Portrayed as an Oromo of the Muslim faith!

PM Abiy Ahmed is a Protestant, with a Christian mother and a Muslim father

The new PM Abiy Ahmed Ali: an ethnic and religious compromise?

PM Abiy Ahmed

Ethiopia’s newly elected Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed attends a rally during his visit to Ambo in the Oromiya region, Ethiopia April 11, 2018. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

March 30, 2018 – Portrayed as an Oromo of the Muslim faith, the new strongman of Addis in fact has a Christian heritage, making him an acceptable candidate to the Orthodox Church.

After a marathon series of meetings between senior figures in the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), the ruling coalition in Addis, the new chairman of the Oromo Peoples’ Democratic Organization (OPDO), Abiy Ahmed Ali, has been elected by a comfortable majority of 108 votes out of 169 in preference to his two rivals, the chairman of the Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Movement (SEPDM), Shiferaw Shigute, and the leader of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Debretsion Gebremichael, who obtained 59 and 2 votes respectively. The last-minute withdrawal of the Amhara National Democratic Movement (ANDM) candidate, Demeke Mekonnen, a Muslim from Wollo who was viewed by many as the favourite, complicated things for the TPLF.

Portrayed by the government as the first Muslim to occupy the post of prime minister, Abiy Ahmed Ali is in fact a Protestant, whose mother is a Christian [Ethiopian Orthodoxy?] but whose father is a Muslim. He is therefore more palatable to the Orthodox Church than Demeke Mekonnen. According to our information, Abiy Ahmed Ali, accompanied by the OPDO deputy chairman Lemma Megersa and the foreign minister Workneh Gebeyehu, had several meetings with President Mulatu Teshome Wirtu (an Oromo), and the outgoing prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn.

The new PM, who hails from the province of Jimma, is a former lieutenant colonel in the Ethiopian National Defence Forces (ENDF) and an expert in cyber-intelligence who has remained on good terms with the army chief of staff, General Mohamed Nur Yunus, known as Samora. Meanwhle, Demeke Mekonnen will stay on as deputy prime minister. The Tigrayans have lost this set, but not yet the match…
Source: ION, March 30, 2018
Description of source: Since 1981, ION investigates within the power spheres of the Eastern coast of Africa, from Karthoum to the Cape and the islands. Country of origin: France
© Copyrights 2018 Indigo Publications All Rights Reserved

EPRDF doesn’t trust Muslims


Men take part in morning prayers to celebrate the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan, in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, July 17, 2015. REUTERS/Tiksa Negeri

February 15, 2013 – The “Muslim threat” was at the centre of discussions at a discreet meeting between the heads of the security and the police services in Addis Ababa last week-end.

An important but discreet meeting of police and security officials was held in a government conference room in the Casa Inches district in Addis Ababa on 9 February. According to our sources, it was chaired by Kuma Demeksa, the mayor of Addis Ababa and executive of the Oromo People’s Democratic Organisation (OPDO, member of the ruling coalition EPRDF), who was seconded by Getachew Assefa, the head of the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) and another Tigrayan named Tsegaye who is at the head of the capital’s justice and security department. This meeting concerned the overall evaluation of the security situation in the city, but it was the matter of the “Muslim threat”, which was the most discussed topic.

Adopting strict and rigorous measures against Muslim anti-government demonstrations was advocated, because these street protests are seen by the EPRDF’s non-Muslim leaders as political actions secretly manipulated by individuals who have pledged allegiance to the destabilising forces of radical Islam.

What started the unrest in the capital’s mosques last year was the government decision to use Lebanese teachers from the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects (a group called Ahbash by its detractors) to fight the arguments of the Ethiopian clerics, that the government considered too close to Wahhabism. The violent police repression of the first Muslim demonstrations then only made matters escalate.

The situation today is that even the Muslims in the EPRDF are uneasy. Some of them, such as the former minister Junedine Sado and his wife were even accused by the government of playing into the radical Islamic game. At the Casa Inches meeting, Tsegaye admitted this malaise did indeed exist, stating that the EPRDF’s Muslim officials did not stop pestering the security chiefs to obtain the release of imprisoned relatives. He considered that the greatest danger was that EPRDF officials might provide information to these Muslim opponents on the governing coalition’s secrets.
Source: ION, February 15, 2013
Description of source: Since 1981, ION investigates within the power spheres of the Eastern coast of Africa, from Karthoum to the Cape and the islands. Country of origin: France
© Copyrights 2013 Indigo Publications All Rights Reserved

Meles upsets the Muslims


Ethiopian Muslims take advantage of a period of relative calm after two days of bloody violence in their capital Addis Ababa on November 3, 2005 to celebrate the Islamic festival of Eid al Fitr marking the end of a month long fast of Ramadan. REUTERS

May 12, 2012 – The Prime Minister is upsetting a large number of Muslims through the excesses of his campaign against Wahhabism.

There is a risk of strong tension throughout the country as worshipers leave the mosques on 11 May. There could be demonstrations, comparable with the one in Addis Ababa on 4 May which gathered a crowd of several thousand. This movement is protesting against the government’s Ahbashism campaign that uses Lebanese Muslim clerics to fight against Ethiopian preachers considered too close to Wahhabism. However, these reactions were fuelled by the brutal repression, resulting in deaths, of other demonstrations last week in the town of Assasa.

The government, for its part, is arguing that it is only campaigning against preachers who have links to the al-Qaeda terrorist movement. On 4 May it expelled two of them from Arab countries who were allegedly calling for jihad in front of the Anwar grand mosque in Addis Ababa. Many Muslims place little credence on this story, which is too convenient for the government, looking much as if it has been devised specifically to confirm the administration’s line. In the run up to May 11, the State media portrayed future demonstrations as actions manipulated by the opposition.
Source: ION, May 12, 2012
Description of source: Since 1981, ION investigates within the power spheres of the Eastern coast of Africa, from Karthoum to the Cape and the islands. Country of origin: France
© Copyrights 2012 Indigo Publications All Rights Reserved

Meles Zenawi takes on Wahhabism


March 24, 2012 – The Aweliya Center, the largest Islamic institute in the country, has become the centre of resistance to the government attack on the spread of Wahhabism.

With the active support of the Minister for Federal Affairs, Shiferaw Teklemariam, the Ethiopian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (or Majlis) has launched an ideological attack on the spread of Wahhabism, a fundamentalist form of Islam based on the Saudi model, among Ethiopian Muslims. To do so, the Majlis called on the services of Lebanese scholars from the Association of Islamic Charitable Projects, a group known as Ahbash (the Abyssinians) by its detractors because its founder, Sheikh Abdullah Al-Harari was born in Ethiopia. It preaches an old, moderate and tolerant form of Islam but is considered heretical by the Wahhabists.

In trying to impose this form of Islamic teaching last year at the Aweliya Center in Addis Ababa, an establishment (consisting of a primary and a secondary school, a hospital and a mosque) funded by Saudi Arabia, the Majlis and the government sparked off a vigorous reaction among the Wahhabists. Peaceful demonstrations have taken place during the last few weeks around the centre, where thousands of worshipers have had to endure sermons attacking the Majlis and the government and threatening to transform the Aweliya into a new “Cairo Tahrir Square”.
Source: ION, March 24, 2012
Description of source: Since 1981, ION investigates within the power spheres of the Eastern coast of Africa, from Karthoum to the Cape and the islands. Country of origin: France
© Copyrights 2012 Indigo Publications All Rights Reserved

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