Sunday, October 26, 2008

Intimidating the Opposition

By Fikru Helebo

Mesfin Wolde Mariam, the retired Addis Ababa University professor and former head of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council, is now one of the leaders of UDJ (Andinet) party. He wrote an article recently describing how Ethiopian government security personnel had cornered him in his car in the middle of a busy street in Addis Ababa and tried to intimidate him. You can read the piece at (you need Ethiopic/Geez font). This incident Mesfin wrote about is eerily similar to another story I recently heard about a harassment of an opposition activist who was followed by Woyane security agents every where she went and where, one day, the agents attempted to create a bogus traffic accident with the intention of causing injury.

It is an open secret that the Woyane regime routinely employs various intimidation tactics like these ones above and many others to instill fear in the minds of its political opponents. Sometimes, if the target of the intimidation ignores the message and does not change her behavior or tone down her opposition activities, then the regime uses various extrajudicial methods to eliminate her. Just to mention one example, a vehicle accident was used as a means to kill a top fighter pilot named Daniel Beyene in 2006. Stories like these are prevalent in Woyane's Ethiopia, especially in the aftermath of the crackdown on the opposition after the stolen elections of 2005.

The intimidation regime that the Woyane government has put in place, which I believe rivals that of the Derg, seems to be accomplishing its objective very well, at least in the short term. Tired of the constant harassment and afraid for their dear lives, most opposition activists have fled the country and sought asylum in all corners of the globe. Those who remain in the country either do not have the means to flee the country or have resigned themselves to whatever punishment may come their way. Mesfin seems to be in the latter group. In the long term though, I believe this extreme harassment of the opposition is bound to backfire and help to hasten the demise of the regime itself. Newton's law of physics -- "for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction" -- works in politics, too!


Anonymous said...

the TPLF led regime in ethiopia is not new of intimidation of the opposition in the countery.since 1991 it is no secret that a lot of inocent ethiopian have been killed by brutal regime of the woyane leader wodi melese zemawi,many ethiopians disapperd,many more are inprison this is true face of the woyanes.their intimidation of the opposition will ofcourse strength the struggle of the ethiopian people to bring about democracy.long live to the ethiopian people.

Anonymous said...

Funny thing is 76 year old professor is crying for woyane harassment and telling as if woyane is new for such kind of brutual act. The irony is still he didn't give up to play the game where the result is already known. If he had gut he would have helped Mengistu when he was fighting against woyane-the force that land locked the country. On contrary, I have heard, he was mocking against the man who tried his best to keep the tritorial integrity of the country, that indirectly helped the mission of woyane- land-locking the poor and pwerless country and Tigrian super-racist position. My messages for likes of Mesfin, Beyene petros, Hailu shawol and Bulcha etc just get out of woyane system or don't cry here and there. Those young politicians like of Birtukan must know that they will responsible if they repeat an other mistake by giving a reason woyane to kill already frustrated people of the land.We don't need a old babby but a leaders who have a gut to apply equal reaction for every action and let's lear a lesson from galiant Somali fighters, who fought well organized woyane solidiers by any means possible and wrote an excellent page in the history of somali. if we repeat the same history within the country and I think our unity with diversity and honest indvidual and as well as ethnic equality will be achieved.

I read a comment on aiga comment from Tesfaye Habisso- as he is tying convience as Tigrayans has right to dominate the diverse country- as young decendant of Kambata I felt shame as I read through the motto of his message. Now he is telling us south is hopless and must be slave of Meles Z as it was for past fuedal and we have to beg the notherners to get the system that govern all of us equally yet tigryans has to lead-just a biggest shame from the man whom I think a bit wise-people wake up and fight sellouts first. Now what we need to is fight fiercely and pay due sacrifice and we have every reason to fight woyane-enemy of all Ethiopian nationality and after restoring the terriotorial integrity specially the port, we will talk about democracy.

Anonymous said...

now the tigrians are enjoying while the rest of the population suffering,starving,inpriosned for no aparent reason.they are happy because the woyane leader is with them.these shameless tigrians yesterday they were fighting to split the tigre province from ethiopia,today they are telling us they are ethiopians,and yet did'nt even dismantel their evil organaisation"the TPLF"

Anonymous said...

the mass arest of the oromo people in addis ababa is another chiling story.the TPLF lead regime in ethiopia countinue anleash it's atrocieties against the ethiopian many ethiopian people know their coming was based on lies and decit,these brutal woyanes will never learn from history that they can not govern with out the will of the ethiopian people.soon or later the ethiopian people will prevail.