Current leader of the exiled Ethiopian opposition group “Ginbot 7” and the former Mayor-elect of Addis Ababa city Dr. Berhanu Nega said he is planning to trigger Tunisia-style revolution against Prime Minister Meles Zenawi.
“We are doing everything we can to spark a North Africa style revolt in Ethiopia,” declared Berhanu. During an interview with EthioTube media this week, the US based economist Dr. Berhanu said he believes an Ethiopian revolution will not be similar to the bloodshed in Libya. He claims the Ethiopian army has begun to protest against the Meles government and it will take the side of the people. “The army wants democracy just like other Ethiopians and the army does not want to be held responsible for crimes against civilians,” Dr. Berhanu added.
Meles is also trying to distract the public and use scare tactics, according to Berhanu. The state run television controlled by the Meles Zenawi regime censored news reports of the nonviolent uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, but Meles’s ETV television program extensively reported the bloody quagmire in Libya. “This was a signal that Meles wanted to send to scare Ethiopian people” declared Berhanu.
In August 2009, the Ethiopian government convicted Berhanu in absentia. Several democracy activists and civil society members have also been convicted by the Meles regime which has ruled the country for nearly 20 years. After the recent national elections allegedly rigged by the ruling party, the country solidified its return back to a one-party state comparable to the era of former Marxist leader Mengistu Haile Mariam.
Some opposition youth activists have announced May 28 as a national day of protest against the Meles government. According to Berhanu, it will not take long for democracy to thrive in Ethiopia and he hopes to return back to Ethiopia by the next Easter holiday.