Ethiopia diplomat warns country on path to ‘destruction’ amid growing conflict

One of Ethiopia’s most respected diplomats is warning the country is on a “path to destruction” and urging the country’s new leader, Abiy Ahmed, to end a conflict with ethnic Somalis.

Post-election violence erupted after the recent elections, and the protest movement largely led by the Oromo-led opposition continued.

Ambassador Mulatu Teshome, who has served in the Ethiopian government for four decades, criticized the government’s “bad governance” in a column published in a local newspaper, quoting him calling on new Prime Minister Ahmed to quickly end violence between the two ethnic groups.

He spoke about the Birtukan Midekssa, an Oromo woman who was the first woman in her family to attend university, who was jailed and later died in prison, according to the Israeli newspaper Haaretz.

She told him she wanted to become a diplomat. The writer says she tried to escape, but was threatened.

The former ambassador said that he wrote the column because it has become clear the violence in Ethiopia will not end anytime soon and because, he said, people “are not smiling anymore.”

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