By Prof. Al Mariam
On May 28, 1991, a rag tag rebel army of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) marched into Ethiopia’s capital. That day shall eternally live in infamy.
The TPLF is a terrorist organization listed in the Global Terrorism Database.
Ethiopia today is a thugtatorship.
Ethiopia today is a thugtatorship under a “state of emergency”.
The T-TPLF is in a state of emergency sitting atop a powder keg with a slow burning fuse steadily getting closer to the flash point.
In 1995, the late leader of the T-TPLF declared the litmus test for the success of his TPLF regime should be whether Ethiopians were able to eat three meals a day. (Watch video here.)
Two decades later in 2011, Meles pompously declared, “We have devised a plan which will enable us to produce surplus and be able to feed ourselves by 2015 without the need for food aid.”
Ethiopia today is facing famine of biblical proportions.
In May 2017, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations reports, “Food insecurity has surged since the beginning of the year. As of May, 7.8 million Ethiopians are in need of emergency food aid, a 39 percent increase since mid-January. Malnutrition rates are also increasing and extreme coping mechanisms are observed.”
The T-TPLF “candy store”, a/k/a USAID kept on insisting that there is only food shortages and no famines in Ethiopia. “This was the worst drought they had ever seen in their lives — worse in many cases than the conditions that their areas had seen in 1983, 1984,” declared Jeremy Konyndyk, Director, USAID’s Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance in April 2016.
USAID and the rest of the international poverty pimps turned a blind eye, deaf ears and muted lips as the T-TPLF used humanitarian aid to build its political base and outright buy votes.
Meles and the T-TPLF implemented a divide and conquer strategy called ethnic federalism creating the modern equivalent of apartheid white South Africa’s Bantustans.
The T-TPLF’s version of black apartheid is called Klilil-istan.
From the time the T-TPLF seized power, it embarked on a systematic program of de-Ethiopianization with the twin aims of 1) striping Ethiopians of any meaningful consciousness of their national identity and expurgate from their collective social experience any sense of commonly shared values, beliefs and customs, and 2) balkanize, merchandize and dismember the country employing a variety of tactics and schemes.
As part of the de-Ethiopianization program, Meles and the T-TPLF declared in the preamble to their constitution that there is no Ethiopian nation, only “nations, nationalities and peoples.”
Meles declared Ethiopia’s flag is a “piece of rag” and “Ethiopian history a fairy tale.” (Watch video here.)
The real fairy tale tellers are Meles Zenawi and the T-TPLF.
In his “Voodoo Economics”, Meles claimed an expected growth of nearly 13 percent in 2011. The IMF called him out and politely told him, “Statistics collection of the country requires transformations, and we advised the government to do that.”
Meles and the T-TPLF commissioned the World Bank and the other international poverty pimps to carry on with the fairy tale telling.
The World Bank-ruptcy continued to propagate the bogus growth claims of “double-digit growth over the past decade”. For years, I challenged the T-TPLF, the World Bank, the IMF and others to put up their supporting data for critical scrutiny or shut the hell up. They have chosen to shut up. But the challenge stands.
The T-TPLF uses state terrorism to cling to power and suppress all opposition.
Since 1992, the T-TPLF and its regional lackeys “have cultivated a climate of fear and repression by using state power to punish political dissent in often brutal fashion.”
In 2005, Meles Zenawi and the T-TPLF ordered the massacre of hundreds of people following the May 2005 election. The findings of an Inquiry Commission set up by Meles Zenawi put the entire blame for the massacres on Meles and his T-TPLF.
In 2016, T-TPLF “security forces shot into crowds, summarily killing people during mass roundups, and torturing detained protesters.”
The T-TPLF, in violation of international human rights law and conventions, continues to hold tens of thousands of political prisoners. A partial list of T-TPLF political prisoners and torture victims with long prison sentences is available HERE.
The T-TPLF practices torture widely in its official and secret prisons. The details of the torture practices are so horrific they shock the conscience. The scope of T-TPLF torture practices has been documented by Human Rights Watch.
According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Ethiopia ranked fourth on is 2015 list of the 10 Most Censored Countries and is the fifth worst jailer of journalists worldwide.
In April 2015, dozens of Ethiopians in Libya were slaughtered by ISIS/ISIL. The T-TPLF refused to acknowledge the terrorist beheading victims were Ethiopians. T-TPLF spokesman Redwan Hussein demanded confirmation even though numerous international media sources had affirmed the victims were Ethiopians.
In 2013, when the Saudi Arabian regime unleashed a campaign of terror against Ethiopian domestic workers and refugees, with Saudi police, security officials, mobs and vigilantes taking to the streets literally hunting down Ethiopians, beating, torturing and in a number of cases killing them, the T-TPLF remained silent.
T-TPLF #3 man Tedros Adhanom told the press, the deportation and killings “is something that has been bugging me for some time now” and summoned the Saudi Arabian ambassador to apologize: “Ethiopia would like to express its respect for the decision of the Saudi Authorities and the policy of deporting illegal migrants.”
In 2014, the T-TPLF massacred at least 47 university students in the town of Ambo, 80 miles west of the capital Addis Ababa, and environs. The T-TPLF regime dismissed that massacre and tried to sweep it under the rug claiming that a “few anti-peace forces incited and coordinated the violence”.
The T-TPLF is a corruptocracy (a political system operated and controlled by a small clique of corrupt-to-the-core vampiric kleptocrats who cling to power to enrich themselves at public expense).
In 2012, the World Bank issued a 417-page study entitled, “Diagnosing Corruption in Ethiopia” covering eight sectors (health, education, rural water supply, justice, construction, land, telecommunications and mining). I offered extensive comments on that report in my weekly commentaries in 2013.
The T-TPLF has sold out the country’s most fertile land to fly-by-night investors for pennies and “forcibly relocating tens of thousands of people from their ancestral homes to make way for large scale commercial agriculture.” When one of the land grab deals went sour, the “investor” threatened to bring down the wrath of India on the T-TPLF.
The T-TPLF “Addis Ababa Master Plan” was overwhelmingly rejected, and T-TPLF “security forces shot dozens of protesters in Shewa and Wollega zones, west of Addis Ababa and other locations to crush the resistance.
The T-TPLF has ushered in ecological catastrophe: deforestation, desertification, soil erosion, overgrazing and population explosion.
The Ethiopian Agricultural Research Institute reports, Ethiopia loses up to 200,000 hectares of forest every year. Between 1990 and 2005, Ethiopia lost 14.0% of its forest cover (2,114,000 hectares) and 3.6% of its forest and woodland habitat. If the trend continues, it is expected that Ethiopia could lose all of its forest resources in 11 years, by the year 2020.
The T-TPLF destroyed the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of indigenous peoples in the Omo region of Ethiopia. Experts warned that Gibe III could destroy the fragile ecosystem for an additional 300,000 people downstream in Lake Turkana, a UNESCO World Heritage Site (a site of special cultural or physical significance to the world at large) which gets up to 90% of its water from the Omo River.
The T-TPLF has embarked on a number of white elephant projects which are presently teetering on the cliffs of bankruptcy or are doomed to bankruptcy.
In January 2017, it was disclosed that the T-TPLF’s light rail project was 1.8 billion birr in the hole.
The “Ethiopian Railway” project which supposedly connects the Ethiopian capital with Djibouti on the Red Sea coast in 2016 had debt of 102.5 billion and counting.
The T-TPLF has embarked on a fool’s errand known as the “Grand Renaissance Dam”, presumably the “largest dam in Africa”. That dam ain’t nothing but a dam white elephant.
Ethiopia is at the top of the International Monetary Fund’s Highly Indebted Poor Countries. In 2012, the T-TPLF reported total debt of USD$13.2 billion. In 2015, the debt had risen to USD$22 billion. It is now estimated in the range of USD$30 billion.
In February 2015, I asked: 1) “Is Ethiopia’s “odious sovereign debt” to the odious World Bank legally enforceable? Are future generations of Ethiopians liable to the debts accumulated with the World Bank by the T-TPLF?”
My response emphatically was and remains that neither this nor future generations of Ethiopians have a legal obligation to pay for the “odious debt” incurred by the T-TPLF.
Moody’s bond rating service in December 2016 rated Ethiopia’s USD1 billion Euro bond issued in 2014 B1 (highly speculative, subject to high credit risk”, bordering on noninvestment grade). In other words, that bond is pretty much “junk bond”.
In 2016, the T-TPLF was fined $USD$6.5 million for illegally selling unregistered bonds for the “Nile Dam” in the United States. It was the culmination of the T-TPLF’s 4-year shakedown of Diaspora Ethiopians in the U.S. by disguising a protection racket into a bond sale program.
On January 18, 2017, the T-TPLF signed a “Memorandum of Understanding” to pay a Washington, D.C. lobby firm nearly $2 million to influence the Trump Administration. Yet, as the T-TPLF spends million to cling to power, 5.6 million people are facing famine while the T-TPLF continues to panhandle for nearly a billion dollars in humanitarian aid.
In March 2017, over 200 people were buried when a “mountain of garbage” at a landfill commonly known as “Qoshe”, some 13 miles southwest of the capital, collapsed on an adjacent neighborhood in Addis Ababa.
Such has been the history of Ethiopia and the fate of the Ethiopian people since the occupation by aliens from Planet Thugistan on May 28, 1991.