Ethiopia: Justice or Death vs. Power up to Death


[] “Wherever law ends, tyranny begins; …” Political philosopher, John Lock more three centuries years ago argues in hisEthiopia charges 29 Muslims under anti-terror law book, The Second Treatise of Government. It is puzzling to find ourselves (after three centuries) in a situation even much worse than what Lock expressed it. I do not think it is an exaggeration to say that it is arguably difficult to comprehend why and how peoples of countries of glorious history of independence or national pride like ours find themselves in this kind of political and socio-economic nightmare in this 21st century.

History has shown that the struggle between these two irreconcilable interests (freedom/justice or death vs. death or power) have caused incalculable damages to generations after generations. I am not here intended to discuss global, regional, super regional, or national tragedies because of individuals or groups who have come to power by any unjust /illegitimate means which subsequently led to serious consequences. I just want to express my very brief points of view about the horrifying attack on justice /rule of law going on in our country. Going through this deeply painful experience for about four decades (the 1970 to the present) and the absence of common sense of regret about what has been lost, and the willingness /courage to engage in a reconciliatory and constructive conversation mainly from the ruling party/front is extremely disturbing and worrisome.

It goes without saying that the total violation of the due process of law manifested its ugliest face in the era of socialism (military dictatorship). Yes, the very essence of justice and the rule of law were put up side down and used to protect those who declared power or death by crashing those who believed living without freedom and justice was not better than death at all. The only difference between then and now is a matter of straight-forward game and playing a deadly drama in the name of enforcing the rule of law. Yes, the former (the military junta) used to tell the people unequivocally that demanding for genuine freedom and justice is inexcusably deadly while the latter (TPLF/EPRDF) preaches that it stands for justice/rule of law, but uses “that law” to attack the innocent people even to the extent of making the victims parts of its fabricated and deadly dramatized game. That is what we are witnessing especially since the 2005 general elections which of course continues going much more deadly.

Of course, it is an open secret that the dominant part of the incumbent ruling front (TPLF) has a history of betrayal to the very essence of national interest , politics of ethnicity , creating artificial but dangerous divisions not only in the arena of politics but  also faith, eliminating its critics including its own members/supporters, crashing those nationalities which demand for exercising their constitutional rights, arbitrary arrests and torturing and even killing, and above all worshiping the masterminds of  its evil-driven agenda and policies. This history of political nihilism and socio-economic destitution are the consequences of the deadly attitude of “power or death!”

Soon after the sentencing of the innocent members and supporters of opposition parties, journalists and human rights activists with shamefully fabricated, produced, orchestrated drama of “Akeldama”, another extremely idiotic drama of “Jihadawi Harakat “has been broadcast . What makes this political madness very outrageous is that the authors and directors of the “film” went to the stage by trashing aside their own court order. Folks, imagine how and to what extent the game of political power up to death is getting more and more deadly.

Folks, we have to be seriously worried when the deadly mix of politics and religion has become part and parcel of the dirty game of power up to death. There is no doubt that those politico-religious of Muslim cadres have played their dirty part in the drama of “Jihadawi Harakat“. And we are hearing from the politico-religious cadres of the Orthodox Christianity that they are in the process of fabricating, orchestrating, producing and staging their own idiotic drama targeting those who side with the demand for the prevalence of both religious and secular human freedom and justice.

The fact of the matter is that the more the rulers getting intoxicated with their behavior of power or death, the much more irreversible popular resistance they face.  The question is how and to what extent the forces of freedom/justice or death are ready to defeat the evil –driven behavior and practice of power up to death before it causes a crisis that could be extremely difficult to manage.  I strongly believe that unless we stand in unison not only in the struggle of the political arena but also in the process the struggle for freedom of worship/religion, there is no any other way out! Did we really and courageously give our genuine and critical reinforcement to each others legitimate cause (Muslims and Christians) as we should? Let’s admit that compared to the huge challenges we are facing, our actions lag behind our rhetoric. Well, we would have been fortunate enough if we had brought about the change we desperately aspire with minimum sacrifices (freedom or death!)But the reality tells us otherwise. What we have and can do is to take the reality on the ground seriously and act accordingly in a better informed, critically thought, well- organized/coordinated, and persistent manner.