[Picture Andinet/UDJ Oslo meeting: Read UDJ Oslo meeting report in PDF]
By Tedla Asfaw – 4 December 2008 — Judge Birtukan Medekisa and Ato Aklu Girgire of Andenet party, at the end of their European tour answered many questions on [ECADF]. For the question of responsibility for the destruction of Kinijit, Judge Birtukan put the blame more on the leadership of Kinijit than the TPLF organized terror that killed and imprisoned its supporters including herself and the other leadership.
It is very hard for those of us out of the country including myself to put such blame on the young leadership of Kinijit,and the popular movement that won the election of May 2005 peacefully as Judge Birtukan did on this interview. We know that this was the condition set by TPLF for the release of herself and the other leaders from jail and guarantee not to go back to jail.
We heard also different arguments from TPLF cadres before that if Kinijit had been allowed to govern; Ethiopia would have been in total anarchy. How comes millions who voted peacefully overwhelmingly for Kinijit will then become ungoverned by the party they chose? We know there were differences between factions of Kinijit, but there was no disagreement on the people’s desire for change. No doubt, Ethiopians would have secured their basic democratic rights to organize and speak and challenge their leaders who got their votes and help them become strong leaders.
If we take Judge Birtukan Medekisa assertions of failed leadership seriously, this leadership is now in three camps including hers. One is led by Eng. Hailu back home, and the one led by Dr. Birhanu is out of the country. It is very hard to prove or disprove Judge Birtukan on who is responsible for destruction of Kinijit among these leaders of Kinijit because our people are not allowed to speak and gather freely. They are living in a huge prison called Ethiopia that includes many mini-prisons where many Ethiopians are still languishing and many entering this jail daily.
The so called rights to open offices by the “oppositions” or allow gatherings in the controlled areas of Ethiopia by TPLF, what Judge Birtukan alluded to using all avenues, “Kedadwene Masfate” is the controlled right that does not allow our people to express freely their mind. That is why our people chose to express their outrage on the Great Run in Addis Ababa last week.
When it comes to war in Somalia, she was soft on TPLF too. She opposes the war, but failed to articulate the consequence of this war for the national integrity of Ethiopia by exasperating the situation in Ogaden. For the question of Ethiopian women suffering in Middle East, her answer was clear that this was not an issue she is currently working on. This was the missing opportunity for her to get huge support from women in the Diaspora even from those who do not support her current engagement with the ruthless regime that declared officially that what Ethiopia needs is Development under TPLF/EPRDF for the next forty years.
Why bother then to have indoor political discussion, what I call “Hotel Democracy” when we all know that such right will cease to exist when you are on public parks and streets? Is that not what happened last weeks to Eng. Hailu led party supporters in Addis streets. We have not heard Judge Birtukan condemning the regime for beating and jailing young people on the broad day light.
Are we going to blame the victims once again?