Meles Zenawi Furious Over Abebe Gellaw Heckling

Meles Zenawi furious and embarrassed over Abebe Gellaw Heckling  

May 22, 2012  — Prime Minister Meles Zenawi held a brief meeting in Addis Ababa with senior security officials, after returning from a two-day symposium on Global Agriculture and Food Security in Washington, D.C.

During the private meeting, the premier discussed various issues, including the recent embarrassing heckling Zenawi received in the presence of world leaders from award-winning journalist, Abebe Gellaw.

Visibly furious by the ordeal, Zenawi is said to have suggested a number of unspecified measures to take against Mr. Gellaw and the Amsterdam-based Ethiopian Satellite Television (ESAT), according to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity.

Since passionately condemning Zenawi last Friday, the Stanford graduate and ESAT journalist has become a household name among the Ethiopian diaspora. His shouting match has gained hundreds of thousands of views on youtube and is seen by many as energizing the Ethiopian opposition.

With technical assistance provided by Chinese and North Korean governments, Zenawi's increasingly autocratic administration regularly jams broadcasts from ESAT, Voice of America, Deutsche Welle and ERI-TV stations.

According to the Committee to Protect Journalists, Ethiopia is the second leading jailer of journalists in Africa and since 2001, more journalists have fled Ethiopia than any country in the world.

Abebe Gellaw becomes a household name among Ethiopian  diaspora 

Ethiopia's Intelligence Service Chief Tests Positive for HIV

Getachew Assefa allegedly contracted HIV from a prostitute

May 19, 2012  — Getachew Assefa, the head of Ethiopian National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS), is said to have tested positive for HIV, according to an unnamed official with ties to the elusive and secretive agency.

After experiencing unusual flu-like illness that lasted for several weeks, the chief officer sought medical attention where he later discovered he was HIV positive. Sources close to him say he plans on visiting gulf states to get proper medical attention.

Described as a 'hawkish' character by the former US Ambassador to Ethiopia, the 53-year-old security officer is known to frequent brothels and is alleged to have contracted the virus from a prostitute working at the Sheraton Hotel in Addis Ababa.

Since gaining his position as the head of NISS in 2001, Assefa has accumulated a long-list of human rights abuses, including being the mastermind behind the massacres of over 400 civilians in the Gambela region and ordering the deaths of 193 civilians during the 2005 heavily disputed elections.

Dubbed as the 'Bangkok of Africa' by seasoned tourists, Addis Ababa continues to be a mecca for prostitution. An estimated one in every twelve women living in the capital works as a prostitute and nearly a quarter of them are said to carry the HIV virus.

Meles Zenawi's top security officer tests HIV positive 

Meles Zenawi Humiliated by Abebe Gellaw at the G8 Summit

Meles Zenawi was interrupted at the G8 summit by journalist Abebe Gellaw

May 18, 2012  — Ethiopian despot Meles Zenawi was humiliated in the presences of world leaders after accredited journalist Abebe Gellaw interrupted his speech and called the premier a dictator and accused him of committing crimes against humanity.

"Meles Zenawi is a dictator! Free Eskinder Nega and all political prisoners! You are a dictator! You are committing crimes against humanity! Don't talk about food without freedom! We need freedom, more than food! We need freedom, freedom, freedom, freeom!", shouted Abebe Gellaw.

During his protest, Meles appeared visibly shocked and bewildered, as the center of attention quickly shifted towards Mr. Gellaw.  As he was being peacefully removed by security officials, one of Zenawi's bodyguards had threatened to kill him in Amharic. Despite being briefly questioned by the police, no files were charged against him.

Meles, who is approaching 21 years in power this coming May 28, was invited by President Barack Obama, along with three other African leaders, to a symposium on food security at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington D.C.

With the US presidential elections set to kick off, some analysts have questioned President Obama's decision on inviting the controversial and hugely unpopular Ethiopian premier to the G8 summit, when an estimated 250,000 Ethiopians are said to live in the swing state of Virginia

Ethiopian journalist Abebe Gellaw protests Zenawi
Dictator Meles Zenawi appeared shocked and humiliated during the protest

Ethiopia to export half a million maids annually to Saudi Arabia

May 16, 2012  — Ethiopia commenced sending 45,000 Ethiopian housemaids per month to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), an Ethiopian official said by phone today.

The controversial recruitment strategy will send 500,000 Ethiopian women annually to a country long known for abusing housemaids and foreign nationals in the strict Sharia-governed Kingdom.

Amid tougher restrictions for housemaids working in KSA by the Philippines, Indian, Sri Lankan, Indonesian and Kenyan governments, Ethiopian housemaids have been in high demand by families in Saudi Arabia.

With little to no support from the Government of Ethiopia, many Ethiopian women are often exploited by Saudi families, working grueling 16-hour days and having their passports and earnings withheld to prevent them from running away.

Poverty and high unemployment in Ethiopia continues to be the leading factor that drives young women towards the Middle East.

"There are no opportunities in Ethiopia for employment. I either become a prostitute in Addis or a housemaid in Saudi Arabia. I have chosen the latter to support my family," said 23-year-old Asamenech Alemu by phone.

Earning up to SR4,000 (USD $1,060) a month for legal housemaids, nearly a year's salary in Ethiopia, hundreds of thousands of Ethiopian women will continue to flock to the Kingdom in search of employments, despite the risks of abuse.

Ethiopian housemaid 

Obama invites Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi to discuss food security

Obama invites Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi to discuss food security

May 16, 2012  — Ethiopian dictator Meles Zenawi has been invited by President Barack Obama to attend a symposium on food security at the Ronald Reagan Building in Washington, D.C. on Friday, May 18.

Hosted by The Chicago Council on Global Affairs and World Economic Forum, the event will focus on addressing hunger, poverty and agriculture in sub-Sahara Africa.

Despite having a short notice, Ethiopian-Americans are expected to come out in large numbers to demonstrate against Zenawi's appalling human rights abuses and political oppression.

With an estimated 500,000 Ethiopians calling Washington, D.C. and the State of Virginia home, President Obama's invitation of Zenawi will likely diminish his chances of winning the State of Virginia this Presidential election.

Meles Zenawi: world's smallest dictator

Ethiopia's Economic growth to slow down 5 percent in 2012 - IMF

IMF said Ethiopia's Economic Growth to Slow Down 5 Percent In 2012

May 13, 2012  —  Ethiopia's economic growth will slow down to 5 percent in 2012, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Attributing the decline to surging inflation rates, rampant corruption, and a difficult business climate, the Washington-based bank lender reduced Ethiopia's growth forecasts from 7.5 percent last year down to 5 percent this year in its annual World Economic Outlook data released in mid-April.

Amid soaring inflation rates averaging around 35 percent for over the past two years, the IMF report shows consumer prices in Ethiopia have risen from 18.9 percent in 2011 to 38.11 this year.

Propelled by higher commodity prices and mineral and oil production, growth averages in sub-Saharan Africa is expected to increase to 5.4 percent this year, up from 5 percent last year.

"Sub-Saharan growth is expected to pick up somewhat in 2012 helped by the coming on-stream of new mineral and oil production and the reversal of the adverse supply shocks experienced in 2011," the bank said.

Regionally,  the report shows Eritrea will have the fastest-growing economy in East Africa, while regional economic giant Sudan will continue to decline for the second consecutive year with a -7.3 percent economic downswing.

High inflation and corruption slows Ethiopia's economy

Teddy Afro becomes engaged with Ethiopian model Amleset Muchie

Teddy Afro becomes engaged with Ethiopian model and actress Amleset Muchie

May 13, 2012  —  Ethiopian pop star Teddy Afro becomes engaged with his longtime girlfriend Amleset Muchie in mid-April.

The singer proposed to the model and former beauty pageant contestant at a party attended by his family and friends in Addis Ababa.

In traditional fashion, Teddy kneeled on one knee, took the microphone and asked her in Amharic if she would be his wife. She ethustastically replied with 'yes!' and embraced him with a passionate kiss.

The couple have been together since late 2009, just months after Teddy was released from prison, where the 36-year-old pop singer served over two years on alleged drunk driving incident that left one homeless man dead.

Ethiopian citizens first received a glimpse at how serious their relationship had grown when Teddy released his latest smash hit album, Tikur Sew (black person), which featured a song dedicated to his 25-year-old fiance.

Teddy Afro Proposing to Amleset Muchie
Teddy Afro Proposing to Amleset Muchie

Teddy kissing Amleset Muchie

Study Finds Ethiopian Government Extremely Corrupt

Ethiopia lost nearly 3.3 billion dollars to corruption

May 4, 2012 (Durame) — Ethiopia lost  nearly 3.3 billion to corruption, bribery and kickbacks in 2009, according to the latest Global Financial Integrity study.

In its report titled, Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries over the Decade Ending 2009, over 11.7 billion dollars were lost through illicit practices between the years of 2000-2009.

The Washington-based research and advocacy organization revealed Ethiopia had more money siphoned away to illicit flow than it had earned through exports.

More troubling for western donors is the study finds the illicit flow out of Ethiopia has increased over the previous years. Due to the secretive nature of the regime's financial activities, the full scope of devastation may be underestimated, observers noted.

Compounding the situation for the average citizen is mismanagement and overspending on construction and military hardware by an increasingly belligerent despot has created a situation where inflation levels have stayed in the 25-40% range for two consecutive years.

Moreover, the latest Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index published in 2010 ranks Ethiopia among the most corrupt governments, giving the Horn of African state a dismal score of 2.7 out 10.

It is to be recalled, in 2008, the central bank of Ethiopia exposed its incompetence after it purchased 10.6 million dollars worth of gold bars that turned out to be steel and stone painted to look like gold.

Dictator Meles Zenawi's Corruption 

Mengistu Haile Mariam's Biography

Biography of Mengistu Haile Mariam 

Quick  Information
NameMengistu Haile Mariam
BornMay 21, 1937 (78) 
In Office Feb 14, 1977 - May 21, 1991
TitlesPresident and Head of State
SpouseMarried to Wubanchi Bishaw
ChildrenThree: Tigist (F), Andenet (F), Tilahun (M)
EthnicityAmhara and Konso

Mengistu Haile Mariam was an Ethiopian politician and a former military officer who gained power through a intricate, ingenious and extremely violent campaign against his opponents. He became the most prominent figure within the Derg and went on to become the Head of State (Feburary 4, 1977-1987) and the first President of Ethiopia (September 11, 1987 to May 21, 1991). With the assistance of the United States, Mengistu fled into exile for Harare, Zimbabwe, after advancing rebels were closing in on Addis Ababa in May of 1991.

Mengistu's Early Life

Mengistu was born in Jimma, Ethiopia on May 21, 1937 to a Konso mother and an Amhara father. His father, Haile Mariam, was a sergeant under Haile Selassies's administration, while his mother was said to have died when he was 8 years of age.

Growing up as a child, Mengistu was described as a trouble maker and a street-smart savoy kid who can instantly size up his opponent. He often faced discrimination and ridicule for his darker complexion, something that would later shape his polices against discrimination. After attending school for a few years, Mengistu followed in his father's military path by joining the Holeta Military Academy.

In 1960, Mengistu was assigned to the tough Third Division stationed in the Ogaden for disciplinary reasons. In 1963, Mengistu went to the United States to receive further military training. Ironically, it was his time in the US that he began to adopt Marxism–Leninism and became anti-American after sympathizing with the African-American struggle for equal rights.

After widespread mutiny had become rampant in the armed forces of Ethiopia in 1974, a committee of military officers called the Derg were called upon to maintain order in June of that year. In order to broaden its membership, the Derg started including representatives from the 40 units of the Ethiopian Defense Forces, where each unit was expected to send three representatives. Mengistu, who was promoted to a major the previous year,  was selected by the Third Division to represent them.

Mengistu's rise to power

Political instability coupled with mutiny in the army, led to the Derg to consolidate power in a drawn-out coup d'etat of Haile Selassie on September 12, 1974. With the official ouster of the monarchy, the Derg renamed itself as the Provisional Military Administrative Council (PMAC) and elected Mengistu as the first vice-chairman. After a serious of assassinations against political rivals, Mengistu became the chairman (head of state) of the PMAC on  February 3, 1977. He would go on to hold this position until September 11, 1987, when he abolished the PMAC and became the first president of the Democratic Republic of Ethiopia.

Mengiustu's fall from power

Despite Mengistu's firm control on power, he faced a number of internal and external challenges including 3 coup attempts in 1976, 1977 and 1989 and a war with Somalia in 1977 over the Ogaden. With the stunning victory of the battle of Afabet by the Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front (EPLF) and the Soviet collapse, which ended billions of dollars in aid to Ethiopia annually,  it became apparent even to his closest confidants that Mengiustu's days in power were numbered. After a serious of military setbacks and outright lopsided defeats at the hands of Eritrean guerrilla fighters, Mengiustu was forced to flee Ethiopia as EPLF and TPLF rebels swiftly advanced on Addis Ababa On May 21, 1991.

Mengistu's Legacy

Mengiustu's legacy will be remembered for his disastrous land policies that created the conditions of the Ethiopian famine of 1984-5, in which a million Ethiopians died from starvation. His viscous Red Terror campaign from 1977-8 against the leftist Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Party and other political rivals have placed him on par with Idi Amin in ruthlessness. In total, An estimated 500,000 Ethiopian citizens were killed during his reign and tens of thousands more were placed in prisons. Despite his ruthlessness, many Ethiopians still see him as staunch nationalist who put his country's interest above everything else.

Mengiustu's family

Mengiustu married Wubanchi Bishaw in 1968 and live in exile in Harare, Zimbabwe. During his rule, Wubanchi played a miner role politically, even though she was often seen accompanying her husband on many official state visits. Together, they have three children: Tigist (42), Andenet (40), and Tilahun (36).

Mengistu Haile Mariam with his children

Mengistu Haile Mariam

Teddy Afro's Biography

Biography of Teddy Afro

NameTewodros Kassahun aka Teddy Afro
AgeJuly 14, 1976 (37)
LabelsNahom, Evangadi &  Adika
Spouse Engaged to Amleset Muchie (25)
ParentsKassahun Germamo & Tilaye Arage
InspirationsTilahun Gessesse & Bob Marley
Active Years2001-present in Amharic
Facebook Teddy Afro Fan Page

Tewodros Kassahun, better known by his stage name of Teddy Afro, is an iconic Ethiopian pop star who has dominated the local music scene for nearly a decade. Calling himself a "man of freedom", Teddy sings about topics of reconciliations, unity, history, justice, equality and for political change. These subjects have gained him the hearts and ears of millions of adoring fans, as well as a list of enemies from the Ethiopian dictator and his dwindling loyalist.

Teddy was born in the Kuas Meda area of Addis Ababa, on July 14, 1976. His late father, Kassahun Germamo, was a renowned Ethiopian songwriter, while his mother, Tilaye Arage, was a professional dancer. Despite his parents being involved in the entertainment industry, they discouraged Teddy from perusing in becoming a musician.

Since signing with an Ethiopian record label in 2001, the 37-year-old pop star has officially released 6 albums: Abugida (2001), Tarik Tesera (2004), Yasteseryal (2005), Yasteseryal Edition 2 (2005), Best Collection-Nahom Volume 14 (2006), Tikur Sew (2012). His latest Album, Tikur Sew (black person), smashed Ethiopian record sales and is on pace to become the number one selling Ethiopian album of all time.

On December 5, 2006, Teddy was allegedly involved in a hit-and-run drunk driving incident in which a 40-year-old homeless man was killed. Seizing the opportunity, the Ethiopian government hastily sentenced the singer to six years in prison and fined him 18000 birr ($1,755). After serving over two years, growing external pressures compelled the regime to reduce his sentence and release him in August of 2009 on grounds of good behavior.

In mid-April of 2012, Teddy became engaged with his longtime girlfriend Amleset Muchie. The 25-year-old former beauty paegent contestant was born and raised in Addis Ababa and is an up-and-coming actress that has started in a number of Ethiopian films. The highly anticipated wedding is rumored to take place sometime in late August or early September.

Ethiopian singer Teddy Afro

Ethiopian Actress Amleset Muchie is engaged to Teddy Afro