Home | News    Thursday 3 July 2008

Opposition holds "Forum for Democratic Dialogue in Ethiopia"

separation
increase
decrease
separation
separation

July 2, 2008 (ADDIS ABABA) — Concerned with what they call "the ever diminishing political space" in Ethiopia, four opposition political parties and two notable personalities have joined forces to form the "Forum for Democratic Dialogue in Ethiopia." The Ethiopian reporter said.

The forum was established by the United Ethiopian Democratic Forces (UEDF), the Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement (OFDM) the Somali Democratic Alliance Forces (SDAF) and the Union of Tigrians for Democracy and Sovereignty known as Arena, Dr. Negasso Gidada, MP and former Ethiopian president and Siye Abraha, former defense minister.

At a press conference given by the parties and the two individuals on Tuesday, members of the forum said that the policies pursued by the ruling party are debilitating the country, and that something has to be done about it.

They expressed their concern about the "unprecedented clashes that had been taking place between neighbouring peoples of adjacent regions of the country that have been causing heavy losses in human life and property."

In a press statement read by OFDM chairman Bulcha Demekesa, the forum members expressed their "outrage" by the inaction of EPRDF’s government to provide solution to the deplorable recurrent carnage.

They stressed that they are concerned by the "inability of the EPRDF government to discharge the responsibility and obligation of upholding the inviolability of Ethiopia’s borders and sovereignty."

Ato Gebru Asrat of the Arena party told journalists that due to the government’s failure to keep the territorial integrity of the country, Ethiopia will be forced to cede about 70 sq.km. of its land to Eritrea.

The parties and the two individual members, at the press statement, pledged that they will "jointly act against the illegal pressures and abuses perpetrated by the ruling party against the opposition political parties and their members and supporters, civic society organizations and individuals and the free press . . ."

Asked what realistic chance they had to act freely in the face of impending laws on civic society, the press and political parties that are in the pipeline, Gebru said that they had no choice but to keep on trying to expand the political space: "Until we are told that we can’t operate legally, we have no choice but try to expand that space."

Ato Bulcha added that they will try to widen the political space by talking to the ruling party also.

Former Defense Minister Siye Abraha accused the EPRDF - led government of trying to legislate laws that weaken the press and civic society but warned that the political process in a country cannot always go the way government wants. "The political life of a country has its own dynamics," Siye stressed.

"Although the narrowing or widening of political space has much to do with the actions of the government, non-governmental actors such as political parties and civic organizations have their roles too to play," Siye said.

"If opposition political parties, civic organizations and other institutions are disorganized and expose themselves to a "divide-and-rule" approach of the government, they will contribute to the diminishing political space in the country," Siye said.

"If, on the other hand, the press, civic organizations and political parties work together for minimum political goals, they might contribute to the expansion of that political space," he added.

"Why do we leave our future in the hands of EPRDF only?" Siye asked. He added that citizens had responsibility to take matters into their own hands.

(ST)

Comments on the Sudan Tribune website must abide by the following rules. Contravention of these rules will lead to the user losing their Sudan Tribune account with immediate effect.

- No inciting violence
- No inappropriate or offensive language
- No racism, tribalism or sectarianism
- No inappropriate or derogatory remarks
- No deviation from the topic of the article
- No advertising, spamming or links
- No incomprehensible comments

Due to the unprecedented amount of racist and offensive language on the site, Sudan Tribune tries to vet all comments on the site.

There is now also a limit of 400 words per comment. If you want to express yourself in more detail than this allows, please e-mail your comment as an article to comment@sudantribune.com

Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.

Comment on this article


 
 

The following ads are provided by Google. SudanTribune has no authority on it.


Sudan Tribune

Promote your Page too

Latest Comments & Analysis


South Sudan: Justice remains elusive, one year on 2014-12-17 04:17:40 By Elizabeth Deng December 16 2014 - A year after the outbreak of violence in Juba last December, hopes of accountability for abuses linked to the conflict remain distant. Despite repeated calls (...)

President Salva Kiir has betrayed his people and the nation 2014-12-17 04:15:00 By James Gatdet Dak December 15, 2014 - After many painful decades of destructive war of liberation against successive oppressive regimes in Khartoum, people of South Sudan gained their hard won (...)

Sudan protects terrorists 2014-12-15 04:29:57 By Kimberly Hollingsworth* December 15, 2014 - Sudan used to be the heart of Africa; now, Sudan is the heart of international terrorist organizations. Sudan is the hub for training extremists. (...)


MORE








Latest Press Releases


Norway grants US $1.9 million for humanitarian needs in Darfur 2014-12-16 06:47:08 The United Nations World Food Programme (WFP) - KHARTOUM Norway helps provide nutritious food to malnourished families in Sudan 14 December 2014 KHARTOUM – The United Nations World Food Programme (...)

Darfur Association "disheartened" by ICC decision to not meet them 2014-12-14 05:50:13 12 December 2014 RE: DPANY Requests/Direction of the OTP in the Situation of Darfur Dear Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda, We, the Darfur People's Association of New York, are disheartened by your (...)

REDRESS calls for the immediate release of Sudan’s distinguished human rights lawyer 2014-12-10 09:02:53 December 9, 2014 ­­ — REDRESS, and many other individuals and organisations around the world, are extremely concerned by the continuing secret detention of Dr. Amin Mekki Medani. On Saturday, 4 (...)


MORE

Copyright © 2003-2014 SudanTribune - All rights reserved.