Commentary

Was the Derg worse than Woyane?


For the past 32 years, our unfortunate country has hosted dictators that ate the flesh of its citizens. To begin with, the coming of Derge on to power has brought a new form of terrorism in the country. The 1974 revolution that led to the brutal massacre of hundreds of thousands of citizens was one of the shameful scars our country has ever faced. Intoxicated by Socialist ideology, the Derg brutally murdered many important citizens throughout the country. In fact many of the educated left for other countries leaving their beloved ones. Due to risky situation and other conditions such as ideological problems the economy was highly retarded, and the situation became worse than ever. Eventually when the Derg was overthrown from power by the Woyane, some of us were cheated that democracy would bloom in the country. It was later that we came to know who that group belonged to! They were militants of the She’abia. Contrary to our belief, the Woyane has brought unprecedented damage to our country’s political, social, economic and other affairs. Let’s see some of those damages and scandals this group has inflicted.

Not clearly knowing the true nature of the ethnicist in north, some of us blindly supported the Woyane, for this group was the only one that could get rid of the Dergue. Hopes glimmered everywhere in the country but were soon shattered to pieces. The main agenda that was brought to the public by the Woyane was encouraging ethnic conflict. Tamirat Layine, who went to Harar to speak to the local people, condemned the victims killed at Bedeno. He went to the extent of saying that it was right for the ‘natives’ to take such actions as “no one should migrate to other lands,” as if the people crossed the borders of two countries. The same situations happed in many parts our country and the response given by the officials was the same, and the conflict which the Woyanes themselves encouraged reached to the highest peak. Countless examples could be given. The brutal massacre of the Sidama’s in Awassa, the killings around the Wollega area among the Oromos and the Amharas incited by the Woyane, the brutal murder of in Gambella region, the everyday killings in the Oromia, Amharia, and Addis Ababa till now are few of the examples that I can cite. Ethiopia has never got peace after Woyane took power!

The then government started to act as an enemy to the people by shutting down factories or selling most of the plants to EPRDF affiliated investors, and keeping the money to their pockets. Family heads who have been working for a number of years were immediately evicted. Also, thanks to the then president Meles Zenawi, Eritrea was encouraged to secede. Like one of the colonialist leaders, Meles went to Asmara to celebrate the Independence Day. The greatest conspiracy he made on Ethiopia was making the country to remain without port. Even if citizens strived (including foreign governments) their best to oppose the decision of the making Ethiopia portless, it was the prime minister’s strong conviction that Ethiopia should remain as he wanted, deciding on the fate of millions of citizens. With his acrobatic, eloquent speech he successfully deceived Western Governments that Ethiopia was enjoying democracy. Sometimes startled and confused by Action of Melese Zenawi, some of the western leaders went on to the extent of praising him as “a young leader who would pull Africa out of poverty, who could change the course of African history, and an example of African progressive leaders.” Nobody has told them that he is such a bad example that kills the country!

The Woyane further continued destroying Ethiopia by sacking professional army, which was one of the indispensable in the sovereignty of the country. How could progressive leaders fail to understand the significance of strong national army? No country without national army can sustain as a country. Most of the army with enormous experience whose skills and knowledge could have been tapped well became beggars or joined other professions. In the interview, when Meles responded to the situation of building a strong army, he said “tanks and artillery we have will be changed to plows.” His philosophical argument became a fallacy when She’abia invaded Badime. The leaders were rushing to buy arms from country to country. In fact Meles and his colleagues had given what Ethiopia had to She’abia they had problem with Yemen.

The battle at which more than estimated 70,000 young, productive, citizens were slaughtered have profited loss for the country. Moreover, after the heroic battle Ethiopians sacrificed, the tyrants sold the document as if no harmful thing happened to the country, giving Badime to another friend. What is the most surprising is the bloodthirsty Melese and Isayas were seen hugging each other after they signed Algiers Agreement. Actually their hugging was not seen on Ethiopian Television lest the Ethiopians know the tyrants conspiracy. In general we have such leaders who betray the country and its citizens.

The corrupted ministers and officials of the Woyane, has wiped the economy of the country. The Media reported that more than 250 million dollars was looted from the country by the leaders and their apprentices. Apart from saving millions of dollars at different accounts they opened at different banks, the Woyane leaders have huge corporations that dwindled the economy of the country. The Mesfin Engineering in Tigray, the Wogagen Bank, the Dashen beer Factory at Gondar, the Mega Enterprise, the Ambassel, the Guna and many more corporate are in the hands of the government officials ranging from the first lady (Azeb) to the heads of the regional states. This situation has brought unprecedented poverty in our country, a huge amount of money being accumulated in the hands of few individuals. In this situation where corruption and anarchy are prevalent and where the leaders think for themselves, the country is on the threshold of failing once and for all.

The Woyane has delegated their cadres in offices who are immature as to how to manage the society. They have put them because they are loyal to them. Without hesitation, they do whatever they are asked to do. One incident was the pressure these cadres impose on the civil servants. The Woyane leaders send a piece of paper for the novice and the novice should act as if they knew everything about the ‘project.’ When a new theory of Meles called Revolutionary Democracy was released, the baptized were far more faster than their masters. They acted as if they were the task force members who know the heart of the matter. With such concepts and ideas, they mistreated the civil servants, the first being teachers. By interfering in the works of the professionals, the cadres mismanaged the institutions. Their adulterated leadership is significantly vivid among civil servants interfering in their professions. For instance, teachers are blamed for the failure of the educational policy. Every time, teachers are given a “new method of teaching” of which the training is being held by the cadres! Similarly, a number of cadres are assigned virtually in all offices carefully chosen by either by blood or by affiliation.

With such corrupted situation, how can our country be a country? Our country has become a laboratory for those Albanian Scholars. Every time they bring a new concept, it should be practiced willy-nilly. How could we improve the life of the poor in the present state of art? How can our citizens live in harmony? How can we think of development? What are the mechanisms to eradicate corruption in which the top leaders are crowned? I think looting that is being practiced by the prime-minister and his affiliates should stop. I can be sure that there was no such corrupt system during the time of the Derg. Even if we look back the situation during the time of the Derg, there were good qualities the system had. At least the system loved the country. At least the Derg brought the basic education for the underprivileged- in adult education. However, these tyrants don’t have any quality in them. They don’t have any vision. They don’t have any plan for themselves, let alone for the people. They are collections of criminals and the greedy. Like the Derg, they will leave this country soon after plundering sufficient amount of money.

The most important is we need to work together to drive out such tyrants. Ethiopian and her citizens should not be laboratory for ethnic cleansing, corruption, genocide and Revolutionary Democracy. We don’t have tolerance to keep the betrayers on power.


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