August 9, 2006
"Kaliti jail is notoriously hot in the summer. With an average of more than 100 people crammed in one room, it is hard to breathe. Prisoners spend most of their times outside their cells to avoid the stifling heat inside. For five months since he was taken to one of the worst cells in Kaliti, Berhanu Nega spent his time inside the cell writing. It wasn't a letter or a diary he was writing. It was a book," writes Ethio-Zagol today.
How the book manuscript made it outside the cell and to Kampla for publishing is amazing. It shows the nature of the struggle and the number of people involved in it. The story of the process of writing is, however, fascinating. Security guards twice took away some parts of the manuscript. He wrote them again.
The book itself which was titled Yenetsanet Goh Siked: Likelebes yetemokerew ye'Ethiopia democracy"
is 618 pages long and has four parts. Berhanu briefly takes us to the formation of his early political life in the first part. He then lays a case for liberal democracy in Ethiopia and the problems of building democracy. The second part tries to answer what makes the election last year so special. He goes through the politics of EPRDF and opposition before the election. In the third part he recounts the events of post election, until the November repression and their imprisonment. The last part takes on EPRDF's misguided calculations and the future of Ethiopia.
The book is one of the most fascinating accounts of an Ethiopian politician and a political philosophy he and fellow courageous leaders in prison share. It is emotionally involving with some extraordinary tales. One will come out with enormous moral burden after reading the book. It is a must-read.
Tomorrow; detailed review of the book:
- Why and how EPRDF lost the election
- Berhanu's great Admiration for Dr. Merera
- Kinijit's collective leadership and the great role of Hailu Shawel
- How the chairman, Hailu Shawel, wasn't authoritarian unlike the claims by EPRDF
- His disdain for Dr. Beyene Petros
- How he views Lidetu
- His relationship with Bereket
- The fascinating tale of Kinijit from Birth to prison
- The moral leadership of Professor Mesfin
- Ethiopia's and Kinijit's Future
and other breath-taking accounts.
Meanwhile Temelekach blog has informed Ethiomedia that it has already posted an intro of the book in pdf.
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