ADDIS ABABA – BlueSpace Management Services Plc has distanced itself from shareholder Eleni GabreMadhin (PhD) after a leaked of video of a meeting that discussed plans to unseat a democratically elected government in Ethiopia.
“I am shocked & saddened by statements made (in a widely circulated video) by Eleni GabreMadhin, a shareholder of BlueSpace,” said Zemedeneh Nigatu, another shareholder of BlueSpace on Friday.
“All 5 of us BlueSpace shareholders categorically denounce her statements in the strongest terms & we stand 100% behind the elected government of Ethiopia,” he added.
Secret Zoom Meeting
Video footage, involving Eleni and several US and EU diplomats meeting with a representative of the TPLF Berhane Gebre-christos, was released by Jeff Pearce, an investigative journalist and writer, on Wednesday.
The zoom meeting – held under the auspices of the Peace and Development Center International (PDCI) and moderated by another Ethiopian Ephraim Isaac (Prof), shows participants planning a transitional government for Ethiopia.
During the meeting, Berhane told the participants that there was wide support for the TPLF – and group the Ethiopian parliament designated as terrorist, and discussed TPLF’s plan of “transitional arrangement”.
In a response to Berhane, Vcki Huddleston, who was Chargé d’Affaires ad interim in Ethiopia during the TPLF era, said “I hope you’ll have military success fairly soon, because it seems as if the situation is only becoming more drastic”.
“Abiy should step down, there should be an all-inclusive transition government,” she added.
France’s former top diplomat in Ethiopia, Stéphane Gompertz, on his part, openly speculated on the potential for Abiy to be forced from power.
“Even if Abiy sticks to his guns, which unfortunately he seems to be doing, you either hope that people around him either in government or in the military realize that this is going nowhere and might force him to, well, accept the cessation of hostilities or force him to step down?”, Gompertz inquires.
Former EU ambassador to Ethiopia Tim Clarke, after expressing his “huge honor and privilege” for seeing Berhane, told participants to “maintain contacts with our former employees. Just the other day I was talking to the existing EU ambassador to Ethiopia.”
In her brief participation, Eleni, without opposing the idea of unseating a democratically elected administration raised in the meeting, asked representative Birhane how TPLF plans to execute a transitional government in Ethiopia.
“We’ve heard various sources and analysis that Ethiopia has gone back 30 to 40 years back…, so one of the things post-transition is a reconstruction of Ethiopia in some form of martial plan,” she said.
“My question to you, Ambassador Birhane is to what extent has there been some kind of an estimation of the extent of the Marshall plan that will be required to bring Ethiopia back to even where we were three years ago,” she asked.
Eleni also posed another question on the social fabric she claimed “has been completely torn apart”.
“Frightening how quickly the ‘unitarist’ perspective took hold…. We’ve to do something about it,” she told the TPLF representative.
Her questions followed an earlier brief introduction she made involving a remark “…it’s also an honor to hear from Ambassador Berhane for whom I have deep respect and to encourage him in what he is doing”.
The secret meeting took place on Sunday – the day Ethiopians and friends of Ethiopia held a worldwide NoMore demonstration, protesting foreign interference in the internal affairs of the East African nation.
The video footage of the meeting, however, surfaced on Wednesday, and spread rapidly on social media.
Many expressed their disappointment about the meeting. Eleni, whose criticism of the government for searching her home in Addis Ababa became a subject of public discussion, soon became at the receiving end of condemnation.
“The same @EleniGabre who was shedding crocodile tears about federal troops coming to her home in Addis is seen here on a leaked recent video plotting the overthrow of the elected Govt of Ethiopia,” tweeted Hermela Aregawi, a US based journalist.
“What is wrong with you people – zero integrity, all the entitlement. #NoMore,” she added.
Another one wrote saying “being in a meeting with a rep of a terrorist org is one thing. But please tell us. What is it that he does that you encourage? #NoMore”.
Eleni’s Controversial Responds
Following widespread criticism on and off social media, Eleni wrote a letter defending herself saying her involvement has been “deliberately misrepresented”.
“I don’t endorse any views presented at the meeting” nore “support an unconstitutional change of government”, she said in a page-long letter posted on her social media accounts on Thursday night.
Eleni also defended PDCI, to which she is a member, saying it was established by “independent and non-affiliated” in “mid-2020″ on a “principle of power of love to overcome hate and that peace can be learnt”.
Many Ethiopians on social media, however, dismissed her letter with some suggesting it is a ploy to save her current job of Chief Innovation Officer at the UNDP’s Regional Bureau for Africa.
“We watched what Eleni said with our own bare eyes & her denial is gas-lighting & also insulting the public’s intelligence!,” wrote Solomon Kassa, a TV personality in Ethiopia, on Twitter.
“A remorse/apology would’ve given her the benefit of the doubt, even in the slightest form, but her denial shows what she said wasn’t a mistake! #NoMore,” he added.
UNDP Ethiopia “must clarify their stance on this Sr staff member caught on video discussing a military coup against the host country Ethiopia – a clear violation of UN mandate. We need an answer,” said the Ethio-American Development Council (EDC).
The petition calling for the removal of Dr. Eleni from the UN job has received thousands of signatures in the wake of the secret zoom meeting.
Others also accused Dr. Eleni of lying about “small staff too”.
“Eleni’s issue is clearly pathological because she’s lying about the small stuff too,” wrote Elizer Abate on twitter. “According to IRS (The Internal Revenue Service of the US government) records PDCI was not formed in mid-2020, but in September of 2020.”
“The website that personally set up was registered on Nov 3 2020 the same date as the Northern Command attacks,” he added.
On Friday, the Authority for CSOs revoked the license of Peace and Development Center (PDC), under which PDC is Registered in Ethiopia, on the basis of the order of the State of Emergency Command Post which is entrusted to do so by State of Emergency decree.
Featured Photo: Apart from former and current US and EU elopements, Ethiopians – seen in the the illustration picture took part in the secret meeting says report. [Photo FBC]