By Berhane Kahsay, June 05, 2012
As Ginbot-7 is about to collapse, another gathering of the same old and tired people is being hurriedly stitched up in the Diaspora. They have named it the Ethiopian National Transitional Council (ENTC) and it has been making frivolous noises since its inception. The ENTC is formulated to orchestrate an uprising, similar to what took place in various Arab countries, to topple Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s administration. What is the need for violence when it is possible to change a government through the ballot box? And what necessitated a popular revolution in the Arab world?
President Ben Ali ruled Tunisia without a hint of respect for human rights for over 23 years. He treated his own people with utter contempt and made the country his personal fiefdom. President Mubarak of Egypt mismanaged his country for over 30 years and was grooming his son Gamal to inherit power from him but he was deposed before the transfer could take place. Egypt never held a genuine democratic elections and human rights abuse was a common occurrence in the country. Mubarak was in power for such a long time because he was serving the interests of the US and Israel. The subservient dictator received financial rewards for his services to the tune of 3-5 billion dollars annually for the duration of his presidency. But the tyrant was unceremoniously kicked out of office as a result of the uprising and lately he was he sentenced to life imprisonment for all the crimes he committed against his own people. Another dictator that was humiliatingly removed from power after 42 years of misrule was Colonel Gaddafi of Libya. The uprising came in the neck of time before the throne was transferred to his son Saif- Al-Islam. At this juncture, Syria is in a civil war as the populace is trying to dislodge the Al-Assad dynasty that has been in power since 1971.
The Arab despots never cared about their own people; they were at the helm to simply accumulate wealth for themselves and their loyal cronies. They stole billions of dollars from their country and stashed them away in foreign banks. Their wives and children led a lavished life style and frequently visited London, New York, Milan and Paris for a spot of shopping. They detested pluralism and human rights abuse was institutionalised. Political opponents were randomly detained, tortured and killed at will. No independent press and judiciary, and the so called ‘’parliaments’’ were a facade intended to camouflage their dictatorial rules. An accumulation of many years of suffering endured by the people led to the removal of numerous tyrants from a number of Arab states.
In Ethiopia, elections are held every five years and strictly speaking there is no need for an uprising as a party in power can be removed through elections without spilling blood. Institutions such as the office of the Ombudsman and the Human Rights Council are in place to minimize human rights abuse. No one is remotely claiming that these organisations are perfect but we are witnessing that their performances are greatly improving with the passage of time. The EPRDF administration is currently engaged in the monumental struggle to conquer poverty. Education is the route to prosperity and to this end 31 new universities have been established in every region of the country in the last 12 years. To enhance the transition from agricultural to industrial led economy, huge dams at a cost of billions of dollars are being constructed and many more will be constructed in the future for internal consumption and for export as well. Massive investments on infrastructure coupled with the construction booms initiated by the private sector and the government have created job opportunities for millions of Ethiopians throughout the country. The nation’s economy is growing at a phenomenal rate, as testified by the IMF, World Bank and other reputable world institutions, and this will ensure further work creation for many more citizens. Annual agricultural food productions have increased astronomically and the number of people needing help has come down from over 30 to 2 million in just under ten years. In five years, Ethiopia will be in a position to feed its own people without needing outside assistance which had been the norm under previous successive governments. For the last twenty years, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi has been working exceptionally hard to transform Ethiopia into the fastest growing economy in the world. Rulers of the last hundred years made the country synonymous with hunger, famine and endless devastating wars that lasted for over three decades claiming hundreds and thousands of lives.
So why does the so called Diaspora Ethiopian National Transitional Council want to rock the boat? What is preventing its leaders from presenting their case in a peaceful and civilised manner to the Ethiopian electorates? Is it because they do not have a political programme like Ginbot-7(G-7) which is on the verge of collapse and factional infighting is uncontrollably raging within its ranks ? ESAT, the mouth piece of G- 7 is in dire straits as its leaders are having difficulties raising a few thousand dollars needed to keep it running. The emptiness of G-7 is exemplified by its relentless efforts to force people to boycott Ethiopian Airlines and anything made in their own country. G-7’s bankruptcy is further exposed by its tendency to latch on to any issues that would give it a few days’ publicity such as supporting fundamentalists on the payroll of Saudi Arabian Muslim extremists. No wonder G-7 is inches away from dissolution and the ENC is doing its level best to hasten this.
The ENTC wants to instigate an upheaval in Ethiopia from Washington, and it is planning to create a government in exile composed of individuals who were highly implicated in the wanton killings of thousands of people during the Derg era. The Council is entirely made up of Amharas and yet they want to ‘’liberate’’ Ethiopia from the EPRDF which is made up of almost all nations, nationalities and peoples of the country. They are finding it difficult to come to terms with the fact that the current ethnic based politics is irreversible. Lately a meeting was held in Canada and individuals of Tigrian origin were prevented entry although one of the speakers was a high profile Tigrian who is not embarrassed to make a fool of himself. In any case the ENTC’s call for an uprising will fall on deaf ears as happened to the pervious calls made by the now defunct Kinjit and G-7.
The Ethiopian people see no reason to rise up against an administration that is determinedly working day and night to measurably improve their lives. It is not the army, the police or the spies that is stopping them from taking this course of action. If this was possible, the sophisticated Egyptian army and security apparatus managed by the CIA would have prevented the fall of President Hosni Mubarak. The people have made it crystal clear on many occasions that a change of government can only occur constitutionally and there is no place for violence and bloodshed in this day and age. The inevitable death of the violent organisations such as G-7 and the Ethiopian National Transitional Council will be inextricably linked to the tremendous progress being registered in the fields of democracy and economy in the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.