Will Ethiopia Witness the Israeli Selling Out of Abiy Ahmed?

3 years ago




Abiy Ahmed, the current Ethiopian prime minister, has transformed from a Nobel-prize of peace winner "for his efforts to achieve peace and international cooperation,” to a recent warlord with countless accusations of oppression and using brutal force to silence his people.

Ethiopia's war-torn Tigray region is under "virtual siege," the World Health Organization (WHO) said Friday, warning that its population is dying of starvation and lack of medicines.

"People are dying because of a lack of supplies," said WHO President Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, himself from the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia, noting that WHO cannot send supplies and medicines to Tigray because it is under "systematic siege."

He explained that assistance from Global Health and other relief organizations to the region had dwindled to "almost nothing," given the current situation.

"There's no medicine, people are dying, no food, people are starving, no contacts. They are isolated from the rest of the world, no fuel, no money."


Nobel Warlord

Ethiopia's Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed was once widely praised outside the country for his reforming strategy.

During his first years since he came to power in 2018, he released thousands of political prisoners, lifted restrictions on the independent media and invited the country's once-banned opposition groups back into the country from exile.

He also backed a woman to become president, created gender parity in the cabinet and established a ministry of peace.

But to confront growing opposition and violence, Abiy returned to the tactics of previous governments, when in November 2020 he launched a civil war in the north of the country.

Last week, the government imposed a nationwide state of emergency, leading to a new wave of mass arrests that hampered aid delivery.

Some 22 United Nations staff members were arrested in raids that rights groups considered to be targeting ethnic Tigray, and the United Nations warned about 72 WFP-contracted drivers detained.

The Ethiopian Government describes these arrests as part of a legitimate effort to eliminate the Tigray People's Liberation Front.

Internet and phone lines were shut down multiple times. Suspects were arrested en masse. Some were later released having spent weeks or months behind bars without a trial.

The murder in 2020 of popular musician Hachalu Hundessa led to violence in Oromia, the country's largest region, and Addis Ababa claimed more than 200 civilian lives.

But it was relations with another of the country's ethnically based states that has damned his reputation.

A doctor and a member of a women rights group—both of whom wish to remain anonymous—told the BBC in January that between them they had registered at least 200 girls under the age of 18 at different hospitals and health centers in Mekelle who said they had been raped.

Most of them said the perpetrators were wearing Ethiopian army uniforms—and afterwards they had been warned against seeking medical help.

"They have bruises. Some are even gang-raped. One was constrained and raped for a week. She doesn't even know herself. And there is no police, hence no justice at all," the doctor said.

The rights activist said: "We have also heard similar shocking stories of rape from other parts of Tigray. But because of transport issues we couldn't help them. It's so sad."


Israeli Role

Israeli press reports revealed that Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed complained to his Israeli counterpart Naftali Bennett about Israel's reception of "war criminals" from the African country.

Israel's Channel 13 said Ahmed said "Israel" had received "officers involved in war crimes," among a group of Ethiopians who had recently moved to "Israel."

According to the Israeli station, Ahmed was referring to at least four Ethiopian officers, one of whom was involved in a "massacre" in Tigray province, which has been the subject of months of armed conflict, which has evolved into a nationwide unrest that threatens the Addis Ababa government.

On Friday, nine Ethiopian rebel groups, including the Tigray People's Liberation Front and the Oromo Liberation Army, announced the formation of an alliance against Ahmed's government.

"Israel​"​ has been the main supplier of weaponry to the army of the Ethiopian central government. In July 2019, two Israeli firms, ​"​Israel Aerospace Industries" (IAI) and Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, installed an intermediate-range air defense system called Spyder-MR near the controversial Renaissance Dam on the Nile River.

Facing mounting military pressure from the Tigrayans, Ahmed sought military help from "Israel." But the Israelis refused to come to his rescue in times of crisis, prompting the prime minister to cool relations with "Israel."
According to DEBKAfile, an Israeli news website with close ties to spy agencies in Tel Aviv, wrote, “Israel cooled the relationship with Ahmed when it refused to sell his government kamikaze drones for halting the rebels’ advance—despite being his army’s main supplier of weaponry.”

Even worse, "Israel" has forged ties with Ahmed’s rivals while working with him. “Israel and the Tigrayans have engaged in contacts in the past,” the Israeli website wrote.