Does the same old last hour unity conferences and crises summits address the fundamental cause of the problem of Ethiopians to bring down the ethnic Apartheid dictatorship of Woyane that finally declared a States of Emergency to avoid surrender for democratic rule?
by Teshome Debalke
In an earlier article titled “Journalism for dummies and the fainthearted” I attempted to explain the dismal state of the Free Press of Ethiopia and its implication and the role professional journalists must play on behalf of the people of Ethiopia to get to the truth noting but the truth.
I mentioned a few among many make-believe Medias with unidentified clandestine ‘journalists’ throwing mud or putting out fairytale detractions on behalf of one or another party, organization and interest group of their liking or disliking including TPLF and associates. Thus, I conveyed the importance of the Free Press and honorable journalists that respect their profession to seek the truth as the only way that can make freedom, justice and democracy possible for the people, by the people and to the people of Ethiopia.
In short, I attempted to show, the clear majority of Medias in Ethiopia as well as in the diaspora are make-believe with clandestine wannabes journalist and, have no interest in the truth or knowhow to seek the truth so that Ethiopians can decide the right course of action to take against violators of their freedom, justice and democracy regardless who and where the truth may lead.
Unfortunately, Ethiopians are under siege with make-believe Medias led by TPLF operatives and so far, we as people are unable to identify and stop them on their tracks by creating media watchdog to defend and support legitimate Media and countering make-believe Medias’ empty propaganda and fairytales that sustain the rogue regime. What could possibly be the reason not one Ethiopian Media watchdog in the public interest exist all these years?
Likewise, make-believe political parties and civic organizations dismal record and lack of transparency is rampant in contemporary Ethiopia. Though one can argue it is a direct result of misguided ‘modern’ education that produce dysfunctional elites in every sector society to institute basic transparency test to one and all involved in the public interest, it is safe to say no one appears concerned to make violators of the public interest accountable.
The fact it has gotten worse overtime than better is almost impossible to believe how highly educated contemporary elites that run political parties, civic organizations… or Medias refuse to follow the basics transparency required only indicate; their agenda is other than freedom, justice and democracy to the people of Ethiopia but to sustain the status qua for their own benefit.
Therefore; it is becoming increasingly impossible for Ethiopians to distinguish between the real from the fake political party, civic organization… or the Press — consistent as the rogue ruling ethnic Apartheid run political parties, civic organizations… and Medias that are blended together into one — parroting the propaganda and fairytales.
That is abundantly clear when one scrutinize competing political parties and civic organizations that operate in a bubble of their own reality outside the established norm of a formal and accountable organization and the required transparency necessary to earn credibility and legitimacy. Some are bluntly out of touch of the reality to disqualify as formal political party, civic organization or Media. Others appear to be anything and everything for everybody with a catchy slogan with no substance and without reviling who is behind them and their real mission. A few that got it right are muddied or overwhelmed by the confusion the former created to galvanize the people make inroad in achieving democratic rule for the long-suffering people of Ethiopia.
In that regard, on January 8, 2017 article I wrote about a conference call I stumbled on a Media that didn’t make sense what it is about and said; “a conference call on January 14-15 in undisclosed location in Washington DC sponsored by three political groups, Shengo, a collusion of six political parties and civic organizations per its official website, Ethiopian National Transition Congress (www.etntc.org) and Ethiopian Youth National Movement” and showed the lack of transparency in the part of the organizers on what they referred as ‘consultative conference’ to be held with the objective of uniting the ‘democratic forces’ to speak in one voice.
What raised red flag was the undisclosed location of the conference, the absence of the list of the invited parties/organizations and the leaders of the respective sponsoring organizations as well as the Shengo’s six member parties and organizations on their respective official websites’. Therefore, I noted;
“What kinds of party or organization that claim to bring about democratic change hide their leaders from their official website, press releases and official correspondence is why the Free Press is needed to get to the bottom of who-is-who in the affair of the struggle of Ethiopians for freedom, justice and democracy?”
Few days after the article appeared and three days before the conference date a person by the name Dr. Erimeyas Alemu representing Shengo and Ato Seleshi Telahun representing ENTC appeared on ESAT Radio on January 11 to announce the conference date and the location but chose not to identify the parties and organizations invited and the ‘prominent personality’ they claim will attend the conference. Nor did they reviled how the unnamed organization and prominent personalities attending were selected. The only thing they cleared was it would be a closed conference and will give a press conference at the end to unidentified Medias and unspecified time at the end of the conference date of Jan 15.
Quite frankly, I was more confused listening the two leaders’ interview more than when I originally stumbled on the conference call and wondered where to find answers. Nevertheless, with no sufficient information on the official websites of the respective sponsoring organizations nor from the leaders’ interview, the only conclusion I drew was; either the undisclosed invited parties are secret for unknown reasons or don’t exist at all or the whole exercise was a prank to say many parties are under one ambarella organization to send a message to public or undermine other parties. There could be no other possible explanations with information provided. Regardless, the lack of transparency on official website of the respective organizing parties or member parties and the absence of who the leaders may be; any party or organization that come to venue must be known by the organizers to come or privately invited by the leaders to attend the conference. Otherwise, looking at their respective website there is no sufficient information for a party or an individual to decide to accept or reject the invitation. After all, no one accepts invitation from any organization that doesn’t disclose its leaders and credential and stated objective to the public. The question is; why would three organization invite political parties and civic organization without disclosing important information?
Further inquiry found, In 2014 interview on ESAT conducted by Sisay Agina, Ato Akelilue Wondafer referred as Shenog ‘Public Relation and Media head’ and Member of Solidarity Committee for Ethiopian Political Prisoners – Canada (SOCEPP-CAN), a human right advocacy organization established 1995 and one of the six member organization listed on Shengo website speaking on behalf of Shengo’s claimed the need for all opposition parties involved to come together under one umbrella on the struggle. But, according the PR-Media Chairman that claim ‘several’ political parties and civic organizations around the world are members of Shengo couldn’t disclose them beside the six listed on Shengo official website with not much information on their official website if any with unknown officials as of Jan, 20 2017.
But, on 2014 interview one thing stood out more than any on Shengo’s conversational Press Release against the then Ginbot 7 movement and the now Patriotic-Ginbot 7’s strategic decision to operate in Eritrea under Shabia regime to oust the Apartheid ruling Woyane regime as Ato Akelilu argued passionately on the interview.
Yet, one of the member of Shengo is Tigrians Alliances for National Democracy (TAND) (http://www.tand-tesfana.com) led by Argawi Berhe, the Founder and the former Commander of TPLF – that operated in Eritrea that brought TPLF regime — contradicting Shengo’s principle stand not to deal with anybody that compromised the integrity of Ethiopia and her people’s interests as told by PR of Shengo. A stanch supporter of ethnic Apartheid and anti-Ethiopian, Aragawi continue to propagate the same TPLF ethnic agenda with his new found Tigrian Alliances with ‘National Democracy’ added and continue to do same with his unidentified former TPLF comrades.
Regardless, it is not the problem of the former or present TPLF’s members’ new found awakening at one time or another to claim innocence of their crimes that is facing Ethiopians but, Shengo’s intention to pick-and-choose them by their words than their deeds. After all, what did the member of Tigrian Alliance that commit heinous crime against Ethiopians and Ethiopia on their own rights did to deserve recognition let alone membership of Shengo to have the moral authority to accuse Ginbot 7? Did they officially confess and recant their crimes against the people of Tigray or their self-declared Amhara ‘enemy’ let alone the rest of the people of Ethiopia or did they officially implicated their TPLF comrades in arms that committed the heinous crimes against the people of Ethiopia? How about identifying their TPLF comrades that are committing crimes of corruption and atrocities at home and around the world as we speak?
The official website of TAND and its program (http://www.tand-tesfana.com/ProgramTAND.pdf) that doesn’t provide much information nor disclose who the people behind ‘Tigrian Alliance’ may be speaks for itself. But, what is astoundingly silly is; Shengo willingness to embrace former TPLF members behind closed doors that did absolutely nothing to end TPLF led rogue apartheid regime rule and publicly undermining Patriotic-Ginbot 7 that brought Ethiopians together in pretext of it is operating in Eretria under Shabiya regime?
Indecently, for unexplained reasons, the only ethnic based member officially listed on Shengo’s website is TAND with the ‘former’ members of TPLF led by Argawi Berhe that still believe Amhara as their stanch enemies and Ethiopia a colonial power that don’t exist as a nation to endorse the Eritrean independence working with Shabia. The question is what is the real intention of Shengo to pick-and-choice one group or another ethnic or otherwise and not to disclose its own leaders or member parties and organizations’ leader and their background?
Apparently, Shengo leaders that are not willing to disclose their identity and role in the official website are willing to come out on a little-known Media by the name EthioPanorama (https://youtu.be/2f_ydb2gRjI) as Dr. Taye Zegye Chairman, Dr. Aklog Berara, Lead Foreign Relation, Ato Agre Addisu, Lead Public Relation and Dr. Busha Taa, Shengo Council are identified their role and explain what the organization stood that is not available on its official website. But, none of them identify what member party or civic organization they belong to in Shengo umbrella or if they are appointed or hired to take their role in Shengo. Again, since the official By-law of Shengo is not available on the official website there is no way of telling how it is legally organized and the role of member organizations may be.
With all missing information of the official website, it appears Shengo was primarily formed to undermine Ginbot 7 Movement with pretext of its strategic association (wrongly or rightly) with the Eritrean regime led by Shabiya. If that is not the case, Shengo or its member organizations would provide alternatives how the democratic struggle can be achieved beside calling for conferences for ‘unity’, putting out press releases and protest letters to Western governments occasionally as seen on the official website.
Shengo leaders as umbrella organization have the legal responsibility to provide information on the leadership, its vision and mission and demand the same from its member organizations to disclose their respective leadership, political program or organizations’ objective and the responsible parties that are accountable to the public and the legal system they operate under. Only then it can have the moral and legal authority to earn legitimacy in the public eye to demand others what ought to be and the right course of action to take for the benefit of the people of Ethiopia.
For instance, given most of Shengo’s work as told by its’ leaders focus on diplomacy work on Western governments, how is it the international community as well as Ethiopians it claims to bring together supposed to take it or its member organizations seriously when it’s or member organizations’ websites provides little or no information and only in the Amharic language? Quite frankly, it says more what Shengo and its member organizations’ priorities may be than what its leaders say when they occasionally appear on Medias.
Therefore, the record shows; noting that constitute transparency to the public came out from Shengo since it was established in May of 2012 up to January of 2017. Nor its listed member organizations that are as old as 40 years and as young as few years old came forward to identify the responsible leaders to their respective parties or organizations. The question is why and who are the official leaders of all involved?
The Consultative Conference dates of January 13, 14, 15 came and went, the promised Press Conference didn’t happen, nor report provided by all three conference sponsoring parties and no Media reported what happened to the conference.
But Shengo’s Chairman that is missing on the official website is identified as a speaker on upcoming Ethiopian American Council (EAC) Summit on ‘Ethiopian Crises’ from January 21-22. According to EAC website’s listed speakers;
“Taye Zegeye, PhD: Research Assistant at Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Morden Research and Development Center.
Member of Canadian Phytopathological Society and Manitoba Association of plant Biologist.
Chairperson of the largest coalition of Ethiopian opposition group (four political parties, seven civic organization and prominent individual). The Ethiopian People’s Congress for United Struggle (SHENGO)”
What is strange about EAC’ profile of Taye Zegeye is, EAC identify him as Chairman of Shengo without mentioning which member party/organization of Shengo he belongs to and what role he played in politics in the member party he belongs relevant to the Summit agenda instead of his irrelevant academic and research credential in Agriculture and plant biology. In addition, Shengo list six organizations on its official websites while EAC profile of the Chairman list a total of 11 members. Who the five additional member organizations of Shengo and why they are not identified on the official website or EAC raises more questions no answer.
Speaking about Ethiopian American Council (EAC) www.eacouncil.org) itself and its upcoming Summit on ‘Ethiopia Crises’ one can’t help notice the impressive national and international speakers mostly from academia and think tanks scheduled to speak on January 21st to 22nd at Stanford University. But, closer look at the EAC website reviled noting much is found what the organization is all about and who is behind it like most Ethiopian organizations but only about the upcoming Summit.
It is not clear why EAC that was established in 2004 choose not to disclose what it is all about and who may be the leaders of the organization and their background on its official website. For a casual observer, it looks like it started operation to put together the upcoming Summit on Ethiopian Crises noting more, Why?
A search on cyberspace finds many EAC news pieces regarding its activities in local politics in San Jose California and the US Congressional districts not available on its official website.
But, two individuals by the name Mekebe Seymarign and Ato Abebe Halu that claim to be affiliated with EAC showed up on Oromia Media Network (OMN) for an interview recently (http://www.alloromia.com/omn-special-program-interview-with-ethiopian-american-council-conference-organizers) to explain the Summit and reviled EAC’s overall objective and mission not available on the official website. It is not clear how the organization that doesn’t revile its officers and their background on its official website for the public was identified and invited for an interview on Oromia Media Network Founded and managed last year by infamous Jawar Mohammed. How do other Medias supposed to find the two individuals that claim to be official of EAC?
Incidentally, Jawar Mohammed is one of the speaker at EAC Summit. Known to claim Ethiopia is imposed on him as Oromo to motivate him to establish OMN Media was ‘invited’ at the Summit as a Founder & CEO and human right activist in the Horn of Africa is rather strange. The record show there is no evidence Jawar being a human right activist of people of the Horn of Africa nation other than Oromos he claims are not Ethiopians. Nor, it is clear why the Summit organizer EAC fail to revile his entire profile and activities relevant to the Summit theme either.
In addition, it isn’t clear how the list of the invited speakers of the summit were picked. But, according the self-proclaimed EAC officials’ interview on OMN; they claim to invite all concerned and the list only contains those who ‘responded timely’ without disclosing the entire list of the invited speakers on EAC’s official website or the Press Release for the public to know who was invited, accepted or rejected the invitation and why?
Once again, the question is; why are the two individuals that came out on OMN and other leaders of EAC if any are not disclosed on the official website and how they were found to provide interview by Oromo Television Network in Amharic language imposed on the Founders? More question no answer.
Quite frankly, the lack of transparency and rampant transgression of Medias, political parties, civic organizations and the rest in the last 26 years of the struggle remain the single most unresolved hindrance facing our people’s freedom, justice and democracy that are held hostage by the elites posed as politicians, journalist, advocates hiding in their trenches hellbent to gamble on the lives and liberties of the people of Ethiopia they claim to love-hate and liberate-free from TPLF led apartheid dictatorship.
Looking at some of the list of the speakers on the upcoming Stanford Summit also illustrate the lack of transparency and how interest groups in the name of the ‘people of Ethiopia’ are out of touch to the reality of what the people go through in the name crises summits on the expenses of the people deprived the right to know who-is-who playing on their lives and liberties and who may be behind it.
The truth is, the ‘Crises’ of Ethiopia is NOT going to be solved by an academic exercise that need additional research and conference/summit to talk about the symptoms of TPLF Apartheid dictatorship but, what actions must be taken on the cause of the real crimes of the regime that requires how to make the corrupt and atrocious TPLF warlords that imposed ethnic apartheid and the final declaration of State of Emergency to sustain its rule with its partners in crime on the people of Ethiopia accountable.
Therefore, the Summit should address the root cause of the ‘Crises’ are some of the elites attending including the organizer of the Summit refusing to be transparent in addressing the root cause of the crises but circling around the symptom of TPLF led ethnic Apartheid dictatorship and interest groups.
Though many more conferences and summits among Ethiopians are needed to get to the root cause of the ‘Crises’ left unattended for far too long, it requires honesty and transparency in the parts of all involved and concerned more than hiding behind the same dead horse Apartheid regime and its corrupt officials that talk on both side of their mouth not to take personal responsibility for their transgression and surrender for democratic rule.
Therefore, after 26 years of suffering under apartheid rule, Ethiopians deserve transparency from all concerned and involved not distraction from interest groups on the ongoing struggle to oust the rogue Apartheid regime hell bent to continue its crime sprees.
For instance, where are the speakers that specialize in legal matters of corruption, money laundering, extortion of TPLF’s institutions and businesses to end the its economic crimes to prosecute TPLF’s corrupt operatives and associates in diaspora. How about experts in the Free Press that address the root cause of the crises (propaganda Medias) in Ethiopia and so on.
While everybody appears, or pretend to agree on how bad the rogue regime’s crimes against the people of Ethiopia that is visible for the necked eye, the fact they take no responsibility for their own transgression to do something about it is the missing link that kept the rogue regime and partners in crime alive to do more damage than otherwise.
The two conference/summit above organized by some of the most educated Ethiopian elites in the Free World in the middle of a State of Emergency imposed by the rouge regime illustrates; more need to be done to make all involved transparent and accountable particularly by honorable journalists of the Free Presses that believe; the rights of the people of Ethiopia to know the truth is central to freedom, justice and democracy.
Failure to make all involved and concerned including the Summit participants and organizers accountable or to remain silent watching their transmigration against the people’s interest is the root cause of the problem and doesn’t make anyone innocent or free them from contributing to the crises that is happening to the people of Ethiopia and the nation.
If the elites can’t agree on the basic principle; transparency and accountability from all concerned political parties, civic organizations… or Medias is NOT a choice; we are all as guilty as the rogue TPLF and its partners in crime and the regime it runs in the name of Ethiopians.
Speaking of taking responsibility, what happened to a group of self-proclaimed ‘Tigranes’ that came out briefly on the Media to claim they are against TPLF’s crimes on the people of Ethiopia? If the mostly unidentified individuals in the in diaspora that ‘grew’ in number from 16-34 that came out public to disappear in a tin air for unknown reason can’t speak up against TPLF that use-and-abuse Tigranes to commit heinous crimes against humanity and treason who would speak on behalf of Tigranes in ethnic Apartheid Ethiopia?
Ethiopians are gracious people to withstand such abuse of dysfunctional elites and the rogue regime and still to remain calm and collected to do the right things. Can we say the same with the dysfunctional elites that are playing hide-and-seek in the Free World to avoided accountability for their transgression?
Recently, I noticed dysfunctional elites that sweated our people in partnership with the rogue regime coming out in public pretending to sound Hollier than the pope. They should be warned; abandoning the rogue regime doesn’t give them free ride to escape accountability for their transgression. There is no salvation without repenting. Just because the dysfunctional political elites created confusion doesn’t mean your crimes against the people of Ethiopia is forgotten or forgiven. Man-up and take responsibility than sheading crocodile tears to hide your true color.
We Ethiopians, particularly the youth must collectively demand from ambitious political elites to come clean and straight forward with their agenda and the reasons they are seeking approval. The silent majority are watching to see movements that are led by folks with no excess luggage or baggage from past to lead the struggle. Encourage young men and women to come on the scene and insist transparency and take the role of watchdogs and adviser goes a long way to break the stalemate. Ethiopians need a clean deck to play the serious business of Nation and Democracy building.
Acknowledging, dysfunctional elites are the root cause of the Crises in Ethiopia is a giant step in the right direction. Demanding; freedom, justice and democracy can’t be negotiated by political elites or anyone else for any reason is misnomer. Insisting all involved surrender for the people will or else is not only the right but honorable thing to do. Calling a spade, a spade is not only a duty of honorable Ethiopians but, will brings Ethiopians in the same page on the important task of Nation and democracy building. Finally, nothing can be done without the good old transparency and accountability from one and all to end the Crises in Ethiopia.
The say ‘Charity begin at home’. The Ethiopian American Council (EAC) Summit on ‘Ethiopian Crises’ must begin by demanding transparency from all involved. Only and only then it can confidently say; the Summit is to address Ethiopian Crises. Until then, it is safe it is a Summit to manage the Crises on behalf of yet to be discovered interest group[s] not on behalf of the people of Ethiopia.
The sooner Ethiopians demand transparency from all involved the sooner the crises end.
The article is dedicated for the fallen Ethiopians under the brutal Apartheid regime just because the dysfunctional political elites fail to end the crises drugging their feet.