Ethiopia amid global village crisis
By Robele Ababya / November 1, 2014Pope Francis – the spiritual leader of 1.2 billion Catholics in the world – last month told the atheist Scalfari:
“The most serious of the evils that afflict the world these days are youth unemployment and the loneliness of the old. The old need care and companionship; the young need work and hope but have neither one nor the other, and the problem is they don't even look for them anymore. They have been crushed by the present. You tell me: can you live crashed under the weight of the present without a memory of the past and without the desire to look ahead to the future by building something, a future, and a family? Can you go on like this? This, to me, is the most urgent problem that the Church is facing.”
When Scalfari suggested that the above issues are largely political and economic problems for states, the Pope noted that “these problems affect both bodies and souls. It is not the only problem that we face, but it is the most urgent and the most dramatic.” It is not in the interest of dictatorial rulers to formulate and implement solutions to problems affecting bodies and souls because tyrants like the thugs on the top echelon of the EPRDF regime are intolerant to political pluralism and civilized open dialogue on issues relating to social justice.
Corruption as a major problem in Communist China and Ethiopia
The General Secretary (GS) of the Communist Party of China (CPC), which is friendly to EPRDF party, had to say the following at the opening of its 18th Congress:-
The GS in his speech to leading officials underlined the unprecedented stride in economic growth achieved in the last decade but asking them “to exercise strict self-discipline and strengthen supervision over their families and staff.” He said “Leading officials at all levels, especially high-ranking officials, must readily observe the code of conduct on clean governance and report all important matters” adding that “If we fail to handle this issue well, it could prove fatal to the Party, and even cause the collapse of the Party and the fall of the state”. He made a passionate plea that “the CPC must make unremitting efforts to combat corruption, promote integrity and stay vigilant against degeneration.” He singled out corruption as a major problem in his closing speech also.
And the incoming General Secretary Xi Jinping strongly underscored the same thing in condemning the rampant corruption. But corruption is still rampant and the quest for full democracy is gathering momentum as exemplified by the current mammoth public protest feared to spread to main land China.
The lesson for Ethiopia is therefore not to emulate the economic growth model of the CPC. Any serious combating to uproot corruption must start with the arrest of the Mother of corruption in Ethiopia. To that end, one should follow the recent two examples:-
The arrest and freezing of the accounts of the Mother of corruption including her inner circles shall be a deadly blow to the person being groomed for the post of premiership by foreign powers.
Infringement on freedom of Ethiopians by the ruling party
I am nostalgic of those days in the first half 1960s when travelling by airplanes to the U.S.A., making intermediate stops at airports in Europe where carriers used to unload and upload passengers and cargos. Transit passengers used their 45 minutes ground time to rush to the terminal building for shopping or taking refreshments after which they returned to their seats by showing their boarding card without undergoing any physical search at all. That freedom began vanishing gradually with increasing number of high jacking of airplanes - the Israeli national carriers and the Ethiopian Airlines being the first victims in the second half of the 1960s.
People with evil minds saw the vulnerability of passenger airplanes to their brutal political and ransom-seeking objectives; a stream of high-jacking and destroying of airplanes in the air became a matter of worrying concern to the international community to this date. A new entirely unexpected and horrifying occurrence of 9/11 of using civilian passenger airplanes as a weapon of mass destruction shocked the global community. The Aviation Security Annex to the International Civil Aviation Organization had to be revised substantially with a view to preempting the menace.
Our freedom of movement has since been curtailed to unacceptable degree due to pervasive intrusion on our daily lives. The TPLF regime has gone further in organizing the entire Ethiopian people into “one boss to every five” cells for eavesdropping, surveillance and controlling of citizens.
Crisis-ridden global village
Our global village is awash with unprecedented number of crises of all sorts generated by, inter alia :- regional wars such as in the Middle East, the Horn of Africa and Ukraine; proliferation of nuclear weapons; climate change; fear of economic recession; mistrust; ethnic cleansing; abuse of fundamental human rights; ideological and religious conflicts; the Ebola nightmare spreading from its epicenter in West Africa; tax evasion by the rich stashing their loots in foreign banks; pervasive corruption in India, China and most African countries including Ethiopia; intolerable youth unemployment especially in Africa; abject poverty with Ethiopia ranked last but one in the world.
The pervasive curtailments of freedom are symptoms of malignant ailment attributable to social injustice, in terms of denial of liberty and utterly unfair sharing of resources, that human civilization in its history has been unable to cure in spite of the French Revolution (1789 -1799) which was meant to address it significantly. The present world is unsafe, social injustice in the developing world is rampant and the world is beset by endemic corruption. Therefore, the prospect of a major war is hanging over our heads. This generation has to work hard to avert it.
The renowned intellectual, Jean-Jack Rousseau, recommended punishment by death to those who violate the “Social Contract” justifying his recommendation as follows:- Quote "man is born free, but he is everywhere in chains." Rousseau asserts that modern states repress the physical freedom that is our birthright, and do nothing to secure the civil freedom for the sake of which we enter into civil society. Legitimate political authority, he suggests, comes only from a social contract agreed upon by all citizens for their mutual preservation.
Rousseau calls the collective grouping of all citizens the "sovereign," and claims that it should be considered in many ways to be like an individual person. While each individual has a particular will that aims for his own best interest, the sovereign expresses the general will that aims for the common good. The sovereign only has authority over matters that are of public concern, but in this domain its authority is absolute: Rousseau recommends the death penalty for those who violate the social contract.” Unquote – Source: google TPLF warlords breach even their own constitution imposed on the Ethiopian people as frequently as they please. Therefore they deserve a harsh punishment – political death at the polls.
Youth unemployment & “loneliness of the old” in Ethiopia
Overwhelming majority of skinny peasants living in Ethiopia in serfdom, employ primitive mechanical farming tools, mostly made of wood, pulled by a pair of oxen or other animals such as donkeys or horses. The poor peasant farmers guide the animals from the rear cracking their whips to control the direction and speed of the animals in the arduous process of ploughing the government-owned land leased to tenants. There is no way that this method of farming can make Ethiopia food sufficient to feed 93 million citizens growing at worrying rate. It stands to reason to query the EPRDF regime why it is in the process of importing 200, 000 metric tons of grain in addition to borrowing US$ 600 million to cover for shortfalls, in spite of boasting self-sufficiency.
I recall that the former USSR was showcasing grandiose farmlands stretching tens of kilometers with buddying crops on the sides of highways. But at the same time it (USSR) was importing thousands of metric tons of wheat from the Western world, especially Canada. The Kremlin authorities were telling half-truths to their people just as the copycat EPRDF regime is now doing. The Russian Republic of today is exporting wheat.
The young have migrated to cities in search of greener pastures are disappointed to find that manual jobs such as laying cobble stones are reserved for university graduates; they are loitering the streets with hungry stomachs as victims of substance abuse and exposed to all kinds of indignities. The old are living a miserable life because their once able-bodied children are now jobless and unable to supplement the minuscule income of their parents that is prone to erosion owing to rising cost of living. So, abject poverty and youth unemployment are not going to end unless democracy and private-sector participation including private land ownership take the center-stage in Ethiopia’s development policy.
Glimmer of hope for unemployed youth in EAC
I am impressed with the bold initiative that the presidents of Uganda, Kenya, and Rwanda are taking to expedite the integration of the East African Community (EAC) for the benefit of, inter alia:- enhancing economy of scale, development of transportation systems connecting their capitals and Juba in South Sudan, enhancing jobs creation projects and youth employment; dropping the requirement for work permit, fostering freedom of movement of their citizens, implementing equal university fees for their citizens, and fostering political collaboration and awareness to have a common voice on issues relating to the AU, UN and other international bodies . It pains me to concur that South Sudan has made a sensible decision to cancel the peace talks in Addis Ababa ruled by an apartheid regime.
In regard to free movement of citizens, travel documents such as identity cards, student IDs would be sufficient obviating the need for a national passport. This is the spirit of Pan Africanism, for which the three Presidents: - Y.K. Museveni, Uhuru Kenyatta, and Paul Kagame have to be applauded! This praise for the three Presidents is uttered in the spirit of my firm belief that all-inclusive politics is imperative for enduring democracy and prosperity in a free society. Rwanda should be congratulated for becoming the only African country among the top ten countries ranking 7th - according to “The Global Gender Gap Index” that compared 142 states.
The initiative taken by the three Presidents is in sharp contrast to that of the racist divisive Woyane regime. Bravo EAC for seeing the danger posed by Woyane! Adios IGAD dominated by EPRDF!
Ethiopia’s historical foes in political turmoil
Ethiopia’s traditional enemies in the Middle East, Arab states in Africa, and the extremist Islamic states such as Pakistan are victims of crisis of their own making. Iraq, Syria, and Libya are squarely in the category of failed states. Their generous support to Ethiopian separatists is dwindling.
I extend my deep sympathy to the innocent civilian population - children, women, and old citizens of these countries for taking the brunt of the atrocities unleashed by their tyrant leaders. But the crisis is a propitious event for Ethiopian opposition forces to seize in order to dethrone the EPRDF warlords and put in place a democratic Ethiopian government that will act as an agent of change that will promote regional peace, stability, and prosperity. The support of Western powers, especially the U.S.A. and the U.K., is important in this regard for it will be in their long time interest to be on the side of ancient Ethiopia situated at a very strategic location in the Horn of Africa.
Regarding freedom of expression, the US Ambassador to the UN, Samantha Powers, characterized the guilty verdict in Egypt on Aljazeera journalists as “A chilling and outrageous attack on freedom of the press”. In Ethiopia too, the stalwart journalist Temegen Desalegn has recently joined others in the filthy notorious Kaliti prison to serve a three-year sentence without parole; all pillars of democracy including press freedom are the sole monopoly of the brutal TPLF regime in full view of the Obama Administration paying only leap service to the grim reality. I plead with Ambassador Powers to take this exceedingly important matter of gagging freedom of expression in Ethiopia.
I seize this opportunity to pay my sincere tribute to Ambassador Powers for her audacious visit to the Ebola-ridden West African countries thereby expressing solidarity with the people of that region. This is what I call leadership by example of which her fellow citizens should be proud of and install her in the White House as President.
In closing, I would like to underline that:-
It is my ardent hope and fervent prayer that all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia including:- Andualem Aragie, Eskinder Nega, Andargachew Tsige, Abraha Desta, Bekele Gerba, Reeyot Alemu, Haptamu Ayalew Daniel Shibeshi, Yeshiwas Assefa, Leaders of the Ethiopian Muslims, the 9 bloggers and 3 Journalists, Temesgen Desalegn et al are released immediately and unconditionally!
LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!!!