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Ethiopia under siege

By Yilma Bekele

Siege is a strong term. It is normally used to describe a war situation. The invading army resorts to siege when it encounters a fortress or robust defense it cannot overcome easily. When a siege occurs the enemy surrounds the city or fortification and does not allow reinforcements to come in or permit those inside to escape.

The most famous modern day siege is that of the ‘Siege of Leningrad’ by Nazi troops during World War II. It lasted twenty-nine months. The Soviet Union lost over a million and half people. We are witnessing ‘Gaza under siege’ by Israel as you are reading this article. Human history is full of atrocities as such.

Our country Ethiopia is under siege. We are not under invasion by a foreign force. Who needs enemies when you have friends so they say. We are under siege by a homegrown enemy. We find ourselves in the most unenviable situation of crying wolf but the wolf is us. We are in a strange predicament and it is very confusing to outsiders and ourselves.

You can rally people around a foreign enemy. The enemy is identifiable. The enemy is easy to target. The brain is more willing to accept the definition of ‘enemy’. What we got in Ethiopia is blurred vision. The enemy has watered down the definition. The enemy is also relentless. The whole country is one battleground. No one is immune from being incorporated or made into a subsidiary.

Why would anybody want to destroy Ethiopia is a good question. What a diabolical thing to say or think is a rational reaction. Are you sure Ethiopia is the target is a common response. On the other hand we could be victims of what is known as the ‘law of unintended consequences’. This is how Wikipedia defines the law.

The “law of unintended consequences” (also called the “law of unforeseen consequences”) states that any purposeful action will produce some unintended consequences…

Stated in other words, each cause more than one effect and these effects will invariably include at least one unforeseen side effect. The unintended side effect can potentially be more significant than any of the intended effects.

This is a good point as any trying to understand our current crisis. What exactly was Ato Meles fighting for? How did he go about to attain that goal?

He started as an ethnic study group and formed an ethnic liberation organization. Although all those before him and around him were organized as a multi-national he choose the ethnic road.

There lies the fork on the road. His organization took the easy path. They choose to fight injustice by rallying around primitive ethnicity rather than nationality. It was a short cut.

Our current dilemma has been brewing for eighteen years or so but the seeds were planted over forty years ago. The late sixties and seventies were a time of turmoil. There were two super powers and two contending ideologies. The West was vilified due to its history of colonialism and the then war in Vietnam. Marxism was getting acceptance in the new emerging nations. Our country’s intellectuals were drawn into this philosophy to solve the many problems facing our country. The two questions of land ownership and good governance were the main issues.

We gave birth to the military junta. It was a miscarriage. Despite the Derge lasting seventeen years it was an utter failure in bringing about a positive change. We were caught between the East and the West and we were not ready or able to play that game. Everything our forefathers taught us was turned upside down. All that we learned in thousands of years were discarded in a matter of days. All that which made us Ethiopian was declared old, backward, reactionary and other not favorable adjectives. We know for a fact that most of our core beliefs were challenged and ruled unfit for the new Ethiopia.

Our current leaders are the children of that era. Meles and company built their new psudo ideology on that premise. They also took the then ascending theory of socialism as a dogma instead of a scientific philosophy to be interpreted and reinterpreted as situations change. As Lenin bastardized scientific Marxism to suit his notion of the petty bourgeois seizing power in the name of the proletariat, as Mao Tse Tung reinterpreted Lenin and substituted the peasantry for the petty bourgeois our own TPLF came up with the notion of ethnic based organization to seize and hold power.

We are all products of our environment despite what some US Senators tried to claim otherwise during the recent hearing during Judge Sotomayor’s confirmation. Ato Meles and his mentor Aboy Sebhat are perfect specimens of this assertion. Ato Meles and his comrade’s tunnel vision came from their insular upbringing in the little Village of Adwa. For Meles and company someone born in Hawzen down street from Adwa is an outsider. The rest of Ethiopia is a foreign land. It will not be farfetched to claim that it was during his trip to Addis to attend high school that Ato Meles even met an Oromo, a Gurage or a Sidama.

The many years they spent fighting the Derge was not spent in devising solutions to bring about change but rather sharpening the skills necessary to control and subjugate others. The many writings by ex TPLF members show that disproportionate amount of resources were allocated to eliminating internal dissent rather than building a democratic institution. It is not far fetched to assert that TPLF killed or exiled more Tigrean than the Derge.

What exactly did they bring with them when they marched into Addis as victors on that fateful day in 1991? They brought with them the concept of Kilil, a new revised ethnic map and a new flag. All these years fighting and this is all they have to show for it? Unfortunately this is it! No new agenda to improve agriculture, no new program to encourage rebuilding of industries or learning centers or no new idea to return our old nation on the path of reclaiming our eminence place in Africa.

It was the Derge dressed up in civilian uniform. They were happy to inherit all Derge institutions that were set up for coercion. They took ‘Kebele’ organizations and replaced the heads not the function, they appropriated internal security intact and installed their trained killers and psychos as people in charge. They inherited all land and property as state asset. They transferred state owned industries to EFFORT and called it privatization. They changed the name of their ideology from Marxism-Leninism and Enver Hoxha thought to Revolutionary Democracy.

The last eighteen years they went about looting everything that is of any value. In the words of Aboy Sebhat they built EFFORT as the premier corporation in the country. That claim is incorrect. They robed from Ethiopia. To think TPLF leaders who have never worked for a living, never paid bills from their hard earned income, never even have a simple bank account in their name but were able to build such an enterprise is absurd. It is not an exaggeration to claim EFFORT is bigger than Ethiopia. TPLF is one gigantic wealth sucking vacuum devise with tentacles in all aspect of the life of our people.

Transportation is owned by the Foreign Minister, Sugar is owned by the Military Generals, Brewery is owned by advisors, building and engineering is owned by party hacks, telecommunications and media is owned by the first lady, banking is owned by the party, coffee and other commodities are under the new exchange (TPLF subsidiary) and so on so forth. There isn’t a single aspect of movement of capital in the country without the involvement of TPLF or its subsidiaries.

This is where the ‘law of unintended consequences come in.’ Ato Meles and company organized this huge machine to loot and pillage. Think of TPLF as the parasite and Ethiopia the host. The parasite has been feeding wantonly for the last eighteen years. The host is dying. The well being of the parasite has the exact opposite effect on the host. The parasite is fat and flabby. The host is just skin and bones. The natural outcome is for both host and parasite to perish. It is possible the parasite can move on and find another host. But the host is too weak to survive. Other parasites are hovering to devour what is left of it.

On the other hand the host can wake up from its long slumber and develop an anti biotic to save it self. In this scenario the host did develop a vaccine to protect itself. Kinijit was the vaccine. It was not a fully developed vaccine. The parasite was able to adapt. It was mimicking the HIV virus. It became a moving target. What is required is what is known as a ‘cocktail’ drug. Scientists found out that HIV develops resistance to every antiviral drug and once one drug fails the whole combination is not effective anymore. The trick was finding the right combination of drugs. Kinijit was stuck on the concept of working within the system. A single drug solution. But TPLF was like our HIV lentivirus. One drug alone is not enough. Like the HIV scientists we have to come up with a ‘cocktail’ of resistance combinations. Some call it ‘hulegeb tigil’.

Now TPLF have come to another crossroads. This unquenchable thirst they have to amass wealth is creating its own contradictions. The well is in the process of drying up. What to do? Of course there is always the option of skipping town in the cover of darkness. But that will be admitting guilt thus hunting them down becomes a simple process. There is always the possibility of fanning civil war. But the ensuing chaos might consume them too. Except for a few million stashed away in foreign banks most of the wealth is still sitting in Ethiopia. With modern forensic accounting every penny deposited outside can be traced and any way what is the point of having it if you can’t enjoy it. Their unabashed greed is becoming their undoing.

In an attempt to understand their destructive polices we ascribe such explanations as their hate towards our country, being Eritrean (good old Eritrea always there) their vow to destroy our old kingdom or their grand plan to liberate Tigre as a nation. I have never been comfortable looking into people’s motives. I am more interested in their action. The action of the TPLF mafia group is that of a petty thief but on a national scale.

The issue in front of us is that the cadres are in the process of destroying our homeland. The question put to each and every one of us is what are you going to do about it? Yes, you what is your next move. You can sit in a coffee house or a family gathering and recount the many horror stories of TPLF and company. You can even blame the opposition for not uniting or for splitting into factions at a drop of a hat. Unfortunately that would not absolve you of your responsibilities. Why you want to shift responsibility unto others is strange. You still have not answered the question what are you doing about it? Fighting injustice takes many forms. We all are not cut out to be solders. What is asked of us is to contribute positively to liberate our homeland so we have some place to go at the end of the day.
What is universally clear is no masters have voluntarily let his slaves go, no colonialist have granted freedom without a fight, no dictator have vacated power without struggle. Ato Meles and his inner group have to be forced to see the dead end road they are traveling. It is not about rational discussion with irrational people. Their greed is their Achilles heel. Their perceived economic strength is their vulnerability. That is where we should concentrate our fire. We don’t have to bring them down. We just have to make them stagger and they will fall.

As Henry Thoreau said ‘there are thousands hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the roots…’ don’t tell me you are still hacking at the branches!


13 thoughts on “Ethiopia under siege

  1. well my Ethiopian brother i accept your challenge what are u going to do about it? the answer is fight,fight and participate in any way possible to uproot this mercenary tribal junta from the face of Ethiopia. and it is not politic any more it is for the survival of our mother land not about power.and support EPPF they are giving the ultimate gift there life for the defence of u and me.

  2. The confusion that is going to be created by TPLF junta in the horn of Africa

    Before the shuttle rocket that launches from Kennedy space station to the outer space returns to earth the TPLF juntas are going to make a surprise manoeuvre of change of tactics. I really appreciate the timing of the TPLF when it comes to choosing an alliance. They did it at a right time to ally with the EPLF to hit DERG. After their mission is accomplished using advantage of blood and sweat of EPLF they allied at a supersonic speed with the Amhars to hit Eritrea. And now they are contemplating to take actions to ally with Eritrea and Oroms to hit Amhara.

    They are prepared to say they accepted long time the EEBC decision and they don’t have a problem to implement it. When they are going to be asked are you prepared to leave Badme to Eritrea? Their answer will be “YES”. Eritrea is going to be caught by surprise. There is going to be confusion in Eritrea.

    The TPLF is looking for a possible negotiation to leave power to Amhara in Ethiopia. At the same time the TPLF are going to agitate the Tigriyan people for an independent Tigray. Both the Amhara and Tigray people are going to be confused. The Amhara for one side they are going to be in a happy mood to get power but to find them selves in shock to go through vicious circle of conflict with the Tigriyans. The Tigray people are going to be patriotic to defend their right as an independent people but to find themselves in trouble surrounded by enemies.

    The possible arrangement of dialogue between TPLF and the Oroms is not realistic. The good gesture that is going to be forwarded by TPLF to support the cause of the Oroms is going to create confusion among the Oroms.

    The remaining question will be what will happen to the relationship of TPLF and the Somalis. The TPLF says now they have nothing to do with the Somalis. The main reason is there is no direct neighbourhood between Tigray and Somalia. In this case it is not going to be confusion but is going to create anger by the Somalis. The Somalis are going to ask why in the first place destroys Somalia and say now you have nothing to do with it? The TPLF are going to say “now we leave you with your original arch enemy the Amhara and leave us alone to deal with the Amhara and you Somalis pursue to deal with them. By the way we have a common enemy we need to support each other”. Still the Somalis are not going to be confused but are going to ask questions like who will compensate the Somalis destruction done by the TPLF regime? No answer from TPLF but comes with a proposal saying “in principle we do take responsibilities for what happened in Somalia but we will insist on dialogue how to deal with the common enemy the Amharas”.

    Starting from September 2009 until May 2010 there is going to be confusion in horn of Africa never seen in the history of that region.

  3. Mr. Yilma Bekele thank you, it takes to be a patriot to
    think like this. We have been undersiege! We all know it, but our people from home don’t know, and can’t lead a fight because we are in a fashist government. I think it is our responsibility from abroad to raise money, show unity of purpose and lead. In the future their should be no chance of power vacum or failer of leadership.
    I think their is enough awareness of the true nature of the regime. It is realy high time to show above all unity among the ethiopian comunity, i know about the danger of being infiltrated.
    I’m thinking how about raising money, little or what wver amount. Call each other in the community Ethiopians and
    gather together.
    In the churchs we should pray, declare day of fasting and
    humiliating ourselves before God.
    We are being destroyed and prepared for a hopeless future.
    God have mercy!

  4. Dear Ato Yilma,

    You said it best. There is nothing to add. Action is what is needed to get rid of these thugs.

    I call on all those who love their country to come together and act as one. Those of us in the diaspora should encourage those who have taken up arms against the TPLF.

    Thanks for once again providing a well-thought out presentation of Ethiopia’s unhappy predicament.

  5. thank you Mr. yilma bekele, it takes to be a patriotic Ethiopian to see it as such. We are under a fashistic goverment, we have denied, tried to hide our head under the sand, and looked all the other ways for 18 years. It is time to admit the gravity of the situation. Thank God for the Internet, we could not be held back from knowing. We just have to act on our knowledge, we have to unity.
    Their is more than enough willingness on the part of our people, we need mature, expirianced leaders to stand up in every community and lead the people to prayer, gathering uniting, “shimgelina” for a common cause.

  6. EFFORT is nothing but money looted from the rest of Ethiopia through several ways and means as follows:

    1) through forceful taking, saling and dealing of the the natural resources of Ethiopia i.e. mines, cash crops such as coffee, factories and commercial farm lands;

    2) taking money sent to Ethiopia in many forms of the goodwill of European and US Aid; including money sent to alleviate poverty and prevent HIV-Aids

    3) corrupt siphoning of money obtained from World Bank and IMF; and

    4) taking commission and bribe through all development projects funded by foreign and local investment.

    In conclusion EFFORT is money looted from Ethiopia and Ethiopians by Tigre thugs led by the murderer criminal Legesse (Meles). In the process of the looting, these criminals committed genocide against other ethnic groups (Agnuaks, Sidamas, Oromos, Somalis and others). Therefore the EFFORT money is blood money!!

  7. Ato Yilma’s article simply an intellectualy honest and outstanding analysis of the looting of Ethiopia by Tigre thugs calling themselves TPLF. The above article is also a response to the smoke-screen propaganda perpetrated by Abebe Gelaw in distorting facts and indeed spreading lies about Tigre outrage on behalf of Woyane.

    EFFORT is a mafia operation that devastated Ethiopia over the last 19 years. In the process they these Tigre thugs led by Legesse (meles) Zenawi have persecuted, jailed, raped, robbed and killed hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians. Needles to say the Tigre crime family has waged genocidal acts against Agnuaks, Sidamas, Oromos, Somalis and others over the last twenty years. Legesse (Meles) Zenawi is in the league of an array of criminal leaders, the likes of Charles Taylor of Liberia.

  8. Wow, well written…For those who wants to liberate our country with tactical military force this will be a good propaganda…I dont mean to be of any offense but for some little town folks of Tigray from which I never heard of until 1991, who grew up during Col. Menguistu in Addis, I have to give the TPLF party much props for what they have accomplished. Now, are they mafia’s? YES. Who’s not in this world? The US? The European’s? Who should we follow as an example? Instead, we need to wake up and try to do our best for our country. Like planting a tree, helping one get on his feet, teach one how to cultivate and market his product …How long are we going to preach the same old slogan “Get up and kill your enemy!” The honest truth is the youth under the age of 25yrs that’s over 60% of the population, only cares of one single thing $$$$ or fleeing that country…So, I am not sure how long it has been for you but you need to forget about patriotism and come up with a better strategy for the youth to understand and love what a country is all about first.

  9. EFFORT is nothing but money looted from the rest of Ethiopia through several ways and means as follows:

    1) through forceful taking, saling and dealing of the the natural resources of Ethiopia i.e. mines, cash crops such as coffee, factories and commercial farm lands;

    2) taking money sent to Ethiopia in many forms of the goodwill of European and US Aid; including money sent to alleviate poverty and prevent HIV-Aids

    3) corrupt siphoning of money obtained from World Bank and IMF; and

    4) taking commission and bribe through all development projects funded by foreign and local investment.

    In conclusion EFFORT is money looted from Ethiopia and Ethiopians by Tigre thugs led by the murderer criminal Legesse (Meles). In the process of the looting, these criminals committed genocide against other ethnic groups (Agnuaks, Sidamas, Oromos, Somalis and others). Therefore the EFFORT money is blood money!!

  10. mr. yilma bekele you put it very well; thank you for this wonderful comment. time will come like, mengistu the strong man how he left, the last days hailesselse, and now this evils meless and his groupe ONLY WITH THE GUN they can’t understand other way,peace is an insult for them. the DAY is very near they have no were to escape they will be accountable for ALL:

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