Declaration against the TPLF tyranny


A Call for Unity of Action and Purpose

RECOGNIZING the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all Ethiopians, indeed all people, regardless of ethnicity, faith, political opinion, age, gender, race or financial status, is the foundation for democracy, freedom, justice, peace and unity in Ethiopia;

NOTING with dismay that the TPLF/EPRDF government has implemented apartheid type divide and rule political programs over the past twenty years, and hence not only revoked the civil and political rights of 80 million people, but has turned the age old country into one of the sixteen failed states in the world;

NOTING with dismay that Ethiopia is at the bottom of world good governance standards, as evidenced by the World Bank, the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, the African Peer Review Mechanism and other similar ratings;

CONCERNED that the TPLF/EPRDF continues to administer sham elections; where in May 2005 it killed 193 unarmed protestors, wounded 800 innocent civilians and kept close to 50,000 pro-democracy activists in concentration camps; and in May 2010 it unashamedly claimed to have won 99.6% of the seats of the House of Peoples Representatives;

NOTING that Ethiopia is ranked lower than all but 4 nations in Africa in human development, access to clean water, press freedom, internet use and pervasive corruption in spite of the deceptive propaganda of double digit real economic growth reported by TPLF/EPRDF;

CONCERNED that the misguided economic policy that was implemented over the last twenty years, that was characterized by crony capitalism, opaque privatization, discrimination, an unprecedented land eviction, corruption, monopolization of the economy by party owned companies; has led to employment discrimination, hyperinflation, abject rural and urban poverty and forced migration;

CONCERNED that access to higher education and employment in public enterprises and government departments are restricted to TPLF/EPRDF members, and hence violating one of the cornerstones of civil and political rights of citizens;

CONCERNED that the education system implemented during the last ten years has not been able to prepare the youth for decent higher education, innovation, self employment and entrepreneurship, thus making the future of the youth more uncertain;

ALARMED that the perpetrators of various crimes against humanity, including but not limited to the massacres of 2005, are living with impunity, and Meles Zenawi continues to protect suspects that should most certainly face national and international justice;

DEEPLY CONCERNED that the TPLF/EPRDF continues to deny the existence of armed conflicts and clandestine political organizations, hence the absence of national dialogue and reconciliation is exacerbating the further disintegration of the country;

CONVINCED that ethno nationalist movements are increasingly becoming significant political and military forces in Ethiopia and time has vividly shown that TPLF’s bankrupt policy has not resolved the root causes of these movements, indicating that the reality on the ground requires a new vision for Ethiopia;

NOTING WITH INTEREST the ethno-nationalist movements’ recent effort to break the ethnic wall, we encourage members and supporters of ethno nationalist movements and all political and social forces to welcome the overture, and urge all to join a process that leads to building a critical mass and the required leadership that aims at the eventual replacement of the minority dictatorship with a transitional government;

COMPELLED to emphasize and underscore once again the need for nationalist and ethno-nationalist political and social forces to work towards the removal of the minority dictatorship with the clear understanding that the destiny of post-TPLF/EPRDF Ethiopia shall be determined by all the citizens of the age old nation, after an unfettered free and fair election;

KEENLY AWARE that TPLF/EPRDF’s misguided foreign policy, reckless diplomacy and gross incompetence in foreign policy have led to several scandalous international agreements, including but not limited to the stalled Algiers Agreement, the creation of a land locked country that is inhabited by 80 million people, the ceding of territories to the Sudan without the knowledge of the people of Ethiopia, the 1993 Egyptian-Ethiopian Water Agreement which has ended up in the rubbish bin, and the recent foolish-man’s game with the River Nile (Abbay), cannot lead to a sustained peace and development in the region;

AWARE of the power of mass uprisings in removing age old dictatorships, including but not limited to the 1974 revolution in Ethiopia, the 1989 revolution in Eastern Europe and now in the Middle East and North Africa;

CONSISTENT with the previous declarations of Ethiopian civic organizations, including but not limited to the CHARTER that was issued at the turn of the Ethiopian Millennium, the Chicago Resolution of the Ethiopian National Priorities Consultative Process (ENPCP), the Virginia Declaration on Good Governance, Peace and Development in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa; the various Statements of the Solidarity Movement for New Ethiopia (SMNE), the call by the Ketet network of activists, and the recently issued 8 point demands of the Oromo National Youth Movement for Freedom and Democracy, we in the Global Civic Movement for Change in Ethiopia join the chorus in demanding the removal of the minority dictatorship from the yoke of 80 million people. We have resolved to engage in peaceful resistance to end tyranny so that a broad based transitional government is established.

The primary functions of the transitional government are to prepare the country for an unfettered free and fair election, protect and defend the territorial integrity of the country, maintain law and order, and perform other duties of transitional nature. The civil resistance is a country wide action that will be spearheaded by the youth and supported by Ethiopians in the country and in the Diaspora. The Movement rejects all forms of violence and extremism. It advocates for democracy, equality, justice, peace and unity. It is against the TPLF/EPRDF cabal. It is not against ordinary members of the TPLF/EPRDF or indeed the Ethiopian Defense Forces.

RECOGNIZING the incontrovertible fact that no single opposition party, be it nationalist or ethno-nationalist, on its own can successfully lead the masses into action in the present era, and fully cognizant of the truth that Ethiopians have significantly more in common than not, we urge all to clench our many fingers that are pointing at the TPLF/EPRDF cabal, and guarantee that no one ethnic group will ever again vanquish the people of Ethiopia;

NOW THEREFORE, WE have adopted the following actionable resolutions:-

1. We demand that the regime immediately stops the twenty years of continued military campaign against the people of Ethiopia. We demand that the International Red Cross (IRC) be given immediate access to all conflict areas. At present, the IRC has been kicked out of the Ogaden region. We ask for the United Nations to carry a full, independent, and unfettered investigation of both the recent UN staff killing and the mass murder of civilians in the Ogaden. We call upon the international community to continue to put pressure on the dictatorship so that international NGOs are allowed to deliver emergency aid to conflict and drought affected areas;
2. We demand the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience. We demand that especially the Maikelawi Prison (central investigation prison) and the underground prisons and concentration camps be immediately dismantled and closed for ever, and the perpetrators of all forms of human rights abuses be brought to justice;
3. We demand that the TPLF/EPRDF security forces immediately stop harassing, imprisoning and intimidating legal opposition forces and students;
4. We call for the immediate supply of basic goods such as sugar, cooking oil and bread for the people by the government at subsidized prices while the commodity market is allowed to stabilize;
5. We demand that all the so called private properties of Zenawi’s family and their close associates be administered by a branch of government until judicial enquiry about ill gotten assets is completed;
6. We demand that all the assets of the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigrai (EFFORT) be divested and distributed to the rightful owners, the Ethiopian people, through privatization by an Initial Public Offering system open to all the people of Ethiopia. The management can be restructured, by hiring professional managers and the proceeds from the sale of shares can be used for financing the construction of secure and economically, environmentally and technically feasible large and small dams, as appropriate;
7. We demand that the land grab policy that is being implemented by the TPLF/EPRDF regime be immediately stopped, and that international agreements that relate to the land grab be put on hold. All evictions of rural farmers and nomads from their ancestral lands must be stopped. We demand a judicial enquiry into the circumstances, and whether there was corruption in the sale/lease of virgin lands to foreign entities at unbelievably low prices;
8. We demand that the misguided urban land policy of TPLF/EPRDF which is creating unprecedented price bubbles and excessive speculation through credit channeling, distorted interest rates and corrupt land lease, be replaced by people centered and equitable urban development policy that will make housing more affordable and accessible to Ethiopian citizens The recent demolition of houses in cities such as Hawassa and Mekele must be stopped. We demand that those who sent the Federal Police, to prevent the protest demonstrations be brought to justice;
9. Consistent with the Virginia Declaration on Good Governance, Peace and Development in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa, and the 8 point demand of the Oromo National Youth Movement for Freedom and Democracy, We in the Global Civic Movement for Change in Ethiopia, unreservedly endorse the call for the immediate resignation of Meles Zenawi and his spouse Azeb Mesfin from all State and Party powers;
10. We demand that both chambers of parliament be immediately dissolved and the TPLF/EPRDF authored constitution be suspended. We call for the establishment of a transitional government that is constituted from Civil Society, all major ethno nationalist movements and all opposition political organizations, that works towards instituting genuine democracy, freedom and unity in Ethiopia and peace and stability in the Horn of Africa;
11. We shall struggle to make the primary work of the Transitional Government to focus on preparing the country for an unfettered free and fair election, maintain the rule of law, protect all Ethiopians, protect private and public property, and defend and protect the country’s sovereignty. We shall endeavor to influence policy so that all stakeholders of the Nile River System and other resource endowments are put to the benefit of all the people of the region. We shall advocate for peace and stability in the Horn of Africa and beyond;
12. Finally we call upon all Ethiopians to rise up in unison to end dictatorship in Ethiopia. We call upon the international community to avoid using double standards. We call upon the United Nations’ Security Council to adopt a Libyan type policy against all dictators who are killing their own people. We respectfully request the United Nations’ Secretary General to take contingency measures as the ruthless dictator’s track record shows that he is more than likely to follow his peers in Libya, Syria and Yemen by brutally suppressing popular uprising against 20 years of TPLF/EPRDF tyranny.

Beka ! Geye! Bes! Yiakel! Aloni! Ditah! Wetandem!
For more information contact: [email protected]

The following organizations have also issued statements calling for a civil resistance to bring change in Ethiopia:

ALJE (pdf)
Civic Movement
EPRP (pdf)
EYM (pdf)
Ginbot 7 (pdf)
OLF (pdf)