- US foreign policy on Africa is in a huge crise
By Getachew Bekele Damtew
It is the paradox that to see Ethiopian National Army is fighting terrorism in Somalia to save the Horn from an immediate security danger and on the contrary, the current US Government is working to interrupt the democratic process of Ethiopia.Ethiopia is one of the most ancient lands in the whole world. It is the oldest independent country which has never been colonized by any foreign power. For the past century and even before the country was a proud land not only for the black world but for the South American and even far east people. In the history of fighting with colonialism, Ethiopian patriots' golden victory over colonialists at the battle of Adwa was a great bell ring to millions of people who had been under miserable operation by colonialists.For the liberation of many African countries including for the faildown of Apartheid in South Africa, Ethiopians continuous struggle against colonialism was special power.
For the last three decades, Ethiopia was ruled by ethnocentric ideology of Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF).TPLF came from the minority (6%) region of Tigray. Its ethnic policy had never been accepted by Ethiopians for the last three decades. There were a number of crimes committed by TPLF. Thousands were killed,torched and became refugees all over the world. The Gambella Massacre, Hawassa Massacre and the recent Maykadra genocides are among many crimes on humanity committed by TPLF. In all these three decades, the US Government was supporting TPLF both Financially and militarily. However, the US has never been seen to impose TPLF for its crimes made on humanity.
The Reform and Democratic process
On February 15,2018 Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn resigned due to consecutive popular protest against TPLF and its annex, Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). Hailemariam's plan was to end the political crisis through bringing the necessary Political, Economical and Social changes. As the result, the current dynamic and well educated Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Abiy Ahmed could be his successor after being elected by the Ethiopian Parlama.
After Abiy Ahmed (PhD) inauguration,April 2018, a dramatic change has been seen in Ethiopia. All political prisoners were released,including Andargachew Tsige who had been hijacked by TPLF from Yemen, policy shifts,freedom of expression, and improving relations with Eritrea were some measures that Abiy took as soon as he started the highest job in the country. However, in all these reforms, TPLF was preparing itself for new fighting against the Federal Government.The Federal Government and a number of civic and religious organizations were also on reputative attempt to cool down the TPLF leaders. These attempts were open to the public even the National Television station was transmitting when elders demanded the former TPLF chairperson, Debretsion. Infact, Debretsion was officially undermining the civic organizations and religious leaders by not giving the necessary attention.
The first week of November,2020 was a black week for Ethiopia. TPLF leaders ordered their militia to attack Ethiopian National Army in over 10 fronts. On the same night Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed ordered the army to protect and confirm law and order in Tigray region in Ethiopia. The two years' preparation of TPLF to attack the Federal army was fully destroyed by the National army within almost three weeks. Almost over 95% of TPLF leadership and army has been bitten and became out of service. That means there is no more TPLF at this time.
President Joe Biden's failed Foreign Policy on Africa
The suicide of TPLF, which was initiated by its attack Ethiopian National Army, opens a new democratic way to Ethiopia. Infact before TPLF was destroyed, Ethiopia was taking the necessary measures to implement key democratic processes. Election was one of the main plans that the Federal Government runs and postponed to the coming June,2021 due to Covid-19.
The current US Government paradox is here. United State main face is well known by talking a lot about the necessity of democracy and anti-terrorism. These are the two main pillars of the US Government's Foreign policy and strategic relationships. Ethiopia, particularly after the 2018 reforms, could fulfill the two important pillars of the US foreign Policy. Regarding democratic process, the country is preparing the best election in the whole history of Ethiopia. The Independent Election Board is on duty, different opposition political parties are introducing their programs and plans on over 20 Televisions throughout the country and Millions of Ethiopians have already registered and are waiting for the election day which is remaining less than four weeks.
On the other hand, Ethiopia is fighting terrorism both in land and abroad. Ethiopian army is the backbone of African Union Mission to Somalia (AMISOM). Recently, in this very week of May,2021 Ethiopian army was the sole performer to push Al shabab from four key towns in Somalia. The AMISOM leaders were so proud of the Ethiopian army's recent effective offensive work. Because these key towns were occupied for a long period of time by Al Shabab. Even Though, Ethiopia is performing at higher level to fight terrorism, the current US Government is threatening her to impose sanctions. President Joe Biden’s speech this week was nothing but threatening Ethiopia in the name of humanity in the Tigray region. In the Tigray region, humanitarian crises were there even when TPLF was administering the region. Over 2.5 million people were under the food saftinet program for the last two decades. This was due to the TPLF corruption and mismanagement. Because the role of the Federal Government in Tigray regions administration,particularly for the last three years, was almost nil.
In general, US foreign policy on Africa is in a huge crise. The main actor and formulator, Susan Elizabeth Rice and the team of President Joe Biden are losing their orbit towards Africa. Their policy formulation is hijacked by lobbyists and fake news producers of the Pro-TPLF institutions. These institutions are fueled financially with the looted money from Ethiopian people. It is a matter of time that everything will be exposed. However President Joe Biden and his team’s standing to affect Ethiopian democratic process and fighting against terrorism must not be taken as a simple issue. Because they are spoiling over 125 years of diplomatic and strategic relationships with the ancient land of Africa, that is Ethiopia.