Meles Zenawi’s death: The Eritrean-American Perspective.
By Michael Seium
For a long time writing about and accusing the Ethiopian regime lead by none other than Meles Zenawi for betraying the people of Eritrea, Ethiopia, Somalia and the entire region and even the continent of Africa has been a way to express our feelings towards inhumanity created as a result of this pathetic of a human being that had no regard for other human beings. As millions of activists and writers finally saw the demise of this individual that was one of a kind when it comes to cheating, lying and stealing, those oppressors and powerful conglomerates that were working hand in hand with him have been writing and talking about how great of a leader he was when in fact he was the complete opposite.
Meles Zenawi was announced dead by his Govt. and the international media on August 21st, 2012. He was a despotic Ethiopian leader who pursued a fake course abroad while controlling his country with an iron fist. For one of Africa’s most durable dictators, Mr. Zenawi’s death after 21 years of leadership and repression should be a lesson to future governments of Ethiopia. Just a couple of months ago his govt. supported websites and some Eritrean sellouts he has been pampering in line with those who want to destabilize Eritrea started spreading rumors of death about the President of Eritrea which was purely fabricated and made up. Meanwhile since the death of Mr. Zenawi not a single Eritrean government entity has said a word that is negative or ill will towards this horrible human being that once waged a war against Eritrea by betraying the trust of those who helped him and his people so that they can lead a nation out of misery, hunger and communist dictatorship that killed millions of people.
The very Civil people and government of Eritrea despite his past actions have been very quiet and not uttered a word that is disrespectful to the Ethiopian leader and nation. This, friends is a class act behavior that has been imbedded in the mindset of the vast majority of Eritrean people. A way to show how civilized a nation like Eritrea is. As a matter of fact Eritrea has even gone further to sign a condolence book out of respect for humanity. Like capturing enemies during the 30-year war and treating them with the utmost human dignity, an Eritrean deputy ambassador has signed the book to show all these human rights organizations that Eritrea is indeed the cradle of human rights and respect for others and not what they say in their financially motivated annual reports that they spread around to their western media friends to defame and character assassinate this peaceful, wise and kind nation.
As a person who has attended a press conference and seen up close Meles Zenawi including during his most recent trip to Washington D.C. for the G-8 Summit. I noticed that something was wrong with him by just looking and observing at his body language as he sat next to another leader from Ghana and Tanzania. It was then that I realized that something was wrong. To add an insult to injury when an Ethiopian activist screamed at him and shocked the audience and the prime minister, the reaction can only tell you that he was not doing well health wise.
For a person who once had the time to call into a talk show to harass the Eritrean ambassador to the USA his Excellency Girma Asmerom on Shaka Sali’s Voice of America program, he sure felt the surprise screams from the Ethiopian Activist who was speaking on behalf of the oppressed. The carefully orchestrated face-to-face scream of the Ethiopian activist that was recorded for the world to see happened at a time when Zenawi was not doing to well health wise and added so much insult to his actions as a leader. He has not been the same ever since then. He created everything that happened to him by himself. He started to shy away from the people’s feeling and desire and forgot why he was even a leader instead feeling like he owned Ethiopia. Attending G-8 and G-20 summits based on pure fabrications of an economy that did not benefit the vast majority of the Ethiopian people is not something to be proud of. He may have had the skills to schmooze with those world leaders that have other priorities but he forgot where he came from and betrayed his people for the benefit of others. He did not allow a murmur of dissent, and the long-simmering national rage over a Draconian national policy, nepotism (Tigrians run the nation even though they are the minority), and harebrained agricultural and architectural schemes that allowed foreigners to gain instead of his own people has disconnected him from the reality in Ethiopia. Add to that the occupation of Somalia to appease the west while still in sovereign Eritrean territories that he continued to occupy, his health started to deteriorate and gave him a short lifespan.
As the famous quote says “God don’t like ugly” the truth prevailed about this person who will go down in history as the most hated “Democratically elected” according to the west, leader in the world. Even some “Dictators” as the west likes to call them have gotten more respect by their own people after their death.
The world witnessed genocide in Ogaden and Gambella under his command. After this gruesome act people form these communities came to the US and testified in front of congress the very same congress of the United States that makes decisions for us based on our votes but because someone pays millions of dollars looted from the people of Ethiopia those decision makers that associated themselves with Meles Zenawi kept him on the “Intensive care unit” as the great president of Eritrea once said during an interview. At the United Nations he tried his diplomatic acrobatics to get Eritrea sanctioned for the very simple reason of hate towards the very same people he did not like the color of their eyes. Meanwhile you have disgusting and shameless websites lead by the Eritrean quislings praising a person that your worst enemy won’t even waste their time on. They even put him on a higher pedestal than his own people and this only shows that they are heavily addicted to aid and financial support from his genocidal organization. Well he is gone and they too will feel the pain hard. In any case I write this as I feel it was appropriate and not out of disrespect for death, because in the end we will all die and end up in a grave somewhere, but the point I make is that future leaders of this country need and must learn to protect their most cherished value which are their own “PEOPLE” and let them have a better life and even at least once in a while be truly concerned with their needs.
I will conclude by talking about an encounter I had with Mr.Zenawi right after he waged an all out war on Eritrea in 1999 and made his way to the USA following the President of Eritrea’s visit. While the President of Eritrea was in the USA, as he said during his Press Conference to visit his people who invited him to come, the prime minister came here upon an invitation by his friends at the state department. The two press conferences were held at the National Press Club. Meles’ Presser was held in room that was much smaller making it very intimate to see him up close and personal. I was eager to ask one question after so many of the Ethiopian journalists including the western ones took their turns over and over again.
I waved my hands on several occasions and he chose to give me a smirk and continued to avoid my question. He was very good at dodging questions or answering them with short responses. And so I never got to ask him my question, which was about the inhumane way he deported Eritreans in the middle of the night. He thought he was finished but as he left the Press Club hundreds of Ethiopians were waiting outside where they shouted at him constantly and even run up to his car screaming “DICTATOR” as his car sped away. The moral of this post is to show that WE ERITREANS have always been true to our belief that we want PEACE in our home country, our region and the entire world and by standing up to the truth we have been able to prove that we are correct. Hopefully those who propped up the Meles Zenawi Regime can learn a lot from his death and work for a better horn of Africa region by being fair and honest. Meles Zenawi shaped the policy of his country to appease others and as he grew from his days of reconciliation with Eritrea where he uttered words that he never meant (Scratch your wounds) in the early 1990’s he broke the rule of respect and love for neighbor by forcing little kids and elderly people some of whom died on their way to Eritrea by kicking them out of their homes. He untied the chain of normal people to people relations.
RIP Meles Zenawi but most of all May peace reign in the horn of Africa now that it’s main cancer has been removed by the power of god/Allah.
EriAm Sisters Performing at the McDonalds Thanksgiving Parade in Chicago/Live on WGN-TV