Ethiopia: Abiy A. Ali The Reformer In Chief

 A few months ago the East African proud nation (Ethiopia) was on the brink of collapse and civil war was not an exaggerated possibility. Public uproar and the resultant security crisis were daunting. 

What made the situation worrisome is that in addition to its fluid and volatile multicultural dynamism, its geographic and regional political environ is by no means a favorable one. Surrounded  by nations in civil war, failed states, stalemate, and strategic economic, military and political region in the horn and the Gulf area, it was not promising even to be moderately stable let alone a nationwide security crisis. 

Somalia President Farmajo (L) and PM Abiy Ahmed (R) of Ethiopia

Opposition groups labeled terrorists by the country’s parliament are called upon to join the peaceful struggle to democratize Ethiopia. 

They all (OLF, ONLF & PG7) responded positively to call and expressed their willingness and readiness to start the negotiation with the government.

A little more than two months now, Abiy Ahmed Ali has taken a “political sprint”, promising and delivering reforms in the country and has done some really good diplomacy.

The Eritrean government also accepted the Olive Branch Mr. Ahmed offered to normalize the border situation of the two nations. President Isayas Aferwerki expressed his government’s readiness to engage in the peace deal to which end he said he wound send delegates “to gauge the current developments directly and in  and as well as to chart out a plan for future actions”. Eritrea is known for harbouring the parties that waged armed struggle against Addis. 

Even though the political and economic reforms are far lesser than what the people demanded, the short period he has been in office earned him a huge trust and his followers a big hope to believe that he will bring the needed change in due time.

His close-to-people’s-pulse speeches in his domestic tours, his boldness to embrace popular demands and admission to state terrorism made him to be someone to reckon. He pledged reforms in bureaucracy, economy, security & intelligence and judicial & legal sectors. He expressed his commitment to quality education in the country. That is why is rightly being referred to as ” Reformer in Chief”, “Prime Minister Bolt” and so on.

The east African economic integration and the South Sudan peace deal in Addis are some of the highly promising endeavours by the Premiere. It is a short memory to recall that Reik Machar was told to leave Ethiopia by the former PM Hailemariam Desalegn because alluding to his rebellious aggression against the South Sudan government. 


Ethiopia PM Abiy Ahmed joining the fighting leaders of South Sudan (Salvakir and Reik Machar, president and rebel leader respectively)

There are no easy ways and short time to realize this all. The mess created in the past is a huge toll on him. There are hardliner establishments from the party who will make the progress no easy journey. The intraparty friction due to colliding interests over the  power balance and ideological cleft will challenge the youngest African leader. 
The popular support he is enjoying is very enormous given the party he chairs that is known for its oppression and strong grip to power at the peril of the people and the short time he has presided over the government.

That nation who was on the brink of collapse got its fresh start on April 2, 2018 with cautious optimism, now surprises its citizens and close observers with arrays of breaking news that are turning the cautious optimism in to something that sounds like hope. 

 The way forward to foster the realization of this reform in Ethiopia now is the dialogue with the stakeholders, political parties and and intellectuals. The reform has to be framed in  a way that all Ethiopians from all shades of thought will be participating in realization of peace and stability, democracy and economic prosperity.

Mengistu D. Assefa,