When Human Rights Watch becomes Human Rights Latch

By Dilwenberu Nega
May 24 2010

There are self-righteous organizations in the world today that simply cannot stomach Ethiopia’s breath-taking achievements in realizing a veritable democracy all on its own - any colonial power being the conspicuous absentee. One such organization, notorious for its unsubstantiated accusations and vituperative criticisms of the Government of Ethiopia, is the so-called Human Rights Watch.

After its latest fusillade of criticisms against yesterday’s free, fair and democratic elections, however, Human Rights Watch has now proven to be Human Rights Latch – closing the door on the will of the peoples of Ethiopia. Yesterday’s transparent, free, fair and democratic election has been given wide and more or less encouraging coverage by international media outlets with on the spot reporting.

Yet, however, Human Rights Latch has, instead, deemed it proper to bank on the words of perhaps some disgruntled individuals with an axe to grind, and castigate Ethiopia in advance of the announcement of the election results as well as prior to the European Union’s Observer Mission’s issuing its interim report. This whimsical action by HRW does indeed lend a new sense to the old adage “haste makes waste.” As the prompt and calibrated rebuttal by The Office of the Government’s Spokesperson had put it succinctly, HRW’s tedious accusations have a dual a purpose. On the one hand, by pre-empting the announcement of results and EU’s interim findings, HRW intends to provoke the electorate to reject the outcome of the elections and take to the streets. On the other hand it believes that a binge of street violence in Addis would make the EPDRF so vulnerable that HRW and its likes would samba their way through to success by arm locking the EPDRF government into accepting the implementation in Ethiopia of the now discredited laissez-faire economy of liberalism.

This assumption by HRW is not wrong, it is mistaken. The very first knowledge that anyone gets by having a cursory glance at the annals of EPDRF is the fact that refusing to kow-tow or to be frogmarched into accepting the will of outside forces is something which is very much in EPDRF’s DNA. As we all await patiently for the peaceful and orderly conclusion of the elections, the Government must continue to show stiff resistance to outside interference, confident in the knowledge that Ethiopia’s nations, nationalities and peoples are squarely behind it in this.