Averting the creeping disintegration of the Diaspora Kinijit

By W. Selameab

 

A significant segment of Ethiopians believe that Kinijit represents a clear departure from the traditional opposition politics of the last 30 years. Part of the promises of Kinijit rested on the fact that it was formed and led by seasoned and mature intellectuals. Kinijit’s founding leaders thrusted themselves into politics, though politics continues to be a very dangerous field of human endeavor in Third World countries, due to a keen sense of social responsibility and the higher calling of public service.  Many of these leaders are accomplished professionals in their respective fields and many of them have advanced in age. While they had the wherewithal to spend their twilight years in a relative comfort and tranquility in Ethiopia or abroad, they decided to jump into the political fray risking everything.  Now, they along with their families are paying dearly for their naiveté in trusting Ethiopians.  Kinijit’s founders’ relative cleanliness from past political ‘baggage’ and the academia background many of them came from gave Ethiopians a sense of authenticity and a measure of political idealism. Ethiopians cherished that idealism as a breath of fresh air after near-exhaustion and awful disappointment from the years of political infighting and intrigues of the “mature” opposition parties.

Kinijit not a Trojan horse

Those “old” parties that are fond of asserting their political maturity, have very little to show for their strategic thinking and tactical prowess for all the years they have been involved in politics. On the contrary, many Ethiopians viewed them as serious stumbling blocks strangle-holding opposition politics for far too long. It is amazing that elements of these “mature” parties are now openly vilifying Kinijit. Of course, this is not new. They have been doing that to just about every fledgling coalition in the last 16 years. Now, that Kinijit had demonstrated its capability to mobilize millions of Ethiopians and overwhelmingly win an election, I would have expected the “mature” parties to be a bit more circumspect in their criticism of Kinijit. Instead, they seem to be doing it at full blast.  Here is an example. A Haile Abai in a recent web-article said the following:“Had the fathers of Kinjit envisioned a well-solidified coalition that incorporated banned organizations as vectors of the struggle, the struggle of the opposition would likely have weathered the shameful defections of Beyene, Merera and Lidetu, and would have continued to galvanize the Diaspora and citizens inside to force TPLF to respect the vote, release the jailed, and the struggle may have been crowned with success. Another opportunity lost in a series of lost opportunities!”

Kinijit’s leaders have definitely made tactical mistakes. But, the severe problems the party faced since the May 2005 election had been imposed on it by the ruling TPLF. While forming a broad-based coalition is always desirable, to portray “banned organizations” that are externally based as saviors of the struggle is foolish. Those that “shamefully defected” actually were the very leaders and long-term allies of the externally based “banned organizations.”

 

Externally based organizations could help the struggle for democracy and the rule of law in Ethiopia only at the margins. Political organizations that would make the greatest difference are those that are in the midst of the people inside the country. Accordingly, no self-respecting political party operating inside Ethiopia would consent to external manipulation by parties that have no significant physical presence inside the country. It is also pointless for Diaspora Ethiopians to use up their resources in bolstering externally based parties.  The resources provided to such parties over the last 20-25 years have not produced any tangible results except disappointments for thousands in the Diaspora.

 

Averting a disaster within the Diaspora Kinijit

 

Now, to the main point of this article. The Diaspora Kinijit movement, at least, the one I am somewhat familiar with in North America, has been facing a near-paralysis since the imprisonment of its genuine leaders in Ethiopia. In particular, the recent crisis within the North America Kinijit’s leadership group has accelerated the downward spiral.  In my view, the following have to be considered to stop Kinijit North-America’s freefall to oblivion.

 

a)         Living and not preaching democracy

 

Part of the problem that led to the current dysfunctional sate of the Diaspora Kinijit movement had to do with the lack of commitment to basic democratic percepts. Very few of the current leaders of Kinijit in North America are genuinely elected officers of the chapters they represent. Even some of the elected officials do not feel that they have to answer to the constituency that put them in office. There are a number of examples where chairpersons of chapters had taken substantive actions without consulting their constituencies. U.S laws governing nonprofits, however, stipulates that officers are to be directly responsible to their constituencies.

 

It is no secret that Kinijit’s leaders in Ethiopia, based on friendship and personal relations, appointed some of the current Kinijit North America leaders. In such instances, leadership ability, management competence and ideological clarity were not the primary consideration for assessing the individuals’ fitness to the leadership positions. In a way, this may have been unavoidable. Very few individuals with the leadership talents and political acumen may have come forward to help with starting-up regional chapters. 

 

Nevertheless, once the chapters were established, based on the laws of each state, a constituent assembly should have elected the leaders of the chapters in an open and transparent manner. In some cases, this may have taken place nominally. However, that may not be sufficient. To move forward, therefore, it is important to fully assert the sovereignty of local chapters to elect, recall or dismiss their elected officials. To establish this principle and to advance the movement with new vigor, it is important to immediately undertake a new round of elections for chapter leadership teams and bring new people with new vision and vitality to the struggle. In addition, administrative and control instruments would have to also be put in place without further delay.

 

b)         Lack of clarity on the relationship between local chapters and the North America-wide Kinijit

 

Attempt was made to organize a North America wide organization to better coordinate and streamline the activities of regional Kinijit chapters. The effort was not successful since it lacked clear definition of the relationships between the center and the regional chapters. Control mechanisms for the continental organization were awfully lacking or left deliberately vague leading to huge financial scandals

 

While local chapters are expected to transfer funds to Kinijit North-America, in return, they are not given basic information on how their funds are utilized. The justification has always been that providing such information even to the leadership of local chapters would jeopardize the works of Kinijit, which, it is asserted, had to be pursued clandestinely both at home and in the Diaspora.

 

While there may be a genuine need for secrecy, the arrangement quickly tuned out to be a recipe for financial mismanagement. The recent report of a single official transferring hundreds of thousands of dollars under his own signature to a bank account known only to him is a good reminder of the danger associated with the lack of transparency and accountability. We have also heard about unnecessary travels and lavish expenditures by some Kinijit North America officials.

 

Critical steps for quickly stopping the hemorrhage of the Kinijit movement in North America would have to include the quick reconstitution of effective mechanism for chapters’ oversight. Officers of chapters have to report to their constituency periodically and they should be prohibited from taking substantive decisions without the expressed will of those that elected them. Officers should be promptly relieved of their duties when they consistently fail to implement the directives of the oversight organs. Failure to provide effective oversight of nonprofits is a serious matter in the U.S.  According to the law, members of oversight entities would be legally liable, collectively and individually, for failing to exercise their fiduciary responsibilities.

 

c)         Prohibition of the practice of “democratic centralism”

 

There appears to be an emerging effort by a few to transform Kinijit’s regional chapters to party outposts. First, I am not even sure if Kinijit could be organized as a political party in North America. And if it is actually possible to do so, I’m not sure how the Party would operate particularly how it would be funded. What has been tried so far has been organizing Kinijit support groups to assist in garnering resources for supporting the humanitarian and educational activities of Kinijit in Ethiopia.  I would assume that Knijit support groups are organized as nonprofits under the laws of each state. Nonprofits that are eligible to solicit funds from the public are required to operate as democratic entities accountably and transparently. Nonprofits are also required to maintain records of their activities and such records have to be made available to the public upon request within a reasonable amount of time. 

 

I do not have insider information on the motive of the Kinijit faction that is trying to organize Kinijit as a party in North America. If I had to speculate, I would say it may be because of the desire for instituting democratic centralism or “drijitawi aserar” in order to manipulate the relationships between central and local chapters. This dubious practice has been effectively used by Marxists to manipulate millions of people without much accountability. It had offered effective cover to close-knit cliques to embezzle public funds and to engage in questionable activities with no one asking tough questions.

 

Kinijit support groups have to remain grassroots volunteer-driven participatory entities. They have to be proving grounds for democracy and accountability for Ethiopians. In each chapter, all issues have to be settled on their merits and after through deliberations by members. The old top-down command and control structure of “ye belay tiezaz new” (It is what higher ups want) should not have any place for any Ethiopian and/or Ethiopian group operating in the most democratic societies of North America. Most of all, drijitawi aserar fosters corruption and the empowering cliques while disenfranchising millions.

 

d)         Keep KIL at bay

 

Kinijit’s founders in Kaliti have the right to appoint any individual or group to carry out any task. Such is the essence of commissions. However, when the task is accomplished commissions submit reports and usually disband. It was in that light that I looked at the so-called “Kinijit International Political Leadership (KIL)” earlier.  I was wrong!

 

It appears that this un-elected body is a permanent supra-local chapter entity with the power to fire and appoint chapter officers and continental Kinijit leaders. I was appalled when I read KIL’s communiqué of October 16, 2006 through which it suspended Shaleka Yosef from his chairman position in the North America Kinijit to which, I assumed, he was elected by local chapters. This is not a defense of the Shaleka. In fact, the Shaleka may deserve removal, if for nothing else, for his audacity to transfer a huge sum of money from Kinijit’s official account on his own authority, whatever may have been his motive. This is about upholding democratic principles including the sovereignty of regional Kinijit chapters!

 

Where did KIL draw its authority to remove an elected official of Kinijit North America? The only democratic way for accomplishing what KIL attempted to do would have been through convening a meeting of the North America Kinijit chapters and providing the opportunity to the Shaleka to present his case. It was also important to receive the report of the Inquiry Commission that was established earlier by the chapters.  The power to relieve the Shaleka from his responsibilities should have ultimately rested with the chapters that put him in office in the first place. The un-elected KIL has no legitimate reason to usurp the power of the chapters.

 

As stated earlier, KIL may continue to operate as a commission with no direct say in the management and activities of chapters and their North America wide organization. It should limit itself to whatever assignment Kinijit leaders at Kaliti may have given it. It must also remain in the background and let elected officers run the show, so to speak, in North America.

 

Most importantly, KIL should not act as if it is a party in exile. There is no need for such a party in the Diaspora. As I stated earlier, Kinijit endeared itself to Ethiopians by staying inside Ethiopia and resisting tyranny. By forming KIL in the Diaspora, if the intention of Kinijit’s founding leaders is to henceforth prosecute the struggle from abroad, they would, at least, loose me as a supporter. I have no interest to support an externally based Kinijit!

 

e)         Pull Kinijit out of the AFD immediately

 

 Kinijit North America’s problem compounded after it unwisely entangled itself with the so-called “ Alliance for Democracy.” The confusion and anger that followed the  announcement of AFD had completely sucked the life out of the strong Kinijit movement world- wide. The way to get back to the pre-AFD status has to begin with the unequivocal disassociation of Kniijit from AFD. AFD has not shown interest to rectify the glaring discrepancies in its bylaws and memorandum of understanding.  Kinijit’s association with this group has completely derailed the struggle off its base. It has relegated the focus of the struggle, which includes the freeing of the gallant leaders from prison, democracy and the rule of law in Ethiopia off the radar screen for many Ethiopians in the Diaspora.  At this stage, AFD cannot be redeemed. It has to be abandoned. Kinijit has to disassociate itself from this group if it is to refocus its efforts on the most important issues facing Ethiopia and rehabilitate itself with the Diaspora Ethiopian communities. 

Published in: on November 4, 2006 at 8:30 pm  Comments (7)  

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  1. Dear Sir

    while I agree with most of what you write about the criss within Kingit,blaming the “bannd” political organizations for pointing out the shortcomings of Kingit is not helpful or wise. You might not agree or even hate their guts,these “banned” organizations. They might be few in numbers,lack grounding inside Ethiopia,as you are attempting to portray them.If that is the case what is the worry. If you have confidence in the judgement of the Ethiopian people and the democratic system we all aspire to establish,the main focus should be the despotc regime of Melese zenawi.
    Please Sir,try to avoid ideological warfare at this time of the struggle. It is just like putting the cart before the horse. LET US FIRST SAVE OUR BELOVED COUNTRY’S UNITY AND SOVEREIGNITY. ALL ETHIOPIANS REGARDLES OF OUR POLITICAL VIEWS SHOULD COME TOGETHER.

    Best Regards
    EK

  2. Gentlemen,

    I read the above article, and the fact (defacto) CUDP must reorganize itself, pull out off afd, go back to the basic kinijit questions. Those who wrer appointed due to the friendship and corruption should be fired. People should be ellected on their competence high integrity otherwise there is no difference between the woyane kuncho and the kil. Kil`s leaders are disasterous to the cudp. Kil leaders should be sucked from the cudp if it will survive. In other case cudp is digging its graveyard.

    Friendship corruption are Ethiopians sickness.

    KD

  3. AFD can go with or without Kinijit and the campaign against AFD will not bring us anything except empty talks, in foreign land, that we have been bombarded for the last fifteen years.

    Any new alliance formed in the diaspora, with movements who have no grassroots support in Ethiopia, is just what Melese wanted and the majority in diaspora will not give any support to the same old do nothing alliance by talkers.

    Kinijit survival as a movement is depending on its underground activities in Ethiopia, and the so called Kinijit supporting committee or Kinijit International can not replace this struggle, and the noise here will not help the cause of our people who voted and died in May 2005 for which the elected leaders of Kinijit are now suffering in jail.

    AFD has to mobilize people in the diaspora and those of us who believes in this alliance will not be shy in supporting this alliance with or without Kinijit participation.

    Enemies of AFD might succeed in taking out Kinijit from this alliance, but they will not get any support from the diaspora for these evil deeds.

  4. A response to W. Selameabs irritation

    By Negede Habesha
    11/10/2006 3:34 PM

    I found out W. Selameab’s article as telling the obvious, the ill fate of Kinijit and its partnership with the black sheep AFD causing self destruction. I wonder by the writer’s effort to construct and destroy and then reconstruct Kinijit as he envisioned. He was torn apart between a fanatic love for the CUDP and the glaring facts gushing involuntarily. Well If he did it for the purpose of damage control – it might sounds good, needless to say, finger pointing at others for its own evil can’t help to make sense.

    I completely agree with his assessment of Kinijit leaders as “clean, mature and accomplished professionals with a higher sense of social responsibility”. I personally know some of the leaders with an excellent record of professional achievement, popularity and above all they are the true and unspoiled sons and daughters of Ethiopia.

    He continues on saying “While they had the wherewithal to spend their twilight years in a relative comfort and tranquility in Ethiopia or abroad, they decided to jump into the political fray risking everything”. This statement is true and befitting to their selfless dedication to play a vital leadership role to help Ethiopians get out of the quagmire. And let me clear that, I am one of those staunch admirers.

    However, I can’t buy his assertion of betrayal by the very people whom they are they meant to help as “paying dearly for their naiveté in trusting Ethiopians”. As long as I know Ethiopians are rallied behind them and paying dearly too. Ethiopians had never ever betrayed politicians, and are always used as the canon fodder, but politicians do.
    The writer claims their authenticity and political idealism derived from “cleanliness from past political ‘baggage’ and the academia background”. There is no doubt, they are clean and academics. And no body questions their authenticity. However cleanliness and academic background are not the only elements to justify political idealism. Politics is not a mathematical equation like putting one and one to get the obvious two. Politics is dynamic, painstaking, full of odds and above all it is not a desktop job when it comes to Africa. Perseverance ( a steady and continued action despite difficulties or setbacks), prediction ( a knowledge of figuring out the future) , accommodation (willingness to adjust actions in response to the needs of the situation), Knowing your political opponent in one hand and your allies on the other, inward looking (to find out what is missing within and willingness to fix) and an exit plan ( in case the skies fall) are a few to name for a successful political venture. Were these essentials are in place?
    In an amazing twist, he reluctantly conceded that the CUDP leaders had “tactical mistakes imposed by TPLF” rather than elaborating the real issue in depth. May I ask Mr. Selameab, are the “mature” on self imposed exile? Or who imposed that? Please be fair and come clean, Mr. the truth will set you free. It is mysterious to find him advocating to abandon Diaspora struggle. Is it coincidence or one of the agents who are sent to abroad masquerading as refugee to execute Woyane’s 52 pages action plan to annihilate the Diaspora movement? And more importantly, I would say EDU, EPRP, MEISON etc, are not actually born in foreign land. In fact they are the inheritors and aviators of homeland struggle. I hope he will not expect them to answer how and where they are operating inside Ethiopia at this time.
    I am so intrigued with his bitterness of the past Ethiopians struggle. His conceptualization of the ”old”, “mature” and “stumbling blocks who strangle-holding opposition politics” is shortsighted at best and lacks semblance of fairness. A sensible man can’t discredit the selfless generation who paid the ultimate price in blood and flesh for the wellbeing-ness of their people and mother land. I have no problem with eulogizing Kinijit. But demonizing our heroes and heroines is unacceptable. If we are blinded to cherish those who pay dearly in the past, how can we be trusted to inspire the future? It is sickening and appalling how one equates the people who paid in self and kept unwavering in their principles for more than a third of a century worthless than those who still hopeful to see the light of the day when justice is served.
    May I ask my dear W. Selameab just a few questions? Have you ever ask yourself what kind of meaningful contribution I did for my people before jumping in denigrating the unadulterated? Have you ever paid a brother or a sister for the cause of your country – or they are the most favored citizens who got the chance to be educated in the west perhaps like you? And have you ever lost a limb or gave off a drop of blood to fight for democracy – or you are the guy who shamelessly brag because of writing in English while sipping a mug of cappuccino in Starbucks? What sort of moral scale you employed to judge between the men and women who gave their all in their young ages – with the people who taste the comfort of life and still commands a good size of fortune. How do you read the balance between the defiant who automatically repudiate the unholy alliance (AFD) that pose a serious danger to their mother land – and a party that actually endorses TPLF constitution and associated itself with such nuisance camp of betrayals? How do you equate those who stand unwavering for decades – with the one who abandon those moral high grounds even before celebrating the first birthday?

    I am also astounded to read his assertion of Kinijit’s ability to mobilize millions in a very short period of time while the nothing to do “mature” squabbling. There is no doubt millions rally behind Kinijit. But there are many explanations behind it that the writer do not dare to mention for some unexplained reason. What is outrageous is dismissing the “mature” as inept and senile. It looks like W. Selameab, either he was not born in the 70’s and 80’s or deliberately ignoring to recognize the fact that how some of the stumbling blocks (as he refers to) was who in fact, empowered and galvanized the masses nationwide against the military domination at the time when the majority of Ethiopians were at the bottom of political consciousness.

    Revolting against tyranny actually is not a new phenomenon in Ethiopian political history. The Ethiopian student’s movement was a point in case which successfully inspire for change and brought down the Imperial regime long before Kinijit saw the light of the day. I can’t see Kinijit have to take the whole credit for the half done 2005 election victory. UEDF was as much formidable player as well. A reasonable person who is not a victim of partisanship politics may not underestimate the role played by (what you may call) the “old, mature” to raise the level of consciousness of the masses in their enduring selfless struggle. It is also absolutely wrong to deny the effect of the work of Diaspora in mounting international pressure and financing the struggle given to the fact that how the west influence African politics. And Kinijit is one of the front line beneficiary currently shifting the operation to exile.

    It’s amazing to see the writer picked article 1 of TPLF bylaw SEGREGATION to justify his finger pointing. The Diaspora and the local, the old and the new, the mature and the young, blablabla! For me I think it doesn’t make sense.

    In my view, the cumulative effect of repression in one hand and the tireless effort of the pioneers of Ethiopian politics on the other hand do provide a fertile ground for the young CUDP to takeoff and thrive as the good Ethiopian saying goes on “bäč’äw dänədäs bärəbäre täwädäs”. We can’t be taken by surprise that the level of awareness of the Ethiopian people had far ahead than that of the Kinijit itself, to say the least.
    Had it been the Woyane régime allowed the “old and mature” to operate freely in the country, one can imagine what it would have been the performance of Kinijit. Just to name the least, EPRP is endowed with dozens of first class leaders and it is a household phenomenon in every segment of Ethiopian society with at least one active and decisive generation who definitely pay its allegiance. Political scientists and pioneers such as Dr. Negede Gobeze of MEISON may have changed the rules of Ethiopian politics. Seasoned politician with insider information such as Aregawi Berhe and his TAND could have been ejected Meles and his cronies out of Tigray.
    In effect, TPLF is smarter than Kinijit in avoiding a looming disaster by persistently rejecting the participation of the men whom you call “old or mature”. No doubt Meles Zenawi had been laughingly watching seeing his plan unfolding as AEPO and EDUP who later become the core constituents of Kinijit, break away from UEDF. Like a crème on top of a cake, TPLF enjoyed the accusations and demonizations of Hibret by Kinijit diehards to use effectively as an excuse to ban the “old and mature” in the 2005 election process.

    Kinijit’s meanness towards the “old and mature” was simple and clear as that “it doesn’t want to see them as a formidable contenders” in a country where its people are ready to cast a referendum against the malicious rule of TPLF/EPRDF. Period!
    It’s noteworthy to remember that, Ethiopians already suffocated and had proved to gain nothing from the TPLF imposed ethnocentric politics for the past 15 years. This situation spelt the country was in dire need of change for the best or worst. Cognizant to the naked fact, Kinijit doesn’t waste a time to exploit this vulnerability to establish itself as a savior of Ethiopian unity and painting members of UEDF as tribalist – needless to say, they embrace Ethiopian unity. I was so sad to hear from the media a respected leader from Kinijit commenting the opposition in the Diaspora has no right to participate in the election.

    Well here is a quick twist to make my point. I believe this calculation had a devastating effect both on the sustainable performance of Kinijit and the future of Ethiopia. This lose – lose situation eroded the bargaining power of the opposition to set up independent institutions to ensure free and fair election. The competition of UEDF and CUDP in the same election site narrows the possibility of defeating TPLF. Tigray, the home base of TPLF would have been open for other contenders, decisively to crash Woyane once and for all.

    The strength of other sister opposition should have been viewed as the strength of all oppositions. The strength of all opposition in turn could have been translated as one step forward to decisively achieve the ultimate goal of removing the TPLF regime. By the same token it would have been the achievement of Kinijit. Hence from this poor tactic, the main loser was Kinijit itself.

    Even though CUDP and UEDF were able to beef up cooperation at the eleventh hour, it was far from cry to achieve rock solid trust between each other. The defection of Drs. Merera and Beyene from UEDF and joining the parliament in the final hours partly attributed to the mistrust smoldering inside which failed them to forge joint resolution with CUD. Rogue behavior of Lidetu Ayalew exacerbates Beyene and Merera’s suspicion that Kinijit may show up in the opening session of the so called TPLF parliament.

    Of course, it is very difficult to assume the leaders in Kality bear the sole responsibility of CUDP’s misfortunes. As we may know, there is a strong evidence of CUDP’s internal democratic system. Above all the elder and the seasoned leaders of the party are known as defenders of democracy and human rights. And there was also rumor circulated that a group of young members, notably led by Lidetu was engaged in complaining (blaming the senior leaders as outdated) and obstructing consensus to deal with real issues that mattered Kinijit and challenge the effectiveness of the leadership. In light of democratically accommodating multilayered divergent views and steam down the infighting a great deal of quality time was consumed to keep Kinijit on the right track.

    Sometime after the imprisonment of CUD leaders on trumped up charges, it was said that KIL (Kinijit international leadership) was launched to pickup where the former leaders left off. I was happy and supportive to see this development to put Kinijit back on track. However my happiness was short-lived as I watched Kinijit signed dubious deal to form an alliance with militants who are backed by a natural enemy and never recognize the sovereignty of Ethiopia. By doing so Kinijit effectively broke its promises to the very people who voted for and forfeited its sacred principles and respect by associating itself with secessionists and signing a deal that affects Ethiopia’s national interest.

    Here, one can pose a serious question. Was Kinijit really working to triumph democracy, to eliminate bad governance and poverty and to strength unity instead of separation? or it was just a propaganda to grab the reins of power? Why Kinijit has to abandon its venerated principle just at the first strike? Why Kinijit lost will to sustain the shock, unable to carry on the wisdoms of the incarcerated leaders and preferred to cuddle in the arms of OLF?

    I don’t buy the idea of hating TPLF can be taken as an excuse to damp cherished moral grounds and vowed promises. Why Kinijit has to repeat the old Amharic proverb “baləwan ť älahu bəla bələtəwan bägare ť a”?

    Although it comes long after Ethiopians reached consensus it is quite agreeable W. Selameab’s suggestion to pull Kinijit out of AFD. The KIL claims it has all the right and obligations to execute the mission handed over to them from the leaders in Kality, but it is wrong to break our promises to the very people bearing the bulk of the consequences. As an independent Ethiopian who is not a member of any political organization, I will assure you that even the leaders In Kality or the leaders in UEDF has no any legitimate authority to decide on the fate of my children and my grand children. They have to put the issue on the hands of the people first. Then let the people decide and the parties execute! We need to fix that and find a way out of this madness. Here the real issue is that the KIL deaf leadership is deaf to our concerns!
    Dear patriotic Ethiopians,
    It’s amazing how much time we spent on pointing fingers and laying blame whether it is over an argument who says what or the debate about who fight more tyranny before. I wonder if it is all required. The analyst political posturing and accusations about how the other party is to blame with little substantive discussion on how to mount excessive pressure to dispose a rotten corrupted régime and protect our nation. It’s all pretty confusing to the Ethiopian people to be In the midst of partisan finger pointing while there are very real threat that we should be talking about. The ever increasing repressive rule of TPLF, the move of secessionists under the guise of alliance, radicalization of neighboring Somalia and the latest sectarian violence around Jimma, the epidemics of HIV, the worsening of living standards, and the urgent need to set our clear priorities.

    The quality of the political discourse on these topics is discouraging to say the least. We will be a lot better off if we spent less time arguing over who gained a political advantage on the business of finger pointing and more time having a dialogue on how to fix the unity of the opposition and save our country. It seems to me that this sort of argument is fruitless and destructive at best. We have much more pressing problems facing our people and our nation. Opposition groups shouldn’t be arguing about the performances of the past, but working together to figure out how we can be all better in the future. Can every body get out of the sandbags and stop pointing at each other!

    We believe in unfettered individual rights – not a group hegemony over the other. We say we are obliged to share the benefits and costs of our country together, equally and fairly. No body or a group of people has special rights over the other – because we believe every one is born equal in the kingdom of God. We detest what so ever form of racism; be it the language we speak, the belief we worship, or the ideology we promote or the difference in the color of our skin – for there is no sub-human species we all are one race the homo sapiens.

    I guess any body would agree cloning is not a natural process and against our belief in the creator God. Clone lacks its natural dignity – because it is manufactured as commodity. Clone doesn’t behave its own way and it’s visionless – because it is programmed by some one else to fulfill someone’s mission. Clone is dangerous – because it destabilizes the bio diversity of the ecosystem. In most cases clone mutates and can not function out of the small laboratory where it was made from. Thus, the designers spent much of their invaluable time on breeding waste.

    And it is common knowledge, that EPLF cloned the so called LIBERATION FRONTS from its own womb and all share those inherent biological properties of the precursor genetic material – i.e. Shabiya. Their difference is, the precursor was designed by white fascists and the rest by a black one. They can’t stand by themselves let alone to walk others. They all are used as mercenaries of a failed state. ASMARA. And AFD is a safe baggage fitting to their size meant to protect them from the hostile environment.
    It is still demeaning to me how the hell they dare to seek our partnership as an accomplice of a baggage of mercenaries?! How the hell they wanted us to lend them a hand in destroying our own humble abode? How the hell summarily dismissed us as a moron and stupid?!
    We pronounce in the strongest possible terms to those individuals, groups or countries who directly or indirectly interfere, support or stir up ethnic strife and sectarian violence in our sovereign land to take their hands off. We are appalled by the extent of such disgusting act of evil. It is common knowledge that Eritrea is one of a failed state bent on a fatal provocative business of malevolence. Its pity that Eritrean despotic regime once again failed to figure out provocation carries a series consequences. We love to send a clear message to Isayas Afeworki and his tugs – No body profit in the profession of evildoing.
    We would like to congratulate you a recently designed baggage of clones (AFD) have already burst into pieces to release your protected genetic materials out on the dust. As you may understand, the stock is getting rotten day by day as the soil of Ethiopia is holding hostile to alien and clone. You know what we mean?!!!

    If there is any attempt to revitalize CUD in its original vision every citizen of Ethiopia should be supportive. I am sure it is also in the best interest of UEDF – because the strength of the pro-unity CUD is the strength of all Ethiopian democratic forces. Let’s help to help CUD itself.

    With an all volunteer force we have no choice. We shall be encouraging and supportive instead of finger pointing to those who open our eyes and willing to fight for our cause.

    Let’s value their sacrifices and appreciate their endurance. Let’s be not overwhelmed by thinking every new is good. We have enough organizations and men with guts. What is missing is to forge partnership for a common good.

    Let’s pickup where we left off rather than wasting limited time , energy and resource by deconstructing and reconstructing what we already build in the past.

    Let’s join forces hold hand in hand and declare victory over evil, poverty and backwardness.

    Let’s show the world that we are capable of reinstating this great country to its past glory!

  5. Ethiopia is ruled by gun and only gun will liberate us. Those who wished Ethiopia to be the place for their kids and grandkids are not matching their love with real solutions.

    Oromos and Ogaden Somalis rebellion is way before the existance of EPLF and ofcourse they started getting support from EPLF for the last 30 years and the Ethiopian student movement was also infiltrated by EPLF in the 60s and EPRP and others were benefited from their allince too.

    TPLF as we know fight with EPLF and destroyed the Ethiopian army and now they are fighting for dominance in the Horn of Africa and the peaceful opposition was culminated in May 2005 by massacare and the detention of opposition leaders.

    Ethiopia is open now for all of us to wage a resistance movement and remove Melese Zenawi, and at present OLF, ONLF and EPPF have forces which are challenging the regime and it is wise to form alliance and remove this evil regime and AFD should not be rejected for doing that.

    Why are we worrying too much about EPLF? Why we dont show the West whom we are begging daily that we can also fight for our land with full support of our people and we do not need their endorsement.

    If there was no resistance in Iraq at this time we would have seen foreign troops all over the world to save us from Bin Laden and liberare us from tyranny.

    Politics without muscle is nothing and I would like all those who are debating also to flex their muscles and remove Melese and his poison from our land.

  6. Reaction to Negede’s reaction…

    By W. Selameab

    I read the reaction of Negede Habesha (a pen name, I presume) to my article “Averting the creeping disintegration of the Diaspora Kinijit” that appeared on various websites including “Debteraw.” The central theme and primary purpose of my article was sharing my views on how to overcome the serious problems Diaspora Kinijit is currently facing. I, however, digressed somewhat to react to an article by a Haile Abai that was posted on “Debteraw” which I thought was very unfair toward Kinijit.

    Apparently, that infuriated Negede Habesha, who, contrary to his posturing as an unaffiliated independent thinker, is either a functionary or an activist of the “banned organizations” (Haile Abai’s characterization, not mine!). Negede’s labeling me as “an agent” of TPLF with the task of executing “Woyanne’s 52 pages action plan” aside, he had made many unsubstantiated assertions, which I am unwilling to fully address in detail at this point in time. My reluctance to take the time to address Negede’s arguments is because they are not new to me. I had faced them before including on the pioneering Ethiopian E-mail Distribution Network, EEDN, for many years. I was tired of the recycling of those types of arguments as put forward by Negede in EEDN that I finally decided to abandon that forum a few years ago.

    The tactics of the left-leaning parties of yesteryears is always predictable. When one expresses a reservation with the ineffectual role of their leadership or their tactics in the post Derg era, they would immediately accuse their critique of “demonizing our heroes and heroines.” Of course, they are referring to the thousands of impressionable young Ethiopians that perished in the revolutionary period of the late 1970s. To this day, I have not been able to see the link between the criticism of the leadership of the political parties and the sacrifices young Ethiopians made in the 1970s. Of course, the leadership of the former left-leaning parties continues to posture as the only custodian of the legacies of the Ethiopian student movement out of which many of those brave fallen heroes came.

    Those idealist young heroes and heroines paid the ultimate based on what they thought was a just cause. Whether they had adequate information for the position they took and whether or not they were properly led is a different matter altogether. Nevertheless, they acted based on what they believed at the time and for that they deserve my respect. I am not prepared to go beyond that. I am perfectly content to let history sort out who did what during the terrible “white” and “red” terror eras. I am convinced, however, that the deeds of those heroes and heroines are of very little help for resolving the current problems besetting our country. We need a new approach since a new political paradigm has been imposed on Ethiopia by TPLF since 1991. A development, I am sure, none of fallen young idealists foresaw!

    It is, therefore, absurd for any party to claim a leadership role in the new and emerging force alignment and realignment based on history or even past performances. As I argued in my other article, the performances of the former left-leaning parties in the last 15 years have not been stellar. Because of the highly engrained sense of entitlement for leadership roles in any fledgling alliance, the leaders of such parties had played less than constructive roles in evolving a unified anti-TPLF front. Kinijit appears to be the latest target of the surrogates of these parties for unbridled vilification. The intense desire to hold key leadership positions in alliances of political parties, of course, had a lot to do with control of resources than anything else.

    The sooner former left-leaning parties realize the fact that the role they will play in any alliance type-arrangement will be dependent on what they could offer the struggle now instead of where they were yesterday, the better it will be for the struggle. These parties would have to prove to Ethiopians, as everyone else; as to what they will bring to the struggle afresh and as to why they should deserve the support of Diaspora Ethiopians. The sooner they abandon the entitlement mentality, the better off they would be!

    In my view, membership of any party in any alliance-type arrangement should be based, among other things; on the degree, the party would prove its substantive presence on the ground in Ethiopia. It may be true that many of the parties that had largely operated in exile for the last 25 years were forced out of the country. In my view recognizing the fact that they were exiled would not absolve the parties from the criticism of ineffective leadership or even irrelevance to the current struggle. It is not uncommon for dictatorial regimes in Third World countries to force their opponents into exile. What would bring respect to any exiled party is not its incessant lamentation of its expulsion or asserting the fact that the party was founded in Ethiopia. Instead, respect would have to be related to how the party uses ingenuous methods to operate among the people in Ethiopia and make tangible differences with the struggle despite the obstacles of the enemy. Making convoluted statements that the party operates inside Ethiopia should no more be adequate.

    I feel no qualm, therefore, in repeating my assertion that Diaspora Ethiopians should use their resources to strengthen only parties with significant presence inside Ethiopia and those that accomplish significant results against overwhelming odds.

    I would have to ignore Negede’s challenge for me to enumerate what I had contributed to the struggle in order for me to have the right to express my opinion on the struggle. It is equally unacceptable for Negede to set a prerequisite of loosing a family member or suffer physical pain in the struggle to criticize parties in the current phase of the struggle. I will not also attempt to establish my credibility with Negede as regards AFD. Without fear or favor, repeating a popular campaign slogan from the recent U.S. Midterm election, I had written, at least, five articles on the now defunct AFD. Of course, according to Negede, that may make me a “Desktop Warrior.” And so be it!

  7. What’s up, I log on to youur blogs daily. Your writing style iis witty, keep up the good work!


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