On may 5, 2012, I signed a petition organized by Ato Tedla Assfaw. For the reason I did not understand my signature and the comment I made under my signature was removed. This was the comment I made:
“Shame on President Obama and the Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for letting this ruthless human rights violator to step on the soil of this great nation, the United States of America. History will judge these International Organizations, including the President and the Secretary of the State, for they are part of this forum, to invite such an individual by knowing what this individual did and is doing against the people of Ethiopia. To invite an individual who is sucking the blood of the Ethiopian people, with intent, who designed his own economic system with in the economic system of the country to such economic related forum of such magnitude is a stinging and a cruel insult to the people of Ethiopia. Shouldn’t they show some feeling for such an oppressed society? It is very sad.”
The land grab and the forced relocation are logical and inevitable extensions of Meles’s design of his scheme of an economic system within the economic system of the country whereby he established his business empire. The regime has turned into a government corporate day and night working to annex profitable areas of productions, services, trade, and transport, the publicly owned enterprises. It is a criminal enterprise that completely categorizes it as a mafia government, Meles Zenawi at its helm. The land grab and the forced relocation hold very minor spots of this blood sucker’s bigger scheme. It is a fact that Meles Zenawi meticulously designed and voraciously implemented his economic system within the economic system of the country, if such a thing called economic system of the country existed in Ethiopia in the first place. I argue that anything what Meles and his regime do with any of the economic related activities in the country, be it road construction in the absence of farmers agricultural produce and goods of any kind that needed transportation; school constructions without the supply of even the minimum required teaching facilities, without adequate administrative personnel, and without trained and qualified teaching staff; selling lands etc., are vertically and horizontally built and developed on this bench mark. Through time their voracious economic activities built unstoppable greediness and more greediness into their blood system. So, today, they are reaping this never challenged economic benefit under the nose of the Ethiopian people, under the nose of the opposition forces inside Ethiopia, and under the nose of the opposition forces in Diaspora. It is only uprising or coup d’état that dislodges this extremely wealthy corporate turned regime from its power.
Had Meles and his regime were confronted and resisted without compromise by the opposition forces itemized above, at the moment of the inception of his design was known to exist, or, at the beginning of its implementation, most likely, the land grab and the forced relocation, and the annexation of public enterprises would have not taken place. Since no one dare challenged him, both mentally and physically, by physically I mean by protestations and public meetings, so followed the annexation of profitable areas of production, services, trade and transport the publicly owned enterprises; so followed land grab and forced relocation; so followed the giving of land to Sudan; and so followed the changing of the boundaries within the provinces in its favor. Who the hell is going to challenge Meles. No body. Particularly Meles, he can do anything and everything that he wishes to do in Ethiopia.
Ato Tedala seemed to lack the understanding of the link between the land grab and forced relocation and these core issues that I tried to itemize above when he removed my signature and my comment from the petition. In whose favor did he remove my comment? Was it in favor of Meles? Was it in favor of president Obama? President Obama was an a social activist. He very well understands these kinds of blunt criticism and the angle it is coming from. Or, was it in favor of the Secretary Hillary Clinton? Or was it in favor of these hypocrites, the G8 groups?
Once I read Ato Tedla’s complaint that he was red-flagged and ejected from a pal-talk forum. How does he reconcile his complaint with what he did to my comment?
I did not want to post this comment earlier because there were very spirited discussions of interconnected issues all over social medias and pal-talk forums. I did not want to inject this challenge in that kind of environment. I thought, now, when things have cooled down will be the appropriate time to do it
While I am at raising issues, at least of concern to me, I want to share my complementary and perhaps challenging as well as provocative observations and arguments regarding, a) Ato Abebe Gelaw’s well calculated combat, b) the eviction of the Amaras, and c) Moresh the Organization.
a) Abebe Gelaw’s well calculated combat.
From the outset I am going to say that Abebe Gelaw could have done a high and a deserved damage to Meles Zenawi and at the same time let those G8 groups know the real person who they have in their midst. He could have carpet-bombed this traitor until he was crushed and fallen on his face, so to speak. Here are the ammunitions that Abebe left out, ammunitions that could have destroyed and exposed him more powerfully:
--Meles is a murderer
--Meles is a blood sucker
--Meles is a mafia leader
--Meles is an invdor
--Meles is a traitor
Is there any one who can refute these facts? Does Abebe Gelaw challenge these facts? So, why did he leave them out? He said Meles is a Dictator eight times. I typed dictator with the upper letter “D” because there is incomparable differences between Kenyan, Ugandan, Tanzanian and even Sudan’s dictators. The above six characteristics of Meles will adequately substantiate this argument. Abebe said Freedom six times. If these affected Meles Zenasi the manner it was demonstrated by his demeanor, one can imagine the extent to which he could have been destroyed had Abebe used the above five ammunitions in addition to the ammunitions he used. Generally, one can say that what Abebe did was tantamount to a limited hand-to-hand combat with the bayonet extended.
The other thing that I observed was when Abebe Gelaw was being interviewed by ESAT. He was explaining things by referring to Meles Zenawi, “ISACHEW.”…… This blood sucking murderer who repeatedly have shown his unreserved disrespect and contempt for the people of Ethiopia shouldn’t have been given any respect. Abebe is not in Ethiopia. He is here in the United States of America where one can say and write about anything at any time. If one cannot use this liberty in the United States of America one cannot, even think about it, to use such liberty any where in the world. Abebe missed the opportunity whereby he could have liberated himself and have called a spade a spade.
The above comment is made with respect and appreciation of his combat against Meles Zenawi. It was a kind of battle. Imagine a battle field being that forum of G8. My other tangential comment would be that I wish he had organized it in a manner where there could have been a couple more individuals of his caliber at strategic locations and bombarded Meles. May be this type of strategy would be used in the future.
b) The Eviction of the Amaras
I held back my observation at the time it was being discussed very hotly and emotionally. For me, what Meles did was not surprising. He was vehemently hateful of Amaras beginning when he was in the forest. Perhaps, particularly for Meles, the hatred he had for Amaras could have been the reason that drove him to the forest. Then, one of his recruitment criteria to build up his force was, “those who accept and believe that Amaras are out-and-out enemies of Tigray people.” His target was the Amara nationality, yes there is an Amara nationality, like Italians, his grandfather’s masters, who had deliberately targeted Amaras. Therefore, I was not that much angry about what Meles did to Amaras. But, I was very angry with what the evicted Amaras did not do. What was absolutely baffling to me was when tens of thousands of people were being kicked out without any resistance or without any type of showdown. Just like that. It looks like a single individual was being kicked out from what he/she owned. It was simply like sheep being herded to their slaughter house. Their mere number could have been a formidable force to be reckoned with had they stood their ground by coming forward to challenge Meles. Let Meles bring down his tanks and see what could have happened. If Meles did any harm to them due to their resistance the issue would have been taken over by international organizations, both governmental and nongovernmental, and international main stream medias.
Here, it is very important not to assume that the local communities were behind it and were involved in this heinous act. I can boldly say that it is not in the nature of Ethiopian society. This argument can be extended to the Muslim communities where the burning of churches and the killing of Christians took place. These kinds of heinous and divisive actions can be done by few extremists within that community who are brainwashed by outside agitations. Given well equipped with the current technologically advanced instruments, it is very easy to organize such actions from outside as well as within the extremists. I have specifically pointed out, in detail, the potential for these types of disruptive and heinous actions in my research based article, Why Ethiopia Should Stay in Somalia, Nov. 5, 2008.
The current Muslim extremists in Nigeria are trained in Somalia. Right now, one can logically assume that Ethiopian Muslim extremists to be trained in Somalia too.
What has gotten into Amaras anyway, particularly those in Gojam, Gondar, Wello and Shawa? The existing generations of Amaras, including those in Diaspora whose families are in the above mentioned provinces, are insults to the forefathers who gallantly fought and resisted for example the five years of Italian invasion.
For your information, there were fourteen groups of Patriots who gave the Italians very hard time. There could be more unrecorded ones. There were two groups of Patriots in Tigray, two groups of Patriots in Gondar, one group of Patriot in Wello, three groups of Patriots in Gojam, four groups of
Patriots in Shawa, one group of Patriot in Jimma and one group of Patriot in Wellega. (The Ethiopian Patriots: forgotten voices of Italo-Abyssinian war 1935-41. Andrew Hilton, 2007) Get this book and read it. You will be witnessing as if you were in the midst of the war.
Coming back to the issue at hand, the Amaras let Meles give away their land to Sudan; they let Meles cut away part of their land and incorporate it into Tigray province. What is going on? What do those Amaras in Diaspora say about it? To say it is collectively Ethiopian people’s problem but not specifically of Amaras problem is an outright copout and shunning ones responsibility. Primarily it is your problem and it is your responsibility. You are the owner of the problem. Therefore it is still partly your responsibility to deal with it and deal with it well. A person will not sit down and watch while his house is on fire. It is in his nature to start putting out the fire and cry for help. Then the neighbors will come out to help him. You have to admit that it is primarily your problem and therefore take up the challenge.
If Meles had told these many thousands of evicted Amaras to cross a crocodile infested river would have they done it? Probably yes. They would have preferred to take their chances and risk to be eaten by crocodiles than resisting Meles Zenawi. I can’t tell you how livid I was when imagining what these people could have done and could not have done. How in the world the grown ups and the youths could have not stood their ground to defend the uprooting of the helpless newborn babies, the pregnant women, the very old ones, the innocent children, and the sick lying on their beds? Shame on them. As far as I am concerned the grown ups who did not organize themselves and come forward to defend the helpless ones, should be picked up and taken to court for betrayal. They have committed punishable crime.
What about those Amara youths and supposedly to be concerned grown up Amara individuals in Addis Ababa? They very well know what was taking place. How come they did not organize themselves secretly to organize those who were being evicted to resist by going down to the very place where it was taking place? There could be death, torture and harassment. Don’t such human degradation, the loss of dignity, and brutal treatment deserve any type of sacrifices? With such sacrificial resistance they could have won and let them stayed where they were in control of their property and of course their dignity as well as their destiny. By extension they could have become good examples to be emulated for those who are in their situations including the non-Amaras.
c. What about Moresh the Organization?
What is Moresh the organization doing now? Particularly regarding Ethiopia, it is shown consistently that diplomatic activities of any kind did not work, is not working now, and it will not work in the future. The one and the only one alternative left for Moresh the organization to be involved in is to organize the Amaras inside Ethiopia and fight for its economic and democratic rights. It is not to form ethnic political party. It is simply to form resistant movement(s) to protect and defend its economic and democratic interests. The neighboring ethnic groups can be involved through negotiations and solicitations of support.
Organizing the Amaras inside Ethiopia implies simultaneously organizing the Amaras and of course concerned progressive and democratic non-Amara individuals in Diaspora. For example, what about challenging the Amaras in Diaspora from Gondar, Gojam, Wello and Shawa to go back to the villages they were born and start organizing the movements secretly. And of course by laying out secrete communications network between the organizing individuals or groups from the provinces I mentioned above. I think it is quite obvious that the need of material support to be part and parcel of this honorable initiative.
One of the immediate issues to organize around would be to raise the issue of their lands taken away from them by force. For example, start with Sudan. Go inside the land taken away from them and destroy and burn to the ground anything and everything that has to do with any type of production oriented developments and infrastructures. Can Moresh do it? As long as there is the gut and the determination, the answer is emphatically yes. The individuals who organized it got the unquestionable potential wrapped with deep rooted experience to be able to do it. If it does not have the gut and the commitment to do such extremely needed organizational action, then, inevitably, it is treading down the road of becoming irrelevant. Or, become an obvious paper tiger.
Mankelklot Haile Selassie (PhD)
June 5, 2012