Ethiopia: The politics of imagined genocide By Eskinder Nega

January 7th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

The cries of “Shame on you!!!” by groups of protesters occasionally resonate outside the offices of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). A wide range of issues irk the protesters. (more…)

The cries of “Shame on you!!!” by groups of protesters occasionally resonate outside the offices of the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). A wide range of issues irk the protesters. Sometimes it would be the ACLU’s spirited defense of the First Amendment rights of the Ku Klux Klan. At other times, it would be the no less passionate defense of Neo-Nazis and scores of other fringe groups.

The convictions of the ACLU and most of the lawyers that constitute the core of its membership, however, could broadly be described as left-to the-center (in the American, not the European sense). What then could explain ACLU’s defense of the First Amendment rights of white supremacists KKK and Neo-Nazis?

“It was no-brainer to take these cases in the sense of the First Amendment principle. Did we want these cases? Did we want to receive those phone calls?” an ACLU once official told a group of protesters outside his office. “Hell no, but once it came it was no-brainer. We had to defend them (KKK).” Chip away the First Amendment rights of extremists and the rights of everyone else will be endangered, argued the official.

Partially because I have always been inspired by the principled stance of the ACLU, and partly because I adamantly believe that the trial of the imprisoned Derg officials is not only about our past, but also, by the power of precedence it sets, also essentially about our future, I have defended their right to a fair trial (which ranges from prosecutorial impartiality and independence to competence of defense lawyers and judges) and disputed their genocide convictions.

But in doing so, I have inadvertently been mistaken for a Derg sympathizer. To Professor Tecola W Hagos, an established public intellectual, whom I respect and admire, I “seem to admire the arrogance and blood thirsty posturing of those sub-human creatures.” To Frew Kebede Tiba , an impressive up- and-coming public intellectual, whom I have also come to respect and admire, the “tone” of my analysis is not only ridden with sympathy for the Derg but could be tainted with an ulterior motive.

Aghast, I read and read my article, carefully scanning for the tone, the alleged insinuation between the lines that imply sympathy for the Derg. Alas, I could find nothing! But this is me: the accused! I concede that I could not be a credible judge. That role would have to be assumed by third, neutral parties. But until they come out in more numbers(that is, in addition to Abebe Gelaw), my conscience would not rest without stating this:

I am no more a Dergist for defending the rights to a fair trial of imprisoned Derg officials than the ACLU is racist for defending the First Amendments rights of the KKK and Neo- Nazis. I stand for principle like the ACLU; I stand for the truth as a journalist; and because of the powerful precedent this trial and its outcome sets(indeed, for the whole of Africa not just Ethiopia) I am worried about the course it has taken as a citizen.

Addressing the issue of genocide, I wrote last week:

“(The widely known) definition (of genocide by the United Nations) was an outcome of a compromise between Stalin-led Soviet Union and the West in 1948, when the UN was established. While the West pushed for the inclusion of political groups in the genocide clause, the Soviets, with the legacy of the Red Terror in their immediate past, resisted, and finally had their way when it was excluded. To many, the UN convention has been lacking ever since. And many countries, including Ethiopia, went on to incorporate political groups in their national genocide laws.”
But curiously, both Tecola (directly) and Frew (indirectly), reproach me for being uninformed about Ethiopia’s law and basing my analysis (as many people do) on the UN’s incomplete definition. Thus, Tecola says,

“Eskinder Nega, after going through some torturous and wrong analysis of the Genocide Convention and the meaning of “Genocide” (ends up with the wrong conclusion about the Derg trials.) In the Penal Code of Ethiopia, in Article 281, it is clearly stated that a “political group” is one of the protected groups. The 1948 Genocide Convention that Ethiopia was among the first to ratify in 1949, does not mention “political group” as one of the protected groups. Such fact does not in any way prevent Ethiopia from identifying and prosecuting and punishing crimes committed against “political” groups. There seems to be a confused understanding of the interplay of international agreements with domestic sovereign power in Eskinder’s analysis.”
Frew’s account is based on the same premise as Tecola’s:

“(Considering) the fact that the Ethiopian Penal Code of 1957 pre-existed the commission of the crimes, there is no legal ground for disputing(as Eskinder has) that the suspects could not be charged with genocide. Yes, our law is not co-extensive with the genocide convention or the national laws of other countries which excluded political groups from protection, but it does not contradict any rule of international law and it better protects Ethiopian citizens.”
I am at a complete loss where I overlooked, disputed the right to, or questioned the good judgment of the inclusion of political groups in the genocide clause of the Ethiopian Penal Code. On the contrary, in line with Frew’s argument, I believe it was the right thing to do because it corrects a fundamental shortcoming of the UN convention. Nor did I dispute the right of the SPO to file charges of genocide. What I questioned was the SPO’s prosecutorial impartiality and independence in determining whether genocide charges should have been pursued. Politics, more than the weight of evidence, led the SPO in that direction. The Derg trials should be about justice as protection and defense of the civil liberties of victims (those killed, tortured and imprisoned) through due process of law, a process in which prosecutorial impartiality and independence is of critical importance. The Derg trails do not measure up to this standard.

Professor Tecola also dismisses the issue of the other international standards for the trials that I had raised. “Another misguided and disingenuous argument is to claim that the judicial system of Ethiopia in Ethiopia does not meet international standards; therefore the convictions and decisions of punishments are erroneous. What type of international standard is to be used, and what authority for such insistence could such individuals present to convince us of the validity of their arguments,” asks the good Professor.

Standards and authority there are. Ethiopia is a signatory of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR.), which protects the right to a fair trial. The statutes of this covenant are legally binding on Ethiopia. The right to a fair trial is protected in articles 14 and 16 of this covenant. The articles stipulate that all accused persons have a right to a fair trail.

As a minimum, a fair trial must meet these standards:

The right to be heard by a competent, independent and impartial tribunal
The right to a public hearing
The right to be heard within a reasonable time
The right to (a competent) counsel
The right to interpretation
The Derg trials clearly fail short of at least three of these five standards(tribunal, reasonable time and competent counsel) They bear mightily on the issue of a fair trial. In both the US and New Zealand, where Tecola and Frew reside, the absence of any one of these standards would be enough either for an overturning of a conviction or a mistrial. The absence of a broad network of human resources—qualified judges, prosecutors and defense lawyers— needed to undertake a major genocide trial would have been a deterrent for a prudent SPO and a government concerned about a fair trial. Unfortunately for us as a nation, this was not meant to be. And what should unite us therefore has ended up dividing us.

Both Tecola and Frew fail to vouch for the competence, independence and impartiality of prosecutors, defense lawyers and judges involved in this saga, but still insist on the sanctity of the convictions. And frankly, I am distressed that the issue of a fair trial is being underplayed by two distinguished Ethiopian scholars, particularly when capital punishment is involved. Professor Tecola has rightly maintained that all countries dispense justice with what they have, not with what they should have. But this argument would have been more convincing if the charges were limited to the more earthly “crimes against humanity” and “aggravated murder.” Only the compelling presence of overwhelming evidence (as in Rwanda) would support an argument in favor of a genocide prosecution with whatever resources a country has. The arguments and evidences in favor of an Ethiopian genocide, however, are at best murky. Risking the complications of a major genocide trial in this context was at best reckless. And crucially, the outcome has denied us the closure we need as a nation.

Frew rightly points out “the essence of the law against genocide is not about numbers” but more of intentions. True. And he goes on to say, “the Derg has tried to eliminate parts of political groups standing in opposition to its revolution.” Again, true. But does this make the Derg an anomaly of its time, as genociders would be under normal circumstances? All opposition groups intended the same for the Derg. Opposition groups also intended the same against each other. The TPLF, for example, murdered the entire leadership of the TLF, its competitor in Tigray. All African governments, save Botswana, also intended the same against their opponents. And most of them killed to that effect. The suppression of Communism in Indonesia, Iran, Chile, Argentina, Brazil and Spain entailed the lives of tens of thousands Communists in each country— a terrible, ghastly “permanent solution.” Unlike the Derg, they succeeded in eliminating entire Communist parties. The lives lost in each of these cases were no less than in the Derg’s cases—in fact, much more in some of them. By the standard Frew proposes, genocide stops being an historical aberration and becomes a permanent feature of the pre-1989 past. This trivializes both the spirit and memory of the true genocides in history—chiefly, that of European Jews at the hands of Nazis. This greatest of all follies in human history becomes just one more crime, distinguished from many others only by numbers.

The world changed radically—for the better— with the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989. The moral clarity we have today was only a preserve of the West before the implosion of the Soviet bloc. Unless past events are contextualized—inside and outside a court—within this framework, our understanding of them will be fundamentally flawed. And the end result will be imagined genocides throughout the world.

Finally, Professor Tecola, at the supreme height of his eloquence, reminds us all of the victims:

“(The Derg’s) victims were not dogs and cats, but real human beings: young and old, men and women, school children and vibrant youngsters et cetera. How about their torrent of blood? Their suffering? Their memories? It is not some fading memory either; it is seared in the ethos of those who suffered: Us, millions of Us!”
I hear you, sir. I hear you, loud and clear!!! If you only knew how difficult this is for me!!!

Melakm Gena to all.

(Last part of this series will appear next week)

  1. aha!
    | #1

    Thank you for bringing up the major points of Tecolas argument, which cicumvents logics with emotions based on ones personal encounter, whose comment need to be placed along with the rest of us. It is not a debate btween two other individuals, non-journalists against Eskinder, a journalist presenting the issue of genocide with regard to the Derg officials. The forum is there for the rest of us to comment upon it.

    After all who is justified to pass judgement on who, until a democratic government elected by the people for the people of the people with individuals that have regained their economic and political freedom and liberty and goverened under a ratified constitution. If these officials wrongly convicted og genocide are pardoned, what do they expepect in return, when it comes to their turn for judgement? Will they use this pardon as a precedence in their argument for pardon?

  2. Samuel
    | #2

    Thanks Eskinder,

    You really spoke my thoughts about this issue. People have to seek wisdom in order to understand the misfortunes of our past. It is only through that wisdom that we can transcend to the next chapter of our political history.

  3. Debalke
    | #3

    Esinder supercedes the Tecola who boasts to be a lawyer.

    Tecola should stick with national and international law instead of revange.

    Thank you Eskinder.

  4. Observer
    | #4

    Eskinder,

    I could argue as scholastically as Tecola and you are arguing about the trial of the Derg officials. However, without using my knowledge and my wisdom, I like to state my gut feeling about the trial of the Derg officals which is they should be barbecued publicly, alive, naked, and slowly .

    I will happily volunteer to barbecue them!!! After finishing barbecuing them, I would not mind dying. I know this view of mine lacks wisdom and knowledge. But that is a visceral emotional reaction I have been holding against them for the last 30+ years!!!

    The world knows that the Ethiopian justice system is in the hands of the tyrant. No one in Ethiopia got a fair trial for the last 40+ years!!! It sucks!!!

    Regarding Tecola’s argument, his argument is based on The Penal Code of Ethiopia Article 281. However, your argument does not cite the penal code of Ethiopia except for appearing logical and wise.

    In my opinion, if the Ethiopia penal code during the Derg time states that destroying a political group is genocide then the Derg official charges for genocide is right. However, since the Ethiopian justice system has been manipulated by the TPLF, it is oblivious that the Derg official trial is not fair. But since these officials were executing thousands of people by raising their hands, whatever trial they received is better than the trial they gave to their victims.

    According to Tecola’s article — The Penal Code of Ethiopia in Article 281 states: “Whosoever, with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, religious or political group, organizes, orders or engages in, be it in time of war or in time of peace: (a) killings, bodily harm or serious injury to the physical or mental health of members of the group, in any way whatsoever; or (b) measures to prevent the propagation or continued survival of its members or their progeny; or (c) the compulsory movement or dispersion of peoples or children, or their placing under living conditions calculated to result in their death or disappearance, is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from five years to life, or, in cases of exceptional gravity, with death.”

    According to your article, you are just wise and logical without citing the penal code of Ethiopia as Tecola did. So the ball is in your court. You must respond to Techola’s article, http://www.ethiomedia.com/augur/4364.html, citing the Ethiopian penal code. I look forward reading your respond which cites the penal code of Ethiopia.

    I appreciate your articles. Please keep up the great job you have been doing!!!

  5. Observer
    | #5

    Abugida, if you decide to post my comment, please replace my comment #4 with this one. Thanks in advance.

    I could argue as scholastically as Tecola and you are arguing about the trial of the Derg officials. However, without using my scholastic knowledge and wisdom, I like to share with you my gut feeling desire about the conviction of the Derg officials which is without a trial the government should has let their victims vote their judgments by raising their hands. Then, if they convicted to die, they should be barbecued publicly, alive, naked, and slowly. In other words, to teach the public at times an eye for two eyes will not make the whole world blind!

    Since one of my dreams for the past 40+ years was barbecuing the Derg officials alive, I will happily volunteer to barbecue them!!! After finishing barbecuing them, I would late the vultures, the hyenas, the fox, the dogs, the cats, and the flies feasting on their carcasses as they did it to my brother, cousins, and friends. I will also record on a video tape the fest the wild and domestic animals enjoying on the remains of these ruthless juntas. Then I will save the video tape in our national museum so that the next juntas will have to think twice before murdering me and the rest of my relatives.

    The world knows that the Ethiopian justice system is in the hands of the tyrant. No one in Ethiopia got a fair trial for the last 40+ years!!! It sucks!!!

    Regarding Tecola’s argument, his argument is based on The Penal Code of Ethiopia Article 281. However, your argument does not cite the penal code of Ethiopia except for appearing logical and wise.
    In my opinion, if the Ethiopia penal code during the Derg time states that destroying a political group is genocide then the Derg official charges for genocide is right. However, since the Ethiopian justice system has been manipulated by the TPLF, it is oblivious that the Derg official trial is not fair. But since these officials were executing thousands of people by raising their hands, whatever trial they received is better than the trial they gave to their victims.

    According to Tecola’s article — The Penal Code of Ethiopia in Article 281 states: “Whosoever, with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial, religious or political group, organizes, orders or engages in, be it in time of war or in time of peace: (a) killings, bodily harm or serious injury to the physical or mental health of members of the group, in any way whatsoever; or (b) measures to prevent the propagation or continued survival of its members or their progeny; or (c) the compulsory movement or dispersion of peoples or children, or their placing under living conditions calculated to result in their death or disappearance, is punishable with rigorous imprisonment from five years to life, or, in cases of exceptional gravity, with death.”

    According to your article, you are just wise and logical without citing the penal code of Ethiopia as Tecola did. So the ball is in your court. You must respond to Techola’s article, http://www.ethiomedia.com/augur/4364.html, citing the Ethiopian penal code. I look forward reading your respond which cites the penal code of Ethiopia.

    I appreciate your articles. Please keep up the great job you have been doing!!!

  6. Gash Polisu
    | #6

    Observer,

    from the degree of temeperature in your firy words, it seems that one can confidently tell you are Tecola himself. it is okay to barbecue the Derg officials; you can even enjoy Qurt Siga out of their flesh, if you are too impatient to wait until they are roasted. goo for it baby, go!!

    then comes the barbecue for all racist ethnic Tigreans who are pissing on everyother Ethiopian outside their ethnic group. the Anuaks, the Ougadenese, the Oromo, the Amhara and others will cook them alive and feast on their carcass. then comes the turn of other groups….Egzer Yimareh bro

  7. Idiot dictator
    | #7

    Eskinder is always talking cheap. All this cheap talk for 0 propoganda. All of us will die anyway, but why die cheap? Cheapskates have no place in life, so they just talk about everything possible to get attention.

  8. Observer
    | #8

    @Gash Polisu

    First,you appear not read my blog properly, or you might not understand it at all. So, please reread it.

    Second, I am not Tecola himself, although I wish I was him.

    Third, I strongly believe people who are like are the one who let the Mengistu and the Meles kind of rulers rise to power. Or they let them stay in power. Do you remember, they were ready to shoot down a plane Mengistu was in, but they hold back not to kill a few of the innocent flight crew? Please keep praying until we get a leader who would be great for us.

    Finally, I will happily serve you the Qurit Siga from the ribs of the Security Chief of the men eater Mengisute while he is still alive since he is the one who killed my blood brother, cousins, and my dear friends and then fed them to the vultures, if you have a burning desire eating a flash of one of your kind. For sure I will have the best of my life time watching you having the Qurit Siga you are talking about.

    May God forgive you for thinking about eating a human being, although they are less of a human being in my eyes?

  9. DRAMA
    | #9

    LADIES & GENTS.
    I AM NOT THE DRAMA OR THE ANTI-ETHIOPIAN SAILOUT THAT DIRECTLY OR INDIRECTLY SERVE THE DICTATORIAL REGIME AND ITS FOREIGN MASTERS, BUT I AM DRAMATIC. I IDENTIFY THE DRAMATIC ACTIONS OF THOSE THAT PRETEND TO BE OPPOSITIONS AND ANTI-WOYANES WHEN THEY ARE NOT. THEY ARE THE ONCE TRYING TO FOOL US WITH THEIR DRAMAS. AGAIN, THEY ARE THE DRAMA, AND I AM THE DRAMATIC. ALL OF YOU SAILOUTS, MOST OF YOU WITH MAJOR COMPLEXES, THAT PRETEND OR ACT IN THE BIG DRAMA KNOW EXACTLY WHAT I AM TALKING ABOUT. AND NOWDAYS, ALMOST EVERYBODY DIFFERENCIATES THE HODAM FROM THE QUITE MAJORITY. SO PLEASE LET US NOT PLAY A DRAMA OF GENOCIDE THIS AND THAT AND THINK WE ARE FOOLING ETHIOPIANS. THOSE WHO ARE INTERESTED IN THE WORD “GENOCIDE”, BRINGING THE WHITE MAN’S SICK MENTAL POLITICS, TRYING TO FOOL US IN YOUR LITTLE WORLDS, MAYBE IN A 1000 YEARS, ARE SUGGESTED TO REFRAIN FROM ENTERING A PSYCHOTIC WORLD YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT. THOSE OF YOU THAT COLLABORATE IN POLITICIZING THIS AGENDA NEED TO CHECK YOUR BRAINS OUT. ETHIOPIANS ARE NOT AFRAID TO FACE THIS UNHEALTHY STUPID AGENDA, HOWEVER THEY SHOULDN’T HAVE TIME FOR IT. THERE ARE MANY ISSUES YOU ALL CAN TALK ABOUT, SAILOUTS. AND THOSE OF YOU IN THE DRAMA THROWING WORDS TRYING TO POLLLUTE THE MINDS OF HEALTHY ETHIOPIANS SHOULD BE ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES. DON’T THINK OUR PEOPLE ARE FOOLS, THEY ARE JUST WATCHING YOU BEING STUPID. TRUST ME, THEY ARE WISER THAN YOU THINK.

  10. HELELE HANBABE
    | #10

    @IDIOT DICTATOR! YOU MUST BE AN IGNORANT WHO DOES NOT UNDERSTAND INTELLECTUAL ARGUMENT. SO, THE SIMPLEST THING FOR YOU TO DO IS BRAND ESKINDR’S WRITING AS CHEAP, NOT CREDIBLE AND WITHOUT MERIT. THIS IS A CLASSIC JUDGEMENT OF AN ILL-EDUCATED PERSON OR AN ENEMY. ESKINDER IS A WELL EDUCATED AND RESPECTED PROFESSIONAL JOURNALIST SENT TO PRISON MULTIPLE TIMES BY MELES ZENAWI FOR BEING A CREDIBLE CRITIC. BUT NOT IN YOUR MIND.

  11. Observer
    | #11

    @HELELE HANBABE

    While the likes of you are debating, the intellectuals, the barely high school graduates, the likes of Mengistue and Meles are ruling ME. Please, keep on intellectually debating. While I will keep challenging Eskinder, to rebut his critics of this article citing the penal code of Ethiopia that whether the Derg officials committed genocide.

    Since I was not aware what the penal code of Ethiopia says, I always saw the Derg as an equal opportunity killer. But I have never thought that they committed genocide since they were killing everyone equally.

  12. Gash Polisu
    | #12

    Observer,

    you said, “Since one of my dreams for the past 40+ years was barbecuing the Derg officials alive, I will happily volunteer to barbecue them!!!”

    you also suggested that am probably incapable of understanding your blog while the content of your message is as clear as the Nehase Wuha, as quoted above. but any well intentioned, level headed blogger can tell how the most angry personality reigns over your little head. why dont you campaign for Meles and his killing squad to be barbecued at Mesqel Square? Do you think the Anuaks, the Ougadenese, The Amhara and others who have been brutally killed by TPLF soldiers are any less human than your brothers? Dont you think the Women whose children were gunned down in the streets of Addis by TPLF soldiers in 2005 entertain any less wrath and indignation than yours?

    Man, I was also one of those Ethiopians who sufferred a lot under the iron-fisted rule of Mengistu Haile Mariam but i am all willing and capable to forget everything because i believe that he tortured us not based on our ethnic identity but based on his love for power and his country. for your information, in case you suffer from sharp memory loss, most of the people killed tortured or jailed were from Amhara ethnic group. our EPRP members were wiped out by the TPLF brutal killers in Tigray. however i have never heard of an Amhara elite talking about genocidal crimes by TPLF or Derg against Amhara. many of my tortures live in Europe and America. all of the Anuak-Amara-Ougaden killers are also living all over the world as rulers, ministers, ambassadors, consulate and legetion represenatives etc. but you have never commented or argued why these killers should be allowed to roam the world freely with so much thick blood in their hands.

    once again, i expect no fair judgement or verdict from your perverted and ethnically biased mind. btw, i want to understand me that my reaction was to your bizzare sentiment to “barbecue” human beings, which is why i suggested to try the Qurt, Gored Gored choma, in case yu are too impatient as your words suggest. I have no problem if the Derg officials rot in jail but what worries me most is the fate of our country and people if people like you seize political power. there is no doubt that you will import thousands of high-tech barbecues to promote your ideal business of roasting human flesh. how barbaric!!

  13. aha!
    | #13

    At the outset, there has never been established a democratic government with independent branches of government, where the the judges selected presiding over the Derg Officials,to provide for fair hearing and pass judgement. The penal code that is that was there from the previous regime may not have been adhered to by Derg Regime wich protects political groups in this case EPRP engaged in civil war with Derg Military Dictatorship for a civilian government, I presume, although both of them stand for unity, and territorial integrity of Ethiopia with underlying communist revolution for a class struggle. The other factions with TPLF as a spearhead were engaged for the liberation of ethnic groups at the pretext of oppression of nations and nattionalities from the colonialist Ethiopia under the same communistic revoltion of the student movements lead by EPLF and TPLF, I presume.

    When every thing else of the previous regime was turned upside down, why retain the Penal Code, which does not favour both Derg and TPLF/eprdf regimes.

    If the elcted judges are truley independent, they would have the current judges for trial, simultaneously, be it by the penal code which protects political groups for genocide, war crimes and human right violations. There is no democratic government to speak of in Ethiopia with ethnic and secessionist politics and/policies of divide and rule system of governance, where individuals of the silent majority have not regained their political and economic freedom and liberty along with private ownership of land and taking responsibility for themselves and electing a government that caters to Ethiopian Nationalism and Ethiopian national interests, rather the interests of individual ethnic groups.

    When TPLF along with its entourage, now known as “teletafi parties” to form what is now known as TPLF/eprdf, and so called oppostion parties were formed along ethnic lines to protect human rights, respect ethnic rights, which has already been established in the constitution by ethnic fedralists and to respect I believe secessionist rights by the secessionist factions of OLF, ONLF, etc.; it kept in tact the communistic policies for land and property ownership and registration and documentation for tax collection purposes and keep land ownership under the government controll, reinforces the regime communistic tendency of the current regime putting the silent majority of Ethiopians under a new type of serfdom to exploitation and economic and political strangle hold of the country and its people by TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises.

  14. aha!
    | #14

    Furthermore, if the current regime is standing up for unity and territorial intergrity of Ethiopia, it would have retained or incorporated the Derg Army, but the Airfoce, which it temporarily used, tortured and icarcerated as well as the extrajudicial killings and incacerations of those that stood up against the regime for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, the massacre of the peacefull demonstrators of peaceful demonstrators over the by the current regime, and the incacerations of tens of thousands of CUD supporters in a concentration camps.

    Do these proponents of the “Proponents of Penal Code of Emperor Hailesellassie’s regime”, which protects political groups absolves the current regime from inquiry of the officials of the current regime, if they are truly independent judiciary nominated by a democratic government
    let alone its jurisdiction to undertake such proceedings with foreign aid.

  15. Observer
    | #15

    @Gash Polisu

    Still, I think you need to reread my blog; case in point,

    1. I wrote “if they convicted to die…. they should be barbecued… slowly.” But you think I need to import high-tech barbecues. Again, I would not import high-tech barbecues to barbecue the Derg officials because I want to barbecue them slowly just like the way we barbecue a corn on an old fashioned charcoal stove.

    2. To make my case, I wrote only about my relatives who were murdered by Mengistue without mentioning their ethnic background, but you talk about ethnicity and the other people who were also murdered by Mengistue. Are not my relatives among the other people you are talking about who have been murdered by Mengistue? When you go to court are not you supposed to make your case?

    3. Just for your information, I consider myself as a citizen of this world without categorized me to a certain ethnic group, although I am extremely proud about what my ancestors contributed to Ethiopia and to the rest of the world.

    Regarding my anger about the Derg official you do not have to tell me because I stated my hate towards them clearly. For example, I said that I want to barbecue them slowly.

    Concerning your worries about our country, my worries about our lovely country is probably the same as yours, though I WAS and I AM determined to sacrifice myself for the sake of our lovely Ethiopia.

    About your reaction on my statement barbeque the Derg officials, you should have clearly spelled out what you wanted me to know so that I would not misinterpreted you.

    On the topic of your sufferings under the Derg regime, its officials which you have forgiven, I believe you without a single doubt.

    As regards to your statement that Mengistue did what he did for the love of his county, I do not agree with your statement, and I do not believe in your assertion because I think a father who loves his children would not feed them to vultures. I think he did what he did just to cling to the power, due to lack of knowledge, and moral. Above all, I think he did what he did just because he hates Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

  16. kibru
    | #16

    dear observer.

    ESKENDR’S ARGUMENT IS BASED ON ETHTIOPIAN PENAL CODE. CAN’T YOU READ?

  17. Observer
    | #17

    @kibru

    One of my brothers knows how to write, but he does not know how to read. So after reading your post, I felt that I got the disease my brother have.

    So, testing my reading skills I reread the article we are discussing about, http://www.ethiomedia.com/augur/4388.html. And again I strongly challenge Eskider to rebut his argument based on the Ethiopian penal code.

    If you are reading instances where Eskider discussed the issue based on the Ethiopian penal code — the text font color of the instances you noted that Eskider’s argument is based on the Ethiopian penal code must be white on a white paper. In other words, I have to admit that your eyes are much better than mine because they can read white text font on white paper.

    Congratulations, you got unique eyes! Please treasure them!!!

    I am very distressed becuase I do not have matchless eyes as you that can read white font on white paper.

    Would you please help me easing my agony by teaching me how to read white font on white paper?

    For your time, I will generously compensate you!

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