Friday, March 31, 2006

Exclusive! The Ethiopian Federal Police New Employee Handbook

Tonight is Advocacy Ethiopia’s event. Go see. If you have not yet joined the 20/20 campaign, please do so.

It’s Friday, so first a few notes on music:

I know I am late to the game but … Editors. Amazing band. Not Cold Play amazing, but pretty good. The track All Sparks is available for your viewing pleasure. And since I am having trouble unloading my love of 90s rock/alternative, I’ve downloaded Yellow Card on the old ipod. I’m a walking cliché.

On the Ethiopian music front, I was listening with undue rapture to the soundtrack of Broken Flowers and slowly falling in love with Mulatu Astatqe, when my cousin gave me a, um, old tape of his: Assiyo Bellema. Man. I don’t know where you can get hold of the… tape. My local Ethiopian store doesn’t carry it, but find it! A couple of the vocals on this thing will transport you right back to Ethiopia, on a breezy foggy morning. I think Teddy Tadesse is one of the vocalists on there. Hypnotizing.

So you’ve probably heard that there have been a few bomb explosions in Addis. There been a couple of explosions before, but no one had died. This time, though, casualties.

It used to be that the government of Ethiopia used to keep itself busy “diffusing” grenades, planted and imagined, to keep Addis residents in tow and to justify roving Humvees to donor nations. But people scoffed. And you know what happens when you scoff at the EPRDF… things have to go boom!

What dilemma. On the one hand… you need to show the world that things are going swimmingly and invite international investors to lookie here. And silly foreigners, a damn picky bunch, want to hear nothing of bombs exploding where their money lies.

But on the other hand… you’ve been telling everybody that you are fighting terrorism, and if it weren’t for you, Ethiopia would be another Somalia, what with all the Rwanda-style ethnic cleansers in your midst.

But on the other, other hand, you have you a population in Addis that needs reminding that, occasionally, it needs to be bombed.

What to do? What would Jesus do?

Anyway, the (on) crack Wonqville research team managed to get a hold of a copy of the Ethiopian Federal Police New Employee Handbook. The federal police force has been accused of… killing, torture and acting in a manner most resembling a garden variety thug. Ostensibly, the government can’t recruit federal police fast enough since unrest in the country is spreading fast and furious.

So imagine our curiosity…

Dear new recruit:

Welcome. If you have made it this far, it means you have met the tough criteria it takes to become part of the Ethiopian Federal Police family. Please make sure you’ve returned your plastic gun and Play Dough grenade before accepting the real thing.

Undoubtedly, you will be getting a lot of valuable stuff out of this experience, and we don’t just mean the looting when you get the honor of closing down businesses that support the “anti-peace” elements.

As you know, these are hard times to be a federal police. As Donald Levin rightfully noted on his latest writings,

For one thing, it has occurred to me that putting political opponents in prison is neither so outrageous nor unprecedented in the context of Ethiopia's history. At the very least, it is better than gassing them, boiling them alive, or burning them at the stake as happened so often elsewhere.

It used to be that we could gas, boil and burn at the stake our opponents. Alas, times have changed, dear new recruit. Please note the following procedures and take the time to familiarize yourself with the general landscape of the Ethiopian judiciary process:

I. Handling Political Opponents i.e. Terrorists:

a) arrest them

b) not charge them for at least 20 weeks but not more than 10 years

c) find evidence of “usurping the constitution” (your supervisor will guide you on how not to)

d) Bail denial

e) Delay of trial

f) Death penalty

Please make sure you follow this procedure. We don’t want democracy and human rights compromised.

II. Ensuring Peace

A large amount of your skills and time will go to securing the peace in an already peaceful Ethiopia. Again, please familiarize yourself with the following:

a) We no longer have a “shoot first, ask questions later” policy towards civilian ‘unrest.’ We shoot first, then we shoot again to make sure the first one took. We have suspended asking questions since it interferes with democracy and filling out paperwork on triplicate has turned into a major drag.

b) Make sure you carry a sufficient number of release forms for dead bodies. It is imperative that relatives of the dead sign and date Form THU-GI-- “The Opposition Killed My Mother/Father/Son/Daughter/Other” release form.

c) Groups of people congregating in one place is a sign of brewing terrorism. Please make sure no more than one person congregates in a congregation.

d) There are definite signs that Al Qeda has infiltrated Ethiopia. Watch out for people who make ‘V’ signs. It is a secret code for “we are going to bomb flower pots.” Keep your eyes open, your heart full and your finger on the trigger at all times.

e) The federal courts have imposed a minimum age for people to be arrested on charges of genocide. Henceforward, please make sure arrestees are at least 6 years old. If you have doubts about someone’s age, seek your supervisor’s sage guidance. But note, it might be easier to arrest them, then have the federal government run DNA tests. Just a suggestion.

III. Efficiency

The Federal Democratic Government of Ethiopia believes in efficiency. As a valued member of the federal police, you will be expected to adhere to the following Efficiency Mainstreaming and Competence Guidelines

a) Please be cognizant of gas prices when you roam in your government issued Humvee or truck. In most cases it is efficient to park your vehicle on the street and have trouble come to you.

b) Remember what you learnt in basic training: “Put the M’mm in Mass Arrests.” We have ample space at the bucolic Dedessa ‘interment’ camp. It is expensive to drive arrestees all the way there individually or in small clumps. When you make a sweep in the city, be generous… and considerate. Wait until you have arrested enough people to completely fill your truck.

c) We leave it to our new recruits to find new venues that are prime spots to arrest and or/’permanently extinguish’ anti-peace forces: universities and high schools are always seething with potential terrorists, but recently, religious holiday celebrations have also served as prime settings for efficiently conducting democracy raids. Don’t be afraid to use your imagination… funeral, weddings. Use your judgment and creativity.

d) So that we can maximize the aforementioned efficiency goals we have bellow listed the strict blame rotation for bomb explosions and any and all unrests. Please make sure you follow this order:

a. Jobless hooligans

b. Opposition members

c. The European Union

d. OLF

e. Eritrea

f. Al Qeda

g. The United States Congress

h. The EPRDF… just kidding! We were testing if you were paying attention.

Note: this list will be regularly updated so check your pay stub to find out who’s next on the “to blame” list. It is imperative we are all on the same page.

Again, welcome. If you have any questions or concerns we ask you to keep it to yourself since the Federal Government is currently backlogged in the moral turpitude department. There will be plenty of time for questions at your future crimes against humanity trial.

Please sign your name below (or stamp your thumbprint) indicating you have read and understood this New Employee Handbook.

We are delighted to have you!


Anonymous omayemi said...

bloody brilliant entry, mate! join the african bloggers cau. mailing you info.

5:04 PM, March 31, 2006  
Anonymous phiqr said...

FreeE was off the hook!
I hope you guys catch the video clips somewhere.

well done AdvEth.

10:11 AM, April 01, 2006  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Weichegud, very well done. I love it.

God bless!

12:26 PM, April 04, 2006  
Anonymous Omi said...

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4:30 AM, November 29, 2009  

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