Friday, May 30, 2008

A leader with no heart and a nation with no rage

By Ephrem Madebo

“The marriage of of leader with no heart and a nation with no rage is a recipe for disaster” My father

In 1991, Zenawi handed Ethiopia’s port of Assab to Eritrea against the will of the Ethiopian people. In 2002, he obstinately gave Bademe to Eritrea after shading the blood of thousands of brave Ethiopians. In 2008, he gave a large strip of land to Sudan. In 2010, 2012, and in 2014 ... What else, and who knows? Does anyone want to know what is left in Zenawi’s gift bag? Well, it is you; it is me; our children, our legacy, and everything that we’re proud of having. Recently, after he gave a good part of Gondar to Sudan, PM Meles addressed the parliament to explain his action. This is what he said:-“The demarcation of the Ethiopia-Sudan border will not displace anybody on either side”. Surprisingly, the applaud in the comatose parliament sounded as if Omar al-Beshir was addressing the Sudanese parliament. What a same! I don’t blame Meles; the problem is all with us. Meles observed us for 17 years and he saw in us what he eagerly wanted to see. Hey, wake up Habesha! Meless’ next move is to export our wives to Dubai and Abudabi and tell the parliament - Don’t worry they will not sleep with another man. Sorry for the foul language, but this is what is looming and I can’t hold it anymore. After all, the plot is on my country!

Oh! My God! What is wrong with the Ethiopian parliament? What is it composed of? Representatives of the people, or a bunch of nitwits that blindly follow the blind move of Meles Zenawi? I can buy your notion of party loyalty, but there is no party loyalty that defies national responsibility. Your ultimate loyalty is to your country, not to your party. Constitutionally, in Ethiopia, sovereignty resides in the parliament i.e., parliament is the ultimate legislative body in the country. Article 8.3 of the constitution states: “Sovereignty shall be expressed through the peoples' representatives, elected by them in accordance with this Constitution, and through their direct democratic participation”. In 1998, the Ethiopian parliament approved a war bill to liberate Bademe. In 2002, the same parliament approved a bill that handed over liberated Bademe back to Eritrea. Dear honorables and fellow country men, do you know that Meles has no business of defining the Ethiopian border? Territorial and border issues are considered only by you [parliament]. You were supposed to be the last line of defense to Ethiopia's unity and territorial integrity; yet, last week, when Meles Zenawi told you that a land has been awarded to Sudan, you applauded just like a fool that missed the joke, but laughed anyway. As long as a bill comes from Isayas Afewerke [through Meles] to annex Tigray, I have no doubt that our lousy ‘yes only’ parliament will gladly pass the bill. Dear honorables, when you as a legislative branch agree with Meles 100% of the time, our nation needs one of you, not both. At least my readers will agree because it’s less of an evil.

Thanks to our fathers and forefathers, the name Ethiopia was synonymous with national pride and valor. I wonder if this is still true and if we still call ourselves the sons and daughters of Tewdros, Menelik, Abdissa, and Balcha. Each of these heroes died so that we can live valiantly today. Actually, they didn’t die; they gave a new beginning to Ethiopians and continuity to Ethiopia. All of these heroes have one thing in common – They all loved Ethiopia more than themselves! Do we? Tewdros and Menelik created a larger Ethiopia. Balcha and Abdissa maintained the greatness of Ethiopia. Emperor Haile Selassie was a failure in his domestic polices and the one who replaced him was a failure in everything. However, both Haile Selassie and Mengistu fought with unmatched tenacity to make sure that each inch of land that belonged to Ethiopia stayed within Ethiopia.

Today, we have a leader that gives our land to outsiders and tells us about a GDP growth to keep us passive. I’m afraid, if our land is sold at this rate, I don’t care if our economy booms or explodes, by the time Ethiopia grows in to the group of middle income nations, there will be no more Ethiopia. All of our past national leaders settled or solved territorial problems before they become national emergency. Emperor Yohannis made a one-way journey to Metema, and “Emeye” Menelik traveled all the way to Adwa to stop aggressor. Today, we have a leader afflicted with psychosis that gives our land to a foreign nation and addresses his parliament to justify his wickedness. If a psychotic glib tongue from no where has the heart to justify the breakup of our country, then either we are created with no heart what so ever, or our existence has no justification. An existence that can not be justified has no value and purpose; and when life is so empty and filled with invariable misery, I think it is worth sacrificing if for the good of the next generation. Are we scared of dying? Well, we all died long time ago when we quietly allowed Meles to realize his dream, so why fear the past? By the way, the strength of our enemy emanates from our fear and weakness. If Mandela was scared of dying, apartheid would have still been the norm in his country; and he wouldn’t have lived to be the first black president of South Africa. Are we scared of losing our property or wealth? Forget wealth or property! We are on the verge of losing mother Ethiopia. What more can we loose? No more hallucination! Ethiopia is making her last call from a virtual grave, let’s wake up and answer the call.

There is no human being that snores when his/her life is in jeopardy, and there is no nation that has no will to fight when its sovereignty is endangered. Why should we? It is true that Ethiopia is a country where principle dominates emotion. This has been proved in the 1960 coup d’état, in the 1974 revolution, and in the very dangerous days of 1991 when we virtually had no government for almost a week. It is good to be a nation of principle, but it is also very important to blend principle with emotion when the moment is right. Emotional reactions are not inherently bad, wrong, rude, or immature. They can often add valuable context to our struggle, making the human element impossible to ignore. The TPLF mobs have hurt us, angered us, and belittled us for seventeen straight years. I don’t understand why our anger doesn’t grow in to rage. Rage, especially now, in this most crucial time of our history, is the most important emotion to heal. Yes in deed, range is necessary to heal a nation that suffers from past and present wounds. Mind you, like I said it above, we are not healing rage when we use angry words in scathing articles. When principle fails to work due to lack of reciprocity, rage is the only way that carries our ability to say NO! Rage helps us to rise to the occasion and forces the bad guys to follow principle.

Is it PM Zenawi’s never-ending conspiracy against our country and his disrespect to the people that shapes Ethiopia of the new millennium, or our determination to continue as a nation? Whose will is stronger; his, or ours? This is not about Tigray, Gondar, Sidamo, or Wellga etc, this is about Ethiopia. Our greatness comes from our indivisibility, and our survival as a nation comes from our collective oneness. For many years our response for the treasons of Zenawi has been a little anger, a little cursing, and a little denouncing. Such soft and toothless responses did not and will not stop Meles Zenawi from completing his diabolic mission. Obviously, it is easy to denounce a traitor like Meles, what is not easy is to understand him and to stop him from committing the next harm. Do we understand Meles? If our answer is yes, then we need to stop him from diminishing Ethiopia. Meles can not and must not prevail; all that is necessary for him to prevail is that we keep on acting like a toothless lion.

I wish I had the opportunity to campaign all over Ethiopia and express my emotion by shading my tear like Hilary Clinton. I’ve had many joyous and sad moments in my life, but I have never felt so empty and powerless in my entire life. When you finish reading this article, please don’t just sympathize with me, gnash your teeth, and go back to dormancy. No, please don’t! We all know that the past hasn’t been so easy and there were many wounds that were never allowed to heal. However, you, I, and we as a society have to depart from the past for the sake of a new begging. Forget the past? Absolutely no because the past is a lesson for tomorrow; we just don’t have to dwell on it. When we have a common destination and a common country that we call home, trust is the only relationship of reliance between us. What is trust? Trust is letting others know our feelings, emotions and reactions, and having the confidence in them to respect us and to not take advantage of us. Trust is the ability to let others into our life so that we and they can create a mutual respect, caring, and concern to assist one another in growing, and lifting our nation independently and collectively. Trust is the only way to transform our individual weaknesses into collective strength; therefore, we should trust each other individually and as a group. Ethiopia is much stronger when the Oromos trust the Amharas, and most importantly, our country will be indivisible and her growth shall be guaranteed when all the other nationalities of Ethiopia trust every move of the Amharas and the Oromos.

Ethiopia is a country that fought for the freedom of other countries, but her own people are dispersed around the globe looking for the very thing that they fought for others. Ethiopia had a well-defined border way before the Norman Conquest of England, today; thanks to a thoughtless leader, Ethiopia’s border is being redefined to appease a country created by England at the dawn of the 20th century. Ethiopia is one of the ancient countries that roamed the seas, today, Ethiopia’s 75million people depend on the port of tiny Djibouti while their pig-headed leader tells the world - “the majority of Ethiopians love to be landlocked” Mind you, this is a script from his interview broadcasted to his own people. Yes, you heard me right! Broadcasted to his own people. What a disgrace and what a pathological liar! My fellow Ethiopians, the story goes on and on and on unless we go out of our way to stop it.

As much as we love our adopted culture of outdoor cooking and a journey to the beach, this summer we must hold back ourselves from all summer rituals to redefine our association with our native land. Yes, summer is a time to renew ourselves with the solar power of the sun; but this summer must be a moment of reflection and a time to renew our covenant with our country. This summer we have to choose between “to be” and “not to be”, between respect and disrespect, between Ethiopia and no Ethiopia. If we fail to make the right choice, we will be ridiculed as a human being, humiliated as a nation, and possibly nicknamed - “African Gypsies”. A war has been waged on our identity. My fellow country men/women, this is not just a war; it is a conspiracy to diminish our geo-political importance in Africa. NOT ON OUR WATCH! I repeat, NOT ON OUR WATCH! We are in a promising horizon and in a new millennium. Our nation is in labor, the cramping and the contraction has begun. Let’s induce this unique labor and welcome the birth of a new leader, a leader that loves Ethiopia and restores the pride of Ethipiawinet. A leader that has the wisdom to lead and the loyalty to follow. Fellow Ethiopians, we are confronted with two choices: a choice to die for others, or a choice to see others die. Well, either way we die. When we die for others, we give them hope and a sense of purpose to live. When we choose to see others die, we die, they die, and we all die. Let’s lead by example, let’s make the right choice. True leadership is not the urge to stand above all; it is the urge to stand for all. God bless Ethiopia!


Unknown said...

Thank you for bringing this and other issues about Ethiopia. I am glad you did all that and this about Sudan and Ethiopia. The main point is still you didn't come together to protect our people and our country as one. The parlament in Ethiopia is just only name and no job done for their people or their country. The parliament is there to warm chairs and approve whatever Meles says!!!!

Anonymous said...

I bet you this Sudan/Ethio board issue will defently be the last straw that broke the camel back.

God Bless Ethiopia

Anonymous said...

Melese knows no one will challenge his decision. He knows his cronies are just pupets. He has done lots of damages to the country and the people who doesn't know how to get rid of these modern huligans. The EPRDF majority parlament is a dead body waiting for the Primer to come and bury them. The opposition parlament members are there just to secure their job. They are worthless, they do not unity,they don't fight for their country, leave alone for their constituencey. They are twice dead as the other camp, to see Melese do these all harm to the country. Melese has reached his optimum power level where he now acts like untouchable. I feel sorry to his family and his followers as I see their mental suffering (because they know what he is doing is wrong)and the horrible suffering that will come when the powerful becomes powerless. I am certain he will have the same fate like Mengistu. The later in Zimbabwe and his will certainly be in Ethiopia.
Here is my suggestion to readers. As we are not able to fight this tyrant together, due to the oppositions level of political maturity, we the ordinary people have to fight them with technology. I propose to publish over the net the names of the parlament members who are supporting the Governments unti-ethiopia deeds including the opposition. Push the opposition by to leave the congress. We have to write by name all government officials what they are doing and benefited from EPRDF and disclose their families and let them know what their fate will be once Melese is gone. it needs an update as we get new information.
This is just an idea how to expose these people, as they may have forgotten their future. By nature people start to worry when they are named as an associate to a tyrant. I believe we have to dedicate a web site where to place these information.


Anonymous said...


I think we are dealing with a society which, for many reasons, is not yet capable of genuine democratic grassroots social and political mobilization.

The 1974 revolution was elite/military based. 1991 was elite/ethnic grievance based.

Though the masses claim to be persecuted and angry, they do little about it. The only significant resistance throughout the years has come from identity-based movements, which is not altogether bad, but a far cry from democracy.

It's a bad recipe - the masses sit and stew without taking positive steps, so when the inevitable regime collapse occurs, instead of resulting in democracy, we'll have similar or perhaps worse governance.

The only way to avert this is to take a long-term view and be prepared educate, educate, and educate for years.

The usual way of focusing on the failings of the EPRDF and trying to generate more antipathy has not worked and will not work. The man on the street is plenty angry enough! He just doesn't have the cultural and political wherewithall to translate that anger into positive action. That's what the elites ought to focus on.

Ephrem Madebo said...


You are absolutely right, but this time, I'm not even talking about democracy. I'm talking about a nation quietly watching when a mad leader shapes our border in what ever form he wants. Didn't you hear many people showing their anger on the streets because of the current sky rocking food prices? In our case, the food prices are shooting up and the size of the country is shrinking, action. Depressing. Isn’t it?

Ethio Emblem said...

O Foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? Gal-3: 1-3

In 1983 Melese eight years away from realizing his day dream. The Libyan president Colonel Muhammad Qaddaf was making one of his notorious speeches backed by African map that inked Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Somali & Egypt to the Arab countries at the Seventeen National Summation. He then stated proudly that Melese Zenawi is a Yemeni citizen, pointing at him and Ethiopia is an Arab Country (by the way this was broadcasted on BBC June 10, 1983). Esaias Afewerki and Melese was sitting side by side nodding and grinning like two complete idiots. But no, they weren’t fooling around! Meles wasn’t gullible, and wasn’t making undeliverable promise.

Now some years later, after abrasively and decisively destroying the integrity of Ethiopia and the Ethiopian people he is stepping forward with the most absurd measure that the taste and the after taste of his action will stay for long years to come. Yet, as the article points out “we”, have neither the will nor the wit to challenge his decision.

Agreeing with Epherm's response this isn’t even about political mobilization and understanding and or realizing democratic process, and political power, it is simply watching when Ethiopia’s identity, integrity, history being snatched by this crook in broad day light. There are so many outrageous and yet critical decisions made by Melese regime and yet we have been quite, not just quite there is this sense fascination by it as if what is happening is unreal and one day it will disappear into the thin air and Ethiopia will be back on the fast track. Are we yet in the state of denial? Possibly.

On the other hand as a nation we have been too flaccid to the point of submissive or unflatteringly obedient when it comes to standing or challenging authorities, unless it is a foreign invader. It has always been difficult to realize that the strength of one will only become intrinsically effective with the unity and the power of many. It is sad but real.
So the question remains who bewitched us? Who had tricked us into this mysterious paranoia that no body can be trusted? While Meles is openly using all kinds of methods to divide us and clearly telling us, "You will never come together. you will never challenge me!"

Yes we are all stirred inside; our blood boils in its own little body trapped by fear and luck of trust to one another. Unless we trust each other, on our life, change is a far cry. We have to come together to fight this evil that has no shame until he destroy us and put Ethiopia into the last grave.

As I said above if we only understand that he should be considered as a foreign enemy. If we could only underline the fact that he have been and always will be the enemy of Ethiopia and the people of Ethiopia.

Thanks for bringing this up; the facts are nerve racking, and yet, it is beautifully written.

I dream of an Africa [Ethiopia] which is in peace with itself: Nelson Mandela.

Anonymous said...

Sir you almost always make sense when you talk about Ethiopia. Let me say my penny if it explain our apathy in regard to our country. The fundamental problem with us Ethiopians in general and the fragmented ethnic groups in particular is, we are abused by the system (previous and present) and by the collective silence of people around us to define wrong and right.

The rule of law is not in our vocabulary, as we have seen from the brute force who rule us (that is expected) and the oppositions our fate depended on.

Our past deprived us not to flourish under independent civic institution as an outlet of our dream and aspiration because of insecure and over obsessed tyrants who control every means of our basic survival, made us insecure, venerable, and fearful to exercise our God given basic right as a human being.

I believe, our biggest weakness is dwelling on being a victim of one thing or another, than making those who victimize us and deprive us our right as a degenerate psychopath who live of off our aspiration.

So much on our problem, what is the solution? First thing is first, under no circumstances we should accept any one, in politics, civic or otherwise, who is not accountable to his/her constituency under any rule of law they feel serve their interest. Instituting accountability among ourselves will get us a long way to see eye to eye in confidence and begin the long journey to freedom. Until prominent individuals begin to stand up for a principled mechanism of accountability, the next phase of our struggle would be filled with more sophisticated and scrupulous groups and individuals that mastered the Art of deception.

First thing is first, Accountability, the rest will follow its course by attracting well meaning and high caliber individuals to get us where we want to be. So far we have not seen any organization who resemble accountable. Who is the brave leader to lead the pack or expose them to who they really are.

The tyrant who is teraing us apart can not be an excuse for us not being accountable. In fact, tyrants amoung us are the one who are slowing us to get to the promise land.

Keep the good work and demand accountablity, the only way we can destroy woyane is if we come together as accountable citizens.

God Beless you, keep the good work

Anonymous said...

TPLF will fall. Ethiopians will hurry yet to have another gov't that will bring democracy and justice. But this time the former gov't won't just go away. Guns will be into two camps instead of just one. There will be threats of separating Tigray and SHIMAGLAE's on three sides or more.

Some will feel insulted by the highly educated who can't see the reality other than numbers and figures on papers. For the first time in decades foreign journalists will report a bunch and their reports will be conflicting and they will be dismayed by the attitude of some bitter leaders that have memories of elephants.

If Ethiopia can manage to have a strong military and police force, none of the generals will have good resume to take control of the situation. But The old guard will cry for peace and stability. Papers and websites will mashroom and some of them will name strong leaders whom the others will put down or tear in pieces.

Foreign forces will seize the opportunity and make some temporary gains which the new gov't will have to deal with. In the intial chaos some will wish TPLF came back. But most will push for real change. Worry we all will be if Ethiopia is capable to handle the future that is sure to come?

Some foreigners will be disappointed by the lack of bloodshed but those who know Ethiopia for a long time will insist that the major news media stays and keep on reporting. Ethiopians once again won't be interested in what is being reported and will be caught in the moment. Old ppl will act like kids and kids like veterans.

The calm will eventually come. There will be no national heroes of the movements that got rid of tyranny. The Law will reign and there will be a new constitution.

Just like the battle of Adwa victory minus a Menelik, all Ethiopians will feel proud of getting rid of their fear once and for all times to come.

A hundred years from now, young students in Ethiopia will debate whether it was accepting the nature of Ethiopians and working with it instead of trying to change some negatives of Ethiopian behaviour, at the same time while the battle for justice and democracy was raging, which won the day for their great grand parent's generation which they'll take for granted.

Anonymous said...

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