ESAT’s Russian Roulette Politics in Ethiopia
By Berhane Kahsay
Tigrai Online, Nov. 1, 2018
The Ethiopian Satellite Television and Radio - ESAT playing Russian Roulette Politics in Ethiopia
G-7 has gone under the radar but its mouth-piece, ESAT, is still doing what it does best, fanning interethnic clashes that could possibly lead to an all-out civil war in the country. ESAT broadcasters lack basic standards of journalism and would do anything possible to ensure G-7 secures power irrespective of its consequences.
In 1994, Radio Television Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) of Rwanda, owned by Hutus, was engaged in similar genocidal broadcasts ending in the massacre of nearly a million Tutsis in hundred days. ESAT (herein after referred as RTLM) shows no interest in drawing lessons from the civil war raging in Syria where over 400,000 people have been killed so far, and in Yemen with 60,000 fatalities and 22 million people in desperate need of food aid.
G-7’s media outlet started broadcasting from its studio in Washington D.C in 2011. Ever since its creation seven years ago RTLM has been fully occupied in disgorging noxious hate aimed at the TPLF and the Tigrian people. In 2011, this group was designated as a terrorist outfit by the House of Peoples Representative, and this was annulled recently by the command of the new PM.
G-7 leaders are currently in Ethiopia, but it must have been a shock to their system to discover how microscopic support they have amassed after spending millions of dollars to finance their television station which was wholly engrossed in vending hate and empty political propaganda. So, how would G-7 fare in the forthcoming general election scheduled take place in 2020?
As G-7 claims to be a pan Ethiopian party, it stands very little chance of forming the next government solely or in association with other groups of similar political persuasions including Semayawi party. Why? Region 3 is now dominated by the fanatical and parochialist National Movement of Amhara (Nama) led by a rambling ‘elect of God’, and the likelihood of G-7, ANDM and others beating Nama is zilch.
G-7 is guaranteed few parliamentary seats in Gurage and SNNP where there are sizable numbers of Amhara settlers, but its biggest hope is in Finfinnee. The current demography of the Oromo capital is Amhara( 48.3%), Oromo( 19.2%), Gurage(13.5), Tigrarian( 7.64%), Silt’e( 3.98%) and others( 3.4%).
This statistical information should be taken with a grain of salt as 75% of the federal bureaucracy is stacked with Amhara and it is possible that they may have cooked the outcome of the census to their benefit. But even here, there is no guarantee that G-7 and its associates would sweep across the board. Oromo parties are certain to fiercely compete for every seat in the metropolis, and no doubt there would be some tactical voting in their favour from other ethnic groups.
In Oromia, G-7 is certain to encounter stiff resistance because of its opposition to Oromiffa becoming the second working language of the federation. More-ever, Esayass’ surrogate group is against federalism which is backed by all Oromo political parties, activists and the people at large. The unanimous support is not only for federalism but also for the retention of the current flag that defines the system we have now.
In addition, G-7 is viewed by the Oromos as a bearer of Amhara chauvinism which humiliated and treated them as second class citizens in their own country. No wonder G-7’s association with Lenco Leata’s Oromo Democratic Front came to an end because liking up with such an organisation that fondly speaks about Menelik would have been a political hara-kiri.
In any case, it was Dr Berhanu Nega’s lust for power that drove him into unholy alliances with various groups that subscribe to different political philosophies. In 2005, Dr Berhanu had his chance of becoming Mayor of Addis when Knijit won all seats in the capital in addition to the 142 for the House of Peoples Representatives. But Dr Berhanu refused the chance to manage the capital as it fell short of his ambition of occupying Menelik’s palace. Democracy in Ethiopia would by now have been at a higher plateau if the outcome of the 2005 general election was accepted gracefully.
Dr Berhanu is in a desperate situation as it has finally downed on him that he has no hope of fulfilling his long held ambition of leading the nation. OLF’s arrival has ruined his agenda and in retaliation, RTLM has commenced its vitriolic broadcasts on all Oromo organisations including the PM.
G-7 has a huge cache of weapons in Gonder and some have made their way to the capital. It is very likely that G-7 could use these armaments to create chaos in the country, and then take advantage of the ensuing crisis to push for a transitional government, giving it a coveted opportunity to re-mould the constitution in its image and replace the current political system with a unitary mode of governance. Clearly, federalism is coming under threat from G-7, ANDM, Nama and others hiding behind ‘Ethiopianism’ to reinstate Amhara domination. TPLF, OLF, OFC, ODF and the other regional organisations should stand together before it is too late, and bury the menace coming from the sons and daughters of the butcher Menelik once and for all.
Ethiopia is in grave danger and the PM seems to be powerless to do anything about it. In his speech in Germany, he stated that Amhara regional government has been busy buying firearms to attack Tigrai, and yet, he has not taken any measures stop the dangerous activities of Gedu and Demeke. PM Abiy ought to know that, if Tigrai is attacked, it will retaliate in the most ferocious and devastating manner in order to achieve the complete defeat of her enemies.
At the end of the day, size and fire power only do not determine the outcome of conflicts. Derg had a huge army with state of the art weapons, but it was completely annihilated by the valour Tigrians who started the struggle with seven antiquated rifles.