By Keffyalew Gebremedhin The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
The end is drawing closer
By the ongoing Ethiopian popular uprising, spearheaded by the people of Oromia and Amhara regions, Ethiopians have been empowered and are resolved to dethrone the TPLF, a regime that has been in power for a quarter century through the suppression and oppression of Ethiopians in all sorts of inhuman ways.
Nonetheless, let there be no illusion, fully armed to its teeth, the Ethiopian ruling party – once a guerrilla movement, i.e., the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) – remains still very powerful, deceitful, militaristic and dictatorial organization.
This statement of fact is not intended to convey the notion that Ethiopia would continue to be governable for the Front any longer.
TPLF’s deviance from inception through adulthood
With the bad lesson it has been imbued from the get go, especially from Albania’s Enver Hoxa – better known as Stalin’s devilish disciple – whose quasi-Marxist ideology during his 40-year rule from 1944-1985 and the elimination of opponents of his rule, has impressed and strongly influenced the TPLF. That exactly is what it has been doing in Ethiopia in the past four decades – where possible through the use of unlawful laws, for example, the anti-terrorism proclamation and anti-civil society law to arbitrarily imprison, kill and force the disappearances of several tens of thousands innocent Ethiopians.
Fortunately, thanks to some academics, local and international journalists and human rights organizations, the extent of TPLF’s cruelty and the horrors it has caused on our nation have been documented to a reasonable degree.
It is unmistakably clear that TPLF’s formative years and its ideological lessons – its antecedent self, what social scientists call path-dependent development – are responsible in making it the killing machine it was and has been. The TPLF, therefore, is a story of a band of people with sick minds that came together, united by their destructive mission the governance mechanism of which they referred to as collective leadership, and also often boasted about how they governed themselves as a liberation movement even after they seized power in 1991, at least for a decade.
It is this self-professed unity of purpose for the commission of crimes against humanity in Ethiopia that has locked together all top members of the TPLF leadership, with not a single exception. Blinded by the arrogance of power, they now find themselves behind the inescapable wall of liability for violations of national and international human rights laws they have been committing through the years.
Did I hear or read from Gebremedhin Araya, the first TPLF finance chief, once telling the media the gruesome story of how today’s TPLF leaders used to kill girls, i.e., the girls they used to date, if and when they got pregnant? This shows that, even at present while fully aware TPLF’s days are numbered, these boneheads could not try to find ways to apologize to Ethiopians and seek forgiveness. Instead of taking to heart even the lessons of the current popular uprising about the limits of power and consequences of their past years of crimes and the humiliations they have subjected Ethiopians, they still seem to prefer to kill and torture citizens on a daily basis across the nation.
Not long ago, I posted on this blog how truly the TPLF thinks of its powers. To show that I used as example the arrogance of power and the inhumanness of powerful people that are drunk with human blood. A prime example of that is Debretsion Gebremichael, the TPLF Minister of Information, Communication and Technology and deputy chairman of the ruling party.
As unthinking person, he posted something that he has started to regret; he has even foolishly hid away that article on his Facebook from August 2016, although it could never escape reappearance and inquiry at the right moment with the law as authority. Sadly for him, he drew the attention of the international community by revealing what has been hatching inside the mind of the TPLF zombies. He comfortably and boastfully blurted out full-throated: “The TPLF defense force is capable of destroying the whole of Africa, much less 30 million population [Amharas]” in Ethiopia!
What he has done is to expose readiness of sick people like himself in power to recreate the Rwanda Genocide of 1994 in Ethiopia. Why this in a country the TPLF strongmen have been committing every crime known to humanity in the name of ethnic federation-based democracy and developmentalism, which citizens had tolerated for long.
Truth be told, as far as the TPLF is concerned, it is not any more a matter of if, but when regime collapse would become a reality in Ethiopia. For sure that day will not come because the United States has turned away from the TPLF. Rather it is because of the united strengths of the Ethiopian people, determined as they are to see the back of the TPLF.
Fortunately, the United States is right when once again it reminded the TPLF messenger Hailemariam Desalegn in New York on September 21, 2016 through Assistant Secretary of State Linda Thomas-Greenfield – the official responsible in the State Department for Africa – the situation in Ethiopia “could deteriorate and that the Ethiopian government is aware of that possibility as well.”
Enters Dr. Tedros Adhanom
For many Africans, the story of their destruction by the TPLF, as per Debretsion’s warnimg, interestingly came about eight months after the whole of Africa through the African Union (AU) pretended in Mekelle, Tigray region (for details refer to Dr. Tedros Adhanom’s WHO countdown) to vote in block for the TPLF foreign minister.
As foreign minister for about five years now, Dr. Tedros’s role has been to render the TPLF image benign, telling all lies on behalf of the regime and portraying it as democratic, developmental and acceptable. Surely, one thing Ethiopians have known all along about him is that he shares in common with other TPLF leaders the Front’s vice of ably telling lies and exaggerating some things to the extent that his rendition often disarms the ill-prepared into self-doubt.
Dr. Tedros Adhanom has been one of the top decision makers in this killing machine, known as the TPLF. Inevitably, he is guilty of the violation of human rights in Ethiopia. In that regard, he is one of the criminals in the TPLF ranks and under the TPLF’s collective leadership principle.
For nearly nine months now, Tedros Adhanom has been bankrupting Ethiopia without any accountability with his huge expenditures to lobby nations to support him become WHO’s ninth director-general. He has been nearly all over the world possibly to speak to each of the 193 members of the World Health Assembly (WHA). Nobody knows with certainty how is paying for all his travels and the wining and dining with all nations.
At the same time, all along Tedros Adhanom has hired for millions of dollars a public relations company known as Mercury Public Affairs to lobby for him in the United States and internationally, by putting out good words through the media – all this on behalf of a certified human rights violator, managerially incompetent and bust integrity-wise.
Ethiopia is bankrupt since it is terribly short of foreign exchange, because of the instability in the country and the bad economy. He says the East African nations, would pool pool resources for him. And to date not a single country has paid, if at all a fund has been established. What the guy says is not credible. After all, some of the East African nations are at the top of the list for unpaid obligatory assessed contributions to the dictators’ club, i.e., the African Union (AU).
To avoid being exposed, Tedros Adhanom turned to East Africa claiming that they wouldfor his campaign. Almost the campaign face largely behind them, to date no East African country has made any payment to the Fund. But who is paying for him?
However, Foreign Minister Tedros Adhanom has lots of friends in the international community. These include billionaire Americans that hope to benefit their undertakings especially in Africa from his services, i.e., if he is placed in a leadership position in WHO. That is why even other nominees now insist that campaign expenses and sources of funding of the six candidates to the WHO post be made public.
Do you know that he even has power over life and death?
As one of the members in the top leadership of Ethiopia, via the politburo of the TPLF and the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), Dr.Tedros Adhanom is one of the most powerful persons in Ethiopia today. This has enabled him to do or say anything he likes, irrespective of any considerations for principles. Dr. Tedros Adhanom is a powerful person in Ethiopia.
The saddest thing about the minister’s power is that he lacks the will to do good and tell the truth. For instance, even when he is running for the highest office in the WHO, he has been known in Ethiopia to have adversely decided against the medical treatment of Habtamu Ayalew, a senior member of the legal opposition party in Ethiopia, whom the TPLF imprisoned for about two years and caused his ill-health due to the enormous tortures he was subjected to in the TPLF version of the Soviet gulag.
A supporter of his party’s vindictive position against the restoration of Habtamu Ayalew’s health, he refused to lift the ban on his travel abroad even when his life has been moving into the danger zone. Habtamu is merely being victimized by the regime for being in the leadership of the legal opposition. This resulted in the decision to deny him exit visa, according to Amnesty International. This is notwithstanding the testimony of his physicians and the support of the board of medical doctors, as required by the nation’s laws, to urgently travel for treatment abroad.
Isn’t this a tragic case badly reflecting on the foreign minister, who since January 31st, 2016 has become Africa’s candidate to the highest post in the World Health Organization?
In that regard, it is also important that I draw the attention of readers to three of WHO’s nine principles. These state:
(2) The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.
(4) The achievement of any State in the promotion and protection of health is of value to all.
(9) Governments have a responsibility for the health of their peoples which be fulfilled only by the provision of adequate health and social measures.
This senseless vindictiveness and cruelty, a violation of the WHO Constitution and the principles thereon. Equally to the same effect, the United Nations Charter in its Preamble underlines that one of the Organization’s objective is “to promote social progress and better standards of life in larger freedom”. This should awaken the international community, as assembled in the 34-member Executive Council and the 194-member World Health Assembly (WHA) to take the right decision regarding this candidate, if not in January 2017, certainly in May 2017.
The choices before member states are two: In keeping with WHO principles either to put a leader with competence, vision and commitment, or to pick up Mr. Cruelty & Mr. Stoneheart – the two in one – at the head of such vitally important international organization that must cater to human wellbeing across the globe.
I fear that in the event the TPLF give Mr. Stoneheart his dream, not only that they would award incompetence an annual salary of $244,000, or over $20,000 a month, benefits not included. But also they are arranging for him to sell the entire WHO to the highest bidder.
Habtamu Ayalew is one of the several million human beings the monsters in the TPLF have damaged through their torture to make out of him an example to cower other Ethiopians. The father of two young children did not deserve this for the ‘crime’ of his advocacy of freedom and democracy for Ethiopians.
Tedros Adhanom’s mistake is his failure to recognize that, even against our unyielding nature, at times we all need to force ourselves to think, feel and be humans so as to be able to heal the private pains and wipe the tears of others to heal our own individual pains.
At this moment, there is not and cannot be any better evidence than Habtamu Ayalew’s life and death struggle that exposes unsuitability of Dr. Tedros Adhanom to become WHO’s next director-general. His endless rhetorics and false concerns about global health in general and WHO’s principles in particular are empty words. They are deployed to grab the well-paying international job with lots of privileges that may only feed a dangerous ego.
When I think of it, if he is elected director–general the return to WHO is not only nothing – zilch. But also it would become the world’s loss of an international organization that caters for global health.
This is because, firstly the candidate has no significant qualifications that add to improving WHO’s operations to realize its mandated missions.
Secondly, while a malaria researcher, Dr. Tedros Adhanom also comes from a political cadre background for a cruel and murderous party that tortures citizens and burns political prisoners alive in prisons, as happened in Kilinto on September 3, 2016!
On the contrary, note that the international health organization during its sixty-nine years of existence since 1947 has been used to better managers, better minds, the leadership of visionary health specialists with integrity, notwithstanding some human weaknesses.
In Excelsis Deo
In Aaron Sorkin’s et.al tenth episode of The West Wing, in In Excelsis Deo (Glory to God in the highest), was considered the 1999 Christmas special. It is a story about human goodness that transcends social difficulties, officialdom‘s territoriality and shows concern for others because they are human beings.
In that episode, the story is centred around the unfortunate life of an American who was found dead in a park bench nearby the White House.
From a festive occasion at the White House, when President Bartlett and his senior staff were in celebratory mood both by the joy and warmth of the Christmas spirit and their success in finding in Judge Roberto Mendoza as the president’s nominee to become an Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court.
As White House Communications Director, Toby Ziegler was instrumental in identifying and interviewing Judge Mendoza.
Suddenly, there was a telephone call from the Washington D.C. Police, asking for Toby Ziegler to report to them. When the White House official obeyed the law and reported to the police, an officer by the bench next to the man asked him if he knew the dead person. Toby did not know him, but in the pocket of the expired person was found Mr. Zeigler’s card. The police wanted to establish the relations between the two.
Toby looked at the coat the person was wearing; he told the policeman that was his coat and he had given it away for charity and that his card must have been in there.
Toby immediately saw something the policeman had not. There was a mark on the person’s arm showing he was a veteran of America’s Korea war of the 1960s. The veteran had fallen on hard times and had died of the cold northerly wind in a park bench.
Toby asked if the police had contacted the Veterans’ Affairs Department. The policeman did not pick it up. It is this time that he became aware that they did not know what the sign on his arm was all about.
The president heard about it and allowed Toby to organize the dead veteran an honor guard during his funeral.
I agree, it sounds harsh. This story on one hand and Habtamu Ayalew‘s plight on the other have pushed me into thinking that possibly Dr. Tedros Adhanom – Mr. Cruelty & Mr. Stoneheart, the two in one – would have accused the veteran soldier of being a mugger, who had stolen his coat.
Otherwise, how could the minister of foreign affairs of Ethiopia, a member of the ruling party’s top politburo, goes ahead and sentences Habtamu Ayalew to torturous death, just for being a member of the legal opposition party. The instrument of Habtamu’s murder in the hands of the TPLF is the power to deny him an exit visa to go abroad and get treatment, which his doctors and the medical board had recommended, in accordance with the nation’s law!
In the face of the above sins and crimes, Dr. Tedros Adhanom, I ask you with all sincerity to formally withdraw your candidature to the post of director-general of the World Health Organization.
You may be tempted to resist. My earnest hope is that you lose in the competition. That would become your double-jeopardy!
Five MDs & one PhD holder are candidates for WHO DG post. Eyes on World Health Assembly to see if it could ensure unrepentant human rights violator not taking the helm