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ሴተኛ አዳሪዎች በአቶ መለስ ዜናዊ ሞት የተሰማቸውን ሃዘን ገለፁ

Thursday, August 30th, 2012

ትናንት በስቲያ ስራ ልገባ እየተጣደፍኩ ስለነበር የላኩላችሁን መልዕክት መልሼ እንኳን ሳላነበው እንደወረደ ነው ጣል አድርጌላችሁ የበረርኩት። በወቅቱ ኢቲቪን እያየሁ ስሜቴ ክፉኛ ተጎድቶ ስለነበር የሰዓቱ ነገር ባይገድበኝ ውስጤን ያላውሰው የነበረውን ስሜት በቀላሉ ከትቤ የምጨርሰው አልነበረም። ታዲያ ዛሬ ኢትዪ ትዪብ ድረ ገጽ ላይ “የአዲስ አበባ ጎዳና ተዳዳሪዎች በአቶ መለስ ዜናዊ ሞት የተሰማቸውን ሃዘን ገለጹ” የሚለውን የኢትዮጵያን ቴሌቭዥን ዘገባ ስመለከት እነበረከት የተቆጣጠሩት ስርዓት ምን አይነት ጨዋታ በመጫወት ላይ እንዳሉ ወለል ብሎ ታየኝና መፅናናት ያዝኩ። ሕዝባችን በግዴታ ሃዘኑን እንዲገልጽ የተላለፉት የጥሪ ደብዳቤዎችንም አንዳንድ ድረ-ገፆች ላይ ለመመልከት ችያለሁ።

ይህ ከአሳዛኝነቱ ይልቅ አስቂኝነቱ የሚጎላው የዜና ዘገባ፣ የኢቲቪ ጋዜጠኞች ብቃት ምን ያህል የወረደ መሆኑን ከማመላከቱ በተጨማሪ ለምስል ቀረፃው የመረጧቸው የጎዳና ተዳዳሪ ተብዬዎች ፊት ላይ የሚነበበው ስሜትና በእጅጉ የሚያደምም ሆኖ ነው ያገኘሁት። እኛ የምናውቀው አዲስ አበባ ላይ በርሳቸው ዘመን ኢትዮጵያውያን በአገራቸው ላይ ጎዳና ላይ እንኳን ማደር እየተከለከሉ እየተከለከሉ ሲሳደዱ ነው። በተለይም አላሙዲ ፒያሳ ላይ እስካሁን አጥሮ ያስቀመጠው ቦታ አጥር ስር ከነቤተሰባቸው ለዓመታት ተጠልለው ይኖሩ የነበሩ ምስኪን ወገኖቻችን መጨረሻ ላይ የመንግስት ታጣቂዎች በምን አይነት መልኩ ከቦታው ላይ እየደበደቡ እንደነቀሏቸው ምንጊዜም የማይረሳኝ የቅርብ ጊዜ ትዝታዬ ነው።

በተረፈ “ቴዲ አፍሮ ለመለስ ዜናዊ ዘፈን አወጣ” የሚለው ዜና የፈጠራ መሆኑን በማረጋገጤ በእጅጉ ተጽናንቼአለሁ።

ይህንን የኢቲቪ ዘገባ እንዳየሁ የሚቀጥለው የዜና ዘገባ የአዲስ አበባ ሴተኛ አዳሪዎች በአቶ መለስ ሞት የተሰማቸውን ሃዘን ገለጹ የሚል ይሆናል ብዬ ገመትኩ። ገምቼም አልቀረሁ በቴሌቭዥን መስኮት ብቅ ብላ ሴተኛ አዳሪዎቹን በመወከል መልዕክታቸውን የምታስተላልፈው ካድሬ ስሜት በዚህ መልኩ ከተብኩት ። ዜናው እንዲህ ነበር ኢቲቪ ያቀረበው፦

ሴተኛ አዳሪዎች በአቶ መለስ ዜናዊ ሞት የተሰማቸውን ሃዘን ገለፁ

(“የጎዳና ተዳዳሪዎች በአቶ መለስ ዜናዊ ሞት የተነሳ የተሰማቸውን ሃዘን ገለጹ” በሚለው የኢትዮጵያ ቴሌቭዥን ዘገባ ላይ ተመስርቶ የተፃፈ ወቅታዊ ልቦለድ ዜና)

በአዲስ አበባ የሚገኙ በርካታ ሴተኛ አዳሪዎች በታላቁ ባለ ራዕይ መሪያችን በ/ጠ/ሚ/ር መለስ ዜናዊ ሞት የተሰማቸውን ሃዘን ዛሬ በብሄራዊ ቤተ መንግስት አዳራሽ በመገኘት ገለፁ።

ሴተኛ አዳሪዎቹ ለባለቤታቸው ለወ/ሮ አዜብ መስፍንና ለልጆቻቸው ካስተላለፉት የሃዘን መልዕክት በተጨማሪ፣ አቶ መለስ በቀጥታም ሆነ በተዘዋዋሪ መንገድ ለሴተኛ አዳሪነት ስራ መስፋፋት ያደርጉ የነበረውን ጉልህ አስተዋጾ በመጥቀስ፣ የርሳቸው ከዚህ ዓለም በሞት መለየት ወደዚህ የስራ መስክ የሚገቡትን ሴቶች ቁጥር ይቀንሰው ይሆናል የሚል ስጋት እንዳላት የሴተኛ አዳሪዎቹ ተወካይ ለሪፖርተራችን ገልፃለች።

እስኪ ንግግርዋን አብረን እንከታተለው፦

ተወካይዋ እንባዋ እንዲመጣላት፣ የግንቦት 1997 ዓ.ም ምርጫን ተከትሎ በአጋዚ ክፍለጦር ወታደሮች የተገደለው ታናሽ ወንድሟን በልቧ እያሰበች እንደምንም ጠብ! ያለላት እምባዋን በእራፊ ጨርቅ እያባበሰች ወደ ቴሌቭዥኑ መስኮት ብቅ ትላለች፦

“ እንዲሚታወቀው ጠ/ሚ/ር መለስ ከርሳቸው በፊት ከነበሩ መሪዎች በበለጠ አናሳ ቁጥር ያላቸው ባለሙያዎችን በመደገፍና በማበረታታት በልማቱ መስክ ጉልህ አስተዋጾ እንዲያደርጉ የለፉ መሪ ነበሩ። እኔም የዚህ እድል ተጠቃሚ ከሆኑት ሴተኛ አዳሪዎች አንዷ ነኝ። ባለፉት 20 ዓመታት በዚሁ ስራ ያገለገልኩ ሲሆን፣ ይህ የስራ መስክ በአገሪቷ ውስጥ እየተፈጠረ ያለውን ከፍተኛ የስራ አጥ ችግር በመቅረፍ በኩል ተወዳዳሪ ያልተገኘለት ሆኖ ተገኝቷል። የሴተኛ አዳሪነት ስራ ባለፉት መንግስታት እጅግ የተጠላና የተወገዘ በመሆኑ ቀደምት የሙያ አጋሮቻችን በአንዳንድ ቡና ቤቶችና አነስተኛ መሸታ ቤቶች ውስጥ ብቻ ያውም ተደብቀው ይሰሩ እንደነበር ታሪክ መዝግቦት ይገኛል። በኢሕአዴግ ዘመነ መንግስት ግን ይህ ኋላ ቀር ባሕል ሙሉ ለሙሉ ተቀርፎአል ማለት ይቻላል። በተለይም ጠ/ሚ/ር መለስ ባጎናፀፉን የዴሞክራሲያዊ መብት በመጠቀም እኔን ጨምሮ ሲያዮዋቸው የሚያማልሉ በሺዎች የሚቆጠሩ ውብና ለግላጋ ኢትዮጵያውያን ሴቶች በተለይም ምሽት ላይ ጎዳና ላይ በመቆም መኪና ላላቸው ደንበኞቻችን ቀልጣፋ አገልግሎት መስጠት ሁሉ ችለናል። ታላቁ መሪያችን በቀየሱት የድሕነት ቅነሳ ስትራቴጂ ተግባራዊ በማድረግ፣ ባብዛኛው የምናገኘውን ገንዘብ የችግረኛ ቤተሰቦቻችንን የዕለት ጉርስ ለመሸፈን ነው የምናውለው።

እንዲያውም ካለፉት ጥቂት ዓመታት ወዲህ ከተለያዩ የአገራችን ዩንቨርሲቲዎች በዲግሪና ከዚያም በላይ በልዩ ልዩ ሙያ የተመረቁ በርካታ እሕቶቻችን፣ ጠ/ሚኒስትራችን የነደፉት በምግብ ራሳችንን የመቻል ፖሊሲን ተግባራዊ ለማድረግ ወደዚህ የስራ መስክ መግባቱ አማራጭ የሌለው የስራ ዕድል ሆኖ አግኝተውታል። ስለዚህም የሴተኛ አዳሪነቱ ስራ በቂ መስሕብነት ብቻ ሳይሆን በልዩ ልዩ ሙያ የዳበረ ዕውቀት ባላቸው ሴት እሕቶቻችን ተሳትፎ ከፍተኛ ዕድገት እያስመዘገበ ነው።

“ምንም እንኳን የኢትዮጵያውያን ደንበኞቻችን ቁጥር ከዕለት ዕለት እየቀነሰ ቢመጣም፣ ጠ/ሚ/ር መለስ በቀየሱት የዕድገትና የትራንፎርሜሽን እቅድ ተጠቃሚ ለመሆን በተለይም ከአረብና ከፈረንጅ አገር፤ እንዲሁም ከሱዳንም ሆነ ከሌላ የአፍሪካ አካባቢዎች የሚመጡት አዳዲስ ደንበኞቻችን ቁጥር እጅግ በከፍተኛ መጠን እየጨመረ ይገኛል። በዚህም የተነሳ በአሁኑ ወቅት በአንድ ቀን ለሊት ሁለትና ሶስት ደንበኞቻችንን እስከማስተናገድ ደርሰናል። በዚህ በኩል ለአገራችን የምናስገኘው የውጭ ምንዛሪ ገቢ ቀላል ግምት የሚሰጠው አይደለም። እንዲያውም አዲሱ የአገራችን አስተዳደር እርሳቸው የቀየሱትን የልማት መርሃ-ግብር ለማስፈፀም ጥረት ካደረገ፣ ወደፊት አገራችን የውጭ ምንዛሪ ለማግኘት ቡና ወደ ውጭ ኢንቨስት ለማድረግ መከራዋን ማየት አይጠበቅባትም ብዬ እገምታለሁ።

ከቅርብ ጊዜ ወዲህም፣ ጠ/ሚ/ር መለስ በነደፉት የድሕነት ቅነሳ ስትራቴጂ ተጠቃሚ የሆኑ ቀላል ቁጥር የሌላቸው “ወንደኛ አዳሪዎችም” በዚሁ የስራ መስክ በመሰማራት ላይ ናቸው። አብዛኞቹም ከአሜሪካ፣ ከአውሮፓ፣ እንዲሁም ከሌላው ዓለም የሚመጡ ቋሚ ደንበኞች እንዳሏቸው ይነገራል። ይህ ደግሞ የታላቁ ጠ/ሚኒስትራችን የዘመናት ድካምና ጥረት ውጤት በመሆኑ ሁላችንንም ደስ የሚያሰኝ ነው።

እንደሚታወቀው ጠ/ሚኒስትር መለስ ሕዝባችን የራሱን እርግፍ አድርጎ በመተው የሰለጠኑትን አገሮች ባህል እንዲወርስ ብርቱ ጥረት ሲያደርጉ ኖረው ያለፉ ታላቅ የአገር መሪ ናቸው። በዚህ በኩል በዓለማችን ብቸኛው የአገር መሪ ላይ እንዲህ አይነት አዳዲስ ስልጣኔዎችን ወደ አገራችን ለማስገባት እድሜያቸውን ሙሉ ጥረት ሲያደርጉ ኑረዋል። በተለይም በቅርቡ ዓለም ዓቀፍ የግብረሰዶማውያን ስብሰባ አዲስ አበባ ላይ እንዲደረግ በመፍቀድ ለህዝባችን ግንዛቤ ለማስጨመጥ መሞከራቸው አይዘነጋም። ከጥንት ጀምሮ ሲወርድ ሲዋረድ ከመጣውና ሕዝባችንን ተብትቦ ከያዘው “ኢትዮጵያዊነት” ለማላቀቅ አገሪቷን በብሔርና በቋንቋ ከማዋቀራቸውም በተጨማሪ፣ ኢትዪጵያዊ እሴቶቻችንን ሙሉ ለሙሉ በመድፈር፣ ብዙዎች መስዋዕትነት የከፈሉበት ሰንደቅ ዓላማችን “ጨርቅ” እንደሆነ ባደባባይ የነገሩን ታላቅ የለውጥ አርበኛ መሆናቸው አይዘነጋም።

እዚህ ላይ አያይዤ ላነሳ የምወደው ነገር ቢኖር ወዳጃቸው አላሙዲ በርሳቸው ልዩ ፈቃድ ከአዶላ የሚስያወጡት ወርቅ ሞልቶ ተርፎ ሳለ፣ ጠ/ሚ/ር መለስን የመሰለ ታላቅ መሪ በሕይወት ዘመናቸው ጨርቅ እንደሆነ በነገሩን ሰንደቅ ዓላማ አስከሬናቸው መሸፈኑ በእጅጉ ክብራቸውን የሚቀንስ ሆኖ መገኘቱን ልጠቁም እወዳለሁ። ምናልባት አላሙዲም በግዜር እጅ ተይዘው ስለሚገኙ ባስቸኳይ ወርቅ ማልበስ ባይቻል እንኳን፣ የሕወሃት፣ የትግራይ ክልል፣ እንዲሁም ለኤርትራ መገንጠልም ሆነ ለነበራቸው ተቆርቋሪነት ሲባል የሻዕቢያ አርማ ባለው ጨርቅ አስከሬናቸው ቢሸፈን ነፍሳቸው ባግባቡ ልትደሰት እንደምትችል እገምታለሁ።

በተጨማሪም እንደዋልድባ አይነት ዘመናት ያስቆጠረ ገዳምን ወደ ሸንኮራ አገዳ ልማት ጣቢያ ለመቀየር በብቸኝነት ደፍረው የተንቀሳቀሱ፣ እንዲሁም በነቢዩ መሃመድ ቤተሰቦች ከዘመናት በፊት ወደ አገራችን የገባውን የእስልምና እምነት ሙሉ ለሙሉ ወደ አሕባሽ እንዲቀየር ደፍረው እንቅስቃሴ ያስጀመሩ ብቸኛው ደፋር የአገራችን መሪ መሆናቸው መዘንጋት የለበትም። ይህንንም ሆነ ሌሎች በርካታ ስራዎቻቸውን ያስተዋለ ሰው ደግሞ፣ እኚህ ታላቅ መሪያችን “አባይን የደፈረ መሪ” ተብሎ በአንድ ተራ ወንዝ ስም ብቻ መሞካሸታቸው አግባብ እንዳልሆነ ለመረዳት ጊዜ አይወስድበትም። ስለዚህም አባይም የሚገኘው ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ከመሆኑ በተጨማሪ እርሳቸው የደፈሯቸው ነገሮች (ሴቶችም ካሉ መጨመር ይቻላል) በሙሉ ተጠቃለው “ኢትዮጵያን፣ ኢትዮጵያውያንና ኢትዮጵያዊነትን የደፈረ ብቸኛው መሪ” ተብለው እንዲሰየሙ ማሳሰብ እወዳለሁ። “

አመሰግናለሁ!
ቅዱስ ሃብት በላቸው


Why are they making us cry?

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

By Yilma Bekele

The Ethiopian people have been told to show grief regarding the death of Meles Zenawi. This is sadness by government decree and it is not unique to us. We just witnessed it happen in North Korea but it always is a little strange when what you feared happen to you. There is no question the regime under the control of the TPLF party is orchestrating this drama. They are not even trying to hide it. The truth of the matter is they are going the extra mile to make sure the citizen understands it is official government policy.

It took the regime over four weeks to announce the death of the dictator. It looks like they took their time time to plan what to do and how to do it. They are perfectly aware that the individual is not liked let alone loved by the Ethiopian people. Since his illness was hidden from the public his sudden death would have unjarred the population. They know the situation has to be dealt delicately. Their main goal was how to use the unfortunate situation to garner sympathy and good will while at the same time show who the boss is. The fact the citizen loathed the little tyrant was a big hurdle to overcome.

The only way the party can get benefit out of this disastrous situation was to go back into their bag of tricks and revert back to the proven method of bullying by using force and coercion. It has worked since their inception forty years ago and they have become really good at it. The system of bending people’s wills to to fit the tyrants way is the hallmark of all totalitarian societies. The TPLF did not invent it but they are very good students of everything that is bad and toxic to society.

The question in front of us is how and why they do that? I believe this has eloquently been answered by Mr. Anthony Daniels in his book ‘The wilder further shores of Marx’.

‘…..with an established totalitarian regime the purpose of propaganda is not to persuade, much less to inform, but to humiliate. From this point of view propaganda should not approximate to the truth as closely as possible: on the contrary it should do as much violence to it as possible. For by endlessly asserting what is patently untrue, by making such untruth ubiquitous and unavoidable, and finally by insisting by everyone publicly acquiesce in it, the regime displays its power and reduces individuals to nullities. Who can retain his self respect when, far from defending what he knows to be true, he has to applaud what he knows to be false- not occasionally, as we all do, but for the whole of his adult life.’

This is a nut shell describes Woyane kind of mind set. You would think Mr. Daniels has been to Ethiopia. Mr. Daniels’s book is based on his experience of such failed states as East Germany, the former Soviet Union, North Vietnam and North Korea among others. The TPLF controlled Ethiopian government is copying the loathsome practices of the Stasi in East Germany and the KGB of the Soviet Union. Folks like Berket Semeon, Workrneh Gebeyehu, Getachew Assefa are excellent students of such inhuman system that has managed to hurt so many but was at last discredited by the citizen. Our country is back ward, our people are kept illiterate by design our culture still is based on fear of authority, fear of elder and our Woyane warriors found a fertile ground to practice this craft of crime against a nation.

I would like to take one statement from the quotation above and look at it in the context of Ethiopia.
‘…..with an established totalitarian regime the purpose of propaganda is not to persuade, much less to inform, but to humiliate. From this point of view propaganda should not approximate to the truth as closely as possible: on the contrary it should do as much violence to it as possible.’
In life Meles Zenawi was a recluse that disparaged even the word Ethiopia. He lived in a palace surrounded by robust security and never left his compound to mix or associate with ordinary people. The only contact the citizen has with the PM was thru the window of Ethiopian TV. We all know he never allowed open discussion and surrounded himself with people that worshiped him, agreed with him and swore allegiance to him. He is known to be very vindictive, ill tempered and unforgiving. The Ethiopian people, his close associates and his Party feared him. There was no respect or love for the individual. This is the man we all know.

Today Berket Semeon and company are telling us a different story. Mind you not a little different, not an innocent white lie but as outrageous as possible and beyond the truth as much as possible. They just do not want the citizen to cry a little, grief some but they expect some genuine wailing to be recorded and beamed all over the world. Why do you think they do that? It is all about show of power. By forcing us to do what we all know to be false they make us loose self respect and individual will. When you see your family, your neighbor, your coworker being forced to act in such manner when you find yourself doing something you know deep inside to be untrue you die some. The person is reduced to nothingness with no self respect, no spine and no free will. Haile Gebreselassie comes to mind.

It has the same effect on those that watch such spectacle from afar. I have noticed my friends to be confused, unable to understand and finally choosing silence to hide the shame. We all try to explain the phenomena by mentioning culture, being human or religion. It is an attempt to make sense. We are trying to make the irrational situation palatable by injecting some logic into it. It is perfectly understandable. Our brain rejects such dissonance. We get angry, feel confused, embarrassed and helpless.

This disturbing situation in our society is not a natural occurrence or an accident. It is engineered by the TPLF party. In their futile attempt to stay in power they have declared psychological form of warfare on their own people. It is relentless, unmerciful and very lethal. It does not kill you but it reduces you into a state of sub human, void of free will and easy to control. That is what the criminals are doing to us. That is what they have been doing to us with Meles Zenawi as the ring leader. Today he has left his underlings to continue from where he left off. They show no shame, no what is called ‘yelunta’ when they declare black is white, wrong is right and force us to repeat it after them.

How do you fight such form of warfare? There is no need to panic. No shame to being forced to go against our will. A government is a very powerful organization. When a state puts all its efforts to do evil no one is immune. The Russians, the East Europeans went thru over fifty years of hell. The North Koreans are in worse of shape than us. Our tormentors are amateurs compared to the Stasi. The fact that our country is backward and our people kept ignorant is what is giving them the power. On the other hand the world is a different place now. The advent of the Internet, the ubiquitous nature of Social media has given us a slight advantage. The founding of ESAT as I said before is a game changer. The Woyane goons monopoly on the media is no more.

We stop the complaining and work harder to expose, undermine and attack our tormentors aggressively. We encourage those that are trying to organize and work for us instead of second guessing, undermining their effort and splitting hair. We hope those that have been organizing for some time show us sign that they are here and active. There is no need to wait for the most opportune moment rather the job of the activist is to seize the time and make history. My friend Abebe Gelaw did not wait for the stars to line up but rather he forced the issue and made history. The time is now and the place is Ethiopia. We shall win, history is on our side. Stay strong don’t let them break you.

Discussion on Ethiopian Review investigation of Al Amoudi’s disappearance

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Some Ethiopian Review readers expressed concerned that our report on Al Amoudi’s disappearance might have been contaminated by a Woyanne disinformation campaign. As we reported earlier, it appears the billionaire and business partner of the late Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi is alive. We don’t believe that we have been purposely misinformed by Woyanne. In fact, they are shaken up and frustrated by our report because it diverted attention away for 2 days from their effort to cause mass hysteria around the death of their boss.

It must be understood that we are operating under an extremely difficult environment where our reporters inside the country would be arrested and convicted to life in prison or worse for working with Ethiopian Review. The Woyanne junta is so secretive and paranoid that we cannot conduct normal journalism in Ethiopia. Our correspondents inside Ethiopia are risking arrest, torture and death on a daily basis to provide us with the news. In that regard, they have been more resourceful than news organizations that have huge budgets.

In order to get to the bottom of some information that we are unable to confirm, we some times we have to resort to what we termed crowd-investigation where our readers are involved. That is what we did in this case. We originally stated in our report:

Ethiopian Review could not confirm this breaking news from more than one source, but the source is credible enough for us to report it.

We have clearly stated that the information was unconfirmed, but it led to a mass hunt and in two days a Woyanne rat called Ben found the drunkard sheik for us at Bole Airport looking dazed and shaken. Before and after releasing the information, we did a serious investigation, contacting numerous individuals who might have knowledge of Al Amoudi’s whereabout. We even called the lie factory himself and spoke with his rude assistant.

Under the circumstance, what Ethiopian Review has done is a serious journalism which led to the truth. As soon as we received a video confirmation, we reported it.

Thank you all who have assisted us in this and other investigations. What makes Ethiopian Review the best and most trusted Ethiopian media is you the readers.

There is more discussion on this issue at Ethiopian Review’s forum. Click here.

Al Amoudi is alive (video)

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Al Amoudi

Billionaire Mohammed Al Amoudi appears to be alive — and well enough to continue looting and plundering Ethiopia. The following video was recorded by Bereket Simon’s rat named Ben at Bole Airport today.

Al Amoudi upate

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Ethiopia First website editor named Ben claims that he saw Al Amoudi today at Bole Airport and presented the photo below as evidence. Ben is Bereket Simon’s apprentice, so it is hard to believe any thing that comes from him. He has been swearing that Meles Zenawi was on vacation and will return before Ethiopian New year. If the photo below is real, it would be the first time for Al Amoudi to be seen in public since the death of his best friend Meles Zenawi… More update shortly.

Addis Ababa abuzz over the news of Al Amoudi’s death/disappearance

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Here is what we have been able to gather so far:

1. The biggest news in Addis Ababa and other cities in Ethiopia yesterday and today has been the reported death/disappearance of Ethiopian-Saudi Billionaire Mohammed Al Amoudi, even though the news has not be confirmed yet. The number of people visiting Meles’s body at the National Palace to pay ‘respect’ has dramatically decreased since yesterday following the story about Al Amoudi.

2. The Ethiopian Review main source stands by his report about Al Amoudi’s death.

2. TPLF propaganda chief Bereket Simon’s office denies the report.

3. One of Al Amoudi’s employees in Addis Ababa told Ethiopian Review that Al Amoudi was in Addis Ababa until Monday 10 AM and that he saw him in person.

4. The same employee told Ethiopian Review this morning that Al Amoudi will be back in Addis Ababa today.

5. EMF reported on Tuesday that Al Amoudi has arrived in Addis Ababa on Monday.

6. Al Amoudi’s office in Jeddah told Ethiopian Review that he is currently in Ethiopia.

7. DLA Piper office in London said the report about Al Amoudi’s death is incorrect, but would not elaborate.

8. A senior adviser told Ethiopian Review that Al Amoudi is not well but he will arrive in Addis Ababa today.

9. ETV news director refused to speak with Ethiopian Review about his report on Monday that Al Amoudi arrived in Addis Ababa.

Conclusion: Three different people who are in a position to know said that Al Amoudi will arrive in Addis Ababa today. We will see.

Woyanne mass hyteria spreads to North America – (video)

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

A disgusting scene at a Tigrean Church in Seattle, USA. They are crying for the late Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi.

Now it is children’s turn

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

The picture says it all.

Meles Zenawi

From the cold case files: Where is the coffee?

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

One of the most astonishing legacy of Meles Zenawi as the dictator who ruled Ethiopia for the past 21 years is the wholesale looting of the country by him and his TPLF junta. The most egregious example of the looting is the disappearance of 20,000,000 pounds of coffee without a trace. The fact that his wife stole the money is an open secret. But listen below how Meles covered up the brazen looting. Will the new pm, Hailemariam Desalegn, open this cold case?

Ethiopian tour operators ordered to display photographs of late dictator Meles Zenawi (photo)

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

The TPLF junta has ordered all tour operators in Ethiopia to display photographs of the late dictator Meles Zenawi on their cars. See the photo below.

TPLF army commits organized torture and rape in Gambella, western Ethiopia

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Ethiopia: Army Commits Torture, Rape
Gambella Atrocities Follow Attack on Commercial Farm; New ‘Villagization’ Abuses

AUGUST 28, 2012

(Nairobi) – The Ethiopian military responded to an April 2012 attack on a large commercial farm in Gambella region with arbitrary arrests, rape, and other abuses against scores of local villagers. Forced displacement, inadequate resources, and other abuses against Gambella’s population persist in the second year of the government’s “villagization” program.

“Waiting Here for Death” “What Will Happen if Hunger Comes?” Ethiopia: Terrorism Law Used to Crush Free Speech – the attack on Saudi Star was a criminal act but it does not justify reprisals against Gambella’s population. The Ethiopian government should put an immediate end to abuses by the military in the region and investigate and prosecute soldiers found responsible for these heinous acts, regardless of rank.

Human Rights Watch has previously reported on the Ethiopian government’s policy of “villagization” or resettlement of Gambella residents from their traditional lands to clear the way for the commercial farms. The government has used threats, intimidation, and violence against those who resist moving.

Hundreds of villagers from Abobo woreda (district) fled the military operation and crossed into neighboring South Sudan in the months since the attack on Saudi Star. In June Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 80 recent arrivals from Gambella in South Sudan.

One former detainee told Human Rights Watch: “They said we were to go into the bush and show them where the rebels are – with whom they claimed we had a relationship. They beat me after I said I didn’t know where the rebels are. After they beat me they took me to the barracks. I was in custody for three days. At night they took me out and asked me to show them where the rebels are. I said I don’t know. So they beat me and took off their sock and put it in my mouth to stop the screams.”

“The military’s abusive response to the Saudi Star attack is only making an already turbulent situation in Gambella worse,” Lefkow said. “After what the people in the region have suffered at the government’s hands, the only thing that will begin to clear the air is a comprehensive and independent inquiry into the situation.”

A 17-year-old girl from Abobo woreda who had recently arrived in South Sudan said that soldiers killed her father when he refused to move from their farm near Tegne to the new village: “We were sitting at our farm and soldiers came up to us: ‘Do you accept to be relocated or not?’ ‘No.’ So they grabbed some of us. ‘Do you want to go now?’ ‘No.’ Then they shot my father and killed him. We all fled into the bush. I still do not know where my sister or husband is.

Human Rights Watch urged the Ethiopian government to stop the arbitrary arrests, beatings, and intimidation of Gambella residents and to release those who have been arbitrarily detained. The government should investigate and prosecute military personnel and officials implicated in human rights violations associated with the villagization process.

More details are at: http://www.hrw.org/news/2012/08/28/ethi … rture-rape


Bereket Simon office denies Al Amoudi is dead

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

Ethiopian Review editor has called Bereket Simon’s office this morning to verify if the TPLF regime propaganda minister knows whether Ethiopian-Saudi billionaire Al Amoudi is dead. His assistant refused to connect us to Bereket but denied the report. Click here to listen here.

BREAKING NEWS: Al Amoudi is dead

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Ethio-Saudi billionaire Ato Mohamed Al Amoudi, one of the late dictator Meles Zenawi’s closest friends, has died today in Saudi Arabia after receiving medical treatment in London, Ethiopian Review Intelligence Unit sources reported this afternoon.

Ethiopian Review could not confirm this breaking news from more than one source, but the source is credible enough for us to report it.

As we prepared to report the news, the TPLF-controlled Ethiopian Television (ETV) this evening reported that Al Amoudi has arrived in Addis Ababa today, but showed only an old photo. ETV reported Al Amoudi’s arrival in Ethiopia with an old photo to preempt any talk of Al Amoudi’s death which could turn people’s attention away from Meles Zenawi’s burial program that is scheduled for next Sunday, September 2, according to Ethiopian Review analysts.

stay tuned for more update.

A Farewell to Meles Zenawi

Monday, August 27th, 2012

By Alemayehu G.Mariam

For over two hundred seventy five weeks, without missing a single week, I have written long expository commentaries on the deeds and misdeeds of the man who has been at the helm of power in Ethiopia for over two decades. Meles Zenawi has now passed on. The cause of his death remains a closely guarded state secret.

There is little I can say about what Meles has done or not done in death that I have not said in life. But his death saddens me, because as John Donne said, “Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankind. Death comes equally to us all, and makes us all equal when it comes.” As a committed human rights advocate, even the death of a tyrant diminishes me because I am involved in the cause of humanity– justice, fairness, equality, dignity, benevolence, compassion, forgiveness, honesty, integrity and magnanimity.

I bid Meles farewell not in words of lamentation or grievance but in words that record lost opportunities yet express hope, optimism and confidence in the future of Ethiopia.

Meles Zenawi was a man who had an appointment with destiny. Fate had chosen him to play a historic role in Ethiopia and beyond. He was one of the leaders of a rebel group that fought and defeated a brutal military dictatorship that had been in power for 17 years. In victory, Meles promised democracy, respect for democratic liberties and development. But as the years wore on, Meles became increasingly repressive, intolerant of criticism and in the end became as tyrannical as the tyrant he had replaced. In his last years, he created a police state reinforced by a massive security network of spies and surveillance technology. He criminalized press freedom and civil society institutions. He crushed dissent and all opposition. He spread fear and loathing that penetrated the remotest parts of the countryside. For over 21 years, Meles clutched the scepter of power in his hands and cast away the sword of justice he held when he marched into the capital from the bush in 1991. Meles was feared, disliked and demonized by his adversaries. He was loved, admired, idealized and idolized by his supporters. In the end, Meles died a man who had absolute power which had corrupted him absolutely. In his relentless pursuit of absolute power, Meles missed his appointment with destiny to become a peerless and exemplary Ethiopian leader.

But who was the Meles Zenawi we saw morphing from a promising democrat into a flagitious dictator over the past 21 years? Who was the man we accuse of human rights violations and crimes against humanity? Who was the man we blame for the stillbirth of democracy in Ethiopia and the creation of “an African police state” as CNN recently characterized it? Is he alone responsible for the suffering and woe that have befallen that poor nation? Perhaps some may be surprised to hear one of Meles’ severest critics in life raising such questions in his death. But the truth must be told.

We created and nurtured Meles over the past 21 years. We were his aiders and abettors. We share responsibility in his deeds and misdeeds. “We” are the great nations who lionized and gave billions of dollars to Meles every year even as we meticulously documented his massive record of human rights violations year after year. “We” are the members of the political party that controls 99.6 percent of the seats in parliament who rubber-stamped his repressive laws that criminalized journalists and civil society organizations and made “terrorists” out of our best and brightest youth. “We” are the judges who made a travesty of justice by subverting the halls of justice into kangaroo courts. “We” are the soldiers, police and security operatives who used our guns on innocent civilians. “We” are the civil servants who stood at Meles’ beck and call and did his bidding unquestioningly. “We” are the journalists for state media who covered up and justified his violations of human rights. “We” are the businessmen and women who profited from official corruption to line our pockets. “We” are the young men and women who signed up for party membership to access opportunities in a system we knew to be corrupt. “We” are Ethiopia’s intellectuals who chose not to stand up to Meles or stand up for principle. “We” are the opposition party leaders who bickered, quarreled and quibbled when millions looked up to us to lead us on the shining path to democracy. “We” are the Ethiopian Diaspora who kept silent, turned a deaf ear, muted lips and blind eyes as ordinary Ethiopians were subjected to extrajudicial killings, dissidents and critics jailed and political prisoners tortured and abused. “We” are the individuals who could have said or done something when Meles did wrong but chose to remain silent. The truth must be told. None of us can wash off our hands the sins of silence, complicity and indifference over the past twenty-one years. So “We” all should be mindful that when we point an index finger at Meles, three fingers are pointing at ourselves.

Meles was an exceedingly ambitious man who understood power, but only the dark side of power. He could not come to terms with the truth that real power comes from the consent of the people and must be exercised in accordance with the principle of the rule of law. He held the power of life and death, but used it more for the latter. He was the policeman, judge, jury and executioner. He was the law, and his will was the law of the land. Meles was blinded to the fact that with great power comes great responsibility. He scorned the idea that those who hold power must temper it with compassion, justice and tolerance. But having absolute power made Meles feel absolutely invincible, indestructible, indomitable and unconquerable. He missed his appointment with destiny.

Meles could have been a peerless and exemplary leader in Ethiopia and in Africa. Many of the world’s dictators in history were great leaders. Their “greatness” came from their brutal subjugation of their people. But exemplary leaders achieve greatness because they are loved, revered and cherished by their people. Their greatness comes from their openness of heart, mind and soul. Nelson Mandela is a peerless and exemplary leader embraced by the entire world even though he was in office for four years and spent much of his adult life languishing in Apartheid prisons. Today he is seen as an icon of humanity. What makes Mandela an exemplary leader is not his charisma, oratory, organizing or administrative skills. Mandela was concerned about people, not power. Mandela’s first and foremost concern was dignity, the dignity of all South Africans and the dignity of all humanity. Mandela became a peerless leader because he took a single seed of love from his heart and planted in the arid soil of racial hate and watered it with goodwill, patience and tolerance. When the world wagered on a bloodbath in South Africa, in six years Mandela brought black and white South Africans together and baptized them in the holy water of truth and reconciliation. Today South Africa is a shining example of a multiracial society with its own imperfections.

Meles had an appointment with destiny to walk in Mandela’s shoes and follow in his footsteps. He could have forged a strong and united Ethiopian nation. He had the chance to build bridges that connected people across ethnic lines, roads that linked hearts and minds. But he chose the path of ethnic division and fragmentation. He chose to build edifices to decorate the cities, roads that led to nowhere and dams that damned the people and gave away the land to foreigners for pennies in the name of development and investment. Meles missed his appointment with destiny to forge a united Ethiopian nation.

Meles had an appointment with destiny to become not only a peerless and exemplary leader bust also a compassionate one. He was a man with an iron will, which was also his undoing. He was quick to anger and intemperate in his disposition. He was unkind to those over whom he had total control. When he jailed Birtukan Midekssa in December 2008, he said, “there will never be an agreement with anybody to release Birtukan. Ever. Full stop. That’s a dead issue.” Birtukan had done nothing wrong. When he denied an incubator for the premature baby of internationally-acclaimed husband and wife journalists, Serkalem Fasil and Eskinder Nega, born in prison, he showed himself lacking in fundamental human decency. When he told American diplomats that “we will crush the opposition with all our might”, he revealed himself to be a ruthless man. Whenever it was in his power to show mercy, he chose vengeance. Like Mandela, by working with his adversaries, Meles could have made them his partners and eventually his friends. He missed his appointment with destiny.

Meles had an appointment with destiny to uplift the people of Ethiopia not only materially but also in their sense of self-dignity, personal autonomy and security. Meles believed “there is no direct relationship between economic growth and democracy historically or theoretically.” But there can be no sustainable development where people are denied basic rights and are forced to resort to violence, conflict and war. The essence of humanity is dignity. It is not all about filling the belly. It is true that a hungry man is an angry man, but a hungry man hungers not only for bread but also for freedom and self-dignity. The poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich crave dignity about all else, even food. Over a quarter of a century ago, a Western reporter covering the famine in Ethiopia was stunned to find out that the famine victims at a relief center did not fight over the little bit of food that was being distributed among them. He was deeply touched by the fact that the famine victims would rather die in quiet dignity than fight their fellow victims to get a piece of bread. But dignity comes in many forms: the freedom to speak, to think, to worship, to assemble, to petition for grievances, and most importantly, freedom from fear of one’s government. Meles believed man can live by bread alone and single-mindedly championed and worshipped brick and mortar projects. He missed his appointment with destiny.

Meles was not a forgiving or a tolerant man. He was inclined to pardon once in a while when it was convenient, but not to forgive. He held the pardon he gave out as the Sword of Damocles over the heads of his pardonees. He always let them know that he could revoke his pardon and throw them back in jail at will. He preferred confrontation to negotiation, imposition of his will to compromise. He had a need to win all the time and played zero sum games. Meles missed his appointment with destiny.

Meles was a man who never admitted making mistakes. It did not seem to occur to him that he could admit mistakes and ask forgiveness for deeds done in error or take actions to correct mistakes. He could never bring himself to utter the phrases “I made a mistake” or “I am sorry.” When asked about the deaths of some 200 protesters and wounding of nearly 800 in the aftermath of the 2005 elections, his response was numbingly bureaucratic, “I regret the deaths but these were not normal demonstrations. You don’t see hand grenades thrown at normal demonstrations.” As the evidence presented by Meles’ own Inquiry Commission showed, none of the demonstrators were armed let alone carry grenades. Meles never explained and never said he was sorry for those deaths. I was transformed from an indifferent armchair academic into a resolute human rights advocate because of those killings.

Following the killings of hundreds of people in Gambella, Meles issued a whitewash report. He denied the occurrence of any human rights violations in the Ogaden, Afar and Oromia regions. He often showed conduct unbecoming of a statesman whenever others pointed out his mistakes. When his opponents challenged his policies, he called them “dirty”, “mud dwellers”, “pompous egotists” and good-for-nothing “chaff” and “husk.” He humiliated and demeaned parliamentarians who challenged him with probing questions or disagreed with him. He characterized the work of the European Union election observers in the 2010 election as “garbage”. He described the Voice of America as the voice of genocide similar to one of the infamous Rwandan radio stations in the mid-1990s. He never apologized to those he had wronged.

Meles insisted on being right all the time. He did not seem to believe that he can learn from his mistakes and failures. Meles once acknowledged he may have made a mistake. Responding to a journalist’s question about Diaspora Ethiopians protesting his overseas visits, Meles said, “We may be at fault in some way. I am sorry. That maybe we didn’t communicate well enough to those Ethiopians living abroad what is happening, what we are doing here.” He missed his appointment with destiny by failing to effectively communicate with Diaspora Ethiopians.

Meles could have been an exemplary leader if he had upheld the rule of law. He often talked about “our Constitution” and the rule of law but rarely followed either. He was the object of relentless criticism by all international human rights organizations for disregarding Ethiopia’s Constitution and international human rights treaties and conventions. Every year, the U.S. State Department Human Rights Report documented massive human rights violations as did so many other international human rights organizations. But he was dismissive of such reports. For the Meles regime, human rights organizations were “highly frustrated and self-appointed kingmaker institutions in the U.S.” bent on “tarnishing the image of the country.” He missed his appointment with destiny.

Meles was a man with a mission. He confused mission with vision. He spoke of an “Ethiopian Renaissance” and some say he “wanted to restore Ethiopia to its former glory”. But many doubted his motives and even his true allegiance to the country. In his speech on the Ethiopian millennium in 2007, he lamented the fact that “at the dawn of the new millennium, ours is one of the poorest countries in the world.” But he was reassuring: “A thousand years from now, when Ethiopians gather to welcome the fourth millennium, they shall say the eve of the third millennium was the beginning of the end of the dark ages in Ethiopia.” Sadly, many before him have been driven by the same impulse to resurrect ancient glory. They failed in Berlin and Rome over one-half century ago and more recently in Tripoli and Bagdad. Though they built roads, dams and magnificent edifices and waged war, they were all consigned to the dustbin of history.

Our Appointment With Destiny

We the living now have a new appointment with destiny. But before we keep our appointment, we must face the truth and come to terms with Meles’ legacy. The truth is that the faults and vices we ascribe to Meles are not his alone. We have been known to hunger and lust for power, to put our partisan interests above the common good, to manifest dictatorial impulses even when we are out of power, trade principle for convenience and self-interest, behave with intolerance, become condemnatory instead of conciliatory, deny making mistakes and above all find every excuse not to say, “I am sorry” when we make mistakes. We cannot right Meles’ wrongs until we acknowledge our own.

Condemning the memory of Meles as we move forward will serve no purpose. It will only continue the tradition of grievance and victimhood and culture of antagonism. Meles’ legacy should not be that he continues to rule from grave. We must learn the right lessons from his 21-year rule and move forward to heal the open wounds of fear, loathing and antagonism. There is no need to perpetuate historic hatreds. We must strive for love, wisdom and compassion towards one another. Now that Meles has passed, we can all put Mandela’s shoes, put our noses to the grind stone and together build an Ethiopia on a solid foundation of the rule of law, respect for human rights and democracy. The question we now face is clear: Will we also miss our appointment with destiny?

Beginning earlier this year, I have been writing about “Ethiopia’s inevitable transition from dictatorship to democracy”. I have outlined various scenarios on what could happen during the transition. Today the dictatorship of one man in Ethiopia is over, but dictatorship itself is alive and well. To complete the transition to democracy and make our appointment with destiny, we must take resolute steps to begin a national dialogue for reconciliation. As we prepare for this dialogue, we must make the release of all political prisoners and repeal of the oppressive “anti-terrorism and civic society” laws job number one.

On the Road to Good Governance and Democracy

I have relentlessly chronicled the deeds and misdeeds of Meles Zenawi for some years now. I had nothing personal against the man. I never knew him. But I have followed and studied his politics, actions and speeches. I have disagreed with him on practically everything because I have been tunnel-visioned on human rights. My singular cause is human rights in Ethiopia. I got involved in Ethiopian human rights following the massacre of unarmed protesters in the aftermath of the 2005 elections. I have looked at Meles’ deeds and misdeeds through the prism of human rights. I am an ardent human rights advocate and if that be a fault, I proudly embrace it.

I believe Meles had an appointment with destiny to live and die as a hero and make the whole country his tomb. His epitaph could have recorded great deeds inscribed not on granite but enshrined in the hearts of his countrymen and women. As a human rights advocate, I am pained to think of Meles’ legacy in the dark vision of the victims of the 2005 massacres, the subhuman prisons that warehouse the hundreds of thousands of political prisoners, the courts which became political tools, the subversion of the rule of law and so on.

I have sought for some signs that Meles at least believed in human rights in the abstract. I shall give him the benefit of doubt that he did. In an interview with Al Jazeera in 2007, Meles said, “I’d hope that my legacy would be one of sustained and accelerated development that would pull Ethiopia out of the massive deep poverty that it was mired in, full and total stabilization of the country, radical improvements in terms of good governance and democracy. I’d hope by the time I retire, we’d have made significant strides in all of those in the future.” By the time of his death in 2012, the “radical improvements in terms of good governance and democracy” had seen a radical regression into tyranny and despotism. The “future” Meles spoke of is now. We should all work collectively to implement his aspirations for “radical improvements in terms of good governance and democracy” now. This is Meles’ legacy his surviving officials should acknowledge openly and work with others to implement as the ultimate tribute to Meles’ leadership. The “radical improvement in good governance and democracy” begins with the release of all political prisoners, repeal of antiterrorism and civil society and other oppressive laws and declaration of allegiance to the rule of law. As the Ethiopian new year is just around the corner, we can all begin afresh on the road to “radical improvements in good governance and democracy”.

I wish I would have been able to deliver a eulogy that celebrated Meles’ two-decade old tenure in power; to speak of a man who was a hero in life and in death; a man for whom men, women and children flooded the streets of their own free will to express heart felt sorrow and shed tears. I wish I could have spoken of a man who made his appointment with destiny and became a peerless and exemplary leader. The greatest homage I can pay Meles in death as one of his severest critics in life is to uphold and defend his vision of “radical improvements in terms of good governance and democracy” in Ethiopia.

Meles once told a journalist that “if Ethiopians thought he [was a dictator] I would not sleep at night. But I don’t believe they do.” But I am afraid the very last words Meles heard before he fell “asleep” were the words of a young Ethiopian journalist. In response to a question on whether he ever imagined he would be in power for so long, Meles was reflective: “That was clearly not what I expected. It’s happened. I don’t regret it but I just hope that, at the end of it all, it will have been worth it.” I sincerely hope it was all worth it for him.

Let others speak of Meles as a “visionary” leader, “an African leader of major historical significance” and write his glorious hagiography. I shall bid him farewell by paraphrasing Shakespeare in Julius Caesar.

Men at some time are masters of their fates:

The fault, dear Meles, is not in our stars,

But in ourselves, that we are underlings.

And so,

Friends, Ethiopians, countrymen and women, lend me your ears;

It is time to bury Meles, not to praise him.

The evil that men do lives after them;

The good is oft interred with their bones;

So let it be with Meles.

 

TPLF splinter group undermines new PM Hailemariam Desalegne (analysis)

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Here is the reason: Soon after Bereket announced Hailemariam Desalegne as honourable acting PM, It didn’t take the potential TPLF splinter group to accuse the Seyum-Bereket lead group for trespassing the constitution i.e., only the parliament could bestow the title of either acting or PM until the next election. So Bereket was in hot water for jumping the gun.
Since the constitution doesn’t clearly stipulate on terms related to succession of the PM, it is open for all kind of interpretation. As you all remember Aboy Sebhat was hinting that if the parliament wishes, it could change PMs hundred times. The splinter group forced the Seyum-Bereket lead group which is working with the help of American Administration to appoint Hailemariam Desalegne as PM until 2015 and make sure the status quo continues. The debate got heated and The Bereket- Seyum lead group agreed to summon the parliament immediately to give the appointment of Hailemariam a constitutional backing and move on. However, the splinter group asked to have the respective fronts to meet and discuss the matter and then convene an EPRDF meeting before the matter goes to the parliament. Technically, the splinter group wants to subject the appointment of Hailemariam for discussion which didn’t sit well with Seyum-Bereket lead group and US admin. Obama, after learning the wrangling within top TPLF leaders, called Hailemariam to affirm his support for his appointment.
Bereket who tried to cover up for the postmen of the parliamentary session which was supposed to crown Hailemariam as PM by reasoning that the people need time to mourn and the parliament in response to people’s out pouring grieve, decided to postpone the session. However, Bereket never gave an alternative date which is a sign of a discord between the feuding groups on succession plans. Bereket’s facial expression has been saying it all, he is on hot water. Bereket and et al who have Eritrean origin and who have been at the helm by Meles’ unflinching support are now at risk of losing their job. Many insiders believe that Bereket’s, Neway and others who were running the primer’s office now are better advised to seek employment somewhere else.


የ21 ዓመታት መከራን ያላገናዘበ የወ/ሮ አዜብ መስፍን መሪር ሀዘን

Monday, August 27th, 2012

በፍቅሬ ዘለቀው (ኖርዎይ)

የኢትዮጵያ ሳተላይት ቴሌቪዥን (ኢሳት) እና የኢትዮጵያ ብሔራዊ የሽግግር ም/ቤት ታማኝ ምንጮችን ጠቅሰው የአቶ መለስ ዜናዊን ዜና እረፍት ካወጁ እነሆ ከአርባ ቀናት በላይ አለፈው። ይሁን እንጂ አቶ በረከት ስምዖን የሚመሩት የኮምኒኬሽን ሚኒስቴር ቢሮ ሲያቀናብረውና ሲያሰራጨው ከነበረው የውሸት ድራማ፣ አይቀሬነቱ ደርሶ እነሆ በ15/12/04 ዓ.ም ውዥንብር ውስጥ ከተውት ለነበረው የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ይፋ ተደርጓል። ይህንንም ተከትሎ የአቶ መለስ ቤተሰቦች፣ ዘመዶች፣ ወዳጆች፣ ደጋፊዎችና የስርዓቱ ተጠቃሚዎች መሪር ሀዘናቸውን እየገለፁና በማስገደድ እያስለቀሱን ይገኛሉ።
የኢህአዲግ አጋር የፖለቲካ ድርጅቶች፣ የክልል መስተዳድር አካላት፣ በአምሳላቸው ተጠፍጥፈው የተሰሩ የተለያዩ የሲቪክ ማህበራት ሐላፊዎች፣ የመንግስት ሠራተኞች፣ ታዋቂ ነጋዴዎች፣ ግለሰቦችና ከመቼውም በላይ በሥርዓቱ ተጠቂ የሆኑውን ብዙሀን ማሕበረሰብ በካድሬዎች እየተገደዱ፣ እንደ ጣዖት ለሚያመልኩት መሪያቸው ሕዝቡን በማስፈራራት በርሀብ በጠበሰ አንጀት እያስለቀሱና ድራማ እያሰሩት ይገኛሉ። እጅግ በጣም የሚገርመው ደግሞ የጎዳና ተዳዳሪዎች፣ ለማኞችና በሆስፒታል የተኙ በሽተኞች የመሪያችሁን ሀዘን ወጥታችሁ ግለፁ መባላቸው የሰሜን ኮሪያው መሪ ኪሚል ሱንግ በሞተ
ጊዜ ከተፈፀመው በከፋ ሁኔታ ከላይ ከመንግስት በወረደ ትዕዛዝ እምባ ለማውጣት ሲታገሉ ማየት የሚያሳፍርም የሚገርምም ነው።
እንኳን የሀገር መሪ ቀርቶ፣ አንድ ተራ ግለሰብ የተወሰኑ ወዳጆች ሊኖረው እንደሚችል የታወቀ ቢሆንም፣ በአንፃሩ ግን የሥርዓቱ መሪዎችና ካድሬዎች አቶ መለስን ከኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ አልፎ በአፍሪካና በዓለም ህዝብም ዘንድ የተወደደ፣ የተከበረና እንከን የለሽ እንደነበረ አድርጎ ለማቅረብ እንዲሁም ከንቱ ድርጅታቸውን በሕዝብ ዘንድ የተወደደ ለማስመሰል ሲጥሩ መታየት፣ ግብዞች መሆናቸውን ከማሳየት ባሻገር በምንም መለኪያ የኢትዮጵያን ሕዝብ ልብ ሊያማልሉ እንደማይችሉ የ1997 ዓ.ም ሕዝባዊ የተቃዋሚዎች ድጋፍ ሰልፍና የምርጫ ውጤት ሕዝቡ ምን ያህል እንደጠላቸው የሚያሳዩ የጎሉ ምስክሮች
ለመሆናቸው የሚያውቁት ሐቅ ነው። የአቶ መለስ ዜናዊ ቅርስ በጥቂት የሕወሓት አቀንቃኞችና እንደ ወርቅ በቆጠሩት እፍኝ በማይሞሉ የትግራይ ቁንጮዎች ይሆን እንደሆን እንጂ ከዚያ የበለጠ ሊሆን አይችልም።
እንደ ሰብዓዊ ፍጡር በተለይም እንደ ኢትዮጵያዊያን እምነትና ባህል የየትኛውም ሰው ሞት ለማንም ደስታን አይሰጥም። በተለይም ለአፍቃሪው፣ ለኑሮ አጋሩ፣ ለቤተሰቡ፣ ለወዳጅ ዘመዱ በጣም የሚመር ሀዘንን፣ ብቸኝነትን፣ ጎደሎነትንና ረዳት አልባነትን ስለሚፈጥር እጅግ ቢበድል እንኳን ሲሞት በቀብሩ ወይም በማስተዛዘኛ ቦታ ላይ ቢያንስ ይገኛል አለበለዚያም ለእግዚያብሔር አሳልፎ ይሰጣል እንጂ ማንም ለማንም ምኞቱ አይሆንም።ታዲያ በእግዚያብሄር ሐይል ባለቤታቸው የተወሰደባቸው የቀድሞዋ ቀዳማዊት እመቤት ወ/ሮ አዜብ መስፍንን የመረረ ሀዘን ለተመለከተ እንደሰብዓዊ ፍጡርና እንደ ቤተሰብ አባልነት የማያዝን አይኖርም።
የአቶ መለስ አስከሬን ለአንድ ወር ሙሉ ከተቀመጠበት ማቀዝቀዣ ፍሪጅ ውስጥ አውጥተው አዲስ አበባ በገባበት ምሽትና ወ/ሮ አዜብ የባለቤታቸውን አስከሬን በተረከቡበት ወቅት፣ ……. ወይኔ ተቀጣሁ፣ እንኳን ደህና መጣችሁ፣ …… መለስ ግን የለም፣ ….. ቤታችን ቀዝቅዟል፣ …… አልጋው ባዶ ነው፣ ሲሉ የተሰሙት ትራሱን በእጃቸው አቅፈው ይዘው ነበር። በመሪር ሀዘን ውስጥ ለምትገኙት ለአቶ መለስ ዜናዊ ቤተሰቦች፣ ዘመዶች፣ ጓደኞችና ወዳጆች የማቀርበው አንድ መሠረታዊ ጥያቄ አለኝ፤- በአቶ መለስ፣ በሕወሓት ከፍተኛ ባለሥልጣናትና በእርሳቸው እውቅና (ወ/ሮ አዜብ መስፍን) የወልቃይ ጠገዴ እና ጠለምት ጀግና ሕዝብን የእኩይ ተግባራቸው ተባባሪ ባለመሆኑ ወንዶች እየተመረጡ፣ የአልጋ ቁራኛ (በሽተኛ) ሳይቀር የወያኔ ስቆቃ መፈፀሚያ ባዶ-6 በተባለ እስር ቤት በማጎር በተፈፀመባቸው ስቃይ ብዛት ሰውነታቸው እስኪተላ ተገርፈው ዘር ማጥፋት በሚባል መልኩ የተጨፈጨፉ፣ በ21 ዓመታት ብልሹ አስተዳደር ሳቢያ በወለጋ፣ በአርሲ፣ በጋምቤላ፣ በሶማሊያ፣ በቤንሻንጉል፣ በሐረር፣ በሞያሌ፣ ወዘተ… በብሔርና ጎሳ ግጭት ምክንያት በከፊል ወይም ሙሉ በሙሉ የአንድ ቤተሰብ አባላት የተጨፈጨፉ፣ ዋጋቢስ ለሆነ ኢትዮ-ኤርትራ ጦርነት በአገር ሉዓላዊነት ስም ተግዘው ደመ- ከልብ የሆኑ፣ በቀናነት አገራቸውንና ወገናቸውን ሲያገለግሉ በአቶ መለስ ዜናዊ ፀጥታ አስከባሪ ተብየዎች በጠራራ ፀሐይ በጥይት የተገደሉት የኢትዮጵያ መምህራን ማህበር አመራር የነበሩት የአቶ አሰፋ ማሩ፣ በወያኔ እሥር ቤት ማቀውና በሽተኛ ተደርገው የሞቱት የኢትዮጵያና ኢትዮጵያዊያን አለኝታ የነበሩት የፕሮፌሰር አሥራት ወልደየስና የመላው አማራ ሕዝብ ድርጅት አባላትን በማናለብኝና እብሪት የተገረፉ፣ የተሳደዱ፣ በአደባባይ ላይ የተረሸኑና እስካሁንም ያሉበት ያልታወቁ፣ እንደነ ሸብሬ ደሳለኝ ዓይነት ለጋ ወጣቶች፣ ሕፃናት ልጆች፣ ሽማግሌዎችና አሮጊቶች፣ በአቶ መለስ ዜናዊ ቀጥተኛ
ትዕዛዝ ርህራሄና ስብዕና እንደሌለው በሚነገርለት በአረመኔ አጋዚ የትግርኛ ተናጋሪ ቅልብ ወታደር በጎዳና፣ በበር፣ በመጫዎቻ ሜዳ ላይ ጭንቅላት ጭንቅላታቸው እየተመታ የተገደሉ፣ አካላቸው የጎደለ፣ የተገረፉ፣ የተሰደዱና የአዕምሮ በሽተኞች የሆኑበት የ1997 ብሔራዊ ምርጫ ተጎጂዎች፣ በሚደርሰው ኢኮኖሚያዊ፣ ማህበራዊና ፖለቲካዊ ቀውስ ሳቢያ ወደ አረብ አገራት በመሰደድ የሚሰቃዩ፣ ህይወታቸውን የሚያጠፉና በአሠሪዎቻቸው የሚገደሉ ለጋ ሴት እህቶቻችን፣ በአቶ መለስ ዜናዊ አምባገነን አስተዳደር ስቃይ፣ ግርፋት፣እስርና ግድያ ሲሸሹ ውሀ ያስቀራቸውና በሰውነት የውስጥ አካል ነጋዴዎች እየተገደሉ በሰሃራ በረሃ ያለ ቀባሪ አሸዋ ውስጥ ተቀብረው የቀሩ፣ የወያኔው ኢትዮጵያ ቴሌቪዥን ለቅፅበት እንኳን ያላያቸው እንዲሁም የትኛውም የዜና አውታር ያልዳሰሳቸው ነገር ግን
ቤት የሚቆጥራቸው፣ በተረሪስት ስም በውሸት ድራማ ተቀናብሮ በቃሊቲ፣ ከአዲስ አበባ ወጣ ብሎ በሚገኘው ቀሌንጦና የተለያዩ እስር ቤቶች ታስረው የሚማቅቁና በእስር ቤቶች በስቃይ ብዛት ህይወታቸው ያለፈ፣ ወዘተ…… ቤተሰቦች፣ አፍቃሪዎች፣ ወላጆች፣ ዘመዶች፣ጓደኞችና ወዳጆችስ ስቃይ፣ መሪር ሀዘን፣ እሮሮ፣ ደም እንባ ማንባት፣ የመሳሰሉት ለአንዲት ሰኮንድ ትዝ ብሏችሁ ያውቅ ነበርን???
እንግዲያውስ እንደናንተው ወይም ከእናንተ እጅግ በላቀ መጠን ተንሰቅስቀዋል፣ ሀዘናቸውን በቀል ለሚመልስ አምላክ ተንበርክከው በዓይናቸው ያሳያቸው ዘንድ አንብተዋል፣ እስካሁንም እያነቡ ይገኛሉ። እነዚህ ከላይ የተጠቀሱትን ተጎጂ ቤተሰቦች ሐዘን ከአቶ መለስ ቤተሰብ የከፋ የሚያደርገው ወ/ሮ አዜብ መስፍን ሙሾ እንዳወረዱት ዓይነት ብቻ ሳይሆን ልጆች ያለ አሳዳጊ መቅረት፣ የእለት ጉርሳቸውን በማጣት ወንዶች ልጆች የጎዳና ተዳዳሪ መሆንና ሴቶች ልጆቻቸው በመንገድ ዳር በመቆም ክብረ-ሥጋቸውን ለመሸጥ መገደዱ፣ በድህነት ተቆራምደው ያሳደጓቸው ልጆቻቸው በመገደላቸውና ከአረመኔው
ሥርዓት ሲሸሹ ከታሰበበት ቦታ ሳይደርሱ በመንገድ ላይ የቀሩ የስደተኛ እናቶች ጧሪ አልባ መሆን ወዘተ፣ ወዘተ፣ ወዘተ፣….ነው።
ስለዚህ እናንተ የዚህ ሀዘን ተጠቂዎች የሆናችሁና በዚህ ሥርዓት ስም ሕዝብን ያሳዘናችሁና የበደላችሁ ሆይ የኑሮ አጋር ያደረጉት፣ ያፈቀሩት፣ የወደዱት፣ የወለዱትና ያሳደጉት ሲገደል ወይም ሲሞት እንደዚህ ከማሳዘን፣ መሪር እንባ ከማስነባቱም በላይ ብቸኝነትን፣ ጎደሎነትን፣ ረዳት አልባነትን፣ አለመረጋጋትን፣ በሽተኝነትንና እብደትንም ስለሚያስከትል ነገም በእኔ በማለት ካለፈው ስህተት ተምራችሁ በመተሳሰብና በመተዛዘን ለመኖር ፍርድን የማያጓድል እግዚያብሔር ማስተዋልን ይሰጣችሁ ዘንድ ምኞቴ ነው።ኢትዮጵያንና ሕዝቧን እግዚያብሔር ይባርክ!!!!
August 26, 2012,
ፀሐፊውን በ belete_z@yahoo.co.uk ሊደርሱት ይችላሉ፤፤


Seyoum Mesfin, Sufian Ahmed and Indrias Eshete critically ill

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Indrias EsheteUPDATE: A local newspaper is reporting that Prof Indrias Eshete is dead. Read here.

Acting head of the ruling TPLF junta in Ethiopia, Seyoum Mesfin, Finance Minister Sufian Ahmed and former Addis Ababa University President Indrias Eshete are critically ill, according to an Ethiopian Review correspondent in Addis Ababa.

Both Seyoum Mesfin and Indrias Eshete looked emaciated recently. Both have been avoiding public appearance for a while.

The armed forces chief of staff Samora Yenus is also sick and unable to attend meetings, our sources are reported.

Seyoum and Samora are sick with AIDS, while Indrias has kidney disease and is terminally, the sources added.

The frail looking Samora has been in Germany until recently and he returned to Addis Ababa only to participate in the late dictator Meles Zenawi’s funeral ceremony.

Seyoum also looks to be terribly frail and he has missed several high level TPLF meetings over the past few days, sources inside the ruling party told Ethiopian Review.

Meanwhile, we are able to confirm that TPLF co-founder and former chairman Sebhat Nega is currently under house arrest and his house in Bole is surrounded by undercover security agents.

Ethiopia: The calm before the storm?

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

By Moses Walubiri

THE death, early this week, of Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has cast a pall of uncertainty over one of Africa’s most populous nations.

After his guerrilla movement drew curtains on Mengistu Haile Mariam’s dictatorship in 1991, the suave former guerrilla leader has dominated the Ethiopian political landscape in a manner eerily reminiscent of Africa’s strongmen of a bygone era – Ivory Coast’s Boigny and former Zaire’s (now DRC) Marshal Mobutu.

Although Zenawi’s 21 years at the helm have been devoid of the brazen thieving typical of the high noon days of Mobutu, or the amply documented regal lifestyle of Boigny, it has nevertheless been characterized by a trait that sent Ivory Coast and DRC into a tailspin of destruction – sacrificing institutions at the altar of a powerful presidency.

True, Zenawi had not yet managed to either bask in the hero worship or build a personality cult around his presidency that Boigny, Mobutu, Kamuzu Banda and Togo’s great helmsman, Gnasingibe Eyadema famously pulled off in the heydays of their reigns.

But before that ‘great equalizer’ – the Grim Reaper – scythed him in a Belgian hospital, tell-tell signs had started to emerge that Zenawi’s intolerance to dissenting voices and his love for an all-powerful presidency might leave Ethiopia vulnerable to the instability that befell DRC and Ivory coast when Mobutu and Boigny passed on.

A powerful presidency has a tendency to decimate national institutions which would, under functioning democracies, create checks and balances and provide avenues for vital reforms.

In their absence – as the case was with Zaire and Ivory Coast during Mobutu and Boigny’s reigns – tensions continue to simmer under a supposedly placid political climate.

In essence, the proverbial calm before the storm prevails as long as the big chief lives and reigns.

All the tensions related to tribal divisions that normally define African politics are driven underground with all the fissures that would help reduce the tension – say recognized political opposition – firmly sealed.

Ivory Coast walked this tragic slippery path in the wake of Boigny’s death after more than 30 years at the helm.

The West African country that had been a virtual island of tranquility in a turbulent West African sea (Sierra Leon and Liberia at that time were in the throes of civil wars) descended into a vicious conflagration which, at some point, threatened to split the country into two.

And the prime cause? Simmering tribal tensions and bigotry between North and Southern Ivorians that Boigny chose to play to his advantage during his presidency.

Even with the main war over after Alasane Outtara’s electoral victory last year, the country is still tittering on the precipice as armed bandits allied to former president, Laurent Gbagbo, have taken to attacking security apparatuses.

As for DRC, the mineral rich country has been waltzing with destruction since Mobutu’s ouster and subsequent demise in Morocco 15 years ago.

His three decades at the helm had turned him into the guardian angel between anarchy and stability for a country the size of Western Europe.

I exchanged ‘barbs’ with a host of colleagues over Zenawi’s mixed legacy of laudable macro-economic reforms and rolling back of civil liberties. And I am not seeking to cast aspersion on him because it’s Un-African.

However, the pervading jittery that Ethiopia might unravel at the seams because Zenawi has died is not only a damning indictment of his 21 years at the helm, but also a reminder that its strong institutions and not rulers that can guarantee any country’s future stability.

Without strong institutions, any leader builds his legacy on sands.

As one who had found his niche as a key regional Western ally against terrorism and as a suave and savvy leaders who had few parallels in articulating Africa’s vision in international forums, Zenawi would surely turn in his grave if Ethiopia went up in flames after his demise.

Source: http://www.newvision.co.ug/news/162-blo … rship.aspx


የአቶ ሀይለማርያም ጊዜያዊ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትርነት ቦታ እያወዛገበ ነው

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

ነሀሴ ፲፱ (አስራ ዘጠኝ ) ቀን ፳፻፬ ዓ/ም

ኢሳት ዜና:-ከአራት ቀናት በፊት የ ኢትዮጵያ ቴሌቪዥን የጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር መለስ ዜናዊን ሞት ይፋ ባደረገበት ወቅት ምክትል ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ እና የውጪ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትሩ አቶ ሀይለማርያም ደሳለኝ ፤አቶ መለስን ተክተው በጠቅላይ ሚኒስትርነት እንደሚሰሩ መወሰኑን ይፋ ቢያደርግም፤ በተለይ በህወሀት በኩል በተቀሰቀሰ ከፍተኛ ተቃውሞ እስካሁን የ አቶ ሀይለማርያም ሹመት ሊጸድቅላቸው እንዳልቻለ የኢሳት የውስጥ ምንጮች ጠቁመዋል።

አቶ ሀይለማርያም ፤የአቶ መለስ አስከሬን ከብራሰልስ አዲስ አበባ የገባ ዕለት ምሽት በጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ ጽህፈት ቤት ጋዜጣዊ መግለጫ ሢሰጡ፤ “መለስን መተካት ከባድ ነው” ማለታቸው ይታወሳል።

አቶ ሀይለማርያም ይህን ያሉት፤ በእርግጥ ከልባቸው ይሆን?ወይስ የስልጣን ሽኩቻው ሰለባ ላለመሆን ካደረባቸው ስጋት? ወይስ በሌላ አስገዳጅ ተጽዕኖ፤ እስካሁ የታወቀ የለም።

ከዚያም በማግስቱ በዕረፍት ላይ የሚገኘው ፓርላማ አስቸኳይ ስብሰባ መጠራቱ ተነገረ።

ስብሰባው የተጠራው የአቶ ሀይለማርያምን የጠቅላይ ሚኒስትርነት ሹመት ለማጽደቅ ነበር።

ሆኖም የስብሰባ ጥሪ በተደረገ በዚያኑ ዕለት ምሽት የኮሙኒኬሽን ጽህፈት ቤት ሚኒስቴር ስብሰባው ላልተወሰነ ጊዜ እንደተላለፈ አስታወቀ።

ስብሰባው የተላለፈበትን ምክንያት ግን አልገለፀም። የኢሳት የውስጥ ምንጮች እንደሚሉት፤ ስብሰባው ሊሰረዝ የቻለው በአቶ ሀይለማርያም የጠቅላይ ሚኒስትርነት ሹመት በተለይ በህወሀት እና በብአዴን ቡድኖች መካከል ከፍ ያለ ሽኩቻ በመፈጠሩ ሳቢያ ድርጅቱ አንድ አቋም ላይ ሊደርስ ባለመቻሉ ነው።

ለዚህም ነው የ ኢትዮጵያ ቴሌቪዥን ከትናንት በስተያ ምሽት በዜና እወጃው ከሶስት ቀናት በፊት አቶ መለስን ተክተው ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ሆነዋል ያላቸውን አቶ ሀይለማርያም ደሳለኝን፦” ምክትል ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር እና የውጪ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትር” በማለት በቀድሞው ማዕረጋቸው የጠራቸው፦

ከዚህም ባሻገር በሌሎች የሥልጣን ቦታዎች ላይ ያለው ፍትጊያ አይሎ መውጣቱን የጠቀሱት ምንጮቹ፤ቀደም ሲል በከፍተኛ የድርጅቱ አባላት መካከል የነበሩ ቂሞችም የሚፈነዱበት ደረጃ ላይ ደርሰዋል ብለዋል።

አቶ በረከት ስምዖን ከትናንት በስተያ በሰጡት ጋዜጣዊ መግለጫ የኢህአዴግ ከፍተኛ አመራሮች እና ባለስልጣናት በታጋይ መለስ መስመር አንድ ላይ እንዲሄዱ ሲማጸኑ መደመጣቸው ይታወሳል።


The Misguided Drama of TPLF Diehards

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Selam Beyene, PhD

Without regard to the opportunity presented by the death of the late autocrat Meles Zenawi to initiate dialogue, atone for the crimes committed by the ethnic-based regime, and reach out to the vast majority of the Ethiopian people they have disfranchised, impoverished and subjected to untold levels of oppression and misery in over two decades tyranny, the cadres of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) that still hold the reins of power in Ethiopia are harassing the people as they frantically prepare to make a distasteful spectacle of the despot’s funeral services, fashioned after the theatrics of North Korea’s Kim dynasty.

In a bizarre and primitive public relations ploy, the cadres kept in the dark a country of over eighty million people and the rest of the world about the circumstances of the tyrant’s ailment and death for months, thereby revealing a collective state of mind that is unstable and a leadership cohort that lacks human decency and the basic elements of governance and good diplomacy.

When the death of the dictator was eventually disclosed, largely under pressure from the international donor community, the cadres again stunned the world by their lack of tactfulness, understanding of the nuances of the occasion and ability to conceal their panic, shame and naked desire to perpetuate the failed policies of an ethnic-based and corrupt system.

As a venomous serpent that has most of its head severed, the TPLF is now convinced that its continued survival hinges only on the portrayal of a larger-than-life picture of the fallen tyrant and taking refuge in the shadow of such a portrait. Accordingly, while waging fierce internal struggles for control and leadership positions, the cadres are mobilizing all resources at their disposal to bid a dramatic and repugnant sendoff to their deceased boss in the vain hope of carrying on his wicked legacy.

Since the official announcement of the dictator’s expiration, Ethiopia has been in a state of siege. From the smallest villages in central Shoa to such regional towns as Debre Berhan, Jimma, Gondar, Adwa, Nazareth and Addis Ababa, all citizens from the unemployed to the professional, from famous singers to renowned athletes, from the army to the clergy, are ordered to display their grief over the death of the tyrant during the lengthy mourning and funeral periods. Their embassy employees in major capitals of the world are busy persuading foreign dignitaries to attend the sendoff, while corrupt African diplomats in Addis are urged to persuade their respective autocratic leaders to eulogize the life of a fallen colleague. To critical observers, the unfolding dramatic events are reminiscent of the North Korean “Great Leader” phenomenon, with the veiled but unmistakable intention of continuing the repressive policies of the deceased despot.

A Teachable Moment

If the TPLF minority rulers believe that they can continue the discredited ethnic-based policies of Zenawi with business as usual, then they have not learned from their short history or the unfolding events in their neighborhood. They should wake up from decades of denial about the crimes they have committed and the immeasurable pain and suffering they have inflicted on the people of Ethiopia, and use this occasion to build bridges between them and the rest of the country. The sinister gambit to hide under the cover of fake growth figures, phony democracy, and fanciful invincibility cannot last for much longer.

Thanks to the infantile and irresponsible ethnic policy of Zenawi, Ethiopia today is a tinderbox. The propaganda machinery and security apparatus notwithstanding, the harsh realities of life under TPLF authoritarian rule have created favorable conditions for a mass insurrection, with unpredictable and grave consequences. The sources of the billions of dollars aid money diverted to buy informants and train and maintain militias would soon dry up, and there would be no force strong enough to continue to thwart the people’s desire for freedom and democracy.

The TPLF cadres should, therefore, come to their senses and divert a calamity by integrating themselves into the Ethiopian society. It is high time they understand that a rule by a minority ethnic group, with a philosophy of inter-ethnic disharmony, corruption and anti-Ethiopianism, is doomed to be relegated to the dustbin of history.

The Hypocrisy of the West

Over that last few days, we have watched with great consternation as gullible Western diplomats made attempts to lionize the brutal dictator, instead of demonizing him for the crimes he had committed against humanity. While their expression of admiration for the late dictator as an African intellectual and economic reformer is, of course, a measure of the contempt they harbor for Africa, their irresponsible statements have the potential to send the wrong signals to the followers of the dictator who still believe they can promote the failed ideology of their deceased leader.

Much has been written about the phony growth and development figures that the despot fed to naïve donor nations and so-called development experts. The West showered the dictator with billions of dollars in direct and indirect aid, in part as payment for his mercenary role in the “fight against terror”. The tyrant used part of the money to strengthen his grip on power, while he either stashed away the rest in his foreign bank accounts or used it to enrich his multi-billion dollar business conglomerates, such as the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT). In a country that had been struggling to emerge from decades of civil war and a Soviet-style bureaucracy, a fraction of the aid money that was spent on superficial construction and other development activities, bolstered by statistics fabricated by party loyalists, was sufficient to give the impression of double-digit growth. To the naive donor institutions that are ever hungry for numbers, and to the phony academicians who are desperate to validate flawed development ideas, the fudged figures were essential inputs to complete annual reports or to corroborate fanciful theories, and hence were uncritically accepted at face value.

Sadly, the facts on the ground are horrifying. According to a recent report of the Worldwide Governance Indicators (WGI) project, Ethiopia is ranked among the bottom of 213 economies over the period 1996–2010, i.e., on Zenawi’s watch, with respect to such governance dimensions as Voice and Accountability, Government Effectiveness, Rule of Law and Control of Corruption. And more shockingly, Ethiopia is ranked as the second poorest country in the world, just above Niger, based on the new international measure of poverty, the Multidimensional Poverty Index( MPI), developed by the Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative.

With respect to human rights, Zenawi had the most despicable record of any leader in recent history. Since he snatched power from the previous despot, he had systematically wiped out all forms of opposition, and established a totalitarian state the likes of which had not been seen since the fall of the Berlin Wall. In 2005, when he was humiliatingly defeated at the polls, he massacred over 190 peaceful protesters, sent hundreds of thousands of suspected opposition supporters to concentration camps, and jailed all major opposition leaders. In the most recent elections, he decimated any potential rivals, and claimed 99.6% of the votes in openly rigged elections.

It is time for the West to abandon the contemptible policy of cuddling dictators in private while professing democracy and freedom in official communications. The career diplomats in the US State Department and in foreign offices of Western powers should take heed of the plight of the people under the yoke of tyranny and recalibrate their policies to ensure lasting peace and stability in these fragile parts of the world. The Pentagon in particular should immediately sever its ties with a criminal regime that does not represent the will of the people, and refrain from tarnishing its time-honored responsibility as a bulwark of freedom and democracy in an imprudent aim of achieving short-term tactical objectives.

A Golden Opportunity for the Opposition

The fractured opposition groups, both inside and outside of Ethiopia, have hitherto never missed an opportunity to miss an opportunity to bring an end to the tyrannical rule of the TPLF. Now these groups have a golden opportunity to join forces and work toward the formation of a system of government that is based on democratic principles, respect of individual rights, and equal opportunity for all citizens, irrespective of ethnicity, religion or other prejudices. It is imperative that all opposition groups come together under a common platform and press the international community and the TPLF cadres to chart a robust framework for a stable, democratic and prosperous Ethiopia. In this regard, the recent announcement by the Oromo Dialogue Forum should be viewed as a step in the right directions and followed by all concerned groups. Without a united front among opposition groups, in which individual ambitions are subservient to the common good, the TPLF cadres are likely to perpetuate Zenawi’s agenda of repression, and the West will continue to thwart any internal movement for freedom and democracy.

A Call to Action

All Ethiopians back home and in the Diaspora should use this opportunity to exert pressure on the TPLF cadres and their foreign backers to chart a democratic path for Ethiopia. They should not be distracted by the misguided drama of the TPLF diehards who are futilely attempting to perpetuate the destructive ethnic policy of the late tyrant. No lavish funeral ceremony, or memorial edifices to immortalize one of the most vicious dictators in modern times should distract the people of Ethiopia from demanding their fundamental rights to live in freedom and choose their leaders without coercion and repression.

We call upon Ethiopian intellectuals to engage more aggressively in the struggle to free our people from the shackles of tyranny, deprivation and perpetual misery. Seldom in the history of the struggle against tyranny has a generation of intellectuals demonstrated such a level of inexcusable apathy as has been the case among many of the Ethiopian intellectuals in the face of unparalleled repression of the society they are a product of. Any segment of a society that is guided only by selfish principles, without regard to the common good, is destined to condemn itself and its progeny to perpetual servitude and slavery.

Lastly, we call upon donor nations and institutions to withheld any and all aid to the criminal regime until it agrees to abide by international norms of good governance, invites all opposition groups to form a government of national reconciliation, unconditionally frees all political prisoners, and immediately guarantees the rights and freedoms of all Ethiopians that are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Without the subsidy of Western aid, the Stalinist system of government will crumble overnight, and a new era of democracy, stability and prosperity will dawn on that ancient land in the Horn of Africa.

(The writer can be reached at Beyene50@gmail.com)

Addis Ababa homeless say goodbye to the fallen dictator (video)

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Some of the 1 million homeless people in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa went to the National Palace to bid farewell to Meles Zenawi and express their appreciation for every thing he did for them. The homeless people seemed to be genuinely grief-stricken because now there is no one to take care of them ?#$*&?^$*?. They really said that. Watch below. Meles’s death is turning out to be a great source of entertainment.

Ethiopian Review expanding its information infrastructure inside Ethiopia

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Dear Ethiopian Review reader:

This week we are launching a regular monthly fund raising campaign to help us meet our 2012 budget goals. One week every month until the end of 2012 we will conduct an online fund raising.

With the help of our sponsors, Ethiopian Review’s web site has been able to withstand constant attacks from TPLF regime hackers and the high volume of traffic these past few weeks. However, the plan to expand our information infrastructure inside Ethiopia is lagging behind because of lack of resources, which is limiting our effort to collect valuable information.

To help expand Ethiopian Review’s capacity, particularly its ability to collect and disseminate information inside Ethiopia, we have launched a sponsorship program called 1k5. We invite you to take part in it.

The plan is to have 1,000 sponsors who are willing to contribute $5 per month (16 cents per day) or more to support Ethiopian Review. The program will be used for: 1) funding information units inside Ethiopia; 2) maximizing the web site’s technical capacity to make it faster and fight off hackers. With this program we can double Ethiopian Review’s capacity.

Ethiopian Review’s 2012 Plan is more ambitious than ever. It involves expanding our information infrastructure and network inside Ethiopia; adopting latest technologies; and forging partnerships with other pro-democracy media and groups to facilitate positive change in our country.

For Ethiopian Review to be able to succeed, we need the continued support of its readers. We have made it more simple and convenient for you to support us.

I invite you to sponsor Ethiopian Review by participating in the 1K5 Sponsorship Program. Please sign up for $5 per month. The system we have set up will automatically deduct $5 from your credit, debit, or Paypal account monthly.

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Gondar University staff ordered to attend Meles Zenawi funeral (photo)

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

Gondar University president Dr Mengesha Admassu ordered all employees to wear dark cloth and attend a memorial service for the dead dictator Meles Zenawi. Fearing opposition activity, the university excluded students from the invitation. See below the letter that was sent out to all Gondar University employees. The madness continues.

Gondar University staff ordered to mourn Meles Zenawi

Addis Ababa hospital patients dragged out of bed to visit Meles Zenawi’s body (video)

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

This is unbelievable! Even the North Koreans have not thought about dragging people out of hospitals to cry when they organized a mass hysteria last year following the death of their ‘beloved’ leader Kim Jong II. This is indeed the worst time in Ethiopian history. A once proud nation that was led by dignified leaders is being humiliated by a group of lowlife thugs.

This could be the fate of the TPLF junta (video)

Sunday, August 26th, 2012

The people of Romania were subjected to one of the most brutal dictatorship in the world for so many years, almost as brutal as what we have now in Ethiopia. One day in 1989, Romanians said enough in unison and overnight the dictator and his wife were gone. They were shot dead by their own bodyguards. Saying enough was all it took for Romanians. When Ethiopians will finally say enough, the TPLF junta will face the same ugly end. All it will take is for us to say no more, and out long nightmare will be over. September 2 could be that day. Watch below.

Bereket Simon forcing Teddy Afro to sing for Meles Zenawi

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Teddy AfroWoyanne propaganda chief Bereket Simon, aka Addis Bob, sent his goons to pressure popular Ethiopian singer Teddy Afro to sing a song in memory of the deceased dictator Meles Zenawi, Ethiopian Review has learned.

Teddy has two choices: 1. Sing praises of the genocidal dictator and stay safe for now, but be hated for ever by the people of Ethiopia; or 2) Not sing and get harassed and persecuted by the Woyanne junta. Teddy has so far chosen to stay loyal to the people, unlike Haile Gebreselassie and other Ethiopian celebrities who have betrayed the people of Ethiopia for Woyanne crumbs.

Meanwhile, TPLF junta security forces are roaming the streets of Addis Ababa and other cities forcing people to set up tents, hang the late dictator’s photos, and beat their chest. The scene in Gonder today, in particular, was bizarre — some thing that could be right out of the Twilight Zone. Wealthy Woyanne businessmen were observed going to Tej Bet (bars) and pay azmaris (singers) to come up with songs for Meles, Ethiopian Review contact in Gondar reported.

TPLF junta orders Addis Ababa residents to set up tents for Meles Zenawi funeral

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Meles Zenawi 'mourned'
The TPLF junta is pushing its fake grief over the death of the late khat-addicted dictator Meles Zenawi too far. The junta has now ordered Addis Ababa idirs (self-help associations) to setup tents throughout the city to mourn the dictator.

Also, in towns through out Ethiopia, people are forced to attend memorial services and are being forced to cry their eyes out or else face terrible consequences. The Adwa mafia is turning Ethiopia into a nation of zombies like North Korea.

Woyanne ‘youth’ group calls CNN’s Erin Burnett ‘unprofessional’

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

I found this on Erin Burnett’s Facebook page. It is funny these idiots who shut down all independent press in Ethiopia call Erin ‘unprofessiona.’

http://www.facebook.com/OutFrontCNN

Dear Ms. Erin Burnett and all CNN Editorial Board

Millions of CNN’s ardent viewers are disheartened and disgusted by the one-sided and opinionated segment titled, “U.S. aid to Ethiopia helping neither us nor Ethiopians” that was aired on Aug 22, 2012 by Ms. Erin Burnett’s show OutFront program.

Ms. Burnett, United Tegaru Youth Network (UTYN), a group that has 5,000+ members would like to comment on the lack of your professionalism and credibility in your reporting. Amongst other, some of our members are journalists and aspiring journalists. In the best of our genuine and logical judgment we are unyielding to say, you brought shame to the profession. Ms. Burnett, is this how you and CNN feel about Ethiopia and or its respected late premier Meles Zenawi? Or is there unknown vendetta? We do not really expect you to know all of Ethiopia’s and our Prime Minister’s achievements in your stint trip to Ethiopia. But CNN’s viewers expect a two sided story and all you needed was to listen what other world leaders such as President Obama, Prime Minister Blair, and Ambassador Susan E. Rice have to say about our beloved and respected premier.

Is this really how other CNN’s reporters conduct their reporting, travel to a country and never even ask one single citizen of that country how they feel about their leader; yet have the audacity to label the prime minister a “totalitarian” and “dictator”? We stand to be corrected but we don’t think viewers care about your opinion, they care about the factual information that you can deliver as a journalist. As a result of its visionary and intellectual leader Ethiopia has achieved many great things on the world stage and it will continue to rise to improve the lives of its citizens who’s devoted love and determination is unquestionable.

Just a lesson for you, Ms. Burnett, Ethiopia is the only African nation to be never colonized, a country that practiced Christianity before Europeans, a country that accepted Islam before the middle East, home to the earliest human sightings and over 4 million years old human fossil, home to many Rock-Hewn Churches and other UNESCO World Heritage Sites….just to give you an idea to go back and visit and talk to its citizens. As it is said, Ethiopia is known as the cradle of humanity, Ethiopians have always decided their own destiny and it will always remain that way. However, we will always continue to have symbiotic relationship with others. Yes including “the Chinese”.

On behalf of our members and millions of Ethiopians we seek an apology from CNN and Ms. Burnett for what we perceive was racist and unprofessional reporting.

With at most sincerity,
United Tegaru Youth Network (UTYN)


የታሪክ ተጠያቂወች አንሁን፤ ክፍል አስር

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

የታሪክ ተጠያቂወች አንሁን፤***

አምባገነን ቢያልፍም፤ አምባ ገነናዊ ስርአት እንዳለ ነው።
ከፍል አስር

አክሎግ ቢራራ (ዶር)

ከ June 19, 2012 ወዲህ የኢትዮጵያን ሕዝብ በᎃሉ ሲያነጋግር የቆየው የጠቅላ ሚንስትር መለስ መኖር አለመኖር በኦፊሻል ደረጃ ለአለም ህዝብ ከዚህ አለም ማረፋቸው August 20, 2012 በህወሓት መንግስት ምክር ቤት አማካኝነት ይፋ ሆነ። ሰው እንደመሆናቸው መጠን፤ መለስ ዜናዊ ታመው ከዚህ አለም ማረፋቸው የፈጣሪ ስራ እንጅ የሰው ስራ አይደለም ብለን መቀበል የሰብአዊነት መለኪያችን ነው። አሰደናቂ የሆነው፤ በተከታታይ የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶስ ቤተክርስቲያን አለቃ የነበሩት በመለስ የተሾሙት አባ ፓውሎስ ማረፋቸው፤ በመለስ ጥብቅ በሽታ ዙሪያ “ኢትዮጵያ የምትመራው በሕገ መንግስት፤ በስርአት እንጅ በአንድ ሰው አይደለም፤ (መለስ ዜናዊ ቢሞቱም)፤ስር አቱ ይቀጥላል” ያሉት ጀኔራል ሳሞራ ዩንስ በጥብቅ ታመዋል፤ መባሉ ወዘተ የተያያዙ መሆናቸው የኢትዮጵያን ሕዝብ እያነጋገረ ነው። በዚህ ጽሁፍ ለማሳሰብ የምፈልገው ከክፍል ዘጠኝ በጣም የራቀ አይደለም። ባጭሩ፤ አምባገነኑ መለስ ከዚህ አለም ቢለዩም፤ የፈጠሩት በጠባብ ብሄርተኝነት የተመሰረተ ኢትዮጵያዊነትን አጥፊ አስተዳደር፤ አምባገነናዊ ስርአት፤ “እድገታዊ መንግስት” ብለው የሰየሙት ከነጻነት ጋር ግንኙነት የሌልው የእድገት ፈር፤ ለጥቂቶች አገልጋይና መክበሪያ የሆነው የኢኮኖሚ አመራር፤ ፕሮግራምና ፖሊሲ አይለወጥም። እንዳለ ይቆያል። የጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ ማረፍ ይለውጠዋል ማለት ዘብት ነው።

ከታች የመለስ ዜናዊይን ማረፍ ከማወቄ በፊት ያቀረብኩትን ትንተና እንዳለ ለአንባቢወች እነሆ። ለመጨመር የምፈልገው አበይት ጉዳይ ቢኖር፤ ለህወሓት አገልጋይ የሆነው ፓርላማ ሃይለማሪያም ደሳኝን ለጊዜው የመለስ ተተኪ ማድረጉ ነው። ይህ አሜሪካኖች በውስጥ ይገፉት የነበረ የድርድር ውጤት መሆኑን እንደገና አሳስባለሁ። መለስን በሌላ የትግራይ ተወላጅ መተካቱ የሚያመጣው ችግር በደንብ ታስቦበት የተደረገ የስልት ውጤት ነው። የደቡብ ብሄረሰብ አባል የሆኑትን ምከትል ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር መሾሙ፤ ለህወሓት ፋታ ይሰጠዋል፤ እርሳቸው የስር አቱ አገልጋይ እንጅ የዲሞክራሳዊ ለውጥ ሃዋርያ ሊሆኑ አይችሉም። በአሁኑ ወቅት፤ በተለይ፤ ወጣቱ ትውልድ የሚጠይቀውን የፍትህ ጥያቄ ህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ ሊፈታው አይችልም። የሚያዋጣው፤ መለስ ዜናዊ የጠነሰሱትን በብሄር ልይኑት የተመሰረተ እራይ (Vision) ለውጦ በኢትዮጵያዊ፤ ህዝባዊ፤ ሁለ አቀፍ የሆነና ዲሞክራሳዊ እራይ መለወጥ ብቻ ነው። ይህን ለማድረግ፤ ህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ ልክ የጠነሰሱትና በስራ ላይ ያዋሉት ግለሰቦች ቀስ በቅስ እንደሚሞቱ ሁሉ፤ ድርጅቱም እንደሰው ማለፏ አይቀርም ብሎ ማሰብን ይጠይቃል። ህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ ከኢትዮጵያ በታች እንጅ በላይ አይደለም። ማንም ድርጅት ቢሆን ከኢትዮጵያና ከኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ሊሆን አይችልም። አዲሲ ጠቅላይ ሚንስትር ለመደራደር በር ከከፈቱ አስተዋጾ ያደርጋሉ፤ ዝግ የሆነ ስርአት ከቀጠሉ፤ ከመለስ ሊሻሉ አይችሉም። ትግላችን ከስርአቱ ጋር ነው እንጅ ከአንድ ግለሰብ ብቻ ጋር አይደለም እያልኩ ስከራከር የቆየሁት ለዚህ ነው።

መልስ ልንሰጥበት የሚገባ ጥያቄ፤

ከፊታችን ተደቅኖ የምናየው አደጋ የኢትዮጵያ ዘላቂነት፤ የመላው ሕዝቧ ሰላም፤ ነጻነት፤ እኩልነት መረጋጋት፤ ዲሞክራሳዊ ስርአት ማግኘት፤ ዘላቂነት ያለው ፍትሃዊ እድገት መጎናጽፍ ናቸው። እነዚህ የራእይ ዘርፎች ህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ እንዳደረገው በጥላቻ፤ በቂም በቀልነት መገንባት የለባቸውም። ወደፊት የሚፈጠረው ስርአት ከሁሉ በላይ ለመጭው ትውልድ ተስፋ የሚሰጥ፤ ለሁሉም የኢትዮጵያ ዜጎች የሚያገለግል መሆን አለበት። ይህ እራይ፤ ባለፉት አርባ አመታት በሞከርናቸው መንገዶች ሊገኝ አይችልም፤ ያለፈውን ከተከተልን የትም አንደርስም። በአዲስ መንፈስ፤ በአዲስ እራይ ከተመራን ፍትሃዊ ስር አት ለመገንባት እድሉ አመችና ክፍት ነው። ስለሆነም፤ የችግሮቻችን መነሻወችን ወደኋላ ስናይ፤ መልሶችን ለማግኘት እንችላለን የሚል ግምት አለኝ።

በአጼ ሃይለ ስላሴ ዘመነ መንግስት፤ የህዝብ ብዛት ከሃያ ሚሊዮን በላይ ሆነ፤ የወጣቱ ክፍል እየበዛ ሄደ ሲባል ሰወች በድንጋጤ ሲነጋገሩ አስታውሳለሁ። “ወይ ጉድ፤ ምን ልንሆን ነው፤ ምን ሊመጣ ይሆን፤ ምን ልንበላ ነው” የሚሉ ነበሩ። አሁን የህዝብ ቁጥር አራት እጥፍ ሆኗል። የወጣቱ ቁጥር ከህዝቡ፤ ከአምሳ በመቶ በላይ ነው። በዚያ ጊዜ፤ ትኩረቱ በተለይ የወጣቱ ቁጥር እያደገ፤ የትምህርት እድሉ እየሰፋ ከመሔዱ ላይ እንጂ፤ ከሚያስከትለው የፖሊሲ ለውጥ አስፈላጊነት ላይ አልነበረም። ንጉሱና የቅርብ አማካሪወቻቸው፤ የወጣቱ ብዛት እያደገ፤ ትምህርት እየተስፋፋ በመሄዱ ሊመጣ የሚችለውን ለውጥ እንደ ችግር እንጅ እንደ እድል ከፋች አላዩትም። የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ወጣት እየሆነ ከሄደ፤ አዲስ አስተሳሰብ፤ አዲስ ፖሊሲ፤ አዲስ አመራር፤ ፍትህ፤ ነጻነት፤ አዲስ የመንግስት ስርአት አንደሚያስፈልግ አላዩትም። የስራ እድል መከፈት አለበት፤ የወጣቱ መብት መጠበቅ አለበት፤ በሃገሩ አገዛዝ፤ በሃገሩ እድል መኖር ማመን አለበት። ስደተኝነት፤ አጎብዳጅነት፤ ጥገኝነት እድሉ መሆን የለበትም። የህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ መንግስት ካለፈው ተምሮ የወጣቱን ጥያቄ ሊመልስ አልቻለም፤ ሊመልስም አይችልም። የመረጠው በፖለቲካው፤ በኢኮኖሚው፤ በማህበራዊ ኑሮው፤ ሌላው ቀርቶ በሃይማኖቱ ሁሉ እየገባ፤ ዘላቂነት ያለው፤ ለምርጥ የትግራይ ቡድንና ተባባሪ ለሆኑ ሌሎች አባላት (Narrow Ethnic Elites) የበላይነት የሆነ የመንግስት ስርአትን መቀጠል ነው። አሁን ያለውን፤ በመንግስትአመራር (መለስን በመተካት)፤ በኦርቶዶስ ቤተክርስቲያን ( ህወሓት የሾማቸውን ፓትርያርክ በመተካት) ሹክቻና ግብግብ ስናይ ህወሓት አሁንም የሚጥረው ዘላቂነቱን ለማረጋገጥ እንጅ የመጣውን እድል ተጠቅሞ ሁሉን ለሚያካትት ዲሞክራሳዊ ለውጥ አይደለም። ይህ ባህሪ ዛሬ የመጣ ሳይሆን ከአርባ አመታት በፊት የመጣ ነው፤ በተለይ፤ ከኢርትርያ ነጻ አውጭ ግንባር፤ ከማርክሲዝም ሌኒኒዝም የተማርነው ፍልስፍና።

በ 1972 እ. አ. አ. ከአሚሪካ ወደ ኢትዮጵያ ለዶክትሬት ማእረግ (Research on land tenure and reform) ምርምርና ለማግባት ስመለስ፤ ያላሰብኩት ችግር ቦሌ ገጠመኝ። ወደ ጓደኞቸ፤ ዘመዶቸ፤ ከመሄድ ይልቅ በቀጥታ ወደ ሶስተኛ ፖሊስ ጣቢያ ተወሰድኩ፤ ታሰርኩ። ቁም ነገሩ ባልሰራሁት ወንጀል “ተገንጣዮችን ደገፍክ” ተብየ መታሰሬ አይደለም። የኤርትርያ ነጻ አውጭ ግንባር የሚያደርገውን ያውቅ ነበር። ወንጀሌ፤ በተገላቢጦሽ፤ የኤርትራን መገንጠል “እደግፋለሁ” የሚል ጽሁፍ ግንባሩ፤ በስሜ ጽፎ ለኢትዮጵያ መንግስት ስለላከ ነው። ግንባሩ የተጠቀመው የውጭ አገር ሰወችን፤ የኤርትራን ተወላጆች ሳይሆን፤ ሌሎች ኢትዮጵያዊያንን ነበር። በወቅቱ፤ የኤርትራ ነጻ አውጭ ግንባር እኛን ለመከፋፈል ይጠቀምበት የነበረውን ብልሃት አሁንም የህወሓት መሪወች ይጠቀሙበታል። አንዳንድ የህወሓት የበላይ ግለሰቦች ለኢትዮጵያና ለመላው ሕዝቧ ካላቸው ታማኝነት የበለጠ ለኤርትርያ ባለስልጣኖች ያላቸው ወዳጅነት “ወንድማማችነት” ያይላል። ለጠባብ ብሄርተኛነት ያላቸው ታማኝነት ያይላል። ያ፤ በኔ ትውልድ፤ በብሄር/ብሄረሰብ ስም ይካሄድ የነበረው መቀራረብ አሁንም በህወሓት ውስጥ እንዳለ ነው። አገራችን ወደቧን ያጣችው፤ ብዙ ሽህ ኢትዮጵያዊን የሞቱበት፤ መረጋጋት የሌለበት፤ ጥገኝነት የተፈጠረበት ወዘተ ለዚህ ነው። የመለስ ዜናዊ “አምልኮ” ራእይና ቅርስ (Legacy) ከዚህ ሊለይ አይችልም። እሳቸውና የቅርብ ጓደኞቻቸው ለሃገራችንና ለስብጥር ሕዝቧ(diverse population) የፈጠሩትን ችግር አውርሰውን ያለፉ መሆናቸውን ታሪክ ይመሰክራል::

ህወሓት ሆነ ሌሎች በብሄር/ብሄረሰብ የሚመሩ ሃይሎች የሚያደርጉት ብልሃታዊ መከፋፈል እንደቀጠለ ነው። ብንቀበል፤ ባንቀበልም፤ በተቃዋሚው ክፍል ውስጥ የሚካሄደው የእርስ በእርስ መወነጃጀል፤ ሽሙጥ፤ መጠላለፍ፤ የስም ማጥፋት ዘመቻ፤ የግለሰብን ክብርና ሰብእነት ማዋረድ፤ አገር ሳይኖር የስልጣን ውድድር፤ “እኔ ለሃገሬ ከእናንተ ይበልጥ አውቃለሁ” ወዘተ፤ የሚል አስተሳሰብ፤ ለኢትዮጵያ ዘላቂ ግዛታዊ አንድነት፤ ለመላው ሕዝቧ ሰላም፤ ፍትህና የህዝብ ስልጣን እውን መሆን ጉዳት አምጥቷል፤ እያመጣ ነው፤ ወደፊትም ያመጣል። የዚህ አይነት የመከፋፍልና እርስ በእርስ የመነታረክ ባህል፤ አመለካከት ባህሪይና ተግባር ካልቆመ አሁንም ለውጥ ለማምጣት አይቻልም። አገራችን በአደጋ አፋፍ ላይ ስታንዣብብ ትቆያለች፤ ድህነትና ጥገኝነት ይቀጥላል፤ ወጣቱ ትውልድ እድሉ ስደት ይሆናል። ይህ፤ በብሄር ሆነ፤ በሃይማኖት የሚደረገው መከፋፈል መቆም ያለበት ከጥቂቶች በቀር፤ ለአብዛኛው ህዝብ ስለማይብጅ ነው።በቅርቡ የተጀመረውን የህብረት ጥሪና ከአንዳንድ ክፍሎች የሚደረገውን ትችት ስንመለከት ይህ የመዝለፍና የመከፋፈል ባህሪይ አሁንም እንደቀጠለ እናየዋለን። ልዩነቶችን የሚያባብሱት በተቃዋሚ ክፍሎች በብልሃት እየገቡ እኛን መስለው እኛን የሚከፋፍሉን ግለሰቦች ስላሉ ጭምር ነው። ልዩነቶች ካሉ፤ በጨዋነት ለመነጋገርና ለመፍታት ያልቻልነው ለዚህ ነው። እነዚህ ሰርጎ ገቦች በአጼ ሃይለ ስላሴ ጊዜ የኤርትርያ ነጻ አውጭ ግንባር፤ በደርግ ጊዜ፤ ህወሓትና ሌሎች ይጠቀሙበት የነበረውን ፈር (መንገድ) እየተከተሉ ናቸው። ሌላው ቀርቶ በኦርቶዶስ ቤተክርስቲያን አመራር ውስጥ እየገቡ፤በስደት ያለው ቤተክርስቲያንና አባላት ከሶስት ሊከፋፈል–የስደቱን ሶኖድ ደጋፊ፤ ህወሓት የመረጠውን ሲኖድ ደጋፊና “ነጻ” መሆን እንፈልጋለን የሚሉትን አብያተ ክርስቲያን ተቋሞች ደጋፊ የሆነ አንድ እምነትን ከሶስት የከፋፈለ ሂደት ለመፍጠር ችሏል። ይህ ሊሆን የቻለው እኛ ስለፈቀድን ጭምር ነው።

ከህወሓት የሚመጣው ክስና ስም ማጥፋት፤ የፖለቲካ ሆነ የሃይማኖት ክፍፍል መኖር ምንም አያስደንቅም። ካልከፋፈለ የበላይነትን ይዞ ለመቆየት አይችልም። ሰላም፤ ፍትህ፤ አብሮ መኖር፤ ዲሚክራሳዊ ለውጥ የምንፈልግ ከሆነ፤ ከተቃዋሚው ክፍል የሚመጣውን መከፋፈል፤ እርስ በእርስ መጋጨት ዝም ብለን፤ እያየን እንዳላየን፤ ለመመልከት አንችልም። ከሁሉ በላይ ተጠቃሚ የሚሆኑት ጠባቡ ህወሓት/ የኢህአዴግ የበላይችና የኢትዮጵያ የውጭ ጠላቶች ናቸው። የኢትዯጵያ የውጭ ጠላቶች በምንም አይነት አገራችን ሰላም፤ ዘላቂነትና ፍትሃዊ ያለው እድገት እንዲኖራት አይፈልጉም። በክፍል ዘጠኝ ለማሳየት እንደሞከርኩት፤ በተደጋጋሚ የምናየው ችግር፤ እኛ ኢትዮጵያዊያን ለመሰብሰብ ስንጀምር፤ ሀወሓት ነጥሎ ይከሰናል፤ ያስረናል፤ ያሳድደናል፤ ያዋርደናል፤ ይገድለናል። ለዚህ የሚጠቀምበት ዘዴ በመካከላችን ልዩነቶችን መፍጠር፤ መጠቀም፤ እርስ በርሳችን እንድንወንጃጀልና ጀሮ ጠቢወች እንድንሆን በማድረግ ጭምር ነው። እኛ ለህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ ዘላቂነት እየሰራን ነው ማለት ይህ ነው። በልዩነት ላይ የምናጠፋው ጉልበት፤ እውቀት፤ ገንዝብ ከሚያስማሙን ላይ ቢውሉ ኖሮ እስካሁን ለወገን የሚያኮራ ስራ በሰራን ነበር። በአንድ ድምጽ፤ ለአንድ አላማ በቆምን ነበር። የኢትዮጵያንና የአለምን ህዝብ ወደኛ ለመሳብ በቻልን ነበር። ፈቃደኞች ከሆን፤ አሁንም እንችላለን። ለዚህ ነው፤ ያለፈውን ስህተት አንድገም ብለን በጋራ መነሳት ያለብን።

ያለፈውን ስህተት አንድገም፤

ባለፍቱ አርባ አመታት ብዙ ስህተቶች ሰርተናል። እዚህ ላይ ለማስታወስ የምፈልገው አንድ አቢይ ነገር አለ። የንጉሱን ስርአት ለመጣል ብዙ የተማሩ ኢትዮጵያውያን፤ ከጀርባ ያለውን ሴራ ሳይመረምሩ፤ ለጠባብ ብሄርተኛ የፖለቲካ እንቅስቃሴወችና ለውጭ አገር መንግስታት ድጋፍ ሰጥተው አሁን ለደረሰው ቀውስ አስተዋጦ አድርገዋል፤ አድርገናል። ማንም “ከደሙ ንጹህ ነኝ” ለማለት የሚችል የለም። ህወሓት ደርግን ተቃውሞ በተሰማራበት ወቅት፤ ያን አሰቃቂ መንግስት በመጥላትና ለመጣል ስንል፤ ብዙወቻችን አብረን ተሰልፈናል፤ ረድተናል። መንግስቱ ሃይለማሪያም የመራው ደርግ፤ አገር ወዳድና ትውልድ የማይተካቸው፤ አገር ወዳድ መሪወች፤ የሰራዊትና እዝ አባላት፤ ምሁራንና ወጣቶች ሲገድል፤ ወይንም ሲያስገድል፤ ወይንም እርስ በርሳችን እንድንገዳደል ድጋፍ ሲሰጥ፤ በጀርባ የመጣ በዘር እርዩተአለም የተበረዘ፤ አገራችን ሰላም የነሳት፤ ቡድን በቀጥታም ሆነ በድብቅ አጠናክሯል፤ አጠናከረናል። ይህ፤ ያላሰብነውም ሆነ ያሰብነው ድጋፍ የእርስ በእርስ ንትርከን፤ ቂመኝነትንና ቂም በቀልነትን፤ አለመግባባትን፤ ለስልጣን ስግብግብነትን፤ ሆዳምነትን፤ መጥፎ የፖለቲካ ባህልን ትቶልን ሂዷል። ይህ አስተዋጾ ባይኖር ጠባብ ብሄርተኛው የህወሓት ቡድን የፖለቲካ የበላይ፤ የኢኮኖሚ ሙሉ-በሙሉ ተቆጣጣሪ ሊሆን አይችልም ነበር። አሁንም፤ ቢሆን ይህ የመከፋፈል፤ የቂም በቀል፤ የራስ ወዳድነት ባህል እያደከመን ባልሄደ ነብር። ብዙ የተማረ፤ ልምድና ሃቭት ያለው የሰው ሃይል ቢኖረንም፤ ለዚህ ድክመት ገና ብልሃት አልነደፍንለትም። ሌላው ቀርቶ የምንነጋገረው፤ የምንሰበሰበው፤ ከምናውቃቸውና ከለመድናቸው ጋር እንጅ ከሌች ከማናውቃቸው ኢትዮጵያዊያን ጋር አይደለም። የምንጠላቸውን ተቃዋሚወች እንደጠላት የምንወንጅለው መጥፎ ባህል ተከትለን ነው።

ከሃይለ ሰላሴ/ከደርግ መንግስት ጀምሮ፤ የጎሳ ፖለቲካ አለማዋጣቱን እያየን አሁንም በጎሳ የፖለቲካ አለም፤ “ከቄሳር በላይ ቄሳር ነኝ” የምንል ብዙ ነን። አገር ለውጭ መንግስታትንና ሃብታሞች እየተቸረቸረ፤ እኛ በብዛት እየተሰደድን፤ ብዙ ሚሊዮን ኢትዮጵዩያዊና በርሃቭ አለንጋ እየተገረፉ፤ በአመት ብዙ ቢሊየን ዶላር ከሃገር በስርቆት እየወጣ፤ ወዘተ፤ ለፖለቲካ ስልጣን የምንሻማ አለን። ችግሩ ሁሉን ብሄር/ብሄረሰብ የሚመለከት መሆኑ እየገባን የምናተኩረው ከቡድናዊነት፤ ከመንደረኝነት፤ ከልዩነቶቻቺን ላይ እንጂ በጋራ ከምንጋራቸው እሴቶች ላይ አይደለም። ያለውን ችግር በብዙ መለኪያወች ለማሰስ ይቻላል። ለምሳሌ፤ አገር ውስጥ የተቋቋሙትን ከዘጠና ያላነሱ፤ የብሄር ፖለቲካ ድርጅቶች ማየት በቂ ነው። አሁን ያለው አመራር በተአምር ቢወድቅ የብሄር ፖለቲካ ድርጅቶች በምን አገራዊ አጀንዳ እንደሚመሩ ማንም አያውቅም፤ አቋማቸውን አልገለጹም። ማን ከማን ጋር እጅና ጓንቲ ሆኖ እንደሚቀርብ አናውቅም። ግልጽነትና ድፍረት አለ ለማለት ያስቸግራል።
ለምሳሌ፤ በመተካካቱና በሕዝብ አልገዛም ባይነት የሕዝብ አመጽ ቢነሳና ለውጥ ቢመጣ፤ አንቀጽ ሰላሳ ዘጠኝን እንዴት እንደሚመለከቱ አናውቅም። የክልልን ጉዳትና ጥቅም እስካሁን አላወቁትም ለማለት አንችልም። ተጠቃሚው ማን እንደሆነ፤ የተጎዳው ማን እንደሆነ ያውቁታል። ካላቸው ፍልስፍና ግን ፈቀቅ አላሉም። ዘዴወቻቸው መቀየር ካላማቸው አይለያቸውም። ብዙ የውስጥ ታዛቢወች የሚሉት፤ እነዚህ የብሄር ስብስቦች፤ የህዝብ አመጽ ቢነሳ ከሌላው ህብረተስብ ጋር እንዴት እንደሚቆሙ አናውቅም ነው። ይህን ሊመልሱት የሚገባቸው መሪወቹ እንጅ እኛ አይደለንም፤ ተራውም አባል አይደለም። ህወሓት የተከለብንን በዘር የተከፋፈለ ስርአት አሁንም መከተላቸው ግን፤ ለቆሙለት ህብረተሰብምም ሆነ ለኢትዮጵያ ከጥቅሙ ይልቅ ጉዳቱ ያመዘነ ነው። ህወሓትን ብንወስድ፤ የሚከተለው የጠባብ ብሄርተኛ አመራር፤ ለራሱ ተራ አባላትም ቢሆን አደገኛ እንደሚሆን እያደር እናየዋለን።

ጠቅላይ ሚንስትር መለስ “ባይመለሱ” ምን ይሆናል?

የጠቅላይ መለስ ዜናዊ “አምልኮ” ለህወሓት አባላትና ደጋፊወች ስጋትና አደጋ ማምጣቱ አያጠያይቅም። ሕዝብ በአንድ ላይ ከተነሳ፤ የፈለገው መተካት ቢመጣ፤ የመለስ ዜናዊ ፍልስፍና ማለፏ አያጠራጥርም። ሆኖም፤ በዘላቂነት ደረጃ፤ ምንም አይነት የአመራር መተካካት ቢመጣ፤ ሀወሓትና ተጠቃሚ የሆኑ የኢህአዴግ መሪወችና ምርጥ አባላት በቀላሉ ስልጣናቸውን አይለቁም። ሌላ ቀርቶ፤ ካልተገደዱ፤ ለመደራደርም ፈቃደኛ አይሆኑም። ለምን ብለው? በአሁኑ ወቅት አብዛኛው ዘገባ ስለ መለስ ዜናዊ መኖር ማረፍ ሲሆን፤ የውጭ ታዛቢወች–ለምሳሌ፤ ግራሃም ፖብልስ፤ ሪኔ ለፎርት፤ ቴሬንስ ላየንስ፤ የፋይናንሻል ታይምስ፤ ኢኮኖሚስት፤ ጋርዲያን፤ ዋሽንግቶን ፖስት፤ በሃገራችን የመተካካት ፉክክር እንደነበረ፤ አለመረጋጋት እንደምቀጥል እንጅ መለስን በርግጥ ማን የተቃዋሚው ክፍል ለመደራደር ብቃት እንዳለው ወይንም እንደሌለው አይጠቁሙም። ሊጠቁሙም አይችሉም።

ስብሰብ አድርጌ ስመለከተው፤ ከነዚህ ዘገባወች የገበየኋቸው ቁም ነገሮች አሉ።

• ጠቅላይ መለስ ዜናዊ እንደተጠረጠርው ከአሁን ከዚህ አለም ተለይተዋል፤ ህወሓት/ኢህ አዴግ ግን እሳቸውን በተመሳሳይም ባይሆን፤ በታማኝነታቸው የማያወላዱ ለመተካት ለመተካት ችሏል፤

• እድገት ያለምንም ነጻነት፤ ዘላቂነትና ፍትሃዊነት ይኖረዋል ያሉት የመለስ መንግስት ስርአት ከታላቅ ውጥረት ላይ እንዳለ፤ ያለ ሕዝብ ተሳትፎ ድህነት እንደማይወገድ፤ ሙስናና ከህግ ውጭ ከሃገር የሚወጣው የውጭ ምንዛሬ በብዙ ቢሊየን ዶላር እንደሚቀጥል፤

• በአመት ከሚገኘው አራት ቢሊዮን ዶላር እርዳታ፤ ከስደተኞች ከሚገኘው፤ በአመት ከሶስት ቢሊየን ዶላር በላይ ከሚሆነው የውጭ ምንዛሬ፤ አብዛኝው እየተሰረቀ፤ ለጥቂቶች ማክበሪያ ወደ ውጭ እንደሚጎርፍ፤ ለዚህ የሚቀጣው የኢትዮጵያ ድሃ ሕዝብ እንደሆነ ይቆያል፤

• የመለስ መንግስት በአንዳንድ፤ በተለይ በመሰረተ ልማት የሚጨበጥ እድትገን ሊያመጣ ቢችልም መዋቅራዊይና የፖሊሲ ለውጥ ለማምጣት አለመቻሉ፤ ለአብዛኛው ድሃ ክፍል አስተማማኝ ኑሮ አለመፍጠሩ፤ ሃግራችንና ተራውን ሕዝብ ለአደጋ እንደዳረገው፤ የዋጋ ግፍሸት እንደሚቀጥል፤ ምልክቶቹ ጎልተው ይታያሉ፤

• የመለስ መንግስት ከሶስት እስከ ሰባት ሚሊዮን የሚገመት (የተሸጠ/የተከራየና ለወደፊት የታቀደ) ሔክታር ለም መሬት ለውጭ መንግታትና የግል ሃብታሞች፤ ምርጥ የትግራይ ተወላጆች ማስተላለፉ ለምግብ ዋስትና ሆነ ለድሃው ገበሬ ጉዳት የሚያመጣ መሆኑ፤ ለሃገራችንም ግዛታዊ አንድነት አደጋን መጋበዙ ይታያል፤

• የመለስ ዜናዊ የእድገት መንግስት ከሁሉም በላይ የቁጥጥር ኢኮኖሚ ስርአት መዘርጋቱ የሃገራችን ከበርቴወች አድሎ በሌለበት ሁኔታ እንዳይሰሩ፤ እንዳያመርቱ፤ እንዳይወዳደሩ፤ ገንዘባቸውን በአገር ውስጥ አንዳይጠቀሙ እንደሚያግድ፤ ፓርቲውና እንደ ኤፈርት ያሉ ከመቶ በላይ የሆኑ ድርጅቶችን የሚቆጣጠሩ ተቋሞች ኢኮኖሚውን በሞኖፖሊ እንደያዙትና አድሎው ኢኮኖሚውን መንግስት ለመቆጣጠር ወደማይችልበት ደረጃ እየመራው ይታያል፤

• ህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ የፈጠረው ስርአት ለነጻነት፤ ለእኩልነት፤ ለሰላም፤ ለዲሞክራሳዊ ተሳትፎና አገዛዝ ጸር መሆኑ ችግርን እንደወለደ፤ እንደሚወልድ አመልካቾች እየሰፉ ይታያሉ፤

• የምእራብ መንግስታት፣ በተለይ አሜሪካ፤ አዲስ ወዳጅ አገሮች፤ በተለይ ቻይና፤ ከሁሉ በላይ መረጋጋትን እንደመረጡ፤ ወደፊትም እንደሚመርጡ በሃይለ ማሪያም ደሳለኝ መሾም እያየነው ነው፤

• የመለስ ክስልጣን በሞት መለየት፤ የነጻነትና የዲሞክራሲ ጭላንጭል ማሳየት ቢችልም፤ የተቃዋሚው ክፍል መከፋፈሉ፤ ደካማ መሆኑ፤ በአንድ ድምጽ ለአንድ አላማ አለመቆሙ መተካካቱ ከህወሓትና ከኢሓዴግ ቁጥጥር እንዳለወጣ አሳይቷል።

የተቃዋሚው የመደራደር አቅም ሊጠነክር የሚችለው፤ በልይነት ላይ በማተኮር ሳይሆን፤ በአንድ ላይ፤ ለፍትህ፤ ለሰላም፤ ለድርድር፤ ለብሄራዊ እርቅ፤ ለነጻነትና ለኢትዮጵያ ዘላቂ ጥቅም ለመቆም ሲቻል ነው። ለዚህ የሚረዳ ሁኔታን ለማመቻቸት የሚችለው በውጭ ያለው የተቃዋሚ ሃይል ሲሰበሰብና በዘላቂነት ተባብሮ ሲሰራ፤ ገንዘቡን፤ እውቀቱን፤ ምክሩን አገር ቤት ላሉ እውነተኛ ተቃዋሚወች ሲሰጥ ነው።

ከነዚህ ግንዛቤወች መካከል ለመረዳት የምንችለው፤የአንድ ፓርቲ ስርአት እንደሚቀጥል፤ ለዚህ የአሜሪካ መንግስት፤ ሌላ አማራጭ የለም ብሎ ስለገመተ፤ ለህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ የውስጥ ድጋፍ እንደሰጠ ነው። ከዚህ ድምዳሜ የደረሰበት ዋና ምክንያት ከአንድ ፓርቲ አምባ ገነን መንግስት ጋር ፍቅር ስላለው ሳይሆን (ይህ በዘላቂነት እንደማያዋጣ በሙባረክ አይተውታል)፤ የተቃዋሚው ክፍል የተከፋፈለ፤ የሚሰራውን በብልሃት የማይከተል፤ ደካማ፤ ብቃት የሌለው፤ የማይሰበሰብ፤ አብዛኛው በብሄር የተደራጀ ነው በማለት ነው። ሌላው፤ የወጣቱ ቁጥር እያደገ ቢሄድም፤ ለመታገል፤ የራሱን መብት ለማስመስከር ገና አልተዘጋጀም የሚል ግምትም ስላለው ነው። በወጣቱ ላይ ያለው አመለካከት የኢትዮጵያን ባህል አለማወቅን ያሳያል። ወጣቱ የህወሓት/ኢህአዴግን ስርአት እንደማይቀበል በዘጠና ሰባቱ ምርጫ አሳይቷል፤ አሁንም በተቻለው ይታገላል። የሕዝብ አመጽ ዳር እስከዳር ከተያያዘ፤ ፊት ለፊት የሚታገለው ወጣቱ ትውልድ መሆኑን አልጠራጠርም። ነጻ ምርጫ ካለ፤ አብዛኛው የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ የተቃዋሚ ክፍሉን እንደሚደግፍ አልጠራጠርም። ይህን ለውጭ መንግስታት ማሳመን ያለብን እኛው ነን። ባጭር አነጋገር፤ ጠቅላይ ሚንስትሩ ቢሞቱም ህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ ከስልጣኑ ወደ ኋላ አይልም። በውስጡ ላሉ ደጋፊወች አስታራቂ የሆነ፤ ኢህአዴግና የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ይቀበለዋል ብሎ የሚገምተውን አማራጭ ከስራ ላይ ውሏል። ለጊዜው ፋታ ሰጥቷል።

ከላይ ያለው እንዳለ ሆኖ፤ የውስጥ የመተካካት ግብግቡ ግን የጦፈ ነበር ለማለት የሚያስችሉ ብዙ መለኪያወ ች አሉ። አንዱ ግብግብ በህወሓት ውስጥ የተካሄደው ዝግ ድርድር ነው። ሁለተኛው፤ በሕወሓት የበላዮችና በኢህአዴግ መካከል የተካሄደው “ጠቅላይ ሚንስትርነቱ ለኔ ይገባኛል፤ የኔ ተራ ነው” የሚል ግብግብ ነበር።ሁለቱም ግብግቦች ቀላል አልነበሩም። ለምሳሌ፤ ግልጽነት ቢኖረው፤ ህገ፤ መንግስቱም ባይደነግገው፤ ፓርላማው ምክትል ጠቅላይ ሚንስትሩ መለስን ለመተካት ይችላሉ የሚለው መለስ በጥብቅ መታመማቸው ሲታወቅ ለህዝብ በተገለጸ ነበር። እንደተወራው ፤ ለጊዜውም ቢሆን፤ ይህ አማራጭ ከስራ ላይ ውሏል። ብይውል ኖሮ፤ በኢህአዴግ ውስጥ ያለው ልዩነት ሊፈነዳ ይችል ነበር። ሃይለ ማሪያም ደሳለኝ መለስን ባይተኩ ለገዥው ፓርቲ አደጋ እነሚፈጥር ያውቁታል። ማለትም፤ ህወሓት ምክትል ጠቅላይ ሚንስትሩን ወደጎን ትቶ ሌላ ትግራይ ቢሾም ሊመጣ የሚችለውን አደጋ አውቀውታል፤ ይህን በሚገባ የተገነዘበው ስብሃት ነጋ ነበር። አንዳንዶች የህወሓት አባላትና ደጋፊወች የፈሩት፤ ምክትል ጠቅላይ ሚንስትሩ መለስን ከተኩ፤ ቀስ በቀስ ስልጣን ከጥቂት የትግራይና የኤርትርያ ተወላጆች ወደ ሌሎች ይዞራል በሚል ነበር። ከሆነም ሌሎች ከኢኮኖሚጥቅሞች ጋር የተያያዙ ሁሉ ከአደጋ ላይ ይወድቃሉ የሚል ስጋት እንዳለ ለመገመት አያዳግትም።የመለስ መተካት በብልሃት፤ በምስጢር፤ በድብቅ፤ በውሸት ፕሮፓጋንዳ ተይዞ የነበረው ሽግግሩ ሊያመጣ የሚችለውን አደጋ በማመዛዝን ነው ለማለት ይቻላል።

ሶስተኛው ችግር በህወሓት/ኢህአዴግና በተገለለው ተቃዋሚ ክፍል ያለው መቃቃር ነው። የመለስ ከዚህ አለም ማለፍ የድርድር ጭናንጭል ሊያመጣ ይችላል የሚሉ አሉ። አሜሪካኖችም ድርድር እንዲደረግ፤ እርቅና ሰላም እንዲሰፍን፤ ተቃዋሚ ፓርቲወች ተደራድረው ወደፊት፤ አንድ አይነት የ “ሽግግር መንግስት” እንዲቋቋ፤ ቀጥሎም፤ ነጻና ተጽኖ የሌለበት ምርጫ እንዲካሄድ ይፈልጋሉ ቢባል አያስደንቅም። ይህ፤ የረጅም ጊዜ እቅድ ይመስላል። ከጥቅማቸው ግን ፍንክች አይሉም። አገራችን ከአደጋ ለመታደግ ከተፈለገ፤ ህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ፤ በአንድ በክሉ፤ በሌላ ደግሞ፤ተቃዋሚወች በሙሉ፤ አሜሪካኖችና ሌሎች መንግስታት፤ የአፍሪካ አንድነት ድርጅት ወዘተ በአስታራቂነት ደረጃ ሆነው፤ ለብሄራዊ ሰላም እርቅና ሽግግር ያልተቆጠበ ጥረት ቢያደርጉ፤ ለመጀመሪያ ጊዜ በኢትዮጵያ የመድብለ ፓርቲ ዲሞክራሲ አገዛዝ መሰረት ለመጣል ይቻላል፤ ሆኖም፤ ይህ አማራጭ፤ ከምኞት በላይ ላያልፍ ይችላል።

ለተቃዋሚው ህሉ፤ አማራጭ ሊሆን የማይችለው፤ አምባ ገነንን በአምባ ገነን፤ በአንድ ብሄርተኛ አገዛዝ የተመሰረተ ፓርቲን በተመሳሳይ መለወጥ ነው። ይህ ከሆነ፤ መሰረታዊና ፍትሃዊ ለውጥ ሊያመጣ አይችልም። መሰብሰብ፤ አብሮ መስራት፤ መፈላለግ፤ አገር ውስጥ ካሉ እምቅና ግልጽ ታጋይ ድርጅቶ ጋር በጥበብ መቆራኘት፤ ለእነዚህ አገራዊ ለሆኑ ፓርቲወች የገንዘብ፤ የቴክኒክ፤ የሃሳብ፤ የሞራል ውዘተ ድጋፍ መስጠት የሚያስፈልገው ይህ እንደገና የማይገኝ እድል እንዳያመልጥ ነው። በጠባቡ በማየት፤ ለጊዜያዊ ጥቅም ብቻ የቆሙ የብሄር ድርጅቶች የእርቅ፤ የሰላም፤ የአብሮ ተቻችሎ መኖር፤ የግለሰብ ነጻነት፤ የኢትዮጵያን ግዛታዊ አንድነት፤ ወዘተ የያዘ ድርድርን ለመፈለጋቸው ማስረጃ የለም፤ ማስታወቅ ያለባቸው መሪወቻቸው ናቸው። አንዳዶቹ መሪወች፤ ብቸኛ ተጠቃሚ ሆነው ለመቆየት ይፈልጋሉ። ለምሳሌ፤ ህወሓት ለራሱ በመከፋፈል ለሚገኝ ጥቅም የፈጠረውን የአማራውን ብአዲየንን ስናይ የአማራን ህብረተሰብ ማገልገል ቀርቶ የራሱንም አባላትና አመራር ጥቅምና ስልጣን ለማሰከበር አልቻለም፤ አይችልም። በአሁኑ የስልጣን ግብግብ ስልጣን ይገባኛል ብሎ በአንደበት ለመቆም የሚችል አመራር የለውም። ካለው፤ ለሚወክለው ህብረተሰብ የማስታወቅ ሃላፊነት አለበት። አጎብዳጅና ሎሌ እንዲሆን የተፈጠረ ድርጅት የክልሉን ጥቅም፤ የህብረተሰቡን መብት ለመታደግ ነጻነት የለውም።

ለምሳሌ፤ወልቃይት ጠገዴ፤ ወዘተ ለትግራይ ክልል ሲሰጥ፤ የዋልዳብ ገዳም በህወሃት ትእቢተኞች ተደፍሮ ሲታረስ፤ የአማራ “ህብረተሰብ ነህ፤ ወደመጣህበት ክልል” ተመለስ ተብሎ ብዙ ሽህ አማርኛ ተናጋሪ ከደቡብ ሲሳደድና ሲሰደድ፤ ቤቱ ሲቃጠል፤ ንብረቱ ሲወድም፤ ኑሮው ሲናጋ፤ ራሱን፤ የአማራ ወካይ ነኝ የሚለውን ድርጅት ተራው ህዝብ የሚስቅበት፤ “የት ነበርክ፤ ለማን ደረስክ” ብሎ የሚጠይቀው ለዚህ ነው። የኢትዮጵያ ወሰን ተደፍሮ፤ በመለሰ ትእዛዝ ለሱዳን መንግስት በምስጢር ሲሰጥ፤ ዋልድባ በልማት ስም ሲታረስ፤ ይህ የህወሓት ፍጥረት አጎብዳጅ ሆኖ በቃለ አቀባይነት ስራ አስፈጽሟል። የሰሜን ሱዳን መንግስት ለህወሓትና ለሱዳን ተብሎ ሁለት ቆንጽላወች በጎንደር ክፍለ ሃገር ሲያቋቁም ለምን ብሎ ያልጠየቀ፤ እንዲያውም “እልል” ብሎ አስተናጋጅ የሆነ ድርጅት ነው። የሚያሳየው አንድ ነገር ቢኖር፤ የትም ቦታ ቢሆን፤ የብሄር ፖለቲካ ድርጂቶች የሚያገለግሉት ህወሓትንና የራሳቸውን የበላዮች ጥቅም እንጅ ይወክላሉ የሚሉትን ህብረተሰብ አይደለም። በጋምብየላ፤ በኦሮምያ፤ በአማራ፤ በደቡብ፤ በትግራይ፤ ወዘተ የሚታየውም ሰእል ከጎንደሩ ጋር ይመሳሰላል። ስለዚህ፤ በአገር ውስጥና በውጭ ያለው የዘር፤ያለፈ የፖለቲካ ታሪክ፤ የመደብ፤ የጾታ፤ የፖለቲካ ወዘተ ክፍፍል ለህወሓትና ለኢህአዴግ የበላዮች አሁንም ጠቅሟቸዋል።

የውጭ ታዛቢወች ይህን “የከፋፍለህ ግዛው” ጠቢብ እምቢ ብለን አለመተባበራችን የድክመታችንን ጥልቀትና ስፋት ያሳያል ይላሉ። ይህን ጎጅ አስተሳሰብ ለመለወጥ የምንችለው በሃገር ቤትና በውጭ የምንገኝ ተቆርቋሪ ነን ባዮች ብቻ ነን። ይህን ችግር ለመፍታት፤ ተደጋግፍን በፍጥነት ስራ ከሰራን፤ ለመደራደር ያለንን አቅም ከፍ ያደርገዋል። ካላደረግን የመለስ ከዚህ አለም ማለፍ አይለውጠውም። ስለ መለስ ዜናዊ በየቀኑ በተከታታይ ስናወራ ቆየተናል። ነገ ስለምን እንደምናወራ አላውቅም። ህሉም መገናኛ ብዙሃን፤ ድህረገጾች፤ ስብስቦች ሊነጋገሩበት የሚገባው ያላጠናነው አበይት ጉዳይ ለመደራደር ማነቆ የሚሆን የማንከደው ሌላ ችግር አለ። የኢኮኖሚ ጥቅም ይባላል። የመለስ ከዚህ አለም ማለፍ፤ ይህን የጥቅም እትብት አይሰብረውም፤ እንዲያውም ሊያጠናክረው ይችላል።

የአጎብዳጅ አገዛዝ፤

ህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ ራሱን አጠንክሮ ለማቆየት ቡድኑና ደጋፊወቹ ሃብት የሚያካብቱበትንና የሚጠቀሙበትን መንገድ የሚያቃና፤ ደንቡን የሚያመቻች፤ ህጉን የሚጠመዝዝ ቡድን ነው፡፡ ሌላው ቀርቶ በጠቅላይ ሚንስትሩ ብርቱ ህመም ወቅት፤ መሪወቹ “በመኖር አለመኖራቸው” ዋሽቷል። በረከት ሰሞን መለስ ዜናዊ በመስከረም እንደገና ወደ ስልጣናቸው ይመለሳሉ ሲል፤ ስብሃት ነጋ፤ አድርጎት በማያውቀው፤ እንዲያውም “ጠላት ነው” በሚለው መገናኛ ብዙሃን፤ በኢሳት፤ “ መለስ ያሉበትን አላውቅም፤ አገር ቤት ያሉ አይመስለኝም፤ መረጋጋት አለ፤ አመራርና ውሳኔ የሚደረገው በጋራ ነው፤ መተካካት የሚካሄደው በሕገ መንግስቱና በፓርቲው አስተዳደር ደንብ” ነው ወዘተ ያሉበት ተጻራሪ የሆነ ገለጻ፤ ሆነ ተብሎ የተደረገ ነበር። በረከትና ስብሃት ነጋ አይነጋገሩም፤ አይገናኙም፤ የሚሰሩትን አያውቁም ብለን አንዳልተሞኘን አምናለሁ፤ ያውቃሉ። ማን ምንና ለማን እንደሚናገር ግምተው የቀርቡ መሆኑን መለስ ካረፉ በኋላ አየነው። ግልጽነት የሌለው መንግስት መለስ “በመጥፋታቸው” ለአዳማጭ ግልጽ ይሆናል ብሎ መገመት መለስ የፈጠሩትን በምስጢር የሚካሄድ ስርአት አለማወቅ ነው። መለስ ቢኖሩም ባይኖሩም ስርአቱ እንዳለ ይቆያል እያልኩ ደጋግሜ ያሳሰብኩት ለዚህ ነው። የስርአቱ ተጠቃሚወች ብዙ ናቸው። የሚደግፋቸው የስለላና የመከላከያ ሃይል ቀላል አይደለም።

ህወሓት ከራሱ ቡድን ውጭ የሆኑ ወይንም የሚቃወሙ፤ ወይንም ተፎካካሪ የሆኑ ሁሉ የመወዳደሪያ መስክ የሌላቸው/የማይፈቀድላቸው ስርአቱ በምስጢር፤ ለአንድ ቡድን የበላይነት፤ አገልጋይነት ስለተፈጠረ ነው፡፡ ነጻ የሆነ መገናኛ ብዙሃን የማይፈቀደው ለዚህ ነው። ነጻ የሆነ መገናኛ ብዙሃን ቢኖር ኖሮ የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ በጨለማ አይኖርም ነበር። የበላይነትን ለመጠበቅ፤ ነጻ የሆነ መገናኛ ብዙሃን አጥፍቷል፤ ጋዜጠኞችን አስሯል፤ አሰድዷል። ተወዳዳሪን አጎብዳጅ ማድረግ፤ ወይንም ደካማ ማድረግ፤ ወይንም በጥቅም መግዛት ያስፈልገዋል። ጠቅላይ ሚንስትር መለስ ሲመሩት የቆየው ህወሓት የግል ኩባንያ የመሰለ መዋቅርና ግልጽነት የሌለው አመራር ስር እንዲሰድ ያደረገውና ሁሉ አጎብዳጅ ሆኖ እንዲያገለግል ያስገደደው ለስልጣንና ጥቅም ሲል ነው። ተቋሞች መሪው በድንገት ቢሞት እንዲያገለግሉ የተሰሩ ናቸው። ከጽንሱ፤ የህወሓት አገዛዝ ለግልጽ ውድድር፤ ለነጻነት፤ በራስ ለመተማመን ባህል፤ ለእውነተኛ ኢትዮጵያዊነት የተዝጋጀ፤ ቡድን አይደለም። ለእርሱ ታዛዥ ያልሆነ ሁሉ፤ ተቀባይነት የለውም። ለአጎብዳጂነት፤ ትልቅ ዋጋ የሚሰጠው ለዚህ ነው። ህወሓት፤ አጎብዳጂ ድርጅት ወይንም ግለሰብ ክብርና ነጻነት እንደሌለው ያውቃል፡፡ በራሱ አይተማመንምና። ስርአቱን ቢቃወምም፤ በግሉ፤ በልቡ፤ በቤተሰቡ፤ በቅርብ ወዳጅ እንጂ በይፋ አይደለም።

የህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ ቡድን በመስማማት፤ ተቻችሎ በመኖር፤ ለስልጣን በመደራደር አያምንም። በተለይ፤ የፖለቲካ ስልጣ በመካፈል አያምንም። ህወሓት በኢትዮጵያዊነቱ ኮርቶ፤ ተባብሮ፤ ተቻችሎ፤ የሁሉም ጥቅም በህግ ተከብሮ፤ የሚኖርባትን ኢትዮጵያ ለመገንባት የተነሳ አለመሆኑን የሚያሳዩ ብዙ ማስረጃወች አሉ። የበላይነትን ለመጠበቅ ብዙሃኑን በፍርሃት፤ በመከፋፈል፤ በቂም በቀልነት፤ በማሰር፤ በመግደል፤ ያላጠፋውን፤ አጥፍቻለሁ ብሎ እንዲያምን በማስገደድ፤ በማሳደድ፤ ከስራ በማስወጣት፤አገር ለቆ እንዲወጣ በማድረግ ወዘተ ቆይታውን የሚያረጋግጥ ቡድን ነው። ስልጣኑን የሚያራዝመው በዚህ ጥበብ ነው። በድሃና ጥገኛ አገር፤ ከቻይና በተዋሰው ዘዴ፤ በብዙ መቶ ሚሊዮን የሚታስብ ብር ለስለላ፤ ለድጎማ፤ ለሃይማኖት መከፋፈያ፤ ለጉቦ የሚያወጣው ለዚሁ ነው። የግለሰብን መብት በማቀብ የራሱን ቡድን መብት ያጠናከራል። ስልጣኑ እንዲራዘም፤ የጥቅም አንድነት ይፈጥራል። ስለዚህ፤ ከሃገር አንድነትና ነጻነት፤ ከህዝብ ሉአላዊንትና እኩልነት ይልቅ ጠባብ የጥቅም መተሳሰርን ያስቀድማል። የጥቅም አንድነት ማስረጃው በፓርቲውና በጦር፤ በስለላ፤ በፖሊስ፤ በአስተዳደር እና በልዩ ልዩ ባለስልጣኖች መካክል ያለው እትብት፤ በውጭ የግልና የመንግስት ተጠቃሚወች ያለው የጥቅም ሰንሰለት የሚያንጸባረቀው ስእል ነው። በኢንቬስተሮችና በህወሓት መካከል ያለው መቆላለፍም የሚአመልክተው ይህን ነው። በአሁኑ ወቅት ሊታበል የማይችለው ጠባብ ዘረኝነት/ብሄርተኝነት፤ መንግስት፤ ተቋሞችና ፓርቲው የተሳሰሩ መሆናቸው ነው። ይህ የጥቅም መቆላለፍ ሊፈታ የሚችለው በመተባበር ብቻ ነው። መለስ ስላረፉ ይህ አይቀጥልም ለማለት የሚያስደፍር ማስረጃ የለኝም።

ሊሰበስቡን የሚችሉ አንኳር/አበይት ጉዳዮች፤ እሴቶች አሉ፤ እንጠቀምባቸው፤

መለስ ዜናዊ ለሃያ አንድ አመታት የመሩትን የሀወሓትን መንግስት የማንቀበለው፤ ለሃገር የቆመ መንግስት ባለመሆኑ፤ የጠባብ ዘረኝነት አገዛዝን በኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ላይ ጭኖ ለራሱ ቡድን፤ ለውጭ ከበርቴወች፤ ለውጭ መንግስታትጥቅም አገሩን አሳልፎ በመስጠቱ፤ በእድገት አሳቦ፤ ነጻነትን ወንጀል በማድረጉ፤ የህዝብን ሰብአዊ መብቶች ለስልጣን ሲል ወንጀል በማድረጉ፤ ስልጣንን ተጠቅሞ ዘረፋንና ስርቆትን እንደ ጀግንነት በመቁጠሩ ጭምር ነው። ይህን፤ የህወሓትን የአጭር ጊዜ በጥቅም፤ለጥቅም የተገነባ እሥስር፤ በሃገር ጥቅም፤ በኢትዮጵያ ግዛታዊ አንድነትና ነጻነት፤ በሕዝብ ዲሞክራሳዊ መብትና ሉአላዊይነት፤ በሕዝብ እኩልነት፤ በህግ የበላይነት፤ የተመሰረተ ተሳትፏዊ መነጽር ስናየው ስርአቱ የፈጠረው አደጋ (system) ጎልቶ ይታያል። የነጻነትን ጥቅም ከተጋራን ይህ ስርአት መለወጥ አለበት ማለት ነው። ይህን ከተቀበልን፤ የመለስ መኖር አለመኖር መጥፎው አገዛዝ አይለውጠውም። ለለውጠው የሚችል የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብና ለሕዝቡ የቆሙ ሃይሎች በዘላቂነት ለመታቸው ሲሰበሰቡ ብቻ ነው። ለዚህ የሚሰበስቡን አንኳር የሆኑ መሰረተ ሃሳቦችና እሴቶች አሉ። አስቸጋሪ የሆነው፤ እንዚህን ይዘን፤ ተከባብረን፤ ከጎሳ በላይ አስበን፤ ተቻችለን፤ ተደማምጠን፤ መጠላለፍንና ለስልጣን የመሻማት ጉጉትን ወደ ጎን ትተን፤ አገር ውስጣና ውጭ ካሉ የዲሞክራሳዊ ለውጥ ታጋዮች ጋር ተባብረን፤ ፍትህ ለሚፈልገውና ለሚገባው ለመላው የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ አብረን የመታገል ፈቃደኛነት አለመኖሩ ነው።የወቅቱ አንገብጋቢ ጥሪም ይህ ነው። በእነዚህና መሰል፤ አስተባባሪ ሃሳቦች ከተስማማን፤በጎሳ፤ በብሄር/ብሄረሰብ መደራጀቱ በምንም ሊያዋጣን አይችልም። ህወሓትን/ኢህአዴግን በራሱ እንደመተካት ይሆናል። ስብስቦችን ከሚያከራክሩት አንዱ አቢይ ጉዳይ፤ በብሄር መደራጀት መሆኑን አውቀን ውይይት ማድረግና መፍታት አለብን።

ካለፈው ድክመታችን ተምረን “ለሃገርና ለፍትህ” ስንል እንነሳ፤

ህወሓትን/እህአዴግን መቃወም ብቻ ችግሩን ሊፈታ አይችልም። ከባድ የሆነውና የማንነጋገርበት የራሳቺንን ድክመት ማየት ነው። አርአያ በመሆን ፋንታ ጠብና ጥላቻ ማሰፋፋት፤ መዘላለፍ፤ መከፋፈል፤ ልማዳችን ሆኗል። ችግሮችን በመመካከር፤ በእርጋታ፤ በመረዳዳት ለመፍታት አለመቻላችን ለዚህ ማስረጃ ነው። መንግስት ራሱ ባወጣው ህግ ከመገዛት ፋንታ የራሱን ህገ ጥሶ ህዝብን ማሳደድ፤ ማስር፤ ሰው አገሩን እንዲለቅ ማስገደዱን፤ ቀን በቀን እያየን፤ አሁንም ለአንድ ሃገር/ወገን አለመነሳታችን የታሪክ ተጠያቂ ያደርገናል። ተስፋ የሚሰጥ፤ ህብረ ብሄር አጀማመር ስናይ ለዚህም አቃቂር አናወጣለን። ሌላ አማራጭ እንፈጥራለን ብለን እንዘጋጃለን፤ ማፍረስ ሟያችን ሲሆን ለተተኪው ትውልድ ምን ትተን እንደምናልፍ አናስብም። ህያው ሆነን እንደምንቆይ የምንሳብ ብዙ ነን። አንዱ ከመለስ ማለፍ የምንማረው ለህያወነት ዋስትና እንደሌለን ነው። ይህ ድክመት፤ የስርአቱ ጥፋት፤ በደልና ሰቆቃ ብቻ ሳይሆን የራሳችን ችግሩን በሚገባ አለማየት፤ የራሳችን መበታተንና መዘላለፍ፤ የራሳችን አገር ሳይኖር ለስልጣን መወዳደር ወዘተ ጭምር ናቸው። የኢትዮጵያ ግዛታዊ አንድነት ዘላቂነት የሚኖረው፤ አድሎና የበላይነት ሲወገድ ነው። የማንክደው ግን፤ የኢትዮጵያ አንድነት የሚጠቅመው ለሁሉም ኢትዮጵያዊያን መሆኑን ነው። ከኤርትራ መገንጠል ለመማር እንችላለን። ዘላቅነት፤ ከፍትህ ጋር መያያዝ ያለበት ለዚህ ነው።

ዘላቂነትና ፍትህ ከፈለግን፤ እኩልነት፤ ነጻነት፤ ለህግና ለህዝብ ተገዥ የሆነ የስርአት አማራጭ ለመገንባት ቀን ከሌት መስራት አለብን። በቅርቡ የተጀመረው በጋር የመስራት ሂደት አነዳለ ሆኖ፤ አሁንም ስለዚህ ድክመት በግልጽ፤ በሰፊው ስንወያይ አይታይም። አንድ የውጭ ታዝቢ ነገሩ አስገርሞት እንዲህ አለ። “እንደ ኢትዮጵያ ዲያስፖራ የሚያወራ፤ የሚነታረክ፤ የሚሰበሰብ፤ የሚንጫጫ፤ የለም። ግን ምን ቁም ነገር ለሃገራችሁና ለድሃው ህዝባችሁ ምን ሰራችሁ ብየ ስጠይቅ አጥጋቢ መልስ አላገኘሁም.” ፕሮፌሰር ዶናልድ ለቪን ደጋግመው፤ “ኢትዮጵያዊያን በጋራ ሁነው የሃገራቸውን ችግር የሚፈቱ መቸ ይሆን” የሚሉት ጥያቄ አሁንም አልተመለሰም። ለዚህ አባባል መልስ የመስጠት ሃላፊነት የሁላችንም ነው። የሚረዱንና የምንስማማባቸው አገራዊና ህዝባዊ ጉዳዮች እንዳሉ ከላይ ጠቅሻለሁ፡፡

ለማጠቃለል፤ የእኛ ትውልድ በኢትዮጵያና በመላው ሕዝቧ ስም ብዙ አገራዊ ሙከራወችና በተመሳሳይ ብዙ ስህተቶ ሰርቷል፤ አሁንም ይሰራል። መወያየት፤ መሰብሰብ፤ መደራጀት፤ አስፈላጊ መሆኑ አያጠያይቅም። ግን፤ መሞከር ብቻ በቂ አይደለም። መለስ ዜናዊ የሚደነቁት፤ በላማቸው የጸኑ በመሆናቸው ጭምር ነው። በቢቢሲ በሞታቸው ዙሪያ የተደረገውን ዘገባ ስሰማ ትዝ ያለኝ አላማቸውን እንዴት ለአፍሪካና ለቀረው አለም ህዝብ ለማሳመን አንደቻሉ ነው። በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ በሰሩት ባንስማማም፤ ይህን ለመካድ አንችልም። በሃገር ውስጥ ፍትሃዊ ስር አት ቢያቋቁሙ ኖሮ አመለካከታችን በለወጡት ነበር። አላደረጉም። ስላልሆነም፤ የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ እስካሁን የበላይ እንዲሆን ጠቃሚና አገልጋይ የሆነ የአገዛዝ ስርአት ለመገንባት እንዲችል እሳቸው መሰናክል ሆነው ነበር፤ ተቃዋሚው ክፍልም ያደረገው አስተዋጾ አለ ለማለት አንችልም። በተቃዋሚው በኩል ሲታይ፤ በሕዝቡ ስም፤ ተሰብስበናል፤ ተመካከረናል፤ ሞክረናል፤ ነግደንበታል ለማለት የሚያስችሉ መለኪያወች አንዳሉ ብዙ ኢትዮጵያዊያን ታዛቢወች ጽፈዋል። ለዘላቂ የሃገር ግዛታዊ አንድነት፤ ለመላው ሕዝብ ነጻነት፤ እኩልነት፤ ፍትህ፤ ለዲሞክራሳዊ ስልጣን እውን መሆን በሃገር ውስጥና በውጭ ብዙ ስብስቦች ተካሂደው ‘የውሃ ሽታ’ ሁነዋል። አሁን፤ የመለስ ማረፍ ይህን ጎጅ ባህሪይ ይለውጠው ይሆን? ያለፉትን ስብስቦች እንይ።

ኢህአዴግ ስልጣን ከመያዙ ከአንድ አመት በፊት በቶሮንቶ፤ ካናዳ፤ አምስት የፖለቲካ ድርጅቶች– ኢህአፓ፤ ኢድህ፤ መኢሶን፤ ኢፒዲ ኤና ቲፒዲ ኤም– በወሰዱት እርምጃ፤ ሃያ ሁለት የሚሆኑ የማህረሰብ (Civic) ና፤ የሙያ ድርጅቶች ተሰብሰበው ያወጡት ፕሮግራም መሰረት ሳይዝ ቀረቷል። ይህን ድክመት የተመለከቱ ግለሰቦችና ድርጅቶች፤ እንደገና እ አ አ በግንቦት 1991 (ህወሓት ስልጣን በያዘበት ሰሞን) የኢትዮጵያ ዲሞክራሳዊ ሃይሎች ቅንጅትን መሰረቱ። ኢዲሃቅ፤ በኢትዮጵያ ስምና በመላው ሕዝቧ ፍትህ ፈላጊነት መሰብሰቡ የሚደነቅ ጅምር መሆኑን ያሳያል። ያደከመውና ህልውናውን ያሳጣው፤ የህወሓት ሰላዮች ሰርገው ገብተው ባደረጉት የማከፋፈል ተግባር ነው። ሆኖም፤ የኢዲሃቅ መሪወች ለዚህ ሰለባ ለምን ንቁና ታታሪ አለመሆናቸው ያጠያይቃል። ከህወሓት መሰሪነት ባሻገር ልንማረው የሚገባን ሃቅ፤ የኢዲሃቅ ስብስብስ በጋራ የሚጋራው ራእይ አልነበረውም። የጋራ ራእይ፤ ለምሳሌ፤ የኢትዮጵያ ግዛታዊ አንድነት፤ የመላው ሕዝቧ ስርጭትና እኩልነት፤ የህግ የበላይነት አስኳል መመሪያ ካልሆኑ፤ መሰብሰቡ፤ ዲስኩሩ፤ ዳንኪራው የትም አያደርስም። ለግል የመንፈስ ሰላምና እርጋታ ሊሰጥ ይችላል፤ መሰረታዊ ለውጥ አያመጣም። ኢዲሃቅ ሲመሰረት ስለነበርኩ፤ ለመመስከር ብቁነት አለኝ። የማስታውሰው፤ መተማመን፤ አብሮ መስራት፤ ገንዘብ አዋጥቶ ዘላቂ ተቋም መስርቶ መስራት አሰፈላጊ ነው ማለቴን አስታውሳለሁ። ከሁሉም በላይ ያሳሰብኩት፤ ዋናው ኢላማችን፤ መመሪያችን “ኢትዮጵያ” የምትባል አገርን፤ “ኢትዮጵያዊያን” የሚባሉ ዜጎችን ማእከል ማድረግ ( Put Ethiopia and the Ethiopian people as a whole on the radar screen) የሚለው መርህ አሰፈላጊ መሆኑን ነው። ባለመሆኑ፤ ኢዲሃቅ ወደቀ። የተወጣጣው ሩብ ሚሊዮን የኣሜሪካ ⶌላር ዋጋ አጣ።

ከኢድሃቅ በኋላ ሌሎች ብዙ ጥቃቅንና ታላላቅ ሙከራወች ተደርገዋል። እነዚህን ተከታታይ ስብስቦች ከህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ የሚለያቸው ብሄራዊና ህብረ ሕዝባዊ፤ ለሰላም፤ ለፍትህ፤ ለነጻነት፤ ለእኩልነት፤ ከነጻ ምርጫ ለሚመጣ የሕዝብ ስልጣን መቆማቸው መሆኑ ነው። ፓሪስ አንድና ፓሪስ ሁለት እአ አ 1993 እና 1997 የተካሄዱ ሲሆን፤ በቀደምተኛነት የተሳተፉት ዘጠኝ ድርጅቶች፤ መኢሶን፤ ኢህአፓ፤ ህብረ-ሕዝብ፤ መድህን፤ ህብኮፓ፤ ትትኢ፤ ኦነግ፤ ደቡብ ህዝቦችና አርዱፍ ነበሩ። አንዱ የሚለያቸው፤ በጥላቻ ይሰሩ የነበሩ የህብረ ብሄርና የብሄር ድርጅቶች (እያፓና መኢሶን) የሚጋሯቸው አንኳር ጉዳዮች ላይ ስምምነት መድረሳቸው፤ ከህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ ጋር በአንድ ላይ ለመደራደር መዘጋጀታቸው ነበር። ያላሰቡት ግን፤ አንደኛ በውስጣቸው ዘላቂነት ያለው የጋራ ራእይ አለመኖሩ፤ ሁለተኛ ከድርጅቶቻቸው በላይ ለተስማሙበት አገራዊ አላማ በዘላቂነት አለመቆማቸው፤ ሶስተኛ ስነ መግባርና ካሰቡት የሚያደርሳቸው የስራ እቅድ (Project) አለማውጣታቸው ናቸው። አራተኛ፤ ህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ ለመደራደር ያለው ፈቃደኝነትና ዝግጁነት በሚገባ ያላሰቡበት መሆኑ ነው። ለመደራደር፤ ሁለቱም ወገኖች ከስልጣን መጋራት የሚመጣውን ጥቅምና ጉዳት ማመዛዘን ነበረባቸው። የሚመጡ መሰናክሎችን ተቋቁሞ ስልት እየቀየሱ መጓዝ ነበረባቸው። ለምሳሌ፤ በፓሪስ ሁለት ኦነግ ባልታሰበ ምክንያት አልተሳተፈም። አሁን በአንዳድ ድርጅቶች አመለካከትና አሰራር የምናውየውም ይህን አይነት ተደጋጋሚ የሆነ ከሃገር በላይ ለድርጅት ተገዥነትን ነው። የድርጂት ነጻነት ተብሎ የሚነገርለት አሰተሳሰብ እስከ መቸ እንደሚያዋጣ ያየነው አይመስልም።

ካለፈው የምንማረው፤ ህወሓት/ኢህአዴግ ያለውን ሃይል አመዛዝኖ፤ የተቃዋሚወችን ድክመትና አቅም አውጥቶ አውርዶ አልደራደርም ብሏል። ተቃዋሚው ክፍል አብሮ ለሃገራዊ አማራጭ ካልተነሳ፤ ካልተባበረ፤ አሁንም ያለፈው ችግር ይደገማል። የተቃዋሚው ክፍል በሚገባ ያልተገነዘበው ልዩነቶችን አስወግዶ አቅሙን ካልገነባ፤ ማንም የሚረዳው ሃይል እንደ ሌለ ነበር፤ አሁንም ይህ ሁኔታ አንዳለ ነው። ከድርጅት በላይ ለሃገር፤ ለመላው ሕዝብ ነጻነትና ፍትሀ መቆም የሚያስፈልገው ለዚህ ነው። የድርጅት አምልኮ ካልተወገደ፤ የመለስ ማረፍ ለነጻነት ጎህ አይቀድም።

ከእነዚህ ስብሰቦች ግዙፍ የሆነው በዋሽንግተን ዲሲ፤ እአአ በ 2003 የተካሄደው የኢትዮጵያ ዲሞክራሳዊ ሃይሎች ህብረት (ኢዴሃሕ) የተባለው ከምርጫ ዘጠና ሰባት በፊት የተካሄደው ውይይት ነው። በዚህ ስብሰብ አለም ባንክ በሃላፊነት እየሰራሁ በነበረበት ወቅት፤ በግል ደረጃ ተጋብዠ ሰለተካፈልኩ፤ ሂደቱን አይቸዋለሁ። የማስታውሰው፤ ስብሰባው አገራዊ፤ ጥልቀት የነበረውና በጨዋነት የተካሄደ መሆኑን ነው። ስለሆነ ተስፋየ ከፍ ያለ ነበር። ያለኝን ሁሉ አበርክቻለሁ፤ ሊቀመንበሩ ሁሉን በማግባባት የመሩት ስብስብ ነበር። በዚህ ስብስብ የተካፈሉት፤ መኢአድ፤ ኢህአፓ፤ መኢሶን፤ ህብረ-ሕዝብ፤ ኢዴህ፤ ደቡብ ህዝቦች፤ ኢብሶ፤ ትዴት ናቸው። ትኩረቱ፤ ጥናትና ትንተና ላይ ነበር።

እኔን የሳበኝ፤ የስብሥቡ አገራዊነት፤ በፍትህና ሌሎች ዲምክራሳዊ ሃሳቦች ላይ የአላማ አንድነት የነበረበት መሆኑ፤ በብሄር የተደራጁና በህብረ ብሄር የተደራጁ ድርጅቶች የመተማመን ባህልን ለማጠናከር ሊያደርጉ የወሰኑት ሂደት፤በመወያየት፤ አብሮ በመስራት ችግሮችን ለመፍታት የሚያግደን ነገር የለም የሚል ስሜታቸው ነበር። ሆኖም፤ ሌሎች ግዙፍ ድርጅቶች፤ ለምሳሌ፤ ኦነግ፤ ባለመገኘታቸው ችግሮቹ የማይፈቱ መሆናቸውን የሚያሳይ ሁኔታ እንደነበር ለመረዳት ችያለሁ። በስብስቡ ካየኋቸው ነገሮች አንዱ፤ በስራ አለም ላይ የተሳተፈ፤ በተለይ በውጭ አገር የሰራ ግለሰብ እንደሚያውቀው፤ እኔም በአለም ባንክ የተማርኩት፤ ላወቀበት የአስተሳሰብ ልዩነቶች በመደማመጥና በውይይት እንደሚፈቱ ነው። ሃሳቡን ከግለሰቡ መለየት የሚያስፈልገው ለዚህ ነው።

የኢትዮጵያን ሕዝብ ለዘላቂ ሰላም፤ አብሮ ለመኖር፤ ለሃገር ግዛታዊ አንድነት፤ ለመላው ሕዝብ ከቀጥታ የመምረጥ ድምጽና መብት የሚገኝ ፍትሃዊና ወካይ የመንግስት ስነስርአት (Representative government) ሊያደርሰው የነበረው የምርጫ 97 (2005) የቅንጅት መንፈስ በታሪካችን ከፍተኛውን ቦታ ይዞ ይገኛል። ይህን ምርጫ የሚለየው፤ መላው የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ህወሓትን/ኢህአዴግን “አንፈልግም፤ ድምጻችን ይከበር፤ ለእኛ ተወካይ የሆነ መንግስት ይቋቋም” ማለቱ ነበር። አደጋውን ያየው የመለስ ዜናዊ መንግስት አጠፋው፤ የሕዝቡን ፍላጎት አኮላሸው። ለዚህ በሰላም የተመሰረተ የሕዝብ አመጽ መሰረት እንዲይዝ ያስፈልግ የነበረው የቅንጅት ድርጅታዊ ጥንክርናና የአመራር አዋቂነትና ጠንካራነት ነበር። ድርጅቱና አመራሩ በውስጥ የተከሰተውን ልዩነት ወደ ጎን ትቶ በስልት፤ በጥበብ፤ በዘዴ ቢሰራ ኖሮ የተሻለ ውጤት ባስገኘ ነበር። ልክ እንደ እምቧይ ካብ የተናደው አመራር ለመላው የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ተስፋ የሚያስቆርጥ አሰራርና ባህሪ አሳይቶ ተበታተነ። ይህን ድክመት፤ ሕዝቡ እስካሁን አልረሳውም፤ በመሪወች ላይ ያለው እምነት እንደገና መታደስ አለበት ማለት ነው።
ዘላቂነት ያለው አገራዊ የፖለቲክካ ድርጅትና የማይበገር አመራር የሚያስፈልግ መሆኑን የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ከቅንጅት ልምድ አስተምሮናል። ለዚህ ሌላ አማራጭ የለም። ተቃዋሚ ሃይሎች ይህን ያለፈ ድክመት አጢነው፤ ለወደፊቱ በሰብሳቢ አገራዊ ራእይ፤ ለፍትሃዊ ስርአት እውን መሆን፤ ሳይበገሩ በአንድ ድምጽ፤ በአንድ ስልት መነሳት አለባቸው። በተናጥል እንደራደር ቢሉ፤ የሚያቆዩት የህወሓት/ኢህ አዴግን ጸረ ፍትህ መንግስት ብቻ ነው። ይህን እውነት የመለስ ማለፍ አይለውጠውም።

የጋራ ራእይ ወሳኝነት፤

የምንጋራው ራእይ ከሌለ የትም አንደርስም። በአንድ ኢትዮጵያ ማመን ራእይ ነው። በሁሉም ዜጎች የእድል እኩልነት ማመን ራእይ ነው። በሰላም፤ በነጻነት፤ በሕዝብ ድምጽ፤ በሕዝብ የበላይነት፤ በህግ የበላይነት ወዘተ ማመን ራእይ ነው። ራእይ እውን የሚሆነው፤ በመተማመን፤ በመደማመጥ፤ በመቻቻል፤ ለሃገር ግዛታዊ አንድነት፤ ለመላው ሕዝብ ፍትህ በማሰብ ውይይት ተደርጎ በአንኳር አገራዊ ጉዳዮች ላይ ስምምነት ላይ ሲደረስ፤ እያንዳንዱ ተሳታፊ ስምምነቱን ወደ ኋላ ሳይል ከስራ ላይ ሲያውል ብቻ ነው።ለዚህ፤ ስነ መግባር ያሰፈልጋል (Code of Conduct)። ከላይ የተጠቀሱት ስብስቦች፤ የሚጋሩት ራእይ፤ የሚዳኙበት ስነ መግባር አልነበራቸውም።

ሁሉም እንደፈለጉ ወደ ድርጅቶቻቸው (Silo) ሂደው መስራት ጀመሩ፤ ስብስቦችና ሂደቶች አልተጣጣሙም።

የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ የሚመኘውን ከሕዝብ ብቻ የሚመጣ፤ ለሕዝብ ብቻ አገልጋይ የሆነ ስርአት ለመገንባት ነው። እድሉ አሁንም ክፍት ነው። እድል ክፍት መሆኑ ብቻ ጥቅም አያመጣም። ወሳኙ አገራዊ የፖለቲካ ድርጅት፤ ለዚህ ብቁነት ያለው የማይበገር አመራር መገንባት ነው። በውጭ ያለን ተቃዋሚ ሃይሎች መጀመሪያ በመካከላችን ያሉ ጥቃቅን ልዩነቶችን ወደ ጎን ለመተው ከቻልን፤ አቅማችን በጋራ፤ ለጋራ አላማ ከገነባን፤ አገር ቤት ለሚንቀሳቀሱ አገራዊ ለሆኑ ለዋጭ ሃይሎች አስተዋጾወች ለማድረግ እንችላለን። የውጭ አምባሳደሮች ሆነን የአለምን አስተሳሰብ ለመለወጥ እንችላለን። ተቃዋሚ ሃይሎች በጋራ ለድርድር እንዲበቁ የአቅም ግንባታ ስራ ለመስራት እንችላለን። የመጀመሪያው እርምጃ፤ በቅርቡ የተመሰረተውን የተቃዋሚ ሃይሎች ስብስብ በያለንበት መደገፍ፤ ሌሎች ድርጅቶች እንዲተባበሩ፤ አብረው ገብተው እንዲሰሩ መጎትጎት፤ የድጋፍ ቅርንጫፎች በየቦታው እንዲቋቋሙና አብረው እንዲሰሩ መቀስቀስና ተግቶ መስራት ነው።

የመለስ ዜናዊ ከዚህ አለም መለየት ለመላው ኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ እድል ሊከፍት ይችላል። ይህን ሊያመለጥ የሚችል እድል የመጠቀም ጥበብ ግን ከተቃዋሚው ሃይል መምጣት አለበት። አዲስ ምእራፍ ለመክፈት ከተዘጋጀን ማንንም የማይለይ፤ ሁሉን የሚሰበስብ አማራጭ ማቅረብ አለብን። አለበለዚያ የችግራችን መነሻ መለስ ዜናዊ ነበሩ ብለን ማውራቱ ምንም አያዋጣነም።

ይቀጥላል
August 21, 2012

Hailemariam Desalegn moves to consolidate power

Saturday, August 25th, 2012

Boosted by a call from U.S. President Barack Obama on Thursday, the acting prime minister of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, is taking steps to assert his authority, according to Ethiopian Review sources in Addis Ababa.

The ruling TPLF junta is intending to make Hailemariam a figurehead prime minister. The real power still rests solidly in the hands of Seyoum Mesfin and the TPLF Politburo. However, Hailemariam is encouraged by the U.S and European governments, as well as his own supporters, to start exercising real authority even before the rubber-stamp parliament formally appoints him as prime minister.

Hailemariam’s real challenge to his authority as prime minister comes from none other than the wife of the late dictator Meles Zenawi.

According to Ethiopian Review sources, Azeb Mesfin is organizing discontented TPLF member against the acting prime minister, paving the way for herself to assume that position. It is Azeb who pushed the date when Hailemariam to be formally appointed as prime minister until after the burial of Meles Zenawi on September 2.

Concerned by growing opposition within the TPLF rank, Hailemariam has beefed up security around him, and the U.S. Gov’t has promised to provide him additional security. It is reported on Friday that U.S. security specialists on contract from the Africom have started to provide Hailemariam with intelligence and advise on how to protect against possible coup d’etat.

Hailemariam is also secretly reaching out to Ethiopian opposition groups. His communication with at least two opposition leaders was leaked to the VOA on Friday by a faction in the TPLF that opposes Hailemariam.

Remembering Meles Zenawi – in the words of former TPLF member (video)

Friday, August 24th, 2012

A former member of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) talks about his experience with the late dictator Meles Zenawi, Azeb Mesfin, Samora Yenus and others current senior TPLF junta leaders.

Part I

Part II

Barack Obama hold talks with Hailemariam Desalegn

Friday, August 24th, 2012

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Obama Administration continues to push the TPLF junta to accept Hailemariam Desalegn as the new “prime minister.” President Obama’s call to Hailemariam yesterday was part of the U.S. effort to strengthen Hailemariam’s position. However, the mid- and lower-ranking TPLF members are revolting against the decision to make Hailemariam the new prime minister, fearing that power could slip away from them.

U.S. President hold talks with Ethiopia’s new leader

ADDIS ABABA (AFP) — Ethiopia’s new leader Hailemariam Desalegn, expected to assume power following the death of the country’s longtime prime minister dictator, readied for the post Friday after holding talks with US President Barack Obama.

But Hailemariam, 47, a relatively little known politician overshadowed by his mentor Meles Zenawi, who died on Monday, faces tough challenges both internally and across the wider volatile Horn of Africa region.

Obama, who telephoned Hailemariam late Thursday, urged him to “use his leadership to enhance the Ethiopian government’s support for development, democracy, human rights and regional security,” the White House said.

Hailemariam has also met with South Sudan’s foreign minister and his Kenyan counterpart, who were in Addis Ababa on Thursday to pay their respects to Meles, who died aged 57 after a long illness.

Official mourning continues for Meles, with crowds gathering for a third day in the grounds of the National Palace, where photos of the late leader are on display.

Scores of police and army officers alongside ordinary citizens, many weeping loudly, have gathered to pay their respects ever since his body was flown home following his death in a Brussels hospital.

But the political process continues behind doors. Government spokesman Bereket Simon has said Hailemariam is expected to be formally sworn in in a emergency parliament session at “any time.”

In a rare peaceful handover of power in Ethiopian history, former water engineer Hailemariam took over as interim leader on the death of Meles, who had ruled with an iron-fist since toppling dictator Mengistu Haile Mariam in 1991.

A close ally of Meles as deputy prime minister and foreign minister since 2010, Hailemariam was elected deputy chair of the ruling coalition Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) after the party’s fourth win, a landslide victory in 2010.

In a country long dominated by the major ethnic groups — most recently the Tigray people, like Meles — Hailemariam notably comes from the minority Wolayta people, from the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Region.

He served as president for the region — the most populous of Ethiopia’s nine ethnic regions — for five years.

But within the coalition, some of the most influential figures hail from the northern Tigray region, members of Meles’s ex-rebel turned political party, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

Seen as a figurehead

Analysts have suggested that several others are still jostling for power behind doors in the often secretive leadership, even if in the open they may not take part in the running for the top job.

“Many see him as a figurehead, part of a gesture by Meles and the ethnic Tigrayans to give more prominence to other ethnic groups,” said Jason Mosley of Britain’s Chatham House think-tank.

He is also a Protestant, unlike the majority of Ethiopia’s Christians, who follow Orthodox traditions.

But others less critical warn that while outside the Tigray power base, that could in fact be a strength.

“His ethnicity is considered an advantage, because it is a minority in a multi-ethnic region and, most importantly, not from the numerically dominant Oromo or Amhara,” the International Crisis Group said in a recent report.

Critics also point to his relatively young age, lack of experience and the fact he was not part of the rebel movement which toppled Mengistu, unlike many in the ruling elite.

Instead, Hailemariam, who studied civil engineering in Addis Ababa, was completing his masters degree at Finland’s Tampere University when Mengistu fell.

Hailemariam, while a protege of Meles, is therefore seen as an outsider by some.

“He is a political novice, he has not been part of the old guard, he has not been in the bushes fighting with the rebels,” Berhanu Nega, an exiled opposition leader and former mayor of Addis Ababa, told the BBC.

“He is a Medvedev for a group of Putins in the ruling party with their own internal squabbles,” he added, drawing parallels with Russian political dynamics.

The government however has insisted Hailemariam will remain in the post until elections due in 2015, although he must first be formally chosen as head of the ruling EPRDF party, likely later this year.

“The secession issue has been settled for good,” said spokesman Bereket.

Power struggle among TPLF elite a big threat to stability – Economist

Friday, August 24th, 2012

The Economist

THE death of Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia’s prime minister dictator, on August 20th reveals much about the country he created. Details of his ill health remained a secret until the end. A short broadcast on state television, late by a day, informed Ethiopians that their “visionary leader” of the past 21 years was gone. He died of an unspecified “sudden infection” somewhere abroad. No further information was given. In the two months since the prime minister’s last public appearance the only local Ethiopian newspaper that reported his illness was pulped, its office closed, and its editor arrested. Further details of Mr Meles’s death surfaced only when an EU official confirmed that he died in a Brussels hospital.

A towering figure on Africa’s political scene, he leaves much uncertainty in his wake. Ethiopia, where power has changed hands only three times since the second world war, always by force, now faces a tricky transition period. Mr Meles’s chosen successor is a placeholder at best. Most Ethiopians, whatever they thought of their prime minister the dictator, assumed he would be around to manage the succession. Instead he disappeared as unexpectedly as he had arrived. He was a young medical student in the 1970s when he joined the fight against the Derg, the Marxist junta that then ruled Ethiopia. He went into the bush as Legesse Zenawi and emerged as “Meles”—a nom de guerre he had taken in tribute to a murdered comrade.

Who exactly was he? As leader of the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front, an ethnic militia from the country’s north, he presented himself to his countrymen as a severe, ruthless revolutionary; yet Westerners who spoke to him in his mountain hideouts found a clever, understated man who laid out, in precise English, plans to reform a feudal state. In 1991, after the fall of the last Derg leader, Mengistu Haile Mariam, the 36-year-old Mr Meles (pictured above) took power, becoming Africa’s youngest leader. He had moral authority as a survivor of various famines. Western governments and publics, who became aware of Ethiopian hunger through the Band Aid and Live Aid charity concerts, gave freely. Mr Meles was often able to dictate terms under which donors could operate in Ethiopia and turned his country into Africa’s biggest aid recipient.

Where others wasted development aid, Ethiopia put it to work. Over the past decade GDP has grown by 10.6% a year, according to the World Bank, double the average in the rest of sub-Saharan Africa [false]. The share of Ethiopians living in extreme poverty—those on less than 60 cents a day—has fallen from 45% when Mr Meles took power to just under 30%. Lacking large-scale natural resources, the government has boosted manufacturing and agriculture. Exports have risen sharply. A string of hydroelectric dams now under construction is expected to give the economy a further boost in the coming years.

The flipside of the Meles record is authoritarianism. Before his departure he ensured that meaningful opposition was “already dead”, says Zerihun Tesfaye, a human-rights activist. The ruling party controls all but one of the seats in parliament, after claiming 99.6% of the vote in the 2010 elections. It abandoned a brief flirtation with more open politics after a vote five years previously, when the opposition did better than expected. The regime subsequently rewired the state from the village up, dismantling independent organisations from teachers’ unions to human-rights groups and binding foreign-financed programmes with tight new rules. Opposition parties were banned and their leaders jailed or driven into exile; the press was muzzled.

Internationally, Mr Meles made friends with America, allowing it to base unarmed armed drones at a remote airfield. He also liked to act as a regional policeman. His troops repeatedly entered neighboring Somalia (they are slowly handing over conquered territory to an African Union peacekeeping force). Hostilities have at times flared along the border with Eritrea. Mr Meles cowed his smaller neighbour and persuaded the world to see it as a rogue state. This in turn helped him restrain nationalists at home. In his absence, hardliners on both sides may reach for arms once again.

The nature of power in Mr Meles’s Ethiopia has remained surprisingly opaque. On the surface, the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front is a broad grouping encompassing all of the country’s ethnic factions. Like the liberal constitution, it is largely a sham. Real power rests with an inner circle of Mr Meles’s comrades. They all come from his home area, Tigray, which accounts for only 7% of Ethiopia’s 82m people. His acting successor is an exception. HaileMariam Desalegn, the foreign minister, is from the south. His prominence raises hopes that the long dominance of the Habesha, the Christian highlanders of the Amhara and Tigray regions, may be diluted. But few think he has enough standing to exert real control.

Power will be wielded by Tigrayans such as Getachew Assefa, the head of the intelligence service; Abay Tsehaye, the director-general of the Ethiopian sugar corporation; and Mr Meles’s widow, Azeb Mesfin. An MP, she heads a sprawling conglomerate known as EFFORT, which began as a reconstruction fund for Tigray but now has a host of investments. It is unclear whether any of the Tigrayans will seek the leadership of the ruling party or be content to wield control from the sidelines. A struggle among this elite would be a big threat to stability.

Confrontation with the late Tagay Gebremedhin’s loyalists in London

Friday, August 24th, 2012

Supporters of the late Tagay Gebremedhin (formerly Abune Paulos) are trying to use the London St.Mary Church to conduct memorial service for the fake patriarch this coming Sunday. This is causing an uproar among followers of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in London and they are preparing the administrator of St Mary Church, Aba Girma… [read more]

Meles Zenawi died of liver cancer – CPJ

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

* Meles died Monday of liver cancer
* In Ethiopia, Feteh editor jailed during trial

Ethiopian authorities must immediately release Temesghen Desalegn, editor of the leading weekly Feteh, who was ordered jailed today pending his trial on defamation, the Committee to Protect Journalists said today.

The High Court judge deemed Temesghen a flight risk during his trial, which resumes on September 3, according to local journalists. Police summoned the journalist for questioning on August 1 and told him they were charging him over his articles published in seven editions of the weekly Feteh that were critical of the administration of the late Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, local journalists said. Mastewal Publishing and Advertising PLC, the company that publishes Feteh, has also been charged, the same sources said.

Temesghen is being held at Kality Prison in Addis Ababa, the capital, local journalists said. Feteh has not been published since July 20, when the Ministry of Justice blocked the sale and distribution of 30,000 copies to suppress the paper’s coverage concerning the health of Meles, the sources said. Meles died Monday of liver cancer, according to international news reports… [read more]

የሰሜን ኮርያው ሞዴል?

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

ከብስራት ኢብሳ

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በተፈጥሮዬ ለሁለት ነገር አልታደልኩም ፡፡ የመጀመርያው ፣ በንግግር ሃሳቤን መግለጽና ፣ ሁለተኛው ድምጽ እያሰሙ የእውነትም ሆነ የውሸት ማልቀስ አልችልም ፡፡ ጨካኝ ሰው ነኝ ብዬ እንዳልደመድም ፣ አንዳንዴ አሳዛኝ መጽሃፍም ሆነ ፊልም ሳይ እንባዬ ይቀራል ፡፡ አንዳንዴም ሕዝብ የአንባ ገነን ገዢዎቻቸውን ታግለው አሸንፈው፣ በደስታ ሲፈነጥዙ ሳይ ፣ እኔም ስለሃገሬ መንፈሳዊ ቅናት ያድርብኝና ፣ ድንገት ስሜታዊ ሆኜ ፣ ሲቃ ይዞኝ ፣እንባዬ ዱብ ዱብ የሚልበት ወቅት ስላለ ጨካኝ ነኝ ለማለት ይቸግረኛል፡፡ ሟች የቅርብ ዘመዴም ቢሆን፣ የሆነ የሚያስተሳስረን፣ ወይ አብረን ያሳለፍነው የማስታውሰው ነገር ከሌለ ፣ ስሜቴ ላይ ለውጥ አያመጣም፡፡ እንደ ፊልሙና ፣ መጽሃፉ ከሆነ ስሜት ጋር ሲያያዝ ብቻ እንጂ ፣ በተለይ ጮክ ብዬ ላልቅስ ብዬ እራሴን ባስገደድኩኝ ቁጥር ፣ የኮረኮሩት ያህል ነው ሳቄን የሚያመጣው ፡፡

በጎልማሳ ዘመኔ አንድ የቅርብ ዘመዴ ከዚህ ዓለም በሞት ተለይተው ለቅሶዋቸውን ሳልሰማ ስለሰነበትኩኝ እናቴ ለሰልስቱ አብሬያት እንድሄድ ትጠይቀኛለች ፡፡ እኔም ጮሆ ማልቀስ ስለማልችል ይቅርብኝ እላታላሁ ፡፡ እናቴም ነገሩን ቀለል አድርጋ ፣ “ ችግር የለውም ፣ ግቢው ውስጥ ስንገባ ፣ እኔ እጀምርልሃለሁኝ ፣ ከዛ አብረን እናለቅሳለን “ ትለኛለች፡፡ ችግሬን ለማሳመን ብዙ ከሞከርኩኝ ቦኋላ ስላልተሳካልኝ ፣ “መሄዱን እሺ ግን አላለቅስም “ አልኳት ፡፡ እናቴ ልታስለቅሰኝ ቆርጣ ስለተነሳች ፣ “ልጄ ዘመድህ ሞቶ ፣ ያውም በጉራጌ ባህል ፣ ኡ ኡ ኡ ብለህ ካልገባህ ፣ የመርካቶ ዘመዶቻችን ቀርቶ ሳር ቅጠሉ ይታዘበናል .“ .ብላ ስላስቸገረችኝ፣ “እንሂድ የሚሆነውን እናያለን“ ፣ ብያት ታክሲ
ተሳፈርን ፡፡

እንደፈራሁኝ ከታክሲ ወርደን ወደ ድንኳኑ ስንገባ ፣ እናቴ በል በርታ ብላ ለቅሶዋን ጀመረችልኝ ፡፡ እናቴን ማሳፈር አልፈለኩም ፣ ማልቀሱም አልሆነልኝም፣ በመጨረሻ በዚህ ጭንቀት መሃል ፣ ያበጠ ይፈንዳ ብዬ ፣ ጮኬ ማልቀስ ስጀምር ፣ ፍራሽ ላይ ተሰብስበው የተቀመጡት ፣ የሟች ልጆችና ፣ ሌሎች የዘመድ ልጆች መሳቅ ይጀምራሉ ፡፡ ምክንያቱም ጮኬ ማልቀስ ስጀምር ፣ ድምጼ በሚያስገርም ሁኔታ ፣ አንዴ እንደ በሬ ፣ ሌላ ጊዜ እንደ ድመት …. የማይሆን አይነት ያልተለመደ ድምጽ ይወጣኝ ስለነበር ፣ የመርካቶ አራዶች ዘመዶቼ ፣ ቲያትር መሆኑ ገብቷቸው ኖርዋል ፣ አንደኛዋ ሴት ልጃቸው ፣ ስሜን ጠርታ ፣ “ ና እባክህ እኛ ዘንድ ተቀምጠህ ተጫወት ፣ ይቺ አባዬ ናት
አልቅስ ብላ የምታስቸግርህ“ ብላ ጠራችኝ ፡፡

እኔም እንዳልተሳካልኝ ስለገባኝ ፣ ጩኅቴን አቁሜ “ ተይ ይቅርብኝ ብያት ነበር አልሰማ አለችኝ “ ስላቸው እናቴ ሰምታ ፣ “ይሄ ሞኝ ፣ ደግሞ አፍ አለኝ ብሎ ይናገራል ብላ ፣“ ለቅሶዋን ትታ ፣ ቀና ብላ አይታኝ ፣ ገረምኳት መሰለኝ እሷም ሳቅዋን ጀምራ ፣ ድንኳን ውስጥ ጉዳዩን በቅርብ የሚከታተሉት በሙሉ ፣ ሳቅ በሳቅ ሆኑ ፡፡ በታክሲ ወደቤታችን ስንመለስ ፣ ወቀሳዋን ከመጀመሯ በፊት ፣ ቀደም ብዬ እራሴን ለመከላከል “ ሰውን ማጽናናት ማለት እውነቱን ተናግሮ ማሳቅ እንጂ ፣ የውሸት አልቅሶ የእውነት ማሳዘን አይደለም“ ብያት ፣ ከዚህ ጊዜ ቦኋላ ፣ እንኳን አልቅስ ብላ ልታስቸግረኝ ፣ የተገላቢጦሽ ፣ “ እሱ ይጨነቃል ለቅሶ አትንገሩት“ እያለች ትከላከልልኝ ነበር ፡፡

በዚህ ድክመቴ የተነሳ ፣ ምናልባት የሚያለቅሱ ሰዎችን ልምድ ብጠይቅ ፣ የተሻለ ያለቃቀስ ዘዴ እማር ይሆናል በሚል ፣ ማልቀስ የሚችሉ ሰዎችን ፣ እንዴት ማልቀስ እንደሚሆንላቸው መጠየቅና ፣ መረዳት አለብኝ ብዬ ወሰንኩኝ፡፡ መጀመርያ የጠየኩት ፣ የቅርብ ጓደኝዬን ነበር ፡፡ አንዴ የቤተሰቦቼን ደህንነት ለመስማት ወደ ሃገር ቤት ስልክ ደውዬ ፣ አንድ የማላውቀው ዘመዴ ሞቶ በሙሉ ለቅሶ ሄደዋል ብለው ቤት ጠባቂዎች ነግረውኝ ፣ ሳላገኛቸው ቀረሁ ብዬ ለስደት ጓደኛዬ ደውዬ እነግረዋለሁኝ፡፡

ጓደኛዬም ግማሽ ሰዓት ባልሞላ ጊዜ ውስጥ ቤቴ ለቅሶ ሊደርስ መጥቶ ፣ እንባውን እንደጎርፍ ያፈሰው ጀመር፣ ተደናግጬ እኔው አጽናኚ ሆንኩኝ ፡፡ ለቅሶ የተቀመጥኩኝ መስሎት ወደየሰው ስልክ እንዳይደውል ስለሰጋሁኝ ፣ በስልክ ስነግረው ፣ እግረ መንገዴን አነሳሁት እንጂ አዝኜ ወይም ለቅሶ ለመቀመጥ ፈልጌ እንዳልሆነ አስረግጬ ላስረዳው ሞከርኩኝ ፡፡ ማልቀሱ ትንሽ ይቀንስ እንጂ አልፎ አልፎ መንሰቅሰቁን አላቆመም ፡፡ እኔም ባኮ ሙሉ የወረቀት መሃረብ ፊቱ ከምሬ ፣ አንዱ ሲረጥብ ሌላውን አቀብለው ጀመር፡፡

ታዲያ እንደምንም አረጋግቼው ፣ እህል ወሃ ከቀማመስን ቦኋላ ፣ በጨዋታ መሃል በማልቀስ እንዴት የታደለ እንደሆነና ፣ እኔንም እንዲያስተምረኝ እጠይቀዋለሁኝ፡፡ እሱም ቀለል አድርጎ ፣ “ እኔ እኮ ለቅሶ ስሄድ የማለቅሰው ፣ የራሴን የሞቱብኝን ሰዎች እያስታወስኩኝ እንጂ ፣ አብደሃል እንዴ ፣ አንተ እራስህ ለማታውቃቸው ዘመድህ እኔ የማለቅሰው “ ብሎ እውነቱ ነገረኝ ፡፡ አንዳንዴ በደብዳቤ ለሚያረዱት ዘመዶቹ ፣ በደንብ የሚያለቅሰው በዚህ አጋጣሚ መሆኑን አልደበቀኝም ፡፡

መልሱ በጣም ስለገረመኝ ፣ "ታዲያ ዛሬ ለየትኛው ዘመድህ ነው ዛሬ ያለቀስከው ? እውነቱን ንገረኝ“ አልኩት ፡፡ ቆፍጠን ብሎ ፣ “ዛሬ ያለቀስኩት ለኔና ላንተ ነው " ብሎኝ አረፈ ፡፡ ጆሮዬን ስላላመንኩት ፣ “ ሙተናል እንዴ ?“ ብዬ ስጠይቀው ፣ እጁን በእጁ እያሻሸ ፣ እንደመሳቅም ፣ እንደ መሽኮርመምም አድርጎት ፣ ከኪሱ ከአንድ ቀን በፊት ፣ ከዘመዶቹ ፣ እናቱ በጠና ስለታመሙ ፣“ ብር ባስቸኳይ ለህክምና ላክ ፣ ይህንን ሳታደርግ እናትህ ብትሞና ብታለቅስ ዋጋ የለውም“ ብለው የጻፉለት ደብዳቤ ነበር፡፡ “ታዲያ እኔ እናትህ ነኝ ወይ ?“ ብዬ ጠይቄው ፣ “ጠዋት በስልክ ስለ ዘመድህ ስትነግረኝ ፣ የኔንም ደብዳቤ አንብበህ እንደምትቸገርልኝ ስለማውቅ ፣ በሃዘንህ ላይ ሌላ ችግር ስፈጥርብህ አሳዝነኅኝ ነው ያለቀስኩት ፡፡ ለራሴ ደግሞ የማለቅሰው ፣ እናቴ ዘጠኝ ወር በሆድዋ ተሸክማ ፣ አብልታ ፤ አጠጥታኝ፣ ለፍታ አሳድጋ ለወግ ማዕረግ አድርሳኝ ፣ በዚህ አስችጋሪ በመጨረሻ ጊዜዋ ፣ እናቴን ልረዳ የማልችል ምስኪን ፍጡር በመሆኔ ፣ ሳዝን ሁሌ አለቅሳለሁ ፡፡“ ብሎኝ ፣ እንደገና የውሸት አልቅሶ ፣ እግረ መንገዱን ፣ ከለቅሶው ጀርባ የሚፈልገውን መልዕክት አስተላልፎ ፣ የውነት አሳዝኖኝ ሊያስለቅሰኝ ነበር ፡፡

በሃገራችንም ይሁን በዓለም ፣ ለቅሶ በተለያየ ባህላዊ መልክ ይገለጻል፡፡ ሰው ሲያለቅስ ሁልጊዜ ለሃዘን ብቻ አይደለም፡፡ ሳቅ ሲበዛ ያስለቅሳል፡፡ ደስታ ያስለቅሳል፡፡ ፍርሃት ያስለቅሳል፡፡ ሕጻናት አንዳንዴ ሲዋሹ ያለቅሳሉ፡፡ እርካታ ያስለቅሳል፡፡ ህመም ያስለቅሳል፡፡ ማቸነፍ ፣ መቸነፍ ሁሉ ያስለቅሳል፡፡ እንዲህ እያልን ብዙ አስለቃሽ ነገሮች ማሰብ እንችላለን፡፡

በሃገራችን ለቅሶ ይከበራል፡፡ ለቀስተኛ ፣ እሬሳ ይዘው ወደ ቀብር ሲሄዱ ፣ የሞተውን ባናቀውም ፣ ወሬያችንን አቁመን ፣ እጃችንን ለክብሩ ወደ ኋላ አድርገን እንደ እምነታችን እናማትባለን ፡፡ ዝቅ ብለን እጅ እንነሳለን፡፡ የሞተው ጠላት እንኳን ቢሆን ፣ ንፍሮውንና ቡናውን አንቀምስም እንጂ ፣ ለቅሶ ይደረሳል፡፡

ወደ መጨረሻው ቤቱ ስለሄደ ጠላትም ቢሆን ፣“ነብስ ይማር“ ተብሎ አፈር ጉድጓድ ውስጥ ይበተናል ፣ ሌላም ሌላም ብዙ የምንኮራባቸው የራሳችን ባህሎች አሉን ፡፡ በሃገራችን ብዙ ሰዎች በተፈጥሮዋቸው ሩህሩህ ከመሆናቸው በላይ ፣ ለማንም ለማያቁት ሰው ለቅሶ መድረስ የተለመደ ነው ፡፡ ሲሞት ያለቅሳሉ ፡፡ ሟቹን ሳያውቁት ደርት እየመቱ ያዙኝ ልቀቁኝ ብለው ሲወድቁ ፣ እራሳቸውን ሲጎዱ ቆይተው ፣ የሟችን ስም የሚጠይቁ ፣ ወንድ ይሁን ሴት ? በአደጋ ይሁን በተፈጥሮ እንዴት እንደሞተ ለማጣራት የሚሞክሩ ብዙ ሰዎች እንዳሉ ይታወቃል ፡፡ ሞት ሁሉም ቤት በተራ ስለሚደርስ ፣ የቋሚውን ሃዘን ነው የምንካፈለው ፡፡

በሃገራችን ሰው ሲሞት ብዙ አይነት ያለቃቀስ አይነቶች አሉ ፡፡ ከጉራጌ “ዓለም ገፈረም በዋሻ“ (ዓለምን ትቶ ዋሻ ውስጥ መኖር መረጠ)፣ የዳንስ አይነት ውዝዋዜ ፣ እስከ የዶርዜ የዝላይ የመገለባበጥ ትዕይንት፣ ጸጉር ከመንጨት ፣እስከ ሰውነትን ማድማት የመሳሰሉት ሁሉ አይነት፣ ሃዘንን የመግለጫ መንገዶች አሉ፡፡ ለእንደኔ አይነት ማልቀስ ለማይችል፣ ልበ ደረቅም አማራጭ ፈጥረውለት አስለቃሽ፣ አስረጋጅ ፣ አስተዛዛኝ፣ ማማረጥ ይቻላል እንደውም እዚህ የሰለጠነ ዓለም፣ ለብዙ ዓመታት ማልቀስ ወይም መሳቅ ለተቸገሩ ሰዎች የሚሰጥ ኮርስ (ቴራፒ) እንዳለ ሰምቻለሁኝ ፡፡ እነዚህ የሃገራችንን አስለቃሾችን ጠጋ ብላችሁ አይናቸውን ብታዩት ፣ ግጥም እየደረደሩ ያን ሁሉ ሕዝብ በእንባ ሲያራጩት ከዓይናቸው አንዲት ጠብታ እንባ አትወጣም ፡፡ ለእነሱ እንደ ሙያ እንጂ ፣ ስሜት የሚለውን ነገር ከውስጣቸው አውጥተውታል ፡፡ ስለዚህ የውሸት እያለቀሱ የውነት የሚያስለቅሱት እንጀራቸው ስለሆነ ነው ፣ ያን ካላደረጉ ነገ የሚቀምሱት የላቸውም፡፡

ዛሬ ለቅሶ እንደ ድሮ ፣ በፈረስ ፣ በባቡር ፣ በግር እየተሄደ የሚደረሰው ያው ሃገራችን እንጂ ፣ በተለይ ቴክኒዎሎጂው በሰለጠነበት ዘመን ብዙ መጓዝ እየቀረ ነው ፡፡ በስልክ መላቀስ ፣ በሞባይልና በትዊተር መርዶ ማርዳት ፣ በእስካይፒ እና በፓልቶክ ለቅሶ መድረስ ….እይተለመደ ነው ፡፡ ለቅሶ ፣ተዝካር ፣ የሃውልት ምራቃት …ወዘተ አንድ ሰው ካልተመቸው ፣ ወይም ያለበት ቦታ እንዲያዝን ፣ እንደ ሰርግ ፣ በፊዲዮ ተቀርጾ ይላካል፡፡የሕዝቡ ብዛት ፣ የምግቡ አይነት ፣ የታረደው የሰንጋ ብዛት ፣ ይስጋው ጮማነት ..ሁሉ እየተደነቀ ወደ ድግስነት እየተጠጋ ነው፡፡

ለቅሶ በምዕራቡ ዓለምና በምስራቁ ዓለም የሚጫወተው ራሱን የቻለ ፖለቲካዊ ገጽታ አለው ፡፡ በተለይ የኮሚኒስቱ ሃገር መሪዎች ፣ ምዕራቡ በአንባ ገነንነት የሚከሷቸውን ስሞታ መሰረት ለማሳጣት ፣ ለመሪዎቻቸው ቀብር በሚወጣው ሕዝብ ብዛት ፣ ለሕዝባቸው ተወዳጅ እንደነበሩ ለማሳየት ፣ ለቀብር የሚያሰልፉት ትዕይንተ ሕዝብ ፣ ብቻ ሳይሆን ፣ ትዕይንተ ለቅሶ ፣ ከማስገረም አልፎ ያስፈራል ፡፡

በሚሊዮን የሚቆጠር ሕዝብ ፣ እንደ አንድ ቤተሰብ ፣ በተመሳሳይ ሁኔታ ፣ ካሜራው ቀረብ ሲልና ፣ ሲርቅ ፣ የለቀስተኛው ድምጽ የሚጨምርና ፣ የሚቀንስ ከሆነ ? ተአሚነቱን ይቀንሰዋል ፡፡ ለመጀመርያ ጊዜ የኅብር ለቅሶ ያየሁት በ1976 በሊቀመንበር የቀብር ሥነ ሥርዓት ላይ ሲሆን ፣ የመጨረሻውን ያየሁት ፣ ከዓመት በፊት የሰሜን ኮርያውን የኪም ዮንግ ሁለተኛውን ነው ፡፡

የሁለቱንም ቀብር ይህንን ጽሁፍ ላዘጋጅ ስል ፣ ጉግል ላያና ፣ ዊኪ ፒዲያ ውስጥ ገብቼ ከነ ምስሉ ስመለከት ፣ አንድ በደንብ የገባኝ ነገር ፣ ያ ሁሉ ሚሊዮን ሕዝብ የሚያለቅሰው ልዩ ጥቅም ተሰጥቶት ወይም ተገዶ ሳይሆን ፣ ለመሪው እንዲያለቅስ አሳምነውት ነው፡፡ በስሜት ተነሳስቶ፣ ከውስጥ በተቀሰቀሰ ስሜት ማልቀስና፣ እንዲያለቅስ አሳምነውት ማልቀስ ይለያያል ፡፡

በእርግጥ በዛ ሥራዓት የተጠቀመ ፣ ከመንገድ አንስተውት የሾሙት ፣ ህልውናው ከዛ ሥርዓት ጋር የተያያዘ፣ ያለአግባብ የበለጸገ ፣ ለሰራው ወንጀል ፍርሃት ያለበት ለሚቀጥለው የስልጣን ሽግሽግ ጎልቶ ለመታየት የሚፈልግ፣ ብዙ ብዙ ከኋላ የተደበቁ አጀንዳዎች ከለቅሶው ጀርባ አሉ፡፡

በእንደዚህ አይነት የኮሚኒስት ሃገር ፣ መሪው ያንን ሃገር ሊያስተዳድር ከአንድ ትልቅ ሊታይ ሊዳሰስ የማይችል ሃይል ተመርጦ እንደሆነ አድርገው እንዲያምኑ ፣ ለአመታት አዕምሮዋቸውን በማጠብ በውስጣቸው የተገነባ ዕምነት ነው፡፡ ይህ መሪ አልፎ አልፎ በአደባባይ በሚያሳየው ጠንካራ የጦር ሰራዊቱንና ፣ ዘመናዊ ያጦር መድፎቹን ፣ ሃያ አራት ስዓት ሙሉ ፣ ብቸኛ ከሆነው አንድ ቴሌቪዥና የራርዲዮ መስመር፣ ሕዝባቸውን ታላቁ መሪያቸው እንዴት ከኢንፔርያሊስቶች እንደጠበቋቸው …በመሳሰሉት፣ ፕሮፓጋንዳ እንዲያምኑ የተደረጉ ፍጥረቶች ናቸው ፡፡ በዚህም ላይ ጠንከራ የስለላ መረብ የእያንዳንዱን ቤት የሚሰልል እንዳለ ስለሚያውቁና ፣ አንዳንዴ የራሳቸውን ህሊና ተጠቅመው፣ የፓርቲውን መስመር የማይከተሉ “እንቢተኞች“ ፣ ሕዝብ በተሰበሰበበት፣ በአደባባይ አንገታቸውን ስለሚቆረጡ ፣ እያንዳንዱ የሃገሪቷ ነዋሪ ፣ እኔም ከዚህ መስመር ብወጣ ፣ ይሄ ይደርስብኛል ብሎ ፈርቶ አንገቱን ደፍቶ ፣ የእውነት ለቅሶ ተምሮ ፣ ህይወቱን ለማሰንበት ያለቅሳል፡፡

እንደዚህ አይነት ሕብረተሰብ ፣ አለቃቸው ፣ ካሁን ቦኋላ መኖር አያስፈልጋችሁም ፣ እራሳችሁን በመርዝ ግደሉ፣ በስለት ቆራርጡ ፣ ከገደል ዘላችሁ ሙቱ ፣ ብሎ ቢነግራቸው፣ የታዘዙትን ያደርጋሉ፡፡ ለዚህም የነ ጂም ጆንስ አሳዛኝ የእልቂት ታሪክ በሳባዎቹ ዓመታትና ፣ በተለያዩ ሃገራት የተደረጉትን ፣ አሰቃቂ ታሪኮች መለስ ብሎ ማስታወሱ ጠቃሚ ነው፡፡

ይህ የሰሜን ኮርያ ሞዴል፣ እንደ ግል ማሰብ ፣ መመዘን፣ መቃወም … አይነት ተፈጥሮ የቸረን ስጦታ ተደምስሶ፣ በመሪዎች ጭንቅላትና በፓርቲ መስመር እንደ ሴክት እንድናስብ እዕምሮን ማጠብ የበሽታ አዝማምያ ወደ ሃገራችንም እየቀረበ ስለሆነ፣ ካሁኑ ይህንን አስፈሪና፣ አደገኛ አዝማሚያ ሳይቃጠል በቅጠል ልንለው ይገባል፡፡ በቅርቡ በአቡነ ጳውሎስ እና በጠቅላይ ሚኒስቴር መለስ ዜናዊ ከዚህ ዓለም በሞት መለየት ምክንያት፣ በአንድ በኩል ከላይ ከጠቀስኩት ባህላችን ውጪ፣ ለሞተ ሰው ሊሰጥ የሚገባውን ተዘንግቶ፣ ከመስመር ውጪ ተኪዶ አላስፈላጊ ሊያስገምቱን የሚችሉ ቃላቶች መጠቀምና፣ አላስፈላጊ ድርጊቶች መፈጸም ቀርቶ ፣ በሌላውም አንጻርም፣ ማንም ሰው ያለ ማዘን መብት እንዳለው ዘንግተው ፣ እኛ ስናለቅስ እናንተ ለምን ደረት አልመታችሁም፣ ብለው፣ የሰሜን ኮርያን አይነት ሞዴል፣ በአፍሪካ እንደ የጎጡ ፖለቲካ ሊጭኑብን ለሚሹት ነቅተን ልናሳፍራቸው ይገባል፡፡ ኢትዮጵያን እግዚአብሔር ይጠብቃታል!

ብስራት ኢብሳ


Giving Hailemariam Dessalegn the benefit of the doubt

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012


I’m getting good vibes about Hailemariam Dessalegne. There is a divine reason for his rise to power. God works in mysterious ways. The Ethiopian people have suffered long and hard, God intervened in the nick of time. I know the country’s financial, political, military and media institutions are under strict control of the TPLF tribal minority junta to make his work more difficult, but I’m willing to give him the benefit of the doubt and wait and see if he can offer something different from his disgraced predecessor and lead the country through the critical transition period. I don’t expect him to work miracles, but he could at least put the house in order by neutralizing, if not eradicating, the remnants of the corrupt Meles regime. His demeanor strikes me as someone who is incorruptible. But don’t hold me to it.
8)

P.S. I am in no way endorsing Hailemariam Dessalege, nor am I offered to go out on a date with his beautiful and intelligent daughter in exchange for my candid appraisal of him.


The convening of parliament postponed because of TPLF internal revolt

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Meles Zenawi tries to cling to power after death
The rubber-stamp parliament in Ethiopia was scheduled to meet today to formally appoint Hailemariam Dessalegn as prime minister, but Ethiopian Review sources in Addis Ababa reported this afternoon that the meeting was abruptly canceled yesterday after Meles Zenawi’s wife Azeb Mesfin refused to leave the prime minister’s house. The mother of corruption dared any one to even suggest that she vacates “her house” until her husband is buried on September 2.

On top of that, it is reported that mid-ranking TPLF members have been confronting Seyoum Mesfin and other senior TPLF leaders since Tuesday over the selection of Hailemariam. Their complaint is that a position as critical as the prime minister should be reserved for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front. Our sources are reporting that Azeb Mesfin is behind the simmering revolt in the TPLF rank. A deadly clash among the various TPLF factions is becoming a real possibility.

የፍትሕ ጋዜጣ ዋና አዘጋጅ ተመስገን ደሳለኝ ታሰረ

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

The Reporter

ሐምሌ 13 ቀን 2004 ዓ.ም. በገበያ ላይ እንዳይውልና እንዳይሠራጭ በፍርድ ቤት ትዕዛዝ የታገደው፣ እስካሁንም ምክንያቱ ግልጽ ባልሆነ ሁኔታ ሕትመቱ የተቋረጠው የፍትሕ ጋዜጣ ዋና አዘጋጅ ጋዜጠኛ ተመስገን ደሳለኝ ዛሬ ታሰረ፡፡

ጋዜጠኛ ተመስገን እንዲታሰር ትዕዛዝ የሰጠው የፌዴራል ከፍተኛ ፍርድ ቤት 16ኛ ወንጀል ችሎት ሲሆን፣ ምክንያቱ ደግሞ ዋና አዘጋጁ በፍትሕ ጋዜጣ ላይ፣ ነሐሴ 23 ቀን 2003 ዓ.ም.፣ የካቲት 23 ቀን 2004 ዓ.ም.፣ ሐምሌ 22 ቀን 2003 ዓ.ም. እና መጋቢት 7 ቀን 2004 ዓ.ም. የተዘገቡ መጣጥፎችን ተከትሎ የፌዴራል ከፍተኛ ዓቃቤ ሕግ በመሠረተበት ሦስት ክሶች ዋስትና በመከልከሉ ነው፡፡

ፍርድ ቤቱ ክሱን ለማየት ቀጠሮ ሰጥቶ የነበረው ለነሐሴ 9 ቀን 2003 ዓ.ም. የነበረ ቢሆንም፣ ዳኛው ባለመገኘታቸው በጽሕፈት ቤት ሠራተኞች አማካይነት ለዛሬ ተላልፎ ነበር፡፡ ዛሬ በቀጠሮው መሠረት ፍርድ ቤት ተሰይሞ ክሱን ለችሎቱና ለተከሳሹ ካሰማ በኋላ፣ በክሱ ላይ ዋና አዘጋጁ አስተያየቱን እንዲሰጥ ሲጠየቅ፣ በጠበቃው አማካይነት የዋስትና መብቱ እንዲጠበቅለት ጠይቆ ነበር፡፡ ዓቃቤ ሕግ ግን ባቀረበው መቃወሚያ ተከሳሹ የተመሠረተበት ክስ ከፍተኛ የሆነ ተጠያቂነትን የሚያስከትልበት መሆኑን በመጥቀስ፣ ከአገር ሊወጣ እንደሚችልና ሊቀርብ እንደማይችል በመናገር ዋስትናውን ተቃውሟል፡፡

ፍርድ ቤቱ የሁለቱንም አስተያየት ካደመጠ በኋላ የጋዜጠኛ ተመስገንን የዋስትና ጥያቄ ውድቅ በማድረግ፣ በማረሚያ ቤት ቆይቶ ነሐሴ 28 ቀን 2004 ዓ.ም. ለውሳኔ ቀጥሮታል፡፡ በጋዜጣው አሳታሚ ድርጅት ላይ ስለቀረበው ክስ ፍርድ ቤቱ ያለው ነገር የለም፡፡


CNN’s Erin Burnett blasts U.S. foreign policy on Ethiopia

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

Erin Burnett of CNN’s Outfront seems to be one of the few Western journalists who have not received DLA Piper’s talking about about Meles Zenawi. In her commentator last night she blasted the U.S. anti-human rights policy in Ethiopia. Thank you, Erin, for speaking the truth. Watch below.

Meles ‘fooled only those who wanted to be fooled’ – Ana Gomes

Thursday, August 23rd, 2012

After the death of Ethiopian prime minister Meles Zenawi, S&D Group spokeswoman for foreign affairs Ana Gomes today made the following statement:

“Meles Zenawi was a dictator. His rhetoric on development, democracy and combatting terrorism only convinced those in the EU and the USA who wanted to be fooled. His words were clearly at odds with the cruel repression of his people and his actions in banning human rights and development organisations and jailing opposition members and journalists – Ethiopian and foreign.

“Two Swedish journalists are today still languishing in Meles Zenawi’s prisons, together with hundreds of brave Ethiopians who dared to work for freedom and democracy for their people, including Pen Prize winner Eskinder Nega.

“The EU must immediately demand the Ethiopian caretaker authorities ensure their prompt release. It must call for an immediate and inclusive dialogue involving all opposition parties – including the armed groups – to ensure a peaceful transition until democratic elections can be organised to determine the future of governance in Ethiopia.”

The West’s dramatic hypocrisy in praising Ethiopian tyrant – Forbes

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

By Thor Halvorssen and Alex Gladstein | Forbes

With the dust beginning to settle on yesterday’s death of Meles Zenawi—ruler of Ethiopia since 1991—Western leaders have been quick to lavish praise on his legacy. A darling of the national security and international development industries, Zenawi was applauded for cooperating with the U.S. government on counter-terrorism and for spurring economic growth in Ethiopia—an impoverished, land-locked African nation of 85 million people. In truth, democratic leaders who praise Zenawi do a huge injustice to the struggle for human rights and individual dignity in Ethiopia.

U.S. Ambassador Susan Rice said Zenawi “leaves behind an indelible legacy of major contributions to Ethiopia, Africa, and the world.” Gordon Brown called Zenawi’s demise “a tragedy for the Ethiopian people,” while David Cameron remembered him as an “inspirational spokesman for Africa.” Bill Gates tweeted that he “was a visionary leader who brought real benefits to Ethiopia’s poor.” Abdul Mohammed and Alex de Waal took to the New York Times op-ed pages today in perhaps the most unspeakably sycophantic eulogy of Zenawi, declaring that the dictator’s death “deprives Ethiopia — and Africa as a whole — of an exceptional leader.”

For years, the diminutive Zenawi had been a fixture on the Davos circuit, charming Western leaders with statistics of human development and business expansion. Under his control, Ethiopia’s average annual GDP growth rate more than doubled to a gaudy 8.8 percent over the past decade, and trade and investment with the West boomed. He worked with the U.S. to capture terrorists—even invading Somalia to help oust an Islamist government—in return netting roughly a billion dollars a year in American aid. Ethiopia had been to hell and back in the 1970s and 1980s with famine, war, and genocide. For someone who came to power as a freedom fighter and liberator, who gave one of the poorest countries on earth China-esque economic growth, and who became a key ally of the U.S., what was not to like?

First off, many of the rosy development statistics given out by the Ethiopian government are simply fraudulent; independent sources still rank Ethiopia at the very bottom of poverty indexes. Second, what genuine economic and public health transformations Zenawi did bring to Ethiopia were achieved with a top-down model that mirrored the statist command he implemented over all other aspects of Ethiopian life.

Zenawi built a totalitarian state, guided by Marxist-Leninism, complete with a cult of personality and zero tolerance for dissent. Like Saddam Hussein or Bashar al-Assad, he filled the country’s top political and economic positions with men from his own Tigaray ethnicity. When elections did occur, he won them with Saddam-like numbers, most recently, 99 percent of the vote. Civil society organizations were harassed into submission or banned. His government only allowed one television station, one radio station, one internet-service provider, one telecom, one national daily, and one English daily—all churning out government propaganda. Zenawi used this information hegemony to heavily censor news available to Ethiopians, taking special delight in preventing them from hearing news from exile groups outside the country.

Zenawi’s critics were jailed, killed or chased out of the country: in fact, more journalists were exiled from Ethiopia in the last decade than any other country on earth. Let’s restate that: Zenawi kicked out more journalists than any other tyrant on the planet, thereby monopolizing control over information. His favorite tactic was labeling dissidents as terrorists. Journalists risked up to 20 years in prison if they even reported about opposition groups classified by the government as terrorists. The most emblematic case is that of Eskinder Nega, a PEN-award-winning author sentenced to 18 years in prison this July for questioning the government’s new anti-terrorism laws.

Many in the West like to credit Zenawi with “keeping Ethiopia together” despite ethnic differences, war, famine and regional instability. Dissidents, however, maintain that Zenawi was always at war with his own people. When towns and villages rose up against Zenawi’s military regime, they were put down brutally. There was, and still is, a climate of fear. With 85 million Ethiopians suffering under his thrall, Meles Zenawi constructed one of history’s most depraved states in terms of numerical human suffering.

So why is this monster being celebrated? Some, like Bill Gates and Ambassador Rice, choose to remain blind to Zenawi’s systemic human rights abuses. He was, undoubtedly, charming. Others, perhaps more worryingly, excuse his tyranny for his development and economic acumen. Foreign Policy’s managing editor illustrated this point of view while tweeting that “Meles Zenawi was a dictator but was better for his country than many democratically elected leaders.”

This kind of mentality is a dangerous one. There is no such thing as a benign dictator. Only those with a fascist mindset—who want to cut corners, who complain how messy and inefficient democracy can be, and who overlook two thousand years of political history—can believe in this chimera. From Cuba to Kazakhstan, the story is the same.

For instance, Pinochet took Chile from being a run-of-the-mill right-wing statist dictatorship to an economic success story with the same liberalization principles that the Chinese tyranny has employed to transform itself into a world power. Is the Pinochet-Beijing model of a police state with economic freedom, attempted by Zenawi for Ethiopia, an acceptable one in this day and age? The New York Review of Books reminds us that this sort of ideology brought Ethiopia “appalling cruelty in the name of social progress.” Anyone stating that they “like” the economic results from the Pinochet-Beijing model must accept thousands of tortured and disappeared in Chile and tens of millions dead in China (and 8 million political prisoners languishing in the Laogai as of today). Perhaps those admiring a strongman can accept such a condition with a John Rawls-type veil of ignorance without knowing what it is like to live under a dictatorship. It is easy to tolerate torture and disappearances if it isn’t happening to your daughter, your brother, your mother, or you.

Those in the West heaping praise on Zenawi—all living in societies that suffered so much to achieve individual liberty—are engaging in dramatic hypocrisy by praising this thug. Would Bill Gates live in a country that denies people basic political freedoms? Whose government arrests and kills its critics en masse? Would he trade places with an Ethiopian university student who believes in free expression and whose stance will lead to certain prison and possible execution?

Any arguments that Zenawi was mellowing (after 21 years in power!) are false. The past few years saw new sweeping “anti-terrorism” laws and stronger Internet censorship. In 2005, Ethiopia even saw its own Tiananmen Square. That year, Zenawi decided to hold freer elections, but the opposition won a record number of parliamentary seats, including all those in the capital, Addis Ababa. Throngs took to the streets to celebrate. In response, Zenawi lashed out brutally, arresting the opposition’s entire leadership and sentencing them to life in prison for treason; shuttering five newspapers and imprisoning their editors; murdering 193 protestors, injuring 800, and arbitrarily jailing 40,000 other men, women, and teenagers in a show of raw tyranny. According to The Telegraph’s David Blair, who was reporting from the scene, “a crackdown on this scale has not been seen in Africa for 20 years and the repression exceeds anything by President Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe for the past decade at least. Apartheid-era South Africa’s onslaught against the black townships in the 1980s provides the only recent comparison.”

It is startling that so many consider Zenawi an “intellectual” leader, when he needed such bloody policy to enforce his rule. When Western leaders consider this dictator—who rapaciously treated Africa’s second-largest nation as his personal property—worthy of not just condolences, but pure adulation, something is very wrong with their value systems.

One politician, the Norwegian foreign minister, made a slight nod toward individual rights in his obligatory comments about Zenawi’s passing: “Norway and Ethiopia have an open and frank dialogue on political and social issues, including areas, such as human rights, where we have diverging views.”

Amen!

(ThorHalvorssen is the founder and president of the New York–based Human Rights Foundation. Alex Gladstein is HRF’s Director of Institutional Affairs.)

Do these Ethiopians mourn Meles?

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Azeb, we mourn this Ethiopians you and your husband have terrorized and made to die a horrible death.

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Competition to succeed Meles Zenawi may fracture TPLF – Bloomberg

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

By William Davison (Bloomberg)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s death may cause a succession battle that could test the stability of one of Africa’s fastest-growing economies and a key ally in the U.S.’s war against al-Qaeda.

The 57-year-old premier died Aug. 20 from an infection after recuperating at a hospital in an undisclosed location from an unspecified illness. Deputy Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn is serving as acting prime minister.

Competition to succeed Meles may fracture the unity of the ruling Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front and embolden opposition groups frustrated by years of government suppression, said analysts including Jennifer Cooke, director of the Africa Program at the Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies. That may jeopardize a state-driven program that generated average economic growth of 11 percent over the past seven years, while placing at risk Ethiopia’s role as a peacekeeper in the Horn of Africa region.

“Meles has played such an outsized role in the country’s leadership that there’s no obvious successor or power broker within the EPRDF who will now take firm charge,” Cooke said in an e-mailed response to questions yesterday.

Meles’s administration mixed government spending on infrastructure like roads and hydropower plants with investment by companies including Amsterdam-based Heineken NV (HEIA), the world’s third-biggest brewer, and those owned by Saudi billionaire Mohamed al-Amoudi to spur the economy. Growth in Africa’s biggest coffee-producing nation may slow to 6.5 percent in 2013 from 7 percent this year amid the global economic slowdown, according to theInternational Monetary Fund.

Western Ally

Ethiopia under Meles also benefited economically from its partnership with Western allies on security issues. It’s helped fight insurgencies in Somalia, where Meles sent troops for the second time in December to help drive out al-Qaeda-linked militants, and its forces patrol Abyei, which is claimed by both Sudan and South Sudan. In 2011, the country was Africa’s biggest recipient of foreign aid, totaling $3.53 billion, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Meles came to power after building a coalition of rebel groups to overthrow Mengistu Haile Mariam’s Marxist military junta in 1991. Since then he has consolidated power by purging potential rivals and promoting those loyal to him. He also strengthened the authority of the ruling party by cracking down on opposition parties and using counter-terrorism legislation to jail reporters and dissenters.

‘Significant Tensions’

“The current government’s suppression of any kind of democratic process or debate means that there are significant tensions and resentments within the country that have had no outlet or expression,” Cooke said. “If the ruling coalition is distracted or weakened by infighting, opposition parties will see an opportunity to press their case.”

Potential successors in addition to Hailemariam include the State Minister for Foreign Affairs Berhane Gebrekristos from Meles’s Tigray People’s Liberation Front, or TPLF; Amhara Regional State President Ayalew Gobeze; and Health Minister Tewodros Adhanom Gebreyesus, who is a TPLF executive committee member, said Terrence Lyons, associate professor of conflict resolution at George Mason University in Virginia.

The TPLF forms the core of the EPRDF coalition, which in 1994 ushered in a constitution that divided Ethiopia into nine ethnically based federal regions and two autonomous cities. Besides the TPLF, the Oromo and Amhara communities and a grouping of smaller ethnic communities from the country’s south each have parties in the coalition. The Oromo make up 35 percent of Ethiopia’s population, the Amhara 27 percent and the Tigray 6 percent, according to the U.S. State Department.

Chosen One

Hailemariam was Meles’s chosen successor, Seeye Abraha, a former executive committee member of the TPLF, turned political opponent, said in an e-mailed response to questions. Hailemariam is deputy chairman of the EPRDF that along with its allies controls all but two of the seats in the nation’s 547-seat parliament. He is a Wolayta, one of three main ethnic groups in the politically fragmented southern region.

Hailemariam may not “wield much power” because officials from the TPLF will retain control of the security services and key ministries, said Michael Woldemariam, an assistant professor in the Department of International Relations at Boston University in Massachusetts.

Seeye, who served as defense minister from 1991 to 1995, was one of 12 individuals purged from the TPLF leadership in 2001 after criticizing Meles for perceived weaknesses in his handling of a two-year border war with Eritrea that ended in 2000 and cost 70,000 lives.

‘Smart Politics’

The next leader will “have to come from outside the TPLF” because of Tigrayans’ minority status, former U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia David Shinn said in an e-mailed response to questions. “It is simply smart politics for the EPRDF to share the top spot.”

“Instability may occur if new splits emerge within the TPLF,” Woldemariam said in an e-mailed response to questions yesterday. “If the TPLF can retain its unity and integrity, then I think a slide into instability is unlikely. A split in its upper echelons would likely infect the EPRDF’s other coalition partners as TPLF factions vie for support.”

A rupture in the Tigrayan group may also cause unrest in the security services it controls, he said.

Several insurgent groups operate in Ethiopia, including the banned Oromo Liberation Front, which withdrew from the government in 1993, and the Ogaden National Liberation Front that fights for more autonomy for the ethnic-Somali Ogadeni people.

Muslim Protests

Over the past 10 months, the government has also faced demonstrations by Muslims against government interference in their community in Addis Ababa and other towns. About a third of Ethiopia’s 94 million people are Muslim, according to the CIA World Factbook.

The regional importance of Ethiopia, Africa’s second-most populous nation, in fighting al-Qaeda makes the U.S. “deeply concerned at the prospect of a destabilizing or uncertain transition in Ethiopia,” Cooke said.

Ethiopia received $6.23 billion in assistance from the U.S. between 2000 and 2011, according to the State Department.


TPLF will grow more repressive to maintain power: ICG

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Ethiopia After Meles

By the International Crisis Group (ICG) | Africa Briefing N°89 22 Aug 2012

OVERVIEW

The death of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who had not been seen in public for several months, was announced on 20 August 2012 by Ethiopian state television. The passing of the man who has been Ethiopia’s epicentre for 21 years will have profound national and regional consequences. Meles engineered one-party rule in effect for the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and his Tigrayan inner circle, with the complicity of other ethnic elites that were co-opted into the ruling alliance, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). The Front promised freedom, democracy and ethnic devolution but is highly centralised, tightly controls the economy and suppresses political, social, ethnic and religious liberties. In recent years, Meles had relied ever more on repression to quell growing dissent. His successor will lead a weaker regime that struggles to manage increasing unrest unless it truly implements ethnic federalism and institutes fundamental governance reform. The international community should seek to influence the transition actively because it has a major interest in the country’s stability.

Despite his authoritarianism and poor human rights records, Meles became an important asset to the international community, a staunch Western ally in counter-terrorism efforts in the region and a valued development partner for Western and emerging powers. In consequence, Ethiopia has become the biggest aid recipient in Africa, though Meles’s government was only able to partially stabilise either the country or region.

Ethiopia’s political system and society have grown increasingly unstable largely because the TPLF has become increasingly repressive, while failing to implement the policy of ethnic federalism it devised over twenty years ago to accommodate the land’s varied ethnic identities. The result has been greater political centralisation, with concomitant ethnicisation of grievances. The closure of political space has removed any legitimate means for people to channel those grievances. The government has encroached on social expression and curbed journalists, non-gov­ern­men­tal organisations and religious freedoms. The cumulative effect is growing popular discontent, as well as radicalisation along religious and ethnic lines. Meles adroitly navigated a number of internal crises and kept TPLF factions under his tight control. Without him, however, the weaknesses of the regime he built will be more starkly exposed.

The transition will likely be an all-TPLF affair, even if masked beneath the constitution, the umbrella of the EPRDF and the prompt elevation of the deputy prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, to acting head of government. Given the opacity of the inner workings of the government and army, it is impossible to say exactly what it will look like and who will end up in charge. Nonetheless, any likely outcome suggests a much weaker government, a more influential security apparatus and endangered internal stability. The political opposition, largely forced into exile by Meles, will remain too fragmented and feeble to play a considerable role, unless brought on board in an internationally-brokered process. The weakened Tigrayan elite, confronted with the nation’s ethnic and religious cleavages, will be forced to rely on greater repression if it is to maintain power and control over other ethnic elites. Ethno-religious divisions and social unrest are likely to present genuine threats to the state’s long-term stability and cohesion.

The regional implications will be enormous. Increasing internal instability could threaten the viability of Ethiopia’s military interventions in Somalia and Sudan, exacerbate tensions with Eritrea, and, more broadly, put in question its role as the West’s key regional counter-terrorism ally. Should religious or ethnic radicalisation grow, it could well spill across borders and link with other armed radical Islamic groups.

The international community, particularly Ethiopia’s core allies, the U.S., UK and European Union (EU), should accordingly seek to play a significant role in preparing for and shaping the transition, by:

  • tying political, military and development assistance to the opening of political space and an end to repressive measures;
  • encouraging the post-Meles leadership to produce a clear roadmap, including transparent mechanisms within the TPLF and the EPRDF for apportioning the party and Front power Meles held and within parliament to lead to an all-inclusive, peaceful transition, resulting in free and fair elections within a fixed time; and
  • helping to revive the political opposition’s ability to represent its constituencies, in both Ethiopia and the diaspora.

Nairobi/Brussels, 22 August 2012

ENTC calls for the formation of transitional government

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

Ethiopian National Transitional Council (ENTC) has called for the establishment of a transitional government that will exist for a period of 2 years until a free and fair election is held in Ethiopia.

The transitional government is proposed to include all stakeholders who will convene a founding conference, according to ENTC’s statement that is released on Tuesday. Read the ENTC statement here [pdf, Amharic]

Mr. Obang Metho Calls for Calm, Caution and Dialogue

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

A Letter to Ethiopians

Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE)

 

August 21, 2012

Dear fellow Ethiopians,

As the Executive Director of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE), I want to call on the Ethiopian people to remain calm and cautious during this time of unknown certainty.

 

Meles Zenawi, prime minister of Ethiopia—the darling of the West, but a ruthless strongman to his own people—has passed away. After two months of rumors and speculation about his death or incapacitation, the government of Ethiopia finally announced his death. No one expected, even two months ago, that Meles’ 21-year long, iron-fisted control over the one-party government of the Tigrayan Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF)—which controlled the coalition government of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF)—would come to such an abrupt end. Meles’ absence will challenge the entire system and we must be ready, but patient.

 

For years, opposition groups, as well as key stakeholders within and outside of Ethiopia, recognized the ability of this one man to either hinder or advance agendas of others to his own benefit, whether in Ethiopia or in the region. Now that he is gone, the TPLF/EPRDF system that maintained him and dominated every sector of society in Ethiopia, although still in place, may have taken a deadly hit. The future is uncertain as the new regime faces new challenges from inner TPLF power struggles, splits between Tigrayans, the renewed vigor from opposition groups and now, new demands from religious groups, both Muslims and Christians, for freedom from government interference in their religious affairs.   

 

As our dictator has been taken out of the game, Ethiopians may suddenly have a unique opportunity to win their struggle for a healthier, more inclusive and more prosperous Ethiopia. Today is a new day. We are not going to celebrate the death of somebody but must still carefully appraise the real obstacles ahead that may not have been clearly revealed to outsiders or understood by us.

 

Meles had two faces—one for outsiders and one among Ethiopians. To outsiders, like within the African Union, Meles was perceived to be a “uniter” but to Ethiopians, he maintained his power through fomenting division. He was the architect of the Ethiopian system of ethnic federalism, which discouraged a national identity as it accentuated ethnicity; all used as a divide and conquer tactic to maintain control of the majority by a minority group comprised of only 6% of the population. As a result, we all know that the Ethiopia of today is more divided by ethnicity than ever before.  

 

To state players concerned about global security, Meles played a role in the War on Terror and in sending troops to Somalia; but to his own people, Meles was our home-grown terrorist who most threatened our lives and futures and radicalized neighboring Somalia.  

 

Development assistance from outside nations and organizations flowed into the country and Meles was seen as a “new breed of African leaders,” but to the people, especially outside of Meles’ own region, outside of Addis and outside of special project areas; development monies were often linked to political views or lost to corruption.

 

Repeatedly, outsiders have given Meles an unchallenged legacy for bringing millions out of poverty; but on the ground, the money has not trickled down to the people. Global Financial Integrity instead gave recent documentation of billions of USD dollars leaving the country in illicit capital leakage—$11.3 billion from 2000 to 2009— money from economic growth confiscated by cronyism rather than inclusive capitalism. Yes, Meles has secured large amounts of foreign investment, especially in agricultural land and resources, but millions of Ethiopians have or eventually will be forced off their land; with no say, no compensation and no provisions for starting a new life. These small farmers are now becoming dependent on foreign aid for the first time.

 

 

These are great challenges for the future for any leader. The newly appointed transitional Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, will have a critical role to play. Whether he will take the side of the people or will attempt to continue the status quo, is unknown; however, if he rises to the challenge of advancing the interests of the people, it will require undoing the machinery of suppression so carefully put into place by this regime—like the Anti-terrorism law that has imprisoned democratic voices and the Charities and Societies Proclamation that has eliminated civic institutions, replacing them with pseudo organizations controlled by the regime.

 

It will require implementing broad reforms: creating an independent judiciary system, freeing the media, advancing the Internet, forming an independent election board and initiating all those key parts of any well- functioning democratic state. He must also release thousands of political prisoners who are only imprisoned because they became enemies of the regime simply for living out their consciences.

 

As we face these next, uncertain days and weeks ahead, if we are to succeed as a people and avoid violence and revenge after years of simmering tensions, anger and frustration among us, we Ethiopians must see each other as one people—the Ethiopian people—and part of our family of humanity. This is not a time for vengeance or destruction, but is a time to start reconciling with each other for the sake of the whole country. This is the beginning of reform.

 

We are calling for dialogue among Ethiopians. We are also calling on those western state players, who supported Meles, to now support the organizations who are working to establish democracy, to preserve the territorial integrity of the country, to build institutions and to reject appeals of ethnic-based violence. We know that Meles received that support, despite his many human rights abuses and the repression of his people, because of the perceived greater interest in global security and stability in a geo-politically strategic region; but now it is time to reassess who will be the best long-term partners. It is the Ethiopian people. The man that charmed the west is now gone. It is a critical time to support genuine reforms and the people and opposition groups working for broad-based and meaningful change that can galvanize the people and serve their interests while enhancing the mutually shared interests of global partners and foreign investors.

 

From the beginning, the SMNE was established as a non-violent, non-political social justice movement to bring the diverse people of Ethiopia together; creating security, stability and greater prosperity through the restoration of justice, built on the principles of putting “humanity before ethnicity” and caring about “others” within Ethiopia and beyond because “no one is free until all are free.”  The SMNE was also created to strengthen institutions which would promote truth, freedom, democracy, equality, civility, accountability and transparency in order to bring about a more robust society that could move from its dependency on others for its basic daily needs to greater independence. Ethiopia is a rich nation in people and resources. Good governance, democratic values, ethical practice, industry and inclusive capitalism can transform Ethiopia from its image of starvation, misery and suffering to a country that can contribute to the well being of others. Ethiopians want to seize this opportunity now.

 

We in the SMNE call for calm among the people and restraint for the defense forces. Meles had a choice to be loved by the people when he ousted Mengistu in 1991, but he did not take it. We must be careful now to not create ingredients for fighting against each other either now or in the future. Ethiopian Defense troops and security forces with guns should not use them against the people. The taking of one life is too many.

 

We Ethiopians have already shed too many tears; we have already spilled too much blood; we have already lived with too much pain and sorrow; we have already felt too much desperation; and, we have already lost too many of our people to death, abuse or hardship while trying to find a better life outside of Ethiopia. It is time to reclaim, rebuild and transform Ethiopia into a New Ethiopia where people want to stay. It will require all of us working together by each doing our share. 

 

In conclusion, everyone knows how Meles favored his own ethnic group, the Tigrayan, and his own region, Tigray, and even more his own birthplace of Adwa, but the Tigray should not be afraid. If you have not committed crimes, you have nothing to fear. You are part of us and will be part of the New Ethiopia. As we have said before, the SMNE stands to defend and to protect the well being of each and every Ethiopian individuals and groups. You are part of that. We cannot build a New Ethiopia without you. Our enemy is the system, not an ethnicity, a region, a town or a religion. You do not have to hold back. You are our brothers and sisters. With God’s help, we can find healing for the past, reconciliation for the present and hope for the future. May God bless Ethiopia!

 

Your brother in our struggle for a New Ethiopia,

 

Obang Metho, Executive Director of the SMNE

Email: Obang@solidaritymovement.org.

Website: www.solidaritymovement.org

In Meles’ death, as in life, a penchant for secrecy, control

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2012

By Mohammed Keitha | CPJ Africa Policy Coordinator

August 21, 2012

Ethiopians awakened this morning to state media reports that Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, 57, the country’s leader for 21 years, had died late Monday in an over

The late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, shown here in 2010. (AFP/Simon Maina)

seas hospital of an undisclosed disease. Within seconds, Ethiopians spread the news on social media; within minutes, international news media were issuing bulletins. Finally, after weeks of government silence and obfuscation over Meles’ health, there was clarity for Ethiopians anxious for word about their leader. Still, it was left to unnamed sources to fill in even the basic details. Meles died in a Brussels hospital of liver cancer, these sources told international news organizations, and he had been ill for many months.

“Death of yet another African leader highlights secrecy & lack of transparency when it comes to ailing leaders,” CNN’s Faith Karimi noted on Twitter, where the hashtag #MelesZenawi was trending globally.

After Meles failed to appear at July’s African Union summit in his own capital, Addis Ababa, spokesman Bereket Simon was forced to acknowledge that the prime minister was ill. Still, he asserted that Meles would be back to work soon, a claim does not seem to have been credible. The government went on to consistently play down reports that Meles had a life-threatening condition, even as it refused to disclose his exact whereabouts or the nature of his illness. Authorities blocked distribution of the one local newspaper, Feteh, that tried to publish more detailed information about Meles.

The government’s handling of Meles’ health situation reflects its culture of secrecy, as Bereket acknowledged last month, along with its heavy-handed tactics to control news and information. Yet for all its efforts, the government could not control the public’s hunger for information. The official secrecy merely fueled rampant public speculation and fears about the country’s future.

The government’s tactics are a product of its long-time leader. The paradox of Meles is that he was a formidable politician who nonetheless feared criticism in the Ethiopian press.

To the world, Meles projected the image of an engaging intellectual, a bespectacled bureaucrat who championed development and fought climate change. Meles had the “ability to understand what foreigners wanted to hear. He spoke their language,” said Ethiopian journalist Mohammed Ademo, referring to Meles’ mastery of the politics of aid, poverty, and the global fight against terrorism. “In English, he was soft-spoken and appeared to be willing to consider and tolerate and debate all arguments freely,” said another Ethiopian journalist who spoke on condition of anonymity.

But Meles adopted a very different tone domestically. He continued the Mengistu regime’s censorship of famine and drought coverage, and he ruthlessly stamped out dissent. “He was often arrogant and rude when speaking to Ethiopians. Threatening in parliament,” said Mohammed. In one of his last speeches, Meles lashed out at critics, real and imagined, and accused independent journalists of being “terrorists.”

The new prime minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, has an opportunity to break with this fear and embrace openness to the press. He can start with the unconditional release of at least eight journalists now behind bars, among them the independent blogger Eskinder Nega, who is serving an 18-year term on baseless terrorism charges.

Azeb Mesfin takes part in Bereket Simon’s drama at Bole Airport (video)

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

When her husband Meles Zenawi was fighting for his life in a Brussels ICU, she was not next to him. Now that he is dead, she cries a river at a staged event orchestrated by the lie factory Bereket Simon. Azeb, aka the mother of corruption, has no place in her heart to feel sad for any one. Otherwise, she would have tried to stop her husband’s 21-year murder spree. Because of her and her husband’s actions, tears was flowing like a river in Ethiopia for the past 2 decades.

Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi’s body left Brussels (video)

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

It is a staged event orchestrated by the TPLF’s junta’s propaganda machinery. The truth is that Meles Zenawi’s body arrived in Addis Ababa over 3 weeks ago and had been kept in a freezer at Bole Airport, according to an eyewitness at the airport.

Meles Zenawi’s body “arrives” at Bole Airport this evening

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

The TPLF junta is organizing a ceremony for 9 PM (local time) tonight to receive Meles Zenawi’s body. Although they claim that he is being flown from overseas, Ethiopian Review sources report that he has been kept in a freezer at the Bole Airport for over 3 weeks. Propaganda chief Bereket Simon, the pathological liar, is staging a big televised show tonight for his late boss.

9:00 PM (Addis Ababa time) – Bereket Simon’s propaganda machine is going into overdrive. Watching ETV feels like the North Korean leader has died. The TPLF junta is forcing musicians, businessmen, athletes, and others to cry on camera. The funniest of all is Haile Gebreselassie. He was squeezing his eyes hard to get a drop of tears out. Bad acting. He should stick to running.

7:40 PM (Addis Ababa time) – Troops and military vehicles are pouring into Addis Ababa this evening. The road to Bole Airport looks like a military parade.

7:30 PM (Addis Ababa time) – A large heavily armed military force with hundreds of armored vehicles under the command of Lt. Gen. Seare Mekonnen has been deployed in the town of Fiche, 60km from Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Review sources in the area are now reporting. In the absence of Gen. Samora Yenus, Seare is in charge of the armed forces. Samora currently is in Germany receiving treatment for AIDS-related sickness.

7:15 PM (Addis Ababa time) – Meles Zenawi’s wife Azeb Mesfin and daughter Semhal have been observed going to Bole Airport to receive the late dictator. Today is the first public appearance she would be making in over a month.

7:00 PM (Addis Ababa time) – Several TPLF officials and members are heading toward Bole Airport right now. The city is under a security clampdown. Tens of thousands of soldiers who are wearing Federal Police uniform roam the city. Addis Ababa security is being supervised by Hassan Shifa.

A chance to build a new Ethiopia

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

By Yilma Bekele

The Ethiopian TPLF Prime Minister Meles Zenawi died three weeks ago. He died at St-Luke University Hospital in Brussels, Belgium. His Party kept him in the freezer while trying to determine what to do regarding the rules of succession, which the leader deliberately kept vague. For three weeks his Party made a mockery of the Ethiopian people by issuing conflicting press releases and unconfirmed reports. The death of the TPLF patriarch Aba Gebremedhin seems to have given them the opportunity to unthaw or defreeze his stiff body and prepare for a state burial in tandem with the wayward priest.

De mortuis nihil nisi bonum (“Of the dead, nothing unless good”). Is this maxim appropriate under the circumstances? I would say normally yes. The dead are not able to defend themselves. Is this always true? Not really, a few speak for many years after they are gone. They leave a legacy of evil behind. The living uses the negative experience to avoid future mistakes.

The same Ethiopian TPLF regime that was lying to us regarding the health of the tyrant has already began revising history and started the manufacture of fairy tales and Holly Wood style fiction. No adjective will be spared to build the resume of Legese Zenawi. Our airwaves will be inundated by lies, false testimonials and Mamo kilo stories. No one will be allowed to breath any truth in the land of the Abeshas. The TPLF controlled TV, Radio, Internet will be playing 24/7 how lucky we were to have such a visionary lead us and how difficult it would be to replace a giant of a leader that ever existed in human history.

It is important we the victims set this story in proper context and use this occasion as a teachable moment. No one relishes speaking ill of the dead. But the situation goes beyond saying a few bad words about the dead when the dead is still speaking thru the work he left behind. That is the work we would like to talk about because the death of the evil gives us the opportunity to undo the harm. We learn from the history of those that were confronted by that kind of situation and see how they dealt with it.

The best example I can think of the ill famous Adolph Hitler and the legacy he left behind. If you notice no one dares speak good of the Furher. He has become the personification of evil. It is possible to say a few good things about the Furher but the problem is his negatives outweigh his good deeds. One can speak of the economic miracles of Germany under the Nazis. At the end of World War I and the imposition of the Versailles treaty on Germany the country was in ruins. One can say Hitler and his Nazi Party united the Germans and built an economic juggernaut the dominated all of Europe. Germany’s prosperity was the envy of the world.

You don’t judge a book by the cover alone. There was the dark side of Hitler. That is all that is left of his legacy today. Today the German people use that period to teach their children the danger of demagoguery and blind allegiance to a person or a cause. They cannot undo the crime but they will keep reminding their people and the world the danger of what a single individual with a false vision can do to a people.

That is how Ethiopia can learn from the crimes of Legese/Meles Zenawi. He came into the picture with our country weakened from years of civil war, our economy in shambles and our moral compass out of balance. He used our confusion and lack of direction to take us on a road that has brought us nothing but misery. No matter how much some try to build the non-existent accomplishment of the TPLF party the reality will never confirm any of that assertion.

The World Bank, The Economist Magazine, the IMF, the US State Department and all foreign who is who will be telling us the double digit growth under the leadership of Ashebari. They will bring out pictures and graphs to prove to us how well off we are. The TPLF lie machine will repeat this to our people using all available media. Even a few of our own will be echoing the good virtue of Ashebari and the wonderful Ethiopia under his tutelage.

But we know better. We the victims tell a different story. There are over eighty five million Ethiopians. Why are they telling us about less than a hundred thousand of us? Does eating more than three times a day by the few substitute for the not eating of the three to four million who live on less than a 100 calories a day? They tell us double-digit growth but why are our children dying in Tanzania, Malawi, Uganda and the coast of Yemen? Why are our daughters committing suicide all over the Gulf and Lebanon? Why are more standing in line to change their names and go to where they know danger awaits them? Isn’t it hopelessness, the feeling of dejection and no tomorrow that is permeating our society?

Ato Meles Zenawi ruled our country for over twenty years. How do you think he will answer if asked what do you have to show for twenty years of absolute rule? It is a fair question that requires a real answer not some made up excuse. There was starvation when he came he left with starvation still the norm. He came in times of civil war he left with his people watching each other with suspicion and his Federal Police everywhere abusing, killing and feared. He came with the economy in ruins he left with his country loaded with debt, our land leased to foreigners and our central bank printing money like there is no tomorrow. He came when there was no political order and no rules of governance and he left with a Constitution not worth the paper it is written on, a parliament that can not read and write, a judiciary that is the laughing stock of the nation and a country serving one ethnic group.

Those that are in the process of inheriting his style of leadership seem to have learned no lesson from his debacle. They still lie, still show no respect and still play the same old game of fear, divide and rule and behind the scene deal making. They have written a new amendment to Constitution that they will make the Parliament approve and put the hapless Deputy in charge. He does not have a party, he does not have a constituent to fall back on and he does not have authority over the military or security services. He is what is called a figurehead. He cannot even give order to the TPLF guard outside his office. That is the reality of the situation no matter how we deny it.

It is time we start assessing the legacy of Meles Zenawi based on reality. It is time we stop repeating made up statistics by foreigners that tell a story based on their self-interest. There is no denying he sold land to the highest bidder and the facilitated the construction of condominiums. There is no denying he borrowed money in our name and built shoddy roads while scamming most of the money. There is no denying he established Universities in every Kilil but forgot to train competent teachers or well-equipped libraries. It is fair to say Meles was into appearance but not into essence. Let us use this occasion to repair what is broken, change what is not working and open a new chapter of building a fair society that embraces all the children of Ethiopia. We are given another chance to right what is wrong. Let us seize the opportunity and start anew.

Meles Zenawi’s crimes (in photos)

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

The crimes of Meles Zenawi and his TPLF junta

Prof. Asrat Woldeyes languished 6 years in jail deprived of medical treatment until it was too late
Prof. Asrat Woldeyes

14-year-old Meseret Tadesse gunned down by Meles Zenawi’s soldiers
Meseret Tadesse

AAU students

A satellite image of an Ogaden village burned down by Meles Zenawi’s forces
Ogaden

Ethiopian student shot in the head by Meles Zenawi’s snippers – Nov. 2005, Addis Ababa
Meles Zenawi

Addis Ababa University students shot by Meles Zenawi’s soldiers
Meles Zenawi

Ethiopian mother mourns the killing of her teenage son by Meles Zenawi
Meles Zenawi

A mother whose son gunned down by Meles Zenawi’s soldiers cries
Meles Zenawi

Shibre Dessalegn gunned down by Meles Zenawi’s Agazi troops
Meles Zenawi

Meles Zenawi

Meles Zenawi’s police prepare to attack students
Meles Zenawi

Ten-year old boy gunned down by Meles Zenawi’s special forces
killed by Meles Zenawi

Families of students massacred by Meles Zenawi’s soldiers
AAU students

Student in Addis Ababa shot to death by Meles Zenawi’s soldiers
Meles Zenawi

Ethiopian mothers cry
Meles Zenawi

Some of the 78,000 Ethiopians who are kicked out of southern Ethiopia just because they are from the Amhara ethnic group
Meles Zenawi

Hailemariam Dessalegn is appointed as prime minister – ETV

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

Following the announcement of Meles Zenawi’s death this morning, the state-controlled ETV reported that Hailemariam Dessalegn has been appointed as acting prime minister of Ethiopia, confirming Ethiopian review’s breaking news Saturday, August 18.

The ruling TPLF junta reached an agreement on Hailemariam’s appointment early last week at the urging of Gen. Carter F. Ham, head of the U.S. Africa Command (Africom).

On Monday, Africom issued a statement denying Ethiopian Review’s report.

The TPLF junta was ready to announce Meles’s death on Friday, but decided to postpone it until this morning because of the anticipated massive protest rally by Ethiopian Muslims on the Eid al-Fitr holiday, Sunday.

The TPLF junta is currently being led by Seyoum Mesfin. Hailemariam will be a figurehead prime minister, the same as Girma Woldegiorgis is a fake president. The real power will be controlled by Seyoum Mesfin, who is currently chairing the TPLF, according to Ethiopian Review Intelligence Unit sources.

A day of joy for Ethiopians; the blood-sucking terrorist tyrant is dead!

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012


Today is a day of joy for most Ethiopians and all freedom loving people around the world. The ruling Woyanne tribal junta has finally admitted this morning that Meles Zenawi, the genocidal tyrant who has been terrorizing the people of Ethiopia for the past 4 decades, is dead.

The state-controlled ETV reported that Meles Zenawi has died yesterday, but the fact is that he died in the early morning of Sunday, July 15, as first announced by the Ethiopian National Transitional Council (ENTC).

Meles suddenly disappeared from the public view 61 days ago on June 20. On July 11, he went into a coma and was flown to Belgium, according to an eyewitness who is working for Ethiopian Airlines. After the doctors at St. Luc Hospital tried to revive him for the next 4 days, he took his last breath on July 15.

Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi is dead – ETV (video)

Tuesday, August 21st, 2012

The state-controlled Ethiopian Television (ETV) has reported that Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi has died at the age of 57.

After announcing Meles Zenawi’s death, the ETV started showing various photos of the dictator with music on the bacground.

The TPLF junta has been claiming that Meles was recovering for a minor illness and that he would return to his job before September 11, Ethiopian New Year. However, multiple sources have been informing Ethiopian Review and other media that Meles has died several weeks ago. Finally, the regime has admitted this morning (Ethiopian local time) that he is dead.

Obviously, it has been a while since Meles has died. It took this long for the ruling TPLF junta to announce his death because they couldn’t agree on his replacement.

Toward the end of last week, as reported by Ethiopian Review, the U.S. Africa Command led by Gen. Carter F. Ham persuaded the minority tribal junta to appoint Hailemariam Dessalegn as acting prime minister.

Ethiopian woman helped police to arrest Dallas murder suspect Abey Belete Girma

Monday, August 20th, 2012

According to EMF, the suspected killer of an Ethiopian couple in Dallas was caught with a hit list, 15 guns and $20,000 before an Ethiopian woman in Colorado helped police to arrest him Saturday night.

(DALLAS MORNING NEWS) — Late last night we learned that Abey Girma, the fugitive suspected of gunning down a Lower Greenville husband and wife on their front porch, had been arrested in Colorado.

Now we know how that went down, and it looks like police can thank an alert news reader at tight-knit Ethiopian church.

Short background: Police believe Girma, a customer at Yared Lemma and Yenni Desta’s Ethiopian restaurant, felt disrespected by the couple for some reason Wednesday night. So he allegedly followed them home and shot them to death, then forced a coworker to help him flee the state.

The next day in Aurora, Colo., a woman worshiping at St. Mary Ethiopian Orthodox Church spots a strange man hanging around. According to Aurora police, he calls himself Abey.

Abey asks the woman for her phone number, police say. She refuses.

The next day the woman sees Girma at the church again. And that night, police say, he comes knocking at her door and window. She doesn’t answer.

Now, the Ethiopians in Aurora are well aware of the Dallas slaying. It’s big news in a small community. So the woman does some some Googling, find’s Girma’s mugshot and immediately recognizes him as her stalker.

She calls police right away, and about an hour later officers find his vehicle in the church parking lot. He’s arrested at a traffic stop without incident, and is now reportedly awaiting extradition to Dallas.

Police found 15 guns and $20,000 in Abey Girma’s 2011 Nissan when he was caught in Colorado

Monday, August 20th, 2012

This is shocking. The guy had with him a list of individuals he was preparing to kill or already might have killed. The authorities in Texas and Colorado are investigating.

(EMF) በዳላስ የደስታ ሬስቶራንት ባለቤት የሆኑትን አቶ ያየህይራድ እና የኒን በማታ ተከትሎ የገደላቸው ኢትዮጵያዊ ዴንቨር ከሚገኘው ዳግማዊት ግሸን ማርያም አጠገብ ከሚገኘው ትምህርት ቤት የ2011 ኒሳን መኪናውን እንዳቆመ ነው በፖሊስ የተደረሰበት። አብይ ግርማ ይባላል። ከዚህ በፊት ዴንቨር ነዋሪ ነበር። አትላንታ ከተማም መምጣትን ያዘወትራል። ዳላስ ከተማ ውስጥ ደግሞ በሊሞዚን መኪና ሹፌርነት ይሰራል። ከዚህ በፊት ዳላስ በሚገኘው ደስታ ሬስቶራንት ውስጥ ከሰዎች ጋር ተጣልቶ ስለተፈነከተ፤ የጉዳት ካሳ በመጠየቅ ጉዳዩ ፍርድ ቤት ድረስ ሄዷል።

(ከላይ የጠቀስናቸው ጉዳዮች ሰፊ ትንታኔ የሚያስፈልጋቸው ስለሆኑ፤ ያንን ለጊዜው ትተን ዴንቨር ውስጥ በተያዘበት ወቅት የነበረውን ሁኔታ በጥቂቱ እንግለጽላችሁ)

የዴንቨር ፖሊስ ወደ አብይ መኪና በማምራት እንዲከፍትለት ሲጠይቀው፤ ልጁ መኪናውን አስነስቶ ለማምለጥ ቢሞክርም… የዴንቨር ፖሊስ ቀደም ብሎ ተዘጋጅቶ እየጠበቀ ስለነበር ከትንሽ የመኪና ማሯሯጥ በኋላ በቁጥጥር ስር አውሎታል። ከዚያም መኪናው ሲፈተሽ ያልተጠበቀ ነገር ተገኘ። 15 ሽጉጦችን ፖሊስ አገኘበት። ይህ ብቻ አይደለም… ሊገድል ያሰባቸው ናቸው የተባሉ የ15 ሰዎች ዝርዝር አብሮ አለ። ከዚህም በተጨማሪ 20 ሺህ ዶላር በጥሬው በመኪናው ውስጥ ይዞ ነው የተገኘው።

እነዚያ ሊገድላቸው ዝርዝራቸውን ይዞ የነበረው የ 15 ሰዎች ስም በፖሊስ ይፋ አልሆነም። ነገር ግን ይህ ከታወቀ ጊዜ አንስቶ የዴንቨር ነዋሪዎች በተለይም ድሮ አብይ ግርማን ያውቁት የነበሩት ሰዎች በጣም ተረብሸዋል። የዴንቨር ፖሊስ በአብይ ግርማ ላይ ጥብቅ የሆነ ምርመራ እያካሄደ ነው። ምናልባት ከዚህ በፊት የገደላቸው ሰዎች ካሉ፤ በመስቀለኛ ጥያቄዎች እያፋጠጡት ሊሆን እንደሚችል ግምት አለ። በሌላ በኩል ደግሞ የዳላስ ፖሊስ ይህንን ግለሰብ እየፈለገው ነው። ወደ ዳላስ እንዲላክለትም ፈልጓል። የዴንቨር ፖሊስ በበኩሉ ገና የማጣራው ነገር አለ በማለት ጉዳዩን እንደያዘው ይገኛል።

ይህ በ እንዲህ እንዳለ፤ የደስታ ባለቤቶች የአቶ ያየህይራድ እና የወ/ሮ የኔነሽ የቀብር ስነ ስርዓት በከፍተኛ ድምቀት በትላንትናው እለት በዳላስ ከተማ ተፈጽሟል።


U.S. Africa Command denies it is meddling in Ethiopian politics

Monday, August 20th, 2012

US Africa CommandThe United States Africa Command has issued the following brief statement denying Ethiopian Review’s report that it is pressuring the ruling TPLF junta in Ethiopia to appoint Dessaelgn Hailemariam as a replacement to the disappeared dictator Meles Zenawi:

STUTTGART, Germany, Aug 20, 2012 — Allegations that General Carter F. Ham, Commander of United States Africa Command, influenced Ethiopian politics in any way are false. The mission of U.S. Africa Command is to work with African nations to strengthen their defense capabilities in order to deter and defeat transnational threats and to provide a security environment conducive to good governance and development. Command leaders and staff members do not meddle in the domestic affairs of African nations.
- U.S. AFRICOM Public Affairs

Ethiopian Review stands by its report. The truth will come out sooner or later and we will see who is making false claims. The fact that Africom is training the TPLF regime’s special forces itself is meddling in Ethiopian politics, knowing full-well that the army in Ethiopia is under complete control of the ruling minority junta. Also, instead of issuing a brief statement, Gen. Ham is well-advised to present himself to the independent Ethiopian media and answer questions regarding Africom’s involvement in Ethiopia, and particularly its military assistance to Meles Zenawi’s genocidal regime. By supporting the corrupt, brutal dictatorship in Ethiopia, the Pentagon and Africom are doing a disservice to the long-term interest of both the United States and Ethiopia.

Africom in Ethiopia
CAPTION: A U.S. officer mentors Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) TPLF officers in Tolay, Ethiopia, July 2009. The program is part of a 12-week course coordinated by soldiers with CJTF-HOA to assist Ethiopian TPLF NCOs in becoming sergeants major. Sergeants Major from U.S. Army Africa and U.S. Africa Command also participated as mentors in this program.

Why is Ethiopian Airlines overcharging passengers?

Monday, August 20th, 2012


Ethiopian Airlines (EAL) is consistently proving to be a bad financial deal for travelers to and from Ethiopia. EAL used to tout itself as the most affordable way to travel back home. But our research finds that at least nowadays, that is most certainly not the case. For the three-week time period beginning on September 1, we randomly searched on Expedia.com for round-trip flights from locations where many Ethiopians live abroad, to Addis Ababa. What we find is that EAL always turns out to be more expensive than the best deal, sometimes by many hundreds of dollars. See the results further below for trips to Addis from DC, Atlanta, London, and Rome, for example.

Why is EAL overcharging passengers? Two factors appear to play a role.

(1) Extracting foreign exchange from the diaspora. Even before the Meles-disappearance fiasco, the regime had been in a bind, running dangerously low on foreign exchange reserves. But now things are going from bad to worse: Woyanne elites and others with political connections
are bringing their hard currency reserves into safety, i.e. out of the country, as reported here. The past and ongoing Forex crunch of the TPLF regime is likely to create pressure for companies under TPLF control that get their primary business from the diaspora and foreigners — such as EAL — to do their best to extract as much hard currency money from their customers. After all, hard currency from the diaspora is now needed more urgently than ever, to keep senior military officials rich and happy so that they don’t turn on the TPLF elite.

(2) EAL mismanagement. Since a competent chief executive of EAL had been removed and the airline put into the hands of TPLF insider Tewolde Gebremariam, EAL has been undertaking bizarre moves, such as forcing airline staff to take wage cuts shortly after announcing sterling profit growth (read here). So it shouldn’t surprise if flights become as expensive as they have become.

Click on the image to enlarge

Cheetahs, Hippos and Saving Ethiopia

Monday, August 20th, 2012

By Alemayehu G Mariam

chGeorge Ayittey, one of the foremost African public global intellectuals, metaphorically suggests that Africa’s destiny will be determined by the promise of the “Cheetah Generation” or the paralysis of the “Hippo Generation”. As he explains,

The Cheetah Generation refers to the new and angry generation of young African graduates and professionals, who look at African issues and problems from a totally different and unique perspective. They are dynamic, intellectually agile, and pragmatic. They may be the ‘restless generation’ but they are Africa’s new hope. They brook no nonsense about corruption, inefficiency, ineptitude, incompetence, or buffoonery. They understand and stress transparency, accountability, human rights, and good governance. They also know that many of their current leaders are hopelessly corrupt and that their governments are contumaciously dysfunctional and commit flagitious human rights violations. The Cheetahs do not look for excuses for government failure by wailing over the legacies of the slave trade, Western colonialism, imperialism, the World Bank or an unjust international economic system. To the Cheetahs, this ‘colonialism-imperialism’ paradigm, in which every African problem is analyzed, is obsolete and kaput. Unencumbered by the old shibboleths, Cheetahs can analyze issues with remarkable clarity and objectivity. The outlook and perspectives of the Cheetahs are refreshingly different from those of many African leaders, intellectuals, or elites, whose mental faculties are so foggy and their reasoning or logic so befuddled that they cannot distinguish between right and wrong. They blame everybody else for Africa’s problems except themselves.

On the other hand, the “Hippo Generation” is

intellectually astigmatic and stuck in their muddy colonialist pedagogical patch. They can see with eagle-eyed clarity the injustices perpetrated by whites against blacks, but they are hopelessly blind to the more heinous injustices they perpetrate against their own black people. They are stodgy, pudgy, and wedded to the old “colonialism-imperialism” paradigm with an abiding faith in the potency of the state. They lack vision and sit tight in their air-conditioned government offices, comfortable in their belief that the state can solve all of Africa’s problems. All the state needs is more power and more foreign aid. And they would ferociously defend their territory since that is what provides [us] with [our] wealth. (Hippos kill more people in Africa than any other animal.) They care less if the whole country collapses around them, but are content as long as their pond is secure… But now is not the time for the cheetahs to take over. They will be ripped up by the ornery and nasty Hippos. Rather, they should build up on their skills, strength and accumulate knowledge and wealth — in the private sector — while methodically draining the swamp of the Hippos. Soon, the [Hippos] will find themselves ‘homeless’ and then the Cheetahs can take over.

The youth are the most dynamic segment in any society. Two of history’s evil men understood the importance of controlling and “owning” youth. Vladimir Lenin, the founder of the totalitarian Soviet state promised, “Give me just one generation of youth, and I’ll transform the whole world.” His counterpart in the Third Reich proclaimed, “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” Both used their nations’ youths as cannon fodder to realize their warped vision of world domination. For the past decade, Ethiopia’s dictators have sought to buy the loyalty and allegiance of the country’s best and brightest. Most of the country’s university graduates have been held hostage to dictator Meles Zenawi’s corrupt neopatrimonial system. Zenawi has used various means to recruit, control, politicize and depoliticize the country’s youth. He has made economic survival impossible for the youth of the country except through membership in a syndicate palmed off as a political party.

Now is the Time for Ethiopia’s Cheetah Generation to Lead the Way to National Reconciliation

It is now time for Ethiopia’s cheetahs to take a leading role in the national dialogue to transition Ethiopia from dictatorship to democracy. Such a prescriptive declarationmight be surprising to some coming from a card-carrying member of the “Loyal Order of African (Ethiopian) Hippos”. But over the years, I have learned to appreciate the sacrifices of Ethiopia’s cheetahs and have been awed by their transformative potential. In numerous weekly commentaries, I have despaired over their plight under Zenawi’s dictatorship but nevertheless insisted that they must be the tip of the spear in bringing about democratic change in Ethiopia. In June 2010, I reflected over what could happen if the rage bottled up in Ethiopia’s youth suddenly exploded:

The wretched conditions of Ethiopia’s youth point to the fact that they are a ticking demographic time bomb. The evidence of youth frustration, discontent, disillusionment and discouragement by the protracted economic crisis, lack of economic opportunities and political repression is manifest, overwhelming and irrefutable. The yearning of youth for freedom and change is self-evident. The only question is whether the country’s youth will seek change through increased militancy or by other peaceful means….

This past April, in my ongoing series on “Ethiopia’s transition from dictatorship to democracy”, I argued against the “conventional wisdom [that] says the important task of managing the transition from dictatorship to democracy should be left to the elites—the politicians, party leaders, bureaucrats, academics and other institutional leaders.” I insisted that “for there to be a truly a… durable democracy in [Ethiopia], the dialogue base must be expanded to broadly include… women and the youth…”

Ethiopian Youth Must Lead a National Dialogue in Search of a Path to Peaceful Change

Ethiopia today is a country without a head of state or a functioning government. The “prime minster” has literally gone AWOL. Apparently, no one knows where he is or even if he is alive. He has not been seen or heard of in public for the past two months. The “deputy prime minster” is as invisible as a ghost. The “president” is… Is there a president? The opposition is as silent as the gravestone. Who can save Ethiopia?

Since the beginning of 2012, I have been talking and writing about Ethiopia’s inevitable transition from dictatorship to democracy. More recently, I called for a national dialogue in the spirit of President Nelson Mandela. I now call upon and appeal to all of Ethiopia’s youth to lead the transitional national dialogue because I believe Ethiopia’s salvation and destiny rests not in the hardened jaws of the hippos but in the soft paws of the cheetahs.

Why MUST Ethiopia’s cheetahs lead the national dialogue for a peaceful transition from dictatorship to democracy? First, if the cheetahs do not initiate the dialogue, who will? Who can? The hippos have been dialoguing for decades using the language of finger pointing, mudslinging, hatemongering and grudge holding. Second, the future belongs to the cheetahs (an estimated 67 percent of Ethiopia’s population is said to be under the age of 35) and not the hippos who continue to wallow in the muddy politics of ethnicity and sectarianism. Third, Ethiopia’s cheetahs are already doing much of the heavy lifting. They have been paying the price for democracy, freedom and human rights in blood, sweat and tears. The best and the brightest have been persecuted, prosecuted, brutalized and silenced by dictator Meles Zenawi. At the top of the list are Birtukan Midekssa, Eskinder Nega, Andualem Aragie, Bekele Gerba, Olbana Lelisa, Reeyot Alemu, Abebe Gellaw, Temesgen Desalegn, Yenesew Gebre, the hundreds of victims of the 2005 massacres and so many others. Fifth, Ethiopia’s cheetah’s are paying the full price for the stupidity, narrow mindedness and incompetence of the hippos. Sixth, unlike the hippos, Ethiopia’s cheetahs have the best chance of leading a successful transition because they are focused on the future and not the past. Current violations of human rights are more important to Ethiopia’s cheetah’s than historic grievances. They would rather seek justice today than remain paralyzed talking about the injustices of yesterday. Ethiopia’s cheetahs would rather steer the Ethiopian ship of state looking through the windshield than looking in the rear view mirror.

Beginning the Dialogue on National Reconciliation

The dialogue on national reconciliation in Ethiopia must begin within Ethiopia’s youth communities. Ethiopia’s cheetah’s must empower themselves, create their own political and social space, set their own agendas and begin multifaceted dialogues on their country’s transition from dictatorship to democracy. They must develop their own awareness campaigns and facilitate vital conversations among youth communities cutting across language, religion, ethnicity region and so on. Their dialogues must be based on the principles of openness, truth and commitment to democracy, freedom and human rights. They must dialogue without fear or loathing. Above all, the cheetahs must “own” the dialogue process. At a gathering of cheetahs, hippos should be seen and not heard; tolerated but not involved. The cheetahs must keep a sharp eye on the hippos who are very skillful in political intrigues and expert at finding ways of getting involved to take over and manipulate the youth.

Informal dialogues among activist youth. For a variety of reasons, it is most practical for Ethiopia’s cheetahs to begin dialogue on national reconciliation at the informal level. For instance, such dialogues could initially take place among like-minded activist youth at the neighborhood level. Activist youth could undertake an assessment of their capabilities, potentials, opportunities and obstacles in setting up and managing a community-based informal reconciliation youth dialogues. Youth activist should focus on creating broader youth awareness and involvement in the dialogue process and utilization of existing organizations, institutions, associations, forums, etc., for national reconciliation dialogue. These dialogues should begin by focusing on certain key questions: Who are Ethiopia’s cheetahs and how committed are they in shaping the democratic destiny of their country? Are these cheetahs committed to nonviolent political change? Are they willing to commit to national dialogue as brothers and sisters?

Cheetahs should rely on themselves (and not expect much help from hippos) in beginning informal dialogues. In the past, Ethiopia’s cheetahs have looked up to the hippos for political guidance and direction. But hippos in and out of power have sought to marginalize the cheetahs.In the aftermath of the 2005 election, the hippos in power understood the power of the cheetahs and took active measures to blunt their impact by organizing them to support the regime and avoid involvement in opposition politics. They tried to control the cheetahs by creating and inducting millions of them into mass organizations and indoctrinating them in the bogus and mindless ideology of “revolutionary democracy”, bribing them with educational and job opportunities and threatening them with a variety of legal and extra-legal sanctions. By co-opting the most dynamic segment of the youth, the hippos in power were able to prevent large-scale youth engagement on the issues of human rights and democracy. Regrettably, the cheetahs were abandoned by the hippos out of power after the 2005 election. Ethiopia’s cheetahs must begin to develop self-reliance in transitioning their country from dictatorship to democracy.

Learning from and supporting each other and learning from the mistakes of the hippos and other youths. Ethiopia’s cheetahs have much to learn from each other, from the mistakes of the hippo generation and youths from other nations. Dialogue involves not only talking but also listening to each other. Youth from Ethiopia’s multiethnic society have much to learn from each other and build upon the strengths of the diverse youth communities. Much can be learned from the mistakes of the hippo generation. For starters, the cheetahs should learn that to disagree on issues does not mean becoming mortal enemies. It is possible to disagree without being disagreeable. Civility in dialogue, though lacking among hippos, is essential for cheetahs .Ethiopia’s cheetahs must also learn from the mistakes of other youth movements. Youth power was the catalyzing force in Tunisia and Egypt. They creatively used mobile technology to mobilize the youth population, but in the end they were marginalized.

Ethiopia’s Destiny Hangs in the Balance

Many societies face generational gaps as the youth rebel against tradition and societal norms. In Ethiopia today, there are two different generations. The cheetah generation wants freedom, human rights and democracy now. The hippo generation wallows in a mucky swamp of corruption, nepotism, cronyism, criminality and inhumanity. The cheetah generation wants to drain the swamp. The hippo generation is hopelessly trapped in the bog of ethnic politics and revenge politics.

Africans know all too well that hippos (including their metaphorical human counterparts) are dangerous animals that are fiercely territorial and attack anything that comes into their turf. Every year more people are killed by hippos (both the real and metaphorical ones) in Africa than lions or elephants. Cheetahs are known to be the fastest animals, but their weakness is that they give up the chase easily if they fail to make a catch quickly or surrender the prey they have caught when challenged by other predators including hyenas. A group of hippos is known as a crash. A group of cheetahs is called a “coalition”. Only a coalition of cheetahs organized across ethnic, religious, linguistic and regional lines can crash a crash of hippos and a cackle of hyenas and save Ethiopia.

Amharic translations of recent commentaries by the author may be found at: http://www.ethiopianreview.com/amharic/?author=57

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

Liar, Liar, Liar: thousands confront ETV

Monday, August 20th, 2012

ADDIS ABABA — In an unprecedented peaceful march, thousands of Ethiopian Muslims marched on the headquarters of the lie factory known as Ethiopian Television (ETV).  ETV is the monopoly and official mouthpiece of Ethiopia’s minority-run regime of the Tigrai People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).

The protests took place on Sunday August 19, in Addis Ababa, following the end of Ramadan prayers.  The protestors shouted “liar, liar, liar.”  They also demanded that their voices be heard and the truth be reported.

ETV has been at the forefront of the minority regime’s propaganda war against Muslims and other Ethiopians.  ETV has labeled the millions of Muslims demanding their rights “extremists and terrorists.” Government lies, propaganda and psychological war have further infuriated the population, leading to even larger demonstrations.

 

 

Day 60 of Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi’s disappearance

Monday, August 20th, 2012

It’s now been full 2 months since Ethiopia’s khat-addicted tinpot dictator Meles Zenawi disappeared. It has also been 30 days since his wife Azeb Mesfin, the mother of corruption, has disappeared.

The Woyanne junta is currently facing a critical shortage of foreign exchange reserve. According to Ethiopian Review sources, the regime will completely run out of hard currency within the next 3 – 4 weeks, unless it is bailed out by its puppet-masters.

Foreign exchange crisis is the main reason that the TPLF junta has reportedly agreed to the U.S. demand to appoint Hailemariam Dessalegn as Meles Zenawi’s replacement until 2015.

The U.S., along with the World Band and IMF, is currently working on a multibillion-dollar foreign exchange bailout package to save the TPLF junta from crumbling, according to our sources. This is a sad development since the U.S. officials know that the regime is running out of hard currency because of the massive looting of Ethiopia’s treasure that is underway by the TPLF high-ranking officials.

Murder suspect Abey Belete Girma caught in Aurora, Colorado

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Abey Belette GirmaA man who is suspected of killing an Ethiopian couple in Dallas, Texas, has been caught in Aurora, Colorado, last night.

Abey Belete Girma, who fled from Texas after the Dallas Police has issued an arrest warrant against him for killing Yayehyirad Lemma and Yenenesh Desta, is currently being held at the Aurora Detention Center.

An official of the Aurora Detention Center told Ethiopian Review this afternoon that Abey was arrested on Saturday, August 18, and he is currently awaiting extradition to Texas, where he is facing death penalty if he is found guilty.

59th day since the disappearance of Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

meles zenawi

Today is the 59th day since Ethiopia’s khat-addicted dictator disappeared. Whether Meles is dead or alive, it seems every one, even members of the TPLF junta such as Sebhat Nega, are convinced that he will not return to his ‘job’.

Recent Developments

1. The TPLF leadership has reached an agreement to appoint Hailemariam Desallegn as prime minister until 2015 at the urging of U.S. Africa Command.

2. The regime will run out of foreign currency in less than 3 – 4 weeks unless the U.S. and others intervene.

3. Beneyen Betros, Merera Gudina and other members of the “loyal opposition” in Ethiopia are arriving in Washington DC for secret meetings with U.S. officials.

4. Peaceful but massive protest by Ethiopian Muslims took place today in Addis Ababa.

Massive Muslim protests rock Addis Ababa

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

ADDIS ABABA (August 19, 2012) — Ethiopian Muslims staged a huge protest rally following the end of Ramadan prayers.

The demonstrators refused to be intimidated by the massive presence of the security forces of the ruling Tigrian People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).  The protesters called for the release of jailed leaders and an end to government interference in religious affairs.

Leadership vacuum in Ethiopia: Will ethnicity win over competence?

Sunday, August 19th, 2012

Challenging Ethnicity as a Free Ride to the Top

Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE)

August 19, 2012

The sudden death of Ethiopian Orthodox Patriarch Abune Paulos, following the disappearance of Prime Minister Meles, and now the rumored illness of General Samora Younis, leaves three unexpected vacuums in the top leadership of Ethiopia. Who will replace them—a tribe or the most qualified leaders?

The death of Abune Paulos on August 16, 2012 has caught many Ethiopians by surprise. The loss of another TPLF/EPRDF top linchpin must be causing increasing anxiety and fear behind the closed doors of the regime. His death only compounds the leadership vacuum created when Meles disappeared over two months ago. 

On August 17, 2012, information emerged that General Samora Younis, the top leader of the Ethiopian National Defense Forces was taken seriously ill and rushed out of the country for medical treatment, another shocking development that could weaken the regime’s control of the military. The TPLF/EPRDF faces some difficult and anxious days ahead as the crisis of leadership deepens within their ruling party; all worsened by the growing anger, fear and resentment from Ethiopians towards their 21-year long iron-fisted, one-party, ethnic-apartheid rule.

Who could have predicted such a crisis? Not even Meles himself could have planned for such a time as this or the regime would have been more prepared. Instead, under his leadership, the TPLF/EPRDF has eliminated, killed, imprisoned, suppressed or otherwise destroyed most every alternative or competitor from gaining enough strength to challenge him as the “strongman of Ethiopia.” Every legitimate institution has been brought to its knees, unable to operate under such a hostile climate; replaced by TPLF/EPRDF-controlled, pseudo-institutions of pretense so that Ethiopians would be left without hope for change.

In light of this, we in the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE), a social justice movement of diverse Ethiopians, formed in 2008 to bring about a “New Ethiopia,” where truth, justice, freedom, equality, respect for human rights, opportunity and reconciliation create the foundation for a healthier, more thriving society, urge Ethiopians to embrace the universal God-given values to honor our Creator, to care about our family, neighbor and nation and to act on it in daily life until we see the dawn of light from a transformed Ethiopia rise up over our nation.

Yet, today, Ethiopia is in darkness. Anxiety is plaguing the hearts of most every Ethiopian as no one knows the future. Who will replace these leaders? Will the only contenders be from one tribe from one region or the country or the most qualified candidates? Ethiopians see no hope that the TPLF/EPRDF regime will change its nature as political space remains completely closed, as communication lines are monitored, suppressed or blocked, as crackdowns on the opposition and peaceful Muslim protestors continue, as the independent media is shut down and as land and resource grabs continue to threaten the survival of our vulnerable people.  

The disappearance of Meles has only intensified the peoples’ anxieties for the future as a vacuum of leadership, which could have promised opportunity for change, remains unexploited because few, even within the TPLF/EPRDF, are prepared to step in. Meles and the TPLF/EPRDF, controlled by him, his family and his cronies, have worked very hard and successfully to destroy any competition. Even foreign partners who have invested in Meles, counting on his continued tight control of Ethiopia, must be highly concerned regarding Ethiopia’s shaky and uncertain future. Now add to it the death of Abune Paulos, who has been the unpopular leader of millions of Ethiopian Orthodox believers—as well as the absence of General Samora Younis, who has been the force of military power behind Meles—and the levels of anxiety over what might happen next only deepen.

In the same way that some have celebrated rumors of Meles’ death or incapacitating illness, some anti-regime enthusiasts may now be celebrating the death of Abune Paulos, believing he served the interests of the regime as he undermined the witness of the church, as well as the most recent news that General Younis might meet a similar fate; however, we should not gloat over the fall of an enemy.

 

In the case of Abune Paulos, we know this man has now died. When he was alive, he was part of the system of suppression. Like him, we are all born and destined to die. We enter the world without anything and when we die, we leave our worldly titles and possessions behind. His fate will be decided by God; so for us, it is not a time to celebrate his death. God will make the proper judgment for him in the same way He will for all of us. Instead, we should be talking about the future. What should come next and how can Ethiopians challenge the old system of ethnic entitlement with competency-based inclusiveness? This is the time to challenge ethnicity as a free ride to the top!

We know that under Abune Paulos’ leadership of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, the church and its religious leaders were divided because many saw his appointment and authority as Patriarch as illegitimate; leading to the formation of a church in exile. He embraced the TPLF/EPRDF plan of ethnic federalism that not only divided the people by ethnicity, but which created a hierarchy of privilege and preferential treatment that benefited him personally as well as others from his own minority ethnic group. His qualifications were not as a highly capable and esteemed spiritual leader, respected by the people and other leaders in the church; but instead, he had to come from Adwa, be of Tigrayan ethnicity and be willing to support the TPLF above all else, including the church, the people and God. His, like all other key positions in the country, are held by persons belonging to one ethnicity. 

A country built on tribal preferences rather than inclusive competency is not only unhealthy and under-served, but it sets into motion a dangerous power-struggle between regime cronies and the excluded “others.” Yet, who is equipped and empowered to intervene to the benefit of all parties? If Ethiopia is deprived of its authentic religious leadership, who will speak to the people about the need for non-violence, repentance, forgiveness, reparations, transparency, accountability, justice, reconciliation, transformation and peace when these same people may be seeking revenge, including violent revenge, after living under the shackles of ethnic-tyranny for the last 21 years? Stealing the legitimate voice of our religious leaders and substituting in its place, ethnic domination, leaves a vacuum of spiritual, ethical and moral leadership when it is most needed.

The age of “one-tribe-take- all” is dying, but it may not end easily until we pull out the life-support of ethnic-based hatred which has been in a coma for the last 21 years. Along with it must go ethnic-based favoritism, ethnic-based entitlement and ethnic-based revenge that run too deeply within us and our society. It must be replaced with the moral and spiritual transformation which comes from souls that seek God’s righteousness. The only thing that will replace the ethnic-based dehumanization of “others” is a pure heart, not bent on revenge, but willing to forgive, to reconcile, to love, to care and to live in harmony with other human beings, all created by the same God.

Ethiopian Orthodox believers and all Ethiopians, including non-believers, who believe in freedom of religion, belief and thought, have a moral, ethical and spiritual duty to not allow another puppet of the TPLF/EPRDF to become the next spiritual head of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.

Whoever replaces Abune Paulos should not be chosen because of village, family, ethnicity, regional biases or regime loyalty but by qualities of spiritual leadership, enhanced with competency. Now, by what seems to be divinely-orchestrated coincidence, the Orthodox are in the same position as Ethiopian Muslims, all who do not want the TPLF/EPRDF, or any other government—even a good government—to interfere with religious affairs. It is wrong and should be confronted.

Sunday, August 19th is the Muslim holiday of Eid-al-Fitr, one of the most joyous celebrations in Islam, marking the end of Ramadan, where prayers, meals with family and gifts of charity will be given. This year, we are hearing that the Ethiopian Muslims will be peacefully demonstrating on this day, calling for freedom, the release of their religious leaders, the religious freedom to choose their own spiritual leaders and the right to have their voices heard in Ethiopia. We in the SMNE wish them, “Eid Mubarak,” which means “Have a blessed Eid.” Ethiopians of faith should all pray for them that this non-violent, disciplined and peaceful protest will end without violence from government security forces or from anyone else so that no one is harmed or intimidated for exercising their rights. 

Orthodox and Muslim believers should stand strong together and Evangelical Christians, Ethiopian Jews and people of other faith backgrounds should join them in demanding freedom from an apartheid government; calling, with unified voice, for a better Ethiopia rather than a beggar Ethiopia—a New Ethiopia grounded on truth, freedom, equality, morality, integrity, civility, reconciliation and the restoration of justice for all Ethiopians. The whole country should demand this change because unless we work for it, it will not be handed over to us. This means whoever comes after Meles should not be from the same ethnic group or controlled as a puppet by tribalists behind the scenes.

For example, if Hailemariam Desalegn, the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs from Southern Nations, is appointed as the next prime minister or as the transitional prime minister, many believe that the TPLF Central Committee will try to control him from behind the scenes. If in fact he is appointed, let us remind him that he answers to someone who is above all of them—a Sovereign and Almighty God who condemns injustice, oppression, partiality, corruption, bloodshed and hatred. To whose directions will he listen and uphold? Who knows but that God may have put him in this position for such a time as this. If he does not live up to his God-given purposes, God will raise up someone else and he will lose his opportunity!

If God, who is sovereign over nations and their leaders, has removed Meles or others in order to give us a window of opportunity, will we use it rightly? Remember, Meles may be gone, but those who maintained him in power are still there. In the same way, those who maintained and sustained the ethnic divisions between Ethiopians and between Ethiopians and our neighbors are still present. This is our chance as the people of Ethiopia no matter what position we are or are not in. You can change and become part of our society that paves the way to a better future or we can give up the moment through collective passivity.

We already have that reputation. A western diplomat told SMNE leaders that Ethiopia is an unusual society, different from most any others, because its people are so submissive that the country could function without a leader for months without people rising up—despite living under such horrible conditions. We are not seen as people willing to sacrifice and to sometimes die in order to change the way we live and our legacy of bloodshed and suffering. Instead, this observer felt that despite the absence of leadership, there was nothing to panic about as the country could run in “automatic” even if no one was running country for two months or even longer. Is this true? Are we waiting for someone else to free us? Is this from our feudal past or after TPLF/EPRDF domination or both? Other home-grown observers see it differently and believe some unpredictable factor may force us out of our complacency and into action; particularly if factors like inflation, the lack of availability of hard currency that we are hearing about in the media combine with the leadership crisis.

It is time to prepare for the “unknowns of tomorrow” for when it comes, we must confront it, first as people of shared humanity and then as Ethiopians; not by our differences, but by what unifies us—our homes, the land we all share and the mixed blood of our ancestors that flows in our veins making it impossible to truly identify its sources. 

In order to confront our “tomorrow,” we should all be standing together as one family to demand a New Ethiopia where everyone is included; where “my” justice will not come without the justice of my neighbor. As we demand this, let us not miss the bigger picture—our humanity that we share with the Tigrayan. They are our beloved brothers and sisters; valued and treasured by God Almighty who created all of us. They are us! Yes, those who committed crimes of destruction will face justice, but for anyone else, the New Ethiopia will include all our Ethiopian brothers and sisters in a more humane, more God-honoring Ethiopia. 

It is time to transform—to forgive, to repent and to be willing to integrate with the people of our country, our neighbors and our fellow global citizens. With this in mind; stay firm, stay strong and let us raise the banner of honor to God and our humanity not our ethnicity. As long as we do and as long as see other Ethiopians as part of our Ethiopian family, we will have a future with hope, purpose and blessing that we can pass on to our descendents.

May God bless Ethiopia and prepare each of us to remain alert and ready to contribute our share to the betterment of each one of us and to Ethiopia as a whole for “no one is free until all are free.

______________________________________________________________

For more information, including interview requests please contact Mr. Obang Metho, Executive Director of the SMNE E-mail: Obang@solidaritymovement.org. You can find more about the SMNE through its website at: www.solidaritymovement.org

BREAKING NEWS: Africom Commander persuaded TPLF to appoint Hailemariam Dessalgn as prime minister

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

General Carter F. Ham, head of the U.S. Africa Command has persuaded the ruling party in Ethiopia, the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) to appoint Hailemariam Dessalegn as prime minister until the next fake election, according to Ethiopian Review Intelligence Unit sources. The TPLF junta has been resisting Hailemariam’s appointment fearing that power may slip from their hands… This is a developing story. Stay tuned for more updates.

Calling Aba Gebremedhin “His Holiness” is an insult to the people of Ethiopia

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

By Elias Kifle

When the Woyanne junta-installed fake patriarch in Ethiopia, Aba Gebremedhin (formerly Aba Paulos), died this week, some of the opposition media was referring to him as “His Holiness,” “Bitsuh Wokdus Abune Paulos,” etc. I would not be surprised if the Woyanne media address him in such respectful way, because he is their cadre. But for the independent Ethiopian media who have been reporting about Aba Gebremedhin’s crimes, including the cold-blood murder of an Ethiopian monk, and the destruction of Ethiopian historical places, to refer to him as “His Holiness” is a terrible insult to all the victims of the fake patriarch. It is also a lie. Aba Gebremedhin is not a holly man. He is not the patriarch of Ethiopian Orthodox Church. His religious tile has been stripped by the real leaders of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Aba Gebremedhin is a crook, a pimp, and a murderer who should be held in contempt by every one and brought to justice.

Ethiopians hold hunger strike at the White House

Saturday, August 18th, 2012


A group of Ethiopians are currently holding a hunger strike in front of the White House to protest the attack on free press and freedom of speech in Ethiopia, and to demand the release of jailed journalist Reyot Alemu, Woubshet Taye, Eskinder Nega and others.

The group led by young Ethiopian Liyu Genenew has arrived at the White House Lafayette Park on Thursday around midnight to stage the protest and hunger strike, which will continue until tomorrow, Sunday noon.

One American lady who was part of the hunger strike collapsed last night due to exhaustion and had to be taken to a hospital.

Liyu and her friends braved heavy rain yesterday evening and the hot weather during the day. One of the participants told Ethiopian Review that the most difficult part of the hunger strike is the sleep deprivation.

Day 58 since Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi disappeared

Saturday, August 18th, 2012

Today is the 58th day since Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi has disappeared.

During Meles Zenawi’s disappearance:

- The TPLF junta first denied the report that he is sick, but later admitted that he is getting medical treatment for exhaustion. The regime’s propaganda chief Bereket Simon said Meles will return to work before Ethiopian New Year, September 11.

- Meles Zenawi’s wife Azeb Mesfin, the mother of corruption, has disappeared from public view for the past 28 days.

- The TPLF-installed fake patriarch of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church, Aba Gebremedhin (formerly Abune Paulos) died from heart attack this past Wednesday.

- The TPLF military chief of staff Gen. Samora Yenus is gravely ill.

- The ruling junta is unable to reach an agreement on who should replace Meles, but during the past few days the U.S. is pressuring them to appoint Hailemariam Desallegn as prime minister, and that the U.S. left them with no choice if they want to receive financial support to save the regime from financial collapse.

- It is expected that the Woyanne junta will run out of foreign currency within the next 3 – 4 weeks.

A capital murder warrant issued for Abey Belete Girma

Friday, August 17th, 2012


A capital murder warrant has been issued for Abey Belette Girma, 37, in the killing of the owners of Desta, an Ethiopian restaurant, at around midnight on Aug. 15. Yayehyirad Lemma and Yenenesh Desta were gunned down on the front porch of their home on Marquita Street after closing the restaurant for the night.

According to CBS Channel 11, the arrest warrant says a co-worker of Abey Belete’s contacted police after the man admitted to following them home from the restaurant and shooting them. Girma showed the witness the gun he used and said he had felt “disrespected” by the couple.

Abey Belete Girma is 5’11” and weighs 208 pounds. If you have any information regarding his whereabouts, call the Dallas Police homicide unit at (214) 671-3661, or leave an anonymous tip with CrimeStoppers at 214-373-TIPS. — Dallas Observer

Dallas murder suspect Abey Belete Girma fled the state

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Abey Belette Girma(THE DALLAS MORNING NEWS) — Dallas police believe a man wanted on an arrest warrant in connection with the shooting deaths of a couple who owned an Ethiopian restaurant has fled the state.

Police continue to look for Abey Belette Girma who is accused of capital murder.

Yayehyirad “Yared” Lemma, 40, and Yenenesh “Yenni” Desta, 31, shot to death about midnight Wednesday in front of their Lower Greenville home, in Dallas, Texas. The couple was returning home from Desta, the Ethiopian restaurant they operated on Greenville Avenue near Forest Lane.

According to an arrest warrant, Girma approached both of them on the front porch and shot them before running away.

A co-worker of Girma’s told police that Girma told him he had killed the couple because they had “disrespected him.” He said Girma told him that he followed them from their restaurant to their home where he confronted Lemma on the front porch of his home.

“Suspect Girma told witness … that the complainant continued to disrespect him so he shot him,” police records state. “Suspect Girma stated he next shot complainant Yenenesh because she had also disrespected him.”

The co-worker told police that Girma showed him a pistol that he used to kill the couple.

He also told police that Girma intimidated him into driving to Goodland, Kansas, where he was able to escape and call the police.

National Bank of Ethiopia suspends foreign currency exchanges

Friday, August 17th, 2012

By ARGAW ASHINE

The Ethiopian government has suspended the provision of foreign currency in a decision that has been linked to the political uncertainties surrounding Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s disappearance.

A notice to this effect has been issued by the regulator, the National Bank of Ethiopia, to the country’s commercial banks as Addis Ababa.

According to Agriculture minister Mitiku Kassa, the number of aid recipients was 3.2 million over the last six months, and have now increased due to the failure of rain in some parts of the country.

The country’s foreign currency reserves are running alarmingly low and can only cover the importation of basic goods such as petroleum, medicine and food.

The measure is likely to lead to a black market boom that would further weaken the country’s import-export trade, observers say.

Banking in the Horn of Africa nation of about 85 million people is highly centrally regulated.

Industry insiders say massive capital flight and illegal transactions are the main reasons for the rapid depletion of forex reserves. One of the fastest growing sub-Saharan Africa countries, Ethiopia’s growth has touched seven per cent annually for the last nine years, according to the IMF.

Big businesses owned by Mr Meles’ ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) play a key role in the daily operation of the economy. The EPRDF owns banks, insurance firms, manufacturing and construction giants, hotel chains and media outlets among the more than 85 companies under the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray.

The EPRDF is a coalition of four largely ethnically-based political parties, with the Tigrayan People Liberation Front (TPLF) — representing Tigrays, who make up less than five per cent of the population — running the show and providing the power base for Meles and his government.

Mr Meles, a Tigray, has been absent from the public eye for two months due to an undisclosed illness, fuelling speculation of an internal power struggle his absence.

Government officials refute this and say the long-serving premier would resume office soon. However, the government has to date failed to provide proof that he is alive.

Ethiopia has lost $11.7 billion to outflows of ill-gotten gains between 2000 and 2009, a recent Global Financial Integrity report says.

“That is a lot of money to lose to corruption for a country that has a per capita GDP of just $365. In 2009, illicit money leaving the country totalled $3.26 billion, doubled the amount in each of the two previous years,” part of the report reads.

About $194 million in cash or 314 metric tonnes of food is needed for the next four months.
Forty-one per cent of the hungry as located in the Ethiopian-Somali region and the rest in Oromiya, Southern and Amhara regional states.


Suspect identified in murder of Ethiopian couple in Dallas

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Yayehyirad and YeneneshDALLAS, TEXAS (FOX) — Dallas police have identified a murder suspect in the shooting deaths of a Dallas couple.

Investigators said Abey Belette Girma followed Yayehyirad Lemma and Yenenesh Desta home from their restaurant, the Desta Ethiopian Restaurant on northern Greenville Avenue, Wednesday night. He allegedly shot them because they had disrespected him.

The couple died on the door step of their M Street home just after midnight.

Neighbors who heard gunfire called police to the home in the 5700 block of Marquita Street. Inside, a relative was caring for the couple’s 1-year-old son.

Earlier on Thursday, Oak Farms Dairy offered $10,000 to whoever had information leading to the arrest and indictment of any suspects.

However, a few hours later, Dallas police announced the reward offer had been retracted and that “detectives are working on potential information.”

The suspect, Abey Belete Girma, has not yet been arrested.

57th day since Ethiopia’s tinpot dictator Meles Zenawi disappeared

Friday, August 17th, 2012

Today is the 57th day since Ethiopia’s khat-addicted zombie dictator Meles Zenawi disappeared. While the regime’s propaganda chief says that Meles will return to work before September 11, Ethiopian New year, very few people within the ruling party TPLF’s hierarchy know even his whereabouts.

Meles Zenawi’s personally appointed gun-totting patriarch, who is actually a TPLF cadre, had suddenly dropped dead yesterday. The cause of his death is said to be a massive heart attack.

Ethiopian Review’s Intelligence Unit is receiving a report from multiple sources now that Meles Zenawi’s military chief of staff Gen. Samora Yenus is gravely sick and has been transported abroad (probably Dubai) for medical treatment early this week. We are trying to confirm the report from additional sources.

Ethiopians in Dallas grieve the loss of Yayehyirad and Yenenesh; Police close to solving the murder

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Police may be close to solving couple’s murder, reward retracted

DALLAS (FOX) — Just a few hours after a local business offered a $10,000 reward to help catch those responsible for a couple’s murder, Dallas police announced the reward offer was retracted, because they had a promising lead.

Earlier on Thursday, Oak Farms Dairy offered $10,000 to whoever has information leading to the arrest and indictment of any suspects in the murders of Yayehyirad Lemma and Yenenesh Desta.

However, a few hours later, Dallas police announced the reward offer had been retracted and that “detectives are working on potential information.”

The couple, who own Desta Ethiopian Restaurant on northern Greenville Avenue, were shot by an unknown assailant as they returned home to their M Street house at just after midnight on Wednesday.

Neighbors heard gunfire and called police to the home in the 5700 block of Marquita Street. Inside, a relative was caring for the couple’s 1-year-old son.

Anyone with further information on these murders is asked to call the DPD Homicide unit at 214-671-3661 or Crime Stoppers at 214-373-TIPS (8477). You can remain anonymous and still be eligible for the reward.

* * * * *
No Motive In Murder Of Restaurant Owners

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – So far police haven’t arrested any suspects in connection with the Wednesday morning murder of a Dallas couple.

Yayehyirad Lemma and Yenenesh Abayneh Desta owned a popular Ethiopian restaurant. Police say they found the couple shot to death on the doorstep of their home.

Investigators told CBS 11 News there was no obvious motive and nothing was taken from either victim — indicating robbery wasn’t the goal.

David Eseke rents an apartment from the couple and was asleep next-door early Wednesday, but said he didn’t hear the gunshots. Eseke thinks weather had something to do with that.

“There was a ton of lightning last night… thunder,” he said.

Grieving family members visited the couple’s home Wednesday and gathered at church to pray.

A friend described the pair as a, “very beautiful, down to earth couple.”

Lemma’s close friends said they have no idea why anyone would kill the pair.

A number restaurants owners near the Desta Ethiopian Restaurant closed Wednesday to honor the couple. Flowers were placed outside the door of the restaurant.

Police say the investigation into the shooting in the 5700 block of Marquita Avenue is ongoing.

* * * * *

By REBECCA LOPEZ | WFAA

DALLAS, TEXAS – A Dallas couple was shot dead on the front porch of their home in the M Streets area in the 5700 block of Marquita Street. Sources tell News 8 it does not appear the couple was shot in a robbery attempt.

It happened just after midnight as Yayehyirad Lemma, 40, and Yenenesh Desta, 31, were getting home from working at their restaurant, Desta.

Sources said someone drove up, got out of the vehicle and shot the couple at close range. The person then fled the scene.

Family members said the couple had an 18-month-old baby who was not hurt in the shooting. The baby was in the house with other family members when the fatal shooting occurred.

Family and friends gathered Wednesday for traditional prayers at the couple’s church in Garland. It is a holy time for many Ethiopians. It’s their Lent.

“I mean there’s only one way, you pray together when this kind of thing happens to you,” said Teddy Tadesse, a family friend.

Tadesse said he has no idea who would want to harm the couple. Their friends and family called them Lemma and Desta.

“He was shy, quiet,” he said. “She was loving, generous, and very beautiful people. It’s a big loss.”

Dallas police are still searching for answers.

“We don’t have a motive at this time,” said Sgt. Joe Garza, Dallas Police Department. “We know the individuals lived at that location and we are trying to follow up on leads we may have.”

Police say they are still looking for surveillance video in the area.

Sources said robbery may not have been the motive. Nothing appears to be missing.

Their restaurant, Desta, is an Ethiopian eatery located on Greenville Avenue near Forest Lane.

While it is Ethiopian tradition to be buried within three days of death, that will not be possible for the couple, since autopsies will need to be done and police continue to investigate.

So the community will pray every day until Lemma and Desta are laid to rest.

WBAI Radio in New York holds discussion on Meles Zenawi’s disappearance

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

የፍትህ ሚኒስቴር አቶ መለስን ለመተካት የሚያስችል የህግ ረቂቅ አዘጋጀ

Thursday, August 16th, 2012
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Aba Gebremedhin (formerly Abune Paulos) dies

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Abune Paulos

UPDATE: Ethiopian Review spoke with a staff member at Bete Kehenet this morning and was able to confirm that the “patriarch” is dead. Currently the Bete Kehenet compounded is surrounded by police, and several people, including priests and church officials, are going in and out of the compound.

The Bete Kehenet staff member told Ethiopian Review that Aba Gebremedhin was admitted at Balcha Hospital on Tuesday following a heart attack. Yesterday he was completely paralyzed and later on he went into a comma.

* * * * *

Ethiopian Review sources in Addis Ababa reported this morning that the Woyanne-installed fake Patriarch of Ethiopia, Aba Gebremedhin (formerly Abune Paulos), has died this morning at Balcha Hospital.

We called Balcha Hospital and spoke with the secretary who refused to confirm or deny the information and instead advised us to call Aba Gebremedhin’s secretary. The secretary at Balcha Hospital we spoke with sounded agitated and nervous. … more update shortly

Massive capital flight, plea for food aid point to gathering storm in Ethiopia

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Ethiopia suspends forex reserves

The Daily Monitor

August 16, 2012

The Ethiopian government has suspended the provision of foreign currency in a decision that has been linked to the political uncertainties surrounding Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s deteriorating health.

A notice to this effect has been issued by the regulator, the National Bank of Ethiopia, to the country’s commercial banks as Addis Ababa also appealed for food aid.
According to Agriculture minister Mitiku Kassa, the number of aid recipients was 3.2 million over the last six months, and have now increased due to the failure of rain in some parts of the country.

The country’s foreign currency reserves are running alarmingly low and can only cover the importation of basic goods such as petroleum, medicine and food.
The measure is likely to lead to a black market boom that would further weaken the country’s import-export trade, observers say.
Banking in the Horn of Africa nation of about 85 million people is highly centrally regulated.

Industry insiders say massive capital flight and illegal transactions are the main reasons for the rapid depletion of forex reserves. One of the fastest growing sub-Saharan Africa countries, Ethiopia’s growth has touched seven per cent annually for the last nine years, according to the IMF.

Big businesses owned by Mr Meles’ ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) play a key role in the daily operation of the economy. The EPRDF owns banks, insurance firms, manufacturing and construction giants, hotel chains and media outlets among the more than 85 companies under the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray.

The EPRDF is a coalition of four largely ethnically-based political parties, with the Tigrayan People Liberation Front (TPLF) — representing Tigrays, who make up less than five per cent of the population — running the show and providing the power base for Meles and his government.

Mr Meles, a Tigray, has been absent from the public eye for two months due to an undisclosed illness, fuelling speculation of an internal power struggle his absence.
Government officials refute this and say the long-serving premier would resume office soon. However, the government has to date failed to provide proof that he is alive.
Ethiopia has lost $11.7 billion to outflows of ill-gotten gains between 2000 and 2009, a recent Global Financial Integrity report says.

“That is a lot of money to lose to corruption for a country that has a per capita GDP of just $365. In 2009, illicit money leaving the country totalled $3.26 billion, doubled the amount in each of the two previous years,” part of the report reads.

About $194 million in cash or 314 metric tonnes of food is needed for the next four months.
Forty-one per cent of the hungry are located in the Ethiopian-Somali region and the rest in Oromiya, Southern and Amhara regional states.

56th day since Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi disappeared; his patriarch died today

Thursday, August 16th, 2012

Today is the 56th day since Ethiopia’s tin-pot dictator Meles Zenawi disappeared.

The patriarch he installed, Aba Gebremedhin (formerly Abune Paulos) died this morning after being admitted at Balcha Hospital in Addis Ababa on Tuesday.

Today is also the 21st day since Meles Zenawi’s wife, Azeb Mesfin, aka Mother of Corruption, has disappeared.

Owners of Desta Ethiopian Restaurant in Dallas TX found dead in front of their home

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Tragedy struck the Ethiopian community in Dallas this morning when police found Ato Yayehyirad Lemma and Wzr. Yenenesh Desta lying dead in front of their home. The husband and wife were owners of the popular Desta Ethiopian Restaurant in Dallas, Texas.

(NBCDFW) — The shooting happened at a home on the 5700-block of Marquita Drive, near lower Greenville Avenue.

Dallas police told NBC 5 that they found a woman and man, later identified as 31-year-old Yenenesh Desta and 40-year-old Yayehyirad Lemma, lying dead in front of the home.

Police believe the two were coming home from work when they were shot and killed.

A friend of the two victims told NBC 5 that the man and woman were a couple and owned an Ethiopian restaurant at Forest and Greenville.

Police are searching for the shooter(s).

ENTC seeks diplomatic relations with the Government of Sweden

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

PRESS RELEASE
12 August 2012

ENTC asks Government of Sweden for diplomatic recognition

The Ethiopian National Transitional Council (ENTC) has sent a communique to Mr. Carl Bildt, Foreign Affairs Minister of Sweden, requesting a diplomatic recognition.
The letter was submitted to the Sweden foreign minister by ENTC’s diplomatic representative in Stockholm, Mr. Aba Biya Ketema Wara Badi.

The letter explains ENTC’s mission, and discusses the worsening political, economic and security crises in Ethiopia, as well as the need for the Sweden government to help with a peaceful transition to democracy.

The Transitional Council was founded at a 3-day conference in Dallas, Texas, that was convened from July 1 – 3, 2012, with the participation of representatives from over 30 cities and countries.

The Transitional Council plans to submit similar requests to several countries through its diplomatic representatives in the coming few weeks.

# # #
For more info:
ENTC Foreign Relations Committee
85 S. Bragg St. Alexandria VA, 22312 USA
Tel: 202-735-4262
Email: entc.pr@gmail.com
Website: etntc.org

Ethiopian dictator’s absence grips nation, fuels speculation (CNN)

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

It took 55 days for CNN to report about the disappearance of Ethiopia’s tin-pot dictator. Even now, the CNN report appeared only on its website. This goes to show how inconsequential Meles Zenawi is to the international community after 21 years in power and turning Ethiopia into a colony of Saudi Arabia, China and India.

Meles Zenawi

By Faith Karimi

(CNN) — Ethiopia’s prime minister is “recovering well,” a spokesman said Wednesday, amid frenzied speculation about the health of the usually visible leader, who has not appeared in public for two months.

Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, 57, came to power two decades ago and is considered a strong force in the frequently volatile horn of Africa.

He has not appeared in public since June, and the secretive nation has released little information about his whereabouts, prompting rumors and opposition claims that he is dead or facing a life-threatening illness.

After weeks of speculation, the government held a news conference last month and announced he got treatment for an unspecified illness.

Zenawi is “recovering well, resting and performing his duties as prime minister and head of state,” government spokesman Bereket Simon reiterated Wednesday. He declined to give exact details on Zenawi’s whereabouts or the nature of his illness.

His absence has been a hot topic in the nation, with bloggers launching a counter of the number of days he’s been missing. Citizens have taken to social media to discuss his whereabouts and exchange conspiracy theories.

Searches for Zenawi are at their highest since 2004, according to Google trends.

“Ethiopians are a bit confused,” said Endalk Hailemichael, 30, of Addis Ababa. “In Ethiopia, there are traditions of secrecy and hiding the whereabouts of leaders. People are afraid, there is a lot of uncertainty looming. A lot of rumors and unclear information going on.”

Hailemichael said the disappearance has sparked a lot of questions, including who would succeed him in case of a power vacuum. But most people are discussing it with fear of repercussions, he said.
Combating threats in Somalia

CNN reached several people in the nation who expressed their concerns about his whereabouts, but did not want to be quoted for fear of retribution.

“People are afraid to talk about it. This is a police state,” Hailemichael said. “They are talking about it, but they are looking over their shoulders. In bars, in taxis, coffee shops, that’s all people are talking about. But they are afraid.”

His absence was more evident last month when Ethiopia hosted an African Union summit in its capital of Addis Ababa. Zenawi, a key player in talks on the tensions between Sudan and its rival neighbor South Sudan, did not attend.

“Some people are worried, some people are crying,” said Jomanex Kassaye, 30, who lives near Addis Ababa. “While some people are worried about the instability that might occur … others are happy that he may be gone.”

Kassaye said, while he is not a fan of the leader, he wants him to leave through a democratic process.

“I need him to go because there is no democracy, no freedom of speech, no food, no justice, no accountability,” he said. “But not like this. If he leaves like this, we will have another dictator who will take over power and stay for too long.”

Ethiopia, which is a key Western ally often lauded for effective use of aid money, is surrounded by unstable nations such as Somalia and Eritrea. Zenawi has been credited with working toward peace and security in the region.

The Ethiopian army has sent peacekeepers to battle Islamic extremist group Al-Shabaab in Somalia. More recently, the prime minister was working to broker a peace deal in the negotiations between Sudan and South Sudan, which split last year but still have unresolved issues.

In an attempt to quash the rumors, the government censored a newspaper that tried to report information about his health, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.

“This weekend, the government ordered the state-run printing company not to produce the latest edition of the weekly Feteh, which was to have carried front-page coverage of Zenawi’s condition,” the media advocacy group said on its website.

Zenawi, a former guerrilla leader, is part of a group that toppled dictator Haile Mengustu Mariam in 1991. The shrewd politician is credited with economic progress and maintaining peace in the nation surrounded by volatile countries.

However, human rights groups have accused his government of a heavy hand and a series of abuses, including limiting press freedoms and cracking down on opposition political parties.

Last year, Ethiopia found two Swedish journalists guilty of supporting terrorism and sentenced them to 11 years.

አቡነ ጳውሎስ በጠና ታመው ሆስፒታል ገብተዋል

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Aug 15, 2012 (ESAT) — አቡነ ጳውሎስ በጠና ታመው ሆስፒታል መግባታቸውን በኢትዮጲያ ኦርቶዶክስ ተዋህዶ ቤ/ን ዙሪያ የሚያጠነጥኑ ዜናዎችን በቅርበት በመዘገብ የሚታወቀው ደጀ ሰላም ድረ-ገጽ ዘገበ። ከፓርያሪክ ረዳቶች አንዱ የሆኑትን አባ እንቁ ባህርይ ግን፤ “የለም አልታመሙም እሳቸው ቤት ነው ያሉት” ብለዋል።

አባ ጳውሎስ ትናንት ምሽት በጠና ታመው ባፋጣኝ ደጃዝማች ባልቻ ሆስፒታል እንደተወሰዱ የሚያትተው ይኸው ዜና ዘገባ፤ ከቅርብ ጊዜ ወዲህ ራሳቸውን ችለው መራመድ አቅቷቸው መኪናቸው ውስጥ ሲገቡና ሲወጡ እንኳን ከግራና ከቀኝ ሌሎች ሰዎች እየደገፏቸው እንደነበር አብራርቷል።

የተያዘውን የፍልሰታ-ለማሪያም ጾም በመንበር ፓትርያርክ ቅድሰተ ቅዱሳን ማሪያም ገዳም ጸሎተ ቅዳሴ ላይ እንደነበሩ የተናገሩት እነዚሁ የደጀ-ሰላም ምንጮች፤ ምንም እንኳን የአባ ጳውሎስን አጣዳፊ ህመም ምንነት ለይተው ባይገልጹም የጤንነታቸው ሁኔታ አስጊ በመሆኑ በሆስፒታሉ ሃኪሞች ከፍተኛ ክትትል ስር መሆናቸውን ጠቅሰዋል።

አባ ጳውሎስ የጤናቸው ሁኔታ እጅግ አሳሳቢ ደረጃ ላይ መድረሱን በተለይም ከጉልበታቸው በታች የሚገኘው የእግራቸው ክፍል መጎዳቱን ዘግቦ የነበረው ይኸው ድረ-ገጽ፤ በዚህም የተነሳ ጤናቸውን ለመከታተል የሚያደርጉት ሳምንታዊ ወጪ ከስድሳ ሺህ ብር በላይ ማሻቀቡን ጠቁሟል።

ይህ በእንዲህ እንዳለ ኢሳት ያነጋገራቸው ከአባ ጳውሎስ ረዳቶች አንዱ አባ እንቁ ባህርይ ባልቻ ሆስፒታል ሰው ሊጠይቁ መሄዳቸውን፤ እሳቸው ግን አለመታመማቸውን ገልጸዋል።

አባ ጳውሎስ በቅርቡ 20ኛ ዓመት በዓለ ሲመታቸውን መጀመሪያ በቤተ ክህነት በማስከተል ከፍተኛ የመንግስት ባለስልጣናት በተጋበዙበት በሸራተን አዲስ ሆቴል፤ እንዲሁም ለሶስተኛ ጊዜ በክራውን ሆቴል በወኪሎቻቸው አማካኝነት ከፍተኛ ገንዘብ ፈሰስ በማድረግ ድል ያለ ድግስ አዘጋጅተው ግብር ማብላታቸው መዘገቡ ይታወሳል።

ቤተክርስቲያኗ፤ በተለይም የዋልድባ ጥንታዊ ገዳም እና በውስጡ የሚገኙት መነኮሳት ህልውና እጅግ አሳሳቢ ደረጃ ላይ በደረሰበት ባሁኑ ወቅት፤ እርሳቸው እንደ ቤተክርስቲያኗ አባትነታቸው ከመነኮሳቱና ከምእመናኑ ጎን በመቆም፤ ይህንን መቃወም ሲጠበቅባቸው በተቃራኒው የመንግስትን አቋም በግልጽ ያራምዳሉ በሚል፤ የሚወቅሱዋቸው ቁጥራቸው እየበዛ ነው።

አቡነ ጳውሎስ ለማነጋገር እንችል ዘንድ ስልካቸውን ከረዳታቸው አባ እንቁ ባህርይ ለመቀበል ያቀረብነው ጥያቄ ባለመሳካቱ፤ ባልቻ ሆስፒታል ወይንም ቤታቸው እንዳሉ ለማረጋገጥ አልቻልንም።

ሆኖም የኢሳትም ሌሎች ምንጮችም አቡነ ጳውሎስ መታመማቸውን አረጋግጠዋል።


HRW demands release of Muslim leaders

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Ethiopia: Prominent Muslims Detained in Crackdown

Security Forces Arrest Hundreds of Peaceful Protesters; Detainees at Risk

Human Rights Watch — August 15, 2012

(Nairobi) – The Ethiopian government should immediately release 17 prominent Muslim leaders arrested as part of a brutal crackdown on peaceful Muslim protesters in Addis Ababa, Human Rights Watch said today. A court is expected to rule during the week of August 13, 2012, on whether to bring charges against the detainees who have been held for almost three weeks in a notorious prison without access to lawyers.

Since July 13, Ethiopian police and security services have harassed, assaulted, and arbitrarily arrested hundreds of Muslims at Addis Ababa’s Awalia and Anwar mosques who were protesting government interference in religious affairs, Human Rights Watch said. Many have been released but at least 17 prominent members of the community arrested between July 19 and 21 remain in detention. A number of protesters who have been released told Human Rights Watch that they were mistreated in custody.

“The Ethiopian government should address the grievances of its Muslim community through dialogue, not violence,” said Ben Rawlence, senior Africa researcher at Human Rights Watch. “The security forces should be upholding the law, not breaking it.”

According to official figures, Muslims make up approximately 30 percent of Ethiopia’s population, the second largest religion in this historically Christian country.

The crackdown followed months of widespread peaceful protests, petitions, and appeals by the Muslim community in response to what they considered to be unconstitutional government interference in Muslim affairs. This included government attempts to determine the makeup of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs by imposing members of and the teachings of an Islamic sect known as al Ahbash on the community, and seeking to control the operations of Awalia mosque.

The Muslim community created a committee in January to represent it in discussions with the government. The 17 prominent Muslims currently detained include seven of the committee members, along with nine other religious leaders and activists, and at least one journalist. An additional six people, all members of the Awalia Student Council, were arrested the previous week.

The Muslim leaders and student council members are being held in pre-trial detention without charge at the notorious Federal Police Crime Investigation Department, known as Maekelawi prison, in Addis Ababa. They have had no access to legal counsel or, in several cases, their relatives. Their lack of access to lawyers while detained in a prison known for torture heightens concerns about their safety, Human Rights Watch said.

It is unclear what the detainees will be charged with. According to unconfirmed reports, they are under investigation on unspecified charges under the country’s overly broad anti-terrorism law. This week, the 28-day remand period that is stipulated only under the anti-terrorism law expires, and the detainees are therefore expected to appear before the court.

“The arrest of 17 prominent Muslims for exercising their basic rights to free speech is just the latest misuse of Ethiopia’s laws, and notably its anti-terrorism law,” Rawlence said. “All those held should be immediately released unless the government can promptly produce credible evidence of unlawful activity.”

Excessive Use of Force
Several witnesses told Human Rights Watch that on July 13, as hundreds of worshippers gathered at Addis Ababa’s Awalia mosque to prepare for a July 15 awareness-raising event, federal police forcibly entered the mosque, breaking doors and windows, and fired teargas inside. They beat people gathered there, including women and children, and made numerous arrests. A witness said that police beat a disabled woman, forcing her to the ground and then continuing to beat her. One man said teargas was fired directly at him inside the mosque before the police beat him.

People at the mosque sent out an appeal for help, leading scores of people to converge on the mosque in the Gullele financial district. Police forces encircling the mosque and its compound assaulted the people approaching the mosque, beating and arresting many of them.

A witness described seeing blood-soaked victims by the roadside on the way to the mosque. Several witnesses told Human Rights Watch that they saw scores of men and women being loaded into separate trucks. Many appeared to have broken bones and other serious injuries, apparently inflicted by the police, the witnesses said.

On July 21, police broke up a sit-in at the Anwar mosque in response to the arrests of the committee members. The police entered the compound, then beat and arrested large numbers of people, witnesses told Human Rights Watch. One man told Human Rights Watch that he was beaten until he lost consciousness. The government said publicly that the protesters had started throwing stones at the police.

Arbitrary Detention and Mistreatment of Detainees
The Ethiopian government told the media that 74 people were arrested on July 13, though witnesses and members of the Muslim community said that hundreds had been detained.

Those rounded up on July 13 were taken to police stations across Addis Ababa, notably Kolfe Keraneyo and Gullele, and to Maekelawi Prison.

Many released detainees told Human Rights Watch that the police mistreated them.

A witness told Human Rights Watch that in Kolfe Keraneyo, the police forced at least two women to take off their hijab (head covering) and that they spat on one when she refused. The second, a young woman who was detained with her young son, was sexually assaulted by a policeman, who pulled the hijab off and grabbed her breast. Detainees, even some who already had been injured, described being beaten with sticks and the butt of a gun when they arrived at various police stations.

About two dozen of the people initially detained at Maekelawi were subsequently taken to Sendafa police training camp, several kilometers outside of Addis Ababa, where they allege they were mistreated. People who were detained at both Maekelawi and Sendefa described being forced to run barefoot on sharp stones. Two protesters detained at Sendafa for 10 days were beaten and made to carry out harsh physical labor, they told Human Rights Watch.

The majority of those arrested between July 13 and 21 have since been released, in several cases after having been made to sign a document. Some said they were made to sign the document without being allowed to read the content.

Reports that the police and other security services beat and otherwise mistreated the 17 prominent Muslim leaders and others while in custody should be thoroughly and impartially investigated, Human Rights Watch said.

Witnesses told Human Rights Watch that on July 20, police came to the home of Yusuf Getachew, the editor-in-chief of a popular Muslim magazine Yemuslimoch Guday(Muslim Affairs), intimidated his family, looted cash and phones, and arrested Getachew. His relatives were subsequently informed that he was at Maekelawi, but they have been repeatedly refused permission to visit him.

A witness said that Ahmedin Jebel, the spokesman for the Muslim committee, was arrested that evening and badly beaten by police.

In addition to the 17 prominent community members in Maekelawi, other prominent members of the Muslim community have been under house arrest since July 21. The families of two journalists from Yemuslimoch Guday, Akemel Negash and Isaac Eshetu,wereheld under house arrest for at least 10 days. The police reportedly searched the houses of many Muslim leaders, activists, and journalists.

Muslim leaders in Ethiopia have faced ongoing harassment during the last eight months. Ahmedin Jebel and the same two journalists from Yemuslimoch Gudaywere detained for four days at Maekelawi in mid-December. The crackdown on Muslim dissidents has extended beyond the capital. On August 5, three imams were arrested in the town of Gelemesso in East Harerge. And on August 10, according to a credible source, the police used teargas and beat protesters outside the Areb Genda mosque in the north-central town of Dessie.

Since 2011 the Ethiopian government has convicted at least 34 opposition members, journalists, and others on similar offenses under the country’s Anti-Terrorism Proclamation. Human Rights Watch has strongly criticized the law itself and its use, calling for the release of political prisoners sentenced under the law and for amendments of the law’s most abusive provisions. This includes its broad definition of terrorist acts, which can include peaceful protests that result in the “disruption of any public services,” and its vague provisions that proscribe support or encouragement of terrorism, which can include public reporting on banned terrorist groups.

The anti-terrorism law also contains provisions that violate fundamental due process rights. For instance, the provision on pre-trial detention allows suspects to be held in custody for up to four months without charge, one of the longest periods in anti-terrorism legislation worldwide.

“In the hands of the Ethiopian government, the anti-terrorism law is becoming a multi-purpose tool used against any kind of dissent,” Rawlence said.

55th day since Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi disappeared

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012

Today is the 55th day since Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi has disappeared. The regime’s spokesman Bereket Simon says Meles will return before September 11, which is Ethiopian New Year. But who believes Bereket the pathological liar?

A latest puzzling development is TPLF founder and former chairman Sebhat Nega’s interview with ESAT yesterday to talk about Meles Zenawi. How did Sebhat agree to be interviewed by ESAT, a media organization that is labeled a ‘terrorist group’ by Meles Zenawi? ESAT’s line of questioning is also disquieting, to say the least. Listen below:

The Meles Mystery – Graham Peebles

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

By Graham Peebles  |  mwcnews.net

To many Ethiopians the sudden disappearance of Prime Minister Zenawi is a source of joy and excited expectation, for his die-hard supporters apprehension no doubt and concern for their leader. Is he dead they ask, or perhaps critically ill, has he run away, finally overwhelmed by guilt and shame at the way he and his ministerial cronies have treated the people of Ethiopia, since they took power from the communist Derg twenty one years ago. Or is he recovering from illness peacefully on some isolated retreat.

The Prime Minister has not been seen since his last outing at the G20 summit, in Mexico on 19th June, where he looked a wee shadow of his usual Italian suited self. Such prolonged absence is unusual for a man who revels in performing his supporting part upon the international stage of political propaganda.He has failed to appear at a series of high-profile events since June, including the opening of the African Union summit in Addis Ababa in July.

So where is the revolutionary democrat? It has been repeatedly reported that Meles has received treatment in the Saint-Luc hospital in Brusselsfor a stomach complaint, a suitably vague description as to mean nothing.The Washington Post (8/8/2012)  affirms “Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, the rebel-turned-technocrat who has led Ethiopia since 1991, is sick.” The Guardian (8/8/2012)  relays “the Egyptian state information service reporting that Meles underwent surgery in Germany.” They continue “It is a mystery what has happened to Meles and not even his own ministers know his fate,” an exiled Ethiopian source said.” According to a ‘government source’, (no name or status is given) speaking to the Guardian, Meles is on holiday, well it is the summer after all, and is recovering from an illness. There is no mention of where he is holidaying or why he has not personally issued a statement, reassured his followers, who are no doubt worried, and silenced the internal tussling within the EPRDF, that is undoubtedly taking place.

Secrecy smoke and mirrors

Ethiopians are notoriously secretive and distrustful, the great Polish journalist Rysard Kapuscinski in his classic work ‘The Emperor’, regarding the reign of the last Ethiopian Emperor, Haile Selasie and his inner circle, states “the Ethiopians are deeply distrustful and found it hard to believe in the sincerity of my intentions,” elsewhere he goes further claiming that Ethiopians are the most “secretive people on Earth.” Having lived in Addis Ababa and worked with Ethiopians for a number of years, my experience certainly bears out Kapuscinski’s comments reinforced by René Lefort, author of ‘Ethiopia. An heretical revolution?’ when he states “given the history of Ethiopia, where secrecy is a cardinal virtue”

The Sellasie years were ones shrouded in deceit and extreme secrecy, all discussions and decisions between the Emperor and his ministers took place verbally. There are no documents with Sellasie’s signature, making it possible for him to deny involvement in any policy, to adopt a number of positions on any issue and to change his mind based on political expediency at any point in time. Kapuscinski relates, “Though he ruled for half a century, not even those closest to him knew what his signature looked like.” At meetings the Monty Python sounding ‘Minister of The Pen’, recorded the Emperors orders and instructions, whose words were often muffled and ambiguous, allowing for non-commitment on issues and the creation of fear amongst his ‘court’.

Image and social status is of great importance within Ethiopian society. In 1973, whilst hundreds of thousands starved, Halie Selasie and his government denied that a famine was taking place in the northeast of Ethiopia, known as the ‘Unknown Famine’ and lied to ITV journalist David Dimbleby, who reported the situation in Wollo that Sellasie and his cronies had attempted to cover up. Food was in fact available in the Wollo region, but was transported to the capital Addis Ababa, where it could command higher prices at market, all under the direction of the Sellasie regime. The revelation to the World of the famine hastened his downfall and he was deposed in 1974 by a military junta, led by Mengistu Haile Mariam, who had him suffocated to death a year later.

Another example of the secretive/duplicitous tendency of the Ethiopian people, creating a false or misleading image was the way Emperor Menelik II death in December 1913 was kept quiet. He died and was buried without any public announcements after suffering a stroke and being unable to govern for several years. And this for and of a man regarded by many as the last true Emperor.

The Meles way

There is no freedom of the press in Ethiopia; in fact there is little or no freedom in any area of social or political life. Express dissent at governments policies and face certain imprisonment, write articles critical of Zenawi and his regime and expect to be charged with treason or some such fictitious crime and sentenced as many have been, often in absentia, to life imprisonment. The Economist (7/8/2012)  reports “Dissident or investigative journalists have been jailed or driven into exile. In July a prominent online journalist, Eskinder Nega, was sentenced to 18 years in prison.”  Political opposition is all but banned under the Zenawi administration.

All media is state owned, so too the sole telecommunication company. As well as the major printing press Barhanena Selam, who recently told the weekly newspaper Feteh, who planned to publish a story quoting BBC and others discussing the where about and health of Meles, that the government had ordered that week’s edition (22/7/2012) of the paper, about 30,000 copies, to be blocked on grounds of inciting national insecurity and endangering the government and the public. Such is the degree of media control.

Accurate, uncensored information about anything is therefore impossible to find within the Ethiopian news sources, who are to nobody’s surprise towing the EPRDF party line on the missing premier – ‘Meles is on holiday, recovering from illness.’  ESAT the independent satellite television station based in Holland, have reported various accounts of Meles death (30/7/2012), misquoting it appears the Belgium based International Crisis Group, who denied giving any such information. It is it seems a maze of invisibility cloaks, secrets and deceit, a drama that would one feels not surprise Kapuscinski in the least.

The EPRDF under Meles Zenawi has been in power since 1991, he has been Prime Minister since 1995, after taking the mantle of President the previous four years. Two stolen corrupt elections in 2005 and 2010, in which European observers declared the election unfair. The regime is a dictatorship, trampling on human rights and restricting all freedoms, selling off vast tracks of prime Ethiopian farmland to international corporations for a few dollars, displacing hundreds of thousands of indigenous people in the process, who are corralled into villagization developments. Land sold is cultivated to grow staples not for the needy people of Ethiopia where some 13 million are food insecure, but for the industrial farmers home ‘market’.

Western complacency

The west believes, as it did with Egypt’s President Mubarak, that it has an ally in Prime Minister Zenawi. He allows American drones to be stationed on Ethiopian soil, and acts when ordered to by the imperial master. In 2006 Ethiopian troops invaded Somalia, at the behest of George W. Bush, who sought to subdue the activities of the Al Shabab militia (Islamist group). The deal is clear and predictable: Meles allows Ethiopia to be an outpost of the American military, in exchange for the west turning a blind eye to extensive human rights abuses in the country. As the Financial Times states “western donors and allies have been willing to overlook human rights abuses and a lack of political freedom at home.” Human rights abuses that destroy lives too many to count, but trouble not ‘western donors’, concerned only to extend their reach into all corners of the world.

Around $3 billion a year is given to Ethiopia in development aid by the US, Europe, Britain and The World bank, all of which incidentally is paid to or through government agencies. The EPRDF misuse and politicize the funds, allocating donations based on political affiliation and not need, including emergency humanitarian aid.

For western donor countries the heavy hand of a tyrant, that inhibits and controls, offers stability, or so those fearful of freedom will say, as the Financial Times (9/08/2012)  comments, “Strongmen in power can be useful allies. They make decisions fast and can impose their wills.” Not withstanding the impact on the people of their hasty ideologically driven decisions and shortsighted actions.

Time for change

If Zenawi is unable to continue in office, and according to Rene Lefort in Open Democracy (8/8/2012) “the widespread conviction shared by most diplomats and experts is that, whether Meles is dead or alive, he is no longer in charge and never will be again, so the candidacy for his succession is open.” should the constitution be respected, parliament would pick a successor. Would his passing make any difference, ushering in change in the way the EPRDF rules Ethiopia, for in the absence of any credible, well-organized, coherent opposition they are sure to continue in power. Will freedom social justice and democracy flow into the country unrestricted, gently healing the deep wounds of the past 20 years, or will another in the mould of the repressive, brutal Zenawi step forward to continue his legacy of suppression and human rights abuse. One suspects the latter would take place, sadly Ethiopia has lacked good governance for generations.

The ERDF and its leader Meles Zenawi, whilst publically espousing democratic values and signing all manner of human rights laws into their constitution and federal code – to be summarily ignored, are idealists, adhering firmly to a version of ‘Revolutionary Democracy’. At the core of which is a centralized controlling dogma, that believes in social uniformity and the abolition of independent thought. Human Rights Watch (HRW) in their report on Ethiopia ‘Development without Freedom,’  quote Meles describing his version of the ideology, “individuals will start to think alike and all persons will cease having their own independent outlook. In this order, individual thinking becomes simply part of collective thinking because the individual will not be in a position to reflect on concepts that have not been prescribed by Revolutionary Democracy.”

Time for freedom and justice

Perhaps Meles Zenawi is dead or and one feels this more likely, recuperating on holiday. Alive or not, his passing is long overdue, should a man who holds such divisive inhibiting ideals, disregards human rights laws and indeed Ethiopian domestic laws, and seems to care little for the people of Ethiopia hold political office at all. It is time for change within Ethiopia. The current regime locked as they are into a repressive narrow ideology show no signs of relaxing the controls exerted upon the people, in fact since 2009 State repression has intensified.

It is Prime Minister Meles Zenawi that leads the EPRDF government and dictates policy. Governance is highly centralized, The Economist (7/7/2012) states “power has still rested with a clutch of Mr. Meles’s comrades from his home area of Tigray in northern Ethiopia,” and according to a former American ambassador to Ethiopia, David Shinn cited in The Economist, “this hard core, including the army’s chief of staff, General Samora Younis, retains a “paranoid and secretive leadership style.” Echoes of Sellasie perhaps and further support for Kapuscinski’s view.

The people’s time

One doubts a man like Meles Zenawiwould be a greatlose,either to the African continent or to the people of Ethiopia.On the contrary the majority of Ethiopians would rejoice, for under his leadership they are controlled andsuffer, have no voice and cry out to be heard, are entrapped and yearn to be free: freeto express themselves, to gather and speak openly, free to build a just and opensociety. Free to be.

Graham is Director of The Create Trust, a UK registered charity, supporting fundamental social change and the human rights of individuals in acute need.

1- http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/africa/ethiopians-contemplate-a-nation-without-prime-minister-meles-zenawi/2012/08/07/4fb37854-de4b-11e1-8e43-4a3c4375504a_story.html
2- http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2012/aug/08/ethiopia-meles-zenawai-not-seen
3- http://www.economist.com/node/21559971
4- http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/c45e4b88-e216-11e1-8e9d-00144feab49a.html
5-  http://www.opendemocracy.net/ren%C3%A9-lefort/ethiopia-after-meles

Standing up with our Muslim citizens

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

By Yilma Bekele

The TPLF regime is the kind that believes in a proactive stance in their approach to ward off unwanted happenings. They learned that during the war with the Derg. It is said that upon taking over a village their first act was to gather the village heads and kill those that don’t agree with them, humiliate a few to teach the rest a lesson and recruit the weak to use and abuse. That system sharpened and enhanced has served them to stay in power.

If you notice closely the main task of their propaganda department has been to use any and all means to saw dissent in the opposition by looking for little faults, weaknesses or minor contradictions and maximizing that until the unit disintegrates. It is a very difficult task to guard against such consorted attempt by a government body with unlimited resources hell bent on destruction. Sooner or later the targeted party or association will end up finishing up the dirty work started by the TPLF. No one can survive such scientifically designed attack.

The TPLF uses agents planted within the associations, the power of their vast media empire, their agents in neighborhoods and their hired sycophants among the Diaspora to carry out their mission. They never come out as members or admirers of the ethnic based regime but always qualify their poisonous message with well meaning words. They might utter such garbage as the regime is not tolerant and undemocratic but you have to admire the buildings and roads. Freedom and honor is exchanged for condominiums and paved road.

How the multitude responds to such abuse by the single ethnic based regime is a fascinating subject of study. Our reaction is based on our ancient culture of viewing all with suspicion, accepting authority without question and our capacity to suffer in silence. All this traits work against us. Today we have gone a step further and added educational title as another layer of what should be viewed as final authority. If you notice some of our intellectuals or learned brethren use their degrees as a calling card to be heard over others. The TPLF regime is aware of all this weakness in our psychological makeup. Ato Meles and company’s first order of business was to enroll in correspondence school to secure a title for their letterhead. They did not find being Prime Minster or heads of department as a proud achievement without the piece of paper to give them added legitimacy.

Today the Apartheid party TPLF is using all weapons in its arsenal to divide us, undermine us, create suspicion between us, or turn some off from the political arena. This is nowhere visible as in the current struggle of our Muslim citizens to assert their independence and ward off the government thus the TPLF party in getting involved in their religion. The party in power is trying to define the question of independence in its own distorted vision and accusing the victims of wrongdoing.

First of all the issue is not as complicated and as conspiratorial in nature as presented to our citizens by the ruling party. It is by no means connected to any Jihadist international organization or ideology or led and supported by outsiders. The regime has not presented any compelling evidence to prove its accusations. What is presented until now is wild theories and the usual disinformation that tries to fit a square peg in a round hole al la TPLF style. They want us to believe it because they said so. Sometimes it is necessary to state the obvious to refute their bombastic lie that is told over and over again.

Let us start by the simple statement that our country is populated by Christians, Muslims and people that worship their own indigenous creator. No one group should be seen as having any more legitimacy over others. The issue raised by the Muslim community is to be left alone to choose their leaders without interference by any outside body be it government or other authority. The problem reared its head when the ongoing Arab Spring movement in our vicinity unnerved the TPLF regime. The regime decided to be proactive and in its usual way and attempted to put its operatives as leaders. This did not go well with our Muslim citizens. The TPLF party of course escalated this very simple issue into the political arena in order to draw others into a fight it started.

How exactly is the regime using this movement for freedom of religion? The government is doing all it can to tell us that the Muslims are trying to take over and make our country into an Islamic republic. They have paraded many elderly Muslim leaders, elderly cadres pretending to be Muslim leaders and ordinary citizens to condemn the movement as sinister attempt by outsiders to stir trouble. They are using their mass media to plant doubt in out head, to destroy the legitimacy of elected and beloved Muslim leaders and scare the rest of us into supporting them out of fear and ignorance.

How do the rest of us view the situation? Most of us go along with the theory as presented by the regime. Some of us are unable to erase the doubt they carefully planted in our conscience regarding the motive of the Muslim community. I agree it is a very difficult situation when religion is used as weapon to confuse and undermine. It is more so when it is applied in a very conservative and not really educated society as ours. The issue of looking at others with different religion, thinking or looks than us with suspicion plays into the hands of the regime that knows how to exploit such cultural bias. Of course amnesia is our number one enemy.

What the TPLF party is trying to do to the Muslim community is what they have successfully accomplished in the Christian Church. TPLF has managed to politicize the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo church and shape it in its own image. The reigning Abune was illegally pushed out of the way and a new one was chosen based on his ethnic affiliation. The last twenty years has been a time of trial and tribulations for the Church and there is no question it has weakened it considerably.

The current Abune is not viewed favorably by the vast number of the Christian community and like the political system the church has managed to divide and saw dissent. The Christian community has relied on silent prayer to fight this cancer in their body religion. They have not shown a concerted effort to fight and assert their right to be independent and run their Church. Prayer without action is faith without sacrifice. God help those who help themselves has never been truer than in our case. The TPLF party has been successful in creating confusion; cultivating hatred and using divide and rule tactics. Even in the Diaspora there is no Church that has not seen splits and fights among the parishioners.

The current stand taken by the Muslim community is to avoid the same fate that has befallen the Orthodox Church. They have taken the lesson to heart. It is a gallant fight that should inspire all Ethiopians and a call to resist servitude to any outside power. It is not an attempt to take state power but a legitimate fight to protect their house of worship and religion from outside influence. It is a question of independence in its purest form.

The issue raised by the Muslim community is our issue as well. Injustice to one is injustice to all. We as a nation cannot be free if any of our citizens are targeted to be harmed or undermined. Despite what the TPLF says we should raise our voice and stand in solidarity with our Muslim brothers and sisters and echo their call to be left to decide their affairs by themselves. Standing with them is a selfless act because we cannot be free while they are oppressed. The leadership Our Orthodox Church in exile is correct when it supported the cry of the Muslim community in their fight against the illegal regime. It is the right and honorable thing to do. This attempt by the TPLF ethnic based minority regime to divide us using religion, ethnicity and regional differences is toxic and not good for building a strong and united Ethiopia. Recognizing that fact is laudable. Getting involved to stop those that preach and practice such act is loving Ethiopia in a practical way.

Aba Paulos, aka Aba Dabilos, hospitalized, critically ill

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

http://www.dejeselam.org/2012/08/abune- … l?spref=fb


TPLF federal police savagely attack civilians (video)

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

The ruling party security forces in Ethiopia brutally attack peaceful Muslim civilians – 10 August 2012

Sebhat Nega interview on ESAT (audio)

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Founder and former chairman of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (Woyanne) talks to ESAT about Meles Zenawi’s condition and who is going to replace him. Listen below.

Day 54 since Ethiopia’s dictator disappeared

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

Today is the 54th day since Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi has disappeared. The Woyanne regime’s propaganda chief Bereket Simon told Australian reporter over the weekend that Meles will return from his ‘vacation’ before Ethiopian New Year on Sept. 11.

Ethiopian dictator’s absence draws attention, speculation

Tuesday, August 14th, 2012

By Ioannis Gatsiounis | The Washington Times

Where in the world is Ethiopia’s prime minister?

The question is not a geographical brain teaser but a concerned query about the well-being of Prime Minister Dictator Meles Zenawi, who has not been seen in public for two months, and about Ethiopia’s commitment to U.S. counterterrorism efforts in neighboring Somalia.

Ethiopian officials say Mr. Meles, 57, is recovering from an undisclosed illness, but he has not been seen or heard from since he attended the Group of 20 summit in Mexico in mid-June.

In his absence, the government has continued to brook little dissent from the media, activists and members of opposition parties. It also has announced that Ethiopian troops will remain in Somalia to help defeat al-Shabab, the al Qaeda-linked Islamist militant group that has ruled large areas of the Horn of Africa nation.

What’s more, government insiders say Mr. Meles has been grooming his deputy, Foreign Affairs Minister Hailemariam Desalegne, to succeed him.

But no succession plan has been announced publicly, and Mr. Meles’ hold on power has been near absolute, with little in the way of institutional capacity to accommodate a transfer of power.

In addition, Mr. Meles’ minority Tigray ethnic group dominates the government’s ruling coalition, which has stoked deep ethnic resentments and heightened the risk of a scramble for power if the prime minister is no longer in charge.

“Ethiopia is a very traumatized society, and people could use this window of uncertainty as a chance to rise up,” said Obang Metho, executive director of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia, a nonprofit advocacy group based in Arlington.

Such a scenario, observers say, could dramatically shift government attention and resources toward domestic issues and hamper Western- and African Union-led efforts to stabilize Somalia.

Mr. Meles’ government sent hundreds of Ethiopian troops into Somalia in November to fight al-Shabab. They have helped wrestle away towns in central Somalia, train local militia and prevent spillover along Ethiopia’s long border with Somalia, which has allowed AU troops to advance toward other al-Shabab strongholds.

Ethiopia invaded Somalia in 2006 to fight Islamists, but that move was unpopular among Somalis and gave rise to al-Shabab. This time, Ethiopia’s presence in Somalia has been more welcome, given the ruthless governance of al-Shabab militants.

Ethiopia also has attacked militant bases in Eritrea, which has been accused of supporting al-Shabab.

Ethiopia is home to a U.S. drone base operating from a small civilian airport in the southern town of Arba Minch. Mr. Meles’ regime receives billions of dollars in U.S. assistance.

Economic growth has averaged more than 10 percent over the past eight years, spurred by low taxes, improvements to infrastructure and strong foreign investment.

But economic inequality remains stubbornly high, with per capita income at about $1,000 a year and youth unemployment at 25 percent, according to the CIA World Factbook 2012.

Meanwhile, the government has cracked down on Muslim protesters and forced thousands of people from their land in Gambella and South Omo to make room for commercial agricultural projects.

An aide to a U.S. senator involved in African affairs described Mr. Meles’ absence as unsustainable and said it’s anybody’s guess how the country might unravel.

David Shinn, a former U.S. ambassador to Ethiopia, said domestic unrest is unlikely to have much impact on Ethiopia’s policy in Somalia because self-interest is guiding the government’s involvement there.

“Any government in [Ethiopia's capital] Addis Ababa will link unrest in Somalia to potential or actual unrest in Ethiopia’s Odaden region,” Mr. Shinn said, referring to the Ethiopian territory that borders Somalia.

The Ethiopian government likely sees itself benefiting from the U.S. drone operation in terms of security and intelligence-sharing with the West.

A spokesman in the U.S. Bureau of African Affairs said the United States has been in contact with several Ethiopian officials since Mr. Meles’ disappearance but would not speculate on what changes might occur should the prime minister not return to his duties.

Mr. Meles took power after the fall of the communist Haile Mariam Mengistu government in 1991 and was re-elected amid accusations of voting fraud in 2005.

Could Susan Rice lead his foreign-policy team next? Should she?

Monday, August 13th, 2012

The Point Guard
Susan Rice calls the plays for Barack Obama at the United Nations. Could she lead his foreign-policy team next? Should she?
susan.jpg
BY JAMES TRAUB |SEPT/OCT 2012

Throughout the second week of March 2011, the vastly outgunned rebel forces in Libya fell back before an onslaught by troops loyal to Muammar al-Qaddafi. In the United Nations Security Council, Britain and France lobbied desperately for a resolution authorizing the establishment of a no-fly zone. But U.S. President Barack Obama, intent on withdrawing from the two Middle Eastern wars he had inherited, seemed loath to act, and his U.N. ambassador, the blunt and outspoken Susan Rice, stayed uncharacteristically quiet on the sidelines, sending her deputy to key council meetings and questioning whether a no-fly zone would ever work. "She was blocking, blocking, blocking, standing on the brakes on Libya," one Security Council diplomat recalls.

As an official at the National Security Council under President Bill Clinton, Rice had lived through the horrendous American failure to stop the genocide in Rwanda, and later, as a fellow at the Brookings Institution, she had called for military intervention to stop atrocities in Darfur. But senior Obama administration officials, including Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Thomas Donilon, the national security advisor, were insisting that Libya was not strategically vital and advised the president to steer clear of another war. Despite their opposition and her own public stance, Rice agitated with the White House in favor of intervention in Libya, several aides told me. She also privately instructed her staff in New York to ready a resolution authorizing tough new sanctions and the use of force. She told neither fellow diplomats nor officials in Washington about the draft.

On Saturday, March 12, the Arab League called for military action, as Rice had been warning her colleagues it would. But it was obvious that a no-fly zone, by itself, would not stop Qaddafi’s troops. When Obama gathered his principals for a decisive meeting that Tuesday night, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, having spoken to Arab allies, was able to promise that some Arab countries would join a more robust campaign to bomb Libyan targets. Rice, on speakerphone in New York, said she thought she could move such a resolution through the council. The way Ben Rhodes, a deputy national security advisor, recalls it, Rice said that "she was going to call people’s bluff" by proposing much more powerful military action than even France and Britain had sought. Just before the meeting, Rice had called key ambassadors to say the United States would not endorse a no-fly zone. But three hours later she called again to say the United States would push for a bombing campaign. Some of America’s allies were so bewildered by the abrupt turnaround that they were half-convinced Washington was issuing impossible demands in order to cover its unwillingness to act.

The next morning, Rice took her resolution out of the drawer and introduced it at the Security Council. "I confess," she told me recently, "that I made something of a dramatic presentation." Rice normally shuns theatricality. Now, however, she told the council that Libya presented "as imminent and urgent a situation as this council has ever faced." Rice was brutally explicit. "I don’t want to hear six months from now that we did a [deleted] on you people," she said. "It’s airstrikes; it’s aggressive use of air power." The presentation, a council diplomat recalled, produced stunned silence; it was itself a sort of aerial assault. And it worked. The next day, March 17, the Security Council voted 10-0, with five abstentions, to take "all necessary measures" to protect Libyan civilians.

The Libya resolution was a major achievement for Rice and a vindication of the Obama administration’s commitment to multilateral institutions, above all the United Nations. Obama had concluded that stopping the violence was not a matter of core national security interests and had instructed Rice to tell the Security Council that the United States would not act at all absent council authorization. "It’s up to you to decide," Rice told her colleagues. This reticence would later be stigmatized as "leading from behind," but perhaps it’s better understood as leading without wishing to be seen as taking the lead — a new model of multilateralism suitable to a post-hegemonic era. And because the intervention ultimately succeeded, it offered hope that the U.N. might finally become the authorizing agency for the "responsibility to protect," the doctrine stipulating that states have a duty to prevent or halt mass atrocities even outside their borders.

The multilateralist euphoria lasted all of a few weeks. By Oct. 4, Russia and China blocked even a mild resolution criticizing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, who was brutalizing his own citizens as grossly as Qaddafi had. That was about 17,000 fatalities ago. The council’s paralysis on Syria soon made Obama’s strategic deference look like timidity, especially as months of ineffective Security Council diplomacy dragged on; this time, there would be no Susan Rice maneuver to break the logjam. Richard Williamson, one of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s chief foreign-policy advisors, has accused the president of "subcontracting" U.S. policy to former U.N. Secretary-General Kofi Annan, whose U.N.-backed peace plan dissolved amid a whirlwind of violence. The feeble half-measures on Syria offer a reminder of the inherent limitations of the Security Council, where the great powers have a veto and are prepared to wield it. They also demonstrate one of the organization’s unspoken purposes: If you don’t want to act or you don’t know how to act, you can always blame it on the Security Council. Libya, as Rice herself would put it, was a "data point," not a "trend."

DURING THE 2008 presidential campaign, Obama sometimes said, "I want to stand in front of the U.N. and say, ‘America is back!’" He meant not only that under a President Obama the United States would take the United Nations seriously again, but that the United Nations would be the right place from which to proclaim a new policy of "engagement" with institutions, with adversaries, and even with allies after eight years of what Obama saw as George W. Bush’s unilateral high-handedness, not least his failure to secure Security Council approval for the Iraq war. Obama argued that transnational problems — climate change, nuclear proliferation, epidemic disease — could only be solved in multilateral bodies. He also thought that healing the breach at the U.N. and elsewhere had become a national security imperative. "The image of the U.S. was always our most important export," he told me in the summer of 2007, "and underwrote a lot of our security." Obama made, in effect, a hard-nosed case for what might otherwise be seen as a dangerously soft-nosed policy.

Bush had sent a message to the U.N. in 2005 when he appointed as ambassador John Bolton, who had publicly argued that the United States should not be bound by international law and had famously said that the U.N. could lose 10 floors of its 38-story headquarters without consequence. Obama sent a different kind of message with Rice, who had written her doctoral dissertation on U.N. peacekeeping, worked with the U.N. in the Clinton administration, and strongly advocated Security Council action in a range of conflict areas. Rice was as stubborn a figure as Bolton, but with a radically different set of beliefs.

Rice, however, had not wanted to be U.N. ambassador. She had taken a huge risk with a promising career when she decided in 2007 to support Obama over his Democratic rival, Hillary Clinton. Rice had served all eight years of Bill Clinton’s presidency, first on the National Security Council staff and then as assistant secretary of state for African affairs. But when Obama decided to seek the presidency, Rice threw in her lot with him because, unlike Hillary Clinton, he had opposed the war in Iraq. What’s more, as she told me at the time, she thought that Obama (and not Clinton) had a "21st-century view of the world." Rice became a leader of Obama’s foreign-policy team and his most important surrogate on foreign affairs; early in the campaign, they emailed and spoke constantly. When Obama won, Rice hoped to be national security advisor, or at least deputy. But Obama was a young black man with no foreign-policy experience; in Gen. James Jones, his first national security advisor, he chose an older, tall, and craggy white man with many stars on his shoulders. Rice got the United Nations.

Rice now has, in effect, two separate jobs: As U.N. ambassador, she reports to the secretary of state and works with the State Department’s Bureau of International Organization Affairs; as a member of the cabinet she reports to the president. In the Obama administration, foreign policy is made by the White House and carried out by the State Department, and Rice has hitched herself almost wholly to the former. This has contributed to her cool, if perfectly correct, relationship with Secretary Clinton, as has her primal act of rebellion in 2007. A "black belt in bureaucracy," as an admiring White House official says, Rice has constituted her office as a kind of shadow cabinet department. She often dispatches mid-level officials to the State Department to convey her wishes on subjects remote from her portfolio. One former administration official told me, "Susan’s complete insistence on making the U.S. [mission to the] U.N. her own thing" has, unsurprisingly, led to friction with the State Department.

Rice was a prodigy; she had become an assistant secretary of state at the tender age of 32, and she has the semisocialized quality of many people who have known nothing but success. She had a "fearsome reputation" as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University, says Elizabeth Cousens, who roomed with her then and later served as Rice’s chief policy advisor at the United Nations. Cousens says that people who could only see Rice’s argumentativeness and single-minded passion, rather than her kindness and intense loyalty, were baffled at their close friendship. Cousens was also awestruck by her friend’s methodical intelligence: To write her dissertation, Rice placed hundreds of index cards on the floor and simply picked up each card as she wrote her way through.

As a very young official in the Clinton administration, Rice’s confrontations were legend. She and Richard Holbrooke, who had the job she holds now in 1999 and 2000, squared off over policy toward Africa, and Rice is said to have told Holbrooke to screw himself, but in less gentle language, in the White House Situation Room. When I made the mistake of interrupting her once, she cried, "Let me finish!" And when, toward the end of one of our interviews, her assistant entered and silently handed her a card, Rice glanced at it and said, "I know what time it is. Thank you."

Washington is full of people who are very self-confident and very impatient, people who seem to be clad in sandpaper. Almost all, however, are white men; Rice is one of the few black women who belong to this particular club, and her membership can be seen as a sign that, at least in the elite world she has always occupied, neither race nor gender need be defining. Rice’s father, the son of a South Carolina preacher, got a Ph.D. in economics from the University of California/Berkeley, taught at Cornell University, and moved to Washington before becoming a governor of the Federal Reserve. Rice’s mother graduated from Radcliffe College and worked as an education researcher. Rice’s father played tennis on Sundays with Joseph Albright, the husband of future Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, and then the families would have lunch together. The young Susan went to National Cathedral School, where she was valedictorian, school president, and, at 5’3", point guard on the basketball team. Then she went to Stanford University and Oxford. Her story somehow mingles the self-confidence of the insider with the relentless drive, the sharp edge, even the distrustfulness, of the outsider. People born into privilege often have the gift of putting people at ease; Rice does not.

You might think that such an abrupt person would be ill-suited to diplomacy, but U.S. diplomats are expected to be blunt, and the position of power they occupy allows them to be. In fact, most of the diplomats with whom I spoke profess to like Rice. Hardeep Singh Puri, the U.N. ambassador from India, says, "Susan is easy to work with; there’s no ambiguity. Most work around here gets done in informal conversation, and her style is well suited to that." What diplomats want most from a U.S. ambassador is the power to deliver what he or she promises. Here Rice is in a special category of her own, in no small part because of her close relationship to Obama. "When he sees her" outside the Oval Office, says a senior administration official, "he lights up." Several people suggested to me that she and the president share the experience of being black people who rose to the top of virtually all-white institutions, but Rice herself pooh-poohed the idea. What binds them, she told me, is age and a shared worldview. They also both love basketball and have children of about the same ages. (Rice’s are 15 and 9.) Whatever the case, Obama clearly takes Rice’s advice seriously. She was one of the few cabinet officers to be asked for input on his June 2009 speech in Cairo, and she is expected to weigh in on subjects far outside her ambit, like Afghanistan. Obama allows Rice a longer leash than most U.N. ambassadors — a latitude that Rice has used to much effect.

WHEN RICE TOOK OVER as ambassador after eight years of Bush, the United Nations was in dire need of attention. The bitter feelings provoked by the debate over Iraq had faded, and the era of provocation had largely ended with Bolton’s departure in late 2006. But Bush hadn’t been terribly interested in using the institution, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon had proved to be an almost soporific figure. The U.N. felt increasingly marginal. So Rice and the administration ushered in a new era with a bang when Obama took office by vowing to pay the United Nations $1 billion in back dues, which it did by the fall.

Next, they tackled the confounding question of whether to join the U.N. Human Rights Council, something the Bush administration had refused to do. A number of senior officials at the State Department and the White House considered the organization incorrigible and worried that joining would make Obama look naive. The council was, as Tom Malinowski, Washington director for Human Rights Watch, puts it, "a place where good causes were delegitimized." Cuba and other serial human rights violators largely controlled the institution and blocked all attempts to censure any country save Israel.

But Rice and Clinton believed strongly that the new policy of engagement should not be, as Rice says, "a la carte." They argued that the United States could make the council better by participating. In March 2009, the White House agreed. And the risk has paid off. By taking part, the United States prevented Iran from also joining the council and even persuaded its members to appoint a special rapporteur to investigate the country’s human rights record; the council has passed resolutions condemning violence in Libya and Syria, and it demanded an investigation into abuses allegedly committed by Sri Lanka in the 2009 war against Tamil rebels. As Malinowski says, "There’s still a disproportionate focus on Israel, but it’s also bashing a lot of countries that previously felt completely protected."

Then, at the annual meeting of the U.N. General Assembly in September 2009, Obama spent three days in New York to highlight America’s renewed commitment to the institution — seen as proof of Rice’s capacity to "deliver" the president. He even agreed to chair a session of the Security Council, which no U.S. president had done before.

Rice and the White House used the session to advance the president’s goal of moving toward a world without nuclear weapons, which he had articulated in Prague that year. After tough negotiations, Russia endorsed a text that called for strict controls on the export of nuclear materials and committed council members to treaties outlawing nuclear tests and the production of fissile material for weapons. Other states then fell into line. "Basically," says Brooke Anderson, Rice’s former chief of staff, "we got the rest of the P5" — the five permanent members of the Security Council (Britain, China, France, Russia, and the United States) — "to raise their hands and endorse the Prague agenda." That agreement helped U.S. diplomats make headway at the five-year review conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty the following spring, and the U.S. willingness to take its own arms control obligations seriously helped Rice and the White House persuade reluctant countries to punish Iran for its illicit nuclear activities.

Rice spent the first six months of 2010 carrying out tense, tedious, and protracted negotiations on a resolution imposing harsh sanctions on Iran, which had been clandestinely building nuclear-enrichment facilities in violation of nonproliferation rules. Russia, with its deep ties to Iran, was reluctant to toughen existing sanctions. China would not talk at all. Brazil and Turkey, says Rice, were conducting their own diplomatic bid to resolve the dispute (which the United States had not encouraged). Rice’s aides say that she got down in the weeds of the resolution, battering her fellow diplomats with details of how Iran used foreign banks to obscure nuclear-related transactions. She was prepared to conduct her own foreign policy when necessary. When a fellow diplomat challenged her on a red-line issue, saying that Jones, the national security advisor, had laid out the administration’s policy differently, Rice retorted, "I outrank General Jones." I asked the diplomat who recalled this tale whether he had been shocked. Not at all, he said. "It made us smile."

But issues as crucial to global security as Iran’s nuclear program are ultimately settled well over an ambassador’s head. China, for example, only joined the discussion after Obama pressed Chinese President Hu Jintao. Clinton also lobbied a range of foreign capitals. In late spring, the P5 plus Germany finally agreed on a resolution and presented it to the other members of the Security Council. In June 2010, the council passed Resolution 1929, imposing sanctions on Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, banning the sale to Iran of certain heavy weapons, and requiring states to inspect ships or planes heading to or from Iran if they suspected banned cargo was aboard.

The Iran resolution raised Rice’s stock in the White House. "She got it done," says Michael McFaul, a National Security Council official who worked closely with her and now serves as ambassador to Russia. "That was giant, big, historic." Russia had agreed to measures it never would have accepted outside the U.N. framework. European allies were prepared to adopt tough sanctions of their own, including the embargo on purchases of Iranian oil that went into effect this July, because they were built on the legitimacy of council action. The measure also showed how the administration’s multilateralism policy operated within its larger framework of "engagement": Russia was more inclined to work with the United States because of the administration’s effort to "reset" relations (even if the reset wouldn’t survive much beyond the Iran resolution). Other states came along in part because Obama, unlike Bush, had shown a willingness to work with Tehran.

Of course, for all the subtle diplomacy, Obama has not yet been any more successful than Bush was in actually stopping Iran’s uranium-enrichment program. Multilateralism is a means to reduce friction among states, not a miracle cure — a point that would be made painfully clear in Syria.

EVEN AS NATO PLANES roared over Libya in the spring of 2011, the Security Council struggled to respond when Assad’s forces opened fire on peaceful protesters in Syria. Starting in May, the United States, France, and Britain pressed for a statement condemning the violence. Russia and China resisted. Then, as the death toll mounted into the thousands, the Western countries sought to craft a resolution threatening sanctions against the Assad regime. To ease passage, Britain and France watered down the resolution to the point where, Rice says, "It had become an embarrassment." Nevertheless, Russia and China vetoed the measure, and Lebanon and the big emerging states on the council — Brazil, India, and South Africa — voted against it.

What had happened? The Russians, including Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov, complained that they had been betrayed on the Libya resolution, which had authorized force only to enforce a cease-fire — not to overthrow Qaddafi’s regime. This charge infuriates U.S. officials, who think that they could not have been more transparent. On the floor of the council, a visibly angry Rice declared, "This is not about Libya. That is a cheap ruse by those who would rather sell arms to the Syrian regime than stand with the Syrian people." Russia, of course, is Syria’s chief arms supplier. One senior U.N. official, however, points out that Brazil, India, and South Africa have also complained of being misled on Libya and concludes that the institution is "paying the price in spades on Syria." India’s Ambassador Puri has said bluntly that "the Libyan experience" turned many council members against coercive measures.

In January, the Arab League drew up a plan to ease Assad from power. The Obama administration sought the council’s blessing for the plan, as a year earlier it had leveraged Arab opinion to gain support for the bombing campaign against Libya. In the first days of February, Russia’s ambassador to the U.N., Vitaly Churkin, with whom Rice has a kind of cheerful frenemy relationship, seemed prepared to accept the resolution, but after a meeting with Clinton, Lavrov complained that the document "left the door open to military intervention." Russia and China exercised their veto once again.

Annan briefly saved the international community from its humiliating inaction by proposing a peace plan that did not require Assad’s departure and that Russia could thus embrace. In March, the council endorsed the Annan plan and agreed in April to send unarmed observers to Syria. Rice wasn’t terribly enthusiastic but thought it was better than nothing, saying, "There is a risk it ends in more violence, which is why the last peaceful game in town is one worth pursuing, even if it’s a low-probability game, which we readily admit it is." Annan himself conceded by early July that his low-probability gambit had failed. The United States, Britain, and France then submitted yet another resolution threatening sanctions if Syria did not comply with the terms of the Annan plan, and Russia and China vetoed that one too. Rice finally unloaded in front of the council’s 15 members. "The Security Council has failed utterly in its most important task on its agenda this year. This is another dark day in Turtle Bay," she said. "The first two vetoes were very destructive. This veto is even more dangerous and deplorable."

Syria has arguably become the U.N.’s Waterloo, or at least its bridge too far. Russia has used the institution to protect a favored dictator. Countries like South Africa have peeked over the cliff of intervention and recoiled in dismay. No U.N. approval, so no action.

But in this case, the U.N. is more the scapegoat than the problem. After all, even if Russia and China endorsed a resolution threatening sanctions, Assad would be unlikely to call back his troops and relinquish power. Obama first called for Assad to step down fully a year ago but seems unwilling or unable to do more. And it seems doubtful that will change. Few if any senior officials inside the Obama administration favor the kind of military measures that might tip the balance between Assad and his opponents; a Libya-style assault against Syria could provoke sectarian warfare across the region. At a lunch for journalists I attended in May, Rice made it clear that she opposed airstrikes, humanitarian corridors, safe zones, or any of the other military fixes under discussion. Yet nothing short of such measures may dislodge Assad, at least not until after he has killed thousands more Syrians. This is a paradox that someone who believes strongly in the moral use of force might find tragic. But Rice does not resonate at such metaphysical frequencies. She is, she reminded me, a "pragmatist" and accepts the fact that what worked in Kosovo and Libya will not work in Syria.

OBAMA IS NO LONGER treated as the second coming, in the United States or anywhere else. He has not closed the Guantánamo Bay prison or ended many of his predecessor’s more onerous counterterrorism policies. He has defended Israel almost as single-mindedly as Bush did. Obama is much less like a European social democrat than his global audience once thought: From the perspective of U.N. diplomats, he looks more like a pragmatic calculator of American national interests in the mold of the elder George Bush, and, when asked to name his favorite statesmen, Obama usually chooses "realists" like Brent Scowcroft and James Baker. Of course, that still puts him a long way from Mitt Romney, who at times has courted the folks who think the U.N. is coming to get them in black helicopters, as when he recently declared that he would not condone "turning to the United Nations to tell us how to raise our kids, or whether we can have the Second Amendment rights that our Constitution gave us."

What is true of Obama might be said even more explicitly of Rice. The U.N. ambassador has her boss’s pragmatism without his gift of vision; she is a creature wholly of prose. "Susan is not about game-changing diplomacy," says a former administration official. "She approached the U.N. without much idealism, with a sort of reserve." Rice herself might not disagree. When I said that, like the president, she seemed to be an idealistic thinker with a highly practical streak, she shook her head. "’Idealistic’ to me connotes believing in things or wanting things that are not achievable," she said. She prefers the word "principled."

Rice is held in high esteem in the place where it matters: the White House. One former administration official told me that at the outset of the administration, "the boys" — deputy national security advisor Denis McDonough, an Obama confidant, and other senior officials — "wanted her out of the White House — out, out, out." If that was ever true, a current senior official insists ("Susan was one of the boys right from the beginning"), it almost certainly isn’t now. With the exception of Syria, she has won every major battle she has fought at the U.N., not just Iran and Libya, but resolutions imposing sanctions on North Korea, sending a robust peacekeeping force into Ivory Coast when it was torn by post-election conflict, and warding off, at least for the moment, a full-scale war between Sudan and the breakaway state of South Sudan. National Security Council senior staffer Samantha Power, a baseball fan, compares her to Mariano Rivera, the Yankee great who turns every close game into a win. When I told Rhodes that I had heard he was one of the early skeptics of Rice, he put me right. "I would walk through fire for Susan Rice," he said. "She may not be cuddly, but she’s incredibly faithful and loyal and passionate on behalf of her friends and the people she’s been through fights with."

In the entertaining parlor game of "Who would be secretary of state in a hypothetical Obama second term?" Rice is now considered the leader, or perhaps tied with Donilon, though questions about his possible role in the recent disclosure of sensitive national security information to the New York Times could threaten his confirmability. (Handicappers now place both in front of Sen. John Kerry.) It’s unclear that she’d be good at a job like that, though; her smile may be just a trifle too forced, her patience a bit too thin. A State Department official who has known her since the Clinton days says that though Rice is hard-driving, diligent, and effective, "There is a disconnect between that and wisdom." The president, a shrewd judge of character, may know this about her, but the fact that he trusts her may matter more.

Susan Rice is not to be denied. She has never faltered along the steep upward trajectory of her career. Some high-powered women have dropped out of the administration to tend to their families, and Rice says she is sympathetic to their plight; she just doesn’t share it. At one point I asked Rice whether she had ever experienced a serious failure. She thought about it. No, she hadn’t. "Some have tried to take me on," she murmured. Presumably, they lived to regret it.

http://www.foreignpolicy.com/articles/2 … ?page=full


“What if Mr. Meles Goes for Good?”

Monday, August 13th, 2012

Alemayehu G Mariam

Last week, The Economist Magazine rhetorically inquired, “What if Mr. Meles goes for good?” Shouldn’t the question be, “Is it not good for Ethiopia if Mr. Meles goes for good?”

Those who know where Mr. Meles has gone are not talking; and those who are talking don’t know where he has gone. But everyone knows dictator Meles Zenawi has completely vanished from public view. He was last seen at the G20 meeting in Mexico on June 19. He looked gaunt and debilitated. On July 18, an Agence France Press report citing “several diplomatic sources” reported that Zenawi is a goner “in a critical state” at a hospital in Belgium and he “might not survive”. Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT), citing an anonymous source at the International Crisis Group (ICG), reported that Zenawi is dead and gone. ICG issued an opaque denial stating that it had “no direct knowledge” of Zenawi’s “health” or death. In a staged interview with party-controlled media on August 1, Zenawi’s spinmesiter and “communication minister”, Bereket Simon, declared “the prime minister’s health is in very good condition.” Last week, Simon said Zenawi will be back before the Ethiopian New Year which is usually celebrated on September 11.  In my last commentary, I argued that Zenawi should be declared AWOL and formally removed because he has been gone absent from office without constitutional leave.

It is ironic that absolute silence should be the ultimate fate of the man The Economist described as “‘the voice of Africa’”. For over two decades, the garrulous and bombastic Zenawi used words like a surgical knife to filet, slice, dice and shred his opponents and critics. He tongue-lashed his parliamentarians like a bully at a children’s reformatory school.  But the “voice of Africa” has now become voiceless himself just like the  90 million Ethiopians he had rendered voiceless. Pitiful party hacks have become his mouthpieces.  They say he will be back in a jiffy. Why doesn’t Zenawi show his face if he is in “very good condition”? How come there is no photo or video of him in “very good condition”? If he cannot be seen, can’t he release a 30-second audio tape sayin’ he awright? Out of sight, out of mind?

The evidence that “Mr. Meles is gone for good” is compelling and unrefuted.  Other than empty assurances by Zenawi’s spinmeisters, substantial evidence is lacking to prove Zenawi is alive or sentient. Rene Lefort in a recent article noted, “The widespread conviction shared by most diplomats and experts is that, whether Meles is dead or alive, he is no longer in charge and never will be again, so the candidacy for his succession is open.” For all practical purposes, Mr. Meles is gone or he is just as good as gone!

But so “What if Mr. Meles goes for good?” Or comes back? Or stays? Or whatever? Tin pot dictators come and go in Africa and the Middle East like the plague. Over the past year and half, people have been asking, “What if Gadhafi, Ben Ali, Mubarak, Ali Saleh, Gbagbo… are gone for good?” Well, they are all gone for good and life has gotten better every day they have been gone. What if Bashar al-Assad, Robert Mugabe… are gone for good? What happened after Charles Taylor, Mobutu Sese Seko, Jean-Bedel Bokassa, Idi Amin, Mengistu Hailemariam … were gone?”

“What if Mr. Meles is Gone for Good?”

For some time now, I have been wrestling with the question, “What if African dictator X is gone?” In January 2011, in a commentary entitled, “After the Fall of African Dictatorships”, I noted that I did not know what happens the day African dictators are gone, but was reasonably sure what happens the day after they are gone: “The fact is that the morning after the fall of Africa’s dictators, the people will be stuck with a ransacked economy, emptied national banks, empty store shelves, torture chambers full of political prisoners and dithering and power-hungry opposition leaders jockeying for position in the middle of political chaos.” This past April I cautioned, “The chaos that occurs on the transitional bridge from dictatorship to democracy [in Ethiopia] creates the ideal conditions for the hijacking of political power, theft of democracy and the reinstitution of dictatorship in the name of democracy.”

Over the past two decades, Zenawi accumulated power by fermenting a toxic brew of ethnic politics, corruption and repression. He transformed an oligarchic authoritarian system (so-called collective leadership) into a ruthless neopatrimonial personal dictatorship (those directly hooked into Zenawi’s power grid) by continuously and systematically purging those he suspected of disloyalty and opposition. He cunningly wiped out many of his comrades-in-arms who did the heavy lifting and bush fighting to bring him to power. He surrounded himself with new allies, friends, business partners and party members who made it possible for him to survive and prevail without much internal or external challenge. At the time of his disappearance, Zenawi had become invincible, Il Duce Supremo (“The Supreme Leader”).

But like all dictators, Zenawi never thought he would be “gone”. He likely believed he would rule with an iron fist for one-half century like Fidel Castro or at least 30 plus years like Mugabe. If he had to go, he likely believed he would go on his own time, terms and in grand style. From time to time, he titillated the public by hinting he might step down (in 2015 if his party lets him), but he fully expected to be the grand puppet master behind the throne pulling the strings for decades to come. If the hubristic Zenawi ever thought he would be gone from office, it was likely that he believed the cause would a mass uprising. Little did he understand one of the fundamental laws of dictatorships: When dictators go, they go pretty damn quick. Ben Ali of Tunisia was gone in days. Hosni Mubarak in weeks. Gadhafi in months. A whole slew of African dictators over the past six years were gone in a flash from a variety of illnesses.

Zenawi never considered grooming a successor and risk being upstaged. No dictator worth his salt would groom his replacement and unloose his rivals and opponents. Designating a successor is the most dangerous thing any dictator could do because doing so could stir the pot and agitate the beehive. But it is the very absence of an heir apparent or a successor that has plunged Zenawi’s ruling party in a jam now. The shadowy power brokers are in deep political turmoil today as they try to choose Zenawi’s replacement. But regardless of whether Zenawi goes or stays, his neopatrimonial system is crumbling and doomed. As a result, his friends, cronies, party leaders and members, supporters, bureaucrats and generals are in a state of panic and high anxiety.

“What if…?”

Zenawi (does not) returns? Those who know where Zenawi has gone are not talking; and those who are talking don’t know. Seeye Abraha, former defense minister and co-founder of  the liberation front that brought Zenawi to power recently implied Zenawi is gone for good when he noted that Zenawi “will be leaving very big boots that cannot be filled by anyone else.” Seeye is right. In a 2009 weekly commentary, I described Zenawi as “a dictator with a thousand faces”. No one in the ruling party has Zenawi’s combination of Machiavellian cunning and craftiness, defiant willpower, stony cold-bloodedness or bottomless capacity for intrigue and chicanery. As the old saying goes, one has to give the devil his due. No one in Zenawi’s party can match his intelligence, intellectual agility, shrewdness or plain street smarts. Zenawi stayed in power for 21 years by outwitting, outfoxing, outsmarting, outmaneuvering, outpoliticking, outtricking, outfinessing and outplaying not only every one of his opponents but also rivals in his own party. But he had his own contradictions. He had sharp intellect but lacked insight; he had ideas but lacked vision; he was smart but not judicious; he was shrewd but not perceptive; he was single-minded in his goals but pursued them obtusely. He was driven but lacked conscience or compassion. He pursued politics with depraved indifference. He was a man of many vices and few virtues. He suffered the character flaws of those malignant and vengeful Shakespearean characters “consumed with venomous malice”, addicted to  “unmitigated villainy” and deaf-mute  to every appeal of humanity.

The fact remains that it really does not matter if Zenawi is gone for good (or for bad), comes back temporarily or whatever. Zenawi has been “gone” for good since May 18 at the G8 Food Security Conference in Washington D.C. That day, with his head bowed and his spirit totally crushed, the last ounce of fight left in Zenawi left him. If he should return, he will be merely a shell of the former Zenawi. The old cocky, self-absorbed and snarly Zenawi is gone forever. The recycled Zenawi, if there is one, will be a defeated, defanged, declawed, debeaked and decrowned version of the old Zenawi. That is just a fact. Zenawi’s handlers may fool themselves into believing that “absence makes the heart grow fonder”; but in Zenawi’s case, absence has made him irrelevant. Any fantasies about his return to power with his former glory is ludicrous, pointless, senseless and mindless. The odds are Zenawi ain’t never coming back! He is gone for good!

The “status quo” continues. Spinmeister Simon in his last press statement said, “The status quo is maintained – there is no change and there will be no change in the near future.” Simon talks much but says nothing. It was not clear what he meant by “status quo” but the current situation is murky: There is an AWOL “prime minster”. The “deputy prime minister” is invisible. There is a shadowy group of power brokers scheming behind the scenes to find Zenaiw’s replacement. The power and leadership vacuum is manifest. There is total confusion and cynicism in the country about who is minding the store. The only silver lining in the dark cloud shrouding Zenawi’s disappearance is the public euphoria that the two decade-old one-man, one-party dictatorship nightmare could have ended with Zenwai gone.  As the charade of “collective leadership” is played out in Zenawi’s circle of power, the “status quo” continues.

In February 2010, Eskinder Nega (my friend and personal hero), the ultimate symbol of press freedom in Ethiopia, using as a backdrop the May 2010 “election” in which Zenawi’s party won by 99.6 percent, crystal-balled the inevitable implosion of the ruling “EPDRF” party and sketched out the qualifications of the motley crew of droll characters standing in line as Zenawi’s heirs-apparent to the throne (I strongly recommend Eskinder’s article [Click here]  to anyone interested in grasping the current palace intrigue in Ethiopia; last month Zenawi jailed Eskinder, winner of the prestigious PEN America Freedom to Write Award for 2012, and arguably the most outstanding journalist of his generation, for 18 years):

Scratch beyond the surface and the EPRDF is really not the monolithic dinosaur as it is most commonly stereotyped. If what defines an organization is the unique amalgam of its history, quality of leadership, cohesion, grass root presence, vision, and perhaps even its luck, then the EPRDF, fast approaching its twentieth year, has evolved in to a coalition of four distinct phenomenon: the increasing confusion of the dominant TPLF; the acute cynicism of the ANDM; the desperate nihilism of the OPDO and the inevitable irrelevance of the incongruent SEPM…

A nasty, but so far bloodless, backstage interplay of these dynamics in what is now a battle to succeed Meles Zenawi has inaudibly developed in to a real threat to the cohesion of the EPRDF, arguably more dangerous than the electoral threat posed by its opponents. We now know that disaster was only averted this year with the extension of Meles’ term in office—-something he had always counted on, according to diplomats—-but this has yet to result in the much anticipated—-or rather, hoped for—ceasefire between two bickering claimants to the throne—OPDO and ANDM….

By contrast, the EPRDF is clearly a hierarchal organization with a singular power at the top in Meles Zenawi and subsequent levels of delegated power beneath him. Though collective leadership is formally acknowledged, it has no relevance in practice…

But the question remains if the prestige and power of EPRDF’s chairperson will endure after Meles. Both the OPDO and the ANDM are betting on it, but none of the EPRDF’s four constituent members have been able to come up with a political heavyweight remotely capable of ensuring a seamless transition…

Bereket Simon, whose support is generally deemed critical to the eventual successor, was instrumental in marshaling pressure for Meles’ term extension, but his considerable influence is expected to wane once Meles eventually leaves the limelight. His health notwithstanding, Bereket is still, along with Meles, EPRDF’s dynamo, his clear genius for intrigue a cause of much resentment both inside and outside the EPRDF…

The enigma of this drama is the role of Sebhat Nega, the king maker two of decades ago whose backing was vital for Meles’ accession to the helm of the TPLF. The side he chose at the climax of the fallout between Meles and Seye Abraha et al was no less crucial for the final outcome. Sebaht has chosen to leave TPLF’s politburo but remains a member of the CC. But both count for much less since the departure of Seye Abraha et al, his continued influence has more to do with his access and the propensity of Meles to listen to him. Most pundits are puzzled about his stance on the succession issue, but almost all agree that the side he chooses will be considerably emboldened..

An apparatchik or party hack is installed as “prime minister”. It is likely that the palace intriguists could broker a deal and install a relatively benign party hack who could serve, defend and protect their interests. The names of the party apparatchiks that have been leaked as part of a trial balloon are pitiful. They all lack political experience, professional competence, charisma and leadership qualities and are unlikely to appeal to members in their own party let alone have  national  appeal. Regardless, if a replacement for Zenawi is chosen from the ranks of the inner closed circle of the ruling party, that person will be selected for his unquestioning loyalty to the shadowy power brokers, and not for his competence or leadership qualities. But such dilemma is a common and inherent problem in all dictatorships. The pattern of leadership recruitment in dictatorships overemphasizes loyalty over competence which makes transition and succession difficult and chaotic.

An emergency is contrived and martial law declared. As the internal structure of the ruling party inevitably fractures, it will likely create ideal conditions for mass resistance and uprisings. The evidence so far shows that the regime is aggressively using its police and paramilitary forces to crush citizens demanding an end to state interference in religious affairs. As the regime faces more organized and defiant and potentially violent opposition, it will use the military to deal with such threats. The power brokers could just as easily trigger a war with a neighboring country to consolidate power. But use of the military could ultimately prove to be a double-edged sword. Dependence on a multiethnic, multi-religious army could backfire. The very military that enables a dictatorial regime to suppress its opposition could easily turn against the dictatorship itself.

The current “deputy prime minister” is elected  as “prime minster” (PM).  As I have demonstrated in a previous commentary, under Article 75 of the Ethiopian Constitution, the deputy prime minister is a political puppet of the  PM. The DPM cannot constitutionally succeed the PM temporarily or permanently. The best bet for the power brokers is to orchestrate the “election” of the current “DPM” as “PM” because it’s only through him that they have any hope of maintaining their  chokehold on power. The current DPM  simply does not have a sufficient support base in the party structure, bureaucracy, military, civic society, economic structure, etc. to be able to act independently. He is the only viable lifeline the scheming power brokers and palace intriguists have to power.

Begin a national dialogue for power sharing and transition to democracyIn one of my commentaries in April, I predicted the foreseeable end of dictatorship and the beginning of a democratic transition in Ethiopia (though I did not expect Zenawi to be “gone” so quickly) and called for an immediate national dialogue on specific issues:

We need to plan for the inevitable, inescapable and unstoppable transition of Ethiopia from dictatorship to democracy. Dictatorship will end in Ethiopia. It is only a matter of when. Democracy will also rise in Ethiopia. It is a matter of how and what type. The point is that it necessary to begin a purposeful dialogue and plan ahead about theprerequisites for an effective and smooth transition to democratic governance now, not when the dictatorship falls. I believe dialogue needs to begin now on at least four major issue areas: 1) how to engage and increase the capacity of key stakeholders in identifying potential triggers of violence during political transitions and preventing them; 2) identifying and devising strategies and opportunities for reducing ethnic, religious and communal tension and conflict in anticipation of a transition; 3) enhancing the role of civil society institutions in facilitating public engagement and interaction during the transitional period, and 4) anticipating critical constitutional issues that could significantly impair the transitional process.

Ultimately, the question should be not be, “What if Mr. Meles goes for good?” but rather, “Is it not good — just great —  for Ethiopia if Mr. Meles is gone for good?” But the best question is, “How can we make Ethiopia better after Mr. Meles is gone for good?”

Amharic translations of recent commentaries by the author may be found at: http://www.ecadforum.com/Amharic/archives/category/al-mariam-amharic and http://ethioforum.org/?cat=24

Previous commentaries by the author are available at:

http://open.salon.com/blog/almariam/  and www.huffingtonpost.com/alemayehu-g-mariam/