ጅራፍ እራሱ ገርፎ እራሱ ይጮሃል! A whip squeaks itself and screams!
By Abba Orma, July 28, 2019
On July 19, 2019, a group of “Concerned Ethiopians”, who are tasked with picking up what G/Asamnew Tsige left behind issued a communique titled, “Communique Urging Prevention of Genocide and Balkanization of Ethiopia.”
After reading the communique, I decided to respond to the group as a concerned Oromo-Ethiopian of their misplaced concerns as in the saying “ጅራፍ እራሱ ገርፎ እራሱ ይጮሃል”.
Before I delve into the communique, let me begin by saying that I have my own reservation on PM Dr. Abiy for lukewarm or lack thereof response to Oromo questions that propelled him to power and his failure to bring together ALL Oromo political organizations to secure the peace and stability of Oromia and the Oromo people. I don’t believe that one party has all the answers to Oromo problems. It must be a team effort if we are to have any chance to succeed. The undeclared war in Oromia and recent mass round up of Oromo youths, the delayed response to Sidama’s statehood question and the crack down that followed it, the panic nature of some of the decision when it comes to Media and so on enhance my reservation. Yet I do not take away from him his tangible achievements in this short time. Having said that I jump to my main topic.
The “Concerned Ethiopians” group, in their opening paragraph state that
Ethiopia is on the precipice of civil conflict, and perhaps civil war and possible genocide that are triggered and championed by ethnic elites, fundamentalists and their foreign sponsors. For more than 40 years, the primary target of ethnic-demonization, killings, ethnic-cleansing, forcible evictions, abductions and recurring displacements has been the Amhara population…
This statement is not far from truth except the problem is this is what Menelik, their champion, the emperor, and the Derg have done to the Oromo people for more than a century with the help of Amhara elites. They also failed to mention that present day Ethiopia have been in war since the time Menelik set foot in Oromia and the South. They forget to mention Menelik’s genocide on the Oromo people that claimed the lives of more than FIVE million Oromo children, women, and men; they ignored the thousands of Oromo mothers whose breast is brutally mutilated by Menelik and the thousands of Oromo men whose right-hand is chopped off at Aanolee as a punishment of resisting their invasion. There are living descendants of this heinous crime victims and is well-documented by Western travelers. Today as a reminder of this horrific act and a tribute to the Oromo whose hands and breasts were mutilated by Menelik, a monument is erected at Aanolee. It would have lent them some credibility had they at least acknowledged this chapter of their history.
Of course they don’t tell the world their dark history of colonization of the Oromo people and the rest of the Southern peoples of Ethiopia where they demonized others calling names, looking down on their culture, language, and way of life. They called Oromo “Galla” –a derogatory term to say “uncivilized, uneducated, barbaric”, calling the entire Southern people “Bariya” meaning “the slaves”.
For the first time the Ethiopian empire, as imperfect as it is, is trying to address a century old grievances, inequalities, injustices, and repression against the peoples of Ethiopia. There is a long way to go but the process has started earnestly with ups and downs. This is what is frustrating the colonizers who wish to maintain the old oppressive order with them at the helmet.
The problem and grievances of Nations and Nationalities in Ethiopia did not start with the TPLF nor addressed by the constitution completely. TPLF and the OLF did not create Tigray nationalism or Oromo nationalism. The Amhara racist elite’s exclusionist agenda is the father of Oromo and other nationalisms in Ethiopia today. Many Oromo generals and leaders were proud servants of the country and all the people. But they were told that they are not equal, that they cannot support the people they come from, that they cannot do humanitarian work for the people they come from; that they cannot open schools in their place of birth. They were told by the Amhara elites that they intend to keep the rest of the peoples of Ethiopia at least a century behind their kids. That is what ignited resistances and later gave birth to liberation movements that led to ceasing state power.
The group uses the recent Amhara regional state coup and presents both the victims and the perpetrators together as victims. This is their old tactics of rewriting history as it suites them. Soon they will memorialize G/Asamnew Tsige as Tewodros II. By the way, the project is already under way! They intentionally omitted the fact that this is not G/Asamnew Tsige’s first time to plot a state takeover by force. He was convicted of coup during the TPLF and was sitting in death row when Oromo blood set him and his coconspirators free. G/Asamnew Tsige on one occasion compared Dr. Abiy to a biblical figure and said Dr. Abiy gave him second life. What got to him is what many Ethiopians are asking.
The Ethiopian peoples and the world is learning by the days the depth and the reach of the plot to subvert the government from Bahir Dar to Oromia, Ganbella, and the South to destabilize the country.
What is interesting is also they failed to mention that since G/Andargachew Tsige took over the head of the security of the Amhara regional state, he trained hundreds of thousands of Militias, Liyu police, and special forces –the forces he sent to take over government and carry out assassinations across the country and used them to commit genocide on neighboring Gumuz, Kimant, Agaw, Oromiya Liyu Zone, and Oromia-proper. He smuggled weapons and explosives into Finfinnee and all over the country to be used by his assassins. He used the many hideout places registered under his name in Finfinnee for his terror network. He even promised to do to Kimant what Menelik did to Oromo people by cutting their hands. He and his associates constantly threatened the neighboring Tigray region. It is obvious now that the financial backing , planning, and moral support mainly came from groups like “Concerned Ethiopians” Amhara elites based in Europe and North America, the same group that is trying to pick up pieces left behind by him. His vulgar languages are all indication of what is to come. If the government is to be blamed it would be for lack of taking measures when he was flashing red lights.
The group alluded to the government and Dr. Abiy as OLF agents as if OLF has the authority to jail people. The same card they have used over and over again to accuse Oromos.
Finally, toward the end, they came clean with their motivation for this scare tactics. It is all about picking up the pieces left behind by G/Asamnew people like Eskindir Naga, the ultra-nationalist Amhara National Front (ABN), etc. whose stated goal is to destabilize the country to the point that they can cry to the international community for the formation of “all-inclusive transitional government and constitutional change”.
The most hilarious part of the communique is the call for the head of the ring leader of the attempted coup. Well, it is G/Asamnew Tsige and he is DEAD with the ambition of returning the Amhara hegemony. The rest of the gang is now under federal custody waiting for trail.
It is clear to the Ethiopian people that this people are having hard time to stomach an Oromo PM. They are victims of their “NO one else but US” mentality. They have decided that if they don’t sit at the Menelik palace, they would rather Balkanize the country than living in peace with other
In reality, what concerned the “Concerned Ethiopians Across the Globe” are:
- Returning Amhara hegemony that existed for more than a century
- An Oromo, Dr. Abiy Ahmed, at the head of the state.
- Nations and nationalities finally marching toward self-governing and shared rule.
- For the first time in the history of the country, Orthodox monopoly on the state is dissipating. Islam and other religions for the first time in history of the country are treated as equal.
Finally, Ambassador Herman Cohen, a lifelong USA diplomat and Ambassador to Ethiopia who has known Ethiopia for several decades put the true intention of the attempted coup as follows
Failed coup in #Ethiopia‘s Amhara state was an attempt by ethnic nationalists to restore Amhara hegemony over all of Ethiopia that existed for several centuries prior to 1991. That dream is now permanently dead.
— Herman J. Cohen (@CohenOnAfrica) June 24, 2019
In his most recent Tweet he described why true Federalism is a necessary arrangement for peace to prevail.
In #Ethiopia, ethno-nationalism appears to be intensifying, rather than diminishing, despite the pro-democracy manifestations of Prime Minister Abiy. Perhaps the time has come for an all-Ethiopian national conference to determine the nation’s future constitutional configuration.
— Herman J. Cohen (@CohenOnAfrica) July 19, 2019
Violence in #Ethiopia‘s Sidama, after similar events in Oromia, Amhara and Somali states, tells us the Ethiopian people will never again allow return to all-powerful authoritarian central govts as under the Emperors, the Derg and the EPRDF/TPLF. The future is true federalism.
— Herman J. Cohen (@CohenOnAfrica) July 22, 2019