Half Truth and Half Deception at the Sheraton Addis Meeting

by Mekuria Gize

I heard PM Abiy’s speech he made at the Sheraton Addis hotel. His speech has mixed messages. It was full of rhetoric with some truths (truths like Addis Abeba River projects, the Eritrea-Ethiopia relationship, Tourism, Volunteer work, Road map were well intentioned). Let me start first with the best truths he spoke about. The explanation he delivered about Addis Abeba River projects and tourism is flawless and convincing. It is illogical logic for us to comment against the Addis Abeba River Projects simply because Ethiopia has so many poor people to worry about. Even the Egyptian pyramid that was constructed by slave Jewish labour has a great value for the world today. So we Ethiopians should not criticise every new idea. We rather have to discuss the feasibility of the project, benefits and social costs (if any displacement of people as a result of this project). So the correct approach is to create Advocacy Group to defend the right of people living near the rivers the projects are envisaged. The peripheral argument he gave about the value of tourism is also right considering the monetary values Ethiopia can generate from the sector. However, I want to remind PM Abiy that tourism is in danger from the continued inflation in the country.  PM Abiy has a lot of jobs to do to contain inflation. Otherwise, tourism is to collapse soon. I am telling you this with no economics background but no economist has told you up to now.

Eskindir Nega’s Movement

I am in favour of Eskinder Nega’s movement to change into a political party platform like Addis Abeba Democratic Party or Addis Abeba Peoples’ Party (AADP or AAPP).  At the moment Ginbot 7 has failed miserably. Semayawi party led by Yeshwas Assefa has been fooled into abolishing his party and do nothing. These Pan Ethiopian parties should have been at the forefront when Addis Abebans are threatened by qerroo and the ODP. This was the occasion they could have mobilized their supporters but instead, they preferred to have lobbying job inside Menelik’s palace. So Eskinder can have the momentum going if he formed a party or help create a party he believes in if he wants to stay in his journalistic profession. I urge well-intentioned Ethiopians including Reyot, and professionals known to teach us at Reyot to urge Eskinder to go that line, even if he is doing a peaceful mobilization for Addis Abeba caretaker council. The former is preferred. He will permanently lock out the pretenders like Ginbot 7 and Semayawi.

The critiques PM Abiy made on the so-called “road map” often demanded by the misguided intellectuals is quite right. We often try to bring words we learned in university courses or heard from political parties programs overseas and want to apply it to Ethiopia.

Elsewhere in his speech, as usual, the prime minister walked in a fine like with words that can be interpreted either as affirmative or negative. He is skilled in that job. But we need to be focused on the substance. He has not denounced the extremists in Oromia (including the ODP) which are the main cause for Addis Abebans to be concerned. Instead, he blamed  Addis Abebans for not going to Oromia and ask their problems. Addis Abebans do not need to do that. What they are demanding is their universal right written in the constitution – the right to administer themselves. Another saddening line of the PM’s speech is his challenging of  the audience at Sheraton why they have not opened a similar forum in Tigray and ask them why they are frown. These are the people who caused unimaginable harms to us Ethiopians for 27 years and embezzled the country to its bones. There are many criminals in Tigray that are wanted by his own court system. He failed to bring these criminals, yet he sends his attack dogs  stop peaceful demonstration in Addis Abeba or even incriminate them. The PM’s speech is alarming, in some cases, having the rhetoric of Meles Zenawi and Mengistu Hailemariam. He is starting to move into territories of dictatorship

One line of talk the PM often cites is the issue of patience. When he talks about patience, it is different from what we say. Yes, he needs to show patience for people who exercise their rights per the country’s law. But it will be unimaginable to accuse those that exercise their rights, and do nothing against instigators like Jawar Mohammed, Eskiel, Dereje Etena, Tsegaye Ararsa, etc. We know he made sure the Oromos dominate the army and the security to call his biting dogs in time of need. Ethiopians must stand alerted to defend themselves until the PM condemns the extremists and the wanton press release of ODP, and recognise the right of Addis Abebans on Addis Abeba.

The prime minister had warned Addis Abebans that they are only safe when the regions around them (Oromia, Amara, SSEP, and etc) are in peace. It seems he forgot his main duty as PM of Ethiopia- keep peace and security in all parts of the country, and protect Addis Abebans as well. A leader has to execute his/her duties and not blame Addis Abebans for demanding their rights. Addis Abebans did nothing wrong except reacting to the frightening messages of Oromo fundamentalists and the ODP. His neglect in protecting Ethiopians and inability to stop displacement of people in the whole of the country is surely a reminder of the era of the Soviet Union in 1991, where each federal states warlord took the law into their hands and disintegrated the country. PM Abiy is promoting disintegration indirectly by not maintaining peace and security in Ethiopia.  Gorbachev’s Perestroika did not stop the Soviet Union from breaking apart. The world must watch the dangers of not keeping law and order in Ethiopia. If Ethiopia is in problem, the whole East Africa will be engulfed in violence facilitating conditions ripe for the rise of Islamic Fundamentalism.

 

Conclusions

PM Abiy’s vision for the Addis Abeba River projects is laudable except social problems have to be addressed at an amicable level. There are many good ideas he raised as usual.

Prime minister failed to assure Addis Abebans, and denounce Oromo extremists who dine and wine at the taxpayers’ money in five-star hotels. His own party, the ODP threatened Addis Abebans and he never criticised it.

PM Abiy’s view on who transgresses the law and needs punishment is different from the views of the public. The public wants instigators who demonstrate using clubs, machetes and sharp objects are contained. Prime minister wants to send his attack dogs (the police) to suffocate democracy by arresting people who demanded their God-given right, the right to assemble peacefully and denounce the attempt to take away democratic rights.

The prime mister failed to understand that the Meles Zenawi constitution was written before any legally elected government took over. Mengistu Hailemariam and Meles Zenawi have come to power changing previous constitutions.

6 COMMENTS

  1. There is no Ethiopia race and/or cultural/linguistic group. There are nations forced to reside in close proximity and assume a name “Ethiopian” by the architects of Ethiopian empire. For 150 years, in partnership with European colonizers, they sought to obliterate the identity of the occupied nations in the region for the sole purpose of looting their resources with impunity; i.e the resources of the the people they colonized. That era is over. Moving forward, we either seek to chart a common destiny with mutual respect and maintaining full control on our respective resources and destiny or perish together!!

  2. Ethinic federalism and a fight for cultural survival is being used by few narrow minded elites to do ethnic cleaning by manipulating the mass on ethnic background issues for their own occult power hunger dreams. Yes there was cultural transgresión in past regiones, but that is not justification to commit in propose mass ethnic harassment and discussions between ethnic groups. Also the current ethnic demarcated regions are as arbitrary as it could be where and when Ethiopian boundary was demarcated before and today. Nothing stands clean if one goes way back in time and all Ethiopians should have the same rights and previlages in every corner of Ethiopian. If the narrow minded ethnic nationalist elites really care for the well being of their own ethnic fellows they should start by acknologing that every human being is to be respected in every region if one wants the current avkward ethnic bars regions are to be maintened. Respecting the right of each individual will prolong the peace and prosperity of the supposedly hosting community. But the ethno elitist are using the right for culture and language to gain in the background land and resources for them selves. And that is wrong and even is wrong to do this grab for one ethnic group at expense of other ethnic group and specially sending innocent youth that tomorrow will be asked for the attrococity they be asked for. The ethnic region system is very wrong as delivered facto is saying two human beings are different and has different privileged by belonging to one ethnic group or other depending to which ethnic group the belong to. na for some ethnic groups without any region associated with them they would I’ve for generations in perpetual fear of being displaced. Internal displacement is product of this non sense system. And always the target of ethnic hate campaigns are the poor and weak that is wandering in every region to make ends meet and raise it’s family. While the ethnic elite celebrates hotels and abroad on how the mobilized the inocent youth and advance their ulterior political and economic power hunger from a distance. One think is clear no war is good for no one and when that starts not artefitial regions will survive and a lot of life’s will be shattered and every one will be affected and outnumbering in population is not a protection against the devastation of war. My two cents is yes enshrine the cultural and language protection laws but separate those laws from human justice and equality on regards to both rights perspective and from land and resource ownership perspective. The whole ethinic based region approach defeats and contradicts from the beging basic individual rights right from one is born. Ethinic federalism should be abolished and the Constitution should be reviewed in benefit of all citizens that live in current Ethiopia not matter their political inclination. It should be done not for the elite but to guarantee peace and prosperity for generation to come. And the youth should think deeply on these matters before joining any unintended and manipulated moves as they also will be tomorrow father’s, mothers, grandfathers and grandmother s.

  3. Ethinic federalism and a fight for cultural survival is being used by few narrow minded elites to do ethnic cleaning by manipulating the mass on ethnic background issues for their own occult power hunger dreams. Yes there was cultural transgresión in past regimes, but that is not justification to commit in propose mass ethnic harassment and grievances between ethnic groups. Also the current ethnic demarcated regions are as arbitrary as it could have been where and when Ethiopian boundary was demarcated before and today. Nothing stands clean if one goes way back in time and all Ethiopians should have the same rights and previlages in every corner of Ethiopian territory. If the narrow minded ethnic nationalist elites really care for the well being of their own ethnic fellows they should start by acknologing that every human being is to be respected in every region no matter his background if one wants the current avkward ethnic based regions are to be maintened. Respecting the right of each individual will prolong the peace and prosperity of the supposedly hosting community. But the ethno elitist are using the right for culture and language to gain in the background land and resources for themselves. And that is wrong and even is wrong to do this grab for one ethnic group at expense of other ethnic group and specially sending innocent youth that tomorrow will be asked for the attrococity committed they may be asked for. The ethnic region system is very wrong as delivered as defacto is saying two human beings are different and has different privileges by belonging to one ethnic group or other depending to which ethnic group the belong to. Moreover for some ethnic groups without any region associated with them they would Iive for generations in perpetual fear of being displaced. Internal displacement is product of this non sense system. And always the target of ethnic hate campaigns are the poor and weak that is wandering in every region to make ends meet and raise it’s family. While the ethnic elite celebrates in hotels and abroad using as tool mobilized inocent youth and advance their ulterior political and economic power hunger from a distance. One thing is clear no war is good for no one and when that starts not artificial regions will survive and a lot of life will be shattered and every one will be affected and outnumbering in population is not a protection against the devastation of war. My two cents is yes enshrine the cultural and language protection laws but separate those laws from human justice and equality on regards to both rights perspective and from land and resource ownership perspective. The whole ethinic based region approach defeats and contradicts from the begining basic individual rights enshrined in the Constitution. Ethinic federalism should be abolished and the Constitution should be reviewed in benefit of all citizens that live in current Ethiopia not matter what their political inclination is. It should be done not for the elite but to guarantee peace and prosperity for generation to come. And the youth should think deeply on these matters before joining any unintended and manipulated moves as they also will be tomorrow father’s, mothers, grandfathers and grandmother s.

  4. One good solution to solve current Ethiopian issue would to make afán Oromo language a national language in pair with Amharic like other bilingual countries and abolish the ethnic region system and have a clause that enshrines all land, wealth and resource that is Ethiopia is to be shared across all Ethiopians as birthright like some countries do.

  5. Ethinic federalism and a fight for cultural survival is being used by few narrow minded elites to do ethnic cleaning by manipulating the mass on ethnic background issues for their own occult power hunger dreams. Yes there was cultural transgresión in past regimes, but that is not justification to commit in propose mass ethnic harassment and grievances between ethnic groups. Also the current ethnic demarcated regions are as arbitrary as it could have been where and when Ethiopian boundary was demarcated before and today. Nothing stands clean if one goes way back in time and all Ethiopians should have the same rights and previlages in every corner of Ethiopian territory. If the narrow minded ethnic nationalist elites really care for the well being of their own ethnic fellows they should start by acknologing that every human being is to be respected in every region no matter his background if one wants the current avkward ethnic based regions are to be maintened. Respecting the right of each individual will prolong the peace and prosperity of the supposedly hosting community. But the ethno elitist are using the right for culture and language to gain in the background land and resources for themselves. And that is wrong and even is wrong to do this grab for one ethnic group at expense of other ethnic group and specially sending innocent youth that tomorrow will be asked for the attrocity committed they may be asked for. The ethnic region system is very wrong as delivered as defacto is saying two human beings are different and has different privileges by belonging to one ethnic group or other depending to which ethnic group the belong to. Moreover for some ethnic groups without any region associated with them they would Iive for generations in perpetual fear of being displaced. Internal displacement is product of this non sense system. And always the target of ethnic hate campaigns are the poor and weak that is wandering in every region to make ends meet and raise it’s family. While the ethnic elite celebrates in hotels and abroad using as tool mobilized inocent youth and advance their ulterior political and economic power hunger from a distance. One thing is clear no war is good for no one and when that starts not artificial regions will survive and a lot of life will be shattered and every one will be affected and outnumbering in population is not a protection against the devastation of war. My two cents is yes enshrine the cultural and language protection laws but separate those laws from human justice and equality on regards to both rights perspective and from land and resource ownership perspective. The whole ethinic based region approach defeats and contradicts from the begining basic individual rights enshrined in the Constitution. Ethinic federalism should be abolished and the Constitution should be reviewed in benefit of all citizens that live in current Ethiopia not matter what their political inclination is. It should be done not for the elite but to guarantee peace and prosperity for generation to come. And the youth should think deeply on these matters before joining any unintended and manipulated moves as they also will be tomorrow father’s, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers.

    One good solution to solve current Ethiopian issue would to make afán Oromo language a national language in pair with Amharic like other bilingual countries and abolish the ethnic region system and have a clause that enshrines all land, wealth and resource that is Ethiopia is to be shared across all Ethiopians as birthright like some countries do.

  6. Ethinic federalism and a fight for cultural survival is being used by few narrow minded elites to do ethnic cleaning by manipulating the mass on ethnic background issues for their own occult power hunger dreams. Yes there was cultural transgresión in past regimes, but that is not justification to commit in propose mass ethnic harassment and grievances between ethnic groups. Also the current ethnic demarcated regions are as arbitrary as it could have been where and when Ethiopian boundary was demarcated before and today. Nothing stands clean if one goes way back in time and all Ethiopians should have the same rights and previlages in every corner of Ethiopian territory. If the narrow minded ethnic nationalist elites really care for the well being of their own ethnic fellows they should start by acknologing that every human being is to be respected in every region no matter his background if one wants the current avkward ethnic based regions are to be maintened. Respecting the right of each individual will prolong the peace and prosperity of the supposedly hosting community. But the ethno elitist are using the right for culture and language to gain in the background land and resources for themselves. And that is wrong and even is wrong to do this grab for one ethnic group at expense of other ethnic group and specially sending innocent youth that tomorrow will be asked for the attrocity committed they may be asked for. The ethnic region system is very wrong as delivered as defacto is saying two human beings are different and has different privileges by belonging to one ethnic group or other depending to which ethnic group the belong to. Moreover for some ethnic groups without any region associated with them they would Iive for generations in perpetual fear of being displaced. Internal displacement is product of this non sense system. And always the target of ethnic hate campaigns are the poor and weak that is wandering in every region to make ends meet and raise it’s family. While the ethnic elite celebrates in hotels and abroad using as tool mobilized inocent youth and advance their ulterior political and economic power hunger from a distance. One thing is clear no war is good for no one and when that starts not artificial regions will survive and a lot of life will be shattered and every one will be affected and outnumbering in population is not a protection against the devastation of war. My two cents is yes enshrine the cultural and language protection laws but separate those laws from human justice and equality on regards to both rights perspective and from land and resource ownership perspective. The whole ethinic based region approach defeats and contradicts from the begining basic individual rights enshrined in the Constitution. Ethinic federalism should be abolished and the Constitution should be reviewed in benefit of all citizens that live in current Ethiopia not matter what their political inclination is. It should be done not for the elite but to guarantee peace and prosperity for generation to come. And the youth should think deeply on these matters before joining any unintended and manipulated moves as they also will be tomorrow father’s, mothers, grandfathers and grandmothers.

    One good solution to solve current Ethiopian issue would be to make afán Oromo language a national language in pair with Amharic like other bilingual countries and abolish the ethnic region system and have a clause that enshrines all land, wealth and resource that is in Ethiopia is to be shared across all Ethiopians as birthright like some countries do

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