July 7th, 2009 Print Print Email Email

Woyzero Birtukan a thirty-two year old mother of one belongs to the new generation of Ethiopians, born after the revolution of 1974. (more…)

Woyzero Birtukan a thirty-two year old mother of one belongs to the new generation of Ethiopians, born after the revolution of 1974. She grew up during the violent and traumatic of the post revolution era and subsequent mono-ethnic dictatorship of the EPRDF. In spite of the countless difficulties encountered in the daily life of people, she managed to complete her education and obtained a Law Degree at the University of Addis Ababa. After practicing Law for a while she was appointed as Justice at the High Court of Ethiopia. Having presided in her Court over the famous case against Ato Seye Abraha, then Minister of Defense, which she decided to release on bail, she saw her judgment transgressed and the defendant rearrested arbitrarily. Observing the continuous abuses and corruption of the Judicial system by the ruling political regime, she resigned from her Judgeship and went back to practice law.


A highly intelligent and perceptive lady highly conscious of her duties as a citizen, she joins a political party of which she eventually rose to its leadership. Having the abject humiliation and sufferance of imprisonment with the other leaders of Kinijit, she went back to carry the political struggle for democracy and freedom for the Ethiopian people. She traveled around the world to explain her policies and objectives. Back home she even tried to carry the struggle in a peaceful and orderly manner that theoretically the existing law permit. To the contrary she found herself falsely accused of fabricated crimes and condemned to life time prison, if she did not plead guilty of the alleged crimes and make an apology. A choice that challenges the core values of honesty, integrity and patriotism that she believes in. Her answer to that demeaning offer was NO “ASHAFEREGN”, come what may I shall not betray my people.

Woyzero Birtukan could have chosen the easy way out and abased herself and kneeled in obeisance to the enemy. While traveling abroad she could have asked, like many of us, for asylum in some country and stayed abroad making speeches. But she did not. She went back home and faced the enemy with unflinching courage and determination, in the tradition of the great Ethiopian women like Empress Taytu, patriot leader Woyzero Shewareged Gedle and scores of others.

Unlike the previous generation that went astray in suicidal journey of denial of its history, traditions, spiritual values and mores as a result of which it has remained confused, disarrayed and spiritless; I believe that Birtukan represents a new generation of Ethiopians men and women, who having lived through fire and high water, are saying NO ! The message is simple; they are saying; “We are waiting for no one. This is our time! We shall re-conquer our land and get rid of the poisonous rule that is infecting her, and give our people the freedom and dignity that is legitimately theirs. WE are willing to pay the price and make all the sacrifices to achieve this noble.


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