By Selam Adugna
Dear Madams and Sirs,
As an Ethiopian in diaspora, I have followed the trial and tribulations of my people under your governance for the last twenty-six years. In the late sixties and early seventies, as young politically active “Ethiopian” students at the University of Addis Ababa, most of you, the current members of the politburo of TPLF aka EPRDF, opposed the rule of the monarchy as feudal and oppressive. Then you graduated as the neophyte of tribal politics under the tutelage of EPLF (Eritrean People Liberation Front), and fought against the true sons and daughters of Ethiopia who stood for unquestionable unity of all people of their beloved country. You, self-serving opportunistic blood-suckers, kept your self -serving plan to form and grow the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) as if the Province of Tigray had not been the integral part and parcel of Ethiopia and the cradle of Ethiopian Unity and civilization. With your devious politics, you tried to discredit our brave and courageous Ethiopian sisters and brothers in Tigray whose parents and grandparents and the generations before them fought and died for the freedom and unity of their country, ETHIOPIA. The moment you and your cohorts designated the Ethiopians in Tigray as separates and tried to alienate them from the rest of Ethiopians, you shamelessly insulted and humiliated them. Once you stepped in Addis Ababa with the crown on your head, then you transformed yourselves as Ethiopians and grabbed the baton of power and started to conduct the orchestra of governance because the wise and kind people of Ethiopia allowed you to be the leaders believing that you would not be as worse as the dictator before you. But you didn’t appreciate the peace-loving people of Ethiopia and the disciplined soldiers under Derg who did abandon their posts and dispersed themselves to avert the possible bloodshed among the brothers and sisters because they were also unhappy with the leadership of Colonel Mengistu particularly after he executed the best and brightest Military officers Ethiopia had produced.
Do you think that you are better leaders than Mengistu? How do you compare your twenty-six years of leadership to that of Mengistu since he believed and you still believe in the same tactics and strategies of eliminating any opposition to your power, beliefs, ideals, politics, wrong and corrupt dictatorial governance by imprisoning and killing rather than engaging in democratic dialogue? We all are waiting for your sincere and truthful answers to the two questions. We all know that you are long in answers, but short and non-existent in sincerity and truthfulness. But if you ask the Ethiopian people, their answer is overwhelmingly NO to the first and WORSE to the second question. The reasons for the negative score card by the people on your governance are based on your own decisions and actions which were very beneficial to you, your families, your friends, and your cronies but not to the Ethiopian people. You made yourselves, family members, and friends very wealthy by stealing from the throats of the people you govern. The corruption under your watch is an open secret. The largest industries and corporations are owned by you and your family members. Twenty-six years ago, you all were in the jungle fighting for “Freedom” and “Democracy”, the greatest Bullshit that the world heard. Look now yourselves being filthy rich with millions of dollars stashed in foreign accounts stolen in the daylight from the poor people of Ethiopia. Stop lying about DEMOCRACY and admit that you fought for the financial FREEDOM of yourselves and your family members while the Ethiopian people are still suffering from that lingering endemic starvation. Ethiopia has been the poster child of hunger since the regime of Haile Selassie and the problem has been intensified through your leadership. Yes, the real estate development has changed the look of the cities with multifloored buildings and unaffordable villas to the masses while Ethiopia is extending its hands for the kindness and charity of foreign nations every year. Yes, you boast of unrealistic percent of annual economic growth to get a tap of “BRAVO” on your shoulder from your foreign enablers while millions of Ethiopians go hungry every day and thousands of young Ethiopians vanish in deserts of foreign lands and disappear in the seas in search of better life for themselves and as result to help their families. How many visas does your soulless government issue a week for those young ladies and men to go for domestic jobs to Arab countries? How many of those young souls tortured and murdered by their cruel and sadistic employers in those Arab countries? Have you ever felt humanity to defend that kind of abuse perpetrated on our young Ethiopians? You never cared for those poor Ethiopians except collecting the fees for the different stages of the process to issue the passports. When you see them lining in hundreds every day at the passport and visa processing center in Addis Ababa, you see BIRR signs. They were and are your cash cows. You never thought of those young migrants in search of a better day for their lives somewhere in the unknown land being your own children, nieces, nephews, sisters, and brothers. They were and are the children, sisters, brothers, nieces, nephews, grandchildren, goddaughters, and godsons of neglected and forgotten Ethiopians. In the eye of GOD, they are as the same as you and me. You are endowed with power of governance to protect and defend the people wherever they are. You are given the power to be the voice of the voiceless. You have completely abdicated your responsibility in this regard. You have blood in your hand. The loss of lives of those young Ethiopians in the hands of their employers, in the desserts under a burning sun, and in the heart of the deep sea will be the ghost that haunts you. You won’t be forgiven.
Can you tell the world one thing that differentiates your collective leadership from that of your predecessor? I personally don’t see anything different. Tyranny, brutality, dictatorship, mass arrests and killings have been the common characteristics of yours and that of Colonel Mengistu.
Dear EPRDF Executive Leadership, I must confess to you one piece of truth which makes Colonel Mengistu a better leader than you and your leadership. And that is, he was a very devoted Ethiopian nationalist. He never betrayed his country and never divided our flag into nine places. He never promoted the dangerous politics of dividing Ethiopians along tribal lines and the flag into nine meaningless facades as you have done. He never waved the flags of tribalism. He was unapologetic in his advocacy and stance on the unity and oneness of the nation and equality of the people. He was a merciless dictator as your collective leadership is, but never anti-Ethiopian as your collective leadership. Mengistu and his administration never focused or engaged in enriching himself or family members or close associates by robbing the nation as you have done for so long. You are shameless greedy bunch of KLEPTOCRATS, same as the worst self-serving autocratic dictators of the world.
You came gatecrashing into Addis Ababa twenty-six years ago, waving a democratic banner to be savior of Ethiopians from the brutal dictatorship of Mengistu. You propagated and continue to propagate the doctrines and principles of Democracy in your speeches and conversations, but you never exercise what you say like a Sunday preacher who preaches to his congregation about the sins of stealing knowing that his wife cooked for him stolen chicken for his special Sunday lunch on Saturday night. The preaching is for the audience but it does not apply to the preacher. That is what you have been doing for so long – democracy for yourselves, family members, close associates but not for the masses of Ethiopia.
In theory, democratic principles are necessary for good governance. It is government for the people by the will of the majority of the people based on conception of the equality of all people. What do you think of your government? Does it fulfill the meaning of a democratic government as the phrase intended literally? Throughout the twenty-six years of your collective leadership, democracy loving and respecting Ethiopians and foreign observers have been convinced that your government is far from being labeled as democratic. Why? Because your way of resolving differences and conflicts is a combination of denying the truth, outright lying, deceit, intimidation, violence, imprisoning, and killings. These actions are contrary to the democratic principles. As the saying goes, actions speak louder than words, and you are defined by your actions. So, you can talk the talk of democracy, but you walk the walk of autocracy. The recent events occurred in the country, the killings, mass arrests, kidnappings, continuous imprisonments of advocates of free speech and journalists as well as bloggers, jailing and disappearances of political opponents, intimidating and oppressing the masses, are the typical characteristics of a brutal, bloodthirsty, and inhumane regime you are running collectively. Vote rigging and defying the wish of the people for democratic institution manifest the true color of a ruthless, senseless, irrational, immoral, and greedy devoid of the sense of humanity despots that you are. Give first respect to the people and show them that they are human beings who breath and bleed as you do. You cannot sacrifice humans for economic growth. There is no country without its people, and there is no government without country.
To Be Continued
By Selam Adugna