Reforming the Intricate Ethnic Mafia State of Ethiopia TPLF created demands rooting out dysfunctional elites
Sadly, the most educated and privileged dysfunctional elites in the diaspora that live in democratic nations violate the foundation of democratic governance reform the most visible for necked eye. by Teshome Debalke, February 10, 2021 First, it is great pleasure to witness, the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) that constructed the ethnic Mafia State of Ethiopia three decades ago finally and officially cease to exist as we know it when its notoriously corrupt and traitorous Kingpin Sibhat Nega and his closest lieutenants that enforce his ethnic mob rule were unceremoniously captured – ending the era of terror, extortion, and plunder of a nation as we predicted was a matter of time before they bit the dust a decade ago. More importantly, the Ethiopian Defense Force led by PM Abiy Ahmed decision to spare the warlords face justice by the rule of law as oppose rendering instant jungle verdict of the predecessors that inflected countless pain and suffering on the people of Ethiopia ended the era of lawlessness. The self-confessed non-Ethiopian ethnic Mafia junta and its Marxist junta predecessor rule of the jungle over the rule of law dug their own graves or as well as millions of innocent Ethiopians and lived of off their crimes against humanity never seen in the extended history of the nation fulfilling the Chinese saying, “if you’re going to seek revenge dig two graves”. Therefore, TPLF apologists and sponsors attempt to undermine Ethiopians and PM Abiy Ahmed’s efforts to unite them and, institute the rule of law is nothing short of cheering for the rule of the jungle to disfranchise the “Blameless AEthiopians” historian documented centuries ago. Regardless of the ‘grave digger’ regimes of the past, the end of the rule of the jungle is a good beginning to celebrate but by no means the end. The mess left behind in the political, social, and economic institutions of Ethiopia and the effort to institute the necessary reform to clean up house takes time under the best scenario. But, given the unrelenting hyperactive firehoses of falsehoods onslaught TPLF apologists engaged in to undermine democratic reform, the road ahead remains as dangerous as it was designed when TPLF warlords came to seen. Unfortunately, generations of dilutional and functionally illiterate elites that infest public and private institutions happen to be the main obstacle to make the road ahead as difficult as possible to pass. And sadly, the die-hard ethnic apartheid elites that insist the ethnic Mafia can be agent of reform are not the only conspirators. Many opportunists that conveniently see no evil in human nature for their own or sponsors’ political, social, and economic end remain roadblocks from genuine reform to take place that matters for the people of Ethiopia. Therefore, in the frenzy of pointing fingers at each other to avoid individual responsibility, ‘the horse before the cart’ reform that favor them visible for necked eye is inevitable. Add the prevalent firehoses of falsehoods and the sleaze that comes naturally with it as human nature dictates further made it difficult how and where to begin reform and with whom. One does not need a PhD nor reference from western philosophy familiar with contemporary elites to understand and analyze what unrestrained human nature that separates democratic from authoritarian states our wise forefathers understood throughout the extended history in simple and unambiguous terms. Among notable examples are, ለራስ ሲቆርሱ አያሳንሱ, አባቱ ዳኛ ልጁ ቀማኛ, የጎርጊስን ግብር የበላ ያስለፈልፈዋል, ከብት ባልዋለበት ኩበት ለቀማ… Yet, contemporary dysfunctional and functionally illiterate elites (የተማሩ መሀይሞች) not only pivot from the universal truth about the rule of law but redefine the meaning of transparency and accountability to justify their own inadequacies or what the renowned 19th century Hungarian-American academic, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Dr Thomas Szasz frames as “two wrongs don’t make a right, but they make good excuses”. The author of the Manufacturers of Madness (1970) wrote, “Punishment is now unfashionable … because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility” and, summed up the moral and ethical inaptitude of contemporary elites’ what he framed as “the habit of dwelling on victimhood dulls the impulse of self-correction”. If we think about it, the very rise of every authoritarian regime by the way of Fascism, Apartheid, Communism, Militarism… emerges out of the elites “dwelling on victimhood” to avoid “self-correction”. In fact, it gotten so bad over the years, manufacturing a nonextant victim to remain relevant not only became their way of life but livelihoods. The American author, motivational speaker, and the Founder of EM Power X Anthony J. D’Angelo shout out, “when solving problem, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves” . Therefore, the habit of ‘hacking at the
Sadly, the most educated and privileged dysfunctional elites in the diaspora that live in democratic nations violate the foundation of democratic governance reform the most visible for necked eye.
by Teshome Debalke, February 10, 2021
First, it is great pleasure to witness, the Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) that constructed the ethnic Mafia State of Ethiopia three decades ago finally and officially cease to exist as we know it when its notoriously corrupt and traitorous Kingpin Sibhat Nega and his closest lieutenants that enforce his ethnic mob rule were unceremoniously captured – ending the era of terror, extortion, and plunder of a nation as we predicted was a matter of time before they bit the dust a decade ago.
More importantly, the Ethiopian Defense Force led by PM Abiy Ahmed decision to spare the warlords face justice by the rule of law as oppose rendering instant jungle verdict of the predecessors that inflected countless pain and suffering on the people of Ethiopia ended the era of lawlessness.
The self-confessed non-Ethiopian ethnic Mafia junta and its Marxist junta predecessor rule of the jungle over the rule of law dug their own graves or as well as millions of innocent Ethiopians and lived of off their crimes against humanity never seen in the extended history of the nation fulfilling the Chinese saying, “if you’re going to seek revenge dig two graves”.
Therefore, TPLF apologists and sponsors attempt to undermine Ethiopians and PM Abiy Ahmed’s efforts to unite them and, institute the rule of law is nothing short of cheering for the rule of the jungle to disfranchise the “Blameless AEthiopians” historian documented centuries ago.
Regardless of the ‘grave digger’ regimes of the past, the end of the rule of the jungle is a good beginning to celebrate but by no means the end. The mess left behind in the political, social, and economic institutions of Ethiopia and the effort to institute the necessary reform to clean up house takes time under the best scenario. But, given the unrelenting hyperactive firehoses of falsehoods onslaught TPLF apologists engaged in to undermine democratic reform, the road ahead remains as dangerous as it was designed when TPLF warlords came to seen.
Unfortunately, generations of dilutional and functionally illiterate elites that infest public and private institutions happen to be the main obstacle to make the road ahead as difficult as possible to pass. And sadly, the die-hard ethnic apartheid elites that insist the ethnic Mafia can be agent of reform are not the only conspirators. Many opportunists that conveniently see no evil in human nature for their own or sponsors’ political, social, and economic end remain roadblocks from genuine reform to take place that matters for the people of Ethiopia.
Therefore, in the frenzy of pointing fingers at each other to avoid individual responsibility, ‘the horse before the cart’ reform that favor them visible for necked eye is inevitable. Add the prevalent firehoses of falsehoods and the sleaze that comes naturally with it as human nature dictates further made it difficult how and where to begin reform and with whom.
One does not need a PhD nor reference from western philosophy familiar with contemporary elites to understand and analyze what unrestrained human nature that separates democratic from authoritarian states our wise forefathers understood throughout the extended history in simple and unambiguous terms. Among notable examples are, ለራስ ሲቆርሱ አያሳንሱ, አባቱ ዳኛ ልጁ ቀማኛ, የጎርጊስን ግብር የበላ ያስለፈልፈዋል, ከብት ባልዋለበት ኩበት ለቀማ…
Yet, contemporary dysfunctional and functionally illiterate elites (የተማሩ መሀይሞች) not only pivot from the universal truth about the rule of law but redefine the meaning of transparency and accountability to justify their own inadequacies or what the renowned 19th century Hungarian-American academic, psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Dr Thomas Szasz frames as “two wrongs don’t make a right, but they make good excuses”.
The author of the Manufacturers of Madness (1970) wrote, “Punishment is now unfashionable … because it creates moral distinctions among men, which, to the democratic mind, are odious. We prefer a meaningless collective guilt to a meaningful individual responsibility” and, summed up the moral and ethical inaptitude of contemporary elites’ what he framed as “the habit of dwelling on victimhood dulls the impulse of self-correction”.
If we think about it, the very rise of every authoritarian regime by the way of Fascism, Apartheid, Communism, Militarism… emerges out of the elites “dwelling on victimhood” to avoid “self-correction”. In fact, it gotten so bad over the years, manufacturing a nonextant victim to remain relevant not only became their way of life but livelihoods.
The American author, motivational speaker, and the Founder of EM Power X Anthony J. D’Angelo shout out, “when solving problem, dig at the roots instead of just hacking at the leaves” .
Therefore, the habit of ‘hacking at the symptom as oppose digging at the root cause of the problem is not by accident but convenient. The rampant lack transparency and accountability of dysfunctional and functionally illiterate elites infested political, social, economic institutions baked by firehose of falsehoods peddlers masquerading as journalists, authors and experts demands digging the root cause no matter how much time it takes.
Nothing crystalizes the mix of dysfunctional and functionally illiterate elites undermining democratic reform effort better than those infested in economic institutions where information and data transparency is the life-or-death of livelihoods of the people of Ethiopia.
Some are architect of the ethnic apartheid Mafia economy itself. Others are representative of multilateral and bilateral organizations pushing the old and failed “Structural Adjustment” policy of the 90s. Others are representatives of global venture (vulture) capital and their philanthropy reps banking on the chaos the Mafia state created. And the few stanch transparency and accountability advocates are lost in the wonderland perpetuated the usual suspects how to sort out the good from the bad and the ugly actors and where to start the reform effort and with whom.
To find out who had the clout pushing the economic agenda of the ethnic apartheid Mafia economy in Ethiopia, one should look no further than the propaganda outlets empowered to narrate firehose of falsehoods masquerading as English language business/economic Medias.
The oldest and most visible among them is the self-described largest English language weekly Addis Fortune led by the infamous Founder and Managing Editor Tamrat G. Gebremariam.
But, in a July 2011 article titled Addis Fortune or Misfortune?: A make-believe independent Media under tyranny, we documented his presence at the UN Human Right Commission inquiry as Tamrat GebreGiorgis.
Though no one knows what a Managing Editor of the self-described “largest English language business publication in Ethiopia” has anything to do with human right violation inquiry of the ethnic Mafia regime, it was clear then as it is obvious now, he was there to defend the regime’s human right record and undermine the renowned human right advocate and the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Solidarity Movement for New Ethiopia Obang Metho that made mockery of the nine-persons delegation led by TPLF warlord Fisseha Yimer Aboye and TPLF controlled Human Right Commission of Ethiopia Commissioner Terunhe Zenna Arajo that came to Geneva to defend the regime’s human rights record.
Sometime between 2011-18, Tamrat GebreGiorgis wanted to be known as Tamerat GeberMariam for unknown reason. According to AWiB that claim to be “a networking platform where female leaders connect, emerge and grow together” Tamerat Gebremariam packs “27 years of experience in nearly every aspect of publishing with over 11 various publications. He is a member of the Alumni of the University of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Policy and regularly contributes to specialized international publications such as the Global Integrity’s Index on Government Corruption, Transparency and Accountability, and the Federation, a flagship publication of the Forum’s for Federations.”
As bizarre as it may sound how a “foreign policy Alumni of the University of Georgetown’s School of Foreign Policy” ended up to set up an English language business publication over two decades ago, what AWiB failed to revile is the nonexistence of Tamerat GeberMariam in Georgetown University but, according to Network – Georgetown Leadership Seminar “Tamrat Gebregiorgis (Ethiopia), General Manager, Independent News & Media” as a Class of 2007. Moreover, there is no Global Integrity’s Index publication he supposedly contributed articles as AWiB claimed nor ‘the Forum’s for Federation but Forum of Federation — a Canadian government funded forum where Ethiopia, the only nation that practice ethnic apartheid Federalism in the world “has been a partner since 2006”, according to its official website.
Nor AWiB care to find out the other nine publication Gebremariam ‘regularly contributes’ to raise more questions than answers, who may be sponsoring the dysfunctional elites in AWiB’s network to make a mockery of disclosure and transparency.
Meanwhile, the Forum of Federation with “flagship publication” found no article Gebremariam published.
Interestingly, Forum of Federation has nine Ethiopian stuffs that outnumbers all member/partner nations led by “Maeregu Habtemariam Kazentet [Regional Director, East Africa Region” except Myanmar.
Brazil with 1, India with 2, Jourdan with 3, morocco with 3, Myanmar with 11, Nepal with 1, Tunisia with 4, Yemen with 1 and Ethiopia with 9 stuffs, it is not clear why Myanmar and Ethiopia needed more stuff than all the other ‘partner’ Federal nations combined to ask, why the Canadian Government makes mockery of Federalism.
At the meantime, the Board Members of Forum of Federation according to its website includes “Birtukan Ayanodadi (Ethiopia) is a lawyer and career diplomat. She is currently State Minister of Foreign Affairs. She was previously Director-General for the Americas in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ethiopia. She has served as Ambassador Extraordinary & Plenipotentiary of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia to Canada and Senior Counsellor International Treaties and Legal Affairs Directorate General at ministry. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council the Adama, Science &Technology University and the Ethiopian Tourist Trading Enterprise. She was educated in Ethiopia and Belgium” while “Maeregu Habtemariam Kazentet [Regional Director, East Africa Region] who “studied agriculture at a diploma level and has a BA in Economics (Hons) from India and MA in International Development Planning and Management from Germany. He has served the government of Ethiopia from the lowest structure (Wereda) up to key positions at federal government level for more than 15 years. He was a State Minister of the Ministry of Federal Affairs where one of his main responsibilities was strengthening the federal system of government and managing conflicts within the nation. Maeregu was actively involved in organizing the 5th International Conference on Federalism in Ethiopia in 2010.”
The irony a Canadian government funded Forum of Federation does not revile what university and year in Ethiopia or Belgium and India or Germany the Forum Board Member and the East Africa Regional Director acquired their degree nor what Ethnic Apartheid Federal State they represent clearly shows, Canada is one of the sponsors of the rejected Ethnic Apartheid rule in Ethiopia disguised as Federalism.
More telling is the educational backgrounds and work experiences of its Ethiopian office stuffs to say, the hox perpetuated against the people of Ethiopia similar during colonial periods is real.
The Chairman of the Board of Forum of Federation is Minister-President of the Federal Free State of Saxony and Chair of Saxony’s Christian Democratic Union of Germany Georg Milbradt and, the Chief Operating Officer is a Canadian with a background in “international/community development organizations such as the Canadian Council for International Cooperation, Oxfam Canada and CUSO” is Charles Cloutier can tell what Forum of Federation all is about.
To make matter even worse, among the Forum of Federation’s “partner organizations” is the Institute of Federalism at Addis Ababa University led by Zemelak Ayitenew Ayele, according International Politics and Society EU capital of Belgium based outfit where he contributed the one and only article in Nov of 2020 titled Ethiopia needs a negotiated reform of its federal system: Ethiopia’s ‘civil war’ shows the deficiency of ethnic federalism. But the federal system should be improved, not […]
But a week earlier (November 4,. 2020) Zemelak Ayitenew Ayele also wrote an article in UK based Africa Report Magazine titled Federal solidarity is needed to solve Tigray dispute and five days later on Nov 9 “republished in partnership with Ethiopian Insight” as Far-Sighted Federal Solidarity Not Power-Politics-And-Legalism-Is-Needed-To-Solve Tigray Dispute and tells a story of its own about the Director’s association with the “Owner and Managing Editor” of Ethiopia Insight infamous William Davidson.
The Former Bloomberg Ethiopian correspondent Davidson who founded the ‘EU registered’ Ethiopian Insight right after he was deported from Ethiopia in March of 2018 for operating without a license to end up becoming a Senior Analyst for EU capital based International Crises Group on Ethiopia speaks volume how a British national drifter journalist can change the narrative to sustain ethnic apartheid rule in Ethiopia.
But republishing a joint article with the Director of the Institute for Federalism Zemelak Ayitenew Ayele not only shows the fix to sustain ethnic apartheid rule in one-form-or-another is in motion via make-believe ‘Ethiopia’s ‘civil war’ but the ‘dispute’ with belligerent TPLF warlords is framed as “Tigray dispute” that must be “negotiated” as oppose dealt with by court of law and, the “deficiency of ethnic federalism” can be corrected as oppose dismantled. It says more about what the same old ethnic apartheid sponsors are up to than the clandestine ethnic elite drifters assembled to preserve the long-disgraced ethnic apartheid rule.
Incidentally, Ethiopia Insight’s true color as champion of ethnic apartheid to undermine the unity of Ethiopians showed its ugly head once again and found a strange bedfellow and published the “viewpoint” of an Eritrean national Yosef Ghebrehiwet titled “The ‘peace’ that delivered total war against Tigray” republished by UK based The African Report Magazine. The self-described “Eritrean writer and activist” according to Ethiopia Insight lives in Los Angeles and “has been writing on Eritrea and the region for the last 20 years, mostly on asmarino.com” — reviling, the so called “Eritrea writer and activist” is more a champion of ethnic apartheid in Ethiopia on behalf of TPLF warlords than democracy in Eritrea on behalf of the people under one-man rule he nurtured throughout his adult life until he got what he wished for others – further reenforcing, dysfunctional elites’ “habit of dwelling on victimhood dulls the impulse of self-correction” across artificial or colonial borders.
Going back to the esteemed Founder and Managing Editor of Addis Fortune Tamrat G. Gebremariam aka Gebregorgis that claim to run the’ largest English weekly economic Media in Ethnic Apartheid Federal Ethiopia, according to Wikipedia “has a meager crenulation of 7.500 per week in a country of 100 million”. It says a lot how far TPLF operatives go to make a noise for selective 7500 international audience in the capital conflating the politics of ethnic apartheid Federalism and Mafia run Developmental State economy to preserve what is left of the ethnic apartheid regime. It is nothing short of ‘the manufacturers of madness’ in club of dysfunctional and functionally illiterate ethnic elites of contemporary Ethiopia.
Unfortunately, before TPLF became a footnote in Ethiopian history, Tamrat Gebremariam aka Gebregorgis in June 13, 2019 at Open Society Initiative East Africa (OSIEA) Forum titled “Candid reflections on Ethiopia’s reform process” ranted-and-raved about PM Abiy’s reform effort without mentioning TPLF as if the Mafia never existed not even once let alone its plunder of the nation in daylight as any supposedly busines/economic Media would do.
What Tamerat Gebermariam aka Gebegorigs did not want the world to know is, he is also a staff in The Open Society Initiative East Africa (OSIEA) based in Nairobi, Kenya with a name of Tamerat Gebegorigs Gebermariam, according to OSIEA’s website.
As a Media operator with sole responsibility of exposing corruption, racketeering and conflict of interest on behalf of the people of Ethiopia as he pretend to do associating with the “Global Integrity’s Index on Government Corruption, Transparency and Accountability” or Open Society Initiative, one would expect, his “candid reflections on Ethiopia’s reform process” would include disclosing his real identity, background and who he works for and how he funds his make-believe Media as well as exposing TPLF Mafia warlords and sponsors as the main source of the political, social and economic crises facing the reform effort in Ethiopia.
Unfortunately, before it was fashionable to be “candid” to thwart the ongoing reform, the Founder and Managing Editor of Addis Fortune Tamrat Gebremariam is also author/contributor Tamrat GebreGiorgis for The Journal of Good Governance of Good Governance Africa, “a research and advocacy non-profit organization with centers across Africa focused solely improving governance across the continent” with three articles he wrote all about Covid-19 epidemic between July and August 2020.
Though it is not clear why he does not use his official last name on publication he writes and institutions he makes speeches, like many of his dysfunctional peers, creating confusion appears the motivation.
LinkedIn Profile of Gebegorigs aka Gebremariam also reviles, he attended Kokebe Tsebah Secondary School from 1986-1990 and, after missing for seven years, he showed up at “University of Maryland, Poynter Institute for Media Studies, Georgetown University’s School of FP from 1997-2008”. That means, he was running Addis Fortune out of Maryland since its foundation in 2000 and should remind readers what the author of The Broken Lands, Green Glass House, and The Thief Knot Kate Milford wrote, “there is a right way to do things and a wrong way if you run a hotel in smugglers’ town.”
If the Founder and Managing Editor Addis Fortune’ did it the right way running a Media in the ethnic Mafia town, he wouldn’t play hide-and-seek for over two decades to begin with. Unfortunately, doing things the right way is not what he is trained and signed up for like many make-believe Media operators.
Incidentally, Gebegorigs aka Gebremariam passed the baton to his deputy Fasika Tadesse, the present Editor in Chief of Addis Fortune since February 2018 in what appears when he left Ethiopia to join the Open Society East Africa Initiative in Kenya as a stuff.
The poor young Fasika Tadesse taking over the responsibility of the old dysfunctional elite Tamerat Gebegorigs aka Gebremariam is not a good sign the new generation of “journalists” to get it right either. Her ‘all-over-the map’ articles portfolio ever since is a testimony
At the meantime, Addis Fortune competitors running Media in Mafia town pointing their fingers at TPLF criminal enterprise obvious for all Ethiopians are not good enough to do the right thing in getting to the root cause of lack of transparency by all involved, reinforcing, “two wrong don’t make a right, but they make good excuses”.
Imagine if other Medias and their esteemed journalists were true to their profession and the Free Press by disclosing who they are and what they are doing on behalf of the people of Ethiopia in the language of their choice. You would think they will be equal opportunity offenders on all peddlers of firehose of falsehoods disguised as journalists or experts of one thing another in every institution regardless of their ethnicity, religion, nationality and political, social, and economic affiliation, or status starting from their own profession of journalism and Media by going after them.
Sadly, the crucial role the profession of journalism and the Free Press play for society at large not only a lost cause across Ethiopia, but it is a Weapon of Mass Distraction for interest groups against the people’s interest.
The number of books published, and research conducted about journalism and Free Press of Ethiopia in the last century is a testimony to that reality.
Among a few published books with meaningful content to the reality of the Free Press is The Quest for Press Freedom in Ethiopia (2013) by the late Dr Mesert Chekol Reta. Probably the one-and-only book that address the real historical issue written by a real Professor of Journalism at University of Wisconsin reflects the sorry state of journalism and the Free Press to the detrimental of the people of Ethiopia and the ongoing political, social, and economic reform effort led by PM Abiy Ahmed.
Lately, “Developmental Journalism” as many disciplines are used and abused to prop up the ethnic apartheid Mafia Developmental State. A book by Solomon Tabor titled Developmental Journalism published in 2019 reflect that new reality.
According to Yvonne T. Chua paper titled “Developmental Journalism is five decades old” published by Oxford University Press reviles, “the original ideals of developmental journalism, which requires independent, critical evaluation of the process of development, have been replaced by justification for state-controlled media in authoritarian states being passed off as developmental journalism.”
In another research paper titled The Historical Development of Media in Unconquered Africa: A historical Review of Ethiopia Media (2019) by Menychle Mesert Abebe reviles, “the practice of journalism in the country is being in its infancy stage and scholars in the filed as well”
Therefore, ever since the printing press was invented in 1450 that spurred the birth of independent press in the 16th century Europe and the enlightenment period and profession of journalism that followed, Ethiopia like many nations struggle to move the needle of journalism profession and the Free Press and thus enlightenment period for over 500-years.
But no single entity in Ethiopian history ‘justify state-controlled of media’ and journalism profession masquerading as Developmental Journalism to disseminate ethnic apartheid propaganda especially in the Tigray region of Ethiopia in the last three decades than TPLF assembled dysfunctional elites masquerading as journalists.
Who may be responsible for the century-old debacle in the Era of the Internet Revolution is the million-dollar question?
Regardless, the fact the esteemed Founder and Managing Editor of the self-proclaimed ‘largest English language publication in Ethiopia Tamrat Gebremariam aka Gebregorgis couldn’t make up his mind what last name to use and when and, whether he wants to be a Free Press journalist or developmental journalist nor ethnic apartheid advocate in Ethiopia or good governance advocate in ‘Government Corruption, Transparency and Accountability in Africa Governance or Foreign policy expert in the US shows, why dysfunctional elites are the root cause of all the problems facing the people of Ethiopia.
Therefore, his Addis Fortune publication should have been a target of investigative journalists and law enforcement authorities for violating the foundation of the profession as well as for conspiracy to peddle firehose of falsehoods on behalf of his sponsors against the people of Ethiopia.
The question of who investigates the investigators remained unanswered question for centuries.
Reform without vibrant Free Press and professional journalism to inform the public and expose corruption in the public interest is like surrendering the public interest for the highest bidder. At the meantime, allowing anyone with a pen and paper or a keyboard and a monitor to be a journalist and a Media operator is equivalate to putting ‘a fox in charge of the hen house’. In both cases, the people of Ethiopia are either ‘sold or eaten’ in daylight.
In March 11, 2019 article on Center for International Media Assistant (CIMA) blog titled A Road Map for Meaningful Media Reform in Ethiopia by guest author named Asmamaw Gizaw described as “a journalist and independent researcher from Ethiopia. His research focuses on Media pluralism. Freedom of expression and cyber activism & security” eloquently covered all the bases what need to be done in the Media reform effort by Media Working Group (EITI) established by PM Abiy Ahmed, the Government itself, Ethiopian Media and Civil Society and All Stakeholders. But he nor CIMA (an initiative of the US Government National Endowment for Democracy Agency), reviled the mother-of-all reform of Media transparency i.e., discloser of conflict of interest with all involved that would make-or-break “Meaningful Media Reform in Ethiopia”. For instant, public record shows Asmamaw Gizaw is associated with Roha Media & Communication, a “non-government, non-political; an independent media organization founded by Asmamaw Gizaw (a former BKCIS at Harvard University & Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow) a well-known journalist who was imprisoned for defending freedom of expression by the previous Ethiopian administration”. Why that important information is missing in his CIMA profile says a lot about NED being cavalier about disclosure and transparency of all involved.
Ironically, before the National Endowment for Democracy (NED) came up with Center for International Media Assistant (CIMA) initiative that claims, “Journalism ethics comprise standards and codes of conduct journalists and journalistic organizations aspire to follow. Principles of ethical journalism vary from place to place and context to context. However, standards typically include accuracy, objectivity, transparency, accountability, comprehensiveness, fairness, and diversity. The ability of journalists to adhere to ethical norms depends heavily on a constellation of often competing interests and forces they cannot control, including government interference, economic realities, and technical limitations” But, the US government agency seldom demand full disclosure under penalty of law nor practice transparency itself.
Take for instance the infamous Dawit Kebede of Awramba Times. In a December 30, 2013 article titled The accidental journalist, refugee, tourist, or the all-in-one spy? we exposed his violation of US Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) laws not to mention US Foreign Agent Registration Act with no consequences whatsoever.
Three Years later, in a June 19, 2016 article titled Fasten your seatbelt Ethiopians: TPLF lie machine is going to take us for the wildest ride ever, we exposed NED awarded Dawit Kebede 35K of taxpayers’ money in the name of promoting the Free Press and democracy in Ethiopia and wrote,
“Ironically, Awramba Times still claims it is US based online Media while the editor, the only known owner lives in Addis Ababa escorting TPLF Miscommunication Minsters to transmit propaganda straight from the source. The onetime political refugee and prize-winning journalist that fraudulently received over 35 thousand dollars from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a US government agency to promote the Free Press and democracy in Ethiopia to end up joining TPLF lying machine against the Free Press and democracy demands; NED or the US authorities to make him accountable in US court of law where he claims to operate for fraud.”
Now NED came up with the Center for International Media Assistant (CIMA) initiative, full disclosure to identify and ascertain conflict of interest of all journalists and Media organizations it escorts remain an empty word of “transparency and accountability”.
Take for instance another article contributor on CIMA blog by the name Henok Fente described as “an Ethiopian journalist and media educator with 15-years of experience in broadcast and print media. Henok is experienced in creating and launching youth shows, he has successfully conducted media training projects in Nigeria, Ethiopia, and Kenya. He is based in Washington DC. Follow him on Twitter at @HenokFente”
His one-and-only article in CIMA blog on Sept 4, 2018 titled Ethiopia Is Unshackling the Media, But True Independence Will Depend on Reforms. For unsuspecting the self-described ‘Ethiopian journalist and media educator’ looks real until you unveil the man behind the curtain that conceal his identity, background and work experience and the make-believe institute he runs in Washington, D.C. Incidentally, Fente not mentioning the mother-of-all crimes (TPLF) in the entire article he wrote in CIMA blog is enough to raise red flag and disqualify him from anything of journalism.
But, in a Sep 2020 article titled William Davidson’s Ethiopia Insight or Incite ethnic division, deception and ignorance? we identified Henock Fente is Henock Simaegzer, a Former Voice of America (VOA) reporter and the present “Incorporator, executing officer, governor, director and agent” of a one-man Washington, DC based MERSA Media Institute established on 7 September 2018 by Henok Fente, according to The Open Database Of The Corporate World.
No one knows why the Former US government employee left out his real identity, citizenship, background and the MERSA Media Institute he established in 2018 after he left VOA on CIMA’s blog article nor why CIMA failed to verify his identity, citizenship, and background before providing him platform.
As early as August 17, 2014 in another article titled VOA reporter caught with his hand in the cookie jar, Henok Simaegzer aka Fente was identified as VOA employee under the disgraced VOA Horn of Africa Director Peter Heinlein that resigned after scrutiny for falsification on behalf of TPLF led regime. A year earlier, in Jan 2013 article titled Henok Semaegzer: Spin doctor or reporter? Ewnetu Tessema also exposed Semaegzer’s “Dishonest Tactic” as many articles did before and after.
Therefore, with all public information out there, why CIMA failed to catch Henock Simaegzer aka Fente perjuring his real identity, nationality and background is puzzling for US Government Agency that campaign on “accuracy, objectivity, transparency, accountability” to demand, investigation and accountability by concerned authorities starting from the Senior Director of the Center for International Media Assistance Mark Nelson down.
Ironically, the one-and-only Sept 4, 2018 article Fente wrote on CIMA blog is also the one-and-only article posted on Mersa Media Institute website under publication since it was established. Yet, he does not want NED-CIMA nor the world to know his association with his own Institute that claims to engage in “media training” in Kenya, Nigeria and Ethiopia with a website filled with empty pages since it was established in 2018.
Perjury, misuse, or falsification of identity and withholding information are crimes in the US with severe punishment. Most, if not all countries have similar laws in the books though rarely if at all enforced.
The question is who is funding Henock Simaegzer aka Fente in the diaspora necked misuse, or falsification of identity and withholding information rest the answer for the Mother of problem against the reform effort in Ethiopia.
The American abolitionist, entrepreneur, essayist, legal theorist, political philosopher, and writer Lysander Spooner (1808-1887) wrote, “Those who are capable of tyranny are capable of perjury to sustain it” … so contemporary dysfunctional and functionally illiterate elites that made a habit of perjury of their identities, backgrounds, and conflict of interests against the interest of the people of Ethiopia ignored by the make-believe journalists that entertain them.
In that regard, Al Jazeera journalists Femi Oke of The Stream program is a good example of entertaining dysfunctional elites of Ethiopia and beyond. After failing to save the belligerent TPLF warlords from the Ethiopian Defense Force operation in her last program, she, and her new self-described freelance journalists for Al Jazeera accomplice Zacharias Zelalem came up with yet another narrative titled Ethiopia: Why Starvation is stalking Tigray with three all women team guests from the diaspora to do the same.
The little known three-women team Oke and her accomplice Zacharias found from the woodwork to put out firehose of unsubstantiated falsehoods to reinvite the last failed narrative includes, the self-described “from Tigray, activist and international relationship researcher” Meaza Gedy, the self-described Chief Marketing and Communication of OMNA TIGRAY Bserat Ghebrermicael, and the self-described Amnesty International Horn Africa Human Right Campaigner Vanessa Tsehaye no one knew before TPLF warlords bit the dust.
The entire program theme was the same old formula: Ethiopia against the people of Tigray due to the Ethiopian Defense Force under PM Abiy in collaboration with Eritrean force under Isaias Afeworki not only by preventing access to food distribution from the international community but raping, committing genocide, and pillaging the region.
Ironically, in a frenzy to indite PM Abiy administration to save ethnic apartheid rule on behalf of TPLF neither the host or the new AJ freelance journalists Zacharias Zelalem nor the esteem guests mention TPLF or its crimes of three decades in the entire program not even once as if the ethnic Mafia does not exist or has nothing to do with genocide, rape, and pillage it is known for since its inception.
To her credit, the host Femi Oke mentioned it as the regional administration and few times as ‘rebels’ instead of TPLF that ruled Ethiopia for 27-years.
But closer look at the new star guests of Femi Oke of Al Jazeera to save TPLF ethnic apartheid rule shows, why contemporary dysfunctional elites not only live in House of Delusion but are afraid to disclose their affiliations with TPLF and its sponsors.
Obviously, the self-described “from Tigray’, activist and international relationship researcher” Meaza Gedy does not know the meaning of activism and research nor what she is activist for and what international relation means beside sustaining the belligerent TPLF warlords that use-and-abuse the people she considers her own by ethnic affiliation.
The self-described Amnesty International Horn Africa Human Right Campaigner Vanessa Tsehaye appear to have selective amnesia about human rights, or she appear to believe humans in Horn of Africa are different than in other geographical locations. The Eritrean national from Sweden and the Founder of One Day Seyoum, a youth-led organization that campaigns for the release of unjustly imprisoned people in Eritrea and for the liberation of all Eritreans, according Nobile Women Initiative appeared confused what her role as Horn of Africa human right campaigner for in Amnesty International.
At the meantime, it is not clear why Femi Oke of Al Jazeera invited an Eritrean national opposition to the ruling regime disguised as Amnesty International Horn Africa Human Right Campaigner to talk about Ethiopia and PM Abiy action against TPLF warlords without disclosing her nationality and conflict of interests nor mentioning TPLF and its atrocities and human rights violation in its 30-years of rule Ethiopia at large and the Tigray region.
But, the self-proclaimed Chief Marketing and Communication of OMNA TIGRAY Bserat Ghebrermicael with a mission “to build a global community and resource center advocating for the human rights and economic development of Tigrayans and other oppressed groups” tops the mother of all falsehoods to save the belligerent TPLF warlords in the name of “the people of Tigray”– a blue print from TPLF Manifesto.
The Gorge Town University graduate is oppressed Tigrayan in Ethiopia who co-founded OMNA TIGRAY to advocate “for the human rights and economic development of Tigrayans and other oppressed groups” but in her country of citizenship USA, she is the co-founded BRAVE, an event to celebrate and focus on Black women according Georgetown Magazine Nov 2020 issue. Her ‘personal reflection’ is a window of opportunity to see how contemporary Ethiopian ethnic elites in the diaspora want to have their cake and eat it too playing the victim card.
As bizarre as it sounds for a US national to engage as a champion of “economic development of Tigrayans and other oppressed groups” against the new PM Administration, the fact OMAN TIGRAY claim it “was founded by a collective of international Tigrayan professionals from various backgrounds in response to the war and genocide waged on Tigrayan people on November 4, 2020” and it is “a nonpartisan global organization in the US, Canada, Europe, and Australia with a purpose to effectively advocate for an end to the war, call for unrestricted humanitarian aid to the Tigrayan people, and promote the economic development of Tigray” — contradicting its own mission is exhibit one how dysfunctional and functionally illiterate elites’ mind works regardless of the geographical location of the person – reenforcing “the habit of dwelling on victimhood dulls the impulse of self-correction”
As the expected, none of “collective of international Tigrayan professionals” that established OMAN Tigray disclose their identity and background on the official website.
Daniel Woldu of OMNA interview (video deleted few days later) with the infamous Former BBC Africa Chief Editor and self-proclaimed expert Martin Plaut on the current situation titled Ethiopia-Tigray War appears to be the mastermind of the self-proclaimed “nonpartisan global organization” Omna Tigray.
Though no one knows why the interview was deleted, the gist of the interview was Martin Plaut to affirm, President Isaias Afewerki is manipulating PM Abiy to destroy the Ethiopian in the Tigray region.
But Daniel Woldu is better known as a Treasurer of Tigray Festival in North America according to his own Jan 20, 2013 video appearance. The Denver, Colorado residence’s LinkedIn profile also speaks volume about his background and education.
What drive two dysfunctional elites (a white European in the diaspora from apartheid South Africa in London and an African diaspora from apartheid Ethiopia in US who reside in democratic nations to behave like men of the stone age in the 21st century can only be described by the Egyptian born Poet Nema Al Araby statement, “the possibility of truth has become a dilution to those who made their own disguise of the truth“.
OMNA TIGRAY established with a handful diaspora dilutional TPLF operatives to preserve whatever benefit TPLF Mafia afforded them looting the people of Ethiopia might as well declare Omna Tigray is the new version of Marxist-Leninist League of Tigray (MLLT) to reinvent ethnic apartheid project in Ethiopia all over again in the name “advocating for the human rights and economic development of Tigrayans and other oppressed groups”.
The 18th century English classical scholar A.E. Houseman put it rightly — “the House of delusions is cheap to build but draffy to live in”. No one knows why they are afraid of the truth about TPLF’s atrocities and corruption on the same people they claim to be their own is puzzling. But as the renown conservative African American economist and public intellectual Thomas Sowell said “when you want to help people, you tell them the truth. When you want to help yourself, you tell them what they want to hear” sums up contemporary dysfunctional TPLF operatives.
But again, pointing finger at TPLF’s operatives and their sponsors playing hide-and-seek of projection does not mean everybody else is transparent and accountable. After all, ‘two wrongs do not make right but make a good excuse.’
Pick any public or private political, social, or economic institutions established in the name of the people of Ethiopia randomly and see who is behind it and observe the absurdity of hide-and-seek game they play from not disclosing their identity, background and whereabout to their legal status.
The human nature greed for money and power made politics the art of the impossibility to divide and concur people. The rule of law and transparency made politics the art of the possibilities to unite and empower people. Therefore, until complete transparency and accountability of all involved in political, social, and economic affairs of the people of Ethiopia, especially those perpetuating firehoses of falsehoods masquerading as journalists on behalf of their sponsors to divide the people, democracy to get foothold in Ethiopia is unthinkable.
In the words of the renowned British street artist, political activist and film director know by the name Banksy, “we were all humans until race disconnected us, religion separated us, politics divided us, and wealth classified us.”
The rule of the jungle of TPLF ethnic apartheid Vs. the rule of law of Prosperity Party
It is not clear what the international community expected from a two-years-old Prosperity Party led by PM Abiy Ahmed that officially declared to implement the rule of law against 27-year-old TPLF led rule of the jungle of the ethnic apartheid regime considered as “democratically elected government of Ethiopia” by the international community.
In the words of PM Abiy Feb 6, 2021 message titled Towards a Peaceful Order in the Horn of Africa published on Project Syndicate Magazine,
“Common sense tells us that a regime based on ethnic division cannot last; but, as the saying goes, common sense is not always common. Fortunately, human societies can tolerate racial, ethnic, and religious violence for only so long.”
Therefore, the noise coming from all direction particularly, as PM Abiy Ahmed put it from “the international community that understood what the TPLF was. Many had condemned its ethnic-based violence. Sadly, some were ready to turn a blind eye to TPLF torture, disappearances, and extrajudicial killings” sums up what Ethiopians are up against.
Diplomacy speak aside, could it be, it doesn’t matter what happen to the people in ‘Shit-Hole countries’ as long as …?
Whatever the reason may be, it all boils down to the behavior of dysfunctional and functionally illiterate indigenous elites, especially in the diaspora that made TPLF led ethnic apartheid regime relevant in the eyes of the world.
The absurdity of contemporary dysfunctional and functional illiterate elites’ cut-and-paste empty slogan in general can only be dealt with when you put the light on and watch them sprint-and-hide like roaches that came in the kitchen uninvited.
“All the absurdity of conduct arises from imitation of those who we cannot resemble” wrote the 18th century English poet, playwright, essayist, moralist, and literary critic Samuel Johnson.
Questing the reform transparency to get it right is legitimate and the duty of one-and-all entities providing they practice what they preach. But equating TPLF belligerent warlords to the people they held hostage or questing the reform effort from being accountable for their “torture, disappearances, and extrajudicial killings” not to mention corruption to save them is the very meaning of crime against humanity by itself.
Weather PM Abiy’s reform effort or various initiative from all kinds of political, social, and economic groups forwarded to get the reform right, nothing goes forward until everyone involved in the public affairs is made transparent and accountable by the rule of law with severe consequences for not complying.
Isn’t that where the root cause of the problem facing the people of Ethiopia began as history of democratic governance to get it right teaches us?
What ever slogan, PR stunt or scare tactics one uses to avoid the universal foundation of democratic governance “Vision Ethiopia” is, must be and should always be about transparency and individual accountability under the rule of law.
Sadly, the most educated and privileged dysfunctional elites in the diaspora that live in democratic nations violate the foundation of democratic governance reform the most visible for necked eye.
“If you want to invoke your academic pedigree or job title for people to believe what you say, then you need a better argument” Neil deGrasse Tyson