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
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
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
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
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.