Missing a “Large Chunk” of Ethiopian Territory? By Alemayehu G Mariam

September 12th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

When the going gets tough…

When the going gets tough, the tough go looking for distractions and diversions.

The past few weeks have been tough going for dictator Meles Zenawi in Ethiopia. Secret cables released by Wikileaks provided stunning revelations on Zenawi’s secret world. The U.S. believes Zenawi’s security forces staged a bomb explosion in 2008 and blamed an opposition group for committing terrorism. Zenawi made a thinly-veiled solicitation to the Americans to “remove the Bashir regime” in the Sudan. The Americans knew Zenawi was cooking the economic numbers to show economic development unseen anywhere in the world. They called his claims “mythic economic growth”. Torture is routinely practiced in Zenawi’s prisons; and the list of horrors goes on and on. Famine is spreading throughout Ethiopia and the Horn according to the recent U.S. Senate testimony of one high level American official.

The Ethiopian economy is in shambles, according to a secret International Monetary Fund report which Zenawi has requested not be made public. Inflation is no longer galloping; it is flying high in the Ethiopian stratosphere. Bad news for Zenawi all around.

When the going gets tough, Zenawi always finds something to distract the people’s attention and show that he is still in total control. Last week, he paraded out two Swedish journalists and charged them with terrorism. He also arrested dozens of imaginary opponents. To put icing on the cake, he even jailed Debebe Eshetu (first jailed after the 2005 elections), one of the greatest and much-loved Ethiopian stage and screen actors of all time. Nice try but…

What happened to a “large chunk” of Ethiopian territory” in 2008?

Some of my readers may recall that in July 2008 I gave a long speech challenging Zenawi’s factual basis and the legality of the secret giveaway of Ethiopian land to the Sudan. I argued: “Zenawi’s defiant refusal to be transparent and open in making public an ‘Agreement’ (treaty) that gives away a large chunk of Ethiopian territory to another country is a monumental breach of constitutional duty for which he should be held accountable.”

Wikileaks now provides confirmation to the widely-held belief that Zenawi had secretly handed over Ethiopian land to the Sudan. According to highly placed sources briefing American officials, in a move to deal with “on-going tensions between Ethiopia and Sudan”, Zenawi had turned over land to the Sudan “which has cost the Amhara region a large chunk of territory” and tried to “sweep the issue under the rug.”

This revelation is solid confirmation of the slow and methodical dismemberment of Ethiopia. First, the Port of Assab was given away in the mid-1990s; Ethiopia became a landlocked nation. In 1998, Badme in northern Ethiopia was invaded; and after 80,000 Ethiopians sacrificed their lives and repelled the invaders, Zenawi delivered Badme to the same invaders in international arbitration. In the last several years, Indian, Middle Eastern and other “investors” have been handed free land without even asking for it. Then there is the insidious “ethnic federalism” which has created the equivalent of Bantustans (ethnic homelands) for the Ethiopian people.

What really happened in Western Ethiopia in May, 2008?

On May 11, 2008, Zenawi issued a statement which categorically denied the transfer of any Ethiopian land to the Sudan. That statement accused the “media” and “irresponsible” elements outside the country for creating fear and alarm over something that did not happen. When Sudanese officials publicly announced acquisition of territory from Ethiopia in mid-May, Zenawi’s officials started backpedalling on the initial story. They said only preliminary work on border demarcation had been done, but nothing had been finalized. Within days, they changed the story once more and announced that they were merely “implementing prior agreements” concluded by the imperial/Derg regimes with the Sudan.

As the Ethio-Sudan Border Affairs Committee began to aggressively investigate what was really happening on the ground in the western border areas, Ethiopians victimized by land giveaway began giving interviews to the Voice of America and other international media outlets. They complained bitterly that they had been driven out of their ancestral lands by occupying Sudanese forces. Their farm machinery and tools had been confiscated and scores of Ethiopians had been arrested and detained in Sudanese jails. The victims also reported that they were attacked by helicopter gunships of Zenawi’s regime for defending their homes, farms and towns. At that point, Zenawi had no choice but to “fess” up; and on May 21, Zenawi publicly described his agreement with al-Bashir of the Sudan:

We, Ethiopia and Sudan, have signed an agreement not to displace any single individual from both sides to whom the demarcation benefits…We have given back this land, which was occupied in 1996. This land before 1996 belonged to Sudanese farmers. There is no single individual displaced at the border as it is being reported by some media.

Zenawi insisted on keeping the actual agreement secret, but his public statement provided important clues on the basic terms and nature of the secret agreement. Zenawi’s statement provided solid confirmation of the existence of an actual “Agreement” that has been “signed” either by Zenawi or someone authorized by him. While the detailed terms and conditions of the land giveaway remained secret, Zenawi put on the record the nature of the subject matter in the Agreement which included: 1) the question of non-displacement of persons in the giveaway territories, 2) the preservation of benefits of all persons affected by border demarcation, 3) restoration of land rights to Sudanese farmers on land supposedly occupied illegally by Ethiopian farmers, and 4) cession of lands (“give back of land”) “occupied” by Ethiopia “in 1996” back to the Sudan.

It is important to underscore the fact that “The Agreement” Zenawi “signed” with al-Bashir, by his own description, has nothing to do with the so-called Gwen line (setting the “frontier between Ethiopia and Sudan”) of 1902. It also has nothing to do with any other agreements drafted or concluded by the imperial government prior to 1974, or the Derg between 1975 and 1991 for border demarcation or settlement. Zenawi’s agreement, by his own public statement, deals exclusively with border matters and related issues beginning in 1996, when presumably the alleged occupation of Sudanese land took place under his watch.

Where is the Agreement?

Why has Zenawi kept the actual text of “The Agreement” secret from the public and the “Council of Representatives” in violation of the Art. 55 (12) of the Ethiopian Constitution? Zenawi as a “public official” has an affirmative constitutional duty to perform his official responsibilities in an open and transparent manner. This duty is unambiguously mandated under Article 12 of the Ethiopian Constitution which provides, “The activities of government shall be undertaken in a manner which is open and transparent to the public… Any public official or elected representative shall be made accountable for breach of his official duties.” Article 12 applies to ALL “activities of government” and to ALL government officials. It makes no exceptions for secret deals by “prime ministers”. Transparency and openness in government is a mandatory constitutional duty of ALL public officials, not an optional or discretionary one. The refusal to make public an agreement that gives away a large chunk of Ethiopian territory to another country is a monumental breach and evasion of constitutional duty. There is one question that needs to be answered now that the world knows the truth: Why does Zenawi keep secret and refuse to make public an Agreement that gave a “large chunk” of Ethiopian territory to the Sudan? —

  1. Sheger
    | #1

    Ggod quetion why? Why is it given to some one els and why is it a secret???????.

    May be it is a secret because it is a crime. They know they can’t do that so it is a secret. But for hoe long they can keep this a secret.? In fact it was never a secret. But we will return this land and what is Ethiopias in all. They will never win
    Doing this ki d of staff. They are criminals. They are Looters. They are not Ethiopians.

  2. Sheger
    | #2

    Good question.why? Why is it given to some one els? And why is it a secret?

    And for how long they can keep this a secret? In fact it was never a secret. But we will return all the land that is Ethiopia’s . They will never win. They are lyres Looters murderers and they are not Ethiopians is what I meant to say.

    They are giving this lands because it is firtile and it has got oil gold and staff. When where there is some thing good it doesn’t belong to Ethiopia specially Ameharas if you know what I mean. And this are absolutely and indefinitely against Ethiopians. Wake up people.

    There oil in Ogaden the Ogaden want to separate.
    We don’t have sea door.
    There good land some were in Ethiopia, it is leased to some one els.
    There is oil in Gonder it is given to Sudan.
    There is gold some were it is this and that. If you know what I mean.

    Can we go like this? To where???????? To do what?????????? To live like what?????? And how???????????

  3. Sheger
    | #3

    It is to a point. You have a nice sounding and kind of a christian sounding record that all loves? It is bootlegged or degraded. All our resources are taken or destroyed.

    But for how long are we going to watch this things to unfold. Well……some of us can’t afford it at all. And what we need to find out is who are we dealing with? Is it Egypt? Italy? England? Musilims? All together? I think it is a good question.

    But hoe ever I have a good advice to Meles. Please return the Lands be for it is to late.

  4. Sheger
    | #4

    Thanks a million dear professor Ale-G Mariam for exposing the tyrant. You are all ways and for ever my hero.

    Long live Ethiopia!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Happy new years!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. tazebew
    | #5

    Dear Prof.
    The answer is straightforward. They are preparing to have a new country, Greater Tigray. Since they are aware of the aftermath they have to find a good friend for them and an enemy for the Amhara region. This statement looks a myth but this is their ultimate destination for TPLF GANGS.

  6. Lemlem Kahsay
    | #6

    The TPLF is a very secretive and tight mouthed organization and all the most important decisions are taken by its racist and fascist leader,aite Meles Zenawi. Reliable sources within the TPLF say that it was Meles Zenawi who personally took the decision to handover Ethiopian land to Sudan. When the secretive decision saw the light of the day (after confirmation by the Sudanese media and authorities),Meles was quick to inform his cadres in Tigray that no Tigrayan land was given away and Sudan was only given back its own lands taken over by the anti-Tigray, expansionsit and oppressive Amhara rulers. Meles defended his secretive land transfer by saying that he stands for justice and is redressing the injustices done by the previous oppressive and anti-peace Amhara rulers. This is what he said to his cadres in Mekelle to defend and justify his crimes against Ethiopia.
    Aite Meles always defends and justifies his crimes and treason by blaming what he calls the previous oppressive and anti-Tigray Amhara rulers. By fortune or otherwise, aite Meles is always able to dupe the Tigrayans using his anti-Amhara politics and sentiment. He always succeeds in selling his anti-Ethiopia politics to the people of Tigray by using the Amharas as scapegoats and beating his anti-Amhara drum. The is the key to his success in holding and using the people of Tigray as his instruments.

  7. Dawi
    | #7

    I don’t know about you but for me unless I see some documents of land sale or give away we are just wasting time here. The Ethiopian “land grab” is like beating a dead horse. Al is doing it day in and day out repeating the same things he said before with no additional proof of “sale”. It is very boring.

    Meles was supposed to have signed some Nile give away to Egypt but now after the Millennium Dam no one talks about that nonsense. Supposedly, some Indian “grabbed land for free” but, Karatouri of India leased it and Ethiopians can take the land back within 6 months if the country have a better use for it according to the agreement. The Indian sank $200 million investment and plans to supply the local market with needed food. Such FDI is what all developing countries would die for to kick start agriculture and the economy in general. Tell me, what else there besides the crocodile tears of the “environmentalists”, lamenting about keeping “the way of life” of the “starving” Omo valley Africans. Please!!

    Al and co. believe the “agreements” Meles signed with Sudan, Eritrea, Egypt and Indian/Chinese investors are suspect but, they don’t have a single document to prove. I know there are border issues the Meles Dictatorship may play to temporarily appease Bashir or others but, that IMO is a diplomatic game and not binding. It is probably done to stop opposition arm groups from infiltrating or what have you.

    If I don’t see an agreement in hand, I take it there must be none period.

    Massawa/Assab and the rest of Eritrea is a different matter and let us not lump that with today’s situation. Let us not also forget EPLF was a major player then.

  8. Sheger
    | #8

    Don’t make me hate Tigray people. Who are the Tigrayans by the way. Can you imagine Ethiopia with our Tigray and Tigray with out the rest of Ethiopia? May be they are Egyptians. Well if that is the case Egypt is not far from us we can yell them to scud over. But it is not all Tigirayans that are some Arabs and Egyotians. It is very few of them be sides they have clamed most of the power I think.

    But the time for this peoples crime to come out is very near. It will be very clear for the world. Tigray is not just their country only it belongs to all Ethiopians just us they are claming every thing possible all over the country including the whole land. You might think it is stat owned but it is TPLF owned with out exaguration. We will not tolerate this any more

    They need to go away from power and return what belongs to the people. No secret deals no crimes on the people should be done no more. I don’t care if China, America or the rest the world with them. They can all go to hell if they want too. We have to stand for our rights and freedom and our national and territorial integrity. Our country is our country
    Not any body els’s. What belongs to us belongs to us because it is ours. We have lost a lot in the past but we can not and we shale not loos no more land and people any more. This should bee and has been our principle for many years now and the future. Some act like they are world leaders but the honest truth about it is they live and work for them selves only there isnt even sharing and living together in there mind the world is a testimony in most cases.


  9. anon
    | #9

    Every cabal ,and secret web about weyane is now out. The criminal and antisocial Legese and his closest advisors indeed have put everything in the country for a sell. It is shame on all of us for playing ethnic politics while the country is destroyed on our watch. We have talked too much thus far; now, we need men from Gondar and Gojam, who will be volunteer martyrs like Meyesaw Kassa to eliminate, in day light, Legese’s faction from Addis. I mean we need people who are willing to kill the enemy and die a martyre’s death.It is all over for us; it must be over for him too now.And Tigrians who are supporting legese still believe they can lecture us about their version of Ethiopia.Time all the nationalists Ethiopians to definately target Legese and his factions through all means:land, air what ever means to dislodge them from the center of power. Mr.melese there is no U.S.A on your side any more caword, Ethiopians are against you, Eretria too would like to see you go, after this revelation, Sudan’s Al-Basher will find a way to get even with you. Where will be your hiding place bastard! How long do you think you will remain immured in Menelik Palace? You thought you are the most valuable person in the diplomatic sphere the U.S has.
    And you even dared to eliminate a seated government Visa vise U.S.A because something passed before you, and AlBashir. Luna! Psychopath like you will never trust even your own children. Instead of seeing your plan executed you learn the hard way that you are now seen as the real culprit,and terror master mind. You stand condemned by your own words; watch my word Legese. It is a matter of time, without any shadow of doubt, you will face ICC. Slow learner U.S diplomats, just find out whom they have been dealing with: world class antisocial and ordinary tug a known substance abuse who foments state sponsored terrorism upon innocent citizens.

  10. Melkamu
    | #10

    The person who wrote using his alias or real name Dawi is actually a TPLF or one of those hodams hired by the weyannes. He knows that the fascist and racist Meles Zenawi has transferred Ethiopia`s land to the Sudan in secret dealings or agreements. Dawi is defending Meles Zenawi and requesting evidence in the form of agreements and says he does not believe his paymaster`s crime in the absence of a proof. The evidence is there on the ground for Dawi and other Weyannes or Hodams to see. The Sudanese security forces and army have moved into the transferred lands and displaced thousands of Ethiopians. The persons displaced and arrested have spoken their personal ordeals and loss of their legal properties. Moreover, the fascist ethnic leader, Meles Zenawi has indirectly admitted that borer re-arrangements and rectifications have been made with Sudan. At one point Meles was blunt and argued for Sudan saying that Sudan has been patient and has waited for a long time for finalising and settling the border issues. This statement of the fascist ethnic leader shows his secret dealings or agreements are designed and meant to benfit Sudan and harm Ethiopia. That is why Meles Zenawi has kept the dealings or agreements secret and his cadres have been issuing conflicting and confused statements on the issue. Ethiopians will see agreement after the inevitable fall of the fascist ethnic leader from power.

  11. Yohannes Ke Dallas
    | #11

    First and foremost I would like to thank Professor Al for his contributions to Ethiopian cause and wish him and his family a Happy Ethiopian New Year.
    The guy called Dawi needs a proof for all woyane’s crime against the Ethiopian people. He boldly and shamelessly tries to defend Meles Zenawi’s fertile land sales. He is telling to the world that whatever is done by Meles needs a proof or on his account, all are mere opposition talks. Well, it is normal to a woyane die hard supporter to demand a proof on such day light robbery, miscarriage of justice and bad governance. But, If it is announced by the Sudanese government that It took a big chunk of land from Ethiopia and when there are hundreds of Ethiopians that has been forced out of their ancestral land that are giving their words and those who resisted are languishing in jails what kind of proof does Dawi needs? Meles knows well if this agreement is surfaced or loose on public domain it is his demise and he hide this document in a very safe place and denies the existence of such an agreement. if Dawi expects his master to do harm on himself by presenting a proof that will constitutes a treason, then Dawi needs to learn much about the woyane rules of engagement before blindly support such mafia group. If however, Dawi himself is a woyane, it is a metter of survival for him to defend Meles and there is no need to put our own version of truth unless it is in a court, hopefully in ICC.

  12. Dawi
    | #12

    As Ethiopia today has a tense relation with Eritrea and Somali, maintaining deepening ties with Djibouti and Sudan is very important. Neutralizing the border tension with Sudan by making the border land use mutually beneficial to both without signing any legal “agreement” but, succeeding in making it less tense is a wise move.

    These ties are important not only in supporting Ethiopia’s economic development but energy security goals as well.

    Ethiopia have access to buy oil from Sudan at reasonable price and plans to sell Hydro-electric power to Sudan soon.

    As Ethiopia confronts the security implications which include among them Muslim fundamentalism managing its relations with these neighbors to protect its national interest and survival as a strong united regional power is very challenging. The Meles Dictatorship has been able to win the trust of both Sudans, to the point of being asked to send troops as peace keepers in Sudan. That has put SHABIA in a cage therefore, an advantage even to future Ethiopian governments with an idea of Greater Ethiopia that includes the coastal territories of our country.

    As long as we don’t see any document of land “sale” to Sudan the present policy of Meles Dictatorship should be fine in IMO. Sudan do not seem to oppose the millennium Dam; down the line the Dam provides irrigation to the vast land of the area for mutual benefit.

    Considering the potential cooperation, I say Meles removing the tension of land issue with Sudan is wise.

  13. Sheger
    | #13


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