March 7, 2018
This Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) sets for the terms and understanding between political forces in Ethiopia who took part and in principle agreed to work together during all-inclusive International Conference conducted in London between February 24 and 25, 2018.
The Peoples’ Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (PAFD) had initiated and organised an ‘International conference on a current crisis in Ethiopia to explore realistic alternatives’ in London, UK between February 24 and 25, 2018. After a critical consideration and deliberation of the current dreadful situation in Ethiopia, the participants unanimously committed to set a MoU to strategize peaceful transition that would be acceptable by all peoples in Ethiopia. Therefore, we the delegates of various political organisations observed and pronounced the following:
- Depth of Current situations in Ethiopia- The depth and magnitude of the current problems and dire situation facing Ethiopia demand from us to narrow our differences and confidently work together towards an all- inclusive, realistic and lasting solution.
- Gross violations of Human Rights- The TPLF/EPRDF’s reign has been marred by gross violations of all sorts of individual and collective rights of peoples in Ethiopia. The regime went to the extent of large- scale violation of human rights (genocide) which is equivalent to crime of violence against humanity. Through its politically motivated and extremely weak judiciary system, the regime harasses and intimidates opposition leaders and their members, journalists and the public at large.
- Delusion of the democratization process in Ethiopia- The world’s understanding of the democratisation process in Ethiopia is delusional. The regime was erroneously seen as ‘democratic government’ despite the fact that its brutality and dictatorial nature was revealed in several occasions since it came to power. The endorsements of elections of 1995, 2000 and 2005 by external players validated the regime’s electoral authoritarianism. However, the fake democracy was left naked when the regime declared its landslide bogus victory with 99.6 % during 2010 and 100 % during 2015 elections respectively. The Oromia-wide anti-government protest culminated just months after the regime declared of its last victory and progressed throughout Ethiopia to date wholly disproving the regime’s claims. The TPLF/EPRDF has totally restricted political space and repeatedly employed draconian legislations to legitimise its crack down on political opponents, civic society organizations, and independent media utterly crippling the process of democratization in Ethiopia.
- Artificial conflicts among peoples as a means of Governance- the EPRDF employs divide and conquer governance policy by instigating chains of artificially orchestrated conflicts between peacefully coexisting nations and peoples in Ethiopia. Moreover, the regime went to the extent of recruiting, training, and arming militias of one ethnic group to wage war on its neighbours and maim unarmed civilians in various regions. The recent example is TPLF instigated conflict between Somali Ogaden and Oromos that costed the lives of hundreds of civilians on both sides and displaced about a million people from their homes and properties. Such maliciously masterminded conflicts by TPLF/EPRDF are rampaging the entire country as we speak.
- Reckless land grab and displacements of peoples- The huge land grab to lease to rich countries and wealthy individuals, who often export their produces to their own respective countries, whilst nearly 8 million people exposed to famine. This clearly indicates that, the regime has no consideration and accountability to the Ethiopia people, rather only cares for its corrupt officials and defends its interests at the expense of the majority.
- Lack of Environmental protection- The environmental cost of leasing out land to foreign investors, without appropriate frame on environmental protection, shows the regime’s recklessness. Ample evidences indicate that, there are countless numbers of natural species going extinct since the TPLF/EPRDF assumed power in 1991. Contamination of soil and water emanating from the reckless use of dangerous chemicals on the factories; careless use of pesticides by the investors, and deliberate burning of vast forests with hundreds of indigenous trees by TPLF/EPRDF agents are leaving rural communities and their animals at serious health risk.
- Continuous military response to peoples’ peaceful quests- The TPLF/EPRDF regime has increasingly resorted to responding to the peaceful quests of peoples for freedom and democracy with military solutions. It had declared a state of emergency (SoE) in October 2016 and series of SoEs since then and mounted massive military operations in various regions, using various excuses to massacre unarmed civilians, concomitantly burning their villages in many parts of the country on ongoing basis.
- Monopolising political and economic power by TPLF- In the current one-party political authoritarianism, the political and economic powers are intertwined and monopolised by the regime. TPLF- owned enterprises, endowment funds, army and security apparatuses are not protecting the people but are loyal to TPLF/EPRDF regime and corrupted officials. The TPLF owned ‘Endowment Fund for Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT)’, the largest company in Africa, has monopolised all business from little to large; crippled private enterprises and exploited the entire country.
- The regime’s inability to withstand popular revolution- The regime is unable to endure the non-violent and peaceful protests that erupted primarily in Oromia followed by the second largest nation, the Amhara and extended to other regions shaking the regime. Currently, Ethiopia is a country of uncertainty where social and political tension dictates all aspects of peoples’ life. These affect not only Ethiopia but also other nations of the horn of Africa.
- Widespread instability in the country– It is recognized that the democratic process initiated in 1991 in Ethiopia has failed to advance to lasting peace and stability. The instability would not only become cataclysmic to Ethiopia, but may also engulf the horn of Africa. Resolving inter-state and intra-state political tensions on time; promoting democracy and equality and robust policy on reducing poverty and creating favourable conditions for economic prosperity will be critical for region’s stability and defeating terrorism in the region.
This MoU stressed the severity of the situation in Ethiopia and established workable framework for resolving the current crises in unison sooner than later. The key objectives of the conference were bringing together all opposition groups of Ethiopia irrespective of their political and ideological differences and openly discuss on dire situation to identify the underlying causes for unfolding tragedies in Ethiopia and devise a realistic strategy to remove the cause and devise lasting peace and stability in the country.
This conference set in motion a process of genuine democratization to resolve the current crisis in Ethiopia through the following mechanisms and activities:
- Unconditionally work together with determination and dedication during the pre and post TPLF/EPRDF regime.
- Urge the Ethiopian peoples and political forces within the country and in the Diaspora to actively participate in peacefully resolving the current crisis in Ethiopia.
- Conduct a similar all-inclusive National Conference on peace and democracy within the shortest time scale possible.
- Call upon all friends of the peoples of Ethiopia and the international community to support this initiative to bring about lasting peace by resolving outstanding political issues and enduring and genuine democracy to the country.
- Prepare a comprehensive all-inclusive roadmap for a Transitional arrangement- based on negotiations and agreement reached upon with all political forces of Ethiopia during its forthcoming all-inclusive international conference/s.
- Facilitate all-inclusive transitional Conference in Ethiopia and work in unison a programme of transition and establish an all-inclusive transitional post-TPLF/EPRDF government.
- Unconditionally respect and uphold all fundamental human rights including individual, collective and the rights to self-determination.
- Build the necessary institutions for democratic transition including non-partisan electoral board.
- Honour and respect the souls of all peoples murdered by the TPLF/EPRDF’s barbaric regime in the past 27 years in Ethiopia whilst seeking justice.
- Create an independent truth and reconciliation commission in Ethiopia.
- Create a non-discriminatory legislative framework against nations and peoples in Ethiopia that is based on categories such as their numbers, identity, culture, religion, gender, and skin colour.
The conference has established a Coordinating Committee and its Executive comprising high level representatives from the participating political forces to liaise and follow-up the process of convening the next conference/s and establishing the support of the peoples in Ethiopia and the international community.
The political forces Ethiopia that participated in this conference call on all other Ethiopian political organisations, stakeholders and civil organisation both at home and abroad to set aside minor differences and unite against the TPLF regime; support the struggle at home, work to create an all-inclusive transitional government which will facilitates the creation of non-partisan institutions that can ultimately establish a democratic arrangement in Ethiopia.
Finally, the conference participants express their profound appreciation and gratitude to PAFD for initiating, coordinating and delivering this international conference thereby enabling us all to come together and agree to work together to find a proper cure for the ongoing malignancy in the country. We also fully endorse and appreciate the USA’s legislative body for crafting HR128 on behalf of the peoples of Ethiopia.
This MOU shall be effective as of 25th February 2018 and will remain in effect until amended or repealed through a consensus of the organization representatives in the Co-coordinating committee and it may be made at any regular meeting, or at special meeting called for this purpose, provided by a written notice of the chairman of the intended Organization for a change. The intention of the meeting and proposed amendments are conveyed to all member organizations two weeks in advance through the Chairperson of Co-coordinating/Executive Committee.
List of organizations
Name of the organization Representative Name Signature
- Afar Liberation Front Party (ALFP) : Mr Ahmed Humed
- Gambella Nilotes United Movement (GNUM) : Mr. Ojulu Cham
- Oromo Parliamentarian council (OPC): Dr. Getachew Jigi
- Shekacho People’s Movement for Democracy and Social Justice (SPMDSJ): Dr. Achame Shana
- Tatek Movement for Freedom, Democracy and Unity of Ethiopia (Tatek Ethiopia): Mr. Yosias Tadesse Negash
- People’s Alliance For Freedom and Democracy (PAFD): Dr. Shigut Geleta
- Benishangul People’s Liberation Movement (BPLM): Mr. Mohammed Ahmed
- Gambella Peoples Liberation Movement (GPLM): Mr. Oman Goran
- Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF) Mr. Hassan Moalin
- Oromo Liberation Front (OLF): Mr. Oda Xase
- Sidama National Liberation Front (SNLF): Mr. Danboba Natie
The International Conference in the Current Crisis in Ethiopia, to explore a Realistic Alternatives.
The End of Deliberation!