Anna Gomes's obsession with Ethiopia: Give Ethiopia A Break
By Selam Alem Oct 14, 2016
Since her time as Head of EU election observation mission to Ethiopia in 2005, Hon Gomes, MEP took upon herself that she has a special responsibility about Ethiopia and Ethiopians. It looks like as if she is self-appointed spokesperson of Ethiopians. Her persistence attack on Ethiopia could not be given any explanation but neo-colonial patronizing attitude and hypocrisy toward black Africa. For the last 11 years, she has been very consistent in her campaign against Ethiopia. Since 2005, many positive changes and progress have been in the making in Ethiopia, thanks to the effort and leadership of the very government she is fighting to remove.
The success that was celebrated by Ethiopians and recognized by the international community including EU, is never to something worth recognizing. The fact of the matter is that she has a mindset such that what progress is made, she is not ready to give any credit. I am not certain how that makes her rational or make her campaign credible. For someone who made public declaration that no stone will be unturned, until EPRDF led government is overthrown and the opposition sits in the driver’s seat. Whether that is done democratically done or is the choice the people, why should it matter? For any person of patronizing attune and approach, he or she knows better for the Ethiopians than themselves? Where does such an attitude emanate from? The emotion with which she expresses the situation in Ethiopia incredibly beyond any ones comprehension. She deliberately attempts to create the impression that the situation very desperate and easily garner the sympathy and solidarity of her audience. That is what makes it hypocrisy.
The fact that EU has launched EU Africa partnership, the relations is still structured in the traditional donor recipient model. It is totally lost on some Europeans like Gomes that countries like Ethiopia are older civilization maybe than many countries in Europe and also take great pride in their histories. Ethiopia is one of the least developed countries but making great stride in transforming its society and hence our poverty status should not be seen a virtue. The honorable MEP should know that even poor have dignity and self-esteem. The recent resolution passed by EP regarding Rwanda where she made another attack on another African country is yet another move full of arrogance and ignorance of the situation. many like her in The EP do not have slightest idea about what is going in the continent in general and in Ethiopia in particular. Gomes and others should show some respect to Africa and Africans. Please do not lecture us about democracy and human rights. Africa and Africans are mature enough and are wise enough to manage their affairs. It took Europe 400 years to reach where it is today and Africa cannot and should not be judged by European standards. Give Africa time to consolidate democracy and development. Africa has a problem for sure. There is no denial in that. Problems are there to be solved and that requires partnership but not patronage.
The patronizing attitude is being expressed in different forms and shapes and Gomes has been attacking and vilifying Ethiopia and Ethiopians. Lack of basic decency in respecting sovereign people, an elected government and also constitutional institutions including the parliament of Ethiopia, which is representing the sovereignty of the peoples of Ethiopia, does not give any basis for understanding and partnership. Her emotional way of demonizing Ethiopia went over board and is just in the excess. It is time to say enough is enough. The sad part of the whole story is that big institution like European Parliament is being used to disseminate this propaganda piece. The manner in which she endeavors to blackmail the elected Ethiopian government is a contempt she utterly display at the Ethiopian electorates.
Ethiopians are born free people and persons like Europeans. Who accorded her a divine power to dictate her terms on how Ethiopia and Ethiopians govern themselves? Where does she get this mandate from to interfere in the internal affairs of the free peoples, an independent and sovereign country? Is it because Europe supports Ethiopia financially? Was it meant to meddle in the domestic affairs of Ethiopia and other African countries, or is it because she is an MEP? She has her constituency in Europe and she represents them in EP. Similarly, Ethiopians have their elected representatives at all levels of the administrative structure. Of course she does not recognize Ethiopia's election because she undermines the intelligence of the 35 million Ethiopians who took to the poll made their choice. Whether one an elite in Europe or a farmer in the corner of the Ethiopian villages, both know what is good for them and their families and above all to their countries. Nor do the villagers need a guardian from Europe to speak on their behalf? The essence and meaning of democracy will only be measured if it is relevant to the overwhelming residents in the Ethiopian villages. This is indeed a work in progress. When EPRDF defined democracy a matter of life and death, it was not meant to mobilize international support.
Ethiopia tried other alternative governance in the past. It failed and failed miserably. Precisely, that is why democracy is the only alternative left to hold us together. The obsession, Gomes, must understand is not advancing any cause of democracy. Any person sincere and genuine enough to see Africa developed and democratized, will only try to understand the context and reality of each country. If we are trying to score points on countries in the plenary and media, with the intention of damaging the image of countries and nations, will only push them to the corner. No country will realize a lasting and sustainable democracy by imposition. For that matter imposition is undemocratic in itself. Hope all is not in vein. There moderate, balanced and fairly exposed MEPs who take Africa and Africans with respect and seriousness. Similarly, they take Ethiopia, Ethiopians with due respect and seriousness. In between Gomes and AI and HRW, they share is a common attitude, they do not recognize and respect governments. Never ever they try to balance their data with the official sources. To them all governments discredited. What an attitude.