Addis Abeba – Members of parliament are forwarding tough questions to Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who is at the House to present the government’s six-month report for the current fiscal year to the House of Peoples’ Representatives (HoPR) at the 11th regular session of the House.
Parliamentarians have so far asked critical questions, including, but not limited to, lack of peace and security throughout the country, the rising cost of living, lack of safety and and security of civilians, the country’s sovereignty, lack of good governance and development.
Christian Tadelle, an MP representing the opposition National Movement of Amhara (NAMA), has asked the PM on whether he is considering to resign in the face of what the MP said was presiding over a government accused of gross human rights violations. “How ready are you to be held accountable for crimes against humanity and identity-based crimes of genocide, ethnic cleansing and identity theft?” MP Christian said.
The MP also blamed the PM that instead of responding to questions asked, he deflects into comments that “denigrate the questioners” blaming questioners of hating the nation he came from or plotting to state a coup. “When I ask you this question, it is not out of hatred for the nation you represent,” he said. Furthermore, MP Christian charged the government of being the “primary source of insecurity” in the country.
Other MP have confronted the PM with questions of the gradual erosion of solidarity among nations, proliferation of armed forces and illegal weapons; lack of free movement of civilians in various parts of the country.
Earlier at the start of the questions session, MP Abdulsemed Hussein has asked the PM on whether or the government has any plans to resolve the ongoing militarized conflict in Oromia regional state after recent calls to end the conflict through peaceful resolution.
“In the last three years in the Oromia region; in West and South Oromia, many lives and properties have been and continue to be destroyed in the ongoing conflict with the armed forces. According to the Oromia regional government’s call for a peaceful resolution of this conflict, and despite a positive response by the leadership of OLF/Shene’ of accepting the call, no meaningful peace process has been undertaken or perceived to be undertaken by either side. What kind of strategy is the federal government following to solve the problem that caused the lack of peace and to bring real peace?” he asked.
Moga Ababulga, another MP, has raised concern on what he said were the proliferation of “illegal armed forces and illegal weapons from different parts of the country being “organized into Addis Abeba city to make our capital a center of violence and chaos” including through “campaigning and financing” to take power from “the government that was built by the sacrifices of the people.” MP Moga asked the PM: “what is being done by the government to fight these forces of destruction?”
MP Semegn Sahlu, tackled the growing problem of bringing prosperity between Amhara and Oromia regions and polarizing statements from politicians of the two region. “There is a sense of confusion,” she said, adding tha in the Oromia region, “displacement, persecution and death are still continuing.” She also raised the issues of people from the Amhara region being prevented from entering Addis Abeba including patients who were sent to Addis Abeba for treatment bur |died on the way” because they were prevented from the city. Additionally, “farmers are still not selling their produce to the market, especially to Addis Abeba,” she said.
Dr. Kefena Ifa, another MP, asked about parties who are vehemently opposed to the prospect of peace between the federal government and the TPLF as well as possibilities of peace between the government and the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). “What do these people lose if there is peace?…What do they lose if there is peace with Shene?” he asked and stated the large-scale destruction and damage caused by the war in the Oromia region on the economy, politics, and social life.
“The people are being abused a lot. Recently, the Oromia National Regional Government has called for peace with the militants operating in the Oromia region,” he said and asked where has this call for peace reached so far? and that “or people are eagerly waiting for this peace negotiation” including “with with prayers.”
MP Jember Ayalneh confronted the PM that his “government is working to dismantle the country”, an idea the PM said has been accepted widely by many people and even among the leadership. He also said that there were widespread beliefs that “some elements within the government”…are planning to dismantle the country and that the Prosperity Party has “betrayed” the country and the people.
Several other tough questions are raised to the PM, who is starting to address them.
Editor’s Note: This story will be update by including additional questions and the PM’s responses.