Tuesday, November 14

One Year Has Passed...

One year has passed since the mass arrests that announced the boundless vengence of a declining regime:

Ethnic and religious conflicts are on the rise, and both here and abroad the mounting calls for civil violence grow louder still. Free press in this country has been all but slain and official intimidation and harassment have reached unprecedented levels. Though one year has passed, the economy remains lethargic and the social sectors are in lamentable disarray. Preventable humanitarian crises continue to wreak havoc throughout the land, and the international community appears to have abdicated their most worthy responsibilities--successfully duped, distracted and dazzled by the charisma of one of history’s most brutal dictators.

One year has passed, and I awake to find myself living in a society where the words “mass imprisonment”, “torture” and “murder” sprinkle casual conversation, and the sight of camoflauged soldiers--armed with AK-47s and walking four and five abreast--no longer chills the blood.

It is because one year has passed, that I fear the exemplary resilience so often required of people here will slowly allow adaptation, even to such horrors. Are we not all , to varying degress, already learning to gather and refashion our lives from the remmnants of former freedoms—continually surrendering to the endless concessions of our most basic human rights? Are we not all already speaking less…trusting less…hoping less?

I fear, if we have become resigned and disillusioned after only one year, what then should it matter if another passes? And another…?

It is for this reason that now, more than ever, we must each find ways to keep the names and stories of those who have sacrificed so much for Ethiopian life and liberty, alive—on the lips of politicians and members of the international press, in the minds of those in academic circles and lobbyist groups, and in the hearts of concerned citizens all over the globe.

The time for the release of all political prisoners is NOW! View the opposition party as you must, but a single fact remains: This country, in the hands of the EPRDF, is racing towards destruction with a suicidal frenzy. The responsibility, therefore, can no longer be passed back and forth--discussed and debated abroad only to be subsequently returned. Democratic dialogue and leadership must be immediately resumed within this society, if there is to be any hope of survival, development and growth!



Anonymous said...

Dear Menghedegna,

Thanks for joining the handful of voices for the voiceless and I'm enjoying the style and content of your blog (thoughtful and non-sensational. A friend sent me the following quotes from ML King's speech and was surprized by the parelels between that speech and the call for civil disobedience announced by CUD last November and the one cotained in the calendar you kindly translated. I pasting the text and links below. I thought it might interest you and your readers.

se fuerte!


"I've Been to the Mountaintop"
Martin Luther King Jr.

"When the slaves get together, that's the beginning of getting out of slavery. Now let us maintain unity.

Secondly, let us keep the issues where they are. The issue is injustice. The issue is the refusal ... to be fair and honest."
All we say to is, "Be true to what you said on paper."

"We are asking you tonight, to go out and tell your neighbors not to buy Coca-Cola in Memphis. Go by and tell them not to buy Sealtest milk. Tell them not to buy …Wonder Bread… Hart's bread."

"I call upon you to take your money out of the banks downtown and deposit your money in Tri-State- Bank. We want a "bank-in" movement in Memphis. So go by the savings and loan association...

You have six or seven black insurance companies in the city. Take out your insurance there. We want to have an insurance-in."

"The question is not, "If I stop to help this man in need, what will happen to me?" The question is, "If I do not stop to help, what will happen to them?" That's the question."

"I've seen the Promised Land. I may not get there with you. But I want you to know tonight, that we, as a people, will get to the Promised Land! So I'm happy, tonight. I'm not worried about anything. I'm not fearing any man. My eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord!"

Listen to the speech:


Anonymous said...

hooooo hooooo, Mengedegna, you rock!

Anonymous said...

My hats off to you and all the brave bloggers in Ethiopia for being the voice of the voiceless people in Ethiopia.
With determined and brave individuals like yourself there is no question the days of EPRDF are numbered and we will get to the "Promised Land."

Anonymous said...



"This country, in the hands of the EPRDF, is racing towards destruction with a suicidal frenzy."

Very interesting. This has been in my mind for so long. Vivid expression, and in fact it is nothing but the plain reality here. So we have to do something before it is too late.


Anonymous said...

Hello Mengedegna,

Your essay is on point and a reflection of the views of millions of Ethiopians at home and abroad who are terrorized to utter a word about their situation. Thank you so much for taking your time to commit to doing this on our behalf. We appreciate your work in every way and know that there are so many ferenjis who understand the real problems in Africa outside of the so called western leaders of state who fail to communicate with the people.

Look forward to many more so we prevail even when all of our real journalists are behind bars or in hiding and the government is in control of every communication possible.