Our real allies are Ethiopians who are fighting Meles – Ed Ryoce

By Ed Royce, U.S. Congressman

Nineteen years and counting. Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and his ruling EPRDF party are cruising to an easy “victory” in the May 23 elections. Taking power in 1991, Meles is as entrenched as they get.

Meles’ win did take some work. After the 2005 election, in which the opposition did too well for his liking, the hammer fell. Since then, political opponents and local journalists have been jailed. Foreign journalists denied visas. The internet jammed. Newspapers closed. There are credible reports of food aid being used as a political weapon. The government jams our Voice of America broadcasts, despite the nearly billion dollars of aid we give it each year. The State Department reports that Ethiopian security services commit politically motivated killings. The Meles government has the repression thing down pretty good.

Meles has buddies. Throughout the continent, several leaders are into their second, third and nearly fourth decades in power. No democrats here. The State Department tends to put them on pedestals, especially Rwanda’s Kagame and Uganda’s Museveni. Along with Meles, the Clinton Administration lauded these “new African leaders.”

I ran into the Ethiopian Ambassador last week. On democracy, he pleaded for time. African democracy is young, for sure. But that absolves sins of omission, poor infrastructure that frustrates voting, for example. Political hits and other violence against democrats are inexcusable. The Ambassador didn’t mention that his government is committed to “revolutionary democracy,” a collectivism that tolerates no dissent. The New York Times quotes a prominent Ethiopian dissident saying, “They still have this leftist ideology that the vanguard party is right for the people.” Trust me, they always will.

Last week, with seven other members of Congress, I wrote the State Department charging that in recent years it “has rarely spoken out about the Meles government’s human rights violations.” Diplomats, never wanting to offend, always short democracy. They go especially easy on Ethiopia because it checks jihadists in neighboring Somalia. I doubt the Ethiopian government hits them as hard as its political opponents.

Getting excited about democracy risks driving the Meles government into Chinese hands, some argue. Beijing is pouring billions into Ethiopia. This possible dance with Beijing says a lot about the Meles government’s true colors. Clearly, our real allies are the brave Ethiopian men and women fighting the rot of years of Meles’ unchecked reign. Aid them. Sadly, power has gotten to the point of absolutely corrupting Meles’ 19-year rule.

(Ed Royce, a Republican member of the United States House of Representatives from California, is a member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and a former chairman of the Subcommittee on Africa.)

12 thoughts on “Our real allies are Ethiopians who are fighting Meles – Ed Ryoce

  1. true on

    This congressman really understands us! We need to contact him and thank him for finding the truth. He understands that Meles is a scam! He must spread this news to other congressmen as well.

  2. Anonymous on

    Dear Rep. Ed Royce,

    Thank you so much. Please keep being a voice for the voiceless.

  3. Ras on

    The people that open the mouth first against dictatorships and injustice are for sure the most courageous one. Thanks Ed Royce.

  4. "Terrorism?" on

    and yet the US government helps this Criminal so called leader all he needs and abuse the nation and pushes the people to pick up weapon. The americans will eventually lable the people as Terrorists and bring down their black hawks. just like they did to the Somalis. how dummy could they get. in all of this i feel bad for the american tax payers.

  5. Worku on

    MR. Royce
    I thank you for your genuine remarks about the totalitarian dictator leadership of meles zenawi.
    The improper supply of tax payers money of the US citizens to dictator meles has now come to boost the growth of another sadam hussen in Ethiopia. After embezzling the poor Ethiopians money and The kind US citizens money today we have got a fully grown communist dictator Meles. Today Meles has become sure where to go and get support. He may not need money from US now to oppress the poor citizens of Ethiopia. The Chinise communist oppressors of its kind are now his choices. The world bank’s, the IMF’s, and other EU’s money is indirectly spent in Communist China through improper contracts.
    The goodwill of US and other Ethiopian allies seem to contribute for the growth of this shameful government of Ethiopia and shadowing the poor citizens of Ethiopia.

    Today Meles will argue about the genuineness of the election. It is an insult to the people of Ethiopia, US and for the whole democratic nations of the world. Are you still willing to feed the pig?

  6. Assta B. Gettu on


    Meles Seitanawi (Zenawi) will expire before he completes his five years terms; his wife Jezebel (Azeb) will then try to finish the five year terms on behalf of her diseased husband. The opposion, so enervated and fragmented, will gather forces and inveigh against Azeb’s promotion to the prime minister’s office without a valid public election.

    Friends of Meles Seitanawi – Washington and London, especially the decadent African Union – will search hard to find a person who behaves like Meles, who governs the people of Ethiopia like Meles, and who serves his country by the help of the Western donations – a subservient leader who always depends on the West and fulfills the interests of the West rather than his people’s interests and needs.

    Of course, it will not be hard for the West to find such a selfish person within the ruling party if not from the other side of the opposition. Once the West has picked up a person to govern Ethiopia, that person will govern Ethiopia despite the rallies, the slogans, the shouts, the criticisms, and the condemnations against the West by the opposing factions.

    To mute or to silence the opposition, the ruling party will release some political prisoners as a good gesture, and one of these political prisoners to be released will be Birtukan Mideksa. As soon as Birtukan is released from her jail after one and a half years in jail, she may or many not have a big crowd to welcome her home because of the restriction put in place in advance by the ruling party, never to allow any gatherings of people around her; even the media will be prevented from talking to her.

    The real political fight, and at that, the exciting one, will start when the five-year term of Meles is over under Jezebel’s (Azeb’s) or someone’s rule. This is the time when most of the Ethiopians in the diaspora will return in great number to their homeland with their immense wealth of knowledge and American dollars.

    Some of these Ethiopians will participate in the Ethiopian politics, and that is where the excitement comes in from their participation in every thing that concerns their country.

    These children of diaspora are more seasoned in politics than those Ethiopians who have never crossed the Atlantic Ocean and drunk the American distilled or purified water – the Jeffersonian democracy. Some of these new-comer Ethiopians are medical doctors, engineers, historians, mathematicians, archeologists, and experts in many crucial areas. These are the ones who can build Ethiopia, who can rule Ethiopia, and who can serve the people of Ethiopia honestly and truthfully.

    There will be, of course, some hindrances for the new-comer Ethiopians from those other Ethiopians who have been in Ethiopia and working for a long time with a little knowledge they may have. They may think the new-comer Ethiopians with their superior knowledge are a great threat to them; therefore, they will not communicate or associate with them friendly and try to avoid them as much as they could wherever they meet them.

    These westernized Ethiopians may not all succeed in building Ethiopia the way they want; they have been detached for a long time from the existing cultures of Ethiopia, such as going to Church every Sunday morning or every Friday to the Mosque and listening to the preacher for at least one hour. They are not used to leave home to go to Church with out first eating their breakfast. They are not accustomed to taking the Holy Communion before they eat any food or drink any water. Generally they are not used to “ቁጭ በል እናውጋ” (sit down and let us talk). Mostly they are governed by time; therefore, they don’t have enough time or desire to talk with the other Ethiopian who does not leave without greeting his friend and talking a little bit with him.

    Most Ethiopians at home are not governed by time; instead they govern the time. Westernized Ethiopians are slaves of time, always in a hurry, always to be at work on time, and always leave their work at a fixed time.

    At the end of the day, these westernized Ethiopians will learn how to govern their time like the rest of the Ethiopian people: Fore example, if one is asked to be at a wedding dinner at 7:30 P.M., he will be there at 9:30 P.M., and no question is asked why he is too late. This is one of the Ethiopian cultures; therefore, these westernized Ethiopians must follow the cultures and traditions of their country. It will take few hundred years for all Ethiopians to learn time management and do their daily work and complete it on time if not in time.

    There are some Ethiopians who do not even know when they were born, because their parents do not value time or do not want to put in writing the date their child was born. They are more overjoyed and more occupied by the birth of their new baby than by the time itself.

    Westernized Ethiopians with all their sophistications, I believe, will change Ethiopia and lead the Ethiopian people in the right direction, so let us encourage them to go back to their mother land and serve their country as soon as the Meles regime is over.

  7. Guadegna on

    Assta, were you drunk when you wrote your lengthy hocus pocus? Please don’t give the congressman a wrong impression of Ethiopians. Your Jebrish does not represent the great masses of Ethiopia and tthe entire East Africa. Also, please write coherently or leave it those who can.

  8. Gerrie on

    Dear US Cogressman Ed Royce,
    Thank you for speaking in the NAME of millions of VOICELESS Ethiopians, Eritreans & Somalis, who have been victims of the TPLF ethnic tyrant in Ethiopia, for the last 19 years, as you described elequently.
    Cogressman Ed Royce,
    Please note that millions of the voiceless victims of the Ethiopian tyrant, hope & pray that the US admistsration proves that it stand for “life, liberty & the pursuit of happiness of the huddled masses”, by demanding justice & democracy in Ethiopia.
    Thank you for adding your voice to the forces of justice & democarcy in Ethiopia.

  9. Assta B. Gettu on

    Guadegna #5,

    It seems you are too busy to read a 10- or 11- paragraph comment, but you have enough time to criticize those who write at length.

    Indolent people like you always prefer to read a five-sentence paragraph to a lengthy one because they easily get lost when they read a logically and thoughtfully constructed prolix paragraph. If you are the person who hates reading or reads at 3rd grade level, pick up an article or comment with only a paragraph and ignore the lengthy one. Why are you bothering yourself with my comment, a source of valuable insights and sapient advice?

    Since you are a low level reader, let me teach you something important:
    -use meaningless in stead of “hocus pocus”
    -use gibberish in stead of “Jebrish,” a word that does not exist in the English dictionary; perhaps, it exists in Quran or Hadith.
    -say: “…leave it to those who can,” instead of saying: “leave it those who can.”

    Judging from your use of words and sentence constructions, you are the one who has been highly intoxicated with alcohol or hypnotized by hashish or marijuana as you write words such as “hocus pocus” and “Jebrish.”

    Don’t worry about Mr. Ed. Royce, U.S. Congress Man, who knows very well some of the Ethiopian bad apples of your kind – the Woyanne cadres – and the good ones who are fighting in one of the Ethiopian jangles to liberate Ethiopia from your master, Meles Seitanawi (Zenawi) and his wife, Jezebel (Azeb), and from that Muslim merchant, Al Amoudi, and from Aba diabilos, Aba Paulos, Patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahido Church at home.

    Have I ever said my writings represent the views of the people of Ethiopia and the Horn regions? My views are my own views; my comments are my own comments; my articles are my own articles, and I have the right to say anything I want on this universally watched web site – the EthiopianReview.com, and I am very grateful to the Editor, Elias Kifle, for allowing me to freely express my God-given views without fear, intimidation or persecution as it is the case in Ethiopia and in many other countries under ruthless dictators.

    You wrote: “Also, please write coherently….”

    If you really understand the essence or nature of the word “coherently” you have used as an adverb, tell me which sentences of mine in my comment lack cohesion, link, or joint? Most of my sentences have, like in physics, intermolecular force that holds together the molecules, the ideas that flow intermittently if not interminably like gentle rain from my head to my pen and from my pen to my note book and from my notebook directly to EthiopianReview.com. That has been the process of my writing, and the same process of my writing will continue until it demolishes the sophisticated intrigues, lies, and cheatings Meles Seitanawi and his criminal gangs have been committing all these years.

    Since you detest reading lengthy comments, let me summarize what I have said in my interminable response to your terse but meaningless comment:
    1. My views are my own, not anyone else’s.
    2. Read at high grade level.
    3. Know how to use diction.
    4. Jebrish is not an English word, but gibberish is.
    5. Don’t inhale marijuana to get high, and that is why you wrote “Jebrish.”
    6. Mr. Ed Royce, U.S. Congress Man, knows the bad and the good guys of Ethiopia.
    7. Worry for yourself but don’t bother about the Congress Man.
    8. Give some evidence of my incoherent sentences in my previous comments or articles.
    9. I always drink water, milk, juice but never alcohol, so never get drunk.
    10. Some foreigners, when they see a country like Ethiopia governed by the criminal Meles, will have a bad impression about that country, in this case about Ethiopia. To change their unfavorable impressions about our country, we have to work hard to overthrow Meles Seitanawi who has given our country an indelible stigma.
    11. If you believe my writings do not represent the Ethiopian people, then why are you so much concerned about my views?
    12. Leave my views to others who have the gift of separating the wheat from the chaff.

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