By Kiflu Hussain
Right at this time, most of our African commanders-in-thug have assembled in my hometown, Addis Ababa. Imagine how these thugs would panic if Ethiopians suddenly rise up in unison like the Tunisians and Egyptians. The thugs would automatically abandon their comrade-in-thug, Meles Zenawi. By the way, Ethiopians are not new to making an earth shaking revolution. Had it not been hijacked by the military, in 1974 Ethiopians nearly made history. In 2005, Ethiopians again manifested their civility and maturity to embrace genuine democracy. Unfortunately, due to the egocentricity of the opposition leadership combined with the ever hegemonic geopolitical interest of the West, Ethiopians aspiration faced a temporary setback. Meanwhile, commensurate with the worsening repression by the Zenawi regime, Ethiopian’s anger is also simmering. It’s only waiting for the proverbial last straw or a tiny spark to galvanize it into a huge revolutionary ball of fire.
Just like I get exasperated at the apparent submission of our people to tyranny, a Ugandan journalist friend of mine texted me:
While Tunisians and Egyptians bring their governments down by protests, Ugandans protest by keeping quiet and Ethiopians and Eritreans protest by fleeing their country in thousands!”
To which I replied by concurring fully. On second thought, however, I changed my mind at least on Uganda and Ethiopia. Both in Uganda and Ethiopia, the public had shown its readiness for change and anger against tyranny. In 2007, I witnessed the Mabira demonstration in Uganda. In September 2009, I was in the thick of the Buganda uprising. It’s always the intellectual elite that lag behind the ordinary people’s aspiration for mere crumbs from the establishment. With the pervasive abject poverty vis-à-vis the obscene riches of the few, raging anger is everywhere.
Tolstoy warned long ago by pointing out:
Insurrection is a machine that makes no noise.”
How true! Even CIA and Mossad couldn’t detect the raging contagious revolution in North Africa. So imagining a revolution in Addis Ababa at this time is not that much of a wishful thinking.
(The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)