Is African Union Good for Africa and Ethiopia?

Is African Union Good for Africa and Ethiopia?
Amanuel Biedemariam January 25, 2018

On January 4, 2018 The African Union (AU) made a statement about the prevailing political situation in Ethiopia for the first time. Clearly, the statement was not intended to draw attention or, to help resolve the dire-situation in Ethiopia. Rather, it was intended to boost the image of a criminal regime that is brutally ruling Ethiopia in the doorsteps of the AU. The AU Commission’s Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat wrote,

“The African Union welcomes the announcement made by the Prime Minister of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, Hailemariam Desalegn, pardoning or suspending ongoing judicial cases of members of political parties and other individuals. He commends the Ethiopian authorities for this important and farsighted decision, and for their commitment to foster national consensus and widen the democratic space. The Chairperson of the Commission underscores that the steps initiated by the Prime Minister will help create a conducive environment for the pursuit and consolidation of the impressive socio-economic gains Ethiopia has made over the past decade. These steps will also enhance the country’s stability, which is of paramount importance for the region and Africa as a whole. The Chairperson of the Commission calls on all Ethiopians, irrespective of their political affiliations, to embrace and sustain the spirit of forgiveness and unity in the interest of their country.” Emphasis added.

According to the statement, “Ethiopia has made impressive socio-economic gains over the past decade.” The statement however, contradicts with the reality on the ground. According to Foreign Policy’s article January11, 2018 “Ethiopia Falling Apart” by Jefrey Smith and Mohammed Ademo:

“And its claims of a rapidly growing economy have always been dubious at best. The status quo can no longer hold. In an effort to boost lagging exports, authorities devalued Ethiopia’s currency, the birr, by 15 percent last October. The country is also struggling to mitigate the effects of massive youth unemployment, high public debt, rising inflation, and a shortage of foreign currency. The economic woes that have beleaguered Ethiopia have fueled the increasing unrest. Amhara and Oromo protesters decry economic marginalization and systemic exclusion at the hands of powerful ethnic Tigrayan leaders.”

Also, on a recent interview with VOA, former US Ambassador to Ethiopia Herman Cohen said,

“I worry about Ethiopia today because US embassy in Ethiopia is openly cautioning and sending signals of dire conditions in the country.”

Ambassador Cohen elaborated, when US, a traditionally-protective friend and ally of Ethiopia makes alarming statements like this, it means the situation is much-worse. Hence, the regime must open its doors to all parties and establish a transitional process. Furthermore, according to The Global Multidimensional Poverty Index (MPI) published by Oxford University,

“Ethiopia ranks the second poorest country in the world just ahead of Niger. 87.3% of Ethiopians are classified as MPI poor, while 58.1% are considered destitute.”
It is therefore, baffling to witness the chairman undermining the reality in a manner that diminishes the AU further. But, African Union’s complicity with Ethiopian regimes is not new.

In 2005, Ethiopians overwhelmingly voted to change the government of the late Meles Zenawi. However, the minority regime managed to hold on to power by force. In subsequent elections of 2010 and 2015, the EPRDF learned its lesson and held sham elections and claimed to have won 99% of the votes. The regime denied EU and other international observers access but allowed African Union as the main observer. The AU sent observers and the missions head Hifikepunye Pohamba, a former Namibian president reported,

“The AU Election Observers’ Mission concludes that the parliamentary elections were calm, peaceful and credible as it provided an opportunity for the Ethiopian people to express their choices at the polls.” Emphasis added.

This statement did not reflect the situation in the ground. Ethiopia, a nation of 100 million people did not vote for the regime let alone 99% of the votes. The minority regime comes from a region that represent 6% of the total population and they are despised by the people of Ethiopia. Yet, the AU concluded Ethiopians “expressed their choices at the polls.”

The African Union is Neither African nor for Africans

The African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa was built by China as a gift for Africa. During the opening tour of the facility, the late Meles Zenawi bragged how he single-handedly lobbied Chinese officials to build the new headquarters and how he incentivized the project with tax exemptions on all Chinese imported construction materials.

Furthermore, 80% of the AU’s funds come from international donors. As a result, the organization has no African bone and runs no African agenda. All its agendas are directed by directives from superpowers. Pre-1991, the Soviet Union and US and after the fall of the USSR, the US, and over the past 15 years, China and the US are competing to influence African agendas.US-AFRICOM-Photo

One can go over the list of all the agendas that received endorsements from the AU. Be it wars they endorsed in the name of Africa; military campaigns they participated-in as peacekeepers; health, education and poverty measure they agreed to pursue in Africa. It is all been initiated by the West in pursuit of Western agendas. Nothing about it has been African.

For example, on May 2004, Tony Blair launched “Commission for Africa.” In 2005 “Make Poverty History” was born out of the Blair Africa Commission. On June 2005 G8 Summit in Gleneagles England, Make Poverty History was put in motion and became the number one African agenda endorsed by the G8 countries.

Under the guise of good accountable governance, the core of the Commission’s agenda was a blue print on how to impose regime-change in countries of interest. One can easily guess who represented Africa in Gleneagles? PM Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia and President Thabo Mbeki of South Africa.

The commission’s recommendations were swiftly forwarded, and AU member countries passed it unanimously. No public debate was conducted on the matter, but it passed with endorsement of AU. The UN adopted it as African initiative and made it the global agenda du jour with fanfare. Meles was hammer they needed at the AU to hammer-through the agenda and he delivered.

The irony, the Blair Africa commission’s main stated goal was to make African leaders accountable to their people. However, totally disregarding the 100 million Ethiopians that voted on May of 2005 for change and rejected Meles Zenawi with overwhelming rebuke; the Blair Africa Commission made Meles Zenawi the representative for Africa just days after hundreds of innocent civilians were shot point-blank in the streets of Addis for demonstrating peacefully.

African Union as Tool for Global Powers

The African Union is deadly for African countries. Recent developments in various parts of Africa point to how the AU is easily manipulated and entrapped by its Western handlers.

Libya

On March 17, 2011 if just one of the three African countries on the Security Council namely Gabon, Nigeria and South Africa had abstained, resolution 1973 would-not have passed. Instead they all voted and passed it as African initiative giving green light to the No-Fly Zone that ultimately led to the outright invasion and destruction of Libya. Which is now slave trade central.

What stands out, however, is the role the merchants of mayhem, the late Meles Zenawi and President Omar Al Bashir of Sudan played. They facilitated for Gadhafi’s ouster by assisting NATO. Sudan was a staging ground for the destruction and Bashir shamelessly bragged about it. This was not African initiative. Far from it. It was hatched in-the Whitehouse by Barack Obama, the hawkish Hillary Clinton and Susan Rice.

Somalia

On Christmas of 2006, the late Meles Zenawi invaded Somalia a sovereign African nation. The invasion was a preemptive unprovoked assault on the people of Somalia under the pretext of preventing terror. Meles copied the preemptive attack invasion of Iraq on another African country. Again, the African Union witnessed the wanton destruction of African nation by a rogue regime and remained mum.Somali Ref Ken

Worse yet, soon thereafter, the AU legitimized the invasion and joined the act as AMISOM, so they can earn stipends as peacekeepers and pursued Washington led agenda as African initiative. Millions of Somalis were displaced and forced to flee to Kenya to be exploited as refugees indefinitely.

Ethiopia’s invasion of Somalia was pretext for the occupation of a sovereign nation as was discovered later. Before the Ethiopian invasion The Islamic Courts Union (ICU), a group of Sharia Courts established-order in Somalia briefly. The ICU made tremendous progress and managed to bring relative stability and controlled most of the country. If stability and peace were the objectives ICU was the answer. For the first time in decades the ICU achieved relative peace and stability. The invasion changed that.

Peace and stability in Somalia did not serve the interest of Ethiopia and Washington. The invasions aim, therefore, was to kill nationalism. Because a sovereign, nationalist Somalia was deemed a threat to Western and Ethiopian interest.

Libya and Somalia represent small sample of how the West exploits AU using “African Initiative” as the operative term and used it to initiate actions against countries of interest. The AU does not have the authority to initiate agendas and craft language in the Security Council or anywhere in the international arena.
Ignored African Agendas

Africa is beset by huge issues detrimental to the lives of hundreds of millions of Africans. Yet, the people have no representation thus voice on matters that affect their lives. The African Union and its predecessor the Organization of African Unity (OAU) have been asleep on the wheel from the beginning. From the founding of the organization to-date, there are no significant achievements, if any, the people can point to.

The OAU was missing in action during the Rwandan Genocide. Trek of TearsHorrific events in Sierra Leon that shook the world. Liberia, the civil war that displaced millions. South Sudan botched peace effort by the minority regime in Ethiopia and Western manipulated agreement that engulfed the nation to civil war. Cote d’Ivoire’s France manipulated election which led to the ouster of Laurent Gbagbo . The horrific situation in Congo which some African countries exploit at the expense of stability, peace and future of the people and the region. There exist no region, country or people in Africa that can claim the AU or OAU have done a good job at any time or place in its history.

The 1984 famine that cemented the image of starving Ethiopian kids. The Ebola epidemic, HIV AIDS, Malaria, Tuberculosis and other communicable diseases are international concerns that AU failed to address or addressed based on directives from the West. The latest migration crisis that affected nearly every African country is handled not by AU, but Europeans who are largely responsible for the crisis in Libya and other African countries to begin with.

The African Union in Ethiopia Addis Ababa is nothing but a Trojan horse to Africa. It is the most dangerous organization in the world. Because the West, China, Russia and now Turkey, Qatar etc. have figured out how to manipulate it to get their ways.

These problems are made worse by those who are supposed to say something when things go wrong and are not since they are comfortable with the arrangement. China has no incentive to go against the collective voice of Africans. The problem; the voice of the AU is not theirs it is coerced by the regime in Ethiopia. China has ambitious interests in Ethiopia. For example, China just built a rail system at the cost of $4 Billion. Can China go against Ethiopia at the UNSC? The simple answer is no. On April of 2015, former US Ambassador to Ethiopia David Shinn said this about China and Ethiopia relations:

“At the political level, China and Ethiopia have been supportive of each other. The Ethiopian Parliament passed a resolution in support of China’s Anti-Secession Law. Ethiopia has joined other African countries in stopping resolutions in the UN Human Rights Commission that censor China’s human rights practices. Former prime minister Meles Zenawi stated emphatically that Tibet is an internal affair and outsiders have no right to interfere… Increasingly, Ethiopia sees China as an alternative to the West and, especially, Western political conditionality.” Emphasis added.

Ethiopia as a host to the AU is important to China precisely for this reason because it can galvanize African support when needed. The same goes for the US and others. What is lost in this is justice. Ethiopia can invade Somalia without fear of repercussions. Ethiopia can undermine international court decision and occupy sovereign Eritrean territories without thinking twice. Ethiopia can commit crimes against humanity in Addis Ababa in front of the AU as it has on 2005 elections. During the Red Terror-reign of Mengistu Hailemariam, Eritrean villages and ports were bombed daily. Ethiopian children got killed on the doorsteps of the OAU. After Eritrea got her independence, 1997-98 massive ethnic cleansing of Eritreans took place where 80,000 Eritreans were forcibly evicted from Addis Ababa. No one voiced a concern.

Conclusion

The African Union is held hostage by the minority regime in Ethiopia. Genuine African agendas are lost and not tended to. The people of Ethiopia are held hostage by the African Union also.

Since the government fears no international or African pressures, it exercises a free hand. The AU’s constitution is clear, “No interference on internal affairs of another nation!” As a result, Ethiopians are suffering because there is no country that can speak on their behalf.

This raises the question to all Ethiopians. Is the AU in Ethiopia a blessing or a curse to Ethiopians? Is the AU in Addis a blessing or curse for Africans? No matter the response, the solutions are in Ethiopia for Ethiopians. Ethiopians can decide to act if they so choose. The people of Ethiopia must accept their true role and unite Africans against this incompetent organization that is a curse to Africa!

African people have no say in this because they don’t have access to the AU. The African Union has shunned its responsibility to the African people. However, if the AU decides to change its ways, they have opportunity since the minority regime in Ethiopia is at its weakest.

For the first time in its history, the African Union headquartered in Addis Ababa in the capital of Ethiopia must face itself, look at the mirror and ask what it stands for.
Awetnayu@hotmail.com

 

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Eritrea: Story of Resiliency and Triumph in the Face of Fire

TegadalitEritrea: Story of Resiliency and Triumph in the Face of Fire

In life, those who fail to understand their blessing are bound to lose everything. Religious experts say that the devil will always try to point out what you are missing instead of the blessings. And it is clearly hard to think about blessings when faced with tremendous challenges and particularly when the challenges are existential in nature as is the case of Eritrea. Those who understand these blessings can deal better with the circumstances they are dealt with. And those that fail to appreciate what Eritrea is blessed with will suffer needlessly to the point of losing their lives unnecessarily.

Eritrea was tried like no other and managed to withstand tremendous challenges. These are challenges that led many countries, once considered invincible, to become failed states ala Libya, Syria and Iraq.

The marriage between the minority regime in Ethiopia and US administration was a perfect one because they both intended to oust the leadership of Eritrea, do away with the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF) or Peoples Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ), retake Eritrea or mold it in ways that suited their needs. In short, reverse Eritrea’s independence.

To that end, from 1998-2000, with the support of US Ethiopia waged intense wars that took the lives of over 20,000 Eritreans. When that failed, they brazenly declared “No war no peace” asymmetric-warfare designed to slowly render Eritrea a failed state. No stone was left unturned. However, Eritrea managed to uncover their plots, meticulously expose it and eliminated these threats every step of the way. After the war ended in 2000, based on the Algiers peace accord, the UN placed “peacekeeping troops” assigned to monitor the demilitarized zone. Eritreans remember how that turned out. The UN troops tried to act as colonizers and involved themselves on illicit activities including smuggling, human trafficking, spying and pedophilia. Instead of peacekeeping they were provocateurs intent on poking holes at the sovereignty of Eritrea.

The UN learnt the hard-way how independent, adamant and determined Eritreans are in safeguarding their sovereignty and protecting hard won independence. But the machinations continued unabated. An all-out assault on Eritrea’s economy was unleashed; many attempts were made to nullify The Hague international court’s Final-and-Binding border ruling; US administration brazenly attempted to impose a new mechanism to nullify The Hague ruling and failed. Eritrea’s firm and unwavering stand managed to expose their duplicity and ill attempts that aimed to destabilize the nation.
When all these attempts failed to nudge Eritrea, they upped the ante. First attempt, place Eritrea on a list of states that sponsor terror. When US congress rejected it as lie, the Obama administration used the UN to pass punitive measures based on fabrication. To tie Eritrea’s hand and render her defenseless the US pushed hard to sanction Eritrea and placed arms embargo and essentially denied the people of Eritrea the right to self-defense. When that failed to achieve its objective the US then pushed for additional sanctions to decapitate Eritrea’s economy by trying to deny income from mining.
The assault by the west aided by Ethiopia was unrelenting. Assassination attempts, inciting civil unrest, attempted coup, pressing youth to revolt, incentivizing-youth flight, sabotage, encouraging dissent, corruption, currency manipulation and the list goes on, and failed.

Minds and Hearts of Steel
During a 2000 Interview with Voice of Eritrea DC, the-then General, now Mining Minister Sebhat Efrem made some remarkable statements that resonated. He said,

“It is natural for nations to go through various internal and external challenges. Nations that fail to overcome these challenges however, will fail. Eritrea will face these challenges in various forms and that we must overcome as there is no other option. If there is a crack in the boat it will sink. Eritrea is like a boat and the enemies’ main goal is to create a crack and we must ensure that the Eritrean boat will not rack. Or, if there is a small droplet of blood from a splinter of a finger, all the fish in the sea will clamor to nibble at you and kill you. Hence we must ensure that we do not bleed and invite the sharks.”

The quoted statements above reveal a mindset. It reveals a heart-of-steel and expresses what it takes to survive. And once out of the survival stage-what it takes to persevere onto the next stage to live life to the fullest as a nation. This is a mindset that the struggle for independence bestowed upon the people and leaders of Eritrea. As a result, independent thinking, self-reliance and a-can-do attitude is serving Eritrea well. And the independent path Eritrea follows today is investment for future generations to enjoy.
Eritrea is an enigma to the foreign eye. Many are confused by Eritrea. They don’t understand what is taking place in Eritrea. It is new, complicated and sophisticated. Those who follow Africa have witnessed country after country going through cycles of unrest and downward trajectory that degraded the security and stability of these countries substantially. Many are failing.

To the contrary, despite of all the ill attempts on the very sovereignty of Eritrea the people and government are managing to withstand and reverse the trajectory. Eritrea showed unprecedented resilience and how to stand and triumph against active and passive forces. They have thrown everything including the kitchen-and-bathroom sinks and failed. They waged wars and when that failed they embarked on asymmetric warfare with highest levels of sophistication. They amassed the European Union and directed them to direct hostilities against Eritrea. They targeted youth and  failed

Wefri

From Struggle To Struggle

Many wagered Eritrea to fail six months after minority TPLF regime in Ethiopia unleashed reckless wars on the people of Eritrea. After Eighteen years it is obvious their calculations were false.

If one is to look at the prevailing peace and the development activities taking place in Eritrea vis-à-vis the region namely Yemen, Djibouti, South Sudan, Egypt and particularly Ethiopia, countries the West babied with utmost care, are barely hanging for dear life. This shows that Western agendas have failed failing the countries that they propped.
On the other hand, Eritrea, a nation they sanctioned, shunned, sentenced to death, denied her rights to self-defense etc. managed to rebuff their machinations with unprecedented resoluteness. Eritrea is at a unique stage on a path towards major success. On a recent Eritrean gathering in Washington DC Ambassador Girma Asmerom said,

“There are three key points that those who know Eritrea know very well. A) Eritrea is rich with unlimited resources. Fish alone can sustain our economy. B) Eritrea is in one of the most strategic waterways of the world on the Red Sea. C) The most important resource of Eritrea is her people.”

Recent developments pertaining to the Saudi led coalition against terror that Eritrea is a part of is the best example of Eritrea’s resilience-based success. Eritrea is the pillar of the coalition. As ambassador Girma said, Eritrea is one of the most important strategic locations of the world and as such one of the most coveted diplomatic and strategic partner in the region.

The absent-minded minority clique in Ethiopia aided by its ill-informed misguided handlers thought that they can lever Eritrea as a bargaining chip indefinitely while offering nothing else in return. They called it “No war and No Peace”. They believed occupying Eritrean territories, applying pressure and using continuous threat of force can ward-off investors and strategic-partners indefinitely. However, the path they designed to control the fate Eritrea turned out to be futile miscalculation. Look at the state of Ethiopia today, it is on the verge of total collapse.

Understanding Eritrea’s Blessings
When everything around Eritrea is shaking Eritrea is standing firm. Eritrea is surrounded by nations that are on shaky grounds. Yet, Eritrea showed that the foundation is anchored deep and that it is unshakeable.

Just yesterday, Yemen, Ethiopia and Sudan made a pact to encircle Eritrea and suffocate her from existence. How are they doing now? Sudan was split in to two. Yemen is leaderless and in chaos. Ethiopia is on the verge of collapse.

Hence the prevailing peace that many take for granted is what people in many countries pray for. The people of Eritrea enjoy tremendous peace. Peace is the key ingredient to success. Of course, the hardship imposed on the people by outside pressure is not easy. However, the people have chosen to persevere, understanding that the future is bright. They have been through this under much worse conditions.

Preserving Valuable Freedom
Freedom is not free. To ensure freedom Eritrea paid and is paying dearly. Because the mental freedom, freedom from dependency and freedom to choose their destiny is empowering the people to build a future of their own making. The greatest gift of the struggle for independence of Eritrea is that it freed Eritrea from mental slavery.
Eritreans are truly free.

How can Eritreans ensure the preservation of this valuable freedom? How to enjoy freedom born from sacrifices? How can Eritrea take it to a level that all her children can enjoy long term in peace and harmony as one? The first thing is to recognize what you have. Secondly, be grateful of what you have. Based on that one can work on adding onto the blessings.

As Eritrea embarks on the 25 years of independence, recognizing that Eritrea stood as one under extremely difficult circumstances is empowering. Eritrea has defeated her enemies and fought a war of attrition against the lords of war and emasculated their venom. Hence, Eritreans must learn from the past 25 years and use it as inspiration to look forward for the next 25 years. If Eritrea can achieve this much under duress; what will Eritrea achieve in the next 25 after defeating a mortal enemy, laying solid foundation and platform. Only sky is the limit.

Conclusion
Eritrea is a tried and proven country without a doubt. The enemies and their minions that pretend to be Eritrean have exhausted all means and resources and they are dropping like flies. The question that every Eritrean needs to ask is what role I can play to ensure a bright future.

What Eritrea needs is simple. Eritrea needs her people to safeguard her sovereignty, build the social and physical infrastructure. Eritrea needs her people to understand that they need to remain united always and grow within their communities no matter where. They need to build their communities for the benefit of future generation. Eritrea needs her people to sell and promote Eritrea. Eritrea needs her people to buy Eritrea, promote their culture, music, clothing, food, products and services. Eritrea needs her people to maintain the image of gallantry and fight those that that try to sally the name. Eritrea needs her people to fight for her existence and prosperity with all their might, all the time.
For their honor
Awet N-Hafash Hizbi Eritrea

Photos Courtesy Ghideon Musa Aron