May 30, 2011

VOA reports Tinsae Ethiopia’s action (audio)

Filed under: Azeb Mesfin,Ethiopia,Meles Zenawi — ethiopiantimes @ 12:56 pm
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Voice of America (VOA) reports that Woyanne propaganda official refutes Tinsae Ethiopia’s claim that its members cut off power lines in western Ethiopia. Listen below or click


Ethiopia still divided ethnically in 20th Meles anniversary

Filed under: Azeb Mesfin,Ethiopia,Meles Zenawi — ethiopiantimes @ 11:10 am
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Mostly gathered from the ethnic Tigrayan dominated districts of Addis Ababa, thousands of pro-government demonstrators celebrated Ginbot 20 in the Ethiopian capital city. Ginbot 20, meaning May 28 in the Amharic language, was the day Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s rule officially begun 20 years ago in 1991. Observers say the Ginbot 20 pro-government celebration was another example of how much Ethiopians are divided ethnically and which ethnic group the government has benefited the last 20 years.

In other Ethiopian regions outside the capital city, government employees and ruling party cadres quietly celebrated the day in their ethnic enclaves, mostly secluded and isolated from the rest of the country, according to witnesses. The Tigray state capital of Mekelle was the only other Ethiopian region that saw significant pro-government celebration on Saturday.

Critics of the government say that out of the three most influential ethnic groups in Ethiopia, only the Tigrayans are the most united people religiously and politically. While the ethnic Tigrayans showed their unity Saturday, the majority of Ethiopians showed deep lack of unity as the planned massive “Beka” anti-government demonstration failed to materialize. After seeing peaceful demonstrations end up with bloodshed and massacres in Addis Ababa, Ambo, Awassa and other Ethiopian cities, the recent nationwide call for an Arab-style “day of rage” on Saturday was ignored by many Ethiopians. Early in May, opposition politician Berhanu Nega said he hopes to return to Ethiopia “by the next Easter Holiday after the Meles regime is removed by the people.” However, observers say this is unlikely to happen soon.

“Legacy of disappointments”

Analysts say the one-ethnic dominated government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is likely to continue ruling the country with little resistance. “Despite some high profile Tigrayans defecting to the opposition, the Tigray ethnic group remains overwhelmingly supportive of the Meles ruling party” said political analyst Kemal Abdisa. But according to him, 20 years after the Meles government came to power claiming to liberate Ethiopians from the Marxist Mengistu Hailemariam, most Ethiopians still view May 28 as the day when a US-backed dictatorship replaced a Soviet-backed dictatorship. Both the Meles and Mengistu Ethiopian governments of the last 40 years are famous for droughts, wars, rubber stamp parliaments, corruption, human rights abuses and for making up economic statistics.

Some Critics say, instead of ruling the country with an iron fist and fear, Meles could have earned the people’s genuine support. Meles had many missed big opportunities to improve his legacy the last 20 years, according to Kemal. Other than the key transitional period in the early 1990s, Meles failed to appease nationalists by regaining Assab port from Eritrea and also failed to share power with the opposition after the historic 2005 election period. He missed another big chance to allow democracy by sharing power with the Medrek opposition party, which had famous ethnic Tigrayans inside its top ranks. “Meles Zenawi’s last chance to save his tarnished legacy was with a new Nile river treaty but he is bowing down to Egyptian pressure and betraying other poor African nations who need to use the Nile” added Kemal.

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