The recent so-called newspaper expert’s panel judgment in comparing heads of states in the world shows their superficial, rather than true, knowledge about the context of the conflict in Ethiopia. This newspaper, Morgenbladet, has such a tradition in nominating the worst leader every year. The experts set up by the newspaper concluded that the Nobel peace Laurent of 2019, Ethiopia’s PM was named as worst head of state in 2021. Their judgment is influenced by a one-sided perspective, the western way of looking at the world. It is void of contextual knowledge of the situation in Ethiopia. They think they know it. But their knowledge suffers from a shallow understanding of the facts on the ground. They may be experts in some things, but not necessarily on this one. The source of information they used for their judgment is skewed to one narrative. That is why we dare to confront their judgment for coming out in the open and saying that Laurent is the worst leader.
The main criteria for their decision.
The criteria for comparing the selected head of state, like Boris Johnson, Prime Minister of the UK, Alexander Lukashenko, President of Belarus, Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India, Jair Bolsonaro, President of Brasil, Michel Aoun, President of Lebanon, and Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, was as follows: if the head of state contributed to the economic downturn; started or supported a civil war; suppress political and civil rights; managed to break down democracy, and handled the pandemic poorly in the respected countries. The second criteria, “started or supported a civil war”, was the main criteria to decide who the worst head of states in the world was in 2021, according to the panelists.
The criteria are not a problem for us. Instead, the expert’s knowledge about the context of the problem is. Who actually started this war in Ethiopia? Who also supports this civil war? Do they know that the war was designed, planned, and initiated by the TPLF, a terrorist organization that is supported and sustained by the western countries, including the countries of these experts? We doubt it. If they know it, they could have said the contrary. That is, the best head of state in 2021 is actually, the Ethiopian Prime minister, given all the problems he faced during 2021.
They do not ask the real question for themselves. Why do you give the Nobel peace prize in 2019 and nominate the same leader for the worst one in 2021? Is it not clear that your judgment suffering from a lack of consistency. Do not blame the same person who did not participate in your judgment. Ask yourself the following: what is that deeper context about the conflict that you did not get it yet? In fact, the leader whom you judge unwisely is blamed by his own people (the most majority) for his reluctance to take action on those rebels who are allies of the west for more than four decades.
Biased source of information.
Referring to what the New York Times has said about the situation in Ethiopia shows how skewed and one-sided your evaluation can be. Don’t you know that the New York times has come with a report that glorifies the use of child soldiers by the TPLF, in their struggle to destroy a sovereign nation? It was a front-page story, which may be deleted now after a huge opposition movement on Twitter against it. That is how far New York times is biased. Many of the media in the west has reported Genocide in Tigray, which later was proved by the UN report that it is not the case. We can pile the list of abuse of narratives by the well-known media in the west about the situation in Ethiopia in 2021. It was systematic, coordinated, and targeted both the leader and the sovereignty of the country.
Even one of the experts in the panel, says to the newspaper called Morgenbladet, "With the Nobel Prize in his pocket and the recognition that comes with it from international alliances, a lot was in place for Abiy to develop his country in a positive direction. He wasted that opportunity and seems to have put his own concerns over that of his citizens." This statement seems credible. However, it is short sited. People with an understanding of the facts and contexts around the topic know very well that the leader has used the opportunities available to reverse the situation. But he faced unrepentant, dogmatic, cunning, communist, and dictator enemy. The worst of it is, it has aligned itself on the western corridors of power, and this enemy has got the ears of the upper echelons of the western world and it controlled the narrative. And its narrative has controlled and brainwashed even the so-called experts in the west.
Lack of deeper contextual understanding.
The war in Ethiopia was inevitable to happen unless and otherwise, TPLF gets back the power again. However, the people said enough is enough after 27 years of oppression. The depth of the rejection of TPLF by the majority of Ethiopian people was not well understood by westerns. It was only recently that the USA special ambassador to HOA, Jeffry Feltman who understood it and expressed it out in the open air on media. But in the past, TPLF lead government system was their right hand in HOA. They just refer to the TPLF government as a dictatorial system, which creates stability in the horn of Africa. To use such a kind of characterization shows a superficial understanding of the context.
One expert said: "Since the outbreak of the war, there have been obvious alternative ways of acting, but all of them have been rejected. Both sides have blocked a politically negotiated solution. Instead, Abiy has chosen the most violent solution," he says. The expert blames only one side. And claims that there were “obvious alternative ways of acting”. Which ways? Do you mean the cultural, political, social, and historical ways of avoiding conflict? To your surprise, all were implemented through the three years, even now new ways are being proposed. Ethiopian way of solving the problem was tried again and again without success. Culturally: elders are used in defusing potential conflicts. Social: women were begging the TPLF men not to go to war. Political: the political colleagues were negotiating in many ways. Get the facts right, please.
You do not negotiate with the Nazis I guess, or with the terrorists. Do you? The problem is not about the unwillingness of you to negotiate with such bodies, maybe it is about how unwilling and unprincipled, even selfish is the other side to change its position. If the other side only has one option, there is no negotiation. For Ethiopians, this is very clear. They have faced an enemy which uses the western resource, media, systems, and everything and uses it for its own, not even to the people in Tigray. Actually, the people in Tigray are held by this terrorist organization. They are trapped by the sense of loyalty to ethnicity and ideology of TPLF which lies on self-determination, instead of mutual respect as a citizen in the country.
Hence, their judgment is shallow. It is biased and superficial. But this nomination feels to us, just one another way, the colonial mindset tries to project its own view of the world on others. The world will be a better place if we are more humble and learn from each other, instead of dictating others with shallow understanding.