Ethiopia: Is it the drought that causes the deaths or the dictatorial dynasties?
The term Dictatorship means: “A form of government in which absolute power is concentrated in a dictator or a small clique; a government organization or group in which absolute power is so concentrated; a despotic state.”
Source: Merriam-Webster Dictionary
It is fundamentally important when governing any variety of semi-fascistic state to ensure that your subjects, citizenry, call them what you will, are absolutely unlikely to depose you. The habitual technique of achieving this situation is by applying brute force. In some cases a dictatorial regime might be held together by the threat of the gun, however this is inherently unstable. Thus, most dictators obstruct human rights, proscribe or limit freedom of speech, lawful assembly, and freedom of the press. Many dictators also prohibit elections entirely. Many others rig elections or blatantly force people to vote for the government’s pre-chosen candidates. In despite of denying citizens’ numerous basic freedoms, many despotic regimes or what I call coarse coalitions call themselves “people’s republics” or “people’s democratic.” The kind of rules employed by unpopular regimes mentioned above only invite armed rebellion; they result lack of social development; or worse they expedite the creation of bigger muscles to overthrow their dictatorial dynasties.
A substitute approach, also very popular with megalomaniacs from all Four Corners of the world, is to convince the oppressed that oppression is actually the best form of governance. In practice, this method can be so effective that the downtrodden and oppressed people will even fight to defend the oppressing state. Most dictatorships are established through violence, force, and sometimes-political trickery. Colonel Mingistu Haile Merriam, for instance used these methods effectively while serving as Military Ruler of Ethiopia from 1974-1991. He used to maintain his power through vicious military force and massacred thousands and thousands, if not millions, of Ethiopians both military men and civilians. Similarly, the current ruler of Ethiopia-moribund Meleze -does the same. In reality, Melez and his cronies, seem to have borrowed a leaf from the past and in particular Mingistu Haile Merriam’s book. The lone reason for the savagery and repression behaviors evident in many regions such as Ogadenia, Oromia and Sidamo to name but a few, by Melez’s pitiless military recruits are a prime example of desperate dictatorial tactics.
One could plausibly argue that the reason why many people in Ethiopia have fallen victims to drought, starvation, and war is undoubtedly, the cause of the current ruling regime’s policy based on controlling and manipulating people both economically, and politically using all means and ways at its disposal. The immediate concern for Ethiopia’s advertisement of the famine threat, however, is for the advantaged TPLF (Tigranian People’s Liberation Front) ruling elements to divert and distort Food Aid to feed the large number of oppressing forces stationed in many military garrisons throughout the country. On the other hand, they would like to use food donated by the international community as a lethal weapon to deprive the starving people, especially those who oppose the regime or sympathize with the armed opposition, food. In contrast, people who will get food aid donated by the international community through the TPLF government is those who bow to the regime’s policies based on “obey or out.” Consequently, the Ethiopian people are evidently victims of an enigmatic crime engineered by the despotic regime in Addis Ababa led by Prime Minister Meleze Zenawi.
Evidence on the ground point to the fact that the Ethiopian people are suffering from TPLF terror and it’s tyrannic tenets rather than a natural drought and destituteness. Many among the oppressed ethnic groups in various regions such as Ogadenia and Oromia are on melee against the malevolent regime in Addis Ababa. These people are always fighting for their freedom, and justice. Apparently, it’s their sole source of hope to fight and resist for survival and existence to live a life without havoc, hunger, and panic.
Indigenous inhabitants from regions such as Ogadenia, Oromia, Afar, and Sidamo live under well-documented and inconceivable harsh conditions. Amnesty International, in its 2002 world report (http://web.amnesty.org/web/ar2002.nsf/afr/ethiopia!Open) described eloquently the problems faced by inhabitants of the above mentioned regions. The report states in part:
At least 31 people were killed and over 3,000 arrested during rioting in April. Armed conflict continued within Ethiopia between government forces and Oromo and Somali opponents; many human rights violations by government troops were reported. Suspected rebel supporters were detained, tortured and extrajudicially executed. Several thousand remained in detention; some had been held for years without charge or trial. Journalists, human rights activists, demonstrators and other critics of the government were arrested. Most were held without trial, although some received unfair trials. During local elections in March, April and December scores of opposition party supporters were subjected to intimidation, beatings and arbitrary arrest…
What Amnesty International described above could be said is a basically a systematically planed strategy intended to subdue people and make them conform to Tigranian domination.
Many people could strongly argue that the root cause of lack of development and political instability in Ethiopia is due to the arrogance and tyrannical attitudes of the Abyssinian rulers against other ethnic groups who live in what is nowadays known as Ethiopia. To me the fore-mentioned is a vindication of an old man’s wisdom or saying, which says; “The more you hold down a man; the more you stay down with him.” This saying reminds me the other axiom by the famous former United States President Abraham Lincoln, “Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves, and, under a just God cannot long retain it.” In addition John F. Kennedy said, “…the enemies of man: tyranny, poverty, disease, and war it self.” In the case of Ethiopia, poverty, disease, tyranny, and the perpetual wars are the by-products of Abyssinian rulers. One could, as a result, plausibly argue that Abyssinian rulers’ extensive denial of people’s rights and freedoms put the whole nation its current position of being the most retarded and paralyzed country in the world. Moreover, the bad policies implemented by the above mentioned rulers resulted the ongoing or the perpetual catastrophes, such as the unceasing droughts, war, and the large number of Diaspora’s who live outside Ethiopia.
Ironically, the International Community has never come up with any sincere strategy or
thoughtful solution that can address overtly or covertly the root causes of Ethiopia’s chronic droughts, diseases, and mal-governance that engulfed(ing) millions of the nation’s population. Incongruously, they (International community) always furnish food aid into the wrong hands of unpitying and ill-prepared regimes in Addis Ababa and forget about the fundamental problems. The reality is that people in Ethiopia need an enduring way out with freedom and better system of governance. One of the better ways to address the problem and prevent these disasters from bringing harm to people is for people to live in peace, and freedom and without forgetting that they will have to account for everything perpetrators do.
Furnishing food aid to famine victims while not attempting to understand why famine is the rallying cry of successive Ethiopian regimes is comparable to a doctor who prescribes medicine for his/her patient without a proper examination of the illness. Thus, it does seem paradoxical to distribute food to the needy people without understanding the root causes of the ever-present famine threat and other issues that do affect the lives of the poor and needy people in impoverished regions such as Ogadenia. Trucking food aid from Berbera, which is thousands of miles away, is not a lasting solution to the famine crisis. Let the international community ask itself an honest question. How long will it continue to send food aid from thousands of miles away to feed millions of people made to deliberately starve by a hostile and heedless regime in Addis Ababa?
Finally, without the constitution of a proper distribution system, it will be most probable that the food donated by the international community will not reach its intended target: The poor and needy citizenry of regions such as Ogadenia, Oromia, Afar and Sidamo.
Ogaden Online Editorial Board