On October 9, 2016, Mr. Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister of the TPLF-controlled regime of Ethiopia, declared a state of emergency in Ethiopia, to be put into effect immediately and last for six months.
The people of Ethiopia have questions. What is the state of emergency meant to do? The prime minister claimed in a televised address, that the primary reason it was done was for the people. He said, “We put our citizens’ safety first. Besides, we want to put an end to the damage that is being carried out against infrastructure projects, education institutions, health centers, administration and justice buildings.”
We in the Solidarity Movement for a New Ethiopia (SMNE) strongly challenge the sincerity of the prime minister’s claim; believing the state of emergency would never have been necessary had this regime put the safety of its citizens first and not so severely violated every human and civil right of the people of Ethiopia.
There is righteous anger against evil and deep injustice, the killing of unarmed civilians, the imprisonment of journalists, activists and democratic voices, the closure of any political space, the shut down of the Internet, social media, and mobile phone communication and the wide scale robbery of land, resources and lives. However, we should not become like the one’s we condemn, namely the ethnic apartheid regime of the TPLF/EPRDF. Instead, we call on any who are involved in any violence or destruction of any property to stop; and those who are considering doing so, to not.
We call for calm, wisdom, patience and restraint. More violence and destruction is not the answer, but could ignite a cycle of bloodshed we would all regret. The destruction of businesses, manufacturing companies, vehicles, equipment, and other infrastructure in a rampage of anger is wrong and it will make recovery all the more difficult.