How Dare He?

February 1st, 2007 Print Print Email Email

By Berhan Tsehai | January 31st, 2007

A response to the latest writing from Mr. Obang Metho

I just finished reading the latest work from Mr. Metho titled “We must realize that we are infected by a widely spreading virus which requires one shot to cure””that shot is our Unity.”? In this article Mr. Metho speaks on what lessons the Diaspora Ethiopians have learned in the year that just passed, and what is needed of us in the year 2007 and beyond. Mr. Metho is also very critical of the leadership that currently exists in the Diaspora, especially that of Kinijit. So I ask, how dare he? Has he tried to do something constructive for the people of Ethiopia, perhaps a project to improve the lives of our people? And when the malicious TPLF army massacred our fellow Anuak brothers and sisters, did he try to become a voice to the voiceless? Did he take the message to the international community including; the U.N., European Parliament, World Bank, the U.S. Congress and the government of Canada? Did he include other crimes of Meles Zenawi along with the massacre of the Anuak in his communication with the international community? Did he speak for the people of Ethiopia that were denied their vote in the previous elections? Did he speak about the murder and imprisonment of our fellow brothers and sisters in Addis Ababa? And when Meles Zenawi started a war with Somalia in an attempt to divert attention away from the abuse he was committing in Ethiopia, did Mr. Metho continue to talk about Zenawi’s crimes? Did he remain focused on the real issues? Did he try to reach out to the Somali community to show them that this is not a war of the Ethiopian people, rather of the current government who stole the election? Was he visible in the Dr. Martin Luther King March in Atlanta Georgia, bringing the message to a new audience. Unless you have been living “under a rock”? when it comes to the struggle of Ethiopians in the Diaspora, then you know there is only one answer to all the questions above. Mr. Metho, who is a man of action in the struggle for Ethiopia’s freedom has every right as an Ethiopian to voice his opinion. And he does it powerfully.

I believe the article which my commentary is a subject of, needs to be translated in Amharic and other languages so the people of Ethiopia can get to read it. Mr. Methos in a matter of a few pages points our progress in the Diaspora in the previous year and makes suggestions as to what steps we need to take in the future. For sure, we must take credit for our efforts in exposing the tyrannical rule of Zenawi to the international community. Throughout Europe and the United States, the Diaspora Ethiopians worked diligently and we were unified for the most part. And as the article suggests, unity will be necessary for the forward progress of our struggle. We can achieve so much more together then working separately. Mr. Metho even talks of the need to reach out to the Tigrayan Community. He writes “”¦Such unity must include our fellow Tigrayan brothers and sisters who stand up for freedom and justice. If we exclude them, they may feel that they will have to hang on the “Woyane”? for their survival, even though they are in opposition to what the TPLF stands for.”? When ones security is threatened he/she will run to what makes sense to him/her. I understand Mr. Metho’s point. Zenawi’s entire game plan has been using the age old tactic of divide and conquer. He has the Tigrayan community feeling like he is the one to protect them and whoever comes to power after him will be out to get them. We must make sure to welcome any opposition to the current government of Ethiopia, no matter what the ethnicity. Meles is out for the destruction of Ethiopia, and will play his game at whatever cost. Graves in Tigray with dead Tigrayens by the hands of Zenawi’s henchmen are a testament to that.

Some may look at the assessment of Mr. Metho regarding the leadership in the Diaspora as harsh. One of my favorite websites did disregard from posting Mr. Obang’s writing on their website, maybe it is because they feel the criticism is harsh on Kinijit International Leadership. With great power comes great responsibility. The sprit of Kinijit is one, as confirmed by the recent letter of Dr. Yakob. When speaking of the Diaspora Kinijit leadership, Mr. Metho calls for reconciliation. When we show division amongst ourselves, we are weakening the movement. This in fact is true. I must admit I couldn’t forget that Sunday when Shaleqa came on the radio and announced that he was dismissing Mr. Mewah and others from their leadership positions. To say the feud did not have a negative impact on the movement would be a lie. Nevertheless, Shaleqa was one of the biggest campaign organizers for our leaders who are in prison. So why would he risk putting a damage on the movement?

Dr. Cornell West, a well respected professor and African-American intellectual once made a comment at The State of the Black Union that stuck with me forever. He was talking about other African-American leaders who were on the panel when he posed a question. How do we lovingly criticize one another? What Mr. Metho is doing is simply that. His criticism is out of love for Ethiopians and the future of Ethiopia. It is about the concerns he has. He is a human rights activist, who is concerned about the freedom of not just the Anuaks but all of Ethiopians. His assessment is genuine, the reason I am staying up to comment on this, is because he echoes how I feel and how many of us feel in the Diaspora. It is time for us to seriously look at the struggle in a new way. Let us not just talk of Unity. Let us play it out. Leaders must be willing to welcome criticism along with the support of the Diaspora. Let us hear this brother out because I am quite sure he speaks for many of us.

“In My country we go to prison first and then become president”? —- Nelson Mandela

Del Le Ethiopia Hizb
With warm Regards,

Berhan Tsehai

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