The winning ways of a paper tiger

By Golto Aila / January 4, 2010
If there is one gift God has given Meles it is the ability to divide his enemies against each other so that he always emerges as the winner! If there is one curse God has cast against Meles' enemies, it is their failure to appreciate this one weapon that Meles consistently uses against them to win! From the day his army marched into Addis Ababa and took power by force to this day, Meles has used this method along with other supplementary measures to completely vanquish his opponents and ultimately the country we call Motherland. Just to recapitulate here are some examples, not exhaustive by any stretch, of what I mean.

1. He convinced leaders of the various political organizations to create a constitution which allowed regional autonomy, up to and, including secession! Somehow, the various parties felt this was just what they wanted! As matters stand today, it's only the "State of Tigray" which is in a position to declare independence, the rest must be kept suppressed until it will be convenient for Meles to let them go. Then, of course the neighboring "Nations" will be too busy fighting each other, and all the State of Tigray will have to do is to keep its borders secure!

2. While pretending to allow democratic traditions to flourish in Ethiopia (for the consumption of his foreign supporters), he creates hostilities between neighboring tribes, regions and religions and even generates intra-tribal hostilities, so that his opponents get too busy fighting among each other, leaving him to carry on with his grand scheme of dismantling Ethiopia! If smart leaders like Birtukan emerge from the opposition camp, he is always ready to eliminate them under the pretext of protecting the constitution, the law, and the security of Ethiopia!

In order to stay in power against the forces of opposition that he has created against himself, he has used his God-given ability to convince the powerful supporters abroad (who are concerned about the security in the Horn of Africa) that he is the only dependable ally to ensure stability in the region. Hence, he convinced George Bush that he could eliminate the risk of terrorists taking root in Somalia! So, in spite of Meles stealing the vote of Ethiopians in 2005, George Bush, concerned about the national security of America, gave Meles all he needed to fight the fundamentalists in Somalia! Today Somalia is in the grips of the worst form of terrorists in its entire history - Al-Shabab, we are told, are multiplying like rabbits in Somalia. Today, seeing the pathetic state of the Ethiopian opposition, the Obama Administration whose concern is same as that of George Bush, will continue supporting the Meles regime in the effort to control terrorists in the region so that they won't be a threat to America!

Meles' conduct with regards to relationship with Sudan - where Ethiopian territories are given gratis to Sudan; the recent accord between Sudan and the "State of Tigray"; the agreement between Ethiopia and Egypt to harness the Nile for mutual benefit; the large tracts of Ethiopian land given to Egyptian companies for agricultural developement behind the backs of the rest of the nations of the Nile Basin and in contravention to the mutually agreed upon document whose signatories are the Nile Basin countries, all point to the sinister scheme by an arrogant dictator who is dismantling Ethiopia, while simultaneously developing firm security for the nation of the Tigray with new-found brotherly-nations of Sudan, Arabia and now Egypt (a nation which has had a strangle-hold on Ethiopia with regards harnessing the Nile for the livelihood of Ethiopians)!

The question is, if Meles is so secure in his position to implement whatever he wants in Ethiopia irrespective of what any other Ethiopian thinks, why even bother to talk to the "opposition leaders" ahead of the "2010 elections"?

I believe the reason is that Meles is at his weakest point since he took power in Ethiopia, and realizing his vulnerability and thinking way ahead of his dumb opponents as usual, is putting in place procedures which will lull his opponents into believing that he is serious about conducting a free and fair election this time round! By the time they realize that the scheme is an action replay of the 2005 charade, it will be too late, and this time around he will execute his plan in such a way that there will be no fuss such as the one which followed the 2005 election! To expect Meles will conduct a free and fair election is a terribly misplaced belief by people who are either not concerned about what happens to Ethiopia if they fail to dislodge him, or simply ignorance by people who have failed to learn from lessons of the past!

Why do I say Meles is at his weakest? Here are my reasons:
1. Ethiopians distrust him more than ever.

2. A large section of the population believe the true leader for the cause of all Ethiopians is the woman in Meles' jail today. As long as he holds her in jail, he knows he is extremely vulnerable, but letting her out of jail at this juncture is even more dangerous for his survival, so he is buying over her former colleagues to minimize the impact of her imprisonment on his own survival. Unfortunately for Ethiopia, the likes of Hailu Shawel have obliged!

3. The Ogaden has been destroyed by the Meles regime, but that has only strengthened the determination of the ONLF against him, and furthermore the Al-Shabab which Meles has helped create and strengthen with his invasion of Somalia, will not hesitate to give the ONLF a brotherly helping hand. Meles, on the other hand, has no good-will in the country and he is unlikely to get a blank check from Obama given his dismal failure to dislodge the fundamentalists in Somalia last time round.

4. He has parcelled out large tracts of arable land in Ethiopia to the nations which have, hitherto, been the natural enemies of Ethiopia including Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and now the erstwhile arch-enemy - Egypt. This certainly alienates Ethiopian patriots.

5. While Eritrea, given its current relationship with the world community is not in a position to pose direct threat to Ethiopia, it harbors most of Ethiopia's armed opposition organizations, and if they launched armed struggle from different directions, Meles will not have the ability to withstand such an onslaught!

6. Wedged between Ethiopia to the south, a hostile Eritrea to the north and an unpredictable ally to the west, Tigray will not be able to give Meles the kind of safe sanctuary he will need if the going gets tough in Ethiopia, and this fact must have been obvious to him from the moment he and Isayas Afewerki decided to mutilate Ethiopia.

7. Given the brutality that he has visited upon Ethiopia and its people following the 2005 elections, it is difficult to see how he can benefit from Obama Administration to perpetuate his misrule, even in the current unpredictable situation prevailing in the Horn of Africa.
8. In less than one month he has betrayed the African leaders who trusted him to be their spokesman at the Climate change gathering in Copenhagen; and within the last 7 days he has gone behind the backs of the Nile Basin nations and made deals with Ethiopia's arch-enemy - Egypt! So the rest of Africa have just been rudely awoken to the realities that Ethiopia has been struggling with for nearly two decades.

So, for all intents and purposes, Meles is a paper tiger with no resource to support his ruthless reign of terror in Ethiopia! He has used is sharp survival instinct to stay in power to this day! Given the stupidity of those who deal with him in the pretext of fighting for Ethiopia, he may pull it of yet again this time!

By the way it is worth mentioning to those who are cutting deals with Meles, even if one of them wins the so-called election in 2010 there is no guarantee that elections held under the current circumstances will be acceptable to Ethiopia! In fact, such a result may bring about a more devastating consequences, as those who are yet again cheated out of their votes or the right to vote will most likely respond with more violence!

It is not too late to stop Meles and his scheme of dismantling Ethiopia in its track! There is a lot at stake both for Ethiopia, the entire Horn of Africa, and the world at large. Meles must be stopped and all it needs is Ethiopians to understand the destruction that lie ahead and come together in unity to stop this madness!