The news of release of CUD leaders is embraced by most Ethiopians with great sigh of relief and hope; the hope that we can solve our problems our selves using time old instrument “ yikir yibel Le’egziabher” with out disgracing our country and people in front of the very people who tried to deny us our independence in the first place.
What we have learned in the last two years is the west still doesn’t get the psyche of our people, a proud people who do not comprise their integrity even with empty tummy. But how we do our politics has been morbid for some time as evidenced by the turn of events after the 2005 elections; if we have not learned any lessons yet I do not see the reason to have elections next time in the first place. Twenty nine million people went to the polls but a handful of arrogant leaders tried to abolish the infant democracy in its budding. People have been reserved not to criticize the imprisoned leaders due to the fact that they can not defend themselves in the court of public opinion. Now they are out to test the waters, the post election political landscape of the country. All eyes are on them how they go from here on. It is a tall order first to evaluate what went wrong post election before they embark to navigate the contemporary politics of the country. Only pointing fingers at EPRDF for every mistake they made wouldn’t cut it this time. By now I hope every citizen including the politicians realized the damaged done to the country would take some time to repair. We have allowed to be manipulated by our sworn enemies because of our short sightedness, stubbornness and arrogance.
Their release is embraced by majority of Ethiopians regardless of their political affiliation. Surprisingly there are some peoples, same people cried loud for the imprisonment of the leadership , who are now more outraged at the government for pardoning the CUD leaders, reason: the incumbent caught them off guard, and plummeting stocks from “our leaders are in prison” mantra. It is sad to see some of the Diaspora “moderate intellectual critics” of the government are in state of melt down. This author has learned great deal of political, social and legal philosophy from the same intellectual’s writings in different websites but lately they are losing their mind. On a nut shell it looks like they are outraged on the circumstances of their release, but deep down they are smelling the CUD as united front is not gone stay for long with us. Hence the frustration is not for what the incumbent is doing but for what the CUD failed to do. In due time we will see whether behind the bricks of kaliti was a party full of Mandelas ready to take us to the “promised Land” as we were told to believe or was it blessing in disguise, the sins and bickering of the leadership was camouflaged behind the prison ? Time will tell.
It wouldn’t be exaggeration to say the Diaspora politicians particularly the intellectuals
have done more harm than good to the democratization engagement in Ethiopia. One would hoped they would be the voices of reason, moderation and mediation but the reality is otherwise; some times even logic betrays them.
In fact according to the logic of a certain professor, this is the first good news for Somalia in sixteen years, as the same professor believes peoples taller than 6 feet are good leaders…Ayeeee…Aya professor. You don’t have to cross the Atlantic, just swim south from Miami beach to find 6,3” tall man thumbing at the nose of the United states for about half a century .What about Saddam, Mobuto and Idi Amin….god knows ? 7 feet. More over I was shocked to read same professor calling Ethiopians cowards for not stripping bombs to their belt. I have never thought in my wildest dreams the learned intellectuals and professors would be brain washed by Ethiopian review. What a shame!
Out of the latest break through the winner is primarily Ethiopia and the Ethiopian people and secondly the protagonists. Both EPRDF and CUD are still leaking their wounds from the last election. EPRDF didn’t get its returns for trying hard up to the run up of the 2005 election. Infact it received condemnation for that historical election due to what happened in the aftermath .CUD was more interested to paint bad image of EPRDF than to seize the golden opportunity and advance the democratization process one step forward, in the process it risked the existence of the party. One thing is clear CUD has already lost the momentum and luster it enjoyed during the election. The party and its supporters are divided. It is under radar screen like EPRDF by the public, there will not be any free ride any more. CUD and its supporters need to come up with bold initiatives to start the engine of their party and help the country move forward. I hope and pray this time around the brains of the party, the likes of Dr Birhanu Nega and professor Yacob Hailemariam stepped up to the plate and persue the politics of engagement rather than confrontation. This is not the time for the Campaigners; they can wait until the election season.
Though Somber and subdued on his latest interview, there is hope for optimism according to Dr.Birhanu Negga. The difficult task for the released leaders is to assert their authority of their party and to reign in to the unruly Diaspora, who splitted the party in to pieces beyond recognition. The first order of business for the released leaders should be to disband KIC and KIL, pull out from the coalition of violent alliance (AFD), and move a way from hate politics in to constructive opposition and engagement.
The big cloud hanging on the head of CUD is whether the social democrats will win over the ethinicists, but history is against the social democrats because always the radicals take the first move and eliminate the moderates. If the social democrats smells the move of the other side, early exit is the best option for them before the poison of the radicals make them the “insignificant other”, like what happened to Mr. Lidetu Ayalew, they know it very well cause even them their hands are not clean when they cooked Mr. Lidetu.
The EPRDF government should persue to build consensus with the opposition and the Ethiopian people at large with the remaining hot button issue of Article 39 and Ethiopias right to sea access. If there is good will by both sides they can come up with comprise which is palatable to every one. No body believes seriously the last clause in article 39, the right to session is a guarantor of democratic right. Just look to the North, a living and breathing nation which turns it self in to hell. The rights of peoples and nationalities can be protected fully with out the last clause. We are lucky the deadlock of the last election was only about state power; if by chance OLF was one of the protagonists in the last election with sympathetic election observer, could have crowned it self as the winner and declare independence. I couldn’t comprehend the kind of mess we would have found our selves in. As far as Ethiopias right to sea access is concerned, the incumbent is stuck with a loosing argument, every body believes except very few in the leadership of EPRDF,access to sea is not only economical issue but national security and survival issue. To the minimum the incumbent should drop its hostility to good intentioned Ethiopians who believed there is a chance to make a good case according to international law, with out going to war. I can not understand why EPRDF should oppose such endeavors. This issue is not going away any were any time soon infact it will revive its life and will have some legs by none other than the Ex-TPLFites, the likes of Sye Abraha and Gebru Asrat. Even in Tigray the hot bed of EPRDF, it is aloosing argument for the incumbent but can win the hearts and minds if it comes out bravely and declare “hey guys we screwed up”.
As for CUD the recent press release from Addis with out signature of Engineer Hailu Shawel raised more questions than answers and it is compounded by the fact that it is posted only on the KIL web site not in KIC.
When a patient succumbs suddenly the doctor knows about the cause of death most of the time; but will order autopsy of the dead body to confirm exactly what killed the patient? By the same token we know what happened to CUD but waiting for results of the autopsy in the coming weeks.