The violation of the Constitution and the boundless dictatorship is growing and worsening – UDJ

November 29th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

A Press Statement issued by Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ)

What we know from common sense and what we learn from school is that people learn from their mistakes and that, as a result, past mistakes would not be repeated. However, what we see in practice and what is enigmatic is the fact that people do not learn from history. What is even more intriguing is that, let alone from past history, people do not seem to learn from the reality that is taking place in front of their eyes. Just to cite a few recent examples, Egypt’s Mubarak did not learn from what happened to Tunisia’s Ben Ali. Libya’s Gaddafi did not learn from what happened to Mubarak. Yemen’s Ali Abdulla Saleh and Syria’s Bashar Al Assad do not seem to have learned from what happened to Gaddafi. What has become amply clear these days is that not learning from what is taking place in front of the whole world is a typical characteristic of dictators.

It is not without reason that we had to go to the extent of pointing out the views expressed above. We had hoped that the ruling party would correct its mistakes, learn from experience, acquire wisdom and provide this country with mature leadership. To this end, we have repeatedly urged the regime to respect the rule of law not only for the sake of the country and of the people but also for its own sake. Unfortunately, our calls have fallen on deaf ears. The dictatorial government is violating the Constitution at will and in broad daylight using frightening and debilitating laws.
Respecting the people and being respected by the people is becoming something foreign to the government. It has no accountability for the harm that the people have to suffer. Article 24 (1) of the Constitution has remained just a decoration on paper. Hence, starting on September 9, 2011, without any care and sense of responsibility, the government has embarked on rounding up persons engaged in legal and peaceful politics and free journalists, accusing them of terrorism and sending them to prison.

Furthermore, it has irresponsibly used the radio, television and other media operated with the taxpayer’s money to wage a propaganda campaign against these people by labeling them in public as confirmed terrorists, thus violating their constitutional right of being considered innocent until they are proven guilty.

What is saddening above all is that Prime Minister Meles Zenawi who, under oath, has taken the responsibility of protecting and respecting the Constitution, said in a speech in Parliament on October 20, 2011, that there was no one among the accused against whom hard evidence had not been obtained. He went further to emphasize, with his usual arrogance and disdain and in a manner that could make him criminally liable, that it was because all of the accused were found to be criminals according to adequate and guaranteed evidence that they were arrested.

Of the people who were accused of supposedly ascertained criminality in the manner described above and who had to go through painful hardship, four were recently released. It is obvious that there is a vast difference between what has been said and what the reality is. We are convinced that this is also the case with the rest of the accused. We know the accused and we testify for them as being exemplaries of peaceful struggle. Hence, we raise our voices high and call for their release.

What happened at the Kality Federal Correction Center on November 19, 2011 is a further example of the wanton violation of the Constitution by the dictatorial regime. On that day, at mid-day, the Chairman of UDJ, two deputy chairmen and members of the National Council and Executive Committee of the party were at the Kality Correction Center to visit members of UDJ and of other member parties of MEDREK, as well as journalists, who were accused of terrorism. They queued up with the rest of the visitors and entered the compound of the Correction Center. However, the party leaders were picked out by the prison officials, who with their usually arrogant and brazen manner, prevented them from visiting the prisoners. This was in blatant violation of the prisoners’ constitutional right of being visited by their families, friends, legal and religious councilors… Efforts made to convince the prison officials
that this was in violation of the Constitution were in vain. Such violations of the Constitution are not new. Even worse and more harmful violations of the Constitution are being perpetrated and with impunity. The government is using the public power entrusted to it to intimidate the people. It is using the law as a cover to wage a campaign of terror against the people.

The purpose of this press statement is to remind the ruling party that it is not too late to stop for a moment, calm down and think seriously on whether there is going to be rule of law in this country. We Ethiopians, just like any other people, bitterly hate being bullied and intimidated and we are determined to oppose it with all our energy until it is eliminated from our county once and for all.

When EPRDF took power twenty years ago, it had described itself as the
product of a long period of oppression and victimization. Once it was in power, however, it has turned out to be a new oppressor and victimizer itself and is producing oppressed and intimidated people. EPRDF may not be ready to learn from history but we know that oppressed and victimized people would one day do away with dictators.
Our struggle is for equality, freedom, growth and prosperity. And above all, it is for constitutionality and for the rule of law. Freedom and the respect for human and democratic rights are key to growth and development. It is meaningless to preach about development when in reality, the doors of freedom are firmly closed and the Constitution is blatantly trampled upon.

According to Human Development Index of 2011, Ethiopia stands 174th from 185 countries. In terms of the Poverty Index, from among the 110 countries assessed, Ethiopia stands 104th. Only 6 countries are poorer than it. The study further indicates that the country is typically under a rule of dictatorship. This is the truth, whether we like it or not. We must mend our ways. Unless we are careful, this journey on the wrong track of history may cause the country, the people and EPRDF itself to pay a heavy price.

Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ)
November 24, 2011
Addis Ababa

  1. Bertu
    | #1

    Well done Andinet.

  2. Yared
    | #2

    By Kaleab Tessema

    I happened to listen to the interview of Col. Abebe Geresu by Helina radio on Sunday, Nov. 6, 2011. I just felt the need to examine how Col. Abebe Geresu’s realization that secession is a Woyane tactic to divide the Ethiopian people in order to stay in power. Col. Abebe stated that seceding is not the Oromo people’s desire; it is Woyane’s propaganda. Woyane after they seized Addis Ababa article 39 was added to the constitution to break way Tigray from Ethiopia in case they could not manage to run the whole country. I do agree with Col. Abebe Geresu’s arguments. It was true that a secessionist agenda was in Woyane’s manifesto, and it was clear that TPLF fought for the independence of Tigray and Eritrea.

    Anyway, I was so surprised about Col. Abebe Geresu interview that he repeatedly mentioned that Oromos scarified their lives for the freedom of Ethiopia, and he also mentioned a few names of those gallants who died in the battle of Adwa like: Gebeyehu Girmu, and Balecha Abanefiso. Also, his newly formed organization, Tinsae Ethiopia, stands for Ethiopian unity. It is delightful to hear such a positive words from Col. Abebe Geresu contrary to other OLF leaders.

    Before Col. Abebe interview, I scrupulously listened to the OLF representatives in a public meeting held in Virginia and in Dallas a few months ago. Both OLF speakers were addressing audiences that their goal is to work together with opposition parties to overthrow Wayanne. But still the two speakers speech’s implied that “Self-determination” for Oromos remained an objective.It appears there are 3 groups within OLF with divergent objectives.

    It was so interesting the interview of Col. Abebe Geresu that he acknowledged his organization stances Ethiopian unity and the Oromo contribution to Ethiopian history, and Col. Abebe greatly deserves my profound respect of mentioning the heroic Oromo who died in the battle of Adwa. I hope it is not propaganda.

    I have been critical about OLF that it has been too docile of Shabia propaganda, and angered the Amhara. Of course, OLF unwisely accepted Shabia’s virulent advice to kill the innocent Amhara in Bedeno and Arbagugu. Actually, Woyane and Shabia targeted Amhara elites that could be executed. For that matter, when Woyane invited all ethnic based opposition parties to the transitional national conference in Addis Ababa. While each ethnic group had a representative to participate in the conference, Amhara was not allowed to have a representative to participate in the conference.

    It was crystal clear that TPLF created by Shabia to fight the Derg, and were receiving modern weapons from the Arabs and the west. As a matter of fact, the time was favorable for EPLF and TPLF to over throw the Derg, because the Soviet Union was on the verge of collapsing.

    If I recall correctly, in the last rule of Mengistu, the so called peace conference was held in London and it was mediated by US Assistant Secretary of State, Herman Cohen, where EPLF, TPLF, and OLF participated to form the transitional government. Unfortunately, Woyane used OLF in order to become a legitimate and democratic government. Some OLF members were given high ministerial positions to muffle their mouths. TPLF, After they consolidated their power, it was not long before that Woyane expelled all OLF from the country, and replaced OPDO which was created by TPLF as vanguard Oromo party. Funny enough, OLF knew that Shabia was behind scene, because both Melese and Essayas had long term goals to develop Eritrea at the expense of Ethiopia, but they could not even reach one-fourth of their goals, and to become each other enemies. The point I was trying to say that OLF played a major role to strengthen the Woyane.

    Let me jot down some of Woyane’s strategies that enable them to remain in power by creating envy between ethnic groups, particularly, among Oromo and Amhara. Hypocritically, Woyane says to Amhara that if Oromo comes to power, all Amhara’s life will be at risk. On the other hand, tells to Oromo that if Amhara comes to power again, all your properties will be confiscated by Neftegna. So, we are the one who freed you from chauvinist Amhara, and if you try to resist us, you will go back to the system that you had before. They just made Amhara and Oromo not thrust each other. These are the methods that TPLF uses.

    Honestly speaking, I have never seen or heard that the past rulers killed or incarcerated the Oromos like Woyane is doing right now. Of course, we cannot deny that Ethiopia was under a feudal system, and it does not mean that Haile Selassie was right. Mengistu Hailemariam killed viciously many brilliant young Ethiopians to advance his socialist out-look. However, the Derg fulfilled its main slogan of “Land to the Tiller” by redistributing land once belonging to the landlord to the peasant tilling the land. Hence, it was Derg’s mass killing of the Ethiopian people that brought Woyane to power.

    To come back to the Col. Abebe Geresu interview, it is a wise move to focus on the present brutal regime instead wasting time pointing fingers at the past governments. Realistically speaking, promoting separatist elements in Ethiopia, it keeps Melese in power. Right now divide and rule is working for Melese. If OLF believes and promotes Ethiopian unity, certainly Melese’s brutal regime will end with in a short period of time. This is a good start for Col. Abebe Geresu that his political party promotes unity in Ethiopia in order to galvanize the all Ethiopians regardless of race and religions.

    I strongly believe, whether we like it or not, if the Oromo and the Amhara do not unite, it will be hard to remove TPLF from Menelik palace. But if the Oromo and the Amhara become united, it is a nightmare for Wayanne. Definitely, TPLF diligently works hard to make sure the Oromo and the Amhara do not become united. I am not telling what to do to OLF; I am just trying to share my personal prediction that brings peace and prosperity for the people.

  3. Yared
    | #3

    UDJ should do some thing practical instead of moaning about TPLF injustice. It is time to act. so much has been written about TPLF attrocities and we know well enough what TPLF IS ABOUT.

    Companies with investment capital of 50.000.000 Million Ethiopian Birr
    Companies with investment capital Companies that did not make their paid-up
    between 20-49 Million Ethiopian Birr capital public
    Ÿ Tesfa Livestock Ÿ Star Pharmaceutical Importers
    Ÿ National Electromechanical
    Ÿ Selam Transport Ÿ Saba Emnebered
    Ÿ Segel Construction Ÿ Almedan Garment Factory Ÿ Guna Trade Services
    Ÿ Mega Net Corp Ÿ Mesfin Industrial Company Ÿ Biftu Dinsho
    Ÿ Hitech Park Axion Association Ÿ Mesob Cement Factory Ÿ Oromia Credit Bank
    Ÿ Fana Democracy plc Ÿ Almeda Textile Factory Ÿ Adwa Flour Factory
    Ÿ Express Transit Ÿ Sur Construction Ÿ Wendo Trading
    Ÿ Ethio Rental Axion Association Ÿ Trans Ethiopia Ÿ Shala Advertisement
    Ÿ Dilate Brewery Ÿ Dedebit Saving & Loan Ÿ National Geo-Textile
    Ÿ Dessalegn Caterinary Ÿ Ezana Mining Development Ÿ Trans Ethiopia
    Ÿ Addis Consultancy House Ÿ Addis Pharmaceuticals Production Ÿ Tikal Agri Tigrai
    Ÿ Birhane Building Construction Ÿ Tana Trading House Axion Association Ÿ Wegagen Bank
    Ÿ Alage Forest Products
    Ÿ Sebhat Nega PLC
    Ÿ Addis Transport
    Ÿ Sheba Tannery Factory Axion Assoc. Ÿ Ambassel Commerce Ÿ Walta Industry
    Ÿ Meskerem Investment Ÿ Dinsho Share Company Ÿ Martha poultry
    Ÿ Africa Insurance Axion Association Ÿ Tigrai Tagai Association Ÿ Dima Honey Processinf plant
    Ÿ Global Auto Sparepart Ÿ Brook Chemical Share Company Ÿ Zeleke Agricultural Mechanization PLC
    Ÿ Experience Ethiopia Travel Ÿ Dashen Beer Factory Ÿ Tikur Abbay Transport
    Ÿ Addis Engineering Consultancy Ÿ Express Ethio Travel Service Ÿ Beruk Tesfa Plastic Factory
    Ÿ Hiwot Agriculture Mechanization Ÿ Tigrai Development PLC Ÿ Aberdele Animal Export Company
    Ÿ Berhe Chemical Axion Ÿ Computer Networking Technology Ÿ Maichew Particle Board
    Ÿ Rahwa Yebegina Fiyel Export Ÿ Amhara Meleso MaquaQuam
    Ÿ Star Pharmaceuticals Ÿ Berhan Building Construction REFERENCE:

  4. Sam
    | #4

    UDJ statment says “we had hoped that the ruling party would correct its mistakes, learn from [Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya] experience, acquire wisdom and provide this country with mature leadership.” So UDJ is reduced praying for EPDRF’s “mature leadership!” Why we need UDJ really? The church leaders, elders, and some prominent Ethiopians should come and put their heads together and pray for the Almighty to give EPDRF’s leadership some wisdom. Ethiopia will be, well, your adjective choice is as good as mine.

  5. aha!
    | #5

    What did the UDJP learn fromits mistakes in the past 6-years stating from K-5 and KILL-6 to UDJP as credible alternative to Kinijit with a press release of “no change but durable democracy” in a country where the motto is economic development before democracy, and that they were told by the Ethiopian Ambassador to USA that democracy in Ethiopia is a work in progress. And yet focused on the objectives of democracy, human rights and justice (as prescribed in the name of the party), as a subset of the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians and identified itself as prodemocracy movement.
    The party later on made a pact with the loyalist (ethnic federalist) parties now known as OPDF/eudf/fdre, a mirror image of TPLF/eprdf regime parties as counter parts to the teletafi (ethnic fereralist) parties of TPLF/eprdf party, both of which have ethnic agenda in their platform. That ethnic agenda manifests itself in the form of three ideologies: ethnic fereralism, secessionism and totaliarinism, which are anti-thesis to capitalism and democracy, except for TPLF and TPLF affialted enterprises and cadres, and it also denies individual freedom, liberty and equality to supercede ethnic rights and secessionist rights and yet both the the teletafi parties directly support the the three ideologies and the loyalist opposition parties implicetely support those ideologies andnow in your 2011 press rleases we hear nothing different than seeking reform on ethnic fereralism, secessionism and totaliarinism. Unless one learns from ones learns from the path of ethnically oriented politics into Ethiopiawinet oriented politics, we are perpetuating ethnic rule of majority or minority ethnic rule. With that kind setting one can not supperimpose democracy and capitalism over ethnocracy, and that there is no democratic government to speak of that has the semblance of democracy a rule by the people for and of the the people, where individual freedom, liberty and equality supercedes ethnic and secessionist rights. and the government rules by the consent of the governed.

  6. BBX
    | #6

    This is a Warning to zenawi and his cronies.Frankly speaking, this article has been written very well.

    | #7

    Why this all docile reasoning and logic in needed for Ato Meles and TPLF?
    Do they after all understand reasoning and logic?
    The have come to power by the barrel of the gun and hence do not have ears,mind and heart to listen and process logic and reasoning.
    All such talks are futile as the beast does not understand logic and reasoning.
    UDJ is such a Toothless lion that wants to achieve some thing by futile negotiation with TPLF thug.

  8. aha!
    | #8

    When UDJ talks about the violation of the constitution, the article in question is only Aticle 24, which shows UDJP has no qualm of Article 46,of ethnic fereralism 39(1), secessionism upto self determination, and article 8, regarding the sovereignity of Ethiopia, to say the least about the lack of individual freedom, liberty and equality not supeceding ethnic and secessionist rights to resemble the constitution of democratic and capitalistic nations of North America and Western Europe. UDJP did not also mention the violation of press freedom as in Article 29, cited by journalists in an interview.

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