In this piece, the writer argues the short-sightedness of newspaper “experts” of Morgenbladet, a Norwegian weekly, in their analyses on the actions of the Nobel Peace Laureate PM Abiy Ahmed (PhD.). Also, he urges these “experts” to get the facts on the ground right particularly on how the terrorist TPLF slammed the door on peaceful ways of resolving differences.
The recent so-called newspaper expert’s panel judgment in comparing heads of states in the world shows their superficial, rather than true, knowledge about the context of Ethiopia. This newspaper, Morgenbladet, and the so-called expert’s panel is influenced by a one-sided perspective, the western way of looking at the world. It is void of contextual knowledge of the situation in Ethiopia. They think they know it. But their knowledge suffers from a shallow understanding of the facts on the ground. The source of information they used for their judgment is skewed to some narrative. They may be experts in some things, but not necessarily on this one. That is why we dare to confront their judgment for coming out in the open with an unsharpened conclusion.
The main criteria for their decision.
The criteria for comparing the selected head of state, like Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK, Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brazil, Michel Aoun, President of Lebanon, and Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia was as follows: if the head of state contributed to the economic downturn; started or supported a civil war; suppress political and civil rights; managed to break down democracy, and handled the pandemic poorly in the respected countries. The second criteria, “started or supported a civil war”, was the main criteria to decide who the worst head of states in the world was in 2021, according to the panelists.
The criteria are not a problem for us. Instead, the expert’s knowledge about the context of the problem is. Who actually started this war in Ethiopia? Who also supports this civil war? Do they know that the war was designed, planned, and initiated by the TPLF, a terrorist organization that is supported and sustained by the western countries, including the countries of these experts? We doubt it. If they know it, they could have said the contrary. That is, the best head of state in 2021 is actually, the Ethiopian Prime minister, given all the problems he faced during 2021.
They do not ask the real question for themselves. Why do you give the Nobel peace prize in 2019 and nominate the same leader for the worst in 2021? Is it not clear that your judgment suffering from a lack of understanding of the complex situation. Do not blame the same person who did not participate in your judgment. Ask yourself the following: what is that deeper context about the conflict that you did not get it yet? In fact, the leader whom you judge unwisely was at first blamed by his own people
(the most majority) for his reluctance to take action on those rebels who are assisted by the west.
Lack of credible source of information
Referring to what the New York Times has said about the situation in Ethiopia shows how skewed and one-sided your evaluation can be. Don’t you know that the New York times has come with a report that glorifies the use of child soldiers by the TPLF, in their struggle to destroy a sovereign nation? It was a front-page story, which may be deleted now after a huge opposition movement on Twitter against it. That is how far New York times is biased. Many of the media in the west has reported Genocide in Tigray, which later was proved by the UN report that it is not the case. We can pile the list of abuse of narratives by the well-known media in the west about the situation in Ethiopia in 2021. It was systematic, coordinated, and targeted both the leader and the sovereignty of the country.
Even one of the experts in the panel, says to the newspaper called Morgenbladet, “With the Nobel Prize in his pocket and the recognition that comes with it from international alliances, a lot was in place for Abiy to develop his country in a positive direction. He wasted that opportunity and seems to have put his own concerns over that of his citizens.” Let’s examine this short-sighted statement. People with an understanding of the facts and contexts around the topic know very well that the leader has used the opportunities available to reverse the situation. But he faced unrepentant, dogmatic, cunning, communist, and dictator enemy. The worst of it is, it has aligned itself on the western corridors of power, and this enemy has got the ears of the upper echelons of the western world and it controlled the narrative. And it brainwashed even the so-called experts.
Lack of deeper contextual understanding.
One expert further said: “Since the outbreak of the war, there have been obvious alternative ways of acting, but all of them have been rejected. Both sides have blocked a politically negotiated solution. Instead, Abiy has chosen the most violent solution,” he says. The expert claims that there were “obvious alternative ways of acting”. Which ways? Do you mean the cultural, political, social, and historical ways of avoiding conflict? To your surprise, all were implemented through the three years, even now new ways are being proposed. Get the facts right, please.
You do not negotiate with the Nazis I guess, or with the terrorists, Do you? The problem is not about the unwillingness of you to negotiate with such bodies, maybe it is about how unwilling is the other side to change its position. If the other side only has one option, there is no negotiation. For Ethiopians, this is very clear. They have faced an enemy which uses the western resource, media, systems, and everything and uses it for its own, not even to the people in Tigray. Actually, the people in Tigray are held by this terrorist organization. They are trapped by the sense of loyalty to ethnicity and ideology of TPLF which lies on self-determination, instead of mutual respect as a citizen in the country.
Hence, their judgment is shallow. It is biased and superficial. But this nomination feels to us, just one another way, the colonial mindset tries to project its own view of the world on others. The world will be a better place if we are more humble and learn from one other, instead of dictating others with shallow understanding.
Editor’s Note: The views entertained in this article do not necessarily reflect the stance of The
BY DEJEN RAS
THE ETHIOPIAN SUNDAY EDITION 16 JANUARY 2022