When will the world call Nobel Peace Prize winning dictator of Ethiopia Abiy Ahmed to order?

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The world is silent, cold and blind. The persistent cries of Ethiopians are falling into deaf ears.

Hundreds die, thousands are jailed, but the world seems shockingly unconcerned.

The African Union is silent. African leaders are silent. The European Union is silent. The United States is silent. The United Kingdom is silent. Other global institutions and powers are silent.

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In spite of their silence, Africa’s second most populous country is on the brink, and it is the making of one man, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, who came to power in 2018, vowing to make things better not worse.

For some months, it appeared he was headed in the right direction. He surprised many with a peace deal with neighboring Eritrea, a breakthrough that earned him global honors and a Nobel Peace Prize.

Two years after, the influential country with at least 109 million strong population, which shares borders with Eritrea to the north, Djibouti to the northeast, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the south, South Sudan to the west and Sudan to the northwest, is embroiled in a self-inflicted, man-made crisis.

This week, Abiy Ahmed fired defense minister Lemma Megersa, a former ally.

Megersa was replaced by Kenea Yadeta, the former security chief of Oromiya region, the most populous of Ethiopia’s 10 regions.

Nine other top officials were also replaced, including the attorney general, his deputy and the mining minister.

Lemma Megersa and Abiy Ahmed were once close and trusted allies, but relations soured in November when Megersa publicly criticized Abiy’s decision to consolidate the ethnically based-parties in the ruling coalition into one political party, the Prosperity Party.

Last week, Prosperity Party suspended Megersa’s membership.

Abiy’s father and Lemma both come from Oromiya where bloody street protests propelled Abiy to power in 2018.

But Abiy’s support there is being eroded, especially after bloody protests sparked by assassination of a popular singer left at least 178 people dead and about 9000 others in detention.

Last Saturday, Human Rights Watch warned that Ethiopian authorities have been detaining dozens of opposition members and journalists for prolonged periods and often without charge since late June 2020, raising serious rights concerns.

The rights group said a month after one of the most violent spates of unrest in the country’s recent history, police and prosecutors need to publicly account for all detainees’ whereabouts, comply promptly and fully with court bail orders, and ensure easy and regular access to lawyers and relatives for those not released.

“The actions of Ethiopia’s investigative authorities raise concerns that they have not moved on from past practices of arresting first, and investigating later,” said Laetitia Bader, Horn of Africa director at Human Rights Watch. “The authorities should promptly bring credible charges based on clear facts and evidence against the detainees or ensure their release.”

“Communities reeling from the recent violence deserve meaningful justice,” Bader said. “Entrusted with this responsibility, the government needs to show that it is both doing the hard work of bringing those responsible to account and that it can adhere to the rule of law by conducting credible and thorough investigations while still upholding the rights of those accused of serious offenses.” 

The arrests follow the June 29 killing of a popular Oromo artist and activist, Hachalu Hundessa, in Addis Ababa, the capital. Hachalu’s death triggered unrest and violence in several towns, particularly in the Oromia region, and left at least 178 people dead from both civilians and law enforcement. Some were mourners and protesters, killed by security forces when they opened lethal fire. Attacks on mainly ethnic and religious minority communities in Oromia also resulted in killings, massive property destruction, and displacement.

Last Friday, Amnesty International called on Ethiopian security forces “to stop the use of deadly force on protesters.”

“There is never justification for the use of lethal force when it is not to protect lives,” Amnesty International’s Director for East and Southern Africa, Deprose Muchena, wrote in a statement received by TODAY NEWS AFRICA in Washington DC.

Amnesty International was reacting to the killing of at least 16 people following protests over the arrest of zonal officials, community leaders and activists by Ethiopian security officers in the Wolaita Zone of Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Regional State (SNNPR) since August 9, 2020.

“This unnecessary force has claimed so many lives in recent days, including protesters and bystanders. Among the 16 people who have been killed are a boy who was homeless and a woman with a mental disability, neither of whom were participating in the protests. No one should be killed for exercising their right to freedom of peaceful assembly or for being around a protest.

“The authorities must urgently stop the use of lethal force in the context of protests and thoroughly, effectively and impartially investigate these killings. All those found responsible must be brought to justice in fair trials. Victims and their families must also have access to adequate reparations,” Muchena added.

People took to the streets on August 9 after Ethiopia’s Defence Forces arrested more than 20 officials of the Wolaita Zone, as well as community leaders and activists, allegedly for holding a meeting in contravention of COVID-19 measures.

According to multiple witnesses interviewed by Amnesty International, security forces beat up and shot at protesters and bystanders while trying to disperse the protest.

Amnesty International said a homeless boy was killed in Wolaita-Soddo city on August 9 as the security forces violently cleared people off the streets following the arrests. Seven more people were killed in Bodditi on August 10, including a 14-year old boy, footballer Getahun Ashenafi and a woman with a mental disability.

According to government sources, at least 16 people have been killed to date as protests continue.

Two witnesses told Amnesty International that a woman was killed by security forces on 12 August while on her way to shop for groceries. Tension remains high due to the heavy deployment of security officers from the police forces, the SNNPR special Liyu police, and the Ethiopian Defence Forces.

Medical sources told Amnesty International that 18 injured people have been admitted to Soddo Christian Hospital in Wolaita, some of them to the Intensive Care Unit.

Abiy has promised to hold the first free and fair elections in Africa’s second most populous nation next year, but his democratic reforms have also unleashed ethnic divisions that frequently spill into violence, noted Reuters.

The news agency quoted political analyst Mohamed Olad, as saying that Lemma Megersa’s removal may further whittle away support for Abiy in Oromiya region.

“Lemma enjoys wider support and approval in Oromia than Abiy,” he said.

“Whether he will activate that reservoir of goodwill depends on two things. First, whether he will be free to exercise his political rights …(and) whether he is willing to play an active role in politics.”

Reuters noted that Lemma Megersa’s criticism joined a “growing swell of voices – some from Oromiya – who accuse Abiy of trying to centralize power and of rolling back his democratic reforms.”

Kjetil Tronvoll, professor of peace and conflict studies at Bjørknes University in Oslo, told Reuters that the debate whether to centralize or devolve power was at the heart of Ethiopia’s fractious politics.

“This is the key controversy in all federal arrangements – the power balance between the federal and regional states,” he said

Tronvoll said if the Oromo youth who helped Abiy to power turn against him, it could pose a problem during the elections.

Reuters noted that “unrest in Oromiya not Abiy’s only worry. The northern Tigray region, whose people dominated the last administration, has announced it will hold regional elections this month in defiance of a government decision to postpone polls across the nation due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.”

Despite the instability, the deaths, the arrests and detentions, the world has remained cold, blind, and deaf.

What would it take to call Abiy Ahmed to order?


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


  1. Abiy must go Abiy is our poison jawar Mohammad is our medicine
    Abiy must remove
    Free jawar Mohammad
    Free bekele garba
    Free Hamza borona
    Free shamsudin Taha
    Free all political prisoners
    Free all journalist omn Oromia media network
    Free omn
    Free People
    Free students
    Free teacher
    Free doctor
    Free farmers
    Free oromo
    Free Oromia
    Oromia shall be free
    Thanks today new Africa

  2. Excellen investigation !This is the real situation of Ethiopia.The country has been messed by a dictatorship ambishen of Abyi Ahimed who want to be the 7th king of Ethiopia what he said ” my mother’s prophecy” which is very contrary for democratic ambition of Nations and Nationalities of Ethiopia.The neo-Neftana Mafia group assembled around Abyi are waging war against nations and Nationalities as his ideology is to reinstitute the old order of feudo burgious dominated by the neo-Neftana who ruled the country for a century by dehumanising Oromo and other Ethiopian nations and Nationalities.The struggle against tyrant Nafxanyaa rules will continue and freedom shall privail!

  3. Thanks brother.You nailed what is
    currently happening in Ethiopia
    .under Abiyi Ahmed the noble
    Laurette leadership genocide is going
    on In Ethiopia specially targeting on
    Oromoo nation.Oromoo is
    mercilessly being killed by Ethiopian
    military forces across oromia
    regional state. Oromoo nation seeks
    humanity concern from super nation
    ,USA.European union ,Au etc on the


  4. 🤔… “a leader of brilliant team” 😯oh, no, 😳are you kidding? 😂is this a way how you lead? 😉By judging the animal only by the tail.
    🚫Watch out 🚫

  5. If achievement or a knowledge is not more than Snoring, it will not give any solution for anyone, but it is just babbling of a bar customers.

    …the more you know, the less you…

  6. Before posting such informations, you should get other side information to make it unbiased! what you have posted is one side information that shows only opposition. You can never judge a goverment of once sovereign county only by collecting data that are moving across the web site. That is what you did definetly. You should go and get right informations about the existing situation. It is far beyong what you mentioned in this report. Those who have been jailed were directly related to the innocent killings and who were participated in such movements. Anyways before writing such articles, you need to get right informations. Dr. Abiy is doing his best according to law of the land. Ethiopia has its own rules and regulations to follow, any one who disobeys this rule must be treated as per the law of land.

  7. What a nonsense report fool of propaganda materials from the extremists which are trying to destroy this old nation !shamw on you !!Shame on you ! Dr Abiye is such a gentleman who is trying to propel the nation forward while fighting all the haters who preferred to rebel aginst despite all the peace proposals.

  8. Thanks brother.You nailed what is currently happening in Ethiopia .under Abiyi Ahmed the noble Laurette leadership genocide is going on In Ethiopia specially targeting on Oromoo nation.Oromoo is mercilessly being killed by Ethiopian military forces across oromia regional state. Oromoo nation seeks humanity concern from super nation ,USA.European union ,Au etc on the world.

  9. Ethiopian government arrested innocent people and attacking them in prison with covid19 weapon! Ethiopian government Abiy Ahmed is not only a dictator but also bioterrorist as he attacking prisoners using covid19.

  10. You should be ashemed of your self………… this report is #fake_news
    Yoomii jalqabeetu kan nama ajjeesuun, mana namaa gubuun mirmii seera qabeessa ta’e,
    Most peoples killed in oromia is even not by military forces, we civilians killed each other….
    Oromoon dhugaa qaba dhuugaan falmata,

  11. Thank you for your honest,accurate and most balanced information about Ethiopia. Yes, Ethiopia is experiencing most chaotic time, the division among its people is the deepest of all time. Current government is very very incompetent and confused in all direction. Whats crazy is just a handful of supporters praised him and leading him into the complete wrong way blindly.

  12. Thank you for being a voice. Many Oromo people are being killed by Abiy’s security forces still now. Even those people who were not participating in the protest. Young people who are less than 10 years old were killed infront of their parents by calling them out just because of being oromo. Abiy Ahmed is on the last stage of oromo phobia. This is why we struggle.

  13. Thanks Simon Ateba for a well-argued & balanced piece. 1) The fact that the world is ignoring the massacre of black Africans somewhere in the ‘blighted continent’ of Africa is hardly anything out of the ordinary. Worse, the rest of the world has COVID-19 to focus on right now. 2) All the commentators on this article who try to justify the cold-blooded murder of unarmed Oromo protesters are members of the historic king-making tribe from the northern-half of Ethiopia (the Habeshas/Abyssinians). Still, they need to remember that Ethiopia’s on-paper-only constitution allows the Oromos or, other communities in Ethiopia, to stage a peaceful protest march against a brutal regime that they have NOT even elected without being shot by armed-thugs otherwise known as “the Ethiopian army”. 3) Haaromsa Abo: Major Dawit Wolde Giorgis – the fellow who posted an anti-Oromo comment under this report – was not only a top official of the murderous military junta led by Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam (DERG -1974-1991). More importantly, he was the governor of the ex-province of Eritrea. Under his watch, many .. many Eritrean civilians have been hunted, jailed, tortured & murdered; while more than a million were displaced from their villages & sought refuge in the neighbouring Sudan & beyond. Some Eritreans are still trying to document all the crimes committed by the Derg regime & even hope to bring Major Dawit Woldegiorgis himself to face justice for his part in those crimes. The fact that ex-military officials of a murderous military junta (DERG) are freely expressing their support for another bloody despot in Ethiopia while residing in the free world (USA) as ‘refugees’ is another disturbing twist in the unfortunate saga that is Ethiopia. Let’s hope that Ethiopia avoids the fate of Somalia or Syria. Nagaatti.

  14. This is a mouthpiece of the wicked and a defamatory report from the Haters of the HOA, not worthy of reading but, tarnishing the good name of journalism

  15. First of all I would like to tell u that I am very amazed of ur degree of jealousy on our prime minister. Wow!!!! Secondly I really feel sorry for ur proposition in taking back the noble prize from Dr. Abiy. What is the problem with u? U r the worst racist journalist I have ever seen.

  16. what is happening under the nobel peace prize winner the dictotar Abiy Ahmed can be labelled as state sponsered genocide against the oromo. On August 18 protesters rallying on different towns of oromia region clashed with security forces and a reported more than 120 civilian were killed. Then top official of Prosperity Party Addisu Kitessa denied the fact in his fb post saying as things were normal as usual through out the region. Why intentionally covering up such massacre unless its in his government interest? or how many more have to be killed? the world needs to do something right away about incompetent clueless Abiy Ahmed.

  17. In the protest starting from August 18 until today August 20, more than 150 innocents Oromo people have been killed by the Ethiopian military forces while peacefully protesting against the government. Including a ten year old girl from west Harar in Oromia, three family members a father, a mother and a three month baby from east Arsi Oromia in Hasasa town, an Oromian police officer who went to Shashemene city in Oromia to visit his family and many more horrific actions has been taken against the Oromo people. The government military forces are sexually abusing prisoners in Oromia. For example last week according to Ethiopian HRC, in Guji zone Oromia, five boys a 14, 15, 16, 16,17 years old boys were rapped by the government military forces in prison. The military forces rapping women has became normal. They would kill or arrest the husbands(fathers) and would rape girls and mothers. And what’s sad is when all these people lost their life, people being sexually abused and many more there’s no media that has reported what’s happening in Oromia region yet, the government medias are all busy using targeting on the Oromo people and making them look bad, like accusing family members for raping to cover up what the government military forces are doing and blaming and many more. Thank you todaynewsafrica for reporting what’s going on in Ethiopia and please help us on reporting what the government is doing to his own people. Our people needs a voice.

  18. More than 117 civilians in Oromia region who are protesting killed by a dictator and sick Ethiopian leader Abiy Ahmed.
    He is again failed under the community(Neftegna) of previous dictatorship system. This community have media and upper hand economy in the country. That is why even not a single media from Ethiopia says nothing about this innocent protesters killings. If Abiy supports the fact, “he cannot stay on his position for three days”. What the Neftegnas’ said by themself.
    This defence minister who Abiy Ahmed fired is a man who gave an opportunity to take this leading position and the defence minister was standing with the protesters and stands with the fact that the Oromia region have a lot of political questions should had been answered by the new regime and the sick failed Nobel peace winner Abiy Ahmed.
    In fact current question is the same with previous one that lead to change government (the question that brought Abiy to front in 2018).

  19. Well said. You still missed that Abiy’s security forces have killed more than 200 civilians in the wake of dispersing unauthorised rally. The leader of a mosque, his wife and a 3-month infant were killed in their home in Asasa, Arsi southern Oromia. A 10- year old girl and 60-year old woman were among killed by the noble peace prize winner.
    If the above Dawit Woldegiorgis is that real Mengistu’s one time official, I don’t expect more than such comment from him. His experience of 1970’s killing thousands of citizens in the name of “Red Terror” is no more than the current situation, we know that Abiy is in complete dictatorship with his advise. We expect thousands of more will be killed by Abiy before the World wake up and say something about this Dectator and Killer.

  20. you are biased, i think you have been paid by Abiy Ahmeds opponents, like jawar or TPLF.
    you are telling half truths and ommited the crimes on behalf of the other side. even you have not mentioned the killer of hacalu hundesa and the major players in ethnic conflict and displacement of people. You are a writer but not a journalist because you cannot fit for journalism. you are thrash

  21. partial truths are as much distractive as no truth at all, we would be very glad if our complex politics is as simple as you described it. You have one side truth and didn’t consider the wider political issue we are in, so you are biased. Do you think the government should let innocent lifes in danger or protect them? i know some of the protests was peaceful but don’t mistaken me most was killing minorities and burning churches so on… what do you think the government do when the so called opposition leaders and activists call for genocide and labeling others who has different ideas as enemies in media and even calling for their extermination? do you think they should be allowed in the name of democracy? stop listening the diaspora and start listening the locals, then you will understand the truth, but don’t also take me as government supporter cos i am not but i believe the crimes done by the mob is far far exceeding what the government committed. These mob thinks they have the license to kill because they help overthrow the previous regime. If you are interested please check the so called diaspora activists are not even Ethiopian most of them changed their nationality and now they live on the west so they think they know what is best for us. They call for protest for the country that they don’t even want to live with it and when we die the cry their crocodile tears on social media. And journalists like you eco their bullshit. The sad truth is that maybe poverty is killing much more than both the mob and the government is killing. So we will be glad if you leve us alone for our problems, i can see you are black , so what the f**k are you doing here doing the colonizers job which is dividing your fellow brothers. You should be helping us to come to un understanding. Sad…


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