Melesocrasy in Trouble
Prime Minister Meles has been browbeaten by his donors into very grudgingly setting up an “independent” commission to investigate the deaths of his own citizens; deaths which occurred, by the way, because his goons thought shooting unarmed people in the head and chest was not something to get all hot and bothered by.
Friends, this is how much respect Ato Meles has for Ethiopians. Foreigners have to tell him it’s wrong to not investigate deaths of innocent people.
"Although [the soldiers] had to use force, they are not required to use excessive force," he said. "An independent body will conduct investigations to ascertain whether excessive force was used."
And who is in this “independent body”?
Meles gave no other details of the inquiry, but said it would also probe political violence in June when 36 people died.
Yeah. I’ll be flying to the moon before there is an independent investigation.
Among the deaths I am sure he will “investigate” is that of Yasin’s…VOA-Amharic interviewed his parents.
Weizero Taferahu, Yasin’s mother, works in
This is Ato Meles’ legacy.
Meanwhile at the ranch, there’s been a flurry of haughty statements from donor nations who are shocked, shocked that their golden boy has turned out to be a murderous goon. Oh the humanity. The joint US/EU statement held the usual boilerplate points and “give me your wrist you naughty boy” admonition. And then, the obligatory:
We urgently call upon all political parties and the Ethiopian people to desist from further violence and to abide by the rule of law and the constitution.
And then yadda-yadda
In a spirit of promoting reconciliation, the European Union and
Oh, no, thank you.
Okay. Here’s a little form I’d like these Ambassadors to sign before they issue another statement. Let’s call it the “Wonqville Donor Nation Representative Pre-Statement Statement.”
I, _________, Ambassador of __________ being of sane mind and sound body, would like to urge “dialogue” in
- that the Meles government has no vested interest in dialogue
- that the Meles government has had ample opportunities to solve this situation without resorting to violence but because it is exceptionally incapable of handling democracy in a civilized manner decided to go ahead and flex its muscles
- that even though he gives me wicked heebie-jeebies, I have been told that Meles is better for the stability of the Horn—even though he went to war with his former buddy In Eritrea for reasons not yet clear, where over 70,000 people perished, after which PM Meles signed a ‘peace treaty’ he proclaimed final and binding, but then promptly broke his word about keeping his word, which, ironically, has led to instability in the Horn. Oh, and now he is spreading renewed war chatter because the domestic affairs he’s put himself in is untenable. But, y’know, awshucks, he’s an ally in the “War on Terror”
- that even though the opposition has shown political maturity in canceling demonstrations when the Meles government refused to give it a permit, shown patience by being willing to talk to Meles even as he was harassing and imprisoning people randomly, shown its popularity by amassing a pre-election rally that brought together a couple of million of people without any incident of violence, I am still obligated to urge the opposition to resist resorting to violence… otherwise, I risk enraging a lunatic warmonger (we won’t name names)
- that even though it should technically creep me out that it was the Meles government which had maliciously labeled the opposition an Interwhame organization knowing full well that the opposition has been calling for Ethiopian unity, I will try not to be creeped out. Instead, I will refer to how the opposition should not “cynically start any violence” and join parliament to promote democracy even though I know that the opposition has been rendered useless now that the Meles’ new law requires an absolute majority to even put an item on the agenda
- that even though I know deep down that the tenets of the opposition is far more western-friendly than the “revolutionary democracy” hocus pocus of the Meles government, with all the money we have poured into his coffers, I can’t very well admit just yet to having had miscalculated Meles on such a gargantuan level
- even though I know that Meles has brazenly stated that his parliament emulates the UK’s, yet he has continued to violate every part of his own constitution, including not holding people more than 48 hours without being charged… you know the drill on that. ‘nuff said
- even though I know that tacit approval of Meles’ actions will eventually backfire (history has continually shown that dictators eventually disgrace themselves and those who have supported them) , I’ll always be able to say “I didn’t know he was that bad” and embrace the new government without impunity
- even though Meles is a glorified guerilla warlord who has demonstrated his colossal lack of morals and good governance… and
- even though I am waiting for reassignment to Luxemburg I know I have to pay my dues by playing babysitter to a deranged psychopath, urging him to not kill his own people and telling him to tell us that he will investigate the deaths whilst we all know that he will not make the slightest attempt to do so
knowing all this and more, I will continue to urge for “peace” and “dialogue” in
Ambassador to such-and-such.
Really, are we still playing that game? Has Ato Meles given a single sign indicating he is interested in peace? Are the killings of last week, the mass arrests, the hunting of young people… are those any indications of a man who gives two shits about democracy?
The west is best served to disassociate itself from Meles as soon as possible. Too much blood has been shed to give the man any credit. Further coddling him will only put western values at risk in
Meanwhile, let’s all keep writing our representative in congress and Senate. There is a very interesting conversation going on in the comments section of the last blog of how those of us in the Diaspora need to get involved. Let’s make as much noise as possible. The great thing about this country is that eventually you will be heard.
Speaking of which, Jeffrey Sachs … The next thing we have to do is hold people accountable. Mr. Sachs, in giving the first ever bogus Yara Prize for a Green Revolution in Africa… honoring, yup, Ato Meles… said this about his friend after professing a deep love for the people of Ethiopia:
Prime Minister, you have distinguished yourself as a one of our
World’s most brilliant leaders. I have often said that our many hours
of discussion together are among the most scintillating that I have
spent on the topics of economic development. I invariably leave our
meetings enriched, informed, and encouraged about
prospects. Moreover, I know fully that you are deeply committed to peace,
development, and the success of your country.
Hello! It is important to note that this was after the massacre of June 8. Either Sachs doesn’t get enough scintillating conversation in his life, or he is prone to haphazard obsequiousness. To be fair, Sachs addressed the deaths thus:
Third, I am here to pay my respects to those who have lost their lives
in the struggle for democracy, both the fighters for freedom who
toppled a despicable regime 14 years ago, and also the dozens of students
and innocent bystanders who tragically and unnecessarily lost their lives
several weeks ago when they were shot by security forces during protests
in the nation’s capital. There is no excuse for such loss of life; security forces
must be equipped with non-lethal means for riot and crowd control. And our
students anywhere are our future.
Hmm. It’s news to me that TPLF was fighting for democracy, but that’s just crazy ol’ me.
Hopefully, even Mr. Sachs no longer has the stomach for one of the “World’s most brilliant leaders.” We should all ask Mr. Sachs to enlighten us about his current stance:
Please take the time to email Mr. Sachs about his views: email@example.com,
firstname.lastname@example.org, Mary Tobin, Earth Institute Media Contact
email@example.com, Media Contact UNMP
firstname.lastname@example.org, Ricardo Hausmann, Director Center of International Development ,
CHRISTOPHER@DATA.ORG, Christopher Lagan, DATA Press Sec.
email@example.com, Kathy Bushkin
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Dear Dr. Sachs,
I’d like to start by thanking you for your involvement in my native land,
I can’t say I was not disappointed by your statements about Prime Minister Meles when you awarded him the Yara Prize. To call him one of the “world’s brilliant leaders” who was “deeply committed to peace, development, and the success of [his] country” might have gone a little too far, especially considering his atrocious human rights records. Prime Minister Meles’ government has been and continues to be involved in the genocide of the Anuak people in
This was followed by the onslaught of the week of November 1. So far, about 100 people have been killed and thousands have been rounded up. All major leaders of the opposition have been jailed for over a week now. Young people are being hunted down and thrown in camps infested with malaria. It was an appalling display of anti-democractic behavior we have seen. In fact, PM Meles’ actions are reminiscent of the Red Terror days of Mengistu. Today, children are required to pay to retrive their parents’ bodies, and sign an affidavit saying that it was the opposition that killed their loved ones.
In light of this fact, I am interested in learing what your position is on this government. According to an article on timesonline.com (http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,3-1855057,00.html) PM Meles is becoming an absolute embarassment to the west. Isn’t it time people of your stature condemn the government? Is economic prosperity even possible when we have a government that refuses to privatize land and essentially holds 70 million of its people as serfs? Is economic progress possible when government officials control most profitable companies? Is economic progress possible in the midst of a crackdown on free press, where journalists are persecuted? Is economic progress possible amdist terror?
I have taken the liberty of copying this letter to your colleagues who might be able to shed some light on the situation to us who have been perplexed by your continued support of the Ethiopian government. So far, Ana Gomes, Chief Observer of the EU, has been the only one with the moral courage to denounce the Meles government. On November 2, 2005 she wrote a letter to her fellow EU parliamentarians in which she said,
As you know, there were elections in
Most ironic is that
I am aware of your busy schedule, but I hope you can take a few minutes to tell us how you see the Ethiopian government today.
With kindest wishes,
Let’s stay involved. The least we can do is write a letter.