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Humanity before Ethnicity

Letter to All Ethiopian Stakeholders

June 14, 2010                                                                                          read in Amharic 

To all Ethiopian Stakeholders;
As we now know, the "election" is over and Meles has claimed a majority victory of an absurd 99.6%. Our country has been divided into pieces threatening the survival of all of us. We must reflect on what has gone wrong without endlessly concentrating on the past for our past grievances, offenses and embittered relationships are no longer sufficient justification to put our future at risk. We must seek healing and resolution, based on our shared humanity, our shared future and our very existence as the people of Ethiopia.

Everyone is now talking about how if we had been working together in greater unity, the government would never have succeeded in maintaining their abuses. Most everyone agrees with the “idea” of unity, but if we are to achieve it, let us now put our words into action!  To begin that process, requires dialogue.  

Therefore, we in the SMNE, acting only as initial facilitators, are proposing that all Ethiopian stakeholders come together for a meeting to explore and reflect how we might build a better future for the country. This would not be a public meeting, but one where leaders of various groups would meet; starting with media including Pal-Talks, political organization, liberation fronts, civic organizations, women and youth associations, religious organizations, Ethiopian elder groups – everyone who is part of the struggle to bring about a freer, more just and more democratic Ethiopia where all citizens have equal rights and a voice.

We suggest that we set aside a time where all of us could join together in one room and talk about how we could collaborate better. As you may agree, most of our time has been wasted attacking and fighting among ourselves in counter-productive ways. Could we agree on some simple rules of conduct that would not sabotage each others’ efforts and even on one or two goals we might share where cooperation might undergird greater prospects of success? 

Our guidelines would be that each representative would maintain their own organizational views and missions; not expecting anyone to change; but instead, giving all of us an opportunity to bring about improved communication, better understanding and a greater willingness for continued dialogue that could lead us to reconciliation. 
In conclusion, we would like the leader(s) or a representative member of your organization to attend this meeting, which will be announced in the future once we all get your responses. If we hear that most of you agree with this idea, we will proceed with detailed planning.

Please kindly react to this request and get back to us in writing by June 30th, 2010. 

On behalf of our people, who are suffering and dying daily, may we come together to help lift this burden from them. May God help us to bring an atmosphere of openness and acceptance of others that will enable us to find new bonds of connection that will lead us to forgiveness, reconciliation and lasting peace; not only in Ethiopia, but to all of us in the Greater Horn of Africa.

Sincerely yours,
Obang Metho;
Executive Director of (SMNE)
PO Box 50561
Arlington, VA 22205
Phone: (202) 725-1616
Email: obang@solidaritymovement.org


Please respond to this request by emailing the Reconciliation Task Force of SMNE at reconciliation@solidaritymovement.org  or by emailing the Director.   

The Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization and donations received are tax-deductible. Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia, P.O. Box 857, Stillwater, MN 55082 – smne@solidaritymovement.org  Website: www.solidaritymovement.org

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