Ethiopia: On Sputnik’s Biased Assessment of Abiy Ahmed’s Reform and Politics in Addis

Four months ago, Abiy Ahmed took the highest office in Ethiopian politics after four years of nationwide protests against the government which led to the resignation of the then prime minster Hailemarian Dessalegn in February. Since then Abiy has undertaken what most have named one of the most drastic reform measures in bureaucratic, intelligence & military and economic sectors in a such short period of time.

He released political prisoners, removed veteran officials, lifted the state of emergency and removed the names of three indigenous political parties from the terrorist list.

While Mr. Ahmed’s reform agendas, and the measures he has taken can’t be without criticism, it will be a total disregard to the possible better future this young leader with ambitious project of democratizing and uniting the divided Ethiopia to let this kinds of opinions from a biased and one sided, possibly an article from an ill intended personal memoir of a person from a different interest in Ethiopian politics.

I found this interview piece of the observer under opinion column of Sputnik, a Russian media outlet a very biased and hence damaging to the country’s internal democracy, stability and unity as well as to its foreign relations to the powers of the Gulf and Horn and the “economic superpowers”

As per my observation this peice is an intentionally orchestrated propaganda. The opinion given to Sputnik by an analyst under the name of Negasi Tesfaye is totally a biased assessment of the reform agendas and progresses of PM Abiy Ahmed.

Here are few of the points

1. It intends to make clashes with China and US, Egypt, UAE and Saudi Arabia in relation to Ethiopia and regional politics including our relation with Eritrea and Djibouti. It intentionally avoided to present the positive developments in regional stability and PM Abiy and President Isaias’ commitment to end the stalemate and build a stable sub regional political atmosphere in the Horn.

2. It subtly tries to implicate the murder of Simegnew Bekele as if Abiy Ahmed and/or his government has hand in it, while avoiding the Dam’s absurd financial management, MetEC’s longstanding scandal and its ultimate outsourcing of electromechanical installation of the Dam. The rift between Sinegnew and his former bosses was omitted as well. While it is yet to be reported, if need be that there have to be public opinions about his murder, all possible scenarios should be addressed with evidences.

3. The analyst accuses Oromia Regional administration, and Lemma Megersa, of mass killings of Somalis. This makes things clear, as to who Negasi Tesfaye is. He avoided to mention Abdi Illey, his Liyou Police and TPLF generals who have been murdering, raping and displacing the people from East Ethiopia. He did not mention that 1.2mln Oromos were evicted. What a farce.

It is not strange when a transnational media outlet talks to a man who does not speak the truth to power but lies lies on behalf of murderers. Sputnik was not among them, as I usually find them cover the truth for what it is, now I have to think that may be I was wrong.

While I am not a very big fan of some developments in the country and the Horn from mere disagreements on ideas and procedures of national interest, cautions and and at times my inherent lack of complete trust of some leaders and their parties, I found these accusations on Abiy Ahmed on the murder of Simegnew Bekele, the case of Eastern Ethiopia aggression, and the regional and sub regional politics and Eritrea included and foreign policy in relation to super powers to be not just exaggerations, but intentionally orchestrated allegations.

The analyst seemed to have been angered by the lifting of the SoE, and deals with armed political parties as he implicated these developments in the cause of the ills we are facing.

This kinds of things usually come out from the internal power struggles among the ruling coalition that is leading the nation. This is a damaging development. What I strongly recommend is series of dialogues have to take place among the parties, as they are by extension lead the public they represent. Afterwards “People to people peace fora” spearheaded by intellectuals and independent media personalities have to be conducted to diffuse the already high tensions of mistrust and hatred.

I finally want Sputnik to reconsider its editorial stance not to rely on opinions of single person, especially when it comes to complex sociopolitical problems like that our Ethiopia.