January 2006 weekend. Ethiopia opposition conferences in Greater Washington, DC.

I was not invited to the Hebret meeting while I had the privilege of witnessing the North American Support Group (NASG) of Kinijit Leadership Conference. I post here what I abstracted from Debteraw website regarding the Hebret Conference.  However, I provide my own report on the NASG-Kinijit conference.

Hebret (UEDF) Congress : January 13-16 Maryland
In its second emergency conference held between 13 - 16 January, 2006 in Maryland, USA, the UEDF Council has elected new officials. The newly elected officials of the UEDF are: 

Ato Fasika  Belette - Charmin
Lt. Ayalsew Dessie - Vice chairman
Ato Aregawi Berhe  - Vice chairman
Ato Derejie Kebede - Secretary.
Ato Belay Mekonnen  -Vice Secretary.

The new officers replace Drs Beyene Petros and Merara Gudina as stipulated in the resolution of the conference.   Other aspects of the  resolution include those in section  III-4. UEDF has called for the formation of

a) " ager aqef yeqewouTi gize gebre hayel".

b) "hulun aqef agerawe Gubae" ,  apparently referring to the formation of a National Conference


Kinijit (CUDP) leadership conference of North American Support Group (NASG-Kinijit)  Lombardy Hotel, Washington DC, January 13-14.

The delegates of Kinijit support groups from different cities in North America and Torronto (about 19 cities in all) were assembled in the leadership conference. Ato Andargatchew Tsege, Author of "Netsanet Yemyawouk Netsa Awoutchi" and leader of the European Kinijit support group was in attendance and gave a prepared speech to the conference. The conference offered an opportunity for participants to meet other supporters of the "Respect the Vote" Ethiopian non-violent movement that is championed by Kinijit for which its leaders are incarcerated by a tyrannical TPLF/EPRDF regime.  
The executive chairman of the North American Kinijit support group, Major Yoseph Yazew, emphasized that the goal of the NASG-Kinijit is to help implement the eight-point principles enunciated by Kinijit-Ethiopia, and to help secure the release of the leadership of the Kinijit party from the TPLF/EPRDF jails. He underscored the non-desirability of having a Kinijit leadership in exile or in hiding in Ethiopia, preferring instead the unquestionable leadership of the duly elected Kinijit executives that are now in jail, and who should be released without any precondition.  The quiet, patient, and dignified Chairman spoke sparingly during the conference, and spoke only to remind the conference participants of the folly that arises from implying that some Kinijit supporters are more democratic than others.  He cautioned against the inadvertent consequences of such allegations. His council was immediately heeded. He spoke again at the conclusion of the conference to thank all and to wish the movement a success.  Astonishingly, the distinguished chairman merely smiled and nodded his head but opted not to speak,  even though he received praises and approbations from the able master of ceremonies of the last conference supper, the affable MD, Moges Gebre Mariam, who provided levity to the conference at the last supper.  It was during this occasion that several individuals including invited dignitaries such as their excellencies Ato Ayalew Mandefro, former defense minister, and Ambassador Imru Zeleke shared some memories and provided encouragement  to the movement.
Dr. Gashu Habte was the chairman of the discussions and information-sharing phase of the conference.  He was extremely patient and wise and accommodated the wishes of participants to arrange and rearrange discussion topics.   Ato Brehane Mewa excelled in explaining issues, and described the structure of the executive in the past and how they had reorganized to meet new challenges. To the three executive members who were appointed by the main office in Addis Ababa, they have added seven other individuals to help them manage their obligations, so that the NASG-Kinijit now has ten executive members. After some discussion the committee voted to support the ten individuals as NASG-Kinijit executive members. The conference voted to hold the next leadership meeting in May 2006 in Washington DC, for the purpose, among other considerations,  of electing its executive body.   Then. Dr. Moges Gebre Mariam supported the report given to the conference by Dr. Seyoum Solomon regarding lobbying issues and the need to hire a lobbying firm. Dr. Mogus caused delegation leaders to pledge monthly contributions to help pay the dues of the lobbying firm.  Then a draft resolution of the conference was read, and participants were offered opportunities to provide additions and deletions to the draft. The draft began by demanding the unconditional release of Kinijit Leaders, journalists, NGOs and other civic leaders, and ended by appealing to the armed forces to stand on the side of the Ethiopian people. See the Kinijit website for details.  Lastly, delegation heads were given certificates of attendance by Chairman, Major Yoseph Yazew, and the conference was declared closed.
I submit this brief summary of the meeting of the NASG-Kinijit leadership conference that was held at Lombardy Hotel, Washington, DC.  The hope is that the secretariat will present a detailed report at an opportune time.  My note focused on what the executive branch had done in keeping with the tradition of Ethiopian scribes of old. I do not know why the ancients wrote mostly about what the kings did.  In my case, I have the vested interest of supporting and strengthening the executive, and the desire not to annoy any one by mentioning the contributions of one while inadvertently leaving that of another.  My sense of supporting the executive is to empower it by democratically assessed elections so that it would represent the people that elected it. My preference is to have a chair that is appointed by Kinijit-Addis, while the rest of the executive are individuals elected by NASG-Kinijit.
Ethiopia shall survive.

      Program for CUD-NA Support Group Conference

Hotel Lombardy
2019 Pennsylvania  Av, NW
Washington, DC 20006

January 13-14, 2005 January 13, 2005

8:00-9:00 Registration
9:00 AM Opening General Session
             (Open to all delegates, invited guests and media)
9:00-9:05 Welcome Address (Dr. Abebayehu Tegene, Chairman DC CUD) chairperson)
9:05-9:10 Welcome and Description of the Program (Dr. Gashu Habte, Organizing Committee Chair)
9:10-9:40 Opening Address (Shaleka Yosef Yazew, Chairperson CUD_NA)
9:40-10:05 Congratulation Messages from different supporting organizations and groups (in person or by master of ceremony)
10:05-10:45 Chronological Description of Events in the Life of CUD (Ato Berhane Mewa & Dr. Siyum Solomon)
10:45-11:00 Introduction of CUD_NA leadership and chapter representatives
11:00-11:30 Coffee Break
11:30-12:45 Report from CUD-NA - Shaleka  Yosef Yazew
12:45-1:00   Message from CUD Europe-Ato Andargachew Tsige
1:00-2:00 Luncheon Program
                Luncheon Speaker:  Ato Abate Kassa on Strengthening CUD in North America
2:00-4:00 Report from all chapters
4:00-5:30 Discussion on the reports
6:00-8:00    Reception
January 14, 2005  (Open to delegates only)
9:00-10:45 Discussion on the political aspect of CUD

10:45-11:15 Coffee Breaks
11:45-1:00 General Discussion by NA CUD
1:00-1:15 Resolution
1:15-1:30 Closing Remark by Shaleka Yosef Yazew
6:00-8:00  Reception