Opinion: What is the fate of the Exiled Dictator in Harare [Mengistu Haile Mariam]?

Well, as the day progress and the coup d’état in Harare. That has toppled President Robert Mugabe in the last 48 hours, as the Zimbabwe African National Union – Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF) power struggle has led to the demise of the 37 years of Mugabe. Why it is important is that the former Ethiopian dictator who left for exile was there on the accord of Mugabe. His powers and his control is out. Therefore, it now matters to the current leadership in Addis Ababa and the new in Harare. What will happen with this old-man, whose saving grace was the opening arms of Mugabe. But now that has no currency in any trade.

Almost five years since a civil war overthrew the Marxist military dictatorship of Lieut. Col. Mengistu Haile Mariam, the challenge for Ethiopia has been not only to create a new identity, but also to deal with its heritage” (…) “Colonel Mengistu’s rule tried to obliterate this heritage and create a Marxist state. In the process, tens of thousands of people were killed, including the Emperor, as many were tortured and more than a million peasants were relocated. In a war against guerrilla fighters, Colonel Mengistu’s military bombed entire regions, flattening towns and propagating a reign of terror” (Lorch, 1995)

The Dergue had been executing suspected EPRP members since 1976, but after Mengistu seized full control in 1977, the “Red Terror” was officially unleashed. During this two-year campaign, which has been divided into “three waves,” tens of thousands of Ethiopians were arrested, tortured, and summarily executed. To assist in exterminating the Dergue’s political opponents and “enemies of the revolution,” Mengistu employed the secret police and issued arms to local government, or kebele, officials (Mayfield 1995)” (USBCIS, 1999).

So a man who fled Ethiopia in 1991 and got to exile, are no an open question, as he was the guest of Mugabe. Will the new administration want his presence or do they want him gone? What is their thoughts after toppling on dictator, do they want to have the second one lingering, even if he isn’t their own?

An airport official said Colonel Mengistu was wearing green fatigues and looked “close to tears.” The Zimbabwean President, Robert Mugabe, who invited Colonel Mengistu here as a way to resolve Ethiopia’s civil war, insisted that the arrival be kept as quiet as possible. Mr. Mugabe was at the airport just an hour earlier, but he left for London on a private visit, avoiding any public meeting with the Ethiopian. Mugabe Returns a Favor. The Zimbabwe Government has issued no statement on Colonel Mengistu, and given no confirmation or denial of his presence in the country. But Government officials have said that Colonel Mengistu is expected to settle here” (New York Times, 1991).

That means that the exiled dictator and the man behind the Red Terror of Ethiopia has been living in Harare since 1991, that means 26 years he has had in peaceful existence there. While this has happen in Ethiopian Supreme Court in January 2007, the exiled President was sentenced to death in his absence. That meaning, if he has to return to Ethiopia. It will he his direct demise and himself paying the price for his leadership in Ethiopia between 1976 and 1991. Clearly, the EPRDF the one party overthrowing the DERG want to retaliate, especially considering that he fled and has been sentenced since leaving.

So we can wonder what will be his fate, will the TPLF or the EPRDF ask for his Extradition from Zimbabwe? Or will they just let him be or will the new leadership ask him to leave and where should he go? Since he would in midst turmoil in Ethiopia and hard for someone sentenced to death in their homeland to become refugee on humanitarian grounds. Even if he wants to try to become political refugee, most likely very few countries wants his residence, except for Equatorial Guinea who recently accepted Yayha Jammeh from Gambia. Peace.

Reference:

New York Times – ‘EX-ETHIOPIA CHIEF REACHES ZIMBABWE’ (23.05.1991) link: http://www.nytimes.com/1991/05/23/world/ex-ethiopia-chief-reaches-zimbabwe.html

Lorch, Donatella – ‘ Ethiopia Deals With Legacy of Kings and Colonels’ (31.12.1995) link: http://www.nytimes.com/1995/12/31/world/ethiopia-deals-with-legacy-of-kings-and-colonels.html

United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USBCIS) – ‘Ethiopia: Background Information on the Mengistu Regime during the Red Terror’ (28.12.1999) link: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6a6b414.html

Why are the leaders of our time so hooked-on Power? And some theories for why they don’t leave the Executive Power to somebody else..

Mugabe Military

We are living in a day and age where leader’s doesn’t leave from their office. You have likes of Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasongo who is making himself ready for another election in his country this year and he has been in power since 1979. You have the likes of President Paul Biya of Cameroon who has been the President since 1982 and was in government since 1970s. In Zimbabwe the President of the day President Robert Gabriel Mugabe has been the Commander in Chief.  And the list goes on.

Kagame Nkurunziza 2011

We have the third term phenomenon of President Pierre Nkurunziza of Burundi, President Paul Kagame of Rwanda both of them have changed the laws or used Courts to allow them to stay in power. So the leadership roles are sufficient to stay. You have the likes of President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni who has been in charge since 1986 and stayed ever since, changed laws again and again to linger in power and is rumored to fix the age limit to stay passed his 7th Term.

Mittrand Rwanda President

So with this in mind, I will discuss it today. It is not a new phenomenon or a new change of guards. There are always leaders who linger and overstay their time in power. As President Juvénal Habyarimana of Rwanda took power with a coup d’état in 1973 and was in power until his plane got shot down in 1994. Just like the overthrow of first President Patrice Lumumba of Democratic Republic of Congo in 1965, who by foreign powers supposed to install Mobutu Seko Seko Kuku Ngebendu Wa Za Banga who was born Joseph-Desire Mobutu who was the President of DRC from 1965 until 1997. So there are leaders of the past who has not left office and is now long gone.

The issue with this is the way we build society around people instead of institutions and government structures. The Structures of government is kept weak and is not strong with procedure and predicated work for the civil service. That is why the leaders can linger and the way they keep it is fueling resources away from the government structures and institutions, keeping the progress weak and keeping the circle around them tight knit. Instead of having inner-circles with wits, knowledge and people who wants to succeed in their field; the leaders around the president is instead hungry men and woman who works for more and better civil service for the citizens.

US Dollar Campaign

That is because the leaders who circle all of government around themselves are not interested in great policies or deliver the promised pledges to the communities since then they have to give away power. When a leader tries to strengthen the power all around themselves then the necessary leadership is not about the government, but about the person who rules. The ruler set the standard ,not the laws of the state or the laws of the Parliament. As the Executive can fix the Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, can rig the Constitution and make draconian laws that issues more help for the Executive; instead of the Constitution and the Parliament representing the citizens and for the citizens it becomes for the Executive.

That is why the Executive or the Ruler, the President doesn’t want to leave power since the whole state is built around the one person. The One Person who has in his image or her image built the government around themselves. And when they have it all for themselves they don’t have to fight for anything else then themselves. That is what matters, if he schools is depleting, health care is non-functioning, roads have bigger potholes then the ones on the moon, the government loans are worse than the subprime-mortgage and so on. That doesn’t matter because the situations doesn’t hit the Executive, because the government funds goes directly to him instead of the ministries, departments and sections of government than really-really need it!

Zim 2008

The Power that starts with personal movement of fights and liberation, the ones that are personalized towards the one man who saved them all and then doesn’t leave is that the EGO and used to be center of attention. To have the voice of being right, so they can’t do things wrong in their own mind as they risk to lose their wealth and strength if they are out of office.

Barre Somalia

Some of these leaders have lived on the strength of the loyalty to foreign powers as they need their alliance in a region to secure peace in the neighbor country or during the cold war as the Americans did whatever they could to control the world and not lose nations to the Soviet communism. Therefore they fall of Said Barre of Somalia and the struggles of the Ethiopian Dirg of the 1970s. As the Cold War complex policies dissolved and built governments with influence of American and Russian strengths of the time. Take the example of President Mengistu Hailemariam who kept the Power from 1974 – 1991 with the Soviet influx and the Communist agenda that made the result of Somalia invasion with support of the Americans in 1977. So he himself had taken power in 1969 in Somalia the army fueled government of Said Barre as his power-play internally to keep the power together with the back and forth from the leadership at the time led to his fall, as he also had long-term squabble with Ogaden and Ethiopian neighbor after the tried invasion there. This the fall after 20 years might be because he circulated all power amongst himself and not in the powers of structures and department to delegate the powers.

That is the problem with the leaders who get fueled with power. They circulate all power and decisions are under the Executive. So with this in mind instead of building institutions and government structures, they build the armies and police force to enforce the Power of the Executive, not only to enforce national security, but to secure the Power of the Executive. Therefore the first to get payment are the armies and police officers before the teachers and other civil servants.

social-policy-analysis-political-economy-of-welfare-38-728

The Rulers and the Executives keeps the ignorant yes-men around them to secure that they don’t get to opportunist or wanting to get the Executive position. Therefore they elite around the Ruler get lots of perks, tax-exemptions, cars, housing and servants while the rest of the country can’t afford that. Unless it is foreign investors in businesses owned by the Party Elite or the Government elite that belongs to the inner-circle of the Executive; as the license and openings happens on the watch of the Executive and the Power not the legal justice system or the society binding corporate bondage towards the procedures of setting up business in the country. So the way the Executive get drunk on power is set on the fact that they having everything at nearly no cost.

The Presidents who are drunk on Power have centralized all powers around them and not the government structures and the decrees and the policies are made to keep them in power; not to build a grand state who offers their citizens what they need. Therefore the laws becomes for the MPs and the Elite that fuel the money and Power towards the President, then the President delivering to the People.

The remains of Mobutu's Palce
The remains of Mobutu’s Palce

So with the Inner-circle finding ways to support the President instead of serving the citizens as a government is supposed to do. Why are the Executive and rules high-on-power you asked?

That is because all of the Power, all of the resources and all of the goodwill of the nation is determined by the Executive. As the Power is resumed and determined by the Executive there is hard to leave that, as the knowledge of the system given to coming new leader can take away what the Executive already have built around itself. Therefore the security of having the power instead of giving it the next; that is why the lingering Executives and Presidents are like alcoholics!

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Let me explain why the similarities are there. An Alcoholic has the hunger and need for another drink and beer. They do whatever they can to get another drink and beer, at all means and steal if they have to get that fizz. So the Alcoholic is so used to the alcohol that the feel of it weaken and needs much of it to feel it. The Alcoholic just need another brew and another brew. And never stops taking in the alcohol. In the beginning the alcoholic never think that they would end being so, and the same with power-hungry individual. It just became a habit. The alcoholic needs the alcohol, just as the Executive is drunk on power and needs some more drinks. The Executive gotten so used to and the habit of getting their will and generating the funds out of the governmental funds; so if they don’t get more the donor-funds or the Bretton-Woods Loans to their nations then they feel something is missing. They need the spotlight to be the king of the nation and the supreme ruler.

So the drunkenness and needed attention, the needed judgement and decision rate from the Executive that lingers in powers while they build the government system around themselves and weakens the people around them. So they are more needed and so that ambition gets squirrelled around them. There can only be one vision, one leader and one nation under God. That is the usual factor and the events that unfold as the dissidents and opposition get harsh treatment without any cost spared. Something that happens because they crossed the territory of the Executive and the rules of set-up by the President and the predicated actions are seen as violations of laws and constitution; that apparently been rigged in favor of current leader. Therefore another bottle of beer for the President as the sufficient drunkenness of power is staggering. Suddenly change would be hard and taken with haste. Because the drunken leaders will with force and madness go all-inn if they all of sudden loose it, they will be become bush-warriors or stealing elections to continue their Presidency. As we have seen through 2015 and 2016 that is how far these leaders goes to get the shot of power and not stop drinking from the fountain of government power. Peace.  

PLO Lumumba – “We are Co-Authors of our misfortune”

Interesting, right? Enlightenment, right?

Peace!

In rememberence of ‘Silsawochu’ or ‘the sixty’ – and the start of the Derg reign in Ethiopa

In rememberence of the ex-officials of the Imperial government that was brutally murdered in the early hours of November 23, 1974 without a trial. Its important to remember the big moments. So we can learn from it and see what it did and how it affect us today. For those who don’t know. This also ended the Ethiopian Kingdom and started the Communist revolution in Ethiopia.

Here is the list of those who was murdered on this day: 

Prime Minister Tsehafi Taezaz Aklilu Haptewold
Prime Minister Lij Endalkatchew Makonnen
Lt. General Abiye Abebe
H.H. Prince (Leul Ras) Asrate Kassa
Prince Rear Admiral Iskinder Desta
Ras Mesfin Sileshi
Ato Abebe Retta
Ato Akale Work Haptewold
Lt. Colonel Tamirat Yigezu
Dejazmatch Kifle Irgetu
Lt. General Kebede Gebre
Lt. General Issayas Gebre Igziabiher
Lt. General Asefa Ayana
Ato Mulatu Debebe
Dr. Tesfaye Gebre Igzi
Dejazmatch Workineh Wolde Amanuel
Lt. General Debebe Haile Mariam
Brigadier General Deresse Dubale
Lt. General Asefa Demisse
Dejazmatch Aemero Selassie Abebe
Dejazmatch Solomon Abreha
Dejazmatch Sahelu Difeye
Dejazmatch Worku Inqu Selassie
Dejazmatch Legese Bezu
Colonel Solomon Kedir
Blata Admasu Retta
Ato Nebiye Leul Kifle
Ato Solomon Gebre Mariam
Ato Tegegn Yetashework
Afe Nigus (Lord Chief Justice) Abeje Debalke
Lt. General Haile Baikedagn
Lt. General Abebe Gemeda
Lt. General Yilma Shibeshi
Lt. General Belete Abebe
Dejazmatch Kebede Ali Wele
Major General Gashaw Kebede
Major General Seyoum Gedle Giorgis
Major General Tafesse Lemma
Lij Hailu Desta
Fitawrari Amde Abera
Fitawrari Tadesse Inqu Selassie
Fitawrari Demisse Alamirew
Kegnyazmatch Yilma Aboye
Brigadier General Wendimu Abebe
Brigadier General Girma Yohannes
Brigadier General Mulugeta Wolde Yohannes
Colonel Yigezu Yimene
Colonel Alem Zewd Tessema
Colonel Tassew Mojo
Major Berhane Mecha

On this same day, the following men died fighting the Derg over the Derg Chairman Lt. General Aman Andom’s refusal to sanction the execution of the Imperial officials

Lt. General Aman Mikael Andom
Leutenant
  Belai Tsegaye
Leutenant Demisse Shiferaw Goshiye
Lance Corporal Bekele Wolde Giorgis
Sub-Corporal Tekle Haile
Lance Corporal Tesfaye Tekle
Junior Aircraftsman Yohannes Fitiwi

Titles are in italics!

The second Youtube clip is more in rememberence of those who was assainated on that day.

I think this was enough from me today. Peace.

 

Hva skjer når en autoritær leder faller bort?

Hva vil skje med ett land når en leder faller bort. Spesielt når det er i land med autoritær ledelse hvor all makt er bygd rundt personen. Noe som blir mer og mer aktuelt! Fordi de som var den nye ledere på 70-80 tallet har eldet. De kom til makt med våpen og tok vekk forferdelige autoritære regimer. Samme lederne ble legitimt godtatt av vestlige makter. Som ble forsikret at disse skulle ta steg mot ekte demokrati. Hva er ett eventuelt demokrati? I en slik situasjon sier selvfølgelig den fremtidige autoritære aktøren ja til tilbudet. Noe som likegyldig blir godtatt av vestlige makter som får enkel adgang til markedene i disse landene. Derfor får de beholde makten så lenge markedene er åpne. Eller at FN sikkerhetsråd blir stoppet av Veto retten til visse faste medlemmer. Istedenfor å ta en avgjørelse og gi det som egentlig skal være en selvsagt rett – en hvis frihet under ansvar. Ikke ansvar uten frihet. Eller har jeg misforstått. Her jeg sitter i biblioteket til Universitet mitt.

Så hva er det som skjer når en leder som er kjent som autoritær og udemokratisk faller. Uten en reel «heir» eller en som er blitt klargjort til å ta over! Det var spennende å se hva som skjedde i Malawi. Bingu wa Mutharika som var inne i sin andre periode som president. Døde av hjertestopp. Deretter har Joyce Banda tatt over. Bingu var en eksentrisk person som ikke bare ledet AU i ett år i siste periode. Han stoppet også og tok valg som fikk givere til å kutte støtte til Malawi. Også de samme stoppet viktig handel med Malawi samtidig som råvare prisene har falt. Slik at utgangspunktet med handelsoverskudd økte i siste perioden til Mutharika. Noe som Banda har å jobbe med, en jobb som ikke være lett. La oss håpe at det vil bli forbedring!

Andre plasser det har vært stress når fallende ledere og usikkerhet. Libya som var en del av Midtøstens revolusjons vår. Som forsetter i Syria og Yemen. Det som skjedde når deres autoritære leder Gadaffi falt. Så falt også alle hans kontakter og kontrakter. Noen av disse er sikkert gjenopptatt. Slik som eksporten av oljen fra riket. Det som derimot er en usikkerhet. Er lederskapet og hvem som virkelig regjerer. Hvem tar valget? Var valget korrekt? Vil de som var lagt under grus i så mange år komme med harde skyts mot dem som levde rikt? Vil disse nye allierte være det lenge. Med å rive ned Gadaffi og hans styre. Har det ikke bare forandret Libya. Leiesoldatene fra Mali, har revolusjonert landet. Som nå mer ser ut CAR enn Mali. Med hovedstat med regjering. Noe som er langt unna Timbuktu og det nye landet Azawad. Så disse to hendelser har egen historie. I Libya kom Gadaffi og tok vekk et gammelt kongedømme. Å gjorde seg selv til det. Mali har det vært ledere som ikke har respektert Tourager. Som ikke taklet dette lengre. Noen andre sier at det bare en evig makt kamp og ikke handler om etnisitet! Det kan stemme, når du blir oversett og får masse våpen og trening. Kommer hjem og ikke får respekt. Er det lett å komme tilbake til AK47 og ta det du ikke hadde fått. Er det korrekt? Men var det andre korrekt? Vil vesten gjøre noe, eller skal Frankrike forsette med sitt Françafrique, slik de gjorde i Elfenbenkysten når Ggabo ikke ville gå av etter å tapt forrige valg til Ouattara. Så Frankrike bare holdt seg til sin stolte historie.

Ikke at de to siste fall bare var.. dødelig fall. Det siste som har fått meg til å tenke på dette. Er at Meles Zenawi av Etiopia. Har gått bort. Han tok makten for 21 år siden. Da tok han makten fra kommunister og det velkjente DERG. Siden den gang har han regjert med jernhånd. Kalt slik som Museveni og Kagame, kalt for fremtidens ledere. Han fikk holdt Etiopia i sjakk mot flere opprørstyrker. Da tenker jeg på kampene mot Oromo Federal Army(OFA), Ogaden og i  Gambela. Ikke minst også sin kamp om å beholde Eritrea som en del av Etiopia. Noe som sikkert ikke er siste Etiopiske statsminister kommer til å kjempe for akkurat dette. Det andre kontroversielle er hans involvering i Somalia som en del av intern politikk og for å ha ryddige grenser i delen av Etiopia som også heter Region Somalia. Som også skaffet Etiopia allierte i krigen mot teror! USA var velvillige med å stille med midler og utstyr når de gikk inn i Somalia. I senere tid har AU gjort tiltak og har styrker i Somalia. Som en del AMISOM, disse er Burundi og Uganda som har flest soldater. Så Meles Zenawi fikk en god hånd etter sin avgjørelse å gå inn i Somalia!  

Utenom dette har Meles Zenawi skaffet en buffer økonomisk. Eksporten av kaffe og andre råvarer har økt. Turismen har vært i vekst i sin tid. Også med tanke på at i hans levetid har AU fått hovedbase i Addis Adeba. Nå sist med hypermoderne kontorlokale bygd av Kinesiske selskaper. Det andre store prosjektet som nesten er ferdig, da tenker jeg på Gibe3, demningen som vil dekke Omo-elven og produsere 1470mw! Som vil være ferdig juni i 2013 hvis alt er etter planen.

Så nå som han er vekke, hvem vil ta over? Hvem er han som har lovlig tatt over? Hva står han for? Vil han være mann nok til oppgaven? Vil han gjøre som sin foregjengere å dvele og kvele all opisjon? Etiopia har nok av interne konflikter og konflikter rundt seg til å gi hodebry for enhver leder. Det må være en sterk leder. En som virkelig må kjempe å være sterk. En svak leder vil bare svekke Etiopias rolle i hornet av Afrika. Ikke minst også i konfliktene de har og er del av.

Siste fallende leder som ligger meg på hjerte er John Atta-Mills i Ghana. Som vant valget for NDC i 2008. Professoren og partilederen som fikk støtte av Jerry Rawlings ex president og leder for NDC. Respekt og anerkjent var Atta-Mills. Det han fikk til i sin korte periode som president i Ghana var å lede arbeidet med å finne Olje i gulfen på utsiden av landet. Der hvor Jubilee feltet ligger. Ikke minst også å styrke samarbeidet om handel med Kina. Begge deler vil ha enorm betydning for framtiden til Ghana. Økonomisk vil landet bli styrket. Håper bare at den som lovlig har tatt over stillingen har like respekt for lovene til Ghana. Ikke minst også ønske om å beholde demokratiet og den velutviklete posisjonen som Ghana har skaffet seg. Det som er viktig for meg å si var at John Atta-Milss var ikke en autoritær leder. Bare en leder, president som døde og i ett land i enorm utvikling. Som tredje president. Som har kommet ut av systemet til Jerry Rawlings som tok til våpen for å bli president. Senere gitt det videre til Kufour som tapte valget for Atta-Mills. Derfor er skikkelig spent på denne situasjonen.

Så jeg er bare sykt spent på hvordan dette vil innvirke på situasjonen i Etiopia og Ghana. Noe som jeg føler er naturlig. Med både frykt og masse håp. Uten håp har man intet. Likevel kan man jo se tegn i tiden og vite om de som er med en vil likedan den forrige å av og til.. dessverre verre. Hva er det som virkelig skjer i tomrommet til en autoritær leder? Noen plasser blir det helt dyttet vekk slik som etter Franco i Spania. Der har de fortsatt nesten ikke tatt oppgjør med diktaturet! Er det slik som fungerer. Eller finnes det andre veier? Vil opplysning og fredelig overtaking slik som Sør-Afrika og ANC være løsningen? Slik som deres Sannhets og tilgivelses kommisjon etter Apartheid? Jeg har ikke svarene. Dette er bare tanker jeg må få ut. Hvis ikke blir jeg gal! Hva er det som skaper og fyller tomrommet til en autoritær leder som har levd hele livet sitt uten å vite at han har fulgt ord for ord av Machiavellis Frysten! Kan noen fylle dette med rettferdig og vis leder? Eller er det et Metropolis eller Utopia? En drømmetilstand som vi mennesker ikke er gode nok til. For grådig til å innse og gjøre om de system som våre forfedre la til rette? Fordi å revolusjonere og omgjøre system koster så mye. Både tankekraft og penger. At det er lettere å falle til ondskap en til system som skaper en positiv utvikling. Alt dette er bare spørsmål som ligger meg på hjertet. Derfor blogger jeg dette! Om du blir klokere. Så er jeg takknemlig. Hvis ikke så skjønner jeg dette også. Uansett. Ha en god dag.