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Crisis Group international (CGI): A Group in Crisis!

Crisis Group international (CGI): A Group in Crisis!

Probably Meaning Well but

Definitively, Sowing the Seeds for Hell!


Hailemariam Abebe



Dedicated to the Democratic Elections in Tigray!

I must admit that although I have been a human rights activist and an advocate for democracy in Ethiopia for almost half a century, I have never heard of the organization called Crisis Group International (CGI) until a friend forwarded me their press release of August 14, 2020.  As many of you have seen it by now, the press release was entitled “Toward an End to Ethiopia’s Federal-Tigray Feud!” After I finished reading it, the sense I got was that this was a news release from a lobbying group hired by the Abiye regime! But after I did some digging into the organization, I learned that it was in fact in the business of “Preventing War. Shaping Peace.”

I also did more digging into CGI’s leadership and noticed that they are highly educated and based on what they say on their brief biography, they are knowledgeable of global issues.  It must be pointed out though, that of the eight senior leaders of CGI, seven are whites and one black. They claimed to be “international,” but I did not see a Chinese, an Indian, a Japanese, an Arab, or Latino in the leadership.  So, when they claim they are “international,”they do not mean international in the diverse sense of the United Nations. If one wants to be more scrupulous, one could easily accuse the group of deceptive advertisement.

Because I was not familiar with CGI’s history, after I learned a bit more on the leadership, I wondered why a leadership with that kind of resume, would end up with a press release that was so bizarre, superficial, so foolish, amateurish, irresponsible, anti-peace and at that an incendiary one.  It was as I wondered how these learned men and women could totally flank and miss the boat on the realities of Ethiopia, I remembered of an episode that I once had encountered with the VOA Amharic service. 

It was in the late 1980s, when Ethiopia was engulfed in mass killings by the Derg and wars on so many fronts.  Among many of the ways I tried to follow the sad episode in Ethiopia, was through the Voice of America (VOA) “Amharic Service.” Incidentally, it should really be Amharigna Service. I have no idea how Amharigna changed to Amharic! But that will be for another time.  But what I noticed about the VOA “Amharic Service,” was that the Ahdaweeian running the show were twisting the programming to a kind of a morale booster for the Derg to prevailed over the liberation movements in Tigray (TPLF) and Eritrea (EPLF)! Appalled by how these Ahdaweeian were misusing the American generosity or gift to the Ethiopian people for the benefit of their Ahdaweeian end game, I set out to do something about it.  That was when I started recording the broadcasts beamed into Ethiopia.  When I had plenty of evidence on the adulteration of the American good will, I called the office of the VOA Director, at the time, Ms. Binda, to see if I could meet with her and discuss my concerns.

One of the many zillion wonderful things I love about America, is how the people are so respectful of people that are data driven and in the pursuit of the truth.  Ms. Binda granted me a meeting and I flew from Oregon to meet her at the VOA headquarter in Washington, D.C.  I presented my case to her which clearly showed the Ahdaweeian were abusing the American generosity for their twisted end game.  I had translated the evidences into English, and I had the tapes in my hands too.  After she heard my presentation, she was so socked that although the data was so unequivocal and she knew I was right, it was very difficult for her to believe and accept that such a thing could take place in her organization/American. 

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That was then, when she called two of the top Ahdaweeian who oversaw the programming into where Ms. Binda and I were (her office.)  One of them, I had learned, was an EPRP member who went by the nom de guerre of Anberbir.  Once they joined us, once again, Ms. Binda asked me to present what I had told her earlier.  And when I finished, I told her too, that if she doubted anything that I had said, she could have all the recordings reviewed in the presence of a Tigraway, an Eritrean, an Oromo and an Amhara.  But that was not all what I told her. I told her too, that Anberbir was an EPRP top gun who according to the U.S. law, should never had been allowed to enter the United States let alone live and become a U.S. Government employee!

You should have seen the sweat running down their faces! And I believe Ms. Binda could see that the two henchmen were not only rotten to the core but also born liars condemned to a life of deceit and duplicity!  Right there, Ms. Binda ordered them never again to have any kind political discussion on Ethiopia on VOA without the presence of a Tigraway, an Eritrean, an Oromo and an Amhara!After she shut those Ahdaweeian down,she asked me,to bring her a list of ten people from each stakeholder above.  I called the offices of the TPLF, EPLF and OLF and compiled the list (I do not believe I had ten people from each organization, but I had enough) and gave it to Ms. Binda, the next day.  I do not recall the names of the people on the EPLF and OLF representatives but the top man on the Tigray side was Engineer Mesfin Ayenew. And to my delight, it was about a week or so later, the political discussions on Ethiopia began to be aired with all four stakeholders present.  I am happy to tell you that the programming including the news coverage did improve a lot, and the good will of the American people was used in the way it was supposed to!

Given that episode at the VOA, when I read the press release of CGI, and because I did not know the history of CGI, I thought of withholding my overall assessment of the group until I get a chance to get to know them better. And so, initially, my plan was to simply address the press release without drawing a conclusion as to from which angle, they were coming from.  This was the morning of August 16, 2020.  But when I came home that evening and tuned to Tigrai Media House (TMH), I learned more about CGI’s history and organizational structure even more.

What I learned from TMH program, was not only a confirmation of what I had suspected, mainly an Ahdawee woven in the belly of CGI might have derailed the work of CGI, but also I did learn a lot more about the history of CGI from the TMH broadcast. 

With regards to the Ahdawee at CGI, it was not an ordinary Ahdawee but one on whose watch (and in the company of Deputy Prime Minister Demeke Mekonen, Gedu Endargachew and other top leaders of ANDM), about one hundred thousand Tegaru were ethnic cleansed and hundreds of innocent civilian ethnic Tegaru murdered in Shifa, Gondar, Bahir Dar, Debarik, and Debre Markos!And it could have been even worse. If it was not for the Sudanese government intervening on behalf of those ethnic cleansed, there could have been tens of thousands civilian Tegaru,murdered.  This Ahdawee with the blood of Tegaru in his hands and the one without a doubt, who conspired to plunge Ethiopia into the current predicament, was, I first learned from TMH and confirmed it myself later, the former Prime Minister of Ethiopia Hailemariam Desalegn!

I was so shocked to learn that CGI had in fact an ethnic cleanser and a genocide author as part of its board of trustees!  How could that be, I asked myself?How come CGI failed to do its due diligence especially when it was a global knowledge that when the criminal was in power, Ethiopia was not only a smoldering inferno but ethnic cleansing and geocide reports had already made it to the national and international news (!If the CGI leadership could not vet out those being groomed for the board of trustees and ensure that it is, itself, on a moral, ethical and potentially legal high ground, I asked myself, how is it that the leadership could handle topics as complex as global war and peace? If it could not prevent crisis within its group, how is it that it could tackle extraordinarily delicate issues such as war and peace?  And no wonder why the group ended up with the Mother of all debacle that was the press release of August 14, 2020!By the way, it was not only Tegaru who were murdered and ethnic cleansed during the tenure of Hailemariam Desalign but genocides against our Qimant people was unleashed too!  It was also on the watch of this criminal the ethnic and religious wildfires were set off to burn Ethiopia to the ground!

Once I learned that Hailemariam Desalign was in the board of trustee of CGI, I liked to believe that it was this criminal who had hoodwinked CGI but then the more I dug into the history of CGI on my own, I was convinced that, when it comes to Ethiopia, the group has never really been into “Preventing War. Shaping Peace”in a way that could convince me that they are in fact an impartial partner but ones with a hidden agenda! They are nothing like HRW or AI and many other extraordinary organizations!As far as I am concerned and based on their news release and the history of the performance of the CGI leadership, and based on their deliverables over the years, this is really a group making a living peddling noble causes as a disguise for their ignoble missions!Could you imagine the CGI leadership did not even try to vet Hailemariam Desalign before they brought him to their board! I like to believe that they did not, for if in fact, they had brought him to the board of trustee knowing that his hands were soaked in the blood of so many innocent Ethiopians, they cannot be ones in the mission of “Preventing War. Shaping Peace,” but in the mission of “Inciting and Shaping war!”

It is clear from the press release, although they are making a recommendation to the global audience, their sources are, either the newspapers, citing their own previous press releases (echo chamber), and the one call CGI had made toa Tigray high official! I could not find a single reference material that was based on serious research and scholarship like we find with organizations like Oxfam, Doctors without Borders, Global Justice Now, and many other humanitarian organizations which take their mission as their Calling!  I did not see any peer reviewed study paper authored by the group on Ethiopia!  And knowing what I know about the reality in Ethiopia (I just spent two and a half months in the country), I found the press release so appallingly distributing and with an incredible level of contempt for the Ethiopian people the likes I have never seen in my life!  Here were a bunch of people with a tabloid press release telling the great Ethiopian people what they should do!

Before I go further into the main thesis of this article, I would like, on behalf of my Ethiopian people, to tell these CGI “evangelical missionaries”sitting in their ivory towers thousands of miles away from Ethiopia, that they work on the wildfires on their own home countries!  If in fact CGI is into “Preventing War. Shaping Peace,” I say start in your own home countries!  Be a missionary in your own countries before your evangelical mission overseas!  If you are a peace warrior “fight locally” first and prove yourself that you in fact have the moral requiem for global issues!  As it currently stands though, the CGI leadership seems to me a group without the moral courage and the psychological bulwark to confront the issues in their own home front, and are trying, like many missionaries, to find their self-worthless where the helpless “heathen” will see them as their saviors!

Had the CGI leadership had the moral courage, the moral decency and honesty, and truly “Preventing War. Shaping Peace,” was their life Calling, they would have done their homework diligently and know that Ethiopia is a country with a tremendous people with a tremendous history. And if there is something so supremely Ethiopian, it that, this at CGI should have known, we Ethiopians never tolerate anyone from distant shores to tell us what to do!We are over one hundred million people strong and with great scientists, engineers, and scholars of great scientific, engineering, religious, politicaletc. talents!  Just in the Diaspora alone, Ethiopians are everywhere in just about every field!  And yet, this ill-informed leadership of CGI had the nerve to treat us like we were some king of “heathens” who needed a colonial savior! I have no doubt Ethiopian scholars the world over, no matter what their political persuasion, will be united on the contempt CGI had exhibited toward the Ethiopian character! I have no doubt also that Ethiopians of all walks of life will demand of CGI for an apology! If in fact, CGI had been hoodwinked by the Ahdawee, or that their resumes are, in fact, not up to the task, they should say so!  Moreover, if in fact they are a lobbying group intentionally doing it for the “bloody money,”they should come clean too!

There is so much to respond to but allow me to confine myself to their main psychobabble.  One of the most laughable lines in the press release says “…Tigray’s elites should understand that their electoral gambit is hazardous. Abiy, both as prime minister of Ethiopia and as Nobel laureate, should assume the moral high ground, translate his conciliatory words into action and offer a meaningful olive branch to the opposition, including his prime antagonists from the TPLF...”  Now, one would think, those in the leadership of CGI who claim to be an authority of the middle east, Africa and in fact the world and ones who graduated from the best schools in the world, would have some rudimentary knowledge about what is going on in Ethiopia. But as their press release shows there is no doubt that they could benefit from the good old wisdom which tolls “before putting the mouth in gear Ensure the brain is engaged!”

Now, let’s consider what they are telling us.  They are telling us that Abiye “…as prime minister of Ethiopia and as Nobel laureate, should assume the moral high ground…”  And let us consider their “Noble Laureate” psychobabble.  We all know, currently, the Nobel Committee is not only embarrassed and under intense pressure to withdraw the unearned peace prize!  Not just because the whole peace deal between Ethiopia and Eritrea has been a fraud but for the fact that eight of the ten Kilils in Ethiopia, are under military dictatorship!  That, the man CGI is telling us to have the moral high ground has proved to be a seven years old child whose mother told him he will be King but in as short as two years, he had turned out to be King Kong!  A total animal hyped by his mother for everything, never raised with the spiritual, moral, ethical and social guardrails, a pathological liar, and one morally, spiritually, ethically, intellectually, tactically, strategically, and one without the social skills and norms for the country which built one of the four great civilizations on the plant! Called out by the French journalist as a “kid with lots of toys to play with,” and now who is emptying the national treasury to build himself his childhood dream, an amusement park for him to play with while the Ethiopian capital is inundated with so many street children with empty bellies!!! A man, by his own admission in the public square and since then, corroborated by the testimony of Ato Andargatchew Tsege, that he had served as a foreign agent (a spy against his own country) while in key position in the National Intelligence & Security Service (NISS) of Ethiopia! Aman who sold his country to the worst historical enemies of Ethiopia!  The man who has become synonymous with death and destruction, corruption, incompetence without equal, a sleaze enamored with the superficial, the man who has stolen the billions of dollars borrowed in the name of the Ethiopian people, the man who has sold the national and international interest of the Ethiopian people such as the GERD and the public sector, and the absolute jackass dictatorin the history of Ethiopia!Is that what you value, dearest CGI, as someone with the moral high ground? Then again, seven of the eight in the senior leadership of CGI being Caucasians, maybe you do not know it but it sure sounds like you are comfy with a “house negro” than a “field negro!”

Who does really have the moral high ground? A man with proven incompetence, with a fraudulent educational titles,one who could never administer a chicken coop, a pathological liar, a man who has plunged Ethiopia into ethnic and religious quagmire, has arrested so many of the political leaders of just about all opposition political parties, killed and dislocated millions of people, brought the economy to a bottomless free fall etc., OR the TPLF which fought for ideals of the peoples aspirations for seventeen years, sacrificed so many idealists for the cause of democracy,experienced in governance, administration, overthrew a Communist dictatorship, brought the various people of the National and Nationalities of Ethiopia together to write a Constitution which overwhelmingly addressed their aspirations, launched economic policies which propelled Ethiopia into one of the fastest growing economy in the world, built bilateral relations with its neighbors on win-win basis, built an army that became the peace army of the world, asserted self-reliance and not handouts, dammed the Nile, and led the African cause in the world stages!  It built over forty universities and so many colleges, extensive health care system all the way down to the smallest village, ushered several major dams which extended power to not only the cities and towns but to too many rural villages, constructed extensive road, rail, and air transportation system!  This is what the TPLF leaders did when it led Ethiopia!  Now here is the question for CGI: Based on what Ethiopians know to be the facts outlined here:  Who really has the moral high ground CGI?  You got to be kidding!!!  If you in fact truly believe because Abiye “as prime minister of Ethiopia and as Nobel laureate, should assume the moral high ground…” you really need to see a therapist!! There is no way, with that kind of root cause analysis capability, you can handle the cause of peace!

But there is more.  As it clearly obvious, and I have spent two and a half months investigating it with my own eyes, the TPLF led government has shown, while Abiye’s Ethiopia descend into the abyss, TPLF’s Tigray shines as beacon of hope for the rest of Ethiopia!  Whereas Abiye’s Ethiopia wails in the inferno of death and destruction, TPLF’s Tigray thrives in a state of peace but on war-footing against poverty and underdevelopment!In fact, Tigray is a microcosm of the Ethiopia of yester days, right now. Just about from all Kilils in Ethiopia, people come either to live in peace, work or go to the Universities or whatever they want to do so in Tigray; I have seen this with my own eyes!But that is not all.  In the past two years, as Abiye’s Ethiopia disintegrated into dictatorship, for the first time in the long history of Tigray, real political parties, as many as five of them, have been formed. And at this very moment, as Tigray carries with its development and dealing effectively with Covid 19, it is shimmering with election fever, the likes we Tegaru have never seen ever!As Abiye strangles Ethiopia to death, TPLF is leading Tigray into a renaissance in democracy!!  This effort is led by the Tigrayan election commission consisting some of the most honorable and highly esteemed scholars of the Tigray nation!For the first time in the history of Tigray, unlike in the rest of Ethiopia and Isayas’s Eritrea where obituary is raining like a hailstorm, the various political partied in Tigray are running campaigns in person as well as in the air waves!!!  The excitement is so unseen in the history of Tigray that virtually the entire people of Tigray within Tigray proper and elsewhere in the Diaspora have coalesced into a single juggernaut for the cause of democracy! 

Now, CGI, I have a question for you! How is it that not only the birth of democracy but the effervescence in democracy in Tigray of a lower moral “high ground?”  You got to be out of your mind!  How on earth can you say you are an advocate for peace when you tell us that the man who turned Ethiopia in to what it was some thirty years ago, the “misery index” of the world, is of a moral “high ground” over those who are addressing the real aspiration of the Tigrayan Nation?  You have got to be either totally misinformed, ill-equipped well-meaning group or you are a group “with a sword behind the smile!”

There is more.  First, CGI has casted the whole Ethiopian crisis as between the Abiye government versus the Tigray government! Any fair-minded ordinary human being, let alone ones with the kind of resume of those in leadership of CGI, should have been able to know that eight of the ten Kilils in Ethiopia have been locked under military rule since just about a year and half!  And all eight Kilils are under a “Command Post,” common sense would dictate, not because the people requested to be hunted down like animals but that the Ahdawee government of Abiye Ahmed is not only without the consent of the people in all eight Kilils but that the Ethiopian people are repulsed by the barbarity, ignorance, and incompetence of the rogue regime in power!  And although, the people under the “Command Post” have been dying to defend their rights for a good two years, the folks at CGI, sitting in their ivory tower thousands of miles away and unwilling even to set foot to check why things are the way they are, dared to ignore the call of the victims and tell us that the man who has turned into a killing machine is the one with the moral high ground to bring about our salvation!This is, in fact an abomination, with utter disregard as to how what CGI says can contribute to a catastrophic outcome, and worse they are treating the Ethiopian people with total contempt prescribing for us what “these ill-equipped black children” must do!

As we know too, in just the last few weeks alone, there has been an explosion inrevolutionary fervor in Oromia and the people of the Nations and Nationalities that make up Ethiopia.  At the very least, CGI should have been able to see the global demonstrations by just about all members of the Nations and Nationalities of Ethiopia both in Ethiopia and the Diaspora.  Just about all Oromo political leaders have been arrested along with about nine thousand their supporters.  A similar tragedy is unfolding in Wolayita and the other Kilils in the southern Ethiopia! CGI should have known too, that the only city the Ahdawee government effectively controls thus far, Addis Ababa, is surrounded and blockaded by Oromo nationalists. And yet CGI is talking about Tigray versus the Ahdawee government!  Somehow and some way someone has hoodwinked the CGI to treat the Oromos as non-being or the CGI is so ignorant of what is taking place in Ethiopia or the fact that seven of the eight are Caucasians without the benefit of a diversified view or worst, there is the dark side driving the CGI!  Could it be an organization with a noble cause as a façade but with the sword behind the façade?  Could it be an organization with hidden agenda to influence world events for money?  But it defies any logic for the CGI to ignore the Oromo wildfire and focus in smokes where there is no fire?

Finally, I wonder if the folks at CGI know anything about Tigray.  Since they do not seem to know about what Tigray is all about, the CGI leadership must know that Tigray has said enough is enough once and for all!  No more incursions or threats to Tigray’s territorial integrity! No more threats to its peace and security!  No more policies of genocide! No more policies of castration of every male born!  No more ethnic cleansing and no more “Sefera!” No more assassinations and imprisonment of Tegaru because of their ethnicity! No more historical appropriation or historical genocide! No more keeping Tigray invisible from the tourism industry during bookings or by rerouting them while on tour in Ethiopia, and no more economic strangulation of any kind! No more closing of roads, media, transport, power or anything else which endangers its economy or the wellbeing of its people! Tigray will never again tolerate anything and anyone that is, in any way shape or form, a threat to its independence as guaranteed by the Constitution! It will not only have its own independent government but also its own Synod and its own Tigrayan Islamic Affairs Supreme Council!  No subordination of anything or any kind except one mutually agreed in a federation of all the peoples of the Nations and Nationalities which make up Ethiopia!

Tigray will go ahead and hold its elections too!  It was for democracy Tigray had paid the ultimate sacrifices.  It will go ahead with its elections, for democracy or the rule of law is the only guarantor from the likes of the current monster at Addis Ababa from coming to power! It is also the first step for Tigray to set the stage for its options in the future.  But Tigray also knows that there is no democracy after death!  Hence before all else, comes the peace, safety and security of Tigray and its people.  All Tigrayan political parties as well as the th entire population of the Tigrayan people, are united on the safety and wellbeing of the motherland!

As mentioned elsewhere, the Abiye regime have closed roads and blocked TV transmissions. No doubt he will try to shut down, power, telephone, transport and other critical infrastructures.  Should that happen, Tigray will be ready to put the regime in an analogues position by shutting down all ground, air, power transmissions into wherever they are or storm the den where the criminals hide to weave their inhuman designs!  Tigray will never forget what successive regimes had done to bring it to its knees. Since, once more, they have come after us for our very existence, I say, Tigray will, in whatever other form it takes, for the sake of life, liberty, peace, democracy, justice and security, get the job done once and for all, no matter what the cost!

CGI must conduct soul searching as to what it claims to be its mission versus what its press release is telling us. It must conduct careful root cause analysis of the subject matter it tries to preach!  There is a tremendous need to prevent wars and to make peace shine all over the world.  But if we are to prevent war and bring about peace, we must be honest, ones who will never play politics with people’s lives and seek money over the lives of people! pious illusions can only induce war and hence the death of peace!  CGI, if it is to be taken more seriously and become a comrade for peace, it got to look at the issues causing wars with a microscopic eye and arm itself with the facts of the ground!  We can never allow people who have reigned over ethnic cleansing and genocides in our ranks as CGI telling us to do so! Until it cleans its acts though, as the press release made it abundantly clear, CGI in in crisis!  It does not know what it is talking about!  Even with regards to the Tigray versus the stand still, CGI is talking about it in a away as though it is totally either under informed or it has a hidden agenda!  Notice how CGI casts the problem as though it was only election issue when it is not!  The organization has not even bother to mention of the road closings to starve Tigrayans, the state sponsored incitement into ethnic violence, the state sponsored “documentaries” the economic sabotage, the firing and imprisonment of Tegaru for being Tigrayans and the financing of supposedly Tegaru saboteurs to cause violence in Tigray.  The open threats against mother and children, threats to a people who have endured the worst violence under the Derg, and people who have sacrificed so many of their young, for life, liberties and happiness!!!

Finally, the problem in Ethiopia is not Tigray election versus the Abiye regime. It is instead, the Ethiopian people versus the “House Negro” terribly ill-equipped let alone to lead Ethiopia but without the psychological, intellectual, moral, ethical, and social guardrails to run his own life!This is a man whose mentor is the demented psychopath, Isayas Afeworki, who has reduced the great Eritrean people, my people, into prisoners in their own country and who has caused just about a million to flee for their lives but also one condemned not only by the U.N. but also by his mother!If CGI is in fact with “preventing, war. Shaping Peace” as its true Calling and that it is not a lobbying group disguised as a humanitarian organization, it must put its house in order first. It needs to point the finger into itself and fix the moral crisis brightly obvious to the rest of the world.  But should it be in denial, why then it is nothing but a lobbying group not in the business of preventing war and shaping peace but definitively, in the business of sowing the seeds of hell for gold!


Notice to all the peoples of the Nations and Nationalities of Ethiopia:

A group of us (all academicians and none members of in any political parties) are listening and recording not only VOA, BBC, DW, and RFI but more importantly, the satellite TV, YouTube and Facebook broadcasts aired by the Ahdaweeian based in Washington, D.C., Minnesota and elsewhere in Europe.  As many of you know they have said so many things that are not only against the laws of the United States but against international law.  We have in fact established correlation between their broadcasts into Ethiopia and violence which resulted in ethnic cleansing, mass murder and mass dislocations. It is a matter of time until the law catches up to them! 

One more thing. We are also closely monitoring Walta, Fana and EBC.  And so far, the data shows those in charge of those media outlets have in fact, although not in magnitude, orchestrated and fanned hate against Tigrayans in manners similar to what took place in Rwanda!  We have also collected the names of each of those players in this mission in crime against humanity.  We also have two attorneys guiding us in the data collection process.  Soon we will have a website where fellow Ethiopians, who have had firsthand information of crimes against humanity committed in Ethiopia, or ones committed by the Diaspora against Ethiopia, could report to.  Those of you who have firsthand information could submit their information confidentially, and once reviewed by our attorneys, you could be interviewed by our attorneys for further details. Maybe CGI can reform itself and help us in this effort!

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