The Third Pillar of the Biden Administration’s Policy in Ethiopia: Sabotage Democratic Reform in Ethiopia and Undermine Confidence in the 2021 Election
In this commentary, I shall discuss what I believe will be the third pillar of U.S. policy in Ethiopia under the Biden Administration: Sabotage democratic reform in Ethiopia and undermine confidence in the 2021 election.
During his confirmation hearing, Secretary of State-to-be Antony Blinken answering Senator Chris Coons’ question said, the “issues that caused the [Tigray] conflict can actually be discussed and litigated as opposed to dealt with through violence.” (Italics added.) I accept Blinken’s offer to “litigate” any matter concerning Ethiopia, and so in this commentary I intend to litigate against what I believe will be Blinken/U.S. policy in Ethiopia.
Is the United States interested in a democratic Ethiopia?
The answer is a resounding No!
I am fully aware the title of my commentary and my unequivocal answer may be regarded as audacious, provocative and extreme.
The burden is on me to “prove up” my claims, as lawyers would say in America, in my “litigation” against the Biden administration and the “Triumvirate” of Susan Rice, Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan.
In summary form, my claims are as follows. Over the past three decades, the U.S. has
1) deliberately or by exercising benign neglect thwarted Ethiopia’s transition to democracy.
2) brazenly and shamelessly declared the TPLF dictatorship in Ethiopia as “democratic” time and again.
3) talked the talk of democracy but walked and towed the line of the TPLF dictators in Ethiopia when it is not in bed with them.
4) turned deaf ears, blind eyes and muted lips when the TPLF committed gross human rights violations in Ethiopia and made a travesty of democracy, and
5) Under the Biden administration the Triumvirate of Susan Rice, Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan will thwart and undermine Ethiopia’s transition to full-fledged multiparty democracy in the May 2021 election by 1) coordinating a global campaign of demonization of the current government of Ethiopia, 2) cutting off aid and threatening sanctions to pressure the Ethiopian government to negotiate with the dregs of the TPLF and 3) covertly creating instability in Ethiopia to hamper and discredit the 2020 parliamentary election, and
6) The Biden administration will likely use the pretext of humanitarian assistance in Tigray to supply covert military aid to the remnants of the TPLF.
As the old saying goes, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.”
What is the evidence to back up my claims?
EXHIBIT A – How the U.S. facilitated the TPLF takeover of power in 1991 and squandered a golden opportunity to transition Ethiopia from dictatorship to democracy
In May 1991, the ragtag rebel force of the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) marched on the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa. It was an ignominious end to the Marxist military government known as the Derg.
As the TPLF rebels ringed the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa, the coward Derg leader Col. Mengistu Hailemariam got on the plane and took off for Zimbabwe like a bat out of hell.
After 14 years of iron-fisted rule, Mengistu left behind a demoralized army, a shattered economy, and an ethnically fragmented society.
Deus ex machina (“god from the machine”), U.S. Assistant Secretary for African Affairs Herman Cohen descended on the scene as the white knight in shining armor to facilitate the transition from Derg dictatorship to a new era of democracy.
Cohen waxed poetically philosophical at a “mediation” meeting he called in London:
The U.S. here is serving not only as the U.S. representative but as the conscience of the international community which is saying to them you must go democratic if you want the full cooperation to help Ethiopia realize its full potential. The EPDRF, ELF, and OLF will welcome the presence of the U.S. and other international observers.
Days into the “mediation”, Cohen urged the rebel forces to enter the capital Addis Ababa and restore order as soon as possible.
The “mediation” idea was impractical and absurd.
The fact of the matter is that the TPLF rebels were even more rabid and hardline Marxists than the Derg with whom they were supposedly mediating.
In the early 1980s, the late TPLF mastermind Meles Zenawi and his crew formed the “Leninist League of Tigray” and pledged allegiance to Enver Hoxha, the late Albanian dictator known for his use of forced labor camps, extrajudicial killings and executions of dissidents.
Zenawi believed the other socialist and communist countries had sold out the true Marxist faith and wanted to emulate Hoxha, the true apostle of Marx who ruled with an iron fist.
On June 9, 1991, Newsweek puzzled over Cohen’s intrigue in bringing the TPLF to power and how the famine condition could be alleviated in a piece entitled, “COHEN’S COUP IN ETHIOPIA?” Newsweek wrote:
The White House is nervously banking on rebel promises of free-market and democratic reforms, as well as cooperation in the stalled famine-aid efforts to relieve more than 7 million people at risk of starvation.
Today, Rice, Blinken and Sullivan are yapping about “immediate, full, and unhindered humanitarian access” to Tigray region to relieve people at risk of starvation.
Plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose (“the more that changes, the more it’s the same thing”).
The U.S. knew the TPLF could not transition Ethiopia to democracy because it was a rabidly Marxist organization.
The U.S. also knew the difference between the Derg and the TPLF in ideology and practice was the difference between Tweddle Dee and Tweddle Dum.
The only difference was that the Derg had cut ties with the U.S. and pledged allegiance to the U.S.S.R. and the TPLF was promising allegiance to the U.S. if allowed to take over power.
It was a variation on an old theme in American foreign policy.
The U.S. does not care if Ethiopia is a democracy or a dictatorship as long as the ruling regime is subservient to U.S. commands.
It is said that President Franklin D. Roosevelt speaking of the Nicaraguan dictator Anastasio Somoza once observed, “Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”
And so it was with Meles Zenawi and the TPLF. They may be rabid S.O.B. Marxists but they are our rabid S.O.B. Marxists.
On June 18, 1991, in a statement before the Subcommittee on African Affairs of the HouseForeign Affairs Committee, Cohen explained:
Government [Derg] officials urged the United States to help facilitate a peaceful transition. They affirmed a keen desire to include rebel groups and others in a restructured regime. The United States agreed with this goal and, after meeting with the ELF and EPRDF rebel groups in Khartoum, invited the government and groups to a meeting in London to help bring about the peaceful transition that all sides claimed to want. Our goal was to replace war with peace and find a path forward to a more broadly based and democratic political system. We thought a transitional mechanism that could produce an interim government made up of all Ethiopian parties.
Cohen ended up facilitating a transition from a military Marxist government to a rebel Marxist government dressed in liberal costumes.
In a 2012 interview, Cohen said he was bamboozled by the wily Zenawi:
Mr. Meles and his TPLF party fought to overthrow a very dictatorial and tyrannical regime. Everything that Prime Minister Meles said at that time indicated that he was a true believer in the democratic process. But over 10 to 12 years, he has proved to be a disappointment…. They are condemned to rule the country as a minority and that is very dangerous for stability. (Italics added.)
Cohen’s intervention forced Ethiopia to jump from the frying pan into the fire.
In 1991, the U.S. could have facilitated Ethiopia’s transition to genuine multiparty democracy by insisting on an inclusive transitional government.
Instead, the U.S. midwifed the birth of a ruthless one-man, one-party ethnic apartheid system in Ethiopia.
Verdict: THE US SABOTAGED ETHIOPIA’S DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION IN 1991.
The U.S. fully endorsed the rigged and stolen election of 2005
The 2005 parliamentary elections in Ethiopia were expected to be historic and the first giant step in its stride towards multiparty democracy. “Voters seemed galvanized, and hopes were high that the polls could well move Ethiopia from largely single-party rule to a more competitive multi-party democracy.”
But the 2005 election was stolen by the TPLF in broad daylight.
The Carter Center and the European Union Observer mission declared the 2005 election a sham and rigged in diplomatic language.
The Carter Center in its final report concluded, “The 2005 electoral process did not fulfill Ethiopia’s obligations to ensure the exercise of political rights and freedoms necessary for genuinely democratic elections,” and there were “significant irregularities and delays in vote tabulation and a large number of electoral complaints.”
The Center noted, as news of opposition leaders “scoring significant gains” circulated, “Prime Minister Meles Zenawi declared a one-month ban on public demonstrations in the capital and brought the Addis Ababa security forces (soon to be under the command of the opposition that won Addis Ababa) under the control of the office of the Prime Minister.”
Zenawi declared a state of emergency authorizing his goons to shoot first and ask questions later.
In November 2005, Ana Gomes, the European Union’s chief election observer wrote a letter to members of the European Parliament warning, “Another bloodbath is taking place in Ethiopia.”
That blood bath which started immediately after the election resulted in the massacre of at least 193 unarmed demonstrators and wounding of nearly seven hundred as reported by an Inquiry Commission Meles Zenawi himself set up.
As a result of the Meles Massacres, I joined the struggle for human rights in Ethiopia.
The Vice President of that Commission told the New York Times, “This was a massacre. These demonstrators were unarmed, yet the majority died from shots to the head. There is no doubt that excessive force was used.”
Ana Gomes observed the Commission’s report “exposes the lie that the government is moving toward democracy. It is time the E.U. and U.S. realize that the current regime in Ethiopia is repressing the people because it lacks democratic legitimacy and is actually weak. It is driving Ethiopia to more poverty, conflict and war.” (Italics added.)
In its Final Report, the EU election observer mission concluded the climate of threats and intimidation “taken as a whole, are seriously undermining the transparency and fairness of the elections. They also risk increasing the scope for manipulation and consequently putting in doubt public confidence in the process”.
The U.S. State Department 2006 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices on Ethiopia reported:
Human rights abuses reported during the year included: limitation on citizens’ right to change their government during the most recent elections; unlawful killings, and beating, abuse, and mistreatment of detainees and opposition supporters by security forces; poor prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention, particularly those suspected of sympathizing with or being members of the opposition; detention of thousands without charge and lengthy pretrial detention; infringement on citizens’ privacy rights and frequent refusal to follow the law regarding search warrants; restrictions on freedom of the press; arrest, detention, and harassment of journalists for publishing articles critical of the government; restrictions on freedom of assembly; limitations on freedom of association…
However, the U.S. was fully aware that the TPLF was abusing and misusing aid beginning in 2005 for partisan political purposes.
The manipulation of humanitarian assistance for political benefit by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) since 2005 should be viewed in the context of broader efforts to utilize government resources to ensure EPRDF’s political and electoral supremacy.
What was the U.S. response to the 2005 elections?
On June 13, 2005, the State Department issued a statement: “The United States condemns the violence and unnecessary use of excessive force in the continuing election-related violence in Ethiopia. We extend our deepest sympathies to the families of those who have died.
In a September 16, 2005 statement, the State Department concluded:
These elections stand out as a milestone in creating a new, more competitive multi-party political system in one of Africa’s largest and most important countries. Because reported election irregularities raised concerns about transparency, we will work with the international community and the Ethiopian government and parties to strengthen the electoral process.
When Ethiopian Americans joined Representative Chris Smith (R-NJ) in a grassroots effort in 2006 to pass H.R. 5680 (“Ethiopia Freedom, Democracy, and Human Rights Advancement Act of 2006”) to hold the TPLF accountable for its flagrant disregard of democratic principles and institutions and gross human rights of violations, the State Department “did everything they could to sabotage it.”
But the U.S. continued to subsidize the TPLF dictatorship with hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.
Verdict: THE US SABOTAGED ETHIOPIA’S TRANSITION TO DEMOCRACY IN 2005.
During the 2010 Ethiopian parliamentary election, the TPLF acting through its wholly owned, operated and managed subsidiary and front organization called EPRDF (“Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Party”) brazenly and shamelessly claimed to have won 99.6 percent of the seats in the Ethiopian Parliament.
Human Rights Watch noted,
The 99.6 percent result was the culmination of the government’s five-year strategy of systematically closing down space for political dissent and independent criticism… In October 2010, hundreds of other political prisoners remain in jail and at risk of torture and ill-treatment. The government’s crackdown on independent civil society and media did not diminish by year’s end, dashing hopes that political repression would ease following the May polls.
On May 25, 2010, in its Preliminary Statement, the European Union observer mission stated:
“… In conjunction with changes to the legal framework have resulted in a cumulative narrowing of the political space within the country… the electoral process fell short of certain international commitments, notably regarding the transparency of the process and the lack of a level playing field for all contesting parties.
In its Final Report the EU observer mission concluded,
The electoral process fell short of international commitments for elections, notably regarding the transparency of the process and the lack of a level playing field for all contesting parties. Insufficient efforts were taken to ensure a more equitable and representative electoral process. The EU EOM directly observed cases of misuse of state resources in the ruling party’s campaign activities. …Even taking into account the inherent advantages of the incumbency, the Mission considers that the playing field for the 2010 elections was not sufficiently balanced, leaning heavily in favour of the ruling party in many areas.
Meles Zenawi blasted the EU EOM as “useless trash that deserves to be thrown in the garbage”.
The late Ethiopian president Dr. Negasso Gidada had sounded the alarm on TPLF election rigging months before the election date.
Dr. Negasso wrote there is “no level playing field” for the forthcoming election.
In his personal account of his efforts in Dembi Dolio, he explained the nightmare of even trying to hold meeting. He was horrified to learn that any individual who met or spoke with him could be abused and victimized by local security operatives.
As of January 2008, two and half years before the 2010 election, the U.S. knew the TPLF was going to steal the election.
Ambassador Yamamamoto wrote,
Special Advisor to the Prime Minister, Bereket Simon, offered his version of history and less than wholly accurate assurances to comfort the USG that the Government and ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) party are taking all possible steps to establish a level playing field and to conduct Ethiopia’s coming local elections in a free and fair manner [in 2010].
In February 2010, three months before the election, Ethiopian opposition leaders had expressed their view to U.S. Under Secretary of State for Democracy and Global Affairs Maria Otero that the 2010 election likely will be rigged by the TPLF and sought U.S. intervention.
Otero “replied that the U.S. recognizes that political space in Ethiopia has become increasingly restricted and assured them that the U.S. would continue to press the GoE to ensure a truly free and transparent election.”
In October 2010, Human Rights Watch reported:
Led by the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), the government has used donor-supported programs, salaries, and training opportunities as political weapons to control the population, punish dissent, and undermine political opponents—both real and perceived. Local officials deny these people access to seeds and fertilizer, agricultural land, credit, food aid, and other resources for development. Such politicization has a direct impact on the livelihoods of people for whom access to agricultural inputs is a matter of survival. It also contributes to a broader climate of fear, sending a potent message that basic survival depends on political loyalty to the state and the ruling party.
The U.S. State Department 2011 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices on Ethiopia stated among the human rights problems that occurred in 2010 included “torture, beating, abuse, and mistreatment of detainees by security forces; harsh and at times life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest and detention; detention without charge and lengthy pretrial detention…”
In 2009, the TPLF enacted a so-called Antiterrorism Proclamation which Human Rights Watch criticized as “fundamentally contravened human rights guaranteed by Ethiopia’s constitution and international law.” That Proclamation was used to jail and torture tens of thousand of innocent Ethiopians.
The TPLF also enacted a so-called Charities and Societies Proclamation which Human Rights Watch criticized for “placing excessive restrictions on the work of human rights organisations. The law has had a devastating impact on human rights work, both in terms of the practical obstacles it creates for human rights defenders, and in exacerbating the climate of fear in which they operate.”
What was the U.S. Response to the 2010 election?
The U.S. brushed off the rigged 2010 election with the obligatory expression of “concern” and “disappointment”.
On May 25, 2010, White House National Security Spokesman Mike Hammer said:
We are concerned that international observers found that the elections fell short of international commitments. We are disappointed that U.S. Embassy officials were denied accreditation and the opportunity to travel outside of the capital on Election Day to observe the voting. The limitation of independent observation and the harassment of independent media representatives are deeply troubling. An environment conducive to free and fair elections was not in place even before Election Day…
Johnnie Carson, Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs told House of Representatives panel, “While the elections were calm and peaceful and largely without any kind of violence, we note with some degree of remorse that the elections there were not up to international standards.”
All the U.S. could do was “express concern, remorse and disappointment” and shed a few crocodile tears.
But the U.S. continued to subsidize the TPLF dictatorship with hundreds of millions of dollars in aid.
Verdict: THE US SABOTAGED ETHIOPIA’S TRANSITION TO DEMOCRACY IN 2010.
EXHIBIT D – The U.S. and the 2015 Ethiopian Election
In May 2015, Ethiopia had a parliamentary election.
The TPLF declared it had won 100 percent of the seats in parliament.
In my May 11, 2014 commentary, a full year before the 2015 election, I wrote with prophetic precision that the TPLF would win the 2015 election by at least 100 percent.
Human Rights Watch noted, “Elections where a ruling party wins 100 percent of the seats in parliament should always ring alarm bells.”
It was laughter bells, not alarm bells that went off when President Barack Obama and his National Security Advisor visited Ethiopia in July 2015, exactly two months to the day after the election.
At a press conference, Susan Rice was asked if the 2015 election in Ethiopia was democratic.
Rice busted out laughing immediately after she stated that the election of the “Prime Minister of Ethiopia” is “absolutely – 100 percent democratic”.Video Player00:0000:57
Reporter Isaac: Does the President consider the presidents of Kenya and Ethiopia democratically-elected Presidents?
Susan Rice: I think the Prime Minister of Ethiopia was just elected with 100 percent of the vote, which I think suggests, as we have stated in our public statements, some concern for the integrity of the electoral process — at least if not in the outcomes then in some of the mechanisms that supported the process, the freedom for the opposition to campaign.
Reporter Isaac: But does he [President Obama] think it was a democratic election?
Susan Rice: Absolutely – 100 percent.
Susan Rice: Busts out laughing uncontrollably.
The same day Obama slapped Ethiopians in the face by telling them:
I don’t bite my tongue too much when it comes to these issues. We are opposed to any group that is promoting the violent overthrow of a government, including the government of Ethiopia, that has been democratically elected.
On May 23, 2015, I explained the TPLF won the election by 100 percent by exchanging “votes” for cash; trading “votes” for seeds, fertilizer and welfare payments; using a racket called Protection of Basic Services (welfare payments) money to squeeze “votes”; bartered food for “votes” with starving people; bribed, intimidated and threatened to get “votes”; wheeling and dealing to get “votes”; stuffing ballots; assigning goons at the polling stations to ensure the voters “voted” as they should vote; jailing, prosecuting and persecuting the opposition so they will not compete for “votes” and by terrorizing the people it they don’t vote for the T-TPLF, the “Amhara” will come back. If you don’t vote for the T-TPLF, the “Oromo” will throw you out of Oromia. If you don’t vote for the T-TPLF, the Christians… the Muslims… will… If you don’t vote for the T-TPLF, the sky will fall on your head.
President Obama by declaring the TPLF’s “100 percent” election victory as “democratic” inflicted monumental harm on the prospect of democracy in Ethiopia.
Verdict: THE US SABOTAGED DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION IN ETHIOPIA IN 2015.
Exhibit E – The U.S. and the illegal regional election in Tigray
In May 2020, the Ethiopian Parliament exercising its constitutional authority postponed the parliamentary election scheduled for August 2020 for a period of six months due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The TPLF rejected the decision of the parliament and declared the current government illegitimate after October 1, 2020, the beginning date for a new parliament had it not been postponed.
In September 2020, the TPLF decided to unilaterally hold its own regional elections in clear violation of the Ethiopian Constitution (Art. 102) which authorizes only the federal government to hold elections.
Some observers suggested by conducting the illegal election the TPLF was preparing to set up a “a kind of de-facto state” with the ultimate aim of “declaring independence unilaterally.”
The TPLF illegal action and rejection of the federal government was similar to the action of the American confederacy which sought to secede from the union in the American Civil War.
The TPLF was essentially invoking “regional rights” in much the same way the Southern Confederacy asserted the principle of “states’ rights” in the American Civil War.
TPLF leader and President of the Ethiopian Parliament resigned in June 2020 declaring, “I am not ready to work with a group that violates the constitution” and that regime of Abi Ahmed as “a dictatorship in the making.”
The TPLF recalled its representatives in the federal parliament.
On November 3, 2020, the TPLF declared war on the Ethiopian federal government by attacking the Northern Command military base in Tigray.
What did the U.S. do to Ethiopia in 2020? And in the face of the TPLF’s unforgiveable crime against the Ethiopian people and government?
Susan Rice, Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan demanded the government of Ethiopia immediately hold “dialogue”, “negotiations” and “discussions” with the dregs of the TPLF!
By making demands the Ethiopian government “dialogue” with the TPLF, the U.S. trashed Ethiopia’s sovereignty, provided international support for the TPLF’s criminal and treasonous actions and trampled on the democratic will of the Ethiopian people.
In 2020, the Trump administration appropriated $453,073,000 million in aid to Ethiopia.
In August 2020, the U.S. cut $130 million (“temporary pause”) from its annual aid to Ethiopia because Ethiopia did not sign the agreement drafted by the Gang of Four.
On September 2, 2020, Trump personally directed aid cuts to Ethiopia because of the “lack of progress” in Ethiopia’s talks with Egypt and Sudan over the GERD.
On October 15, 2020, we learned that the actual cut was more than double of what was reported in August for a whopping $264 million cut (42%) in security and development assistance from Ethiopia!
Verdict: THE US SABOTAGED ETHIOPIA’S DEMOCRATIC TRANSITION IN 2020 BY AIDING AND ABETTING THE CRIMINAL TPLF AND TRYING TO ARMTWIST ETHIOPIA ON BEHALF OF EGYPT.
Exhibit F – The Biden Administration and its insistence on “full humanitarian access” to Tigray
Susan Rice, Antony Blinken and Biden National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan have been tweeting and issuing statements demanding “full humanitarian access” to Tigray region.
On November 14, 2020, Susan Rice tweeted demanding action by the Trump administration to save her beloved TPLF. “We need principled leadership on this @StateDept. @AsstSecStateAF Please and fast.”
Four days after Susan Rice’s tweet, on November 18, 2020, Anthony Blinken tweeted “Deeply concerned about the humanitarian crisis in Ethiopia, reports of targeted ethnic violence, and the risk to regional peace and security. The TPLF and Ethiopian authorities should take urgent steps to end the conflict, enable humanitarian access, and protect civilians.” (Italics added.)
On November 18, 2020, Susan Rice retweeted Blinken’s tweet with 3 emoji fingers pointing at Blinken’s tweet.
On November 24, 2020, Jake Sullivan tweeted, “I’m deeply concerned about the risk of violence against civilians, including potential war crimes, in the fighting around Mekelle in Ethiopia. Civilians must be protected and humanitarian access must be opened. Both sides should immediately begin dialogue facilitated by the AU.” (Italics added.)
On February 4, 2021, Blinken issued a statement demanding “immediate, full, and unhindered humanitarian access” to Tigray region.
The relentless insistence on “immediate, full, and unhindered humanitarian access” by Blinken, Rice and Sullivan spooks the hell out of me.
Are they trying to use the pretext of “humanitarian assistance” to provide the remnants of the TPLF military and logistical support to continue a guerilla war against the Ethiopian government?
Is Blinken demanding “immediate, full, and unhindered humanitarian access” to Tigray region because he wants to send arms to the TPLF dregs? .
It has happened before!
Verdict: THE JURY IS OUT ON WHETHER THE US WILL USE “HUMANITARIAN ACCESS” TO SABOTAGE ETHIOPIA’S TRANSITION TO DEMOCRACY IN 2021.
Obama retreads in the Biden administration
There is no question that Susan Rice is driving Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan on Ethiopia policy.
Let there be no mistake.
Blinken was deputy national security adviser to the National Security Council under Susan Rice until 2015, when he became assistant secretary of state.
Blinken owes Rice.
Susan Rice and Jake Sullivan are working hand in glove today.
In a joint interview Rice and Sullivan gave on December 21, 2020, they indicated they will be working with each other on regional migration and immigration “which we believe will enhance order, safety, and security at our border and across the region.
I have no doubts whatsoever Rice, Blinken and Sullivan will focus their attention to “enhance order, safety, and security in Ethiopia and across the Horn region”.
Let there be no mistake.
The Biden administration is full of Obama retreads.
The bottom line…
The Biden administration, as represented by Susan Rice, Antony Blinken and Jake Sullivan, does not want democracy for Ethiopia.
The Biden administration has barely expressed any appreciation for the monumental democratic reforms that have taken place in Ethiopia over the past two and half years.
However, the 2019 U.S. State Department Country Reports on Human Rights Practices in Ethiopia documented the following:
Under Prime Minister Abiy, there has been an increased focus on the rule of law… A number of positive changes in the human rights climate followed Abiy’s assumption of office. The government decriminalized political movements that past administrations had accused of treason, invited opposition leaders to return to the country and resume political activities, allowed peaceful rallies and demonstrations, enabled the formation and unfettered operation of new political parties and media outlets, continued steps to release thousands of political prisoners, and undertook revisions of repressive laws… The government took steps to prosecute selected members of senior leadership for human rights abuses but decided on a policy of forgiveness for lower-level officials under its broader reconciliation efforts. The government took positive steps toward greater accountability under Abiy to change the relationship between security forces and the population. In August 2018, the federal attorney general filed criminal charges against former Somali regional president Abdi Mohammed Omar and several others relating to criminal conspiracy and armed uprising. The federal attorney general brought charges related to egregious human rights violations and corruption against Getachew Assefa, Assefa Belay, Shishay Leoul, and Atsbaha Gidey, all former officials in the National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS). On July 16, the Federal High Court ordered the trial to proceed in the absence of the defendants after police were unable to locate the men in the Tigray Region. (Italics added.)
What did Rice, Blinken and Sullivan say? Did they recognize the tectonic, earthshaking reforms that had taken place in the past 2 and half years?
Of course, not.
Their lips drip with the words, “Negotiate and dialogue with the TPLF.”
The Biden administration regards reforms in Ethiopia as the death knell of the TPLF and will do all it can to reverse the reforms underway and thwart future ones.
The Biden administration wants Ethiopia to remain a thugmocracy.
What is a thugmocracy?
When you cross a thugocracy (government by thugs) like the TPLF with make-believe democracy, you get a thugmocracy.
If democracy is a government of the people, by the people for the people, a thugmocracy is a government of thugs, by thugs, for thugs.
The Biden administration will do all it can to sabotage the 2020 election that could lead to genuine multiparty democracy and reestablish the TPLF thugmocracy.
Deal with it! If you can handle the truth!
 I know my predictions about Ethiopian-U.S. relations under the Biden administration spell doom and gloom. Many who have read Part I, Part II and Part II, of this series have expressed shock and consternation over the audacity of my predictions. “You went on the attack before even giving the Biden administration a chance…They didn’t even open their luggage before you unloaded…”
I do not attack. I speak truth to power. Only those who cannot handle the truth will regard my analysis as a prophesy of doom and gloom.
Suffice it to say, I have yet to hear from anyone – in power, out of power, salivating for power — who is prepared to refute my analysis and evidence. I shall continue to speak my truth to power. No pussyfooting, no sugarcoating, no bobbing or weaving. Straight up!
If I am disproven in my predictions, I will publicly “eat crow”, sacrilege for a vegetarian.