Blog Archives

“We Shall Persevere, Ethiopia!”

“How important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”, decreed Maya Angelou, the great African American author, poet, dancer, actress and singer. “I shall persevere!” wrote Eskinder Nega, the imprisoned and preeminent defender and hero of press freedom in Ethiopia, in a letter smuggled out of the infamous Meles Zenawi Prison in Kality, […]

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Posted in Ethiopia News

Who is afraid of the E(thiopian) bloggers?

 Who is afraid of  Eskinder Nega, Reeyout Alemu, Woubshet Taye, Zone Nine bloggers…? The “dean” of independent Ethiopian journalists and blogger extraordinaire, Eskinder Nega, is serving an 18 year sentence for blogging. The late Meles Zenawi personally ordered Eskinder’s arrest and even determined his sentence. Meles Zenawi feared and hated Eskinder Nega more than any […]

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Posted in Ethiopia News

EITI or Clare’s Corruption Club?

 Clare Short has won! Congratulations, Clare! Brava! Last week, Clare Short, Chair of the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative (EITI), succeeded in bullying the EITI Board members into voting to admit the ruling regime in Ethiopia into her Club.  She did it the old-fashioned way— arm-twisting, browbeating, bulldozing, rear-end kicking, a little bit of jawboning and […]

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Posted in Ethiopia News

Ethiopia: Beyond the Hubris of Evil

 When I wrote a commentary on the plight of the imprisoned 32-year old Ethiopian journalist Reeyot Alemu last April, I titled it “The Audacity of Evil in Ethiopia.” At the time, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) had sent a letter to the “Minister of Justice” of the ruling regime in Ethiopia pleading medical care […]

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Posted in Ethiopia News

Corruption in the Ethiopian JUST US Sector

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For the past several months, I have been commenting on the findings of the World Bank’s “Diagnosing Corruption in Ethiopia”, a 448-page report covering eight sectors (health, education, rural water supply, justice, construction, land, telecommunications and mining). In this my sixth commentary, I focus on “corruption in the justice sector”. The other five commentaries are available […]

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Posted in Ethiopia News

Power Africa? Empower Africans!

Power, power, power… When President Obama recently visited Africa, he announced a “Power Africa” initiative.  In his Cape Town University speech, he proclaimed, “I am proud to announce a new initiative. We’ve been dealing with agriculture.  We’ve been dealing with health. Now we’re going to talk about power: Power Africa, a new initiative that will double […]

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Posted in Ethiopia News

Ethiopia: Shadowboxing Smoke and Mirrors

 Meles Zenawi when he was alive and his apostles today (“Melesistas”) keep playing us in the Diaspora like a cheap fiddle. They make us screech, shriek, scream and shout by simply showing their mugs in our cities. How do they do it? Every now and then, the Melesistas suit up a few of their bumbling […]

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Posted in Ethiopia News

The Audacity of Evil in Ethiopia

Triumph of Evil? “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing”, said Edmund Burke. But what happens when evil triumphs over a good young woman journalist named Reeyot Alemu in Ethiopia? Do good men and women turn a blind eye, plug their ears, turn their backs and stand […]

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Posted in Ethiopia News

Ethiopia: Right in Prison, Wrong on the Throne

Last April, I wrote a “Special Tribute to My Personal Hero Eskinder Nega”.  In that tribute, I groped for words as I tried to describe this common Ethiopian man of uncommon valor, an ordinary journalist of extraordinary integrity and audacity. Frankly, what could be said of a simple man of humility possessed of indomitable dignity? […]

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Posted in Ethiopia News

Ethiopia: The Prototype African Police State

The sights and sounds of an African police state When Erin Burnett of CNN visited Ethiopia in July 2012, she came face-to-face with the ugly face of an African police state: We saw what an African police state looked like when I was in Ethiopia last month… At the airport, it took an hour to clear […]

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Posted in Ethiopia News

The Free Press in Ethiopia’s Kangaroo Kourts

Alemayehu G Mariam The Triumph of Lies Over the past six years, I have written numerous columns defending press freedom in Ethiopia. In a 2009 commentary entitled, “The Art of War on Ethiopia’s Independent Press”, I expressed astonishment over the heavy handed treatment of the free press: “Use a sledgehammer to smash a butterfly! That […]

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Posted in Ethiopia News

Ethiopia: The Sky(pe) is Falling!

Alemayehu G. Mariam The Sky is Falling! Most of my readers know how much I enjoy “bedtime stories”. Recently, I wrote about my favortie bedtime story of Pinocchio in Africa. Ever heard of the story of Chicken Little? One day Chicken Little was scratching around the yard  when something fell on her head. “Oh,” screeched Chicken Little, […]

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Posted in Ethiopia News

Ethiopia’s Awramba Times: More Powerful Than…

Alemayehu G. Mariam  Awramba Times: More Powerful Than Ten Thousand Bayonets “Four hostile newspapers are more to be feared than a thousand bayonets,” fretted Napoleon Bonaparte, dictator of France, as he summed up his determination to crush that country’s independent press. For dictator Meles Zenawi, Awramba Times, the tip of the spear of press freedom […]

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Posted in Ethiopia News

Ethiopia: Kangaroo Justice for Two Swedish Journalists

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Alemayehu G. Mariam Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye in Kangaroo Court  The old adage is that “ignorance of the law is no excuse.” Could it be said equally that arrogance excuses ignorance of the law? Dictator-in-chief Meles Zenawi recently proclaimed the guilt of freelance Swedish journalists Johan Persson and Martin Schibbye on charges of “terrorism” while […]

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Posted in Ethiopia News

Ethiopia: Dictatorship is State Terrorism

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Alemayehu G. Mariam Terrorism by “Anti-terrorism Law” Lately, Meles Zenawi, the dictator in Ethiopia, has been rounding up dissidents, journalists, opposition party political leaders and members under a diktat known as “Anti-Terrorism Proclamation No. 652/2009”. This diktat approved on a 286-91 vote of the rubberstamp parliament is so arbitrary and capricious that Human Rights Watch […]

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Posted in Ethiopia News
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