A Call for Unity Petition to the leaders of Ethiopian opposition political parties and civil society organizations
That historic day of May 15, 2005 has come and gone. TPLF/EPRDF hijacked the elections and proved that the only party politics it allows in Ethiopia is the one over which it has absolute monopoly. Therefore, party politics needs to give precedence to the politics of unity because it is now time for collaboration, not competition. Surely, a house divided against itself cannot stand. All Ethiopians of goodwill should therefore put our differences aside and focus on what unites us because unity is strength.
The burden of politics is too heavy to be left only to the politicians. It is time that we reframed our direction and created a patriotic movement that puts country before party. Therefore, we call upon all opposition parties and civic organizations to form a steering committee representing all stakeholders with the intention to convene an all-inclusive conference to debate, draft, and adopt a common program that will serve as a unifying platform and national consensus strategy because together we can go far and everything will be possible. Our unity will be a comparative advantage against the minority regime.
In its anti-Ethiopia and anti-democracy stance, Meles Zenawi?s regime actively sought and actualized the secession of Eritrea, mandated ethnic federation in Ethiopia, and in disrespect of the will of the people incarcerated elected opposition leaders on trumped-up charges, and massacred countless number of unarmed demonstrators. To effectively challenge the regime, opposition parties should firstly break with the tradition of factional politics that only benefits TPLF/EPRDF. The opposition will need the symbiotic relation with civil society to liberate Ethiopia from the ruthless and repressive regime. It is therefore imperative to raise the bar and launch a resistance movement that has the capacity to rally Ethiopians in the Diaspora and at home and also inspire the opposition to derive legitimacy and authority by taking responsibility for the higher purpose of ?national interest? over and above the narrow party interest.
TPLF/EPRDF?s mission is not to help Ethiopia, but itself. Meles Zenawi hates an Ethiopian state more than he loves an Eritrean or Tigrean state. His terrorist regime enjoys the undivided support of the U.S. as Ethiopia is considered a valuable partner on the war on terror. We the people of Ethiopia are therefore the only solution to our problems and need to empower ourselves to take back our country by regaining our confidence in our ?Etiopiawinet.? We must be inspired by our proud history of being the cradle of civilization, home of the oldest human species, the world?s greatest marathoners, creators of our own Geez alphabet, and victors over colonialism. We must build on our strengths; take personal responsibility and launch a rescue plan to preserve our country as a united, democratic, and prosperous society. Power concedes nothing without a demand; and democracy is taken, not given. Destiny is not a matter of chance, but of choice. We choose to replace the rule of tyranny by the rule of law.
Visioning is about crafting a compelling image of the future. We the Ethiopian Diaspora must optimize our human capital by creating the right kind of an enabling environment for our people to help Ethiopia accomplish what the immigrants of USA and American-Born-Chinese returnees have achieved for their respective countries. Ethiopia has a potential of becoming the pride of Africa once again!
We can do nothing to erase the wrongs of the past, but we should certainly do everything now to build our future together. We should also cease to confuse motion with progress and do better than incremental changes. It is insane to do more of the same and expect different results. We need to reorder our priorities, change strategies, and shift the paradigm from parochial and divisive politics to a strategic unity movement in order to focus on priority projects like (a) striving to secure the release of all political prisoners, (b) campaigning for the passage of H.R.5680, and (c) convening an all-inclusive conference representing all stakeholders in order to conduct a national dialogue and map out new strategies to reinvigorate our struggle for democracy, justice, and the rule of law.
TPLF/EPRDF is driven by the hate politics of ethnocentrism. Our driving force is the love of our country and our people. We are confident love will triumph over hate. But nobody will do for us what we should do for ourselves. If we continue to blame TPLF/EPRDF for everything wrong in Ethiopia, we are not taking responsibility for failing to prevent them from further destabilizing Ethiopia. We should do everything to reverse the destructive trend that is consuming our nation. If not us, who? If not now, when?
Petition by the Board and members of EEDN (Ethiopian Electronic Distribution Network)