Ethiopia finally has a new prime minister? By Alemayehu G Mariam

September 17th, 2012 Print Print Email Email

It seems Ethiopia finally has a new prime minister. Two days ago, the leaders of the ruling EPDRF party approved Hailemariam Desalegn, the current deputy prime minister [DPM], to replace the late Meles Zenawi as party chief and prime minister. But Hailemariam will not be sworn in until early October according to Bereket Simon. No explanation was given for the two-week delay. Prior public statements by Bereket indicating that Hailemariam will be sworn into office following a special session of parliament have proven to be false. Whether Hailemariam will indeed be sworn into office in October remains to be seen.

Hailemariam’s approval has been shrouded in secrecy and mystery fueling speculations that the shadowy kingmakers were in some turmoil over his selection and in disagreement on whether he is the right man for the job. Conspiracy theorists were having a field day divining the secretive selection process. But there was manifest constitutional crises in the country as it became increasingly clear that Meles was not in charge between late May and the official announcement of his passing on August 21. That confusion was compounded by conflicting official statements characterizing Hailemariam not just as “deputy prime minster” as designated in the Ethiopian Constitution but alternatively as “interim prime minster” and “acting prime minster”, offices that are not authorized by the Constitution. As of now, Hailemariam remains a prime-minister-in-waiting.

Hailemariam’s Personal Challenge

Hailemariam faces extraordinary challenges when he begins his term as prime minister. The first formidable challenge will be to his credibility and perceived lack of independence. In one of my weekly commentaries in July, I predicted that Hailemariam will succeed to the prime ministership despite sticky constitutional questions. I argued that the appointment of Hailemariam, as a member of one of the country’s minority groups, guarantees the power brokers behind the scenes the only opportunity to maintain their power and influence by proxy. I suggested that a DPM from an ethnic minority would be unable to maintain an independent base of support and must necessarily rely on the military-police-security-economic complex created over the past twenty one years to survive. I speculated that the DPM as PM will prove to be no more than puppet in the hands of the power brokers.

I believe there are many doubting Thomases today, particularly in the opposition, who are likely to be dismissive of Hailemariam because he was Meles’ protégé and the unanimous choice of the shadowy and secretive group of kingmakers. Some will likely perceive him or portray him as a “Meles’ Clone” and a puppet who could be easily manipulated and blindly and unquestioningly do the bidding of the powers that be who made him prime minister. His detractors will likely argue that Hailemariam can only be a figurehead since true power will remain with those who control the military, the police and security forces and the elites who have a chokehold on the economy. Others will opine that Hailemariam’s appointment is all a trick and a scam by the powers that be to get themselves out of a constitutional jam and hoodwink the people and con the international donors into continuing to dole out billions in aid. Still others will argue that Hailemariam is just a seat warmer installed until the power brokers could buy more time and appoint one of their own. If push comes to shove, they can kick him out of office at any time and replace him with another puppet; and if need be impose martial law just to cling to power. There will be some who will cynically predict the kingmakers will use him and lose him. I suspect there will be umpteen reason given to discredit and dismiss Hailemariam.

At this time, I am not inclined to be dismissive of Hailemariam’s potential to become a good and sensible leader. I reserve judgment not out of naiveté or because I do not have constitutional questions about his succession or political misgivings about the secretive process that led to his appointment. I shall give him the benefit of the doubt because I believe fundamental fairness requires that he be given a chance to prove or disprove himself as a capable and effective leader. When one is gnawed by an overwhelming sense of doubt not based on facts, it is important to strive and keep an open mind and make informed judgment. I do not believe in guilt by association, and will not hold against Hailemariam the fact that Meles was his mentor. I also aim to avoid the “soft bigotry of low expectations”. I do not know what Hailemariam is capable of doing in the future. I do not have evidence that Hailemariam has an atrocious record of human rights violations individually or in concert with others. Nor do I have evidence that he flouts the rule of law, is hostile to press freedoms or schemes to suppress democratic institutions.

Fairness requires that I judge him by his deeds and words. I shall reserve judgment. I trust Hailemariam will be wise enough to refrain from and avoid the inflammatory rhetoric of Meles as he begins his new office. I hope he will show humility and not display the belligerence, arrogance and hubris of his predecessor. I hope he will do more to reach out to his opposition and try to work with them, and not trap himself in a bubble surrounded by sycophants. I trust he will be more conciliatory than confrontational; more understanding of the opposition and their frustrations and less condemnatory of those who may disagree with him. I hope he will have the wisdom to understand the inebriating power of power and the absolutely corrupting nature of absolute power and learn to use power wisely by tempering it with justice and compassion. I hope he will listen more and lecture less; under promise and over deliver and show respect for institutions, his opposition and his compatriots. On a personal level, I hope he will be able to share my unshakeable belief in the sanctity of human rights and commitment to upholding the rule of law. But I also have a special wish for him: He has a long walk to make and he can get to his destination if he walks and strives to help his compatriots walk in Mandela’s shoes than anyone else’s.

Hailemariam as Meles’ Successor

Napoleon Bonaparte once said, “I am the successor, not of Louis XVI, but of Charlemagne.” King Louis XVI of France was a symbol of the ancien regime [old order”] in contrast to the new order of the French Republic. Charlemagne [Charles the Great] is regarded to be the founder of France and Germany and the leader credited for uniting Western Europe for the first time since the Roman Empire. I am not sure what it means to be Meles’ successor. But Hailemariam has the choice of continuing the “ancien regime” of Meles or lead in the invention of a new democratic Ethiopia. He can choose to clone himself as Meles II and crush human rights, dissent, press freedom and civil society institutions, expand the toxic ideology of ethnic politics, steal elections just to cling to power and like his predecessor become the overlord of a police state reinforced by a massive security network of spies and rule by spreading fear and loathing throughout the country. In other words, he can choose to become as tyrannical as the tyrant he had succeeded. But Hailemariam also has the choice to learn from Meles’ mistakes. He has the choice to come out of Meles’ shadows and become his own man. He can be more tolerant, ethical, accommodating and democratic than his mentor.

Regardless of whether he regards himself as Meles’ successor, I would like to help Hailemariam fulfill one of Meles’s dreams. Such a statement coming from Meles’ severest critic in life might surprise many. Meles expressed the “hope that [his] legacy” would be not only “sustained and accelerated development that would pull Ethiopia out of the massive deep poverty” but also “radical improvements in terms of good governance and democracy.” If Hailemariam genuinely wants to honor and pay homage to his mentor and teacher and not just pay lip service to Meles’ memory, he should make the task of improving good governance and democracy job one. These improvements must necessarily begin with the immediate release of all political prisoners, repeal of anti-terrorism, civil society and other oppressive laws and a declaration of allegiance to the rule of law. Tackling these issues will not diminish or condemn the memory of Meles. It will actually enhance his image and prestige post-mortem. Keeping political prisoners jailed and continued implementation of the repressive laws will only serve as constant reminders of Meles misdeeds and arbitrary rule.

Hailemariam as a Peacemaker

It would be a wise move for Hailemariam and the invisible power brokers to take this transitional opportunity to extend an olive branch to the opposition and invite them to a dialogue on the future of the country and go the extra mile to engage them in discussions that could lead to power sharing and a smooth democratic transition. Meles played a “zero sum game” for the last twenty one years. He won all the time and everyone else lost all the time. In the end, Meles lost. Hailemariam can play a win-win game and win in the end.

Ethiopia for the past 21 years has been a one-man, one party state. In May 2010, the ruling party claimed it had won 99.6 percent of the seats in parliament reducing the opposition from 174 to only two seats. In 2008, the ruling party won all but a handful of 3.6 million seats. Such electoral victories make a travesty of democracy and a mockery of electoral politics. That is why the ruling party should engage its diverse opposition in power sharing talks. To be sure, power sharing could come in many formulations. I employ the idea in its simplest formulation, namely a political arrangement or forum in which opposing groups in a society have an opportunity to genuinely participate in democratic governance. I understand that power sharing is not a cure all to the longstanding political ills of Ethiopia. It will not magically resolve ethnic polarization and divisions in society or create peace, stability and an efficient system of governance overnight. But power sharing talks and arrangements in Africa have often facilitated the transition to democratic rule and peace-building by providing opportunities for contending and even warring parties to cooperate in searching for nonviolent conflict resolution. In countries where power sharing arrangements have been successful, they have led to compromises, moderation, democratic governance and durable peace.

In the past few years, power sharing arrangements have reduced tensions and stabilized volatile political situations in Kenya and even Zimbabwe. In 2009, a “grand coalition government” among bitter political enemies was established in Kenya. Subsequently, they were able to write a new constitution which was approved by an overwhelming 67 percent of Kenyans in 2011. In 2008, President Robert Mugabe and opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai signed a power sharing deal. They are now vigorously debating adoption of the draft constitution prepared by the Select Committee of Parliament on the New Constitution. Both countries face serious political challenges and have a long way to go before achieving full democratization. But the power sharing arrangements have placed them on the right track.

Nigeria has a long history of power sharing dating back to independence. Despite endemic corruption and political mismanagement of the country, there is a power-sharing agreement between the dominant party and smaller parties aimed at promoting inclusiveness and political stability in the country. Two decades ago, Mandela was able to hammer out a power sharing agreement which facilitated South Africa’s transition from Apartheid to democracy. Power sharing arrangements have been tried in Burundi, Guinea, Madagascar and the Ivory Coast with different outcomes. I believe such an arrangement could offer a peaceful way out of the current political stalemate in Ethiopia. It is a sensible option. I hope Hailemariam and his leadership group will follow Nelson Mandela’s prescription and seriously consider a power sharing arrangement: “If you want to make peace with your enemy, you have to work with your enemy. Then he becomes your partner.” There is no shame or harm in making a peace offering to the opposition and engaging them in power sharing discussions. It is the new way in Africa.

Hailemariam as a Political Leader

Hailemariam’s political challenge will be whether he will do what it takes to uphold the rule of law and reverse the arbitrary rule of his predecessor. Meles often talked about “our Constitution” and the “rule of law” but rarely followed either. He was the object of relentless criticism by all international human rights organizations for disregarding Ethiopia’s Constitution and international human rights treaties and conventions. Every year, the U.S. State Department Human Rights Report documented massive human rights violations as did so many other international human rights organizations. But he was dismissive of such reports. Hailemariam cannot afford to alienate all international human rights and press freedom defenders.

Meles was a man with a mission. Hailemariam can be a man of vision. The country has enormous problems that require massive efforts and resources to resolve. Talking about an “Ethiopian Renaissance” will not deal with the chronic food crises in the country or rein in the galloping inflation, improve the poor health care and educational system or alleviate the grinding poverty that afflcits the majority of the people. Building shiny structures, roads and dams will make for great public relations and impress donors to dole out more aid. But there are enormous human costs associated with such ventures. Just last week, the International Monetary Fund urged Ethiopian officials to reconsider their plans to construct “Africa’s largest hydropower plant” because that project could siphon away much needed funds from other critical needs areas. According to IMF country representative Jan Mikkelsen, “there’s a need to rethink some of those projects a little bit to make sure that they don’t absorb all domestic financing just for that project. If you suck in all domestic financing to just a few projects that money will be used for this and not for normal trade and normal business.” Hailemariam should be more practical and envision a new Ethiopia where the state stieves to meet the basic needs of the people, and not invest precious resources in quixotic white elephant projects.

Hailemariam should maintain vigilance for political minefields. He could learn valuable lessons from the experiences of former Ethiopian president Negasso Gidada’s treatment by the ruling party documented in his book “Negasso’s Way”. According to Negasso, he was roped into becoming president by Meles who convinced him to accept the position even though he resisted it. After he became president, Negasso recounted how he was tricked into doing things that he did not agree with, including signing a proclamation that denied corruption suspects their right to bail in violation of the Constitution and allowing Meles to use that law to neutralize and persecute his opponents. “There are people who ask me why I signed that bill. However, I want people to understand that I signed the bill because of my strong stand against corruption. I thought EPDRF had the same stand. It was too late for me to understand it was all scam.” After Negasso left office and sought to engage in opposition politics, the ruling party drafted a special proclamation to divest a former president of his privileges, security protection and retirement benefits if he returns to politics. Negasso’s experiences may offer instructive lessons to Hailemariam.

Hailemariam can choose to become not just a leader but the best leader; but he must know what it takes to be one. As Lao Tsu instructed, “To lead people, walk beside them … As for the best leaders, the people do not notice their existence. The next best, the people honor and praise. The next, the people fear; and the next, the people hate … When the best leader’s work is done the people say, ‘We did it ourselves!’” Hailemariam should aim for leadership which will allow the people to say, “We did it ourselves!”

Hailemariam as a Man With an Appointment With Destiny

Meles Zenawi was a man who had an appointment with destiny; and he missed it! I believe Hailemariam has his own appointment with destiny. Cynics may be quick to say Ethiopia’s leaders are condemned to never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity. I hope that will not be the case for Hailemariam. He will determine his own destiny as a leader. If he is able to summon the courage, integrity and fortitude to put the peoples’ interest above his party’s interests, he could become a role model for a new breed of Ethiopian leader. But if pursues absolute power, prefers revenge over mercy, confrontation over conciliation and continues the politics of ethnic fragmentation and division like his predecessor, he too will miss his appointment with destiny.

Ethiopia at the Crossroads of Democracy and Dictatorship

Ethiopia today stands at the crossroads. It can march forward into democracy by taking confident steps that begin radical improvements in good governance and democracy. It can continue to slide backwards and deeper into the vortex of dictatorship. It can take free fall into chaos and civil strife. What Ethiopia needs at the crossroads is not finger-pointing, teeth-gnashing, eye-rolling or bellyaching. There is enough blame to go around. Condemning the memory of Meles and reincarnating Meles in the person of Hailemariam will not help us march to a democratic future. It will only continue the tradition of grievance and victimhood and culture of antagonism and hypercriticism. What Ethiopians need to realize is that this is the right time to join hands to heal the open wounds of fear, loathing and antagonism in our hearts, minds and souls. This is the time to be creative about alternative futures built on a solid foundation of the rule of law, respect for human rights and democracy.

Since the beginning of 2012, I have been writing about “Ethiopia’s inevitable transition from dictatorship to democracy”. I have outlined various scenarios on what could happen during the transition. Today the question is not whether a one-man dictatorship in Ethiopia is over, but if dictatorship will reinvent itself and rear its ugly head once more. The “future” Meles spoke of is now. We should all work collectively to implement his aspirations for “radical improvements in terms of good governance and democracy”. With the Ethiopian new year upon us, we can all begin afresh on the road to “radical improvements in good governance and democracy”.

In one of my weekly commentaries in April, I expressed my full confidence and optimism in Ethiopia’s future:

We need to plan for the inevitable, inescapable and unstoppable transition of Ethiopia from dictatorship to democracy. Dictatorship will end in Ethiopia. It is only a matter of when. Democracy will also rise in Ethiopia. It is a matter of how and what type. The point is that it necessary to begin a purposeful dialogue and plan ahead about the prerequisites for an effective and smooth transition to democratic governance now, not when the dictatorship falls. I believe dialogue needs to begin now on at least four major issue areas: 1) how to engage and increase the capacity of key stakeholders in identifying potential triggers of violence during political transitions and preventing them; 2) identifying and devising strategies and opportunities for reducing ethnic, religious and communal tension and conflict in anticipation of a transition; 3) enhancing the role of civil society institutions in facilitating public engagement and interaction during the transitional period, and 4) anticipating critical constitutional issues that could significantly impair the transitional process.

I stand by my views. I believe there is a way out of the darkness of dictatorship. Nelson Mandela paved that two way road in South Africa and called it “Forgiveness and Goodness.” We should all prepare ourselves and the people to travel that two-way road. It is time for national dialogue!

  1. Anonymous
    | #1

    this is un ammasing thing continue

  2. tokoota
    | #2

    Haile mariam should not allow the woyane gujile to push him around, bully and intimidate him. The woyane fascists have a golden chance to exit qietly and cooperate fully in the transition to a free and fair Ethiopia, where its people live in peace and freedom without fear of being persecuted because of their ethnicity , relegion or political opinion.





  3. Tasew
    | #3

    Your opinion and writing will have nothing to do with the day to day lives of the ordinary folks back home let alone the eprdf. History has proved you to be useless and a brave paper tiger time and again. I’m proud of the selfless act of tplf and their visionary leader Meles. After all – unlike your drumbeat – they were not in it for the power. So, what Hailemariam does or will do is only relevant the real people back home to judge. You have voluntarily and willingly fortified your right to be counted as an Ethiopian. Adieu.

  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    Good Article..the next few years will be a big test for Ethiopia, we, collectively, need to start thinking about the next generation. I like how you have articulated the “mission” vs “vision” idea. we all need to envision, particularly, our leaders a country where our children dont starve to death, etc…it is possible. God bless Ethiopia

  5. kentu
    | #5

    in another sociaty if the leadership dead anther get his new leadership and the new leader disgne his own plan it is good or bad becouse they raise with love and dignity so the new leader creat his decition when we come to our countries it is conterary becouse the news leader he did,t make any poletical, ecomomical or diplomacy cgange becouse we are too scary it is not our fault the way we raise at our sociaty we new only fame not real change to the people and country and now hailemariam he did,t make any change

  6. Darsema
    | #6

    The professor has it wrong this time because ato Hailemariam Desalegne will never be the new prime minister. Instead he will be the prime messenger of the TPLF ethnic supremacists and fascists.

  7. ethiopian
    | #7

    I like this article & appreciate the author for trying to be reasonable unlike other Ethiopina blogers . And tnx for helping me to show this situation on from other angle , though am not agree with u on some issues. Keep it up

  8. Ras Thomas and Associates of Ethiopian Patriots
    | #8

    Hello Alamanyehu,
    You are trying to persuade Alamanyehu to work for you. are give his position to you. Because all your dream and propose is to rule Ethiopia by
    you are your old school one tribe regime. OK, if you are patriotic and good citizen who love his people. Why don’t worry about continuing of developments which important for Ethiopia. such as the big Dam.
    You are here with us in America and you sow Egyptian and all who believe if Ethiopia its, water they will starve.
    Why you don’t talk about the so called World Bank who is telling Ethiopian government to stop building dam.

    say if hailmariam continue what Males started, we follow him.

  9. ጉረኞች
    | #9

    The real test is if Haile Mariam stands for protecting and advancing individual rights to rightly protect his own ethnic group as well as other minorities. If he foolishly thinks that his ethnic group has benefited from ethnic based politics just because he took over the premiership based on his ethnicity rather than his capability, we will see no change. If he realizes that his fortune is only by chance and his ethnic group and other minorities will benefit more by protecting and advancing individual rights that will allow minorities to go all over Ethiopia to make their living with no restriction, then he might work to amend the toxic elements of the constitutions that recognizes only ethnicity for the existence of individuals. I think even Tigres who has left with some rational minds have now recognized the destructive elements of the constitution which Woyane first crafted to allow easy separation of Tigray from the rest of Ethiopia. Woyan undoubtly was fooled by Shabea for a long time. So, this is the time for diehard Tigres who always think their way or the highway to work for national reconciliation with pan Ethiopian activist, even at the expense of giving up untold privilege they are enjoying now. Otherwise the consequence is dire to them, they can hold their power for long.

  10. ASEBE
    | #10


  11. sam
    | #11

    In my understanding what the author stated is national dialogue. It is imperative we Ethiopian not to isolate Tigrians from the picture. It is the dictators blue print of Ethnic Federalism that created a minority rule over the majority. The architect of TPLF party is base on narrow Nationalism that create superiority than the other ethnic tribes. The national dialogue will see all perspective that the country to follow the rule of law, and respect all its people as one. The current administration might talk about all Ethiopia, but its practical and demonstration is fake. It also showed us that naive followers thought the y are benefited than the other ethnic group. But they might have temporary gain, because majority of Ethiopians are ready for change, and unity of all race. We can see the movement in the country, and abroad that hate will never benefit no one except damage the hater. Our language about this tribe or that tribe, this race or that race, or this religion against that religion is going to be the thing of the past. So National dialogue is the pivotal point of our time. Racism is the worst illness that dehumanize, degrade and destroy our well being.

    What I took from the author is, his keen understanding dealing with our current problem must be in a wide range including those whom we are not in favor of. If we use inflammatory words and hate mongering there is no way to dialogue, so he invited the new prime minister to be for openness. Mandela for South Africa created a bridge by talking to the people of
    South Africa to include the white people in building a new South Africa. He was jailed for 17 years by a white racism, but his vision for his beloved country made him a forgiving human being. The same states for Ethiopia. How long do we have to shade blood killing each other for power. We need to use tolerance and communication. I know it is a very hard subject because the anger, the injustice, but can we give a chance for a National Dialogue? I know there are some people see things differently, and argue why, it is the ruling party who is not willing about this. I think we have to start within our self teaching to let go old worn out ideal of retaliation, and replace it with a new look at our problem.

  12. aha!
    | #12

    In the first place, why you reducing him to being one of the 80 ethnic groups, when he is representing 45 ethnic groups designated as SNNLF, according to demarcation Killil Mengistats according major ethnic groups. It defies the logics of reasoning by way of classification, because there is no such thing as wolaita Killil Mengistat. Be that as it may, now the dust has settled about the struggle for power to be heir apparent to the Prime minister Meles Zenawi, with Haile Mariam Desalegn being mostly favored by Group B, but perhaps observed by both to continue with ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalirinism and the Nile Renaissance development Project, against the advice of IMF, and state capitalism as the economic model with nothing in sight for free market capitalism and/or mixed economic model and most of all freedom, liberty, and equality to superced ethnic and secessionist rights, and therby ratify the constitution. While TPLF Politbeurro is undergoing its evolutionary process either elimination or spliting and/or eviction, ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism as major ideologies built into the constitution remain in tact, both from the vantage point of the teletafi (ethnic federalist) and loyalist (ethnic federalist ) opposition parties and UDJP, and Tgirai-Harena, may feel comfortable to negotiate for Powersharing with those who vowed to continue with the legacy of the late Prime Minister and the constitution as stipulated by Ato Sibhat Nega as to whoever challenges the constitutional order. What is wrong with ratifying and/or amending the constitution, after all the USA constitution has been amended several times and as constitutional democracy with individual as the ceter peice of the constitution, to which the legacy of Prime Minster Zenawi are the ideologies of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism along with the alignements of parties with ethnic agenda rather than national agenda, where the parties compete for ideas as to how they move country forward in the 21st century as one cone Nation and one Official Language and one Official Religion with all other religions and cultures to develop side by side freely and independetly.

  13. nana
    | #13

    Hailemariam’s wife is Eritrean Roman is her name. So every freaking politicians at the top core have one way or another associated with Eritrean or are Eritrean descendants starting from Meles. Think about it. TPLF has nothing to do with Tigray but the operation of Eritrea. Tigrayans must benefit so that they support the Eritreans.

  14. nana
    | #14


    Do you know that when you say Weyane, you are refering to Tigrayans? Who are the top core of TPLF? They are pro Eritreans, Eritreans or Eritrean descendants. It is now high time to recognize who is really in power at the top. Yes, the foot soldiers taking orders Tigrayans are in there but. The actual power is in Eritrean groups. So when will Ethiopians focus on those groups that are the architects of 21 years rule in Ethiopia? Most likely those shouting are Eritreans to divert attention to Tigrayans rather than Eritreans. So calling Weyane, Tigre, etc, will no longer work if you don’t address the power is actually is in the hands of Eritreans. This misinformation could have stop if Tigrayans such as Seye, etc send the alarm.But they are probably being threatened by foreingers and Eritrean groups to put Tigray more in trouble. Still the only way to moblize Ethipoians is Ethiopians to do their own homework research, and Tigrayans to spread the alarm. I am not Tigrayans nor I don’t hate Eritrea or Eritreans.

  15. nana
    | #15


    We really are brainwashed by the whole TPLF system. Yes, Tigrayans are Weyanes and foot soldiers but the real architects are Eritrean descendants they have no attachment to Ethiopia. If anything happens, they can just move to Eritrea and strengthen further the government which they know the ins and outs of Ethipoia. Ethiopians can never infiltrate tPLF(Eritreans)but Eritreans can, blessed by Haile Selassie that he has integrated them within Ethiopian society. Better yet,they have been in every society of Ethiopia without discrimination while others were still poor and discriminated. So they can easily infiltrate Ethiopians and act like them. How many Ethiopians speak Eritrean Tigrigna? Even Eritreans can recognize the Tigryansa trying to act like Eritreans.

  16. Anonymous
    | #16

    The only “one ethnic regime” you are talking about is the TPLF mafia that had controlled Ethiopia, sold Ethiopia, looted and slaughtered hundreds of Ethiopians for 22 miserable years. Individuals like yourself show your ignorance by the kind of statements you make and that you are indeed the victim of Isayas and Meles’s made up history propaganda that was created to divide Ethiopians. It’s unfortunate that the two brutal evil dictators, Isayas and Meles were able to influence individual like yourself, and created separatists groups like ONLF and OLF by making the struggling and poor Amharas as the enemy without valid and concrete reasons and evidence.
    FYI…So far in the history of Ethiopia, No One, I repeat, No One has ever been as cruel, brutal and lawless as the late evil dictator Meles and the TPLF mafia ethnic group. Unless, all the TPLF are removed from power, our people and our country will never be safe. I’m afraid, the two new leaders are simply NEW PUPPETS that have no say or power at all — in fact, as long as the master of lies and deceptions Bereket Simon are around, and knowing the history and what TPLF have done to Ethiopia and Ethiopians for the last two decades, the two new puppets will be the most muzzled and controlled Ethiopians than the rest of eighty million oppressed Ethiopians. Knowing the crimes of TPLF, I bet, the two PUPPETS have been told to do as they are told by TPLF, or the PUPPETS and their immediate family members will vanish from this earth.

    | #17

    nana, tigres are the foot soldier of shabia. read the following to see the bestial mentality of one of the woyane chief priest, Sebhat nega

    “We fought for Eritrean independence from the colonial rule of Ethiopia. Even now, if Eritrea is attacked, EPRDF would jump into Eritrea, join the Eritrean people and engage the enemy.” – Sebhat Nega on Radio Woyane (May 28, 2007)

  18. yigermal
    | #18


    OK eritreans might have some reason because
    of federation gini gini ginka…
    But why do woyane tigrays have go against
    ethiopias professional army…and fight it.

  19. Ethiopian from Minnesota, U.S.A
    | #19

    Mr Tasew: It seems to me that you have not fully read the opinion or read it and could not grasp the message because of demented full of air brain of yours. Why is it necessary to you to attack the messenger rather trying to understand the spirit of the message which is absolutely captivating and thought evoking? No, you do not have to answer that. I will do it for you. Losers like you, the instigators of hate and division who benefit economically shiver in their boots when they hear Ethiopians talk about unity, understanding, reconciliation, forgiveness, and respectful dialogue. What is wrong with this article that provoked you to disdain this writer? Who are you to deny this individual his Ethiopianness? Who said that an Ethiopian in diaspora does not have any right to express his/her wishes for well-being of his/her beloved Ethiopia? You and others in this forum (though I respect and uphold the right of free expression)insulting and demeaning the writer for his commentary on how to advance democracy and good governance in Ethiopia are God-defying bigoted moronic pieces of garbage. You and your cohorts do not have any excusable justification to denigrate this proud Ethiopian regarding the content of his commentary. You are absolutely and positively dumb and stupid.

  20. Ethiopian from Minnesota, U.S.A
    | #20

    Her comes again THE NEGATIVITY AND DARKNESS, HOPELESSNESS AND DESPAIR. The man has not yet sworn in. Give the man a chance to prove or disprove. What is wrong with these people in this forum? The spirit of this article is so positive and bright, and some of the responses are so negative that it seems some of us have pigeonholed ourselves into depression, and it is impossible for us to see the shining glare of hope. Come on Man! HOPE is the second best thing to LIFE. You lose hope, you lose half of your living.

  21. Anonymous
    | #21

    Ethiopian from Minnesota, U.S.A,
    I’m always in agreement with you, but when it comes to this, I’m afraid, you are misunderstanding some of us. My friend, it is not Hailemariam we are having problems with–some of us, do not trust TPLF to do the right thing. The 21 years of unspeakable crimes of TPLF are the reasons, why some of us have become cynics when it comes to TPLF–that have robbed and sold the country’s fertile land and Ethiopian young women and small children…incarcerated, tortured and slaughtered hundreds of thousands innocent Ethiopians…TPLF have disrespected our religions and historical religious sites–it’s impossible to put one’s faith and trust in these people. Let us not forget that, the late tyrant Meles didn’t commit all the horrific crimes by himself.

  22. Aba Gebrehana
    | #22

    Thank you professor for this enlightning and informative piece.I agree we need to wait and see what kind of leader Hilemariam will choose to be. I hope he will choose to stand and demand to be a man of his own.

    In any case, the reason of my decision to share the idea of giving time to Hale Mariam is not because I am convinced that he will be independent leader free from the coercion of TPLF.This is not at all. I did so because regardless of the uncertainties that is waiting to him; I believe the best I can do at the moment wait and see how he is to deal with the obvious problem that he will be facing when he assumes his post.When that time comes he will be closely scrutinized and very much then we will know whether he will be defining himself as independent leder or choose to be TPLF tail.There is not surprise here what TPLF wants to do. The biggest surprise awaiting us is how is he to handle the complex problem he will be facing. If he is really is as he professed a Bible believing Christian, Ethiopians in general and myself in particular expect him to use his position to bring peace and recounciolation in the country. The differing segments of our society needs thisbadly. In particular, I expect him to be a person of himself, and be who does his work as the steward of LORD. Such test is awaiting him. I believe he had the opportunity to be exemplary leader if he wants to, by setting for himself such high priniciple.Or else if he chooses infamy he may settle to be a mere TPLF puppet.

    Regardless what choice he may be taking, the one party TPLF domination can only be brought down by a consorted effort of a united national opposition force. And the time for such event is ripe now.

    one final note on this issue. This past week I believe ESAT’s reporting concerning the current Ethiopian political situation has been off the mark. ESAT now want us to believe there is infighting within EPRDF.According to EsAt the Bereket Simon faction is being seen as one who is advancing the promotion of Hilemarian and his team mate.ESAT would have us believe inside informants are suppling her this information.As a result, Bereket simon,the man who speaks Amharic without accent,but who prefer to give his briefings in English until recently is being promoted by ESAT as progressive man of the hour within EPRDF. I bet the so called inside informant sorces must be weyane supporters who may want to simply spinn what TPLF want the image TPLF wanted to portray to donors and the opposition alikes.

    I don’t believe there is any friction between Bereket Simon and TPLF core. If ay thing the circulation of such news coming from within its ranks may probably mean TPLF itself wants such news about her in order to scoure maximum benefit from the situation. This seems to be her strategy. It wants to claim in public as a weak party wile in reality the country is being led by a seven member team of which four are from TPLF.The seven team man is the shadow government that sways power at the moment. These are the men who promoted 34 of their own Birgader and Major generals from their party. The best strategy for Ethiopian oppostion is this:don’t lett our guards off because opf Hilemariam’s appointment.The hope for Ethiopia is a national unified struggle to bring TPLF to the brink.
    May the LORD help us achieve our goal?

  23. Ethiopian from Minnesota, U.S.A
    | #23

    Dear Compatriot, you are a very respectful and respected participant in this forum. Your comments are rationally charged and always inviting to discussion. I understand your concerns regarding the TPLF dominated EPRDF’s political weaving. I enjoy your approach to the issues without any personal attack. You attack or support the content of the message without any hint of disdain to the messenger. That is what we all have to do in the forums, not disparaging the writer or the opinion presenter as #3 and some others did. You are the kind of person that I can have beer with and argue the whole night without being annoyed. You are cool!!!

  24. Anonymous
    | #24

    Ethiopian from Minnesota, U.S.A,
    :} Good to know, thanks my Ethiopian brother…the feeling is mutual. As always, God’s blessings to you and the likes of you. Tyrant Meles’s fate to all TPLF criminal mafia family.

  25. kuqitubi
    | #25

    First and foremost,Mr.Hailemariam Desalegn must liberate himself from having been conditioned to be obidient to decades of Zenawi’s orders to a free thinker;then only,can he stand for the rights of the oppressed and suppressed atainst the builders of the system in the current regime he is a prime minster.

    Ato Hailemariam Desalegn must clearly show to the public and the people of Ethiopia that he is distinctly different from the dictator and the criminal,Zenawi,and mush show the ability to lead people by example;for instance,by doing right the right thing rather than doing more wrongs on what already has been done too many wrongs and injuctices to Ethiopians.

    Moreover,Mr.Hailemariam Desalegn must align himself with the people and open wide the door and allow himself to compete with opposition parties to build a free democratic Ethiopia for all.However,Mr.Hailemariam Desalegn,undermining the power and the will of the oppositions and the people of Ehtiopia will for sure lead him to his downfall.

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