By Zenebe G Tamirat
On July 8th 2007 the Kangaroo Court in Addis Ababa had a trial hearing on the case of Kinijit leaders Versus the Ethiopian Government. The hearing was made on the proposal of penalties after the Kangaroo court gave a verdict of guilty on the defendants on June 11, 2007.
Submitting his proposal to the court orally Attorney Abraham Tetemeke has demanded a verdict of death to the great leaders of the people of Ethiopia elected democratically in May 2005. What a shame! This is an absolute mockery in justice; don’t we have the mind to think that the outside world will laugh at our stupidity to kill 38 scholars that the country hardly affords to loose? Don’t we have the concern that we are mocking at “democracy” affirming what the other part of the world says “No democracy can prevail out side of Europe and America?” The leaders that the shameful Attorney, Abraham Tetemeke wants to die are the dearest and gallant sons of Ethiopia that its tax payers educated for years so that they serve her when she call them in bad times such as the present. Moreover they have not committed any offense except demanding for the prevalence of democracy in Ethiopia so that the life of the people improves.
By demanding a death penalty on these selected few but bold children of Ethiopia the TPLF led EPRDF Government, (Woyane) is proving again its anti-Ethiopia stand. The people of Ethiopia however should not only stand up and demonstrate their objections to this barbarous demand but should engage in a throat-to-throat fight against the mockery in justice. The out side world also should not tolerate and laugh at this mockery on democracy and justice but stop it by all means possible. The cooperation of the President of the U.S and the Prime Minister of the U.K. to this effect is essential indeed.
In a country where tyranny overrides the rule of law such as in Ethiopia the damage caused on the nation by eliminating the hard produced trained man power especially the country’s top scholars is immense indeed, Some twelve years ago for example, this same ant-Ethiopia government led by tyrant Melese Zenawi expelled 41 highly experienced professors from teaching at the Addis Ababa University for objecting his undemocratic rule. This action of the tyrant included the refutation of employment in any Government institution to the expelled Professors. As a result the University was fallen apart lacking experienced teachers and ending in a production of unqualified students for the degree conferred on them on graduation. This had a rigorous negative impact on the trained manpower that comes out from the University. Teachers for example if unqualified produce weak students all the way through. Thus the wild measure taken at that time was not only a harm to the teaching and learning process but also a huge damage on the national development as a whole.
In our world system democratic forces and great powers of the world such as the United States and the United Kingdom hardly come forward to oppose tyranny in developing countries apparently because they consider interfering with such matters as violation of the sovereignty of a nation. But we are in a world where tyranny has demonstrated its unspeakable damage to humanity inflicting two great wars of the world.
Respect of national sovereignty where human rights are violated and humanity is endangered should be out of the question because violators of human rights at home may grow into creators of havoc on man kind as witnessed in world history. But the question of sovereignty is not the only cause for the backing out of the great powers from denouncing tyrants. The cruise of the matter is what the great powers call “National Interest.” Because most tyrants in developing countries particularly in Africa usually do not care munch for the interest of their countries they tend to buy the favor of foreign countries bribing them with various interests. Because their national interest is preserved the great powers then stay aloof when the tyrants violate human rights. Some dictators even challenge great powers claiming that they are unable to do anything against them. The sad execution of the renowned Nigerian Poet, Loret Camilla was a case to raise here. Camilla was executed by order of the Nigerian Military dictator in spite of the plea of the then Britain Prime Minister John Major. In fact, the execution took place while Common Wealth nations were assembled under the chairmanship of Prime Minister Major. It was a sad, sad moment, a time in which disrespect to justice and a great injury to humanity has been inflicted. But no one could do anything against the Nigerian dictator. Nigeria and the world lost a great poet and saved a great dictator.
“From 1922 March on Rome through the early 1930 Benito Mussolini received and uncommonly favorable reception from many elements of American Society. The press devoted much space to his praise, with the Saturday Evening Post leading the way. Italian Americans found a new sense of national identity and pride through his rise to power. Business people looked to his example first as a way dealing with labor problems and with the advent of the depression as a way of ordering the economy along none socialist line.” (Alpers: 19*)
In spite of the fact that dictatorship is known for its destruction on Humanity, the international system so anarchic by itself has not been amended to contain “Tyranny”. Even though International Observers of the May 2005 election in Ethiopia had announced to the world that the democratic process in the election has been violated by the Government no attempt has been done to restrict tyrant Melese Zenawi from forming an illegal government throwing the legitimate representatives of the people in Jail. The world’s hegemonic power, the United States was one of the first to recognize and congratulate tyrant Zenawi during the formation of his illegal government. It is also sad that when nearly 200 people died in the raid to disperse the demonstration against tyrant Zenawi’s misdeed, the United States did not give a heed to the matter. Rather, it was engaged in negotiation with the tyrant on how to contain Terrorism in the Horn of Africa. I am just wondering where President Bush buries his renowned quotation “All who live in tyranny and helplessness can know – the United States will not ignore your oppressors. When you stand for your liberty, we will stand with you.” Never and ever was this promise fulfilled in the case of Ethiopia.
It is true that the United States has a responsibility to contain Terrorism wherever it may be. But it is also the policy of the United States to contain “Tyranny” where ever it maybe not only because President Bush promised to stand with the liberty of the oppressed but by virtue of the constitution of the United States. A tyrant at home is a tyrant everywhere. That is why tyrants in Germany and Italy caused havoc in the entire world. Using a tyrant to contain terrorism in the Horn should never be the policy of the United States. The United States as hegemony of the world should help and involve in containing both tyranny and terrorism in the Horn because both are enemies to humanity. Tyranny is a conduct that cannot be rehabilitated. This has been observed in the case of Sadam Hussein a one time friend of the United States and the Taliban that the U.S. brought to power and then threw it away after the incident of 9/11.
Today the United States is in a honeymoon with tyrant Zenawi as she was with Sadam Hussein and the Talibans a few years ago and probably with Benito Mussolini some eighty years ago. The responsibility that the U.S. holds in protecting humanity from the damages that Tyranny is causing is immense indeed. Its negligence of this responsibility on account of National interest would cause a black spot in its history. We are Ethiopians. We know the value of history more than any nation else as our forefathers have left us a clean and memorable history of thousands of years in which we are proud of. We would like Americans to leave a clean and memorable history in which their children and grand children will be proud of.
A couple of weeks a go an initiative authored by Congressman Donald Pain, HR 2003 has been unmarked by the interferences of the State Department that claims to have been engaged in negotiation for the release of Kinjit leaders. According to sources the Department had plead Congress to postpone the marking of HR 2003 for a month since tyrant Zenawi may react negatively if the initiation is submitted to congress for marking. Two days after this news tyrant Zenawi told his parliament that “He does not negotiate with criminals” and condemned the pressure that he said some outside powers were trying to exert on him. This is a typical character of a tyrant; a character that we say is not, amendable or repairable or subject to rehabilitation. Ones a tyrant, always a tyrant is the rule of the game in tyranny.
The Kangaroo court that declared our leaders guilty of crime is not free of Zenawi’s interference. This has been told by the investigating commission established by Zenawi to inquire on the June and November Killings that took place in various parts of the nation. During that time, it is to be recalled that over 43,000 young Ethiopians were packed in various Military camps particularly in the concentration camp in Dedessa where a large number were infected by various diseases. Where tyranny rules it is difficult to believe the freedom of the judiciary.
The life of outstanding Ethiopians that strive for the prevalence of Democracy in Ethiopia is in danger. The Attorney of the vulgar Government has already demanded a death sentence for them. It is time for all democratic forces of the world and World Powers to rise up and find a way to save their lives. If not, there is no doubt another crime on humanity is being committed and all of us share responsibility for that.
*Alpers, Benjamin L.,University of South Carolina Press,