The American Charge d'affairs is still engaged in reconciliation efforts. According to close sources, she is hoping that the jailed leaders will initiate talks with the government. Prison sources confirmed that she talked with Birtukan Midekisa last Friday and told her in detail about the problems of Somalia and the need to solve internal differences to do away with the threat of "Islamism in the Ethiopia". Birtukan replied that she didn't want to see war with Somalia but Kinijit had no control on the situation. The Charge d'affaires was adamant that there is a way out for Ethiopia and they should think about starting a reconciliation process. Sources said that the Charge d'affairs is thinking in terms of the Mandela line where he initiated talks with the government while he was in prison. It was reported that the government has shown a gesture of will to the talks but doesn't want to initiate them. Mrs. Huddlestone had also talked with Dr. Brehanu's wife, Dr. Nardos Minase, about the possibility of talks, according to Embassy sources. Vicki is back to US today and will start a full-fledged effort for the negotiations when she returns to Addis.
The reconciliation efforts by the American representative show that Kinijit, the spirit of the people, can't be sidelined from the Ethiopian political process as the government thought. The excitement in Addis and elsewhere about freedom has not been this high since the November repression with Birhanu's book acting as a catalyst.
- ► 2007 (230)
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