The Ethiopia Dilemma

Ethiopian citizens have become optimistic about which direction their country is heading in. Authoritarianism remains on the books with the use of repressive laws, especially those that are designed to constrain unchecked surveillance and freedom of expression.

Jawar Mohammed (C), a member of the Oromo ethnic group who has been a public critic of Abiy, addresses supporters that had gathered outside his home in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa after he accused security forces of trying to orchestrate an attack against him October 24, 2019. – A day after supporters of the high-profile opposition activist took to the streets, burning tyres and blocking roads following rumours of Jawar’s mistreatment by state forces where at least four people were killed and dozens injured in protests in Ethiopia against Nobel Peace Prize laureate and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, hospital and police sources said Thursday. Photography: STRINGER / AFP.

Last month in Ethiopia, 67 people died in a protest, which clearly shows that there are still some problems which are being ignored in Ethiopia a report noted. The  Ethiopia mounting tensions, and general instability since Abiy took office and for three years before he could make conditions for the vote fraught.

The Oromo Agitation

A reporter noted that, since Prime Minister Abiy took office, there have been several waves of mass arrests of people in Oromia perceived to be opposed to the government.

However, in the Oromia region, after ethnic Oromo activist recently critical of Abiy, Jawar Mohammed, accused security forces of trying to remove his security detail, hundreds of his supporters protested against Abiy in the capital Addis Ababa and several other places.

The ethnic, political rivalry makes some Oromo youth replaced national flags in Addis Ababa with the OLF banner  and surrounding areas of the area which is provoking the anger  and clashes with other groups our source noted.

A political analyst said that, if Abiy does not take decisive steps to stabilise the country, chances are high that the Ethiopian state could crumble. 


The political feud within the ruling coalition, Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), have contributed to the unrest. Ascendant ethno-nationalist and other opposition movements have exploited the ensuing political opening and further exacerbated instability.

Way forward

The premier must assert the federal government’s power to ensure peace and security. He must negotiate with his adversaries and allies on the direction the country is taking, and find a way to tame the powerful ethno-nationalist activists.

However, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s work is far from done. This award should push and motivate him to tackle the outstanding human rights challenges that threaten to reverse the gains made so far.

The Ethiopian government must address the ongoing ethnic crisis that  has been threatening the instability and increasing human rights abuse rate.

Futhermore, Prime Minister Abiy should also ensure that his government revises the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, which continues to be used as a tool of repression, and holds suspected perpetrators of past human rights violations to account.

The Ethiopian authorities need to move forward on the basis of consensus among the main political factions, inside and outside the EPRDF.






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