Bracing to weather political storms amid hunger

By Robele Ababya / January 26, 2010

This Part II under the title “Bracing to weather political storms amid hunger” is a sequel to my article entitled “Jailed icon Birtukan and brewing political storms amid hunger” that was posted on democratic websites starting from 12 January 2010. I would like to precede it by the following extract from my article written in March 2008 entitled: “The folly of dubbing Ethiopia a ‘black colonizer’”:


“The noble attribute in us of rising in unison against external aggression is a priceless value to keep for ever. It proves that ‘black- colonizer’ Ethiopia is a mirage. Offering ourselves as victims of internal internecine strife instigated by power hungry dictators must end once and for all by demanding peaceful change through the ballot box. We must make up for time lost in forging strong unity in combating horrendous tyranny by singing our own heroes, counting our blessings and respecting ourselves so that others will respect us.”


I reproduced the extract to:

  • reaffirm my faith in the magnificent display of unity Ethiopians had shown at the historic election of 15 May 2005

  • strongly disagree that Ethiopia is not a prison of nationalities as argued by the TPLF Minister of Foreign Affairs in his speech to the UN Assembly. 

  • underline that events have proved the  concern of the late Chief Justice of the US Supreme Court, Earl Warren, to the effect that voter apathy is inimical to the fostering of democracy - and thereby encourage the repeat of overwhelming casting of votes in 2010 as in the historic election of 2005..



In Part I, the article:

  • started with bringing to the attention of readers and the international community that: “The four-year old Halé Mideksa wants her mother to come home each time she visits her Mum in the filthy jail”;

  • reproduced the now infamous words of arrogance: “There will never be an agreement with anybody to release Birtukan. Ever. Full stop. That’s a dead issue.” This is of course not surprising given his usual state of paranoia each time the name Birtukan is mentioned;  

  • dwelt on the well known and documented mantra of heinous crimes of the reprehensible TPLF regime;

  •  underlined the importance of taking part in the coming election with a firm, coordinated and united resolve to vote the brutal regime out of office;

  • reminded readers that there are positive signs in that most Ethiopians are now convinced that they are ruled by a foreign agent and that their characteristic spirit of rising in unison against an invader is emerging; 

  • recalled the historic indomitable gut of Ethiopians of fighting the enemy to the bitter end will gloriously resurface and that it would be the mother of all shame and cowardice to deliver victory to tyrant Meles in May 2010.

Subsequent to the above introductory recapitulation, I know move on to write the second part of my article. As usual I shall use descriptive terms or titles befitting the ruling repressive regime. The despotic rulers use their courts, prisons, media and guns readily to suppress freedom of expression and we democrats fight back with our pen. Therefore, calling dictators by any other names does not change their evil deeds.

Moral victory to Birtukan

Birtukan is an icon of nonviolent struggle for freedom. I, like other millions of her supporters , have  never met her. I am not a member of any party but have not made secret my strong support for UDJP (Andinet) – a unique largest democratic party in Africa led by a woman committed to nonviolence, which is all the more the reason for my unflinching enduring support. The name of the game is fulfilling my civic duty!

Millions of her supporters are equipped with the spirit of the moral victory scored by icon Birtukan in the struggle to weather the political storms of 2010. Nothing can stop or eclipse the moral issue of respect for human rights for which Birtukan is paying a heavy sacrifice on our behalf. She has done absolutely nothing wrong in the eyes of the law to deserve even a warning let alone life imprisonment. She told nothing but the whole truth, in writing for that matter, to the Ethiopian people and the world at large that there was a negotiating process leading to the pardon for her release in 2007. We all know that she and her illustrious colleagues should not have been sent to jail in the first place, for their only crime was winning in the historic election 2005 convincingly.

Meles made a terrible political blunder in shoving Birtukan to jail for the second time without a shred of evidence that she had broken any law. His reckless move has awakened Ethiopians that he is simply bent on hiding truth from the Ethiopian people. His miscalculation is a huge plus for the democratic opposition forces and reason for optimism that his TPLF party will suffer loss.  

Fighting with determination to win at the polls

We already know that the year 2010 is fraught with multiple intrigues and formidable problems. Democratic forces have no choice but face them resolutely and expect to walk through political mine fields that are already in place and expecting more to be laid by the masters of deception in the top echelon of the TPLF regime. So for the sake of restoring the independence of our country and reclaiming our fundamental human rights opposition democratic forces must unite to turn problems into opportunities and deal a heavy blow to the repressive ruling regime.

Given the arrogance of tyrant Meles and his habitual lies and deception democratic forces have no alternative but brace to face the political storms with courage, unity and determination to win.

In the political fight leading to election 2010, the issue of the release of Birtukan and all prisoners of conscience must take center stage. As tyrant Meles once said but did not honor, “democracy is not an option for Ethiopia”. This time around, he should be forced to accept defeat at the ballot box so that he can stop bluffing about entrenching the rule of law and democracy as matter of necessity.

More reason for optimism,

Here below are some reasons for my optimism which I hope my fellow Ethiopians will support:

(1)       Faith in the Ethiopian people that they would turn out in overwhelming numbers to give their verdict at the polls as in the historic election of 15 May 2005...

(2)       The strength of the quest for freedom exemplified by the long ordeal of the Israeli people who, after enduring all forms of abuses and threat of extinction, including surviving the holocaust, have returned to the land of their ancestors where they have formed a modern and democratic Jewish State which is respected by the world.  In fact, owing to their tenacity, fortitude, ingenuity and industriousness, they are so effective in influencing policies of the powerful industrial democratic world in favor of their security and other national interests. They have mastered the art of living as a superpower in an overwhelmingly hostile political environment.

Ethiopia shares some of the ordeals that the Israelis had gone through in that she too lives in a potentially explosive political environment. She had been a victim of repeated foreign aggressions by those seeking to usurp her abundant natural resources including water. Scramble for controlling her strategic position in the Horn of Africa is in full swing.

Therefore the motivation for survival should naturally be strong and signs are that this is indeed the case. We all realize more than any time before that we have waited far too long in restraining the TPLF regime bent on destroying Ethiopia – thanks to emerging credible information about the nature of the reprehensible regime.

(3)       Young Ethiopians are victims of large scale unemployment coupled with low standard of education and training to acquire skills. Their beacon of hope icon Birtukan is a prisoner of conscience languishing in filthy jail. Therefore they will vote in overwhelmingly numbers as well as play active roles in getting out people to vote similarly.

(4)       Those who dubbed Ethiopia as a black colonialist have got it all wrong and they know it too. This will bring back converts to pro-unity camps in droves.

(5)       It is unlikely that vestiges of colonialism will come out openly on the side of the reprehensible regime so unpopular to be considered as a reliable partner on the war on terror. It is most probable that long-term interest of friendship with the Ethiopian people will outweigh short-term political expediency. The deteriorating human rights record putting Ethiopia, Eritrea and the Democratic Republic of Congo as the worst in Africa may restrain direct budget support by donors to the regime.

(6)       The days of Isaias in power are numbered. He is beginning …. Separatist liberation movement to which he had given shelter will surely think of options to leave Asmara or even join with dissident Eritreans to topple him. Poor dictator Isaias is in a nightmare as his buddy tyrant Meles.

(7)       Historical sworn adversaries of Ethiopia like Saudi Arabia, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Pakistan et al have serious internal political problems of their own. This will effectively minimize their ability to destabilize the Horn of Africa Region.     

 (8)      Modern farming by Ethiopian citizens was acclaimed as a spectacular success by the international community before the outbreak of our revolution in 1973. Ceding 64,000 square meters of Ethiopian land secretly to the Sudan and the spate of sales of large chunks of fertile farmlands to unscrupulous foreign ‘investors’ is a hot issue to the advantage of opposition forces. The Ethiopian people will never tolerate this crime by the ruling regime. They will say we have proven expertise in farming; let our own citizens grow food in abundance and export the surplus to markets overseas to earn foreign currency for Ethiopia.  

The next part of this sequel will be examining all conceivable issues to the best of my ability based on information I have so far gathered and then predict three likely outcomes of election 2010.

For now I would like to stop my writing at this point with a promise to esteemed readers that the third and final part will be ready for posting shortly.

The sole intent or purpose of the remaining piece would be focusing on strategy to win by resisting diversions from real issue, blame games or polemics among democrats.


Release Judge Birtukan and all political prisoners in Ethiopia!

The four-year old Halé Mideksa wants her mother to come home!



Robele Ababya