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The programme of Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ)

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Ethiopia is a beautiful country that possesses a long history ranking among the great civilizations of the world. It is known as the origin of humanity and holds in its bosom nations and nationalities rich with cultural identities, where followers of different religions live in mixed harmony and where it has preserved its long independence through the patriotic struggle of its citizens.

Despite the fact that Ethiopia and its citizens are heirs to these positive values, modern Ethiopia is known more for its civil wars, severe violations of democratic, human, nations’ and nationalities’ rights and for the resultant poverty caused by the missed opportunities for development.

The introduction of the industrial revolution and the administrative styles of the West into our country has, on the one hand, helped to bring closer the prevailing interactive relationship of the peoples while, on the other hand, it has made a major contribution to our present condition by making the interactive relationship devoid of justice and equality.

The struggle waged in the last thirty or forty years, be it by those forces that held government power or by those in the opposition, to remedy the situation and to bring about solutions has made very little positive contribution. In fact, we find ourselves in a situation where conditions are getting worse.

The struggle waged by the people some thirty years before had created a condition where the centuries old monarchic rule was toppled. However, the military officers that used the moment to grab power crushed the people’s struggle that was waged to protect human and democratic rights and to respect the rights of nations and nationalities and condemned the people to an even worse suppression and suffering. EPRDF that followed on the footsteps of the Derg, despite its promise to the Ethiopian people that it would respect all human and democratic rights, including the rights of nations and nationalities, and that it would bring about a multi-party system in which power is held only through free competition and election, has presently imposed, in its own turn, a repressive rule on the people.

Currently, it has not been possible to have human and democratic rights guaranteed by the Constitution fully respected. The question of nations and nationalities is not properly addressed and resolved. In fact, the issue is presently being used as a tool for dividing and ruling the people. Citizens are being deprived of the opportunity to live and work in the areas of their choice and to carry out development activities. They are equally deprived of job security. The integration process among the people is being disrupted. Ethiopians are made to view each other with suspicion and their unity is being made to loosen. This situation is weakening the people’s sense of ownership of their country and of their surroundings and is in itself a source of concern.

At present, Ethiopia is among the most backward countries in the world not only in political growth but in economic and social growth as well. As a result of its being landlocked, it is confronted with a grave danger against its security and economic growth. The economic growth that is declared to exit, because it is not built on a sold and sustainable foundation, has not been able to extricate us from poverty and save us from seeking donations in food aid from the outside world. In the absence of equitable distribution of wealth and adequate employment, the gap of the living standard among Ethiopians has become extremely wide.

Unity for Democracy and Justice (UDJ), a multi-national party duly established on August ________, believes that the conditions described above must be changed and is determined to contribute its share to bringing about the desired change. UDJ was, for the most part, founded by former members of the Coalition for Unity and Democracy (CUD) but since then, it has been drawing many new members and politicians and is in the process of expanding its base further.

Although our party is law-abiding and is known for struggling to bring about a transition of power through peaceful means, its leader, Woizerit Birtukan Mideksa was soon imprisoned by the EPRDF, motivated by its fear of any strong opposition. Even worse, in contravention of a court order, it has violated her constitutional right of being visited by her lawyer, religious father and family and friends.

UDJ will continue its struggle to free its Chairperson Birtukan for tt views her being deprived of her freedom as the manifestation of the Ethiopian people being deprived of their freedom and equality. The struggle wage by the Ethiopian people for their overall freedom would be tied and coordinated with the struggle to free Woizerit Birtukan.

History is a witness to the fact that the Ethiopian people do not shy away from paying the sacrifice required for protecting their freedom. It is known that during the recent election of 2005, they had demonstrated their capability of making a wise use of a democratic election. Based on this positive past as well as recent history, UDJ is determined to make a coordinated endeavor in order to see the formation of a democratic government worthy of a heroic struggle for freedom.

Ethiopia is a home to many nations and nationalities rich with a variety of cultures, languages, traditions and systems and who have, though centuries of intertwined coexistence, developed sense of a common Ethiopian identity. UDJ realizes that within this long and complex history of unity and interaction of nations and nationalities in Ethiopia, there have been numerous abuses and grievances that have yet to be addressed and remedied. At the same time, UDJ realizes that as Ethiopians, regardless of our national origin, our destinies are intertwined and our choice is not to keep harking back to old wounds and to live in the past but to go forward, resolving common problems through common efforts. Based on this realization, UDJ, as a multi-national party, will strive to enhance the values that are common to all Ethiopians and to encourage all Ethiopians to strengthen their unity around those core values. The party itself shall endeavor to become a model of this vision, a confluence of all Ethiopians and an expression of the human richness of our country.

UDJ respects diversity and believes that this diversity is a component of Ethiopia’s beauty and should not and cannot in any way be a cause for the weakening of our unity. Given the objective reality in our country, UDJ realizes that the question of nations and nationalities is a major issue involving basic rights and will struggle for the proper protection of these rights. It believes that the protection of these rights is in no natural contradiction either with the right of the individual or with the unity of Ethiopia.

Our party believes that the basic problems of our country can be solved not by the capacity of one party but only by the combined effort and active participation of all stakeholders. It also believes that, given the objective reality in our country, there is no basic contradiction between multi-national and national parties and accepts that there are conditions wherein they can live and work together in cooperation for common causes. It is ready to contribute its share to the strengthening of the recently established Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum (MEDREK) comprising UDJ and seven other parties and to transforming it to a higher level of cooperation. It will harmonize the Minimum Programme adopted by MEDREK with its own programme and further strive for its successful implementation.

Therefore, UDJ is committed to the following principles and progammes and to working hand in hand with the Ethiopian people for success.

1. General principles of Unity for Democracy and Justice

1. The Ethiopian domain includes the land, water and air space that is under sovereign rule of the Ethiopian people.

1.2 The Ethiopians living in Ethiopia and abroad are together the people of Ethiopia.

1.3 The people of Ethiopia are the sovereign power in the country; sovereign power emanates only from the people.

1.4 The right that Ethiopians have as individual citizens or the common right that they have as a nation, nationality or group is the foundation of their unity.

1.5 The unity and sovereignty of the country are inseparable and shall not be ceded to others; UDJ shall strive to rally each nation/nationality to stand for the respect of the Ethiopian boundary, freedom, unity, sovereignty— including the right of nations and nationalities—and for the common interests and values of the Ethiopian people.

1.6 UDJ is determined to stand firmly for governance that is free from injustice and unfairness and for the strengthening of a unity that is based on mutual respect. It strongly believes that the solution to the problems that arise around the question of Ethiopian unity is to broaden democracy in the context of unity.

1.7 Unity for Democracy and Justice stands for the respect of human rights in all its aspects and for unrestricted democratic rights, for constitutionality, for the prevailing of the rule of law, for free and fair elections, for the prevailing of a multi-party system and for the people being the sole source of power.

1.8 UDJ is guided by the democratic principle and philosophy based on the freedom of the individual. It accepts group right as part of this principle. It also draws from the values of Social Democracy and Consensus Democracy those that are considered useful for the unity and development of our country.

1.9 UDJ is committed to building a market-led economic system that helps to bring the Ethiopian people out of poverty and guarantees development and social prosperity.

1.10 UDJ stands for the building of a social system that guarantees social wellbeing, peace, mutual respect, togetherness and employment security.

1.11 Instituting a free judiciary and justice system, creating an administrative system where transparency and accountability prevail, strengthening good governance in government institutions as well as in the society as a whole shall be the mission of our party.

1.12 Guaranteeing the respect of the rights of women, children, the elderly, persons living with disability and other members of the society that are victims of social exclusion and ensuring that they receive the proper care.

1.13 Struggling for the foundation of a healthy and peaceful relationship with the international community that is based on mutual respect and equality and protects the interests of the country and of the people.

2. UDJ’s mode of struggle and of resolving differences

2.1 UDJ struggles for the prevailing of a civilized political interaction where the right of everyone to promote his/her views and ideology is respected free from force and suppression.

2.2 UDJ stands for legal and peaceful struggle, realizing full well that the valuable contribution it makes for sustainable development, for the building of a democratic system and for national reconciliation that has been so elusive for Ethiopia for so long. It believes that it is not possible to bring about and strengthen a stable political system in the country outside the context of a legal and peaceful struggle. Despite the fact that the political space prevailing in the country is highly unfavorable for a legal and peaceful struggle, UDJ believes that success could be achieved by adapting and strengthening the method to suit the prevailing conditions.

2.3 Unity for Democracy and Justice believes that, in order to make legal and peaceful struggle successful, it is imperative that there is strong cooperation among those forces that have chosen this mode of struggle that all Ethiopians are made to rally around this cooperation. To this end, UDJ is committed to working with diligence to contribute its share to the expanding and strengthening of the Ethiopian Federal Democratic Unity Forum (MEDREK) and to promoting it to a higher form of cooperation.

2.4 UDJ strongly believes that the various conflicts and abuses that resulted particularly within the last two generations in our country have to be resolved not by mutual recriminations or by revenges against one another but by a reconciliation within the spirit of justice. UDJ is fully convinced that reconciliation could play a major role in paving the way for the politics of our country to focus, in a manner that is free from grudge and hatred, and arrive at understandings and agreements on basic and common national issues.

2.5 UDJ is determined to create an environment of peace and reconciliation wherein citizens are not criminalized for being members of a particular political group or government agency and wherein their rights are fully respected, provided that they have not committed crimes at personal levels.

2.6 Realizing full well that creating mutual understanding on basic national issues is necessary and urgent for the well being of the country, UDJ will give special attention to this matter and arrange proper conditions where national dialogue would take place. It will endeavor to bring about parties operating peacefully in the country, including the ruling party, to engage in the dialogue. It will also strive to do its share to encourage those political parties operating abroad and those that have chosen to engage in armed struggle to promote their causes by adopting the peaceful mode of struggle and to participate in the process of national dialogue.

2.7 It is taken into consideration that it may be necessary to amend some of the provisions in the Constitution in order to implement some of the matters that are included in this party programme. While working within the constitutional order and strengthening it, UDJ will work to create a condition in which the Constitution could be amended according to the process provided within it and including referendum.

Given the understanding that the present Constitution is subject to improvement, UDJ realizes that it contains in it provisions that are of lasting value. Therefore, it is ready to work, in cooperation with other democratic forces, for the creation and strengthening of free and independent institutions that protect the rights and provisions from being violated and that make the necessary corrections and dispense justice when those rights and provisions are violated.

3. Political programme of Unity for Democracy and Justice

3.1 Structure of the political system

3.1.1 The political system shall be constitutional and multi-party. The structure and organization of the party and the government and that of civic organizations shall be separate.

3.1.2 The source of power is the will of the people. The will of the people is expressed through a legally instituted and regularly conducted elections.

3.1.3 No one shall assume power or continue to stay in power unless elected by the people.

3.1.4 Assumption of power or continuing to stay in power is possible only through free and fair elections and the results from them and through free competitions among parties based on the rule of law.

3.1.5 Major political questions will be given political answers and these political answers wiall be given not through force but through peaceful, democratic and legal means. If this is not possible, the issues shall be brought to the people for decision through referendum.

3.2 General structure of the state

3.2.1 The structure of the state shall be federal. There shall be a federal state and regional states. The structure of the regional state shall be determined based on the principle that takes the following factors into consideration:

a. geographic layout, population distribution and suitability for administrative and developmental works,

b. culture and history,

c. the right of nations and nationalities to self administration,

d. suitability for creating national understanding.

3.2.2 The present federal structure is not final but one that maintains the criteria set above and develops in harmony with our economic and political growth.

3.2.3 The bodies of authority of the federal and regional states shall each have their share of power as determined by the law. It shall be arranged in such a way that one does not interfere in the internal affairs of the other. Each of them shall have its own legislative, executive and judicial bodies.

3.2.4 Amharic shall serve as a working language of the federal state. When approved by a referendum, there can be another language, in addition to Amharic, that serves as a working language of the federal state.

3.2.5 The working language of each regional state shall be determined by a referendum conducted by the people in the region.

3.3 Structure of the federal state

3.3.1 Federal state power is divided among the legislative, executive and judicial bodies and they shall be made to function freely and independently without the interference of one in the jurisdiction of the other.

3.3.2 The legislative body has two houses: The House of Peoples’ Representatives and the House of Federation, both of which are elected by the people and empowered to legislate laws.

3.3.3. The power to interpret the Constitution shall be vested in the courts. The two Houses shall have the power to legislate laws but not to interpret the Constitution or any other law.

3.3.4 The executive body will be structured around a president who is directly elected by the people and whose tenure is limited. The president will be elected for a period of five years but not for more than two consecutive periods.

3.3.5 The president shall have the right to return to the Parliament a draft bill which he/she does not accept for further deliberation. If the same draft bill is supported by the House of Peoples’ Representatives and the House of Federation by a three-fourth majority at their joint meeting, it shall become law despite the fact that it does not have the agreement of the President.

3.3.6 Positions in the executive body that are to be held by political appointment shall be specifically indentified. All positions of authority and appointments in the federal government shall be determined by the House of Peoples’ Representatives only. The approval of the appointments shall be based on careful examination of the qualifications of the individual candidate.

3.3.7 The Civil Service, that is under the executive body, shall be organized in a manner that is politically non-partisan, based on ability and qualification and capable of providing transparent, accountable and efficient service.

3.4 Human and democratic rights

3.4.1 General

3.4.1.1 International and continental agreements on political, civic, social, economic and cultural matters and conventions on women, children, people living with disabilities and others to which Ethiopia is a signatory shall be made an integral part of the law of the country. Governmental and non-governmental institutions that protect and implement these agreements and conventions shall be instituted and expanded.

3.4.1.2 No person shall be subjected to any kind of abuse or discrimination on account of his/her religious belief, political position, sex, race, language, colour of skin or any other reason.

3.4.1.3 Rights of citizens to move freely from place to place, to work and live in areas of their choice, to earn, own, use, sell, exchange or inherit property in private or in group shall be respected, Citizens shall be protected from physical or mental abuse or torture. Nor shall they be denied their freedom or subjected to investigation or search without a warrant from the court.

3.4.2 On respecting human rights

3.4.2.1 Any person has an inviolable right to life. No person shall be arrested outside of the law or imprisoned without being charged.

3.4.2.2 The government shall provide protection for private property. No one shall be made to lose his/her wealth and property outside of his/her will or outside the order of the court. In the case where it is required to use private property for common development or public security, the owner of the property is entitled to receiving a proper compensation based on the current market value of the property.

3.4.2.3 Unity for Democracy and Justice is against terrorism. But it is also strongly opposed to the categorization of political oppositions as terrorists and to the violation of rights aimed at suppressing free thought in the name of fighting terrorism,

3.4.2.4 The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission shall be established and organized in a manner that will enable it to deal with human rights violations free from the influence of the executive body.

3.4.2.5 No one shall be imprisoned because of his/her political views. Compatriots who are in prison because of their political views shall be released. The Ethiopian Human Rights Commission shall be empowered to direct cases of known human rights violations to the Attorney General so that charges may be lodged.

3.4.2.6 Legally detained persons shall be considered innocent until legally proven guilty. Allowing or not allowing bail on the basis of the law shall be determined by the court. If the government believes that detained persons should not be released on bail, it shall bear the burden of proof before the court and shall not take any measure that counters the discretion of the courts to grant bail.

3.4.2.7 Detained persons shall be held in recognized prisons. Legally unrecognized or hidden prisons in the country shall be abolished. Detained persons shall be held in such a way that their human dignity is respected and their constitutional rights are protected.

3.4.2.8 As prescribed by the Constitution, the rights of detained persons to meet and to be visited by their spouses, close relatives, friends, religious counselors, doctors and legal counselors will be respected.

3.4.3 Freedom of belief and religious equality

3.4.3.1 The right of every citizen to follow, promote or expand the religion of his/her choice is respected. No Ethiopian will be denied the rights and privileges guaranteed for every citizen on account of his/her religious belief.

3.4.3.2 Religion is personal but country is communal. State and religion are separate. So are religion and politics. As there is no state religion, there is no religion that is bent on controlling state power.

3.4.3.3 All religions are equal before the law. Hence, the state treats all religions equally and protects them equally.

3.4.3.4 Unity for Democracy and Justice will work diligently to ensure that there is tolerance and respect among religions in our country.

3.4.4 The right of free expression and the media

3.4.4.1 UDJ will struggle for the respect and protection of the rights of every citizen to maintain his/her view and to express this view through any medium, as well as to gather, receive and disseminate any kind of information or idea.

3.4.4.2 UDJ shall ensure that the state mass media are a forum for the free dissemination of information and the free flow of ideas. They will be made to give their services free from political partisanship. To guarantee this, their organization and administration will be free and independent.

3.4.4.3 Press and broadcast laws will be issued and implemented in order to ensure the respect of the right of citizens to free expression as guaranteed by the Constitution. Furthermore, the private sector shall be encouraged to participate strongly in the electronic as well as in the press media, along with the state media. Institutes that implement the law properly will be established.

3.4.44 There will not be any overt or covert censorship. Nor will there be any direct or indirect pressure on journalists, publishers or printers to impose undesired self-censorship upon themselves.

3.4.4.5 The Internet and the Telephone will, with their full technological advantages, be a means by which citizens obtain or exchange information without any fear. Illegal actions such as jamming, closing website stations and wiretapping will be abolished.

3.4.4.6 Freedom of expression includes being able to disseminate one’s ideas using literature, theatre, musing, songs, film, painting and sculpture.

3.4.4.7 Unity for Democracy and Justice realizes that along with the freedom of self-expression, there are the responsibilities of safeguarding the independence and interests of the nation, respecting the peoples’ cultures and traditions, being protective of the freedom and dignity of others as we are of ours and respecting the Constitution and the other laws of the land.

3.4.5 The right of assembling and conducting peaceful demonstration

The right of citizens to assemble, support or oppose, express their views in a peaceful demonstration, stop work, etc, will be respected as prescribed by the law. Legal and administrative obstacles created to infringe upon this right will be removed.

3.4.6 The to assemble

3.4.6.1 Citizens have the right to organize themselves in a political party of their choice.

3.4.6.2 The right of citizens employed in private and government institutions to organize themselves in associations and act in order to protect their legitimate interests shall be respected.

3.4.6.3 Citizens engaged in various professions shall have the right to organize themselves in associations in order to be able to provide services useful to the public as well as to protect their rights connected with their professions.

3.4.6.4 Conditions will be created wherein development, aid and philanthropic associations are organized freely and make concrete contributions to the wellbeing of the country and the people.

3.4.6.5 Women shall have the right to organize themselves in associations in order to free themselves from gender based and cultural oppressions, to be able to discuss matters of interest in connection with their gender and to protect their rights as women.

3.4.6.6 The youth shall have the right to organize themselves in a manner that would enable them to engage in sports, the arts and other activities of creativity, as well as to develop their capacity as the generation of heirs of this country.

3.4.6.7 Any non-political organization has the right to stand for its objectives and for the rights of its members without being forced to take side in any political matter.

3.4.6.8 There could be associations organized on the basis of a party structure. Such organizations will be clearly distinguished from the free civic organizations and a condition will be created wherein both would operate freely, each maintaining its own character.

3.4.6 The right of nations/nationalities

3.4.61 Given that Ethiopia has a population of over seventy million and is the home of many nations and nationalities, UDJ realizes that respecting the equality and accommodating the interests and concerns of all the people is a matter that deserves the utmost attention. Accordingly, it shall work diligently so that Ethiopia will be a country where its nations and nationalities live free from bias and where their equality is guaranteed.

3.4.62 Ethiopia has many nations and nationalities that have small populations. No nation or nationality will impose its will on another nation or nationality on the mere grounds that it has a majority. Nor shall a nation or nationality be forced to accept a decision against its will on the grounds that it is a minority. All nations/nationalities shall stand for the respect of the rights of each nation/nationality and each nation/nationality shall stand for the respect of the rights of all nations/nationalities and be guided by the spirit of compromise for the sake of unity and togetherness.

3.4.63 UDJ respects the right of nations/nationalities to administer themselves and develop their areas. During the determination of boundaries among regions, this right shall be duly implemented in coordination with other rights. Nations and nationalities included in a given region have the right to administer themselves at various levels and to participate in higher levels of government.

3.4.64 The rights of nations/nationalities to use their languages and to preserve, develop and promote their cultures and other values that express their identity will be respected.

3.4.65 Nations and nationalities shall have a fair share in the allocation of state power, resources and development opportunities. In order to bring nations/nationalities to comparable levels of development, special assistance will be provided to those that are at lower levels of development.

3.4.66 Citizens living within a regional or a lower administration shall have the privilege to enjoy the rights that other citizens in the region have.

3.4.7 Guaranteeing gender equality

3.4.71 Gender equality will be guaranteed by eliminating the long tradition of perceiving women as lower beings and by correcting the distorted relationship prevailing between women and men.

3.4.72 The political participation and leadership role of women will be strengthened by providing to them the necessary assistance and support.

3.4.73 Women will be given special support to encourage and strengthen their participation in the economic, health, education and other fields.

3.5 Holding power or continuing in power is possible only through a free, fair and just election

To put an end, for good, the practice of taking and relinquishing power through force and bloodshed that has long prevailed in our country, UDJ will implement the following.

3.5.1 There will be a neutral election board that has the confidence of the electorate as well as of the opposition parties. The members of the board will be selected through the close consultation of stakeholders and presented for appointment.

3.5.2 To ensure that the appointed or hired officers to the various levels, starting from the office of the board to the lowest echelon, are capable of carrying out the awesome national mission entrusted to them free from partiality, their selection will be based on capability and carried out in a manner that is transparent.

3.5.3 To make elections credible, domestic and international observers will be invited to participate. A system would be designed to ensure the neutrality of domestic observers. Public observers will be elected by the people in the presence of representatives of opposition parties. Every effort will be made to make election observed as widely as possible.

3.5.4 Members of the Civil Service who compete in an election but do not win shall have the right to return to their work places or to be assigned to other equivalent jobs.

3.5.5 When citizens who have been serving as deputies of the people complete their service, they will be granted honour for the service they had rendered and returned to their former or equivalent work.

3.5.7 The following changes and adjustments will be made in order to avoid unnecessary delays and disputes;

3.5.71 Elections will be conducted at the same time in all regions.

3.5.72 Election results will be made public within seventy-two hours at the latest.

3.5.73 University students will be made to vote either at the university in which they are or in their home constituency. The choice shall be left to them.

3.5.74 The right of Ethiopians living abroad to participate in elections from where they are is guaranteed.

3.5.75 Special courts will be established to adjudicate on election matters.

3.5.8 When a deputy loses the confidence of the people that elected him/her, he/she loses his/her mandate only as prescribed by the law.

3.6 The rule of law and the independence of the judiciary

3.6.1 There will be a distinct division of power and a strictly implemented system of checks and balances among the legislative, executive and judicial bodies of the state.

3.6.2 There will be a system that would enable the selection and appointment of judges to be based on legal knowledge, experience and integrity. Judges will perform their duties free from pressure or interference from outside elements.

3.6.3 The office of the Attorney General will be organized and made to operate free from the Ministry of Justice and other executive bodies. The task of the Attorney Generals is to ensure respect for the law and not to be an instrument for carrying out the political desires of the government. Attorney Generals will be authorized in such a way that whenever they believe that a crime has been committed, they could initiate charges against anyone, including high officials in the executive body.

3.6.4 To improve procedures in connection with initiating, approving and implementing laws, the following practices will be applied.

3.6.5 Conditions will created wherein laws could be initiated by the House of Peoples’ Representative itself as well as by the people. The House shall have ample time to examine and discuss bills forwarded to it by the executive body. Whenever necessary, it can invite citizens with knowledge for consultation in order to gain a better understanding of issues and to be able to arrive at sound decisions.

3.7 Policy and programme of Unity for Democracy and Justice on the National Defence, Security and Police Forces

3.7.1 General

3.7.11 The defense, security and police forces will be given up-to-date and qualitative professional training and support that would enable them to carry out the duties entrusted to them by the law in the context of our national concerns and the geo-political condition prevailing in our region.

3.7.12 The institutions of the defense, security and police forces will be organized as permanent bodies that do not change as governments change and will not in any way be affiliated with any political party.

3.7.13 The right of the members of the defense, security and police forces to vote and, after being released from the forces, to be elected, is guaranteed.

3.7.13 To ensure that the legislative body plays its proper role in matters of national defense and security, it shall have within it an empowered standing committee on defense and security.

3.7.14 Any foreign mission given to our defense force will be carefully examined by the legislative body as for its necessity and approved with the necessary guidelines. There shall be no foreign mission that is not approved by the legislative body. The legislative body makes certain that the defense force that is assigned to such a mission has the necessary equipment and organization and that its rights and benefits are ensured.

3.7.15 Any military agreements with foreign governments and encampment and movement of foreign soldiers on our soil must have prior knowledge and approval of the legislative body.

3.7.16 Without prejudice to the President being the Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, there will be a legally established National Defense and Security Council that pursues defense and security matters and charts out policy measures.

3.7.2 On National Defense

3.7.21The mission of the National Defense Force shall be to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of Ethiopia. The Force will not be engaged in repressing peaceful domestic demonstrations or political differences in the name of maintaining peace and security. In a state of emergency, the tasks given to the Defense Force must be clearly specified and stated in the emergency proclamation.

3.7.22 The Ethiopian nations/nationalities shall have a balanced representation at all levels in the Force. The unproportional representation seen at the level of senior officers shall be remedied appropriately.

3.7.23 Opportunities for promotion and professional training in the Force shall be open to all in a manner that is free from partiality and the internal administration of the Force shall be just and made to maintain the standard required by the profession.

3.7.24 Given that the military profession is a field of employment where one serves one’s country and at the same time manages one’s self and family, the men and women in uniform shall be guaranteed job security. No member of the force will be dismissed from the Force outside of what is prescribed by the law. Members discharged from the Force shall have their legal rights and privileges respected.

3.7.25 There will be a system in place for ensuring that soldiers discharged due to being disabled in war and heirs to members of the Force that fell while on combat duty receive the benefits and honors due to them. Every effort will be made to ensure that the wellbeing of members of the Force who fall into enemy hands through capture is respected according to international conventions.

3.7.26 Every effort will be made to ensure that the Defense Force is equipped with the necessary weapons and supplies and that it has quality training institutions that enhance its capability and combat readiness.

3.7.3 On Immigration and Security Authority

3.7.31 Given that there is the task of gathering information and surveillances on suspects for the sake of national and public security, care shall be taken to ensure that this task is carried in a manner that it is not taken as an excuse for interfering with the freedom and private life of citizens and does not create an atmosphere of fear and terror. Illegal surveillances will be identified and listed.

3.7.32 Employments, promotions and other related matters carried out by the Authority shall be free from political partiality and will be based on professional competence and commitment to the security of the nation.

3.7.4 On the Police

3.7.41 All internal security tasks of preventing crimes and apprehending criminals will be within the jurisdiction of the police. The national defense force will not participate in these tasks. As there are Federal Police and Correction Centers Police, there can also be Border Security Police and Economic Security (Finance) Police established as needed. All these forces shall be equipped with the necessary knowledge and skill that would enable them to carry out their duties with competence.

3.7.42 The task of the Federal Police will be to ensure that human and democratic rights of citizens are respected and implemented according to the law and not to prevent citizens from enjoying these rights. It will be equipped with the knowledge and skill that would enable it to prevent crime and to pursue and apprehend criminals with professional competence. Its membership will have a balanced national representation.

3.4.73 In the regions, the institutions of the police will not engage in any activity that is outside of their constitutional duties.

3.4.74 Outside of the regular Defense Force, efforts will be made to establish a well organized and conscientized regional militia forces that are responsible to the regional administrations and in which citizens can actively participate in ensuring peace and security in their regions and protecting their country from any foreign aggression. Such militias will be strictly independent from any political organization.

3.8 Policy of Unity for Democracy and Justice on foreign relations and regional peace and security

3.8.1 General

3.8.11 The relationship of Ethiopia with other countries and governments is based on the principles of long-term mutual benefits, equality, mutual respect and non-interference in the internal affairs of other nations.

3.8.12 Our foreign relation will be formulated in such a way that it enables us to solve the problems that confront us regionally and to protect our long term interests.

3.8.13 As Ethiopia is in the forefront among the founders of the Organization of African Unity and the symbol of Africa’s struggle for freedom, as well as the seat of the African Union and the UN Economic Commission for Africa, UDJ will strive to make it a model country where human and democratic rights are protected, where power is assumed through free and fair elections only and where the rule of law is respected and peaceful freedom and internal stability prevails.

3.8.14 UDJ will work to develop a foreign policy that recognizes that Ethiopia is part of the international community and understands the international situation and enables the country to benefit from the flow of resources received in the form of development aid and loan and to contribute its fair share to the wellbeing of the international community.

3.8.15 The system of appointment in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs will be based on national loyalty, professional competence and experience and special attention shall be given to ensuring that high officials and ambassadors working in the ministry are capable of representing, promoting and protecting the interests of Ethiop on international forums.

3.8.2 On boundary affairs with neighbouring countries

3.8.21 Ethiopia will hold a comprehensive discussion with all the neighbouring countries in order to define the borders it has with them.

3.8.22 UDJ rejects the Algiers Agreement because it does not protect the interests of Ethiopia. Convinced that the agreement was wrong and realizing that it has been abrogated by Eritrea, UDJ believes that there should be a new and comprehensive negotiation with Eritrea that takes into consideration the interests and concerns of both countries and will work with determination for the realization of this objective.

3.8.23 We believe that there should be negotiations aimed at coming up with a lasting solution to problems involving the agreements between the former governments of Ethiopia and Sudan and the territorial possessions claimed by the peoples of two countries. The negotiations and their outcomes should be known and approved by the House of Peoples’ Representatives prior to implementation.

3.9.3 On outlet to the sea

3.9.31 UDJ believes that, based on history and international law, Ethiopia has the right to a sovereign ownership of an outlet to the sea. Given the special nature of our region and the condition in which our country finds itself, the protection of this right is not only a matter of economic growth but also of national security and survival. With the belief that Ethiopia deserves to have the port of Assab, UDJ is determined to pursue a diplomatic struggle to enable Ethiopia to own the said sea outlet through peaceful and legal means.

3.9.32 To allay the fears of Eritreans regarding Ethiopia’s claim of an outlet to the sea, UDJ is determined to explore all alternative means to find a win-win solution that would make both parties equal beneficiaries.

3.9.32 For the short term, Ethiopia will negotiate and come to agreement with all the neighbouring countries that have seaports in order to increase its outlet alternatives.

3.9.10 On transnational rivers

3.9.10.1 UDJ realizes that there have been no agreements between Ethiopian governments and governments of the neighbouring countries that properly protect the interests of Ethiopia regarding the use of the Nile water. In view of this, it will call for serious and in-depth negotiations aimed at reaching and signing agreements that would guarantee the equitable use of the water resource among all the riparian states. In addition to the Nile, the same work will be done on other transnational rivers that involve Ethiopia.

3.10.2 As the rivers flow into the countries surrounding our country, all efforts shall be made to prevent any conflict from arising as a result of a lack of awareness or a desire to promote selfish interests in the utilization of these rivers. In this process, there shall be no deals with anyone that would betray the basic interests of the nation. Our country shall pursue the policy of using its water as much as its resources would allow it and at the same time engage in extensive negotiations to develop better awareness among stakeholders. Our policy shall be guided by the principle of understanding the concerns surrounding our region and protecting the long-term interests of our country without affecting negatively the interests of our neighbours.

4, Economic Programme of Unity for Democracy and Justice

4. 1 General

4.1.1 UDJ will pursue a policy of a market-led economy designed to bring about sustained development and to improve the general standard and social life of the people. The policy takes the enabling of the youth to be nation builders as one of its major objectives by creating new job opportunities for them. In connection with making cities suitable for habitation and enabling rural towns to become centers of development for their surroundings, jobs and training opportunities for the urban and rural unemployed and infrastructure works will be planned and implemented. In the economy that is to be built, special attention will be given to improving the life of the citizens who have the lowest standard of living.

4.1.2 UDJ will follow an overall direction of development that is balanced and where each sector plays its proper role and where all sectors move along in mutual support. There will be a planned interconnection where agriculture is supported by irrigated farming and modern technology and is extricated from the chaos in which it finds itself at present, where it is interlinked with industry through agro-processing and where industry is not a trailer of agriculture but both grow side by side in mutual support. Mining, Energy, Construction, Education and other sectors also would be made to move forward in an integrated manner to bring about sustainable development.

4.1.3 The Ethiopian people are the foundation of general development. Therefore, the focus of the economic policy will be on the creation and strengthening of national economic forces. There will be free and impartial support for domestic investors. UDJ will support domestic investors by developing means that would enable them to emerge as capable competitors among international investors and to enhance their development initiatives. Ethiopians in the Diaspora will be encouraged to come into their country with confidence and to participate in its development. Foreign investors will be encouraged to participate in major development programmes that are not covered by domestic investors. There will be special incentive mechanisms for foreign investments that bring with them large capitals and technology transfers.

4.1.5 The right of every Ethiopian to engage in any profession and field of work, to own property, to create, possess and use wealth and to transfer it legally to others will be guaranteed. No property of a citizen shall be confiscated. However, when the government finds it necessary to use a property owned by an individual for the purpose of public and national use, it can take that property by paying to the owner immediately a compensation based on the current market.

4.1.6 Building strong national institutions that create favorable conditions for growth and prosperity is the first major responsibility of a government. The government will take stabilizing measures whenever there is a high level of unemployment, a weakening of the economy, a growing inflation, an increase in budget deficit and other problems. Furthermore, projects like infrastructure and development organizations that happen to require large capital, or whose feasibility is uncertain, or are strategically important, or are of long-term return will be handled by the government independently or in partnership with private investors. Rapid measures will be taken to transfer state owned development enterprises to private ownership or administration.

4.1.7 Any political party will be prevented from owning any institution that is used for earning wealth directly or indirectly. The ruling party will be made to take its hands out of the economic enterprises that it manages under various names.

4.1.8. The Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission will be reestablished and reorganized in a manner that frees it from being a political tool and enables it to fight corruption, which is detrimental to development, with greater determination.

4.1.9 The capacity and freedom of the General Audit Commission will be strengthened in a manner that would enable it to ensure that the wealth and budget of the state is properly administered and put to use.

4.1.10. Determined efforts will be made to expand land transport in order to strengthen our market activities with neighbouring countries and to reduce our business dependency on distant countries. Besides, railway lines and electricity-powered transport will be built and expanded in order to make land transport rapid, efficient and economical.

4.2 The policy of Unity for Democracy and Justice on ownership of land and other natural resources

4,2,1 Rural or urban land not owned by the state or by the community is the private property of the Ethiopian people.

4.2.2 Concerning rural land

4.2.2.1There will be three kinds of ownership;

a) Lands that are uninhabited and undeveloped, until they are eventually distributed to the people, will remain in the hands of the state and rented or leased to investors for development.

b) Grazing lands, places allotted for community use, major highways and grazing areas of pastoralists will be held communally.

c) Land that is under the ownership of the farmer will be the private property of that farmer.

4.2.1.2 The right of every owner of land to develop, care for, rent, sell, exchange or bequeath that land to others in the form of present or inheritance will be protected by the law. A security mechanism will be in place to protect farmers from being displaced massively from their land during times of famine or other crises.

4.2.1.3 When land privately owned by an individual is needed for public purposes, appropriate compensation

based on the current value shall be paid to that owner.

4.2.2 On urban land 4.2.2.1 A carefully studied means will be sought to solve the problem being caused by the troublesome ownership of government and kebele houses. Until then, when house under government and kebele administration are demolished for various reasons, former owners of the houses who were receiving compensation will continue to do so. The renters will be given equivalent shelters in exchange.

4.2.2.2 Urban land originally owned outside of lease will be recognized as belonging to the owners. Owners will not be displaced from their land without adequate cause. If they are to be displaces for appropriate causes, they will be given due compensation. The compensation will not be less than the current lease price of the land. Citizens displaced from the rural areas may be given adequate urban land to help them have better security in their new life.

4.2.2.3 A system will be established by which urban land is administered in a manner that is transparent and accountable.

4.2.3 Lakes, rivers and waterways, mountains, large forests, national parks, wild animals and minerals will be owned by the state and used to provide benefits and services to the people. Attention will be given to the special benefits to be enjoyed by the people living in the areas where these resources are found.

4.3 Policy on desertification, depletion of natural resources and prevention of environmental pollution

4.3.1 To preserve and utilize our soil and water resources that are being wasted, a strategy of forest development and soil and water preservation will be designed and implemented in a manner that enables the people to be active participants in and beneficiaries of the development. Safety Net and aid resources will be used to preserve our natural resources and to create value.

4.3.2 Safety Net and aid resources will be used for the protection and development of our natural resources and for the creation of value

4.3.3. To protect our forest resources from depletion due to the massive use of firewood and charcoal, a scheme will be designed to provide the people with alternative sources of energy for affordable prices.

4.3.4 Aware of the pollution that industries are causing on the environment and of the negative effects of this pollution on our present and future development, a system of control and protection will be designed and implemented.

4.3.5 Although the increase of global temperature and its resulting damages harm all countries, developing countries like Ethiopia suffer more due to lack of adequate capacity to endure the devastation. Measures will be taken to build the national and regional capacity of our country to withstand disasters like floods, epidemic diseases and other calamities caused by the change in global temperature.

4.4 Policies on agricultural development

4.4.1 General

4.4.1.1 To free agriculture from dependence on rain and enable it to increase its production, adequate budget will be allocated for the development of irrigation and for the expansion of irrigated farming. Investors will be provided with the necessary incentives and security and encouraged to engage in extensive irrigation farming.

4.4.1.2 The farmer will be encouraged to increase his production by using his own indigenous seeds, as well as hybrid seeds, and appropriate agricultural inputs.

4.4.1.3 A scheme will be devised to abolish the practice where a farmer who loses his products due to natural disaster is forced to sell all of his property in order to pay debts incurred when buying agricultural inputs on credit.

4.4.1.4 Arrangements will be made where the farmer could obtain tractor rental service to enable him to prepare his soil for planting on time. Wherever possible, rental combiner services would be available to enable the famer to harvest his crops efficiently and with minimal wastage.

4.4.1.5 Development workers trained with public resources will be made available to provide professional service to the farmer in a manner that is free from politics.

4.41.6 Just as the government receives debt relief from international lending institutions in order to help it achieve food self-sufficiency and to enable it to come out of the vicious circle of dependency, the famer will receive subsidies for his agricultural works.

4.4.1.7 The development of our animal resource will be supported by modern technology and adequate capital flow to enable it to contribute its proper share to the overall development of the country. The focus will be not on quantity but on quality animals with high yield.

4.4.2 Expanding modern agriculture

4.4.2.1 Special attention will be given to the expansion of modern farms that produce adequate food for national consumption as well as raw materials for industries.

4.4.2.2 Measures will be taken to ensure that large farms given to foreign investors are such that they introduce modern technology, enable to reduce unemployment and do not create environmental pollution.

4.4.2.3 Domestic investors will be given government support and encouraged to engage in the development of large and modern farms.

4.4.2.4 A system of inspection and control would be put in place to ensure that the health of farmers working on large farms is adequately protected.

4.4.2.5 The government will build large dams to encourage investors and farmers to develop modern irrigation farms by using the dam water at affordable cost.

4.4.2.6 Agricultural products that have no strong link with the growth and development of our country but are produced for the purpose of earning foreign currency only are competing for the land used for producing food. There will be changes in the direction of activities related to the production of these crops.

4.4.3 The development of forest resource

4.4.3.1 A special policy of investment will be formulated to make the development of forest resource, supported by knowledge and capital, a viable field of investment.

4.4.3.2 The various industries that use our forest resource will be expanded. The production of a variety of medicines using our forest resources will be encouraged.

4.4.3.3 Our forest resource will be owned by the state, the communities and individuals and coordinated programmes and projects for its development will be formulated and implemented.

4.4.3.4 Our forestry professionals will be made to participate actively and contribute their share to our programme of activities to rehabilitate and develop our forests.

4.5 Industrial policies

4.5.1 A strong linkage will be created between industry and agriculture by making industry use products of the agricultural sector and agriculture use products of the industrial sector as their inputs in their production process.

4.5.2

4.5.3 Special attention will be given to micro- and small industries and their growth will be linked with the growth and development of medium and large industries.

4.5.4 Special efforts will be made to produce domestically industrial products that we import in large quantities.

4.5.5 Reliable and sustained growth is achieved only through conducting economic and social development based on knowledge. Therefore, special emphasis will be given to science and technology in general and to information and communication technology (ICT) in particular.

4.5.5 Industries that are in the hands of the state will be privatized without delay and strengthened with new technology so that they would be able to contribute their share to the economic growth of the country. Those industries that are not privatized due to various reasons will be put under capable management so that they would be able to continue as successful and profitable enterprises.

4.5.6 A system of control will be laid out to prevent the wastes coming out of industries from harming the environment and the people working in them or living in the surrounding areas.

4.6 Policy on urban development and construction

4.6.1 Our cities will be planned and grow on the basis of plans. Our rural towns will, from the beginning, be established and made to grow so that they would be centers of micro- and small industries and of trade, as well as creators of alternative job opportunities for the rural people, especially for women and the youth.

4.6.2 Our cities will be provided with the necessary supplies of water, electricity and modern information technology (ICT) and they will have well planned internal network of roads as well as an efficient system of waste disposal so that they would become proper centers for development.

4.6.3 Our cities will have appropriate administration and adequate social service institutions to make them suitable for living as well as for development.

4.6. Mortgage banks will be expanded and strengthened to help accelerate housing development and to make it possible for citizens who have the financial means to take bank loans and build homes. Those citizens who do not have the financial means will be provided with subsidies from the government to enable them to buy or rent homes built and made available by local municipalities.

4.6.5. Urban development will be carried out in a manner that would help to reduce unemployment and enable women and youth to participate in the development. To that end, women and the youth will be given adequate training in construction and other related works so that they will be active participants in the construction sector.

4.7 On development of our water resource

4.7.1 Our water resource will be put to maximum use based on a studied and coordinated approach. We will have strong domestic institutions that would enable us to study and appropriately use our water resource.

4.7.2 To extricate ourselves from hunger, we will dam our rivers and exploit our underground water to expand our irrigation capacity and to help us increase our food production so that we would be able to extricate ourselves from hunger and become self-sufficient in food.

4.7.3. Millions of our citizens will be enabled to have access to clean drinking water.

4.7.4 Protective and controlling measures will be taken to prevent our rivers and lakes from being polluted and from being filled with sediment.

4.7.5 Arrangements will be made to enable professionals in the field to enhance their capacity, to organize themselves and to acquire training and experience.

4.8 On the supply of energy

4.8.1 To enable our citizens to be users of modern energy and to satisfy the ever-growing demand of industry and other sectors for energy in an adequate and sustained manner, special attention will be given to the development and implementation of an energy programme.

4.8.2 Although our country has numerous alternative sources of energy, only a limited amount of these sources has been utilized. Therefore, special attention will be given to obtaining energy from natural gas, biogas, biodiesel, wind, sun and other sources by using modern technology.

4.8.4 The construction of hydro electric dams will continue in a manner that takes the development of irrigation into consideration. The construction of dams will be carried out free from corruption and based on careful studies. Major attention will be given to the gradual building and strengthening of domestic capacity in this sector.

4.9 On the study and development of our mineral resource

4.9.1 In order to be able to put our mineral resource to good use in the development of the country, adequate budget will be provided for carrying out a comprehensive study of the mineral potential of the country and for indicating that potential on a geological map. A policy of mineral development will be formulated in order to strengthen the search for oil and other strategic minerals.

4.9.2 A control system will be put in place to ensure that communities that live in areas where there are valuable minerals such as gold and oil will have royalty rights and to prevent damages on other natural resources.

4.10 On transport and communication

4.10.1 Telecommunication

4.10.1.1 The monopolistic ownership of the Ethiopian Telecommunication Corporation by the state will be abolished. Private investors with adequate capital and appropriate management skill will be encouraged to participate in the sector.

4.10.1.2 Special attention will be paid to ensuring that the present telecommunications service meets the high quality standards and that its distribution is continuously expanded.

4.10.1.3 Ethiopians will be enabled to use modern information and communication technology without any kind of limitation.

4.10.2 Postal Service

Efficient and quality postal service will be expanded throughout the country and privacy of correspondence will be guaranteed.

4.10.3 Transport Service

4.10.3.1There will be a modern and convenient mass transport system that will provide the people in Addis Ababa and in other major cities rapid and efficient service. Private investors will be encouraged to participate in this sector so that the people will have alternative means of transport

4.10.3.2 To encourage domestic investors to participate in providing adequate air transport service, the limitation on the number of seats in privately operated airplanes will be lifted.

4.11 On Financial Service

4.11.1 Domestic investors and banks will be enabled to be shareholders in the state banks in the country in order to enhance the financial capacity of the country.

4.11.2 Development banks that extend long-term loans to investors that engage in long-term development activities will be expanded and strengthened.

4.11.3 An efficient loaning system will be devised to enable citizens to obtain loans easily and to expand economic activities.

4.11.4 Revenues such as VAT collected by the government will be transparent and made to take the income of the people into consideration. The practice of short-term enrichment that is hurting legal and responsible merchants will be checked and all merchants will be made to pay the required tax in a uniform manner.

4.11.4 The condition in which international financial institutions are to operate in Ethiopia will be determined on the basis the contributions they make to the promotion of the interests of the country.

4.12 Tourism

Tourism will be expanded in a manner that preserves the cultures and moral values of the nation. Areas considered to be tourist attractions will be provided with special infrastructure to make them suitable for tourists. Private investors will be encouraged to participate in this economic sector.

4.13 On the development of pastoral areas

4.13.1The development of pastoral areas will be planned in a manner that takes the existing environment into consideration and that causes minimum disruption to the lifestyle of the inhabitants.

4.13.2 Given that the inhabitants in the pastoral areas earn their living by raising cattle, special attention will be given to development that enables animal husbandry and its bi-products to flourish.

4.14 On Resettlement

Every effort will be made to create various job opportunities to help the people solve their problems where they are. If conditions are such that the people could not be helped to be self-sufficient where they are, a carefully studied and well planned resettlement will be carried out in a manner that does not exert undue pressure on the environment.

5. The Ppolicy of Unity for Democracy and Justice on Social Affairs

5.1 Unemployment

5.1.1 Small scale industries and handicraft sectors that are supported by the government, as well as by the private sector, and that create job opportunities will be established throughout the urban and rural areas of the country and groups and individuals will be provided with the necessary support in microfinance and occupational training.

5.1.2 The farmer will be trained vocationally and provided with job opportunities by opening and expanding agro-industries in the rural areas.

5.1.3 UDJ will formulate and rapidly implement a socio-economic policy that distributes to citizens job opportunities in the civil service and other government owned institutions in a manner that is faire, based on merit and guarantees due promotion in the career structure.

5.2 Poverty Reduction

5.2.1The poverty that is rampant in the country is caused by the absence of democracy and good governance. UDJ will formulate a poverty eradication strategy based on the empowerment and active participation of the people.

5.2.2 Avoiding exclusive reliance on foreign aid, UDJ will allocate a special poverty reduction fund and formulate and expand strategies for creating job opportunities that would enable people in the urban, as well as in the rural areas, to engage in various income generating activities.

5.2.3 The farmer will be helped to succeed in his effort to extricate himself from poverty by providing him with agricultural inputs on credit and with close professional advice. The rural people, particularly the youth and women, will be enabled to engage in income generating activities outside of farming such as in agro-industries or other sectors.

5.2.4 The urban people, particularly the youth and women, will be provided with technical training to enable them to be self-sufficient through their own initiative and with the support of the government.

5.3 On Manpower Migration and Exile

5.3.1 The migration and exile of highly trained citizens will be checked by establishing a democratic system in the country and encouraging those citizens to live and work at home and contribute to the growth and development of their nation. Particularly highly trained medical doctors, scientists, engineers, etc, will be invited to participate, without any political pressure, in the formulation and implementation of critical policies. For their service, they will be given remunerations comparable to those given to their foreign colleagues and conditions will be created to enable them to lead a comfortable life.

5.3.2 Unrelenting efforts will be made to create and expand job opportunities in various economic sectors so that citizens could earn a decent living through their labour and be saved from the cruel and degrading life of refugees in exile. If and when citizens are victims of abuse as refugees in exile, every effort will be made to have their honour and rights protected according to the international convention on refugees.

5.3.4 Conditions will be created wherein our compatriots, particularly the youth, that migrate to the city due to the scarcity of rural land and other causes, could become productive citizens by being employed in large private farms and other development projects established by cities and towns at various administrative levels.

5.4 Education

5.4.1 The end of secondary education will be raised to the completion of Grade 12. First Degree university education will be given for at least 4 years and education administration personnel will be assigned only on the basis of educational qualification and experience and free from political considerations.

5.4.2 The institutions of higher learning, from the lowest to the highest, will be reorganized and upgraded step by step and its manpower provided with quality training so that they would be able to provide their students education that meets international standards. Furthermore, research activities in institutions of higher learning and in others will be made to focus on finding solutions to problems facing the country. Adequate support will be provided for such efforts.

5.4.3 The self-contained class approach, which is being implemented in the first cycle of elementary education at present in the absence of essential pre-conditions, will be abolished because it is having negative effects on the quality of education.

5.4.3 The policy of the use of language of learning in the first cycle of elementary education will be made to be uniform throughout the country. The Government will do everything it can to make it possible for Amharic and any other language that may be chosen to serve as a working language at the federal level to be taught in government schools. The students will be made to study any one or both of these working languages. These languages, including English, will be given in government as well as in private schools throughout the country in a uniform manner. Favorable conditions will be created wherein national languages would be given as subjects of study at the various administrative levels in their respective regions where they are spoken.

5.4.6 In order to eradicate illiteracy and to expand integrated functional adult education among the farmers and workers, an extensive and nation-wide adult education programme will be formulated and implemented.

5.4.7 Regular as well as vocational education given starting from the elementary school to grade 12 will be free. Technical and vocational trainings given beyond grade 12 will also be free. University education will be provided on a cost-sharing basis.

5.4.8 Regular as well as higher private educational institutions will be monitored and provided with the necessary support to ensure that the quality of their education maintains the required standards.

5.4.9 Favorable conditions will be created to enable students’ and teachers’ associations to be created and to function freely at the institutional as well as at the national levels. Every educational institution will be enabled to enjoy academic freedom.

5.5 On Health Services

5.5.1 Sustained activities of disease control and prevention will be carried out throughout the regions of the country. To this end, a health policy will be designed and implemented.

5.5.2 Health institutions owned by the government will be staffed by competent professionals and provided with proper medical equipment and adequate supply of medicine.

5.5.3 The environment will be protected from pollutants. Environmental health will be expanded in the urban as well as in the rural areas. Relentless efforts will be made to provide clean drinking water to all the people and priority will be given to eradicating water-borne diseases.

5.5.4 There will be monitoring, control and support to ensure that private health institutions provide quality services and that their service fees are within the people’s ability to pay. Furthermore, the government will subsidize the cost of medicine.

5.5.5 Doctors and other health professionals will be appropriately remunerated for their services and favorable working conditions will be created for them.

5.5.6 The social and economic problems caused by HIV/AIDS are among the many problems plaguing this country. Therefore, appropriate measures of training and protection will be taken. Furthermore extensive works of prevention will be undertaken against communicable diseases like malaria and tuberculosis that are major causes of death.

5.5.7 Research will be conducted on the widely used traditional medicine and medical practice in order to improve the quality and standard of its application and to enable it to enhance the general health service that is provided to the people.

5.5.8 A system will be established to ensure that health services are provided according to the standards required by the profession, that there is accountability and that appropriate measures are taken against violations of the professional code of ethics.

5.6 On Social Security

5.6.1 Citizens will be provided as much support as permitted by the country’s available resource to help them meet the basic requirements of food, clothing, shelter, medical service, etc.

5.6.2 Citizens displaced from their jobs or are made to leave their jobs before reaching the retirement age for various reasons will be given retirement or compensation payment commensurate with their service immediately.

5.6.3 Conditions will be created wherein citizens that are disabled due to natural disasters or accidents would be gainfully employed and be able to support themselves.

5.6.4 Payment made to pensioners will be adjusted taking into consideration price inflations and rises in the cost of living.

5.6.5 An organization will be established that will mobilize domestic and foreign support and provide immediate assistance to citizens affected by natural or manmade disaster.

5.7 On Women

5.7.1 Women shall have the right to acquire wealth, to own property and to inherit on equal basis with men.

5.7.2 Women shall have the equal right to be employed as men.

5.7.3 Women workers shall have the right to take adequate rest during pregnancy of maternity.

5.7.4 Single Mothers will be provided with special support that helps them to mitigate problems that they may encounter.

5.7.5 Special attention will be given to providing extensive education and training that would contribute to protecting womenn’s equality and rights and to building their capacity.

5.7.6 Everything necessary will be done to protect women from physical and psychological harms due to various religious and cultural beliefs. Especially, harmful practices such as early marriage, abduction and female genital mutilation perpetrated on girls will be abolished.

5.7.7 In order to be able to solve their problems, women will be allowed to organize themselves freely, without any interference from any government or political organization.

5.7.8 In order to strengthen their participation in all aspects of social life, women will be given real political power that goes beyond mere numerical and nominal representation.

5.8 On the Youth

5.9.1 The participation of the youth in the political, economic and social life of the country will be expanded. Multifaceted programmes and projects will be designed to solve the serious problem of widespread unemployment among the youth.

5.9.2 The youth will be enabled to obtain jobs only on the basis of their educational achievements, professional qualifications and skills and not, in any way, on the basis of their membership of a political party or an association.

5.9.3 Every effort will be made to protect the youth from being victims of harmful habits. To this end, everything possible will be done to build and expand recreational, sports and educational facilities that help the youth to develop physical and mental capabilities.

5..9.4 UDJ strongly opposes the promotion of organizations that are designed to bring the youth under the total control of the ruling party. Instead, a condition will be created wherein the youth will be able to organize themselves absolutely free from any kind of interference, to solve their common problems through common efforts and to be active participants in the affairs of their nation.

5.10 On Persons Living with Disabilities

5.10.1 Conditions will be created wherein persons living with disabilities will not be discriminated against in obtaining gobs and where they will be able to obtain jobs within their capabilities and earn a decent living just like their compatriots.

5.10.2 Residential area, work places, streets, public squares, recreational centers and transport facilities will be designed and constructed in such a way that they take into consideration the problems of persons living with disabilities.

5.10.3 Persons living with disabilities will be provided with education and training that are designed to solve their problems meet their needs.

5.10.4 When persons living with disabilities are engaged in schooling, they will be provided with assistance to ease their problem of lack of educational materials necessary for their studies.

5.11 On the Aged and Cildren

5.11.1 Special effort will be made to provide adequate care to the aged who have no one to care for them through governmental and non-governmental organizations.

5.11.2 Centers that provide the aged with recreational and socializing facilities will be provided.

5.11.3 Conditions will be facilitated wherein Senior Citizens can transmit their wisdom and experience to the succeeding generation.

5.11.4 Special attention will be given to the physically and mentally healthy upbringing of children who the future hope of the country.

5.11.5 Various schemes will be designed and implemented to provide orphans with the proper upbringing.

5.12 On Population Studies

5.12.1 Given that population studies plays a major role in a country‘s development, efforts will be made to ensure that there is a healthy balance between economic growth and population growth.

5.12.2 Family Planning and other birth control service programmes will be strengthened in a sustained manner.

5.13 Relics and Natgional Parks

Ethiopia is endowed with precious relics and other historical attractions as well as with a variety of parks that are havens for rare animals. However, these resources are exposed to plunder, destruction and wastage due to lack of protection and proper care. UDJ will see to it that these priceless resources of the country are fully protected and given proper care.

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