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9:58 am - Sunday November 27, 2022

Abiy's Quest for Power for Power's Sake and the Wollega-Zone New Auschwitz [GIRMA BERHANU (Professor)]

Abiy’s Quest for Power for Power’s Sake and the Wollega-Zone New Auschwitz

GIRMA BERHANU
Professor

It now seems evident that Abiy Ahmed, when he first appeared on the Ethiopian political main scene, was supported by virtually the entire Ethiopian people due to the following principal reasons:  
1.    They thought he would reunify the already badly polarised nation due to ethnicity and encumbered by recurrent ethnicity-based conflicts due to dysfunctional policies of the authoritarian TPLF regime.
2.    They believed he would redress political and economic injustices committed by the predecessor authoritarian TPLF regime and thus promote peace and reconciliation.
3.    They thought he would reform governance by changing the constitution and democratising the entire system.
4.    They believed and anticipated he would map out a robust strategy and appropriately conducive policy to facilitate rapid economic sustainable development.
But alas, Abiy miserably proved a failure in each of the above-cited anticipations. He increasingly polarised the country into more fierce conflicts. Indeed, he systematically went about escalating injustices and state crimes to the genocide level. Ethnic cleansing, internal displacement, grand corruption, crimes against humanity and war crimes became commonplace. Besides, Aby did not only vow to firmly uphold the ethnic-based apartheid constitution that TPLF and OLF had imposed over Ethiopia. He also incarcerated independent journalists and democracy activists for trumped-up charges of plotting to subvert the constitutional order.
Moreover, Aby stage-managed the world’s worst rigged general elections; no decent person would recognise and endorse them as elections. Furthermore, he intensified resource plunder and theft by state capture. And, by unconstitutionally arming the Tigray Defence Force and other provincial groups, he thus laid down the conducive conditions and groundwork for the currently raging ethnic-based civil war and atrocities, particularly against the Amhara people!
Who can now stop this person from causing further damage to Ethiopia? Eskinder Nega, the stalwart movement leader for peaceful struggle, has suddenly left the political stage and disappeared, fearing for his life! Zemen Kasse, the famous leader of the armed Fano movement, is now behind bars!
The Ethiopian people are now so severely smitten by apathy, deja vu and fatalism that they seem ready to quietly suffer any injustice and wrongdoing meted out onto them by the state powers, hoping for divine intervention! Probably the only still lingering hope is that further economic hardship and suffering — inflicted by hyperinflation, widespread unemployment, high civil war casualties, destruction and abject poverty — would ultimately galvanise the majority in the population behind a potential mass revolution, to get rid of the regime. However, dollar infusions from wealthy Arab countries, the IMF, the World Bank, and other bilateral and multilateral sources may regrettably forestall that possibility!
Abiy’s Quest for Power for Power’s Sake has left us all speechless and spineless! In a desperate situation like this, we can only hope for divine intervention!
A few years ago, I visited the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial Museum, on the sites of Auschwitz Concentration Camp, the largest Nazi concentration and extermination camp. Last week, I visited a Jewish cultural centre/museum in Riga, Latvia, with similar content. The two camps, Auschwitz-Birkenau and the one in Riga, are now prominent memorial sites on the holocaust tragedies.
The Auschwitz Museum relates the in-depth history of the Auschwitz Concentration Camp. It stands today as a reminder of the horrendous harvest resulting from hate and discrimination. The core message, as most aptly expressed by Ellen Germain, the Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, on the 75th Anniversary of the Auschwitz-Birkenau State Museum on 13th July 202, was: “We must safeguard your testimony, their testimony, so that truth will never die. The world must never forget. The world must never deny. The world must never downplay the Holocaust. We must remain ever on guard, and we must do far more to teach the lessons of the Holocaust and apply them in our own time. We must counter hate and lies with tolerance and truth. And we must stand up for human dignity and freedom wherever they are imperilled.” Indeed, that is what we learned during the visit!
More than 75 years after the crematoria ceased their most inhuman deadly work, the State Museum continues to ensure the site is preserved in perpetuity. The holocaust site is maintained to help future generations understand that such cold-blooded cruelty and systematic mass murder must never happen again. Indeed, it must be maintained as irrefutable evidence of the holocaust to all perverse persons who may attempt to deny or refute its real occurrence.

What amazes me is that similar atrocities are conducted right now, as I write this piece. It is not a thing of the past. It is happening in Ethiopia as well as in Ukraine. The only difference between the two is that virtually no one cares about the poor Ethiopians who are the victims in the New Auschwitz, the Wollega Zone in Oromia Region. The victims in the Wollega-Zone New Auschwitz are prevented, by the Oromia state authorities, from escaping. They are helplessly “reconciled” to their impending brutal death.

GIRMA BERHANU
Professor

GOTHENBURG UNIVERSITY
Department of Education and Special Education
Västra Hamngatan 25, A-hus room 168
Mail address: Box 300, 405 30 Göteborg
office: +46-(0)31-786 2325image
mobile: +46 704731818image
girma.berhanu@ped.gu.se
www.ips.gu.se

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