Ethiopia: USA and Vatican accuse the Ethiopian government of unequal power sharing – by Ethioguardian

December 10th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

The United States of America today accused the Ethiopian government of favoring one ethnicity in appointing government positions. Mr. Douglas M. Griffiths, USA representative in the United Nations Human Rights Council, stated that: “Independent observers have noted…that most senior government positions are overwhelmingly represented by one ethnicity”, and recommended Ethiopia to examine and adjust the ethnic balance in government positions as the Ethiopian governments policy of Ethnic Federalism promotes. The Vatican also emphasized on the importance of a more equitable power sharing. Watch The Video (Use RealPlayer)

USA Mr. Douglas M. Griffiths English

Holy See (The Vatican) Mr. Hubertus Matheus Van Megen

Over 50 countries forwarded questions and recommendations to the government of Ethiopia in the Universal Periodic Review, the human rights exam of the United Nations, held in Geneva today.

In response to the American criticism the Head of the Ethiopian delegation, H.E. Mr. Fisseha Yimer, Special Adviser to the Minister at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, classified the accusation as “speculation”, “off the mark” and “wrong”. He promised the countries interested in this issue to come up with proof of the opposite.

Many participants asked questions about the infamous Charities and Societies Proclamation, The Mass Media Law and Anti terrorism Law, restrictive legislations, which are widely condemned by donors and international human rights groups.
In his introductory statement Mr. Yimer indicated that the Ethiopian population misunderstands international human rights norms, which makes it difficult for the government to implement international human rights standards in the Ethiopian society. This shows how the Ethiopian regime underestimates its own people. Knowing the amount of political prisoners, media repression and reports of violations of human rights at the moment, the Ethiopian delegation tried to cover up the dictatorial nature of the regime.

Answering questions from France on the 2005 election and its bloody aftermath, Mr. Yimer said that it was a past issue and that the outcome of the national inquiry was satisfactory. Many members of the opposition fled the country in 2005, including some members of the inquiry commission, after being harassed by Ethiopian government forces. Harassment on opposition and media freedom, raised by Australia, made Mr. Yimer laugh out loud and say: “There is no harassment!”.

Questions about the case of Birtukan Mideksa, the imprisoned leader of Ethiopia’s main opposition party, were completely ignored by the Ethiopian delegation.

Most of the countries asked access to detention centers and visits of special rapporteurs, individuals working on behalf of the United Nations who bear a specific mandate from the UN Human Rights Council, to investigate issues on arbitrary detention, extrajudicial executions, torture etcetera. In the past years, the Ethiopian government was requested to grant access to these special rapporteurs, requests which have not been granted so far. Mr.Yimer, the head of the delegation, answered saying this was not possible due to the limited capacity of the country.

The grave human rights violations committed by Ethiopian government military forces in the Somali region (Ogaden), described by Human Right Watch as genocide, were also raised by, mainly Western, countries. Mr.Yimer ignored answering these questions.

Unsurprisingly, countries benefiting from Ethiopia’s recourses, such as India and China, and most African countries, were mostly praising the Ethiopian regime for their achievements on the Millennium Development Goals and Social, Economic and Cultural Rights.

The Ethiopian delegation will present written answers to all the questions raised today, before the final report of the UPR will be adopted on Friday 11 december 2009.

  1. Anonymous
    | #1

    Both political commentaries about the situation in our country are concrete,measured and correct despite the regime’s characteristic evasions and denials.

    The heart of their observations is that the multi-ethnic character of the nation is not reflected in the power structure as political power is disproportionately held by a single ethnic group.

    Indeed,Ethiopia is now ruled by a minority dictatorship where all the political,military and economic powers are concentrated in the hands of a few ethnic Tigrayans.

    This has come about as a result of a fraud perpetuated by the TPLF,the ruling party,alleging that its ethnic region suffered historical exploitation and underdevelopment due to past Amhara oppression and it is now seizing the opportunity to redress the balance by aggressively promoting the interest of its region and people.

    To that end,the drive to develop Tigray as a natural priority or at the expense of the other regions in the country is feverish and the filling up of key and leadership positions in all institutions which hitherto were multi-ethnic is intense.

    This is being done deceptively by a regime that puts nominal figureheads in visible positions of power and management who are not of Tigrayan origin with the hope of glossing over the true nature of its mono-ethnic stronghold.

    Such an arrangement,that has effectively made the rest of our people second-class citizens in their own country,is seen as a window dressing and it has left many with smoldering resentment and mute rage towards the apartheid system.

    This needs to change.The honorable gentlemen’sMr. Douglas M. Griffiths and Mr. Hubertus Matheus Van Megen’s ‘ reports point to that.
    We add:Change should come as quickly as possible before things get worse and,God forbid,out of hand.

  2. Anonymous
    | #2

    It is already known that there is no equality of all ethnic groups of Ethiopia in administration position of that tyrant!!!!!

  3. Basamen zare
    | #3

    Finally the USA recognizes or tend to recognize long over due of the unfairness and oppression of the so called “opposition parties” by the minority TPLF party. Thank you for the Obama Administration.

    Is the “God Father” of the land of Ethiopia come to his senses or simply playing his cards?

    Any body who watched his press conference over the weekend, and read his facial expression and body language would understand , how arrogant and dangerous he could be. This uncivilised monster even lacked the charisma that the great dictators had . Of Course, this Almighty monster promised his comrades and cronies (Tigrayans) a long term solid job and possible ownership of industries and banks at the cost of poor citizens no matter what their qualification is.

    A Government that is established based on ethnicity and clan ship will not willingly to relinquish power voluntarily any time soon , specially in Africa . This is Fact. Unless God the Almighty intervene to save the nation, another round of brutal civil war is imminent. This is fact .

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