Friday, May 27, 2005

What is 'The Agazee' Militia Doing in Addis Abeba?

Days after declaring a state of emergency, zenawi has ordered a militia group called ‘The Agazee’ to be brought in to Addis Abeba. This militia group entirely composed of a Tigrean contingent from the Tigrae People Liberation Front is heavily armed with tanks, anti-aircraft missile, rocket launchers and other heavy equipment and such a show of force has made Addis Abeba now resembling a war zone occupied by enemy forces. It is also reported that zenawi has turned to his mentor and cousin, the shabia leader, for assistance. shabia agents are known to have entered the capital via Kenya to assassinate Oppositoin party leaders and activists.
It appears that the Anti- Ethiopian forces are once again coming together to suppress the movement for change, democracy and justice in our country.

The disproportionate show of force against un-armed peaceful civilian population in the our capital Addis Abeba is alarming and a disturbing development. One has to remember that, just before the election, zenawi made a reference to the Hutu militia group, the interahamwe, which was responsible for the massacre of half a million Tutsis in Rwanda. Zenawi is now short of openly declaring war on the population and his call up of the Agazee militia which is loyal to him, is yet another indication of his intention that he will not lightly give up power. One should ask why was the Agazee militia needed when it is obvious that there is adequate police and military force which is well suited to keeping order in the Addis Abeba, if that is what is required.

One should also ask why was a state of emergency needed immediately after an election which, generally speaking, was conducted peacefully with out reports of any major incident. What is the reason for zenawi to bypass parliament, literally taking the law in his own hands, and declaring a state of emergency. Incidentally, the parliament, in which zenawi rules the roost, has not objected to the action taken and have not even requested for discussion on the subject before or after it was implemented. The lack of any discussion or objection from these supposedly representatives of the people speaks volumes about the state of affairs in the Ethiopian parliament.

The truth of the matter is that, the people of Addis have overwhelmingly and emphatically rejected zenawi’s regime in the ballot box and this has been very hard to digest for the regime, they know that they are facing defeat throughout the country and they have to do something before they are totally humiliated by the people of Ethiopia.

The state of emergency is intended to suppress the people of Addis Abeba from expressing their joy following their victory and for realising that their votes have brought about a change in their city. One would have thought, it is their democratic right to express what ever emotions they feel, if they wish to. The state of emergency was directed at suppressing these emotions of joy. The freedom that they enjoyed at the demonstrations at Meskell square, only a few days before the election, was taken away from them by the state of emergency and by the threats and intimidation zenawi made when he issued his order on the public television. zenawi who was frightened by the power of the people that he saw on that day, knows that if he allows the people of addis to celebrate, people in other towns and cities throughout Ethiopia will follow suit and that will mark his demise.

The celebration was nipped in the bud. People’s celebration of victories has never suited the regime, as it always suspects that these celebrations would turn against the government itself. It has never trusted the people nor have the people trusted it.

The vote counts in other parts of the country, that were carried out in the presence of election observers, indicate that the voting trend is similar to what happened in Addis Abeba. Big wins have been reported for the opposition in all parts of the country except in Tigray. In Tigrai of course, the only candidates who took part were those from the Tigrae People Liberation Front. Members of the Opposition were chased out of the region to enable zenawi and company to have a free run. The election in Tigrae cannot therefore be valid, although the election board of the regime has approved it.

Otherwise, Bereket simon and co would not have made accusations of vote rigging against the opposition parties and frequently make requests for vote recounts had they not known that they have lost the election. It defies belief that they have to make such complaints when it is well known that their own Election board is running the vote counts and that in many cases, their own cadres do the ballot counts exclusively on their own without the participation of independent observers.

It is clear from this election what and who the people of Ethiopia have voted for. They have voted for democracy, justice and fairness and it has been a disaster for zenawi and company although they continue to announce that they have won the election.

If zenawi has the trust of the Ethiopian people and believes that he has won the election why is it, that the people have to be prevented from celebrating the victory of the regime. Why is it that the public have to be threatened with a display of military force. What is the purpose of the Agazee militia loyal to zenawi alone in the capital.

The actions taken by zenawi do not inspire confidence in him or his regime even to the ardent supporters.

The drastic repressive measures he is taking are clear signs of a regime that has lost the trust of the people and instead, has preferred to use armed violence to maintain power, and if the track record of the regime in respecting the will of the people and in human rights is to go by, then the chances of zenawi giving up power peacefully does not look encouraging.

The Ethiopian people should stand together more than ever and protect their hard won democratic rights and remain vigilant against enemies who wish to wreck havoc in our country.


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