By Fikrie Zelekew
Ethiopians have been facing repression, denial of basic human rights and injustice during 21 years of Dictator Meles Zenawi rule. This dictatorship is ethnic based and commits atrocities such as massacres, genocide, starvation and incitement of interethnic conflicts and preaching and spreading of hatred among the different communities. It employs the old colonial method of divide and rule. His regime has created conflicts between religious groups and interfered in their affairs. He ceded western parts of Ethiopia to Sudan and other parts to Eritrea.
Following the huge loss of 2005 parliamentary election, he ordered his security forces to detain and imprisoned more than 40,000; kill 200 peaceful protestors and dozens were disappeared. Farmers that are accused of supporting and voting for the opposition parties are systematically abused and punished through the denial of access to fertilizers, improved seeds, humanitarian help and other social services. They are evicted from their fertile farming lands which are leased to foreign investors from China, India and Saudi Arabia and forced to settle elsewhere without adequate provisions and support. The newly graduating students will be denied jobs and further education opportunities if they do not become the members and supporters of the ruling party or front. Membership and loyalty to the authorities are the keys to job and higher education opportunities. Civil servants lose their jobs for the same reasons. The government has enacted different draconian laws including the anti-terrorism law mainly aimed at penalizing dissent, curbing freedom of expression, free media and cracking down on its opponents and pro-democracy activists.
Journalists of the free press, leaders, suspected members and supporters of the opposition parties are thrown into the worst and notorious prisons throughout the country on tramped up and fictitious charges, exposed to tortures and other inhuman treatments. Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, Freedom House, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) and other organizations have reported the violations committed against the journalists and freedom of expression. The repressions and injustices in the country are forcing citizens to resort to desperate measures such as committing suicide. The Ethiopian teacher called Yenesew Gebre immolated himself on November 11, 2011 to show his disapproval of and in protest to the increasing repression and injustice in the country. He preferred death to humiliation, life without basic human rights and is hailed as Mohamed Bouazizi of Ethiopia.
The miserable rule and repression of the Ethno-fascist rule of Meles Zenawi was forcing the ever increasing number citizens to leave the country in search of safety and better opportunities. Many are losing their lives in the Sahara desert and seas while attempting to reach the west. Corruption has been rampant and a chronic problem in the country. Aid money and emergency humanitarian help are abused as political weapons against citizens.
The Meles Zenawi regime was sending its agents and supporters to follow, monitor, film and photograph Ethiopians and their political activities and identities throughout the world, especially in the western countries to eliminate, weaken and silence its critics and opponents.
Therefore, the death of Meles Zenawi is welcomed for the sake of peace and stability in Ethiopia as well as in the region. We Ethiopians should use the opportunity to prevail and establish democracy, justice and basic human rights in Ethiopia.
God bless Ethiopia!!
Fikrie Zelekew, August 31, 2012