The Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) is a non-political and non-violent social justice movement of diverse Ethiopians. It is a non-profit organization formed in response to a widespread pattern of gross human rights violations, harsh repression of basic freedoms, systemic injustice, corruption, a lack of good governance and the nearly complete control of most every sector of society by the current Ethiopian government, which is led by the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF).
Disunity among Ethiopians previously undermined the willingness of the Ethiopian people to consolidate their efforts across ethnic, regional and political lines. Understanding this weakness, the current minority government has used divide-and-conquer politics to frustrate any efforts that might lead to solidarity among dissatisfied groups. In this way, the EPRDF has maintained dominance over the majority. As a result, the country has not experienced broad-based, positive change.
A healthy and humane society is a cornerstone of a new Ethiopia. This movement to create such a society is not a political movement. It is, instead, a movement of ideas. It is not a movement to fight for power and control in the country. Rather, it is a movement to encourage Ethiopians to accept, value and respect one another. It is a movement mirroring the truth that people should be granted their God-given rights instead of being robbed of them .
When all Ethiopians are granted their God-given rights, we can have a healthy society. Once we have a healthy society, we will be more able to make those running the government accountable for shaping a healthy government. This is where this movement differs from any political movement, for it is a knowledge-based, values-based, bottom-up movement of educating, inspiring and empowering the people to become a society of people who live out freeing principles on a daily basis.
The SMNE was formed in 2008 in order to initiate positive change. To accomplish this, it will facilitate genuine dialogue and engagement between previously alienated groups. In addition, the SMNE will empower and mobilize such groups to better work together around shared values of truth, freedom, justice, equality and civility in their efforts to bring sustainable freedom, justice and peace to Ethiopia and to the Horn of Africa. It is our hope that reconciliation among all Ethiopians will result.