Saturday, October 31, 2009
Meles Ought to Resign with Dignity
Since coming to power in Ethiopia in the early nineties, Meles Zenawi, Ethiopia's Prime Minister, has done more harm than good to the people of the Horn of Africa. Meles Zenawi went to war with Eritrea over Badme and Zalambesa-two dusty towns located between the two nation's borders. Hundreds of thousands died on both sides by the time the war ended. Under Meles Zenawi political parties remain suppressed and supporters either exiled, killed, or given long-term torturous sentences in dirty dungeons manned by Tigreyans-his clansmen.
Meles Zenawi had armed conflict with the nation of Sudan during his tenure of power. Under Meles Zenawi Ethiopian army invaded neighboring Somalia with the pretext of fighting Islamists who took over power. After a humiliating defeat by the Islamists who fought guerilla-style street fights, the Ethiopian army suddenly left Somali soil altogether. Thousands of Ethiopian Army soldiers remain unaccounted for in Somalia's conflict as the dead remain concealed from the public for political reasons.
There are a score of liberation movements fighting for separation from Ethiopia. The Ogaden and the Oromo Liberation fronts are fighting devastating wars to overcome Ethiopian government's colonialist designs. In the altercation between the guerrilla armies and the Ethiopian armed force, innocent civilians are caught in the quagmires. The scarcity of food, medicine, shelter, and water adds to the miseries of the poor of Oromia and Ogadenia.
Grinding poverty coupled with a devastating drought that is sweeping all corners of Ethiopia is taking a heavy toll. There is much suffering in the entire country and the much-awaited election in 2010 will not alleviate the problems the country now faces. There is a feeling in the public the coming election will be rigged giving the ruling party the upper hand. Just as in the rest of Africa, Ethiopia's case is no exception. The best Meles Zenawi can do for his people is to resign with dignity to save his people and his country from further disintegration,