January 17, 2019

Declaration of the Founding of the Ethiopian National Movement (ENM)

Declaration of the Founding of the Ethiopian National Movement (ENM)

It cannot be lost on anyone at this juncture that the struggle of the peoples of Ethiopia for freedom, democracy and justice has entered a critically decisive stage. The fact that the popular struggle, born of the injustice and repression visited upon the population for a quarter of a century by the TPLF-led regime, is sustained for over a year in the face of mass killings and massive detentions unambiguously tells us that it has opened a new chapter. Due to the population’s refusal to be ruled as before and the worsening security situation caused by the regime’s refusal to part ways with its inherently repressive behavior, Ethiopia once again finds itself on the crossroads and in a totally uncharted territory.

On the one hand, we have a cross-section of Ethiopian peoples, in all its diversities, determined to bring about fundamental and systemic changes pitted in a life and death struggle with an oppressive and cruel regime armed to the nose. On the other hand, we have the TPLF-led clique determined to maintain with the force of arms its military and economic advantages accumulated by looting the public coffer and committing mass killings, massive detentions and wholesale displacement of those opposed to its rule so as to indefinitely cling on power. Given these grave and worrisome developments, it is incumbent upon responsible political organizations to find ways to effectively organize and wisely guide the ongoing popular struggle to its logical conclusion. It is to jointly perform the key tasks necessary to bring about a broad-based and participative transitional arrangement with the consensus of all key stakeholders that we formed a new alliance known as the Ethiopian National Movement (ENM).

The vision of the movement is to strive to build a truly democratic federal state that respects and equitably reflects all identities, promotes and guarantees the equality and unity of its peoples on the basis of social justice, citizenship, economic prosperity, and protects and safeguards the sovereignty of the country.

The mission of the movement is to jointly mobilize Ethiopia’s diverse communities to end dictatorship, and exclusive monopoly of political and economic power in Ethiopia and create the conditions for a truly democratic and genuinely federal system of government in order to realize our vision laid out above.

We arrived at this momentous decision of forming the Movement after taking into account the complex problems facing the country and its diverse population and after dispassionately reviewing our previous experiences. We want to underscore that we arrived at this historical decision after months of soul searching, dialogue, deliberations and negotiations under the auspices of and with the relentless efforts of neutral Ethiopian nationals who are not part of any political organizations, but equally concerned about the country’s dire situation and future fate. Accordingly, we want to state with utmost clarity and without any ambiguity our stands and intentions as follows so as to preempt the usual criticisms regarding customary political behaviors that would undermine the effectiveness of the popular struggle:

1. We, founding members of the Movement, have no illusion that we represent all the peoples of the country or all opposition political organizations. However, we want to underscore that we, the founding members as well as the facilitators, have labored tirelessly to bring onboard key political organizations. Despite our goodwill efforts, our achievements in this regard have been limited. The problems facing our peoples are getting more and more complex and complicated from day to day. The overriding demand of our population is unity and collaboration among the various forces seeking fundamental and systemic change in Ethiopia. We have already wasted valuable time and opportunities by failing to heed the call for unity and collaboration. We can no longer delay the question of forging unity and collaboration, indispensable for the success of the struggle. The question of joint and unified action is the question of our time. We cannot repeat the errors of the past. Such unity and collaboration sought by a cross-section of our society needs to start somewhere and the four organizations whose names are listed below have joined efforts in this movement so as to initiate further consolidation in the popular camp yearning for change. Accordingly, we shall not spare any efforts so that all stakeholders are included and represented in the Movement.

2. The founding member organizations of the Movement have been operating on the ground along with our peoples using different means of struggle. When we jointly launched this Movement, we have also correspondingly agreed that no member organization shall condemn and object to the means of struggle chosen by other member organizations. What this means is that each member organization shall have the autonomy and inalienable right to realize the objectives enumerated in its political program with whatever means under its disposal and that it deems fit.

3. By forming this Movement, we have reached common understanding that the one and only way that the suffering and injustice of the last twenty-five years imposed upon our peoples can come to an end and the freedom, democracy, justice, and equality sought by all our populace can be realized is through the unconditional removal of the incumbent TPLF regime and the successful installation of a new federal democratic system in its place.

We are launching this new alliance, the Ethiopian National Movement, cognizant of the above three cardinal points so as to create the conditions necessary for a transitional arrangement enjoying the legitimacy and support of all stakeholders and with the assurance and confidence that the various peoples of Ethiopia who are confronting with empty hands the TPLF dictatorial regime that is armed to its nose and committing untold and heinous crimes with impunity will resoundingly rally in unison behind these objectives.

We take this opportunity to call on all stakeholders, political organizations, groups, and associations directly concerned about the dire situation in Ethiopia to join us in removing the minority regime that has not only monopolized state power for its narrow ends but also exclusively controls the economic, political, military, and security institutions to subjugate and oppress our people with impunity and in perpetuity.

Freedom, democracy and justice for all peoples of Ethiopia!!
Founders of the Ethiopian National Alliance:
1. Oromo Democratic Front (ODF)
2. Patriotic Ginbot 7 Movement for Unity and Democracy
3. Afar People’s Party
4. Sidama National Democratic Movement

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