Voices critical of Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed still persists across much of the far northern Tigray regional state.
These sentiments have been heightened recently on the back of the killings of five high-ranking government and military officials — the two military generals killed in Addis Ababa were Tigrayans.
The official government account said the June 22 deadly incidents was part of a coup attempt in Amhara regional state, neighbouring Tigray.
The incidents in Amhara capital Bahir Dar were connected to the shooting of Army Chief Seare Mekonnen and a retired general who was working with him to thwart the Amhara ‘coup,’ the PM’s office said.
Reports from the Tigray regional capital Mekelle, indicates that the Tigrayans believe that Abiy Ahmed has made them scapegoats for all Ethiopia’s problems.
A reggae singer Solomon Yikunoamlak who rose to fame singing love songs, says he expects that his songs will will resonate with Tigrayan listeners who have witnessed their authority fade under Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s leadership.
Nebiyu Sihul Mikael, an author and social media activist said: “There is strong opposition against the federal government and some of the country’s political forces. So there is a lot of frustration and mistrust, political mistrust.”
Since coming to power last year, the 42-year-old Abiy has loosened security and business-sector controls and shaken up decades-old power arrangements, angering some Tigrayans who feel sidelined.
“It’s very sad. Not only are they questioning the intentions of the reform, but they have even begun to wonder whether or not they belong to the country they have worked for, sacrificing a lot to maintain and democratize,” another critic Wondium Asamnew said.