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Ethiopia - Meles tells parliament it does not need to know how many soldiers died in Somalia
By Kirubel Tadesse
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia refused to disclose to parliament the casualties suffered by the Ethiopian National Defense Forces (ENDF) during its two year stay in Somalia. The PM's stance upset some members of parliament, who said it undermined the authority of the house.
Before parliament last Thursday, Meles responded to most of the questions MPs asked. However, he said he is not obligated to answer parts of the last question which asked him to disclose the gains and losses from Ethiopia's recently concluded intervention in Somalia.
"How many soldiers did we send to Somalia and how many of them were injured and how many did we lose?" MP Legesse Biratu, whip of the opposition Coalition Unity and Democracy (CUD) asked the PM. However, Meles only responded to the first part of the question about how the diplomatic community is reacting and major accomplishments the intervintion has secured.
Meles said despite a wish to see Ethiopian troops continue to help stabilize Somalia, the diplomatic community has very much welcomed Ethiopia's efforts.
The PM added he is neither obligated to disclose, nor is it important for the House to learn, the details of the casualties and fatalities suffered by Ethiopian soldiers. Ethiopia's spending in Somalia was also not discussed by the PM.
"The parliament is the one that has ordered the measure in self defence and it is not only its right to learn the details of what its decision has resulted, but it is also responsible and accountable to oversee its decision and its implementation," MP Lidetu Ayalew explained to Capital, adding that the PM's response was "not appropriate".
Lidetu, who chairs the Ethiopian Democratic Party (EDP), which took a different stance from most of the opposition groups by supporting the government's proposals on Somalia, said like the parliament, the nation too has the right to the information.
"It is the nation that made the sacrifices and for it to be part of such future efforts it needs to be informed what endured.
"We can never tell this nation to simply pay the price and not know the cost. The PM is accountable to the House and when the House asks questions it was not appropriate to say 'I am not obligated to detail' when in fact the PM is very much obligated," Lidetu added.
He referred to international practices, like in the US, where the public is updated daily on its sons and daughters sacrifices in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dr. Negasso Gidada, the former president, who was the only candidate to win an independent seat back in 2005, said it was outrageous for Meles to respond as he did: "He just insulted us by trying to determine which information should be important for us and which isn't.
"The boss should be the parliament, but it was seen to be the opposite."
Without going into details, the Ethiopian government on various occasions reported that its soldiers came across very weak resistance from the Somalia jihadists and terrorists groups that had their operations orchestrated by the Eritrea government.
The PM told parliament spending was kept very low, as the soldiers were trained to keep their costs down almost to the level they would have spent if they were home.
However, MPs like Temesgen Zewdie argue that whatever the cost may be, both parliament and the public are entitled to full disclosure.
"It is becoming common in Africa as one way of building a complete dictatorship. Here in Ethiopia it is the executive that controls everything, but I hope we will see a day when there will be accountability, including for what really happened in Somalia," he commented to Capital.
HAHAHHAHAHAHAH! Meles said “None of your business” Hahaha This guy really doesn’t give a shit what anybody thinks or has to say. How can the cost and casualties of a war not be the MPs business? How about us Ethiopians, I guess it is none of our business too then hahahaha
i guess the answer is anything between 5000 and 7000 deaths and thousands injured according to close sources. Most of the casualty were oromos, amhara, sidama and few tigrey elite who hold top positions.
This reveals the level of dictatorship in Ethiopia. It also shows how he carelessly decided to invade Somalia
The people in Ethiopia need to know how many boys they lost the meaning war in Ethiopia
Everything in Ethiopia is dispensable under current circumstances as long as it selves the interest of criminal gangs who happen to sit on the throne…
They shouldn’t call this a “parliamnet” as it undermines what the name suppose to stand - they should call something else “dictators den” or something.
I despite what that monkey looking stupid guy and his eskimos clan represent “terror”
“Meles tells parliament it does not need to know how many soldiers died in Somalia”
He’s right. The so called pariament is a smokescreen. The pms should have known that. Whom are they reperesenting? Their duty is just to sit there and when meles wants “yes” vote saying yes to his demand. That way legalising his dictatorship. Tha’s it.
If the pms have been representing the people it is time to resign…
Traditionally the nation which backed Ethiopia (USA)under tow years of occopetion….tell the puplic about Pentagon casolites and respect her falen troops under any war…but the back ward,Satanist and blood sucker T.P.L.F /EPRDF (Woyane) doesn`t even care about his own falen soldirs..indeed ther are many Ethiopian sons has lost their life,harased and their body was draged on Maqadisu street..let Al Jazeera.BBC and CNN tel hole story..
It was so embarasing and shem for PM to disrespect falen solders and he should at lest say somthing positve..becous it involves human life.
Those who worship this man are still going to praise him!
He told the Parlament we have to go, and now he tels them basicaly to shut up since I screwed up.
He is a dictator who has no care for the members who are elected!
We are going to hear from the worshipers Meles is great again and will give excuse!
wow the reason they die was….??????? God knows or inshaaalah but iT WASNT’T Right.
I think there was fundamental problem at the beginning because it was not even clear why the troops went to Somalia!!!
Was it as MP Ledutu said “self defense” or as PM Meles argues “to help stabilize Somalia” can anyone clarify that plz?
When we analyze the outcome before the invasion Sheik Sharif was a threat as ICU head but ironically, after withdrawal sherif is stronger he became the head of state!!! And ICU is controlling most of Somalia
I think that is why PM Meles is hiding from the question!!!
how come he was obligated to give an order to the soldiers to go to war?u the fake parliamenterians orderd to give a vote for his idea,now u r asking how many died, how much money spent,u clowns good-for-nothing idiots,history will give u a judgement.
yes you rigth meles dont give a spece for this domen people of ethio
if you need you can kill the rest
solgers so that do not tell any thing for this people.
I am not much in to politics and kind of eager to learn.I believe that the public has to know how much the war cost us both in life and property.but this guy clearly said he is not legally obligated to give the details to parliament in this issue.which I think there is no written law/rule to judge him dictator on this particular case.moreover,how come none of the opposition mp mentioned any article from constitution or whatever to justify?in western democracy,authority asked for any action they take and they will be responsible when if it is only against the law of the land.don’t confuse it how other countries role.
Meles still learning from Bush the master who refuse to show his nation death Americans from Iraq and Afghanistan in body bags. Like father like son.
how many soldiers we have lost when derg was in power to fight tplf and banda shabia?some body any body please answer me i want to know.peace
Meles always thought he has the divine privilege to bet on peoples life, to spill and sacrifice human blood for whatever personal motive and interest he has in mind, and still feel unobliging to explain the human cost of his disastrous personal adventure to any concerned body. Think about the blood bath we had with his country Artera, tens of thousands of brave Ethiopians have lost their life and still he made the country the loser, he has ordered a cross country killing spree in the aftermath of the 2005 election, and he has never taken responsibility, never apologized even after his own government’s investigation found him guilty of murdering, impresoning and torturing innocent citizens, and today here he is once again full of arrogance. Ato Meles, those were someone’s loved ones who thought they were fighting for Ethiopia, those were brave Ethiopians who deserve recognition even if they have died for your mercenary cause. They are not chickens or donkeys and dogs from Artera or Adwa! The people of Ethiopia and their families deserve to know their loss, so speak up ‘ante sewbela aremene’! I hope, one day history will expose your true color, what you have done to thousands of Ethiopians and Ethiopia, how many people you have murdered including your own comrades in the bushes and till this day.
There is no a single comment from TPLF RATs
DEDEBIT MN AYNET TIYAKE NEW YEMTTEYKEW BANDA SHABIA IMA TEKLALA TORSERAWITU NEW YEGEDELEW,YAKOSELENA YEMAREKEW YOU DON`T NEED TO KNOW SPECIFIC NUMBER
He is write. What does it add to tell the number of our casualtiies?
. . .he used to hide his recklessness caused killed so many soldiers. . . how about the present Lootings!!! due to lack of Transparency!!!. . .
. . .this is the same story how he manipulated his tentacles in the parliament. . .
. . .a DICTATORIAL regime!!!. . .
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