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Humanity before Ethnicity

Urgent appeal to individual Ethiopians and to the leaders of Ethiopian

March 13, 2010

Dear Ethiopians,

This is an urgent appeal to individual Ethiopians and to the leaders of Ethiopian groups who are in a position to mobilize their supporters. Ethiopia is in grave danger! We must do something!

Let us face it, unless something extraordinary happens between now and May 23, 2010, the current brutal repression of any political space in Ethiopia will ensure another five years of TPLF domination! What will be left of Ethiopia then? 

Can “we” create that “extraordinary something” that changes the future of Ethiopia? I am appealing to you as your Ethiopian brother, who like you, is greatly concerned about the well being of all our people. Both individuals and leaders are critical to the success of this effort! 

I am hoping that individuals who are concerned about Ethiopia would organize themselves and others to take action in towns, cities, regions and countries around the world! 

I am also calling on influential leaders of organizations, who represent varying political groups, liberation fronts, resistance movements, ethnic organizations, religious groups, media groups, social justice organizations and others, to act as mobilizers of your membership. If you know of other leaders in similar positions, please pass this on to them or work together with them in this effort. 

Do you agree that it is time for a massive showing of Ethiopian public resistance to the unconstitutional EPRDF regime of Meles Zenawi?

Ethiopia is being sold out from under the feet of the people by a handful of EPRDF elite who stand to make millions or billions from poor Ethiopians whose rights are being repressed all over the country.  

Right now the time is ripe for action! The increasingly shared outrage from Ethiopians has no ethnic, political, regional or religious boundaries. At the same time, there is a gathering momentum of pressure on this regime; fueled by more recent highly damaging reports regarding their repressive and corrupt practices; from the present to its earliest days. These include reports such as:

  • Live Aid and other funds during the 1984-1985 famine being largely diverted for arms and to strengthen the Meles-run TPLF organization, which is still in power
  • The land, mineral and resource-grabbing by foreign investors, enabled by the EPRDF 
  • Genocide Watch’s report of top-level complicity in the Anuak genocide
  • Reports of the use of food aid by the EPRDF to shore up political support
  • The murder, beatings and imprisonment of opposition candidates
  • The jamming of radio stations and nearly complete suppression of the media
  • The inclusion of Ethiopia as one of the worst five nations at risk for money laundering and financing of terrorism (FATF)
  •  The diversion of over 50% of the food aid in Somalia; something certain to implicate the Meles regime  

We must show our strong shared dissent against what is going on; however, one of our problems is that we have no unifying national identity to make this an easy task. This is why I ask leaders of organizations; in particular, to greatly encourage participation of your people to save our nation. You are the infrastructure of the Diaspora in the best position to quickly mobilize the people. 

I propose that on a future Paltalk discussion, that a date be set where many Ethiopians, from all over the world, could make a large impact. This would not be an SMNE event or initiative, but would be a shared effort by all!  

One political observer in the country recently remarked, “The bag being carried on the back of Ethiopians is already soaked with gasoline, only needing a spark from somewhere to ignite it and then it will all be over!” This is a warning to all of us! Meles and his cronies have already started election violence and killing. If this is not stopped, it could erupt into greater violence where we would end up all paying a big price. 

If you and others you know want to prevent Ethiopia from exploding into such violence and chaos that it becomes another Somalia, you need to help! If you want to make sure that Ethiopia is not stolen from Ethiopians and sold to the highest bidder, your voice must be heard!

Leaders, please take the initiative on this to the best of your ability, but then, I appeal to those in your groups to listen if you believe the advice and direction is right and good! Someone recently said, “Ethiopia has shepherds, but no sheep willing to follow.” Why? Is it a problem of the sheep, the shepherds or both? Whatever it is, it is time to work towards our shared interests and it will require sacrificing for the greater good of all.

For individuals, I encourage you to even gather 10, 20 or 50 people to rally, protest, write letters or make a difference in some other way wherever you are. We must not be silent or blind sheep, being forcibly led without resistance to our joint destruction by the unelected future leaders of Ethiopia!  

If individuals and leaders from diverse groups could demonstrate such cooperation during the next few months leading up to the May 23, 2010 election, perhaps we just might create that extraordinary event(s) that changes the predicted outcome of not only the election, but the future of Ethiopia! 

Sincerely yours,

Obang Metho
Executive Director, Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE)
PO Box 50561
Arlington, VA 22205
Email: obang@solidaritymovement.org

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