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Ethiopia as a waste disposal اثيوبيا باعتبارها التخلص من النفايات
By Yilma Bekele
The embattled former tyrant president of Yemen Ali Abdullah Saleh is going to settle in Ethiopia. Ethiopia will be his home in exile. Ethiopia was not his first choice. He wanted to settle in Oman his neighbor on the West. The Sultan of Oman was not receptive to the idea. His attempt to go to the UAR was politely rebuffed. Ethiopia is a refuge of last resort. We are being used as a dump. I am certainly familiar with that practice of getting rid of waste. Upon finishing a project we always have left over debris. We normally haul it to a public dump where they charge by the pound. The City makes extra effort to recycle our garbage.
That is what came to mind when I heard about good old Saleh being run out of Sanna, Yemen. They are dumping their debris and I was wondering how much The Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia was charging for this waste. It is a container full I am told. Considering all the wives and the children and the nephews and the cousins and fellow partners in crime it is quiet a heavy load. It is raining dollars for EFFORT and junior associates.
You might think I am being too harsh. I am being hateful and it is wrong to vent in such a way. You must be saying how rude of me to call a former President such a name. I very much doubt you would judge me harshly after I tell you who Mr. Saleh is. I assure you he is not an ordinary refugee like most of us. None of us left on a chartered plane did we? I present you fellow refugee Ali Saleh.
Ali Saleh has less than elementary education. In 1960 he graduated from the North Yemen Military Academy with a rank of Corporal. In 1978 as a Second lieutenant he was appointed military governor of a province. Upon the assassination of the President Second lieutenant Saleh was appointed a member of the four-man Provisional Presidency Council. The date was June 24th of 1978. On July 17, 1978 Second lieutenant Saleh was ‘elected’ by the parliament to be the President of North Yemen and Chief of staff and Commander-in-chief of the armed forces.
His first act as president was execute thirty officers after charging them with conspiracy. That took place on August 10th. Of 1978. In 1979 he fought with the Peoples Democratic Republic of Yemen his southern neighbor. In 1990 the two counties merged as Republic of Yemen and the newly minted colonel Saleh became the first president. In 1994 he declared state of emergency and dismissed his Southern partners from office. Fighting ensued between the two Yemen’s. There has been no respite from civil war and civil unrest ever since he came to power. It did not matter the North or the South it was always war and conflict. In his own words he survived ‘by dancing on the heads of snakes.’ He is able to do so by manipulating tribal alliances, political intrigues and iron fisted approach to deal with real and perceived enemies. He created the situation and benefited himself and his family and other criminal friends. He lived in a palace that even got ‘gold-crested armchairs.’
By 2006 Yemen was averaging income of $5.5 billion from oil exports. In 2006 Yemen was allocated $4.7 billion from Europeans and their rich Gulf neighbors. Yemen was not hurting for money. The problem was management of all that was pouring in from oil, donors and remittances from poor Yemenis scattered all over the Middle East.
That is what happens when one is cursed with a sick leader in charge. His political and economic policies are designed to satisfy his and his clan’s parasitic existence not the needs of the country. Coffee used to be Yemen’s main export and principal form of foreign exchange until it was replaced by the non-sustainable (qat). Instead of developing domestic industry thru better education and incentives to entrepreneurs Saleh’s policy made Yemen dependent on outsiders and forced his youngest and brightest citizens to migrate out to send him remittances that he squandered. Yemen became what is known as a ‘failed state.’
As his domestic policy revolved around the survival of his family and friends his foreign policy showed the erratic nature of his regime. Saleh’s support of Saddam Hussein’s invasion of Kuwait was so disastrous it caused the relocation of over 850,000 Yemenis. They were unceremoniously deported, kicked out, pushed away from Saudi Arabia and the Gulf. His clueless dance with Tehran isolated Yemen from its Arab neighbors.
Tyrants are peculiar animals. The same Saleh who was a friend of Saddam and ally of Iran was not shy visiting Washington in 2001 and declaring himself to be the number one fighter against ‘Islamic terrorism.’ It gave him new ammunition against domestic opponents and millions of dollars in US aid to his private army. Did I tell you that his oldest son Ahmed is the commander of the US funded Republican Guard and his nephew Amar is in charge of National Security; his other nephew Tariq is the head of the Presidential Guard while another nephew Yahya controls the Counter-terrorism unit. It is all in the family. He is still dancing on the head of snakes.
Poor Yemen that has been limping from one crisis to another saw an opening with the arrival of
‘Arab Spring’. Tunisia stirred their passion for freedom. January 27, 2011 is a blessed day. That was the day Yemenis got rid of fear and went out in mass demanding the ouster of Saleh and family. A cancerous tumor that has taken over thirty years to attach itself to the host cannot be excised so easy. It took exactly a year to drive this varmint out of Yemen. Human Rights Watch has documented the deaths of 270 protesters and bystanders during last year’s protests. Thousands more protesters were injured by live ammunition. The country was turning or stands a good chance of becoming another Somalia. Saleh is the owner of this debacle.
This is the toxic garbage dumped on our country. The Yemeni people will demand justice. They will hunt this criminal and his family to the end of the earth to bring him to justice. No one can blame them. Ethiopia will be exposed to their righteous anger and be caught in this family affair. Our country that has prided itself protecting freedom fighters and is the seat of African Union is fast becoming a refugee to criminals and misfits running away from their sins and International Justice. Today Saleh may be tomorrow Sudan’s Al Bashir and who is to stop Assad from pitching his tent in the rift valley. Ironic that her children are run away while criminals are welcome.
International treaties and conventions are nothing to sneer at. It is true they serve the interest of the big powers in more ways than one. It is also the best tool at hand that usually serves the interest of the weak. Go to International Criminal Court of Justice Web site and look under ‘situation and cases’ and you will see what I mean. (http://www.icc-cpi.int/Menus/ICC/Home) That is one scary bunch you see there. The ICCJ is a last resort of the weak and the voiceless. Our country has appealed to the League of Nations and the UN when invaded. Turning against international rules and convention is not the way to garner respect or legitimacy.
What is troubling to the rest of us is the role played by the Western powers in this tragic affair. They were perfectly aware that Saleh is not a pleasant human being to be associated with. They encouraged him because he served their purpose. Wikileaks was kind enough to expose their duplicity in this criminal enterprise. In 2009 the US gave $150 million including $45 million to equip and train an aviation regiment for Yemeni Special Forces. It is sad that in order to safeguard their own security that they turn a blind eye when the same weapon is used against unarmed civilians.
They are the ones that forced the Yemeni people to swallow this poisonous pill of ‘immunity’. The so-called agreement brokered by the US and the Gulf states is supposed to shielded Saleh, his friends and family from all criminal act against their own people. Thus the Yemenis are expected to pretend thirty-four years of crime and destruction did not happen.
It is supposed to be civilized to forgive and let go. Civility as a principle is understandable but the danger I see is when it is practiced to mask issues such as accountability, justice and the rule of law. What the Western powers did was push international law, international treaties under the rug so some still surviving tyrants will not be unduly alarmed. The about-face action by dear allies and friends of Mubarak and Gaddafi has been duly noted by a few in the neighborhood. As recently as January 6, 2012 UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay reasserted that an amnesty cannot be granted for serious crimes under international law. Who is listening?
I was contemplating issues such as this when I heard a report regarding Gambella, Ethiopia - on public radio. Mr. Saleh is being welcomed to settle in our country and Ato Okok Ojulu is displaced from his ancestral land to roam the planet as a refugee.
Ato Ojulu’s Gambella is in Western Ethiopia. It is sparsely populated. They are settled farmers. They are blessed with a beautiful land that has sustained them for generations. Our leader has determined since he is the owner of the land he felt he is better of leasing it to outsiders. The plan consisted of moving Ato Ojulu and his village to a new area. They did not even have time to harvest when they were forcefully moved.
A peaceful villager is now a refugee in Kenya. He is not equipped to live outside of his village. His land is his identity. He was content where he was. Today his beautiful Gambella is becoming one big commercial farm. They are talking about investing billions and growing rice. They are going to use the mighty river for irrigation and dump their fertilizer waste into the water. The fishes and wild animals are going the way of Ato Ojulu. Gambella will be no more. The Anuk way of life will soon be memory.
I sat in my car. I am responsible for my brother’s plight. I let his village down. Ojulu my brother is telling his story all the way from Kenya. He was keeping the spirit of his ancestors alive. He has no control over the action of the Ethiopian Government that looked at him as insignificant. There is nothing he can do about the Saudi/Indian/Chinese investors. My brother Ojulu has control over his own response. He is fighting back the way he knows how. It was a single voice from across the planet but I heard it loud. My friend Solomon heard it and called me. I am sure lots of people heard it and felt moved. How we respond is up to each of us. I also know Ojulu is not asking for pity.
As he remembered his displaced people he is asking us to do what is in our power to help him save a way of life and a proud people. There is a lot we can do. Get involved and make a difference. All our independent sites are filled with programs to help us get informed and be intelligent citizens. Our love and can do spirit will defiantly neutralize all the negatives emanating from the palace. As my brother Ojulu did let us be in control of our response. (http://www.solidaritymovement.net/signPetion.cfm )
Now I hope you will not judge me harshly regarding my indignation about the individual Ali Saleh. He has caused pain and agony to a lot of people. Answering why will never explain how his criminal activity has impacted real people. Due to his madness and delusion he felt that he was the only one fit to govern. He felt others lack his superior intellect and don’t even know to appreciate how lucky they are to have him at the helm. Any one that thinks different is nothing but an enemy of the state to be eliminated and wiped out.
In an Interview he gave a few weeks before he left this is what Saleh said about the uprisings in the area “This is a virus and is not part of our heritage or the culture of the Yemeni people.” I would say boy did they ever surprise him! This is the person parking his criminal behind on our precious land. I feel like a doormat.
It is ironic to see the same regime that complained about Mengistu getting refuge in Zimbabwe is pulling a Mugabe. Hope this fact is not lost on the Ethiopian public. Meles’ day of reckoning is coming soon too.
In 1991 Meles Zenawi told Gaddafi that he is Yemeni not Ethiopian
tew tew atasken. This rather shows how Ethiopia is becoming a pacifier.what days are you counting in relation to meles the states man?
….your speculations are simply speculations and are FACT FREE.Ethiopia has an obligatory peace maker role in the current political turmoil in Yemen.Unstable yemen is a threat for peace and security of not only Ethiopia but the whole East African reagion.And do not forget Ali abdelah Saleh still has political and financial influence in Yemen ; and he has done a resonable move for the sake of his country and its people.It is true he was a dictator and he has done good by choosing exile…..
I am against the idea.But,so far, we haven’t heard yet any thing official about this issue from the Ethiopian government. Peace!!
This shows how Ethiopia has become a place of dispicable tyrants.
This decads of tyrant must feel secured to fall into another dispised tyrants’s (Meles Zenawi) hand.
After being rejected from other countries only a tyrant welcomes his like.
Of course countries with high standard for their fellow beings will not allow unwanted rotten dictator to live in their counrty.
Yilma the angry Amhara would certainly love it if the Yemeni dictator indeed ends up in exile in Ethiopia not because he is truely concerned about Ethiopia but because it gives him a ‘golden opportunity’ to tarnish the good name of Ethiopia. Angry neftegnas like yilma are always hunry for some bad news about our beloved Ethiopia. Nothing excites them about some drought, ethnic or religious conflict in Ethiopia, such disasters are their best fighting tools against the gallant EPRDF.
You the only one with waste disposal mission and propaganda if this man choose somewhere in west you wouldn’t raise your toxic voice. He choice Ethiopia due to many reason environment,hospitality of the habitant and etc. To remind you Ethiopia;s king welcome peace up on him Prophet Mohammed.
Helping a criminal evade the law is NOT being a pacifier the proper legal terminology for it is an “ACCESSORY". By the way Meles is in his 50s right now and given that he lives well in terms of diet and medical care he can expect to live well for another 30 years. The unfortunate fact about this is that the political system he has built is not sustainable for that long. Nor will the public or elite tolerate him for that long. Add on to this todays flow of information and his situation is untenable.
The inherent flaw of dictatorships is that they concentrate power in one individual to insure that the system does not function without them. The problem with this is that even the elites they have coopted eventually get tired of them. Think of the newly minted millionaires that exist in Addis because of their connection to the regime. These guys will soon start clipping Meles’ wing to protect their wealth. They will not tolerate the fact that they can loose everything at Meles’ will. This has happened throughout history from the monarchies of Europe to Putin in modern day Russia. Your Emperor will soon get his too trust me, the likes of Gadaffi had far more wealth and yet they succumed. The public can barely afford 3 meals a day while some connected to the teat of the regime live in decadence. You cannot hide this fact and it’s just a matter of time this issue blows the lid off this boiling pot.
What most of the world calls waste is a very precious person or thing in Ethiopia. Ethiopians are happy to get the waste of the other parts of the world.
Saleh did a favor for TPLF during their struggle wars against the Neftenga oppressive rules of the country.Thus Ethiopian people why not shouldn’t pay back the favors that they owed to President.WHe helped Ethiopians self rightous freedom struggles and unlike the Aden communist regime,the North Yeman of the Abdallah Saleh’s government of Yamen continuously gives the help and the support they needed a various struggling Ethiopia peoples against the tyrant Ahmara Derg regime.You all remeber of cruel Mengistu and his Derg regime wants to wipe out the peoples of Tigray,Eritrea and the Somali Ogadenis during 1980s.of course with help of wars communist pact,they killed from the Air and ground a millions of innoncent Ethiopians,especially the Tigray peoples.I read a book writen by western jourlist reporter who was working at that time for the Red cross in that North part of the country at that time"the untold war story of the struggle of EPLF and TPLF by the western Media” since then I’m well aware the cause of the worldwide known famine which killed a more than a millions Tigrays people in hunger WASN’T coused by natural draught desastars BUT it was rather a man made hangers.The Derg regime wasn’t allowed the people of Tigray to reach the donated food ration and not allowed them to flee in naiboring countries.The cruel Ahmara derg regime decided to isolate the people of Tigray until they all dies for lack of foods while their aid foods kept in the government stores! what cruelity of Neftanga.On the other hand the world’s ANGO amazingly well awre the crime activitiy of the derg regime.They known the Ration suppllied it was not reaching to the people of Tigray and Eritrea and the Derg regime are forcefully relacting the people of Tigray to wpie out from Ethiopia for good.The author emphysized the awareness of the western,especially the USA the criminal conducts of Ahmara regime against TPLF and EPLF and they had never said a word nor condemoned the cruelity and genocided the Derg committing.instead they keep shipping the food aid to the communist regime of Ahmara Derg.
Therfore,it was then in those hardship days for the people of Tigray and Eritrea when President Abdalla Saleh helping the struggles of both people of TPLF and Eplf.
So whats the fuss in here if that Ato Melese gives him hulter host,the poor and ousted president of the Yeman.Is that a big deal if Ethiopia offer a shullter a president who was a close friend with Ethiopia?
How about the Haile Selesse time when he was runaway for his live and that him and all his Dogs lived in London? come on Neftenga!!
Also that crazy Gadafi one time said similar comments of that ” Mengestu and Menelink both were related in blood and their origins roots where from Zembawe.So we believed you if you heard that Gadafi making such comment in public.
What has happened to these guys? They must have head/brain injury since childhood?
Their brain is rotten. These are the representative of Meles? What a shame. How can we expect anything interesting from these dumb individuals?
Doesn’t disgraced Saleh no longer can step his foot in Yemen because he is hated and rejected by his own people in his own country mean anything to you?
After decades in power the Yemeni people finally rooted out Saleh and his family and NO country wants to give them refuge. Yet the garbage collector, Meles’s mouth is open to take in this garbage. Is this something that gives you pride?
Your brain twisted around Amhara and Neftegna on every issue shows that how you guys have inferiority complex with no brain at all.
Amhara Neftegna, Oromo Neftegna and even many Tigreans are the once who paid the heavy price to bring pride and freedom to all Ethiopians. Yet you don’t see that as an honorable service to Ethiopia.
If they were opportunist parasites banda with no brain like you we all would have been slaves of Italians.
you make him look like a dum soldgier for a country governed by mengistu he is smart he pays his due to the west by fighting the religious fanatics he knows how to survive better than gaddafi or mubarek probably smarter than bush or you.
I am sure part of the deal was to provide him with 100,000 hectars of land for free to grow rice and Chat. He and his family will live happily ever after until the Ethiopian people rise up and kick him and his host.
Dictator, Saleh is unfortunate and an idiot.If his coming to Ethiopia is show of solidarity with Zinawi,the terrorist, make no mistake and mark our words, this idiot will first kiss the coffin that is presented to him,then he will pack up himself and will be sent to the receiver,Zinawi, the robber.
If he is exiled to Ethiopia for permanent residency,again, make no mistake,he shall be chained to Zinawi’s body and will be kept on a display for years until the chain gets rusted and the filth turns into nothing but pungent smell.
Ben Ali did exile to Saudi and continued enjoying rise,whisky,gambling, and blue movies;well,good for him until one day by the mircal his fate will do and when he is taken to the land where he murdered citizens to bittwely enjoy eternal imprisonment.
As per Zinawi,the criminal,he is definitely in no way thinking of being a residency of Ethiopia;no,no,and no.He has already convinced himslef that it is just a matter of time he being captured and stand for a quick trial and judment. Yes,this criminal is crazy for blood and wealth and is cronically an addict to khat;with khat, he would go crazy on himself and hurt anybody around him. When Zinawi is captured, he will fiest be taken to Saleh for the last a goodby kiss to receive from and to give to;then both will be done appropriately.
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