Joseph Robinette Biden
President of the United States of America
The White House,
Humble greetings to your Excellency Mr. President;
Ethiopia is a country with ancient civilization, long history of independence and self-rule. My country, over three thousand years of its statehood, had never demonstrated any act of aggression against and unwarranted interference into any nation. On the contrary, the country’s unwavering stands for peaceful coexistence and mutual respect have been abusively handled by some other nations in a number of times and ways. Geopolitics, religious interests, claim for monopoly over water sources and other resources were some of the causes of attempted but never achieved conquest of Ethiopia. Our history, ever since the immemorial past, is largely characterized by responding to proxy wars or direct confrontations with aggressors. The truth is that none of the aggressors did succeed in subordination of Ethiopia, an African insignia of resistance, independence and liberty, however.
So long as my knowledge about the Ethio-American relations is concerned, Ethiopia positions itself to be a faithful ally to the US. The long diplomatic ties between the two countries that lasted for nearly a century and a quarter may be cited as evidence of a tenacious journey of companionship. No matter how such a persistent relationship experiences recurring shocks at some events of transition, the likelihood of animosity to prevail remains insignificant due to a long established tradition of tolerance and revamping. Despite a long-lasting friendly atmosphere, the current US administration is meddling into Ethiopian sovereign rights. Undermining the country’s capability to manage its internal affairs, smear campaign, false allegations, twisting facts, and a full-fledged rebel backing are all counterproductive in this regard. Ethiopians, more than any other time, are very anxiously asking this question “Whose friend is the US: The despicable tyrant regime or people of Ethiopia?” This is the time for us to know and decide.
Following are a handful of questions pounding my mind time and again while thinking of the relationship between Ethiopia and the United States of America.
1. The White House and the TPLF: It is an undeniable fact that the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) has enjoyed boundless support from the US administration to snatch the central power and notoriously cling to it for about three decades. The question is this. Why did the United States install a group that fought and vowed to continue fighting for the liberation of Tigray abandoning 95 percent of the regional constituencies and overwhelmingly vast majority of citizens? Why the 1991
The London Conference mainly sponsored and organized by the US (where Senator Herman Cohen was master of ceremonies) disregarded forces that struggled for Ethiopian unity while secessionists portrayed triumphant? Was that really an act of caring for Ethiopian unity and its territorial integrity?
2. The 2005 Ethiopian Election: The TPLF held an autocratic grip on political power and fostered economic hegemony until 2005. Deceived by ephemeral confidence of controlling all state machineries, the scandalous ethnocentric organization showed a pretentious glimpse of hope for democratic transition after 14 years of divisive rule.
Nevertheless, the pseudo democratic gesture of the TPLF did not last beyond the election date. During the very date of the poll, Ethiopians started to vigilantly monitor the processes of vote casting and counting. Finding out that the election results were manipulated, public uproars started to surface. The miscarriage of democracy marked by extra judicial killings of hundreds of demonstrators who took to streets by the TPLF forces. Leaders, members and supporters of the opposition parties thrown into jail in a massive numbers, denied access to justice, persecuted, tortured and brutally assaulted. Despite the desperate urge by millions of Ethiopians for justice and democracy, the White House didn’t even dare to seriously reprimand its ally in Addis Ababa. Is the US administration a friend of Ethiopian people or an oppressor?
3. The Tale of Two Elections: In 2010 there was a kind of another theatre by the name of national election. This was the time by which TPLF and associates declared a landslide victory of 99.6 percent. Evading that this practice does not meet standards of free and fair election, the White House dignitaries made a mockery of democracy by calling the rigged vote “democratic election”. In 2021 Ethiopia has conducted a post TPLF national election. As compared to its predecessors, the 2021 election was carried out in a situation where the judiciary, rights watchdogs and electoral systems underwent creditable reforms. Besides, no significant breaches reported in relation to the 2021 national election. Both nationally deployed and overseas joined observers reported acceptability of the election process and results thereof except for
insignificant irregularities. Over 38 million eligible voters cast their ballots and ended up with a government of their choice. Whereas the Biden administration is repeatedly heard of dictating for a transitional government. Why does the Washington administration prefer to stand against the will of Ethiopians? The TPLF, a collection of brutal bunch of hooligans, imposed on Ethiopia by the West was given a 27 year term in office but failed to prove being an Ethiopian. What can Ethiopians do about it thus? Should Ethiopians be denied an inherent democratic right to choose their leaders unless and otherwise the TPLF holds the control knob of Ethiopian politics?
4. Undermining Sovereignty: Irrespective of differences in economic performance, technological advances and military might, countries of the globe have equal power to autonomously making laws in the sphere of their internationally recognized territory. Sovereignty, therefore, is nothing but freedom of a country to govern its internal affairs and external relations. Other things kept constant, no lawmaking body of a given nation is assumed to be less competent to the other as far as one’s national interest is concerned. I have a point to make here. The TPLF stood out to be stubbornly defiant to peacefully sorting out its differences with the federal government since a shift in political power took place in 2018 due to extreme public dissatisfaction and concomitant demand for regulating the minority group’s limitless dominance in the country’s politics and economic arena alike. Turning deaf ears to all calls for roundtable settlement, the TPLF continued to display unconstitutional behaviors in provoking the federal administration in a gesture of muscle flex. In spite of all national reconciliation efforts, the infamous TPLF declared war against the federal government through a brutal attack on the Northern Command of the national defense force on a bloodbath night of 24 October 2020. This act led the tension rapidly into a flashpoint. Eruption of a full-scale armed conflict in Northern Ethiopia, on the other hand, insisted on the Ethiopian Parliament to call TPLF by its right name as “a terrorist”. But the Biden administration is expressly and lavishly extending support to the TPLF in a way of demeaning all accounts of constructive measures taken by the federal government by showing a clear partisan treatment. This is nothing but endorsing heinous crimes against humanity perpetrated by the TPLF with a far-reaching goal of destabilizing and eventually partitioning the nation. After all, with what capacity can the White House blatantly disregard the Ethiopian Parliament enlisting of TPLF as a present and roguish threat to the country’s unity and territorial integrity?
5. Persecuting the Victim and Protecting the Offender: It is true that we are living in a post-truth era where emotions and beliefs matter more than facts. The UN Security Council met 12 times in less than a year to discuss Ethiopia. Some of the agenda items brought to the table were not worthy of the Council’s deliberation however. Besides, the White House is threatening Ethiopia with unilateral sanctions in lieu of collective actions by the UN as the latter may or may not happen. All of the undue actions by pro-TPLF circles are taking place in a total denial of facts on the ground. The White House tends to praise the group with silence while TPLF spreads the conflict into Amhara and Afar regions; carrying out massacre against innocent civilians; gang rape of pregnant women, elderly and children; turning households into burial ground for bodies of its slain combatants; looting and destroying houses and other assets including intentional shelling on livestock; putting grain heaps and growing fields on fire and committing countless atrocious acts of brutality. Yet, the administration tends to lose its temper and gets mad at the Ethiopian government. It is clear that the White House is a foster parent of the TPLF. But Ethiopians are very sick and tired of the ethnocentric gambler. We do not have any tiny room of tolerance to see the TPLF come to power any more. My question to the White House is simple arithmetic. Should the US barter 114 million Ethiopians for a few hegemonic power mongers and egoistic hooligans?
Your Excellency Mr. President, please do not try to mine the right out of wrongs.
Alemayehu D Mekonnen
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