Foreword

The reality in Ethiopia

The future of Ethiopia

 


Part I: FOREWORD

1. THE REALITY IN ETHIOPIA

Ethiopia, a country mentioned in the Bible, the Kur´an, and other religious books, is a country with a history going back to ancient times. Homer, Herodotus, Gibbons and other philosophers and historians have written extensively about Ethiopia. Recent scientific research has revealed that Ethiopia was home to the first homosapien. Ethiopia, one of the earliest countries to preserve its history in written form, is said to be the source of civilization, especially of black civilization.

Thanks to its geographic position, Ethiopia is a multi-ethnic country and a crossroads of several cultures, languages and religions. In full realization that their dreams, desires, hopes, and anxieties are similar and intertwined, the people of Ethiopia have forged a common history and national identity through long-standing cultural and matrimonial bonds.

Unfortunately, Ethiopia has rarely been without disasters, natural as well as man-made, or invasions by enemies from near and far. Due to repeated drought, lack of technology and poor administration, life for the people of Ethiopia has often meant starvation, disease and abject poverty. A country rich in fertile soils and a healthful climate, Ethiopia still has been unable to meet the basic needs of its inhabitants. Ethiopia's immense water resources have not been used for the benefit of its people.

Above all, her rich resources and her strategic geographic location have made Ethiopia a prize coveted by various foreign powers. Ethiopia is a country which has stood alone against greed enemies from near and far who have always sought excuses to meddle in its internal affairs, thus causing turmoil and instability. Defending herself against varied and unceasing attacks, sometimes with patient diplomacy and sometimes with force, Ethiopia has maintained her sovereignty--her proud position as a symbol for the Third World of black independence.

Ethiopia's major problem has been the inability and/or unwillingness of her leaders to translate her ancient history into a modern, reliable and democratic system. Ethiopia's political structure has never been such as to assure peace and stability, nor has it encouraged a culture of democracy. For ages, Ethiopia's people have suffered injustice under arrogant feudal lords, dictators, and demagogues. The authoritarian structure which snatched power from the feudalistic stifled any hopes for political change, denied the people their human rights and terrorized them for 17 years.

Dictator Mengistu Hailemariam's crude political tactics which relied on force rather than negotiation and mediation worsened the prevalent civil strife's instead of quelling them. He failed to provide a leadership that would gain the support of the populace. His rule has been the cause of Ethiopia's disintegration and the ceaseless internecine strife.

Mengistu fought against the people of Ethiopia and private ownership rather than against poverty, disease and ignorance that plagued the country. His purpose was to impose on Ethiopia a Marxist-Leninist ideology rather than to improve life for Ethiopians. By promoting his ideology at the expense of individual liberty, initiative, and creativity, Mengistu weakened the Ethiopian economy.

A maze of new rules and regulations not only lowered but also blocked productivity and the creation of new avenues of development. The failure of the economic policies, particularly that of agriculture under which the people's effort to produce their means of sustenance, is directly attributable to Mengistu's shortsighted policy, which exasperated the disastrous famine and the cruel and forceful dislocation of the people.

Besides Mengistu's regime, there were other groups just as diligently working towards Ethiopia's dismemberment and destruction, namely, the Tigray Peoples Liberation Front TPLF) and the Eritrean Peoples Liberation Front (EPLF). TPLF and EPLF, organized under the auspices of foreign entities who have on occasion themselves attempted to crush Ethiopia, have not only been fighting a proxy war against the country but also have been openly as well as clandestinely propagating ethnic disunity with the purpose of creating unrelenting civil war in the rest of the country.

Since May 1991 when EPLF and TPLF (which uses the name 'EPRDF' as a cover) came to power, they have been cunningly advancing their divisive plot. Eritrea has been allowed to secede and form its own "government." And for the rest of the people of Ethiopia, ethnocentric and divisive plots are being hatched. Religious confrontations are also being encouraged. In order to achieve their grand plot to dismember Ethiopia, they have even redrawn the map of Ethiopia without a mandate from the Ethiopian people. EPLF and EPRDF are doing this not to promote the welfare of the Ethiopian people but to subvert any effort to organize a unified Ethiopian opposition force. Moreover, they are promoting religious conflict and intolerance.

In the name of what it has come to call "democracy," EPRDF is preparing the people of Ethiopia for terrorism, turmoil, and civil war. The country has become a vast prison. Today it has become impossible for the multi-ethnic people to move freely from place to place within the country. Those soldiers and civil servants who have survived vengeful persecution and decimation by the EPLF in the north are being made to suffer starvation and disease in the hands of EPRDF, and their families are left in indescribable deprivation. Thousands are languishing in prisons in the province of Eritrea. Thousands have been massacred as war criminals without even a semblance of justice. Also, other forces opposed to the transitional government have been incarcerated. With the courts and the police having been disbanded, the gun has once again become the agent of justice in Ethiopia. There is no press freedom. The mass media serve only the purposes of EPRDF.

The Tigray Marxist/Leninist League of EPRDF, in collusion with EPLF, is in reality the major agent of the destruction and looting of Ethiopia. EPRDF will continue to cause chaos and turmoil and, unless something is done to stop them, they will stay in power and plunder the country mercilessly. The people of Ethiopia have never faced a crisis of such magnitude since the Fascist invasion.

1.2 THE FUTURE OF ETHIOPIA

The seriousness of the political situation will not allow freedom loving and patriotic Ethiopians to sit as quiet observers. At a time such as this, when even the existence of Ethiopia is in doubt, those citizens and friends of the country who wish to see it unified and democratic should do whatever they can to prevent its total collapse. There is, doubtless, a need for a political structure that would invite and encourage the participation of all Ethiopians to assure equality among the citizens of Ethiopia, safeguard its borders and build a brighter future for the country. It is urgent that a broad-based, multi-ethnic organization be created to face these challenges. This is not a matter to be procrastinated. It is of the utmost priority that a political organization be formed that bring together concerned Ethiopians at home and abroad and that would reflect the wishes and aspirations of the Ethiopian people and earn their respect.

It has become necessary to establish an all-embracing political party to be known as the Ethiopian Medhin Democratic Party (MEDHIN), dedicated to saving the nation by taking on the struggle for a lasting peace, unity, equality, genuine democracy, and economic development. MEDHIN is ready to participate directly in Ethiopian politics by organizing a unified platform for Ethiopians who support the ideals of democracy. MEDHIN is a democratic organization that conducts its political activities openly.

MEDHIN does not advocate privileges for any special or ethnic groups. It seeks to promote the well-being of all Ethiopians, to ensure that their rights are respected and their problems peacefully resolved. It is a party that represents the needs and aspirations of the Ethiopian people. It strongly opposes ethnocentrism, isolationism, arrogance, and racism. It will resolve ethnic problems through discussion, negotiation, and mediation.

MEDHIN believes that the people of Ethiopia, once their basic needs are met and their democratic rights are respected, will prefer to live peacefully with each other rather than engage in internecine conflicts. 'The people of Ethiopia, who are wise, peace loving, patient and courteous, have lived in harmony for centuries. Only demagogues and self-seeking elites and autocrats have created conflicts among the people of Ethiopia. The people have always had a desire for co-existence and lasting progress. The voice of the people, heard loud and clear, calls for mutual understanding, equality and development. MEDHIN shall struggle not only to strengthen the people's desire for peace and prosperity but also to make this desire an enduring reality.

MEDHIN believes that the growth of Ethiopia's various cultures and languages is a gorgeous mosaic of which its people can be proud. MEDHIN, cognizant of the historic, cultural, and linguistic richness of Ethiopia, shall struggle to build the country into a democratic one in which various ethnic groups will be treated equally and their cultures and languages are nurtured, in which autonomous regional administrations will make policies governing their natural resources, in which public officials will be elected to participate in federal and regional governments.

MEDHIN firmly believes that a federal system is the most appropriate form of government, given Ethiopia's current condition. A democratic federal system will serve as a strong buttress for regional administrations and address the issue of nationalities. MEDHIN advocates autonomous regional administrations that will have the power to protect the rights and liberties of their respective residents, to remove barriers to development, to establish lasting and reliable economic, social and cultural institutions. In this system, any Ethiopian's right to travel, live and work or own property in any part of Ethiopia will be protected by the constitution. MEDHIN will do its best to improve the quality of life for all Ethiopians and will pay special attention to the disadvantaged.

MEDHIN seeks to build an Ethiopia free of disease, poverty and misery - an Ethiopia no longer dependent on foreign handouts. MEDHIN envisions an Ethiopia where the people's inventive powers in agriculture, industry and business are nurtured, an Ethiopia in which, educational and health services proliferate, an Ethiopia in which communication, housing, and energy resources, transportation and other infrastructures are developed. Ethiopia's rivers and its virgin soil and its forests, its natural resources will be developed to meet the needs of its citizens. MEDHIN would like to see Ethiopians at home and abroad employ their knowledge, expertise and capital for the development of the mother country. MEDHIN will encourage the farmer, the laborer, the artisan and the professional, all members of the Ethiopian family, to work together toward the development of the country and toward the improvement of the quality of their lives.

MEDHIN will struggle for the development of genuine democracy in Ethiopia. MEDHIN seeks to establish a government that subscribes to the democratic rights of all individuals as envisioned by the charters of the United Nations and the Organization of African Unity. MEDHIN seeks to establish an open government in which the rule of law rather than the law of the ruler prevails, in which there is true justice and equality, and freedom of the press is respected, in which opposition parties freely participate in the political process.

MEDHIN stands for religious equality. It subscribes to the motto that religion is private, while the secular business of the country is a public affair. Ethiopia shall be a country where there will be no religious persecution and individuals shall have the right to worship anywhere and in any manner they wish to.

MEDHIN will make sure that women have the right to participate fully in political, economic, social, and cultural affairs. Children will be cared for in such a manner that, as the future leaders of the country, they will be strong in body, intellect and spirit. Senior citizens, too, will be respectfully and appropriately cared for.

MEDHIN's foreign policy will be based on considerations of Ethiopia's national interests and sovereignty, peace, equality and non-interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Ethiopia will establish mutually beneficial relations with other countries and international organizations. Her relations with her neighbors and other African countries will be afforded special emphasis. Acceleration of economic progress, through the establishment of relations with technologically advanced countries will be one of the priority objectives of MEDHIN.

On the basis of the foregoing beliefs and views, MEDHIN will endeavor to solve Ethiopia's short and long term problems, to bring about a lasting peace and to establish a genuine democracy. The party is determined, with the full and active participation of its members, to promote its policies truthfully and courageously, to ascertain Ethiopian unity and to see to it that the full rights of all Ethiopians are respected.

MEDHIN is confident that when democratic Ethiopians endorse the policies of MEDHIN and begin to participate in its program they will realize their ability to save Ethiopia from turmoil and disintegration and to pull the country out of its economic backwardness. That is why MEDHIN took the decision to coordinate and lead the democratic movement. MEDHIN, therefore, calls on all Ethiopians of goodwill that wish to save Ethiopia and promote its enduring progress to directly support its policies and participate in its program by joining the Ethiopian MEDHIN Democratic Party.

save Ethiopia and promote its enduring progress by supporting the policies, participating in its program and most importantly by joining the

Ethiopian Medhin Democratic Party (MEDHIN)