Alexandria, VA: The press release conducted on July 8, 2018 in the Ethiopian Embassy regarding the reception of the Honorable His Excellency Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has been a major disappointment for the Diaspora community and for the community they represent at large. As we all know it was with certainty that the Diaspora community stands in full partnership with the Ethiopian Embassy to make sure that the prime minister’s visit is a total success by making sure that all Ethiopians in the Diaspora are well represented and stand to support the Prime Minister in his vision to promote peace, forgiveness and unity among all Ethiopians to transit the nation to a new era in its history. In order for this mission to attain its challenging goals, it is imperative that the Diaspora community is fully represented in the process and its sincere effort is not thwarted by issues, misrepresentations, and unbecoming state of affairs that surrounds the leadership and management of the process. This has been the clear parameters we have set from the very beginning to make sure that the misrepresentations that has transpired in the Press Release would not happen.
It was our understanding that the committee organized with the joint participation of the Diaspora community and the Embassy is in full charge of the processes, the events, the public relations and all pertinent issues that define the nature of the visit. It was our understanding that this noble mission will succeed as real process if and only if it draws all elements of the Diaspora from all sides with no discrimination, no exclusion, and fronting activities that camouflages different intentions other than what is agreed on the committee meetings and plans of actions.
As it was clearly reflected in the Press Release process:
- The display of guests on the Press Release does not reflect the real Diaspora community who have in earnest worked in this process with total faith that this process reflects the true face of the Diaspora. The structure of the press conference did not reflect the sprite of diversity and inclusion. Instead of breaking walls and building bridges, individuals who were dividing and preaching hate were given the platform dividing our community by their presence.
- Of the participants who were displayed on the podium it was totally dwarfing and counterproductive to the overall mission of the project and very insulting to the Diaspora community as well as disgraceful to what we plan to accomplish, to see people who intentionally organize forces to see the Prime Minister fail. On the podium was present an individual who clearly campaigns against the Prime Minister’s election, vision, strategies and action plans. In order to build bridges, it is imperative that individuals with spirit of unity, love, and forgiveness are represented in the media. The platform should not be given to individuals who instigate hate and division. It would have been very important that the Press Release was initially read and approved by the major committee that was working hard to see this mission fulfilled.
- The disorganization that was reflected at the time of the press release was reflective of unplanned or poorly planned actions, which reflects intentions and actions that were not fully discussed and planned within the committee.
- The Groups, in the committee have tirelessly worked using their social capital to bring those members of the community who usually have not been participating in any activity organized by the Embassy. The group brought individuals who for decades had opposed the Embassy to the negotiating table. The group did this in the spirit of unity and forgiveness that is reflected in the message of our Prime Minister. The vast majority of the diaspora, who have become hopeful of the change, were disappointed by the displayed profile of the Organizers. The hard work and credibility of the actual committee which worked for over two months has come under question, eroding the trust and confidence of the diaspora.
It is easy to surmise that what has transpired yesterday during the Press Release was that there was lack of transparency in the process. The presentation involves plans and actions that were not fully discussed and agreed on by the Hosting committee.
All these unfortunate circumstances in turn has totally disappointed the different organizations and stakeholders who have put all their energy, resource and networking with hundreds of thousands of the Diaspora community. The people in the Diaspora community in turn feel like the process is betrayed and their representation in the joint committee is no longer a trustworthy undertaking to fulfil the mission. As it has already been in fully display in the reaction of the Diaspora community, the high expectations of people and all the participants in this process is totally deflated, if not dashed, and the enthusiasm that has built up over the past two months is in jeopardy of evaporating.
This unfortunate circumstance is indeed a reflection of missed opportunities and unwanted obstacles in the process. If this is not timely corrected, the participants in the committee and hence the people who are represented in this process lose hope and it will put a major cloud in the process. It is our total faith and belief that the mistakes and the mismanagement of the process will get proper attention by all concerned parties and the necessary corrective action is taken to rebuild confidence and guarantee the Diaspora community that in fact they are the real owners of the process without a foul play. When the Diaspora community can clearly establish that there is a true transparency in the process and their representation is fully accepted and is clearly displayed in action, it will be possible for all of us to wholeheartedly remain involved in this historic event.
In short, all of us whose name is listed in the below will like to see that immediate action is taken to correct the mistakes while we see to it that the joint committee is the full owner of the process having true, honest, and legitimate representation and participation going forward. The Embassy should take immediate action to correct this display of blunder and call another press conference to apologize to community. If immediate corrective measures are not taken the walls will remain and unified voices will not be heard.
We are confident that the joint committee will convene together and take the necessary actions to bring us all together as one so that we continue our effort with zeal and determination to see that the Prime Minister succeeds in his agenda.
Looking forward for swift action towards fulfilling our mission.
GENERATIONAL BRIDGE BUILDERS OF ETHIOPIA