By Aschalew Aberra
If Abiy Ahmed, the PM of Ethiopia, has a drop of honesty or decency he should withdraw his name from the candidacy of the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize whose winner is scheduled to be announced this coming October.
On his watch, during his one year premiership, millions were and still are internally displaced from their homes, thousands have been killed either by internal conflicts or by his security forces; hundreds are unlawfully arrested, numberless institutions and properties (including Churchs and Mosques) have either been ransacked or burned.
Even as I write this piece an atrocious massacre is going on in the south region of Ethiopia which his government was not able or willing to fully avert.
In spite of the outcry of many people his government has shown no indication of taking any legal action on those who are openly instigating violence, which results into the government being a suspect working in tandem with these extreme anti peace and anti unity elements.
Having known all this, if the Noble Peace Prize Committee awards the laureateship to the Ethiopian PM, it could be considered as adding an insult to injury to the victims of his failed leadership. It will also be construed as the sarcasm of the century which will heavily damage the credibility of the Nobel Peace Prize selection committee. How can you award a peace prize for the leader of the most peace less and the most highly divided nation in the world?
One of the pretexts used for his nomination was averting the war between Eritrea and Ethiopia. This is a total lie. Even if he should be commended for improving the relationship between the two countries, there was no potential war that was averted because both nations had exhaustively consumed their economic and military potentials for war after their two years long fight between 1998 and 2000. If anything was averted, what was averted was a-no-war-no-peace situation.
The other pretext used for his nomination was for realising political prisoners and prisoners of conscience . Recently his government has unlawfully arrested journalists and some political dissents. His generals are openly harassing journalists with impunity.
Even if one year ago the PM emerged as a voice of unity and hope to the entire nation, currently his government is conspicuously hijacked by the Oromo extremists wing and many people fear that the country is on the verge of collapse more than ever in its modern history.
His government can’t even administer a national exam without entirely shutting down the internet service, and the national soccer tournament can’t even be peacefully proceeded. Many of the soccer teams had forfeited their right to play and win the tournament. Those who opt to play are playing in closed stadiums due to fear of violence among their fans.
If the government can’t even manage very trivial and ordinary duties such as administering national exams or soccer tournaments, how can they be trusted to manage more serious governmental functions such as keeping the peace and conducting free and fair elections???
Please have your say without being rude or pointless.