Friday, August 31, 2007

Kinijit leaders heading to North America

The team of delegation led by Kinijit Chairman, Ato Hailu Sahwel, is expected to travel to the United States next week. The delegation's visit was delayed because of visa problems. All except the chairman have today received the visa. Embassy sources confirmed that Ato Hailu will get the visa early next week.

Ephrem Isaac trouble shooting EPRDF's problems

Ephrem Isaac on another mediation mission

Professor Ephrem Isaac is expected to start his shuttle diplomacy again. This time the parties he wants to mediate are the two Ethiopian Orthodox Church synods. According to sources at the EOC, Professor Ephrem has obtained his go ahead from the Abuna Paulos.
Observers at the church are concerned about this latest mediation effort by the professor as it is believed that the order has come directly from top TPLF officials. There is a concern in the party that after the totalitarian strategy to control every aspect of Ethiopian life isn't working at the Orthodox Church, with the patriarch here facing serious challenges from here and abroad.

EZ wonders: Is professor Ephrem the new trouble shooter for Meles Zenawi?

Hate speech

Sometimes, I feel that my blog is alien to me. I am not a full time
blogger and when I let my eyes off this blog for hours, I find it
flooded with ethnic venoms of the worst kind. My attempts to
discourage hateful commenters are not working. It is difficult to
fathom how some people could have so much hate.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Kinijit's Humanism and the Homeless People

The AP reported that homeless Ethiopians on the streets of Addis Ababa will be moved from the capital. This is surely a forced removal. They did it during the AU summit five years ago.
One of Kinijit's plans during the election was to establish feeding and housing centers for homeless people in Addis Ababa. According to the plan, the centers would only give very limited service to the homeless to reduce incentives for rural-Addis Ababa migration. Homeless people who beg and live in the streets would be forced off the streets and live in the centers. The plan didn't see the light of the day because there were moral, political and economic worries about it within the party. That, I think, more than anything else(ideology including) represents the difference between Kinijit and the EPRDF. Kinijit's promise is its humanism. The EPRDF stands just for power - Power for its own sake.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

The Millennium Fiasco

Addis Fortune, Addis Ababa's EPRDF leaning newspaper, sometimes comes up with very good journalism. Last Sunday, its correspondent had such a grim assessment of the millennium festivities -the celebration the Meles administration hopes will show case its modernity, popular support and the country's positive spirit. Read it here.
This is what happens when you politicize the people's holiday. But I still do want to celebrate the Millenium. The politicization aside, the Millennium is for all us, and there is nothing better than celebrating it in our country.

Expulsions of Diplomats as New Gag Techniques by Dictators

The VOA has an insightful analysis about Ethiopia's expulsion of six Norwegian diplomats.

Officials and observers from nearby countries say they have become worried by
the recent behavior of Sudanese and Ethiopian leaders, who have shown increased
willingness to expel or hinder both foreign diplomats and aid
Analyst and occasional presidential adviser in Uganda, Aggrey
Awori, says expulsions are an easy way to get the international community's
attention if a government feels it is coming under too much pressure.
Awori says the expulsions may also serve domestic interests. They send
a chilling message to groups at home that work with international donors and aid
"That is the normal route for a dictatorial government when they
run into roadblock of similar nature," he explained. "It is really a
message for the internal opposition and other recipients of similar aid from
abroad. Conform or else you will starve to death."
Foreign diplomats in
Ethiopia have complained in the past that Mr. Meles's government makes it
impossible for them to speak openly about human-rights issues. Some have
been warned the government will not allow them to deliver aid or do unrestricted
work if they speak out too much.

I think the Ethiopian government used the technique on the Norwegians because it had tried it before on EC personnel and found it remarkably successful. In October 2006, it expelled two EU diplomats. There was an objection from the European Commission for a day or two, but the EC took no retaliatory measure. Instead sources reported that the head of the commission's delegation in Addis Ababa, Tim Clark, was called to Brussels and told that he should not offend the government. Months after the two diplomats were expelled, the EU succumbed to Meles Zenawi's demand that Mr. Clark be removed from his post in Addis Ababa.

Tsegaye Tadesse Disgracing Reuters

On my July 16 entry, I exposed how the Reuters correspondent in Ethiopia, Tsegaye Tadesse, made the life sentence of the CUD leaders by the Federal High Court appear a "happy" story. Today, his report on the expulsion of diplomats starts with Ethiopia's accusation rather than the central theme of the news; the expulsion of the diplomats. The first three paragraphs - which anyone with the slightest familiarity with news knows are the most important paragraphs - all talk about Ethiopia's accusation that Norway is undermining its national security. This man certainly knows how to spin the news in favor of the EPRDF. A reputable media outlet is being used as an instrument of propaganda for a dictatorial regime by Tsegaye Tadesse. The bell is ringing. Is Reuters hearing?

The Norwegian Puzzle

The Norway Post wrote this about Ethiopia's decision to ask the withdrawal of six Norwegian diplomats.
According to EZ Post sources, Norway has already decided to freeze $150 million worth of development aid. Further, sources reported that they are taking the case to the UN Security Council and the European Commission. Norway isn't a member of the European Union.

This is from Earthtimes

Ethiopia expels six Norwegian diplomats

Oslo - Ethiopia has expelled six of Norway's eight diplomats in the African nation, the foreign ministry in Oslo said late Monday. The Ethiopian government said the expulsion came because of threats to its security due to Norway's involvement in mediating the border dispute with Eritrea. The six embassy employees are to leave the country by September 15.
Foreign Minister Jonas Gahr Stre called the move completely surprising and shocking, adding discussions in the border dispute between Ethiopia and Eritrea depend on the trust of both sides.
With only two diplomats left in Addis Ababa, Norway's involvement in finding a solution to the conflict would be endangered.

Update 1:

And here is what the BBC said about the whole affair.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Professor Mesfin warns Kinijit leaders who compete against the interest of Ethiopian people

Kinijit founder and the father of Ethiopian peaceful struggle, Professor Mesfin woldemariam made his first speech to the public since his release from prison last month. The celebrated human rights activist advised Kinijit leaders to stick to the party's commitment to put power under the ownership of Ethiopian people. He made the statement at the occasion the Ferensay Legacion neighbourhood organized to honor their beloved heroine, Kinijit Vice-President Birtukan Mideksa.

"It is great that the Ethiopian people are starting to honor the leaders they want, and Birtukan deserves it, " Professor Mesfin told those who were present to honor Birtukan. "But there is something the Dergue introduced to our political culture. That is applause. We should be careful when we applaud our politicians, because there are those who, drunk with applause, go awry. We have already seen some in Kinijit going there after election 2005. Some will be revealed in the future. Kinijit can only fight together with the Ethiopian people. No Kinijit leader can compete against the Ethiopian people. "

Professor Mesfin's wise speech was a message for every single Kinijit leader that he/she can't be above the people of Ethiopia.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Homage to Andargachew Tsgie

In Ethiopian politics it is often a rule that the best, the brightest and the dedicated would end up humiliated and indignified. After the imprisonment of Kinijit leaders, I know none-none at all- who has worked so tirelessly for justice, democracy and freedom in Ethiopia as Andargachew Tsgie. His stature, name and love among the kinijit activists at home is testimony to his works. It is unfortunate that such a hero is the number one target of the smear campaign in Ethiopian chat rooms and blogs - and all that from within the party.
All Ethiopian writers of EZ Post(EZ, Meqdela, Roha and Tis Abay) say...Hey man, Thanks for what you have done. We would certainly like to have coffee with you in a free Ethiopia.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Five steps to move forward for Kinijit

Now that most of the leaders of Kinijit are released, there are steps they have to take to strengthen the party and consolidate the belief by the Ethiopian people that Kinijit is a viable alternative political force
-Strengthen Internal Democracy: The promise of Kinijit, the promise that made a lot of Ethiopians elect it in 2005, is that the way the party operates is a break from the tradition of authoritarianism in party politics in Ethiopia. There have been set backs in the past year or so. It is time for the leaders to build a party where democratic principles reign supreme within the party. Kinijit internally should have no place for the rule of man. Internal democracy is a guarantee for external democracy.
-Make the party an institution: Kinijit's strength has in the past two years been the profile and dedication of its leaders. Between its formation and the imprisonment of its leaders, there wasn't enough time to establish Kinijit as institution with institutional procedures and mechanisms to deal with issues. This has enabled some people with public trust and high profile to make the party and its members hostage of their will using their capacity to destruct.
-The parties that formed Kinijit are relics of the past: The four political organizations that formed Kinijit were made defunct by the September 2005 merger agreement. They have no place in the minds and hearts of the Ethiopian people. That has to be reflected in the party's leadership as well. The party's internal unity should be strengthened. Line ups based on the old parties should stop. The old parties should be dead in name, spirit and body.
-Kinijit should resemble Ethiopia: As a unity and nationalist party, Kinijit's leadership and membership should reflect the diversity in Ethiopia in terms of ethnicity, religion and gender.
-Be accountable and transparent to its members, supporters and Ethiopian people: During and after the election, Kinijt has done its best, considering the constraints and limitations, to be an accountable and transparent organization in most areas of its activities. When the leadership was incarcerated, it had lost a lot of the accountability culture with allegations of embezzlement and nepotism flying right and left. The leaders have to urgently undo this and create the mechanisms that ensure accountability and transparency.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Samuel Assefa on Foreign Affairs

Samuel Assefa, Ethiopia's ambassador in Washington, is a brilliant political philosopher unlike the self-congratulatory G.E. Gorfu. Yet defending a flagrantly unjust and abusive government is impossible even to this bright man. My advice for Samuel is to leave the post. Be truthful to yourself, man; just like the philosopher you love, Socrates. You are becoming a disgrace to your other self and your great family.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Isolated Meles set to play the ethnic card again

The Prime Minister is telling his confidants that he wants Girma Birru to succeed him when he leaves power in the next election, according to EZ Post sources. As opposition to his rule from Oromos become stronger and stronger, Meles, the sources said, is set to use the carrot and stick approach to quash it. Putting Girma Birru at the helm and playing power behind the screen is an option that is being seriously explored by him. Such a plan will encounter serious opposition from the Sibhat Nega clan and many in the TPLF leadership, the sources claim.

Next Week:
-AP's Addis Ababa correspondent plays into the hands of the TPLF dictatorship
-With the ICRC expelled and WFP asked to leave, how difficult is life for Ogaden Ethiopians?
And More

Friday, August 17, 2007

EZ on Ogaden

Ethio-Zagol Post will be publishing series of information on the human rights abuses in Ogaden soon. Eye Witnesses who contacted us claim that the abuses are far worse that it is reported on the international media. It is time to stand up for Ethiopians in Ogaden.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007


Here is an opportunity to vote on what you think about the Ethiopia democracy and Accountability Act. The government may be using spamming to make the votes appear to be against the bill. Vote for the bill and make the spaming irrelevant.

Assault on the Judiciary Contd.

The Meles administration continues its daylight assault on the judiciary. This week federal judges are being indoctrinated with the concept of the rule of law according to revolutionary democracy. The chief indoctrinator is Million Assefa, the lawyer who acts as a legal pundit for the ETV justifying the EPRDF's dictatorship. Million is now instructing the same judges before whom he argues cases as an attorney-at-law.
The training is being held at the Banking Institue in kaliti. The premise is owned by Addis Ababa University.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Release causes tension in the EPRDF

Some EPRDF leaders have stopped looking eye to eye after the release of Kinijit leaders, sources told EZ Post. A group of officials including Abadula Gemeda, Tefera Walwa and General Samora Yonus had objected the release of the prisoners equating the decision with the mistake of opening the political space during election 2005. Even though Meles promised to handle the CUD affair in a more cautious way, the group was not satisfied with the response, EZ POst learnt. Some EPRDF officials were heard openly criticizing him.

(More on Meles' plan to make Girma Birru his successor and diffrences within the EPRDF on Monday)

Monday, August 06, 2007

Tim Clark Gets a Kick

The European Commission's Head of Delegation in Addis Ababa, Ambassador Timothy Clark, is to be transferred to another country two years before the expiry of the time he was designated to serve. According to sources, the commission's Brussels office made the decision after the Ethiopian government complained about Tim Clark's behaviour post election 2005. Ambassador Clark is expected to leave Addis Ababa shortly after the millennium celebrations.

Since the turn of 2006, Tim Clark tried too hard to mend his broken relationship with Meles Zenawi and the Ethiopian government. He applied pressure to Michael Elman, the commission's observer during the Kinijit trial, to change his preliminary report. He also failed to order an investigation when it was reported that a security agency which has close ties with the government had bugged the comission's office and spied on the diplomats including himself
See this from Tom Porteous about Ogaden.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Ogaden and Pan-Ethiopianists

News reports about the grave human rights abuses in Ogaden are coming thick and fast. This is time for Pan-Ethiopianists to start actively advocating for the rights of our brothers and sisters in Ogaden. Let's do what we had done when the CUD leaders were in prison(even more intensively). My thought about ONLF is clear. But that has nothing to do with standing for the rights of Ogaden Ethiopians.

The Philosopher without Wisdom

I can't resist the ad hominem here. Some Ethiopian scholars lined up to shower GE Gorfu with undeserved praise when he published one of the worst "philosophical" books ever written on Nietzsche. Now it is time to harvest what was sown. With similarly erroneous and disjointed arguments and glib assertions, Gorfu is confronting the Ethiopian pro-democracy movement.

Once you call a person who confuses Nietzsche's ethical theory of Eternal Recurrence with the belief in reincarnation a philosopher, is he to blame when, drunk with his own fame and power of thinking, he subsequently makes loud statements such as: "The police have the right to use force, but the demonstrators do not!"

Thursday, August 02, 2007


After two weeks of absence, here I am. Granted, I have been recovering from the sometimes debilitating effects of the fatigue of Ethiopian politics. But more importantly, I have been thinking of the direction this blog should take now that the leaders of the pro-democracy movement are back with us.
My attempts to make EZ Post a vibrant community blog has so far been half-successful. But that is what, I have decided, the new trend should be. I challenge people in the pro-democracy camp to contribute to a civilized discourse on this blog on all issues pertinent to our country. It is better if the contributions follow the informal blog format with links and, sometimes, controversial points without the infringement of discourse ethics. I don't see why some aspects of this blog won't resemble the Guardian's famous blog Comment is Free(CiF). I am, however, instinctively resistant to imposed restrictions. I welcome contributions that do not necessarily follow the sample format.
A word of blogger wisdom: As CP Scott wrote "comment is free, but facts are sacred". So EZ Post still continues to relay the news it has been famous for.