By Tibebe Samuel Ferenji
“When one with honeyed words but evil mind Persuades the mob, great woes befall the state.”
In 1991, when the US government intervened in Ethiopia’s internal affairs in the name of “mediation”, Ambassador Herman Chone was assigned as a point man to lead the negotiation between the military government and the government opponents. During this US-led negotiation, Cohen excluded political parties that stood for the unity and territorial integrity of Ethiopia and gathered ethnic-based political parties. Cohen justified his exclusion stating the negotiation is between armed rebel groups and the military government. However, armed rebel groups like the Ethiopian People Revolutionary Party (EPRP) and the Ethiopian Democratic Union (EDU) were excluded from this negotiation despite the fact they had an active fighting force against the military regime.
The intention of the United States was very clear from the start. The US supported the TPLF and the EPLF during the armed struggle in the guise of riding out communism from Africa and wanted ethnically based organizations to control Ethiopia with the objective of weakening one of the strongest African countries. The negotiation was designed to mainly benefit the TPLF and the EPLF; the OLF was an “incidental beneficiary” of the negotiation. The TPLF, under the guise of the EPRDF, was carried to the helm of power in Ethiopia by the United States.
Although the US policymakers indicated the TPLF will establish an all-inclusive transitional government, in reality, the TPLF was given a green light to exclude those who stood for the unity of Ethiopia. When the TPLF established a form of government that divided Ethiopia along ethnic lines, there was no opposition from the US policymakers knowing the danger of such a form of government. The TPLF claimed it has established a federal government that empowered various ethnic groups, in reality, the so-called “presidents” of various ethnic-based regions were controlled and muzzled by the TPLF henchmen. Those “presidents” had no real power and only jumped to the tune of TPLF’s orchestra. The US knew this but continued to “admire” Ethiopia’s rulers by labeling them as “a new generation of African democrats”. The US praised the likes of Meles Zenawi knowing the brutality of the regime.
Why would the US, a government that supposedly stands for democracy and human rights allow mass murder, torture, and ethnic division in Ethiopia? What would it benefit from atrocities committed by the regime it wholeheartedly supported? An article, this writer published in 1992 on the Ethiopian Review magazine titled “Ethiopia’s fate is at the hands of Ethiopians, not Bill Clinton” indicated “the interest of the United States is neither democracy nor the protection of human rights, but establishing a puppet regime loyal to the United States”.
According to Thomas C. Mountain, Online Journal Contributing Writer, the CIA established its contact with the TPLF through Gayle Smith, the current State Department official. According to Mountain “Gayle Smith started her career in service to the American Empire as an undercover CIA operative posing as a journalist in the Horn of Africa in the late 1970s. Taking her duty seriously, she became the mistress of a guerilla fighter known by the nom de guerre of “Jamaica” in the Marxist-Leninist-Enver Hoxha-ite Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF),…” In the article titled “Gayle Smith the liaison between the CIA and Meles Zenawi” published in 2010, Mountain reveals “Gayle Smith is the person most responsible for the rise to power and elevation to international leadership status of Ethiopia’s Meles Zenawi, one of the most corrupt, bloodthirsty genocidal killers of modern times who would once again stride the world stage at the G-20 meeting held in Korea.”
Three years after the TPLF took power in Ethiopia, Gayle Smith, the pseudo journalist, became the Chief of Staff of the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under Bill Clinton. As a result, the TPLF enjoyed unconditional support from the US that willfully ignored the massacre of Amharas and the atrocities committed against Ethiopians. The US State Department gave us lip service and published its toothless yearly “Human Rights Report” to appease critics of US policy on Ethiopia.
This web of deceits’ that began in the late 1970s has continued to this day. The TPLF was able to enlist the “service of” the likes of Samantha Power, Susan Rice, Herman Cohen, and other high US officials by making them beneficiaries of funds looted from Ethiopia’s meager resources. In 27 years of brutal TPLFs rule in Ethiopia, the US never took any serious measures against the TPLF knowing the mass detentions, mass killings, torture, including the rape of women and men in prison. The TPLF was sharing its illicit funds and laughing and dancing with the US high officials mocking the excruciating pains Ethiopians felt. The US was happy with the TPLF because it did what the US asked including willingness to sacrifice Ethiopia’s children for the US war in Somalia. For that reason, the US ignored the fake elections and the outcomes of the election including the 2015 election. In 2015, when the TPLF claimed it won Ethiopia’s election 100%, the US did not demand the TPLF to share power with the opposition nor did it condemn the election result. In fact, when Susa Rice was asked by a journalist about the election, she said, the TPLF won100%; she said it with a smirky smile. Her inconsiderate smile and statement were very painful to watch.
Six months after the election, Ethiopians from every corner revolted against the TPLF and the end of the TPLF neared, there was panic among US policymakers. When Abiy came to power, there was an attempt to court him to be another US stooge. It did not work; then, the web of deceits to remove Abiy from power continued to unfold. When the TPLF violated Ethiopia’s constitution and acted as a “renegade regional leader”, the US could have stepped in and stopped it. It didn’t. In fact, some say, the TPLF leaders were encouraged and given a green light to destabilize Abiy’s regime. Particularly Abiy’s close relationship with Eritrea’s Isaias Afeworki did not please the US intelligence community. It is well-known, the US does not want a government in Africa that is capable of refusing any “order” from US officials. The US believes African leaders are in a position to benefit the United States, not their people. The US has been destabilizing many countries in Africa precisely because it believed Africa must operate under US’s” command”.
Now, Ethiopians have elected a leader, who cares about Ethiopia’s interest, not only US’s interest; therefore, the US is using all its available tools to change that. The US is using its international media outlets, NGO’s, UN agencies, Ethiopians benefited from the TPLF illicit funds, sanctions, military threats, providing satellite support to the TPLF, and all its available other tools to remove Abiy from power without realizing this war is not a war with the government but with the people of Ethiopia. Why would a US government that considers itself a champion of “democracy” entertain a “transitional government” in Ethiopia when we have a government freely and fairly elected by the people, a government that showed its commitment to the protection of human rights, a government accountable to its people, and a government, for the first time in the history of Ethiopia put its opponents in various governmental positions? It is mind-boggling why the US makes an enemy and targets one of the most popular leaders in Africa? If the US is interested in the well-being of Ethiopia, why isn’t the US strongly condemning the TPLF, acknowledging the Ethiopian election, and openly taking sides with the people of Ethiopia instead of the TPLF? The answer is simple; the US does not want a regime in any African country that stands for the interest of its people and country.
In the last year, we have witnessed the coordinated actions of the US government, UN, EU, Western Media outlets, and other aid agencies engaged in disseminating misinformation about Ethiopia. In addition, they gathered a bunch of “nobodies” in Washington claiming they are organizations that opposed Abiy’s regime. These individuals are selected to be part of the US “manufactured” “transitional government” for Ethiopia. These individuals were courted to the Press Club and were allowed to give a news conference. We have also witnessed how the UN and, the US, and the EU beat their dram demanding to stop the war when the Ethiopian military advances and keep quiet when they believe the TPLF terrorist group is advancing. These entities, shamefully, used the tactic they used in 1991, hoping for Ethiopia’s current leaders to flee and return the TPLF to power declaring Addis Ababa is surrounded by the rebels ordering their diplomats to leave Ethiopia. They forgot history. Italy occupied Addis Ababa for five years but was removed from all of Ethiopia with enormous sacrifice. Fortunately, our leaders did not flee. In fact, showed their determination to stay and continue to lead Ethiopia. Now, the west is talking about a terrorist attack in Addis Ababa to create panic and chaos. This is not working either.
Jeffery Feltman told us the US is not taking a side, but shouldn’t the US take side with Ethiopia? Ethiopia is a supposedly close ally of the US in a fight against terrorism. That is the narrative we hear all the time. Ethiopia stood with the US during US’s fight against terrorism. Why isn’t the US taking side with Ethiopia when Ethiopia is fighting terrorism? The US keeps saying it is not taking a side because wants its covert activities against Ethiopia to remain intact. If the US declares it is supporting Ethiopia, the web of deceit will unravel and many of its partners in this conspiracy will jump Ship leaving the TPLF on its own. Thus, the US acts as if it’s taking the “middle ground”. There is a saying “The devil will eloquently quote the scripture to accomplish its evil purpose”. Here, the US acts as a noble “peacemaker” when in fact it is behind in the chaos we are in today.
What we have witnessed recently in the secret Zoom meeting, exposed by the Canadian writer Jeff Pearce, indicates various US agencies, UNDP employees, former and current US diplomats took part in this meeting. Current US diplomats would not take part in such meetings without the approval of the US State Department. Here is US’s finger caught in a cookie jar. Among other things, one of the interesting parts of the discussion was how Berhane Gebrechristos, the former Ethiopian Ambassador to the US, and one of the TPLF leaders tell obvious lies known to the participants of the meeting and no one even raised one question. Berhane claims the Abiy government has a few weak militia forces when in fact the world has witnessed one of the largest military forces assembled in Ethiopia. He also claims Abiy has support only from extremist Amharas who want to bring back a “Unitary” form of government when in fact Abiy enjoys support from the majority of Ethiopians, including the majority of Ethiopians in Diaspora who are often the voices of Ethiopians when oppressive regime held power in Ethiopia. Berhane also tells his audience TPLF’s interest is to establish a federalist government. Mind you the participants are aware the TPLF never established a true federalist system in Ethiopia.
It is sad to witness those we considered prominent and people of integrity are tangled in this web of deceit. Now we know some of the Ethiopians who are conspiring against their own nation are individuals who benefited from illicit funds looted from Ethiopia; some are investment advisers and invested Ethiopia’s looted funds for the TPLF leaders and they lost their “business” when the TPLF is removed from power. Such treasonous act must be punished and the Ethiopian Ministry of justice need to start its investigation if any of these individuals or their associates are involved in money laundry and transfer of illicit funds from Ethiopia.
There is no doubt in my mind, the likes of Susan Rice, Gayle Smith, Samantha Power, and other former and current diplomats are working with the approval of the US government for a regime change in Ethiopia. One thing lost in the Zoom discussion and those who are working tirelessly for a regime change in Ethiopia is the fact that the people of Ethiopia will not stand for it. The people of Ethiopia are united, resilient, and stand with an unbroken spirit to defend their nation. It is amazing to this writer how the TPLF leaders believe they can return to power in Ethiopia when they were ejected from power by the people. I am shocked that the likes of Donald Yamamoto undermined the determination of Ethiopians to get rid of the TPLF once and for all. I am unable to think how anyone that supports the TPLF could truly believe the TPLF will return to power. This will happen only with the last drop of Ethiopian blood.
May God protect Ethiopia and her people.