Invigorating success of UDJP Conference By Robele Ababya

December 30th, 2011 Print Print Email Email


The following is an extract from my letter to the editors of pro-democracy websites written in appreciation of Dr. Negasso Gidada’s apology for his past political mistakes before he made the noble decision to join the UDJP.

“This is the most exciting news I have been waiting for. What is so unique in this breakthrough is the public apology expressed by Dr. Negasso Gidada, which apology is one of the rarest cases, if any, in Ethiopian politics. His concern expressed for Birtukan Mideksa portraying her in so many words as a political prisoner was music to my ears when I heard him on the VOA Radio broadcast yesterday, Thursday, 27 November 2009. I sincerely respect and admire him for the exemplary and courageous stand he took.”

I am abundantly pleased with the trust his colleagues had vested in Dr. Negasso Gidada by electing him as President of UDJP and approving his Executive Committee democratically. As an offspring of Oromo parentage I welcome his change of parochial views to join and embrace the true history of the truly Ethiopian Oromo people who had gallantly fought – along with their Amhara, Guragie, Kambatta, Wollaita, Tigre et al ethnic groups – for the independence of Ethiopia.

Zenawi has left no stone unturned to ensure that the Amhara and the Oromos live in mutual hatred perpetually so that he can continue disposing of their combined abundant natural resources scot free. UDJP with its partners in Medrek are well placed to stop this extravagant wastage of resources.

It is needless to state in detail the draconian obstacle of organizing an opposition National Conference in a fait accompli one-party state where the ruling party had stolen 99.6% of the votes in the 2010 election and, as if that was not enough, it is tightening its grip on power by enacting laws detrimental to genuine effort to resuscitate the badly hurt fledgling democracy in intensive care. I admire the stamina of UDJP leaders and members for concluding their Conference under politically poisoned environment created by the repressive regime.

Taking comfort in the readiness of the people for democratic governance
The following is an excerpt from a brilliant, informative and inspiring article entitled “ADVICE TO THE ADVISOR WITH RANK OF MINISTER” dated 27 December and posted on Abugidainfo website. I chose the passage to relate a true story to my readers.

Quote: It has been commented many times over that when they got their chance, the Ethiopian people have shown their choice. Even now 5 years after the small political space closed down, multi-ethnic opposition parties inside the country, such as UDJ and MEDREK, have the expressed support of the majority of the people. According to recent reports, delegates from Gondar to Jinka, Assela to Illubabor, Borena to Chencha have democratically elected their new leadership including the president Dr. Negasso Gidada. Similarly, Dr. Moga Frissa is a democratically elected leader of MEDREK. Solidarity support comes from abroad from N.A. to Africa and the Middle East, and inside Ethiopia, across from all the major universities. Unquote

Colonel Imru Wondé of the elite Imperial Body Guard told me a fascinating true story while both of us were political prisoners held with high ranking dignitaries of the Imperial regime in what was once a wine cellar of Menelik’s Palace. The story happened while the Colonel was the Governor of Begemder in the early aftermath of the Ethiopian revolution of 1974; he witnessed a massive turnout of the people at a public square in Gonder. The people dethroned corrupt officials and judges and promptly replaced them with officials of their choice known for their integrity. The peaceful participants in the mammoth demonstration returned to their normal business having underscored their cardinal point that they were victims of social injustice and corruption for ages.

The Colonel came to Addis Ababa to spread the good example set by the people of Begemder. He made an attempt to contact me because he was informed that a similar movement was in the offing in terms of a resolution, passed by persons in uniform and civilians of the then Imperial Ethiopian Air Force, demanding for immediate formation of a civilian government.

I should add at this point that the people of Jimma did much the same thing as told to me by my brother in-law who was the provincial Chief of Police. I in turn told the story to the Colonel.

It might interest readers to know that Colonel Imru was serving a 15-year sentence for treason against the Imperial regime. He was released from prison after the Derg came to power and appointed him as Governor of Begemder (Gonder). The Derg nabbed him on suspicion that he was agitating to depose it in favor of a People’s or civilian government (Hizbawi Mengist).

Ethiopia is ready for a democratic awakening. Only EPRDF is in the way. Advisors such as Andreas should heed citizen’s calls, and also the lessons of our own history, to broach an unpleasant subject with the leaders of the country.

I recall writing an article titled: “Amen to UDJP Covenant for Peaceful Struggle”, posted on the AbugidaInfo and other pro-Democracy websites on 11 July 2008. It was in support of UDJP. I then said that the acronym UDJ embodied my basic values – “U” standing for Unity for which Emperors Theodros, Yohanes, Menilik, and Haile Selassie but Meles is now dismantling under our gazing eyes; “D” depicting Democracy which had been, and is today, out of reach to the toiling masses; and “J” denoting Justice which suffered despicable abuse under the misrule of tyrant Meles Zenawi.

I said that “The leaders of UDJP are hard-tested fighters for freedom, liberty, equality, dignity and justice to allay any fear that they will capitulate to the whims of Zenawi; the values ingrained in UDJ are universal that no one has the power to defeat”. Hence, I reiterate my unswerving support for the UDJ Party.
Unforgettable heinous crimes of twin despots
Zenawi’s heinous crimes are globally known and well documented by prestigious international and national human rights organizations and independent election observers; these crimes include, inter alia:-

• Incarcerating firebrand peaceful revolutionaries of UDJP including Andualem Aragie ;
• Self-immolation of Yenesew Gebre due to unbearable misrule of TPLF regime;
• acts of genocide, crime against humanity;
• stealing elections in broad daylight;
• summary executions, incarcerations of tens of thousands of particularly young Ethiopians by security forces under his direct command;
• mismanagement the national economy, sellout and or ceding fertile farmlands of national resources; denial of private land ownership to peasants, corruption, escalating inflation;
• complete gagging of free and independent media; denial of civil liberties including freedom of association; near absence of all pillars of democracy such as independent: judiciary, civil society, parliament, army, national security organs; and
• naked invasion of Somalia thereby bolstering the destructive Al Shabab
In my article titled “Alliance with ostracized despot of a troubled state” dated 30 July 2009 and posted on several pro-democracy web sites, I said, in reference to despot Isaias Afeworki, that it is impossible to forget shocking atrocities committed by Shaebia including, inter alia:
• The gruesome barbaric massacre in cold-blood of thousands of surrendering soldiers;
• Ordering Ethiopian soldiers to walk through the desert barefooted, forcibly made to leave their personal belongings behind;
• Spraying bullets with machine guns on soldiers ordered to walk barefooted across the desert;
• Extracting gold-filled teeth of soldiers to remove the gold;
• Looting and gross violation of basic human rights of Ethiopians in Eritrea after the end of the war.”

I went on to state that I got first hand information from my own baptismal son. He was one of the few surviving soldiers whose valuables were confiscated and forced to walk barefoot across the desert – leaving behind a gruesome scene of carnage of their unlucky colleagues killed in cold blood by automatic weapons. That was a draconian act of savage brutality. How can anyone trust tyrant Isaias?

It is my ardent hope that progressive youths of Ethiopia and Eritrea shall work together to forgive but not forget the grave human rights abuse of the past; to bring their respective despots to justice; to embrace the principle of dialogue taking advantage of their bond in blood and common history. I say so because UDJP favors dialogue over any form of violence in its policy.

The Amhara and Oromo majorities must not shun from their moral duties partnering to foster a united, democratic, prosperous, and strong Ethiopia in which all citizens enjoy freedom, liberty, equality, dignity, and social justice under the rule of law in a free and caring society.

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.

Yenesew Gebre and all other martyrs must never be forgotten for paying the ultimate price so that Universal human values shall be entrenched in Ethiopia. Neglect of these human values in the end humiliated for example Gadaffi despite ultra-modern buildings and infrastructures he had put in place in Libya. Zenawi is waiting for his turn to face justice for his reprehensible crimes.


  1. koster
    | #1

    It is a matter of time, looters and killers will pay a price for all the evil deeds they have done. It is not possible to cheat, loot and kill the Ethiopian people indefinately. We should all narrow our differences and unite to shorten the suffering of our people. I hope our Oromo brothers and sisters are now understanding the advantage of unity against the looters and killers from TIGRAI and their hodam collaborators.

  2. yared
    | #2

    Negasso did a lot of damage to his own reputation as well as being an obstacle to the struggle when he chose to serve the woyane gujile for over a decade.

    He tried to make a success of his career with the woyane, without understanding the true nature of the woyane. we wish him success in his new role.

  3. Gigi
    | #3

    How Mach of this we can take people? When we say no I am living my life but our life is so connected with our country
    And people. We love and respect who we are, we don’t know much about the rest. So I say may our pryers reach the heavens. And most of the time I think it did if not all the time. The way I see may country which the Ethiopians are, sweet, kind, loving, understanding, god fearing and respecting and loving, Jeneun, generous, worldly, godly, humanly,
    Helpless, hopeful, lonely, crowded, poor, rich, ugly, beautiful. If that can tell about us all. We are Ethiopians? Have you heard the name before? Sure you did. We are Israelites, have you heard the name before? Sure you did.

  4. Gigi
    | #4

    How about the name of God? Have you heard any thing like that? Sure you did.

  5. Gigi
    | #5

    Ethiopian people are kind and so sweet, I swear it. Their love some time is beyond words. Not to say the rest of the world is out of kindness and love. We can all talk about what we know. And learn about the world, which is loving and
    Main source of our existence no matter our differences of moral grounds as god or higher intelligence. I believe in God
    Our creator and his son Jesus Christ the Mesaya, and the Holy spirit.

    Trust in God. You will be safe and will be trusted for so many. Believe in God. For he is our creator and light of life. Or every thing of our life, who is so infinite. Who sees us all in equal eyes no matter how Chinis Japanis Jewish, Italian Israely, Ethiopian Keniyan and so on we can be. So people hope we stand for each other and live together someday soon.

  6. aha!
    | #6

    Here comes another supporter of ethnic-based politics and policies calling for Amhara and Oromo majorities to unite agaist EPDRF, where his party UDJP, is the equivalent of Kinijit inside EPDRF and is affiliated with the loyalist opposition parties (ethnic federalists) supporting implicetely ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism. It is nothing more than more than maintaining the ethnic and secessionist politics and/or policies of TPLF/eprdf, multi-layer, hierarchcal political model with ethnic agenda at its core. That call for unity for Oromo and Amahara majority is not a call to to fullfil the goals for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians. It all boils down to calling for individual freedom, liberty and equality to suppercede ethnic and secessionist rights by dismantling ethnic federalism, secessionism and totalitarianism and changing ones own thinking of ethnic dominance majority or minority into thinking of being loyal to the taxpayers at large,& Ethiopiawinet before ethnicity to form a democratic government based on the individuals not the ethnic groups.

  7. Oda Tulu
    | #7

    I wonder whether aha! has read the article in full. The writer simply said that rivalry between Ormos and Amharas must stop in order to defeat tyrant Zenaw.

  8. Oda Tulu
    | #8

    Aha! you are confused. The writer has always been articulating the right of the individual as the centerpiece of his argument. In this article, he simply said that rivalry between Oromos and Amharas must stop in order to defeat tyrant Zenaw.

  9. aha!
    | #9

    Oda Tulu! That remark was taken from conclusive recommendation that: “that Amhara and Oromo majorities must not shun from their moral duties parterning to foster united, democratic, prosperous Ethiopia in which all citizens enjoy freedom, liberty, equality, dignity, and social justice under the rule of law in a free and carinig society”. It has nothing to do with reading, the preceding narratives, which I have commented upon partially, but on the use of the comcept of ethnic mjority of Amhara and Oromo majorities to the exclusion of the 78 ethnic groups as being ethnically oriented in terms of collaboration of the two major ethnic groups. Mind you AAPO is not in the parliament to have the label of loyalist opposisition (ethnic federalists), who are in support albeit implicetely ethnic fedralism and totaliarinism inscribed in the constitution, which has not nothing to to do with rivalary between the two ethnic groups as you tried to interpret the authors conclusive recommendation, even though the vantage point, I presume from UDJP’s platform which stands for democracy, justice and human right, forming a coalition with the loyalist opposition (ethnic federalists), the remaining part of his conclusive remark concurs with “Andinet hayloch” which stand up for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians. The sovereignity of Ethiopians signifies individual liberty, freedom and equality, superceding ethnic and secessionist rights, to which I agree with the author as his own understanding, not that of UDJP and/or OPDF/EUDF/fdre platform/inclination of ethnic majority rule, leaving ethnic fedralism, secessionism and totaliarinism in tact.

  10. aha!
    | #10

    We just learned that “OLF drops secession and embraces Ethiopian unity by Abebe Gelaw”, UDJP need to raise its goals to the national agenda, from its subset goals of democracy, human right and justice, and the loyalist opposition parties should drop their ethnic agenda/objectives for respect ethnic rights, human rights and democracy to the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians in a non-violent uprising to to individual freedom, liberty and equality of individuals ahead of ethnic and secessionist rights to dismantle ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism to form a truly democratic and capiltalistic society based on individual freedom, liberty and equality before the supreme law of the land called Ethiopia, living and moving and settling in the original provinces without being confined to ethnic boundries, much like the species populations of animals.

  11. Oda Tulu
    | #11

    UDJP is not short of ideas but critically needs material and financial resources. UDJP’s goal was a national party from day one. The restof Medrek constituents are moving in that direction.

  12. aha!
    | #12

    Oda Tulu! You are not listening to press releases, interviews of the party leaders from UDJP and/or OPDF/EDUF/fdre to make a statement on #11.
    We know for sure, the precuror to UDJ party had declared “nochange but durable democracy” in a country where economomic developmenet precedes democracy, and had been told that democracy is work in progress. Yet it was stuck with its prodemocracy movenet with the objectives focused on democracy, human right and justice, which are subset of the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, let alone it formed a coalition with the loyalist opposition parties (ethnic federalists), counterparts to the the teletafi parties (ethnic federalists) supporting ethnic federalism, secessionism and totaliarinism. Are you bluffing us to make us blieve other than what is available in their platform and what transpired from their own statements. Could you tell me why UDJP uses the term “andinet” as an abreviation of their party name?

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