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Ginbot-7 is slipping off the radar

By Berhane Kahsay
Dec. 22 2011

Ginbot-7 dead on arival - Tigrai Online

Dr Berhanu Nega almost immediately made his way to the United States soon after his release from Kaliti. With other members of his party, he had ended up in prison for attempting to dislodge the democratically elected government of Ethiopia, after his party was comprehensively rejected by the electorates during the 2005 general elections.

Dr Berhanu was riding high on the toxic Diaspora’s sympathy on his arrival in the US.  Although he had been pardoned by the President of Ethiopia, it did not take him long to go over his word and started to organise against the government. The ‘good’ doctor took advantage of the situation and hurriedly established Ginbot 7 whose aim is to forcibly remove the EPRDF administration from power. So far, Ginbot-7 has not been successful with its endeavors as it is finding it difficult to garner support from the vast majority of Diaspora Ethiopians. Consequently, it is proving too hard to keep Ginbot-7 afloat with the limited following it has from the minority die-hard followers who are driven by hate. This has left Dr Berhanu with no option but to seek assistance from the arch enemy of Ethiopia, Esayas Afewerki.

Ginbot-7 is heavily financed by Eritrea and its activities are closely monitored by President Esayas. OLF, Ginbot-7, and ONLF are on his payroll and it is not a coincidence that these organisations are very intimately working together. An organization that is allegedly fighting for the ‘unity’ of Ethiopia is cooperating with OLF and ONLF that are hell bent on seceding from Ethiopia. This is the price Ginbot-7 has to pay for being sponsored by a foreign country that badly hurts simply because Ethiopia is among the five nations of world that are registering a spectacular double digit economic growth year in year out. ONLF, OLF and Ginbot-7 are routinely watched by big brother in Asmara, and if they disobey orders, they could end up in prison as happened to the leaders of Arebenoch and the Somali Islamic Courts Union.

Dr Berhanu makes a lot of noise from his comfortable life in the United States and his gullible followers in the Diaspora do not challenge him; they are simply led into a cul de sac in broad day light. In Ethiopia where it matters, he could only procure insignificant following among the populace.  Ginbot-7 has made several attempts to ignite violence and uprising similar to the Arab Springs where their despotic and authoritarian leaders were in power for over three decades lining their pockets but the call failed to take off the ground. The best they could do was write ‘’BEKA’’ in red paint on the walls of various states of the US and post them on their websites claiming to be from Ethiopia to hoodwink their own handful followers in the Diaspora.

For a while now, the cost of living in Ethiopia has become beyond the means of the ordinary man and woman. However, the government has been spending huge amounts of money importing wheat, sugar and other essential items such as cement to cushion the impacts of the galloping inflation caused by excessive circulation of money. Ginbot-7 has tried, on numerous occasions, to take advantage of this temporary difficulty for its sinister motives.  No success here either as the people know full well that this is the result of economic growth, and that food, sugar and cement productions will increase two to three fold in the life of the Growth and Transformation Plan.  Ginbot-7 also tried to create chaos at the recent Ethiopian Marathon where 36,000 people participated but its futile efforts failed to materilaise. Only last week 10,000 people from all over the world participated in the HIV/AIDS conference in Addis Ababa and not a single incident was reported, which must have been a bitter disappointment for Dr Berhanu. By organising these huge events, Ethiopia has shown itself to be peaceful and stable beyond a shadow of a doubt. Ethiopia has also shown that it could guarantee the security of the metropolis, accommodate, feed and transport thousands of foreign guests at the same time for any length of time. Not so long ago, it was impossible to entertain a few hundred never mind 10,000, and these achievements have made many nations in Africa and the entire world to view Ethiopia in a very positive light ; we all know what Ethiopia was associated with before. Only very few countries such as Egypt, South Africa and perhaps Kenya are capable of organising such a huge international event.  If doubters needed proof that Ethiopia is enjoying a tremendous growth in every sphere, this is it.

Even in the Diaspora, Ginbot-7 is losing support at a breath taking pace. ESAT station is having serious financial difficulties and Dr Berhanu is gallivanting from one US state into another to solicit finance but not with much success. ETV’s daily broadcast from Ethiopia has further weakened ESAT, and it is just a matter of time before it signs off the air like many others before it.  Of course it could continue with its’ service’ if the funding from Asmara continues to flow its way and in the process make Dr Berhanu’s Ginbot-7 exclusively dependent on Eritrea. Working for President Esayas with the separatist movements ONLF and ONLF is another dimension that is making Ginbot-7’s existence very precarious indeed.   There were other organizations before Ginbot-7 that have disappeared or have been marginalized such as AAPO, AEUP, ANDINET, EPRP, EPRP-D, MEDHIN, ARBENOCH/TINSAE, CAFPDE, EDU, ENDP, EPDP, TJPE, MEISON and CUD, and Ginbot-7 seems not to have learned a lesson from their fatal errors.

But the most important single factor that is causing tremendous damage to Ginbot-7 is the fantastic economic growth that is taking place in Ethiopia today, and this alone, would bring its inevitable demise. Being intensely anti-Tigrayan will further hasten the dissolution of Dr Berhanu’s brain child. His followers have never shown any respect for the Tigrian people and openly express their hate towards the stalwarts of Ethiopia’s unity and territorial integrity.  It is imperative that the EPRDF government continues with the fast economic transformation, and consolidation of democracy and the rule of law. Only then can the ill-wishers and their stooges be kept at bay.