It’s been a long-held tradition of Ethiopian Review to choose “Person of the Year.” The person who is selected by Ethiopian Review’s publisher, in consultation with associates and readers of the journal, is believed to have contributed the most to the betterment of Ethiopia in the past 12 months.
For the year 2008, Ethiopian Review has selected President Issayas Afeworki of Eritrea as “Person of the Year.”
The choice was an easy one. But it is expected to create a great deal of controversy because of a relentless propaganda campaign that the tribalist regime in Ethiopia, the Tigray People Liberation Front (Woyanne), has been waging to make sure that relations between Ethiopians and Eritreans will NOT develop and improve. It’s the same tactic that Woyanne uses inside Ethiopia and through out the Horn of Africa region to turn people against each other.
The Woyanne propaganda has been effective only to a certain extent. Through an aggressive counter campaign by the media from both the Ethiopian and the Eritrean sides, such as Ethiopian Review and EriTV, as well as the Eritrean government’s tireless effort, a great deal of improvements have been made in improving the relationship between the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea. This has been a nightmare for Meles Zenawi’s Woyanne, as well as those tribalists such as the Siye Abraha group that strive take over power after Meles is gone.
The person who is leading and putting the resources of his government behind the effort to create friendship and lasting peace among not only Eritreans and Ethiopians, but all people of the Horn of Africa is Issayas Afeworki.
Under President Issayas’ leadership, Eritrea has opened up its doors to Ethiopians who are fleeing Meles Zenawi’s bloodsucking dictatorship. There is no country in the world, perhaps with the exception of the U.S., where the rights and freedom of Ethiopian refugees have been fully respected and protected as much as Eritrea.
Freedom fighters such as EPPF, OLF, ONLF, TPDM and others are given shelters in Eritrea so that their wounded receive treatments and their leaders hold meetings unmolested by Woyanne agents, thanks to President Issayas. These freedom fighters are gaining ground every day and will succeed in removing the Woyanne cancer from the Horn of Africa. Only then Ethiopia’s unity can be saved, and a lasting peace in the Horn of Africa region will prevail. The humiliating defeat of Woyanne in Somalia — brilliantly masterminded by Issayas Afeworki — is a major step toward that goal.
While Woyanne-controlled radio and TV programs transmit daily barrages of propaganda that promote ethnic division, under the sponsorship of the Eritrean government, EriTV and Eritrean Radio are aggressively promoting Ethiopian unity — despite the tens of millions of dollars Woyannes spends to jam them. Issayas Afeworki has also authorized a publication named ‘One Ethiopia’ for the purpose of countering Woyanne’s anti-Ethiopia propaganda.
Why would Issayas Afeworki and his government want to help Ethiopian freedom fighters to free our country from the Woyanne cancer?
1) Between 1998 and 2000, Meles & gang have carried out a massive ethnic cleansing campaign against Eritreans. During this campaign, over 500,000 Eritreans, most of whom were born and raised in Ethiopia, had been stripped of all their properties and expelled from Ethiopia. Their homes and other properties were distributed among Woyanne officials and members. Because of forced family separations, it is estimated that close to 1 million Eritreans are affected by the Woyanne ethnic cleansing campaign. The ethnic cleansing that Meles, Seye & gang had carried out against Eritreans is a crime against humanity by any standard, which the United Nations has completely ignored. Getting justice for these Eritrean victims of ethnic cleansing alone is a good motivation for the Eritrean government to help Ethiopian freedom fighters eliminate Woyanne.
2) Eritreans are well aware that the endless ethnic and religious conflicts that the Woyanne regime is instigating in Ethiopia will continue to keep them in a perpetual state of war. They have seen it first hand how monstrous evil Woyannes are. Eritreans have suffered more during the Woyanne regime than through all the wars during the Derg regime. Currently, Woyanne has created a transitional Eritrean government based in Mekelle and is arming and training over 20,000 mercenaries. It is preparing to invade Eritrea and put a puppet regime in Asmara as it tried to do in Somalia. Getting rid of Woyanne, in collaboration with Ethiopian freedom fighters, is a matter of survival for Eritreans, not a just a kind favor for Ethiopia.
The reason why Woyannes have turned their backs on Eritreans after the Eritrean People Liberation Front helped them come to power is more psychological than any thing else. By nature, Woyannes are ravenously greedy (like hyenas), and more importantly, they suffer from chronic inferiority complex. That’s why they are extremely violent and ready to flex their muscle over every little disagreement.
For Ethiopian freedom fighters to fight and successfully defeat the Woyanne mafia, cooperation with Eritrea’s government is necessary. Those Ethiopian opposition leaders who have understood this fact have been doing that for a while now and in the past few months a great deal of progress has been made.
It is not an easy task to defeat Woyanne. Because unlike in Somalia, there are too many fake opposition figures in Ethiopia that create confusion. The only genuine Ethiopian opposition groups at this time are those that are shooting or ready to shoot real bullets at Woyanne.
For those who are able to see through the smoke that Woyanne propagandists are producing, it is easy to arrive at the same conclusion that Ethiopian Review has reached that Issayas Afeworki has contributed the most to the fight to remove the cancer that is eating away at Ethiopia in the past 12 months. President Issayas has been able to throw out of whack the Woyanne master plan of creating ‘Greater Tigray’ and fragmenting Ethiopia into 8 small countries with their own puppet regimes serving the ‘golden race.’
The visceral hate toward the publisher of Ethiopian Review by not only Woyanne, but also those who want to remove Meles but keep Woyanne in power, is caused by the knowledge that Ethiopian Review is succeeding in exposing their tribalist agenda. The selection of President Isayas Afeworki of Eritrea by the #1 Ethiopian journal will surely drive them more insane than they already are.
Let 2009 bring freedom and peace to Ethiopia and all the people of the Horn of Africa.