By: Tesfaye Z. Yigzaw
June 30, 2008
Unseasoned proliferations of political leadership
and the dwindling of freedom in Ethiopia
The main reason the people in Ethiopia continues to experience the hardship has certainly attributed to the absence of a democratic system of government. The regime on control has stayed on power with deceit and shrewdness promising to stimulate a democratic system of government, while terrorizing and imprisoning the public at large. There are many out of naivety have believed, a cunning word as a genuine promise and they are still waiting TPLF would kindle democracy in Ethiopia. However, more than seventeen years past without seeing any democratic reform, rather TPLF has strengthen its dictatorship and brutality against the public, and now it is making sure no opposing group would remain active in the country. At the same time, the opposition groups had failed itself and the Ethiopian people for the reasons that will be clear later in the discussions. However, to avoid another mistake from happening, the opposition forces must inspire democracy, and able to take stern considerations on a well defined strategies to remove TPLF from power. Without well defined strategy, an ambition to reverse TPLF’s policy is impossible.
First, let us see in brief what has gone wrong in Ethiopian society: at any given time, every society is a dynamic force of its own. This is a force that builds up the socioeconomic and political developments on its time, and would to transfer it to the next society. It is in fact, the present society builds up its socioeconomic and political structures on the establishment of the past society. The present society becomes the past as its time ends, while passing on a legacy to the coming society. Most often, the present society excels in development by comparison to the previous society, on its particular time; it forms a complex socioeconomics and political structures. This is because, the present society is often better equipped by achieving viable resources in human developments with due to advancement in technology. These include knowledge and experiences gained through its time, and including to what it had received from previous society. This is actively perpetuates from one to next society. In short that how society in every country at any given time to the next has transformed its socioeconomics and political development. In Ethiopia, however it is an opposite. In Ethiopia everything of the past regarded wicked, as opposed to other countries where the past is a learning scheme to be respected and preserved to the future. This has been one of the reason today Ethiopia regressed forty and more years backward under an ethnocentric policy of illiterate TPLF leadership. The current regime, while underperforming in developments, has continued to blame the previous society for over seventeen years. This is a regime on power, and its only interest is to continue to destroy Ethiopian identity, values and its institutions. There is no doubt; TPLF is the worst regime in the history of the country, its criminal behavior unseen else where in the world. The previous regime (Dergue) and TPLF do share some common criminal demeanors, yet the Dergue regime by far a better patriotic than TPLF. TPLF likes to blame the past regimes only to cover up its weaknesses, to continue ruining the developments of the country. TPLF’s to blame of the past regimes, however is hollow, the Ethiopian people are very intelligent, they able to make historical analysis of the past to that of TPLF. TPLF has ruined the country’s resources; while blaming, still live off the previous regimes’ establishment. For example, TPLF’s Prime Minister lives in a hundred year old magnificent palace built by Menelik II. Here, in this splendid palace, TPLF Prime Minister throws extravagant cheerful party to his members as his especial Agazi force massacres thousands innocent lives. The TPLF’s Prime Minister exclusively depends on freights for exports and imports by a railroad, also built by Menelik II, while denying Ethiopia its natural seaport. Menelik anticipated the on going deforestations hundred years ago, and the shortcoming of forest necessary for building materials and firewood, hence, recurrence of drought, he initiated reforestation. Had Menelik not initiated reforestations hundred years ago, today many house holds would have been without firewood, and of course, TPLF’s Agazi soldiers could be without batten to club up people. What is next? The best airline the TPLF leaders take pleasure on to fly free of charge was established sixty years ago by Haile Sellesi I. and the best air force TPLF relies on for defense also established by his majesty. Note, TPLF leaders attempted to dismantle these very successful institutions, but were stopped by courageous airlines employees and patriotic citizens. Well, who built the postal, telecommunication services and banking? I do not think TPLF leaders are able to answer because of their short memory. Yes, they called their Prime Minister a smart man, of course he is a smart man, but he is not an intelligent person. There is a difference between smartness and an intelligent; street gangs are smart but they are not intelligent, thieves are smart but they are not intelligent. The loquacious persons are smart but not all of them could be intelligent. Intelligent requires a higher propensity in aptitude, in comparison; smartness does not require higher aptitude. TPLF and its mal-educated associates do not understand historical analysis but bedevil the farsighted leaders. Nevertheless, that does not mean the visionary leaders were free from faults. It is the historical facts, no government in the history of the world could be free from some kind of blame, and that is the reason people often opt to change the leaders either by force or with peaceful means. That is different in a democratic system of government where people can chose to replace their leaders. Neither Menelik nor Haile Sellesi had claimed they were democrats. It could never be right for monarchs to claim so. But the false-prophet of democracy, without shedding off its fanatic communist ideology, the dictators of TPLF preach about democracy, the system they do not even slightly understood. It would not be a surprise; their Prime Minister is incapable to distinguish between internationally recognized symbols (Flag) from a piece of rug. TPLF and its misinformed associates in crimes accuse Menelik and Haile Sillasi I of oppressing other ethnic groups but Amhara. Nevertheless, there is no evidence that both emperors were exclusively from Amhara ethnic groups. The lineages of autocrats were described traditionally; autocrats were the products intertwined by marriage of nobles of different ethnic groups. Amhara as the rest of the ethnic groups were oppressed by any of the regimes. To make it further clear, the oppressors were the noblemen that had come without the boundary of ethnicity, which is different from today’s government where only elites from one ethnic group controls the institutions of government to coerce the rest. Though what took place at the past regimes seemed wrong in today’s political account, it maybe justified given the autocratic form of government and the epoch they were lived in to govern the country. It was important to note, what they were accused of, in fact have been the establishments of today’s Ethiopia, and a pride of generations. To further clarify, had Menelik was not done it, either Aba Jifar of Kafa or Dej. Balcha Abanebso of Shewa Oromo or Tona of Wellita, who ever had more power could have done it. If Haile Silasi I was not done, either Ali- Mirra of Afar or Ras Mengasha of Tigrea, again who ever had more power could have done it, or would none of these men were incapable, it would be one of a powerful nobleman from any ethnic group. That was then; today the generation is different with perceptions of modern views to go along with the changing world’s attitudes, seeking a democratic form of government. For the purpose of political exploitations of their ethnic groups, intended to gratify only an organization selfish ambition to seize power, ethnocentric political organizations such as TPLF, OLF, and ONLF have been screaming loud by preaching and weeping over to let others know that only the corresponding ethnic groups were oppressed. These three groups together with association of Eritrean liberation front formed an EPRDF, a larger group that authorized TPLF to destroy humanity. Nevertheless, such an ethnic creed and resentment is absent from others, for instance during Emperor Haile Sellessi I, the Gojjam farmers were the first civilians in the history of Ethiopia to be massacred by modern air force jets dropping bombs from above. In Gojjam again, Dergue slaughtered innocent people with Mig jets in early of its reign, and in Gonder thousands of lives were to carnage by Dergue. The people of Wello were mass starved, and thousands died intentionally with the knowledge of the emperor himself. TPLF/EPRDF between a time span of 1991 – 1996, had massacred thousands of poor farmers, and more were displaced from their homes only because they were Amhara ethnic group living in the south part of the country. These four ethnocentric political organizations that formed EPRDF invented the stupidest idea of “colonization” by Amhara. I could go further to a political analysis on this particular issue but for now I leave it here with a simple language: such bizarre ethnocentric philosophy has been temporarily worked out for the best interest of TPLF and EPLF, while duping OLF and ONLF. Here the lesson is obvious, ethnocentric political organizations neither cares for its people nor benefit the country. Its existence is more destructive to those organizations that struggle to promote democracy.
Mr. Zenawi, Meles show me the money and I would show you the destitute. I am sure you have the money to pay off six million dollars on settlement for a lawsuit to free your ambassador who was charged of prostitution. You have the money to pay millions of dollars ever year to the richest immoral lobby group to muzzle the Ethiopian people, while millions are dieing of starvations. You have the money to spend on your spy machineries, radio and websites to spread hate propaganda here in abroad, while millions of children left starved to death. Do you have any remorse?
Mr. Legesse, Adisu show me the food, and I would show you millions of emaciated children without driving further out of Addis. Mr. Ministry of Agriculture, you probable know, at least somebody might have told you, Ethiopia is a leading country in Africa, and one of the top in the world to own livestock. During the Dergue time, even the poorest family often affords to eat meat at least more than two days per a week, but now at your regime those at higher class find hardly meat in their diets. The reason is simply your political organization, TPLF and its associates in crime are taking away livestock, meat and its products to sell them outside the country to earn foreign currency to their own organization. A good government cares for its people first, and foreign currency comes second, that is after people had been fed. Do you understand?
Where is a ten percent economic growth for seventeen yours? Have you embezzled the Ethiopians money? I do not think you have a problem with your eyesight, if you do, you can visit an optometrist. But I am sure you do have a malady in your brain, unfortunately there is no technology available in science to install intelligence in your brain. However, you do need some advice; I do recommend keeping on reading to better your memory.
Since TPLF come to power, millions are dying of starvations, human rights perished and the country embroiled in ethnic division and conflicts. While there is no basic running water, shortage of electricity and sewage system even in the main capital city, TPLF’s communist dictator(s) is telling untruthful about development. Though, TPLF proponents disagree with these facts, and contend improvements were made, such as high rising buildings and road constructions. For sure no one detests road constructions, as it is vital to economic development. But roads and high buildings are not a sign of economic developments. Basic necessities such as food, water, health and educations, are the most important priorities than constructing the high-rise buildings. Of course, TPLF proponents should disagree with these facts, because they are the beneficiary of the crimes and illegal business empires of TPLF. They have become rich by subsidized free money from poor tax payers, to assemble their businesses, construct skyscrapers, and brewers to poison the people who lacks basic meal of a day. TPLF and its associates in crimes are disseminating as usual their lies; the Ethiopian economy has been grown ten or more percent, while the economy of a richest country on the surface of the earth has barely grown two percent, with the world economy is creeping on the ground. Seventeen years, they have been saying the economy is growing, where in fact the economy has grown downward, with over ninety percent of the population remain poor, and every citizen is eking out for a meal of a day. Experts say the level of poverty in Ethiopia is higher than it was during Dergue’s regime. Yes, the Ethiopian economy has been grown, not ten percent, but over hundred percent, that it is only for TPLF and their associates in crimes. TPLF, an unwanted political organization in the country, owns and runs multiple business empire in Ethiopia. Though TPLF is an illegal political organization that controls power on gunpoint by terrorizing innocent civilians, it operates unlawful businesses as a political entity. How does TPLF come up with the figure to the economic growth? It is very simple; for the first time in the history of the country, it is well known, TPLF has received the largest aids for the development funds, in addition, huge sum of money loaned from IMF and World Bank (the two largest world monetary funds that help dictators to exterminate the world underprivileged), these financial incentives all together added up with the country’s GDP, in turn these money distributed out between TPLF’s business empire and its associates in crimes, this has been accounted for investment and the country’s economic growth.
TPLF founded with ethnocentric ideology by communist leaders, whose basis are always a deceit; example, two months prior to Ethiopian and Eritrean war, a journalist asked TPLF’s Prime minister about an invasion of Ethiopian territory by Eritrea. Mr. Zenawi answered: “It is a rumor spread by Neftegnas and Amhara intended to destroy a good relationship of the two brotherly countries.” Months later, war broke out, I remember. I was on a trip, after checking in to my hotel room, I turned on a TV set for late night news for CNN international; the breaking news headline was flashing out, “Eritrea invaded Ethiopia” immediately TPLF’s Prime minister, Mr. Zenawi was interviewed by Mrs. Amon Paur; one of her questions was; “You are backstabbed by your best friend?” This time, he has no choice to tell a lie about Eritrean invasion but forced to divulge, his former master invaded Ethiopia, of course, he was not denied “his best friend” during that interview, however, later on, he denied both “never been friends.” Before a war ended, both dictators agreed to settle their border dispute at an International Arbitrary Court. After an International Court gave its decision, the TPLF foreign Minister called upon the media, telling them “Badame rewarded” to Ethiopia. Well I am sure the foreign Minister able to read some English, but I could not be certain he understood what was written. What about those experts working for him, are they all illiterate? It was undoubtedly stated, the court awarded “Badame” to Eritrea. Lying is a norm to TPLF; it is the most dissipated organization in the surface of the earth. The habit of deceit is not limited to its high level leaders; its cadres exhibit the same behavior. Almost a year and half ago, I was drinking a cup of coffee at Starbucks, two TPLF cadres walked in and sat across me. One of them was a TPLF solder who had been sent to study in the USA, or maybe to spy on Ethiopians. I was told, he is now asking a political asylum in the USA. The two men were talking, when I interrupted their conversations with an apology. I noticed, the other person was newly arrived from Ethiopia, and I asked him about the rising food prices in Ethiopia. Instead of a newly arrived person, the TPLF’s ex-solder answered; “The farmers are very rich, they do not need money, but keep their products to eat it.” I looked at a newly arrived person on his eyes, to get more information. He gave me the same answer, but said; “He is from Tigrea and there, food is plenty” immediately their answers reminded me, a fantasy movie: “Semayawe Ferase”: about Blue Nile waterfalls, where the water vapor mechanically condensed for it to come back in the form of rain. According to the movie, the country turned into a green land as a result it become a “Breadbasket” of the world. There is nothing wrong with the Movie; I can say it is a perfect imagination. I am sure the country can be “A breadbasket” only when there is a will and a good governance. But I am baffled how TPLF members continue to tell lies. If my question would be asked today, of course, it is obvious, they have a good reason and the rise on gasoline price could be their justification. In fact, I cut short my conversation realizing the two men’s ignorance.
Almost it is coming to be exactly one year, since the celebration of Ethiopian Millennium; The TPLF’s Prime Minister and his drama queen wife (pretentious) along others were dancing on a podium with a Sudan’s music, of course that was a TPLF’s Millennium party to sell out Ethiopian territory to Sudan. An undignified leader of TPLF’S Prime Minister had dishonored his own government by dancing with a foreign music in front of international guests. Is it a surprise to anyone for TPLF’s Prime Minister Zenawi, Meles to deny his secret deal to give away Ethiopian land to Sudan? I am sure; there is no a single person would speculate, with exception of, of course members of the TPLF. However, my reverential advice to Sudan is to stay away from Ethiopian territory. There is nothing important over peace, and Mr. Zenawi, Meles neither immortal nor he stays on power eternally.
What is the reason for TPLF’s leaders to scoff at on the Ethiopian people? The reason is simple; the TPLF dictators have noticed the weakness of opposition groups, and find no one is to stand up against them. The opposition groups are weak because they are disunited to stop the crimes committed against the people of Ethiopian. The Ethiopian people have been fraught, and asking for years the opposition groups to consolidate their struggle with cohesiveness to remove TPLF off their back. What is the reason for opposition groups disunity? One reason is a lack of a democratic culture within and among political organizations. The second reason is the unity of Ethiopia has been undermined by ethnic based organizations, in this case opposition ethnic group, such as OLF. As we know, Ethnic based organizations could not be successful except for political disaster, thus without going further TPLF is a best example for ineffective rule. Those who organize ethnic based political ideologies are naturally very weak, because they lack self-confidence on their ability to be nationally viable leaders. However, I may say that, ethnically organized groups can play a role of civic organization, as an advocacy group to human rights than political institutions.
The most important point to keep in mind however is an ambition for freedom and justice to each ethnic group can only be attainable by building a democratic form of government in the country. Such a system needs diligent work and commitments from each political group and individual citizens. To achieve this goal, first the consensus must be reached among different political groups, including ethnically organized opposition groups. The country needs a fundamental grassroots revolution to reverse deeply seeded hatred among ethnic groups that was planted by TPLF and EPLF. Simultaneously, the opposition groups must device strategies: this must be a well planed strategy, preparing the population under one uniform organization to a final action to remove TPLF. Without well crafted strategy the struggle to remove TPLF is unproductive. A peaceful struggle is worthless while sitting idle without resounding actions. Thus, while working towards a final preparation, the opposition groups must consider some of the basic points on their list of strategies: Strictly impose social sanctions against TPLF members and supporters living within Ethiopia and abroad. Take names and list of all TPLF members and supporters and make them known to the public, and list is also to include names of cadres and member of parliaments who partake on crime against humanity, and intentionally support the give away of Ethiopian territory to neighboring country (ies) so they would be charged on a crime of treason. The opposition groups should make an official call to those working for TPLF to defect or resign from their post within a given time period, and pledge amnesty, prior to making their names known to a public. Ones their names are known to public, their criminal status remain active pending for persecutions.
Identify each TPLF businesses and financial institutions inside Ethiopia and abroad, and inform the public to boycott their services and products.
There are many Ethiopians legal expert living abroad, some of them are already very active for the good cause of their people, and their efforts are highly treasured. These attorneys would be happy to share their legal opinions. Therefore, the opposition groups should consult with them to establish a legal fund to pursue legal options against TPLF members and cadres involved on crimes against humanity, including those in media and web services involved spreading TPLF propaganda. The opposition groups must collect and preserve evidences to help legal experts in court.
The Western countries must not a sanctuary to criminals, and it is important to expose fake asylum seekers of TPLF members and their cadres.
A final note, Ethiopian independent websites have been very active disseminating information to educate the people of Ethiopia all around the world. I personally appreciate for what they have done to free their people out of bondage. My appreciation also goes for some artists utilizing their talents to educate the people. However, I strongly disagree on the posting I saw at some websites. For instance; “the Oromo American…..” that in my opinion is contrary to the unity and the efforts to build democracy in Ethiopia. Ethnic politics is very divisive and counter productive for democratic value. Those to wish to promote ethnic politics do have a good role to play within TPLF to enslave the Ethiopian people, however, after TPLF leaves, they are not to be given any role in Ethiopian politics. I am also strongly to disagree with some OLF writings to address a TPLF government as “A minority group”. This statement is true based on popularity, but it is absurd to address in terms of ethnicity that is also very divisive. OLF was part of the TPLF government, which it had taken an active role writing the current constitution, and designing ethnic policies that engrossed the country in a mess. Now the same organization is blaming the former President of its member; “He is a doctor, he should know better” not to be forgiven for his past “mistake”. We must go beyond the third world mentality; doctor of philosophy does not guarantee intelligence. Doctor of Philosophy is a paper to hang on a wall, attesting a completion of higher education; it does by no means to grant one the supreme ability of thinking. In general education is information received in academic settings, again it does not warrant person a better job performance, however it does help to locate information when needed. Therefore reconciliation should be one of the tasks the political opposition groups must take very serious to heal the society.