On the Blood Bath in Ethiopia and the Selective outrage: Multiple Wrongs that don’t Make a Single Right – By Fekade Shewakena

May 2nd, 2007 Print Print Email Email

As one who abhors violence as a means of pursuing political goals, I see the carnage committed at a Chinese oil prospecting camp in the Ogaden recently with utter disgust. (more…)

As one who abhors violence as a means of pursuing political goals, I see the carnage committed at a Chinese oil prospecting camp in the Ogaden recently with utter disgust. It is despicable and whether the dead were combatants or civilians does not even matter to me. The death of the 68 people including the Chinese whose greedy and misguided government has put them in harms way despite warnings and public knowledge of the instability in the region is tragic to say the least. The dead are poor people, soldiers or civilians, trying to eke a living and they deserved to live. The Chinese government and Meles Zenawi’s regime also share responsibility for their death. In the lawyers lingo what they did was criminal negligence. But more importantly, we should understand that disgust at this killing is meaningless if we look at it in isolation and ignore the source of such violence in the country. The selective outrage at this particular incident as if it is the only one occurring in the country or even in the Ogaden region is the height of hypocrisy and opportunism. As deplorable as it is, this incident also gives us an opportunity to look into the nature of the engine of trouble and violence in Ethiopia and the fuel that powers it.

My prediction is more of this is going to come if the regime does not change direction. Many people who stood for peaceful politics in the country are now disillusioned, particularly after what the regime did to Kinijit-CUD and its leaders, which include life long advocates of peace. I have many young people emailing me from Ethiopia, who think all civilized options are closed by Meles Zenawi and think it better to pick up arms and try the rout that brought Meles Zenawi to power. I have heard from many that the Shabia-Shabia, mantra is not going to stop people from going to Eritrea if they can get some help to help them fight back a regime that believes in brute force.

While no justification can make the Ogaden killing right, I am sure the ONLF can point to the same crimes the TPLF committed against the people in the Ogaden or innocent people elsewhere in the country to shrug off our selective outrage. Obviously this is another wrong that cannot right the regimes wrongs but expecting that such carnages will remain the monopoly of Ato Meles Zenawi and his certified violent regime is foolish as this incident proved. We should be able to see all sorts of political violence including that of the regime as one single whole if we sincerely hope for peace and prosperity in this country. Violence is a self-feeding animal. It begets itself. It is that simple.

That is why the rush of a herd of regime benefit peddlers and opportunists who compete among themselves on being louder on the condemnation and calling everybody to condemn it is becoming nauseating. Many of these “outraged”? idiots think it is ok to condemn one liberation front (ONLF) and look the other way when another LF, the TPLF, runs a monopoly of the killing of far more innocent people simply because it runs and rations their fodder. Many of these pretentious “patriots”? and “humanitarians”? were having their mouths shut when more horrific genocidal massacres were committed by the regime elsewhere in the country repeatedly. Some were even trying to make tenuous cases to absolve the regime of its crimes including by blaming the victims of the regime’s violence themselves. This includes these hypocrite donor groups, the lords of our poverty, and the enablers of our misery. There is a long list of crimes in virtually every part of the country where the regime has engaged in mass killings including the horror against the Agnuak in Gambella, Awassa etc and, of course, the murder of at least 193 unarmed protestors in Addis Ababa that is still fresh in our minds.

The current problem in the Ogaden has its source in the failure of what Meles Zenawi told us was his signature political agenda ““ the respect of the rights of nations and nationalities to self determination and the continuing zero-sum game politics he keeps playing. What happened to all that promise about imposing peace on Ethiopia by respecting the rights of nations and nationalities? The fact of the matter which now has become clear is that Meles Zenawi is actually interested in the form and not in the substance of what he has been preaching all along. He has marginalized the more independent ethnic political organizations that could become the back bones for peace building and reconciliation and replaced them with selected scumbags from every ethnic group believing that showing their picture would do the trick for him.

For all his clever talks and appearance of sophistication Meles tries to sells us, he has never produced a single serious politically mature deal with any opposition or interest group contending his regime. None. We all know by now what he did with the OLF, the ONLF and many others. Instead of producing a win-win deal expected of a mature politician, he replaced them with some morally degenerate and incompetent individuals who can be manipulated to even kill their own children for the government. To virtually every challenge Melese’s solution has been military and the use of force. And all these idiots who admire him as a politically savvy person cannot point to a single act of statesmanship and tolerance he has shown. Even the most peaceful of all peace advocating political groups in Ethiopia ““ Kinijit CUD is not spared of his violent reactions. I cannot think any group of statesmen and reasonable people more than the leaders of CUD now languishing in prison on trumped up charges who could be negotiated into resolving conflicting ideas peacefully. I will never believe for a second that Mesfin Woldemariam, Berhanu Nega, Yakob Hailemariam and Befekadu Degife, only to mention the few that I very well know, ever contemplated violence as a means to resolve political differences. These were the antiviolence geniuses, people who saw the future, and tried to find a permanent solution to abolish the cycle of violence in Ethiopia. Meles Zenawi threw them to jail simply because he could and resorted to torturing their nonviolent followers.

Only a few weeks ago in parliament, the place meant to be the people’s house, Meles was speaking about cutting off limbs and fingers of his opponents. We even have seen how he tried to belittle the suggestion of the elderly parliamentarian, Ato Bulcha Demeksa, who suggested to him to find ways to negotiate with the Ethiopians whose limbs and fingers Meles plans to cut off. The old man to his credit, must have seen that the people Meles was trying to kill are also capable of cutting fingers and limbs.

And these days I hear another “smart talk”? from Meles and his supporters. There is an undeclared push for people to give up their rights and desires for freedom and justice for a supposedly fast growing economy. People who are not absolutely silly and dumb know that the so called economic growth is mere delusion and I think every Ethiopian who lives the reality can attest to that. The structure of Ethiopia’s sad economy is still there. Development is not aid and foreign dependent construction and grossly concocted statistics or increasing agricultural yield with the help of God’s rains and through heavy use of chemical fertilizers. Any African country even Idi Amin, Bokassa or Mengistu could have achieved the same thing if they were the largest recipients of Western Aid in sub-Sahara Africa.

For all his pretending to be an economics professor, Mr. Zenawi has forgotten to learn some basics. This man has traversed advocating all nation building models and idiologies known to man. From an almost lunatic anti imperialist Marxist through a fan of Albanian socialism to East Asian green revolution and an advocate of what he called white capitalism, he has now come back full circle to becoming Mr. Bush’s poodle in the Horn of Africa dragging Ethiopia to a senseless and shameful war.

The following quote from a 17th century British satirist, Jonathan Swift, on an article on the American Debate blog is quite pertinent to Meles and his blind supporters.

“When a man’s fancy gets astride on his reason, when imagination is at (odds) with the senses and common understanding, as well as common sense”¦the first (convert) he makes is himself, and when that is once (achieved), the difficulty is not so great in bringing over others – a strong delusion always operating from without, as vigorously as from within.”

Here is a more realistic current idea for Mister model-freak Meles. Economic development is unthinkable without resolving outstanding conflicts in a country and creating a consensus among the population and this can only be achieved when people are guaranteed the rule of law and spared of government violence through creating independent institutions. Virtually all countries that have succeeded in transforming their economies in recent decades are countries who managed to resolve conflicts or reduce them to bare minimum and without the use of arms.

Even the idea of the so called “developmentalist state”? Meles Zenawi is mulling now (did I hear that he has already made it a cadre training manual?) presumes the resolution of conflicts using the head rather than the gun. Meles Zenawi can do us and himself a lot of favor if he stops pretending to look like a professor who has spent all his life in research institutes and libraries. Please. We know he spent it either in human killing fields or places of manipulating power. I only wish he only understands the basics of civilized governance and engage all his opponents in a negotiation.

Civilized negotiations to resolve conflicts around a table don’t kill people. Not doing this does. At the end of the even dictators will loose from the use of violence as a political tool as history has shown so repeatedly.


  1. Saba
    | #1

    Great piece! I always enjoy reading Ato Fekade’s article. He always seems to articulate
    very well our collective outrage.

    A true patriot and a thorn on woyane’s murderous side.

  2. fish
    | #2

    great job indeed nothing to add and nothing to reduce just perefect analysis thank you.


  3. | #3

    outstanding peice,Mr.shewakena, let God keep you well for the sake of a poor defenceless nation Ethiopia,TPLF is DOING everything possible to kill us but how long?

  4. Tariku
    | #4

    Mr. Fekade Shewakena,

    You didn’t have to write this long just to say that YOU SUPPORT THE KILLLINGS which is not surprising because as a member of AFD, CUD is deep in this mess up until it’s neck and soon will have to face the quensiquences.

    This was the last drop Woyane needed to justify the pending clean up of it’s opponents so congradulations for being politicaly DUMB.

  5. fish
    | #5

    You primitive tigres still doesn’t undertand the law it is not after you jail innocent ppls, that you will look for a miracle to falsely incriminate the innocent. “Wey denkurena endenate yetechawetebet yelme”


  6. fish
    | #6

    Tariku said “This was the last drop Woyane needed to justify the pending clean up of it’s opponents so congradulations for being politicaly DUMB.” Tigrees was advocating for strong oppsition and when the intelectuals trash you then you fall back to your original identity canibalism. it suppose to work to with the oppostion not to masacar and jail them in democratic country but as you mentioned above woyane is looking oppostions as enemy and want to destroy them and you are talking as poltical DUMBNESS moron.


  7. Gabi & Naomi
    | #7

    Fish:- It is your first time that you are telling us the truth about your mother.
    I told you before that you have some ignorance in you. But It’s the past which will make you strong in the future. I realy admire you for telling us your mothers ignorance but you are also come out officially how ignorant you are.
    You see…
    Didn’t I tell you to think first?

  8. fish
    | #8

    As i told you you will never get things right and i ahve to explain to you primitives i said “Wey denkurena ende enante( you primitive) yetechawetebet yelme”? that is what i meant i guess you should be able to understand fro m the context but no brain and you just interepret litraly dummy.

  9. Tariku
    | #9

    To the administrator or Editor of this website,

    Why did you remove my last posts????? isn’ this supposed to be “free Media” ??? the truth hurt right???

    Anyways atleast I know that you are reading my comments before you remove them, but what about those who posts hate messages on our fellow Ethiopians “ye tigray lijoch”???? why are they allowed and why is anybody in defence of tigres BLOKKED???????.

    It looks like you want to hear only and only what you want to hear, i would like to remind you though that you and the participants of this forum are living in a dream land, or should I say LAM ALEGN BESEMAY.

    This is what this site is all about isn’t it??? make the tigres look as bad as possible, the good thing is people back home don’t have the means or will to read what your site is posting everyday, for that I envy them.


  10. TATEK
    | #10

    GWADE Fekade,

    First and foremost i am impressed by your fast reaction and disgust as a citizen and a human being to this horrible inhuman act.

    Then, immediately l ike to add, you may be mistaken to summarise, (only) the current Ethiopian regime as the cause of this tragedy. These root causes are for this cruel act is the traditional Ethiopian enemies tarnishing Ethiopian face as usual. These are guys disinterested of Ethiopian social and economical development (r)evolution, what have you. However I read you also from your assertions, you don’t approve the development process in Ethiopia which now set off. That is your issue to take on. But i advise you, you have to go to look yourself Harar how fast developing it is. I have seen it personally by my eyes. It has become one of the regions that is radically changing – for good. It is sad, there are some sections of the Ogadenites or OLFites who don’t like that. So we have to battle it out. Yes TPLF as a name carries that LF prefix but in action does little like that. I think so. I like to believe it is far from it, though i dislike its initials. I want to see one Ethiopia -undivided. I say no more LFites, no matter what was/is the root cause of their prefixes. Probably the sin and grievious act of feudal ethiopia? Probably ideological Fantasy? No body knows.

    Also, don’t you admit, you are mistaken to think the Chinese Government involvement of exploitation of resources from III world instabile zones is wrong. Who will his hands off from flowing hot capital. Ethiopia, by African standard is not the least stabile country, i reiterate by ‘African standard’. You are absolutely wrong to state this. It is not only them, they are the mightiest in hunting and consuming raw material to their super glueteous econmy which is spectacular but there are also other western concerns which have won their bids and are (ready) developing many sections of Ethiopian econonmy. In and around the hinterland/frontiers of Ethiopia, though i hate the rush of exploiting earth, as a ‘Green(man)’, there is no way, we must go back. We have to also survive on this little Blue Planet called Earth. Ethiopia would not be that polutant compared to (…), then we would survey another mechanism of survival. Decrease population or explode. Let’s rise now above the extreme poverty and deprivation line first. Your strong criticism to Meles’ adminstration is your opinion, and i believe any criticism to strong political leaders and social adminstrators is helpful.

  11. Chala
    | #11

    Here we go again!! Shewakena,
    loaded with vengeance against the government(was fired from his job at AAU for being a Degue Cadre) is back with with his usual mantra – the economy has not improved, don’t believe Meles, Meles is a murderer etc. He has an unusually long laundry list of accusations against Meles that he recites without a blink of an eye. Since he left the country, he never set foot in Ethiopia and yet he talks as if he knows every aspect of life in the country – economic, social or political. His sources are of course relatives and friends that he keeps in touch with. How convenient. Mr. Shewakena, if you keep on repeating the same kind of “argument” to convince people based on the same type of information you told us a decade ago, we naturally get tired of it. So please change gear and try to come up with some more creative and informative article.

  12. samson
    | #12

    Mr. Shewakena,

    You keep belittling Mr. Zenawi’s intelligence and mental prowess. You mock his research efforts and his persuasive communication skills. Even though these are Zenawis’s undeniable traits that have brought him admiration from all corners of the, including from world renowned professors and researchers, your unwarranted denials don’t diminish his achievements. Mr. Shewakena, what have you got to show for in terms of research? None, except for your obsession of tagging your name with a Ph.D. label every time you write your nauseating articles.

  13. addidas
    | #13


    You would do us all a great favor if you would kindly keep your usual and ignorant oral defecation or lecture, to yourself. Such pronouncements from womenays like you are an assault on the refind sensibilities of sophisticates like us.

  14. dinka
    | #14

    TO addidas
    You are sophisticates!?you bunch of idiots who have no thinking brain rather redneck Bush”ties his chain on you that makes you bark like a chewawa dog.thats how far you sophistication can go!!!By the way Melles looks like a chewawa dog.

  15. mogus
    | #15

    Now you said it Melles really looks like a white house chiwawa dog ha! Ha !ha……and Woyanays all of them look a bunch of Chewawa dogs singing happy birthday to George Bush.

  16. Sattu
    | #16

    To all of the above brothers i believe what mr. shewakena have said is his opinion and he is very lucky that he is in America where everybody is allowed to say what ever the hell they want to say. Otherwise if he was living where his friends are living {in Ethiopia}he would of been spanked or pinched on the left or right of his cheek. but what mr. shewakena missed to mentioned is the word of TRUTH OR POSETIVE TALK. about the development of our mother land ETHIOPIA!!!! I think i know the cure to this may be mr. shewakena need to go back home and see it all for him self. unless, he is Eritrean. by the way can anybody mention one of Ethiopia’s past leader that had led the people of Ethiopia without wrongdoing???? except the real ATSES. for example, like YEQUARAW ANBESA[meyisaw kassa]. let me answer that NON. So would you all stop yapping and concentrate on positive thinking. because i have a dream that one day Ethiopia will be the land of GREEN.GOD BLESS ETHIOPIA.AMEN.
    from Sattu.

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