Good news from Home – By yilma bekele

June 18th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

In this time of doom and gloom it is nice to hear some good news. What is surprising is it is from Ethiopia. Yes, Ethiopia! I am sorry that it is not regarding the expiration or early demise of the Woyane regime. But it is close. The 2005 momentum is still alive and kicking.

Andenet or UDJP (Unity for Democracy and Justice Party) held it ‘Founding Conference’ in Addis Abeba. If this was a corporate structure, you can say Andenet is a subsidiary of Kinijit. Kinijit Label is as good as gold. (But not the gold (lead) from the Ethiopian National Bank) The ‘Founding Conference’ was not without drama. Woyane was tangling itself in its own deception and fakery. Arat Kilo will soon replace Broadway for comedy. (more…)

In this time of doom and gloom it is nice to hear some good news. What is surprising is it is from Ethiopia. Yes, Ethiopia! I am sorry that it is not regarding the expiration or early demise of the Woyane regime. But it is close. The 2005 momentum is still alive and kicking.

Andenet or UDJP (Unity for Democracy and Justice Party) held it ‘Founding Conference’ in Addis Abeba. If this was a corporate structure, you can say Andenet is a subsidiary of Kinijit. Kinijit Label is as good as gold. (But not the gold (lead) from the Ethiopian National Bank) The ‘Founding Conference’ was not without drama. Woyane was tangling itself in its own deception and fakery. Arat Kilo will soon replace Broadway for comedy.
So the regime thought Kinijit was dead. This conclusion is due to the inability of the TPLF regime to understand the difference between an organization and a movement. TPLF is an organization just like Ford, Sony, or Toyota. It can disappear tomorrow and no one will miss it. It is like Pan American Airlines, bankrupted and gone to be replaced by Jet Blue or Virgin Airlines. But Kinijit is different. Kinijit is the personification of the Ethiopian people yearning for Democracy and Justice. No one can kill that. You can only satisfy it, that is if you want peace and forward progress.

This story is a continuation of the May 2005 election. After listening to all sides the Ethiopian people made their choice known by voting for Kinijit and the opposition in an overwhelming manner. The TPLF/EPDRF regime lost. This is a fact. The Prime Minster declared a ‘state of emergency’ and stole the election. The aftermath brought untold misery and destruction on the Ethiopian people for their ‘sin’ of exercising their rights as stated in the constitution. The leadership of ‘Kinijit’ was illegally imprisoned for over two years charged with fabricated evidence. The outcry from the Ethiopian People who showed their displeasure in so may ways despite the repression, the vocal and impassioned show of unity and strength by the Ethiopian Diaspora all over the world, the strong support by leaders such as the Honorable Ana Gomez from the European Union, the Honorable Congressman Donald Payton and the Honorable Congressman Chris Smith and others forced the regime to release the detainees.

The ever-shiftless Woyane instead of apologizing for the gross injustice done to its own citizens continued its vilification of the elected leaders in its monopoly of media the day they were released. The regime in its usual illegal mentality took Kinijit to court and arbitrarily gave the famous symbol to one and the name Kinijit to another nobody. Two nobodies do not amount to one somebody. The Ethiopian people are unanimous it that regard. Again the matter was considered closed. Wrong again. That was not the correct solution. The answer is freedom. Democracy. The rule of Law.

Kinijit can go to court and challenge this farce. Unfortunately there is only a kangaroo court. You do not normally expect justice from a kangaroo court. It was decided by the truly elected leaders to re-emerge as a new party. Based on their reading of Woyane written and approved constitution they followed it to the letter. They announced that they will travel to the different ethnic enclaves (Bantustans) and collect signatures from their constituents. They did. The law required 1500 but they collected 7000 signatures. The regime did not spare any punches trying to frustrate their efforts.

They were imprisoned by local militias that are always under the leadership of TPLF cadres. They were denied meeting places in some towns. They were harassed by TPLF tugs and their local ethnic hirelings. The support of the average Ethiopian was what kept them going. The love for Kinijit is a flame that cannot be extinguished so easily. The next step was for the representatives to hold a meeting and approve the rules and bi-laws of the new party.
The Conference was scheduled for Saturday June 14 at the Imperial Hotel in Addis Ababa. Four hundred delegates showed up Saturday morning to attend the meeting. The Addis Ababa Police surrounded the Hotel and refused access to the delegates. The Police stated that due to lack of an ‘official permit’ the meeting is deemed illegal. The delegates led by Weizerit Birtukan Mideksa went to Police HQ and tried to explain to those in authority the requirements of the law. The Police did not accept the fact that there is no requirement for a permit to hold a meeting inside a hall. They simply stated that they were obeying a ‘higher order’. The delegates and their invited guests that included prominent business people, educators, and diplomats were forced to leave.

The new party, which does not give up so easy, also tried to hold their meeting in a tent inside the compound of their office. The Police again intervened and declared the meting to be illegal. The delegates were neither discouraged nor frustrated. This was taken just as another hurdle. Monday morning bright and early they showed up with their necessary forms and applications. There was no point in debating the law. The fact that this kind of law has no place in the future Ethiopia was noted by all.

Thus on Wednesday Sene 11 the year 2000 Andenet Party held its first founding conference in Addis Ababa. It is a joyous day for all Ethiopians. Three hundred delegates from all over Ethiopia were present. Fifty delegates were women. One hundred delegates had to return due to the delay caused by the people in power.

The delegates are 400 brave Ethiopians. In a country where a citizen is stripped of his human right by those in authority, where a citizen can not assemble in a peaceful manner without the permission of those in power, where citizens are thrown in jail without a credible charge, or where their bail rights are revoked without due process it requires a special person to voluntarily involve in party building process. They say our country is ancient and our forefathers brave. We are continuing the tradition of standing up straight and confronting those who try to bring harm to our homeland. Hope is alive in Ethiopia.

Kinijit is truly a special phenomena in Ethiopian politics. Its children are embarking in different directions to attain their goal of planting the flag of freedom and democracy in their motherland. Our unity of purpose is woyanes nightmare. Patrick Henry, a prominent figure in the American Revolution sounds like another Kinijit member from years back. This is what he said during a speech in the Virginia House of Burgesses on March 23, 1775.

“They tell us, sir, that we are weak; unable to cope with so formidable an adversary. But when shall we be stronger? Will it be the next week, or the next year? Will it be when we are totally disarmed, and when a British guard (Woyane) shall be stationed in every house?………. Our brethren are already in the field! Why stand here idle? What is it that gentlemen wish? What would they have? Is life so dear, or peace so sweet, as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery? Forbid it, Almighty God! I know not what course others may take; but as for me, give me liberty or give me death!”

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