Nightmarish problems facing tyrant Meles By Robele Ababya

June 25th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

The betrayed popular movement for peaceful change. (more…)

The betrayed popular movement for peaceful change.

Thirty six years after the sudden breakout of the Ethiopian revolution in February 1974 the political chaos then generated reached the bottom of its deterioration with the claim of TPLF/EPRDF stealing 99.6% of the votes in the 23 May election 2010 – thus in effect becoming the sole covertly Stalinist party in Ethiopia by decimating all other political parties numbering above sixty (60) that took part in the election. The ruling party is now the lone sitting duck for foes and friends alike that will confront it with multiple demands far beyond the party patriarch Meles would be able to handle.

A one person rule had afflicted Ethiopia for centuries. The adoption of communist ideology as a guiding principle for the revolution has made things worse. That was a classic example of starting on a wrong foot to lead the revolution, which resulted in the political upheaval in Ethiopia that has persisted as a chronic problem defying solution to this date. The future is bleak unless principal players under the influence of the ideology show remorse and seek atonement for their mistakes at an open peace, truth and reconciliation forum.

The 1974 revolution was necessary and timely if it were not high-jacked by Marxist-Leninists who converged on Addis Ababa ironically mainly from western metropolis and cities. The ideology came to where it did not fit the standards of its original authors who developed it as prescription to cure the horrible greed and exploitation of workers in highly industrialized capitalist societies. The truly intellectual gentlemen, Marx and Engels, expected the revolution to happen in the industrialized countries in Europe or the USA.

But, ours was a backward economy in a mainly feudal economy where: the landlord exploited the tenant peasant; mothers eked out a living by selling local brews, collecting animal dung and windfall woods from the forest for sale in the market, fetching water on their backs from long distances; fathers did manual labor in quarries, cleaning streets; clearing sewers and rubbish, night guard duties. Peasants were engaged in a backward method of farming using ploughs and shares drawn by animals. Communist ideology was far beyond their comprehension; parents were at the mercy of their children shouting alien slogans of the promise of better days to come; they were silent spectators when their hard earned property was being confiscated.
Surely parents who knew nothing about Marxism-Leninism were betrayed by their elite children enchanted by the advent of a classless society with no roadmap or strategy on how to achieve it. It was a sad saga of various leftist groups annihilating one another for supremacy.

And to be fair the Monarch gave up his throne refusing to order his elite bodyguard to subdue mutinous soldiers by force. It was a peaceful change until coward Mengistu gave in to the persuasion of communist elites favoring class struggle that led to loss of lives and bloodshed. The ensuing White Terror and Red Terror, both masterminded by leftist elites, unfortunately took a heavy toll on lives and subverted the enormous support of the Ethiopian people for peaceful change without bloodshed.

Tyrant Meles at the apex of power at last

The clever Meles: built up his politico-military power base with the resources meant for the victims of famine in Tigray in 1984/85; masterminded the aerial bombardment of Hawzeen to secure the trust and support of the people of Tigray; marched to Addis Ababa through the pool of blood and jumping over corpses of children of peasants strewn on the road; bolstered his economy by ownership of all land; placed all lucrative businesses under the monopoly of his party; in a bid to entice prospective voters, permitted a monument in Addis Ababa to be erected for victims of Red Terror while ignoring victims of White Terror that in reaction instigated the former – perhaps because ranking members of the EPRDF coalition were former members of the EPRP; jammed credible sources of information with the technical assistance of Chinese experts who were not supposed to interfere in the Ethiopia’s internal affairs; used food aid as political weapon to enlist the support of the needy. All the foregoing culminated in placing him at the apex of absolute power above the law.

Speaking of Chinese, one is reminded of the late Jomo Kenyatta who said that the European colonizers came with the Holy Bible in their hands and while Africans were praying looking towards heaven, the colonizers were busy surveying African land to own it eventually. Long after the death of Kenyatta, the China came to Africa with its version of the gospel of “non-interference in the internal affairs of host governments” but is seen doing the opposite – such as helping in the jamming independent media. Ethiopians and Africans at large should wake up to the hidden political agenda of Beijing.

China is not without its internal political problems. Its ideology stifles freedom of speech and violates other human rights. Its export-driven strong economy fuels its voracious appetite for the abundant resources of the African continent. As it were, the ‘devil’ we know is better than the ‘angel’ we don’t – which should be the hard choice in case China continues to interfere in the internal political affairs of Ethiopia reneging on its stated policy of neutrality.

Problems of Meles in brief

The first nightmare is to keep his mammoth government machinery working and his TPLF/EPRDF intact to exercise its all pervasive power by satisfying multiple demands for favor coming to his office in droves. Old guards in his EPRDF will be replaced by young ones and this in itself is going to be a mind-boggling exercise that will have a huge toll on his failing health. In what proportion power is going to be apportioned to each member of the coalition is bound to be a headache. Who is going to replace him? Is the monopoly of TPLF going to remain intact? Is the suspicion in the mind of Meles over OPDO’s eventual alliance with other Oromo opposition movements including the OLF going to shatter the coalition? The Amhara ethnic group component in the coalition will no doubt pose a formidable problem before the inevitable dissolution of the convenient marriage with TPLF – the hide and seek game cannot go on indefinitely.

The contradiction between double-digit growths in the economy in the face of prevailing hunger, sharply rising of cost of living, population growth, poor quality of education, underutilized facilities in disrepair will be difficult for the ruling party to explain. The irksome issue of land to the tiller is still unresolved and the tyrant has to deal with it.

Then there is the problem of maintaining the double image of appearing a democrat to the suspicious donors while covertly applying the Stalinist method of control over every aspect of social, economical and political lives of the Ethiopian people on the verge to revolt. How about jobs for millions of unemployed youth? How about the promised the meals a day for the masses?

Then the cardinal question will arise of just how TPLF/EPRDF ‘won’ 99.6% of the votes while the icon leader of the UDJP, Birtukan Mideksa, is illegally held in prison and thousands of political prisoners are languishing in filthy jails in Ethiopia. The question will be asked why Meles is still holding Birtukan and other prisoners of conscience now that he is the ‘landslide victor’ in the 2010 election. The world is waiting for an answer to this burning question!

Most of all the prospect of being brought to the International Criminal Court for his crimes against humanity including genocide and war crimes will haunt Meles daily. So, the sight of his shadow will scare Meles; his heinous crimes will haunt him; political mistakes of his creation will drown him.
Holding President Obama to his word

President Obama wrote on page 316 of his book, The AUDACITY of HOPE:

“No person, in any culture, likes to be bullied. No person likes living in fear because his or her ideas are different. Nobody likes being poor or hungry, and nobody to live under and economic system in which the fruits of his or her labor go perpetually unrewarded. The system of free markets and liberal democracy that now characterizes most of the developed world may be flawed; it may all too often reflect the interests of the powerful over the powerless. But that system is constantly subject to change and improvement – and it is precisely in this openness to change that market-based liberal democracies offer people around the world their best chance at a better life.” Emphasis added.

Amen to what the President wrote! It goes without saying that Ethiopians with rich diverse cultures did not cast 99.6% of their votes for something no person or nobody likes in any culture. Meles insulted the intelligence of the people by massively pre-rigged election 2010.

And on page 317 of his book, President Obama draws the attention of readers to the four essential freedoms enunciated by the late President F.D. Roosevelt: freedom of speech; freedom of worship; freedom from want; and freedom from fear. He says that the last of these four freedoms, “freedom from want and freedom from fear are prerequisites for all others”.

Ethiopians of diverse culture and creed – taking advantage of the short-lived level-playing field where freedom of speech was allowed – clearly showed their insatiable thirst for these freedoms by overwhelmingly casting their votes in election 2005 in which the ruling party suffered a humiliating defeat.

Sadly however the ruling party declared a state of emergency and went on a vote robbing spree and then announced itself the winner by a large margin. Even more sadly George Bush and Tony Blair shunned the hues and cries of the Ethiopian people and continued to support the illegitimate regime, which kept working so hard to massively rig the outcome of election 2002.

Ethiopians hold President Obama to his word for the sake of common values. One would ardently hope and fervently pray that he will not repeat the same mistake as his predecessor. One would earnestly hope the President will heed the call of Senator Feingold that there is nothing to fear on being on the side of the Ethiopian people; to address the concerns of Congressman Donald Payne and Congressman Smith about the gross violations of human rights in Ethiopia and increasingly authoritarian stance of Meles. These three and others in the August Congress of the USA have already won the hearts and minds of the Ethiopian people.
President Obama, please come openly to the side of the Ethiopian people and rip the benefit of their enduring friendship.

Way forward/ Conclusion

Meles is engulfed with myriad problems that he will be unable to solve. His recent ‘victory’ with 99.6% has isolated and humiliated him nationally and in the international community. He is a helpless sitting duck kept afloat due to the disarray in the ranks of the opposition. It is most probable that Western donors will not excuse him for jamming independent sources of information with technical assistance of Chinese experts interfering in Ethiopia’s internal affairs.

Meles has turned tertiary institutions to centers of ideology. He has denied access to independent sources of credible information. This insult to our intelligence is unacceptable.

Unity of the opposition political parties has been elusive so far. The seemingly unending debate to reconcile differences is continuing thus delaying the time for appropriate rebuttal to the arrogance of Meles who calls the opposition forces his enemies.

The debate between peaceful struggle and all-inclusive struggle is prominent. The two camps should not engage in polemics. Each side has its right to confront the brutal ruling regime as and when conditions are deemed favorable. After all an opposition that feels strong enough would not necessarily seek the consent or permission of others to fight for its right with all means at its disposal. On the other hand, nationwide civil disobedience has yet to start and peaceful struggle too will have its casualties.

This writer always strongly supports peaceful struggle applied to its fullest extent within the constitution – with Medrek as one of the vanguards to that end.

It is top urgent to respond in unison to calls for national mobilization to force the now vulnerable Meles to the negotiating table. We owe it to our dearest martyrs in the struggle for freedom, justice and equality. Our martyrs must never be forgotten!

Lastly, this writer expresses his profound admiration and respect for fellow Ethiopians in the USA, Canada, UK, Germany, and the rest of Europe, Australia and South Africa for their public demonstrations in protest of Meles’ well-known heinous crimes.

Free Birtukan Mideksa and all political prisoners in Ethiopia!


  1. Ghion
    | #1

    My comment on this fictitious article is not about the current administration of our country, I am not involved in any politics in Ethiopia, and I call myself one of the silent majorities. I hear and read from some of the oppositions, reporters, freelancers, bloggers, and from all sectors of the Diaspora calling for violence from within our country and therefore effectively calling for overthrow of Meles Zenawi’s government by virtues of armed struggle and or violence.
    It is most definitely mind boggling to me on how our society have not changed a bit from one generation to the next, that for every problem that our country has encountered the suggestions overwhelmingly seems to be to grab power by virtues of violence regardless of the collateral damage both in human life and infrastructure and disparities in our society as well the long term financial effect it could impose on our country and all the negative ramification along with the high possibilities of disintegrating Ethiopia, in which our entrenched enemies are working at it 24/7 as we speak. I do know for fact that Egypt, Qatar and the disgruntled dictator of Eritrea Esayas are using our own people to disintegrate our country once far all. In now days Ethiopian politics, if someone wants to immigrate to any western European countries, specially to the US all one has to do is that make a name tag that says a reporter and I am being harassed by the government of Ethiopia because I critsized Meles Zenawi and I am about to be executed by firing squad and that will be an automatic green card to the US. There are no questions some are saying what they are saying and doing to gate fame, the classic example and scenario is I hope I will spell his name correctly the delusional idiot Tamagn Beyene.

  2. T-Araya
    | #2

    Thank you Wendem Roble

  3. Solomon
    | #3

    I totaly agree with Ato Roble Ababya. Meles is not as strong as he want us to beleive. We just have to keep pushing for our basic rights. Meles and his supporters don’t have a mind peace and they will never have one up until there is a real democracy in Ethiopia.

  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    Robel, Thank you. Please keep it up.

    Ghion, you might be one of the quiet ones, but definitely not one of the majority. You might be one of the minority number of people in this world who don’t have conscience and don’t give a darn when others get tortured and massacred as long as life going well for them and their family. An insult coming from a group of people like you, should be considered as a badge honor—isn’t it laughable that dictator Meles the very man who has given orders people to be:- arrested–tortured–killed–people to be locked up for life–every governmental department and businesses to be controlled by his minority ethnic group–the very man who has robbed Ethiopia to become a billionaire…is your hero, and you insult Tamagne Beyene, our Ethiopian hero, who defend the defenseless Ethiopians who never harmed a single person in his life–you are delusional to say the least.

  5. dan
    | #5

    ghion said it well that some of us would like to put the whole forest on fire in order to cut few trees.we wrongly associate ourselves with the likes of egypt and shabia who tirelessly work day and night to dismember is a treason to work to destroy a country under the pretext of democracy ,human right only fool yourself to preach ethiopians to cooperate with shabia which is tantamount to giving one a rope to hang is equally laghable to incite ethiopians to destroy their villages in order to create havoc so that our smart guys from europe,asmara and america will come to the throne they dreamt for years.ethiopians in the country can not be fooled any more by the power mongering individuals who barely passes the very test of managing their family leave alone leading millions.leave ethiopians alone1

  6. ጎርፉ
    | #6

    ወንድም ጊዎን የታጠቀ ሃዪል ባለመኖሩ የማንም ዱርየ እየመጣ በህዝብ ላይ የሚፈነጨው-አለቃ ከመኝታዎ ዪነሱ ያለው ጠላት እከነአፍጢሙ የታይቀ ለሌላቅ ሰው ሂዎት ደንታል የለልው ሲሁን የሚሰራውንም አያውቅም ጀርባችሁን ሰጥታችሁ ተደበቡ ካላሉ በስትቀር እላማው ወዪም የሆነ ዊ ቢጠራቀም ፋዪዳ የለውም

  7. aha!
    | #7

    I agreed with the initial statistics presented by the author, and was waiting for final statistics, That information speaks volumes from the the interpretation of the reulsts amid coersion and intimidation on the candidates, the voters and the observers based on the evidences layed out by KAEUP. That was a commendable way to go to enlighten the public, be it Medrek supporters or TPLF/eprdf supporters with facts and evidences.

    This article falls into the catagory as Ghion put it. The campain and therefore the peacefull struggle has been characterised as a three way thug of war instead of two way thug of war or campaign for the votes in the Ahara and Tigrai Killils to name a few, due to the nature and constituency of Medrek supporters being those hard core TPLF/eprdf supporters, seeking the lesser of evils and UDJP supporters, having the notion the “enemy of my enemy is my friend” kind of mentality by joining Medrek with ethnic agenda,and supporters of opposion parties with ethnic agenda has undermined the peaceful struggle and/or the campaign to be aligned as two distinctly different opposing forces with unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians as their goals, under liberal and/or social ideology/democracy. In the context of these salient differences the author is calling for unity among the opposition parties without the unity on the goals stated above and the strategies to achieve those goals. As far as coalitions are concerened, there is unity among AFD factions in the armed struggle with different goals, there is unity among Medrek member parties, supporting, ethnic agenda, leaving those with national agenda on the opposite side of the spectrum and continuing to tilt the balance far more towards the negative forces of disintegration, and leaving the silent majority under tighter control by TPLF Politbuerro of Stalinist Era, as he puts it, reinforced and constituted with ethnic and secessionist politics and or plicies engraved in the constution and supported by the coalition of loyalist opposition parties of a divide and rule form of governance in a colonial style under the cover of eprdf, where economic development takes precedence over democracy in the East Asian Style and the country and the silent majority are under a ppolitical and economic strangle hold by TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises, to say the the least of corruption and exploitation. The biggest share of the blame goes to major media, the reporters, the freelances who fall into the above three catagries, promoting UDJP and now Medrek as if it is the toch bearer for the peacefull struggle without its alignment with the goals for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians is like eating your cake and having it too or it is maintenance of the status quo or it does not bring change of governance albeit it might be lenient as long as the status quo is maintained, not knowing the peaceful struggle for the Ethiopian nationalism and national interest goes on.

  8. tewbel
    | #8

    Thank you Ato Robele for the brillaint analysis of the Ethiopian drama.
    When Meles is in Toronto, they might not say it up front, but the other members of the group must look at him as the biggest joke of the year and a contemptble freak individual that represents Africa. Because theyknow the inside out of his rule.

  9. serke Addis
    | #9

    Gion , a silent majority ?
    Yes you are a silent politician like meles

  10. ግርማ ማሞ
    | #10

    መለስን የሚደግፍ ፍርፋሪ ከሚለቅሙት ወገን መሆን አለበት እንጂ እንደሰው የሚያስብ ቢሆን ነገሮችን አጥርቶ ያያል የሚል እምነት አለኝ መለስን እኮ መልካም ሰው ነው የሚል ሰይጣን ብቻ ነው አእምሮ ያለው ሰው እንደሰው የተፈጠረ እሱን ታላቅ ሰው ነው ጀግና ብሎ የሚቀባጥር እንደ ውሻ ፍርፋሪ እየተጣለለት የሚኖር ብቻ እኔ በኢትዮጵያ የምኖር የኢትዮጵያ ጉዳይ እንደ እግር እሳት የሚያቀጥለኝ ዜጋ ስሆን በሰውነቱ ወይም በጎሣው ብቻ ጠልቼ የማወራ ሰው አይደለሁም እርሱ ለሥልጣኑ ሲል የወገኑን ደም የጠጣ ሰው ነው ሰሞኑን እንኩዋን በደቡብ ኢት/ዳሰነች ወረዳ በ23 ጥይቶች የተደበደበችው ሴት ከሥልጣኑ ጋር በተያያዘ አይደለምን እስቲ በጭፍን ብቻ መለስን ሰው ነው አትበሉ እርሱ ሠይጣን ነው የሠይጣን ቁራጭ መሆኑን እዚህ አገር ቤት የምንኖርቨ አጥርተን እናውቃለን እግዚአብሔር ልቦና ይስጠችሁ

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