Ethiopian social movement must begin now By Teodros Kiros

January 31st, 2011 Print Print Email Email

The Ethiopian people do know what they are against, but do not know what they are for. The first kind of knowledge is an essential property of the Ethiopian people’s instinctive right to revolt against tyranny. The second form of knowledge is the property of leaders and active intellectuals. We will soon have spontaneous social movements in Ethiopia, but we do not have a well-articulated vision of a new Ethiopia. Before it is too late, we must begin articulation of a vision of a new Ethiopia organized by a genuine principle of Ethiopianity cleansed of the DDT of Ethnicity and cultural decadence. I for one, am making a modest attempt at cultural transformation and our leaders and other active intellectuals must begin preparing a manifesto for an Ethiopian social movement, which ought to work hand in hand with the people’s social movement, which SMNE can mobilize in the Diaspora and link it with the people’s movement in Ethiopia.

The people are ready to spontaneously rise as their brothers and sisters are doing in Tunisia, Egypt, Yemen and many more. Spontaneous uprisings are the necessary engines of social movements. They are infact the necessary conditions for the possibility of organized and disciplined revolutions.

Spontaneity has its strengths but also its weaknesses. We must positively exploit the strengths and protect the people’s movement against its weaknesses. The strengths of the Ethiopian people, particularly the country people, are their generosity, patience, and loyalty. They will respond to our call in record numbers. They will join the struggle body and soul; and we in return must be ready with an alternative vision of Ethiopianity freed from the DDT of Ethnicity and the corrosive effects of cultural decadence through acts of cultural transformation. I continue to address these themes through my weekly columns and my new books, Philosophical Essays and Ethiopian Discourse, which were recently reviewed by our renowned Professor Tecola Hagos.

Let us make use of the strengths of spontaneity, namely our Ethiopian people’s moral frame. They know from the experience of the last twenty years that the regime has betrayed them, and that they want to topple it. We in the Diaspora can mobilize these strengths by doing our part, which is to unite ourselves with the voice of Ethiopianity and extend material support and intellectual support. Our intellectuals must soon write a manifesto of what we want, and what we can deliver to our people, once they join us and die in record numbers. Unless we organize spontaneity with a disciplined resolution to culturally change ourselves, we will miss an opportunity to have a genuine regime, inhabited by culturally changed Ethiopians, who know and can express what they want and how they can obtain it.

Our duty is massive, time is short, and the work must begin now.

Now is the Time.

  1. Birhanu Demeke
    | #1

    To: Tewodros Kiros,

    I thank you very much for your wise and seasoned message to the Ethiopian diaspora,of course we need a well articulated vision for the dawn of a new Ethiopia.

    If ever we organize mass uprising in Ethiopia,we have to make sure that we have a strategy which shall make the uprising a successful one and although such an uprising might cause the sacrifice of fellow compatriots we must by all means try not to let it happen, that if possible or try to minimize it, all that depends on how we organize our selves.

    Those opposition political leaders at home should lead the uprising since they claimed to be fighting the regime peacefully and ought to prepare themselves with out fear and retreat to lead the uprising until TPLF is removed from power.I believe they have a right and the moral authority to help mobilize and lead all Ethiopians for a none stop protest against the illegal and anti-Ethiopia TPLF clique.The exiled opposition political leaders ought to coordinate between and among themselves and with the Ethiopian intellectuals to help mobilize the Ethiopian diaspora so that the diaspora may do meaningful contribution of its part for the intended uprising back at home.

    The uprising should not be like that of the 1974 or 2005!reason its mission should be to remove the TPLF and bring about true constitutional democracy in Ethiopia meaning the uprising has to be organized and should be lead in a way that it shall defend itself against any distractive forces until its objective is achieved.

    The foundation of the uprising should begin with the theme”Ethiopians United Against the TPLF and the demon of Tribalism and committed for Democratic Change in Ethiopia”and its manifesto should by all means be prepared to make sure that tribalism is eradicated from Ethiopia since the intention of establishing constitutional democracy means bringing about democratic and human rights for all Ethiopians irrespective of all our differences.

    All Ethiopians in the diaspora should be mobilized under one identity which is “Ethiopiawi” so do our masses back at home and design the vision and strategy and act to implement the uprising.All members of state organs and their staffs should be consulted in order for them to be loyal to the cause of their people and country by denying any more service to the TPLF clique,since they have the means and power to do so,if only they show solidarity and will to do it as a token of their repentance from their past political sins.

    Friends of Ethiopia shall be by the side of the Ethiopian people because they will have no choice.

    So who can stop us? nobody!but, only our selves and that is if we continue to dwell in narrow tribalism,fail to stand united against our common enemy,keep on valuing our ethnicity,religious affiliation and our political parties,movements and fronts more than our Ethiopian Humanity or Humanness, fail to realize what our country and all its people are going through under the two decades of TPLF fascist and anti-Ethiopia rule. .

    I hope we have come to a time when we ought to stop making ourselves a laughing stoke of Africa and the rest of the world.It is time for all of us to say we have one country(Ethiopia),We have one identity(Ethiopian/wi),We have one flag(Green,Yellow,Red),We have one enemy TPLF and Tribalism which we ought to remove from the face of Ethiopia one aim/purpose/ and mission establish constitutional democracy in Ethiopia in the post TPLF era for the common good of all Ethiopians.Let us see outside the box of our narrowness to be like the Tunis people and Egyptians because that is what all our innocent country people want from us.

    Copy to all Freedom loving pro-democracy pan-Ethiopians.

    Keep Up the good work.

  2. im tired
    | #2

    why should the “country” people die while the “intellectuals” write books :) no one is gona die for Ethiopia or the government or opposition or for u or for me… plz stop playing with peps lives…. dont ask for other to sacrifice while u wana write philosophies.. good day to u sir

  3. Samuel
    | #3


    You are putting pre-conditions to start popular uprising. While I consider your position as one of many, you should also consider other opinions that come into play. I for one do not agree with your pre-condition and I will not advocate an uprising to a people whom I support to stand with your pre-conditions. In other words, you are re-inventing the same thing that polarized for the last 20 years. In my view, the over riding common cause should be the opposition to the TPLF-led government and to create a transitional body that will address the concerns of stake holders. You cannot wish away the psychological impact of what ethnicity played for too long, long before TPLF came to power.

  4. aha!
    | #4

    Bravo! Now you are talking to the core idea of being united for a common cause of that of Ethiopian nationalism and its interests, which to my understanding embraces the goals for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians to attain economic,&political freedom and liberty from ethnic and secessionist politics and/or policies of TPLF/eprdf regime as well as exploitaion and economic and political strangle hold of the country and the silent majority by TPLF and TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprizes.

    This is a regime built upon the marxist revolution of the student movement based on the oppression of nations and nationalities, which retains the Marxist policies from the Dergue regime in tact, proclaiming a revolutionary democracy and free enterprise to placate the West, and implements those ideals for TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises.

    With respect to its ethnic and secessionist policies and/or politics, it is implementing the ideology of the Afrikaaers againts African Nationalism and Pan Africanism and Communism of freedom fighters in South Africa.

    All these narratives by the elites, we listen and read in the major media
    in USA do not focus around that reality, are talking to each other in a manner that does not address the yearnigs of the silent majority of Ethiopians for political and Economic freedom and liberty over ethnic andsecssionist politics and/or politics in the style of Appartheid System of separate development of Bantustan/ethnic regions. In our case it is also sepate and unequal development.

    The unity of the elites need to be focused and coalesced along the line Ethiopianity before ethnicity, and political and economic freedom of the individuals, which empowers them to form a democratic associations to put to power a party that rules by the consent of the governed. To reach to that point freedom of individual precedes a struggle for democracy and ethnic and secessionist rights. The human right violations will be handled by by a democratic system of Government with independent branches of government. Democracy is not a commodity to be brought from outside, it is a government by the people of the people and for the people of free indiviuals forming a democratic party free of ethnicism and secessionism to protect Ethiopian Nationalism and its national interests and forming a pefect union as the species populations in a forest ecosystem or the game animal species in that same ecosystem, where they freely compete and/or cooperate in that same ecosystem with a democratic government overseeing, administering over it and promoting free enterprise to accumulate wealth by the silent majority by directly
    implenting the non-humanitarian aid to impact the silent majority and humanitarian aid geared to getting help to help themselves/self sustaining.

  5. im tired
    | #5

    to All

    I am an Ethiopian studying in international relation in Denmark.. with all due respect i disagree with all of u and the author, here is why. The truth is in Ethiopia nationalism, ethnocentrism. etc is dead.. its everyone fend for themselves… offcourse in the surface u might believe people are united against the government or others might act as if they love the gov… but the truth is both are looking at ways to take advantage of opportunity.. diaspora and peps back home. This is not to say all fellow Ethiopians.. but sadly most. who is to blame? doesnt matter… for everyone thinks they know who. the truth is if we put aside our egos we know in our heart that only the oppressed majority of ethiopians ( if they are oppressed) can rise.. like egypt etc then others will join… but if they dont rise in masses.. well…. in any case if u really wana help Ethiopians… they don’t want plans and stringiness.. there are more than enough ” Teodros Kiros” in Ethiopia and diaspora…u dont need to “guide” ethiopians.. trust me they know more abt Ethiopia then u and me.. they are not naive. they need people who can work.. send money back home to ur families, support a child education, build s school.. dont always try to be a leader, revolutionary… sometimes help someone realistically.. and while doing that if u want u can right a book on how to “save” us all.. good night my country man/women

  6. aha!
    | #6

    Ethiopia and Ethiopians are held in a dichotomy between the positive forces of integration and the negative forces of disintegration. The balance is tipped towards the negative forces of disintegration. Both Ethiopian Nationalism and its interests and ethnicfedralism and secessionism are alive and well. The effort is is to mobilise the positive forces of integration, which constitutes the silent majority of Ethiopians which are under suppression by the multi-layer, heirarchical political model by persuading the teletafi parties, the loyalist opposition parties, the army, and the police forces to the side of the silent majority with the major concern of political and economic freedom and liberty of individuals being at stake to enhance a meaningfull uprising. Otherwise the elites in the Diaspora including the preceeding commentator, have chosen to live under appartheid system of governance: where the vote of silent majority is not respected, where the individual rights to vote is curtailed, where the counry is divided into ill defined nine ethnic regions istead of the original 14 states of self rule and separate but unequal development, land ownership as a means of production does not exist as a framework of capitalistic society, freedom of speech, and press and the right to peacfull demonstration do not exist for the silent majorty of Ethiopians, who prefer to live and have lived for centuries harmonoiusly together by being free of ethnic and secessionist politics and/or policies.

    Unless the uprising centers around a common cause of political, and economic freedom and liberty of the individual, gathering steam around Ethiopian Nationalism and its intersts, ethnicfererlaism and secessionism will be here to stay, and one can’t supperimpose democracy on top of ethnocracy and ethnic dictatorship, ethnic federalism and secessionism. The Ethiopian political crises emanetes from ethnic dictotorship and ethnic and seccionist politics and/or policies agaist which many patriotic Ethiopians sacrificed their lives and are still are languishing in prison camps in trying to maintain the unity and territorial integrity of Ethiopia.

  7. Birhanu Demeke
    | #7

    Dear “I am tired”,To start with you have a dought whether “Ethiopians are oppressed or not”by the TPLF apartheid so that if they are according to you they may rise against the oppressor,you further went on with your ill advice to those concerned Ethiopians that Ethiopians don’t need plans and stringiness,because there are many “Tewodrose Kiros” in Ethiopia and in the diaspora,you don’t need to guide Ethiopians,they need people who can work,send money back home to support a child education,build a school dont always try to be a leader, revolutionary,some times help some one realistically,while doing that you can wright a book to save us all”.

    You are a confused person because you have no idea what it means and how much insulting it is for you to say”if Ethiopians are oppressed”as such you have no moral authority to raise any in-put concerning the general well being of Ethiopians,for your information every person including any Ethiopian is born of certain leadership qualities although one may not most often discover that and what either the writer of the article or those who commented constructively do share is one common concern that is “the much needed freedom in Ethiopia by the oppressed Ethiopians and how to bring that in to being”given the fact of the exam-plenary uprising of the people of Tunisia and Egypt,so what is the problem with that?do you want us to keep quite and allow your divine Melese destroy all our people and country because according to your comment he is the only leader Ethiopia and its people could ever have,well I personally don’t agree with you.

    Of course one would not disagree about all the material and infrastructural support which not only our extended family members but also the entire population needs and in as far as remittance is concerned we shall support our families however with out making it to be access able to TPLF and about all out infrastructural building is concerned it shall all be accomplished when Ethiopians remove TPLF from power once and for all and establish a government of the people by the people for the people.

    So save your ill advice for your self and don’t try to lecture us as to what we should do for our country Ethiopia and all its people,after all you are tired so keep on resting.May be you one of those chosen by Endriase Eshete to get scholarship at the expense of many worthy students and the Ethiopia tax payers.


  8. im tired
    | #8

    Birhanu Demeke

    You know my friend… what confuses me is how just because we have a difference of opinion some how you think your “interpretation” of the government policies makes u in the right and myself as an unpatriotic Ethiopians? You honestly automatically think you know more about Ethiopians than I; just because I support the government? Interesting… in any case all I hope is that both of u and I ( who are in the opposite side of the political spectrum) can have our “battle” over the cyber space  but I just hope while we discuss these theories; you are also helping in your best way possible fellow Ethiopians… that was all I meant to say. In any way as for Hon. PM Melese Zenawi… history will judge him… lets leave it at that.. but let me just say if you really think that it’s the TPLF or tigrays ruling Ethiopia ( 6 percent ruling over 94 %) of the population.. then it must be that tigrays are super humans or other ethnic Ethiopians are cowards .. which maturely speaking… neither is the cases: Look its time to grow up, understand the situation in Ethiopia in depth and understand the Ethiopian population is not a saint and that it also has a “major” share of responsibility when it comes to the failure of Ethiopia… but in any case as you said “I need to rest”… so I will let u and ur friends have some fun on cyber space while writing “LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA” (as if the rest of us are the “bad people” who want Ethiopia)… just make sure u go to work and work hard for promotion… and as for Ethiopians paying for my scholarship.. that was amusing… I actually pay from my tuition fees and hope to return to Ethiopia to contribute on the 5 year plan for 6 month from September- February 2011-2012 : I just hope in your life time you can also contribute your share while you “cyber chat” against this “oppressive” government … take care buddy

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