Coup Claims Again: PM Abiy Deflects Rising Opposition and Human Rights Violations with Overthrow Warnings

July 4, 2024

Addis Ababa: Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has once again claimed that his government is facing threats of a coup, a familiar strategy used to deflect attention from escalating opposition and persistent human rights violations by Ethiopian security forces. This statement comes at a time when Ethiopia is grappling with significant political unrest, particularly in the Amhara region, where reports of severe abuses and violation of International Humanitarian and Human Rights Laws continue to emerge.

Coup Allegations as a Deflection

Addressing members of parliament on Thursday, June 27, 2016, PM Abiy warned of imminent coup attempts, asserting, “A coup d’état will not succeed in Ethiopia.” He emphasized, “We are soldiers. We have built institutions to ensure that a coup d’état would not succeed.”

This assertion is not new; the Prime Minister has often resorted to claims of coup threats whenever his administration faces mounting criticism or opposition. Observers suggest that these allegations serve as a means to consolidate power and distract both domestic and international audiences from the pressing issues within the country.

In a resolute address to parliament members today, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed declared, “A coup d’état will not succeed in Ethiopia.” The Prime Minister emphasized the strength and preparedness of Ethiopia’s institutions, stating, “We are soldiers. We have built institutions to ensure that a coup d’état would not succeed.”

Responding to questions from the parliament, PM Abiy brought up the issue of a coup, explaining that there are individuals who aspire to seize power by force. “Many people are intoxicated with materialism. They think that the ultimate way to reclaim their materialistic desires is by gaining power. They will say, ‘unless it’s me,’” he remarked. He noted that there are discussions among certain individuals about staging a coup.

While the Prime Minister did not specify who these parties are, he alluded to them using phrases like “some of our ancestors” and “my elder brothers.” He firmly advised these parties, saying, “A coup d’état will not succeed in Ethiopia.”

Recalling historical context, PM Abiy mentioned, “A coup d’état succeeded once in Ethiopia, 50 years ago. Since then, there have been many absurd and failed attempts. Now, it will never succeed.” He reiterated the government’s efforts to strengthen institutional resilience, stating, “We have built institutions; we have made it impossible for a coup d’état to succeed.”

PM Abiy’s remarks come at a time of heightened political tension and unrest in Ethiopia, with increasing opposition and reports of human rights violations adding to the complexity of the current landscape. His strong stance against any coup attempts is seen as an effort to reassure both the public and international observers of the government’s stability and control.

EAR Editorial Note Views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of EAR.

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