Defending Ethiopia’s interest in and across the Red Sea: At the helm of newly inaugurated government

After a democratic election, Ethiopia formed a new government yesterday giving a new five-year mandate to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who was automatically appointed by the House of Peoples Representatives. The Prosperity Party presented him for the premiership position. Before Abiy’s appointment, the House also picked Tagesse Chaffo as the Speaker of the Ethiopian House of Peoples Representatives while selecting Lomi Bedo as his Deputy.

Meanwhile, the House of Federation appointed Agnegnew Teshager, Amhara state former Chief as its Speaker. Zahira Umed was picked as Deputy Speaker of the House. In her speech to the joint session of the Houses of Federation and Peoples’ Representatives, FDRE President Sahlework Zewedie outlined the government’s future plan and main engagements.

Ensuring peace and order

During the last three years of the reform period, Ethiopia has been tested by forces that tried to destabilize its unity and existence. There was a rigorous attempt to divide the nation. The treasonous attack against the Northern Command of the Ethiopian Defense Forces was meant to forcefully dismantle the constitutional order. Ethiopians have stood together to repel the concerted attack waged by internal bandits and foreign adversaries, said President Sahelework.

“Restoring peace and order and rehabilitating displaced communities would be the core activities of the government. Ensuring the rule of law should be guaranteed. On top of that building and promoting democracy is the other target of the government. There shall not be a group that would take power by force. Ensuring justice and accountability must be accorded the highest attention. Ethiopians will not compromise their sovereignty.”

Sahelwork also indicated that apart from killing innocent peoples and destroying property and displacing peoples along with terrorists operating in different parts of the country, terrorists seeking to destroy Ethiopia have unleashed a tragic betrayal and massacre on the Northern Command of the Ethiopian National Defense Force. It should be noted that power through violence and gun battles or intimidation of the innocent will no longer exist in Ethiopia, added the president

Speaking at the inaugural ceremony held at the refurbished Mesekqel Square in attendance with dozens of African leaders, Prime Minister Abiy said that Ethiopia will never forget the courage and bravery of Ethiopians and its defense forces in defending Ethiopia’s sovereignty. I am grateful that Ethiopians regardless of their differences stand together to fend off adversaries.

Premier Abiy also stated that the conflict in the northern part of Ethiopia instigated by a selfish clique has brought harm to Ethiopia. The group attacked the northern command of Ethiopian Defense Forces in a cold-blooded way. Even after we declared a ceasefire, the group continues killing civilians, displacing and destroying properties and animals. In this regard, we will have no choice but to defend our country, he added.

GERD and other Transboundary Resource

Speaking about the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, President Sahelework said that the successful completion of the second phase filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance dam is another big leap that came amidst external pressure. Ethiopia has designed a foreign policy that gives the highest consideration to the neighboring country. A forum will be established to bring together the Horn region. Transboundary resources will be utilized based on cooperation and a win-win approach. Cooperation in the Nile shall continue to be carried out through a cooperation approach. The upcoming year will be a crucial time where the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam will begin power generation.

The Nile River, which has been a source of suffering for centuries, is in the final stages of lifting Ethiopians out of the darkness after years of frustration, hard work, perseverance, and struggle.

“GERD is a flagship project of all Ethiopians from all walks of life. Ethiopia will finalize the dam and is ready to work with Nile basin countries in a sense of cooperation and win-win approach.”

Luelseged Abebe(PhD), Peace and Secuirty expert commented that Ethiopia is ready to discuss with Sudan and Egypt regarding the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam if the downstream nations put aside the so-called binding agreement. The relationship that has been started with Eritrea is very good.

Horn Africa and the Red Sea

With regard to the Ethiopia’s position in the Horn and Red Sea region, President Sahelework said that Ethiopia should not be alienated and seat idle in the strategic location of the Red Sea and Horn Africa region while there is increased militarization and confrontation. Its strategic interest in the region will be driven by its national interest and cordial foreign relation with its neighboring countries. The nation’s relationship with the outside world will be carried out in any way that respects the sovereignty, national dignity, and interest of the country.

As the westerners know potential Ethiopia possesses in keeping the peace of the region and its role in maintaining in pacifying the region as well as its role in the international peacekeeping, they would like to blacken the aforementioned realties. We do not have to accept that. Our relations with the Horn region nations such as South Sudan and Sudan, Eritrea, Djibouti, Kenya, Somalia, Uganda, and others should continue. The measure Ethiopia has taken on the topic of the dispute with Sudan in an atmosphere of calm is a healthy one. This shows the willingness of Ethiopia for discussion.

The Red Sea and Bab-el-Mandeb should be monitored. In the present climate,

Djibouti has become the store of the western and the eastern world under the guise of controlling pirates. This is a threat to Ethiopia. All of them have security interests. Have they established military bases for controlling pirates or for other purposes? It is to control the region. They also use it as a way of manifesting their power. Luelseged also indicated that for example, they monitor the war that is taking place in the Northern parts of Ethiopia on the ground that they have their monitoring mechanism without a shred of a doubt. What is more, there is competition between the eastern and the western world. They have their own interest. They have a vested interest.

Election and Democracy

Regarding the 6th general election, President Sahelework said that the last three years have laid the foundation for a fair and democratic election. Ensuring good governance will be a future undertaking. Power is emanated from Ethiopian will not through terrorism. Building national consensus and reconciliation is also another focal point.

In a democratic system, everything is under the law. It is important to maintain the culture of debate and discussion and increase the participation of women and youth. Besides, we will formulate a foreign policy that prioritizes neighboring countries. Whether we like it or not, we have no alternative but to live intolerance.

Premier Abiy for his part said that Ethiopia has been striving for building democracy for over years and its people have been struggling for equality and democracy. Even if the 6th general election was not free from challenges, the country has conducted a democratic poll for the first time amidst natural and manmade challenges. The victory in the election was not a victory to the winning party alone; it is a triumph mph for all Ethiopians. One party cannot resolve Ethiopia’s socioeconomic and political problems. An inclusive dialogue will be carried out to strengthen our unity, Prime Minister Abiy added.

Commenting on the issue, Luelseged said that it was said that over the past three years or so there were a lot of narratives saying Ethiopia would be pulled to pieces. Reasoning from this fact, a lot has been said on the subject of Ethiopia. However, we managed to prove them wrong at the earliest possible juncture. By way of illustration, at the time when the 6th National Election was held last June, they were saying that Ethiopians would be heading for a civil war and the election would not be held by hook or crook. However, over time, the whole lot passed in a calm atmosphere, said Luelseged adding that according to the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia forty million Ethiopians voted. By its very nature, as democracy is a process, it changes and fades. Over time, we managed to pass the obstacles with flying colors

Foreign intervention and Ethiopia’s resilience

Highlighting his government’s engagement with the outside world, Prime Minister Abiy also said that Ethiopia will work in consortium with foreign countries while we rebuff unfair treatment and intervention. Some countries will betray Ethiopia, however, the country will come out victories against all odds, said Abiy in his speech.

“Ethiopians are proud that many sculptures depict that their country stands for truth and justice and home to mosaic culture. Ethiopia also contributed a lot to African freedom and independence. We Ethiopians should continue to be resolved to defend our country” he added.



Recommended For You