Berhanu Nega and some former members of the Ethiopia’s main opposition, the Coalition for Unity and Democracy, today launched a new party that will not only pursue peaceful struggle in the bid to “bring democracy to Ethiopia”.
The alternatives of the new party include sit-ins, strikes, demonstrations and not working effectively in government offices, Berhanu said. He said Ginbot 7 could, if necessary, resort to the “use of force”. He added that the new party will work with armed fronts, the CUD had avoided in the past, as long as their interest is to bring democracy to Ethiopia.
Berhanu, who was elected mayor of Addis Ababa in 2005 but was never able to serve in that office, said his patience over what he calls a flawed political process has worn “thin”.
He said movements to bring justice to Ethiopia have not be welcomed by Meles and Bereket. Meles Zenawi is Ethiopia’s prime minister and Bereket Simon is his special advisor. “They cannot give us a dose of democracy in a measurement of their choice,” Berhanu said.
The newly formed party, Ginbot 7: Movement for Justice Freedom and Democracy, vowed to pursue peaceful means of struggle if the rules of the game are fair.
Berhanu called for mutual respect and real commitment for a smooth and democratic transfer of power. However, if the ruling Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front that has been in power since May of 1991 refuses to accommodate alternate political views, “the party will be forced to use other alternatives,” he said.