October 22nd, 2014 Print Print Email Email

It starts by talking to each other rather than about each other.

Ethiopia’s strategic importance is growing in an increasingly global world. As it does, a tug of war over access to Ethiopia and its resources between and among internal and foreign players has ignored the voice of the people, furthering their oppression. Opposing images of Ethiopia have emerged.

The faulty image presented by those in power, along with their supporters, is one of remarkable economic progress and with it, widespread development and the alleviation of hunger. Such an image sharply contrasts with the testimonies of people on the ground, refugees fleeing the country, and record amounts of remittances going into the country to support relatives, otherwise unable to survive in many cases. At the same time, record levels of illicit capital leakage from Ethiopia, some $11.7 Billion (USD), left the country from 2000 to 2009, with a loss of $3.6 billion (USD) in 2009 alone. It has only increased since then.

Human rights organizations document widespread violations, often accompanied by the forceful eviction of people from their homes and land. Voices of freedom and truth are locked up in prisons and detention centers through the misuse of an anti-terrorism law. Various studies and indexes place Ethiopia close to the bottom in terms of freedom, justice and wellbeing in Africa, as well as globally.

Laws restricting civil society have virtually eliminated any independent voice. Instead, the regime controls all public and private institutions and uses them either to advance their own interest or as political weapons against dissenters. Within their grasp are the Parliament, the justice system, the military, federal and local security forces, the media, financial institutions, telecommunications, religious groups, and access to educational, economic and other opportunities. High levels of corruption, including the misuse of donor aid, accompany this.

The fomenting of ethnic and religious conflict, a trademark of ethnic-based regime of the TPLF/EPRDF, has fueled the dehumanization of others. As intended, this has divided Ethiopians into hostile and competing factions in order to maintain their minority power through a strategy of divide and conquer. Experts warn that the ethnic-based or religious-based conflict in Ethiopia is a ticking bomb that may erupt into violence, killing and chaos like that of Rwanda, Yugoslavia, or South Sudan if action is not taken to avert it.

The people of Ethiopia are aware of these dangerous divisions; yet, they remain isolated in their ethnic or religious groups, talking about others rather than to each other. How can ordinary Ethiopians play a major role in creating a healthier, more just and harmonious Ethiopia? Beginning this conversation among diverse Ethiopians will be the goal of this people-to-people conference.

The first session of the forum will focus on: “Dysfunctional Institutions in Ethiopia.” We will hear from Ethiopian and non-Ethiopian experts on the state of institutions; in particular, how regime control, the misuse of foreign aid, control of information, deceptive statistics regarding double-digit economic growth, and rampant corruption have led to a crisis of liberty, human rights, and development. The names of the speakers and panelists will be released soon The second session will focus on: “Identifying, Affirming and Building a New Ethiopia based on our Shared Core Values.” We will hear from Ethiopians of diverse ethnicity, religion, gender, and background, as well as experts, on the subjects of reconciliation, meaningful reforms, and the restoration of justice. In the absence of functional institutions, the people must assume their role. The problem of weak institutions did not start with the current regime, but has been rooted in our history. Unless the people create a groundswell of momentum for stronger institutions, the changes we all seek, even once the present regime ends, will fail to be realized.

Saturday, November 15, 2014, 10:00 AM to 7:00 PM
Sheraton Pentagon City Hotel,
900 S Orme St., Arlington, VA

Let the conversation begin!

This event is open to the public. For more information or opportunities to be a sponsor, please contact: Obang Metho at

  1. ewnetu
    | #1

    I dont why start with negative and undermining Ethiopian opposition when on we could talk about building on the positive and their strength.
    I found this planned discussion to be a little out of focus and untimely.What we need now is to organize meetings to help those on the ground in Ethiopia, who peaceful are waging struggle to bring about a true change from with in Ethiopia.. i,e UDJ, Blue party AEUP etc.
    There is a very real and huge attempt to undermine the peaceful struggle in Ethiopia and , i urge every one to stay alert.

  2. Le Express Diplomatique
    | #2

    An Australian Brodcasting agency monitored in Geneva disclosed today
    a war crimes tribunal will be formed in Ethiopia in the coming two
    months and will be tasked to try woyane regime military and party
    officials for their crimes against the Ethiopian people for over two
    It believed that the pseudo-military dictatorial rule established around
    1993 two decades ago has become a brutal anti democracy and anti leberty
    bankrupt and decayed goveernment hindering and blocking all efforts and
    progress by the people towards meaningfull change of the country.
    The lack, delay and denial of justice to people victimised by this two
    decades brutal rule of the woyane junta has been a bottleneck for years
    before it dashed all hopes and wasted all opportunities to reedem itself
    before coming to a complete halt in recent years to the dismay and total
    embarassement of those powerfull western countries and their administar-
    tions that has been exerting tremendous help and resources to sustain its
    survival under different pretexts.

    | #3

    Besides the failures of the ruling party to implemet democratic chages
    in the political culture and a functioning system of governmet institutions i the last two decades in the country; the opposition
    coalition called Medrek has also contributed to this crisis and gross
    failure of the government system in Ethiopia due to its exact copy but
    different owner policies from the ruling tplf/Eprdf party failing the
    minimum requiremets expected of it to be an opposition alternative party.
    This zero sum game which is framed on the same anti Ethiopian people
    policies of the previous regimes of the king ad military dictatorship
    but only differed about the ownership of state power can also be consi-
    dered a success to the rulig party if its intentions were to win by default that means to bully the opposition so as to frame them to get
    them thrown tto the wrong side of the transformation thereby get them
    out of the way but also by putting itself as sacrifice for its stated
    priciples and Goals.
    BRIEFING Le Express Diplomatique
    paris, FRANCE

  4. ION
    | #4

    AU is said planning to introduce a new delimitation and demarcation plan
    for African as its new working agenda for the new century. It is said
    that this new agenda sponsored by some influential Global and continental
    actors and institutions has the support of many governments and nations
    leaders and politicians behind it. This new delimitation and demarcation
    planning for Africa is believed to be crucial for solving many of the
    problems currently plaguing the continent and the crises Africa finds itself today with almost over 40 of the 53 states with weak, unstable or
    dysfunctional government systems despite 50 yrs of prophesied nation
    building and sovereign self governance that gives them Autonomy from the super-power controlled UN system of world administration.
    Though originally this was believed and hoped it will solve the problems
    of the African peoples; it is found in the course of time it is only
    leading to more deeper and originally unexpected problems in the life of
    the individual and the nations and communities in general. And if the
    present status-quo of nations as delimited and and demarcated by colonial forces continues it is only a matter of time before the whole
    continent of Africa comes into Chaos and crises that will further
    aggravate its present situation and catastrophically undermines the
    capabilities and existences of the already dysfunctional governments.
    For this reason the AU is under heavy pressure from the push exerted by
    politicians from within the countries of the continent and abroad to
    introduce its new agenda of new “delimitation and demarcation plan for
    Africa ” without delay as Africa is quickly drifting into the unknown.

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