Anglo-American Elite Continue Threats to Break-up Ethiopia

Ethno-nationalism is Ethiopia’s most serious security threat (map courtesy of Wikipedia)

April 16, 2024

The publication of Alex da Waal’s article, Ethiopia Back on the Brink, in Foreign Affairs, on April 8, is a clear indication that the Anglo American Establishment intends to continue the destabilization of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa. (Foreign Affairs/ Da Waal)

How Do I Know?

I come to this conclusion as one who comprehends strategic global dynamics, which elevates my thinking above those who live in the world of empiricism. It is elementary for me, who understands the world view of those indoctrinated in the “geopolitical zero-sum” ideology, to know what is intended for Ethiopia.

I know two crucial pieces of evidence.

One, Alex da Waal supported the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) in their treasonous endeavor to overthrow the government of Ethiopia. It was a military attempt at regime change in a destructive war that lasted for two years. He was an active supporter in the war to destroy the Ethiopian nation. When Da Waal writes or talks about Ethiopia, his hatred and rage against Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, gushes out.

Two, Foreign Affairs is a quarterly publication of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), the most prominent and influential think tank in the United States that has direct impact on all branches of the United States  government.The CFR was founded in 1921, as the American branch of the British Royal Institute for International Affairs, otherwise known as Chatham House, which was created two years earlier. Chatham House was created by Lord Alfred Milner, then acting as Secretary of State for the British Empire’s colonies, through a vast trust funded by the estate of race-patriot Cecil Rhodes.

One should ask him or herself: why would the most prestigious U.S. establishment magazine publish an article on Ethiopia by someone who not only hates the current government of Ethiopia, but actively supported its attempted overthrow.

Da Waal is no ordinary academic. He is an advocate for the geopolitical establishment that believes they have the authority to decide who is an acceptable leader of a nation. That is, one that is acceptable to their rules-based international order, which does not respect the legitimacy of decisions made by the citizens of sovereign African nations.

The intent of the continuous destabilization of Ethiopia in the eighteen months following the negotiated end of the war in November 2022, is to produce a weakened, fractured, or balkanized nation. One can grasp the significance of the type of evidence I am presenting, providing one has not become a victim of ethno-nationalism ideology. Given Ethiopia’s political and economic dominance, along with its sheer size, if these efforts were to succeed, the Horn of Africa would be thrust into decades of war and chaos.

Before I was shunned by the Ethiopian diaspora, I was praised for my insightful assessment that the intent of the TPLF instigated war was regime change. Unfortunately, many of my former allies, who know well of Alex da Waal’s nefarious role in Ethiopia’s destructive war, reject my analysis today. Nor do I have any direct indication that leaders in Ethiopia understand who is waging war against Ethiopia, and why. However, it would serve the best interest of Ethiopia and the continent, for people to heed and understand my analysis.

Ethno-nationalism Weaponized

The Council on Foreign Relations, dominated by their geopolitical outlook that the world is composed of victors and victims, disregards the significance of the concept of a sovereign nation state. Instead, they see countries as mere pawns to be manipulated to accomplish their goal of western hegemony. Poor Alex da Waal is simply a tool whose erroneous academic analysis is used against African nations. He serves the interests of his master, the rules-based international order.

Da Waal shows his contempt for a unified sovereign nation of Ethiopia through his constant support of ethno-nationalism, which remains today, the most serious threat to the existence of the Ethiopian nation. He fails to understand that the most important objective of a “national dialogue” is to affirm the superiority of Ethiopian citizenship over ethno-nationalism. This will also require major alterations in the flawed Ethiopian constitution, rather than perpetuating it . He praises the decades of rule by the TPLF that is responsible for dividing the nation into ethnic conclaves, which he claims was undone by Prime Minister Abiy.

Ethiopia’s failed Constitution, which promotes ethno-nationalism, is in urgent need significant change.

Da Waal writes:     

Under the previous regime, Ethiopia’s various regions have been held together by a federal formula that aimed to maintain the country’s complete complicated ethnic mosaic…this federal system undergirded a quarter century of stability.

This “mosaic” that promoted ethnicity over citizenship of a nation, has made Ethiopia vulnerable to external intervention, and is the root cause of Ethiopia’s recent war and violent conflicts today.

Da Waal consciously refuses to acknowledge that the TPLF initiated the war with an armed attack on the nation’s military defense force in Mekelle, Tigray. He supports the legitimacy for a province to initiate armed conflict against the central government. (An act that President Lincoln did not tolerate). He can barely conceal his enthusiasm for the TPLF’s march to capture Addis Ababa, the nation’s capital, in 2021. He praises the existence of ethnic armies and complains that FANO was not given a seat at the peace talks in South Africa. Why should they be there? FANO, nor any ethnic militia does not represent the nation of Ethiopia and is not a substitute for the elected  government.

War Mongering in the Horn of Africa

Da Waal joins the war mongering chorus working overtime to instigate armed conflict in the Horn of Africa. Displaying his ignorance or disdain for physical economic growth, he dismisses Ethiopia’s need for port access to the Red Sea and Gulf of Eden. Da Waal shows no concern for improving the living standards of millions of people residing in the Horn of Africa. Insisting that Prime Minister Abiy is only interested in the prestige of building a navy. Similarly, he exposes his lack of concern for improving the lives of Ethiopians and its neighbors by demeaning the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). He complains that it is 95 percent complete, despite opposition from Egypt. What kind of an “Africanist” does not support the injection of 5,150 megawatts of power, generated by the GERD, into a continent dying from lack of electricity? Conspicuously, Da Waal never discusses the critical need for economic development of the region.

In his Foreign Affairs’ essay, Da Waal asserts without any evidence that “the standoff between Addis Ababa and Mogadishu threatens to develop into a larger conflagration. There will be no conflagration unless Da Waal and his ilk deliberately ignite one, intending to set the East African region ablaze.

Da Waal blames the crisis in the Horn of Africa on Prime Minister Abiy’s so called expansionist plans and predicts a future that would lead to the  disintegration of Ethiopia. His scenario includes the Sudanese armed forces threatening the GERD, while the insurgency in Amara escalates. Da Waal has fantasies of an uprising that will threaten Prime Minister Abiy’s control of Addis Ababa, this time succeeding, unlike the TPLF’s earlier failed attempt. He then predicts that: In the coming year, Ethiopians could also face food riots, mass hunger-induced migration, and a broader social and security breakdown. That is quite a prophecy or is it his aspiration for the future of Ethiopia. If any of Da Waal’s evil imagination were to become true, hundreds of millions of Africans living in Eastern Africa and across the continent would suffer unspeakable hardship.

We should judge this ominous prediction by da Waal, to be a desired outcome, or at the very least, a threat to Ethiopia and the existing government of Prime Minister Abiy.

Da Waal’s solution is having the rules-based international order intervene, to tell yet another African nation how to behave. According to him, the United States and its partners should curb Prime Minister Abiy’s authority and maintain the structure of zones of ethno-nationalism. This would ensure that Ethiopia will be permanently fractured, instead of becoming a unified nation-state. Thus, deliberately leaving the second most populace nation in Africa, open to future destabilizations.

Hence, the significance of the publication of this article by an institution such as Foreign Affairs.

Read all my earlier posts on Ethiopia: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com/analysis/Ethiopia/

Soon I will be publishing from lawrencefreeman.substack.com

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. Mr. Freeman strongly believes that economic development is an essential human right. He is also the creator of the blog:  lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com

The U.S. Should Support Ethiopia & the GERD for Post War Reconstruction

Speaking with students after my lecture at Addis Ababa University on December 22, 2022

Viewing the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, December 19, 2022

January 4, 2023

Below are several interviews I conducted on my visit to Ethiopia, from December 11 to December 23, 2022, during which I visited Alamata, Amhara, the GERD , and lectured at Addis Ababa University.

Watch: Talk to OBN for in-depth interview

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

Freeman Interview: ‘Fighting the Fight’ for Ethiopia, Africa, Justice, and Economic Development

Lawrence Freeman with Dr. Brook Hailu of nahoo tv, December 22, 2022, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

This hour long interview above provides an excellent overview of my thoughts concerning Ethiopia, Africa, and US-Africa relations. Topics discussed include:

  • Economic development
  • Ethiopia’s agricultural potential
  • Ethiopia as an economic model
  • Ethno-nationalism
  • Importance of capital intensity and infrastructure
  • Credit and the public sector
  • Alexander Hamilton
  • China’s approach to poverty
  • Railroads and electricity
  • My visit to Northern Ethiopia and the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam
  • Africa, the center of politics and commerce in this century
  • U.S.-Africa Summit

Lawrence Freeman looking over the huge beautiful reservoir and ongoing construction of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam -Dec 19, 2022

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

TPLF Must Be Disarmed In Ethiopia Now! “A House Divided Cannot Stand” Abraham Lincoln

September 15, 2022

Please watch my timely interviews from last week that provide crucial analysis of Ethiopia’s current dynamic.

One of America’s greatest leader and a hero of mine, Abraham Lincoln, famously said in a 1858 speech while campaigning for the U.S. Senate in Illinois: “A house divided cannot stand.” A everyone knows he was referring to the division in the United Sates between the North and Southern states over the right to maintain slaves as property. After four years of a bloody Civil War (1861-1865), in which upwards of 750,000 Americans died, President Lincoln secured the Union against the separatist southern rebels. Ethiopia will not survive as a nation providing for the welfare of its people, with armed ethnic groups claiming the right to defend their so called ethno-nation against the elected government. 

In Ethiopia today, we are not dealing with a nation separated by slavery, but one divided by so called ethno-nationalism. It should be understood that all Ethiopians are citizens of the Republic of Ethiopia, which is not an amalgam of ethnic groups, but a nation-state, with a common mission for all its people. It is anti-Ethiopian and anti-human to define human beings by hereditary blood lines and geography. It is a degradation of the human species, which is exclusively defined by it unique power of creative mentation.

The on again-off again a military campaign against the the nation of Ethiopia is meant to destabilize and  weaken the central government, to prevent it from it stated mission; eliminating poverty. Therefore, the TPLF should not be allowed to maintain its military as if Tigray was an actual nation. Tigray is not a nation-state; Ethiopia is!  All honest members of the international community, especially those espousing support for democracy, must insist on the disarmament of the TPLF and then reintegration. To do otherwise, is in effect, providing support for maintaining the TPLF as a manipulatable and deployable military force against the Republic of Ethiopia.

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Dark Forces Manipulating Ethnic Based Militias to Destabilize Ethiopia – American Analyst

July 12, 2022

Addis Ababa, June 26, 2022(Walta) – The ethnic national militias manipulated by dark forces from outside and inside the country want to make sure that Ethiopia is permanently destabilized, an American political-economic analyst told ENA.

Lawrence Freeman strongly argues that the recent massacre against civilians in the Oromia region is a result of ethnic polarization used as a weapon by people inside Ethiopia, governments outside the country, and intentional forces.

“The massacre that occurred against the Amhara in Oromia (Region) is committed by ethnic national groups manipulated from outside of the country and inside the country by dark forces that want to make sure that Ethiopia is permanently destabilized,” the analyst noted.

According to him, the dark forces outside of Ethiopia and inside the country which do not want to see a stable, prosperous, and sovereign Ethiopia have exploited this.

The analyst contends that as a result of a project to destabilize Ethiopia, ethnicity is being manipulated in Ethiopia “because there are political forces that want to weaken Ethiopia and you should not discount the fact,” Freeman pointed out.

Asked about the recent attacks in Wollega against civilians by militias, he responded that foreign forces are using these militias to destabilize the nation.

Given the perspective regarding the recent ethnic-nationalist forces that are being supported by outside and inside enemies of Ethiopia to threaten the country, the analyst pointed out that the third-filling of the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD) could be an immediate cause.

“Within weeks ahead, it is going to be the third filling of the Grand Renaissance Dam, which has been opposed not just by Egypt and Sudan but also by the West. This dam produces electricity and could become a game-changer in the Horn of Africa and some people don’t want that to happen. If you have people fighting each other and constant internal conflict, then you have an unstable government that can easily be manipulated for outside political purposes.”

Speaking on the commitment of the Ethiopian government to peace and to solve the conflict in northern Ethiopia, the analyst is doubtful about the seriousness of the terrorist TPLF which demands concessions.

He blamed Western nations and media outlets for their failure to support the government from the outset. They instead supported the TPLF.

He further stated that there is also a belief among the people that those powers might have changed their position now to having a weakened government in Ethiopia.

The ethnic-nationalist terrorists and militia like the OLF-Shene and TPLF are now carrying out these attacks and disruptions which are all intended to weaken the nation-state of Ethiopia, Freeman elaborated.

Ethiopia’s leadership needs to embark on a process, actual discussion on the cultural-political history of Ethiopia and what the nation-state means to citizens of Ethiopia, the analyst recommended.

Freeman explained that it is because right now there has been an eruption of conflicts going on between extremists and various militias based on ethnic identity.

As a strong nation-state is now essential for the continuation of Ethiopian society and its economic development for generations, the government needs to have a much broader approach to this dialogue conception.

“First, people are going to have to discuss the difference between an ethnic grouping and the citizens of the nation. They are fundamentally different since there’s no equality between the ever. The discussion has to be also held throughout the country. The second thing is to unite the people. Ethiopia has a mission for its nation. That would unite people together.”

In his statement about the attack in western Ethiopia, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed said on Tuesday that there is zero-tolerance for horrific acts claiming lives recently in both Benishangul Gumuz and Oromia regions by elements whose main objective is to terrorize communities.

Earlier he told the House of People’s Representatives that his government “wants peace with everyone” and revealed for the first time that “a study committee” has been formed under the leadership of Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Demeke Mekonnen.Tags: Lawrence Freeman)

Watch excerpts of my video interview below on Addis Media Network

Read my unique and provocative analysis in my earlier post: Ethno-nationalism Threatens The Very Existence of The Ethiopian Nation-State

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Ethno-nationalism Threatens The Very Existence of The Ethiopian Nation-State

July 4, 2022

On Saturday-July 2, I was pleased to participate in a zoom conference sponsored by the American Ethiopian Political Affairs Committee (AEPAC) on the effects of ethno-nationalism in Ethiopia. In a brief presentation, I discussed the need to eliminate ethno-nationalism for the preservation of the Ethiopian nation-state. My analysis and recommendations are unique, provocative, and challenging.

I suggest Ethiopian leaders and thoughtful citizens review my remarks printed below, which can serve as a foundation for Ethiopian policy, moving forward.

Read my presentation below:

Let me start by thanking the American Ethiopian political affairs committee for allowing me to make this presentation today.

I will begin with some challenging conceptions that people may consider irrelevant to our discussion today, but for me these are principles that are very relevant to the aims of this conference. For sake of brevity, I have organized my presentation into four crucial topics, followed by recommendations.

  1. What Makes Us Human?

Human beings are the only species endowed with the unique quality of the creative imagination, in shorthand creativity, or what  Plato called “hypothesizing the higher hypothesis.” With this exceptional quality of creative thought, intrinsic only to humankind, we human beings are capable of discovering the scientific and cultural principles of the universe that we ourselves live in. It is by applying these discovered  principles that we transform the universe. Humankind has progressively altered the physical universe, making it more propitious for the growth of the human race, both qualitatively and quantitatively. This is not conjecture, but the truth. How did the human species, that once populated the African continent with thousands of “hunters and gatherers” come to transform our planet with eight billion people? Through our innate powers of discovery.

This quality of creative mentation is fundamental to what we call human nature, and it is universal. It is the prevailing quality that defines each one of us as a human being.

There are of course differences among us in language culture and geography. However, we human beings are identical in our potential for creative thought; in our potential to make contributions in  discovering the Creators laws embedded in our physical universe.

Thus, we are as human beings far more similar than we are different. Our likeness is universal, our differences insignificant.

  1. The Importance of The Nation Sate

Human beings willfully begotten the Nation State. From centuries of dialogue and discussion, we made the conception of the Nation State a reality and codified it in the 1648 Treaty of Westphalia. Humankind established the Nation State as human law, because it was understood to be a necessary institution for the continued existence of civilization. Without the existence of the Nation State, society would not continue to progress.

The Nation State is the means for people to self-govern, to deliberate for their future. Nation States provides the continuity of the citizen’s contributions over generations, from the past to the future. The Nation State has the responsibility to protect and nurture the powers of human creative thought for the benefit of all its people. The Nation State therefore must be sovereign from internal and external assaults on its existence.

The Nation State must be inviolable. It may still be an imperfect institution, but it is the most advanced institution we human beings have invented, to advance our humanness, and protect the rights of our citizens. The nation state must be preserved and defended until we create a more perfect organization of society.

Ethno-Regional Federalism of the former ruling ERPDF coalition party failed.

  1. Ethno-Nationalism is Contrary to The Nation State

A sustainable Nation State transcends all local interests and transcends ethnicity.

Ethnicity can and should contribute to the beauty and enrichment of a civilization. Ethno-nationalism is entirely different. It functions as a cancer on society, which if allowed to exist, will undermine, and eventually destroy the Nation State. Ethno-nationalism usurps the power of the sovereign Nation State by insisting that as an ethnic group it should be treated as if it were a nation. Ethno-nationalism is inherently racist and discriminatory because it separates people of the same nation according to biological and geographical distinctions. Human beings are not defined by their blood-lines! It creates antagonistic ethnic based fiefdoms in false competition with each other for power. While the Nation State exists to provide for the general welfare of all its people, the followers of ethno-nationalism seek the aggrandizement of the interests of their ethnic group. Those supporting ethno-nationalism whether they know it or not, are advocating the destruction of their nation, in this case, Ethiopia.

In my study of African history, I have found that weakened Nation States contributed to the lack of economic development for that country. I was horrified and saddened when I first arrived in Nigeria in 1994, to view the reality of ethnic competition and its effects on the nation.

  1. Africa’s Future

The present 1.5 billion people living on the African continent should be organized into viable Nation States, which are not a mere collection of ethnicities. I was told when I was in Nigeria that the country had 250 different ethnicities in addition to the three dominant ethnic groupings. This reality is still affecting Nigeria today. There are a reported 3,000 different ethnicities across the African continent. We must work to establish on the African continent, Nation States that are politically and economically sovereign. The people of each nation should determine their future through deliberations, debate, and discussion of ideas. There can be no claims to ethnic superiority or a historical right to political control. As President Lincoln said when he was campaigning to lead the USA, the nation must protect equally the lives of all its men and women.

In a true Republic, the government has the obligation to develop the creative potential of each and every citizen, and each and every child born. Each citizen has the obligation and the right to use his or her creative potential to contribute to the peaceful and prosperous future of their nation for generations to come. These are the conditions of government and citizenship which we should work to foster throughout the many nations on the African continent. I do not believe that Africa will prosper as its population climbs to 2.5 billion people in the next 30 years, unless we create strong Nation States and educated citizens who act in the interests of their nation, not their ethnicity.

Ethnicity should be muted and removed from the political arena

V. Recommendations

I suggest we use the following recommendations, which are not prioritized, to formulate the best policy for Ethiopia, moving forward.

  1. We must amend the Ethiopian Constitution.

The Preamble of Ethiopia’s Constitution properly emphasizes the conception of a united nation with a common purpose and goal for all its people: “advancing our economic and social development,”… “common interest….and the emergence of a common outlook,” and “to live as one economic community.” Article 14 resonates with the US Constitution, stating: “Every person has the inviolable right to life, the security of person, and liberty.” The same principle is echoed in Article 43 of the Constitution: The Right to Development. “The basic aim of development activities shall be to enhance the capacity of citizens for development and to meet their basic needs.”

The weakness of the Constitution begins in Article 8: Sovereignty of the People, where sovereign powers are divided up between “Nations, Nationalities and Peoples of Ethiopia.” This is an obvious compromise to ethnicity. In truth; there is only one Ethiopian people and only one Ethiopian nation. The divisions in Ethiopian society are made explicit in Article 39: “Every Nation, Nationality and People in Ethiopia has an unconditional right to self-determination, including the right of secession……the right to a full measure of self-government…”

This separation of Ethiopians into multiple groups, outlined in the Constitution, is the seed for the conflicts gripping Ethiopia today. Ghana has outlawed the existence of parties which are based on ethnicity. Rwanda has taken a different approach for the same purpose.

  • A National Dialogue

I propose we conduct the national dialogue on the highest ideational plateau. We should have an inclusive, unfettered  discussion, which may be contentious at various points in time. The central theme of this national dialogue should be the conceptual difference between citizenship and ethno-nationalism. This disease of ethno-nationalism has plagued Ethiopia and many other African countries for years and  has to be addressed head on in the most straightforward manner. It is the only way that I can see that the citizens of Ethiopia can come to an understanding of what it means to be a citizen of the nation of Ethiopia. This will be a challenging and lengthy process, but I see no way to avoid this path.

  • A National Mission to Unite the People

Prejudices from ethnic and religious difference will not evaporate over-night. We should create a platform with the most propitious conditions for the shedding of these  biases over time. To help accomplish this, I propose that we articulate a national mission for Ethiopia, which will also be regional in scope.

Let the nation of Ethiopia adopt the mission to eliminate poverty and hunger. Ethiopia should also commit to become the economic engine for the Horn of Africa, to help the other nations in the region end the economic suffering of their people. With this shared mission, for the benefit of all Ethiopian people, we can create a common self-interest, fostering the collaboration of each Ethiopian citizen with the rest of society. We know that under the proper environment, Ethiopians will desire the best conditions for their lives and those of their offspring. With this common interest for development of the nation for future generations in the forefront, each Ethiopian citizen can locate his or her self-interest in the interest of the other. Even though prejudices may still exist, Ethiopians can accept working together for the common interest of creating a prosperous future for their children and grandchildren. All human beings are born good and have the potential noble for actions.

No doubt, this approach will also be challenging, but it can be effective over time in eliminating the hostilities that have developed from a history of division and ethno-nationalism.

My dear friends, I hope my modest contribution will help lead us to a better Ethiopia in the months and years ahead.

Thank you very much for listening. I yield back the balance of my time.

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is a teacher, writer, public speaker, and consultant on Africa. He is also the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

Embrace Victory at Adwa and GERD to Unify All Citizens From U.S. Attack on Ethiopian Sovereignty-Defeat HR6600

Ethiopia’s victory against Italy at Adwa on March 1, 1896, profoundly shaped the future of Ethiopia.
Celebrate Ethiopia’s March 1, 1896 Victory at Adwa- A Victory For Africa and All Nations

Lawrence Freeman

February 28, 2022

This year’s celebration of the victory at Adwa, 126 years ago, has special significance. Although the war against the TPLF has largely been won, Ethiopia is under attack both from within and externally. The draconian House Resolution 6600, already voted up by a bi-partisan majority on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, threatens to eliminate Ethiopia’s right to be a sovereign nation. If this resolution were to be passed by the U.S. Congress, Ethiopia for the first time in its existence would become a colony under the domination of the “human rights imperialists.” Let us be clear: this resolution could only be passed by the U.S. Congress, if Speaker of the House, Democrat Nancy Pelosi, backed by the Biden administration desired it.

Let us now also celebrate, in the same spirit of Adwa on February 20, 2022, when 375 megawatts of electricity for development were generated by the Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam (GERD). Let Adwa Day and GERD Day serve to unite all Ethiopians citizens of a great nation, without regard to ethnicity. Human beings are not defined by their geography or their ethnic lineage, but rather by their sacred power of creativity, endowed by the Creator. A sovereign nation-state is not a compendium of ethno-nationalities. It is composed of citizens who identify with, and support the principles, ideals, and aspirations of their nation in the present and for the future.

Therefore, I say: Happy Adwa Day-Happy GERD Day

Celebrate Ethiopia’s March 1, 1896 Victory at Adwa: Ethiopia is Fighting Another Battle Today to Protect its Sovereignty

Lawrence  

February 28, 2021

This edited article below was first published in the March 2017. If you read the headlines of  the European press following Italy’s defeat on March1, 1896, you will see that this battle shook the foundations of European Imperialism to its core.

Today, Ethiopia is engaged in another battle for its sovereignty, no less vital than the Battle at Adwa 125 years ago. The Ethiopian nation-state is a physical unitary reality that embodies an essential concept of national identity, which transcends ethno-nationalism. Unfortunately, there are times when it is necessary to wage war to preserve the nation state, which represents the interests of all Ethiopians. Without a functioning sovereign nation-state, society cannot provide for its citizens and for future generations. In the spirit of the victory at Adwa, all Ethiopians should unite in pursing their shared common interest: the development of Ethiopia. When all Ethiopians, from all ethnic backgrounds join together to ensure the economic progress of their single homeland, then the preconditions will exist to end ethnic conflict and marginalization. The victory at Adwa belongs to and exist inside all Ethiopians. One Ethiopia! One Ethiopian identity! 

The Grand Ethiopian Renaissance Dam GERD is a dam for development. It belongs to all Ethiopians and their posterity. (Courtesy wgnradio.com)

Victory at Adwa- A Victory for Africa

Lawrence Freeman

March 1, 2017

The battle of Adwa is probably the most renowned and historic battle in Ethiopian history. This celebrated victory by the Ethiopian army helped define the future of their nation, as one of only two non-colonized countries in Africa. The defeat of a European colonial empire by an African country, following the “Scramble for Africa” after the 1884-1885 Berlin conference a decade earlier, is not only a source of enduring pride and nationalism for Ethiopians, but also an inspiration to other Africans, who took up the fight for independence six decades later. Some historians suggest that this victory also led to the idea for the Pan-African movement. As a result, it is no surprise that on May 25, 1963, Ethiopia under the rule of Emperor Haile Selassie was a founding member of the Organization of African States-OAS.

Adwa, also known as Adowa, and in Italian Adua, was the capital of the Tigray region in northern Ethiopia. A late comer to grabbing territory in Africa, Italy began colonizing Somaliland and Eritrea in the 1880s. It was from the vantage point of Eritrea from where Italy launched its campaign against Ethiopia. The immediate pretext of the invasion was a dispute of Article 17 of the 1889 Treaty of Wuchale. Italy insisted that the treaty stated that Ethiopia had to submit to its imperial authority, thus effectively making Ethiopia a colony of the Kingdom of Italy. The Ethiopians resisted Italy’s military enforcement of its version of the treaty, leading to the outbreak of war in December 1894, with the Italian imperialists occupying Adwa and moving further south into Ethiopian territory.

On March 1, 1896, King Menelik II, who, commanded a force of over 70,000, defeated the Italian army, killing 7,000 of their soldiers, wounding 1,500, and capturing  3,000 prisoners, routing their enemy, and forcing them to retreat back to their colony of Eritrea. It has been speculated that, if Menelik had pursued the retreating Italian troops, and driven them off of the continent, it might have prevented a second Italian invasion.

On October 3, 1935, Italy led by fascist dictator Benito Mussolini, launched its second military incursion into sovereign Ethiopia territory. Five years later in 1941, Ethiopia once again drove the Italian invaders out of their country. The 1896 defeat of a European nation, considered an advanced country, by Ethiopia, viewed as a backward Africa country, led to riots on the streets of Italy and well deserved consternation in the capitals of European powers.

Without taking the time now to review the ninety years of Ethiopian history following this famous battle, the military defeat of Ethiopia’s dictatorial Derg Regime in 1991 brings us to the beginning of contemporary Ethiopia. When the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front-EPRDF assumed control of the government in 1991, it was led by the now deceased, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, who initiated the economic policies that have guided Ethiopia for over 25 years. In Ethiopia’s Developmental State, the government comprehended that the state itself performed an indispensable role in fostering economic development. This is what distinguishes Ethiopia today from all other sub-Saharan African nations.

The state is not “a night watchman,” but rather an active participant promoting economic growth for the benefit of its people. Ethiopia is a poor country with a population approaching one hundred million, not endowed with rich mineral or hydrocarbon resources, and repeatedly struck by drought. Yet it has emerged in recent years with a rapidly growing economy.

In collaboration with China, Ethiopia operates the first electrified train in sub-Saharan Africa, traveling 750 kilometers in seven hours from Addis Ababa to Djibouti, establishing a port to export Ethiopia’s products. Their highway system consisting of toll roads, highways, and all weather roads will connect their light manufacturing industries to the port in Djibouti via their new rail line. As a result of coherent policy planning in energy infrastructure, the Gibe III hydroelectric power plant has now added 1,872 of megawatts to the country’s electricity grid, and over the next two years, the Ethiopian Grand Renaissance Dam (GERD) will add an additional 6,000 megawatts, making Ethiopia the second largest producer of power in sub-Saharan Africa, behind South Africa. The next step to develop the Horn of Africa is for Ethiopia, Sudan, and Kenya to extend their rails lines to become the eastern leg of an East-West railroad. Thus, would transform Africa by connecting the Gulf of Eden/Indian Ocean with the Atlantic Ocean, creating an economic corridor that would literally revolutionize the economic power of the continent; contributing to the ending of poverty, hunger, and war.

One cannot deny the success of Ethiopia’s unique path of development, nor can one omit the vital role contributed to this process by Ethiopia’s successful resistance to foreign occupation; thus, never having to suffer the dehumanizing effects of colonialism.

Read my earlier posts:

Ethiopia’s Conflict: A War Won to Preserve the Nation-State 

 Ethiopia’s Prosperity Party: A Revolutionary Necessity

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

New U.S. Hostilities Against Ethiopia Threatens Horn of Africa

Photo by Getty Images

New U.S. Hostilities Against Ethiopia Threatens Horn of Africa

Lawrence Freeman

May 24, 2021

On May 23, U.S. Secretary of State, Antony Blinken, announced visa restrictions “for any current or former Ethiopian or Eritrean government officials, members of the security  forces or other individuals …responsible for or complicit in undermining the resolution of the crisis in Tigray.” According to the State Department press statement, the Biden administration has “imposed wide-ranging restrictions on economic and security assistance to Ethiopia and will bring our defense trade control policy in line with them.” Although not explicitly stated by Blinken, the U.S. will suspend $130 million of U.S. security assistance to Ethiopia, originally paused by the Trump administration. Multiple government sources report that the Biden administration is in the process of taking additional punitive measures against Ethiopia, including pressuring the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank to hold back funds already designated for programs in Ethiopia. Additional U.S. sanctions have not been ruled out.

With the announcement of  these bilateral and possible multilateral assaults against Ethiopia, the U.S. will not only reverse decades of cooperation between the two nations, but potentially could endanger the entire Horn of Africa, and beyond. Ethiopia has played an indispensable role in providing security and stability in East Africa. This new U.S. posture towards Ethiopia, meant to appease the international liberal establishment, is reckless and perilous.

These types of measures, usually reserved for enemies of the U.S., are being implemented against a longtime trusted ally. A nation that has vigorously collaborated with the U.S. under both Republican and Democratic Presidents in fighting terrorism and violent extremism in the region.

Expressing the gravity of this abrupt policy shift by President Biden, Cameroon Hudson, of the Atlantic Council said to Foreign Policy: “This is a major strategic shift in the Horn of Africa, to go from an anchor state for U.S. interests to become a potential adversary to U.S. interests.”

courtesy of aa.com.tr

This foolishness and lack of judgment by President Biden, Secretary of State Blinken, and the U.S. Congress, can potentially lead to a calamity for Africa, not seen since the disastrous decision by the Obama administration to overthrow the Libyan government in October 2011. Nations in the Sahel and millions of Africans living in that region are still suffering today from the misadventure by President Obama and his zealot regime change advisors, who removed President Kaddafi from office. Look at Libya today, and the affects almost a decade later on North Africa. Attempts to weaken Ethiopia through economic strangulation and political isolation, in this turbulent period of Ethiopian society, are downright dangerous and could cause severe harm for millions of Africans.

This draconian assault against Ethiopia by the U.S. can potentially lead to a weakening of the Ethiopian nation by encouraging more ethno-nationalist attacks on the government. Were that to happen, be forewarned, that like Shakespeare’s Lady Macbeth, who lamented, “what, will these hands ne’er be clean,”–the blood stain of millions of Africans may never be removed from the hands of the Biden administration and the U.S. Congress.

There are evil forces, who would like to see Ethiopia devolve into a balkanized territory of hostile competing ethnic fiefdoms. This would be a disaster for Africa and the world, and is not in the self-interest of the U.S.

Changing the Narrative

Woefully, war is always ugly and always leads to atrocities, but let us remember the cause of the conflict in Tigray. The Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) conducted a surprise attack on the Ethiopian National Defense Force (ENDF) in Mekele in the early hours of November 4, 2020. They attacked the armed forces of the Federal government i.e., the nation state of Ethiopia. Like President Lincoln, who responded to the confederate attack on the Union’s Fort Sumpter, by declaring war, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had no other choice, but to respond militarily. Otherwise, the nation of Ethiopia could have been dismembered by emboldened ethno-nationalist forces declaring their independence from the central government.

There have been attempts by numerous individuals and organizations in and outside of Ethiopia to falsely claim an equivalence between the TPLF, an ethno-regional organization, and the national government of Ethiopia located in Addis Ababa. Some even try to equate the ENDF with the TPLF militia.

Various news organizations have now intentionally resorted to blurring the actual cause of the war. A recent article by Associated Press referred to the TPLF attack in Mekele as an “allegation” even though TPLF leaders have proudly admitted their action. The New York Times claims that Prime Minister Abiy’s armed response was in reaction to TPLF “defiance” rather than the truth, which was the slaughter of ENDF troops by the TPLF.

Does the U.S. Congress Possess Intelligence?

The U.S. Senate unanimously passed Senate Resolution 97 (S.Res.97) on May 19, following multiple requests by the Foreign Relation Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives for sanctions to be imposed on Ethiopia.

There has been no official report of evidence by the U.S State Department or intelligence services verifying allegations of “genocide” or “ethnic cleansing” by the Ethiopian government. It is pathetic, yet valuable to know that accusations against Ethiopia by the State Department, the House of Representatives, and the Senate, have in large part come from news organizations. Whatever happened to U.S. intelligence capabilities? Has U.S. intel gathering been so corroded that it has to rely on private organizations, who have their own agenda? Should the U.S. be making foreign policy decisions without independent knowledge of events? CNN brags in its own May 21st article that it was their news (sic) organization and a pro TPLF lobbying firm ,Von Batten-Montague-York, that was responsible for convincing U.S. Senators to support S.Res.97. The U.S. Senate, sometimes called, the world’s greatest deliberative body, was in fact led like lemmings, by CNN and a DC lobbying firm to condemn Ethiopia’s government. Is that what the founding fathers of this great republic contemplated when they created the Senate? I think not.

No Respect for Ethiopia’s Sovereignty

Despite the fact that very few, if any U.S. Senators have a deep-seated knowledge of the complexities of Ethiopian culture and society, they did not refrain from encroaching on Ethiopian sovereignty, which obligates the central government to act in the interest of safeguarding the nation.

S.Res.97, ignores the responsibility of Prime Minister Abiy to defend his nation, demanding instead: an immediate cessation of hostilities in the Tigray Region; strongly disapproving of the escalation of political tensions between the Government of Ethiopia and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) into armed conflict; and most egregiously urges the government of Ethiopia to engage in a full cessation of hostilities.  In essence, S.Res.97, rebukes the Ethiopian government for defending its nation from an insurrection, and demands reconciliation with the insurgents.

Breaking up the Union, only weeks after President Lincoln took office, was the explicit intent of the southern states, who insisted that the U.S. government, no longer represented them. President Lincoln would not allow the republic to be divided. He waged a relentless war that ultimately led to the deaths of upwards of 750,000 Americans. He ignored all pleas to come to the peace table and negotiate with the enemy of the Union, who he would only refer to as “rebels.” The only negotiation President Lincoln would accept from the “rebels” was unconditional surrender. Under no condition would he allow some other country to dictate to him, the President of the United States of America, how to conduct the war to save the Union.

Read my earlier posts:

U.S. Senators’ Call for Postponing Ethiopian Election Is Foolish & Very Dangerous

Horn of Africa Endangered by Untrue Media Attacks on Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s Conflict: A War Won to Preserve the Nation-State

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton

False Narratives of Ethiopian Conflict Are Toxic

(Courtesy of souncloud.com)

False Narratives of Ethiopian Conflict Are Toxic

Lawrence Freeman

April 5, 2021

In two months, Ethiopia will have national elections, which can potentially shape the future of the largest nation in East Africa. False narratives of the cause and description of the fighting in the northern section of Ethiopia, Tigray, remain misleading and detrimental. This can undermine the efforts of Prime Minister, Dr. Abiy Ahmed to introduce a non-ethnic based discourse with his newly created Prosperity Party.

Unfortunately, much of the narrative that dominates the news and reporting is falsely framed as a contest between the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and the government of Ethiopia, headed by Prime Minister Abiy. Some news reports refer to Tigray as a “contested” region between two opposing armed forces. Other commentaries attempt to legitimize the actions of the TPLF as defenders of their territory from “outside” military. Let us be clear. There is no equivalency between the TPLF and the government of Prime Minister Abiy. Such analysis is not only faulty but is dangerous to the nation of Ethiopia. It invites other disingenuous ethnic leaders to launch destabilizations against the Ethiopian nation. Some accounts of the conflict even question, who was responsible for initiating the fighting, blatantly attempting to rewrite history.

It is well known that in the early hours of November 4, the TPLF without cause, attacked the Ethiopian Defense Forces at the Mekele outpost,  stealing munitions and murdering soldiers in their sleep. The government of Prime Minister Abiy was obligated to respond with a military counterattack to ensure that Ethiopia remained a sovereign nation.

As long as policy and deliberations in Ethiopia are twisted around the contours of which ethnic group is in power, the nation’s progress will be disrupted and curtailed.

Allegations of Ethnic Cleansing

The United Nations defines ethnic cleansing as:

“ a purposeful policy designed by one ethnic or religious group to remove by violent and terror-inspiring means the civilian population of another ethnic or religious group from certain geographic areas…. rendering an area ethnically homogeneous

Ethnic cleansing is intolerable and repugnant to civilized society. Given the highly contentious environment in Ethiopia between different ethnic groups, unsubstantiated charges of ethnic cleansing and genocide are inflammatory and pernicious. Hurling such accusations without incontrovertible proof is more than provocative. It can lead to increased violence, threatening the very fabric of Ethiopia as a sovereign nation only months away from its national election.  Yet these unfounded accusations are repeated again and again.

In a March 30th letter to United States Secretary of State, Anthony Blinken, Congressmen Gregory Meeks, and Michael McCaul, condemned Ethiopia for “acts of ethnic cleansing,” without offering any evidence other than hearsay from the media. Unfortunately, Blinken himself had used the same provocative language earlier in March, accusing the Ethiopian government of ethnic cleansing, without proof. Protest from the Ethiopian government in Addis Ababa prompted President Biden to send Senator Coons to Ethiopia as his special envoy. Upon his return, Sen. Coons not only refused to repeat such charges, but expressed optimism in the subsequent actions of Prime Minister Abiy.

Atrocities or other illegal actions that have been reported, must be thoroughly investigated, as Prime Minister Abiy has promised to conduct in conjunction with the United Nations. However, the continued use of unsubstantiated accusations of ethnic cleansing by U.S. officials, repeated by the reckless media, are imprudent and perilous to the entire Horn of Africa.

The same congressional letter threatened sanctions against Ethiopia. Ethiopian Ambassador to the U.S., Fitsum Arega, responded the next day, March 31st with his own letter to the two congressmen:

“Your call for what appears to be blanket sanctions is not only counterproductive to the goal of providing support for those in need, but also significantly undermines the two nations’ long cooperate relationship. The U.S. should be working to ensure that funds and supplies are  going to those in need, not in threatening behavior that will diminish cooperative efforts to bring much needed help to those in need.”

U.S. Senator Coons says Ethiopia trip was ‘constructive.’ (Courtesy tadias.com)

Human Identity Transcends Ethnicity

Ethiopia’s upcoming election on June 5 will be historic. For the first time, with Prime Minister Abiy’s national Prosperity Party on the ballot, there will be an alternative to the destructive politics of ethno-nationalist partisanship. It is important for all Ethiopians to take responsibility for ensuring that this election is not marred by violent ethnic confrontations.

Now, let us deal with the core issue confronting Ethiopia’s society, which politicians, reporters, Washington think tanks, and NGOs, do not understand; Ethiopian people are not defined by ethnicity.

We are all human beings first and foremost. What does it really mean to be human, and what is its relevancy to the current circumstances in Ethiopia?

Our heritage, no matter how much we respect our parents, cherish our birthplace, and traditions, does not determine our essence as human beings. Our worth, as human beings is not derived from where we were born. What distinguishes us, all of us, as human, as opposed to all other creatures is; that we are bequeathed by the Creator with the very special quality of creative reason.  No animal possesses creativity, and no machine can reproduce this unique quality, which I will identify as our soul-mind. The power of reason-creativity is not deduction, induction, or logic. It is the ability to discover, through hypothesis, new physical, and social principles embedded in the universe by the Creator, awaiting for us to uncover.  This characteristic of creative-mentation distinguishes the human species, as having a single human culture, which cannot be subdivided.

All societies, going back at least million years in Africa, have progressed as a result of human creativity.  Continuous, uninterrupted discovery of new universal principles that advance civilization from one level of science-culture to the next. This, our human culture, coherent with the physical universe, lawfully shatters the silly belief of a preordained  limit to the growth of humankind.

Thus, deep down in our soul-mind, we are all universally unified, and alike. We are not fundamentally different, except in secondary features that serve to enrich the breath of our universal human culture. African nations can no longer allow themselves to be ruled and divided by ethnicity and religion. No ethnic group, religion, or class ought to enjoy any superiority. Religious and ethnic differences should not undermine a nation’s national unity.

Each nation has developed uniquely, contributing to the diversity and richness of our civilization. Each nation has uniquely fashioned an identity from historical events and future aspirations.

Let that national identity moored to our exclusive human identity prevail. Any lesser identity is an assault on our unique humanness.

With this concept in mind, let Ethiopia demonstrate its commitment to protect and care for all its citizens by allowing justice to overcome propaganda and prejudice in judging the crimes committed in this conflict.

ReadTwo Key Members of Congress Condemn Atrocities in Tigray and Call for US Action

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com. Mr. Freeman’s stated personal mission is; to eliminate poverty and hunger in Africa by applying the scientific economic principles of Alexander Hamilton.

 

Sovereignty Must be Respected: Ethiopia’s National Identity Transcends Ethno-Nationalism

March 13, 2021

Watch my interview, Part I above & Part II below, with Ladet  Muleta from PrimeLogue/Media. I discuss the challenges Ethiopia is facing and important strategic subjects relevant to all African nations today.

Topics discussed included: respecting the sovereignty of African nations, the importance of national identity, the deleterious effects of ethno-nationalism, the potential for regime change in Ethiopia, the wrongful division of Sudan, the importance of the Battle of Adwa, Ethiopia’s national mission, real genocide in Africa, the significance of the Prosperity Party for Ethiopia, Africa’s infrastructure deficit, and what is necessary to develop Tigray.

 

Read: Celebrate Ethiopia’s March 1, 1896 Victory at Adwa: Ethiopia is Fighting Another Battle Today to Protect its Sovereignty

Horn of Africa Endangered by Untrue Media Attacks on Ethiopia 

Ethiopia’s Prosperity Party: A Revolutionary Necessity

Lawrence Freeman is a Political-Economic Analyst for Africa, who has been involved in economic development policies for Africa for over 30 years. He is the creator of the blog: lawrencefreemanafricaandtheworld.com