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Ethiopia: For Susan Rice, a Chance for Redemption
By Selam Beyene
The eulogy delivered in Addis Ababa by Susan Rice, the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations, on the occasion of the funeral and mysterious death of the late Prime Minister of Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, will probably go down in the annals of US diplomacy as one of the most inauspicious moments in which an opportunity was missed to assert the values of this great country.
To the dismay of the people of Ethiopia, the Ambassador failed to seize the moment to send an unwavering message of America’s commitment to democracy and the rule of law to a captive audience that included TPLF cadres and some of the most notorious African dictators, and instead chose to join the likes of Omar al-Bashir of Sudan in profiling a larger-than-life portrait of the deceased despot, who had ruled that poor African nation with an iron fist for over two decades.
In complete ignorance of her own State Department report on the abysmal human rights records of Zenawi, Rice gave credence to the outlandish fanfare the TPLF cadres had orchestrated, in a brazen imitation of the Kim of North Korea, to idolize the “Great Leader”, and added her voice to the ululation the inhabitants of Addis were dictated to wail under deplorable duress.
For a seasoned diplomat, that moment was a golden opportunity to reiterate to the cadres of the TPLF and other African dictators in attendance the timeless message of Barack Obama in which he perceptively counseled:
".... there are some who advocate for democracy only when they're out of power; once in power, they are ruthless in suppressing the rights of others. So no matter where it takes hold, government of the people and by the people sets a single standard for all who would hold power: You must maintain your power through consent, not coercion; you must respect the rights of minorities, and participate with a spirit of tolerance and compromise; you must place the interests of your people and the legitimate workings of the political process above your party. Without these ingredients, elections alone do not make true democracy. “
In point of fact, diplomats do not often get a second chance to redeem themselves from catastrophic missteps. Fortunately for Rice there is a second chance to make nice with the Ethiopian people and to discharge her diplomatic responsibilities with prudence by engaging the Ethiopian delegation on what is expected of good governance, when they come to New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly on September 28, 2012.
Recognizing Ethiopia is at a crossroads, the Ambassador should exercise discreet diplomacy and send a strong message to the EPRDF kingmakers that the time to play ethnic politics is over; and that leaders who do not play by the rule of law, who consider themselves above the law and who deny their people basic human rights and the freedom to choose their own government, will be disallowed membership to the community of civilized nations and denied access to much-needed loans and financial assistance.
More importantly, the Ambassador should take to heart and reinforce Barack Obama’s direction:
"... Governments that protect these rights are ultimately more stable, successful and secure. Suppressing ideas never succeeds in making them go away. America respects the right of all peaceful and law-abiding voices to be heard around the world, even if we disagree with them. And we will welcome all elected, peaceful governments-- provided they govern with respect for all their people."
Following the unexpected demise of Meles Zenawi, leaders of his ethnic-based party, the Tigrayan People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), and the umbrella front, the EPRDF, have on many occasions expressed their determination to continue his repressive policies by other means, without regard to the rights and aspirations of the people of Ethiopia for a free and all-inclusive representative government.
Many peace and freedom loving Ethiopians hope that the recent announcement by the regime’s propaganda chief, Bereket Simon, concerning the appointments of Hailemariam Dessalegn, a Southerner, as chairman and Demeke Mekonnen, an Amhara, as vice-chairman, of the EPRDF, is not a window-dressing move intended to enable the perpetuation of the ethnocentric dictatorship of the TPLF, that still is in full control of the vital economic, military and security institutions of the country.
Ethiopians at home and in the Diaspora anxiously pray that the EPRDF cadres are not succumbing to an age-old trick of dictators who appoint figureheads and hold sham elections in order to buy time to eliminate opponents and entrench themselves in power. They painfully remember all too well how Mengistu Haile-Mariam deceptively used this ruse when he placed Aman Andom, an Eritrean, and later Teferi Banti, an Oromo, as heads of state, before he conveniently eliminated them and imposed his brand of brutal dictatorship.
With the vast majority of the army generals still hailing from the minority Tigrai ethnic group, TPLF affiliated conglomerates controlling the vital economic activities in the country, journalists and other dissenting members of the society languishing in prison in thousands, major opposition groups completely shut out from the political process, and all relevant mediums of communication controlled by the ruling party, many genuine Ethiopians wait to be convinced that it is not a charade for the EPRDF cadres to pretend they have a change of heart in naming members of other ethnic groups to leadership positions.
The Ambassador and the US government have a historic opportunity to impress on the EPRDF cadres to establish a strong Ethiopia and leave a lasting legacy by abandoning the destructive ethnic policy of the late dictator, and opening the door for genuine dialogue and discourse on the way forward to building a better Ethiopia – an Ethiopia in which individual rights will be respected; everyone will have the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness; and no individual or group will be above the law.
All internal and external players should understand the bitter fact that a minority member of a society cannot continue to rule, repress, exploit and deny the basic rights of the vast majority through force, repression, subterfuge and espionage. History has shown time and again, be it in Apartheid South Africa or Ian Smiths’ Rhodesia, that repression and exploitation by a minority ethnic group would inevitably fade away. Failure to understand this historical verity has drastic consequences; and as John F. Kennedy famously said: “Those who make peaceful evolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable”.
In case the EPRDF leaders and their sponsors find it necessary to be reminded, the following are prudent measures, embraced by all freedom and peace loving Ethiopians, that should be implemented immediately as a demonstration of goodwill and readiness to change :
1. Release, unconditionally, all political prisoners, including such journalists as Eskinder Nega.
2. Annul all repressive laws promulgated in the name of “war on terror” but intended to harass, intimidate and incarcerate opposition groups and individuals.
3. Invite all opposition groups inside and outside of Ethiopia who fight for the establishment of rule of law and democracy in Ethiopia, and form a consensus on a framework for establishing democracy in the country.
4. Permit unfettered freedom of speech and expression.
5. Desist from implementing irresponsible economic and fiscal policies, abandon the current campaign of land grabs, and foster a market economy where all citizens participate in business opportunities without regard to political, religious or ethnic affiliations.
6. Diversify the monolithic army leadership through active recruitment of talents from all ethnic groups that constitute the Ethiopian mosaic.
You are an Eritrean & an “Idiot” at best. No comments for your utterly disjointed writting.
Out of the 80 million population, why these internet scumbugs care about Eskinder Nega. Who the hell is he anyway? Has he ever done anything for the poor of that country - other than, of course, writting shitt load of nothing.
Susan Rice has told us what US thinks about Woyane. She told us that Eprdf was generous in helping USA fighting Terrorism in Somalia.
Do you understand what the word “generous” means in this instance? It means Eprdf involved itself in Somalia including loosing its soldiers’ life not for self interest but for the interest of USA, hoping to befriend it.
No big deal because Woyane has no friends in Ethiopia except Tigreans.
But Analysts failed to understand Rice’s speech. what a shame to Ethiopian intelligence!!!
“To the dismay of the people of Ethiopia, ..” Where the funk do you guys live???? Not only did I love her speech, which was probably the best compared to the many that spoke; Obama himself should have attended!
TYPICAL DEAF DIASPORA, SPEAKING “ON BEHALF” OF ETHIOPIANS.
selam Beyene,I thank you for your disorganized and unfair writting.Nobody to listen this kind of discure specially from Eritirian.We are a great country Ethiopian.
This is all about Ethiopia.
I wonder why people like Alem nick twist the story to Eritrean side. What has those people to do with us? What I read here is why Susan Rice sounded as she did on the occassion? We need to discuss issues and not personalities.
Woyane agents try hard to cover their crime with twisted philosophy, ugly nature.
You and your kind are furious Susan Rice said what she said the way she said it. Chalut! It is what it is b!tches!
Tell this crack head bi£&xc. To go to hill.
This is Ethiopia and God is on our side.
It doesn’t matter whether he is or is not doing anything for his country. It is not your business or my business to judge others. First and foremost we must try to see our own image in the mirror and ask ourselves what good we have done to others.
What is important for me is; Eskinder has the rights as a citizen to enjoy his right without anybody intervention. [be it a government or individual]
Alem where are we now and in which century? In this 21st century, as a citizen or as a democrat we have to defend the right of an individual in all circumstance if we are brave enough.
To defend evil government and their CADRES are a sin humanly and spiritually.
Please do not give names for people against your idea, rather try to challenge them with other good idea.
Why do we listen to what Eritreans thought of our visionary and intelligent late prime minister. It puzzles me why Eritreans are obsessed with Ethiopia, had they not fought all these years to have nothing to do with Ethiopia?
Susan Rice said that Meles was an intelligent and witty person who was uncompromising when it comes to Ethiopia and Africa. She said further that he was too sure of himself and that they had hard but civil arguments over many topics. This is the hard truth which is hard to swallow for cellar rats like Selam Beyene.
It is surreal to be lectured on good governance and human rights by an Eritrean! Ethiopian enemies believe that Ethiopians are easy target without Meles, that is why the Egyptian media like Bikya Masr, Al Jazeera etc.. are belittling and attacking everything Ethiopian on a daily basis. Ethiopians must close ranks and stand together more than ever. Long live Ethiopia!
It is obvious that Madame Susan Rice made a mistake in praising Meles. But it would mean we have to condemn Obama, the Clintons, the Brits and others who likewise would have praised him. We are suffering from what the apocrypha calls the spirit of error. It is a fact, there are far worse elements than Meles and his people. Righteous minded people vocally object to Meles and his enemy-like dictatorship, treachery and looting, however, for every nobel thinking person, there are tens of thousands of pretentious, cruel, unworthy, dangerous and undeserving people. The all-seeing creator deliberately placed the current people knowing, with eagle-eyes view, what is better for us. There are the Dergue-like people, who, even outside the country still buse, controll, slander and mislead us. There are the extreme Muslims, who, given the opportunity would add the country under the Islam column. There are a whole lot people who are incompetent, worse, backward and wrong for the country. Maybe the spirit told Susan Rice to say bad things about certain opposition. Not all opposition are ok.
President Obama ,Accra ’s Speech of
his debut of Mandate was burried under American Real Politics and Geo
Strategical Interests .So what reflecting Mrs. Suzan Rice speech Idolizing the Crime Minister with the bunch of African despots and Agazi Bandits gathering at his funeral .Afterall it’s not Mrs Rice
and State Department Officials who can bring political change in Ethiopia .But only by ourselveses with
the wills and mights of the Ethiopian Peoples .
Hypocrite people like you can’t understand Ethiopia. You prescribed Susan Rice for a chance for redemption because she told the truth about the relationships of Meles and the Ethiopian people. She told the world that whether you like Meles or not, you have no other choice but to call him a leader at his finest. Yes, Susan like other people may not agree in everything he did, but she knows he did everything by putting his country’s interest first. She also couldn’t deny the fact on the ground is progress in every aspect of Ethiopians’ life.
She knows and respects that like she works so hard for her country’s interest, Meles had to work extra hard for his poor country interest as well. I am very sure Meles and Susan had exchanged some intellectual criticism to each other however, that didn’t change the fact he was working so hard to get his country out of poverty without bowing or bending to unacceptable preconditions.
Unlike you! Susan Rice saw with her necked eyes how Ethiopian people were devastated by the passing of their leader, and she consoled them with the truth in their time of sorrow and grief. You and the like joked and mocked about Ethiopian sincere expression of sadness however, the joke is on you! You did cut the last string you had with Ethiopian people. They disowned you and cursed the day you were born because you are a shame to the humanity.
Do you know what makes Susan Rice completely different from you? She uses her God given brain properly. She doesn’t allow coward people like you to brain wash her. Mr. PhD I have news for you! Ethiopia is moving forward and there is nothing you can do about it. You are talking about redemption for Susan, you forgotten that Susan Rice has a country she calls home. How about you? Don’t you think you are the one who needs to redeem himself to the Ethiopian? Where exactly is your home?
I am telling you man to get your acts together and ask Ethiopian people for an apology. You think you can teach Ethiopian people how to defend themselves? What a waste of time! You got your PhD to insult your people. What is your education to Ethiopia when you don’t have a sense of right and wrong? No wonder why Meles called people like you idiots. You are ordering the government to release prisoners from where ever you are! I think you forgotten how great this country is. Why don’t you order them to change the constitution first, and then according to your new constitution, you order them to release the prisoners who were imprisoned by the previous constitution? I advise you to stop meddling in Ethiopian’s business and find some other hobby to do. You are pathetic!!
First, thanks Alem [Visitor] for informing us who this “fool” and “idiot” is: an Eritrean jealous. In my opinion pointing finger when an Eritrean is camouflaging itself as an Ethiopian and is sawing the seed of division and instability is every Ethiopian national duty and patriotism.
The Ethiopian Diasporas have the responsibility of disassociating and isolating Eritreans among themselves, I am saying this not because the Eritrean-Ethio Diasporas mix noise in the cyber world can be a threat to Ethiopia’s stability but, for those some Ethiopian Diasporas who have genuine interest to have a say and bring “useful” changes in Ethiopia.
For us Ethiopians what this Great Diplomat said is what we knew and what we expected from someone who had worked for a long time with our Great PM Meles & for being honest about the Great PM we are thankful. We are also thankful for all who came to Addis to pay their last respect to our Great PM.
The central theme of this rubbish article is first to threaten and intimidate this honest diplomat: Susan Rice and then to use her to intimidate the new Ethiopian government in favor of the Ethio-Eritrean burger swollen stomach Diasporas.
The article is intended after intimidating and scaring Susan Rice is to use her to intimidate EPRDF & particularly of PM Hailemariam Desalegn through in what he called “dialogue and discourse” at a particular point “when they come to New York to attend the U.N. General Assembly on September 28, 2012.". The Eritrean uninvited fly continued instructing the Great Ambassador Susan Rice by saying “the Ambassador should exercise discreet diplomacy and send a strong message to the EPRDF". The article looks like more of an American president message to his Ambassador at the UN than that of a migrant Eritrean.
My argument under this topic to Ethiopian Diasporas is first seek the kingdom of free non-Eritrean sponsored politics. I was to argue about many other points this Eritrean fly raised but, I thought first and fast we should know under what legitimacy is an Eritrean meddling in an Ethiopian affairs. On what ground?
Selam Beyene are you not an Eritrean?
Dear Selam! it’s a well-versed article. Susan Rice has not done any justice to Meles and the cliques , instead she harmed him to the extent of loosing his life. Had he not been totally confounded and disillusioned by foreign master-minds, like Jendai Fraser and Susan Rice, atleast he would have lived with less stress.But unlike the noises, that are tending to tear our ear-drums, about him being a super African leader, he got lost in translation, to an extent, he forgot that he was a typical Habesha breed. He totally pax-americanized himself,all what he was listening was to the heart-beat of Susan and Jendai Fraser.He mythified his true colour and image to the world by being a mere American-horn africa political tool.Butto get you back to your profound article,i personally felt that you have skipped an unforgettable hallmark, that you could have said loudly and clearly, to Susan, that the Ethio-Eritrea border isssue ( which was internationally arbitrated) must be solved right now, before too late and before these two brotherly people go into another unnecessary destruction, which can only serve the needs of the Woyanie elites? i hope you will put it in next time?
It’s good to leave in western democratic system and think in terms of the country where you leave. You do not have any Idea of the history and the background of Ethiopia. Think back of the great Ethiopian leaders. Did they accomplish anything by given complete freedom to their opponent? Think of Teodros, Menilik or even Haile Selassie if we consider he accomplished anything. Meless has been the most democratic and the best leader for Ethiopia,except for people like you who are asking for anarchy to better exploit the country to their selfish profit
Daboshin tatebi…your words stink like that. Koshasha banda! You don’t know anything about politics except criticizing others. Are you saying journalists deserve a jail time just because they write and speak about government? I feel no rumor for cancerous and ignorant people like you even if they are my relative. Stop pointing fingers at Eritreans and diaspora! They have the right to say what they want! Kimalam woyane!
Hey Nazrets, you’re supposed to be an Ethiopian website. As you always proudly claimed.
What is an article by a disgrunteld ERITREAN have to do with us?
This article (LAMENTATION] belongs somewhere on eritrean websites like eri review of eli ass kift aff.
We know the Honorable Ambassador Susan Rice, disappointed the diaspora crybaby idiots, shabians and all Ethiopian enemies alike, when she told them the truth. We are happy and proud of Ambassdor Price.
We now can’t help it but witness the toxic diaspora faras, who are licking their wounds from their endless political defeats, changing their tone and language.
Selam’s addressing of EPRDF in its proper name rather than her usual WOYANE is a case in point. Please refer to her previous post, which although the content address EPRDF as WOYANE.
This is similar to what military professionals call SILTAWI MAFEGFEF.
How far will they adjust their actual strategies and policies in the face of shifting public support in diaspora and at home towards EPRDF, however small support they had, we will see in the future.
But, honestly, I am tired of this childish human rights bla bla.. thing !!!
Ms. Selam Beyene:
I will admit that I haven’t read your article because the title said everything. The title could easily have come from an Israeli politician trying to dictate what America should say. You are under some illusion of grandeur. Maybe ambassador Rice should let you check her speech for approval before she delivers it.
Einestein said “insanity is doing the same wrong thing again and again and expect a different result". The way this stupid writer see reality is different from that of Susan Rice and many of us. Meles was a Great man for big majority of Ethiopians and the rest of Africans. But some dogs like this writer are allowed to bark because democracy allows the existence of such idiots. Don’t they get tired of writing the same old stories agagin and again? Einstein was right.
Writing critics against some one behavior is simple, but understanding the critics we are saying themselves is what a writer to learn again and again. Your critics increasingly are lacking this quality. You define the term minority to your audience to say some group to classify minority and majority in politics. Can you measure by population number of some groups alone or by other indictors? Can you understand who the majority group is in American politics when they were brining President Obama into in the United States of America? Are you saying Obama coming to power was measured by his clan or ancestors routes? I understand from your continuous writing you are wrong-side in both government supporters and positions camps. You failed to find your camp where stand wrongness of others. This tells your writing does not deserve the standards of critics against ideas rather against groups and persons. The Tigre group in Ethiopia by no measure is minority. They were and are continue to play key roles in politics with other Ethiopian brothers and sisters. Your writing does not help Ethiopia and Ethiopian to live in unity. Unity cannot exist without respect one group against another. I afraid to say if you have wife you learn from your family relationship more about national unity. You or your wife failing to give appropriate respect is the beginning of end of your marriage unless you sooner than latter correct wrong behaviors.
Thank you Dr. Rice!
More than anything, we learned from the speech your in-depth knowledge and understanding of Ethiopia.
Mr. Selam: Don’t you have better things to do to your people than wasting it writing such an emotional and irrational piece of junk which is totally out of touch with reality? Hate, intolerance, and attacking others with differing opinion is becoming the typical characteristic of the very few and extremely nasty Diaspora politicians.
Mr. Selam wanders about the current American policy on Ethiopia without looking at the big picture to get some understanding about the bases and reasoning of the policy.
Conflict, instability, war, disease, impoverishment, deep-rooted backwardness, rapid population growth, frequent and cyclic famines due to climate change and desertification are the unfortunate realities affecting the majority of the population in the Horn of Africa. In the face of such dreadful realities, the main and primary objective of the US policy on Ethiopia, understandably, is focused on fighting and resolving those fundamental problems of ours and the main sources of our misery. Let’s not forget for a moment that 99% of our common problems are related to the deep rooted impoverishment and backwardness our people are suffering from. Maintaining peace, stability, and development must be our primary goals and areas of focus. Building a more versatile democratic system requires installing a culture of tolerance between opposing ideas and forces; it requires all inclusive socio-political transformation and development; and it may take more time than some think before it gets to some level of maturity.
My message to Selam Beyene
It takes a courage to go back to Ethiopia, and stand with Ethiopians and fight for ethiopian causes. It dosen’t matter what you write long or short; what matter is are you couragous enough to go back ? or just wait the 2nd round and Barking infront of our newly elected PM H.Mariem in one of G-20 or G-8 meetings ????
I got few words for “Selam Beyene”
1) anseba fool
2) Attention seeker
3)wanna be “politician”
so just get lost and mind your ArTeran business.
@ all dead Tplf thugs,woyanes
lol those agames are funny,if they writer name muslim or isalm name. woyanes thugs are calling them,oh the writer is terrorist.He isn’t Ethiopian.If they see name,it looks Eritrean name.woyanes cadres think 100%.He is Eritrean with out any evidence.agames are good to twisted things.hahahahah if any body against you,they Eritrean,terrorist,…etc even your journals.if you got nut and back abou your dead frog.why don’t you respond basic the topic,facts.who cares?about the whore what she said.we all know.meles was her condome in east africa.meles was doing dirty job for her in somalis.when susan told him,Don’t make peace b/n Ethio-Eri people.He did for her.so that your dead frog is betray his own soldiers and the whole region for white men interest.No superise here.
Red Sea State [Visitor]
Have you seen the new Ethiopian map
from: Extraterrestrial [Visitor] hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahhahahahaha. very funny keep Dreaming
from: Extraterrestrial [Visitor] hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahhahahahaha. very funny keep Dreaming.i like the new Map. TPLF have to use it for Article_39,…for split from the rest of ethiopia. or they have to PRINT NEW CURRENCY with a new MAP
Alem and his likes who said Dr Selam Beyene is an Eritrea.You sure mixed Dr Selam Beyane with Selam Kidane fm London or Selam Sioum from USA.
We Eritrea won’t you and leave for long time ago.You are not our type and you are an old style and your level is so low.
Susan E. Rice came to Ethiopia to attend the funeral of her despot dead friend Merz Zenawi and along the way, she decided it is ok to further insult and add salt to the wounds that Merz Zenawi created in our Ethiopian brothers/sisters. Ignorant? You betcha she is. I just hope that these good for nothing Tigrayans/EPLF get wiped out so our people can go back and live in peace again. Selam, I would like to say to you thanks you Yagerie lij indanchi lib yalachew sew yamtalin egziabeher amlak inji kenezih aremien yehonu woyane ema menor anchilim.
Ethiopia lezlealem tinur zeregna woyane yitfa!
Dr. Rice is not an ambassador to the hateful group of Ethiopian diaspora. She works for United States of America and their motto is American interest first not Diaspora Ethiopian interest first.
Get it! I do not think so. That’s why you and the likes of you are called “fools and idiots”
by Meles. And I am pretty sure when Dr. Rice was reading the eulogy for Ethiopia’s Greatest and visionary leader Meles Zenawi, she must have said to herself, Yes you are right Meles!
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