By Guest writer:
Needless to say, the tyrants in Addis Ababa have opened a new chapter that may or may not change the course of history when it comes to Ethiopian politics and possibly that of the region. It also remains to be seen whether this is an act of timely calculated risk or blind act. However, one also may speculate, based on past experience, the current phenomenon is nothing but a continuation of irresponsible and treacherous act of violence against innocent citizens, be it that of journalist, persons of the Amhara, Afar, Ogaden Somalis ethnic groups; opposition members, Oromo students and remotely situated minority tribes, such as the Anwak and other Omo-valley tribesmen who possess fertile lands.
Kidnapping opposition members/leaders or anyone that was seen as a threat to the statuesque in Addis Ababa has been a common practice by the government of Ethiopia. In 2007 Tesfahun Chemeda and Mesfin Abebe, both of whom are member of the Oromo ethnic group and refugees in Kenya at the time of their abduction by Ethiopian and Kenyan security officers. They both were eventually snatched back to Ethiopia and thrown into the notorious ‘MAIKELAWI’ prison with allegation that they were members of OLF (Oromo Liberation Front). Tesfahun Chameda died in 2013 while still in prison allegedly due to torture and malnutrition. Another man who is serving life in Ethiopian prison since 2006 is Bashir Makhtal. He is of Ethiopia’s Ogaden somlai ethnic and a citizen of Canada. He was a business man by profession. He too was kidnapped in Kenya and was taken to Ethiopia. If you wonder what his crime was: just an allegation that he might be a member of ONLF (Ogaden National Liberation Front). There was also the case of Sulub Ahimed and Ali Hussein, members of the Ogaden National Liberation Front. They both were in Kenya upon accepting an invitation by Kenyan Government which claimed to mediate peace talk with their Ethiopian counterpart in January 26, 2014. They too were kidnapped by Kenyan security officers who were allegedly bribed hundreds of thousand dollars by Ethiopian government. Their whereabouts is unknown to this day. Followed was the abduction of Okello Akoy in Southern Sudan with the collaboration of Ethiopian masked security officers and Southern Sudan police force. Mr. Akoy, the former president of the Gambella region of Ethiopia, defected early and fled to Norway where he took citizenship, in opposition to a massacre of innocent members of the Anwak tribesmen by the locals orchestrated by Ethiopian security force.
The abduction, detention and possibly repatriation back to Ethiopia of G7 (Ginbot 7) general secretary Andargachew Tsige is just a continuation of such treacherous act by the government of Woyane in Ethiopia. What makes this recent act exception is the fact that it took place outside of the continent of Africa. Mr Tsige was in transit at Yemen’s Sanaa airport waiting for his next flight to Eritrea when he was abducted by Yemeni’s security officers. Mr Tsige is a renowned political figure both within Ethiopia and the Ethiopian diaspora.
What we should and must pay attention to is the fact that almost each country that was involved in these abductions broke either local or international or both laws. None of the abductees were given a chance of due process to determine whether there is legal ground for their detention and eventually repatriation to Ethiopia. They were not represented by any lawyer nor even given an opportunity to be heard.
We also have to pay attention to the fact that most of these abductees were citizen of other nations, not Ethiopia. Hence if there is legal ground to deport them, it should be to the country of their citizenship. Though they were born in Ethiopia, according to Ethiopia’s current law; one losses citizenship automatically once one becomes a citizen of other nation. Here we are also talking about jurisdiction. Kenya, South Sudan or Yemen for that matter could arrest a foreign citizen if he/she is found committing a crime in either one of these countries.
Now, we should also extend responsibility to the nations where these individuals are citizen of and to that of the international community. These nations did not interfere in the abduction of their citizens, nor did they attempt to halt their repatriation to Ethiopia. The only case that I remember of where these foreign nationals did help their citizen is when they interfered in the arrest of two Swedish citizens (both of whom are white) who were abducted by Ethiopian government in the Ogaden region and thrown to Ethiopian prison. I wonder if there is racial diamension to this.
The international community too failed to do anything about these abductees and other form of arrest and killings of innocent Ethiopians who number in thousands ever since the Woyane came to power. Every single day, there is a killing of Ethiopian citizens by its (Ethiopian government) brute security, police and military forces. The regions of Oromo, Amhara, Afar, Benshangul Gumuz and others have witnessed such ethnic cleansing act by its squads. We also witnessed mass arrest and killing of Ethiopian Muslims whose crimes was nothing other than holding peaceful demonstrations in Addis Ababa, Jima, Desie and other cities in the country. Today, there are thousands of political prisoners throughout the country; among them journalists, legal opposition members and leaders, peaceful demonstrators and etc.
It seems to me that if one is black and/or Muslim, one is irrelevant to the international community and it’s so called democracy and rule of law. Hence, at the end of the day, the solution has to come from within us, blacks and/or Muslims. We have to come together for our own sake; for the continuation of our survival and that of our country, Ethiopia!!! The question is: what is to be done?
We have tried peaceful process to voice for the voiceless. We stood in lines in rain and sun asking for our rights. We rallied in thousands peacefully, yet the response we got was either prison or bullets. We lost so many and continue to lose so many more of our brothers, sisters, fathers sons and daughters. It is our birth right to live on this earth in peace with respect and dignity. Nobody can take them away nor give them to us. They belong to all of us humans. If we cannot live with our birth rights, there is no meaning to continue living. We should hold hands and rise up!! Let’s once more sing, “Ye Oromo Amaraw Yetigrew bemulu; le democracy membet satinetatelu, bereat angibachehu bandinet tagelu”
Yes, I am advocating for armed struggle. You don’t have to belong to any organization; it is something you can do on your own, just like Boko Haram! I hate what Boko Haram does, but I must admit I admire the methodology it uses: no organization, no leader, and each strike on his own. If you catch one, that is where the story ends, you have no lead. You cannot infiltrate it because it is not an organization. You can act like Boko Haram against Ethiopian killing machines and its collaborators such as state media persons, bankers, businessmen, diplomats, cadres, beneficiaries and etc., in Ethiopia or in the diaspora. Yes, you can make any place hell for them. Your strike should also include officials and diplomats of those nations who collaborated with the junta in Addis Ababa by abducting our fellow countrymen.
We must be careful of innocent bystanders, children, and women. We also have to be careful of starting ethnic conflict. This is not to be something against the Tigrean ethnic group; it is against those who are using the name of the group to advance their own power monger interest. Remember, the ordinary Tigreans are as victims as all of us!! If we don’t do this, we are nothing but an average terrorist.
Yes, those of you who believe that you could be more effective if you operate under organization, it is your prerogative. Join, OLF, G7, ONLF and etc. Those of you who believe there is still room for peaceful dialogue; it is also your prerogative. But you need to work harder. You need to be creative because it seems that the international community is not getting it; or I should say, they don’t care because you are black and/or Muslim. Remember, it is the USA, Israel and British who have been funding and training Ethiopia’s brutal security and police force. Remember, it is USA’s weapons and machinery that were used to massacre the over 200 young men and women (most of whom were under 18) in the streets of Addis Ababa during the 2005 election. It is these nations and other so called western democracies that have been arming it (Ethiopian Government) toe to hair. It is also the Chines who have been involved in assisting Ethiopia’s brute security force in using the internet to surveillance citizens and block free press that happened to differ from the ruling junta when it comes to their political view point. Whatever it is you chose to do, I wish us the best.
STRIKE, STRIKE HARD IF YOU WISH YOUR CHILDREN TO SEE A BETTER TOMORROW