Connivance of AU with despots like Zenawi in Ethiopia By Robele Ababya
The ongoing Libyan uprising
The ongoing popular uprising in Libya and the brutal onslaught of the Gaddafi regime on pro-democracy opposition forces pounding them with heavy ground military weapons and fighter jet airplanes has no doubt put the relevance of the African Union (AU) on the spotlight in that it (AU) has miserably failed to play an active role to stop that madman who had gone rampant in killing Libyan citizens and causing exodus of epic proportion.
Gaddafi is a classic example of despotic leaders that many others in Africa are being seen to emulate and even solicit for his support to stay in power. He is the Godfather of a kleptocratic family that has ruled Libya for the last 42 years guided by the precepts enshrined in his Green Book.
The African Union provided the Libyan Dictator with a forum in his pursuit to realize his phantom dream of becoming the King of Kings of a united states of Africa and to that end inviting all cultural kings in Africa to Addis Ababa to conduct a parallel meeting with that of heads of state and government. Gaddafi and his sons earmarked as heirs to his throne are now fighting for the continuity of their kleptocratic hold on power at any cost including killing civilians with heavy military weapons in his massive arsenal and covert sniper shooters from balconies. Credible information is that Gaddafi pre-planned murder of civilians, which makes him accountable to face trial in the International Criminal Court. This reminds us of the sad grisly act of premeditated murder of close to 200 unarmed protestors, against vote robbery, carried out by the brutal security forces under the direct command of Meles Zenawi in Addis Ababa in the aftermath of election 2005 on the watch of the AU.
Election 2005 stolen on the watch of AU
On that historic day of 07 May 2005 a truly mammoth crowd estimated at 2.5 – 3 million inundated the streets and squares of Addis Ababa to demonstrate support the now defunct Kinijit Party (Coalition for Unity and Democracy). That sea of humanity was acclaimed internationally for its magnificent display of decorum and discipline; the demonstration ended peacefully without a single incident of violence.
The unprecedented massive support for Kinijit was followed by an unprecedented turn out of massive voters for the election of 15 May 2005 in which the ruling party suffered a convincing defeat failing to win a single vote in Addis Ababa where the AU Headquarters is located. Tyrant Meles declared a state of emergency and swiftly implemented his plan B that included killing close to 200 peaceful protesters by trained snipers; throwing the victors to filthy prison; incarcerating tens of thousands of opposition supports, mostly young where their heads were shaven with unsterilized blades without regard to widespread STDs of that time.
Deeply hurt by the role played by AU’s support of the evil deeds of Zenawi, I wrote a letter dated 22/08/05 to Ambassador Patrick Mazimhaka, Deputy Chairman of the AU Commission, part of which is quoted below:
“You have overstepped basic diplomatic norms in exacerbating the political deadlock in Ethiopia by unequivocally supporting the ruling party while accusing the innocent Oppositions for all what went wrong in the aftermath of the historic election of 15 May 2005. It is bizarre indeed that you did so in the face of condemnation of the state-sponsored atrocities by esteemed international institutions such as the Congress of the United States and prominent leaders in the United Kingdom including Prime Minister Tony Blair. Your inordinate bias in favor of the ruling clique, even before the start of an independent investigation promised by Meles to the international community, is confounding and disappointing. It was bad news to those of us in Diaspora who want to return home to escape being victims of xenophobia and to the Ethiopian people who are fervently praying to avert the prospect of enduring another five years under the wicked rule of the TPLF despotic regime.”
Donors claim that Africa received over one trillion US dollars in aid over the last 50 years. Still the continent carries a heavy debt estimated at 350 billion US dollars. Unfortunately, the AU has achieved very little in the sphere of social justice, good governance, and economic development since it took over from its predecessor, the OAU, on 25 May 2002; the same can be said about the OAU. The dismal record of the AU and OAU, considering their combined existence of nearly half of a century, has left no alternative for the young generation on the continent other than revolt to declare the present leaders of the AU corrupt and incompetent. And the current uprisings in the Arab world are fuelling their resolve for rapid change; greedy, corrupt, inept, and despotic behavior of most of the AU leaders, such as amassing national wealth and grooming their children to inherit state power are recipes for their downfall. In a nutshell, the advent of the OAU and its successor the AU provided a niche for such leaders to pervade and dominate the liberty and dignity of the people under their iron rule; they are perceived by the young generation as being even worse than that of colonial masters.
Ethiopian election 2010
In the May 2010 election the ruling regime won by 99.6%. The European Union Observer Mission ruled the election as being below international standard. The White House and Human Rights Watch International passed the same verdict of condemning the results of the election.
What is really shocking is that the AU Election Observer Team pronounced both of the above Ethiopian elections free and fair recognizing the TPLF party as the winner. It is a shame that the Rwandan diplomat named elsewhere above forgot so soon, in the comfort of luxury that dollar-paid diplomats enjoy in Addis Ababa, the close to one million victims of genocide in his country due to utterly bad governance of the kind being exercised by TPLF regime.
The AU leaders should be worried about their tarnished image and loss of trust. For example, I was informed by reliable friends in Kampala that in a recent poll taken by NTV in Kampala, 88% of the viewers (on a subject relating to Libya uprising) voted the AU as irrelevant. Young generations everywhere in Africa have given up hope on the AU.
በቃ! ገዬ! Enough!
The invading agazi army of TPLF entered Addis Ababa in May 1991 to a chilly silence of the residents of the city. That was a remarkable political maturity because people were not out on the streets with a sense of relief to welcome the arrival of new rulers to replace the fallen notorious Derg regime. In fact, within a few days of the occupation of Addis Ababa, protests in the Merkato area of the city were brutally quashed by the Chief of Staff of the agazi army.
The TPLF held its exclusive victory celebration at the Ghion Hotel at a lavish party entirely dominated by Tigringa songs and dances. Its other coalition partners fabricated at Dedebit were silent spectators; they have been gradually pushed from the center of power to the periphery by members of the ‘Golden Race’, the nucleus of Zenai’s ruling class.
Time has shown that inclusivity and democracy were never on the agenda of the innermost few of the TPLF upper echelon. Zenawi is now inciting intimidation to forestall the kind of uprising that is sweeping the Arab world. Ethiopian Opposition forces for peaceful change but branded by Zenawi as his enemies, must take this threat into account for appropriate coordinated response in self-defense. The tyrant has been giving us, and he still does, surfeit justifications to go to war by ceding land to the Sudan and selling big chunks of land to foreigners. So uprising is has been long overdue, but now seems to gather steam given the impetus of the tsunami of change in the Arab world. Uprisings have their own unpredictable kindling points. The one impending in Ethiopia is no exception. Nonetheless, joint action of opposition forces can expedite it.
The irrelevance of the AU to our cause is all too clear with negative outcome; if anything it has been a burden to the hospitable and cultured people of Ethiopia. We are on our own in liberating our motherland, Ethiopia, which is rapidly on sale on a grand scale by the Zenawi regime. It is time put aside minor political differences and forge ahead with በቃ! ገዬ! Enough! frame of mind to dethrone Meles Zenawi.
SAVE ETHIOPIA TO LIVE FOREVER!!!
Release all political prisoners in Ethiopia!