Zenawi still hungry for apology from his victims
(EZ) According to American Embassy sources, members of the families of Brehnau Nega, Professor Mesfin Woldemariam, Hailu Shawel and Yacob Woldemariam were asked to appear at the Embassy last Thursday on short notice. At the meeting, the US Ambassador appeared with Ethiopia’s greatest Athlete, Haile Gebresillasie and Ambassador Bekele. Both have been mediating talks between the jailed Kinijit leaders and the Meles administration.After the family members were briefed about the talks by Haile and Ambassador Bekele, they were told that the government wanted the jailed leaders to apologize for conspiring to overthrow it. A letter of apology drafted by the EPRDF was also shown to them. Ambassador Yamomoto assured the family members that if the prisoners signed the letter, his office would guarantee their release.
Brehnau’s father Ato Nega spoke first. He recalled how he taught his son integrity and dignity when he was a kid and refused to take the letter to his son. “My son was taught of dignity and integrity. He fought for his country when he was not more than 15. He then went to your country and learned about democracy. He returned to Ethiopia to help his country. When EPRDF claimed that there would be democracy, he participated in election and was jailed for that. Am I going to tell him to ditch his self-respect and apologize for the wrong he didn’t commit?” Ato Nega said with tittering, low voice
His mother Woizero Abebech was even more forceful. “My son has told me that he wouldn’t die twice. If he signed this, he would die twice.” Dr. Yacob’s sister Almenesh claimed that Ethiopian politics isn’t a family affair and the families of the jailed leaders have no right to decide on the fate of the nation.
According to the sources, neither Ambassador Yamomoto nor the two Ethiopian mediators acted on bad-faith. “There was an urge and want to help. Yamomoto did not comment a lot. He listened. Haile and ambassador Bekele also talked about saving the country and reconciliation,” one source said.
Ambassador Yamomoto has thrown himself on solving the current political crisis right from the first date of his arrival. American embassy staff said his attitude and approach has been quite contrasting with the former charge d’affaires, Vicki Huddelstone who was acting as Meles’s messenger.