German Chancellor Merkel backs oppressive Ethiopian regime
By Johannes Stern (WSWS) - 13 October 2016
To conclude her three-day Africa visit which also took her to Mali and Niger, German Chancellor Angela Merkel travelled to the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa on Tuesday where she was welcomed with military honours.
Her reception speaks volumes about the reactionary character of the return of German militarism to Africa. Just two days prior to the chancellor’s visit, the Ethiopian regime declared a six-month state of emergency in order to undertake even more brutal measures to suppress popular protests.
On the previous weekend, heavily armed security forces attacked a mass rally to mark the traditional harvest festival of the Oromo people. Fifty-five people were killed, according to official statistics, but opposition sources reported more than 650. Youtube videos showed helicopters dropping tear gas onto the crowd of people and security forces firing into the crowds.
According to media reports, the army has shot more than 1,000 people since the protests broke out last November in the Oromo and Amhara regions.
The protests are directed against the government of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), which has governed the country in an authoritarian manner since 1991 and brutally suppressed all opposition. The uprising by the Oromo and Amhara peoples was triggered above all by the government’s land policy, which compels impoverished farmers to sell off their land for next to nothing to the state in order for it to be sold off to foreign investors.
With a population of 92 million and an average gross national income of $570, Ethiopia is among the poorest countries in the world. The economic growth of the past decade has benefited only a small corrupt ruling elite. The vast majority of the population lives below the absolute poverty level. According to World Bank data from 2015, more than 30 percent of the population in 2011 had to live on less than $1.25 a day.
The repressive measures of the regime are so obvious that even sections of the bourgeois press in Germany could not avoid discussing it. “If we had peace in this country, then 200 people would not have died in this way,” Biru Tadese, the father of a victim, told ARD. “Who should we complain to? The government acts like God. Who should we talk to? We just bury our dead. I saw how they loaded bodies onto trucks like wheat or corn. But these are human beings.”
Another father named Khala complained, “My son just went out to charge his phone. They shot him from behind as he tried to run away from them. He never threw any stones, nothing. He is a teacher. My son died even though he did nothing bad.”
None of this prevented Merkel from meeting with Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn and the commission president of the African Union (AU), Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma. She presided over the opening of the so-called Julius Nyerere building for peace and security, which was funded by Germany to the tune of €30 million, as planned. It will serve as the headquarters for the AU and has a conference hall as well as a store and headquarters to lead military interventions.
It is becoming ever clearer that an important factor in the imperialist powers’ offensive in Africa is the fear of a revolutionary upsurge of the masses as took place in Egypt and Tunisia five years ago. At a joint press conference with Desalegn, Merkel offered German support for the Ethiopian police and warned, “The hatred and dissatisfaction towards the political institutions is growing to such an extent that the acceptance of the state is no longer there.”
In her speech to the AU, Merkel also made clear to the African regimes that she supports the suppression and brutal exploitation of their populations in the name of “peace and security.” She cynically declared, “The African Union and its regional organisations have demonstrated how important the ability to act is. With rapid reactions and negotiations, it has been possible to prevent several large-scale outbreaks of violence. This experienced responsibility saves lives and opens new perspectives.”
Merkel made clear the “perspectives” she was talking about in her subsequent remarks. She called for the prevention of illegal migration, caused by Africans “with completely wrong impressions” setting off for Europe. To this end she referred to the migration partnerships with the European Union (EU). Under these agreements, despots like the Egyptian dictator al-Sisi, Sudan’s Omar el-Bashir and even Desalegn himself will receive €1.8 billion from the EU to detain refugees in Africa and keep them away from Europe.
In addition, Merkel praised Germany’s military interventions in Africa. Of the German army’s military operations in Mali, she said, “Germany is making its own contribution there. Up to 600 German soldiers are involved in MINUSMA. Securing the stability of Mali is of decisive significance for developments throughout West Africa.”
Berlin is now apparently advancing similar plans in other parts of Africa. Merkel referred to the Democratic Republic of Congo and how “ten years ago […] German soldiers ensured that the presidential elections took place peacefully.” Now “the issue is whether free elections take place,” to “protect Congo from a deep crisis.”
“The situation in Burundi” caused her “great concern.” One could see there “the danger that old conflicts could flare up once again.” By contrast, “the engagement of the African Union in Somalia” was impressive. Now more than ever it was necessary to “direct all forces to stabilise Libya.” For this, she explicitly encouraged “the African Union to intervene and brings its influence to bear to resolve the conflict.”
While Berlin officially opposed the NATO bombardment of Libya in 2011, it has been pushing more strongly into Africa since the foreign policy shift carried out in 2013-14. This has not only included German imperialism’s traditional spheres of influence during the colonial period, but also those of its historic rivals.
An article in the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung entitled “In the French sphere of influence” remarked in noticeably excited tones, “The European security mission in Mali […] is strongly characterised by German influence” and is taking place in a region “which was previously an exclusively French sphere of influence and area of interest.” Alongside the “terror threat” and the “pressure of economic migration ...France’s declining security resources” had contributed to the destabilisation of countries on the southern border of the Sahara and “created new conditions.” Mali showed “[t]he answer the European Union is trying to give–with overwhelmingly German weight.”
The FAZ left no doubt that the German-European mission in Mali is only the prelude to a much broader process of recolonising the continent, which is rich in resources and has a large population. The intervention was spreading “also into Mali’s neighbours.” Four further states in the Sahel region–Chad, Niger, Burkina Faso and Mauritania–would be “incorporated into the military and civilian strengthening of their security forces.” The Eucap Sahel mission, which “was led by German diplomat Albrecht Conze,” was “preparing a much more energetic expansion into neighbouring countries.”
“Diplomats under the EU flag” were currently being sent “to the capital cities of the countries concerned to register their security deficits.” It would soon become clear “how many forces from European countries would be required to cover them.” Germany would “certainly then have to mobilise more forces.”
Therefore it was timely that “the German air force is in the process of building an air transportation base in the heart of the Sahel zone in Niamey, the capital of Niger.” €10 million had already been allocated for the coming year “to establish waiting rooms and permanently accommodate the German contingent.”
Please sign this PETITION
and show your solidarity as well as support for the oppressed people of Ethiopia.
The Global African: Land Grabs in Ethiopia & The Legacy of Belgian Colonization
•May 15, 2015
TeleSUR's The Global African looks at land theft in Ethiopia & the connection between Belgian colonization and HIV in Congo
N.B.: Please disregard the second part of this video titled "The Legacy of Belgian Colonization". While it holds an accurate account of slavery etc. in the Congo, the presented history of HIV is totally bogus and must be considered a CIA narrative to blurr the clear vision and stop further research to find the true source of the virus.
OP_ED (see NB below)
Dummkopf! Frau Merkel’s Ethiopian Fiasco
By Thomas C. Mountain (*)
Dummkopf! is the word that comes to mind when seeing Frau Merkel, Germany’s Chancellor sharing the stage with the Ethiopian Prime Minister while that same PM’s death squad's were opening fire on unarmed demonstrators in Oromia, killing 23 and wounding over 100.
As foreigners flee Ethiopia en masse after furious Ethiopians burned their factories and businesses to the ground, Frau Merkel speaks truly stupid words promising even more foreign investment in Ethiopia.
Didn't the Ethiopian PM just announce the imposition of martial law giving the Agazi death squads free play to commit murder and mayhem against any and all Ethiopians with the temerity to peacefully protest against the corruption and brutality of the current regime?
Dummkopf! may not be enough when it comes to describing such stupidity, to visit a country in the middle of a mass insurgency
against the compradore regime whose leaders have stolen hundred$ of million$ of funds meant for Ethiopians suffering from the worst drought and famine in 60 years?
Arschloch (assh*le) is probably a better word for Frau Merkel, who promised to pump hundreds of millions of Euro into the bank accounts of one of the most corrupt and brutal dictatorships on the planet, all the while the regime supporters are moving their families and money to foreign countries and western bank accounts.
100% democratic is how senior US leaders described the Ethiopian regime with 100% of the Ethiopian parliament made up of regime hacks, yet Frau Merkel continues to pretend that the present regime has some sort of credibility or future in power.
With almost the entire country up in arms against the regime, and unarmed demonstrators being gunned down in their hundreds across Oromia, Africa’s largest nation, Frau Merkel has proved once again just how much of a dummkopf European leaders can be.
(*) Thomas C. Mountain is an independent journalist in Eritrea, living and reporting from there since 2006. His speeches, interviews and articles can be seen on Facebook at thomascmountain or he can best be reached at thomascmountain at g mail dot com
N.B.: The opinionated article above is shared here under Art 19 of the UN-UDHR as well as under the Charter of Fundamental Rights of the European Union and other international legal fundamentals, which guarantee free speech and its dissemination, including https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/17/107.
But, respected journalist Thomas Mountain might not know that in Germany also a strong legal provision protects the dignity of a natural persona, even if it concerns - like here - a public figure. Unless proven guilty by a court of law for a crime, e.g. for a felony like murder, which then would permit the use of a term like murderer to be used to characterize the offender, the direct defamation of a person's character has to be avoided to uphold the unalienable right of a person to unharmed dignity.
However, Thomas Mountain didn't directly characterize the German chancellor Merkel with these terms, but merely stated that the terms he used "come to mind".... and, well, YES we can confirm that for all those first readers of the article they do. Even worse, and the worst terms come to mind if one considers what atrocities are and will be fostered by German money in Ethiopia - that are now at least indirectly sanctioned by Mrs. Merkel. She visited Ethiopia while the dead of the massacre committed by state forces during the Oromo cultural festival of Irrecha are not yet all accounted for and at times when the atrocities of state-terror persist with impunity. That is unforgivable.
Germany already was once before the boycott-breaker. In 1981 all major humanitarian NGOs working in Ethiopia had unanimously and jointly resorted to withdraw their cooperation and the support provided to the Ethiopian regime at the time - due to widespread state-sponsored human rights violations, forced population migrations, state-terror and murder committed by the state apparatus. But the German NGO Menschen fuer Menschen (MfM, People for People) of the late ex-actor Karl-Heinz Boehm was quickly established, equipped and boosted with German state funds, corporate money and private sponsorships to make its début right at that time in Ethiopia and thereby forced the other NGOs to be less drastic in their withdrawal, which then in turn encouraged the oppressive regime and caused the atrocities committed by the state to increase. If one reads MfM/PfP's statement to the present situation one has to realize that still today they just serve the Powers-That-Be and their self-interests, but not the people.
might also not know that the entity commonly known as Germany after WWII actually is until today not a sovereign state but a mere colony. Germany has no constitution of its own and is managed like a company or corporation under a colonial basic law (Grundgesetz), where people are termed "personnel" rather than citizen on their government-issued IDs. Since the mastermind of this construct is the governance of the United States of America, it can be assumed that "Germany" has to act right now as a mere front for the USAmerican interests in Ethiopia, where a new regional USAmerican base for the launch and operation of military drones is being established to hold the strategically important Horn of Africa in the iron fist of the number one bidder for the throne of a global empire.
It seems therefore likely that the "Oromo Leadership Convention", which shall take place in Atlanta, Georgia/USA on November 11-13, 2016 with the aim to design a Oromo National Charter of Freedom, Justice and Human Rights, will be influenced by USAmerican machinations for a regime-change, since the present Ethiopian governance can no longer deliver to its foreign masters.