There is much
talk that election 2010 is stolen by tyrant Meles. TPLF Party might dismiss
complaints with the simple rebuff: Oh yah? So what are you gona do about it?
So what are we in the opposition going to do about it? This piece attempts to
answer the question beginning with the following true story for a start.
Minister of Foreign Affairs and later Minister of Trade and Commerce to whom I
am going to refer as X told me and my colleagues in exile told us the following
true story. The Minister and I had ties through marriage of our respective
relatives. He was short and physically small.
Minister told it, once when he was still a student he was queuing for dinner in
his university’s cafeteria. All of a sudden a husky Yankee broke the queue and
stood in front of everyone in the queue. Student X walked to the big man and
protested. The Yankee scornfully looked down on him and said: Oh yah? So what
are you gona do about it? X’s gut and his Ethiopian pride are admirable but he
has to swallow both and abort his mission. So ended the short mission of little
X to restore order in the queue.
As the old
Ethiopian proverb ከወፈሩ ሰው አይፈሩ! (to one grown fat, no one else is relevant)
would have it, the big man won for no one in the queue protested – according to
Minister X who narrated the story.
of power was clear; student X had to swallow his Ethiopian pride and give up his
mission meant to maintain civility. Now suppose, for the sake of argument,
others in the queue came to support X or called in law enforcement officials.
There would have been a change in the balance of power and the outcome would
have been different in that the big man could have been subdued...
here is a true story as an aside for use to make a point later in this piece. In
early 1990s a petite Tagay of the TPLF shot at close range and instantly
murdered my tall and well-built Oromo friend in Addis Ababa in his compound
instead of arresting him. She had to do it feverishly perhaps for she stood no
chance to subdue the tall and strong man. She had the preponderance of power
much in her favor and was lucky to not have missed her target for he would have
pounced on her and shredded the bastard to pieces.
to Minister X, it was after his retirement that the accomplished former top
diplomat told the above true story of his encounter to his friends. He drew
analogy between his story and the dilemma of smaller nations to run their
affairs in the complex environment of international relations at the height of
the cold war dominated by the two superpowers of the time. He played important
role in the first UN-sponsored referendum that culminated in the federation of
Eritrea with Ethiopia. He recalled his role of mobilizing the Afar people living
along the Red Sea Coast in large number to take part in the referendum.
laced with keen sense of humor made all of us gathered around him admire his
enviable diplomatic acumen of which Seyoum Mesfin of TPLF is seriously
deficient. Seyoum and his tyrant boss led us into war with Somalia; lied about
the ruling by the International Court of Justice that gave Badme to Eritrea;
held secret negotiations culminating in the ceding of fertile farmland to the
Sudan and so on.
The intent of
this piece is to appeal to separatist liberation movement advocates to make
paradigm shift for the sake of changing the balance of power. For they have so
far failed to achieve their goal of self-determination in accordance with
article 39 of the Woyanne constitution.
There are 83
ethnic groups in Ethiopia. If anyone is big and powerful enough and decides to
separate from the rest, Article 39 is really irrelevant. The powerful will just
go ahead and form its nation-state and serve notice to that effect on the rest.
If any complaint would arise, the reply would be: Oh yah? So what are you
gona do about it?
others have been getting the same response from the militarily powerful Meles.
Each time they demanded self-determination his curt response was: Oh yah? So
what are you gona do about it if I say no? On the other hand, for the sake of
argument, if Meles decides to separate Tigrai from Ethiopia, the remaining
weaklings would stay put for lack of coordination for immediate retaliation. His
only incentive to maintain the status quo is fear of revolt in Tigrai primarily
and, secondly, stealing of natural resources for as long as possible and get
repressive ruling regime has rebuffed the Virginia Declaration which has come
out of the Ethiopia and Horn of Africa Conference repeating its habitual grand
lies to undermine the well-attended Conference despite best effort of the regime
to subvert it. The inept Ministry is telling the oppositions to go to hell with
their call for peace and reconciliation. Bloated with a military might built up
with generous fund provided by taxpayers of Western democracies, the arrogant,
but shortsighted Meles is saying I refuse your call; so what are you gona do
So, my fellow
Ethiopians, what are we going to do to change the balance of power between the
TPLF and opposition forces calling for peace, truth and reconciliation as the
only means to stabilize Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa? The answer as always is
to unite and force the regime to a negotiating table or evict it from power.
story: The late President Lyndon Johnson once said in a press conference that
the United States of America is like a big ship sailing through the ocean. The
latter makes big waves and anything caught in its wake is bound to be disturbed.
He said so at the time when his administration was embroiled in the Vietnam War
which caused bitter division at home due to loss of precious lives, injuries,
heavy expenditure, rampant dodging by young Americans in protest of the War –
which in their opinion was not justified in terms of core values of the USA.
in my opinion meant that the USA has global interests and anyone in its way is
bound to be disappointed. It is like saying: Oh yah? So what are you gona do
The USA is
today the only superpower in situ. Luckily we can hold it to its universally
upheld values so powerfully crafted by its Founding Fathers:
these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are
endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are
Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights,
Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the
consent of the governed.”
the above quotation to request the Obama Administration not to support the
repressive tyrant Meles so that the Ethiopia people can put in place a
government “deriving it’s just powers from the consent of the governed”.
urgent call of the Ethiopian people now is the immediate and unconditional
release of Birtukan Mideksa and all prisoners of conscience languishing in
filthy jails throughout Ethiopia.
the balance of power
We are at a
critical stage in view of our vanishing dignity and God-given strategic natural
resources, inter alia wit:
Ethiopia is blessed with the huge proportion of arable land, which the
visionary Emperor Theodros II jealously guarded; Meles is now either selling
or ceding the land;
Ethiopia is a water tower for the neighboring countries, especially to
Egypt, Sudan and Somalia; rivers have been flowing for centuries without
successive rulers doing much to harness them for use such as irrigation
The exodus of professionals and highly skilled technicians has been
appalling since the Derg took power in 1994; the migration is even worse
under the TPLF regime.
come to the point of surrendering our being and our natural resources to
neo-colonialism and unscrupulous investors all facilitated by the mercenary
ruling regime, which has declared war on the on the opposition its enemies
without exception. Birtukan Mideksa, the champion of peaceful struggle and
bright hope of the young generation, is still in prison; thousands of political
prisoner are still locked up in filthy jails in Ethiopia. All signs are that the
tyrant is not going to release them.
So, what are we going to do
about it? The answer is obviously to change the balance of power by united
action of the opposition forces to avert the grave danger ahead of us. Tyrant
Meles must not be allowed to steal or rig election 2010. If he does, his victory
must be short-lived by a coordinated all-inclusive action against this tyrant.
Self- determination is a
confusing concept and in any case not applicable to the present realities of
Ethiopia. So drop it; get of house arrest in Asmara and join the forces of unity
and join the struggle and change the balance of power and punish Meles if he
In closing, I wish to express my
profound gratitude and highest esteem to my inspiring fellow Ethiopians at home
and in the Diaspora for their relentless struggle in the pursuit of unity,
democracy and justice absent for almost two decades of TPLF misrule.