Ethiopia, the “North Korea of Africa” By Sophia Tesfamariam,

By Sophia Tesfamariam,

A televised tear of mourners for the late totalitarian dictator and Prime Minister of Africa’s North Korea, Meles Zenawi
A televised tear of mourners for the late totalitarian dictator and Prime Minister of Africa’s North Korea, Meles Zenawi – Picture by Tesfa News

In their attacks of countries and leadership that do not align themselves with the West, the western media and NGO community, there are two countries, Iran and North Korea, that are presented as examples of, and labeled as, “pariah states”.
It is not this author’s intention to validate the western media’s assumptions about these two nations, but if they are to use labels, they ought to call a spade a spade and label Ethiopia the “North Korea” of Africa as the label best fits the minority regime in Ethiopia more than any other country or leadership in the region. If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it must be a duck …

Unwittingly, the West has created its own “North Korea” in the Horn of Africa, an imploding country teetering into the abyss. Despite the orchestrated defamation and vilification of leaders in the region by Ethiopia’s thugocracy, and its handlers, the people of Ethiopia and the people in the region have clearly identified the “North Korea of Africa”-and the facts are there to show the uncanny resemblance in leadership’s style and governance.
Like North Korea, Ethiopia is heavily dependent on Foreign Aid with thousands of western NGOs running several development projects in the country. Its population is fed by, and 60% of its national budget is subsidized by donors. The online site Durame reported the following in its article, “ Ethiopia-Africa’s North Korea”[1]:
“…Just like the hermit kingdom, Ethiopia depends heavily on foreign aid. According to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) and the World Bank, Ethiopia received the second highest foreign assistance globally; totaling nearly 4 billion dollars. To put it in perspective, only war torn and US occupied Afghanistan receives more aid than Ethiopia…”
Aside from being staunch allies, North Korea and Ethiopia are ruled with the same oppressive and strict centralized governments and the two countries are, in fact, amongst the few nations in Africa that have close relations with North Korea. On 8 April 2007, the New York Times in its report, “Ethiopia bought arms from North Korea with U.S. assent”, Michael R. Gordon and Mark Mazzetti wrote:
“…Three months after the United States successfully pressed the United Nations to impose strict sanctions on North Korea because of that country’s nuclear test, officials in the Bush administration allowed Ethiopia to complete a secret arms purchase from Pyongyang in what appears to be a violation of the restrictions, according to senior U.S. officials…The United States allowed the arms delivery to go through in January in part because Ethiopian troops were in the midst of a military offensive against Islamic militias inside Somalia, a campaign that aided the U.S. policy …”
But not only is Ethiopia getting arms from North Korea, with the acquiescence of the United States and its allies, but it is now an open secret that North Korea is developing Ethiopia’s munitions factories such as the ones in Ambo and Gafat near Debre Zeit. Reuters described the North Korean leader’s funeral in its 28 December report[2]:
“…Video showed weeping civilians who swayed with grief and shouted “father, father” as black Lincoln and Mercedes limousines and army trucks streamed past the crowds…”
Imitation is the best form of flattery and no other leader brought the likeness of North Korea and Ethiopia home, than the late Prime Minister of Ethiopia’s funeral[3], an orchestrated event complete with white handkerchief waving, wailing crowds in the thousands. The spectacle featured on Ethiopian television for days on end was no different. An Ethiopian observer described it well saying:
“…a close scrutiny of Mao Zedong’s funeral in November 1976, clearly shows a striking similarity of Mr. Zenawi’s and Mao’s funeral. It is very difficult not to construe that Mr. Zenawi’s funeral was orchestrated from the play book of china’s communist Party. In fact, the EPRDF applied such a staged funeral with a surgical precession. One can say with absolute certainty that the mourning displayed in Ethiopia and Mr. Zenawi’s funeral is exactly the same as the mourning and the funeral that took place in china in November 1976. Such staged funerals are not unique to Mao and Meles; in fact it is common in countries where not only one party but one man ruled a nation…”
While the funeral of the North Korean leader lasted 3 hours, Meles Zenawi’s was said to be 8 hours long….
Like that of North Korea, Ethiopia’s government controlled media churned out programs complete with staged interviews to idolize the man. The most hated man in Ethiopia, the people were told, was the best thing that ever happened to them. Of course the gullible western media who have to justify their `silence as he committed genocides in Ethiopia’s Gambela, Ogaden and Oromia regions were only happy to tow the official line and join the chorus to tout him as being indispensable. Meles Zenawi’s cult of personality became a prominent part of Ethiopian culture during his reign, culminating in the extended mourning that dragged on for months after his death.
The Ethiopian and western media went to great lengths to present Meles Zenawi as an all-powerful, all-knowing leader. He is now revered, as was Kim Jong II, as being the “Great leader” etc.   One Ethiopian citizen was not impressed with the accolades and pretensions and wrote:[4]:
“…Tyrants build a system of government making themselves the center of the universe, and build personality cult to create a climate of fear. At the end, they leave a legacy that forces their people to worship them as someone holy, despite the fact, they treated their fellow citizens with contempt and ruled with brutality…”
Seble Teweldebirhan, an Addis Ababa based Reporter for added:
“…his death proved that Ethiopians are trapped in serious and scary personalitycult. Currently, the PM is in everything and everywhere. The entire country looks like a private living room of the PM with his pictures hanging in every corner of the entire nation. Just like any other personality cult, Meles is called ‘the father of the nation’ ‘the architect of Ethiopian development’ ‘the great and visionary leader’ ‘dear son of Africa’ and, surprisingly, ‘an advocate of human rights, equality and democracy’…”
In Post-Meles Zenawi’s Ethiopia, life size posters adorn the city and the road leading to the city from the airport is filled with his ominous presence- on life size posters and statues are prominent fixtures, grim reminders of his brutal legacy. Statues are being erected in cities across Ethiopia and trees are planted in his name. Meles Zenawi posters, pictures and quotes are found in nearly every street of the capital. Life size pictures adorn the capital Addis Ababa, from the airport to the city square, Meskel Adebabye… Meles his omnipresent  ghost-like grip hangs over Ethiopians- even in death, he seems to hover over their every life:
“…Even months after his death, Addis Ababa is still plastered with bereavement posters. They cover entire sides of buildings and run for hundreds of metres along fences. Banners declare “we will continue your work” and “we will never forget you”…New propaganda tracts depict Meles as a selfless leader who sacrificed his life for his country. His party is trying to wring as much legitimacy as possible from his legacy. It may be too early to speak of a post-Meles era—even in death he is the country’s most visible politician…” 
Touting him as the “Great leader” and “Chief architect of our country’s renaissance” who dared challenge the Abbay-“ “Abayen ye defere jegna”-when the new members of the parliament were sworn in, wearing the lapel pin with Meles Zenawi’s picture, in yet another eerie spectacle, they included him…his poster size picture, during the swearing in ceremony.
Much has been written about Kim Jong II and love of athletics. The Ethiopian athletics team took part in the 14th World Athletics Championships held in Moscow from 10 to 18 August 2013. This is what Ethiopian radio[5] reported upon their return:
“…On the occasion, the Ethiopian Athletics Federation dedicated the medals it collected at the 14th World Athletics Championships to the late great leader Meles Zenawi whom it said has contributed greatly to the development of athletics sports…”
It is not unusual to establish scholarships; funds etc. in memory of loved ones, , but not using public funds, or on the backs of the people. Adding insult to the injury of the Ethiopian people, the regime made the following announcement recently:
“…The Meles Foundation is established in a proclamation recently passed by the House of Representatives to serve as a memorial of the prime minister’s great contribution in socio -economic issues, climate change negotiations and for his efforts aimed at ensuring peace and security of the continent among other things…”
Seems the Proclamation is establishing a golden nest for the Premier’s family…
Unfortunately, as in North Korea, Meles’ legacy lives on, not in just the pictures, posters and statues, but in the entrenched leadership and its ethnic based policies. The Abugida site reported the following on 13 February 2013[6]:
“…Meles was so central to the Ethiopian state that his followers are trying to keep him alive with a Mao-style cult of personality. Even months after his death, Addis Ababa is still plastered with bereavement posters. They cover entire sides of buildings and run for hundreds of metres along fences. Banners declare “we will continue your work” and “we will never forget you”…”
Over a year after his death, Meles Zenawi still rules Ethiopia, through Hailemariam Desalegn, the new Ethiopian Prime Minister, who has repeatedly stated that he intends to remain true to Meles Zenawi’s domestic and international policies and to “keeping his vision alive”…
The western nations, with the NGOs and press in tow, continue to tout Meles Zenawi as an ideal African leader, and still refer to him as a “staunch  ally” and “darling of the West”-not because they don’t know about his crimes against the people of Ethiopia, his regime’s lawlessness and belligerence, but because elevating his stature helps cover up  failed policies in the region that he helped advance.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
[1] accessed 10/20/2013
[2] accessed 10/22/2013
[3] accessed 20 October 2013
[4] accessed 20 October 2013
[5] accessed 10/28/2013
[6] accessed 10/26/2013
Source: Tesfanews


  1. Sophia,
    As usual you are NOT honest with yourself and with us. There are there pariah states, Eritrea is one of them. Ethiopia isn’t far away, but I thought Kezijero-Konjo EyemereTsh Newu?

  2. Sofia Tesfamariam? Sofia, the Shaebia apologist, criticizing the Ethiopian government? kkkkkkkkkk. Strange times, indeed. የራሷ አሮባት የሰው ታማስላለች አለ ያገሬ ሰው።

  3. Sofia
    You are very messed up lady like your name your mother is muslim your father is Christian you are in between or no faith so you don’t have the truth but lie to tell.

  4. I don’t understand why ZeHabesha should allow a Shabia agent to publish her poisonous paper. If the game is the enemy of my enemy is my friend, I think this has gone too far. This woman is the main supporter of Shabia our mortal enemy. She published a numerous papers on All her appears I have seen so far has shown pure hatreate to Ethiopia and Ethiopians. People like her should,not be allowed to use website at all.

  5. Sophia Shelie ( Shurmuta or badam) your kinter derkewal ; who is going to wet it for you? dry kinter or dry pussy Sophia. Yeraswa eyarerebat yesew tamaslalech ylal yagere sew. Why are you here dry pussy? I think she is mistaken this is Ethiopians website or she wanted us to smell her stinky dry pussy? Harlot, hooker, get lost from Ethiopians; it is none of your business. Save your people. Take the log from your eyes and clean the stinky filthy pussy of yours before talking about Ethiopia. You are an independent country now? what do you want dry and stinky pussy head? Shelie, Yetalian trafie


  7. Hey Hailom N. Why you are acting like this? this is not Ethiopian. If you have proof that Meles Zenawi was good leader you can challenge her. If he wasn’t be quite and swallow the truth.

    • Abd with you all rspect i am not saying Meles was good or bad. I am saying this have no right to say nothing about Ethiopians. She is belong to AFRO TALIBANS GROOPS.

  8. Sofia,
    If you are not a supporter of Esyas Aferwerki,I would have agree with you as a democratic aspiration writer. However, you are supporting equally responsible dictator in Eriteria, and I don’t think you are honest writer to comment about any country undemocratic governemnt. Since you are part of the Eriterian governement, I think it is better for you to select something different to talk about the current Ethiopian governemnt. However, it is unfortunate a bright person like you still supporting a dictatorial governemnt in Ertieria.

  9. I never seen a stupid and idiot woman like this lady she has no shame as she has no faith, She has no shame to call Ethiopia as the North korea of Africa kkkk how about Eritrea? i heard this senseless and shameless woman talking about the good job the Eritrean government is doing while we see Eritrean youth are leaving the country and died on the desert of Shara and waters of Mediteranean and how this idiot woman get the moral to criticize woyane while supporting SHABIA
    This is woman is like a prostitute who sold her conscience for money and we all know WOYANEs are corrupted and dictators but we don’t want a morally bankrupted prostitute to tell us about woyane as a matter of fact this is our struggle we don’t need ERITREANS like her to intervene in our politics we know what ERITREANS are up to we have seen them what they will do to destroy Ethiopia the living example is TESFAYE ERKUS

  10. I have`t heard long time from this Erit lady.She writes well but hear problem is her fanatical support of despot Isias Afwerk and hate for late Melez. So why any one waste his few precious minutes on her comment? What is the difference between Isias and his former alter ego? Her rhetoric sounds like comparing the pot and black kettle and siding with one of the them. It does not make sense at all.

  11. Sophia, You have no business commenting on Ethio affairs. You are Eritrean obviously. You are part of a no constitution, no parliment having isolated desert island of Shabia…Go back to you Anseba land of the Shermutas….Ethio 10% GDP for the past 5 year. 15 more year of high GDP to come. Ethio will be master of Africa. We have to defend mama Ethio from the Tesfay Gebre-Saitans and Shelles of Asmara like you.

  12. Jealous Shabia author. You guys have no say in Ethio Affairs. You and Tesfay Gebre-Saitan will be doomed as Shabia trojan horses trying to weaken Ethiopia’s unity. Leboch…Ye-shabia Ibaboch. Tidemesesalachu soon. I’m going to send you back to that concentration camp you call a country. Ze-habesha, you better watch these Shabia pigs, they are spreading their venom through out the horn or Africa using these cheap ass articles…….Ethio is the force for stability while shabia is sponsoring Al Shabab we are trying to bring calm to the region.

  13. Sophia, I have order for the eviction of your refugee camp relatives in Shiraro..Back to Anseba you go…..Defar, Qitishin neber megref.

  14. Message to Eritreans,
    After what happen for the past 40 years. No Eritrean will ever be accepted in Ethiopian political life..Don’t waste your time. It’s over. Snakes in the grass. BTW you did not win your independence, we gave it to you because we know how much a pain in the ass Shabian are? Without Eritrea Ethiopian GDP grows 10% annually. With Eritrea We were growing -10% because you blood sucker were taking everything…That time has come to an end, just like the time for Egypt to take our water has come to an abrupt end, just like Syria’s plot to supply Jebha has come to an end with the disintegration of Syria forever….Look even Iraq….your best master finito, Libya, another criminal regime has come to a close….The long arm of the lord is strangling all your suppliers…..It’s in the Bible you can’t stop us.

  15. Abraha, Thank you bro.. please tell her. It’s manifest destiny. Ethio will be middle income by 2025, beyond that anything is possible. We just have watch out for these haters. Gena min aytew..Rail, Electric, Agro-industry, we also hitting our MDGs. Even Egypt is making a deal on the Nile because that’s what you call strike when the iron is hot. Mele waited for the Arab spring then he introduced his plan. They were never ready. All their spies caught with their mouths open. Gene min aytew.

  16. Now i see a trend tesfaye gebreibab and the SHE DEVIL, Sofia Tesfamariam…are all out with their spear attacking mama ethiopia.. shabya style. Be a respectable woman, sofia, and cleanse yourself of all sins. You are dancing with a criminal called isayas. you are hurting your own people, eritreans. You are a sell out a mercenary banda that is waging a war on her own people on behalf of a sick and deranged man.You hate ethiopia and ethiopians like no other, then how dare you speak about us in any form. Have not you sadid that Dr. Bereket habtemariam is a man who eats, drinks, talks and dances like ethiopians. Mrs. hater, wedi shermutta, leave as alone. Go back to your bloody wodi afom. We do not need your ass here.

  17. Dear Sophia,
    I am wondering what you are doing here honestly. You see, if you have your own country, you do not interfere in the affaires of other countries. Will you happy if Ethiopians decide your fate? Whether you agree with me or not, Woyanes problem is nothing than the issue of Eritrea? That means Woyane stood for Eritrea than for Ethiopia for the past 22 years. Ethiopians hate woyane not because they are Tigreans or woyanes, it is because the way woyane has been favouring Eritrea and Eritreans. You can ask any Ethiopians the cause of the antiwoyane feeling in Ethiopia is the issue of Eritrea. If you really hate woyane, oh my God? will you love the most ultra Ethiopia patriot amhara leader? I think the next prime minister must be a patriotic amhara then the story of Eritrea will be sealed for ever. I wonder if Eritreans hate woyane whom they will love? It is mind boggling our Eritreans brothers, sisters or family members love being the victims always. Be logical and rational, that driven by irrational hatred. Who do you think will baby sit Eritreans like woyane? I just wonder whom you are going to love if you hate Meles Zenawi? Meles Zenawi was hated only not because there is no democracy in Ethiopia, but because he stood for Eritrea for his entire life. This is the reality everyone knows. You hate Meles and I wonder whom you are going to love? is it Meles who saved Shabia aat the last minute in the most recent war? is not Meles who recognized Eritrea while UN, AOU, EU,… refused to recognize Eritrea? take note: Military success would not have helped Shabia to get independence if Ethiopia did not allow Eritrea to go and apparently Meles Zenawi let Eritrea go illegally and with all the Ethiopians assetsw in Massawa and Asseb. If you hate Meles, you are really a loser 100%. I am affraid Sophia, you are very irrational to be honest. My question to you now? Are you telling us Eritrea is better than Ethiopia? No, you are 100% wrong. Ethiopia is respected across the globe and Ethiopian leaders are respected across the globe. Ethiopia is doing well. It is true woyane still has to face the problem associated with Eritrea which is still in stalemate and still requires a lasting solution; I never heard anyone saying Ethiopia is North Korea? Everyone is writing saying Eritrea is North Korea of Africa. It is not woyane which says this; it is international media who called African North Korea. Anyways, it is really bad you are not an honest person. You just hate woyane for no good reasons. If you are happy with woyane, it will be hard for you after woyane because the issue of Eritrea will go on like this. At some stage Ethiopia the super of Africa now will have to solve the issue once for all. We can not allow our people from both sides to live like rat and cat like this for long. People like you can not be changed ; I believe only generation can change, not invididuals like you. I am sorry for you because every Ethiopian is insulting you. I think you are getting what you deserve for interfering in Ethiopia’s affaires; At least Eritrea is an autonomous now and you should not worry about Ethiopia. You are like Kenyan citizen now; Ethiopian do not want Eritreans now; Before it was Eritrean who do not want Ethiopia, now it has changed. Ethiopians are saying we do not want Eritreans. you better protect yourself and stay away from Ethiopia others people will abuse you like they are dong. You have to respect yourself by staying away from Ethiopians affaires, this is my sister advise. I do not wan to insult you like the majority did. Take care

  18. That was cool. Thank you. Eritrea should n’t be our permanent night mare any more but Woyane will remain the worst enemy of all times.Viva Sofi… Tell them please. Come back with with many more articles and make all these woyanes more angry till their hair go pale.

  19. Woyane Vs Shabiya
    when did Woyane became Ethlopiain dfender? and shablya lOver of Ethlopla?
    cadres are busy hiding behind each othe, Nothig is over until wombeds surrnder Too much noice by Woynes hidinig behind Shabiya

    • Bekele ;You are not making sense. what is your point ? how could Shabia hide behind Woyane and the vice-versa ? You sound like you are from another planet and the word Wombede came from Derg and its cadres. Were you one of them back in the days?

  20. Abraha,
    We are waiting for Eritrea to be completely empty. It won’t be long at this rate…The Shabia blood sucker will be doomed forever. Sophia, please leave us Ethiopians alone and worry about your treeless kingdom. Wusha

    • This is a really typical woyane response. It probably came from senior woyane officials like Sebhat Nega. They are desperately trying to tell us that they are well , alive and kicking when in fact they are about to shred each other some time sooner or later. Woyane was and still the blood sucker and and has now dominated the blood sucking with its sadistic rule of the jungle for the last 11-12 years. Shabia may have been doing the same till badame war. Average Ethiopians are not focused on any thing else but Woyane the blood sucking vampire.

  21. Abraha and the rest, basing Sophia is not going to make you a better Ethiopian only better Woyane. If Eritreans are not Ethiopians so Tigrians. Just because Woyane and Shabiya say so it doesn’t make it right.
    Get over your Woyane bullshit and live in reality. You are not better than any Shabiya you blame,

  22. I do not know why Woyane cadres lie to themselves and to the rest of Ethiopians. Other Ethiopian polticians had ignored for a long time the blood and financial relationship of TPLF with Eritrean groups in the hope of creating division among themselves. We made a serious mistake in assuming that Meles and Esaiyas would ever listen to us. The fact of the matter is that the Tigreans are crying foul of the Eritreans only as long as they are allowed to colonize Ethiopia. The moment that the fate becomes tenuous they will go back to Eritrea as they used to before invading Ethiopia. Just remember that the Eritrean regiment was the one who broke down the Ethiopian palace and opened the door for the TPLF to occupy. Also remember that Eritrea was on the verge of setting a peaceful settlement with the previous regime before TPLF stepped in and persuade the Eritreans for independence than for federal arrangement with the government. When Tigrean cadres are venting their “Ethiopianess” on this forum and crying “Shabia this….Shabia that….” no one should be fooled by it. We should all remember that even the lands in Ethiopia are no more sacred for the Ethiopian people. This is a group that makes money out of the land of Ethiopia by displacing its inhabitants and defying the old slogan that we all fought for ” Land to the tiller”. We have to reclaim our country, our land and our soul of humanity and drive out the mafia group and their cronies from Ethiopia.

  23. This article has made me remind the condolence message of former Prime Minister of Kenya, Raila Odinga who praised Meles Zenawi ” The Great Leader of Africa and Panafrica”. Imagine, how could one at the helm of power praised a genocider great leader of Africa and Panafrica. Meles Zenawi is a silent killer ever seen in Ethiopian History.

  24. Ms: Sophia;
    You have done nothing but discredit yourself. There is not a single politician, even in countries that are staunch supporters of North Korea will allow themselves to point to similarities between Ethiopia and N. Korea. A quick review of world sanctions in place by the UN and/or individual countries should put the matter to rest.
    It also seems to me that your juvenile attempt to discredit Ethiopia is an attempt to save face for Eritrea. In other words, misery loves company. You want the International community to lump Ethiopia with Eritrea. Yes, you are acting with the fury of a scorned woman. As my Ethiopian brother stated above, Ethiopia has moved on and so should Eritrea.

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