Zenawi exports his “Divide & Conquer” Policy to the Last Frontier by Ephrem Madebo
In the last 20 years, the divide and rule political, economic, ethnic, and military strategy of the TPLF regime has affected the life of millions of Ethiopians, and has reduced our mother land into a land where one’s place in society is determined by his/her ethnic identity; or to say it more accurately; in Zenawi’s Ethiopia, individual identify is determined by group identity. Zenawi’s toxic divide and rule strategy has ruined families, diminished our sense of national pride, forced young female Ethiopians to seek “slavery” in the Middle East, and has forced a large number of Ethiopians to leave their country. Under the leadership of Meles Zenawi, self expression and political dissent have increasingly been criminalized, and as a result the prison population of Ethiopia has grown astronomically.
Despite his endless rhetoric of “democracy” and multi party politics, Meles Zenawi has single handedly eliminated all possibilities of political cooperation and collective leadership in Ethiopia. After the 2005 election, he demonstrated his utter distaste to political dualism by dismantling Ethiopia’s promising political parties and by imprisoning their leaders, members, and supporters. Today, Meles Zenawi is not just Ethiopia’s top decision maker; he is the only decision maker. As a result, today, Ethiopia is a nation of single point failure; a nation sitting on a bonfire waiting to happen. Hence, the Ethiopian people have lost faith in the TPLF institutions and have realized that the regime is defeating the very purpose it is supposed to serve.
The struggle of opposing ideas now taking place in Ethiopia involves social, economic and political problems urgently demanding a solution. The very existence of our nation, the welfare of our people, and the fate of the entire Horn of Africa depends on the right answer to those questions. Human rights abuse, lack of freedom, ethnic division of labor, political and economic alienation, chronic unemployment, inflation, and endless tone of war are among those problems that need immediate solution.
Today, after twenty years of ethnic federalism, political domination, and party owned economic conglomerates [EFFORT], the Ethiopian people are at a loss for a way out. Today, popular protests are growing in places like Libya, Yemen, Syria, and Bahrain while opposition members are also gathering in places like Ethiopia. The Ethiopian people have said – enough is enough! Throughout the world, patriotic individuals, political parties, and civic organizations are coordinating their efforts to imitate the successful popular revolution of Tunisia and Egypt that brought down president Ben Ali and Hosni Mubarak.
In the last twenty years, Meles Zenawi has used every weapon in his arsenal to abort popular uprisings in different parts of the country. Today, despite his rejection that the North African type of popular uprising has no place in Ethiopia, Zenawi himself and his senior leadership have expressed their concern over the inevitability of a mass uprising in Ethiopia. Today, any gathering of three or more people is prohibited in all urban centers of Ethiopia, and the streets of Addis Ababa are jam-packed by heavily armed soldiers. This is a witness that Zenawi’s dictatorship has lost touch with every day Ethiopians and the time has come that the Ethiopian people can take no more and seek to shake off the shackles of oppression.
In early January 2011, Ben Ali of Tunisia said he was in control of everything, but in late January, he found himself exiled in Saudi. Despite the repeated calls for his resignation from Tahrir Square, on February 10, 2011 Hosni Mubarak asserted that he would not resign until the September election. The next day, his vice president announced his resignation. The irony here is that dictators never learn from the failure of other dictators and arrogant Meles is no different. When he is asked about a possible revolution in Ethiopia, his answer has always been about development and good governance that his party introduced to Ethiopia – imagine his ethnic infested TPLF party full of vultures and outlaws introducing development and good governance.
Zenawi has over and over again blamed the Ethiopian Diaspora for every mistake he made. Especially after the North African revolution, Zenawi has literally taken days off from his “contractual job” and has started a full time assault on the Ethiopian Diaspora. As if his long distance assault is not enough, he has sent his trained attack dogs to the Diaspora to preach about “Growth and Transformation”. After so many years of failed attempts, finally, Zenawi has thrown his ball to the unchartered waters [our court]. We in the Diaspora not only should play and win this game, but we must keep the ball so that Zenawi and his robots have nothing to play with. We must prove that we have a superior idea, embracing vision, and we must show them that we have no interest other than the interest of the Ethiopian people. We in the Diaspora should speak in one voice that our country’s growth and transformation is not something that we just support, it is something great and something part and parcel of us.
It is very important that the entire Diaspora sticks together and sends the unequivocal message – ENOUGH! We must tell Zenawi’s attack dogs that the TPLF party and every person in that party must be transformed before they preach about transforming Ethiopia. Most importantly, we must boldly tell them that there is no transformation that transcends freedom, equality, and human dignity. We must prove that, unlike what a handful of gluttons say, we in the Diaspora are not against development. We are not against the interest of our country – we are against political domination, ethnic dictatorship, lack freedom and equality. We are against the political system that has no boundary between the state, the ruling party, and the national economy.
Twenty years ago, there was an element of hope among many Ethiopians, however, the once growing hope quickly melted away when it became more clear that the political development of Ethiopia has grew into a political decay and a lapse into ethnic dictatorship. This simply means that regardless of his absurd 99.6% electoral victory, there is pervasive disenchantment with Meles Zenawi’s revolutionary democratic ideals and practices. Zenawi’s one party democracy and one man rule has been catastrophic to our country and has increasingly endangered our survival as a nation.
The Ethiopian Diaspora has lobbied host countries to shape policies in favor of its homeland or to challenge Zenawi’s ethnic dictatorship. The Diaspora has also tried to influence politics in Ethiopia through its support of opposition movements; social movements, and civil society organizations. The Ethiopian global networks of Diaspora associations have been active in organizing mass protests and coordinating consciousness-raising efforts about homeland-related issues. Following the 2005 election carnage, the Ethiopian Diaspora organized mass demonstrations in dozens of localities around the world, bringing the senseless massacre to worldwide attention.
Many democratic countries regard their Diasporas as strategically vital political assets, while totalitarian regimes, such as Ethiopia see their Diaspora communities as a political threat. Hence, they spend a large amount time, effort, energy and money to divide their Diaspora communities and minimize their democratic influence. In fact, the upcoming planned journey of Zenawi’s men to the Diaspora has nothing to do with growth and transformation; it is all about recruiting party members, dividing the Diaspora and minimizing the role that the Ethiopian Diaspora plays in the democratic transformation of Ethiopia. All in all, Zenawi’s plan is to contain popular uprisings in Ethiopia and to hide his political, social, and economic abuses from the international community by silencing the vocal Diaspora.
I’m sure every Ethiopian in the Diaspora including those who shamelessly support the abuse of their brothers and sisters in Ethiopia know the true mission of Zenawi’s men in the Diaspora. Next week Zenawi’s disciples are coming to the Diaspora to preach his rotten ideals of revolutionary democracy and to contaminate the Diaspora with the age old syndrome of divide and rule. It should be very clear that this journey has nothing to do with investment opportunities to the Diaspora or the role of the Diaspora in the growth and transformation plan. In the last 20 years, many innocent Ethiopians have gone to Ethiopia with the hope of investing in their home land, but returned back after institutional bribes and kickbacks diminished their life long savings. Besides, those who went with a large amount of capital were asked to join the ruling party and to stay out of opposition politics. Therefore, to those compatriots who have good intentions but have no idea of Zenawi’s political anatomy- here is my advice: Don’t fall for Zenawi’s investment trap, if you do, you loose not only your life long savings, you will also loose the freedom you were born with.
I’m dead sure that, as coward as he is, Zenawi has no intention of facing the Ethiopian Diaspora in a town hall environment in which he has no control. His journey to the Diaspora is the dirty work of another group of cowards here in the Diaspora who falsely believe that the side Meles stands is always the ‘majority’. Two cowards do not make a brave- Wake up Diaspora! Let’s face both of them. If there is any time in our struggle that we have to be upfront and stand as a unit, this is that time. If there is a cause that not only we live for, but we die for, this is the cause! Zenawi’s men are coming to ask us to love what they love, but what they love is not what we love! Therefore, if we love our country, the time to prove the love is now. We have been waiting for this moment, now the moment has come. Let us scream Beka! Geye! Yaekel! Aloni! Wetandem! Gides! Eke ! Bass! Diiteh!, Ekako!