Archive for the month “March, 2015”

Andargachew Tsige: Ethiopian brutality, British apathy

March 31, 2015

by Graham Peebles | Open Democracy

On 23 June 2014 Andargachew Tsige was illegally detained at Sana’a airport in Yemen, while travelling from Dubai to Eritrea on his UK passport. He was swiftly handed over to the Ethiopian authorities, who had for years posted his name at the top of the regime’s ‘most wanted’ list. Since then he has been detained incommunicado at a secret location in Ethiopia. His ‘crime’ is the same as that of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of others—publicly criticising the brutality of the Ethiopian ruling party.Free Andargachew Tsige Protest in London

Born in Ethiopia in 1955, Tsige arrived in Britain aged 24, as a political refugee. He is a black, working-class UK citizen, married with three children. Despite repeated efforts—including demonstrations, petitions and a legal challenge— by his family and the wider Ethiopian community, the British government has done little or nothing to secure this innocent man’s release or ensure his safe treatment in detention. The UK is the third biggest donor to Ethiopia, giving around £376m a year in aid.

After nine months of official indifference, among Tsige’s supporters trust and faith in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is giving way to cynicism and anger. Is the neglect due to his colour or his quality of ‘Britishness’, in an implicit hierarchy of citizenship? If he had been born in England, to white, middle-class parents, attended the right schools (over half the British cabinet was educated privately) and forged the right social connections, would he be languishing in an Ethiopian prison, where he is almost certainly being tortured, abused and mistreated?

Consistently ignored

Tsige is the secretary general of Ginbot 7, a peaceful campaign group which fiercely opposes the policies of the Ethiopian party-state, controlled for 24 years by the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). It highlights the regime’s many and varied human-rights violations and calls for adherence to liberal ideals of justice and freedom, as enshrined in the country’s constitution—a broadly democratic piece of fiction which is consistently ignored by the ruling party (even through the EPRDF wrote it).

Political dissent inside Ethiopia has been criminalised in all but name. Freedoms of assembly, of expression and of the media are all denied; so too is affiliation to opposition parties. Aid that flows through the government is distributed on a partisan basis, as are employment opportunities and university places. The media are almost exclusively state-owned and internet access (at 2% the lowest in sub-Saharan Africa) is monitored and restricted. The government would criminalise thought if it could.

The population lives under suffocating repression and fear; the vast bulk appears to despise the government. Human rights are ignored and acts of state violence—some of which, according to human-rights groups, constitute crimes against humanity—are commonplace. It is this stifling reality of daily suffering which drives Tsige and other members of Ginbot 7, forcing them to speak out—action that has cost him his liberty.

For challenging the EPRDF, in 2009 and 2012, he was charged under the notorious Anti-Terrorist Proclamation of 2009, tried in absentia and given the death penalty. The judiciary in Ethiopia is constitutionally and morally bound to independence but in practice it operates as an unjust arm of the EPRDF. A trial where the defendant is not present violates the second principle of natural justice, audi alteram partem (hear the other party). Again, however, the EPRDF, having dutifully signed up to all manner of international covenants, ignores them all.

The regime likes trying its detractors who live overseas (activists, journalists, political opponents) in their absence and securing outrageous judgements against them, particularly the death penalty or life imprisonment. It rules by that ancient tool of control—fear.

In relation to Tsige, or indeed anyone else in custody, little in the way of justice, compassion or fairness can thus be expected. Self-deluding and immune to criticism, the EPRDF distorts the truth and justifies violent repression and false imprisonment as safeguarding the country from ‘terrorism’—a phenomenon only evidenced by the thugs, in and out of uniform, which the party-state deploys.

Constitutional responsibility

Tsige is a UK citizen and the UK government has a constitutional and moral responsibility to act robustly on his behalf. In February a delegation of parliamentarians, led by Jeremy Corbyn, his local MP, was due to visit Ethiopia in an effort to secure his release. But the trip was abandoned after a meeting with the Ethiopian ambassador. A member of the team, Lord Dholakia, vice-chair of the all-party parliamentary group on Ethiopia, said it was made clear that they would not be welcome: the ambassador reportedly told them “that there was no need for them to go to Ethiopia as the case is being properly handled by the courts”.

Tsige however has yet to be formally charged, has been denied contact with his British solicitors, and consular support, and has received only one brief visit from the British ambassador, last August—a meeting controlled by the Ethiopians. The FCO has said it is “deeply concerned” about Ethiopia’s refusal to allow regular consular visits and Tsige’s lack of access to a lawyer and others seeking to visit him. But ‘do something’ is the cry from the family and the wider community.

At what point, indeed, does neglect in the face of injustice and abuse become complicity? If a government gives funds to a government, effectively the EPRDF, which is killing, raping, imprisoning and torturing its own citizens, and then does nothing, it is complicit in the crimes thus being committed.

posted by Daniel tesfaye


ጉዞአችን ወደ ነፃነት ነው!! መዳረሻችንም የነፃነት አደባባይ ብቻ ነው!!


pg7-logoአለማችን አንባገነን ስታስተናግድ ወያኔ የመጀመሪያው አይደለም። ዘረኛንም እንዲሁ …….. እኛም ስለነፃነት ብለን ለትግል ሰንነሳ የመጀመሪያዎቹ አይደለንም …… አለማችን እንደየዘመኑና እንደ የወቅቱ አንባገነኖች ያለ የሌለ የመሳሪያና ወታደራዊ ሀይላቸውን በመጠቀም ህዝብን በፍርሀት አሸማቀውና ረግጠው ለመግዛት ሲውተረተሩ በተደጋጋሚ ታይተዋል። በዚያው ልክ ህዝባዊ ሀይልና መመከት ተስኗቸው ሲንኮታኮቱ በተደጋጋሚ የታየ ወደፊትም አናባገነኖች እስከተከሰቱ ድረስ በህዝባዊ ሀይል ተጠራርገው መቀመቅ ሲወርዱ መታየቱ አይቀሬ ነው ። ህዝብ የወደደውን አስተዳዳሪ እንጂ ረግጦ ሊገዛው የሚፈልገውና አንባገነን ተቀብሎ አያውቅም ፤ዛሬም አልተቀበለም ፤ ነገም አይቀበልም ። ይህን በሰው ልጆች ታሪክ ውስጥ በተደጋጋሚና በጉልህ የሚታይ ግዙፍ እውነት መቼም ተቀብለውና ከታሪክ ተምረው ስለማያውቁ አሳፋሪው ውድቀታቸው በተደጋጋሚ ሲታይ አለ።

ሀገራችን የአለማችን አካል እንደመሆኗ አንባገነኖች ተፈራርቀውባታል። አንባገነኖችም በህዝባዊ ሀይል ተጠራርገውባ ታል። ከደቡብ አፍሪካ ቀጥሎ ትልቅ ወታደራዊ ሀይል የነበረው የትናንቱ ደርግ እንደ እንቧይ ካብ ሲናድ ተመልክተናል። አንባገነኖችመናገር እንጂ መስማት የማ ችሉ፤ ማየት እንጂ ማስተዋል የተሳናቸው በመሆናቸው እነሆ ዛሬም የወያኔ ዘረኛው ቡድን ህዝባ ላነሳው የነፃነትና የፍትህ ጥያቄ ያለ የሌለውን ወታደራዊ ሀይል በጠራራ ጸሀይ በማሰለፍ መቼውንም ያልተቻለ ውን ህዝብን በሀይል አሸማቆ ለመግዛት መከራውን ሲያይ ይስተዋላል። ለዚህም ነው ….. ከሌላው የሀገራችን ክልሎች ከፍ ባለ ሁኔታ የህዝባዊ እንቢተኝነት እየታየ ባለበት ጎንደርና አካባቢው በሰራዊት ማጥለቅለቅ የተያያዘው።

ለሚነሱ ህዝባዊ ተቃውሞዎችና ህዝባዊ የመብት ጥያቄዎች የሚሰጡት ምላሾች እስር፤ አፈናና ግድያ ከሆነ ህዝባዊ እንቢተኝነትን ማስከተሉ አይቀሬ ነው። በእስር ፤በአፈናና በግድያ እንዲሁም በሰራዊት ሀይል ህዝብን በማሸማቀቅ በስልጣን መቆየት የሚቻል ቢሆን ደርግም ከቤተ-መንግስት ባልወጣ፤ ወያኔም ዛሬ ከቤተ-መንግስቱ ባልተንፈልለሰ ነበር። ይህ ደግሞ ሊያስተምር በተገባ ነበር።

እስከ ዛሬ የትኛውም አንባገነን ስርአት በሚተማመንበት የወታደራዊ ሀይል አማካይነት የመንኮታኮቻቸውን ሰአት በአንድ ሰኮንድ ማዘግየት የቻለ እንደሌለ ሁሉ ወያኔም ያለ የሌለውን ወታደራዊ ሀይል ሲያርመሰምስ ውሎ ቢያድር ውድ ቀቱን በአንድ ሰኮንድ ማዘግየት እንደማይችል በተለይ እንቢ ለነፃነቴ፤ እንቢ ለሀገሬ… ብለን ለትግል የተነሳን ሀይሎች በመረ ዳት፤ ይበልጡኑ ከቅርብ ጊዜ ወዲህ እየተቀጣጠለ ያለውን ህዝባዊ እንቢተኝነት ይበልጥ እያሰፋን የጀመርነውን የነፃነት ጉዞ ከነፃነታችን አደባባይ ለማድረስ ሌት ተቀን የመስራት ሀላፊነታችናና መወጣት ይገባናል።

በጎንደር የሚታየውን የአልገዛም ባይነት ትንቅንቅ በሌሎች ክልሎችም በማቀጣጠል፤ በደብረወርቅ የታየውን የመምህራን የስራ ማቆም አድማ ወደ ሌሎች አካባቢዎች በማስፋት፤ እንደ ድምፃችን ይሰማ ሁሉ ተቃውሞን ወደ እንቢተኝነት በማሸጋ ገር …… ወዘተ የነፃነታችንን ቀን ለማቅረብ መከፈል የሚገባውን መክፈል ይገባናል።

በደርግ ል የተነሳው እንቢተኝነት እያየለ ሲመጣ ያሰለፈው ሰራዊት ወያኔን አጅቦ የደርግን ቀብር እንደቆፈረለት ሁሉ ዛሬም በወያኔ ላይ እየተቀጣጠለ የሚገኘው ህዝባዊ እንቢተኝነት እየጠነከረ በመጣ ቁጥር የደረደረው ሰራዊት የወያኔን ቀብር ቆፋሪ ከመሆኑ እንደማኢመለስ ከቅርብ ጊዜ ታሪካችን በመማር ነፃነታችንን ለማስከበር የጀመርነውን የእንቢተኝነት ትግል በ መ ላው የሀገራችን ክፍሎች በማስፋትና በማቀጣጠል አይቀሬውን የወ ኔ ቀብር ለማቅረብ በአንድነት የነፃነት ጉዞውን እንቀ ላቀል። የጀመርነው የነፃነት ጉዞ መቆሚያው የነፃነታችን አደባባይ መሆኑን በተግባር ከምናሳይበት ወቅት ላይ እንገኛለንና በአንድነት እንነሳ!!!!!

ኢትዮጵያ ለዘላለም ትኑር!!!!

posted by Daniel tesfaye

Secretive Agreement on the Nile by Repressive Ethiopian Regime

March 25, 2015

Secretive Agreement on the Nile by Politically Repressive Ethiopian Regime Another TPLF Giveaway to what Belongs to Ethiopians!

Press Release (SMNE)

(Geneva, Switzerland)– On March 23, 2015, a Tripartite Summit on the Nile was held in Khartoum, Sudan, hosted by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, and attended by Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Sisi, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. As an outcome of that meeting, these three leaders will sign an agreement of Declaration of Principles on the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which will later be presented to the Ethiopian Parliament for final approval. This agreement will include an impact study on the effects of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam—an electrical project located on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia—on countries downstream. The results of this study will further shape the outcome.Obang Metho, Executive Director SMNE

Ethiopians have reason to worry, as the details are vague and open to interpretation. What will be signed away before really knowing the impact? What will be the potential affect on generations to come, not only of Ethiopians, but also South Sudanese, Sudanese, and Egyptians? Other people in riparian countries upstream from the north-flowing river could also end up being involved in some of the impacts.

The Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE), as an institution established for the wellbeing of Ethiopia, cannot remain silent on this important issue. The SMNE welcomes the change of rhetoric and politics on the part of the Egyptians and others and appreciates a principle-based approach, but much of it remains unclear. What will happen if the impact study shows a decrease in water flow to Egypt or other significant effects?

We call on the Ethiopian regime to make full disclosure to the Ethiopian public so we are not left in the dark about something of such great importance. Such a sensitive and critical issue should not only be debated by the parliament, but consultation with stakeholders and experts should be carried out before signing any deal that could sign away the future for generations to come. Advocacy groups and the media should enlighten the public; however, in Ethiopia, the public is denied information; the media is blocked; journalists are locked up in prison; there is no political space; the upcoming election has already been settled; and, all institutions—public and private—are under the control of the current regime. The people have a right to know; yet, this is a regime known for not being transparent, accountable or truthful.

People should not forget that this one-party regime, the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), was not elected by the people—neither was the ethnic-based Tigrayan Peoples’ Liberation Front (TPLF), which is made up of a small number of elite Tigrayans that control the EPRDF and all sectors of Ethiopian society. The majority of Ethiopians are excluded from any participation, voice, or opportunity.

Even in the coming national election on May 24, 2015, every avenue to political participation has been blocked off from all bona fide opposition groups. Only fake, regime-manufactured opposition groups will pretend to be the voice of the opposition. Some like Mr. Lencho Lata are trying to test the blocked process.

The SMNE lauds Mr. Lencho Lata’s courage as someone who has changed his mind and politics to help launch the Oromo Democratic Front (ODF), a non-violent, democratic political group; however, when he attempted to enter Ethiopia this past week, he received a hostile response from the TPLF/EPRDF leadership.

Mr. Lencho had decided to return to his home country of Ethiopia to constitutionally engage in the political process. When he arrived, he was given 48 hours to leave the country. (Please see this link for more information.)

We in the SMNE condemn this action by the TPLF/EPRDF and see it as further evidence to Ethiopians as well as to donor countries that this regime is not willing to allow any political space to real opponents. Theoretically, should not Ethiopians be free to compete in the election? Democratic donor countries that are helping to finance the TPLF- run government should condemn this action and the political repression in general that makes Ethiopians so vulnerable to decisions like the current one on the Nile River. Since the 2005 election, each successive election has been increasingly controlled. It is obvious, once again, that the election is only playacting. This ethnic apartheid regime of the TPLF/PERDF has not been elected by the people and does not represent them. Whatever the TPLF/EPRDF does, it is in behalf of their own interests or in the interest of regime cronies—not the people.

Why should the TPLF-controlled regime be any different than they were from the beginning when they fought to liberate an ethnicity rather than a nation? When they succeeded in liberating their own region; they also claimed Ethiopia as their own despite being one of a number of liberation fronts fighting for power over Mengistu Hailemariam. The TPLF has a history of selling out on Ethiopia. For example, when they first overthrew the former government, they sensed a political threat from Eritrea so they pushed for Eritrea’s separation from Ethiopia. When in history has a country’s power holders—the TPLF—so strongly advocated for a region—Eritrea—to separate itself from the rest of the country, even presenting the case before the United Nations?

Secondly, why would a country give away its entire access to water, becoming completely landlocked, as part of the concession? Was it a payment for giving up any claim on the rest of Ethiopia?

Thirdly, why would a country give its land away on the Sudanese border; land where Ethiopians were living? Was it a payoff to block armed opposition groups from having a base in that country?

The TPLF has a history of self-serving decisions so why would we trust their negotiations on such an issue as the Nile? Rumors allege that Egypt may have been thinking of supplying arms to opposition groups in Ethiopia. Is this another pay-off for their own narrow political security rather than the nation’s because they are afraid? The TPLF leaders do not care about the interests of the nation and could easily choose a political power play over the people, just like they have done in regards to the grabbing of land and resources where the people are seen as impediments to their economic goals.

It is further evidence that there is no opening for dialogue regarding either politics or regarding critical issues like the secret agreement between Egypt, the Sudan and Ethiopia on the Nile. As a result, we affirm that decisions made by an unelected government, which is not of the people, by the people, or for the people, are not binding. This case is an example of a decision where the people of Ethiopia, who have no voice, rights or information, will be the people to face the potential serious consequences of the decision on the Nile both now and in the future.

Many worry and wonder whether Ethiopians will reach a tipping point of frustration where they become willing to take their future into their own hands. If this were to be done in a violent way, Ethiopia could end up as a failed state like Syria, Libya, Iraq, Somalia, and now Yemen. Major donors to Ethiopia should take care that their continued aid to this repressive dictatorship will not hinder efforts for meaningful dialogue, reforms, and reconciliation that could prevent such a potential explosion of violence. Instability in Ethiopia could exert a very negative domino effect in this strategic, geo-political region in the Horn of Africa.

The highly sensitive issue over the use of the waters of the Nile River and its tributaries is not new. It has been a source of debate for years, particularly by riparian countries upstream from Egypt. We are not against the Egyptians having water, but we cannot settle for anything that does not take into account the interests of the Ethiopian people. Ethiopians were not even present when the Anglo-Egyptian treaty involving the Nile was made in both 1929 and 1959, even though Ethiopia is the source of most of the Nile water. Ethiopia was neither invited nor consulted at either time; but yet, Egypt was awarded veto power over any project in Ethiopia that would hamper the flow of water. The outcome of both treaties was unfair and should not stand.

Any new agreement should be a cooperative one where the interests of all parties are considered. It will require some give and take by all parties so the agreement is fair and supports the people of each country. If it is fair to all parties, it will lead to harmonious relations between neighbors. If that does not occur and autocratic governments sign away the rights of their people; it will not be sustainable. Therefore, all signers, leaders of the Sudan, Egypt and Ethiopia, should take care.

The SMNE is a principle-based organization of diverse Ethiopians, formed to bring a more democratic Ethiopia, but this also means we seek cooperative and supportive relationships with the people of neighboring countries. One of our primary missions is to bring people together; helping them to reconcile beyond their differences so as to work together to create an Ethiopia where there is opportunity for all—not only for one ethnic group or for a small group of regime cronies. We believe it starts by really engaging with others outside our own groups—by talking to each other rather than talking about each other. This can lead to building trust between previously estranged or alienated groups where difficult issues can be worked out.

The same is possible between nations if there is respect, fairness, inclusion, and trust. We should make sure that this water, which flows from many different places to finally converge into the Nile River, serves the interest of the millions of people along its journey from start to finish. Ethiopia, as a primary source of the water, should not allow a non-representative, unelected government to sign any agreement that leaves out its own people for its own short-sighted, tribal-based interests.

This same principle should apply to all countries involved. Secretive agreements concerning the Nile River and its tributaries by any politically repressive regimes that exclude the participation of the people should be suspect and may not be binding in future years. We understand that no agreement will give all parties exactly what each wants; but, in the interests of the people of these countries and the need to share, we call on all involved in this agreement to open up the process to the public.

Let us remember that the purpose of this God-given gift of the Nile River, which has continued to flow through our ancient lands from the beginning of time, was to give life and nurturance to its recipients along the way. Let us not be greedy, but let us find a way to share its benefits, caring about the well being of each other. Let fair treaties, agreements, and contracts protect the interests of all parties against potential violations by others, including ourselves.

May God protect the interests of the people who rely on this precious gift of water.
For more information, contact Mr. Obang Metho, Executive Director of the SMNE. Email:

posted by Daniel tesfaye

272 days and counting for Andargachew Tsege on death row

March 23, 2015

In June 2014, political activist Andargachew Tsege was captured in Yemen and sent to a secret prison in Ethiopia.

by Keila Guimaraes | Lslington Now

The wife of a British national on death row has been fighting a long legal battle to free her husband after he was rendered by Ethiopian forces last year.Andargachew Tsege on death row

Islington resident Yemi Hailemariam has been petitioning Downing Street in order to put pressure on the Foreign Commonwealth Office, but says she has seen little improvement.

The political activist Andargachew Tsege was flying from Yemen to Dubai on 23 June 2014 when he was captured in a Yemenese airport and sent to Ethiopia against his will. His family found out his whereabouts a week later when the Yemen government confirmed the operation.

Hailemariam said:

When I knew the truth, it was heart-breaking to say the least. It was the day that changed our lives.

Tsege has a long history of animosity with Ethiopian politicians. He flew out of the country in 1979 at the age of 24 as a political refugee and found shelter in England, where he gained British citizenship status. He settled in Islington, but continued campaigning and visiting Ethiopia.

He joined the movement GINBOT 7, which was formed in 2008 by politicians and activists in exile. The party, whose agenda is to overthrow the ruling party, was labelled as a terrorist group by Ethiopia in 2011. Tsege has been charged with terrorism and sentenced to death in absentia twice, in 2009 and 2012.

The legal battle

Since her husband’s imprisonment, Hailemariam has started a legal battle to free Tsege. Her campaign eventually gained the attention of Prime Minister David Cameron, who wrote to the Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn last October asking for consular access to Tsege and for the death penalty not to be imposed. Tsege was granted only two visits with the British ambassador, on 11 August 2014 and 19 December 2014, but has had no access to lawyers.

Ethiopia has also vetoed a visit from Tsege’s MP, Jeremy Corbyn, who was scheduled to travel to the country on 13 February.

Hailemariam argues that the Ethiopian government has breached international law. She says:

It was an illegal procedure. Citizens have legal rights; they can’t be removed from a country against their will without informing their embassy. That’s kidnapping.

In its 2015 report, advocacy group Human Rights Watch called attention to Tsege’s case: “The transfer violated international law prohibitions against sending someone to a country where they are likely to face torture or other mistreatment.”

A Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) spokesperson has also declared that Tsege’s rights have not been respected. “We remain deeply concerned that Andargachew Tsege is being detained in Ethiopia without being granted his rights to regular consular visits or access to a lawyer. We have repeatedly raised this with the Ethiopian authorities and will continue to do so.”

70,000 strong petition

In February, Hailemariam handed a petition with more than 70,000 signatures to Downing Street to ask the British government to put pressure on Ethiopia. But she said that she is in the battlefield alone and that the FCO has been too lenient.

“The FCO is driven by pressure, not by principles. And it infuriates me.”

But lenience might not be the only element in this diplomatic puzzle.

Ethiopia is an important economic partner for the UK and a strong ally on counter-terrorism activities in the region. In the next two years, the UK is investing £303 million in the country.

“Ethiopia lies at the heart of an unstable region that has experienced almost continuous conflict and environmental shocks in recent decades”, detailed the Department for International Development (DFID) in a document about investment in Ethiopia.

It concluded that “a stable, secure and prosperous Ethiopia is critical to UK interests”.

“Ethiopian security forces are responsible for the kidnap, torture and death sentence of British national Andargachew Tsege”

For legal charity Reprieve, the British government is putting economic and security reasons above international law.

Maya Foa, director of Reprieve’s death penalty team, said:

Ethiopian security forces are responsible for the kidnap, torture and death sentence of British national, Andargachew Tsege. Instead of dodging questions and then secretly shelving embarrassing programmes, DFID [Department for International Development] should be explaining why it was using taxpayers’ money to fund these forces in the first place – and what safeguards, if any, it put in place to ensure this ‘high risk’ funding did not enable abuses of the kind suffered by Mr Tsege.

Despite the complexity of Tsege’s case, Hailemariam says she has not given up hope.

“The only thing I see is that we cannot stop. I believe something will work out because we live in a society where I understand civil rights matter. That is very important. Even if the government doesn’t believe so, society believes this kind of thing is unacceptable. I believe we can make progress.”

The movement “Free Andargachew” is organising a protest in front of the FCO office this Friday to demand his immediate release. On Friday, Tsege will have spent 276 days in prison.

posted by Daniel tesfaye

Remembering the Sharpeville Massacre in South Africa

March 23, 2015

South Africa, 1960

Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam

On March 21, 1960, exactly 55 years ago today, a crowd estimated at five thousand (according toSharpeville Massacre in South Africa apartheid police 20 thousand, inflated to justify their extreme response) gathered in front of a police station in the South African township of Sharpeville in Transvaal (presently Gauteng, one of the nine provinces of South Africa). Many of the protesters had gone to the station in response to calls by organizers to defy the pass book (internal “passport” for black South Africans intended to limit their movement) laws and submit to voluntary arrest. Less than two dozen police officers were present at the station when the first group of protesters arrived.  The crowd swelled in a short time. Reinforcements with armored cars and machine guns were brought in from surrounding areas. As more protesters arrived, fighter jets were called in to fly low and buzz the crowd in an attempt to scatter it.

Protesters began throwing rocks and tried to break the police barricades. None of the protesters was armed as a judicial inquiry later confirmed.  The police responded with tear gas and batons. Apartheid police tried to arrest the leaders of the protest and scuffles broke out. A few protesters charged the gates to the station and rushed a police commander. Police opened fire on the crowd with submachine guns and assault rifles.

According to official figures, police fired 705 bullets killing 69 protesters, including 8 women and 10 children. The number of wounded and otherwise injured exceeded 180, including 31 women and 19 children. The vast majority of the victims were shot in the back as they fled the scene, according to the senior district surgeon of Johannesburg who testified before a judicial inquiry.

The eyewitness accounts of the massacre cast significant doubt on the police version of events. One eyewitness reported, “There was no warning volley. When the shooting started it did not stop until there was no living thing in the huge compound in front of the police station. The police have claimed they were in desperate danger because the crowd was stoning them. Yet only three policemen were reported to have been hit by stones – and more than 200 Africans were shot down. The police also have said that the crowd was armed with ‘ferocious weapons’, which littered the compound after they fled. I saw no weapons… I saw only shoes, hats and a few bicycles left among the bodies.”

Lt. Col.  Pienaar, the commanding officer of the police reinforcements at Sharpeville, did not mince words when he spoke to The Guardian. “It all started when hordes of natives surrounded the police station. My car was struck with a stone. If they do these things they must learn their lesson the hard way.” He added, “The native mentality does not allow them to gather for a peaceful demonstration. For them to gather means violence.”  He denied giving any order to fire on the crowd.

A judicial inquiry failed to determine responsibility for the massacre. Within weeks, the supposed organizers of the protest were tried and sentenced up to 3 years.  The apartheid government declared a state of emergency. By May 1960, 18,011 alleged participants and supporters of the protest were held in detention.

The Sharpeville Massacre became a milestone in South African history. The slow unraveling and dismantling of the apartheid regime began in Sharpeville. The massacre galvanized international public opinion. Opposition to apartheid regime spread throughout the world driven by coalitions of civil society and grassroots organizations.  Sharpeville stirred the imagination of black South African youth. The U.N. Security Council passed Resolution 134 which led to increasing international isolation of the apartheid regime. Coalitions of civil society and grassroots organizations mounted mass mobilizations efforts resulting in South Africa’s exclusion from the British Commonwealth in 1961. The apartheid regime responded by becoming even more repressive and consolidated its support among whites. Anti-apartheid organizations within South Africa also consolidated their roles.  The African National Congress began taking a leading role in the anti-apartheid movement and established its military wing. The long march to freedom in South Africa was underway.

International efforts to isolate and sanction the apartheid regime also took a new urgency. Foreign investors became jittery about investing in South Africa under white minority rule.  Following the Sharpeville Massacre, foreign investors took their money out of South Africa and ran. The South African economy teetered on the verge of collapse. In the coming years, increasing economic sanctions were imposed on South Africa. The Comprehensive Anti-Apartheid Act of 1986 was enacted by the United States Congress. President Ronald Reagan vetoed the law  calling it “economic warfare”, but his veto was overridden by an overwhelming  majority of both houses of Congress. The white minority regime understood its days were numbered and majority rule inevitable.

In 1996, South African President Nelson Mandela chose Sharpeville as the site for the signing of the new constitution.

Ethiopia’s “Sharpeville” 2005

On May 16, 2005, one day after the parliamentary election, the late Meles Zenawi declared a “state of emergency”  after it became clear that opposition parties had routed his “Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front” (which had cloaked its true identity in a shell organization known as the “Ethiopian Peoples Democratic Revolutionary Front”) out of office. Meles took personal command of the armed and security forces and sidelined the capital’s police with “federal police” and SWAT-type special units. Meles outlawed all public gatherings and authorized his troops to use deadly force against any and all protesters.

Despite the “state of emergency”, spontaneous demonstrations against the TPLF erupted throughout the country. Protesters were outraged by the daylight theft of that election and sought to register their dissatisfaction in non-violent protests. TPLF military, police and security forces indiscriminately fired at protesters using assault rifles in a number of locations throughout the country killing scores of unarmed demonstrators.

In 2006, under intense international pressure, Meles established an Inquiry Commission to investigate post-election “disturbances”. The cunning Meles was careful not to have all of the post-election “disturbances” investigated. He limited the Inquiry Commission’s investigation to incidents that occurred on June 8, 2005 in Addis Ababa and in other locations between November 1 to 10, 2005 and November 14 to 16, 2005. (See art. 2, Proclamation 478/2005.)

In its investigation, the Inquiry Commission examined 16,990 documents, and received testimony form 1,300 witnesses. Commission members visited prisons and hospitals, and interviewed members of the TPLF regime over several months.

The findings of the Inquiry Commission were stunning. The Commission determined

  • Police shot and killed 193 persons and wounded 763 others on the specific dates and in the specific places identified in the Proclamation.
  • On November 3, 2005, during an alleged disturbance in Kality prison that lasted 15 minutes, prison guards fired more than 1500 bullets into inmate housing units leaving 17 dead, and 53 severely wounded. Commission Chairman Judge Frehiwot commented: “Many people were killed arbitrarily. Old men were killed while in their homes, and children were also victims of the attack while playing in the garden.”
  • Over 30,000 civilians were arrested without warrant and held in detention.

By an 8-2 vote, the Commission made specific factual findings and conclusions about the “disturbances”:

  • There was not a single protester who was armed with a gun or a hand grenade (as reported by the government-controlled media that some of the protesters were armed with guns and bombs).
  • No property was destroyed by the protesters.
  • The shots fired by government forces into crowds of protesters were not intended to disperse but to kill by targeting the head and chest of the protesters.

Security forces which are alleged to be killed by demonstrators were not taken to autopsy, even there is no evidence of either photograph or death certificate showing the reason of death and couldn’t be produced for police as opposed to that of civilians.

There are two astonishing facts about the massacres of June and November, 2005. The first is that the policemen sent out to contain the “disturbances” literally had a police riot shooting up anything that moved in the streets. The second is the manifest undercount of the actual fatalities and casualties of the massacres. In public presentations, Inquiry Commission Chairman Judge Frehiwot Samuel indicated that the Commission’s charge prevented it from including evidence of casualties and fatalities that occurred in close proximity to the dates and places set forth in the Proclamation. There is little doubt that a full and comprehensive investigation of the post-election “disturbances” in 2005 would reveal casualty and fatality figures that are many times the number reported in the Commission’s report.

A study commissioned by the Meles regime later revealed that there is certified list of 237 killers in the Meles Massacres of 2005.

Unlike the Sharpeville Massacre, following the Meles Massacre of 2005, the international community took no action to bring Meles Zenawi to justice. None of the killers of the 193 unarmed protesters (over twice as many people killed in the Sharpeville massacre) and their bosses who authorized the massacres were ever brought the bars of justice. Neither Meles nor his regime was sanctioned by the donors and loaners. In its March 2006 Human Rights Report, the U.S. barely mentioned the Meles Massacres. “After the May elections, serious human rights abuses occurred…  result[ing] in widespread riots and excessive use of force by the police and military.”  There were no U.N. resolutions condemning the massacres.  The U.N. Security Council did not invoke its power under Article 16 of the Rome Statute to direct the International Criminal Court Prosecutor to indict Meles Zenawi and his accomplices on charges of crimes against humanity.  (The Security Council authorized the indictment of Sudanese president Omal al-Bashir in 2008.)

In the U.S. Congress, Representative Chris Smith introduced H.R. 5680  to “encourage and facilitate the consolidation of security, human rights, democracy, and economic freedom in Ethiopia.” Human Rights Watch was one of the very few international organizations that stood up and documented the crimes against humanity committed in the Meles Massacres.

In the months following the 2005 elections, Zenawi went on a rampage of arrests and detentions. He jailed nearly all of the leading opposition leaders, civic society organizers, human rights advocates and journalists in the country on trumped up treason charges. He passed “laws” clamping down on independent journalists and newspapers and criminalized civil society institutions.

By 2010, Meles was ready for electoral revenge. He held an election in May of that year and declared his party had won 99.6 percent of the parliamentary seats. He made a laughing stock of himself and his regime by making such a silly claim. Meles’ grandiose fantasies continued. He claimed with a straight face that the Ethiopian economy had been growing by 11.7 percent over the past decade. His minions, loaners and donors  continued chimed in and continued to parrot the canard of double-digit growth. I proved beyond a shadow of doubt that the claim of double digit growth over the past decade by Meles, his regime, the World Bank, the so-called “Development Assitance Group” (whom I affectionately call the “international poverty pimps”, USAID and others has been a boldfaced lie, a damned lie and a statislie (statistical lie.)

The real tragedy of the Meles Massacres was the fact that Meles was rewarded with billions in aid by Western countries.  The U.S. increased its aid to his regime from nearly $1.8 billion in 2005 to nearly $3.5 billion in 2008.   In 2011, “Britain chose Ethiopia to be its biggest recipient of development aid during the next four years.”

“Sharpevilles”, Africa

Every year there are hundreds of “Sharpevilles” taking place in Africa. Human Rights Watch has documented large scale extrajudicial killings in the vast majority of sub-Saharan African countries. One need only pick up the latest Human Rights Watch report to see the recurrence of “Sharpevilles” in Africa. In Darfur, Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Central African Republic, Mali, the Democratic Republic of the Congo and elsewhere in Africa. Extrajudicial killings by regime security, military and police officers in Africa are so commonplace, the world has turned its face away to avoid having its mind and heart scarred forever.

In August 2012, black South African police officers fired on protesting miners in Marakina in north west South Africa killing 44 dead and leaving at least 78 injured. (Watch actual footage of the incredible heart wrenching massacre as unarmed protesters are cut down by machinegun fire.)   President Jacob Zuma said, “We are shocked and dismayed at this senseless violence. We believe there is enough space in our democratic order for any dispute to be resolved through dialogue without any breaches of the law or violence.” I wonder if Zuma would have said the same about the 1960 Sharpeville Massacre.

In May 2014, the police and security officials of the ruling Thugtatorship of the Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front (T-TPLF) massacred 47 unarmed university and high school students in the town of  Ambo 80 miles west of Ethiopia’s capital (Ambo Massacres). There has been little international outrage over the massacres and no one has called for an investigation. The killers roam the streets free just as the killers of the Meles Massacres of 2005 walk the streets free.

Evil without borders

I do not believe the Sharpeville Massacre, the Meles Massacres,  the Marakina Massacre, the Ambo Massacres and other massacres in Africa are random events. I believe all massacres are well calculated crimes. The apartheid regime in the Sharpeville Massacre and Meles in the 2005 massacres used extreme violence as a tactic to prove to the population that they will kill and destroy anything in their path to cling to power.  The Sharpeville massacre was the white minority government’s way of “teaching the kaffirs a lesson they will never forget”.  Meles’ and his T-TPLF’s  aim was not much different. They wanted to teach their opposition a lesson they will not forget by indiscriminately massacring men, women and children in the streets and in their homes. Meles and his T-TPLF massacred with deliberation and calculation and sought to break the backbone of the opposition and make sure that no opposition will ever rise again. They wanted to teach the university and high school students in the Ambo Massacres that they will commit crimes against humanity to cling to power. Had Meles and his accomplices been held accountable for the 2005 massacres, there would have been no Ambo Massacres!

The legacy of evil left by apartheid still menaces South Africa. There are some who believe South Africa is so deeply divided that it is “a ticking time bomb”. According to one longitudinal survey (survey conducted every  year since 2003), nearly two decades after the end of white minority rule, 43.5% of South Africans rarely or never speak to someone of another race. Little more than a quarter (27.4%) interact with a person of another race always or often on ordinary weekdays, while 25.9% do so sometimes. Less than one in five (17.8%) South Africans always or often socialize with people of other races in their homes or in the homes of friends. A further 21.6% do so sometimes, and more than half (56.6%) rarely or never socialize across race lines.

The legacy of evil left by Meles Zenawi silently grows like cancer in the “Kililistans” (Ethiopia’s equivalent of South Africa’s “Bantustans”) he created.  In the rest of Africa, ethnic, religious, linguistic and regional and other divisions are ticking time bombs that continue to explode with increasing frequency. The latest example of ethnic powder keg is South Sudan where campaigns by government and rebel forces have resulted in the destruction of scores of villages, indiscriminate killings of tens of thousands of civilians, rapes of untold numbers of women and girls and the commission of other crimes against humanity. The legacy of Meles and the T-TPLF is ethnic federalism, a fire they have lit which one day will consume them.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing and to…”

Edmund Burke said, “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” I would add that evil also triumphs when each individual makes a conscious decision to hear no evil, see no evil and say no evil.

It seems to me that in the course of human events, most people face their own “defining moments” when they least expect it. Often that “moment” arrives when we are forced to make a choice between doing good, doing evil or remaining indifferent to good and evil because we just do not care. Not making a choice or indifference is the easiest choice to make. It requires no thinking at all. The choice between good and evil is paralyzing not because there is actual moral ambiguity or uncertainty in choosing but because evil is so much more attractive, alluring and appears to offer greater rewards. Choosing evil is the second easiest choice. It requires no moral thinking. Evil is good. Greed is good. Corruption is good. They are the easiest pathways to riches.

To stand for the truth, what is good and right is the hardest choice of all because they require moral clarity and courageous acts of conscience. One must have fundamental convictions and moral principles to speak the truth and to do good and the right thing and in so doing define the moment instead of being defined by the moment. In the face of evil, the question in our consciences is always a clear one. We can choose to be silent. We can choose to be apologists and accomplices of evil. We can choose to blindfold ourselves in the face of evil or get in the faces of evil doers. We have a choice to damn evil, condone it or openly accept it.

I chose to damn the Meles Massacres. The Meles Massacres of June and November 2005 were defining moments for me as an individual. I had to make a moral choice in the face of the evil perpetrated by Meles and his cohorts and take a stand. I explained why I decided not to keep quiet in the face of evil in my remembrance of the victims of the Meles Massacres in my 2010 Huffington Post commentary, “Remember the Slaughter of November 2005”.

After I learned about the Meles Massacres, my initial reaction was total disbelief. It can’t be true! My disbelief slowly gave way  to dismissiveness. These things always happen in Africa. C’est la vie! Depression and dejection followed dismissiveness. Who is this monster Meles?  Until the massacres, I had known virtually nothing about Meles or his so-called TPLF. My interest in Ethiopian politics until 2005 was marginal. I vaguely remember writing a piece on Meles and his cabal in Ethiopian Review Magazine in the 1990s. I don’t remember the details but I believe the crux of my argument was that Meles and his regime should be given the benefit of the doubt as they sought to implement their promised democratic reforms and so on.

I tried to forget about the victims of the Meles Massacres. I could not. A strange surreal feeling took hold of me. It was almost like the victims were communicating with me to speak up for them. After I saw the photographs of the bullet-ridden photographs of the massacred victims, I cried my eyes out. A little voice in my conscience which whispered to me. “How can you keep silent when your people are massacred? How can you be so indifferent? So selfish?”

Disgust propelled me into decision making. But what can I do? What can I say? Then a flash of inspiration: “All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men and women to do nothing.” There is one tiny, little thing I can do to fight EVIL. Use my pen (more accurately, my computer keyboard.)

On March 31, 2007, almost 8 years ago to the week, I wrote my “manifesto” and explained why I have decided to fight evil in a commentary entitled, “The Hummingbird and the Forest Fire: A Diaspora Morality Tale”. The message I tried to communicate was a simple one. “You just need to be a flea against injustice. Enough committed fleas biting strategically can make even the biggest dog uncomfortable and transform even the biggest nation.”

I write to keep fresh in the minds of my readers the crimes that were committed in the Meles Massacres and the Ambo Massacre of university and high school students. I also write to keep alive the memories of the  Sharpeville Massacres, the Marakina Massacres, the Darfur Massacres, the Kenya Massacres of 2007 and all of the other massacres that are being committed in Africa today. I write to remind all who have not completely lost faith in humanity and have fallen into despair that it is possible for hummingbirds and fleas to make a difference.

Am I naïve enough to believe that my lone voice in the wilderness will make any difference whatsoever to stop massacres in Africa or rehabilitate African thugtators?  Do I really believe I can end the culture of impunity in Africa? Of course not.

But I believe in sending “ripples of hope” on the Ethiopian lake and African sea of despair as Robert Kennedy eloquently expressed it: “Thousands of unknown men and women in Europe resisted the occupation of the Nazis and many died, but all added to the ultimate strength and freedom of their countries. It is from numberless diverse acts of courage such as these that the belief that human history is thus shaped. Each time a man [woman] stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples build a current which can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance.”  The fact of the matter is that I am not writing to persuade or convince African thugtators to do or not do anything. I am writing for future generations of Ethiopians and Africans to believe, as I do passionately, in the rule of law, respect for fundamental human rights and democratic governance. Lest you not judge me, I have never denied that I am a quixotic Ethiopian or a utopian Ethiopian.  I wear both badges proudly.

All that is necessary for EVIL to be defeated in Africa is for enough young African men and women  to do something good to end the culture of criminality and impunity.

It is characteristic of dictatorships to massacre their opposition as a demonstration of strength. History, however, shows that massacres are often manifestations of weakness, vulnerability and fear of popular uprising by oppressive regimes. South Africans were not intimidated by the Sharpeville massacre; they came out in full force to challenge the pass laws in every major city despite the fact that the masters of apartheid unleashed unspeakable violence against them. Sharpeville energized and inspired all freedom-loving South Africans to fight against apartheid with determination. There would have not been a Steve Biko but for the Shrapeville Massacre.

I believe in interconnectedness of events. When the Rwandan Genocide occurred in 1994, much of the world kept quiet. President Bill Clinton said two decades after that genocide, “If we’d gone in sooner, I believe we could have saved at least a third of the lives that were lost…it had an enduring impact on me.” That would have been 300 thousand Rwandans saved. The African Union said, “We see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.”

Because of silence and inaction to prevent the Rwandan Genocide, there was the Darfur Genocide in the Sudan in 2003. The regime of Omar al-Bashir carried out mass ethnic cleansing against Darfur’s non-Arabs causing the deaths of at least one-half million people from combat, starvation, displacement and other acts of war. Crimes against humanity continue to this day in Darfur.

When Meles Zenawi ordered the massacre of hundreds of people following the 2005 election, he knew he could do so with impunity. He learned from the Rwandan and Darfur Genocides that no African “leader” has ben held accountable for committing massacres. Meles’ disciples committed the Ambo Massacres in 2014 because they learned the art of massacre from their late boss.

Uhuru Kenyatta and his accomplices used criminal organizations to commit crimes against humanity after the 2007 elections because they saw Meles Zenawi and al-Bashir get away with mass murder just a few years earlier.

In 2010, Laurent Gbagbo of Cote d’Ivoire refused to give up power after he was decisively defeated in the polls. For five months, he directed his supporters to commit massive human rights violations against his opponents. French troops arrested him and he is now awaiting trial in the International Criminal Court. Gbagbo gambled on impunity and lost. He will be facing trial in the International Criminal Court.

In 2012, the Marakina Massacres occurred because the leadership of the African National Congress knew it could not be held accountable for its actions or omissions. How on God’s green earth is it possible, is it conceivable for a black police force in South Africa to mow down a crowd of protesters with machineguns? HOW IS THAT POSSIBLE!?! When I think of that question and watch that video, I fall in total despair for the continent. If the Marakina Massacres can happen in South Africa in 2012, the land where the Sharpeville Massacres took place over one-half century ago, why should it be any wonder if similar massacres happen in Ethiopia in May 2015 or at any other time in the rest of Africa?

The fact of the matter is that “Sharpevilles” occur in Africa every day. No one wants to talk about them or take decisive action to prevent them because the criminals are black, not white. African thugtators have the gall to come out and say in public, “Sitting African leaders should be exempt from accountability for crimes against humanity at the International Criminal Court.” That was the argument the marionette prime minister of Ethiopia and his malaria-researcher-cum-foreign minister made in October 2013.  Giving so-called African leaders a “get out of jail card” is a double standard many Africans and non-Africans in high offices are comfortable with. Otherwise, there would have been universal condemnation of the Zuma Government in South Africa for the Marakina Massacres as there was during the Sharpeville Massacres. The same for the T-TPLF regime for the Ambo Massacres of 2014.

Crimes against humanity and genocide continue to occur today in the Central African Republic as well as in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and of course, in Ethiopia.  Africa used to be called the “Dark Continent” because much was not known about the continent to outsiders. Africa remains today the “Dark Continent” because is enveloped by the darkness of crimes against humanity, genocide, war crimes and thugtatorships.

It could happen again: Fighting “Afrimenesia”  and “Ethiomensia” and the duty to remember

As I remember the Sharpeville Massacre of 1960, I also remember the Marakina Massacre of 2013 and the Meles Massacres of 2005, the Ambo Massacres of 2014 and all the rest. It is easy to lull oneself into self-deception and say it’s all a fluke, isolated occurrences.  People who face constant suffering would rather forget than remember the past. It is too painful to remember. It is easier to forget or even doubt the occurrences of massacres. Younger generations may also find it incredible that such crimes could have possibly occurred.

It has been said that “those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat it.” I harbor great fear that “Afrimenesia” and “Ethiomenisia” (two new words I have coined to describe what I observe to be collective amnesia about crimes against humanity) will overwhelm the younger and coming generations of Africans. The crimes of the past must be scrutinized with rigorous historical analysis so that the younger and coming generations could learn from it.  That is why it is important for young Africans to remember the Sharpeville Massacre, the Marakina Massacre and Meles Massacres and the others. Understanding the root causes of those atrocities and keeping the memories of the victims alive is the most powerful way of helping future generations prevent massacres. The historical lessons to be learned are identifying and recognizing those beliefs and patterns of actions and omissions that lead to the commission of grievous crimes against humanity and preventing them.

I hope to teach a few young Africans, particularly Ethiopians, through my weekly “sermons” (as some affectionately refer to my commentaries) that there are times when it is right to stand up for one’s beliefs, to trust in one’s own judgment and point an index finger at criminals against humanity and shout as loudly as possible, “J’accuse!” It is right to stand up for right and to right government wrongs. It is wrong to stand silent as the rights of the defenseless are wronged.

It takes a whole lot of people to be engaged to bring about change. Dr. Martin Luther King said, “Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.” Change must come  from informed and civilized debates and discussions. Change that is born from ignorance is stillborn change. Change that is born from enlightenment is durable, lasting and humane. That is why Africa’s young people (“Cheetahs”) should take the words of Africa’s newest snake oil salesmen (“Old Hippos”) with a grain of salt. They should embark on their own journey to build their own brave new Africa, Ethiopia, Kenya, South Africa…

Albert Einstein said, “The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.” It could be equally said that Africa has been made a dangerous place to live — with rampant crimes against humanity, genocide and war crimes — not because of the evil dictators alone, but more importantly because not enough good African people, particularly young ones, (and friends of Africa) are willing to stand up, speak out and do something about gross human rights violations on the continent.

There is an entrenched and pervasive culture of impunity in Africa’s officialdom.  Those in power feel that they can commit any act or crime and get away with it. Africa’s  “leaders” believe they are above the law, indeed they are the law. This mentality and culture of impunity must end, and a new civic culture based on strict observance of the rule of law, civility and good governance must be instituted.

As I remember the Sharpeville Massacre, my essential message to young South Africans, Ethiopians and other young people in the continent is the same one Steve Biko (the late South African student leader who founded the Black Consciousness Movement to empower and mobilize the urban black population) gave to my generation: “The most potent weapon of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.”

posted by Daniel tesfaye

A Tale of Tall Tales and “Ethiopia’s Diplomat-in-Chief”

March 16, 2015

What does a malaria researcher know about the art and science of diplomacy? Or for that matter the difference between telling the truth and telling lies? Or condoning or condemning lies? These are not trick questions.

by Alemayehu G. Mariam

Tedros Adhanom foreign minister

Tedros Adhanom is the “foreign minister” in the Thugtatroship of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (T-TPLF). In the official “Ministry of Foreign Affairs Biography of the Minister”, Adhanom is described  as “an internationally recognized malaria researcher.” Adhanom is said to have received a “Master’s degree in immunology of infectious diseases from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and a doctorate in community health from the University of Nottingham (UK) in 2000.” In 2005, the late Meles Zenawi appointed Adhanom “minister of health”. In 2012, following Meles’ death,  he was appointed “minister of foreign affairs”.   A malaria researcher-cum-“health minister” meteorically rose to became that country’s top diplomat literally overnight, a political metamorphosis that could only occur in the “Republic of Dystopia Ethiopia”!

The duping of Tedros Adhanom by a 14 year-old girl in the Land of Living Lies

Over the past couple of weeks, Adhanom has been  a central character in a drama of farcical juvenile deception involving   a 14 year-old Australian girl of Ethiopian heritage who came out of nowhere, sat with Adhanom at a press conference, and offered to spend a A$20 million prize she had won in Australia building schools in Ethiopia. That is at least the official narrative. To any reasonable person, such charitable magnanimity by a teenager would sound like a fish story. Indeed, it is the kind of improbable story one would expect to find on the satirical webpages of The Onion or which last November humorously reported the “Ark of Covenant stolen by Ethiopian church authorities” causing disbelief, alarm, panic, anger and deep disappointment among many unsuspecting Ethiopians.

On March 2, 2015, Abebe Gellaw, the young Ethiopian journalist in exile, known for his relentless exposes of corruption, scandal, fake degrees and abuses of power by the T-TPLF, published an investigative piece on the duping of Adhanom by the teenager. [Note: I am intentionally not naming the teenager sucked into the Adhanom  scandal because I do not want to aid in her condemnation and demonization in the media. I also do not believe a 14 year-old girl could dream up or concoct an elaborate $20 million dollar scam entirely by herself. I shall refer to her hereinafter only as the “young lady” or “teenager” because I truly believe she is herself a duping victim by Adhanom and his henchmen who coached her to lie for their own cheap propaganda.]

The young lady during  the press conference with Adhanom said,  “I won a competition of 20 million Australian dollars so I came here with the government of Ethiopia and Australia to begin my project and structures in the area and the land.” A “Ministry of Foreign Affairs” spokesman told the rest of her story.

The main thing is that she used to participate in clubs (in Australia).  One of the clubs she led worked in human affairs. In that club, she and other club members exchanged ideas about how to help others. The main idea she raised was how to give others an opportunity for learning. When people heard that (in Australia), supporters put together the award (of 20 million dollars). This happened in 2014. When she came home for a visit, as you have heard it from her, she wants to build a school in the Gara Muleta area in Harer with the award of 20 million dollars she got.  She will begin her work soon with the cooperation of the responsible authorities.

How did the “Foreign Ministry” find out about the A$20 million awardee? The spokesman explained:

When the young lady came , we saw her documentation. She came to us through her family. Our honorable [foreign] minister learned about her and said it is necessary to speak and encourage her so that she can be a role model to other young people. So he called and talked to her. He encouraged her in a very strong way. He assured her if there is support the government can give her, she will get all the support she needs.

The problem with the “$20 million prize” is that it never existed. The teenager never received such a prize.  It is completely bogus. For the “honorable minister” to believe an eight-grader would travel to Ethiopia from Australia to donate A$20 million to build schools, he must also believe in Santa Claus traveling from the North Pole in his sleigh of flying reindeer on Christmas eve to hand out toys and goodies to children all over the world. To put it simply, the “20 million award” is as phony as T-TPLF’s claim of “11 percent digit economic growth rate” in Ethiopia over the past decade  (which, by the way, I proved beyond a shadow doubt to be a lie, a damned lie and statislie).

Abebe Gellaw’s investigative report methodically dismantled  Adhanom’s $20 million caper. Abebe contacted the elementary school principal where the alleged $20 million teen awardee attended. The principal  of that school said she “was quite mystified” and had no knowledge of any competition or prize for 20 million.  Abebe contacted Baden Powell College in Melbourne, Australia which allegedly organized the fundraising. The college denied “any involvement in the bizarre affair” (the college itself runs on  A$12 million annual budget).  The Manager of Rotary International in Australia which allegedly donated the money told Abebe that all of the branch clubs in the country had “raised only $A 5.6 million dollars”; and it would be “an outrageous amount of money” to give to a 14-year old school girl under any circumstances.  The Government of Australia  denied any knowledge of a $20 million prize and further clarified that it does not give education funds to the Ethiopian “government”.

So, where did the 20 million dollar lie come from?

According to Abebe, the young lady “was actually coached to lie on camera by [Adhanom’s] PR team and advisers  hours before her televised joint press conference with him”.  Abebe reported that the PR effort was designed as a propaganda coup “in Gara Muleta, Eastern Ethiopia, a region well-known for its resistance against the oppressive rule of the TPLF.” According to Abebe, “The minister [Adhanom], his PR team led by Tewolde Mulugeta, the Ethiopian embassy in Australia as well as OPDO officials including the vice president of Oromia, Abdulaziz Mohammed, were involved in the ill-fated scheme (scam).”

Once Abebe broke the story, Adhanom mounted a pathetic counter-offensive on his Facebook page on March 7 effectively dumping the blame on the teenager who “lied by mistake.” Adhanom’s  Facebook explanation is  shocking as it is ludicrous. His logic was a textbook example of reductio ad absurdum (reduction to absurdity).  Adhanom reasoned children, including teenagers, are innocent. Children lie. Children lie not from malice but from mistakes. Children’s mistaken lies are innocent lies. I trust children. Because children’s lies are innocent lies, I prefer to believe them. If believing the innocent lies of children is a mistake, I prefer to make that mistake.

Adhanom wrote on his Facebook page with feigned magnanimity:

As you know the young lady is a growing child. I hope you will agree with me that children are innocent and without malice. If they make a mistake it originates from innocence not maliciousness. Because of this, I prefer to believe what children tell me. If it is a mistake to trust children, I prefer to make that mistake. Therefore, I still prefer to believe the young lady. We should not write inappropriate things and hurt the young lady. Her planned project is blessed. I am strongly confident  her project will be successful. The main thing now is to encourage and support [the young lady] her.

Of course, there is no $20 million project. It is all bogus. It was all a PR stunt just like the T-TPLF’s “double-digit growth for a decade” has been a PR stunt for years. Adhanom did not even have the moral courage to admit on his Facebook page that  the $20 million prize was a complete fraud and that he was “had, been took, hoodwinked, bamboozled and led stray” by a teenager (unless of course he orchestrated it himself).   Perhaps we should not be surprised. I am still waiting for the T-TPLF to acknowledge in public that its claim of 11 percent annual growth over the past decade is a lie, a damned lie and a statislie.

Aye! Aye! Aye! Aye!

I believe the expression is, “It is as easy as taking candy from a baby”.  A “baby” allegedly duping the top-diplomat-soon-to-become-prime-minister into believing she has a $20 million dollar candy to distribute is unheard of.  Impossible!  What is scary is the fact that if Adhanom could be duped by a 14-year old teen telling tall tales about a $20 million prize, what could the horned, goateed, forked- and silver-tongued, two-faced, double-talking, double-dealing, dissimulating and duplicitous diplomats  do to him? Run circles singing, “Ring-a-ring o’ roses, A pocket full of posies,” before they strip him  of the shirt on his back? All of Adhanom’s diplomatic adversaries must be rubbing their palms and drooling at the thought of taking him to the cleaners. After all, getting a deal from Adhanom must be as easy as taking candy from a baby.

How could Adhanom, the top diplomat of Ethiopia, be so naïve, gullible  or witless to believe a teenager who would walk into his office and sell him a cock and bull story about a $20 million largesse she has to spend for school construction?  How could he be duped so easily? Does he not know as the country’s  “diplomat-in-chief” that the art of diplomacy is fundamentally about the art of lying for one’s country? Isn’t diplomacy about not telling the truth for tactical and strategic advantage?  On second thought, I will take that back. In the Land of Living Lies, the art of life is living a lie.

Of course, Adhanom is doubly wrong, on the facts and in his logic: Children lie like a rug. (This is  not to suggest in any way that the young lady in this scandal lied. There is evidence to believe she was coached to make the fantastic claims.) Those of us in the business of separating “lies” from “truth”, at least in the legal and forensic contexts, know that children lie like a cheap Chinese watch. It is no lie that children under the age of three are incapable of  distinguishing “lies” from “truth”. Until the age of seven, some children have difficulties differentiating between fantasy and reality. They begin to tell little white lies. By age ten, children develop a clear understanding of what it means to lie and to tell the truth; and when they lie, they lie like Pinocchio, the wooden puppet who had to tell the truth to become a real boy.  Over the age of 10, children know not only when they lie outright and are stretching the truth, they are also capable of fabricating juicy falsehoods and half-truths, embellishing the truth and even telling elaborate tall tales.

What has happened to the young lady in this absurd $20 million fiasco reminds me of the 1979 comical animation adventure, Puff the Magic Dragon in the Land of Living Lies. In that animation, Puff, the Dragon, forcibly takes a little girl called Sandy, to the Land of the Living Lies, where she meets such famous fibbers as Pinocchio and the boy who cried wolf:

Sandy: Puff, look!
Puff: That is the famous purple cow that no one has ever seen.
Sandy: And the pink elephant.
Puff: That some see too often.
Sandy: Who is that?
Puff: Kilroy. Always was there, and never was anywhere.
Puff: Don’t you think it’s odd that I, a dragon, should eat homework for lunch? Of course it’s odd, for it never happened. It was a falsehood, a canard, a prevarication. Oh, why beat about the bush. It was a simple lie told by a little girl named Sandy.
Sandy: Oh, those are silly lies.
Puff:  No, those are fanciful lies. And harmless fantasy’s OK. And it’s fun, too. I mean, I’m part-fantasy.

It seems to me that young lady in the Adhanom scam was taken from Australia to the true Land of Living Lies and forced to meet Adhanom and his underlings.  She is told to tell fanciful lies  about a non-existent $20 million prize that no one has ever seen. She is coached to talk about a pink (or white) elephant school to be built with a $20 million prize money.

Of course, for the middle school teen, claiming to have won a $20 million prize is no different than reporting to her teacher her dog (dragon) ate her homework. But like her eaten homework, the $20 million prize is a falsehood, a canard, a prevarication. Adhanom and his crew knew the prize was a total fabrication, but they let the young lady talk about it. How is it possible they did not know? How? When a teenager walks off the street and tells the country’s top diplomat that she has $20 million to spend for school construction, what would any reasonable person in the world do? Put the teen  on national television and hector the public to learn from her generosity? How difficult could it be for the “foreign minister’s” office to call the Australian Embassy, the elementary school, the Rotary Club and Baden Powell College for verification of this manifestly absurd and fantastic claim? If an exiled journalist could investigate and discredit this fraud by making a few phone calls, why couldn’t  Adhanom’s office?  The suggestion that a teenager walked off the street and duped Adhanom simply does not pass the smell test. It was an inside job as Abebe Gellaw reported.

What adds insult to injury is Adhanom’s ludicrous efforts to beat around the bush on Facebook. “Children lie from mistakes.”  Children’s lies are innocent and harmless. The  young lady did not make a mistake or lie innocently or harmlessly. She told a tall tale that she was told to tell by the “top diplomat” and his henchmen.  Adhanom insincere Facebook efforts to appear magnanimous by condoning lies as innocent and harmless mistakes is  simply neauseating and an insult to our intelligence.  “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive,” said Sir Walter Scott.

Adhanom made no effort to explain what really happened in the $20 million caper. If he did not know about it, was he  willfully ignorant?  He took no responsibility for a $20 million lie he perpetrated on the people of Ethiopia on regime-owned media.  Adhanom did not order an investigation into the colossal hoax?  He made no effort to correct the situation by issuing an explanation to the media.

Even more outrageous is the fact that he took no responsibility for putting the teenager between the devil and the deep blue sea. He did not care that this young lady will be remembered by many of her peers and others for a very long time (for as long as the internet exists) as the teen “con artist”, “hustler” and “flimflammer”.  He threw the young lady right under a speeding bus and let her take the entire blame for the $20 million scam.  He left her out twisting in the cyberwind.  He did not apologize to her or the Ethiopian public for orchestrating such a bush-league canard.  He tried to gloss over the whole scam by cleverly labeling the young lady as an “innocent  liar.”  What does such malevolent conduct say about  the man? The top diplomat? The “foreign minister” soon to walk into the “prime minister’s” office and kick out the lackey pretender warming up the throne?

I am appalled and outraged by Adhanom’s reprehensible conduct. What is the message he is sending  out to Ethiopia’s children and young people?  What kind of an example is he setting for them? “Children, it is OK to lie because when you lie, you are just making a mistake.” Is he telling them, “Lies are OK as long as they are innocent.” Is he teaching them, “$20 million innocent lies are not morally wrong because children must be trusted”? What kind of a role model is he for young Ethiopians? Does he even try to look at this fiasco from the perspective of Ethiopian children and young people? He wanted the young lady to be a role model for Ethiopia’s youth. What kind of a role model has he created now that the $20 million prize has been shown to be a scam? Does Adhanom even care that the role model he has created is now tarred and feathered as a “con artist”?

Does Adhanom have the capacity for moral reasoning? If it is OK to lie as children, why is it wrong to lie as adults? Of course, in the Land of Living Lies it is true that lying is perfectly OK. What is inexcusable and reprehensible is the soon-to-become “prime minister’s” glorification of lying as an innocent mistake to save his own hide from public ridicule, embarrassment and condemnation. That is an unforgivable moral crime.

Moral leaders never encourage or condone lying by their young people. Moral leaders will never tolerate and excuse young liars as “innocent liars”.  Moral leaders never excuse lies as misspoken truths.  It is wrong for a child to lie about not doing his or her homework because the dog ate it. It is also not right for an organization that purports to be a “government” to lie about “double-digit economic growth” when it knows that is a lie, a damned lie and a statislie.  We teach our children at home and in school to be honest, honorable, virtuous, sincere and trustworthy. Such moral values obviously  do not exist in Thugistan or Planet T-TPLF.

I have always said that the T-TPLF leadership follows the maxim of  propaganda Reich Minister Joseph Goebbels: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”

Adhanom and the T-TPLF have taken Goebbels  teachings to the highest levels of mendacity. They took a big bet by telling a BIG $20 million lie and lost, thanks to the dogged investigative reporting of Abebe Gellaw. They told a BIG LIE about Ethiopia’s “double digit economic growth for a decade” and got caught. So I am going to make them an offer they can’t refuse: If they stop telling lies about “double digit growth”, “$20 million prizes”, “elections”  and stop inventing new tall tales every week, I will stop telling the truth about them every Monday!

The thugplomacy of the T-TPLF and its  “diplomat-in-chief”

I have followed Adhanom’s diplomatic  escapades for a while now. I have cringed watching his videotaped  public appearances and shaken my head in disbelief reading his speeches. His shallowness is embarrassingly palpable. His speeches lack substance and coherence. He has a distinct proclivity to frame complex issues in worn out and left over phrases from the days of student activism of his late boss. He manifests little understanding of international diplomacy. He manifests no evidence of having even an elementary understanding of international law, treaties and conventions. I will present two examples to demonstrate my points.

ICC trial of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto

During the African Union (AU)  debate over the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and  his deputy William Ruto at the International Criminal Court in October 2013, Adhanom coordinated a threatened mass walkout of African countries from the Rome Statute if charges were not dropped against the two suspects.  At a special meeting of the AU, Adhanom declared in his opening remarks:

[T]he [International Criminal] Court has transformed itself into a political instrument targeting Africa and Africans. This unfair and unjust treatment is totally unacceptable and that is why we have been expressing our serious concerns against the ICC…. [O]ur request to the Court to allow the President of Kenya and his Deputy to choose the sessions they wish to attend in accordance with their constitutional obligations and duties has not received a positive response… We do not want this simplistic suspect/victim approach destabilize Kenya and our region…  The immunities of Heads of State cannot be taken lightly and our meeting should come out very clearly on this issue…. [T]here is no doubt this issue has wider ramifications for Kenya and Africa as a whole…. Perhaps, it should be emphasized that the way this issue is being handled by the ICC has serious implications on Africa’s relations with the ICC… We should not allow the ICC to continue to treat Africa and Africans in a condescending manner.

In his “Closing Remarks” Adhanom was jubilant over nothing. His His efforts to coordinate a a Treat-cide” of the Rome State failed completely. But he went on to claim:

[W]e have rejected the double standard that the ICC is applying in dispensing international justice. [W]e have once again clearly and unambiguously expressed our serious disappointment against the ICC and its selective approach vis a vis Africa. Particularly, we are deeply troubled by the fact that a sitting Head of State and his Deputy are for the first time being tried in an international court, which infringes on the sovereignty of Kenya…

There are factual, legal and logical problems with Adhanom’s analysis of the Kenyatta-Ruto ICC prosecution and surrounding circumstances. First, there is not a shred of evidence to support his contention that the ICC “has transformed itself into a political instrument targeting Africa and Africans.” There is not an iota of evidence to show the ICC has treated “Africa and Africans in a condescending manner.” None!

Adhanom wanted to win that argument by demonizing the ICC. He appealed to pre-existing biases and mindsets among Africans and others and emotionally rally public opinion to accept his point of view that white ICC judges and prosecutors are effectively re-imposing their colonial rule through the ICC. The fact of the matter is that Adhanom was brazenly pulling out the race card to name and shame the white ICC. (The fact is the ICC is racially, geographically and gender diverse.) In fact, his titular boss, Hailemariam Desalegn, publicly claimed the ICC was “race hunting” in Africa. (I felt so ashamed and personally humiliated by that statement. After 60 years of independence, African leaders had to resort to the race card! What a low-down shame!)

There is also no evidence that the ICC has dealt with any African suspects in an “unfair” manner or shown them “unjust treatment”. The subtext of Adhanom’s argument is that the ICC is abusing and maltreating African suspects in crimes against humanity prosecutions because they are black. Not unlike the colonial past, the white ICC judges and prosecutors are now lynching African leaders in court. Of course, that is pure nonsense! The ICC is prosecuting African criminals against humanity for the same reasons the notorious American bank robber Willie Sutton robbed banks. “Because that’s where the money is!” The ICC has focused its prosecutorial efforts on Africa because that’s where the vast majority of the suspects are given the fact the Rome Statute applies only to crimes committed after 2002.

Adhanom’s understanding of the ICC legal process reflects very much his own. He believes that the ICC is a kangaroo court like the T-TPLF’s which has one justice system for T-TPLF members, cronies and supports and another for all other Ethiopians. The ICC does not maintain a double standard of prosecution for criminals against humanity. It does not create one category for “sitting heads of state” criminals against humanity and garden variety criminals against humanity. In Adhanoms’ T-TPLF, the only time “sitting” party members are charged with a crime is when they fall out of favor. Then they are charged with “corruption”. That is how they have used the “legal process” to destroy some of their most important military leaders from the days of struggle against the Derg junta.

Second, Adhanom argued to the AU that the Uhuru-Ruto defendants should attend their trial “in accordance with their constitutional obligations and duties.” He has no appreciation for the fact that the charges leveled against Kenyatta and Ruto are the most serious crimes known to humankind: crimes against, humanity, murder, rape, genocide and war crimes. It shows abysmal ignorance of the law to suggest that murderers, genociders and others who have committed heinous crimes should be given the luxury of attending trial only when they feel like it. If that were to happen, what would it say about the ICC itself? The IKK, the International Kangaroo Court? (But I could be persuaded to change my position on this issue. If the T-TPLF would allow all of the tens of thousands of “suspects” and “defendants” it has warehoused in its jails without trial for years to be released and attend their trials at their leisure, I would be willing to withdraw my objection.)

Third, Adhanom urged the AU to reject “this simplistic suspect/victim approach destabilize Kenya and our region…” That really gets my goat! Adhanom tried to trivialize the crimes committed by Kenyatta and Ruto. Those suspects were charged in a five count indictment under article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute for crimes against humanity including murder (article 7(l)(a), deportation or forcible transfer (article 7(l)(d), rape (article 7(l)(g), persecution (article 7(l)(h), and other inhumane acts (article 7(l)(k). The allegations are based on evidence shocking to the conscience and detailed in a 155-page document based on the testimony of hundreds of witnesses. “As many as 1,400 people died in the span of 59 days, while 600,000 people were displaced from their homes, as Kenya slipped dangerously close to outright civil war.” There is nothing “simplistic” about the deaths and destruction in Kenya following the 2007 election.

Perhaps such deaths and suffering may not be a big deal for Adhanom. Perhaps for Adhanom, like Stalin, a single death is a tragedy and 30 million a statistic. His late boss personally ordered the massacre of hundreds of people following the 2005 election in Ethiopia. He never faced prosecution. It is my personal belief based on anecdotal evidence that Kenyatta and Ruto engaged in their crimes having seen Meles get away with at least 182 murders and hundreds of attempted murders in the post-2005 election period.

Fourth, Adhanom argued at the AU that investigating and prosecuting heads of states “has wider ramifications for Kenya and Africa as a whole.” He is spot on with that argument. Had Meles been prosecuted for the 2005 massacres by the ICC, I have no doubts the 2007 Kenya massacres would never have happened. But Adhanom misses the whole idea in the Rome Statute. The ICC was not established or designed to prosecute every thug in office who commits crimes against humanity. It aims to prosecute the most heinous offenders and offer justice to the victims while making object lessons out of them for future criminals-against-humanity-to-be. There is no question ICC prosecutions will have a chilling effect on African leaders, dictators and warlords who commit crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide with impunity. There is no doubt ICC prosecutions of human rights violators in Africa will definitely cramp the styles of current dictators in power who abuse their citizens from their palaces and others who commit atrocities from their hideouts in the bush.

Adhanom argued “sitting heads of states should not be prosecuted” because that violates African sovereignty. As a matter of criminal procedure, Uhuru and Ruto voluntarily submitted to ICC jurisdiction. So there is no question of sovereignty.

By why shouldn’t sitting heads of African states be investigated and prosecuted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide? Adhanom provides no answer, except ipsit dixit logic. Adhanom said it, therefore it is true.

Adhanom is willfully ignorant of the fact that there are no good and bad criminals against humanity, war criminals and genociders. There is no moral or legal difference between a warlord and a head of state who commit such crimes. If one follows Adhanom’s warped logic in the context of Africa’s volatile politics, no one will ever be prosecuted. Rebel leaders and warlords who commit atrocities and seize power or are elected in rigged elections will remain free and at large for no reason other than Adhanom’s self-serving and preposterous maxim: “ Sitting Heads of State and Government should not be prosecuted while in office.” In fact, human rights violators in power will have great incentive to stay in power like Omar Bashir of Sudan for decades committing more human rights violations because being a head of state makes them untouchable, immune from legal accountability and above the law. On the other hand, what would keep rebel and militia leaders and warlords from demanding on strictly procedural grounds that they too should be exempted from prosecution because they believe themselves to be the true leaders of a given country?

The persecution of Ethiopian domestic workers in Saudi Arabia

In November 2013, when tens of thousands of Ethiopian domestic workers were being brutalized, tortured and humiliated by the Saudi Arabia regime, police and ordinary citizens, Adhanom delivered an obsequious apology to the very regime that was committing crimes against humanity on Ethiopians. It was sickening. At the height of the crises, Adhanom said, “Ethiopia would like to express its respect for the decision of the Saudi Authorities and the policy of deporting illegal migrants.” It was a pathetic display of indifference, incompetence and inanity. Adhanom confessed he was “really depressed” by the mistreatment of Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia and told off the Saudi ambassador by telling him, “It is unacceptable.” In an attempt to show how he and his regime have things under control, Adhanom said, “I would like to assure you that we are ready to receive our fellow citizens home.”

How could one “respect” the policy of another country that condones the dehumanization of its citizens? How could any person in his right mind choose the meaningless diplomatic word “unacceptable” to describe the rape, murder, mutilation, torture and lynching of one’s brothers and sisters in a foreign land? He should have been screaming bloody murder at the Saudi ambassador to stop the murder of Ethiopian domestic workers. How does one retreat into personal “depression” and “sadness” when one’s citizens are being victimized and persecuted. How can one be so cold and lacking in basic human feeling that he is completely bankrupt of righteous indignation and fail to express outright diplomatic outrage and fury? We are talking about life and death situations for thousands of our brothers and sisters. Well, that’s how the soon-to-become-prime-minister rolls!

I could talk about the October 2014 fiasco involving one of Adhanom’s thug-with-diplomatic immunity shooting at protesters on the grounds of the “Ethiopian Embassy” in Washington, D.C. causing unprecedented diplomatic crises. In the recorded annals of the diplomatic corps in Washington, D.C., the T-TPLF thugplomat is the first individual to have used a firearm to ward off protesters from any embassy grounds. Adhanom sent that thug, a functional illiterate with no diplomatic experience, training or background to serve as a “security attache” in the most important capital in the world. Well, so much for thugplomacy and thugplomats.

On a serious note, I have my own Brooklyn Bridge for sale at rock bottom prices? I will throw in the Madison Square Garden as a bonus. Might Adhanom be interested!?!

Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam teaches political science at California State University, San Bernardino. His teaching areas include American constitutional law, civil rights law, judicial process, American and California state governments, and African politics.

posted by Daniel tesfaye

ከእስክንድር ናፍቆት እስከ አንድነት ዘመነ … -ከነብዩ ሲራክ


Mars 13,2015

አይዞህ ወንድም አለም …

…ምስላቸውን ተመልክቸ ፣ ታሪካቸውን ሰምቸ ስሜቴን ካናወጡት ጥቂት ምስሎች መካከል ከጋዜጠኛ እስክንድር ነጋ ቅምጥል ከታዳጊ ናፍቆት በቅርቡ አባቱን ከታሳሪዎች መካከል ሲያፈላልግ የተነሳው የፖለቲከኛው ዘመነ ምህረት ልጅ አንድነት ዘመነ ተናጋሪ ምስልን ከሃገር ውስጥ ካየኋቸው ስሜት ኮርኳሪ ተናጋሪ ምስሎች ውስጥ ይጠቀሳሉ። …

ከሃገር ወጣ ሲባል ደግሞ አስተማሪው በሞት የተነጠቀው ጥቁር ደቡበ አሜሪካዊ ማደጎ ዲያጎ አሳዳጊውን በሞት ተነጥቆ እንባ እያዘራ የሚያሳየው ምስልና ፍልስጥኤማውያኑ አባትና ልጅ አይዘነጉኝም!
ዲያጎ …

… ብራዚላዊ ወጣት ዲያጎ ከድህነትና አመጽ ነጻ ያወጡት የሙዚቃ አስማሪው በድንገት ተገድለው በቀብሩ ስነ ስርዓት ተገኝቶ ለሚወዳቸው የሙያና አባቱና ሰብአዊው ሰው ያለውን ክበር እንባውን እያዘራ ፍቅሩን ሲገልጽ የሚያሳየው ምስል ልብ በሃዘን ሰባሪ ነው …
መሀመድ አል ዱራህ …

ከሁሉም በቀዳሚነት ግን በእጎአ በ 200ዐ ዓም የሁለተኛው ፍልስጥኤማውታን አመጻ “ኢንቲፋዳ ” ወቅት ነበር ። በዚሀ ወቅት በሃገረ ፍልስጥኤም በአንድ የፍልስጥኤም አባትና ልጅ ምስል አሳዛኝ ትዕይንትና በጥይት የተደበደቡት አባትና ልጅ ህይዎቴንና እሳቤየን በብዙ መልኩ ቀይሮታል ። ..ድርጊቲ የተፈጸመው በማትረጋው ፍልስጥኤም ውስጥ ነው …በወቅቱ አመጻ ነውጥ ተነስቶ በነውጥ ሁከቱ መሀመድ አል ዱራ የተባለ አንድ ታዳጊ አባትቱን እየተከተለ በሽሽት እየሮጠ ከግርግሩ ሊያመልጥ ሲሞክር ይታያል። ብዙመ, ሳይቆይ አባትና ልጅ ከጥይቱ እርምታ ለማምለጥ በአንድ አጥር ተጠለሉ። ልጅ ከአባቱ ጀርባ ቢለጠፍም አባት የብላቴና ልጁን ህይዎት መታደግ ቀርቶ ራሱን ማዳን አልቻለም። በአጥሩ ታዛ አባት ተጎንብሶና ከጀርባው ተጣብቆ እጁን ከወደ ኋላው በመላክ በፍርሃቻ የሚርድ የሚሰፈሰፍ ልጁን ለመከላከል ሲሞክር በተንቀሳቃሽ ፊልሙ ይታያል .. ብዙም ሳይቆይ ግን አባትና ልጅ የአነጣጣሪው ወታደር የጥይት ራት ሆኑ ፣ በዚያ ፍልስጥኤማዊ አባትና በብላቴናው መሀመድ ላይ የሆነው ፈጽሞ አይረሳኝም ። በህይዎቴ ውስጥ ከባድ ለውጥ ካመጡት ምዕሎች ውስጥ መካከል ይህኛው ይጠቀሳል …
eskinderናፍቆት እስክንድር …

ጋዜጠኛ እስክንድር ነጋና ባለቤቱ ጋዜጠኛ ሰርካለም ፋሲል በሸብርተኝነት ተከሰው ባሉበት ናፍቆት እስክንድር በወህኒ ተወለደ ፣ አደገ ። ብዙም ሳይቆይ “በይቅርታ ምህረት ” ከአመት በኋላ ተፈታ ። ጋዜጠኛ እስክንድር ኢትዮጵያየ ብሎ መጻፉን ቀጠለ ፣ ህሳቤ ፣ አመለካከት የሃገር ህልሙን ማሰር የማይችሉት እስክንድርን ሲያጠምዱና ሲይዙ ልጁ ናፍቆትን ከት/ቤት ሲመልስ እንደነበር ሰምተናል። በመንገድ ዳር አስቆመው እስክንድርን ልጁን ናፍቆትን መንጭቀው ሲለያዩዋቸው ናፍቆት ” ከአባቴ አትለዩኝ !” ብሎ ተንሰቅስቆ ያለቅስ እንደነበር የሚያሳይ ፎቶ ባናይም ድርጊቱን ሲሰሙት ዘልቆ ያማል። ዛሬ ናፍቆትና እናቱ ሃገራቸው እልተመቻቸውምና ተሰደዋል …

ከጋዜጠኞቹ ቤተሰቦች …

የጋዜጠኛ ርዕዮት አለሙ ቤተሰቦች በተለይም እህቷ እስከዳር አለሙ በህገ መንግስት የተደነገገ የእስረኛ መብቷ ተገፎ ውዷንና አብሮ አደግ እህቷን ከማየት መከልከላሏን ሰምቻለሁ ። ጋዜጠኛ ተመስገንን በህገ መንግስት የተደነገገ የእስረኛ መብቱ ተፈፎ ለ40 ቀናት በዘመደ አዝማድ ፣ በሃይማኖት አባትና በሃኪም እንዳይጠየቅ የተደረገበትን ሁኔታ ተመልክተን አዝነናል ። የተመስገን እናት እንባ ፣ ምግብ ሊያቀብል ሄዶ ድንደባ የደረሰበት ወንድም የመብት ገፈፋ ተጠቃሸ ነው ።
በመሰዊያው ላይ ያሉት …

የጸሃፍቱ ፣ፖለቲከኞቹና አማኞቹ ቤተሰቦች

ኑሯቸው ወህኒ ለማድረግ የተገደዱት ፖለቲከኛው የአብዷለም ፣ የሃብታሙና የየሽዋስ አሰፋ ፣ የእስልምና መፍትሄ አፈላላጊ ኮሚቴ አባላት ፣ ጸሃፊ ሃያሲው አብርሃም ደስታ ፣ የዞን ዘጠኝ ጦማርያን እና በስም ያልጠቀስኳቸው ሁሉም “ወንጀላችን በህገ መንግስቱ የተሰጠንን መብት ተጠቅመን ፣ እምነታችን ባራመድን ፣ ለሃገራችን ያለንን ህልም በመናገር በመጻፋችን ነው ” ሲሉ ፍትህን አጥብቀው ይጠይቃሉ። በሰላማዊው ተቃውሞ መስመር እንጅ ጦር ሰብቀው የማናውቃቸው በመሰዊያው ላይ ያሉት ወንደም እህቶች ሁሉ ቤተሰቦች ህመም ዘልቆ ቢያምም የመሰዊያው ያቃጠላቸው ልጆቻቸው እየደረሰ ያለው ያህል የሚያም ነገር የለም ፣ ሊሰሙት ሊያዩም ይከብዳል !

እናም ” አንድነት ዘመነ ነው !” ስሙ ያሉኝ ብላቴና የአባት ስስት ፣ ጭንቅ አሳምሮ የሚያሳየው ተናጋሪ ፎቶ ነፍሴን ጨምድዷት ለህመሜ ማስታገሻ ብዕር አንስቸ ስንኝ ስቋጥር ልቤ እየደማ ነበር ።
አይዞህ ወንድም አለም !:

የብላቴናው አባት ታሳሪ ማነው ?

ይህንን ለማጣራት ባደረግኩት ሙከራ ምላሽ የሰጠኝ አንደ ወዳጀ ስለታሳሪው ሃገር ወዳድ ፖለቲከኛ እንዲህ ብሎኛል … “ዘመነ ምህረት በምርጫ ቦርድ የፈርሠው መኢአድ ሠሜን ቀጠና ሃላፊ እና በማክሠኝት 2ኛ ደረጃ ት.ቤት መምህር ነበር:: ምርጫ ቦርድ ድርጅቱን ለነ አበበው መሐሪ ሊሠጥ ጥቂት ቀናት ሢቀሩት ጎንደር ጥምቀት ላይ ችግር ልትፈጥሩ ነበር ተብለው የጥምቀት እለት በደህንነት ተይዞ ከዚያን ጊዜ ጃምሮ በማእከላዊ ይገኛል:: አሁን ላይ የሽብርተኛ ክሥ ተመሥርቶበት ቤተሠቦቹ ልጁን ይዘውት መጥተው ነው:: ልጁንያመጡት የዘመነ አባት አቶ ምህረት እና ባለቤቱ ናቸው:: ሌላው አሣዛኙ ነገር ግን ይህ ልጅ ከአሁን በሁዋላ ችግር ለይ መወደቁ.ነው ንክንያቱም የዘመነ ቤተሠቦች የሚተዳደሩት በዘመን ደመወዝ ነበር:: ለቤተሠቦቹ ገቢ ማሠባሠብ ካልተቻለ ሌላው ቀርቶ ይህ ህጻን ጎዳና ላይ ላለመውደቁ ዋሥትንና የለም። ዘመነ ቆራጥ ታጋይ መሆኑን ለማወቅ ልጁን ለምን አንድነት ብሎ እንደሠየመው ማወቅ ብቻ በቂ ነው:: ” ይላል ስለ መምህር ዘመነ ምህረትና ስለ ብላቴናው ልጁ አንድነት ዘመነ መረጃ ታቀበለኝ ወዳጀ …

ኢትዮጵያን ብለው የግንባር ስጋ የሚሆኑትና የሆኑት ወገኖች አስታወስኩና በደላቸው አልያዝህ ቢለኝ ከእነሱ አልፎ በወላጅ እናት አባት ፣ በእህት ወንድም በልጆች ፣ በዘመድ አዝማድና በጓደኞች የሚደርሰው ፈተና ዘለቆ ቢሰማኝ ” ዛሬዋ ኢትዮጵያችን እንዲህ ናት !” ነገ የመንጋቱን ተስፋ ላጽናና በሚል በውል ለማይሰማኝ ብላቴና አንድነት ጭንቅ መታሰቢያ ይዞህ ወንድም አለም ስል ይህችንም ወግ ግጥሟንም ቆጣጠርኩ …!
እስኪ ቸር ያሰማን !

መጋቢት 3 ቀን 2007 ዓም

posted by Daniel tesfaye

The Poison of Ethnic Federalism in Ethiopia’s Body Politic


Alemayehu G Mariam

ethnic federalismThe Thugtatorship of the Tigrean Peoples Liberation (T-TPLF) adopted its fabricated constitution for Ethiopia on December 8, 1994.

The Preamble to that constitution declares, “We the Nations, Nationalities and People of Ethiopia…” have written the constitution to 1) “secure the right to self-determination” for “people of the nations and nationalities”, 2) ensure the territorial insularity (separateness) of the “people of the nations and nationalities” so that they can “live with our rich and proud cultural legacies” 3) “rectify historically unjust relationships”, and  4) facilitate “liv[ing] as one economic community”.

In contrast, the American Constitution in its Preamble declares, “We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”

The T-TPLF constitution is designed to create a perpetual disunion, among the Ethiopian people by dividing and corralling them like cattle into insular “nations and nationalities”. By corralling the people of Ethiopia into communal, linguistic, cultural and regional groups, the T-TPLF put a constitutional scheme in place that would permanently and irreversibly destroy the social glue of tolerance, harmony and understanding that has kept them united as a people for millennia.

The T-TPLF constitution is designed to destroy the very idea of one Ethiopian nation, one Ethiopian people. It is founded on the quintessential doctrine that there is no “Ethiopian Nation”. There is no “Ethiopian People.” There is no “Ethiopian culture”. There is no “Ethiopian history.” There is no “Ethiopian national identity.” There is no “Ethiopian flag” as a symbol of national identity. There is no “Ethiopian Dream”. There is no Ethiopia! There is only a collection of “nations and nationalities”,  trapped in an arbitrary geographic territory known to international law as “Ethiopia”, just waiting, yearning and itching to breakup into tribal chieftaincies and principalities.  There is only a make believe confederation of “nations and nationalities” in a mythical land called “Ethiopia”.

The American Constitution aspired to forge the people of the 13 colonies-cum-states into one “people of the United States” and make them one people, one nation.  The American Constitution was designed to bring together in a single national political entity the “People” of the 13 states and provide them a road map to “form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to [them]selves and [their] posterity.” The “united states” of America” started out very disunited following their war of independence from British colonial rule. They had major historical grievances against their former British colonial masters. Their historical grievances became the glue that held them together and compelled them to draft their very first constitution, the Articles of Confederation. They ended up creating a toothless national government believing that their newly-created national government would perpetuate the historical grievances of their colonial masters. In 1787, they resolved to form the “United States of America” so that they could address their historical grievances once and for all.

The T-TPLF constitution self-proclaims to be a weapon for “rectifying historical injustices”. It arms the  “nations and nationalities” with the nuclear option of “self-determination” for the “rectification” of  perceived historical injustices. The “nations and nationalities” are each given the switch box for their own nuclear weapon of mass destruction and literally blow up themselves and the entire country into smithereens.

To read the rest of the commentary, CLICK HERE

posted by Daniel tesfaye

የነዘላለም ወርቃገኘሁ የክስ መዝገብ – አዘጋጅ Zone 9

Mars 7,2015

አብርሃም ሰለሞን የ25 ዓመት ወጣት ነው፡፡ ያሳደገው ኢሕአዴግ ራሱ (ወይም ዘመነ መንግስቱ) ነው፡፡ በቤተልሄም የመጀመሪያ ሁለተኛ ደረጃ ት/ቤት የ IT መምህር ነበር፡፡ በትምህርት ቤቱ መልካም ዝና ነበረው፡፡ በ2006 በአዲስ አበባ ከተማ በተደረገ ውድድር ላይ ይዞ በቀረበው የመምህራን ዳታ ቤዝ እና የመማሪያ ማኑዋል ዝግጅትን አሸናፊ መሆን ከቻሉ ሦስት ወጣቶች አንዱ ለመሆን በቅቷል፡፡ ጥቅምት 16/2007 – በጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሩ ሸላሚነት ሲካሄድ በነበረው የሳይንስና ቴክኖሎጂ ፈጠራዎች የሽልማት ሥነ ስርዓት ላይ ከ9ኛ እስከ 12ኛ ክፍል ያሉ ተማሪዎችን IT ለማስተማር የሚረዳ የዴስክቶፕ ሶፍትዌር እና የሞባይል አፕልኬሽን በማዘጋጀት የሜዳልያ ተሸላሚ ተብሎ ተመዝግቧል፡፡ ይሁን እንጂ የዘንድሮውን የስራውን ውጤት በአካል ተገኝቶ ሰርተፍኬቱንም፣ ሜዳልያውንም መቀበል አልቻለም፤ በእሱ ፈንታ እናቱ በውክልና ተቀብለውታል፡፡ ምክንያቱም እሱ በሽብር ወንጀል ተጠርጥሮ ቂሊንጦ ማቆያ ቤት ይገኛል፡፡
አብርሃምን ስለ አገሪቱ የወደፊት ተስፋ ሰጪ ስራ ሰርተሃል ብሎ በቀኝ እጁ የጨበጠው መንግስት፣ በግራ እጁ ደግሞ ለአገሪቱ የወደፊት ተስፋ አደገኛ አሸባሪ ነህ ይለዋል፡፡

ከግራ ወደቀኝ አብርሃ ደስታ፣ የሺዋስ አሰፋ፣ ዳንኤል ሺበሺ፣ ዘላለም ወርቃገኘሁ፣ ሀብታሙ አያሌው እና አብርሃም ሰለሞን፡፡ “የማይተዋወቁ ግብረ – አበሮች”

በሽብር የሚከሰሱ ሰዎች ከማያውቋቸው ሰዎች ጋር በአንድ መዝገብ (እንደ ግብረ አበር) የሚታሰሩበት አሰራር የተለመደ ሆኗል፡፡ ለዚህ አንዱ ማሳያ የነዘላለም ወርቅአገኘሁ መዝገብ በመባል የሚታወቀው (መዝገብ ቁጥር 166/07) አንዱ ነው፡፡ በዚህ መዝገብ አራት የተለያዩ ፓርቲ አባላት እና ሌሎች 6 ተጠርጣሪዎች ተከስሰዋል፡፡ የመጀመሪያዎቹ 5 ተከሳሾች (ዘላለም ወርቅአገኘሁ፣ሀብታሙ አያሌው፣ ዳንኤል ሺበሺ፣ አብርሃ ደስታ እና የሺዋስ አሰፋ) በፀረ- ሽብርተኝነት አዋጁ አንቀፅ 4 ሲከሰሱ፣ ቀሪዎቹ አምስቱ (ዮናታን ወልዴ፣ አብርሃም ሰለሞን፣ ሰለሞን ግርማ፣ ባህሩ ዳኑ፣ እና ተስፋዬ ተፈራ) በአንቀፅ 7/1 እና 9ኛ ተከሳሽ (ባህሩ ዳጉ) በሌላ ክስ በወንጀለኛ መቅጫው 288/1 መሰረት ከመከላከያ ሰራዊቱ በመኮብለል ተከስሰዋል፡፡ እነዚህ ሰዎች ክሳቸው በአንድ መዝገብ ታጭቀው ቢመጡም ባብዛኛው እርስ በርስ አይተዋወቁም፤ በጋራ የሰሩት ስራም የለም፡፡
በፌስቡክ እንቅስቃሴው በስፋት የሚታወቀው እና የአረና ትግራይ ፓርቲ አመራር አባል የነበረው አብርሃ ደስታ ለምሳሌ የአንድነት ፓርቲ አመራር አባል ከሆነው ሀብታሙ አያሌው በቀር የሌሎቹን ስም እንኳን አብረው ከመከሰሳቸው በፊት አለመስማቱን ይናገራል፡፡ ተሸላሚው አብረሃም ሰለሞንም ከተከሳሾች የሚያውቀው ዘላለምን ብቻ ነው፡፡ ‹‹እሱንም›› ይላል አብርሃም ‹‹በ2006 አንድም ቀን አግኝቼው አላውቅም››፡፡ ከተከሳሾች መካከል ብዙ ሰው ያውቃል የተባለለት 1ኛው ተከሳሽ ዘላለም እንኳን የሚያውቀው ሦስቱን ብቻ ነው – ዮናታን፣ አብርሃምን እና ባሕሩን ብቻ፡፡
“በስልክ የማውራት አሸባሪነት”
በሽብር የተከሰሱ ሰዎች ላይ በተደጋጋሚ እና በተለይ ከሚቀርቡ የማስረጃ ዓይነቶች አንዱ የስልክ ግንኙነት ነው፡፡ ከላይ በጠቀስነው መዝገብ ውስጥ ብቻ ክስ ሆነው የቀረቡትን የስልክ ግንኙነቶች እንመልከት፡-
1ኛ ተከሳሽ ዘላለም ወርቃገኘሁ፣ ‹‹በ 2000 ተድላ ደስታ ከተባለ የሽብር ድርጅቱ አባልና አመራር ጋር በስልክ እና በፌስቡክ›› በማውራት
2ኛ ተከሳሽ ሀብታሙ አያሌው ‹‹ዘመኑ ካሴ ከተባለ የግንቦት ሰባት ታጣቂ›› ጋር በጥር 14/2005 በስልክ በማውራት፤
3ኛ ተከሳሽ ዳንኤል ሺበሺ ‹‹የግንቦት ሰባት አመራር ከሆነው ፋሲል የኔ አለም ›› ጋር በየካቲት 29/2003 በስልክ በማውራት፤
4ኛ ተከሳሽ አብርሃ ደስታ ‹‹የደ.ም.ሕ.ት. አመራር ከሆነው ጎይቶም በርሄ ›› ጋር ጥር 3/2006 በስልክ በማውራት፤
5ኛ ተከሳሽ የሺዋስ አሰፋ ‹‹የግንቦት ሰባት አመራር ከሆነው ፋሲል የኔአለም›› ጋር ጥቅምት 14/2006 በስልክ በማውራት፤
10ኛ ተከሳሽ ተስፋዬ ተፈሪ፣ የግንቦት ሰባት ክንፍ ከሆነው የአ.ዴ.ኃ.ን አባል ጋር ሕዳር 2003 በስልክ በማውራት፤
እነዚህ የስልክ ግንኙነቶች ያለሌላ ተጨማሪ ማስረጃ በብቸኝነት የክስ መመስረቻ መሆናቸው ደግሞ ክሱን ተአማኒነት ያሳጡታል፡፡ ዜጎች የስልክ ግኑኝነቶችን በሙሉ እንዲፈሩም ያደርጋቸዋል፡፡ በሽብርተኝነት በተጠረጠሩ ድርጅቶች ውስጥ በዐቃቤ ሕጉ ቃል ብቻ አባል ናቸው የተባሉ ሰዎች ስለደወሉለት ብቻ የተደወለለት ሰው ‹‹አሸባሪ›› ተብሎ ይከሰሳል፡፡ ፈቅዶ ባልተደወለለት ስልክ ወንጀለኛ ነህ የሚባልበት አሰራር ከኢትዮጵያ ውጪ ያለ አይመስልም፡፡ አንዳንዶቹ የስልክ ጥሪዎች የተደረጉት ‹‹ሽብርተኛ ናቸው›› በተባሉ ድርጅቶች ውስጥ ባሉ እና በሚታወቁ ግለሰቦች ሳይሆን የአቃቤ ህግ ቃል ብቻ ያልሆነውን ነው ብሎ ስላቀረበ ነው፡፡ በዚህ መንገድ የተፈረደባቸው ብዙ ናቸው፡፡ ሳይፈረድባቸው ራሳቸውን ለመከላከል ማረሚያ ቤት እንዲቆዩ የተደረጉትም የዚያኑ ያክል ናቸው፡፡ በ2000 የፀረ ሽብርተኝነቱ አዋጅ አልወጣም ነበር፤ ሽብርተኛ የተባሉ ድርጅቶችም አልነበሩም፡፡ ክሱ ላይ ግን በዚያ ወቅት የተደረገ የስልክ ግንኙነት ተጠቅሷል፡፡
በሁሉም የሽብር ክሶች ውስጥ copy/paste የተደረገች ውንጀላ አለች፤ ‹‹ራሱን [እከሌ ]ብሎ ከሚጠራው አሸባሪ ቡድን ግንኙነት በመፍጠርና ተልእኮ በመቀበል ሕገ-መንግስታዊ ስርዓቱን በኃይል ለመናድ በማሰብ . . . ‹‹የምትል ነች፡፡ ይህች ቃል ዐቃቤ ሕግ በተጠርጣሪዎች ላይ ምንም ዓይነት ድርጊት ሳይጠቅስ የሚያስቀጣበት ውንጀላ ነች፡፡ በዚሁ በነዘላለም መዝገብም ላይ በተደጋጋሚ ተጠቅሳለች፡፡ በስልክ አንድ ሰው ጋር ያወራሉ ከዚያ ተልእኮ ይቀበላሉ፡፡ ሽብር ማለት በቃ ይኽው ነው፡፡
“ሥልጠናዎች ሁሉ ሽብር ናቸው”
በነዘላለም መዝገብ ከተከሰሱት ውስጥ 6ኛ እና 9ኛ ተከሳሽ(ዮናታን እና ባሕሩ) ክስ ላይ የተጠቀሰ ነገር አለ፡፡ይኸውም ‹‹ በመንግስት ላይ ያሉ ችግሮችን ለሕዝብ በተለያዩ የኢንተርኔትና የማህበራዊ ድህረ – ገፆች ላይ በመፃፍ ለግል ሚዲያዎች ግብአት የመስጠት ሥራ የሚሰሩ ቡድኖች አሉ፡፡ ለዚሁ ተግባር ተብሎ የወሰዱትን የኢንተርኔት አጠቃቀም፣ ኮሙኒኬሽን ስኪል እና ሊደርሺፕ በመሰልጠን ተጠቅመዋል እናንተስ እንዲህ አይነት ስልጠና አትፈልጉም ወይ?›› በሚል አንደኛ ተከሳሽ ለሁለቱ ተከሳሾች ቀርበዋል የተባሉት ጥያቄዎች ወንጀል ተብለው ተፅፈዋል፡፡ ‹‹ሠልጥነዋል›› ተብለው በምሳሌው የተጠቀሱት ‹‹ቡድኖች›› ዞን ዘጠኞች መሆናቸው በሌላ ማስረጃ ተጠቅሷል፡፡ሥልጠናውን ዐቃቤ ሕግ 9ኛ ተከሳሽ ላይ ሲጠቅሰው መጀመሪያ ‹‹ተመሳሳይ ሥልጠና ለተመሳሳይ አላማ ›› ይልና ዝቅ ብሎ ‹‹የሽብር ድርጅቱን ተልዕኮ ለመፈፀም እንዲረዳቸው ባዘጋጁት ስልጠና ›› ይላል፡፡ የመንግስታችን ችግሮች መፃፍ ፣ ወይም ለመፃፍ መሰልጠን በምን መሥፈርት አሸባሪነት ተባለ?
“አብርሃም ሰለሞንን ማን መለመለው?”
የክስ መዝገቡ መጀመሪያ ላይ ‹‹[አብርሃም ሰለሞን] በ1ኛ ተከሳሽ [ዘላለም] አማካኝነት ለሽብር ድርጅቱ በአባልነት ተመልምሎ . . . ›› ይላል፡፡ አንድ አንቀፅ ዝቅ ብሎ ደግሞ ‹‹[አብርሃምን] በአባልነት የመለመለው አንደኛ የአቃቤ ሕግ ምስክር [እዮብ] አማካኝነት . . . ›› ይላል፡፡ አብርሃምን የመለመለው ዘላለም ወይስ እዮብ? (ብቸኛው የዐቃቤ ሕግ ምስክር) መልምሏል የተባለው አብርሃምን ብቻ አይደለም፡፡ 8ተኛ ተከሳሽ ሰለሞን ግርማንም ጭምር እንጂ፡፡ እዮብ ሰለሞንን ሲመለምል ተናግሯል የተባለው ይህንን ነው፤
‹‹ኤርትራ ሀገር ግንቦት ሰባት የተባለ ጥሩ ድርጅት አለ፡፡ ወታደራዊ እና ፖለቲካዊ ሥልጠና ሠልጥነህ ከድርጅቱ ጋር ከተቀላቀልክ በኋላ ግንቦት ሰባት የሚሰጥህን ተልዕኮ ተቀብለህ ከኢትዮጵያ መንግስት ጋር እንዋጋለን፡፡ የኢትዮጵያ መንግስት ሕዝቡን በኃይል እየገዛ ነው ስለዚህ ታግለን መጣል አለብን፡፡ ››
የዐቃቤ ሕግ ምስክሮች ከተጠርጣሪዎች ጋር ታስረው ቆይተው ኋላ ላይ ምስክር ለመሆን ሲስማሙ መለቀቃቸው የተለመደ ነው፡፡ የፀረ ሽብር ሕጉ ሽብርን ለማጋለጥ ለተባበረ ርሕራሔው ይኼን ይመስላል፡፡ ነገር ግን ክፍተት አለው፡፡ ተጠርጣሪዎች በአባሪዎቻቸው ወይም ሌሎች ላይ መስክረው መፈታት እንደሚችሉ ቃል ሲገባላቸው በሐሰትም ቢሆን ለማድረግ የሚስማሙበት ዕድል አለ፡፡ በዚህ መንገድ መልማዩ ምስክር ሆኖ የሚቀርብበት ተመልማዩ ላይ ይሆናል፡፡
በዚህ ዓይነት መንግስት ያልወደደውን ፖለቲከኛ (ዜጋ) ስልክ ሲደወል ደዋዩ አሸባሪ ነው በማለት፣ ወይም የራሱን ሰው ልኮ በማባበል ለ‹‹ሽብር›› መልምሎ ሲያበቃ መልማዩን ምስክር ተመልማዩን ተከሳሽ ለማድረግ ወይም ደግሞ በስጋት ሰብስቦ ካሰራቸው ሰዎች መሃከል ለነፍሳቸው ግድ የሌላቸው የሃሰት መስካሪዎችን እያሰለጠነ እየፈረደ ሊኖር ይሆን?!

posted by Daniel tesfaye

Oldest known jawbone from human genus found in Ethiopia – CNN


This image provided by William Kimbel shows different views of the LD 350-1 mandible.

By Laura Smith-Spark, CNN
March 5, 2015

(CNN)With the discovery of a gray, fossilized jawbone in a remote corner of Ethiopia, a student at Arizona State University may have changed our understanding of our earliest ancestors.

The partial lower jaw is the oldest known fossil evidence of the genus Homo, to which modern day humans belong, according to a study published Wednesday in the journal Science.

The jawbone has been dated to 2.8 million years ago — which predates the previously known fossils of the Homo lineage by approximately 400,000 years, according to Arizona State University.

Chalachew Seyoum, a graduate student from Ethiopia, came across the fossil — the left side of a lower jaw with five teeth — while on a field expedition in the Afar region of eastern Ethiopia in 2013.

“Honestly, it was an exciting moment,” Seyoum said, according to a news release from the university.

“I had good experience in field surveying and knew where potential sediments are. I climbed up a little plateau and found this specimen right on the edge of the hill.”

The age of the fossil means it could help fill in an important gap in our knowledge.

It also means the Homo genus could have evolved nearly half a million years earlier than previously thought.

Researchers have previously found fossil remains dating back 3 million years or more, such as the skeleton of “Lucy,” the famous 3.2 million-year-old remains of the species Australopithecus afarensis. Those remains were found in 1974 not far from the site of the latest discovery.

Scientists have also found fossils that are 2.3 million years old and younger, which are in the genus Homo and are closer to modern day humans.

But until now there has been little fossil evidence from the 700,000 years in between — a crucial period in the evolution from hominids like Lucy to the Homo genus.

“The importance of the specimen is that it adds a data point to a period of time in our ancestry in which we have very little information,” said William H. Kimbel, director of ASU’s Institute of Human Origins, in the university’s news release.

“This is a little piece of the puzzle that opens the door to new types of questions and field investigations that we can go after to try to find additional evidence to fill in this poorly known time period.”

The jawbone, found in the Ledi-Geraru area of the Afar region, combines features seen in Australopithecus afarensis with those seen in later specimens of the Homo genus, according to the study.

Professor Kaye Reed, of Arizona State University, said the discovery was the result of years of searching in the area.

Surveying began in 2002, she said, but researchers only began to pick up fossils in the area where the jawbone was found in 2012, having realized the sediments there were old enough to yield Australopithecus afarensis specimens.

“Instead, we were rewarded with a much more exciting discovery,” she said.

Already the team has been able to establish that this early human ancestor walked on two legs and lived in a dry, arid climate, Reed said. Researchers are still working to determine what it ate and whether it used stone tools.

“It’s an excellent case of a transitional fossil in a critical time period in human evolution,” said Kimbel.

posted by daniel tesfaye

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