What Osama bin Laden’s death mean to Ethiopia by Eskinder Nega

May 6th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

Obama is a voracious reader. He has read expansively and intensely. Not even his tacky detractor, The Donald, as he likes to be called, who personally and unabashedly prefers a sizzling tabloid to a weighty hardcover, would dare to question him on this count. (more…)

Obama is a voracious reader. He has read expansively and intensely. Not even his tacky detractor, The Donald, as he likes to be called, who personally and unabashedly prefers a sizzling tabloid to a weighty hardcover, would dare to question him on this count.

But The Donald could credibly claim that however impressive Obama’s reading list may have been before the late 2000s, he hardly read books on foreign policy. Ironically, Obama, whose nativity is questioned by a shockingly large number of Americans, instinctively militated to the original isolationist sentiments of the nation’s founding fathers. In fact, so strong was this isolationist predisposition that he famously declined to hypothetically consider the possibility of deploying troops in Iraq to prevent genocide. Genocides have happened elsewhere in the world without America intervening, he reasoned.

This was the Obama that attained the Presidency with a respectable plurality in 2008.But a retreat to the familiar shores of continental America, as had once happened in 1918, when the US tragically refused to join and lead the League of Nations after the First World War, is hardly a possibility in the age of nuclear armed Pakistan.

The only alternative for Obama was between realism, which is multi-literalist, strictly interest driven and ostensibly in perfect sync with the persona of no-drama-Obama , and what he had criticized as the discredited idealism of his predecessor, which was precariously and unsustainably unilateral in approach and execution.

Obama reckons that America’s future lies in the Far East, in South Asia and the Orient. Bush’s fixation with the Middle East was a strategic blunder that he intended to correct urgently. Canada, Mexico, Latin America, the Middle East, and even Europe, which has dominated the world for the past half a millennium, would have to settle for back stage. Africa, of course, comes last.

But with the menacing threat of Al-Qaeda still unabated, immediate reorientation of American foreign policy was not politically and psychologically feasible for a Democratic President. However sensible the analyses, though, they also sounded like convenient excuses by a weak President to capitulate and run away from an intractable problem. Obama was unwittingly no less entangled in the Middle East than past administrations.

A respite from the suspicions has now come Obama’s way courtesy of the death of Osama bin Laden. There will no more be the comparisons with Jimmy Carter. There will now be less pressure on him to sustain the war on terror as the central theme of America’s foreign policy. AlQaeda is undeniably not finished yet, but the loss of its iconic leader will most probably weaken it considerably. At least this is the consensus. America could finally move on. Policy shift could begin in earnest.

This is bad new for the EPRDF.

The White House had quietly assessed the prospect of change in key US allies like Ethiopia well before the death of Osama bin Laden.Involved in the assessment was Gayle Smith, an old friend of the EPRDF and now a mid-level N.S.C staffer. Two broad conclusions emerged from the review:

1. Regimes cooperate with the US on security issues not for altruistic motives but because it is in their critical interests to do so.

2. There is no correlation between a nation’s economic wealth and democracy, the most oft cited rational for US support of autocratic regimes in the developing world.(Apparently, the US Ambassador to Ethiopia, Donald Booth, who held a press conference after the review
suggesting such a link, disagrees with the White House.)

In other words, in sharp contrast to the Bush years, the Obama administration has determined that the EPRDF has no fewer stakes than the US security cooperation. Moreover, the tendency in the administration is to view Al-Shabaab, America’s primary concern in the horn, more of as a nationalist outfit, a reaction to Ethiopian invasion, than a worrisome branch of global jihad. The State Department’s 2009 report on terrorism maintains that no operational link between Al-Shabaab and Al-Qaeda has been established.

But of course all this does not mean that the Obama administration is firmly in favor of people power revolution in Ethiopia. It is not. What sets it apart from the Bush years is that it sees fewer stakes for the US in the status-quo. It will not fight change as the Bush administration once did in 2005.

In the event of protests, the Obama administration will most probably try to maintain a delicate balance between protesters, which it could not avoid lending political, moral and diplomatic support, and the EPRDF, which it does not want to be perceived as abandoning hastily. US allies in the region after all would be watching closely. But doubt not that its sentiment and heart will be with protesters. There is little sympathy in Washington for the EPRDF after the last elections. Its peaceful departure would most probably be welcomed rather than lamented. The death of Osama bin Laden reinforces the sentiment.

Addressing the World Economic Forum in South Africa on Thursday, May 5, 2011, former UN Secretary General, Koffi Annan, predicated that mass protests may yet spread from the Arab world to black Africa. The independence of one African country inspired others to follow suit, he recalled of events in the early 60’s. “I see no reason why people now won’t want to do the same,” he said. These are sober words from an experienced man. They carry considerable weight.

Annan was of course not speaking of his home country, Ghana. Democracy is irreversible there now. Nor could he have had Ghana’s giant regional neighbor, Nigeria, in mind. There is finally hope for democracy in Africa’s largest country. And democratic South Africa has transformed (by example) SADC. There is no danger of mass protests sweeping southern Africa.

It is rather Ethiopia, where an unpopular leader who has been in power for two decades is still recklessly maneuvering to stay in power indefinitely, which looms dominantly in the horizon when sub-Sahara Africa is mulled over. Annan did not need to single out countries.

The Obama administration knows this. And it sees no reason to resist change. This is good news to Ethiopians.


Note to Readers:

My weekly Amharic articles will resume a week from Tuesday.

The writer could be reached at : serk27@gmail.com

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  1. Hafshaala
    | #1

    Dear Eskinder,
    good take, but change can only come if ALL the stakeholders in Ethiopia (the independenists, the unionists and the integrationsits) try to come together and want to fight in unison against this sewu-bellaa regime. Now, Woyane is trying to play both the cards of Abbay and Assab just to lure the Ethiopian nationalist Amhara to influence them so that they take a distance from the upcoming REVOLUTION, but rally behind Woyane to realize both “projects” of Abbay and Assab. These two “projects” are part and parcel of Woyane’s machination to divide and destroy the opposition. The following opinion shows how the Woyane’s best method to polarize, divide and fragmentize the opposition looks like.

    OLF’s way of struggle these days is very smart; it effectively tackled the Woyane’s method of destroying any opposition by DIVIDING. It is becoming inclusive of all groups of Oromo nationalists with the vision to realize one of the three different forms of walabummaa Oromia/Ethiopia, for which they respectively want to vote, of course after achieving the common Oromo goal: bilisummaa Oromo. We do love ALL these Oromo nationalists, who are fighting for an Oromo FREEDOM (bilisummaa) from Woyane’s fascism (garbummaa), knowing the fact that they wish to realize one of the following types of Oromia’s sovereignity (type of walabummaa):

    - an independent Oromia of the ULFO (getting rid of Ethiopia),
    - the Ethiopia-Oromia (Ethiopian union with Oromian autonomy) of the OFC, and
    - an integrated/unitary Ethiopia to be led by the Oromo people and having Afaan Oromo as a federal working language as planned by the politically conscious Oromo nationalists in the UDJ (getting rid of Oromia).

    Which type of the sovereignity will prevail in the future depends on the vote of the Oromo majority after achieving our bilisummaa by any means possible (through the armed struggle of the OLA and/or through the public uprising of an all-inclusive alliance and/or through the electroal struggle of the OFC). So, it is good that OLF now leads these moves of the politically conscious Oromo nationalists in different routes/ways towards the same kaayyoo of bilisummaa Oromo and then to the type of walabummaa Oromia/Ethiopia to be decided by the Oromo public majority.

    To hinder this clever move of the OLF, the “smart” Woyanes are trying their best to preach an ‘unconditional Independent Oromia’ and an ‘unconditional Unitary Ethiopia’ at the same time, just for the sake of sowing a discord between the Amhara democratic forces and the Oromo liberation fronts so that the tsunami of the REVOLUTION, which is now almost coming up on their bosses in Finfinne palace, may be hindered; i.e to prevent the tsunami coming from the planned all-inclusive alliance. We like it or not, the spirit of AFD is on the process of resurrecting and reviving, which is really an excellent phenomen on development. Meles Zenawi’s political acrobat as well put by Gadaa.com in the following link will never prevent such an all-inclusive alliance from being a reality: http://gadaa.com/oduu/9059/2011/04/22/zenawis-ethiopia-hegemony-of-separatists-turned-article-39ers-turned-chauvinists/ . Interestingly Meles Zenawi has already dispatched his cadres in three directions (being camouflaged as independenists in the Ethno-nationalists’ camp of the Oromo, as killil-federalists in his Woyane camp of the Tegaru and as unitarists in the Ethio-nationalists’ camp of the Amhara):

    - in Amhara forums and paltalks to preach a ‘Unitary Ethiopia’ and to demonize the Ethno-nationalists, specially to blame the Ogaden and the Oromo liberation forces;
    - in Tegaru forums and paltalks to act as the popes of ethnic federation (braging about §39) just in order to curse the Amhara unitarists as “chauvinists” and the Oromo independenists as “secessionists”;
    - in Oromo forums and paltalks to function as hardliner supporters of an ‘Indepnendent Oromia’ just to denigrate and to insult the Amhara camp.

    At the moment, the card of the ‘Tigrean independence’, which Meles Zenawi used to preach as he was a rebel, has no more value, as long as Woyane is in power. Even if the Woyane cadres try to use this card, no one is scared of it; also the pro-unity Amharas do say: “go to hell and declare your independence”! This card of course will be important when Woyane starts to see that its power in Finfinne palace is in danger. Till then Woyane purposely advocates an UNCONDITIONAL ‘Independent Oromia’ to the Oromo, so that the Oromo people be cornered only at this position, not to be flexible. Woyane knows very well that this position has got a lot of enemies (not only the unitarist Amhara, but also the Western regimes). With the same logic, Woyane preaches to the Amhara nationalists how important an UNCONDITIONAL ‘Unitary Ethiopia’ is, because this position produces an enemity of all the oppressed nations in the Ethiopian empire, including the act of inducing the enemity of the Oromo, towards the Amhara. That means Woyane’s best cards now are these two diametrically opposite positions: an ‘unconditional independent Oromia’ and an ‘unconditional unitary Ethiopia’, of course beside its continous song about Woyane’s ethnic federation per force (about its de facto Tigrean hegemony).

    Actually the flag, which Meles Zenawi carries in the first picture drawn by Gadaa.com, is the OLF-flag with the slogan “Oromia shall be free”! He already has hidden the “Abbay Tigrai” agenda and the “Tigrai shall be free” slogan behind his current Ethiopianist rhetoric. He is happy when the pro-”Oromia shall be free” Oromo nationals and the pro-”Long live Ethiopia” Amhara groups do bark at each other and neutralize each other; that is why he promotes both the Ethiopian and the Oromian nationalisms and tries to control the two emotional communities, who he thinks are ready to be moblized when ever he wants. He tried to mobilize the emotional Amhara nationalists against OLF in the time between 1992 and 2005 and he attempted to moblize some Oromo nationals during the 2005 election and after that against the CUD of Amhara camp; now he again tries to mobilize the gullible part of the Amhara nationals using his Ethiopian nationalist slogan about Abbay River, of course to hinder them from cooperating with the Oromo nationalists during the upcoming REVOLUTION. To some extent he is successful; for instance, the fact that Oromo students are now revolting without any help from other students is the proof.

    To counter this Meles Zenawi’s move towards the ‘Right’ side of the political spectrum, just to make the Ethio-nationalists to rally behind himself, I think the ongoing cooperation between G-7, ONLF and OLF is a smart progress. They need to foster the necessary all-inclusive alliance based on the common denominators, ‘FREEDOM and democracy’, so that we can build a TRUE killil-federation (Oromian autonomy within Ethiopian union) after the demise of the regime. The independenist wing of the OLF and those in ULFO should be wise enough not to oppose this move. Now the arguement among the Oromo polity on: ‘independence vs union’ must stop! Even we don’t have to oppose the position of the pro-unitary Ethiopian forces as long as they fight against the brutal fascist Woyane.

    So, the best anti-dote against the current Woyane’s move is that we do everything possible to make Woyane be insecure and if possible to lose power. The best instruments to achieve this are the IMPERATIVE ‘tokkummaa of the Oromo liberation forces’ and the IMPORTANT ‘tumsa with the other democratic forces’. I am sure that the Oromo people do have nothing to lose by pushing in this form. Those Oromo nationals, who fear the possible comeback of the Amhara elites with the assimilationist feudal mentality to reverse the partially achieved Oromo’s right to self-adminstration, are simply unrealistic! So let’s fight together with ALL the anti-Woyane forces in order to achieve our national Oromo liberty with regional Ethiopian union.

    I personally think that now we do have only one ALL-inclusive opposition against Woyane. This opposition camp has got the ‘LEFT’ wing Independenists like the ULFO, the ‘MIDDLE’ body Unionists like those in MEDREK as well as those with the spirit of AFD (the G-7, OLF and ONLF) and the ‘RIGHT’ wing Integrationists like the AEUP and EPRP. Now, we are in the critical phase of the struggle where we need the cooperation and coordination of the move of all these three parts of the opposition against our common enemy (against the fascist and racist Woyane). That is why we all anti-Woyane political groups should stop our infighitng and start to target only the Woyane, so that we can forge a transitional governement based on the principles of freedom and democracy after the fall of this regime.

    Nothing can save the political acrobatist Meles Zenawi, from the imminent and the upcoming REVOLUTION; that means the time is for a revolution. But we, the Oromo nationalists, do ask: where are the other students, while the Oromo students are revolting? Why are the Amhara students and the students from the other opressed nations still sleeping? Are they still the victims of Woyane’s divide and rule method? We actually must be able to say together: no more antagonizing the all-inclusive freedom fighters in favour of the Woyane fascist forces. It is clear that the Woyane fascists and racists survived by dividing, fragmentizing and polarizing both the Amhara integrationist camp and the Oromo independenist camp among themselves and between each other.

    But now the question is: how long will both the Ethiopian nationalists’ camp of the Amhara and the Ethnic nationalists’ bloc of the Oromo allow the Woyane to play with them and how long do they give a chance for this mafia group to beat them turn by turn? Are they less intelligent than the Woyane not to outsmart this fascist and racist regime? Time will show us for how long Woyane will play the game of pure political acrobat, presenting itself (camouflaging) as either the Oromo independenist or as the only Ethiopian unionist (killil-federalist) or as the Amhara integrationist just to sow a discord among the opposition and make these different parts of the opposition to fight each other; actually the ONLY true motive of Woyane is to keep the Tigrean hegemony at any cost. On the day that the Oromo nationalists start to make also the issue of an integrated Ethiopia as their own REGIONAL issue, of course beside an independent Oromia as the NATIONAL issue, and on the day the Amhara nationals start to accept and respect Oromia’s right to exist, at least within an integrated Ethiopia, this day will be the day of a real demise for the fascist and racist Woyane regime.

    Otherwise, we have to be able to differentiate Woyane political acrobatists from the genuine independenist Oromo, the unionist (federalist) South and the integrationist Amhara. To know this difference, what matters is not the position of their guts, but more the direction of their guns. Woyane cadres do direct their guns (verbal bullets) on pro-integration Amhara nationals and on pro-independence Oromo nationalists, whereas the genuine opposition from these two camps nowadays consequently and conciously try to direct their guns ONLY on the currently tormenting enemy (the Woyane). Woyane cadres shoot continously at these genuine Amhara and Oromo groups, whereas the genuine pro-independence Oromo and the genuine pro-integration Amhara nationals do try to tolerate all the opposition political groups with their different tactics and strategies in struggling for FREEDOM from Woyane’s fascism. So we just need to check the direction of their guns in order to differenitate the camouflaged Woyane cadres talking about an ‘independent Oromia’ and an ‘integrated Ethiopia’ from both the genuine opposition blocs advocating these two same agenda respectively.

  2. Gemoraw
    | #2

    EPRDF is the best choice for the people of Ethiopia if uou think some thing is coming from America you are fool really Fool!!

  3. afarman
    | #3

    Eskindir Nega, guess what, ethiopians are now working hard to build another Lalibela and Axum on river Nile.
    Our priority is electricity,water and energy, ethiopians want to say enough is enough to poverty, and we are ready to pay any sacrifice for that.
    The great ethiopian rennaiscance dam has united us more than any time in the history of Ethiopia, ethiopians from all walks of life, ethiopians of every generation, childrens, adults and the elderly are united. Muslims and christians are nw buying bonds. Some even decided not to take any interest on the bond, some are donating money for this great cause.

    MR Eskinder NegA,
    journalist from Ethiopia
    Land of the blessed
    hell for the cursed
    forget binladen, alqaeida and America
    don try to distract us from our agenda
    ur friends are hiding in Asmara
    Wake up Eskinder Nega
    Forget Libya and Tunisia
    You are in Ethiopia

    why do you cry like a baby?
    enjoying free speech and democracy

    Siding with Dr Birhanu Nega
    To see us stay in chelema

    yes in darkness
    feeling powerless
    bowing to chauvinists
    born again ethno fascists

    ha ha ha ha
    we are in new era
    no more dergue and Esepa

    Why are you crying
    while the people are rejoicing
    The country is moving
    roads, hospitals, bridges building

    tell us what you want
    our response can be prompt

    do you have a question
    or u need an action

    give us the sign
    where you align

    Is this provocation
    or misinformation

    time will come
    with our dam
    we will build our home

    water and electricity
    governance and democracy
    enough to hypocracy

    no more singing
    no more bluffing
    its time for building

    go and buy the bond
    before its sold
    being biased
    have made you blind
    try to open your mind

  4. Alemu
    | #4

    Yes Osama’s death brings bad news to Zenawi. He won’t find place to hide once the Ethiopian people uprise. Get ready Zenawi, your time is up!

  5. Dany
    | #5

    Dear Gemoraw , to talk about ‘best choice ‘ presupposes availability of options.What alternatives did people of Ethiopia have to choose the best among them ? You believe EPRDF winning of election by 99.6 % support your assertion? Please,The time is now to seek lasting genuine solutions to our beloved country not justifying status quo blindly .

  6. tewbel
    | #6

    Who are the Amhara ethno-nationalists?

  7. Siifan
    | #7

    Sure is that Woyane cadres are doing everything under the sun to divide and weaken the opposition. It is up to us, the supporters of the opposition, to act against this move of the cadres. That is why we continously push for the IMPERATIVE unity of those with similar ideology and for the optional alliance of ALL the anti-Woyane democrats. The opposition camp including the Oromo liberation movement should act together against the mafia group in Finfinne palace. For this to happen, the opposition groups need to agree on the rule of the game regarding the future arrangement: referendum or consensus or force.

    The rule of the game against Woyane is clear. Woyane didn’t give any chance for either a referendum or a consensus. What remains then is a force as the only means to deal with Woyane; that means only civil disobedience, armed struggle and public uprising are the choice, not the usual ‘election game’! But the opposition should also find the suitable rule of the game in the post-Woyane future politics: either consensus or referendum, excluding force. Then they do have only the following two options:

    - consensus on a middle ground for ALL; i.e on a ‘Union of Autonomous Nations’ in the region/empire called Ethiopia or

    - referendum on: an ‘independent nation like an independent Oromia’ VS a ‘union of autonomous nations in Ethiopia’ VS an ‘integration of the empire (no autonomous national areas like Oromia)’

    Force is only the last option for the opposition groups to settle the difference between each other, in case we will fail to agree on the above two noble ways (on consensus and referendum). If we must use force, then the result will be an ‘independence by force as in the case of Eritrea’, or a ‘union by force as it is now under Woyane’ or an ‘integration by force as it was under the Amhara rule in the past’. Now, the question to be answered is: are both the Oromo camp and the Amhara camp in a position to achieve their goal respectively by force? If the Oromo camp wants an Oromian independence in such a move by force, it must win not only the ruling Woyane, but also the opposing Amhara camp. If the Amharas want to impose an integration by force, they also need to win not only the ruling Woyane, but also the opposing Oromo camp. I don’t think this is feasible for both camps in the near future; that is why both the Amhara camp and the Oromo camp must make a compromise/have a consensus, not to fight each other, but build an alliance to be a stronger force against Woyane to achieve their common goal according to the consensus, i.e to achieve FREEDOM from Woyane’s fascism and a ‘UNION of autonomous nations’ as a compromise solution.

    Woyane cadres are now sensing that this possibility of an alliance between the Amhara camp and the Oromo bloc against their rule is approaching, that is why they are very busy to polarize, divide and fragmentize both camps.

  8. Tolagna
    | #8

    The journey was long and ardious,but was a project that had to be completed;indeed,the Navy seal aimed at the target and hit the bull’s eye.So will the people of Ethiopia.

    Our long-sought goal was,is,and will be to completely remove Meles Zinawi and the brutal regime that he built after the invasion of our homeland.The fight against Meles Zinawi’s regime is the real fight that we have to fight collectilvely and persistently in order to make free Ethiopia and her people from monster that swallowed our children alive.

    Ethiopians,Bin Laden and the terrorists that he recruited and brainwashed have been terriorizing citizens of the united nations and have caused death and distructions;in return,collaborately,the global community with their respective democratic governments have genuinely been fighting aginst the terrorists;on the contrary,Meles Zinawi took advantage of the global situation with respect to terrorism and used it to his and his brutal regime’s sustainance on power while bruttally oppressing and suppresing Ethiopians.With Bin Laden’s death and with the weakening of Al Quada and followed by the complete distruction of the terror camp,Meles Zinawi and his terror campaign against Ethiopians will be ended.

    Ethiopians and citizens who have been fighting against the enemy for years must shut off the door that Woyane Cadres sneak through to weaken the union of the fighting forces.

  9. Abiy Ethiopiawe Segawi W/Menfesawi
    | #9

    Let them bark all Agazi Weyane buchers and supporters, wail and howl as they can never scare away the truth.Our long-sought goal was,is,and will be to completely remove Meles Zinawi and the brutal regime that he built after the invasion of our homeland.Bravo Eskinder Nega,please write again and again.You are not alone and we understand about their diabolic mischief.

  10. dereje
    | #10

    oh, Astewul Gobez! dont mix politics and development(soveregnity), it is only temporary that you are as elite diasphora or act as eritrean agent,
    so what ever you say, ethiopia shall prosper!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    God bless ethiopia and her people.

  11. Sam
    | #11

    I am very much amazed how in every new writing Eskinder’s fluency in the English language becomes more refined. It is very impressive indeed. About the topic at hand. Eskinder’s effort to link the EPDRF’s future with bin Laden’s expiration is worthwhile noticing. In fact, Eskinder is well tuned about Ethiopian politics and the world at large, it seems, than most political parties in Ethiopia. That brings us to one main idea that Eskinder left out why the opposition parties might not be embraced by US as many would like: They lack vision, the US and British governments sincerly believe this to be the fact. If the opposition parties believe securing the support of the two countries governments are determinental to their cause, the leaders of the parties should be more visionary than they are right now. Aim big. Do not strategize the whole politics having the next election result in mind. Think big about the future. If the opposition parties smooth out the rough edges of their politics, act as statesmen rather than stone throwing student demonstrators, when the time comes to be a political equilibrum between the opposition parties and EPDRF, the US and the British government might side with the untested in governing. Meles and his yesmen know this fact. They are trying in every way possible political equilibrum not to prevail because it might be the end of the regime. Do not get me wrong here. I am not saying to change government, Ethiopians necessairly need the US and British governments help. No, no, no. It might not come to that. Ethiopians might overpower the military Might of the regime. This is one scenario. Another scenario is an equilibrum might happen. For that occurence, the opposition politicians should not imitate Meles, who has perfected the art of telling his story based of what his audience want to hear. That is a no, no. He could get away with ass kissing because he is a head of state. The opposition politicians cannot. They earn the support if they are true to their political beliefs. Being true to political beliefs is more difficult than we imagine it to be.

  12. Gebremskel
    | #12

    At Hafshaala,
    During 2007 census, CSA has released that over more than 4 million Amahara peolple live in Oromia, taking in to consideration the abundance presence of other ethinic groups in oromia and the existance of oromos in Amhara region, which is only about half a million, do u still believe that oromo is the majority, or that much in excess of other ethinics, as u tried to show in your comments?

  13. wedi samre
    | #13

    Dear Eskinder,
    It takes a lot of courage to write what you write while Shabia’s sword of Damocles is hovering over your head. And yet, your articles are essentially Shabia-friendly since you regard as an “Ethiopian” regime the Shabia group lyingly calling itself “TPLF”. The difference between you who are not a thoroughgoing collaborator, hirelings from Tigray who have entered into a Faustian pact with the Devil, Shabia, and Amhara irrational haters of Tigray is that you and Amhara irrational haters of Tigray describe the Shabia group led by Melis Zinwi as “unpopular” government. It is unclear how one in his right mind can talk about “unpopular regime” in Ethiopia when the facts on the ground show that the country has been under foreign military occupation since May 1991. Do you really think that there is no difference between the Derg (which was unpopular but authentically Ethiopian) and the Tigray branch of the Hamasin group, calling itself “TPLF”? You seem to answer in the affirmative. But that is completely false. Before 1991, we Ethiopians were poor but proud and united. Ethiopia had been the oldest independent nation in the world until 1990. Since 1991, not only has our poverty been exacerbated intolerably, but our existence as a proud nation has been endangered. Why? Because we have lost our national dignity and independence. The Shabia gangster group led by Melis Zinwi considers our country as its private estate and the Ethiopian people as its slaves. It steals our territories and our sea outlet and cedes them to foreign countries. Of late, it has been involved in land robbery. It sells our land at knocked-down prices to multinational corporations. Tomorrow, it will surely sell Ethiopians. Why is that the Shabia gangster group not afraid of eight six million heroic Ethiopians? How can it be afraid of us while we are not willing to defend our country and our honor? What could be more demonstrative of the refusal to defend Ethiopia than the decision of our educated Amhara brothers to describe the Shabia military occupation of Ethiopia as ethnocentric or ethno-fascist rule? Obviously, there are some who consider that Tigray bashing is a way of defending Ethiopia. There are also some moral and intellectual cretins who think they can defend Ethiopia with the help of Shabia. We cannot bear them grudge. Because they have been misled by widespread opinion that Ethiopia is under Tigray domination. One can even argue that the “unpopularity” of Shabia is due to the fact that it is considered by our educated Amhara brothers as a Tigray regime. If that were not the case, our educated Amhara brothers would judge Shabia not by what it says about its identity, but by its day-to-day activities (that is by it’s anti-Ethiopia activities).
    That being said, one must know that the word “unpopular” can apply only to Menelikean, Haileselassie and Derg regimes. The short-lived regime of Lij Eyasu was very popular. Despite their unpopularity, I, for one, consider Menelikean, Hailselassie and the Derg regimes as my own regimes because all those regimes defended Ethiopian unity and territorial integrity. On the other hand, shabia (TPLF/EPLF) has been hell-bent on undoing all that our leaders Menelik and Hailselassie did. Isn’t it a sufficient evidence for you Eskinder to acknowledge that Ethiopia has been under foreign occupation? When you say the regime ruling Ethiopia is “unpopular”, you imply wrongly that there is Ethiopian regime. But you have never showed that there is an Ethiopian regime or if you like a Tigrayan regime. You simply take for granted that it is Ethiopian. Anyway, I don’t blame you for that. You are not the only one. Even our “political scientist”, Alemayehu Gebremariam has never tried to show that Ethiopia has a government. If Alemayehu has a knowledge which could get Ethiopia out of its current Kafkaesque situation, why doesn’t he share it with Ethiopians? As our proverb says “le timket yalhone kemis yibetates”. A knowledge which does not serve mother Ethiopia at this trying time of our history doesn’t deserve to be called knowledge. The truth is that Alemayehu does not seem to know what a government really means. It is a strange thing to claim to be a student of political science and to ignore what a government means. But this is the problem of all Ethiopian intellectuals. Legions of horribly ignorant Ethiopians with the title of Professor or doctor talk about Ethiopian “state” or “government”. It never occurs to them to ask themselves how it is possible to talk of Ethiopian state and government after 1991 given the Shabia has vowed to destroy what it calls “Abbay Ethiopia” (Greater Ethiopia), i.e. the Ethiopian nation. In 1990, Isyas Afiwirki told the inhabitants of Eritrean lowlands that his organization (EPLF/TPLF) had given to Ethiopia one hundred years long assignment. Isyas was certain that it would take at least one hundred years for Ethiopia to be a reunited country and to be a threat for Eritrea. That was also what Melis repeated in Asmara in February 1992 albeit indirectly. Don’t all these show that Ethiopia has been without state and government?
    A state is necessarily sovereign at least formally. In other words, the idea of a non-sovereign state is a contradiction in terms. Ethiopia has been a stateless since 1991 although some individuals in US foreign policy making circles describe it wrongly as a “failed state”. Ethiopia is stateless because she has lost all the essential attributes of her sovereignty. The evil Shabia attempt to destroy Ethiopia’s national language under the pretext of preserving regional languages and the cession of Ethiopian territories and sea outlet to Eritrea and to the Sudan are manifest evidences that Ethiopia has been under foreign occupation. I defy any Ethiopian intellectual to prove me wrong by forwarding a well-reasoned argument. As for you, Eskinder, I know you cannot publicly say that Ethiopia is under foreign occupation. If conditions don’t permit you to tell the truth, the best way for you to help your country is to try not to distort Ethiopia’s reality. You can help your country by at least refraining from distorting it’s reality. The word “unpopular” has been used to describe leaders like George Bush, Tony Blair, etc. By describing Shabia monster, Melis Zinwi as “unpopular”, you are comparing him with those Western leaders. You are misleading your self and your readers. Don’t forger that our country has been engaged in life and death struggle against the Shabia (EPLF/TPLF) enemy. If we want to be fully victorious, we must also win the intellectual war. It means that we must be able to speak one political language if we want to act as one man and regain our lost national dignity as proud Ethiopians. Until now, we have refused to speak one political language. This has enabled Shabia’s ring leader Melis Zinwi and his hirelings to have the upper hand over us. Haven’t they called you, Eskinder, an Eritrean Nech Lebash? Haven’t they described the so-called Ethiopian opposition parties as “enemies”. Yet you tell us that Ethiopia is ruled by “unpopular regime”. Can you give me one example where an unpopular regime has dubbed journalists “foreign agents” and opposition parties “enemies”? I don’t think you can.

  14. Anti_Woyane
    | #14

    Eskindir Nega is one of the wasted generations due to meles’s policy of continuing along the path of mengistu hailemariam, i.e., dictatorship and cruelty. Had there been a real reconcilliation in ethiopia, ethiopia would have stood on a bettr ground today. instead meles chose much like mengistu the path of destruction. Meles and mengistu possess the same political gene: both are unwise and cruel.

  15. Waka
    | #15

    Hafshaala it seems that you got a very few knowledge about Ethiopians of the amhara ethnic like that of woyanne ,like every where else there are very very few self centric like Solomon biritu who can buy woyannes theatre except otherwise no single amhara will make any compromise with an enemy and that is the minority tegre gujille is trying all the way from day one and only plays its ethnic cards by other Ethiopian Ethnics like Aba dula has some how achieved to prolong woyannes breath after they throw out OLF right at the start when they reach addis.

  16. Sheger
    | #16

    This Government needs to be oddited and needs to be monitored by privet and international organization.

    It is very hard to dispatch this people from power because they own every thing and they are not Just Meles and Azeb.
    They use every thing for their benefit and they bribe people and stuff.

    And I agree with Eskendire when he said that Osama gone is a bad news for EPRDF. Because they use the situation
    For there benefit also.

    It is not impossible to get read of TPLF or EPRDF or what ever their name is. But people not just the Opposition only
    But every body has to stand united and work for a united Ethiopia not for the Ethiopia that is divided by Ethnic politics.

    We have to start to say Ethiopia, instead of Oromia, Amahara, Tigiry…….and so on.
    We should wright letters to EPRDF day and night if you could. We should alert the military ot the nations army in general
    To work for the people but not for few individuals. And when ever we start the peace full uprising they should stand with the people and care about them selves and the people.

    And also watch closely what the Gov, is doing and expose them. After all they are closer to the inside than the people
    From the out side. Every body should do their home work and every thing will work. This is a country that the people
    Kept for millinia and payed his and her blood for it so don’t think we are asking Meles to give us what is his, we are asking him to give us our country back and we are asking him very loud and aggressively.

    He is a dead man waking so is his wife.

  17. aha!
    | #17

    Good speculation in the reading of the mind of President Barak Obama, and the prediction by Kofi Anan about the spread of uprising to Sub-Sharan Africa, even when know that uprising/reaction to freedom by those factions with national agenda for the last 19+ years in terms of the goals for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians against TPLF/eprdf regime of multi-layer and heirarchical moetical model with ethnic agenda and its mirror image Tigrai-Harena/Medrek/fdre, with its ethnic agenda, supperimposed with democracy whose charmanship, shifts from one ethnicgroup to another.

    Can you tell us also what is in the minds of the leaders of these two parties with respect to freedom of the individuals, human right and democracy, the last two of which may hinge on USA foreign policy directives in terms of the Legislature SR-3457 in the Senate, and the second is solely upto the Ethiopians to free themselves from authocratic rule, ethnocratic rule/ethnic dictotorship, totolitarianism, a vestige of the Dergue regime and the liberation movements of the oppression of nations and nationalities.

    What is needed is not ex-tplfites joinig UDJP and UDJP with different objectives joining in a coalition of loyalist opposition parties with ethnic agenda, and Ginot-7 forming another AFD but in armed struggle with different set of goals, without a joint agreement of the the above two factions coalescing around the goals for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians to restore Ethiopian Nationalism and Ethiopian National Interests.

  18. Mesfin
    | #18

    Wish some of the comments were shorter. Wish my Oromo sisters/brothers didn’t speak of separations. All good reads but not very convincing. Anecdotally speaking seems 80% or more of Ethiopians everywhere are supporting a movement for change, progress, development, elimination of poverty … etc by supporting the current administration’s efforts. This article and all the other so called “opposition” writings/sites are classic examples of unintentional engagement in destabilizing propaganda, i.e. not doing anything good for Ethiopia.

  19. feyesa
    | #19

    talk of oromo separation is stupid!

  20. Concerned Ethiopian
    | #20

    Man, i have just been reading about this Asian based business TV station in Ethiopia working to change the image of Ethiopia in the international media. but the irony is, it’s usually us,Ethiopians, who tarnish our own and country’s image the most.
    I can’t be supporting a separatist and claim to be Ethiopian. There is more lies and stupid propaganda by the oppositions flowing around that the ruling party (government). As for the others; Medrek, unity or something like that, and all, it was their attempts to use the construction of the millennium dam as a political tool to gain support against the very popular acceptance of the project by the people of Ethiopia; the same people they claim to try to help.
    Finally, I would like to add from my own observations as a diaspora in Europe that there is no government in the world that haven’t partaken in a covert or secret operations against it’s own people who are conceived to be treats to the National Security. It’s just that those countries always up front to talk about these and other human-rights violations have a better trained and well equipped manpower to complete the mission secretly and quietly.
    All in all, given the choices we have at the moment, I believe the right party is ruling the country.

  21. Stop talk and change first yourself
    | #21

    what is the critical problem of the ethiopian ppl .
    d melles
    e.the ppl of ethiopia
    g all.
    i.the world

  22. Stop talk and change first yourself
    | #22

    how many dollar and educated ppl u have to change that country as the ppl of ethiopia expected?

  23. Go for it
    | #23

    What did the author mean when he wrote :”Africa, of course, comes last.” ?

    It is sickening to observe the degree brainwashing of Ethiopians by westerners.
    The author just echoed what he heard from racist westerners without giving it a second thought.

    Africa does not come last in US foreign policy when it comes to doing harm to the continent, actually it comes first !

    How foolish someone be who says USA is not paying attention to Africa, in particular as someone who is from Ethiopia and keeping in mind what kind of attention the USA was giving Ethiopia in the last 40 years or so ?

    But apart from that the article is good written and informative, and one suspects that the author has access to insiders in the US administration, because he writes HOW they will behave in the coming uprising.
    We have to assume that because as a responsible writer he would not tell us his wishful thinking as if it was a reliable information.

    What i want to add is when we post messages we read that the moderators read them before posting them to prevent “woyanes and shabians” from spreading propaganda. But as we can see here a lot of woyanes and shabians are posting here.

  24. Anti-Shabia
    | #24

    Could the shabia agent Siifan be the notorious AFDist from ethiopianreview who bombards people with his OLF trash ?
    People were calling to ban that shabia agent like here: Vote to suspend AFDist ???

    In general it is better not to allow shabia agents like Siifan and AFDist to post on Ethiopian forums.
    Siifan is no doubt an enemy of Ethiopia and a cadre of Isayas Afeworki.
    The piece he posted above is carefully composed poison by Isayas’ psychological warfare experts. It shows the prospect of a united Ethiopia after Meles Zenawi is giving shabians sleepless nights.That is why they are so desperately begging Ethiopians to keep the ethnic killils. Shabians fear if Ethiopia remains united after the half-Eritrean Meles Zenawi rule that would be the end of that barren and poor land Eritrea. So they wish, Ethiopia should be sacrificed to keep that Italian creation country alive.
    እኛ ኢትዮጵያዊያን እንኳንስ በጣልያን ቂጥ ጠራጊ ባሮች ቀርቶ በሰዎችም አንታለልም

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