Comments: Why Meles should step down sooner than later
By Abebe Gelaw
June 15, 2005
The post-election political upheaval in Ethiopia has reached a critical melting point. Once again Meles loyalist troops opened fire on unarmed civilians in the capital killing over 36 people and injuring over a hundred. To add insult to injury thousands of peaceful Ethiopians have been rounded up and detained in torture camps across the country. The atrocity committed against innocent civilians, whose only crime was to protest against injustice, was one of the brutally barbaric acts of a regime in despair. The true natures of Meles the evil, wrongly dubbed by some shallow Westerners as ?progressive?, have now laid bare in full view of the international community.
Meles Zenawi fought his way to the helm of political power through bloodshed. Undoubtedly, he will continue to use brute force to quench his thirst for power and blood. However, one thing remains true, the gathering revolutionary tsunami is poised to sweep away his despotic rule. Sooner or later, Meles, along with his ethnocentric clique, will be flushed down the gutter of history as the God Father of a Mafia group that has plundered, abused, humiliated, divided and took hostage a proud nation with a rich historical and cultural heritage. Being a power thirsty criminal, he suffers from delusion of grandiose; he feels he is unique, born to lead and control the destiny of a nation. He is a dangerous criminal who even turned against almost all the founders of the TPLF.
In collusion with the EPLF, he led a ragtag band of rebels to 'victory' against his predecessor Mengistu Haile Mariam, whose inadequacies and weakness created a hotbed to the emergence of our worst enemies. Meles and Mengistu share a lot of common traits but the former appears to win the contest of the ugly with his borderline personality and hate for a united and strong Ethiopia. Like Ivan the Terrible, the Russian absolute monarch, Meles is a king of great contradictions. He is a great con artist playing a game of the hyena in sheep?s clothing. Shamelessly, he presents himself as an advocate of democracy and equality. Nonetheless, it is an open secrete that he has now made Ethiopians more unequal than ever in their own country. Only himself and his handpicked inner circles, that indulge in the business empires of the TPLF, did enjoy the fruit of their crimes while the rest of the nation have been reduced to impoverished hostages. A typical Orwellian copycat, he ?liberated? us from the Derg and declared: ?All Ethiopians are equal, but some are more equal than others.?
When Meles became leader of the TPLF and chairman of the Marxist Leninist League Tigrai in 1979 under the tutelage and mentorship of his distant cousin Isayas Afeworki, he made it no secret that he hated to see a united Ethiopia that he used to called a 'colonial power.' His declared objective was to secede Eritrea and divide the country into inimical mini-states. In 1993 Eritreans were granted a clear choice in a 'referendum', unseen before in the history of any nation: ?freedom or slavery??
The rest of Ethiopia was given ethnic federalism as a panacea for every sociopolitical quandary. Meles authored a unique constitution, the first in the world to endorse the right of the ethnic states to secession. Even if he is not even willing to respect basic human rights, he generously gave us Article 39: 'The right to self-determination, including secession of every Nation, Nationality and People shall come into effect, when a demand for secession has been approved by a two-thirds majority of the members of the Legislative Council of the Nation, Nationality or People concerned.'
For the last fourteen years, Meles and his henchmen have managed to cling to power by playing a game of divide-and-rule. After the so-called democratic election, Ethiopia is now on the verge another round of turmoil. On the one hand, the people have reunited against its common enemies and voted against members of the ruling party in rural as well as urban areas. On the other hand, Meles and its stooges appear resolute to use brute force to stay in power.
The Meles regime should go without causing more damage and harm against the nation, which has already been ravaged by cycles of war, poverty, pestilence, injustice and famine of a biblical proportion. Ethiopia has been messed up enough by its ruthless leaders. The contributions of Meles and his puppets in complicating, compounding and multiplying Ethiopia?s critical problems have been all the more evident. It remains a regrettable fact that a bunch of rebels, who shed a great deal of blood in the name of freedom, emerged from the bush with all kind of lethal weapons, tanks, machine guns, bombs and AK 47s only to terrorize and enslave their fellow citizens.
Fourteen years have passed since we were told liberated and yet our liberators are perpetrating terrorism shooting indiscriminately, killing, maiming and jailing innocent civilians. The great irony is that Meles has put thousands of red terror perpetrators for committing human rights violation in the aftermath of the 1974 revolution. The Mafia group he is leading needs to be renamed to 'Terrorism Perpetrators Liberation Front' (TPLF). As the people of Tigray have never been liberated but rather fallen under absolute totalitarianism of the TPLF, it is a huge blunder to link TPLF with the liberation of Tigray.
Unfortunately, hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians have perished during the fighting between the elites of Mengistu against the TPLF/EPLF leadership. Nearly one hundred thousand people paid a their lives when Meles fell out with Isayas. What have we gained in the end? Nothing but another cycle of oppression, injustice, tyranny, division, starvation, abject poverty?
It was the American civil liberty movement leader, Martin Luther King Jr., who said: 'It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment.' In the same token, it would be fatal for the TPLF and Meles to ignore the urgency of the moment in Ethiopia, i.e. unity, equality, justice, freedom, democracy and bread for the poor, to say the least. All these critical questions cannot be answered either through bullets or fake ballot papers.
Not only has the narcissist TPLF taken a nation its hostage, but also acted irresponsibly on so many occasions and wasted great opportunities to repent and lead the nation to a better future. Meles should be advised to learn from his gravest blunders which have already established his a place in the gutters of history. Underestimating the power of the people remains one of his gravest and unforgettable transgressions. Meles & CO should learn a lesson from their predecessors.
So far we have proved sufficiently that TPLF?s chosen road is leading us to destruction and suffering. The TPLF terrorist machination should end. It is high time the TPLF handed over the government to the Ethiopian people and let the people decide their fate and destiny. The message of the Ethiopian people has been clearer than ever: 'Enough is enough!' The count down for a popular revolution has already started! It wiser to flee than wait for a harsher popular verdict.