Section-1:  Knowing the distinction between a support group and a party.


The overarching issue to recognize is that the struggle of Kinijit is to save Ethiopia from the destruction imposed by the TPLF tyranny.  The paramount solution to the TPLF-caused problem is to promote a love of Ethiopia, its people, its unity, and its achievements. There must be sacrosanct issues that cannot be bargained or traded away for temporary satisfaction or political expediency.  The savvy Kinijit-Ethiopia leaders navigated through the myriad of problems resident in the TPLF/EPRDF political environment and struck the right chord among the population that resulted in their getting the confidence of the people and also their votes.  Are those in the Diaspora savvy enough to be good supporters?   Does Kinijit-USA understand that Kinijit Ethiopia has obtained the overwhelming vote of the Ethiopian electorate, and does it comprehend the meaning and the weight of that vote? Does Kinijit-USA know that in the eyes of democratic Ethiopians Kinijit is answerable to them?  Does Kinijit-USA understand that the Kinijit is a focal point of Ethiopian political attention and would receive their praise or wrath depending on its actions? Does Kinijit-USA understand and comprehend that alliances that it forms are issues to be scrutinized not only by the members of parties that are involved in the alliance but also by all Ethiopians who have a stake in their beloved Ethiopia and its well-being? Can the Kinijit-USA navigate to hold the good name of Kinijit high so that more Ethiopians join its struggle instead of appearing to engage in activities that might dissuade people from following the purposes pioneered by kinijit and its brave leaders now placed in jail by the TPLF tyranny? That is the question.  Indeed do those in the Diaspora know the difference between a party and a support group?


A party has a party platform. It also has party leaders. The interpretations of the party platform by the party leaders are generally considered more valuable than that of individual party member.  Hence an individual will find it expedient to tow the party line.  Such would be the case when dealing with the workings of a party. But, is kinijit–USA a party?


KinijitUSA is not a party.  It is a support group to the Kinijit nonviolent movement and other aspects of the Kinijit-party platform.  The Kinijit-USA support group is organized to provide support to the Kinijit-Ethiopia party, which had received an overwhelming vote of the electorate in the May 15, 2005 elections in Ethiopia.  As a support group, Kinijit-USA ought to derive its power from the supporters of which it is an executive.  It must explain to the supporters how it has effected their determinations, their monetary and other supports.  In short it should be answerable to the supporters.  However, because some of the members in the Kinijit–USA leadership claim to derive their powers by an alleged appointment from Kinijit-Ethiopia, the Kinijit-USA “leadership” behaves as an odd executive body. It behaves as though it is a support group when such a claim is convenient to it, and as though it was a party leader when such is a useful approach to it.  For instance, when Kinijit-USA was asked to hold May 15 as the date to celebrate the impressive election results that kinijit received, it delayed agreement on the date by claiming that as a support group it had to receive an okay from Kiniji Ethiopia. Subsequently it pulled a May-16 date out of thin air as the day it wished to celebrate the vote that Ethiopians cast.  On the other hand, when it came to entering into an agreement with ethnic-centered parties of May 2006, in the Netherlands, Kinijit-USA had no hesitation not only to affix its signature as though it were the leader of Kinijit, but also to ascribe powers to it on matters that only the Ethiopians in Ethiopia would determine by referenda. How can this be, remains the question?  The answer includes the way the Kinijit-USA “leadership” is organized.


Three separate methods are utilized to place individuals in the Kinijit-USA “leadership”. Individuals who claim leadership roles because their desire to lead has been seconded by Kinijit Ethiopia are Type A. Other individuals who were incorporated in the executive body to help manage the vast responsibilities that the leadership has given to itself are Type B.  Yet other individuals that the Kinijit support chapters elected to include in the executive branch belong to Type C. These different methods of incorporating individual evolved because Type A individuals were not prepared to allow the first Conference of Kinijit-USA, that was held in Washington DC in January 2006, to elect its representatives.  We even had to struggle hard to get the conference vote that Type B individuals become incorporated as co-executive members of Kinijit-USA as are those of Type A.  Type C individuals were incorporated in the May 2006 Conference of Kinijt-USA that was held in Washington DC.  Then other individuals (Type D) were later added through controversial means (allegedly by yet another wish of Kinijit-Ethiopia) to join with some from Type A and Type B members and form the Kinijit International Leadership (KIL).  The KIL members are alleged to be heirs to the Kinijit-Ethiopia leadership, because the one in Addis had presumably abdicated its mandate.  Leaving aside the question of the qualities and qualification of the KIL to replace the savvy Kinijit-Ethiopia, a question that arises is how it was possible for the KIL to claim such fantastic origin?  The answer has to do with the error of accepting the claims of Type A members by the different Conferences of Kinijit-USA.


Another major failing of the Type A individuals is that they claim to have been seconded by the component parties (EDP-Medhin, Keste Damena, and AEUP) of Kinijit.  Type A individuals clearly carry the ingredients of division, and because of it they hold the Kinijit-USA support effort hostage to the wishes of those that may threaten to pull out of the executive effort. Precisely this condition has offered a major avenue for some members (the “dissatisfied”) to attempt a change in the struggle of Kinijit, and for some others (the “die hard”) in the executive to rush to sign an alliance that they were pursuing in secrecy.  As indicated in a press release by the political wing of the KIL, an alliance that was agreed to in Dubai (10-11/03/06), then in Frankfurt (10-11/03/06) was finally signed in the Netherlands (17-8/06/06), while some would-be KIL members were kept in the dark. In other words, the alliance documents were not discussed and agreed to by all the executive members of Kinijit-USA.  The alliance did not benefit from the collective wisdom even of the “leaders” of Kinijit-USA let alone the rank and file.  Neither was it shown to political advisors of Kinijit. A semblance of peace among the executive was reportedly attained when the notion of having a KIL that  some of the “dissatisfied”  pushed for was accepted by the “die hard” members, in return for  the KIL agreeing to accept the alliance documents that the “die hard” worked for.  It is unfortunate that executive members (particularly the “dissatisfied”) would agree to a document that they did not work for and which was signed in the good name of Kinijit while they served as executive members. It is quite odd that the “die hard” would sign a documents in the good name of Kinijit without benefiting from the collective wisdom of the full executive.   I will discus in section 2 the role of the KIL and the press release of the political branch of the KIL.  Here I want to focus on the Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (AFD) that the “die hard” of kinijit entered in agreement with ethnic-centered parties, and the documents it signed, namely the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) and the Statutes.



Some may ask why there would be a need for labeling protagonists in the executive of Kinijit-USA as the “die hard” and the “dissatisfied?” There is no particular need except to dramatize the fact that there were disagreements and that some of the executive members including those that were to become members of the KIL were not involved in the making of the Alliance before its formation.  Does it really matter who was involved is the alliance if the product is good any way?  As I have indicated previously, forming an alliance is fundamentally correct.  It is in the contents of the MOU and the Statutes that the major failings are to be found.  It may be time to enumerate some of the values that derive from having an alliance, so that we can better indicate the failings of the statute.


The advantages of the alliance include the following. 1. Giving a hand to parties such as the OLF at the time when they are weak so as to cause their members become more magnanimous in their vision of Ethiopia. 2. Blunting the ethnic feud instigated in Ethiopia by the TPLF/EPRDF. 3. Offering a bridge to some OLFite-Ethiopians who might have been living wearing ethnic political clothes though they might have not believed in it deep in their psych.  The alliance gives them opportunities to express more fully their Ethiopianess because currently even the OLF is pro alliance with other Ethiopian parties including the pan-Ethiopian Kinijit party. 4. Causing several OLFite-Ethiopians to realize that their real concerns are cultural issues that can easily be resolved by democratic process instead of by placing anger against a presumed oppressor Amhara nation that the OLF used to feed them as the source of the underdevelopment of the Oromo Ethiopians. 5. Offering opportunities for enterprising Ethiopians, irrespective of linguistic affiliation, to find better and workable proposals for the well-being of Ethiopia.  With such and other advantages, why then oppose the alliance? No one opposes the alliance, what people oppose relates to the contents in the MOU and the Statutes that give powers to parties instead of to the Ethiopians in Ethiopia.  What is objectionable is that the MOU and the Statute do not have any sacrosanct and nonnegotiable issues about Ethiopia, namely the sovereignty of the people and the country, and the achievements of its people.  Because of lack of  agreed upon nonnegotiable issues about Ethiopia within the MOU and Statutes  some disadvantages of the alliance become apparent including the case of Kinijit providing a platform to popularize the secessionist OLF.  I have enumerated previously many other objections including making the point that the net effect of giving equal weight to the votes to constituent parties of the alliance has a deleterious effect to Kinijit.  This is such a crucial failing of the statutes that it deserves more exposition. Each of the ethnic-centered parties claim to represent their ethnic group, how come the kinijit which represents the whole of Ethiopia has the same voting weight as the ethnic-centered parties?  Moreover, the only goal of the alliance is to ask that a national conference be held in Ethiopia. Suppose tomorrow Mr. Zenawi permitted the holding of such a conference with about 70 ethnic-parties, including the components of the TPLF/EPRDF and other affiliated parties, will all the conference parties have equal voting weight?  The question becomes why wouldn’t Kinijit-USA have understood the failings of the alliance before signing on the MOU and Statutes? What guarantees exist to cause Mr. Zenawi to respect the utterances of an all party conference, when it well-known that it has forcibly nullified the majority vote of twenty six million voters any way? As a nonviolent movement why did kinijit-USA elect to be secretive about the alliance? Why wouldn’t it publish the alliance documents?  Why did it transform itself into the KIL? Why does KIL’s political wing provide a prèss release (http://www.ethiomedia.com/carepress/kil_pr1.pdf) so similar in content to chapter 1 of a 1993 book that proclaimed ethnic-centered politics as an inevitable political paradigm (http://www.ethiolion.com/news/ANDARGATCHEWs%20WISDOM%20INTRODUCTION.pdf)?  Some of these issues are described further in section 2 more fully.  Here, the point to stress is that the Kinijit-USA and/or KIL should rescind the MOU and Statutes, and replace them by a knowable and measurable alliance agreements, such seeking the release of elected Kinijit leaders, as expressed in the press release of executive committee of the AFD based on its deliberations of June 29-July 1/ 06 (http://www.ethioforum.org/News/article/sid=1362.html).


HG: 7/3/06