A thread on Amb. Rice:

Let’s start with her eulogy for the late Ethiopian tyrant, Meles Zenawi. She spoke:
“Meles was selfless, tireless, & totally dedicated for his work & family, he had little patience for fools, or ‘idiots’ as he likes to call them, he had world class mind”
Amb. Rice continues,
“Meles was uncommonly wise, able to see the big picture... he was consistently reasoned in his judgment. I will deeply miss the insights I gained from our discussions. He was also passionately proud to be Ethiopian”
She added many more things about him. Of course, no one expected her to demonize him at his deathbed. But praising someone who masterminded the creation of nothing short of an apartheid ethnic state in such a way, was just unbelievably sad.
Most of the problems that Ethiopia is facing today are Zenawi’s making. They are his legacy. He never saw the big picture. No matter what good he did, Ethiopians most remember the destruction he left behind. For her, he was “someone who passionately proud of being Ethiopian”.
Sadly, that wasn’t true. Meles was not in love of the country he led for more than 2 decades. Today’s TPLF & the suffering of all Ethiopians, including Tigrayan Ethiopians, are his legacies. Today’s internal displacement of peoples are his legacy, yes, actions he approved.
In fact, Meles rarely even mentions the word #Ethiopia. He considered the regional states within his badly designed ethnic federal arrangement, “Neighbors that wanted to stay under an Ethiopian umbrella for economic reasons”.
National unity of Ethiopians was his very last priority. His war against Eritrea changed the Horn of Africa for the worst. He cheated the west in multiple occasions. If there was one Ethiopian leader, who could have done better, that was PM Meles. He did not.
Today’s mind boggling stories of corruption were also what he either approved of or at least what he massively tolerated. The gross human rights violations his government committed also continue to remain his legacies. The torture of journalists & activists are his legacies.
His bad legacy is what PM Abiy is working to change and what all Ethiopians must tirelessly continue to work hard & undo. That is the destruction Meles caused.

The Annuak, the Somali, Amhara, Konso, and Oromo Ethiopians, among others, still reel from the pain he caused them.
Zenawi’s sad legacy is too broad to tackle in a book, let alone in a simple thread. But asking those who survived the Annuak massacre in Gambella, those who survived major atrocities in Somali region, those Amharas from Gura Ferda & former prisoners of conscious is enough.
This was the Meles Zenawi Ambassador Rice says she would miss. It’s that friend and his legacies that she might hope to protect if she could. At least, it looks just like that. It’s that dishonesty that might yet (hopefully) also prevent her to assume key leadership positions.
Even if it might not prevent her, it’s highly likely that Africans (not only Ethiopians) will be disappointed with her. As American democracy is struggling for various obvious reasons, it’s crucial that able men & women are able to help the president elect avoid those like Rice.
Importantly, as political polarization continues & swing states like GA emerge, it’s vital that the Democratic Party also makes some political calculations. For example, More than 18,000 Ethio-Americans voted in GA & overwhelmingly for Biden. But his win was with ~15k votes.
Ethiopian votes in other swing states also matter. From Virginia, to Ohio and Colorado, their votes shouldn’t be discounted. But importantly, as Americans, they must have the opportunity to voice their concerns about a country they care about.
My hope is that Amb. Rice, who’s highly educated & experienced, asks questions, research, & learn from Ethiopians to establish a better common ground and help US and Ethiopia relations with renewed commitment for bilateral relations & address regional concerns.
On the issue of conflict on N.Ethiopia, it’s expected that Rice and others ask tough questions. Challenge gov’t to avoid civilian casualties. But also, what’s missing so far has been to advise & warn TPLF from causing mayhem to Ethiopia & people it says it represents.
Moreover, condemning the massacre in towns like Mai-Kadra (where 100s of innocent Ethiopians were killed by TPLF) and calling for investigations is also what Ethiopians expect from any balanced western political actor that aspires to okay a constructive role.
Ethiopia is a proud nation. And of course, many in the country & abroad disagree on many issues, but its people are also patriotic enough to address our domestic convenes. But crucial is a bias against the country could have serious consequences for the entire region. End.

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More from @yohanethio

16 Nov
As an #Ethiopian & a student of Ethio’n politics, I have followed PM Abiy & his politics very closely for more than two years & half. I have written many pieces critiquing him for the things that should have been done, especially for the ethnic violence in the country. 1)
My criticism of his administration especially in his 1st year was harsh but justified as the country experienced huge internal displacements due to ethnic conflict. 2)

But when thing went fine and I believed the country is in a better path under his leadership, I have also applauded some of the moves that were good for the country. The dissolution of EPRDF, for example, I believed was one great accomplishment. 3)

Read 12 tweets
12 Jul
A thread:
Death of Hachalu is 1 of #Ethiopia’s recent most tragic events. He is a hero for the Oromo & a popular amongst Ethiopians.
But he wasn’t behind the reforms that emerged in 2018. His song fueled Oromo Protests? Yes. But Oromo protests alone didn’t bring Abiy to power.
The suffering of Somalis under Abdi Illey, the suffering of the Anuak/Gambella (their massacres for land grab), the injustice against the Afar, the suffering of the Amhara for 27 years under EPRDF, the gross human rights violations the regime committed were also major reasons.
Oromo protests, though crucial, weren’t, in any way, enough to bring about any change let alone an Oromo PM to office. But ethno-nationalists with help from ‘Ethiopia observers’ arguing that the PM is betraying the movement that brought him to power is misinformation at its best.
Read 8 tweets

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