Date: Wednesday, 02 June 2021
By: Berhane Woldu
USA’s recent action has put many politicians in disarray and for some questioning if Ethiopia is an ally or a colony of the USA. The USA State Department has told the Ethiopian government to pull out its army out of the Tigraye province of Ethiopia and sanction its top leaders. Unheard of!
Ethiopia has had a long history of cooperation with the USA and a staunch ally. If one looks at the history of partnership it goes back hundreds of years. Ethiopia was one of the country that contributed its army to the Korean War, The Mutual Defense Treaty that awarded the USA: a base in Massawa on the Red Sea, radio navy communication center, bequeathed the Kagnew Station in Asmara that served the USA with intelligence gathering and monitoring capacities. From Kagnew base, the US monitored the communication and activities of the former Soviet Union. Kagnew was the base that the USA kept open ears and eyes on Africa, the Middle East, Asia, and the Indian Ocean. Ethiopia’s recent roll in Somalia and South Sudan. Serving as a hub for the US and European interest in Africa. All forgotten.
Ethiopia is a rising giant with 110,000,000 people the richest country in water resources; high culture of Independence and with history of proud people. That has rich population in Diaspora that can send remittance to their mother land. Minimizing foreign aid.
Looking back at US role in Africa there is much to be said. Remembering Obama hitting the drum, preaching African leaders. As it was the first such visit by a sitting American president to Africa one can say it was a historic opportunity at least for Obama. His leadership in seven years of his presidency gave little attention to Africa. President Biden; then vice president is back as president; will his policy be better for Africa. Biden’s foreign minister statement and imposing sanction on Ethiopia is an indication that his leadership is more intrusive than Obama and doesn’t seem to respect a nation’s Sovereignty. Meddling in the internal affairs of Ethiopia.
Mr. Obama’s passivity, ignoring Africa being less personally engaged in foreign policy matters and avoiding US foreign entanglement and his retreat had little influence. Half a century before Obama, J F Kennedy remembered as one of the great leaders of his time had a much better accomplishment and implementation of an economic model tailored for Africa “The Five Stages of Development” and The Peace Corps. Clinton and Gorge Bush Jr had done more for African than an African blooded president Obama. President Trump even stated that he saved a country and someone else was awarded the Noble price for peace. Meaning Dr. Abeye Ahmed the Prime Minster of Ethiopia. During his presidency what can J. Biden offer Africa “Tough Love” and good governance? Will he repeat the Obama policy of supporting bad governance and rent seekers?
The US State department has ordered the Ethiopian government to pull out its Amhara Special Forces troop and Eritrean army from Tigraye province and negotiate with the fallen TPLF. An organization that is benumbed, obsolete and deceased.
How can the Ethiopian people forget what happened to its Northern Front Army? The army that was hands and gloves with the people of Tigraye. Weyane took the first offensive while the army was asleep. Killed their own army comrades. Run over some of them with heavy trucks. Left the dead rotten to be eaten by wild animals. How could one be so vicious, hateful, evil, belligerent and self-destructive? TPLF had planned after dismantling the Northern Front army to take over the Amhara region from there advance to Addis Ababa to recuperate power. To the North March to Eritrea and capture Asmara over throw the government. President Biden wants to revive the criminal junta TPLF from dead. Mr. President: Only Jesus can rise from death.
Mulugetta W/Gebreale a former TPLF fighter in his book States that: The Tigraye People Liberation Front (TPLF) top echelon that dominated the Ethiopian ruling party facilitated “land grab.” Many multinational companies and foreign private speculators leased millions of acres of the country’s most fertile territory from the government at bargain basement price. Engendered numerous human rights violations, poverty and drastic inequalities. Around 90 percent of the population suffers from numerous deprivations, ranging from insufficient access to education to inadequate health care; and more than 30 million people facing chronic food shortages all accounted to the greed of TPLF leaders. The TPLF while in power looted the country and become rich; it’s estimated that the TPLF leadership looted 11 billion US dollars. Indebted the country with 24.7 billion US dollars. 70% of the countries’ economy was owned by TPLF’s company EFFORT. An endowment. They imprisoned oppositions, they promoted theft and dishonesty, corruption was rampant, divided the country on ethnic lines. They destroyed the value and norms of what being an Ethiopian meant a country with rich culture.
In summing up; Ethiopia is a rising giant with 110,000,000 people the richest country in water resources numerous nations desiring to have tight relation with it. President Biden needs to rectify his wrong policy towards Ethiopia and come with constructive African policy, become engaged in the welfare of Africans. Advocating for failed leaders that had committed crimes is not to the interest of USA. Avoiding confrontation and formulating positive relationship with African leaders that are serving the interest of their people should be the surmount policy towards Africa.
African people’s needs are good governance, beneficial use of national wealth, respect of nation’s sovereignty, partnership in investments and trade that are the unseen arbiters of power.