By Keffyalew Gebremedhin, The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
“…አሁን ሃገራችን ያለችበት ሁኔታ የሕዝብ አመኔታ በመንግሥት ላይ በጣም ዝቅተኛ የሆነበት፣ በሕዝቦች መሃከል ያለው መቀራረብና መዋደድ የቀነሰበት፣ ጥላቻ እየበረታና በግልፅ እየተነገረ፣ የሕዝቦች የእርስ በርስ መናቆር እንዳይመጣ የሚፈራበት ስለሆነም ውስጣዊ አንድነታችን በጣም የላላበት፣ የመንግሥት መዋቅር የመፈጸም አቅሙ ደካማ የሆነበት፣ ከዚህም የተነሳ ሕዝቡ ተስፋ የቆረጠበት፣ በያካባቢው ፖለቲካዊ ችግሮች ሲነሱ በታጠቀ ኃይል (ፖሊስና መከላከያ) የሚፈታበት፣ ሕዝቡ አሁን የሚታየው ችግር ይፈታል፣ እንዴት ይፈታል እያለ ከፍተኛ ጥርጣሬ ውስጥ የገባበት ሁኔታ ውስጥ ነው ያለነው።”
– የቀድሞ የጦር ኃይሎች ኤታ ማዦር ሌተና ጄኔራል ፃድቃን ገ/ትንሳኤ
የሃገራችን ፖለቲካዊ ሁኔታና የመፍትሔ ሃሳቦች
July 24, 2016
“…The prevailing state of affairs in our country is whence public trust in government is at its lowest; the once close affinity within the population has dwindled, instead open verbalization of hatred seizing its place. On account of that, conflicts are feared to weaken the nation’s internal unity against the backdrop of a weakened state executive capacity; in turn this has allowed a sense of resignation to set in. All along and in the face of this, the typical TPLF/EPRDF solution to local political problems has been utilization of armed state violence (police & defense forces); hopelessness has become widespread within the populace. Therefore, we live at a time of grave uncertainty wherein citizens have found themselves in turmoil and confusion whether these problems could be resolved, strong doubts sapping their confidence about the state’s capability to solve them, for that matter, if at all.”
July 24, 2016
Retired army Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Tsadkan Gebretinsae
As promised in Part I, the above-captioned article is thus a follow-up to Tedros Adhanom & foreign policy: Is Ethiopia one undivided nation of equals, when only TPLF members are decision-makers, filling nation’s important security & diplomatic posts? How so & why?
In a statement of today’s Ethiopia’s problems, the article showed that they are an outcome of our nation’s misgovernance the blames of which cannot be attributed to anyone or anywhere else – save the quarter century mafia occupation of Ethiopia by the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF).
Since the author of this article has been examining the problem from the foreign policy angle, his finding is that the problem is rife in all aspects of national life, while the revelation is that foreign governments are deliberately misled with a view to covering up the rejection by the people of the TPLF regime at home and abroad amongst the diaspora.
The essence of the problem is the external policy’s deliberate denial of the linkages between peace and stability on the one hand and justice on the other. Obviously, this denial is anchored from within in the from of the TPLF regime’s lawlessness and monopolization of the power to unleash state violence, commit thievery of resources and nepotism, which have proffered on the powerful minority regime the bias to practice ethnic discrimination and chauvinism as well as corruption of all sorts, which have hoodwinked its willing foreign accomplices.
Consequently, the article argued that the past 25 years have been an era of mistreatment and alienation of Ethiopian citizens. In stark terms, at its worst, this has been a period the people of Ethiopia have been subjugated by the bullying of the TPLF and its political deception. Dice it any way one likes, the fact remains that Ethiopians have been reduced to second class citizens, with TPLF members as the first sons and daughters. This happened in our country notwithstanding constitutional promises of equality of citizens in all its dimensions, which have been reiterated in the law of the land 12 times.
It goes without saying, therefore, that those in power in Ethiopia have never had any respect whatsoever for the nation’s laws. Nor is there any place anywhere in their heads, or hearts room for the national interests, and awareness of international law and appreciation to diplomatic traditions. Think of it how a government that by choice cedes sovereign national territory to the Sudan, or abuses the diplomatic courier and the Ethiopian Airlines itself, when, for instance, the latter ought to remain the safest, credible and most secure system of transportation, among others, for diplomatic bags, fully aware who is on board and the personal or other personal items they ferry.
While masquerading as government, a thief with such comport has lived by an operating procedure that underlines it should behave as it suits its needs, no differently from a typical burglar who believes he/she could always and in all places outsmart others. In reality, however, that always has not been the case, as our mafiosi’s experience from about a year ago shows. One of them was caught at a British airport with a suitcase full of foreign exchange and reportedly precious stones. Where does that emplace the TPLF regime? After all, for all intents and purposes, what is consigned utilizing official privileges and connections, and thus hardly unofficial, so long as the ruling party and the security system are fully aware and involved in this heinous activity.
The question is how do they manage to successfully pass through the snappy and terror-alert inspection at the Bole International Airport at Addis Abeba. At least for once, the United Nations, which early in the Organization’s life Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold had referred to as “not created in order to bring us to heaven, but to save us from hell”, has proved right in identifying long ago the Addis Abeba airport as a main hub for drugs to the Middle East countries, possibly Europe too. Is there official involvement in it?
The series under Part II now continues on that same theme while another sub-part two (Part II 2b) would present concrete examples of corruption in the diplomatic sector. In that, it would show how much the TPLF foreign policy has been about serving the interests of the TPLF mafiosi, not Ethiopia’s!
In the nearly four years, this terribly bad policy has received teeth under none other than Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom has been known to engage in heartless illegal behavior already when he was minister of health (2005-2012), as discussed in an earlier article. For a while long, some have accused him – the Western darling health minister of Ethiopia – of infecting the health ministry with nepotism as pertains to recruitment of professionals; it is also a matter of public record that his ethnic mafia had perpetrated corruption claiming to have constructed ten times more health centres throughout the country – only silhouette with walls and roofs and no running water to show for it, while the money has been illegally spent elsewhere.
Also aid money has been utilized to advance TPLF’s political interests in mind, including the Global Fund’s. There have also been some infidelity with import of goods and services and distribution of medicines at home, including HIV/Aids medications in a country where close to 15 percent of our population had become its victims. As the saying has it, for such failings the buck must stop with political leader of the institution – Tedros Adhanom – and he must be held accountable!
Interestingly, despite such clouded perception, questionable integrity and performance, the foreign minister now happens to be a candidate aspiring to becoming the ninth Director-General of the World Health Organization (WHO), if he succeeds. His success is considered TPLF’s success, which must not be allowed because of its criminal records spanning many areas of national life and human endeavors.
Unlike Dr. Tedros Adhanom, however, the international community is aware that the WHO believes: “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”
It is unfortunate that Dr. Tedros Adhanom is not a person of such conviction. That, he announced with his own volition during a VOA interview in response to a quation what would be done about the estimated eight million Ethiopians that were feared to die due to hunger and malnutrition. He thought, instead of such questions, the prudent thing would have been to ask and show that the TPLF regime has saved 88 million others in a country of 96 million!
Obviously, there is no way Ethiopians could support such arrogance of power, lurking behind outward smoothness. Nor should their friends support his antithetical view to bring him to the leadership of WHO. Key here is that it is important to recognize that Tedros Adhanom hardly is the right person for the job, as we have seen from the experiences of the Ethiopian ministries of health and foreign affairs. He has shown the world that he cannot abide by the longstanding WHO principles, the vision and objectives of the Charter of the United Nations designed to serve the peoples of the world, irrespective of ethnic origin, race, color, religion or gender.
Furthermore, another obvious reason for not supporting this so-called African candidate is the fact of he rather being a candidate of international corporations, the patrons of the pharmaceutical industries. Wealthy individuals are rallying behind him, including billionaire Bill Gates, who are tied to the pharmaceutical industry; they seek to declare their freedom to do whatever they would like, as the route for further billions they could amass! This should not elude any citizen of the world, who hopes and desires the global state of health to improve utilizing WHO services of coordination, disease surveillance and guidance. It is this guidance by an inter-governmental organization and the regulations thereon international businesses resent.
No doubt, it is the right of the wealthy too to bank on individuals such as Tedros Adhanom to serve their interests best. Without a doubt, their actions would only undermine or block fruition of decades of international cooperation. Their records to date show their actions would hurt the chances of other better qualified candidates who could truly serve the interests of the peoples of the world.
The Ethiopian foreign minister has been eyed by the wealthy to avail his services to making money for big business magnates and their allies, if he succeeds to become the WHO DG! This should not be allowed to happen. It would hurt the poor and those without any constituency, just as the TPLF does it at home in Ethiopia!
Let me seize the opportunity here to state my appreciation to Gen.Tsadkan Gebretinsae for reacting to the current worrisome situation in our country, a bit delayed though. It should be said with frankness that, while he is not telling us anything now in his latest analysis of our country’s present problems, as a Tigrean and former fighter, who rose to the rank of armed forces chief of staff, he has become the first to call upon Tigreans not to collaborate with the criminal TPLF regime. In that regard, he has taken an important step in the right direction. I should also hasten to make it clear, as far as I am concerned, I would have been happier if his analysis did not avoid calling by its real name the cancerous problem of nepotism that has been afflicting non-Tigrean Ethiopians.
I must also state further, while he is a person of remarkable intelligence and experiences, his article only mentions what Ethiopians have already known about TPLF’s crimes, not many others possibly so egregious to him. And yet – for a businessman pushing investments into Tigray – under the cruelest and notoriously corrupt of leaders such as Abay Woldu and his lieutenants awash with ill-gained privileges, financial and administrative crimes – Gen. Tsadkan has shown courage in calling upon Tigreans to stand up to the evil the TPLF has become to all Ethiopians under these people.
Mention should be made that in the paragraphs the discusses the plight of the people of Tigray separately, nonetheless, he has merely glossed over the malignant implications of TPLF’s nepotism in general to the entire Ethiopian society. This has opened up the weaknesses in his otherwise remarkable interest in wanting to stand up against his party and be counted. Clearly, he may have his reason to do so, as he has touched upon. Perhaps he could not also stand idle as TPLF’s criminality becomes cause for the mounting hatred that has befallen good citizens while its authors are TPLF Tigress and those they recruited to torture and kill innocent Ethiopians in the tens of thousands in the Front’s marked and unmarked prisons throughout the country, or through disappearances.
Surely, regarding the overall problem, Gen. Tsadkan Gebretinsay accuses the TPLF leadership of responsibility with the words: “አሁን ላለው ሁኔታ መፈጠር ትልቁን ሃላፊነትና ድርሻ የሚወስደው አሁን ያለው የሕወሃትና የክልሉ መስተዳደር ነው።” [“For our current problems, the bulk of the responsibility falls on the shoulders of the current TPLF leadership and the regional administration.”] I hope he did not mean by that to set limits to his concern about the suffering to what is happening in Tigray only!
As mentioned above, TPLF’s foreign policy has been the loudest in preaching peace and stability externally – even that, something it has not and could not implement at home. At no time have the polices known to have uttered the importance of justice, or avail itself in practice to all Ethiopians. In other words, the TPLF’s ideas of peace & security are totally delinked from justice. That is why the Front’s foreign policy cannot ensure the rights and dignity of citizens; nor is it a genuine instrument that can promote the national interests, if one thinks of dictator Meles Zenawi’s pledges to Gen. Omar al-Bashir to hand over Ethiopia’s sovereign territory to the Sudan. There is also the regime’s failure to protect Ethiopians in distress in foreign lands.
As a consequence of these genocidal polices and disturbing behavior of the TPLF, the chicken have now come home to roost. As a first step, they are now targeting Tigreans the TPLF has used as its base and source of support. Unfortunately, good Tigrean Ethiopians now live in fear, as the rest of Ethiopians. The difference is that they have two sides to fear. Perhaps that is why they have now started to make the open call for help and immediate solutions. For years now, they have been feeling isolation in their own country; they have been feeling the negative perception the broader society has reserved for them with and the accompanying hatred they experience both at home and abroad.
I have always believed Ethiopia and Ethiopians are not supposed to and cannot behave like this. Surely, this would not have happened were it not for the abuses by the TPLF and its greed, which in past many Tigreans considered it was their privilege and protection as well as means to their enrichment!
As I warned in May 2013, in an article: ኢትዮጵያ ወደ አደገኛ አግጣጫ እያመራች ነው!, there is now need to find the means to stir away the country from this present disastrous course. My fear is not what is happening now, limited as it may be, although we should all appreciate that one citizen’s suffering under the TPLF is already one too many.
Today, Ethiopia looks bloodthirsty; it has become a tense nation with several ongoing conflicts and civil strife becoming a chosen course of action as a response to the regime’s cruelties. As to the TPLF regime, it has started harvesting hatred as the fruits of the discord it has sown and the ensuing miscalculation. Even at present, it is worsening the fury of the piled up anger against itself and the desire for vengeance.
This is not Ethiopia and such a thing should not be allowed to continue and get out of hand. The only way to stop it is to see the back of the Front leaders and those that have the blood of Ethiopians on their hands and to create conditions for the law to decide their fate.
My advice to Ethiopians is that this ugly situation should be stopped before our country witnesses the kind of bloody genocide Rwanda experienced in the early 1990s!
Of their own free will, Ethiopians should stop serving the TPLF’s insatiable appetite for the sufferings of our youths and the blood of our people, in words and deeds. The origin of this disastrous policy is TPLF’ fear of losing its power and ill-gained wealths! After a quarter century, citizens cannot and should not expect to see any better and different outcome!
The once that can turn around the monster that has been assailing citizens are educated Tigreans, ending their collaboration with murderous regime. The young and the old, need to take this matter seriously and bring their pressure to bear on the TPLF leadership, especially as a first step demanding an end to the use of Tigray’s name as its signature for all its evil deeds and the robbery in their name.
Tigreans need to ask themselves, if pent up anger and hatred for those evil deeds are too much, although we know for a fact that the anger and vengeance has legitimate origin, undoubtedly it would only breed more anger and hatred, which would not help Ethiopians to totally root out the problem!
To that end and in the interest of our people and the common homeland, I would echo Yohannes Berhe’s A call to the true sons and daughters of Tigray in his article by the same title of July 20, 2016; in the article, he proposes to Tigreans to implement his five-point action plan, as follows:
“First, you should unequivocally condemn the crime being committed by EPRDF/TPLF regime both as organized group and as part of the growing chorus of opposition groups.
Second, you should withdraw any material or moral support to the members of the regime in order to force them to accept the will of the Ethiopian people through all inclusive and verifiable democratic process.
Third, you should use the propensity of the regime to be partial toward you by virtue of your ethnic affiliation, to conduct covert and overt actions, hence, to expose their crimes and further undermine their authority.
Fourth, you should not take part in any gathering that is directly or indirectly sponsored by the regime to advance their divide and conquer agenda.
Fifth, you must openly and unequivocally denounce the separatist and loud fringe among you who like to spout racist bile against others.”