My Fellow Ethiopians: We’ve just won the Battle but not the Victory. – Mr. Obang O. Metho
We Ethiopians are rejoicing, wherever we are—in or outside of Ethiopia, at the release on Friday of the Opposition leaders, journalists, human rights defenders, political activists and others from Kaliti prison.
July 20, 2007, will forever mark a great day, similar to May 15, 2005 that will go down in history books for all freedom loving Ethiopians, but please remember, as we are celebrating a beginning victory, it is only one battle in a war for justice, freedom, peace and liberty.
Until tens of thousands of other Ethiopian political prisoners who continue to languish in the prisons of Afar; Amhara; Benishangul/Gumuz; Dire Dawa; Gambella; Harari; Oromiya; Ogaden ; Southern Nations, Nationalities, and People’s; Addis Ababa; and Tigray are free, we are not free as a people and our victory cannot be claimed.
Until all our Ethiopian institutions, now being used against us instruments of repression, are released from the tight controls of the Woyanne, we can take hope and encouragement from this unexpected achievement, but it is only the beginning.
Until Ethiopians can live, breathe and move freely about within our society—without fear of reprisals for simply thinking for ourselves—we are not free!
So right now, let us pause to thank God, who has shown us clouds of rain in the sky, but we must keep working until He creates pools of water in the parched desert lands of Ethiopia. We must now increase the momentum of our struggle until it gains wings and flies.
Above all, I want everybody to give glory and thanks to God, through whom this has been accomplished. This victory today is about God and if we are patient and trust in Him, he has far more to give. God is not just watching—he is integrally involved in our dawn of freedom and will continue to help us if we are faithful and persevere.
I also want to thank our Opposition Leaders released and for those still stuck in prisons and detention centers throughout the country for being examples of courage for Ethiopia. It is you who have built a foundation for freedom that will fan the flames of fire within our hearts. Many of you are yet unknown by name to many of us, yet you have inspired all of us by your examples.
It is Ethiopian men and women like this of whom the rest of us are so proud. As people of principle, true to themselves and to what is right, they have been targeted as enemies of the ruling government. Their examples create serious problems to the Woyanne, while encouraging and motivating us in the Diaspora to carry on our advocacy work in the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, the Middle East and Australia. Yet, we remember, the real heroes of the struggle are these people and others standing up for truth, justice, equality, virtue, love and freedom that are living in all the corners of Ethiopia.
We must also give credit to those in the Diaspora who through their persistence from the beginning, have worked so diligently on making those in the international community aware of this crisis, even to the point where western governments have responded with action, like in the United States with HR#2003 and in Europe with other resolutions.
For instance, HR#2003 just passed the markup stage with unanimous backing in the US Congress Sub-Committee on Africa. The committee working on this bill is well aware that continued work is needed if it is to pass the next more difficult steps in the process. Many others in the Diaspora are working and contributing in varied ways and places and because of this concerted effort, our struggle all comes together as a more powerful front.
As we think about all of this, it is amazing what has happened. Due to God’s help and all of your contributions, the sentences went from death to life imprisonment to freedom with conditions to freedom without conditions—giving support to the groundless basis to the case from the beginning. However, it appears that Meles is attempting to block their voice. He stated on Ethiopian television on Friday July 20,2007 that they could not rejoin the Ethiopian Parliament because “they had been gone from political involvement for too long,” incredulously, as if they had spent the last twenty months in prison at their own choice!
Now, all of us, including Meles and our leaders can learn from Nelson Mandela, who after twenty-six years in prison, came out without hatred, hoping to reconcile with those who persecuted him. Both Mandala and the Apartheid leaders had to give up the things that would perpetuate the crisis and further destroy the hope of any reconciliation. Out of that came the South Africa of today, where they were able to avoid a civil war that could have wreaked years of havoc on the country.
Let us, including the any Woyanne, show the world our genuine appreciation of life and of one another as human beings. The leaders of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy Party are the Mandelas of Ethiopia and Meles is the leader of the Apartheid of Ethiopia. If they can act together to reconcile a country in crisis of imploding, we could become a country stronger than it ever was before.
So today, my fellows’ Ethiopian brothers, and sisters do not focus on the pain and hatred inflicted on each other. We need unity and National reconciliation more than ever before. Three things are holding freedom from coming to Ethiopia. As I have said it before these three things are: Lack of our UNITY, the GUNS of Meles and the support of Meles by WESTERN COUNTRIES. The guns and the support of Meles from the players like the US, Canada and Europe, will dissolve if we have a truly unified movement based on respect, tolerance and inclusion.
The strategic goal of our Movement for a New Ethiopia is to reclaim Ethiopia from its tyrannical rulers and their associates. This is a movement of Ethiopians or Africans to reclaim the essence of Africa. We are not pursuing State sovereignty here but rather people sovereignty, to set our people free from oppressive rule. We are seeing a new dawn—are we ready for the new day! May God help us!
The consequence, says the prophet, of a society’s greed, social injustice, and idol worship is a judgment that comes in the form of spiritual degradation, violence, and the breakup of community. The people turn on one another—“and they will fight, one against the other, neighbor against neighbor, city against city, kingdom against kingdom” Isaiah 19:2. The people’s “spirit” will be “emptied out.” Isaiah 19:3