By HAMA TUMA: An Ethiopian proverb states that first witness for the rat is the small bird. The Ethiopian charlatan of a Prime Minister, who got awarded the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize, was given praise by the antiquated body called the Nobel Institute. I will come to the reasons they gave to justify their condemnable decision later but first what is the relevance of the prize in real terms? Why is it considered a farce played on Ethiopians and the world by professional pettifoggers in Oslo.
It is not the first man time Norwegian veteran politicians have used the prize to sell dictators and war mongers. In the past Hitler, Mussolini and Stalin were all nominated while the Nobel board writhed and screamed not to allow a German political prisoners as a candidate. Understandably, Theodore Roosevelt of the USA, a man not that much in love with peace ,was one of the earliest prize winner. It had to do with Norwegian politics and signaled the ever continuing subservience of the small Scandinavian country to the USA. It began the politicization of the Oslo prizes . Kissinger, a war criminal and the butcher of Indochina and the master of the Pinochet fascist coup, was given the Nobel Peace prize. So was Menahem Begin who led the Irgun/Haganah gang and made war on the Palestinians. It also awarded Gorbachev who betrayed his country for the benefit of the West along with Anwar Sadat and Lech Walesa. The latter had worked secretly with the CIA and the Vatican to overthrow the regime in Poland. The Burmese prize winner has now proved herself how much of a woman of peace she is. Obama was just elected when he got the Noble peace prize without ending a war ongoing by America. He used Africa into a drone and military base center and continued to bomb and kill until he left the White House. The Nobel Institute is but a political machine perpetuating a farce and awarding killers and war mongers. It would rather honor unknown white writers than the likes of Ngugi wa Thiongo or Nurredin Farah.
And so is the case with the unelected prime minster in Addis Abeba. He won while the drab men in Oslo because of political reasons shunned the environmentalist young girl Greta Thunberg. They awarded the lt. colonel who served the totalitarian and repressive regime of the late Meles Zenawi for 27 years being part of his spying and repressive apparatus. Groomed by the NSA, for which he worked for years, he was propelled unto power with Washington to stop a popular revolt that threatened to sweep away the pro America regime of the ruling TPLF/EPRDF. Within this apparatus, the colonel was part of a narrow nationalist satellite group called the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization, now in power and engaged in a brutal ethnic cleansing, and just today engaged in a sweeping round up and jailing of activist youngsters about to make a demonstration tomorrow to declare their opposition to the ethnic definition and name changing that the colonel and his acolytes have planned for Addis Abeba.
The Nobel committee said we award the PM the peace prize because he ended the war with Eritrea, bla bla. The war in Eritrea had ended a decade or more ago though the war situation had endured. Is the so-called peace agreement, made by the colonel of his own free will or is it a result of pressure made by America and Saudi Arabia to bring in tyrant Isayas Afewerki away from the sanctions cold? And what is the benefit of the agreement, anyway? The isolated regime of Isaias Afewerki war reaching the end of its line and its shameful support of the Saudi war on Yemen, the lease of its Assab port to become a UAE military/air force base had made it kosher for those concerned, State Department official was becoming a frequent visitor of Addis Abeba, Asmara and Dubai to work out a US sponsored agreement between the regime in Addis Abeba and the tyrant in Asmara. Up to today no Ethiopia or Eritrean knows the details of the deal and the PM’s solitary decision to cede Ethiopian territory (for which close to 100,000 had died in the border war) has not met with approval in Ethiopia. The so-called deal had a flaring honeymoon for a while with Eritrea buying cement, coffee and staple Teff but the border points are now closed and though the two regimes dance together for PR purposes, the conflict has not ended in a satisfying and enduring manner. Isayas Afewerki still represses his people with no mercy and has not released even one political prisoner.
The coming to power of the PM was a plot by foreign forces intending to end the popular struggle for system change. Soon as he came to power the prepared propaganda PR campaign, the selling of a PM was launched and we could not hear voices against the person. Even today even the likes of the New York Times write of a young boy whose mother had whispered to him he will be in the palace. This preposterous claim was fanned by the knave himself and has made the one who loaded the dice a laughingstock in Ethiopia. The deceptive campaign to sell the PM confused many people in and outside Ethiopia. They hailed him for freeing thousands of political prisoners but three fourth of the 45,000 political prisoners are still behind bars and since he came to power some five thousand have been imprisoned.. The labor camps at Zwai, Dedesa, Bir Sheleko, etc and the open and secret prisons in the towns and the city are still open and crammed. The many disappeared have not been found or accounted for. Even favorable human right organizations have testified that the system continues, the illegal Constitution of the Tigrean regime persists and the anti-people draconian laws decreed by the Tigrean dominated regime are still in place. What change? It is all an orchestrated propaganda charade. The legalization of outlawed groups concerns only those groups allied with the PM and genuine patriotic forces are still considered illegal.
The PM embraced from the start criminal hate mongers calling either for the breakup of Ethiopia or the slaughter of Amharas and Orthodox Christians. The ethnic cleansing and burning of churches has gone on for the past year without a pip from the Western governments or China. Crime pays and the PM is laughing in the palace considering that his one year plus rule has produced over 3 million internally displaced (the most in the world), that he is trying to open parks as millions of children starve, that his regime had committed a massacre in Burayu,Ataye,Legetafo, and in many other places like Dembidollo, Beni Shangul, Shashemene, in Afar land etc. Awarded for not only bad governance and ethnic chauvinism but for failure. Who wouldn’t be “humbled and thrilled” by this? It is not surprising that the UN secretary general, the insensate man who praised the TPLF as a force for peace and stability , congratulates the deceitful PM. Not surprising either if the AU, Kagame, Buhari and others of their cut join the chorus. Kagame was a first for appointing powerless female ministers (the PM has done the same and made an opportunist woman president of the country). It would be foolish to imagine the Western media which ignores mammoth protest demonstrations even in Addis Abeba, is unaware of the truth. The point is sure he is an SOB, but he is our SOB. And the age old imperial contempt for Africans.
Besieged by a growing internal protest and wobbling together with his Oromo extremists, the man needs help. SOS. And Oslo has responded. His international image is expected to be beautified, improved dramatically but alas this is not to be. His Oromo extremist stance and inability to even address the basic problems of Ethiopia makes him a lame duck which no prize can make stand stable. He is not confronting problems as he tries to reform for there is no serious reform but the continuation of ethnic tyranny under a new guise.. He himself is the obstacle of change, an ethnic chauvinist, a servant of neocolonial and imperialist powers. Himself and his close extreme allies are the ones spreading hate and terror on ethnic grounds as they try to fulfill their land expansion and ethnic dominance plans. Over 85 % of the army and the bureaucracy is presently composed of the followers of the ruling ethnic party selected on ethnic and religious grounds. TPLF domination replaced by OPDO domination. The people’s demand for basic change and a democratic transition is denied and fake rigged election process that has haunted the people for the last 28 years is sure to be repeated next year with the winners known already. A sad charade, a continuing tragedy.
The Nobel committee should have done better if it gave the prize to Greta, or to the people who deserved it but then again they must have wanted someone to accompany the list of hailed war criminals like Kissinger.
So far, so very bad.
All this is if one takes the Nobel thing seriously and gives it more importance than it deserves. The truth is that the fetid reality of a brutal dictatorship cannot be covered by any prize in the world.