CALL ME BY MY NAME: Solutions with Debteraw, XXVI – This is not for April the Fool! Exclusively for EPRP members and associates — The History of EPRP

Obo Arada Shawl alias Wolde Tewolde — April 1, 2008

Despite many confusions and claims, EPRP’s political history was and is simple and straightforward.

The Issue was clear:


In the South of Ethiopia, it was about Land to the tiller (Me’re’t L’arashu)

In the North of Ethiopia, it was against Reactionary Bureaucracy ((Ishi Nege)

FOREIGN Affaire, it was against Anti-Imperialism both capitalist and socialist Imperialism

The Vision was obvious

One Flag, One Alphabet and many Freedoms (FFF)

The Method was defined

Peace in the North and Democracy in the Center for DEMOCRACIA to prevail everywhere and anywhere. (More on this issue is forthcoming).


The Current Status of EPRP

Some individual people tell me that EPRP’s thrill is gone. I tell them that there was/is no thrills with EPRP. EPRP is about responsibilities with oneself and society. That is the first indication of a responsible party.

EPRP is about responsibility, helpfulness and confidence. When I speak in such a manner, some opponents tell me bluntly that I do not sound as either a member or a supporter of EPRP. In fact, they point out that I sounded like a Republican.

I wish the EPRP (d) understands what Republican means. I wish they could present themselves as Republican or democrat within the party of EPRP.

Inasmuch as EPRP has led as a vanguard party to show all organizations and groups why and how they should struggle, EPRP is still in the forefront of struggle for DEMOCRACIA. The party of EPRP still leads and teaches by example.

EPRP’s opponents whether from domestic or foreign countries have painted the Party for what it is not. The shocking part though is that some veteran leaders accuse of themselves as members of an anti-democratic political organization in Silence for quite a long period of time. This is unheard of in the history of EPRP (there is should not be conspiracy theory within EPRP). Even the Guerrilla fighters of EPLF and TPLF label EPRP as a democratic organization. In their language, the EPRP (Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Party) gives guidance to EPRA (Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Army) and not vice versa as practiced in their own organizations. (See more articles on the relationship between EPRA and EPRP).


Externally, so far, there was no confusion in EPRP’s vision and mission towards the people of Ethiopia as a whole.

Internally though, EPRP has faced with two major conflicts of A, B, and numerous minor conflicts in the letter of C embedded in the letter of S.

A= Anja

B= Bitena

C= this is the third stage. It is about cooperation or Separation. After all C is part of S, which is Secrecy and Conspiracy.

ANJA: This was a faction of a serious nature regarding leadership style and operation. Two decision makers of the party dissented against the majority’s decision of the party and acted wild in decimating the party they have helped to create. In other words, they were found guilty of undemocratic action and by the will of the majority, they were ousted from responsibility (mind you not from power) and by fate they were banished. The case was closed democratically and honorably. This should be Number One Lesson to be emulated by all organizations and parties. It is the legacy of EPRP collective leadership, pure and simple. After all, it was about responsibilities and commitment and not about power. So far, nobody is complaining. I hope it does not crop up in the future.

B’TENA: This was a concept of re-evaluation of EPRP along its lines of struggle after the so-called “Red Terror”. The leaders have assembled for almost three months for re-evaluation of its past and to assess of its members willingness whether to continue the struggle. In the mean time, many of its freedom fighters disbanded not into abyss but into societies. I have witnessed this phenomenon in Dessie, Wollo, in Gonder, Gonder (Begemder) in Addis Ababa, in Kenya and in Washington. This should be Number Two Lesson to be emulated by all organizations and parties. After all, the meeting was long and democratic to consume such a long time. It was obvious that many members and supporters became, for lack of a better word, disfranchised from EPRP. EPRP has always welcomed them despite some disgruntled individuals.

The C groups for lack of name a.k.a Walk away, Teletafi, splinter or any other name attached to them as many of their ideas were contrary to EPRP’s method of struggle, DEMOCRACIA. EPRP was known for its long-term plan and revolutionary struggle and not coup d’etat (Gultcha bi’le’wa’wet Wet’Ayataftim). Every time individuals or groups feel weak, hopeless or even when betrayed, they have been resorting to condemnation of EPRP leadership and against some prominent members. Instead of joining gracefully and honorably or alternatively abandoning EPRP (my friend calls this phenomenon-Parking), some of them became enemies of the party. I believe it may be in the Ethiopian/Eritrean culture of blame, a culture of blame inculcated only in winning. They should be reminded that EPRP accepts the culture of losing. EPRP has liberated the minds of its members to be whatever they want to be but not as an enemy of the party.

All of the splinter groups have the obligation to tell the Party and its collective leadership so as to resolve the issue or the vision peacefully, amicably and democratically. PAD is acrimony for Peace-amicable-democracy.

Sometime back, ASSIMBA Team reminded us of a looming danger of crossing the Rubicon (in their language the Redline).

Now the moves of EPRP (d) seems tantamount to crossing the Redline, setting the stage for deeper involvement in Ethiopia’s ethnic and Eritrea’s language political confusion and crisis.

Leaders of this splinter group do not seem to have long-term strategy for taking their members on more assertive role for change of regime or for the release of DEBTERAW and his comrades.


These days, there is a lot, it seems of collateral damage, between Issayas and Melese (I&M), between Obama and Clinton (O&C) and Hailu and Mesfin (H&M). What is to be said of EPRP? What has happened to the concept of collective leadership? I thought the leadership issue was resolved by the Anja a.k.a the Ha and Le faction, two individuals were responsible and they received their penalty either from the party or from the enemy. It is done and closed.

How about the Bitena? These too have come to pass. From 3-5 individuals have taken the responsibility for encouraging to be disbanded. This has taken place over twenty years ago. I do not understand why people dwell on revenge instead of resolution. Some of us slumbered for a long time and suddenly came to realize that EPRP is still alive. That is a healthy position to be in. But there is a cost to pay, a simple cost called RECOGNITION. Those who continued the struggle in the name of EPRP should be commended and never negated. And in return, those who had continued along the lines of Debteraw have to understand why those who did not continue for various reasons. After all EPRP is about doing the Right Thing and not much about the Wrong Thing. And so I would like to ask why is this current of Duplication or Copy is necessary?

For the sake of clarity let me ask my readers the difference between the following two dual words:

Duplicate vs. Copy

Rabbit vs. Hare


  • Identically copied from an original
  • Existing or growing in two corresponding parts, double
  • Denoting a manner of play in cards in which partnerships or teams play the same deals and compare scores at the end, i.e. Duplicate bridge


    • A reproduction
    • To follow a model or pattern,
    • Imitation

What is the difference between a rabbit and a hare? There are of the same kind with a little physical and social difference that only experts can tell.

What has happened now is unprecedented in the history of EPRP. The only political party that has passed the test of time is EPRP both internally as well as externally. This Party, at no time has seen such an unholy alliance in its name and character. Many have stolen its name, slogan and emblem but never its vision, mission and value. I wish the EPRP (d) could come up with courage, principle and vision instead of story telling and copying materials. (More on this coming)

What is needed now, is about an image or a strategy. Leaders of EPRP should not pay any cost. Dr. Tesfaye Debessai and his followers have paid the cost. Tsegeye Debteraw and his colleagues are still paying. What kind of price should the current leaders pay?

What is needed of them is the following:

  • They should be Fearless leaders i.e. speak the truth (like Hama Tuma)
  • They should follow a timeless principle leaders and (Fassika Bellette)
  • They should be visionary leaders and followers (As Azmatchs & Zematches together)


  • To keep in existence or continue

Preservation, Rehabilitation and Protection of Ethiopia is the name of the game and not revision of EPRP. Call me by my name. What is my name? It is EPRP and not EPRP (d). Let us not confuse our community and societies. One Flag, one Fidel and many Freedoms.

For comments and criticisms

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