Letter from Ethiopia - April 2002 - Miazia 1994

By Dandew Serbello - April 20, 2002


My dear friends and fellow citizens, 

My apology for the letter interruption goes to you all. (We have frequent power interruptions these days in Addis, no sarcasm please.) I have read all your posts. I too have missed you. Now we are back on line. Cheer up and read me. Many of you think my letters are too short.  We have to find out some ads, you and me. You know how things work. Here in Ethiopia the media hammers over a post-mortem case that is boring us to death. You all know better than I do from the web posts, how the actors played the drama. I prefer to tell you the reactions at least at my favorite hangout. The whole Saturday ETV screen was transmitting a special program. The members of the innermost echelon of power were assembled in a hall and listening to the demonstrations by the foreign lawyers who had prepared for over a year to defend Ethiopia’s case. From their accents, I guessed two of them were Americans and one was English. The demonstration was in power point slides that summarized a 127-page book prepared and tagged confidential.

The transmission was interrupted late in the afternoon to announce the verdict of the Commission. The foreign minister came late to give the live press release. He did not seem to feel well. He was mumbling a little bit. He said the arbitration commission has ruled in favor of Ethiopia. His facial expressions did not reveal what he was saying. I thought he was late because he needed some time to calm down his emotions be it joy or sorrow. He called out some names like Badme, Zalambessa and so on and he said these are under Ethiopia’s domain. He did not mention how many towns Ethiopia claimed and how many of them she lost.  In their hurriedness, the actors forgot their own making of the so-called parliament. They ought to have taken the premeditated verdict to the House to make the drama more artistic. They goofed in this respect.  One fellow conjectured that the Tekezie Hydropower project that produces over 75% of the total power in the country is being built at the expense of the rest of the country for the future use of Tigray-Tigrign Republic. They intend to be free from depending on the hydropower generation of Ethiopia proper and even earn foreign currency from the sales to the Sudan. The two friends take Assab port as a matter of life and death.

They want to control the central part of the country for obvious reasons vengeance not excluded. They made it a point to play down the importance of a port to the national security of the country and brought it down to the level of a commodity. They threaten all who raise the question. As if to test the drama’s effect, they told us that a large number of people wanted to express their jubilation. The Lord Mayor gave permission. The next day saw one of the most embarrassing moments for this government. Only a score of paid loyalist took to the streets and there were no more than a thousand of them at the Masqual Square. Mobility of traffic was not disrupted. This is indeed a telling message. Many people are now turning their backs. The media is indeed a peaceful power to reckon with. I think people are beginning to realize they are being governed by the most intelligent business cartels the world has ever witnessed. In short, they are parasites that live on the mainland to liberate their regions. This is reflected in whatever projects they plan to undertake.  Take the railway project from Port Sudan to Addis for example. A line intended to connect Makele with its partner and neighbor. The war was a camouflage intended to move all the fighter planes and tanks and other armors to Tigray. Now the scapegoat is the OLF. They try to divert attention of the people. The present rule will go down in the annals of history as the most liberation scandal that ever was, they say.  Well, many things worry us. That will do for now.

Thanks for staying with me.

 

Dandew Serbello from Sidist Kilo



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