Ethiopia: The Diplomacy of Defending Dictatorship


Alemayehu G. Mariam

“It is time to stop hating Ethiopia.”

In November 2006, in her farewell cable to her replacement Donald Yamamoto and the Assistant Secretary of State Jendayi Fraser, former Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Vicky Huddleston warned: “It is time to stop hating Ethiopia.”

In November 2007, in a N.Y. Times op-ed piece, Huddleston sternly admonished the U.S. Congress: “Do not turn on Ethiopia.” She lectured Congress that “by singling out Ethiopia for public embarrassment, the bill puts Congress unwittingly on the side of Islamic jihadists and insurgents.” She sought to alarm Congress by raising the specter of “enemies that have besieged Ethiopia from within and without.” She advised Congress to discard H.R. 2003 (Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act) “and instead use creative diplomacy to deal with the combined threat of insurgency and war.” She said if the U.S. does not support the ruling regime in Ethiopia, the U.S.  could  “lose Ethiopia” and “cede our influence” to China and Russia.

In October 2007, Samuel Assefa, the former ambassador of the ruling regime in Ethiopia to the U.S. complained: “The U.S. House of Representatives today approved irresponsible legislation that, if it becomes law, would create fresh obstacles to Ethiopia’s bold efforts towards comprehensive democratic reforms. The legislation also would undermine regional stability in the Horn of Africa by jeopardizing vital security cooperation between the United States and Ethiopia.” Assefa later told the Washington Post, “We are very disappointed because the House did not pursue an agenda that is recognizably that of the U.S., Ethiopia or friends of democracy.”

If the names of the two ambassadors had been withheld, even the most sophisticated reader would have difficulty recognizing which one of the two ambassadors is the actual representative of the ruling regime in Ethiopia. But Huddleston’s rhetorical pyrotechnics on behalf of a host country is rare for the guileful world of diplomacy, and certainly disproves the old saying is that “An ambassador is an honest man (woman) sent to lie abroad for the good of his (her) country (not the other country).”

Gone Native?

But Huddleston’s defense of Zenawi’s regime would put many a silver-tonged American trial lawyer to shame. Reading Huddleston’s farewell cable, one is confused about which country she represents. Her zeal and passion in defending Zenawi’s regime is so bizzare, one has to wonder if she had indeed “gone native” (a phrase sometimes used to describe U.S. diplomats who work so fully inside a foreign culture that their policy recommendations become those of the host country). In her cable, she pleads with her bosses that Zenawi is “the ideal partner” and America’s buffer “from terrorism and radical Islam” in the Horn. She argues that Zenawi is the only one who can keep together the “old and fragile Ethiopian empire”. She paints Zenawi as a man of reason and as evidence of that she claims he has listened to her and dropped “charges against VOA reporters and 14 others.” She says by having “conversations with Meles and the EPRDF”, she has “effectively encouraged Meles and the GOE to deepen their commitment to Ethiopia’s democracy and development.” She believes H.R. 2003 is a “hubristic” manifestation of American arrogance, imperiousness, condescension and disrespect for Zenawi. For all the things temporal Zenawi can do, Huddleston forgot to mention that he can also walk on water.

But Huddleston has no respect or use for Zenawi’s opposition. She advises that the “goal” of the “nay-sayers” who oppose Zenawi “is neither democracy nor development, but regime change.” To help the naysayers is to “unwittingly contribute to the break-up of the nation.” She reserves her special antipathy for the jingoistic and chauvinistic “hard-line supporters [of the CUD] in the Diaspora [who] are unwilling to engage in the democratic process.” She warns that if the U.S. acts “aggressively to appease the Diaspora, some members of Congress and some civil society groups, we will lose Ethiopia.”

In Defense of Zenawi

In her defense of Zenawi, Huddleston pulls out all the stops  and uses every trick in the diplomatic pouch to steer the new ambassador to fully support Zenawi. She pleads and coaxes, warns and charges, vilifies and condemns just to sustain unflagging American support for Zenawi.

“We must strengthen our partnership”

“As I prepare to turn over my responsibilities to my good friend and respected colleague, Ambassador Don Yamamoto, I urge the USG to maintain and strengthen our partnership with Ethiopia.  Ethiopia is moving in the right direction — despite the nay-sayers — on democracy, development, and protecting the region from terrorism and radical Islam.  If we fail to consolidate and support Ethiopia, we could unwittingly contribute to the break-up of the nation, and fuel a Christian – Muslim conflict in the Horn…

CUD leaders could cause Ethiopia’s national  disintegration

Ethiopia is an old empire but a fragile one.  Political and religious divisions could potentially tear away parts of Oromiya, Gambella, and the Somali region from the uneasy federation.  Even Tigray, where the Abyssinian empire began, is at risk because the jailed CUD leaders want a unitary state that includes Eritrea, and Tigrean and Eritreans alike will resist Amahara domination.

The CUD defendants and Diaspora supporters are extremist hardliners

The prosecution has recently argued somewhat more persuasively through ongoing witness testimony that some of the defendants called for armed uprising and protest to overthrow the government. Some of the CUD detained leaders as well as their vocal, hard-line supporters in the Diaspora are unwilling to engage in the democratic process, whether by joining Parliament or by agreeing to disavow street action.

Ethiopia as the “only democratic nation” and                                      “bulwark against radical Islam”

Ethiopia, with its 77 million Christian and Muslims — the second most populus country in Africa — would seem to be the ideal partner…  It is the only democratic nation that can project power throughout the Horn.  It is also the remaining bulwark against the expansion of radical Islam throughout Somalia and beyond.

We are part of Zenawi’s “inner circle”

Because we built a relationship of trust with the Prime Minister and his inner circle as well as with the opposition… Our conversations with Meles and the EPRDF hierarchy have effectively encouraged Meles and the GOE to deepen their commitment to Ethiopia’s democracy and development. Dialogue between the ruling EPRDF party and all the opposition parties resulted in the overwhelming adoption of modified Parliamentary rules that reflect international standards and permit the opposition to question Minister and propose laws. The on-going dialogue among the ruling party and opposition has already addressed rule of law issues in the Oromia and Amhara regions and will now publicly review a new media law and capacity building at the National Electoral Board.

Ethiopian Democracy and Accountability Act                              HR 2003) is Bad

The democratic trend is positive.  But the partnership will not be strengthened if we bend to demands to pass legislation that puts Ethiopia in the same category as countries on our terrorist list, or make public our private concerns about human rights and governance.  Ethiopia — as I have learned — will not act from weakness or because of public threats or even loss of aid. If we stay the course — continue the partnership, and build the trust — not only do we stand a good chance of getting the prisoners pardons, but we will reinforce good governance, economic reform and defense against terrorism in the Horn.

“The right and wrong way to persuade” Zenawi

If we aggressively and publicly press Meles in order to appease the Diaspora, some members of Congress and some civil society groups, we will lose Ethiopia.   We will cede our influence, leaving the field to China, Russia and others who have little interest in helping to create a multi-party democracy.

Putting pressure on Zenawi is helping the enemies of                        “democracy and development”

Ethiopia is neither — as its critics like to claim — a Marxist-Leninist dictatorship, nor is it a multi-party democracy that strictly adheres to open market principles. But if hubris demands that partnership be based on our standards, then we will find ourselves helping those whose principal goal is neither democracy nor development, but regime change.

 “Meles will turn to China as a more reliable partner”

Meles has already turned to China as a more reliable partner than Europe, even though EU assistance levels have been restored.  Today we have a strong relationship with Meles and the inner circle, but it is a wary one.  It is not yet a full partnership because Washington remains hesitant over Ethiopia’s human rights record, despite significant improvements over last year.  As Ethiopia faces – almost alone — a radical Islamist challenge to its existence and the region’s stability, it is time to put aside our hesitations and make Ethiopia a full partner of the US.

The Enemies of Ethiopia

At the same time, insurgents from Oromiya (the OLF) and the Ogaden (the ONLF), backed by Eritrea, will move east into Ethiopia.  The ONLF intends to break off Ethiopia’s Somali region, uniting it with a Greater Somali state.  The OLF will either ensure that there is regime change in Addis Ababa or separate Oromiya from Ethiopia.  In the end, Ethiopia’s enemies — most notably Eritrea — would be successful in breaking up Ethiopia and ousting Meles.

“A Plan of action for Ethiopia”

I have met with Meles biweekly on average and I have never had a meeting with him in which I did not raise the issues of governance and human rights. As a result, I have been able to visit the prisoners three times and am working with concerned Ethiopians and Ethiopian-Americans on a process that may lead to pardons.  The point here is that Meles — and the inner circle — listen to our advice if it is given in private and as a partner.  Therefore I would suggest that we lay out a series of bench marks which can be used by Washington to gauge Ethiopia’s progress…

Huddleston’s “series of bench marks to gauge Ethiopia’s progress”

Parliament passes a media law and anti-terrorism laws that meet international standards;

The opposition is consulted on the appointment of a new, neutral National Electoral Board;

Parliament approves public financing for political parties;

GOE engages successfully with donors on the governance matrix;

The Government pursues the investigations recommended by the Independent Inquiry Commission;

Offices of legal opposition parties that have not been reopened are opened;

All legal parties are permitted to participate in the Spring elections;

The judicial process is completed and a verdict determined for all CUD detainees [and pardon given to those] who agree not to engage in illegal activities or civil disobedience are pardoned;

Preparations for local elections are done in consultation with the opposition; and local elections are successfully held.

The Evidence of Huddleston’s “Benchmarks” 

The so-called anti-terrorism proclamation, with its vague and broad definition of terrorist acts, is now the principal tool of crushing all dissent in the country. It has been condemned by international rights groups as one of the most repressive laws of its kind in the world. There is no neutral “National Electoral Board”.  In 2010, the largest coalition of opposition parties received  the equivalent of USD$176 (3,000 birr) according to one major opposition leader. Human Rights Watch reported in 2010 that “donor-supported programs” have been used to “control the population, punish dissent, and undermine political opponents.” Zenawi’s handpicked Inquiry Commission determined after a meticulous investigation that 193 unarmed demonstrators were massacred in 2005 and 763 wounded. 237 of the killers still roam the streets free. In the past few weeks, leaders and members of opposition political parties, journalists and others have been jailed and many others continue to face intimidation, harassment and persecution. The first female leader of a political party in the history of Ethiopia, Birtukan Midekssa, was jailed for nearly two years on bogus charges of denying a pardon. The 2010 U.S. Human Rights report stated, “criminal courts remained weak, overburdened, and subject to significant political intervention and influence.” In the 2008 local elections, Zenawi’s party “won all but a handful of 3.6 million seats.” In May 2010, Zenawi’s party won the election by 99.6 percent.

It is regrettable that Huddleston did not read or ignored the findings and evidence in the Country Reports on Human Rights Practices – Ethiopia for the years 2005 and 2006.

It is time to love Ethiopia! 

FREE ALL POLITICAL PRISONERS IN ETHIOPIA!

***Vicki Huddleston is currently the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Africa in the Office of the Secretary of Defense.

Previous commentaries by the author are available at: www.huffingtonpost.com/alemayehu-g-mariam/ and http://open.salon.com/blog/almariam/

 


15 thoughts on “Ethiopia: The Diplomacy of Defending Dictatorship

  1. Anonymous on

    Let us guess, if you, as Huddleston did, receive pounds and pounds of gold, cash and all sorts of gifts (perhaps a lucrative retirement package in the form of hideous investment) from Meles’ people, wouldn’t you be a staunch supporter and a cheerleader of Meles? Americans like Huddleston are bringing America down. Thanks for yet another autopsy on our country and sharing the grim report with us.

  2. This is really shows how we the Diaspora or opposition lack in communicating what we went to the West instead, TPLF is brainwashing and putting fear into West so that it continues its oppression.

    TPLF and Shaebia have “fear of Amara’s domination”, really? What is TPLF doing right now? I guess it is ok for TPLF to dominate and we should accept it. You cannot compare TPLF’s domination to Amara, Amara is inclusive of other ethnic groups or doesn’t interfere on its way of life while, TPLF has made Ethiopia night mare today.

    It is time we should have an eloquent groups of ethiopians int he diaspora and opposition to really address issues in Ethiopia showing documentation from past and present. We can’t be lazy and say the West know, no, we have to do our own lazy a… homework to really show what is going on without being biased to any population of Ethiopia and let them decide who the West really want to support.

    The other issue is that, it is time all ethnic groups vote for what they really want, to the people who really live the majority, not those the so called over seas that are causing havoc (liberation fronts) and for that matter to those who don’t see the desires of the Ethiopian populations and want to keep the status quo. In addiiton the oppostion and diaspora, Ethiopians of all, must have some declaration rather than playing game. Have list draft (like constitution) what Ethiopia should with the inputs of all ethnic groups. Then ask the Ethiopians population if they believe in this they must join Ethiopia, if they don’t agree by the constittuion then let them form their own nation. Even though this seems simplistic, at least this will clarify any doubts and misunderstanding that will create, that keeps happpening to the Ethiopian people. Of course this consituation is what our goal is and we want to be positive in achieving it and vowing to achieve it. Those who want to wish their own nation of course will sabotage but it will root out any one who don’t support Ethiopia and easier to identify and we don’t get played on by TPLF who sends mix messages of being “Ethiopian”, Tigrayans, pro Eritrean, wanting Greater Tigray, etc.. and making our lives hard. To tell the truth, this is a great idea. We must have a right to make our own Ethiopia and those who don’t agree by it, let them their own country and be happy. You will see while implementing this consitution and trying to achieve it, every Ethiopian will work hard towards it that now there is no confusion what kind of Ethiopia we want. Of course while the constituion mentions on issues and roles of ethnic roles to be mentioned, however, any ethnic mentioning who is who prior to forming this Ethiopia should be avoided by any means. We should participate based on what Ethiopia should be under this constitution. The reason? Such mentioning on ethnic issues outside of the constitution will stifle our goals. Those who have doubt, their doubt will be cleared by what the constitution says about ethnic or religion, etc… In other words, our goal again is about Ethiopia and consitution (That shoudl be like bible and quran). Anything outside will not be accepted. If such reforms happen to constitiution, there should be a vote from the population.

    Like TPLF, OLF will not confuse us as if being vague want to be in unison, secede, federate, etc. Until this day they give mix messages, until this day they are not clear. Both TPLF and OLF put one leg inside Ethiopia and one leg outside.

    Have a feeling, if all support the constitiuon and agree with it, this Ethiopia will be stronger than ever that could withstand any sabotagers from OLF or TPLF or Shaebia. Besides, ideally, the Liberation Fronts and Shaebia should not be in war with Ethiopia because the people of Ethiopia gave them the choice to be who they want to be and would achieve their dream. Of course, if they paln on joining the union, then they should publicly and on paper drop any anti Ethiopia acts and join the group towards the continuing functioning and defending of the constitution and if they fail, they will be judged not by governemnt but by the people of Ethiopia because after all, it is the people of Ethiopia as union who designed the constitution. The other hurdle is also of course like Shaebia, who happily got its independence from Ethiopia still today sabotages Ethiopia cause and of course Ethiopia will face problems from 3 corners these groups, Shaeiba, TPLF and OLF again so we have to be cautious to secure every threat. Idealy if this plan works, the OLF and TPLF will be fringes as they used to be prior to 25 years ago and their power will be weaken that is what we hope because many ORomos and Tigreans will be part of the union as well. That being said, let us not rule out Eritreans if they vow to defend the constitnution and Ethiopia as well. On the other hand, let us say, if the Ethiopia union is not strong then the danger of the blakanized groups of nations formed by OLF or TPLF could cause problems because like Eritrea today, there will be a continuous war with these fragmented nations on the border of Ethiopia trying to control resources, lands, etc

  3. Oromia on

    You America, you may lose Ethiopia while trying to keep Meles in power, Meles cannot be in power but Ethiopian will live long. Be the side of Ethiopian those that looking for Democracy, NOT with Autocrat Melese.

  4. Dr. abdirahman on

    is me again becouse malaz is the one who remaining african dictatorship when we see ethiopian charter is very nice conistuation but the EPRDF but very badness then DERGI how they making maskilling reping tourture and jailing innocent people of ogaden and all of ethiopian people so it,s time to make unity and change this ragim

  5. Chonbe on

    Dear Prof Al Mariam,

    You’re our hero and person of the century and we are really proud of you. You are indeed the voice for the millions of voiceless people both in Ethiopia and outside of Ethiopia. You have been trying to expose the crimes of this minority regime to the world tirelessly. We are very grateful for that. Nevertheless, this tyrannical mafia regime in Ethiopia even though much hated by the people, the west is deeply in love with the criminal rulling mafia group of Ethiopia. The spineless Obama, Hilary Clinton, the US Congress and Senate are all Woyane lovers. The EU including Sarkozy, Blair, Cameron, and many other European head of states are deeply in love with the merciless and bliood thiristy minority regime of Ethiopia. Both the EU and the Obama administration are the ones who are providing billions of cash, arms and training to these mafia thugs. China and Russia are also the other Woyane supporters and lovers.

    Can you please tell us what we have to do next.

    With kind regards,

    Chonbe Mekoyete

  6. Annanymous on

    You do not need to be a weyane lover or hater when you witness as to what is taken place in the 21st century in the name of “diplomacy” in Ethiopia. We finally know as to how or why certain American politicians or diplomats function and act they way they do: SELF INTEREST AND SELF PROMOTION ARE THE KEY PILLARS OF ALL AMERICAN POLITICIANS. What a perfect stooge did they find in the horn of Africa; what a gold mine; what a people; what an opportunities; what and what….. No wonder Yamakutkut was running to Ethiopia, no wonder Dr. Frazer run to Ethiopia, no wonder Susan Rice want to keep Meles and his boss Bereket Simon under her skirt for as long as possible in the name of UN. Well thanks to wikileaks we are finally realizing that all our suspicions about Meles and his boss are coming to reality. Now we know why Somalia is bleeding, now we know why all Ethiopians are sentenced for sufferage, and now we know why the peace accord between the people of Ethio-Eritrea are held as a hostage!!! BUT YOU CAN MARK MY WRITINGS……MELES AND HIS BOSS BEREKET SIMON DAYS ARE COUNTING. THE SUFFERAGE OF THE ENTIRE HORN OF AFRICA WILL COME TO A STOPAGE ONES THE MODERN SOPHISTICATED SLAVES ARE BROUGHT TO THE COURTS OF LAW OF ETHIOPIA AND BY ETHIOPIANS!!!

  7. Stoned Peter on

    I have a doubt this elderly lady might have got something she does not deserve because her talk seems totally personal. I have heard in the past TPLF had practiced giving offers as a bribe such as sex, drug or money to different foreigners since their jungle time or since they were in Sudan. Few years ago I went to one Ethiopian shop and I was waiting on line for my turn to pay, and there were 2 individuals and one of them was telling to the other one what had happened to him and to his older sister when they were in Sudan and I heard him saying he use to live in Sudan and he was asked by TPLF high level member person to ask his sister to sleep with one high Sudenese official. However it will remain as a mystery why Vicki Huddleston took as a personal issue.

  8. Assta B. Gettu on

    Thank you, my dear Professor, for the indispensible information you have provided us, and whenever I read your scintillating article, I am totally amazed at your reliable sources and undeniable facts.

    We know we have friends, and we know we have enemies abroad and enemies at home: the question, then, is how can we persuade our enemies to become our friends and our friends to continue their friendships with us? Do we really have enemies, and who are they? Do we really have friends, and who are they?

    For example, Italy that fought us two times is, of course, our enemy; Turkey that helped Gragn Muhammad is, indeed, our enemy, and, it is true, Egypt has been our historical deadly adversary because of our River Nile. But Ethiopia has made a remarkable progress in establishing worm friendships with her old enemies, and, unless Ethiopia sees them repeating what they had done to her in the past, she is not going to harbor old grudges for ever.

    Is Somalia our enemy? Is Eritrea our enemy? Is Sudan our enemy? Some of you may say, out of your nationalistic views, Somalia, Sudan, and Eritrea are our enemies, but I would say emphatically Somalia, Sudan, and Eritrea are our neighbors, not our enemies; especially, Eritreans are not simply our affinities, but they are our consanguinities as their features testify.

    Having clearly and thoroughly studied who Ethiopia’s enemies and who her friends are from inside Ethiopia and from outside of her territories, the former U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia, Ms. Huddleston, is absolutely correct in her unbiased assessment about the difficult situation Ethiopia has been facing as an old and ancient country, the only Christian country in the continent of Africa that had never been colonized, but now Ethiopia looks very fragile and needs help from Washington to stay united as it has been for centuries, and that is the message Ms. Huddleston is conveying to the United States Congress, which is indeed a noble message.

    Therefore, it is time for Washington to help Ethiopia to be one of the leading democratic countries in the world, not only in Africa, and to achieve this goal, Ethiopia needs the continuous support of Washington. The Eyes of the Arab-Muslim world are on Ethiopia, and the Arab Muslims will never rest until they accomplish their long-awaited goal – to convert Christian Ethiopia to Islam, and there by making Ethiopia a terrorist country, not by choice but by force. This is what this bright lady, Ms. Huddleston envisions ahead of time that Ethiopia’s enemies will not sleep until they severed the strong relationship between Ethiopia and Washington, and before such things happen to Ethiopia and to Washington, Ms. Huddleston warns the Washington administration to handle the slow democratic process in Ethiopia vey gently, not to antagonize the current regime in Ethiopia.

    On the other hand, if Washington, brainwashed by the terrorist OLF and other selfish opposition groups, rejects Ethiopia’s request for economic development and for the country’s deteriorating educational system, Meles will run away from Washington to Pecking and get the help he wants from China or Russia.

    In short, Ms. Huddleston’s advice to Washington is to treat Meles Seitanawi (Zenawi) gently, friendly, and pretentiously, and to ignore the meaningless, aimless, and time consuming discussions by the Ethiopian elites in the diaspora as if their endless dialogues could solve the Ethiopian problems.

    What is Ms. Huddleston telling Washington is to stick with Meles and help him financially to eradicate the terrorist OLF and its supporter, the Eritrean government. I think Ms. Huddleston knows very well OLF wants to terrorize Ethiopia and finally to disintegrate the country; however, Ms. Huddleston doesn’t want such things to happen to Ethiopia. I don’t either! Do you?

    It seems Ms. Huddleston has finally convinced Congress, and that is why what ever crime Meles has committed or commits, Congress condones it. The United States Congress watches carefully what is going on within the Oromo Liberation Front – the divisions, the confusions, the assassinations, and the selfish aims to divide Ethiopia; therefore Congress has, no doubt, endorsed the characterization of OLF as a terrorist organization by Meles Seitanawi (Zenawi). In this case, thanks to Ms. Huddleston, Meles is the victor, and OLF is the defeated and humiliated Islamist organization.

    And it is a great wisdom the United States Congress has shown to the Ethiopian people by telling them to be patient with Meles until a good democratic leader, a friend of the west, emerges slowly but quickly; they should not be deceived by the Arab false spring that has brought blood gate, not progress, to the Arab world.

    Ms. Huddleston knows what is gonging on in Ethiopia, but she doesn’t want Ethiopia to be thrown quickly into the hands of the terrorist OLF, ready to devour the unfortunate Amharas and to create a very costly civil war that may never end very quickly or that may involve China, Russia, America, and all the European nations. Indeed, Ms. Huddleston doesn’t want such disasters to happen to Ethiopia, a Christian country. For this reason, she cautions Washington to strengthen its relationship with Ethiopia.

    Dear Professor, I don’t see any thing wrong in Huddleston’s advice to Congress to be patient with Meles until Ethiopia finds someone better than him to govern the country democratically. Is there any one among the oppositions whom you recommend to be the Prime Minister of Ethiopia at this time? Since there is no one who can replace Meles, Ms. Huddleston believes, it is better to wait and to avoid bloodshed by removing Meles from power and yet failing the Ethiopian people from having a good leader within their own.

    I don’t blame Ms. Huddleston for disrespecting the opposition because members of the opposition party have failed to come up with a good plan that benefits all Ethiopians rather than just the Oromos at the expense of other Ethiopians. I am so glad Ethiopia has not yet fallen into the hands of the chaotic OLF and other power-hungry organizations. We must all wait patiently for that glorious day – a day that we all elect our leader without any blood shed, and if we are patient, we will achieve it as the Lord Jesus said: “but he who stands firm to the end will be saved” (Matthew 24:13).

  9. Hardliner on

    It is funny to read people writing Eritrea as if it is still part of Ethiopia. Why put Eritrea or shabya in the same category as TPLF. TPLF is ruling Ethiopia. It is the only entity responsible for what is happening in Ethiopia. Shabya does not have a say in Ethiopian affairs as Sudan, Kenya and others do not have any responsibility to what is happening in Ethiopia. The weyanes are holding Ethiopians hostage as the random of keeping Ethiopian territorial integrity. Ethipians are really conrnered by these vagabonds. They fought to seceede from Ethiopa, yet they are riding Minilik’s chair right in Addis Ababa. The independence movements such as OLF and ONLF do not see any promise in the socalled opposition parties. The weyanes have been in power for the last twenty years and counting. It is about time to guarantee referendum to self determination to every ethnic group in Ethipia and raise hell to the enemies in Minilik palace. That is when new Ethiopia will emerge out of the ashes of deceit, fake nationalism , disintegration to genuine nationalism and prosperty. Say no to ethnic politics.

  10. sharif on

    It will probably never be clear why USA thought MELES might escape the Arab Spring revolutions that toppled THREE fellow dictators in northern Africa.
    Most likely,USA has totally underestimated ethiopian people’s aspirations, resilience and the inspiration they got from what happened in Tunisia,Egypt and then libya. if USA regard ZENAWI as one of their own, vilified unjustly by oromos and ogadens, his fall is imminent though his military may delay it for a few more hours.
    the reality is different in ethiopia zenawi is a total dictator, as many who crossed his path and survived torture or disappearance came to learn.

  11. ogaden_patriot on

    How easy did USA forget that power is The People; for the people, by the people.Some African dictators have been lucky. They dictated, tortured and killed when the going was still good for them because they had the ability to keep the wind of democracy blowing away from Africa thanks to the American and Soviet cold war. The war was cold between the powers but hot in Africa. Dictators had field days because all they needed was to use ideological differences to ask for help to contain their opponents. Not any more. The wind of Democracy is blowing toward Africa and Middle East.

  12. ZENAWI have held onto power by a combined force of over-developed political police and appeal to divisive ideology that aligns a section of society with the oppressors because of a nurtured fear and distrust of others either on ethnic, religious or regional basis.The suicide of a hungry hawker in Tunisia triggered a wave of rage and courage that is standing political theory on its head.Like the floods over low lands, little rivulets of protest have steadily and irreversibly cascaded into floods of youth protest and put dictators into terminal flight.it is a tsunami and damn it is moving pretty fast TO EAST AFRICA. let USA continue congratulating meles over his action in OGADEN, OROMIA,AFAR,AMHARA…….ethiopians have no avenues of democratic change only struggle agains a tyranny may give us victory. VIVA ONLF…

  13. First of all, thank you, Professor Al Mariam for your brilliant article. You have nailed it once again. Secondly, it is both amazing and sad to observe the Woyane/TPLF thugs in full force blabbering all none-sense. It seems the Woyane/TPLF mafia boss is very unhappy that he ordered his dogs to bark hard and loud.
    Unfortunately, we Ethiopians have known firsthand the terror, murder, torture, imprisonment, and disappearances forced on us by Melles and his Woyane/TPLF thugs. We have witnessed the ultimate treachery, treasons, and crimes committed on our country by none other than the terrorist Woyane/TPLF leader and his thugs. No amount of blabbering or name calling by illiterate cadres or by a naïve and gullible diplomat can change the facts and truth. Yes, no amount of denials, press releases, campaigns, and diplomatic support will change what happened. It is imprinted like a solid statue in our life. Melles and his Woyane/TPLF thugs have committed the ultimate crime against the people of Ethiopia and our country. Ethiopians from north to south and from east to west have suffered under the cruel brutality, narrow minded politics, government imposed poverty and diseases, racist dispensation of governance, and lawlessness.
    Melles and his Woyane/TPLF thugs have done all and every imaginable crimes of the highest order. Melles supported and fought for the secession of Eritrea. He gave up the inherent Ethiopia territory of Afar-Assab and western Ethiopia to other nations. He campaigned for and begged UN and member countries to recognize Eritrea. Melles and his Woyane/TPLF thugs divided Ethiopians into ethnic groups and created ethnic Bantustans. The mafiasto and his thugs planned and coordinated ethnic strife, in-fighting and violence. Melles ordered the imprisonments, tortures, killings, and disappearances of millions of Ethiopians including opposition political party members, nationalists, democrats, farmers, workers, students, and intellectuals.
    Unfortunately, the naïve and gullible Vicky Huddleston, the US diplomat and the likes of hers blindly supported and still support the small time dictator. They supported him without understanding our livelihood, our history, our everyday life. They didn’t care to see nor objectively analyze the situations throughout the country. Nor did they care or see the long term strategic impacts of their unwarranted support. It might also seem, Mrs. Huddleston have been treated with red carpet and wined and dined with the first family many times over. She probably was provided with gifts repeatedly. For sure, she has been blinded and corrupted to the core. All her statements are devoid of any objectivity and utterly bias. Her unconditional support for the Melles/Woyane/TPLF thugs was uncalled for and unbecoming of a diplomat of a super power. She really is a disgrace both for the diplomatic profession and service for a democratic and law abiding nation. Supporting such a callous dictator that terrorized, murdered, imprisoned, and tortured citizens is beyond anything acceptable. She did not fulfill her professional and national responsibility.

  14. Anonymous on

    Peace,
    Contrary what they claim on the outside, that’s wat many people suspect which is if it was on thier way, the shaebians wud much preferred a Tgrean head of state on the top post deep inside. I think this is wat the vision of ato Weldeab Weldemariam one of the founding father of Eritrea was; Tgray-Tgrini domination.

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