July 12, 2020 0 By admin

Link: · How to tell the original from the illegal copy of Dr. Berhanu Nega’s new book. Source: Kinijit. Book Signing and Discussion on Democracy and an all Inclusive Development in Ethiopia, A New book in Amharic By Dr. Berhanu Nega. Dr. Berhanu Nega, associate professor of Economics at Bucknell University and the Chairman of the Ethiopian oppo lg sition Movement, Ginbot.

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First he was jailed and convicted for treason, then he was forced to live his life in exile in the US where he took up a teaching job at the economics department of Bucknell University.

After years of armed resistance from its base in Eritrea and following a wave of political liberalization in Ethiopia which began in March this year, Patriotic Ginbot 7 announced that it was ceasing all armed struggles and moving back to peacefully operate from Ethiopia.

As part of his last leg tours to Europe, Berhanu traveled to Germany in mid August where our editor Tsedale Lemma had a chance to meet him and conduct the following interview. But there is one question that kept dividing Ethiopians across the board: I am asking this because many Ethiopians have continued looking at the Patriotic Ginbot 7 through the prism of what happened in post In short, do you regret your decision?

It depends which decision you are asking me about. There were so many decisions at that time…. Your decision not to enter the parliament…. This was just one decision that the ruling party at the time thought it was convenient for it to talk about it more by deliberately controlling the kinds of issues it wants to raise. If you ask me was our decision not to go to parliament legitimate?

In fact our decision has never been not to go parliament; part of the overall misinformation in this issue is that nobody is interested in listening to what actually happened and think about the process in which those decisions were made. We decided that we will go to parliament insofar as X, Y, and Z happened. These were the eight issues that we raised that even if we were absolutely confident that the EPRDF has lost and that it has literally stolen the election, we were still willing to go to parliament insofar as we know that the next election five years later would be free and fair.

The questions that we raised at that time were entirely related to the independence of institutions: And unless otherwise these issues were settled, unless otherwise we sit down and agree on the establishment of independent institutions that would lead to a meaningful democratization process five years from then, then it has no meaning; it becomes absolutely meaningless and it would give a wrong signal to the people that democracy is just a joke.

To decide not to play, not to agree to this kind of open and egregious circumvention of the political process, I think, was a legitimate decision on our part. We were not there to get positions here and there; that was not our interest.

Our interest was to usher in a real democratic change and to be a part of the process. In that sense our decision was very specific; in fact we coached it and even the term we used was a very positive in the sense that we will go to parliament, but we need to negotiate on these issues, on the future of our politics.

When it became absolutely clear that the ruling party was not at all interested in this whatsoever, then we decided that other than joining the parliament and making noise, there was no purpose in being there. The only thing that we would have achieved would would have been being a party to cheating the public. It bethanu the strangest thing that came from the ruling party and its supports because they know, we know, the election board knows; they were there when we went and asked obok accept the responsibility of running the city.

They even called me and we went berhan, they were there; the election board official [Tesfaye Mengesha, the deputy head of the election board] was there; and the EPRDF berhnu from the neya were there. This is what they said; the CUD never decided not to accept the city it won out of seats; that is how absolute it was; we never said we were not going to take over the city.

So this rubbish that you hear about the CUD not willing to accept the city is nonsense. So the decision not to go to parliament, I think is, proven. They have been in parliament. What change did take place?


They changed the rules of parliament just immediately after that; they just circumvented the whole process. Fast forward to Have you foreseen this was going to come or were you always determined that the path that you pursued, the armed struggle, would have yielded a result sooner or later? I mean, we… you know when you get into this kind of decision you make a decision on the bases of what you think is right.

Berhanu Nega – Wikipedia

And the choice that we had after was to either accept to live under tyranny, or to fight it. Essentially, they made it very clear: It is ebrhanu because that is the best way, but if we have to show our commitment, if we have to show not only to them but to the public, that this thing is worth fighting for, to live in freedom is worth dying for, then so be it; it is worth it. You know the reason why we applaud our forefathers for Fighting against colonialism is because of this yearning that they had for freedom.

So for us it is a commitment. I can only call my country, my country when it reorganizes my citizenship that I am a citizen of that country. Citizenship is the most important thing that a country gives to the people who live under its border.

But it cannot come if you just sit and pray ebrhanu it. You have to struggle for. So our fight was a demand for this right, but also the responsibilities that you have to usher in with it. So our commitment is to have this freedom. But have you anticipated that you would have found yourself in this position today, having to prepare to pack up and go back and conduct a civil struggle from the ground? Have you anticipated this would have come that early or have you always expected that would be what your armed struggle would have brought?

Close to three years ago, it was very clear that this regime was not going to continue. I mean, we were absolutely certain that this regime cannot continue, it was finished; it has finished its energy; all the tricks that it played to stay in power by fooling people into was gone since three ago.

Ye’netsanet gohe siqe’d, second edition (Papercover)

Earlier on it was only a few of us who were willing to die; but since three years the whole people of Ethiopia were willing to die for this regime to go. I think for anyone who looks at society carefully would see that it was the beginning of the end. Now our worry was how was it going to end? And we were really hoping that the civil disobedience was going to lead towards that rather than any armed…you know, there is, there has always been a nervousness — this nervousness also include nervousness on our part — that anyone enga armed group beating a regime and come into power has very little guarantee that it would be true to the principles that it fought for.

So we were hoping that we will not be, or any armed group will not be the one that ushers in behanu change, if in the long run the change we seek is a real meaningful democratic politics. We were really hoping that the civil disobedience neva lead toward that end. And we participated significantly in that part of the struggle. So we were hoping that would happen. So towards the end it was very clear that the neg could not go on. What was not clear was how was the change going to come.

So we were very happy when that change began to take place within the ruling party. We supported it, we were following it very closely.

So berhannu more or less defined the nature of the change. We used to have this discussion neag how long before they collapsed. For someone who was not there, it might be difficult to accept. But we were there; we have some clarity about the fact that was the year; we were clear that the option was either to have this change take place or a complete collapse. These were the options.

And we were rooting for the changes to take place before the country collapses. And we are very, very pleased. It is safe to conclude that its journey has not been without a bump, which at berbanu clouded the initial euphoria that followed its establishment.

One of berhanuu is your decision to locate in Eritrea to pursue the armed struggle. How do you asses behranu in terms of its political cost? Did you think this campaign to isolate Ginbot 7 from its constituency because of your decision to locate in Eritrea cost you some political currency? If so, do you think it was legitimate? Let me first, at least partially, disagree with you on the way you presented the so called the unity camp. That is why I said it is always debatable….


You can have one ethnic group with ten organizations with different opinions about what the interest of that particular group is. Hook the same thing is true with what is dubbed as the berhhanu camp, which, if I understand you correctly, the unity camp essentially is this broad category that you painted which essentially says Ethiopia should berhqnu one, there should not be division and dismemberment of its region.

In that sense we are absolutely in that camp. But there is of course a big difference in terms of how that is to be achieved. The same way obok any ethnic political camp has divisions on variety of issues, the so called Ethiopian unity camp also neha the same divisions. We have always, at least as an organization, we have always believed that unity is important not only because any politics outside of that that requires the dismemberment of the country as its objective is not only politically not right, but it is also practically not going to be the way to achieve peace in the people that live in that particular geographic region.

So we argued that unity is extremely important, but the bases of that unity is real meaningful democratic politics that accepts the citizenship of everyone that lives in that political boundary. It is unity on the bases of bolk politics, which we believe is the only sustainable, stable political argument.

So the decision to go to Eritrea has been entirely based on practicality in a sense that Eritrea is the only country that was willing to support any kind of opposition to the regime. As you know, the so called democratic countries in the west are the ones that had been funding this regime. They have abandoned their own principles, and were willing to support such berhanj brutalizing regime; so nobody can tell us about democratization or things of that sort in terms of aligning some form or getting support from Eritrea; it was never a big issue.

But to come to your point, yes, we expected a lot of noise that was going to come not just as you said from the unity camp, but particularly from TPLF, presenting it as if [we were] selling the country. But we have never had doubts that of all the people, the TPLF folks cannot tell us about Ethiopia and what berganu means to love your country. We know a lot. We know the boko camp, as you suggested, takes Eritrea at some point as the enemy, and that it is anti-Ethiopia, that it is committed to making Ethiopia disintegrate, that it was the one supporting ethnic politics all over.

– Ye’netsanet gohe siqe’d, second edition: Berhanu Nega (Dr.): Books

We know all that. We know what the story was, but we also know that the Eritreans sinceeven before they came to power, have been against ethnic politics in Ethiopia. We know they thought this was crazy for the TPLF to advocate and push; we know, they know that this kind of politics is dangerous and that they have been telling the TPLF not to go that route.

But the TPLF did it because as far as they are concerned that was the best thing for them in order to consolidate power, in order to divide societies so that they can control power.

So we know the initial reaction might be negative, but we also know that initial reaction was not based on facts and truth. So,we have never, as an organization, never been an organization that simply follows what is popular. We have always followed our heads; we try as much as possible to analyze things before we make a decision, but when we make a decision, it is not based on whether it is popular or not, it is based on what we think is right for the country and bkok we think is the right politics.

The practice of weaponizing Ginbot 7 and summarily charging thousands of individuals with terrorism. OLF and Ginbot 7, so to say, were the two leading organization on bfrhanu name thousands were prosecuted. I personally know, and I do have a documented evidence that your mere presence as a political organization has been weaponized inside and outside of a court room and was berhnau to prosecute, force into exile and torture thousands.