By Keffyalew Gebremedhin – The Ethiopia Observatory (TEO)
Ethiopia enters an uncertain phase in its long history; anyone can see that conflict and instability are becoming our nation’s inevitability. This is because the nation has been humiliated for far too long by ethnic inequality, ethnic discrimination and national resources thievery, designed and perpetuated by the ethnicist TPLF regime.
At the present juncture, all one can assume is that Ethiopia may be sitting under the Sword of Damocles. It could move to Diogenes Light, if only those that swear in the nation’s wellbeing find the means of ensuring that the outcome they seek is what everyone has been looking for and shares its objectives.
What does common sense say? Do Ethiopians have any choice? For most Ethiopians, outside the regime’s clientele, the choice is either to ascertain the right of citizens as Ethiopians or relegation to second class status on account of ethnic origin.
For most Ethiopians, the present is unacceptable; they see it as total defeat and humiliation of the Ethiopian person, i.e., being reduced into second class citizens in their own country. Such is the desperation that the young keep on flocking out of the country, including at this time into Yemen, despite itself being target of Saudi bombardment.
Patriotic Ginbot 7 and many outside it describe the struggle underway being between the forces of freedom and slavery. Only those that have survived 2005 and the subsequent years of TPLF’s arrogance may understand what is driving Ginbot 7 in this direction at this very moment.
Nonetheless, its burden includes ensuring that it has capability to design, in consultation with Ethiopians, the process and outcome citizens seek to be palatable to most, if not all.
It appears that the election of May 24, 2015 has become the last straw to break the regime’s back. It has surely deepened Ethiopian anger. It is electoral thievery resulting in 100 percent parliamentary seats to the most hated regime. It is free for anyone to see, as has the UK Ambassador in Addis Abeba Greg Dorey likening such outcome to that of North Korea.
This has begun to expedite the regime’s demise; violence and skirmishes against the security forces have been increasing in places such as Gondar in the northwest, Tepi in the south west, Gambella, Oromiya, Benishangul-Gumuz, Ogaden, Afar, Wollo, etc.
The most interesting part of this winning 100 percent parliamentary seats is its occurring in a country where for years electricity has been coming for a few hours a day, sometimes not even for days, absence of reasonably priced foods, lack of water or its shortage, lack of good education for children, inadequate housing, land grab by greed of regime members, shutting private media and flooding citizens with false news and false propaganda, joblessness and denial of freedom for newsmen to write and educate the people and hold those responsible for the system accountable – seems to be the TPLF way to stay in power for ever.
The TPLF has been in power for a quarter century, practicing dupery with typical TPLF consistency, which goes against the famous saying of Abraham Lincoln: “You can fool all the people some of the time, and some of the people all the time, but you cannot fool all the people all the time.”
The people of Ethiopia have had the TPLF lies, corruption and ethnic discrimination for several years now. These have further and sufficiently fueled underlying anger in the society and the people’s deep-seated hatred against the regime. This has readied it for change if one is to work hard and sincerely pledge to facilitate democratic change in Ethiopia.
Patriotic Ginbot 7 says it accepts the challenge!
We are now told that the chairman of the Patriotic Ginbot 7 (PG7) Berhanu Nega and a few leaders of the movement are reported to be in Eritrea already engaged in leading the struggle against ‘the tribalist and ethnicist TPLF’ right from the battlefield, according to the movement’s press release – instead of the United States where he was educated and has been working as professor of economics at Bucknell University.
Patriotic Ginbot 7 considers this moment, the press release underlines, “is a tipping point with the struggle having entered a decisive stage. Its outcome, as a struggle between slavery and freedom, determines the fate of present and future generations of Ethiopians and the history of our country”, saying “because of which it is our priority duty to emerge victorious.”
Accordingly, the press release carries the movement’s appeal, entreating citizens who value freedom and have at heart the best interests of Ethiopia to stand with it and support its efforts to unseat the authoritarian regime in Addis Abeba.
As a movement borne out of the frustrations of electoral deception of 2005 and the dictatorial powers Meles Zenawi and his TPLF ruling party have exercised directly and through yes men from other ethnic groups, it has become clear to one and all that pluralistic democracy is unthinkable in Ethiopia. This became clear then in 2005, when the TPLF in defeat moved to imprisoning opposition leaders, members and their supporters. Consequent to that, Ethiopians were denied of their civil and political rights, which continues to this day.
While an active part of the election at the time, Berhanu and his colleagues formed Ginbot 7 following their release from 21 months in prison. With lessons drawn from that experience, they moved from promoting peaceful change to the present to all forms of struggle via Ginbot 7, including armed struggle to undo the present Ethiopian regime, whose system of governance is based on ethnic origin and language. Under the false guise of ethnic equality, it then installed ethnic slavery that otherwise has irredeemably proved corrupt, while benefitting the TPLF people; it showed how divisive it could be with nothing sacrosanct and thus amenable to serving repressive instincts of a clan and a minority group in power.
PG7 has made it known that in its program, including in its press release this time around, it stands to bringing about equality and justice to the people of Ethiopia that they so richly deserve. The movement claims it is committed to building a democratic system of governance in the country and ensure justice and freedom, according to the press release.
In taking part in the armed struggle, the policy in effect now for members in leadership position in Patriotic Ginbot 7 who are not in the field is flexible. Where they would be assigned depends on their respective conditions and volition and whether they would be needed in the field, the press release indicated.
Patriotic Ginbot 7 also pointed out that the task of ensuring the freedom of Ethiopians from tyranny need not be understood as its exclusive task. On its part, it said, it would give top most priority to unifying its action with other armed resistance groups, which it would pursue with great persistence.
In a personalized message, Dr. Berhanu Nega also called upon all capable Ethiopians to join him at the battlefront for freedom. In the press release, he urges those whose situation would not allow them to do that to contribute within their possibilities toward intensifying the struggle against TPLF dictatorship in every way possible.
*Mr. Keffyalew Gebremedhin, TEO’s Editor, is not a member of Patriotic Ginbot 7 nor is he affiliated with any other political organization.