Washington Update November 5, 2009

The whole world is now aware of the political situation in Ethiopia because once again the Ethiopian people are staring at a situation of mass starvation.  Famines are not unique to Ethiopia.  All recent ones in the world, like the one in 1984 in Ethiopia, were politically inspired.

Recently the Ethiopian government has come to the table with its political opposition due to International pressure; especially that of the United States.  For this we owe a debt of gratitude to the Ethiopian-American community who have consistently supported the legislation to urge change in Ethiopia.

The legislation that the Congress of the United States has consistently supported over the last few years has helped.  Now we need to redouble our efforts to get across the goal line. Please contact, again!, your Federal elected officials to get this done.

The big news is that the regime has now met with its opposition in the past week in a formal setting in Addis Ababa.  Last week the press was filled with pictures and articles detailing a meeting of Meles Zenawi of EPRDF with Hailu Shawel AEUP, Ayalew Chamesaw and Ledatu Ayalew of EDP.

As we all know the All Ethiopia Unity Party (AEUP) is the only party in Ethiopia with representation in all of the country.  The AEUP in its negotiation remains focused on its eight points demand.  The AEUP after many serious internal discussions has decided to move forward in the election process, however flawed and compromised by the regime,  This is still an ongoing process and the AEUP is committed to achieving its program as highlighted in the eight points.

Please go to the Web site of www.kaeup.com to Read the text of this signed agreement.  Help us keep Meles to his word.

The AEUP is a peaceful organization.  We do not believe that violent confrontation with the regime is in the best interests of the Ethiopian people.  We do believe that negotiations are the best way to help Ethiopia to move forward.  This is a complex process but we do remember that you are the strongest voice in the Diaspora for effective change back in Ethiopia.

What will free and fair elections mean for Ethiopia?

We will have freedom of movement for all people; freedom of  expression for all people – including the opposition. They would then be able to visit the rural areas. They would be able to campaign freely. They could then mobilize the public at large to go to the polling places to vote for the candidates for office that they freely choose.

The people will also have a greater opportunity to select those candidates who best represent them; those who stand for their best interests. Then we will be able to say for the first time that a free democratic Ethiopia has come to exist. This will connect Ethiopia to the world and, once again, become an example for African nations.

To the end international monitors will necessary to ensure equal access to the polls. This will require open access to International Organizations involved with election monitoring and familiar with all the tricks of voting fraud so that past mistakes are not repeated.

Also crucial to free and fair elections and the establishment of a democratic  society is stop current attempts to censor and intimidate the press. A free Press is a precondition to fair elections.

Our goals should include:

  • To seek real Land Reform.
  • To establish a national Health Service for all Ethiopians to especially  focus on HIV/AIDS and malaria.
  • To organize a better educational system for all Ethiopian people particularly the youth.
  • To get the government out of private business.
  • To end, as a matter of policy, the use of ethnic differences to further Secessionist programs.
  • And to secure our borders an establish a safe access’s to the Sea.

Let’s take a ‘wait and see posture’ now.  Remember the eyes of the world are on us and show our determination to better the lives of all Ethiopians.

Mesfin Mekonen


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