Joke of the year from Weyane media
MEKELLE – Hagos Seyab was a rich businessman from Gulo Makeda, in the Irob/Zalambessa area, before he was abducted three months ago and taken to Mekelle. Later on in the suburbs of the city, his body was found by the roadside, riddled with bullets. His killers never took money and gold, signifying theft was never the motive. No investigation was carried out, and his killers remain at large.
Woldu Gebre-Michael was leading his life as maintenance worker of mobile phones and other gadgets in Kebelle 14, Mekelle. One day in September last year, he was dragged into the 3rd police station, where he was tortured to death. No explanation was given to the family.
These are two of many harrowing stories being endured among those over 14,100 prisoners in Tigrai region, according to Snit Radio, which broadcasts its program in Tigrinya between 9:30 am to 10:00 am to residents in Washington, DC and environs.
Presented by activist Mekonnen Zelelew, Radio Snit says many Tigrians languish in tiny prison-cells that are sardine-packed with inmates numbering between 50 to 300. Human rights violations are rife in the region where most violations remain under-reported. It is common to see imates turned to "pale" because they are being put to slow death through deliberate starvation.
In Mekelle, where fear runs deep and unemployment runs high, suspected opposition elements are picked up from the streets as “dangerous hooligans,” and thrown into police stations where they are welcomed with beatings. Mekelle has the highest prison population of over 3, 500 inmates, while Shire Endaselassie comes in second as home to 3,000 prisoner, said Radio Snit. Both criminal offenders and prisoners of conscience are housed together.
Prison populations in Tigrai
1. Mekelle – over 3,500 prisoners
2. Shire – 3000 prisoners
3. Raya – 2,200 prisoners*
4. Humera – 1, 500 prisoners
5. Adigrat – 1,400 prisoners
6. Axum – 800 prisoners
7. Adua – 800 prisoners
8. Tembien – 700 prisoners
9. Dansha – 700 prisoners
Complementary powers in Mekelle & Addis Ababa
It is very crucial to understand, political observers say, that there are two complementary power groups in Mekelle and Addis Ababa. Meles Zenawi and Bereket Simon control Ethiopia from Addis while Sebhat Nega and Tewodros Hagos guarantee Tigrai is firmly in their hand. The four men are Eritreans by blood, conviction and action.
Understandably, some critics argue that there is no such thing as "TPLF" in the real sense of the word because the letter "T" in the acronym stands for Tigrai. They have successfully wiped out all educated TPLF rebels who questioned why Tigrian youths were being used as cannon fodders to save Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF) which was on the verge of being annihilated by Ethiopian Defense Forces.
According to the new book Gahad, written by TPLF founder Asgede G. Selassie, nearly 60,000 TPLF rebels were deployed in Eritrea between 1980 and 1984 and rescued Eritrean rebel group EPLF by foiling major Ethiopian military operations such as the Red Star. Tigrian rebels who challenged why young Tigrian youths were used to save anti-Tigrian groups like EPLF were eliminated by TPLF bosses who are still in power.
The Eritrean group in power - though deceptively wears a Tigrian caport known as "Woyane" - are very restrictive that they have, for instance, never allowed Prince Mengesha Seyoum, former governor of Tigrai during the Emperor's time, to visit the region since they seized power in 1991. Their fear and meanness stretches far to the extent of turning away an old man in his 80s to visit a region he left over 30 years ago.
Eritrean mercenary rule in Ethiopia emerged absolutely powerful after the group foiled Ethiopia's impending military victory over Eritrea during the 1998-2000 War, and when the Eritrean Meles-Sebhat wing crushed the Tigrian wing of Siye & Gebru in 2001.
Eversince, the struggle has been to paint the government to look as much Tigrian as possible becasue they cannot have legitimacy to rule Ethiopia if they reveal their true colors as Eritreans. For this reason, they conduct lavish Tigrai Development Association (TDA) fund-raising events at hotels like Sheraton Addis, which they broadcast live on national TV and radio, but the proceeds from such mega fund-raisers hardly reach the Tigrai poor. The whole message they want to get across is: "We are Tigrians in control of state power in Ethiopia."
This doesn't mean there are no Tigrians in power. There are, of course. But these are hirelings like other greedy hirelings from Amhara, Oromo, Wolaita etc. Like the top of a pyramid, the self-acclaimed Eritreans control the key positions, and anyone who challenges their policy, particulary related to Ethiopian sovereignty, is dead meat like former TPLF officials who were eliminated under various pretexts.
Radio Snit producer Mekonnen says January 24 program will deal with how the Meles/Sebhat group controls several chains of business establishments that have gobbled up a sizeable part of the Ethiopian market. For instance, he adds, TPLF owns Selam Bus Transport Share Company, which boasts a fleet of 550 (five hundred fifty) buses that run down the length and breadth of Ethiopia. None has been ever audited. "The goal of TPLF is to cripple private businesses and monopolize the market," Mekonnen adds. "The profit from the lucrative markets is used to enrich TPLF bosses, and finance their huge security networks, police stations, torture chambers, and spies that keep them in power."
* In Raya, the figure 2,200 includes prisoners in Maichew, Alamata and Kobo Taffe, where Kobo has a special maximum security prison for 650 inmates the government categorizes as ‘dangerous hooligans.’ (The phrase ‘dangerous hooligans’ is a favorite of the Zenawi regime. During the 2005 stolen elections, when 193 civilians were killed by security forces, the government rounded up thousands of opposition supporters as "dangerous hooligans" to justify the brutal crackdown on dissent). http://www.ethiomedia.com/aurora/9704.html