FREEDOM 4 ALL ETHIOPIANS

FREEDOM,DEMOCRACY.JUSTICE.AND UNITY FOR ALL ETHIOPIANS …by DANIEL TESFAYE

19 Ethiopians accused of having links with Patriotic Ginbot 7 Jailed

Two benches at federal high court jail nineteen Ethiopians accused of having links with Patriotic Ginbot 7 to lengthy terms

 

The struggle toward freedom reached its tipping point

Addis Abeba, January 02/2018 –  The federal high court 19th and 4th criminal benches here in the capital Addis Abeba have today sentenced a total of nineteen Ethiopians who were accused of terrorism related offenses to jail terms ranging from three years and ten months to 16 years and six months.

All the nineteen defendants were accused of having ties with Patriotic G7, a rebel group designated by the ruling party’s dominated parliament as a terrorist organization.

The Federal high court 19th criminal bench sentenced fourteen individuals under the file name of Getahun Beyene et. al to various terms in jail. Accordingly, the court handed the highest term of 16 years and ten months to Dr. Asnake Abayneh and Alemayehu Negussie, the second and the fifth defendants respectively, while it sentenced Bantewossen Abebe to lowest term of three years and ten months. Others in the same file have also been sentenced to various terms in jail. The first defendant Getahun Beyene and the fourth defendant Brazil Engida were sentenced to nine and 15 years each respectively.

Similarly, The federal high court 4th criminal bench sentenced five individuals in the file name of Yohanes Mengiste et.al from 14 to 15 years in prison. Accordingly, while the second defendant Tsegaye Zeleke was sentenced to 14 years, the remaining defendants: Yohanes Mengiste, Gashaw Mulye, Asmare Giletin, Gshaw Mamuye and Mansiboh Birhanu  have all been sentenced to 15 years.

All the five defendants have refused to defend the terrorism charges brought against them and like Getahun Beyene et.at, they were also accused of having links with PG7. In addition, all the five were also accused of traveling to Eritrea to take military training in a camp called Harena, according to the prosecutors charges.

The defendants in both file names were first brought to the federal court between September and October 2016, following the brutal crackdowns against massive anti-government protests in Amhara regional state. As Ethiopia continued reeling from the three years persistent anti-government protests in both Oromia and Amhara regional states, terrorism charges brought against individuals who are accused of participating and leading these protests from the two regions have seen a dramatic uptick (digital illustration).

On November 14, the federal high court 4th criminal bench passed a key ruling in the case against activist Nigist Yirga and five others charged in the same file with terrorism related offenses. According to the ruling, Nigist and the five others with her: Alemneh Wase G. Mariam, Tewdros Telay Kume, Awoke Abate Gebeyehu, Belayneh Alemneh Abeje, & Yared Girma Haile should all begin to defend the terrorism charges brought against them by the federal prosecutors. All the defendants were brought from the Amhara regional state in the wake of the summer 2016 protest.

In March 2016, prosecutors have charged a group of 76 individuals with various articles of Ethiopia’s infamous Anti-Terrorism Proclamation at the federal high court 19th criminal bench.  According to the charges under the name of Miftah Sheikh Surur, all the 76 defendants were accused of being members of the “Eritrean based rebel group Patriotic G7,”; they were also accused of participating and/or attempted to participate in several acts of terrorism in western Tigray zone of northern Ethiopia in places including, but not limited to, Metama, and Quwara; as well as in Woredas such as Wolkayit, Tsegede, & upper & lower Armachiho.

posted by daniel tesfaye

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Ethiopia-Win-Et: The U.S. on the Horns of a Creeping Civil War Dilemma in Ethiopia

“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable…In the past, those who foolishly sought power by riding the back of the tiger ended up inside.” — John F. Kennedy

“The quiet riot of civil disobedience in Ethiopia over the past two years is slowly morphing into a creeping and enveloping civil war.” —  Alemayehu G. Mariam

Author’s Note: I have postponed the second installment of my series “Deconstructing T-TPLF’s Ethnic Federalism” series in light of the deteriorating situation in Ethiopia today.

In this commentary, I shall examine the apparent gradual change from a quiet riot of civil disobedience to certain civil war in Ethiopia and the real reasons underlying civil strife in that country and offer analysis and policy recommendations on the necessity for U.S. mediatory involvement to avert what appears to be an irreversible trajectory towards civil war.

From a quiet riot of civil disobedience to civil war?

U.S. policy in Ethiopia

The quiet riot which began in earnest in Ethiopia over two years ago is today definitely looking like a creeping civil war.

Ethiopia today is at a tipping point where civil disobedience appears to be mutating into civil war. Uprisings, protests, demonstrations, open rebellions and defiant challenges to the rule of the Thugtatorship of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (T-TPLF) are visible in every part of the country. The people are angry, frustrated, outraged and resentful and defiant of T-TPLF rule.

Ragin-Granny

In its 2017 report on Ethiopia, Human Rights Watch (HRW) documented the large-scale “crack-down” by “Ethiopian security forces” against “largely peaceful demonstrations, killing more than 500 people.” HRW also documented that, “Security forces arrested tens of thousands of students, teachers, opposition politicians, health workers, and those who sheltered or assisted fleeing protesters.” HRW’s findings are corroborated by the U.S. State Department and Freedom House.

To paraphrase the great American revolutionary Thomas Paine, the Ethiopian people “have found out the exact amount of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them” and are standing up to vindicate the principle that “The limits of tyrants are prescribed by the endurance of those whom they oppress.” Their endurance over the past 25 years has now become steely defiance.

I talked about the Ethiopian powder keg attached to a slow burning fuse in my August 2016 commentary, “The Volcano, the Beast and the Tiger”.  In my May 2017 commentary, “The Good Kops/Bad Kops T-TPLF Con Game (Over)”, I pointed out the irrefutable fact that the T-TPLF today barely clings to dear political life sitting on a powder keg holding by a thread it calls a “state of emergency” decree. (Of course, it must be noted that Ethiopians have been under an undeclared state of emergency in a police state for the past 25 years.) With the emergency decree, the T-TPLF effectively declared martial law or as they called it “command post” administration giving themselves license to kill, jail, torture, persecute and prosecute and terrorize the civilian population at will.

As I observed in my October 2016 commentary, “State of Emergency or T-TPLF S.O.S. (Save Our Souls/Ship) Emergency?”, the T-TPLF did not declare a state of emergency for Ethiopia. It declared an emergency S.O.S. for the “S.S. T-TPLF”. It was plain to see that the T-TPLF Ship of State is sinking, and sinking fast. The S.S. T-TPLF has been struck by a tsunami of the Ethiopian peoples’ anger, frustration and outrage.

The whole object of the state of emergency decree was to buy time for the T-TPLF to come up with a plan to crush the peoples’ defiant spirit, erode their will to resist and destroy their will and morale to fight, disrupt their networks, confuse their thinking process and  sow dissension among the opposition, ultimately leading to a complete surrender. It did not work.

At best, the state of emergency decree only sprinkled dirt over the red-hot burning ambers of anger and frustration with T-TPLF rule. In August 2017, the T-TPLF announced it had lifted the state or emergency because things were under control. But that did not last long. The protests flared once again and spread throughout the country like wildfire.

Immediately after the “lifting” of the state of emergency, the people, particularly the youth, resumed their mass acts of civil disobedience and nonviolent resistance. Business owners were refusing to pay the T-TPLF’s outrageous taxes. Massive boycotts and strikes against the T-TPLF took place. Poor farmers were in full resistance mode against expropriation of their land by The T-TPLF. Everyday, the young people of Ethiopia are standing up defiantly and proclaiming to the T-TPLF, “Enough is enough! We ain’t gonna take it no more.”

Over the past six months, the pressure in the Ethiopian powder keg has been building up by the second, minute and hour. There is no safety valve to release the pressure, only increasing compression and oppression.

Today, the T-TPLF house of cards is coming apart, brick-by-brick and nail-by-nail before our eyes. The T-TPLF’s doomsday is near and certain.  There are only two unanswered question: Whether the powder keg will go off with a bang or a whimper, and whether it will happen in daylight or come like a thief in the night.

Ethiopia today is at a tipping point, a breaking point. It has passed the point of no return. No return to T-TPLF ethnic supremacy. No return to T-TPLF corrupt rule. No return to T-TPLF divide and rule. No return to T-TPLF oppression.

The T-TPLF has tried everything to turn the tide of history, or better phrased, its own trajectory towards the trash bin of history.

The T-TPLF bosses believed their usual militarized response of indiscriminate massacres and large-scale arrests and detentions of opponents and dissidents were all it took to keep them on top. They arrested and detained tens of thousands of people and killed thousands more. It did not work.

The T-TPLF bosses have tried all manner of political window dressing, none of which worked: cabinet shuffling to pretend they are making leadership changes, bogus corruption investigations and prosecutions to create public distraction, disinformation and propaganda campaigns to confuse and mislead the population, organization of bogus national dialogue forums with hand selected ethnic and opposition representatives to hoodwink the donors and loaners, trotting out opposition leaders with dubious pasts to create the impression of reaching out and being inclusive, sending out their own members pretending to be regime critics to capture and lead the public debate and discussion on bogus reform and a variety of other empty gestures to cling to power.

The T-TPLF is so desperate that for the past weeks it has been putting on a political drama pretending to have serious conflicts among its own leaders. They have released propaganda purportedly showing strife and division among themselves, including the dramatic walkout of their late thugmaster’s wife from one of their meetings.

The T-TPLF continues to put on a show at its home base. They keep leaked out disinformation that there is great conflict among the leaders who want a harder crackdown on protesters and others who favored a more conciliatory and accommodationist approach. They played musical chairs with the top bosses changing positions in a futile attempt to  demonstrate to the public they are making real changes.

It is all much ado about nothing. The T-TPLF bosses could put on whatever political drama they want, but the bottom line is nobody gives a _ _ _t.

“The T-TPLF gotta go! Where they belong. The trash heap of history.”

The T-TPLF’s political window dressing strategy suffered a major blow when Abadulla Gemeda, the “Speaker of the House of the Peoples’ Representatives”, the T-TPLF’s rubberstamp parliament, dumped them. Abadulla said he resigned because of “disrespect” and an attack on the “dignity of Oromo people.”

Baye Tadesse Tefferi, the 20-year veteran protocol chief of T-TPLF prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn defected while attending the United Nations annual meeting and sought political asylum in the U.S.  Baye, in a Voice of America interview, said he decided to defect because he feared being whacked by the T-TPLF mafia.

Melaku Shiferaw Tiruneh, Brigadier General in the T-TPLF army, also defected to the US while attending anti-terrorism conference.

Today, dozens of universities in Ethiopia are under siege by T-TPLF troops and have become killing fields. Street battles between T-TPLF troops armed with AK-47 and rock-throwing youth are daily occurrences throughout the country.

The so-called coalition members of the T-TPLF have reportedly refused to attend rubber-stamp parliamentary sessions until an investigation into the recent killings are conducted. They have threatened to bring the T-TPLF soldiers who committed crimes against humanity to justice in their regional courts.

The country’s economy is tanking. Ethiopia labors under crushing foreign debt (nearly $40 billion in 2016 representing 54.8 percent of GDP).  Consumer prices in Ethiopia increased 13.6 percent year-on-year in November of 2017, the highest inflation ratesince November of 2012.

In May 2017, the T-TPLF reported its “foreign reserves have dropped to a level only enough for 2.3 months of imports”.  In October 2017, the T-TPLF devalued its currency by 15 percent. Ethiopia’s economy is in shambles.

Ethnic conflict is NOTNOT the cause of the creeping civil war in Ethiopia

T-TPLF bosses have been predicting ethnic civil war for decades if they are no longer in power. Meles and his TPLF disciples have been crying ethnic wolf (“Rwandan Interahamwe”) all these years to scare people into supporting them.

Well! The wolf has arrived! In the sheep’s clothing of civil disobedience, nonviolent resistance and noncooperation. Now the wolf appears to be taking off his sheep’s clothing and baring his teeth. The T-TPLF created its kililistans and now it has come face to face with hungry and angry wolves out of the kililistan lairs.

The T-TPLF leaders have always dragged out the ethnic boogeyman as the cause of civil war. The late T-TPLF thugmaster Meles Zenawi used to scaremonger that after his TPLF goes, there will be the equivalent of an “Interahamwe-type Hutu militia which massacred Tutsis in Rwanda”. Zenawi repeated his prediction of ethnic bloodbath time and again.

Zenawi’s sidekick and step-and-fetch it, Bereket Simon, went one step further when he predicted, “Strife between different nationalities of Ethiopia might have made the Rwandan genocide look like child’s play.”

T-TPLF general Tsadkan Gebretensaye straight up predicted civil war when the T-TPLF is dumped in the trash bin of history.

T-TPLF boss Abay Tsehai predicted Ethiopia will be Africa’s 21st century Rwanda. He said things in Ethiopia are getting out of control and Ethiopia and is careening into becoming the next Rwanda.

T-TPLF boss, Seyoum Mesfin, also expects a civil war but believes his T-TPLF will crush all opposition and remain dominant. In a bizarre interview, Seyoum effectively equated Ethiopians to Nazis and Tigreans to Jews in the Third Reich.

Only the T-TPLF godfather Sebhat Nega got it right. “When the people become very bitter, they explode.  This is a universal truth.  There are no people who will not rise up when they become bitter. Historically. Now. And in the future.”     

The people of Ethiopia are bitter and they are exploding day by day.

It is absolutely important to understand that the massive uprisings and resistance against the T-TPLF in the Oromia and Amhara regions of the country are not motivated by hatred of Tigreans as the T-TPLF bosses want the world to believe. The real issue is that the T-TPLF has made ethnic supremacy the very foundation of its omnipotent political, economic and social power.

Herman Cohen, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs and an appointee of George H.W. Bush, who facilitated the TPLF’s transition to power in Ethiopia in 1991 after the cowardly military junta leader fled to Zimbabwe offers a compelling analysis:

Since 2005, there has been growing political unrest in Ethiopia. Several of the individual states feel discriminated against by the group controlling the national government, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF). In addition to ethnic discrimination, the national government has refused to implement political reforms. All elections are rigged. On the economic side, the non-Tigrayan population in regional states is resentful that the TPLF is monopolizing the entire economy.

Cohen’s analysis is supported by irrefutable facts.

Following the 2015 “election”, The T-TPLF owned 100 percent of “parliament”.

Following the 2010 “election”, the T-TPLF owned 99.6 percent of the “parliament”.

The TPLF owns 100 percent of the land in Ethiopia and can confiscate and expropriate lands at will from individuals and groups as it has done repeatedly in Oromia, Gambella and other regions.

The T-TPLF owns 100 percent of the top military leadership positions in Ethiopia.

The T-TPLF owns 100 percent of the top businesses and economic enterprises in Ethiopia.

The T-TPLF owns 100 percent of the civil service jobs and political appointments in Ethiopia.

These are the causes of the looming civil war in Ethiopia, not ethnic hatred against Tigreans by other ethnic groups.

The T-TPLF bosses have pulled the ethnic card to scaremonger Tigreans into believing that without the T-TPLF, they will all suffer the fate of Tutsi’s in Rwanda. The T-TPLF has long traded on the myth that its fate and destiny is in fact the fate and destiny of the people of Tigray. The truth is that the T-TPLF represents no one but its members, supporters and cronies from all ethnic groups and religions who feed at its trough of corruption.

U.S. watching a quite riot or an oncoming train wreck from the sidelines?

The U.S. is watching from the sidelines. It is not clear to me if it is watching a quiet riot or an oncoming train wreck.

The United States has been and continues to monitor “reports fo violence and protests”. It is not clear what the U.S. is doing behind the scenes to prevent a deterioration of the political situation in the country, but there is a clear change in U.S. policy in Ethiopia (discussed below).

The publicly available evidence suggests the U.S. is probably doing more than just monitoring the deteriorating situation in Ethiopia. Behind the façade of apparent concern and unease, there seems to be a sense of  urgency and alarm as evidenced in the various official warnings, advisories and statements.

On December 6, 2016, the U.S. State Department “continue[d] to warn U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Ethiopia due to the potential for civil unrest related to sporadic and unpredictable anti-government protests that began in November 2015.”

On June 13, 2017, the U.S. State Department issued a “Travel Warning” advising “U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Ethiopia due to the potential for civil unrest and arbitrary detention since a state of emergency was imposed in October 2016. The Government of Ethiopia extended the state of emergency on March 15, 2017, and there continue to be reports of unrest, particularly in Gondar and Bahir Dar in Amhara State. This replaces the Travel Warning of December 6, 2016…”

On August 10, 2017, the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia issued a travel warning to its citizens to avoid “the main road from Addis Ababa to Jijiga [which] has been blocked by security forces between the cities of Babile and Harar due to intense fighting including gunfire.  Ethiopian Defense Force troops are arriving in the area, and the road is not passable.”

On August 25, 2017, the U.S. Department of State “warn[ed] U.S. citizens of the risks of travel to Ethiopia due to the potential for civil unrest and arbitrary detention. There continue to be reports of unrest, particularly in the Gondar region and Bahir Dar in Amhara State, and parts of Oromia State. This replaces the Travel Warning of June 13, 2017.”

On September 14, 2017, the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia issued a “security message” warning that because of “armed clashes near the border region between the Somali and Oromia regional states, the Embassy is reviewing and approving on a case by case basis all personal and official travel to East and West Hararge, Borena, and Guji areas of Oromia regional state.”

On September 19, 2017, the U.S. Embassy issued a statement of concern:

We are disturbed by the troubling reports of ethnic violence and the large-scale displacement of people living along the border between the Oromia and Somali regions, particularly in Hararge, although the details of what is occurring remain unclear… [O]n the local level, communities must be encouraged and given space to seek peaceful resolutions to the underlying conflicts.

We believe Ethiopia’s future as a strong, prosperous, and democratic nation depends on open and inclusive political dialogue for all Ethiopians, greater government transparency, and strengthening the institutions of democracy and justice.  These recent events underscore the need to make more rapid and concrete progress on reform in these areas.

On September 29, 2017, the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia “advised U.S. citizens to postpone travel to Bishoftu (Debre Zeit) [60 km south of Addis Ababa] and its surrounding areas.”

On October 11, 2017, the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia issued a warning to its citizens to be aware of “violent protests and road closures in and around Shashamane, approximately 250 km south of Addis Ababa.”

On October 18, 2017, the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia issued the following statement:

United States sees peaceful demonstrations as a legitimate means of expression and political participation.  We note with appreciation a number of recent events during which demonstrators expressed themselves peacefully, and during which security forces exercised restraint in allowing them to do so. We are saddened by reports that several recent protests ended in violence and deaths. All such reports merit transparent investigation that allows those responsible for violence to be held accountable. (Emphasis added.)

On October 26, 2017, the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia issued a travel warning to its citizens to be “aware of reports of violent protests and road closures in the areas of the region of Oromia near Ambo, Bako, and Holeta, west of Addis Ababa.”

On December 12, 2017, the Washington Post reported, “Ethiopia faces a social media blackout as clashes intensify between ethnic groups in various parts of the country. Facebook and Twitter are down Tuesday after reports emerged of killings on Monday by security forces in the Oromia region.”

On December 13, 2017, the U.S. Embassy in Ethiopia issued a statement of condolences to the families of T-TPLF massacres. “We are troubled and saddened by reports of violence that has resulted in deaths and injuries in the town of Chelenko and at several universities over the past two days. We extend our condolences to the families and friends of the victims.”

Trump administration’s policy in Ethiopia: What needs to be done

First, good riddance to the bad old days!

Gone are the bad old Obama days of handing over the master key to the USAID Candy Store to the T-TPLF.

Gone are the bad old Obama days of handing over billions of dollars in American taxpayer dollars to prop up the T-TPLF.

Gone are the bad old Obama days of extortion of the American taxpayer by threatening to refuse cooperation on anti-terrorism actions.

Gone are the Obama days of hemorrhaging billions of American tax dollars down a rabbit hole of corrupt African dictators. On December 14, 2017, the U.S. announced it “is suspending food and fuel aid for most of Somalia’s armed forces over corruption concerns” and because “failed to meet the standards for accountability for U.S. assistance”. Such action would have never have occurred during the bad old Obama days.

Gone are the bad old Obama days of turning a blind eye to crimes against humanity and extreme repression in Ethiopia. Michael Raynor, President Trump’s ambassador to Ethiopia recently issued a statement declaring, “United States sees peaceful demonstrations as a legitimate means of expression and political participation.” Obama’s ambassador would have never, never, made such a statement!

Gone are the Obama days of calling a regime that claimed to have won 100 percent of the seats in parliament “democratically elected”.

Gone are the days of talking the talk of the “right side of history”. The evidence is clear that the U.S. is walking on the right side of history with the people of Ethiopia.

As I previously confessed, I admit I was wrong in believing Trump would blindly follow in Obama’s footsteps and continue to handout billions of dollars to the T-TPLF. I was so confident Trump would be an Obama clone in his Africa policy, I declared in my December 2016 commentary , “Trump, Out of Africa”, that I would eat crow if he did anything different.

Today, I maintain a good supply of vegan crow in the pantry for regular consumption.

Barack Obama created the false dilemma between U.S. national security by combatting terrorism in the Horn of Africa and human rights in Ethiopia.  Barack Obama supported the T-TPLF despite their long and documented history, by none other than the U.S. State Department in its annual Human Rights Reports, of massive human rights violations. Obama not only provided political and diplomatic support to the T-TPLF by calling them “democratically elected.”, he also handed over to them $5 billion U.S. tax dollars.

The T-TPLF thought they could scam and flim-flam the Trump administration into allowing them to continue to rip off the American taxpayer,  just like they did when their former employee Gail E. Smith, Obama’s USAID Administrator, was minding the USAID Candy Store. They spent millions of dollars on lobbying to win over the Trump administration to no avail.

Trump sent a strong message in February 2017 when he completely ignored Obama’s mooches of American tax dollars when he contacted only two African leaders. He spoke only to the presidents of Nigeria and South Africa.

In May 2017, when U.S. Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited the Middle East and Africa to “reaffirm key U.S. military alliances” and engage with strategic partners”, Obama’s darlings, whom he once described as a “key counterterrorism ally” and “contributing more peacekeeping troops than any other country in Africa” were not on the “strategic partners” list. Mattis only visited the tiny nation of Djibouti in the Horn of Africa where the U.S. maintains its largest military base.

In my numerous commentaries, I have supported the Trump administration’s policy in Africa. I was stunned to read about Trump’s transition team’s questions on Africa to the State Department in early January 2017. “With so much corruption in Africa, how much of our funding is stolen? Why should we spend these funds on Africa when we are suffering here in the U.S.?”

In early January 2017, Trump’s transition team asked, “We’ve been fighting al-Shabaab [in Somalia] for a decade, why haven’t we won?”  They finally got their answer. On December 14, 2017, the U.S. announced it “is suspending food and fuel aid for most of Somalia’s armed forces over corruption concerns” and because “failed to meet the standards for accountability for U.S. assistance”.

I am ecstatic that the U.S., for the first time in its foreign aid assistance history dating back to the early 1960s, is drawing the line in the sand on  aid. “No U.S. aid until aid recipients meet the standards of accountability for U.S. assistance”. No aid to Egypt until Egypt “makes progress in its human rights record.”

I have been crying out for U.S. aid accountability for the past 12 years. Perhaps my cries were not bootless after all.

I give U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson full credit for doing something that has never been done, namely, a firm and unwavering stance that American tax dollars will not fund African corruption and kleptocracies.

The preliminary evidence on the Trump administration’s policy in Ethiopia are encouraging. It appears the administration has delinked counterterrorism from human rights violations in Ethiopia.

On September 20, 2017, Trump announced he was sending United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley and Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price to Africa. Trump toldAfrican leaders his administration is “closely monitoring and deeply disturbed by the ongoing violence in South Sudan and in the Congo.” Haley said she “will also visit Ethiopia — which hosts both the headquarters of the African Union and one of the largest communities of South Sudanese refugees in the world.”

According to Herman Cohen, former Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, Haley “bluntly told the Ethiopian authorities that they face growing instability if undemocratic practices continue. She has also encouraged the government to do more for the youth, many of whom do not see a promising future.” Is that diplomatic talk telling the T-TPLF fix your problem or face the consequences? Papa Obama is not going to come and bail you out?

I discussed my views on the creeping civil war in Ethiopia and America’s moral obligation to do everything possible to avert it in my August 2017 commentary, “The dilemma of U.S. policy in Ethiopia”.

The dilemma of U.S. policy in Ethiopia is simply this: The T-TPLF is driving the country over the cliff into a cataclysmic civil war at breakneck speed. The Ethiopian opposition is fragmented, splintered, ineffective and disorganized.

The Trump administration, in light of its concerns over the civil wars in South Sudan and the Democratic Republic of the Congo, should also be concerned about a looming civil war in Ethiopia. The administration should ask, “Is Ethiopia doomed to share the fate of Rwanda, as Meles Zenawi, the late thugmaster of the T-TPLF, once predicted?” Could Ethiopia be the next South Sudan, DRC or Somalia?

The old saying is, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Could the U.S. play a role to avert a civil war in Ethiopia?

The U.S. has always played a decisive role in Ethiopia.

Over the past eight years, the Obama administration played a decisive role by being best-friend-for-life of African dictators, especially the T-TPLF. Obama personally played a decisive role in Ethiopia when he legitimized a regime that claimed 100 percent control of the “parliament” “democratically elected” setting the stage for what we are witnessing today.

The good thing is that the Trump administration in Ethiopia is not towing the Obama line of blind support for the T-TPLF and is absolutely not handing over the keys to the USAID Candy Store to them.

 

I am comparing and contrasting the Obama’s administration’s Africa policy with Trump’s not because I want to settle a political score with Obama for his support of the T-TPLF. Nor am I supporting the Trump administration’s Africa policy, albeit in its preliminary form, because I have an axe to grind.

I am just laying down the facts. The Trump administration has been consistent on Africa even before Day 1 when the transition team started asking tough questions on what has happened to all the billions American tax payers have been dumping in Africa. I like what I have seen to date:

No aid without meeting U.S. standards of financial accountability. No more aid without improvements in human rights. United States sees peaceful demonstrations in Ethiopia as a legitimate means of expression and political participation. The will be growing instability if  undemocratic practices continue in Ethiopia.

The U.S. MUST take the role of mediator to avert a civil war in Ethiopia

The U.S. must step up its game in Ethiopia before the creeping civil war becomes a full blown civil war.

The U.S. knows the political crisis in Ethiopia has reached the point of no return.

There will be NO RETURN to T-TPLF ethnic supremacy.

NO RETURN to T-TPLF corrupt rule.

NO RETURN to T-TPLF divide and rule.

NO RETURN to T-TPLF oppression.

There is only a one-way road open. It may be a long or short road. But it is a road to freedom, freedom from T-TPLF ethnic apartheid.

There is no turning back on the road to freedom. The Ethiopian freedom train has no reverse gear or brakes. Freedom or bust, or civil war!

The U.S. is the only country that can facilitate a smooth transition from the dirt road of tyranny to the highway of democracy and freedom.

The U.S. has the right man for the job, Acting Assistant Secretary for Africa Donald Yamamoto. He knows exactly what needs to be done and knows how to get it done.

Last week the Yamamoto was in Addis Ababa “to meet with senior leaders of the Ethiopian government” and talk “about regional concerns, including food security, peacekeeping and refugee matters.”  Those in the “know” claim he impressed on the T-TPLF leadership the urgent need for the establishment of a “transitional government”.

In October, Ambassador Haley “bluntly told the Ethiopian authorities that they face growing instability if undemocratic practices continue.” Those in the “know” claim Haley read the riot act to the T-TPLF.

The U.S. has always played a decisive role in Ethiopian politics for good or ill.

The U.S. single-handedly facilitated the “transition” from military (Derg) rule to TPLF rule in 1991. That transition was hijacked by that villainous shapeshifter, the late Meles Zenawi, who smiled as he murdered and murdered as he smiled, to paraphrase Shakespeare.

Meles outfoxed and outplayed Cohen and schmoozed him into believing he would do anything in exchange for aid and political support. In 1991, Cohen was crystal clear about U.S. policy in the post-military junta period. Cohen said, “aid would flow only so long as the new rulers of the country practiced democracy. ‘No democracy, no cooperation.’”

That did not happen, in fact the opposite did.

In 2017-18, that is unlikely to happen to Donald Yamamoto (U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia (2006–2009). Yamamoto knows the T-TPLF better than any other American diplomat or policy maker.

In June 2009, Yamamoto was confident, forthright, frank, veracious and scrupulous as he advised Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew about what could and should be done to promote human rights and the rule of law in Ethiopia.

In 2017, all Yamamoto needs to do is follow the exact same advice and counsel he gave to Lew in 2009:

Your visit to Ethiopia comes at a time when the Ethiopian Government’s (GoE) growing authoritarianism, intolerance of dissent, and ideological dominance over the economy since 2005 poses a serious threat to domestic stability and U.S. interests…. the GoE has increasingly purged ethnic Oromos, Amharas, and others perceived as not supporting the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) from the military, civil service, and security services.  Such moves only add to the already growing deep public frustration and have led to a vicious cycle.

The United States can induce such a change, but we must act decisivelylaying out explicitly our concerns and urging swift action. Because the GoE has enjoyed only growing international assistance and recognition despite its recent record, it currently has no incentive to veer from the current trajectory to which the EPRDF is so committed. If we are to move the GoE, we must be willing to use USG resources (diplomatic, development, and public recognition) to shift the EPRDF’s incentives away from the status quo trajectory.

For USG [U.S. Government] leadership in moving the GoE to be successful, we need firm backing from the interagency and the willingness of senior officials to engage. We need to reassure the Ethiopians that we value, and look forward to continuing and expanding, our partnership in pursuit of our mutual national interests. We need to reaffirm our recognition of their contributions to our shared cooperation on special projects and information sharing. If we are to move them, though, we need to deliver an explicit and direct (yet private) message that does not glad-hand them. We must convey forcefully that we are not convinced by their rhetoric, but rather that we see their actions for what they are, and that we see their actions as potentially destabilizing and undercutting Ethiopia’s own interests. We should then explicitly allay their anxiety by affirming that we value what they have done in terms of economic growth and institution building since 1991 in turning Ethiopia around, that we are not trying to promote regime change, and that we are delivering a similarly explicit message of the need for change to opposition groups. 4. (SBU) As one of the most senior U.S. officials in the new administration to visit Addis Ababa, Prime Minister Meles and his senior officials are anxious to hear what you have to say, and they will scrutinize your every word for indicators of any change in U.S. policy toward Ethiopia.

Understanding Ethiopia’s domestic political and economic actions, and developing a strategy for moving the ruling party forward democratically and developmentally, requires understanding the ruling Tigrean People’s Liberation Front’s (TPLF) prevailing political ideology: Revolutionary Democracy. Hard-line TPLF politburo ideologues explain the concept in antiquated Marxist terms reminiscent of the TPLF’s precursor Marxist-Leninist League of Tigray. Western-leaning TPLF members and more distant central committee members from non-TPLF parties within the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) coalition generally shed the Marxist rhetoric of the hard-liners…. While they accept assistance from the international community, they resent attempts by donors to tell them how development should be done. The [TPLF] leadership believes that only they can know what is best for Ethiopia, and if given enough time, Ethiopia will transform itself into a developed nation. (Emphasis added.)

Obama talked the talk of being on the “right side of history” for 8 years.

I see Trump and Tillerson walking the talk on the right side of history in Ethiopia in less than 12 months.

That is a fact. Deal with it!

Ethiopia: Path of insecurity for migrants leaving the Horn

Discrimination, unemployment and conflict set migrants on a perilous journey through war-torn Yemen to the Gulf.

Exhausted survivors of the Gulf of Aden crossing wait for help on a beach in Yemen.

Institute for Security Studies (ISS)

Despite conflict and humanitarian catastrophe in Yemen, the country remains a destination for some Somali and Ethiopian migrants who risk kidnapping, torture and deportation trying to reach labour markets in the Gulf. Tens of thousands of migrants use a vast network of smugglers to move across harsh terrain, endure a perilous sea voyage, and then travel through war-torn Yemen and across one of the world’s most heavily-monitored borders.

New research by the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) indicates that some of these migrants may be recruited into armed groups, hired as mercenaries, or conscripted into forced labour during their journey. Many are kidnapped upon arrival in Yemen.

Many more migrants travel from the Horn of Africa to Yemen and Saudi Arabia than to Europe. A record 117 107 arrivals were documented in Yemen in 2016, 83% of them Ethiopian and 17% Somali.

Ethiopians pay smugglers to guide them through Djibouti or Somalia to coastal departure points, where they are joined by Somali migrants. On arrival in Yemen, smugglers facilitate movement across the militarised Saudi border. In Somalia, smugglers facilitate direct passage to Saudi Arabia by linking migrants with new sets of smugglers in Yemen.

Migrant smuggling is big business. Research carried out in 2016 by the Global Initiative against Transnational Organized Crime for the ISS indicated that migrants paid US$ 200-500 to journey illegally to Yemen via Djibouti. The migrant smuggling industry in the Horn of Africa was conservatively estimated to be worth around US$ 15 million per annum in 2016.

Many more migrants travel from the Horn to Yemen and Saudi Arabia, than to Europe

This transnational connectivity between multiple groups of smugglers suggests coordination between criminal opportunists along many different routes.

Ethiopian and Somali migrants who arrive in Saudi Arabia without papers find work in the informal economy. Considering that people continue to make the journey despite crackdowns and deportations, why do they go?

Political discrimination and lack of economic opportunities are the main reasons Ethiopian migrants give for making the journey. The drivers of Somali migration to the Yemen are different, with migrants citing conflict, recent famine, and employment opportunities in Yemen and Saudi Arabia.

For Ethiopians transiting through Somalia, the journey to Yemen begins with travel to the Somaliland border, where migrants connect with smugglers who bribe border officials and move people through Puntland to the coast, where boats depart for Yemen.

Smugglers in Puntland say police are complicit in this leg of the journey, receiving bribes at checkpoints, or selling unaccompanied migrants to smugglers. Migrants who do not pay are held for ransom, with physical abuse used to extract payments from families or friends back in Ethiopia, or forced to work until they pay their debt. In some cases, local law enforcement officials and community militia are complicit and hand migrants over to violent smugglers.

Conditions in Ethiopia and Somalia justify migrants’ dangerous journey to the Gulf

Some migrants do parts of their journey on foot, without a smuggler, and may fund their journey by working along the route. They are at risk of arrest or kidnapping.

Smugglers on the route through Djibouti describe a lucrative and permissive smuggling environment. Transit costs are estimated at US$ 200 for each migrant, of which the smuggler may pay bribes up to US$ 30 at each of four checkpoints, before the migrants board a boat for Yemen.

Once they reach Yemen, migrants must make new financial arrangements with local smugglers and may find themselves detained by armed groups who connect them with smugglers in exchange for ransom payments. Migrants have told of being thrown off the boats and made to swim ashore to avoid detection.

A security official in the smuggling hub of Hodeida in Yemen reported a chain of smuggling networks including military officials, local sheikhs, members of parliament, public prosecutors, law enforcement, and customs officials. Other sources describe smugglers coordinating with local government officials, police officers, coast guard members, soldiers and Houthi rebels stationed at multiple checkpoints across the smuggling routes, as well as Saudi military at border crossings.

Government officials are often eager to frame the arrival of unwanted irregular migrants as a state security issue, and have every incentive to portray migrants as drug couriers, hardened criminals and foreign fighters.

In Yemen, smuggling networks include soldiers, sheikhs, MPs, prosecutors and customs officials

Somaliland intelligence officials have referred to Ethiopians being recruited or forced into the war in Yemen. Officials in Puntland expressed concern at the overlap between migrant smuggling networks and arms traffickers who return to Puntland with contraband, including weapons that can be sold to local militias or find their way to al-Shabaab and pro-ISIS fighters.

Migrant smugglers operating in Yemen are believed to be involved in other smuggling activities, including oil derivatives, cigarettes, weapons, alcohol and cannabis. Migrants are also believed to be used as drug couriers, carrying qat, cannabis and heroin, in exchange for reduced smuggling fees or free passage.

The movement of migrants is complex – it is transnational, coordinated across borders and relies on both corrupt state structures and organised crime groups.

Despite tough conditions in the destination states of Yemen and Saudi Arabia, conditions and employment prospects back home in Ethiopia and Somalia are sufficiently worse to justify migrants’ dangerous journey to the Gulf. This social, economic and political phenomenon must be considered by donors and bilateral partners working in the Horn of Africa. Policy makers should also recognise that the state may not be the most credible actor in addressing the issue of migrant smuggling.

posted by Daniel tesfaye

Fighting T-TPLF Internal Colonialism: Defeating EthiopiawiNOT With Ethiopian-ness ‘Ethiopiawinet’ (Part II)

We must either learn to live together as brothers or we are all going to perish together as fools. As nationals and individuals we are interdependent. It really boils down to this: that all life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied together into a single garment of destiny.  Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. We are made to live together because of the interrelated structure of reality…”

Martin Luther King, 1967, “Christmas Sermon.”

TPLF Internal Colonialism

Authors Note: In Part I of my commentary (Fighting T-TPLF Internal Colonialism Through EthiopiaWINet (Ethiopian-ness)) last week, I examined the political situation in Ethiopia over the past 26 years as a problem of internal colonialism driven by the voracious and insatiable appetite of the Thugtatorship of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (T-TPLF) for land– urban land, rural land, any kind of land. I also examined the outcome of the T-TPLF’s system of internal colonialism in terms of the oppression, subordination and exploitation of majority ethnic groups in a comparative perspective with South Africa.

I expect to expound on EthiopiaWINet from a variety of perspectives in many forthcoming commentaries.

For me, EthiopiaWINet signifies a lot of things.

For me, EthiopiaWINet is a  Weltanschauung, a world view, a philosophy, a way of life, a form of consciousness, a way of doing (and not) things and a methodology for  understanding and transforming the Ethiopian reality and the world.

For me, EthiopiaWINet is a lens through which I see and perceive reality, the past, present and future and reflect critically upon the problems, issues and needs in Ethiopia to gain a deeper understanding and follow up with action to bring about change.

For me, EthiopiaWINet is “praxis” (“action-oriented towards changing society”, unity of theory and practice).

For me, EthiopiaWINet is the ultimate failsafe antitoxin to the poison of T-TPLF’s internal colonial rule.

I believe in the power of education and follow in the tradition of Paulo Freire and Antonio Gramsci in my notions of “EthiopiaWINet praxis.” I am always mindful of Freire’s admonition: “Washing one’s hands of the conflict between the powerful and the powerless means to side with the powerful, not to be neutral.” Gramsci understood dominant groups in society achieve “hegemony” by imposing political and ideological consensus to obtain the “spontaneous consent” of subordinate and oppressed groups. The T-TPLF has partially succeeded in manufacturing consent through its bogus ideology of “ethnic federalism”. For 26 years, the T-TPLF has exercised hegemony in Ethiopia by infecting the society’s system of values, attitudes, beliefs with bogus revisionist history, hate-mongering and institutionalizing the creed of ethnic supremacism.

While I do not aim to engage in a full discourse on “praxis”, suffice it to say that I regard EthiopiaEINet as an educational or “consceintization” process to liberate our minds from T-TPLF apartheid mental slavery, and most importantly, serve as a pathway to not only regaining our sense of  “Ethiopianity” or “Africanity”, but also humanity.

Gramsci said, “Without a sense of identity, there can be no real struggle.” To that end, Gramsci prescribed, “The first step in emancipating oneself from political and social slavery is that of freeing the mind.” Of course, the great Bob Marley said it more poetically in his Redemption Song: “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery;/ None but ourselves can free our minds.”

For me, EthiopiaWINet is a complete process of “unbrainwashing” from the T-TPLF ideology of ethnic division and hate. EthiopiaWINet is the means by which Ethiopians can emancipate themselves from  the political, economic, social and mental slavery of T-TPLF rule. It is the ultimate means of freeing our minds from ethnic hate, sectarianism and regionalism.

For the past 26 years, the T-TPLF has fed the Ethiopian people a smorgasbord  of hate, division, distrust, corruption, cruelty, lies, damned lies and statislies, bitterness, shame, injustice…

EthiopiaWINet replaces hate with love, division with unity, distrust with trust, corruption with integrity, ugliness, cruelty with compassion, despair with hope, cowardice with courage, self-doubt with self-confidence, might with right, ethnicity with humanity, dishonor with dignity, immorality with ethical rectitude, doubt with faith of our ancestors, bitterness with forgiveness and  reconciliation, shame with honor, cynicism with idealism, stupidity with creativity, injustice with fairness, pessimism with optimism, war with peace, narrow-mindedness with tolerance, deceitfulness with truthfulness, and despair with hope.

I hope to employ EthiopiaWINet as a “dialogical” and dialectical process in which social and political ideas can be examined, critiqued and refined. But the dialogue on EthiopiaWINet must not remain only in the realm of reflection and abstraction. It must provide an outlet for people to come together and transform ideas into action in an atmosphere of mutual trust, respect and love. Without action, it is not possible to change reality.

That is what I mean by EthiopiaWINet praxis.

In this (Part II), I shall discuss “EthiopiawiNOT”  to be followed next week by “EthiopiaWINet”.

First, why is EthiopiaWINet such a big thing for me?

A couple of weeks ago, the T-TPLF regime made a public statement expressing “doubt” about my Ethiopiawinet (Ethiopian-ness.) For twelve years and over 800 uninterrupted weekly commentaries, they expressed no doubt. If they did, they kept it secret. But they decided to challenge me for the first time in twelve years by questioning and doubting my EthiopiaWINet in public, on the radio waves.

That was an “Aha!” moment for me.

When the T-TPLF publicly proclaimed they have “doubts” about my Ethiopian-ness, I knew instantly what strategy they were to follow in setting the terms of engagement.  They believed my EthiopiaWINet was my Achilles heel, my weakest point because I had been away for so long from the motherland. They thought they could dismiss me by de-Ethiopianizing me just like they have de-Ethiopianzed 100 million Ethiopians over the past 26 years.

At that moment, I vowed to defend and spread EthiopiaWINet not only in Ethiopia but the world over with every fiber in my body and every particle of intellectual energy God has blessed me with. I replied swiftly to the T-TPLF and let them know I AM ONE PROUD ETHIOPIAN. I let them know that I am ready, willing and able to defend my EthiopiaWINet in any place and at any time.

Doubting my EthiopiaWINet is the equivalent of fighting words for me. Who are the “real” Ethiopians doubting the “false” Ethiopians?

People who live in glass houses should not throw rocks at people who live in rock solid houses. The rocks will bounce back and hit them.

I must confess that I was angry to hear my Ethiopian-ness doubted by the very people who gave away the port of Assab to Eritrea in 1991, and to add insult to injury, gave away the border town of Badme to the Eritreans in 2000 in the Algiers Agreement after 80 thousand Ethiopian soldiers gave their lives up to defend and secure it. The same people who secretly handed over a 725 km strip of Ethiopian land covering 250 square kilometers with about 600,000 acres of fertile lands to the Sudan in the name of “border  demarcation” are doubting my EthiopiaWINet? The same people who said Ethiopia’s flag is a piece of rag and Ethiopian history a “fairy tale” are questioning my EthiopiaWINet?

To paraphrase Shakespeare, these audaciously shameless hypocrites attacked my EthiopiaWINet “clothing their naked villainy with odd old ends stol’n out of holy writ of true Ethiopian patriotism when mostly they play the devil”. In other words, turncoats dressed as patriots doubting my EthiopiaWINet?

History teaches us what happens when “doubt” is raised about one’s defining identity. There was time in the United States when a congressional committee was formed to track down and brand private citizens, public employees, and those organizations suspected of having Communist ties as “Un-American” and persecute and prosecute them for alleged disloyalty and subversive activities against the U.S. It was a time of “red-baiting” (communist). Personally, I regard “red-baiting”, “race-baiting”, “religion- baiting” and “ethnic baiting” as dangerous practices that must be avoided. Identity-doubting leads to identity-baiting. Those who doubt my EthiopiaWINet can debate me.

I am championing EthiopiaWINet because that is what is in me, who I am.

The T-TPLF can doubt my Ethiopiawinet from here to eternity. I don’t care. It is like the old saying, “You can take a boy out of the country But you can’t take the country out of the boy.” (Or as I like to say, “You can take the thug out of the bush and dress him up in designer clothes but you can’t take the thug out of him.) I say you can take the boy out of Ethiopia but you cannot take the EthiopiaWINet out of the boy.

I can’t help my Ethiopiawinet. I was born that way. My father was born Ethiopian. My mother was born Ethiopian. My grandparents, great, great, great… grandparents who came from every nook and cranny of Ethiopia were born Ethiopian. EthiopiaWINet is in my DNA as are my ancestors who came from every part of Ethiopia are in my DNA. I am proud of my rich Ethiopian heritage, which embraces every ethnic and religious group in Ethiopia.

My EthiopiaWINet reminds me of a question asked in Scripture, “Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots?”

Just like the leopard cannot change his spots no matter how much it tries to scratch it off, I, too, am also unable to scratch off my EthiopiaWINnet. Nor can anyone else scratch it off of me.

I must affirm and defend my EthiopiaWINet because I can no more disown my parents and grand and great-grandparents who have ethnic roots in every part of Ethiopia and shed their blood to keep Ethiopia as ONE nation. Benito Mussolini invaded Ethiopia to subjugate “a barbaric people”. He said, “Our cause in Ethiopia is a just one. In a few days it will be laid before the League’s counsel. It will be laid before the whole world—proof that the Ethiopians are a barbaric people, sunk in the practice of slavery.”

My ancestors did not stand aside as Oromo, Amhara, Tigre, Gurage… when Mussolini sprayed them with mustard gas from the air and rained artillery rounds on them to colonize Ethiopia. They stepped out carrying spears, bows and arrows and muskets to keep Ethiopia free from colonial rule. My Oromo, Amhara, Tigray, Gurage… ancestors fought as ONE people, struggled as ONE people, prayed as ONE people, cried as ONE people and celebrated victory as ONE people and died as one people in the face of ruthless colonial aggressors and all others who had cast their evil eyes on Ethiopia. That spirit of EthiopiaWINet of my ancestors is in me and was not buried with them.

I am also a part of those Ethiopians of all ethnic and religious stripes who contributed making Ethiopia exceptional in all of Africa. Because of their heroic efforts, Ethiopia sat on equal terms with the great powers of the world and became an original signatory to the Covenant of the League of Nations in 1922, the U.N. Charter in 1945, the  Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 and the Geneva Conventions in 1948. Ethiopia was the principal architect of the Organization of African Union in 1963 which established its headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

I have no choice but to wear my black EthiopiaWINet spots proudly for the whole world to see.

There is the old saying, “As the father is [grandparents are], so is the son [children].”

So, let no one ever doubt the Ethiopiawinet of this black leopard Son of Ethiopia who proudly wears his EthiopiaWINet spots!

————————————-

EthiopiawiNOT

In this commentary, I shall discuss EthiopiawiNOT.

In my last commentary, I demonstrated how the T-TPLF managed to become the black apartheid masters in Ethiopia by employing a modified version of the white minority South African apartheid system over the past 26 years. The T-TPLF established total economic and political dominance in Ethiopia by creating a system of internal ethnic colonies (kilils or kililistans) in much the same way as the minority white apartheid regime created artificial enclaves (Bantustans, black homelands) in South Africa. Using a vast security, police and military force, the T-TPLF entrenched and reinforced the political subjugation of majority groups in a process of minoritization of the majority population.

The aim of the apartheid systems in Ethiopia and South Africa is the same: Maintenance of minority rule over majority ethnic groups riven by internal divisions and engineered political turmoil, conflict and strife. The T-TPLF achieved control and exploitation of the majority populations by a gradual process of geographic dismemberment of Ethiopia and systematic alienation of the people along racial, ethnic, regional, religious lines using the politics of ethnic grievances, ethnic demonization and ethnic fear and smear. For 26 years, the T-TPLF employed systematic campaigns of deconstruction of Ethiopian identity (de-Ethiopianization) and denationalization and sought to replace it with an ideology of T-TPLF ethno-supremacy called “ethnic federalism”.

The essence of EthiopiawiNOT is de-Ethiopianization of Ethiopia and Ethiopians.

I have discussed the T-TPLF’s de-Ethiopianization program at length in my November 2014 commentary. For over four decades, the TPLF has clung to power by force in Ethiopia by planning and waging a sustained and relentless political, social and cultural war to “de-Ethiopianize” Ethiopia. The TPLF’s de-Ethiopianization program and ideology are built around a set of specific strategies, policies, actions and practices intended to 1) strip Ethiopians of any meaningful consciousness of their national identity and expurgate from their collective social experience any sense of commonly shared values, beliefs and customs, and 2) balkanize, merchandize and dismember the country employing a variety of tactics and schemes.   

No one has explained the T-TPLF’s de-Ethiopianization program better than the patriot Gebremedhin Araya, a former treasurer and top leader of the TPLF.

In an extraordinary video interview (in Amharic), Gebremedhin explained the TPLF’s four ideological pillars of de-Ethiopianizing Ethiopia based on the  systematic cleansing of Ethiopian national identity, history and consciousness:

1)      Eritrea is an Ethiopian colony. Eritrea is a developed country. Eritrea existed before Ethiopia. Ethiopia is a country created by (Emperor) Menelik. The name Ethiopia is not known. Ethiopia has no history, nothing.

2)      Tigray is an independent sovereign country which was invaded by (Emperor) Atse Menelik and became an Amhara colony. Tigray is a colonial territory of Amhara. That is what is stated in the woyane (TPLF) Manifesto which is the policy guideline. Therefore, we must liberate Tigray from Amhara colonialism and create a Tigray republic.

3)      Amhara are the enemy of the Tigray people. Amhara are not only enemies but also double enemies. Therefore, we must crush Amhara. We have to destroy them. Unless Amhara are destroyed, beaten down, cleansed from the land, Tigray cannot live in freedom. For the government we intend to create, Amhara will be the main obstacle.

4)      Since Ethiopia is a country created by Menelik, created by Menelik’s invasion and since there are many nations and nationalities invaded by Menelik, these groups (hold and exhibits Manifesto in the video) must gain their freedom from what is now called Ethiopia and establish their own country. The country known as Ethiopia is new and not even 100 years old. This country must be destroyed, zeroes out. Nations and nationalities and we must create our own governments. Eritrea gets her independence; that is the basis of our struggle.

It is important to note that neither the TPLF as an organization nor its leaders in power, marginalized from power or retired from power have ever jointly or severally disavowed the document known as the “TPLF Manifesto” nor repudiated any of its contents. The “Manifesto” remains to this day the guidepost and ideological underpinning of the T-TPLF.

The TPLF’s “de-Ethiopianization” effort has been waged on multifaceted strategic fronts using multipronged approaches which combine political warfare with cultural, social and psychological warfare:  1) trivialization of Ethiopian history and demonization of historical Ethiopian leaders, 2) demonization of “Amhara” and “Amhara” people, and 3) Balkanization, dismemberment and merchandizing of Ethiopia and decomposition of Ethiopian territorial integrity and sovereignty.

The first weapon in the TPLF’s arsenal of de-Ethiopianization of Ethiopia is the flagrant denial of the existence of a historical Ethiopia. For the TPLF and its late thugmaster Meles Zenawi, the Ethiopia known as the land of the “Habasha people” (or the “Abyssinian people”) for millennia has little to do with the contemporary inhabitants of the land known as Ethiopia or the juridical land mass known as Ethiopia. For the T-TPLF, Ethiopia is a recent political invention, barely a century old. According to the TPLF mythos, Ethiopia is a geopolitical entity cobbled together by Atse (Emperor) Menelik towards the end of the Nineteenth Century.

The second weapon of the TPLF’s arsenal of de-Ethiopianization is its trivialization of Ethiopian history and demonization of past Ethiopian imperial leaders. Atse (Emperor) Menelik II, (popularly known as “Emiye (Mother) Menelik” because of his forgiving nature and concern for the poor) the Nineteenth Century Ethiopian emperor who defeated the Italians at the Battle of Adwa is a perennial target of TPLF vilification. The TPLF narrative depicts Menelik as a ruthless warmonger hell-bent on creating an “Amhara” empire. He purportedly slashed and burned everything in his path to conquer and subjugate neighboring “nations and nationalities”. Atse Menelik is depicted by the TPLF as a genocidal maniac and mass murderer. As I argued in my January 2014, commentary “Demonizing Ethiopian History”, the TPLF has periodically undertaken massive propaganda campaigns to caricature, demean and demonize that great Ethiopian king.

Interestingly, the vilification of Atse Menelik was the means the T-TPLF used to glorify their thugmaster Meles Zenawi, the late criminal against humanity who perpetrated genocide in the Oromo, Amhara, Gambella, the Ogaden and other regions. By scandalizing Atse Menelik, the T-TPLF sought to excuse and conceal its own crimes against humanity and resurrect Meles as the savior of Ethiopia and defender of oppressed nationalities. The TPLF continues its futile effort to rewrite history by depicting Menelik as an enemy of the Oromo people. The fact of the matter is that there is a mountain of evidence to prosecute every T-TPLF leader for the untold and unspeakable crimes against humanity they committed against the Oromo people as well as others.

Meles Zenawi made every effort to deny the monumental contributions of Atse (H.I.M) Haile Selassie to the formation of the Organization of African Unity (OAU), the predecessor to the African Union. Meles fought tooth and nail to make sure H.I.M. Haile Selassie’s statute was not erected on the African Union grounds because he was not as “pan-Africanist” as Kwame Nkrumah, Ghana’s first president!  The historical facts tell a much different story. Nkrumah himself repeatedly said there would have been no Organization of African Unity but for the relentless efforts of H.I.M. Haile Selassie. It was H.I.M Haile Selassie who was elected “Father of African Unity” by his peers at the 1972 Ninth Heads of States and Governments meeting of the Organization of African Unity. H.I.M Haile Selassie was elected the first chairman of the OAU in 1963 and elected again in 1966 to serve in the same position, making him the only African leader to have held that position twice. Yet, the T-TPLF continues its campaign of vilification against H.I.M. Haile Selassie.

The T-TPLF’s trivialization of Ethiopian history and demonization of its historical leaders is intended to achieve one thing, unwind the historical clock to Year 1: The beginning of Ethiopian history with Meles Zenawi as the “parens patriae” literally (father of the nation) and the TPLF as midwives to the birth of a nation. The ludicrous distortion of the historical record by the TPLF and its leaders is a futile attempt to re-write, miswrite, overwrite and un-write Ethiopian history with the hagiography (tale of sainthood) of Meles Zenawi. They want to unwrite Menelik’s history and write up Meles’ history as the greatest African leader of modern times. They want to demonize Menelik and mythologize Meles as the “new breed of African leader”, the “bringer of developmental state democracy”, the “African leader on Global Warming and Climate change”, the “destroyer of Somali jihadists and terrorists” and so on.

The TPLFs anti-“Amhara” ideology and “Amhara” demonization campaign is totally incomprehensible and irrational. The TPLF Manifesto declares “Amhara” are the enemies of Tigreans.  As Gebremedhin, the former TPLF treasurer explained, the cornerstone of TPLF ideology is that “Amhara are the enemy of the Tigray people. Amhara are not only enemies but also double enemies. Therefore, we must crush Amhara. We have to destroy them. Unless Amhara are destroyed, beaten down, cleansed from the land, Tigray cannot live in freedom. For the government we intend to create, Amhara will be the main obstacle.” Once in power the late Meles and his TPLF fully implemented their hateful ideology against “Amhara” and “Amhara people” and did everything to crush them. But…

Who are the “Amhara” and “Amhara people” the TPLF has declared an enemy deserving of genocide?

In as much as the TPLF has propagandized and depicted the “Amhara people” to be demonic monsters, the fact of the matter is that the “Amhara people ” are actually the POOREST PEOPLE IN THE ENTIRE WORLD. That was the conclusion Al Jazeerain its May 2014 report: “Amhara is one of the poorest region not only in Ethiopia but in Africa.”

Persecution and destruction of “Amhara people” has been and continues to be the driving ideology and force of the TPLF. The late Meles had such deep-rooted hatred for “Amhara people” that it could be said without exaggeration that anti- ”Amharism” defined his entire cosmology. Meles’ raison d’etre was hatred of Amhara!  There is no rhyme or reason for the TPLF’s and its leaders’ antipathy towards “Amhara people”. One is left wondering trying to fathom the TPLF leaders’ deep and inexorable hatred of the “Amhara people”.

One may find compelling parallels between Meles’ and the TPLF’s irrational and demented hatred of “Amharas” and Hitler’s and the  Nazi’s irrational and demented hatred of Jews. Hitler blamed the Jews for all of the ills of German society. Meles blamed all of the ills of Ethiopian society, past and present (and future) on the “Amharas”. (“The Amharas are coming! The Amharas are coming!).

Hitler and the Nazis believed in racial division of people; they also believed there will always be an ongoing struggle between these different races. They believed the “Aryan race” was the best and strongest race destined to rule. Jews and other non-Arayans were of the inferior race (“Untermenschen” or subhuman creatures).

For Meles and the TPLF, “Tigreans” are the Ubermenschen, the “supermen” since they as a guerrilla force defeated and routed a mighty Derg army with tanks, planes and artillery. They are convinced that their military conquest and seizure of power grants them a birthright to rule perpetually. The TPLF and its leaders consider themselves to be the ethnic equivalent of the “Aryan race”.  The rest including “Amharas” are Untermenschen, “subethnic kreatur” (subethnic creatures).

Thus, the political leadership, the bureaucracy, the police, security and military institutions in Ethiopia today are totally and completely dominated by the TPLF.  The TPLF regime and its supporters today have total and complete control of all economic sectors in Ethiopia including banking, construction and cement production, mining, transportation, insurance and the import-export sectors.

The Nazis practiced mass deportation and forced removal of Jews and other “Untermensch” from their homes in Nazi-occupied countries. As I documented in my April 2012 commentary, “Green Justice or Ethnic Injustice”, the late Meles Zenawi personally ordered the removal and deportation of tens of thousands of “Amhara” from Southern Ethiopia. In justifying his actions, Meles called the North Gojam “Amhara” “sefaris” (criminals squatters or marauding land grabbers):

… By coincidence of history, over the past ten years numerous people — some 30,000 sefaris (squatters) from North Gojam – have settled in Benji Maji (BM) zone [in Southern Ethiopia]. In Gura Ferda, there are some 24,000 sefaris. Because the area is forested, not too many people live there. For all intents and purposes, Gura Ferda is little North Gojam complete with squatters’ local administration… Settlers cannot move into the area and destroy the forest for settlement. It is illegal and must stop… Those who allege persecution and displacement of Amharas are engaged in irresponsible agitation which is not useful to anyone…

Former Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Herman Cohen, who mediated the transfer of power to the TPLF from the military junta in 1991 in an interview in January 2012 revealed: “And  I questioned him [Meles] about land ownership. I was promoting allowing the farmers to have ownership of the land. He said that was not good because the Amharas would come and take over and buy all the land; and these people [the farmers] would return to be serfs like they were under the Emperor.”

The Nazis demonized the Jews by calling them loathsome and names and using derogatory epithets against them. The TPLF demonizes “Amhara” by using loathsome stereotypes to inflame underlying ethnic hatreds and tensions. The “Amhara” are not just the “enemy”, they are the “double enemy”. The “Amhara” are “colonizers”, “arrogant oppressors”,  “criminal  squatters”,  “conquerors” , “neftegna”  (gun-toting, land grabbing settlers), “enslavers”, etc. The incessant “Amhara” demonization propaganda is created not only to dehumanize the “Amhara” but also to make the “Amhara” the target of persecution, mistreatment, abuse, ridicule and official neglect and indifference.

Just as it is difficult to establish Hitler’s hatred of the Jews to a specific event in his life growing up in Vienna, it is similarly difficult to explain Meles’ hatred of “Amharas” having grown up in Addis Ababa, the capital. Meles attended  one of the more exclusive high schools there and even had the prized opportunity to attend university.

Meles and his TPLF have gone to extraordinary lengths to Balkanize and merchandize Ethiopia and bargain away its sovereignty. In February 2014, I wrote a commentary entitled, “Saving Ethiopia From the Chopping Block” challenging the legal basis for Hailemariam Desalegn’s (puppet-mastered by the TPLF) to transfer sovereign Ethiopian territory to the Sudan. That commentary was a follow up on my 2008 commentary entitled, “All is not quiet on the Western Front” challenging Meles Zenawi’s secret land giveaway to the Sudan.

In “Saving Ethiopia”, I argued that “Meles had no legal authority to hand over Ethiopian land to the Sudan, or for that matter to anyone else. Today, Hailemariam also has no legal right or authority to turn over Ethiopian land to the Sudan. Having said that, there is no question that Meles has “signed” an “agreement” to relinquish a “large chunk of territory in the Amhara region” to the Sudan. Hailemariam and his puppet masters are now trying to make us swallow this illegal land transfer by sweet talk of a “strategic framework agreement”. The fact of the matter is that any transfer of Ethiopian land to the Sudan or any other country by the regime in power today is without any legal basis under the Ethiopian Constitution or international law.”

In March 2011, I wrote a commentary entitled, “Ethiopia: A Country for Sale” lamenting the fact that the country is being sold piecemeal to fly-by-night scammers disguised as “investors”:  “Ethiopia is on sale. Everybody is getting a piece of her. For next to nothing. The land vultures have been swooping down on Gambella from all parts of the world. Meles Zenawi proudly claims ‘36 countries including India, China, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia have leased farm land.’ This month (March 2011) the concessions are being worked at a breakneck pace, with giant tractors and heavy machinery clearing trees, draining swamps and ploughing the land…   Karuturi, ‘one of the world’s top 25 agri-businesses’ plans to ‘export palm oil, sugar, rice and other foods from Gambella province to world markets’.”

In my March 2013 commentary, “Land and Ethiopia’s Corruptocracy”, using the World Bank’s 550-page study “Diagnosing Corruption in Ethiopia”, I demonstrated that corruption in the land sector in Ethiopia occurs in several ways. First and foremost, “elite and senior officials” snatch the most desirable lands in the country for themselves. These fat cats manipulate the “weak policy and legal framework and poor systems to implement existing policies and laws” to their advantage. They engage in “fraudulent actions to allocate land to themselves in both urban and rural areas and to housing associations and developers in urban areas.” These “influential and well-connected individuals are able to have land allocated to them often in violation of existing laws and regulations.

Prof. Ted Vestal exposed the false ideology of the T-TPLF’s Ethiopian nationalism in a 1999 article:

Another aspect of the EPRDF’s [the organizational shell used by the TPLF to project an image of pluralism] strategy is to establish a governing system of ethnic federalism emphasizing rights of ‘nations, nationalities, and peoples.’ This high-sounding principle, cribbed from Lenin, is more Machiavellian than Wilsonian however. If the outnumbered Tigrayans who direct the EPRDF/FDRE can keep other ethnic groups divided and roiled against each other in ethno-xenophobias or content to manage affairs in their own limited bailiwicks, then larger matters can be subsumed by the one governing party. Thus, what the EPRDF views as the false ideology of nationalism for a ‘Greater Ethiopia’ can be kept in check and its proponents divided and conquered.” (Emphasis added.)

EthiopiawiNOT is the false ideology of the T-TPLF to perpetually maintain its ethno-supremacist apartheid rule in Ethiopia.

“We must either learn to live together as brothers or we are all going to perish together as fools.” 

To be continued, Part III, EthiopiaWINet…

posted by daniel tesfaye

American expert accuses TPLF of reviving apartheid in Ethiopia, embezzling billions of dollars

(ESAT) — An American economist and civil resistance expert has accused the TPLF of copying the policies of the defunct apartheid regime in South Africa to oppress and exploit the poor people of Ethiopia.

In an exclusive interview with ESAT, David Steinman, who advises pro-democracy movements around the world, said the minority regime is draining all the economic resources away from the majority.

He claims that there is a good reason to conclude that Zenawi embezzled over $3 billion during his reign of terror. He mentioned Celebrity Net Worth as a pretty accurate source that uses financial investigative methods before arriving at such a conclusion.

According to him, there is ample evidence that shows that the TPLF regime has embezzled over 30 billion US dollars. The Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT) is a major force in the massive scale looting of Ethiopia, according to Steinman.

According to Steinman, the structure of apartheid was deliberately revised and imposed in Ethiopia. “This doesn’t appear a coincidence to me,” he said.

“In South Africa apartheid was used to justify the exploitation of the majority by minority whites. I don’t think it is a coincidence that you see in Ethiopia the exact same dynamic. You have a small ethnic minority that is pushing on other people this ethnic tribalism,” he said.

He noted that there is already a history going back the last 26 years of ethnicity being disastrous for Ethiopia. “The signs are that it is not going to get any better. I think Africa has already experienced the struggle to get rid of one apartheid regime. Another apartheid regime does not strike me as exactly one that Africa needs at this point in history.”

He also claimed that the economic development that the TPLF is trying to promote is fake as the major beneficiaries of any economic gains are corrupt TPLF officials and their cronies. He argued that there is a direct connection between economic development and enabling political environments such as respect for human rights, rule of law and human rights.

“Ethiopian can only prosper by the efforts of millions of Ethiopians aspiring to improve their own life. The power of the individual must be unleashed in Ethiopia.”

Steiman further pointed out that the domination of the economy and political space by the TPLF is dangerous that will only end up in disaster. He blamed former tyrant Meles Zenawi for instituting such a corrupt and oppressive regime after promises to bring about justice, rule of law and democracy.

Steinman urged Ethiopians to unify against the TPLF regime which is using ethnicity as a tool of implementing its divide and rule policy.

Full interview with David Steinman

Smith Resolution on Ethiopian Human Rights Advances From Committee

Rep. Chris Smith (R-N.J.)

Today, the full House Foreign Affairs Committee voted to advance a resolution, authored by Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), highlighting the human rights violations of the Ethiopian government, and offering a blueprint to create a government better designed to serve the interests of the Ethiopian people.

The resolution, which passed without objection, also calls on the U.S. government to implement Magnitsky Act sanctions, targeting the individuals within the Ethiopian government who are the cause of the horrific abuses.

The State Department’s current human rights report on Ethiopia notes, “[t]he most significant human rights problems were security forces’ use of excessive force and arbitrary arrest in response to the protests, politically motivated prosecutions, and continued restrictions on activities of civil society and NGOs.”

H. Res. 128, is like a mirror held up to the Government of Ethiopia on how others see them, and it is intended to encourage them to move on the reforms they agree they need to enact,” said Smith, Chair of the House panel on Africa. “For the past 12 years, my staff and I have visited Ethiopia, spoken with Ethiopian officials, talked to a wide variety of members of the Ethiopia Diaspora and discussed the situation in Ethiopia with advocates and victims of government human rights violations.  Our efforts are not a response merely to government critics, but rather a realistic assessment of the urgent need to end very damaging and in some cases inexcusable actions by the government or those who act as their agents.”

H. Res. 128, entitled “Supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia,” condemns the human rights abuses of Ethiopia and calls on the Ethiopian government to:

  • lift the state of emergency;
  • end the use of excessive force by security forces;
  • investigate the killings and excessive use of force that took place as a result of protests in the Oromia and Amhara regions;
  • release dissidents, activists, and journalists who have been imprisoned for exercising constitutional rights;
  • respect the right to peaceful assembly and guarantee freedom of the press;
  • engage in open consultations with citizens regarding its development strategy;
  • allow a United Nations rapporteur to conduct an independent examination of the state of human rights in Ethiopia;
  • address the grievances brought forward by representatives of registered opposition parties;
  • hold accountable those responsible for killing, torturing and detaining innocent civilians who exercised their constitutional rights; and
  • investigate and report on the circumstances surrounding the September 3, 2016, shootings and fire at Qilinto Prison, the deaths of persons in attendance at the annual Irreecha festivities at Lake Hora near Bishoftu on October 2, 2016, and the ongoing killings of civilians over several years in the Somali Regional State by police.

It is important to note that this resolution does not call for sanctions on the Government of Ethiopia, but it does call for the use of existing mechanisms to sanction individuals who torture or otherwise deny their countrymen their human and civil rights,” said Smith.

Smith has chaired three hearings on Ethiopia, the most recent of which looked into the deterioration of the human rights situation in Ethiopia and was titled “Ethiopia After Meles: The Future of Democracy and Human Rights.”

Trump’s Africa policy should end US aid to dictators, rights abusers

Trump's Africa policy

(The Hill) — Earlier this month, President Donald Trump was criticized for letting his “unelected” daughter Ivanka sit in for him during the high-level “Partnership with Africa, Migration and Health” session at the G-20. Ms. Trump was criticized for not making “any major contributions” to the session “during her father’s absence.”

Trump has been accused of ignoring and neglecting Africa. He has been criticized for “having Africa last in his first budget;” and the prophets of doom and gloom predict his “slash-and-burn cuts to the State Department and USAID would deepen the worst humanitarian crises since World War II.” Some have even suggested that aid cutbacks by the Trump administration could drive Africa’s unemployed youth into the hands of terrorists.

Trump has expressed “overall skepticism about the value of foreign aid, and even about American security interests, on the world’s second-largest continent.” And there is in fact substantial evidence that aid “from the rich countries has trapped many African nations in a cycle of corruption, slower economic growth and poverty.”

Additional “evidence” of Trump’s neglect and indifference towards Africa include his “ignorance” of the continent, his selective communication with only a couple of African leaders, his demands for accountability in U.S. Africa policy, the aborted appointment of  Rudolph Atallah “best known for his work on East Africa and counterterrorism issues” as National Security Council Africa director, his nonchalance in filling vacancies for assistant secretary and principal deputy assistant secretary for African affairs at the State Department and his general failure to promote human rights in Africa and elsewhere.

The inference to be drawn from all of the criticism is that the Trump administration simply fails “to realize the importance of Africa to U.S. national security interests, and America’s indispensable role in continuing to shape the democratic evolution of the continent,” and is callously turning its back on “more than 20 million people facing  starvation and famine” in Africa. The solution, apparently, is for Trump to appoint“moderate and experienced Africa experts” and old hands who perambulate through the revolving door of government, think tanks and consultancies.

Ultimately, the criticisms of Trump on his (lack of) Africa policy are dubious, deceptive and self-serving.

It is ironic that those who are criticizing Trump on Africa today seemed to have taken a vow of silence when Barack Obama befriended and wined and dined the most ruthless African dictators and overlooked their deplorable human rights and corruption records in the name of counter-terrorism cooperation. Few Trump critics today spoke out when Obama shamelessly called the regime in Ethiopia, which claimed to have won 100 percent of the seats in parliament in 2015,  “democratically elected.” That regime today rules by a draconian state of emergency decree.

 

Trump has made his foreign policy position crystal clear. It is “America First.” In April he declared,  “It’s time to shake the rust off America’s foreign policy” and “invite new voices and new visions into the fold.” He said he will follow a “foreign policy (that) will always put the interests of the American people and American security above all else.”

In his official “remarks” to State Department employees in May, Secretary Tillerson said, “our overarching strategic approach” will be to determine our allies and partners on a country-by-country and region-by-region basis. He also declared that U.S. foreign policy will be propelled by “our fundamental values: our values around freedom, human dignity, and the way people are treated.”

In Africa, removing the “rust” from U.S. policy means disentanglement from partnership with African dictators because continuing with business as usual with them will not enhance American security; it only creates an untenable moral hazard.

The concept of “moral hazard” signifies a situation in which a government is insulated and immunized from the consequences of its negligent, reckless and incompetent behavior. African regimes heavily dependent on the safety net of American development and humanitarian aid, sustained infusion of multilateral loans will behave differently if they were left to their own devices to deal with the consequences of their mismanagement of their economies, tolerance of crippling corruption, chronic budget and food deficits, mushrooming poverty and unemployment and bad governance and face the wrath and fury of their citizens.

 

The moral hazard in U.S. policy in Africa comes also from the rewards of increasing amounts of aid and loans to buffer African dictatorships from a tsunami of democratic popular uprisings.

Many African regimes today avoid the demands of good governance, ignore the rule of law and commit gross violations of human rights in the belief that American taxpayer handouts will be there to bail them out. Since the 1960s, American taxpayers have provided over one trilliondollars which have served to sustain failed or failing African regimes.

There is substantial evidence showing that most African leaders are only interested in clinging to power cushioned by the financial support of American and other Western taxpayers. They are not interested in engaging America on what matters most to Americans — democracy, freedom, human rights, the rule of law, accountability, transparency and the like. More democracy and greater respect for human rights necessarily means less famine and starvation and accelerated  development because a government that is not able, willing and ready to feed its people or effectively address poverty will be swept out of office by a hungry and angry electorate.

 

Trump needs to take a fresh start by first taking out the moral hazard in U.S. policy in Africa and by “inviting new voices and visions” on how to wean Africa from aid addiction.

Trump should adopt a policy that facilitates partnership with the African people, not their dictators in the name of counter-terrorism.

Ultimately, American handouts and loans will not save Africa. Only Africans can save themselves.

The best way Trump can help Africa is by ending the insidious culture of competitive panhandling on the continent and ensuring that American national security and tax dollars are not entangled with the toils of African dictatorships.

Alemayehu (Al) Mariam is a professor of political science at California State University, San Bernardino, a constitutional lawyer and senior editor of the International Journal of Ethiopian Studies.

ዘረኝነትን ሲያቆላምጧት “ብሔርተኝነት” አሏት

አንዳንድ ሰዎች በአክራሪ ብሔርተኝነትና በዘረኝነት መካከል፣ እንዲሁም በብሔር ልዩነት እና በዘር ልዩነት ላይ የተመሰረተ ፖለቲካዊ ስርዓት የተለያዩ ናቸው ሲሉ ይገርሙኛል። ነገር ግን፣ የብሔርተኝነትና ዘረኝነት ፅንሰ-ሃሳብ ፍፁም ተመሳሳይ ናቸው። የዓለም ታሪክን ስንመለከትም ብሔርተኝነትና ዘረኝነት በጭራሽ ተለያይተው አያውቁም። በዚህ ፅሁፍ የሁለቱን የብሔርተኝትና ዘርኝነት ፅንሰ-ሃሳብን ከታሪክ ጋር አቀናጅተን በዝርዝር እንመለከታለን።

በቅድሚያ “ዘረኛ” የሚለው ቃል “በዘር ምክንያት ለአንዱ የሚያደላ፣ ሌላውን የሚጎዳ፣ የዘረኝነት አስተሳሰብን፥ አመለካከትን የሚያራምድ” የሚል ፍቺ አለው። “ብሔርተኛ” ደግሞ “ለብሔሩ (ጎሳው) ብቻ የሚስብና የሚያደላ፣ በሌላ ላይ ጥላቻ የሚያሳይ” ማለት ነው። “ዘረኝነት” የዘረኛ አቋምን የያዘ አመለካከት ሲሆን፣ “ብሔርተኛ” ደግሞ የብሔርተኛ አቋምን የያዘ አመለካከት ነው። “ብሔር” የሚለው ቃል “አንድ ዓይነት ቋንቋ፣ ባህልና ስነልቦናዊ አመካከት ያለው፣ በታሪክ፣ በኢኮኖሚ፥…የተሳሰረና በተወሰነ ክልል ውስጥ የሚኖር ሕዝብ” የሚል ፍቺ አለው። “ብሔረሰብ” የሚለው ቃል ደግሞ “ከደም አንድነት ይልቅ በክልል፥ በቋንቋና በባህል አንድነት ላይ የተመሰረተ፣ የተለያዩ ነገዶች የተዋሃዱበት ማህብረሰብ” ማለት ነው።

በመሰረቱ፣ ዘረኝነት እና ብሔርተኝነት በአድልዎ ላይ የተመሰረቱ አመለካከቶች ናቸው። ሁለቱም ውስጥ ለራስ ዘር/ብሔር ማድላት፥ መደገፍና ክፍ ክፍ ማድረግ፣ የሌላን ዘር/ብሔር ደግሞ ማግለል፥ መለየትና መጥላት አለ። በዘረኝነትና ብሔርተኝነት ውስጥ ራስን መውደድ ብቻ ሳይሆን ሌሎችን መጥላት፣ ለራስ ማዳላትና መጥቀም ብቻ ሳይሆን ሌሎችን ማግለልና መጉዳት አለ። ስለዚህ ሁለቱም በተመሳሳይ የተሳሳተ አመለካከት ላይ የተመሰረቱ ናቸው።

ከዚህ በተጨማሪ፣ በዘረኝነት ላይ የተመሰረቱ ፖለቲካዊ ስርዓቶችን ታሪካዊ አመጣጥ ስንመለከት ደግሞ ዘረኝነትና ብሔርተኝነት የአንድ ሣንቲም ሁለት ገፅታዎች መሆናቸውን እንገነዘባለን። ምክንያቱም፣ በዘረኝነት ላይ የተመሰረቱ ፖለቲካዊ ስርዓቶች በሙሉ መነሻቸው አሳፋሪ ሽንፈት፣ አክራሪ ብሔርተኝነት እና የጎሳ ፖለቲካ ናቸው። “የጎሳ ፖለቲካ” ማለት ደግሞ “በዘር፥ በጎሳ፥ በብሔረሰብ ላይ የተመሰረተ ፖለቲካዊ እንቅስቃሴ ነው።

በዘረኝነት ታሪካዊ አመጣጥ ዙሪያ ጥልቅ ትንታኔ በመስጠት የሚታወቀው “George M Fredrickson”፣ እስከ መካከለኛው ዘመን ድረስ በአውሮፓ “ዘረኝነት” (Racism) የሚባል ነገር ታይቶ እንደማይታወቅ ይገልፃል። እንደ እሱ አገላለፅ፣ የዘረኝነት ምልክት ለመጀመሪያ ግዜ የታየው በ13ኛውና 14ኛው ክ/ዘመን በስፔን ሲሆን እሱም አይሁዶችን ከሰይጣንና ባዕድ አምልኮ ጋር በማያያዝ ነበር የተከሰተው። ነገር ግን፣ በ16ኛው ክ/ዘመን የስፔን መንግስት ይህን የተሳሳተ አመለካከት በይፋ በማገዱ ተወግዷል። ከዚያ በኋላ፣ ዘረኝነት ማቆጥቆጥ የጀመረው በ17ኛው ክ/ዘመን ሁለተኛ አጋማሽ በአሜሪካ ነው። ለዚህ ደግሞ እ.አ.አ. በ1667 በደቡባዊ አሜሪካ ቨርጅኒያ ግዛት የጥቁር አሜሪካዊያንን ጉልበት ለመበዝበዝ የወጣው ሕግ ተጠቃሽ ነው። ይሁን እንጂ፣ ዘረኝነት ተንሰራፍቶ ከፍተኛ ደረጃ ላይ የደረሰው በ19ኛው ክ/ዘመን ማብቂያ ላይ ነው።

“George M Fredrickson” የ19ኛው ክ/ዘመን በአሜሪካና አውሮፓ የነፃ-መውጣት፣ የብሔርተኝነት እና የኢምፔሪያሊዝም (Emancipation, Nationalism and Imperialism) ዘመን እንደነበር ይገልፃል። በተለይ ከ1870 – 1880 ያሉት ዓመታት በምዕራብ አውሮፓ ሀገራት ለዘረኝነት መነሻ የሆነው የዘውግ ብሔርተኝነት (Ethnic Nationalism) በከፍተኛ ሁኔታ የተስፋፋበት ነበር። በዚህ ወቅት በጀርመን በርሊን የተፈረመው “The scramble of Africa” የተሰኘው አፍሪካን የመቀራመት ስምምነት የምዕራብ ሀገራት የአክራሪ ብሔርተኝነት ውድድርን አጥናክረው የቀጠሉበት እንደነበር፤ “…an assertion of the competitive ethnic nationalism that was existed among European nations” በማለት ግልፆታል።

በመጨረሻም፣ “Fredrickson” ዘረኝነት ጫፍ ደርሶ ጨቋኝ ፖለቲካዊ ስርዓት ለመሆን የበቃው በ20ኛው ክፍለ ዘመን እንደሆነ ይጠቅሳል። በዚህ ወቅት ከተፈጠሩት “በግልፅ ዘረኛ የሆኑ መንግስታት” (Overtly Racist Regimes) የሚባሉት በአሜሪካ፣ በጀርመንና በደቡብ አፍሪካ የነበሩት ናቸው። እነዚህ ዘረኛ መንግስታዊ ስርዓቶች በዘር ላይ የተመሰረቱ ጨቋኝ ሕጎችና መመሪያዎች ከማውጣታቸው በፊት በግልፅ ብሔርተኛ ቡድኖች ነበሩ፡፡ ይህን “Fredrickson” እንዲህ ሲል ገልፆታል፦

“racist principles were not fully codified into laws effectively enforced by the state or made a central concern of public policy until the emergence of what I will call ‘overtly racist regimes’ in the last century.”

ከላይ የተጠቀሱት በዘረኝነት የተመሰከረላቸው ፖለቲካዊ ስርዓቶች ፍጹም ተመሳሳይ የሆነ መሰረት አላቸው። እነሱም፣ አንደኛ፡- አሳፋሪ ሽንፈት (Humiliating defeat)፣ ለሽንፈቱ ሌሎች ብሔሮችን፥ ብሔረሰቦችን ተጠያቂ ማድረግ (Scapegoating) እና የአንድን ብሔር የበላይነትና ተጠቃሚነት ለማረጋገጥ የሌሎችን ብሔሮች መብትና ነፃነት የሚገድቡ ሕጎችን ማውጣትና ተግባራዊ ያደረጉ ናቸው።

እንደ “Fredrickson” አገላለፅ፣ በአሜሪካ የዘረኝነት ስርዓት መዘርጋት የተጀመረው በደቡባዊ የአሜሪካ ግዛቶች ሲሆኑ ዋና መነሻ ምክንያቱ በበደቡባዊ አሜሪካ የሚገኙ ነጮች በአሜሪካ የእርስ-በእርስ ጦርነት ወቅት አሳፋሪ ሽንፈት ስለገጠማቸው እንደሆነ ይጠቅሳል። እነዚህ ነጭ አሜሪካዊያን በጦርነቱ ለደረሰባቸው አሳፋሪ ሽንፈት በጥቁሮች ላይ አሳብበዋል (Scapegoat)። በመጨረሻም፣ በ20ኛው ክ/ዘመን በአሜሪካ የከተሞች መስፋፋት በእርሻ ማሳዎች ላይ የሚውሉ ጥቁሮችን ለመቆጣጠር አመቺ ባለመሆኑና የጥቁሮችን ጉልበት ብዝበዛ ለማስቀጠል በዘረኝነት ላይ የተመሰረተ ሕግና ደንብ በማውጣት ተግባራዊ አደረጉ። በተመሳሳይ፣ ጀርመኖች በአንደኛው የዓለም ጦርነት ለጋጠማቸው አሳፋሪ ሽንፈት አይሁዳዊያንን ተጠያቂ አድርገዋል። ከዚያ በመቀጠል፣ አይሁዶችን በዘር በመለየትና በመነጠል የዘር ማጥፋት ጭፍጨፋ ፈፅመዋል። በመጨረሻም፣ የደቡብ አፍሪካ ነጭ ሰፋሪዎች በእንግሊዝ ጦር ለደረሰባቸው አሳፋሪ ሽንፈት ጥቁር ደቡብ አፍሪካዊያንን ተጠያቂ አድርገዋል። የእንግሊዝ ጦር ከደቡብ አፍሪካ ሲወጣ በዘረኝነት ላይ የተመሰረተ ፖለቲካዊ ስርዓት በመዘርጋት በጥቁሮች ላይ ግፍና በደል ፈፅመዋል።

በዘረኝነት ላይ የተመሰረተ ፖለቲካዊ ስርዓት የሚዘረጋው፣ አንድ ብሔር ወይም ሀገር በታሪክ ካጋጠመው አሳፋሪ ሽንፈትና ፀፀት ራሱን ለማውጣት ሲል በሚያራምደው የጎሳ ፖለቲካ ነው። በዚህ መሰረት፣ አንድ ብሔር፥ ሕዝብ ከዚህ ቀደም ካጋጠመው አሳፋሪ ሽንፈትና ቀውስ ራሱን ለማውጣትና በሌሎች ብሔሮች፥ ብሔረሰቦች ወይም ሕዝቦች ላይ የበላይነቱንና ተጠቃሚነቱን ለማረጋገጥ ጨቋኝ የሆነ ፖለቲካዊ ስርዓት ይዘረጋል። ዘረኝነት እንዲኖር የተለየ ቋንቋ፣ ባህልና ስነልቦናዊ አመካከት ያለው ማህብረሰብ መኖር አለበት።

ብሔርና ብሔርተኝነት በሌለበት ዘረኝነት ሊኖር አይችልም። የዘር ልዩነት ቢኖርም እንኳን በቋንቋ፣ ባህልና ስነልቦናዊ አመለካከት ተመሳሳይ በሆኑ ሕዝቦች መካከል ዘረኝነት ሊኖር አይችልም። ስለዚህ፣ ዘረኝነት እንዲኖር በቅድሚያ የቋንቋ፣ የባህልና የስነልቦናዊ አመለካከት ልዩነት መኖር አለበት። በመሆኑም፣ ዘረኝነት እንዲኖር በቅድሚያ ብሔርና አክራሪ ብሔርተኝነት መኖር አለበት። በዚህ መሰረት፣ ብሔርተኝነት እና ዘረኝነት የአንድ ሳንቲም ሁለት ገፅታዎች ናቸው።

በመጨረሻም፣ አሁን በሀገራችን የተዘረጋው በብሔር ላይ የተመሰረተ ፖለቲካ ስርዓት በዘረኝነት ላይ የተመሰረተ መሆኑንና አለመሆኑን ለማወቅ ከጥንት ጀምሮ በአማራና ትግራይ መካከል የነበረው የዘውግ በሔርተኝነት፣ የአፄ ሚኒሊክ ወደ ስልጣን መምጣት (የትግራይና ሸዋ ዘውዳዊ አገዛዝ)፣ እንዲሁም የሕውሃት የትግል ማኒፌስቶ እና ስለ አማራ ሕዝብ የነበረው አቋምና አመለካከትን በማየት በራሳችሁ መፍረድ ትችላላችሁ። ለዚህ ያግዛችሁ ዘንድ “Fredrickson” የዘረኛ ስርዓት ዋና መለያ ባህሪ ያለውን የመጀመሪያ መስፈርት በመጥቀስ ፅሁፌን እቋጫለሁ፡

ስዩም ተሾመ

ስዩም ተሾመ

በአምቦ ሕዝባዊ ተቃውሞ ፈነዳ | ሁለት የአጋዚና የመንግስት መኪኖች በእሳት ወደሙ | መንገዶች ተዘጋግተዋል

(ዘ-ሐበሻ) በአምቦ ሕዝብ አደባባይ በመውጣት ዛሬ ተቃውሞውን ማቀጣጠሉ ተሰማ:: እንደ ዜና ምንጮች ዘገባ ከሆነ የአምቦ ሕዝብ ከሁለት ቀናት በፊት መንግስትን ባስጠነቀቀው መሰረት ተቃውሞውን በማፈንዳት በሕዝባዊ ወያኔ ሐርነት መንግስት ተሽከርካሪዎች ላይ እርምጃ በመውሰድ በእሳት አንድዷቸዋል::

መንግስት በሕዝብ ላይ አላግባብ በጫነው ግብር የተነሳ የአምቦ ህዝብ ይህን አላግባብ የተጫነበት ግብር እንዲቀነስ አሊያም ተቃውሞውን እንደሚቀጥል በማስጠነቀቀው መሰረት ተቃውሞው ፈንድቶ ከተማዋ ስትናጥ ውላለች::

ከወለጋ ወደ አምቦ ከአዲስ አበባ ወደ አምቦ የሚወስዱ መንገዶች በመዘጋጋታቸው የተነሳ የጭነት መኪኖች በየመንገዱ ለማደር መገደዳቸውንም የዜና ምንጩ ዘግቧል::

እንደ ዜና ምንጩ ዘገባ ከሆነ ይህ ዘገባ እስከተጠናቀረበት ጊዜ ድረስ አምቦ ሰላም የለም; ሆቴሎች ባንኮች እና የንግድ ተቋማት ተዘጋግተዋል:

Ethiopia: US envoy to UN calls for release of top political prisoner held since 2015

(Africa News) — Samantha Power, the Unites States ambassador to the United Nations (UN) has called for the release of a leading Ethiopian opposition member, Bekele Gerba.US envoy to UN calls for release of top political prisoner held since 2015

December 23 marks a year that Gerba – deputy Chairman of the Oromo Federalist Congress – is in detention, he has been held by authorities along with 20 others as part of Ethiopia’s Anti-Terrorism proclamation.

‘‘We call on the Government of Ethiopia to release all political prisoners and ensure all Ethiopians enjoy the protections of their constitutional rights,’‘ Power said.

We call on the Government of Ethiopia to release all political prisoners and ensure all Ethiopians enjoy the protections of their constitutional rights.

The ambassador is leading the US government’s #FreeToBeHome political prisoner campaign which is aimed at putting the spotlight on persons who are ‘‘missing because a government chose to muzzle their voices and lock them up.’‘

‘‘The stories of these individuals will highlight the broader struggle faced by so many families of political prisoners, who have to commemorate countless family occasions with loved ones behind bars,’‘ she added.

There are two other African governments the US is calling on to release political prisoners. The Egyptian and Gambian governments in respect of Omar Mohamed Ali and Fanta Jawara respectively.

Seven other nationals the US is campaigning to have released from political detention include:

  • Ilgar Mammadov, Azerbaijan
  • Oleg Sentsov, Russian Occupied Ukraine
  • Khalil Matouk, Syria
  • Leopoldo Lopez, Venezuela
  • Narges Mohammadi, Iran
  • Ilham Tohti, China
  • Julio Alfredo Ferrer Tamayo, Cuba                                            posted by daniel tesfaye

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