Political Moral Hazard For Africans
December 14, 2009
It is a truism that Africa is the only continent on the planet that has not been industrialized and, therefore, has contributed virtually nothing to climate change.
Yet, it’ll be severely impacted by the effects of global warming.
The long dreaded impact of climate change is already upon us. The current drought covering much of East Africa has been directly associated with climate change.
However, it will be disingenuous to absolve the incompetent African leaders, whose misguided enviormental policies have contributed to the precarious situation that Africa finds itself in today.
Africa certainly should be reperesented in the Copenhagen Climate Change Conference and is morally entitled to seek compensation for the crippling damage that global warming has caused and will continue to cause the continents’s vulnerable agricultural sector. However, choosing Meles Zenawi, the corrupt and brutal dictator of Ethiopia to speak on behalf of Africa is a colossal mistake Africans should regret.
If Africans were looking for a bully to extort money from the financially challenged West through blackmail, they have picked out the perfect bandit. However, if they were looking for a highly respected and knowledgeable spokesman with the moral high ground to negotiate on behalf of Afria, Meles Zenawi is absolutely the wrong messenger.
Zenawi’s 18 year of misrule in Ethiopia has led to massive deforestation and environmental degradation. As a result of his regime’s utter neglect of sound environmental policies four Rift Vally lakes have dried up (Lake Alemaya, Lake Adele, Lake Lange and Lake Abijatta) None of these man made disasters in a predominantly agrarian society like Ethiopia where water is the lifeline for survival has caused Meles any alarm to change course. The know-it-all tyrant refuses to accept expert advice or heed warnings of the coming doom and gloom. In any democratic society that would be a dereliction of duty and an impeachable offense.
Furthermore, Meles Zenawi, stands accused of genocide against the Anuaks, war crimes in Somalia and crimes against humanity in the Ogaden by various international human rights organizations. His heinous crimes include the shoot to kill order he gave to his security forces that resulted in the cold blooded murder of 193 civilians in the after math of the ill fated national election of 2005.
Last week (December 9) during the 6th session of the U.N. Human Rights Council Universal Peer Review meeting in Geneva, his regime came under fire from representatives of the U.S., Belgium, Canada and The Vatican, among others. His envoy, Fisseha Yimer, was bluntly told that Zenawi’s regime was in violation of the various international laws that Ethiopia has ratified and was strongly urged to repeal the draconian civil society laws and so called “anti terror law” passed by the rubber stamp parliament in order to criminalize dissent and turn Ethiopia into a one party ethnic dictatorship.
By choosing Meles Zenawi, a widely reviled human rights abuser and a “new breed” of African dictator, to represent Africa, African leaders are embracing a political moral hazard by rewarding a discredited criminal to be the spokesman for Africa. By all measures, Meles Zenawi, the personification of evil in Africa, deserves to stand before the International Criminal Court at The Hague answering for his crimes against the people of Ethiopia and not negotiating for Africa in Copenhagen.
Ginbot 7 Movement for Justice, Freedom and Democracy
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