Reversing the exodus from TPLF-created hell – By Robele Ababya
Heinous crimes impossible to hide
The sovereignty of Ethiopia was sold barrel and stock by the TPLF even while its war machines and that of its twin Stalinist Derg regime were killing the children of poor peasants on both sides. The cessation of Eritrea leaving Ethiopia landlocked was a done deal. Therefore, the repressive TPLF regime and some elites on its payroll have no moral authority to criticize supporters of external diplomatic intervention on issues of universal human right which the ruling regime continues to gravely abuse. It is ironic that the regime and its cronies lament about the country they have mutilated and more of the same are in the cards of these new breed of thugs employing Stalinist method of political control and market economy which they dominate to feed their insatiable greedy appetite.
The cardinal overarching issue is gross violation of basic human rights under the despotic misrule of the racist regime of Meles ridding roughshod on the civil liberties of Ethiopians. The exodus of able-bodied young Ethiopians is testimony to the unbearable hell created by the regime. For example, the departure in droves of especially Oromos in large numbers to Yemen – the unlucky ones drowning in the Red Sea – is a painful example of suffering in their motherland where their kin are languishing in jail in their tens of thousands. The cold-blooded execution of student Wondimu Damena at Gedo in Western Ethiopia is a gruesome example of wide-spread oppression of the Oromo people known for their democratic tradition. Notwithstanding my Pan African view so necessary in the 21st century, I solicit my fellow Ethiopians to elevate further their condemnation of the act of terror unleashed by the ruling Meles regime.
It was crystal clear from day one of the entry of TPLF to Addis Ababa on that darkest day in the history of Ethiopia that a home-grown evil force meant to destroy our motherland had set in. We are today vindicated by the exclusive stance of the regime and colossal damage to life and property inflicted on the Ethiopian people in the last 18 years. It is our duty as citizens to remind ourselves and the international community again and again of the heinous act perpetrated over these years. To not do so is tantamount to dereliction of our inheritance and betrayal to the cause for which our forebears had made invaluable sacrifices in the defence of our territorial integrity and independence.
Breach of Constitution
Ethiopians have witnessed rampant breach by TPLF of its own so-called constitution imposed on the people. All rights granted by this constitution such as freedom of association, freedom of expression are completely denied and other pillars of democracy including independent judiciary and independent electoral commission are entirely subservient to the ruling regime. Moreover the regime is the sole landlord in its serfdom where the peasants constituting more than 85% of the Ethiopian people live in bondage.
The icon Judge Birtukan has been stripped of her fundamental human rights and thrown into the infamous Kaliti prison for no other reason than speaking the truth. Her services as a brilliant and principled Judge are locked up with her in the 4 square meters space of her cell. This is cruel coupled with the manner in which she was roughed up by the ten thugs that whisked her to the prison where she is being tortured psychologically and physically. This prisoner of conscience represents the young generations, members of her gender and all democrats in dire hunger for democracy and equality in their homeland. But the young with no hope for decent job and no right for critical thinking are migrating in droves to escape from the hell in which they are suffering these atrocities.
TPLF’s development rhetoric
No citizen in his/her right mind will object to rational all round development of his/her Motherland, Ethiopia. The issue is whether the buildings and infrastructures of which the TPLF is boasting would not be white elephants at some time in the near future. Time will show that most of these facilities put in place in the absence of priorities based on comprehensive and transparent cost-benefit analysis would soon prove costly to the tax payer who would be asked to finance for maintenance and repair of non-performing assets.
The high rise buildings lining roads in Addis Ababa serve to boost the image of the repressive regime to external mentors. The question is what they mean: to the women in the environ of Addis Ababa streaming to the City carrying firewood for sale or domestic use on their back; to the peasants transporting their produce to the market by donkeys; to families eating once a day in shifts; to millions lacking medical treatment; to the young sitting in ghettos behind the skylines lining the streets without hope of finding decent jobs.
The ‘vocal’ Diaspora is simply saying that development in the 21st century should be driven by compassionate regimes subordinate to the rule of law and passion to listen to the voice of the people they serve. The totalitarian regime of Meles is not one of them.
Addis Ababa is an oasis of luxury and extravagance for the few rich in the high echelon of the TPLF regime; it is an enclave of misery for the overwhelming majority of its citizens.
Heinous crimes and misrules such as briefly brought up in the forgoing paragraphs constitute a mirror in which the TPLF leaders and their cohorts can see their ugly faces. The ruling regime stands accused for the sellout of vital national interest; it has lost all trust and moral authority to speak for the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ethiopia.
Support of external powers
The TPLF regime had its field day of glory for the last 18 years with the support of fund and support flowing from Western democratic leaders hoodwinked by deceit of the pathological liar Meles at the helm of his exclusive and racist regime driven by intrigues of the few in his kleptocracy. The tyrant has enjoyed red carpet treatment at a previous G8 meeting sitting at the high table with powerful leaders of the industrialized world feasting on sumptuous food and sipping select wine and champagne – shockingly after security forces under his command had executed hundreds of protesting unarmed civilians protesting the daylight robbery of votes cast in the historic election of 15 May 2005, which election dealt a heavy blow to the repressive regime.
It is ironic that Prime Minister Gordon Brown has invited the tyrant Meles to the G20 meeting slated to be held in April in the United Kingdom. This invitation is taking place at this time when: Judge Birtukan Midekssa is in jail for speaking the truth which the Ethiopian people are entitled to know; Teddy Afro is in jail for his clarion call for peace and reconciliation; thousands of political prisoners mainly of Oromo ethnic origin are languishing in jail; all pillars of democracy are still under the complete control of the Meles regime in violation of its own constitution.
Appeal to Western democracies
The ruling regime has guns with its fingers on the trigger to shoot and kill innocent protesters as it did in the aftermath of the historic election of 15 May 2005; it has filthy and congested prisons in which political prisoners suffer; it has direct budget support to pamper its security forces committing heinous crimes; it has a rubber stamp parliament to pass laws such as the NGO Act to kill the growth of civil societies.
On the other hand Ethiopians in the Diaspora are with the power of their pen expressing objection to any direct support that would be construed by the regime as approval of its reprehensible actions.
It is enviable that jails for political prisoners are no more thinkable in the USA and Europe. This is a phenomenal achievement we want to emulate. The relatively new International Criminal Court of which Meles is scared is another wonderful invention for guaranteeing respect for basic human rights and the rule of law.
What the Ethiopian people are seeking in earnest is democracy. The appeal to the democracies of the industrialized world is to stop double standards and take us along as equal partners in fundamental human values that would be held sacrosanct in the 21st century.
Challenge for us in the opposition camp
Ethiopia is at least one large prison camp if not hell to; hundreds of millions of peasants comprising 85% of the Ethiopian population living in serfdom; millions of the young generations without hope for decent jobs and exposure to rigorous educational standards that would prepare them for tomorrow; intellectuals and students in tertiary institutions where academic freedom is denied; the overwhelming majority of Ethiopian hungry citizens suffering the brunt of soaring prices of basic necessities.
No wonder then that people seek for exit from this hell. But this exodus must be reversed and the urgency to do so must heighten. This requires our unity in the opposition camp.
In the immortal words of Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam “Ethiopians united, can not be defeated”. Let us pool our resources and march to victory. Our victory through united struggle will be written in glory in the annals of the history of Ethiopia.
Let us all dream of bright and glorious days of exodus back to our homeland to build a strong and democratic Ethiopia together with our fellow citizens.
LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!!
Robele Ababya (email@example.com