Ethiopia and its self-Inflicted wounds.


Ethiopia and its self-Inflicted wounds. By Yilma Bekele

Some of our independent Web sites have put me in a quandary. That is not a good place to be. A certain amount of certainty is a must for rational existence. There have to be stuff that we all have to take for granted. Some things like a mother’s love for her child or the fact of gravity are not open for discussion. I include Shaleka Mengistu in this category. His crime against my country is not a talking point or something to bargain with. He was evil and he did evil things to us. No need to split hairs.

Well this last week I was forced to rethink a few things I took for granted. What made me wreck in agony was the issue of Shaleka Mengistu Haile Mariam and his place in our history. I know it is another assault on our country but this time I believe the blow was self-inflicted. Mengistu Haile Mariam was prominently displayed on our Independent Web sites. It was not to commemorate or celebrate his demise or some catastrophe that has befallen him but rather an interview with some Australian Amharic radio station offering us his advice and opinion.

That is what brought depression, sadness and a big dose of uneasiness in my already precarious existence. I was left wondering if something is wrong with me to so much obsess about such a matter. Was seeing the individual being quoted on our ‘fiercely pro democracy and upholders of Human Rights’ Web sites so troubling to loose sleep over?

I have come to the conclusion that it is something to worry about. It looks like our understanding of the concept of good and bad or evil is based on a shaky ground. It seems to be very fluid and open to interpretations based on other factors, which we are free to tack on. We love to qualify all our statements. He is evil but he loved his country is a common comment. I guess he loved us so much that he was willing to kill us all to see it his way.

It actually took me four days to force myself to listen to the so-called interview. It was a very difficult decision. I feel sickness when I see his name while his voice causes me nausea. His picture brings negative and violent feelings inside of me. If I have my way, I would love to live in a world where he does not exist. I braced myself and pushed play and listened. To start with I was disappointed with the interviewer addressing the individual as “erso”. I knew we were on rocky ground here. Then the monster began to speak. I got sick. My stomach was turning over. My mood became dark. I wanted it to end. I listened but I did not hear.

The Shaleka speaks in a monotone. There is no feeling or emotion in his voice. It seems like he has
rehearsed it so many times that it comes out cold and stripped of any feeling. It has a strong resemblance to some one we know. You can tell he is street smart but not intelligent. You can say the same about most dysfunctional leaders. They can talk. Most of it is garbage but they believe it.

My issue is not with the Shaleka but with our Independent Web sites. What were the editors thinking when they posted his ugly mug and the stupid interview? Did they think it was news worthy? If so in what way? Was it supposed to inform us, motivate us, make us laugh or remind us of the good old days? What exactly was the message here? I am afraid I don’t have a good explanation but I do know how it affected me personally. It got me in a very funky and ugly mood. That is not fair.

Do you think this is an issue of freedom of information and the press? In a way, yes it is. But I am not debating whether they have the right to publish or not. My issue is regarding their editorial judgment regarding using a criminal to discuss such important concept as freedom and democracy. That is what SBS Amharic radio from Australia did. Someone actually asked the monster about his feelings about our country, the current regime and independence of South Sudan.

It is very humiliating to hear this murderer talking about my homeland. It was a shame to see it prominently displayed on the Internet. It is an insult to his victims to have the criminal discuss our issue from his luxurious hiding place. The crimes he did to us is still fresh. The mothers and fathers that lost their precious children are still with us. The image of our parents that died humiliated by his tugs is etched in our brain forever. Millions of us are uprooted from our homeland due to the decisions he made as a ‘leader’. The exodus that started during his watch has continued unabated. Our country lost the best and the brightest. A generation was wiped out at a critical moment in our history. All this disaster leads to Mengistu Haile Mariam and his associates.

There isn’t a single Ethiopian family that has not been negatively affected by Mengistu Haile Mariam. His crimes are recorded by so many of his victims that there is no punishment enough fit for this monster. He made so many ill-advised policies that millions paid the price. He was not man enough to stand behind his decisions. He lacked the courage to answer for his actions. He choose to flee to save himself. He is what you call a coward.

This is the person the radio station brought out to discuss the country he left behind in the middle of the night in a chartered plane with his family and immediate criminal friends. Today he is a refugee, a Diaspora what ever you call it like the rest of us. But he did live with suitcase full of US dollars and he does not have to sweat like the rest of us. I hear he is a gentleman farmer in Zimbabwe. I also understand that he is on the look out for another location due to the precarious position his friend Mugabe is in. My only good wish to the Shaleka is may he roam the planet in search of a home and may he not find it!

What I think is that this philosophy of the enemy of my enemy is my friend is not really a winning idea. It is too simplistic and void of value. Like the FIFA rule states ‘winning is without value if victory has been achieved unfairly or dishonestly.’ Trying to use Mengistu Haile Mariam to point out Meles Zenawi’s fault is like taking a sucker punch, it might work but it is vile. Wining will be empty. I hope it is something better we are working for and aiming at. For it to work it has to be honest and fair. If not what is the point?

I have a few things to say to this sorry ass of a human being named Mengistu Haile Mariam. I would rather he shut up and stay under the rock he has been hiding under. I am saddened to think that the last twenty years have not been a time of reflection on his part. A little amount of remorse would have been better. It has confirmed my strong suspicion that he is a mentally deranged person unable to understand the gravity of his crimes and the extent of the havoc he has caused on millions of Ethiopians. The dude is not fit to be a leader. His lack of knowledge, understanding and training among other things were evident in the final result he left behind. There is no need to explain because it cannot change the result. We are living it.

This is my message to the varmint. We want you to take care of yourself. We want you to live a while longer. It is not because all of a sudden we are interested in his welfare. No sir. It is because we want to see the day that he would stand for trial and answer for his crimes. When Ethiopia becomes free and democratic, we will do all our very best to haul his sorry ass back home and face the music. He will be kidnapped by our special forces like his counterpart predecessor Adolf Eichmann. To refresh your memory Israeli agents abducted this garbage from Argentina and he was tried and hanged in Jerusalem. The Shaleka deserve no less.

Let us make something clear here. Criminals like Mengistu have no place in the Ethiopia we want to build. Twenty years ago if we have arrested this monster and his associates and brought them to justice we would not be faced with the same situation today. Our current leaders would have understood the consequences of crime and punishment. That is why witnessing the Mubaraks facing justice brings a certain amount of satisfaction to our heart. It is not really whether Mubarak is jailed or not but rather the fact that he has to answer for his actions is a lesson to future Egyptian leaders. We missed our chance and we are faced with the sons and daughters of Mengistu.

My advice to our independent Websites, please respect the sensibilities of your readers. You are our voice and use your mighty power with caution. Calling one criminal to testify against another waters down the severity of the transgression. We are not here to compare the degree of lunacy of our illegal leaders. This is not ‘Merkato’ where you can bargain over stuff but real life where the actions of monsters like Mengistu and Meles have real life consequences. Tell you what the next time we want to hear about Mengistu is to inform us his death or arrest which ever comes first.


40 thoughts on “Ethiopia and its self-Inflicted wounds.

  1. Eden1 on

    Basically, he dismissed the interviewer’s clue to him that he will ask questions on different issues. Mengistu stated that he will not answer questons except regarding South Sudan ( most likely he could be heading that way too /there might be trouble in his paraidise). He recommended his published book for any one to know. Ha? just Kill two birds with one stone. Dictate it all in a book and not even highlight what he wrote about? That is also bad PR and marketing. His poor publishers!

    Yilma,
    The state of alertness you have in newly released interviews that can affect/alter/convince the general public and the way you nip it in the bud while it is hot and fresh in people’s mind is fantastic and invaluable. One recent example is “Atse Tewodros and Meles” on the recently posted interview of Meles.

    “I have come to the conclusion that it is something to worry about. It looks like our understanding of the concept of good and bad or evil is based on a shaky ground” YB

    I believe you are not alone in asking or making such a conclusion.
    ————-
    As far as websites that post it, the more of broad variety, the better including this interview. The danger will remain if there is shortage of people like you with keen observation and free to share their feeling/thought/views in response. I listened to it on ethiomedia.com. I have a respect for the website and its editor. The occasional disadvantage of non-forum websites is you don’t know people’s opinion.

  2. Ordofaa on

    To all Amhara, Afar, Somali, Tigray and Omotic people of the Horn!!! Rise up! Rise up against the tyranny that has been bleeding and violating you!!! Rise up in unison and do away with a despotic one-party system and replace with a replica of an American democratic system!!! Let it be the Republics of Amhara, Oromiya, Afar, Ogadenia, Tigray (They may opt to go with Eritrea) and the Omotic People!!! And then let’s melt down all the instruments of war and political killings to make hammers and drills for our industrial projects!!! Rise up and send this cactus munching monkey face and his consort back to the joint they came from!!!

    And these to my Oromo compatriots!!!!

    What we freedom-aspiring Oromos need now is a reassessment of what has been done(both accomplishments and setbacks) and lay down a refreshed path. We all know that we are inching close to the bright day of emancipation. A congress should be called and held soon in order to elect new leaders in all echelons of our vanguard house. We should open offices in every continent and start preparing the world for the impending independence of Oromiya. We should keep our struggle clean of atrocities and being used by opportunistic forces. We Oromos have qualitative and quantitative assets. We should use them wisely and properly. We have more than 30 million Oromos behind us and fondly awaiting our arrival. And more than anything else, the arrival of our beautiful Oromiya. Just look at her. She is so beautiful and resourceful. She is old enough to be my mother and young and robust enough to be my much younger sister. The bells of freedom are tolling for home-coming of her braves and glorious people. God has set up a date of freedom with my beautiful Oromiya in 2014.
    Rise up yo’ll!!! Rise up!!!!!

  3. Abera M. on

    Yilma,

    You are living in a fantasy world and with so much hatred, you make yourself a vindictive little man when you do not want to acknowledge that Mengistu was a Colonel. Mengistu has his mistakes, I agree with you, he loves power and the way he killed his opponents (by the way some of the people killed were killers too) is extrajudicial. There are still segments of society who would like to hear about him, because the way he has left the country is still a taboo. Did CIA tricked him out of the country? (I heard they let him listen a a pre-programmed radio broadcast while he was on a plane for a visit, I am not sure how far this is true). Were other security officials like the late Tesfaye Woldeselassie were working with TPLF betraying the country? What is the American and the British involvement in all this? There are still many unanswered questions.
    There is another important point, Mengistu, for all his flaws, has never compromised on the territorial integrity of Ethiopia. A monster against his opponents, he loves his country (you might say how can you love your country killing its population?).
    We unfortunately have a corrupted ethnic mafia (Mengistu was not corrupt)who hates the country and its people. I think its in our nature to long for something better in the past when we are in a worse situation. In an ideal situation I wouldn’t want Mengistu to be in Arat kilo, but compared to Meles and his gang, Mengistu was a better person.

  4. Tenes! on

    Thank you, Ato Yilma, for your excellent piece re the murderous dictator Mengistu. I wish to make a couple of comments and suggestions:

    1. Although I agree entirely with your idea of bringing Mengistu to justice, the right venue should be at the International Criminal Court and not anywhere else in order to ensure that he will have his proper day in court and be a lesson for current and future dictators. What Ethiopians could do in this regard is to call on the international community including the ICC itself to bring the vicious dictator to justice.

    2. Shame on all the websites which posted Murderer Mengistu’s sound byte as if a murderer’s evidence is acceptable against another murderer! The Eth radio station in Australia that hosted the murderer must have been a Dergue lapdog or an accomplice in the huge crime committed against thousands of Ethiopians who perished under that murderous regime.

    3. It is very sad to note that we Ethiopians continued, shamelessly, to espouse a fundamentally flawed concept: “the enemy of your enemy is your friend”! It was on the basis of that concept that the criminal Dergue regime was allowed to get rid of the Haile Selassie regime. Again, it was on the basis of that same faulty reasoning that the Dergue was replaced by a worse regime, the Woyanes. We have still not learned from our repeated mistakes: we now welcome back to our popular websites, etc. the very same murderer, Mengistu to preach to us about dicatorship! Even more sadly, Dr. Berhanu Nega was heard and seen stating that he would welcome the devil (meaning Isayias Afeworki’s regime) to fight against the Woyanes!!! What were you thinking, Dr. Berhanu…..you wish to bring democracy to Ethiopia with the help of the devil????!!!!

    In conclusion, let us make a serious attempt to bring the criminal Mengistu for trial at the ICC. Let us please have the right partners to bring democracy to our beloved nation, Ethiopia.

  5. Dear Yilam

    With out any doubt Mengetu is malevolence person. He killed immeasurable innocent Ethiopians. I don’t expect form him a single word of remorse. He is born like that, but one thing we should know regarding Sudan and Somalia case, what ever happened that time it was facilitated for the advantage of Ethiopia. What ever he is at some point he was part of that episode. We should know that every one has the right to express his/her opinion; I know it is irony to comment like this, but I think it is the fact that we should not be consumed with our abhorrence to tell the fact. I consider the interview was the right move

    Stay in peace

  6. menelik on

    It is well adressed. His damage to that mother land of ours is immmense and cause a chaion effect. Among the biggest damages he committed is the aftermath of his maladminstration. It is because of his ill-bred governing style that his counter part and identical twin Weyane got a fertile ground to penetrate and finally grab that unlucky country.
    At one time Col. Goshu said, after he defected, that Weyane and Mengistu are ‘esat and eremet’- a fire and eave- fight one by one hand the other by the ther hand. They are in essence one and the same.

  7. menelik on

    It is well adressed. His damage to that mother land of ours is immmense and cause a chain effect. Among the biggest damages he committed, the aftermath of his maladminstration caused the worst. It is because of his ill-bred governing style that his counter part and identical twin Weyane got a fertile ground to penetrate and finally grab that unlucky country.
    At one time Col. Goshu said, after he defected, that Weyane and Mengistu are ‘esat and eremet’- a fire and eave- fight one by one hand the other by the ther hand. They are in essence one and the same.

  8. Moti on

    What is the deal? Your article is more disturbing than the shelekas words. You are full of hater. Look to yourself before blaming others. I know Mengistu did a lot of bad things. He also did a lot of good things. We can’t deny that he used to be our president and what is wrong of hearing his opinion?

  9. chane on

    You are one amateur, your english composition weighs thin, even for someone living in non-english speaking country.

  10. Bubu on

    Thank you Yilma! you said everything about this MORON MONSTER!!

    This animal must have used his rotten brain when he was trying to talk about democracy and freedom after butchering the precious sons and daughters of Ethiopia and presenting our beloved country to Shabia and Weyane on a silver plate. I think this guy is lucky that these people fished him from the garbage can to give his trash interview. But somebody has to tell this garbage that he has no place in the future Ethiopia. And tell him to keep on changing his diapers what he has been doing for the last 20 years. WORADA!

  11. Meysaw on

    #1 Chane or Shasho!

    It is not about the english grammer, it is about the BUTCHER! I think you are Shasho the butcher!

  12. M & M Hitlers of Ethiopia on

    Interesting read, thank you. I share the feeling. May Mengestu and Meles rot in Hell.

  13. Uloos on

    To me Menghistu Haile Mariam is much better than the present leadership in Ethiopia.
    He did not landlock Ethiopia like Meles did
    His government was not one Tigray Clan like Meles’s
    His military was made of all Ethiopian not just Tigray like Meles’s
    He never sent his army to death in a proxy war for George Bush like Meles did
    He only fought wars to defend Ethiopia
    He never sold Ethiopian land and women for the highest bider like Meles did
    He was a nationalist not a traitor like Meles is
    Leave the guy alone

  14. Albert Camus on

    All of these sweating and useless barking as if dream walking about the long chased and politically dead horse, Mengistu, is only meant to help the current tyrannical tplf dictator by making Mengistu an active criminal while diverting attention from the tplf dictatorship currently dehumanizing Ethiopians which they have been doing for the last 20 long years and still planning to continue for eternity.

    Puppets dancing at the drumming of the cunning fox tplf mafias dressed in sheep skin. Not good!

  15. Tedros on

    Unfornately, we still have people like Abera who believes Mengistu truly loves Ethiopia. Sickening! A leader who loves a country without its people is a killer and murderer. Mengistu indeed loves power and control more than his country. Anyway, those who gave Mengistu a platform to express his nonsense are members of his inner circle when he was in power. It is not surprizing if they wish he could come to power and repeate what he did to Ethiopia.

  16. kill Meles ZemenaWi on

    Why dont you write about of TPLF . Mlses is on power not mengstue.
    Mengstue look like an angles comparing to TPLF and Melese who is eriteian.

  17. Shocking on

    I share the feeling with some of you who are outraged about this evil Mengestu who killed thousends of people among them 6 of my family ranging from 14 years old boy -83 years old grand mother. It is very sad that some of Ethiopians think this anti Ethiopian killer has a place in our histry. I know we haven’t been luky to get better leader but another khady evil killer who kill and torture people. Mengestu, Meles and all their leba khadis who bleed Ethiopia must face the justes of Ethiopian people not granting them enterview in any public domain at all.
    God keep ethiopian safe and free from these evil people

  18. Anonymous on

    Here you go people. My dear Ethiopian brothers and sisters spend most of their time arguing about the past as oppose concentrating on the main issue. Any way Mengistu is not that stupid to move to South Sudan. He knows better. If he moves to South Sudan, that will be the end of him. Sheabia will have a free kick: no court in Sheabia land for monsters. Meles will not try because he may want to live there in case you guys united and remove him from powers.

  19. Meles ZemenaWi on

    one thing that is a very fact is that Mengstu have a lot of admirers than meles. So why not give a chance to speak about his life time achivements. Whats ato yilma’s point anyway? Meles has commited more crimes than mengistu and there is always news about meles posted on the webs so u should be sleepless. I happen to be in a cafe and I heared a bunch of young ppl talking about the enterview which was when I first leaned about it, and they sounded very excited talking about mengistu. I heared comments like mengistu sound young and how old is now?, wend iko new, we should here more from mengistu and more. I listned to the entreview and discused it with random ppl at a starbucks and he sure have admirers. Well if he has ppl at this stat rate why not the ppl hear more from him?

  20. Yo yo on

    For us we need ours freedom any one strong person( Mngisto, berhanw , Elias) , what ever who u are Ethiopians plp they want to kill woyanne

  21. Unqualified critics on

    Chane and Shasho,
    This is not an essay contest to be critic by unqualified heartless woyanes like you who worship and admire dictators like your own current butcher Evil Meles. This is a well written true story that reflects how millions of people feel about the former mentally unstable, bloodsucker, butcher, power-hungry mad man that slaughtered countless number of brave, intelligent, well trained and accomplished soldiers and generals who were assets for our country. Mengestu should be hanged for the crimes he committed on innocent Ethiopians and for the tremendous hell he put Ethiopian mothers and fathers through and forcing them to pay for the bullets their children were murdered and parents were forced to look for their children bodies among piles and piles of dead bodies. How horrific! Mengestu is truly Evil. Unfortunately, the current butcher and looter is much worse than Mengestu.

  22. Get Balanced on

    Humanity is/ has to /better be composed of both emotional and rational. I mean balancing both emotionality and rationality. If we are more of emotional then we want to portray some one as totally evil or to the contrary as totally saint. This is what we call as polarity or black and white thinking.
    This way we miss the gray area.Let’s assume that Mengsitu killed by order or some how indirectly your beloved father or some other dear relative. And hence I can imagine what you can feel about it. Definitely you hate him and even you want to revenge him. That is what I I call emotion.
    But for another person who is not directly or indirectly inflicted by him, and then he/she judges things about him with out such emotional intensity and prejudice. Therefore, you can imagine in what state of mind and state of emotion we can be in advance when we are posed to say something on some issue or on some one. But is do not mean that we do not understand or feel some one else’s pain and feeling.
    Therefore, you can not portray Mengistu as a total evil for others even tough I accept that you can portray him for you like that.And in fact it is this sort of unbalanced prejudice and approach that let us expect a different saint after Mengistu and to the contrary has got another evil(Meles In my view and do not know yours).Therefore let’s balance emotion and rationality and view things out of our cocoon.
    At least let’s not force our feelings over others. Menegistu is neither an evil nor a saint and hence Meles too. Let’s evaluate them on the spectrum of the middle gray area that is more sensible and logical.
    What ever good or bad we would like to say about them, emotionally or rationally, then we have ample spectrum of gray area to place them in it. That is the challenge and test of being human.

  23. Get Balanced on

    The other thing most discouraging for me is that most of we Ethiopians are do not want to take any sort of responsibility except talking others sin.We are some how emotionally dishonest and irresponsible.
    We first bow or open our doors and pave the way so that others abuse us.We do not have wideom confidence and courage to say no.And hence all time others more courageous and pragmatic action taking persons are tempted to take any action they think is appropriate and mandatory as to their knowledge and experience.The case of we Ethiopians is sometimes about psychology than mere politics.
    Any body even this time can undertake a certain assessment about the psychology of Ethiopians regarding carrying out citizenry responsibility. Most of us do not want to take responsibility of any sort regarding our common issues.All what we want is others take responsibility and do for us the way we want and if not the way we want or expect it then we want to blame those who take responsibility by saying this and that bla bla bla.It more easier to criticize others with very attractive words but it is who the one at stake who knows how things are challenging when at that place.
    It is the disease I am very much sick of about us. That is we do not want to take responsibility for our actions except blaming others. Even when we are asked to say yes or no at class as a student we used to say neither yes nor No. May it is because of our childhood experience that is mainly oppressive that has made us lose confidence to stand for our right and freedom.
    Hey fellow Ethiopans all over the world. Listen to me. If it is not for we keep silent or become indifferent for every sort and nature of abuse others do on us, be it our parents or our neighbors or our friends or to that extent our leaders then things would not have been this way miserable.
    That is the very fundamental thing that we are not aware and honest about it. We are encouraging dictatorship and abuse in a subtle manner in every of our day today experience. Both Mengistu or Meles or other for that matter does not have as such a different personality out of us.They are like us.So what makes them this much dictator and abusive persons as a leader. I think some how the society itself from which they grow up, that is including you who read it and me. Period. That is all. Untill we figure out and understand this we shall never come out of the many vicious-circles we are entangled with. And one of it is simply and blandly blaming and condemning others. No body wants to address the very causes of all these messes that is deep deep deep inside. That is why I wanted to say lets get balanced.
    Politics is not as such a different scene or realm that is out of our day to day experience.
    If I ask one question why Mengistu is dictator and cruel the way it is portrayed no body can give as s logical and rational analysis based on historically and currently social economical and political basis.
    Even most of the current generation does not as such know in what sort of complicated situation the country was during that time. What sort of external pressures and influences there were during that time?
    Most of us do not know clearly and precisely. Just simply because the West does not support Mengistu during the cold ware due to Ideological differences, it does an intensive propaganda war to do defame that regime. The same thing has been done by Weyane and Shabia. Who orchestrated that sort of massacre and death to the young during the Derg regime? Let’s think in a different way and dig out to find out the truth rather than simply reiterating same silly songs. Mainly Starting from King Menilik, directly or indirectly, there are external forces behind all political forces who stage in the scene of Ethiopian political power struggle. The same is true during the time of the fall of Emperor and coming up of Derg.And in fact it is now even getting very much intensified. That is due to conflict of interest.
    With out due investigation and deep understanding of the situation simply condemning Derg or Meles does not help us any more and is not worthy as such. We have to do our own home works as a citizenry every where and every time appropriate besides defaming and condemning our leaders be it bad or good.
    We simply do not have to demand or deserve the title of a critique without carrying out our own responsibility as to our capacity. Almost all of us simply want to wash our hand and get served by selecting a menu of dishes by simply ordering this we want this we do not want. There is no such a thing in the reality of this world. What you reap is what you saw. Period. There is no any external agent for you and me unless you and me fight for ourselves too. There is no such a thing. It is when you and me as citizenry want to carry out our responsibility that our leaders want to respect us and carry our their responsibility as leader too.It is when you and me respect and love each other that Ato Melse and other leaders want to respect us and threat us properly. That is what I understand. Forget mere dirty game of politics.

  24. Erri-Bey-Agere on

    Ato Yilma It would have been much better if you had used your energy and pen to fight woyane as you usually do. Mengistu has left 20 years ago and he has every right to explain what happened. We hope he will tell the truth.

    Ordoofa You seem Made in Adwa Oromo .Stop pasting your garbage!We know how TPLF agents write.

  25. Selam on

    Mr.Yelma thank you for bringing this issue,I am coping and pasting wht I have said at abugida the other week.
    The real question are we Ethiopians really committed for the promotion of democratic ideals, to the spread of freedom and peace or are just going through the motion ? It will be hard to generalize and put the Ethiopian public in to the category of committed for democracy or non committal group. However, just judging the comments above, many commens aoppear to be based on emotions.
    If Ethiopians want to promote democracy in the post weyane Ethiopia, if we want relegate the root of social problem in that country, personal ambition and dictatorial rule in that country in the dust bin of history .Then, we must reach a consensus to hold public officials who have committed gross human right violations and genocide responsible in the court of LAW. The following are some of well known crimes committed under col.Mengistu’s rule.
    First, the so called provisional Derg was not publicly elected body. When the derg assumes power as PROVISIOBNAL TRANSITIONAL GOVERNMENT, and promised it will hand over power to the peopl.As time went on, it becomes clear, Mengistu and his clique refused to hand over power to the people.Mengistu’s refusal to hand over power to the people was demonstrated by his murder of Brigadier Teferi Bnti who insists the sharing of power with the civilians.
    Once Mengistu made decision not to hand over power to the people, he was determined to end the influence of EPRP by pure force. The next logical step was to declare RED TERROR on any one who is suspected of supporting on this most popular People’s party. Under the direct order of col.Mengistu Ethiopia lost a whole generation of her brightest sons and daughters often by the lumpen plorateriat who are willing to kill for money. Never before the derg did target other political opponents be it EPLF, TPLF, EDU at such scale. The war between the above fronts and derg was fought mainly in the war front. But the war between EPRP and derg it was fought in the cities and by ways of the streets of Ethiopia.Therefore we might as well say Mengistu single handedly destroyed jenuine Ethiopoians.IN the city of Gondar alone in one day , under the order of Mengistu’s reagent Melaku; Hundreds of students were machinegund .The greatest carnage of this incident took place near and around piazza. The city’s piazza was washed with water cannon to remove the stain of the blood of the martyrs.
    Third, Mengistu is and remain to be one of the worst totalitarian regime ever came to power in contemporary Ethiopia. In less than twenty years Mengistu cleaned all that the Hilesselasaie regime has trained and educated. The so called ABIOT LIGOCHUAN TEBELALECH is the fools slogan.It does not have to be that way, had the fickle minded mengistu hand over power to the people. If Mengistu truly believed that it is worth to sacrifice than to let the revolution change course; he must have given his neck for it instead abandoning his principle. We know what exactly happened in his case.Fourth,Megistu authorized the killings the former sixty officials without trial.
    Fivth, Megistu and his clique has authorized the execution the command of the Ethiopian army the many decorated generals for attempting codetta against him.
    Finally, the many comments above reveal that Col.Mengistu is still enjoying popularity by his cadres and former members of Abewetawi Seded.It is true each person is entitled to his/her own opinion. That that being said, the future Ethiopia belongs, not so just for the survivals of the Mengistu era, but for the new rising generation.Therfore it will be important for the supporters of Mengistu to keep this in perspective. That it is one thing to express liking for the former butcher in cyber space it is quite another to bring these issues in public. The only way Ethiopians can leave their [past behind and move to the future is by facing the TRUTH. HOLD EVERY CRIMINAL ACCOUNTABLE. We will hold both former derg members as well as weyanits responsible to the crime they have committed to our people in the court of law. This is the only way forward.

  26. Evil and kindness on

    “Get balanced” and “logical” come on! Hitler had his sympathizers and supporters too. I bet, the people who opposed Hitler were called “emotional” and “irrational” as well. One has to have understanding, compassion, good common sense and kindness in order to stop unnecessary human sufferings. People who are born with out emotion and feelings judge from the distance and make sense out of nonsense and pure evil. If abuse of power, muzzling people, torture, rape, mass murder, man-made starvation, genocide, looting, etc. not evil, I don’t know what is. Dictators like Mengestu, Meles are in the company of the world pure Evils like Hitler, Stalin, Mussolini and the likes, thank you very much!

  27. Yeshalal Zemeta on

    [Abera M] you wrote, “Did CIA tricked him out of the country? (I heard they let him listen a a pre-programmed radio broadcast while he was on a..”
    What is this do?you have to come with credible,objective fact rather than “I heard”..You can hear any thing and every thing about Mengistu.
    But it is a fact until the verymoment he flee the country Mengistu day in and out vowed to crush what he calles U.S Imperialism.All of a sudden you want to make us believe he was tricked by the cia to flee.This is called deflection of responsiblity.The truth is Mengistu left the cluntry with acouncious descion,just as he consciously autorized the killings of many and even personally participated in the killings of some such as King Hilesselasie,and Birgader General Teferi Banti.There fore he is compeletely responsible betraing his country IN HER DARKEST HOUR.
    The greatest mystry of it all is this.The Megistu regime is responsible for wiping out the entire generation of Ethiopians of all classes.Mengistu has not expermented extrimination upon his opponents such as EPLF or TPLF but he did extriminated Ethiopians.Mengistu and his handfull cohorts waged a sensless war upon Ethiopians first and then they attept to fight their opponents second.But why? The enemies of the country were celebrating at this desaserous policy bcause they know Ethiopia will soon run out her skilled man power and expert that was in needed.

  28. Beza on

    In this day and time where the World had reached sophisticated level of knowledge and problem solving skills why are there more Africans living in extreme poverty today than ever before?
    Why is East Africa a hell whole ?
    Is it because nobody thought of brilliant ideas like the within Ethiopia until now to develop Ethiopia?
    Or is it because Meles Zenawi had been killing brilliant ideas to keep the Ethiopian population poor and weak ?
    The answer is Meles Zenawi likes to see the Ethiopian people weak and divided so he can prolong his stay in power . A strong and united Ethiopia is a threat for Meles Zenawi’s dynasty that is why any positive idea had been contiuously squashed by the Meles’s corrupt government .

    For example, in July of 2002, 200 Mazengers — neighbours to the Anuak in Gambella — were brutally killed, but who knows about this? In 2001, 100 Sidamo were massacred. Who remembers these victims today? Ethiopians were killed in 1992 in Badenyo and in Arba Gogu. In all few remember these anniversaries. I say ask the Oromo about the tens of thousands of their people who have been beaten, tortured, imprisoned and murdered in the last twenty years by the Meles regime. How can we remember an anniversary when there are so many incidents and they are still ongoing? Ask the Afar about the displacements and human rights abuses they are facing right now. Ask the Benishangul about the same displacements and human rights abuses in their area. Ask the Ogadeni about the genocide being committed against them as we speak. It is not all about “remembering,” but about standing with the victims against such barbaric aggression. We can keep going on for the list is endless and many cases are still unknown. the November 2005 killing of 194 unarmed protesters in Addis Ababa and elsewhere in the country created a groundswell of outraged response from many sectors of the Ethiopian community because they could identify with the victims, and the killings were carried out in plain view. It became impossible to hide, even to the international community.

    We have over 86 different ethnicities; many of them live in remote, rural and marginalized communities and are silenced violently like the Anuak were in 2003 without too much publicity. In fact, the Anuak genocide is now much better known and more remembered than most of the other incidents that have been perpetrated by the TPLF [Meles Zenawi’s party] against Ethiopians.

  29. Stoned Peter on

    I personally do not like Mengistu haylemariam just like millions of Ethiopians. Even though I was not old enough to be a victim or to be killed because of opposing views of his regime, I did not scape his evil and harmful damage to my immediate family members. He has killed many close family members some of them were killed in a cruel way. On the other hand I really think when you compare the 2 Dictorters Mengistu Halemariam annd Meles Zenawi both individuals are I think criminals in their nature. Mengistu was the 20th century bullish criminal who bragged the rest of the world to notice his crime after he killed many Ethiopians without discrimination to neither ethnic nor social background. On the other hand Meles the slick both the 20th and 21st century dictorter kills hidden just like a snake and shades his crocodile tears with his victims. Mengistu has damaged Ethiopia socially, economically and morally. However Meles Zenawi has committed the worst types of crime to any society with in one country. He has done all kinds of crimes mainly in order to create fracture on Ethiopianism. In addition Meles’s crime overpasses beyond an individual’s well-being and safety rather Meles’s crime is a single goal oriented mainly against togetherness, commonness and unity in short it is against Ethiopianism. Meles plans his crimes singlehandedly and gives order to be acted according to his wish he makes sure they will be done to create the maximum harm on his victims. Meles’s targets are mainly things that fastens people together. He distroys the social fabrics as well as on individuals just like he did to doctor Asarat, Birtukan Midekisa, Asafa Maru, in Gambela, Oromia and Hamhara people in addition with in the Ethiopian orthodox church through his cadre so called cadre pope Pau more over his crime to all Ethiopians with his relinquish of the red sea outlet. What about his the relinquish Ethiopian land to Sudan, his massacre of innocent Ethiopians after he lost the elelctionof 2005 etc. To sum up his crimes Meles’s crime is done to humulate Ethiopianism as well as to create for centuries a continuous conflict. So Meles did not killed only our families only he also had killed Ethiopia our common country remember and think for a moment what Meles has done in his 20 years rule and during his 17 jungle years. We have lost forever the red sea coast, since Meles took power Ethiopia has been under the mercy of her neighboring countries to get a sea outlet for her her import and export she will be forever dependant on her neighbors. In addition it will take also centuries to undo Meles’s 20 or more years conflict based on ethnic or tribal perception. To be frank The future conflicts mainly will be between the Tigreans and the rest of Ethiopians. The Current ethnic mistrust between Ethiopians and Tigreans it can even lead to deep conflict most likely between the Amhara people and the Tigrean tribe. Even the conflict can be widen between the Tigrean tribe and the rest of the Ethiopian people in general because the last 20 years discrimination was a goal oriented through abuse to cause pain on the rest of Ethiopia people to humilate them. More over Mengistu was right when he said the current Sudan and Somalia fragmentation was done during his time imagine strong Somalia and strong Sudan as a neighboring country with weak Ethiopia under Meles so let us give the credit to whomever it belongs. Remember the credit will not reduce the crime Mengistu brought on millions of Ethiopians during his time at the same time if Somalia and sudan were strong nation with Meles’s weakness the danger on our common safety from external forces even after Meles gone from power might have been a dangerous situation just like the lose of the red sea outlet.

  30. love on

    It is time we say that dictators are dictators. Rather than comparing the two Mengistu and Meles, we should focus on they both committed crimes against Ethiopians under hate and resentment. This is what happens people when leaders take over under resentment and hate. That is why I appreciate leaders like Mandela and MLK. They put their hate aside and realize their people and country is better served through reconcilation, bringing democracy and building the country from where it has been. That is very smart and I call it to almost hieghest consciousness. Any one or a nation goes after revenge especially under no fault of the population then they are seeking the demise of not leaders own people but also the country and the people as a whole. That is why in my own description I would say it is better with the enemy I know that with the enemy I don’t know. You may argue with me when I say while inequality existed,under HIM the country was not only stable it was in harmony. Eventually it lead to HIM demise because of his continous power. We must becareful when we exaggerate the past leader especially from HIM beyond. Remember, Europe like us has gone through feudalism but they were lucky to quickly apply democracy in their country. We could have been very lucky while within monarchy, we would have democracy and the monarchy would be just an icon of Ethiopia and maybe it would have slowly dissolved. For those who have today extreme views from him and beyond, let me ask them, how come within the country there was absolutely no resistance? Do you know who discussed on inequlaity during HIM was not the poor, the farmer, the pro ethnic group, it was the average, upper and middle class who recognized the inequality and demanded for those who have been ethnically marginalized, poor and the poor farmer, there must be a change. So, to those who have said it was the oppressed who made the change is false. When we say oppressed, to what extent? Obviously the “oppressed” must have its basic needs met not to go out and protest and resist the kings. It means despite inequality, things were okay for most of ethiopians. The rich kids in EPRP, the youth are the one who rose against Mengistu and HIM. Today, those who have changed from being moderates to extremes due to being pro ethnic, have exaggerated the past oppression look where we are today. They didn’t act before and it was the youth who did the home work for them. This act was hijacked by the opportunists, hateful, pro ethnic and transformed it into the point that is going to threaten Ethiopia today. Their question is no longer inequality but the existance of Ethiopia. Remember, we should all advocate to the existance of Ethiopia, because ETHIOPIA exists in BIBLE AND QURAN the very people who are trying to destroy ETHIOPIA are nothing but outside agents and devil worshippers that I am convinced today. The existance of Ethiopia should not be questionable why because the prove I have mentioned being in the bible and quran and in addtiion, never been conquered means it is gods willing and the colonizers feared in the end, and many ethnicities have died to save ethiopia. Now, giving Ethiopia up for the devil worshipers and destroy history bible and quran, we will be judged by god and dead or alive we must preserve it. Eritrea hates ethiopia due to its colonization and will always try to destory Ethiopia because the very name ETHIOPIA exists in the bible and will do anyhting to destroy that. I wonder if Eritreat will edit ETHIOPIA from the bible? I wonder if TPLF, OLF and ONLF will edit the bible and the quran by removing THE NAME ETHIOPIA. So the existance of ETHIOPIA is like the existance of ISRAEL, it should not be questioned and must rally, advocate, protect, etc, etc. to preserve Ethiopia. Even if secession of regions like Eritrea occurs, the poeple of Ethiopia must choose to live within a country called ETHIOPIA and those who do not want have a choice to call it what ever they want , Oromya, Tigray,etc of their own region. And yet, I have a feeling like Eritrea, those who secede even though their wish accomplished, they will not rest to destory Ethiopia. That is why Ethiopia’s question should be non negotiable.

    To get back to Mengistu and Meles, non is comparable they are all evil who ruled and is ruling based on hate.

  31. Eden1 on

    A balance of emotion and rational is proper/politicaly correct/practicaly safe etc. Short of balancing emotion and rational does not neccessarily definatively define human worth depending what kind.

    The kind Yelma expressed is not just neccessarily “emotional”. It is a trigger to the “WHOLE HUMANBEING”; it could have biochemical effect and agitation of the spirit. People who have experienced it, understood it and/ or specialized and empathic experts attempt to sort out. People feel it, dismiss it, neglect it and go about their busy lives until it manifests itself in the wrong place at the wrong time for unwaranted reason. To have gone through the process as this writer did, sort it and send it to a community of people with his real name takes its own kind of courage and BEING human.

    Then, there is this kind of emotion.

    -Mengistu displayed emotion uncalled for any leader when he threw red liquid filled bottle in the middle of adressing a huge Ethiopian crowd at a public square.
    ————-
    In your second post, you stressed knowing the root cause of what makes leaders act brutaly. Modern psychology post Freud is ok and has come a long way and made a big difference. In your first post you recommend working with the GREY AREA. How can a GREY AREA be perceived when the perpetrator’s action determined betweeen LIFE & DEATH, PROSPERITY & POVERITY, PEACE & WAR, TRUST & BETRAYAL, STABLITY & COLLAPSE, PRIDE & SHAME, HAPPINESS & SORROW, HOPE & DESPAIR, FRIENDS & ENEMIES within the same society, and other clear lines between the BLACK & WHITE?
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    I kind of agree with your assessment of the social psychology of expecting others to take the responsiblity of citizenship. That is very pazzling and yet “easy” to guess/assume the reasons on the surface. True! The challenge starts from each of us. Most likely, the principle of SUPPORT GROUP could work in this case too. That is to just dive into joining an organization of one’s choice or initiate one. At the rate Ethio-Democracy web forums go, networking could have started towards building something tangible, but that is hardly the case. The last recent time there was a collective desire to attempt such a positive path/be willing to take part, was at the rise of Kinijit’s call for a renewed Ethiopian movement. What you call GREY is where the general feeling and action to responsiblity could be; uncertainity, loss of trust, confusion, priority etc.

    The GREY area of understanding Mengistu might as well be left to the dedicated historians/politicians/psychologists/faith experts. For the person who experienced the negative effects of his reign including the experts,it is part of a life time and could have a generational impact and consequence.

  32. Jawisaw on

    Menegistu Haile Mariam did try to unite and develop Ethiopia . he fight Woyannne ,Shabeya, and the looser EPRP . Now it does not surprised me if this people hate him . off course he did kill lot of Innocent people i Am not by any means saying that was Good . what we have to understand is Woyannne and Shabeya was fighting to destroy the country and Mnegistu was fighting them during that procese life has been lost . what i want to ask Ato yelema is why don’t he say the same thing to those killer’s who are working with the opposition Group ??? why he through this type of trash on the leader who try ed to unify Ethiopia . is it’t better to talk about Meles than Menegistu ???

    Long Live Mengistu Haile Mariam !
    Down with Shabeya and Woyanne!!

  33. Life is once on

    “my only good wish to the shaleka is may he roam the planet in search of a home and never find it!”
    Yilma Bekele
    Well ato Yilma, wat about any criminal dictators finding thier own permanent home outside theLegedembi whole planet or 4 that matter in hell so the rest of the law abiding democrat souls may enjoy thier tiny life on earth in peace?

  34. Ordofaa on

    Erri-Bey-Agere:

    Don’t you ever call me a weyane!! You wouldn’t even dare to say that to my face if I were standing in front of you. If you do, I would kick your monkey ass from here to your cactus filled joint home Adwa. Keep that to yourself. It is your badge of honor.

  35. Get Balanced on

    Dear Eden 1 says
    There is one proverb that is very much impressive for me. That is “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing,” Edmund Burke’s
    The problem with the young generation is that the generation lives under the fantasy of democracy and freedom. The problem with the young generation is that it is simply demanding beyond what is available and beyond what the existing reality can support. And to the contrary most do not want to take responsibility as to one’s knowledge and capacity as a citizenry and as a sensible human being. Historically, you can read many books you want, no nation is built through complacency in mere democracy and freedom. Through out history there are dictators. And if there were no dictator we would not have been to this point. I like dictators who dictate properly and honestly and who are honest to take responsibility for their thoughts and actions. Today’s intricate problem happening globally is not mainly due to dictators but mainly due to slick and hypocrite politicians and leaders who cheated the world and its peoples through their sweet words by fantasizing the mass, mainly the naïve youth, by mere words about democracy and freedom. I think the young generation is not as such able to understand the reality of this world as such. Meles managed to cheat the naïve Ethiopians, for the last 20 years, until recently of the last may 2002 National Election.Meles in not only a dictator but also a slick, sheer hypocroite, dictator, and stooge. But Mengistu is only a dictator. Meles is killing us and generations to come in a very sophisticated and intricate manner deliberately for revenge and hatred. In fact Mengistu does so many bad things too but mainly due to his ignorance and arrogance. Meles even after 20 years of stay in power was still defending with out regret the deprivation of Port Asab from Ethiopia as a just act and still declaring and defending that Ethiopia does not deserve it both on historical basis and legal basis. That means he did it deliberately by sabotage. Meles sell of our fertile lands to foreign interest. And in fact he sell off our beloved women to same Arabs for slavery. Was it Mengistu who denies employment opportunities because simply some one is not a cadre or is not member of Weyane?
    Meles deliberately and diabolically worked hard to disgrace impoverish and disintegrate Ethiopia and its peoples.When some one is openly a killer (Let’s say like Mengistu) and bad person it is good that you at least take care of your self so that you will not get harmed. But is some one like Meles is so slick devious and sheer hypocrite and dishonest how can you trust and work with him?
    Mengistu offered his people oil sugar soap etc with very cheap price through the so called KEBELE to protect and help the poor. But MEles does same thing, even bad and unhealthy oil, but with expensive price to get undeserved profit for his Weyane business men friends out of the misery of its peoples.
    Meles does not have the slightest respect and love for majority Ethiopians.Meles is so abusive and dishonest person even for that matter more dictator than Mengistu.
    I think the naïve youth better take care of simply fantasizing about democracy and open eyes to see the reality of the world.

  36. Eden 1 on

    Dear Get Balanced,

    For now, I would rather let Mengistu fed from memory except unless comparison and/or recollection has a purpose for a follow up/statistics/research/action etc.

    You mentioned complecency. Most likely the % of people who were relieved that Derg was dissolved and gone, might have been in some kind of compleceny atleast for a while.

    As far as your focus on youth, by coincidence, there is an Amharic article/respose-commentary/a call for action to the youth posted on ethiomedia.com by an elonsamson@gmail.com. You might be interested to read it.

    Another is a report by Obang on his travel to Australia also posted on ethiomedia.com. There are encouraging movements and the longer they stay around ( especially if getting better), be consistent and have continued presence in the media, the more likely they will reach out and make a difference.

    I believe Ginbot 7 had been tirelesly active since its inseption and mobilizing Ethiopians including the youth. Its latest dilemma seems to be their stand on embresing ethnicaly inclined Fronts like OLF and ONLF. The old beast is back; as in th case of AFD that tore up opinion in two. So for all the discussion that is going on currently,you might find elonsamson’s call to the youth a refreshing challenge; though this is the first time I heard of this person, initiative can go a long way.

  37. belew on

    Finally, here is the divided country in a practical way. Reading the comments I see no unity, knowledge and mostly no future unlsess our way of thinking drastically changed. No to be pessimist but the reality shows the way we think, act and mostly no guideing common principles.
    Sad

  38. selam on

    belew,
    What ever political part you may be supporting there is no need for despair for seeing diverse opinion over the above issue among Ethiopians.The important thing to remember is we are cultivting democratic process.This particular issue has to do,in its primary consderaation, with the question of the morale law;and in its secondary consideration it has to deal with law of our socity.What we are basically doing here attempting to reach a consensus by raisng the issue of criminal behavior among past and present and past public figures.Of course we are not legal experts what we as individuals are doing is put forward our idea regarding this issue.The business of bringing and actually tring criminals belongs to ICU or Ethiopian legal system.Howeever we want to hundle the case is entirly up to us.
    Because the question has to do with acts of right and wrong,the comments of many people and the resposnes also reveal the relationship of each individual in regard to the issue.That is those who tend to care less about victims and abuse seem to think it is waisting time to talk about holding Mengistu and weyanits resposnible to their crime.I believe they are deadly wrong.Each one of us must obey our conscious when it comes to evil by condemening the actor.Or else what is the use of talk of democracey and peace?why not let the ceriminal roam the street terrorizing the innocent? Any way ,even though we may yhave not reached consensus ,I think over all disscusing this issue is healthy than to ignore it all together.

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