Is Linking Democracy and Economic Growth Telling a Bedtime Story? A Quick Look at Ato Meles Zenawi’s Assertion


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  1. Belachew says:



    Al-Bashir Visits Eritrea, Defies ICC Warrant

    KHARTOUM — Sudan’s president traveled to Eritrea Monday, choosing one of Africa’s most politically isolated nations for his first trip abroad since an international court sought his arrest on charges of war crimes in Darfur.

    The one-day visit followed Eritrea’s official invitation to Sudan’s Omar al-Bashir, who faces the arrest warrant by the Netherlands-based International Criminal Court.

    Eritrean television showed live coverage of al-Bashir being greeted at the airport in the Eritrean capital Asmara by his counterpart President Isaias Afwerki, along with drummers and dancers. Sudanese state television later Monday showed live images of al-Bashir returning to Khartoum.

    Sudanese Foreign Minister Deng Alor said the visit was “important” and reflected Eritrean “solidarity … with Sudan against the ICC.” Eritrean Information Minister Ali Abdu told The Associated Press that al-Bashir was accompanied by heads of security and intelligence and was there to discuss regional security.

    The ICC charged al-Bashir on March 4 of leading a counterinsurgency against Darfur rebels that involved rapes, killings and other atrocities against civilians. His government has been accused of unleashing Arab militiamen known as janjaweed against Darfur civilians in a drive to put down a revolt by ethnic Africans in the region.

    Up to 300,000 people have died and 2.7 million driven from their homes in the conflict since 2003, according to the U.N.

    Under the ICC charter, member states are bound to arrest those indicted when they enter their territory. Eritrea is not a signatory, however, and has vehemently condemned the indictment, making it a kind of safe haven for el-Bashir to visit.

    “It’s unjustifiable and illegal and illogical and futile, the so-called ICC decision,” said Abdu. “We believe it’s an extension and symptom of the ongoing world hegemony and domination by a few powers in this world.”

    The tiny Horn of Africa nation has itself come under harsh criticism from the U.S. State Department and international human rights groups for its human rights record. The U.S. government has previously debated designating Eritrea a state sponsor of terrorism because of its support for hardline Islamist insurgents in Somalia fighting a weak regime backed by the U.S. and the U.N.

    Al-Bashir is also scheduled to attend the Arab League summit at the end of the month in the tiny Gulf nation of Qatar. But there have been public calls in Sudan for him to stay home for fears he might be arrested.

    The 22-member Arab League has publicly stated that al-Bashir would be welcome at the March 27 summit. Qatar is not an ICC signatory, and only a few Arab League countries are. The organization’s chief Amr Moussa said last week that member nations would not act on the arrest warrant.

    But Sudan’s Islamic scholars have issued a religious edict calling on al-Bashir not to travel to the Arab summit, because of fears the arrest warrant could be implemented.

    Alor, the foreign minister, said after the Eritrean visit that “so far, the presidency hasn’t decided on the President’s visit to Doha.” Presidential spokesman Mahgoub Fadhel, however, said Monday that “there is nothing standing in the way of the president himself going there.”

    Al-Bashir, who dismisses the ICC as a prejudiced court with no jurisdiction over Sudan, caused an international outcry by expelling 13 international aid organizations from Darfur after the arrest warrant was issued for him. He accused the groups of spying for the tribunal and threatened to expel more organizations and even ambassadors if they overstepped their mandate.

    The expulsions punch a giant hole in the safety net that has kept many Darfur civilians alive during six years of war. Without the groups, 1.1 million people will be without food, 1.5 million without health care, and more than one million without drinking water _ and outbreaks of infectious disease are a greater danger, the U.N. has said.


    Associated Press writer Anita Powell in Nairobi, Kenya, contributed to this report.

    Eritrea’s president in Uganda for security talks
    Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:06pm GMT
    Eritrea’s President Isaias Afwerki gestures during an interview in Asmara May 13, 2008. REUTERS/Radu Sigheti
    1 of 1Full Size

    By Justin Dralaze

    KAMPALA (Reuters) - Eritrea’s diplomatically isolated president, accused by the West of stoking Somalia’s Islamist rebellion, on Tuesday began talks on regional security with Uganda, which provides the bulk of African Union peacekeepers for Mogadishu.

    Isaias Afewerki’s trip to Kampala has raised eyebrows among regional observers, especially because the al Qaeda-linked al Shabaab militants his government is accused of financing last year killed 79 in twin bombings on the Ugandan capital.

    A U.N. Monitoring Group report said in late July that Eritrea was bankrolling al Shabaab, an allegation Asmara said was “ridiculous and absurd”.

    “I suspect the visit has something to with Museveni’s or the West’s realisation that they have no chance against al Shabaab without the cooperation of Eritrea,” said political commentator Timothy Kalyegira.

    The report also accused Eritrea of being behind a plot to attack an African Union summit in the capital of its long-standing enemy Ethiopia last year by detonating several carbombs, including one timed to explode as more than 30 African heads of state left the venue for lunch.

    The U.N. has imposed an arms embargo on Eritrea, as well as a travel ban and asset freezes on political and military leaders who it says are violating an arms embargo on Somalia — allegations Asmara also denies.

    The Ethiopian government’s head of information, Bereket Simon, told Reuters the visit — Isaias’ first in the region for years — was a ploy to avert more U.N. sanctions.

    “The Eritrean regime has to go a long way if it is to be taken seriously. I think they have bluffed in the past and I think they are bluffing now,” Bereket said.

    “They have been behind the arming of al Shabaab, behind a terrorist act in Uganda, behind a failed attempt at making ‘Addis like Baghdad’ during a summit of African leaders. The regime is a force of instability and we don’t think it will change its nature.”

    Museveni and Isaias held the first of a series of meetings on Tuesday and the Eritrean leader will also visit a number of local companies and meet with the Eritrean community.

    “We discussed strategic and political issues in the region and our ministers are developing various bilateral agreements,” Museveni said in an emailed statement, adding that trade opportunities, educational exchanges and regional flights were also on the agenda.

    Isaias may be trying to mend relations with the West as al Shabaab loses some of its foothold in Somalia, analysts said. Earlier this month, the militants withdrew from Mogadishu.

    “Isaias could be looking at which side his bread is buttered on,” Ugandan political analyst Nicholas Ssengoba said.

    The secretive Red Sea state rejoined East African bloc IGAD last month, four years after it walked out on the body in protest at Ethiopia entering Somalia to oust an Islamist group that had taken over Mogadishu and swathes of the country.

    For Museveni, once feted as a new breed of democratic African leader, but whose increasingly autocratic style of leadership is worrying donors, Isaias’ visit offers a chance to showcase his role in the fight against militancy.

    “He will try to be seen as the man who brought back a lost sheep into the fold of the U.N. and the Western world,” Ssengoba said.

  2. bonnoo says:

    This is how the ehno-fascist dictator meles and his cohorts run a tplf government at the expense of Ethiopia. No democracy needed, indeed!

    ‘…The army is controlled by TPLF loyalists. Almost all the generals that have key positions in the army are TPLF members from one minority ethnic group and handpicked by Meles Zenawi.

    The economy is significantly dominated by two conglomerates. The billionaire Sheik Mohammed Al Amoudi, who has lost the respect of the Ethiopian people when he publicly declared to be a TPLF loyalist in 2005, has managed to have a significant share in many sectors of the economy.

    Nonetheless, the privileged Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT) has emerged as the unchallenged monopoly that pays neither income tax nor opens its accounts for external audit.
    Nobody has access to EFFORT’s astounding wealth except Meles Zeanwi, his wife and hismost trusted loyalists like masters of corruption Abadi Zemu, Arkebe Ekubay and Getachew Belay.

    After Meles appointed his wife, Azeb Mesfin, who is widely known as the first lady of corruption, as head of his business conglomerate, it turned out that EFFORT is nothing but a family business making billions of birr in annual profit.

    While EFFORT controls the fate of the Ethiopian economy, the stake of the TPLF in foreign aid is managed by two domineering NGOs called the Relief Society of Tigray (REST) and the Tigray Development Association (TDA).

    The exploitative ethnic apartheid Meles and his cohorts have imposed on the people of Ethiopia has reduced the nation into Africa’s most explosive powder keg that can erupt any time.

  3. Titan says:

    Now I live in Ethiopia, the good thing I like the diaspora is that they keep the momentum to fight Melse Zenawi. We have ample resources who write about this evil tyrany. But what we need as locals living in addis is different.

    Please send money back home, organize us a youth group. Empowered youth can lead the revolution. The sooner the better, not after many years, we need freedom now.

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