Ethiopia: EPRDF embroiled in Zenawi’s legacy By Robele Ababya
Revelation of Zenawi’s vision for Tigray
Azeb Mesfin reportedly revealed the existence of a project document prepared by her late husband Zenawi to transform Tigray into an industrial center of the tribal-based Federation of Ethiopia. This rather surprising revelation and its timing has been a hot topic of debate with views converging on the question of what her husband’s vision was for the rest of the balkanized regions of Ethiopia.
Notwithstanding my record of advocacy for the development of Tigray, let me infer what traitor Zenawi had in mind for the rest of Ethiopia. In view of his intense hatred for the Amharas, Zenawi’s vision for the Amhara regional state could only be to relegate it to the role of supplying raw materials to the his envisioned industrial state of Tigray; the fate of Oromia region cannot be different for the strategy of the tyrant has all along been to emulate Mussolini’s policy to make the Amhara and Oromo major ethnic groups politically extinct – reduced to the level of consumers and providers of cheap labor as slaves and suppliers of their regions abundant natural resources as directed by their ruling masters. Prime Minister Desalegn Hailemariam, who has perhaps under duress allowed erosion of his power by unconstitutionally appointing two more Deputy Prime Ministers, has to inform the SEPDM Council about his predecessor’s ‘vision’ for the southern region. One can only have sympathy for the humiliated PM.
Nightmarish issues for the EPRDF to resolve
The late tyrant Zenawi suddenly died mysteriously; the cause of his death has not been disclosed to date. His atrocious legacy has submerged his EPRDF Party in deep crisis. Ethiopia is on the threshold of catastrophe due to lack of an all-inclusive effective government amid brewing regional instability the Horn of Africa and souring relations with Sudan and Egypt over the Blue Nile River.
The rudderless EPRDF in disarray at this critical time of the history of Ethiopia is faced with formidable issues, inter alia:-
- Honoring the verdict of the International Court of Justice over Badme dispute
- Border demarcation with Eritrea
- Meeting the demands of secessionist dissidents
- Unconditional release of all political prisoners
- Opening up of the political space
- Honoring the constitution in regard to freedom of expression, religious freedom and the independence of all pillars of democracy
- Abject poverty; intolerably high unemployment, especially among the youth
- Rampant corruption of top TPLF/EPRDF leaders
- Runaway inflation coupled with depreciating currency
- Provocative Mega Dam Project leading to bankruptcy and regional instability
The above signify the dilemma of EPRDF in deep crisis far beyond the competency of the criminal thugs entrenched in the upper echelon of the TPLF to resolve for they lack legitimacy and moral authority given that they actually stole 99.6% of the votes in the heavily rigged sham election of 2010. Incidentally all the elections held in Ethiopia for the last 22 years has set a bad example spreading like bush fire over the rest of Africa.
Ethiopia shall stretch out her hands unto God: Psalm 68:31
Ethiopia in her long history has been a victim of repeated naked aggression, subversion, and foreign-instigated terrorism, which the international community failed to condemn in most cases. It is agonizingly disheartening to see that help is coming from some quarters in the West to prop up dictators. Let me provide some historical facts interlaced with my comments regarding the harrowing experience that Ethiopia has gone through in her relations with foreign powers:
- The League of Nations, of which Ethiopia was a founding member, tacitly condoned the invasion of Fascist Italy, which brought untold sufferings to the Ethiopian people;
- British Field Officers, soon after World War II, conceived and created the first Waayane (Tigray Peoples Liberation Front) to dismember Ethiopia. It took a lot of sacrifice to defeat Waayane I. The Ethiopian people are presently engaged in a fierce struggle to end the tyrannical rule of the Stalinist Waayane II over the last 22 years;
- The defunct USSR heavily armed the regime of Ziad Barre of Somalia for the vicious aim to destabilize Ethiopia because our country was seen to be an ally of the West during the cold war. As a result, Ethiopia’s borders were violated; many Ethiopians were displaced, injured and killed in cold blood by the Army of Somalia;
- The US government: threatened to order air bombardment from its Air Force Base in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia, unless the Ethiopian Air Force complies with the order to bomb the Headquarters of the Imperial Bodyguard in Addis Ababa during the attempt by Brigadier General Mengistu Neway to overthrow the Emperor in December 1960. The Carter Administration also later refused to deliver critically needed military equipment for which Ethiopia had paid, thus forcing the Military regime of Mengistu Haile Mariam to solicit for arms from the former USSR to fight Somalian aggression;
- The US government was quick and the first to give recognition to the Eritrean independence, which has left Ethiopia and her over 90 million people landlocked; this action by the USA resulted in the gravest damage to the economic lifeline of Ethiopia and her other strategic interests;
- Iraq under its evil dictator Sadam Hussein and other Arab countries like Saudi Arabia, Syria and Egypt were financing, arming, and training separatist guerilla fighters to destabilize, weaken and break up Ethiopia. Pakistan played a similar role as an extremist Islamic state.
The above historical facts and comments excerpted from my article titled “Ethiopians have only their God and themselves to end tyranny” show that foreign powers care less about the emergence of democracy in Ethiopia and welfare of her people, for their own interest is always paramount. They find it convenient to deal with dictators in the pursuit of their interests. President Bush pledged that democratic changes in every country can count on the support of the United States, but failed to make a public comment on the genuinely democratic election of 15 May 2005 and the despicable state-sponsored violence in its aftermath.
Former President George W. Bush did not honor his promise to discard the policy of former US governments of forging alliance with dictators, as he put it, of the last sixty years. President Obama has disappointed Ethiopians during his first term so far. Will he reward Ethiopians during his 2nd term?
Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon and his toothless United Nations Organization did nothing to address the rampant gruesome human rights violations and robbery of votes by the repressive TPLF/EPRDF regime. As if to add insult to injury, Ethiopia has been selected to serve in the Human Rights Council of the Organization. This is pathetic to say the least – a mother of all contradictions.
Ethiopia played a leading role in supporting all liberations movements in Africa and the world at large. However, the defunct Organization of African Unity (OAU) did not lift a finger to intervene in the saga of events leading to the dismemberment of Ethiopia in breach of its own Charter. It is even more shameful that the OAU endorsed election result of 2005 and one of its officials blamed the victors (opposition leaders) for the state-sponsored violence in the aftermath of that election. The African Union has been tightlipped about gross human rights violations; it endorsed election 2010 as free and fair despite contrary findings by the EU Election Observer Mission.
When asked, in the aftermath of the 2005 election, what legal authority he had to by-pass the Parliament and declare a state of emergency, Zenawi responded by saying that, after all, the donors did not object to the action he took. His response is solid proof, among others, that the monstrous killer was subservient to the interests of the donors at the expense of the vital interests of poor Ethiopia.
Our beloved country Ethiopia continues to be a pawn on the chessboard of foreign players. Zenawi had deceitfully and cleverly appointed himself as the champion for the fight against terrorism in the Horn of Africa, ironically as if he was not a terrorist himself engaged in the massacre of Ethiopians. The US government chose siding with perpetrator of tyranny in Ethiopia shunning Opposition Leaders comprising principled Ethiopians, highly-educated in the West and currently enjoying the confidence of the overwhelming majority of Ethiopians.
So, fellow Ethiopians, we are on our own with only God on our side. As demonstrated in the sudden death of Zenawi and the renegade Patriarch Paulos, God has done His part leaving to us what we can do. Considering the turmoil in the Arab world whose dictators had always been vicious adversaries of Ethiopia, I renew my faith that the Almighty God shall keep His covenant with her.
The successors of the vulgar, abrasive, offensive and abusive late traitor, killer, and pathological liar are strange bedfellows submerged in mistrust and incompetency; they have nothing new to offer. Therefore the only choice for us Ethiopians is to eradicate his obnoxious legacy through intensified and concerted struggle.
Peaceful struggle does not mean staying put and wishing for things to happen in one’s favor. It rather means engaging in activities including staging debilitating civil strike short of being the first to use the gun. I urge readers to heed the clarion call of Dr. Negasso Gidada made in his courageous, enlightening and inspiring article in Amharic recently posted on esteemed democratic pro-Ethiopia websites. I also urge fellow Ethiopians everywhere to emulate the courage of Egyptians in their protest against President Morsi for his dictatorial declaration to govern above the law.
We must never forsake our martyrs and all political prisoners and seek justice for the former and immediate release for the latter including Andualem Aragie, Eskinder Nega, Reeyot Alemu, leaders of Ethiopian Muslims peacefully demanding for respect for their constitutional religious rights et al.