Today, Addis had the small fraction of the atmosphere it had like in the pre-election period. As early as 7 in the morning, you could see a crowd circling something here and there. Just like it used to be before and a little after the May 2005 election. The crowd is for information. Addis citizens are circling the local papers on the ground, The Reporter and Sendeq. It is the first time local papers (political) came out since the Monday sentencing and all what followed. Not that these papers are pro-democracy or independent. It only shows how the people are hungry for the free press. They just want to hear something other than the shameless local TV and radio. The papers’ front covers are all covered by pictures of our leaders and small headlines focusing on what has been going on since Monday. Those who can afford get in the crowd and get copies of the papers. Those who can not afford to buy just stare down at the papers on the ground and read what they can get on the front pages. People in Addis are following the situation carefully. The VOA and DW are being heard loud in public places just like it used to be then. People are also tuning the local government medias which they stopped turning them on long time ago to see what Zenawi is up to (atleast officially). Whatever they see or read, almost everybody is getting excited by the very possibility of our leaders’ release. That seems to be the only thing that matters at the moment around here.
Not only just today that reminded me of the days back in May 2005. Infact, everything since Monday seem a bit like the time during the election. After the verdict on Monday, the local TV came up with the claimed “guilt letter” flashing a scanned image of the alleged letter now and then on the screen. It seemed just like that fateful Monday in 2005 when Sekoture (of TPLF) showed up on the TV screen telling us EPRDF has won the election. It was supposed to be the election board to announce such if it had to be announced at that moment. EPRDF was just one of the constantans. With something that looked like a déjà vu, last Monday, Haileraguel (of ETV) popped up in the TV flashing the scanned document. Here again, logically it was supposed to be the shimagiles (mediators) who should have announced any if it had to be. Here again EPRDF (Zenawi) was just one of the negotiating parties. Just reminiscing.
I heard Bereket mentioned our leaders will be released in a matter of two or three days.
Still fingers crossed nothing comes in the way to keep them any longer.