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Democracy and unity for the interest of our people

Ethioobserver editorial.

For all practical purposes, what Tigrai needs now than ever before is unity, peace, democracy and development. As has been said and preached for decades over and over again, Tigray’s ardent enemy is political intolerance for opposing views, monopoly of power, corruption, nepotism, backward mentality and transparency. TPLF leadership should contribute tangible results, rather than suffocating the nation with fear and luck of accountability according to the needs of the people it serves. What is required for TPLF old guards and their foot soldiers is to undergo soul cleansing from its rigorous mistakes and work for the benefit of the society. TPLF cannot lead for long unless the public is behind it and anger among the population is boiling, which might soon burst out with no turning point. What is at stake at this moment is our own survival as a pride nation and people.

We are more likely to face the stark choice either using brute force as a method of harassing or fulfilling the fundamental rights of our citizens as enshrined in the Ethiopian Constitution. Peace whether now or in the future is closely related to all democratic ideals and moral values: human rights, freedom, democracy and alleviation of the people from poverty and backwardness. If we are to avert future problems, we must know that we will be able to work with an institutionalized system that helps us maintain our life on equal opportunities and responsibilities. The most crucial issue in Tigrai at this moment is the lack of freedom of rights with tight control of the press and absence of any public forums for discussing problems freely or have any opposing views against the TPLF.

What is a sad saga is that many of Tigrean websites, which claim they stand up for democratic values like Aiga, Digital, the recent diaspora multimedia TMH and UTNA have been quiet not to cover the incidents in Quiha and other Enderta’s legitimate demand of land issue that resulted in the torment and assault of people. It is abundantly clear that their loyalty is not serving the people but those in power as intimately connected mouthpieces to disguise the truth and manifest falsehood. Instead of revealing and uncovering the injustice committed against our brothers/sisters, most of them in the name of unity are hiding the cruel nature of the system. Freedom with the right to demonstrate, express and write are inalienable in any society be it the west or east or south or north and without exception of the human race.

Due to the lack of basic rights and abuse, many of our citizens are unfortunately without any democratic rights as adopted by the UN declaration of human rights for more than seven decades. It is unfortunate to see that those courageous patriotic Tigreans, who are at the helm of protecting the rights and woes of our people are being subjected to physical harm and imprisonment while criminals of the system are set free to continue with their harassment and intimidation. All Tegarus whether in Ethiopia or diaspora must be very active in protecting the fundamental rights of our people, although we know that we have both immediate and future challenges in confronting issues within Ethiopia.

We urge the regional state to release immediately those who are detained and officially take responsibility and bring those thugs who are behind this atrocity to justice. Respect for justice must be fully implemented without any delay. The people whether in Shire, Raya or moreover in Enderta deserve justice, where their lands are confiscated to the lowest bid by the state at 2.30 birr per square meter, while the same state sells them at more than 2000 times to others. Dislocation in the name of urbanization without fair compensation has to be stopped. People who have throughout centuries lived and nourished from their own land as the way of life should not be snatched off their property by a dubious and insidious organ, which have not shown any kind of accountability to the people, it says to represent. Nebiyou Sehul Michael, Tsigabu Equiba and their friends were brutally attacked during a broad daylight, just because they expressed their views on dislocation of the peasants and self rule in a meeting with Getachew Reda and in Awramba times. As concerned citizens they dared to protect the interests of the people, the land-grab in Enderta and as a result leading to wealth and income disparity and unemployment. The way the thugs want to achieve by invoking fear among the people by torturing Nebiyou and his friends cannot deter the people of Tigrai. Rather this desperate act by the regime and its henchmen will lead to strengthened resistance for human rights. Politically motivated bigotry and hate directed at a particular section of the population could easily be a recipe for a nightmarish bloodbath.

 It is Ethioobserver editor’s hope that the action of these activists and others, which will proactively empower the younger and future generation to take control of the statehood. This is a time of great anxiety and dangerous condition for all Tigreans. We are surrounded by people with lust for revenge and hostile attitudes, although the Tigrean people paid with huge sacrifices to get rid of the dictatorial fascist derg and other oppressors. We should be careful when we choose our words and not start accusing each other for being “banda” or “enemy” or against “unity”, when in real terms we are using these same terms to seed the weeds of disunity. Wouldn’t be enough when the enemy or those who would like to wedge a discord among us using terms of “banda” in their televised propaganda by ETV, FB, WTV, ESB and others describing us the mercenaries! No room should be given for those who want to describe us as the enemy both past or present or for the ailing or failing state. Should we use these terminologies among us in these trying times just because one of the old guards used it to portrait others as paid agents? A popular support doesn’t mean carte blanche to harass and intimidate people with legitimate people’s voice. No political party ought to be off limits to constructive criticism.

We know as Tigreans what our rolls in the Ethiopian history were and are and we should entertain any question in a very matured and civilized manner. Knowing the dislocation, killing and appropriation of properties belonging to Tigreans in Ethiopia and our fate as people, we as Tigreans should have the temerity of tolerance to each other. We say no more to the old way of armed struggle where we in unison defeated the derg army. TPLF and other opposition groups should be very keen not to be entrapped by the sneaky and treacherous central politics and instead find a way to guard the interests of the people. We also urge the regional government to set free both those who were currently incarcerated and others so that there we have a regional reconciliation based on solidarity, freedom and interest of our people.  

  April 22,2019

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