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Pick up Abiy Ahmed’s Conventional Wisdom

Omer B. Abu Haraz

PM Abiy Ahmed proved to be a real statesman, patriotic, wise, and genuine in his goals of delivering Ethiopia from a catastrophic collapse. In fact, Ethiopia was on the verge of total disintegration and anarchy similar to what had happened in Somalia after the era of Siad Barre.

The TPLF(Tigray People Liberation Front) defeated the Ethiopian Federal Army in the Tigray region and assumed the rule of the region from its capital Mekali. The TPLF then advanced to other regions in Ethiopia occupying most of the Amhara and Afar regions and were about to control the main and only lifeline for all imports to Ethiopia from the ports of Djibouti.

Abiy Ahmed left the capital Addis Ababa and led his troops in the regions of Amhara and Afar. He did this after making a pragmatic assessment of his army’s capabilities following new armaments received from allied nations. He managed to change the balance of power to his side and succeeded in quelling and defeating the insurgency. He regained control of the two regions, removed any threat to the capturing of the capital Addis Ababa and brought Ethiopia back to coherence and solidarity.

In a smart gesture he declared that, albeit his historic victory, he will not fight the TPLF in their region leaving the whole issue of insurgencies in Ethiopia to be resolved in a General Reconciliation Conference.

As a prelude to the conference, he took an unprecedented and courageous step in setting free all TPLF leaders imprisoned in Addis Ababa.

Abiy Ahmed by this step and his call for a national reconciliation set the third example in Africa of a quick and sustained peace and solidarity in two African countries, the first being won by Nelson Mandela in South Africa after being freed and elected President after the fall of the apartheid regime. The second example is the Rwandan President Paal Kegama who managed to reconcile all tribes who fought each other in genocides that claimed millions of lives.

Now South Africa and Rwanda are the best, stable, and developing states in Africa. Abiy Ahmed is following suit and he will succeed. My heartfelt congratulations and admiration to the PM, Abiy Ahmed, who proved to be a wise and able African leader.

Having said the above about Abiy Ahmed, I hope our leaders, Military and Civilian Alike, pick up the conventional wisdom of Abiy Ahmed and replicate it in Sudan to defuse the ticking time-bomb which if left unresolved will subject Sudan to unprecedented chaos which leads to civil wars and disintegration.

Now a golden opportunity is presented by the UN and welcomed by the International community. Almost all influential countries expressed their support to the initiative which will be presented by the UN representative in Khartoum, Dr. Volker Perthes.

Most of the Sudanese elements – Military and Civilians – Expressed their support of the UN initiative. But the Association of Sudanese Professionals(ASP) and the Resistance Committees(RC) rejected it. The negative stance of the ASP and the RC is justified at this stage because their quick acceptance of the initiative will deprive them of their only weapon – the masses in the streets and their full control on mobilizing millions of protestors. The initiative must be presented to those who accepted it and down the road of deliberations, some of the demands of the ASP and RC might be fully or partially met, bearing in mind that the UN initiative is based on an equivocal transition to democratic civilian rule.

The Keypoint and password to the success of the initiative is the mode of the partnership between the military and civilians. It should be in a transverse section – top and bottom. the top is a military high council operating from the Army H.Q. to be responsible for protecting the safety of the people and borders. The bottom constitutes actual governance in the three levels of the high sovereign council, council of ministers, and legislative assembly(LA). 40% of the LA is to be assigned to Youth and ASP and RC. 5 membership sovereign council of monthly rotational presidency and council of ministers. All 5 sovereign council members, Prime ministers, and Ministers should be non-partisan nationalist civilians. The Initiative should include a binding time frame of transition to a general election after 18 months.

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