As Yogi Berra counseled, “If you come to a fork in the road, take it”.  There is a fork in the road.  One branch leads to disunity as championed by the Woyane and its leader Zenawe and now enjoined by Ato Bulcha Demekssa and his brand of Oromo party and Dr. Beyene Petros and his brand of Hadiya party. Kinijit champions another branch. Take the road of your choice and march along. However, when one finds that one is going down the wrong road, one ought to return.  No useful purpose is achieved by continuing down the wrong road.


The question to ask is whether one needed to be on the road that leads to a fork to begin with? The answer is quite simple. You have been going down that road ever since Zenawe ascended to power. The reality is that the May 2005 election by the dignified people of Ethiopia charted a road for unity by overwhelmingly voting Kinijit to power. Zenawe disrespected the vote of the people and continued going down the wrong road. Hence, none other than the majority of the 26 million Ethiopian voters who went to the voting booths and gave their choices created the fork in the road on May 15, 2005. Zenawe and the Woyane were voted out of office and are marching down the wrong road.  An overwhelming majority voted Kinijit into office.  Though Kinijit is forcibly debarred from taking over the governance, it nonetheless is marching down the right road.  True to form Kinijit extended an alliance with others and recently formed the Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (AFD). Those in the alliance with Kinijit are marching down the right road if all pursued Kinijit’s platform.


What advantage is gained by providing analogies of roads to the functions of political parties that have different political platforms? It makes the analysis simple to grasp.  Otherwise one might say that the ethnic-centered OLF party ought to have been an anathema to Kinijit and vice versa. OLF had its hands dirtied through its participation in processes that resulted in the dismembering of Ethiopia and making it a landlocked country.  It has not recanted its past actions taken against Ethiopia, nor has it recanted its ethnic-centered politics. I suppose that an OLFite could bring comments against Kinijit, though what those might be would escape me.   The enunciated purpose of the alliance is to hold a national conference. However, a meaningful national conference may only be held when an interim government that is respectful of the people of Ethiopia is empowered in Ethiopia. Unless Zenawe cries uncle and surrenders his army to another leader of a transitional government, or he is forcibly ejected by a military coup, the idea of holding a meaningful national conference appears much farther than would be reached by the alliance in the near future.  Then we have these stories of some parties having close ties with Mr. Afeworki, who has liberated himself from Ethiopia and Ethiopianness. One could weave these issues and come up with a scenario that would essentially assert that the alliance of May 22 enacted in The Netherlands is at best one of those annual events in which Ethiopian opposition forces contribute to the alphabet soup by creating another name for their conference, or it may be a ploy designed to weaken kinijit.  Quite opposite to this scenario, another could say that the children of Ethiopia have come together, wart and all, and are attempting to forge a meaningful alliance, and all we need to do is pray to God so that He will give them wisdom and would bless their effort.  The one thing that we can all be sure of is that the formation of the AFD is going to make people say one thing at one time and quite its opposite at another. Such happens when all the facts that led to the formation have not been discussed and argued in public by those who worked hard to get it done. In such a case we should welcome both opposing and supporting views to come to the fore so that they can educate us. As the lady said, “No one knows every thing, but everyone knows something; so make a circle and let every one tell their story.”


It is always good to think outside the box.  Why are western donor countries and their organizations such as the World Bank supporting Zenawe and his governance?  How is it that such organizations find the Zenawe regime to be constructive whereas Ethiopians know him to be destructive? The answer may have to do with the application of the concept of triage. “Triage is a system used by medical or emergency personnel to ration limited medical resources when the number of injured needing care exceeds the resources available to perform care so as to treat the greatest number of patients possible” (en.wikipedia.org).  In a world where the population is expanding, while the amount of natural resources including metals and fossil fuels are scarce, the application of triage would imply that the poor should be denied resources so that the resources might be shared among the well to do. The situation is exacerbated by the fact that China and India are developing and the number of the consumer class in their societies is increasing.  The need for further development by China and India brings a huge strain on the western societies. The question is how western organizations would circumvent the “impending lowering of their standard of living” as resources become scarce.  Some foresee that famine, disease and wars are inevitable products in such an environment.  Zenawe keeps Ethiopia at war and the people impoverished, famished and diseased.  Apparently, his task is constructive as viewed by such organizations as the World Bank and they would provide funds sufficient for Zenawe to suppress the people of Ethiopian, whereas Ethiopians know Zenawe to be destructive and they would work to remove him by forming alliances with any one including the devil if necessary.  In all of these efforts, Kinijit stays on message and remains a party that champions non-violent means of struggle.


The times are tough and the tough go shopping.


Ethiopia shall survive.


HG 5/24/2006