EthioPoint: Ethiopians Analysis | Research Articles

A Tale of Tall Tales and “Ethiopia’s Diplomat-in-Chief”

50 mins read

By Alemayehu G. Mariam

almariamWhat does a malaria researcher know about the art and science of diplomacy? Or for that matter the difference between telling the truth and telling lies? Or condoning or condemning lies? These are not trick questions.
Tedros Adhanom is the “foreign minister” in the Thugtatroship of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (T-TPLF). In the official “Ministry of Foreign Affairs Biography of the Minister”, Adhanom is described  as “an internationally recognized malaria researcher.” Adhanom is said to have received a “Master’s degree in immunology of infectious diseases from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and a doctorate in community health from the University of Nottingham (UK) in 2000.” In 2005, the late Meles Zenawi appointed Adhanom “minister of health”. In 2012, following Meles’ death,  he was appointed “minister of foreign affairs”.   A malaria researcher-cum-“health minister” meteorically rose to became that country’s top diplomat literally overnight, a political metamorphosis that could only occur in the “Republic of Dystopia Ethiopia”!
The duping of Tedros Adhanom by a 14 year-old girl in the Land of Living Lies
Over the past couple of weeks, Adhanom has been  a central character in a drama of farcical juvenile deception involving   a 14 year-old Australian girl of Ethiopian heritage who came out of nowhere, sat with Adhanom at a press conference, and offered to spend a A$20 million prize she had won in Australia building schools in Ethiopia. That is at least the official narrative. To any reasonable person, such charitable magnanimity by a teenager would sound like a fish story. Indeed, it is the kind of improbable story one would expect to find on the satirical webpages of The Onion or which last November humorously reported the “Ark of Covenant stolen by Ethiopian church authorities” causing disbelief, alarm, panic, anger and deep disappointment among many unsuspecting Ethiopians.
On March 2, 2015, Abebe Gellaw, the young Ethiopian journalist in exile, known for his relentless exposes of corruption, scandal, fake degrees and abuses of power by the T-TPLF, published an investigative piece on the duping of Adhanom by the teenager. [Note: I am intentionally not naming the teenager sucked into the Adhanom  scandal because I do not want to aid in her condemnation and demonization in the media. I also do not believe a 14 year-old girl could dream up or concoct an elaborate $20 million dollar scam entirely by herself. I shall refer to her hereinafter only as the “young lady” or “teenager” because I truly believe she is herself a duping victim by Adhanom and his henchmen who coached her to lie for their own cheap propaganda.]
The young lady during  the press conference with Adhanom said,  “I won a competition of 20 million Australian dollars so I came here with the government of Ethiopia and Australia to begin my project and structures in the area and the land.” 
A “Ministry of Foreign Affairs” spokesman told the rest of her story.

The main thing is that she used to participate in clubs (in Australia).  One of the clubs she led worked in human affairs. In that club, she and other club members exchanged ideas about how to help others. The main idea she raised was how to give others an opportunity for learning. When people heard that (in Australia), supporters put together the award (of 20 million dollars). This happened in 2014. When she came home for a visit, as you have heard it from her, she wants to build a school in the Gara Muleta area in Harer with the award of 20 million dollars she got.  She will begin her work soon with the cooperation of the responsible authorities.

How did the “Foreign Ministry” find out about the A$20 million awardee? The spokesman explained:

<span “font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;=”” font-family:”calibri”,”sans-serif”;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” simsun;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;=”” mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;mso-ansi-language:en-us;mso-fareast-language:=”” zh-cn;mso-bidi-language:ar-sa”=””>When the young lady came , we saw her documentation. She came to us through her family. Our honorable [foreign] minister learned about her and said it is necessary to speak and encourage her so that she can be a role model to other young people. So he called and talked to her. He encouraged her in a very strong way. He assured her if there is support the government can give her, she will get all the support she needs.

The problem with the “$20 million prize” is that it never existed. The teenager never received such a prize.  It is completely bogus. For the “honorable minister” to believe an eight-grader would travel to Ethiopia from Australia to donate A$20 million to build schools, he must also believe in Santa Claus traveling from the North Pole in his sleigh of flying reindeer on Christmas eve to hand out toys and goodies to children all over the world. To put it simply, the “20 million award” is as phony as T-TPLF’s claim of “11 percent digit economic growth rate” in Ethiopia over the past decade  (which, by the way, I proved beyond a shadow doubt to be a lie, a damned lie and statislie).
Abebe Gellaw’s investigative report methodically dismantled  Adhanom’s $20 million caper. Abebe contacted the elementary school principal where the alleged $20 million teen awardee attended. The principal  of that school said she “was quite mystified” and had no knowledge of any competition or prize for 20 million.  Abebe contacted Baden Powell College in Melbourne, Australia which allegedly organized the fundraising. The college denied “any involvement in the bizarre affair” (the college itself runs on  A$12 million annual budget).  The Manager of Rotary International in Australia which allegedly donated the money told Abebe that all of the branch clubs in the country had “raised only $A 5.6 million dollars”; and it would be “an outrageous amount of money” to give to a 14-year old school girl under any circumstances.  The Government of Australia  denied any knowledge of a $20 million prize and further clarified that it does not give education funds to the Ethiopian “government”.

So, where did the 20 million dollar lie come from?

According to Abebe, the young lady “was actually coached to lie on camera by [Adhanom’s] PR team and advisers  hours before her televised joint press conference with him”.  Abebe reported that the PR effort was designed as a propaganda coup “in Gara Muleta, Eastern Ethiopia, a region well-known for its resistance against the oppressive rule of the TPLF.” According to Abebe, “The minister [Adhanom], his PR team led by Tewolde Mulugeta, the Ethiopian embassy in Australia as well as OPDO officials including the vice president of Oromia, Abdulaziz Mohammed, were involved in the ill-fated scheme (scam).”
Once Abebe broke the story, Adhanom mounted a pathetic counter-offensive on his Facebook page on March 7 effectively dumping the blame on the teenager who “lied by mistake.” Adhanom’s  Facebook explanation is  shocking as it is ludicrous. His logic was a textbook example of reductio ad absurdum (reduction to absurdity).  Adhanom reasoned children, including teenagers, are innocent. Children lie. Children lie not from malice but from mistakes. Children’s mistaken lies are innocent lies. I trust children. Because children’s lies are innocent lies, I prefer to believe them. If believing the innocent lies of children is a mistake, I prefer to make that mistake.
Adhanom wrote on his Facebook page with feigned magnanimity:

<span “font-size:12.0pt;=”” mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman””=””>As you know the young lady is a growing child. I hope you will agree with me that children are innocent and without malice. If they make a mistake it originates from innocence not maliciousness. Because of this, I prefer to believe what children tell me. If it is a mistake to trust children, I prefer to make that mistake. Therefore, I still prefer to believe the young lady. We should not write inappropriate things and hurt the young lady. Her planned project is blessed. I am strongly confident  her project will be successful. The main thing now is to encourage and support [the young lady] her.  

Of course, there is no $20 million project. It is all bogus. It was all a PR stunt just like the T-TPLF’s “double-digit growth for a decade” has been a PR stunt for years. Adhanom did not even have the moral courage to admit on his Facebook page that  the $20 million prize was a complete fraud and that he  “had been took, hoodwinked, bamboozled and led stray” by a teenager (unless of course he orchestrated it himself).   Perhaps we should not be surprised. I am still waiting for the T-TPLF to acknowledge in public that its claim of 11 percent annual growth over the past decade is a lie, a damned lie and a statislie.
Aye! Aye! Aye! Aye!
I believe the expression is, “It is as easy as taking candy from a baby”.  A “baby” allegedly duping the top-diplomat-soon-to-become-prime-minister into believing she has a $20 million dollar candy to distribute is unheard of.  Impossible!  What is scary is the fact that if Adhanom could be duped by a 14-year old teen telling tall tales about a $20 million prize, what could the horned, goateed, forked- and silver-tongued, two-faced, double-talking, double-dealing, dissimulating and duplicitous diplomats  do to him? Run circles singing, “Ring-a-ring o’ roses, A pocket full of posies,” before they strip him  of the shirt on his back? All of Adhanom’s diplomatic adversaries must be rubbing their palms and drooling at the thought of taking him to the cleaners. After all, getting a deal from Adhanom must be as easy as taking candy from a baby.

How could Adhanom, the top diplomat of Ethiopia, be so naïve, gullible  or witless to believe a teenager who would walk into his office and sell him a cock and bull story about a $20 million largesse she has to spend for school construction?  How could he be duped so easily? Does he not know as the country’s  “diplomat-in-chief” that the art of diplomacy is fundamentally about the art of lying for one’s country? Isn’t diplomacy about not telling the truth for tactical and strategic advantage?  On second thought, I will take that back. In the Land of Living Lies, the art of life is living a lie. 

Of course, Adhanom is doubly wrong, on the facts and in his logic: Children lie like a rug. (This is  not to suggest in any way that the young lady in this scandal lied. There is evidence to believe she was coached to make the fantastic claims.) Those of us in the business of separating “lies” from “truth”, at least in the legal and forensic contexts, know that children lie like a cheap Chinese watch. It is no lie that children under the age of three are incapable of  distinguishing “lies” from “truth”. Until the age of seven, some children have difficulties differentiating between fantasy and reality. They begin to tell little white lies. By age ten, children develop a clear understanding of what it means to lie and to tell the truth; and when they lie, they lie like Pinocchio, the wooden puppet who had to tell the truth to become a real boy.  Over the age of 10, children know not only when they lie outright and are stretching the truth, they are also capable of fabricating juicy falsehoods and half-truths, embellishing the truth and even telling elaborate tall tales.
What has happened to the young lady in this absurd $20 million fiasco reminds me of the 1979 comical animation adventure, Puff the Magic Dragon in the Land of Living Lies. In that animation, Puff, the Dragon, forcibly takes a little girl called Sandy, to the Land of the Living Lies, where she meets such famous fibbers as Pinocchio and the boy who cried wolf:

Sandy: Puff, look!
Puff: That is the famous purple cow that no one has ever seen.
Sandy: And the pink elephant.
Puff: That some see too often.
Sandy: Who is that?
Puff: Kilroy. Always was there, and never was anywhere.
Puff: Don’t you think it’s odd that I, a dragon, should eat homework for lunch? Of course it’s odd, for it never happened. It was a falsehood, a canard, a prevarication. Oh, why beat about the bush. It was a simple lie told by a little girl named Sandy.
Sandy: Oh, those are silly lies.
Puff:  No, those are fanciful lies. And harmless fantasy’s OK. And it’s fun, too. I mean, I’m part-fantasy.

It seems to me that young lady in the Adhanom scam was taken from Australia to the true Land of Living Lies and forced to meet Adhanom and his underlings.  She is told to tell fanciful lies  about a non-existent $20 million prize that no one has ever seen. She is coached to talk about a pink (or white) elephant school to be built with a $20 million prize money.
Of course, for the middle school teen, claiming to have won a $20 million prize is no different than reporting to her teacher her dog (dragon) ate her homework. But like her eaten homework, the $20 million prize is a falsehood, a canard, a prevarication. Adhanom and his crew knew the prize was a total fabrication, but they let the young lady talk about it. How is it possible they did not know? How? When a teenager walks off the street and tells the country’s top diplomat that she has $20 million to spend for school construction, what would any reasonable person in the world do? Put the teen  on national television and hector the public to learn from her generosity? How difficult could it be for the “foreign minister’s” office to call the Australian Embassy, the elementary school, the Rotary Club and Baden Powell College for verification of this manifestly absurd and fantastic claim? If an exiled journalist could investigate and discredit this fraud by making a few phone calls, why couldn’t  Adhanom’s office?  The suggestion that a teenager walked off the street and duped Adhanom simply does not pass the smell test. It was an inside job as Abebe Gellaw reported.
What adds insult to injury is Adhanom’s ludicrous efforts to beat around the bush on Facebook. “Children lie from mistakes.”  Children’s lies are innocent and harmless. The  young lady did not make a mistake or lie innocently or harmlessly. She told a tall tale that she was told to tell by the “top diplomat” and his henchmen.  Adhanom insincere Facebook efforts to appear magnanimous by condoning lies as innocent and harmless mistakes is  simply neauseating and an insult to our intelligence.  “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive,” said Sir Walter Scott.
Adhanom made no effort to explain what really happened in the $20 million caper. If he did not know about it, was he  willfully ignorant?  He took no responsibility for a $20 million lie he perpetrated on the people of Ethiopia on regime-owned media.  Adhanom did not order an investigation into the colossal hoax?  He made no effort to correct the situation by issuing an explanation to the media.
Even more outrageous is the fact that he took no responsibility for putting the teenager between the devil and the deep blue sea. He did not care that this young lady will be remembered by many of her peers and others for a very long time (for as long as the internet exists) as the teen “con artist”, “hustler” and “flimflammer”.  He threw the young lady right under a speeding bus and let her take the entire blame for the $20 million scam.  He left her out twisting in the cyberwind.  He did not apologize to her or the Ethiopian public for orchestrating such a bush-league canard.  He tried to gloss over the whole scam by cleverly labeling the young lady as an “innocent  liar.”  What does such malevolent conduct say about  the man? The top diplomat? The “foreign minister” soon to walk into the “prime minister’s” office and kick out the lackey pretender warming up the throne?
I am appalled and outraged by Adhanom’s reprehensible conduct. What is the message he is sending  out to Ethiopia’s children and young people?  What kind of an example is he setting for them? “Children, it is OK to lie because when you lie, you are just making a mistake.” Is he telling them, “Lies are OK as long as they are innocent.” Is he teaching them, “$20 million innocent lies are not morally wrong because children must be trusted”? What kind of a role model is he for young Ethiopians? Does he even try to look at this fiasco from the perspective of Ethiopian children and young people? He wanted the young lady to be a role model for Ethiopia’s youth. What kind of a role model has he created now that the $20 million prize has been shown to be a scam? Does Adhanom even care that the role model he has created is now tarred and feathered as a “con artist”?
Does Adhanom have the capacity for moral reasoning? If it is OK to lie as children, why is it wrong to lie as adults? Of course, in the Land of Living Lies it is true that lying is perfectly OK. What is inexcusable and reprehensible is the soon-to-become “prime minister’s” glorification of lying as an innocent mistake to save his own hide from public ridicule, embarrassment and condemnation. That is an unforgivable moral crime.
Moral leaders never encourage or condone lying by their young people. Moral leaders will never tolerate and excuse young liars as “innocent liars”.  Moral leaders never excuse lies as misspoken truths.  It is wrong for a child to lie about not doing his or her homework because the dog ate it. It is also not right for an organization that purports to be a “government” to lie about “double-digit economic growth” when it knows that is a lie, a damned lie and a statislie.  We teach our children at home and in school to be honest, honorable, virtuous, sincere and trustworthy. Such moral values obviously  do not exist in Thugistan or Planet T-TPLF.
I have always said that the T-TPLF leadership follows the maxim of  propaganda Reich Minister Joseph Goebbels: “If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State.”
Adhanom and the T-TPLF have taken Goebbels  teachings to the highest levels of mendacity. They took a big bet by telling a BIG $20 million lie and lost, thanks to the dogged investigative reporting of Abebe Gellaw. They told a BIG LIE about Ethiopia’s “double digit economic growth for a decade” and got caught. So I am going to make them an offer they can’t refuse: If they stop telling lies about “double digit growth”, “$20 million prizes”,
elections”  and stop inventing new tall tales every week, I will stop telling the truth about them every Monday!
The thugplomacy of the T-TPLF and its  “diplomat-in-chief” 
I have followed Adhanom’s diplomatic  escapades for a while now. I have cringed watching his videotaped  public appearances and shaken my head in disbelief reading his speeches. His shallowness is embarrassingly palpable. His speeches lack substance and coherence. He has a distinct proclivity to frame complex issues in worn out and left over phrases from the days of student activism of his late boss. He manifests little understanding of international diplomacy. He manifests no evidence of having even an elementary understanding of international law, treaties and conventions. I will present two examples to demonstrate my points.
ICC trial of Uhuru Kenyatta and William Ruto
<span “font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:”calibri”,”sans-serif”;=”” mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:simsun;mso-fareast-theme-font:=”” minor-fareast;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;=”” mso-ansi-language:en-us;mso-fareast-language:zh-cn;mso-bidi-language:ar-sa”=””>During the African Union (AU)  debate over the trial of Kenyan President Uhuru Kenyatta and  his deputy William Ruto at the International Criminal Court in October 2013, Adhanom coordinated a threatened mass walkout of African countries from the Rome Statute if charges were not dropped against the two suspects.  At a special meeting of the AU, Adhanom declared in his opening remarks

<span “font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;=”” font-family:”calibri”,”sans-serif”;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” simsun;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;=”” mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:=”” 0in;padding:0in;mso-ansi-language:en-us;mso-fareast-language:=”” zh-cn;mso-bidi-language:ar-sa”=””>[T]he [International Criminal] Court has transformed itself into a political instrument targeting Africa and Africans. This unfair and unjust treatment is totally unacceptable and that is why we have been expressing our serious concerns against the ICC…. [O]ur request to the Court to allow the President of Kenya and his Deputy to choose the sessions they wish to attend in accordance with their constitutional obligations and duties has not received a positive response… We do not want this simplistic suspect/victim approach destabilize Kenya and our region…  The immunities of Heads of State cannot be taken lightly and our meeting should come out very clearly on this issue…. [T]here is no doubt this issue has wider ramifications for Kenya and Africa as a whole…. Perhaps, it should be emphasized that the way this issue is being handled by the ICC has serious implications on Africa’s relations with the ICC… We should not allow the ICC to continue to treat Africa and Africans in a condescending manner. 

<span “font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;=”” font-family:”calibri”,”sans-serif”;mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” simsun;mso-fareast-theme-font:minor-fareast;mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;=”” mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;mso-ansi-language:en-us;mso-fareast-language:=”” zh-cn;mso-bidi-language:ar-sa”=””>In his “Closing Remarks” Adhanom was jubilant over nothing. His   <span “font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:”calibri”,”sans-serif”;=”” mso-ascii-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-fareast-font-family:”times=”” roman”;=”” mso-hansi-theme-font:minor-latin;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” color:#0d2980;border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;=”” padding:0in;mso-ansi-language:en-us;mso-fareast-language:zh-cn;mso-bidi-language:=”” ar-sa”=””>His efforts to coordinate a a Treat-cide” of the Rome State failed completely. But he went on to claim:

<span “font-size:12.0pt;=”” mso-fareast-font-family:”times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;=”” color:black;border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;=”” padding:0in”=””>[W]e have rejected the double standard that the ICC is applying in dispensing international justice. [W]e have once again clearly and unambiguously expressed our serious disappointment against the ICC and its selective approach vis a vis Africa. Particularly, we are deeply troubled by the fact that a sitting <span “font-size:12.0pt;=”” mso-fareast-font-family:”times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;=”” color:black;border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;=”” padding:0in”=””>Head of State and his Deputy are for the first time being tried in an international court, which infringes on the sovereignty of Kenya…

<span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;color:black;=”” border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;padding:0in”=””>There are factual, legal and logical problems with Adhanom’s analysis of the Kenyatta-Ruto ICC prosecution and surrounding circumstances. First, there is not a shred of evidence to support his contention that the ICC “has transformed itself into a political instrument targeting Africa and Africans.” There is not an iota of evidence to show the ICC has treated “Africa and Africans in a condescending manner.” None!
<span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;color:black;=”” border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;padding:0in”=””>Adhanom wanted to win that argument by demonizing the ICC. He appealed to pre-existing biases and mindsets among Africans and others and emotionally rally public opinion to accept his point of view that white ICC judges and prosecutors are effectively re-imposing their colonial rule through the ICC.  The fact of the matter is that Adhanom was brazenly pulling out the race card to name and shame the white ICC. (The fact is the ICC is racially,  geographically and gender diverse.) In fact, his titular boss, Hailemariam Desalegn, publicly claimed the ICC was “race hunting” in Africa. (I felt so ashamed and personally humiliated by that statement. After 60 years of independence, African leaders had to resort to the race card! What a low-down shame!)

There is also no evidence that the ICC has dealt with any African suspects in an “<span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:”times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”;color:black;border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;=”” padding:0in”=””>unfair” manner or shown them “unjust treatment”. The subtext of Adhanom’s argument is that the ICC is abusing and maltreating African suspects in crimes against humanity prosecutions because they are black. Not unlike the colonial past, the white ICC judges and prosecutors are  now lynching African leaders in court. Of course, that is pure nonsense! The ICC is prosecuting African criminals against humanity for the same reasons the notorious American bank robber Willie Sutton robbed banks.  “Because that’s where the money is!” <span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:”times=”” roman”;=”” mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;color:black;border:none=”” 1.0pt;=”” mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;padding:0in”=””>The ICC has focused its prosecutorial efforts on Africa because that’s where the vast majority of the suspects are given the fact the Rome Statute applies only to <span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:”times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”;border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;=”” padding:0in”=””>crimes committed after 2002. <span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;border:none=”” 1.0pt;=”” mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;padding:0in”=””>

<span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;color:black;=”” border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;padding:0in”=””>Adhanom’s  understanding of the ICC legal process reflects very much his own. He believes that the ICC is a kangaroo court like the T-TPLF’s which has one justice system for T-TPLF members, cronies and supports and another for all other Ethiopians.  The ICC does not maintain a double standard of prosecution for criminals against humanity. It does not create one category for “sitting heads of state” criminals against humanity and garden variety criminals against humanity.  In Adhanoms’ T-TPLF, the only time “sitting” party members are charged with a crime is when they fall out of favor. Then they are charged with “corruption”. That is how they have used the “legal process” to destroy some of their most important military leaders from the days of struggle against the Derg junta.<span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;color:black;=”” border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;padding:0in”=””> 

<span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;color:black;=”” border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;padding:0in”=””>Second, Adhanom argued to the AU that the Uhuru-Ruto defendants should attend their trial “in accordance with their constitutional obligations and duties.” He has no appreciation for the fact that the charges leveled against Kenyatta and Ruto are the most serious crimes known to humankind: crimes against, humanity, murder, rape, genocide and war crimes. It shows abysmal ignorance of the law to suggest that murderers, genociders  and others who have committed heinous crimes should be given the luxury of attending trial only when they feel like it. If that were to happen, what would it say about the ICC itself?  The IKK, the International Kangaroo Court? (But I could be persuaded to change my position on this issue. If the T-TPLF would allow all of the tens of thousands of “suspects” and “defendants” it has warehoused in its jails without trial for years to be released and attend their trials at their leisure, I would be willing to withdraw my objection.)<span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;color:black;=”” border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;padding:0in”=””>
<span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;color:black;=”” border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;padding:0in”=””>Third, Adhanom urged the  AU to  reject “this simplistic suspect/victim approach destabilize Kenya and our region…” That really gets my goat! Adhanom tried to trivialize the crimes committed by Kenyatta and Ruto. Those suspects were charged in a five count indictment under article 25(3)(a) of the Rome Statute for crimes against humanity including murder (article 7(l)(a), deportation or forcible transfer (article 7(l)(d), rape (article 7(l)(g), persecution (article 7(l)(h), and other inhumane acts (article 7(l)(k). The allegations are based on evidence shocking to the conscience and detailed in a 155-page document based on the testimony of hundreds of  witnesses<span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:”times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”;color:black;border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;=”” padding:0in”=””>.  “As many as 1,400 people died in the span of 59 days, while 600,000<span “font-size:12.0pt;=”” mso-fareast-font-family:”times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;=”” color:black;border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;=”” padding:0in”=””>people were displaced from their homes, as Kenya slipped dangerously close to outright civil war.” There is nothing “simplistic” about the deaths and destruction in Kenya following the 2007 election.
<span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;color:black;=”” border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;padding:0in”=””>Perhaps such deaths and suffering may not be a big deal for Adhanom.  Perhaps for Adhanom, like Stalin, a single death is a tragedy and 30 million a statistic. His late boss personally ordered the massacre of hundreds of people following the 2005 election in Ethiopia. He never faced prosecution. It is my personal belief based on anecdotal evidence that Kenyatta and Ruto engaged in their crimes having seen Meles get away with at least 182 murders and hundreds of attempted murders in the post-2005 election period.
<span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;color:black;=”” border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;padding:0in”=””>Fourth,  Adhanom argued at the AU that investigating and prosecuting heads of states “has wider ramifications for Kenya and Africa as a whole.”  He is spot on with that argument. Had Meles been prosecuted for the 2005 massacres by the ICC, I have no doubts the 2007 Kenya massacres would never have happened.  But <span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;color:black;=”” border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;padding:0in”=””>Adhanom misses the whole idea in the Rome Statute. The ICC was not established or designed to prosecute every thug in office who commits crimes against humanity. It aims to prosecute the most heinous offenders and offer justice to the victims while making object lessons out of them for future criminals-against-humanity-to-be.  There is no question ICC prosecutions will have a chilling effect on African leaders, dictators and warlords who commit crimes against humanity, war crimes and genocide with impunity. There is no doubt  ICC prosecutions of human rights violators in Africa will definitely cramp the styles of current dictators in power who abuse their citizens from their palaces and others who commit atrocities from their hideouts in the bush.
<span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;color:black;=”” border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;padding:0in”=””>Adhanom argued “sitting heads of states should not be prosecuted” because that violates African sovereignty. As a matter of criminal procedure, Uhuru and Ruto voluntarily submitted to ICC jurisdiction. So there is no question of sovereignty.
<span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;color:black;=”” border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;padding:0in”=””>By why shouldn’t sitting heads of African states be investigated and prosecuted for war crimes, crimes against humanity and genocide? Adhanom provides no answer, except ipsit dixit logic. Adhanom said it, therefore it is true.
<span “font-size:12.0pt;mso-fareast-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman”;mso-bidi-font-family:”times=”” roman”;color:black;=”” border:none=”” 1.0pt;mso-border-alt:none=”” 0in;padding:0in”=””>Adhanom is willfully ignorant of the fact that there are no good and bad criminals against humanity, war criminals and genociders. There is no moral or legal difference between a warlord and a head of state who commit such crimes. If one follows Adhanom’s warped logic in the context of Africa’s volatile politics, no one will ever be prosecuted. Rebel leaders and warlords who commit atrocities and seize power or are elected in rigged elections will remain free and at large for no reason other than Adhanom’s self-serving and preposterous maxim: “ Sitting Heads of State and Government should not be prosecuted while in office.” In fact, human rights violators in power will have great incentive to stay in power like Omar Bashir of Sudan for decades committing more human rights violations because being a head of state makes them untouchable, immune from legal accountability and above the law. On the other hand, what would keep rebel and militia leaders and warlords from demanding  on strictly procedural grounds that they too should be exempted from prosecution because they believe themselves to be the true leaders of a given country? 

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            The persecution of Ethiopian domestic workers in Saudi Arabia
In November 2013, when tens of thousands of Ethiopian domestic workers were being brutalized, tortured and humiliated by the Saudi Arabia regime, police and ordinary citizens, Adhanom delivered an obsequious apology to the very regime that was committing crimes against humanity on Ethiopians.  It was sickening.  At the height of the crises, Adhanom said,  “Ethiopia would like to express its respect for the decision of the Saudi Authorities and the policy of deporting illegal migrants.” It was a pathetic display of indifference, incompetence and inanity.  Adhanom confessed he was “really depressed” by the mistreatment of Ethiopians in Saudi Arabia and told off the Saudi ambassador by telling him, “It is unacceptable.” In an attempt to show how he and his regime have things under control, Adhanom said, “I would like to assure you that we are ready to receive our fellow citizens home.”
How could one “respect” the policy of another country that condones the dehumanization of its citizens? How could any person in his right mind choose the meaningless diplomatic word “unacceptable” to describe the rape, murder, mutilation, torture and lynching of one’s brothers and sisters in a foreign land? He should have been screaming bloody murder at the Saudi ambassador to stop the murder of Ethiopian domestic workers.  How does one retreat into personal “depression” and “sadness” when one’s citizens are being victimized and persecuted. How can one be so cold and lacking in basic human feeling that he is completely bankrupt of  righteous indignation and fail to express outright diplomatic outrage and fury? We are talking about life and death situations for thousands of our brothers and sisters. Well, that’s how the soon-to-become-prime-minister rolls!

<span “font-size:12.0pt;line-height:115%;mso-bidi-font-family:=”” “times=”” roman””=””>I could talk about the October 2014 fiasco involving  one of Adhanom’s thug-with-diplomatic immunity shooting at protesters on the grounds of the “Ethiopian Embassy” in Washington, D.C.  causing unprecedented diplomatic crises. In the recorded annals of the diplomatic corps in Washington, D.C., the T-TPLF thugplomat is the first individual to have used a firearm to ward off protesters from any embassy grounds. Adhanom sent that thug, a functional illiterate with no diplomatic experience, training or background to serve as a “security attache” in the most important capital in the world. Well, so much for thugplomacy and thugplomats.
On a serious note, I have my own Brooklyn Bridge for sale at rock bottom prices? I will throw in the Madison Square Garden as a bonus. Might Adhanom be interested!?!