Other criminals behind the curtain

By Alemayehu Zemedkun / December 2, 2008
On November 26, 2008 I was amazed to learn the Ethiopian Television Amharic service dismissing the recent detailed Human Rights Watch (HRW) report on the atrocities committed by the government of Ethiopia on the people of Ogaden.

The government formed a committee of officials from the Foreign Ministry. The committee included individuals such as Menelik Alemu, a senior diplomat and a loyal cadre of the Zenawi regime.

They were assigned to disprove the serious accusations HRW lodged against the Zenawi regime. They said they found no evidence to support accusations that the army of the Zenawi regime had committed war crimes during counter insurgency operations in the eastern Ogaden region.

As everybody learned from a previous report by HRW dated June 2008, which stated that systematic attacks where conducted on civilians in the arid region, one based on witness accounts and another on satellite imagery showing burnt-out villages during a year-long military offensive.

The Zenawi committee said in its report that it found villages untouched, though HRW had reported that they were burnt down by Ethiopian National Defense Forces. Many of the names of those allegedly killed did prove simply fictitious; nor had populations been forcibly relocated," the committee stated in its report. The investigation also found no evidence to support HRW allegations of systematic war crimes or crimes against humanity where as HRW had accused the government of limiting access to the region and had condemned Western donors for failing to condemn war crimes on the mainly ethnically Somali people of the region.

I am not interested in the fabricated reports produced by the Zenawi regime since the ruling clique is known to fantasize and adore its own sounds and speeches. What interested me more is the composition of these committee members who are designated to discredit reports published by HRW. The Ethiopian people should know these individuals who are tasked with fabricating and spinning the truth when the real facts are that there was brutal massacre of thousands of Ethiopians by the dictatorial regime in power.

Take one Minilik Alemu. He was a senior TPLf diplomat and an ordinary cadre who served for seven years as first secretary in Ethiopia's Permanent Mission to Geneva. He was the one who testified before the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland that his government had committed no crimes against members of the opposition. In the same trend, this person is assigned to defend the regime over the crimes committed in the Ogaden. Such criminals should be exposed and made public to the Ethiopian people.