A Tumultuous Month, Magnificent Leaders, and Superior Supporters – By Mesfin Tabor

November 1st, 2007 Print Print Email Email

October is a turbulent month, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. It is a month of transitions. Summer grudgingly gives way to fall. (more…)

October is a turbulent month, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. It is a month of transitions. Summer grudgingly gives way to fall. The leaves turn yellow. The weather is at times harsh, and at times mellow. It can be rainy out there; stormy and thunderous.

So turbulent was also the month of October to Ethiopians everywhere. The five Kinijit delegates were on everyone’s mind. So was Ato Hailu Shawel as well. They all were on everyone’s face, on everyone’s ears. Many of the encounters with the leaders were joyous occasions – - heroes’ welcome for democracy champions who put their lives on the line for their convictions. Other encounters were not. The meeting in DC that hosted Ato Hailu was in large parts an exercise in make-believe and quixotic meanness.

It is most unfortunate that Ato Hailu’s estrangement from the five delegates spiraled out of control. I wish he didn’t have so many bad advisors on his side. They may have succeeded in turning a potential national hero into an embittered and petty schemer. I will be very pleased if events prove me wrong.

Can there be a turbulent time for Ethiopians without Professor Mesfin having some part in it?! And yes, in the middle of it all came roaring from a hospital bed in India the voice of the well liked and well respected senior statesman. He had some harsh paternal words to dispense, but also a middle ground to offer in order to diminish polarizations and to keep the Kinijit family tightly together. His prescription: Birtukan is the way! The professor called on all of us to support our Lady Liberty at this time of great challenge to her personally and to the country as a whole.

All in all, October was not a bad month at all. There was actually a silver lining in all the tumultuous events. Three points need to be underscored.

First, the conflict demonstrated that the overwhelming majority of Kinijit’s supporters are genuine Ethiopian democrats with no regard for their leaders’ ethnicity. When they oppose Ato Hailu’s stances, they do so not because of any ethnic motives. Nor is ethnicity a factor for their embrace of the five delegates. Leaving aside a certain bigoted medieval professor’s myopic musings on the notorious kinijit.org, the overwhelming majority of Kinijit supporters stand above ethnicity. Regardless of whether they are of Amhara, Oromo, Tigre, Guraghe, etc origin, they are progressive Ethiopians who are guided by a humanist paradigm of the dignity of the human individual, of equality and justice. They support or oppose the various leaders based purely and solely on merit, i.e., on leadership skills as well as on commitment to unity and democracy, the two indivisible causes that the party champions. Whoever offers enlightened and principled leadership gets the backing of Kinijit’s supporters. Whoever fails to do so, loses their favor — irrespective of ethnicity. The events of the last few weeks have proven beyond any shadow of doubt that Kinijit has debunked the regime’s central myth about Ethiopians as primordial ethnic hoards.

Second, Kinijit continues to electrify the Ethiopian youth. Clearly, Kinijit’s supporters belong to every generational group. But no other political organization attracts the youth as Kinijit does. Seeing the multitude of young Ethiopians who flocked to meet with the delegates throughout the US and Europe, one can not fail to realize that the spirit of Kinijit has indeed become contagious to the youth. As a matter of demographics and evolutionary law, whoever is credible and inspiring to the younger generation of Ethiopians, to him/her also belongs the future.

And last but not least, Ethiopians still trust Kinijit with their money. Despite the shameful fact that hundreds of thousands of Dollars that Kinijit supporters contributed to the party over the past three years remain unaccounted for, Ethiopians are not holding it against the five delegates. They are able to distinguish between the corrupt and backward elements on one side, and, on the other, the truly dedicated and forward looking ones who pursue politics with a sense of integrity and honor. The enormous monetary contributions that Ethiopians made throughout Europe and the United States over the past few weeks is a vote of confidence to this latter type of politics.

  1. Mersha
    | #1

    What else can I say.You nail it right there. I agree 100%. Long live KINIGIT. Lets all wake for our long sleep up “hybernation” and do something to our people and our beloved country that has been ridiculed for so many years by others with the goal of destroying her from the face of the earth. enough is enough. We see in our eyes leaders like, the beloved Judge, Brtukan Mideksa and articulate, Dr.Berhanue Nega willing to take the risk and bring our dream come to reality.

  2. Demese
    | #2

    You are in denial of what happened to Kinijit in North America. The Diaspora killed the CUD. Two names comes forward as being the catalyst for the death of Kinijit: Andargachiew Tsigie and Berhanu Nega. The rest is a cover up and unncessary hope againt the brutal realilty. Stop this non-sense factional war and think of what we can do to resurrect the spirit of 2005.

  3. Benberu
    | #3

    What is wrong with the picture red color on her shoulder and hand don’t U have another one.

    Thank you.

  4. Tigist
    | #4

    I totally agree with Ato Mesfin’s assessment about what has been going on in the last couple of months. The reasonable, democratic and progressive Kinijits’ supporter is emerging strongly as a day go by. It is really a positive step forward to see that any individual is judged by what he/she does instead of who he/she is. However, we all still need to be mindful and protect our struggle from those irrationals that would like to give it any other meaning such as ethnicity. For example I read an article in Elias Kifle’s ER yesterday under the title “Bertukan-mania spreads throughout Ethiopia” I was disturbed by the content of the article. I met Bertukan in person; she speaks Kinijit’s and her vision more than any body I know in the Kinijit leadership. She has that typical modest Ethiopian psychosomatic make up in her thought and the speeches that she articulates so elegantly. For that most of the Kinijit supporters love her and support her 100%. Now, the article that I mentioned above trying to tell us something else and trying to disturb the comfort that we all feel with Bertukan. My point is that, even if we are getting better and better in terms of being progressive and civil people, still we need to watch out and protect our struggle from trouble makers like Elias Kifle. I also would like to ask once again all the Kinijit web sites not to refer Elias Kifle and his ER as a news source. Every one who has access for the internet knows how out of line Elias Kifle is. Do you remember how he put down DR. Brhanu a couple years ago, do you all remember how he drove us nuts when he interview and sided with Lidetu Ayalew right after our leaders went to jail. We all know what Lidetu did, but Elias ever wrote something that supported Lidetu. Now, he is on Dr. Taye. I don’t know about you, but all this Elias’s inconstancies prove the fact to me that he is out there to destroy Kinijit with his little ER. He has every right to say what ever he thinks and wants, but since he is very controversial figure I beg all the Kinijit web site’s to stop using him as a news source. Otherwise, we should also use Aigaforum, Benspage and Waltainfo as our news sources.

  5. Mesfin
    | #5

    Yes, there is no difference between Aigaforum and ER’s publishers. They are the extremes of opposite sides. Both are vicious for no good reason. Both are not compassionate and after distrustful narrow point of views. We should not trust them, and we should not give them any value, but they are free to tell their side of the story. We take them seriously, when they show some responsibility.

    | #6

    Why the vocal Diaspora that support the gangs wing of kinijit recognize the ‘judge’ title given to Bertukan by woyane? She received this title in accordance to OUR Constitution.

  7. Tesfaye
    | #7

    Lidetu, Lidetu: hohoho, Lidetu is gone. Birhanu, Birhanu: Hohohoho, Birhanu seems is gone Because of you are saying right now Birtukan, Birtuka, hohoho until she is gone. This is how the nature of the Diaspora so called Politics works.

    You, yourself have no idea about your own action. You call her a leader to the oldest and greatest nation without she having any political or even broad social maturities and experiences? You are cheap and weak.

    You the Diaspora are exposing yourself as foolish and with no human conscious and dignity at all. Ethiopia is much more greater and bigger than you think off.

    What do you know about your so called great leader? can she talk or walk? There is no more champion than Meles and Lidetu in this regard. Don’t disrespect the great nation and people undermining so low understanding with your short sight outcome and dark brain thinking.

    Kinijit will live on. But not because of the hopeless Diaspora says so but the Ethiopian people back home. Who are you after all criticizing some and while admiring others inside Kinijit? It is a party created by Ethiopian inside the country. You left Ethiopian for your interest abandoning her to the enemy to destroy her with Ethnic policy and kilil. What do you want now from here? Stay away. your blah blah will never cross inside the Ethiopian boarder.
    Why don’t you learn how politics works while living in the west for many years? Unless you changed to the Ethiopian way of political games, we Ethiopians will make sure your valueless and damaging ideas will stay out of the country.

    Tell me one thing what your so called great leader has been tested and well passed to give her trust in order to guarantee the Unity and integrity of Ethiopia? There is nothing there. She never has been in the political arena before just 2005 election. You mean despite she was a 27 years old but she was very trusted by wayane to work for them as a judge and lastly she allowed one of the notorious Ethiopian enemy, Siye to be free on bail? Remember; don’t mention only what she did with the Siye types, but what she did to other innocent Ethiopians in her court room while sentencing them to jail working for woyane.

    To make it clear, I have no any objection to her as a human being. In fact I like her understanding she is a good Ethiopian person. But I don’t see she is competent enough to become the leader to the party the Ethiopian people paid lots of sacrifices. If you want to destroy the party, go a head. But we Ethiopians will not allow that to happen. Only unity, understanding, commitment, respect and responsibility will benefit all of us, not your way.

  8. welalem
    | #8

    Reading your writing until you reached out writing ”but since he is very controversial figure I beg all the Kinijit web site’s to stop using him as a news source. Otherwise, we should also use Aigaforum, Benspage and Waltainfo as our news sources.”

    ER is not controversial. ER is a confused criminal type of media knows nothing what is doing. The rest websites you mentioned above know what they are doing. They have their own position and they steak to it. But ER has no any Media category to match it.

    The sickness that you don’t know its behaviour will harm until it is become known. ER is the worst illness we have and we must know how to deal with it. That is abandoning it forever. It will be nothing without us. This is the only solution we have rather than mentioning about to make advertisement for it. Just ignore it.

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