By Robele Ababya, 01 September 2012
The moment to end tyranny and terrorism
The moment has come to end tyranny in Ethiopia and beyond with the inglorious departure of a tyrant Meles Zenawi that has been trading in the name of the valiant people of Tigray and hoodwinking western powers as a democrat sworn to bring stability to the Horn of Africa when in fact he has been doing the opposite in view of his records of atrocious heinous crimes including genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes et al. His departure for good is a most welcome omen for the dawn of the oasis of peace and tranquility in sight pervading the entire Horn of Africa region where extremists like Al Shaba shall be no more and dictators will have no place.
The United States and its allies on the war on terror should now be party in the enabling of the aspiration of the Ethiopian people to usher in a new era of democracy that they have been craving for centuries. It is morally and legally noble to be on the side of the Ethiopian people without reservation in order to forge a true alliance with their right cause to end 21 years of tyranny and intimidation on their soil and vanquish act of terrorism beyond Ethiopia’s border in Somalia.
Condescending attitude of TPLF leaders
The diehard Stalinists within the remaining top TPLF leaders after the demise of Zenawi are hell-bent on preserving and continuing the gruesome legacy of their master. This is a pipe dream in the 21st century that is ushering in the burial of all dictators. In order to achieve their goal the diehards will thoroughly depend on the army and security forces left behind by their master.
The condescending attitude of TPLF leaders will dominate the EPRDF for lack of trust on the part of the former for the others in the coalition. So the opposition should be braced to face the generals and colonels holding 96+% top positions in the defense and security structure fined tuned by and made accountable to its sole architect the late Zenawi.
The elaborate state-sponsored mourning for the late tyrant is a sore in the eye of Ethiopians made a tool of the brutal ruling regime in contempt of the people it has been misruling with iron fist for the last 21 years. The overblown drama will surely backfire in days to come ushering the demise of the TPLF structure; the 5.7 million cadres will run in disarray; the defense and security forces will side with the people as required by the constitution.
As I said in my article title “Imploding TPLF powerhouse built on sand”: “It is unfortunate that the illegitimate regime in Addis Ababa has been unable to emulate the enviable example of Ghana of effecting smooth transfer of power promptly and hold a decent state burial to its President; instead the ruthless TPLF party chose to copycat the North Korean example to elaborately glorify the undeserving former tyrant Meles Zenawi.”
The army is made to believe that it has lost its Dear Commander-in-Chief; it is unprecedented in the world where soldiers in grand uniform are displayed weeping for their supreme commander. Is this going to be a tolerable tradition? The farce drama is a make-believe futile effort to continue the Stalinist-style brutal governance in Ethiopia.
History attests to the fact that “The gigantic former USSR collapsed and its satellite communist states followed suit; the Derg regime that was heavily dependent on these countries was ousted from power by the TPLF assisted by the western powers as a retribution for Mengistu’s alliance with the Communist Block. Here then is a lesson to learn and warning to heed for the top TPLF leaders; their powerhouse built on sand is crumbling and they know it too. They must therefore surrender to the Ethiopian people in peace in order to avert internecine carnage and bloodshed so that history will be kind to them.”
A lesson in history to the TPLF defense and security forces
Emperor Menilik II was hesitant of establishing a standing regular army because of the expenses involved and fear of abuses soldiers may inflict on civilians. The Monarch, as a consequence of His decision, had to mobilize an all militia army to fight the Italian invaders for the Battle of Adwa at which he scored a glorious victory.
But in view of sophisticated advances made in warfare underpinned by modern military machines engendered by rapidly growing science and technology an all militia army was no longer tenable. So Emperor Haile Selassie I opened the first Military Training Center at Holota heralding the advent of a standing army. But the effort was thwarted by the Italian Fascist invasion of 1935 and the few batches of graduates were of little significance to the war.
The Emperor made His top priority to build the Ethiopian armed forces immediately after His triumphant return to His capital, Addis Ababa. In a nutshell the Imperial saw the growth of the Ground Force, the Air Force and the Navy under His tight grip as Commander-in-Chief. The British were in charge of training at the Military Training Center at Holota; Swedish officers were in charge of training the elite Imperial Body Guard; Cadets at the Harar Military Academy were being trained by Indian officers; the Navy was developed with the help of Norwegian naval officers; Air Force personnel were trained by the Swedish Royal Officers at first until the United States Air Force introduced jet fighter and military transport airplanes thereafter providing logistical support and training in a wide field of specializations. In all fairness, all key positions in the upper echelon of command, commissioned and non-commissioned officers as well as rank-and-file men and women in uniform were filled by Ethiopians. The manpower strength of the Armed Forces was 33,000 men and women in uniform and 7,000 civilians (a total of 40,000) – which made a quantum leap by at least ten fold during the Derg regime that lost the civil war with TPLF almost entirely because its Commander-in-Chief fled to Zimbabwe leaving it in the lurch
The TPLF regime dismantled the Derg army and gave military equipment to Eritrea’s Isaias Afewerqui thus leaving Ethiopia defenseless as seen at the outbreak of 1998 – 2000 war forcing TPLF regime to beg ex-Derg soldiers to engage in the fight against Eritrea. They have now amassed … soldiers reportedly on the payroll of a foreign power.
What Ethiopia lacked and still does is resident Command and Staff Schools or universities where military culture and traditions prosper over centuries as can be seen in western democracies. This deficiency was well understood and appreciated by the Emperor who was thinking seriously as His next action to establish it and complete his task of building the Ethiopia Armed Forces.
The Emperor did a far better job of building a truly national army than His predecessors or successors Mengistu or Zenawi; but coward Mengistu destroyed despite his rhetoric to put in place an invincible force against any threat; Zenawi’s TPLF agazi forces ruthlessly kills citizens and is no more than a puppet on the payroll of a foreign power.
Passionate call on the TPLF Army and security organs
So, after so much toil and incalculable expenditure incurred in terms of manpower, money and material resources Ethiopia does not yet have an independent army accountable to the people. Everything has to be redone! This the most golden time for you to be on the side of the Ethiopian people and make history in engendering an enduring era of peace and tranquility in Ethiopia and beyond her borders. Give a stern warning to the top leaders in the TPLF hierarchy to respect the constitution that Meles Zenawi has been routinely breaking.
Call by the AEUP for an all-inclusive national conference
The call in caption is a noble one albeit it came late. The Amharic version is comprehensive and very well articulated exposing the misdeeds and heinous crimes of the TPLF regime. It underlines the need for a peaceful blood less change in order to avert draconian cost of violence. It calls for the replacement of TPLF by a National Council; and the holding of the conference in Ethiopia. It makes a passionate call on the TPLF defense and security forces to be on the side of the people in their quest for peaceful change. I believe that genuine opposition parties and civic organizations at home and in the Diaspora should take the call seriously.
LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!!!
Release all political prisoners including Andualem Aragie, Eskinder Nega, Reyot Alemu gn et al