Brutal wave of arrests meant to decimate Ethiopian democracy By Robele Ababya,

September 20th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

Lives on the line in defense of basic values

Parents, grandparents and indeed all genuine Ethiopians and citizens of Ethiopian origin, wherever they are living in our global village, cannot stay put in the face of the increasingly intensifying wave of arrests of Ethiopian political leaders most of them young; they cannot tolerate the brainwashing of their children forcing to tow the Stalinist-Maoist ideological line of the brutal ruling regime. The Ethiopian youths cannot stay indifferent to the dark and frightening future of living in slavery; so they are duty bound to amass all support they can get in order to expedite the onset of civil disobedience and apply their creative skill and energy in order to engender their rightful demand for freedom, liberty, dignity, peace, stability, democracy, prosperity, respect for human rights and the supreme rule of law in their motherland, Ethiopia – all of which are fundamental universal values.

It is in view of their patriotic and legitimate demand for the inviolability of universal values that (in alphabetical order): Andualem Aragie, Asamnew Birhanu, Bekele Gerba, Debebe Eshetu, Eskinder Nega, Nathnael Mekonnen, Olbana Lelisa, Reeyot Alemu, Woubshet Taye, Zemenu Molla and all other political prisoners in Ethiopia have laid their lives on the line on behalf of their fellow citizens. The onus is on all of us in the larger prison in Ethiopia and those of us in the Diaspora to do our utmost for their immediate release of these heroic Ethiopian prisoners of conscience languishing in narrow, filthy and congested cells.

Zenawi’s “If it is not meant to be, so be it” cliché

The first order of the TPLF’s hidden agenda to dismantle the unity of Ethiopia started with initiating the removal of the statute of the great architect of that unity, Emperor Menilik II – the victor of the famous Battle of Adwa which proved to be the beacon of hope of all black people of African origin. Znawi should know that even European colonizers during the scramble for Africa had respect for Menilik II for his effort to defend the rights of Africans to keep and defend their independence and natural resources.

The “If it is not meant to be, so be it” cliché is attributed to Zenawi. He uses it in retaliation to criticisms of his divisive ethnic politics pregnant with the eventual disintegration of Ethiopia. He was making it clear to his critics that if the unity of Ethiopia is not meant to be, so be it. How much more arrogant, reckless and irresponsible can one be in the 21st century where common human virtues take the center stage in advancing peace and security in our global village.

The repressive ruling TPLF/EPRDF Party, which claimed a landslide (nearly 100%) victory in the fake election of 2010 has neither legitimacy nor moral authority to arrest veteran fighter for democracy, Debebe Eshetu, and progressive young individuals like Andualem Aragie, Eskinder Nega et al engaged in peaceful struggle. The real motive for the arrest is fear for popular uprising because the regime knows that it stole election twice – in 2005 in the first instance and in 2010 for the second time. Otherwise, a regime that claimed 99.6% victory would not have feared open dissent in a peaceful public demonstration.

The Acronym TPLF (Tigray Peoples Liberation Front) has been in use for well over two decades and tyrant zenawi is still wearing the tribal garb while he is holding the entire Ethiopian people under his tyrannical misrule. The question is when this ethnic superiority of a minority tribal regime going to end now that despot Zenawi is in iron grip of absolute power.

Unity for Democracy and Justice Party (UDJP) and TPLF/ERDF ruling party are at the opposite poles of the political spectrum, the former earnestly seeking a democratic, pluralistic, prosperous, tolerant and united Ethiopia under the rule of law in a compassionate society; in sharp contrast the latter is using its power and donors’ direct financial support to dismantle Ethiopia into balkanized states each one so weak and subservient to the minority regime. Opposition political bodies cooperating under the Medrek umbrella such as the Oromo National Congress (ONC) and Oromo Peoples Federal Democratic Movement (OPFDM) in particular are close to UDJP in several aspects of their political programmes. This explains the current brutal wave of arrests of key members of these three political entities.

The ruling TPLF party has practically expunged the Amhara and Oromo representatives from the Executive Committee (politbureau) of the EPRDF. This situation has put Zenawi at the apex of absolute power from which he can disburse the resources of Ethiopia at his pleasure. It is bizarre that some opposition forces for selfish reasons still do not see that their lack of cooperation is keeping the tyrant in power at the expense of the suffering of peasants in serfdom and the masses under tyrannical subjugation. It is fair to ask what the hell the Amharas, Oromos and others in similar predicament are waiting for.


The only best way forward to defeat the thuggish TPLF regime is:

• By igniting a sustainable, well-coordinated and peaceful civil disobedience; this by the way is an increasingly popular view;
• By reversing the sectarian policy of divide-and-rule along ethnic and religious lines, which tyrant has been effectively using as his mighty weapon;
• Practical and comprehensive support for the heroic victims of the recent wave of arrests and all prisoners of conscience; uphold their noble sacrifice for the sake of peaceful change.

Finally, I fully subscribe to the widespread clarion call for the immediate and unconditional release of: Andualem Aragie, Asamnew Birhanu, Bekele Gerba, Debebe Eshetu, Eskinder Nega, Nathnael Mekonnen, Olbana Lelisa, Reeyot Alemu, Woubshet Taye, Zemenu Molla and all other political prisoners in Ethiopia.


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