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A prisoner of conscience's calls for sanctions against Ethiopia
European aid has transformed my country's economy but also props up one-party rule. Let EU donors give us democracy
To Ethiopia's archaic left, which dominates the ruling party, the new euphemism for the west is neoliberal. Compared to the jargon of bygones days – imperialists – when Lenin and Mao were still in vogue, neoliberal sounds decidedly wimpy. But this hardly matters to Ethiopia's ruling party. What it seeks is a bogeyman to tamp down rising expectations for multiparty democracy.
To this end, plying nationalist sentiment is the easy option. And so, we get a tale of heroes and villains in which there is a defender of national ethos, honor and economic growth (inevitably, the ruling party), and a foreign horde bent on subversion, domination and economic exploitation (infallibly, the west: the neoliberals).
In this narrative, Ethiopia's recent economic growth, amidst a global slump, is ascribed to the stability afforded by one-party rule, as in China – and not, as many experts are prone to point out, the generosity of donor countries. Hence the paradox of well-intentioned European money promoting Chinese interests in one of the more important economies in Africa.
Aggregate aid is to the Ethiopian economy what Obama's fiscal stimulus was to the American economy: minus these injections, both economics would suffer catastrophically. The theatrical blustering of the Ethiopian government notwithstanding, donor countries have a make-or-break power over the Ethiopa's prosperity.
And European aid has done wonderful things in Ethiopia. Despite the government's ingratitude, we – the disenfranchised majority – are grateful and appreciative. We have improved access to schools, health facilities and roads because of donor benevolence. But an aid policy tied only to economic and social needs is only half complete; a comprehensive approach entails a linkage with politics.
Ideally, aid should have an impact on GDP growth. Ethiopia now ranks in the world's top ten fastest-growing economies, the pride of Eurocrats. But aid should also increase trade between donor and recipient, as was the case with US aid to Europe under the Marshall Plan. By this measure, Europe has failed. Ethiopian trade with China has exploded, while stagnating or shrinking with Europe. Again, China wins without lifting a finger.
Aid should also strengthen democratic institutions. Here is where European donors' policy falters dramatically. The unintended consequence of indifference to democratic accountability translates into the subsidy and reinforcement of tyranny. The time for reassessment has come.
After two decades of one-party rule, Ethiopia is visibly aching for change. Even the traditionally placid Sufi Muslim community is increasingly restless. There is clear danger of communal strife.
As a prisoner of conscience committed to peaceful transition to democracy, I urge Europe to apply economic sanctions against Ethiopia. What short-term pain may result will be compensated by long-term gain. A pledge to re-engage energetically with a democratic Ethiopia would act as a catalyst for reform.
Sanctions need to be targeted – and the continuity of basic humanitarian aid without precondition is a moral necessity. But the EU should also impose travel bans on Ethiopian officials implicated in human rights violations.
We live in an age of global expectations. Our hopes have converged in many ways, none more so than in our democratic aspirations. The moral imperative is for Europe to align with the reform movement in Ethiopia. It is time to stand up for democracy.
Wow, now Eskinder is actually acknowledging Ethiopia’s progress in economy, healthcare and education?
Jail seems to be softening him up real good, a few more years and he’ll renounce open support for Birhanu Nega’s Ginbot 7, and it’s admitted armed wing.
Eskinder nega, a convicted terrorist who is tried in a court of law and found guilty of inciting violence and unrest, in his wish of Arab spring, to bring chaos like Egypt and civil war like Syria to Ethiopia.
Now from his cell, he is still trying to trade his worthless life with millions of Ethiopians lives, by dreaming to stop our developmental progress.
Eskinder Nega has a criminal face and he is a terrorist must sentenced to death. he is from the ugly racial ethnic.
What an idiot! He is calling for economic sanction against Ethiopia. Well, what do you expect from a convicted terrorist. I hope he rots in jail where he belongs.
What Happen Madame Almaz?
Eskinder , as his name implies, not idiot. He is a patriot who speaks and write his mind. he did not hide his expressions against all tyrany including the dead Zenawi. He is not just like you who are a believer of a dead body man Zenawi who do not contribute nothing to the Ethiopian people except his dictatorship rule and big corruption.
Aid is a three letter word and yet might have a bitter and complex meaning for the Ethiopian psyche. The EU being amongst the wealthiest and mightiest nations in the world has understandably vested interests in every corner of the world. They use their multifaceted power whether it is economical, political, and military to secure, maintain and/or enhance their vital interests around the globe. Every country is categorized according to its importance as a partner. Some countries have oil, some have huge geopolitical values, and some are in extremely volatile security environments. Pakistan might not be a good source of raw material but it is a country possesses nuclear weapons that are under poor or substandard supervision. There is an ever increasing risk that these weapons might fell into the wrong hands. Take Egypt and its geopolitical importance as an example that can trounce and easily compensate its lack of natural resources like oil. As a kind of go to go country between the Arab world and the West, its importance to bridge the peace process between the Arabs and Israel, is extremely important. As the real state owner of one of the most important land-sea ship routs in Swiss canal, a closing of Swiss canal means simply a detour route around the continent Africa. That could basically ruin half the world’s economy without any doubt. They have almost guaranteed US cash flows for unforeseeable future unless the condition on the ground changes. Ethiopia as a very important regional security partner to the West coupled with ever growing economic prowess shouldn’t be a country to be ignored. That said, European aid neither made a significant change in the lives of the poor and vulnerable nor has demonstrated a quotable contribution for Ethiopia’s economic boom. They never came to Ethiopia or Africa with one holy aspiration of helping the poor and the vulnerable. They have vested economical, political and social interests in each and every country. The cover up story for any aid might be humanitarian assistance but the reality is they have to fight for their relevance against stiff competition posed by China and some other emerging powers. Clearly Africa is showing a shift in alliance to China. Once the invaders, the colonizers, the donors, the missionaries, the everythings -Europeans seemed to lost momentum that was taken for granted for too long.
Cutting aid is not as simplistic as Mr. Nega suggested. First of all, I don’t think Ethiopia is that much dependent on Europe’s aid as she was once upon a time. Funds today are abundant and easily explorable than say 20 or 30 years ago through alternate routes. Clearly, Ethiopia with untapped natural resources coupled with a viable and virgin banking and telephony market expansion fronts, a huge potential for manufacturing expansions (e.g. recent H&M opening) is in much stronger position than the naïve assumptions of some that she can be threatened with aid-cut rhetoric. Such thought is simply in dissonance with the reality on the ground and ignores Ethiopian current dynamics.
It is even more an era of international diplomacy leverage skills that accentuates and relies on advanced PR skills and the ability to navigate through the muddy waters of influence, wealth and diplomacy. It is upsetting that we still have people who think freedom and justice can be harnessed through Western aid influence. I am sure we will eventually free off ourselves from these ever enslaving, crippling aids that are preventing us to emerge from the doldrums.
Mr. Eskindir Nega, we all don’t want to you to suffer in jail. Hopefully, somehow and sometime soon you will be a free man.
I sure don’t want to be harsh on you knowing the circumstances you are in. However, the article you wrote clearly looks for an opening to self promote. You are mixing up your personal problems with the country’s. You claimed that the European aid has made miracles in Ethiopia. I have to vehemently disagree with that weak assessment that overrates European aid. Still aid is something that doesn’t deserve such an appraisal.It has a crippling psychological impact on a nation. Looking for handouts and becoming dependent on them is not the right formula for economic independence of a proud nation.
Through the years most of these aid funds were seen to fall way short of their advertised goals. But they never failed in making us in the history books for images that are not pretty, or dictionary words that are not very nice. First of all an aid packet e.g. a fund never reaches the destination in its original form. Most of it gets consumed by administration costs and salaries of so called project experts that are mandatorily assigned by the donors.
We should value our potential not foreign aid. After all said and done, we are sick and tired of being the laughing stock of these so called donors. We are sick and tired of being on top of aid recipient list. We are sick and tired of not able to utilize our own resources. No one who claims to love his country overvalues foreign aid so much as to suggest it has made marvels in Ethiopia. That insults the pride of hard working Ethiopians whose diligence has finally showing signs of fruition. You want to be free but you don’t want your country to free herself from continuing to be a world beggar?
… “and the continuity of basic humanitarian aid without precondition is a moral necessity”.
A moral necessity is for you not mixing up your personal problem with the country’s. As a man seen by many a versatile freedom advocate and a hero, I don’t understand why you chose to put too much emphasis on foreign aid. All we want is to pull ourselves out from a perpetual humiliation of hand-outs.
In the end I hope that logic and reason will prevail and you will be a freeman.
I think, it would be wise Eskender call for pardon and be free. If he is activist and want to help Ethiopia, it is not good idea to call for sanction so that the people suffer.
At least, you are in jail. free yourself from vendetta.
May God help you to be wise and be free.
Are you joking?… you should understand the criteria for sanction first.
This idiot sees his life more important than the developmental efforts of Ethiopa. He is committing treason.
First of all, he is an amhara tribalis , who still supports Fascist Mengistu Haile Mariam, who is in hiding with Fascist Mugabe. If this guy called Skinder wants to stand for democracy, he should have demanded the extradition of Mengistu to Ethiopia. Eskinder Nega is a tribalist to say the least and has no idea what democracy is all about.
As we say, ” Ene Kemotku Sordo Aybqel” ( Donkey sid if I am going to die, there should no more grass on earth"), Eskinder Nega makes himself ridiculous by putting himself more important than Ethiopia’s economic development. Ethiopia does not need the economic aid from Europe. Ethiopia has it’s own resources.
We hear in the news that the Diaspora has sabotaged a meeting to raise funds for The Nile Renaissance Dam. The Swedish Government is accountable for any sabotage against such meetings. Norway, Sweden and other countries should stop those who come to disturb such meetings.
Admission of one’s own fault or wrongdoing and confessing it publicly clears the wrong doer’s mind from feeling guilt in the eyes of the public if not in the eyes of God from whose sight even the heavens are not pure.
When King David, the man of God, committed a crime, he immediately recognized he had violated God’s law and confessed his sin before God: “Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, ‘I will confess my transgressions to the Lord’ ─ and you forgave the guilt of my sin’” (Psalm 32:5).
What Mr. Skinder Nega has to do is to bury his conceit and inane pride that he is a renowned journalist and to confess to the Ethiopian people and to their God he has committed a crime. Then, the Lord in heaven will hear his sincere confession and get him free: “The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them” (Psalm 145:18-19).
There is nothing simpler than admitting one’s own crime and letting oneself live free and walk as graceful as a lion in the vast wilderness of the Ethiopian justice system.
The incarcerated and frustrated Skinder Nega’s case reminds me the history of Ahaziah, king of Samaria. Ahaziah had accidentally injured himself and was seriously ill and near to death, and there was only one person for the king to consult with about his illness, and that person was Elijah the Prophet. However, Ahaziah, instead of consulting Elijah, the true prophet of God, about his injury, sent messengers, telling them: ‘Go and consult Baalzebub, the god of Ekron to see if I will recover from this injury.’
Infuriated by Ahziah’s action that he had recognized the false god of Ekron instead of God the Almighty, Elijah met Ahaziah’s messengers before they consulted the god of Ekron and told them to go back and tell Ahaziah the following frightening messages: ‘Go back to the king who sent you and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending men to consult Baal-Zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die!’(2nd King 1:1-6)
My question to you, Mr. Skinder Nega, is why did you write one letter to John Kerry and another one to the European Union, and you know all of them are foreigners? Is there no a better person in Ethiopia than John Kerry to handle your criminal case? Is not the OAU closer to you than the European Union? Don’t you know there are many Elijahs in the Christian land of Ethiopia? Do you think the God of Ethiopia is weaker than the God of the westerners that you have been depending upon? Therefore, the crime that you have committed in jail by writing those letters to the foreign nationalities is more serious than the crime that landed you in one of the notorious Ethiopian jails.
In this case, I am afraid, what the Prophet Elijah had pronounced to Ahaziah, king of Samaria, may happen to you. His pronouncements were: “Therefore you will not leave the bed you are lying on. You will certainly die.” This means, my friend, Skinder Nega, you are not going to leave your jail: You will die there rotten unless you surrender your entire thoughts to the Ethiopian authorities, to the Ethiopian Church leaders, and to the Ethiopian ordinary people rather than submitting yourself to John Kerry and to the European Union to get you out of the jail.
The power that would, perhaps, get you out of your confinement lies entirely on the hands of the Ethiopian people, not on the European or Americans hands.
Even if, because of you, the European Union cut off all humanitarian aids it has been giving to Ethiopia, the people of Ethiopia will never be blackmailed by the west, and they still would survive and do their business as usual.
In comparison with the diaspora fools and idiots, who are wasting their time barking day and night for nothing, (dreaming to destabilize and destroy Ethiopia) I give you credit that, even though your goal was the same (destabilizing and destruction of mother Ethiopia), you tried to commit the crime in person, not by parking from distant. And in place of law and regulation, people are held accountable for their actions. Now, if you weren’t a narrow minded and hate-blinded individual, you would definitely accept this fact and take responsibility for your crime. That way, you can learn from your mistakes and be a “better person”.
Unfortunately, Mr. Nega, clearly you are a fool and an idiot like the other empty barking useless diaspora asedabiwoch, such as Teddy, Ahmed Gragn, ment-4 you…….. About two –year Kality jail can not help you change or learn even a tiny bit about who you should be or about your rights and responsibilities. Well then, get rotten there, in Kality jail, that is where you belong!! Pay the price for your damn actions!!
What’s really, really stupid of you Mr. Nega is, the fact that you are trying to be who are NOT. You are trying to get attention from outsiders. Instead of taking responsibility for your actions, apologizing and get ready to learn from your mistakes, you are worsening your case (elongating your gail term- may be until death) by pretending someone else will rescue you. How foolish. Do not waste your time, no one else will be there to save you from paying what you deserve. Of course, the diaspora fools and diots will continue barking in vain for you. Asafari hula.
What is your point? The title is different from the message. Why doesn’t the author say that only China is benefiting (paragraph 7) at the Westerners expense. Deal with it directly instead of talking about democracy. The hidden message is that no development should be allowed if the west is not benefiting from it. It is well known that the west doesn’t want to see a strong Ethiopia. With or without the western version of democracy a new history is being written. Thank you.
1)This criminal still hopes he can overrun the Ethiopian law and institutions with the help of Europeans.
2) He’s actually crying out to Anna Gomez: the ugly woman who thinks siding with the Ethiopian opposition is her life time relevance int eh European Union.
3)Eskinder is simply repeating what Berhanu Nega was reading out to the US senators last month: He was begging them to sanction Ethiopia.
4)He has for far too long miscalculated that his American connections and whatever bullshit ‘awards’ he got can immune him from any legal accountability for his Nazi views against some ethnic groups of Ethiopia.
5) Finally, ቂጡን ግረፉት!!
ESKINDER YOU ARE NOT GOOD ETHIOPIAN WHO WISHES OR CONTRIBUTES GOOD IDEAS YOU ARE AN ENEMY OF A NATION NO BODY NEEDS YOU.NOW PLAY WITH RATS. WHO IS STUPID TO RELEASE THIS KIND OF MORONS.DO YOU THINK THE WEST IS EVERY THING?
This is to the best Government.
Prison is not only punishing the criminals for the crimes they commits but also it is a school and teacher to the criminals learning from their mistakes and doing their best in the future to be part of the normal and productive citizens. But if a criminal doesn’t learn from the mistakes and trying his best to pay back for the crimes he did which is being sorry translated in to practical action, he must be locked up in the worst jail the rest of his life including he has to work hard to cover his costs in prison. The nation must not take care the criminals in poison but they have to work hard under the prison system.
If a prisoner didn’t learn from his crimes while he is in prison and worst than that trying to commit another crimes while he is in prison as Eskindir is doing time after time misusing his freedom in prison, this must be the worst crime and the criminal must be mentally dead where no need to worry at all about his well being. He must be seen as the life time danger to the nation because of he is unable to learn from the past mistakes but continuing committing crimes after crimes while in prison.
Asking foreigners to stop doing anything good to Ethiopia must be the worst crime any citizen can commit. This is an indication, this kind criminals don’t care about the ordinary and poor citizens that need help and assistance the most.
Therefore, the Ethiopian government must charge and sentence this stupid individual for the crimes he is committing while in prison which is demanding the foreign nations to be bad and negative against Ethiopia with the activities they are doing in the name of the poor and weak. It doesn’t matter those things are working for the nation but they are there by name and no normal citizens even thinks asking the foreigners to stop them.
This is one of the worst crimes alongside the worthless and failed Durge criminals, their children and associates in Diaspora are wishing to stop the Hedase dam which is history will never forget it. Everything is recorded and there. These rats are still talking in the name of Ethiopia while there is no one but they are the worst enemies and hate mongers Ethiopia is facing until they die out one by one poor and destitute in foreign country with life achievements that is hate, being foolish, living with income support and failed life.
We, real and normal Ethiopians want to see Eskindir to be treated according to the law including for the crimes he is committing time after time from prison misusing the prison right he is getting. It is time to treat him based on the crimes he has committed and continues to do so. Hard working Ethiopians are demanding the Ethiopian government to be tough, decisive and hard against any one that is not part of Ethiopia which is marching from boarder to boarder on the development path. Those criminals standing in front of the Ethiopian 21-centrry development path must be eliminated like stone, bad tree and weds.
The people are demanding and relaying on the Ethiopian government to be very tough, quick and hard against the criminals that are trying to affect the development season in Ethiopia while motivating and supporting those doing their best. Ethiopia will be Ethiopia when not being imprisoned in own country by foreign aid and other tools they are using to keep us under their feet, but by Ethiopians hard work and being self sufficient at all levels including needs and necessities along side with very strong military and security forces that are not giving a shit time and reason towards bad citizens like this one but being quick and hard stopping them from the crimes they are committing.
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