by Kidus Anteneh and Dr. Zelalem Teklu
I am an18 years old young man who has spent all my life in Ethiopia, under TPLF rule. Many people call me and other teenagers “the Kubee Generation” and in many ways they are comparing us with the “Fidel Serawit Generation”. By comparing us with generations of the 60’s and the 70’s, many suggest that my generation has no a slightest concern or interest about the peace, unity and prosperity of Ethiopia. We are categorized as if we have no national feeling except being immersed in addictions of Chat, drug and promiscuous activities. We are ridiculed as if we know more history about Europe and the United States than our own nation.
I don’t blame anyone for such generation gap except the TPLF regime. The 25 years of Woyane’s educational system, cultural and political indoctrination is one which contributed to such human resource and social deterioration. We have been thought history that propagate hate among nations and ethnics lines: how Amhara was subjugating the people of Oromo. How Minilik killed people during his expansion to the Southern and Western region of Ethiopia, how Mengistu Haile Marian bombed people in Hawzen. They never taught us how Tewodros, Yohannes, Minilik were fighting for the unity and the national integrity of Ethiopia. They never taught us how Minilik and Hailesilasie have had introduced civilization and education to Ethiopia. They are not teaching us our proud history, but rather are inculcating the bad shadows of Ethiopia. They don’t teach us about moral, ethics, family value, love, friendship, citizenship and national interest. But they force us to attend a civic education program that largely encourages ethnicity and discourage Ethiopia nationalism.
But I have to strongly underline that, despite the above mentioned TPLF calculated generational destruction, there are millions of youths of my generation who know about the proud history of Ethiopia. Even if Woyane has been trying to blind us, our parents have been teaching us, encouraging and guiding us to read our real history; they have been telling us stories like the glory of Ethiopia and our heroes’ victory over invaders from Britannia, Italy, Egypt and Sudanese Dervishes. We know about Ethiopia’s scarification at Karamara mountain and victory over Somalia during Mengistu Hailemaria era. We know everything about the civil war in Eritrea and Tigray. We know how it ended up, the tricks, the betrayals, the denials, the role of external forces in favor of Woyane and Shabia. We know how Woyane have stolen Ethiopian banks and established EFFORT.
Above of all, we know how Woyane is currently massacring our people only because they claimed the respect for their God given right. The right to live equally in their motherland, the right to get jobs, the right to own land, the right to get better health and education services. We, the present generation perfectly know Woyane and few Tigrians are controlling all economic resources of the country; controlling all the military, legal system and security of the country; we perfectly know Woyane and its few echelons and puppets are living a life far beyond their means, whereas millions of rural and urban people of ours are starving or living a menial life. That is why the whole Ethiopians are now demanding a radical change. That is why Woyane is now grappling to suppress and to crash such powerful movement.
I know hundreds of thousands of youths of my generation back home are fighting this barbaric regime while I am here in the United States University for higher education. I also know hundreds of my fellow youths in Gondar and Gojjam are brutally killed by Agazi sharp shooters, tens of thousands are inhumanely imprisoned and disappeared. All these mind boggling evil deeds of the regime did not give me a peace-of-mind to sit down and peruse my education. That is why I have decided to actively stand with my generation brothers and sisters even if I am geographically located far from the real struggle. That is when I discussed with Dr. Zelalem Teklu came up together with the following alternative ideas to support our people struggle.
I have a strong feeling that we can speed up the collapse of such brutal ethnocentric regime if we complement people’s struggle with economic embargo. I know Woyane is standing up on three Pillars. The first is the divide and rule politics, the second is the Military and security apparatus and the last but not least is the economic power. The regime is already losing the political power and our people on the ground are currently struggling neck to neck with the military and security apparatus. So, I think if Ethiopians are pushing very strongly on the economic pillar, our freedom days will be in short counts.
More than 90 percent of Ethiopian economy is controlled by the minority Tigrean rulers, so I have thought of three steps, which if implemented quickly, efficiently and simultaneously, can be detrimental in contributing to a speedy overthrow of the ruling power.
The first one is boycotting their products. EFORT (an association of companies under the TPLF regime) represents most of the factories, agricultural farms and processing plants and services of the country. If millions of people boycott to buy and consume their products and services, Woyane’s cash flows will dry up and hence contribute to the shaking up of the economic pillar of the regime. Moreover, like people in Gondar and Bahir Dar are doing it right now, if other people all over Ethiopia implemented economic opposition movement such as stay-at-home, stop paying tax, withdrawing their bank deposits, etc. can stop the financial blood line of the regime even faster.
The second one is to encourage aid agencies to stop writing huge blank checks to TPLF. As shown in the graph below, Ethiopia is receiving more than $3.8 billion foreign aid every year and most of this money is directly injected into the government budget. Most of the financial aid are allocated to help the country’s fight against poverty but the resource is largely used for political and military suppression of ever increasing starved and impoverished people.
Ethiopians in diaspora should challenge the Aid agencies, the U.S and E.U. governments that any type of aid should not channeled through the government while knowing that they are financing not only the underdevelopment of Ethiopia but also against the survival, peace and democratic liberty of our people. If they don’t care about our interests, they should think again; They should understand that their geopolitical interest in the horn of Africa could not be attained unless a democratic, peaceful and stable Ethiopia is maintained. They may think Ethiopia under Woyane is the most “stable” country in that region, but they should act quickly before the time bomb of internal resistance blows in front of their eyes. If they cut off aid, it will create a deficit in the government’s budget and that accompanied with the economic boycott of the people will force the rulers to kneel to people’s demand or speed up their own demise.
The third one is remittance. There are millions of Ethiopians across the globe who are sending money to support their family. As shown in the above graph, Diaspora Ethiopians are sending more than $3.5 billion of hard currency that is directly feeding the foreign reserve need of the country. If Ethiopians reduce sending money at least by one third, let alone stop sending at all, it will reduce the foreign currency inflow by 1 Billion. Reduction of 1 Billion, out of the current two-month capacity of the country to import, could help weaken economic power of the regime. If importing capacity is reduced to 1-month range, industrial and agricultural inputs will be reduced by huge among that will have a multiplier effect in reducing production of basic necessities like food crops, cloths, flours, sugar, edible oils, medical, cleaning and sanitary merchandises. Then shortage in supply above demand will cause inflation and many businesses firms will be forced to lay-off their workers, hence high unemployment.
The current Ethiopians suffering over Woyane’s mass killing and imprisonment, torturing and democratic right violation; denial for accessing information of TV, Telephone, Internet and social media when accompanied with chronic starvation, high cost of living due to inflation and high unemployment will severely damage TPLF ability to govern and speed up its fast destruction. So I suggest people both inside and outside Ethiopia should stringently implement such alternative strategies in the fight against our enemy.
I am the Woyane Generation, but me and millions of the young generation born and grown up during this period defy Woyane and are fighting to overthrow this greedy, uncivilized and barbaric regime.
GOD BLESS ETHIOPIA
by Kidus Anteneh and Dr. Zelalem Teklu