Friction within the CUDP

Indian Ocean Newsletter N° 1197 07/10/2006

With the leaders of the CUDP still in prison in Addis Ababa, the executive in exile of this organisation is beginning to fall apart.
The executive in exile of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy Party (CUDP, opposition) which had only just been designated last June has already plunged it into in-fighting that is paralysing it to the depth of its bowels. Ethiopian Review, which supports the opposition, has just launched an open campaign on its web site for the resignation of Major Yosef Yazew, one of the two CUDP executives who represented the CUDP in the Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (AFD) constituted recently with the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). For its part, the pro-government web site publishes a daily diary of the crisis within the CUDP in the Diaspora and the setbacks of its executives.
A meeting organised last week in Las Vegas by Berhanu Mewa, secretary general of the CUDP in Diaspora, almost turned to open combat after Major Yosef declared it illegal in a letter given out during the meeting. Since then, the CUDP support committee in Las Vegas has been divided into two rival sides. This cleavage harks back to differences inside the CUDP in Ethiopia itself. Hence, Berhanu Mewa is a supporter of Berhanu Nega (CUDP leader in prison in Addis Ababa) and opposes the supporters of Hailu Shawel (another imprisoned CUDP leader) including Major Yosef. Mewa is also close to Andargachew Tsige, the other CUDP representative on the AFD executive and to a group of the party’s hotheads in Washington. The latter are staunch opponents of the old guard composed, according to them, of Major Yosef, Solomon Bekele and Seyoum Solomon, all three of whom are supporters of Hailu Shawel.
The first effect of this division is to paralyse the activity of the CUDP in the Diaspora and to make it completely ineffective. Particularly as the internal problems have been deepened by differences over the constitution of the AFD and the debate over the alliance with the OLF. CUDP partisans in the Diaspora are therefore beginning to become bitter. One of them, London based Commander Assefa Seifu writing on the web site, recently condemned the CUDP executive in exile, further adding to the confusion and distress of this opposition party’s supporters.

posted by Ethiounited Moderator at7:01 AM


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