I have read your article with great disappointment! It shows the continuous and counterproductive policy of the U.S (if at all there is any policy) as regards Ethiopia and the region as whole.
To begin with, what we have in Ethiopia is not a GOVERNMENT, as you like to refer it. Instead, what we have in that country is an OLIGARCHY. The same oligarchs ruled the country for over 25 years now. Same people, from the same ethnic family – a bunch of criminals who goes by the name of TPLF with dreams of forming the “Greater Tigray” at the expense of the rest of Ethiopians and their resources. They control the politics, the economy, the land and every business and investment you could name. You and I know very well that the Prime Minister, Hailemariam Desalegn, is just sitting there to give a semblance of representation in the government. It’s clear for any close observer of the Ethiopian politics that it is, of course, the TPLF criminals who pull the strings behind this sad puppet who has no clue whatsoever what’s awaiting in store for him.
You have clearly indicated that the U.S. would continue to stand behind these oligarchs regardless of the carnage being perpetrated by them against the Ethiopian people. Your advice that the regime should open the political space and engage the civil society is just the usual malarkey that comes out of the U.S. Department of State in the form of statement of “concern” every time the regime use lethal force against innocent people.
You described Al-Shabaab as “a ruthless terrorist group.” In case you haven’t heard, over 150 people were massacred in just one weekend at the beginning of this month in the Amhara region; not to mention the over 700 people killed in the Oromo region of the country in the last nine months. Their crime? Peacefully demanding their economic and political rights. If Al Shabaab is a “ruthless terrorist group,” then what’s TPLF? Aren’t they committing the same crime against their own people? Isn’t the U.S. enabling a regime that perpetrates the same crimes that the Al Shabaab commits?
Have you seen the picture attached to your article on allafrica.com? I could easily share here a hundred pictures of the carnage that has been committed by the regime in the last few weeks alone. But they are too gruesome. A simple glance at the Ethiopian social media could show the barbarity of the regime forces. I know you have a very busy schedule but let me know if you need help compiling audio, video and photo evidences of the cruelty of the regime. I will do it at no charge.
Your advice that the regime “reform the system” to save it from its demise has come too little too late. In any case, it is not in the nature of these criminals to reform, improve, and get better. As someone aptly put it before, TPLF cannot be reformed, like apartheid, it should be abolished!
“Almost every Ethiopian I have met during my three recent trips to the country, including government officials, has told me that as Ethiopians become more prosperous and educated.” Mr. Malinowski, have you seen the poor who eat leftovers at the city’s dumping grounds? Have you met the prisoners of conscience languishing in the regime’s dungeons? Have you met parents in the underprivileged sections of the city who could hardly afford to feed their children once a day? It is safe to assume that the people you met at those five star hotels in Addis were cronies of the regime who could fly to Washington DC for breakfast and take the next flight to Tokyo for some real Shushi for dinner.
As a concerned Ethiopian American, I fear for my country! I fear for the entire region! I am not wishing the worst for my people but I see the country heading to civil war. I see chaos in the region.
The people have already been pushed to the edge. Whether the United States stand with the Ethiopian people or not, they have made it abundantly clear that they would use whatever means at their disposal to free themselves from tyranny. They have already declared in no uncertain terms that they want the minority regime gone. They demand no less than regime change.
This may sound an overused cliché but the genie is out of the bottle. No amount of power would put it back.
Ethiopians will free themselves from tyranny and reclaim their freedom and their dignity!
Engidu Woldie can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org