In terms of “Games,” what has gone wrong in Ethiopia started with Isu’s declaration of “Game over, TPLF.” Then, Abiy declared “End-Game” through Law and Order Operation, merging his and Isu’s envy, greed and hatred of the TPLF into declaring war on the whole of Tigrai and its population.
It followed, when Abiy and Isu in their seesaw military assaults, that is, in their path to and out of Mekelle committed untold war crimes, the International Community announced its sword of truth declaring “Game-over now on you, Abiy and Isu.” When Abiy became self-conscious of the war crimes that he committed, he explained that the International Community rejected him due to his hung outs with Isu. And, in defiance, thence he resorted to Isu’s politics of “Arrogant and Provocative Games” against the International Community and the UN.
When the Tigraiyans found themselves defenseless against the assaults of Abiy and Isu armies, they declared “We are all TPLFs Game” fortifying and upgrading the TPLF to become the Tigraiyan Defense Forces (TDF). And, when Abiy and Isu sensed the whole population of Tigrai was against them, they resorted to “(Isu’s) Insensitivization Psychology Game” as to turn the Tigraiyans on each other for business favors, cash or benefits. The Tigraiyans responded with “No to Becoming Enforcers of Tyranny and Injustice Game.” Yet, the insensitivization worked in bringing the quislings and pro-Abiy clique to meet their fates at the hands of the TDF urban fighters.
Unlike Eritreans, the Tigraiyans fearlessly said “No” to becoming enforcers of tyranny and injustice on their people and the world opened its eyes wide. When Abiy’s forces committed crimes, all the crimes against humanity became actionable drawing sanctions on Abiy and Isu governments.
When Abiy and Isu’s brutal mass killings forced thousands to cross the border and become refugees as well as their savage wanton destruction of schools, business places, hospitals and factors destroyed and left them in ruins, the people’s desperation and bitterness forced the TDF to hasten its decision to invade and liberate the occupied Tigraiyan lands and cities. Knowing the weakness of his army, Abiy ordered his occupying army to withdraw from all Tigraiyan cities. The Aby’s federal army, when reassessed, was found to have not only suffered a crushing defeat but also to have retreated in disarray leaving all its heavy war machineries and equipment behind to fall in the hands of the TDF.
In the face of TDF’s declaration that Tigrai was going to be a grave yard of all its enemies on its soil, Abiy declared that Tigrai was boxed into starvation with all services cutoff and in/out roads closed. The TDF responded with its unboxing strategies as to open the roads to the outside world under “One Coffin for Two Enemies (Isu and Abiy) Game” ensuring to continue fighting until all sources of threats to the peace of the region are neutralized.
With the warring parties sticking to the strategies of boxing into total strangulation and the other side to the strategies of unboxing through the use of force, the International Community repeated its call for peaceful solution within the framework of the federal constitution. Abiy reiterated his refusal to yield to the terms of the constitution, inviting the International Community to cascade additional diplomatic and economic sanctions on Ethiopia due to Abiy’s new confrontational foreign policy powered by Isayasism.
Feeling obligated to make some rational corrections in his foreign relationships; Abiy resorted to “Implore Game” personally visiting African leaders to invite them to attend his re-election inauguration as to show African countries are on his side. On behalf of the invited African leaders, the Djiboutian leader made it clear that their acceptance of the invitation was on one condition that Isu would not be there, saying “if he is in, we are out.” Abiy confirmed to the Djiboutian leader that Isu excused because he was busy with his new project. The Djiboutian, while breathing a sigh of relief for Isu’s non-showing up, he shockingly said, “I knew it! Not again.” Later that shock was explained to be at the Sudanese government’s receiving of Issa Ahmed as the Eritrean ambassador despite their intelligence previously unmasked him (Issa Ahmed) as the main architect of destabilization of the Sudan’s peace and unity.
How Isu Turned Abiy’s Win-win 180 degrees to Win-lose?
Abiyism that is likened to Isayasim 100 percent in every aspect has no capability to run damage control in its irrational decisions. Whenever regional or global voices condemn Abiy’s abusive power, he (Abiy) uses “Sovereignty and Internal Affairs Game” to impress emotionalists and to mute peace-loving Ethiopians. That is why, Abiyism, being powered by Isayasism, is not set for peaceful dialogue or national reconciliation.
Like Isu, Abiy said “Big No” to the UN’s call to make available all life-saving food and medications to the starving and dying people in Tigrai. The undeniable truth is that Abiy’s law and order operation originally focused on some leaders of the TPLF but his full scale attack targeted the whole population of Tigrai.
Abiy labels those countries that express willingness to help bring the fighting parties to a negotiating table as pro the terrorist group, the TPLF. And, when the UN and the concerned countries step up their efforts to provide with food and other resources, Abiy makes baseless allegations that it was the TDF that was denying the follow of the assistance to the Tigraiyan cities swelled with internal refugees.
Abiy, opinionated with Isayasim, when he sensed that his rejection to facilitate unimpeded flow of the lifesaving food to the starved people was in blatant violation of the international law, he resorted to selling his foreign policy to Russia and Chine in “Divide the World and Win the Game.” To cover up his blunders, Abiy has given free hands to his blind supporters to recruit for benefits self-seeking and power hungry elements to help aggrandize Abiy’s achievements in order the Ethiopian people give credence and support to Abiy’s standoffish in his foreign policies and toward those who call for peaceful dialogue.
To grip more power and strengthen his one man rule, Abiy has made his government inclusive of only pro-war elements. The systematic exclusion of the anti-war regional states in the federal legislative body is to make sure that federal laws can be violated unabatedly enabling him (Abiy) to exercise his illegitimate powers, as a dictator.
Abiy should know that he is not reelected to abandon and threat those regional states that did not participate in the election or those who did not vote for him. As a leader of all, Abiy should genuinely be concerned about the peace of all and immediately put a halt to all internal wars.
Abiy should know that he is not given the reins of power to lead the country under the rule of whims. Ethiopians have learned enough from Eritreans what life is like under tyranny and oppression. It appears that Abiy has structured his cabinet to take direct orders from him and not to seek that assent of the Ethiopian parliament. Slowly but surely Abiyism will seek to reduce that ability of the parliament to review and finalize change(s) in the Ethiopian constitution. If Abiy secures the power to amend or alter the constitution as it fits his one-man rule, Ethiopia will soon be back to having new imperial government under Abiy, the new king.
Win-Win Needs no Battles to Strengthen Negotiating Position
In political peaceful settlement, weak negotiating position opens the door to more honest and legal communications. In the case of the Ethiopian Federal Government, Abiy should not seek to be in a stronger position to impose his decisions. Abiy should seek acceptable and peaceful solution for peace with one regional state because it also represents the other regional states. For Abiy, rather be in a weak position and bigger scope supported by constitution than be in a strong position and smaller scope using force and neglecting the constitution, as a federal government represents the huge and strong power under the constitution.
Since pre-negotiation objectives may change in the process of reaching agreement into new negotiation objectives, paying additional lives to secure strong negotiation position is not that necessary. Indeed, the negotiation objectives of the two warring sides should not be to redefine their relationship but to find common ground and promoters of peace, while suppressing provocative question and focusing on lasting solution.
When the civilian death outnumbers that of the fighters (soldiers and militias), know it is time for a cease fire. And, when the war puts the unity of the people and the country at stake, know it is time for immediate peaceful dialogue.
When Abiy speaks about inclusiveness and yet continues to reject to include the elected representatives of the Tigraiyan people, know that Abiy still is under the control of Isu. So long Abiy does not distance himself from Isu, the Federal Government will remain to be incompatible with the regional states and negotiated settlement with the regional state of Tigrai will remain out of the question.
Abiy knows well that the federalists dread unitary system because of the past political and economic damages inflicted on them. Under unitary system, ethnic homogenization was tantamount to coerced or voluntary ethnic cleansing. The Tigraiyans claim that the war declared on them is the beginning of coerced ethnic cleansing under the would-be new king.
Equally, dictatorship is rejected by all Ethiopians because it tyrannizes the people into living in a frozen time with frozen opportunities and economy, if not declining, as seen in Eritrea of Isayas. Ethiopians do not need to be reminded that they are better off under federalism.
Negotiated peace is better than conceded defeat that never brings a lasting peace.