“Shimagelewotch” or “Council of Elders”: Prof. Ephraim believes it is a way out of the crisis, and Prof. Al calls it a government tool – By Orly Halpern, Correspondent of The Christian Science Monitor

August 9th, 2007 Print Print Email Email

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – As the gray-haired man of letters strode into the posh restaurant in Ethiopia’s capital recently, wearing his signature long, white yemiyakora tunic and black and white cap, patrons stood up and applauded. (more…)

Addis Ababa, Ethiopia – As the gray-haired man of letters strode into the posh restaurant in Ethiopia’s capital recently, wearing his signature long, white yemiyakora tunic and black and white cap, patrons stood up and applauded.

Professor Ephraim Isaac, a retired Ethiopian Harvard scholar who lectures around the world on religion, peace, and conflict, had just helped resolve his country’s two-year political crisis using problem-solving methods as traditionally Ethiopian as his garb.

Just weeks ago, 35 opposition members were sentenced to life in prison for spurring election protests back in 2005. Despite widespread pressure from donors and human rights groups who accused Prime Minister Meles Zenawi of stifling dissent, the opposition leaders had been kept in jail for almost two years for attempting to overthrow the government.

It was a deadlock that no amount of outside pressure seemed able to loosen, and the life sentences threatened to escalate the crisis. So it was clear to Mr. Isaac that his people needed a strong dose of traditional peacemaking methods. He led a nonpartisan Ethiopian “council of elders” that quickly negotiated a deal acceptable to both sides: clemency in exchange for an admission of guilt and promise to respect the rule of law.

“In our tradition there is forgiveness and elders mediate and we do not believe in grudge and vengeance,” Mr. Isaac explains. “This is a very rich culture.”

The release of the leaders marks the beginning of a new chapter in Ethiopian politics, which had been in limbo since the May 2005 elections. The local media credited Ethiopia’s ancient tradition of mediation in resolving the political crisis and covered the front pages of the local papers with Isaac’s smiling face.

“This ‘home-grown’ solution negotiated by elders led by Ephraim Isaac is not a common occurrence for politically tense countries such as Ethiopia,” wrote the Ethiopian weekly Fortune in an editorial.

The resolution to the political crisis was highly important to the US, because Ethiopia is a key ally in the Bush administration’s fight against terror. Ethiopian troops were sent to fight Islamists in neighboring Somalia, and US troops have reportedly used Ethiopia as a base. But US congressmen were trying to pass a bill to halt any military assistance to the country until the opposition was freed and human rights abuses were addressed.

How the crisis developed

The problems began after the 2005 elections. The opposition had gone from 12 seats to over 170 out of 547 seats in Parliament. But it refused to take them because it accused the ruling party of rigging the elections and cheating them of a bigger victory. Foreign observers, such as the European Union, also noted evidence of fraud during the vote.

Demonstrations broke out across the country in June and November of 2005. Security forces cracked down on demonstrators who they say turned violent. Nearly 200 people, mostly protesters, were killed and thousands were jailed.

Many of those jailed were US-educated and highly respected internationally, including a consultant for the UN Economic Commission for Africa, a former UN Special Envoy and prosecutor at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, and a former chairman of the Ethiopian Human Rights Council.

Isaac immediately took upon himself the goal of mediation. His inspiration, he says, comes from the peaceful traditions of his mother’s birthplace in Western Ethiopia and the Judaism of his Jewish Yemenite father. He chants long verses from the Bible and tells of mediation and forgiveness throughout Ethiopia’s history of ethnic and religious conflict.

He met with the jailed opposition leaders and began a traditional Ethiopian mediating process, which relies heavily on the shuttle diplomacy of respected elders.

Today that method is commonly used to resolve small fights between family members and neighbors. A grandmother or elderly neighborhood shopkeeper might be asked to arbitrate.

For a crisis of this scale and import, numerous nonpartisan mediators were needed. Isaac had no problem organizing it: he is famous in Ethiopia for pioneering in the late 1950s the first organized campaign to eradicate illiteracy, which affected over 2.5 million citizens in two decades, and for being the first Ethiopian to get a PhD from Harvard. He also helped establish Harvard’s African Studies department.

‘Council of elders’

He quickly formed a shimagelewotch – or a “council of elders.” It included 25 of the most prominent members of Ethiopian society, including the famed runner, Haile Gebreselassie; a woman imprisoned for seven years by the former ruling Durg; the chairman of the Ethiopian Lawyers Association; doctors; veteran journalists; former parliamentarians; and retired ambassadors.

“We called it the Coalition of Elders,” says Isaac, who as its leader shuttled between the jail where the opposition leaders were held and the prime minister’s office.

Twenty months later in a rare event in African politics, the political opposition leaders were granted freedom and the right to return to politics by the very party that had charged them with trying to overthrow the government through violence.

In exchange, the oppositionists signed an apology taking collective and individual responsibility for mistakes that led to the violence that erupted following the May 2005 electoral dispute, although a government inquiry had found the security forces to blame.

“As Ethiopians we have learned the important lessons from this episode in our history,” declared Capital, a weekly based in Addis Ababa. “The most obvious one is that we have returned to Ethiopia’s ancient tradition of mediated solutions.”

However, critics such as Al Mariam, a lawyer and professor of political science at California State University in San Bernadino, Calif., says that the traditional mediation was a government tool used to avoid applying international and human rights conventions and Ethiopian constitutional and criminal law.

“To bring out an ancient and anachronistic institution and say, ‘We’re going to solve it this way’ is dishonest and disingenuous,” says Mr. Mariam. “We think it’s a smoke screen to divert attention, to deceive and hoodwink the international community, to suggest to them that there is some kind of romantic idea that there are African institutions which … are better at solving the internal problems.”

A government tool?

Mariam leads a coalition for pushing the US Congress to pass the Ethiopia Democracy and Accountability Act of 2007, which, if passed, would prevent Ethiopia from receiving aid until it releases the opposition leaders and punishes human rights abusers. Two days after the sentences of the opposition leaders, a congressional foreign relations subcommittee marked up the bill for a discussion in the full committee.

Isaac had expressed opposition to the bill in the past and was accused by Mariam of trying to lobby congressmen against it.

“We have no doubt about his sincerity [to help Ethiopia],” says Mariam, “but we believe he is being used as a tool by the regime to sort of deflect international pressure.” Isaac declined to comment on the issue, saying he preferred to stay out of politics.

“It’s a newish phenomenon that African leaders feel pressure to reverse themselves in these egregious human rights abuses,” says Jennifer Cooke, co-director of the Africa Program at the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington. “I don’t think [Prime Minister Meles freed the jailed opposition leaders] from the goodness of his heart. The Council of Elders was a response to both domestic and international pressure. It was a facesaving measure.”

Still, she says, “It’s a break from the past.”

Opinions in Ethiopia differ, but many believe that the solution was a combination of factors. “I think there was likely pressure from America,” said Kalkiden Gazaheng, a university student and part-time salesclerk in the capital. “But the mediators were the ones who convinced the sides to agree.”

  1. Faith
    | #1

    There is no difficulty that enough Love will not conquer
    No disease enough love will not heal
    No door that enough Love will not open
    No gulf that enough love will not bridge
    No wall that enough love will not throw down
    No sin that enough love will not redeem
    It makes no difference how deeply seated may be the troubles
    How hopeless the otlook
    How muddled the Tangle
    How great the mistake
    A sufficient realization of love will dissolve it all
    If only you could Love enough
    You would be the Happiest and most powerful being in the world

    Issac God bless you for bringning peace and Love in Ethiopia please continue doing what you are doing. God says Mesgun new Bekefuwoch Mengede Yalehade, Behateyatenochem wonber yaletekemete…..Psalm ch.1, 1-6

  2. Ethiop…
    | #2

    “We have discussed, with the elders, various issues considered necessary for creating a spirit of reconciliation and we have reached agreement on many points. We have also been made to understand by the elders that the agreements reached between us and them are also agreed upon by other concerned parties. Even though the statement released by the government is different from the agreement reached between the elders and us, it is our belief that the elders will make public the true content of the agreement at a time and in a manner that is convenient to them.”

    The first press release of the deteenes CUD leadership. Signed by VCP Wzr Birtukan Mediksa (a former prosecutor and judge ) and Dr. Hailu Araya, CUD’s press spokes person ( Linguist and Phd.)
    If and when the elders reveal the true nature of the agreement, would some of us pass judgement on the elders. In the mean time, Prof. Alemayehu is expressing his view in his area of expertise and as H.R.2003 advocate.

    -There is no denial that it is good news that they are released and these leaders had a collective use of their intellect and judgement at their disposal.
    -Another good news is that it is resolved by Ethiopians mediation and the elders committee has several diverse groups of Ethiopians, not just Dr.Issak.
    -There is no question that international pressure played a significant role, but as a stale mate case between the regime and the leaders, their release is a peaceful relief for Ethiopians and the international politics.

  3. Eyob
    | #3

    For me what counts most is the future and not so much who did what and why? Let us leave that for historians to analyse. Why don’t we concentrate rather on the question’ where and how do we move from here’? I think the two Professors can play a pivotal role in this regard. Dear Professors , please use your intelect and extremely reach experience and help us all to attain a win-win situation and save the country from further polrization and division. Thank you and May God bless Ethiopia .

  4. Ethiopian
    | #4

    Professors, well said from both of you, but as Eyob said, where do we go from here. On this blog there are a lot, actually a majority who supports diffrent party, and from what i see, i don’t think most are willing to give power to another. So are heading towards another disaster from here, or is there a well laid plan after we kick off woyane?. Other wise we have OLF, ONLFG, Arbegnoch Genbare, CUD…any more, i don’t know, but i’m sure we will have more in the near future. So why are we in division, shouldn’t all be running under sort of one umbrella?. Are we going to be one, as people or are we going to have more war for the seat?. why is everyone running from this question? …Woyane is gone, then what?. why do we make it sound so easy?. are we going to have law and order, or are we just going to do woyanes assignment by killing each other?

    God Bless Ethiopia

  5. tesfaye
    | #5

    we all respect and thanks what mr..issac and shimaglewoch doing but this is (HR2003)its part of prof.h/mariam.
    prof.issac bemayagebawot Ayegbu
    arfew yekemetu

  6. Tazabi
    | #6

    Here is my opinion about HR2003
    1. It is my opinion that blocking aid and assistance would exacerbate the poverty and illiteracy that our country is suffering tremendously and as you all know it has been suffering for decades. As it is, the country is struggling with every thing that it has and every penny that we are getting from the west. Regardless of the amount, their assistnace very crucial for our growth and economic advancement which would in turn govern the political process. Economic growth should be given the higher priority than most of us would like to believe. I reside in Addis and even though the Diaspora has done a lot of good things to improve the situation in our country, which I am grateful for, I strongly disagree with this movement that would cut and leave us to dry with no help. Yes, you might not exactly feel the daily agony of our day to day life but it would not be hard to imagine what it would be like if the help we are getting would be halted.

    2. It is obvious that there are countiers, neighbors or not, that really are not happy with the slow but certain growth that we are showing. Our military strength is very crucial as much as our economic strength to keep that kind of disruption as far away as possible from our borders and with out the help of the west, again, I am afraid we will be the number one victim of vicious foreign attacks.

    3. Another thing that makes me wonder is that why we are allowing foreign nations to make decisions for us. We Ethiopians have never been colonized and thus westerners have never had neither much influence on us nor have we ever worshiped them as far back as I know. Why NOW? Let’s get the economic help from them but let’s also find a solution for internal problems within ourselves. I know that we are capable of doing so. The road might be a bit challenging but we shall get there and when we get there we all shall cherish the outcome since we have attained on our own.

    4. I do admire the educational achivement of this great Ethiopian, professor Al. However I have a question for him. When was the last time you came to Ethiopia? If you are so concerned about Ethiopia and Ethiopian, how could you possibly try to block the tiny fraction of help that we are getting from the US? It will devastate all of us poor Ethiopians that are trying to make it through the day. Sir, I heard your interview and you seem to be much more concerned as to what your tax dollar is applied to than anything else. Sir, with all due respect, you sound more like an American than a concerned Ethiopian. Indeed you might have converted your citizenship but remember you are an Ethiopain first.

    5.Thank you for reading and I hope to learn from any one who can rebuttal my arguments with a better premise and/or show me a different approach within just this context only. Or else Let’s try to agree to disagree and that and only that will clear the way to democracy which we all yearn for.

    Thank you,



  7. | #7

    Mr. Tazabi
    Our question is not only food. Our main need is ” Free Dimocracy.” Haven’t you herd saying “kenegeru Tseom yideru.”

  8. Tazabi
    | #8

    Mr. Kassu
    That is a lot easier said than done. It is not going to be easy for those of us who endured decades of hunger here on the mother land. Besides, I have not seen a single country in the world that has a regime change just because the US and the west throw a trade embargo on it.
    It is always the poor and the destitute that will suffer the most. Oh well!

  9. | #9

    1. First and for most no one would like to block foreign aid. We have been suffering for decades not because of the fact that we had not had enough foreign aid but because of the poor governance, mismanagement, corrupted government and incapable leadership the country had/have. It is better to see the out come of foreign aid in late 1960s: Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia in one hand and Argentina, Brazil and other Latin America countries on other hand. Taiwan, Malaysia and Singapore have been benefited from foreign aid and boost their economy while Argentina and others have been suffering from debt still without substantial economic growth. You know why? Latin American countries could have not been benefited because of mismanagement and corruption. Regarding our mother land, large aid inflows began in the early 1990s aimed at reconstruction and political stabilization. The post-2000 period, however, has seen a resumption of large disbursements of grants and loans from the United States, individual European nations, and Japan and from the World Bank, the European Union and the African Development Bank. In 2001 these funds totaled US$1.6 billion. Do we agree upon that Ethiopia has utilized these funds for economic growth or utilized to purchase military armaments? No single individual would like to do so (no movement to cut foreign aid. But foreign aid must be for economic development not for “Agazi tor”)

    2. Yes we have to strong our military capabilities. But don’t forget to build up strong military power we have to spend in billions. While it is possible to convert military power back into economic power peacefully, the cost is largely prohibitive. Forceful use of military power to build economic power is extremely risky and can have counter productive side effects in the form of economic sanctions. Military power is also extremely difficult to sustain without corresponding levels of economic power. For it is economic power that allows military power to be built up in the first place.
    3. As we all agree, yes we never colonized thanks to our most dedicated seniors, grand fathers/mothers. But it does not mean that our politicians are not allowing foreigners in country’s’ affairs. Never! For instance Col. Mengistu was with USSR while Melles is now with US and EU. We can not deny the truth. We lost our border (we are landlocked) due to the decision made by US decision. Isn’t? TPLF came to power. WHY? The decision made by US / UK. Remember LONDON conference.

    4. TPLF/Melles associates are not willing to admit the truth. Prof. Al Mariam is one of the indigenous person that the country has. More importantly, he is very capable and educated. No matter the citizen but we have to count on his contribution and stands for the truth. The current TPLF minority gov’t is the most corrupted government, the country is not benefited from ethnocentric politics, our unity is in danger, there is no substantial economic growth etc…
    Thus, we all would make an effort to challenge the government. This is what prof. Al Mariam is doing. Please see the context of H.R. 2003. Our due respect is for our officials like Aba dula, Addisu Legesse or Bereket not for Prof. Asrat , Prof. Al Mariam or late Prof. Qitaw Ijigu. History will tell us the difference tomorrow.

    5. It is so impossible to talk about here the problem and/or the solutions of country, but is better to open rooms for discussion, comments and be ready for challenge and change.

    “The Roots of Violence: Wealth without work, Pleasure without conscience, Knowledge without character, Commerce without morality, Science without humanity, Worship without sacrifice, Politics without principles” “Mahatma Gandhi”


    God bless Ethiopia


  10. filfilu
    | #10

    Exactly!,tazabi.a very comprehensive and ehaustive comment.
    “We have no doubt about his sincerity [to help Ethiopia],” says Mariam, “but we believe he is being used as a tool by the regime to sort of deflect international pressure.”.what a crap to say prof.alemayehu;what makes you think proff.Issac is incapable of making his own decisons,incapable of standing by himself and easily manipulated?what makes you think you are better than him, professor?

  11. filfilu
    | #11

    In one of his interviews, prof.alemayehu said this HR stuff is the exact replica of the ethiopian constitution .well why do we need a second constitution then that escalates the plight and agony of our poor people, while we can utilise every single opportunity we have to bring it to its manifestation juz like what prof issac did?
    i share tazabis inquiry,when was the last time mr prof was in ethiopia?i doubt he has a first hand information about the current ethiopia.Those ones who managed to witness and acquire the fisrt hand information,like prof issac, are saying “the spirit is overwhelming” why not use this opportunity folks.

  12. | #12

    We have to do more to help our poor people: 1. Avoid corruption; TPLF minority government is the most corrupted government in the world. Obviously, TPLF top Officials and most cadres are corrupted not in thousands but in millions dollar. 2. Utilize foreign aid for economic growth spending for “agazi tor”, Special Police Force” and military power particularly for the purpose of invading neighbouring countries will be ended in catastrophe. 3. Implement policies that bring substantial economic growth.

    Yes H.R. 2003 is a replica of constitution. Human Right Bill 2003 neither replaces the constitution nor altering it. Among the many good ideas in H.R. 2003 include, among others, provisions for the release of all political prisoners, strong protections for basic human rights, development of independent courts and legal institutions that ensure due process of law for all citizens, prosecution of all human rights abusers, including those responsible for the killing and injury of unarmed protesters in the post-2005 election period, elimination of censorship in the functioning of free and independent press institutions, creation and expansion of institutions that will produce fraud-free elections and competitive political parties, dialogue and negotiation in the resolution of political disputes, and strengthening of the Ethiopian American partnership against global terrorism.
    Hope you will not deny human right violation in the country; legal institution and courts are not independent etc…

    We are in a position and/or capable to challenge or comments Prof. Al Mariam. He is dedicated to tell us the truth. The presence of “Sheraton Addis” or some universities might not be the indication of the economic growth. Look IMF/WB date. Look countryside farmers, look Addis residents. Please do not look Aba dula’s villa, or Bereket Simon’s villa and their automobile.

    Regarding Prof. Isaac let’s leave for historians. Most importantly political prisoners are free no matter how could it be. I do not think due to the so-called “Shimaglewotch”. Haha, Death sentence- Life imprisonment-Pardon. Our problems are not only the 38 CUD political prisoners –so manyyyyyyyyyyyyy. (Discrimination between ethnic group + landlocked issues+ corruption+ unity of the country is in danger+ Human Right Violation+ lack of free media+ MONOPOLY of TPLF companies + freedom for expressing opinion= CATASTROPHE.

    We expect nothing from Prof. Isaac.

    God bless Ethiopia


  13. filfilu
    | #13

    “We expect nothing from Prof. Isaac” nahom,those people who had been locked behind the prison doors for 2 years know what freedom means and what prof.issac did.and it is a huge lesson to the rest of ethiopians that we could still use some opportunities to bring justice and democracy in that country.i am not saying there is pure democracy in ethiopia but i don’t deny there is a glympse of it and it is a working progress. my point is we can bring the best out of it by involving and utilizing every single opportunity.not by trying to import it.i qoute again “The presence of “Sheraton Addis” or some universities might not be the indication of the economic growth” wedaje nahom what does economic growth mean if it is not building infrastaructures like universities,roads,hospitals,tele communication and the like?though still lots have to be done i don’t take the developments we aquired for granted.

  14. Peace
    | #14

    I saw the Intrerview in ETN Television. I think
    Professor Isaac is either naiv to believe what the TPLF government says or he didn`t realize that he already misused as a tool by TPLF. Sooner or later he will be disapointed. Hopfully not arrested!!!

  15. mulu
    | #15

    I just want to comment a little bit about Prof. Isaac Ephraim. A person who knows him for a long time that I respect his comments very much told me the following. Professor Ephraim is a Harvard graduate with his Ph.D. in 1969 and was the first faculty to establish the Afro-American Studies. There is no doubt that he was a well respected intellectual of his field. However, he was denied tenure in Harvard University, which he decided to file a lawsuit against the University claiming that he was discriminated. The lawsuit took 10 years ending in favor of the Harvard University.

    During this decade, it was difficult to find a permanent job as others felt that he was problematic. He relied on his wife’s bookshop income near Princeton University where he thought as adjunct professor. It seems that he lost a very intellectually productive life, which I found out some of his credibility and integrity questionable. He seems to be engaged in making money or keeping his name high by engaging in such cases as Ethio-Eritrea conflict resolution, kaliti.

  16. hayalnet
    | #16

    please fifilu and his associates, let’s stop nagging each other and start doing for the future. Whether u like it or not, it can not be considered as a great job that Isaac has done. Because initially, it is Meles himself who jailed the respected leaders denying his defeat and at the end he himself let them free calculating his cost benefit analysis. Let me ask u some questions:
    *Is it possible for a “government” who nominated himself as a governor with out the will of the majority to give pardon or to rule the country?
    *It was not (is not)the objective of CUD leaders to stay in prison and be pardoned, but rather it is to bring peace, democracy,justice and respect for human rights and I hope we and them will continue to realize the forementioned objectives for the benefit of all Ethiopians including U and ur associates.
    I can say many many on your “government” and the verdict that it carried out in the past two years which has been examined and proved by our beloved leaders that is being ruled by the will of ur boss. But my lunch time is over and therefore I should turn back to work. See u in another session. But read more, learn more,….. Please read the following quote…
    ” You can not stand on your own rightness by trying to deny your failure”

    V will win!!!

  17. filfilu
    | #17

    peace i have a question for you,Who arrested Gash Abera Molla? a person who showed the whole ethiopians that a single man can make a difference.he has no political motives,all what he wants is a clean prosperious Ethiopia.don’t think he never incurred problems as he was implementing his dreams but he made it through coz he has real love for his people and for his country.i am sure prof issac will grant the entire ethiopians another huge lesson like his compatriot gash abera molla did.
    as for my fellow mulu what you know about prof issac is what you over heard and why didn’t they tell you that each year he was voted the best teacher by students.that just shows that he was comptent enough for the career.i qoute u mulu.”He relied on his wife’s bookshop income near Princeton University where he thought as adjunct professore” what a carp to say; leave alone a one time harvard prof and an assistant prof in a university by then ,my fellows who earn a minimum wage incentive don’t rely on on someone else.and as of the court case you can’t win all the time u raise a concern; that doesn’t mean your case was not genuine and the entire story will not digrace the reputation of the first ethiopian to step in harvard university,prof ephrem issac.get a life mulu.

  18. | #18

    Dear Collogue ( filfilu),

    Surprisingly, those political prisoners were locked behind because of the TPLF/Melles autocratic decisions, because of the absence of independent judicial system in the country. Do you think Melles let them free because of prof. Isaac. Ha-ha. My friend, Prof. Isaac has nothing to contribute. Don’t try to fool the people. It is also amazing that the “presence of Sheraton Addis and Universities” are the criterion for economic growth. Economic growth is the sustained in welfare of an economy –nation , region –city together with the ongoing changes in that economy’s industrial structure; public health, literacy , and demography and distribution of income.

    Dear, look only the last “Distribution of Income” and relate with GNP or GDP. In hopes, you had the background of an economic theory. Thus, our GNI is not more than 120 USD and that is the reason Ethiopia is considered as one of the poorest on the planet (120/128 nations – this data is not for politics but it is true. REFER WB/IMF report 2005). We are living under the poverty line. Once again, don’t consider the villas and automobiles that belong to our higher official. (You can get more than 20 universities in South Africa with 40 million populations). Wodaje filfilu, so there are many things to do. In some parts I agree with you.

    First and fore most let’s bring mutual understanding among our people, let’s tell our leader to respect our people, let’s build-up free economy (get rid of TPLF companies, which mount up wealth for individuals) and so and so forth.

    „ It is not best to swap horses while crossing the river“ . Abraham Licolin“



    God bless Ethiopia.

  19. Sattu
    | #19

    I am very proud of my man pro. Ephrame he has done something that’s been done long time a go. and I’m very glad that he brought it back to up to date, way to gooooooo!!! God bless you sir.

  20. | #20

    Prof. Issac,

    I thank you very much for what you did. People like Almariam, who lived abroad for about 2 or 3 decade, doesn’t realize how people in ethiopia live their life. They are thinking that every body is living like the way they live. He/Almariam/ tried to ask the US and some donors to stop aid and donations to ethiopia. If it stops, Meles or his regime don’t have got a problem. They can survive when others die. As we know they are wealthy indirectly from ethiopian economy. So, I appreciate the way Issac has going even if it it ” Washto Mastarek”. We have a lot of bad experiances on the out come of overthrowing uneducated and powerful dictators from power using power.

  21. Gebeyehu
    | #21

    Prof. Isaac has done some thing tangible that made a difference in the lives of many people.
    Al Mariam is trying to make a difference in his own way. They are both very valuable Ethiopian assets.
    If you agree with either one of them provide your support. If you do not agree do not jump to using your poison words, because most often those of you who disrespect hard wowrking people like Prof. Isaac are the internet and BUNABET heros who do nothing to make a positive contribution.

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