Eskinder Nega calls on new government to go for not cosmetic but radical changes for democracy and justice
By Ethiomedia
May 6, 2018

WASHINGTON, DC - Prominent Ethiopian journalist Eskinder Nega on Saturday called on the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed to carry out not cosmetic but radical changes for democracy, justice and the respect of human rights.

Speaking to a crowd of admirers who welcomed him at Dulles International Airport on the outskirts of the American capital, Eskinder vowed to return to Ethiopia and be part of the struggle until the Ethiopian people are able to 'breathe in an air of freedom, democracy and justice.'

Unlike many other political emigres who flee from the persecution in Ethiopia and seek political asylum in the West, Eskinder earns the credit of becoming the first prominent, repeatedly persecuted citizen who defies the threat of torture and suffering to carry out his pro-democracy campaign to the end.

Serkalem Fasil, the wife of Eskinder Nega, who has been with him since Eskinder left Ethiopia, and had earlier told the media that she wants Eskinder to go back to his country and carry out to frution the struggle that he has been waging for a long time.

"I share the message of Serkalem," Eskinder said, "that there should be no illusion that I'd remain here in the Diaspora. It should be clear to all that I am going back to my country, and join the struggle."

Earlier in his speech, Eskinder said the Ethiopian people and the ruling EPRDF party stand poles apart over how they treat the Ethiopian Diaspora.

The EPRDF treats the Ethiopian Diaspora as 'extremist,' 'terrorist,' chauvinist', narrow-minded and a less-knowledgeable entity that doesn't know much about Ethiopia.

In the eyes of the people (the scale of justice), however, the Ethiopian Diaspora is the advocate of democracy, defender of human rights, the pride of the oppressed and the treasure of Ethiopia.

"Today I'm here with you with the voice of the Ethiopian people. To stand and struggle for democracy cannot be extremism and terrorism. To be an advocate of equality and human rights is not narrow-mindedness or chauvinism. To say human rights should be respected, no children and innocent people should be killed, no shots should be fired at peaceful protesters doesn't mean the Ethiopian diaspora lacks in 'sufficient knowledge about Ethiopia."

The facts are quite to the contrary.

I call on the Ethiopian Diaspora to carry on the struggle until the Ethiopian people are able to breathe in an air of freedom, democracy and justice.

The demand of the Ethiopian people for democracy cannot be answered in a cosmetic way. It should be answered in a radical way.

To bring about a radical change, Eskinder says, three preconditions should be met, and they are:

1) All political prisoners, including G7's Andargachew Tsige and Mesfin Abebe of Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) should be released without preconditions.

2) The State of Emergency should be lifted. All those arrested under the State of Emergency Law should be released without any preconditions.

3) An all-inclusive negotiation should be initiated by the government. In this all-inclusive conference, groups charged as "terrorist" should be included.

I believe, like most people, the new government of Dr. Abiy Ahmed will head for not a cosmetic but radical changes in the country. If they choose the cosmetic path, the people's struggle for democracy and justice will return even much more consolidated than before. And those of us former prisoners will once again be in front line to demand for the reign of democracy and justice, Eskinder concluded. (Ethiomedia) - An African-American news and views website.
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