In Unison, We can Beat Them! Tullu Liban

Lemma Megerssa’s team scored another point for itself and the Oromia nation for suspending the mockery conference scheduled to take place in Dire Dawa last Sunday.  This team is, in fact, persuasively attacking the TPLF camp in the political field albeit the lack of capacity to overcome the fattened military and intelligence apparatus, as things stand now. The current OPDO leadership has taken admirable steps recently to prove itself that it can take the responsibility of nation-leading and that it can take that country to a better position provided they can keep the momentum.
Some of these steps are countable and visible from the political point of view. For instance, TPLF-Abdi Illey forces waged unprecedented war on Oromia and killed thousands, evicted over half a million people and jailed thousands of Oromos. Their plan was obvious. The TPLFtes wanted an equal reaction from the Oromo side to justify their importance as offset guards. The OPOD leadership foiled that dangerous calculation of TPLF by calming the matter down and guaranteeing Somali brothers complete surety for their safety. Another important milestone is the delegation of Oromia youth in Tana Lake weed removal, a symbolic partnership with Amhara brothers and the subsequent Lemma-Geddu delegate joint conference that took place in Bahirdar city. It bears a significant meaning for OPDO political height and the future of that country, indeed. Another noteworthy point is the decision that OPDO assembly passed regarding the reassignment of Oromo freshman students in higher institutions. This decision made OPDO credible to defend Oromo causes compared with their previous stance on issues of concern. The reversion they made on new Qube alphabet order, the suspension of the bill on Oromia special interest on Finfinnee, the peaceful celebration of Irrecha in absence of official representative from government etc. have elevated OPDO sharply from docile and inept position to a wiser leadership status.
I am not that naïve to shower OPDO with praise, but I believe we need to be fair to appreciate them where we owe it. We expect more action and delivery. The more they deliver, the better they build trust and confidence. When they fail to live up to expectations, we criticize them and they will lose because we are not yet fully convinced to trust them.
In fact, there are complex issues in that country, which have been overdue from the very start of the formation of the empire and those which have been exacerbated after the coming to power of the TPLF regime. It may not be possible for OPDO to address all of them right way. However, when it comes to the things that are in their jurisdiction, it is not only the matter of moral responsibility for them to stand to issues that negatively affect the Oromo, but also a fact of survival for them as a political entity.
Such is the decision they made about Oromo students’ placement in the higher institution, the rejection of a camouflage “reconciliation conference” in Dire Dawa and other unforeseen dramas that the TPLF would stage to halt Oromo revolution for change.
Another concern may arise sooner or later. For instance, the OPDO leadership may be pushed to “reinstate” Oromo victims of displacement in Somali region, Abdi Illey and his crew being intact. I am sure the OPDO leadership will never make a mistake to send back the victims unless things are fundamentally changed and all the criminals of war and genocide are held accountable for the atrocities they committed.
To sum up, it is a good step that OPDO leadership rejected the Dire Dawa sham conference. Though it is not good to be in a defense position in the political intrigue, it is still important to defend offensives cleverly. TPLF tried to trap OPDO to a loser position by pretending to settle their crimes through an organized dram called “courtreconciliation”. OPDO hit it back and the ball is till rolling to the TPLF net.
Yet, Lemma and his team should play in an offensive position as they have already started it with ANDM, and they have to push forward in bringing on board Oromo communities as well. Steps such as bonding Wolloo, Graba and many other communities together with their Oromo kin is very essential. Such a move has to be intensified in bringing on board Oromo communities such as the Garii, Wonbara, and Raya Oromos too. In the same token, amicable relations with other peoples in the south and in the north should be maximized as much as possible. In unison, we shall beat TPLFtes. Keep moving.

Advertisements

The current Political Quagmire in ETHiopia

Wond Wossen

Here is how I read the current political quagmire in the country.
TPLF and OPDO are locked in a very dangerous power struggle. The new OPDO leadership demands a greater share of federal power that is commensurate with the size of the population it “represents”. TPLF insists on maintaining its undue monopoly of federal power.
TPLF controls key federal institutions including the army, the security, media institutions, and telecom and transport infrastructure. The new OPDO leadership has the upper hand in the Oromia regional state. The region’s key institutions, including the regional parliament, the media, the police force, the civil service, the population at large, and even Diaspora “opposition groups” all seem to stand behind the new leadership. The new leadership is exploiting its regional hegemony, and the support it enjoys from the population––a population that is particularly bitter about the TPLF––to break TPLF’s dominance.
ANDM, the least legitimate of the EPRDF parties on account of its deep legitimacy crisis among the Amhara, is following events quietly, perhaps calculating which side to favor when push comes to shove. There is no clear indication yet which side it will take, although I suspect eventually it would favor the victor. After all, ANDM’s history is a history of obedience and servitude. As such, neither TPLF nor OPDO could count on ANDM, apriori, in their ongoing power struggle.
In the meantime, TPLF is using the long arm of the federal government to unsettle the new OPDO leadership. Although exaggerated to an extent, reports of TPLF agents trying to instigate violence in parts of Oromia cannot be discounted altogether. Violence in Oromia is in TPLF’s best interest. First, violence, especially when it assumes an ethnic character, helps to stain the Oromo struggle in the eyes of other Ethiopians and discredit the new OPDO leadership. Second, it creates the perfect excuse for TPLF to unleash its army against peaceful protesters, and show who is really in charge (just as it did in Ambo few days ago!), putting OPDO and its nationalistic rhetoric in a precarious position. The population would start to question OPDO’s resolve to stand up to TPLF.
In retaliation to TPLF’s continued menace, OPDO deploys its regional security establishment to target TPLF’s involvement in illegal activities, including contraband trade, illicit financial flow, and abuses by TPLF affiliated businesses and investors. To amplify their propaganda value, OPDO justifies and propagates these measures using its regional media wing and online activists. Angered by the exposition of their criminality, TPLFites retaliate by taking violent measures that impair OPDO’s standing among the Oromo, and other Ethiopians.
Although in theory, TPLF could still mass arrest OPDO’s new leadership and replace them by puppets, such a dramatic measure could backfire in more ways than one. First, it will seriously undermine the already tattering image of the EPRDF in the eyes of both its members and the public. Especially, non-TPLF members could lose confidence in the party. Second, OPDO’s new leadership might resist arrest and deploy the regional police force to defend itself, thus setting off a dangerous military standoff between the two parties. Finally, given the support they enjoy from the population, the arrest of OPDO’s leadership might provoke a whirlpool of violent protests across the region, further eroding TPLF’s control of the country.
Essentially, therefore, the two parties are locked in a perpetual power struggle. At present, none seems to have the critical upper hand to win the battle definitively. To make matters worse, EPRDF does not seem to have a proper mechanism of resolving such inter-party hostilities. The PM recently gave hints at some sort of negotiation is taking place to sway Aba Dulla to revisit his recent resignation from his post as Speaker of the House. If true, the negotiation is unlikely to be confined to Aba Dulla’s return to his post. It will also likely address the hostility between OPDO and TPLF. Whether this effort will bear fruit and relations between the two parties could return to normality (what normality entails in this context itself is very problematic) remains to be seen.
In the meantime, the power politics between TPLF and OPDO is increasingly harming the average citizen. As we have repeatedly witnessed in the past months, the power struggle is expressing itself, at the local level, in the form of ethnic attacks, mass evictions, and extrajudicial killings of defenseless civilians. The preponderance of violence across the country is instilling a feeling of lawlessness and fear among the population. Moreover, regardless of who comes out of the power struggle victorious, the prospect of democratizing the country is very narrow. There is very little ideological difference between TPLF, OPDO and ANDM. They all are advocates of revolutionary democracy and ethnic federalism. Replacing one’s dominance by the other will not answer our longstanding quest for democracy and rule of law.
The solution lies in a genuine and inclusive dialogue with all political parties, both inside and outside the country, and charting a lasting political roadmap that can pull the country from the current quagmire and put it on the path of democracy and stability. Anything short of genuine democratic reform at this time will only lead to perpetual violence, destruction and the inevitable disintegration of the country into smaller pieces.

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.

Hyenas in the olden days and hyenas of our time

Tullu Liban
An Amharic proverb has it that once upon a time a hyena went to a foreign land where nobody knew him he was a carnivorous. They say the hyena told his hosts to get him a bed made of skin for the night. I think that hyena was so scrupulous and polite that he never tried to cheat the people who knew that he could never sleep on a bed made of skin. Thus, he left the people who knew him and tried to pretend he was a good guest in a foreign land.

Hyenas of our time are shameless. They are so rude when they cry wolf. They don’t understand the intelligence of the people who know them from day one of their birth to their adult age. Hyenas of our time eat everything even sacks let alone skins. And yet, they want to have a skin made bed for their nap. Everybody knows that they eat any bit of mattresses made of skins.

These are the TPLF hyenas and the OPDO foxes. In the tales, our parents told us foxes are servants of hyenas. They told us that foxes hunt for hyenas and eat the leftover when hyenas are full. This analogy works exactly for TPLF masters and OPDO servants.
OPDOs have no the slightest moral ground to brag about economic revolution and tell the public that the Oromo people are their only masters. ( Someone quoted Lemma Megerssa as saying in his speech at the 27th birthday anniversary of OPDO). No, no OPDO boys and oldies. Your master is TPLF. Your masters are not Oromos. There are uncountable evidences to justify this fact. Do you want to know some of your scandals?
Defend these ones if you can, though.

1. TPLF created you in Tigray and told you your birth place was Dherra in Oromia. You told the public for 24 years or so you were born at Dherra. For the reason your masters know (not you) they told you to retell the public you were born in Tigray. You did so. Shame on you!
2. TPLF told you, you are one of the coalition members in EPRDF and that you each would run endowments as TPLF, OPDO, ANDM and SPDM. You were told you would each rlook after Guna, Dinsho, Ambasael and Wondo in that order. For sure Dinsho died because the masters told you to kill it while Guna has grown to a multi-billion and multi-sector company. I doubt if Wondo had better destiny than Dinsho. Ambasel is in its death bed.
3. You were told that Fana Radio (which is now called Fana Broadcasting Corporate) was the property of the four “coalition” members (TPLF, OPDO, ANDM and SPDM). You have never been part of it and it remained to be the property of TPLF.
4. You were initially told and declared in your constitution that Finfinnee is the seat of Oromia state. Ten years later you were told by the masters to evacuate hurriedly from Finfinnee and camp in Adama disregarding protests of the Oromo people. You cracked down on Mecha and Tulama and failed at least to protest in unison with the Oromo people.
5. As part of the Oromo people’s protest against the move of Oromia seat from Finfinnee, Oromo students across the country demonstrated peacefully. Finfinnee University students were in the forefront. Your masters fired 320 Oromo students in a single day from the university, killed some and jailed others. The masters told you to endorse the action. Junedi Saddo, your head, proudly appeared on a TV screen and blessed the barbaric measure.
6. When CUD shook the TPLF government the masters ordered you via telephone to come back to Finfinnee. You immediately rushed back, without any precondition. Even you didn’t wait at least to nullify the law you had enacted to move to Adama.
7. You were told right after elections 2005 that there would be established 10 high schools in the ten sub cities of Finfinnee to teach in Afan Oromo and Abadula Gemeda put cornerstones in each of the places meant for the construction of the schools. Nothing has been materialized over 12 years.
8. In 2011 the So-called Oromo Development Association (ODA), a lame organization considered as a private property of AWAD Jibril bragged to mobilize 3 billion (three billion birr) in a telethon to undertake various development projects in Oromia. Many Oromo children were motivated by the rhetoric made by Mulugeta Debebe, then ODA president, that the dream would come true. However, your masters told you to stop such kind of effort in favor of the Renaissance Dam. You zipped your mouth. You remember that in 2010 Amhara Development Association collected 1 billion birr in a telethon for similar purpose.
9. From 2015 November to 2016 October Oromia was on fire. Still the region is on hidden fire. Your masters killed Oromo children, pregnant, elders and students. They ordered you to celebrate the killings. Muktar Kedir appeared, (then your head) on a TV screen and thanked the killers and appreciated the sniper bullets that hit heads and chests of our people.
10. Your masters deployed killing regiments in various peripheral parts of Oromia (South and East) in particular, under the guise of ethnic conflicts with the neighboring tribes. You know that tribes don’t have heavy weapons, military uniform and trucks to invade Oromia. Even your spokesperson Addisu Arega told the VOA Amharic news that the armed invaders in the south and the east are in military uniforms. You kept quiet.
So, how do you boast of economic revolution as if the Oromo people don’t know your role in the system you are serving? Lol I expect you to appropriately refute these facts. Don’t shout like empty vessel. If you can’t refute, don’t talk and brag nonsense.

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.

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.

Free OFC Leaders and All Political Prisoners!

The TPLF led Ethiopian government has jailed almost all leaders of the Oromo Federalist congress (OFC), the largest Oromo political opposition party in Ethiopia. The OFC political leaders icluding Merera Gudian (PhD) (chairman) and Bekele Garba (deputy chairman) have been jailed not because they committed crimes, but because they worked to defend the interests (political, economical and cultural) of the Oromo people.

They have been jailed for they spoke against human rights violations, land grabs (eviction of Oromo framers from their land) and the minority rule. They have been jailed for they demanded freedom, justice, equality and democracy to prevail in Ethiopia. They have been jailed for they demanded equal share of power and wealth; for they called for free and fair elections to be held; for they campaigned to enable the Oromo people to get the place they deserve in Ethiopia.

In TPLF gulag, these brave souls are at times denied basic human rights that prisoners deserve-they are abused, tortured, denied access to medication when they are sick (mostly because of the ill treatments they receive at the hands of the jailers) and prevented from meeting their family and lawyers.

We demand the TPLF/EPRDF leaders to come to their real sense and release the leaders of the Oromo Federalist Congress and all other political prisoners if they really care about peace & stability. And they must do it now!

Image may contain: 4 people, text

#FreeBekeleGerba

#FreeMereraGudina

#FreeDejeneTafa
#FreeAddisuBulala

#FreeGurmessaAyana

#FreeOlbanaLelisa
#FreeAllOtherPoliticalPrisoners

THE OVERRIDING SINGULAR IMPLICATION of TPLF’s “State of Emergency” declaration = “legal” GENOCIDE AND ETHNIC-CLEANSING:

By: Ogessa Durii

–Nothing New —
Many, rightfully, assert that this declaration by the Ethiopian-regime [on October 9th, 2016] doesn’t change the circumstances on the ground, because the regime has already been acting for months,
de facto, with the full-power and to the full-effect that such constitution-waiving declaration confers.

— “Rising Ethiopia” dead —
This declaration confirms legally now that the notion of a democratic and developing State of Ethiopia is DEAD, by the admission of the regime itself.

–True meaning of the declared “State of Emergency” —
The real tragedy of this tactical pivot is probably now the commencement of a heinous campaign of genocide and ethnic cleansing by the regime’s security apparatus at levels and proportions never seen before. There is more than enough evidence already to fear that this is, however farcical it may appear, is a “legal” pretext or cover for mass killings of innocents at an unforeseen and unprecedented scale. There evidence is compelling, and in fact overwhelming, to accept that this is the scenario the rogue and psychopathic elements in the regime are capable of, and see as a way for them to deal with this catastrophe.

Of course, the world would continue to watch it on their screens. It is no guarantee that it would intervene in any meaningfully game-changing manner.

💥 Let us recall, again, that it took the well orchestrated massacre of over 480,000 people, and displacement of over 2.8 million that prompted the Western Powers to literally bring their full political, military and diplomatic weight to bear, in bringing to an end the genocide and create the current state of South Sudan.

💥 By 2008, the Congo-civil war and its aftermath had caused 5.4 million deaths, without any considerable international public awareness, leaving aside any form of meaningful intervention. Hence, dubbed the “world war” nobody knows about, except of course the multi-national companies that were digging up diamonds and many more in this probably most resource rich country in the continent.

💥 Remember the Rwandan genocide.

💥 Remember the Palestinian quagmire.

The protesting Oromo nation, and the other oppressed people of Ethiopia have only ONE AVENUE LEFT to them for freedom, and even survival, at this point: ARMED RESISTANCE within and from without, against the Ethiopian regime’s military apparatus.

–Current methods of struggle will not work —
❖ Snipers and sparse presence of security forces will be replaced by thousands of army in each city throughout the protesting regions.
❖ They will not shoot people on the streets, they shall burn residences, and they shall kill at levels unseen before, with no distinction of protesting or not-protesting as they have already commenced.
Remember, they have moved out Tigrean residents from these regions already, a possible act of quarantine, isolating the “problem.”
❖ Any sort of public movement can and will be completely halted through sheer overwhelming lethal power by the security forces; so no burning of regime institutions (if any left) or semblance of normalcy can even be thought of by the public.
❖The security apparatus has every weapon of destruction and carnage at its disposal with utter impunity and authorization for six months or more. Translation: until every perceived threat is lethally eliminated.

— Inescapable conclusion —
Killings and destruction is sure either way, but with growing lethal response through armed resistance by the people, there is a sure possibility of ending this carnage that would otherwise go on unabated. It will also guarantee the reality of freedom and democracy for the people. The current avenues of struggle can not withstand what this “State of Emergency” could unleash and is guaranteed to cause the slaughter of innocents in unimaginable proportions.

— Achievable goal —
Oromo nationals everywhere and other Ethiopians MUST mobilize all resources that they can muster to make the FINAL STAND!!! It is DO OR DIE!!!

Everything is fluid, the entire dynamic changes in response to inputs : The people’s, TPLF’s, International. Lethal/armed response IS THE ONLY INPUT at this point #OromoRevolution , #EthiopiaRevolution has control over, in order to steer the movement in its favor and towards its stated goals.

WESTERN DONORS SHOULD END THEIR SUPPORT FOR THE MINORITY REGIME IN ETHIOPIA

By Gutu Olana
Dictators are in a constant battle of gaining meaning to their existence by denying meaningful life to others. Through its atrocious actions and inactions, the TPLF/EPRDF has taken the animosity between itself and the people of Ethiopia to another threshold. It has completely lost the shred of legitimacy it had in few quarters when assuming power in 1991.

It is incumbent on us – the people – to struggle for the restoration of our humanity and dignity. Although the primary responsibility to liberate ourselves rests upon us, we should not underestimate the role of the international community in this life-and-death situation. Since November 2015, over 600 people have been killed, thousands wounded, and tens of thousands imprisoned in Oromia, by government forces, while protesting peacefully. Over 100 people have been killed in Oromia and Amhara regions only during the last weekend.

Most of the financial aid is given in the name of development and social services. While the dictators in Ethiopia are busy killing and detaining innocent people across Oromia and Amhara regions – not doing development or running social services – the World Bank is busy processing 1.2 billion USD in new aid for the regime.

It should be noted that, following the bloody 2005 elections during which about 200 people were killed by government forces, the Bank introduced a slightly tightened control system, which it has progressively loosened. Through the Program-for-Results Financing (PforR), it is currently implementing a scheme that is consequentially similar to the direct budget support it used to run before the 2005 elections. The “Results” in the “PforR” is to be confirmed by a mere report by the government, and the World Bank has no verification system of its own. The effect is that the regime will be able to divert the fund away from the intended purposes, including using it for enforcing tyranny.

To aid the government of Ethiopia in this time, when it is perpetrating a brutal crackdown against peaceful protesters, is an antithesis of development/public service and painful for the people suffering under the current regime. Remember, actions become eventful not only in themselves but also in relation to the context in which they take place. On both sides of the actions, there are human beings – those who stand with the authoritarian regime to enforce repression and those who suffer the consequences.

It is unfortunate and outrageous that the international donor community has refused to seriously consider the plight of the oppressed and continued to offer diplomatic, financial, and military aid to the oppressor. By doing so, the donor community supported dictatorship and serious human rights violations and deferred the dawn of freedom against the oppressed. They chose to support an authoritarian, minority regime in contradiction with the values they ostensibly advocate for – hypocrisy can only start to explain this blatant contradiction. It is unfortunate that the people of Ethiopia will have to put up with this agonizing reality.

It has been repeatedly said that dictators do not learn from history and, I add, hypocrites do not learn from history either. Allies of the TPLF/EPRDF regime are in a moral bankruptcy, with alarming consequences. We hold them morally responsible for sustained repression of the people of Ethiopia. Those who continue to directly and indirectly support a regime that kills, maims, and tortures innocent people will be held responsible in the court of public opinion and leave a bloody history for generations to come.

The delay of freedom and justice is very costly to all the oppressed people of Ethiopia, the cohorts of the regime, and the world at large. However, the quest for these virtuous goals will continue and, no matter how long it takes, will ultimately hit its desired destination. Then comes a time when redressing current moral bankruptcy of the international community becomes impossible. Nonetheless, today has offered non-ignorable options for all to consider seriously.

Out of faith in the inner sincerity of human beings and humanity’s united yearning for liberty and justice, I appeal to the citizens and tax payers of Western donor countries to hold their governments accountable and demand an end to financial, diplomatic, and military support to the authoritarian regime of Ethiopia, which is turning the country into war zone. Behold donors and Western allies of the minority regime, the struggle in Ethiopia may soon enter a massively new phase.

Open Letter regarding the carnage in Oromia and possible next steps

To:

  • Obbo Abbaa Duulaa Gammadaa, Speaker of the House of Representatives, FDRE.
  • Obbo Muktar Kedir, President of the National Regional State of Oromia.
  • Obbo Ibrahim Haji, Commissioner of Oromia Police.
  • All City Councils in charge of matters pertaining to Public Political meetings and Peaceful Demonstrations.

CC.

  • Dr Mulatu Teshome, President, FDRE.
  • Ato Hailemariam Desalegn, Prime Minister, FDRE; Chair of the Command Post currently governing Oromia.
  • General Samora Yunus, Chief of Staff of the Armed Forces, FDRE.
  • Ato Asefa Abiyu, Commissioner of the Federal Police.
  • Central & Executive Committee of EPRDF.
  • Central & Executive Committee of OPDO.

Subject: Open Letter regarding the carnage in Oromia and possible next steps

Dear Sirs,

It is to be recalled that the Oromo people have been expressing their total and complete discontent with the administration over the last eight months and a half. This expression has taken the form of peaceful protest (#Oromoprotests) forcing the government to rethink the Addis Ababa Master Plan, amend the Oromia Urban Development Proclamatio, reschedule the Ethiopian School leaving Exam and, more recently, to stop dumping waste in the Sandaafa area. Much to our disappointment and to the disappointment of the entire Oromo nation, this peaceful popular protest has been consistently met with overt violence from the Government’s security forces.

According to our estimates, over 6oo Oromos are killed. (It is to be noted that the Human Rights Watch had reported earlier that over 400 are murdered by government security officers arbitrarily. Even the regime has admitted that there were 173 killings and hundreds of incidents of injury to civilians, arbitrary arrests, and other forms of abuses, and yet there was no attempt on the part of the government to take political and legal responsibility for this.) Targeted killings have been going on even in the absence of any public demonstrations in Shashemene and the towns in the wider W Arsi district. The Government has so far not done its part to investigate the cause and bring the perpetrators to justice. Even as we write this letter today, the killing continues in Awaday. Few weeks ago, several arbitrary killing of children and other civilians was witnessed and burning of a building has also been observed while the local officials were watching the fire to the point of self-entertainment with the sight. Today, we have noticed the killing of protestors by snipers who targeted Oromo lives.

In the last eight months and a half, hundreds of peoples suffered wounds and other forms of bodily injury from shooting. Over 5000 Oromos were shot and injured by the Security Forces, mainly the Agazi. Tens of thousands have been victims of mass arrest and are suffering arbitrary detention and torture in prisons large and small in various parts of the country. Oromo leaders are detained and tortured as political prisoners. Hundreds are reported to be missing and are victims of forced disappearance. All this has been unaccounted for thus far as there was no independent commission of inquiry established to inquire into the matter. Nor has the government invited international investigators such as the UN’s Special Rapporteurs on Arbitrary Execution, Forced Disappearance, or the Committee of Experts.

The dispossession and displacement of Oromo farmers and residents including those in the suburbs of Addis Ababa) continues uninhibited so far. The civil administration of Oromia is still not restored in full. The Oromia National Regional State (ONRS) is still under the military rule that governs through a Task Force from a Command Post. Oromia is virtually under the rule of the Agazi.

The fundamental demands of Oromo people remain unaddressed. Discrimination is rife. Economic disempowerment, political marginalization, total loss of voice is patent.

Oromos are disproportionately represented in the statistics about the Ethiopian prison population. (It is reported that the prison population has risen from 86% to 95 % within the last nine months.) Oromo political leaders such as Bekele Gerba, Olbana Lelissa, Dejene Tafa, Addisu Bulala, and almost all of the OFC leadership are imprisoned for no legally justified reasons. They are subjected to abuses as political prisoners.

The state of basic social services is deteriorating from day to day. Health, road, and water services infrastructure have all collapsed to the point of crisis. There is virtually no semblance of governance in the region except the terrorizing of the civilian population through a heavy military presence across the region.

All these brutal killings, maimings, forced disappearances, and other forms of abuse were taken to be acts of a repressive dictatorial regime that is hateful of its peoples. Developments in recent days (especially those that transpired in the Amhara region) and the way the regime treated their demands presented a contrast that seemed to suggest to our people that these extraordinarily violent responses are reserved only for Oromos. In Oromia, when school children demonstrated unarmed and peacefully (to present their just demands for their rights), they were massacred in a torrent of bullets that rained on them from the Agazi Forces. Elsewhere, even people that are fully armed with guns stage a protest, present their demands, and come home safely. And that is as it should be. Few hours after the Gonder protest was peacefully concluded, the regime was conducting a campaign of sniper shooting in Awaday town (of East Hararghe Zone of Oromia) where 6 persons were killed and about 26 were shot and wounded.

This shows that the regime have different modes of treatment for different peoples of the country. It sends a message which indicates that Oromos, unlike others, are enemies to be eliminated at every opportunity. It also sends the message that there is a difference between the Amhara and Oromo parties (i.e. ANDM and OPDO, respectively, two of the four organizations which form the coalition of the EPRDF) operating in the respective regions. ANDM openly supports the protest in Amhara region while in contrast the OPDO in Oromia is nowhere to be seen around the people (except as informers and co-killers).

The media in Oromia is busy denouncing and demonizing the Oromo Protest whereas in other regions, the media publicly announces its support for the people’s demands.

Consequently, it has become clear even to casual observers that Oromo lives don’t matter in Ethiopia. In this regard, the regime has continued in the tradition of devaluing and undervaluing Oromo lives starting from the days of imperial conquest of the Oromo nation.

We believe that you are acutely aware that this condition is unsustainable. We believe that the only way forward is to arrest the people’s unnecessary suffering and bringing this crisis to a positive end. We believe that the continued perpetuation of misery, targeting the Oromo people as a people, is forcing them to reach for desperate measures that this government can’t eventually manage to control.

We, as concerned children of Oromia, are writing to you to make this last call for you to wake up to this fast changing phase of the Oromo Protest. If the government does not properly respond to the peaceful demands of the people for their rights in a just social order, the Oromo people will be obliged to start taking drastic measures that have serious repercussions both for the regime and for the country.

Our people are asking what brought about this apparently endless tragedy to them, including this recent different valuation of peoples and their rights.

The answer seems to be in the following:

  1. The Oromo people had so far chosen to conduct their protest peacefully.

Oromo political leaders, activists, and intellectuals have all been consistently advising against violence and encouraging people to avoid all forms of violence.

This was in line with the principle of primacy of peace and wellbeing (nagaaf nageenya) in the Oromo tradition and in their way of being in general.

This choice has been viewed as a sign of weakness and cowardice. The TPLF regime seems to have chosen to utilize the Oromo commitment to peace as an instrument of perpetuating its repressive politics.

  1. In the last nine months, our people have taken extraordinary care not to harm other people living among them, especially those who, being from Tigray, support, benefit from, and collude with the regime. This care seems to be mistaken for naiveté and weakness.

However, it should be clear to all that patience has its limits.

Anger and resentment is overflowing among our people. Before patience completely runs out, it has now become necessary for the regime to be given a last chance to change the course of its behaviour.

In order to ensure that the regime treats our people with the same respect it accords to other peoples of Ethiopia, it has become necessary to take the following measures:

  1. On Saturday, 6 August 2016, there will be a grand protest demonstration across the Oromia region including in Addis Ababa and Dire Dawa.

The Protest, like all other preceding protests, shall be completely peaceful.

Its demands include, but not limited to:

  1. STOP KILLING OROMOS;
  2. FREE ALL OROMO AND OTHER POLITICAL PRISONERS WITHOUT ANY PRECONDITION;
  3. END THE AGAZI RULE IN OROMIA;
  4. ALLOW OROMOS COMPLETE SELF-GOVERNANCE
  5. And other similar demands.
  6. There shall be no request for permit from the government. According to the constitution and the relevant law (Proclamation No 3/1991), people who seek to stage public political meetings and peaceful demonstrations have a mere duty of notification.

This letter shall have served as a letter of notice to the relevant State and Federal institutions. If Oromia’s and Federal Security Forces try to disrupt, subvert, or prevent the protest rallies or if they try to abuse people otherwise during and before the demonstrations, from that moment on, the Oromo Protest will immediately have entered a new phase with a new mission and strategy.

It shall start taking measures commensurate to the needs of the times. TPLF leaders and Oromo collaborators–and they alone–shall take full responsibility for any and all negative consequences.

Desperate times demand desperate measures. We call upon the regime to end our people’s sufferings immediately. We also call upon the Ethiopian people in general to pay attention to this notice, to bear witness, and to stand in solidarity with its Oromo brethren and sisters.

We call upon our people to understand the gravity of this situation and to stand together, in unison, with the usual resolve and determination, as they demand their just and God-given rights in their own land.

Kind Regards,

#Oromoprotests.