Friday, April 23, 2010

Meles out, preferably peacefully...

A widely disseminated statement of declaration from the group that conducted a "Conference on Good Governance, Peace, Security, Sustainable Development in the Horn of Africa" about a week ago had the following paragraph:
[We] have agreed that the quagmires that Ethiopia finds itself are by and large a result of the 19 years of poor political leadership of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi and his TPLF/EPRDF party. We strongly believe that neither peace nor development can be achieved and sustained while Ato Meles Zenawi is in power. Hence, he must immediately exit the Ethiopian political scene, preferably peacefully.
Less than a week after the declaration statement was put out, the paragraph above was replaced with this one:
[We] strongly believe that Ato Meles Zenawi does not enjoy the popular support of the majority of the Ethiopian people and would lose a free and fair popular vote. We are concerned that Ato Meles Zenawi will use force to stay in power. We call on Meles Zenawi to peacefully adher to the will of the Ethiopian people.
This raises some serious questions, least among which is a question about the competency of the individuals who approved the original statement. The first sentence of the first paragraph is only partially true and a bit unfair. Obviously, the last sentence of the first paragraph is a poorly veiled reference to an overthrow of the regime in power. It is beyond me why any group that includes many reputable and experienced individuals would approve such a reckless statement for press release. At least, it is good to know that this group recognized the mistake and corrected it quickly. Sanity has prevailed, it seems.

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