the Geneva Convention and the Rome Statue, and both Abiy and Isaias as well as the top commanders of the ENDF and Amhara Militia should be held accountable for all the crimes they have committed, and they should be brought before the international criminal court (ICC).

The enemies of Tigray have labeled the TDF as ‘terrorist’ and ‘junta’, when, in fact, on the contrary it is Abiy himself the junta and terrorist; his associates and the Ethiopian TV anchors and reporters also parrot and say ‘terrorist’ and ‘junta’ (without even knowing the meaning of junta) and they cajole these two words incessantly to the point of meaninglessness.
Since Abiy ascended to power in 2018, the political mystic and rhythmic patterns in relation to the chaos and instability in Ethiopia have been the same, and it logically follows that the counter-revolutionary forces or merchants of death behind the chaos are the same as well; in other words, behind all these violent destructions are the masked and unmasked political actors that I have mentioned above.

The deeply authoritarian and tyrannical regime of Abiy Ahmed has now told us that its party , the Prosperity Party (PP) has enjoyed a landslide victory by winning 410 seats out of the total 436 seats in the parliament; that means Abiy will reinstall himself as the PM (or the 7th King) of the new “legitimate” government in September; it will obviously monopolize power and the remaining 26 seats could be given not to genuine opposition parties but to the allied and Abiy’s loyal minuscule forces and some depraved and traitorous Tigrayan elements.

As soon as the new government is installed on September 2021, the regime will continue its counter-revolutionary measures and will escalate the war in Tigray, Benishangul, and Oromia; and it will also attempt to either neutralize or violently attack the new sympathizers and supporters of Tigray, namely, Eastern Gojjam, Afar, Harar, Sidama, Gmabella, and the Somali Regional State minus its president Mustafa Mohammed, a fugitive-like PP loyal without mass base in his own state. Of the above states and people who are now drifted toward Tigray, the Afar people are already being bombarded by Ethiopian air force as I write this article.
After September, the new staggering government-same regime will have to fight not only Tigray, Oromia, and Benishangul but also the rest of the recalcitrant states as well. In brief, Ethiopia will be engulfed with violent and destructive wars, but not necessarily civil wars of one ethnic group against the other as the enemies of Ethiopia crave and desire. There has never been in the history of Ethiopia where one ethnic group conducted war against another ethnic group, because Ethiopia have had a centralized political system for millennia and made a transition from the pastoral mode of production, where ethnic clashes were normal, thousands of years ago. It is highly probable that the wars will be conducted between the government forces and the local militia and/or army of the nationalities.

The Government may not survive the advancing TDF military advancement and onslaught and could be forced to either flee the country or surrender.

However, the question that arises pertaining to Ethiopia’s future from concerned and sensible Ethiopians is, will Ethiopia as a nation state survive the present ordeal and counter revolution? In my opinion, there could be two possible scenarios: 1) Ethiopia will survive and recapture its historic grand qualities if the federalist potential forces successfully gather momentum, solidify their joint struggle and assume state power, and perhaps restructure the Ethiopian state via national reconciliation ; 2) if on the other hand the counter-revolutionary forces hold onto power in the midst of protracted major and small wars, the country’s economy will collapse beyond repair, its political structures will be shattered , and the country will implode; Ethiopia, will either suffocate and strangle itself like Somalia, or its component parts will go their own separate ways; in the first scenario, the regional states will regroup and meet again and salvage Ethiopia from disintegration; and in the second scenario, they will never meet again and they won’t have a common overarching identity called ‘Ethiopian’ nor a home that they call ‘Ethiopia’.

I am now compelled to leave the fate of Ethiopia to the higher levels of complexity of the universe and the dynamic forces of history.
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