17 April 2011,
By Yonas from Frankfurt, Germany |
After have thought about it over and over again, I decided to go to the TPLF’s meeting place here in Frankfurt to simply see what is going on and hear what the Woyanes have to say about their so called development strategies. By the time I arrived, I was so impressed by the situation out there as there were many protesting outside screaming out ‘Woyane’ to every person entering the hall and throwing eggs. It was one of the horrible experiences in my life to be yelled at as a ‘woyane’ on my way to enter the meeting hall.
Ethiopians in Germany protesting against TPLF agents
Luckily, I was not hit by any of the eggs flying in the air towards me and the others at the entrance. The ambassador, some ‘Tigrigna’ speaking people and cameramen were standing by the door and they were letting in only those whom they wanted to attend the meeting. I somehow passed through the security and entered the hall. There were about 30 to 40 people in the hall and I looked for a person that I may recognize but I couldn’t see anyone that I know. Then I tired to simply approach those who were standing in small groups and chatting with each other.
To my surprise, all of them were talking to each other in ‘Tigrigna’ and I could find nobody to talk to. That is when I felt as a real stranger and stood alone somewhere in the hall wondering if this is Germany or Mekele. Pictures of the planned Blue Nile bridge were being shown on the big screen but it was then when I got destructed by a lady holding an Ethiopian flag and arguing with some of the ‘woyanes`.
I was very happy to see the first Amharic speaking person in the hall but my happiness didn’t last long as she got into a big fight with some of the ‘woyanes’ and started accusing them of hurting Ethiopia in every way. At that time, I could not stand and watch her fighting alone with all those ‘woyanes’, so I approached her and tried to help. We were slowly circled by the others and one of them asked me saying ‘are you one of us?’ I was kind of surprised by his question and asked him back what he means by the word ‘us’ and whom he and his group represents. He then said ‘of course we are ‘woyanes’ and how about you’. I said to him that I am an Ethiopian but not a ‘woyane’ and that I came to simply hear what they have to say about their development plan and the planned Blue Nile project particularly. At that time, one of them came with a German policeman and some other person pushed me from behind.
I must say, I was so much tempted to push him back and get physical because the situation annoyed me but I did not get the chance to respond in any way as the policeman took me and got me out of the hall. The protesters out there welcomed me with a big applause and I was circled by all of them and started telling them why I got kicked out. I felt like home because there were many around me from different ethnic groups but all standing for Ethiopia and protesting against the ‘woyanes’ as opposed to those in the hall who were only speaking ‘Tigrigna’.
All in all, I have found it ridiculous to organize a meeting for Ethiopia and Ethiopians but letting in only those from the current ethnic group on power. This is very sad for the image of those Tigrigna speaking people like those who were protesting outside of the hall and have a national feeling like any other Ethiopian. And I think it is time for TPLF to think of democratic approach instead as this is not a sustainable way of staying on power and bringing about any real development in the country. Building a bridge can be one of the signs of development in the country but it never does and will replace a political development that the country could achieve through a genuine democracy. TPLF should finally learn to succeed in giving away power for a party elected by the people and for the people. That is when I can say that TPLF has made it to bring about sustainable development in Ethiopia and I hope I will be able to make such a good experience very soon.