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News black out in Ethiopia about Tunisia revolution

By Elias Kifle

After being tipped by a reader about Tunisia revolution news blackout in Ethiopia, I started to browse news web sites that are affiliated with and owned by the ruling party, Woyanne. It turns out that none of them are covering the Tunisia Jasmine Revolution (some call it Facebook Revolution), which is getting a worldwide media coverage. Independent Ethiopian media are also extensively reporting about the situation in the north African nation of Tunisia and discussing their relations and similarities with conditions in Ethiopia.

The Meles regime has apparently imposed a news black out on Tunisia revolution fearing that it will give ideas to Ethiopians who are facing much more dire conditions in their own country. Yesterday, Ethiopian Review has presented the following top 10 similarities between the deposed dictator in Tunisia and the current dictator in Ethiopia, as well as their respective ruling parties:

1. The president, Zin el-Abidine Ben Ali, had been in power for 23 years. Meles has been in power for 20 years.

2. Like Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, Ben Ali was known to conduct fake elections. In a recent poll, he won by 83 percent. Meles won by 96 percent.

3. Ben Ali arrested opposition politicians, and attacked opposition parties, denying them space in the country’s politics. Meles is doing the same thing in a larger scale.

4. Ben Ali’s party, RCD, was involved in nepotism and massive corruption, like Meles Zenawi’s TPLF.

5. Tunisia’s ruling RCD favors one ethnic group, the Trabelsi clan, over other Tunisian clans. TPLF favors the Tigray region over other regions of Ethiopia.

6. Ben Ali had curtailed freedom of speech and press. Similarly in Ethiopia, opposition media, including web sites, are banned. “Although officially denying any intention to meddle with the Internet, the government exercises censorship in practice. The OpenNet Initiative, a collaboration between several universities, found that 10 percent of the 2,000 Web sites it tested in the country were blocked.” – CPJ

7. Like Meles, Ben Ali has forced many of his opponents out of the country.

8. RCD bosses have amassed enormous personal wealth while the country remained poor. TPLF bosses, including the wife of the prime minister, have become among the richest people in Africa over the past 20 years.

9. Like Meles Zenawi’s wife Azeb Mesfin, the wife of Ben Ali, Laila, diverted tens of millions of dollars to the couple’s bank accounts in Western countries. The hijacking of Tunisian state funds by Laila and Ben Ali led to inflation, and a constant rise in the price of basic necessities, followed by an increase in unemployment. “People are now convinced that the [Tunisia] First Family is an insatiable economic animal bent on gratuitous enrichment and unchecked influence-wielding.” – a U.S. diplomatic cable recently posted on

10. Ben Ali used to be a “dependable” an ally of the U.S. and Western government. “Not many people in the West noticed that it was only a very small minority that enjoyed the benefits of the economic reforms and revenues brought in by tourists. Corruption was rampant and the Ben Ali family, and that of his second wife Laila, were the principal beneficiaries.” – Jerusalem Post

37 thoughts on “News black out in Ethiopia about Tunisia revolution

  1. Elias,
    you are a crazy man. How fool you are to think that what happened in Tunisia will also happen in Ethiopia? Meles is 1000 times smarter than you and Ben Ali of Tunisia are.

  2. Don’t you also see the Irony that non of the opposition media (except your and ethiomedia) reported on the execution of the EPPF fighters? Why are we so blinded? Unless we try to be fair and caring about the reality, how do we expect our ‘adversaries’ to be any different?
    I await your response Elias!
    Thank you,

  3. number 9 should come first. Ben Ali’s wife is probably the most hated element of his regime. So is አዜብ ሸርሙጣዋ። ለገንዘብ ያላት ጥማት ለብር ሲሉ ብቻ ገላቸዉን ከሚሸጡ (ማለቴ የኑሮ ችግር ሳያስገድዳቸዉ) ሸርሙጦች ይብሳል። እሱዋ ቀዳማዊ እመቤት ሳትሆን ቀዳማዊ ቅሌት ናት። ደንበኛ የሹፌር አሳዳሪ ሸርሙጣ እኮ ነዉ ምትመስለዉ። እሱዋ ትገዛናለች። ያቃጥላል!!

  4. Yes, Elias the similarities even could be more than that between Meles and Ben Ali I agree with you.

    The problem comes here, the Tunis people so determined,united and stood firm in their struggle BUT our people Ethiopians including myself full of fear.

    So change in our country is far too high to attain unless we determined to sacrify atleast for one week together… that is what we, ethiopians lack!!!

    Somebody may say some thing after reading my comment again the reality is we don’t want to sacrify and we are bounded by FEAR!!!

  5. Elias..Great news as usual welldon,Brilliant.but please take time about EPPF. I understand the feeling but still you have to be smart. I always supprot your stand.

  6. Elias,

    You could have easily turned the Meles leaddeship upside down if you included the youth and the elite and all religions. It will take only a few days but for this to work we should have had unity from diaspora, then take it to Addis and surroudning. We don’t need no “guns” when we can dismantle every regime with our hands.

    Elias follow what exactly was talked about in Face book and learn a good leson from it and set up a network.

    Otherwise after 10 years you will still be the same except with more gray hairs. In short, I don’t know how restricted the facebook or internet is, but we need something like that.

    But ofcourse Muslims need their voices too.

  7. For woyane roaches as long as they loot and enjoy life at the expense of eighty million ppl, every thing fine and dandy. Their motto is long live meles and his criminal bands. It is only a matter of time. When that time comes, there will not be any woyane remanent who will live to tell the story. The feudal and derge criminals came and disappered. So will tplf killers and looters. No matter how long you loot , your fate won’t be different from the derg.

  8. The Tunisian revolution and beyond must be replicated in Ethiopia. This is it. This is the time. We must be united. People must be willing to sacrifice and get rid of these vultures. Things for the average citizen are becoming abysmal.

  9. Let us not even dream such a thing to ever happen to Melese. Either he will die in office, his own tribes men will kill him or he will leave office with his billions of dollar and live with his wife happily ever after, at his own accord. Fact is he is surrounded by his tribes men and women, who will die for him and to save their ill gotten fortune thanks to Melese and the ethnic governance he set up supported for such a time through his private so called Ethiopian army, which every aspect of the so called the defense force are under the commanded Tigrian Generals. If he ever goes, which is a pipe dream to say the least, it sure will be the destruction of Ethiopia, which he and his tribes men has set up the country for each tribe to see the other tribes as their enemy. So, let us stop dreaming

  10. I fully agree what is commented by Ahmed. We, ethiopians are all “Feriwoch”. What happened in Tunisia will never happen in Ethiopia.

    An Ethiopian parent, if his elder son is killed today by Woyane, he will try his best to keep his children away of all insurrectional implications tomorrow instead of fighting back those who killed his elder son.

    This is what we are. You can’t help it. Woyane has still a bright future in Ethiopia’s politics where even the so called oppostion parties are nothing but greedy individuals gathered just during the election period to form an artificial coalition destined to lose the election and stay completely “offside” the remaining time.

    Anyway, Meles is not Ben Ali. The former knows very well his people but the latter not. I think that this is the big difference between the two.

    By saying so, I do not surrender but I just convey my observation.

    Longlive Ethiopia.

  11. My dear southern neighbours,
    Saying is something and doing is another.
    But dreaming is the fastest method to hit your target.
    Ethiopians have been told wake up,unite and pick up arms and fight.
    But they chose to be Cyber worriors, more relaxed and more divided.

  12. These days, it is extremely difficult to imagine all Ethiopians to stand against Meles in one voice. There are clear reasons for this. During the Derg period, people had nasty experiences when their friends and members of their families sold them out.
    Secondly Meles has divided our society in various lines so that one mistrusts the others.
    Thirdly from recent experinces (Election 2005), people could not rise up in unison for fear of the consequences, especially thinking that others could not stand up with them.

    Who would forget the experience of National Bank of Ethiopia’s workers strike in the early years of EPDRF rule of Ethiopia. When the workers made a strike, TPLF announced vacancies to fill in their places. Then what happened they put a radio advert for recruiment in their places, a huge number of people turned up to get the jobs knowing that it is the strikers’ jobs being advertised. How can one in the right mind apply for a job of someone who is on strick to demand his/her right? I do not exactly remember what the causes of the strick was. Can some one remind me of that?

    When I think of this I always doubt as to whether we can ever be united in the future. As to Meles future, he is not immortal. Either naturally or ‘man-madely’ (By the way I know that there is no such word as man-madly in English), he will vanish. This is a fact.

  13. Kitcho
    It seems that you are living in your own fantasy world to say the least,if your memory serves it was not that long that he was stand by to flee the country in 2005 after being rejected and get back as the peoples sunami calms downreaching meskel sqare.

  14. elias it is true no dictatore stay in power for ever the tunisian revolution is almost tuching evrey north african this spontanius movment is in every middleasten countries watch few years no leaders will work for US. and no shelter for dictatores eroupean and US will come back to democracy weather they want it or not.”DEMOCRACY BY FORCE”

  15. What an interesting similarity between the wifes of the two dictators. It is unfortunate to see those who fought to end the previousdictatorship find themselves in the same situation. I hope our first lady reads the news from Tunisia as she doesn’t seem to get it from past history.

  16. If similar situation arises in Ethiopia, I am sure a situation like Tianamen square or Deir Yassin massacre will be repeated. The West may provide a leap service.

    After all who knows the Tunisians will be successful? The major players (Ministers and Generals) in Bel Ali,s government are still in charge. France is like a cancer and it won’t let its former colonies thrive easily.

  17. We know what is at stake in Ethiopia since the arrival of Woyanne. The Ethiopian people know what it takes to put the Meles regim to its knees. It is a matter of getting together under the umbrella of unity, democracy, and growth. It is not fear that holds up the mass, it is the lack of leaders who are willing to commit themselves to the welfare of the nation than their own individual agenda and the thirst of power.

  18. If it happened in the holiday destination Tunisia, it can happen in ethiopia also, can’t it? It was celebrated by the West for its “stability” when Ben Ali was in charge. The French and the Germans and the Brits, dare we mention this, always praised the dictator for being a “friend” of civilised Europe, keeping a firm hand on all those Islam people. Tunisians won’t forget this little history, even if we would like them to. Arbs used to say that two thirds of the entire Tunisian population – seven million out of ten million, virtually the whole adult population – worked in one way or another for Mr Ben Ali secret police. They must have been on the streets too, then, protesting at the man the west loved until last week. But don’t get too excited. Yes, Tunisian youths have used the internet to rally each other – in ethiopia, too – and the demographic explosion of youth (born in the Eighties and Nineties with no jobs to go to after university) is on the streets doing nothing.

  19. Dear Ethiopian, do not hesitate that the Tunisian case will happen in a much intensive scale as the problem in Ethiopia is more pervasive than any other countries.
    The following is what you currently read in the Ethiopian Situation. The Ethiopian people patience has already reached at the highest level. The fact that more and more Ethiopian people are unable to feed themselves coupled with the governments day to day lie has already demoralized the people and they only are waiting for some kind of situation to conduct similar to what is happening in Tunisia.

    Support Unity, Support ESAT!

  20. If there is a difference between the Ethiopian people and the Tunis ,obviously Meles and Ben Ali are different though you tried to say they are committing similar things.

  21. I don’t consider Azeb as the first lady of Ethiopia. May be the first woman that has looted eighty million Ethiopians blind. Azeb and Meles are two peas in a pod, that work together to get rich by every means they see fit.

  22. If similar situation arises in Ethiopia, I am sure a situation like Tianamen square or Deir Yassin massacre will be repeated. The West may just provide a leap service.
    After all who knows the Tunisians will be successful? The major players (Ministers and Generals) in Bel Ali,s government are still in charge. France is like a cancer and it won’t let its former colonies thrive easily.

  23. Say Meles is gone. what is the alternative for the Ethiopian people who live inside Ethiopia. It will create a vacume power and another Somalia is easly created. First let all the opposition group inside Ethiopia get to their senses and work for their common good. Ethiopians in diaspora are nothing but opportunists. Think twice before you wish, be realistic.

  24. Elias, Yes woyane can block any information about Tunisian Revolution but the elite can get AL-Jazeertah, CNN, BBC by the means of satellite TV. to do such kind of revolution one has to be strong and brave, sadly, Including me we don’t have that only started with one college graduate young guy, who demonstrate by torching him self the trend continuous to Egypt, Mauritania, Algeria but do we have that strong sense of strive? I doubt it! we don’t even get enough people to demonstrate in DC .out of 200,000 or more Ethiopian Diaspora in DC if we get 10,000 for hunger strike things could change,we don’t even have a courage for the mass-hunger strike and woyane knows this better than us.
    the other thing Muslims in Ethiopia used to be considered as second class citzen,most of the diaspora have this reflection, when we abolish religion out of politics and our struggle for ultimate cahnge we can make a revolution like 1974. how many of you are ready to elect Abdul-aziz or Ahmed as prime minister? I know insult will follow, when you stop the old factor and admit Ethiopia is belongs to Ethiopians, this will scare the hell-out of woyane and you will find them running, are you ready for that? or to insult your Muslim brother called Habib? for your information based on state department data muslims are not minority but majority how can you try to make a regime change without 50% of the population get the link please

    Nationality: Noun and adjective–Ethiopian(s).
    Population (est.): 80 million.
    Annual growth rate (est.): 3.2%.
    Ethnic groups (est.): Oromo 40%, Amhara 25%, Tigre 7%, Somali 6%, Sidama 9%, Gurage 2%, Wolaita 4%, Afar 4%, other nationalities 3%.
    Religions (est.): Ethiopian Orthodox Christian 40%, Sunni Muslim 45-50%, Protestant 5%, remainder indigenous beliefs.
    Languages: Amharic (official), Tigrinya, Arabic, Guaragigna, Oromifa, English, Somali.
    Education: Years compulsory–none. Attendance (elementary)–57%. Literacy–43%.
    Health: Infant mortality rate–93/1,000 live births.
    Work force: Agriculture–80%. Industry and commerce–20%.

  25. Out of concocted fear for his own life and for the lives of his immediate family, out of carelessness for his country, out of sincere love for anybody else, even for his best friend, Al Amoudi, out of touch with the most educated people at home and abroad, out of, perhaps, curiosity and lack of wisdom, out of insensitivity what others think of him, out of desperation that he might be overthrown by some invisible power, and, finally, out of new ideas for his wealth he has amassed for over 20 years, where to hide it, what to do with it, and how to distribute it between his children from Jezebel (Azeb), the most detested woman among the Ethiopian Weizeros, Meles Seitanawi (Zenawi) has prohibited all Ethiopians, but the Ethiopians in the diaspora, from using the Internet until the political wind in Tunisia, a frightening place for Meles and his crime family, settled down.

    He has the map of Africa in front of him, but he is unable to locate where Tunisia is, so he summons Jezebel (Azeb), his beloved wife, to help him find this troublesome country, Tunisia, while she is preparing herself to go to bed. She would tell him she has never heard that name before, but she thinks that country must be somewhere in Oromia where those non-law abiding OLF members originated. He telephones Al Amoudi to immediately come and see him at the Menelik II Palace, now repossessed by Meles Seitanawi and Jezebel (Azeb).

    Perspiring, breathing hard, and wiping out the sweet from his wet face with his right hand, Al Amoudi, thinking Meles might order him to transfer over one billion dollars to Meles’ bank account, comes in with a bag of money in his hand, bows down to the ground in front of Meles and Jezebel (Azeb). Meles signals to the frightened Al Amoudi to sit down, next to him but far from Jezebel (Azeb) and asks him where Tunisia is. As soon as Al Amoudi heard Meles’ question is about Tunisia, his fear about what kind of questions Meles is going to ask him evaporated.

    Relaxed and settled, Al Amoudi asks for a glass of water before he answers Meles’ geographical question; immediately, Jezebel (Azeb) brings him a glass of wine and asks Meles to join him. The generous wife, Jezebel (Azeb), puts on the table two bottles of whisky and asks the two gentle men to help themselves. Within an honor the two bottles of whisky are gone, the two gentle men get drunk, and the map question about Tunisia is completely forgotten. The question now is about beautiful Ethiopian women, and how to get them to the Menelik II Palace. While the two drunken men are exchanging bizarre words, Jezebel (Azeb) calls her boy friend to pick her up from her palace and take her to a night club.

    Early in the morning, Jezebel returns to her palace, finds the two gentle men lying on the floor, snoring, and coughing. Gently, she wakes them up, telling them it is nine o’clock in the morning. Al Amoudi dashes to the restroom while Meles is in the other restroom; Jezebel (Azeb) tells the two gentle men that breakfast is ready, and the two gentle men, towels on their shoulders, sit in chairs and consume their breakfast without saying “grace.”

    After the breakfast is over, Meles asks Al Amoudi where Tunisia is located; Al Amoudi puts his glass on, looks hard on the map, but could not locate Tunisia; however, he tells Meles Tunisia is in Africa, and he (Al Amoudi) is glad he has not put some of his assets in the bank of Tunisia. Before Al Amoudi leaves the palace, Meles commands him to report to the police those people who are using the Internet or the cell phones; Meles does not want the Tunisia Jasmine Revolution influence the Ethiopian people and put him out of the Menelik Palace and send him to exile or to Kaliti Jail.

  26. Now the fan hitting the shit. The most powerful figure the 78 years old islamist of Sudan is arrested today. The two brothers in arms meles and ahmed turabi were the means for the distraction in both Ethiopia and sudan. Sudan is in a dip dip shit. In the next few weeks the South will a new county with its oil and fertile land. Sudan is harvesting what it saw. I don’t know what will happen to meles. This thing is going like a wild fire. I am afraid little tigray will be in the middle of the fire. The tigrians are hated by the nothern cousin and the rest of Ethiopia.

  27. There has never been a revolution that didn’t involve the direct or indirect suppoet of the military. Ethiopia is not Tunisia. For that matter Egypt is not Tunisia. Yes we will see the ‘copy cat’ or ‘monkey see monkey do’ theory reverberating but it will all calm down in time.
    For those of you who wish the same revolution in Ethiopia, becareful what you wish for. Lets not put the cart before the horse. First let us see a reasonably organized opposition group that is at peace with it self. Building a coutry is much tougher than destroying it; therefore, bring a revolution to Ethiopia is a matter of less than a year and to do that you don’t need a perfect oppostion but an opposition that is relatively oraganized and ready to take over. There will a total craziness and total change of guard and if there is no organized opposition we may not be like Somalia but it will not look good. So where are the sensible personalities who can at least look like a temporary governemnt in exile who can give hope to the people that there will not be fear of anarchy and that people will trust. Yes we need ESAT. What will ESAT or CNN report about the opposition. No story to tell the people. You can’t be telling the people their story over and over again. They already know what they are going through. Do they need reminder? no, but they want to hear solutions. Solutions by the sensible opposition. An oppostion that is not hate marred or an oppostion that is inclusive of all ethnics and religions. An oppositions that respects every one as Ethiopians. An oppostion that doesn’t pretend to have the license to give or take citizenship of any Ethiopian. An oppostion with a wider scope of freedom not only for Ethiopia but for people of Ethiopia’s neighbours like Eritrea, Sudan, Djibouti and Somalia. In general and oppositon that has common sense and farsightedness. Then the case of Ethiopia is a matter of weeks. Otherwise, this will all be a loughing matter to Woyane. Woyane will have respect and could even come to a negotiation table when it can see a teeth that can bite. This is a human nature. The problem is that all the hooligans and thugs are trying to kick out the people with know how out of the struggle. The respect for the educated and abled has gone down. No revolution will succeed with out the devoted elites. “Esun bilo doctor demo zimbel woota afihin ziga. Yetemarew new ager yabelashew” this are what we hear and this started during derg’s time. This is wrong and should be corrected.

  28. The similarities between Ethiopia’s junta and Tunisian ousted government is clear. Both regimes live off fear on their people, Ethiopians began the revolution in 2005 but fell short running all the nine yard, they stopped on the last stride. Tunisians went all the way and beyond to ensure their dictator is ousted.

  29. GENA alesmum etiopia wust! They did not hear the tunisian people chased away the tunisian leader.

    Internet and SMS were also shutdown for 3 days.

    berhanu nega made interview on ESAT few
    days ago. why he did not call ethiopian people for revolt and sabotage against woyane regime?? That could have played important role.

  30. A lazy student is more prone to copying from a smart student next to him rather than studying hard and passing the exam. Respect each other, organize, aware those who are not aware and then take action. If there is faith among Ethiopians in achieving this goal and if we are willing to persevere then we can talk about revolution. When we can’t even take the first baby step how could we talk about revolution. In my view this is absurd. We will bring back what happened to our older brothers and sisters,1974 all over again. Who will take over will bring blood shed. First, let us be clear on the respect and trust department. We don’t need repeat offenders.
    ‎”Faith is taking the first step, even when you don’t see the whole staircase.” –Martin Luther King

  31. It’s realy Dictator Weyane played 82millins of people we don’t believe it From our populetion 80% is farmer but Meles Kill our people so now is the yime let us make powerfull Revolution people that you have many and people that have power all together for one Ethiopa now is the time.

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