III: FUNDAMENTAL BELIEFS AND OBJECTIVES
3.1 POLITICAL ISSUES
MEDHIN's basic principles and objectives
are stated as follows:
3.1.1 Human and Democratic Rights
The government has the prior obligation
of safeguarding, and protecting Citizens' human and democratic rights.
Among these rights are natural rights of individuals that governments
cannot proscribe. Torture, physical and mental abuses are forbidden
and illegal. Imprisonment without charges, search without court warrant,
illegal use of force, and abuse of power are strictly prohibited.
Ethiopia will be a country where an individual's equal rights, freedom,
and dignity will prevail. Freedom of speech, expression, assembly,
and organization will be assured. The government shall have the obligation
of protecting the freedoms and the equality of its citizens in the
eyes of the law. The government will enforce customary as well as
due process of law. The government will play the role of guardian
and servant of the people. UN and OAU. human rights declarations will
have primacy and applicability over other similar laws. MEDHIN will
give special attention to the implementation and priority of these
declarations. MEDHIN believes that without due respect for each individual's
human and democratic rights, the rights of the people at large could
not be considered to have been protected.
3.1.2 Multi-party Democracy
Federal Democratic Ethiopia will be home
of multi-party democracy. The political System will ensure the supremacy
of the Ethiopian people. The people will elect the government after
periodic and open competition among all political parties. Moreover,
the system will allow leading political parties to participate freely
and to build, enhance, and preserve a democratic tradition in the
country. The rights will be protected by law. Since power emanates
from the people, MEDHIN believes that the government must be accountable
to and in the service of the people. Civil servants will be protected
from any form of governmental and political party pressures, and their
rights of freedom and political neutrality will be established by
3.1.3 Justice and Equity
MEDHIN believes in a strong and fair
judicial system. The Ethiopian people, who have long suffered under
tyrannical rulers, will enjoy equal and fair treatment in the face
of the law. The judicial system will be free from government supervision
and influence. Special effort will be made to assure that individuals
will not be illegally arrested, imprisoned, punished, tortured or
their rights violated. MEDHIN will strive to guarantee the supremacy
of the law, and build a country where justice, equality, and freedom
3.1.4 Freedom of the Press
A free and conscientious press acts as
a guarantor of a democratic system. The freedom of the press to present
the truth without fear, and to criticize government actions and the
leadership of the political system will be safeguarded. The press
can expose the government and make it accountable to the public. Moreover,
the existence of a free and active press will help the government
to correct its mistakes on time and serve the public diligently. Therefore,
MEDHIN will assure that the mass media will be free of government
control and influence, and will be given the freedom to be organized
as a true, alert, and dedicated public service.
3.1.5 Equality of Ethnic Groups
Ethiopia is a mosaic of many ethnic groups.
Equality of all ethnic groups will be upheld. Ethnic equality can
be assured only when the culture, language, and identity of each ethnic
group are legally recognized, protected, and allowed to develop and
flourish. Ethnic equality is also assured when each ethnic group is
part of the political process and when a sense of equality is reflected
in the political and economic system. In this respect, the establishment
of self-governing regions within a federal democratic structure will
make a major contribution in advancing the cause of ethnic equality,
and the realization of the principle of the right to self-administration.
Together with political equality, economic equality will be assured
when each autonomous region has control over its own resources. MEDHIN
will give special consideration and priority to the problems of ethnic
3.1.6 Ethiopian Territorial Integrity
The cornerstone of Ethiopia's unity is
the equality of its ethnic groups. A unity based on equality, mutuality,
and commonality of interests will be enduring. The international boundaries
of Ethiopia, its seaports and maritime boundaries will be preserved
and protected. MEDHIN believes that the fragmentation of the country
into ethnic units is not the demand of the people but rather the wish
of the so-called leaders of some political organizations. MEDHIN firmly
believes that a federal democratic system affords a reliable assurance
of Ethiopia's territorial integrity. So long as there is devolution
of power between the central and regional governments and the rights
of the people are protected, the people will make any necessary sacrifice
in the defence of the national unity and territorial integrity of
Ethiopia. It is for these reasons that MEDHIN advocates with a strong
conviction that Ethiopian national unity and territorial integrity
must be preserved.
MEDHIN believes in the basic democratic
ideal of self-determination. This ideal, which is part of the UN Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, is meant for people who suffered under
the yoke of colonial rule. In conflict with the UN basic charter,
which upholds the territorial integrity of its member nations, some
groups conveniently misinterpret the Universal Declaration of Human
Rights to promote the dismemberment of Ethiopia. MEDHIN rejects this
vicious misinterpretation. The UN principle strengthens the call for
the establishment of regional self-governments where the basic human
and democratic rights of the people are protected and their cultural
life enriched. This principle also guarantees a fair share of the
national wealth to all groups and their full participation in the
political process. The basic principle of self-determination should
not by any means be used as an instrument to dismember the country
and endanger the unity of its people.
3.1.8 Working Languages: MEDHIN's language
policy has two parts.
220.127.116.11 National Working Language
The representatives of the national assembly
will choose democratically, based on scientific studies and research,
among the languages of regional groups, one language, which will be
the federal government's official working language and which will
be taught as one subject in the country's schools. That language will
be used, as necessary, as an instructional language.
18.104.22.168 Regional Working Language
The representatives of each region, based
on objective studies and research, will choose one language among
the regional group of languages to be a working language of the regional
government. The language selected will be the instructional medium
for primary and middle schools. Other minority languages and cultures
within the region will be protected and nurtured. The national working
language will be the instrument of communication between the federal
and the regional governments.
3.1.9 Ethiopian Citizenship
All Ethiopians born or residing within
all self-governing regions, or those born abroad to Ethiopian parents
will have Ethiopian citizenship. Every Ethiopian citizen will have
the right as an Ethiopian to live, travel, work, and own property
as well as engage in any lawful activities in any part of the country.
Unless criminally charged, any person can leave and return to the
country at his or her will without a visa. Since citizenship is the
inalienable natural right of every Ethiopian, neither the federal
nor the regional governments have the power to deny this right. Ethiopians
holding citizenship of and living in a foreign country, or children
of Ethiopians born abroad will be entitled to dual citizenship. The
government will assure the protection of their human and democratic
rights. Their rights to participate in the economic, social, and cultural
life of Ethiopia will be protected. Their participation in the political
process will be determined by law.
3.1.I0 Freedom and Equality of Religions
The right to worship or the freedom of
belief will be protected and there will be no suffering, isolation,
pressure or discrimination on anyone based on his or her religious
belief. Since "religion is personal and country is communal"
the government will assume a neutral position and shall treat all
religions on the basis of equality.
3.1.11 Equal Rights For Women
Ethiopian women will have their equal
rights to advance like all men and share the amenities of modern living.
They will hold their rightful place in society without discrimination
or pressure because of their gender.
3.1.12 Reconciliation and Peace
Every effort will be made to solve the
problems and internal conflicts of the country by Peaceful means.
Because the uniting factors of Ethiopian national groups outweigh
their differences, all efforts will be exerted to solve problems through
understanding, accommodation, dialogue, tolerance, and conciliation.
Consultative bodies will be established at the federal and regional
levels to advise on peaceful conflict resolution.
3.1.13 National Defence
A professional national defence force
that Ethiopia's economy can afford will be established. It will be
non-political and will have the capacity to maintain Ethiopia's national
unity and territorial integrity. The defence forces comprising of
the army, the air force, and the navy will be under the control of
the federal government. Efforts will be made to make the composition
of the defence forces reflect the ethnic groups of the country. MEDHIN
shall reorganize the new national defence force by carefully identifying,
recruiting and incorporating from among others, those members of the
now dismantled defence establishment that are competent and committed
to the defence of the country and command the confidence of its people.
3.1.14 Regional Security
The regional government can establish
for maintenance of peace and order of the region, a police and a modest
size territorial security forces required. The forces will be recruited
as much as possible from among all the inhabitants of the region.
3.1.15 Foreign Relations
Ethiopia's foreign policy will be a reflection
of her domestic policy. Her relationship with other governments and
countries will be based on equality, mutual interest, noninterference
in another country's internal affairs and mutual respect. Her tarnished
international image will be improved and her historic place and role
in the international arena, especially in the rest of Africa and the
Third World, will be restored. Ethiopia will have specially close
and constructive relations with her neighbors and promote mutual benefits.
Efforts will be made to join with the people of the surrounding countries
in a march towards peace and development. MEDHIN respects the UN and
O.A.U. charters and supports their application. Ethiopia's foreign
policy will be used as a vehicle to advance her economic, social,
cultural, and technological progress and her overall national interest.
3.2 ECONOMIC AND SOCIAL AFFAIRS
MEDHIN's economic policy is based on
the following indicative guidelines.
3.2.1 The direction of the national economic
growth will be determined by the interaction of supply and demand
mechanisms of the free market place.
3.2.2 Every Ethiopian shall have the
right to employ productive resources and engage in production or exchange,
either as an individual or in partnership. No limitation will be put
on this right. The government will extend supportive measures to facilitate
private economic participation.
3.2.3 The function of government will
be to lay the basic infrastructure and needed social services in accordance
with the development needs in the marketplace. Other than that, government
will not participate directly or in large scale in any economic activity
either as producer or distributor in competition with its citizens.
However, to avoid and discourage market distortions and unfair trade
practices and to strengthen the free market mechanism and benefit
the majority of the people, government will take corrective measures
and play a supportive role.
3.2.4 While protecting the national interest
of the country, foreign investors will be invited to participate in
various economic sectors so that, by making profit for themselves,
they can also benefit the people economically and through the transfer
of technology enhance productivity in Ethiopia. Appropriate incentives
to this end will be extended to foreign investors.
3.2.5 Self-sufficiency In Food
22.214.171.124 The priority of the economic
sector will be to ensure self-sufficiency in food production.
Among the prerequisites to reaching this
objective are: to make the farmer the owner of the farm; to facilitate
a free market where the buyer and the seller set prices without government
intervention; and to assure the free flow of goods - especially food
- from grain surplus areas to grain deficit areas. Since the country
is at the lowest rudiments of development, the government will actively
participate where necessary in the transfer of technology, training
and development of human resources, and counseling services.
126.96.36.199 Large farms and prime lands formerly
owned by the government will be sold to Ethiopians who can productively
manage and operate world-class farms. If necessary, state farms will
be contracted in concessions to foreign investors.
3.2.6;Properties For Sale
Properties under lawful government holdings,
such as factories, transport equipment, and other income generating
assets will be properly appraised and. then transferred to private
investors. To enhance workers' property ownership, some portion of
the industrial shares will be set-aside for workers to purchase. Conditions
will be created whereby banks will extend the necessary credit for
such purposes. The government will take appropriate measures to ensure
occupational health and safety, and workers' wages to be adequate
3.2.7 Other Areas
188.8.131.52 Patents and copyrights will be
protected by law. The government will play a major role in creating
an environment where creative abilities will flourish and help the
country build a strong economy.
184.108.40.206 Areas where the ecosystem (forests,
rivers, soils, etc.) has been upset to crises levels, will be rehabilitated
and protected. Foreign aid and technology will be mobilized to accomplish
3.2.8 Research And Development
The government will utilize new findings
and results of research and scientific endeavors
to promote productivity and advance industrial
and agricultural production, and improve the quality of goods and
services for sale in the world market. Scientific research and study
will play a decisive role in the economic growth and overall development
of the country. The government will give special priority and needed
support for scientific studies and research.
3.2.9 Ownership of Agricultural Land
Agricultural lands will basically be
privately owned and farmed privately, in partnership, or in corporation.
To make agricultural products compete in the world market, the government
will assist in advanced research and expert advice. The land-owning
citizens will be duty bound to farm their plot productively, using
modem and improved means of production.
3.2.10 Urban Lands and Buildings
Any Ethiopian will have the right to
own urban land to build housing for his or her own use or for rental
purposes. He or she has also the right to sell, exchange these properties,
or to use them for any legal purpose.
3.2.11 Other Natural Resources
Other lands with minerals, natural gas,
precious stones and other natural resources are basically common property
of the people. The federal and regional governments in cooperation
with the people may utilize them jointly; and capital expenditures
and other costs will be shared between them. The search for mineral
resources will be given utmost priority in depth and expanse; and
the assistance of foreign investors and their technical expertise
will be extensively used.
3.2.12 Education and Training
Education and training will be given
the highest priority. Ethiopia's development and prosperity depends
on the strength and dedication of the educated and trained citizens.
Ethiopian children will be encouraged by the government and industry
to advance in academic education, especially in mathematics, science,
and technology. MEDHIN will strive to expand educational facilities,
improve their quality and make sure they are accessible to all. Educational
opportunities for advanced studies abroad will be facilitated. Illiteracy
will be eliminated. The government will make efforts to expand professional,
vocational, and graduate schools in the country. Sports will be encouraged
to flourish in schools and expand into every community.
3.2.13 Health Care
Efforts will be made to ensure complete
health care services to the Ethiopian people. The government will
do its utmost to build clinics, hospitals, and other health care services.
The government will strive to make medicine and medical equipment
available, and educate citizens about nutrition and hygiene to increase
their resistance to some common diseases. MEDHIN will take appropriate
measures to ensure a healthy environment for the people and expand
3.2.14;Progress in Art and Literature
Action will be taken to preserve and
develop the music, literature, and songs, etc. of all national groups.
The government will help authors, poets, actors, singers, and other
artists to enrich their profession. Art will be encouraged to expand
and reach the populace. When possible, schools will be used to advance
and expand art and literature. The government will give wide and tangible
assistance in the development of literature, poetry, music, the theater,
other related trades and professions.
Special effort will be exerted to rehabilitate
Ethiopians who, through natural or man-made disaster, were adversely
affected, and forced to abandon their families, homes, and their country
to another land. MEDHIN will design a special program for a normal
and peaceful transition to those affected by war, villagization, drought,
and famine. The transition program will also be extended to those
displaced by the policies of the Workers Party of Ethiopia and EPRDF.
Priority will be given to voluntarily repatriate Ethiopians who live
abroad in poverty and an uncertain future. The assistance of international
donor organizations will be sought in this rehabilitation effort.
3.2.16 Utilizing Expert Services
Experts retired due to age, health or
political friction, and who have important academic and technical
knowledge will be invited and encouraged to contribute to national
reconstruction and development.
3.2.17 Creation of Job Opportunities
The government will continuously try
to increase job creation opportunities in areas of trade, tourism,
agriculture, industry, and in other areas. It will facilitate conditions
for job expansion. Foreign companies will be encouraged to invest
and create job opportunities. Ethiopians who prefer to work abroad
are free to do so. Their remittances will be beneficial to the country
in foreign exchange earnings. Special effort will be made to decrease
unemployment and do away with hunger. To enhance efficiency in the
business sector and open new areas of employment the government will
eliminate all forms of obstacles to the expansion of business.
3.2-18 Development of Workers Skills
To increase efficiency and labor productivity,
the government has the responsibility of training workers and raising
their level of education through vocational and on-the-job training.
Incentives will be introduced to increase healthy competition and
morale among workers. Steps will be taken to assure occupational health
and safety. The right of workers to form new or join existing unions,
and the right to elect and to be elected for union offices is protected
by law. The right of workers, individually or through their organization,
to assemble, bargain, and strike is protected. The laws of the International
Labor Organization will be upheld and workers' rights will be protected.
3.2.19 Encouraging Private Initiative
All Ethiopians can take individual initiatives
and can participate in all sectors of the economy including agriculture,
industry, trade, transport and in prospecting of mineral resources.
They can also participate in social services, education, and health
care fields, such as, clinics, hospitals, pharmacies, and other related
services. Since nationalization is one of the causes that hinders
private initiative, it will be prohibited by law. The state will provide
incentives to enhance private participation in industry. The rise
of a property owning democracy will be enhanced and protected by law.
3.2.20 Right to Bear Arms
Any Ethiopian, unless criminally charged
or mentally incompetent, can own and carry Firearms for self-protection.