By | February 6, 2018


Norway: Silence and indifference about Ethiopia

Norway Crown Princess Mette-Marit and Crown Prince Haakon

Crown Princess Mette-Marit, Crown Prince Haakon and Ethiopian President Mulatu Teshome at the Palace of Addis Ababa. Photo: Vidar Ruud / NTB scanpix

By Lemma Desta, Last updated: 05.02.2018

Source: Bistands Aktuelt Norway (Google Translation – February 6, 2018)

OPINIONS: After the Crown Prince’s visit to Ethiopia last autumn, it has been difficult to create debate on Norway’s relationship with Ethiopia. It is good that Norway’s relations with Ethiopia are normalized, business and organizations engage, but I would like to say that it was possible to ask critical questions.

I have no doubt that the Norwegian royal house has a social responsibility. They make a great effort. Nevertheless, the question is to what extent their commitment is weighed against human rights assessments? If such assessments are not made in advance, the royal house risks supporting values ​​that violate both their own convictions and the Norwegian constitution.

Although the Crown Prince pair was central to the Ethiopian visit, many business leaders and organizational leaders were on the move. For the Norwegian civil society organizations (with long-term involvement in Ethiopia) this is a known dilemma.

Risks to be expelled

Should they talk about the conditions in Ethiopia openly and honestly, thus risking being thrown out of the country or tied up and adapting? Unfortunately, many of them have chosen to adapt to Ethiopian authorities requirements. Even though they represent themselves as ambassadors and defenders of rights and righteousness, they can not do it in Ethiopia. In Ethiopia, service providers are working to relieve suffering to a few without establishing the power structures that hold people’s oppression being affected.

To help someone is a good goal in itself, but unfortunately not enough if overall structural injustice is not challenged. The danger is that they help to maintain violence and injustice. In recent years, unfortunately, we have witnessed that diplomats, politicians (both in government and opposition, regardless of composition), the royal house, business peoples and civil organizations repeatedly brag that they support human rights and follow “do no harm” principles. But it does not work in practice. The media should question this.

Where were the critical questions?

NRK’s ​​reports on the Crown Prince’s visit to Ethiopia are typical. Suddenly Norway and Ethiopia are good friends with official dinners, shades, presents, appointments and a visit to the government-created human rights organization. Norwegian media reported on a successful visit. The fact that the country was in a demanding and lasting crisis situation did not occur.

Two days after the Crown Prince left Ethiopia, it was an important meeting of the government. There was a shocking report, where the authorities themselves admitted that the country is in a serious situation with popular rebellions. Although the document was to some extent honest with the country’s political problems, it is nevertheless scary that the National Security Council proposed strengthening the military as a solution.

Today I write to express infidelity and disappointment over the silence of the country of freedom of thought and thought freedom, Norway. Freedom of thought, freedom of speech, discussion and debate is one of the good and values ​​I appreciate in Norwegian and Western culture. Of course, it is not always easy to safeguard these fundamental rights for all people and everywhere. But without defending these values, our policies and society are poor. We can easily end up in a situation where untruth, dishonesty, unethical and illegal ways to treat people and community resources become the norm.

I want Norwegian involvement in my country of origin, but at the same time asks that justice and the truth be promoted – that a more nuanced image is emerged in Norwegian media and in the public word change. Both good and evil. The Crown Prince’s visit to Ethiopia raised many relevant questions.

2 thoughts on “Norway: Silence and indifference about Ethiopia

  1. Nahom

    The elephant in the room that has not been and is still not being addressed as much as it should is that the majority of the educated/the financially well off diasporas are in the pockets of Woyane. I remember an article written by Professor Alemayehu G. Mariam in 2010 titled “Where Have the Ethiopian Intellectuals Gone?” Since then after I read the article I did my own minor research on the issue on some intellectuals. To my surprise I found out that majority of the intellectuals I investigated are in Woyane’s pocket.
    It is not hard to do research all of us should do the research, you will be surprised that there are many Non-Tigrayan well off diasporas that do whatever the Tigrayans/Woyanes tell them to do, even while the Tigrayans/Woyanes kill and abuse their own family members back home in Ethiopia they blindly do what Woyane expect them to do. Many are addicted to going to Ethiopia year after year being pampered by Woyane-dellalas so for that reason alone they are willing to look the other way while Woyane rob and kill their own nephews and cousins. The Woyane dellalas tell them they are developing the economy of Ethiopia and they listen to them .

    Reply
    1. አትላንታ

      በጣት ከሚቆጠሩት በስተቀር በከፍተኛ የመንግስት ዩኒቨርስቲዎችም ሆነ ከመንግስት ዩኒቨርስቲዎች ውጪ የሚገኙ ብዙሀኑ የሀገራችን ሙሁራን በየጊዜው ኢህአዴግ የሚሰጣቸውን የልማታዊ መንግስት ስልጠና ኧንካ ለሞሞገት የማይደፍሩ ከመሆናቸው ባለፈ በሀገሪቷ በህወሃት መሪነት የሚካሄደውን ግድያ ለማውገዝ ላለመድፈራቸው ምክንያቱ በእኔ እምነት የገዢው ፖርቲ አንባገነንነት፣ የሙሁራኑ አካዳሚያዊ እውቀት አናሳነት እና አድርባይነት ነው፡፡ጣሰው ወልደሃና የአዲስ አበባ ዩኒቨርስቲ ፕሬዝዳንት ሆኑ::የኢትዮጲያ የመንግስት ዩኒቨርስቲዎችም ላለፉት ሃያ ሰባት አመታት ልጆቻችንን የጫት ሱስ አስተምረውብን ልጆቻችንን የሃገር ገንቢ ሳይሆኑ የሃገር እብድ አድርገውብን ነው ያሉት:: የብሮድካስት ባለስልጣን ዋና ዳይሬክተርና የሕወሃቱ ነባር ታጋይ አቶ ዘርአይ አስገዶም 3 ልጆቻቸውም በአትላንታ በአሜሪካ ውድ ትምህርት ቤቶች በመማር ላይ ናቸው ተብሏል።
      እነዚሁ ልጆችም በአትላንታ በአሜሪካ በውድ በተገዛላቸው ቤት ይኖራሉ ነው የተባለው።
      የብሮድካስት ባለስልጣን ዋና ዳይሬክተርና የሕወሃቱ ነባር ታጋይ አቶ ዘርአይ አስገዶም ባለቤት ኮለኔል ትርፉ አስፋው በጋምቤላ ባለሶስት ኮከብ ሆቴል ባለቤት መሆናቸውን ገለጹ።
      ኮለኔሏ ከመከላከያ ሚኒስቴር ጡረታ እንዲወጡ ተደርጎ ወደ ኢንቨስትመንት ከገቡ በኋላ በጋምቤላ ባለ 3 ኮከብ ሆቴል መገንባታቸውም ይታወቃል።

      የመከላከያ ጨረታን በመውሰድም በሃብት ላይ ሃብት እንደሚጨምሩም ነው የሚነገረው።

      በጋምቤላ ብረቷ እመቤት የሚል ስም ያላቸው ኮለኔል ትርፉ አስፋው ከበረሃ ታጋይነት ወደ ኮለኔልነት ቀጥሎም ወደ ኢንቨስተርነት ሲሸጋገሩ አቶ ዘርአይ አቶ መለስን መከታ አድርገው ድጋፋ ይሰጡ እንደነበርም ነው የሚገለጸው።

      Reply

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