WASHINGTON, DC – North America-based support groups of Ethiopia’s popular opposition party – Kinijit – wrapped up a two-day assembly in Washington DC with vows to intensify the struggle until freedom and democracy are achieved in Ethiopia. Despite sweeping victories at the May 2005 polls, Kinijit became the target of a brutal nationwide attack by the disgraced regime of Meles Zenawi. Following is the full text:
Kinijit’s USA Support Group Chapters Second General Assembly was held on May 14th and 15th at the Marriot Hotel in Washington DC. The conference conducted thorough discussion and deliberations on substantive issues related to the prevailing conditions in Ethiopia and strengthening both the capacity and activity of the Chapters and to meet the challenges ahead. Representatives of Chapters from around cities of the US have participated in the conference. Prominent community leaders and invited guests from US and Europe were also present.
The conference was opened by a welcome address of Shaleqa Yoseph Yazew, Chairman of Kinijit USA Support Committee. Shaleka Yoseph reiterated the challenges of Kinijit and the tasks accomplished so far as well as the remaining work to be done. He emphasized the need to intensify the support for peaceful struggle by Ethiopians residing in the US more than ever. This, he said, will continue until our leaders are released from jail and also until the Woyane regime fully responds to the Eight Point basic demands Kinijit has put forward almost a year ago.
He also thanked all foreign governments and international organizations across the globe, especially the European Union, that have shown their solidarity with the Ethiopian people by taking the appropriate stand, although the actions they have taken against the dictatorial regime in Addis Ababa remains far short of the promise.
Ato Berhane Mewa, Secretary and Head of Public Relations for Kinijit USA, on his part, discussed the current challenges facing the party and enumerated some of the future plans of Kinijit for Unity and Democracy Party. He said that Kinijit is the choice of our people, as it was clearly and unequivocally shown in the outcome of the May 15 election and further noted that no power in this world could take away the expressed wishes of our people.
In its first day working session, activity reports were presented to the Assembly by Kinijit USA Committee and each chapter while also welcoming the newly formed chapters to the organization. Participants of the conference engaged in open, frank and democratic discussions and deliberations throughout the period of discussion.
After two days of intensive but fruitful discussion, the conference made unanimousl resolutions which, among others, include the following:
- The general assembly comprising of two members of each chapter will form the highest body of Kinijit USA. This body will meet every six-month to hear activity reports from chapters and the Kinijit USA executive body and make decisions on important matters.
- An elected council comprising of one member from each chapter will be formed. This body will meet quarterly to closely review, monitor and oversee the general activities of member chapters and the executive body and issue important directives.
- The current executive committee’s terms of office is decided to extend for a one year term. Additional five new members from five member chapters were added to this body. Consequently, the number of the executive body members has now increased from 10 to 15.
- Participants re-affirmed their individual and group commitment to stand for the values and basic principles of Kinijit. The conference ended after issuing a press statement and resolving to intensify the struggle at home and the commitment of the Diaspora until freedom and democracy are achieved in Ethiopia.