Posts Tagged ‘Ethiopia’

Senseless War: Ethiopia at a Crossroads

Sunday, March 17th, 2024
A senseless war and conflict is raging in the Amhara region and the rest of Ethiopia. This conflict in the Amhara region, emerging from the ashes of the struggle with the TPLF, has morphed into a poignant emblem of Ethiopia’s fractured state. This paper echoes an urgent call for unity and reform beyond ethnic federalism. Click here for Amazon to purchase books  on Ethiopia and more: Click to to read a captivating history of Ethiopia and more
The Fanos, an armed faction within the Amhara region, initially took up arms at the federal government’s behest to combat the TPLF, with no intention of overthrowing the regime but rather to maintain their right to bear these arms for self-defense. Despite assurances from the government that they could retain their weapons post-conflict, a policy reversal aimed at disarming the Fanos ignited the current conflict. The government’s attempt to disarm them met with refusal, which led to the declaration of war against the Fanos.
The Fanos Plight: A Struggle for Survival
The Fanos, embroiled in the current conflict, originally sought not power but the means to protect their communities and uphold border security. Their battle, borne from desperation and sacrifice, reflects a deeper crisis within Ethiopia’s governance—a reliance on ethnic federalism that has exacerbated divisions and sown discord across regions.
Ethnic Federalism: A Divisive Legacy
Ethiopia’s experiment with ethnic federalism, while well-intentioned, has led to catastrophic outcomes, fragmenting the nation along ethnic lines and inciting conflict. The aftermath of these policies is starkly visible in the ongoing turmoil in the Amhara and Oromo regions, underscoring the urgent need for a governance model that fosters unity rather than division.
A Call to Action: Learning from Rwanda’s Unity
The international community, including African leaders who have successfully navigated their countries through ethnic strife, has voiced support for Ethiopia to abandon its divisive governance model. UAE and Rwanda leaders are good examples of unifying their countries despite ethnic and other differences and undertaking credible political and economic strides. President Kagame’s leadership in Africa is a powerful testament to the benefits of prioritizing national unity and cohesive governance over ethnic division.
Towards a New Dawn: Envisioning a Unified Ethiopia
The solution to Ethiopia’s current impasse is twofold: an immediate ceasefire in the Amhara region and democratic provincial elections in the Amhara region by allowing the people to elect their representatives. More fundamentally, Ethiopia must undertake a profound structural reform by abolishing ethnic divisions and reinstating provincial boundaries led by governors, not presidents, as there should be only one president of Ethiopia. Ethiopia is the only country where regional states are called governments and administrators are called presidents. This is a recipe for disintegration similar to the one that took place in Yugoslavia and the Soviet Union. This reform is crucial for Ethiopia to avoid the pitfalls of fragmentation and conflict that have befallen other nations.
Visionary Leadership for a Prosperous Ethiopia
As Ethiopia stands at a crossroads, the legacy of its leadership hangs in the balance. Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed is called upon to transcend reactionary measures and embody the visionary leadership that the moment demands. By embracing reforms that unify rather than divide, Ethiopia can forge a path toward lasting peace, prosperity, and a cohesive national identity.
A Clarion Call for Unity: Rethinking Ethiopia’s Future
Ethiopia’s journey towards peace and unity is fraught with challenges, yet it is a path that must be taken. The nation’s survival and prosperity hinge on its ability to transcend ethnic divisions and embrace a governance model that celebrates diversity as a strength, not a weakness. In this pivotal moment, Ethiopia’s leadership must seize the opportunity to steer the country away from the brink of fragmentation towards a future marked by harmony and collective aspiration. Only through bold action and a commitment to unity can Ethiopia hope to avert the tragedies of its past and realize the full potential of its diverse and vibrant populace. To emerge from this chaos, Ethiopia must embrace a comprehensive reform that transcends ethnic federalism, fostering a governance system that unites rather than divides, and prioritizing the collective well-being of all its citizens.

Letter to Former US Ambassadors to Ethiopia and Others

Sunday, October 10th, 2021

Former U.S. ambassadors to Ethiopia and some Western institutions are lambasting Ethiopia based on information gleaned from social media or their contacts, enlisted during the last three decades of TPLF rule, an ethnic cabal famous for silencing the opposition, disinformation and dazzling Westerners.

Critics of the current reformist government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed of Ethiopia are responsible  for propagating misinformation, creating an impression of a monster regime bent on abusing its citizens in Tigray by serving as a conduit for the TPLF, which created the current unstable and conflict-laden environment in the country, not only by firing the first shots at the various military barracks in the Tigray region of northern Ethiopia , but also by establishing ethnic federalism that has been the main source of ethnic conflicts and of displacement of millions of people around the country.

Western Critics use Unreliable Sources and engage in Exaggerated Narratives

One of the major problems with Westerners is their failure to differentiate between the people of Tigray, and the TPLF Junta, which was an “equal opportunity oppressor” of the people of Tigray and Ethiopia. Most of the critics of Dr. Abiy are members of the junta, as well as friends and beneficiaries. If the Junta really cared, millions of people in Tigray would not have remained dependent on international food aid to this day.

Furthermore, crying foul by external critics and internal detractors of PM Ahmed over the presence of Eritrean troops is a clear illustration of a double standard. The U.S. or its Ambassadors to Ethiopia, for example, never complained when Ethiopians troops went to Somalia to fight Al Shebab at the behest of America and other Western countries, or found fault with the U.S. presence in Somalia, Afghanistan, Iraq, S. Korea, Japan, or Europe.

Eritrea Saved the Horn from Imploding with Chaos

If Eritrea is present in the northern region of Tigray at the invitation of Ethiopia, there is no reason to deride Eritrea based on unproven Twitter and social media allegations of misconduct. If it were not for Eritrea, Ethiopia and the whole Horn of Africa might have imploded with violence and social upheaval. Besides warning Sudan and Egypt not to take advantage of Ethiopia while at war with a rebellious regional government in the north (Tigray), Eritrea enabled Ethiopia to end the conflict in a matter of weeks by allowing Ethiopian troops to retreat and regroup in Eritrea.

From all indications, it is clear that there is an organized effort to distort facts and portray Ethiopia in a negative image, to the extent of branding it as an aggressor or provocateur of war in the media. This is true even in the eyes of some members of the U.S. Congress. Such a narrative is orchestrated by agents of TPLF and their highly organized PR machine in the U.S. and Europe.

Critics of Ethiopia were Coopted or Hoodwinked by TPLF

Critics like Susan Stigant of USIP charged that Ethiopia may be characterized as a failed state during a congressional testimony last December. But she failed to mention that it is the system, which many of the current critics supported during the 27 years of TPLF’s minority ethnic rule that is responsible for the predicament in which Ethiopia finds itself today. Ms. Stigant and her colleagues failed to condemn such system despite numerous warnings and pleas from the opposition about the danger of creating ethnic federalism in Ethiopia, which the TPLF championed while governing under an ethnic-based oligarchy.

The disinformation about the war in Tigray and Eritrea’s involvement in it is fanned by TPLF social media, critics, and friends of TPLF in the academia, and in some diplomatic circles. For example, BBC apologized to Dr. Abiy Ahmed for falsely accusing him of a plan to bomb civilians in Tigray, based on uncorroborated report.  The Washington Post discovered that TPLF agents took over or monopolized the Twitter traffic with their false narrative portraying Ethiopia as the aggressor and then demanding a ceasefire when TPLF started losing the war. This was also to obfuscate the fact that TPLF initiated the war by killing Ethiopian soldiers, many of them while in sleep at their military posts guarding the international border with neighboring Eritrea, looting their equipment, and forcing the rest to flee naked to Eritrea.

TPLF PR and Money Spread Disinformation

The TPLF Junta ruled the country for 27 years by using a strategy of silencing the Ethiopian Diaspora and muzzling the domestic opposition from revealing its criminal enterprise, which included stealing from Ethiopia billions, and disproportionately controlling the military and commerce, and other parastatals, as well as powerful state agencies. Consequently, most of the billionaires and millionaires in Ethiopia today are Tigrayans, though they constitute only 6% of the population.

Many intellectuals and government representatives, such as Tony Blair of Great Britain, former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, Nobel Laureates, and others were victims of a highly organized PR propaganda that prevented them from acknowledging the plight of the Ethiopian people as they were fed with distorted narratives. To show their power, recently TPLF agents supposedly garnered over 2300 signatures from “who’s who” in academia and other professions around the world in less than a week to sign in support of TPLF narratives, leading some political pundits  in Europe and the USA to demand Ethiopia to stop defending itself; EU suspended aid to Ethiopians a result. One wonders what Ethiopia would have looked like if TPLF’s coup attempt succeeded.

Should Ethiopian Soldiers Have Surrendered to TPLF?

As a historical illustration, the American Civil War was started when Southern rebels attacked federal forces. Would a reasonable person ever expect Lincoln to acquiesce to the confederate takeover, slavery, or the breakup of the Union? Some countries including the U.S. engage in preemptive attacks against an enemy because of perceived threat or fear without the other party firing one single shot. However, Ethiopia was blamed for responding in a proportionate and calculated manner while protecting civilians and historical sites, and for coming to the rescue of its soldiers.

Another illustration is the recent attack on Capitol Hill by white nationalists and supporters of former President Trump, which was condemned universally, but none of you condemned the TPLF attack using thanks, rockets, and machine guns to slaughter Ethiopian soldiers while asleep, or even the most recent Sudanese invasion of Ethiopian territory for that matter.

In an interview with BBC, US Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Tibor Nagy, had corroborated that Ethiopia was attacked, its soldiers were killed, and its military hardware looted. We believe most of your colleagues have access to the same information as that of the diplomat. The false narrative focusing on Ethiopia and Eritrea without mentioning this egregious TPLF heinous crime against Ethiopian soldiers is demonstrably biased and unforgiveable. To attack a poor country like Ethiopia, USIPCSIS and other U.S. agencies are often fooled by propaganda hatched and disseminated by agents of the former regime. For many Ethiopians, TPLF was the worst regime ever came to power in Ethiopia, and some even compare it to Khmer Rouge and other notorious regimes around the world. TPLF posed a mortal danger to the survival of Ethiopia as a state and brought untold misery and agony on the Ethiopian people without the world ever realizing it.

TPLF Left Ethiopia Ungovernable and Unlivable

I argue that the TPLF regime and the ethnic federalism it created, which some of you fervently supported, made Ethiopia unstable, unlivable, ungovernable, and difficult to live in, to trade or travel for the majority of Ethiopians due to the ethnic animosity the system created.

Ethiopians are deeply dismayed about the Western media and the disinformation campaign they are waging against Ethiopia by relying on opinions of so-called regional experts, who have very limited knowledge about the complexities of politics, economics, and history of the Horn of Africa. For instance, Alex De Waal, a British national at Tuft’s university, memorialized Seyoum Mesfin, the politburo   member and foreign minister of TPLF and the architect of the coup.  Martin Plaut, another former BBC correspondent, reported, “The Ethiopian government stole the Ark of Covenant from Axum and executed 750 priests in front of the church.” This false statement could only have come from the most zealous supporter of the TPLF, not a professional journalist who reports for one of the most renowned foreign news agencies. As a longtime observer of Ethiopian politics, I know these statements are not based on facts but on fabricated, partisan accounts that normally originate from agents of the TPLF. I also suggest in the strongest terms possible that you read the distorted reporting of the Economist, another British magazine’s innuendo alleging that Ethiopia is deliberately starving the people of Tigray to win the war.

Ethiopians Dismayed by Western Critics and Media

Because of these and many negative portrayals of Ethiopia, American citizens of Ethiopian descent here in the states feel that our country of origin is becoming the “punching bag” of the Western media. We feel that Ethiopia is not getting a fair treatment by Western media and so-called Ethiopian experts of foreign backgrounds. Of course, TPLF built a huge PR machine, a strong relationship in the media and other important places during the last 30-40 years using stolen funds from the country and was able to stifle the voices of the opposition. As a result, we are very concerned about the continuous distortion of facts, disinformation, and the appearance of a double standard used against Ethiopia. We regard USIP, CSIP, and former American Ambassadors to Ethiopia as allies only if they take the time to check all the facts on the ground and not be swayed by disinformation and past personal relationships that they built with some members of the criminal TPLF regime.

                                                                             

 

Weaponizing Disinformation to Destabilize Ethiopia

Thursday, September 30th, 2021

Social media-driven misinformation against vaccination, election, and other issues are causing considerable discord and fear in America; however, the impact of disinformation on Ethiopia could be very destabilizing and catastrophic. In a country with more schism because of the country’s constitution that is gerrymandering ethnic groups into enclaves, it is easy to drop a match to burn the whole country.

In 2018, a glimpse of hope for democracy and unity rose above the Ethiopian horizon, with the election of Dr. Abiy Ahmed, who quickly went to work to correct the wrongs of TPLF.  He immediately established peace with Eritrea, released thousands of political prisoners, and invited opposition parties in exile to join him in transforming the country. Unfortunately, this did not go well with Tigray Peoples Liberation Front or TPLF, so they fled to Tigray, the province they represented.  On the morning of November 3, 2020, TPLF forces attacked Ethiopian troops while asleep, killed thousands, and took more prisoners to overthrow the Abiy government. UN:TPLF’s pre-emptive strike started the war.

TPLF Ruled as an Ethnic Cabal

TPLF ruled Ethiopia with an iron fist for 27 years. They designed and implemented various tactics to destroy Ethiopia’s social fabric and national identity, including denigrating its former leaders and history. close to what Khmer Rouge did in Cambodia. Unlike the Khmer Rouge, TPLF operated as an ethnic cabal, controlling every aspect of the government, army, economy, and foreign policy establishments, even though TPLF accounted for only 6% of the population. Many government officials became billionaires and millionaires by embezzling while Ethiopians starved. TPLF family members and loyalists took advantage of government-funded scholarships at home and abroad, thus becoming the country’s wealthiest and the best educated. They called all the shots.  Nothing happened without their approval, whether opening a business, hiring, firing or even enforcing the law. In effect, they were the judge, jury, and executioners.

Foreign Media is Being Hoodwinked

Boko Haram victims were placed in Axum, and the photograph was shared with Amnesty International and BBC; unfortunately, both published this false report Click here to read more.

While any atrocities should be condemned and independently investigated, there are indications TPLF supporters are going beyond reporting such atrocities but fabricating. Pictures of Boko Haram victims in Nigeria are photo-shopped with a caption to make them appear victims in Tigray and sent to social media, to CNN, BBC, Amnesty International, and other organizations.

Michael Berhe aka Woldemariam, an imposter orthodox priest, falsely claimed he was in Axum to witness a massacre. He is lives in Boston, and he is a catholicMicheal Berhe Video.

A former TPLF soldier named Mona Liza told  BBC and Aljazeera that she was attacked by Eritrean soldiers but was wounded in combat with Ethiopian soldiers in the Raya zone, according to her father. TPLF supporters show a picture of a plane shot down in Ukraine as evidence of TPLF’s success in downing the Ethiopian plane BBC -on Fake News. Michael Berhe living in Boston, claims he witnessed a massacre in Axum and sends out a video that is picked up by BBC and Amnesty International. These and some real atrocities have generated a massive backlash against the Ethiopian government, which claims it is only engaged in law enforcement operations after a coup attempt, not attacking civilians. Worse supporters of the TPLF, such as Martin Plaut and Alex De Waal, and other friends are engaged in fabrications. For example, Martin Plaut tweeted on January 9, 2021, stating that 750 individuals and priests were taken out of the church and massacred to steal the Ark of the Covenant from the Axum Zion Church. The church denied all of his allegations. Alex De Waal claimed that the Ethiopian government is deliberately starving Tigray’s people, despite the government spending billions in meeting this need. One other ridiculous lie was a post claiming that the U.S. is going to Bomb Ethiopia: Click here to read.

Martin Plaut falsely alleged Ethiopia massacred 750 people to steal the Ark of the Covenant.

TPLF supporters mastered the art of fabricating stories through their domestic and foreign surrogates and supporters (Lawrence Freeman-Disinformation Campaign by TPLF). So far, the Ethiopian government is not responding to or countering these allegations, and the media is not doing an excellent job in investigating or checking TPLF sources or informants. Most of their sources are setups or TPLF soldiers who fled to Sudan as refugees. TPLF supporters are banging on the doors of Congress, the White House, and the UN to sanction Ethiopia, often based on unsubstantiated charges. Martin Plaut caught teaching according to the attached video https://youtu.be/LKlDCoosMfM?t=200 TPLF supporters how to fool the western media by creating plausible or fabricated videos and documentaries about Ethiopia. He said most media outlets are hungry for news about Ethiopia, especially VOA and BBC Amharic services.  In the same idea, Dr.  Natalia Vasquez, an Eritrean government critique shares her finding where TPLF forced Eritrean refugees to dress like Eritrean troops and forced them to slash the breasts of innocent women. The purpose was to ascribe the blame to Eritrean troops. Please note the video is mostly in Amharic.

Weaponizing Disinformation to Punish Ethiopia

TPLF is weaponizing disinformation to shame and charge Ethiopian and Eritrean soldiers with a massacre, with a crime against humanity, genocide, ethnic cleansing, and more without corroboration. Furthermore, they are appealing to the international community to impose economic sanctions on Ethiopia. This does not mean that combatants from either side or both sides don’t commit such crimes, but the fabrication makes it difficult for the truth to be told.

Unfortunately, TPLF may have mastered the art of disinformation. At first, they targeted Eritreans, now Ethiopia. Daily, TPLF is sharing with BBC and others unbelievable crime videos involving Ethiopian troops. Here is another storytelling how TPLF fabricates:  Refugees forced to dress up as Eritrean troops to make a false documentary

In one episode, you see Ethiopian soldiers digging a grave and throwing TPLF soldiers and shooting them inside the tomb, and one of the soldiers is heard saying, don’t waste no more than one bullet for each. Ethiopian soldiers are not monolotic, each unit and division is represented by various ethnic groups. So there is likely Tigrayan officers who not let such atrocities take place and for one 

In another location, Ethiopian soldiers are seen shooting civilians and throwing them over the cliff. Ethiopian soldiers record all these and share them with TPLF and to the media. Both videos start and stop as if they have been put together in a studio.

This criminal act is unbelievable that any soldier with the right mind, let alone a professional soldier, will commit such crimes against their own people and share them with the media. The conclusion is that TPLF is concocting and fabricating these videos to shame Ethiopia and to seek UN and US intervention, and put economic sanctions.

Massacre of Ethiopian Soldiers / Waging a Coup d’état

TPLF staged an unsuccessful coup, resulting in thousands of Ethiopian troops’ death and the looting of Ethiopia’s military equipment. Due to the war with Eritrea from 1988-2000, most Ethiopian forces and equipment were located in Tigray. Many Ethiopian soldiers were killed while asleep, and others were shot after they refused to join the coup d’état. Those who survived and fled narrated their predicament with tears, describing the horror as betrayal, humiliation, and being condemned to death at the hands of their comrades or fellow Ethiopians who happened to be from a different ethnic group. To isolate the soldiers and finish them off, TPLF disabled all communication networks, forcing surviving units to defend themselves during 8-12 days without food, water, or any supplies.

Impact of the conflict

Now the conflict has resulted in making an already precarious life more portentous. Close to two million people in Tigray were already reliant on international aid. Locusts wiped some of the crops, and most of the remaining harvest was disrupted because of the war. The six million people living in Tigray are in danger of starving because of the conflict. The blame for this tragedy should lie squarely on the TPLF that created the condition for both the war and oppressive and corruption-riddled governance for 27 years.

TPLF’s Seasoned PR Machine

The current Ethiopian government being new, does not yet have the sophistication to articulate or frame the issues and influence media reports. Consequently, it is being simmered by TPLF’s surrogates, vast networks, highly educated elites, and massive resources. In the past, the PR effort by TPLF has swayed many political luminaries, such as Tony Blair and Jimmy Carter, and academicians to support their oppressive and anti-democratic system without a wince. Now the PR machine is in full display, leveraging social media like Twitter, as exposed by the Washington Post on Twitter War by TPLF Supporter.

As Washington Post reported, TPLF planned the coup well in advance, as evidenced in the Twitter attack that started at the outset of the war and was continuing after that. TPLF knew a coup would be brutal to sell to the international community, so it set up a PR machine to sell it before starting the war. TPLF supporters monopolized the Twitter narrative immediately in the wee hours of the war to shape the agenda in their favor. That continues to this day.

 TPLF Motto was filled with Greed and Arrogance

The majority of Ethiopians detests TPLF’s rule because they thought of themselves as having a God-given right to rule and abuse. There was no mercy and shame in their heart. To achieve such power, they devised ethnic federalism, a divide, and rule system like Apartheid that kept all ethnic groups at bay and to feud against each other. TPLF is still trying to resurrect itself by weaponizing disinformation to absolve itself from its criminal history and extend its rule in northern Ethiopia. Remember, Dr. Abiy, like Abraham Lincoln in 1861, was forced to go to war due to a gruesome attack in the dead of night against Ethiopian forces in 100 locations by a 250,000 strong TPLF army.

Ethiopia is one of the longest surviving African nations, a key partner against terrorism, one of the most significant contributors to the U.N. peacekeeping mission, and the headquarters of the African Union. Western governments should refrain from accepting every TPLF’s disinformation campaign to punish and destabilize a long-standing ally, Ethiopia. Dr. Abiy Ahmed has shown his progressive and transformational vision by freeing political prisoners, opening markets, and promoting peace in the region.  U.S. intervention in many countries, including Iraq, was based on disinformation provided by the like of Curveball or al-Janabi (Read WMD Story).  The Democrats, through TPLF allies, are making a similar mistake in Ethiopia.  Ethiopia lasted for over 3000 years; a betrayal by the Democrats is not going to change that equation or stop Ethiopia from protecting its sovereignty from outside and inside forces. However, the U.S. position will suffer lasting damage in sub-Sahara Africa, and Democrats will pay a heavy price come to the next election in swing states like Georgia, where Ethiopians and Africans can be a factor.

 

TPLF Plotted With Egypt and Sudan to Overthrow the Abiy Government

Sunday, August 15th, 2021

Various indicators suggest that TPLf was in cahoots with anti-Ethiopian forces to restore its hegemony for another 27+ years. Thanks to Eritrea and Ethiopian armed forces, it did not happen. The devastating and horrendous attack on Ethiopian armed forces on November 3, 2020 was planned and executed in consultation with Egypt and Sudan. There is no specific public document yet, but the surprise visit by Sudan’s Prime Minister Abdalla Hamdok to Ethiopia on December 13 was to salvage a failing enterprise without realizing that Ethiopia had already destroyed most of TPLF forces.

The agreement TPLF engineered was meant to satisfy Sudan’s claim on land and to address Egyptian concern on the Abay Dam in return for their support of TPLF to reclaim power. Helping TPLF win the war was designed to accommodate both Egyptian and Sudanese demands.

Eritrean involvement in helping Ethiopia became clearer because Eritrea did not want TPLF in Addis again. According to Egyptian and Sudanese calculations, if TPLF can destroy 60-80% of Ethiopian armed forces and equipment that was located in Tigray, Ethiopia’s ability to fight back would be impossible or insignificant. In case, if Ethiopia tries to fight back and the war becomes extended, Egypt and Sudan will come to the aid of TPLF.

Tedros visit to Egypt is a good indication of coordination

Egyptian public and media statements and visit by Tedros Adhanom to Cairo all indicate coordination. Tedros’s visit was to urge Egypt to intervene when TPLF’s so called blitzkrieg (lightning war), as described by Sekuture Getachew did not work and TPLF started to retreat (TPLF Admits Starting the Conflict). Instead of directly intervening, Egypt may have given a nod for Sudan to make a move on Ethiopia’s territory. Egypt is very careful in rushing into a war since June 1967, after Israel stunned Egypt by destroying the entire Egyptian air force on the ground in in a single day. However, if the war has dragged, it was possible for both Egypt and Sudan to enter in some capacity. For the sake of Ethiopia, the swift end of the war has frustrated this plan.

Eritrea saved itself and Ethiopia by helping Ethiopia in some capacity, such as allowing retreating Ethiopian troops to enter and regroup. Whether Eritrea intervened materially or not, Eritrea’s support was pivotal.  We may never know the truth, but without Eritrea’s support Ethiopia’s situation would have been quite different and dreary.

Failure of Intelligence by both Eritrea and Ethiopia 

Failure of Ethiopia and Eritrea to anticipate and abort TPLF’s plot is disturbing and one hopes they learned their lesson now and work to end Sudanese and Egyptian machination. Sudanese move to claim land from Gonder or the Amhara region, while leaving out area controlled by TPLF, shows a clear indication of a coordinated plot. Dr. Abiy took a chance given improved relations under his administration with Sudan and out of urgency to move troops to counter TPLF attacks, leaving the Sudanese border unprotected.

Ethiopians are accustomed to disappointment and frustration. However, the Sudanese invasion and TPLF attacks and betrayal were quite shocking and unexpected.

Diplomacy is critical for both Eritrea and Ethiopia

Hopefully, Ethiopia and Eritrea mend their past differences, build their intelligence network, and work towards building their economy while avoiding an unnecessary war with Sudan. Though the combined forces of Sudan and Egypt pose an existential threat, Ethiopia or Eritrea should not rush into war despite provocations from Sudan and Egypt. Frankly, none of them can afford to go to war at this time. The most potent instrument is enhancing more than ever their diplomatic campaign to expose Sudanese invasion as a violation of international law and garner IGAD, African Union and UN support with utmost urgency.

U.S. Diplomacy Wreaks Havoc on Lives of Millions around the World. Americans Rarely know the Truth.

Friday, July 9th, 2021

            While people across Texas and other parts of the U.S. recently suffered from a lack of electricity and water as a result of a winter storm, millions of people in other countries live with blackouts year-round. One of those countries is Ethiopia, where 60% of the population of 115 million has no electricity, and the rest regularly endure blackouts that last hours or even days. And while many developing countries have no way out of their predicament, Ethiopia is one of a few with a plan to change its situation. Ethiopia’s objective depends, however, on the completion of a controversial dam on the “Blue Nile” or Abay River, which contributes the biggest share of the water needs of Egypt and Sudan. Those countries are opposed to Ethiopia’s completion of the Great Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) as any activity affecting the flow of the river may have an adverse impact on their share of the water, and U.S. involvement in the matter has not helped.

            The role of former president Donald Trump in resolving the dispute between Ethiopia and the two upstream countries was a disaster. Trump decided to become a mediator among Ethiopia, Sudan, and Egypt, as a favor to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah Al-Sisi and to help himself win the Nobel Peace Prize. Trump referred to General Al-Sisi as his “favorite dictator” after Al-Sisi supposedly made a $10 million donation to Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign. General Al-Sisi enjoyed President Trump’s support despite engaging in egregious human rights violations in his own country, declaring himself “president for life” and overthrowing a democratically elected government. According to Tom Campbell, professor of economics at Chapman University, Ethiopia accepted U.S. mediation thinking that the U.S. was a neutral party and a friend to the country.

            When Ethiopia refused to accept a deal crafted by Egypt, however, Trump suggested Egypt bomb the dam if Ethiopia proceeds without the proposed agreement, leading some to speculate that Trump’s stance would embolden Egypt to go to war with Ethiopia. Moreover, Trump froze all economic aid to Ethiopia as long as Ethiopia does not sign the agreement, effectively giving Egypt “veto power” regarding the dam. Last year, Egypt received $1.42 billion from the U.S. – a substantial increase from previous years. Egypt has garnered over $81 billion in foreign aid from U.S. taxpayers’ money since 1946. Some of the funds are used to purchase Russian arms, oppress civil society, install puppet regimes in the Horn of Africa, and destabilize non-cooperating states in that part of Africa.

            Although the Ethiopian dam is designed to produce power, not irrigation, Egypt is still apprehensive of its consequences. As a result, Egypt is using domestic and foreign proxies to thwart any development efforts in Ethiopia. Egypt was given a monopoly by Britain that ruled Egypt as a protectorate from 1882 to 1956. The British colonial treaty signed in 1929 excluded Ethiopia and gave virtual control over the Nile River to Egypt, even though the Blue Nile originates in Ethiopia, with that country supplying 86% of the water. Another British treaty in 1959 between Sudan and Egypt assigned 55.5 billion cubic meters of the river flow to Egypt and 18.5 billion to Sudan, but none to Ethiopia or other downstream states. Egypt is using diplomatic, military, and economic pressure on Ethiopia to derail the completion of the dam. It indirectly supported Sudan’s invasion of Western Ethiopia and is accused of plotting with the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) on November 3, 2020 to overthrow the reformist government led by Ethiopian Prime Minister Dr. Abiy Ahmed in the capital Addis Ababa.

            Meanwhile, most Ethiopians continue to suffer from a lack of access to water and electricity, without which the country cannot escape its current hardship, grow its economy, and end recurring famine and poverty. Despite its need for electricity, the country was unable to secure financing from the World Bank or other financial institutions on which Egypt had put pressure, so Ethiopia has to rely exclusively on internal financing to build the dam. Now, Egypt and Sudan are threatening Ethiopia with an invasion or sabotage if it proceeds with the dam without their approval or an agreement favorable to their own water supplies. This comes in total denial of Ethiopia’s entitlement to use the Blue Nile for its development to overcome the poverty and famine to which the country has been subjected for many decades.

            The U.S. role in expanding access to water and electricity is critical for humanitarian reasons and to promote stability around the world. Also, the U.S. should serve as an impartial mediator to solve world conflicts when needed. Many people lack electricity in developing countries, while others suffer outages and rolling blackouts. In countries like Ethiopia, water is scarce and dirty, and deaths including child mortality from waterborne diseases occur regularly. Because electricity is a scarce commodity, women and young girls are forced to fetch wood in the forest to make a living, rendering them vulnerable to attack. The use of firewood as fuel leads to carbon monoxide poisoning, another common cause of death.

            The excruciating life experience pervasive throughout the developing world by no means minimizes the suffering and deaths that took place in Texas and other states – tragedies that could have been avoided with proper preparation. Until countries such as the U.S. set aside greed and ideological and political differences in the interest of managing resources carefully, water, electricity, and other essentials of living will remain scarce for millions of people – not only in Ethiopia but also throughout the world. More importantly, failure to apply U.S. diplomacy in a fair and judicious manner can also create a permanent havoc on the lives of millions around the world.

 

 

Ethiopian Muslims Rights Should be Respected

Monday, May 10th, 2021

Ethiopian Muslims, as taxpayers, have the right to use any public facility in Ethiopia. The recent controversy raised by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church through its patriarch Office or other government officials to deny Ethiopian Muslims to use Maskel Square for Grand Ethiopian Iftar or for any other purpose is unwarranted. Maskel Square is just a name, it does not say it belongs to Christians only or to anybody. It will serve the enemies of Ethiopia to divide Ethiopians now among religious divisions. Since a TPLF supporter leads the Orthodox Church or other reactionaries, there should be a severe analysis if this is designed to drive a wedge among Ethiopian Muslims and Christians to serve narrow nationalist or TPLF interest or the actual wishes of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church followers. This denial in Addis may be in line with the philosophy in Axum, where Muslims are not allowed to build a mosque since the beginning of time. 

 After TPLF took over the Orthodox Church, TPLF had its eye on the Muslim leadership. In the process, it tried to pit Muslims against the Orthodox Church, especially against Amharas. However,  through the leadership of Imam Haji Zumakan Jemal of the grand Anwar Mosque, Ethiopian Muslims refused to join TPLF. Consequently, many Muslims were killed and imprisoned, including Imam Zumakan, when TPLF sent armed people to remove the leadership and put its appointed leaders.

The recent controversy could be a scheme by the current Patriarch or others to drive wedges between Christians and Muslims and to serve anti-Ethiopian interests. Furthermore,  this can antagonize Ethiopian Muslims and make them feel like second-class citizens, which was often the case before 1974.

The intervention of the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church (EOTC) and statement led by the Patriarch’s Office suggesting that the event be held somewhere else other than Mesqel Square was unfortunate, as this negates the equality of all religions in Ethiopia and equal access to public venues for Muslims. This could be interpreted as EOTC wants to keep its dominance and preferred status and delegate other religions to second-class status or drive a wedge between the two religions.

The Abiy regime has always stayed silent when tragedies happen in Ataye, in Wollega, and elsewhere. It cannot prevent conflicts before they happened because of poor intelligence or intervene with force when they happened. 

I recall the celebration of Irreechaa and other festivals at the Maskel Square/Adebaby. I am not sure if Maskal Square is the proper venue for religious or traditional celebrations. However, what is good for the goose is good for the gander. If it can be used by any religious group or by traditional groups, it would have been fair to allow Muslims to access it. This is a clear indication that there are forces bent backward to destroy Ethiopia by any means necessary, either inflaming ethnic tension or religious differences. 

The Abiy regime has failed so far to curtail these forces either by lack of will, lack of power, or in cahoots with them. Nobody knows, but it looks like, in matters of importance to the nation’s survival, he often goes AWL. 

Despite his flowery rhetoric and reconciliatory speeches, he is driving Ethiopia into the abyss. People have to be cognizant of this fact and make sure Muslims, Christians, and ethnic groups do not fall for this trap. Imam Haji Zumakan Jemal was my uncle, and I was proud of him when he defied Meles Zenawi to collude with him against Christians. He paid a small price; nonetheless, Ethiopia is in a mortal danger than ever before. If a leader cannot comprehend the gravity of such a mistake, such as oppressing or antagonizing almost half of the country’s population in a trivial matter like this is unfortunate. Furthermore,  failure to respond to a TPLF patriarch’s damning press release, allowing Jawar, and others plot to kill Hachalu to start an ethnic war,  allow Asamnew Tsege to plot the assassination of Dr. Ambachew Mekonnen, and allowing TPLF to slaughter Ethiopian soldiers while asleep because of poor intelligence shows lack of wisdom and the foresight and abdication of responsibility. It might be time for new leadership or for a new party or for both.

Withdrawing my Articles About Tigray

Wednesday, April 7th, 2021
Given some doubts about the situation in Tigray in terms of possible multiple human rights violations, I am withdrawing all my pieces about the situation until further notice.
Despite my opposition to TPLF, I have great respect and admiration for the people of Tigray for their hard work and spirit of Ethiopiawinet.
So I hope any human rights violation against the people of Tigray stops immediately and without any delay.

Trump Declares War on Ethiopia: Ethiopia at a crosshair!

Thursday, December 24th, 2020

Ethiopia and Egypt may go to war thanks to Donald Trump. On Friday, October 23, 2020 at news conference, he encouraged and goaded Egypt to bomb the Abay Dam, the largest dam in Africa.

Former Secretary Tillerson described Donald Trump as a moron, now I believe he is not just a moron, but a reckless one too, otherwise, he would not be saying something crazy like encouraging Egypt to bomb the Abay Dam.  Instead of using the U.S. diplomatic channels to find a peaceful solution, he opted to act as a lackey for his favorite dictator probably as a payback for the illegal $10M donation in 2016.

If Egypt heeds his advice, it is likely Ethiopia will blow up the Aswan Dam, and it will be more costly to Egypt (no electricity and millions will perish). Furthermore, Ethiopia has so many unemployed engineers, it can build so many irrigation dams in all tributaries and along the Abay River, there will be no or little water flowing to Egypt.

This may also entail a war between Black Africa and the Arabs, and it will be a continental war, U.S. and Egypt versus Black Africa and the rest of the world.

Ethiopia is only asking an equitable share of the Nile, no more or less. Egypt is not losing any water now or in the future except there might be a chance during the filling period. At that time, Egypt has enough reservoir or water stored on the Aswan Dam to compensate during that period. So there is no ground for war unless Donald Trump sparks it to win an election or payback for the loan in such dangerous fashion.

Ethiopia had many wars with Egypt, some of them lead by  Confederat American generals, but Ethiopia always prevailed. It will prevail again, but Egypt will forever lose it goodwill with Ethiopia and potential any water, as Ethiopia may put many small to medium irrigation dams instead of huge electric dams. If Egypt opts to invade, it will lose and it has to pay to build the dam if they want any water again.

Ethiopia is the origin of humanity, center of great civilization, and one of the longest and independent surviving Black nations, and it will continue despite machination by Egypt, Donald Trump, and others.

At the behest of Egypt, and indirectly Saudi Arabia, the U.S enticed Ethiopia to enter into a discussion on the Great Renaissance Dam that Ethiopia is building on the Abay (Nile) River. Steven Mnuchin, Treasury Secretary, and Jared Kushner, President Trump’s son-in-law were assigned to engage in foreign policy, an expertise belonging to the State Department. It looked very suspicious and odd for the two gentlemen to engage in water conflicts and African diplomacy.

Why did Trump choose Steven Mnuchin and Jared Kushner instead of seasoned diplomats from the State Department to solve a diplomatic and water dispute? Both have no qualifications whatsoever in the technology of building dams, colonial history of Africa, or water conflicts.

Kushner, Trump and Mnuchin are allies of Saudi Arabia and friends of President Sisi. Was the verdict written by Egypt before the arbitration started, as it was announced without an agreement and in the absence of Ethiopia? It smells like the old justice system in Dixie where blacks were picked randomly as murder suspects and thrown into a death row cell before trial or a verdict.

Egypt outwitted Ethiopia, especially Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed who has just been in power for less than two years to engage the U.S. without fully understanding the influence of Saudi Arabia and Egypt on the Trump administration. Both can get away with murder as long as Donald Trump is in the White House, like Saudi Arabia did with the murder of journalist Jamall Kashoggi and Egypt with thousands of Egyptian lives.

Steven Mnuchin and Jared Kushner presented an agreement without consulting Ethiopia that stated any infringement on Egypt’s water consumption from the Nile River is unacceptable. The Arab League followed suit and stated that any infringement against Egypt water quota is a declaration of war on the whole Arab world. Now Ethiopia is facing a confrontation with Egypt backed by the United States and the Arab World.

Now embolden by U.S. and the Arab world, Egypt wants to dictate every aspect of the operation of the dam, otherwise threatening to destroy it and even declare war on Ethiopia. Furthermore, instead of creating a diplomatic and an economic solution to the problem, Egypt is going for a diplomatic and military knockout by isolating Ethiopia.

British colonial treaty signed in 1929 excluded Ethiopia and gave virtual control over the river to Egypt, even though Ethiopia is supply 85% of the water. Another British treaty in 1959 between Sudan and Egypt assigned 55.5 billion cubic meters of the river flow to Egypt and 18.5 to Sudan, but none to Ethiopia or other downstream nations.

It is highly disturbing why Steven Mnuchin or Jared Kushner were engaging in water conflicts or diplomatic issues involving Africa. Most of all Steven Mnuchin or Jared Kushner are not a student of history or colonialism that Egypt is relying to preserve its share of the water coming from Ethiopia. Britain set the ground rule on the usage of the Nile River without consulting any of the upstream countries in favor of Egypt, which was a British colony. Egypt is flexing its political and military power to keep a one sided colonial treaty in force.

Unfortunately, Egypt’s arrogant stand emanates because it has the military and diplomatic advantage over Ethiopia and because of a strong relationship between President Sisi, Donald Trump and support from Saudi Arabia.

Donald Trump’s failure to be a neutral arbitrator may end up causing a big war. Egypt may be tempted to strike the dam with American weapons. Egypt is the largest recipient of America’s aid in Africa despite being a dictatorship. On the other hand, Dr. Abiy is a Nobel Laurette that introduced democracy, free press,   free market, and made peace with Eritrea.

Now his ambitious plan to transition Ethiopia into a democracy will be short lived if he were to engage in war with Egypt because of Donald Trump’s abdication to serve as a neutral arbitrator instead of a hired gun.

This unprecedented involvement of Donald Trump in diplomatic affairs in Africa may lead to a war between Africa and the Arab World.  A war unfortunately none of them can afford.

If the task of arbitration was given to someone versed in diplomacy and history of colonialism in Africa, it could have been avoided. Both Steven Mnuchin and Jared Kushner are real estate gurus not diplomats. Mnuchin got notoriety as “Foreclosure King” during the Great Recession for foreclosing on U.S. homeowners mostly minorities, often profiting on their misfortunes to make millions.

Ethiopia is a very a poor and proud country trying to address urgent economic and energy needs of its growing population, standing around 110 million. It has faced many invasions in the past from Europeans and two major ones from Egypt. If Egypt bombs the dam and make it inoperable, Ethiopia can retaliate. This opens the possibility for Ethiopia to destroy the Aswan dam, as well as divert water using tributaries of the Blue Nile, especially during the summer months. This may force Egypt to invade Ethiopia. As in the past, Egypt will lose the war and the result could be devastating economically to both countries; however, Egypt will lose forever any leverage or ability to dictate to Ethiopia with uncompromising demands.

It will be smart for Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia to open their borders and promote economic integration instead of looking to the West and the Middle East for their survival, which has not paid off so far besides making them client and dependent states.

There is no love lost between Egypt and Ethiopia. For years, Egypt has consistently tried to keep Ethiopia in turmoil and underdeveloped by supporting secessionist groups, supplying arms to invaders such as Somalia during 1977-78 war. In 1993, Egypt orchestrated to make Ethiopia landlocked by supporting the secession of Eritrea with the help of then UN Secretary Boutros-Boutros Ghali, an Egyptian in contravention of U.N Chapter 1 and article 2 that demands respect for the territorial integrity of all of its members. Eritrea’s secession was finalized in six month, while Somaliland, Western Sahara and others have been waiting for decades because of Egypt’s and Boutros Ghali’s desire to harm Ethiopia.

On the other hand, the people of Ethiopia and Egypt have many common bonds. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church and the Egyptian Orthodox Church are both Coptic and follow similar rituals. Many Ethiopian Muslims admired Gamal Abdel Nasser as a great leader of Africa and a champion of the Muslim cause.

The State Department or the Assistant Secretary of State for Africa, Tibor Nagy was not present or invited to the mediation of the three African countries.  It was a fait accompli. The cards were stacked against Ethiopia, which has only wanted to build a dam still supplying 85% of the water for Egypt.

The mediation by the U.S. was a charade primarily aimed at pleasing Egypt and Saudi Arabia.  This is unfortunately a recent pattern of U.S. diplomacy sacrificing one ally to please another with a stronger influence or deeper pockets. A similar scenario was played in conflicts between Saudi Arabia and Qatar, Russia and Ukraine and numerous others. Everything is transactional, not grounded on principle or diplomatic norms.

Sadly, Egypt and other Arab governments still maintain a colonial mentality like the Europeans when it comes sub-Sahara Africa. They want to dominate and have a superiority complex. Even now, their pejorative term for all Black people is abd, slave.

Instead of assigning the task to an impartial and honest broker, Donald Trump showed his true transactional spirit and sacrificed Ethiopia to appease friends with deep pockets. This, of course, did not come as a surprise to anyone who had been paying attention to the Trump administration’s policies and alliances in the Middle East. Ethiopia is less valuable in Donald Trump’s transactional world, so it is worthy throwing to the dogs.

According to Tom Campbell, professor of economics at Chapman University, Ethiopia successfully managed to keep outside interference in the negotiation between the parties. It only accepted U.S. mediation thinking that the U.S. was a neutral party and a friend of Ethiopia. What a disappointment?

Approximately 65 percent of Ethiopians do not have reliable electricity. Without electricity, Ethiopia cannot grow its economy and end its recurring famine and abject poverty.

Unless the U.S. changes it blind support for Egypt, this will lead to a war between the Arab world and Sub-Sahara Africa; and Donald Trump will have blood on his hands.

Ethnic Federalism (Killil) is the Real Problem in Ethiopia

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2020

Ethiopia is the origin of humanity, center of great civilization, and one of the longest and independent surviving nations and it will continue despite machination by Egypt, other foreign and domestic enemies.

While the heinous murder of Hachalu Hundessa, Dr. Ambachew Mekonnen and others are tragic and sad, the perpetrator(s) of this criminal act should be brought to justice; however, the conflagration is due to Killil (segregation of people by ethnicity). TPLF, divide and rule system, Ethiopians are transformed into ethnic monsters instead of human beings.

Oromos without a doubt have historical grievances; Oromos like many other ethnic groups were discriminated and oppressed. Now the Oromos are in control of every echelon of government. So, what’s the problem? The problem is some Oromo leaders like Jawar want to be in charge, and they are using the Oromo youth to mastermind a violent change instead of using the ballot, where they are incapable of articulating any sensible solution to alleviate the economic and political problem facing the youth and people in general, except trying to make Ethiopia a slaughterhouse for Oromos and others. Often, they tantalize them to help them become another S. Sudan or Eritrea. Good luck in case it happens. Whatever the driving force, killing innocent people is a high crime in any religion and jurisprudence. The genesis of such behavior among Ethiopians was planted by TPLF in order to marginalize Oromos and others. Unfortunately, some Oromo, Amhara and other leaders conveniently want to forget this fact in order to grab power.

I also stated in the past that “Ethiopia cannot survive as a viable and peaceful nation under a Killil system. It will face more violence and disruption if the system is continued.”

One of the reasons for the current mayhem in Tigre, especially in major cities and towns is primarily due to Killil that made it possible for ethnic militia, and policing.

TPLF was able to build a strong army legally because of the ethnic federalism. Furthermore, the duty of a police officer is public safety irrespective of once religion or ethnicity. The police in in every ethnic enclaves think lives of other Ethiopians don’t matter. Ethiopians are being killed and burned alive for no apparent reason rather than being a different ethnic group. This is simply ethnic cleansing and the police, the police chief, and the mayor should be charged as such, as enablers and collaborators.

Despite being a product of Woyane indoctrination, the people should listen to the voices around the world that say, “Black Lives Matter”, and “All Lives Matter.”  Unfortunately, ethno-nationalist is preaching that other Ethiopian lives don’t matter. Vigilantes roaming around town are able to destroy property, kill and burn innocent people because they are given a free pass, often welcomed or aided and abetted by the local police force.

While we are deeply saddened by the untimely death of Hachalu, Dr. Mekonnen, General Tsige and others, the killers could be from any ethnic group or foreign enemy like Egypt that has been plotting to undertake similar action to thwart the building of the GERD. Unfortunately, any incident can spark an ethnic warfare. Any country or any group can spark such a conflict and destroy Ethiopia.  There is no reason to kill more innocent Oromos, Amhara or others. Thus, there has to be law and order in Ethiopia. If not, enemies of Ethiopia or ethnic agitators can start an ethnic war by simply killing any famous person. Ethiopians should not fall for such bait and get innocent people killed or burned alive by these angry mobs.

Dr. Abiy was warned about this ethnic inferno built by Woyanes and fanned by the likes of ethnonationalists from various sources that can implode anytime.

The ethnic system has to be dismantled and abandoned immediately. A merit system has to take its place. Nobody should be given a preferential treatment because of his or her ethnicity. It has been a major sore point during Meles, even during Haile Selassie.

Tigres, Amharas, Oromos or any group should be able to compete without any preferential treatment. Any preferential treatment for being born an Oromo, Tigre or Amhara should be eliminated. Such a system is anachronistic, unfair, and dangerous.

In the meantime, start training a police force that is professional and diverse, and representing all Ethiopians. Professionally trained Oromos, Amharas, Somalis, and other police officers should be able to work anywhere in Ethiopia. If they are lacking language, they should learn the local language and Amharic.

Dr. Abiy should bite the bullet and bring an end to chaos and Killil that displaced millions and resulted in the loss of so many innocent lives. Otherwise, it will continue to spread further like wildfire with devastating results.

Dr. Abiy inherited this evil and dangerous system; however, failing to take drastic action is an abdication of leadership and courage. Again, time is the essence for him to act decisively if he wants to save Ethiopia and his government.

Furthermore, it might be advisable to create a more economically integrated regional boundaries without any consideration to ethnicity or revert back to the old provincial system. The U.S. and other countries have states or provinces, and they seem to be working fine. Ethiopia should not be an exception to the rule for the wrong reason. In the long run, moving the capital city to a neutral location should be considered to provide better security, better planning, and the potential to reduce congestion.

Tribal based media and parties should be discouraged or banned, or there should be strict guidelines not to incite or promote tribalism, hate, and violence. Instead, they should focus on hard and factual news, besides promoting peace and economic advancement of all Ethiopians. The safest course would be to discourage even make it illegal to form a political party or media based on ethnicity because of their potential to incite further division and bloodshed like they did in Ethiopia, Rwanda, Burma and other places.

I like the theme of “no more apartheid in Ethiopia” it means no more Killel or ethnic enclaves where minorities are suppressed and their human, civil and voting rights are denied. Without destroying Killel, you can’t save and create a peaceful and prosperous Ethiopia.

To kill ethnic divide, a good start could be a move back to provincial designation or to form economically integrated regions where go​verners are elected by the people based on issues where ethnic mongering or playing ethnic politics is prohibited or secondary to other important issues of commonality, Ethiopianism and peace. Furthermore, cities like Adam​a, Dire Dawa, Harrar and others, a mayor elected by the people run it or administer the city on behalf of the residents rather than tribal chief siting anywhere in the world.

Last but not least, federalize the militia immediately after the war. If Abiy can’t do these, he can’t be taken as a serious leader for Ethiopia. ​The indomitable, Hermela Aregawi is promoting Pan-Africanism with the #nomore movement and other venues, it will be unimaginable for Ethiopia to stay in a tribal and apartheid system and still promote Pan-Africanism. It will be a great contradiction and Abiy will be a laughingstock once people find out that he is running a tribal system or Killil , akin to Apartheid if not worse, while espousing pan-Africanism.

As a leader, Dr. Abiy is accountable to the current and future bloodshed despite the fact that he inherited the system from TPLF but failing to take drastic action will eventually erode his leadership and eventually his regime. In a previous blog entitled “Kill Killil” I said “time is the essence to act decisively and immediately to end the impending cloud of anarchy. Act today, as tomorrow may be too late to save lives and the whole country from imploding.” I hope he listens this time, as any time wasted can be catastrophic.

Ethiopia: Expose architects of Hachalu’s Death

Sunday, August 23rd, 2020

There are certain events that require adequate and prompt explanations because the very future of the country depends on it. There was nothing more pressing, more important and burning issue than the need to adequately explain the death of Hachalu Hundessa in particular who orchestrated the killing and why.

In June, 2019, the handling or lack of prompt and adequate explanation of the murder of Amhara regional president Ambachew Mekonnen and General Asaminew Tsige has alienated many Amharas from the Abiy government. In June, 2020, the same thing is going with Oromos. By failing to fully expose the architects of Hachalu’s killers, Dr. Abiy has angered and alienating many Oromos. The enemies of Ethiopia who orchestrated these tragedies every year including the attempted assassination of Dr. Abiy are eroding his base of support, winning the PR game, and destabilizing the country. Unfortunately, the government of Ethiopia has gone AWOL in its responsibility to apprehend the culprits before the act or refute and to debunk accusations of complicity and hanging it squarely on the necks of OLF and TPLF.

In June, 2018 anti-reform forces tried to assassinate Dr. Abiy, in June, 2019 assassinated General Seare Mekonnen,Chief of General Staff of the Ethiopian National Defense, and in June, 2020, they assassinated Hachalu, all in an effort to restore the TPLF regime or fan genocide against Amharas and other minorities.

The minister of justice and the Prime Minister’s Office failed to share adequately with the local and the international media who orchestrated these attacks, and recently who financed the killing of Hachalu and why.

Despite the detention of three individuals, the international and even local media helped by the OMN and OLF-Shane supporters was awashed with the news that the Ethiopian government was the culprit. The news media including human rights organization such as Amnesty International were overwhelmingly influenced by OMN and OLF narrative that the Ethiopian government was the suspect in the death of Hachalu.

In addition, OMN and OLF were able to inform their supporters that the Ethiopian government was again the perpetrator of Hachalu’s death. This would have required a swift rebuttal by  the ministry of justice or any relevant arm of the government.

Unfortunately, there was no clear and unambiguous refutation of these charges, charges made by OLF and its followers. The media was completely blanketed by the death of Hachalu, but the loss of life and property that followed in the aftermath was barely covered. This failure by the Ethiopian government to share with the international media has turned Ethiopia and its citizens forever as killer of Hachalu for expressing his views. Of course, his views were not anti-Ethiopia, but it was shared in that manner by OMN.

Failure to properly and adequately relay the tragedies that followed the killing of Hachalu and the aftermath was maddening and unfortunate. Failing to expose the schemers, the financiers, and architects of Hachalu’s killing, will make it possible for such acts to be repeated.

This failure to articulate clearly this tragedy has left a big void and the majority of the Oromos still believing that Hachalu was killed because of his ethnicity by anti-Oromo forces.

For example, in the U.S. during any tragedy let alone in the scale that took place in Ethiopia where hundreds killed, billions of property destroyed in the city of Shashamene and others, even in the death of one person in such heinous act would have required many press releases and news conferences immediately and thereafter so that the public knows the truth and only the truth without any equivocation. The Ethiopian government seems to want to bury the truth or does not have a strategy to defend its reputation.

The government of Ethiopia has failed and  left a big scar or deep wound for another ethnic conflict by failing to discharge all the facts regarding the beloved Hachalu death and the plotters.

There should have been an extensive education of the Ethiopian people as to why, who, and how regarding the killing of Hachalu. Even Dr. Merera Gudina was planning to raise this question to Dr. Abiy during a meeting with parliament if he was given an opportunity.

These doubts need to be addressed to build public confidence in the government. Did OLF, with the help of OMN, orchestrated all this in order to take over Ethiopia or was it an unplanned spontaneous reaction that resulted in death and destruction? People are thirsty for facts. The facts will set them free and bring a swift healing to all parties.

I have tried to look at all the press releases and pronouncements regarding Hachalu’s death, but so far I have not seen anything  convincingly to refute these charges that the Ethiopian government has nothing to do with it. While I am not accusing  the government; however, I have not seen any significant effort to inform and educate the public about the facts. I am sorry to express my disappointment of this failure by the Ethiopian government to articulate to the world the truth about Hachalu’s killing instead of creating the appearance of a cover-up or sheer incompetence in managing its public relations.

The justice minister’s brief press release was highly inadequate and not convincing. In such a momentous and dire situation, one is expected to have mastered all available facts and express with confidence and straight eye to the world, that the Ethiopian government is sharing all the evidence in its possession and no stone was left unturned in doing that.

It’s great to be a great communicator, like Dr. Abiy is, but there is nothing more important than using such talent to save Ethiopian from another tragedy like that happened in June associated with the death of Hachalu and its aftermath.

The Ethiopian government should have invited all local and international media and share all the facts and to cast any doubts and to help and heal all Ethiopians who felt such a great loss by the death of Hachalu.

The Rwandan genocide, Holocaust and other saddest moments in history are shared and told often, so that they will not be repeated. Ethiopia’s tragic situation deserve the same in order to avoid a repeat.

The Ethiopian government will not be able to stop another tragedy if it is not willing or able to tell the world what really happened in Ethiopia on June 29 and thereafter. It should have made documentary of the mayhem share it for the world to witness the tragedy. It should have  invited the international media to visit Shashamene, Zeway and other cities to see the devastation, the homeless, and to talk  to those who lost love ones.

The current narrative as shared by OLF-Shane media is that the Oromos are the victims,  without mentioning the people that were slaughtered and burned in Shashamene and other places or those who lost their homes, properties and made homeless by the actions of OLF supporters.

In Shashamene and other cities, the police and the mayors of these cities and towns looked the other way when people were being killed and property being destroyed because Ethiopia sadly has a constitution based on ethnicity that pits one group against another. All the leaders of these cities are appointed based on their ethnic origin instead of being elected or based on competence.

Such tragedies will continue by design as well as by catalysts like the killing of prominent Oromos or Amharas and others. Instead of looking for justice to take its course, groups rush for vengeance against other ethnic groups because the system is designed to pit one against another and the people have been miseducated to believe that they are enemies instead of citizens of Ethiopia. This system has become a catalyst in creating millions of displaced people and hundreds of deaths and billions of property destruction.  Ethiopia has more internally displaced people than any country and the agony will continue because of the current constitution designed by the previous anti-Ethiopian regime remains.

Until the Ethiopian government fully exposes the architects of Hachalu’s killers and vindicate itself, eliminate ethnic policing, allows elections of mayors, as well as educate citizens through public and private media in the importance of rule of law, similar tragedies will be part and parcel of Ethiopia.