The Death of Meles Zenawi would be a great tragedy! By Tibebe Samuel Ferenji
In a movie titled “Brave Heart”, a movie that Actor Mel Gibson played the leading role and directed, when the King was in his death bed, the princess begged for mercy to save the life of William Wallace (Mel Gibson). When the king refused, the princess whispered in his ear saying that “After all, death will come to us all.” As the Americans say, the only thing certain in this world is “death and taxes.” Recently, the main issue in the Ethiopian politics and major news outlets has been the health of Mr. Zenawi. Today, a reliable source has indicated that Mr. Zenawi has returned to Ethiopia without divulging his condition. Although some hoped and wished for the death of Mr. Zenawi, I hoped for his survival.
Few months ago, there was a speculation about the death of Eritrea’s dictator Issaias Afeworki. The speculation led to intense discussions and comments. Among thousands of comments made about Issaias’ death, one touched my heart. The individual who commented stated that “It will be a tragedy if Issaias dies; this man inflicted enormous pain on the people of Eritrea; he is responsible for the destruction of millions of people lives, it will be injustice and a great tragedy if he dies in peace.” I share the sentiment of the commentator and, I feel the same way regarding the death of Mr. Zenawi. Mr. Zenawi does not deserve to die in peace!
Mr. Zenawi, before and after taking power in Ethiopia, has committed enormous crimes against humanity. As several news accounts indicated, under Zenawi’s watch civilians who did not support the TPLF were killed during TPLF’s rebel years. The crime did not stop after Meles took power. As several human rights reports clearly show, Meles Zenawi is responsible for the death and sufferings of millions of people. It is under his leadership that thousands of Amharas including women, children, and elderly were massacred, burned to death, and thrown in ditches. Since 1991, Meles and his cronies have imprisoned, abducted, tortured, and killed millions of innocent Ethiopians. Meles is responsible for the destruction of properties and for uprooting communities in Southern parts of Ethiopia. His crimes are enormous and painful to list here. I believe that it is a mistake to pray and wish for the peaceful death of this man? Soon or later death will comes to us all. There is no question that Meles will die, but he should die after facing his crimes and after justice is served for millions of Ethiopians who suffered under this brutal man.
Although Mr. Zenawi had an ample opportunity to unite the country, to establish sustainable peaceful governance, implement policies that are just, fair and that could have created an equal opportunity to all citizens, and an economic development that could have transformed the lives of millions of people. However, because he is short sighted, visionless, a moral and political dwarf, he squandered such golden opportunities. After 21 years of incompetent and brutal rule under Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia is still considered the poorest country in the world. For those who believe that Mr. Zenawi has taken the country in the right path, I suggest that they look at the history of South Korea. South Korea, a country with fewer natural resources than Ethiopia, has lifted itself from poverty, and became one of the economic tigers of the world within 15 years after the devastating war with North Korea that ended in 1950. There is no secret for the sustainable growth and economic development in South Korea. The government focused on its people and believed in the people of South Korea and established democratic governance where the country is governed with the rule of law. Companies like Hyundai and Samsung were established with the assistance of the Korean government. South Koreans did not sell their land to foreigners, did not inflated their Foreign Direct Investment and GDP data by using economic aid money to build the country’s infrastructure. The South Koreans did not rely in foreign companies; the government of South Korea created a conducive atmosphere for the middle class to strive, to build a business, and to be the back bone of South Koreas economy. Thanks for Meles and his voodoo economics, our country is ready to produce a generation of servants to foreigners. Instead of giving incentive to the people of Ethiopia to build a business and to engage in economic development that could transform the lives of our citizens, Mr. Meles has created an obstacle in form of high income tax, high vat, and other unnecessary fees.
In addition to government taxes, the corrupt EPRDF officials’ unethical practice and extortion has made it difficult for the middle class to strive in Ethiopia. The government is printing money like there is no tomorrow and has created a hyper inflation in the country that made it difficult for the ordinary people to feed themselves and their families. While top officials in the country are looting the country in millions under the prime minister’s nose, innocent children are dying with starvation. Mr. Meles must be brought to justice for the crime he committed against the Amaharas, the Oromos, the Gambelas, the Wolaytas, the Ogadens, the Tigreans and other ethnic groups in the country. This is the man who ordered the bombing of civilians in the middle of the city in order to frame the OLF for his own political gain, and to extort aid money from his Western allies in the name of fighting terrorism. The human rights violations, the social debacle, and the economic policy that has cost millions of people their homes, and their livelihood under Mr. Zenawi’s watch is cruel inhumane and a crime against humanity. For a man who ordered his brutal security forces to shoot and kill teenage boys, does not deserve a peaceful death. I DO NOT WISH Mr. Zenawi to die in peace. I want him to be brought to justice; I want him to suffer like he subjected millions of people to sufferings. Only Death-will not do. We should not allow this man to escape justice. I urge Ethiopian scholars, particularly those who studied International Law, to find a way to bring Mr. Zenawi and his brutal team that is responsible for the agony and sufferings of our people to the International Criminal Court. I am sorry to say, for Mr. Zenawi, it is not time to die yet! If he dies, it would be one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the world.