Ethiopia a Lawless and Terrorist Regime
By: Sophia Tesfamariam
January 20, 2006

September 2001 and the attacks in the USA brought coordinated attention and awareness to the issue of terrorism. The Bush Administration has encircled itself with some unlikely “allies” in the fight against terrorism. As the world moves forward to fight all types of terrorism in a coordinated way, some misguided, misinformed, self-serving US officials, “advisors”, “African experts” and high profile million dollar K Street lobbyists, in an effort to cover up the terrorist and criminal activities of the by the genocidal, flip flopping, minority regime led by Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, and in an attempt to justify their continued diplomatic, financial and political support to the vote rigging minority regime, have been saying:


“Ethiopia, the 2nd/ 3rd most populous country, with a population of 70 million people is a US ally in the fight against terrorism”.


I totally disagree with their assertion. Meles Zenawi’s minority regime in Ethiopia is not an ally to the United States in the fight against terrorism, but a regime that propagates and advances terrorism in Ethiopia, the Horn region and the world. Here are the facts:


I.      Terror in Ethiopia


·        Meles Zenawi's security and military apparatus massacred 44 University students in cold blood in Addis Ababa in 2001.  

·        On May 2002, Meles Zenawi's forces massacred over 100 people in Awassa, his forces committed illegal acts against innocent citizens who were demonstrating against a change in the administrative status of Awassa.  Security agents used machine guns mounted on armored vehicles to fire into a group of unarmed peasants, workers, women and children. Twelve of those killed were children.

·        In what was described then as "Africa's Kosovo", the shameless bigoted leader of the Tigrayan minority regime in Ethiopia, in 1998 and 1999 deported over 80,000 innocent Eritreans and Ethiopians of Eritrean origin and confiscated over a billion dollars worth of their hard earned belongings right under the watchful eye of the African Union, UN and EU Ambassadors. Manifesting his ignorance of Japanese-American history, he had the audacity to say, "The Ethiopian government has the unrestricted right to expel any foreigner from the country for any reason whatsoever. Any foreigner, whether Eritrean, Japanese, etc., lives in Ethiopia because of the goodwill of the government. If the Ethiopian government says 'Go, because we don't like the colour of your eyes,' they have to leave." Nevertheless, he got away with his bigotry and crimes.

·        Dubbed “Operation Sunny Mountain” by Meles Zenawi and his minority regime, plans to procure Annuak territory, a zone coveted by corporate interests for its oil and gold, were laid out at a top-level cabinet meeting in Addis Ababa led by Meles Zenawi on September 2003. At that meeting, “the militant ethnic cleansing of the Anuaks” was openly discussed and a coordinated military operation to systematically eliminate Anuaks began on 13 December 2003. The minority regime in Ethiopia willfully burned villages, massacred hundreds of Anuaks and Nuers and caused over 15,000 inhabitants of Gambela to flee to neighboring Sudan and Kenya.


·        Meles Zenawi’s minority regime rigged the May 2005 Elections, stole the people’s votes and ignited the nationwide protests that have plagued Ethiopia for the last 8 months. Having declared a “State of Emergency” on 16 May 2005, and after taking full command of the police, security and army apparatus, the genocidal regime has detained all the opposition leaders, journalists, civil society leaders and opposition supporters on trumped up charges of treason and inciting violence, and detained over 40,000 Ethiopians all over the country while its military and security forces have massacred over 100 people since the elections.


·        Ethiopian police shot and killed two people and wounded many more during disturbances at celebrations marking the Orthodox Epiphany. Hundreds of riot police were deployed in various parts of Addis Abeba, adding to the terror in the city.


·        Misusing arms and equipment originally intended to boost Ethiopia's “antiterrorism efforts” along the country's border with Somalia, the US Ambassador to Ethiopia has acknowledged Meles Zenawi’s regime’s usage of “Humvees”, US military vehicles, to harass, intimidate and terrorize Ethiopians.


II.      Ethiopia’s terrorizing and destabilizing in the Region




In violation of international law which guarantees the safety of refugees, the inviolability of international boundaries and in defiance of the UN Charter, in December 2005, Meles Zenawi’s forces invaded sovereign Kenyan territories and kidnapped 25 Oromo refugees from UNHCR camps.

AP reported on 19 January 2006 that armed Ethiopians crossed into Kenya from Ethiopia and attacked Kenyan herdsmen to steal their animals. The Ethiopian aggression resulted in the death of 30 raiders and eight Kenyan women and children.




III.      Violations of International Law






How can a regime which has violates international law, commits genocide against its own people, terrorizes its own population and intimidates, threatens and invades neighboring countries, be considered a US ally on the war against terrorism?


Sharing his reservations, David Shinn, former US Ambassador to Ethiopia addressing a November 4-6 conference on terror in the Horn of Africa sponsored by Harvard University's Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs and the World Peace Foundation recognizing that the regime in Ethiopia was in fact itself creating conditions in which terrorism could flourish said:


“…It [Ethiopia] has too many inherent weaknesses to be considered a bulwark against terrorisma serious lack of true power sharing and weak governing institutions…As long as there continues to be alienated groups in Ethiopia that believe, rightly or wrongly, they can not achieve their goals through the political process, these [internal and regional] attacks will continue and may worsenEthiopia is not now a center of international terrorism…”


Many Ethiopian scholars also echo Ambassador Shinn’s sentiments. An Ethiopian scholar recently wrote:


“We appeal to the U.S. government to stop funneling American taxpayers’ money to Meles Zenawi’s brutal regime – a regime that has used those resources for mass killings of the very people it was intended to help. Meles, a terrorist himself, can never be a good ally to any country fighting terrorism.”


How can a terrorist regime ever be a US ally in the global fight against terrorism? For all the reasons mentioned above, I would respectfully call on the US State Department to reconsider its diplomatic, political and financial support to the terrorist regime which will undermine US and President Bush’s efforts in the global fight against terrorism.


The rule of law must prevail over the law of the jungle


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