June 26, 2012

Opposition Unity in Diversity a must for Ethiopia’s Territorial Integrity

Filed under: Ethiopia — ethiopiantimes @ 7:07 pm

Opposition Unity in Diversity a must for Ethiopia’s Territorial Integrity

Press Release

የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ የጋራ ትግል ሸንጎ (ሸንጎ)
Ethiopian People’s Congress for United Struggle (Congress)

Two decades have passed since TPLF/EPRDF imposed its brazen ethnocentric and repressive regime on our country, Ethiopia. Its large-scale measures of repression and terrorization of the Ethiopian people have continued unabated.
A United Struggle is a Necessity, not an Option!

Over the years, TPLF/EPRDF has shown that it is inherently undemocratic in its governance. It has stifled all political dissent. Prisons and detention centers are overcrowded with actual and perceived opposition leaders and their members, who are persecuted merely for their political beliefs. TPLF/EPRDF has effectively denied the Ethiopian people freedom of expression and press freedom is practically nonexistent; its draconian press, “anti-terrorism”, and other repressive ‘laws’ criminalize any commentary and dissent against the TPLF/EPRDF regime. As such, the regime keeps silencing anyone with differing views. Over the last several years, more journalists have been forced into exile than any other country in the world. Hardly could one find any free press in operation in Ethiopia—be it in print, online or other forms of media.

TPLF/EPRDF continues to hand out large tracts of fertile land to neighboring countries and foreign investors while forcibly uprooting the inhabitants from their own lands. The regime’s self-serving greed has not even spared holy places like the Waldba Monastery whose religious site has just been leased to foreigners. Worse still, the TPLF/EPRDF minority group, which thrives on divide & rule systems, has deliberately created and fomented inter-communal conflicts among people of various ethnic and religious groups. Ethiopian Moslems have also been targets of the regime. It has interfered in the religious leadership of the Moslem community and has arrested the faithful worshipers at the mosque. The need for all Ethiopians to join hands so as to reverse the appalling and critical situation has never been more compelling now than ever before.

The forceful eviction of over 87,000 Amharas from the southern Ethiopia speaks volume of its dangerous ethnic cleansing agenda. As the regime swells its pocket from the plunder of Ethiopia, the cost of living has created misery and destitution for the masses of the land. As the situation gets worse, it is becoming more apparent that there is a burning need for all Ethiopians to join hands together to reverse this appalling trend before it extends to a full blown crisis with unpredictable consequences.

It is upon realizing the dangerous trend and intending consequences stirred by the TPLF/EPRDF’s brutal and dictatorial rule that various Ethiopian opposition groups set out to collectively find solutions towards bringing democratic changes and lasting peace to the suffering of our people. About two years ago, a few prominent Ethiopians started the process by calling on all Ethiopian opposition forces to form an alliance. This was followed by a number of political and civic organizations as well as other prominent Ethiopians joining the alliance-building effort. The initiative made all effort to make the process all inclusive and relied on financial and moral support of many Ethiopians worldwide. Finally, from May 18 to 21, 2012 an all-parties conference attended by several Ethiopian political & civic organizations and renowned individuals was held in Canada’s capital, Ottawa. The participants assessed the prevailing situation of Ethiopia and reflected on the lessons learned from past experiences of alliances and coalitions. The Conference culminated in a unanimous agreement to form an alliance and the
establishment of the Ethiopian People’s Congress for United Struggle (hereinafter “The Congress”).

The Congress stipulated five unifying points, namely, accepting the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ethiopia; respecting the rule of law; accepting a democratic system of governance; believing in the equality of all citizens before the law; and believing in the removal of the dictatorial regime of TPLF/EPRDF and replacing it with a democratic political system accountable to the people.

Further, the Congress approved its bylaws together with its structure and it named its executive leadership and various departments. Unique to this Congress, a Council of Elders was created with a mandate to resolve any issues that may arise among the members of the Congress.

Finally, the Congress extends its open arms for any political and civic groups as well as individuals who share our five cornerstone values to join us in the struggle for a better Ethiopia.

Thank you.
A united struggle to bring about a lasting peace, democratic and just system in Ethiopia


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