Ethiopia: Opposition leader defends his group’s position, says would give chance for new PM

by Engidu Woldie
ESAT News (April 10, 2018)

A leader of an armed opposition movement against the Ethiopian regime says his group would give the time and chance for the newly appointed Prime Minister to bring about the changes he promised at his inaugural address and hold dialogue among all stakeholders to transform the country for the better.

Speaking to Stephen Sackur of the BBC’s HARDtalk, Neamin Zeleke, Foreign Affairs Head with Patriotic Ginbot 7, defended his group’s position that an all inclusive struggle, including armed struggle, was necessary to defeat and remove tyranny from Ethiopia.

Responding to Sackur’s question that espousing violence goes against the civil resistance at home, Neamin said his group is also amidst the nonviolence movement in the country albeit it was a secret and underground movement.

“We are everywhere in the country. We have an armed struggle in the north of the country, but we are also involved in leading and organizing civil resistance inside the country,” Zeleke said.

Also in response to a challenge by the host as to the choice of an armed struggle to fight tyranny, Zeleke said it was a form of self defense against a Tigrayan minority elite that captured the state and controls the economy, military and security of the nation.

“What would you do if the the 4 million minority Irish control the military, security and economy of the 60 million Britons in your country,” Neamin Zeleke said challenging the host. “It is self defense against a tyranny.”

Neamin, however, said his group is willing to give the new Prime Minister, Abiy Ahmed, the time to implement the pledges he made at his inaugural speech last week in which he promised to bring the country together and hold dialogue with all groups.