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Ethiopia’s EPRDF Regime Liability to US Interests or, Asset?

Obama administration meeting with TPLF oligarchs, Washington, D.C.

Ethiopia’s EPRDF Regime Liability to US Interests or, Asset?

Amanuel Biedemariam

By design US Horn of Africa policy could only be effective if Ethiopia controls Eritrea. If that succeeds, the US can run regional affairs through that channel effectively. However, this policy has been a recipe for wars because it makes Eritrea the biggest prize for Ethiopian leaders and that means without Eritrea, Ethiopia’s role will be minimized. For this reason, historically, all Ethiopian leaders have waged wars against Eritrea.          

After World War II, the US handed Eritrea to Ethiopia and anointed Emperor Haile Selassie led Ethiopia “Anchor State” of the Horn of Africa and the Red Sea basin. In exchange the US took Kagnew Station, a base in the city of Asmara Eritrea, and assumed control of one of the most strategic locations and waterways of the World.

The alliance with the US made Ethiopia the epicenter of African politics, the powerhouse of the region and significant world presence until 1974-when unexpectedly, power fell onto the hands of low-ranking Ethiopian officer, a brutal dictator, Colonel Mengistu Hailemariam. Soon thereafter Hailemariam established alliance with the then Soviet Union (USSR) and ejected the US from Ethiopia and Eritrea. This power transition fostered a new era of geopolitical juxtaposition between the US and the then USSR.

In 1991, as the USSR fell, Eritrea won independence and ushered a renewed geopolitical outlook in the Horn of Africa (HoA).As the only super power standing, the US immediately reasserted its position and attempted to control the agendas of the HoA.

Immediately thereafter the US restarted the old Eritrea policy that was initiated 1952. Ethiopia was again chosen to play the anchor state role, and within that framework the late war-monger dictator Meles Zenawi received the green light to play the hegemon and aimed to bring Eritrea down.

US Eritrea policy was and remains to undermine Eritrean independence and allow Ethiopia to control Eritrea as it did during the reigns of Haile Selassie. To that end, the late Meles Zenawi was tasked to defeat the leadership in Eritrea and create a mechanism to control Eritrea. This failed policy lead to wars that took the lives of over 20,000 Eritreans and 120, 000 Ethiopian soldiers needlessly. When that failed, immediately, the No War No Peace agenda was initiated with a goal to render Eritrea a failed state.

Hence, the common link of US policies since 1952 has been Eritrea. The goal is to control Eritrea which in turn will enable the US to control the entire Red Sea basin. With the Mediterranean Sea firmly under control of NATO countries, assuming control of the Red Sea will allow the US to control a-vast-waterway of the world. This agenda is transparent by US presence in Djibouti and Yemen’s Socotra Islands amongst other areas in the region. This has been a longstanding US policy.

The above policy failed in 1974-75 with the ouster of Haile Sellasie. The policy failed in large part because it ignored the needs of the people of Ethiopia. At the time, Ethiopia faced severe droughts that Emperor Haile Sellasie’s regime ignored. When it was discovered, shocking pictures of starved Ethiopian children was distributed around the world. To this day these pictures remain seared in the memories of the world. 
The feudal Emperor Haile Selassie failed to ensure democratic governance, equal distribution of land and wealth which ultimately lead to his ouster.

The brutal dictator Mengistu Hailemariam’s failed-social-experiment was defeated by Eritrea during the time fall of the Soviet Union. As the funding from the USSR died the regime died along with it because it was only able to stand with massive military and financial infusion by USSR.

The late brute-dictator Meles Zenawi was a master of the art of deception, lies and, divided Ethiopia along ethnic, regional and religious lines to rule.  Meles used brute force to control Ethiopia while receiving massive aid from the US, UK, EU and other foreign donors in pursuit of Western interest at the expense of the people of Ethiopia and region.    

His successor Hailemariam Desalegn is on the same path openly declaring himself as uncontested winner of a rigged election with 100 % of the votes going for the EPRDF. While Desalegn is considered weak and baseless, the US appears intent on keeping him on the helm. President Barack Obama’s visit could bolster his stance in the eyes of the EPRDF cronies because they will definitively know that Desalegn is America’s man.   

Like Meles, Desalegn’s regime is openly declaring war, regime change in Eritrea and pursuing a federal system in Somalia ignoring international norms and laws as if there are no consequences.

Be it domestic or international, it matters-not what the transgressions are as long as the regime is on-leash in pursuit of US agendas. The Obama administration could have learned from history and readjusted US policies. To the contrary, it is pursuing the same policy. In 1974, failure to foster broad based governance, and propping an emperor for life became futile for US interests. Millions were made to suffer under the brutal hands of Mengistu Hailemariam as a result.   

Today Ethiopia is at the same place it was in 1974 when Haile Selassie was ousted and US presence replaced by that of the USSR. The US has now placed all its eggs on EPRDF’s basket and allowed the minority mafia regime to handle Ethiopian and regional matters as it pleased. According to Professor Terrence Lyons,

“Ethiopia’s ruling EPRDF is getting increasingly authoritarian but for the policy makers in Washington, the EPRDF is known instead as a ‘friendly authoritarian’ regime.”

The difference however, in 1974 Ethiopia was more united than it is today. Despite its misgivings, the reign of Emperor Haile Selassie as well as Mengistu Hailemariam placed the needs of a united Ethiopia first and foremost. To the contrary, today, Ethiopia is fragmented due to the Ethnic Federalism introduced by Meles Zenawi and his ethnic minority clique ruling Ethiopia.

After four rigged elections, the people of Ethiopia have given up on the notion of free and fair democratic transition, and as a result forced to pick up arms. Now Ethiopia is mired by armed rebellion and fire is raging throughout as there exist no other option.

US policy makers know that Ethiopia is a tinderbox ready to explode at any moment. The discontentment of people is palpable. Former US Ambassadors Vicki J. Huddleston and Donald Yamamato are first hand witnesses to the frustration and suffering of the people. Yet, the US administration keeps supporting this failing regime to the point of a presidential visit.

President Barack Obama is the first sitting US president to visit Ethiopia. His visit will have implications for the future. Some consider it a legacy visit as he will be the first American president to address the African Union, in Africa, important historic consideration for a black president. However, the aim is to mitigate China’s advances in the continent, to bolster the regime and to assure all that Hailemariam Desalegn has the confidence of American President.  


The EPRDF regime’s relationship with Ethiopians is irreparable. Genocides in Gambella, in the Ogaden, Oromo, and torture of citizens all over, illegal seizures of land, deliberate confrontation with religious communities, corruption, land grab and the atrocities are endless. The people of Ethiopia have lost confidence completely particularly after the deportation of thousands of Ethiopians from Saudi Arabia and the beheading of by ISIS.

President Obama’s visit will likely achieve two things: embolden Ethiopian resolve and loss of confidence on US Ethiopia policy.

Absent of hope for democratic transition, Ethiopians have concluded change can only come with credible threat of force. As a result Ethiopians are picking arms in record numbers. That means change will come in Ethiopia and history will repeat itself. The question is how will the emerging multi polar world influence the future and whether the US can regain its favored special relationship status with the people of Ethiopia again?

No government that poorly manages a nation that is overburdened by debt and mired by conflicts from within and out can be an asset. No government can be an asset when it could only govern by fear with propaganda as its vital organ.

US administrations could claim that Ethiopia is a sovereign nation and that Ethiopia’s decisions are independent. However, as history proves; to bolster successive oppressive client regimes, the US may have lost the best ally in the people of the region.       

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Ethiopia’s EPRDF Regime Liability to US Interests or, Asset? Reviewed by Admin on 9:10 PM Rating: 5


  1. ...and soon .. the so called "Ginbot-7" will start honeymooning with the US after Agame is ousted ,....same endless sh!t story...

  2. Ethiopia just managed to reduce poverty by 33% since 2000. life expectance gone up to 63. Ethiopia's economy has been growing by 10.6% since 2004. The above economic metrics are available any where to any one to see from any international institutions like the world bank, IMF, and Africa development bank. Ethiopia will be the third largest economy in sub-Saharan countries in the next three years, according Ernest and young research data. Your assertion about Ethiopia is more a desire you want to see than the actual fact. USA policy toward Eritrea has nothing to do Ethiopia and USA relation but a result of Eritrea government's foreign policy failure, as a regime supporter you failed to admit that. Eritrea has no any good relationship to any country in the region or outside the region. Unless Eritrea looks into itself and examine its problems from inside, the tension created by Eritreans belligerent policy will bring more isolations. Eritrea not only has a problem to other countries but also inside the country things are not rosy either. The recent UN probe and conclusions are a good example. Eritrea's problems are self inflected rather than coming from outside. Ethiopia has a long way to go to become a country where all of its citizens live comfortably. We Ethiopians understand that and will try our best to achieve our ling dream of eradicating poverty, eave us alone. We have been in all other areas of political and economics system to understand which is working, the path we are in right one is changing lives. I want to comment about your conclusion. Your conclusion suggests that the very reason of your writing is to suggest that Ethiopia as a country is in big trouble. But some of the reasons you pick to support your suggestion like Ethiopian people losing confidence over the government after Ethiopians return from Saudi and so on don't add up. Your are imagining what Ethiopia should become and writing from that perspective. You are lost in the political spectrum just like your government. Last point, I suggest you watch a CCTV program under the tile the Heat.

  3. I have a hard time believing that the US hated eritrea from the day we got our independence.. We both got sanctioned from 98-2000, the US stop giving ethiopia aid when the war broke out, we received badme...

    The most interesting period is between 2002-2005. Rumsfeldt visited eritrea in 2003/2004. Ethiopian government was increasingly erratic, gambella massacre was reported, the 2005 Slaughter was reported..

    But suddenly, the media shifted it's attention towards eritrea. We became North Korea, the issue of Dawit isaak, g-15, religious freedom, no media started appearing.

    Now the question is, what did ethiopia promise to the west during this period ? To be their only bitch? To be their slave? To sell their soul?..

  4. Any body, but hasadat agame.

  5. You keep crying in our forum and make my day LOL LOL LOL

  6. Wow, your dream is flying in the seventh heaven. You said it, IMF and World Bank have always been the wheel of your regime what to do and not to. Your country's aid-addiction will bring Ethiopia to nowhere. Ethiopia's foster parent USA will make sure that EPRDF bosses would join Mengestu Haile-devil in near future. Then we will see if your dream was true or not.

  7. Read how Greece got bankrupted. There were an economic boom at Greece using loan money and the people were relaxing and building luxury houses etc. Finally they got bankrupt.
    For Tigrain dictator minority to stay in power they has to do something to fool the people of Ethiopia. They take loan as an example ~ $1000 from each people of Ethiopia ( which total = ~90B dollar) that would be paid by the children and grand children of the Ethiopian people. Out of ~ $90B, the corrupted Tigrains take ~ $45B for themselves and spend about $25B in to economy to fool the people, and distribute ~$20B for the people who follow them. That is not the way to reduce poverty and grow. Ultimately the country will pay all loans with interest and will bankrupt like crazy. The only way to get out of the debt is to get sold to big bidder like USA, EU and Chine. That end of Ethiopia if the foolish prostitute Tigrain elite should broken early from the system.

  8. ኣሌክ - Alec youJuly 23, 2015 at 11:34 AM

    Are u okay buddy...

  9. ኣሌክ - Alec youJuly 23, 2015 at 11:35 AM

    LOL...Good for u...

  10. ኣሌክ - Alec youJuly 23, 2015 at 11:43 AM

    Well said... Thats correct.. becuz woyane-tigray can't make it without the whitey.. they even said it.. no African countries can make it without us. so u prove them right by kissing their boots. :)

  11. TPLF's double digit game is another addiction of lying. This poor TPLF regime has been suffering for decades due to all kinds of inferiority complexes. The only cure for this disease would be self confident or Kelete Shewate Mai Tshelot.

  12. Where do get those numbers. Stats are not made but derived from data through research. You can't play politics with exact numbers, to begin with. Ethiopia budget is geared toward building infrastructures which is going to enhance growth. For example, Ethiopia is spending a lot of money in the air line industry to build its national logo carrier Ethiopian airlines. Today the airlines is one of the best in Africa and last year the airline's revenue was bigger than all airlines revenue in sub-Saharan Africa. The railway net work in the country will be the best in the region soon. Electricity is cheapest in the world. All these projects will come together to make the Ethiopian economy grow more for years to come. I wish you could say something about your country's economy, bad or good. But, you are consumed by hate politic therefore, rather than focusing on your problem you focus on Ethiopia which has nothing to do with your life. By bringing hate politics and creating chaos in Ethiopia you guys are trying to stop Ethiopia's economic growth and its momentum, but for what? I said in the past Ethiopia's failure will not bring success to Eritrea necessarily because there will be always a competition in the region all the time. Unless these competitions are won on good measures and good faith it is impossible to stop competition with politics and war. Compete by brining the best out of you.

  13. If we bring out a million people from poverty a every year, if we create half a million job a year, if provide electricity for a million people who never had electricity before, if we provide education for people who never had access before, If we provide technical education for a number of young unemployed people, If we can build health clinics and hospitals for half a million people in a year to have health care access, if you build 50 thousand affordable houses for low income family, finally if we can attract 1.5billion dollar foreign direct investment that is Ethiopia's politics to win the minds and hearts of the Ethiopian people. This can be done. This is just the minimum that can be done with out exaggerating anything in Ethiopia. This is called changing life. once this is done, the result of this multiplies itself to affect other peoples' life and the result becomes five fold. When one part of a society is affected in a positive way the result has a domino effect that will touch other people's life.

  14. When Ethiopia started to chase Alshabab ginbot-7, Eritrea regime army, and cyber space warriors started to put forces together to lessen Alahaba's lose. But it is too late. I order all shabia army to return to base and Ginbot-7 leaders to D.C before Ethiopia makes collateral damage to you along with Alshabab. Be warned, the Ethiopian armed forces are on fire no power will stop them before they consume all Ethiopian enemies.

  15. Don't be full. Ethiopian airlines has sky rocket debt and now the airlines is belong to big western corporate.

  16. *

    ደርጋ ምሉእ መጽሓፍ ዋላ መጽሔት ክንብሎ የኽእልና ንውሓት ዘለዎ ምንባብ'ኳ እንተዀነ - - - ( ኣጋ 23 ብ ገጻት ብንቡር ኣቀዳድሓ ) - - - ንአኣንገድቱ ኣመስግን aka madote !

    ዋላ ኣብ ዝርዝዝር ትሕዝቶታቱ ዕቃቤ ይሃልወና፣ - - - ግዱስ - - - ኤርትራ- ሃገራዊ'ውን ካልእን ከስተንትነሉ ዝቕሰበሉ ኣገዳስነት ኣለዎ።


  17. The Lion of Nakfa Giving a Seminar

  18. As I've said before:

    If you think Eritrea has no power to defend itself what are you waiting then? Ethiopia can't even defeat Somali milisha let alone 300,000 well armed Eritrean army. Beside the 50,000 TPDM rebel army is enough to defeat TPLF. Ethiopians are fighting TPLF not Eritreans but if u cross the line it will be Eritreans and Ethiopians against the Tigray minority rulers.

    Proud Eritrean

    Here is a glimpse of the 300K well armed Eritrean Army just two weeks ago. This is just a mini armed unit. We don't like to brag about our capability. But we have 60 of these ready to be deployed.

  19. Nebi Isaias, he can predict for future and he is the man of his word. I'm very proud to say he is my leader.

  20. That is why we have a slogan to utter everyday.

  21. I respectfully request President Obama to watch my video which has 2 parts before his visit to Ethiopia. These two part of my video will provide him a lot of information that his White House aids an corporate media failed to provide him.

    Mr. President, please watch the following video clips.
    Part 1 &
    Part 2
    Doing so might help you to rethink how you could be able to salvage your legacy as US President of African origin.

  22. Erty said "Of course we know democracy and human right issues are most of the time raised in third world countries to bring states under the influence of the west"
    Erty stop using past and copy and paste and have a firm stand and stop writing to annoy people write what you believe in but having seen you around trolling I guess you are a Dedebit cyber graduate do what you are told to do!!!

  23. yes I'm ok, I'm just reminding everyone to be cautious and not to honeymoon with anyone from the "south of the border", honeymooning with Agame is what got us in this f'n mess. Remember, they all have this f'n dream called "our Red Sea" our this / our that. Haile Sellasie, Mengistu, Agame and Ginbot-7 etc... they all have that same fever. Changing of the guard means nothing as long as "Uncle Sam" is supporting "Uncle Tom".

  24. Eritrea has a public debt ratio of 130% of GDP, we're not doing much better brother. But you are right Alec that Ethiopia is usurping up debt at record levels. I can show you report after report where the Ethiopian government is engaging in another project financed by loans and that will be a financial burden to the country down the road (when the payments have to be made and the loan has to be paid back), but don't think that Eritrea is doing much better in terms of macro-economic indicators man.

    The government needs to be more transparent. Just to give you an indication, the Eritrean government is has never published a national budget. Not once did we have a overview of the expenditures and incomes that the Eritrean government had in a year. You and I have no idea how much revenue the mining projects in Eritrea generate for the Eritrean state. If we want to get a good indication we are forced to look into the annual reports of Nevsun and other mining companies. Don't you think that it's telling that an annual report from a far away Canadian mining company is more informative regarding the Eritrean government revenues than the Eritrean government's websites, newspapers, radio, tv etc?

    There is no excuse for the lack of transparency on the part of the ministry of Finance. We need to start a media offensive. The ministry of Information, Finance and Health need to come together and publish report after report giving a overview on all the projects in Eritrea in those fields. That will boost confidence in the government and it will be poison to opponents of the state. Just think about what a statistical report with the headline
    'Eritrean Ministry of Health spent over xxx hundred million USD over the last two decades improving access to health in Gash-Barka'. And then a detailed overview of all the malaria, child mortality, clinic projects in that region. Flood the airwaves with statistics, data and information. This will keep the opponent silent and gives us weapons to fight back.

  25. ኣሌክ - Alec youJuly 24, 2015 at 8:18 AM

    Well i understand ur concern brother, but we are not gonna make the new guy sit on the throne... it will be a game of thrones for the other Ethios-groups.. they will fight each other to grab will be chaos wink wink... trust on that bro. we don't trust the deqi shiwa or others that dream about our beautiful Eritrea and her blue-necklace. I hope that u understand me....

  26. ኣሌክ - Alec youJuly 24, 2015 at 8:22 AM

    "The government needs to be more transparent." There is no excuse for the lack of transparency on the part of the ministry of Finance. We need to start a media offensive. The ministry of Information, Finance and Health need to come together and publish report after report giving a overview on all the projects in Eritrea in those fields. That will boost confidence in the government and it will be poison to opponents of the state. "

    Yep i agree in that one.


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