“The Mission notes that this is the first time that the Prime Minister is seeking political legitimacy through elections, hence the importance attached to these elections” (African Union, 23.06.2021).
Today, the African Union Election Observation Monitoring Preliminary Statement on the 21st June 2021 Ethiopian Elections. This is two days after the polls and it sets the standards on how many will look at these elections.
We can question the elections long before the polls. That’s because of how the state is operating. There is no safe-space and limited freedom for the opposition. The opposition and the ones who dissent from the current leadership is in danger. They are either behind bars, on the run or dead. Therefore, we know this election was rigged before it started. If the leadership wanted a free and fair election. They wouldn’t have blocked, arrested and stopped the opposition from running as well. Which it did with a ruthless hand.
The African Union EOM states this as well: “Notwithstanding the substantive reforms undertaken, the arrest and detention of high-profile opposition individuals have resulted in certain political parties boycotting the elections, while others have been barred from taking part in the elections” (African Union, 23.06.2021). So, when I states that it has occurred, the AU says it as well.
What is worrying and kept under the weather is this fact, which the AU says now: “The Mission notes that most of the members and staff of NEBE have little or no prior election administration experience and conducted the 2021 general elections under a new and untested legal framework. The limited experience may have contributed to the operational and logistical challenges NEBE encountered” (African Union, 23.06.2021).
That really states a fact, which should worry anyone. As the regime and party can use these inexperienced bureaucrats to ensure their victory. They will follow orders and comply, as they are appointed and gotten their offices, accordingly with the current leadership. That’s how this seems and could easily be swayed that way.
What’s the most striking is the repetition of this recommendation, which says a lot about the current regime: “Urgently undertake measures to heal societal divisions through national reconciliation, dialogue, and inclusivity” (African Union, 23.06.2021). The AU recommended this to the government, AU itself and the International Community to “undertake National reconciliation initiatives”. That’s says it all about the how things are and how dire it is. When they can see, but not putting any distress on the matter. They could have come with an warning, but I don’t think the AU EOM dares to do so. This is why they are saying this and putting it forward.
However, they are asking the Prime Minister and his party to seek dialogue. When they are the ones who has weaponized the political sphere and has used the state as a tool to oppress their opposition. You expect the leaders who calls for war will suddenly talk of cease-fire? Well, I doubt that. I think they rather want to see the demise of the ones in their way. Before ever considering to talk to the ones who is in their way…
The most disgusting and legitimizing the elections was these sentences from the conclusion, which says this: “There was nothing, in estimation, that distracted from the credible conduct of the elections. The Mission, therefore, commends all Ethiopians for the demonstrated commitment to the democratic development of the country” (African Union, 23.06.2021).
It is really striking to call it a credible election, when so many political prisoners and so many who is left behind. That should be the first step to say this election isn’t credible. Because, how can it be, when the opposition isn’t really participating? When the dissidents and opposition does have the ability to participate, but still calling it credible? How is that possible and what reasoning can you have to get there?
For me… that’s an impossible task and election to have. When there is no middle-ground and a system working against the one it opposes. Therefore, the AU EOM is deliberately being a tool for legitimacy. Which they state the importance of and also shows the need for reconciliation. However, don’t expect that to happen from the same guys, which orders the arrest of others. That isn’t happening, unless the Prime Minister and his party needs to buy time. Before they again arrests them and goes after them. That’s what is to be expected, because this government fears them and their popularity. If they didn’t fear them and couldn’t use them. They would have let them go and would have let them participate in this election. Nevertheless, they didn’t do that and that’s why we are here.
This wasn’t an credible election and the AU EOM is doing itself a disservice… and it’s not surprising. The AU EOMs are a dictators best friend. Peace.
What I will do is to take things side-by-side just to show how ridiculous things can become. Because, this is just showing how things are finessed and done. This is the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Shabait) and how the United Nations operate. The lack of coordination and the lack of mutual consent. Which is the reason for this.
We know its getting hectic, when the Shabait response to the whole report has this headline: “Rumors Cannot be Presented as Facts”. That’s how they pop-it off. It sets the parameter and shows their ways. There is no middle-ground, but just throwing everything at it.
We know the Special Rapporteur Mohamed Abdelsalam Babike doesn’t have a nice job either. As he states early this: “given the lack of cooperation of the Government with the Special Rapporteur, who was denied access to the country, he collated the necessary information through alternative means”. Because of that he was forced to: “The Special Rapporteur conducted remote monitoring and held meetings with a broad range of actors, such as diplomats, human rights defenders, civil society representatives and academics. In addition, the Special Rapporteur collected first-hand information from Eritrean refugees residing in other countries, with a view to informing his assessment of the situation of human rights in Eritrea”.
In this regard, the Eritrean government gave him no choice but do things remotely. Still, they are saying this in their rebuttal about the method: “As with previous SR reports on Eritrea, the lack of reliable data, heavy dependence on biased sources, non-verifiable approach, and ignorance of Eritrea’s ground realities renders the methodology and the essence of the allegations tenuous and unacceptable”.
What is funny about this… the government says they want a reliable and another methodology, but dismiss and doesn’t make it possible for the Special Rapporteur to investigate in the first place. So, if you close the borders and doesn’t cooperate. How is he supposed to get the information in the first place? You cannot close the doors and also claim whatever information he collects as wrong. With this sort of look into it. It seems like the objective of Eritrea is to call everything bogus and lies, while not allowing people to look into their works. This is the United Nations and not just a random organization having a mission of some sorts. Therefore, this is just making things more suspicious in the end of Eritrea. That they don’t want information out in the first place…
When things gets really tricky, is when the Special Rapporteur says this: “The Special Rapporteur highlights that, as a member of the Human Rights Council, Eritrea should strengthen its cooperation with all human rights mechanisms. In particular, the Special Rapporteur encourages the Government to strengthen its cooperation with his mandate and engage constructively, and to enhance its engagement and technical cooperation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, which remains ready to assist Eritrea in the three priority human rights areas identified by the authorities, as well as in the implementation of the recommendations from human rights mechanisms, including those emanating from the universal periodic review”.
While Shabait says this: “Like every other country in the world, Eritrea faces challenges. However, the GoSE continuously works to address these challenges and improve human rights standards in the country. Accordingly, there is no “crisis” that warrants the targeting of the nation through HRC agendas and mandates”. When Eritrea answers the UN Special Rapporteur like this. You know the whole thing is bound to fail. The UN Special Rapporteur is there, because the UN appointed him. Not because his job is to undermine Eritrea. That’s just a fact and the government in Asmara clearly don’t want that. However, their hostility and lack of cooperation. Only opens up the questions… why are they hiding and not just giving way, if they have a perfect Human Rights record? Why are they not inviting and showing the greatness of the Republic?
Well… you go figure… right?
Then, you have this one, which is on the origin of the Tigray conflict. The Special Rapporteur says this: “On 4 November 2020, tensions escalated in the region and an armed conflict erupted in Tigray when the Ethiopian National Defence Forces launched a military offensive against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front in response to reported attacks against the Ethiopian National Defence Forces’ military bases in Tigray by Tigrayan forces. The Ethiopian National Defence Forces were allegedly supported by Amhara regional forces and the Amhara Fano militia in western Tigray, and in particular by the Eritrean Defence Forces in northern and central Tigray”. While Shabait answers with this: “Emboldened by some governments, the Western media, and NGOs, the TPLF, by its own admission, unleashed an insurrectionist war in November 2020 after it was ousted from power in 2018 after 27 years of despotic rule in Ethiopia. The objective of this massive, premeditated and unprovoked attack that the TPLF launched on all the contingents of the Ethiopian army in the north was to totally neutralize the Northern Command which possessed around 80% of the EDF’s total arsenal. The TPLF killed several hundred non-Tigrayan soldiers within the Northern Command and its overall plan was to topple the central government once it had pacified the Northern Command”. As Shabait continues: “Subsequent plans included military action against Eritrea to advance its avowed “regime change” agenda as well as incorporation of Eritrean sovereign territories for its long-term, multi-layered, aims and aspirations”.
Here you see that Eritrea isn’t looking into their own actions or as a part of the tripartite alliance in Tigray region. No, they are shifting everything at the TPLF. That is an deliberate act. While the Special Rapporteur is looking at it objectively. That’s why the wording is so careful. The Shabait is going after the TPLF and their actions, but not stating anything about their own. Also, giving a history lesson of the misdeeds of the TPLF. While it is not saying it is currently involved any of it itself. Implying it is all justified and there is no reason to doubt that… While all three parties was preparing and launching the attacks on Tigray. So, they could easily blame the TPLF no matter what it did… and the rest is history and a conflict living on to this day.
What is further striking is this one, where the Special Rapporteur says this: “The Special Rapporteur welcomes the decision adopted on 22 March 2021 by the Council of the European Union, under the European Union’s global human rights sanctions regime, imposing sanctions on Eritrea for serious violations of human rights, including acts of torture, extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions and killings in Eritrea. The Council imposed restrictive measures on eleven individuals and four entities responsible for serious human rights violations and abuses in China, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Eritrea, Libya, the Russian Federation and South Sudan”. When Shabait retorts with this: “Mention has also been made regarding EU sanctions on Eritrea amid the ongoing discussion to withhold development support in particular in the pretext of the unwarranted and worn-out allegations surrounding National Service and forced labor (paragraph 24) as well as other baseless human rights allegations. Any such pre-condition on development cooperation is unacceptable. Eritrea remains committed to the effective mobilization, higher organization, and creation of national capacity in the implementation of its development programmes. It is, however, equally committed to cooperation predicated on partnership, involving mutual respect and understanding. Thus, it rejects any attempts at intimidation, coercion, or harassment under the veil of human rights and development cooperation”.
Here we are seeing a stark contrast again. What is really significant. That Eritrea is against the sanctions. That’s to be expected, because who wants to be sanctioned and getting retribution. However, instead of letting people in and see that these things doesn’t happen. The Eritrean state is just retaliating. The UN Special Rapporteur only verifies the reports and the surrounding misgivings of the Eritrean state. Something the Eritrean doesn’t prove to be wrong. They just call it baseless, but doesn’t prove anything or say anything in significant in consideration with the alleged human rights violations. Which is the reason of the sanctions in the first place. The EU will have mechanisms where there is a need for burden of proof and evidence before sanctioning a nation. Which in effect has been enacted. Eritrea furthers the victimhood by calling it harassment and intimidation. That just shows they have no intent in changing its behaviour or try to prove their innocence.
The UN Special Rapporteur says: “The Special Rapporteur is concerned that the indefinite duration of military and civil service reportedly remains one of the main causes for the departure of Eritreans from their country. With the end of the state of war with Ethiopia, the Special Rapporteur encourages the Government to outline a timetable for reforms to its national service”. The Shabait answers with: “The causality inference (paragraph 40) suggested in the present report between national service and migration from Eritrea is unjustified and unacceptable. In line with the new development drive, as well as the emerging prospects of viable peace and cooperation in the Horn of Africa, efforts will gradually be made to return National Service to its original duration. Moreover, a significant number of national service members have been integrated into the new remuneration system which improved the salary scale of the civil service”.
This here shows the trouble with it here. As the Special Rapporteur states an issue with the military and civil service in Eritrea. While the Shabait tries to dismiss that. However, there is no way this is explaining the Eritreans fleeing from these state programs, which is causing this. The Eritrean government is downplaying it. This just shows how things are… and therefore, we just know the ideals will not be answered. That was a proof of the beginning.
They are both ending with this, which is interesting. The Special Rapporteur states this: “The Special Rapporteur calls upon the Government to acknowledge the persistence of human rights violations and abuses in Eritrea, and to allow him and other human rights mandate holders effective access to visit all areas of the country and meet with relevant stakeholders, with a view to addressing the human rights challenges that it faces”. While Shabait says this: “It is time for the HRC to break with its 8-years long unproductive approach by terminating the mandate imposed on Eritrea. On its part, Eritrea will continue to expand and consolidate dignified engagement and international cooperation based on partnership and will continue its modest contribution to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Council, while working together with other members to depoliticize the Council and its agendas”.
This is how two worlds are colliding. A nation and a sovereign like Eritrea who is saying everything is baseless. While Eritrea isn’t opening up for the UN Special Rapporteur. Therefore, the allegations and the reported breaches of human rights violations aren’t investigated directly, but only proven by eyewitnesses in the diaspora.
The Eritrean state should consider another path, because this sort of retort isn’t safeguarding it. It is just opening up a plethora of questions. As it is not willing to open up. Shabait is just throwing shade. This sort of answer isn’t making any good grounds, but make you further questions the actions of Eritrea.
The UN Special Rapporteur is appointed and gotten a mandate from someone else. Shabait is only defending its state, but its not doing a good job. It is a hit-job, but not hitting the target. Unless, it was to make headlines in local news. Where they can look like they did something, which isn’t true. It did nothing… Peace.
The civil war and the conflict in Tigray region have proven that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali is willing to lie about everything. A war reveals everything eventually. You cannot hide the victims, the deceased and the burned villages forever. The destroyed factories needs to be rebuilt. Airports destroyed and whatnot of infrastructure needs funds to be rebuilt.
You can blow up a home, kill a person, but someone has to build a new home and another have to bury the deceased. This is why the tragedies will be revealed and the horrific actions will be told. It will not be in the manner or which the state can control the narratives or the evidence itself. Since, then its the people, the victims or the refugees telling their eye-witness stories. They are happening on a later date, but they still know what they saw and who was the culprit of the action.
Therefore, Prime Minister Abiy cannot lie about it then. He can lie about it now and act like things are not happening. Still, that doesn’t make it true.
Just like he has in the past lied about the demographics about the refugees who fled to Sudan. He also lied about the presence and the allied forces from Eritrea in the conflict. The Prime Minister also lied about the preparation for the conflict and the troops movement ahead of November 2020. Therefore, there hasn’t been any story he has been trustworthy with.
The Prime Minister have even told two different stories on his own origins. That shouldn’t be possible, but still an action he has done. The Prime Minister has lied about other things and I’m still wondering when his government going to have the ability to control rain.
The Prime Minister will call this a free and fair election. While most of his real opposition is behind bars or already killed. The authorities has blocked the opposition and stopped them from challenging him. That’s why we know this isn’t an honest poll. If it was… he wouldn’t have so many political prisoners and stopped their parties from running campaigns. Therefore, that is another lie.
This PM will lie. He is willingly lying about everything. The PM will say the economy is steaming to greatness. While he couldn’t balance the budget without borrowing funds from the International Monetary Funds or World Bank. The PM cannot be running a well government in wartime. He is spending funds on warfare and assaulting his own citizens. Just to prove a point. The PM is possibly paying the Eritrean forces to fight his own wars. Therefore, the government have huge bills to pay without the additional growth to cover the expenses.
The Prime Minister is now saying there is no hunger in Tigray region. While there been clear covering of that. Where there was 33,000 children neglected and possibly dying of hunger there. Over 300,000 facing dire hunger and distress in the region. You know the PM is lying. As his troops and tripartite alliance is stopping aid convoys and blocking NGOs from helping there. Therefore, the PM knows perfectly well, but to save his own face he prefers to lie.
This PM will lie about anything. His party and allies will do whatever and say whatever to look good. The house is maybe burning, but they are saying it has a strong foundation. Still, the fire is burning and destroying it. They will say the paint isn’t toxic or it’s somebody else fault that the alarm didn’t go-off. The PM will say that people shouldn’t report on the fire or talk about the consequences of it. They should focus on the garden and the neighbourhood itself. That’s how they are playing with things.
Prime Minister Abiy will lie and continue to lie. It doesn’t matter as long as it benefits him and his agenda. This is their game and the citizens are the props. That is tragic, but the reality of it all. Peace.
The ones that believes in this is really delusional and naive. There is no reason to believe the polls tomorrow will be representative of the will of the people. Neither in all the other zones and woredas, which has been postponed. The postponed ones are just getting prepared for another round of prefixed results and secure the leadership are in favour of the current Prime Minister.
There is noting that has been initiated towards the polls that has made it believable. The Prosperity Party and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali have prepared everything and we know the gist of it. This isn’t a free and fair election. The state will say so and so will the appointed authorities do as well. The Election Observations Missions (EOMs) will be positive and give good feedback too. Only recommend some changing of legislation, but call it mostly a success.
Therefore, this election is prepared and a end-game everyone knows. It is not like the Prosperity Party or the ones ruling in Addis Ababa will not loose any sleep. They have been preparing for this for months and this is just the victory lap.
The results will be clear and the Prosperity Party will have the majority. The Prime Minister will get his first elected term. The House of Federation will have a majority of PP members. The others will be associated who are friendly and directly aligned with the PP. That is just the initial thing here. The PP and the ones in-charge has gotten rid of the real enemies, the real opponents and the ones who really challenge it. They are either illegal, behind bars or totally destroyed. Some have boycotted the elections, but the results are all the same. Just a final stretch for his majesty and his court. They are ready for the coronation and to be sworn-in.
This election is just for show. The drones, the ballots and the stadiums with people. Which is ironic, as the election was postponed for the fear of COVID-19 last year. However, they still had large gatherings ahead of the polls. That just shows how insincere this government is and what they had planned along in this sixth unconstitutional year of their regime.
The political prisoners, the silencing of the opposition and the destruction of the dissidents. Should be the worry. However, people who are asking for dialogue. Should first look into all the parties, all the people and the families who has been touched by this government. This current regime and administration has done nobody any favours. They have only gone after people to consolidate all power. This elections are to legitimize that and grab the power finally. Where they can look at the polls and say. I am righteously elected and it’s official. I’m not just selected by the previous political coalition, but by law elected as the Prime Minister. My cabinet and all the representatives, which is my allies is the same.
That is the reason for the election tomorrow. This election isn’t to get the proper representation or the leaders the citizens deserves. The polls is to get the hand-picked and anointed people of the current leadership. They are just ensuring their mandate and making sure they can rule without question.
Prime Minister Abiy rather silence his critics, arrest, torture and kill if he has too. Just to ensure everyone bows their knees, kiss the ring and sings the praises of his grace. The duty of the public is to serenade him. They are supposed to entertain him and bash in his glory. His their king and majesty. The people just don’t know it yet.
He will be the Prime Minster. His associates and handlers will be elected. There is no doubt about that. It is all prepared and the results could have been dropped already. Abiy isn’t going anywhere. If he was? He wouldn’t have issued war, caused so much harm and ordered these sorts of atrocities, if he knew he was loosing or wouldn’t be the Head of the State after the polls. He wouldn’t have dared to challenge the opposition like he does or been so confident. That’s because he knows and everyone should know.
It was already made, in the air and tomorrow the final nail is in the coffin. He will let people starve, be raped and killed on the daily. Just to prove that he shouldn’t be humiliated or lose face. If he does, that is reason enough to silence you. That is what the Prime Minister does and a character like that. Will not risk loosing an election. That’s why tomorrow isn’t an election, but an selection.
The man, the myth and the legend, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali, the seventh king, the ring-leader of the Medemer Terror and this era’s proud tyrant of Ethiopia. Is finally legitimized and has been “elected”. Peace.