Wednesday, April 24, 2024
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An Open Letter to President Joe Biden : Better are thorny truths than comfortable deceits

Joe Biden _ Ethiopia

Joseph Robinette Biden 
President of the United States of America 
The White House,  
Washington DC 

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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  1. Author,

    Why write this? Biden will obviously not read thus labored article. This part was cringy and unbearable:

    “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.”

    Your point is missed due to all your groveling. Please be more concise and to the point. Maybe you should repurpose this letter for Abiy.



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