FORCE-BASED AND/OR NONVIOLENT MOVEMENT (NM-111)

 

A friend shared the report on statements made by TPC in London representing the front called the EPF. I quote from one paragraph of the report to make a point below.

"At the time of Adwa victory, Ethiopians did not go to beg the assistance of the West. They faced the enemy with whatever resources they had at their disposal, like spears, shields, swords and rudimentary weapons. That should be repeated this time. Like at the time of Adwa, if Ethiopians would manage to tilt the balance of power with their own efforts, the Western superpower would be running after the organization and not the other way round. Until such situation is created, nobody would take the opposition seriously. That was why he had to leave his men behind and travel to Europe to solicit support from Ethiopians. Therefore, Ethiopians should save from their food and support the Ethiopian Patriotic Front if they wanted results sooner than later."

I quoted the above statement to make the point that Emperor Menelik had assembled French made cannons that were much better and fired at longer ranges than those owned by the Italians, and Menelik's soldiers also had hundred of thousands of rifles. When Menelik showed his displeasure at his frontal commander Dejazmatch Mekonnen about issues of the Italian fort near Mekele, Dejazmatch Mekonnen wished to scale the Italian fort and confront the Italians. However, he was withheld from advancing to the fort by the Cannon-master Balamberas Abate Boa Yalew. Balmaberas Abate fired his cannon at the Italian's and his cannon ball went down the mouth of the Italian's cannon at their fort destroying it and killing those around that cannon. Though it was Empress Tayetu's strategy of denying water to the Italian forces at the fort that caused the Italian force to surrender, Ethiopians clearly had better cannons and skilled personnel like Balamberas Abate Boa Yalew who were excellent at using cannons. Balamberas Abate saved the life of Dejazmatch Mekonnen and gained the respect of all. Balamberas Abate was also noted to be a skillful engineer and architect, and some credited him for contributing to the design of Menelik's Aderash at Addis Ababa. Later, the Dejazmatch and the Balamberas became Ras Mekonnen and Ras Abate; and their children, who when in Menelik's palace ate from the same Mesob, became Ras Taferi and Ras Getatchew. Ras Getatchew was killed after the Italian invasion was over, and, reportedly Ras Teferi (Haile Selassie) did not shed a tear. In contrast, Atse Tewodros requested the unearthing of King Haile Melokot (Menelik's dad) in order to ascertain that he was dead, and cried at the sight. Haile Melkot died before Tewodros would engage him in a battle that he came to Shewa for. Don't I rumble!


The main point though is that all must learn from Menelik, from that genius of a leader who was more armed than many might have been led to believe. Particularly in this season of the Adwa Victory, as Menelik's aura shines over Ethiopia, Ethiopians must learn more about him and from him.

In so far as the current conditions of Ethiopia are concerned, I had recently expressed my views as follows.

"All of these atrocities committed against non-Tigrey Ethiopians indicate that the conditions in Ethiopia are absolutely ripe for armed struggle against the TPLF/EPRDF. Some would argue that an armed struggle is inevitable. There are many, however, that still yearn for a nonviolent struggle against Tyrant Meles and his TPLF/EPRDF." [1]


It is the nonviolent movement that has isolated Mr. Meles Zenawe and has exposed his destructive policies and actions. Mr. Meles is unable to handle a nonviolent movement. He prefers to identify any opposition to his policies and method of ethnic-centered governance as treason and to pursue it by force or by imprisonment with or without the use of his kangaroo courts.  He very much would love to confront armed opponents, as he knows that he is well armed from the generous military aid that he had received from the United States of America and Great Britain over the last decade.  He is armed to the teeth and he has thousands of informers who spy over the people.

The opposition has its work cut out for it.  It should clearly explain what it opposes and how to go about attaining its goals. Different opposition parties have different agendas. The Kinijit is a party that works for that attainment of one-person-one-vote based democracy and is opposed to ethnic-centered governance and ethnic-based regionalism. [2,3] A one-man-one-vote democracy that is opposed to ethnic-centered governance and regionalism could be attained in several ways that include the following considerations.

 

I)          Had there been a well-organized military force that would confront the TPLF/EPRDF there would have been no need for a nonviolent movement. A parliament in a country that implements the Eight-Point Principles enunciated by Kinijit [4] would help move the country in a democratic and economically viable way.

II)      If Mr. Meles Zenawe would respect the votes of Ethiopians that were cast by nonviolent means and he would accept the fact that Ethiopians have nonviolently empowered the opposition party  an armed struggle would have no appeal.

III)   Mr. Meles is a well-armed tyrant that would not budge to weak forms of either nonviolent movement or armed struggle or both. Only strong nonviolent movement and or strong armed-struggle would bring about change.

The question becomes one of finding out how Ethiopians would liberate themselves from a tyrant that the West supports?  Suggested modes of struggle would include the following.

 

A) Respect the right of Ethiopians to struggle for the liberation of their country by any means they deem necessary.

B) The nonviolent movement should have nothing to hide from friends and foe. It has the majority of Ethiopians supporting it. Its purposes are clear and its goals knowable to all.  In order to attain its goals and objectives the nonviolent movement should be strengthened by means of implementing the following strategies and tactics.

1)        Organize a task force that would coordinate civil disobedience activities in different parts of the country at the same or different times. These activities should incorporate what the Kinijit leadership had proclaimed before they were placed under arrest by the tyrannical regime. It also must be clear to all that whether or not such activities are taken the regime will imprison, kill, and maim any and all persons its informs assume are opposed to their governance. However, a well-functioning task force that implements civil disobedience should cause the tyrant to change his ways and listen to the voices of the people.

2)        Call on the National army to join with the people and not to continue to be a tool of tyrant Meles.

3)        Check assumptions about the West and pursue tactics, short and long range ones that will cause it to side with the people of Ethiopia.  The nonviolent movement has already taken steps that has caused the European Union to begin to side with the Ethiopian people.  a) The effort of causing the EU to side with the people of Ethiopia should not slacken as the EU could be misrepresented by some of its executives that would help the tyrant. b) More effort should be expended and data should be presented to the British Prime Minister so that he would not continue on his mistaken assumption that Mr. Meles is a “progressive leader.” Prime Minister Blair should be encouraged to side with the people of Ethiopia by opposing tyrant Meles. c) Continued effort must be expended to enlist as many USA congressmen and women and senators to side with the people of Ethiopia and to oppose the tyrannical regime. Continued effort should be placed to enlisting the support of Civil Rights organizations and organizers in the USA.  The effort should be to pass policies that are beneficial to the cause of Ethiopians.

4)        Appeals should be made and relations established with the governments of the Sudan, Yemen and other countries of the Arabian Peninsula to cause them to side with the people of Ethiopia and against tyrant Meles.  Historical ties with the peoples from the Sudan across Ethiopia to the Arabian Peninsula should be tapped to obtain support, monetary and other materials, to help the cause of the Ethiopian people.

5)        Fraternal relations, peaceful coexistence, and bilateral and multilateral aid to help people in need should be a foreign policy objective that the nonviolent Party of Ethiopia espouses and would make known.

We yearn for a nonviolent movement because we prefer to see Ethiopia choose its leaders by the secrete ballot instead of by the bullet. We feel it deep in our hearts that Ethiopia has earned the right for its leaders to rise to power without committing murder. As the noted Ethiopian civil rights leader Professor Mesfin Wolde Mariam told me in July 2005 while in Atlanta, the nonviolent movement is a good cause to struggle for, though he has his fears that it might not succeed immediately. We want an Ethiopia where its children will work for their progress and the good of the nation, and all would have the right to reach their goals to their fullest potentials irrespective of the language group they might belong to. We want this right to be established by a credible and nonviolent means. It is unfortunate that Mr. Meles Zenawe does not grasp what is happening around him. In reality the nonviolent movement has isolated him and has placed him on a platter that shows his destructive policies and actions. Onward with the nonviolent movement!

 References

1- http://aboutethiopia.com/c2-viceroy.htm

2- http://www.kinijit.org/static/KINIJIT-MANIFESTO-English-ver-1.0.pdf

3- http://kinijit.org/content.asp?ContentId=1207

4-http://kinijit.org/content.asp?contentid=1079

 

HG 2/25/06