Ginbot 7: Movement for Justice Freedom and Democracy (Ginbot7) see the EU’s recent grant of 251 Million Euros to the tyrannical regime of Meles Zenawi as a callous and regrettable act designed to sustain dictatorship in Ethiopia.
At a time when the regime in Addis is facing a chorus of condemnation from the international community for the increasingly dictatorial measures it is taking against citizens, civic organisations and communities in Ethiopia, EU’s financial support to Meles Zenawi, shows EU’s total disregard to the concerns of credible human rights agencies, a number of legislators in US and EU and the people of Ethiopia.
The European Union knows well that the surest way to development is enabling citizens to live and work in an atmosphere where their freedom and rights are respected and the rule of law and good governance are established. Seen in this context, what Ethiopians need from the EU is not handout given in the name of the poor that ultimately ends up in the pockets of corrupt officials.
To the frustration of the Ethiopian people, the European Union, a family of nations that are bound together by their faith in the power of human freedom to sustain development, peace and cooperation, has been turning a blind eye to the suppression of freedom in Ethiopia and repeatedly it has shown its willingness to shore up one of Africa’s brutal dictators.
As far as Ginbot 7 is concerned this glaring contradiction between what the EU believes to be good for its union members and what it practices in Ethiopia is a sign indicating the existing racial bias within the institution of the European Union that sees the values of freedom and democracy to be less important to Ethiopians than Europeans. This is the only explanation we can think of as to why the EU decides to hand out a grant worth 251 million Euros to the Meles regime without any precondition that demands a halt to political repression, release of political prisoners, opening up of the political space to the opposition and the establishment of the rule of law in Ethiopia.
Ginbot 7 urges the EU not to use the degrading poverty prevailing in Ethiopia as a pretext to ignore the need of Ethiopians to live freely in their own country, to use freedom as a means to drag themselves out of poverty and to stop the dehumanizing effect of being perennial recipient of handouts. The EU should be mindful of the message that it is sending to African dictators that crimes
against humanity and war crimes, which the Meles regime is accused of in Somalia and the Ogaden by credible international human rights organizations, are inconsequential in so far as the perpetrators are friendly to the West. This is the wrong message to send at this crucial time in history.
Ginbot 7 strongly urges the EU to review its practices and its recent decision to give 251 million Euros to the dictatorial regime of Meles Zenawi. Ginbot7 also calls upon the European Union to stand with the Ethiopian people in their fight for freedom, democracy and the respect of human rights.
Ginbot7: Movement for Freedom, Justice and Democracy