Predators of Press Freedom in Ethiopia

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Sudanese Government Handed Over the Ethiopian Political Asylum Seekers to the Murderer Regime Of Melese Zenawi

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Strategy for the Ethiopian opposition Camp

 As everyone might observe the Ethiopian politics has taken on a different course since the hijacking of the May 2005 National Elections. The TPLF regime by the aid of the US, seems to somehow survive from collapsing. The US time and again demonstrated that it doesn’t care what the Ethiopian people feel so long as its partisan regime collaborates in its so called “war on terror”. It was with such background that the pitiful Somalia crisis erupted in which the Ethiopian government conducted the US agenda and installed a weak puppet government in Mogadishu. To date there is no peace in Mogadishu and in fact a new Somali resistance movement aided by Eriteria  is on the rise .There is much fighting in Ogaden with the ONLF and news of government atrocities in the area is being heard .And domestically with  intense international pressure the regime was forced to release the CUD political leaders out of prison .Then the Ethiopian Millennium came . 

The mood in the opposition camp was that of happiness in regards to the release of the CUD prisoners, but that of uncertainty and eagerness as to what follows next in the political arena of Ethiopia. However suddenly the Ethiopian people learned that there is some kind of serious disagreement among the top ranks of the CUD who are in a tour in the US and Europe. At this moment there is a widespread frustration and anxiety as to the fate of the party that has spearheaded the opposition politics of the May 2005 elections. 

As any common Ethiopian I was very eager to see the CUD leaders released from prison. After all it was us who demanded the CUD leaders to remain defiant and boycott the puppet parliament. So for me I always felt guilty when I remember the heroes that were languishing in prison. So it was a glorious conclusion to see them released .I believe their story would have a  special place in the Ethiopian history .Having said that and put some important things in place, I want to give some of my personal  remarks  the way the Ethiopian politics should go. 

 

CUD was a political movement that was born out of the 14 years frustration of the Ethiopian people and elite to see a fair and democratic Ethiopia. It was the first effective coalition of opposition forces to challenge the Zenawi  regime  .Amidst many public  skepticisms over  the regime’s willingness to  hand over  power if defeated on the elections, the political leaders optimistically persuaded their supporters and the people to go for the polls .In my opinion such optimism was right at the time. It had to be proved practically that the regime is not wanted by the people .Further, any attempt to hijack the election results by the regime was also a political gain for the opposition forces in that it would show to the whole world the true nature of the Zenawi  regime. The May 2005 elections had to be tried and contested for many reasons….. 

 

But today, we know what happened. The May2005 elections have clearly presented us some facts that we need to swallow.

  • The regime is not willing to hand over its power or even compromise its power .

This was clearly shown in its unwillingness to form even a joint transitional government with opposition forces after it was clearly known worldwide that it lost the elections. It even rejected some preconditions offered by the CUD leaders to enter its parliament. All the regime wanted and wants is a bunch of helpless opposition parties with some seats in the parliament. Nevertheless, this is in no way helping them   to cheat the international community into believing that all is well in Ethiopia.

  • The army and the police have proved to be partisan institutions of the ruling party and that it was ultimately the one with the gun that dictated the political outcome of the elections. And unlike what was seen in Ukrain  and Georgia ,the army and the police are actually  instruments of the ruling party to brutally quell any uprising .This indirectly shows  that over the years the opposition politics of Ethiopia have not effectively reached and addressed  the  army and the police as such.
  • The so called election board and the judiciary are just another partisan elements within the government and no fair work should be expected from them.

The above facts shows us that though it was justifiable for the opposition to participate in the May2005 elections, it is however high time for the opposition to stand and think the next different move and strategy. We are hoping for new ideas to emerge. If the opposition still thinks it can take power by participating in upcoming elections, I believe much money, human resource and time is being wasted. If by some miracle the opposition forces promise to address and reach the members of the army and police (which I don’t think will happen) so that they would stay neutral in any political contest with the ruling party, that is another thing. But in my opinion that is only theoretical and it does not seem feasible in the current Ethiopian context .The ruling party will continually make sure that the army and the police are run by partisan commanders.So what should become of CUD –the party that struggles in ‘’lawful and peaceful principles’’? That is answered by its leaders. But I have pointed that it is high time political leaders should stand and think what to do next .To help in  such thinking let us see some things that emerged on the ground  in the post May2005 elections.

  • There is an increasing tendency of unity among  fellow Ethiopians .This can be seen for example in  the new bond between Oromo  elites and the people currently categorized as Amharas and other  central Ethiopians.
  • There is also a new emerging bond between fellow Ethiopians and Eritreans.
  • Sadly the opposite is seen in respect with the Tigreans.  Politically they are increasingly drifting away from other fellow Ethiopians

In attempting to devise a new strategy, we need to consolidate the new bond that has been achieved between Fellow Ethiopians and Ethiopians and Eritreans.  And also we should all attempt to reach out to the Tigreans and make them part of the new emerging family. This can only be achieved by all the participation of the people in Ethiopia and in the Diaspora. Assuming such a background then the new strategy should focus on how to start a military campaign that will replace the regime with minimum time and human cost. Below I will try to outline  some facts to explore and research in contemplating such a move. 

The geopolitical situation in neighboring countries may not be that helpful at the moment. In my view, Kenya and Djibouti are out of the question. Some parts of Sudan can be tried but as far as the Sudanese government is concerned it is also very difficult as it is a partisan of the Zenawi regime. However ways of exploiting the long boarder with Sudan may be one option keeping in mind the threat from the Sudanese government. Somalia is a sensitive place at the moment and  any attempt to utilize the condition there will easily categorize one in the US nightmare of the so called terror network .The opposition forces of Ethiopia should  not afford to be in conflicting positions with the US as far as this issue of ‘’War on Terror’’ is concerned. So the last option is Eriteria.  Here also one needs to be careful.  In my opinion there should not be any link with the Eritrean government.  Shabia has never planed the good of Ethiopia .We should not forget that the present regime of Ethiopia was once upon a time the handiwork of the Shabia. If Opposition forces manage to operate an organized military campaign against the Zenawi regime within Eritrea without being manipulated by Shabia, it is one ground to work upon. But from the nature of Shabia , and from the things we are  currently  hearing about its treatment of the EPPF patriotic rebel  forces that have been operating in Eritera,it is very unlikely that Shabia would allow a viable Ethiopian nationalistic rebel force to challenge the Zenawi regime from Eriteria .Shabia knows such a genuine Ethiopian movement would ultimately be a challenge to itself. So I don’t think there would arise a strong Ethiopian rebel military movement within Eritera without being pestered upon by Shabia. So my theory to operate within Eritrea would be different. 

 

As suggested above, currently the Eriterian ground is the most convenient place as compared to others (of course without dismissing the possibility to operate within the long boarder with Sudan).  And we need a different approach in how to utilize it without being neutralized by Shabia. One option is to reach out to Eritrean opposition forces and create a strategic partnership with them .You may think for what purpose? Well it depends. My theory goes like this.Challengeing the US backed TPLF/EPRDF forces at this moment may not be strategically feasible. Why not try the other way round. By creating a strategic alliance with certain Eritrean opposition forces, why not start a military campaign to defeat the Afwerki regime in Asmara first and then by being armed with fresh equipment and political morale, launch a once and for all campaign against the Zenawi regime.  I think it is strategically more feasible to first defeat the weakened regime of Afwerki at the moment. This has a dual victory of removing the two pestering regimes from the region and creating a harmony between the two people. Ironically if such a strategy succeeds, it would be a reversal of History. Because Shabia took power in Asmara by first defeating the Ethiopian government in Addis Ababa with the help of the TPLF.  So we can reverse history by first taking Asmara with the help of Eritrean opposition forces and then going to  defeat the TPLF/EPRDF regime in Addis Ababa.The strategic alliance that can be brokered with the Eriteran forces should ensure that once Asmara is taken the Ethiopian rebel military forces would be in equal power status in Asmara until the campaign in Addis Ababa is finished. This would ensure that the Ethiopian rebels can use the port of Assab for military supplies and also ensure that it would not be manipulated by the new leaders in Asmara. 

 

The above daring strategy may not be simple as it sounds. But it is worth to research upon. One other big resource in achieving the strategy is the possibility of introducing a superpower in the political picture of the region. Modern history has shown us that a backing by a superpower nation is very vital for any rebel movement to succeed. While working to disengage the US-Zenawi bond in the diplomatic circle, opposition forces daring on a military campaign against Afwerki /Zenawi  with the alliance of Eriterian opposition forces, can at the same time  should  find ways of creating an alliance with a superpower. I have one suggestion. An allied Ethiopian/Eriterean opposition forces can approach Israel for a military aid! 

Israel has a long history of wanting a secure red sea because of its Arab foes in the region .The red sea is a strategic interest for the Israelis. So bringing the Israelis to the picture is also one thing to research upon .Ethiopian and Eritrean opposition forces can reach a common strategic interest with the Israelis on the future strategic use of the red sea. It may sound far fetched. But it may not be impossible. But of course It may require a high caliber diplomatic ability from the Ethiopian and Eritrean opposition camps. So in simple terms my strategy goes like this. 

 

1. Create a  clearly defined strategic alliance with Eriterean opposition forces in order to first challenge the Asmara regime on Eriteria soil,then after the initial victory go on in challenging  the regime in Addis Ababa.  

2. Diplomatically approach  the Israelis and broker a common strategic interest with them on the future use of the red sea resulting in  a massive military help from them in the joint (Ethiopian and Eriteran opposition forces)military campaign against Afwerki/Zenawi 

 

3. The Ethiopian and Eriteran opposition alliance should ensure that the Ethiopian rebel forces would remain equally intact and powerful in Asmara and Eritera after defeating Afwerki until their agenda of liberating Addis Ababa is completed. It should also ensure the use of the red sea ports for military armament.

 

4. Defeat the Asmara regime and then go on to defeat the Addis Ababa regime.

5. Cretae a broad based transitional government in Addis Ababa once the Zenawi government is defeated. 

But as I said this requires a high diplomatic ability from Ethiopian and Eritrean opposition politicians in designing the proposed joint campaign and also in convincing the Israelis to enter the picture. It surely needs a big thinking through and a high level research on a variety of geopolitical implications, military strategy issues and the future fate of the EthiopiaEritrea relationships. It may need a variety of consultants ranging from ex -military officers to experts on international politics. Lastly but not least it needs all the support it gets from fellow Ethiopians and Eritereans especially in the Diaspora. This could be in volunteering for the campaign as well as contributing financially. Of course this assumes an Eritrean opposition forces that are not being supported by the TPLF .Ethiopian opposition politicians should convince the current Eritrean opposition forces that are being supported by the TPLF to work with them instead.

 

The strategy I have outlined is a new one and it may need a lot of research and modification for its implementation. But at least it can be used as a starting point for a new political venture.

 

May God bless and protect Ethiopia 

 

Sincerely yours

 

Zendiro 

 

You can send me your comments by the following email address. zendiroarticle@yahoo.com 

Published in: on October 9, 2007 at 10:18 pm  Comments (8)  

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