February 1st, 2012 Print Print Email Email

January 27, 2012

The Honorable Barak Obama

President of the United States of America
The White House
Washington, D. C.

Mister President

Ethiopia is deemed to be an ‘important regional security partner’ by the US government and is one of the largest recipients of US aid – over $1 billion a year since 2007. According to Human Right Watch and the Oakland Institute the regime is forcibly evicting and relocating 70,000 people from Gambella and another 1.5 million people from other parts of the country to make land available for investment in agriculture. In implementing this policy they are illegally expropriating people’s property, making the people landless vagrants condemned to permanent poverty and misfortune, if not death. Dislocating people instead of improving their means of lively hood, implies psychological, social, economic and moral disarray that no foreign aid can substitute. According to the Oakland Institute people have been relocated in inhospitable places where they can’t feed themselves and likely to cause many deaths and extreme hardship. It will also aggravate the current hunger while laying the groundwork for future famine in Ethiopia .

The most alarming part of the article states that President Obama has authorized assistance of US Aid for this inhumane project with consultation with Raji Shah, the administrator of US Aid. We find it extremely difficult and distressing to believe that US funds should be used to support such illegal acts committed by a corrupt and nefarious regimes; which has never respected the rule of law and has been governing by dictate for the last 21 years, thanks to the support it gets from Western Powers among which the US and UK are the most prominent. Recollecting the forced removal of the indigenous people and settling white people in the Kenya Highlands, which directly led to the war of liberation spearheaded by the Mau Mau; and closer at home here in the US to what happened to Native Americans and their land. In Ethiopia violent crashes have already occurred in certain areas, and a very strong public opposition to this measure is evident. It is difficult to believe that the US, who should know about these precedents would support this type of inhumane and unjustifiable population displacement. As reported by reputable organizations like the Human Rights Watch and the Oakland Institute, the relocation project in Ethiopia amounts to actually settling Indian and other foreign farmers, while evicting and dislocating the local population. We believe that the President has been ill advised in this matter, which is contrary to the principle that he announced with regards to the rich exploiting the poor, particularly in view of the extreme poverty that prevails in Ethiopia. It is our hope that the President will rescind this measure and direct the US Aid administration to focus on projects that help those that are less fortunate, instead of being instrumental to detrimental to their well being.

Respectfully yours,

Imru Zelleke

Chairman ENPCP

  1. oi
    | #1

    It is only the presence of a viable opposition that will persuade the US to side with Ethiopians. We have to do more to bring all opposition together as an alternative to the ethno-fascist woyane junta.

  2. Anonymous
    | #2

    Thank you, sir for writing this letter. I hope more and more letters should be written to President Obama, Mrs. Obama, former President Clinton and Madam Secretary Hillary Clinton, to Secretary General of UN, Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International and other organizations that fights for freedom and equality for all.

    “…Recollecting the forced removal of the indigenous people and settling white people in the Kenya Highlands, which directly led to the war of liberation spearheaded by the Mau Mau; and closer at home here in the US to what happened to Native Americans and their land.”

    Even though the statement the writer made is a fact, I am a bit concerned it might be too sensitive to certain Ferenji people.

  3. Henok
    | #3

    I hope the White House hears this alarming appeal to look into its decision to fund Meles Zenaw’s project of displacing endogenous people to make land available for Indians and Chinese land lords. The West has given a def ear for Ethiopians plea to stop supporting this ethnocentric dictator who is torturing and killing people in thousands.

  4. koster
    | #4

    Is expropriating property a crime in the USA? Please read the true history of the USA by Howard Zinn.

  5. Girum
    | #5

    Writing this letter to Obama is like writing a letter to former President Bush and the current Obama that millions of Iraqi peoples have been dying of malnutrition, lack proper health care, aerial bomb attacks and carcinogenic Depleted Uranium and other causes that is mainly caused by USA blatant aggression it self. It is like telling Obama that starved and impoverished innocent Somali civilians are being attacked and killed by drone attacks. It is like telling Obama that peaceful protesters of Bahraini peoples are being harassed, jailed and killed by Saudi soldiers. It is even like telling Obama that Anti-Capitalism OCUPPY movements in America are being harassed jailed beaten and attacked by rubber bullets in a country where it is thought as the paradise of Democracy. What I understand from this letter is that the majority of Ethiopian intellectuals and politicians do not as such know who really US is and its system is.
    US has already shown pretty clear evidence in that it rather prefers puppet and client-regime dictators who advance its interest than peoples of that same country who are oppressed by those same dictators.
    Dear writer please you better understand Global Capitalism whose epicenter and crux is US and UK before you plead Obama for such events. There is nothing new, good or bad, in this world that the US and UK does not know. And hence they pretty well know what has been happening in Ethiopia for the last 20 years and in continuum. And lastly to tell you the last bitter blatant reality or irony; Meles is already helped and rendered to be here at Menelik palace by US and UK so that such shameful and tragic things happen in Ethiopia. Dear brother please read the history of US and you will find that US is mainly accomplice of all such tragic things.It is like ለቀባሪው አረዱት.

    God bless Ethiopia !!!

  6. Girum
    | #6

    Birds of the same feather fly together.
    America itself, the great empire, is created through ethnic cleansing of indigenous Red-Indians.UK also has the same colonial history.Therefore when we tell them this it is like a girl trying to teach her mom how to make……
    What history usually witnesses is that usually evil messengers cooperate one another.Evil hires other evils to do evil things.Ato Meles is definitely messenger of evil against Ethiopians,Ethiopia and Ethiopian.
    Meles is already a hired stooge client-regime to advance and carry out the Anglo-American evil empire.We tried to tell the truth regrading the West so many times but our stubborn naive and gullible opposition politicians both at home and abroad as diaspora are not willing to listen to true voices and for them hearing such alarming true voices is seeming like lifting a floor beneath ones feet.Lets face reality and truth and accordingly devise a plan and strategy to come our of this quandary.Shame on all of us who wear his t-shirts and who in naively and in gullibility supported him with out deeply understanding the system in US and West in general.Let’s stretch our hands to God and fight as to our capacity rather than to an office boy in Capitol Hill.

    God bless Ethiopia !!!

  7. Dawi
    | #7

    [[..The most alarming part of the article states that President Obama has authorized assistance of US Aid for this inhumane project with consultation with Raji Shah, the administrator of US Aid...]]

    What should have been alarming to the ambassador is why the Obama administration is not taking both Human Right Watch and the Oakland Institute very seriously?

    The fact is Obama has first hand information and knowledge of what is going on; with huge embassy & military staff in Ethiopia. As Obang mentioned a while ago on the genocide issue, the US embassy even sends personnel to the Gambela region to collect first hand information/data when needed.

    It is always good we are questioning the Meles Dictatorship but I just don’t understand why we don’t question the other side how they collected their data of the 70 thousand people? IMO, The data is suspect.

  8. tewbel
    | #8

    We know of US policies role in Ethiopia and elswhere. We are also aware that politics are guided by the so-called “national interest”.
    Nevertheless it is relevant to express our views about issues. It may fall into deaf ears, but there are also some who hear the voice of the forsaken.
    All said and done, it up to us liberate ourselves and not for foreign powers to do it for us. Our idifference and cowardly attitude towards our own suffering people is shameful.

  9. Girma
    | #9

    Ato imiru you are making yourself and most of the diasporas laughable with such unqualified and hateful Letter. You can’t even check the simplest facts on the ground, there are less than 20,000 people so far being relocated to villages not as you mentioned 70,000. You can support or oppose this villagisation programm of the Government, but then you have to at least check the facts and point out what you actually oppose. To copy simple propoganda from HRW and send it to the President who have a lot of very good informed advisers is simply schameful.

  10. Anonymous
    | #10

    Besides the political unrest, torture, land selling, and mass murders in Ethiopia, I hope, pray and urge, Our elite Ethiopians who have mastered the English language to write letters to all Religious and politically influential people around the world and also to their wives and husbands who happen to be parents to get involved in an investigation: how a dictator and his political buddies that came in penniless 20 years ago to rule the poorest country in the world, besides abusing their power, now they have become the most wealthiest people in the world, while Tax paying citizens around the world struggles to make ends meet and millions of Ethiopian children depend on Foreign Aids that is being paid by Tax Payers around the world to survive and 10 to 15 millions Ethiopian children are expected to die in 2012. Money talks and people around the world need to know where their money is goes, while they are struggling to pay high-cost grocery bills and utility bills.

  11. wow
    | #11

    I read somewhere in fact, Bush juniior has been learning dictatorship 101 from Meles. Perhaps the writer may be joking. Well there is still hope as America’s democracy maybe dwindling. There are still good people who listens so even though it is our fight, they are involved in collaboration with Weyane. I don’t know more about the displacement so can’t say. But it is good to write the letter. Besides, I don’t think Obama has that much power.

  12. Heartless woyane!
    | #12

    Girma #9,
    Here you go again, defending the TPLF regime, even 100 people are too many, let alone 20,000.

  13. Dawi
    | #13

    Let us say 70,000 people joined the Villagization as HRW says, they are going to have Health care, primary education, clean water, roads and other amenities. And let as assume 30% prefer “born free style”, camping where ever free, where ever they want in their vast land and no stress?.

    There still remain 70% with some sense who want to have safe environment for their kids without looking out for oneself/family alone in the forest day in and day out.

    70% are the majority and therefore the 30% were the once that were coerced to join without their will then.

    What % of Americans do you think elected Obama? It is about 25% of the population.

  14. Anonymous
    | #14

    70% are chased out and the other 30% are left to be used and abused as slaves for the land owners, period! Ethiopians are being sold left and right by tplf regime. Ethiopia/ns are being put through a slow deaths by dictator Meles and the likes of him. It is not a secret anymore that, TPLF goal is to build Greater Tigrea after they loot and dismantle Ethiopia, and the oppositions are watching on the side line writing one article after another about the crimes and the inhumane activities of Meles and his tplf thugs. When is ENOUGH IS ENOUGH? HOW MUCH ETHIOPIAN MONEY AND TREASURES TPLF HAVE TO LOOT AND HOW MANY INNOCENT PEOPLE HAVE TO BE FALSELY ACCUSED AND THROWN IN JAIL, TORTURED AND KILLED?

  15. Anonymous
    | #15

    The US has been an ally to Ethiopia even during Mengistu. It is a true friend. So we should never mistake US support for sanctioning what or how Ethiopia does things. The US assists established government or viable alternatives. Simply put, at present, the alternatives to the government are neither viable nor would they to any right-mind be a workable or humane alternative. Non of the opposition would be above doing the same as is happening or worse with perhaps even more corruption and nepotism thrown in. So if Ethiopians are serious, frist examine ourselves, find a real solution before we expect the American government, Republican, Democratic or Independent(if one ever makes it) to take us seriously. America itself was founded on principles that most other nations laughed at in 1776. But now you will find the preamble of its constitution or the words of its first amendment in practically every constitution formed since.

Comments are closed.