Zenawi Admits Errors on Somalia – By Stephanie McCrummen, Washington Post

June 29th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

NAIROBI, June 28 — Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said Thursday that his government “made a wrong political calculation” when it intervened in Somalia, where Ethiopian troops are bogged down in a fight against a growing insurgency.

Addressing Ethiopia’s Parliament, Meles said his government incorrectly assumed that breaking up the Islamic movement that took control of most of Somalia in June 2006 would subdue the country. He also said he wrongly believed that Somali clan leaders would live up to unspecified “promises.”

“We made these wrong assumptions,” Meles said on a day when a roadside bomb killed two Ethiopian soldiers in Mogadishu, the Somali capital, and two aid workers were shot dead in northern Somalia.

Opposition members of Parliament have accused Meles of making the same mistake in Somalia that critics say the United States made in Iraq: launching a military intervention without having a political plan.

Many Ethiopian intellectuals and political leaders opposed the intervention because they said it would inevitably create the conditions for the sort of Somalia-based terrorist attacks that Meles intended to contain by invading the country.

In December, Ethiopian forces backing Somalia’s transitional government dislodged the Islamic movement, which was popular for the relative security it had brought after years of brutal warlord rule.

Ethiopia and the United States said the Islamic movement had been hijacked by extremists and accused it of harboring terrorists, including three suspects in the 1998 bombings of the U.S. embassies in Kenya and Tanzania, a charge the Islamic leaders denied.

Since January, fighting between insurgents and Ethiopian and Somali government troops has displaced more than half of Mogadishu‘s population while the humanitarian situation has deteriorated. On Thursday, Amnesty International accused Kenya of blocking 141 trucks of food and other aid headed for more than 200,000 displaced Somalis suffering from “alarming levels” of malnutrition.

Many businessmen and civil society leaders in Mogadishu say that over the past two weeks, they have been unjustly labeled “al-Qaeda” and their homes and offices have been ransacked by Ethiopian and Somali troops.

One internationally known civil society leader, Abdulkadir Nur, said that troops plundered equipment in his offices and that his colleagues and relatives had been arrested without charge.

Nur said he is simply against what he considers an Ethiopian occupation.

“I do have the right to express my personal views,” he said in a statement. “And the transitional government has no right to abuse its power to destroy my livelihood, my personal property and abuse my colleagues and co-workers.”

Special correspondent Kassahun Addis in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, contributed to this report.

  1. shotolay
    | #1

    we don,t need to send troops in somalia. those people they don,t like each other becouse they blive by tribes and clan.the only thing we have make aremed oposite side of those islamist there is merian tribs nex to our border from dolo bay about kismayo port.this trib is the formere somalia president seide barea tribs thery are very warrore.we have to aremed them and make secured our border those islamist tertory is only north moqedisho the area nick name is (humer)very small area.meles he have to pull his troops and sendem to nort ethipia fight to his uncle make regime change bring our aseb that time we gonna aproove him ethiopian citizenship.

  2. Tigist
    | #2

    I really don’t think Meles regretted that he send his troops to Somalia. Actually, I believe he is enjoying it. Meles only survives where there is chaos and misery. Since he is an evil man bloodshed is his habitat. If he regrets his decision to involve in Somalia, why doesn’t he pull out the troops right a way? The worst thing that can happen is Somalia will remain the way it was before Meles sticks his nose where it doesn’t belong to. Every Ethiopians, especially the troops that are in Somalia, should know is Meles doesn’t give a crap about their well being. He calculates everything the way it would help him to stay in power. The very sad thing there are a lot of morons that are incapable of figuring out this evil man’s mentality. Let me mention one more example that demonstrates the nature of Meles. He fought along the side of Shabia to seceded Eritrea, after 70,000.00 Ethiopians died on the Badma war he agrees to give Badma back to Eritrea, and he is telling us he will be the first to defend Eritrea and he worked to seceded Eritrea from Ethiopia to begin with. As Ethiopian I am fiercely working against this monster, but still I don’t understand how those Meles’s supporters’ brain works. I never know people can be so stupid like that…

  3. Mimi
    | #3

    “As I hear the audio record on Aiga web site what Meles Zenawi has to say about his organization’s performance in the country: I found the usual fools who are kept in the great household of the TPLF parliament to provide the casual entertainment dressed as political opposition most puzzling than that of the stage actor of the TPLF parliament in Addis Ababa. Leaving the causal entertainers aside, let us straight talk about the fellow who is “genuinely incompetence and idiotic”? enough to see diplomatic negotiations and national reconciliation as “shameful”? (in fact he said during the election, to go for national reconciliation is to create anarchy). When it comes to the issue of the opposition groups at present suffering in jail illegally, the current event seems unfavorable than ever before judging the power and the intelligence of the man behind the court (Meles Zenawi).

    Many of us who knows the TPLF cruelty in Tigray where no one is safe in the dark but also in sunshine day with all its spy nets and intimidations by storm troopers of the TPLF whose essential function is to carry out the fabricated play acts edited by none other than Meles Zenawi. Few heed us when we have been warning the nation for many years now that the fellow is seriously anti Ethiopia begot congenitally malfunctioned who “has spent almost all of his political life in navigating political storms that are fabricated because of his congenital malformation attributed to deep seated existential pathology”?.

    Getachew Reda

  4. Jyigzaw
    | #4

    Meles zenawi ” the father of all lies” finally admits that he made a mistake for invading somalia.
    Actually he was bragging to foregin journalists and his parliament that ” We are invited by the tradational government of somalia and we are not invaders”. I heard him when he said like this a couple of times and finally he said that we made a big mistake from the beginning.
    I don’t know where he was born first and may be he comes from another planet or someother place.
    Right at this time, He is digging his own grave by himself and it is only a matter of time.
    In the near future, Our people and our beloved country will be liberated with the help of the Almighty God.
    Ethiopia will prevail.

  5. Netsanet
    | #5

    I blieve the invasion of Somalia was orchestrated to divert attention away from the internal crisis. Well, it never did and it has became another crisis on its own for the TPLF gang led government. Time and time again they have shown us that they are not willing to learn from history and it won’t be that long before they bring about their own Demise.

  6. yaphet
    | #6

    If our strong Tigrean arms and dedication to attain our goal resulted in kicking Mengistu’s ass out of Ethiopia with all his donkeys around him who will stop us now when we control everything in Ethiopia. Nobody can stop us under the sun because we work 7/24 everyday. Donkeys eat 7/24 everyday. This is the difference between our beloved woyane and the donkeys. I have never seen a stupid supporters like kinijit in my entire 27 years of life in this world. They preach Ethiopia but work with those who are against it. How dump can you get?
    What do you expect from a donkey?

    Woyane for life!!!

  7. Dinka
    | #7

    Yaphet Stupids like you equate distruction with work.
    You are so full of your self you do not even give credit to the donkey that helped you during your struggle from carrying your poisioness ass to helping you with ebet(manur)so you can dry it like kubet and use it like inchet(wood)so you can bake some bread and have something to eat instead of deadly grasshopper.Donkey is constructive if used properly but you Yaphet the butchilla of melles it is nice to hear you bark.
    Soon G.W.Bush will drop all of you and we will celebrate with loyal donkeys and chase you out of our forefathers land and hear you sing like a mosqito (BIMBEE).

  8. Tigist
    | #8

    I really don’t think Meles regretted that he send his troops to Somalia. Actually, I believe he is enjoying it. Meles only survives where there is chaos and misery. Since he is an evil man bloodshed is his habitat. If he regrets his decision to involve in Somalia, why doesn’t he pull out the troops right away? The worst thing that can happen is Somalia will remain the way it was before Meles sticks his nose where it doesn’t belong to. Every Ethiopians, especially the troops that are in Somalia, should know is that Meles doesn’t give a crap about their well being. He calculates everything the way it would help him to stay in power. The very sad thing there are a lot of morons that are incapable of figuring out this evil man’s mentality. Let me mention one more example that demonstrates the nature of Meles. Keep in mind how many life have been lost since Meles involved in the Somalia situation. Now, he is telling us, after all the lives lost, he was mistaken. He has a habit of making mistakes cause the death of thousands and thousands of Ethiopians. Another example: He fought along the side of Shabia to seceded Eritrea, after more than 70,000.00 Ethiopians died on the Badma war, he agrees to give Badma back to Eritrea, and at the same time he is telling us he will be the first to defend Eritrea, and he worked to seceded Eritrea from Ethiopia to begin with. As Ethiopian I am fiercely working against this monster and evil man, but still I don’t understand how those Meles’s supporters’ brain works. I never know people can be so stupid like that”¦He even admits once in a while that he makes mistakes after he cause the death of thousands and thousands, but it never occurs to them that the guy should be held accountable for the life that he caused to perish. But, hey to think like that it takes common sense a civil society.

  9. ka
    | #9

    what do you expect from the blood trusity man he dont care even the holl ethiopian solgers kiled in somaliya unless his government and a 100 year plane is not over he dont care for noting he is the barlady did you see him at the parlament how the way he said

  10. senay
    | #10

    It is really amazing. Gobez meles is not thinking normally, he has gone too crazy. He had said it was an inivatation from the transitional government, now he says he has made a wrong calculation.

    Meles you are really stupid, you remember the words of the real Ethiopians. They made the right calculation and advised you not to INVED somalia. BUT YOU AND YOUR PUPPETS LAUGHED. you will see the consequence.

    Now TPLF’s calculation on CUD also will result in same failure. Of course they do not know how to calculate because theye are thinking only in one dimension.

    The ethiopian community has already won. Because every body was against TPLF’s blind decision.

    mengist siwedik eko endih edndih eyale new. There is nothing amasing and interesting than earing this kind of failure.

    GOD is always with Ethiopian,

    Ethiopians raise their hands to GOD.

  11. | #11

    Melles and his uneducated cadres are enjoying with all funny things they have been doing since they took the power unexpectedly. I do not think that Melles has purposely intended to regret the people rather he is trying to fool the people. His (Melles) hidden agenda might be devastating and destabilizing the country. First of all, there was no ground/reason to invade Somalia. The main purpose was to divert the domestic political crises and get hold of US/UK, George W. Bush/Tony Blair. I am not optimistic that Melles and his insurgent party, TPLF would admit their fault, wrongdoing and the entire mismanagement for the past 16 years. He( Melles) is running us and down, digging the entire hole, paying money in million dollars for lobbyists for the reason that he would like to enjoy with his power and continue destabilizing the country. All uneducated cadres are not willing to accept the truth and stand with Ethiopian people due to different reason: Melles is the father of lies. He never tells us the truth. That is why TPLF cadres from the top to the bottom do not want to tell the truth. “A new untruth is better than an old truth.”?
    But I am optimistic that all peace loving international community will stand with Ethiopian people. Thinking about solutions is more energizing than thinking about problems. Thus, it is more important to think about the solutions: how we are gonna to overthrow this undemocratic regime and replace by the lawful party. “No man is fit to command another that cannot command himself”?. Are they (Melles and TPLF cadres) fit to command Ethiopian people?

    Almighty God bless Ethiopia.

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