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The Fifth Column: Current Ethiopian Opposition Parties

Ethiopia is on the eve of a nationwide election to be held the coming May. Election is one of the basic instruments of a democratic nation to demonstrate its readiness in accommodation a multi party politics. Majority of the previous election years were peaceful except the 2005 one, which was marred by allegations of vote rigging and fraud by both the government and the opposition. Even with its all complaints the opposition managed to unseat the government a number of parliament seats. But as it was adamant to share the House with EPRDF, Kinjit resorted to a street demonstrations and open attacks on the government’s properties. Unfortunately the clashes culminated only after claiming lives of some policemen and close to two hundred opposition supporters. It continued to taint the image of our democratic process. And it is still regrettable that we’ve lost lives from both sides.
From that time on all their activity is that of A Fifth Column. What is the Fifth Column?
A fifth column is any group of people who undermine a larger group such as a nation from within. The activities of a fifth column can be overt or clandestine. Forces gathered in secret can mobilize openly to assist an external attack. In line with their activities related to Egypt and Eritrea. This term is also extended to organized actions by military personnel. Clandestine fifth column activities can involve acts of sabotage, disinformation, or espionage executed within defense lines by secret sympathizers with an external force. They are persistently and deliberately working to undermine the people’s trust in the government and collaborating with the enemy against our national defence army.
The term was initially used by Emilio Mola, a Nationalist General during the Spanish Civil War, told a journalist in 1936 that as his four columns of troops approached Madrid, a “fifth column” of supporters inside the city would support him and undermine the Republican government from within. The term was then widely used in Spain. Ernest Hemingway used it as the title of his only play, which he wrote in Madrid while the city was being bombarded, and published in 1938 in his book The Fifth Column and the First Forty-Nine Stories.
Our opposition are trying to do the same. By beaconing a hostile country to open war and assisting the enemy from within by providing intelligence and psychological support. This unpatriotic move, by no means, should be regarded as a peaceful opposition. Their unity is a sham. It is based on unprecedented hatred against one particular group. With them their is no future Ethiopia. The country as we know it will cease to exist.
We need to have a frank opposition which puts the values of the people before its narrow agenda. It has to be a true alternate party which looks at every citizen of the nation equally. No group should feel threatened by coming to power of that particular party. We need to shrug the Fifth Column parties off our backs and embrace the bright future.


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