Pardoning of a Dictator Exposes Dr Abiy Ahmed’s Undemocratic Ideals
Ethiopians ought to be mindful of the glaring fact that, if it was not for Somali-Ethios, the African metropolis, Addis Ababa, would have suffered more than Kenya at the hands of the merciless Al-Shabab. What transpired in Jigjig lately, however, could change the prevailing dynamics and may create an opening for the terror outfit.
It has been reported lately that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is preparing the ground for Mengistu Haile Mariam to return home notwithstanding the heinous crimes he committed against the people of Ethiopia. The previous Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who was in Zimbabwe as an election observer, had his picture taken with the murderer which he would not have done without a prior clearance with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed.
It is amazing how far the Prime Minister is prepared to move to display his utter contempt for the lives of the Somalis who suffered the most at the hands of dictator Mengistu. It is simply unforgivable to consider pardoning the engineer of the 1983-85 famine which triggered the fatalities of 300,000 to 500,000 people (http://wiki.ieg–mainz.de). Moreover, the head of the military junta was responsible for the involuntary resettlements of Ethiopians in Southern Ethiopia causing 50,000 additional deaths as a result of ‘’illnesses, lack of food, shelter and water.’’ (https://sites.tufts.edu/atrocityendings/2015). This was the Derg’s counterinsurgency strategy of ’’ draining the sea to catch the fish’’ which of course failed to halt the advancement and the capture of the capital after completely annihilating the fascist regime.
Any decent leader would have requested for Mengistu’s repatriation to Ethiopia to complete his sentence or call for his referral to The Hague’s International Criminal Court to be indicted for war crimes and genocide like— the Serbian leaders—- General Krstic, Karadzic and Milosevic. Many atrocities have been committed by the Derg, but the massacre in Hawzen alone, where 2,500 innocent people were massacred in a single day falls within The UN’s definition of genocide.
Thousands were massacred in Borama and Dila in 1991 by forces loyal to Mengistu. The “Red Terror’’ master was convicted of genocide in 2006 for killing thousands and manufacturing the 1984 drought that killed millions.
The dictator fled to Zimbabwe under the iron rule of the then octogenarian autocrat Robert Mugabe who was ousted by popular uprising a year ago.
Pardoning a monster like Mengistu and planning to welcome him back to the country is a clear manifestation of the kind of human rights ideals Abiy professes.
Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s main reasons for wanting to remove Abdi Mohamoud Omar may be to do with the border clashes with Oromia and not subscribing to the brand of politics the Ethiopian leader is currently espousing. The former ruler of Jigjiga Abdi Mohamud Omar is a sacrificial lamb for the current powers that be. He is in court for 3 reasons. He refused Abiy’s looting of the newly found oil in the Somali state in utter disregard of national and international laws governing natural resource sharing policies, he declined the complete dismantling of the Liyuu police to be replaced by federal security force who themselves committed untold atrocities against civilians during the previous, Derg and subsequent regimes and do not speak the language and culture of the regions’ inhabitants. Dr Abiy is a unitary ideologue and wants to replace representative democracy by instituting direct federal rule.
The Pardoning of A dictator and the jailing of a Small Criminal is anathema to the realization of justice for the people of Ethiopia. The recent invasion of the territory of Somali State to remove the regional President without following the due process was simply a confirmation of Dr Abiy Ahmed’s modus operandi. It is time for all the people of Ethiopia and the world to condemn the action and ensure that the sanctity of the constitution that has made it possible for the 9 regions of Ethiopia to determine their destiny remains intact. The arrest of the former Somali state president by the federal government does not serve his victims any purpose.
It is in this light that all peace loving people of the world should condemn the selective injustice of Dr Abiy’s new administration that risks a new round of the centuries old instability and mini wars.