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Ethiopia - Debate # Six: Another Miscalculation or Ignorance?



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Categories: Ethiopia, Genet Mersha

Ethiopia - Debate # Six: Another Miscalculation or Ignorance?

Debate # Six: Another Miscalculation or Ignorance?

The Fog over Ethiopia’s Two-Decade Old Foreign & National Security Policy

By Genet Mersha, April 22, 2010


In his opening salvo in Debate # Six, Ato Arkebe Oqubay began by portraying all opposition parties as traitors. He used the following words to accuse them of such a heinous crime: “For eighteen years, opposition parties have tried to masquerade as patriots, without being what they say they are. They falsely capitalised on the sovereignty issue, when in reality they have only been serving foreign interests” [writer’s translation]. Since this charge is very serious, the question is why to this day they have not been tried and sentenced. Also, if that is true, how would the governing party justify its contention for power with traitors and criminals, it has accused in public?

This is a very serious sign of desperation! Obviously, it shows lack of a minimum standard of decency, especially if it is false. It also shows lack of respect to the forum itself, which by implication is lack of respect for the people. If the people have been accorded respect, then the debates would also have been dignified. Importantly, the public would have been told the truth about successes and failures of any policies and how they can be addressed better in future, instead of weaving cover to hide them.

Frankly speaking, the past seven debates have not fared well in that respect; if for a moment we leave aside whether it would serve the purpose debates are for. There were too many distortions, false accusations, official misrepresentation of facts. Added to already existing hindrances to free and fair election (high incidence of poverty and low level of literacy denying citizens access to TV programmes and radio and accessibility of debates or information, violence or threats of violence), these undoubtedly become added blockade that diminish mass possibilities for participatory democracy. For all intents and purposes, the unfavourable factors have choked it off for several years now. Clearly, in Ethiopia participatory democracy is deep on its path of regression, across the spectrum of all its stages and processes. For every criticism pertaining to human conditions in the country, the standard response has become “Can’t you see the development taking place in the country?”

Judging the candidates’ performances

However, of necessity the criteria by which the governing party and the opposition should be judged are entirely different. Opposition parties have no records in government; nor do they have any achievements that the voters are intimate with and could either accept or reject. Instead, whatever criticisms the opposition have against the ruling party should serve as sufficient guide to citizens in showing them how they would do differently and with what means (policies, strategies and resources) to achieve their goals—if elected.

If opposition parties merely make noise, citizens would judge them of irresponsibility, aware that ከበሮ ሲያዩት ያምር፤ ሲይዙት ያደናግር (it literally means, how easy and beautiful drum sounds to the novice, only to be lost in it if handed over to play it). This does not mean that hitting hard with truthful criticisms should not be welcome. For instance, Ato Lidetu Ayalew of EDP has made good use of his fiery instincts, wits and quick think skills in all debates. Judgement on his political behaviour cannot take away from that. In Debate # Six, Ato Seye Abraha, the representative of Medrek, has done it well with good command over his subject and elevated delivery.

On the other hand, the criteria by which the governing party would be judged are concrete, inviting lots of criticisms, as the evidences are there in people’s hands and lives. That is because there are records of achievements and failures, easily accessible to every voter, which makes her/him qualified witness. Therefore, the electorate would judge the incumbent on that basis, even if consistent efforts have been made to exaggerate results without any scale or scruple. This is product of our political mindset, its level of intolerance horrendous.

Of late, this has become more so with the EPRDF having intensified systematic efforts at building its control and cult of infallibility. If political debates cannot expose this and open candidates to public scrutiny, what then is its purpose? The ruling party’s sensitivity is unfortunate, which a few weeks ago led both Ato Meles Zenawi and Ato Bereket Simon to issue veiled threats to Medrek leaders, alleging that they have crossed the red line. Is it an attempt to stop Medrek, since its stride has increased? It means that, if EPRDF’s hold on power is threatened, this may lead to a replay of 2005 all over again, as official displeasures build and their words seem to hint that!

(a) The sovereignty question

As the first one to start its presentation on April 10 for Debate # Six, the governing party indicated it would focus on five themes: the sovereignty question, Ethio-Eritrea relations and question of outlet to the sea, the Somalia question, Ethio-Sudan relations, and the constitution and role of the defence forces. Nevertheless, since it found itself bogged down in amassing allegations against the opposition, it could not treat the last four items. It constantly showered itself with praises for its “great successes in foreign policy.” These successes were described in terms of ensuring the country's peace, protection of the interests of Ethiopians and the country’s sovereignty. Ato Arkebe Oqubay’s presentation was prepared centrally (some say by Ato Meles), with anticipation that Medrek would attack the governing party on those issues and that EPRDF would be last presenter. When he became the first to start, he was forced to read a pre-prepared response to Medrek, even before its representative spoke.

Therefore, among Ato Arkebe’s first tasks was to define “sovereignty” with the help of dictionary, which he said is governmental power resting in the hands of the people, “not frenjis (white people)”. His grim point was denial that “Sovereignty is about rivers, mountains and borders.” That denial would go in our history as visitation by disaster. For the EPRDF, it was a good try, too superficial though and evident that it is linked to simplistic objective of cutting out the inherent link between sovereignty and national territorial integrity—belated fear of judgement by history.

National sovereignty for the governing party is restricted by definition, seemingly conveniently subordinated to the sovereignty of the people, which in a way is right, but incomplete. In other words, sovereignty over national territorial integrity is not given the importance of place it deserves. This surely is erroneous and fallacious, since the two are indivisible, although they have different attributes. For example, a government cannot tell its citizens or any other government in the world that it has successfully safeguarded its national sovereignty, but its remaining task is to regain its national territorial integrity. Sovereignty, according to EPRDF definition, is always intact, even when part of the country is under foreign occupation.

In this connection, I must remind readers that “territorial integrity” is one reference, whose absence in the Ethiopian constitution is glaring, although the notion is glossed over in generalities or subsumed in other concepts. In the constitution, “sovereignty” is mentioned eight times, three of them in the context of the “sovereignty of the people”, thrice as “sovereignty of the country” and once each as “national sovereignty” and “Ethiopia’s sovereignty”—none as a direct reference to the territorial integrity of the country.

Therefore, during the debate EPRDF was seen scurrying from one false argument to another trying to find a seemingly convenient cover for its historical mistakes regarding Assab and the recent territorial concessions to the Sudan that are used to bolster relations between the two countries. Obviously, this has undermined validity of the country’s disputes over a huge swath of territory for over one hundred years. The EPRDF recounted as his party’s that Ethiopians farmers on the other side of the border could stay in peace. This is a deceitful way of saying, we have given away the lands, but have agreed the Ethiopians to stay there. As far as the Sudan is concerned, that is the only foreign policy reference in the debate.

It is difficult to discuss details of foreign policy issues concerning each neighbouring country or the strategy. However, what has been defined as a national objective in respect of sovereignty leaves much to be desired. For good reason, it has not gone well in the debate. Most Ethiopians are aware of what is going on with the Sudan, which aroused hues and cries in 2008. Officially the government denied (foreign ministry, May 2008); but when the pressure intensified, the prime minister buckled admitting that some territorial ‘adjustments’ have been made. Therefore, foreign policy is a matter of credibility, which is in short supply in our government.

Are ports unimportant to Ethiopia?

Another tragedy is that, the chief representative of the EPRDF even went as far as denying the importance to Ethiopia of having its own outlet to the sea (port), which he described as “an agenda for reactionaries.” In that context, Ato Arkebe dismissed the policies of Emperor Haile Selassie and Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam on the sovereignty issue as sabre-rattling, which, according to him, eventually became responsible for their demise. Of, that, he said the TPLF would not like to repeat. In that context, he decorated his argument with praises of TPLF’s wisdom and visionary leadership, which he said has helped “to buy peace for the country”, by giving away Assab. He was not even thinking of the over 70,000 lives sacrificed in 1998-2000 in the war with Eritrea.

Perhaps two corrections would be in order here. First, the emperor was not overthrown on the question of national sovereignty and territorial integrity, to whose recognition and defence he has made enormous contributions. Nor could the Dergue be accused of disloyalty to Ethiopian sovereignty and territorial integrity. He must be charged for his misdirection of the country and poor and cruel leadership, ending up in spilling the blood of thousands of citizens. Secondly, on the question of ports, it should be recognised that transportation (land, air and sea) constitute the higher part of a country’s foreign trade (imports and exports) cost structures that is now sucking our resources.

UNCTAD estimates, “Approximately two thirds of maritime shipping costs occur in ports and in some instances transport costs can outweigh the impact of tariffs. In addition to being the point for the transfer between two modes of transport, they are the point of entry into the customs territory of the importing country”, (PORTS NEWSLETTER N°16, November 1996). In addition, on the same matter, in accepting the Almaty Declaration of 2003, the United Nations General Assembly stressed, “the major reason for the marginalization of landlocked developing countries from the global trading system is high trade transaction costs. Trade and transport are inextricably linked. Transport costs are a key determinant of international trade competitiveness”, (General Assembly, A/CONF.202/L.2). Ethiopia spends a third of its foreign exchange earnings for port fees, after it became a landlocked country.

Therefore, if any lessons are to be drawn, two of them must be mentioned: (a) the Dergue’s downfall is the best school, whose cruelty, violations of human rights, shedding of innocent blood and suppression of the people’s democratic rights had richly contributed to its ignominious demise; (b) TPLF’s rendering of Ethiopia landlocked has disadvantaged our country, our businesses, and is everyday eating into our economic growth because of high transport costs for our exports and the prices of our imports. They have been cutting deep into the profit margins of our farmers and businesses competitive capacities Ethiopia pays enormous fees of rented ports the country now pays. Its security is now dependent on the goodwill of others. Condemning the past is easy; but it does not pave the road to stable politics to a better future, public understanding and embrace which the TPLF (EPRDF) has been totally deprived of.

In the debate, all participating opposition parties responded negatively to EPRDF’s position. In comparison all of them forged reasonably strong position, which goes a long way in countering the designs the ruling party may have toward Ethiopia’s interests and its territorial integrity. To my thinking, the eight-point by EDP’s Lidetu Ayalew was more comprehensive, if its populist streaks are sheared off. Moreover, unlike the governing party with two-decades of experience in foreign policy, he has successfully highlighted the link between external policy and domestic policy, underlining the value of development, democracy and respect for fundamental human rights for internal cohesion and respectability by foreign countries.

Perhaps the best summary response to the sovereignty issue came from Ato Seye Abraha, Medrek’s representative, who said, “Unlike the denial by the EPRDF, sovereignty is inclusive of mountains and valleys; a country has defined geographical territory; it has established boundaries, which make it impossible to contemplate it without its mountains and valleys on which people leave their marks, build their identities, livelihoods and development. It is these realities that necessitate developing national defence policy and national security strategy”, [writer’s translation].

Ato Lidetu Ayalew supplemented that by asking EPRDF’s representatives to explain why Ethiopia has been in costly conflict with Eritrea over Badme to this day, if ‘territorial integrity” is not that important. Of course, he answered his own question, saying Badme is different for the ruling party; if it relented on that, it would fall on the pillar—insinuation that Tigrean opposition to giving away Badme is non-negotiable. This question he raised leads to another question. Suppose if we are to agree with the false dichotomy EPRDF has come up with. Let us say, country X and Y are in conflict. If X has occupied Y’s territory, could country Y be that stupid and say to its people that its dispute with X is not over its national sovereignty but its territorial integrity?

Nonetheless, to make case for his false argument over the unimportance of ports to a given country, Ato Arkebe made one last try. This time he took the example of Ethiopia before his party seized power and asked why it did not develop when it had two ports. He sounded, as if he was saying development entities a government to do whatever it likes to things citizens consider sacrosanct, such as national territory, boundaries, flag, etc. Similarly, he cited Eritrea and Somalia to show that they have not developed, although they have wide access to the sea and the oceans. This argument is silly, unintelligent and disingenuous. Unfortunately, throughout the debate EPRDF’s retreat from the “territorial integrity” phrase, Assab that he said the file is closed and the fertile agricultural lands given to the Sudan kept it boxed it into a bad corner, from which it could not wiggle out.

I am truly concerned that the EPRDF has gone too far in seeking to justify its past mistakes—something very disturbing—since it can be repeated anytime under different circumstances in the future. For purposes of scholarship, therefore, let me say that the concept of territorial integrity as a principle of international law is as old as sedentary human societies, even in the time of notional idea of territory before nation-states. After the destructive lessons of war in the 20th century, the central preoccupation of modern states has been how to restrain attempts by one country to promote changes in the borders of another country.

In that respect, in the post-war world the UN Charter in Article 2 (4) prescribes to all states to refrain from threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state. In a recent example, the Security Council on December 20, 2007 called for respect for Somalia’s “territorial integrity and political independence” reaffirming the above. When external actors impose their will by force on another country, it is a different story, to which the international community responds swiftly and vigorously. For instance, in 1989 Iraq’s invasion of Kuwait was considered, even by all Arab countries, outright violation of Kuwaiti sovereignty and territorial integrity and international legality.

Ato Arkebe Oqubay is rumored to be the future foreign minister of Ethiopia (Addis Fortune). My advice to him is to do some serious thinking before accepting the job, if he is imbued with love of country and family!

(To be continued…)


Comment from: justin [Visitor]


Stop WASTING our time. Truly, you really don’t make sense, Genet. ABATE YEMUT, Genet, Politics is not your forte. I suggest you take on something else - something you have a minimum aptitude for.

ኢትዮጵያ ለዘላለም ትኑር

04/21/10 @ 23:49
Comment from: Halafi Mengedi [Visitor]
Halafi Mengedi

21st Century disgraced Tigrayan leaders quotes

“Sovereignty is not the Mountains, Rivers, Fertile lands and Landscapes, it is the Donations” By Meles Zenawi

Tigray never imported glass through the Red Sea ports and will not import in the future because Tigray uses SHIKNA” By Assefa Mamo

“There will not be any problems if Shaebia Eritrea takes Tigray lands for the next 25 years” By Sebhat Nega

“Countries who do not have ports are doing better than countries who owned ports” By Arkebe Equbay

04/22/10 @ 00:08
Comment from: Yeha [Visitor]

I think if the remorse are true,Arkebe Okbay is well capable of to be a foreign minister futurity.He is a good honest politician and strictly tough for his goal. That’s what Ethiopia needed.

Did you see how he was pounding on debate six on the power hungry opposition? yes he was giving them a hard and tough fest too. So do Redwan Hussien.

God bless our country.Yeha

04/22/10 @ 00:16
Comment from: omo [Visitor]

TPLF/woyane has no plan to absolve itself from the transgressions of dictatorship in general and the crimes of land locking Ethiopia and giving away Ethiopian fertile lands to foreigners including Sudan, in particular. Ten million Ethiopians fail to fill their stomach with the manna that is the product of the highly publicized economic development and they are forced to look for handouts year in and year out.
Just few days ago, we saw vividly to what extent the future of Ethiopia is compromised, due to the absence of Ethiopia’s own outlet to the sea and Ethiopians are continuing to hear over the last twenty years, that a seaport is not necessary for their economic development and security. Could “revolutionary democracy” be such an impotent and castrated political theory, so that it cannot see beyond the present?
Assab could be a closed issue for TPLF/woyane, but not for the people of Ethiopia and Eritrea, today and tomorrow. Eighty million Ethiopians now, hundred and fifty million in fifty years time and generally the future generations as a whole, cannot be hostage for eternity, because traitors rule the land of Ethiopia in this age and time. In addition, the people of Eritrea cannot afford to have an eternal enemy next door, especially when this enemy could be a very good brother at the best or a very good friend and neighbors at the worst. Ethiopia does not have the economic power to pay forever an exorbitant amount of money for port services and Eritrea cannot afford to spend money and human power, to maintain and defend a port that is of no use unless Ethiopia uses it. I am sure that Eritrea can gain much more by the political and economic cooperation that will ensue, than living with a worthless commodity that brings no benefit.
I believe that TPLF/woyane is not a fool not to understand that Assab will make Ethiopia and Eritrea eternal enemies. On the contrary, they are counting on it. In simple terms, they do not want to see again Eritreans as equal members of the future Ethiopian family. Just imagine the meaning behind the words “we fought for the independence of Eritrea much more than Eritreans themselves”. In addition, TPLF/woyane almost pushed Eritreans out of the door during the referendum, may be against their will and without giving them the chance to think soberly about complete secession or not, after the heat of the war.
The general conclusion one can make is that, they tricked the people of Ethiopia and they tricked the people of Eritrea. IA was a foolish Bear that danced to TPLF music without seeing the pit behind him.

04/22/10 @ 01:32
Comment from: De La Manchu [Visitor]
De La Manchu

Genet and al/m are to partisan to judge any political debate and the strength of the argument of one with the other. You have one and only one goal only and that is the restoration of the Amara hegemony by any means necessary even if you call the doctor Isays man of the year when he has a lot of Ethiopian blood in his hands. You don’t love seye and Geberu more or less than Meles, to you they are a means to an end use and throw; as Meason’s Leaders wrongly thought that Mengistu is until he came out swinging those who prepared us for lunch we made them breakfast. You have no respect to the underachiever Marara and the hound dog Petros because you are bigots.
Don’t try to rationalize your hate to Meles, TPLF and EPRDF you will vote for Mengistu the fascist dictator if at all that is possible.
You don’t give credit where credit is due for the Growth in GDP, the skyscrapers that are spring up every week as mushrooms in Addis and other major towns. You can’t see the roads and bridges that are built to reach the far most corners of the Nation, schools and clinics that the broad Masses entertain as a right. The dams, and the irrigation canals, the growth in the foreign currency earnings of the nation, and the climate that made possible for foreign investors to bet their money on investment in Ethiopia. It is not important to you not to see the famine victims of Ethiopia plastered on world TV stations as was used ones every decade. So is Ethiopia over taking Kenya as the largest economic power in the Horn of Africa is not good news.

All the best of things that are created in Ethiopia is not created without the EPRDF and its enlightened and historical personality figure and leader P.M.M.Z. The broad Masses of Ethiopia are not blinded like you with envy and bigotry and are grateful to the EPRDF for the prosperity of their nation and the pride and the psychological benefits they reap from erasing once and for all the famish Ethiopians joke of the world.
Need-less-to-sty the people are joys of the Constitutional Democratic Federation Of Independent Nations, where their humanity and dignity is restored and are proud of their language, name, religion that is uplifted and used with pride as they see it fit.
The days of Seshome Yalebela seshar yekochawal, Eshe negga and other reactionary cultures are called by their names twisting justice against the farmer, worker, Orphans and Widowers and hard work be it Shammane, Fake, enterenga buda of any type is cherished and not put down.
The Ethiopian people are thankful for the respect of human rights and civil liberties, and justice in a court of law is in order. They are proud they see half a dozen political parties debate on TV and on Radio for the most part against the interest of the ruling party that humbled it self to be just one among equals asking for their vote.

04/22/10 @ 01:47
Comment from: Tesfa Lehulum [Visitor]
Tesfa Lehulum

Ms Genat or Mr Genet (I know a male by that name too,) let me start by saying that your command of Enlish is to be commended. I must admit also that you have made some valid points. How ever,how savvy you may sound on your article, there are plenty of indications of your naivite to facts and realities all over the place.
1-I do not now why it should surprise you when a ruling party is trying hard to stay in power. Is it not what al politicians all over the world do after all? Name a single political party or a ruler that has given up power just because he/she believes that the opposition might do a better job.What makes then EPRDF different to be ready to lose? I am sure you follow american politics. Have not the Repoblicans called Obama names that for many is sometimes too offensive? Has not they called him a “lier, nazi, communist, baby killer” in front of mllions of viewers? “A president who lies to its congress should not be persecuted? What happened to the congress man who uttered those disgusting and disrespectful words? Nothing! This is political reality. So, why should it surprise you when the ruling party calls the opposition “traitors"? They may as well be. It depends which side you look at it from. I find it so interesting, to sa the least, when you spend too much time to write in that topic.
2- Speaking of “proven record..", who can claim such a shining record as an effective public administrator other than Ato Arekebe?Certainly not one of those on the opposition! Have you asked the Addis residents how he transformed the city by making it the most vibrant and safe place to live in the region. Can any of those oposition claim such an amazing record? No, none what so ever!
3- your attempt to preach on sovereignity to those people who have proven time and again with their hard work to make sure our country is respected in this volitile and hostile neighborhood should at least make you think twice before you bombard us with so many empty words, words that are meant to be for an exclusive consumption of the blind and hypocrite diaspora.

I could go on and on.

Just be fair and at least try to contribute something positive to this difficult and ardeous journey that we have started.

I only hope that who ever is elected is the one who is really elected by the people and hope also who ever will be our next ruler be good enough to ensure the continuity of our economic, political and social transformation that we have begun.

We should stand together and be by our government(which ever is te people’ choice) side to prove the world that YES WE CAN TOO!

God Bless My Humble people,

04/22/10 @ 02:09
Comment from: dude [Visitor]

ዲፕ ነዉ።

04/22/10 @ 02:10
Comment from: c´moi senait [Visitor]
c´moi senait

It looks like the Amsterdam prostitutes street light. Just look at the weyannes STUDIO. A WOLLO province well know TEJ-BET is better than this weyannes STUDIO.
KUTTTARAM and SHIMAGILES with NO BRAIN or Vision. I will GAS them all in this weyannes studio.

04/22/10 @ 02:52
Comment from: Abdissa Agaa [Visitor]
Abdissa Agaa

Dear Genet, we do of course appreciate people like you who make time and effort to remind us of EPRDF’s devious plan to kill ethiopia, but you have to also take comfort in the knowledge that there is no ethiopian out there who doesn’t know what EPRDF stands for. 2005 was evidence to that.
you could go on and on about the too many stupid arguments they make to disguise their devious plan to destroy ethiopia, but one of their most interesting argument that always makes me laugh is when Lidetu asked them about the way EPRDF divided Ethiopia in ethnic lines, ‘what if for example a separatist group like OLF wins independence leaving two sides of ethiopia who might not want to separate from each-other.? thier pathetic answer was “why don’t you trust the Oromos?” mind you, not only they are trying to decide on behalf of the people they claim to have given full right to choose, they are also showing their willingness to risk Ethiopia’s sovereignty and integrity. they say ‘people would only want independence if they are oppressed’. really? we have never known Canada or Britain for being oppressive, yet that didn’t stop the Quebec and the Scots from demanding independence. the deference here is of course Scotland’s departure will not divide England in to two sections but oromia’s one does. you see, when they are faced with logical questions and can’t answer it, they resort to false accusation and labeling. that is EPRDF for you…a bunch of narrow minded Marxist rebels who refused to change, despite the fact that people have come out in masses to reject their dirty ethnic poletics. but trust me, when they fall, they will fall harder and deeper than Mengistuuu

04/22/10 @ 03:58
Comment from: Mola [Visitor]

You have started as someone who is decent enough to not sided with one party. I must tell you that, it almost has worked for you until I read half of your garbage and all familiar accusations from the so-called educated Diasporas 24/7.

I share some one your arguments and I believe it is very important to discuss not only what have gone wrong in the past but also what will happen in the future and that includes the opposition policies and manifestos.

But you just have mentioned how different parties can be judged based on different components and you have also rightly mentioned that opposition can be judged by their policies, but you made no efforts to verify or test their policies based on the actual situation on the ground. (If it is workable or not).

Instead what you have concentrated was to batter the government with the usual “I know what is best for the country from the west and being behind the PC” approach. Most of all, you don’t seem to care what the future holds and your interest seem to be discrediting the current government. And I don’t call that being impartial and any attempt to look like impartial (in this case, you) can be considered, foolish at its best and deceitful at its worst.

Have a good day

04/22/10 @ 04:32
Comment from: hamere [Visitor]

Here comes again the other Gudit of Ethiopia, mumbling about topics she does not have the slightest clue. Genet, you are simply old slut who is not worth messing here with the Ethiopian people. Please stay away.
Who the hell do you think you are to lecture to Ethiopian people about territorial integrity.

04/22/10 @ 04:48
Comment from: kul [Visitor]

I just cannot stand this Seye Abraha guy. Some may call him a hero but for me he is a stupid “asmesay”. He has no shame to lecture us on territorial integrity while he was one of the big players when EPRDF willingly surrender Assab to Shabia. We all remember how arrogant and “ebritegna” he was when people confronted him with tough questions concerning Ethiopia and Ethiopians. I know EPRDF is bad to Ethiopia. But people like Seye, Negasso, Gebru, Aregash etc are even worse.

04/22/10 @ 10:53
Comment from: Gelmo Kurra [Visitor]
Gelmo Kurra

Ethiopia - Debate # Six: Another Miscalculation or Ignorance?
Bby:Genet Mersha, April 22, 2010

“Tesfa Lehulum”
Inspite of what Ethiopia’s enemies say about the article you wrote so well Icongratulate you for an article so well written about a very important national subject. I hope someday you will have the right position in the country government to help us achieve our national goals.

Until then keep on writing.
Thank you

04/22/10 @ 10:56
Comment from: Abadi [Visitor]

I like it Mrs. Genet. I know some of you just jump to conclusion before reading the content. I saw the debate, which EPRDF wish never happened. The good Arkebe did not help either. Lidetu was just swatting them from every direction.

04/22/10 @ 11:06
Comment from: Jegna [Visitor]

Arkebe Oqubay = Justin

This guy wants to be part of the leadership and he needs dictionary to define sovereignty lol And who is he calling a traitor? Meles not only sold out the entire country he even sold out the entire continent during the climate negotiations.

04/22/10 @ 11:18
Comment from: Adubaya [Visitor]

Well,Arkebe Okabay is soaked with Ethiopians blood.He started his life in a small way, but deadly;one day,not too far,he shall stand infront of Ethiopians to receive the most ultimate and unforgetable punishment that he will never forget it in his eternal house that he sleeps with the devil, below the land he murdered countless Ethiopians.

Just a moment,is there anyone who begs the devil to sapre the life of Arkebe Okbay?

04/22/10 @ 11:18
Comment from: sali [Visitor]

Well Genet has wriiten it correct. This so called Arkebe Equbay is an idiot he can not even express himself. Guys you have to know Arkebe is a traitor he was fighting with Eplf against ethiopia unity.

04/22/10 @ 12:00
Comment from: Tommy [Visitor]

Tplf is a party riddled with mistakes, if you resist to call them crimes. The biggest crime of all is the fact that they still refuse to address their weaknesses and continue to compound them. They never admitted that they made a historic and unforgivable mistake when they ridiculed every opposing view and decided to landlock Ethiopia. They never admit the second chance they(in this case probably Meles alone) blew the chance to correct that mistake. They never admit ethnic division is a dangerous path. The list would probably go on and on. When a dictatorship digs in deeper and deeper into its own makings, the only way to defeat it is by violent means, unfortunately. Therefore, for me this election thing is a total waste of time.

04/22/10 @ 12:00
Comment from: Shewarega [Visitor]

Well said Halafi,

Let me add a couple more…

“Assab ye Ethiopia wedeb hona yemagelgelewa guday endiabeka yaderegew ye selasa amet tegel new. Ye heg proffesor teebitegna denkorow sayhone, ye selasa amet tegelu le Assab guday meles settetotal. Ya torenet balekebet melku alekoal.”

Our esteemed patriotic, et al Arkebe, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.

You guys think an American President, say Johnson or Nixon, will stay in power for one day, if they spit on the face of the American people, and tell them “the battle of Viet Nam was settled by the 30 years struggle"? But then again, Meles was the one who led thousands of Tigrayan youth to their grave to dismember Ethiopia. He was the one who begged international organizations to legitemize the dismemberment of Ethiopia. He and his now “I am religious man” Prime Minister Tamrat were the ones who transfered untold millions of tax payers money in reparation for the crimes committed by the nation they profess to administer. Dear Arkebe, WHO IS THE TRAITOR? Who poisoned a whole generation of Tigrayan youth, by fabricated lies? Who waged war on the Ethiopian state? Who imposed Benitto Mussolini’s ethnic bantustan on the backs of the Ethiopian people? Who made people carry identity cards with ethnic on them? Who destroyed our identity, the provinces? Who is robbing Ethiopia blind on four corners of the nation? Who is the source of evil? Who is the focus of hate? You rose in hate, you preached hate, you reap what you saw, you are being fed hate. You are the number one enemy of Ethiopia. Your time is up.

Let me add one from, his holiness Sebhat Nega.

“Hege mengestu kelaele Ethiopia yelechim beyealehu.”

The million dollar question is. Is the “hege mengest” created to administer Ethiopia? Or Ethiopia exists to make his stinking, kerfatam hege mengest in place? The cart pulls the horse, or the horse pulls the cart? It is this kind of total haters and looters that are now dancing on the heads of the Ethiopia people. My dear friend, you are nothing but a regional “little man.” Your thoughts never did and never will go any further than your little village mentality/
Please, we know you all haters have not one iota of care for Ethiopia. You have spat on the countless millions that died for this country. You have humiliated Ethiopians in their own home, their own towns, their own villages. You have stolen in pure day light a third and a fifth of land from other provinces, like a maurauding foreign occupier, leaving an opening for the death of untold thousands of Ethiopians in the future. From day one you brougt hate among Ethiopians. You are completely spat out. You came by force, you stay by force, and when that inevitable day arrives you will be removed from the long suffering backs of the Ethiopian people.

Medrek is the future.

04/22/10 @ 12:23
Comment from: Ras Alula [Visitor]
Ras Alula

The only thing that is keeping MEDREK together is the fact that election is around the corner. After the election process, I give MEMREK 6 months to a year before it disintegrates into thin air.

Ethiopia needs change of governance. At the moment, the only reasonable choice is EDP. Lidetu’s revolutionary and cross party line stand on issues are only motivated by protecting the interest of the country. I believe we will see more of him in the forefront of ethiopian political system for many years to come.

04/22/10 @ 14:06
Comment from: zi [Visitor]

is this true , really true, i mean really true that TPLF guys like more shabia than Ethiopia? hard to believe=>how can they like shabia more than their own country:?:unless they are from over there and pretend to be Ethiopians. like a SPY:!:

04/22/10 @ 14:23
Comment from: Tegist Bahru [Visitor]
Tegist Bahru


04/22/10 @ 14:47
Comment from: Kokeb [Visitor]


Needs some one to slap this big mouth WEYANE-LEBA who stole over $20-million from the poor ethiopians. The S.O.B is acting like he knows politcs, every time he opens his LEBA-MOUTH. The fact is he is a lawless rebel,chafing at the shackles of stupid authority and intentionally doing what he knows is wrong. We know when TPLF invaded ethiopia this guy come up with a single KUMTA and a wooden comb in his pocket to steal our banks by methods of stree crooks and city dwellers: illegal-dealing, cheating, taxing, Stealing an average over 3-mil a year for the last 20-years

04/22/10 @ 14:56
Comment from: justin [Visitor]

“Ato Bereket Simon to issue veiled threats to Medrek leaders, alleging that they have crossed the red line. Is it an attempt to stop Medrek, since its stride has increased? It means that, if EPRDF’s hold on power is threatened, this may lead to a replay of 2005 all over again, as official displeasures build and their words seem to hint that!” - Genet

Dear Genet,

With all due respect, we don’t see any hint of anything untoward in PM Meles’or Bereket’s words, except for a clear, unambiguous reminder to everyone to abide by the law of the land and the Constitution. The only hint we see is in your own consistent writings of thinly veiled calls for a repeat of the 2005 election aftermath in the upcoming election. A call for the opposition and their supporters to take the law into their own hands and overturn the verdict of the people if they lose the election.

Don’t you think that is immoral especially given you - living abroad in the West - are not going to pay for any of the consequence?

Weyzerit Genet, you sure have made your position very, very clear through your repeated sly calls for chaos and lawlessness as in the 2005 election aftermath, again, in the upcoming national election - we will put you down as an advocate for seizing power by any means.

ኢትዮጵያ ለዘላለም ትኑር

04/22/10 @ 16:27
Comment from: Gennet [Visitor]


“…Nor could the Dergue be accused of disloyalty to Ethiopian sovereignty and territorial integrity. He must be charged for his misdirection of the country and poor and cruel leadership, ending up in spilling the blood of thousands of citizens…”

Genet with this paragraph, you have just lost respect. You have put peoples live far below port, stone etc… So a dictatorial regime like Menigstu, which tortured, murdered and celebrated this openly as victory is great because as a you naivley described, it defended, -I just summarize - Assab? How naive. I’m really disappointed

04/22/10 @ 18:47
Comment from: andinet [Visitor]

We have to make a distinction between a good orator/articulate liar and a good leader. Being articulate liar or having a good oratorical skill is very different from having a good leadership skill. In terms of being articulate or in their oratorical/rhetorical skills Lidetu, Redewan/Bereket and Meles might each get an ‘A’. These people however get an ‘F’ in terms of their leadership skills. They might make good cadres but they cannot run a corner store let alone a country as complex and as diverse as Ethiopia. Yes Meles is a liar and I agree 100% that he is articulate when he lies. He is good in making stuff up unscuplously, good in terrorizing the Ethiopian people and then in denying the obvious. Is this a virtue or a vice? Yes for some it is a virtue and a value or quality they appreciate in somebody. Those who are impressed by how articulate Meles/Bereket/Rewdan/Lidetu are at lying and denying and those who like their rhetoric/oratorical/lying skills can vote for these pathological liars and absolute brutal dictators masquerading as democrats. However, those who would like a national consensus based genuine democratic order in Ethiopia need to vote for MEDREK. MEDREK can provide a genuine democratic leadership in Ethiopia and help lay the foundation for freedom, democracy, justice and economic prosperity for all the Ethiopian people. Ethiopia has never been short on orators and articulate liars like Meles/Bereket/Redwan/Lidetu but has never had democratic leaders and consensus builders. A country as complex as Ethiopia needs democratic leaders and national consensus builders and that is precisely what MEDREK is ready to provide. Ethiopia does not need orators or street smart talkers or articulate liars camouflaged as democrats. Nor Ethiopia needs good talking/looking absolute brutal dictators and pathological liars. What we need in leaders is not being articulate liar or having a good skill at lying the Ethiopian people but we need in leaders being honest, patriotic, consensus builders who take all the interests of the various stakeholders in Ethiopia into account. So the choice is clear. Those who support the statuesque of recurrent famine, state-sponsered terrorism againt the Ethiopian people, economic hardships, gross human rights violations, intimidations, incarcerations, extrajudicial killings, and national humiliations of our country to continue because the perpetuator of these miseries and humiliations, Meles, has a good oratorical skill and an articulate liar, vote for him. Those who prefer oratorical or lying skill over democracy can vote for dictators Meles/Bereket/Redewan/Lidetu and allow the statuesque to continue. Those who support a real change in Ethiopia, those who want to see genuine democratic and consensus based leadership in Ethiopia, those who want to see in Ethiopia the end of misery, economic hardships, human rights violations, forced exile and economic migrations, national humiliation, intimidations, arbitrary arrests and incarcerations, disappearances, extrajudicial killings and those who want to the end to terrorization of the Ethiopian people, vote for MEDREK. Those who want to lay a foundation for a lasting peace, national consensus, freedom, democracy, justice and economic prosperity for all the Ethiopian people should vote for MEDREK. Therefore Ethiopia is at a crossroads, namely, Meles/Bereket/Lidetu’s way (absolute brutal dictatorial way wrapped with good oratorical and articulate lying skills) and a genuine democratic, freedom and national consensus builders’ way spearheaded by MEDREK. MEDREK is the right way for Ethiopia. MEDREK is a national consensus builder and that is exactly what Ethiopia needs at this juncture. Do not fall for the trap of the cosmetics of oratorical skills because inside that good oratorical and lying skills is hidden a lethal poison that destroys Ethiopia and its people. Do not forgo the substance for the form. Had having a good oratorical skill and being an articulate pathological liar been good enough for Ethiopia (as Meles has been for the last 19 years), our country would have been genuinely democratic and in a much better economic shape today after 19 years of Meles/Bereket brutal dictatorship. However, the reality we see on the ground under Meles/Bereket duo dictatoship is the opposite, namely, terrorizing the Ethiopian people, more brutal repression and untold economic hardship and misery in Ethiopia. So Ethiopia needs change. The Ethiopian people do not need articulate dictators however articulate they are at lying but good national consensus builders and democratic leaders. Ethiopia needs not strong lying men but strong institutions. So instead of going for good orators and good lying and atriculating skill, go for the type of leadership and national consensus builders Ethiopia needs and that is what MEDREK provides. GO MEDREK. MEDREK is the way. Regarding the allotment of debate time, TPLF has given itself the lion’s share of the time about 3 to 4 times more than each of the other parties. This is nothing compared to the more than 19 years the TPLF has had in propagating its propaganda to the Ethiopian people but to no avail. The TPLF can take the whole air time in the world but still would not make any difference. Andinet

04/22/10 @ 20:26
Comment from: kiwi [Visitor]

Ato Arkebe has lost the little support he had around Addis Ababa. This was done purposely by the Prime Minister who has been jealous of Arkebe’s popularity. Arkebe had no choice but to follow instructions at the expense of his popularity among Addis Ababans. Arkebe has no other choice now except sticking with Meles. Meles knows which of his policies are most hated by Ethiopians and assigns Arkebe to promote them. Arkebe had to choose what is best for him and preferred to remain loyal for his boss than to the people. Now Arkebe is hated trying to cover his boss’ shit. And Meles is now satisfied because Arkebe sacrificed his little popularity in Addis Ababa.

04/23/10 @ 03:35
Comment from: jigjiga [Visitor]

Ms Genet,

At end she spew her hidden belief and barfed in her emotionally written article.Ms Genet,as she acknowledge and states in the article,she started to write immediately after she watched the debate and that’s why her long article reflects her hidden true colors,which that typically bases on hatefulness and blindly power thirsty.She is a typical of majority members of Kinijit backward groups.What a naive lady? She can’t even control’s her overwhelmed anger and her article convey to the readers how far Ms Genet is bias in terms of Ethiopian politics and how far that she disbelieving the Ethiopia federalism systems which bases on our unities and our equality for the citizenship of our mother Ethiopia.Well,whoever that a modern person who is in disbelieves of Ethiopian democratic federalism systems,he/she isn’t a realistic person and eventually,he/she is a naive and a centric person who in facts lives in the dream of illusions.Basically,it’s nothing wrong that to become against the PM or oppose his leadership and his party but if you care the country,you must be a supporter of federalism systems.Therefore,I could say it this:Whoever,that opposes Federalism system which perfectly fitted our diversity ethnic country.That PM Melese,in his 18 years of leadership,he tested the federalism system and approved which so far,in the average grade pass.Thus,I would say that any Ethiopian,who oppose the system(not leadership) isn’t a genuine patriotic Ethiopian.

Down!down the centric backwardness ideologist.Ms.Genet open your eyes and come out from that locked circles.

Long live united Ethiopia’s federalism system.

04/23/10 @ 08:52
Comment from: Mr. Z [Visitor]
Mr. Z

How many fulltime TPLF employees are contributing in this blog? Pathetic TPLF, how long would you keep paying a lion share of a the begged reources to political cadres? Shame on TPLF!

04/23/10 @ 10:20
Comment from: Tommy [Visitor]

I had a favorable view of Arkebe guy for his work at city hall. Now that has been already lost. He is making ridiculous points, and most imporatantly he is insulting Ethiopians. If I were him, I wouldn’t do that.

04/23/10 @ 12:12
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

:crazy:Ato Korataw what the hell are you talking
about when you dare to say such ignorancy:"All the best of things that are created in Ethiopia is not created without the EPRDF and its enlightened and historical personality figure and leader P.M.M.Z. The broad Masses of Ethiopia are not blinded like you with envy and bigotry and are grateful to the EPRDF for the prosperity of their nation and the pride and the psychological benefits they reap from erasing once and for all the famish Ethiopians joke of the world..",what
best things ?do you mean =>the killing of
inocent peoples and the =>GENOCIDE crimes
comitted by your leba master and his SS agazis ,=>the stealing of the national elections by TPLF Thugs and aderby Bandas ,
=>the looting of the country by the Tigrai Mafiosis under the leadership of the evil
Azeb .Here are then your so called ,TPLF
great achievements transforming Ethiopia
as a land of desperation and desasters .

04/23/10 @ 12:57
Comment from: sami1 [Visitor]

All I could say is God bless for writing waht is true. Those who are saying old news, insite, and bura kereyu are the once who are comfortable. Yes, we all are selfish as human and so is Meles and all party members of EPDRF. The difference is we all need to focus for the future of the country.
Any government staying in power more than two terms they will get spoiled and still and lie and greip the power so tight that they would not care for anyone else and thier country other than thier egggo!
Is that what we want?
Some of you like JESTINE, YEHA, and like will only talk how great the syetem is. Since they see it through selfish eye so they do not care for the majority and the future of thier own ethnic group being singled out just as it happened in Rwanda!

The problem they are spreading today will bring about spark where people will take it out on each other!


04/23/10 @ 12:59
Comment from: TimeisUP [Visitor]

Menew Justin… abteh enkua aymutu. Ante gen yesew mebt ategfef.

All Ethiopians are entitled to their opinion in Ethiopian politics and remember dude… opposition does not mean enemy. Maybe you can teach that to Meles once you learn it, Okay?

04/23/10 @ 13:04
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

:crazy:Jijiga(Ye Jib Jeglala)first of all
you ‘re ,TPLF thug, an ogaden guy as your
leba master is the Queen of Great Britain.
For your information your leba master imposed
a tribal system on the disguise of so called
Federalism to remain in power .The simple
but evil usual Tyrant’s motto of :lalala:“Dividing
to reign” .:lalala:

04/23/10 @ 13:06
Comment from: TimeisUP [Visitor]

All super idiots…

Comment from: Halafi Mengedi [Visitor]
21st Century disgraced Tigrayan leaders quotes

“Sovereignty is not the Mountains, Rivers, Fertile lands and Landscapes, it is the Donations” By Meles Zenawi

Tigray never imported glass through the Red Sea ports and will not import in the future because Tigray uses SHIKNA” By Assefa Mamo

“There will not be any problems if Shaebia Eritrea takes Tigray lands for the next 25 years” By Sebhat Nega

“Countries who do not have ports are doing better than countries who owned ports” By Arkebe Equbay

04/23/10 @ 13:06
Comment from: TimeisUP [Visitor]

All woyne bandas, Justin & Delamancho muchacho, grow the hell up. Every Ethiopian is entitled to his share of power. Stating the facts does not mean we want Derg or Haileselassie or any tribal group, like the Amhara, to take power. What we want is the abolishment of tribal federalism and the emergence of a united Ethiopia. Why is that hard to understand for idiots like you Delamachu and justin? Moron woyanes, zemeblachu afachun atekfetu.

Hear the true Ethiopian speak…
Hear the truth…

Comment from: Abdissa Agaa [Visitor]

“…their most interesting argument that always makes me laugh is when Lidetu asked them about the way EPRDF divided Ethiopia in ethnic lines, ‘what if for example a separatist group like OLF wins independence leaving two sides of ethiopia who might not want to separate from each-other.? thier pathetic answer was “why don’t you trust the Oromos?…

…a bunch of narrow minded Marxist rebels who refused to change, despite the fact that people have come out in masses to reject their dirty ethnic poletics. but trust me, when they fall, they will fall harder and deeper than Mengistuuu”

04/23/10 @ 13:29
Comment from: behailu [Visitor]

Dear brothers and sisters - let us not spend our time discussing the writer but the issues presentd. As we all know, EPRDF has continued to commit crime by giving away Ethiopian territory to neighboring countries. Over 100,000 people have lost their life for a false war. Yes, TPLF leadership (past and present) have to face the consequnces of their action.

04/23/10 @ 14:11
Comment from: dejen [Visitor]

Comment from: Halafi Mengedi [Visitor]
Ye zemenu muhur ii, do think that because you false name and no body can reach you?

04/23/10 @ 14:25
Comment from: Charles Taylor [Visitor]
Charles Taylor

As long as these election looser old TPLF dogs like Arkebe Oqubay, Meles, Simon, Sibhat are involved in politics there will never be a fair election.

Those people are rejects of 2005 election.

These people don’t care about Ethiopia and all they care is their greedy self, money and power.

It is time for Ethiopians to exercise their God given right and replace these greedy dogs.

04/23/10 @ 15:29
Comment from: ethiopia [Visitor]

pls genet don’t continue.don’t wasting our time.

04/23/10 @ 16:09
Comment from: Haile [Visitor]

The real debate happens behind closed doors in the middle of the night. If EPRDF don’t hear everything he wants to hear OOOHH is goinf to be the last word for the debateing person annoying EPRDF thugs.
An Ethiopian opposition activist has been beaten to death in a politically motivated murder in the run-up to elections in May, an opposition leader said Friday.

“Our activist Biyansa Daba, 23, was attacked at his home in a small town in north-west Ethiopia by members of the ruling party on April 7,” Bulcha Demeksa, leader of opposition party Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), told the German Press Agency dpa.

“He was beaten with the butt of a gun,” he added. “When killings like this happen, many people will be afraid to support us.”

The opposition and international organizations like Human Rights Watch (HRW) regularly accuse Prime Minister warlord Meles Zenawi’s government of intimidation and political repression.

04/23/10 @ 17:04
Comment from: visitor [Visitor]

I have watched all the debates.

I must say by the good preparation of EDP in all of them, they had truly made their homework before going on stage. I must say i am specialy impressed by the famous Lidetu..The young man is showing us that politics can be based on ideas even in Ethiopia and that you can explain them to the public.

ERPDF is singing it’s old tune regardless the direction the debates take.They just deliver their speeches and go home. They are unprepared to think (as they rely on Meles of that) unprepared to defend their position (as they are uncustommed to chalenge), unprepared to ajust to a new situation (as they think every thing will go on as now the the forseable future.Redwan is good though.And his accusation of “telalaki” holds water, as some of the manifestos are bad copy-pastes of IMFs and WB mottos.

The others are just a bunch of unprofessional amateurs who can’t even stick to a topic. Some of them are even funny (meiad, berhan, kinjit sometimes).They remind me those pupils in amharic class in secondary school that write their assignments 5 minutes before class and make the whole class laugh when they are compelled to read it.

04/23/10 @ 17:15
Comment from: justin [Visitor]

sam1 - the Genocidal Terrorist

I believe we have a genocidal terrorist in the sam1.

“Some of you like JESTINE, YEHA, and like will only talk how great the system is. Since they see it through selfish eye so they do not care for the majority and the future of their own ethnic group being singled out just as it happened in Rwanda!”

Trust me sam1, your types will NEVER, NEVER have a place in Ethiopia. EVER! The only place for your types is Kality or worse. Don’t you ever doubt that, SIMPLETON bigot!!

ኢትዮጵያ ለዘላለም ትኑር

04/23/10 @ 21:22
Comment from: lulu [Visitor]

We know that our country is ruling by a person who does not have a concern about the current and future generation, do not make a bright hope from our current leaders, the opposition parties leaders also the same, they didn’t have consistency on their policy issue. Sometimes I am afraid what we are really doing we spent a lot of money for this process and lost a number of lives for nothing.
We cheat ourselves, do not expect Arkebe Equbay is a good politician; he is a development man at least we have seen him what he is doing while he was a mayor of Addis Ababa. So we have to pray for him to be assigned on his ability. Otherwise he didn’t express himself politically very well.
God bless Ethiopia
We at least wish to have a right person in a right position

04/23/10 @ 21:57
Comment from: Aba Kabada [Visitor]
Aba Kabada

Forgive my fellow Ethiopians. I’m convinced Ethiopia should live without Tigrigna speakers ( without the province called Tigray). Because, from my oun experiance this people no matter how they are educated, they will never be free of their village mentality. Look at some of the comment made like Yeha. What has the Amhara tribe got to do with the commentor. There are some Amhara hard core member of EPRDF, Some members of EPRDF, and from the other tribes too. For them any Ethiopian object EPRDF rulling is Amhara. As Birtukan Mideksa is Amhara for them. This guys, as far as they are concerned, no national issue, their issue is tribal. If it is national issue, that should be with in Tigray. In that case, let TPLF have Tigray and the rest of us live in peace.

04/24/10 @ 00:17
Comment from: Selalie [Visitor]

Hamere and co. This days all Weyanie supporters if any one object Weyanie their answer is “who the hell you think? Blah..blah…etc ” you statment tell you are a bar lady. Ok then, we know of Mrs Mersha, who are you then? Kimalam! Just because, some body from Tigray got in to Minilik pallace doesn’t make you Royal Highness.
You can’t be more Ethiopian than any ordinary Ethiopian or give any bit class. As I said you languch tell who you are that is not more than KOMARIT.

04/24/10 @ 00:41
Comment from: Jijiga [Visitor]


Besides that insulting my few and opinion’s about Ms Genet’s bias and blindly full of emotion article,What’s wrong with federalism system? Why the only ethnic oppose the federalism system is the ahamara and not the rest other ethnics?

Well,the answer is obvious.So fell free to continue your illusions.

04/24/10 @ 05:31
Comment from: Mechal [Visitor]

Lidetu is simply the best! Thanks Lidetu for speaking our mind.

04/25/10 @ 13:30



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