May 6, 2013
Girma Kassa / Muziky68@yahoo.com
It has been years since Eskinder Nega, Adwalem Arague, Nathnael Mekonnen, Reyot Alemu, Bekele Gerba and many reporters and peaceful political activists are shamefully incarcerated. “Why are these fellow Ethiopians still in prison? How come the regime continues with its impunities? For how long will our humiliation and bondage persist? “, one may ask.
We may not have a direct contribution to the incarceration of prisoners. We may not be supporters of the regime. However, our silence is the reason these brothers and sisters of ours, are still in jail. Our silence is providing ammunitions to tyrants. Eskinder and others are in jail not because the EPRDF is strong; but because we are weak, selfish, and silent.
EPRDF leaders that are currently in charge are ruthless, void of compassion and interested only in staying in power. They will not be satisfied, unless their opponents are completely disseminated or humiliated. For them, having a dialog and finding a win-win solution is a defeat. For them tolerating those who oppose them is a weakness.
Many of us wanted to reach out to authorities hoping that they would open up the political space and be ready for peace and reconciliation. Particularly, at the advent of Meles’ death, we expected to see some positive changes. We tried to engage the regime to the extent of being labeled as “weyane sympathizers” by some from the oppositions who are emotional and lacking political maturity.
However, it seems hardcore and hateful elements of the EPRDF may be gaining more power. There is a strong determination by those in charge, to continue the status quo, of arresting civilians, expelling people from their land and confiscating properties in the name of development, creating a sense of fear and despair among Ethiopians and humiliating our people. As Stalin was worse that Lenin, the post Meles era may be worse than the Meles era.
A comment given by one top EPRDF leader, in a debate at the council of ministers, is a good illustration of the mind set of those who are ruling the country. “Meles arrested him as dangerous. Let him rot in prison” said this official referring to Eskinder Nega. WAWWW!!
By the way, though hardcore elements are currently in charge, we must keep note that there are still good men and women within the party that may want to see changes. These moderates might emerge as powerful peaceful, moderate and accommodating forces. Therefore, we must continue engaging the regime. The chance is slim; but we will lose nothing by always opening the door for dialog and peace, regardless.
However it would be naïve to put our breads into one basket, do nothing, and only hope for lights to come out from the chambers of authorities. Regardless of what the regime may do and say, we must shape up and be mobilized to play our role. We must refuse to accept the status quo and force changes in Ethiopia in a peaceful, non-violent , organized , united and effective struggle, should the regime persists in its arrogance. Let the current shameful decision of the kangaroo court, against reporters and peaceful activists, be an impetus, to end once and for all tyranny in Ethiopia.
The Great American President Franklin D. Roosevelt said “First of all, let me assert my firm belief that the only thing we have to fear is fear itself”. The only power, hateful elements of the EPRDF leaders have at their disposal, is their ability to create fear among us. They, effectively use FEAR to crush the will of the people, for fear cripples the energy of mankind.
It is time to be free from the bondage of fear and ignorance. A man who is chained by fear, only thinks of himself, forgets where he came from, and choose silence when his brother is suffering, is a man who is spiritually poor and sick. Let us show that we are a people that care for one another. Let us be voice for the voiceless. Let tyrants of Ethiopia know that there are millions of Eskinder Negas, Adwalem Arages, and Reyot Alemus …
This is not to say “No” to development. We support any efforts that may help bring the Ethiopian people out from poverty. That is why many of us are supportive of the Nile Dam Project. As matter of fact, contrary to what regime cadres are trying to say, the majority of Ethiopians at home as well as in the Diaspora, support the God Given right of using our Nile waters. We are all for development that can be sustained and benefit everyone.
However, there cannot be true development in the absence of respect of human rights and utter disregard of the law. By violating the rights and freedom of the people, it is the regime itself that is putting at risk, the long term and lasting development of Ethiopia. Therefore, the cheap talk of “development” must not mislead us from taking actions against tyranny. IF WE CARE FOR DEVELOPMENT THEN LET US STAND UP FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE RULE OF LAW.