Home | News    Friday 16 September 2011

Ethiopia denies advising US to overthrow Sudan’s government


September 15, 2011 (KHARTOUM) – The Ethiopian government has disputed allegations that its Prime Minister Meles Zenawi advised the US Administration that toppling the Sudanese government of president Al-Bashir is the “preferred option” for Washington.

Ethiopian President Meles Zenawi, duirng a stop over in Sudan on his way to the UN General Assembly in New York, at Khartoum International airport on September 19, 2010 (GETTY IMAGES)

Allegations of Zenawi’s advice were revealed by the whistle-blowing website Wikileaks in a diplomatic cable detailing discussions that took place on 30 January 2009 between the Ethiopian PM and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Phil Carter in the presence of the Director of Sudan Programs Group (SPG) at the US State Department Tim Shortley.

In the talks, which focused on the widely expected issuance of an arrest warrant against Bashir by the International Criminal Court (ICC) on charges of war crimes he allegedly committed in Sudan’s western region of Darfur, Zenwai reportedly said that Washington should consider two options in dealing with Khartoum.

The first one, which he clearly conveyed as the preferred choice according to the US cable, would be to "remove the Bashir regime.”

Acknowledging that such an option was unlikely, Zenawi advocated for making a clear representation to the Khartoum that the United States is not "out to get them" and laying out clear benchmarks of actions expected of the government on both Darfur and South Sudan that would be necessary to "avoid continued challenges" with the US.

In a press release issued on Saturday, Addis Ababa said that the Wikileaks cable seems to suggest that the former US ambassador in Ethiopia informed Washington that the Ethiopian PM spoke with the US officials about the necessity of overthrowing Khartoum’s government.

The release strongly denied these allegations, saying that in the contrary, the full text of the release shows that Zenawi counseled Washington that the option of toppling Al-Bashir’s government was not appropriate.

Addis Ababa went on to say that Zenawi had actually advised the US administration to devise clear proposals to persuade Khartoum to overcome challenges with South Sudan and Darfur.

The press release laid stress on Addis Ababa’s firm position that the responsibility to change any government of a sovereign country rests solely on the people of that country and not on any foreign powers.

It went on to allege that Zenawi told US officials during the talks that Washington should not appoint itself as an alternative to the Sudanese people who are the only party entitled to change the government.

"The Ethiopian government acknowledges that any attempt to topple the government would yield a negative effect not only on Sudan also on the entire region,” Addis Ababa said.

According to the leaked cable, Zenawi argued that the ruling party in Sudan is disappointed over US refusal to normalise ties despite signing the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) that ended more than two decades of civil war with the South.

At the time, Washington promised Khartoum that it will normalise ties as a reward. However, the conflict in Darfur made the US hesitant to do so amid intense domestic pressure to take action that would reverse the growing humanitarian crisis in Sudan’s western region.

“While the [Government of Sudan] GoS thought that they had moved away from a climate of bad relations with Washington when they signed the Comprehensive Peace Agreement in Naivasha, they perceive the United States as having shifted the goal posts on them since" Zenawi said.

As a result, Zenawi asserted that the GoS believes that "the U.S. will get them one way or the other," and from that perspective, they are already in a corner. "Believing they will lose, they perceive no benefit to them of resolving the problems of South Sudan”, the Ethiopian top official said.

Zenawi said that the NCP’s strategy as a result will be to deploy delaying tactics such as postponing the January 2011 referendum, buy time on Darfur and "hope for a miracle" in 2011. South Sudan’s self determination did go ahead in January resulting in a massive vote for independence, which it achieved in January. Sudan was the first country to recognise South Sudan’s secession.

"To die today or die tomorrow, they will choose to employ delaying mechanisms allowing them to die tomorrow" Zenawi explained.

He said that while the "Islamic agenda" may have motivated the regime ten years ago, today they are interested only in money and power.

He pressed the case that direct negotiations between Khartoum and Washington could lead to rational discussions.


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  • 16 September 2011 18:45, by Africom

    Ethiopia’s leader Meles Zenawi was seeking approval from the Obama administration to invade Sudan just like they did against Somala in 2006. I guess the money he got paid against the Somalia invasion was so good he wanted to do it again, and he chose Sudan as his next victim. What a beterayal! He embraces Al Bashir like he likes him, but deep down he was scripting Bashir’s death. I wonder how Omar Al-Bashir feels after learning this fact, let’s not just say its okay, because it is not OKAY for one hungry guy to ask for approval to MUG another country for a pay. The good thing is the Obama administration said NO to Meles.

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  • 16 September 2011 23:53, by richard

    Here I want to share with you one interesting article regarding the Meles denial:-


    Here we go again, on another eye boggling denials by the shameless minority Ethiopian regime after embarrassed by a series of revelation from a secret US Embassy cables released by the whistle blower website Wikileaks.

    Yesterday, they issued a frantic ‘press statement’ with the usual denials and full of armature diplomatic languages concerning ‘two issues‘ raised on the Ethiopia Wikileaks files.

    The first issue that hits the nerve of the Addis Ababa junta was the release of the file that exposes the pattern and behavior of the Ethiopian security forces on how they plant bombs in the city then later blame on the opposition and neighboring Eritrea.

    Because this latest revelation is to their complete disadvantage specially at a time when they were seeking, in a frenzied campaign together with Susan Rice, for more severe economic sanctions on Eritrea under the pretext that Eritrea planned a terror bomb attack during an African Union summit last January in Addis Ababa.

    The report from a 2006 US Embassy cable reference id: #06ADDISABABA2708, said:

    “An embassy source, as well as clandestine reporting, suggests that the bombing may have in fact been the work of the Government of Ethiopia (GOE) security forces.”

    The Wikileaks report goes on,

    “A typically reliable information source contacted Post to report that” the bodies of three men found at the bomb sites were “men [who] had been picked up by police a week prior, kept in detention and tortured. He said police then left the men in a house and detonated explosives nearby, killing 3 of them.”

    This high profile US government report irrefutably witnessed the pattern and behavior of the minority regimes identical lies about a nearly identical “terrorist attacks” that are staged time and again in different parts of Ethiopia in the hope of getting some short-lived propaganda gains on its opponents by playing the blame game.

    However, this also raises some serious questions about the credibility of the recently released report by the UN Monitoring Group for Eritrea and Somalia which blames Eritrean and the OLF for the January bombing attempt at the African Union summit in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

    The second issue that makes the Addis Ababa junta a bit uncomfortable is the release of the file that exposes Zenawi’s ill advice to the Americans on the option of seeing an Al Bashir free Sudan.

    The January 30, 2009 report released by Wikileaks shows discussions that took place between Zenawi and Acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Phil Carter and during the discussion, Zenawi told the officials that,

    “Toppling the government led by Sudanese president Omer Hassan al-Bashir would be the ideal scenario for Washington.”

    Zenawi then went on to wrap up his views by saying that,

    “If he [Zenawi] were the United States’ he would look at two options and the first one, which he clearly conveyed as the preferred choice would be “removing the Bashir regime.”

    However, in its funny denial press statement, the regime tried to downplay the word-to-word accounts of its leader’s discussion with US official on his desire to see the Bashir government gone. The statement went on to say,

    “The Prime Minster has repeatedly pointed out that Ethiopia opposes any regime change policy”

    It also goes on to say also,

    “The Government of Ethiopia has time and again declared its firm position that the responsibility of changing a sovereign government solely rests on the people of the respective countries, not on any other outside forces.

    Unless it is a statement designed as face saving to what amount to be its most embarrassing diplomatic blunders with Sudan, it is in fact in direct contradiction to the regimes recent similar calls for a regime change in Eritrea as well as its hurried recognition of the transitional national council in Libya that brought by NATO’s regime change policy.

    This is what Zenawi said a few weeks ago about his policy shift crap on Eritrea:

    “Ethiopia will continue to work to force the regime in Asmara to change its policies or failing that it will be prepared to change the government itself through any means at its disposal”

    To add some credence to its denials, the regime went on even further and accuses its master’s foreign policies principles.

    “In this regard, the Ethiopian government has a fundamental difference with the United States that sees regime change as an integral part of its foreign relation practices”

    The world has witnessed in recent years how the long destabilizing arm of Ethiopia created the worst humanitarian disaster in Somalia’s history and its continued destabilization efforts by arming and training disgruntled tribes against Eritrea and Somalia. However, the statement tried to paint a rosy color to the regimes undisputable acts of destabilization, interference and subsequent invasion of its neighbors as,

    “The Government of Ethiopia neither interferes with the internal affairs of its neighbors, nor does it cooperate with any external force that meddles in the domestic affairs of any of the regional states”

    The Meles Zenawi regime, true to its deceptive nature, can talk and pretends a lot more than this mere press statement can contain. However, the Wikileaks files on Ethiopia have exposed the Zenawi regime’s deceptions, lies and total disregard for the wishes and aspirations of the people of the region. It also shows the regimes contempt for Ethiopian lives.


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