Last Rites of a Megalomaniac
Apparently caught in a time warp, the good prime minister, a tireless crusader for debauchery in every form, thinks there must still be some village idiot out there who thinks democracy is a bloomin’ in
Well hide your satchels of Lithium, boys and girls, it’s going to be a bumpy ride.
So we’ve all seen the US/EU report urging Prime Minister Meles to stop killing people and such, or as the EPRDF likes to think of it… “minor inconveniences.”
Among the delectable items on the US/EU menu:
Therefore, we urge the government and, where relevant, the opposition [huh? Oh, we getcha. You’re being diplomatic. Carry on.] to carry out the following measures:
Immediate end to the use of lethal force, random searches and indiscriminate beatings and massive arrests.
Aww. Why? Is it, um, wrong to use lethal force, random searches and indiscriminate beatings and massive arrests? Because the EPRDF is so-o-o good at that. Besides, what will the red beret gangsters deployed by the EPRDF do to keep busy whilst they roam Addis Abeba? The US/EU needs to understand: indiscriminate beatings and killings are part of Ato Meles’ … what do you call it... jobs program. It’s good for the economy to keep so many people gainfully employed. Capiche? (Normally, wouldn’t a government be mortified to be told to “end to the use of lethal force, random searches and indiscriminate beatings and massive arrests” against its own people? Or is it just me?)
All political detainees should be released.
Hm. Yes. Well, you see that’s going to be a problem. November 8, Reuters:
Ethiopian opposition leaders appeared in court on Monday for the first time since being detained amid bloody political protests last week that claimed 46 lives.
The 24 opposition leaders were ordered to be held another 14 days during the closed hearing, which took place under heavy guard…
That’s just store policy in
Notification to families of names and whereabouts of detainees, together with appropriate access and provision of humanitarian needs.
Hm. Sure thing. But just to keep track of paperwork and appease the fidgety pencil pushers at EPRDF Central, the EPRDF is asking family members who have had loved ones killed to, um, sign a little document… nothing fancy. (“I so-and-so… living such-and-such… yadda-yadda… the opposition killed my loved one. Thank you, and good night. Long live the revolution.”) Just something to go in the file. Really.
But there is more…
An independent investigation of the deaths and injuries arising from recent events and the events in June.
Hmm. No. But thanks for asking. Maybe later if you threaten sanctions.
And so on and so on. But then… two curious items that sprung up by surprise, not unlike syphilis:
Review and revision of parliamentary rules and practices to ensure that all parties represented in parliament can participate on a fair and representative basis.
Uh-oh. Now this is getting curiouser and curiouser. The US/EU was until recently urging the opposition to join parliament despite the rules passed by the outgoing parliament requiring a 51% majority to bring an item to the agenda. Something changed here, and it ain’t good for el primo ministero. Especially after he took pains to explain to us that the change in parliamentary procedures was in keeping up with… established democracies such as the …
And then the axe dropped.
Appointment of a national election board in consultation with the parliamentary opposition.
Ex-squeeze me very much? Where did that come from? A call for an independent national election board? What’s wrong with the one we have now? The one hand-picked by Ato Meles? The one headed by one Kemal Bedi, who when he is not declaring the EPRDF the winner before polls were closed, is busy also being chief of the ... of … the supreme… court… where appeals go to be quashed? What wrong with that
Now this is trouble for the EPRDF. Soon the US/EU will be demanding new elections, and that’s just… oh, no.
Acting U.S. Ambassador Vicki Huddleston, you have something else to add, I do believe?
We sincerely hope that the government and leaders of Ethiopia will carry out these recommended actions not because they come from the international community, but because these are international standards of human rights, of democracy, and because these recommendations, if followed, could find a way forward for the people of Ethiopia that is peaceful.
Yeah. Well, the “international standard of human rights and democracy” is not faring so well in
And how does the Ethiopian government respond to all this onslaught of moralistic badgering?
…the government has rejected the appeal. Information Minister Berhan Hailu told Reuters news agency the Western countries should "stop meddling in our internal affairs and mind their own business."
Ahh. Not quite up to the va-va-voom standard set by the Prime Minister of calling diplomats “self-appointed colonial viceroy[s]” but Minister Berhan is only a few weeks into the job. Soon he shall rise to the challenge and churn out his own brand of EPRDFisms to make our long but never lost friend Bereket “anyone who incites violence, other than those elected, will have to face the law" Simon proud. (I haven’t forgotten the tribute to him, by the way.)
Minister “Not so” Berhan, may I? When your government is contending for the ignoble position of being the #1 beggar nation in Africa, when your government accepts over $1.3 billion dollars in aid from the US/EU, when your prime minister goes apoplectic because he thinks it is the West’s responsibility to feed his people…I hate to tell ya, but you become the business of Western countries. Look into it.
You have any more Lithium left?
So, today, restless and tired from pacing the halls of the palace, Prime Minister Meles spoke to reporters:
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said Wednesday that opposition leaders and newspaper editors under detention will face treason charges, which carry the death penalty in
Okay… wait… wait for it… patience…
"I don't know what the prosecution will ask for but the death penalty is still legal in
More on that later.
In the meantime, here is the Reuters’ video- Ethiopians Bury Victims Of Unrest.
How will Ato Meles think he will ever walk the streets of