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Humanity before Ethnicity

Welcome!

Welcome to the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia, a non-political and non-violent social justice movement of diverse Ethiopians. The SMNE is a non-profit organization that seeks to unite the many Ethiopian ethnic groups into a solidarity movement that stands together to call the current Ethiopian government to account for myriad allegations of human rights violations.

Please explore our website to learn more about this united effort!

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(Note: SMNE is not a news website and does not publish the latest Ethiopian news.
Click here for a list of news websites. )

Latest SMNE Opinions

April 26, 2016
Gambella Killings and Other Avoidable Ethiopian Tragedies 

Putting humanity before ethnicity or other differences and caring about the freedom of others— for no one is free until all are free— could have created a different ending for each of the tragic stories affecting Ethiopians that have unfolded in the last weeks. These incidents did not have to happen, but in each case, could have been avoided or lessened in severity. Much of the pain, suffering, death and loss of countless people and their loved ones could have been avoided had those involved simply put these God-given principles into practice.  read ...

You are invited to the launching of the
Ethiopian Council for Reconciliation and Restorative Justice (ECRRJ)
HOW CAN ETHIOPIANS CROSS THE BRIDGE TO A MORE FREE, JUST AND RECONCILED ETHIOPIA FOR ALL?

Saturday, April 2, 2016 
1:00 to 5:00 PM
University of Minnesota – Minneapolis
Willey Hall Room 125 (West Bank; behind Mondale Hall)
225 19th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Nearest Parking: C86 Lot, 19th Ave. Ramp, or 21st Ave. Ramp

read more ...

ECRRJ Flyer

Read Details                      Download Flyer

March 26, 2016
ETHIOPIA: A COUNTRY WHERE INDEPENDENT INSTITUTIONS ARE OFFICIAL ENEMIES OF THE STATE

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Obang Metho

Most would agree that strong faith institutions, civic movements, and social organizations play a critically important role in healthy societies, but are often weak, highly controlled or missing in countries dominated by oppressive governments, like in Ethiopia. The TPLF/ERPDF also knows the emergence of strong, independent institutions is a threat to their hold on power as they can build unity when disunity is a favored means of divide and conquer policies. That unity can build a national effort to facilitate democratic development and a peaceful transition to a free and just nation for all; prerequisites to inclusive economic growth and development. They are key not only to a better future for all, but to the sustainability of that future.  read ...

You are invited to the launching of the
Ethiopian Council for Reconciliation and Restorative Justice (ECRRJ)
HOW CAN ETHIOPIANS CROSS THE BRIDGE TO A MORE FREE, JUST AND RECONCILED ETHIOPIA FOR ALL?
Saturday, April 2, 2016 
1:00 to 5:00 PM
University of Minnesota – Minneapolis
Willey Hall Room 125 (West Bank; behind Mondale Hall)
225 19th Avenue S
Minneapolis, MN 55455
Nearest Parking: C86 Lot, 19th Ave. Ramp, or 21st Ave. Ramp

     read more ...  

     Download English Flyer


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      read more in Amharic...  

     Download Amharic Flyer

February 18, 2016
Representatives of Diverse Ethiopians formed: Ethiopian Council for Reconciliation and the Restorative of Justice (ECRRJ)

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On February 14, 2016, the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) announced the formation of the Ethiopian Council for Reconciliation and the Restorative of Justice (ECRRJ) at a public meeting held at the Sheraton Hotel in Silver Springs, Maryland. The Council’s formation was the outcome of a strategic planning retreat held over the course of three days previous to the meeting. Those attending the retreat were representatives of diverse Ethiopians. The ECRRJ is a people-to-people movement for healing, reconciliation and the restorative of justice in Ethiopia.       read...  

     

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Read in Amharic...

February 3, 2016
THE ONLY WAY TO END ESCALATING ETHNIC VIOLENCE IN GAMBELLA IS THROUGH GENUINE RECONCILIATION AND THE RESTORATION OF JUSTICE TO ALL
WILL THE GOVERNMENT OF ETHIOPIA HELP OR HINDER THE PROCESS?

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Over the last week, deadly violence between the Nuer and the Anuak of Gambella has broken out, resulting in the senseless loss of lives. It started as an argument between an Anuak and an Nuer, but it triggered ethnic tensions, which have now exploded into revenge killings, destruction and insecurity. 

Now, many are suffering as it has caused great distress, pain and sorrow to both the Anuak and the Nuer who have lost loved ones. We give our deepest sympathy for the loss of these precious lives to those families, friends and communities who are grieving their deaths. We also express concern for those who have been wounded and for countless others, both Nuer and Anuak, who are now living under great stress and hardship as they have fled their homes to find safety from the violence and conflict. We condemn all violence and call on all parties involved to immediately stop the killing and destruction so that peace might return to the people of Gambella.       read...        

Ethiopian People-to-People Forum
On Our Future 

Sunday, February 14, 2016, 
1:00 to 5:00 PM.

Sheraton Silver Spring Hotel 
 8777 Georgia Ave, 
Silver Spring, MD 20910 

   You are invited to attend an Ethiopian People-to-People Forum on Our Future on Sunday, February 14, 2016, sponsored by the SMNE. The focus will be how the SMNE could contribute to the resolution of the urgent issues in Ethiopia of injustice, mass protests accompanied by increasing violence, imminent famine with present food insecurity and the effect of these on the future stability of Ethiopia. What happens in the next weeks, months and year in Ethiopia and how it is addressed could make a huge difference to our future.  

At this forum, the SMNE will present a view based on core principles and values that must be at the foundation of a New Ethiopia where humanity comes before ethnicity or any other differences and where we care about each other as we care for ourselves because no one is free until all are free. All citizens must be treated as equal partners.   read...  

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January 1, 2016
New Year's Message from Obang Metho, Executive Director of the SMNE, to the Ethiopian people.

As we Ethiopians think of celebrating the New Year ahead, many of us look back to 2015 with much sadness in our hearts regarding the many struggles and losses we faced throughout the year. It was a year of difficulty from the start with the senseless deaths of countless Ethiopians, many of them young and at the peak of their lives.

Families are still grieving for their loved ones who should be with them now; but, instead, the blood of some of these young people is still fresh on the soil of our land. Since the beginning of November, an uprising of Oromo students, peacefully protesting the threatened displacement of tens of thousands of Oromo farmers as part of the Addis Ababa Master Plan, has led to the killing of more than 122 peaceful student protestors and to the arrest of ten thousand people by federal security forces under the command of the Central Committee of the Tigrayan Peoples’ Liberation Front, the power head of the Ethiopian Peoples Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF.)      read...  

December 18, 2015
SMNE’s poem dedicated to healing, understanding, unity, peace and freedom.     read...  

December 15, 2015
Ethiopians Call on the Donor Countries and International Community to Break the Silence and Condemn the Killing of Unarmed Student Protestors

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Tensions have broken out in the Oromia region of Ethiopia in reaction to the Ethiopian government’s implementation of the Addis Ababa Master Plan, which will force Oromo farmers from their land, with little or no compensation. In response, over the last several weeks, thousands of young Oromo students across the region have held peaceful protests at university campuses; however, the authoritarian ethnic-apartheid regime of the TPLF/EPRDF is panicking.

In historical fashion, they have brought out the guns. Already, some 60 students and other local people who have joined them, have been killed and 600 or more wounded. Such a strong-armed response is highly dangerous, especially in a country where discontent and outrage is already palpable on the streets. No avenues for political expression exist. The Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), controlled by its TPLF Central Committee of less than fifty people, dominates the coalition party of the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), in power since 1991. It has become increasingly repressive. As some will know, the EPRDF claimed an absurd 100% victory in the May 2015 national election, ensuring that every seat in the Ethiopian Parliament is held by an EPRDF member. There is not a single opposition member in that position.     read...        

December 11, 2015
Let Us Take Warning: It is a Dangerous Time for Ethiopia

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On Wednesday, December 9, 2015 a group of courageous Oromo students from the Addis Ababa Science and Technology University made a strong statement of protest on behalf of Ethiopians at risk throughout the country!  

As planned in advance, these students arrived early at the school’s dining room. They took their food, sat down and then prayed together to God for their fallen brethren who had been killed and for the nation under attack. They then got up from their tables and left the food untouched; asking how they could eat while 15 million Ethiopians were at risk of starving in the coming months; while millions of farmers were losing their land; while thousands were in jail; and while tens were being killed for peacefully demanding their rights.      read...

 

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December 1, 2015
FAMINE, STARVATION AND DEATH IN ETHIOPIA RENAMED BY ITS GOVERNMENT AS “FOOD INSECURITY”

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According to some inside Ethiopia, NGO’s are being warned not to use the words “famine, starvation or death” in their food appeals. Neither are they to say that “children are dying on a daily basis,” or refer to “widespread famine” or say that “the policies of the government in Ethiopia are partially to blame.” Neither are they allowed to “compare the current crisis to the famine of the eighties.”  Instead, the latest drought in Ethiopia is to be described as “food insecurity caused by a drought related to El Nino.” 

Those not governed by these politically correct descriptions are saying it may be the worst drought in thirty years, similar to the famine of 1984-1985 that caused millions of deaths from starvation and triggered a world-wide response.     read...    

October 26, 2015
#IndiaAfrica: What Africa Expects Out of India
www.catchnews.com - Obang Metho
Africa and India are on the rise. It may be our time to look across the shared blue waters of the Indian Ocean to see the potential in the expansion of our historic ties, particularly in the area of trade. This is exactly the outcome Africans hope from the Third India-Africa Forum Summit being held this week.

Governments of 54 African countries are sending heads of state, ministry leaders and other representatives to participate. The African Union will be represented and there will be business leaders from across the continent.

We applaud this initiative and hope for its success in bringing greater economic growth and global integration to not only Africa, as recently expressed by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, but to the people of India as well.     read...    

Open Letter to EY: “Is Misinformation from EY’s East Africa Management Office Blocking the People of Ethiopia from Economic Participation and Putting Foreign Investors in Ethiopia at Risk?”

“The people of Ethiopia are being bled dry. No matter how hard they try to fight their way out of absolute destitution and poverty, they will be swimming upstream against the current of illicit capital leakage.”

October 20, 2015

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The question addressed in the above title is a serious one for the people of Ethiopia as well as for EY and the clients you serve. We believe misinformation, skewed to the benefit of a few, is closely related to the continued poverty and oppression of most Ethiopians. We are not talking about robbing the rich to pay for the poor, but about a regime in Ethiopia with a verifiable history of robbing the poor of the few opportunities they have to work their way out of poverty so as to advance their own interests.
Right now, avenues typically available to hard-working people are solidly blocked by a minority ethnic and crony- based regime that is wildly and dangerously advancing only their own interests. Fewer than 6% of Ethiopians can participate. Working hard will not open the doors—only the proper ethnic and party connections.    read...

Testimony Before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission House Committee on Foreign Affairs. Hearing on International Financial Institutions and Human Rights
Date: September 30, 2015
Given by: Mr. Obang O. Metho,
Executive Director of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia

Mr. Chairman, I am not here as an expert, a scholar or researcher; but instead, I am here as a defender of human rights for human beings. I am the Executive Director of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia, (SMNE) a social justice organization of diverse Ethiopians, which is based on the principles of “putting humanity before ethnicity or any other differences” and caring about the well being of others as we do about ourselves not only because it is right, but also because “none of us will be free until all are free.”   read...

HEARING on International Financial Institutions and Human Rights on Wednesday, September 30, 2015, Obang Metho to testify to members of the U.S Congress.      read...    

September 28, 2015
Think of us as a human family in a global community.

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Yerusalem Work

I will begin my speech with story of a man I met name Steve Abdullah. Steve was released from prison the day I met him in the metro. I wore hijab. He greeted me with “Assalamu alaikum.” Humbled I responded, “Walaikum as-salaam.” A delightful introduction. He asked everyone to help him pay for a meal, but his voice drowned out in the crowd of morning commuters.

I was on my way to DC to the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) office. The, SMNE, is a family. Everyone is welcome. Think of us as a human family in a global community. I sat next to two Ethiopian women new to the US. A young Muslim sister who had lived in Alexandria for one year and a Protestant Ethiopian Christian woman who had arrived two months ago. They were new to each other, their friendship only a week old, and already they supported each other in their job search. I gave them both my SMNE card and said we can help you get situated in this area to make it your home.      read...    

September 26, 2015
Human Rights for Human Beings - Mr. Obang Metho speaks to Ethiopian Muslims in Washington DC about the widespread human rights violations in Ethiopia and the need for justice, freedom, tolerance, mutual respect and human dignity.

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I would like to thank First Hijraha Foundation for inviting me to speak to you today on the very important topic of human rights. It is good to be here with all of you. I also thank you for this very nice and meaningful plaque First Hijraha Foundation, UEM-PMSG, Risala Intentional and Oromo Muslims Foundation have just given to me, acknowledging the work the SMNE has done for Ethiopian Muslims.

I am honored to receive it in behalf of the SMNE; however, I also believe we have only done our job. In speaking up for you and other Ethiopians who are suffering and at risk of abuses, we believe we are only assuming our God-given responsibility. This is at the heart of our mission. We hope this principle will permeate into the fabric of Ethiopian society so as to establish a culture of respect, care, and love that embraces all Ethiopians. 

When the Anuak, my own ethnic group, suffered horrific human rights abuses at the hand of the current ethnic apartheid regime of the TPLF/EPRDF, we formed the Anuak Justice Council and initially spoke out for the Anuak, but early on, we learned of human rights abuses throughout the country.

When the same kinds of abuses were perpetrated against Ethiopian Muslims, we felt we had to speak out for you also. Eventually, we broadened our mission to all Ethiopians and beyond. I am glad you have been the beneficiary of that. This plaque is not only for me, but is also for others in the SMNE who have joined together to advocate for the human rights of others.     read...

September 3, 2015
Lingua Franca - Adopting a Common Language
By Yerusalem Work 

Ethiopians incorporate the concept of home in the naming of many public institutions. Bet is the Amharic word for house. A movie theater is called a cinema bet. You have an akim bet, a house of doctors. A mesaf bet, a house of books, is a library. Timirt bet is a house of education or school. From a young age, we're taught that home extends beyond sleeping quarters and includes more than our immediate family. At least, that logic is embedded in the Amharic language. Do we as Ethiopians really feel at home, especially around other Ethiopians?   read...

July 26, 2015
When Will the Human Tragedy of the African People End? Open Letter to President Obama

Dear Mr. President,

Seven years ago you stood before the parliament in Ghana and said, “I have the blood of Africa within me, and my family's own story encompasses both the tragedies and triumphs of the larger African story.”
On July 28, you will be addressing the African Union in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. As you do, may I introduce you to another story, my own and that of the Anuak people of Ethiopia. I also have the blood of Africa within me; in fact, it is similar to your own. We Anuak are part of the larger family of Luo, Shilluk, Acholi, Pari and other people of the upper Nile. We are an ancient people, now mainly living in East African countries of Kenya, Ethiopia, South Sudan, and Uganda, but some of our people are scattered all over Africa. Many of our names start with “O” like yours and mine. 

My story also encompasses the tragedies and triumphs of the larger African story, but the ending is still to be determined. The reason I am telling it at this time is because it presents a microcosm of what threatens the lives and futures of Africans. It begins in the remote region of Gambella of southwestern Ethiopia, located on the border of South Sudan. It involves a rich culture, a marginalized people, valuable land and resources and its exploitation by those in power. Much of what you may hear about Ethiopia may be heavily processed, like food that undermines your health. Some thrive on it while others are not satisfied until they have it in the “organic” state. If you are the latter, keep reading; if not, please forgo the rest of the story.   read...

July 24, 2015
Obama’s Emerging African Legacy: Will African Strongmen or the African People Benefit?

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This week US President Barack Obama will visit his father’s home country of Kenya, followed by Ethiopia, where he will address the African Union and meet with Ethiopian government leaders. The trip is garnering much attention among Africans, especially Ethiopians, who see his plans to meet with members of the current authoritarian government, in office for over 24 years, as a disturbing alignment with Ethiopia’s strongmen, contrary to his strong statements of the past on behalf of the people of Africa.  

In his famous speech to Ghana’s parliament in July 2009, Obama won the enthusiastic response of Africans when he said, “Make no mistake; history is on the side of these brave Africans, and not with those who use coups or change Constitutions to stay in power. Africa doesn’t need strongmen, it needs strong institutions.” 

How will Obama live up to these statements in meetings with autocratic Ethiopian leaders who manipulate elections, the law and the Constitution to suit their needs or when he addresses the strongmen in the African Union? In the years 2015-2016, some thirty national elections will be held in Africa. Out of these, Nigeria may be one of few success stories where there was a peaceful transition between a sitting president and a newly elected leader.     read...

July 14, 2015
Journalists Released; Religious Leaders Convicted The Manipulation of Political Prisoners for Political Gain in Ethiopiat

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The Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) strongly condemns the recent verdict of the Ethiopian Federal High Court Fourth Criminal Bench concerning eighteen Ethiopians of Muslim faith who were found guilty on counts of attempted terrorism, conspiracy and incitement on July 6, 2015.  Those convicted include six members of the Ethiopian Muslims Arbitration Committee, eight scholars, two journalists, one artist and one student. They had been arrested in July 2012 related to their leadership roles in objecting to government interference in their internal religious affairs, in violation of Ethiopian law and the Constitution. This interference included at least three major complaints    read...

June 30, 2015
TPLF/EPRDF Makes a Mockery of Judges’ Decision to Release Semayawi Youth by Over-riding Court Verdict

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Not only are Ethiopian elections a farce—reconfirmed by recent regime claims of a 100% victory in the May 24, 2015 national elections—but so is the independence of the judicial system. This mockery of justice was shown when police re-arrested four young members of the Semayawi opposition party [Blue Party} after they were released from court. This happened not once, but three times, despite the fact they had already been freed each time by the court. They remain in jail as of today.     read...

June 17, 2015
Our Struggle for Justice, Freedom, Unity and Prosperity for All Will Not End by Killing and Arresting Our Heroes

We in the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia are deeply grieved at the murder of Samuel Aweke Alem, a charismatic and highly popular lawyer who recently ran as a Blue Party (Semayawi Party) candidate for parliament in the May 24, 2015 Ethiopian National Election—an election where the ruling and ethnic apartheid party has claimed all the votes so far. The prevalent belief is that he won; but, it is a victory that would never be tolerated or acknowledged by this ethnic apartheid regime of the TPLF/EPRDF. Now, his refusal to give up the struggle for freedom and justice was also seen as a threat.

Two weeks before his death on June 3, 2015 he wrote the following on Facebook: “Any price I am going to pay is for my country and for freedom. I may be imprisoned, but my conscience will still be free. If they murder me I am passing this torch of struggle. Especially I am appealing to you – my contemporaries of this generation”.   read...

May 27, 2015
NEW OPPORTUNITIES POST-FAKE-ELECTION: IT IS THE PEOPLES’ TIME NOW

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The fake and unlawful election of May 24, 2015 is over in Ethiopia. No one is surprised with the sweeping victory of the incumbent regime, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF), over the stifled opposition. Over the last five years, the EPRDF, which is mainly controlled by one ethnic group making up 6% of the population, the Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Front (TPLF), has focused enormous efforts on closing all political space to any contenders. They are now claiming themselves the winners—by a landslide. Although the final “count” is not yet in; some early reports indicate the EPRDF has “won” every seat in parliament—a 100% victory. This highly unpopular regime has somehow managed to improve upon the results of 2010 when they received a mere 99.6% of the vote. What is surprising is their apparent lack of shame and embarrassment when everyone knows the results are blatantly false.     read...

May 12, 2015
AUTHORITARIAN ETHIOPIAN REGIME CADRES FORCE PEOPLE TO CAST OPEN BALLOTS IN ADVANCE OF ELECTION

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Washington, DC. The Ethiopian National Election is on May 24, 2015, less than two weeks away, but the authoritarian regime, under the control of the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) for the last 23 years, appears to be panicking. The political mood of the Ethiopian people is feistier than ever as they see the election to be a totally controlled process, hardly worthy of their participation. Yet, even despite the scrupulous closing down of all political space, the EPRDF is obviously still scared and has come up with a new plan to further protect themselves from the vote of the people, even while pretending otherwise. 

Regime cadres, all on salary, have been organized so that one cadre is responsible to ensure five people fall into line with the goals of the EPRDF. These cadres have been going to the homes of those people assigned to them with election ballots for the May 24th election. The people are told they must immediately cast their ballots and to stay home on Election Day. Reportedly, the ballots are not secret, but are collected by these agents who also write down their names. Anyone who refuses to cast their ballot or who tries to vote on Election Day will face serious consequences like the loss of jobs, opportunities, or other benefits. Some are threatened with punitive actions, which in this country might mean arrests, beatings or other abuse. With the full authority of the regime behind them, they are able to harass and intimidate these persons in order to achieve full compliance.    read...

April 25, 2015
A LETTER FROM OBANG METHO TO ETHIOPIAN RELIGIOUS LEADERS: AN URGENT CALL FOR PRAYER FOR OUR NATION

Dear Ethiopian religious leaders and members of the Ethiopian faith community,

I am coming to you as a human being and also as a believer in Jesus Christ. My appeal is not only for fellow Christians, even though it is a call for Christians to pray, but I also want it to apply to others for when we truly seek God, he will reward us.

Some religious leaders and people of faith will come as Christian believers, others as Muslims, still others as Jews. We may differ in our beliefs, but we share the truth that there is one God who created all human beings in His image. He gave each of us value and the free will to choose to love him with all our hearts, souls and strength. God told the people of Israel through Moses the following before entering the Promised Land. It gave the people a choice and we are faced with a similar choice today. He said:  “… I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live and that you may love the LORD your God, listen to his voice, and hold fast to him. ” (Deuteronomy 30:19b-20a)    read...

April 21, 2015
“ETHIOPIA, A COUNTRY WITHOUT A GOVERNMENT”  THE PROTEST SLOGAN SHOUTED OUT BY ETHIOPIAN MOURNERS IN THE STREETS OF ADDIS ABABA TODAY FOLLOWING THE MASSACRE OF ETHIOPIAN CHRISTIANS IN LIBYA

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On Sunday, April 19th, the Islamic State (IS) released a video depicting the gruesome killing of Ethiopian Christians in Libya. It is said to have been carried out at two separate locations; one where they were shot in the head and the other where they were decapitated. It has been upsetting for anyone to see; however, it has been especially heart-rending to the people of Ethiopia. 

Mr. Obang Metho, the Executive Director of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia, is calling on Ethiopians from every ethnicity, religion, region and political viewpoint to come together in unity to mourn for these Ethiopians who have lost their lives and to find ways to protect the many others who remain in dangerous situations.    read...

April 4, 2015
SURPRISE RESULTS IN NIGERIAN ELECTIONS UNPRECEDENTED IN AFRICA AS PRESIDENT CONCEDES VICTORY TO OPPOSITION

Ethiopians, along with Africans all over the continent, are stunned! Out of 55 countries in Africa over the last 65 years, only five incumbent African leaders, according to one report, have ever conceded victory to a political opponent. That is why it took so many people by surprise this past week when Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), who has been in office since 2010, conceded the 2015 election to the former Army General Mohammadu Buhari of the All Progressives Congress.

We in the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia both salute and congratulate President Goodluck Jonathan for making a decision unique to the continent of Africa. In fact, the election board had not even announced the results when President Jonathan called President-elect Buhari to graciously concede his own defeat and to congratulate Buhari on his win.    read...

March 24, 2015
SECRETIVE AGREEMENT ON THE NILE BY POLITICALLY REPRESSIVE ETHIOPIAN REGIME ANOTHER TPLF GIVEAWAY TO WHAT BELONGS TO ETHIOPIANS!

(Geneva, Switzerland)-- On March 23, 2015, a Tripartite Summit on the Nile was held in Khartoum, Sudan, hosted by Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir, and attended by Egyptian President Abdul Fattah Sisi, and Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn. As an outcome of that meeting, these three leaders will sign an agreement of Declaration of Principles on the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam, which will later be presented to the Ethiopian Parliament for final approval. This agreement will include an impact study on the effects of the Ethiopian Renaissance Dam—an electrical project located on the Blue Nile in Ethiopia—on countries downstream. The results of this study will further shape the outcome. 

Ethiopians have reason to worry, as the details are vague and open to interpretation. What will be signed away before really knowing the impact? What will be the potential affect on generations to come, not only of Ethiopians, but also South Sudanese, Sudanese, and Egyptians? Other people in riparian countries upstream from the north-flowing river could also end up being involved in some of the impacts.   read...

March 18, 2015
An Open Letter to U.S. Congressman Chris Smith, Members of the Subcommittee on Africa, Global Health, Global Human Rights and Members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs

Thank you for the work you have done in standing up for human rights and the well being of the people of Africa. This hearing tomorrow March 18, 2015 on the subject: U.S. Election Support in Africa is another example of your ongoing interest in seeking information from experts regarding Africa to make it a more just environment for its people. Over the last ten years, I have had the privilege of working with you, your office and other members of the Subcommittee on Africa on behalf of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia as its executive director. 

As an organization, we are very concerned with the current deplorable lack of democratic and political rights across Africa that can create seeds of future instability, violence, and chaos; possibly creating a training ground for terrorist groups desperate for change or simply angry. In the year 2015, more than 27 elections will be held in African countries; yet, attributes of healthy democracies—free and fair elections, political space, freedom of speech, freedom of assembly, freedom of association, the rule of law, an independent judiciary, transparency, accountability and democratic institutions—are all in serious decline in many of these same countries. This is an important fact to be considered by legislators in making decisions regarding U.S. involvement in these elections.  read...

March 1, 2015
WHAT WENT WRONG THAT WE OVERCAME A FOREIGN OPPRESSOR BUT HAVE REPEATEDLY FAILED TO OVERCOME INTERNAL OPPRESSION?

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What went wrong that we overcame a foreign oppressor but have repeatedly failed to overcome internal oppression? Later on we will talk about what we can do to achieve a more lasting victory. As I have previously stated, for Ethiopia to move forward, we must own the truth—which includes not only celebrating the proud moments of our history and learning lessons from it, but also accepting the bad and ugly parts so we might also learn from them. This must start by talking to each other rather than about each other—a way to bring reconciliation that will lead to greater unity.   read....

February 25, 2015
Post ADWA Victory: Can Ethiopians Own Their Part in Decolonizing Today's Ethiopia - Starting with Ethnic Apartheid?

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Ethiopia’s many committed journalists have been blocked at every turn from the free expression of ideas and information. The ethnic apartheid regime of the TPLF/EPRDF sees them as a serious threat to their control of Ethiopia. As a result, they end up jailed or fleeing the country for safety. Of those Ethiopians who flee the country, some continue to fulfill their calling even with few resources, like you. All of us should appreciate and support these people who are not only focusing on their own personal lives, but who are trying to do something of service to the people.  read....

February 10, 2015
Thank You Letter to the Washington Post

Dear Editorial Board of the Washington Post,
We in the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia want to express our appreciation to the Editorial Board at the Washington Post for your excellent article entitled, “Ethiopia’s stifled press,” appearing on February 9, 2015. 

Ethiopi a is often overlooked by the mainstream United States and Western media. When it is covered, many seem to be blinded by the Ethiopian government’s political spinning and its creative use and/or fabrication of facts, indexes and indicators, a frustration among Ethiopians that makes your article all the more gratifying. In fact, we have already heard from many Ethiopians in Washington DC who are very encouraged by your forthright telling of the truth about Ethiopia, especially in light of the fact that the Washington Post is an important newspaper read by many policy makers. On behalf of the Ethiopian people whose voices have been silenced, we heartily thank you!    read...

An Open Letter to President Barack Obama, The alarming political conditions in Ethiopia that may threaten the future security and stability of this strategic country in the Horn of Africa

I am writing this to you on behalf of the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia to alert you to the alarming political conditions in Ethiopia that may threaten the future security and stability of this strategic country in the Horn of Africa. Current United States policies that strongly support the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) are being abused by this regime to undermine the democratic aspirations of the Ethiopian people. As the EPRDF intensifies the crack down on the political and human rights of the people there is fear that some event may ignite the simmering tensions, causing them to explode into violence, killing and chaos.     read...

Video Release: part two of the recent SMNE FORUM SERIES II in Minnesota
 View video

January 16, 2015
Should Ethiopians Boycott the Upcoming Fake Election in Ethiopia? More Crackdowns Lock Out Opposition Groups from Political Participation

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The Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia has no choice but to expose the duplicity and repression of choice in the upcoming Ethiopian National Election due to the dictatorial nature of the ethnic apartheid regime of the TPLF/EPRDF that has been in power for the last 24 years. The SMNE is a non-political, non-violent social justice movement that stands for the freedom, rights, and well being of all Ethiopians, regardless of ethnicity, political view, religion, regional background or other differences. We are very concerned about the future of the country.  Read.... (pdf)

Video Release: part one of the recent SMNE FORUM SERIES II in Minnesota
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Diverse Ethiopians in Minnesota find new and promising relationship as they step out of ethnic, religious, gender, and political boxes to embrace each other as valued human beings first.

What does it mean—in real life—to appreciate the common bond of humanity above ethnicity or any other distinctions? If you had attended the recent SMNE Forum in Minnesota on December 6, 2014 that brought diverse Ethiopians together to talk to each other rather than about each other you would have seen it in action. We give thanks to the people in the Twin Cities who have captured this vision and organized this meeting only two weeks after a similar event was held in Washington D.C. on November 15, 2014.

What made it so gratifying was to hear from such diverse Ethiopians—from different ethnicities, religions, regions, genders, backgrounds, and perspectives—as they presented their stories, ideas, and solutions to the problems facing Ethiopians. Speakers were from Oromia, Gambella, the Ogaden, and the Amhara region and included both men and women. Some were of different faiths—either Muslim or Christian. It was encouraging to witness the enthusiastic response of the audience and participants as each presenter spoke about the past, including grievances, as well as of the present and its challenges, and about our shared future. They all soon discovered the many similar commonalities between them.     read... (pdf)


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