Friday, December 28, 2007

ETHIOPIA: Meles Zenawi’s TPLF’s 30 Year History of Lawlessness and Terror

Sophia Tesfamariam
December 28, 2007

At a time when Eritreans around the world are standing firm, reaffirming their unity and support for the people and government of Eritrea, the mercenary minority regime in Ethiopia led by the life long terrorist Meles Zenawi has launched another campaign of vilification and defamation against Eritrea.

In cities across the United States, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Australia, Eritreans living in the Diaspora are conducting “Hizbawi Mekete” meetings to reject Meles Zenawi’s vicious and malicious campaigns against the State of Eritrea and its people. While Jendayi E. Frazer sends her surrogates James Swan, Deputy Secretary of State for African Affairs, and James Knight, Office for East Africa, Bureau of African Affairs to US Educational institutions to poison the minds of Americans, Meles Zenawi’s hired mercenaries have been busy churning out anti Eritrea diversionary reports through various Internet sites to misinform, confuse and deceive the readers.

It is a futile attempt to cover up the regime’s international crimes in Somalia, Ethiopia and Eritrea. The regime and its backers are trying to cover up its carnage and destruction in Somalia. Not only is it militarily occupying and destroying Somalia, killing and maiming innocent civilians, raping and terrorizing defenseless women and children, and destroying vital infrastructures, in violation of international law, the minority regime in also occupying sovereign Eritrean territories after rejecting the Final and Binding decision of the Eritrea Ethiopia Boundary Commission (EEBC). It has also rejected the Final and Binding demarcation decision of the EEBC calling it “legal nonsense”. In addition to committing genocides in Ethiopia, it is threatening to destabilize the region as it prepares to launch another ill-advised war against Eritrea, with the tacit approval of the US Administration and its allies.

It was a year ago on Christmas Eve 2006 that the minority regime in Ethiopia launched its US backed war of invasion and occupation of Somalia. In violation of international law and the African Union and UN Charters, backed by the US Administration, using the pretext “searching for extremists”, “fighting terrorists”, etc. has destroyed vital infrastructure, tortured and raped defenseless Somali women and children, caused the displacement of over a million from Mogadishu and terrorized the people of Somalia, pulverized their villages, farms and homes with its indiscriminant air raids and bombs.

The US State Department and its officials such as Jendayi E. Frazer and her surrogates such as Vicki Huddleston, James Swan, and James Knight continue to shield the regime from international and Security Council condemnation as it destabilizes the entire Horn region and creates havoc in the lives of millions. The carnage in Somalia and Ethiopia is not going to receive coverage from the US media, as they were instructed by Jendayi E. Frazier to downplay the regime’s crimes, but others have reported on it. As leader of the Tigray People's Liberation Front (TPLF), Meles Zenawi is not only a terrorist himself, but also leads the terrorist mercenary regime in Ethiopia which is considered the US’ "staunch ally in the global war on terror". Allow me to present Meles Zenawi’s 30 years long documented history of genocide, terror and destruction in the region.

On 8 December 2007 the Guardian reported the following:

“…UN officials insist that reports of indiscriminate shelling and heavy-handed house-to-house raids are credible…”Ethiopia has a functioning government that should be accountable," said a senior UN official responsible for Somalia, who cannot be named for fear of compromising his agency's work. "We tried talking to Ethiopia, even at ambassador level, but we get nowhere. It seems that they, like the other parties, can get away with anything in this dirty war.” Besides the blocks on medical access, Unicef said that both government-allied militias and insurgents were recruiting children to fight. It also noted an unprecedented amount of sexual violence against women, particularly at checkpoints…”

The Independent reported the following on 3 December 2007
“…Ethiopia's government has responded with a brutal counter-insurgency operation which has paralysed trade and forced thousands to flee their homes.

Refugees who have fled the Ogaden to Somalia told The Independent in October that Ethiopian soldiers are burning villages, raping women and killing civilians as part of a systematic campaign to drive them from their homes…dozens of villages had been destroyed and accused the Ethiopian government of forcibly starving its own people by preventing food convoys reaching villages and destroying crops and livestock.

19 November 2007 BBC Report “Ethiopia 'bombs' Ogaden villages”

“…days of air attacks on civilians have caused many casualties…Helicopter gunships have been used to attack villages in the remote area…Aid workers say an estimated 1,500 Ogaden refugees crossed into Kenya to escape renewed fighting last month…Ogadenis fleeing into northern Kenya have given harrowing description of government assaults on their villages…More than 500 families reached different parts of Kenya's massive Dadaab camps in October - many gave similar accounts of a sustained campaign of rape and brutality, with men hanged from trees…the Ogadenis claimed Ethiopian soldiers had been entering villages over and over again to kill, rape and burn in a campaign to flush out ONLF rebels…”
20 November 2007 New York Times Report “Separatist Rebels Accuse Ethiopia’s Military of Killing Civilians in Remote Region”

“…Separatist rebels fighting in the Ogaden region of Ethiopia accused the government on Monday of strafing nomads in recent days at a watering hole with helicopter gunships, killing up to a dozen civilians…A Western diplomat, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak for attribution, said the government had recently moved several attack helicopters to the Ogaden, a desolate corner of eastern Ethiopia…“Unfortunately, these reports are credible,” the diplomat said. “But whether the government is using the gunships to track down rebels or for reprisals against villages, we don’t know…”

19 November 2007 Reuters article “Ethiopia's Ogaden refugees recount horrors of conflict” reported:

"…The last time they attacked the village, they collected many men and took them away," he said, pausing in the early afternoon heat of a refugee camp in north-east Kenya…"Some guys were hung on trees, nooses round their necks until they died ... I saw it."…Similar harrowing testimony -- dismissed as rebel propaganda by the Ethiopian government -- was repeated by various Ogaden refugees who have trickled recently into different parts of Kenya's massive Dadaab camps, home to 170,000 refugees…Ethiopian soldiers had been entering villages over-and-over again to kill, rape and burn in a campaign to flush out rebels of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF)…“My village was attacked more than 10 times. There is a great genocide going on. Why does the international community not intervene?"… The effect of the Ogaden crisis is being felt in neighboring Kenya, where more Ogadenis than usual have been trickling into the three Dadaab camps…”

CNN headline story “Ethiopians say soldiers killing villagers 'like goats'” reported the following on 29 November 2007:

“…In the desert stretches of eastern Ethiopia, locals accuse soldiers fighting an insurgency of burning villages to the ground, committing gang rape and killing people “like goats.”
In its 18 October 2006 article “193 Protesters Said Killed in Ethiopia” , the Washington Post reported:

“…Ethiopian security forces fatally shot, beat or strangled 193 people protesting election fraud last year, triple the official death toll…This was a massacre…These demonstrators were unarmed yet the majority died from shots to the head…More than 750 people were injured…It is time the EU and U.S. realize that the current regime in Ethiopia is repressing the people because it lacks democratic legitimacy and is actually weak…It is driving Ethiopia to more poverty, conflict and war…”

Genocide Watch and Survivors’ Rights International in their 2004 report said:

“…At least 1500 and probably as many as 2500 Anuak civilians have died…Hundreds of people remain unaccounted for and many are believed to have been “disappeared” (murdered) by government forces…Poor rural villages, where Anuaks and other ethnic minorities live on the margins of subsistence, have been attacked, looted, and burned. EPRDF soldiers have burned thousands of Anuak homes… Anuak women and girls are routinely raped, gang-raped and kept as sexual slaves. Girls have been shot for resisting rape, and summary executions of girls held captive for prolonged periods, as sexual slaves have been reported. In the absence of Anuak men—killed, jailed or driven into exile—Anuak women and girls have been subject to sexual atrocities from which there is neither protection nor recourse…”

A renowned Human Rights activist in Ethiopia reporting on the Thanksgiving Day massacres in the Gambela region is quoted on Reuters on 13 January 2003 saying:

"What happened in Gambella verges on genocide as a result of the ethnic policy adopted by the EPDRF government…EPRDF's preference for ruling through an ethnic-based federation… dominated by the minority ethnic Tigrayans… the federal structure in effect divides and rules larger ethnic groups such as the Oromos and Amharas and bars non-members of the Tigrayan People's Liberation Front”

On 10 March 10 2004, Insight writer John Powers reported as follows:

“…uniformed soldiers of the Ethiopian government attacked a remote town in the western part of the country on Dec. 13, 2003, and killed more than 400 members of the Anuak tribe…”
Doug McGill in a 16 May 2004 article, “Ethiopia's Genocide of the Anuak Tribe Broadens to Women, Children, Villages” wrote:

“…A genocide in western Ethiopia that began last December with a massacre of more than 400 Anuak tribe members has broadened into widespread attacks by Ethiopian military troops against more than a dozen Anuak villages in the western Ethiopian province of Gambella, according to Anuak refugees and humanitarian aid groups. Scorched-earth raids carried out from January through April have destroyed a dozen Anuak villages in Gambella, refugees said. The raids have driven more than 10,000 Anuak into refugee camps in neighboring Sudan and Kenya…”

The “Looqe bloodshed” of 24 May 2002 started when elders and students from colleges and high schools holding tree leaves marched towards the city. Meles Zenawi’s forces in mechanized brigades opened fire using heavy machine guns on the peaceful protesters. Over a hundred innocent people were killed including a ten-year-old boy. Hundreds of innocent civilians were targeted for harassment and imprisonment.

BBC reported on 16 July 2002:

“…At least 100 people were killed and their villages razed to ground on the orders of the local authorities in Yeki…EU sources say that the head of the local police spoke of 128 fatalities. The opposition claim that between 500 and 1,000 died…the report also says local people spoke of a mass grave in which hundreds of people were buried…”

In December 2002 Press Release the Oromia Support Group (OSG) reported the following killings by Meles Zenawi’s TPLF forces:

“…Wonchif newspaper, Addis Ababa, reported on 12 November 2002 that, on 5 November 2002, in Fentale district, E. Showa, government soldiers who had been harassing famine victims in the area, shot dead eleven Oromo women, of the Itu tribe. Quoting from Sagalee Bilsummaa Oromoo [Radio Free Oromia] the paper reported that government soldiers were also to blame for the recent deaths of 32 women who were returning from market in the Afar Region, northeastern Ethiopia…The Union of Oromo Students in Europe (UOSE), Germany Branch, reported, on 3 December, three deaths and one survivor from a paralytic illness which struck its victims shortly after their release from detention. UOSE suggests the illness and deaths were due to injections received by each of the men, just before their release. The injections were said to be for malaria prophylaxis…”

In its 2003 report covering January-December 2002, Amnesty International (AI) reported the following:

“…Police shot dead over 230 people and detained several hundred more in Oromia and the southern region in connection with demonstrations, mostly peaceful. Many human rights violations including torture, rape and extrajudicial execution were reported, particularly in conflict zones in the Oromia and Somali regions… On 10 March in Teppi town in the southwest, police shot dead up to 200 demonstrators of the Shekicho and Mezenger ethnic groups, who were protesting against administrative boundary changes. Over 300 were detained…”
In April 2001, Ethiopian security forces raided Addis Ababa University (AAU) to quell student protests. During the raid, police fired live ammunition at hundreds of student and teachers, killing 41 students and arresting hundreds. The students were protesting several university policies that limit academic freedom in Ethiopian universities, including a ban on student unions and student government. Ethiopia is reported to be the only country in sub-Saharan Africa in which the government has set up a police station on campus for the purpose of controlling dissenting students and professors.

AAU students went on strike demanding academic freedom, including the rights to organize a student union and publish a student newspaper and the removal of armed police from campus. High school, college, and university students around the country demonstrated in solidarity, and TPLF forces responded to these demonstrations with brute force.

In its 37th Special Report, “Stop the Repeated Violation of the Rights of Students” of 23 January 2001, the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO) reported the following:

“…At Awassa Teachers College, a large number of armed soldiers were made to intervene forcefully, supposedly to resolve the misunderstanding between students and administrators of the College. This resulted in the loss of life, in many students sustaining heavy and light bodily injuries, in the disruption of the learning-teaching process, in the detention of both students and residents of the town, and in the destruction of property…”

The Oromia Support Group (OSG) reported in November 2000 that 2,592 extra-judicial killings and 838 disappearances of civilians suspected of supporting groups opposing the government were recorded. Most of these have been Oromo people and that thousands of civilians were imprisoned. Torture and rape of prisoners was commonplace-today OSG reports that there have been 3,981 extra-judicial killings and 943 disappearances of civilians suspected of supporting groups opposing the minority TPLF regime led by Meles Zenawi
In May 2000, the minority regime launched the third of its offensives against Eritrea. As it is doing in Somalia today, the regime’s forces destroyed vital infrastructures, burnt schools and clinics, raped and tortured civilians and more. The Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission gave an account of the minority regime’s crimes during its occupation of one of Eritrea’s sovereign territories during the 1998-2000 border conflict.

“…Ethiopian troops looted large stocks of sugar that had been stored there and stole flour from at least one bakery. In comparison, during the second occupation, looting and burning of homes and shops were widespread, and a commercial bank, hospital and two grain warehouses were also looted and burned. This evidence also indicates that both Ethiopian soldiers and civilians were involved in the looting and that much of the looted property was taken to Ethiopia by truck. There was also clear and convincing evidence, not just in the form of witness declarations but also in international organization and press reports, of wholesale theft and destruction of domestic animals by Ethiopian troops as they withdrew from Teseney and other locations. The Commission was struck by the extensive evidence of this gratuitous, and patently unlawful, slaughter and burning of the goats, sheep, donkeys and cattle so critical to the survival of rural civilians…”

On 19 June 2000 Carol Pineau, a CNN correspondent reported the following in an interview :
“…Barantu, a major town in southwestern Eritrea, was completely looted after Ethiopia's brief two-week occupation. Further west, houses, factories and grain reserves were burned to the ground…”

Meles Zenawi’s forces who are today committing international crimes in Somalia also committed horrendous crimes against women and children in Eritrea during the 1998-2000 war and the Eritrea Ethiopia Claims Commission noted the following:

“…The Commission is satisfied that there is clear and convincing evidence of several incidents of rape of Eritrean civilian women by Ethiopian soldiers in Barentu and Teseney, which evidence has gone unrebutted by Ethiopia…”

The minority regime in Ethiopia has massacred thousands of individuals since it usurped power in 1991. Some notable individuals murdered by the regime’s forces include the murder on 7 June 1998 of Tesfaye Tadesse a human rights activist, newspaper editor, and lawyer Tesfaye Tadesse, who was hacked to death by Meles Zenawi’s forces outside of his home. On 8 May 1997 the minority regime also murdered Assefa Maru, the acting president of Ethiopian Teachers’ Association (ETA) and member of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council (EHRCO). Professor Asrat Woldeyes, a veteran surgeon, former dean of Faculty of Medicine at the Addis Ababa University (AAU), and president of All Amhara Peoples Organization (AAPO) was imprisoned on fabricated charges and died shortly after his release.

Gebre Igzibaher, the leader of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party (EPRP) was killed in Addis Ababa and the whereabouts of other EPRP members Ms. Aberash Berta, Lemma Hailu, Tesfaye Kebed, Tsegaye Gebre Medhin, Yishak Debretsion, Sitotaw Hussein, Amha Belete, Teklai Gebre Sellasie, Hagos Bezabih, Azanaw Demile and thousands more remain unknown. The TPLF regime’s reign of terror did not begin in 1991 when it usurped power in Ethiopia; its terrorist acts began much earlier. Here is a short list of its terrorist acts as recorded by the Memorial Institute for the Prevention of Terrorism (MIPT) , a non-profit organization
dedicated to preventing terrorism on U.S. soil or mitigating its effects. Here are the facts about Meles Zenawi’s terrorist TPLF regime:

TPLF attacked NGO target (Feb. 17, 1988, Ethiopia)- Members of the Tigray People's Liberation Front abducted six European aid workers in Asmara. The victims were three Irish nuns, two Belgian doctors and a Dutch nurse. All were released a week later
·TPLF attacked NGO target (Oct. 1, 1987, Ethiopia)- Sophie Bedon, a French nurse, was kidnapped by Tigrean rebels, possibly Tigray Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF). The woman was taken hostage after an attack on an Ethiopian garrison in Rama. In the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, she was handed over to the French embassy after being held for over three weeks.
·TPLF attacked NGO target (Mar. 8, 1986, Ethiopia)- Two employees of the American relief agency World Vision were shot to death in the dining room of their residence compound in the northern town of Alamata. The victims were both Ethiopian nationals. According to western diplomatic sources, the attack marked the beginning of a new guerrilla offensive by the Tigre People's Liberation Front, a well-armed, highly disciplined rebel army that has been fighting for more than a decade in northern Ethiopia against the Addis Ababa government.

·TPLF attacked Airports & Airlines target (Mar. 2, 1985, Ethiopia)- Rebels seized a French disaster-relief aircraft, its five-crew members and four medical staff members in the northern town of Lalibela. The plane had been flying supplies for Ethiopian villagers as part of the international effort to relieve the disastrous drought and famine. The TPLF, a regional autonomy group active against the central government, was suspected. The hostages were freed a few days later.

·TPLF attacks tourists (Oct. 17, 1984, Ethiopia)- Secessionist Ethiopian guerrillas seized ten foreigners, including two American tourists, when they overran Lalibela. The foreigners do not appear in any immediate danger from the Tigray People's Liberation Front, however, there is concern that the Ethiopian military will attempt to recapture the town, thus jeopardizing the hostages. The captured include two Britons, an Australian, a Finn, three West German medics and a Swiss International Red Cross representative. An American tourist couple, a British national and a Swiss citizen were freed on October 30.

·TPLF attacked Journalists & Media target (June 1, 1976, Ethiopia)- The TPLF captured Jon Swain, British correspondent for the Sunday Times of London, in mid-June near Axum. He was released in Khartoum on September 5, 1976. It was not known what negotiations, if any, led to his release.

·TPLF attacked NGO target (Apr. 22, 1983, Ethiopia)- TPLF guerrillas kidnapped 10 foreign relief workers, including an American, apparently to win publicity for drought victims, diplomats in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital, disclosed. They said the Tigre People’s Liberation Front at Korem took the foreigners, seven of them women, in a raid. The hostages included four Britons, an Indian, two Irish nurses, an American priest and nuns from Italy and Ethiopia. On June 9 the ten foreign relief workers were set free in Khartoum, the Sudan. The guerrillas said the relief workers were not "captives" but "guests invited to view conditions of their province.”

·TPLF attacked NGO target (Aug. 3, 1983, Ethiopia)- Guerrillas kidnapped ten Swiss citizens working for an aid organization. Four women and six men were seized near Jari where the aid group Terre des Hommes (Land of Man) operates a village for orphans. The only demand by the Tigray People's Liberation Front was to have someone from the organization pick up the 10 captives. He said the motive apparently was publicity for the liberation movement.

·TPLF attacked NGO target (Feb. 17, 1988, Ethiopia)-Members of the Tigray People's Liberation Front abducted six European aid workers in Asmara. The victims were three Irish nuns, two Belgian doctors and a Dutch nurse. All were released a week later

·TPLF attacked Private Citizens & Property target (May 1, 1976, Ethiopia)
The Tigray People’s Liberation Front kidnapped a British veterinarian, Dr. Lindsey Tyler, his wife and two children in Ethiopia’s Tigray Province. They were released on 5 January 1977 in Port Sudan, Sudan.

No amount of white washing, cover up or diversionary articles and statements will cover up Meles Zenawi’s genocidal and terrorist record.

The Rule of law must prevail over the law of the jungle!

Source: American Chronicle

1 comment:

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