Conference on Ethiopia and Horn of Africa – By Robele Ababya

April 5th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

There is a desperate move to subvert the Conference in title at this critical time when the international community is calling on the TPLF/EPRDF Party to open the increasingly narrowing political space; at this time when the renowned Congressman Donald Paine has a couple of weeks ago said, in his words: “I am deeply concerned and troubled about the deteriorating conditions in Ethiopia. The EPRDF regime is becoming increasingly totalitarian.” And earlier Senator Russ Feingold has called on President Obama not to be afraid to stand on the side of the Ethiopian people; at this time of the damning Human Rights Report on the atrocities of the regime has been made public by of the US Department of State.

It is sheer madness trying to undermine a Conference at this critical time when dialogue, peace and reconciliation are badly needed!

Meles is not a “statesman leading Africa” as some of his diehard supporters on his payroll would like us to believe. Ethiopians recall that his immediate act of betrayal started upon entry of his agazi forces to Addis Ababa to take power in May 1991; he desecrated the Ethiopia flag and desperately tried to dismantle the most revered monument of Emperor Menelik II standing in Addis in gratitude to the Monarch for His brilliant leadership of his entirely militia forces to deal a humiliating defeat to a well-trained and well-equipped modern army of Italian aggressor. The famous victory shocked European powers forcing them to recognize Ethiopia as a sovereign independent state and more importantly stood as a beacon of hope and strength to all black people in the Diaspora struggling for freedom and independence. The victory of Adwa set precedence to a long and arduous struggle and sacrifice culminating in the independence of countries like Ghana under the extraordinary leadership Kwame Nkrumah – visionary intellectual who dedicated his life to the creation of African Unity.

Unfortunately, the leader of the TPLF regime is the architect of ethnic federalism in nine regions in a country of eighty three (83) ethnic groups. This is certainly an illogical language-based federal arrangement inviting implosion. It would set a bad example and spread like bush fire to the rest of African states unless it is curbed with immediate effect first and foremost by Africans and the international community. Tribalism is a cancer feeding on the fabric of the overall development of African unity.

Meles is a deadly enemy of African unity. That is why he is hell-bent to subvert conferences on regional stability leading to a greater unity.

The international community has collected and recorded numerous gruesome acts of atrocities including genocide perpetuated over the last two decades by the Meles regime. Vital national interests have been betrayed; gross violations of human rights have been committed including genocide, crime against humanity and war crime.

The regime has lost the trust of the Ethiopian people due to betrayal of their vital national interests and throwing the Horn of Africa region into political turmoil, to wit:

• Dismembering Ethiopia thus leaving a country of 80 million landlocked cutting her economic lifeline and her vulnerable to insecurity

• Naked aggression of Somalia

• Committing act of genocide against the Anuak people of Ethiopia

• Denying private farmland ownership to peasants, which constitute 85% of the Ethiopian people. Peasants live in slavery in the serfdom of the ruling regime which is fooling the world that it is the midwife of democracy.

• Daylight robbery of votes at the election of 2005; selective killing of 193 unarmed citizens in cold blood and incarcerating tens of thousands of protestors.

• Selling fertile Ethiopian farmlands to unscrupulous foreign ‘investors’ while landless Ethiopian peasants are suffering in abject poverty

• The US State Department Report on Human Rights dated 11 March 2010 recorded: “Opposition UDJ party president Birtukan Mideksa, whose pardon was revoked and life sentence reinstated in December 2008, remained in prison throughout the year. She was held in solitary confinement until June, despite a court ruling that indicated it was a violation of her constitutional rights. She was also denied access to visitors except for a few close family members, despite a court order granting visitor access without restrictions. There were credible reports that Birtukan’s mental health deteriorated significantly during the year”.

• Senator Russ Feingold in his letter to President Barrack Obama “on the fragile state of democracy in Africa” (made public by his Press Release dated 05 March 2010) said: “There is no way that elections can be fair, let alone credible, with opposition leaders in jail or unable to campaign freely. At the bare minimum, the international community should push for the release of these political prisoners ahead of the elections. And if nothing changes, we should not be afraid to stand with the Ethiopian people and state

The resolve of the ruling regime to govern Ethiopians by denying them access to independent sources and discouraging academic freedom in tertiary institutions is evident. Italian Fascists did much the same during their short period of their occupation of our motherland. For the recent jamming of the VOA Amharic service Meles Zenawi is entirely responsible for he said:

“We have been convinced for many years that in many respects, the VOA Amharic Service has copied the worst practices of radio stations such as Radio Mille Collines of Rwanda in its wanton disregard of minimum ethics of journalism and engaging in destabilizing propaganda” – thus biting the hands that has been feeding him generously.

This is an insult to the intelligence and dignity of the Ethiopia people which one hopes that the envisaged Conference would address very seriously and pass a strong resolution thereon.

The stranglehold on our freedom of choice of access to information must be shattered primarily through our struggle with the help of well-meaning international community.

The desperate regime is totally isolated by the Ethiopian people and as such run out of ideas. So in retreat from its overly exaggerated claim in development activities, it is brandishing its image that it is the only strong option to ensure stability in the fragile region of the Horn of Africa – which in fact is a region destabilized by the regime beginning with allowing secession of Eritrea, the subsequent Ethiopia-Eritrea war of 1998- 2000 that claimed 100,000 lives, and the wanton invasion of Somalia, which proved catastrophic.

The Conference signals the beginning of consolidating robust unity of opposition forces with diverse views that Ethiopians have been so earnestly craving for decades. Its success is instrumental in what would be arduous but rewarding march to victory over tyranny. Pundits participating in the Conference have historic responsibility to seize upon this long-awaited opportunity to correct their past mistakes in a new mindset of paradigm-shift to bring stability. They owe this much and more to the Ethiopian people who have been victims of abject poverty, bad governance and arbitrary breach of the rule of law for the last 19 years.

The Conference organizing Committee should be congratulated for naming Birtukan Mideksa as its Honorary Chairperson of the Conference. This is a fitting tribute to the distinguished lady languishing illegally in jail and suffering psychological and physical torture for telling the truth about the negotiation leading to her in 2007. Her old mother and five-year old cute daughter are under the same ordeal in the larger prison, which Ethiopia is.

The Committee should also be appreciated for its courage, tenacity, and foresight in organizing the Conference that will bring together participants with diverse views.

Release Birtukan Mideksa and all political prisoners!


Robele Ababya

  1. ኣስሀነፈ
    | #1

    ኡንቲል ትሂስ ጥጵልፍ ግሮኡፕ አሬእ ሬእሞኦቨእድድ ፍሮኦም ፖኦወእር ትሄእረእ ዊኢልል ኖኦት ቤእ ደእሞኦችራአችይ ኢን

  2. Ogina
    | #2

    Who will take Power from the Fascist Fake-Federalists (FFFs)? The Kilil-Federalists or the Xeqilaigizat-Federalists?

    Thanks to Oromo people and Rabbi/Waaqayyoo, every political group in the empire nowadays claim to be a federalist. They no more brag and preach about a unitary IMIYE or about Abbay Tigray. The unitarists who untiredly cry about Imiye could now know that without the rhetoric about federation, they can win no single vote of Oromo. The hegemonist Weyanes changed their program of Abbay Tigrai just as they came to Oromia and saw “INQULAAL” coming out of Oromia’s soil (that was the name they gave to potato). They said: “we are not fool to liberate Tigrai and live from only Qulquwaal, where we do have a chance to be in Finfinne palace and enjoy the Inqulaal”.

    But now it seems their power base is shaking. The next question seems to be: who will take power in the coming “election” from the Weyane fascist fake federalists (from the FFF, who are almost similar to the KKK of USAmerica)? The Kilil-federalists (K-federalists) lead by MEDREK or the the “anti-Kililistan” forces who are Xeqilaigizat-federalists (X-federalists) and lead by MEAD? Time will show us who of them can succeed. The best remedy against the fascists would have been the further conversion of the unitarists from their present position of supporting X-federation to the position of supporting K-federation. That means recognizing the right of Oromia to exist and the right of Oromo nation to self-determination, instead of still trying to dismantle Oromia with the pretext of struggling for the X-federalism (geography based federalism).

    Then we will have only ONE strong force against fascists instead of being devided in to two opposition camps (K-federalists and X-federalists). Well the die-hard unitarsts braged about their unitary position during the “election” 2005, today in this time of 2010 “election”, they do brag about their “NEW form” of federation, but surely in the next “election” of 2015, they will be part and parcel of K-federation. We do observe that they are learning slowly, but surely. The current three camps of the empire:

    - Xeqilaigizat-Federalists (X-Federalistis) are parties like AEUP, EDP, EPPF and, EPRP (* the position of G-7/UDJ is ambigious*)

    - Fascist Fake-Federalists (FFF) are TPLF and its slaves like ANDM, OPDO, SEDM and SPDP

    - Killil-Federalists (K-Federalists) are parties like ATSD (Arena), OFC, SDAF (Somali) and UEDF (* Liberation fronts like OLF, ONLF and SLF as well as the ambigious G-7/UDJ do endorse this camp*)

    No question that the FFF will die a natural death. The only question to be answered is: who will take over? The K-Federalists or the X-Federalists? Or will the FFF survive further by playing the devide and rule game using K-Federalists vs X-Federalists? The best solution would have been that X-Federalists give up their obsolete Xeqilaigizat view and join the K-Federalists by accepting and respecting the God-given right of Oromo to have Oromian autonomy in Ethiopian context and by aknowledging the same right to other nations and nationalities of the empire, so that we can have only ONE very strong K-Federalist camp against the FFF.

  3. Assta B. Gettu
    | #3

    One cannot repair harm through dialogue; harm is repaired through harm; pain through pain; damage through damage; and wound through wound if one wants to reconcile with Meles Seitanawi (Zenawi). Without appropriate punishment against the offender, there will be no reconciliation (እርቅ) between the killer and the victim’s family. After blood is paid for blood, then one can start reconstruction (ግንብ, መገንባት) on the surviving victim’s family; the killer who killed another human being purposely must be killed with out delay.

    When Samuel saw Agag who had killed many innocent people, Samuel said to him: ‘As your sword has made women childless, so will your mother be childless among women.’ “And Samuel put Agag to death before the Lord at Gilgal.” (1st Samuel 15:32)

    Samuel did not want any dialogue with the king of the Amalekites, Agag (in Geez language, Amalekites are Muslims) and knowing what King Agag had done to many Israelites, the prophet Samuel without any hesitation or question destroyed the king. It is this kind of justice the Ethiopian people are asking to be done upon Meles and his gang squad. There will be no reconciliation between Meles Seitanawi and the Ethiopian people, between Mengistu Haile Mariam and the people of Ethiopia and between Aba Paulos and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church abroad and at home, and between the Ethiopian Christians and the Ethiopian Arab Muslims.

    Without demining the teaching of Christ, our Lord and savior, the concept of reconciliation becomes clearer to most of the Ethiopian people when one follows the teaching of the Old Testament – “eye for an eye” – but it becomes more complicated when one follows the teachings of the New Testament: “If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also.” (Luke 6:29)

    Most of us Ethiopians want revenge, after words reconciliation; we may reconcile with Meles’ 7th generation but not with his immediate family or his children’s children because Meles has shed too much Ethiopian blood, and that blood makes it difficult for us to seek reconciliation with anyone that looks like Meles, that smells like Meles and that talks like Meles.

    One, in his right mind, never says to Meles “እንደምን አለህ?” (how are you?) And to his wife Jezebel (Azeb) “እንደምን አለሽ? (how do you do?) After one has seen the atrocities Meles and his wife have committed throughout the years. I hope this coming election will end the dark history of the Ethiopian people when Meles is defeated and fled the country or caught and sent to Kaliti Jail.

  4. Assta B. Gettu
    | #4


    Is the Oromo vote more important than any other vote when it comes to voting this coming Election Day? Is it impossible to be the Prime Minister of Ethiopia whether the Oromos vote or abstain from voting? Was it the Oromos’ votes that brought Meles Seitanawi to power for the second time in 2005?

    Let us not forget Oromia has been part of Ethiopia, and it cannot exist apart from the rest of the Ethiopian provinces whether it refuses or consents to vote.

    Those crippled separatists always dream to secede from the rest of the Ethiopian provinces, bragging the other provinces cannot survive without the resources of the Oromo region; you may have the resources, but you don’t have the skills to properly utilize your God-given, abundant resources: it is the Amharas and the other Ethiopian tribes who skillfully handle or manage your crude resources and distribute them to the rest of the other regions including to the state of Oromia.

    When these waspish dissenters try to snatch this fertile land of Oromia from the strong hands of the Ethiopian people, they have their own prepossessions, i.e, to establish an Islamist Oromo’s Kingdome and there by declaring a bloody civil war between the Islamist Oromos and the Christian Amhara-Tigray people. If such civil war happens, that will be the end of Islam in the Christian land of Ethiopia.

    It is not for its እንቁላል (egg) or its ማር (honey) or its ወተት (milk) that Ethiopia wants to keep Oromia as part of its Christian kingdom; it is rather for the unity and diversity of the Ethiopian people that Oromia should remain in Ethiopia eternally. Egg, honey, and milk are produced not only in the Oromo region but also in all the rest of the Ethiopian provinces.

    As we recognize the rights of all the Ethiopian tribes, we also recognize without exception the rights of the Oromo people to exist, but we strongly object to the dissenters’ dream of Oromo’s self determination, and we will never give up our position to keep Ethiopia united at any cost: we are not fool like some of the Oromos who think that each province must have an autonomous status which is not different from the Kilil status and there by creating multitude of holes for foreign enemies to come in and take our lands piecemeal.

    Every Ethiopian wants Ethiopia to remain united as it has been for centuries, and who cares about Rabbi/Waaqayyoo’s false propaganda to disintegrate Ethiopia and to assert himself as a leader of the disintegrated Oromia, and no one listens to such preaching based on selfish motives.

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