Movement for New Ethiopia Begins with a Worldwide Peaceful
March for Freedom and Justice on May 15, 2008!
April 15, 2008
May 15, 2008, just one month from today, will mark
the third anniversary of the Ethiopian National Election
of 2005 when 26 million Ethiopians came out to vote
for change in Ethiopia—and won. Even though Meles
Zenawi fraudulently declared himself and the EPRDF the
winners, nothing in his 17 years of rule challenged
this repressive government more than our united votes
on that day!
On May 15, 2008 and on the following weekend, from
wherever you are, let us come together in a worldwide
demonstration to show Meles and his supporters that
he has NOT silenced Ethiopians
despite clamping down more tightly on every one of our
Let us protest throughout the world that we will not
tolerate the horrific human rights atrocities being
committed against our people. Let us use this opportunity
to strike at the heart of such evil and injustice by
using such “non-violent bullets as this protest.”
Let thousands and millions of Ethiopians stand up to
resist even when constant surveillance and intimidation
of any opposition makes them feel like they are behind
bars in their own country!
This will be a day for freedom fighters to honor the
people who died. They protested for change, justice,
the rule of law and for freedom and were killed by Meles’
soldiers. We will now continue to fight from where they
have left off so that they did not die in vain!
Meles and his supporters should be warned. They cannot
control every citizen in this country of 80 million
people. A few can be silenced, but it is impossible
to silence all of Ethiopia and all Ethiopians throughout
I say to Meles, “Your time is up! The suffering
of the people is too great to wait. You may repress
Ethiopians all the more in response, but it will only
increase our collective hunger for freedom, justice,
unity and democracy!
“Be wise and find a peaceful way to cooperate
with the will of the people. Negotiate—genuinely—while
it is still an option! You cannot suppress 80 million
people by force forever! Ethiopians, like Kenyans and
Zimbabwans, are discovering their political rights.
The emerging movement for democracy is rising up like
the Southern Star all over the continent—for Africans
do not want dictators. You are one of them! Africans
want to rule themselves. So do the Ethiopian people!
Open the way for them to choose while you still can!
We are listening and watching for your first move!”
Right now, our country is one of the most miserable
on the continent. The suffering of the Ethiopian people
has never been worse. Coupled with double-digit inflation
and growing poverty, the plight of Ethiopians in 2008
is much worse than 2005 and we all know it! Nine million
Ethiopians now need humanitarian aid to survive! That
is more than one out of every eight people in a country
that already has one of the lowest per capita incomes
in all of Africa!
We Ethiopians know that our government does not invest
in its people, but invests in its own interests. Many
of our problems can be directly linked to this dereliction
of duty towards Ethiopians--our lack of water, food,
health care, education, homes, jobs, development and
Foreign aid, to which the EPRDF government is addicted,
largely goes into the military and security forces in
order to further suppress the people or into the pockets
of the powerful cronies rather than ever reaching the
people. The majority of Ethiopians from every group
and region are left out.
Meles and his cronies may think that we Ethiopians
cannot work together, but I personally have seen the
change in Ethiopians. Because of that, I have great
hope and the strong expectation that the division of
past years has reached its tipping point. Ethiopians
are tired of the conflict-mongering tactics of division
that the EPRDF excels in using to maintain power. Instead,
Ethiopians are seeing the light and want unity, peace
and harmony with an increasing intensity not believed
possible only a few years ago.
We have learned much in the last three years and have
had time to start appreciating people outside of our
own insulated groups. We want our goals, objectives
and values to be based on universal God-given principles
of justice and truth rather than simply based on the
whims of those holding the power and the pocketbook.
Therefore, let us show the world that Ethiopia is now
ready to stand together against oppression, tyranny
and injustice! When this happens, those of us leaders
who are working for a Movement for a New Ethiopia will
have the backing and authority we need to stand before
leaders in the west, especially among those countries
supporting Meles, to convince them, more than ever,
that Ethiopians deserve better are ready to choose their
leaders for themselves!
On May 15- 18, join with other Ethiopians from all
over the world to demonstrate our shared commitment
to the future of Ethiopia. So today, start organizing
and planning for the largest, most united and most powerful
rally ever demonstrated by Ethiopians both at home and
in the Diaspora! These rallies are not new to Ethiopians
as I was told that Ethiopians and Tibetans are the only
well-known people to rally in foreign countries!
This is very true and therefore, I am calling on every
Ethiopian from all over the world to come out on May
15-18, 2008 to rally with other Ethiopians and friends
of Ethiopia for a new Ethiopia! We must raise our voices
to a thundering shout so Meles Zenawi and his supporters
cannot block the sounds from reverberating throughout
the world, pronouncing to all that we will never be
silent until Ethiopia is freed from tyranny!
This is a time for every group within Ethiopia to raise
the flag for freedom. Without giving up our ethnic,
regional, political, civic or religious identities,
let us also take on a national identity of people who
live within the boundaries of the map of Ethiopia. We
all want a future for this country—for ourselves,
our children and for our neighbor’s children.
Some skeptics may say, ”Who is this guy, Obang?”
I will tell you, I am an Ethiopian who can no longer
tolerate the pain of the people nor close my ears to
the sound of their cries.” No one has ever been
held accountable for the thousands of Anuak who were
massacred. The same applies to the Oromo, the Ogadeni,
the Afar and there are many more who have been denied
Some may say, “Obang represents the Anuak; therefore,
let’s not support him.” I tell you, “No,
I represent all Ethiopians and I will give you the reason.”
When I testified at the United States Sub-Committee
on Africa hearing about Ethiopia in March of 2006, I
stepped out first to face the Ethiopian people rather
than the Congress members to say, “Look at me—I
am one of you. Together we can make a difference. Together
we will be stronger and able to make a better Ethiopia!”
When I said, “I am not here only for the Anuak,
but I am here for the Tigrayan, the Oromo, the Amhara,
the Ogadeni….and others throughout our country,”
I meant it and I only more strongly maintain this position
Recently, an Ethiopian friend told me that she and
80% of her friends had never heard of the Anuak before
the Anuak Justice Council started speaking about the
human rights abuses being perpetrated against them by
the Woyane or TPLF. How many other countless groups
are out there? Right now, many might not know their
names, but God does. Many of them have been suffering
right along with the rest of us, but someday I hope
to hear the stories they have to tell. Anyone within
the borders of Ethiopia is part of us and together we
must stand against injustice.
There is nothing wrong with representing the Gambella
people or any other group, but I know that none of us
will ever be free alone. We must do it together until
we all are free of the shame, greed, corruption and
the evil that has kept us in cycles of misery for years.
If we do not stop it, our suffering will become the
curse of the next generation!
I am calling on each of you to inform and organize
others to come out in mass demonstrations of solidarity
with other Ethiopians. The best success will be when
new groups are invited to join together in new unions
of common purpose. In every region our people have experienced
great losses—in Benishangul-Gumuz, Afar, Harare,
Amhara, Tigray, Southern Nations, the Ogaden, Oromiya
and Gambella. This includes those courageous election
protestors who died in the streets of Addis Ababa.
Our people are still dying every day, especially in
regions being targeted by the Woyane or TPLF like in
the Ogaden. We know that those hungry, homeless, orphaned,
widowed, sick and those prisoners of conscience in prisons
and detention centers throughout the country are in
much larger number because of what we are enduring at
the hands of this regime. By our action, let us show
that the time for these oppressors is ending! We Ethiopians
must come out on May 15-18 to make a stand for all suffering
In preparation, I call on all Ethiopians of faith to
pray and some may also want to fast. Fill the churches,
mosques and synagogues throughout Ethiopia with the
earnest and the persevering. Call on God for His help!
Yet, we first must fully acknowledge our own faults
so that God will hear our prayers. We are not without
fault. He promises to help those who seek Him with open
hearts and who come in earnest humility, willing to
turn away from hate, division, greed, corruption, lying,
indifference, envy and arrogance. Let this month be
a preparation of our souls.
For Woyane or TPLF who are reading this, it is not
too late to change! Do you think that if the pressure
suddenly escalated that you would escape being scapegoated—that
you would not be stopped or even arrested at the airports
before leaving the country? If this government fell,
would you be one of those airlifted out of the country
like would probably be the case for those on the top
like Meles? Has your conscience been convicting and
tormenting you or is it deadened? If you have any softness
of heart, let May 15-18 be days of change for you. Join
with other Ethiopians against evil and injustice.
Out of fear, do not make the mistake of clinging to
what is hurting your fellow Ethiopia, thinking and hoping
you will be able to suppress freedom, justice and truth
forever—it will eventually be too much for you
and you will lose your grasp. Instead, consider how
you might be part of the solution for a new and better
Ethiopia. You could contribute to that solution even
We call you to join—if for no other reason than
it is the right thing to do. Many of you may have gotten
swept away with this system before fully understanding
the implications. Free yourselves from this bondage
you are in for you are the “most
unfree” of all people in Ethiopia. Freedom
of the soul and the conscience are the supreme gifts
of life given by God who ultimately judges all humankind!
Above all, may Ethiopians seek God and reflect His
mind and heart in their actions, treating each human
being as a precious life given by God as we move forward
towards a new Ethiopia. May He give those in more difficult
places, the faith, protection, discernment and courage
to follow God’s lead on that day and in the days
Then, may the imprisoning walls around us fall down
as the walls of Jericho fell down for Joshua and his
men. They never drew a sword, but blew their trumpets
and raised their hands to the heavens as they marched
around the city seven times until the walls collapsed!
Many Ethiopians who have never been involved in politics
before are now joining in mutual effort to push forward
for a new Ethiopia. Each of us is the change agent for
whom we have been waiting. Additionally, more is going
on under the surface than is publicly known. The channels
of communication between groups is well underway. People
from all regions of Ethiopia and from different ethnic
and religious groups have begun the work, both inside
the country as well as outside the country. This is
not a political group, but a movement to free the country.
Following that, the Ethiopian people can decide for
themselves who they want to govern the country.
God-willing, at the right time, the results of this
work will come out of the darkness to be seen by all
like that amazing and inspiring halo around the sun
that was just seen yesterday, on the same day as the
local election, by Ethiopians throughout the country
and even reported in international news. It was seen
not only in one particular region, but all over the
country, just like the change I envision for a new Ethiopia!
If we Ethiopians are to see the rising Southern Star
of freedom, justice and democracy come to Ethiopia,
it will not only take the politicians, the activists,
the educated, the economically privileged, our religious
leaders and others perceived to have more power, but
it will require every individual, including the homeless,
the unemployed, the youth, the marginalized, the uneducated,
the beggars and the many other precious Ethiopians struggling
within our country.
I especially call on the youth at the universities,
colleges and schools throughout the world to organize
a non-tribal, Pan-Ethiopian student movement and connect
it to each other in different parts of the world. Get
a team together and contact me personally. This is about
your future and you have a strategic investment in it.
We do know rallying together will be much easier for
those outside the country than for those within, especially
those who are known to be threats to this regime because
they are known to be opponents of the regime. Because
of this, the rest of Ethiopians must come out in great
numbers everywhere. It will make a huge impact if many
of the average Ethiopians within the country come out
to stand against injustice.
Imagine on that day, if groups of Ethiopians, like
Christians, would emerge from their churches and homes
with nothing more than their Bibles in their left hands—walking
silently without shouting or insulting Woyane, pointing
their finger to the sky signifying that God is their
Imagine if the same thing was done by the Muslims only
with the Quran in their left hands and their finger
pointing to Allah.
Imagine the non-believers walking side by side among
the others. Their left hands can cover their hearts
in love towards each other while their fingers point
to the sky in hope.
What would that mean to the Woyane or TPLF to see such
a demonstration of people who do not want to hurt or
insult anyone, but passionately want freedom, peace
and harmony? Think about the message of such a demonstration
in the international news!
The political activists, like the new party with Birtukan
and others with her, whom I personally know and dearly
admire, have their hands tied so we cannot depend upon
them to do it right now. Woyane watch their activities
24 hours a day. This is the same with other political
groups, liberation fronts, journalists, human rights
activists, religious groups or anyone else being monitored—something
that makes their lives very difficult; yet, I know they
are doing their best. These people are my heroes and
I am with them in heart and spirit.
On May 15-18, I will join with them and with Ethiopians
all over the world in standing up for freedom, justice
and truth. Remember, Ethiopians must show their solidarity
as a means to demonstrate our unity and commitment.
It will lay the foundation for the Movement for a New
Right now, a good number of talented and committed
Ethiopians, many never involved in politics before,
both in the Diaspora and within Ethiopia are organizing
a Movement for a New Ethiopia where all of us will belong!
I am counting on millions of Ethiopians to stand together
with me and each other on that day! Such solidarity
will build the credibility necessary to advocate for
Ethiopians in the international community.
One friend in the European Parliament recently told
me, “Following the May 2005 election, injustices
in Ethiopian were well known at the European Parliament
and in the media because average Ethiopians were rallying
before them in every EU member’s country. This
put us in a much better position to act, but this is
not the case today.”
This friend went on to advise, “The Ethiopian
people must do the groundwork in order to again bring
the Ethiopian issues to the forefront—the issue
of the lack of democratic process, the violation of
human rights abuses and the repression of all individual
freedoms back.” If we lose our voice, no one will
take it up for us. However, if we come together in greater
solidarity than ever before, it will be hard to ignore
us! We have a job to do!
Yesterday, at the recent local election, Meles was
able to intimidate and control the opposition, gaining
the appearance of more political control, but as we
look forward to May 15th, let us be reminded that it
was not by the plan of a human that the Ethiopian sun
was surrounded by a halo, it was a demonstration of
Divine power against which, no human can stand. Let
us place our hope in God to deliver us.
May the walls of oppression and injustice fall down,
without a shot being fired and without the spilt blood
of another precious Ethiopian! Together, let us point
our fingers towards the heavens—to God, our only
hope! He created that yearning in our hearts for freedom!
Think on this following example. When the Italians
invaded Ethiopia there was one Ethiopian who became
well known as “the Ethiopian man who rallied by
himself.” Can you imagine that? This man held
high the Ethiopian flag and marched in New York, Washington
D.C. and in other cities in America. All he had with
him was the Ethiopian flag and sign that said, “I
am marching for justice for my people!” He is
a hero of Ethiopia. Let us all imagine ourselves as
that man! Who knows, but freedom may come when and how
we least expect it!
“Even now,” declares the
LORD, “return to me with all your heart, with
fasting and weeping and mourning.”
Return to the LORD your God, for he is
gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding
in love, and he relents from sending calamity.
Blow the trumpet.., declare a holy fast,
call a sacred assembly. Gather the people, consecrate
the assembly; bring together the elders, gather the
children, those nursing at the breast. Let the bridegroom
leave his room and the bride her chamber. Let the priests,
who minister before the LORD, weep between the temple
porch and the altar. Let them say, “Spare your
people, O LORD. Do not make [them] an object of scorn,
a byword among the nations…
Then the LORD will…take pity on
his people. (Joel 2: 12-14, 16-17, 18)
For more information please contact
me by email at: Obang@anuakjustice.org
this file in Word format.
this file in PDF format.