EPRDF’s Bogus Charges and Zero Sum Games
The recent charges Meles and Bereket are fabricating against opponents are merely intended to hit two clusters of political opponents with one stone – that is fighting the growing discontent in the patched up army while at the same time using the crackdown to attempt to implicate the Ginbot Sebat movement. Although I am not willing to fabricate any evidence as Meles is doing, no one denies that the army and security machinery are becoming assertive and ballooning beyond the control of Meles.
Meles gave too much money and power to the army and the security to silence dissent, but now they are coming back to ask questions and claim their dues. This effect is accentuated by the emergence of different power groups in the government structure that start to ask the big question –“What if?” What if popular movement pulls the ground from under our feet and Meles leaves just as Mengistu did? What if the need arise to sideline Meles to save the EPRDF when Meles becomes a target of charges of Genocide or Crime against Humanity? Well, the Inquiry Commission sanctioned by the Ethiopian parliament had found that Meles, who took effective control of the security apparatus beginning from May 16, 2005, has authorized excessive force that resulted in the deaths of 200 innocent lives and the maiming of 750 people! What about the countless Amharas, Oromos, Anuaks, Sidamas, who were massacred over the years? What about the rest who were killed in Addis Ababa, Awassa, Tepi,…? These questions beg for answers when a dictatorial machinery heads to its eventual cliff and the leadership submerges in decadence and the need for a replacement shrills sharp.
So the recent charges leveled against army officials, and of course the Ginbot Sebat, is symptomatic of a far graver problem for Meles in the army and the security machinery. Meles surly is growingly being surrounded by enemies from within and without. First and foremost, the people affirmed that they are under a tyranny as this status was cemented in the day light robbery of the May 2005 elections. Next, the fact that the EPRDF is paranoid is evident in the manner it is foring the population in party membership. The membership has evolved from the first 15 years of “bastardization” (recruiting members by other members based on kinship) to “blackmail recruitment” (forcing candidates by blackmailing them with grant or denial of jobs, land, security, and other benefits). Now Meles is bragging like Mengistu claiming that membership has skyrocketed by 4 million in a matter of 1 year after 17 years inability to recruit members. Keep the irony in mind - that the 4 million came to be EPRDFits after EPRDF LOST elections. This astronomical blackmail recruitment is reminiscent of Issepa’s last days and shows how the EPRDF is desperate.
EPRDF’s recent attempt is similar to that of the changes it orchestrated against Professor Asrat Woldeyes, Defence Minister Siye Abraha and Dr. Taye Woldesemayat. But this latest attempt is futile and destined for a crash as the Ethiopian people have grown out of Meles’s shrinking wisdom and baseless tricks. What is more, the international setting has shifted since May 2005 as he is certified to be an illegitimate leader only recognized for filling the vacuum. In the country, Meles has lost his bearing as the times are changing and no one seriously believes that he has the mandate as he seized power by reversing the verdict of the Ethiopian people who told him that they have decided to change his government. Meles’s charges could have held some water if he was a democratically elected leader, but we all know that he is here with blood dripping from his hands, recently from the June and November 2005 brazen killings. Plus, Meles has no credibility as he has shown his contempt to the people of Ethiopia and the Constitution by killing citizens and staying in power after voted out of office. So Meles’s dream that the Ethiopian people would take him seriously by acting like a legitimate government is a futile attempt that is going to fall into pieces.
This completely futile exercise by Meles and Bereket is a zero sum game for the EPRDF. To the contrary, there are two significant outcomes out of this. The first is that Meles and Bereket have planted the seed of mutiny in the army and security machineries opening the door for the army to intervene when dictators hijack and reverse popular will and elections. Although most who read this discount this point as the army is dominated by one ethnicity, no one denies the fact that the declaration of an attempted coup (even a mutiny by army) has erected the notion and possibility that the army can act independently in certain eventualities. When we read the statements of Bereket and Meles backwards, their fear is that the army could and would intervene when street demonstrations begin in the future.
The second outcome of the coup charges lays bare the fragility of the patched up Meles army, which is being held together with favoritism, corruption, and discrimination. The army is not cohesively held by conviction of truth or even an appearance of an ideology. The army is held together by lies, corruption, benefits, which could be affected by changes in the economy, the overpowering of convicting truths and the popular thrust. Thus, when these changes come, this opens the way for re-alignment inside the ranks of the army and to be affected by the views of ordinary people thereby tilting the tyrants to thinks twice before pursing their undemocratic ways.
That is why this whole circus is a zero sum game for Meles and Bereket further isolating them and narrowing the diminishing ground of credibility. This constant shrinking of their ground always leaves them fighting to stay in power – a fight that has been going on for 18 years now. An unelected and illegitimate regime always lives under paranoia and struggling to survive and not out of mandate and legitimacy given by it from the people. Additionally, this absolutely desperate act would expose the lies that Meles endlessly fabricates only to trap opponents whose only crime is fighting for democracy and to change the illegitimate government that clings to power through killings and vote fraud.
All Ethiopians shall prepare and work for the democratization of the country as whatever support Meles had is being extinguished (do not even count as true followers those outwardly EPRDF members who seek temporary benefits as “members”). The inside walls of the regime are rotting and it is not far before Meles and Bereket would pay for the killings and harm they perpetrated against countless innocents before an international or domestic court. The Ethiopian people be it in the army, the security or government apparatus shall understand that their accountability is for their country and their people and not for individuals who shall face the law. Everybody is equal before the law and we shall all perform our legitimate duties and responsibilities.