Yesterday PM Abiy of Ethiopia revealed himself as a charlatan, lyre, evasive and insulting overall as a sick and demented leader in parliament. It reminded me of an old old story. The king of one country wanted the fine ‘cloth’ to wear in public, so his people can adore him even more. When his ministers finally saw the ‘cloth’, they did not want o tell him that he was naked for fear of being exposed as fools. When he finally appeared in public, accompanied by his ministers to address his subjects, the whole kingdom spoke of the extraordinary fabric they pretended to see and admire his cloth. Only a little boy dared to tell the truth “But the king is naked!!!” It needed one brave young man, to tell the truth. the boy was spared his life. PM Abiy does not realize that he has been seen ‘ naked’ symbolically many times but his parliament cheered. But his last appearance showed vividly his true colors. Despite that, the majority of the parliamentarians decided that he was indeed wearing a fine ‘cloth’.
We have reached the endgame. Ethiopia can no longer continue to be led by this sick leader who would rather be in a psychiatric ward while he still got the time. ( that option might even be too late.) During the last decade, Africa’s misgovernance has been challenged by people in several countries. Dictators have one by one lost their grip on power and succumbed to a military coup, people’s upheaval, and fraudulent election. Despite the change in leadership and situation of people never changes and therefore is immediately followed up by another violent or forced change. Such was the case in Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Ivory Coast, Angola, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Niger, Chad, Burkina Faso, CAR, DRC, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Guinea, Mali, Cameroon, Sudan, Somalia, Gabon, Uganda, Burundi, Malawi, etc. Some heads of state are killed, some flee to another country, some meet their death while running away, some face justice at home and none stay alive peacefully; a grim reminder to PM Abiy. The old days of seeking asylum are over. No head of state can run away and avoid justice.
Africans are fighting corruption and rigged elections and dictatorship. There are over 2000 languages and tribes in Africa and only 54 sovereign states. Ethnic groups are fighting not each other but fighting for justice and equality for all, unlike in Ethiopia. Ethiopia’s crisis is unique in many aspects. Africa in some ways is moving forward while Ethiopia is moving backward in all aspects except in its population size which is the second-largest in Africa.
Dictators in their waning years become more delusional, isolated and confused, and more brutal and start believing in their own lies. They listen only to those who tell them what they want to hear. Their lack of empathy knows no bounds. In my recent book What a Life, in a long chapter, I tried to define PM Abiy. This PM has lied and lied to Ethiopians over and over again with sheer arrogance and crude disregard for his responsibility and accountability to the people and the parliament which is completely dominated by a party he created while in office. What he answered to parliament members yesterday when asked by a few about the ongoing genocide and civil war in Ethiopia, he tried to deflect, ramble, and at one instance he said compared the genocide to what is going on in Los Angles and the USA, stating that thousands die every day in Los Angles alone. Such is the mind of a sick leader in Ethiopia. Through such kinds of elusive untrue statements, he avoided the questions of accountability and walked out of the hall with the full support of his stooges in the parliament, who never saw a ‘naked man, a man that can barely express himself without contradiction, inconsistencies, and big lies. They live in shame for not standing for the truth that the young man stood for and shouted “But he is naked”. Staying on the job is their only way of getting a lucrative salary with a lot of perks and now and then big or small handouts for those who did extraordinary jobs to protect them.
In my recent book What A Life; I have dealt with Abiy,s character in detail, through my own lenses and with the help of readings on such kinds of demented leaders in history. Ethiopia has never been ruled by such leaders but by people who had characters and never by con men or women. Our earlier readers with all their weaknesses and faults, some gross, had Ethiopian unity in mind and were predictable. That is why history can define each one of them, a few as ruthless, but most as leaders with empathy and a full sense of patriotism.
Not much is known about this man, called Abiy Ahmed, who just jumped into the political scene and in no more than a year became a dictator around whom the future of Ethiopia revolves. One thing is becoming clearer as we try to understand him. He is narcissist and an impostor. In some ways, all people have the propensity to become impostors. People’s public and private lives are most of the time difference. What we speak and teach in public and from the pulpit are most of the time different from what we actually are. There is always the pressure to suppress our real selves. But when you take this to another level it becomes an illness and detrimental to the well-being of society.
PM Abiy is both an impostor and a person with a narcissistic personality disorder. Clinical phycologist Dr Ramani Durvasuala, an expert in the field, writes “Often discussed impostor syndrome is the belief that you don’t belong or you are under qualified, and will one day be found out as a fraud. Somebody with impostor syndrome might constantly feel as if they are being judged and found lacking by others and end up overwhelmed by anxiety. ( MensHealth, April 2, 2022, by Philip Ellis)
“But neurotic impostors feel more fraudulent and alone than other people do. Because they view themselves as charlatans, their success is worse than meaningless: It is a burden. In their heart of hearts, these self-doubters believe that others are much smarter and more capable than they are, so any praise impostors earn makes no sense to them. “Bluffing” their way through life (as they see it), they are haunted by the constant fear of exposure. With every success, they think, “I was lucky this time, fooling everyone, but will my luck hold? When will people discover that I’m not up to the job?” (https://hbr.org/2005/09/the-dangers-of-feeling-like-a-fake)
The core characteristics of grandiose narcissism include exhibitionism, authoritativeness, grandiose fantasies of power, acclaim seeking, manipulativeness, exploitativeness, entitlement, lack of empathy, arrogance, and thrill-seeking. Here are some items that measure grandiose narcissism:
1. I like being the most popular person at a party.
2. I tend to take charge of most situations.
3. I often fantasize about having lots of success and
4. I aspire for greatness.
5. I can talk my way into and out of anything.
6. I will use people as tools to advance myself.
7. I don’t think the rules apply to me as much as they
apply to others.
8. I don’t generally pay much attention to the woes of
9. I am a superior person.
10. I will try almost anything to get my “thrills”.
( Scientific America, a Narcissists More likely Experience Impostor Syndrome, by Scott Barry Kaufman) Don’t the above really define PM Abiy for those who have observed his pattern of ruling? Yes, they do definitely. That is PM Abiy.
In the process, the truth is lost. People are confused by their leaders at all levels. And this confusion ends up with regional and ethnic leaders taking the law into their hands which takes the entire country’s people to the fringes of hell. Sane minds might evolve who take over and save the country, albeit with enormous sacrifice. As of now, the big lies of The Great Impostor have no savior. The Big Lies and the accompanying atrocities are taking their toll as every week exposes a ruthless campaign of heinous crimes which seem to be inherited from the past (The Gada System which the Oromo ethnic group is trying to install in Ethiopia now in the 21st century) As professor Girma Berhanu, an expert in the field of human behavior and mental disabilities wrote an essay, the extremist Oromos are conducting the most heinous crimes the world has ever seen. The PM told his loyal parliament that such crimes are happening everywhere in the world. Does cannibalism exist anywhere? Does the tearing apart of a pregnant woman and eating the fetus exist anywhere? Does the burning of people alive exist anywhere? Does wearing the organ of a male victim as a necklace exist anywhere? Not in the USA which PM Abiy alluded to. .
”To make things worse, there is the discourse of cannibalism. Survivors described hearing these acts in different contexts. They heard it from the armed groups themselves. Now, in a conflict over land and power, cannibalism as a crime of war seems to have entered the 21st century. No doubt, elements of both myth and magic play a role in these accounts. In essence, rumors of cannibalism do much the same thing as the act itself: They terrify. That terror becomes its own form of psychological warfare—a tactic to consume the enemy’s power. In his illuminative text, Abbink (2008) —Cannibalism” in Southern Ethiopia. An Exploratory Case Study of Me’en Discourse[xxi]— describes that cannibalism- the consumption of human body parts by other humans- continues to be a challenge for anthropological explanation………
The Amharas are excluded and demonized by the Oromo tribalists, and it should not surprise us that the news that comes out of the killing fields in Oromia region are actual practices on the body of the Amhara people i.e., necro politics manifested in flesh and blood consumption of human body! Previously this practice was also reported in Benishangul and Gumuz Region. Captured members of the Gumuz Liberation Movement confessed to ethnic cleansing, murder, and cannibalism.[xxii]” (Borkena, Opinion Section July 2, 2022)
These atrocities are not told about not even mentioned in government-controlled media. Like the Nazis, PM uses propaganda and diversion as a tactic to cover up the truth. But in this digital world, nothing can escape unnoticed and or unrecorded. The ground and the skies capture everything. Abiy uses his falsehood to disguise his political aims and deceive the public. He lies and lies because he has exhausted all other ways of bringing the people to him. He is only left by Big Lies while hundreds of thousands have nowhere to live and thousands dying with survivors telling horrendous stories; eating grass and sheltering in churches and trekking to other Amhara regions. Abiy depicts these horrendous events as normal, happening in many parts of the world. He is capable of stating that what happened in Rwanda is normal, to justify his own actions. What is happening in Ethiopia is less in its magnitude compared to Rwanda but it is worse in the barbarous methods used to exterminate one Ethnic population. This is Genocide.
While international lawyers consider genocide difficult to prove in court, because the intention of perpetrators has to be proved, the case of Ethiopia is the simplest like Rwanda. There is overwhelming evidence of intentions to exterminate a group, in this case, Amharas. This intention can be proved very easily compared to other cases. What remains is for the UN Human Rights Council to investigate these crimes from inside Ethiopia and submit its findings to the UN Human Rights Council which, if it finds out there is sufficient evidence, and a threat to peace and security in the region, will submit its findings to the UNSC, like it was done in the Darfur case. The Security Council may refer the case to the ICC and Ethiopia will be forced to allow full and unhindered investigation and send perpetrators to face justice in the ICC.
Many of his followers and his propagandist machine call these crimes just another massacre. The Geneva Convention is the simplest UN Convention. It is clear and one does not need to be a lawyer to understand it. The International Criminal Court however deals with four kinds of crimes: Genocide, War Crimes, crimes against humanity, and crimes of aggression. A massacre is a colloquial language used in Ethiopia’s case by deniers to prevent the case from reaching PM Abiy’s doorstep. The PM loves the word massacre. Because it distances the crimes from him. Common sense calls such people accomplices and deniers of the truth they know. And deniers will face the wrath of public justice.
As stated in my previous article The International Criminal Tribunals for Yugoslavia (ICTY) and Rwanda define complicity as: “all acts of assistance or encouragement that have substantially contributed to, or have had a substantial effect on, the completion of a crime within the jurisdiction of the Tribunal.” As the ICTY Appeals Chamber suggested in reference to this:
“Although only some members of the group may physically perpetrate the criminal act … the … contribution of the other members of the group is often vital in facilitating the commission of the offense in question. It follows then that the moral gravity of such participation is often no less–or indeed no different–from that of those actually carrying out the acts in question.” (ICTY records)
Adolf Hitler, said (in the group of quotes): “A struggle between the truth and a lie is taking place. As always, the truth will emerge victorious.” What Hitler meant was that what he said was the truth, and what others said were lies. If you tell a lie big enough, no matter how much Abiy and his government try to distract people’s attention and no matter how much they try to destroy evidence, fabricate stories, and imprison or tarnish the images of those who tell the truth through his hired attack dogs, there will still be overwhelming evidence (video, interviews, images, prints, etc.) to show the world that genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes were and are being committed in Ethiopia under his leadership and with his knowledge of the PM. Under an expedient international court with access to all the evidence, his actions or inactions will put him and his senior government officials and his ‘republican guards’ in prison for the rest of their lives if they survive the wrath of the people.
In other words, Abiy is telling his people that “The facts are lies, and my lies are the truth, and what you are seeing hearing and reading is not what’s happening. Just believe in me.” He uses “alternative facts”; the term used by Kellyanne Conway (Donald Trump’s spokesperson), to cover up the lies of Donald Trump. When a leader loses all options to continue to have some meaningful support and they depend on “alternative facts” to feed the innocent and naïve and give tools to their hired cadres who pounce on anybody who exposes the ‘alternative facts.’ these are indications that his days are numbered. Such dictators invent themselves as the redeemers and the guardian of truth. Jesus said “ I am the way and the truth and the life” John 14:6. In his sick mind, Abiy thinks he is the anointed and the ultimate truth comes only from him. He might tell us one day that he is the reincarnation of God. “ the nonphysical essence of a living being which begins a new life in a different form after biological death.”
Like in all the fates of dictators Abiy is trapped in the endgame and will face the music like all the others. His own military and those rebel armies will determine the outcome of the protests that are engulfing the nation, who may stage a coup depending on which option maximizes their benefit. But it will not mean there will be peace with such a change. Peace can only come through Transitional Justice which I have discussed in detail in another article. Abiy’s fate is coming to an end ignominiously but his lies will live on until it is settled through Truth Justice Reparation and Reconciliation. This is the only choice that the people of Ethiopia have for a peaceful co-existence. The creation of new states on the rubbles of this civilization of biblical and Koranic times, together with the geopolitics will make this virtually impossible. This approach will thrive as an academic exercise. These are illusions of misguided elites who do not understand the complexity of the situation in Ethiopia and the region etc. (History (the distortion of history in this generation or the recorded history, culture, religion, intermarriages, unsettled borders, language, and recognition by AU or the UN) It is this realization by the leadership of all factions that should force them to come to the table and have the courage to face the process of truth (whether they are crimes or distortions of history or genocide and crimes against humanity and war crimes.) and justice, reparation and finally reconciliation: what is commonly known as Transitional Justice.
No matter how much Abiy and his government try to distract people’s attention and no matter how much they try to destroy evidence, fabricate stories, and imprison or tarnish the images of those who tell the truth, through his hired attack dogs, there will still be overwhelming evidence (video, interviews, images, prints, etc.) to show the world that genocide and crimes against humanity were and are being committed in Ethiopia under his leadership and with his knowledge.
Under an expedient international court with access to all the evidence, his actions or inactions will put him and his senior government officials and his ‘republican guards’ in prison for the rest of their lives, if they survive the wrath of the people. This Prime minister is a psychopathic killer resembling Hitler. He must be removed and brought to justice before he becomes even more dangerous for the people and the region and beyond. He craves blood ethnic conflicts and an unstable environment to satisfy his demented mind.
The world is best warned by the historic words of His Imperial Majesty at the League of Nations often quoted by the western world for their own purposes. “Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted; the indifference of those who should have known better; the silence of the voice of justice when it mattered most; that has made it for evil to triumph.”
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