An Open Letter to Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and President Elect Barack Obama

Gezaee Hailemichael

Dec. 14 2008

I am writing this letter to call your attention to the burning issues about Ethiopia, our beautiful country. Almost for the past half century, our people have been going through many human ordeals. I do not want to debrief you about that since you know yourself very well. Most of the problems we have been facing are man made. Some of designed outside Ethiopia by nations who wanted to use our rich water resources. I do not want to mention them here since I guess you know them. Some of the problems have been made in Ethiopia by our own people. All those problems have made us to suffer so much. You, yourself, would not have gone to the bushes and caves of Tigray for no reason. I do believe you have taken the lot of Ethiopian cup of ups and downs.

I want to mention some of your mistakes which I find them so painful and not reasonable at all. You took Ethiopians, particularly young Tigreans and sacrificed them in Nakfa, Gash Barka,... with a prime goal to liberate Eritrea from Ethiopia and with a prime goal to land-lock Ethiopia. This has been confirmed by Aboy Sibhat Nega.in his last personal interview. And you also have defended myriad times that you stand firmly that Ethiopia must be land-locked. I find this very weird. How can a person like you who lead a country fail to understand the economic, security stragic importance of the Assab the Port? And deny Ethiopia its own land and ports blatantly?

The whole world knows the importance of an outlet. Leave alone us who are poor and who really need the outlet for commercial purpose and for our prime securtiy. You can see, the United States, France, UK,.. other countries have control of ports far away from them. Why France still controls Djibouti which was and must be part of our land? Why the United States control most strategic ports around the world? Is it because they use it for Camels? I find it too hard to believe that you still do not understand the importance our outlet? You have more than 30 years of experiences in the leadership, but you completely failed to understand simple things which ordinary people have understood.

For instance, when you controlled Ethiopia, and landed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian scholars from AAU opposed your agenda of land-locking of Ethiopia. I remember the 40 Professors from AAU. Those people understood the damage you were doing to Ethiopia. But you were merciless and chased them from thier rightful professional work because they opposed your weird and self-inflicing philosophy. Professor Asrat Woldeysus, our beloved man, well educated, courageous, you called him war monger and you threw him into prison because he opposed openly and courageously by saying my country cannot be landlocked. When you were chasing Eritrean during the war, Professor Asrat opposed and he said the action was not in the interest of our nations by cearly stating that Eritreans our people and must not be chased from their land. Such a brilliant person perished in prison for having an opposing idea.

Secondly, in 1992, when you were working hard up and downs with Botros Gali to separate Eritrea from its mother land, you invited Botros Gali to Addis Ababa Univesity, and teenage, under-age students knew very well and they opposed the visit of Botros Botros Gali to Ethiopia by stating clearly that he is the enemy of their country Ethiopia. Those teenage University students knew what they were saying then. But you failed to accommodate them, and you shot them down to death those brilliant juveniles in favour Botros Botros Gali.

Time has proved the 40 Professors of AAU, Professor Asrat, and the Juvenile AAU students were perfect and you were completely wrong. Now Botro Botros Gali has personally told the world that he could not sleep because he fears Ethiopia will use the Nile. He openly stated that long before he was your bona fide friend he had battled to confince his government to do more so that he can destroy Ethiopia. He told that he knew long ago and tried to work out a stragey that will allow Egypt to use the Nile forever and Ethiopia does not exist. You were working with such a person against your country. Ato Meles you were wrong. I just still do not understand if your real cause for fighting the derg was for the sake of Ethiopia? Shabia was created by Egypt, Iran, Libya, and other Arab countries which wish to destroy the country to secure their interest as it is clearly stated by Botros Botros Gali himself. You joined them and fought with Shabia, worked day and night to Establish an independent Eritrea.

You were not even a government, but you jumped without any legitimacy and represented Ethiopia by your own right and claimed that Ethiopians wish to be land-locked. I remember EU opposed, UN opposed except Botros Botros Gali. AU,the then OAU opposed strongly. But you recognized Eritrea as a nation before anyone else. Then you convinced your Sudan to recognize Eritrea as a nation.

To the Ethiopians you denied them any right to say anything about thier country. You even went on and told our people they will use free port. You said you know everything and you can decide and you, yourself represented the 70,000,000 million and made decisions on thier behalf. You resurrected an Italian colonial rules in Ethiopia and even used such evil Agenda of Italian agreement to separate your own people people into two.

During the war with Eritrea, you betrayed your own troops and aborted thier victory. Now the war you have aborted unifinished in the North has propagated to Ogaden, Somalia, within and all corners of Ethiopia. Our people are dying everyday everywhere because of he war you have aborted. Our citizens have been tied up for 10 years in North Ethiopia to lookafter Shabia. How much expense did Ethiopia pay so far? Are not our people dying of hunger, diseases, living dire life situation? Why we waste resources for nothing? Could not we deploy our military forces in other developmens arenas instead of tying them for 10 years in the North.

Why do we have to pay all these sacrifices? Why? Why? Why must even a single life of an Ethiopian wasted like this ? Why you denied my county its natural and rightful sea outlet?

You gave our property, the refinary in Assab without any question to the renegade Shabia. Now our natural and rightful outlet is occupied by Iran? Why is Assab strategically important to Iran? Why not for us? Ato Meles do you ever ask any questions to yourself? Do you know you are holding Ethiopia hostage? For how long do you think you will hold Ethiopia hostage? You must know, you will not live for ever, all these bad philosophies you have been imposing on our people be gone one day. Why you do not listen to the Ethiopian? Did you forget you are mortal man under the sun?

You talk about poverty? But poverty has causes? What are the causes? There are variables which drive the poverty horse. Those varibles must be idenfitied and formulated and solved practically. You cannot solve a problem by collecting money only. We have to have a formula that eliminates the variable of poverty. Singing poverty like a song is not going to solve our problem and to have a motivated citizen is far better than to have multiQuadrillion loan money from IMF.

I wrie comments about you, many tell me I hate you. I personally do not hate you. What I hate is your arrogance and ignorance. The fact that you are holding my country as a hostage is a headache for me. Many damages have been made to the country by you, but you still are dwelling on them. You have never corrected any of the mistakes you have done. Your policies have been designed 33 years ago as it was confirmed by Aboy Sibhat Nega last year.

We learn everyday, we grow, our knowledge expands as we grow and have experiences. But with you things work differently. You say you have principles which you have designed 33 years ago and those principles are your own. The 77 million Ethiopians do not know those principles. You have been imposing those 33 years old principles on our people. We knew them some of us early they were wrong. Now time has proved them they are wrong. But because they are your principle, you do not want to change them even if they are wrong. Because you like your ideas, you have to hold 77 million people hostage as long as your are on earth. This is unfair, unjust.

    Now, I request you kindly to do the following:
  1. Rescind the independence of Eritrea completely.
  2. Bring all the coastal line of Ethiopia to Ethiopia.
  3. Drop from your constitution articles number 39 which says Ethiopia must divided to Ethnic nations or which allows secession. No Ethiopian wanted such thing except yourself.
  4. . Bring any rebel into the governments fold and share power.
  5. The county needs to build strong, modern ground defence forces, Navy and airforce. This is important, very important.
  6. Make your system fair, just, transparent
  7. Now it is almost 20 years you have been in the Menelick palace. We want a new face in the palace. You cannot eat one type of food every day. We have had you for the past 20 years, only you, only your ideas, we want a new face, a new idea. We want you to give a chance to other people too. And please correct the mistakes you have done. Please do not leave them as they are. If you do , you have only added more problems to those problems we have had already.

God bless my beloved country Ethiopia