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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

CRG: Ethiopia, Zimbabwe and the "Politics of Naming"

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The Centre for Research on Globalisation (CRG)

Stephen Gowans - Ethiopia receives little coverage from the Western media, and even less attention from people who routinely denounce the Sudanese and Zimbabwean governments from the left.

That’s odd, for the Ethiopian government has all the flaws the Zimbabwean government is said to have that arouse so much moral indignation. Ethiopia jails it citizens without reason or trial, tortures many of them, and habitually violates its own laws.

The government was … severely criticized for a 2005 crackdown in which tens of thousands of opposition members were jailed and nearly 200 people killed after elections in which the opposition made major gains. Ethiopian officials … have expelled many foreign journalists and representatives of human rights groups such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.

Meles Zenawi, Robert Mugabe

Disputed elections, crackdowns on the opposition, expulsion of journalists: this resembles the charge sheet against Mugabe. So why isn’t Melawi as thoroughly excoriated as Mugabe is? A July 9th Reuters’ report says, “Ethiopian prosecutors demanded the death penalty for 38 opposition officials convicted of trying to overthrow the government, treason and inciting violence.

I read the Reuters’ article to a friend, but replaced Ethiopia with Zimbabwe and Zenawi with Mugabe. There seemed nothing out of the ordinary to her. And indeed, it’s likely that most people in the West would not have detected the deception. It meshes with the Western narrative on Zimbabwe.

If you’ve been reading Western press accounts, you would expect Mugabe to round up the opposition (whose leaders have long threatened the violent overthrow of the government), charge them with treason, and seek their execution. But he hasn’t. Had he, a storm of indignation would have swept the Western world.

Yet Zenawi does the same, and no politician works himself up into high moral dudgeon, no calls are made for sanctions or Western military intervention, and no emergency meeting of the UN Security Council is convoked. Just a solitary Reuters’ dispatch. Why?(More...)

Campaign, Articles, Reactions

-State department briefing on the CUD trial (July 9, 2007)
-Ethiopia: An unbelievable sentence (Andrew Heavens)
-AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL shocked, calls for the court to reject the prosecutor's demand
-Anuak Justice Council: Ethiopians in the Ogaden Need Our Help


-Siye Abraha to be released?
-Ethiopia death call surprises US
-[AUDIO]Human rights attorney Michael Clough on the CUD trial
-Thousands need rescuing after Ethiopia flood
-High Court Rejects Negasso Gidada’s Appeal
-CPJ: Troops raid prominent Somali broadcaster four times
-Somali mosque raided after blast
-Blasts rock Mogadishu market
-My search for the Ark of the Covenant


-European Union Picks New IMF Chief
-China executes ex-drug chief for graft
-U.K. condemns Russian decision on spy murder suspect
-Hamas Denies al-Qaida Infiltration
-UN to test Iran's nuke transparency
-Musharraf faced with stark choice after mosque siege
-Police seize magic trick from preacher

Picture of the day

Ethiopian-born musician Kenna performs during the Live Earth concert at Giants Stadium in New Jersey, July 7, 2007. Al Gore and global partners staged the Live Earth concerts held on seven continents simultaneously to raise awareness of environmental issues. REUTERS

Kenna Zemedkun, 29, was born in Addis Ababa. His family migrated to Virginia Beach, Virginia, where he first fell deep in love with American music, specifically U2’s Joshua Tree, an album that would forever shape his sonic aesthetic. For many years he struggled to find himself, working odd jobs and attending college.(More...)