Extremism, corruption fueling instability: Ethiopian PM
ADDIS ABABA, Ethiopia
Ethiopian prime minister on Monday said his nation continues to face challenges that come in many forms -- including terrorism, extremism, economic sabotage, human trafficking, organized crime and corruption.
“These dangers are fueling instability in Ethiopia,” Abiy Ahmed said on Monday in a report of his government’s performance during the 2018/2019 fiscal year ending July 7.
He said 48 terror suspects, 799 corrupt officials, 34 economic saboteurs and 51 human traffickers had been apprehended during the fiscal year, as part of efforts to ensure the supremacy of the law.
The prime minister pinned blame on extremist ideas, floods, droughts and climate change for internal displacement of millions of people in the country.
Prior to the reform that he launched since April last year, Abiy said, 1.2 million people were displaced from their homes for three consecutive years during which the nation had been rocked by incessant anti-government protests that defied emergency laws.
“There had been 2.3 million internally displaced people in total as the post-reform period saw the displacement of 1.1 million people,” he said, adding 400,000 of these were displaced due to climate change, floods and droughts.
According to him, 2.1 million of the internally displaced people have returned to their homes while efforts were ongoing to repatriate and rehabilitate others.
Regional coup attempt
“We had never thought we would face such dangers from those who benefitted from amnesty offered by government in its bid to bring about national reconciliation, healing and broaden the political space,” Abiy said of the alleged recent attempt to overthrow the Amhara Regional State Government.
Last Saturday, the alleged coup attempt had been made by Brig. Gen. Asaminew Tsige, the regional security bureau chief, killing President of the state government Ambachew Mekonnen, his aide Ezez Wase and wounding the Attorney General of the region Migbaru Kebede, who later died of his wounds.
Later on the same day in the capital Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s Defense Forces’ Chief of Staff Sea’re Mekonnen and his confidante Maj. Gen. Geza’e Aberra were killed by the former’s guard.
Asaminew was killed last Tuesday in a shootout with government soldiers as he tried to escape Bahir Dar, capital of Amhara Region.
Those two events sent shockwaves across the nation -- a nation disturbed by the rise of ethnic nationalism in recent years.
Speaking about the country’s economy, the prime minister said economy will grow by more than 9 percent.
He said his government is privatizing the hitherto state monopolies of Ethiopian telecom, sugar industries and the Ethiopian Airlines.