Ethiopia: The Atlanta Meeting – G7′s Lost Opportunity?
The following video is from the Atlanta Meeting convened by the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF), the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) and the Ginbot-7 Movement (G7) on April 23, 2011. The meeting was hailed by many as a turning point in the fight against Zenawi’s tyranny and domination.
At the meeting, representatives of OLF and ONLF, Mr. Jemal Gelchu and Mr. Abdul Hakim, respectively, went to great lengths to address and eliminate the concerns and fears of some of the meeting participants; namely, to assure everyone that an Ethiopian union, where democracy, freedom and the rule of law are respected and practiced, is desirable by all stakeholders.
On the other hand, the chairman of G7, Dr. Berhanu Nega, fell short of directly addressing the concerns and fears of Oromos; namely, whether or not G7 fully accepts Oromia as the homeland of Oromos, or is it working to dismantle Oromia? From the video, it can generally be said that G7 has not come to the middle to create a favorable condition to give birth to an Ethiopian union, where democracy, freedom and the rule of law are not just written on a Constitution, but are fully respected in practice.
The Atlanta forum should have been best used to address each others’ concerns and fears – first and foremost. Mr. Jemal Gelchu and Mr. Abdul Hakim are to be commended for using the forum to directly address the concerns and fears (however irrational some of them might have been) of some of the meeting participants, and to finally put these concerns and fears, which are mainly propagated by Meles Zenawi and his regime, to rest. In this regard, it was a lost opportunity for G7.
Addendum: There is a political gap between ethno-nationalists (ONLF, OLF) and Ethiopian nationalists (G7); this must be clear. Denying that the gap exists seems more opportunistic than encouraging stakeholders to narrow down the gap between them; this commentary by Gadaa.com is doing the latter one. On the other hand, Meles Zenawi and his cadres are working tirelessly to widen the gap. Woyane works tirelessly to exploit this political gap for its advantage. If this gap is closed politically, then Woyane will have no divide-and-rule tricks to play on the oppressed.Continued