Addis Ababa (PP Commentary) — If one organisation has lost face as a result of the Ethiopian civil war, it is the African Union.
As an organisation created to defend the sovereignty and stability of African nation states and, lately, interests of undemocratic regimes, it now more than ever seems powerless and visionless to persuade Ethiopia’s government to return from the brink.
The Ethiopian government has now organised militias to engage in fighting alongside its army against Tigray forces in a manner similar to the 1990s civil war in Somalia.
The AU has been unable to pressure Prime Minister Abiy of Ethiopia to rethink his decision to wage a war against his own people.
In a statement released on Ethiopian television last weekend Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed unsuccessfully tried to sell his war to the international community. He is subsequently oblivious to calls for de-escalation.
There is also now a fear that Eritrea is already involved in the war.
The African Union is a club for dictators who are united in the principle of sovereignty to give leaders free reign to behave as they please against their own citizens’ wishes.
There are reports that people in the Amhara region have already fled to Sudan following massacres directed by the Ethiopian government.
No doubt the civil war in Ethiopia will usher Africa into a new era in which repressive regimes will exploit the principle of national sovereignty, and seek help from neighbouring countries to suppress their own citizens.
What can be done to stop the civil war in Ethiopia if the African Union remains silent on the unfolding tragedy that reminds people of the Rwanda genocide in 1994?
There is a strong case against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who is orchestrating a war of ethnicities – against one ethnicity in a multi-ethnic country.
The rationale to authorise a war against a region whose people conducted local elections is wholly unconvincing.
The AU has had an opportunity to prove its mettle, but it has failed miserably thus far.
© Puntland Post, 2020
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