Meles Zenawi Has Already Cut the Revolution Ribbon in Ethiopia By Amanuel Biedemariam
If we look back at the recent History of Africa and particularly World War II, there has never been a government or a leader that deliberately instigated enmity with countries and people solely as a ploy to remain in power and gain prominence like the conman Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia. He has committed every act of crime, lied on every conceivable matter of importance and sold everything he can to the detriment and at the expense of the future of the nation and people in the region. He manipulated every issue and human cause and, instigated catastrophic military adventures in the region. He has sold everything, every political affiliate, organization and Tigray. In short he has sold everything including his soul if he had any. But all that is coming to a head now, for it must, since all adventures must end at some point. That point seems to be here and now!
The Eritrean Center for Strategic Studies (ECSS) conducted an interview with H.E Isaias Afewerki, and asked: “Your Excellency, there are some parties which contend that Ethiopia‘s future is in danger. Which way is Ethiopia going?”
President Isaias replied: “I do not want to make speculations as to which way Ethiopia is going. I can say that Ethiopia is going in the direction charted for it by the Woyane group administering Ethiopia. This group stood before, and still stands now, to gain nothing at all from Ethiopian unity. An examination of this group’s program which is holding the reigns of power in Ethiopia reveals that its objective since the 1975’s was to establish and independent sovereign state in Tigrai. We conducted relentless struggle to change this viewpoint and introduce them into a single Ethiopia program. But this viewpoint has as yet not disappeared. This regime is still in the process of creating conducive environment to disintegrate Ethiopia. It does not have Ethiopian national feelings. For instance, if we examine the Ethiopian constitution, especially Article 39 thereof, we observe that it permits right of self-determination up to secession. There is no constitution in the world during this epoch with this kind of provision.”
The template for the disintegration of Ethiopia was set in motion from-before the regime came to power. However, events did not play-out exactly as they were planned out. In fact, it turned out the opposite of what they calculated rendering all their projects, proclamations, agendas and predictions some miserable failures. Under normal circumstances, the clique would have collapsed for it remains rejected by the Ethiopian people. However, the illegitimate clique had become to be a staunch ally of the US propped and financed to further their agenda at the expense of the Ethiopian people and the region. If that western support stops, the clique will fall instantly. Otherwise, Meles Zenawi is probably one of the dumbest, incompetent and incapable tyrants to have governed any where. Here is why:
He Hurt the People of Tigray, His Own
In large part, the reason why Meles and his clique are in power today is due to their involvement with the causes that the people of Tigray fought for and the leadership role they assumed. That propelled to power because Ethiopia needed to fill a leadership vacuum created due to the ouster of The Derg. The clique did not have a mandate but, at that time, Ethiopians understood and realized the sufferings the people of Tigray endured for decades and tacitly acquiesced to some advantage for Tigray in order to bring it to a comparable level with the rest of the nation. Overtime, as the clique controlled the nation, they funneled more resources into Tigray. And regardless of the effectiveness or the size, a perception exist that Tigray was accorded a disparate advantage over the rest of Ethiopia. However, whether a sustainable foundation is established in Tigray is debatable. In addition, while power is a source of pride for some Tigrayans, it may have raised eyebrows in the rest of the nation. That is undeniable fact.
While the views about how the people of Tigray may have benefited are debatable; the critical question is how do the people of Tigray feel about their role at this critical juncture in the History of Ethiopia? Clearly, the people of Tigray were victorious after the fall of Derg. After years of hardships, it was high time to bring a just change in Tigray. The question is, at that very moment of victory, how did they envision the future of Tigray say, fifty years from that moment? How do Tigrayans feel about article 39 now? As president Isaias explained; if the group’s initial inclination was for Greater Tigray, which means it was the aspiration of some Tigrayans. Thence, for those that aspired to see that dream and are in leadership positions with that feeling; how committed are they for the security of the people of Ethiopia? How nationalists are they? The answer is it matters not anymore. Meles Zenawi killed any and all Tigrayan nationalist dreams and aspirations inadvertently. But worse, in the process, while killing Tigrayan nationalism, he inspired other ethnic group’s nationalism to a much higher level. Here is why:
In a recent article by Jawar Mohammed entitled “Meles Zenawi and OPDO Relations Enter A New Phase” outlined, “Dealing with the Unintended Consequences of an Appeasement Strategy.” In his analysis, Mr. Jawar explained how Meles initially manipulated and controlled the Oromo aspirations by using a “Client list system” and how the 2005 election changed that. Quote:
“For the previous 15 years, antagonizing and alienating the Oromo elite was seen as a key strategy to keep OPDO weak and subordinate. However, in order to survive the sudden surge of the Amhara threat, Meles had no choice but to try to make peace with the Oromo constituency. That is where Abadula Gemeda came in with a proven loyalty particularly during the 2001 TPLF internal crisis.”
Mr. Jawar states that, Mr. Gemeda was chosen for the post because of his enmity to the OLF. And as a result of the brief autonomy he acquired he successfully managed to bring on-board the opinion makers and possible opponents of the clique in line. Furthermore, he challenged them to bring changes and provided the incentives required. This turned out to be extremely successful-venture due the better governance that was attributable to the infusion of competent personnel as well as for Mr. Gemeda, Oromia-regional government and the people he recruited. As a result Mr. Gemeda’s popularity “skyrocketed” and became a threat and subsequently, a target of the ruling clique.
The strategy of Meles backfired and as a result, he is faced with lose-lose situation to quell Oromo nationalism. In other words, Meles dangled meat to a lion and is trying to take it away while the lion is roaring. The people of Oromo were given an opportunity for a taste of real autonomy and if that is taken away there is a good chance that the OLF can take advantage. Conversely, if the status quo is allowed to continue it threatens the regime.
This is contradictory to the situation in Tigray where most believe is run as an autonomous region yet, could not publicly assert that autonomy because it will have negative consequence both for the people of Tigray and Meles Zenawi. It is a conundrum of the highest form for Tigrayans whether they believe in Greater Tigray or a united Ethiopia. It is also a question that could only be addressed by the people of Tigray. This is also an issue that requires leadership and Meles could not openly address it since he is the leader of Ethiopia. Moreover, the leaders that came to power with Meles are compromised beyond reproach.
Article 39 and its Hypocrisy
There are many armed movements in Ethiopia today. There is a movement in Oromia, Gambella, Afar, Ogaden and in Tigray with TPDM amongst others. All these movements are empowered by the barrel of a gun. The article accords all ethnic nationalities legal rights to self determination up to secession in a nation that they divided along ethnic regions. Ironically, all the ethnic regions have their representative armed-movements. The illegitimate regime may have its own reasons to put article 39 on the constitution but in doing so it created some fault lines.
President Isaias stated, “This regime is still in the process of creating conducive environment to disintegrate Ethiopia.” The key word being “conducive”, is there such an environment to facilitate that end? Hardly! For one thing, the people of Tigray will not have a uniform attitude, which renders it premature. Secondly, if the people of Tigray unilaterally decide to exercise that option (which they could do since they control the process – (the parliament, the resources and the security apparatus), then they would carry a bulls eye for target by all. Thirdly, they have not established, as of yet, a conducive environment to enable them to be independent. Because as is known Abbay Tigray’s map incorporated parts of the Red Sea coast line and hence, it is not viable as is.
It requires a political honesty for the people of Ethiopia to address these entanglements. There needs to be a clear understanding of where the issues lie. It is also incumbent upon the people of Tigray to understand the burden as well as the responsibilities they carry for the rest of Ethiopia and ultimately, Tigray as part and parcel of Ethiopia.
At the height of the war with Eritrea in 2000, there was an opportunity for Meles and Ethiopia to chart a new direction for the nation and put it on a solid footing because Ethiopians were truly united at the time. Meles squandered that opportunity because he decided to sneak an election while the war was ongoing. However, Ethiopians waited for their time and came in the millions to reject the illegitimate con-man in 2005. That is when the brutality and naked disregard for the will of the Ethiopian people became glaringly obvious. That is also when Ethiopians clearly understood that he is only the yes man for his US and Western interests as the US Humvees roamed on the streets of Addis at that time. The US made Meles, their number one Ethiopian, gave him political cover from public scrutiny and actually raised his status by inviting him to the G-20 and G-8 meetings everywhere. That was when the Ethiopian revolution ribbon was cut.
Meles did not give Ethiopia a choice. Since then, Ethiopia’s fault-lines have widened along ethnic, religious, class, status and financial standing. The Gap between the halves and have-nots widened. The power and money is controlled by a handful that is in bed with the clique. At a moment in history where the world have traveled long to establish Anti Trust Laws, Meles is giving-away the nation in ways Ethiopians would have no control by leasing land to people that are not beholden to Ethiopians. The worst example of this is the land grab that is uprooting people from their villages.
Another sad example is the Midroc Ethiopia a mega conglomerate that is owned by Alamoudi. The billionaire is running a country within a country literally. He owns everything he needs. It is fascinating to imagine how any competition could be possible when he owns MIDROC Gold Mine PLC, ELFORA Agro-Industries PLC, Huda Real Estate PLC, Kombolcha Steel Products Industry PLC, Modern Building Industries PLC,
addis Home Depot PLC, Trans Nation Airways PLC, addis Gas & Plastics Factory PLC, Wanza Furnishings Industries PLC, Daylight Applied Technologies PLC, Summit Engineered Plastics Pvt. Ltd. Co., Blue Nile P.P & Craft Paper Bags Manufacturing P.L.C, Rainbow Exclusive Car Rental And Tour Services Pvt. Ltd. Co., United Auto Maintenance Services Pvt. Ltd. Co., Queen’s Supermarket P.L.C. He even owns Trust Protection and Personnel Services PLC for security related matters. He has the capacity to manufacture, sell, and promote every conceivable product and services.
The problem here is not the success the billionaire enjoys. Rather, it is the concentration of unlimited powers that ought to concern all. His economic power accords him tremendous political and PR reach as well as influence beyond the capacity of any Ethiopian. It is rather strange to see a nation handing a Saudi billionaire the freedom to operate his own security company in a nation with a large army. This is uncharted territory because he is a billionaire that can afford to hire mercenary-troops, ala Black Water.
Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? At this point it is safe to say if it was up to the ingenuity of Meles, he will make the tunnel and the lights disappear in order to eliminate any and all threats. Absence of hope despair reigns. Unfortunately for Ethiopia, the Weyane clique made strategic calculations and concluded that it can only succeed as a hegemonic by using fear, threats, brute force, bribes, deceit, lies and all other deceptive tactics to stay in power. In the process, Ethiopians have given up altogether. They gave up hope in the process and on Weyane. After genocides, mass killings and shootings innocent peaceful demonstrators; after years of corruption, empty slogans and exaggerated numbers of growth and after years of wars they have decided enough. Beka!
Over the years, the threats have escalated. They are unapologetic and brazen when approaching the region, the international community, and issues of national security.
Over the last 3 months, Meles’s incoherent blubbering has increased to a new high. He has declared war with Eritrea and is threatening Egypt using the Nile as a pretext in order to rally support and divert attention. He has completely disregarded Ethiopians and chose to antagonize them by sending his cohorts in the Diaspora. That is backfiring or has backfired. Their brazen pokes have galvanized people against them. In fact they have given the public a gift by awakening them.
Meles Zenawi and the clique are amongst the deadliest, most ruthless group of people Africa has ever seen. Their brutality knows no boundaries. They have no humanity or good will in them. They have placed Ethiopia and the region in the gravest of dangers. It is like the Ebola virus that will devour its host violently until its own demise. However, as grim as it may look, there is hope. There is hope in unity of all the people in the region coming together. There is awareness that cooperation amongst all the people in the region is the ultimate weapon against this vile virus. It is time to utilize all means at our disposal to make sure the scourge meets its fate. The vile vermin knows his time is up that is why he is resorting to outright threats. And the good news is he is all bark and no bite. Because, while he is declaring war and bragging to change the regime, he is begging Eritrea to make peace with him at the same time. He stated we will relinquish you your Badme so long as you agree to make peace and not support his opposition. In other words, he inadvertently admitted his weaknesses.
Therefore, it is time to unite and get rid of this vermin. May be then, the region can see peace. We are all hungry and desperately seeking peace and development. This is a call to all peace loving people in Somalia, Kenya, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Sudan and Djibouti. It is time to chart a new direction. It is also time for the people of Tigray to see the sincerity of the call and not succumb to the fear the tyrant Meles may have instilled in them! In other words there is life after Meles with the people of Ethiopia and the region. That is the inescapable reality!