MEDREK on the threshold of shedding tribal garb By Robele Ababya
I am emboldened by the foresight of politically mature people within the ex-Medrek to heed the fact at this time in history that the issue of individual human rights transcends parochial interests. The last lap to be run by the new Medrek Front (MF) is to finish the race to emerge as a National Party with courage, determination, vision and patriotism. And in no less measure secure the release of the heroic members of the Front from the filthy dungeon of the repressive regime and collaborate with other opposition entities for the freedom of all political prisoners in Ethiopia. For the people of Ethiopia expect nothing less from the Medrek Front conceived, born and growing against TPLF-made draconian odds on home soil.
MF should be congratulated for elevating itself to a political dispensation where it can reap, inter alia: the benefit of synergy, symbiotic cooperation, sharing of resources, and avoiding divisive competition between and among candidates of its constituents vying to run for office thus posing a formidable opposition to the repressive ruling party.
It would be ridiculous to bring tribal issues to be tackled in a national parliament whose members are supposed to debate on common basic values and ensure that those values are implemented by local governments. So, it is time to make a paradigm shift to stay with rapidly changing world in quest for human freedom and dignity; or rot in the closet of tribalism. The one and only one cure for the destructive tribal politics ushered in by the Zenawi regime is to embrace the “one man one vote” invincible principle to which the constituting members of MEDREK are marching.
Facing the facts
Ethiopia is home to 83 ethnics groups bound by history for thousands of years sharing the natural resources of the country and cross-cultural intermingling of the people. For the sake of argument let us say there would be 83 sovereign states within the confines of the existing physical boundary of Ethiopia. In the unlikely event of all these states allowing the one man one vote principle and submitting to universal declaration of respect for human rights, it appears, prima facie, that there would be no problem. But admittedly this a farfetched argument and a pipe dream in an increasingly interdependent world bound by treaties, conventions and multilateral agreements in respect of universal declaration of human rights, security, environment, economy and trade to mention but a few.
First of all, only God knows how it would be possible to carve out 83 independent self-sufficient states without reliance on the vital resources of their neighbors, for example such as water and fertile agricultural land. This would prove a mind-boggling insurmountable problem. Add the fact that the African Union and the United Nations and its specialized agencies would be hard put to accommodate this madness.
The solution to our political malaise is therefore a federal arrangement comprising efficiently manageable number of regions – for instance 10 to 12 autonomous regions carved out on the basis of efficient and effective administrative and development parameters drawn up by Ethiopian experts and agreed to by the people. Each region shall then accede to “one man one vote” as the only cure for the divisive Ethiopian politics now being vigorously perpetuated by Zenawi’s worn out tribal misrule.
Beware of strange bedfellows
The new strategy of the brutal ruling party is to let its members to ingress the opposition camp in sheep’s clothing as impostors condemning their own party while they act like moles with clear mission to sabotage the penetrated victims in every way. The surrogate infiltrators even assume key positions and gradually put their prey out of action.
The bloated bureaucracy of the ruling party knows no shame to pull every nasty trick under heaven to ensure its tight grip on power at any cost in order to avert the impending popular uprising. So, MF leaders should put in place strict criteria for assessing new applicants for membership. In particular, ingress to membership must be denied to scores of small political parties fabricated by the TPLF party should be avoided even if they overtly condemn their creator.
The new Medrek Front should stay alert for there are divisive elements with hidden agenda while paying lip service to a united opposition to the brutal Meles Zenawi’s regime.
I wish all success to the seasoned political leaders for coming this far to form a front and plead with them to work hard to usher in an era of democracy, prosperity and dignity so that the abominable absolute dictatorship in Ethiopia that caused the self-immolation of Yeneneh Gabre shall never occur and “zero tolerance for political prisoners” shall be an eternal principle of our nation.
I close with my usual daily mantra, which is the immediate release of all political prisoners including the recent victims of arrests: Andualem Aragie, Asamnew Birhanu, Bekele Gerba, Eskinder Nega, Nathnael Mekonnen, Olbana Lelisa, Reeyot Alemu, Woubshet Taye, and Zemenu Molla.
LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!!!