ETIÓPIA: REPRESSÃO DEPOIS DAS ELEIÇÕES

Um grito por ajuda da Etiópia

 

Segundo testemunhas em Adis Abeba, capital da Etiópia, a violência irrompeu na semana passada, terça feira 1 de Novembro, após cinco meses de calma relativa. « Neste momento em que estou a falar, muitas pessoas estão a ser detidas e mortas. Eu vi forças especiais da policia pontapeando estudantes e pessoas comuns nas ruas...». Disse um etíope a trabalhar para uma organização não governamental internacional.

Os protestos iniciaram-se depois das disputadas eleições multi-partidárias de Maio último. Os lideres da oposição foram presos em 31 de Outubro. As detenções desencadearam uma série de protestos por parte da sociedade civil que acabaram em violentos enfrentamentos entre civis e forças policiais enviadas pelo governo. Testemunhas descrevem cenas de horror com as forças especiais da policia a abrirem fogo sobre civis mesmo quando estes tentavam ajudar os feridos.

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Seife Selassie S 07.Nov.2005 18:14

What should be done to save our fledgling democracy from hardliners and extremists: few points for discussion
By: Seifeselassie Sibhatu, PhD

November 6, 2005


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Since the May 15, 2005 election the Ethiopian people have faced with two contradicting and diametrically opposing paths. Before, during and after the election the hope of the path to durable, peaceful and prosperous Ethiopia have increased among the silent majority. The pinnacle of the manifestation of this hope was the huge voter turnout in the third democratic election. In this election the Ethiopian people yet reaffirmed their commitment for peaceful co-existence of the nation and nationalities. On the other hand, the road prepared and advocated by vocal minority is threatening the existence of a united, stable and democratic Ethiopia. This also was clearly demonstrated by the unfortunate events organized by hardliners and extremists that have claimed the lives of so many of our brothers and sisters. These incidents are planned to challenge the peaceful co-existence of the nation and nationalities and hence the destruction of the country.

Taking into consideration the sole objectives of the people who advocate hate politics it is a high time for the silent majority to carefully review and asses the current situation and make our sayings to be heard. It is time to break our silence and put forward workable and feasible ideas and proposal for the peaceful co-existence of the nation and nationalities that constitute Ethiopia. Contrary to the hateful and anti-peace campaign of the vocal minority, the hope of a prosperous, stable and democratic Ethiopia is still active and alive. It is true more than ever the Ethiopian people have faced with internal and external problems that are well orchestrated, coordinated and planned by none other than Hailu Shawel and Esaias Afeworki who are determined to destroy Ethiopia. However, we do not have a single doubt in our mind that the people of Ethiopia will emerge from this temporary challenge as the winners in the end.

The current situation in Ethiopia requires more than simply sitting and watching while the vocal minority are crafting and disseminating hateful articles that are clearly intended to isolate people based on their blood, political view, opinion, etc. We strongly feel this is very dangerous situation and could threaten the very existence of our beloved country. These show that the hardliners and extremist have no regard for the Ethiopian people. Their only interest and aim is to get power by any means possible. They do not have the slightest concern whether people kill each other or the country is prosperous or poor; if democracy flourishes or dies; nations and nationalities peacefully co-existence or not. What they want is power and they wanted it now by any means possible; and it is not their business what will happen in the process.

However, if they become mad for power, the country should not be allowed to follow the mood of their madness by any means. We have to protect our county from the madness of hardliners and extremist politicians. If their paranoia and hallucination are left unchallenged and unchecked, it will poison so many innocent people in Ethiopia and could be a basis for anarchy and chaos. That is exactly what the strategist of hardliners and extremist wanted to happen in Ethiopia. Therefore, herewith I have raised few points, based on my limited political knowledge, as a point of discussion and I thought could partially address the problems associated with the current Ethiopian political problems; and can help save our young democracy before being fell into the hands of the likes of Negede Gobeze.

1) Inside vs. outside opposition parties.


In the present Ethiopia there is a conducive environment for citizens to establish a political party of their choice and operate peacefully within the country. In addition, the Ethiopian constitution guarantees the rights of citizens to organize in a political party of their choice within the political boundary of Ethiopia. If political parties have the necessary environment within Ethiopia that is practically favorable for their proper function and growth, the need to have another fully functioning and more powerful foreign branch should be carefully reviewed and assessed. As far as my limited knowledge of global politics is concerned, I think Ethiopia is the exception in this regard. No democratic country of the world is allowing a functioning domestic political party to have a commanding and powerful office outside of the country. Someone can argue that what is the harm if Ethiopian domestic political parties open office in Washington, London or Brussels? The problem is most of these branches in Diaspora are becoming a safe haven for extremist criminals who are influencing the course of peaceful political participation in Ethiopia into something as an equivalent to fighting for freedom. The extreme politician who took refuge in the political offices abroad, are taking advantage of the current favorable political situation to export the politics of hate and war in Ethiopia under pretext of democracy. In effect the offices opened in Washington, London and Brussels by Ethiopian opposition are becoming a proxy for criminals and extremists to participate and influence the domestic Ethiopian politics in which they have no legitimacy to participate. This clearly was demonstrated when Negede the criminal, who has no legitimacy and legality of representing the Ethiopian people, participated in the European Union meeting in lieu of one of the opposition parties. The gravities of the problems are not only on the Ethiopian people but on the domestic political leaders as well. The political leaders who are centered in the Western capitals are so undemocratic and dictatorial; they have no room for different ideas. The attempted coup d'état by the Washington-London-Brussels hardliners against the domestic opposition leaders Dr Beyene and Dr. Merera is a living testimony. According to the opposition UEDF leader and Member of Parliament the Honorable Dr. Beyene Petros, his party had come to understand the dictatorial and extreme positions of some Diaspora politicians. This only a tip of the iceberg of the danger this hardliners and criminals are posing on the well-being of our fledgling democracy, peace and stability of the Ethiopian people. Therefore, we urge the parliament and government by working together to carefully review and assess the legality and legitimacy of Diaspora political offices that are lead by criminals.

2) The ruling vs. loyal opposition parties:


First of all it should be highlighted and boldly emphasized that it is in the best interest of Ethiopia that we have a strong and loyal opposition party. The existence of strong opposition political party will guarantee durable, peaceful and prosperous Ethiopia. In addition, the existence of a strong and loyal opposition party will break the link of failure of our country that could follow the failure of ruling party. One of the main problems that we have in Ethiopia during transition of government is that if the ruling government fails the country also follows similar suit. But if we have a strong and loyal opposition party (in effect a government in waiting), if the ruling party fails the country will not follow party failure, because there is a strong party that can replace the outgoing party on time. The other problem that we have in Ethiopia in relation to ruling and opposition parties is the misunderstanding and confusion of having different opinions and ideas as equivalent as allay and enemy of Ethiopia. Current events in Ethiopia have shown that some of us are not politically grown up to see opposing ideas as just they are, opposing ideas. For most of the hardliners and extreme politicians for citizens to have differing ideas are taken as equivalent as being Ethiopian and a traitor. This was clearly seen recently from the likes of Hailu Shawel & Co. who portrayed the Ethiopian political landscape as to be or not to be an Ethiopian. Therefore, both the ruling party and the loyal oppositions, in this parliament and the parliament to come in every five years, should be able to demonstrate that having different political ideas and views does not compromise our Ethiopianess. The politicians from both spectra practically should be able to demonstrate to the wider public these are simply competing views. Politicians of different parties should practically demonstrate their unity on such issues as sovereignty and national security of Ethiopia. In addition, the Ethiopian parliament should give due regard and give opportunity for the leaders of the opposition parties who respect the law and constitution of the land to actively participate and serve in parliamentarian committee and to represent the country in different national and international stages. It is also in the best interest of the country that the Ethiopian parliament supports and encourages those opposition parties which are committed themselves to peaceful struggle for the electorate voted for them within the legal framework of the country. These may include but not limited to providing the necessary party and campaign financing. This could help relieve the opposition political parties from the influence of hardliner Diasporas, which for long time have been the principal financial sources and as a result influencers of the policies of the opposition parties.

3) Acceptable vs. unacceptable political views.


The parliament of Ethiopia should clearly and unambiguously state what is acceptable and what is unacceptable political views and rhetoric in the present day Ethiopia are. The parliament and the government of Ethiopia should ban for life those individuals and political parties that are resorting in advocating hate and violence as a means of attaining power from participating in the political and media activities. Those individuals who are found of instigating violence and riot as a means of coming to power should be held accountable and be brought to country’s justice system. We know their supporters will shout in the Western streets, write petition make phone call to Western embassies and government office describing them as heroes and prisoners of conscious or sighting such issues as they have hypertension or diabetics, but the government should stand firm in bring justice against these people. The government should not succumb to pressure of the so-called human right groups and some foreign governments. The western government could threaten the Ethiopian people by withholding aid unless the government satisfies their requirement. But the parliament and government of Ethiopian should not compromise the integrity and security of the country with western aid and assistance.

4) Preparing for preventive measures.


As has frequently been said, the main objective of the hardliner politicians within Ethiopia and the Diaspora is to come to power by any means necessary. I have no idea which witch has foretold for them, but they are saying power now or never. By any means and now or never are not restricted to material and financial resources of changing the course of the Ethiopian political landscape, but they also include sacrificing thousand of innocent lives. Hailu Shawel has roughly estimated the number of life required to be sacrificed between 10 to 15 thousand for him to be Prime Minister. As the recent unfortunate incidents show there are misinformed people that are going to scarify their life. Even if the government is able to control the recent riots the incidents have partly served the purpose Hailu & co. planned. One of the purposes of these hardliners is to discredit the peace, development and democratic achievement of Ethiopia by organizing a series of unfortunate events. Such kinds of unfortunate events even if organized by criminals, the process of quelling them has costing the reputation and image of the country and its leadership at the international stage. Therefore it would be worthwhile to the Ethiopian parliament and government to be prepared if possible to prevent before such kinds of incidents happened because preventive measure could protect the loss of innocent life and damage to properties. In cases where preventive measures are not materialized for any reason, it is worthwhile the Ethiopian parliament and government find better mechanisms of dealing with such kinds of incidents and the Ethiopian security forces be allowed to be equipped with state of the art facilities that can help to diffuse violence and riots so that no fatality and property damage can occur.

5) Hardliners and extremist finance.


The parliament and government of Ethiopia should freeze any financial transaction that comes to Ethiopia that is raised by the Diaspora hardliners from entering to the country. As the money that are raised by hateful Diasporas and funneled to the accounts of domestic hardliner politicians in Ethiopia are mostly used to finance terrorists than for positive and good purpose, the government should ban and freeze such kind transaction.

Conclusion

There is no doubt Ethiopia has come a long way in terms of democratization, peace and development in the last fourteen years. This was recently demonstrated when the country conducted a democratic election for the third time. As most local and international observers agreed, this election was the most free, fair, open and competitive by any standard. However, on the other hand the recent unfortunate events that happened following the third democratic election, also demonstrated the possibility that Ethiopia could be taken to the era of dictatorship and chauvinism. Different factors have contributed for these riots and violence: the hateful Diaspora, the hardliners leaders of political parties who were high profile leaders in the military junta and the hateful private press to mention few. We think it has long overdue to take the necessary legal measure against these people and the Ethiopian people are paying the price. Now, the government has started to take the necessary measurers against those individuals and organizations who instigate riots and violence as a means of attaining power. This is necessary and vital measure to secure the peace and development of the country. The Ethiopian parliament and government should take the necessary measures to protect the peace and well being of the Ethiopian people and give guarantee to the Ethiopian people that what had happened on June 8 and from November 1- 3 will never be repeated again. In this regard the peace loving silent majority should break our silence and play critical role in the positive development of the country. From now on it is not right for silent majority to sit and watch while vocal minority destroys our country. We should confront, expose and challenge the different racist and hateful ideas the vocal minority advocates. Above all, in uncertain terms we should tell them enough is enough!



God bless Ethiopia!!