April 8, 2012
MR. BILL GATES,
FOUNDER AND MANAGER OF THE BILL AND MELINDA GATES FOUNDATION,
SOCEPP addresses this letter to you assuming that news report of your two days trip to Ethiopia and what you said there are on the whole true. If not, it would not be the first time that the State owned news agency (ENA) has propagated a gross lie.
SOCEPP is a human rights organization established in 1995 and it has been struggling for the respect of human and democratic rights in Ethiopia ever since. (Please take a glance at www.socepp.com). The human rights situation in Ethiopia has deteriorated over the years and local and international human rights organizations (including SOCEPP) have been exposing the fact and denouncing it. However the ENA reported as follows:
Gates said “I am optimistic that Ethiopia will continue to make progress…. There are a number of successes in Ethiopia, he said, and adding, the success has to be measured in terms of health, nutrition and income benefits”. SOCEPP would like to inform you that nothing can be farther from the truth. The ruling Tigrean clique is more than adept at organized tours, Potemkin-type swindles and manipulation of false statistics. There is no progress in income benefits not in Ethiopia where millions still depend on food aid, galloping inflation has more than humiliated millions of families and the nouveau rich Tigrean clique wallows in massive corruption. If the measure is nutrition Ethiopians are starving and even in Addis Abeba daily starvation has become the norm. If income benefits be the issue even donor countries and agencies that are often sympathetic to the regime would admit that the gap between the minority rich and the millions impoverished without mercy has continued to widen over the years. What success has been registered in the health field? We think it would be good to consult with the people rather than with the Minister of Health and his officials.
Mr. Gates, if the ENA report of your statement is true than you have been misinformed and given support to one of the brutal dictators in Africa who holds more than 35,000 people un dungeons and ghost prisons, disappeared dozens if not hundreds and continues to brutally violate the right of the people. You may optimistically think the plan to achieve food sufficiency will be realized but millions of Ethiopians would inform you that you are so wrong. A lot positive things are not happening in Ethiopia unless the misery of the people is considered of no value and the erection of buildings taken as very worthy. Who is one of the worst predators of the free press? Who is undertaking right now ethnic cleansing massacres in many parts of Ethiopia? Who has decreed laws that restrict the activities of NGOs? Who is engaged in human trafficking sending modern slaves to the Middle East and selling children (not many of them orphans) under the guise of adoption? The answer sit he regime of the very Meles Zenawi whom you met in Addis Abeba.
The ENA reported that you have expressed faith in the regime and that it is concerned for the welfare of the people. The Meles Zenawi regime has ruined Ethiopia in all sectors and foremost of all in the health and agriculture sphere your foundation claims interest, concern and presence. The millions you have given to the anti people regime increase the suffering of the Ethiopian people by financing Meles Zenawi to pursue its repression and violation of the rights of the people.
In Ethiopia, we say the truth is bitter and it often grips you by the neck. Much as you may not like this letter and comment, you must know that you and your foundation are not standing on the side of the people; you are not helping the people but giving support to their tormentors and the tyrant whose very survival depends on all round foreign backing. SOCEPP is a human rights organization and knows the Meles regime has killed thousands, displaced millions, undertaken ethnic discrimination and repression, engaged in massacres, filled its dungeons with thousands, engages in systematic and cruel torture and more. If SOCEPP calls upon you and your foundation not give money to and not hobnob with tyrants and murderers it is only proper, a duty.