Don’t expect a revolution

10

Posted 19th March 2009

Abbay Media Editor’s Note;
Unlike the various regions in the World, President Obama has yet to name his assistant secretary of state for Africa. By not appointing this role three months into his job, there is an underlining fact that Africa is not his top priority. Although President Obama’s views towards human rights is much better than his predecessor, we Ethiopians should not expect him to deliver our freedom on a silver plate. As seen by the shameful actions of Gordan Brown, the West will  apply the usual double standard to safeguard what it perceives to be its interest. President Obama is yet to be seen on how he will handle when he meets Ethiopia’s butcher Meles Zenawi at the G20 summit in London, on 2nd April 2009.

We, Ethiopians need to acknowledge the fact that freedom from our oppressors will only come from ourselves, and show the world how much we are serious in our desire for freedom and democracy to be implemented in Ethiopia.

‘Ethiopians should hope for the best but plan for the worst’

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Barack Obama’s approach to Africa

From The Economist print edition

Barack Obama may differ little from George Bush in his approach to Africa

IT MIGHT seem obvious that American policy towards Africa would change under America’s first African-American president. But while the new man seems set to break with his predecessor in many other foreign-policy areas, changes towards Africa may be less substantial.

Though unloved in much of the world, George Bush is still popular in most of Africa. He vastly increased America’s development aid towards the continent. He created the President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR), which was reauthorised last year with a budget of $48 billion over five years, to help stop the spread of HIV and to treat those infected. While PEPFAR has been less successful at prevention than its proponents had hoped, it has kept 2.1m people, most of them African, on life-saving antiretroviral treatment.

One much-criticised PEPFAR provision was an anti-prostitution pledge required of recipients, who had to swear that they would not “support” prostitution. This provision was retained when the plan was reauthorised last year, and Mr Obama cannot change it without rewriting the basic law. In any event, many anti-AIDS campaigners found ways of getting round Mr Bush’s restrictions. So beyond sacking the boss of PEPFAR, which he has just done, Mr Obama is unlikely to do much to change a policy that is working well.

Mr Obama brings with him some big figures with strong opinions on one of Africa’s bloodiest conflicts, in the Sudanese region of Darfur. Joe Biden, his vice-president, has called in the past for a threat of military action against the Sudanese government to stop the killings there. Mr Obama’s ambassador to the UN, Susan Rice, has backed the threat of force too. Samantha Power, who has joined Mr Obama’s National Security Council, is a historian of genocide who, though she believes in toughening sanctions and divestment from Sudan, opposes military intervention. If the conflict worsens, Mr Obama could face difficult choices.

But here too there may be more continuity than change. The International Criminal Court at The Hague recently indicted Omar al-Bashir, Sudan’s president, for war crimes. Mr Bush vociferously opposed the court. But he could be pragmatic about it if it suited American policy; his ambassador to the UN abstained when the Security Council first referred Sudan to the court. So the Obama administration’s position is not entirely new, though a call from a popular new black president to African leaders, asking them to shun an indicted war criminal, may be harder to ignore.

On Somalia, another of the continent’s nastiest conflicts, Mr Obama is likely to be cautious. Mr Bush backed Ethiopia almost unconditionally when it invaded Somalia to overthrow an Islamist regime. Mr Obama may shift tack a bit, perhaps slightly edging away from the Ethiopian regime, but will be as wary as Mr Bush of getting involved in Somalia.

Kenya has long been one of America’s key African allies. Since a disputed election at the end of 2007, it has been floundering under a shaky coalition government. If violence returns, its people may expect Mr Obama, whose father was Kenyan, to wave his wand. But however strong his family ties, he is unlikely to get deeply embroiled.

Nor, given the parlous state of America’s economy, is he likely to increase aid to Africa much. He is treading softly, knowing that none of the conflicts in Congo, Somalia, Sudan or Zimbabwe has an easy solution. He may urge South Africa to squeeze Robert Mugabe out of power. But America has no particular influence over these places. Besides, Mr Obama has yet to name his assistant secretary of state—the top appointment—for Africa; other assistant secretaries, for apparently higher-priority regions, have already been tipped.

Source: Economist

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10 COMMENTS

  1. ……good point, do not expect someone to clean your mess…do it by yourself.Fight the system if you can.If you can not,work with the system….. or else JUST SHUTUP…

  2. Some in the opposition had very high expectation of Obama. They were even betting that he will cause a dramatic change to the continent of Africa specially Ethiopia. When they contributed or campaigned to support the election of Obama, they had in mind that Meles will be in trouble if Obama becomes president of the US.

    What they forgot is that no foreigner including leaders of the US or EU will have the complete commitment to remove the tyrant Ethiopian regime or any other. Their first priority is their own national security and economic interest. To them, Ethiopia is just another poor country in Africa who is ruled by a known tyrant.

    How many countries in the world are under undemocratic government? As we know specially in Africa, constitutional democracy does not exist in most of the countries except for very few such as Ghana and South Africa.

    So what is so special about Ethiopia to cause them give special attention? Is it because other people don’t need democracy or did not sacrifice struggling for democracy? I say not. In our own experience and desire, we may think that we deserve more help. But I don’t think we will get it. There is no dictator that was removed by foreign power short of invasion.

    As the saying goes “people get the government they deserve”. If Ethiopian people (of course including the Diaspora) themselves don’t do it, no one will. We need to look inwards and fix all known weaknesses with respect to getting organized, understanding principal and non principal contradictions and focusing on the principal one, accepting differences, challenging oneself to cause a change instead of expecting it to be done by others…etc.

    Until we fix our problems and become capable of waging viable struggle to remove the tyrant regime, it will continue abusing and exploiting our people. Whatever demonstration, lobbying, petition,…etc we make in foreign capitals, it only plays supportive role but will not replace the actual necessary and required struggle and sacrifice.

  3. To Brother Ephrem,

    There are two devils in our county, Ethiopia. They are Shaebia’s head Issayas and Woyane’s head Meles. I believe both are the enemies of Ethiopia. I have respect for leaders of G-7. I have big reservation about EPPF’s operation from Eritrea. Some 34 years back Issayas helped Woyane to fight the central government and in return Issayas got “Independent Eritrea”. In addition free Ethiopian resources for over seven years. My point is Issayas wouldn’t help EPPF for nothing. The bottom line is that Issayas will not help any opposition until it topples Meles he wants to use this opposition to get Meles’s attention and to negotiate normalization between the “two” countries.
    I would like to underline that Issayas will not get better Ethiopian government than Woyane who stands for Eritrean interest at the expense of Ethiopia.

  4. Donate for our fredom fighters so that we can acheve our freedom by our own blood and determination.Long live eppf and genbot7.

  5. The USA, the UK and their Arab slave drivers have already in place a sellout (banda) by the name of Zenawi who is willing to serve the highest bidder when it comes to Africa and in particular Ethiopia. Futhermore, one should not expect the slighest move from the Obama administration as it entails in bringing democracy and justice to Ethiopia. Do not forget it was under the Clinton’s administration approval that we got into all the current mess and dehumanization of Ethiopians. The Secretary of State is still Clinton.

  6. Americans and Europeans/Arabs has their Assistance secretary for Africa. His name is Meles Zenawi. he is the best puppet they can buy. Why should they appointed one, when they have already their puppet on place?

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