By Maros Seifu
Tigrai Onlne - August 23, 2014
The importance long lasting peace has on facilitating development and democracy for a developing country can not be debated. Talking about (contemplating) development or democratic order building process, where there’s no peace is pointless. If a long lasting peace isn’t granted (secured) in a certain country, either development or democracy can not be rooted in that country.
With regards to our country, in order for the development and democratic order building process to continue with its successful momentum, creating a lasting peace is an important and necessary step. This also because, for Ethiopia, whether or not it records rapid and sustainable growth is an existential issue. In guaranteeing (securing) peace, the country should protect against and control activities that are threats to its national security. One of the activities that are a threat to our country’s national security, and the main, is terrorist activities (terrorism). Although terrorism has its own causes and objectives, its disastrous outcome is obvious for all. And even through some riot-crazed opposition wannabes and there foreign masters twist its meaning to serve their sinister case and avoid themselves from being accountable, the fact is terrorism is a cruel and heinous act that’s is not acceptable in any part of the world.
I think it’s obvious for anyone that our country is one of the foremost victims of terrorism. The attempted assassination on former Egypt’s President Hosni Mubarak in Addis Ababa, the attempted assassination carried out on former Transport and Communication Minister Abulmajid Hussein, the bomb attack carried out on ‘Ghion’, ‘Wabi-Shebele’ and ‘Tigrai’ Hotel (at different times) are all instances that confirms the above fact. In addition to this, the plotted terror attacks to be carried out by the terrorist ‘OLF’, with the coordination of the Eritrean Government, and that was foiled by the cooperation of our security forces and the public should also be mentioned.
As a result, the Ethiopian government took a firm stance to combat the threat. There are efforts under way to curb the threat through setting up a legal framework. Considering the fact that terrorism harms the public’s free movement, weakens the governments executive capabilities and hinder the peace, development and democratic order building process that is started in our country, the government measure should be commended - so, it can be said that it’s a correct stance taken based on the terror attacks attempted several times on our country’s national security, and by assessing potential terrorist threats. In order to protect the country and its citizen’s security, and in order to carry out its national and continental responsibility with regards to terrorism, the government has passed an anti-terror law provision number 652/2091.
This provision, unlike what some so called opposition, few people who operate under the guise of journalism (‘free press’) and their foreign masters say that “their provision (law) stifles the opposition activities and the free press’, it envisions to protect and control terrorism from eroding the constitutional rights and freedom by following the correct & lawful procedure. Thus, the importance this law has on stopping the perpetrators of these sinister acts of cannot be put to debate.
Nevertheless, the leaders of ‘Andinet’ party and narrow minded opposition who operate under the name of “Journalist” are seen opposing this provision (law). And the question ‘why does the opposition oppose the anti-terror provision (law)’ should be asked here. The oppositions were seen giving support to terrorists by saying ‘the anti-terror law should be either scratched off or improved’ by spewing their own propaganda like ‘this law is scary’. However, I believe as the anti-terror law is only terrifying to the unlawful, the rumors and propaganda should be amended, also because it has no base. And the main objective of this article is to point out these mistakes.
The likes of the leader of ‘Andinet’ party acts intuitively (not rationally) when it comes to the issue; as they usually acts euphorically at the very mention of terrorism. In order to bring evidence for this, we can look at the pointless article put out by the member of the parliament, his honorary Ato Girma Seifu, under the title ‘why wouldn’t the anti-terror law terrify us?’ - By raising the effort made to scrap the law, why the law is “terrifying”, and the procedures etc … As Ato Girma is part of the leadership of ‘Andinet’ party his position on the anti terror law represents the party. So, I want it to be known that I am after only correcting the party’s wrong (incorrect) stance (with regards to the law). I think it’s obvious that this ‘the law should be scraped’ propagation is a jibe at the democratic process that’s currently taking root in our country. Then, what shall we all the recent undemocratic incident ‘the sprit of un democracy very hard to shrug off’ - Any way let us look into ‘Andinet’ party’s usual ‘lets-exaggerate-everything-government-out-of-proportion’ antics.
I believe the power-crazed leader of ‘Andinet’ party, should have instead focused on getting on the consent of its member in order to save the party from crumbling. Its recent stunt only showed its amateurish political game aimed at covering its own internal tension by disregarding the constitution. Of curse this party like every other local opposition parties operates by being registered by the election board; pledging to respect the constitution and constitutional order. Nevertheless it relapses back into its undemocratic antics just like its recent stunt.
The party’s leaders do not seem to learn from their mistakes, as they are fools. As it can be recalled, most of the party’s leaders were seen looking for their beloved riot and havoc during election ’97, under the leadership of CUD. They have even admitted on their apology letters that they had worked to overthrow the constitutional order and the constitution through instigating riot.
Naive people like me thought that these people have accepted their mistakes, so they will stop their undemocratic behaviors. Instead they choose to go in the same direction; albeit this time creating an ill-matched and very fragile group by the name of ‘Medrek’ - changing Jersey and adding new actors. And during election 2002, as they were found on their same-ole undemocratic pattern, the fair and just electorate of our country has voted out this ill-matched group from entering into the parliament. The reason: it’s because the power-crazed ‘Medrek’ was seen trying to tear apart the same constitution that bestowed the people development, peace and democracy; trying to take away the sovereign right of the people by seizing the power through foreign powers. The result was total disapproval by the voters. I don’t know if one can go lower than this. What worse flack can a political party possibly get from the very same people it is working to get their approval from?
However, the leaders of ‘Andinet’ instead of learning from this mistake of theirs, they chose to indulge in another anti-constitutional antic – by trying to seize power through instigating North African and Middle East like revolution without the consent of the public trying with Ethiopia. At that time, when the ‘Andinet’ people, just like a drug, used to get kick out of the mention of riot breaking out in another country, they have ridiculously turned into prophecy tellers. In fact some have even went as far as calling them the failed doomsday predictors.
Even though neo-liberal forces whose interest have been harmed with the passing of this law, ‘Andinet’ and its likes who aim to seize power through foreign forces influence and some member of the free press who are on the same set of path with the aforementioned entities, have all given the law uncalled names like ‘it stifles free press and freedom of speech’, the fact is it came about aiming to stop and control constitutional rights from being eroded by terrorism, within the legal parameters - and terrorism is also a nag for our country’s nationwide economic development aspiration.
Therefore, the necessity of the law to put a stop to this sinister act from its root should not be questioned, unless if it’s decided for the country and the people to be rocked with the cruel and heinous crime of terrorism. All in all, here its important to note the un constitutional thinking flaunted under the guise of the constitution, by ‘Andinet’ party, who by claiming the provision’s articles contradicts with the constitution, and the fact that the law has taken away the party’s leader Ato Andualem Arage and member of the Party’s council Ato Natnael Mekonen, it has called for the law to be scraped. Let us see all these fictions respectively.
‘Andinet’ party has the right to collect petition signatures it can even sign the whole 80 million people of our country (if it can), let alone million, which is the number that exists only on their deluded minds. Of course to fantasize is not prohibited. What’s getting ridiculous is this kind of comical fiction of the party. I believe the only way they can get the indicated number of signatures is only if it they signed every one of its members at least five thousand times each. This because, had the party had the aforementioned number of supporters, then it world have won during election 2002 - especially considering it runned together in coalition with other parties under the mother ship party - ‘Medrek’.
However, the party was left empty handed from the election, along with its ill-matched (unfit) “colleagues”. As far as I can understand, the former fortunetellers (prophecy tellers) jab at collecting petition signatures is the same as seeking for what they have not worked for. Anyways we’ll hear what the party leaders will say at the next meeting of the party leaders – as the heaps of lies and fiction under their sleeves.
The riot-crazed and the-constitution-is-breached mumbling ‘Andinet’ party has tried to act as puritans by propagating uneducated mumbling of ‘the law’s articles contradict with the constitution’. But, the truth is the provision (law) is not like what the party made it out to be - as the party is doing this because it hates it since it’s not suitable to its own objective. As any reader of this article knows, in a democratic country a provision (law) is formulated (enacted) based on the country’s constitution. Any laws or provision that contradicts the constitution are in no way acceptable. With regards to this, the anti-terror law which was passed after the house of peoples’ representatives (the highest legislative branch of the land) and the national security sub-committee (in the parliament) have deliberated upon extensively, in no way contradicts with the constitution.
But, this does not mean that there are no sides that wouldn’t want to twist this to fit their own personal political expediency. Even though it’s not clear for me which article of the provision (law) contradicts the constitution (as per the claim of ‘Andinet’ party), but I believe the party should take a hard look into the constitution (the party only mentions when its profitable to do so) and understand that any law (provision) that is based on the constitution can be enacted in order to protect the country’s national security – before it opens its mouth about the constitution which apparently it does not know anything about. As every person is equal before the law, a law (provision) is enacted for all to follow (abide by it) – be it a politician, musician, engineer, doctor, priest, soldier etc … Nevertheless, ‘Andinet’ party by disregarding this fact, it has claimed that the law has “taken away” its leaders and as a result asks for the law to be scraped. I believe this ridiculous undemocratic outlook has two connotations. One is ‘we can be above the law’ and the second has to do with (their job) of parroting the agenda of neo-liberal extremists, who the law has blocked them from meddling in our country’s internal affairs.
As its known, unless its enshrined by the law, any citizen living in any country cannot live by contradicting (undermining) the ‘rule of law’. If the free movement of citizens is not framed by rule and law, no one can have the guarantee or security to live (peacefully). In a country where there’s no guarantee of peaceful living, peace and security will be lost, and will inevitably reach to a point where it would be impossible to even move freely. Those who give or take democracy and rights will be the privileged very few. And it’s inevitable that they will create a master and slave type of order. So, in order to stop this and bring peace and security, there needs to be ‘rule of law’. Thus, whether it’s ‘Andinet’ or any other political faction who claim to be peaceful, cannot be above the law in a country where there rule of law.
So trying (acting) to scrap a law (by going above it) because the party’s leaders are put under the law on their charged crime of terrorism is the first set of mistake. This is because the leaders of the party were founded guilty of their charged crime of terrorism; not for being politicians. There is no politician or a journalist, except of criminals, that is jailed in our country. All in all, if the party claims that they are its leaders, what it should have done was bring human and material evidence to support their innocence during their trial. Other than this, stating ‘I will scrap the law as it has cost me my leaders’, especially considering they were jailed after enough witness and material evidence was brought against them, is not only unacceptable, but it’s also the same as saying’ who can stop us if we act above the law’ - and this should be amended.
Although, it’s obvious that our country’s opposition does not have a concise and detailed policies and path, I believe ‘Andinet’ party, like every other party from the opposition camp; have made it clear through this whole ordeal that it’s led by litter agendas. As it’s known, since the law stopped neo-liberal extremist and anti-Ethiopian forces like the lights of ‘Amnesty International’, ‘Human Rights Watch’ and ‘International Crisis Group’ from meddling into our country’s internal affairs; they had opened a smear campaign against it – which they still do to this day. Fortunately, the unfounded rumor spewed by these ideology demagogues could not do anything in our country.
However, no one can be sure if they decided to try this through some local parties – seeing as their effort has failed to amount to anything. I say this because I find the issues ‘Andinet’ party rose against the law, and the failed propaganda of the ideology demagogues to be the same. Of course this kind of agenda-relay between local opposition and foreign forces, which are after imposing their agenda on us, has been going on for a while. (Here it’s helpful to remember the whole ‘the Ethiopian government had used food aid for its political gain’ fiasco, in which later Development Assistance Group (DAG) Ethiopia, a forum for donors to share and exchange information, disclaimed it by taking a long and detailed investigation). So, it’s not surprising to see some members of the opposition camp parroting this type of agendas of the foreign forces. Nevertheless, I and any reader of this article are forced to be ashamed of how ‘Andinet’ is operating – seeing as how lackeying for foreigners is never an acceptable behavior for all Ethiopians.
All in all, let us here raise the question ‘is it possible to scrap the anti-terror law through collecting each other’s signings, or even possible for the party to pass the law it chooses?’ The land’s constitution (which the party only raises when it befits its objectives) clearly stipulates that the house of people’s representatives have the power to pass laws within the jurisdiction of power given to the federal government; including the power to scrap laws. This what our country’s constitution stipulates …
However, ‘Andinet’ party wants to replace the house of people’s representatives and scrap the law by itself over the consent of the people of Ethiopia; out of its fear for itself. I even think they want to pass the law by themselves. So, in the deluded minds of the party’s people, they are violating the constitution by scraping the role of the house of peoples’ representatives for itself. I think it should be known that this kind of operating in a double-edged knife; where on one part the party claims to operate peacefully, while on the other it is seen directly violating the constitution, is not acceptable (by law). It’s impossible to choose to polar extremes at the same time; one has to go with one of the other. Its days have now become outdated and obsolete; simply stating, it’s not the way to go.
Therefore, ‘Andinet’ party instead of claiming a law that was passed after it was carefully deliberated upon by the legally concerned bodies contradicts to the constitution (it rarely reads), it should do well to stop its clear violation of the constitution. As far as I can understand, opposing the anti-terror law that was passed for the benefit of the public is asking for the opposite – terrorism. So, I think it would be behoove of ‘Andinet’ or its like’s opposition parties to look into themselves instead of opposing the anti-terror law. This is because there’s no country where one can be above the law by opposing it.