On August 21, 2012 the dictator Meles death was announced by Woyane’s media. The past few weeks Woyane’s sponsored mourning program included wheeling the sick out of hospitals, forcing the political prisoners to cry for the dictator death (not only two kinds list more if not all, old, homeless, etc.). Prisoners that do not obey the mourning order were beaten up. This shameful orchestrated mourning event appears to be ended on 9/2/12. It is well known fact the dictator TPLF ethno-centric leaders have an extensive system of informers throughout the country which monitor political views. The informants and the political cadres were used in harassing and intimidating people who have opposing view. A country where political opposition parties are constantly intimidated, jailed and killed and the press is a mouth piece of the regime, it is understandable some residents of Addis has very little option except to go along with orders in mourning Meles. People were literally instructed to praise the government and perpetuate the personality cult of the deceased Meles. In short, Woyane gave all the credit to their deceased leader Meles. No doubt, this latent discontent will result in spontaneous uprising.
Life in Stalinist state of Ethiopia is shaped by many of Meles’s whims. The TPLF ethno-centric leaders did 24 hours ETV news coverage of his death. It was self-aggrandizing propaganda to cover up the regime 21 year’s tyranny crimes. The propaganda paints Meles as a “champion of robust economic growth”, “a visionary”, “a Supreme Leader” etc. We know it is bogus and facts on ground demonstrate the economic situation is painful for vast majority of citizens. He was brutal dictator who repressed for nearly two decades and became a notorious symbol of human rights abuse and corruption. Other prominent international experts on this subject describe him as a de facto absolute dictator. He exercised total powers that are not limited by his own constitution or by the law.
Meles claimed to be a Marxist and he denies the comfort of life after death. He abandoned a religion long time ago, so why was he buried in Orthodox Church cemetery, which is contrary to his Marxist belief? Is it another technique in order to hoodwink the donors countries? Or is it an attempt to reconcile with the Church most powerful and enduring belief “there is life after death”. It might be too late for that. And it is too contrary of the teaching of Orthodox Church to bury an atheist in a Church compound. Unfortunately, the Orthodox Church was weakened by regime with cooperation of pro-TPLF deceased leader Abuna Paulos.
It is disappointment to listen misleading statements made by few African leaders and others praising the dictator’s Meles the same way as TPLF ethno-centric leaders propaganda machine. It is also evident that several African countries are undemocratic and oppressive regimes. Perhaps most of these Leaders are not expected to make an accurate assessment about Meles’s dictatorial rule. Because they themselves are too abusive to their own people, they kept praising the dictator throughout the funeral ceremony. Of course, their statement is repugnant to the majority of the people. Shame on them! But for many, Ethiopia is still where democracy remains elusive, human rights abuses continued, opposition political leaders, independent and free media personnel’s are languishing in prison. There is common grievance in all parts of country such as corruption, illicit accumulation of wealth by political cronies, etc., although the TPLF ethno-centric leaders were covering up all their past crimes with well-organized of deceptions schemes.
But all facts are well documented with Ethiopia Human Rights organization, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International. Various reports cited victims by name and described the ghastly circumstances of their deaths, beatings, disappearances to the Meles security forces.
Everyone hope the passing of Meles could be a time of cooperation with opposition parties, and opportunity for a transition to genuine democracy. In fact some of us would like to give EPDRF the benefit of the doubt to opening up political space, unfortunately the official press of TPLF ethno-centric leaders stated that there would be no political or policy reforms. This is very troubling and political unwise statements. Obviously, the EPDRF regime is facing dire domestic problems such as: growing unemployed youth, grave violations of Human Rights, arbitrary detentions, and a society torn by ethnic conflict. In the face of these and others grave danger, they should signal to begin a national dialogue with civil society. It should not be a country where democracy has simply failed to thrive. The “fair minded” members of EPRDF might have no power under Meles one man rule. He is gone now; they are called upon to join the work for better Ethiopia. They may be frustrated inside like most of us. But it is time stand up to stop undemocratic practice for the sake Ethiopian people. If this is not done quickly, EPDRF will have similar fate of Saleh’s government of Yemen, Gadhafi of Libya and many other dictators.
Recent news indicates that the death of Meles created power struggle among the EPDRF circle. Power struggle could yield to other TPLF’s dictator. The country is at critical transitional period. We are facing an uncertain future. The “fair minded” members in EPDRF must take this opportunity to be successor, and then call a national dialogue with opposition’s parties to establish new democratic republic of Ethiopia. The Diaspora should take stronger stand in unity in voicing the needs and demand of Ethiopians. “When spiders web unite, they can tie up a lion” as they say. The political future of Ethiopia may well hinge upon each of us. EPDRF is walking on a tight rope. If the Diaspora managed to establish a broad unity it will help to advance the fight to guarantee equal rights for all.