The zombification of a ‘Baby-sitter General’

Dilwenberu Nega
Feb. 26 2010

Let it be known from the very outset that I am not in the business of unleashing ad hominem attack on one of Colonel Megistu Haile Mariam’s henchmen now exiled in London, Brigadier General Tamene Dilnesaw. I am dead against character assassination in any shape or form, and had continually argued that smear and sneer words serve no good purpose to society. However, the circumstances surrounding this individual today as well as the disrepute he has brought about to Ethiopians abroad in general and to our Defence Forces and to our Diplomatic Service in particular, has left me with no choice but to hone my assault on the General. If I am ‘unleashing’ anything, it is going to be the forces not of hell but of heaven as I observe Lent. Let it also be known, too, that I did not author the epithet “Baby-sitter General” which forms part of the title of this article. It was awarded to the General by his own wordnerd peers when, to their shocking surprise, Mengistu had catapulted Tamene from a Major to a General so that he can mind his daughter in Moscow where he served as a Military Attaché in a perfunctory manner. When in quick succession Mengistu made General Tamene Ethiopia’s Ambassador to the State of Israel, MoFA mandarins reciprocated by awarding Tamene a, yet another, the epithet: “Dumbassador.”

Although the General has never seen his baptism of fire, his sterling qualities of a naive and a sycophant have attracted him friends from the high and mighty. Ethiopians in London to this day talk with amusing admiration on the way he tried and failed to stop the expulsion of Kassa Kebede from Britain because of his connections with Al Qaeda in 2002. His unwavering loyalties today first to gracefully mortified Megistu Haile Mariam and then to the current sumo-sized new Leader of the Derg, Kassa Kebede, are exemplary. However, it was well over 30 years ago that he made his debut in the Ethiopian media as a swashbuckling Aide de Camp to the late Emperor’s last representative to Eritrea, Lieutenant General Debebe Haile Mariam, where he is thought to have acquired the skills of a Master of Ceremony. His closest friends are of one mind when they describe his remarkable penchant for boot-licking which finally allowed him to conquer the otherwise impregnable and brutal heart of Colonel Mengistu Haile Mariam.

You, however, simply cannot set aside the fact that General Tamene Dilnessau is also a complex character with a blatantly obvious double personality. The now interminable anti-Meles demonstrations particularly in London have as their standard-bearer Tamene Dilnesaw, prompting lunatics on the loose to regard him as “a super patriot.” At Dr Birhanu Nega’s last London brainstorming session at the Irish Centre, it was none other than Tamene who stood up and ordered the sitting audience to give Dr Birhanu a standing ovation “in line with Ethiopian hospitality.” Tamene had contracted sore throat after sore throat while sneering and smearing at all those who openly exercised their democratic right by supporting EPDRF. I am being reminded, here, by what that Great Communicator of today’s Ethiopia, Meles Zenawi, had remarked on ERTV years ago: “In the hurly-burly of Merkato, it is usually the real leba who would be shouting leba, leba in order to divert the attention away from him.” To the vocal Diaspora the very name of Tamene Dilnesaw has been synonymous with “a bona fide son of the Motherland and a cut above the rest super-patriot.” Hold your breath while the dark knight of the General is about to be revealed.

Under the guise of patriotism Tamene Dilnesaw had been leading a cloak-and-dagger existence by working hand-in-glove with Shabia for a long time. I am not placing unwarranted blame on the still confused and confounded Dumbassador. You can check for yourself how General Tamene Dilnesaw committed an egregious mistake by taking part in a Shabia engineered and sponsored “Repeal the Sanctions” demonstration in Geneva by logging on

How any Ethiopian, let alone a man who once was the official representative of the people and government of Ethiopia can publically portray the treachery of standing shoulder to shoulder with the acolytes of Isaias Afewerki is mind boggling. But there again we have been saying it all along, have we not: “placing trust in the teachings of the vocal Diaspora is like placing trust in the teaching of the world being flat.”

As every cloud has a silver lining, the good thing that has emerged from this disastrous fiasco is the fact that that ordinary Ethiopians have started questioning where lies the virtue of being spearheaded by nut cases who bring untold shame to Ethiopians who come hell or high water will never demonstrate in support of Isaias Afewerki. The gauntlet is thrown at the cyber-tigers. Will they sit on their hands and accept this infamy? If they have a scintilla of patriotism, the time to condemn the selfish and treacherous deeds of Tamene is now. Failure to do so would prompt the Diaspora-at-large to conclude that those who day-in-and-day-out urges Ethiopians to protest outside Ethiopian Embassies and host government offices are men and women who are stabbing us from the back.

As to the good old General, let him remain eternally in his comfy zombified state.