"Free our leaders and stop the war" December 22 2006 - A day of vigil in Europe.

Under the banner, "Free our leaders and stop the war" Europe kinijit support groups in collaboration with civic organizations will be holding vigils in Johannesburg and more than 8 European cities. Our leading slogan will be "This time there is no Christmas in Ethiopia"; a line taken from the famous song composed by the world top artists to raise funds to tackle famine in Ethiopia in 1984. We call upon all Ethiopians all over the world to join us by organizing similar vigils to remember the dead and the imprisoned and protest against a war designed by Meles Zenawi only to prolong his stay in power. The following is a flyer prepared for the occasion. Please pass it amongst your friends so that it reaches the indigenous population of the respective country you reside. Details of events in each country will be posted on kinijitethiopia.org.
This time again "There is no Christmas in Ethiopia"

The history of Christian Ethiopians is as old as Christianity. Its beginnings came long before Europe accepted Christianity. On the record this will be, at least, the 1650th celebration of Christmas holiday in Ethiopia. Yet Christmas this year in Ethiopia will not be celebrated with customary joy and festivity. The reason for it is not a natural calamity such as the famine of the 1980s which forced Europeans to sing the famous song; "Do They Know it is Christmas" to raise funds to feed the starving.
The misery associated with this Christmas is a product of the actions of a brutal regime. The ruling party that lost the May 2005 general election and its determination to hang on to power by brute force has turned Ethiopia virtually into hell. Hundreds have lost their lives; thousands have disappeared and tens of thousands have ended up in prisons and concentration camps to languish in subhuman conditions. Among them we find democratically elected members of parliament that are leaders of the largest opposition party, CUDP, Coalition for unity and democracy. The first ever democratically elected Mayor of the city of the capital, Addis Ababa, scores of journalists who were serving the fledgling free press and a number of prominent civic organisation leaders are also among those thrown into prison. Torture and extrajudicial killing has replaced the rule of law.
In its desperate attempt to cling on to power, and to divert the attention of the indigenous population and the international community from its crime against humanity, the government of Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is now actively campaigning to invade Somalia under the guise of the war on terror. The prospect of a dangerous and destructive war is looming. On top of the gross human rights violations and the grinding poverty which Ethiopians have to endure recently, a new front of suffering has been launched to make their lives more unbearable.
It is in this climate of daily abuse, fear and uncertainty that Ethiopians are forced to greet Christmas.
This Christmas, you can give millions of Ethiopians a gift that will cost you nothing.
Tell your representatives in parliament and government officials to use their influence on the Ethiopian government and demand the release of all political prisoners in Ethiopia.
Tell them to work on your behalf to stop the prime minister of Ethiopia from executing a war that will drag the whole region deep into troubled water.

Ethiopians for peace, freedom and democracy, CUDP support and civic organisations in Europe and South Africa.

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at10:59 PM


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