In support of the Conference on Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa.

April 7th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

I would like to extend my appreciation and thanks to the organizers for organizing this conference which deals with an array of seminal and topical issues concerning Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. The horn of Africa is a very volatile region confronted with the challenges of persistent conflicts and underdevelopment which are leading to tremendous human sufferings and displacements. Famine, poor governance and abject poverty have been the lots of the inhabitants or citizens of the region. Successive dictators of different colours are playing decisive but destructive roles in the countries of this region. The peoples of the region are related and have intertwined lives which provide the arguments and ground for close cooperation and some kind of integration.The destructive forces fostering fragmentation and conflicts in the region and especially in Ethiopia know that they will not have any future and role in the integrated and stable horn of Africa. The regime of Meles Zenawi is the prime driving force of fragmentation and division. He is partly responsible for the tragic separation and suffering of the people living in Ethiopia and what is known as Eritrea today. The very tense border situation and the prevailing climate of conflict is the deliberate works of the two dictators. The instability and devastating conflicts in the region can only be overcome through the concerted and coordinated efforts of the peoples of the region. Thus the abolition of dictatorships which are responsible for the overwhelming poor governance, repression and deteriorating security, is of paramount importance in creating peace and stability in the region. Besides, it is the legitimate rights of the peoples of the region to make use of all the means at their disposal to get rid of these perilous dictatorships and build their shattered lives.

Ethiopia is the most important country in the horn both in terms of its geographical and population sizes and its stability and unity have significant impacts on the region as a whole. It is not an exaggeration to state that a democratic, prosperous, stable and united Ethiopia is the key to peace and stability in the region. Despite this, Ethiopia is facing a grave challenge to its existence or viability as a country and its citizens are in a struggle of dual nature. Defending their country against internal enemies led by Meles Zenawi and building a democratic or representative system in it. It has become the playing field of Liberation fronts including the incumbent Tigray People`s Liberation Front (TPLF) and its former ally and mentor Eritrean People`s Liberation Front (EPLF). These two fronts and their allies or stooges are actively engaged in destabilizing the entire region especially the neighbouring Somalia. The reliance on all sided western support and decomposition of the domestic opposition have made Meles Zenawi more arrogant, defiant and insensitive to the agony of his subjects in Ethiopia. His recent vulgar and wanton statements regarding W/t Birtukan Midekssa and threats directed against the loyal opposition campaigning to bring about the high voter turnout he needs to legitimize his fraudulent elections, are the cases in point. Peace, prosperity and stability in Ethiopia and the region are not in the interests of Meles Zenawi and that is why he has unleashed his forces to undermine and thwart the conference.

The apparently US prodded invasion of South Somalia by Meles Zenawi and the resultant deaths and destruction have fueled the conflict and aggravated the crisis in that country. These reckless and shortsighted acts of Zenawi who is preoccupied with clinging to power through pleasing his western donors and supporters have led to the emergence and consolidation of more radical and destabilizing forces in South Somalia. We can not deny the fact that Meles Zenawi has achieved his immediate aims of ensuring and securing the financial and political support of the Unites States and European Union by posing as a leading crusader against terrorism in the region. But the long term consequences of his survival strategies are more instability and widespread conflicts in the region as the developments in South Somalia show. The United States and European Union can not achieve their stated goal of defeating and containing terrorism in partnership with Meles Zenawi. Nor can they attain long term stability in Ethiopia. The stability they refer to in Ethiopia is not an actual stability required for development and peace. It is a typical Ethiopian patience which is wearing thin and creating the fertile ground for a major eruption which can engulf the whole region. The west are having it all wrong because they are mistaking patience for stability and hailing the destabilizing ethnic warlord as a stabilizer. Like his fellow clan warlords in South Somalia, the ethnic warlord Meles Zenawi thrives on conflicts and unrest.

  1. Anonymous
    | #1

    Dear Friend:

    Saying the invasion of the Ethiopian troops was against only the South Somalia, undermines the brutal Ethiopian invasion of Somalia. An invasion that proved deadly for all involved but proved deadly and humiliating specially for the Ethiopian army and administration.

    Your assessment that this was invasion against the south Somalia alone also shows your lack of understanding on that invasion and its far reaching impact. Somalis from every part of Somalia have responded to the call to defend the homeland and that call has eventually galvanized Somalis and united them in unprecedented way. Ultimately Humiliating the Ethiopian army and the Ethiopian administration.

    Finally, until each and everyone of us is willing to acknowledge the unjust being committed regardless of the person/group, then we have a long way to go to achieve peace for our people or for humanity as a whole. We must succeed removing biases to genuine analyze and understand the agony of the oppressed whether they are Ethiopian, Eritreans, Somalis or others. We must become the voice for the voiceless and not the mouthpiece for those that oppress them.

    Thank you,

  2. Anonymous
    | #2

    Is this article without author or what?

  3. Assta B. Gettu
    | #3

    We know no one governs Somalia, but who will govern Ethiopia?

    One government for life is one of the traditions of the Ethiopian people that goes back to Sheba, Queen of Ethiopia or to her son, Menelik I and continues until the present Woyanne government.

    Understanding the wishes of most of the Ethiopians who believe in one flag, one faith, one country, and one government, Meles Seitanawi (Zenawi) has determined to rule Ethiopia for life as far as he allows Ethiopians to mind their own businesses, worship their God the ways the want, respect their ruler (Hebrews 13:17), and pay their taxes the way their ruler wants.

    What the Ethiopian people need from their authoritarian government has never been prosperity because they are not used to prosperity or keeping money in a bank more than possessing few chickens, caws, sheep, donkeys and some thatched houses to lay their heads with their children and domesticated animals but stability and unity of their ethnically, religiously, and geographically fragmented country.

    Generally, Ethiopians want a leader that keeps their country united, and that kind of leader has always been an authoritarian one, starting from Queen Sheba until Meles Seitanawi; therefore, Meles sees himself as one of those Ethiopian authoritarian rulers who had never given up their powers voluntarily to someone else but to one of their children, and that is when these aged rulers were near to death or forced to die, in the case of Emperor Haile Selassie.

    As we all know, Meles is not yet near to die; he is still in his fifties, and according to him, it is only the age or the death factor that determines his resignation from power, not the Ethiopian diasporas’ or the Ethiopian Freedom Fighters’ strong and persuasive campaigns to force Meles to resign.

    Meles Seitanawi, I think, is on a solid ground to rule Ethiopia for a long time to come: the Western world is on his side; the Arab-Muslim world is on his side; most of the African states are on his side; the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church under Aba Paulos is on his side; the Woyanne army is on his side, and those soldiers who are not on his side are fled the country or they are in the Quality Jail; and, above all, most Ethiopians who believe in the unity, not in the prosperity, of Ethiopia, are on his side – if all these people, nations and governments are on his side, who is against him? Who is going to challenge him and bring him down from his office he purchased with the bloods of thousands of Ethiopians who courageously fought and brought down Mengistu Haile Mariam or refused to fight the invading shiftas of Meles Seitanawi.

    No one forgets why the Ethiopian people refused to protect Emperor Haile Selassie because they knew he had aged and ready to die sooner or later; they also kept quiet when Mengistu’s government was shaken because of his ideology copied from the godless Communist of the Soviet Union and because of his “Red Terror”; however, most of the Ethiopian people do not want the Meles’ regime to collapse because they don’t want to see an independent Oromia and there by the disintegrations of their country for they know what disintegration brings with it: weakness, hatred, conflict, and an invasion of the fragmented Ethiopian regions by a foreign power.

    Of course, there are other factors why most Ethiopians want Meles to stay in power: they want him to finish his development plans he has laid out for Ethiopia, plans such as building more universities, hospitals, roads, hydroelectric powers, bringing clean water to most rural Ethiopian homes, and fighting infant mortalities in the country.

    So, one of the only ways that brings Meles Seitanawi down from his power is when the Ethiopian people are totally convinced that their country will stay together after Meles has left his office. They don’t want the disintegration of Ethiopia; they don’t care whether their ruler is a dictator or a democrat as far as Ethiopia stays as one country, as one Ethiopia, and that is what maters the most for many Ethiopians.

    And the person who knows the desires of the Ethiopian people and executes them accordingly governs Ethiopia. In this case, the only person who knows very well the wishes of the Ethiopian people, so far, is Meles Seitanawi, but if he fails to understand their wishes – to keep Ethiopia united – he will then be removed from his power by the Ethiopian people.

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