By: Ermias Alemu
It is well known that for autocratic leaders such as in Africa, dealing with Beijing is much easier and perhaps the easiest thing in the world. However dealing with autocratic leaders has not been that easy for Europeans and America. The presence of vibrant civil society organizations human rights advocates is thorny for Europeans and American even if private companies may be willing to make business with autocratic leaders in Africa. But today America has lost the courage to stand for the values of democracy and human rights as it invited unscrupulous African leaders at the white House. This happened as a result of China’s strong and growing relationship with dictatorial regimes in the continent. China does not know or is not at all familiar with the values of democracy and human rights. Issues of democracy and human rights are alien to them. That is why autocratic leaders in Africa are almost always happy to make business with China. Accountability is not the concern when you make business with the Chinese government. This has been shown and proved in many instances in Africa, particularly in Ethiopia. Both the Chinese government and the autocratic African leaders including Ethiopia are pretty excited for such kinds of dealings. That is why the late Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi had always been talking blatantly about the successful paths of China on his party controlled media. That is why Mugabe said “we look to the east where the sun rises and we give our back where the sun sets in”. This is because if you make any deal with China you can make it without any formal procedure and without putting in place any accountability into the dealings. The deals are usually done clandestinely so that no one will be held accountable for any failure.
It is very hard to expect the TPLF regime to jam VOA, ESAT and many other Diaspora controlled social Medias without the staunch support of principally the Chinese government. It is also rumored that the TPLF regime is spying on Ethiopian citizens by the kind of support it gets from the Chinese government. So, generally speaking the Chinese government is hugely supporting the TPLF regime to suppress and weaken any opposition in the country. As a result, the TPLF regime is unrivaled in terms of jailing, intimidating through the so called anti-terrorism law and exiling its own people throughout Africa. Ethiopia, under TPLF, is number one in terms of having the largest immigrant in the Middle East, largely females.
So, China thank you for enabling my government to killing, jailing my family, colleagues and friends. Thank you China not because of the infrastructure and the African Union building that you erected for your own business but because you helped the security personnel to kill their own family, friends and upbringings. Thank you China because you helped the government to make sure that there is no freedom of association, movement, and assembly. Thank you China so much because had it not been for you my government would never have jammed VOA, ESAT, and other alternative Medias. Had it not been for you, oh China my government may be willing to sit and discuss with its own people. Had it not been for you Oh China believe me the people of Ethiopia will be able to speak their mind and have better source of information. But thank you for your generous action for helping the government to killing, imprisoning torturing, intimidating and exiling its own citizens.
USA-Africa leaders summit is the top agenda for many Africans. If the late autocratic Ethiopian prime Minister was alive he would have told us many hallucinatory stories about US- Africa summit. But I suspect whether Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will make a good bedtime stories or not. Meles would have been the happiest ever to preach us as to how America is even becoming reckless for the values of democracy and human rights in the continent. Probably, he would have told us how USA is emulating the development model of China.
China has to be thanked genuinely for enabling African autocratic leaders to visit the white House. Had it not been for China, America would never have invited these unscrupulous leaders. America today has overlooked the values of democracy and human rights. America now believes democracy and human rights is a luxurious issue for Africans. These issues are unseasonable for the continent. So, America’s values have passed away when it invites innocent people killers into the white house. That is why I say frankly China has to be thanked for the indelible role it is playing for African despotic leaders to sit and have their dinners in the white House. So, African autocratic leaders who had a dinner party with president Obama have to thank China from the bottom of their belly. Had it not been for China, they could never got such a wonderful chance.
The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org