Ethiopians In South Africa Protested Against Zenawi (The Star)

May 24th, 2012 Print Print Email Email

About 300 Ethiopians descended on the streets of Sandton on Wednesday, almost bringing business to a standstill.

They gathered at noon on the corner of Alice Lane and 5th Street, outside the Sandton Convention Centre, which is hosting this year’s Global African Diaspora Summit.

“Freedom!” they cried. “Allahu Akbar (Arabic for “Praise be to God”),” they yelled. “Viva South Africa, viva!” they cheered.

Most of the participants were political asylum-seekers from Ethiopia now living in Joburg. Their banners read “Meles Zenawi, most notorious, evil, brutal east African dictator Terrorist alive!”.

Zenawi, Ethiopian president for the past 21 years, arrived in Joburg on Wednesday to attend the three-day summit.

Mulugeta Felkea, chairman of the human rights organisation Better Ethiopian, left his home country seven years ago after family members were killed by the regime’s security forces.

“We can’t protest like this in Ethiopia. The soldiers would just shoot us,” he said.

“We want the South African government to influence the international community to take action against Zenawi. He must stop the harassment, release political prisoners and have real elections,” said Felkea.

He said there were officially more than 50 000 Ethiopians in SA, but reckoned there were many more under the radar.

Fana Dereje, general secretary of the Ethiopian Community Organisation, said: “We would return to Ethiopia tomorrow if peace was restored.”

“Right now we are second-class citizens in our own country. The people are hungry, but Zenawi gives us bullets.

The Ethiopian community thanks South Africa for hosting us during these hard times,” he said.

The strongest voice on the loudhailer, leading the men at the front of the march, was that of a woman – actress, journalist and activist Gelila Mekonnen.

She was due to leave on Thursday for Amsterdam, where she works at the Ethiopian Satellite Television headquarters.

“The Ethiopian government calls our independent television station a terrorist channel, but we are simply struggling for democracy,” said Mekonnen.

On Sunday night, more than 1 000 Ethiopian migrants met at the Standard Bank Arena in Joburg to raise funds for the tv station, which they hope to launch in SA this year.

yusuf.omar@inl.co.za

  1. የኢትዮጵያ ልጆች ይፈቱ
    | #1

    ኢትዮጵያዊያን ይለምልሙ በያሉበት ወያኔ ሌባውን የሚቃወሙ !

  2. Tagadali Adanahoum
    | #2

    It was Ethiopia than any Black country who helped South Africa at a crucial time when it needed support during the minority Boers rule over the majority of Blacks. South Africans know only too well from first hand experience that a hated government does not last long. Now the TPLF leader Meles Zenawi who for long perfer the Arabs to associate and identify with great solidarity while fighting Mengestu now runining Ethiopia once and forever. The Ethiopian Prime Minister wants to usurb the leadership of AU like he did the hisory of Axumite Civilization which belongs to Beja tribe, not at all the ancestry of this new comers Tigryans from South Yeman.

  3. Konjit Kassa
    | #3

    Every able bodied Ethiopian MUST openly protest against the ruthless
    murderous TPLF junta’s sper head Meles where ever he shows up for a
    visit. We MUST be relentless in our opposition and expose his illegal
    regime’s crimes loudly. The WEST don’t care if we continue to be divided
    and serve ethno-centric organisations like WEYANE.
    BEEF UP THE STRUGLE AGAINST MELES!!!

  4. Konjit Kassa
    | #4

    Every able bodied Ethiopian MUST openly protest against the ruthless
    murderous TPLF junta’s spear head Meles where ever he shows up for a
    visit. We MUST be relentless in our opposition and expose his illegal
    regime’s crimes loudly. The WEST don’t care if we continue to be divided
    and serve ethno-centric organisations like WEYANE.
    BEEF UP THE STRUGLE AGAINST MELES!!!

  5. Abebe Tedrose
    | #5

    Bravo South Africa Ethopian people and South African government. It is time to expose this REpression,intimidation corrupton,decepton and brutalizaton of Melese managment system.Melese and his TPLF cadera swindled,suckered,and victimized Ethopian people.We always see Agony,despair,tribulation,brutalization and deception.we must strugle like Abebe Gelaw. Melese should be down from Ethopa.Thank you

  6. The Eritrean one!
    | #6

    The face of shame of Ethiopians or Africans, disgrace, killer, looter, lier, embarrasment, and above all slavery must be haunted whatever he may be. No matter which box or incubator he is hiding in the bunker his days are numbered and I hope the justice of Ethiopia will caught up with hime before the innocent blood people engulfes him from his bunker!

  7. Anonymous
    | #7

    We are home less and migirant bcoz of him and tplf party.

  8. ASSALLA
    | #8

    Free Eskinder Nega,

    Free Andualem Araghie

    Free Ayalew Mekonen

    Free Bekele Gerba

    Stop inciting inter ethnic/relegious violence

    Stop evicting Ethiopians from their land

    stop burning down monasteries

    Stop discrimination of people on the basis of their ethnicity

    Stop using food aid as a political weapon, food aid should be given to those who need food.

    Stop harassment, kidnap, and torture and jailing of Ethiopians.

    DOWN WITH THE ETHNO-FASCIST WOYANE JUNTA1

  9. tummamit
    | #9

    have been very serious about the enemy that invaded our country 21 years ago,we began our struggle against the enemy that nearly destroyed everything and anything of Ethiopia.These the same,young men and women in South Africa were victims and survivors of Zinawi anti-Ethiopia campaign against Ethiopians.

    We salute these young Ehtiopians,men and women for their consitent and ongooing fight for freedom and justice.Zinawi will soon be arrested and with the onging struggle that we launching against the enemy will crush the enemy to its complete defeat.

    Viva South Africa!!
    Viva Ethiopia!

    All Ethiopians,keep the fight! Keep the faith!

  10. Ana
    | #10

    Let it be a time and chance for ethiopian poeple.

  11. Pilatos
    | #11

    democracy be selam yitagelal enji amets ayanesam think 4 our mom we do’t need war & protest!

Comments are closed.