The shock of seeing an African dictator at the G20 Summit – Neguse Gamma

March 26th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

The invitation of the Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi to the G20 summit on 2 April in London takes Ethiopians by surprise and invokes anger.

With regard to the invitation, Prime Minister Gordon Brown said, “…To be effective in addressing this global crisis we have to bring in partners from across the world. For that reason I have issued invitations to the leaders of G20 countries and the Chairs of NEPAD and ASEAN, as well as other international organizations.”

Ethiopians are surprised and angry due to the fact that there are no convincing moral grounds to accept his presence. However, one thing is clear. Ethiopians are aware that this brutal leader represses its citizens and while doing so he gets financial and political support from the British government.

Does PM Gordon Brown have a real concern for Africa’s plight? How does he view the fact that corrupted dictators who lead their nations to absolute poverty and famine, who abuse their power and steal foreign aid, come together with visionary leaders to discuss issues of global economic importance? The AU Chairman has already been invited to the summit, and why couldn’t he voice the partnership that Brown wanted? How about Jakaya Kikwete, the Tanzanian President? It was he who first expressed Africa’s determination to speak for itself at the G20 meeting. We understand that two days prior to Gordon Brown’s invitation of Meles Zenawi, Dominique Strauss-Khan, IMF managing director, suggested at the global economic crisis conference in Dar Es Salaam that Kikwete could be Africa’s voice at the upcoming G20 summit. If Brown believes only in the idea of “bringing in partners”, what was the problem of inviting the Tanzanian President or NEPAD’S executive chief? Had Robert Mugabe been the current Chairman of NEPAD, would Brown dare to invite him to the summit? We believe this would not have happened, and Brown’s concern for African partnership at the summit would have been a different story. South Africa, the only African country that takes part in the summit, was also there to demonstrate Africa’s voice. To this writer, inviting a failed state leadership to such a meeting is similar to compensating those failed bank executives with bonuses and benefits. What a puzzle!

No matter what or who they represent, tyrant leaders and authoritarian governments such as those headed by Meles need not be legitimized within the international community of nations. It is vital that human dignity should be valued first and foremost before any form of “partnership” with leaders and governments that aspire to rule by force and deceit.

Ethiopians strongly oppose and condemn the invitation. They are determined to expose the representation of the despotic leader and from all over European countries they will gather in London to express their anger and dissatisfaction on April 2, 2009 in front of the G20 Conference hall at ExCel building, near Silver Way Station.

In Ethiopia, since the TPLF/EPRDF government of Prime Minister Meles came to power, the country and its people have been under consistent crises. The government denies basic human rights of its citizens. Illegal detentions, tortures and arbitrary killings are taking place in every corner of the country – against opposition party members, their supporters and citizens that challenge the policies of the ruling party. The judiciary is not independent and there is no rule of law. Freedom of political opinion is restricted, members of the independent free press journalists suffer in prison camps without trial, and the media of the country is fully under government control. Meanwhile, tribal and ethnic conflicts are common features in different parts of the country.

Meles Zenawi is systematically destroying and dismantling Ethiopia. He has landlocked the country, given away vast territory to Sudan, and is now selling fertile and arable lands to foreign bidders such as Saudi Arabia and Djibouti in the name of investment – all without the consent of the people. His leadership lacks transparency and accountability. The ethnic-fascist authorities serving the government are totally corrupt.

The people of the country are starving, whereas Meles, his few top colleagues, as well as his party’s economic empire, are saving billions of dollars in foreign banks. They have completely laundered the nation’s banks and there is no foreign currency available to guarantee import and foreign trade.

Under Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia is a failed state and according to the fourth annual Failed States Index report of 2008, Ethiopia ranks 16th out of 177 countries. The FSI focuses on social, economic, political/military indicators that put the country under serious risk.

According to the FSI report, Ethiopia’s economy and the ability of much of its population to avoid severe malnutrition are highly dependent and as drought grips the nation, many more Ethiopians struggle to survive, aggravating an already existing food crisis. Nonetheless, agriculture is the nation’s most promising resource, and Ethiopia has the potential to become self-sufficient in grains and develop exports in livestock, flowers, grains, oilseeds, sugar, vegetables, and fruits. The economy lacks sustainability and remains a major impediment to growth and the alleviation of poverty. The government remains heavily involved in the economy and reforms have attracted inadequate amounts of foreign investment. The economic indicator worsened from 8.0 in 2007 to 8.2 in 2008. Ethiopia lacks sufficient foreign exchange earnings.
Foreign investment is poor, agricultural practices need improvement, transportation infrastructure is poor, economic reforms have to be made, and the establishment of peace are essential to developing the economy. Peace, however, continues to be threatened by the border dispute with Eritrea, ethnic violence, a separatist insurgency.

The government uses repressive tactics against the opposition, and corruption continues to be commonplace. The highly disputed 2005 elections resulted in a highly factionalized government.
The law requires an independent judiciary, and although civilian courts remained relatively independent, criminal courts are weak, overburdened, and subject to political intervention. There is an extreme lack of qualified staff within the judiciary.

The civil service continued to suffer from corruption and a lack of resources. The government tightly controlled news broadcasts and arrested, harassed, and prosecuted journalists, publishers, and editors. Freedom of assembly was severely restricted. Government officials manipulated the privatization process, with preferential access to land leases and credit given to state and party-owned businesses. Tensions are still high within the government itself due to the 2005 election controversy.

This report from the Failed States Index clearly demonstrates who Brown’s guest is.

Ethiopians recall the historic inaugural speech of President Obama, who declared that those leaders who “cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent are on the wrong side of history”. Meles Zenawi is a dictator who clings to power through corruption and deceit, silencing dissent with mass murder and arrest.

Inviting such a tyrant leader who has a total disregard for inalienable universal human dignity is unacceptable and must be condemned. He doesn’t deserve sitting under one conference roof with leaders who are really devoted to draw a plan to help their countries and people from a damaging economic crisis.

Tyrants like Meles Zenawi have no concern for their country and people. His concern is only for himself and the well-being of small minority groups and puppets who enrich themselves at the expense of poor citizens, buying him time to stay in power.

Gerard Padro Miquel, assistant professor of political economy at the Graduate School of Business, Stanford University, demonstrated that “African dictators distort their economies and steal foreign aid as the means to buy support from selected segments of the populace. These dictators not only deprive their subjects of human rights, they loot their countries so openly that they have become known as ‘kleptocracies’. Efforts by the developed world to aid these economies are often sabotaged by corrupt bureaucracies that siphon off a huge percentage of external development money.”

In relation to African leaders and the G20 summit, Booker Rising, a Kenya-based news site, has commented that, “British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown’s move to meet African leaders and ministers in a bid to seek their joint African position before the G20 summit due on April 2 this year is welcome. In the meeting that took place on 16th March 2009, African leaders however let the continent down by negotiating from a position of weakness. They argued that the continent is a ‘victim’ of externally generated circumstances and hence required funds totalling $50 billion. They also threatened that if the developed world would not provide financial assistance to African states, it would face the potential cost of violent conflict resulting from economic difficulties. Africa’s victim mentality and begging bowl have over the years led to blame games and shirking of responsibility. This is evidenced by dilapidated infrastructure that litters the continent; waiting for developed nations to intervene. It took $13 billion to lift Western Europe from the ravages of war but $300 billion has failed in Africa.”

If Prime Minister Gordon Brown and the G20 nations are serious about Africa’s plight, they need to critically examine who they are sitting with. Such a “partnership” will only be hypocritical and tantamount to bad governance.

The “partnership” needs to extend beyond the summit agenda to tackle the lack of transparency and accountability of African dictators, which is the primary cause of the continent’s poverty.

The promise of US President Barack Obama, “improved governance and sustainable development through out the continent” must be given utmost priority when it comes to concerns about African nations’ plight.

  1. dedebit
    | #1

    I think this person is heading to lead not only Ethiopia but the whole Africa!

  2. Phil
    | #2

    The African Union, Arab League, Islamic nations, G-77 nations 130 countries, China Russia are siding with Sudan against International Criminal Court. If the UN Security Council does not delay or rescind ICC criminal charges these nations will revoke the International Criminal Court charter. Susan Rice United Nations ambassador has overplayed her hands in setting up Omar al-Bashir for war crimes so that western corporations can cease control of Sudan’s natural resources. Susan Rice has working on ceasing Sudan’s natural resources sense the Clinton administration. Susan Rice was playing checkers against Sudan but the rest of the third world knew her plans and these nations played chess against Susan Rice and checkmated her. Susan Rice boss President Barack Obama now has to deal with Susan Rice abortion by appointing a special envoy retired Air Force General Scott Gration. Not good for Susan Rice a major failure less than a month on the job. Why Sudan is so important? In the last 5 years their oil deposits are 5 to 10 times larger than expected and huge high-yield deposits of Gold Silver Platinum Uranium and other precious metals were discovered. Sudan’s agricultural land has the richest red volcanic soil in the world but poor water distribution. A new dam was completed with 1 gigawatt of electricity and water for a massive water irrigation system. Soon Sudan will not need any food aid and will be a major food exporter.
    Susan Rice foreign policy disasters
    Should the African Union draw up list of undesirable people banned from the African continent it should be Susan Rice and her family at the top of the list. Susan Rice is responsible genocide in Rwanda supplying weapons Sudanese People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) which has waged a totally unsuccessful but nevertheless genocidal war against the Sudan government since 1983. While Susan Rice was engaging in highly publicized shuttling among Central African capitals, to demand that Congo allies Angola and Zimbabwe withdraw their troops from the Congo, in order to prevent a “wider conflagration, her underlings were in the process of vetting private contractors to give logistical support to the Ugandan- and Rwandan-backed rebels in the Congo. Every policy that Susan Rice has formulated has been a complete failure ending in millions of innocents Africans lives lost. If there is anyone who should be put on trial for war crimes in Africa it would be Susan Rice. If Susan Rice would be ever convicted of war crimes I would the first to pull the switch to save more millions of future Africans lives.
    It is also clear that the West and the Zionist who were supplying weapons to several otherwise peaceful ethnic factions externally creating an ethnic and sectarian civil war in which none existed before the discovery oil and gas that instigated the conflict in the Congo and Sudan in the Darfur region. When the Chinese where willing to invest billions of US Dollar reserves in oil and gas drilling pipelines and infrastructure improvements such as railways roads water and irrigation projects hospitals schools universities in Sudan that’s when the conflict started. The Zionist created a sectarian war between religious and ethnic group’s civil warfare than casualties mounted and the Zionist controlled media and their political lackeys instantly blamed the conflict on the Sudanese government. The United States and the European Union threaten economic sanctions against Sudanese government for the sectarian ethnic groups’ civil warfare originally created by the Zionist with the support of United States and the European Union. Sudanese government is an innocent bystander by a Zionist created civil warfare. Sudanese government primary interest is industrializing Sudan into an economic power equal to South Africa or better.

  3. ዳንኤል
    | #3

    ለምን አገራችን እንደዚ እስክትሆን እንተብቃለን ቶርነት እናንሳ በ ወያኔ ላይ ተነሱ ኢትዮያኖች

  4. al
    | #4

    ICC has been established to serve justice. It was formed long before Bashir or Zenawi came to power. What it does is bringing criminals to international court. We might say it has a limited power to execute orders and delay could happen before justice seen. Still, ordinary citizens of the world would like to see that accountability is in order for world peace. World peace means the peace of every village and corner where human beings are residing. Darfur must see justice, Addis Ababa must see justice, Asmara must see justice; Bush must be brought before justice for his devastating invasion against Iraq; justice justice justice; nothing else.

  5. Chala
    | #5

    Do you think the prime minister was invited by mere chance or whatever. Do you think that the inviting people are not aware of who is doing good and who is doing bad. Ethiopians should be proud of Meles Zenawi. He is intelectual, weather you like it or not for one reason or another.

  6. yikerbelen
    | #6

    ICC IS THE WESTREN COURT TO TAGRET SOME NATIONALISTS LEADERS IN THE WORLD LIKE ALBASHIR WHO REFUSED TO BE THEIR PUPPET LEADERS TO PROTECT THE WESTREN COUNTRIES NATIONAL INTERST. If the westren countries care about africa’s people, they should not invite the worest enemy of huamn being[ melese naziawi ]in G-20 meeting after they decided to take albashir for ICC for his crime against his own people in darfur. What about ethiopians who are being by melese naziyawi’s direct order in different parts of ethiopia? That shows the hypocratice westren leaders are not serious enough to bring all criminals to ICC, only those who are against their interst. that is why the ICC decision is being disrespected by most countries like eritrea and egypt. WE know for sure that the westren countries will never get albashir because he has never been in USA or EU before he will not in the future. what are they going to do? are they going to invade sudan and catch albashir as they did with sadm husien? let them try. They know how to enter in one country forcibly, but they do notknow how accomplish the job and go out like Iraq, afrganistan , somalia and before vitinam

  7. Assrade
    | #7

    The cowards and wicked of our times, that is to say the delusional Diaspora only allows the views of those who agrees with them to be posted on the subject of current political situation in Ethiopia, but yet they portrayed the historically ever hard working Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, in the history of our country, as a heinous dictator and a Hitler like personality.

  8. Tesema
    | #8

    Mr Chalaye,
    European knows who serves them better. History has it that they do like traitor like Meles not patriot. In addition, they know that a person as you are who support woyana would be happy, because they know that dictator supporters are lighthearted and simple minded. Is there any leader in the world who is very very very happy when given false respect by the western and who is care free when hated by his own people unless he is an African dictator like Meles zenawi. Who knows if he was good looking and had a lighter color, he might have declared himself as a fereje.
    His being invited to G-20 is good for woyana supporters Ego because it makes them happy since they are wicked, short tempered, visionless, and ill bred. But it comes to Ethiopia his invitation to G-20 bear no fruit,it is just another drama, just another fiasco. hi chalaye congra!!!

  9. Ethiopia
    | #9

    Great article. Thank for speaking on my behalf. Keep up the good job until this son of mine who has turned out to be a blood sucker Hyena, Melese Zenew, brought to justice.!!!

    Keep it up!!!

  10. tesfa
    | #10

    ICS hasn not been established to serve justice. It is a politicized and selective court which takes its order from the Security Council of the UN to protect the intterst of the west.

  11. yikerbelen
    | #11

    Yes, the decayed capitalists have invited the son of adolf hiotler [[melese nazi] to the G-20 MEETING, The meeting includes 1. The former decayed socialists from the east block,2, The decayed capitalists from the westren zone, 3.The visionless and sightless africa dictators 4. The mixture of both the old socialism and the current decayed and collapsed capitalism[ revolutionary -democracy, the combination of both decayed socialism to keep power in hand and decayed and collapsed capitalsm to cheat the old capitalists and to beg billions of dollars ] like melese .

  12. yikerbelen
    | #12

    Assrade. if you are not the part of the cowards, what areyou doing here?Do not you know where are the well known cowards in the world? with in TPLF.Those who donot respect the law of the nation and considered them selves are cowards. Those who threat their own people in humany and do not give any a respect for woman are cowards. Look your cowards have been threating w/t Birtukan. Such Acowardish action W/t Birtukan makes very easy to everybody to identify who is coward and who is not.

  13. yikerbelen
    | #13

    Assrade. if you are not the part of the cowards, what areyou doing here?Do not you know where are the well known cowards in the world? with in TPLF.Those who donot respect the law of the nation and considered them selves are cowards. Those who threat their own people in humany and do not give any respect for woman are cowards. Look your how your cowards have been threating w/t Birtukan. Such Acowardish action against W/t Birtukan makes very easy to everybody to identify who is coward and who is not.

  14. yikerbelen
    | #14

    The African’s dictators like melese are the the sources of westren national banks especially the british bank. The british bank recieved around 500 bn dollars from cameron only per year. that is why the westren countries are care about dictators.

  15. Anonymous
    | #15

    # 2′s comment is way too much, u r not suppose to write a novel on such blog. There could be so many important points but it’s boring.

  16. Anonymous
    | #16

    pls put ur comment in simple words, short & to the point. I think it’s better if there is a maximum character one can write on the comment blog pls.@Phil

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