The wind of change that is sweeping the Middle East and North Africa has reached at the doorsteps of Ethiopia. Ethiopians through out the country and in the diaspora have resolved to embrace the change, and through a sustained and determined peaceful struggle, will remove Meles Zenawi’s dictatorship that has been misruling Ethiopia for the past 20 years. Hence, the moment of truth has come to every Ethiopian.
The Meles regime is once again preparing to escape change by further dividing the Tigregna speaking community from the rest of Ethiopians. It is clear to all Ethiopians that Meles Zenawi’s Tigray People Liberation Front (TPLF) has escalated ethnic tensions during the last 20 years. The purpose of this statement therefore is to alert all Ethiopians to be extra vigilant in separating agents of the Meles regime from the people of Tigray who are part and parcel of the Ethiopian pro-democracy movement.
Since Meles Zenawi assumed power in 1991, lacking any semblance of legitimacy, he has ruled Ethiopia with an iron fist. Without the consent of the people, it has divided the country along ethnic lines, and encouraged ethnic based politics in order to fragment and weaken Ethiopia.
Life is becoming unbearable for millions of Ethiopians who are being deprived of their lands, of their resources and of their rights. Small businesses that are not affiliated with TPLF-linked businesses are closing down in large number. While the few privileged ruling party members wallows in luxury, millions of Ethiopians live in abject poverty. To add insult to injury, the Meles regime is issuing thousands of commercial farm licenses to foreign investors from India, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and China. Today, hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians are either being evicted from their ancestral lands or turned into day laborers to foreign government-backed mega investors. Meles promotes neo-colonialism in a country that successfully defeated colonial invaders.
Since the Meles regime is looting and plundering Ethiopia in the name of Tigray, it is incumbent upon our Tigrean brothers and sisters to tell the regime: “Not in Our Name.” Ethiopians are longing for their Tigrean sisters and brothers to stand shoulder-to-shoulder in the fight against the Meles regime. Actions are needed now before it is too late.
The choice is clear. It is either to stand on the side of the Meles regime that traces its orgin to Tigray, or to be part of the popular pro-democracy movement
(The above statement is released by Worldwide Ethiopian Civic Action Group, a gathering of activists who are working to bring about the end of dictatorship in Ethiopia. For more information: firstname.lastname@example.org)
Feb. 28, 2011