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Ambassador Vicki Huddleston says Ethiopia needs to 'move on'

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12/22/11

  03:20:40 am, by admin, 811 words  
Categories: Ethiopia

Ambassador Vicki Huddleston says Ethiopia needs to 'move on'

Ambassador Vicki Huddleston says Ethiopia needs to move on

By Abebe Gellaw | December 21, 2011

Washington DC (ESAT)
-- Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, Assistant Deputy Secretary of Defense for Africa in the Office of the US Secretary of Defense, has said that Ethiopians have to move beyond the aftermath of elections 2005, which she referred to as a tragic time.

In an exclusive interview she gave to ESAT at the Pentagon, Ambassador Huddleston said that the aftermath of the 2005 elections left people feel excluded and bitter. “Ethiopia has to move beyond that time,” she said adding that both the opposition and the government need to begin “envisioning how they see Ethiopia in the future.” According to Ambassador Huddleston, Ethiopia is a great country but it can only be even greater “with all the people working together for the greatness and goodness of this country.”

She also noted that the U.S. Government had started bilateral talks with the Ethiopian government under the auspices of the State Department. “We are talking with Ethiopia about democracy, human rights, development and security,” she said.

Huddleston pointed out that she recently travelled to Ethiopia along with General Carter F. Ham, commander of U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM), and held talks with Mr. Zenawi and other senior government officials. She indicated that issues regarding human rights and democracy were raised during the talks and further revealed that US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton had set up a joint commission with the government to discuss democracy, economic and security matters.

The Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense further pointed out that the United States has two major concerns in Africa, i.e. extremism and humanitarian disaster. According to Huddleston, the U.S. is trying to address security and stability concerns by building the capacity of African military forces. “We believe that it is not the United States or its allies who should be involved in Africa or intervene in Africa. It’s rather up to African nations, governments and militaries to resolve their own problems such as extremism and internal conflict,” she noted.

She added that the United States does not wish to see armies that abuse their own citizens. “All militaries have to understand basic human rights, international military law and how they treat the citizens of their own citizens.”

With regard to security and stability concerns in the Horn of Africa, Huddleston said that the sub-region is a great example of building the capacity of militaries under civilian leadership to deal with problems. “What the Department of Defense has done, along with the Department of State, under the overarching policy of the National Security Council, is to provide assistance to AMISOM, the African Union peacekeeping effort in Somalia,” she said.

She further pointed out that the US is providing training, assistance and equipment to support Ugandan and Burundian peacekeepers in Somalia and commended their impressive resolve to stabilize Somalia.

In relation to sanctions imposed on Eritrea by the UN Security Council, Huddleston stated that the sanctions were mainly imposed for Eritrea’s effort to destabilize the Horn of Africa by supporting extremist groups like Al Shabaab, which she described as a threat to the stability of the Horn of Africa.

The Assistant Secretary of Defense also says that despite the problems, Ethiopia has a democracy with a elections, a legislature and judiciary but needs to nurture civil society. But the renowned Ghanaian Prof. George Ayittey, President of the Free Africa Foundation, disagrees with the notion that Ethiopia under Mr. Zenawi is on a path of democracy. “Ethiopia is categorically not a democratic country; never has been for the past 50 years. Elections alone don’t make a country “democratic.” Meles Zenawi held fraudulent elections in May 2005,” he observed.

“When Ethiopians poured into the streets to protest the results, Zenawi’s goons opened fire on them, killing at least 200. He then locked up more than 30,000 opposition leaders and their supporters. This blatant fraud was repeated in the May 2010 elections, when Zenawi’s party, Ethiopian People Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), secured 99.6 percent of the seats in Parliament – all but two of the 547 seats, effectively transforming Ethiopia into a de-facto one party state,” Ayittey said.

Prof. Ayittey called upon the US government to review its policy toward Ethiopia and make it more people-centered, rather than leader-centered. “For far too long, the US has invested much capital in the rhetoric of unsavory regimes, such as that of Zenawi. The brutal repression of the Zenawi regime runs counter to the freedom ideals the US espouses. More dangerously, the tyranny of the Zenawi regime may inspire the emergence of a rebel insurgency – exactly the same insurgency Zenawi waged against the dictator, Mengistu Hailemariam.”

Ambassador Huddleston, who served as US chargé d’affaires in Ethiopia during the 2005 election crisis, has told ESAT that she will be retiring at the end of this month and promised to have a more candid interview as a private citizen.

11 comments

Comment from: Awassa [Visitor]
Awassa

Dear Abebe, I have watched the vidio and I am ver sadned by the fact that you as an Ethiopian were argueing with an American against your own country. The American lady thinks Ethiopia is a great and hopeful country and you argue otherwise just because it doesn’t suit your idea of how ethiopia should be ruled or who should lead Ethiopia. She seems to have a deep knowledge of the region and understands Ethiopia’s reason for not being as open as it should be. She has in fact indirectly told you that as long as there are people like you who are willing to work with any enemy including those who have an open policy to dismember and weaken ethiopia, it is hard and in fact stupid for Ethiopia to go soft on any one that pauses a threat to Ethiopia’s stability. She is honest about the importance of Ethiopia’s unity and stability not only for Ethiopians but the region and by extension the world in general. But It is amazing how aggressively and desperately you the so called oppositions are shooting yoursekves in the foot. Why invite people who know the painful truth about Ethiopia doing well and end up having to struggle to accept their opinion? you claim to be Amhara but have non of Amhara’s courage and patriotism in you and you don’t understand her polite and diplomatic way of telling you how Ethiopia is more important to yoy than the grange you have against certain personalities or ethnic group. The worst part is when you argued on behalf of Eritrea…that is like arguing on behalf of all unti-Ethiopian forces such as Egypt and few other Arab state that have a known ideological and strategic ambition over that region specially Ethiopia but have been pursuing their cause through poor Somalians and Eritreans..To be honest I don’t care wither any one believes me or not and i don’t expect to be believed, but I am a southerner and I am damb-struck by how a once proud and patriotic people of Amhara is being misrepresented by these few idiotic diaspora’s like you..all you seem to care about is his your shortsighted dream of snatching power from Tigrians, unbelievable.

12/22/11 @ 05:13
Comment from: prince of konso [Visitor]
prince of konso

the good professor is telling us there has not been democracy for the last 50 years. how about before that. wow! the country was showered with ‘democracy’under the emperor. this man is a joke. either he is ignorant about ethiopian history or he is hanging around too much with another ignorant professor we call almariam.

12/22/11 @ 09:03
Comment from: John Harbeson [Visitor]
John Harbeson

Professor Ayittey is right and, with all due respect, Ambassador Huddleston is completely mistaken.
The 2010 election was not free and fair, and the Charities and Societies Act, in design and as it is implemented, all but suppresses civil society.

12/22/11 @ 09:40
Comment from: yoni [Visitor]
yoni

In Conclusion for Ethiopia to be fully blown democracy…

-Oppositions must get serious and practice Democracy themselves

-Vanish Insurgency (Shabiya must die)

-GOE must make sure the above two happens…

lol

12/22/11 @ 12:18
Comment from: NoStRaDaMuS [Visitor]
NoStRaDaMuS

“The Assistant Secretary of Defense also says that despite the problems, Ethiopia has a democracy with a elections, a legislature and judiciary but needs to nurture civil society. But the renowned Ghanaian Prof. George Ayittey, President of the Free Africa Foundation, disagrees with the notion that Ethiopia under Mr. Zenawi is on a path of democracy. “Ethiopia is categorically not a democratic country; never has been for the past 50 years. Elections alone don’t make a country “democratic.” Meles Zenawi held fraudulent elections in May 2005,” he observed.”

ESAT, you just can’t handle the truth, can you?

when ambassador Huddleston tellS you the truth, you immediatly brought a second diplomant (activist) to discredit her. Why? you just can’t stop your shamefull act. And you call yourself free and fair. What a joke.

And for the rest of the oppesition, isn’t it bad when you see such view from some one you can’t lable him/her TIGREA.

12/22/11 @ 13:07
Comment from: ,,opk [Visitor]
,,opk

Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, has been duped by Chiled killer Melse Naziew. Ironically she strongly argue Ethinc thugs TPLF is in the right trak to bering democracy in Ethiopia. For Ethiopians who has been oppressed by the ethnic juntas supported. What she does not accept is that the Ethinc junta is volluantrly used for a pawn to marched in Somali. We Ethiopias has to free ourselves from this Ethinc junta who uses any means to cling to power. We must identify them while they’re in our mist and target them.

12/22/11 @ 14:38
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]
TEDDY

Who cares about this ugly lady ,who is
supporting the “Blood Sucker Tyrant ” and wanna us to swallow her
lies .Mrs Huddleston where the hell have you seen in a country which more than 90% of the economic activities are controlled by an evil
ethno mafia group (TPLF)where a blood sucker tyrant is days and nights comitting Human’s Right Violation in war with the majority
of the peoples to be considered as a
valuable partner of USA .How come a country where 99 % of the peoples are starving to be included as one of the six economically fasting economic grow ? By the way who gave you such childish fake statistics ,HOPE NOT THE TPLF BANDITS AND THE TIGRE MAFIOSIS !!!!You have stated that you wish all the best to Ethiopia and the Ethiopian Peoples ,if it’s that so why don’t you take a clear position by finally acepting the wills of the majority of the Ethiopian Peoples and stop giving your Financial and Military assistance to the Tyrant Zenawi .Denouncing the Bachar’s Despotic regime and the crimes comitted against the soryan’s peoples is a good thing !!!But do not advocate the cases of the TPLF bandits in the name of Geostrategical politics in the Horn of Africa .

12/22/11 @ 15:48
Comment from: 100% ethiopian [Visitor]
100% ethiopian

WHAT IS NEW. WE ALL KNOW EVEN THE OPPOSITION KNOW ETHIOPIA IS IN THE RIGHT TRACK. YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE SPACE SCIENTIST TO KNOW THAT. THE ONLY EXCUSE THE OPPOSITION USE TO JUSTIFY THERE CAUSE IS ONLY TWO THINGS 1. THE PERSON LEADING ETHIOPIA IS FROM TIGRAY AND SOME PEOPLE ESPECIALLY THE AHMARA ELITE WHO THINK THEY ARE SUPERIOR HATE THAT FACT. 2. TO GAIN POWER AND LOOT THE POOR PEOPLE’S MONEY AKA GREED. BUT THE ETHIOPIAN PEOPLE ARE WELL AWARE OF THIS AND HAVE REJECTED THE OPPOSITION WHO ONLY SPEAK OF ETHNIC HATE. TRIABILISM HAS ENDED IN 19TH CENTURY. WE ARE NOW IN THE 22ND CENTURY. ETHIOPIA IS INDEED IN THE RIGHT TRACK BUT IT IS ONLY THE START. WE HAVE A LONG WAY TO GO.

GOD BLESS ETHIOPIA
GOD BLESS EPRDF

12/22/11 @ 18:46
Comment from: Truth be told [Visitor]
Truth be told

Look guys,this scenerio and outcome is expected when you interview a sitting public office holder. what do u expect her to tell u?? if you didn’t know by now how American foreign policy works, you would never know.she is a pentagon official with a drone in ethiopian soil in arba minch or whereever. America has a huge interest in the horn like the the saharan region in africa. so they would never criticize a dictator in public or on video who they consider as an ally for their own interest. take egypt as an example,secretary of state Hilary clinton maintained to tell the whole world that mubarek is stable and democratic during the revolution until the last day she knew for sure he lost his grip on power. the same will be the faith of our own dictator.but it’s up to us to say enough is enough or give them the benefit of the doubt. when that happens,the tone would definetly change.besides the ambassador promised a tell-all interview next time as a private citizen when she retires by end of this month.so there is more to come..stay tuned.cheers.

12/23/11 @ 05:17
Comment from: Gobez [Visitor]
Gobez

Dear Netters,
Can we agree to disagree in a civilized manner? Why do we jump to belittle some one who reflects his/her views on Ethiopa. We need to grow up and express our belief in a proper way than insulting and demonizing others.

TEDDY,
As a frequent visitor to this website, I always read your comments. All of them are childish and vulgar. If you have substance to present based on the article posted, please do so without your filthy words.
All the time you sound an angry person and unable to convey your views effectively. While appreciating your comments, it would benefit us if your comments are based on facts without insulting others. Remember, Ethiopia belongs to more than 80 different tribes; not you only!!!

12/24/11 @ 00:19
Comment from: Garii [Visitor]
Garii

If election alone is making a country a ” democratic ” which country does not have So called election? why USA blame Iran , Iraq, North korea , Zimbabuwe, Burma, Syria and others ?

It look like that she is concerned about security of the region. But the main source of instability is the west partiality and double talk of human right and democracy . Whatever the USA do no peace while they support manority regime and killers! Somalia can not stablized as far as Somalia Import leaders and the will of Somalia people is not respected. How others care if Somalians like whatever system they follow?
The insurrection in ethiopia would not be subdued as far as tyrenny is there. Temporary interest of security would hurt the the future exitance the country as a nation. If she really like the country as she claim, it is better to tackle the problem now than deffering it for the future when it would have more negative effect.
If ethiopia has impoved in corruption, how 3.9 billion dillar leaked out, and 10 thousand tonne of coffee disapprear , multi-million worth of Gold is replaced by metal? She sound like one of Woyanne cadres!
Any how she told the truth lastly. “Ask when I am ordinary citizen not USA official". She implied that what they are doing as a state are not truth!

12/26/11 @ 04:00

rebtel

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