Urgent Appeal to Human Rights Advocates and Leaders of the Peoples’ Movement in Libya: Ethiopians stranded in Libya; especially in Benghazi, need your protection!

March 2nd, 2011 Print Print Email Email

(Arlington, VA )- We, in the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE), a grassroots social justice movement of the diverse people of Ethiopia, stand in full solidarity with the people of Libya who have risen up to demand freedom, justice, peace, equality, respect for human rights and opportunity after living under the brutal and repressive regime of Col Muammar Gaddafi for forty-two years!

We understand because we Ethiopians have also had enough of the 20-year dictatorial rule by another African strongman, Meles Zenawi of Ethiopia. It is only a matter of time before Ethiopians, like Libyans, rise up to demand the same the rights and freedom!

Until then, Ethiopians have no legitimate government to protect them in times of danger or crisis. Because the SMNE stands up for the well being of Ethiopians wherever they are found, we are speaking in their behalf in asking you for your help in protecting the hundreds of Ethiopians stranded in Libya, abandoned by their own country.

In particular, we are concerned about Ethiopians who have contacted us who are trapped in the rebel-controlled city of Benghazi. These are Ethiopians who were working in Libya simply because they were looking for opportunity. These are not mercenaries sent by Meles Zenawi; however, because of their nationality, skin color and ethnic differences, they are being mistaken as being Ethiopian mercenaries. As a result they have been mistreated, attacked and beaten. They are in serious jeopardy as they are running out of food and are afraid to go out on the streets. Please alert your people to their plight.

We strongly condemn the actions of the Ethiopian government against the people of Libya. The currently hated Meles regime was illegitimately elected, represses the peoples’ freedom, commits widespread human rights atrocities, robs the people of their land, resources and lives and absolutely DOES NOT represent the people of Ethiopia. They only maintain their power through the gun. We are not surprised that Meles has aligned with Gaddafi to defeat the Libyan people’s movement for freedom as your victory is a frightening and very real threat to his own survival. As you proceed, please be cautious not to identify Ethiopians with him.

On behalf of these Ethiopians in Libya, we in the SMNE strongly and urgently appeal to you, the leaders of this peoples’ movement in Libya, to please alert the rebels in Benghazi, and wherever Ethiopians are found, to the fact that these Ethiopians are brothers and sisters in a shared struggle for freedom. If there is a safe shelter for them in another country, please help them find it without being harmed as they travel the streets; simply for having the misfortune of living under the authoritarian rule of a tyrant who is supporting your tyrant!
While other countries who care about their own people rush to rescue their citizens; the response of the Ethiopian Ambassador to Libya and the Sudan to the plight of Ethiopians trapped in Libya was very telling. When the interviewer on Deutsche Welle Radio suggested the ambassador give listeners the contact information for emergency assistance, he refused to do so.

We Africans have suffered too long at the hands of merciless leaders and at such a time as this we should stand together; across our own borders, cooperating together in bringing about the liberation and transformation of Africa, where humanity comes before ethnicity, religion or any other kind of difference and where we care for the freedom, justice and well being of others for no one will be free until all are free. Let us take these less-traveled roads towards peace, prosperity and continental integration until they become highways connecting our beautiful people and continent!
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Please do not hesitate to e-mail your comments to the SMNE Executive Director
Mr. Obang Metho, at: Obang@solidaritymovement.org
PO Box 50561 Arlington, VA 22205
Phone: (202) 725-1616
You can also find more about us through our website at: www.solidaritymovement.org

  1. Truth~
    | #1

    Ethiopian review and ECADFORUM were the first to label Ethiopians in Libya as mercenaries. Because of this action, many Ethiopian lagged behind in the understanding of suffering of Ethiopians at mobs hand. I wrote them on timely fashion to restrain themselves from writing such damaging article. Unfortunately, they never posted my warning and kept continue writing labeling them as Meles mercenaries.
    I have no idea what their objective is. The intended target of their article is not Western authorities but us, Ethiopians. In this chaotic environment as is now in Libya, you should not expose your people unless you are sure that their sacrifice is good for the mass. I don’t see any single benefit labeling your own people as “mercenary”. It is dumb at the least.

  2. Guest
    | #2

    I love this. Probably the group in Arlington, VA have never heard of the election of 2010, 99.6% or may be they haven’t visited Ethiopia at all. In every article that have been written is all about Meles, Meles, Meles…. There has never been a mention of the EPRDF party that represents the country. Don’t make me wrong, I would like change but having seen the progress that is taking place in the coutry with the expansion of roads, education, agriculture, health care, hydro-electric power plants and an overall infrastructure, let it be continue.
    My question to these groups in Arlington, VA who are trying te get a mountain out of molehill or mole-hill is how on earth did Meles get a vote of 99.6% if the people in the coutry didn’t elecet him? Did these grous try to help their fellow Ethiopians with education, development, or other means the uplift the country from poverty? Was there any other discussions on how we could help our brothers and sisters back home? Or is this instigation just to get attention of others is it for personal indulgence or gratification?
    Let’s work together for the benefit of our beloved country. Working in isolation has never been proven to work. Setting fire to a country that is already sufferd more than enough is not worth to follow the path you have chosen. Peace for the people of Ethiopia!

  3. Yemenu Belay
    | #3

    Some of those who live in Libya are refuge and Kinjet supporters, they left home as all of us did, but what have Kinjet (Ginbot 7)leaders did for those Ethiopians, nothing just collect money my friends Ethiopians are suffering in Jerusalem, Lebanon Middle East etc… Dr. Berhanu wake up and try to save those Ethiopian.

  4. Truth~
    | #4

    Yemenu Belay,

    Please, put your finger to the right direction. It is Melese who put our people in this situation and endangers their existence.

    Those people who are suffering in Libya are Ethiopians from different forms of life and ethnic affiliations. “Kinjit supporters” bla bla— is utterly nonsens.

  5. ababu
    | #5

    Mr “Guest”

    You are not talking sense. Melles is a dictator; only a dictator can win 99.6% of votes. With that in mind, what is your message??!!

    I support the appeal by SMNE. Let us use all available means to transmit the message that our people are in Libya to earn a living, but not as soldiers of fortune. It is not in our bllod to do that. We can also be sure that some of them are on transit to Europe.

    Our Libyan brothers and sisters! Please have mercy on your fellow human beings.

  6. Yemenu Belay
    | #6

    Truth, #4
    If you are KINIJIT supporter as a journalist, lawyer etc…you have all the support from KINIJIT and you get the media attention, but if you are endanger in Libya, Middle East etc… even those you left Ethiopia Because of Melese dictator ship and because you support KINIJIT you have NO HELP(Support) from Dr. Berhanu or his leader ship Mr/Mrs/Ms Truth would you please tell me the day Dr. Berhanu or his leader ship talk about those Ethiopian even before Egypt and Libya upraising? Dr. Berhanu and his leader ship spend there money in Eritrea.
    God Bless Ethiopia.
    I wish I get back the donation I gave to Kinjit on there amazing tour.

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