Dr. Birhanu should apologize for the public (Tedla Asfaw)
This coming Sunday Sept 22 in Arlington, Virginia Ginbot 7 has called all Ethiopians for open public dialogue. On this public meeting Ginbot 7 chairman, Dr. Birhanu Nega and the Secretary, Andargatchew Tsige will be there. This is the “Mother of all Meetings”. Hope it will be aired live on ESAT.
Ginbot 7 has been on news recently after Dr.Birhanu’s leaked “embarrassing” audio and the interview Ato Andargatchew gave on ESAT this month. Both are now to face the public on what they have said in public among many other questions.
Dr. Birhanu has a budget of 500,000 dollar from bankrupt Eritrea. The budget is used for Ginbot 7 and also for ESAT. Most of us believed that ESAT has nothing to do with Ginbot 7, that is now history, Ginbot 7 owns ESAT.
We all remember when Tamagne Beyne of ESAT fundraiser/Activist answered this question long time ago by saying if ESAT is a Ginbot 7 media let it be, “Behonese”. Dr. Birhanu backed Tamagne positively thanks to the leaked audio that ESAT is financed by Ginbot 7. It is no more “Behonese”, ESAT is a media wing of Ginbot 7.
Dr. Birhanu should be asked this coming Sunday why does he need to “Deceive” the public for almost three years. He should apologize for the public. ESAT should be judged by its own record so far the Ethiopian public see it as a positive media.
One thing ESAT can not do is to criticize its financiers, Isaias Afeworki and Ginbot 7. As long as it does that it will be on air. The Diaspora fundraising has to go on because Isaias Afeworki is not a reliable partner.
Ato Andargatchew is working hard to make sure Isaias finance is coming. That was the reason he came strongly to sell Isaias as “a man of the year of 2006”. Lionizing a dictator as a model for Africa “self rule and reliance”. If Ginbot 7 has such leadership in mind for future Ethiopia after Woyane it will not win any free and fair election.
Ethiopians should ask how could Ginbot 7 leadership defend working closely with Isaias Afewroki who on this new year of 2006 message to his subjects and the rest of Ethiopia said that Ethiopia is a creation of “Second World War” among many anti Ethiopia activities for more than two decades.
We all know that after Dr. Birhanu leaked audio that the fighting army of Ginbot 7 has yet to be formed. Eritrea will not send its army to overthrow Woyane in the near future. It is only the mass uprising of Ethiopians that is a strong possibility for which isaias is preparing itself to control such an event by sending ethnic armed groups to different part of Ethiopia for long term conflict.
We heard recently from Ato Andargatchew that “educated Ethiopians” are joining the Ginbot 7 fighting army. The braking news on ESAT yesterday was about 4 Ethiopian Air Force pilots joining the army.
The Ethiopian army members that defected after the election 2005 massacre and many before that are now in Asmara fed and sheltered in their ethnic zones waiting to take power if there is a power vacuum in Ethiopia.
There is no armed rebellion in Ethiopia except low level skirmishes between Woyane and Ogaden National Liberation Front. The news of defecting members of the Ethiopian Army is a propaganda victory and should not be seen as a beginning of a military action against Woyane.
Ginbot 7 “Hulegeb Tigel” is not on field, it might be on air. Information is very important for the people of Ethiopia and ESAT has done its part on the last 3 years and should continue but ESAT can not liberate Ethiopia because it is not an armed organization.
If Ginbot 7 “Hulegeb Tigel” means media and armed rebellion it is true it did very well on the media front but nothing on the battle front. If the media is not independent to criticize the armed part of its movement it is very troubling.
The challenge of Abune Filipose On Washington, D.C. recent ESAT organized meeting for the leaders of opposition/Ginbot 7 showed the dilemma of ESAT independence. Bishop Filipose challenged Ginbot 7 leaders where and what their army is doing. ESAT moderators/journalists did not ask follow up questions and the public questions regarding the Ginbot 7 army is surely censored.
This coming Sunday many people who care deeply for freedom to come to Ethiopia should be free to ask all questions. It is up to Ginbot 7 leadership to answer all, it will be a decision time for members and supporters of Ginbot 7.
For the rest of us who wish change in Ethiopia should not be shy in expressing our views regarding Dr. Birhanu and Ato Andargatchew led Ginbot 7 movement because we need them to succeed.
/Tedla Asfaw is a prominent opposition activist based in New York/