BY TESFA-ALEM TEKLE
What you need to know:
- The MP also accused Abiy of failure to directly respond to critical questions raised recently and instead deflects or labels questions as “state of hate” remarks or as a “plot to stage coup.”
An Amhara Opposition MP who accused the government of being behind gross human rights violations has asked Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to step down.
Christian Tadelle, an MP representing the opposition National Movement of Amhara (NAMA) mentioned the gross human rights violations committed across the country since Abiy took office in 2018.
He accused the government of being the “primary source of insecurity” in the horn of Africa’s nation which witnessed a two-year bloody conflict in the northern Tigray region.
The MP also accused Abiy of failure to directly respond to critical questions raised recently and instead deflects or labels questions as “state of hate” remarks or as a “plot to stage coup.”
“When I ask you this question, it is not out of hatred for the nation or ethnic group you represent,” Christian told the Prime Minister while he was presenting the government’s six-month report for the current fiscal year to the parliament.
The MP further challenged Abiy if he would acknowledge the past grave rights violations committed under his leadership and if he would give an apology for the Ethiopian people over his government’s wrongdoings.
“How ready are you to be held accountable for crimes against humanity and identity-based crimes of genocide, ethnic cleansing and identity theft?” Mr Tadelle quizzed.
“Your predecessor, former Ethiopian Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, resigned giving public apology over his leadership wrongdoings and left his post after public request. How about you? Would you ever consider resigning in order to be part of the solution?” Mr Tadelle further quizzed.
In response, Abiy said his decision to relinquish power can only be compelled by the Ethiopian electorate, and not a member of parliament.
The Ethiopian leader didn’t directly responded to the MP’s critical queries.
This is the first time the Nobel Peace Prize winner faced tougher questions from parliamentarians since the Ethiopian conflict ended following a peace deal signed in Pretoria between Tigray leaders and the federal government.
Other legislators also accused Abiy’s government of working to dismantle Ethiopia instead of uniting the citizens.
Prime Minister responded saying he sees it as a joke that the government is trying to dismantle the country.
“It is a respectable question. But I take it as the best joke of the year,” replied Abiy.
According to him, “there is no force capable of disintegrating Ethiopia.”
Responding to questions regarding peace and security, the prime minister said that peace as a relative course of action is in its positive progressive path.
He said there were many initiatives that were in progress to bring about lasting peace.
“Peace entails everyone standing at the forefront in pursuing peace, he said.
Erupted in November 2020, the Tigray conflict has claimed the lives of over 600,000 people and forced millions to flee their homes.
Neighboring Eritrea has also fought alongside the Ethiopian military but Asmara was not part of the Pretoria talks and has not yet fully withdrawn its forces.
(Source: Daily Monitor)