Is Meles Zenawi dead or alive has become the burning question of the day. It is sad even in death or near death the tyrant does not get any respect. You would think after dominating the Ethiopian scene for over twenty years the individual is entitled to some love. I am afraid all he has harvested in this short life is a lot of hate and loathing. He lived a violent life and his current condition whatever it is has turned up to be more violent than most of us dreamt of. Tumor in the brain is not a simple matter. Blood cancer is terminal. Chemotherapy treatment is a painful process. He came suddenly into our life and he is leaving us before sundown afraid of what the night might bring. It would have been better if he was made to answer for his crimes. That would have brought closure. As usual the coward is trying to slip away without accountability. Good riddance!
It is a sad ending and we all feel the pain. The situation creates all kinds of conflict in each of us. No one relishes pain and suffering on a fellow human being. But Meles Zenawi is not an ordinary human being. I have been reading all kinds of obituaries written both by foreigners and fellow Ethiopians the last few days. The analysis written by our foreign experts verges on the border of incoherence, are mostly disjointed and full of what I consider to be a sloppy cocktail of cultural bigotries.
The article by The Atlantic magazine and the attempt by AFP to do analysis are both poorly researched shameful works that will never be presented regarding events in any European country. It is Africa and all westerners are considered experts. What is surprising in both instances is their constant use of the term ‘intellectual, technocrat, sharp witted’ to explain Meles. If you notice no one calls Mr. Obama an intellectual or explain any of the Western leaders by the number of degrees they hold. In fact leaders like Mr. Obama or David Cameron go out of their way to present themselves as ordinary citizens. African leaders on the other hand are judged by the diplomas they hold and the size of their library rather than their work in the service of their people. It seems to shout ‘see he has a degree from one of our Universities thus he is not just another African savage, but an educated baboon’
The best Obituary is written on Aiga by someone named Aesop. Of course after the customary lauding of Meles as an intellectual, voracious reader etc. Aesop wrote the following: “Some of the “past leaders” managed to identify “some” problems but failed in action. But most have failed to even identify the problem and waited until the problem (or natural causes) consume them. Haile Selassie knew what the youth wanted and what the military was conspiring upon. However, he failed to reform- hence, was toppled. Tewodros identified “backwardness” but failed in action. Mengistu’s failures were in both fronts-a schizophrenic “little Tewodros” who left for Zimbabwe when reality hit on May 1991.” See what I mean, they have to knock all others down to lift their midget. I have no idea why he is not judged by his own deeds with out making those who came before him bad and unworthy?
This is the beginning of Woyane style of revision of history. Good try but that won’t happen. This time all his victims are present and accounted for. Today we write our own history. Twenty-one years ago most of Ethiopia was not aware of Meles Zenawi. We knew more about his mentor Isaiyas Afewerki. Meles and his TPLF group were a footnote. An after thought in the separatist war that has been going on forever in the northern part of our country. The emergence of the ill prepared junta leader Shaleka Mengistu created an opportune moment for the northern warriors to flourish. The demise of the Soviet Union, enabler of the Derg assured even for Meles to shine.
With the help of the US Woyane marched into Addis victorious. Some could consider that day the start of the degradation of our motherland. Woyane did not come to build but to destroy, not to plant the seeds of love and harmony but ready to harvest hate and animosity. During the dark days of living in caves and tunnels Meles and company were not dreaming of building a prosperous Ethiopia upon victory but rather were burning the midnight oil designing maps of separation and drawing flags of a different kind. For over twenty years they have been implementing the destruction of the country that nurtured them.
Meles Zenawi and his Woyane accomplices are responsible for the death and destruction of over one hundred thousand Ethiopians. I did not weave that figure from thin air or imagined it to hate on a dying or dead person but my assertion can be proved without much digging. In fact I believe I erred on the conservative side. The figure is much, much higher. I did not include those dead during the war with the Derg. I believe that was a legitimate form of uprising against a ruthless regime. I hold Meles and his Woyane friends responsible on what they did after they assumed power. Gambella, Hawasa and the Ogaden are the places we are aware of where Meles sent his Agazi forces to massacre citizens that were only asking for their god given right to live free. I am not going to argue the numbers but I believe the death of one Ethiopian is one too many. A sane and responsible government does not resort to using lethal force to silence its critics. Our Somali citizens in Ogaden have paid and are paying a heavy price for no other reason other than Meles’s desire to curry favor with the US.
The unnecessary war with Eritrea brought about by the behind the scene dealings between the two mad leaders has resulted in the death of over eighty thousand Ethiopians and Eritreans. Meles Zenawi and his Woyane party were not even respectful of the death of our solders to give them a decent burial nor gave recognition for their sacrifices. They were left to be eaten by wild animals and rot in the mountain and valleys of the Semen plateau. In early 2001, a concerned Ethiopian woman asked Meles as to the whereabouts of her son who did not return from his war with Eritrea. Irritated by the tone of her question, he said: “Lady, if your son does not return in 6 months time, then you’ll have your answer!”
We are not even told how many of our people died in the desert of Somalia fighting a phantom army conjured up by the US and Meles Zenawi. In addition to the death of our young people our country harvested hate and animosity with our brothers across the border for generations to come and money that could have been used to build schools, hospitals and infrastructure was wasted by Meles and his Woyane enablers.
I am not even going to mention what the mad criminal did when he lost the election in 2005. The whole world was a witness to that naked use of force to murder, intimidate and bully eighty million people to submission. Meles Zenawi was not a good human being. He was curse on our country and people. Building shoddy roads using borrowed money that we have to pay, building useless condominiums that look good on the outside but liable to deteriorate before the year is up using hard earned Diaspora money is not a sustainable economic development to crow about. Meles Zenawi spends more money on his personal security than all budget allocated to two of his Kilils.
The title of this article came from the Holy Bible. It goes “can the Ethiopian change his skin or the Leopard its spots? Neither can you do good who are accustomed to doing evil.” Jeremiah 13:27
It struck me as the best lesson to describe our current situation. So the prince of evil is on his way to receive the ultimate judgment. Who do you think is scrambling to inherit the crown? It is no other than the same Woyane thugs that have been part of the criminal empire as lieutenants or enablers. It should be obvious that they are going to continue the process of marginalizing, bullying, exiling and killing of those that do not see eye to eye with them.
Again I am not just making this up. Why you doubt me in the first place is not clear to me but I will give you evidence. The tyrant has not been seen or heard the last four weeks and nothing has changed in the land of the Habeshas. The rubber stamp Parliament was called into session and dutifully approved what was explained to them as the budget. The Moslems cry for justice was answered by jailing of their leaders and harsh beating of all those that dared not to disperse when told do so. The one and only independent newspaper Feteh’s edition dealing with matters not approved by the Communication department was confiscated. It looks like things are going to stay the same. This is what is known as ‘meet the new boss same as the old boss’ situation.
I believe it as about time we stop this game of good Woyane and bad Woyane, Woyane with an ounce of Eritrean blood and pure Woyane nonsense. We have to stop this insane discussion of the Constitution and the rules of succession of the mafia outfit. It is imperative that we define exactly what we want and stick to our demands until all are addressed. Compromise on certain principled issues is not the way to achieve success. Key issues are not open to negotiation and give and take. There is nothing wrong with standing firm on issues that are vital for survival and are the foundation stone for building a strong, free and democratic society. This half baked idea of accepting a piece of the pie has not taken us anywhere except see our country sink lower and lower in any index that measures human achievement. What exactly do we want? I am glad you asked.
First thing that is key and vital is a Constitution that is drawn by all Ethiopians and that reflects our dream and wishes for a united, strong and prosperous Ethiopia. A house without a solid foundation how pretty it looks is not a viable structure. A foundation with cracks, fissures and sub-par concrete mix or recycled metal will not be able to carry the weight of the building for long. The current Constitution was drawn by the dictator and his friends to serve the needs of the TPLF Party and his ethnic group. It has been revised time and again to serve particular situations that arose during his reign. Case in point is the amendment during his tiff with Ato Seye Abreha, his paranoia of Ginbot 7 that brought us terrorism and his attempt to outlaw the free press with the communication amendment.
The demise of the current Constitution is not a negotiable item. The new Constitution to be drawn after a lengthy discussion in the absence of coercion and open transparent debate will go along way to correct the many imperfection built in to Meles’s evil scheme. True Federalism that respects our diversity without creating a Chinese wall between us will put the concept of Kilil on the right path. As the concept of Apartheid as conceived by the White South African was smashed by Nelson Mandela our new document will place Kilil in the trash bin of history.
Again learning from the experience of South Africa under Mandela that prohibited establishment of political parties based on ethnicity, we in Ethiopia will put this toxic idea to rest once and for all. The TPLF party that has been one of the most evil organizations that has caused so much misery to all Ethiopians including the Tigrai people will not be allowed to ever raise its head in our ancient land. As the Germans got rid of the Nazi Party, as the South Africans marginalized the National Party so would Ethiopians will the TPLF out of existence. Doing away with Kilil and ethnic based parties is non-negotiable item.
I believe the opposition has to clearly present its wishes for the future Ethiopia to be built on the ashes of the current rotten system. There is no room for equivocation, sophistry and dead end short cuts. There is no room for generalized statements and debate on peripheral issues. Any opposition worthy of its organization has to tell the current legitimate wanna bees that are trying to build a new structure on the old, cracked foundation in no uncertain terms that the fate of Mubarak, Gadaffi, Ben Ali awaits them around the corner. No one predicted Meles would be faced with terminal illness at the young age of fifty-seven. No one can predict what the Ethiopian people will do when their anger boils over. No amount of arms, sharp shooters on every corner, spies in every household will contain the wrath of the people when they declare ‘Beka’ ‘Gaye’ ‘Bass’ ‘Yiakel’!
It has been two weeks now since our conversation has been revolving around the dictator. We know for sure he is not well but beyond that no one has come up with any credible explanation for his absence. Rumors, counter rumors, news updates, breaking news have become so ubiquitous Meles Ashebari Zenawi has taken over all the news. His illness has managed to show our psychological make up and our current level of interpreting the news and how we act on it.
As usual what we present in public and what we say in private are two aspects of our forever split personality. Privately we are filled with glee and can’t wait to show our unsurpassed pleasure at his demise while officially we are pictures of reserved behavior and civilized pleasantries. Our reporters did not fare any better. Their updates are based on rumors; unvetted news and personal wishes bundled as current information. We have plenty of work to do.
It is a shame that our media can’t even send someone to St. Luc University Hospital in Brussels and report the news. They might not be able to get his charts but I am sure it is possible to confirm he is there and is receiving medical care. I am also sure there are sympathetic Ethiopians, fellow refugees and well meaning Belgians who work there and that are willing and forthcoming with his condition anonymously. It is the job of the reporter to search and look under the stone to uncover news of interest. I am also sure with a little legwork it is possible to confirm the comings and goings of the dictator from Bole airport with all the details that make the story credible. This idea of using the ‘National inquirer’ method of reporting is not what we deserve.
The failure of our media has become the cause of this tsunami of mis information, dis information and Woyane lies that has made our understanding of the situation very shameful and ugly. It has added unnecessary aspect to the event and made us digress from the point at hand that is discussing the repercussions of the incapacitation or death of the dictator.
It is very disconcerting to see that we have become uninvolved spectators of our own story. Instead of the foreign media coming to us for explanation and analysis we the subjects are reduced to quoting AFP and Bloomberg to tell us about our own affair. I would have found it a lot better and interesting if our reporters paid attention to the people that would be affected by the unfolding event and given us different perspective from our own point of view. Plastering our websites with what some ferenji said sitting in his London, New York or Nairobi office does not make the news any credible. Interviewing people in Ethiopia, Washington DC, Cape Town or Beirut on how they feel about the news, how it will affect them and what their worries are is a better way of gauging the pulse of the public. As usual we validate ourselves by what others say about us.
As it stands now this unhealthy emphasis on the health or illness of an individual has managed to dominate the conversation instead of using the opportunity to blaze new trails and focus on what should be done to bring freedom and democracy to our suffering ancient land. That is where I want to gear this conversation since our ever-loving God has presented us with a good opportunity to bring a new dawn and a bright future to mother Ethiopia.
We have to stop reading the tealeaves or in our case the coffee cup and telling our people who is up, who is in or who is out. In the scheme of the on going situation it really don’t matter and this obsession with idiot personalities does not do our situation any good. What we got here is as follows. Meles Ashebari Zenawi is not well. What ailment he is suffering from is not really important. If we know whether he will make it or not will be good to know, but even that is not that important to the conversation we should be having. We know there are no rules of succession in cases like we are confronted with now. He was the person in charge and he determines who comes after him due to the fact that he controls the economy thru control of the Banks and Party affiliated businesses. He controls the military thru appointment of all high-ranking officials from his Tigreans ethnic group; He controls the Security, Federal Police and the Judiciary. He controls body politics by the creation of all the satellite ethnic parties and the Parliament. Control of all these vital organs of government enables him to control the civil service and bureaucracies thus achieving a total strangle hold on our country.
This is the situation in a nutshell. His incapacitation or sudden death leaves a big void. That is the void we should be discussing on how to fill so we avoid the situation that created the problem we find our selves in at the moment. Spending our time and energy on gossip, Mamo kilo stories and idiotic fantasies is not going to help. What are the forces that are arrayed in front of us to sabotage transforming our nation on the path of democracy and freedom? The one and only stumbling block facing us no other than the TPLF party. It is the only entity that will work overtime and pay any sacrifice to keep the status quo. The current arrangement of forces has been very kind to TPLF and the Tigrai ethnic group asscociated with it. Denying this fact is willful ignorance. This does not mean others have not benefited from the way things are today but the fact of the matter is that like little puppies they are satisfied by sniffing and picking up crumbs thrown their way. I doubt any one will claim to have sat on the same table as the TPLF and gotten a fair share of the Injera on the Meseob. Claiming otherwise is denial of reality.
Our job is to find a way to use the current confusion in the ruling junta and confronting them, intensifying contradiction among them and creating the conditions for inheritors of this broken system to think twice before embarking on costly repair of a rotten system that is currently on life support. This is not done thru talk or this current love affair of peaceful revolution. This fantasy has to be laid to rest. It is a smoke screen and utterly useless scenario advocated by none other than TPLF and the educated but ignorant among us. Talk unless transformed into action is nothing other than a complete waste of time. I am not even going to dignify such concept by giving a rational answer. You can keep talking but please leave me out of it.
‘Non violent resistance’ or ‘Peaceful resistance’ is one of those terms that is being bastardized by us brave Ethiopians. It has become the answer by those who are afraid to get their fingers dirty by actually doing something unpleasant as following talk with action. The truth of the matter is peaceful resistance by the oppressed does not mean their plea for freedom will not be answered by violence by the regime that feels threatened by any kind of change. That is how the situation in Syria started by ordinary people demanding a breathing room. The regime has not stopped the killing but at least now they are getting their own medicine back. I am sure all sane Syrians would prefer for the violence to stop but that is not going to happen. Assad and his Alawit tribesmen are not willing to share power and the people are not willing to be treated like second-class citizens in their own country. Check counter check is in play.
In Ethiopia the regime is in the process of trying to buy time to resolve the contradiction created by the dictator in deathbed. The system worked when one person was in charge but now they have to come to some kind of understanding to be able to keep their criminally gotten power and wealth. As is the case always thieves find themselves in a state of contradiction not during the robbery but during the sharing of the loot. It is important we stop being spectators in this drama but find a way to force ourselves on the stage so we can be part of the play. The Ethiopian people and all opposition have to dig deep into their resources and devise ways to sabotage this deal-making going on. You can call it anything you want whether non-violent resistance, civil disobedience, sabotage or anything as long as it is geared to create havoc on the current illegal structure that has been destabilizing the health and well being of our people. It can assume the South African way where they burned tires and apartheid dogs and closed the streets, the Libyan way of taking one village at a time, the Syrian way we saw today of vaporizing those that conspire together to kill their own people, the Egyptian way of convincing the Military to refuse illegal orders to shoot or the EPRP way of dealing with enemies of the people to set example to others waiting in line.
I can see the empty cry from well meaning people, the condemnation by pretentious friends and the crocodile tears by the peaceful resistance advocates. Please spare me your civilized ways. Some will say ‘hey, you are not over there so it is easy to advocate all this’ my response is where have you been the last twenty years when Woyane has been carrying out violence against our people. Where were you 2005 when Meles murdered all those young people and imprisoned over forty thousand of our citizens? I live in good old USA. The violence done against me is mental the violence done against my people is physical. Unless they decide to rise up and confront Woyane the violence will continue unabated. With or without Meles the TPLF violent rule will continue. Our people will live in misery and our children will die in the jungles of Africa, the seas of Arabia and our daughters will be slaves of unsympathetic and degenerate Arabs. Like the brave Egyptians, the resourceful Libyans the gallant Syrians our people have to find that ‘enough’ moment and take the struggle to a higher level. Pleading has not worked. Relying on ethnic identity has not born fruits. Silence is not the answer. Resolute confrontation of evil is the only way. Like the road charted by our Muslim brothers and sisters the only thing that evil is afraid of is unity and resolve.
Let us stop creating useless news and headlines that does not move our struggle forward. Let us not dwell on the machinations of the evil system and its inheritors but focus on our strength and our dreams for our future. Let us stop quoting every ferenji to tell us about ourselves but make our own news and our own analysis. Let us try to do the job ourselves instead of waiting or blaming those that have a completely different vision for our beautiful homeland. Who else can do the job better than us?
Dictator Meles Zenawi has not been seen for over three weeks or so. We know he is not in good health after we saw his picture with the Chinese Prime Minister in Mexico. Some are claiming we did Photoshop on his picture to make him look sicker than what he was. As with everything with clueless Woyane, it would have been easier to present the subject and show us with all his glory instead of blaming us for his haggard look. But that is Woyanne for you: if you can’t find the answer find a scapegoat to blame.
As is the situation when information is not readily available people make up all sorts of explanations to fill the void. Regarding Meles’s health the speculation has gone viral and right now it is difficult to keep count of the possible scenarios. One thing we know for certain Meles is holed up somewhere due to illness, vacation or even death. We just don’t know. His handlers are telling us he is in perfect health but are no forthcoming on why he is hiding from ‘his’ people. It is perfectly sane to assume there is something gone wrong in Arat Kilo.
What made the situation more alarming is his absence during the 24th. Tigray Martyr’s Day Celebration. That does not reflect well on the organizers when giving a party and the guest of honor is unable to attend. Normally when main guests do not show up due to conflict of scheduling or other problems they usually send a video greeting to start the ceremony. Ato Meles did not do that. It could be considered further proof our Woyane warrior is incapacitated and cannot even be propped up, applied make up and send his message. I will not dwell on that because the discussion is fruitless. What I want to discuss is this idea of holding a Tigray Martyr’s celebration in our capital city.
I don’t know where to start because the whole idea is loaded with so many ramifications to our country, people and our future as a Nation. Let us start from the beginning being careful not to bore my readers I am afraid including myself. As we all know the Military opposition that morphed to be the Derg and overthrew Haile Selassie is day one of our current tribulations. Different groups rose up to oppose the Derg as it became clear the trend was dictatorship not liberation of our country. EPRP was the most famous and organized force that confronted the Derg head on. The entire Nation became a war zone. There was no exception.
Human beings were dragged and killed on the streets of Addis Abeba, Gondar, Mekele, Wollamo Sodo, Dire Dawa, Debre Markos, Assela, Nazret (Adama), Lekempt, Asmara, Hawasa and many more localities. No one escaped from this nightmare. The urban area centered tactics followed by EPRP was not able to complement the goal of getting rid of the dictatorship. Due to proximity to the Sudan boarder and possibility of creating an alliance with the Eritrean fronts EPRP was forced to move its forces to Tigrai and Gondar regions.
It was at this juncture in time Meles Zenawi and his Tigrean friends formed what today is known as TPLF virus. In their opinion the task at hand was the liberation of Tigrai not the entity called Ethiopia. True to their word they waged an ugly relentless struggle against the multi national force of EPRP and succeeded in expelling it from their beloved Tigrai. It is also true as they continued their war against the Derg they were able to recruit other Ethiopians who fought along side with them. We are told such persons as Berket Semon, Addisu Leggese, Abadulla Gemeda, Kuma Demeksa, Junedene Sado among many others fought along side Woyane solders. As far as the Ethiopian people are concerned the Derg was an equal opportunity killing machine that did not discriminate on the basis of ethnicity or religion.
Yes it is true the Derg punished Tigrai more harshly than other regions and it has nothing to do about their ethnicity. It is because they were organized and fought as a force and it is natural the military will concentrate its might on those that challenged it more effectively. The Derg did the same when it came to Eritrea. It does not mean the Derg spared the rest of the nation any less. As a matter of fact so many of our young were forcefully recruited to fight a war they did not believe or understand. That is what war is about. You kill your opponent before he kills you. The Derg run out options, its enablers the Soviet Union and Cuba were on retreat and Mengistu saw the writing on the wall. The TPLF branded itself EPDRF and marched into Addis without firing one shot. It should also be noted that the people of Addis with the rest of Ethiopians were happy to see Mengistu go and were willing to give the new conquerors time to adapt and feel comfortable.
It is sad we have to rehash this story after twenty years. We are forced to do that because the new people in power have this nasty habit of revising history and distorting it to fit their version. That is what they were doing on July 24 in our Capital city. If they are celebrating their Martyr’s why aren’t they doing it in their own enclave rather than our City is a valid question? That is where the connection with the unforeseen illness of warlord number one comes into the equation.
There are two possibilities for such insane and idiotic action. Number one is pure panic. The real possibility of the demise of their one and only leader since inception threw them out of balance. Their house was built on a shaky ground around an individual. Meles Zenawi was the head, the body and soul of TPLF. His absence opens a gulf as wide as our famous Rift Valley. They decided the only way they could show their existence was by a show of force against a population that was not even aware if such theatrics was necessary. I mean we all know TPLF is in every house, every village, every work place and every association including Eder. The only place TPLF is absent is from our heart. To show the rest of us how strong he is their mini warlord President Abbay Woldu showed up with three hundred heavily armed Agazi solders and dispatched two army helicopters to circle Addis. The people of Addis took note. They saw it with total amusement and went on their business.
The second possibility is struggle for power among the TPLF cadres. Abbay Woldu is showing his muscle. The absence of Berhane GebreKristos, Tedros Adhanome and Samora Yunus is a telltale sign all is not well in the camp of Woyane. It is not said if Azeb attended but most proably her non-Tigrean status is enough to sideline her. If it means anything old horse Sebhat was not present either, draw your own conclusion.
What I find very revealing is after twenty years of absolute power TPLF is not sure of itself. It has to go thru this kind of useless exercise to validate its existence. It shows lack of self-esteem and obvious weakness. Sure sign of impotence if you ask me. If the illness of their boss is to make them unravel like this what would his death do is a good question? This is how Aiga saw the meeting ‘Organized by Tigray Martyrs Self-Help Association, the ceremony was attended by leaders and former fighters of Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF) and natives of Tigray drawn from Sub Cities in Addis Ababa’ Poor Woyane they still think in provincial terms. You would think as leaders of a multi-national empire they will try to meld in but not Woyane, they are stuck in that frame of mind. You can take the Woyane out of Tigrai but not Tigrai out of the Woyane. Remember it is only when faced with the rest of us they preach Tigrai unity when alone they go back to their village mentality of Adwa versus Axum, Tembien versus Agame or what ever ancestral village they came from. The learned folks of Aiga residing in the Silicon Valley of America where diversity is celebrated cannot help themselves but be drawn to their exclusive meeting and write about it. What is shameful is they wear it with pride.
We have variety of independent Web sites that celebrate our diversity. None are ethnic centered nor would they allow anyone to insult demean or put down any of our people based on ethnic identification. We have Ethiopian Review, Addis Voice, Ethiomedia, ECAD Forum, EMF, Nazret, Abugida, Ethio Lion, Quatero, Ethio Sun, Ethiopia Zare, Tadias, Ethiopia and plenty others including our ESAT the heart beat of Ethiopia. None are based on ethnic identification and serve all the children of Ethiopia equally. What do they got? Aiga Forum that insistently chews the same old chauvinistic policy geared to divide us, put us down and set us against each other. They have Tigrai on line dedicated to the beautiful people alone and here is a sample from its recent posting regarding our past history:
‘Menelike is adored and highly regarded by the Amahras but intensely detested by the rest of the Ethiopian people especially the Oromos. While Emperor Yohannes of Ethiopia was fighting foreign enemies in the North, Menelik was expanding his areas of influence south and eastwards. He treated the subjugated people in the most barbaric and harshest way possible; in Wollaita alone 120,000 people were massacred when they refused to submit to his rule. In their own land, the conquered were considered as second-class citizens and were forced to work as serfs for the Shoan nobility who controlled large swathes of fertile arable lands.
Menelik was not only brutal to his subjects, but he was also a traitor who connived with the Mahdists, the Egyptians and the Italians to bring about the defeat of Emperor Yohannes in order to crown himself as the king of Ethiopia. For his troubles, he received large quantities of weapons from the enemies of the country which he later used during the battle of Adwa.’ Written by a Berhane Kahsay.
This is the mindset we are fighting against. Yes there are people that think like this and actually put their disturbing thought on paper for all to see. How is brother Berhane brain wired, and why would anybody be consumed by such hate after over hundred years is something to ponder. What does it prove to come up with such ugly interpretation of history to build a new and prosperous Ethiopia? Is he telling us we are condemned by the actions of our ancestors assuming his interpretation is correct? It is disturbing to think Ato Berhane residing in the US working with all kinds of people is not capable of formulating a correct response to past injustice. Rewiring his brain is a valuable course of action.
My humble advice to mini warlord Abbay Woldu and friends, the road you are traveling is not a healthy one. Sooner or later the rubber hits the asphalt and there is no telling what it will entail. I assure you single ethnic supremacy has never worked. It shows promise for a while but in the end it explodes and explode in a very nasty way. A few of you that are benefiting from this arrangement will definitely take a whole bunch of your own people into this abyss where all our country and people will suffer for no reason. We are also aware that you think you are doing the right thing and no amount of reasoning will sway you away from your destination. But we just want to tell you fighting back did not start with you nor would it end with you. See what happened in Libya. Witness Syria that reflects your situation better. Do you think the minority Alawit with all their special forces, with all their guns are a match to the Syrian people? Now that does not require a degree in nuclear physics to figure does it? I hate to say I told you so but I have a feeling you are going to force me. Good Luck my peasant revolutionary.
Ethiopia, Ato Meles and his health. By Yilma Bekele
Ato Meles Zenawi, Chairman of Tigrai People Liberation Front (TPLF) and Prime Minster of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia is not in good health. I became aware of that fact after watching the video of a news clip made during his meeting with the President of China at the G8 meeting in Mexico. The last time we saw Ato Meles was during President Obama’s food conference and he was in perfect health. In fact he looked jovial with a new haircut and was dressed in his customary five to ten thousand dollars Italian or English suit. That was until Ato Abebe Gelaw of Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT) gave him the scare of his life and he was forced to flee the continent. Things have not been the same ever since.
When he surfaced in Mexico it was obvious he had some medical issues in the interim period. His expensive clothes did not fit him right, his face was ashen and hollow and it was clear he has lost plenty of weight. I was forced to conclude we got a problem. Normally the fate of one individual should not be such a source of drama or wild speculations. But Ato Meles is not just another Ethiopian. He is the Country, Nation and people all rolled in one. The state of his health and well-being is not just idle speculation. His friends, Party or those close to him are not forthcoming with the cause of his illness. We are left to speculate, guess or are being forced to search for a fortuneteller and reduced to read the remains of his coffee cup or consult a palm reader.
We do that because whatever happens to him affects all of us in one-way or another. In the Western countries the health of the leader is an official record. If the leader dies or is incapacitated there are rules and systems set in place to assure smooth transition. Most African countries including ours lack that. In our case there has not been a natural and predictable manner of passing the mantle of leadership. In fact the last four instances have been a source of agony for the unfortunate leader in power and our poor Nation. That is why Ato Meles’s health is an issue we should all fret and worry about. We definitely do not want a surprise.
I am sure his family is worried. His friends are concerned. His Party is alarmed. The Ethiopian people are watching this drama with keen interest. No one wishes him ill but I doubt any body in Ethiopia is praying for his recovery either. It is fair to say the whole Nation is trying to figure out what his untimely demise will bring to our poor old country. What ever ails him is not a simple disease. That is why he is being cared for in Europe with top-notch specialists in an expensive private hospital. No amount of money will be spared to keep the green reaper at arms length.
Sooner or later we all die. We just do all we can to make it later than sooner. Our state of health and longevity is affected by all kinds of factors including a few we have no control on. Genetics, style of life and pure luck plays a big role. We try to eat right, exercise and avoid stress to increase our odds of a long happy life. There are a few things we know about the ‘Leaders’ life style to be able to make an educated guess on what is ailing him.
We know that he smokes, that is cigarettes. We are told that he enjoys chewing Kat with his buddies. His politburo friends are known to enjoy expensive liquor thus we can safely assume that he probably joins them in this past time. All three habits are considered forms of substance abuse and have ramifications on vital organs such as lung, heart and liver. It is fair to say that the last few years, palace living has resulted in weight gain resulting in added girth.
Most leaders keep a busy schedule and have no time for exercise. We know that Ato Meles is studying for his PhD in addition to his duties as the Prime Minster and that leaves him with no time for the gym. We have heard antidotes about his tennis matches but judging from the way he came down the airplane steps during his trip to Philadelphia to one of his meetings one can tell he is not in good shape. He was laboring to walk down while his agile wife descended swiftly even in her high heels.
There is no proof that Ato Meles is suffering from a terminal illness. On the other hand there is no information to say that he just caught the common cold either. As I said due to the nature of the totalitarian system that values secrecy we are left to speculate. We worry and stress because history teaches us that the demise of a dictator, which Ato Meles is, brings all sorts of unforeseen complications on the Nation they leave behind.
Whether they commit suicide like Hitler, are hanged like Mussolini, die in their sleep like Stalin, face a firing squad like Ceausescu and wife, hunted down, sodomized, pistol whipped and shot like Gadaffi or face the International court of justice like Charles Taylor dictators all leave a trail of destruction behind them. That is why Ato Meles’s illness becomes our concern and worry. We think about it to try to figure out how to avoid chaos due to a power vacuum.
This sort of power vacuum attracts all kinds of good and bad characters that would want to capitalize on the empty space created and might be tempted to fill it with something other than people’s power. We do not want that. So what are the forces arrayed to replace the one man, one party rule currently dis-functioning in the land of the Abeshas?
The TPLF party is the premier center of power. Ato Meles and his associates control the Military, security service, the mass media and the economy. What is there left is a good and valid question. Technically Ato Meles is the de-facto head of all these powerful organizations. He is a hand on manager. The different entities are foreign to each other but all report to him. That is how one-man dictatorship works. Some countries like China practice group dictatorship. The Central committee of the ruling Communist Party functions as a group. While others like North Korea or Ethiopia rely on the benevolence of a single individual. The question arise is the TPLF Party capable of functioning as a single entity without the head? Or would the different departments that were designed to look at each other with suspicion coalesce to form a united front? It is highly doubtful.
There are various centers of power within the organization. Queen Azeb the wife is in charge of the economic section. Due to her high visibility and negative press any one group is willing to sacrifice her to save their skin. The internal security is a force to recon with. Would the Generals trust this hi tech mercenaries is a question to consider. The original TPLF functionaries like Sebhat or Abbay are rendered toothless but still operate behind the scene. Why any self respecting Woyane will ally with these old fashioned kitchen conspirators is something to think about. The new upstarts like Tewodros Adhanom or launderer Gebre Kristos have their feet on both camps always ready to abandon ship if the situation heats up. No one trusts the duo. The likes of Seyoum will not come back for all the tea in China.
The military is the most logical center of power that is capable of using force to usurp power. In the current situation of Ethiopia that scenario is a little complicated. Due to the nature of the use of ethnic affiliation used by Ato Meles the military is not a cohesive force. All the top leaders and commanders are from one ethnic group while the rank and file is a reflection of the country. It is fair to say both OLF and G7 are present and functioning creating further uncertainty. Uncertainty is not good for conspiracy. The role played by the top Generals in the economy has isolated them from the average solder. Is it a professional army or peasants in uniform is a valid question. Does one fight to attain power or save his investment creates split personality.
I don’t mean to forget those organized as EPRDF. There are plenty but the Amhara and Oromo stand out at least on paper as the most likely group that will refuse to die quietly. Their puppet leaders are faced with a real dilemma. Divorced from their people they have no base to appeal to. Rendered powerless by design they have no army or security to fall back on. The TPLF mafia that is running them now does not harbor any respect towards their outfit or intends to include them in the deliberations. They are left between a rock and a hard place. For all practical purposes it is easier to ignore and discard them.
Where does the opposition fit in this picture is a good question. The major opposition, the nightmare of the ruling group is of course Ginbot7. G7 is the enemy they know is around but are unable to touch and feel. It is the cause of their blind fury. I will take their word for it G7 is everywhere. Of course G7 could be the figment of their imagination, the result of their paranoia then again why would they allocate so much resource to hunt down a ghost? In my humble opinion G7 is EPRP and Kinijit on testosterone! We all know what those two groups are capable of.
There is also the on and off legal opposition. That is a tricky animal to deal with. At the moment Andenet is the only one with any amount of dignity and respect. The Ledetus and the Chammisos are rendered useless and will most probably hide out the chaotic period and pray for dear life since all opposition groups will be hunting them down for the stray dogs they have become. That leaves us with the Beyenes the Meraras and the Hailus, the darlings of the civilized West. Those are the people our benefactors will try to parade out and use. They will become pictures of civil society. Believe me they will play their choreographed part to the hilt. They cooperated and served Ato Meles, no reason to think they will be allergic to the West for a promise of visibility and fist full of dollars.
The West led by the US is the wild card in this scenario. They very much like stability and the status quo under their guidance. Their interest at the moment is having a strong foothold in the Horn of Africa to prepare for the coming war for resources. Governments like the TPLF mafia are their preferred arrangement. A weak and divided country is their choice. I do not think they go out of their way to create those conditions but on the other hand they do not discourage such reality. Our neighborhood is a fertile ground for contention by the big powers. Except for Kenya and Tanzania we are surrounded by weak, divided and civil war prone countries that exist from day to day with no guarantee of tomorrow. The US, the Europeans or the Chinese are not about to discover their moral compass and save us from our selves. Expecting them to do so is the height of foolishness or a result of extreme poverty of self-esteem.
As I write this Ato Meles is in Europe being healed and the factions he left behind are shell shocked and in a daze. A few will have some reliable information but the vast majority will be operating in the dark trying to figure out this brand new reality in the midst of dis information, mis information and foggy information. Plenty will be sending their family to far away places and moving vast amount of money out of the country. Some will lock their doors and hunker down until the storm settles while a few will search for new alignments and future partners. The kilils will take the opportunity to assert their newfound power and create further complications to the beleaguered party. It is possible organized criminal elements will take advantage of the uncertainty and intensify such activities as bank robbery and hijackings. The Amharic saying ‘ye wedke zaf mesar yebezabetal.’ Is being played live in our country. It is highly possible the different factions will begin to duke it out prematurely. It is conceivable they will end up doing the dirty part of the job for the rest of us. As I see it not matter what this down ward spiral will continue for the forcible future.
The headlines screamed ‘Ethiopian court convicts 24 of terrorism charges’. As usual it was a misleading and incorrect statement. There is no such animal called Ethiopian court. There is a TPLF controlled judicial arrangement in Ethiopia. Prime Minster Meles and his politburo are the directors behind the scene of this farce. For the last twenty-one years they have been using the power of the state to marginalize, terrorize, demean and undermine the Ethiopian citizen. We are so used to their bullying the average Ethiopian does not even dwell on it. We make that peculiar noise with our lips you know that hissing sound and move on.
Our brothers Eskinder Nega, Andualem Arage, Wubshet Taye our sister Reyot Alemu and the others whose names are not publicized were convicted for exercising their right to speak and write freely. They only used their voice and their choice of weapon was the pen and paper. There was no evidence to show otherwise. Ato Eskinder has the audacity to speculate the chance of Arab Spring migrating to Ethiopia. Ato Andualem was simply trying to organize and recruit people to his legally recognized party. Reyot and Wubshet were doing their job as journalist and reporter. In any other country this is a normal and routine kind of job. But we are not like any other country or any other people. Our Ethiopia has always been different. Not only we got strange and bizarre leaders but we also have a different breed of people.
Yes we are different both inside Ethiopia and in the Diaspora. A vast majority of us have decided to accept shame as normal behavior and we even celebrate it loudly and wear it with pride. We victimize each other our country and people and we are the first ones to holler foul. It is done so much and so often it is becoming a little boring. I am afraid we have lost any semblance of respect for our selves and what is sad is others are losing respect for both victim and victimizer. They deserve each other is what comes to mind.
Asians have this philosophy referred to as Ying and Yang to describe how opposites are interconnected and interdependent in the natural world. Nothing is totally yin or totally yang. Female and male, dark and light, cold and hot, water and fire are manifestations of yin and yang. ‘Just as the state of yin is reached yang begins to grow. Yin contains seed of yang and vice versa. They constantly transform each other. The classics state ‘yin creates yang and yang activates yin’. I am afraid that philosophy is not true in our country. Our yin and yang are not in balance. The harmonious change envisioned in the philosophy has gone haywire when it comes to us. Too much of one is bound to weaken and consume the other. That is happening in our society. This phenomenon is so clearly manifested in the Ethiopian Diaspora community.
Let us start with our yearly soccer tournament. It is such a beautiful and positive activity that it has energized our community for the last twenty-five years or more. It should be our pride and a showcase of how much good we can do when we work together. Unfortunately it is also the other side of us where a few can use this positive energy for negative purpose. Those that have been leading the organization have been using the proceeds as cash cow and also as a vehicle to undermine our unity and sell our country to the highest bidder. We let them do that. We see, we hear but we choose to be silent. We have this notion that ignoring bad deed will make it go away.
Thus the Ethiopian Soccer Federation in North America (ESFNA) governing body at long last voted to start fresh and reform this rogue outfit. Of course those who are so used to working behind the scene in the dark were not willing to go silently. They were taken to a real court that ordered to cease and deceit from using the name of the organization and also answer a few question regarding finances and book keeping. What did they do? They went to their sugar daddy and applied for welfare. The same person that is fully integrated with that other rogue outfit called the TPLF supposedly gave them $2 million US to carry out their mission of dividing us and setting us against each other. They, like their father and mentor Meles Zenawi do not believe in self-imitative but run to the nearest welfare donor to get their funding. He sells our land, borrow in our name and steals in consort with his friends, sells our daughters to Middle East degenerates and ours squander their payment in renting stadium to entertain the rich and greedy. Money can buy you anything including entertainers that got their start from the Diaspora but now serve a new master to undermine their benefactors. Definitely Yin and yang are not in harmony or in balance.
If we look at our Church in exile it is something to be proud of. It is a place where our rich culture and ancient religion is celebrated like never before. It is a place where our fathers and mothers in exile find peace and happiness and every week and mentally transport themselves to that place they call home. It is a place where our children learn how social we are and how we respect and value our culture and country. It is such a beautiful feeling to see our children come in front of the congregation when they graduate from high school to be blessed by the priest and proudly inform us their choice of college. Then we have the troublemakers in every city and town. Their mission is to disrupt and divide us. There is no church spared from these prince’s of darkness that scheme behind the scene and attempt to take over the leadership. If that does not succeed they have no qualms in waging a relentless war to undermine and weaken and disparage all those that stand between them and their evil scheme. Our city is going thru such a painful process and it is sad to see families and friends in turmoil. Most of us allow them to do that by our silence and apathy. It is another instance yin and yangs are not in harmony.
A few days ago we had a fund raising activity for ESAT and also celebrate Ato Abebe’s heroic stand for his people and country by exposing the tyrant in front of his enablers and the whole world. There was no question a vast majority of our people was empowered by his action. There are most certainly over ten thousand Ethiopians in the Bay area where the event was held. Less than two hundred brave souls showed up to help raise fund to make ESAT a powerful force in the struggle against tyranny. A good amount was collected from those who came. We are happy and grateful. But I find it odd that out of all these country and freedom loving folks only a handful showed up. Why do you think it is so?
They all seem to harbor negative feelings against the TPLF regime. It is odd to meet some one that would speak favorably regarding the actions of the dictator or his polices. Every Starbucks and every coffee house is full of these talkers parsing the actions of the TPLF party. How come they don’t take the next logical step, which is to help bring this ugly regime to its knees? Why is there such a wide gulf between talk and action? Here is what President Obama said on his visit to the Holocaust Memorial in Washington a few months back speaking of the victims of nazi horror:
He said “Let us tell our children not only how they died, but also how they lived—as fathers and mothers, and sons and daughters, and brothers and sisters who loved hoped and dreamed just like us — we must tell our children about how this evil was allowed to happen – because so many people succumbed to their darkest instincts, and because so many others stood silent – We must tell our children. But more than that, we must teach them. Because remembrance without resolve is a hollow gesture. Awareness without action changes nothing. In this sense, “never again” is a challenge to us all—to pause and to look within.”
‘Awareness without action changes noting’ is the key phrase and that is what is escaping us. That is so many of us talk but are unable to move beyond that. We kid ourselves or we expect someone else to do the job for us. Is that why when Kinijit kicked Woyane’s ass so many people were pushing each other to get to the center of the action? We had a visitor to our church from Canada. Abune Michael of Calgary gave a memorable sermon a few Sundays back. What stuck in my mind was his saying ‘meswatenet yelelew emnet’ or belief without sacrifice I believe that is ying without yang.
Fear not all is not lost. We also have our Ethiopian Heritage Society of North America (EHSNA). They are celebrating their second anniversary from July 27-29 in Washington DC. Last years event with Judge Bertukan Mideksa was a huge success. This is one venue where our flag fly high our culture is celebrated with all its diversity and our history is told with all its glory. It is a family affair and our young ones and children are given the respect and attention they deserve. The March 2012 Adwa Victory celebration organized by EHSNA gave our ancestors gallant effort the highest honor reserved for such Herculean deed. We salute the organizers for shining a bright light on our accomplishments as people in this time of doom and gloom. This is one organization that is trying to bring balance between our yin and yang. We can see perfect harmony between the opposites.
Each one of us is faced with a choice. We can be carriers of change or we can follow the path of destruction. Change does not happen without effort. Those that are hell bent in bullying and dividing us are not going to leave voluntarily. No one willingly gives up his privileged position. It has never happened. They are unable or unwilling to see the freedom train coming at them at full speed. That is what happened to Mubarak, Gadaffi faithfully believed his people loved him and we see Assad for some reason thinking that he can save himself and his clan by killing all Syrians if necessary. Dictators are a rare breed of people. Meles honestly believes he can last a while longer. Locked in his palace surrounded by his yes men reading his own review and watching his one channel TV he is intoxicated by his own lies. Twenty-one years is a long time to be isolated from normal people. It is possible to create ones own make believe world.
How come we see Libya, Egypt, Yemen and now Syria and do not learn? How come we do not work a little harder to avoid such catastrophe? Why do we allow Eskinder, Andualem and all the other fellow Ethiopians pay the price on our behalf? How come we are unable to say no and show outrage at such act of injustice by a handful of people? Do you think Meles jailed our brothers and sister or do you think we allowed him to do such ugly deed due to our indifference and apathy? Is the blame on the dictator or on the vast majority that lets him gets away with this criminal act? I am sure we are all disgusted with this farce of jailing people for life because they spoke what the regime does not approve of. What is next, to go to prison accused of bad thought? Why not the dictator has no incentive not to follow that route. He knows we will take it silently. Didn’t we when Professor Asrat was denied medical treatment, when Asefa Maru was gunned down, when Judge Bertukan was jailed twice, when Gambella was sold, when our children are left to die in the jungles of Central Africa and their bodies scatted on the highways of Tanzania and the waters of Lake Malawi or Gulf of Aden? Yes no question about it we are responsible for the jailing of Eskinder and all the rest. Frankly I am bored and tired of shifting the blame.
Further reading: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ying_and_Yang
The origins of the Internet can be traced to ARPANET (Advanced Research Projects Agency Network) that was funded by the US Department of Defense (DARPA) for use by its research labs in the 1960’s. The Internet as we know moved from connecting research institutions and Universities into commercial use in the middle of the 1980’s.
Today the Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks. The beauty of the Internet is nobody really owns it. Every computer that is connected to the Internet is part of the network. Your laptop or desktop together with millions of private, public, academic, business, government networks forms part of this vast system of interconnected computers.
The Internet has revolutionized human communication like nothing before. It is the most outstanding innovation in human history regarding communication capability. Our lives have changed dramatically due to the Internet. The great economic boom of the 90’s all over the world can be traced to innovation that accompanied the Internet. Where does our Ethiopia fit in this human advancement story?
I am afraid we are absent or unaccounted for! We are not even in the periphery. Our participation in this humongous, game changer event is nothing to write home about. It is so embarrassing the best option is not to talk about it, discuss it or raise the issue. If our country was a computer it will be considered to be in hibernation mode, not on not off barely alive. The Meles regime and his TPLF party can get all the credit for condemning eighty million people to live in darkness. That is exactly where we find ourselves-in complete darkness and no chance of light at the end of the tunnel either. You think I am exaggerating and being so negative because I am filled with hate. I am afraid that is not so. Look at the table below and you be the judge my friend.
Country Internet users % Of Population Internet providers
Ethiopia 666,101 0.75 1
Ghana 2,081,056 8.55 12
Uganda 4,174,835 12.5 9
Kenya 8,568,890 20.98 15
Tanzania 4,608,218 11.0 17
See what I mean? Out of eighty million plus people only half a million Internet users. That leaves seventy nine million five hundred thousand in the dark. Why do you think this is so? Is it because we are poor? We are stupid? Uneducated? Unable to figure how it works? Not interested? Didn’t think it is important? Felt investment in such technology is a waste of time and resources? Or too busy developing other technology? Or you think it could it be due to lack of leadership? As people we are no different than Americans Europeans or our African neighbors. The only thing we see here is the quality of leadership that differentiates our country from others. The leaders set the pace, define the priorities and the people follow.
When it comes to the Internet our leader felt that is not a priority and that is not where our budget should be invested on. Why do you think Ato Meles and company felt the Internet not to be the place to invest and grow? The simple but obvious answer is the word ‘communication’. Communication is knowledge and knowledge is the first causality of a tyrannical regime. Keeping people in the dark is the main goal of a dictatorship. Illiterate people are docile. It is easy to manipulate a damned down population. Internet is the number one enemy of the Ethiopian government. Instead of laying fiber optic to speed up the wiring of our country the Meles regime invests the limited budget in blocking, censoring and spying on the citizen. The last two weeks have been a busy time to the TPLF regime. It has rolled out one draconian law after another to bully, intimidate and ride rough on our people. Here is the evidence.
Skype is a voice- over-Internet Protocol service and software application. Skype allows users to communicate over the Internet using voice, video and instant messaging. As of September of 2011 Skype has over six hundred million users worldwide. The Ethiopian government has made using Skype a crime punishable up to fifteen years in prison.
Tor (short for The onion router) is a system intended to enable online anonymity. The Tor project a 501(c) research/education nonprofit organization distributes the software free of charge. According to the wonderful people of Tor network their ‘client software routes Internet traffic through a worldwide volunteer network of servers to conceal a user’s location or usage from anyone conducting network surveillance or traffic analysis.’ The Ethiopian government is actively blocking Tor network.
There are over eighty million Ethiopians. As of 2012 there are about a million fixed line service users and close to three million mobile users in Ethiopia. It is the lowest teledensity in Africa. There are less than half a million Internet users in Ethiopia and that is in the bottom even for Africa. That number constitutes .06% of the Ethiopian population.
Why is the Ethiopian government enacting such draconian law when you can clearly see Internet does not play any major role in the life of the citizen? Why is the government becoming the laughing stock of the planet by equating phone usage to committing murder? All indications are the issue is not about Skype or Tor but it is all about control and bullying into submission. It is all about instilling fear. Fear is the main currency of a dictator. They are not worried about the .06% but they are very much interested in showing the ninety nine percent who exactly is in charge. In your face is how they like to operate. They are saying we can do anything we want and tough luck there is nothing you can do about it!
Do you think they are crazy? I am afraid not. They have been getting away with that kind of attitude the last twenty years what makes you think it will be different this time? We will talk about it, we will gossip, we will condemn silently ( yechelema gelmecha) and life will go on as usual. Actually that is not true about all of us. There are a few working hard to circumvent this tragedy. Groups such as Ginbot7, OLF, ONLF, ALF, Andenet Party, our independent Web sites, ESAT among others are working day and night to teach, organize and help our people stand up to Woyane abuse.
There are different avenues to fight injustice. There are hundreds of ways to resist oppression. I will paraphrase two Chinese educators on this subject. According to Sun Tzu the ‘best defense is a good offense’ and Mao Zedong followed it with ‘the only real defense is active defense.’ meaning for the purpose of counter attacking and taking offense. I believe the current aggression against our people begs for a robust counter offense. Here I am speaking about cyber warfare.
It is about time our people developed this type of self-defense to protect our freedom. It is within our capability and it is our moral duty to protect our country and people. According to a recent Time magazine article that is what the US is helping the Syrian opposition with. Developing a cyber warfare capability. They are training the freedom fighters to resist the Assad regime in the art of circumvention technology. The use of encryption, SIM card in cheap burner phones that can easily be discarded and developing ‘Internet in a suitcase’ to provide Web access when Assad shuts it down is being explored. Apps are being developed that download a panic button that will instantly wipe out contacts and documents from smart phones and computers. They are experimenting with Apps that present a false screen when the wrong security code is entered and Apps that blur the faces of dissidents when posting videos and photos on line. Today the camera is as powerful as the AK47.
It is also important our highly educated lawyers and Human Rights advocates explore the concept of ‘I am just following order’ defense that is sure to be used by those that are doing the dirty work for the minority based illegal regime. Whereas the current Ethiopian Constitution is full of guarantees of rights and freedom to the citizen those that are killing, imprisoning, torturing, spying and using their know how to block and jam should be warned about accountability. They should be made aware of their oath to uphold the Constitution not the rule of one man or a single party. ‘I am just following order’ did not hold water in the Nuremberg trials of Nazi criminals.
Those educated Ethiopians that are enabling the regime to spy on fellow citizens, block Web sites, target emails and social media postings should be warned about the consequences of their actions. They are following illegal and immoral orders given by those that are using force and coercion to stay in power. Sooner or later this house of cards will come tumbling down and it will be time to answer for all those that used their technical know how to hurt their people. Blind allegiance is not a wining strategy or ignorance a valid defense. It is a shame some sell their soul to the devil for fame and fortune.