Hon Anna Gomes's obsession with Ethiopia: Give Ethiopia a Break
By Abdu Ahmed
Tigrai Online, Ethiopian News, Dec. 5, 2016
Since her time as Head of EU election observation mission to Ethiopia in 2005, Hon Gomes, MEP took upon herself that she has a special responsibility about Ethiopia and Ethiopians. It looks like as if she is self-appointed spokesperson of Ethiopians. Her persistence attack on Ethiopia could not be given any explanation but neo-colonial patronizing attitude and hypocrisy toward black Africa. For the last 11 years, Anna Gomes has been very consistent and persistent in her campaign against Ethiopia. Since 2005, many remarkable positive changes and progress have been in the making in Ethiopia, thanks to the efforts and leadership of the very government in Ethiopia which Anna Gomes is tirelessly trying to overthrow. Anna Gomes is fighting in colluding with armed groups to remove the current Ethiopian government unconstitutionally, in total disregard of the so-called European values.
The success that was celebrated and enjoyed by Ethiopians and recognized by the international community including the EU is not something worth recognizing in her views. The fact of the matter is that she has a mindset such that whatever progress is made, she is not ready to give any credit simply because she has already made up her mind against the government of Ethiopia. There is no room for change flexibility in her dictionary.
I am not certain how that makes her rational or make her campaign against Ethiopia credible. For someone who made public declaration that no stone will be left unturned, until EPRDF led government is overthrown and the opposition takes the driver’s seat, nothing counts other than laboring to removing the elected government of ETHIOPIA. Whether that is done democratically or not, whether that is the choice of the Ethiopian people, why should it matter to her?
For any person of patronizing attitude and approach, he or she knows better for the Ethiopians than Ethiopians themselves. Where does such an attitude emanate from? The emotion with which she expresses the situation in Ethiopia is incredibly beyond any one's comprehension. She deliberately tempts to create the impression that the situation look very desperate and easily garner the sympathy and solidarity of her audience. That is what makes it hypocrisy. The fact that EU has launched EU Africa partnership, the relations is still structured in the traditional donor recipient model. This is nowhere clearly manifested than in her self-righteous call to EU commission to deny Ethiopia the EDF?
It is totally lost on some Europeans like Gomes that countries like Ethiopia are older civilization maybe than many countries in Europe and they also take great pride in their histories. Ethiopia is one of the least developed counties but making great stride in transforming its society and hence our poverty status should be seen as neither a virtue nor a destination. The Hon MEP should understand that even poor have dignity and self-esteem.
The recent resolution passed by EP regarding Rwanda where she made another attack on another African country is yet another move full of arrogance and ignorance of the situation in that country, a country that has put behind the tragedy of genocide and made progress that nobody imagined. Many like her in the EP do not have slightest idea about what is going in the continent in general and in Ethiopia in particular. Gomes and others should show some respect for Africa and Africans. Please do not lecture us about democracy and human rights. Some of had democratic governance in our traditions long before the evolution of modern democracy. Africa and Africans are mature and wise enough to manage their affairs. It took Europeans 400 years to reach where it is today and Africa cannot and should not be judged by European standards. Give Africa time to consolidate democracy and development. Africa has a problem for sure. There is no denying in that. Problems are there to be solved and that requires partnership but not patronage and condemnations.
The patronizing attitude is being expressed in different forms and shapes and Gomes has been attacking and vilifying Ethiopia and Ethiopians for so long. Lack of basic decency in respecting sovereign people, an elected government and constitutional institutions including the parliament of Ethiopia, which is representing the sovereignty of the peoples of Ethiopia, does not give any basis for understanding and partnership. The emotional manner she is demonizing Ethiopia went over board and is just in the excess. It is time to say enough is enough. The sad part of the whole story is that big institutions like European Parliament is being used /abused to disseminate her propaganda piece. The way she endeavors to blackmail the elected Ethiopian government is a contempt she utterly displays at the Ethiopian electorates.
Now she is crying foul because Merera was detained. If she were a bit reasonable and logic enough, which are scarce commodity with her, ask yourself why he was arrested? Instead of blindly blaming the government, ask your invitee why he did break the law? Perhaps you encouraged him? You know he did it intentional because he thought people in high places like you will come to his risqué. There is no double standard in rule of law. If you do not break the law it will never deal with you. As the Americans say you break it, you fix.
You know very well that there were other invitees who declined because that it was illegal. Nobody touched them. For a person who claims to promote legal and democratic opposition, it is contradiction to continuously provoke the government. He cannot stand with the two legs in two different places? If you have any respect for the intelligence and civilization of peoples of Ethiopia, for their sovereignty and if you have due regard for the constitution and constitutional institutions of Ethiopia, please leave us alone. I reiterate, even if we are poor we have dignity. Ethiopians are dignified people. Please stop the so-called hearing you repeatedly conduct by abusing your privilege as a MEP and giving a cover to terrorists using this prestigious institution. They talked to few of their supporters but made publicity by using the name of EP. Who else was there than yourself from MEP? Please tell us how many MEPs participated in the so called hearing? You know very well it was the venue that was used for publicity and not the content. We are sick and tired of your condescending attitude about European development fund, always presented in typical neo-colonial donor mentality. We value the support and are grateful to European tax payers but it cannot be at the expense of our policy independence. The partnership is mutual and as such it should be based on mutual interest and respect.
Ethiopians are born free people.Who accorded Gomes divine power to dictate terms on how Ethiopia and Ethiopians govern themselves? Where does she get this mandate from to interfere in the internal affairs of the free peoples, an independent and sovereign country? Is it because Europe supports Ethiopia financially? Was it meant to meddle in the domestic affairs of Ethiopia and other African countries, or is it because she is an MEP? She has her constituency in Europe and she represents them in EP. Similarly, Ethiopians have their elected representatives at all levels of the administrative structure? Of course, she does not recognize Ethiopia's election because she undermines the intelligence of the 36 million Ethiopians who took to the polls and made their free choice. Whether one is an elite in Europe or a farmer in the corner of the Ethiopian villages, both know what is good for them and to their families and above all to their countries. Nor do the villagers need a guardian from Europe to speak on their behalf.
The essence and meaning of democracy will only be measured if it is relevant to the overwhelming residents in the Ethiopian villages. our democracy is a mass movement and not elitist like in Europe. This is indeed a work in progress. When EPRDF defined democracy as a matter of life and death, it was not meant to mobilize international support. Ethiopia tried other alternative governances in the past. It failed and failed miserably. Precisely, that is why democracy is the only alternative left to hold us together. The obsession, Gomes, must understand is not advancing any cause of democracy. Any person sincere and genuine enough to see Africa developed and democratized, will only try to understand the context and reality of each country. If we are trying to score points on countries in the plenary and media, with the intention of damaging the image of countries and nations, that will only push them to the corner. No country will realize a lasting and sustainable democracy by imposition. For that matter imposition is undemocratic. Hope all is not in vein. There are moderate, balanced and fairly exposed and oriented MEPs who take Africa and Africans with respect and seriousness. Similarly, they take Ethiopia, Ethiopians with due respect and seriousness. In between Gomes and AI and HRW, they share a common attitude, they do not recognize and respect governments. Never ever they try to balance their data with the official sources. To them all governments are discredited. What an attitude. It was heard that Gomes talked about how she intends to punish the government of Ethiopia using her country man, the incoming SG of the United Nations. Well, I am sure, your audience were made very pleased by what you said. However, that will be the end of the global body if it worked on nepotism. It is your thoughts that is mind boggling. An MEP intending to use personal relations to cause harm to a fellow member of the UN. Well we know the incoming SG is a person of principle, integrity and sound judgement and will not be used by individual motives. That was an insult the intelligence of the person and you portrayed a very image of him. If he were such a person, he would have not been given the support he earned including from Ethiopia. Gomes may think she is doing good to democracy but she is rather doing more harm than good. Her lack of understanding that democracy and development could be achieved by the noise made in Brussels is a totally misplaced concept. Ethiopians are determined to democratize and develop their country since we also deserve it. We continue to work with those who understand us and respect us. We will prevail.