Friday, January 20, 2006

Bloodletting Re-Redux

Jendayi Frazer, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, arrived in Ethiopia on Thursday and was scuttled to the Ethiopian/Eritrean border. I’m not exactly sure what she saw, nor do I totally understand what visiting the border will accomplish. (“Hmm,” Assistant Secretary Frazer said. “Nice border. Wish we could find a way to demarcate it” ??)

Here’s my proletarian assessment of the Ethiopian-Eritrean border issue: it ain’t an issue. The last thing Mr. Muffet Issayas Afewerqi wants is for the border issue to be solved because that would mean he’ll have to attend to the issues that have made the State of Eritrea such an abysmal failure. Seriously, what’s Issayas gonna do? Take back Badme? And then what? Occupy it? Hm. So not shock and awe.

On the other hand, Robo Cop Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is known to have said, “If Badme goes, I go.” Here’s the thing about signing up to have your testosterone checked by an international court, Mr. Prime Minister: it is binding. The last thing our fearless leader wants is for Eritrea to say, yeah? You will accept the ruling if we sit down for a dialogue? Okay. Let’s talk. We’ll bring the papers for you to sign after our talk. Bring a pen.

Neither warlord wants peace. We know it. Bob Dole knows it. The American people know it.

So it is interesting that the State Department is all of a sudden wicked spooked about the two most absurdly unbalanced leaders in Africa and their sporadic temper tantrums. Here’s what methinks, and me rarely thinks so pay attention: Ms. Frazer’s trip is so not about the border.

Now here’s the interesting part: today, Friday, Ms. Frazer was supposed to meet with our fearless leader in Addis Abeba. Probably while they were meeting, Ato Meles’ fidgety soldiers were spraying a new crowd of stone throwers with live ammunition.

"I don't really know what was happening to me. I was shot by the police twice, one on my stomach and one on my throat," Wubishet Solomon, 16, told the AP news agency.

Awwwwwwkwarrrrd!

You have to wonder what the talking points for the EPRDF is going to be on this one. It can’t quite blame the EU for the protests. The CUD leadership is all in jail. Well, since it happened on a religious holiday, I have $100 on the EPRDF putting out a statement that God made the crowd throw stones. “We have a warrant out for God’s arrest. He created the stones. And he created the hands that threw it. God has to respect rule of law.”

Oh wait. Hold off on charging God with treason and genocide.

"The problem started when this hand grenade was thrown by unidentified people during the religious celebration in Yeka Michael church. Police were trying to cool down the problem where some people were injured," the officer said on condition of anonymity because he was not the official police spokesman.

Ah, the regurgitating of the grenade story. Hm. Not as peppy as “God did it” but cute nonetheless.

So the Ethiopian government has proved yet again that it is incapable of governing people without having to shoot them. So here is a scenario:

Demonstrations were reported in several neighborhoods across Addis Ababa, and riot police were driving through the city. Some of the police trucks appeared to be carrying people wounded from the clashes.

Someone tell Ms. Frazer’s motorcade to look right and left at intersections. It’s a thankless job zipping from one church to another to “restore peace.” And watch out for falling snipers, dead bodies or both.

"The majority of them are shot in the legs and in the chest, but there are a few shot in the head. They are getting treatment so I can't tell you the figure," one doctor said in between treating patients.

Is there any chance of Ms. Frazer visiting some of the hospitals to find out for herself if this is true? Sure, it isn’t anything like visiting the border, but I’m sure there’s less dust.

So in summary: Ethiopians being shot at during the Tmqet holiday. A few miles away Ms. Frazer is in talks with Meles. That’s gotta be uncomfortable. I hope she at least mention that it is internationally unacceptable to fire live ammunition into a crowd. It’s just not done. (Maybe it’ll help if she quotes Tina Turner.)

Now it’s going to be verrry interesting what Ms. Frazer will say in her press conference and her trip report. Now that is worth holding our breath for.

The thing is, this effectively ends all issues about the Ethio-Eritrean border because… the border issue is not an issue.

I ask again: Condi, what is your threshold?


Wubishet Solomon, 16 said he was listening to religious music when the shooting started.

First hand accounts from Things We Should Have Written Down and Addis Ferenjie.

Goodness to Betsy! Does all this mean that Hilary Benn has to re-state his statement that Britain is not not going to cut off aid to the Ethiopian government that it had not said it was going to cut after is said it was going to cut aid? It’s the hardest thing being Ato Meles’s friend.




16 Comments:

Anonymous Wegesha said...

You know, the derg regime used to make families pay for the price of the bullets that killed their loved one so the family could collect the body from the morgue. Look how far we've come. No more paying for the bullets.

3:12 PM, January 20, 2006  
Anonymous Bole-lite said...

Wonq,

Negative. Give it a few days. Meles will find a way to blame Frazer for the unrest. Since the US stopped 'selling' Humvees to it, the EPRDF has had to roam the country on foot. That makes "peacekeeping" a very messy job. Shame, shame, Jendayi. Now start selling Humvees that you were not selling to the Ethio gov't before more people die.

3:31 PM, January 20, 2006  
Anonymous Queyi Qebero said...

Check this out http://www.ethiomedia.com/courier/punishment.pdf. Abebe Gelaw dug up yet another example of EPRDF's duplicity. They even have a human rights comission?!

This people know no shame!

5:31 PM, January 20, 2006  
Blogger Geja said...

The butcher from Adwa is at it again

For these rabid dogs there is nothing sacred. The life of an Ethiopian is not sacred to them, they have shown that again and again, our proud history is not sacred to them as they have called our proud bandira a piece of rag, our religion, the oldest in the history of the world is not sacred to them as they were beating on Moslem Ethiopians the day of their celebration as they were coming from their Mosque, and now they are shooting and killing Christian Ethiopians in front of one of the most revered icons of our Orthodox Christian heritage, the Tabot. Don’t they have any shame? Don’t they know the Ethiopian people now ankiro indetefachew? Don’t they realize for us they are now even worse than the stuff we leave behind in the latrine? Unlike them, at least that has served some purpose and is now removed from our system, but like a bad kosso that does nothing other than destroying us from inside and robbing us of our nutrition, they keep on stealing, killing and staying uninvited just to create more sickness and death?. Shooting on one of our peaceful heritage? Shooting at our children? What are these sick animals made of? Isn't there even one iota of humanity and Ethiopianess in them? This butcher from Adwa goes home at the end of the day, kisses his wife and says “look honey, I killed some more little Ethiopian children again today as they were worshipping their religion that they and their ancestors have been practicing on this same day for hundreds of years. Aren't you proud of me?”

Come on Yagere lijoch, let us extricate these vile of humans from our system once for all. Even one more day is too much.

6:46 PM, January 20, 2006  
Anonymous not anonymous said...

I thought I knew all the pejorative remarks used to describe Meles and his henchmen,until Geja came up with “Uninvited Kosso!”

Weineee Geja-aaa! “Like a bad kosso . . staying uninvited . . . and worse than the stuff we leave behind in the latrine . .now removed from our system!”

You ain’t nothing if not original Geja, but lest you decide to dazzle us with yet another mildly graphic description, may I ask where your threshold lies?

Hey wonq, I disagree with your “patrician assessment” (oops, I meant “proletarian” sorry) that the Ethiopian-Eritrean border ain’t an issue.

It is an issue as long as Meles feels that “he goes if Badme goes.” I say, let Badme go, then! Fuck it!

Also, I wouldn't hold my breath about Frazer's trip report and all of that. This is the same woman who's been working diligently for the past couple of months to get Issayas to reconsider his decision to ground UNMEE! To the exclusion of all other issues of real interest to real ETs, she's strictly about getting that mission back in action, reducing tension, demarcation mnamin mnamin . .uff!

9:24 PM, January 20, 2006  
Blogger Geja said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

3:01 PM, January 21, 2006  
Blogger Geja said...

To "not anonymous" and anyone else I may have made their stomach turn a bit squeaky by my comment. It is meant to vent my frustration over a nation that is being held prisoner at gun point by one sick animal and his sick dogs. If any one is disturbed by my characterization of these rabid dogs as bad kosso, then please accept my sincere apology. It was not meant to offend anyone of you all good wonkville residents.

To get in the same frame of mind I found myself when writing that comment, all you have to do is look at pictures of your country men being shot in the middle of their forehead, your country women clubbed at their knee and their chest with a butt of a rifle gun, your country little kids dressed in colorful Timket dresses being shot and being dragged with their face and chest to the ground bleeding, others packed in open trucks, shot and killed and their body thrown at mass graves or as a fodder to the haynas and birds to pick their flesh. No I am not talking about the Italian occupation of sixty years ago. This is happening now, yesterday, today and will continue tomorrow. And all this as the result of one, just one sick animal giving orders, and his sick dogs abiding his orders, and the rest of us, multitudes of us failing to do anything substantial about it. Let me put it in perspective - it has been fifteen years since this dogs stole our freedom, it has been eight months since this dogs stole our voice, it has been two months since this dogs put our leaders in dungeons, and what have we, including myself done? I am hoping the children of Ethiopia wherever you maybe are paying attention to the dismemberment of your dear nation, I am hoping CUD NA is listening and start to be a bit more proactive as you have our undivided attention and total commitment. And by the grace of the Almighty and our work when one day we manage to reclaim our country and our freedom from the cluches of these barbarians, then that is where my threshold, and every Ethiopians threshold should lie.

3:16 PM, January 21, 2006  
Blogger enaseb said...

hmmmmmm threshold...

mengistu, meles, mene(naa i won't go there)..... what are the similarities in their weilding of power exactly?

we are and have always been a nation torn asunder by our inability to name our disease. each generation pops their hatred pills and, in turn, internalizes the problem. round and round we go. round and round goes the whole of emeye africa.

threshold huh? how do we FIND, NAME then ultimately DETHRONE the despot within?

4:39 PM, January 21, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How to throw a goverment out is playing by the script..

Ok..First off..Killing no one is a good idea..government or otherwise.

But..what about using thugs to overthrow a government? What about the idea that the opposition should work to get the whole cake and nothing less 'cause it is now or never?

In due fairness, the opposition can not just complain..it is in this "shit" as deep as his excellency is. What is coming out is Ethnic resentment( deliberate) which will lead to another round of blood letting to "correct" past grievances.

Isn't it ironic that it was the patriarch who has been the patriarch for at least another 10 previous timkets presence that provoked this? How is this spontaneous? Same dude did this two years back and I can not find any protests in the news. Why? 'cause as the Americans would say.."it ain't the Patriarch stupid!!"

What this is..is simply another avenue to trap a bloodthirsty army to shoot more people and shout "foul" by the wonkettes of the world. Yeah, why shoot, but sure why provoke too? As I see it, this is going to end only with some ethnic blood letting and that is not going to get anybody anywhere. Believe me..Rwanda did not happen in a day.

12:17 PM, January 22, 2006  
Anonymous Yohannes said...

Oh dear.

Wonqi's favorite PR machinary, Bereket Simon infamously called the people the governemnt mowed down "hooligans." Turns out the people our govenment killed included passerbys and, according to the NYT, mothers and children. The whole "opposition is using thugs to overthrow the government" argument is silly. This is an uprising-- something the eprdf is either incapable or unwilling to see, and that will be its undoing.

I still get tickled by the argument that we should not "provoke" a government into killing its citizens, although now its cushioned as "sure it shouldn't kill. But let's not provoke it." heh heh.

Yeah, sure. Trying to spin it as provocation and simmering "interhame"ism is politicaly expidient. But it just nails EPRDF further to the wall. No government has survived uprisings-- how can the TPLF not understand this? if that were true Mengistu, with so much arms at his disposal, would have crushed the tplf. he wasn't able to because the force against him was strong will. The simple truth is that meles and his henchmen know that they are going down. they just want to take ethiopia down with them. if there is a resulting ethnic bloodletting, it will be SQUARELY on the eprdf's shoulders. you can't call an entire ethnic group "chavanists" from "his excellency's" bully pulpit day in and and day out and not expect a backlash. when you play with fire, there is a distinct possiblilty that you'll get burnt. Trying to say that the opposition is as much responsible for the "shit" is a weak argument that is very welcome because it is the easiest to defend. :)

I hope my comment doesn't in any way provoke his excellency. I know how trigger happy he can be.

1:29 PM, January 22, 2006  
Anonymous entin said...

Anonymous, I am with you, brother.

Just for the record, are there other things we can do not to 'provoke' the ethiopian government?

- not provoke it into changing rules of parliament?

- not provoke it into reassigning tax basis income from the addis ababa admin?

- not provoke it into crony capitalism?

- not provoke it into playing the ethnic card whenever it loses an argument?

- not provoke it into randomly leveling genocide charges against his opponents?

- not provoke it into making a mockery out of due process?

- not provoke it into establishing draconian laws limiting a free and vibrant media?

- not provoking it into illegal mass and indiscriminate arrests that require establishing quasi-concentration camps?

Damn, people. Stop provoking Our Excellency! You renegade Imperial Revanchists, you.

2:04 PM, January 22, 2006  
Anonymous not anonymous said...

Anonymous,

about your groundbreaking discovery that “killing no one is a good idea” . . . .

Boy, if you didn’t set my ass straight with that piece of wisdom! Not that I ever thought that killing someone was a good idea, but all this time I felt perhaps it might be a bit more than just a BAD IDEA. (Like gulping down a bottle of prune-juice while on a long stretch of country-road might be a bad idea.)

Still, I say, you are awash with wisdom, my friend anonymous, if the function of wisdom is to discriminate between good and evil!

Because, in declaring that killing is not good, you’re saying that respecting the sanctity of human life IS! Here’s what follows from that: If respecting the sanctity of human life is good, violating it is evil! So, my friend anonymous, His Excellency is not guilty of a “bad idea” but of an “evil deed.” I know you can’t say that publicly but . . .

You also had this to say about this not-so-good-an-idea called killing: “ by government or otherwise.”

Hmmmm! Cute! A little clumsy, but cute! The “otherwise” that is. Notwithstanding your difficulty in calling things what they are, HERE, I can perfectly understand why you couldn’t bring yourself to say killings “by the opposition!”

Deep down, you must be an honest
fellow in addition to your now established attribute of being a wise fellow! You HAD to go for “otherwise” because you know that the opposition hasn’t killed anybody!

Anonymous, wodajE, you MUST learn to be straightforward with your remarks! Here’s another one of your mysterious statements couched in complex language: “using thugs to overthrow a government.”

I know, I just know, you meant to write: “overthrow the thugs in government!” Right?

4:48 PM, January 22, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I rattled the horn nest of the sarcastic Wonkette's I see. Bear with me..we are not very different.
Let me try to explain myself.

Ok..I will give you something. This government in no form or shape is being a "government" in the sense of what a proper government should be. I know that as it is obvious.

What I have a beef with is the method being employed to change it. I, IMHO, believe that those "spontaneous" demonstrations provoking( sorry you do not like the word) government thugs are not that "spontaneous" nor are they as civilized as we are lead to believe. Why? Well! as it has been widely circulated, the opposition had reached a cross roads of joining the civil structure of the state or continue to protest akin the "orange" revolution for a complete takeover. It chose the latter. I disagreed because it was obvious to me that it was falling into a trap. It was painting itself into a corner where the only way out of it was going to be a mass uprising which given reading of the African development process was not going to be ending like Ukraine. The leadership should have understood this. Say, they were right and they won or will win in this bloody standoff, how amenable are they going to be to entertain others with a different outlook? After all, the frequent refrain from our "Bush-men" turned Presidents is that they paid with their blood.

We deserve better, and we need to learn and practise to change governments peacefully if this meant another election in five years.

Also, unlike Entin's ridicule, I do hold the gov't responsible, I just do not think it is worth the time to criticize it, it has run its course and it got to go. How it is replaced is what I think is what should be given a thought!

To those of you who think that some deaths should be dished the government's or its supporters way miss the point by a mile. We got to start somewhere my friends, otherwise, it is all another big circle.

The outrage is understandable, what we are not thinking about is the methods and what we use in my view is what is going to decide our future.

8:18 PM, January 22, 2006  
Anonymous ye mankussaw welafen said...

I personally would not like to not provoke seeing/expulsion of any Eprdf kosso.

its never ceases to amaze me how much sarcasm brings out an "explanation" of otherwise carefully vague assertions. amen!

9:59 PM, January 22, 2006  
Anonymous Dina said...

Ok, a rant about "Mesqel Square": it' s probably unfair to have a go at Andrew from this blog, but I think a lot of Weichegud's readers visit his blog as well. His blog has degenerated into a platform for pro-government pseudo-intelleqtuals to taunt and twist by posting "leave poor Andrew alone, he's only reporting the truth" comments. Fair enough, Andrew's blog is not a political site and he's writing from the perspective of a foreigner coming to live in Ethiopia. As a journalist he has to be objective and report only issues he has proof of, but as a journalist living IN Addis, where he surely must have Ethiopian friends, he also has the responisbility to write about what is going on, surely he could have been trying harder to find out what exactly happened at Timqet so that he has some proof- what exactly is going on with him? Is it a new deal for his visa that he reports insipidly about a "calm and joyeous" Timqet? I find it insulting to Ethiopia and dehumansing that he doesn't at least offer less flippant and more serious ACKNOWLEDGEMENT of the situation we're in. But that'e probably a very English trait- press them for a serious treatment and they get all defensive and glib- all the concern and hoo-hah just for show, as we saw with Mr. Benn.

12:57 AM, January 23, 2006  
Anonymous welansa said...

Welafen:-

Incredibly astute of you. LOL. Hurried 'explanations' about unspontaneous uprisings can only come after vitamin B shots of ...entin. But you managed to say it in one sentence. :)

8:23 AM, January 23, 2006  

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