I have been closely following the forums and comments on other sites in addition to those received in my inbox. I hesitate to write this, as I wield no moral authority on the subject whatsoever (and will, no doubt, be criticized because I am ferenj). But I will write anyway, as it is a cause of great concern.
The renewed calls for armed struggle and violent liberation are increasingly alarming. I understand, at least to a small degree, the frustration and helplessness felt in the wake of last week’s ruling but nonetheless I simply cannot embrace violence as an acceptable response.
Not yet. And certainly not now.
It seems to me, that violence in the name of ‘liberating our leaders’ in fact dishonors the immense sacrifices they are making at this very moment. Had they found such means acceptable, they would not be in prison today. Simple. They have left nothing unclear in that respect and have insistesd time and time again on the process of peaceful reconciliation and political transition. How then can we ignore this request and demand or commit ourselves to acts of violence in their names?
(Fight if you must, but call it what it is. Say that you are angry and out of patience, but don’t pretend to do it for their sake. And don’t pretend that it is the only option that remains.)
Secondly, despite all the turmoil and devastating loss of life over the past two years in this county, the truth is that all other means have not yet been exhausted. Leadership, commitment, manpower and funds to the degree necessary have been lacking, and thus on-the-ground organization and results. Too few funds have come in to support too few people here and diaspora bickering has served to cripple even the best intentions of those abroad; as a result, more lives have been lost than necessary and little accomplished.
It is unacceptable to resort to violence simply because we have failed (especially in the name of a party whose core principles deplore such course—if so, how can we condemn the EPRDF for the very same violence so many within our ranks are now actively seeking?