Kinijit Oakland is ‘fired up and ready to go’
Kinijit Support Oakland Chapter held its 2nd democratic election on March 2nd 2008. The general assembly approved new bi-laws and elected a seven member Executive Board, an Auditor and Inspector General. Five are newly elected members. This is the 2nd general election for the young organization. The board is fortunate to have the young generation as its members, and is working on having Kinijit Youth and Women Association in Oakland. We would like to thank the three ‘Election Board members’ for holding a very open, transparent and democratic election. It was a job well done.
The incoming board is grateful to the accomplishments and achievements of the out going board. With the steady support of our members and Ethiopians in the Bay area Kinijit Oakland has:
1) Donated money to Kinijit families in Ethiopia.
2) Donated money to political refuges in Kenya and Uganda.
3) Paid one year fee for the official Kinijit web site www.KinijitEthiopia.com
4) Lobbied Bay Area Senators and Representatives on HR 5680 and 2228. The Ethiopia, Freedom, Democracy and Human Right Advancement Act of 2007Act.
5) Donated funds to enable the North American tour of the recently released political leaders of the Ethiopian People. The reception given to Kinijit Leaders was a proud moment in our organizations history.
The new board member pledges to vigorously continue the works launched by the previous board and also step up in a new platform to actively engage the Ethiopian community in the area, in affairs pertaining to our beloved country Ethiopia.
The TPLF minority regime is continuing on its totalitarian ways unabated. There is no freedom of speech, free press (both print and electronic), the judiciary is not independent and the military is accountable to a single party. There are thousands of political prisoners all over the country. The US Department of State Country Report on Human Rights Practices in Ethiopia is a strong indictment against the Regime. (http://www.state.gov/g/drl/rls/hrrpt/2007/100481.htm)
Since the General election of 2005 the repression has intensified. CUDP or Kinijit is one of the opposition parties targeted by the regime. Its high-ranking leaders were arrested; many of its members and followers were killed; thousands arrested; many forced to flee, its offices were looted and forced to shut down. Very recently, the government shamefully gave its name to a certain Parliamentarian and its logo to another. Kinijit therefore, is compelled to change its name from Coalition for Unity and Democracy Party (CUDP) to Unity for Democracy and Justice(UDJ-ANDINET).
The new party has pledged to continue fighting for the 8 points that are still valid to day and the Vice Chairperson Birtukan Midiksa has reiterated Kinijit’s road of peaceful struggle to bring about fundamental change.
Kinijit Oakland, along with other chapters in North America, remains committed to supporting the struggle in Ethiopia; for freedom, justice, equality, democracy and prosperity. The new board pledges to engage Ethiopians in the area in the fight for the natural rights of all human beings. The right to speak, to write, to gather, form associations, protest, support etc. Kinijit Oakland will continue to organize Ethiopians in the Bay Area work hard so that the U.S. Senate passes HR- 2003 Bill. Ethiopians should call, write, call or visit their Senators and urge them that the U.S. rather than placing its support in one man (Melese Zenawe), U.S must invest in Ethiopia’s democratic institutions and its people to create a stable and democratic Ethiopia.
This fight is not the fight of a certain group or some individuals but the fight of all Ethiopians. The new Kinijit Oakland board pledges to engage all Ethiopians from all walks of life irrespective of their religion, sex, ethnicity, or any other social factor. So, our message to you is, Lets Stand United and We Shall Prevail. We are fired up and ready to go.