All the way with Medrek driven by the vision of Birtukan – By Robele Ababya

May 10th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

I would like to start this piece by paying tribute to the opposition parties such as Medrek on home soil for their stellar performance in the debate in which they have succeeded in driving the brutal TPLF Party to the corner, defenseless on every issue raised. (more…)

I would like to start this piece by paying tribute to the opposition parties such as Medrek on home soil for their stellar performance in the debate in which they have succeeded in driving the brutal TPLF Party to the corner, defenseless on every issue raised. They have articulated burning issues with courage against draconian odds.

It is fair to conjecture that those who have followed the debates diligently and objectively have learnt a lot. I did. The ruling party was a loser in all respects. The one issue regarding construction industry – buildings and roads – to which the ruling party sought refuge in the heat of the debate was shredded to pieces. It was told the roads are already badly in need of repair; that the only railway from Djibouti to Addis Ababa is in tatters; that lack of own harbor is costing the country US$ one billion per annum. Gross violation of human rights; utter failure of Gibe II electric dam project; denial of private land ownership to the peasants; virtually no attempt for irrigation farming despite our blessing with plenty of water; poor quality of training and education; rampant unemployment et al are the shameful hallmarks of the brutal regime speaking volumes of its dismal performance as disclosed by the opposition.

The top leaders who represented Medrek – Engineer Gizachew Shiferaw, Ato Seye Abraha, Dr. Negaso Gidada, Ato Gebru Asrat, Dr. Hailu Araya and the young and vibrant Secretary General of UDJP, Ato Andualem Aragé – held their ground so well proving their worth in Medrek.

I have some more to say here about Ato Seye to respond to some of my virulent critiques in respect of my article entitled “A question to ask – actions to take”. One of my critiques asked “Is Seye worth defending?” and another one demanded I should give up my name. But I will never give up my name given to me by my Oromo parents and I am proud to keep my Gobenite psyche of which OLF supporters accuse me.

Anyway, my rationale for supporting Ato Seye without seeking favors or reciprocity is captured in the following paragraph. I hope my critiques, assuming they are Oromos caring for their ethnic group, will understand my rationale.

It was at the time that he coined the magnetic phrase “እስር ቤቱ ኦሮሚኛ ይናገራል” (the prison speaks Oromiffa) that I was convinced that Ato Seye Abraha was really a changed man as an eye-witness to the plight of the Oromo people during his ordeal of six years in the infamous Kaliti prison. “ብርቱካን የኛም ናት እኮ!” (Birtukan is ours too!) is another public utterance which gained him the rising support of the Ethiopian people to whom Birtukan is an apple of their eyes forever. Therefore, I would be remiss in my duty as a human rights activist if I withhold deserved compliments to leaders of the caliber of Dr. Negasso Gidada and Ato Seye Abraha.

Medrek is a credible political organization representing a very wide spectrum of ethnic groups struggling peacefully and lawfully for a bright future under the umbrella of Ethiopian unity in a democratic and compassionate society. It is a beacon of hope of the present and future generation of young citizens desirous of bloodless transfer of power to replace the long culture of grabbing power by the barrel of the gun as the bitter and shameful events which saw the brinkmanship of the Derg and TPLF regimes.

The military junta dethroned the Emperor in a bloodless coup with a promise to hand over power to civilian rule. However, the provisional military government held a tight grip on power and transformed itself into a civilian government in form but in content dominated by members of the Dergue wielding real power. The tragedy that began with the slaughter of over 60 top officials of the Imperial regime in cold-blood culminated in the annihilation of a generation of young educated Ethiopians. The coward leader finally fled to Zimbabwe for his life leaving the door wide open to the TPLF regime to enter Addis Ababa with the blessing and support of the US government.

The TPLF regime came to power in 1991 with outside help coupled with the indifference of the Ethiopian people disgusted by the atrocities of the Dergue regime. Some of us wondered why two pro-communist entities were fighting in the name of class struggle, deploying children of peasants for battle and feeding them to the raging flames ignited by bullets coming out of the guns of the combatants on both sides. There is no need to elaborate the well-documented list of betrayal to national interests, unprecedented heinous crimes, invasion of a neighborly country, and political blunder inciting unrest by exploiting ethnic origin and religious differences – a time-bomb waiting to explode if unchecked speedily.

It is known that there are genuine Ethiopians who argue that the Meles regime can only be evicted from power or forced to the negotiating table through an all-inclusive struggle including weapons of war. This is their right as it is also of others to suggest one more time to give this coming election a chance and catch the habitual robber of votes in the act and go for an all-inclusive highly coordinated struggle.

I have been at almost all trouble spots of our country, including in Tigray during the 1984 famine and Eritrea when our army was locked in battle with Shaebia. A non-combatant, I have seen bullets falling in the battle field. The result of all these is an impoverished Ethiopia, which we see today. Another civil war to which Meles is inviting us by calling us enemies could therefore be even more ruinous unless it is forced on us by the brutal regime stealing votes once again.

The illegitimate TPLF regime emerged badly bruised from the crushing defeat that it suffered in election 2005. It is in power because of the active support of Bush and Blair governments. There is no reason to expect the Obama Administration would do otherwise if the Meles regime steals the election once again. President Obama in his speech from Accra, Ghana has clearly told the African people that it is up to us to reign in our dictators and foster democracy. That is as it should be.

The President, due to overriding national interests, appears to follow the policy of his predecessor of alliance with the Meles regime. Only the emergence of united and strong political forces will change the status quo policy of the US government towards Ethiopia. Medrek is one of the foremost exemplary political enjoying entities.

As to tyrant Meles he will eventually end up in prison for his heinous crimes including genocide. The time will come soon when his financiers and backers no longer need his services. This will depend on the strength of opposition parties at home and relentless support of all Ethiopians or citizens of Ethiopian origin in the Diaspora.

I contend that Medrek should take part in the coming election. That would be in the best interest of Ethiopia including ensuring the continuity and bolstering the momentum for the release of Birtukan Mideksa and all political prisoners.

So, what Medrek needs is cheer leaders at this crucial time it has decided to stay in the contest and fight the ruthless regime at the polls.

The cardinal issue is that the cycle of violence in the contest for political power must end some day. When and how is it going to be?

The answer is that the time is now. The strategy is by supporting Medrek all the way embracing the vision of Birtukan Mideksa. Her dream and that of her generation and beyond is bloodless change. Let us make that happen by ourselves.

Release Birtukan and all political Prisoners in Ethiopia!


  1. Asimba
    | #1

    This is a purely a propaganda piece. It is ntended to paint Seeye as a renaissance man. We know perfectly well that he is an ethnic-supremacist and war criminal.

    He sent tens of thousands of innocent Ethiopian youth as ‘fenji regtaches’ to their early graves during the border war with Eritrea. The Tigrayan commanders were shooting from behind, to force them to move forward blindly like a herd of cattle to be slaughtered.

    The Tigrayan warlords and war criminals had to face the Ethiopian justice. Electing war criminals is a shame and need to be rectified.

  2. Wow!!
    | #2

    You are dreaming, no chance MEDREK will win. They will be lucky if they do not go to jail after election. We know the out come this fake election, Melese will be in power until he is dead, just like the Nigerian President. It is nice to dream from out side, in side Ethiopia it is another matter. We chose to be slave for dictator Melese, that’s what we’ll have in two weeks time. The day we decided to stand up for our rights and freedoms, Melese will be history. For another twenty years, you have to abide and abuse by dictator Melese rule.

    Gook luck every one!!

  3. aha!
    | #3

    Medrek is a conglomerate of loosely associated loyalist opposition parties with ethnic-based agenda in contrast to those with national agenda, along with its nuclear party UDJP, straddling between national and ethnic-agenda. That is the basic-layer of the kernel of the woruld be Tigrai-Harena/fdd/efdr/efdur. In spite of the skimishes and/or rivaleries within TPLF/eprdf and between ex-TPLFites and the current regime to replace each other, the basic tennet of respecting ethnic boundries, ethnic federalism, and/or secessionism remain the same and their arguments on national issues and on democracy is a matter of differences of style, than drastic changes, because both of them do not have the essential ingriendient, individual freedom and the association of these free individuals, who blieve of Ethiopiawinet before ethnicity to bring about democracy of the people by the people and for the people. That frame work of ideology, designated as Tigrai-Harena/fdd/efdr=/similar to TPLF/eprdf, where eprdf and efdr/efdur, of the teletafi parties old and new , respectively are the covers for TPLF and Tigrai-Harena, forming a bi-cameral chamber in the the 2010 election, afer seving the same parliament for over 15 years as loyalist opposition parties. It brings to mind the same notion adopted by Ginbot 7, “the enemies of my enemy are my friends”, UDJP core members and supporters. As far as I can see, there is no clear winner between the two rivals, even if there is a fair and free election, thanks to the Code of Conduct agreement signed by KAEUP, EDP and others standing up for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, anchored in liberal ideoloy.

  4. Beksisaa
    | #4

    Well-written but we shall see if peacefull strugle is the way forward or not. It is a matter of less than a month time.

  5. Tulu Oda
    | #5

    መድረክ የሰላማዊ ለውጥ ተስፋ ነው::

  6. atuba dolla
    | #6

    All Ethiopians stand together in the spirit of love,with collected and shared vision for the the motherland,and the people that we all know is the bright future for all of us.

    Who would possibly doubt voters will win? Ethiopians have presented trustworthy deomocrat candidates for the public under one principled leadership to lead all Ehtiopians to success.It is true the success of Ethiopinas is the success of the voters;if voters win,we win;if Ethiopians win,we win;if all of envision success,imagine how we all be glad in what we achieve.This is why,MEDREK is for now and for the future.Can we see the future?

    Yes,we can.For sure voters bring us victory.

  7. azeb
    | #7


    I know you have been cutting and pasting the same line of argument on several web sites and it shows how desperate your group has become over time. I want you to know that your line of argument has been tried for the last 100 years in one form or another. It is not news worthy. What people are seeing is a different kind of politics inviting all stake holders to form a consensus upon which we move forward and not drag each other down or to single out one ethnic group against another under a banner of Ethiopian unity (you call it Ethiopiawinet). The new vision is both visionary and revolutionary and cuts through the age-old poltics of the winner gets all. This new vision may not suit you. Moreover, things on the ground are differnt from what you would like us to believe. We know it hurts to feel dejected, but the truth is your line of poltics does not have much teeth for a simple reason that you cannot campaign for a cause the majority of people reject. Ethiopia is and will be a different country than what your forfathers envisioned and the process of reintegation of the country on sound principles have began. You just have to swallow it.

  8. aha!
    | #8

    Azeb! One can only form a consensus over one or the other, but not at the sacrifice of one over another, between the positive forces of integration and the negative forces of disintegration. You should also respond to those commentators on the positive forces of integration for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, not those like you who hold on/support, the objective for respect ethnic boundries, rather than original state boundries with multiple demographies, ethnic fedreralism, rather than state federalism, secessionist rights, in lieu of oppression of the nationalities , instead of class struggle in terms of land ownwership and and workers rights, of dismantling Ethiopia of its organci entity.

    It is one thing to come up with one line statement of objection to my stand, while you have not presented a logical argument for the negative forces of disintegration, including TPLF/eprdf regime.

  9. atuba dolla
    | #9

    Guns and Bullets don’t vote people do.It is true there is nothing in common between Zinawians and Ethiopians.The pilars of MEDREK are Ethiopans;if it wasn’t for the people by the people,then,the old and obselele way would have been an option;but revolutionary democracy has been proven to be inffective,inefficient,unproductive and anti-Ethiopia because it has never included people or public in any crucial matters or sissues that are important for Ethiopians;hence,it is selfish and is fragile like cookies.Is there a shared vision in revolutionary democracy?

    Not at all.

    The commonality is always a reflection of a shared vision and collective imagination because it is better than yesterday’s innovation to design and deliver a new thiking;this a paradigm shift.MEDREK is the result of the connection between voters and democrat candidates.In other words,MEDREK is a bridge to walk on and take a pose to see the future,MEDREK is a link that connects people,public,and Ethiopians to voters in convergence as one unified forces for a real and dynamic change,MEDREK is a wide lense through which millions of Ehtiopians see the future in a vivid way,and MEDREK is what voters have been asking and reasking for.Who could ask anything more MEDREK.

    Of course, cadres and Zinawians are getting angrier and angrier day by day,as Zinawi is and are crusing daily like cookies.MEDREK is agile locomotive to Victory.

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