Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Why Dagmawi's argument against ADF is muddled
Dagmawi has a take on ADF. I hate to disagree with him but I found some of his assertions pretty muddled.
1. Dagmawi says "The excitement and novelty of the May 15, 2005 election was the possibility of changing Ethiopia's government using peaceful means. Now the CUDP is allying itself with organizations that are engaged in an armed struggle that aims for the violent overthrow of the government."
The CUDP hasn't declared that it has changed its strategy of non-violence struggle. The alliance has nothing to do with the unity of strategies among the parties. Here is the alliance's objective and tasks as stated in the draft agreement(There might have been some minor changes. I got it a day before it was signed.)
The objective of the Alliance is to:
TO ENSURE liberty, peace, justice and the rule of law;
Promote peace in Ethiopia and the region, ensuring that the resulting peace dividend shall be enjoyed by all;
Lay the foundation for a fully democratic system in Ethiopia that meets the aspirations of all an address their grievances by instituting a genuinely representative political order
Ensure the supremacy of the rule of law by adapting the universal declaration of human rights and relevant United Nations covenants
Reaffirm respect for and commitment to the basic norms of international law and the principles enshrined in the charter of the United Nations
Achieve a new, just democratic Ethiopia where human and democratic rights are fully respected and
Genuinely and boldly address the serious issue in Ethiopia and amicably resolve the many intractable conflicts in the region thereby laying the foundations for lasting peace, democracy, stability and development

The Alliance shall:
Coordinate the activities of member organizations by mobilizing and galvanizing their constituencies in order to achieve freedom, lasting peace and democracy
Pool together the parties’ resources and talents in order to conduct an effective political and diplomatic campaign
Work together to promote brotherly relationship among all the people by mitigating and preventing all forms of inter-communal and inter-confessional discord
Uphold a culture of peaceful resolution of intrastate an interstate conflicts in the region and enhancing regional cooperation as a vehicle to create conditions for peace, stability, economic development and political integration
Promote harmony between the parties and their constituencies by overcoming the history of mistrust through dialogue, mutual understanding and respect
Advance the development of a democratic culture and institutions and actively promote the resolution of the border conflict with Eritrea BASED ON THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE TWO BROTHERLY COUNTRIES
2. Dagmawi argues "The CUDP should have concentrated on forming an alliance with the Oromo groups operating peacefully within the country. Instead, with this disastrous move it is making itself far more vulnerable to the TPLF/EPRDF, it is damaging its credentials as a non-violent party, and it is allowing itself to be used as a tool by the Eritrean dictator. "
The CUDP is an outlawed political party in Ethiopia. The Oromo parties that joined parliament couldn't make lawful alliances with an illegal party. Furthermore, the leaders of CUDP at home are incarcerated and; therefore, unable to make any kind of legally binding act.
As to the Eritrean dictator, there is no provision in the alliance that has given him a role in AFD. The fact that OLF and ONLF operate there shouldn't automatically rule them out from participating in Ethiopia's politics.
3. Dagmawi argues "The OLF has started to lose ground due to the emergence of non-violent Oromo nationalist parties (such as the OFDM). This move will help the OLF regain initiative in the short-term."
There is no evidence that the OLF is losing its base support. The non-violent Oromo parties had their chance in the election and did relatively well. OLF didn't compete in the elections and; therefore, it is difficult to assert that it was starting to lose ground.
Yes, OLF isn't that successful in the armed struggle. Yet there are other factors for the failure of the armed struggle
Conclusion: Although the ideology and political strategy of OLF and ONLF are very different from CUDP, we should accept that they should have a say in Ethiopia's politics(CUDP winning an election or not). The way to make them milder and accept Ethiopian unity is not to isolate but embrace them. CUDP was ready to work with TPLF and proposed a national unity government even after TPLF killed people, destroyed our lives, sold out to Eritrea, denied the country access to the sea and endangered the life and unity of the nation. What more has OLF done ideologically and strategically to rule out just an alliance of democracy with it?


Anonymous said...

Wonderful response. I was surprised by Dagmawi who I admire for his astuteness

Anonymous said...

You got it right Webmaster!!!
The fact of the matter is there are occasions that Dagmawi's notions are clear indications of inarticulate fear of the influence of joint effort of those majority groups on those tiny minority TPLF groups, in an effort to save a desperate,dying and rotten regime,which is advertently torturing, killing and looting the entire nation.

Anonymous said...

Ethio-Zagol.....Please have some kind of Contact information on your site.......Many organizations and individuals would like to contact you in a manner that does not compromise your anonymity.

Anonymous said...

Great response... but, it all depends on the type of the alliance. I think, Dagmawi's cautious response has points. Zagol, as you pointed... these parties have a major ideological and strategic differences... therefore, the agreement should state that the alliance is not of ideology or strategy (the piece you quoted from the draft does not).

Beside that, the alliance this long over due... have they had this type of alliance before the election or even just after b/n Kinijit & Hebret it would have been much more difficult, not impossible mind you, for tyrant to take the actions he took.

This alliance should be about the future, not current or past. As the draft objective sated, this alliance should be to build a broad base for democratic process where everyone has a say after the current tyrant regime fall. Therefore, any group that would think it has a chance in Ethiopian politics in a democratic way should be encourage to join this alliance. It won't be good idea for Kinijit to allay itself only with groups that agree with it... besides, whether it like it or not, had it taken its dully elected power of governing the country, it would have to deal with these groups. So it is better to create working relation from the out set.

Furthermore, it is not Kinijit who caused these armed groups to be formed... circumstance and despair. The fault out from the May'05 election, the government response and world politics is/will create more of this groups. That is a fact. Don't forget, it was TPLF unsuccessfully tried (begged) to negotiate with OLF just after the election. For one, to divert the political discourse and other to minimize the impact of Kinijit.

I hope the allied parties are confident of their individual ideology and politics and fight to present it to the people of Ethiopia in a free and fair way... and let the people decided.

Good Luck.

Anonymous said...

You shouldn't hate to disagree with anyone.

But in some sense I am not as happy that new parties such as the EPPF have made it into this alliance. There is very little known about this front. I applaud the alliance between OLF and CUDP and hope there are practical gains to be made from this coming together.

Tachew23 said...

Dear Brothers and sisters!
Let us not be panic of the alliance. For me I feel that God gave me the time to see TPLF's goal is destroyed at the end of its 14 years meticulous evil activities of devastating the peaceful relation between the oromos and the Amharas. I am not saying kinijit is Amhara but for woyane the propoganda it propagated in the oromo region was by saying kinijit is Amhara. If that is so according to Woyane, let's say though not actually, its strategy of dismantling the country by creating hostility between the 2 major tribes of the country is sent in to the grave dug by woyane it self.
Great God did good job!!!!!!
I do not think an alliance is a coalition or union.I feel that it is like the alliances in the World Wars we know.
And I hope forces now are becoming more powerful than ever been!!!!!!!
God bless Ethiopia!!!!

Anonymous said...

I think Dagmawi could be a wolf in a sheep skin, a clever agent of the woyanes. Why else would he put a damper on such good news.

Anonymous said...

To me, this alliance is very very important to diffuse the tension that the TPLF had created between different peoples.

Anonymous said...

Think again and, while at it, try to go beyond the obvious. Dagmawi is right on the mark and, we may as well be witnessing the beginning of the end of Ethiopia. By the way, I wouldn't be surprised if the US puts its weight behind the newly formed alliance.

Hope the following article could give you some food for thought.

Anonymous said...

Zagol! Thanks for speaking out against this anti-Ethiopian secessionist Dagmawi and for supporting the unionist-Liberation fronts. You are the bravest and most loyal OLF-ONLF hero!

By the way you said: “The alliance has nothing to do with the unity of strategies among the parties.” What does that mean?... a little bit Muddled?

Is it possible to have a common Goal with out the unity of strategies? If yes how? If not strategic, then it must be a Tactical move…..a short term move? Who knows?

Time will tell!!!!

Anonymous said...


Thanks again for the incisive observation. I also would like you to say something about this article on modus operandi of EPPF: . I was the the generation that went to Bilate during the Derg period and suffered by Woyane afterwards. If EPPF is doing things that are claimed in the article with Shabiya, I think its involvement in the alliance is very destructive. When the same concern appeared on Ethiopian Review, they blasted not raise any criticism against EPPF. I think this unknown organization should be examined more carefully. It would be apposite to say some things in a manner of question about this organization.
Keep safe.
God speed.

Anonymous said...

Right on, Zagol.

One of the cultural habits we must learn is to give everyone the benefit of the doubt.

If we do so in this case, then we'll see that this agreement is about tolerance and inclusion, and the breaking down of barriers brought about by a history of mutual suspicion.

Let alone at the top level, at the grassroots, generally speaking, CUD supporters or would-be CUD supporters and OLF supporters do not mix. They do not understand each other nor do they try.

This is a signal that for Ethiopia to develop, such distrust must be slowly removed and constructive dialogue and empathetic understanding must be developed.

If the AFD is not about this, then it is about simply ganging up against a common enemy. If this is so, then it will not last precisely because the two groups, raw and without empathetic understanding, are so incompatible!

For the sake of speculation, if CUD-Intl decides to join the OLF joint armed revolt, the vast majority of its supporters, who are moderates, will abandon it, and you'll have the same situation as you had five or ten years ago in the diaspora. Everyone knows this!

Folks, let's think about this systematically and not let our fears and insecurities get the better of us.

BeTesfa said...


Despite the excitment of the formation of the AFD, I have similar reservations to Dagmawi. I also see your point.

But it is good to be cautious when groups such as the OLF who say that they are not Ethiopians now are front and center in this new effort. I know someone who is an OLF member who said that all groups should sit down and discuss the future without any precondition. I said all who call Ethiopia their home should be part of this discussion. But he told me that is a precondition (i.e. 'all who call Ethiopia their home'). He told me that he does not consider himself Ethiopian. So, there is room to be cautious. I see this as a positive development regardless.

It is my hope that this effort leads to a truly democratic Ethiopia where politics is not based on ethnicity but rather on principles and ideas that can apply to all regardless of their heritage.

Anonymous said...


Fikru Helebo wrote:

'Dr. Berhanu (Nega) also mentioned that the "Oromo Question" is something we can not afford not to address. What surprised him the most about his two months of incarceration in Ethiopia was the sheer number of Oromos in jail. He said, he was once invited to speak to a meeting of University students, and, practically, all the Oromo students said they were not Ethiopians. If we want a country called Ethiopia, he said, we must be able to address the Oromo people's concern in an open and civilized manner.'

Communications/negotiations skills teach us that we must do a lot of listening if we want to get our message across.

If he does not like the label 'Ethiopian', then fine, accept it. We can't start off by not accepting it!

We have to be smart about how we talk to each other.

Anonymous said...

Good Point Fikiru,

In 1993 Lencoo Lata (Lencho) gave an interview in which he said "We will negotiate to be Ethiopians".

I would not have a problem with the label (Ethiopia) as far as it doesn't symbolize/embody oppression of my people/any other people. We should know that names come and go. Nubia -> Sudan, Congo -> Zaire -> Dongo etc

Anonymous said...

It is wonderful when you can achieve democracy through peaceful means. Every country is a different story. In the case of ethiopia we need to recognize that peaceful demonstration peaceful political acivity will not be tolerated with out it being sanctioned by the ruling regime and the american embassy. that is the reality, inorder to acheive what we want for our country must be done through some fighting. there are probably excellent arguments out there against such action and i accept that but sooner or later it will become evident that wihout some fire power we will not be respected by the regime nor the embassy, not that we need their respect-bu respect in terms of political capitial. So forming an alliance with groups that have members willing to die for the freedom of ethiopia i think is a logical step, because the regime needs to understand that they just can't arrest tourture and kill our leaders. I know many of you have listened to bob's song i don't remember the title but in one part he say's "how long shall we sit aside and look while they kill our prophets".

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