The honorable Ato Gebru Asrat and his politics. By Yilma Bekele

October 15th, 2014 Print Print Email Email

The honorable Ato Gebru Asrat has written a very fat book that is five hundred pages long. I am assuming that the purpose of the book was to present himself as a person of vision and to show us his leadership ability and a map of the road to the future. Unfortunately, he has a handicap that cannot be glossed over since for many years he has operated as member of that infamous organization TPLF (ሕዝባዊ ወያኔ ሓርነት ትግራይ) that is still creating havoc in the life of our people and our country. It is a tough challenge for anyone to try to explain or to find justification for a party that is viewed by a vast majority of Ethiopians in a negative light. I doubt anyone envies the individuals dilemma.

There are plenty of reasons people write a book about an experience they have gone through. It could be to teach others from both the positive and the negative aspects of their experience and/or to help them achieve a goal or avoid pitfalls. Some write to explain themselves so that they could avoid being misunderstood or to avert someone else writing about their life. It is usually an attempt to have the final say.

Ato Gebru’s book is titled ‘Sovereignty and Democracy’. I am not sure why he chose this title. At the moment Ethiopia’s sovereignty is not threatened by any outside power known to us and Democracy is one commodity that is in short supply in our country. Ato Gebru, as member of the ruling party, is the one that made it scarce in our ancient land.

He was interviewed by VOA. The Interviewer focused on Ato Gebru’s description of the internal criminality of the TPLF organization, his views on the last war with Eritrea, and his prescription to solve the problem which he determined are vital and must be addressed. I am assuming such a venerable organization like VOA must have people that go over the book and suggest discussion points on what they think to be the central message in the book.

Out of a five hundred page book they felt that those two points were important points the author was attempting to make – who am I to disagree with them? That is what I will concentrate on. I am aware VOA’s trust and appeal has taken a nose dive since the establishment of ESAT. Their tendency to side with the dictatorial regime, their attempt to distort the news to fit some reporter’s bias, and the fact that we really do not need them anymore should be a wake-up call to VOA management to improve their service and ethical standards.

Like all books written by Woyane officials present or past this book is another fiction trying to pass as a serious work. I am sure the Honorable former Woyane politburo member, governor of Tigrai Kilil, has a lot of useful inside information to tell us, if he so wishes, yet he choose to weave a web of imaginary tales, self-serving stories, and deliberately vague memories to lead us to another dead end street. This book was written not to enlighten us with policies formulated and decisions made while the individual was in position of great power, but it was written with the sole aim of continuing the single ethnic rule at the expense of the rest of us that are left to be observers in our own country.

I have no doubt Ato Gebru is aware of his attempt to revise history that happened yesterday in our presence is not a winning idea nor would it convince anyone of us of the validity of his prejudiced memory. The simple question would be why do it when it is a child’s play to refute his faulty analysis. The answer is simple. It is that sickness called delusion, which afflicts those that are used to operate in a totally different dimension. Folks like that are usually surrounded by people that totally agree with them and who reinforce the false memories and the baseless lies that begin to take a life of its own when told over and over again.

According to our TPLF central committee member and governor of the number one Kilil, there are two issues that are facing our country at the moment. The lack of a sea port and the unsettled issue of Eritrea. It is not the lack of Democracy, the absence of the rule of law, the marginalization of the 94% Ethiopians that are forced to be silent observers in the governance of their nation, the constant abuse of all political organization not affiliated or subservient to TPLF, the hundreds of reporters and newspaper editors that are languishing in Woyane jail. No sir, it is the dreaded Shabia and the Port of Assab that should consume our passion and once we deal with these two issues the sun will rise once again and peace will prevail.

The crazy part about this obsession is that the Honorable Ato Gebru was there sitting around the table while both issues were decided and the argument supposedly settled. The 94% were not asked their opinion. There is no need to dump it on Ato Meles since at that point in time he was just one politburo member among many without extra power or influence. Seyoum Mesfin, Seye Abreha, Sebhat Nega, Arkebe Okubay, Abay Teshaye, Abadi Zemo, Azeb Mesfin, Tsegay Berhe among others were part of the decision making process. This idea of back pedaling is both cheap and a reflection on the ethics of the individual.

Since its inception, the TPLF always had this obsession regarding maps and boundaries both International and National. They were very busy drawing lines, designing flags and creating satellite organization during the many years of their cave life. If you notice, Tigrai is the only region that showed a bigger foot print when they were done with their map making effort. Thus a little bit of Gondar that included the fertile Setit Humera was generously taken, and the Wolikait people were ethnic cleansed with new arrival from Tigrai. Wollo contracted so much it is a miracle it did not disappear, and Afar was not spared from their sharp pencil. If it was not true, it would be considered comical. Why would anybody do that when the Nation was one whole entity? What is good for Tigrai should have been good for all of Ethiopia. TPLF does not think like that. They are incapable of looking at the bigger picture.

The fate of Assab or a sea outlet for Ethiopia was completely made fun of and they were happy to point their fingers and accuse the rest of us as being unduly concerned and imbued with the usual neftegna mentality. Even Herman Cohen the white peace maker was a little puzzled by their dismissal of the need for a port. Today in 2014 I am not playing the game whether Assab is ours or belongs to the Eritreans but any Ethiopian leader worth his salt should have weighed the ramifications of such a decision. There could have been one hundred and one ways to reach an accommodation where the two Nations could fully utilize the port for the benefit of both people. That would require leadership ability and the ability to protect ones interest for future generations to come. TPLF is incapable of such heavy thinking. They have a retail mentality and wholesale concept is alien to the bird brain organization.

Notice that the Honorable Ato Gebru is seriously telling us about a truck full of coffee and some cereal being transported to Eritrea while his party was negotiating about changing the name of our Airlines and appointing Eritreans to the National Bank of Ethiopia. Hello Ato Gebru can we have a little respect here?

When Eritrea achieved its independence in 1992 Woyane leaders were the number one cheerleaders on the podium led by the evil dead tyrant. Ato Gebru and the rest of the politburo members were in accord with this outcome. We did not hear a peep out of them. Woyane upon settling in Addis had a conflict of interest with Eritreans on how to divide the loot. Their contradiction reached such a high point that the two toothless nations went to war to prove their manhood.

The rest of Ethiopia was dragged into this senseless war. We are told by foreign war specialists over eighty thousand Ethiopians and twenty thousand Eritreans lost their life. Ethiopian soldiers were used as sacrificial lambs to pierce the heavily fortified Eritrean position. The rest of Ethiopia was used to protect Tigrai Kilil. Our dead soldiers were left to be eaten by wild animals. Ethiopian mothers and fathers were not even told who died where and were denied to mourn their children by Ato Gebru’s TPLF party.

The supposedly ex-Woyane is now telling us that we have to prepare for another war to take over Assab. In his VOA interview he goes further and advocates tearing down the agreement with Eritrea and starting from scratch. As far as this war monger is concerned the Eritreans are expected to lie dead while we march north and take over their country. He actually believes the Eritreans will allow TPLF Woyane to do to their country what they have been doing to Ethiopia the last twenty years. That is not all he even envisions including Somalia that his TPLF army has been committing war crimes as part of his future greater Ethiopia. Coming from a person that created Kilil and tolerated ethnic cleansing (remember Wolkait) to even think of such a scheme is a little radical wouldn’t you say? I know some people whose delusional behavior leaves me with an open mouth, but when it comes to Comrade Gebru my brain ceases to function, my heart palpitates, and my knees buckle by the sheer audacity of his madness.

Before we go further lets us deconstruct the life of our esteemed country man. As I said, he was a member of the politburo of that curse of a party (ሕዝባዊ ወያኔ ሓርነት ትግራይ) and he was the governor of the Tigrai Kilil from 1991 to 2001. We were told he was kicked out of the party in the aftermath of the war with Eritrea. The fact that after leaving the organization he was able to lead a life as a high school teacher in his Kilil is not a normal situation for our country. It did not stop there. He was able to form an opposition Party to TPLF and lived to tell about it. This I would like to say is a miracle. From experience, the TPLF is not such a forgiving organization, and anyone that challenges our warlords does not get a chance to live and tell about it unless of course one belongs to the ‘golden tribe’ as referred to by the dead tyrant.

Kinijit leaders suffered two years in Kaliti, and upon their humiliating release some were told to leave if they valued their life. Dr. Berhanu was exiled and Weizero Birtukan was given a lesson regarding the wisdom of rising up again, Secretary Andualem Arage is still in Kaliti, and Professor Asrat was murdered. Today we have leading members of Andenet, Semayawi Party and righteous reporters and editors in Kaliti to teach the rest of us a lesson. Ato Gebru formed ‘Arena Tigrai Party’, and today he is a member of the loyal opposition. It does not stop there. Ato Gebru and his comrade in arms Ato Seye Abreha rose to prominence and were able to infiltrate Andenet Party establishing the so called Medrek that gave the elections of 2010 a legitimacy in the eyes of their foreign sponsors. As loyal solders, they never stopped serving their good old organization.

I was present in California where Medrek leaders were touring the US. At that time I asked a very simple question, why are these gentlemen wasting our hard earned money that was being used for transportation, hotel and food to campaigning in America among the non-voters while the election was being held in Ethiopia? No one had an answer. The gentlemen Medrek representatives spoke near our city. Their Chairman Weizero Birtukan was in Kaliti and none of them mentioned her by name. The delegation touring in America included Ato Gebru Asrat, Ato Seye Abreha, Ato Gizachew Shiferaw, Dr. Merera Gudina and Dr. Negasoi Gidada. A few Andenet support groups found the whole affair so nauseating that they politely requested for some of the delegates not to be included as guests in their town. Ethiopian drama never know ends.

Today Ato Gebru Asrat’s book is being advertised among the Diaspora, and the author have showed up in America to give interviews to sell his fiction. Where do most of the Diaspora and those at home rely to get their news and information in 1014 is a good question. The last three years ESAT has become the premier go to media to be informed, entertained and educated both at home and for those in exile. One would think anyone that wants his book to be read by many would approach ESAT. From what I know he has chosen VOA and the Tigrean speaking radio programs to talk to the rest of us. He is still preaching to his own Kilil.

They have a saying in the English language it goes like this ‘the third time is a charm’. It means that to wish and hope that since the previous two attempts failed one would succeed the third time. I really doubt the Honorable gentleman would have such luck. He failed with forming the so called satellite organization called EPDRF. Today all Ethiopians abhor this half baked entity for what it is – enforcer of Woyane rule by proxy. He failed by forming Medrek with the help of a few spineless individuals and disrupt Andenet. Today Andenet is still alive and working hard to regain relevancy. Medrek succeeded in the 2010 election as a Trojan horse of TPLF but ended up exposing the weakness of the leaders for life that are becoming the laughing stock of our people. This third attempt to insistently bring Eritrea into our discussion will not work.

Our problem is the lack of the rule of law and the imposition of single ethnic rule over the rest of us. Dear Ato Gebru when the time comes we will sit like civilized people with whoever governs Eritrea and reach an accommodation on all subjects based on self-interest, international norms and that age old relationship the two people have had and that cannot be wished away by anyone. Unlike the way TPLF has tried to solve this vexing problem, ours way will work because it will be based on rationality, self-restraint and the bigger benefit that would come out of love and respect.

Finally, I see a pattern in this attempt by some to engrain themselves to the victims by pretending to be reasonable and impartial. They see the writing on the wall. Woyane philosophy has reached its apex and it is on the decline. The opposition forces are slowly realigning and focusing on the common enemy. What Woyane wants at the moment is to freeze everything as it is and we all go in a slow incremental fashion to see a new Ethiopia. They are dreaming of reconciliation without justice. That would not work.

The concept of ‘truth and reconciliation’ has been attempted in many places that went through what we are experiencing today in Ethiopia. We can clearly see where it worked and where it failed. The TPLF is thinking of Rwanda, while we are focused on South Africa. The Rwandan road ended up benefiting the same victimizers and their society is still sitting on an explosive device waiting to ignite. We do not need to duplicate that. We want justice that is lasting. We prefer the South African model but with an eye to making it work in our country.

  1. Maru
    | #1

    This article gravitated too much on the negative side by ignoring the most positive essentials.

    However Like many politicians in America and others around the world writes their experience at the end of their term in office which is great contribution to the world as well to society, and Ato Gebru Asrat’s can not be divorced from this reality. Of course in some cases contents within the book could be challenging and challenged but regardless overall it is a great culture to have.

  2. Nadew
    | #2

    ESAT is an Eritrea satellite Tv to destabilize Ethiopia.It is not free media that is why Geberu is not interested in ESAT aka Eritrea Sponsored Accomplice Tv

  3. Begashaw
    | #3

    Here we go again, introverted Yilma Bekele once again trying to legitimize his personal openion and hidden political agenda by selectively writing his bias supporting alleged evidence by attaching to story. I guess for today Mr. Bekele is a historian and hidden politician.

  4. Abegaz
    | #4


    Focus on the current and future situations/obstacles. Gebru Asrat should not be a topic of discussion at this time. You are missing it. TPLF is the power and talk about it. Gebru is no more TPLF, willingly or unwillingly. His case is dead. While you are a good Ethiopian by any standard, I hate to tell you that some of your writings are irrelevant because you do not focus on first level priorities.

  5. Kakusha
    | #5

    Recently Ginboat 7 is blaming every body except ESAT and Shabia.In the above article Yilma blame EPRDF,Giberu Aserat,Mederek,VOA etc but defend for Eritrea by saying,”As far as this war monger is concerned the Eritreans are expected to lie dead while we march north and take over their country.”This is definitely a sign of frustration of Doctor Bir Ayinu and co.after capture of Andaregachew Tsige

  6. Tesfa
    | #6

    This interview, to be exact, is 36 minutes and 26 seconds. Roughly it falls in tow three parts. The first section deals about TPLF and her warlike and provocative policies towards EDU, EPRA, and TLF, and this part is allocated 7minutes and 25 seconds. The second part deals exclusively about Eretria and is allocated almost 20 minutes. The third part deals about Gebru’s solution concerning future relationship between the two countries and is 7 minutes and few seconds long.Actually both the second part and the third can be put together because in both cases Eretria is prominently figured in one way or the other. One might as well say of the 36 minutes long interview 27 of it deals about Eretria.
    I have not read the book nor do I will. Judging from this interview the central issue is blaming Eretria for what millions of Ethiopians believe is the crime of TPLF. I do believe the interviewer Adanech Tesfaye did a lousy job in this interview. Instead of pressing the author with hard questions she was sympathetic towards him thinking, as though that he was revealing something new.
    For instance, in the first part of the interview we have what appeared Gebru is genuinely admitting crimes of TPLF.However; he appeared he was not forth coming. Example, he gave several reasons for he called the causes of the war between weyane and EPRA,EDU,TLF.He said in particular among other things , turf was one of the reasons for the war. The sole reason for the war between TPLF and the other parties is actually this: TPLF’s narrow nationalist ideology which says Tigray only for Tigrians.This is the only and chief reason, and there is nothing to add to it or gloss over it, or to dogged it. If this was not the reason why don’t we saw war between EDU and EPRA they meet each other inside Tigray.Yet there has never been a time where the two of them resorted into war. The fact above is supported by the frequent official statement TPLF leaders have made in the past. For instance , the chairman of TPLF used to say what is the obleix of Axum for Kembata for by extension to the rest of Ethiopians. He was asserting without qualification that the Oblix of Axum is exclusively the work of Tigrians .As though the inhabitants of that era are the same as present day Tigirans. What is more Gebru himself in this interview stated TPLF of which he is a part used to “LOOK down ELF”.He said “we don’t use to like them Enenekachew Neber.Here you have it what does this means to the rest of Ethiopians ?Who is to say his statement is not implicating to the rest of Ethiopians?

    I wish the interviewer used the precious time to press hard questions regarding the actual crime of TPLF against t Tigrans and Ethiopians. Example, TPLF has murdered such high profile party leaders such as Gessesse Ayalew or (Sehul),Mehari Teclu or(Mussie). Which many believe without the help of the latter TPLF could have never made it passed the woods of Sheri.Then the TPLF core under the leadership of Melese,Sibhat,Abay Tesehay killed the 13 members of ‘hinfishfish’ fiction including their leader Solomon Hayat,and even their most celebrated commander Hayelom Araya.TPLF effectively removed Aregawi brehe and his comrade from leadership. KInfe G/medihin was murderd because he was slow which side to support during the TPLF crack. TPLF cold blooded murdered all the members of TLF while the later came for what many consider negotiation. They were reportedly murdered while asleep. Not to mention the fact many patriotic Ethiopians have been murdered by TPLF. We still don’t have the exact number of Ethiopians but it is estimated millions have been silently killed by TPLF. TPLF is responsible for decimating the EPRP faction that was operating in Western Gondar and Gojam when the former seized state power. TPLF is also responsible for the various internecine clashes and killings across the country which still ongoing . The killings of the 2005 in Addis is well publicized case. Even at the moment fresh killings are being reported in Somalia region Gambela against the northerners. Not to mention the fact many farmers have in the past and continued to be forcefully displaced from their ancestral lands. Not to mention the fact the intended audience of this interview is TPLF members and her supporters.At one point when proudly stated concerning ELF enenekachew neber I am sure he must have a flash back that he is addressing TPLDF members.In the end what does this mean to such as myself a full blooded Ethiopian? Is my chief enemy Eretria or TPLF.Ofcourse TPLF. The nine hundred gorilla who sitis in my hous is TPLF.And the only enemy I have to deal with TPLF.Gebru asrat is not innocent.he is responsible for the crime of his party .

  7. ሚካኤል
    | #7

    በአቶ ገብሩ አስራት የተጻፈው መጽሃፍ በሻእቢያና ወያኔ የውስጥ ምስጢር የተፈጸመውን የናት አገራችን ኢትዮጵያ የድንበርና የሉአላዊነት ደባ በግልጽ ያስቀመጠ ነው:: ሆኖም የእሳትና ሻእቢአያ አፍቃሪ የሆነው ይልማ የተባለ ግለሰብ መጽሃፉን ለማጥላላት (ከነጭራሹ የተደፈረ ድንበር የለም በማለት)ሞክረዋል:: ይህ ግለሰብ ታሪካዊ የሆነውን የሻእቢያና ወያኔ ደባ (የአሰብ ወደብና የባድመ)ጉዳይ ለማድበስበስ ላይታች ብለዋል:: ሆኖም አቶ ጌታቸው ረዳ በሰላ ብእሩ ደህና አድርጎ የተቸው ስለሆነ አቶ ጌታቸውን አመሰግናለሁ::

  8. Tanzania
    | #8

    So all are aware he refused to appear on ESAT. The book provides details about the division within TPLF. But it is either silent or disingenuous about many issues. An example of each: he does not provide how the TPLF controlled all decisions in spite of elections and the main reason for the creation of TPLF. He conveniently omits its anti amara beginning.

  9. Dawi
    | #9

    Yelma said:

    [[..Like all books written by Woyane officials present or past this book is another fiction trying to pass as a serious work.......he choose to weave a web of imaginary tales, self-serving stories, and deliberately vague memories to lead us to another dead end street...]]

    Brother Yelma – I have to say you are brave to arrive to such gigantic conclusions without reading the book.

    I just saw the former minister Ermias on ESAT quoting the book on the issue of why Ethiopian military generals are still mostly from one region? Gebru’s book gives a sound reason to that. What else can we learn from “the very fat book” is the question?

    Gebru is one of those who walked out after the Eritrean war in 2003 that ended “Woyane” as was known; Meles’s Developmental State vision became fully supreme then after.

    In the interview he mentioned that Ethiopian military more or less would have been able to take over Eritrea however, he seems not to be 100% sure on that or how such move can be maintained after-wards; so Meles’s decision seems to be the sure and correct way of going forward following the aftermath because it gave Eritreans time to soberly think and do the inevitable fighting themselves to come to the fold when they are ready. In the mean time keep Shabia in a cage where it belongs, isolating it from the rest of the “civilized” world.

    IMO, “Greater Ethiopia” is built when all nations nationalities are in the same book with “Ethiopiawinet”, willing to come back and stay in the fold; those fighting to join, the central government has to be on their side.

    | #10

    ብስር መሰረቱ ክልተ ዓይነት አፅሓሕፋታት አለዉ::

    1. በብእዋኑ ናይ ንፋስ አቅጣጫ እንዳረአኻ፣ ሎሚ’ኸ እንታይ ኢለ እንተለፈፍኩ’ኾን ናይቲ ግዝያዊ ተጠቃሚ ክኸውን እኽእል እኸውን ካብ ዝብል ተበግሶ ብምፍጣን!!

    2.በስር መሰረቱስ ነገራት ኹሎም ኸማይ ክኾኑ ይግብኦም, ሕብረተሰብ ናይ’ዛ ምድሪ’ኸ ከመይ ኢሎም ክምሓደሩ እቲ ዝሓየሸ ይኸውን ካብ ዝብል ተበግሶ!!

    ብመሰረት ቀሪቦምልና ዘለዉ ፅሑፋት ገብሩ ኾነ ወይድማ ባዕሉ ይልማ በይንኡ ናህሪ እዮም ዝቀላጠፉ ዘለው!!??

  11. aha!
    | #11

    Five hundred pages on the topic “Sovereignty and Democracy” could qualify for Nobel Prize, when that much paper and thought process has been put into five hundred pages of the two concepts, when these concepts could have been dealt with four pages of articles such as yours with argumentative positions/statements to elaborate ones own stance with respect to these two concepts to unravel the current ideology of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalitarianism and/or state capitalism along with crony capitalism by TPLF/Political, TPLF/EFFORT, TPLF affiliated enterprises, and foreign corporations engaged in exploitation, political and economic strangle hold of the countries resources. While that may not be where is heading for, these ideologies built into the constitution deny the silent majority of Ethiopians private property ownership anywhere in Ethiopia and individual rights to super cede ethnic and secessionist rights as precursor to democracy/democratic rule than the current ethnic minority rule and the anticipated ethnic majority rule, that Tigrai Harena is component part of Medrek with ethnic agenda with the goals for: respect ethnic rights, “yekilil Mengistats iqulent Mebit Mekeber”, democracy and human rights, a common denominator to all ethnic groups.

    As may all know TPLF is a liberation front, is a minority ethnic party, that governs Ethiopia as TPLF/eprdf party or regime, which has evolved at the get go by extinction, and latter by eviction and now by division within itself and ruling as the dominant ethnic party over the eprdf, the teletafi parties, supported by security forces, federal police forces and Killil administrators stifling individual freedom and private ownership of land anywhere in Ethiopia, so that all Ethiopians would the inherent feeling and understanding to say “This land is my land from East to West and North South”, including Eritrean Province and or the Ports. Or the author suggests both countries own the ports jointly.

    If those are not the guiding principles, I am inclined to reinforce my original stance that OPDm/EFDF/fdre of which Tigrai harena is a component part is a mirror image of the TPLF/eprdf regime with ethnic agenda, with negative forces of disintegration, rather than those with the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual freedom, liberty and equality to have precedence over the current ethnic and secessionist, future boundary conflicts, and an ongoing ethnic cleansing and human trafficking.

  12. MerhawiTsion
    | #12

    People like Gebru Asrat and organizations like tplf
    do not have any mind and bussiness of their own. Their
    bussiness is only to duplicate the bussiness and mindset
    of the winning party depending on the direction of the
    political wind. Follow ELF and Eritrean leaders if they
    are winning; and Follow Ethiopians and Ethiopian leaders
    if they ‘ve got the upper hand. And abandon Eritreans.
    That is it. Nothing else.
    what a damned mind of a retard or a moron !

  13. yilmab
    | #13

    Dear country men as you can clearly see a simple writeup is a cause for a few to hurl insults, unfounded conclusions and well thought of distortions to totally take the subject matter on a different trajectory. Why do a few manage to make our discussion so insane and childish with reducing everything to their level is a question I ask myself.It is because we the majority allow a few to speak out of order, defy that Ethiopian culture of disagreeing without being foul and our tendency to think ‘Chewa’ means to act like a door mat so everyone walks on you. You know the story about the camel that asked to just put his nose in the tent but bit by bit ended up taking over the tent and throwing the owner out. That story perfectly explain Woyane. Due to our silence and we have allowed this rogue and uncultured mafia group to take over our country. This board is a perfect example of our silence and our tendency not to say No in a loud voice when someone is out of order and uses gangster behavior. Just read some of the comments above and you will see what I mean. I do not equate disagreement with bad behavior but unless the comment adds value to the discussion what is the point? I like it when folks challenge my opinion and I never think I have the last word on the subject but to call me names, assign a label on me and insult in a very low manner does not make any one of us a better informed citizen. Isn’t what we are doing here, to clash with ideas with out involving personalities? I stand with what I said about Ato Gebru, I thought about it long and gave my opinion. If you do not agree then convince me where my conclusion is wrong. All I said about him is verifiable and on record. If I misinterpreted it is done not out of malice but a simple mistake that can be corrected, insulting me, calling me names and looking at my motive is a disingenuous way to fight back. What the commentator is trying to do is make me respond in such a way that I lower my self to their level, gentlemen that is not going to happen because I am a cultured God fearing, country loving Ethiopian that uses his brain not his knee jerk reaction. All I can say is it is up to Ato Gebru to come clean. He did the crime and we are the victims and we have the damage to our country and people to be seen by all. Instead of TPLF’s crime a long time ago which we already know thanks to great Ethiopians like Ato Gebremedin Araya and Dr. Aregawi Berhe that have already told us enough we ask Ato Gebru to tell us about the crimes under his watch both to our Tigrean citizens and the rest of Ethiopia, we do not need his insight on how to solve the problem he created with our Eritrean family because when he had the chance he screwed it up and now he is on a blame game with a dead tyrant, enough we are not stupid u know, as they say ‘komatan komata kalalut gebeche lefetfit yelal’ take your komata fingers from my plate dude!

  14. Abegaz
    | #14

    As far as Eritrea is concerned, Yilma is correct. Shabia or Eritrea is not our enemy. They are good friends and they can be good friends when we get our freedom, far better than Djibouti and Sudan. Forget Assab. Let us emancipate ourselves first. That is key to us. Assab does not matter. As long as woyanie is there there is no assab for us after all. This emotionalism and cheating in the name of Assab is fruitless. Let alone assab, we can even abandon building the Abay dam if we can get out freedom from TPLF. What is development, dam etc when we are hungry and TPLF is walking on dollars? We take any help that can helps to remove TPLF. This is being pragmatic, far better than being enslaved by TPLF.

    What I advise our beloved Yilma is to not focus on trivial matters like commenting about Gebru. Gebru is now like us. We should focus on what moves us forward.

  15. Dawi
    | #15

    aha said:

    [[..Five hundred pages on the topic “Sovereignty and Democracy” could qualify for Nobel Prize, when that much paper and thought process has been put into five hundred pages of the two concepts, when these concepts could have been dealt with four pages of articles such as yours..]]


    What makes you think our culture is fertile for “democracy” now?

    Our culture is by enlarge a totalitarian one, the collective has primacy over the individual, fatalistic attitude towards leaders and politics in general; lack of public spirit and zero sum game existed in Ethiopia for thousands of years.

    Isn’t it more realistic to assume that Ethiopia is like many in the East who economically transformed within a short period of time that had more of a favorable ground for a “semi authoritarian” rule, a prerequisite for implementing the developmental state?

    At least Gebru is aware of how much our culture stood in the way of our “democratic” aspirations and the negative/positive as he sees it while he was in the leadership need time to be exposed for what it is.

    On the other hand, you and Yelma have only wishful thinking to go by.

    Ethiopian history had to influence Meles the practical man, to make him pursue speedy economic development by putting “democratization’ on the shelf for the time being or until the cultural barier is broken. in the mean time, Eoncomic development transforms the political marketplace for sure.

  16. aha!
    | #16

    Dawi! what matters to the silent majority of Ethiopians is unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual freedom, liberty and equality to super cede ethnic and secessionist rights, leading to the disintegration of the country under totalitarian and or State Capitalism along with crony capitalism by TPLF/Political, TPLF/EFFORT, TPLF affiliated enterprises and foreign corporations particularly in terms of land, with a democracy as a work in progress and denied to the silent majority along with private ownership of land as one of the means of production. This notion is being supported by I believe by editorial commentary in Finote democracy on 15-10-2014, if care to learn the major concern is political and economic freedom, not your bogus development program, before the constitution to form a one nation state with individual freedom as the center piece of the constitution to even think about democracy.

  17. Dawi
    | #17

    Abegaz said:

    [[..Shabia or Eritrea is not our enemy. They are good friends and they can be good friends when we get our freedom, far better than Djibouti and Sudan. Forget Assab...]]

    My man! Are you crazy?

    That is what they said when they started the “revolution” to overthrow Qaddafi in Libya. Look at them now?

    All the achievements of the country is destroyed and it is not going to be restored let alone surpasses in the near future. The same can be said about Egypt and Syria where opposition like you talked about “democracy”, “freedom” and fighting against the “dictatorship” by possibly counting & hoping to get the support and funds of the same non-governmental org (NGOs) of the West? because you don’t have none of your own to do something; folks like you don’t even get along with each other to do something even if you “win”; Kinijit is case in point.

    In Syria today, the media don’t even talk about “freedom fighters” anymore. They are talking about why NATO and its regional partners support sectarian militants like Al Qaeda to overthrow the Syrian government? Can you imagine that?

    You my friend are here talking the same thing by justifying how the sectarian Shabia can help us? Calling it better than Djibouti & Sudan. In what? How about calling Al Shebab of Somalia? while you are at it, the Muslim Brotherhood of Egypt & other sectarian militants of the region to help you??

    | #18

    ካልኦት ኮሜንታቶርስ ስለዘይረብሑ ጥራሕስ ቁፅሪ 17፣ ወኪል “መንግስትና-ወያነና” HA….HA….! ብኩፍኛ ምምሕያሽ የርኢ ኣሎ…!! The dreamers of VANDALISM-ጥቅሜ ከጥፋት ነዎች ሆይ፣ please wake up…..!!

  19. Dawi
    | #19

    aha said:
    [[..This notion is being supported by I believe by editorial commentary in Finote democracy on 15-10-2014, if care to learn the major concern is political and economic freedom, not your bogus development program..]]


    I went and listened the editorial commentary you pointed out; I respect the resentment presented on Gebru’s pointing out on VOA regarding the elimination of prisoners of other liberation movements in prisons. The editorial acknowledged that it is for the first time that a Woyane official talked about such issues. What else is in the book for us to learn?

    “Developmental State” for me is the way forward to get out of poverty. By giving the present younger leadership under HD who were not part of the liberation struggle a chance to work on “development” alone and consolidate power on that notion can unite many folks and get us ahead.

    [Capitalism along with crony capitalism by TPLF/Political, TPLF/EFFORT, TPLF affiliated enterprises and foreign corporations particularly in terms of land, with a democracy as a work in progress]

    Ethiopian state is above “TPLF”. You don’t want to recognize that Meles moved from TPLF to a developmental state. Meles created a centralized government or an Ethiopian state. He promoted loyal bureaucrats than party loyalist particularly after 2005. That is his legacy however, you and others don’t want things to resort back to the old “TPLF”.

    Be that as it may, it may be necessary to dwell in the past crimes as in the “Finote democracy” editorial but, it shouldn’t be at the expense of the present generation from moving forward with needed development.

  20. Kemal Muhammed
    | #20

    Gebru Asrat was one of the best Governer in Tigray and he was a honest man. God blees Gebru Asrat.

  21. aha!
    | #21

    Dawi @#19 the notion I was referring to is encapsulated on the first statement @#16 is concert with the commentary has to do with that of Ethiopian Nationalism/Ethiopian as a one nation state and Sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians in not negotiable with the TPLF/eprdf or its mirror images that embraces Tigrai Harena. It has nothing do what was commented about Gebru Asrat, in terms of what is at stake in terms of modular/ideological perspective to what is at stake between those for Ethiopian Nationalism and soveregnity and those with the ideology of ethnic federalism, secessionism/ethnic nationalism; that places the two forces into positive forces of integration and negative forces of disintegration of Ethiopia, respectively.

  22. Dawi
    | #22

    aha said:

    [[..Dawi @#19 the notion I was referring to is encapsulated on the first statement @#16 is concert with the commentary has to do with that of Ethiopian Nationalism/Ethiopian as a one nation state and Sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians in not negotiable with the TPLF/eprdf or its mirror images that embraces Tigrai Harena...]]


    Personally, I have no problem with your blanket “unity and territorial integrity and individual freedom” as you always point out but, it is not embraced by majority activists who otherwise don’t have a problem with being in the fold of the Ethiopian State. They consider it as a chauvinist tactic to resort to the old feudal ways.

    As long as folks embrace “Ethiopiawinet” at the end of the day, I care less if they call themselves “Oromo first” as Jawar advocates these days; he is one of those who is a product of multi ethnic family but feels that “Oromo first” restores self respect to what he considers the neglected side of his Oromo heritage; I may not agree with that but, who am I to fight that if it doesn’t contradict of him being in the fold of the Ethiopian State as we know it? So TPLF/EPRDF and its mirror image Tigari Harena etc. are set up in more or less for similar reasons. In other words, they are not advocating what we all fear “disintegration first”; if that was the case they wouldn’t waste time to find a common ground as we speak.

    Moving forward, I say speedy Economic Development transforms the political marketplace for sure in favor of Greater Ethiopian nation.

  23. A.k
    | #23

    We want Gebru Asrat to Be ETHIOPIAS prime minster, he is intellegent, smart and wisdom. He did a lot of positive change as a governor.

  24. aha!
    | #24

    The Developmental State theory that have been hammering on is an an economic model tied to totalitarianism inherited from the Derg regime, a socialistic but a military dictatorship, replaced by ethnic minority dictatorship, imitating China, which is a one nation state, not inflicted by ethnic federalism and ethnic secessionism/ethnic nationalism, where ethnic federalism is a prelude to ethnic secessionism, future boundary conflicts and on going ethnic cleansing, etc., where democracy has given way to totalitarianism and/or state capitalism and individual right has been preceded by ethnic rights,

    What kind of culture impedes from democracy to take a foot hold in Ethiopia other than ethnic rule and ethnic dictatorship, to say the least minority ethnic rule shot of individual rights as the basic unity for democracy.

  25. Abegaz
    | #25

    Thank you Dawi for your reasonably comments.

    Ironically I have the same view as you do on Libya and Syria. The Ethiopian case is different to me. You think Ethiopians are governed the way Libya and Syrians were/are. I do not. I feel we are in Apartheid era. Ethiopians struggle to eat once a day while TPLF’s pocket is fattening by the day. To put an insult to injury, when the TPLF steal double digit millions, they call it double digit growth. To demonstrate their growth, they destroy Ethiopian homes, take their land and build buildings using the money they stole and show a documentary how the country is progressing.

    I am not talking here democracy. I am talking the rule of law. When you take somebody’s land that is not rule of law. You just do not call a rule of law when the TPLF destroy poor peoples’ homes and give the land to the rich while the poor move out to the city periphery. When you deprive prisoners food, and force him before the courts empty belly, that is not rule of law. This is worse than apartheid. If there is not rule of law, the country has to disintegrate. It is legitimate for Ethiopian to seek help from Eritrea to liberate themselves. This I call pragmatism. I believe Eritreans could be good friends after the fall of TPLF. After all we should not be prisoners of Assab or Eritrean separation issue. That was the making of TPLF. So we should not indulge in conditions we have not created. As long as there is TPLF, there i no Assab. So why talk about Assab? it is not our issue.

    Ethiopian refuges that traveled through Eritrea made it here in the west. Others who tried through Sudan, Djibouti and Kenya are back in TPLF lice infested prison cells.

  26. Fasiledes
    | #26


    I just finished reading Mr.Gebru Asrat’s book, WAW A SURPRISE ! thought WOYANE’S were dummies, not at all. They are advanced and sharp as blade. If do not believe me just read the book, you will be shocked how smart these people were. Please read the book and learn all the challenges and rationales behind their conclusions.

  27. aha!
    | #27

    Dawi @ #22, the point you raised with regards to Ethiopian Nationalism vs ethnic federalism and/or ethnic secessionism has been further elaborated at #24 in cause effect relationship, which has been stipulated in the constitution of the TPLF/eprdf regime. As the constitution is the blue print that established the current ethnic homelands, which amounted to nothing more ethnic feudalism, there is no indication that a constitution based on individual rights ahead of ethnic rights suggests going back to even a constitutional monarchy.

    Since my focal point is individual freedom in all walks of life, life liberty and the persuit of happiness, I do not buy into your argument of ethnic and secessionist rights, because if the individual rights are respected the ethnic rights follow and there is no precedence for ethnic secessionism/ethnic nationalism; but not vice versa.

    As Abegaz @325 put it “As far as long as there is TPLF (TPLF/eprdf regime) there is no Assab”. To put it on a broader perspective as far as TPLF/eprdf regime and its constitution is in tact, there is no individual freedom, liberty and equality to super cede ethnic and secessionist rights, there is no balanced branches of government to bring about justice, there is no democracy for the silent majority of Ethiopians under ethnic dictatorship.

  28. Keber Temesegen
    | #28

    ምርጫ የሚካሄድ የሚመረጥ ሲኖር
    ምን አማራጭ አለ ከኢሀዴግ በቀር?
    ዲሚክራሲ፣¸ወሬ፣ ዝባዝንኪ ጣጣ
    ምግብ፣ ወይም መጠጥ መብራት አያመጣ
    በርትቶ መሥራት ነው ብቼኛው አማራጭ
    በራሰ መተማመን ከማደግደግ ለውጭ
    አማራጭ የሌለው ድህነትን ማጥፋት
    ቁም ነገር አይሆንም ሺህ ወሬ ቢያወሩት
    የምእራብ ዲሚክራሲ ያውም የእንደ እንግሊዝ
    ውጤቱ ጉዳት ነው አፍዝዝና አደንግዝ
    የነሱ ዲሚክራሲ የሰጣቼው ቢኖር
    ሀብትን ለጥቂቶች መከራን ለሀገር፡
    እንግሊዝ ከአውሮፓ አሜሪካ ከአለም
    ዜጋን ከእስር ማጎር የሚያክላቼው የለም
    በዲሞክራሲ ሰም የሚሆኑት ሁሉ
    ጥቅምማ ቢያሰገኝ……….
    ሁሉም የነሱ ህዝብ በሆነለት ሙሉ
    እውነቱ ግን ሌላ ወንጀል የሞላበት
    ብዙሀኑ ሲኦል ስቃይ የገባበት፡፡
    ዲሞክራሲ የሚሉት ማንን ለመጥቀም ነው?
    አብዛኛው ህዝባቼው ስቃይ እየገባው፡፡
    እንዴት ይታሰባል እኛ እንደነሱ ልንሆን
    በሁሉም አቅጣጫ ጭራሽ ተለያይተን
    የነሱ በሆነ እኛ በማናውቀው
    እንኳን በፍላጎት በግድም አንመርጠው
    ዘመኑ የሆነን ምርጫችን የበዛ
    አለም እየታየን የለም እንደ ዋዛ
    ሀገርን በሚያክል በቁም ነገር ጉዳይ
    በምርጫ ምክንያት አንገባም ከስቃይ
    የጀመርነው እድገት በርትቶ የመሥራት
    አማራጭ የሌለው የሀገር መድሀኒት
    ሀሳባችን ይንፃ ከምዕራብ እርዳታ
    ይህ ነው ችግራችን ለያዘን በሽታ
    እርዳታን አንግበው እንደ ጦር መሳሪያ
    አያድርጉን ኳስ ሜዳ የግብ ማስቆጠሪያ፡፡
    የምዕራብ ዲሚክራሲ የነሱ የሚሰራ
    የኛም በኛ መንገድ ለኛ መብራት ያብራ
    ለምንሆነው ሁሉ በራሳችን ሀገር
    ማንም አያገባው ቢያቅራራ፣ ቢፎክር
    እኛ ስለነሱ የምንሆነው የለም
    እነሱም ስለኛ በምንም አይችሉም፡፡
    ያለንበት ዘመን ብዙ አማራጭ ያለው
    ምዕራብ ከጨለማ ምስራቅ ከፀሀይ ነው
    በቢሊዮን የሚቆጠር ህዝብ የሚመራው
    በእድገት ብልፅግና ምሳሌ የሆነው
    የፓለቲካው ሂደት ምንድን ነው አቅጣጫው?
    የምዕራቡን ጥለን የሱን እንውደደው፡፡
    ለስራ የሚውልን ጊዜ፣ አቅምና ጉልበት
    በምዕራብ ዲሞክራሲ ስለምርጫ ማጥፋት
    ማንን ለመጥቀም ነው አደግዳጊ መምሰል?
    የራስ ጉዳይ በራስ መፈፀም የሚችል፡፡
    ምርጫ የሚካሄድ የሚመረጥ ሲኖር
    ምን አማራጭ አለ ከኢሀደግ በቀር?
    በተለይ በተለይ የውጭ ተቀጣሪ
    ሞኝ ተላላኪ ለምዶ ፍርፋሪ
    በዲሚክራሲ ስም ሀገር እንዳይጎዳ
    አፍታ እንዳይሰጠው አንዳችም ቀዳዳ፡፡
    እውነተኛ ዜጋ ለሀገር ጥቅም ያለው
    በጥሩም፡ በመጥፎም ሁሌም ከህዝብ ነው
    ከውጭ ሀገር ሆኖ ዲሞክራሲ ማውራት
    የጠላት ስራ ነው ሁሉንም ለመጉዳት
    የውጭ ተላላኪ የሀገር ጠላቶች
    በምዕራብ ዲሚክራሲ አጥፊ በሽታዎች
    አንድም ወንጀለኛ ለምልክት ሳይቀር
    ተጠራርጎ ይጥፋ ይነቀል ይመንጠር
    ኢትዮጰያዊያኖች በመሆን አንድ ላይ
    ጥቅም እየመረጡ ሀገር ትሁን ፀሀይ፡፡
    በእንግሊዝ፡ አሜሪካ ዲሚክራሲ መሰመር
    ኢትዮጰያ እንዳትገባ ሲኦል ሆና እንዳትቀር፡

  29. Dawi
    | #29

    Abegaz said

    [[.. I feel we are in Apartheid era...]]

    Dear Abegaz,

    May be you’re realizing South Africans fared much better in “Apartheid”? :-)

    Yes political control is taken by black majority but, as part of the transition ANC left the apartheid ECONOMY intact. Small group of black elites joined the structure left by apartheid but the rest are in welfare. As the result today the average life expectancy at birth for blacks has reduced by 13 years from 62 in 1990 to 49 in 2007 and is now below that of Rwanda at 52 which, has grown from 25 in 2000; btw, Ethiopia’s has grown to 64 today.

    [[..I am not talking here democracy. I am talking the rule of law.....If there is not rule of law, the country has to disintegrate..]]

    Says who?

    If you want to talk frankly, not having the “rule of law” may be an economic advantage if you ask me because “dictatorships” are not tied to voters wishes. The “un-free” governments understand of giving good economy to keep citizens happy; using the free market mechanism that works wonders. China is the leader of the economically free but politically “un-free” nations. Chinese citizens can’t form a political party or any other organized group without permission. The government decides on all land use; people are forced to move else where when land is needed for development; they can’t choose their leaders either.

    Do you see China disintegrating? Not only it won’t disintegrate but it has expanded and its economy is growing so quickly that it shall surpass the US in the near future.

    [[..we should not be prisoners of Assab or Eritrean separation issue..]]

    Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economy in the world today. Eritreans are migrating by tens of thousands to be free of Shabia; if anything Eritreans are prisoners of sectarian Shabia. We know what happened to Hong Kong; it ended up joining China’s fold. Our economy is not there yet but all indicators show, Assab or the rest our coast’s fate won’t be any different.

  30. Dawi
    | #30

    aha wrote:

    [[..ethnic minority dictatorship, imitating China, which is a one nation state. totalitarianism inherited from the Derg regime.. ]]

    There are more than 50 ethnic groups in China but you call them “one nation state”? Ours include more groups; so what?

    For me, “Dictatorship” is “Dictatorship” weather it is run my minority or majority for that matter. In other words, Ethiopia’s fate won’t be any different from China’s. They will both eventually become democratic once the middle income is established for good.

    Be that as it may, Meles used Marxism Leninism to evaluate and do rigorous study of developments in general as it applied in the African setting and eventually developed a blue print for “democratic developmental state” by implementing it in real world in his own country; the draft can be seen on his‘African Development: Dead Ends and New Beginnings’. Some of his analysis is also included in a chapter as edited by Akbar and others. It is recognized as indigenous African philosophy.

    You can deny that as you deny all world acknowledged progress in Ethiopia & lump it with idiotic “Derg” of the past but, you need to realize that the facts are there to see for all. The fact also remains; East Asia economical model is qualitatively different from military dictatorships of the past.

  31. yilmab
    | #31

    Dear Dawi you and the dead tyrant are what is refereed to as ‘one trick pony’ it is meant to describe a person that is skilled only in one area or only had one success. You see what I mean Meles was was only good at manipulating situations and killing his opponents and you are consistently bringing out this ‘developmental state’ crap which has no basis in real life nor does it even have a sound theoretical base. Thus you think repeating it over and again would somehow give it a little legitimacy but life does not work like that. That is the reason Meles choose to kill anyone that would prove him to be a sham because he knows he can not compete on a level playing field, he just have to shine all by himself however dim the light. Now I love the review by Faciledes, what a brave soul I am so convinced I am going to rush out and buy the book in the mean time my dear Faciledes please do not quit your day time job I t believe this review business you are venturing into is not going to work.

  32. aha!
    | #32

    Dawi@#30, those 50 ethnic states are not defined by ethnic federalism and secessionism, they probably exist in what ever provinces that make up the nation. What the TPLF/eprdf regime encapsulate into its constitution is to partition the Ethiopian land into an ethnic homeland of the four major ethnic groups and lump 45 ethnic groups/nationalities into one killil zone as its divide and rule policy, each with its own flag as a precedence to ethnic secessionism/ethnic nationalism built into its constitution, instead of leaving the original provinces with assorted ethnic groups with private ownership of land and individual freedom in tact to form a democratic government and democracy, where the government rules by the consent of the governed. While the TPLF/eprdf regime is inflicted with ethnic and secessionist, China is not, but both do not accommodate democracy, while China accommodates free market capitalism, the TPLF/eprdf regime denies free market capitalism to the silent majority of Ethiopians at least in terms of private land ownership of land any where in Ethiopia as one of the means of production.

    While the national agenda emulates the symbiotic existence of the Ethiopian Society, where the Oromo or Amahara ethnic group exist as roots
    , the amahrara or the Oromo ethnic group exist as stem and the other ethnic groups exist and function as bigger and smaller branches of a tree of tree of one organism, called Ethiopia, the frame work of the constitution of the TPLF/eprdf regime does not cater to that kind of harmonious existence of the various ethnic groups, with the government serving as care taker of resources with eminent domain, but not as pepetrator of humanitarian, economic, political and environmental crises.

  33. Abegaz
    | #33


    You are saying:

    1. Apartheid South Africa would have been was better than current South Africa
    2. The rule of law is not necessary to govern people
    3. Dictatorship is the best to bring development
    4. It is absolutely right to to demolish the poor’s houses and drive them to the city periphery.

    It is hard to debate with a person of such views. With such divergent views among Ethiopians, I am not surprised some political parties chose to work with Eritrea. Your opinions are the reflections what the government has as its central principle of governance. I would not state further opinions mine in response to yours cause,awko yetegnan bikeseksut ayisemam. Readers should judge.

    I just want to mention one thing how the rule of law has regressed through time in Ethiopia. Under the monarchy which so many of us wanted gone, a person’s home is demolished only when it is needed for public use: road, school. government offices, etc. When this happens property owners should be compensated at market price plus extra bonuses reflecting other eviction damages (could be social or psychological. Replacement land used to be given in equivalent locations and not at city periphery.

    When an investor wants my the location, he has to buy me, negotiate with me. There is no short cut other than this. I am Ethiopian because I am born and raised there. If I am born in Arat kilo, have a legal property there, it is solely mine. No one should evict me no matter how much he/she is rich. I should give up my rights only when it is needed for public purposes.

  34. Dawi
    | #34


    Yes – more or less that is what I am saying; if we want to get out of crises once and for all.

    What we have is a special crises just like natural disasters (Katrina comes to mind); we have inequality, ethnic conflict, social instability and utter poverty; such crises require quick decision making and the diminishing of liberty; “democracy” may not be practical in such conditions. Under such situations by passing ethnic demagogues from instigating fighting among the people is necessary; in order to do that, a rapid economical development is promoted by “dictatorships” or “semi authoritarian” governments as in the Asian Tigers. That is what is going on now in our country in my view.

    The historic experience shows that richer, healthier and more equal states are more likely to be democratic. Once countries get a good level of development and social maturity they will remove the dictatorship we are talking about by peaceful resistance transitioning to democracy. South Korea is an example of that.

    As land belongs to the government the compensation to individuals will not be the same as in the west but I hear your pain and there should be fairness to that.

  35. Dawi
    | #35

    aha said:

    [[.. those 50 ethnic states are not defined by ethnic federalism and secessionism..]]

    As far as disintegration of nations is concerned there are studies that predict the USA and India are likely candidates as well. That tells me not allowing “secession” in the constitution won’t guarantee a country from breaking apart.

    Eritrea broke away despite “secession” not being in the then constitution. Didn’t it? So I wouldn’t lose sleep on the present constitution clause.

    The fact is, today with “secession” right in the constitution we have the least insurgencies in the country. The extent EPRDF takes to stop separatists from creating havoc today is uncompromising than in the past at times, IMO; it giving the right of cessation seem to give it a green light to suppress demagogues to the max when need be, more than the Derg or the Imperial days. Example is a whole village disappeared in the Ogaden, looking a satelite image some time ago. So I am not worried ethnic demagogues getting their way under the present regime.

  36. aha!
    | #36

    Dawi@35 #35, I mentioned the 50 ethnic states in China to draw parallel with assorted ethnic groups living within the original provinces of Ethiopia as a one nation state, maintaining its unity, territorial integrity, and sovereignty of Ethiopia, under the previous regimes.

    The current frame work of the constitution in Ethiopia is not only a prelude to secessionism/ethnic nationalism, but also a prelude to future boundary conflicts among the major ethnic group, and ethnic cleansing.

    Yes the secession of Eritrean Province may have been undertaken by decree and referendum initiated the TPLF/epdf regime, which may have set precedence for the disgruntled ex-liberation fronts to follow the footsteps of Eritrea as granted to them by Article 39 (1) of the constitution. Yes it does not guarantee anything but set off the condition for war skirmishes with the TPLF/eprdf regime, thus undermining the countries economy and stability. This scenario is also different than than the non-violent uprising and/or armed struggle for the unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual freedom, liberty and equality super cedes ethnic and secessionist rights.

  37. Dawi
    | #37


    [[.. It is absolutely right to to demolish the poor’s houses and drive them to the city periphery..]]

    “Democratic Developmental State” was what Meles’s vision is all about however, development may require assisting the productive groups in society at the expense of undermining the rights of “unproductive groups” (ex. the poor); minimizing the pain is what we are talking about here.

    If you look at history settler colonies not just took property rights but often the “lives of pre-capitalist indigenous groups (native Americans comes to mind) were eliminated; we have to be willing to question some of those who talk about “land grab” in our country today are the beneficiaries of such genocide? Let me just say, the Pilgrims were coming not to vacant land.

    Even Democratic Development requires paying a price.

  38. Tesfa
    | #38

    DAWIT #34,#35 and all over this forum you labor in vain to give TPLF international legitimacy using the mantra of so called “developmental state”. Constantly you mindlessly cite the Chinese and the Korean model and argue that TPLF is using to lift the poverty in Ethiopia in similar ways. First of all China or korea are markedly different from Ethiopia in their social organizations. Take for instance China has56 officially recognized groups and in Korea virtually none. Korea is considered a homogenous society.

    What you need to know is we Ethiopians know very well what TPLF stands for. To begin with TPLF’s main agenda is be a house Nigger for the Royal British and U.S policy makers and promote their agenda in which other wise they would have never accomplished in any other way. Such as by sending a standing and direct invasion. In return the Mulatos receive all technical ,economic, security support.
    Sipmle as that TPLF is a criminal organization no more no less.

  39. Dawi
    | #39

    Yelma said:

    [[.. Faciledes please do not quit your day time job I..believe this review business you are venturing into is not going to work..]]

    That was funny Yelma. BTW, the former minister Ermias is coming up with more comments on the book on ESAT and is getting interesting. He dissed Ambassador Seyoum this time.

    May be Faciledes will decide to challenge you and elaborate on his review. I am almost inclined to get hold of the book.

  40. aha!
    | #40

    Dawi @#37, to justify your “developmental state” to which added democratic as a qualifier, by stating: ….”development may require assisting the productive groups in society at the expense of undermining the rights of “unproductive groups” “(ex. the poor);……..”, you are implying the underlying crony capitalism by TPLF/Political, TPLF/EFFORT, TPLF affiliated enterprises, cadres in government offices and foreign corporations particularly in terms of land leases, evicting the indigenous people from their land to mechanized farming and devastation of the resources for export market than alleviating food shortages in the country, while encumbering the farmers in the central highlands with GMO seeds and fertilizer debt on rolling topographies, the benefit of which is questionable at best, which actually reflects the situation that prevailed with the ex-apartheid Dutch Boers of South Africa, but with a totalitarianism and or/state capitalism as its economic model.

    As such there is no parallel to be drawn to be drawn with USA other than to imply that TPLF supported by EPLF invaded the Central Government and took over power to establish a constitution with the ideologies of ethnic federalism and secessionism in its political model as a linger problem against Ethiopian Nationalism with the goals for unity, territorial integrity sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual freedom, liberty and equality to exceed ethnic and secessionist rights, when all Ethiopians will sing this land is my land from East to west and North to South with private ownership of land anywhere in Ethiopia as primary item to free market capitalism to the silent majority of Ethiopians with a government as a steward of the resources with an eminent domain, if one wants to draw parallel with USA.

  41. Dawi
    | #41

    aha said:

    [[ are implying the underlying crony capitalism by TPLF/Political, TPLF/EFFORT, TPLF affiliated enterprises, cadres in government offices and foreign corporations particularly in terms of land leases, evicting the indigenous people from their land to mechanized farming and devastation of the resources for export market..]]

    Aha – I am not implying, I am telling you it is the best one can do under the present circumstances. If we had a better solution to our past crises, TPLF/EPLF wouldn’t have won the war to begin with.

    Meles’s Developmental state is doing the best out of disastrous predicament our country is in. We can’t ask him to change the horses he came to power with and still do what he did because he is a product of that and a miracle man, he is not.

    Talking about Abegaz’s “Arat Kilo” reminds me of the “democratic” urban “Gentrification” that is taking place in many US cities where we reside.

    Folks that owned the land who were born and grew up in it sell their houses for pennies on the dollar. The way it is done is the taxes all of a sudden go up and these low income house owners are given offers that forces to move them to the periphery with some nickels and dime in their pockets. Now, the exact properties that were bought in give away prices become worth over $500,000 overnight. Off course, Abegaz and aha prefer having the option of the right to refuse under “democratic rule of law” but, many who refuse to sell are foreclosed upon because they can’t keep up with the higher payments. So, where is the “rule of law” advantage in this case?

    I say it is the same difference or worst to “Developmental State” proposals in cities like Addis. In fact in my humble opinion the overall pain of such ordeal to citizens is may be less in the latter. I am open for debate on that one.

    Let us go to the land grab issue as well.

    I have looked at some of the leases in Gambela & elsewhere to foreigners like Karaturi who btw, lost a large part of his leased land due to not following the agreement to the book. That tells us the agreement has teeth.

    Bottom line, the next generation citizens of the land leased regions who by then will be in a better position to make use of the land productively can make all lease holders like karaturi to pack up and disappear.

    Notice, that is a qualitative difference to the “settler colonies” (US & else where) who wiped out the indigenous population before grabbing their land.

  42. aha!
    | #42

    Dawi! Thank for revealing the true nature of the TPLF/eprdf regime, by supporting the ongoing exploitation, political and economic strangle of the countries resources and its silent majority in the name of Developmental state and crony capitalism by TPLF/Political, TPLF/EFFORT, TPLF affiliated enterprises, cadres and foreign corporations as it is the only way to develop the country and its human resources, absent of individual freedom and free market capitalism to silent majority of Ethiopians. You are also talking of applying the rule of law, where is there are no independent branches of the government.

  43. Abegaz
    | #43


    I am an ardent supporter of the rule of law. You gotta win or lose your case in any system using the rule of law. Current laws are not supposed to be inferior to the past. For me, clearly the monarch bested EPRDF in this regard – at least on property right.

    You raised involuntary giving up of rights in the west. Why should we cop them? We have our own ways of life styles. Capital and job market are at lowest development in our country and we cannot sustain the people if we do that. We cannot apply the same set of rules. Plus if we copy their path of social organization we should also copy their democratic norms and other social responsibility. Everything come with responsibility. It is not just parts and pieces that pleases the government in power. Let me be clear in my instance. I am not a die hard for democracy. What I requir is good governance and the need to have influential people in the system that check the government. I believe that the monarchy was the best despite its limitation in some instances. With some modification we could have made it work better. During that time, there were influential people and hence decisions were somewhat brokered. Even the then parliamentary elections were free and fair except you cannot change the power of the king. Now incompetent people are there and you can’t even change people at the kebele level. Even under the Derg, you can change your kebele leaders every year or so. EPRDF’s style is disgusting. Lazy and failed people come to the leadership and the country is regressing. Do not tell me about the buildings and the roads made by loans and printing out paper money. We can accelerate the development more that in a proper course with inflation above the carrying capacity of the people. Plus people are unable to eat properly now. I saw it in my own eyes. It is just the spirit of the people that makes it look like it is manageable. Should we really be starved with all the land resource and the very industrious people we have? This is a fact. Inflation is astounding. I feel headache when think over it. We have artificial problem. I am not talking about democracy here. It is a fancy word for us and probably not so badly needed. After all only few people become rulers. who cares about that? It is the good governance part that is needed. people need to be promoted and get wealth by hard work and not by short cuts. How can you get that when you bring incompetent people to the system. Best probably is to avoid election at the top level and bring technocrats to the policy decision making, and allow more democratic norms at the lower level. We could try this. I am not sure what end result we get. Clearly the current system of election is a waste of money and time. We have not changed Meles for 21 years by election until death took him away. I am sorry for him. He came out to reform the country. He landlocked the country, and became a monarch like King Haile Selassie and a fat cat over skinny people. worst, he instituted corruption in system. why election when he knows he is not going to go away? We could use our time and money for the much needed development work. It amazes me if there is one common thing we have to agree it is the rule of law. In the end people will be treated equally whether the current rulers go away and new ones come in. We do not even have to frequently change the laws if we agree to abide by it. It amazes me why we have to realize this after current rulers go away.

    Finally let me finish by stating this saying,”If there is no land owner, there is no country.” Anyone is entitled to take it.

  44. Dawi
    | #44

    aha & Abegaz,

    Meles was quoted for saying the following:

    “..While alive, Meles was equally indifferent to praise and blame. To those who acclaimed Ethiopia’s remarkable economic growth, he would ask, do they understand that his policies completely contradicted the neo-liberal Washington Consensus? To those who condemned his measures against the political opposition and civil society organizations, he demanded to know how they would define democracy and seek a feasible path to it, in a political economy dominated by patronage and rent seeking?..”

    So aha, I will ask you the same thing here; how would you define democracy and seek a feasible path to it? If you don’t have a quick path to it, please forget talking about the “silent majority” because it means nothing to Ethiopians today.

    Dear Abegaz,

    The “rule of law” as you pointed out and political completion/democracy in general have better value on later rates of economic development but today, it likely retards the development rate rather than speed it up because folks don’t even get along in what they’re talking about. Again among poor nations “semi authoritarian” political system increases the rate of economic development while “democracy now” is a luxury that hinders development. There is time for everything!

    Emperor Haile Selassie said the same thing once:

    “..Democracy, republics: What do these words signify? What have they changed in the world? Have men become better, more loyal, kinder? Are the people happier? All goes on as before, as always. Illusions, illusions. Besides, one should consider the interest of a nation before subverting it with words. Democracy is necessary in some cases and We believe some African peoples might adopt it. But in other cases it is harmful, a mistake…”

    And HIM failed – I take it Meles has improved that concept. :-)

    [[..EPRDF’s style is disgusting. Lazy and failed people come to the leadership and the country is regressing..]]

    I partially agree with you on this but this is an area HD & co. can build his legacy on.

    [[..he (Meles) instituted corruption in system. why election when he knows he is not going to go away? We could use our time and money for the much needed development work…]]

    I agree the costs of electoral process are huge never the less, with all the corruption you mentioned development is in fast speed in our country today. I just saw a video by Zemedeneh Negatu of Ernst-Young titled “think you know Ethiopia”

    It shows the development is more than high rise buildings.

  45. Abegaz
    | #45

    Dawi, Thanks you about the link. I say, better late than never to EPRDF.

    My take on the rule of law is a necessity for development, be it in economic or social fronts. The government is needed to be predictable and we got to be guided by acceptable principles and not by some sort of leader’s dreams or nightmares. This is good for investment too. I agree democracy is not a pressing issue. SO we register here a difference on the ” rule of law part.”

    On the industrialization of Ethiopia, good that EPRDF now understands the word industrialization. I say this because I heard it saying in the 2005 election “Agricultural led development or death,” a concept Meles copied from China’s Mao. In fact Mao’s china never succeeded until Den Deng Xiaoping got a chance to correct Mao’s fatal mistakes. This is why change of leaders at time helps – at least once in ten years.

    off the politics, two things:

    1. EPRDF should pay due attention on town planning. Take Addis Ababa for example. As you go out from your house/compound, you step into a road. No side walks, no trees near the side walks and no public parks. Take the city planning done during the emperor’s time. All have side walks and trees. What have we become of? Is this not regressing. EPRDF officials come here to the west and never learn from what they see. A lot of land leasing and building but no planned school, hospital, public parks as part of the city’s development. This is shame. We do not know what we are doing. Lack of visionary people in the planning is costing us. Last time, they had to dismantle so many new roads for the light railway for example. When asked, their reply is laughable. They tell you, “The development came faster than the road we built last year.” It is one thing to accept mistakes and move forward. Instead they choose to tell blatant lie. We should not put a burden for future generation. I am afraid that future generation may have to demolish many buildings because of the mismanaged town planning.

    2. EPRDF should stop seeing population size as a problem. Large population does not mean few people work and others have to sit down. There is no such culture in Ethiopia. erasun yemayichil anget yelem. All they have to do is engage the society in the ongoing the development. In fact investors come to us when our population size is large. Ethiopia’s landmass carrying capacity is far larger than 90 million people.

  46. aha!
    | #46

    Dawi ! Thank you for rehashing on the talking points, with out your challenge, reflecting the ethnic and secessionist politics and policies contrived by TPLF along with totalitarianism and/state capitalism as the economic model and put into the constitution, in which you alluded as Melses policies. I have never made it a point on the late Prime Minister nor His Imperial Majesty King of Kings Emperor of Ethiopia, who kept the unity, territorial integrity, and sovereignty of Ethiopia, nor the late Prime Minister, which helped to create the ideology of ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalitarianism and/or state capitalism that deny the silent majority of Ethiopians individual freedom and free market capitalism especially with private ownership of land as one of the means of production. When I talk of the silent majority of Ethiopians, I am referring to the population from all ethnic groups, that taught us with their tax money and grants from western democratic countries with out themselves being taught, has no party affiliation, except those who think of their Ethiopiawinet first and their ethnicity second with due regard to their citizenship to Ethiopia and those that their Ethiopian National interest ahead of their self interest in order to align oneself to the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

    The way I define democracy, is the rule by the people for the people and of the people, by the association of free individuals aligned with the national agenda but not with ethnic agenda, where the ethnic agenda defines the ethnic group as the unit of democracy, while the national agenda defines the individual as a unit of democracy consequently democracy is not imported but created from within a nation, and the rule of law is meaningless unless independent branches of government are inscribed in the constitution to bring about fair trial and justice in all aspects. And the government is steward of the natural and human resources with eminent domain but not a Real Estate agent and infrastructural development at a national level not dictated by any ethnic group minority now and majority in the future, where development reflects ecological regions, not Killil zones/ethnic homelands.

  47. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #47

    I have been reading the exchange of opinion between Obbo Abegaz and Obbo Dawi. This is what we need in our discourse, a tossing back and forth of ideas and observations in a civil manner. All glory goes to the editors of this website for letting such a discourse rip on their esteemed website. I have not seen name calling from anyone of these two gentlemen. Way to go guys even though it does not mean I am in complete congruence with some of their claims or observations. That is what the big enchiladas in the ruling circle back home need to understand. They will not survive without an existing strong opposition party that is allowed to function without being wrongly labeled a terrorist or any other incriminating name they make up. A single party system is not an eternal system. Sooner or later its demise is for sure on its own accord. Their spokesman can quote me and millions others about Sweden this Japan that because such claims will only come back to haunt them. Sweden? Are you kidding me? Our people will take Sweden of the 1940′s, 50′s, 60′s, 70′s and 80′s on any of their worst day. Someone needs to tell them not to utter such nonsense because they end up being the butt of a joke in the western media. Gun toting mentality will work as a survival kit just for a short while. I say quit and get with it. The opposition parties that renounce violence as a means of struggle should be afforded financial support and ample airtime to get their constructive ideas across and reach the populace. I want to reiterate again. Single party system will not last for long. It will be a goner within a generation time. All this mentality that if the union they conceived does not work according to the plan, Tigray will go on its own is just a fantasy that will never, ever happen. That is the most dangerous plan B their people ever faced. Amharas will not survive without Oromos; Oromos will not survive without Amharas; Tigray will not survive without the Amharas, Oromos, Afarsm Somalis and other nationalities and vice versa. That is my conviction and there is nothing you can do to let me shed my trust in our people who are hell bent to live harmoniously in a peaceful union based on equality. Nothing!!! So for the Sebhats, Seyoums, Arkebes, Abays and others like them who may be contemplating such Plan B, I say forget about it!!! There is no need for such plan and will never work. Stay with the rest of the people and open up venues so peaceful opposition parties will get stronger.

    If I am proven wrong in this opinion, I will welcome that. But those who choose to call me names for saying this, I say quit and leave me alone!!!!

  48. aha!
    | #48

    Itu Aba Farda @47, Your wishful thinking ” that the “Single party system will not last long”, and your support for Abegaz’s opinion of expecting justice from the TPLF/eprdf regime with non-independent branches of government fall short of the mark of the goals for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians. As you may know TPLF/eprdf is a coalition of a number of parties with ethnic agenda as much as Mederek is a coalition of Tigrai-Harena, and the loyalist opposition parties and UDJP with objectives for justice and democracy, and the loyalist opposition parties for ethnic rights, “yelilil Mengistats, Iqulinet mebit mekeber”, and democracy with ethnic agenda.

    To revive the 2010 election, whereby Mederk, which competed for votes in the Amhara and Tigrai regions on behalf of UDJP and Tgrai-Harena, respectively, does not constitute a multi party system, nor a replacement for the TPLF/eprdf party. Even if they have won a sizable number of seats in the parliament, there still would constituted a bicameral chamber of the parliament with ethnic federalism, secessionism, totalitarianism and/or state capitalism as ideologies built into the constitution and the peaceful struggle does not embrace the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the lat item refers individual freedom, liberty and equality to exceed ethnic and secessionist rights. If that condition prevails, Tigrai as one of the provinces under the constitution with assorted ethnic groups residing in its confines may not have to secede as much as what is stipulated in the constitution by the TPLF/eprdf regime composed of ex-liberation fronts who fought the previous regimes agaist oppression of nations and nationalities, rather than class struggle for land reform and workers rights and democracy.

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