OPDO on Crossroads: What Comes Next?

Tullu Libban

It is a public knowledge that Oromia has been fully under the Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) control over the last 26 years, in a camouflage of Ethiopian Peoples’ Democratic Front (EPRDF). In the EPRDF coalition, OPDO has served only TPLF as a tool to cash Oromia. There has no time when OPDO acted as a responsible party to represent the Oromo people because the system never wanted OPDO to play an active role in the entire tenure of EPRDF regime. We don’t need to go into the details of why TPLF created OPDO and why it kept it truncated for so long time. It seems, now the time has changed.
At this moment, it is a question whether TPLF can maintain its control over OPDO, by extension on Oromia, given the dynamics taking place in the political arena in the Ethiopian empire. It is less likely that TPLF could use OPDO as a manipulative political object anymore. In the recent months, OPDO has shown bold resistance towards the humiliating master-slave relationship it has undergone over a quarter a century.
The question is yet, how far this resistance can last and what will be the end result. For both TPLF and OPDO (the father and the child) the Oromo struggle posed undesired challenges. Can TPLF control Oromia without OPDO? Or can OPDO survive without TPLF? No for the father; yes for the child, in my opinion. Therefore, I guess, TPLF must have gone a mile ahead to prepare a plan on how to handle OPDO and maintain its lust for power and control for resources in Oromia. How about OPDO? Does it have any strategy on how to escape being swallowed by the yawing beast (TPLF)?
I believe, OPDO cannot continue to rule Oromia, (at least theatrically), providing a liaising service for TPLF against the interest of the Oromo people. Certainly, TPLF will never enjoy that cheap service from OPDO in the years ahead. However, there will be a lot of headache for the current leadership of OPDO to continue standing up to TPLF’s arrogance. TPLF will try its best to bring to power loyalists from within the OPDO to the higher echelon by removing the current populist figures like Lemma Megerssa, Abiy Ahmed, Addisu Arega, Worqineh Gebeyou etc.
What can TPLF do?
Assumption and scenarios
1. Engaging OPDO in routine rings: TPLF will continue to keep the current leadership busy (creating conflicts here and there, inciting uprisings in schools, industries, neighborhoods, encouraging havoc in Oromia). Then popular demands would remain unanswered in the region, development activities would be halted and resentments escalate to blame the current leadership.
2. Infiltration and sellouts: TPLF may prepare splinters, buy some betrayers to divide OPDO and manipulate internal strife to weaken the emerging force from the OPDO camp
3. Self-criticism and Confession (Gimgema): One of the instruments that TPLF deploys to tame its surrogates and control them with chains on the neck is the so-called gimgama. The masters stuff their subordinates in a hall and demand them to make confessions about perceived or committed “crimes”. The confession session may take a month or a couple of months. There is a character assassination camp known as EPRDF Training Center led by Addisu Legesse, Abay Tsegaye etc. and all top-level officials from all regions and federal government agencies are required to participate in the “training” at least for 2-3 months. Core TPLF circle reps “evaluate” each one of their prey and make a decision about whether the prey would go back to their position or fired and jailed.
4. Democratic Centralism: TPLF has effectively utilized the Stalinist method of democratic centralism, which allows dictators to impose their hegemony on party members, where members have no voice, right and choice to reject whatever percolates from above. They are expected to endorse whatever a small circle in the highest leadership decides. That is the kind of “democracy” in place even in the TPLF rubberstamp parliament, where laws are unanimously enacted without any objection or abstention. Therefore, OPDO members are required to heed to this practice and they would lose ground to hold an independent position on matters affecting their interest and that of the people they represent.
5. Marginalizing OPDO in the EPRDF: The formidable force to challenge TPLF at this moment is OPDO. Recent developments that brought about the alliance of the Oromo people with OPDO is a big blow to TPLF’s governance model. Therefore, TPLF would try its level best to mobilize ANDM and SEPDM against OPDO in a bid to diminish OPDO’s role in decision making on matters of national interest and that of the Oromia region. That would make matters difficult for the OPDO leadership to keep its public promises and pledges.

What should OPDO do then?
I would like to recommend the following points for OPDO to keep the momentum, ensure its relevance, credibility and very survival.
1. Stick to your motto of “Our people, our masters”, depend entirely on the Oromo people and listen to them attentively. Consult with Oromo intellectuals, pause and think over your plans before putting them into actions. That will spare you from committing ridiculous mistakes like erecting a thoughtless monument for Irrecha massacre martyrs and preparing a useless document for Oromia special interest over Finfinnee.
2. Act collectively and ensure profound bond among your members from top to down and stand together. Never let betrayers work against you and the interest of the Oromo people
3. Denounce the labeling of Oromo children as narrow nationalists and terrorists, as you are well aware of why these demeaning terms are used against the self-conscious and self-respecting Oromos
4. Get rid of the so-called democratic centralism and developmental government theories because both are unconstitutional party tools to restrict your free thoughts, actions and decisions
5. Say no to TPLF “gimgema” which is conducted in a master-servant relation manner. Why do Bereket, Abay, Addisu, Debretsion etc. gauge you and decide your fate, course of action and political life. Reverse this practice upside down and criticize them and make them accountable for the atrocities, corruptions, and vandalism in the country.
6. Say no to EPRDF rules and regulations, which are mainly developed by the late Meles Zenawi to serve the interest of TPLF dwarfing OPDO’s role and thereby that of the Oromo people in the political realm
7. Demand to have fair and proportional representation in the EPRDF executive committee and its council as well as in the Federation Council etc. so that you can influence decisions and discussions as per the contribution of Oromia to the national economy and well-being.
8. Calculate what Oromia would lose if OPDO is not part of EPRDF (for instance is there any benefit for Oromia to be in EPRDF coalition better than Gambella or Afar?). Withdrawal from EPRDF is a possibility without, withdrawing from the federation.
In conclusion, if OPDO remains to be controlled by the same tools designed by TPLF and abides by the unfair laws unchanged, it will never achieve any remarkable success. There is no a level playing field. The rules of the game are prepared by TPLF. Therefore, to play on the field where TPLF is both a player and a referee, OPDO will continue to be a loser. It will be trapped in the same vicious circle and remain to host the parasitic TPLF being consumed, of course, letting the Oromo people down as usual.

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ይድረስ ለኦህዴድ መሪዎች!

Tullu Liban

ትንሽ ወንድማዊ ምክር እንድለግሳችሁ ፍቀዱልኝ። ላለፉት 26 ዓመታት ያሳለፋችሁት የባርነት ዘመን ሕሊና ላለው ሰው እጅግ የሚሰቀጥጥ ነው። በሌላችሁ ስልጣን ስልጣን እንዳላችሁ፣ በሌላችሁ ክብር ክብር እንዳላችሁ፣ ባልተሳተፋችሁበት ትግል እንደታገላችሁ ተነግሯችሁ፣ ጄኔራል ሳትሆኑ ጄኔራል ተብላችሁ፣አምባሳደር ሳትሆኑ አምባሳደር ተብላችሁ፣ መሪ ሳትሆኑ ፕሬዚዳንት ተብላችሁ፣ ሳትማሩ ድግሪ ተሰጥቷችሁ ለወያኔ መጫወቻ አሻጉገሊት ሆናችሁ ኖራችኋል። ወያኔ ከአባታችሁ ቤት በአካፋ እየዛቀ ሲዘርፍ እናንተ በማንኪያ ትንሽ ብትሰርቁ ሙስና ሰርታችኋል ብሎ እያሸማቀቃችሁ ጥባጥቤ ተጫውቶባችኋል። ወያኔዎች ሰማይ ጠቀስ ፎቅ እየሠሩ እናንተ መጠነኛ መኖሪያ ቤት ስትሠሩ በግምገማ እሳት ላይ ጥደውአችኋል። መቼም ህሊናችሁንም የኦሮሞንም ህዝብ መዋሸት አትችሉም። በየትኛውም መስሪያቤት አንድ ቀጭን ትግሬ ካለ የቱንም ያህል እውቀት ቢኖራችሁ፣ የቱንም ያህል በሥልጣን ተዋረድ የባላይ ብትሆኑ ውሳኔ ሰጭው ትግሬው እንደሆነ ታውቃላችሁ። ይህን የበታችነት ደረጃ አሜን ብላችሁ ይህን ውርደት ተሸክማችሁ ሩብ ምዕተ ዓመት ኖራችኋል። መቼም ሕሊና ላለው ሰው ይሄ ያማል።

የትልቅ ህዝብ ተወካይ ነኝ የሚል ሰው በአባልባሌ ተራ ማይም ትግሬ ሲናቅና እንደ አሽከር ሲላላክ ያማል። ጥሩ ለብሳችሁ አጊጣችሁ ይሆናል። ጥሩ መኪና ነድታችሁ ይሆናል። ጥሩ መኖሪያ ቤት ገንብታችሁ ይሆናል። ዳሩ ምን ያደርጋል ይህ ሁሉ እርግማን ይሆንባችኋል። ባዶነታችሁን ያሳበቅባችኋል። የደም ሀብት ነው። አላፊ አዱኛ ነው። ይህ ሁሉ ሆኖ አሁን የነጻነት ጎህ የቀደደ ይመስላል። ዕድሜ ለኦሮሞ ሕዝብ ትግል እናንተም ነጻ የምትወጡበት ጊዜ ሩቅ አይሆንም። አደራችሁን ካሁን በኋላ በኦሮሞ ሕዝብ ትግል ፊት እንዳትቆሙ። እናንተ ስላተዋረዳችሁት፣ ራሳችሁም አንሳችሁ ስላሳነሳችሁት፣ አልባሌ ሆናችሁ በአልባሌ ቡድን ስላስጠቃችሁት እንጂ የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ከኦነግ ጋር አልቆረበም። ኦነግ የኦሮሞን ህዝብ የልብ ትርታ ስላወቀ ጥያቄዎቹን ጥያቄው ስላደረገ ነው መንፈስ ሆኖ የቀጠለው።ኦህዴድ ነኝ ማለት የሚያሳፍራችሁ የሠራችሁት ነውር ስራ አፍ አውጥቶ ስለሚናገር ነው። ኦነግ መባል በኦሮሞ ህዝብ ዘንድ ያስብከር እንደሆን እንጂ አፍሳሮ አያውቅም። እናንተው የገደላችኋቸው አንድ የመንዲ አዛውንት ያሉትን ልንገገራችሁ። የናንተው ነፍሰ ገዳዮች ያዟቸውና “እርስዎ ምግብ እያመላለሱ ኦነግን ጫካ ውስጥ ይቀልባሉ ” አሏቸው። ቆፍጣናው አባትም “እውነት ነው ለአንበሶቹ ስንቅ አመላልሳለሁ። ውሻ ግን አልቀልብም። እስቲ ውሻ ሆነህ ለጌቶችህ እመንደር ውስጥ ከምታድነኝ አንበሳ ሁንና ጫካ ግባ እንደማልቀልብህ ታያለህ” አሏቸው። ግን ውሾቹ በሏቸው።

ኦነግ ኖረም አልኖረ የኦሮሞን የሀገር ባለቤትነት፣ የሥልጣን ባለቤትነት፣ ሰላምና ብልጽግና ለማስመለስ የተጋ ሁሉ ክብርና ሞገስ አለው። አሁን በመጨረሻ ሰዓትም ቢሆን ይህ ዕድል እንዳያመልጣችሁ። የፈሪ ሞት ሳይሆን የጀግና ሞት ሙቱ። ለዓመት በዓል ዋዜማ ዶር አብይ አህመድ አንድ ልብ የሚነካ ንግግር አድርጎ ነበር። “ሁላችንም እንሞታለን ሞት አይቀርምና”ነው ያለው ባልሳሳት። አዎን ሞት አይቀርም። ጄኔራል ታደሰ ብሩ ከናንተ የተሻለ ሀብት፣ ማዕረግ፣ ክብርና ሞገስ ነበራቸው። ከወገናቸው ክብር ግን አልበለጠባቸውም። ብዙዎቹ በእስር ቤት የሚማቅቁት፣ የሞቱት እና የተሰዱደት እንናንተ የምኖሩትን ኑሮ ቢፈልጉ ኖሮ በሩ ሰፊ ነበር። እስቲ አሁን ለሕሊና መኖር ጀምሩ። እናንተ ማገር ሆናችሁ ባትይዙት ግድግዳ ሆናችሁ ባትደግፉት እኮ እንኳን በላያችሁ ላይ ጥሬ አሩን ሊያራና ወያኔ ወይ ተጠራርጎ ከኦሮሚ ይወጣል ወይ በናንተ ተርም ቀጥ ብሎ ይኖራል። መንገዱ እኮ ቀላል ነው። እናንተ በፌዴራል ምክር ቤት 190 መቀመጫ አላችሁ። በኦሮሚያ ጉዳይ ላይ ያለ ፍርሃት ድምጻችሁን አውጥታችሁ ተከራከሩ። ኦሮሚያን የሚጎዳ ውሳኔ ሊተላለፍ ሲል በድምጻችሁ ውድቅ አድርጉት። የማይስማማችሁ አሠራር ሲኖር ከፌዴራል ሥርዓቱ ለመውጣት እንደምትገደዱ ለሕዝባችሁ በግልጽ ተናገሩ።

የኦሮሚያ ምክር ቤት በምትሉት ስብሰባ በክልላችሁ ጉዳይ ማንንም ሳታስፈቅዱ ውሳኔ ስጡ። ለወያኔ ይህ የኛ ጉዳይ ነው በሉት። ምን ሲሆን ነው የትሬው አፍሮ ጽዮን የናንተን የባህል ማዕከልና ጽ/ቤት የሚገነባው? ለዚያውም ከደረጃ በታች፤ ከውሉ ውጭ። ኦሮሚያ ዲዛይነርናኮንትራክተር የለውም? ለምንድነው የኦሮሚያ ውሃ ስራዎች ድርጅት ስራ ፈቶ እያለ በኦሮሚያ ውስጥ የሚሠሩ የውሃ ልማት ሥራዎች ለትሬው ሳባ ኮንስትክራሽን የሚሰጡት? እስከ መቼ ነው የመከላከያ ጃኔራሎች ስብጥር 99 ከመቶ በትግሬ የሚያዘው? እስከ መቼ ነው የደህንነት መስሪያቤቱ በትግሬ የሚዘወረው? እስከ መቼ ነው ቁልፍ የፏይናንስ ተቋማቱና ትልልቅ ካፒታል አንመጭ ተቋማት ለምሳሌ የኢትዮጵያ አየር መንገድ፣ ቴሌሙንኬሽን፣ ጉምሩክ፣ የኢትዬጵያ መንገዶች ባለሥልጣን ወዘተ የትግሬ የግል ንብረት የሚሆኑት? መቼ ነው ትልልቅ ካምኒዎች የአላሙድ የወርቅ ማምረቻ ጭምር ለኦሮሚያ ግብር የሚከፍሉት? ኦህዴዶች፤ ወይ መሆን ነው ወይ አለመሆን ነው ምርጫችሁ። የፊንፊኔ ጉዳይና የአፋን ኦሮሞ ጉዳይ ገና ጊዜ የማይሰጠው የቤት ሥራ ነው። የህዝባችንን መፈናቀልና ጥቃት ያስከተለው የድንበር ጉዳይ የምትተኙበት የቤት ሥራ አይደለም። አሁኑኑ እልባት ማግኘት አለበት 26 ዓትመ ሙሉ ስትተኙ ከርማችሁ አሁን ማጣፊያ ሊያጥራችሁ ነው። መቼም ታረጉታላሁ ብለን አይደለም። ትልቅ የበታችነት የሥነ ልቦና በሽታ አለባችሁና። ከሰማችሁ ስሙ ህዝባችንን አስታቁት እንጂ ትጥቁን አታስፈቱት። አዲስ አብባ ያለ ትግሬ ሳይርቀ በነፍስ ወከፍ እየታጠቀ ኦሮሞ በራሱ ገንዘብ የገዛውን ትጥቅ ለምንድነው የሚፈታው። ስሙማ በደርግ ጊዜም ቢሆን ትጥቁን እንዲፈታ የተገደደው የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ብቻ ነው። ጁነዲ ሳዶ በሥልጣን ዘመኑ ከ200 ሽህ ህዝብ በላይ ትጥቅ በስማፈታት ታሪክ ይቅር የማይለው ስህተት ሠርቷል። ዛሬ ህዝባችን ለአብዲ ኢሌ ጥቃት የተጋለጠው ትጥቅ ስለሌለው ነው።
እኔ ልምከራችሁ ወያኔ ጠፍሮ የሚያስራችሁ አብዮታዊ ዲሞክራሲ፣ ዲሞክሲዊ ማዕከላዊትነና ግምገማ በሚባሉ የታወቁ ገመዶቹ ነው። በዚህ ጠልፎ ይጥላችኋል። ይህንን በቃን በሉት። እናንተ አትገመግሙንም በሏቸው።ዴሞራሲያዊ ማእከላዊነት የሚባለውን ሰውን እንደ ግዑዝ የፓርቲ ቁሳቁስ የሚቆጥረውን የሶሸሊስት አስተሳሰብ ከዛሬ ጀምሮ በቃን በሏቸው። በኢህአዲግ ማዕከላዊ ኮሚቴና በሥራ አስፈጻሚ ኮሚቴው ውክልናችሁ በምትወክሉት ህዝብ መጠን እንዲሆን ተከራሩና አስወስኑ። ይህን ለማድረግ ከወሰናችሁ ህዝባችሁ ከጎናችሁ አለ። ይህን ካላደረጋችሁ የተለመደ የተላላኪነት ሥራችሁን እየሠራችሁ ህዝባዊ ማዕበሉ ጠራርጎ ይወስዳችኋል። አሟሟታችሁም የውሻ ሞት ይሆናል። ፍጠኑ ጊዜ የላችሁም። ጨረስኩ። ልቦና ይስጣችሁ።

 

 

Imperfections, Yes! Retreat, No! An Interesting Note by Tsegaye Ararsa About Jawar Mohammed.

You can hate him passionately. In deed, it is evident that, while his supporters love him with passion, his detractors hate him with an equivalent or more passion. Hate him, you may. But you can’t ignore him. If you are an observer of the Oromo and/or Ethiopian political developments, what you can’t do is to ignore Jawar S. Mohammed.

Having survived the most stringent of public scrutiny (virtually living his life in front of the relentless gaze of the media), Jawar Mohammed remains to be the one person in the Oromo and/or Ethiopian public life who continues to ignite and sustain the (political) passion of the youth in Ethiopia today, especially among the Oromo.

Jawar loves taking risks. His courage to take risks and to thrive in their midst, unusual as it is for most politically engaged personalities from Ethiopia, makes him rather uncommon. In taking risks, he also commits himself to the possibility of making mistakes. He may make mistakes and may do so rather frequently. In fact, he does make mistakes. (Who doesn’t?) He may be excoriated for his mistakes (sometimes fairly, sometimes unfairly). He may even be emotionally bruised at times (when the criticism goes to the extent of disfiguring him, his cause, or even his family). But what you don’t find Jawar doing is a retreat.

What he can’t do is retreat in the face of opposition. Every day, he seems to be pushing and pushing and pushing himself to achieve something for his people. Achieve, he did. Perhaps, his achievements of the last five years alone are too numerous to recount on this platform.

As a fellow traveler on this journey (and as a compatriot and a friend), I ‘see’ Jawar at work every day. Beyond the daily routine, I see him as someone who tries to contribute his bit to the Oromo struggle for emancipation and to leave a mark on his people’s inexorable journey to victory. As we can all see, he has already made what is arguably the most important contribution to the resistance movement of recent years (eg, #OromoFirst#OMN#OromoProtets,#GrandOromoRally#OromoRevolution #OLC#LagannaaGabaa, etc, etc). The unprecedented successes of boycotts of the last few weeks and the ongoing stay-at-home protests are in part the result of his work on and offline, on social and conventional media outlets. That is why he is a phenomenon in the Oromo and/or Ethiopian politics of recent years. Yes, it is tough to be him and to not make mistakes. But there is no gainsaying that he is quite a presence, a force to reckon with. It comes as no surprise that the regime in Ethiopia seeks to make him one of the victims of its legal violence by prosecuting him, in absentia, “for inciting terrorism.”

To those who love to hate Jawar as a proxy for what he represents and stands for (as an Oromo), I would like to say, he is one of the best things that happened to Oromos, Ethiopians, and their politics. Yes, even to his detractors, he is the best thing that happened to them, albeit they don’t even know it. In this, he is like the entirety of the Oromo nation, which–even at its worst–is the best thing that “happened” to Ethiopia, although Ethiopia didn’t know it.

Why are the Oromo People Protesting again? 

The Oromo people are protesting again:

1) To defend and protect their children and their leaders from the attack, arrest, and killings by the Ethiopian government security forces,

2) To protect their land from Addis Ababa based and foreign land grabbers and land thieves, and take back their land from these land grabbers,

3) To force the Ethiopian government to make Afaan Oromo the working language of the federal government to end the political, economic and social exclusion of the Oromo people in Ethiopia,

4) To force the Ethiopian government restore the status of unlawfully separated and stolen Oromia cities including Addis Ababa, Dire Dawa, Harar and Moyale under the Oromia National Regional Administration,

5) To force the Ethiopian government to accept the self-administration rights of the Oromo people by ending the current indirect rule of TPLF/EPRDF in Oromia,

6) To force the Ethiopian government to accept the legitimate rights of the Oromo people to have their fair power and resources share in the federal government, and

7) Last but not least, the Oromo people are protesting to force the Ethiopian government to immediately and unconditionally release all political prisoners including Dr. Merera Gudina, Mr. Bekele Gerba and Mr. Yonatan Tesfaye.

Over the last two years of the #OromoProtests, Ethiopian government did nothing to address any of the demands of the Oromo people. This is a very serious mistake on the part of the regime that prefers to despise and belittle the civilized power of the Oromo people.

Ethiopia will descend into chaos and instability if the Ethiopian government continue giving blind eyes and deaf ears to the demands of the people.

All Ethiopia’s development and security partners who observe the civilized and non-violent demands of the Oromo people must advise and pressure this unresponsive government to address each and every demand of the Oromo people.

https://www.facebook.com/birhanemeskel.abebe?fref=ts&sw_fnr_id=2328633628&fnr_t=0

Economic revolution? The chain is on the dog’s neck

By: Tullu Liban
Some people seem to be touched and thrilled by Lemma Megersa’s public tizzies. Indeed, Lemma talks Afan Oromo prettily and his verbose are quite attractive, though yet to be tested in action. Such glossy talks are not bad albeit the mix-up of OPDO’s pragmatic power limit and their confused world.

The fact speaks for itself, though. How come one expects economic or otherwise emancipation to come from an enslaved group? We don’t need any lecture on Oromo nationalism and economic marginalization from Lemma, for that matter. The level of Oromo self-consciousness is far way ahead than Lemma and co. would believe. We have had enough of them over years and no rhetoric can be a panacea for Oromo questions but action. The fact is that OPDO can bring neither economic nor political empowerment for the Oromo people given its obvious position in the power relations. They cannot because they are not made to do or be so. The very people who are caged in the nursery of TPLF; hived off from the people they are meant to represent, cannot liberate others before they do declare their own freedom. OPDOs (not the file and rank ones) are up in the line of politics so long they serve the interest of the masters who installed them. They are installed for a purpose. That purpose is to be an ensemble for TPLF interest in order that the latter could exploit resources of Oromia.

TPLF doesn’t want the Oromo people but their resources. Therefore, they don’t want to empower the people whom they are determined to loot indefinitely. They are not that naive to lose their grip over the resource they direly need. Thus, they don’t permit OPDOs to exercise a real power. If one believes OPDODs are exercising a real power in the Oromia leadership or in the fake federalism, one is simply foolish or far away from the tricks of Tigrian politics.
Lemma is not in the service of the Oromo people because he is not elected by free will of the people. He is an assignee of TPLF and his cabinet too. Where is the point then, that one hopes Lemma will bring about economic revolution for the Oromo people?
Lemma is instructed to deliberately speak up loudly picking up the language of honest Oromo elites: nationalism, marginalization, segregation, dehumanization etc. Yes, it seems the plan is hitting the target, it caught public attention for a moment; but couldn’t cool down public temper as it was supposed to.
TPLF emboldened Lemma Megerssa and Beker Shale to spark a dialogue to measure the thermometer of Oromo politics. In a way, TPLF will buy time, respire for a while, work out how to quell the next chapter of inevitable Oromo fight that bothers them day and night.
Those who are hoping OPDOs will change the powerline in Ethiopia’s politics are misleading themselves. OPDO is a handmade “speaking tool”. When the creators, the TPLF masters want them to speak, OPDOs speak nicely and loudly. When they are told to act, they will perform exceedingly. Don’t forget, the chain is on their neck, yet. To loosen a chain on the neck of one’s dog or tighten, fasten it, is not decided by the dog itself but by the owner. That is the situation in which the OPDO surrogates find themselves. If any change happens, in answering Oromo questions, it happens because of the irresistible smack TPLF gangs sustained because of the nonstop Oromo struggle.
Even amid the shocks it has experienced, TPLF still aspires to survive in the years to come. In 2020, TPLF will conduct another round of sham elections in Ethiopia. In the next elections, they want to cling to power by hook or crook. They deploy different tactics to achieve that dream. One of the tactics is addressing some of the Oromo questions. They may promote Afan Oromo as the second federal language, at least theoretically. They may enact a law on Oromia-Finfinnee relations, at least on paper. They may delegate regions to administer certain portions of the economy (with strict control of the center). All these cosmetic reforms will happen to legitimize the next survival of TPLF as a central powerhouse of the empire. As we can see preparations are underway in the name of political negotiation where Oromia is not represented. There will be some individuals in the name of opposition parties in the next parliament of TPLF (Tolessa Tesfaye, Lidetu Ayalew and Ayele Chamisso in mind) . And yet, the essence of the real power relations will remain under the full control of TPLF.
The whole effort of TPLF is now to finalize a groundwork to get a “pass grade” for the 2020 elections. Then, they will prepare another strategy for the 7th, 8th, 9th and 10th rounds to realize the 50 year Tigrian rule dream.
The thing is that OPDO protagonists like Lemma Megerasa, are in the TPLF utmost service so that the former could buy time for power perpetuation. Lemma and his OPDO are agents of TPLF in Oromia as we know them since their creation from POWs.
One must ask Lemma when he broadly opens his mouth about Oromo marginalization where he has been hitherto. He has been an active player, a forefront striker in effecting the marginalization process. One would not have been surprised if Lemma was a newcomer to the OPDO circle. However, it wouldn’t make any sense to hear his ostentatious rhetoric he himself being one of the persons in the enemy service by heart. For heaven’s sake, how dare the thoughts of Oromo economic empowerment came through Lemma’s revelation as if he has not been part and parcel of the system that made the Oromo people sustain the pains? Okay fine, now say they came to their sense to realize the pains, how can Lemma and his comrades reverse politically designed marginalizations under the slave-master relationship with TPLF?
If politics is not a magical activity or a divine business, in this real world of humans, there will be no economic empowerment without political empowerment. If the chain on the neck of OPDO was not in the palms of TPLF, one would hope to see changes in different life aspects as far as Oromia is concerned. But the remote control is not in the palms of the dogs; the masters do hold that chain; will they loosen the grip? No! They may let the dogs relax temporarily, not permanently.
In sum, we are sure whatever reform TPLF conducts in the name of OPDO or if OPDO does something good to answer a portion of Oromo questions, they do it not because they wished to do it nor OPDO dared to demand it. If the OPDO stooges had that ability, they could have materialized many of Oromo demands long ago. The harder we hammer them, the tight we press them, the more our dreams are achieved. They are not granting us our rights. We are gabbing them through struggle. Whatever benefit comes in favor of Oromia, we welcome them because they are the result of Oromo struggle, not a gift from the enemy. They are achieved by struggle thanks to our martyrs who shed their blood selflessly for the noble cause.

Adwa is a colonial war among competing Colonial Empires despite the participation of subject peoples as footsoldiers

By: Tsegaye Ararsa

Indians, Nigerians, Ghanaians fought both World Wars (one of which is a purely colonial-imperial war) under the British. Eritreans and Lybians fought WWII for Italy. Likewise, Africans and Caribbeans fought for the French. In each case, the wars weren’t fought for their freedom. They fought the white man’s war as colonial subjects. It took decades of struggle for decolonization before these subject peoples fought for freedom.

Adwa is a colonial war of the scramble for the horn of Africa. It was a war among whites and honorary whites. Many subject peoples, most of them in chains, were weaponized against the Italians.

In the end, colonialism was entrenched and legalized in the horn of Africa. Eritrea was officially ceded to Italy as their colony. In subsequent treaties, the British title over the territories of the Sudan, Kenya, and British Somaliland was readily accepted. The Italian title over Eritrea and Italian Somaliland was legally entrenched. The French got full title deeds, as it were, for 99 years over the French Somaliland.

These Menelikan colonialist adventures were the price of Abyssinian sovereignty as per the colonial international law of the time. Abyssinian sovereignty, sanctioned and sanctified by colonial international law of the time–meant “to civilize the African ‘savages'” in Ethiopia and beyond, included many subject peoples into the fold of the territory of what was officially Abyssinia until 1946.

Today, those who like to fetishize the Adwa moment tell us that Adwa is the victory of all Ethiopians because even subject peoples have fought in the war. This is an attempt to include the subject peoples into the fold of their Abyssinian imperial adventures in order to totalize their own experience of the Adwa glory as the experience of these subjects. It is a strategy of retrospective legitimation by inclusion, I understand. But including the otherwise excluded for the sake of legitimizing the hegemon is still exclusion. It is exclusion by inclusion.

Adwa is anything but an anti-colonial war. Adwa accepted, confirmed, appropriated, and amplified the first premises and the logic of European colonialism and implemented it in the horn of Africa with a more barbaric rigor effected through European rifles. As such, it was merely a local instantiation of what Kipling called “the white man’s burden”, albeit done by black bodies.

Adwa is anything but a black victory over a white colonizer. Adwa was a moment of self-hating denial of blackness. Nothing typifies this more than the emphatic Menelikan disavowal of his blackness when he was invited to be an honorary president of the global association for the improvement of the life of the “Negro”. By saying “I am not a Negro; I am Caucasian,” Menelik stipulated that he is “an honorary white man.” This stipulation, while assuming alliance and identification with white Europe (the “community of civilized nations”), also inaugurated the habasha racism that, to date, discounts blackness, devalues black culture and identity, and belittles the dignity of black persons and all darker skinned peoples. In a way, Adwa was the inaugural moment for the birth of racialized hierarchy between and among the peoples of Ethiopia.

Adwa is anything but an African triumph over global imperialism. It was in fact a moment that contributed to the subjugation of Africa–the horn region–to European colonialism. It was a local instantiation of the global imperial project of the “scramble for Africa.” Much to the dejection of genuine pan-Africanists, this happened by propagating the Ethiopian exceptionalism in Africa (claiming that it is an ancient state, that it was Judaic/semitic, that it was christian, that is was the second Zion, that it was ‘civilized’, etc). Consequently, the Adwa moment ushered in the notion that Abyssinia, is IN Africa but not OF Africa, is “African but not quite.”

And yet, I understand that there are people who are passionately attached to this moment because of the positive material and moral consequences the moment yielded for them. That is as it should be, because it is experienced by them as their moment of glory.

That does not mean that everyone experienced the moment in the same way. Nor does it mean that the same positive consequences accrued to us all in the same way.

Yes, numerous subject peoples took part in it. Some in chains, some free. Some were deployed at a leadership level owing to their skills of war. Notable names of Oromo or of other non-habasha descent may have adorned the list of fighters or war leaders. But that doesn’t make the war theirs. Nor does it make any less colonial, any less imperial, or any more African, or any blacker. That Ghanaians, Indians, or Nigerians fought for the Britain; that Eritreans, and Libyans fought for Italy; that Francophone West Africans, Caribbeans, or Algerians fought for the French made the world wars wars of freedoms for their subject peoples.

To not celebrate your party is not to stand against it. It only means that it is YOUR party, not ours.

If you can hear this voice of hesitation, maybe, therein you will also find the hope of your redemption, inclusion on the terms defined by the hitherto excluded.

If not, you will dance to your own chants alone. That is fine by us as long as you don’t ask us to dance to your chants. To be in the house isn’t exactly the same as being in the party.

PS. For the mindless and homeless political rascals: now go out and fetishize the Adwa moment like you always do, like you fetishize most everything Abyssinian alright. But don’t ask us to dance to your chants.

Untold number of Ethiopians are subject to human rights violations : Amnesty International USA

At the end of 2016 Amnesty International published a report titled Ethiopia Offline: Evidence of Social Media Blocking and Internet Censorship in Ethiopia. This report documented how social media and networks in Addis Ababa and the Oromia region were being blocked by the Ethiopian government. Among the more alarming findings is that AI and the Open Observatory of Network Interference (OONI), who co-authored the report, detected the use of Deep Packet Inspection (DPI) technology, which can be used to monitor and filter internet traffic. The Ethiopian government appears to be using the technology for “mass surveillance internet censorship.” The government’s actions constitute a violation of Ethiopia’s obligations to protect freedom of expression under the African Charter and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) and also drastically restricts access to information for the Ethiopian people.The internet crackdown is linked to a brutal crackdown by the government in response to protests that started in the Oromo region in November 2015 against the Addis Ababa City Integrated Development Master Plan. This led to nationwide protests following a stampede in Oromia region on October 2, 2016 that followed attacks on foreign and local businesses. In response to the attacks and the protests, the Ethiopian government declared a State of Emergency (SOE) on October 9, 2016. The government declared that under the SOE they could “restrict freedom of expression where such freedom is abused”, and imposed a wide range of restrictions on internet access.  The government also arrested more than 11,000 people charging them with “violence and property damage.”

Based on the standards of the ICCPR, the State of Emergency in Ethiopia has resulted in many derogations that fail to meet international human rights law. For example, the Ethiopian government established a Command Post whose purpose was to “stop any media, prohibit any assembly and search and seize any person or place.”  Under the SOE, WhatsApp, Facebook, and Twitter were either blocked or inaccessible in Ethiopia, especially in the Oromia region. Further, certain types of URLs were blocked, including news media, web pages of political opposition, LGBTI, calling for freedom of expression, and circumvention tools such as Tor and Psiphon.

The Ethiopian government continues to misuse the Anti-terrorism Proclamation (ATP) legislation to charge and arrest people critical of government policies or actions. Amnesty International believes that “the acts of censorship, conducted outside a clear legal framework, over several months and affecting dozens of websites and social media platforms as well as the State of Emergency itself – which is so broadly drafted violates Ethiopia’s international legal obligations and permits violations of numerous human rights.”

These violations include the arrest of a number of government critics such as Bekele Gerba, a leading Oromo human rights activist, Eskinder Nega a prominent journalist and a human rights defender. Who was sentenced to 18 years in jail after he wrote articles demanding freedom of expression and an end to torture in Ethiopia.. Yonatan Tesfaye, a prominent opposition figure facing a possible death sentence due to his Facebook post opposing a government plan to extend the capital’s administrative authority to the Oromia region and Merera Gudina, a human rights activist and leader in the Oromo community.

An untold number of Ethiopians are subject to human rights violations as a result of the State of Emergency, the Anti-terrorism Proclamation and other legislation that the government is using to impose order, and, according to the government, restore peace and security.

As 2017 begins however, the government of Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn will face very stark truths. In can continue down the current path of increasing repression, and jail anyone who it considers unacceptable, creating a nationwide detention camp, or it can display the leadership the country needs by ending the State of Emergency, allowing an independent commission of inquiry into the protests that have shaken the country for the last two years, repeal the draconian laws it created to silence opposition, and release the scores of prisoners that it will need to talk to and work with to address the governance and human rights challenges the country is facing.

The world is watching and time is running out.

See the original report HERE

TPLF cannot stop Oromo’s Struggle for Freedom, Social Justice and Rule of Law

If TPLF/EPRDF leaders think that they can silence the Oromo people from demanding justice, freedom, equality and rule of law by keeping Oromo political leaders & activists behind bars, they are fooling themselves.

They must know that imprisonments, extrajudicial killings and forced disappearances will never stop Oromo people’s struggle and it will undoubtedly continue until Oromos free themselves from systematic oppression, economic exploitation and marginalization.

Oromo people’s struggle for political, economic and cultural rights has been around for more than a century now. Whatever TPLF & others do, it will never go away until Oromo get what they deserve.

Before Embarking on Implementing the Master Plan; Resolve the Master Problem

By: Jawar Mohammed
The TPLF state media has announced Addis Ababa Master Plan will be implemented soon. I have seen documents pertaining to this matter. Here is my take:

1) The regime claims this master plan is for Addis Ababa city only. That is the controversial Integrated Master Plan of Addis Ababa and surrounding towns have been disentangled and split into two. In other words Addis Ababa has given up on a joint master plan with its neighboring Oromia towns and forging ahead with separate plan. Yet…

2) A cursory review of the ‘new’ plan shows it isn’t that new. For a starter, the land that is incorporated in this plan that’s supposed to be just for city of Addis Ababa is way larger than the current & constitutional limits of the city. There are localities and districts (according to the constitutionally stipulated jurisdictions of both the Oromia state & the AA city council administration) laying in the current Oromia proper like Gelan, Semit, Jamo etc which are surprisingly made part of the city and covered in the “new master plan”. In short, there’s is huge tract of land from surrounding Oromia villages that have still been incorporated into Addis Ababa. In other words, this master plan expands the city limit violating the existing boarders and aims to remove hundreds of thousands of farmers, just as previously planned.

3) Just as the earlier ‘integrated’ master plan, this ‘new’ plan states that the city will get water from Oromia (Gefersa, Laga Dadhi, Aqaqi) and dry waste will be dumped in Sandafa as well. It assumes the city will continue to use these resources and services free of charge. But there is no agreement between Oromia and the city administration.

4) The regime promised to resolve the constitutionally guaranteed Oromia’s Special interest over Addis Ababa by this past October. Yet that has not been materialized yet. Trying to implement a 25 year Master Plan for Addis Ababa before resolving this thorny issue is tantamount to inviting further complications.

5) In general, this ‘new’ master plan is different from the integrated master plan only in name. They have tried to make it look different. They said the previous plan was based on Frances city of Lyon while the new one is based on Seoul city of Korea. Yet the same people who devised the previous plan are behind this one. Abay Tsehaye is the man who is pushing it. Mathiwos Asefa the manager of the ‘integrated plan’ is again manager of the ‘new’ plan. The old plan was supposedly scrapped in January 2016. In their own admission its takes years to develop a master plan that lasts 25 years. Which means they did not develop any new plan but renamed the same old bloody one.

No automatic alt text available.
Picture: The so called ‘New Addis Abeba Master PLan’

The bottom line is Finfinne (Addis Ababa) is at the heart of Oromia, geographically, politically, culturally and economically. Any plan developed for the city without the participation and approval of the Oromo people and Oromia state for the city is bound to adversely affect Oromo people, economically, culturally and politically. Hence, it has been and it will be rejected and resisted.Similarly any plan contested by the Oromos and bound to fail harming residents of the city. Thus, before you embark on any fancy talk of Master Plan, sit down and resolve the Master Problem…Oromia’s historical and constitutionally affirmed right and interest over the city of Addis Ababa.

Mootummaan Wayyaanee Dhimma Maaster Pilaanii Magaalaa Finfinnee kan Duraan Dhiise jedhe Amma Maaliif Afarsaa Jira?

Yaayyaa Bashir (Boruu Barraaqaa) tiin

Dhimmi Maaster Pilaanii magaalaa Finfinnee amma dura eegalame mormii jabaa ummanni Oromoo godheen hambisiifamuu danda’ee akka ture ni yaadatama. Yeroo sanitti dabballoonni OPDO arraba damma dibatanii gad bahuudhaan ‘’yoo ummata Oromoo kan hin gammachiifne tahe maaluu ni hafa’’ jechuun ololaa bahan. Mormiin ummata Oromoo yeroo sana Maaster Pilaaniitti qabatee eegalame garuu salphaatti kan dhaabatu hin turre. Gaaffiin Oromoo gaaffii mirga abbaa biyyummaa waan taheef boris salphaatti kan aguugamee hafu hin tahu. Haa tahuutii mormii sirnicha hundee irraa raasuu danda’e kana ukkaamsuuf jecha Labsa Yeroo Muddamaa Oromoo irratti labsan. Humnaan ummata afaan qabanii, harka isaa micciiranii, miila isaa hidhanii callisiisuu filatan.

Dhimmi Maaster Pilaanii magaalaa Finfinnee ammas xixxiixaa jira. Miidiyaaleen Wayyaanee gurguddoon EBC fi FBCn dhimma kana qabatanii ifatti gad bahanii jirani. Keessumattuu miidiyaa karoora mootummaa dursee beeksisuudhaan beekamu kan tahe Faanaan (FBC) oduu Mudde 8, 2009 (ALH)tti dabarseen ‘’Maaster Pilaaniin magaalaa Finfinnee dhiheenyatti akka ragga’u Komishiniin Pilaanii Magaalaa Finfinnee beeksise’’ jechuun gabaasee jira. Gaaffiin as irratti ka’uu qabu, Wayyaaneen maaliif yeroo kanatti dhimma master pilaanii kana amma kaasuu filatte kan jedhuu dha. An akka naa galetti sababaan isaa waan gurguddaa lama.

Kan duraa, sirnichi wayta ammaa kana jabaa nama Oromoo hanga danda’e guuree mana hidhaatti naqee jira. Warra silaa ummata kakaasuu fi mormii ummataa qindeessuu danda’u jedhee shakku qabee hidhaa keessatti toyatee argama. Ummata isa hafe ammoo bittaa waraanummaa Komaand Poostiitiin sodaachisee bitaa jira. Ammaantana hamilee fi kaka’umsa ummanni Oromoo qabsoo mirga isaaf qabu onnee isaa keessatti buruqsee, boquu gad cabseen jira jedhee waan of amansiise fakkaata. Kana irraa ka’uun wayta kanatti kaayyoo biyya Oromoo saamuu fi Oromoo salphisuuf qabate san hojii irra oolchuu irraa wanni na hanqisu hin jiru jedhee of amansiisee jira. Oromoon hangamuu baay’atu, hangamuu sadarkaan mormii isaa addunyaatti dhagahamu, toyannoo koo jalaa hin bahu, dirqisiisee doorsisee waanin barbaadu waga’uu nan danda’a jedhee of hubachuu isaa argaa jirra. Dhimma Master Pilaanii magaalaa Finfinnee irratti Oromoodhaan salphifamee boquu cabsatee kan ture sirni Wayyaanee amma xiiqii san Oromoo irratti bahachuuf yeroo aanjaa uummadheera jedhee yaadaa jira.

Kan lammaffaa wanni Wayyaaneef onnee kenne haala faca’iinsa gurmuu siyaasaa Oromoo ti. Dhaaba siyaasaa biyya keessaa (KFO) yoo taheef guutummaatti mataa hanga jalaatti jabaa namoota dhaabichaa hidhaa naqanii jirani. Dhaabicha guutummaatti laamshessanii jiru. Wayta Wayyaaneen bulchiinsa Komaand Poostii Oromiyaa irratti labsitee halkanii guyyaa Oromoo kumootaan mana hidhaatti guurtu, rukuttee madeessitu, ajjeeftu, qabeenya isaa aduu saafaatiin saamtu dhaabni siyaasaa Oromoo jabaan sabichaaf dirmatee salphina kana irraa Oromoo baraaruu danda’e hin jiru. Keessoon dhaabota siyaasaa Oromoos tahee aktiivistoota Oromoo biyya keessattis tahee alatti irree qabaatee kan sirnicha sodaachisu hin taane. Ummatatu muratee natti ka’e malee dhaabni siyaasaa kan sagantaa mataa isaatiin haleellaa narraan gahuu danda’u Oromoo keessa hin jiru jettee murteessiteetti Wayyaaneen. Duula karaa miidiyaa hawaasummaa ummata kakaasuuf godhamu Facebook fi karaalee wal qunnamtii biroo cufuudhaan ummata dukkana keessatti iggitte.

Haalli amma jiru waan fedhan Oromoo irratti labsuuf yeroo aanjaa tahee laalameera. Wayyaneen balaa siyaasaa hamaa, keessumattuu Oromiyaa keessatti mudatte irraa humna qawweetiin akka of baraartee amma hafuura bitattetti of fudhatteetti. Kunis Oromoo tuffachuu irraa madda. ‘Ofiif wacitu malee homaa na gochuu hin dandeessan, keessi keessan bukoo dha’ nuun jedhaa jirti. Ummata keessaa warra mormii dabre keessatti seenaa hojjete garii ajjeeftee, kuun madeessitee qaama hir’iftee, kuun ammoo kumoota kudhanootaan hidhaatti naqxee affeelaa waan jirtuuf, tarkaanfii akkasii kanaan umrii dheereffachuun akka danda’amu shaakalaa jirti.

Kanaafuu maaltu mala? Hegereen qabsoo kanaa maal tahuuf deemaa jira? Kan durii yoo hafe wareegamni gootonni Oromoo qabsoo waggaa tokkoo keessatti kafalan bilaash tahee hafaa? Wayyaaneen humna qawweetiin Oromoo afaan qabdee deebitee akka bofaa biyyee arraabdee yoo ol kaatu, akkasumatti wacnee dhiifna moo tarsiimoo qabsoo haaraa wayiitiin gad baanee dheebuu bilisummaa ummata keenya baafna? Gaaffilee kana qaamonni ‘humnoota siyaasaa’ Oromoo ofiin jedhan of gaafachuu qabu. Warri jaaramee jiru waliin hojjechuu ni dandeenya moo hin dandeenyu jedhaa wal gaafadhaa. Waliin haasawuu fi waliin deemuu hin dandeessan taanaan maqaa qabsoo lafa kaayaatii jireenya mataa keessanii jiraadhaa. Ummanni isin eega, isinis qilleensuma irratti jirra jirra ofiin jettu, lafa irratti garuu hin mul’atani, gidduutti kan bu’aa hangana hin jedhamne hammaarrachaa jiru diina keenya.

Wayyaaneen mormii lafa raasu waggaa tokkoo san irraa dandamattee tuffii isii itti fufuu kan dandeesse hanqina keenyaan malee jabina mataa ishiin miti. Keessoon jaarmayummaa siyaasaa Oromoo baay’ee dheedhii dha. Corqaa dha. Bakka ummanni keenya gahe gahuufuu fagoo jira. Wayyaanee kan lubbuu itti hores isa kana. Ummanni yoomuu mirga isaaf ni falmata. Garuu jaarmayaa siyaasaa jabaa kan tarsiimoo jabaadhaan isa hogganu hin qabu taanaan maayyii irratti irbaata diinaa taha. Wayyaaneen bulchiinsa Komaand Poostii labsuu ishii dura ibsoonni dhaabonni siyaasaa Oromoo tokko tokko baasaa turan sirnichaaf gargaarsa guddaa godhe. Jaarmayoonni siyaasaa Oromoo walii isaanii gidduutti wal dorgoommii diigaa godhan irraa kan ka’e ‘qabsoo biyya keessaa deemaa jiru natu hogganaa jira’ jedhanii miidiyaatti bahanii labsuun ummata keenya rukuchiise malee bu’aa Oromoofis tahee jaarmayaa sanaaf fide homaa hin qabu. Diraamaa Wayyaaneen ‘ABO fi Masriitu na goolaa jira’ jettee hojjetatteef karaa bane. Diraamaa kanaan qabdees labsa yeroo muddamaa baafatte. Bulchiinsa waraanaa ‘Comand Post’ jedhamu Oromoo irratti labsitee haleellaa abbaa irrummaa kan durattuu raaw’achaa turte seerawaa godhachuuf ittiin gargaaramte. Dheedhummaan siyaasaa keenyaa balaa kana fakkaatu nu mude.

Gara fuulduraas of keessa deebinee hanqina keenya hin guuttannu taanaa, dogoggora keenya irraa hin barannu taanaan, akka qara eebootti qeeqa sodaachuu dhiifnee wal hin dhageeffannu taanaan, ego keenya of duuba goonee sabichaaf waa hojjechuu qofa irratti wal hin dorgoomnu taanaan salphinni kana caalu itti fufuun gaaffii hin qabu. Laafina keenya irraa barannee qaama laafinaa san jabinatti jijjiirrachuu dandeenyaan garuu ni injifanna. Yoo san gochuu hin dandeenye ammoo dhiiga ummanni keenya bilisummaa isaaf dhangalaasaa jiru dhiiga saree gochuu manna Oromoon akka furmaata barbaaddattu itti himnee karaa irraa maquu dha. Dhaamsi kun warra tuqata siyaasaa Oromoo qabu kan matayyaas tahee gurmuudhaan gumaachaa jirra jedhan maraaf tahuu qaba.

Sabni keenya ni injifata!