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Justice for Sierra Leone! No Justice for Ethiopia?



  10:06:51 pm, by admin   , 1799 words  
Categories: Ethiopia, Alemayehu G. Mariam

Justice for Sierra Leone! No Justice for Ethiopia?

Justice for Sierra Leone! No Justice for Ethiopia?

By Alemayehu G. Mariam

Warlord Charles Taylor Caged!

After 420 days of trial (over nearly four years), 115 witness, over 50,000 pages of testimony, and 1,520 exhibits, Charles Taylor, warlord-turned-president of Liberia, was found guilty on 11 counts by the U.N. Special Court for Sierra Leone. Taylor was found guilty of war crimes and crimes against humanity (including murder, rape, mutilating civilians, including cutting off their limbs, conscripting child soldiers, sexual slavery and other acts of terrorism) committed in Sierra Leone from November 30, 1996, to January 18, 2002. Over 50,000 people died in that conflict. Taylor "aided and abetted" the notorious warlords Foday Sankoh, Sam “the Mosquito” Bockarie and Issa Sesay of the Revolutionary United Front (RUF) in Sierra Leone. Taylor participated in the planning, instigation and commission of these crimes and provided weapons and military support in exchange for “blood diamonds” mined by slave laborers in Sierra Leone. Taylor will be sentenced next month.

There were some problems in the prosecution’s evidence. There were few documents to show the depth and scope of Taylor’s involvement with the rebels. There was no evidence that Taylor was at the scene of the rebel crimes. There was little evidence showing the Liberian troops Taylor sent to Sierra Leone were directly involved in the war crimes and crimes against humanity. However, prosecutors were able to use radio and telephone intercepts and the testimonies of Taylor’s close associates and security detail and show that Taylor had shipped weapons to the rebels in exchange for (blood) diamonds.

Taylor avoided conviction for “command responsibility” under article 6(3) of the Statute of the Special Court which imputes criminal responsibility “if the superior knew or had reason to know that his or her subordinate was about to commit crimes prohibited by the Statute or had done so, and the superior failed to take the necessary and reasonable measures to prevent or punish the perpetrators”. Despite evidence that Taylor had knowledge RUF rebels were committing war crimes and crimes against humanity and that he had significant influence over them, there was insufficient evidence to prove that he had effective “command and control” over them to prevent the crimes or punish the perpetrators.

Taylor denied all of the charges and any responsibility for the crimes committed in Sierra Leone. He testified on his own behalf for seven months seeking to portray himself as a peace maker. The trial reportedly cost $USD250 million! Was it worth the expense? Does justice have a price tag?

Rogues Gallery of African Criminals Against Humanity

The International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued arrest warrants for other current and former African heads of state, including Cote d’Ivoire’s former president Laurent Gbagbo and Sudan’s president Omar al-Bashir (and the late Moamar Gadhafi). In November 2011, Gbagbo was quietly whisked away to the Hague from house arrest in Cote d’Ivoire to face justice before the ICC on charges of crimes against humanity (murder, rape and other forms of sexual violence, persecution and other inhuman acts) that were allegedly committed during the post-election period. Gbagbo will soon be warming Taylor’s chair.

Al-Bashir sneered at the ICC indictment in 2009: “Tell them all, the ICC prosecutor, the members of the court and everyone who supports this court that they are under my shoe.” (In time, he may come under the ICC’s shoes.) The U.N. estimated well over 300,000 people have perished under Bashir’s regime. Along with Al-Bashir, the ICC has also issued warrants against other Sudanese nationals including Ahmed Haroun, a lawyer and minister of humanitarian affairs, Ali Kushayb, a former senior Janjaweed (local militiamen allied with the Sudanese regime against Darfur rebels), Bahr Idriss Abu Garda, a rebel leader and two others.

The ICC has also indicted criminals against humanity in Kenya. Uhuru Kenyatta, finance minister and son of Kenya’s famed independence leader Jomo Kenyatta, resigned following an ICC ruling that he will face trial for crimes against humanity in connection with the communal post-election violence between supporters of presidential candidates Raila Odinga and Mwai Kibaki in 2008. The U.N. estimates some 1,200 people died in weeks of unrest between December 2007 and February 2008, and 600,000 people were forcibly displaced. Cabinet secretary Francis Muthaura, a close ally of president Mwai Kibaki, former Education Minister William Ruto and radio announcer Joshua arap Sang face similar charges.

In Uganda, the ICC has indicted senior leaders of the “Lord’s Resistance Army” including the notorious Joseph Kony, his deputy Vincent Otti and three other top commanders. In the DR Congo various rebel and militia leaders and Congolese military officers and politicians including Thomas Lubanga Dyilo, Jean-Pierre Bemba Gombo, Bosco Ntaganda, Mathieu Ngudjolo Chui and two others have been indicted. The ICC has issued arrest warrants for Moammar Gaddafi’s son Saif al-Islam and Libyan intelligence chief Abdullah al-Senussi who was arrested in Mauritania in March of this year. Libya is contesting ICC jurisdiction so that it may be able to try the two suspects in Libyan courts.

No ICC Indictments in Ethiopia?

While seeking out war criminals and criminals against humanity in the Sudan, Kenya, Uganda, the DR of Congo, Libya and other places, the ICC and U.N. Security Council have avoided “Crimes Against Humanity Central-- Ethiopia”. The evidence of crimes against humanity and war crimes in Ethiopia is fully documented, substantial and overwhelming.
An official Inquiry Commission appointed by Meles Zenawi in its 2006 report documented the extrajudicial killing of at least 193 unarmed protesters, wounding of 763 others and arbitrary imprisonment of nearly 30,000 persons in the post-2005 election period in Ethiopia. The Commission was limited to investigating the "violence that occurred on June 8, 2005 in Addis Ababa and violence that occurred from November 1 to 10, 2005 and from November 14 to 16, 2005" in other parts of the country. (The Inquiry Commission has evidence on extrajudicial killings by security forces for dates other than those indicated, and had those casualties been included in the official Commission report the numbers would have increased several fold.) The killings investigated by the Commission occurred after Zenawi publicly declared that all of the country’s security and military forces were under his direct, exclusive and personal control.

The Commission’s evidence further showed that nearly all of the 193 unarmed protesters died from gunshot wounds to their heads or upper torso. The Commission found substantial evidence that professional sharpshooters were used in the indiscriminate and wanton attack on the unarmed protesters. The Commission further documented that on November 3, 2005, during an alleged disturbance at the infamous Kality prison near Addis Ababa, guards sprayed more than 1,500 bullets into inmate cells in 15 minutes, killing 17 and severely wounding 53. These and many other shocking facts were meticulously documented by the Inquiry Commission which examined 16,990 documents, received testimony from 1,300 witnesses and undertook months of investigation in the field. There is also documentary evidence to show that there are at least 237 named police and security officials directly implicated in these crimes and subsequently dismissed from their positions. No person has even been criminally investigated, arrested, charged, prosecuted or in any way held accountable for any of these crimes.

In December 2003, in the Gambella region of Ethiopia, 424 individuals died in extrajudicial killings by security forces. A report by the International Human Rights Clinic of Harvard Law School’s Human Rights Program corroborates the extrajudicial killings. In 2008, in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia, reprisal “executions of 150 individuals” and 37 others were documented by Human Rights Watch:

Ethiopian military personnel who ordered or participated in attacks on civilians should be held responsible for war crimes. Senior military and civilian officials who knew or should have known of such crimes but took no action may be criminally liable as a matter of command responsibility. The widespread and apparently systematic nature of the attacks on villages throughout Somali Region is strong evidence that the killings, torture, rape, and forced displacement are also crimes against humanity for which the Ethiopian government bears ultimate responsibility.
No person has even been criminally investigated, arrested, charged, prosecuted or in any way held accountable for any of these crimes.

In 2010, Human Rights Watch made a submission to the U.N. Committee Against Torture “regarding serious patterns of torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment in Ethiopia.”
Torture and ill-treatment have been used by Ethiopia's police, military, and other members of the security forces to punish a spectrum of perceived dissenters, including university students, members of the political opposition, and alleged supporters of insurgent groups, as well as alleged terrorist suspects. Human Rights Watch has documented incidents of torture and ill-treatment by Ethiopian security forces in a range of settings. The frequency, ubiquity, and patterns of abuse by agents of the central and state governments demonstrate systematic mistreatment involving commanding officers, not random activity by rogue soldiers and police officers. In several cases documented by Human Rights Watch, military commanders participated personally in torture.
No person has even been criminally investigated, arrested, charged, prosecuted or in any way held accountable for any of these crimes.

International Criminal Court of Justice or International Criminal Court of Selective Justice?

It is historic and commendable that the ICC UN Special Tribunal for Sierra Leone has convicted Charles Taylor for war crimes and crimes against humanity. The verdict is undoubtedly a giant step forward in ending the culture of official impunity and criminality in Africa. African dictators and tyrants may no longer assume automatic impunity for their criminal actions. David Crane, the former prosecutor who indicted Taylor in 2003 correctly pointed out, “This is a bell that has been rung and clearly rings throughout the world. If you are a head of state and you are killing your own people, you could be next.” U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon described the Taylor verdict as “a significant milestone for international criminal justice” that “sends a strong signal to all leaders that they are and will be held accountable for their actions.”

But the ICC and the U.N. Security Council must not succumb to the shameful practice of selective justice. It is hypocritical to indict criminals against humanity in the Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and the DR Congo and pretend to “hear no evil, see no evil and speak no evil” on the war criminals and criminals against humanity in Ethiopia. There cannot be a double, triple or quadruple standard of justice tailored for different grade of war criminals and criminals against humanity. There is no such thing as a good war criminal or criminal against humanity. There can be no beauty contest among warthogs. What is good enough for the Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and the DR Congo MUST be good enough for Ethiopia because what is good for the goose is good for the gander. Based on the compelling and substantial readily available evidence, the ICC has a legal duty and a moral obligation to at least open an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Ethiopia since 2002 when the court was created.



Comment from: [Member]

“Yawina eziya mado beg yagidal sew,
kalaye kalsema BAL ahiya new.”

the narcissist and self centerd almaria’s ego is broken and his feeling so much hurt that, PM Meles Zenawi is coming to his own backyard here in the States to shine with the world’s top leaders. especially the invitation coming from president Barak Obama, that it self is too much burden to carry. so he has to sort out his usual cry of unfounded allegation and smear campain.
unfortunatly for him, the next recognition our brilliant leader PM Meles is gonna get is THE NOBEL PEACE PRIZE, for his role he played pacifying the horn and the great contribution and leadership to make Ethiopia THE LEADING ECONOMIC, DIPLOMATIC AND POLITICAL FORCE IN AFRICA.
almaria’s narcissitic personality has blinded him not to look beyond his own ego, which is making him to suffer in self absorption and unrealistic view about everything he sees. KALAYE KALSEMA…….!

05/07/12 @ 23:12
Comment from: flulu [Visitor]

If you are really concerned about democracy ,justice ,human right why don’t mention the eriterian regime and its authoritarian leader isias.If there is anyone who should be mentioned with crime against humanity it should be isias.
But this author deliberitely omitted mentioning eriteria and its leader while busy entertaining and showing his contempt for africa and its leaders.
I will take you seriously when you mention isias under this category and the whole world sees that your motive is not hate and politics but justice.

05/08/12 @ 04:40
Comment from: teshome [Visitor]

Mad dog.

05/08/12 @ 05:11
Comment from: Kimberly [Visitor]

Addis Zemen,

I agree PM Meles should be nominated for the Nobe Peace Prize. Besides I suggest there should be “great” behind his name, that is, Meles the great. He is a combination of Napoleon and Nelson Mandela. People like this idiot Alemayehu are frustrated by his steadfastness, they are mad that the world look up to him, they are jelous that he is invited by world greats like Obama while they remain Ethiopian Restaurant’s philosophers. My dear Addis Zemen don’t get mad at them, they are frustrated and as you know a drowning man catches at a straw. Addis zemen I like the way you express yourself with your beautiful English.

05/08/12 @ 06:35
Comment from: Gize [Visitor]

I can’t read your articles, because they bore me to death. Here is a tip for you, professor &#59;); make them short and interesting (don’t judge me people I’m young).

05/08/12 @ 08:43
Comment from: endale [Visitor]

addis zemen gazeta was telling us the same story on their front page with our previous leaders coming to USA or Soviet now this is the same ADDIS ZEMEN wunaf do not make it big deal one time Mobutu was USA puppet and Castro for Soviet now Melese for USA Assad for Russia

05/08/12 @ 10:50
Comment from: Eyayu Gedel [Visitor]
Eyayu Gedel

This is hilarous !
Al mariam is getting heart attack coz PM Zenawi will attend at the meeting of G8 in USA not at a court house.So there will be demonstration us usual.Be there! Shout as much as you can.

With smile

05/08/12 @ 11:19
Comment from: belay [Visitor]

You cannot expect the world to go after PMMZ if/when your charges against him are all wrong and fabricated. But we expect you to come back to your senses and stop this futile toiling, toiling for nothing. You could have done something useful to your people and country instead. There is nothing to be gained by what you are doing right now. PMMZ is too giant and too good to be distracted by small minds. And Ethiopians are too sophisticated and much nobler than you. There is smaller mind than yours whom you can be able to mislead.

05/08/12 @ 12:06
Comment from: ment4you [Visitor]

Addis Zefen

I think when you talk about narcissist you are talking about about the self proclaimed intellectual the dictator Meles.

Your an imaginable stupidities and beyond borders that you can’t even select words appropriately.

A TPLF agenda has no place in Ethiopia and please take yourself and your so called hero from TPLF back to where you came from.

Ethiopia is for true and unbiased Ethiopians as it has always been, a lesson I am sure you will findout the hard way!!!


05/08/12 @ 12:07
Comment from: tazabi [Visitor]

Ar Maria! Ar Maria! Ar Maria!

What is in your head? what is all this nonsense blabber?

05/08/12 @ 17:58
Comment from: Amhara Princess [Visitor]
Amhara Princess

The fact of the matter is that Charles G Taylor was USA’a darling, right hand man and GOD child, all in one Combo once upon a time. His USA’s God Child status went on for decades, in fact USA supported Charles Taylor from the time that he was a rebel and put a blind eye of all his notorious crimes, despicable acts, use of Child soldiers, murderous, corrupt nature for almost all of the time that he was in power. Why? Because he was a SPY for the USA, worked closely with CIA agents for over 25 years! This is 100% fact disclosed to the Globe under Freedom Of Information Act, confirmed by none other than the Pentagon. In the end, USA dropped him like a hot potato when they felt like it & chased his a$$ all the way to ICC hence he is where he is today :):)

Moral of the story is Ato Zenawi, DO NOT FEEL too comfortable as far as USA is concerned. You are also heading towards the same fate of CG Taylor. Meles is NO different from Saddam, Mubarak, Bin Laden, Bashir, Ben Ali, Charles Taylor etc, all of whom used to be USA’s best buddies.

… As it happens, USA has a habit of using, abusing countries, leaders & powerful figures then toss them away like litter. This trait of USA stretches all the way back to USA’s INCEPTION when they’d decided to toss away USA’s founding fathers aka (indigenous people’s killers more like), FREE Human Resources providers (Major Slave traders), the Architects, Master Minds, Developers, the brain behind the creation of USA as we know it and USA’s bloods relatives aka Kingdom of Great Britain! After fighting and tossing away their makers/family with direct help other European countries i.e. France, Spain, the Dutch & Co, they declared independence. Er’m, 1776 was it? July the 4th? Ring a bell? Hummmmm

05/08/12 @ 18:05
Comment from: TEDDY [Visitor]

Adgi Banda you are the only narcissist selfish guy ever seen on
this website .Days and nights sinking
in his own lies .For your information
never Obama invites the representation of the African Continent .But a simple horseboy even
a stableman to thank him for the missionnary mission he did accomplish
in Somalia for the sake of USA .As said Prof Al there is a double standard of Justice in the ICC because of the American’s evil geostrategical politics followed in
the continent .The Americans along with their western Allies accept even
participate on the arrestation of two
of African Tyrants (Taylors and Gbagbo)and Rwadese and Congolese wardlors while at the same time unshamessly defend and protect worst tyrants despots as your leba master !!!!!AHYA LEKAMI BANDA !!!!By
the way Tazabi (Tebtabi)if you have
a problem to communicate decently than using insanities ,so go back to your leba master websites where you will find the proper clients .LEKEMKAMI MORON KEHADI BANDA !!!!!

05/08/12 @ 18:47
Comment from: Bethihu [Visitor]

Al Mareiam, deserves to be nominated for being the #1 hilusnating- ignorant Ethiopian origin man, with a big title (Professor) before his name…LOL.

If Ethiopia’s fate was upto AL Mariam’s pletical prediction or nonstop hilusinating hate preaches, it would been impossible to see the today’s Ethiopia were all her people living in peace beautifully having respect toward each other….

Therefore, no matter how hard those enemies keep crying, the nation and nationalities of the Ethiopian people are proofing to the whole world that they are working hard to improf their life, and to develop their country…………..

God bless the world!!

05/08/12 @ 23:23
Comment from: [Member]


Thanks, you’re right. Exactly we should call our PM, Meles The Great.
All the things he has done so far is, NOTHING SHORT OF A MIRACLE!!

05/08/12 @ 23:36
Comment from: justice [Visitor]

Prof. Al,

You deserve credit for exposing the current regimes odious crimes.

However, you should be ashamed of the fact that you lack consistency in your action as you ignore the other person who is guilty of the worst human rights crimes ever perpetrated against Ethiopians, namely, Mengistu H/Mariam.

Please respect your own principles!

05/09/12 @ 00:28
Comment from: Heny [Visitor]

Is getting insane each day, recalling the ame and popularity of our dear leader, Meles Zenawi. To hasten your deat, please Almaria read/watch what Bill Gate, who has been in Addis recently, said of Meles Zenawi and Current Ethiopa. Here it is

05/09/12 @ 01:49
Comment from: Danger on the Way [Visitor]
Danger on the Way

It is hypocrisy at its best. We need justice in Ethiopia too. Meles should stand trial for the genocide in Gambella, for the day light murder in Addis in 2005, for imprisoning innocent journalists and opponents, for the torturer of Oromos and Amaras in Meakeliwi, Kaliti, in Tigray and other prisons that are full of innocent people.

Justic for making Ethipians countryless,familyless, landless, homeless, foodless, peaceless,hopless etc…

Meles is the worse criminal in Ethiopoiia and Africa. We need justice. Meles must go to Jail!!!

05/09/12 @ 19:16
Comment from: ment4you [Visitor]


Your leader is as removed from reality as you are ….. I guess he was never TPLF either correct?

LOllll ….. it gets dumber and dumber by the day with you and Addis Zefen.

A TPLF and a dictator who has overstayed his welcome that is who Meles is!!!

05/09/12 @ 21:21
Comment from: Jo [Visitor]

Al Mariam has a profound hate toward the Ethiopian leaders, who are moving the country forward,
so don’t get surprized by his non st
op nonsense writtings.
He knows how to pick his fights.
Have you ever seen in his writtings bad mouthing Obama or Bill gates who have praised PM Meles. No way.
The next bomb shell for AL would be when the prime minster gets some kind of international award. And that fox will stop all these writtings as it possibly follow with heart attack for AL. Just a thought.

05/10/12 @ 01:32



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