After realizing that his initial claim of Ethiopia’s port ownership on the Red Sea based on historical, geographic, and economic reasons has failed miserably, Prime Minister Abiy has come up with new revised justifications. The problem is that his newly revised justifications are illogical, detached from reality, and make no sense at all. Below we will list and discuss each of his new revised justifications and show the reader that they do not have any merit.
- China and the United States will fight in Djibouti.
After abandoning the Eritrean-free Port of Assab in 1998, currently Ethiopia is using the port of Djibouti for its imports and exports. Among other a dozen countries China and the United States have military bases in Djibouti. Somehow Prime Minister Abiy of Ethiopia has convinced himself that sooner or later China and the United States will fight in Djibouti and his country needs to own another alternative port in the Red Sea. Let’s assume for a minute that Prime Minister Abiy is not delusional and his hypothesis that China and the United States will fight in Djibouti is a correct prediction. Here it will be important for the reader to understand that the three other ports PM Abiy is eying on (Assab, Zeila, and Berbera) are in proximity, about 100 miles, to Djibouti’s port. If a war starts in Djibouti, the Babel Mandeb will be closed and all ports in the Red Sea will be dysfunctional. Therefore, it would be logical for PM Abiy to search for a port far away from the Red Sea possibly in Kenya. PM Abiy is a highly educated man holding a Ph.D. Although education does not make him a good politician it would help him to connect the dots and make valid arguments. Unfortunately, it is sad to see him making arguments that could be easily debunked by a layman with little common sense. The problem is PM Abiy is not building a case that will be adjudicated at the court of law. He is trying to drum up support for war, and in his current situation that is even harder to do.
- The Link between Immigration and Port Ownership.
Prime Minister Abiy also tried to link a potential increase of refugees from Ethiopia to a lack of Port ownership. The major refugee-contributing countries in the world are Syria, Iraq, Somalia, and now Ukraine. These countries own ports. The common denominator these countries have is a lack of peace and economic opportunity. African countries like Uganda and Rwanda do not own ports and they are relatively stable countries. PM Abiy’s effort to get support for port ownership on the Red Sea using illogical arguments shows how desperate he is to build false narratives. According to him if he threatened, Europe, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and Tanzania with more refugees from Ethiopia they would support his invasion of neighboring countries. PM Abiy should stop embracing himself and his fellow Ethiopians. The countries that he is trying to lobby for support know that the Tigray and Amhara refugees in Sudan, The Tigrayan internal displaced persons in Hitsas and Shimelba refugee camps in Tigray, the thousands of Tigrayan youth Trekking to Saudi Arabia on foot, the millions of Amharas displaced from Oromia and other Ethiopian refugees in Kenya and Uganda are not there because of Ethiopia’s lack of port ownership. They became refugees and internally displaced people because of continuous ethnic conflict and wars in Tigray, Amhara, and Oromia. If he wants to stop immigration, he needs to stop igniting wars and ethnic conflicts all over Ethiopia.
- The Link between Economic Hardships and Lack of Port Ownership.
PM Abiy has found a new boogie man responsible for all Ethiopia’s problems. That is a lack of Port Ownership. He seems to forget that before he came to power in 2018 Ethiopia remained landlocked for twenty-seven years and showed what seems a better economic growth in its history. Now after he depleted the country’s foreign reserve to shop for sophisticated armaments and displaced more than half of the population of the country, he is toiling to convince Ethiopians and the world at large that the turmoil in Ethiopia is because of lack of port ownership. Fortunately, Ethiopians are way ahead of him, and they understand what is ravaging their country to the core and creating the problems that PM Abiy is trying to implicate to the lack of Port Ownership.
4.Comparing the Abay River with the Red Sea.
In his effort to make an argument for Port Ownership PM Abiy compares the Abay River with the Red Sea. Either he does not recognize the Sovereignty and Territorial Integrity of his neighboring countries, or he is purposely trying to confuse people. Abay River is within Ethiopian Territory and the Red Sea is not. Instead of making this outlandish and embarrassing argument, if PM Abiy wants to diversify his country’s port access the first step to the long journey and negotiation process is for him to come to terms with the reality that Ethiopia has been a landlocked country since its inception. In 1962 Ethiopia received access to Eritrean ports by unilaterally scrapping the United Nations Mandated Forceful Eritrean Federation with Ethiopia. His current unabated and useless rant in his parliament and coordinated Television and other mass media propaganda can lead only to one thing and that is endless war. The People of Ethiopia and Eritrea do not deserve that, but PM Abiy does not seem to comprehend it at all. Drinking a power cool aid coupled with his inflated ambition to make history, he is driving the horn of Africa to unending turmoil.
5. Military Might as a Leverage.
In all his speeches PM Abiy, without shame, tends to use his supposed military might to threaten neighboring countries. Did he think we forgot that a year ago his military was routed by a rag-tag Tigrian Army, and his government seat in Addis Ababa was in imminent danger? Without the decisive support of the Eritrean Army, in all three rounds of wars, Ethiopia could have ended up being former Yugoslavia. His mouth that thanked the Eritrean people and Government for their decisive contribution to Ethiopian unity is now busy backstabbing Eritrea. Unfortunately backstabbing and betraying your friends has become a norm in Ethiopian politics. The Tigray Peoples Liberation Front backstabbed the Ethiopian Army that was stationed in Tigray supposedly to protect it from Eritrean attack. When the Ethiopian and Eritrean Army was paying a high price on the battlefield, PM Abiy was busy conspiring with the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front and the Western Countries to backstab the Eritrean people and its government. His current ill-fated confidence comes from his false belief that he did his homework and could use the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front’s defeated force to threaten Eritrea with war. He stopped the disarmament of the defeated TPLF Army, and he has become their source of logistical support. Such a volume of betrayal has never been seen before and will fail miserably. Let’s not forget that what goes around comes around.
After the Liberation of Eritrea in 1991 and subsequent Independence in 1993, Ethiopia used Eritrean ports for a nominal port fee that was paid in birr. That was made not because Eritra did not need revenue from port use but because of the Eritrean Government’s firm policy that the issue of Eritrean ports used by Ethiopia should not be a source of conflict between Eritrea and Ethiopia. Unfortunately, in 1998 in preparation for a full-fledged war against Eritrea, Ethiopia abandoned Eritrean ports and moved to Djibouti. Now that Ethiopia and Eritrea are relatively on better terms people of the region were hoping that it would lead to better cooperation and economic integration. Unfortunately, PM Abiy has come up with a port ownership agenda that shattered the hope and would likely immerse the Horn of Africa into continuous war, death, displacement, and destruction. It is time for the people of the region and beyond to say enough is enough and stop PM Abiy from his ill-fated adventure.
Awet Ne Hafash and Eternal Glory to Our Martyrs.
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The views and opinions expressed in " Is Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Losing His Commonsense? " are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Setit Media.
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