Stanford, Calif., November 27, 2016 – Ethiopia is reeling from extreme social and political turmoil unlike any that the Ethiopian people have experienced in decades. The nation is awash with tears, oppression, poverty, blood, and death under the heavy hand of a plutocratic and murderous regime – the Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) – propped up by the government of the United States of America and many of its European and Asian allies.
In response to this crisis, the Ethiopian-American Council of North America (EAC) is planning a forum wherein concerned advocates can address the fundamental issues confronting the people and exiles of a proud, ancient nation now in the throes of fighting for the existence of a free populace under the cruel rule of the EPRDF.
From this consortium, EAC hopes that some guidelines can be established to help the U.S.A., other nations, particularly in the European Union, and other political entities worldwide, to address the many social and political problems being thrust upon the people of Ethiopia, the Ethiopian Diaspora, and even Ethiopian-Americans. The EAC is gathering concerned voices to assist in plotting a new path for a terror-free, peaceful, secure, and truly democratic future for all Ethiopian peoples.
Stanford University Venue, Internationally Renowned Advocates The convocation regarding the future of Ethiopian people will take place January 20-22, 2017 (approximately two-and-a-half days), at the Stanford University campus in California. EAC has extended invitations to an international community of renowned scholars, human rights advo-cates, politicians, and media representatives. Among others, invitations include these individuals and organizations, listed in no particular order:
Dr. Larry Diamond – Noted author and political sociologist; leading contemporary scholar in the field of democracy studies, with a focus on Africa; senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. Honorable Chris Smith – U.S.A. House of Representatives; Chairman, House Panel on Africa; principal in passing House Resolution 861 – Supporting respect for human rights and encouraging inclusive governance in Ethiopia.
Ethiopian People's Congress for United Struggle (Shengo) – Activists who have taken a good strong step to unite the beleaguered opposition political parties of Ethiopia.
Dr. Semahagn Abebe – Visiting Professor at the Human Rights Institute. He will be discussing the Ethiopian justice system. Oromia Media Network (OMN) – Media outlet with a thumb on the pulse of breaking news and social media flux.
The Africa Center at the Atlantic Council – J. Peter Pham, Director; Bronwyn E. Bruton, Deputy Director; Rudolph Atallah, Senior Fellow; Kelsey Lilley, Associate Director.
The Ethiopian Satellite Television and Radio Services (ESat) – Responsible journalism and information from a non-partisan network. Anuradha Mittal – Founder and executive director of the Oakland Institute; international expert on trade, development, human rights, and agriculture.
Felix Horne – Senior Researcher, Horn of Africa, Human Rights Watch. He will be discussing telecom and internet surveillance in Ethiopia.
As the summit agenda evolves over the coming weeks, other speakers and advocates will be on board. Because of the bloody unrest in Ethiopia, this summit is generating much interest from the international community.
Summit Objectives This list is not exhaustive; speakers will be addressing pertinent issues regarding Ethiopia: The quest for peace and security in Ethiopia and East Africa.
The constitutional issues regarding the nation's governance and other legal dilemmas, such as striking down the so-called anti-terrorism laws used to squelch dissent.
The hope for true democracy and true regard for human rights by the nation's lawmakers. The need for uninhibited freedom for all media – printed, internet, radio, TV, social outlets – to provide responsible journalism and information for the Ethiopian public.
The role of the diaspora-friendly media during the transition to a democratic Ethiopia. The guidance needed for the various Ethiopian political parties to cooperate in fomenting beneficial social, legal, and political change.
The need for economic development that benefits all citizens of Ethiopia. The demand for land reform wrought by mass illegal land seizures and the eviction of citizens from acreage that they have held for generations.
The participatory role of Ethiopian-Americans in the transition to true democracy for the African nation.
Ethiopian People Weary of Tyranny
Over the last year, hundreds of Ethiopian citizens have been killed, hundreds wounded, and thousands imprisoned, because they raised their voices for social, political, and economic justice. The ruling regime, EPRDF, does not understand that history repeats itself. Tyrannical regimes with no regard for the people they rule always fail. This convocation will be one more step to that end.
As the summit agenda progresses, the Ethiopian-American Council of North America will release more information.