Thursday, February 29, 2024
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Abiy Ahmed: From Peace Prize Laureate to Emperor of Desolation

By Dayib Ahmed

Abiy Ahmed, the man once heralded as a messiah of reconciliation in the Horn of Africa, has morphed into a Shakespearean villain, a Machiavellian nightmare twisting hope into ashes and peace into the drums of war. His 2018 ascent to power, bathed in the golden light of a Nobel Peace Prize, now appears a mirage glittering with broken promises of unity and reform. Yet, Abiy’s initial steps were indeed bathed in the golden glow of a newly-awarded Nobel Peace Prize. His swift reforms and gestures of reconciliation captivated the world. Ethiopia, long choked by internal conflicts and a rigid political system, witnessed a blossoming of hope. Border disputes with Eritrea, festering for decades, were miraculously resolved, ending years of animosity and opening the door to collaboration. Oppressive policies loosened their grip, with political prisoners released and previously ostracized groups welcomed back into the fold. Abiy’s peace agreement with the Ogaden National Liberation Front promised an end to a brutal, thirty-year conflict, further solidifying his image as a transformative leader committed to unity and progress. This whirlwind of change, orchestrated with infectious optimism and political finesse, earned Abiy the coveted Nobel Peace Prize, a beacon of hope in a region long accustomed to despair.

Abiy Ahmed won the Noble Peace Prize in 2019 for ending hostilities with Eritrea/GETTY IMAGES

But now, that gilded vision lies shattered, replaced by the cruel calculus of a despot fueled by an insatiable hunger for power and the intoxicating poison of ethnic nationalism. His latest obsession: a landlocked Ethiopia gasping for breath, its lungs choked by the lack of a seaport. His solution? Not bridges of diplomacy, but the Molotov cocktails of nationalism, setting alight the tinderboxes of ethnic tension across the region. First, his gaze fell upon Eritrea, a war hero’s fantasy dashed against the hard rocks of Eritrean resolve. Now, his sights are trained on Somalia, a lioness guarding her cubs, her eyes blazing with the fierce heat of ancestral pride. The bait was a serpent in the guise of a corridor to the Red Sea, dangled before the desperate eyes of Muse Bihi, the embattled leader of Somaliland. A Faustian pact whispered in the shadows, its ink barely dry before the Somali people erupted in a righteous chorus of “Somalia indivisible!” Unity, forged in the crucible of sacrifice, wouldn’t be bartered for a phantom promise of recognition.

The story of Abiy Ahmed remains an unfolding saga, one that oscillates between the promise of dawn and the specter of dusk. It’s a cautionary tale of how quickly hope can morph into disillusionment, reminding us that the path towards lasting peace is often fraught with unforeseen challenges and requires constant vigilance. Whether Abiy can reignite the spirit of reconciliation or succumb to the allure of power remains to be seen. Abiy Ahmed’s Memorandum of Understanding with Somaliland has ignited a volatile firestorm across the Horn. Djibouti and Eritrea bristle, wary of another land grab and redrawing of borders. Egypt, Sudan, and the Gulf states watch with unease as the Red Sea, a vital trade artery, teeters on the brink of conflict. This is not just a skirmish; it’s a desecration of Somalia’s hard-won independence, a war for the soul of the nation. Abiy’s expansionist gambit has awakened a sleeping giant, uniting Somalis from Mogadishu to Minneapolis under their defiant flag. But his ambitions transcend Somali borders.

Whispers of a “Great Oromia” and covert manipulation of ethnic tensions paint a chilling picture of a region consumed by tribal flames. However, the Oromo Liberation Army, ostracized by his regime, stands shoulder-to-shoulder with Somalia, recognizing the true enemy: not ethnic divisions, but the iron fist of a nationalist tyrant. This is a call to arms, not of soldiers, but of the vigilant. Intellectuals, peacemakers, and diaspora communities across the Horn must rise as one, their voices a chorus of reason drowning out the drums of war. The international community must stand firm, rejecting Abiy’s machinations and demanding respect for sovereignty and territorial integrity.

Abiy Ahmed, the tarnished Nobel laureate, has wandered into the labyrinth of his own ambition, drunk on the power of a title he no longer deserves. He may have shattered the hope for peace, but the spirit of the Horn remains unbroken. The flames of nationalism, when harnessed for unity, not division, can be a beacon of hope, not a harbinger of destruction. The choice is ours – to succumb to the darkness or rise together, united by the light of peace and brotherhood.

Let the message resonate across the sun-baked plains: the lioness roars, and her sons and daughters stand with her, ready to defend their land, their dignity, their future. Abiy Ahmed, the emperor of desolation, may have ignited the flames, but it is the people of the Horn who will determine if they consume us or illuminate the path to a brighter dawn.

Remember Sun Tzu’s caution: “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.” While Abiy has mastered the first part, let us ensure his reign of desolation is met with the united, unwavering resistance of the people. The Horn of Africa deserves light, not the ashes of a despot’s ambition. This is not just Somalia’s battle; it’s a battle for the soul of the Horn. It’s a battle against the seductive mirage of nationalism, against the tyranny of one man’s hunger for power. It’s a battle for the very right to exist, to breathe, to dream in a region where unity, not division, is the only path to a brighter dawn.

So, let the message ring out from the sun-baked plains: the lioness roars, her cubs stand with her, and the spirit of the Horn remains unbroken. Abiy Ahmed may have ignited the flames, but it is the people who will determine if they consume us or illuminate the path to a future where hope, not desolation, reigns supreme. Let the drums of war be silenced, replaced by the chorus of peace, and let the sun rise on a new era for the Horn of Africa, an era where unity, not division, lights the way. From the sand dunes of Djibouti to the fertile fields of Ethiopia, from the vibrant streets of Mogadishu to the bustling heart of Minneapolis, let the voices of the people rise in unison, a symphony of defiance against the emperor of desolation. Let them be the wind that extinguishes the flames, the light that pierces the darkness, the dream that guides the Horn, not towards the ashes of conflict, but towards the verdant meadows of a shared future.

The choice is ours, and the time to act is now. Let the story of the Horn be rewritten, not in the ink of blood, but in the vibrant hues of unity, peace, and a dawn that knows no borders.

Author Dayib Ahmed
Email: [email protected]

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Related articles:

1. Into the abyss: Somalia to become the century’s Armageddon theater By Adan Ismail

2.Somalia triumphs in diplomacy: Safeguarding sovereignty By Aydarus Ahmed 

3. Countering the dangerous ideology of PM Abiy Ahmed By A Baadiyow

4. Somalia must reconsider its policy towards Somaliland amidst the Ethio-Somaliland MoU By M.Rage

5.What will become of Abiy Ahmed’s ‘acts of aggression’ against the Somali people? By Dr Aweys O.

6. A pact cast adrift: Navigating the legal maelstrom of the Ethiopia-Somaliland accord By Dayib Sh. Ahmed

7. The escalating Ethiopia-Somalia rift: A precarious path to conflict By Hassan Tahir  

9Has Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed failed history at the school? failure in history may lead him to failure in leadership By Prof Abdisalam M Issa-Salwe and Abdullahi Salah Osman

9. Abiy Ahmed’s MoU with Muse Bihi threatens Horn of Africa stability By Abdirahman Baadiyow

10-Calculated ambiguity: A sovereign port, access to the sea or a naval base? By Prof Ezekiel Gebissa

11-The historical search for a sea outlet and leadership legacy By Faisal A Roble

12 .Ethiopia and Somaliland deal: A declaration of war against Somalia By Hassan Zaylai


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