Why Facebook Should Facedown

This piece came in from one or our readers. It discusses the profoundly negative role social media, especially Facebook, is playing in Ethiopian politics, especially among the Ethiopian Diaspora.

By Shilla Mereb

22 March 2018, Addis Ababa

I chose to write this reflection because a friend of mine urged me to do so while discussing the recent affairs of Ethiopia. Ethiopia has had more than its share of damages inflicted by the web page named Facebook. Now that Facebook is under fire because it has become synonymous with fake news, the company is being accused of doing something or face the consequences. It is time to settle account with the social media and some Ethiopian Diaspora at war with Ethiopia.

In the US there live a huge Ethiopian Diaspora with various backgrounds. The great majority love their country and help their families, invest in the homeland and take pride of the rapid developments seen in the last two decades in Ethiopia. They are part of that development and they own it in as much as they dearly guard the safety of its citizens. These Diaspora deserve only applause and appreciation for the good they are doing.

However, there are others who want Ethiopia to go to pieces and preach war and civil strife. This has been most glaringly seen in the pages of the leading social media named face book.

Some of the preachers of disintegration are remnants of the Imperial regime, a historical spent force, but supported by a number of the so called ‘Ethiopianist academia’-foreign experts who hanker of the good old days under Haileselasie. They hate the current political set up (not all of them) which is secular. They see only Christian Ethiopia. They do not accept the other Christian denominations let alone the Muslims who number about 40 million. They do not believe in the equality of all religions. When it comes to the equality of nations and nationalities, they belittle it by dubbing the federation ‘ethnic federalism’ as opposed to their version of Greater Ethiopianism.

There are others who were born and brought up during the military dictatorship. All they know about Ethiopia is the story told to them by the dictatorial junta whose sole cry was not far from the former-Ethiopia Tiqdem. The unity of the motherland was absolute-they were taught. Although the military regime was republican, there was no room for any discussion about other nations and nationalities. The taboo went as far as declaring war against what it called separatists and bandits. It waged a war against the nations and nationalities of our country for 17 odd years by creating a fertile ground for the formation of 17 armed fronts and groups mostly based on Ethiopian nations and nationalities. That criminal regime bombed ordinary people attending markets and has managed to go away without punishment. Its exiles continue to tell lies not only through face book but also through publications flood the streets of Addis Ababa.

Come ‘red terror’, the heinous killing by the military regime in Ethiopia, the urban elite (EPRP) and youth who opposed the military regime were slaughtered in the same vein that Grazziani did during the Italian occupation.[1] It is a paradox of history that some of the vocal voices who hanker on the good old days of Mengistu were the very escapees from the merciless sword of Mengistu thus (albeit not all). In the same logic that the remnants of the imperial days talk of greater Ethiopian patriotism, the remnants of the red terror sing the song of Ethiopian unity without equality. For them the natural diversity of the Ethiopia should be homogenized either through assimilation or by other means but democracy. The call for a non democratic solution to any problem in Ethiopia is a call for disaster or a rerun of the 17 years war under the military.

The remaining prophets of war mongering call for Ethio-spring similar to the one witnessed in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Tunisia and Egypt and what not. They took sides with some hardliners in Egypt, work hand in glove with the Eritrean rogue state, receive money and even armaments from them. Their command post is elsewhere but the instructions are posted in Facebook. If face book calls for a riot in a specific place, at a specific time, an instruction to burn a factory, for shops to close down etc. that was taking place in Ethiopia. What more is needed to show that face book is engaged in crimes that toppled legitimate regimes, incited wars, created havoc and led to the death of hundreds of innocent people to die and millions to become refugees.

Will Ethiopia allow this to happen through Ethio-spring?

That is a day dream !!! Let the preachers of doom post their fake news. The resolve of our people is going to show them how badly they got it wrong again. This is not they got it wrong. It has taken place again and again. The wisdom of our elders will outdo their provocative calls for war and destruction. The roadmap to Yemen, Syria and Libya is next to impossible and will soon become a blind alley. It has already become hopeless.

Day in and day out the power mongering elite in the Diaspora and their cohorts inside Ethiopia post in face book how a minority population of 6 percent rules with iron fist the rest of 94 percent. It is obvious that there can be no ruling group of six million over 94 million. It is impossible and has never happened anywhere in world history. Do they care? They were told through face book to chase the Tigraians in the universities, the football stadiums, in the busy markets, in the neighborhoods and where not. The language was unmistakably that of Interahamwe who accused and killed 900,000 Tutsis in Rwanda. They were out for ethnic cleansing.

Fortunately though and characteristically so, most Tigraian lives were spared and the killers stopped first by their Ethiopian compatriots and only next by the government they call TPLF dominated EPRDF. They did not stop with Tigraians, they had committed a similar crime against the Amhara in Bedeno, way back before face book was even created, they killed many qimant minority in Haikel of Amhara, they incited violence between the Somali and Oromos, who are next of kin, and I could add a long list. Face book needs not only to facedown but to shut down. Before my words got out, however, it seems the beginning of the end of face book is on the horizon. But the preachers of havoc will come with another playbook. Come what may, their fate is the same. A Tigrinya saying goes:

Truth is like a thin thread,

it can at times go thin,

but it will never be severed.

No matter how much lies are posted on the social media, the preachers of war and havoc will not test the resolve of the Ethiopian people to live together through mutual respect, in peace, equality (no matter whether you are a majority or a minority), brotherhood and integrity. The good old days will never come back. The Ethiopian renaissance is not about hankering of the past but about claiming a bright future. The new nation of Ethiopia is not based on the Kebre Negest but on cutting edge Science and Technology. Shame on you the preachers of hate and war. You are losers and will not make it.

[1] Ian Campbell (2017). The massacre of Addis Ababa. Oxford University Press

2 Responses to “Why Facebook Should Facedown”

  1. Nayhasab Lielna says:

    Yes, the falsehood & fabrication contributes to the instability of current Ethiopia but the ruling party’s absolute dictatorship, nepotism & disregard to the poor also contributes to what we have now. Example: it is unthinkable to say any politically or socially or economically different word in Tigrai. I know many civil servants (teachers/healthcare workers, regular Tegaru who were not killed but systematically harassed and accused if the government officials deemed to think that they are members of the ARENA party. SebeSeltan Hdrom ResiOm. It is just a fact.

  2. Melkamu jojo says:

    You are a die-hard supporters of the ethnic lords of Ethiopia (the TPLF), Yet u claim to have been disseminating genuine first hand info to Ethiopians. You vehemently hate what the TPLF hates and you love what they love. Basically, you guys are haply married with ignorance and arrogance. So how can you be Independent info sources? please stop acting stupid for we the people know who is junk when we see one

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