ENTC concluded successful meeting in Washington DC.

April 16th, 2014 Print Print Email Email

The Ethiopian National Transitional Council (ENTC) held a town hall meeting on April 13, 2014, in Washington DC where prominent scholars, representatives of political and civic groups and religious leaders presented their vision on why and how to remove the ethnic apartheid regime in Ethiopia and replace it with an all-inclusive transitional government.

The panellists — Abune Philipos, Sheik Khalid Mohammed, Ustaz Haji Najib, Aba Gebreselassie Tibebu, Prof. Alemayehu Gebremariam, Dr Kassa Kebede, Journalist Abebe Gelaw and ENTC speaker Ato Sileshi Tilahun — discussed human rights, religious freedom, constitution drafting, and current affairs in the context of regime change.

The conference was opened with blessings from the Abune Filipos, Ethiopian Tewahdo Orthodox Church Bishop for the State of Maryland and Sheik Khalid Mohammed of First Hijra Foundation. Ato Ashebir Gebre ENTC DC Metro chapter chairman made opening remarks that broadly explored the current situation in Ethiopia emphasizing that the timing is ripe to remove and replace the TPLF regime in Ethiopia and adding that it is imperative to discuss the future framework of the regime we aspire to.

Following Ato Ashebir’s remarks, Haji Najib discussed the Ethiopian Muslim movement and resistance. He stated that the period of the lull in the protests (“Efoyta”) is over and that the religious freedom struggle will continue. He has applauded ENTC’s effort to facilitate public dialogue on Ethiopia’s future political framework.

Dr. Kassa Kebede then gave an analysis on the mission of ENTC stating it as being commendable as it is important to have in place a proper transition when one regime is replaced with another. He stated that our understanding of the Ethiopian society and its ever changing demographic makeup should be looked at. He touched upon how our society seeks advices from elders but that it is youth that should lead the transition.

He discussed the conflict between the national interest of the west and concern for security in the horn of Africa with their support for democracy. Finally he questioned what kind of vision would work for Ethiopia considering the current ethnic based administrative regions and the need to have serious discussion about eliminating competition among opposition democratic forces and how to build a bridge and coordinate with the struggle in Ethiopia.

Prof Al Mariam then stated that he admires ENTC’s initiative of bringing to the forefront the need for a constitution, briefly describing how the US constitution came about. He highlighted the fact that a Constitution restricts those that are in power from abusing it. He explained the benefits of a bicameral system of representative democracy, the division of power among the legislative executive and judiciary branches and the checks and balance that eliminated tyranny of the majority as well as abuse of power by a minority group.

In an emotional, timely and wise speech, Aba Gebreselassie reminded the audience that Ethiopians need to exercise civility and love even while disagreeing with each other as Jesus teaches us. We should lay out our problem clearly and find solutions that will bring about a transition process that leads to peace and reconciliation.

Journalist and Activist Abebe Gelaw then explained how we can solve our country’s problems through coordinated struggle. He then gave analysis on the role of media to affect public opinion, fight tyranny and bring down dictatorial regimes. Tagging along this, Sheikh Khalid stated that tyranny will be removed through the help of our creators but all of us need to believe in ourselves that we can help make this happen.

Ato Sileshi Tilahun, ENTC Speaker then gave ENTC’s view. He discussed activities of ENTC beginning with the bottom-up formation and its populist chapter structure. He emphasized that ENTC does not have a political program and its method of struggle is popular resistance through civil disobedience. He discussed the several missed opportunities that did not result in a democratic system in Ethiopia. He enumerated the efforts of ENTC in the last 18 months emphasizing the movement in Ethiopia and highlighted the five point resolution from the July 2013 consultative conference that ENTC organized. He briefly went through the five options

for a change in Ethiopia and explained why ENTC believes the option to remove the regime through a coordinated struggle and replace it by an all inclusive transitional is the best option. Ato Sileshi cited the CIA fact book and stated that a whopping 64% of Ethiopian population is under the age of 24 and close to 25% is between the ages of 25 and 54. To that effect, ENTC has made it a priority to engage the youth in the struggle. He described the memorandum of understanding ENTC signed with the Ethiopian Youth National Movement (EYNM). Finally he drew the parallel of the Ethiopian Orthodox Synod in exile and proposed the forming of a unified force to tackle all of Ethiopia’s current problems and lay the foundation of a transitional government.

The video of the event will be released in the near future.

  1. ZeBihereBulga
    | #1

    Oh, Éntisheeee (ENTC) !

    What did Éntisheeee (ENTC) achieved so far beyond popular Chapter formation ? Successful meetings ? Blessings from the Abune Filipos, Sheik Khalid Mohammed, Ustaz Haji Najib,… ?, Propaganda Lectures?

    Éntisheeee….Éntisheeee…Éntisheeee (ENTC)!

    How ripe is, the timing to remove and replace the TPLF regime in Ethiopia that’s supposed to be Weak and Easily defeatable ?

    Éntisheeee….Éntisheeee…Éntisheeee (ENTC)!

    How long was the period of the lull in the protests (“Efoyta”), No Jihad ???

    “Sheik Khalid Mohammed & Ustaz Haji Najib, discussed the Ethiopian Muslim movement and resistance,… stated that the period of the lull in the protests(“Efoyta”) is over and that the religious freedom struggle will continue.”

    Éntisheeee….Éntisheeee…Éntisheeee (ENTC)!

    Empty bravado.

  2. Merawi
    | #2

    The G7 new method of love.we are ethiopian Americans not Real Ethiopians stop the slogan.we always want someone to fight for us.let us change our selves here in the states to be successful rather than to tell how the Ethiopian shall live.they ethiopian have the birth right so who are we?????

  3. Dema
    | #3

    We all want to remove woyane but how?

    ENTC is a joke. My grandma is more powerful than the useless entc lol
    Entc has no followers outside its four founders. Stop wasting our time

  4. Wase
    | #4

    Shame on ENTC!

    It’s a great shame that ENTC is engaged in the use of the repeatedly failed policy of “my enemy’s enemy is my friend”. Among the speakers in its above mentioned conference, there are individuals who have been enemies of the Ethiopian people.

    Here are the facts:
    (1) Sheik Khalid and Haji Najib are heads of the First Hijra Foundation which had written a 10-page letter to ex-dictator Melles Zenawi claiming that Ethiopia is a Muslim country (65% Muslim population) and making numerous demands including the insistence that Sharia law should be applied in Ethiopia without interference by the Government. Hijra Foundation needs to apologize to the Ethiopian people for promoting such extremist ideas that would, if allowed to prevail, end up in creating a devastating havoc in the country.
    (2) “Dr.” Kassa Kebede was one of the senior members of the military Dergue regime in Ethiopia led by the ex-dictator and criminal Mengistu Hailemariam who actually deserves to be brought to justice at the International Criminal Court for the 500,000 people massacred under his leadership. Isn’t it a shame that ENTC uses such people to promote democracy in Ethiopia?
    (3) Abba Gebreselassie belongs to a group which is responsible for the dismantlement of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. This so-called “Synod” has condemned (“wugzet”) the poor Ethiopian adherents of the faith in Ethiopia for the purpose of gaining power and worldly benefits; NOT for spiritual dogma purposes.

    What is truly amazing is that individuals such as Ato Abebe Gelaw and Prof. Alemayehu who are respected heroes for Ethiopians in general found it possible to collaborate with the above type of individuals, enemies of the Ethiopian people!

    If ENTC’s strategy comes to fruition, God forbid, Ethiopia would be a battleground on the basis of conflicts related to religious and political differences.

    It’s time that ENTC conducts a serious and in depth review of its policy!

  5. Anonymous
    | #5

    Could you please stop fighting and arguing to be a great politician. Your people need food, health care, education and transportation system that help them to find a solution. Ethiopia are tired with war and goverment change every time and you need to understand how many young people put their life for change the past that do not change nothing. We have to believe things not change with war, the only way change come out with education and changing the people psychology .when change at all.

  6. aha!
    | #6

    After the fall of dictatorship of Mubarek by collaborative revolution of Muslim Brotherhood inclined into Islamism and the others inclined to secularism, whereby the well organized Muslim Brotherhood won the election to affect the constitution towards Islamism than to secularism. So, the current conflict and the cause for the over throw of Morsi’s government by the Military to impose a provisional civilian government, has created an ongoing conflict between Islamism and Secularism, I presume.

    Unlike Egypt the confrontation in Ethiopia is between Ethiopian Nationalism versus ethnic federalism and ethnic secessionism/ethnic nationalism Ever since the TPLF/eprdf regime, consisting of ex-liberation fronts formed a government, the attributes of the regime became ethnic rather than national agenda, with ideologies of ethnic federalism, a division of Ethiopian land mass by major languages instead of leaving the original provinces with assorted ethnic groups intact, secessionism, and totalitarianism and/or state capitalism, which denies the silent majority of Ethiopians individual rights instead of ethnic and secessionism (group rights), Ethiopian nationalism, the sovereignty of Ethiopia along with economic model that denies private ownership of land, with non-independent branches of government with party alignments along ethnic agenda rather than national agenda to say the least about dominance by ethnic minority rule/ethnic dictatorship.

    With the prevalence of ethnic and secessionist politics and/or policies in the constitution, despite the existence of an Article in the constitution about Democracy, the condition has been favorable to create loyalist opposition parties with ethnic agenda, which latter formed a coalition known as Medrek /OPDM/EFDF/fdre, a mirror image of TPLF/eprdf regime with ethnic agenda, challenging the regime for respect of ethnic rights, “yekili Mengistats iqulent mebit mekeber”, political space, human right and democracy in contrast to those parties with national agenda engaged in the struggle for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item stands for individual rights to have precedence of ethnic and secessionist rights, that constitutes what could be categorized as negative forces of disintegration, a prelude to secessionism, future boundary conflicts, and ongoing ethnic cleansing and ethnic minority and/or majority dictatorship, devoid of democracy: a rule by the people, for the people and of the people with respect to the former, and the positive forces of integration with national agenda with respect to the latter engaged in the struggle of political and economic freedom of individuals of the silent majority of Ethiopians, who think of themselves of Ethiopian first and their ethnicity second.

    As of the last 23 years the balance has been tipped towards the negative forces of disintegration to say the least about the humanitarian, economic, political and environmental crises perpetrated by the TPLF/eprdf regime, in which the teletafi parties, the security, federal police and military forces are direct supports of the constitution and the loyalist opposition parties as implicit supports of the constitution.

    To tip the balance towards the positive forces of integration with the national agenda is not a question of inclusiveness and/or reconciliation but a question of rallying the political leaders, civic organizations towards the national agenda for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians with strategies to achieve those goals in a non-violent uprising/protest for political and economic freedom of the individuals, the silent majority of Ethiopians subjected to poverty, rampant inflation, unemployment, human trafficking, ethnic cleansing,and famine, despite massive budget support, grants, humanitarian aid by the western democratic countries and subjected to exploitations, economic, and political strangle hold by TPLF/Political, TPLF/EFFORT, TPLF affiliated enterprises, cadres and foreign corporations over the last 23 years.

  7. Anonymous
    | #7

    Well, this people are leaving in their own dream, it is their right to do so that I totally respect with no objections. The main problem is that this is what has been done in the last forty years with no results. What Ethiopia needs today is little action than big talks. We are fadap of this kind of empty words.I do not really know when a generation of action will be involved in ethiopian politics that is not poisoned by the then (1966 ec) generation. God bless ethiopia.

  8. Mimi
    | #8

    LOL, what hypocrisy, deleting even simple comments with different opinions from silly opposition group…Anbesaw Diaspora, LOL!

  9. Suliman
    | #9

    All the comments above,no doubt, must have come from fat salary earners 24/7 TPLF spies.I can not believe what I read.What nerve do the weyanese to tell people tht a body of individuals don’t have right to assemble and seek solution for the contry? Is the weyane mantra “Unless only weyane rulse Ethiopia indefinitely” the country will not survive to be forced upon us. Is that the only option left onthe table now.Shame on all of you dedebit weyanes and the rest of some of you who interpret this situation in the prisme of partician.Particularly so called armed entities who are IN HIBERNTION in Asmara and LOVING IT. Shame on all of you!

  10. Hizbawi
    | #10

    I see a lot of deadly panic and fear going deep down
    the spines of woyane/Tplf at this moment. And the method
    is to hide in the skirts of Abba Coptos Aregawi and their
    religious faction of Woyanay coptic christian faction party.
    Yet this new tactic is no different than the nation-nationality
    politics of yesterday. It is only a desperate delaying action
    meant to extend the dying woyane rule by shifting to seemingly
    new theme or tone where there is not any.

  11. Wase
    | #11

    Dear Suliman,

    I regret that you resort to accusations and insult instead of focussing on the facts. Unless you wish to be blind to the truth, the undeliable fact is that the Hijra Foundation led by Haji Najib had written a 10-page letter to ex-Prime Minister Melles Zenawi demanding that Sharia law be promulgated in Ethiopia which, according to the Foundation, was claimed to have a 65% Muslim population. It’s also a fact that the previous military Dergue junta led by dictator Mengistu Hailemariam and his cohorts including “Dr.” Kassa Kebede was responsible for atrocious crimes against humanity including the murder of thousands of innocent people in Ethiopia.

    If ENTC uses such people who should apologize to the Ethiopian people, is it too much to be skeptical about its strategy for a transition to democracy and respect for human rights?!

    What Ethiopia needs for the future is a real democracy with a sustained respect for human rights and freedom in the context of mutual respect among Christians and Muslims.

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