We in the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) are shocked to hear of the death of Yenesew Gebre, a 29-nine year old Ethiopian teacher from southwest Ethiopia who took his own life this week when he set himself on fire in the town of Dawro, Waka, Southern Ethiopia, after confronting government officials at a public meeting. It gives heartbreaking testimony to the unbearable pain he and others have suffered under the brutal and oppressive rule of the Meles Zenawi-controlled EPRDF regime.
We in the SMNE strongly believe every life is a God-given gift and one life lost is one too many. As a non-violent social justice movement which stands for upholding the human and civil rights of all people—regardless of ethnicity or other differences—when one Ethiopian is hurt, we are all hurt. Mr. Yenesew Gebre is not just some unknown Ethiopian; he is one of us and has a name. He is the son, brother, uncle, best friend, teacher or valued colleague of others who also have names. We are sure his absence in this world will be deeply grieved by all of them and our thoughts and prayers are with them at this time. He is part of our greater Ethiopian family and together, we mourn the loss of his life. He is one of the many Ethiopians who has been deprived of his life.
Life for the majority of Ethiopians has become a boiling pot of desperation, leading people—especially the young—to take desperate steps that under a just and caring government would never even be considered. A government is supposed to enhance the well being of the people, but in Ethiopia, it is the opposite. The Meles regime’s propaganda machine brags that the state of the economy is improving when the inflation rate has been exceeding 40%. They use democratic rhetoric while at the same time anyone who disagrees with them is considered a terrorist or loses his or her job.
The recent 2011 Legatum Index of Prosperity[i] places Ethiopia 108th on the list of 110 countries studied throughout the world regarding the level of well being and prosperity. In terms of personal freedom, Ethiopia comes in dead last and as these pressures build up, this country is on the verge of explosion. We hope Ethiopia’s peace-loving people will prepare so that when it explodes, chaos does not result and along with it, the loss of more Ethiopian lives.
The tragedies that surround the daily lives of Ethiopians have become so routine and so strongly associated with Ethiopia that many have become hardened to the toll it takes on individual human beings. They give up any hope for change that seems impossible to be achieved in such a country; however, they are wrong. The change required to improve Ethiopia can and must be done by Ethiopians as they demand their God-given rights. Outsiders cannot do it. They cannot beg or wish for it to be delivered to them like food aid from some other country. If we want to prevent these desperate, but real images of Ethiopia from being passed on to the next generation as their reality, we Ethiopians must realize that it is us who must demand this change.
Please see the attachment or the link www.solidaritymovement.org for the entire Press Releases:
I am appealing to each of you to forward it to all your friends. If you do, you will not just be giving a voice to our beautiful people, but you would be doing justice. Knowing the truth is overcoming the first obstacle to freedom!
Thanks so much for your never-ending support. Don’t give up. Keep your focus on the bigger picture and reach out to others and listen! Care about those who are suffering. Think about our family of Ethiopians and humanity throughout the world—they are YOU! There is no “us” or “them.” This is at the heart of the SMNE.
May Your Life Be Filled With Blessings!