Monday, November 07, 2005

The Sleeping Giant has Awoken!

By Fikru Helebo

The sleeping giant has finally awoken! The tumultuous week that we have all just witnessed has shown us that the ordinary Ethiopian has had enough of those who give her lip service to freedom and democracy. She has realized that freedom and democracy are not given to her by the generosity of those who rule over her, but rather she must demand it by all peaceful means at her disposal.

As I write this, millions of Ethiopians are heeding the opposition's call for a stay-at-home strike to affirmatively express their support for their fellow compatriots who have been gunned down by a savage regime and the thousands who have been thrown in jail for the cause of freedom and democracy in Ethiopia. My heart goes out to those compatriots who have lost their loved ones in this struggle against a tyrannical regime that must be held accountable for the heinous atrocities it has committed. This is a hopeful sign for the future of Ethiopia and her people.

Unfortunately, all is not well as there are some reports of an armed revolt in some areas of the Amhara region. If there is any truth to such reports, I believe this will be a huge setback for the peaceful civil disobedience campaign that was called by the opposition. Any armed insurrection, especially one that is brewed in and served from the Amhara region, will only help to justify the strong-arm tactics of the Meles regime and will unnecessarily divide Ethiopians along ethnic lines and it should be discouraged by any responsible group or individuals that have the interest of all Ethiopians at heart!

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