FREEDOM 4 ALL ETHIOPIANS

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

Archive for the month “May, 2015”

Ethiopian Election: Aaargh! T-TPLF “Wins” Again!

May 25, 2015

by Alemayehu G. Mariam

Congratulations are in order to the T-TPLF for winning a hard fought thuglection!

“Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason.”

But not in T-TPLF’s Ethiopia!

Poor Ethiopia is condemned to wear the Thugtatorship of the Tigrean People Liberation Front (T-TPLF) diaper for five more years, for a total of 25. That is a quarter of a century. Talk about a country with a super-duper streak of BAD LUCK.TPLF logo

Well!! First things first.  I should like to think myself a gentleman, a scholar, and an officer, of the court, that is. Even victors of rigged and phony elections deserve obligatory profession of homage.

Naturally, it is a matter of noblesse oblige for me. I should react with magnanimity and discreet charm in acknowledging T-TPLF’s crushing “election victory.”

Well!! Congraaaatulations T-TPLF! (Of course, I congratulated the T-TPLF last year for winning the election today. I have done it several times over the past few months.) Still, what must be said must be said.

Congratulations, T-TPLF for a flawlessly rigged election. Way to go T-TPLF for putting on an exquisitely whitewashed election.   Hip hip hooray for conducting the best thuglection anywhere in the second decade of the Century!

Kudos! T-TPLF. You have “won”. I mean your “thuglection”. Obviously, not the hearts and minds of the Ethiopian people. That you will never win. Just like you will never, never win their respect, admiration or gratitude. Not in a thousand years! Deal with it!

How did the T-TPLF manage to exact such a crushing “victory”?

That’s not exactly ancient Chinese secret.

Perhaps I will take that back. I am sure the Chinese have taught the T-TPLF a thing or two about hijacking (thug-jacking an election, another one of my new word contributions to the English language) an election.

In the 2007-08 National Peoples Congress election, the Communist Party of China won 100 percent of the 2,987 seats.

In 2010, the T-TPLF missed winning 100 percent of the 547 seats in “parliament” by 2 seats. The T-TPLF won 99.6 percent, missed it by a doggone measly four-tenths of one percent.

How did the T-TPLF do it in 2010, and again in 2015?

Here is the secret to T-TPLF’s thuglection winning streak:

The T-TPLF “won” by exchanging “votes” for cash. Straight up!

The T-TPLF traded “votes” for seeds, fertilizer and welfare payments.

The T-TPLF used US aid (also known as “hard earned American tax dollars”) to round up “votes”.

The T-TPLF used a racket called Protection of Basic Services (welfare payments) money to squeeze “votes”.

The T-TPLF bartered food for “votes” with starving people.

The T-TPLF bought “votes” under the table.

The T-TPLF bribed, intimidated and threatened to get “votes”.

The T-TPLF did a whole lot of wheeling and dealing to get “votes”.

The T-TPLF stole “votes” in broad daylight.

The T-TPLF stuffed ballots to show it got all the “votes”.

The T-TPLF got the dead to rise up just to vote.

The T-TPLF owned and managed the election commission that “monitored” the “votes”.

The T-TPLF assigned its goons at the polling stations to ensure the voters “voted” as they should vote.

The T-TPLF jailed, prosecuted and persecuted its opposition so they will not compete for “votes”.

The T-TPLF thug-terrorized “votes” out of people by pitting one ethnic group against another; one religious group against another. If you don’t vote for the T-TPLF, the “Amhara” will come back. If you don’t vote for the T-TPLF, the “Oromo” will throw you out of Oromia. If you don’t vote for the T-TPLF, the Christians… the Muslims… will… If you don’t vote for the T-TPLF, the sky will fall on your head.

The T-TPLF discounted the “votes”.

The T-TPLF counted more votes than there are voters (not including the dead voters that rose up just to vote.)

Above all else, the T-TPLF counted the “votes”. The T-TPLF counted the votes and decided that though all votes are created equal, some “votes” are more equal than others. The T-TPLF “votes” are more equal than all other votes! One T-TPLF votes equals to thousands of other votes.

So that is the little secret to the T-TPLF’s “free, fair and credible” thuglection winning streak.

Thugs (continue to) rule in Ethiopia!

The T-TPLF has ruled Ethiopia since 1991. Today T-TPLF-ites are dancing in the streets celebrating their crushing “electoral victory”.

They go on marching and chanting, “T-TPLF today! T-TPLF tomorrow! T-TPLF forever!”

Umm! That reminds me of George Wallace. He was the rabidly racist governor of Alabama in the 1960s. He was the one who declared, “Segregation now! Segregation tomorrow! Segregation forever!”

That analogy is not really that farfetched when you think about it. The T-TPLF’s “kililism” is nothing but a modernized version of apartheid “Bantustans”. The only difference is that in apartheid it is all about racial segregation. In “kililism” it all about ethnic segregation. Apartheid was used by the white minority government to divide and rule South Africa by racial segregation. “Kililism” is used by the T-TPLF to divide and rule Ethiopia by ethnic and linguistic segregation. The T-TPLF has practiced ethnic demonization and ethnic cleansing widely, especially against the “Amhara” and the people of Gambella.

The former T-TPLF defense minister a few years ago said, “Kaliti Prison speaks Oromiffa, and 99% of one of the camps housing hundreds of inmates at Kality Prison are Oromo. Many of the detainees don’t know their charges but have counted years as OLF suspects.” Even in prison the T-TPLF practices segregation.

Truth be told, the T-TPLF’s “kililism” is the real-life equivalent of “Jim Crowism” in the old American South. By law, they segregated everything by race. They even segregated drinking fountains. The T-TPLF segregates Ethiopians by their ethnicity and language. It is the law. They call it “nations, nationalities and peoples”. It is a clever scam to keep the people divided, confused and without a national identity.

The T-TPLF expects to keep its grip on power through “elections” today and tomorrow by keeping “kililism” alive. The T-TPLF holds “elections” every five years to rejuvenate “kililism”. There is no T-TPLF without kililism. There is no kililism without the T-TPLF. They are peas in a pod. Such is the deadly cancer that has metastasized in the Ethiopian body politics.

For the T-TPLF, elections are convenient gimmicks to buy time; to prolong their grip on power for one more day; one more week; one more month and one more year.

With the active support and encouragement of the fat cat donors and loaners, the T-TPLF runs election scams and con games.

For the T-TPLF,  “elections” are powerful weapons of mass deception.

For the T-TPLF, elections are also powerful weapons of political destruction. They use elections to decimate the press, the opposition, dissidents, civil society and human rights advocates.

A T-TPLF election is an elaborate illusion stage-managed to hoodwink and bamboozle the people. The loaners and donors are the all-too-willing stage hands. They pull all the strings and levers behind the scenes.

T-TPLF elections are as real as the Easter bunny and Santa Claus

Anyone who believes in the T-TPLF victory today (besides needing to get their heads examined) must also believe in the Easter bunny handing out colored eggs from a basket and Santa Claus flying in his sleigh delivering gifts on Christmas eve.

Is there any reasonable person who believes the T-TPLF won the election today fair and square? Is there anyone who is fooled by the thuglection victory of the T-TPLF ignoramuses?

To believe the people of Ethiopia today voted for T-TPLF representation for another five more years is to believe lambs voted for a cackle of hyenas or pack of wolves to protect them.

A T-TPLF election is like inviting starving people to a cookout. When they show up for the feast, they are handed glossy photos of mouth-watering dishes. They are allowed to look at the photos and salivate and drool all they want, but they will never get to taste the tasty morsels.

Today, May 24, 2015, Ethiopians went to the polling stations dreaming to feast on a banquet of democracy. All they got is a piece of indigestible pulp to drop in the ballot box. They went home with an empty stomach.

The great Bob Marley taught us something about men and women going home on an empty stomach. “Them belly full, but we hungry;/A hungry mob is a angry mob… /Cost of livin’ gets so high,/ Rich and poor they start to cry:/ Now the weak must get strong; /…/ Now the weak must get strong.

Talking about being hungry, Meles Zenawi once said the ultimate test of his accomplishments will be whether his regime is able to ensure Ethiopians had three meals a day. Only T-TPLF members and supporters get three meals a day. Everybody else gets an empty stomach. Today, the test is building the biggest damned dam in all of Africa.

People are starving, the T-TPLF is building dams. Damn, that’s just messed up!

Today, May 24, 2015, the people of Ethiopia are angry because their voice has been stolen in broad daylight. They are also hungry for democracy. There are millions of angry and hungry Ethiopians today sitting and chafing, biding their time.

So, no more crying for them. No more crying for the beloved country. Ethiopians weakened from division and confusion must now unite and get strong and stronger every day because the T-TPLF is getting weaker and weaker every day.

How the T-TPLF looks at its “victory”

The T-TPLF’s core belief is that Ethiopians, other than T-TPLF members and supporters, all ignorant and dumb cowards. That is just a fact. I did not make it up. It is their people who told me.

The T-TPLF’s core philosophy is, “those who are not for us are against us.” They have no regard for the benevolent maxim, “Those who are not against us are for us.”

The T-TPLF practices its belief and philosophy in their own fantasy echo chamber. “The people love us. They adore us. They want us and nobody else.”

In 2010, Meles Zenawi, the late demi-god of the T-TPLF, anticipating (assured of) his triumphant “victory” in which the T-TPLF “won” 99.6 percent of the seats in “parliament”, proclaimed how much love and support he and his gang enjoyed in the population. Meles said:

The preliminary results have shown that the great majority of our people have with great dignity reached a consensus as to who should lead the country in the next five years, in a spirit of freedom and peace…. With great humility, [we] offer our gratitude and appreciation to the voters who have given us their support freely and democratically. We also offer our thanks to the real backbone of our organization, the women of Ethiopia… and youth of Ethiopia for their unwavering support and enthusiasm!… We also thank… the vast majority of the residents of our cities and the farmers of our country who actually consider themselves and the [TPLF doing business as EPDRF] as two sides of a coin…

In a curious remark, Meles pledged to win every last vote of those who did not vote for his party in 2015:

We… understand that there are people who have not voted for us. I would like to state here in no unequivocal manner that we will respect the decision of those who did not vote for us…  I would like to confirm to those who did not vote for us that we will work hard to look into your reasons for not voting for us with the view to learning from them and correcting any shortcomings on our part. We will work day and night to obtain your support in the next election. (Emphasis added.)

Few knew “great majority” and “vast majority” meant 99.6 percent control of the seats. In the T-TPLF’s fantasy echo chamber, a 99.6 percent victory makes perfect sense because the people “love” them. Moammar Gadhafi said the same thing. “They love me. All my people with me, they love me. They will die to protect me, my people.” A few days later, the people showed him how much they loved him. It was not a pretty sight.

Why would the T-TPLF announce a 99.6 percent victory and expect to be believed? There are only two answers: 1) The T-TPLF believes the Ethiopian people are dumber than a box of rocks. 2) The T-TPLF is dumber than a box of rocks to believe the Ethiopian people believe its 99.6 percent “victory”. Take your pick.

By the way, Evelyn Sherman, the T-TPLF’s newest protector, guardian and champion, copped the attitude that Ethiopians are dumb from the T-TPLF. I just don’t understand how dumb must one be to say, “Ethiopia is a young democracy” poised to execute “a free, fair and credible election. Talking about dumb and dumber, somebody needs to tell Evelyn Sherman and her T-TPLF flunkies that the Ethiopian people are not as dumb as they look.

It is funny how Sherman thinks or doesn’t. She says “Ethiopia is a young democracy.” A young democracy being raised by an old and decrepit dictatorship? Do hyenas raise lambs? Do snakes give birth to doves? Can you make new wine by pouring old wine in a new bottle? I just don’t understand how some people think or don’t.

Of course, Sherman is not the only willfully ignorant high level American policy maker to feel free to insult our intelligence and injure our dignity.

Susan Rice, Obama’s National Security advisor did it in her eulogy of Meles Zenawi in 2012. She said, Meles “of course had little patience for fools, or idiots, as he liked to call them.” She was obviously proud to let the “fools and idiots” know how Meles felt about them. She did not say who they were exactly. It is not difficult to decipher who “they” are. It is well-known that Meles had great contempt for many of the very top leaders of the T-TPLF. He had even greater contempt for the Ethiopian people. Those who knew him closely can testify to that.

Meles once said his T-TPLF’s crushing victory was assured except in “pastoral areas” (among nomads?): “There is no village that I know of in the rural areas that did not vote for us.  Expect in the pastoral areas. We stand no chance in those areas. We are not even going to contest elections there.  People there are completely ignorant and not interested. The opposition is completely ignorant so we had the whole field for us alone…” (Emphasis added.)

Imagine that! The High Priest of Ignoramuses calling “pastoral people” and the “opposition “ignorant”. Well, ignorant is as ignorant does, and says.

Anyway, the lesson Meles taught his T-TPLF disciples in 2010 for the 2015 “election” was simple and clear: “Work day and night” to get the support of “those who did not vote for us” in 2010.

Meles has nothing to worry about. In May 2015, the only thing the T-TPLF has to do is take a leisurely cakewalk to a 100 percent victory.

In 2010, only four-tenths (4/10) of one percent did not vote for the T-TPLF. They had shagged, snagged, tagged and bagged the 99.6 percent.

How difficult is it for the T-TPLF to win four-tenths of one percent of the vote in 2015?  As difficult as taking candy from a baby?

Post “Election” Analysis

For the past year (actually for the past 5 years), I have been predicting that the 2015 Ethiopian “election” will prove to be a sham, a travesty of democracy and a mockery and caricature of democratic elections. So, what’s the T-TPLF election song and dance all about?

Fact #1: The May 24, 2015 election has nothing to do with the Ethiopian people, democracy or good governance. 

Ethiopians and others interested in Ethiopian affairs should clearly understand that the May 24, 2015 elections is not about good governance or the welfare and well-being of the Ethiopian people. The “election” has everything to do with the interests and demands of the T-TPLF bankrollers including the U.S., the U.K., the EU, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.

The 2015 election was ordered by the mighty donors and loaners! Everyone should know and accept this fact. The donors and loaners wrote the election script for the T-TPLF a long time ago and handed it to Meles, the Architect-in-Chief.  With the advice and consent of the loaners and donors, the T-TPLF installed a bumbling country bumpkin who gets tongue-tied trying to answer a simple question.

Were it up to the ignorant TPLF thugs, they would just as soon forget about election games and cling to power thug-style, by brute force.

But why would the donors and loaners order an election? For several reasons.

First, they can evade and avoid moral responsibility for supporting a thug regime that arbitrarily jails, tortures, and kills its citizens.  The Obama Administration would have a more difficult time to support the T-TPLF without an election ritual. Last month, Evelyn Sherman, U.S. Undersecretary of State showed up in Addis Ababa to give final instructions on how the T-TPLF is to conduct the “election”. The T-TPLF got the message. That’s why Sherman  declared, “Ethiopia is a democracy that is moving forward in an election that we expect to be free, fair, credible open and inclusive in ways Ethiopia has moved forward in strengthening its democracy every time there is an election. It gets better and better.”

Second, an “election” provides a moral excuse for the donors and loaners to continue pumping and dumping billions of dollars in the T-TPLF black hole where all aid and loans check in but never check out. Of course, the donors and loaners know they are  supporting thugs in designer suits.  Wendy Sherman showered the T-TPLF with praise last month to the point of making some T-TPLF leaders blush. Even some T-TPLF leaders thought Sherman went a bit overboard with her praise.  The Washington Post in thinly-veiled disgust editorialized:  “If the election is not judged by independent observers to live up to Ms. Sherman’s billing, the administration should swallow her words — and change its approach.”

Third, an “election” shields the loaners and donors against criticism from human rights organizations. On April 17, 2015, a day after Wendy Sherman put her foot in her mouth with the “Ethiopia is a young democracy” statement, she faced the wrath of Amnesty International USA, Ethiopia Human Rights Project, Freedom House, Freedom Now, Human Rights Watch and International Rivers in a letter to Secretary John Kerry. They urged “the Department of State to issue a statement on the elections highlighting the systematic deficiencies that will prevent the Ethiopian government from meeting the standards of democratic elections outlined by the African Union.” Not a word from Kerry or Sherman.

Fact #2: Election is a carnival for the T-TPLF

Is it necessary to drag the Ethiopian people thorough a year-long election carnival?

The truth of the matter is that May 24 is when the T-TPLF Brothers Circus comes to town. All of the T-TPLF clowns, acrobats, tightrope walkers, jugglers trained animals, trapeze acts and stunt masters will be out in full force. The ringmasters will slither out of the woodwork and proclaim how “Ethiopia is a young democracy” and how the T-TPLF “won” a hard fought election. The fire breathers will come out and threaten anyone who demonstrates or protests the outcome of the elections. The T-TPLF jugglers will be juggling gibberish about how fair the election is. The contortionists will contort the truth. Of course, the big clown (or is it the marionette, puppet) will grandstand and declare, “The T-TPLF has won.”

It’s fun to go to the circus. The T-TPLF has succeeded in creating a great circus atmosphere. I even got to watch one of the sideshows on TV. The T-TPLF calls it a debate. It wasn’t much of a debate. The Blue Party chairman made breakfast, lunch and dinner of the malaria-researcher-turned-instant-foreign-minister Tedros Adhanom. What about the “political space that has been closed”? What about the “journalists, political activists, civil society leaders that have been sent to jail or forced to leave the country?” What about the fusion of party and government?

Tedros sat there vacant and lost. He did not have much to say that made sense. “We expected the opposition to come up with a plan… blah… blah… blah…” Really, like his bogus Growth and Transformation Plan?

Adhanom was as uncomfortable as a rooster in a pond. Talking about a pond, Adhanom should really go back to the pond and chase mosquitoes. He has no place in politics. Oops! He is the next prime minister?! Touché!

Fact #3: The May 24 “election” in Ethiopia is not an election

They say what is sauce for the goose is good for the gander. Or is it?

Not to the Obama Administration. An election may be an election or not an election depending upon who does the election rigging and stealing. If the SOB who stole the election is not a friend, then it is a stolen election. If the SOB that stole the election is a friend, then a stolen election is not a stolen election. It is just an election that does not meet international standards. That is the Obama African election drama.

When Robert Mugabe “won” his presidential election in August 2013 by 61 percent,

Secretary of State John Kerry sent the following “congratulatory”note condemning Mugabe’s victory:  “Make no mistake: in light of substantial electoral irregularities reported by domestic and regional observers, the United States does not believe that the results announced today represent a credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people…”

Two weeks ago when Omar Hassan al-Bashir claimed reelection in the Sudan by a 94.01 percent and declared that his National Congress Party (NCP) has won 323 of 426 parliamentary seats, the “Troika” (U.S., U.K. and Norway) damned him.  “The Troika regret the Government of Sudan’s failure to create a free, fair, and conducive elections environment. Restrictions on political rights and freedoms, counter to the rights enshrined in the Sudanese Constitution, the lack of a credible national dialogue” make “the outcome of these elections” as being not “a credible expression of the will of the Sudanese people.”

In the next few days, the U.S., U.K., Norway and the rest of the Western donors and loaners will come out single file to pay homage to the great Ethiopian election.

I am going to be really disappointed if the T-TPLF does not win by at least 94.02 percent. They can’t let Bashir beat them. Frankly, if they win by 90 percent or something, I don’t know what I am going to do. That’s just rock bottom. That will make Meles, not roll, spin in his grave. The T-TPLF gang has street creds to keep. I just hope they won’t wimp out and report anything less than 99.7 percent. They gotta keep the winning streak going.

I can’t wait to hear Evelyn Sherman bleating praises to the T-TPLF and how they have strengthened democracy in the “young Ethiopia democracy.” I can imagine her babbling, “The young Ethiopian democracy has won!”  Maybe she is so happy she might sing, “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah, zip-a-dee-ay.  My, oh my, what a wonderful election day in May for the T-TPLF.”

We should all prepare to hear a whole lot of horse feathers (I did not say bull feathers) about the election from menda-duplicitous U.S. diplocrats (a term I coined to describe hyprocrisy-ridden, lyin’-through-the-teeth American and Western diplomats and poverty pimps).

Let them knock themselves out celebrating a scam election. After all, they paid for in cold hard cash. They deserve a little fun for the billions they have dumped on the T-TPLF. It’s only fair.

What happens after the T-TPLF balloons pop and the popped champagne bottles run dry?

It will be business as usual on March 25. That is not to say the T-TPLF is not prepared to deal with any protests. They have their well-armed goons itching to pull the trigger. All it takes is a snap of the fingers to loosen those dogs of war on civilian protesters. Remember 2005. REMEMBER THE MELES MASSACRE!

In the next few days, expect to read a statement along the following lines from the White House and the National Security Council:

We acknowledge the conclusion of Ethiopia’s parliamentary elections on May 24, 2015. We commend the people of Ethiopia for their civic participation and note that the voting proceeded peacefully.

We are concerned there were few international observers and are concerned elections fell short of international commitments. We are disappointed that U.S. Embassy officials were denied accreditation and the opportunity to travel outside of the capital on Election Day to observe the voting.  The limitation of independent observation and the harassment of independent media representatives are deeply troubling.

An environment conducive to free and fair elections was not in place even before Election Day. In recent years, the Ethiopian government has taken steps to restrict political space for the opposition through intimidation and harassment, tighten its control over civil society, and curtail the activities of independent media. We are concerned that these actions have restricted freedom of expression and association and are inconsistent with the Ethiopian government’s human rights obligations.

As voting concludes and the results are announced, we call on all parties to reject violence. We await the final assessments of the electoral process from independent observers, and encourage the government to address in good faith and impartially any concerns and disputes that are raised.

Ethiopia and the United States have a multifaceted relationship and share a number of important interests.  We urge the Ethiopian government to ensure that its citizens are able to enjoy their fundamental rights. We will work diligently with Ethiopia to ensure that strengthened democratic institutions and open political dialogue become a reality for the Ethiopian people.

Expect a statement along the following lines from the U.S. State Department”:

The preliminary results announced by the National Election Board indicate that the ruling party secured an overwhelming victory. It is our assessment that throughout the electoral process, freedom of choice for voters was constrained by the actions and inactions of Ethiopian Government officials, the National Elections Board of Ethiopia, and the ruling political party and its cadres. A number of laws, regulations, and procedures implemented since the previous parliamentary elections in 2005 created a clear and decisive advantage for the ruling party throughout the electoral process.

We have a broad and comprehensive relationship with Ethiopia, but we have expressed our concerns on democracy and governance directly to the government. Measures the Ethiopian Government takes following these elections will influence the future direction of U.S.-Ethiopian relations. It is important that Ethiopia move forward in strengthening its democratic institutions, and when elections are held, that it offer a level playing field to give everyone a free opportunity to participate without fear or favor.

Karl Marx said, “History repeats itself, first as tragedy, second as farce.” Could it also be the other way around? We have seen one more T-TPLF election farce.  What tragedy could be repeated in 2015?

REMEMBER 2005.   REMEMBER THE MELES MASSACRES OF NOVEMBER!

posted by Daniel tesfaye

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ኢህአዴግ ሆይ ነቄ ነን ተቀየስ! (ርዕዮት አለሙ – ከቃልቲ እስርቤት)

May 22, 2015

ርዕዮት አለሙ – ከቃሊቲ እስርቤት

አራት ሆነን ወደምንኖርበት የአሁኑ የማግለያ ክፍል ከመግባቴ በፊት በርካታ እስረኞች በተለምዶ የአራድኛ ቃላት የሚባሉትን በመጠቀም ሲነጋገሩ የመስማት እድል ነበረኝ፡፡ ለርዕሴ የመረጥኳቸው ቃላትንም ያገኘሁት ከነሱው መሆኑን መግለፅ ይኖርብኛል፡፡ ነገሩ እንዲህ ነው፤Reeyot Alemu, the 31 year-2012 Courage in Journalism Award winner.

አንዳንድ እስረኞች የሚፈልጉትን አንዳች ነገር ለማግኘት በጉልበታቸው ወይም ጤፍ በሚቆላ ምላሳቸው ይጠቀማሉ፡፡ ሀይልን በመጠቀም ያስገድዳሉ ወይም ያታልላሉ ማለት ነው፡፡ እንዲህ አይነቶቹ እስረኞች እንደለመዱት ለማድረግ ሲሞክሩ አንዳንዴ ደፋርና የማይታለሉ እስረኞች ላይ ይወድቃሉ፡፡ እናም ለማታለል ወይ ለማስገደድ የሞከረች ባለጌ የሚጠብቃት መልስ “ነቄ ነን እባክሽ! ተቀየሽ! ንኪው!”የሚል ይሆናል፡፡ እኛን ማታለልም ሆነ ማስፈራራት ስለማትችይ ይቅርብሽ፡፡ ዞርበይልን እንደማለት ነው፡፡

ኢህአዴግም እያደረጋቸው ያለው የማታለል ሙከራዎችና ተገቢ ያልሆኑ የሀይል እርምጃዎች ተመሳሳይ ምላሽ ሊያሰጡት እንደሚገባ አምናለሁ፡፡ የዘንድሮውን ምርጫ ለማለፍ ከወትሮው በከፋ ሁኔታ እየሄደባቸው ያሉት እነዚህ ሁለት ጠማማ መንገዶች መጨረሻቸው አውዳሚ ነው፡፡ በመሆኑም “ኢህአዴግ ሆይ ነቄ ነን ተቀየስ!” በማለት እኛና ሀገራችንን ይዞ ወደጥፋት እያደረገ ያለውን ግስጋሴ መግታት ይገባል፡፡

ጠማማ መንገድ አንድ

የፈሪ ዱላውን የመዘዘው ኢህአዴግ

ኢህአዴግ የተቃዉሞ ድምፆችን በሰማበት አቅጣጫ ሁሉ ዱላውን ይዞ የሚሮጥና ያለሀሳብ የፈሪ ምቱን የሚያሳርፍ ደንባራ መሆኑን በተደጋጋሚ በተግባር አይተናል፡፡ በሰሜን አፍሪካ አመፅ ተቀሰቀሰ ሲባል ለአመፅ ምክንያት የሚሆኑ ድክመቶቹንና ጥፋቶቹን ከማስወገድ ይልቅ ነቅተው ሊያነቁብኝ ይችላሉ ብሎ የጠረጠረንን ጋዜጠኞችንና የተቃዋሚ ፓርቲ መሪዎችን ለእስር መዳረጉ ከቅርብ ጊዜ ተዝታዎቻችን ውስጥ ይጠቀሳል፡፡ የሩቁን ብንተወው እንኳ ማለት ነው፡፡

በሀይማኖት ተቋማት ውስጥ እንኳ ሳይቀር ገብቶ ያለአግባብ ያሰራቸው የሙስሊም ሀይማኖት መሪዎችና አማኞች የማደናበሩ ማሳያዎች ናቸው፡፡ ካለፈው አመት ጀምሮ የምርጫውን ዝግጅት ማድረግ የጀመረው እንደለመደው ከሱ የተለየ ሀሳብ የሚያንፀባርቁ ጋዜጦችንና መፅሔቶችን በመዝጋትና፣ ጋዜጠኞችንና ፖለቲከኞችን በማሰርና በመደብደብ ነበር፡፡ በምሳሌነት የዞን ዘጠኝ ጦማሪያንና የሶስቱን ጋዜጠኞች ጉዳይ ማንሳት ይቻላል፡፡

ዘንድሮ ደግሞ ኢህአዴግን በድፍረት በመሄስ የሚታወቀውን ጋዜጠኛ ተመስገን ደሳለኝን ጨምሮ ምርጫ ቦርድን በመጠቀም ያለአግባብ ከፓርቲያቸው እንዲገለሉ ያደረጋቸውን የአንድነት ፓርቲ አባላትን በግፍ ማሰሩን ተያይዞታል፡፡ በተመሰረቱ በአጭር ጊዜ ውስጥ ለኢህአዴግ ፈተና የሆኑበት ደፋሮቹ የሰማያዊ ወጣቶችም የኢህአዴግ ሰለባ እየሆኑ ነው፡፡ የየትኛውም ፓርቲ አባላት ያልሆኑና ቅሬታቸውን በተለያዩ መድረኮች ያሰሙ በርካታ ግለሰቦችም ተመሳሳይ እጣ ገጥሟቸዋል፡፡

ኢህአዴግ ይሄን ሁሉ የፈሪ ዱላውን እያዘነበ የሚገኘው በሚወስዳቸው እርምጃዎች ከተቃዉሞ ድምፆችና እንቅስቃሴ የሚገላገል እየመሰለው ነው፡፡ እንደተሳሳተ ማን ቢነግረው ይሻል ይሆን? የራሱን ዜጎች ማክበር ስለማይሆንለት የአሜሪካ ምክትል የውጭ ጉዳይ ሚኒስትር እንድትነግርልን ብናደርግ ሳይሻል አይቀርም፡፡ ለማንኛውም የሚኒስትሯን ጉዳይ ለጊዜው እንተወውና በሀገራችን ዴሞክራሲ ሰፍኖ ለማየት የቆረጥን እኛ ግን ከትግላችን ለሰከንድም ቢሆን እንደማናፈገፍግና በዚህም ምክንያት የሚደርስብንን ሁሉ ለመቀበል ፍቃደኞች እንደሆንን ልንነግረው ያስፈልጋል፡፡ “ኢህአዴግ ሆይ እየበዛኸው ያለኸው ግፍና በደል ይበልጥ ጠንካሮች ያደርገናል እንጂ አንተ እንደፈለከው አያንበረክከንም ነቄ ነን ተቀየስ” ልንለውና ጥንካሬያችንንም በተግባር ልናሳየው ይገባል ፡፡

ጠማማ መንገድ ሁለት

“አይናችሁን ጨፍኑ ላሞኛቹ” ማለትን የሚወደው ኢህአዴግ

ኢህአዴግ እንደጠቀስኳቸው አይነቶችና ሌሎች የሀይል እርምጃዎችን በአብዛኛው የሚወስደው ሊያሞኛቸው እንደማይችል በተረዳው በነቁ ሰዎች ላይ ነው፡፡ እንዳልነቅ የገመታቸውን ደግሞ እንደጨለመባቸው እንዲቀሩ የሚያደርግ የሚመስለውን የሀሰት ፕሮፓጋንዳ ያዘጋጅላቸዋል፡፡ አንዳንድ ጊዜ ታዲያ ይሄ ግምቱ ግቡን መምታቱ ይቀርና እንደሚያታልላቸው እርግጠኛ በሆነባቸው ዘንድ ሳይቀር መሳቂያ ሲያደርገው ይስተዋላል፡፡ ሌሎቹን ትቼ ለምርጫው ካዘጋጃቸው ማታለያዎቹ ውስጥ እጅግ በጣም ጥቂቶቹን ላንሳ፡፡

2.1 ተቃዋሚዎች አማራጭ የላቸውም፡፡

በተለይ በዘንድሮው ምርጫ ጆሮአችን እስኪያንገሸግሸው ድረስ ኢህአዴግ ሊግተን ከሞከራቸው ሀሳቦች ውስጥ “ተቃዋሚዎች አማራጭ የላቸውም” የሚለው ዋነኛው ነው፡፡ ገዢው ፓርቲ በእውነተኛና ጠንካራ ተቃዋሚዎች ላይ እየፈፀመ ያለውን ደባ የሚያውቅ ሁሉ ይሄ ሀሳብ በውስጡ በርካታ ሴራዎችን የያዘ መሆኑን ይረዳል፡፡ እንዴት ማለት ጥሩ! ኢህአዴግ ሰራኋቸው ብሎ የሚመፃደቅባቸውን ስራዎች በሙሉ ከነድክመቶቻቸውም ቢሆን መስራት የጀመረው ባለፉት አስርት አመታት መሆኑ ይታወቃል፡፡ ዕድሜ ለ1997ዓ.ም የተቃዋሚዎች ድንቅ አማራጭና እንቅስቃሴ! ከዚያ በፊትማ ጥልቅ እንቅልፍ ውስጥ ነበር፡፡ በዚያ የምርጫ ወቅት ከተቃዋሚዎች ጋር ባደገረው ክርክሮች ባዶነቱ የታየበት ኢህአዴግ ራቁቱን ከመሸፈን ይልቅ ተቃዋሚዎችን መግፈፍ መፍትሔ አድርጎ ወሰደ፡፡ ያለፉትን አስር አመታት ሙሉ ጠንካራ አማራጭ ያላቸውንና በሀሳብ የተገዳደሩትን ፓርቲዎች በአንድም ሆነ በሌላ መንገድ የማፍረስ፣መሪዎችን የማሰርና የማሳደድ እርምጃዉን ገፋበት፡፡ በዚህ ድርጊቱም በርካታ ጠንካራ ፖለቲከኞችን ከጫዋታ ዉጪ አደረጋቸው፡፡ ባደረሰባቸው ከባድ ኩርኩም ተቃዋሚዎችን ድንክ እንዳደረጋቸው እርግጠኝነት የተሰማው ገዢው ፓርቲ “ተቃዋሚዎች አማራጭ የላቸውም” ብሎ ለመፎከር በቃ፡፡ ድሮስ በራሱ የማይተማመን ሰው ሁሌም ትልቅ ለመምሰል የሚሞክረው ጠንካሮችን በማስወገድና በደካሞች ራሱን በመክበብ አይደል? የተቃዉሞው ሰፈር በየቀኑ ከኢህአዴግ በሚሰነዘርበት የሀይል ጥቃት ከፍተኛ ጉዳት እንደደረሰበት አያጠያይቅም፡፡ ሆኖም ዛሬም ቢሆን የኢህአዴግ ባለስልጣናት ጉንጫቸው እስኪቀላ ድረስ የሚገዳደሩና መልስ የሚያሳጡ ሰዎች አላጣንም፡፡ የሞኝ ለቅሶ መልሶ መላልሶ እንዲሉ ኢህአዴጎች ግን “ተቃዋሚዎች አማራጭ የላቸውም” የሚለዉን ነጠላ ዜማቸውን ለማቆም አልፈለጉም፡፡ ጠንካራ አማራጭ ያላቸውን ከጎዳናው ላይ በማስወገድ ብቸኛ ባለአማራጭ ሆነው ለመታየት በተግባር የሚያደርጉትን ሙከራ ማጀቢያ ሙዚቃ መሆኑ ነው፡፡ በመሆኑም “ኢህአዴጎች ሆይ ነቄ ነን ተቀነሱ!” ብለን ልናስቆማቸው ይገባል፡፡

2.2 በዕውቀት ላይ የተመሰረተ ምርጫ

ይሄ ምርጫ አልፎ ከመስማት ልገላገላቸው ከምፈልገው ሸፍጥ የተሞላባቸው የኢህአዴግ ፕሮፓጋንዳዎች አንዱ “የምርጫ ቅስቀሳውና ክርክሩ በዕውቀት ላይ የተመሰረተ ምርጫ ለማካሄድ እንደረዳቸው የእንትን ከተማ ነዋሪዎች ገለፁ” የሚለው ይገኝበታል፡፡ አስቀድሜ እንደገለፅኩት ገዢው ፓርቲ ተቃዋሚዎች አማራጭ እንደሌላቸው ደጋግሞ ነግሮናል፡፡ እንግዲህ በዚህ ስሌት መሰረት ከሄድን እየተፎካከሩ ያሉት ባለአማራጭ ኢህአዴግና አማራጭ የሌላቸው ተቃዋሚዎች ናቸው ማለት ነው፡፡ ከውድድሩ ሜዳ ላይ ሊገዳደሩት የሚችሉትን ሁሉ ለማስወገድ የሞከረው ኢህአዴግ በሱ ቤት ብቸኛና ምርጥ ቀስቃሽ የሆነ መስሎታል፡፡ “በዕውቀት ላይ የተመሰረተ ምርጫ” እያለ የሚያደረቁረንም ለዚህ ነው፡፡

አይ ኢህአዴግ! በዕውቀት ላይ የተመሰረተ ምርጫ እንዲካሄድ እንደማይፈልግ ተግባሩ እንደሚመሰከርበት እንኳ አይታየውም፡፡ አንድ ምሳሌ ልጥቀስ፡፡ በገዢው ፓርቲ የሚሽከረከሩ የሚዲያ ተቋማት የተቃዋሚ ፓርቲዎችን የምርጫ ቅስቀሳ ሳያስተናግዱ የቀሩባቸው ግዜያት ነበሩ፡፡ ህገመንግስቱ ገለልተኛ መሆናቸውን የገለፀውን ተቋማት ገለልተኝነት ጥያቄ ውስጥ ያስገባ ይዘት ያለው ቅስቀሳ ነው በሚል፡ አሳዛኝና አስቂኝ ምክንያት! እንደምርጫ ቦርድ፣ ፍርድቤትና የመሳሰሉት ያሉትን ገለልተኛ መሆን የሚገባቸውና በተግባር ግን ሆነው ያልተገኙ ተቋማትን መሞገት እንኳን የማይችል ተቃዋሚ መፈለግ ምን የሚሉት አምባገነንነት ነው? ሁሉም ነገር በአንድ በእርሱ የተበላሸ መስመር እንዲሄድ የሚፈልግና የተለዩ ሀሳቦችን ለማስተናገድ ያልፈቀደ ፓርቲ የሚያካሂደው ምን አይነት በዕውቀት ላይ የተመሰረተ ምርጫ እንደሚሆን አይገባኝም፡፡

ፅድቁ ቀርቶ በወጉ በኮነነኝ እንዲሉ በመጀመሪያ ደረጃ ለውጥ የምንፈልግበት ምክንያት በዋናነት ያን ያህል ምሁራዊ ንድፈሀሳቦችን የሚጠይቅና የተወሳሰበም አይደለም፡፡ ኢህአዴግ ሆይ አይደለህም እንጂ ጎበዝ ተከራካሪ ብትሆን እንኳ እንደሰውና እንደዜጋ የመኖር መብታችንን የገፈፍክ አምባገነን ሆነህ ሳለ አፈጮሌ ስለሆንክ ብቻ እንድታስተዳድር የምንፈልግ ጅሎች መስለንህ ከሆነ ተሳስተሀል፡፡ ነቄ ነን አልንህ እኮ!

2.3 ከ “የህዝቡን ድምፅ መቀበል” እስከ “አስፈላጊው እርምጃ”

የምርጫውን መቅረብ ተከትሎ ኢህአዴግ እየነገረን ያለው ሌላው ጉዳይ የህዝቡን ድምፅ መቀበል እንደሚገባ ነው፡፡ ድምፄ ይከበርልኝ ብሎ አደባባይ የወጣን ህዝብ በመግደል ስልጣኑን በደም ያራዘመው ኢህአዴግ ይሄን ለማለት ምን የሞራል መሰረት አለው? ፈፅሞ ሊኖረው አይችልም፡፡ ነገሩ ወዲህ ነው፡፡ ኢህአዴግ አጭበርብሮም ሆነ በስልጣን ለመሰንበት ማንኛቸውንም ጉዳይ ፈፅሞ ካበቃ በኋላ በምርጫ ቦርድ “አሸናፊነቱ” ሲታወጅለት የህዝቡ ድምፅ እንደሆነ ተቆጥሮ እንዲወሰድለት ይፈልጋል፡፡ ስቴድየም “ድሉን” ምክንያት በማድረግ በሚያዘጋጀው ዝግጅት ላይም “መሾምና መሻር ለሚችለው የህዝቡ ሉአላዊ ስልጣን ” እጅ ለመንሳትም በእጅጉ ቋምጧል፡፡ የአሁኑ ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትሪያችን እንደ ቀድሞው ጠቅላይ ሚኒስትር ኮፍያቸውን አንስተውና ከወገባቸው ዝቅ ብለው ላልመረጣቸው ህዝብ “የእንኳን መረጥከን” ምስጋና ሲያቀርቡ እንደምናይ ለመገመት እደፍራለሁ፡፡ ይሄንን ድርጊት ለማሰናከል የሞከረ ሰው ደግሞ “አስፈላጊዉ እርምጃ” እንደሚወሰድበት አንዴ ኮሚሽነር፣ ሌላ ጊዜ ምክትል ኮሚሽነር ሲያሻው ደግሞ በርካታ ኮማንደሮችን ዋቢ እያደረገ ሰሞኑን ኢብኮ ሊያስጠነቅቀን ሞክሯል፡፡

ከፍተኛ መኮንኖቹም በቂ ትጥቅ እንዳሟሉና ከ2006ዓ.ም ጀምሮ ዝግጅት ሲያደርጉ እንደከረሙ በኩራት ሊነግሩን ሞክረዋል፡፡ ዝግጅታቸው ለእውነተኛ የሀገር ጠላትና አሸባሪ ቢሆን ኖሮ ኩራታቸው ኩራታችን ይሆን ነበር፡፡ ግን ዝግጅታቸው ለኢህአዴግ ተቀናቃኞች መሆኑን በሚገባ ስለምናውቅ ስሜታቸውን ልንጋራቸው አልቻልንም፡፡ ኢብኮ ከመኮንኖቹ ንግግር መሀል እያስገባ ሲያሳየን የነበረው የታጣቂና የትጥቅ ብዛትም የ “አርፋቹ ተቀመጡ” መልዕክትን ያዘለ ነው፡፡ በእኔ በኩል ለውጥ ያለፅናት ሊታሰብ እንደማይችልና ቦግ ድርግም በሚል አይነት ትግል ድል እንደማይገኝ ስለማምን ሁሌም በመስመሬ ላይ ነኝ፡፡ በትግሉ ውስጥ ያሉትን ሁሉ የምመክረውም ይሄንኑ ነው፡፡ ይሄ አቋማችን ህይወታችንን እስከመስጠት የሚያደርስ መስዕዋትነት ሊጠይቀን እንደሚችል አሳምሬ አውቃለሁ፡፡

ለሀገራችንና ለህዝቡ መልካም ለውጥ ለማምጣት እስከሆነ ድረስ ይሁን፡፡ ነገር ግን በትግሉ ውስጥ ያላችሁትን ሁሉ ትግሉን ወደፊት ሊያራምድ ከማይችልና ኢህአዴግን የበለጠ ስልጣን ላይ እንዲደላደል ከሚያደርግ አጉል መስዕዋትነት እንድትቆጠቡ አደራ እላለሁ፡፡ የምታደርጉት እንቅስቃሴ የተጠና፣ የለውጥ ሀይሎችን በሙሉ በአንድነት ያሰባሰበ፣ ቀጣይነት ያለውና በተቻለ መጠን አደጋን የሚቀንስ እንዲሆን ያስፈልጋል፡፡ ይሄንን በማድረግ ትግሉን ሊያስቆም ወይም ደግሞ የጅምላ እስርን ሊፈፅምና ሀገራችንን በደም አበላ ሊነክር የተዘጋጀውን ኢህአዴግ የትኛውም ፍላጎቱ ቢሆን እንዲሳካ ባለመፍቀድ “ነቄ ነን ተቀየስ! ” ልትሉት ይገባል፡፡

በመጨረሻም

ኢህአዴግን “ነቄ ነን ተቀየስ” ልንልባቸው የሚገቡንና ሌሎችንም እንዲነቁበት ማድረግ የሚገባን በርካታ ጉዳዮች ቢኖሩም ያለሁበት ሁኔታ ብዙ ለመፃፍም ሆነ እናንተጋ እንዲደርስ ለማድረግ ፈፅሞ አመቺ አይደለም፡፡ አሁን አሁንማ የምርጫውን መቃረብ አስመልክቶ የሚፈትሹኝ፣ የሚያጅቡኝ ሆነ ቤተሰብ የሚያገናኙኝ በሙሉ የህወሓት ሰዎች ብቻ እንዲሆኑ ተደርጓል፡፡ ራሱን የብሔረሰቦች መብት አስከባሪ አድርጎ የሚያቀርበው ገዢው ፓርቲ ምነው እኔን ለመፈተሽና ለመጠበቅ እንኳ ሌሎቹን ብሔረሰቦች ማመን አቃተው?የፖለቲካ እስረኛ የሆኑ ወገኖችም ላይ ተመሳሳይ ሁኔታ እንደሚፈፀም ይገባኛል፡፡ ኢህአዴግ እንዲህ ከሚያደርግበት በርካታ ምክንያቶች አንዱ ሌላው የህብረተሰብ ክፍል የትግራይ ወገኖቹ ላይ ጥርጣሬና ጥላቻ እንዲያድርበት ለማድረግ እንደሆነ እገነዘባለሁ፡፡ የትግራይ ህዝብ ሌላው ብሔረሰብ በጥሩ አይን አያየኝም የሚል የተሳሳተ ግንዛቤ እንዲኖረውና ሳይወድ በግዱ የህወሓት ባርያ ሆኖ እንዲቀር መሆኑ ነው፡፡ አይ ኢህአዴግ! ፓርቲና ህዝብ መለየት የምንችል ነቄዎች መሆናችንን ረሳኸው እንዴ? የትግራይ ልጆችም ቢሆኑ ሴራህ ገብቷቸው አብረውን እየታገሉህ በመሆናቸውና ያልነቁትንም እያነቁ በመሆናቸው የሚሳካልህ አይመስለኝም፡፡

እንደው እንደው ግን እናንተዬ ከላይ የጠቀስኩት ከፋፋይ ባህርይው ብቻ እንኳን ኢህአዴግን ለመታገል ከበቂም በላይ ምክንያት አይሆንም? ይሆናል እንደምትሉኝ አውቃለሁ፡፡ በመሆኑም ይሄን በዜጎች መሀከል ጥላቻን ለመዝራት የሚሞክር መርዘኛ መንግስት ከትከሻችን ላይ አሽቀንጥሮ ለመጣልና ነፃነታችንን ለማወጅ በአንድ ላይ እንቆም ዘንድ ለኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ጥሪዬን አቀርባለሁ፡፡

ርዕዮት አለሙ ከቃሊቲ እስርቤት

posted by Daniel tesfaye

“ለውድ ኢትዮጵያውያን ወገኖቼ” ከአንዳርጋቸው ጽጌ እህት (ወ/ሮ ብዙአየሁ ፅጌ)

May 20, 2015

ይድረስ ለኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ በኢትዮጵያ ውስጥም ሆነ ከኢትዮጵያ ውጭ እንዳሸዋ ተበትናችሁ የምትገኙ ወገኖቼ እኔ የተጎዳሁትን ያህል እናንተም የተጎዳችሁ መሆናችሁን በተለያዩ ሀገሮች በተደረጉ ሰልፎች ፤ የዉይይት መድረኮች ላይ በንዴት፤ በቁጭት እና በእልኸኝነት በእንባ ስትራጩ በመሃላችሁ ተገኝቼ ያየኻችሁ ሲሆን ይህም በጣም በኢትዮጵያዊነቴ እንድኮራ አድርጎኛል። አንዳርጋቸውም በወያኔ የጨለማ እስር ቤት እየከፈለ ያለውን መከራና መስዋትነት የትም እንዳልወደቀና እንዳልቀረ በማሰብ እጽናናለው።Letter from Andargachew Tige’s sister

ዛሬ አንዳርጋቸው ፅጌ በመላው ኢትዮጵያዊያን ዘንድ  “የኢትዮጵያ የቁርጥ ቀን ልጅ“፤ “የኢትዮጵያ ልዩ አፈር“፤ “የኢትዮጵያ የበኩር ልጅ ” ወዘተ…. የሚሉ መገለጫዎችን እና መጠሪያዎችን የተጎናፅፈው ታናሽ ወንድሜ አንዳርጋቸው ፅጌ በእኔ እይታ ደግሞ የቤተሰባችን ልዩ ልጅ ነው።

አንዳርጋቸው የቤተሰባችን የመጀመረያ ወንድ ልጅ ስለነበረ ብርቅዬ መሆን  የጀመረው የካቲት 1 ቀን 1947 ዓ.ም አዲስ አበባ በሚገኘው ቀዳማዊ  ኃይለ ስላሴ ሆስፒታል ከእናታችን ከወ/ሮ አልታዬ ተሰማ  ሮቢ እና ከአባታችን ከአቶ ፅጌ  ሀብተማርያም ጨሜሳ ከተወለደ ቀን ጀምሮ ነው።

አንዳርጋቸው ለወላጅ አባታችን እና እናታችን፤ ለአያቶቻችን እና ለቅድመ አያቶቶቻችን ፤ ለእህቶቻን እና ለወንድሞቻችን ፤ ለዘመድ አዝማድ፤ ለአብሮ አደግ ጓደኞቹ በአጠቃላይ በአካባቢው ለነበሩት ዘመድ እና ወዳጅ ሁሉ ትልቅ እና ትንሽ ፤ ሐብታም እና ደሃ ፤ ወንድ እና ሴት ሳይል እንዲሁም በትምህርት ቤት አክብሮት እና ትህትና ሲያሳይ የኖረ ነው። የአንዳርጋቸው ሌላው ትልቁ እና አስገራሚው ስጦታዉ ወደር የማይገኝለት ትግስቱ ነው።

በቅርበት ከነበርው  አካባቢው ሰፋ ባለው ክልል ወስጥም ቢሆን አንዳርጋቸው ስለ ሀገሩ እና ስለኢትዮጵያ ህዝብ ክብር እና ደህንነት የነበርው የተቆርቋሪነት ስሜት ገና የአንደኛ ደርጃ ትምህርት ቤት ተማሪ ከነበረበት ዘመን የጀመረ ነበር። ለዚህም ነው ዛሬ “ለአንቺነው ነው ሀገሬ ” የሚል ግጥም ለገጠመላት የልጅነት ፍቅረኛው “ኢትዮጵያ” ሲል ልጆቹን ቤተሰቡን እና ጓደኞቹን ጥሎ የሀገርን ጥቅም እየነገደ  የቡድን ምቾትን እና ሀብትን በማካበት ላይ የሚገኘውን  የዘረኛ ባንዳ ወያኔ መንግስት በቁርጠኝነት ለመታገል የተነሳው።

አንዳርጋቸው  አገሩን  በበጎውም በክፉም ዘመን የሚያውቃት የ1960ቹ ትውልድ አካል በመሆኑ ነው፡ በዚህም በዚያም የተነሳ ይችን አገር ለማዳን የመጨርሻው ትውልድ እንደመሆኑ ይህንን አደራ ለመሸከም ታረክ የጣለበትን ሀላፌነት ከዚህ የመነጨ ነው ብዬ አስባለው ስለሆነም አንዳርጋቸው ቁጭ ብሎ ከመፅፅት በላይ እራሱን ለዚች አገር የመስዋት ጠቦት አድርጎ ማቅረቡና ታፍኖ ያለው ነጻነት ናፋቂው የኢትዮጵያ ህዝብም ይህንን ተረድቶ በልቡ መሀደር ላይ በክብር የጻፈው በመሆኑ ማንም ምድራዊ ሀይል ምንም አይነት ጥላሸት በመቀባት ሊቀይርው እንደማይችል ባለፉት 10 ወራት የታየው አብሮነት ትልቅ ምስክር ነው።

እነሆ! ይህ ጉዞው ዛሬ በወረበላው የየመን መንግስት ሹማምንት ተባባሪነት በጠላቶቹ እጅ እንዲወድቅ አድርጎታል። አንዳርጋቸው በጠላቶቹ  እጅ ከወደቀ አስርኛ ወራቶች በላይ ቢቆጠሩም  እስከ ዛሬ ድርስ  ከአረመኔዉ ወያኔ አፋኞች ውጭ እና ከፈጣረው በስተቀር የት ስፍራ በምን ሁኔታ እንደሚገኝ የሚያውቅ ሰው የለም።

አንዳርጋቸው በዚህ አይነት አሰቃቂ ሁኔታ ውስጥ መዉደቁ  ልቤ ውስጥ የተቀመጠ የእሳት ረመጥ ሆኖ በየቀኑ እያቃጠለኝ ቢገኝም  በሀገሬ ኢትዮጵያ ፤ ከአሜረካ እስከ ካንዳ ፤ከጃፓን እስክ ደቡብ ኮረያ፤ ከአዎሮፓ እስከ ደቡብ አፍረካ፤ ከአውስትራሊያ እሰከ እስራኤል እንዲሁም በተለያዩ የአርብ አገራት ባለው የአለማችን ስፋት ውስጥ የሚገኙ  ኢትዮጵያን ወገኖቼ ” እኔም አንዳርጋቸው ፅጌ ነኝ !” ፡ “ሁላችንም አንዳርጋቸው ፅጌ ነን” ብለው በመነሳት የወያኔን እና የተባባሪዎቹን  እብሪት፤ትዕቢት እና ህገወጥነትን ለማጋለጥ እያደረጉ ያለው ትግል ታላቅ መፅናናትን ይሰጠኛል።

አንዳርጋቸው የትናንሽ ልጆች አባት ከመሆኑ በላይ በተጨማሪ የ 85 ዓመት እድሜ ባለፅጋ የሆኑ አባታችን እዚያው ታፍኖ በተቀመጠበት ኢትዮጵያ ውስጥ ይኖራል። ከዚህ በተረፈ በጣም ከሚወዱት እና ከሚያፈቅሩት ከቅርብ ቤተሰቦቹ አልፎ አሁን ግን በአንዳርጋቸው የሀገር ፍቅር ፤ ለነጻነት ፤ ለፍትህ ፤ ለእኩልነት እና ለዴሞክራሲ የሚታገሉ በሚሊዮን የሚቆጠሩ አባት እና  እናቶች ፤ ወድም እና እህቶች ፤ ልጆች አፍርቶ ይገኛል።

ይችን አጭር ፅሁፍ ለመፃፍ ያነሳሳኝ ዋናው ምክንያት ለዚህ በሚሊዮን ለሚቆጠሩ ቤተሰቤ ልባዊ ምስጋናዬን በአንዳርጋቸው ስም ለማቅረብ ነው። በዚህ ክፉ ጊዜ የታየው ቆራጥነት በወያኔ ታፍኖ የተወሰደው  ወንድማችንን ሙሉ ነጻነቱን እንዲሁም በወያኔ እስር ቤት እየማቀቁ ላሉት የነጻነት ታጋዮች እንዲሁም መብትና ነጻነቱን ተገፎ በሰፊዉ እስርቤት እየማቀቀ ላለው መላው የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ትግሉን እንደሚቀጥል እና ከግቡ እንደሚያደርስ ባለ ሙሉ ተስፋ ነኝ።

በመጨርሻም ውድ ኢትዮጵያን ወገኖቼ አንዳርጋቸው እና እሱን የመሰሉ የነጻነት ታጋዮች እና የፖለቲካ መሬዎች ካለፍርድ በየስር ቤቱ በግፍ ታጉረው ላሉ ሁሉ እና ለቤተሰቦቻቸው ጭምር ፍጣሪ አምላካችን  ብርታቱን ይስጥልኝ። የመጨርሻውም ፍርድ የሚመጣው ከሱ ከእግዛብሄር ስለሆነ ይችን የምንወዳትን የጋራ ሀገራችንን ለመታደግ በጋራ የጀመርነውን በጋራ እንውጣው ስል በወያኔ ጭለማ እስር ቤት ውስጥ በሚሰቃዩት ወገኖች ስም እማፅናለው።

ኢትዮጵያ ለዘላለም ትኑር!!!

ወ/ሮ ብዙአየሁ ፅጌ

posted by Daniel tesfaye

Ethiopia’s newest party (Semayawi) takes on ruling juggernaut

May 19, 2015

(Reuters) The leader of Ethiopia’s newest opposition party hopes discontent among urban youth will win him support in a weekend election that could otherwise be a clean sweep for the ruling party in Africa’s most populous nation after Nigeria.Ethiopia's newest party (Semayawi)

Over 36 million people have registered for the May 24 polls, the country’s first election since long-serving leader Meles Zenawi died in 2012.

His Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) has been in power for almost a quarter of a century, and faces no reasonable prospect of defeat – the current 547-seat parliament has just one opposition member.

Yilekal Getinet, chairman of the three-year old Blue Party, or Semayawi in Amharic, says it originally put forward 400 candidates but electoral authorities cut the list to 139.

Semayawi expects to win seats in the urban areas in spite of such obstacles.

“The people’s anger is increasing from time to time. By the strong opposition from the people and demands for further changes we may win in towns,” he said.

Semayawi, which wants less government involvement in the economy, sees itself as offering change in Ethiopian politics, with the vast majority of its members younger than 35.

Some 57 opposition parties are taking part in the polls but analysts say they present no real threat.

The opposition won an unprecedented 147 seats in an election 10 years ago but most of them did not join parliament, alleging the ballot had been rigged. Many of then spent two years behind bars on charges of inciting violence.

LOTTERY

Yilekal says over 50 party members have been detained by police, and accuses the government of unfairly allocating financial resources to the ruling party and depriving opposition parties of television air time, claims rejected by authorities.

Yilekal’s name will not be on the ballot after he was disqualified by the National Electoral Board of Ethiopia (NEBE), which ran a draw to pick candidates for 52 parties that had never taken part in an election.

NEBE chairperson Merga Bekana said most of Semayawi’s candidates had broken electoral rules by belonging to another party, adding the board had been tough on all sides.

Two ruling party members have been arrested in recent days on charges of breaking the law, Merga said, adding the environment was “conducive” to open politics.

Yilekal was not reassured. “There may be an increment in some numbers but that does not show that Ethiopia is in a democratic process. The whole process is deteriorating,” he said.

posted by Daniel tesfaye

Ethiopia: Growth, poverty, torture and arbitrary killing, all in one package

May 13, 2015

by Ephrem Madebo

On her recent trip to Ethiopia, Wendy Sherman, President Obama’s Under Secretary for Political Affairs said: Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies on the African continent. Ethiopia is a democracy. Two weeks ago, Marie Harf, Acting Spokesperson of the State Department said that, the speech made by Wendy Sherman in Addis Ababa fully reflects the U.S. Government’s positions on these issues. Evidently, diplomacy is the patriotic art of lying for one’s country, but Wendy Sherman’s double lie in just one statement is neither patriotic nor artistic, it’s a barefaced lie that exposed her true face.Ethiopia Growth, poverty, torture

I wonder what Wendy Sherman’s understanding of democracy is. On one hand, her own Department’s official annual report mentions about torture and arbitrary killings in Ethiopia. On the other, Madam Sherman praises those who torture and kill, and calls a nation that kills at will a ‘democracy’.

What is the so called position of the US Government? Endorsing torture, politically motivated trials and arbitrary killings in Ethiopia? As a tax payer of this great nation, I need an answer to this question. I’ve already heard from Wendy Sherman, I’ve also heard from the Acting Spokesperson of the State Department. Now I want to hear it from the horse’s mouth. Mr. Kerry, please read what your envoy recently said in Ethiopia and skim the 2013 US Department of State HR report on Ethiopia and tell me which one is your government’s positon on Ethiopia? Mr. Secretary, I need straight answer, not the same flip-flopping that I saw in the October 2004 presidential debate. As to Madam Sherman, well, as far as I am concerned, Wendy Sherman is a diplomat and diplomats are useful only in fair weather. They sink in every drop as soon as it rains, and it is raining heavy in Ethiopia.

Discussing what Wendy Sherman said in the capital city of my beloved native country was not even remotely close to the essence of what I wanted to say today. I’m a person who gets healed when I vent, and I just vented in the hope of being healed from the wounds inflicted by Wendy Sherman.

The late PM Meles Zenawi, one of the most able liars in Ethiopia’s political history, used the word “double digit” growth to fool donor nations. Surprisingly, the gullible west, especially nations like the US and the UK fell into Zenawi’s trap and gave this merciless killer the green light to arrest, torture and kill Ethiopians. The US, UK, EU and many other western nations granted a much needed diplomatic cover and a bag full of money to the Ethiopian tyrants and allowed evil to prevail over good in Ethiopia. In fact, the TPLF minority regime enjoyed ten times more financial assistance in just 10 years than its two predecessors did in 45 years. For example, between 1950 and 1980, Ethiopia received $600 in aid. In 2001, foreign financial aid to Ethiopia totaled $1.6 billion. In each of the last 12 years the TPLF regime has received at least $3 billion in foreign aid (the largest in Africa). Had the TPLF regime used just half of this huge sum of money for development purposes, Ethiopia would have been out of poverty years ago. But…

Recently, some dull politicians and carpetbagger intellectuals have tried to compare Ethiopia to the four Asian tigers. World economic history and empirical works clearly depict that economic growth and poverty were inversely proportional during the great economic run of the four Asian tigers. The case in Ethiopia is different, or Ethiopia is stranger in the mirror where poverty increases as the economy grows in “double digit” rate, which basically means that in Ethiopia; “fast economic growth” and poverty are directly related. Did anyone ask why? Why do Ethiopians get poorer as their nation’s GDP grows at “double digit” rate? Why do tens of thousands of young Ethiopians leave their country and suffer in refugee camps than witnessing the economic ‘miracle’ of their nation and enjoying its fruit?

The TPLF regime tells the world that the Ethiopian economy is growing at unprecedented rate, but the youth and the educated (medical doctors, engineers, college professors) are exiting Ethiopia in a historically unprecedented rate. Why? Is the absence of freedom and human right abuse the reason for this mass exodus? Yes, but not just that. The Chinese are world leaders in limiting freedom and human right abuse, but the Chinese people are not leaving their country at such an alarming rate as Ethiopians do. For the Chinese government, all Chinese are equal, or the Chinese Communist party does not see its citizens along ethnic lines. In Ethiopia, things are different. The path to prosperity is open to the few and closed to the majority. Higher education opportunities, access to capital, and employment opportunists are directly tied to either ethnic and/or party affiliation.

Economic growth is not an absolute phenomenon; it’s an aggregate value that must be measured relative to time and baseline. Hence, when measuring Economic growth of any nation, it’s important to ask the questions when (time) and from where (baseline). In the 1950s, immediately after World War II, West Germany’s economy was growing at the speed of 10% per annum. After the fall of the Berlin wall, Germany became larger, but is the economy of this larger Germany growing 10% per year? No, because the time is different and Germany has a different baseline now. The TPLF regime inherited war torn Ethiopia from the military regime where the country’s economy was in shambles. In the first ten to fifteen years of the TPLF regime, any decent amount of investment must and should have resuscitated the Ethiopian economy at a much faster rate compared to any other African economy. And in those 15 years, the TPLF regime not only received a decent amount of capital, but it has been and it is the largest recipient of foreign aid in Africa.

With growth rates averaging 10% over the past 30 years, China has been the world’s fastest-growing major economy. However, unlike Ethiopia, the Chinese economic growth is a real growth that changed the life of millions. From 1978 to 2001, the incidence of poverty in rural China declined from 250 million people to 29 million people. In Ethiopia, the TPLF is a party, a government and an economic institution. As the former US ambassador to Ethiopia, Donald Yamaimo warned his government, there is ideological dominance over the Ethiopian economy. Given the huge foreign aid that it received, and compared to where it was, yes, the Ethiopian economy has shown some signs of growth, but it is not only the economy that grows in Ethiopia, poverty too is growing at an alarming rate. And it is this eccentric pairing of poverty and growth that makes the Ethiopian experience of the so called double digit economic growth a paradox. The “double digit” GDP growth rate in Ethiopia is good news that makes some to clap their hands, yet to many Ethiopians, it’s like an earth quake, where the quake itself and the aftershock cause untold level of suffering.

Poverty is present in Africa, but Ethiopia’s poverty is of great magnitude both in its spread and dimension. In countries like Kenya, Ghana and Botswana any manifestation of poverty is a challenge to move forward. In Ethiopia, the reverse is the case. Millions and millions of Ethiopians live in squalid conditions of hunger, disease, and desperation. The TPLF leaders deafen us with “double digit” economic growth and profess their commitment to poverty eradication, but they have never showed their willingness to address the systemic causes of poverty in Ethiopia. That is exactly why we see GDP growth and poverty walk in the same direction in Ethiopia.

To me, the argument is no more whether Ethiopia’s ideologically controlled economy is growing or not. There is no economy in the world that does not grow when a truck load of money is thrown at it. The valid question is that, does Ethiopia use all of the money it gets from outside sources for development purposes, or is Ethiopia’s “double digit growth” benefiting its poverty stricken population? The undisputed answer is no. The three economic indicators, the Human Development Index (HDI), Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) and the Misery Index used by international organizations and research universities to measure the economic wellbeing of nations all tell the same story about Ethiopia. Regardless of the highly acclaimed “double digit growth”, the Ethiopian people are suffering from abject poverty.

Yes, as the ruling minority regime and its puppets want us to believe, Ethiopia has created millionaires and billionaires, but who are these millionaires and billionaires that stash their money in foreign banks? Almost all of the millionaires and billionaires in Ethiopia are TPLF party members, their families, or those who have pledged allegiance to the TPLF Party. World Bank reports and other International financial studies have indicated that, in the last 20 years, at least 20 billion US dollar from Ethiopia has made its way to large Asian and European banks. For example, according to Celebrity NET Worth, at the time of his death in 2012; Meles Zenawi’s net worth was $3 billion (http://www.celebritynetworth.com/richest-politicians/presidents/meles-zenawi-net-worth/ ). No matter what Zenawi does, it’s next to impossible to become a billionaire (in dollar) in Ethiopia, and Zenawi was just employee of the people who was on the government payroll. Then where did he get the 3 billion dollar? The answer is easy- he became multi – billionaire by stealing from the people, throwing the very people he is supposed to enrich deep and deeper into poverty.

It’s a forgone conclusion that sustained economic growth reduces poverty, or to say it in a different way, even the usually discordant economists agree that there is a direct relationship between economic growth and poverty reduction. A report from the Operationalizing Pro-Poor Growth Research Program reveals that in countries that experienced economic growth between 1990 and 2003, a 1 percent increase in GDP per capita reduced poverty by 1.7 percent. If this is the obvious truth, then why do economic growth and poverty go in the same direction in Ethiopia? If Ethiopia’s economy is growing in double digit rate, then why would tens of thousands of Ethiopians risk their lives and exit the country seeking employment elsewhere?

The answer is obvious. The Ethiopian economy is a party controlled economy, hence, the fruits of it’s so called “double digit growth” is also party controlled. The Ethiopian economy is designed to quickly enrich the few and marginalize the majority. It has never been tailored to address the systemic causes of poverty in Ethiopia. The ideologically dominated Ethiopian economy is also owned by three giants – the TPLF regime, MIDROC (owned by Mohammed Al-Amoudi, a close associate of the ruling party), and by EFFORT who directly and indirectly benefit from the growth of the economy.

The extent to which growth reduces poverty depends on the degree to which the poor participate in the growth process and share its proceeds. Government growth policies should be designed to combine growth promoting policies with policies that allow the poor to fully participate in the growth opportunities and contribute to the growth. Ethiopia’s, economic policies systematically alienate the poor from economic opportunities. Hence, a large number of young men and women leave the country seeking economic opportunities elsewhere in Africa, the Middle East and Europe. There are many reports by various international organizations that indicate the TPLF regime using development aid to suppress political dissent by conditioning access to essential government programs on support for the ruling party. Moreover, the Ethiopian regime has routinely used access to aid as a weapon to control people and crush dissent. Farmers interviewed by HRW in different parts of Ethiopia described being denied access to agricultural assistance, micro-loans, seeds, and fertilizers because they did not support the ruling party.

Access to information technology, the rate of growth of internet users, or the penetration of internet is a good indicator of where a country is, and most importantly, where it is heading. According to the UN MDG 2014 report, there are less than 2 Internet users per 100 inhabitants in Ethiopia. It is shocking, rather an absolute shame to know that the total number of internet users in Ethiopia is five times less than the number of internet users in Nairobi (BTW, I did not say Kenya).

The West, be it the US, UK, EU, or G20, has effectively failed on its policies towards Ethiopia. In 1945, when the World Bank started operating in Ethiopia, Ethiopia was one of the poorest countries on earth. Today, after billions and billions of aid money and a claim of double digit growth, Ethiopia is still a leader from the bottom in the World Bank list of poor countries as it was seven decades ago. In their Seoul Summit in 2010, G20 countries agreed to contribute to the fulfilment of the commitments of countries to achieve the MDGs. Many of the MDGs (7 out of 8) are one way or another related to the fundamental rights and freedoms. Ethiopia is the primary enemy of freedom and the universal abuser of universal human right. This simply means that, either the commitments were unspoken cosmic rules, or the G20 countries have failed their commitment (individually and as a group). It is absurd and utterly incomprehensible why the US, the UK and EU display such a powerful interest in maintaining the status quo in Ethiopia. The status quo cannot and must not be allowed to continue in Ethiopia.

We the Ethiopian people have always been ill-treated, tortured and killed by our own tyrant regimes, but we have held to the hope, the belief, and the conviction that there is a better life and a better world. No more! For this generation of young Ethiopians, the TPLF regime has killed hope itself, the very reason to leave for.

posted by Daniel tesfaye

El-Sisi: Ethiopia’s Friend in Need, Indeed!

May 11, 2015

by Alemayehu G. Mariam

A friend in need is a friend in deed, indeed!

Last week, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi stunned the world by rescuing more than two dozen abducted Ethiopians marked for beheadings in Libya by the ruthless self-styled terrorist group known as “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” (ISIL) (also known as “Islamic State of Iraq and (Syria) al-Sham (ISIS)”).Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi

Ahram Online, Al-Ahram’s English-language website, announced, “The Egyptian army freed the Ethiopian workers who arrived at Cairo airport on Thursday morning, after they were kidnapped ‎in Libya. The Egyptian president, who personally received the 27 Ethiopians, all Christian, when they arrived at ‎the airport, did not explain how the army had rescued them.”

In mid-April 2015, that terrorist group released videos of beheadings of some 30 Ethiopians. In my April 26 commentary, I expressed my deepest grief for the victims and their families.  I also expressed my outrage at the so-called government in Ethiopia for sitting on its duff, twiddling  its thumbs, scratching its heads and doing nothing. I worried about the fate of the remaining Ethiopians in Libya.

I had plenty of reasons to be worried.

Following the first wave of beheadings, many Ethiopians in Libya, including those kidnapped by terrorists and rescued by President el-Sisi, were left to twist in the desert wind by the ruling Thugtatorship of the Tigrean Peoples Liberation Front (T-TPLF).  The surviving Ethiopian refugees were given official instructions to contact the diplomatic representatives  of the T-TPLF in Egypt. When the frightened refugees called to get assistance at the T-TPLF embassy in Egypt, they were “mocked” and given the run around. That is what several Ethiopians trapped in Libya told  the Voice of America, Amharic Service. “They pick up the phone and mock us. They don’t talk to us. They pick up the phone and let our telephone calling card run out of time.”

It was against this background of official depravity and wickedness by the T-TPLF that I saw the Youtube video of the rescued Ethiopians as they arrived at Cairo International Airport on an Al Masria, a private Egyptian airline service, jetliner.

I do not have the words to express my feelings of joy and jubilation to see the young Ethiopians rescued from the jaws of the terrorist butchers.  As the plane approached the gate, the captain proudly held out an Egyptian flag from the window in the cockpit. The message was unmistakable: Egypt did it!

It was an iconic moment for the Egyptian people, government and armed forces. It was a glorious moment for all Egyptians. It was a proud moment for President el-Sisi.

It was a historic moment of shame for the thugs that palm themselves off as a “government” in Ethiopia!

It was a bittersweet time of sadness and joy for all Ethiopians. They are joyful their brothers are rescued from certain death. They are heartbroken their “government” could not do a damn thing to help them.

When el-Sisi heard of the beheading of the Ethiopians, he came out and told the world Egypt was “pained by the gruesome beheading of innocent Ethiopians in Libya.”

President el-Sisi,  by acting courageously and swiftly to rescue the kidnapped Ethiopians in Libya, cemented the millennia old friendship and sisterhood between two of the world’s oldest civilizations.

I must confess I was envious. I was grateful, but envious that el-Sisi, as an Egyptian leader, could do so much for persecuted Ethiopians while the shiftless TPLF thugs stood on the sidelines looking all powerless and helpless.

As I watched the video of the arrival of the Al Masria flight carrying the Ethiopians in Cairo, for a moment, I took flight in my imagination.

I imagined an airliner emblazoned with words “ETHIOPIAN AIRLINES” arriving at Bole Airport in Addis Ababa. I imagined the Ethiopian captain taxing to the gate waving an Ethiopian flag (not the one with the pentagram). I imagined the plane parked at the terminal with a red carpet rolled out to receive the precious passengers.  I imagined real Ethiopian leaders waiting to receive the rescued young men.  I imagined their families waiting eagerly to hug them.

The reality was an Egyptian airliner victoriously taxing to the terminal. At the head of the reception line on the red carpet laid out for the rescued Ethiopians was President el-Sisi with his top officials. He stood there with an air of dignity and pride. He greeted each rescuee with a handshake and words of welcome. He put his palm on the faces of some of the young men as if to assure them that they are safe.

It is a priceless moment of freedom those young rescued Ethiopians will not forget. It is a moment I shall treasure forever.

Why did President el-Sisi charter a plane and order members of his military to go into harm’s way to rescue Ethiopians trapped in Libya facing certain beheadings?

“A man who is drowning does not care who tosses him a rope!” A man facing certain beheading does not care who rescues him!

President el-Sisi saved the lives of those young Ethiopians who left their country escaping political persecution and seeking opportunities to improve themselves and the lives of their families. He saved precious lives. That’s the only, only thing that matters.

The simple fact is the President el-Sisi ordered the rescue of the young Ethiopians because he wanted to; because he could; because he believed it is the right thing to do; because he believed in the brotherhood and sisterhood of the people of Egypt and Ethiopia; because he cared about Ethiopians Christians as Christians and as human beings who deserve to be treated with justice and dignity.

Simply stated, he rescued the Ethiopians because he cared for them as human beings!

That is in stark contrast to the reaction of the thugs ruling Ethiopia today.

Why didn’t the T-TPLF send a plane to Libya to bring the kidnapped Ethiopians? I don’t know. Could it be because the T-TPLF is itself a kidnapping organization?

When the T-TPLF kidnapped Andaragatchew Tsege, the General Secretary of the Ethiopian opposition group known as Ginbot 7 Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy, in Yemen in July 2014, I filed my objection in my commentary “Ethiopia: The Crime of Extraordinary Rendition.” Today, we see Yemen is a haven for terrorists. Did the T-TPLF make arrangements with terrorists to kidnap Andaragachew? I don’t know.

What I know for sure is that there is no legal distinction between abductions and kidnappings by ISIS/IL and the T-TPLF. A criminal act committed by a terrorist “state” is no less criminal than a crime committed by a terrorist organization.

It could be that the T-TPLF is too busy opening new routes to Los Angeles to fill their bottomless pockets.

Could the T-TPLF be waiting for their begging bowls to be filled by the donors so that they could charter their own planes to rescue the kidnapped Ethiopians.

It may be that the T-TPLF is powerless to do what el-Sisi did.  They can bare their teeth at their defenseless population and mow down innocent protesters. Could they stand up to the likes of ISIS/IL? They carry a big stick and talk loudly to their population, but on the international stage they are just pitiful midgets.

The T-TPLF’s handling of the whole affair of Ethiopian beheading victims and the remaining Ethiopian refugees in Libya is simply mind-boggling. Initially, the T-TPLF refused to acknowledge the terrorist beheading victims were Ethiopians. Redwan Hussein, “Ethiopia government spokesperson”, said while his “government” was not able to verify if those killed were Ethiopians, “the Ethiopian government condemns the atrocious act.” Presumably, it was also waiting to verify if the kidnapping victims were also Ethiopian.

It did not matter to the T-TPLF “government” that CNN had confirmed and reported the beheading victims were Ethiopians. It did not matter Al-Jazeera had confirmed and reported the victims were Ethiopians. It did not matter to the T-TPLF regime that Reuters, Agence France Press, BBC, VOA, the N.Y. Times, the Washington Post…. had all confirmed and  reported the victims of the terrorist massacres were Ethiopians.  Despite overwhelming evidence that the beheading victims were Ethiopians, the T-TPLF steadfastly refused to acknowledge the fact.

Why did the T-TPLF initially refuse to acknowledge the beheading victims in Libya were Ethiopians?  Could it be because they knew they would be expected to act and rescue their citizens from certain beheadings? Were they concerned that they could mistakenly express outrage over the beheading of citizens of another country?  Would not any decent government anywhere in the world have simply accepted the international press reports of beheadings as  true on face value  and expressed its outrage and taken swift action!?  Would not a decent government receiving information on the beheadings of so many of its citizens and others facing imminent beheadings swing into gear, mobilize resources and try to do something to recover the bodies of the victims and evacuate the remaining citizens?  Of course, these are rhetorical questions. Decency and thuggery are polar opposites.

I don’t know. To me, the minds of thugs are as inscrutable as the face of the Sphinx (no pun intended).

The T-TPLF regime refused to acknowledge the beheading victims initially because it did not care, and still does not.

The T-TPLF regime did not attempt to rescue the Ethiopians in Libya because it does not care.

The T-TPLF regime does not give a damn about Ethiopians inside the country or Ethiopians outside the country facing persecution and execution. That is the raw truth!

El-Sisi has shown that he cares not only about Ethiopian Christians but also Egyptian Christians who have lived in Egypt for millennia.  He has a proven record.

In February, when nearly two dozen Egyptian Christians were slaughtered by the evil terrorist group that beheaded the 30 Ethiopians, el-Sisi did not wait around to verify if the victims were really Egyptians. He did not waffle and twiddle his thumbs to confirm if they are Egyptian citizens.  He went on television within hours of the occurrence of the beheadings and declared Egypt “reserves the right to respond in any way”.  He publicly expressed his “deep sorrow” and “offered his deepest condolences to the Egyptian people for their grave loss.”  He let the world know that he “mourns the Egyptian victims of an abhorrent act of terrorism in Libya” Within hours, el-Sisi conferred with his defense council and dispatched Egyptian bombers taking out targets  in the terrorist-held city of Derna in Libya. In honor of the 21 Egyptian Coptic victims, el-Sisi declared seven days of mourning!

Over the past few years Christians in Egypt have faced mob violence and persecution. Before el-Sisi became president, particularly in 2013, some 80 churches around the country were vandalized or burned down and dozens of Christians injured or killed in mob violence.

In January 2015, el-Sisi became the first Egyptian president ever to visit the St. Mark Cathedral during Coptic Christmas Eve Mass and offer his good wishes to the nation’s Christian minority. In his address President el-Sisi said:

Egypt has brought a humanistic and civilizing message to the world for millennia and we are here today to confirm that we are capable of doing so again. Yes, a humanistic and civilizing message should once more emanate from Egypt. This is why we must not call ourselves anything other than ‘Egyptians.’ This is what we must be — Egyptians, just Egyptians, Egyptians indeed! I just want to tell you that — Allah willing, Allah willing — we shall build our nation together, accommodate each other, make room for each other, and we shall like each other—love each other, love each other in earnest, so that people may see… So let me tell you once again, Happy New Year, Happy New Year to you all, Happy New Year to all Egyptians! (Emphasis added.)

In contrast, Ethiopia has a “government” that tells Ethiopians there is no such thing as Ethiopia; a “government” that practices the evil ideology of “kililism” (“ethnic federalism” ) which has created a modern system of apartheid in Ethiopia. In nearly 25 years, the T-TPLF has managed to segregate the Ethiopian people by ethno-tribal classification and corralled them like cattle into  grotesque regional political units called “kilils”, the equivalent of apartheid South Africa’s Bantustans.

I pray to God that one day Ethiopia will also have a leader who will stand up against hate and haters and simply declare, “We must not call ourselves anything other than ‘Ethiopians.’ This is what we must be – Ethiopians, just Ethiopians, Ethiopians indeed! I just want to tell you that — Allah willing, God willing — we shall build our nation together, accommodate each other, make room for each other, and we shall like each other—love each other, love each other in earnest, so that people may see…”

The T-TPLF, of course, has no problems rescuing one of its “own” from the long arms of the law. The puppet prime minister Hailemariam Desalegn and his boss, the malaria-researcher-turned-instant-foreign minister, Tedros Adhanom, pulled out all the stops in trying to rescue Uhuru Kenyatta, president of Kenya, from facing numerous charges of crimes against humanity before the International Criminal Court (ICC) in connection with the 2007 election.  The duo did everything they could to orchestrate the mass repudiation of the Rome Statute authorizing the ICC to prosecute human rights violators by African countries.  Hailemariam, on numerous occasions hammered the ICC claiming that the ICC “has degenerated into some kind of race hunting.”

They managed to rescue Kenyatta from the jaws of the ICC prosecutor.

They did not rescue the kidnapped Ethiopians in Libya from the jaws of that evil terrorist group. El-Sisi did that job!

In fairness, the T-TPLF was not alone in doing nothing.

The African Union did not do much either except give the usual obligatory lip service. African Union chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma shed crocodile tears condemning the beheadings as “barbaric and cowardly act”.

The Obama Administration was dry-eyed and straight-faced when it called the beheadings “brutal mass murder”.

The European Union casually described the beheadings as a “criminal” effort to create religious divisions.

El-Sisi rolled up his sleeves, tanked up his plane and ordered his military to air lift the kidnapped Ethiopians to safety in Egypt. In doing so, he proved the timeless truth of the old saying, “One timely deed is worth ten thousand words!”

I am sure there are cynics who will try to ascribe political motives to el-Sisi’s actions. They will say he rescued the kidnapped Ethiopians as a propaganda effort to strengthen his hand in his negotiations over the so-called Nile dam. They will say he did it for personal glory. They will say he did it to raise his international and regional stature. They can say whatever they want. Who cares about what they say! El-Sisi is a man of action, not talk. He proved it!

The fact is el-Sisi acted and through his actions saved the lives of dozens of Ethiopians facing certain beheadings. I have nothing but praise for his courage, compassion and leadership.

What el-Sisi has done in rescuing the Ethiopians has nudged me to ask questions about the kind of leader he really is.

I have followed el-Sisi in the media over the past several years. I have written a few commentaries on the “Arab Spring” in Egypt. I had dismissed him as a Mubarak clone. After Mohammed Morsi appointed him as army chief and defense minister in 2012, I did not expect much from him.

Over the past couple of years, el-Sisi has shown himself to be his own man. He has shown a steady hand in crises- and uncertainty-ridden times in Egypt.

El-Sisi impresses me as a thoughtful and decisive leader since he came to power. He appears to effectively integrate his leadership team in decision making. He has certainly emerged as a “new breed” of Middle Eastern leader who is not only smart but also determined to deal with terrorism at the military and ideological level.

On the issue of terrorism, he has not been the kind of leader  who “pulls the trigger” and run. He has stayed engaged and actively pursued terrorists and those who support them.

El-Sisi has also shown open-mindedness and uncommon courage. In January 2015, he gave a speech at Egypt’s premier Al-Azhar University. What he said in that speech was not only unprecedented but mind-blowing. El-Sisi declared an ambitious plan for a “revolution” in Islam!

… I am referring here to the religious clerics.   We have to think hard about what we are facing—and I have, in fact, addressed this topic a couple of times before.  It’s inconceivable that the thinking that we hold most sacred should cause the entire umma [Islamic world] to be a source of anxiety, danger, killing and destruction for the rest of the world.  Impossible!

That thinking—I am not saying “religion” but “thinking”—that corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries, to the point that departing from them has become almost impossible, is antagonizing the entire world.  It’s antagonizing the entire world!

Is it possible that 1.6 billion people [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world’s inhabitants—that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible! …

I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost—and it is being lost by our own hands.

Egypt today faces enormous economic, social, political and security  problems. As a career military man, there are questions about el-Sisi’s ability to address the long-standing structural problems in Egyptian society. A 2013 study, for instance, indicated that “subsidies to consumer goods, including fuels and food, account for almost one third of Egypt’s public spending.” Reform of subsidy programs are likely to pose the greatest challenges to el-Sisi; and he has not articulated how he intends to deal with that problem.

El-Sisi has been criticized for the repressive measures he implemented against the Muslim Brotherhood, the press and civil society organizations.  He has been praised by many for taking effective counterterrorism measures against terrorist cells in the Sinai and for demolishing hundreds of tunnels used for smuggling and gunrunning for terrorists.

El-Sisi’s leadership appears to revolve around a core team of trusted handpicked officers. He has integrated younger officers into the leadership which seems to have increased his popularity and generate support and loyalty. He has reconciled competing ministries and law enforcement agencies to work more effectively with the military.

In January 2014, el-Sisi  told senior military and police officials that “The police and military are the real guarantors of Egypt’s security and stability…The existing challenges are no doubt immense…and we [military] are right next to you [police] to protect our country…Together, we are capable of delivering even though there are many threats.”

El-Sisi presents a complex analysis of democratization issues on a broader level in the Middle East. In a 17-page theses he completed at the U.S. Army War College in 2006, El-Sisi raised some serious questions: “Is transitioning to democracy in the best interest of United States or is it in the interest of the Middle Eastern countries?” He warned, “Democracy development in the Middle East will not easily emerge if it’s perceived as a move by the United States to further her own self-interest.”

El-Sisi seems to have strong support in the Egyptian military and among the middle class. He has his team of  technocrats, including lawyers, military officers, engineers, economists, judges and others working on the critical issues facing Egyptians. Some say the technocrats are non-ideological. Others argue they are formidable forces maintaining the status quo. But his challenge will be to cultivate support among the masses of the poor. Regardless, El-Sisi and his technocrats must find ways to meet the challenges that sparked the “Arab Spring” or risk sparking another one.

El-Sisi maintains good relations with leaders of the Persian Gulf governments. Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates each has pledged $4 billion of investments and loans to Egypt. The U.S. has also resumed its military and economic aid after the overthrow of the Morsi government in 2013. Egypt is the second-largest recipient of US foreign military financing, behind Israel.

There is of course the Nile Dam construction issue. For several years, Egypt has raised objections to the construction of the so-called Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam in Ethiopia claiming it will negatively affect its share of Nile waters.

In June 2013, Mohammed Morsi, the man el-Sisi deposed,  in a broadcast speech said, “The lives of the Egyptians are connected around [the Nile]… If it diminishes by one drop then our blood is the alternative,” he said in a broadcast speech at the time.  I have commented extensively on the issue as recently as last month.

In March of this year, Ethiopia, Egypt and the Sudan signed a Declaration on the Nile dam construction.  At the time, the Egyptian foreign minister ruled out any military confrontation on Nile water issues. “Egypt contributed in the founding of African countries; it won’t be an aggressor, not at any time.”

That sounds to me, “Speak softly and carry a big stick.”  I believe it was Sun Tzu who counselled, “Let your plans be dark and impenetrable as night, and when you move, fall like a thunderbolt.”  It is wise for bush generals not to test the mettle or resolve of real generals.

El-Sisi struck like a thunderbolt when he extracted the kidnapped Ethiopians out of Libya. I believe all Ethiopians owe el-Sisi and the Egyptian people an enormous debt of gratitude for swiftly acting to save the young Ethiopians from certain beheading.

“Action is eloquence,” wrote Shakespeare. By rescuing Ethiopians targeted for beheading in Libya, el-Sisi spoke with eloquence and compassion.

It is now up to Ethiopians to appreciate el-Sisi’s courage, audacity and grit and express gratitude for saving their children from certain beheading. El-Sisi did what the thugs in Ethiopia were loathe to do!

THANK YOU, President el-Sisi and the People of Egypt!!! THANK YOU for a job well done!

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to go the Egyptian Embassy in Washington, London, Paris… and say, ‘THANK YOU!!!”

It is true that a friend in need is a friend indeed!

posted by Daniel tesfaye

South Sudanese rebels accuse Ethiopian governor of receiving bribe from Juba

May 8, 2015

May 7, 2015 (GAMBELLA, ETHIOPIA) – Members of the South Sudan’s rebels led by former vice-president, Riek Machar, on Thursday accused the governor of Ethiopia’s Gambella region, Gatluak Tut Kot, of allegedly receiving bribe from the government in Juba to allow SPLA forces to launch attacks from parts of the region.

Members of the South Sudan’s rebels

The source which Sudan Tribune was not able to immediately verify claimed that governor Kot had been given 3.5 million South Sudanese pound ($1 million) as bribe in order to allow Western Gambella region to be used by president Salva Kiir’s government as a launching pad against the rebel positions.

A government’s delegation comprising of senior officials including Upper Nile state’s governor, Simon Kun Puoc, reportedly visited Gambella town for a meeting with the governor.

Attempts today by Sudan Tribune to contact the Gambella governor were unsuccessful.

Nuer community all over the world in US, Australia Canada, UK, South Sudan as well as Ethiopia are said to have condemned the move made by Gambella president for his decisions to make the alleged agreement.

The source added that the local populations in Gambella and South Sudan refugees at camps in Gambella, are staging protest against the governor’s move.

“The rally is underway to take place any time where they would be marching from Newland to Baro Hotel in Gambella where the South Sudan guests are being accommodated,” he said.

South Sudan government has sent delegation from Juba to Gambella Ethiopia on Wednesday to attend the joint Ethio-South Sudan border meeting.

The meeting aims to strengthen border trade and security arrangement for smooth relationships of the communities along the border with same communal interests ahead of Ethiopian’s general election due to be held later this month.

Besides that, the source added that South Sudan defence minister Kuol Manyang Juk and Simon Kun Puoch the governor of Upper Nile are going to hold separate meeting with the Gambella regional governor to finalise the deals.

“They will discuss the establishment of new war-fronts in Western part of Ethiopia where their forces should be trained and the same time launching offensive against rebel positions in Pagak and Maiwut to control rebels strong holds” a rebel official told Sudan Tribune, on condition of anonymity.

The visit comes two days after it was revealed that South Sudanese border counties with Ethiopia made a cooperation agreement to tackle challenges at the border.

REBELS ACCUSE GOV’T OF VIOLATIONS

Meanwhile the rebels accused South Sudan government of continuing with violation of the ceasefire agreement.

In a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, the rebels alleged government forces had attacked their positions in several war fronts in Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states.

“On 5th of May 2015, the government forces carried out deadly attack on innocent civilians in Guit county of Unity state after Nhial Diu and Jezira’s attacks,” partly reads the statement.

They said government forces and its allies raided 5,700 heads of cattle, burned down hundreds of civilian local houses and raped young girls and women.

They called on the IGAD monitoring and verification team (MVT) and UN to carry out assessment in those affected areas.

Source: Sudan Tribune

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posted by Daniel tesfaye

Wendy Sherman and the Ethiopian “Election” That Isn’t

May 4, 2015

by Alemayehu G. Mariam

The folly of willful ignorance

I did not vote for Ronald Reagan to become U.S. president. But I appreciated some of his witticisms before he became president. In 1964, two years after he dumped the Democrats and joined the Republicans, Reagan astutely noted, “The trouble with our Liberal friends is not that they’re ignorant; it’s just that they know so much that isn’t so.Wendy Sherman and the Ethiopian Election

That is exactly the trouble with Wendy Sherman, President Barack Obama’s Under Secretary for Political Affairs and the fourth high ranking official in the U.S. Department of State. Wendy Sherman is not that she is ignorant; it is just that she knows so much that isn’t so about Ethiopian politics.

On her recent trip to Ethiopia, a few weeks before the so-called May 24 “election”, Sherman  pontificated:

I came from the G-7 meeting in Lubeck, Germany and I was very glad to have a very wide-ranging discussion with the minister [Ethiopian “foreign minister” Tedros Adhanom] not only about the tremendous success here in Ethiopia, all of the development goals that have been met. Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies on the African continent. Ethiopia is a democracy that is moving forward in an election that we expect to be free, fair, credible open and inclusive in ways Ethiopia has moved forward in strengthening its democracy every time there is an election. It gets better and better.

We also discussed all of the threats and concerns in the region which was also a major topic of conversation at the G-7 meeting as well. So whether that is strengthening Somalia or dealing with the threat in Ethiopia, everything from Al Shabbab to Boko Haram, Daesh, to of course  Al Qaeda and indeed have discussed the reality that here from the Ethiopian perspective as well as concerns about  all of those terrorists groups that Ethiopia considers Ginbot 7 a terrorist group as well. The United States believes no group, including Ginbot 7 should attempt to overthrow or speak of overthrowing a democratically elected government. And we look forward to continuing our work with the Ethiopian government to address these concerns in very serious and appropriate ways.

The world is facing a lot these days and Ethiopia is a very strong and growing country; and we want to make sure the stability, peace and the security and growing prosperity continue. And we look forward to our very strong partnership building all the platforms that we need to meet these threats, meet these concerns with all of the seriousness they deserve…

[Responding to a (reporter’s?) question] We think elections are very important…. Voting is important. I urge all Ethiopians to vote on your election day. But I was also glad to be here because in many ways Ethiopia is a young democracy and so every election, just as in our country, should be better and better and more open allowing for freedom of access making sure that every election is fair, free and credible and that opposition groups have the space to participate, that everybody’s vote counts. And in our country we make every election better than the last one in being inclusive, making sure everybody’s rights are respected and we know Ethiopia is working to do that as well.

Just for the record, before Ms. Sherman delivered her torrent of clichés and platitudes about democracy and elections in Ethiopia,  she had not bothered to meet with opposition leaders or groups,  engage members of the Ethiopian civil society and human rights communities or even drive a few kilometers just outside the capital to visit political prisoners at the Meles Zenawi Prison in Kality.

Of course, there is nothing new in Ms. Sherman’s song and dance about free and fair elections in the 2015 Ethiopian “election” theater stage-managed by the Thugtatorship of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front. Last September President Obama gave that “election” advance billing, “… the  Prime Minister [Hailemariam Desalegn] and the government is going to be organizing elections in Ethiopia this year. I know something about that… And so we’ll have an opportunity to talk about civil society and governance and how we can make sure that Ethiopia’s progress and example can extend to civil society as well…” (Emphasis added.)

Obama’s promised “talk” about civil society and governance” never took place. Sherman said she had “very wide-ranging discussion   about the tremendous success here in Ethiopia, all of the development goals that have been met and elections”.  Nothing about civil society or governance!

I am still trying to find out what it is that Obama “knows” about the 2015 election; arguably not much about civil society (which has been decimated through the use of the so-called charities and Societies law) or governance (thugtatorship).

In June 2014, Hailemariam Desalegn, the marionette prime minister of Ethiopia, proclaimed electoral perfection for 2015:  “Our institutional process and our laws and regulations are perfect. It is not the law that hinders but the implementation of these laws. Therefore, we have put in place the code of conduct of all parties. Strictly abiding by this code of conduct will help the process to be more democratic, free and fair and also credible.” (Emphasis added.) Of course, the “perfect codes” are written and enforced by the T-TPLF.

The U.S. diplomacy of pandering to dictatorship: Hear no evil, see no evil and say no evil about the T-TPLF

Last week, the Washington Post in an editorial virtually denounced Sherman for her willfully ignorant statements about Ethiopia’s “election”.

Ethiopia’s elections, scheduled for May 24, are shaping up to be anything but democratic. A country that has often been held up as a poster child for development has been stifling civic freedoms and systematically cracking down on independent journalism for several years… It was consequently startling to hear the State Department’s undersecretary of state for political affairs, Wendy Sherman, declare during a visit to Addis Ababa on April 16 that ‘Ethiopia is a democracy that is moving forward in an election that we expect to be free, fair and credible.’ The ensuing backlash from Ethiopians and human rights advocates was deserved. (Emphasis added.)

I am not surprised or even disappointed by Sherman’s fawning confession of blind support and categorical defense of the T-TPLF regime and its scheduled “election”. Truth be told, I used to be disgusted by such display of willful ignorance and brown-nosing by American and other Western diplomats; but I have learned to amuse and entertain myself listening to them regurgitating the drivel fed to them by the T-TPLF.  I am entertained watching U.S. policy makers, including President Obama, chillin’ out and kickin’ it with the T-TPLF leaders. I like watchin’ Sherman kumbaya-ing, back-pattin’ and fist bumpin’ with T-TPLF head honchos.

I have even trained myself to decipher their cryptic diplomatese spoken with forked-tongue and deconstruct the mindless gibberish uttered by the likes of Wendy Sherman. I have also learned to chew on their indigestible gobbledygook with a whopping spoonful of salt and pepper.

This is not to suggest that I am oblivious of Goethe’s admonition that “there is nothing more frightening that ignorance in action.”  Listening to U.S. Undersecretary for Political Affairs Wendy Sherman frightens the hell out of me!

I must confess that after almost a decade of intense study of U.S. policy in Ethiopia (or what is palmed off as one) articulated in a variety of forms — speeches, interviews, cable communications courtesy of Wikileaks, statutory language, statements of high level U.S. officials, including President Obama, formal policy statements, information obtained through Freedom of Information requests, etc., — I am still unable to fathom the mendacity, duplicity and hubris of American diplomats and officials as they proclaim their apostolic faith to the T-TPLF. I have come to the conclusion that the guiding principle in U.S. policy in Ethiopia is this: “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the Ethiopian people. What is good for the T-TPLF is good for Ethiopia.”  

I know the con games American diplomats and policy makers play with T-TPLF leaders. I coined a special word to describe it, “diplocrisy”. I use the term to  describe the culture of diplomatic menda-duplicity (the game of shameless mendacity and duplicity, another new word) practiced in Ethiopia by American diplomats and policy makers and to expose to public scrutiny their deliberate and calculated use of double-talk, double-speak and double-dealing in misrepresenting  facts in and about Ethiopia and mislead the inattentive international public about what the U.S. is doing and not doing in Ethiopia.

In Sherman-esque menda-duplicty, “Ethiopia is a very strong and growing country… one of the fast growing in Africa…    Ethiopia is a young democracy… Ethiopia faces threats… everything from Al Shabbab to Boko Haram, of course… and Al Qaeda… and Ginbot 7…”

All this mumbo jumbo decrypted simply means this: The T-TPLF-is-the-only-savior-of-Ethiopia; without the T-TPLF, Ethiopia will vaporize in civil war. America must help the T-TPLF keep Ethiopia united… blah… blah. Seriously suggesting the T-TPLF is the custodian of Ethiopian unity is like using monkeys to watch your  bananas or inviting the fox  to guard the hen house.

But Sherman is only the latest proponent of the ridiculous hoax that the T-TPLF is the eternal savior of Ethiopia.

In a Wikileaks cable dated November 6, 2006, former Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia Vicky Huddleston spun a tale of gloom and doom for Ethiopia without the late Meles Zenawi, the Second Coming, and his TPLF apostles:

As I prepare to turn over my responsibilities to my good friend and respected colleague, Ambassador Don Yamamoto, I urge the USG to maintain and strengthen our partnership with Ethiopia.  Ethiopia is moving in the right direction — despite the nay-sayers — on democracy, development, and protecting the region from terrorism and radical Islam.  If we fail to consolidate and support Ethiopia, we could unwittingly contribute to the break-up of the nation, and fuel a Christian – Muslim conflict in the Horn. (Emphasis added.)

Of course, the late Meles Zenawi himself was the grandmaster of mendacity. He had perfected the art of lying. He invented the myth of T-TPLF-is-the-the-savior-of-Ethiopia. Just like the  fable about “double digit growth over the past ten years” is a brilliant figment of Meles’ imagination. Meles had incomparably prodigious skills in transmogrifying pure lies into mega-truths. Meles has been feeding top American policy makers from day 1 the canard about  civil war in Ethiopia without his T-TPLF party in the saddle of power in perpetuity. (For an extended analysis of the U.S. diplocrisy and pandering, see my September 2011 commentary, The Diplomacy of Defending Dictatorship.)

It is not that U.S. officials are ignorant or do not know the truth about T-TPLF crimes against humanity and their filthy corruption. The truth is that U.S. officials, like Wendy Sherman, are willing to lie through their teeth to cover up the truth for the purpose of expediency.

In June 2009, in a Wikileaks cable, former U.S. Ambassador Donald Yamamoto was confident, forthright and frank in describing the horrendous political situation in Ethiopia to Deputy Secretary of State Jacob Lew:

Your visit to Ethiopia comes at a time when the Ethiopian Government’s (GoE) growing authoritarianism, intolerance of dissent, and ideological dominance over the economy since 2005 poses a serious threat to domestic stability and U.S. interests.  The GoE has come to believe its own anxieties about a fundamental shift in U.S. policy against it.  This self-induced crisis of confidence has exacerbated the GoE’s natural tendency of government control over politics, the economy and personal freedoms.  To pre-empt retaliation, the GoE has increasingly purged ethnic Oromos, Amharas, and others  perceived as not supporting the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) from the military, civil service, and security services…

… The May 2005 elections and their aftermath continue to weigh heavily on Ethiopia’s domestic political scene, and as a result, the government is systematically closing political space in Ethiopia.  The U.S. Embassy has taken the lead in advocating for transparent and open national elections in 2010, the next major milestone in Ethiopia’s democratization process… Since 2005, the government has enacted laws which limit and restrict party politics, the media, and civil society… The April 2008 local elections saw the ruling party take over all but three of over three million seats…  (Emphasis added.)

Yamamoto was equally frank as he scrupulously advised Lew about what the U.S. should and could do to promote human rights and the rule of law in Ethiopia.

Since 2005, the government has enacted laws which limit and restrict party politics, the media, and civil society… Laws have been passed regulating political financing, access to the press, and ability of civil society organizations (NGOs) to receive funding from foreign sources and participate in the political process… Without significant policy reform to liberalize the economy and allow mounting political dissent to be vented… [there could be] major civil unrest.  The United States can induce such a change, but we must act decisively, laying out explicitly our concerns and urging swift action.  Because the GoE has enjoyed only growing international assistance and recognition despite its recent record, it currently has no incentive to veer from the current trajectory to which the EPRDF is so committed.  If we are to move the GoE, we must be willing to use USG resources (diplomatic, development, and public recognition) to shift the EPRDF’s incentives away from the status quo trajectory…. (Emphasis added.) 

Now, Wendy Sherman says the T-TPLF apostles of Meles can walk on water. The fact of the matter is that there is a clear pattern and practice of mendacity and duplicity among top U.S. policy makers in dealing with Ethiopian issues. The use evasive, patronizing, platitudinous, clichéd and obfuscatory diplomatese long predates Sherman. That is just the way of American diplocrisy and menda-duplicty in Ethiopia. Ethiopians must just deal with it!

I think I can deal with American diplocrisy in Ethiopia.

But can I deal with Sherman’s clichés about “free, fair and credible elections,” drivel about “Ethiopia is a young democracy”, platitudes about “voting is important”, double speak about “making every election better than the last one” and blather about the “world that is facing a lot these days”?  I must confess that there is a limit to how much horse feathers (I did not say bull feathers) a man can take without barfing! So, I ask myself three questions:

1) Is Sherman saying these things to suck up to the ruling Thugtatorship of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front to keep them mollified and employed as servile local proxies? 

2) Should I insult Sherman’s intelligence by suggesting that she really, truly believes her statement: “Ethiopia is a democracy that is moving forward… Ethiopia is a young democracy… [where] everybody’s rights are respected and we know Ethiopia is working to do that as well.”? 

3) Did Sherman say those things mindlessly, as George Orwell might have described it, “to make lies sound truthful and murder respectable, and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind.”

I shall defer answering the foregoing questions, preferring, in the spirit of charity, to take solace in Dr. Martin Luther King’s admonition (“Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will.”) and move on with the analysis of the facts.

Ethiopia: The “young democracy that is moving forward in an election that we expect to be free, fair, credible…”

Ms. Sherman said “Ethiopia is a young democracy that is moving forward in an election that we expect to be free, fair, credible… Ethiopia has moved forward in strengthening its democracy every time there is an election. It gets better and better with every election better than the last one in being inclusive, making sure everybody’s rights are respected and we know Ethiopia is working to do that as well.”  Is this statement really true? Let’s look at the facts.

In May 2010, exactly five years ago to the month, the T-TPLF won the general “election” by “winning” 99.6 percent of the seats in parliament.

The European Union Election Observation Mission- Ethiopia 2010 in its final report stated: “The EU EOM considers that the playing field for the 2010 elections was not sufficiently balanced, leaning in favour of the ruling party in many areas… The electoral process fell short of certain international commitments, notably regarding the transparency of the process and the lack of a level playing field for all contesting parties.”

The EU Mission declined to observe the 2015 “election”.

The White House issued a statement in 2010 expressing “concern that international observers found that the elections fell short of international commitments. We are disappointed that U.S. Embassy officials were denied accreditation and the opportunity to travel outside of the capital on Election Day to observe the voting.”

Johnnie Carson, the Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs in the State Department told the U.S. House Foreign Affairs Committee that “we note with some degree of remorse that the elections were not up to international standards… The [Ethiopian] government has taken clear and decisive steps that would ensure that it would garner an electoral victory.” Carson added, “We appreciate the level of collaboration that we receive from Ethiopia in a number of areas, but we also believe that Ethiopia must do better in strengthening its democratic institutions.” (Emphasis added.)

What has been done in Ethiopia since 2010 to make “elections better”? Make “elections more inclusive, strengthen democratic institutions and respect the rights of Ethiopians”?

Over the past year, T-TPLF security forces have harassed, threatened and detained leaders and supporters of Ethiopian opposition parties, including leaders of the Semawayi (“Blue”) Party, the Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ) Party, and the Arena Tigray Party. Attempts by opposition parties to hold peaceful protests or mass gatherings have been routinely blocked.

Over the past five years, the Ethiopian free press has been decimated. The media remains under the total control of the T-TPLF. Over the past year alone, dozens of journalists, bloggers have been arrested and jailed and others have fled   following threats. In August 2014, the owners of six private newspapers were charged with terrorism after a relentless campaign of threats and harassment against their publications. According to the April 27, 2015 report of the  Committee to Protect Journalists, the top 5 “worst jailers of journalists worldwide” include, “1. Eritrea. 2. North Korea. 3. Saudi Arabia. 4. Ethiopia. 5. Ajerbajan.”  The T-TPLF regime continues to block opposition websites.

Over the past year, the T-TPLF regime has increased significantly its monitoring and recording of telephone calls among friends and family members, including international calls. (Just a bit of advice on decorum to my readers who make international calls to Ethiopia: It is a sign of good manners to politely greet and acknowledge the presence of the  eavesdroppers. Whenever you greet them, you will hear a click at the other end. In other words, as soon as you say, “Hello”, they say, “Good bye”. Click!)  The T-TPLF has used spyware to monitor and put opposition leaders and others under constant surveillance.

Over the past couple of years, the T-TPLF, with the complicity of the World Bank and others, has implemented a  “villagization program” resulting in the displacement of some 1.5 million rural people in Western Ethiopia and elsewhere. The “villagization” program in the Gambella region resulted in the beatings, illegal imprisonment and killings of hundreds of indigenous people.

Over the past couple of years, Ethiopian Muslims peacefully protesting T-TPLF interference in their religious affairs have been brutally suppressed. Today, dozens of young Muslim peaceful protest leaders languish in jail after being arrested on bogus terrorism charges. But they are not forgotten!

Exactly a year ago, dozens of peaceful student and other youthful protesters were gunned down in the streets in Ambo and environs.

In May 2015, youthful bloggers and journalists charged over a year ago with terrorism still languish in jail without trial. Their trial has been adjourned 26 times, most recently on April 8. The police are still gathering evidence to prosecute them. As I demonstrated in my commentary, Corruption in the Ethiopian JUST US Sector, Ethiopia is the only country in the world where a person is accused of a crime, arrested and jailed and the prosecution goes out to look for evidence of a crime by demanding and obtaining endless continuances in court. Now you know why I call it a kangaroo (monkey) court.

To be sure, what former Ambassador Yamamoto said in 2009, a year before the 2010 election in which the T-TPLF won 99.6 percent of the seats in “parliament” is what is happening today in May 2015. The T-TPLF still maintains a chokehold “over politics, the economy and personal freedoms.”  The T-TPLF has “systematically closed political space in Ethiopia… Since 2005, the government has enacted laws which limit and restrict party politics, the media, and civil society… The April 2008 local elections saw the ruling party take over all but three of over three million seats…” Back to the future in 2015 for ” free, fair and credible elections”.

Ethiopia “One of the fastest growing economies on the African continent” that is the second poorest country in the world 

Ms. Sherman said there has been “tremendous success here in Ethiopia, all of the development goals that have been met. Ethiopia is one of the fastest growing economies on the African continent.” (Emphasis added.)

Really?

Just how fast has Ethiopia been growing?

In 2009, Ambassador Yamamoto told Deputy Secretary Lew that the “Ethiopian government” maintained a chokehold on the economy and that its claims of double-digit growth are pure fabrications:

Foreign investment restrictions are widespread, including key sectors such as banking, insurance, and telecommunications.  The state-owned Ethiopian Telecommunications Corporation (ETC) is the only service provider in the sector, creating an environment of poor telecom service and access.  In a country of nearly 80 million people, there are only 920,000 fixed phone lines, 1.8 million cell phones, and 29,000 internet connections.  The GOE maintains a hard line stance on these key sectors…

The GOE publicly touts that Ethiopia has experienced double-digit real GDP growth of over 11 percent in recent years.  The GOE predicts real GDP growth of 10 percent this year.  Many institutions, including the World Bank and IMF, dispute the GOE’s growth statistics, stating that Ethiopia’s real GDP growth rate will most likely range between six and seven percent this year. (Emphasis added.)

In June 2013, Ambassador Yamamoto was singing a different tune before the Subcommittee on Africa:

Ethiopia ranks among the ten fastest-growing economies in the world, averaging 10 percent GDP growth over the last five years. State-run infrastructure drives much of this growth. Our bilateral trade and investment relationship is limited by investment climate challenges and the lack of market liberalization… Currently about 100 U.S. companies are represented in Ethiopia. Total U.S. exports to Ethiopia in 2012 were $1.29 billion; imports from Ethiopia totaled $183 million. (Emphasis added.)

“What a tangled web we weave when we practice to deceive.”

The Economist Magazine in March 2013 wrote, “The availability of cheap labour has contributed to GDP growth of 5-7%—roughly on a par with what Western economists reckon is Ethiopia’s actual rate, though the official figures are twice as high.” (See also my Huffington Post  commentary,  “The Voodoo Economics of Meles Zenawi”,  for the real story on how the Meles Zenawi and the T-TPLF cooked the books to claim double-digit growth. For a recent update, see my commentary, The World Bank and Ethiopia’s “Growth and Transformation”.)  (Emphasis added.)

Ambassador Yamamoto then and Wendy Sherman today both know the T-TPLF’s claim of double-digit economic growth and “fastest growing country on the continent” is a lie, a damned lie and a statislie (lying by statistics). Suffice it to say that I have demonstrated beyond a shadow of doubt that any claim of double-digit growth by the T-TPLF for any time period whatsoever is a BIG LIE. (See my commentary, “The World Bank and Ethiopia’s Growth and Transformation”. )

Here is a simple question for Ms. Sherman: How is it possible for the “tremendously successful Ethiopia that has met all of the development goals and become one of the fastest growing economies on the African continent” to become “one of the most food-insecure countries in the world” and the “second poorest nation in the world”?

According to the 2014 World Food Programme (WFP):

Despite positive advances, Ethiopia remains one of the world’s most food-insecure countries, where approximately one in three people live below the poverty line… 2.7 million Ethiopians will need food assistance in 2014 due to droughts and other short-term shocks…  In 2014, WFP Ethiopia plans to assist nearly 6.5 million vulnerable people with food and special nutritional assistance, including school children, farmers, people living with HIV/AIDS, mothers and infants, refugees and many others. (Emphasis added.)

According to 2014 Oxford Poverty and Human Development Initiative (OPHDI) Multidimensional Poverty Index (formerly annual U.N.D.P. Human Poverty Index), for the fourth successive year Ethiopia is ranked as the second poorest country on the planet.  In 2010, OPHDI reported that the percentage of the Ethiopian population in “severe poverty” (living on less than USD$1 a day) was 72.3%.  In 2014, 82 % of the rural population in Ethiopia struggles “in severe poverty” compared to 18% in the urban areas.

Does it even make sense for Wendy Sherman to talk about “one of the fastest-growing economies” amidst such abject poverty?

Or is Ms. Sherman just talkin’ horse feathers?

Why there can never be free and fair elections in Ethiopia under the T-TPLF

Ms. Sherman proclaimed,  “Ethiopia is a democracy that is moving forward in an election that we expect to be free, fair, credible open and inclusive in ways Ethiopia has moved forward in strengthening its democracy every time there is an election. It gets better and better. She bloviated about “elections in her own country” and pontificated that “elections are very important. Voting is important. I urge all Ethiopians to vote on your election day. And in our country we make every election better than the last one in being inclusive…”

I’d love to know on which planet Ms. Sherman spends most of her time when she is not visiting Ethiopia and kumbaya-ing with T-TPLF head honchos. 

As the old saying goes, one cannot squeeze blood from turnip.  Similarly, one cannot squeeze democracy from dictatorship.

The transition from “bushcraft” to statecraft requires fundamental transformations. Democratic statecraft requires an appreciation, understanding and application of basic democratic principles such as the rule of law, separation of powers, checks and balances and constitutionalism in the governance process.

The T-TPLF leaders have little experience with or practical understanding of such principles. They never had free elections in the bush. So, they don’t know what free elections are. In the bush, they lived under the law of the jungle; once they moved to the city, they upgraded to live under the law of dog-eat-dog.  Their ultimate justification for clinging to power is not that they have the consent of the people; it is that they have made “sacrifices in the bush”.

The T-TPLF leaders expect those who oppose them to gain power not through free, fair and credible elections as Ms. Sherman bloviates; they expect their opposition to go in to the bush and fight their way to power. The T-TPLF leaders scoff at civil liberties and civil rights as Western luxuries because they never lived in a system where the powers of government are constitutionally subordinated to the rights of the individual.

As I have said before, it is wishful thinking to expect the kind of statecraft necessary for democratic elections and governance from a gang of hateful ignoramuses from the bush.  Once a thug, always a thug! That is just the truth!!!

In commenting on the outcome of the perfect 2010 “elections”,  Prof. Tobias Hagmann observed:

The 2010 elections are the culmination of a political strategy, on which the Ethiopian government had embarked after the humiliating 2005 elections. This strategy consisted of both sticks and carrots. The sticks included threats, harassment and imprisonment of opposition politicians and their potential supporters, while the carrots included mass recruitment of new party members and – as new analysis reveals – federal disbursement of funding to districts with a strong opposition showing for appeasement or buying of votes… [The]  99.6 percent result is a very strong indicator that in Ethiopia, democracy is not about people’s rule, but about ruling people… After 20 years in power, EPRDF has not only a de facto monopoly over political representation and decision-making, but also a de facto monopoly over the definition of what democracy means in Ethiopia. (Emphasis added.)

The strategy for winning the 2015 “election” was written in 2010 by Meles Zenawi. For the Obama Administration, elections in Ethiopia are not about people’s rule, it is about legitimizing T-TPLF’s tyrannical rule over the people of Ethiopia.

Ms. Sherman “urges Ethiopians to go out and vote” with almost callow frivolity. She seems to believe that the ritual of going to the polls and depositing a piece of paper for T-TPLF cadres is good enough for the unintelligent Ethiopians. Ms. Sherman pontificated, “We think elections are very important…. Voting is important… And in our country we make every election better than the last one in being inclusive, making sure everybody’s rights are respected and we know Ethiopia is working to do that as well.”

But who is there to vote for? The lesser of the two evils between T-TPLF and the T-TPLF?  Jarod Kintz said, “Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil. Next time, go all out and write in Lucifer on the ballot.”

Is it really “important to vote” for the T-TPLF, the only party on the ballot?

Whenever Sherman returns from the planet where she spends most of her time on, I would like to ask her one simple question: Does she know that before there is a free, fair and credible election, the must be a FREE pre-election environment, FREE political parties, FREE media, FREE political prisoners, FREE civil society and, yes, an Ethiopia FREE of thugtatorship?!

“Ginbot 7, the terrorist organization”

I know little about Ginbot 7. I know of that organization only from sources available in the public domain. However, I have on various occasions condemned the kidnapping and unlawful rendition of Andargachew Tsgie, that organization’s Secretary General  in various commentaries.

I want to make one thing crystal clear: I have no political affiliations. I have NO political ambitions! I consider myself an accidental Ethiopian human rights advocate who was transformed literally overnight by the Meles Massacres of 2005 from a completely indifferent, unconcerned and uninvolved  Diasporic Ethiopian into a passionate, indefatigable and relentless  Ethiopian human rights advocate and speaker of the truth, as I see and feel it.

Ms. Sherman condemns  Ginbot 7 as a  “terrorist organization” and pledges to support the T-TPLF in its efforts against Ginbot 7.  She said she discussed issues with the Ethiopian “foreign minister” “dealing with the threat in Ethiopia, everything from Al Shabbab to Boko Haram, Daesh, to of course  Al Qaeda and indeed have discussed the reality that here from the Ethiopian perspective as well as concerns about  all of those terrorists groups that Ethiopia considers Ginbot 7 a terrorist group as [as does the United States] well.”

Is Ginbot 7 in the same class and league as Al Shabbab, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda, Daesh (in Libya)? What is the evidence to support Sherman’s allegations?

Sherman produced not a scintilla of evidence to show, suggest  or prove Ginbot 7 is a “terrorist” organization.

As I stated above, my knowledge of Ginbot 7 is based on information in the public domain.  There is no doubt that Sherman knows vastly more about Ginbot 7 having the services of the massive  intelligence community at her beck and call. For that reason alone, she has a moral and legal duty to produce at least a smidgen of evidence, proving, at least suggesting, that Ginbot 7 deserves to be classified with Al Shabbab, Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and whatever else.

What proven criminal “terrorist actions” have been committed (I don’t mean in kangaroo court) by Ginbot 7?  What competent evidence is available under American law that Ginbot 7 is a “terrorist” organization?

I have carefully researched the U.S. State Department list of Foreign Terrorist Organization and I have not found Ginbot 7 listed there.

I have researched the Global Terrorism Database, the most authoritative and comprehensive open-source database on terrorism incidents from 1970 to date, used by the U.S. Homeland Security, and there is no Ginbot 7 listed in that database.

I have scoured other databases generally less accessible to the public and have found nothing to suggest Ginbot 7 is a terrorist organization.

It seems to me that if Ms. Sherman actually believes Ginbot 7 is a “terrorist” organization on par with Boko Haram, Al Qaeda and the rest and has sufficient proof, she can single handedly order, as the fourth important U.S. state Department official, the listing of Ginbot 7 on the U.S. Foreign Terrorist Organization List. Pursuant to 8 U.S.C. section 1189 (a) (1), the U.S. Secretary of State is authorized to classify Ginbot 7 as a “foreign terrorist organization “if the Secretary finds that  Ginbot 7 is

(A) a foreign organization;

(B) engages in terrorist activity (as defined in section 1182 (a)(3)(B) of this title or terrorism (as defined in section 2656f (d)(2) of title 22), or retains the capability and intent to engage in terrorist activity or terrorism)  [1] ; and

(C) the terrorist activity or terrorism of the organization [Ginbot 7] threatens the security of United States nationals or the national security of the United States.

My simple question is why Ms. Sherman, given her ferocious and scandalous condemnation of Ginbot 7 as a “terrorist” organization, has not acted to place that organization on Foreign Terrorist Organizations List and prosecute its members in the United States and issue warrants for the arrest and extradition of others elsewhere.  They say the eyes are the windows to the soul. I say crooked speech and devious talk is a window to the mendacious and duplicitous mind.

Interestingly, in my research, I did find that the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front, with whom Ms. Sherman “looks forward to continuing our work with the Ethiopian government”, is actually on the active terrorist list of the Global Terrorism Database, an open-source database and a Center of Excellence of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. (For a list of specific terrorist acts committed by the TPLF listed in the GTD, CLICK HERE.)

There is further evidence suggesting that the ruling T-TPLF party has and continues to engage in terrorism against Ethiopian citizens. In a report from 2006 marked “Secret; Subject: Ethiopia: Recent Bombings Blamed on Oromos Possibly the Work of GOE [Government of Ethiopia]” “Classified By: Charge [d’Affairs] Vicki Huddleston” (former Acting U.S. Ambassador to Ethiopia and referenced above in claiming that there will be civil war in Ethiopia without the T-TPLF), “An embassy source, as well as clandestine reporting, suggests that the bombing may have in fact been the work of the GoE security forces.” (Cable reference id: #06ADDISABABA2708.)

Sherman’s statement that “we look forward to continuing our work with the Ethiopian government” raises manifestly troubling questions about a U.S. official’s continuing criminal enterprise with a terrorist organization listed in a U.S. Homeland Security Department approved database.

I don’t want to sound legalistic but it seems to me that a prima facie case could be made out against Ms. Sherman for flagrant violation of 18 U.S. Code § 2339B in her dealings with a known terrorist organization. That section of the Code provides, “Whoever knowingly provides material support or resources to a foreign terrorist organization, or attempts or conspires to do so, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 15 years, or both, and, if the death of any person results, shall be imprisoned for any term of years or for life.”

There is another important issue that saddens me about Ms. Sherman’s statements. Ms. Sherman, beyond her condemnation and disparagement of the Gibot 7 organization, in my personal opinion, has recklessly slandered every member and supporter of that organization as a “terrorist”. I am informed and believe that there are many U.S. citizens who are either members or supporters of that organization. I believe Ms. Sherman’s comments are devastatingly injurious to their reputations and standing in their communities. In my opinion, her comments are reasonably likely to result in the public ridicule, contempt and disgrace of the members and supporters of that organization for a long time to come.

As a constitutional lawyer, I am deeply troubled and offended by Ms. Sherman’s flagrant trampling of the First Amendment rights to free speech, association and assembly. She declared,  “The United States believes no group, including Ginbot 7 should attempt to overthrow or speak of overthrowing a democratically elected government.”

Is Ms. Sherman issuing a censorship edict ex cathedra (by virtue of her office) against any critic of the so-called government of Ethiopia?

Is she threatening Ginbot 7 members or supporters who are U.S. citizens with legal sanctions for advocating  the “overthrow of the democratically elected government” in Ethiopia?

Is she saying that an American citizen does not have the right to advocate the “overthrow of the democratically elected government” in Ethiopia?

Ms. Sherman’s ignorance of First Amendment jurisprudence is simply stunning!  Ms. Sherman is manifestly unacquainted with the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and appears to be clueless  about the jurisprudence undergirding that Amendment.

Perhaps I can enlighten the benighted Ms. Sherman on elementary principles of American constitutional law, particularly the First Amendment.

In the United States, the issue of advocacy of violence to overthrow the government was resolved by the U.S. Supreme Court in Brandenberg v. Ohio (1969) 395 U.S. 444, 447. The Supreme Court held that the notion of punishing mere “advocacy” of  the overthrow of the government is a “thoroughly discredited” practice. (Dennis v. United States (1951) 341 U.S. 494, 507 . The Court held its own precedents have  “fashioned the principle that the constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action.” The  Supreme Court has also held that advocacy of illegal action at some future time is protected by the First Amendment. (Hess v. Indiana (1973) 414 U.S. 105, 108.) (Emphasis added.)

The operative terms are “imminent” and “likely”. “Imminent” means action which could reasonably be expected to cause death or serious physical harm immediately or before the imminence of such danger can be eliminated by other means. “Likely” means having a high probability of occurring. Combined, the two terms signify the high probability of lawless action occurring immediately, not hours, weeks, months or years later. Is there any question that Ginbot 7 members and supporters who are U.S. citizens have the constitutionally protected right to advocate the overthrow of the so-called Ethiopian government?

Ms. Sherman has no right to abuse her office or hector American citizens by issuing the equivalent of an executive fatwa censoring speech advocating the overthrow of “the democratically elected government” in Ethiopia. She has no legal or constitutional basis to make such an official statement in the form of a policy or policy declaration. How right Goethe is.  “There is nothing more frightening than ignorance in action.”

Could Ms. Sherman be in violation of  18 U.S.C. section 241 for her joint statement with the “foreign minister” of Ethiopia in which she implicitly, in my view manifestly, threatened official action against Ginbot 7 members and supporters who are U.S. citizens for their exercise of their constitutional rights under the First Amendment? Section 241 provides,  “If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; …They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years…”

I am not sorry that I sound didactic in my analysis because I believe Ms. Sherman needs to be schooled in elementary principles of American constitutional law.

Perhaps Ms. Sherman also needs schooling in American history. I wonder if she has a clue as to the origin of the following quote:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That  to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, –That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness… But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

I will help her out. It comes from an obscure and little-known document called the Declaration of Independence.  Unbeknownst to Ms. Sherman, the Declaration is the rock-solid foundation of the very government she claims to serve at such a high level today.

On the need for peaceful change, truth and reconciliation

I personally have no use for violence as a means of political or social change. I abhor violence because it is immoral, ungodly and inhuman. Here is my brief manifesto against violence as a means of political and social change:

1) The consent of the governed can never be secured by violence or force.

2) Those who come to power through violence always, always feel entitled to remain in power because they believe only violence could dislodge them from power. Such has been the logic of the T-TPLF.  Meles once said that his T-TPLF fought its way to power and those who seek political power should go into the bush and fight their way into power. I find it curious why the T-TPLF is bent out of shape when its invitation for a violent overthrow is accepted by some!

3) Change brought by violence is not durable or long-lasting.

4) More violence must be used by those who used violence to get power to remain in power.

5) Violence always begets violence and becomes the fountainhead of hate. Dr. King said, “The ultimate weakness of violence is that it is a descending spiral begetting the very thing it seeks to destroy, instead of diminishing evil, it multiplies it. Through violence you may murder the liar, but you cannot murder the lie, nor establish the truth. Through violence you may murder the hater, but you do not murder hate. In fact, violence merely increases hate.”

6) Violence is nothing more than the politics of bloodshed. Political change obtained by bloodshed will demand more bloodshed to maintain.

7) Organized violence often turns into civil wars resulting in the deaths of hundreds of thousands of innocent children, women, the old, poor and defenseless.  Ethnic, sectarian and political violence has cost the lives of millions of innocent and defenseless Africans and made Africa the most dangerous place on the planet to live.

7)  Beating, torturing and killing people is the wrong way to win their hearts and minds.

8) I believe in the Scriptural truth that “for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.”

Is there ever a justification for violence?  Mahatma Gandhi said, “I would risk violence a thousand times rather than risk the emasculation of a whole race. I do believe that, where there is only a choice between cowardice and violence, I would advise violence… I would rather have India resort to arms in order to defend her honour than that she should, in a cowardly manner, become or remain a helpless witness to her own dishonor.”

I don’t believe in violence but I believe in waging battles for hearts and minds. When I began my Ethiopian human rights advocacy in earnest back in 2006 after the Meles Massacres, I made it clear that my human rights struggle was going to be for hearts and minds.  At the time, I gave a very long speech explaining why a struggle for hearts and minds of all Ethiopians to transcend the politics of ethnicity,  hate and sectarianism is necessary.  For the past nine years, I have tried to do just that by speaking truth to power and those who abuse and misuse power.

I believe in the clash of ideas and battle of ideas for ideals. I believe in using the sword of truth to slay the dragons of lies.  I also believe there are rules of engagement in the struggle for hearts and minds: Facts, logic, civility, good faith and good will.

In the final analysis, I believe in truth and conciliation.  I believe in fighting to defend the truth as I see it, feel it and believe it.  “Even if you are a minority of one, the truth is the truth,” said Gandhi. The truth must be told and understood before seeking ways to move forward making sure the mistakes of the past are never repeated.

It’s all about legitimizing the May 2015 “election”, “keeping truth on the scaffold and wrong on the throne”

Wendy Sherman’s song and dance about the “young Ethiopian democracy” and the rest of her blather is all about legitimizing the bogus May 2015 election. Let there be no mistake: The guiding principle for the Obama Administration in Ethiopia is this: “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the Ethiopian people . What is good for the T-TPLF is good for Ethiopia!”  I hate to say it but the Obama Administration truly believes Ethiopians are as dumb as a box of rocks.

One of the most rewarding things about being a human rights advocate is that one can tell the unvarnished truth and let the chips fall where they may. I like the old Ethiopian saying, “It is better to tell the truth and stay over for the night wherever it might be.”

Wendy Sherman is the face of Barack Obama in Ethiopia. When she speaks, she speaks for Barack Obama. When she says, “Ethiopia is a democracy”, she speaks for Barack Obama!

What do I think about Barack Obama? Must you really ask?

I have completely given up on Barack Obama. I don’t like to admit it publicly but some of my friends snicker at me for supporting Barack Obama to the hilt when he ran for President twice and while in office for making excuses for him. Yes, I believed (convinced myself to believe) he would really do something to improve human rights in Africa, not just Ethiopia.  Yes, I did swallow hook, line and sinker Obama’s baloney in Accra, Ghana about “African needs strong institutions, not strongmen. Right side of history and all the rest ”.  I tried to explain (defend) why I supported Obama from the beginning in my commentary, “Shame On Me For Being Proud of President Obama!” I believe it was President George Bush (43) who said, “I know it’s in Texas, probably in Tennessee that says, ‘Fool me once, shame on … shame on you. Fool me… You can’t get fooled again!” You know what I mean.

I have to admit that I still like one of the things Obama said in his campaign in 2008. It is so applicable to the 2015 Ethiopian “election”. Obama said, “You can put lipstick on a pig, but at the end of the day, it is still a pig.  You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called ‘change.  It’s still gonna stink after eight years.”

I say Wendy Sherman can put lipstick on the T-TPLF and call it a “young democracy”. She can put make-up on the T-TPLF and call it a “strong partner”. But at the end of the day, the designer-suited TPLF thugs masquerading as “young democrats” and “strong partners” are still thugs. You can wrap an old fish in a piece of paper called “young democracy” but after 25 years it’s still gonna stink.

So, after all, Obama and I agree on some things, pigs and thugs!

Wendy Sherman should know only two questions determine the outcome of the 2015 “election”:  Are the people of Ethiopia  better off today than they were in 2010, in 2005? Do they eat three meals a day? Meles Zenawi said the ultimate indicator of his success and legacy will be whether Ethiopians eat three meals a day!

I have no problems with Ms. Sherman’s passionate and ferocious defense of the T-TPLF. Her body language speaks volumes for her commitment to the T-TPLF cause. Her tonality shows total devotion to the T-TPLF.

I admire passion in a cause. I believe passion tempered by facts and logic is the most important and potent weapon in the battle for hearts and minds.  Just as Sherman is passionate in her defense of the T-TPLF, I am equally passionate in my opposition to the T-TPLF’s gross human rights abuses, its decimation of civil society, incarceration of journalists and closing of all political space.

I am grateful to Wendy Sherman. She gave me an opportunity to passionately engage her, and indirectly her T-TPLF minions, in the battle for the truth and the hearts and minds of the Ethiopian people. I have not rested my case in my cause. As a defense lawyer, I know the defense never rests. But I will submit the issue of who is on the right side of history to the judgment of Ethiopian people.

Wendy Sherman says “Ethiopia is a young democracy”. I say Ethiopia is under the thumbs and boots of a long-in-the-tooth thugtatorship. Let the people of Ethiopia render a verdict on this question.

Wendy Sherman says, the U.S. “looks forward to continuing our work with the Ethiopian government and our very strong partnership” with the “Ethiopian government”.   I say the Obama Administration is on the wrong side of history for making a partnership and continuing to work with the T-TPLF.

Let history render a verdict on who was on the right side of history when history itself hanged and dangled from the scaffold of Obama diplocrisy.

Ms. Sherman and the Obama Administration can coddle a hardened thugtatorship and call it a “young democracy”.  The people of Ethiopia know “nothing is better than listening to a lie when you already know the truth.”

We are now engaged in the battle for the hearts and minds of the Ethiopian people and the destiny and soul of Ethiopia with Obama and his T-TPLF minions on one side and the rest of Ethiopians on the right side of history.  Victory in the end will be on the side of those on the right side of history because “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice”; because truth will not forever remain on the scaffold nor wrong forever ensconced on the throne. In James R. Lowell’s verse in “The Crisis” :

Once to every man and nation comes the moment to decide,
In the strife of Truth with Falsehood, for the good or evil side;

Careless seems the great Avenger; history’s pages but record

Truth forever on the scaffold, Wrong forever on the throne,—
Yet that scaffold sways the future, and, behind the dim unknown,
Standeth God within the shadow, keeping watch above his own.

Can’t wait to hear what Wendy Sherman has to say on May 25, 2015

Joseph Stalin said, “The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do.” Stalin was wrong.

There are some in high positions in the U.S. Government, including Wendy Sherman, who  believe they are the ones who decide the “election” scheduled for May 24, 2015. They are actually right; and they have already declared and anointed the winner of the 2015 “election” in the “young Ethiopian democracy”. No surprise there.

I am just waiting to read the heartfelt congratulatory statements to be sent by Wendy Sherman, the State Department and the White House to the T-TPLF.

I remember when Robert Mugabe “won” his presidential election in August 2013 by 61 percent, Secretary of State John Kerry sent his the following “congratulatory” note:  “Make no mistake: in light of substantial electoral irregularities reported by domestic and regional observers, the United States does not believe that the results announced today represent a credible expression of the will of the Zimbabwean people… The balance of evidence indicates that today’s announcement was the culmination of a deeply flawed process.”

Two weeks ago when Omar Hassan al-Bashir claimed reelection in the Sudan by a  landslide victory of 94.05 percent  and declared that his National Congress Party (NCP) has won 323 of 426 parliamentary seats, the “Troika” issued a “congratulatory” Joint Statement on Elections in Sudan:

The members of the Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom, and the United States) regret the Government of Sudan’s failure to create a free, fair, and conducive elections environment. Restrictions on political rights and freedoms, counter to the rights enshrined in the Sudanese Constitution, the lack of a credible national dialogue, and the continuation of armed conflict in Sudan’s peripheries, are among the reasons for the reported low participation and very low voter turnout. The outcome of these elections cannot be considered a credible expression of the will of the Sudanese people.

I can’t wait, just can’t wait, to hear what Wendy Sherman, the State Department and White House will say on May 25, 2015, when they officially confirm what they have known for the  past year.  The T-TPLF has won by 100 percent of the votes and captured all 547 seats in “parliament”.

Wendy Sherman and Barack Obama should understand a simple fact about elections: “Politicians are like diapers. They both need changing regularly and for the same reason.”

Arrrrgh! The thought of poor Ethiopia wearing the same diapers for another 5 years…. for a total of 25 years!!!

May 4, May 5, May 6,… May 20, May 21, May 22, May 23, and still counting, May 25.

—————————–

Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam

posted by Daniel tesfaye

Ethiopian migrants: Suppressed at home, neglected abroad

May 1, 2015

by Graham Peebles | NWC News

The first duty of any government is to protect its citizens from harm, at home and abroad – no matter who they are, or where they are. This is the primary moral and constitutional responsibility of the EPRDF government of Ethiopia, which, as with a vast array of such obligations, they fail to meet, or even acknowledge. Thousands of Ethiopian men and women are trapped and frightened inside Yemen

In recent weeks a plethora of atrocities have befallen Ethiopians abroad: in Libya 30 Ethiopian Christians (whom we know of) were murdered (their beheadings shown on video) by demented, Islamic jihadists, marching under a black flag of hate and violence; hundreds of others shiver in fear of being discovered. Earlier this month Ethiopians (together with other African migrants) living in South Africa were dragged through the streets by gangs: burnt alive, beaten, their homes and businesses destroyed, their children attacked.

Thousands of Ethiopian men and women are trapped and frightened inside Yemen as that country descends into civil war; hundreds more are amongst the thousands of desperate men and women trying to cross the Mediterranean into Europe from Libya. And in the Middle East and Gulf States (MENA), Ethiopian girls, working as domestic workers, are routinely mistreated by employers; many are sexually abused, most suffer psychological violence, all are trapped into domestic slavery.

To each and every one of those Ethiopians suffering upon foreign soil, the ruling regime has offered little or no support. Not content with suppressing the people at home, violating their basic human rights and denying them freedom and justice, the EPRDF government ignores their cries for help. Unlike other nation states (Malaya, Sri Lanka, the Philippines, for example) they provide no consular support to the vulnerable young workers in the Gulf countries; have failed to organise any major airlifts for those hiding in Yemen, have done nothing to protect migrants in Durban and Johannesburg; and have taken no significant action, save prime ministerial platitudes, to safeguard Ethiopian Christians in Libya.

The government’s neglect is shameful but not surprising, and has enraged the people, who took to the streets of Addis Ababa recently in huge numbers in a powerful display of collective grief and anger. Their peaceful protest was met – again not surprisingly, given the governments intolerance of public assembly – by baton wielding security personnel, who beat men, women and girls indiscriminately and broke up the demonstrations. According to constitutional principle demonstrations are allowed, but in practice they are all but outlawed, as are all types of free expression. The regime is paranoid, as all such totalitarian groups are.

Neither Home nor Country

The need for a quiet centre from where to face the world is common to us all. For many that haven of security is our country of birth, it comforts and reassures us, holds us gently in its sure embrace, protecting us from the uncertainties and dangers of life. Home is where we feel safe, secure and loved. A wooden hut or a Modernist mansion, home is the refuge we turn to in times of difficulty.

For the thousands of Ethiopian migrants abroad, they have neither home nor country. Abandoned by their government they are homeless, vulnerable and alone; they make easy prey for criminals: the traffickers and the gangs of rapists, kidnappers, jihadists and thugs who patrol the pathways along which the migrants walk.

To the untrained eye, the economy of Ethiopia appears to be developing, and the country gives the appearance of stability in a region of almost total instability. But this is a misleading image of development and hides deep-seated inequalities, endemic corruption, widespread bitterness and simmering fury towards the ruling party. Ethiopia remains one of the poorest countries in the world: it is ranked 173rd out of 187 countries in the UN human development index, and unprecedented numbers of its citizens are migrating in search of opportunity and freedom.

They travel north to Egypt and Libya – hoping to make it to Europe; south to Kenya and South Africa; east to Yemen, where some stay, others continue to try to crawl into Saudi Arabia. Many head to the other Gulf states, Lebanon, Kuwait, United Arab Emirates; countries with virtually no domestic labour laws, endemic racism and sexism, where naïve, uneducated young girls from rural Ethiopia enter into contracts (the Kafala system) with employers that trap them into domestic servitude, and, for many, sexual and psychological torture. Over two thirds make the journey out of the country illegally, entrusting their lives to human traffickers.

They migrate for one of two reasons, economical or political, or should we say humanitarian, for it is the violations of their basic human rights that drive many from their homeland.

Many see no way to build a decent life for themselves and their families: others, particularly journalists and political activists see no hope of freedom from tyranny and are persecuted by the security forces for holding views that differ from the government. For them Libya, Yemen or the Mediterranean are no more dangerous than Ethiopia, Islamic state no greater a threat than the police or military, and so they too step onto the migrant road of uncertainty, in search of a new home in a more peaceful place; a place where there are economic opportunities, better education, and where democracy, justice and freedom exist. All of which, despite the duplicitous, political rhetoric from the EPRDF government, are totally absent in Ethiopia.

The regime systematically violates fundamental human rights, silences all dissenting voices and rules the country in a suppressive violent fashion which is causing untold suffering to millions of people. The upcoming May election, contrary to US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s ignorant, misjudged and widely criticised comments (that “Ethiopia is a democracy that is moving forward in an election that we expect to be free, fair and credible and open and inclusive”), is a hollow piece of democratic theatre; a total sham, with no credibility whatsoever. The result, as everyone in the country and amongst the diaspora knows, is a forgone conclusion.

The government of Ethiopia neglects and suppresses the people at home, ignores and abandons them abroad. They are in violation of a plethora of international covenants, as well as their own constitution, but perhaps more fundamentally they are in violation of their primary moral duty: To care for and protect their citizens, wherever they face intimidation, violence and abuse.

posted by Daniel tesfaye

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