Nobel Peace Prize winning dictator Abiy Ahmed turning Ethiopia into a banana republic

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Wrong Nobel Prize Winner

The Nobel Peace Prize winning dictator of Ethiopia, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, is gradually turning Africa’s second most populous country into a banana republic where people are arrested and detained in secret cells across the country with their lawyers unable to locate them.

When anti-government protests propelled Abiy to power in 2018, he quickly released tens of thousands of political prisoners who were arrested and jailed by several administrations known for using security forces to crush dissent.

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However, just over two years after, Abiy Ahmed himself is using the same brutal tactics that were commonplace in previous administrations in Ethiopia.

At least 9,000 people have been arrested since the June 29 shooting of Hachalu Hundesa, a popular outspoken Oromo singer. The killing sparked days of protests that killed more than 178 people in the capital and surrounding Oromiya region.

Some of the protests, along with a police crackdown, degenerated into inter-communal violence that left hundreds more wounded, according to Ethiopia’s Federal Police Commission. Property was also damaged in many parts of the country including Shashemene, Agarfa, Arusi Negele, Dera, and Ziway.

Ethiopian Human Rights Commission confirmed that around 9,000 people have been arrested since the deadly clashes occurred last month, raising fears, repeatedly highlighted in this medium, that the government of Abiy Ahmed which was hailed for reforms has returned to the brutal tactics of past administrations.

In Addis Ababa and Oromia region, the police arrested at least 5,000 people, many of whom remain in incommunicado detention with their whereabouts unknown.

Those arrested included leading opposition politicians like Jawar Mohammed from the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), leaders of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), Eskinder Nega of Balderas for True Democracy party, and journalists.The Ethiopian authorities are causing great anguish to the families of those arrested by failing to divulge their whereabouts. Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa

“The Ethiopian authorities are causing great anguish to the families of those arrested by failing to divulge their whereabouts. They must immediately disclose where each detainee is being held, and either charge them with a recognizable crime or release them immediately,” said Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa.

Families are worried about their loved ones being held in crowded, unsanitary conditions in places of detention amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

Lawyers are unable to establish the whereabouts of key officials of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) including Michael Boran, Shigut Geleta, Lemi Benya, Kenessa Ayana, and Colonel Gemechu Ayana, who were arrested on various dates since Hachalu Hundesa’s death.

They told Amnesty International last month that the Addis Ababa Police Commission, the Federal Police Commission, the Oromia Police Commission and the Oromia Special Zone authorities have all denied having any of the OLF officials in their custody.They must immediately disclose where each detainee is being held, and either charge them with a recognizable crime or release them immediately. Deprose Muchena, Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa

Another OLF leader, Abdi Regassa, arrested in February, remains unaccounted for, according to his lawyer, because the police have been moving him from one place of detention to another, such that neither his family nor his lawyers know his whereabouts.

Abiy Ahmed came to power in 2018 promising reforms, and won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2019 for his peace moves with neighboring Eritrea.

He promised to end the repression of past administrations, and to engage Ethiopians and neighboring countries in building a peaceful and democratic country and region.

However, some of his changes have “unleashed old disputes over land, resources and local power, and he now faces the challenge of protecting citizens while preserving fledgling freedoms that helped win him the Nobel peace prize last year”, per Reuters.

Billene Seyoum, a spokeswoman for the prime minister, told Reuters, “One of the government’s primary roles and responsibilities is ensuring security and stability and that the rule of law prevails … actions taken over the past weeks are a reflection of the commitment to law and constitutional order.”

But Reuters noted that “Abiy’s critics detect disturbing echoes of the past.” For instance, opposition activist Dejene Tafa was arrested by the police on July 8 in the middle of the night as he slept next to his pregnant wife. Dejene is a university professor and secretary of the Oromo Federalist Congress party.

His wife, Aselefech Mulatu, said her husband is being held without charge and has contracted COVID-19 in prison.

“We thought we had transitioned to a democratic system,” Reuters quoted her as saying.

The western medium quoted Tegene Regassa, spokesman for Ethiopia’s health ministry, as confirming Dejene had been hospitalized for COVID-19 but said he had recovered.

His wife said Dejene had already spent two years in prison without charge for taking part in the street protests that toppled the previous prime minister.

“Getachew Balcha, a regional government spokesman, confirmed 7,126 people had been arrested in Oromiya alone. He said did not know how many had been charged but said “files were being prepared” on 500 of them,” Reuters reported.

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Simon Ateba
Simon Ateba
Based in Washington, District of Columbia, United States of America, Simon leads a brilliant team of reporters, freelance journalists, analysts, researchers and contributors from around the world to run TODAY NEWS AFRICA as editor-in-chief. Simon Ateba's journalistic experience spans over 10 years and covers many beats, including business and investment, information technology, politics, diplomacy, human rights, science reporting and much more. Write him: simonateba@todaynewsafrica.com

33 COMMENTS

  1. If this world is a place of truth, the Next Noble Prize must 100% be to Tigray Region of Ethiopia.
    You reporter, stay blessed!!!!

  2. Thank you million times to reveal the TRUTH. I wonder if Abiy is healthy b/se ” health is not the absence of illness”!!!!!

  3. amazingly, some maybe residing in US who put their comment here pretend to be smarter saying the report as ‘one sided’ or ‘biased’ or some even dare to use ‘bribed’ or justified act of rule of law but the fact is when it comes to the oromo ethinic group cause why not a genocidal act they will come up with some kind of excuse to cover it up. This, revealing our truth and dying for it is what we had been doing for long. But this time the world is opening up to to discover the truth. So my advice to these stubborn folks who try to cover the brutal massacre of Abiy Ahmed the dictator would be do not get exhausted to cover up like you used to cause the world no more needs your guideness or approval.

  4. Now the world will understand there are two groups who supports the neftegna regime of dictatorial government and the rest of Ethiopia.
    just because he kills oromo people they support him and say the report is fake and biased. Wtf we are living in a country where every report is made to support the government despite killing many and is made to cover his horrors.
    As of now abiy Ahmed is on killing spree.
    So whoever supports abiy and make him look good leader is unacceptable.
    Why they shut down #omn without any mistakes. (the funny thing is all of abiy Ahmed controlled medias are insulting oromo nation day and night) because to suppress the voice of the oppressed nations such as oromo, wolayta,sidama ..
    So we need independent investigation in Ethiopia.
    So who ever supports him(abiy Ahmed) the reason needs to be investigated. Then you will know minilik II. Abiy Ahmed didn’t know he is in the 21st century. He wanted to repeat the minilik.

  5. Thank you for presenting the truth. But if you can please replace the word #Arusi with #Arsi because the word Arusi is the derogatory word used for for many years. The original name of the town is #Negele Arsi.
    Thanks

  6. I wasn’t surprised for this kind article written by someone who never visited the country in question. Neither his reporters live inside the country. I am not disputing about the killing and displacement of innocent people but we have to know the root cause of the problem so as a journalist you should be to investigate before writing biased stories like this one. I understand the role of money in journalism.

  7. Thank you fir your report .
    But it doesn’t indicate the extent of the horrors the government doing. Because he controls every media. We want independent investigation and independent media to come here and report. But the gov’t doesn’t allow that because everyone will know his lie and what a brutal,dictactor leader he is.
    What kind of a leader massacres his people using other country mercenaries- Eritrean mercenaries. What he is doing with Eritrean mercenaries tells you that Nobel peace prize he got by making peace with Eritrea(former Ethiopian enemy) was only for destruction of opposition parties.
    Why I am not surprised! esayas afwerki doesn’t do election. So ally with him makes sense.

  8. reporting unfair things happening is appropriate however, I have seen a little partiality on describing prisoners to the public on the side of OFCO & OLF

  9. Did you watch youtube videos and made this report. This is so untrue. why dont you come to shashemene and hear from the people themselves?

  10. Just the headline is very shocking enough. Man! why do you hate Abiy ? It is not like you had a chance of winning the nibel peace prize and he beat you. All this trouble is because he is NOT a dictator. Our prime minister had done some bad decisions out vain hope, and not out of his own glory, but being a dictator is not one of them. A lot of people wish and insist him to be a dictator.
    Come on man you could do better than this. Be real.

  11. Governing ethiopia is similar to holding millions of Ants . Instead of fully blame one country’s leader especially Ethiopian leaders , you had better to give a balanced information for the people of Ethiopia . Humilating your country’s leader within a short period of time leadership times shows that carelesness for the country’s honor .

  12. Governing ethiopia is similar to holding millions of Ants . Instead of fully blame one country’s leader especially Ethiopian leaders , you had better to give a balanced information for the people of Ethiopia . Humilating your country’s leader within a short period of time leadership times shows that carelesness for the country’s honor .

  13. I am really very disappointed to read this baised and fabricated article of urs codemning my prime minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed who is struggling to make the best out of hell. Can I ask u a question my dear fake journalist, where were u when thousands were slaughtered, killed and displaced from thier home place by the weyane led govt and recently by affiliated political groups around the country? Where were u when hundreds were slaughtered in the name of race and religion throughout the country by those terrorists who consider themselves as democrats and freedom fighters? Finally do u have any idea how the Amharas are endangered in the country for a false hisorical blaming orchestrated by the tplf.
    U r either fake, jealous or an idiot.
    Dr. Abiy is great and u r jealos of him.

  14. Comment:??? for people commenting as if the content of this report is FAKE and one sided
    which point is fake????
    Assassination?
    Arbitrate Arrest ?
    Fake court accusation?

  15. The truth is here. Most of the commentators are diasporas. They have full information about the truth. Most of them are from the anti-oromo supporters. They are of the oromo-fobic societies.

    I am the eye witness who is obserbing the daily happenings in the country. Abiy is really the most brutal killer ever seen in ethiopia. Your report is true. Now more than 20,000 poeple are detained in preson. Every his military forces are killing poeple.

  16. We black people jump faster than cangroo to condemn one another.But we are so slow when it comes to forwarding positive thought. I think Simon is good example. Please try to understand the reality first my brother!

  17. Thanks reporter for unveiling the fact though this is just after the assassination of the Artist. There are a lot to tell about Abiy’s sabotage story before it. To mention some: Assassination of Eng. Simegnew Bekele, General site Manager of Dam Nile, General SeArom, Militarily Federal General, & his friend General Abera, Dr. Ambachew, President of Amhara region, & many more others.
    However, the good orator but incompetent in Administration, Abiy, turned the country into chaos from the beginning of his promotion. He promised to bring Democracy & unity of all but went the reality was the worst divisive. His strategy was building a huge monster, TPLF, crafted as an enemy, threat & danger to Ethiopians so he can be shielded under while people are focusing to protect from this Staged threat.
    However, the two year sabotage task result ended up with the worst instability in the country.
    Practically, TPLF showed as the true leadership to its people. They Confirmed peace & stability to their Administrative region.
    On Contrary, Abiy’s Admin harvested what deserved, loosing all his supporters. The majority people now understood & turned to be opposing. They knew the truth who the real threat, dictator, & worst admin is.

  18. What a shameful journal as AnAfrican?

    Where did you get only this side of the story ? Mr Smon? You need to check your team or your self. If you don’t have enough resource you don’t need to write it at all.

    The good news is…we the people of Ethiopia and Africa knows what is right and wrong and we stand with Abiy

    Make sure your pen write the truth!

  19. @Dagnachew,
    Does anything has to do this fact with TPLF??? Is this the only knowledge you have filling the blank with TPLF. That is why the issues turned from bad to worst. Blatantly smeared someone than focusing on the real issues & trying to solve. This is like adding a gas to burning fire. You just making things get worse. Don’t just try to change subject. Enough is enough. We got tired of hearing whining someone forever. This’s just the incompetent shield.
    The government has to have a working strategy otherwise it’s responsible by any means.

  20. I saw the article as a positive input but you only focus on the 9k arrested and you try to cover up by saying 178 people are killed by government force which is not real at all,    people were killed by young Oromo protester selectively by stone and bitting even a 9-month pregnant woman in Arsi killed in front of her husband and two children over 210 house burnt to the ground over 13k people are sheltered in five different Ethiopian Orthodox church   I believe people were killed because of there ethnicity and religion which they don’t have any attachment to any part of  Hachalu Hundessa killing   you left all this blindly it feels so sad what value do you have for human life?   

  21. Thank you for reporting the sorry state Ethiopia is under Abiy Ahmed. However, this article focused primarily on events after June 29, 2020, the day the iconic Oromo singer was assassinated. For the last 2 years, Ethiopia is in chaos where inter-communal violence multiplied, mass displacement became routine, high profile assassinations and murders have become daily news, and where citizens are targeted because of their ethnic identity.

  22. Abiyi, PM of ETHIOPIA never deserve Nobel peace prize. He is a modern of 21st dictator and murderer, stupid PM in history of prime ministers. Therefore, I strongly recommend the international community must impose a sanction on to him and He must appeal to ICC for the Genocide He committed in his administration specially on Oromo Community. I thank you also Africa News for your nice cover though it may not cover the entire atrocities in the country. It needs neutral investigations to reveal the atrocities in Ethiopia to the world. HRW and Amnesty international do have a lion share to conduct their study well.

  23. Thanks for your uncover the reality though it’s the tip of the iceberg. The reality on the ground is very harsh more than even in Ethiopian history, particularly in Oromia Region from where this dictator emerged.

  24. Be Abiyi’s follower or be a part if medemer! Medemer means being positive thinker for all human being by respecting their belief’s culture & religions.

  25. I give you big x(Wrong) for your this report. Because you are anti black man or you are Anti Oromo’s people.

  26. Thanks Simon, Ethiopia is going back ward due to the incompetent & poor leadership of Abiy Ahmed who is awarded the prestigious Noble Prize for nothing because there is no peace between Ethiopia & Eritrea.

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