An EU that received babtism of the highest order
By Aie Zi Guo
Novemeber 22, 2006
Fifty years ago and following the Auschwitz massacre, your community made a collective promise to defend democracy, human right and the rule of law in our planet. It is this community that decided to protect humanity from tyranny. It is this community that formulated international conventions and bill of rights. It is this community that colonized Africans, exploited Africa’s resources and tried to introduce western democracy. Cognizant that the community would be bound by its faith and principles, Africans believed that the EU will stand behind their quest for freedom. As good disciples many worked tirelessly to advance the cause of freedom and solicited the community’s multifaceted support. In the process thousand sacrificed their lives and millions were exposed to torture and abuse by antidemocratic forces. Even sinister African Dictators echoed the political jargons of EU and other western powers to make incalculable misery to their people through torture, genocide and ethnic and religious conflicts. In the end neither democracy nor development was achieved. Africa’s effort to bring democracy, the rule of law and respect for human rights has been an abysmal failure.
In many ways EU has contributed to the failure and to the shameful state in which Africa is in now. The causes of the failure, among others, emanates from the double standard policies pursued by EU and its member states. For example this community remained a sleeping giant while genocide, miscarriage of justice, abuse of power and torture took place at the doorsteps of its embassies. It is EU in tandem with the like minded leaders from North America that nourished tyrants with the means to ascend and cling to power. Aid and loan money has been channeled to dictators through bogus financial institutions of the IMF, WB, and UN. EU monies ‘be it budgetary or humanitarian support’ is used to buy guns and not butters to suppress democracy and abuse human rights.
What is even surprising is that EU in Brussels watched the madness of dictators with utter indifference and diplomatic jargons of restrain and containment. It is this community that shakes hands and toss diplomatic champagne with African dictators on the virtue of containment. It is this community that permitted African dictators to sit shoulder to shoulder with its diplomats and parliamentarians at EU sponsored conferences to discuss issues of human rights, sustainable development, terrorism, peace and stability. EU diplomacy seemed devoid of a moral benchmark when attending receptions and tossed friendship champagnes with tyrants. Is it not this type of negligence and double standard policy that emboldened the minds of dictators?
Yes, it is this community that gave dictators a moral and physical comfort to continue the act of tyranny. For innocent Africans it is inconceivable to see a progressive institution ‘EU' contributing to the proliferation of new breeds of dictators like Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia, Mouseveni of Uganda and Issayas of Eritrea. It is also difficult to see how EU support the creation of banana states that are breeding grounds of terrorism. No doubt this double standard policy of the international community has given dictators a free ride to castrate democracy, and abuse human rights. Now the ghost of dictators does not only haunt the children of Africa but also has become a scarecrow for your children in Europe. So long as this community follows a diplomacy that appeases dictators, its enemies will continue to proliferate in numbers. A new addition to this is the rise of Islamic fundamentalism in Somalia.
Against this background no wonder if millions of Ethiopians continue being baffled by the hypocrisy of this august community. It is no surprise if many find it difficult to count the EU as guardians of democracy and human rights. Ethiopians continue to wonder how and when EU member states who expose the atrocities and human rights abuses of dictators through their annual human rights reports would take concrete steps to standup against tyranny. After the May 2005 election many Ethiopians believed that the leaders of the EU would listen to Anna Gomez. On the contrary the EU shocked millions of Ethiopians by inviting Meles Zenawi to Brussels to lecture this grandiose community on good governance on November 17, 2006. The invitation is testimony to EU’s deliberate negligence to human rights and democracy in Ethiopia. This is an insult to the millions of democracy loving Ethiopians that aught to be condemned and not condoned. There should be no diplomatic and moral generosity of complacence to dictators.
Amidst all these Ethiopian’s hope for change is kept alive by the principled stand of EU parliamentarians including Anna Gomes et el. No doubt this gives the enthusiasm to struggle against tyranny. Sooner or later freedom will come and Anna Gomes will celebrate the triumph of democracy with Ethiopians. Those who joked on democracy with double standard diplomacy will be humiliated like a disgraced dictator. Therefore, it is incumbent on the EU to act in accordance with its charter which is based on the universality and indivisibility of human rights and the responsibility for their protection and promotion, together with the promotion of pluralistic democracy and effective guarantees for the rule of law. It is time to listen to Anna Gomez’s recommendations to do some serious business of disaster prevention in Ethiopia.
In a final note we owe congratulations to the EU for receiving the best lecture of good governance from those who do not govern but rule by the rule of the gun. Ethiopians and the rest of Africans are sure that Meles and other African leaders have succeeded in convincing you with their new paradigm that "Democracy cannot be imposed from the outside”. This statement is a copycat slogan from the recently concluded Sino-African summit in Beijing. China has reassured African leaders that she will dance with any African leader as long as they do business with Asia’s rising tiger. Through their lectures, African dictators have made it clear that EU’s unprincipled rhetoric of democracy, human rights and rule of law has no place in Africa. It is also an indication that those dictators whom you tried to appease for over 50 years are having a super power that will help them in their own terms. Africa is gradually slipping out of the influence of your community. They believe that the international power and diplomatic alliance long held with Europe is starting to tilt to the Red East. Before this take root it is time to revisit your policy towards Ethiopia in particular and Africa in general. The time is now to choose either to be on the side of the people or be against the people of Ethiopia and the people of Africa in general.
Finally it is believed that Meles and other African leaders have given the community ‘wonderful’ lectures on governance. EU conference participants must have received baptism of the highest order from the holy water of dictatorship. Nevertheless, Ethiopians pray that your community frees itself from condescending behaviors, hypocrisy and double standard diplomatic whitewash. For God’s sake show your guardianship of democracy, human rights and rule of law today. Tomorrow is too late to everyone.