Lies and Liars: Ethiopia’s despotic leaders
by Najib Mohammed
In the West, we are accustomed to hearing politicians lie to serve their interest and fulfill their ego. For example, when two politicians are running for an office and one tells the truth and the other lies by saying what the public wants to hear, the one who says what the public wants to hear wins the election. Therefore, it is expected that if one wants to win an election, one better lie, because the guy who’s telling the truth doesn’t have a chance of winning. Yes, there are extreme cases when leaders in the West lie and mislead their people in order to send their army to execute wars outside their borders for which they usually get exposed and pay dearly with their reputation and honor. However, they would never lie to declare war or to incite violence between the different religious or ethnic segment of their population as it is the case in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia’s despotic leaders do not need to lie to win elections. They steal elections. In fact, the election they hold is but to lie and mislead the international public opinion. They believe that since they came to power through the barrel of the gun they must stay in power by the same gun. They lie when they want to cover-up murders or plan to murder their own people. They always plot and plan to create instability to stay in power. They tightly control every faucets of their people’s life including their religious practices. Divide and rule is the easiest and obvious method they deploy to stay in power. Time and again we have witnessed the Ethiopia government use ethnicity to incite interethnic conflicts to dislocate Ethiopian from one region or another. Now, Ethiopians of different ethnic groups have rejected to play the ethnic card, the government is resorting to the most heinous and dangerous card of religion.
Though for the last two years the official government media was waging the propaganda war against the Muslim population to create fear and apprehension among the Christians and did not succeed, the threat and the fear mongering has become the duty of the higher office holder in the country.
Right after the crackdown on peaceful Ethiopian Muslims who were out celebrating the end of Ramadan, and before the blood of those who were massacred by the government forces at Kofele, Oromia dries, the prime minister of Ethiopia, Ato Haile Mariam, gave an interview blaming the innocent victims of the brutal unprovoked crackdown of being terrorist who are bent in destabilizing the country. Thank God for social media. The world witnessed the innocent victims whom the Prime Minister called terrorists. Women, men, the young and the elderly even pregnant women who were out celebrating fell victims of the crackdown. In fact, he threatened to take harsher measures to kill, maim, and incarcerate more innocent people who dare to demand their constitutional rights. Amnesty International reported the crackdown the same day urging the Ethiopian Government to respect the human right of the people.
One would think that when the leader of a country appears on national TV on a holiday, it is either to congratulate the country on the happy occasion or to inform the people of an emergency. Both situations were present for Prime Minister Hailemariam. The occasion of Eid AlFitr holiday and the massacre that took place in Kofele, Oromia and Addis Ababa and the rest of the country right after the Eid prayers. These occasions would have warranted the Prime Minister to congratulate the people on Eid and express his sincere apology for the atrocities committed by his security forces. Instead, the Prime Minister went on TV and with straight face lied to the public and shamefully blamed the innocent men and women, young and old victims of the brutal crackdown.
Once, I read an article about the prime minister of Ethiopia, Ato Hailemariam that he is a religious person who wakes up early in the morning and spends at least 30 minutes praying to God before going to his office. Is it perhaps he gets up early to get 30 minutes instruction of how to mislead his people? I wonder how he will answer the God he is praying to when He asks him about the outright lies he uttered about Ethiopian Muslims and why as a leader he approves the killing and maiming of the innocent. As I was listening to the Prime
Minister’s speech I could not help it but to think perhaps he was getting his 30 minutes instructions from the Far Right Islamophob evangelicals of the West. It is perplexing to hear the Prime Minister lie that Ethiopian Muslims are demanding to establish an Islamic State and impose Sharia law on every Ethiopian. What an absolute fabricated lie. If he is trying to justify the killing and maiming and incarcerating of Ethiopian Muslims based on these lies, we urge him to please pay attention to what the Muslims have been demanding. Mr. Prime Minister, have you not heard that the government prosecutor who is prosecuting the falsely accused Muslim leaders has thrown out the charges against of trying to establish an Islamic state, for lack of evidence? Have you not heard the members of the arbitration committee that you unjustly incarcerated repeatedly and on record say that Ethiopian Muslims demand is nothing but for the government to respect the constitution by staying out the religious affairs of its citizens?
Mr. Prime Minister, does not your conscious bother you? Where and when did you hear Muslims demand for establishment of an Islamic State? What a shear lie! No Ethiopian Muslim in his/her right mind would ever say that. By God, if you are trying to frighten our Christian brethren and create animosity between Muslims and Christians, you and your government have failed miserably. In fact, to your surprise Mr. Prime Minister, the thousands of peaceful Muslims fleeing the brutal attack by the military and federal police were given shelter by their Christian fellow citizens. You might not like this but according to eye witnesses, Ethiopian Christians were witnessed grieving and tending the injured Muslims and sheltering them from the inhuman forces that were pursuing them. Time and again, and no matter how hard the Ethiopian government tried to create animosity between the religious groups, they have proven to be inseparable and they will forever stand together for justice and the rule of law. In fact the more the repression, the more they become united against injustice.
There is a saying in Ethiopia: “ Libelwat yalwaten Amora yelawatal Gigra”. Ethiopian Muslims never asked to establish an Islamic State; they never once asked for Sharia to be the law of the land. Their only demand is for the government to respect the constitution and to refrain from interfering in the religious affairs of its people. It is true that despots fear the rule of law and they will not hesitate to use force to kill and maim whoever stands to speak the truth.
Ultimately, Truth is always the winner! Remember Mr. Prime Minister, you and your government will be accountable for every drop of the innocent’s blood you shade!
Ethiopian Christians deserve all appreciation for standing beside their brave Muslim brethren and seeing through the lies and mischiefs of the Ethiopian Government. As they lived peacefully side by side for over 1400 years, Ethiopian Muslims and Christians forever will live in peace!
May the Almighty Allah bring justice and peace to Ethiopia and its peaceful people! May He make her a prosperous Nation in which not a single person is ill-treated! Ameen!!!