By Obang Metho
I applaud our beloved youths for coming today in Gonder to protest against ethnic apartheid regime policy that is denying their identity and our national integrity.
I would like to applaud all our youths throughout Ethiopia for their extraordinary leadership, which in its commitment to a non-violent, peaceful struggle, has become a source of inspiration to many of us.
Since 2015, when the TPLF/EPRDF killed more than 600 our of family members from Oromay region and jailed more than 30,000 of them including opposition leaders like Bekele Gerba. I am glad that see our youths from Gonder stood in solidarity with them.
Thanks for embracing the principles of unity because it is the only way to total victory.
Though many of the protesters in Gonder are still young, they have demonstrated great discipline, intellect, courage, perseverance, resilience and a vision for an inclusive Ethiopia.
They have chosen a peaceful struggle, a model which has succeeded in India under Mahatma Gandhi, in the U.S. during the Civil Rights movement under Dr. Martin Luther King, and in South Africa under the leadership of Nelson Mandela in the ANC movement.
For our youths and the future leaders of all of us to take this path is a better prospect for assuring that Ethiopia does not descend into chaos, violence and social upheaval that may be nearly impossible to recover from for years, if ever. Look at the great human and economic costs to the people of Syria, Iraq and Libya.
Kudos to this committed group of young Ethiopians for the maturity, restraint and vision they have shown.
On the part of the SMNE, we will do our best to present your noble cause to the donor countries and peace-loving people throughout the world.
Ethnic apartheid regime of the TPLF/ERPDF is afraid of this kind of movement and it is why they are trying to intimidate you and our Oromo brothers and sisters. Don’t doubt the value and efficacy of a peaceful struggle.
What these young people are doing I believe is the right thing and I encourage them to continue with this approach.
I hope these young people will continue to stand for principles that will not only confront the TPLF/ERPDF but that they will also work to bring healing and restoration to Ethiopia.
My message to our youths and the future leaders of a NEW Ethiopia is not to doubt themselves when some may question their position or their age.
They should keep in mind that throughout the world, change has often come through the work of younger members of society. Ghandi was only in his thirties as was Dr. King.
As Ethiopians make plans for the next rallies and other efforts, I urge all Ethiopians to work with other parties, religious groups and peace-loving Ethiopians who share these principles. As you do, we in the SMNE will stand with you in solidarity.
May God lead us to renewed life as we value, nurture and protect the humanity of each and every one of us, putting humanity before ethnicity or any other distinctions, for no one is free until all are free.