Ethiopiawinnet … comes of age in 2012!!
Press Release
August 24, 2013

Ethiopiawinnet -- pan-Ethiopian identity, nay pan-African identity (Ethiopianism)—is, of course, rather age-old.  What is newsworthy is the birth in the fall of 2012 of a united, international and rights-based civic organization which seeks to advance a vision of Ethiopiawinnet.  This vision melds the collective identity of those who cherish their heritage in greater Ethiopia with modern democratic values of equality, justice, and freedom for all. 

            More specifically, what we have in mind is the merger of four rights-based civil society organizations based in the United States (Dejen Le Democracy, Ethiopian National Congress, Hidase Kitet, and Ethiopian Forum for Peace Democracy and Development) to form a united organization based primarily on individual membership.  It is a fresh initiative which moves away from the familiar coalition approach among disparate organizations (such as our own ENPCP process) to the more promising unitary model whereby all rights advocacy in the Diaspora will henceforth be centralized under a unified and unitary organizational outfit.

Ethiopiawinnet:  Council for the Defense of Citizen Rights, a non-profit charitable  organization, has four distinctive goals that revolve around giving voice to the voiceless:

First, it upholds the principle that rights and responsibilities reside in free and equal citizenship in a democratic Ethiopia.  It also holds that freedom comes with the obligation to defend it from tyranny, not just for oneself but for all compatriots and beyond.  This vision is outlined in the “Citizens Charter for a Democratic Ethiopia.”

Second, we believe that this pan-Ethiopian vision and strategic thinking can be turned into concrete action only if Ethiopians reject the totalitarian ideology of ‘revolutionary democracy’ and the self-serving and toxic flirtations with political ethnicity and other forms of sectarianism.  Ethiopians must now coalesce around shared values and act collectively to eliminate the twin evils of abject poverty and authoritarian rule. 

Third, it seeks to work with civic, professional, and political organizations of similar mission to facilitate a viable transition to a robust democratic order and an inclusive and pro-growth development strategy.  More immediately, we seek freedom for all political prisoners, the scrapping of draconian anti-CSO legislation, and respect for the rule of law.

Fourth, we feel strongly that the Diaspora has the capacity and the responsibility to provide material and moral support for fledgling civil society organizations in Ethiopia in order to serve as the watchdogs over power-holders.  The capability of ordinary citizens, especially the youth and women, needs to be strengthened for effective restraint against institutionalized abuse of power through a tenacious and responsible engagement of all stakeholders in public affairs.   

You can join hands with us in one of three ways:  as an individual member, as a special organizational member, or as a non-member partner in specific actions and initiatives.

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