Ethiopian MP urges opposition unity, world to play positive role
Today, there is no peace and stability, democracy, and rule of law in Ethiopia. What really exists is dictatorship of one party and gross violations of democratic and human rights. The regime carried out mass killing of civilians in Gambela, Sidama, Shaka Mazengir, Oromia and CUD supporters in Finfinne. In all of these incidents the perpetuators were not brought to justice.
Press Release by Getachew Jigi (Dr) MP of
To introduce my self, I am MP of the House of People’s Representatives of
Ethiopia, run and elected as candidate of the Oromo Federal Democratic Movement
(OFDM) from Mana Sibu-Kiltu Karra district of Western Wallagga, Oromia region. I
am one of the founders of this organization and a member of its Executive
We, the founders of OFDM had high hopes and aspiration that by participating in
the legal political forum of Ethiopia we would contribute to the democratization
process and bring stability and development. It was with strong belief that the
Constitution of the land will be respected and supremacy of law will prevail, that
we decided to join the legal political system. It was also our firm belief that
democracy and working federation would solve the problems of Ethiopia .
Unfortunately all our aspirations were dashed, hopes turned sour and our morale
crashed within few months after May 2005 elections. We learned in the hard way
that there is no democracy or supremacy of law in Ethiopia .
In this statement, I want to give my honest and sincere testimony of the
conditions currently prevailing in Ethiopia and particularly since May 2005
elections. This testimony is in no way intended to defame the ruling party and its
cohorts. The main purpose is to expose the hidden realities in Ethiopia and in
Oromia in particular.
Today, there is no peace and stability, democracy, and rule of law in Ethiopia .
What really exists is dictatorship of one party and gross violations of democratic
and human rights. The regime carried out mass killing of civilians in Gambela,
Sidama, Shaka Mazengir, Oromia and CUD supporters in Finfinne. In all of these
incidents the perpetuators were not brought to justice. The ruling party has two
very contradicting political images that it uses according to time, place and its
audiences. In and around the capital city -Finfinnee- the ruling party shows the
image that it is democratic and respect rule of law. This semblance is targeted to
diplomats of donor countries to gain their support to finance and strengthen its
other hidden image. For any foreign dignitary that visits Ethiopia and discusses
with the Prime Minister, Ethiopia is really a promising democratic state.
Elections are conducted periodically, there is Â¨privateÂ¨ press, there are
opposition parties with
seats in the parliament, etc. These are facades to attract and win the sympathy of
donor countries. The reality on the ground is completely to the contrary.
November 11, 2006 “” The other image of the EPRDF regime hidden from the outside
world is its true nature. EPRDF is simply a dictatorship. It does not respect its
own Constitution nor abide by the supremacy of the law. Everything is done at the
whim of EPRDF officials who can reverse court ruling as they wish, kill, detain,
torture, and harass innocent citizens without any evidence or crime committed.
Anybody that they suspect as a threat is eliminated. The Oromo are in the
forefront to be subjected to EPRDF’s bad-governance.
Since May 2005 elections, gross violation of democratic and human rights are being
conducted in Ethiopia by the ruling party. Citizens are being killed
indiscriminately, thousands are detained for long period without charges and
tortured to sustain life long injuries. Tens of thousands are forced to flee their
country fearing harassment and intimidation. Properties of innocent individuals
are confiscated without court order. In short today in Ethiopia there prevails a
total atmosphere of fear and terror.
Legally registered and operating organizations like Oromo Federal Democratic
Organizations are facing the severe hand of the dictator ruling party. While top
leaders of opposition organizations are sitting in the parliament, meeting the
Prime Minister, attending consultation meetings with donor groups, invited to
parties with diplomatic dignitaries, there members are languishing in prisons,
their offices closed and properties confiscated in the regions. Opposition MPs are
not allowed to go back to their constituencies to hold meetings and gather public
opinions of their constituencies. Even if an opposition MP manages to go back to
his constituency, it is crime for the residents to greet and talk with the person
they elected to represent them. From my experience many Mana Sibu -Kiltu Karra
residents who greeted me were detained and heavily fined. This is the bitter
reality that is existing in Ethiopia outside of the capital city.
The EPRDF regime is on a wide campaign of detaining Oromo nationalists, students,
farmers and merchants for no crime committed. An Oromo individual who asks the
democratic and human rights of the people to be respected is automatically branded
as OLF member and thrown into prison to stay there for years without appearing
before appropriate court. Oromo students who voted for us are being killed,
dismissed from schools without any reasons. Dozens were refused their university
certificates. These are the vivid reality under which my people who voted for me
to be MP are living under.
I have been hoping things would get better over time. But instead the situation in
Oromia in particular and in Ethiopia in general is getting worse daily. This has
been giving me mental torture for the last several months. Now it became so
unbearable that I had to make my decision. I have been receiving death threats for
speaking up against the wanton disregard for the rule of law by EPRDF. Under the
circumstances my conscience could not allow me to continue to be a member of
parliament when I cannot speak with and for the people who elected me and cannot
spare them from the daily harassment, intimidation, repression, extra-judicial
killing, torture and displacement. Hence I have chosen to desist myself from the
EPRDF regime and its rubber-stamp parliament.
To sum up, today in Ethiopia , democratic and human rights are grossly violated,
the rule of law is trampled upon by none other than the ruling party. The regime
is doing everything it can to stay in power that it lost in May 2005 elections, in
which it was totally defeated. The regime is purposely instigating and fanning
religious and inter ethnic conflicts. The situation in Ethiopia is very dangerous.
There is disaster looming over the country. Finally I call upon OFDM members and
supporters, the Oromo people in particular and the Ethiopian peoples in general,
opposition party members to stand up in unison to avert this looming disaster. And
remind the international community to play a constructive role expected of them
rather than continue to appease a tyrannical regime.
Dr. Getachew Jigi