By Oromsis Adula
President Barack Obama and his vanquished onetime rival, Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton has promised to restore American standing in the world by pursuing aggressive but smart power diplomacy. To his credit so far he has moved swiftly ordering the closure of Gitmo on first full day of work and the investigation of the CIA prison cells famously called “black sites”.
The few but decisive moves made by Obama administration show a radical shift in tone from the previous administration that supported petty dictators around the world in the name of war on terror. The appointment of
Throughout the long months of campaigning, President Obama had also stated time and again in the most clear of terms that the
To those who cling to power through corruption and deceit and the silencing of dissent, know that you are on the wrong side of history; but that we will extend a hand if you are willing to unclench your fist.
Even if everything else fades away after the festivities are over, I hope that President Obama would keep this simple promise. Just as much as the whole of
The first test of Obama’s policy on Africa will soon come to light with the appointment of Assistant Secretary of State to
In her speech to State Department employees, Sec. Clinton vowed that “development aid” would be an “equal partner” with
In the aftermath of Obama’s executive order to close Gitmo, I write to urge him to work for the closure of African Gitmo. The 2008
Ethiopian dictators are among those who unlawfully clung to power for two decades by force; imprisoning opposition leaders, suppressing dissent beyond anyone’s wildest dreams and outlawing prominent political organizations. This is the fact that is well acknowledged by the State Department and the
Speaking at a conference in Minneapolis in July 2007, former Ethiopian President Mr. Negaso Gidada disgracefully admitted that there were more than “25 thousand Oromo political prisoners when he was in power” some 8 years ago. In line with former President’s belated confession just a year later, Seye Abraha a former Defense Minister who served six years in prison for politically motivated charges acknowledged that Ethiopian Prison Speaks Oromo – clearly underscoring the enormity of the number of Oromo political prisoners at various detention centers around the country. These are just two of the numerous reports on file.
Having successfully jumped on the war on terror bandwagon,
Now the Bush era is over and the new era of American leadership on the world stage has finally began, I write to His Excellency President Barack H. Obama to urge him to move Ethiopian dictators to close the African Gitmo, free all political prisoners, remand all restrictions on free press, public speech, NGO movement inside the country and follow suit with the revitalization of true democracy in next year’s election.
In closing, I would also like to urge African leaders in general and Ethiopian tyrants in particular to recognize what it really means to be on “the wrong side of history”. It is time to embrace the new era and the change that had taken place in the least imaginable of places like