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Foreign Citizenship is not Immunity from the Law

By Kahsay Abebe
Tigrai Onlne - July 25, 2014

The Ethiopian National Intelligence and Security Service and Federal Police Joint Anti-Terrorism Taskforce has this past week released a statement which claimed to have arrested Ato Andargachew Tsige, the secretary-general of ‘Ginbot 7’, a party branded by the House of Peoples’ Representatives as a terrorist group like its peers ‘OLF’, ‘ONLF’, ‘Al-Shabaab’, ‘Al-Qaeda’.  According to the taskforce’s disclosure, it was able to put the wanted person in custody with accordance to the agreement reached between Ethiopia and Yemen security establishments to work in collaboration in the fight against terrorism.

The taskforce in this statement has said that it had an intelligence confirming about his Sana’a to Eritrea route before hand, and had the Yemeni security bureau put him under arrest, by informing them. He was extradited to Ethiopia the same day. The statement added that the man, stationed in Eritrea for the last five years, has been under different aliases, ‘Tulu’, ‘Jean Paul’, ‘Derbaba’, ‘James Franky’, ‘Robbie’ and ‘Wedi Harina’, conspiring act of terrorism in collaboration with the Asmara administration and with other countries that has an anti-Ethiopian sentiments. He has been making various efforts to destabilize our country’s peace and development through organizing and training terrorists.

The statement recalled that an Ethiopian born British national by the name of Abebe Wendemagen who had infiltrated into Ethiopia, through the border, after he got weapons training from Eritrea’s government under the supervision of Ato Andargachew. This person was arrested by the Ethiopian National Intelligence and Security Service and Federal Police Joint Anti-Terrorism Taskforce on January 15, 2013 red handed along with his colleagues in crime, plotting to blast near Bole Medehanialem area; and has since been found guilty by a judicial court and is currently serving his sentence.

Not only this. The statement has also announced that suspected individuals alleged for having close ties with ‘Ginbot 7’, the banned and Terrorist Organization, and with ESAT, the mouthpiece of the organization, have been put under arrest by a court ruling on July 1, 2014; as per the law of the country. And I would like to take this opportunity to pass my admiration to the professional competency and lawful procedure of our security forces in hunting down these terrorists and bringing them to justice.

However, many sides have been seen extending their thoughts with regards to the recent developments both before and after the statement was announced. While those who want to see our country be peaceful and for the rule of law reign were seen claiming the arrest of the man is right, while anti-Ethiopian institution ‘Human Rights Watch’ and its likes terror-admiring stitutions and Miss Anna Gomez a.k.a ‘the mother of color revolution’, who has a ‘special relationship’ with the terror group’s leader, have all been seen fuming in anger claiming the man should not have been extradited to the Ethiopian government by citing his British passport. And the Terror squad ‘Ginbot 7’ was heard shouting, ‘why was my leader arrested when he’s a Briton?”

The aim of this article is to shade the truth to my dear readers by asking the question, “Would using foreign citizenship, or being a member of a political party or a journalist is enough to free a person from being accountable to the law as far as the individual involves in terrorist act?” In addition to this, I will also to probe into what the arrest of Ato Andargachew Tsige means to his terror organization which, as if now, has split into two separate groups.

As it’s known, there is no such thing as any person is above the law even if he/she implicated in terror country simply because he has a foreign citizenship. As terrorism is a heinous act that takes away innocent human lives regardless of borders, citizenship, identity, any person that’s part of this kind of act must face the punishment the law dictates. I can raise two instances for this - the September 11 and the Boston marathon terror acts.

As we all can remember, the American government has put responsibility on Osama Bin Laden and his organization Al-Qaeda as the culprit of the September 11 terror attacks that took the lives of more than 3000 innocent human lives. The Washington Administration did not say Osama Bin Laden is not accountable for his terror crimes just because he’s a Saudi national. Instead it took him out by going after him as far as Pakistan.

And its Ukrainian nationals who carried out the terror attack on American soil during the Boston Marathon. The American government did not stop pursing them citing they’re of foreign nationals – it has hunted them down and brought them to face the appropriate punishment. In order to further elaborate this in simple manner, let us say the “Doctor Economist” Berhanu Nega has an American citizenship. And he went on to England to carry out a terror act and end up hiding in Eritrea, after he executed his plans. What will the British government do if it found him in another country: ‘since he’s an American citizen it’s OK’? No, what the British government will do is extradite the man and put him under arrest under the anti-terrorism law of the country. So, it should be known that a person will not be immune to face the law for the criminal act he/she committed just because that person is a foreign national.

And if we look the issue from another angle, we’ll see that any person cannot meddle in another country’s political affairs. So, the British Ato Andargachew cannot work to overthrow a legally elected government and a constitutional order of the country with the help Eritrea and other anti-Ethiopia forces. This is because, to get involved in Ethiopian politics, whether through opposing or supporting, is the constitutional right of only Ethiopian citizens. There isn’t any legal right or base for any foreign citizen to meddle in our country’s political affairs. So, whether Ato Andargachew is Ethiopian or British, there is no legal framework that will allow him not to face the law for the terror acts he committed – be it in our country or in others. The British government won’t say that an Ethiopian committing terror acts in Britain will not face the law because he’s a foreigner, and the same rule applies to Ato Andargachew as well.

And considering this international reality, there will be no problems that will arise between the two friendly countries, unlike what Miss Anna Gomes, the close friend of the terrorist “Doctor Economist” is propagating. In fact, I believe both countries will cooperate under the circumstance considering they work as partners in the fight against terrorism. This is because our country will inevitably extradite a person that has involved in terror acts to London, should the circumstance occur. What will help substantiate this statement is the recent visit of British MP and British aid minister, Miss Lynne Featherstone, to Addis Ababa and the meeting she held FDRE Prime Minister Ato Hailemariam Desalegn. And at this meeting she affirmed that her government will continue with its support and aid, in which it gives 300 million pound a year to Ethiopia. And this not only shows that the relationship of the two counties is founded on a solid base, but it deflates the hopes of Miss Anna Gomez and her close friend the “Doctor Economist” – the arrest has fumed him as well.

In other side, it should be known that getting involved in acts of terrorism, whether it’s done under the cover of a journalist or as a member or leader of a political party, would not save anyone from facing the law. And this concerns some members and leaders of the opposition camp with panache for terror antics, who by manipulating their constitutional right to organize, they had worked to sabotage the same constitution by collaborating with terror groups like the lights of ‘Ginbot 7’.  Here I should like to remind you that the terror group has allocated about 100 thousand dollars for “peaceful” struggle out of the 500 thousand dollars given to it by Shabiya as part of its six month terror expense. This will help shade light on the real personality of some members of the opposition and journalists (who operate under the guise of “peaceful” struggle).

It’s not clear whether the terror group is ‘Semayawi Party’, who the group itself claim to support financially for its sinister plots; ‘Medrek’ whose scrap parties does nothing except to quarrel incessantly; the riot-crazed ‘Andinet Party’; politicians who operate under the guise of religion or any of those oppositions who play a double game by pledging to operate “peacefully” while getting involved in illegal exploits. This include those so-called “journalists” who propone the agenda of extremists at every newspapers and magazines they can get their hands on. All in all, nobody can be sure if/whether some of our country’s opposition or so-called “journalists” did carry out the agenda of anti-Ethiopian forces, who want to see our country weakened, either directly under the command and salary of ‘Ginbot 7’ or indirectly under the disintegration strategy of the Eritrean government.     

I will raise two instances. The one Professor Beyene Petros and Merara Gudina at one time unintentionally said in the open. Professor had at one time said, “The Diasporas abroad want us to overthrow the government by giving us 50 dollars each.” … What this implicates is that while his party pledges to operate peacefully here, it was at the same time was canoodling with forces that want to sabotage the constitution by taking 50 dollars a person from extremist diasporas. I drew this conclusion by basing on the Professor’s words itself.

As its known, at one time some Diasporas, either knowingly or unknowingly, had been enchanted by the terrorists Dr. Berhanu and Ato. Andargachew. At the time the Professor made his comment, and before the Diaspora community marginalized ‘Ginbot 7’ after discovering their true colors, they were manipulated by the terror group. Although the Professor said what he said, it can safely be said that they (and his party) used to receive the money ‘Ginbot 7’ given to them by the extremist Diasporas, fully aware of its source. The fact that his partner in crime and the other portion of ‘Medrek’ party Dr. Merara Gudina, when faced the question “why are you in contact with Dr. Berhanu Nega when you have pledged to operate lawfully?”, answered back by saying ‘ I have the right to initiate contact with whomever I wanted’ should also be looked in this light. Here it should be asked, is the terror master plan Dr. Berhanu Nega is envisaging to execute sitting from America include ‘Medrek, ‘Andinet’ and ‘Semyawi’ parties – only time will tell.

All in all, if there are some local oppositions who are playing a double game, receiving financial support from terrorists while pledging to operate peacefully and lawfully, they should be aware that this act is not only supporting terrorism but also they are part of the unsuccessful plot; which pits Eritrea as the buffer and anti-Ethiopia forces as the financial sponsors, to hinder the construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam. And it should be noted that this act; promoting the agenda and interests of foreign forces while pledging to operate peacefully, will not sit very well with Ethiopian people.

As there is no opening for our public’s resource and wealth to be wasted or mocked by letting the oppositions operate both within and outside the constitutional order – the risks and danger is grave.

Today, exercising their right to organize the constitution has bestowed upon them, there are many oppositions, journalists and other related professionals operating in our country.  However, the government has repeatedly stated that some of them have strong ties to terrorists. As it’s known, there isn’t any organ of the government that interferes in the activities these forces undertake to realize their objective. When, either the parties or journalists issue any statement or write any article on any national issues, there isn’t any party or person arrested for reflecting their views except for being given suggestion by the concerned bodies. Unfortunately, some members and leaders of the opposition or those who masquerade as journalists couldn’t use this blessed work positively. They have taken the alternative – misusing it to forward terror plots and acts. And this act of theirs is prohibited by the land’s law. They can’t merge the line between what’s lawful and what’s unlawful. And will be held by the law if they act otherwise, be it a politician or a journalist.

Its important here to note that everyone is equal in the face of the law. A law or provision is passed (enacted) equally for everyone to abide- be it a politician, musician, engineer, physician, priests, soldiers etc ...  As it known anywhere in the world anyone cannot be above the law- unless it’s stipulated in the law to do so. If the people's activity is not controlled by rule and law, then citizens have no guarantee of safe living. In a country where there are no guarantees of safe living, it will reach a point in which anyone won't be able to move freely. Givers and takers will only be the few powerful. And this powerful will inevitably create a 'master and slave' system.

Therefore in order to protect this kind of system from being established and to ensure peace and stability, there needs to be 'rule of law'. So whether a person is member of any opposition party or a so-called journalist, he/she can't be above the law in a country where 'rule of law' governs supreme. Now let us move to the part where I will probe into what implications the arrest of Ato Andargachew has on ‘Ginbot 7’ and the inevitable fall behind of the organization.

As we all know the group of the terrorist “Doctor Economist” is a set of BANDAs, traitors of their country, who work for foreigners for money. On top of this, although it may seem that it’s the Asmara administration that is financially sponsoring the terror group, it’s obvious that its anti-Ethiopia forces who are running the show from behind. And Ato Andargachew is known to move finance and train terrorists to infiltrate in to the country – under the command of Ato Isaias. Here I would like to remind my dear readers that various Media outlets have reported that the Eritrean leader entered a heated exchange with the Yemeni officials on the hopes of stopping the terrorist from being extradited to Ethiopia. However, it’s not surprising to hear this considering they are partners in crime.

All in all, if we are to weigh ‘Ginbot 7’ in contrast to its former exploits, we’ll see that it’s in a downfall. When we look into the character of the lackey Doctor or his terror group, there are some questions to be raised with regards to their character. At one time sitting afar in the United State, the terrorist slash Doctor has confirmed that he’s power-crazed by claiming he will work even with the devil if needs be. Nevertheless, these people and their organization hasn’t amounted to nothing expect lackeying for the Eritrea regime and serve them as a shooting stone. Considering the “Master Doctor” (sarcasm) don’t have the diplomatic savvy to begin with except to sell his country to the highest bidder, he has always been disappointed. Not knowing that his antics has no place in this New Ethiopia; a country in a fast lane to development, didn’t help his case either. The likes of Ato Andargachew; who established an organization under the supervision of Eritrea and other anti-Ethiopian forces with a hoax rumor mill of a news piece by the name of ESAT with a questionable editorial policy, still thinks in the mindset of the days of the second world war where they assume the public is manipulated and deceived by mere propaganda and by disseminating bogus rumors. These people, who live off on the backs of Ato Isaias Afwerqi, don’t know anything about democracy except for cheap brags and spreading rumors. They are disappointments who canoodle with riot and terror crazed forces that are bent in seeing a disintegrated and weakened Ethiopia.

I hope the readers of this article understand how much these people are the enemy of our country. Although the leader of this BANDA group conceived it in Pennsylvania, USA and bears it at the terror world in Asmara, he’s not even able to lead this havoc squad competently judging by the split of the organization in to separate groups.

According to the people who deserted the terror group at various times, Ato Andargachew came to prominence because of his willingness to work with all the anti-Ethiopian forces including with those groups that don’t mesh both in objective or operation. In fact these deserters claim that, with regards to running the Ethiopian Issue, he isn’t far from sharing power with Ato Yemane Gebreab (a.k.a ‘Menki’), the close ally and advisor of Ato Isaias and head of  the terror campaign of the Asmara squad. Of course a person or a group who is willing to sell his own country for money cannot amount to anything but serve as a lackey for others.

Of course the wish of the “Master Doctor” (sarcasm) is to fly his way to power under the backs of Ato Isaias and be the puppet of Ato Isaias and to the anti-Ethiopia forces behind him. However, the only way to power is through a democratically competed election, and not by the ointment of the Asmara havoc squad, who itself is in its death bed. The ultimate sovereign power of our country – the people of Ethiopia – has for the last four consecutive elections elected the people of its choosing – by discarding anti-constitutional forces like our good old “Doctor”. Today on the eve of the fifth general election - It has been ten years since the people of Ethiopia casted off the “Doctor” and his minions. And it would be behoove of the “Doctor” lackey and his BANDA squad to understand that it’s impossible to get the consent of the Ethiopian people back – after all ‘anything that’s spitted out, will not be swallowed back’. They should know that a terror group that can’t even protect itself cannot be fit enough to be the people’s shepherd.