by Ewnetu Sime
Ethiopians residing in New York metropolitan area, human rights advocates groups and, others concerned individuals held a panel discussion on October 24, 2015 at New York Ethical Society hall in New York City. The forum was intended to critically examine the prevailing historic series of anti-government peaceful protests, inhumane government reactions and its great deception tactics to cover up crime against humanity. The event was organized by Amnesty international New York group (AINYG), and with support organizations such as Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia, Ethiopian Community Mutual Assistance Association Inc. for NY, NJ&CT and others. The AINYG invited human right advocates, academia and showed a short documentary of the civil uprising in Ethiopia. The panelist were Dr. Aklog Birara, Mr. Obang Metho, Dr. Begna Dugassa, and Dr. Semahagn Abebe.
AINYG moderated the event and presented the overall objective of the panel discussion. The forum objective was to promote dialogue on the current crises in Ethiopia. Peaceful protestors were killed, savagely beaten up, jailed and several fled. The panelist addressed several issues including the ethno-centric TPLF’s dictatorial terror, atrocities, great deception, corrupt practices, the ongoing gross human rights violations and, the root cause of current uprising. The panelists have encouraged the attendees to engage in denouncing the human rights violation by TPLF’s regime, and to support in any way they can the ongoing peaceful protest through this type of panel discussion or by other effective means. The overall presentation by panelist work as synergic team in raising awareness.
As reported on several mainstream medias, since November 2015 the people of Ethiopia, in several regions of the country, have taken extreme and dramatic measure and peacefully protested to express their discontent. Hundreds of thousands of people marched in Amhara region made Gonder and Bahir Dar ghost cities by sitting in strike. In Oromia region the people carried out several demonstration in all most all localities, zones, woredas, and kebeles. The protest is still on going in various places in these two big Kilils. These protests are one of the largest and earth shaking mass protests in the country since TPLF dictatorial regime seize the power. As usual, the response by TPLF dictatorial and corrupt regime has been harsh. The Federal Agazi troop’s opened fire on peaceful protestors and committed horrendous crime. To cite what the Voice of America radio program reported and posted on ECADF forum website in Western Wolloga. “The regime troop killed youth, the mother of dead said: “They killed my son, and they forced me to sit on dead body while they were beating me”’. The regime has indeed violated the cherished principle of the democratic and human right of its own people.
Ethiopians are saddened by the recent ethno-centric TPLF’S troops shooting on peaceful protestors. The regime committed outright murder. These tragic incidences are clearly the result of TPLF’s tribalism policy and divide and conquer tactics in governing the country. We read countless articles, news, social media posts exposing the regime brutality. The brutality caused incalculable killing and inflicted lasting psychological damage. The regime deception to hide its killing of peaceful protestors is unbelieve. The most dramatic of deception come from regime communication minister, Getachew Reda denied that the protesters had been killed. Mr. Reda accused them they are “armed protestors” of trying to kill the police. But on the contrary, the video posted on social media showed the protestors were mowed down by the security forces. Mr. Reda deny this disturbing facts. The crackdown of the protestors has continuing in rounding up villagers in Oromo, Amhara, and other regions in Ethiopia. The regime taking killing, arbitrary arrest, torture, using excessive and unnecessary lethal force as the solution to stop the uprising is delusion. This delusion will never able to quell the people protests.
The ethno-centric TPLF dictatorial rule compounded with rising number corrupt party officials and cronies involved in illicit business, illegally owning luxury apartments, etc. simply demonstrated that they are corrupt, discredited and hated by majority of Ethiopian people. These reckless behaviors will not allow them to have serious discussion with ordinary folks or opposing parties to solve the political problems. They have no intention to combat corruption or relinquish the power in peaceful manner. There is no prospect of political victory for them either. The ethno-centric TPLF dictatorial rule taking the country into a quagmire of failed state. They chose to continue to spin on its media to cover its heinous crimes. We hear from them familiar deception statements, accusation foreign hirelings, terrorist, frequent tactic to pity one ethnic to other. All these are prove to be cover up for their evil deeds. In fact it is laughable and outdated tactics. The problem is big like a dark cloud over. There is no solution in sight for them. Multiple crisis confronted the TPLF leaders. The lack of rule of law, continuing grave human violation, misuse of the anti-terrorism proclamation, arresting activists, bloggers have intensified the crisis. Observing these simply facts, it will not be hard to prove that TPLF is dictatorial rule with an iron fist is not capable of resolving current crisis. Also, the protest seems to have reached a point of no return.
Most Diaspora are deeply sympathetic with Ethiopians people uprising and has shown full solidarity. The diaspora community staged events across the world in many America and Europe capitals. They have condemned the TPLF archaic regime killing of innocent people and demanded immediate release all peaceful protests. On the other hand, there are passive diaspora group who are critical of the regime in small group setting, but who do not come out openly denouncing the regime action. Clearly, there some diaspora are fearful and silent and submission to regime’s eternal deceptions. Many puzzled why this passive group took this stand as they lived far away from home. Unless this passive group are a part of “land grabers” scheme or tied with other material interest/incentives, they have a moral obligation to join one of civic organizations of their choice that advocate democratic system and uphold human rights principles.
The country’s political and economic problems shall start by dismantling TPLF’s tribal based leadership. The regime is proved to be incapable of resolving all political or economic problems. Ethnic based rule is a serious error and it is like driving wedge among multiethnic Ethiopia society. The past 25 years we became ethnic based rules experiment and the outcome is grim. TPLF’s is prescribing the out-of-date ideology and must be rejected on the basis of its practical application, else the oppression will be repeated in another form of ethnic rule. As is well known, the cause of current political crisis is a lack of democracy rule. Unless democratic rule is established the unrelenting confrontation against the TPLF regime will continue. There is no doubt if oppositions parties and ethnics organizations chart minimum and maximum common programs under one Ethiopia doctrine will accelerate in liquidation of TPLF ethnic centric dictatorship. The establishment all-inclusive democratic rule will prevail.
This panel discussion is part of overall struggle for democracy rule. It exposed the TPLF’s terror, atrocities and deceptions. It set stage to disseminate information. It gives the attendees to have better understanding of human right violation by TPLF’s tyrannical regime. Last but not least, it build a foundation of collaboration for stronger community.
Ethiopia will prevail! The powerful would be vanquished!