EPRDF is controlled by hateful elements – Girma Kassa

May 6th, 2013 Print Print Email Email

It has been years since Eskinder Nega, Adwalem Arague, Nathnael Mekonnen, Reyot Alemu, Bekele Gerba and many reporters and peaceful political activists are shamefully incarcerated. “Why are these fellow Ethiopians still in prison? How come the regime continues with its impunities? For how long will our humiliation and bondage persist? “, one may ask.

We may not have a direct contribution to the incarceration of prisoners. We may not be supporters of the regime. However, our silence is the reason these brothers and sisters of ours, are still in jail. Our silence is providing ammunition to tyrants. Eskinder and others are in jail not because the EPRDF is strong; but because we are weak, selfish, and silent.

EPRDF leaders that are currently in charge are ruthless, void of compassion and interested only in staying in power. They will not be satisfied, unless their opponents are completely disseminated or humiliated. For them, having a dialog and finding a win-win solution is a defeat. For them tolerating those who oppose them is a weakness.

Many of us wanted to reach out to authorities hoping that they would open up the political space and be ready for peace and reconciliation. Particularly, at the advent of Meles’ death, we expected to see some positive changes. We tried to engage the regime to the extent of being labeled as “weyane sympathizers” by some from the oppositions who are emotional and lacking political maturity.

However, it seems hardcore and hateful elements of the EPRDF may be gaining more power. There is a strong determination by those in charge, to continue the status quo, of arresting civilians, expelling people from their land and confiscating properties in the name of development, creating a sense of fear and despair among Ethiopians and humiliating our people. As Stalin was worse that Lenin, the post Meles era may be worse than the Meles era.

A comment given by one top EPRDF leader, in a debate at the council of ministers, is a good illustration of the mind set of those who are ruling the country. “Meles arrested him as dangerous. Let him rot in prison” said this official referring to Eskinder Nega. WAWWW!!

By the way, though hardcore elements are currently in charge, we must keep note that there are still good men and women within the party that may want to see changes. These moderates might emerge as powerful peaceful, moderate and accommodating forces. Therefore, we must continue engaging the regime. The chance is slim; but we will lose nothing by always opening the door for dialog and peace, regardless.

However it would be naïve to put our breads into one basket, do nothing, and only hope for lights to come out from the chambers of authorities. Regardless of what the regime may do and say, we must shape up and be mobilized to play our role. We must refuse to accept the status quo and force changes in Ethiopia in a peaceful, non-violent , organized , united and effective struggle, should the regime persists in its arrogance. Let the current shameful decision of the kangaroo court, against reporters and peaceful activists, be an impetus, to end once and for all tyranny in Ethiopia.

The Great American President Franklin D. Roosevelt said “First of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. The only power, hateful elements of the EPRDF leaders have at their disposal, is their ability to create fear among us. They, effectively use FEAR to crush the will of the people, for fear cripples the energy of mankind.

It is time to be free from the bondage of fear and ignorance. A man who is chained by fear, only thinks of himself, forgets where he came from, and choose silence when his brother is suffering, is a man who is spiritually poor and sick. Let us show that we are a people that care for one another. Let us be voice for the voiceless. Let tyrants of Ethiopia know that there are millions of Eskinder Negas, Adwalem Arages, and Reyot Alemus …

This is not to say “No” to development. We support any efforts that may help bring the Ethiopian people out from poverty. That is why many of us are supportive of the Nile Dam Project. As matter of fact, contrary to what regime cadres are trying to say, the majority of Ethiopians at home as well as in the Diaspora, support the God Given right of using our Nile waters. We are all for development that can be sustained and benefit everyone.

However, there cannot be true development in the absence of respect of human rights and utter disregard of the law. By violating the rights and freedom of the people, it is the regime itself that is putting at risk, the long term and lasting development of Ethiopia. Therefore, the cheap talk of “development” must not mislead us from taking actions against tyranny. IF WE CARE FOR DEVELOPMENT THEN LET US STAND UP FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE RULE OF LAW.

  1. kentu
    | #1

    we are loosing aportunioty whwen shabia and weyane are enemtes but still we have a big aportunity before it is too late atherwise our dream is going to leave for ever we need the last chance go and fight for good otherwise demonstration in dc it bdoesnt work not like arab spring because we have diferent culture

  2. Sam
    | #2

    I read Girma’s article with interest. He has some ideas with whom I agree with, and some not. But I like one thing more than others about the article. He seems to be pragmatic. He is not afraid to call out the Ethiopian regime and the supporters of the opposition parties stationed abroad as well. I see a torrent of criticms coming his way. Could he stand it? I wish he will. The Ethiopian diaspora more than ever needs people who are not writing having the lowest denominator in mind because they are vocal, mind you they are not majority even in the diaspora.

  3. Ketketaw
    | #3

    I don’t understand when Mr. Girma said “EPRDF is controlled by hateful elements”. No this is absolutely wrong. EPRDF is not controlled by hateful elements but EPRDF is created by hateful, horrific and frightful individuals to destroy Ethiopia.

    Mr Girma continued saying “EPRDF leaders that are currently in charge are ruthless” what does it mean? Leaders in the past including Melese were sympathetic when it came to Amhara and Oromo people? I don’t agree by this statement either.

    Mr. Girma views are mixed and tried to portrait Melese and others in the past were better than the present leaders.

    Mr. Gima, what I wanted to say is the current EPRDF leaders were coached, instructed and mentored by the past leaders. So don’t try to show EPRDF has had two faces which the past is kind and the present is ruthless. Whether in the past , present or in the future EPRDF is EPRDF. Nothing will change it unless we stand and fight for our right and for our country. In short, EPRDF Was created to eliminate Ethiopia as a country.


  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    Twenty odd years on,Ato Girma still dogmatically talks about encouraging and working with what he calls moderate elements in the TPLF while trying to isolate and fight against the hard core. In the same breath, he characterizes the regime as Tyranny.
    This is the question he needs to answer. How COULD you do that when and what you fight against is a tyranny? We all know that a tyranny cannot be reformed. There are no two separate elements with in it that can be meaningfully talked as good and bad. A tyranny is a single nefarious entity,with a single nefarious ideology and one that you can only sweep away through a popular revolt.
    If our recent political history is anything to go by,’Critical support’ did not do away with the DERG.A popular revolt of which the ‘Northern insurgency was a part,did.
    Despite Ato Girma’s disappointment of better days post-Meles rule, the regime naturally continues along the lines of what the ‘Party’ has charted out to achieve.It does what it did before.It is not following the so called Meles’s legacy.Despite the fanfare,there was no such individual thing as Meles’s legacy.It is the party that has and can bequeath that legacy. Therefore, we see the continual reading of the DEDEBIT ‘manifesto’ informing every move both internal and external.
    Truly, the nature of the predator beast remains the same and it continues to prey upon and maintain control over its hapless victims.

    It must be said again and again that TPLF has never set out to serve the Ethiopian people. TPLF saw in Greater Ethiopia a MEANS to serve its narrow Tigrayan END. In the meantime,if it did throw a few crumbs of benefits to its Non-Tigrayan collaborators here and there,this was not in contradiction with but expedient to fulfil its initial aims. If it pretended to have brought and continue bringing ‘development’ including the so called HEDASIE GIDIB to other regions in Ethiopia,there was no HEDASIE or change of heart with its old agenda. This was precisely to camouflage and flesh out the initial goal of realizing the separatist skeletal political scheme in economic terms.As we fully witness now,the Tigrinya elite is being increasingly enriched and Tigrai as a ‘nation’ is being developed at the expense of the other regions of the country. The loot is being carried out at a huge scale and an amazing pace.
    Like I mentioned earlier, a minority regime has to co-opt through corrupt means a few others in order to look fair and representative.
    However,this should not hoodwink any one least of all the overwhelming majority of our people who live through the discriminating,alienating and oppressive rule of the regime.

    Allied to this is that there is also another tool that is necessary for the continued rule of the minority regime.This is FEAR.It is the power to instil and rule through FEAR.
    A minority regime that is hell bent to stay in power while knowing it is not legitimate enough and it also thinks that it hasn’t robbed enough to convert its impoverished land into an ‘industrially developed nation’ at the expense of others,has a serious problem at hand.As a result,it has to,out of this existentialist insecurity, be extremely intolerant of any criticsm and opposition.
    Its cheer leaders,admiringly talking of their leaders who have always used any unscrupulous means to crush opposition and silence criticism in oder to realize their goals,aptly characterize them as ‘ESATOM SEYTANAT EYOM!’
    Indeed,TPLF has always been a ruthlesse and vindictive regime when it comes to dealing with its critics particularly strong ones.The kinds of punishments that it meted out at various times to its opponents and the political prisoners under its custody and the sever persecution it invariably subjected them to are all real evidence of the real insecure nature of the regime.This needless to say is integral to its tyrannical rule.
    Where then have been those good elements in the regime when these atrocities have been routinely going on for the last twenty odd years?

    False diagnosis always leads to false prescription.The problem with this tyranny is not that there are two elements inside the regime and the good are weaker that bad ones.
    This is a non-existent dichotomy.
    To my mind, there are no good ones and you cannot therefore reach out to them.If you wait for the so called ‘good’ to prevail over the ‘bad’ in TPLF,I am afraid,you will have to wait till kingdom come.

    The glaring truth is the so called good ones have expelled from the party a long time ago and it is only one supremacist UBER ALLE Tigrayan ideology informing and guiding the tyranny that works for the ‘betterment’ of Tigray at the expense of the rest of Ethiopia.
    Its pretentions of working for Ethiopia are just that-a pretence.

    While terrorising and crushing the dignity and proud spirit of our people,the pillage of the country has continued with the abetting and collaboration of alien political and financial forces.

    There is no any other alternative other than being determined to continue the fight till the end until we get rid of this scourge of the nation and for that it is our clear sightedness,firmness and resolution that will eventually bring us victory.

  5. yilma b
    | #5

    Trying to put lipstick on a pig is what my friend Ato Girma is trying to do. I believe there is no such thing as EPDRF thus why talk about the servant while the master TPLF is in the room. This idea of a bad cop and a good cop does not work here. I liked the way you introduced the ponzi scheme of Abay bond into the conversation and the claim many of us support is a wishful thinking at best and disinformation to say the least. Only Woyanes support this idiotic idea brought about solely to forcefully collect money from our poor people at home and carve a wedge in our society. Please do tell us who the good EPDRF’s are and what exactly can a toothless entity do even if they wish to be nice to our country? TPLF controls the Military, the security, the communication media, the Federal Police, the National bank, the Judiciary etc. Did I leave any important body out? Then do tell us what the good EPDRF can accomplish with no type of leverage at its disposal? Turning the other chick will only get you another slap my friend.

  6. Long live Ethoipia
    | #6

    If anyone is expecting any peaceful gesture from hardcore TPLF and their goons he/ she will be disappointed. What is lacking is a coordinate struggles so that this rotten Ethnocentric will be thrown into the dust bins of history. The provisional council has a very big role to play in helping to create pressure/ and support on/ of opposition groups. All the apposition groups need to come of their cocoons and execute their obligation they owe the Ethiopian people. The demand and pressure from Ethiopia people will do the trick.

  7. Meshal
    | #7

    The world is not just black or white!! Girma is right – of course there are good and bad elements in the EPRDF. There were good and bad elements in the Dergue as well as the Imperial regime. For explanation, consider this:

    1) Do you know anyone who has worked for these regimes? Probably yes. Are all these people you know ‘bad’ people? Or were some good, some bad, some in between. This is probably the case. Unfortunately, it is the bad people, or better put, the bad tendencies, that rise to the top.

    2) Remember the Arab spring? Or all the peaceful democracy revolutions in Latin America over the past twenty years? Or the end of the Soviet Union. When the system collapses, we find out that the majority of the people working for the regime did not support it! They were just too scared or did not not how to change the system. But eventually when the system changed, they played a big part – from the inside. Look what the Egyptian army did. If you look at the world in simple black and white terms, the army should have crushed the revolution without hesitation, no?!!

    All peaceful democratic revolutions depend on the vast majority of people rising up against the autocratic system, including people within the system. We have to acknowledge that there are suppressed good people within the system, and we have to use them and enable them to change the system.

    On the Abay dam, Girma falls into the trap of thinking Abay dam = deveopment. No, no, no! An efficient and well planned Abay dam = development. This inefficient and poorly managed Abay dam is anti-development. The little independent information available suggests that the Abay dam will be less than 30% efficient. On top of that, it’s been managed by the defence ministry instead of a competent private firm. It’s a big waste of money and dangerous for a country which cannot afford to waste the money. That’s why we oppose it. By the way, there are other dams, such as the one in Borena, which are indeed good projects.

  8. Meshal
    | #8

    Where’s my comment?

  9. Derebew
    | #9

    I read Mr. Girma’s comment with interest. He raises good issues and I am sure he is a mature politician hence should not be easily dismissed. It is sad to see the hard core hateful diaspora use the same vitriolic attack they hurl at EPRDF and TPLF on resonable and thoughtful persons be they opposition or sympetizers of the government. A mountain of condemnation and unremitting attack of good people with different out look from those who lack understanding of the complexities of the Ethiopian poletic is what is destroying the opposition.
    Some think attacking persons and their ethnic background will bring change to the status quo and one would imagine they would learn from their mistakes and 20 years on that tatactic has not worked but rather isolated and destroyed the opposition. If they were smart it is high time for a lot of the hounding dogs to change their tactics.
    They should check the history of Ethiopia that there has never been a successfull King or government with out the backing of the people of Tigray. King Minilk could not have succeded with out Alula Aba Nega’s support and Tewodrose failed when he isolated the nobels of Tigray. It is time to be smart and be inclussive of Tigreans who are against the current system by being more sensible and broadning our out look. Many Tigreans who oppose the EPRDF are not willing to join in the opposition politics because they hear and see attacks that are directed not on the governmant or the ruling party but at them.
    The one thing that many in the opposition should study is the tactics of the TPLF. They will learn that the TPLF had always preached it was agains the rulers i.e. the Derg not the Amhara people and that made many Tigreans who are proud Ethiopians join the TPLF becuse they admired that the TPLF had isolated the Derg or the Amhara system but not the Amhara people as enemy. The TPLF actually successfuly propogated that the Amhara poor in particular the peasants were our struggle partners that they should be embraced. That made many Tigreans comit to the struggle and many more feel comfortable to endors the struggle. Like wise many in the Amarha region joined the struggle.
    Stupidity and hateful aroggance should end and honest dialogue should start with out dogma or monoply of ideas. There should not be a taboo of idea or opinions. Ethnic plitic should be avoided by the oppsition as it is oxymoroon to attack the government of ethnic politic and wallow in it.

  10. Tazabi
    | #10

    Agree Derebew. Ato Girma’s approach is what we need. The guy seems to be thinking beyond the current rethoric, something that we lack from many so called oppositions.

  11. umdda
    | #11

    In the interest of all of us who stand firm in unity and raise our voice in unison for the safety of our people and security to protect our homeland, the enemy must be gotten rid of for eternity.

    You see, Ethiopians must know that, the enemy that we know settled in our country is, it is what it is; it can never be changed into friendly to our people and country. The pit in EPRDF is the venomous Hiwahat; Hiwahat is an organization that had been formed by criminal elements who are descendants of askaris who died in battle and buried at the bottom of dark burial ground several feet below the graves of Fascist Italians, their dear Masters.

    Take a look at what these askaris have done to our people and country. Do you trust them with our people and country?. Moreover, today, everything and anything that is available below and above the lands that they occupied and refused to leave is owned, run, and controlled buy banda and banda admirers.

    All Ethiopians, keep the faith! Keep the fight!

  12. wedefitt
    | #12

    It is interesting.. any author who avoids the name “TPLF” is diverting the fact that TPLF is in fact the ruthless elemen that creates/created anti Ethioipan element within EPRDF no one else. It is funny some here accepting Mr. Kassa’s claim EPRDF having bad elements. Really?

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