With Ethiopia And Eritrea Opening Up Political Space, Rwanda Is The Last Iron-Fisted Dictatorship. By Freeing Ingabire But Not Other Political Leaders, Kagame Is Deceiving The World That He Too Is Opening Up Politics.

Chairperson of US Congress’s Committee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights, and International Organizations, Christopher Smith and Karen Bass, member, meeting with Abiy Ahmed in Addis Ababa in August 2018.

By David Himbara

The Ethiopian and Rwandan regimes used to behave the same way — mercilessly kill, imprison, and exile anyone who disagreed with the ruling clique. Ethiopia under Meles Zenawi and Rwanda under Kagame became dictatorships from hell. Their purpose was to overwhelm their respective populations into obedient and silent zombies.

Enter prime minister Abiy Ahmed who has abandoned iron-fist politics.

Former opponents of the Ethiopian government returning home from Eritrea in September 2018.

Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed changed everything. He freed political prisoners. He welcomed home exiled armed opponents. He made peace with the former enemy state of Eritrea. Tibor Nagy, the US Assistant Secretary for Africa explained this new development as follows:

”Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has initiated groundbreaking reforms across most every area of Ethiopian society. He deserves tremendous credit for his boldness in tackling issues that previous governments have not addressed. Dr. Abiy has also taken dramatic steps to end the former government’s repression of civil liberties, inviting a diversity of voices — including many who were previously criminalized — to participate in Ethiopia’s future.”

Representative Chris Smith, the chairman of the US Congress’s Committee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and International Organizations Subcommittee, outlined Abiy’s accomplishments:

  1. Releasing thousands of political prisoners;
  2. Lifting a state of emergency and;
  3. Securing peace with neighbor Eritrea.

Representatives Smith and Bass visited Ethiopia in August 2018 to witness firsthand the remarkable changes taking in Ethiopia.

Kagame, the last ironclad dictator standing

Kagame is now isolated from his American backers. He is seen as the last hard ironclad ruler. The US even kicked Kagame out of OGOA. Kagame is now in search of a strategy for being accepted. That is why Kagame released what he called ”convicts” including Umuhoza. Notice also that Kagame recently allowed two opposition parties to win two seats in parliament — which he never allowed before. Kagame is simply playing cheap propagandistic games. He is deceiving the world that he is opening political space. But all Kagame is doing is throw mere bones to the opposition with zero intention of changing the status quo. Kagame is no Dr. Abiy Ahmed.