Yilma Bekele — You know you are going to have the ride of your life. Wear your helmet, Strap on your seat belt, make sure your insurance is current and sit back baby, because you never know what is around the corner. Good old Meles is driving this bus. Our fearless leader is not bound by such constraints as gravity, the law of physics, the law of nature, or the simple everyday common sense. This dictator marches to his own drummer.
The last three weeks he has been unbound. Part of it is to assert his manhood after the New York Times report regarding his wife’s behavior during the G7 dinner in Pittsburgh. The strong man of Africa was put in, shall we say in a very unfavorable situation. For a person that relies on his balls to make his herd follow him off the cliff that is not good. It just was not a pleasant experience. His wife did to him what he does to his TPLF, ANDM, OPDO blah, blah domestic animals revolving around him. Thus the last two weeks gave him a chance to resurrect his smart alecky, all knowing persona. As usual the Ethiopian people were the victims of his delusional outlook, and his incoherent take on life.
What did he do? Let us start with his opinion regarding the acute danger he has placed our ancient country. International Crisis Group (ICG) after extensive research came up with the following conclusion.
“Donors must convince Ethiopia to improve current standards of governance and promote democratic reform or risk a future wave of violence and further destabilization of the Horn of Africa,” Their conclusion stated that “Ethnic federalism has dampened conflict, but rather increased competition amongst groups fighting for land, natural resources, boundaries and government budgets,”
Who is ICG and why are they meddling in our affairs is a good question? In its own words the ICG is ‘the world’s leading independent, non-partisan, source of analysis and advice to governments, and intergovernmental bodies like the United Nations, European Union and World Bank, on the prevention and resolution of deadly conflict.’ The key words here are ‘non-partisan and independent….with a highly professional staff acting as the world’s eyes and ears for impending conflicts, and with a highly influential board that could mobilize effective action from the world’s policymakers.’. Among many other testimonials given on its behalf listen to the following. Former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan (‘a global voice of conscience, and a genuine force for peace’); former U.S. President Bill Clinton (‘in the most troubled corners of the world, the eyes, the ears and the conscience of the global community’)
Their main goal is to prevent conflict. The idea is that decision makers will heed their advice and take measures to resolve the situation before it becomes a crisis. They ring the early warning bells before a crisis engulfs a country. That is what they did regarding the disastrous scenario unfolding in our country.
Ato Melese’s response is:
“Some people have too many billions of dollars to spend and they feel that dictating how developing countries manage their affairs is their God-given right,” he said late on Wednesday. “We have only contempt for the ICG.”
Thus our one and only leader viewed the group of dedicated individuals working on behalf of the common good with ‘contempt’. This kind language is not expected from a ‘head of state’. This kind of insult not based on fact or reality is not the hallmark of a rational brain at work. Ato Meles said ‘billions’ of dollars whereas the ICG website (http://www.crisisgroup.org/home/index.cfm?id=208&l=1) shows their budget to be a mere fifteen million with a transparent breakdown of where their funds come from. All they said was based on a scientific analysis, early experience they see trouble brewing in Ethiopia due to the policy of the TPLF regime.
Guess who Ato Meles is contemptuous of, here is the list:
Crisis Group’s Board is co-chaired by Lord (Christopher) Patten, formerly EU Commissioner for External Relations, Governor of Hong Kong and UK Cabinet Minister; and by Ambassador Thomas Pickering, former U.S. Ambassador to the UN, Russia, India, Israel, Jordan, El Salvador and Nigeria and Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs, and former Senior Vice President for International Relations at Boeing. Crisis Group’s President and CEO has been, since July 2009, Louise Arbour, former UN High Commissioner for Human Rights and Chief Prosecutor for the International Criminal Tribunals for the former Yugoslavia and for Rwanda. She succeeded Gareth Evans, former Foreign Minister of Australia (1988-96) and a member of many international panels and commissions, who served as President between January 2000 and July 2009.
All are persons of distinction. They are recognized planet wide for being dedicated public servants. None have reason to harbor ill feelings towards our country. Their warning is a call for our leaders to reflect on the path they have chosen to travel. Their advice should not be taken lightly. It is considered rude to slander such a document prepared painstakingly. I am sure it went thru plenty of reviews before the director signed it off. Plenty of experts were involved gathering the data and interpreting the findings. Their conclusion is cause for consern.
You would think any responsible government would show alarm and set up an all encompassing working group to identify the problem and devise means to avoid a disaster. Wasn’t Ato Meles himself who was crying regarding the specter of ‘interhamwe’ the last election? Isn’t Kilil policy is a recipe for disaster? Haven’t the rest of us been warning about that? Kilil policy has never worked in any part of the world. Kilil policy is to divide and conquer not to foster unity and love. Kilil is a recipe for civil war.
Before we are done digesting this pointless twaddle that wants to pass as a weighty statement Ato Meles dives head on into some other area that has been the concern of the Ethiopian population and our foreign friends. The issue is the age-old famine and the gruesome pictures that emerge. There is no question that millions of our people are in dire need of food. All international agencies such as UNICEF, Oxfam and others have been warning about the impending crisis. It is here; that it is going to happen and our people are going to die is not refutable. The question is how are we going to mitigate this disaster facing us?
Rather than ringing the warning bells louder, gathering his people and the humanitarian organizations in one big tent and using his office to lead the charge against the scourge, our fearless leader decided to insult and demean the messenger. Instead of showing concern and begging for forgiveness for exposing his own people to this man made calamity Ato Meles decided to approach the issue by pointing his dirty finger at those who are working hard to help.
Thus from Arusha, Tanzania where he was meeting his other African despots this is what the dictator said about the plight of our people, and the aid organizations:
“It is a huge industry, and this industry are actors who have their own views on this condition. They sell food aid because they can sell it above the market price. They get some rent for it,” he said. “It is to their benefit and their advantage. They are selling their food where food is scarce. The same with those who are transporting food in their ships. And those truckers who get it from the ports to the consumer areas. People take quite a chunk of the benefits from this.”… “Those people have their own ideology, their own goals, their own agenda,” said Mr. Zenawi. “Therefore, with the famine and drought conditions there are actors who mushroom within this condition and we should see how they work. The number of beneficiaries at the ground level are evaluated according to the needs of these actors of the food aid industry.”
Cute isn’t it? Even if you take this statement at its face value it is sort of a weird outlook, don’t u think? They say capitalism is all about supply and demand. Thus according to him the huge aid industry is supplying the food at profit but isn’t it true then Ato Meles is creating the demand? Instead of bitching about the so-called ‘actors’ shouldn’t he evaluate his bankrupt economic policy that is enabling the suppliers to be rich at our expense? If only Ato Meles’s leadership in the last eighteen years had improved the economic well being of his people there wouldn’t be famine in Ethiopia.
So what is this gibberish about ‘actors’ ‘rent’ and ideology? What exactly is he trying to say? Is he saying ‘my voodoo economic claptrap has created this human catastrophe thus shut up and give me your food’? Is that it? He actually said they are exaggerating the number of starving people in Ethiopia. I would say that is a sick mentality. I believe one starving Ethiopian is one too many. Now they have come up with new terms to refer to famine. Some call it ‘mal nutrition’. What ever it is, the bottom line is people die. When it comes to children those that are mal nourished in their early developmental phase the deficiencies are recognized to have the potential for permanent adverse effects on learning and behavior. Simply put permanent mental retardation is what awaits them.
Famine is not our middle name. Our beautiful highland country is so fertile that we used to be called the future ‘bread basket’ of the Middle East. All you got to do is look at the physical map of Ethiopia. We got water flowing out to east to Somalia, south to Kenya and west to the Sudan and Egypt. Water is more precious than oil and gold. Without water there would be no life on planet Earth. Our Ethiopia is one fountain of water. We have this clue les and mentally unstable individuals in charge and all they think about is staying in power, bullying the population and amassing money. The only scheme at work in Ethiopia is the one intended to make Meles and company wealthy. Nothing more.
In the words of Farida Waziri, executive chairman of Nigeria’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission “The extent of aggrandizement and gluttonous accumulation of wealth that I have observed suggests to me that some people are psychologically unsuitable for public office. We have observed people amassing public wealth to a point of madness or some form of obsessive or compulsive psychiatric disorder.” Our leaders need help big time. We have to save them from themselves. The Ethiopian bus with eighty million passengers is going to hell, and look who is driving the bus with a wide smile for all to see, it is none other than our fearless Prime Minster for life his excellency Ato Meles Zenawi. Pleasant trip my friends and please don’t forget to write.
Our leader Judge Bertukan Mideksa has been in Woyane jail two hundred ninety four days. She is in solitary confinement. That is torture. Please sign a petition to Mr. Louis Michel European Union Commissioner for Development and Humanitarian Aid to use all diplomatic means for the freedom of Birtukan Mideksa. His email is Louis.Michel@ec.europa.eu, download here a sample letter. For details click on amnesty.nl.
The writer, Yilma Bekele can be reached at: email@example.com