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Ethiopia: Open Letter to Barack Obama on G-8 meeting with Meles Zenawi



  10:33:31 pm, by admin   , 2033 words  
Categories: Yilma Bekele

Ethiopia: Open Letter to Barack Obama on G-8 meeting with Meles Zenawi

Ethiopia: Open Letter to Barack Obama on G-8 meeting with Meles Zenawi

By Yilma Bekele

Dear President Obama,

I am sure you do not have time to read my letter nonetheless it gives me a certain amount of release from the pain I am feeling and the little chance of this letter getting to you fills my soul with great amount of joy and hope. I am an Ethiopian immigrant currently living in California. I came to your country to go to college. I am always grateful to the American people in general and the citizens of the State of Oregon in particular that supported me in fulfilling my dream. Their graciousness in welcoming me and their generosity in helping me with financial aid to finish my education will stay in my heart forever.

Upon finishing my education I have become a productive member of society and hopefully contributed my share in making your nation a beacon of light for all of mankind. I have been blessed enough to get married to a beautiful person and raise a family. I am glad to claim I am the personification of the American dream come true. I am not writing you to ask a favor for myself but I want to tell you about the dire situation regarding the homeland I left behind a long time ago. I want to give you an idea about my country Ethiopia and the horror faced by my people in the year two thousand twelve as the rest of humanity thrives.

The source of this unbearable pain forced on my country is none other than the individual that shows up in every meeting the heads of the advanced industrialized countries attend to solve problems and plan the future. I am sure you have noticed him during picture sessions and dinner parties. He is the one who claims to represent Africa and is usually given the corner seat in the back to keep quiet and observe.

His name is Meles Zenawi and his title is chairman of TPLF party and Prime Minster of Ethiopia. He has been in power for the last twenty years. It is not that he was elected to that position since free democratic elections are not allowed but he has managed to organize sham election and rigged voting not once but five times in a row. I will tell you a few things to give you an idea of how he manages to do that.

1) Press: There is no free press in Ethiopia. There is only one local TV controlled by his party. The only radio-broadcasting unit is under his communications department. There are no independent newspapers in the country. The few that are allowed to exist are routinely harassed and their publishers and editors spend most of their time in his rubberstamp court. Today a few are in his dungeon accused of fabricated charges and plenty are forced out of the country. There is only one Internet provider and his outfit controls that. He uses Chinese technology to block any foreign TV or Radio broadcast and Internet sites. Your Voice of America broadcast is routinely jammed. Today there are more journalists and Independent Web sites outside the country than in our homeland. The Ethiopian people are kept in the dark by design.

2) Political Party and Civic organizations: The dictator does not allow real independent political parties. On paper there are over eighty political parties in the country, but they are all the creations of the dictator. The few that dare to organize independently are subjected to harassment, imprisonment and even murder. His claim that there are no worthy opposition parties is a cruel joke. In Ethiopia being an opposition party leader is a death wish. We have lost many worthy leaders in the last twenty years. Independent labor unions, civic organizations and non-government affiliated associations are not allowed. If they dare to organize they are brought under government control within a short time.

3) Administration: He has divided the country into what is known as Kilil. Kilil is a black version of Apartheid; the system the White South African set up to control black citizens. The individual appoints all Kilil administrators usually local lackeys for show purpose. His party and ethnic group controls the Army and Security service with all commanders’ hand picked from his ethnic group. Ninety nine percent of high-ranking military officials belong to the dictators ethnic group. The individual and his party inherited the dreaded Kebele system set up by the departing military dictatorship to control neighborhoods and enhanced its capability using modern means. Today the Kebele system is the eyes and ears of the TPLF party and is present in every household to terrorize and control.

4) Economy: All land belongs to the state. The Ethiopian people are sharecroppers. When he took power twenty years ago facilitated by your State Department he created a congramolate called EFFORT controlled by his ethnic group. All major confiscated business and property were given to EFFORT and today it is the premier corporation in the country involved in banking, transportation, manufacturing, import export and the hospitality business. EFFORT is bigger than Ethiopia. Unable to grow the economy, ill prepared to unleash the creative potential of his people the dictator is currently selling our fertile and virgin land to foreign investors. This is despite the billions of aid dollars given by your country and Western Europe and the billions more written off the book from the IMF and World Bank. His sole purpose is to stay in power by bullying and enrich his ethnic group, family and friends.

Dear Mr. President, you might think what a coward people we are to allow such and individual to do us so much harm and accept it with silence. That is not so. We were not always that docile. The simple explanation I can offer you is that he came on the scene at a very unfortunate time for us. The twenty years of military dictatorship has sapped our strength to fight back. We were caught at a time when in the name of socialism our people and country had gone thru a very traumatic process. Our moral compass was left in disarray. No one was willing to continue the self-inflicted agony we experienced. The current dictator also showed up carrying an olive branch that promised to form an all-inclusive government. Your State Department was the premier facilitator of such transfer of power from the Military to the new liberators.

Unfortunate for Ethiopia your country still is coddling and enabling the dictator. He is considered the front line in the fight against terrorism The Pentagon is pouring money and resources to train his army. He is given the green light to interfere in Somalia in the so-called war against terror. We pay the price. The US is not made safer with all the support given to the regime but the Ethiopian people are made insecure and hopeless. Today the Ethiopian people are migrating out of their homeland at an alarming rate. The young and able and the educated are leaving their country in search of a better tomorrow. Washington DC your capital is living proof of the flight of our people outwards.

We ask you to intervene and stop this human catastrophe. We believe it is the right thing to do. It is the moral thing to do. Ethiopian Americans were in the forefront of your campaign for the presidency. We were filled with hope that you will intercede and help our motherland enter the twenty first century with dignity. It has not happened. Your State Department never fails to record and publish the crimes of the Ethiopian regime. The annual report is a very alarming detailed testimony of the nature of the illegal regime and the crimes it commits against its own people. Thanks to Wikileaks we are made conscious of the terrorist acts of the security department’s involvement in setting up explosives on its own citizens and blaming the opposition. Your Ambassador was part of the cover up of this crime. It is wrong.

We would like to call your attention to the policy the US followed in the aftermath of the Second World War when it came to Europe. The US was instrumental in encouraging democratic forms of government. US aid was based on the rule of law. Sixty years later Europe enjoys the fruits of such progressive and forward-looking policy. We ask your administration follow the same principle when it comes to Africa. We deserve nothing less. We ask your administration stop coddling and enabling dictators, misfits and loathsome individuals from terrorizing their own people.

The Ethiopian people are faced with a sad dilemma. How could they fight back against a terrorist regime armed and supported by a big power like your country? It is not a fair fight by any stretch of imagination. They find it confusing that on one hand you preach democracy and human rights while on the other hand you furnish the weapons and facilitate loans from World Bank and the IMF to the their tormentor. Wouldn’t you say the US would have a lasting and worthy relationship with a strong and democratic Ethiopia rather than a country always on the verge of civil war and a pitiful hand stretched begging for food and medicine?

The Prime Minster is showing up at your dinner table next week. We all know he has nothing to contribute to such discussion. The country he has been leading for the last twenty years is beset with famine, double digit unemployment, runaway inflation and human misery in a large scale. He has no record to be proud of. He has no opposition to shame him. His presence at this gathering is unexplainable and undeserved. His single TV station and his sole Radio broadcast will present a different picture. They will use the occasion to bully the Ethiopian people. There is no other voice to set the record straight.

We wish you would UN invitee or dis invite him. We know that will not happen. On the other hand we ask you use the occasion to make it clear to him that your constituents are not happy with his actions. We wish that you explain to him US aid goes hand in hand with the existence of the rule of law and respect for human rights. The American people are blessed to have such a caring and honorable person as a leader. You lead a very honorable and generous nation that has stood with Ethiopia in its time of need. We ask you to step forward and do the right thing at this critical moment in our history. We ask you to think of the eighty million Ethiopians that are made to suffer because on man and his ethnic based party is enabled by your country and others to run amok and brutalize. History will not look kindly at such abdication of responsibility.

Dear Mr. President, we are aware of what happened to dictator Gadaffi. We are witnessing the unfolding human misery in Syria. That is what is waiting Ethiopia if the regime continues its mal treatment of its won citizens. That is what we are trying to avoid from happening in Ethiopia. You can help us.

Finally we are not asking you to fight our war. We are perfectly capable of doing the job ourselves. We are simply petitioning you not to stand with the dictator. Not to give him lethal aid and training to turn his fire on us. We know it is in your power to make a stop to this enabling activity. The children of Ezana, Tewodros, Yohanes, Minilik, Aba Jifar, Tona and many others are up to the task given the opportunity. We have taken care of our business for over three thousand years and there is no reason to think we will not rise up to the occasion now. Just give us a level playing field and Green Yellow and Red will fly high on our ancient mountains and fields.

P.S. We have a petition on line to be presented to your office along this letter. The Web address is as follows:


Comment from: Alemu Gedida [Visitor]
Alemu Gedida

I appreciate the letter to the President of America, however, the writer should have edited or made correction to the many errors in the letter. This would make less likely for your letter to be read. The letter states that the writer was educated in the US though an Ethiopian origin. I suppose you would have been aware of your audience and especially writing a formal letter to such a person in a very high position. Once more excellent contribution, but take the advice on board for next time.

05/12/12 @ 03:52
Comment from: Heny [Visitor]

Yilma kura (crow),
If you know that Obama will not have time to read your crap, why did you waste your time then? The truth is you did not write this to Obama, but to the few losers in DC. You were posting your picture when you post articles on Nazret. A wise man must have advised you not to do that.

05/12/12 @ 06:48
Comment from: [Member]

አቶ:ይልማ:በቀለ: ጥሩ:ትንተና:ያዘለ:ጥያቄ;ነው;:
መለስ:ቴሮሪስትን: እዋጋለሁ:ብሎ;እየዋሸ:ለረሃብ:የታሰበውን: እርዳታ:ወደ:ኪሱ:የሚሰርቅ:ሌባ:ከፋፍሎ:በስልጣን:ለመቆየት:ሲያጤን:ነው:ጊዜውን:የሚገድለው::
ይህን: አይነት:መሪ;ተብየው:ሰውን:እንደ:ቻርልስ: በ አለም:ፍርድ:ቤት:አቅርቦ:ወህኒ:ቤት;ማስገባት: እትዮጵያን:መርዳት:ይሆናል:: የ ህዝቦችዋ:እሮሮ:የሚሰማበት:ቀን:ይሆናል::
ሞት: ለ ኢትዮጵያ:ጠላቶች::

05/12/12 @ 06:57
Comment from: maati [Visitor]

Dear Mr. Yilma Bekele,

I read the above statement and I found it is ultimately interesting. But it’s lack of fresh issue of Ethiopian people, Muslims.
Mr. Bekele, are Ethiopian Muslims terrorist or peaceful? If you lived in Ethiopian, you should know the cultures of Ethiopian Muslims and Christians. RESPECT is one of the existing cultures in Ethiopia. So, in order to let your letter click 100%, I would like to advise you to update your letter by including the current situation in Ethiopia after which will be very easy understanding to Mr. President, Obama Hussein.


05/12/12 @ 07:07
Comment from: teshome [Visitor]

You already new that Obama won’t read your crap. Anyway, we’ll see you soon on the street barking like a mad dog.

05/12/12 @ 09:47
Comment from: [Member]

Thanks a lot Obo Yilma. I am sure President Obama will cringe when he shakes hands with this murderer. He knows the crimes of this ruthless PM Meles Zenawi. Woe to the mothers of those young boys and girls who were gunned in a broad day light just because they protested a rigged election in 2005!!! Woe to the fathers and mothers who were made target practice even though they had nothing to do with the demonstration!!! Woe to those toddlers who never saw their murdered parents coming back to them that fateful day!!! Woe to the mothers whose eyes have dried up of their tears crying out for justice all these years!!!!
This killer is so eloquent alright!!! John Wayne Gacy knew how to talk!!! Ted Bundy was so skillful in communicating with others in a charming way just as this killer PM Meles. The difference is Ted and John did not have the chance to be top level public officials. Thank God for that!!! I am afraid that when this thug extends his hands to shake hands with President Obama, he is extending his blood-drenched hands to the leader of the most democratic and powerful nation of today’s world!!! Dear My President!!! When you gaze at this guy across the desk on your meeting day, you are looking at a reincarnated Ted Bundy who possesses the most powerful army in the Horn of Africa. The blood of those 196 innocent people who were gunned down in cold blood by the order of this ruthless PM are screaming out loud at you for nothing else but due justice!!! I understand your predicament facing you fighting a more dangerous terrorist groups such as Al-Qaeda. That is what he is smartly exploiting. In the long run he is not worth it. And he has the blood of innocent people on his hands!!! I did not make this up. It is in the State Department archives. You may also hear the same from those members of the inquiry commission he himself set up to investigate the killings. They had told the truth and nothing but the truth but they had to run for their lives for doing so!!! I am sure they will be very happy to tell you the truth nothing but the truth about the killings along with the whole story of the time. Dear My President!!! Nowadays you can’t even report of court proceedings in Ethiopia and if you do you will be slapped with heavy fine and lengthy incarceration!!! Mind You, My President, that all those reporters who reported on the current John Edwards trial would be heavily fined and thrown into jails for 8 months or longer in PM Meles Zenawi’s Ethiopia!!! Or at least they will be harassed and threatened with their lives until they are forced to flee their country. And such victims are found living everywhere and they can attest to my claim. Someone has to tell this guy to shape up and I strongly believe the Good Ole’ USA has enormous capabilities to do just that.

05/12/12 @ 10:36
Comment from: Ashenafi [Visitor]

Keep your letter CLOSED, nobody cares.

05/12/12 @ 14:23
Comment from: teshome [Visitor]

Mr. Stupid no ethiopia 4 you. Live and die here in USA with full of shame.

05/12/12 @ 14:48
Comment from: Bergude [Visitor]

Mr. Yilma specified well to the open letter to President Obama present condition of Ethiopia.

I am not representing anyone, just for the sake of saying a few words; I too from Ethiopia lived in this wonderful country America for over 20 years, but not achieved as Mr. Yelma. However, I too love my country of origin Ethiopia dearly.

Ethiopian people have suffered multiple atrocities for many years; name it who is in the power won’t or didn’t matter. The poor and desperate Ethiopian always not far from begging for a piece of bread to feed his hungry child and self; do you think President Obama would change the situation overnight? The answer would be very crucial. Would the situation be changed if Prime Minster Meles be banned from attending the Camp David Summit or G-8? Be honest, it doesn’t make any difference at all.

Mr. Yelma I don’t know how old you are? But from my distance knowledge of Mr. Meles - the situation of Ethiopia is much better than previous Dirge regime. Now, if we honestly discussing the situation those leaders who will be attending this summit; their respective country people are not wealthy, they all encountering problems. That is how the world is formed, if I may say so, please read some of the books written pre or after world war.

So, if we get back to the problem of Ethiopia number one priority should not be freedom of press, in my opinion number one priority is bread for all. How many people go hungry? I think countless.

You for one, can you leave your luxury life in America and go there and fight for freedom of press? I doubt it? What would be the solution for that beautiful country to get advancement? In my opinion, education, and hard work; in order to fulfill this we all should make a pledge and do our shares. I am sure President Obama or other leaders too will cooperate to pull out Ethiopia out of poverty.

05/12/12 @ 14:55
Comment from: Taye [Visitor]

Full of emotional hate arguments, not facts.

05/12/12 @ 16:11
Comment from: biruk [Visitor]

Dearest Yilma Bekele
It seems that you are One of the many paper tigers who is charging his energy for no good reason.President Obama has very crucial things to be done on his plate and he has no time to listen to your RUBBISH accusations… and he is NOT the right person to solve an Ethiopian problem.It is your and my responsibility to help that country ONLY we have a positive attitude .If you don’t have the gut for good contribution please stay away and keep on CRYING!
Good luck!!

05/12/12 @ 21:29
Comment from: john john [Visitor]
john john

Sorry to busy about gay and fund raising issue.

05/12/12 @ 23:38
Comment from: Anif Ati [Visitor]
Anif Ati

It is good that Yilma’s grievance address to president Obama on this forum is called “open letter” while on other forums it is as a “Note to president Obama”

If it is about “a Note to the president” Meles Zenawi possesses absolutely much more valuable NOTES with already ready made too brief text printings and picture insets with green color that does not deman any reading effort at all. Any one who sees it will surely grab it.

But in the case of the too much long drawn black and white text notes of Yilma Bekele it is difficult to read and even more difficult to digest as it does not go above the self and extend to higher green good for all.

05/13/12 @ 10:52
Comment from: [Member]

We should take concrete actions to bring the regime of Meles Zenawi to justice. Obama can not help us do that directly. Obama would be more than happy to see a democratic Ethiopia. First and foremost, we have no vision. We should stand for Ethiopia as we know it pre-1991. We should not accept the secession of Eritrea. Some of the Opposition Groups like G7 are sleeping with Eritrea. This should be condemned. Obama can not be sympathetic to forces that are stooges of Eritrea. As ethiopians, we should oppose Shaebya and Woyane.

We should walk the walk. We should be armed to disband an armed fascist group. Our enemy, Melez Zenawi is armed to the teeth. We should also be able to wage an armed struggle. Had we done this some 20 years ago, by now Woyane and Shaebya would have been history.

We have to show action. We have to wage the armed struggle and then we would be talking seriously. Otherwise, we will be only in the news. what bad !

05/13/12 @ 16:59
Comment from: Optimistic [Visitor]

Let me start with the old but very important saying ” Seeing is believing". A year ago, I have been in my country and I was trying to capture as far as my natural camera, my naked eye, could help me capture what is happening there. Here and there was construction of one or the other type progressing forward. Among those are roads, dams, sugar factories, cement factories, universities, hospitals and health centers, telecommunication centers, glass and metal factories, automobile assembly factories, air ports. All these impressive things and others could strike the mind of an objective judge as to where is or heading on Ethiopia. Tremendous investment projects both domestic and foreign ones are pouring. These are facts of first hand observation that one cannot deny them, seeing is believing. In the urban areas, one can testify how much cities,including the capital city Addis Ababa, are changing at a faster pace. This day, it is not only the physical change or economic growth that one can observe, but the mentality or attitude of our people in many aspects is being changed too. Attitude towards work, education, saving, technology, modern medicine,…. so do private and public institutions. All these things put together help us to say there is development in our country. It is this fact that some diaspora are trying to deny.

Shall I call these diaspora who deny the fact ” The unchanged society residing within changed society, the west". To your surprise they are more than that, anti-change. I remember in my mathematics course in Game Theory about Zero-Sum-Game. In zero sum game , you find a solution of second matrix of the first so that when you add them they could give you zero, or lose-lose. Analogously, same thing goes on with these people. Whenever you write +1, they add -1 so that the result is 0. When some positive change is introduced or is happening, they just broadcast it as negative.

For Yilma and people of the like, you better benefit this country if u think win-win result. Only if you think this way and stop one-sided judgment that you can be a net contributor to your mother land.

I don’t have any problem with ethnicity as opposed to Yilma. No matter who leads the country of any ethnic group, what I would like to see is his or her ability to sustain relative peace and development, not his ethnicity as he said it. If educating himself is making him think this way, he has never been changed.

I don’t believe in construction-destruction-construction-destruction…revolution.

As a young Ethiopian, I am optimistic about my country and always think on how to contribute my part in its development.

Long live Ethiopia!

05/13/12 @ 20:24
Comment from: ayan [Visitor]

you writing to the wrong person ethiopia is our country.unless you accept this fact there is no reason to write.obama is usa president your letter should be to ethiopians

05/14/12 @ 00:45
Comment from: Tagel [Visitor]

I have no time to read this whole crap but I can tell the “author” is consumed by hate & envy. His childish & immature arguments in from the beginning tells me he is one of those toxic good for nothing doomsayer Ethiopian diaspora. Mr Gilma is among those ” if I can’t have let me spoil it” or ” the Ahya that said Ene kemotku serdo Aybikel” .But the good thing is he will die in exile.

05/14/12 @ 07:46
Comment from: heny [Visitor]

My hat is off for you, brother. May God bless you always for your love and concern for Ethiopia.

05/14/12 @ 07:53
Comment from: b. yohannes [Visitor]
b. yohannes

you have the right to express your opinion. those who are into name calling have nothing to contribute to the discussion. but you sir need to to be factual so you can be taken seriously.

05/14/12 @ 08:16
Comment from: Laa Laa [Visitor]
Laa Laa


“Full of emotional hate arguments, not facts.?” hmm…

You might have been hundred times more emotional if it is you personally who happened to be exposed to all the real and imagined material and immaterial loses which Yilma underwent/undergoing.

Breath deep ten times, step in to Yilma’s shoes and feel the heat as to sweat a lot so that you may feel a slice of the feelings which Yilma is undergoing.

05/14/12 @ 16:05
Comment from: Stand for Democracy [Visitor]
Stand for Democracy

Thank you Ato Yilma. Great contribution for democracy and Ethiopia.

No decades dictator should be allowed to step his foot in the US.

Brutal Meles is not welcomed.
He should step down Now.

05/14/12 @ 16:29



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