Posts posted by Thierry Henry
WAY FORWARD: PROPOSALS FOR ADVANCING OUR INTERESTS --------------------------------------------- -----
12.(S/NF) The core American interests in the ****** region are to prevent human suffering and protect vulnerable populations, ensure that genuine terrorists and extremists do not gain a foot hold in the region, and enhance regional stability and security. The current conflict dynamics, and particularly the humanitarian impacts of the counter-insurgency, fundamentally undermine all three of these objectives. We need to: 1) have a frank discussion with the GoE, in coordination with the international community, on Ethiopia's counter insurgency operations, noting that military action alone will not bring a lasting ADDIS ABAB 00003404 004 OF 004 resolution, and 2) sustain a more comprehensive approach which includes a forceful and consistent emphasis on unrestricted humanitarian aid deliveries and on commercial food and livestock trade is essential. Finally, political dialogue with the ONLF could be key to resolving problems and opening political space with the people of the ******.
13.(S/NF) The U.S. lead in pressing the Government to open corridors for humanitarian deliveries has met with modest success. The Ambassador passed a copy of General Petraeus, manual on counterinsurgency to the Prime Minister to emphasize U.S. best practices in mounting a counter-insurgency operation while mitigating negative impacts on civilians. UNOCHA has negotiated opening of 174 feeding sites -) and there are indicators of agreement for access without military escort for roughly half of these sites
-- and the World Food Program reports deliveries of over 9,000 tons of food in recent weeks, more than in the past three months. The international community credits the U.S. for its leadership in this effort, but more still needs to be done to avert anticipated mortality from the insufficient deliveries of food since April
-- WFP assesses that 52,000 tons of food is urgently needed to meet the needs of the region.
14.(S/NF) Finally, the diplomatic corps believes the GoE needs to reach out to the ONLF. The ONLF has refused direct dialogue with the GoE and negotiations through Ethiopian Elders. Pressure and persuasion on the ONLF and private intercession with the GoE to secure their commitment to engage sincerely with ******i leaders on a more sustainable political and economic accommodation may help facilitate a political process. If left unaddressed, the ONLF could forge alliances with, or draw support from, extremists from Somalia, perhaps ultimately undermining the GoE and the EPRDF's grip on power, U.S. interests, and security in the region.
IT IS A COUNTER INSURGENCY OPERATION ------------------------------------
6. (S/NF) The Ethiopian leadership has stressed in public and in private that the ****** counter insurgency operation is critical to the security (and survival) of the government, and that the ONLF must be neutralized. Second, the ****** is very much tied to Somalia. The ONLF has safe haven in Somalia from clans opposed to the GoE. Prime Minister Meles points to the declaration by extremists in Somalia to take the battle into Ethiopia and argues that the infiltration into Ethiopia by extremist figures like Aden Ayrow justifies GoE's prosecution of a brutal and excessive counter insurgency operation in the ******.
7.(S/NF) But the problem with foreign insurgents and extremists, including Eritrea's support for extremist activities in Somalia, are viewed in the context of supporting, or being supported by, the ONLF. The role Eritrea plays in Somalia, for instance, is probably insignificant. Although there is significant speculation and circumstantial evidence of Eritrean support, Post has received no explicit evidence provided by any source outside of the GoE that shows significant Eritrean support for the ONLF, and certainly no evidence of any notable increase in such support in recent months to prompt the observed counter-insurgency response.
8.(S/NF) For the GoE, the suspicion that the ONLF has possible connections with extremists and Eritrea underscore the necessity to eliminate them. Post has explained to the GoE that while the ONLF is not a terrorist group, we recognize the probability that there are some individuals within the ONLF that may be supportive of extremist groups. It is not the ONLF as an organization, but individuals within the group.
HISTORY REPEATING ITSELF? ADDIS ABAB 00003404 003 OF 004 -------------------------
9.(S/NF) It is our assessment that Prime Minister Meles and the GoE leadership likely view the ONLF as a long term threat to the survival of the EPRDF government. A group from a region representing six percent of the population, the ONLF in many ways is similar to the TPLF, which represents seven percent of the population but was able to overthrow the previous Derg regime. It is apparent from our conversations that the Prime Minister, General Samora and other TPLF/EPRDF members view the military defeat of the ONLF now as critical to prevent it from posing a threat to the government in the future.
HOW THE GOE PERCEIVES THE U.S. ROLE -----------------------------------
10.(S/NF) Ethiopian military leaders appreciate and take seriously our information sharing on international terrorists who have, and may again, operate in the ******, like Aden Ayrow. They want to cooperate with us on counter terrorism activities because it is in their national security interests to do so. General Samora sees the counter insurgency actions against the ONLF as a key first step toward, and a logical extension of, our counter terrorism operations -) elimination of the ONLF will lessen insecurity in the ****** and make it more difficult, if not impossible, for the likes of Ayrow to continue to operate in Ethiopia. As such, the GoE would like to enlist U.S. support for Ethiopia's counter insurgency program. This poses problems for the U.S, which considers the ONLF a domestic issue, though elements of the ONLF may very well support extremist operations.
11.(S/NF) While Prime Minister Meles praises U.S. support for the ENDF, Ethiopia's position in Somalia, and Ethiopia's development, there are some within the ruling party's central committee who question U.S. relations. General Samora and others have been very clear in their criticism of the U.S. for our lack of support for Ethiopia's counter insurgency against the ONLF. TPLF hardliners have argued that the USG has collaborated with ONLF last year when CJTF-HOA civil affairs teams around Gode encountered ONLF elements at roadblocks but were allowed to pass unharmed. The May 2007 unauthorized diversion of a CJTF-HOA team into a restricted area of the ****** further fuels hardliners' conviction of USG support for the ONLF. Hardliners also point to ONLF fundraising in the U.S., meeting with members of Congress and their staffs, and relatively favorable New York Times reporting on the ONLF. This perceived lack of USG support undercuts U.S.-Ethiopia military relations.
1.© Introduction: This report is part 2 of a two part assessment of the insurgency/counter-insurgency in the ******. Part 1 (reftel) detailed the current conflict dynamics in the ******; this message provides an analysis of the reasons behind the Government of Ethiopia's (GoE) and Ethiopian National Defense Forces, (ENDF) hard and rough response in the region. It also provides recommendations about a way forward for interaction with the GoE in the search for a sustainable resolution to insecurity in the ******.
2.(S/NF) Although low-level ONLF-ENDF conflict has simmered for years, the ONLF's April 23 attack on a Chinese oil exploration site at Abole triggered the ENDF's shift to the use of extreme force trapping the civilian population between the insurgents and the government forces, and further stressing an already underdeveloped and historically marginalized region. In Post's assessment, unlike the enduring insurgency, the Abole attack prompted such an extreme, visceral GoE and ENDF response because it threatened the ruling Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front's (EPRDF) vision for economic development, it posed a fundamental threat to the GoE's authority, and it embarrassed the ENDF making the military and government appear to the outside world as unable to control and secure its own territory. Because, the GoE's core Tigrean People's Liberation Front (TPLF) sees in the ONLF an image of itself two decades ago when it overthrew the brutal communist Derg regime, Prime Minister Meles and his Chief of Defense Force, General Samora Yonus, consider it vital to eliminate the ONLF before this insurgent group gains wider support. For the GoE, the ****** counter insurgency operation is vital to the survival of the ruling EPRDF. Further, the ****** is closely linked to Somalia where Ethiopian troops are bogged down but where the ONLF receives support and safe haven from clans opposed to Ethiopia. Every major clan and sub-clan in Somalia is represented in the ******.
3.(S/NF) Given the international media attention and the GoE's response, the ONLF must see that it has struck a chord with the Abole strike. As the international community in Addis recognizes that a sustainable peace in the ****** requires political accommodation between the GoE and ******i people, they now face a time to decide if we should explore the possibility of facilitating such an accommodation or refrain to focus only on the humanitarian symptoms of the underlying conflict. End Summary.
ABOLE WAS DIFFERENT; IT'S THE ECONOMY -------------------------------------
4.(S/NF) Economic Concerns: Being entirely dependent on petroleum imports
-- which at the current historically high global prices cost Ethiopia over 75 percent of its export revenues
-- Ethiopia is eager to exploit and commercialize its vast estimated oil and natural gas reserves, which mostly lie beneath the ****** area. Furthermore, in light of the ADDIS ABAB 00003404 002 OF 004 EPRDF's vision for Ethiopia which includes a heavy government role in promoting &accelerated capitalist development,8 the GoE has found in China a cheap, eager, and reliable partner to implement infrastructural expansion without nagging about human rights, social equity, or environmental concerns. By striking a Chinese firm exploring for oil, the ONLF
-- either intentionally or inadvertently ) threatened two sacred tenants of the behind the government's economic philosophy. That the attack at Abole was one of the ONLF's largest attacks in recent years and shockingly successful
-- even surprising the ONLF ) posed a further, political threat to the EPRDF and its core TPLF.
5.(S/NF) Political Concerns: Not only was the brutal ONLF attack at Abole a brazen act, but it marked a more deadly departure from prior type attacks by the ONLF in the past. Further, the attack was an embarrassment for the ENDF, its failure to protect the oil project site and respond immediately against the attackers. More important, the ONLF attack came at a time when Somalia operations had the ENDF bogged down and extremists vowed to take the war to Ethiopia to cut off supplies and logistical support. The ONLF's public statement following the attack insisting that it would play a role in determining the future and economic development of the region was certainly perceived as a direct threat to the GoE's authority in the region.
Like I said, these other countries are securing their countries food security. While millions of Ethiopians go hungry and still waiting for 3 meals a day promise in 1995. Agriculture development and fertile land should be under a country's national interest, it should be privatize until there is a surplus in food. When has a country ever solved it food shortage by selling land to outsiders
Without a doubt, Ethiopia is for now not one of those hugely important Kenya’s trading partners.
Evidently that can be attributed to historical factors that needed to be addressed before smooth flow of goods and services.
Amongst them is that despite the two countries establishing harmonious relations once Kenya became independent in 1963, the road links have been horrible, especially on the Kenyan side.
Two, Ethiopia was afflicted by political conflict for years, preventing effective participation on the regional integration front.
Up to now, the country is yet to accede to the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa Free Trade Area.
Finally, the Ethiopian economy and politics remain tightly controlled, to a large extent affecting commercial interaction with the region.
While Kenya, with useful help from multilateral donors, has set out to sort out the bottlenecks on its side of the border by building a major road link to the country, Ethiopia is not helping the situation.
It has recently taken the misguided step of controlling prices of basic commodities in an effort to control inflation rates.
Morally that is much welcome in Ethiopia as the aim is to cushion the common citizen from imported inflation—following the September devaluation of the Birr.
But price control happens to be a questionable concept, despite recent support for the same by the Kenya Government in the petroleum sector.
It is likely to stunt production and imports to Ethiopia, putting pressure on the very price it seeks to control through shortages.
On top, it should also check foreign investment in the country.
Kenyan investors have already raised the alarm on the impact of the move on regional trade.
Despite the fact that the Sh4.3 billion export bill is comparatively minor, the fact that both countries are seeking increased business links should make Addis Ababa rethink its long-term economic policy and factor in its regional obligations.
We hold that the best way forward for Ethiopia and other Comesa countries is to make their economies competitive enough for investors to make attractive returns.
If that fails to happen, citizens of the country will forfeit gainful employment even as they grapple with supply side constraints that can easily be ironed out by the market forces.
On top, there is little trade relations to be enhanced if the regional production levels are hampered by retrogressive domestic economic policies.
We urge the Comesa secretariat to impress upon its members in general and Ethiopia in specific that they need to embrace liberal economic policies as far as practically possible.
If not, Africa may never bridge the vast economic gap between us and other continents.
Comesa has already shown faith in the country by locating its leather training centre there, just the kind of gesture we feel the country should seek to reciprocate.
A major newspaper based in Madrid, Spain, ABC Internacional, has reported that Azeb Mesfin, the wife of Ethiopia’s dictator Meles Zenawi has spent 1.2 million euros for clothing. (Read here)
http://www.abc.es/20110120/internacional/abci-primeras-damas-derrochan-201101201613.htmlThe newspaper identifies Azeb Mesfin as one of the most wasteful wives of African leaders and accuses her of siphoning off millions of dollars.
Azeb is known among Ethiopians as the mother of corruption.
The other wives of African dictators the newspaper listed include Grace, the notorious wife of Zimbabwe’s dictator Robert Mugabe, and Leila Trabelsi, the wife of the recently deposted Tunisian dictator Ben Ali./QUOTE]
Ethiopia's so called first lady makes distinction between herself and the people.
Ethiopians were promised 3 meals a day in 1995, yet in 2010 the dream is further away from reality than ever. To add salt to the wounds, the TPLF first lady spends millions on clothes while 80K eat from Rubbish dumps in Addis along with unbelieveable food prices,
Next she will say, why don't Ethiopians eat Cake
[Kenya] Exporters to Ethiopia face massive lossesBy Luke AnamiKenyan exporters could lose millions of shillings after Ethiopia, a key market, implemented price controls on major food and non-food items, mostly imported from Kenya.In what has been dubbed a shocking move by free market campaigners, the Federal Ministry of Trade of Ethiopia set price ceilings for products entering its market.Kenyan manufacturers have since cried foul over the move.‘‘This month, the Ethiopian Government has imposed price ceiling on major commodities to stamp out inflation. Unfortunately, the price of some items doesn’t take the current international market into account,’’ Polycarp Igathe, Deputy Chairman Kenya Association of Manufacturers said.The affected products include edible oils, pasta and macaroni, powder milk, which are largely manufactured in Kenya.In addition, soap, pens and textbooks, textiles, shoes, steel sheets, medicine and medical supplies, and tiers are slated for price fixing.The move has, however, affected not only Ethiopians, in the retail business but also those who have already ordered items from outside the country.‘‘The dictum on price ceiling may have serious impact on Kenyan manufacturers. We expect massive cancellation of manufactured goods if the matter is not looked into,’’ Igathe who is also the MD of Haco Industries said in an interview.Ethiopia’s minister for Trade, Ahmed Tusa said the decision was taken to curb inflation, which has currently declined.
The country will start to face more shortages since exporters to Ethiopia will be making losses because of the cap. In the long run, prices will increase. Government has claimed and praised agriculture as the source of the "Ethiopian growth" yet its basic necessities such as sugar, oil,milk, bread suffering the huge increases in prices. Even with the devaluation of the Birr, the so called increase in supply should have stabilised the price levels
The economic situation for the normal Ethiopian is worsening and there is no stopping it. The government intervene will only exacerbate the situation. Price controls have never worked, not even in communist countries. This failed economic policy by the TPLF who are extremely short sighted. Market based system is the best way forward, yet the government is killing it. Already there are reports, businessmen are taking products off the shelves because they are making huge losses. The cause of the problem isn't the normal Ethiopian businessmen trying to make a living but rather the devaluation along unregulated printing of money by the TPLF.
Price controls on many staple food items ordered by Ethiopia's government early this month have reduced grocery bills for many low-income families. But now shopkeepers are upset and some basic items are disappearing from store shelves. Economists are concerned about the long-term effect of the government's price-fixing strategy.
Confusion has been the order of the day at shops and markets across the Ethiopian capital this month. The government surprised businesses on January 6, the Ethiopian Christmas Eve, by announcing price caps on such items as meat, bread, rice, sugar, powdered milk and cooking oil.
Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said the caps were a response to price gouging by merchants taking advantage of global price hikes. He vowed to put a stop to what he called "market disorder.”
The news was seen as a Christmas gift by many cash-strapped consumers, who had seen food prices jump after the government devalued the local currency, the Birr, by 17 percent in September.
In the first days after the price controls went into effect, Shenkut Teshome was among shoppers who rushed to markets to scoop up goods at newly lowered prices. He applauded government intervention as the only way to save impoverished Ethiopians from starvation.
"People are hoping they can buy with their salary a fair material at a fair price," said Shenkut. "[Prices] were exaggerated and people cannot afford to buy with their salary and live at the same time, paying rent, this and that. The main thing is that they have enough food for their children."
The price controls, however, have triggered chaos and tension in the local marketplace. Arguments, even occasional fistfights have been reported between irate shoppers and business operators as price controlled goods, such as cooking oil and oranges, have disappeared from shelves.
One customer at a local shop, who spoke on condition of anonymity, quipped that the net effect of the price controls is that nothing has changed. He said that earlier, goods on the shelves were too expensive to buy. Now the prices are lower, but the goods have disappeared.
Business owners said the past few weeks have been unbearable. Customers are unhappy, some products they bought before the price caps must be sold below cost, and neighborhood government representatives drop by several times a day to check that they are in compliance.
Shopkeepers contacted for this report all said they were afraid to give their names, but one who agreed to speak anonymously said she was ready to give up.
She said, "This is way too much for us. We are small traders. We don’t make much money. We get everything on credit, so when this stock is gone, we are closing up shop."
Representatives of Ethiopia’s Trade Ministry did not respond to numerous interview requests for this report. But government officials have been quoted as saying price controls were needed because retailers had raised prices blaming global price increases and the devaluation, although such factors had had no influence on the availability of their products.
In addition, four economists not affiliated with the government, all of whom have previously spoken to VOA on the record, declined to be quoted this time, saying the subject was too sensitive. But all four privately predicted that price fixing would not help in solving Ethiopia’s deep-rooted economic problems.
Temesgen Zewdie, finance chairman of one of Ethiopia’s main opposition parties and a former Member of Parliament, called the price controls a step toward a Communist-style command economy.
In a free market economy, the preferred way of doing this is to increase the supply and increase competition," said Temesgen. "But the government did not do that. Instead they went directly to the producers and retailers, telling them to reduce prices and supply these products. These practices happen in Communist states, not in western democracies."
Retired opposition leader Bulcha Dimeksa is a former deputy finance minister and also a former World Bank director. He said history has proven time and again the folly of price controls.
"This government is doing exactly what all the classical dictators in the past have done and have failed," said Bulcha. "I do not understand how people do not learn. It does not work. Price control never worked. It will not work. It does not work. It may work for one month, but what’s that? The farmer is discouraged, the producer is discouraged, the retailer is discouraged."
Despite the uproar, government officials are hoping their experiment in price-fixing will help to curb inflation. Recently released figures show the inflation rate jumped from 10.2 percent in November to 14.5 percent last month.
Ethiopia is among the world’s poorest countries. The CIA World Factbook lists per capita purchasing power of $1,000 a year.
Qodax Qorax;690028 wrote:Well I am not indiffrent, I care about my Somali people including those in the Somali region of Ethiopia. And they deserve peace. And if it comes to a struggle against the Ethiopians, it should be Somali UNITED struggle not a sub-clan based one.
Here we go; ONLF is not a clan based organization. History has showed this, winning 85% of the vote in 1995. ONLF has support from numerous clans from the Somali region with more and more joining the ranks daily, the people from Awdal and tribal folks there welcomed them with open arms and allowed them passage into the region to fight in the Shinile region which their tribe lives.
Qodax Qorax;690024 wrote:Strange answer!You can set 'conditions' for you acceptance of Somaliland, but I cant have an opinion of the ONLF?
I am indifferent to be honest, If they secede or don’t, it doesn’t matter to me. I didn't set any conditions, most referendum are conducted and supervised by the UN
Duke, we understand the TFG has failed. But what exactly is your answer? Should we all allow Al Shabab to win and capture another vital port?
Qodax Qorax;690018 wrote:I dont support Ethiopia. But fore sure I dont support ONLF war mongers.Do you support Somaliland recongnition?
If they were administered a referendum like Eritrea under UN supervision and voted to secede I would support them. I support the referendum and have nothing against their push,
Why does it matter what ONLF does, they are Rebel group fighting for their own cause, it's Ethiopia which is blocking Somaliland
Qodax Qorax;690013 wrote:ONLF supporters(or refugees welcomed and housed in Hargeysa back then) have been armed and supported by the Siad regime to fight the SNM in Somaliland!! And today they still oppose Somaliland. Which has and had nothing to do with their cause of fighting for freedom. Hypocracy 101.
Has nothing to do with Riyalee working with the NSS in Somaliland? What do you think he was doing in 1980's in Somaliland, honestly.
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Not only was the leader resisted against and send to Hospital, the flag was desecrated in the conference in front of everyone,
Qodax Qorax;690006 wrote:My Land is called Somali Region of Ethiopia, not ********, Ognia or O'nia. loooolBy the way, isnt Xaadisnimo why you guys dont support Somaliland?
Does Ethiopia support Somaliland? It has come out and basically said NO to Somaliland.
Qodax Qorax;689999 wrote:The reason why Somaliland regained its independence wasnt about unfair treatment. But about failed union. The reason why SNM opposed the regime was about unfair treatment(which Riyaale never was a member of). Stay on the facts.Besides your leader was the highest ranking member of the Politburea, Navy and member of the Central Committee in the Siad Barre regime of Somalia. He was responsible for the acts of the past regime.
He was head of the Navy, and didn’t himself do anything to Somalilanders. Somalia itself had a weak non-existent Navy at the time. However, was the highest-ranking National Security Service (NSS) officer in Berbera.. What do you think he was doing for the NSS in Somaliland?
We get it, but what is your point? TFG has failed?
PasserBy;689993 wrote:As I wrote, the most nervous people reside in Hosni Mubarek's palace. Don't worry about Ethiopia.:D:
Why do you seem obsessed with Eritrea,Egypt and others. This is about inflation and rising cost of living in Ethiopia, now even the military is faced with this dire economic situation. Hence, Ethiopia asked for 500 million from America alone
PasserBy;689983 wrote:TH,There is more nervousness in Hosni Mubarek's palace (A Osman's handlers) than in Menilik palace. The aging autocrat is looking at what took place in the neighbouring Arab state with twitchy eye.:D
Arab, A Osman, ONLF, OLF, TPLF, Eritrea,
Stop about being paranoid. This is about inflation now effecting the same sole entity keeping his minority government in power
Qodax Qorax;689981 wrote:The most ONLF supporters = former Siad Barre supporters.p.s. Riyaale never was member of the SNM. So he never opposed a dictator, he didnt oppose Siad and he never opposed Zenawi.So no contradiction there.
The ground on Somaliland secessionism was that they were treated unfairly by Southerns yet one of their leaders worked for the same man that did the crimes against them. Hypocrite 101
Xaaji Xunjuf;689967 wrote:Qodax i think geographically renaming a state that is outside their control is as effective as renaming a chid who doesn't belong 2 you u as of today , the O'gdan region is under the control of the TPLF regime of Ethiopia. And renaming it will only cause confusion the onlf leaders know that to. The name was given to the region by the colonial powers. So i think the point their using is that the name has historical signifiance for the region. i think if you name it the somali galbeed region it will be associated with Somalia and it will damage the cause and struggle for independence So it's smart actually naming it o'gaden the land doesn't need to be associated with somalia in any form or kind. The inhabbitans are Somalis it should not be referred as somali then it will be associated with Somala. But i agree with your point where you state that the People who support the onlf should support Somaliland and the self determination of the people of Somaliland. Somaliland is not going to harm them in any way. Nor is Somaliland their enemy, Somaliland Somalia Djibouti all want what is best for the Somali region of Ethiopia.
Perfect post, I don’t I think I can add anymore
No offense to Somaliland, how can you talk about ONLF people working for Siad Barre when Riyale did the exact same thing? Isn’t that hypocritical itself,
Interesting, inflation is starting to chew away on army budgets as well. The sole thing keeping the TPLF in power
Ethiopia: Tremors of Inflation Reaches the Army
By Tullu Arga ( email@example.com)
According to reliable internal sources, rising worries about inflation in Ethiopia are sending shivers through many sectors of the society, including the very pillar the ruling party relies upon to cling to power. The latest to feel the pinch and cry foul is the military. The source indicated that the army has lodged a request for a cost of living adjustment to stay afloat
The price of basic necessities such as flour, onion, coffee, and sugar has skyrocketed. The government blamed the hike in prices on hoarding by greedy merchants. Following tough words by the Prime Minister, the business community in the capital is feeling under siege.
Within the last week alone, over 100 shops have been confiscated. To prevent the dire situation from snow balling into a political crisis pensioners are given 84 percent raise. There is also report of a 300 percent salary increase for civil servants. Economists warn that this may fuel the already combustible situation rather than abate it. There is rumor about further devaluation of the birr.
To make matters worse, deepening political grievances compounded by increasing anxiety about a possible economic meltdown has prompted talk of a Tunisia style jasmine revolution in the capital, despite the total news blackout by the state-owned media.
VIDEO COMEDY: Ileey destroys Farah Macallin
This is some serious amateur stuff by a professional politicians who decisions affects the lives of millions. The worst Somali leader in all the Somali inhabited regions,