Stand in Unison against Evil – By Teferi Atlabachew
The leader of the totalitarian regime of EPRDF in Addis Ababa has been in power for about two decades by means of its secret police, staging fake elections, creating and heightening ethnic tensions. The regime has thrown thousands to jail, killed thousands in broad day light and made thousands to seek refuge in foreign lands.
It has total control of mass media, except few privately owned pro government low circulation papers with no meaningful impact on the promotion of free press and free thinking. Broadcasting is a privilege enjoyed by a few elites with proven record of loyalty to the regime and its ethnic based politics. The state media machines are used for endless broadcast of vociferous politics of revolutionary democracy, which is a TPLF variant of Marxism with an overemphasization of ethnic elements. The regime has been classified among the most arrogant enemies of freedom of speech and press by CPJ and other international organizations. The fact that the regime goes as far as jamming Amharic broadcasting from VOA and Deusche Welle, is an out and out violation of basic human right for expression of thought and the right to seek information and knowledge.
No free civic society is allowed to organize and function. Many tread unions are made to be pro government and have party affliated leaders. The Ethiopian Teachers Association and the Ethiopian Association of Free Press Journalists are cases in point. The regime organizes professional associations and trade unions in its image for the purpose of thwarting free organized genuine associations which stand for the right of its members. It dreadfully fears the free organization of citizens under any banner. Apparently all state and parastatatls institutions have been redesigned in such away that they will perpetuate the longevity of the current ruling elite and their minority rule.
The regime is also heavily involved in all areas of business from drug stores to multi million dollar manufacturing plants, though it is illegal for a party to engage in business. Many insiders have pointed out that the TPLF/EPRDF business empire is lawless enterprises with the sole aim of putting the national economy under the control of few top officials. In fact, much of the so called ‘endowments’ have been embezzled by top party officials.
The parliament is under the control of the executive, with few opposition members yelling for freedom and democracy. The parliament is a theater where the ruling party stages plays in the name of democracy to full the people and donors as well. The parliament is also a place where elected members of the opposition are insulted, intimidated and harassed for the ideas they reflect.
The judicial system is a weapon frequently used to get rid of oppositions and even factions of the ruling party. As one notable opposition figure rightly put it, the judicial system is probably the most abused institution in the whole country. The notoriety of the regime is its subtlety in its use of the judicial system for its political end which destroys the peoples respect for the law of the land and belief in the legal system.
At present, local level and replacement elections for vacant parliamentary seats are going to be held in Ethiopia in a couple of month’s time while the horrible memories of the May 2005 election still haunt many Ethiopians. Many gave up hope that there will be a free and fair election as long as the brutal Woyane regime is in power and as long as the scandalously impartial electoral board is in place. Many didn’t get registered for the election. In many parts of the country the People were forced to register otherwise many government services will be withheld for those who don’t comply. In fact, the Woyane has historical record of use of humanitarian aid for political ends.
After the successive crackdowns on the opposition done since the May 2005 election, no major opposition is at the scene this time. At present, the oppositions in general and CUDP in particular seem to be in worst shape mare than ever before. The Woyane have tried its best to make sure that the oppositions should not stand united. They have learned much from the previous election that they have banned all foreign observers. Those opposition parties who dared to take part in the current election have indicated that the violation of electoral conduct and human rights is much worse than there was in May 2005.
The regime has proved its anti social and anti democratic nature both nationally and internationally. The gross human rights violations on all Ethiopians in general and against the Oromo and Ogaden Somali people in particular have led these people to enter in to bitter armed struggle for succession. In the neighbouring Somalia the TPLF/EPRDF regime has intervened in the internal clan affairs of the Somalian people supporting one clan to stand against the other. Many Somalians consider Ethiopian troops in Somalia as crusaders which initiate new hostility between Somali and Ethiopians. The worst thing in this regard is the woyane is giving dangerous and misleading image of Ethiopia as a Christian dominated nation while the fact is half the population of the country is Muslim and both Muslim and Christians coexisted peacefully for centuries. Generally, the invasion of Somalia and the gross human right violation in Somalia as well as the endless and nonsensical border dispute with Eritrea show the real face of the dictatorial TPLF regime to the world.
Taking all these facts into cognizance, Ethiopians from all walks of life, Muslim, Christians, Oromo, Tigrai, Amhara…should stand in unison to get rid of the evil, anti democratic, anti social and anti unity regime of the TPLF. The creation of factions among the opposition is a back slide which extend the time of serfdom and anguish of our people and people of neighbouring nations under the Woyane. Whatever kind of discord amongst us is an advantage the woyane makes use of. We, the opposition, should develop the culture of peaceful rational discourse of argument and counter argument. We should be able to develop the culture of tolerance for the idea and stance of fellow compatriot. It is only when we stand in unison despite our differences that we will be able to get rid of the totalitarian regime in Addis.