GET down, like James Brown! Dances with the stars? Dances with wolves? How about dances with thugs! The Godfather of Soul, or as his fans call him J.B. (R.I.P. J.B.) had a song called, “The Boss”. It’s a cut on the soundtrack album for the movie “Black Caesar”.
As the first sitting American president to visit Ethiopia, President Barak Obama had a golden opportunity to right a whole long chain of wrongs; the first of which inevitably should have been to stop baby-cuddling the Ethiopian regime and turning a blind eye to their dangerous regional destabilization policies.
As guarantor to the Algiers agreement which Ethiopia openly and stubbornly continue to defy, it is both the duty and moral obligation of the United States to see to it that Ethiopia complies or face consequences. Instead, it is the victim, Eritrea, whom the International Community under the leadership of the US has chosen to punish. Continue reading President Obama Had His Chance and He Blew It→
The South Sudanese government Tuesday expressed its dissatisfaction for not being invited to participate in a meeting with the American president Barak Obama on the 19-month conflict in the new African nation.
President Obama is in the midst of a historic visit, having travelled to his ancestral homeland, Kenya, where his father hails from, and now Ethiopia — one of Africa’s “lion” economies and an important ally of Washington in the volatile region of the Horn of Africa.
Situated across the busy shipping corridor of the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea where millions of barrels of oil transit everyday, the Horn of Africa is home to a total of 160 million people residing in eight countries – Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Sudan, South Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, and Uganda. It is also the only area of Africa where the United States maintains a large military base, the Combined Joint Task Force-Horn of Africa, located in Djibouti. Continue reading President Obama: Tear Down the Wall Between Eritrea and Ethiopia→
US President Barack Obama has been accused of hypocrisy by choosing to visit Ethiopia during his only official visit to Africa, despite concerns international human rights groups have voiced regarding the country’s human rights record.
After spending two days in Kenya, Obama arrived in the Ethiopian capital on Sunday, where he was met by Ethiopia’s Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn, who took office in 2012.
The Ethiopian government is a key strategic ally of the US in its ‘war on terrorism,’ and has close security ties with the US. Ethiopia has thousands of troops in neighboring Somalia, which along with Ethiopia and Kenya, face insurgent al-Shabaab Islamic militants.
Ethiopia has introduced anti-terror legislation, called the Anti-Terrorism Proclamation, which Human Rights Watch [HRW] says has been used by the government to target political opponents.
According to a HRW report on war crimes in Ethiopia, “Since mid-2007, thousands of people have fled, seeking refuge in neighboring Somalia and Kenya from widespread Ethiopian military attacks on civilians and villages that amount to war crimes and crimes against humanity.
In an open letter written to US Secretary of State John Kerry in 2013, published by the watchdog Genocidewatch.org, former Ethiopian ambassador Imru Zelleke wrote:
“Ethiopia is a major US ally in the Horn of Africa, yet America does not seem to be concerned about the blatant violations of human rights, lawless governance and unmitigated corruption by the regime in Addis Ababa.”
“The regime’s flagrant interference both in Christian and Muslim religious affairs has created rifts and contentions amongst the religious communities.”
“In the past the regime was boasting to have broken the back of the Orthodox Christianity with similar terrorization of innocent civilians; at this moment, in the guise of an unproven terrorist activity, it is conducting indiscriminately a most vile campaign of terror, mass arrests, killings and tortures against the Muslim Community in Ethiopia.”
Despite the criticism, Obama praised Ethiopia as an “outstanding partner” in the fight against militant Islamists at joint press conference held with the Prime Minister of Ethiopia on Monday.
Human rights campaigners from Amnesty International also expressed their reservations about Obama’s visit to Ethiopia.
“We don’t want this visit to be used to sanitize an administration that has been known to violate human rights,” said Amnesty spokesman Abdullahi Halakhe, who warned that the visit would be used by the administration as evidence of international support.