Tears for Ethiopia

ShiBire Desalegn

Her name is ShiBire Desalegn.

She is the first person to be killed when Meles Zenawi unleashed his forces following a peaceful protest by Addis Ababa University (AAU) students on June 6. She was shot and killed by EPRDF troops as she and her friends tried to block the road in Kotebe that leads to the Sendafa torture camp.

She helped escape several AAU students from torture by helping them jump from the trucks that were taking them to Sendafa. She didn’t have any weapon. But that didn’t stop the EPRDF troops from shooting her to death.

A high caliber bullet pierced through her neck. (via Ethiopundit)

Messeret Tadesse

Messeret Tadesse is fourteen years old.

She was attending an elementary school in Kotebe until she was shot in the back with a high caliber bullet on June 6. Miraculously, she survived.

Fighting uncontrollable tears, Messeret recounted her story to Ethiopian Review: “As I was heading home from school, soldiers with red berets started coming after me. I ran. They followed me with their machine guns pointed at me. I was frightened so I continued to run while holding my books. I heard one of the soldiers saying “shoot her.” That was the last thing I heard until I woke up at a hospital at midnight, feeling thirsty. The people by my bedside told me that people in the neighborhood found me lying in the street and rushed me to the hospital. I asked them to give me water. They said to me that I could not drink water because I had undergone a stomach surgery. I was dying of thirst. I asked the people around me to call those soldiers in to finish me off.”

The frail young girl continued to tell her story: “The bullet had pierced the left side of my back and came out in the front, destroying one of my kidneys. I am surviving on one kidney. They inserted this tube on the right side of my stomach to help me urinate. I have three holes in my belly. I’m in constant pain. I can’t turn to the other side.” (via Ethiopian Review)

Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi condemned the EU report critical of the election process in Ethiopia this summer:

Ethiopia’s prime minister launched a blistering attack on the European Union yesterday, condemning as a “pack of lies” a report critical of the country’s elections this summer.
The EU, which sent observers to 1,000 constituencies, said last week that key aspects of the vote failed to meet international standards.

Ana Gomes, the chief observer, reported widespread human rights abuses, with opposition members arrested and witnesses to election violations intimidated.

At a press conference, the prime minister, Meles Zenawi, said: “The statement in my view shows that the [EU] mission has turned out to be something worse than a farce.

“We shall in the coming days and weeks see what we can do to expose the pack of lies and innuendoes that characterise the garbage in this report.”
Mr Zenawi, a former guerrilla commander who came to power after overthrowing the Marxist Derg regime, hinted that relations with the EU could take a sharp turn for the worse.

Some say these were the first elections in 1,000 years for Ethiopia. But, Ethiopia may have to wait a while longer for their democracy.

And when that day comes, will Ethiopians still remember the name, the face, and the story of ShiBire Desalegn?

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