Saturday, May 19, 2007

Another opposition group in the making?

Definition of madness is doing the same thing over and over, for ever and ever, expecting a different result. Lack of adequate political groups is not what plagues Ethiopian politics, but rather an inherent (dare I say, cultural?) inability to compromise...A dirty word in Ethiopia's all-or-nothing politics. Until we can overcome that hurdle, it's hard to keep hope alive.

A daring think tank project
Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1214 19/05/2007

A group of Ethiopian intellectuals living in the United States wants to found a new political grouping, in the hope of ultimately providing an alternative to the current regime in Addis Ababa.

The leaders of a small think tank called Ethiopians for Peace, Democracy and Development, gathering expatriate Ethiopians in the United States, would like to transform itself into a true political movement, recruiting from among the members of the current Ethiopian opposition. They would like it ultimately to become an alternative to the regime of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi. This project is being carried by a triumvirate of intellectuals heading the said think tank, namely Daniel Kinde along with two retired Ethiopian Ambassadors, Ayalew Mandefro and Imru Zeleke.

According to information obtained by The Indian Ocean Newsletter, the three men want to begin by recruiting several hundred partisans from among the Ethiopian intellectual elite, while however avoiding sympathisers to certain existing opposition organisations. Their plan appears to be to subsequently draw up a new constitution for Ethiopia and ultimately designate a shadow cabinet as an alternative to the one in Addis Ababa. Their idea is to therefore obtain support from the American Administration, particularly now that the Democrat Party has the majority in the House of Representatives. The final stage in their plan would be to gain support from within the Ethiopian military machine. An Ethiopian official who has defected via Djibouti and Germany to take refuge in the United States is helping them in their task.