Ginbot 7, a Movement for Justice and Democracy is formed – Ginbot 7, Press Release

May 14th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

Ethiopians’ long quest and struggle for justice and freedom is continuing today. The march, though torturous, towards democracy is on. The millions that participated in the May 15, 2005, general election have vowed that no amount treachery and oppression shall break their will to live in a just, free, prosperous and united Ethiopia. (more…)

Ethiopians’ long quest and struggle for justice and freedom is continuing today. The march, though torturous, towards democracy is on. The millions that participated in the May 15, 2005, general election have vowed that no amount treachery and oppression shall break their will to live in a just, free, prosperous and united Ethiopia.

In 2005, 25 million Ethiopians, trusting the words of the ruling party and its western backers and hoping that the election of 2005 will be different from previous elections, went out and registered to vote. The people, along with opposition, were led to believe that for the first time in the country’s history will have the right to elect those who should assume power and put an end to the chaos and misery associated with the thorny issue of power struggle.

Even though there were tough challenges, both to the electorate and the opposition, in contrast to the 2005 election process before voting day was remarkably fair and free.
On May 15, 2005, over 96% of the 25 million registered voters, went to the polling stations, and voted despite the long wait of eight to twelve hours. In unparalleled dignity and orderliness rarely displayed, Ethiopians proved to the world that they had been ready for democracy long before their rulers allowed them to taste it.

Upon learning that the public had voted for the opposition groups, especially in the major cities across the country, on May 16, 2005 the Prime Minister went on Television at 9:00 P.M. and declared a “State of Emergency”. In the Capital Addis Ababa peaceful gatherings and demonstrations were banned. The Prime Minister personally took a direct command of the Police and security forces. In the rural areas, where international observers were absent and it was easy to apply coercion, the ruling party forcibly removed the opposition poll watchers and began counting votes. On May 17 2005, when less that 20% of the total votes were counted, the incumbent declared the election victory. By blatantly rigging the votes of millions it made its intent how it will cling to power. On June 8 2005, protesters who were outraged by the stolen election went out to peacefully protest in the streets of Addis Ababa. In response over 50 innocent civilian were shot and murdered in cold blood.

All offers of negotiations to placate the wounded ruling tyrants were ineffective. The proposal put by the opposition to allow the ruling party stay in power with votes it has misappropriated, provided it agrees to lay the foundation of democratic institutions necessary to curb the abuse of power by ruling parties and make elections fair, free and meaningful met outright rejection by the government. Further repression ensued.

In October 22 2006, the entire leadership of the main opposition party were rounded up and thrown in to Jail. Many more, journalists, civil rights advocates and human rights activists were added to the prison list. A trumped up charge of treason and genocide was prepared and an 18 month illegal incarceration followed. In the same fateful October day of 2005, the prime minister dispatched the heavily armed and equipped special force of the Agazi brigade and murdered over 193 citizens in the Capital Addis Ababa. The carnage in the rest of the country, away from the prying eyes of international media, was brutal and in mass.

The government unleashed a house to house search and hand picked the supporters of the opposition that it has come to identify through their participation and support for the opposition in the 2005 election. In two weeks alone nearly 100,000 innocent citizens were sent to camps and prisons, and were subjected to in human and degrading treatment. The whole country was turned into a mass concentration camp.

In its own perverse sense of justice, the ruling party wanted to pin the mayhem and the killing that took place after the election onto the opposition. The incarcerated CUD leaders became perfect scapegoats. In unimaginable shamelessness and using treachery, deceit and manipulating mediators, the government coerced CUD leaders into signing a document stating: “…taking responsibility or an admission of guilt and plea for clemency” in exchange for their release from prison.

Since the shock the ruling party suffered in an election it called with the certainty of wining it, its sole occupation has become to terrorize, weaken all opposition forces and remain unchallenged in power. Using the cover of legality of the laws that are designed in its favor, the government destroyed all major political parties, thereby destroying the fledgling pluralism in the country.

Upon denying recognition and legal status to CUDP, and after merely three years it had suffered a crashing defeat at the polls by the opposition, the government now claims that it has won back all seats it lost to CUDP in a recent election conducted to replace the parliamentary seats rejected by CUDP. The CUD refusal to take the seats was to protest against the government refusal to negotiate on future election and parliamentary procedures. Ironically, in the recent election, it was only the ruling party that filed candidates making it clear that the claimed victory is hollow.

The giving away of the land from Quara region, a birth place of Ethiopia’s greatest hero Emperor Tewodros to the Sudan, and detaining and abusing Teddy Afro, an artist whose songs of love, unity, hope and tolerance has inspired millions of Ethiopians at home and abroad has no other intent but to cause pain to the public. It is clearly a demonstration of an utter lack of respect and insult to the people of Ethiopia.

It is, therefore, the continuance of these and similar litany of repression, degradation, trampling on individual and national pride and heritage that resulted in the formation of the Movement, Ginbot 7. As proud Ethiopians whose ancestors have paid untold sacrifice to save us from the type of humiliating treatment by others we say no to life without freedom and honor. No to the home made tyrants whose appetite for blood, treachery, embezzlement and betrayal has surpassed all records.

We are continuing what we began on May 15th 2005 and October of 2006 in which we promised to make the people of Ethiopia the sole source of political power, and that is why we decided to form the “Ginbot 7 Movement.”

The primary objective of our movement is to stir our country towards a stable democratic process and transition. We recognize that this effort or task will not be achieved by one political party alone, or by few political parties who share similar ideologies. It needs a willing coalition of and collective effort of all parties who feel or claim to have a stake in Ethiopia’s political future. We see the need that all stakeholders need to discuss and reach a mutual agreement on how to achieve the stated objective. Our movement is fully committed and dedicated in bringing all parties together to begin dialogue. To that end, we are already seeing promising signs.

The government that is subjecting our people to misery and humiliation is being aided and abated by Western governments’ money, material, training, and other benefits as a reward for its questionable services. Thus, we ought to organize and work tirelessly throughout the world to have Western countries support democracy and correct their misguided policies and challenge the tyrants in Addis Ababa. To illicit the support and camaraderie of citizens of Western Nations, in opposing and pressuring their governments to change their misguided policies on Ethiopia, Ginbot 7 will work tirelessly with Ethiopians in the Diaspora. We are certain that with an intense campaign of “Know Ethiopia” we will put the struggle for justice, freedom and democracy in Ethiopia in frame.

Our Movement would like to make it clear, to foes and friends, that in order to avert the current humiliation and disgrace to our country and ourselves the Movement will cooperate, assist, and form alliance with others who believe in the principle of democracy and human rights. The Movement shall not seek the consent or permission of the tyrannical regime of Ethiopia in any of its future undertakings.

While the EPRDF is invading Somalia, ceding land to the Sudan, making our country landlocked, and remaining in power through treason as it has ascended to power trough similar means, we hereby declare that we shall not sit idle only for the sake of holding the moral high ground and watch the dismantling of our beloved country. We will engage in any action the movement deems proper in advancing our struggle for freedom and democracy. Along this line, the Movement has a plan to forge relationships, immediately, with neighboring countries and others based on mutual benefit and in an effort to rid Meles Zenawi’s destructive practices in the region.

Our Movement shall employ all kinds and means of struggle to reach its stated goal. If there is an opportunity to negotiate with EPRDF in implementing basic democratic principles, the Movement remains open to accommodate such discussions or negotiations. In fact, the Movement full-heartedly gives priority and prefers this method of resolving disputes than all others. However this should not be construed as groveling. This is simply a call stemming from calm and rational thinking that dialogue is beneficial for all involved. Still, our call to negotiate and our willingness to talk will not, under any circumstances, delay, derail, or hinder our zeal and passionate determination of our pursuit of liberty, justice, and democracy.

To Ethiopians, who have had enough of atrocity, who can no longer take humiliation, who yearn for freedom/liberty, we are confident that you will join us, and we are certain that our united struggle shall prevail in the shortest possible time.

We will forever remember May 15!!

The Spirit of Ginbot 7 will prevail!!

  1. Robele Ababya
    | #1

    Let us walk the talk with determination to pay the ultimate sacrifice for liberty, justice, democracy and prosperity in a united Ethiopia in diversity. We must settle for nothing less than a government of the people,by the people and for the people in a strong, democratic and sovereign Ethiopia where universal human rights are truly respected.
    Let us earn our liberty and freedom throug our resolve and united struggle to put an end to the puppet ruling party TPLF/EPRDF under the tyrant Meles Zenawi.
    I pledge my support for the noble Movement!!

    Robele Ababya

  2. Tigist
    | #2

    “Our Movement shall employ all kinds and means of struggle to reach its stated goal” I like this line…Let us do it. All what Weyanness got is that evil guy called “Meles” They worship him as if he is a god, but he is not. He is one ugly creature with a dark vision. It is up to them to follow him to hell, but we just have to do whatever it takes to declare a united and democratic Ethiopia.

  3. meseret
    | #3

    Dear abugidas, this message is to Professor Almariam. I would be happy if you tell us why he is not writing in his blog?

    Dear Professor Almariam, these days, i am unable to see your precious products, the articles. What happened? please donot give up. One day you will win. There are lots of issues we want you to let us know, we love to read your genuine critical comments.

    please write and post, please, please.

    God bless you.

  4. Yohannes
    | #4

    Your comment:
    “Let us walk the talk with determination to pay the ultimate sacrifice for liberty, justice, democracy and prosperity in a united Ethiopia in diversity.”

    The May 7 party would have at least make sense if it was created somewhere in Ethiopia. Otherwise it is another attempt by Dr. Nega and others to distract Ethiopians from the real fight.

    The action and the issue is in Ethiopia but not in Washington DC. Dr. Nega had a remarkable chance to contribute but instead he get in to a silly mess and destroyed a strong movement.

    From now on starting from the above press release he will contribution will be limited to lip service and releasing statments. He is definately retreating from the real action. So why are you guys excited?

    Soon another circus like party will begin: Ahhmm– Dr. Nega in LA, Dr. Nega in Seattle, Dr. Nega in London, Dr. Nega in SA —-bla,bla,bla – talk talk talk away from home.

  5. Guenet
    | #5

    I am not impressed either with the creation of this movement. I start to see a patern: whenever Dr Berhanu is, there is division therefore I don’t think he is the right person to talk about unity. And I don’t understand why he duplicates the movement of Obang Metho, he should be more creative and come up with new ideas.

  6. mesfine
    | #6

    This is another hoax party the real problem of Ethiopian opposition is lack of strength creating another party now is just a justification of Birhanu “Feracha” to return back home and employment opportunity for Andargachew tsige nothing else.

  7. | #7


    you are trying to criticize the greatest Ethiopan man Dr Berhanu Nege dedicated him self to voice for the voiceless under the tyrant regime of devil Meles. What is your contribution towards changing the current undemocratic situation in Ethiopia? are you watching the battle as out sider and discourage the heros of Ethiopia. Please let’s ask ourselves coz it is everyone responsibility to bring a united demoncratic Ethiopia.

    God bless Ethiopia!!!

  8. Angagaw
    | #8

    Dr.Berhanu is much better and smarter than than Eng.Hailu showel. The problem is without Hailu showel that Dr. Berhanu negga will not gain single support and political gain. Remember, Dr. Berhanu is from Minority tribe (Wourage tribe), and most Amaras will not go for it. The best strategy will be Eng.Hailu as top man, Berhanu as second of third person in the leadership position.

  9. gojam
    | #9


    your comments are childish. “Ye shewaw balabat” can not represent Gojam, Gondor, Wollo. Tosachinin yizo gedel yigiba. What we want is anyone committed to ethiopian renaicence (ye ethiopia tensae) in any way.

    Please think twice before you press ur keyboard.

    Sint ayilet fidel yekotere mehayim ale befetari.

  10. serke
    | #10

    Dont worry folks, Dr. Bre will bring nothing to Eth politics He is already proofed when he is rapped with eth.flag as if he is a hero go back fight and choose to stay USA to fight with sattelite to home.
    He is nothinggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggggg.

  11. Gobeze
    | #11

    Mr. Gojjam,

    I can tell from your name that you are from Gojjam, Why are you insulting the people of showa ? ? ? shame on you.
    What Mr. Angagaw asked was simple the political concern that politics regarding the tribe issue, the only thing you had to do was be honest and answer him.

  12. Amare shegaw
    | #12

    Forget Dr.Berhanu and his deviders gangesters, the majority of Ethiopians in north America backs and supports Hailu showel. Hailu showel is proven leader.

  13. Ethiopia Yebelay
    | #13

    Dear all

    Freedom and democracy is a matter of time. Poltical struggles now a day is difficult in a violent way. It is almost imposible. I understand how the government of Ethiopia is dectator, but still I don’t agree in non-violent way of solving problems of that country. Especially from distance, never.

    Please Ethiopian opposition parties unite and work for one purpose. Dr Birhanu, Hailu Shawel, Birtukan all are working for one purpose. U can struggle in one way too. In a non-violent way. The people of Ethiopia is seek and tired of hearing your reason not to work together.

    Egziabeher Ethiopian Yibark

  14. ghion
    | #14

    dear crtic it seems that you do not control your mouth..if you know politics please you wiill not be such an idiot..leave dr berhanu..he is fighting for the pootr ethiopians….Give due respect and follow him or join weyanne.

    We like dr Berhanu…And we aprreciate his stand and commitment

    Please those of you who are like me shut your mouth or just talk the talk and walk the walk

  15. Desta
    | #15

    The root of Democracy is planted in Ethiopia already. What we need right now is to use the opportunity and the present constitution to creat meanigful mature political opposition to creat check and balance on the ruling party. This i call necessary evil, since no government can be long secure without formidable opposition. In process though, Do not forget that in democracy opposition does not mean dead meaningless hallow opposition for the sake of opposition, but meaningful rational challenge to bring the best to our country.

  16. Guenet
    | #16


    If you think that “the root of democracy if planted” would you please give me your definition of democracy.

  17. Gambella
    | #17

    In support of Mr.dasta,

    For the first time in Ethiopias history we Ethiopians have the right to vote in the ballot box. For the first time in Ethiopias history there is no educational discrimination in Ethiopia, all regionsof Ethiopia now officially have equal opportunity and equal acess to education regardless of tribe,today almost every region in Ethiopia has its own universities,high schools,colleges and other higher learning institutions.
    Today we Ethiopias are free to govern our selves federalistic structured means without highly centralized dictatorship from Addis like old days. Today we vote our own member of parliament in local grassroot election process.
    Of course such progress may not be a lot to some of those hypocrat Ethiopians who are residing oversea and living big and enjoying western life style, but for us Ethiopians who are living residing everyday life in Ethiopia it is a big positive change. I wish we Ethiopians had such smart government and leadership hundreds years ago,Ethiopia would of become another Japan.
    You like it or not Ethiopia is growing, our young generation Ethiopians getting better education than ever. Today Ethiopians for the first time talking business and development and advancement instead of war and non sense hallow politics, like Ethiopians in washington dc do.
    So my advice to all Ethiopians is to stop complaining and crying and moning endlessly, and learn from the chines, do your share regardless of the situations, whether it is governmental or any other. Otherwise to expect perfect system from a government or any other is nothing but impragmatic wishful thinking.

  18. lebetew
    | #18

    the person writing using the name gojam may be is the same person by the name angagaw or shallow minded or does not understand the motive of the latter. please think a bit before you puke.

  19. Alebachew
    | #19

    Dear Gambella,

    T H A N K Y O U ! ! ! !

  20. lebetew
    | #20

    What a choice of name with out going in your way i beg you to assess the reality. Our nation had never been in such a shame through out our history; call the past primitive or dictatorial. Did the poverty stopped no actually have gone worse feeding hungry vultures while starving the majority. Did the assassinating of people with different views stopped no; it is at the worst stage than the mengistu regime bragging when killing. All in all there are organized mafias running our country, I assure you their days are numbered.

  21. Alemu
    | #21

    Mr. Gambela,
    Please ignore this useless person called “Lebetew”, he ain`t worth your time, just laugh at them and ignore them. People like mr. Lebetew have no power nor place in the new Ethiopia.

    Mr. Lebetew is desprate for power, he say anything and do any thing to grasp power.

  22. Mebratu Demeke
    | #22


    You said “their time is numbered”, but you been saying for the last 17 years, and nothing happened, the matter of fact they are becoming famous and keep getting elected again and again.
    I am 100% sure, they be reelected again, since people like you were wasting time talking too much and do nothing. The only thing you people know best is talk endless bullshit endlessely thousands miles away from home. I guess one day you people may get smart and build remotecontrol to place yourselves in addis palace.


  23. benberu
    | #23

    Berhanu is scared to death to go back home and this so called movement is part of Mask for cover up he think he is smart to fool us SORRY!

    It seems that every body is running his own agenda and it’s SAD! I don’t believe this is happening to dr Berhanu the man I respect.

    What ever has been said long ago about him has come out to be true which break the heart of Kinjit supporters

    Again another party or movement another split I don’t blame Woyanye for a second because the problem is with us we are such a cursed generation that never stand together or unite to struggle hand in hand even at the most crucial moment of our country but we know how to talk! Talk! Talk!………

    Know it comes crystal clear that every body have his own agenda and interest that stands before Ethiopia and the poor Ethiopian’s beyond what they want to preach or tell us. They lie under their teeth, which is a shame.

    If at all armed struggle is the only choice we left with who is going to fire the first bullet Dr.Berhanu? U kidding? or those of you who say bravo!?
    Writing and talking is another thing where as being there on the spot is some thing else that requires determination & braveness.

    A man who fails to keep his word and promise of unity is the least expected one to trust his word any more leave alone picture him in the battlefield.

    So pls those of you who are so panic or trilled just hold on and take a deep breath to come to your sense before saying Bravo! Don’t be his ride being emotional, try to rationalize and sort out things.

    Where is his word we heard yesterday promising to strength Kinijt?

    Why blame Hailu? if Dr Berhanu is ok for splitting the struggle instead of being one our former party Kinijt to fight woyane what is the point? What about scarifies that has been made and that still continue with our heroes like Birtukan and others back home, should we fail them? By splitting our self then what?

    It’s merely about the cult ME! Not at all about Ethiopia.

  24. Esatu
    | #24

    It dos not matter whether Mr. Berhanu Nega going to ethiopia or not, he is just another old fart. There is no political future for him in Ethiopia, since most Ethiopians prefer practicale leaders within the country than some “Power starving turist individuals from America”.

  25. Destachew
    | #25

    It seems, Dr. Berhanu suffering from memory lose and alaysis of political irrationality, he had already forgotten that without the support of “Engineer Hailu” and “The Amara people” there won`t be no political power for Dr. Berhanu, after all Dr. Berhanu Negga is totally from different ethic group tiny minority tribe called (Wourage), even if 100% of wourages vote for Dr.Berhanu wourages number does not secure no political viability, since the entire wourages vote can not surpass 2% (Two percent) of total ethiopias vote casting population.
    Therefor instead of Dr. berhanu undermind and tryingt to destroy Engineer Hailu and the Amara dominated party (Kinjit), Dr. Berhanu should get smart and ride the amaras to get to the political destination he desires.

  26. serke
    | #26

    The Ethiopian people elected leader is Hailu shawel.It is prooved so many times.

  27. | #27

    Although no one knows what will come of this new party, it is better than nothing as a catlyst for a grass root movement.

  28. | #28

    all you so calld ethiopian want to rule over others however what you seem never to be a aware of is the vary people you countinousliy
    want to rule over have out smarted you so i suggest you look for a differant career

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