Massive protest to save Ethiopia By Robele Ababya
World of corruption dominated by thugs
It is abundantly clear that we live in a dangerous and rotten multi-polar power world without a distinct global leader. This much is recognized but none has a solution to the immorality pervading our planet and the fathomless depth of multiple socio-economic problems into which this generation has sunk as a result of insatiable greed and unbridled corruption on which iniquitously inept leaders like Zenawi feed to satisfy their lust for power.
As long as the pain caused by the tyrant persists and increasingly becomes acute, genuine democrats must use the power of their pens to call on the silent majority to join in the struggle to fight back.
Paranoid Zenawi haunted by hatred & betrayals reacted with great alacrity and gruesome atrocity to what was a marvelously peaceful election that culminated in humiliating landslide defeat to his TPLF party in the 15 May 2005 election forcing the tyrant to declare the illegal state of emergency in panic. As Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), English logician and philosopher said: “Neither a man nor a crowd nor a nation can be trusted to act humanely or to think sanely under the influence of a great fear.” Zenawi was no doubt in great fear and had to run to his immoral supporters; he got away with his atrocities including genocide, crime against humanity and war crimes in full view of his masters.
When asked, what legal authority he had to by-pass the Parliament and declare a state of emergency, Meles responded by saying that, after all, the donors did not object to the action he took. His response is solid proof that the monstrous killer is subservient to the interests of the donors at the expense of the vital interests of poor Ethiopia. Donors are cunning actors who alienate African Leaders from their peoples by corrupting, blackmailing, and turning them into greedy dictatorial puppets so that they will have no choice but obey the orders of neocolonialists.
Zenawi was given red carpet treatment at the G8 Summit in the immediate aftermath of his ordering the execution of 40 innocent civilians in cold blood, throwing thousands into jail under harsh conditions, and making many to suffer mental and physical tortures. It is not known whether the former Prime Minister Tony Blair had even privately regretted for inviting the tyrant Zenawi to the G8 Summit where the killer basked in the lavish functions of powerful world leaders exchanging smiles and champagne toasts while atrocities in Ethiopia were taking their tolls. Successive British Prime Ministers have been doling out direct budgetary support to the brutal TPLF regime despite the ongoing tyranny in Ethiopia.
What a shame the genocidal tyrant Zenawi has just reportedly received an invitation to Camp David for similar red carpet treatment in spite of: ongoing act of genocide on the Amhara and Anuak people; confirmed massacre of innocent Oromo people in Asasa committed by Zenawi’s Federal police while they were attending Friday prayer on April 27; desecration of the Waldeba Holy Monastery; our Muslim brothers suffering under Zenawi’s divide and impose dictatorial rule policy; dislocation of the Afar and Anuak people from their ancestral land; ad infinitum. The question is why he is such a darling to the USA bent on using food-dependency as a potent weapon in order to stay on top of the world.
“Examining the U.S. Policy Response to Entrenched African Leadership”
The quotes below refer to the testimony by Assistant Administrator of USAID Africa, Earl Gast, to the Subcommittee on African Affairs of Senate Foreign Relations Committee on April 18, 2012 under the title in caption on Ethiopia; each quote is followed by my brief comment:-
“Ethiopia is one of the starkest examples of the risks that emerge when a country lacks sufficient democratic checks and balances. By significantly constraining political speech, human rights, and the ability of civil society and the media to hold government officials accountable, the Ethiopian Government is creating an environment that is ripe for instability and that sends mixed messages about its place in the international community”.
Comment: Mr. Gast is right. But lack of resolute action on the part of the Executive branch of the US government has done irreparable damage to Ethiopia.
“On the one hand, the U.S. Government must maintain a close working relationship with Ethiopia as one of our key African partners in fighting terrorism, countering the effects of global climate change, promoting food security, and providing peacekeepers in some of the most difficult locations in Africa such as Darfur. In fact, with the exception of democracy-building, USAID’s programs in Ethiopia are among the most successful anywhere in Africa. Ethiopia commands a growing presence in global economics, and Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and his colleagues in the Ethiopian Peoples’ Democratic Revolutionary Front (EPRDF) can take credit for lifting millions out of poverty and improving living standards in Africa’s second-most populous country. As seen in the Horn of Africa’s recent food crisis, millions of Ethiopians were able to withstand the worst effects of drought due in part to the Ethiopian Government’s work with the international community to build resilience to climatic shocks”.
Comment: An average 5.5% (?) economic growth on a thin base amid abject poverty is more likely. Moreover, it would be disastrous if close working relationship with the USA is to continue at the expense of Ethiopians living in terror in total absence of democracy.
“On the other hand, the experiences of Ethiopia’s neighbors in Africa and the Arab World demonstrate the long-term risks of instability that come from suppressing basic freedoms. In 2005, Ethiopia held the most free and fair elections in its modern history, in which opposition parties appeared to have won a substantial minority of parliamentary seats. This outcome could have resulted in a balance of power sharing between the ruling party and opposition, and a real opportunity for political development to match the economic modernization underway in the country. Instead, the ruling EPRDF attempted to destroy the opposition or drive it underground. Since then, a systematic campaign has clamped down on basic freedoms. These actions, including domination of the 2010 elections and the passage of restrictive laws like the Charities and Societies Proclamation, have gained the EPRDF unprecedented control over the political life of Ethiopia and a brittle form of stability in the near term. However, in the long term, Ethiopia is now in danger of reliving its history of turbulent political transition. Unless restrictions on civil Society and the media are lifted and dissenting political views are allowed, the country’s substantial gains in economic development and poverty alleviation will be threatened”.
Comment: the USA is best placed to preclude this dire scenario from happening.
“Integrating democracy and governance work into the significant investments the United States is making in other sectors, such as food security and health, will give us important opportunities to support social and economic resilience in Ethiopian society outside of the ruling party structures and, to the extent feasible, participatory decision-making. To this end, USAID has developed a strategy that promotes a cross-cutting approach that builds democracy, human rights, governance and conflict interests into its varied portfolio. The strategy will minimize investments in democracy and governance—such as human rights defenders and civil society support—until diplomatic or other efforts open the political space for more robust engagement. USAID has also developed a cross-sectoral objective in its strategy to promote citizen participation and social accountability around service delivery.”
Comment: This initiative would be too little too late in coming if it ever does come. For the USA cannot be trusted based on its reneged promises to disengage with tyrants as and when its national interests dictate.
Tiny return for Ethiopia’s hefty sacrifice
Let me narrate to Mr. Gast from my records of what Ethiopia had sacrificed and got in return from the western powers. The US government:
• was at one time requested to provide more military equipment and warheads to deter a growing military threat from Ethiopia’s neighbors. The request was turned down on grounds that the Ethiopian Army possessed enough military hardware and warheads in its arsenal to fight or deter insurgents within the country;
• threatened to order air bombardment from its Air Force Base in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, unless the Ethiopian Air Force complied with the order to bomb the Headquarters of the Imperial Bodyguard in Addis Ababa during the attempt by Brigadier General Mengistu Neway to overthrow the Emperor in December 1960. The Carter Administration in 1974 refused to deliver critically needed military equipment for which Ethiopia had paid, thus forcing the Military regime of Mengistu Hailemariam to procure arms from the former USSR to repulse aggression by Somalia;
• rendered effective assistance to put the TPLF Stalinist regime in power and, together with the British government, gave it generous diplomatic and financial support for its survival while turning a blind eye to rampant heinous crimes of the regime including genocide.
• was quick and the first to give recognition to the Eritrean independence, which has left Ethiopia and her 82 million people landlocked; this action by the USA resulted in the gravest damage to the economic lifeline of Ethiopia and her other strategic interests;
• presently pursues the policy of making Ethiopia one of its power bases in the fight against Al Qaeda; it would be a wrong policy for the US government to pursue an alliance with a repressive regime of Zenawi who has lost the TRUST of the Ethiopian people as demonstrated in the election of 15 May 2005.
It is agonizing that help is still coming from Western donors to alter the tainted image of Zenawi despite overwhelming international condemnation of the atrocities committed by Zenawi and his thugs.
Twin impediments to massive uprising
Fear and ignorance acting in concert have debilitating effect on a society. As the English Logician and Philosopher, Benjamin Franklin, put it, “The only thing more expensive than education is ignorance.” And in regard to fear the Philosopher said: “Fear is the main source of superstition, and one of the main sources of cruelty. To conquer fear is the beginning of wisdom.” Certainly Ethiopians are victims of fear and ignorance for two reasons: (1) failure to tear down the walls of fear in which they are enclosed; and (2) lack of action in unison due to ignorance of their ancient history.
Ethiopians as young as Abichu, Amdetsion, Gashu, Haptom, Worku and the leader of the 15,000 strong militias from Kembatta chose to fight Fascist Italy fiercely with determination to die than live in slavery. Common values bound these heroic compatriots together and trust took Haptom of Hamassein to Sellale in retreat with Abichu of Oromo. Young Ethiopians should follow their example to tear down the wall of fear in order to build an environment of trust and bravery in order to evict Zenawi from power.
Therefore, a stern warning for our survival, fellow Ethiopians, is couched in this quotation by Benjamin Franklin: “Make yourself sheep and the wolves will eat you.” Let us admit the TPLF thugs have been feeding on us for the last 21 years; their insatiable appetite is still growing. We cannot count on outside help to save us. Forget the purported new Africa Policy under consideration by the US Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Do not expect the Obama Administration to disengage from friendship with the genocidal tyrant Zenawi. Let us put our faith on self-reliance!
Finally, I wish to conclude this piece on a positive note that Ethiopians everywhere are on course to conquer fear and ignorance in order to avert grave danger to their survival; the onset of massive uprising to save Ethiopia is inspiring; our resolve must be irreversible for our struggle for just cause is viable and victory is inevitable.
Amen to EYNM & NEC progress!
LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!!!
Release all political prisoners in Ethiopia including Andualem Aragie, Iskinder Nega, Nathnael et al