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Expel the AU from Ethiopia

By George Ayittey

George Ayittey, a native of Ghana, is a Distinguished Economist at American University and President of the Free Africa Foundation. He is the author of Africa Unchained (Palgrave/MacMillan, 2005) and Indigenous African Institutions (Transnational Publishers, 2006).

May 13, 2012 – Ethiopia is a police state, where journalists are branded as “terrorists” and jailed – over 200 so far. It has only ONE national radio station, ONE national television station, ONE national daily for 83m people, ONE internet server. Private broadcasts are JAMMED.

PM Meles Zenawi turned out to be worse than the brutal dictator, Col Mengistu he ousted back in 1991. Zenawi practices ethnic (Tigrayan) apartheid. #Ethiopia

He rigged the 2005 elections. When people protested, security forces killed over 500, injured 800+ and arrested over 40,000.

Same thing happened in 2010 elections, where Zenawi’s party won 96.4% of the vote. The opposition won just one seat in the 547-seat parliament.

And Ethiopia is the country where the African Union keeps its headquarters in Addis Ababa, from where it preaches democracy and freedom of expression to the rest of Africa? A country that violates every tenet of the AU’s Charter on Human and Peoples Rights?

Article 9 of the AU’s own Charter guarantees FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION. Protests are a form of freedom of expression. What’s the point of having an organization that CANNOT enforce its own rules or charter?

A den of kleptocrats and dictators, the AU can’t even define “democracy.” There is no election in Africa that it doesn’t like; all are “free and fair.”

Name one crisis the AU has been able to resolve without appealing for international aid. Congo? Libya? Somalia? Sudan? Zimbabwe?

In Sudan, when AU troops came under sustained rebel assault in Haskanita near Darfur, in Oct 2007, they FLED – like the Malian soldiers.

Ethiopians should end this tomfoolery and buffoonery. OCCUPY the new AU Headquarters built by China and SHUT IT DOWN – until ALL journalists and political prisoners are released before the next AU Summit in June.

The expulsion of the AU from Ethiopia would be the GREATEST SERVICE Ethiopians can do for Africa – comparable to the great achievements of Nkrumah and Mandela.

The expulsion will shake the very foundations of kleptocracy and dictatorship across Africa and spark the SECOND LIBERATION of Africa.

Ethiopia’s PM Zenawi gets a cool $2+bn in Western aid as an “ally in the war on terrorism.” Too fatuous. Does the West ever learn? #Ethiopia

Zenawi couldn’t find enough terrorists in Somalia, so he turned on journalists and critics, labeling them “terrorists.” Paranoia and hallucination have set in.

Unless Ethiopians kick out the AU, their future will remain bleak. In the past half CENTURY, Ethiopia has had just 3 heads of state: Selassie, Mengistu and Zenawi. The first two were removed from office VIOLENTLY – military coup and rebel insurgency. How do you think Zenawi, after 21 years in power via rigged elections, will be removed from power?

The wise learn from the mistakes of others while fools repeat them. Idiots, on the other hand, repeat their own stupid mistakes.

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