This discourse is a continuation of the Ethiopia "Respect the Vote" nonviolent movement. 
"Respect the Vote" is the overarching and unifying slogan of the nonviolent movement.

What can be done?


Periodically review and continue engaging in an educational discourse with Ethiopians in the Diaspora and in Ethiopia.


Having murdered most of the high command of the Ethiopian armed forces to avert a coup, Mengistu had reshuffled his cabinet ministers in the waning days of his reign.  Then came the 1991 activities of the US government implemented by Assistant Secretary of State Herman Cohen, who pressured Mengistu to resign on 21 May 1991 and arranged for his exile in Zimbabwe.


Mr. Cohn had assembled a selected group of parties that he would chair in a so-called London conference that opened on 27 May 1991. The parties were the Derg represented by Tesfaye Dinka, the EPLF represented by Isaias Afwerki, the TPLF/EPRDF represented by Meles Zenawi, and the OLF represented by Lencho Letta.  Tesfaye Dinka subsequently withdrew from Cohn's London conference; and on the night of May 27-28, the EPLF-TPLF/EPRDF forces marched into Addis Ababa and assumed control of the city and national government. The next day, reportedly Cohen met with leaders of the EPLF, TPLF/ EPRDF, and OLF, as an adviser instead of the pretence of a mediator. [1] Cohn's actions set the stage for the division of Ethiopia into two states. The US Government through Cohn provided the cover for legitimacy of the EPLF-TPLF/EPRDF, and certain political and social scientist such as Paul B Henze obfuscated theoretical formulations of democracy and provided misleading accounts in an attempt to magnify the role taken by TPLF/EPRDF and vilifies Ethiopian aspirations for true and unfettered democracy - more on this below.  In short order, a farcical national conference was held from July1 to July 5, 1991.


A true national conference is held when the representatives from different regions of a nation assemble at a place and hammer out agreements on how best to rule themselves.  Normally, such a national conference takes months for its members to agree on issues after serious and frank discussions. In contrast, the five-day (July1-July 5, 1991) so-called national conference summoned by the EPLF-TPLF/EPRDF was a mockery of the idea of national conference and an insult to the people of Ethiopia. The EPLF-TPLF/EPRDF did not call for nor did they engage the representatives of the people from different regions. Rather, both the parties that attended the conference and the outcomes of the conference were tightly controlled by the EPLF-TPLF/EPRDF.  The holding of the conference had far reaching consequences, some of which include the establishment of following principles and acts. [1]


1) A National Charter was established.

2) Transitional Government of Ethiopia (TGE) was formulated.

3) An EPLF-TPLF/EPRDF agreement that converted Asab into a free port in exchange for a referendum on Eritrean self- determination to be held within two years was sanctioned.

4) An 87 member Council of Representatives was created, with the EPRDF occupying 32 seats, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) 12 seats, the TPLF 10 seats, the Oromo People's Democratic Organization (OPDO) 10 seats, the Ethiopian People's Democratic Movement (EPDM) 10 seats, and other groups 27 seats.


 5) The so-called principle of ethnicity was enshrined in the national charter and it constituted the basis of local and regional government. The charter recognized the right of all of Ethiopia's nationalities to self-determination. Also, district and regional councils were to be created on the basis of nationality.


These are merely some of the outcomes of the five-day so-called national conference held in Addis Ababa under the aegis of the EPLF-TPLF/EPRDF. In essence that national conference was a ploy used by the EPPL-TPLF to translate their ideas into actions by which Ethiopia would be destabilized.



We now examine briefly how some political and social scientists write about Africa with a view of helping Africans understand their ways.  Emphasis here will focus on those views that appear to be quite controversial. I will specifically refer to comments made by Richard Joseph and John W. Harbeson on the work of Paul B Henze, and by Getatchew Haile on a piece by Siegfried Pausewang.  The reader is encouraged  to read the  original comments of the critics.


Regarding Paul B Henze's controversial views.

The self congratulating Henze, who mentioned "energetic effort by Europeans and Americans to promote democracy throughout the world," has the strange and elusive concept of proposing different democracies for different geographies, and different priorities for the democratization of regions " where societies have evolved in ways unfamiliar to the countries of the North Atlantic." [2] Little does Henze seam to remember that according to classical history democracy originated elsewhere and much before those in the North Atlantic were even colonized and made aware of civilized behavior.  At any rate, we may have an appreciation of Henzean fallacies on the formulation of democracy in Ethiopia as indicated below.


Formulation A

It appears that Paul Henze has a special type of democracy for Ethiopia that may be called the Newspeak. [3] In the Newspeak democracy the division of Ethiopia into language groups (called ethnic groups) is the way to go. This Newspeak formulation is debatable as it is not a widely accepted theoretical formulation for acquiring democracy, and certainly will not work in Ethiopia where the people have been intermarried for centuries, and where there are over 80 different language groups. See propagation of language.


Formulation B.

Apparently, Paul Henze goes farther  and supports a Stalinist and ethnic-centered group to rule over Ethiopia, as he showers the TPLF/EPRDF with praises of how they brought democracy. In reality they are structurally unable to allow the majority participate effectively in a democratic process beginning with the election process through the legislative process to the implementation process of otherwise legally permissible activities. 


It appears then that Paul Henze uses smoke and mirrors to arrive at his observations and blurs realities with his Formulation B, while brandishing Formulation A as the only alternative for democracy in Ethiopia. [3 and 5] One wonders why Henze worked so hard  what appears to be against the interests of one of the oldest independent countries on earth.



Regrading the controversial views of  Siegfried Pausewang.

Siegfried Pausewang is worried that if CUD were to come to power it would yet be the ascendancy of a minority party, though he offers no proof to substantiate his notion of CUD as a minority party. Reportedly [5] Pausewang wrote " Should they [the donors] intervene to make EPRDF step down and bring CUD in power? That would undoubtedly only bring another minority government into power. For if really an uncontested count could prove that CUD had won, CUD would owe this result to massive protest votes. There is no question that many peasants (and others) voted not for CUD but against OPDO or other local member parties of EPRDF."


Pausewang's worries are hopefully allayed by the able response given him by Professor Getatchew Haile. [4] I only mention Pausewang's worries here to point to  the illogical Pausewang's assumptions that lead to Pausewang's fallacies, which include the following.


1) If intervention by donor countries results in the stepping down of a tyrannical minority party (EPRDF) only to be replaced by another (CUD) party, which Paueswang does not proclaim as being a majority party, then the intervention is not worth it. Amazing!


2) If a choice is made by Ethiopians and the bad one is rejected by them then the election of the good one is irrevocably tainted. Neither should the vote of the people that elected the CUD be respected, particularly when Pausewang could assume that the vote was merely a rejection of the EPRDF.  Amazing! 


Notwithstanding Pausewang's wrong assumptions, and Pausewang's fallacies, tyranny is bad because people's lives are wantonly destroyed by it. Tyranny is therefore unacceptable under whatever guise it might appear.  Donor countries that directly finance the budget of a tyrannical regime indirectly perpetrate the wanton destruction of life, limb, and property of Ethiopians.  However, they may put it, Meles tyranical rule,  treasonous surender of the maritime territories and properties to a rebel group, and forcible division of Ethiopians into homelands has no parallels in Ethiopian history except  in brief times of occupation by alien forces.


Summary and conclusion


In Educational Discourse  #1 through #4, we examined the desirability of having a unified movement against the tyranny by the TPLF/EPRDF.  We also examined how western political and social scientists view the governments of Africa, and how they rationalize interacting with African regimes merely in the form of the so-called "enlightened self-interest."  The gist of the previous Educational Discourse was as follows.


#1. The opposition to tyrannical governance must work under one Ethiopian movement.


#2, TPLF/EPRDF was not the winner of elections made by the 27 million Ethiopians that cast their votes in May 2005.  From the 547 seats sought by parties 299 were contested.  Of the uncontested votes,  Hebret had received 54 seats. Meles had not contested at least 109 seats won by Kinijit (CUD), though he denied immunity to these MPs and put them in jail on trumped-up charges. Thus, the tyrannical TPLF/EPRDF party had won only 85 (547-299-54-109 = 85) seats that were not contested by the opposition parties and the electorate.


#3. European political scientists had observed that African states maybe placed in one of 5 types of dysfunctional or failed states. Ato Meles had agreed that Ethiopia is a failed state. Perhaps, Ato Meles was told that the case of Ethiopia is similar to the "captured " variety of which Rwanda was said to be a typical example.  This might explain why Ato Meles was preaching his fear of a Rwandan-type massacre happening in the period of the May 2005 elections.


#3B. History of foreign involvement in Ethiopian affairs from Ahmad Gragn to Meles


#4. S. Ellis (2005) hypothesis of dealing with dysfunctional states. According to Ellis "The West should adopt a new, enlightened form of self-interest and be open to engaging in new sorts of involvement in Africa. .. What is required ... are international joint ventures ..[that]..would avoid the evils of colonialism...and the errors of more recent peacekeeping and state building". (p.148)


Since Discourse # 4 the EU Parliament has meaningfully condemned the atrocities committed by the Ethiopian regime, and the EU Commission has planned to withhold 375 million that they directly donate to the budget of the TPLF/EPRDF party.


#5. The current piece describes briefly the so-called five-day national conference of the EPLF-TPLF/EPRDF in which they got their proposals sanctioned by conference participants. 

Mention also was made on the history of US involvement in the enthroning of the EPLF and TPLF/EPRDF over Ethiopia, and the division of Ethiopia into two states.  Moreover controversial work by some individual western political and social scientists was reacted to in non-flattering terms.





1- http://countrystudies.us/ethiopia/3.htm


2. http://muse.jhu.edu/cgi-bin/access.cgi?uri=/journals/journal_of_democracy/v009/9.4henze.html


3- http://www.andenet.com/art-dec17-2.htm


4- http://www.andenet.com/art-dec16-1.htm


5- http://www.andenet.com/art-dec31-1.htm

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