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Tuesday, 30 December 2008

A challenge from a brave woman leader, Birtu Kahen !!!

Tedla Asfaw

Some doubted this past  weekend letter, "Kale",  sent by the honorable judge Birtukan Medeksa  means business. The letter challenged  not only the fascists in power but all Ethiopians back home and in the Diaspora. Birtukan for many of us is more than a traditional Ethiopian name with its English equivalent  "Orange" for its deliciousness and a common traditional fruit that is carried in urban Ethiopia when we visit families and friends in hospital.

Millions of Ethiopians who closely know her admire her and gave their confidence to lead them to freedom in May 2005.  She and other leaders of Kinijit were jailed for two years and released because of pressure on the foreign supporters of the regime. Since then I have  admired her confidence in the middle of men's club of Kinijit and hoped she will be a bridge between factions of Kinijit to keep the hope of May 2005 alive.

Who will forget the "Gashe" Hailu appeal in USA and her travel to visit him when he was seriously sick while some considered unworthy to visit a "dead man" ? This is a lady of principle and Ethiopian decency all melting together which many of us including leaders lack in the opposition camp.

I was not surprised by the weekend letter, "Kale" meaning My Voice for drawing  a line on the sand and expose the "pardon" fiasco designed  by fascist clique of TPLF to escape full responsibility for the killing hundreds of citizens in broad day light and put blame on the opposition leaders.

TPLF, however, changed its tactics and printed voluminous pages recently  to defend its crime committed against the Ogaden civilians when it was accused by human right  organizations because it could not find Ogaden Somalis to sign him a letter for "accepting" responsibility for killing their own family members.

The Meles regime killing has all been documented for the last eighteen years and will be charged for all the crimes sooner or later. The new theater in the name of the law that  has started by throwing our strong teacher or "Kahen "to jail for life is not  Birtukan the orange but "Birtu Kahen " to deny us a charismatic leader and also to distract us from TPLF's defeat and expulsion from Somalia, the on going protest throughout the Diaspora for the freedom of Teddy Afro and all political prisoners which is now gaining momentum day by day.

Ethiopians back home are very sad and a letter posted on one website is asking the Diaspora to do something because the email said "Ethiopians can not do anything home".  The reply from one Ethiopian was unambiguous, "live or die ".. Birtu Kahen/Birtukan has done her part and it is  the men surrounding her that have to come out and lead because as one sister put it no more hiding behind women's skirt.

However, I commend Professor Mesfin for what he did  to protect his "loved daughter",  Birtu Kahen not intimidated by fascist "Kalcho" and gun as we heard him on VOA interview Yesterday.  On the other side I was disappointed by Pastor Daniel who was close by and not brave enough to stand to the outlaws.

To other leadership of Birtukan's party, Andenet, I urge them to  be an example of a peaceful struggle they are pursuing and call  Ethiopians on street for peaceful protest and face the consequence. This is what peaceful struggle is all about beyond making good declaration on safe conference rooms and hotels. The other faction of Kinijit, AEUP,  led by Eng. Hailu should rally behind our Birtu Kahen and mobilize its supporters similar to "Miazia " 30 million people rally on streets of Addis Ababa. Former members of the ruling mafia, the Negaso Gidada and Seye Abraha's  who were received  as heroes on UDJP/Andenet conference in Addis last month should join the street mass protest if they are serious about peaceful struggle.

Those of us who were supporting Kinijit and now splintered in three or more camps or neutral, immediately mobilize the Diaspora under the banner of Birtu Kahen 's word , "Kaleshe Kalachene" and  not seat idle while she is locked up. We know very well the enemy strategy is to kill us separately. We can bring the never dying spirit of Kinijit of  2005 and answer to the challenge of the honorable and brave woman leader.