Like Egypt and Tunisia –Changes, not repression, is the answer for the quest for democracy and justice in Ethiopia! (SOCEPP – Canada)

February 16th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

It has been reported that on Friday, February 11, 2011, a prominent Ethiopian journalist, Eskinder Nega was picked up as he walked out of an Internet café in Piazza at the heart of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa and taken to headquarters of the police commission where he was told “he was attempting to start a Tunisian/Egyptian type revolution in Ethiopia”. It is further reported that the police commissioner threatened the journalist by stating: “your writings on the Internet and the interviews with various media outlets were inflammatory. Be warned that you have already crossed the boundary. We have enough to convict you already. I want you to understand that this is a serious warning. If anything happens, we will first come to you.”

We are very concerned that the action taken by the security forces against Eskinder Nega is a sign of what is in store should there be public protest against the regime just like Tunisia and Egypt.There are credible reports on the presence of other forms of intimidation by the ruling authorities to preempt peaceful demonstrations both in the capital Addis Ababa and elsewhere in

the country.

Freedom of expression is a basic right of every human being. Intimidating journalists and forcing them to self censorship and threatening the public not to exercise their fundamental right is unacceptable. The government in Ethiopia should end such repression now. It should allow journalists and all of the citizens of Ethiopia to peacefully express their opinions, through writing, speaking, peaceful gathering, and demonstrations.

We call upon the international community to put the regime on notice that any form of repression will not be tolerated any more. As the events in Tunisia and Egypt have shown, political freedoms and sweeping changes not more repression is the answer to the people’s demands for the respect of their inalienable rights, democracy and justice. Let us make no mistake: only through the will of the people (i.e. democratic rule) can stable, long-lasting relationship be built and maintained that will yield genuine peace and prosperity anywhere in the world.

Freedom, not repression, is the answer to all political and socio-economic ills in Ethiopia. The Wind of change blowing in North Africa and the Middle East will not stop there as the quest for freedom is a basic human right, not a privilege.


  1. Werner2010
    | #1

    He should abide by the laws of the nation, calling himself a journalist does not give him impunit to instigate violence. He better take the warnings seriously and try to respect the law, at list for the sake of his child.

  2. Derese
    | #2

    Believe it or not the dictate of dictators is no more working. The Ethiopian people are not going to take it any more. The arrogant Meles and his regime will be forces to step down very very soon
    Victory is at the horizon

  3. aha!
    | #3

    I welcome this article, which talks about about the core issue of freedom as the main agenda for a revolutuion or an uprising. To that I may add freedom first and foremost from ethnic and secessionist politics and/or policies with underlying Marxist ideology, camofledged with revoltionary democracy or from apartheid system of administration/ governance to reinstate Ethiopian Nationalism and its national interests of one Nation, indivisible by ethnic regions, but where the ethnic groups are the visible parts of the mosaic of the Ethiopia, much like the species populations in an ecosystem. The second aspect of freedom is economic and political freedom and liberty of individuals from expoitation and political and economic strangle hold of the country’s resources by TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterprises, which gives it the appearance of democracy and capitalism is vested on the TPLF and TPLF affiliated enterpises, where sel-rule by ethnic group and separate development of the ethnic regions has become meaningless, because of unequal development, no matter who comes to power based on ethnic agenda.

    Since revolution has to do with a change from one ideology to another, the above mentioned conditions for freedom to be spelled out to rally the masses for unity, territorial integrity, soveignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians. Then and there democracy will become a by product of the association of free individuals to form a party based on Ethiopian Nationalism and its national intersts to govern by the consent of the governed.

    To reach that ultimatum, the different factions and/or their supporters need to call a national convention to pledge on coalscing on the goals for national agenda and strategies to achieve those goals as the central focus for the revolution and/or uprising in order to uproot the apartheid system of governace and/or admistration with underlying marxist ideology for liberal and/or social democracy.

  4. aha!
    | #4

    Addendum: For the third aspect, the silent majority of Ethiopians need freedom from hunger, starvation, famine and freedom from being a begger nation, all of which could be averted with appropriate measures taken by the current regime. To alleviate these problems the silent majority should rise up demanding the right to property ownership, as one of the means of production to invest on and accumulate wealth and instead of selling and/or leasing land to foreign investors, who ship the product to their homeland, have Ethiopian enterprenuers to produce cereals and cash crops to alleviate the shortage of food supply, and also seek food assistance programs organizations to help us to help ourselves to produce our own food supply under irrigation for the amount it takes to transport and distribute grains from accross the continents.

    I believe, this and the above consolidated thoughts would give Ethiopians valid reasons for Ethiopians abroad and at home to rally around common causes and concerns before Ethiopia disintegrates into oblivion by restoring Ethiopian Nationalism and its national interests.

  5. aha!
    | #5

    Addendum: the fourth aspect, the silent majority of Ethiopians are yearning for is freedom from Serfdom of TPLF/eprdf regime, which is a followup of the implementation Marxist ideology of the Dergue regime, with added encumberances to it. It denies the rural populce as well the city dewellers to private ownership of land as one of the means of production in a capitalistic and democratic society, to say the least of encumberances attached to current system of landholdings, when real estate market could be used as a means of accumulating wealth of a nation. The free maket driven sector of the economy need not be encumbered by ethnicfederalism of self-rule, and separate deveplopment and serfdom as system of landhodings, where the former gives way to fedralism of original provinces/states and the latter to private ownership of lands anywhere in Ethiopia.

    The fifth freedom sought after by the silent majority is freedom of expression in all forms of communictions.

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