Obama Administration rebukes ‘democratic’ Ethiopia regime’s intolerance of peaceful protests; urges addressing legitimtate grievances

19 Dec

By Keffyalew Gebremedhin – The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)

The Obama Administration has finally come around to pronounce itself on the popular uprising in Ethiopia, extremely belated though.

The State Department has finally expressed its embarrassment by the TPLF regime’s barbaric massacre of peaceful students, farmers and small town residents in Oromia region, expressing its deep concern over the deaths of numerous protestors.

International organizations report so far that over 75 Ethiopians been killed, most of them young high school and university students; there are unconfirmed reports about the imprisonment of over 15 thousand students and injuring of thousands others.

The US government urged the TPLF regime “to permit peaceful protest and commit to a constructive dialogue to address legitimate grievances.”

It also urged “those protesting to refrain from violence and to be open to dialogue.”

The US lack of reaction to the deaths and destructions caused by the TPLF regime, which is a minority regime and may possibly have been everything but democratic.

TEO editorialized about the state violence against unarmed and peaceful struggle of young people for their human and democratic rights, which Mr. Obama acknowledged as ‘democratic’. These deaths and destructions come eight months after the last election by which the regime claimed it has won 547 out of 547 of the parliamentary seats.

There certainly is no scope for what the US thinks possible to resolve the situation, i.e., through dialogue and consultations.

What the United States Department of State has failed to recognize is that the regime lacks an iota of credibility, much less ‘commitment’ to organize genuine consultations to address the legitimate grievances of the Ethiopian people. Note that at the current phase of the struggle, it is no longer solitary Oromo protest against land grab. That has long been past, if one takes account of what is happening in Gondar, or other places in the South.

In the past quarter century this minority group has been in power, skirting behind the representation of all Ethiopian ethnic groups has been a folly and the most shameful page in our history. Therefore, Ethiopians may have been cheated once. But they do not want to be duped anymore by the regime’s pretences and gamesmanship.

As to the regime’s ‘Stalinist’-esque consultations, which it has organized in its usual soviet style dupery, the TPLF – through its minions – has been talking about disruptions to development. It then asks women’s meetings of this or that locality to condemn the protests; it calls on older people to say such protest is are bad and un-Ethiopian, although we cannot even be sure those older people have said such things against their children dying by big numbers.

If one checks Fana broadcasting pages, there have been many such consultations in the manner the regime knows best and understands. There are, for instance, from December 19, 2015, or December 18, or December 16, etc.

Unfortunately, these are all presentations by well-fed and well-paid cadres to defend the interests of the TPLF, jabberwalking about development they hardly understand, condemning organizations the TPLF has proscribed as terrorists: IN the meantime, luring in such meetings, the security try to identify who asked what and who is dangerous only to pick them up once the meetings are over and imprison them.

The TPLF has not shown the Ethiopian people to date that it is capable of learning from its mistakes and improve its running of the country. Even if now it seems to suggest that it wants peace and ensure good governance, this is because of the problems it has faced. The fact of the problem is it certainly is not accountable or credible, not democratic, the institutions of government do not work properly; nor is it representative of the interests of the nation and the people!

I am pretty sure, unless the US keeps its eyes fixed on the Al-Shabab problem, it could clearly see the serious problems before the people of Ethiopia.

It must also be understood, since the people of Ethiopia are the ones that suffer, irrespective of the position the United States finally takes, Ethiopians would give priority to their rights, wellbeing, the nation’s development, the freedom and equality of its people.

This became clear to Ethiopians during the President Obama visited our country. At that time, his stress was on the human rights of Ethiopians. Instead the president was interested more, as he indicated in his statement he did not need “to send US marines, for example, in to do the fighting. The Ethiopians are tough fighters.”

In the relations between nations, there is the principle of mutual respect and mutual interests, which Ethiopians want to see applied in our historic relations with the United States – a superpower – although Ethiopia is a poor low-income with country many uneducated citizens!

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