September 18, 2011
CONCERNED by the recent wave of arrests of political leaders, men and women of the Arts, journalists and human rights activists; We concerned Ethiopians and members of various support groups of Ethiopian civic and political organizations in the United States and Canada, having attended the emergency meeting organized by the BEKA MOVEMENT;
HAVING EXAMINED the root causes of the wave of arrests and TPLF/EPRDF’s nervousness about the Arab revolution, and the recent promulgation of a draconian and poorly drafted anti-terrorism law that criminalizes almost every form of dissent;
DEEPLY CONCERNED by the dismal state of the Ethiopian economy, which is characterized by rampant youth unemployment, poor education, endemic rural and urban poverty, migration, eviction from ancestral lands, hyperinflation, land grab at unbelievable prices, corruption, the creation of a tiny super-rich elite that is subservient to the minority regime, and the unfortunate prospects of the so called Growth and Transformation Plan and its delusional statistics;
ALARMED by the scale of the famine in Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa, and TPLF/EPRF’s denial of the existence of widespread hunger in Southern and Eastern Ethiopia, and the ongoing cover-up of the starvation and conflict, harassment of those who exposed the cover up to the international media, including the propaganda against the BBC’s investigative journalists and the deliberate wounding and imprisonment of Swedish journalists;
COGNIZANT of the fact that the Unity for Democracy and Justice’s (UDJ’s) New Year call to the Ethiopian people to stand up together to regain their stolen freedom and this call is being adopted by the main opposition groups in side Ethiopia;
NOTING the call for protest demonstration in Addis Abeba on October 2, 2011 and TPLF’s denial of permit, is yet another indication of the fact that the revolution that engulfed several North African and Middle East countries is slowly coming to Ethiopia;
NOTING with dismay some of the recent trivial arguments about collaboration among political parties, and its lack of relevance to defending the revolution that is already at the door steps of the country;
We have resolved:
(1) To adopt in full the NEW YEAR’S call of the UDJ to the Ethiopian people to stand up together to regain their stolen freedom, and concur with the view that the people of Ethiopia, like the 1974 revolution, cannot wait for political parties to stage the struggle. Details of the UDJ’s statement is available at http://andinet.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Unity-for-Democracy-and-Justice-Party-New-Year-Press-Release_Amharic__090911.pdf
(2) To support the call for protest demonstration in Addis Ababa on October 2, 2011, in provincial cities and throughout the world where Ethiopians are residing;
(3) To call upon all Ethiopians inside Ethiopia and in the Diaspora to isolate the TPLF/EPRDF leadership and its foot-solders. Ethiopians in the Diaspora must make every effort to boycott TPLF/EPRDF’s embassies, TPLF/EPRDF affiliated business enterprises, community associations, clubs and societies and places of worships; with a view to put pressure on the minority regime to listen to the voices of the Ethiopian people;
(4) To call upon the Government of the United States and Canada to revise their policies towards the minority regime in Ethiopia. We call upon the White House to listen to its diplomats who are calling for change of the United States’ policy towards Ethiopia. We request the White House to target TPLF’s bosses like Bereket Simon, Shimeles Kemal, Dina Mufti, Redwan Hussen, Berhane Gebre Kristos and HaileMariam Dessalegn. There is enough prima facie evidence which shows that these individuals, together with Meles Zenawi, Azeb Gola, Sebhat Nega, Seyoum Mesfin, Addisu Legesse, Abay Tsehaye, Getachew Assefa and Samora Yunus, jointly and severally, are responsible for the tens of thousands of lives that were lost during the last 35 years;
(5) To condemn in the strongest possible terms the imprisonment of Olbana Lelisa, Bekele Gerba, Andualem Arage, Zemenu Molla, Nathnael Mekonnen, Eskender Nega, Debebe Eshetu, Riyot Alemu and Woubshet Taye. The allegation against these individuals is preposterous. The basis is the draconian and poorly drafted law. Its purpose is to suppress democracy. Ethiopians must refuse to observe this law. The above individuals are not terrorists as TPLF alleges. They are journalists, men and women of the Pen, artists and political leaders. We therefore demand the immediate and unconditional release of ALL political prisoners and prisoners of conscience;
(6) To call upon civic and political organizations to rise up to the challenge and immediately form a broad based National Council so that the revolution in Ethiopia is fast tracked and coordinated. This revolution must lead to the formation of a popular and prudent care taker administration that maintains law and order, defends the interests and territorial integrity of the country, while preparing the nation for peace, reconciliation and an unfettered free and fair election;
(7) To renew our commitment to continue our unwavering support to the struggle of the Ethiopian people for freedom, Justice and the Rule of Law. To this end, we have resolved to immediately start extensive world wide campaign to mobilize moral, material and diplomatic support for a united action to replace the dictatorial regime with a truly democratic system of governance that can bring freedom, peace and prosperity for the people of Ethiopia. We call upon all democratic forces to support the revolution that is at the doorsteps of the minority tyrannical regime.
People power shall end minority rule in Ethiopia!
Victory to the people of Ethiopia
Beka! Geye! Enough is Engough!
For more information contact: Ethiopians.firstname.lastname@example.org