By | March 18, 2019


Desperation, Frustration and Violence against the Oromo: Ginbot-7, Ethsat and the Dawit Wolde Giorgis Factor

By Leencoo Gidiraa (PhD), March 14, 2019

Dawit Wolde Giorgis (right) was a man of misleadingly “high” caliber, a right hand man of Mengistu Haile Mariam. In the picture he was seen smoking cigar with Fidel Castro. Dawit just release a statement that calls for violence against Oromo

On March 13, 2019, in an apparently coordinated fashion, Ginbot-7[1], Ethsat[2] and Dawit Wolde Giorgis[3] released statements that called for violence against the Oromo nation. For those who have been following these groups, their vitriol towards the Oromo people is not new. They have been at it ever since they entered the public sphere. Ginbot-7, which has no home base and no constituents to fall upon has, since its inception, made the Oromo its enemy number one in an effort to garner the support of disgruntled individuals. Most recently, Eskender Naga became its point man to incite violence against the Oromo by appealing to likeminded hooligans in Finfinnee. Although he is a self-declared “human rights activist”, Eskender in coordination with Ginbot-7, Ethsat and Dawit Wolde Giorigis turned into a notorious anti-Oromo anarchist. His long-incarceration by the TPLF and the massive call for his release gave him international celebrity status. After his release from prison (ironically by an Oromo prime minister), Eskender began to celebrity status as a currency and license to incite violence against the Oromo.  Three days before Ginbot-7’s statement came out, Eskender assembled a very few people in Finfinnee and declared war on the Oromo. But it is clear that the Oromo people and residents of Finfinnee never had any problem ever since the foundation of the city.

As former EPRP members, most leaders of Ginbot-7are experienced in inciting violence. Residence of Finfinnee have not forgotten what members of the EPRP and toady’s leaders of Ginbot-7 did on the streets back in 1977 and 1978. It was this group that turned the Derg into a monster. When they fled to save their lives, the Ethiopian people had to suffer in the hands of the brutal junta they created. This same group is now back under a different name to grab the power which it could not get in the late 1970s. The brave ones were decimated at Assimba, some were forged into EPDM and the coward ones sneaked into North America and Western Europe. It is the latter group that formed Ginbot-7.

With the ousting of the TPLF, this group returned to Ethiopia declaring its support for the reform that Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed has initiated. However, Ginbot-7’s actions clearly show that it is not sincere and has a hidden agenda of inciting violence and grab power by force. But the reform group led by Team Lema and Gedu clearly understood its insincerity and kept it at bay. Even more, the people of Amhara and Oromo (including the Gurage where the leader of the group “comes” from) rejected it and instead supported ODP and ADP. The Sidama, Afar, Walayita, Somali, Kambata, Hadiya, and every ethnic group in the nation also turned them away. At the center, the government of Prime Minister Abiy listened to the Ethiopian people and refused to dissolve federation. Ginbot-7 and Dawit and their lackeys Eskender and Ethast call Ethiopian federalism racist, or yezer polotika in Amharic. They do not even understand the meaning and concept of race or what they call zer. There is no race in Ethiopia, for that matter in Africa (except in South Africa). When they lost in the world of realpolitik, Ginbot-7 leaders raised the bar of their own ignorance. That is a clear sign of frustration and desperation portrayed in their statement of March 13. In the statement and in the subsequent media interview by one of its leaders, Andargatchew Tsige, the group declared its journey is over. It blamed the Oromo and the prime minister for their failure and called for a revolt against a government run by an Oromo prime minister.

Major Dawit Wolde Giorgis, a former Marxist Derg official, now calling for authoritarianism in Ethiopia and calling for violence against the Oromo people on ESAT (Ethsat)

Ginbot-7’s statement and Andargatchew’s press interview were subsequently taken up by their mouthpiece, Ethsat. In their elatwi, analysis of major daily headlines, Ethsat journalists discussed the current political situations in the Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples’ Region (SNNPR). A number of Ethnic groups in the SNNPR expressed they want to excerice their constitutional rights by having their own separate administrative zones. Should this happen, the understanding is that the SNNPR will cease to exist as we know it today. Ethsat journalists, known for their fake news[4] and inciting of violence, accused the Oromo of conspiring the disintegration of the SNNPR and called upon the peoples of the region to revolt against their Oromo neighbors. This is how low Ethsat has finally come – desperation, frustration because their Godfather, Ginbot-7, was unable to snatch power and dissolve federalism. Like Ginbot-7, Ethsat has come to a dead end and the only way it can stay around is by inciting violence against the Oromo whom its journalists accuse of refusing to give up federalism.

Finally comes Dawit Wolde Giorgis, a man of misleadingly “high” caliber. Dawit was the right hand man of Mengistu Haile Mariam whom, as I mentioned above, the current leaders of Ginbot-7 turned into a butcher. Dawit served in crucial posts under Mengistu. He was permanent secretary of the ministry of foreign affairs and secretary of the Commission for Organizing the Workers Party of Ethiopia (COWPE) in Eritrea. Back from Eritrea, he served as head of Famine Relief and Rehabilitation Commission until he defected in 1985. In all these capacities, Dawit’s “achievements” were astounding.

First, as the second person in the ministry of foreign affairs, he served as Mengistu’s point man in propagating Ethiopian socialism to friendly countries. When the junta faced fierce resistance and the fate of the revolution came under serious question and when the United States turned against Ethiopia, it was Dawit Wolde Giorgis who toured Eastern bloc countries and cultivated friendship for his boss, Mengistu. He played crucial role for turning Ethiopia away from the United States.  His action to Cuba was quite provocative to the United States.  It is that very United States who gave him asylum, jobs and the life he is bragging about today. He took picture with Fidel Castro smoking cigar.  Castro nearly caused the annihilation of the United States by providing a nuclear bomb launching base for the Soviet Union in 1962. Dawit’s visit to Cuba persuaded Castro to send his military and security personnel to assist Mengistu stay in power longer. In so doing, Dawit has caused unforgivable pains to the Ethiopian people.

Second, like any Mengistu official, and more so in his case because of their closeness, Dawit has played a role in the tragic Red Terror of the late 1970s. Like today’s Ginbot-7 leadership, he has a lot blood of innocent Ethiopians.

Third, Dawit has taken part in two rounds of Red Terror, one in Addis Ababa and the other in Eritrea (called Red Star). Dawit was the top official in Eritrea who had the power to make every decision. As party head, he had power to life and death.  (Today, he calls himself former administrator of Eritrea, but he was not. He does not want people to know he was member a killer party.  Successive administrators during his tenure in Eritrea were Col. Fikru Wolde Tensae, and then Gen. Merid Neguse. As a party official, they were under him.) He commanded the Red Star (Eritrea’s version of Red Terror) and thousands of Eritreans were summarily killed during his tenure.

Fourth, he capitalized on the suffering of famished and dying people to create his CV, apply for asylum and later build his career. He cried crocodile tears to soften the heart of the Americans to grant him asylum. At the time he “defected”, Mengistu was the most hated person by the Americans and it looks that they did not pay attention to the crimes of Dawit Wolde Giorgis. Now is the time that they know the truth about Dawit Wolde Giorgis.

Fifth, he openly brags and takes credit for the failed coup de’tat of May, 1989. He brags of coordinating the activities of the generals, contacting the TPLF and EPLF to organize a post-Mengistu government. But there is no evidence for his involvement in the staging of the coup or on his contacts with the TPLF and EPLF. Most of the generals involved in the coup were killed except the late Kumilachew Dejene who escaped in a miraculously way (and later died in the United States). Let President Isayas Afeworki or TPLF elderlies or any surviving general (if there is one) come out and tell the Ethiopian people that Dawit was the architect behind the coup. May be, Mengistu prevailed because of Dawit’s alleged double dealing. Otherwise Mengistu could not have crushed a revolt that involved all branches of the army. Dawit has a lot to answer on this matter.

This man who has all these crimes and dirt on his hands, posted an article on the Habasha calling for violence against the Oromo people. He released the piece in less than twenty four hours after Gibot-7’s statement and Ethsat’s elatawi on SNNPR.  Dawit targeted two popular Oromo figures: Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and Activist Jawar Mohammed. He accused the premier of conspiring with Jawar who is actively fighting for the right of the Oromo people. He called on the premier to try Jawar on terrorism grounds or deport him if he is not an Ethiopian citizen. This man has been calling on PM Abiy to dissolve the ruling party and create a party that would advance his interest and that of his group. He openly called on the Ethiopian government to destroy the OLF not even take a single captive.[5] And now Dawit is calling for the destruction of everything Oromo. He cowardly bullies and intimidates Dr. Abiy for being complacent with Jawar. He threatens Dr. Aby that he has to dismantle federalism, enforce Amharic as the only “national” language, destroy all Oromo parties, jail and try Jawar, OR ELSE …

Dawit needs to know a number of things. First, if anyone is to be tried now, he should be the one. He has actively participated in the Red Terror in Ethiopia and Eritrea (double crime). Second, he was staunch enemy of the United States and should not have been granted asylum in the first place. He needs to explain what he told Castro about the United States over the hug and the cigar? Like some Ethiopians who committed crimes against humanity and sent back to Ethiopia, Dawit has to be sent in handcuffs. Third, his intimidation and bullying of the prime minister and Jawar solidify the unity of the Oromo people more than ever. Despite his errors (which you guys pushed him to commit), Abiy Ahmed is an Oromo, and the Oromo will stand behind him when he us unjustly attacked. And by inciting violence on the Oromo, the trio has created a critical mass which will dismantle both the empire they so cherish and the federation they so hate. For now Ginbot-7’s, Ethsat’s and Dawit’s desperation and frustration have reached their own critical mass.

I am not going to defend the premier and Jawar here. They can do it for themselves. Nor am I going to defend OMN, a media which has never gone as low as Ethsat. But for Mr. Walde Giorgis, it is Ethsat that incites violence against the Oromo by producing fake news like this: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-46127868. On accusing the Oromo or Jawar by citing the law, what Dawit needs to know is that there are thousands of experts specialized in international law ready to take on him. You are not the only expert. To conclude, Dawit is the mastermind behind violence in Ethiopia from his advent to power as Mengistu’s official to his becoming the Godfather of Ginbot-7 and Ethsat. He is a factor for destruction of Ethiopia.

[1] https://mereja.com/amharic/v2/100248 (accessed 03/14/2019)
[2] “ESAT Eletawi Thur 13 Mar 2019”, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEbiE1SBuhc (accessed 03/14/2019)
[3] https://www.zehabesha.com/forced-eviction-and-resettlement-the-jawar-factor-and-the-absence-of-international-scrutiny/ (accessed 03/14/2019)
[4] “A year in fake news in Africa”
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-46127868 (accessed 03/14/2019).
[5] This reminds me of General Lothar von Trotha who commanded German army against the Herero people in 1904-5. He instructed his lower commanders to kill every one including women and children and take not captive. In less than a year, the Herero population that was about 80,000 at the beginning of the uprising was reduced to 16,000 when the uprising ended in less than a year. Hitler took von Throta’s action as a source of inspiration for his policy towards the Jews.

4 thoughts on “Desperation, Frustration and Violence against the Oromo: Ginbot-7, Ethsat and the Dawit Wolde Giorgis Factor

  1. Olana Abbalichie

    Thank you very much Dr Leencoo Gidiraa, for shading light on the truth about Major Dawit Wolde-Giorgis, Ginbot 7 and company.

    It has to be dawning on most Ethiopians that the people who had roles in the infamous so called ‘red terror’ and ‘white terror’, which consumed generations, have come back as active politicians, ‘wolves in sheep clothes’. Major Dawit Wolde-Giorgis was in the military juntas as high ranking official, and there was a high possibility that he participated in masterminding the ‘red terror’. On the other hand, individuals like Berhanu Nega, Andargachew Tsige and Yared Tibebu were in the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Party (EPRP), and there was a likelihood that they might have participated in ‘white terror’. They were proudly bragging their being former EPRPs in interviews. Anti-Oromo individuals such as Eskinder Nega may have their own crimes apart from Oromo phobia fantasy . The like of Tamagn Beyene were in the military juntas’ ‘abiyotawi kinet’ (low level revolutionary artists), beating doomsdays drums and pushing young Ethiopian soldiers to the firing lines.

    This anti-Oromo fascist individuals saw opportunities in the failure of TPLF and flocked home to twist the hands of the reformist team which the EPRDF brought forwards to lead the transition government. They hoped to undo the little freedoms the Ethiopian peoples have achieved. They believed that by wrapping their hidden political agendas with the green, yellow, red Ethiopian flag, they would attract the Amhara and other peoples to Ginbot 7. Unfortunately for them, the days of fooling even the Amhara by talking in Amharic is over. Either the anti-Oromo fascists lunatics or their institutions, Ginbot 7 and ESAT are unable to convince the Amhara people to rally behind disgruntled individuals with bloody past. The Amhara, the Oromo, the Sidama, the Gurage, the Walayita, the Hadiya, the Kambata, the Gambella, the Somali, the Tigrawi, etc., are ahead of Ginbot 7 and false news makers media such as ESAT. They would never compromise their coexistence with their Oromo brothers and sisters for the sake of lunatic fringes.

    Past crimes such as participating in ‘red or white terror’ are crimes against humanity and are never spent. That means that those who took part in those crimes as members of the military juntas or EPRP are bound to face Justice. There was no doubt that Major Dawit Wolde-Giorgis would not attend high position in Colonel Mengistu Haile-Mariam’s military government without participating and masterminding ‘red terror’. He would not have chances to rub noses with Fidel Castro of Cuba if he was not implicated in the terror that cleared Ethiopia of progressive generation. What is more, his role as governor of Eritrea during the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Eritreans would not come without blood on his hands. Yared Tibebu was in Assimba as EPRP leader according to his claim in an interview, and facilitated the process of eliminating EPRP freedom fighters by TPLF. There might have been blood on his hands, haunting his souls.

    These lunatic fascists are capable of articulationg and disseminating deceptive messages to pit one ethnic group against the other as they have nothing to lose if the reform fails. They do not care if the Ethiopian peoples end up fighting civil war. On the contrary, the Ethiopian peoples who are seeing some light at the end of the tunnel, hoping that the reform will succeed and bring lasting peace and democracy to the over hundred million peoples in that county, are looking forward to seeing the reforms succeed.

    What then? The Ethiopian people in general and the residents of Addis Ababa (Finfinne) in particular must read between the lines, and refuse to respond to the doomsday call from Ginbot 7, ESAT, Eskinder Nega, Yared Tibebu and so on. The Ethiopian Government, Regional Governments and the Ethiopian elites must scrutinize and take action to educate people and expose Ginbot 7 and their Media outlets as well as anti-Oromo hatemongers. Also, lawyers and concerned Ethiopians at home and overseas must investigate the criminal past of Major Dawit Wolde-Giorgis, Yared Tibebu, Berhanu Nega, Andargachew Tsige, etc. The Eritrean people and government must cooperate in bringing Dawit Wolde-Giorgis to justice for the crimes he might have committed when he was in charge of Eritrea on behalf of the military juntas. The leaders of the Federal Government of Ethiopia, Oromia State Government, Amhara State Government, Tigrai State Government, and other regional states must beware of the wolves shadowing the political space, working hard to create instabilities so that they can dismantle the federal system. Particularly, Dr Abiy, Dr Lemma, Dr Ambachew, Dr Debre-Tsion and other government officials at all levels must not be silent on Ginbot 7 and the individuals behind it. ESAT and other media outlets also must be stopped from disseminating false news and partisan propagandas, pitting communities against each other.

    Above all, Ethiopian and Eritrean law professionals residing in the US must inform the FBI Major Dawit Wolde-Giorgis’ criminal past and request as well as assist investigation. Since he was rubbing noses with Castro of Cuba as high ranking official of the military government, the CIA might have file on him. They might have considered him low priority at the time. As some time has elapsed since, the information might have been declassified and it might be possible to request for it under the freedom of information laws. Yared Tibebu’s past roles as EPRP leader also must be reported to the FBI and exposed.

    Oromo, Amhara, Tigre, Sidama, Gurage, Somali, all peoples of Ethiopia, never be under any elusion. The anti-Oromo fascist individuals crowding Ginbot 7 and ESAT have no remorse for their pasts, and are pitting you against each other. They sing ‘citezens’ but are dividing you and planning to rule over you with iron fists. Stand in unison and say no to former criminals who never have your interests at their hearts. Come together as brotherly peoples who have lived together and compromise among yourselves on issues that affect you all. You have lived in harmony under repressive régimes and you are capable of accommodating each other. It will not be difficult to live together in the future too as equals. As you may all understand, despite the propagandas from anti-Oromo individuals, the Oromo has coexisted with all of you for centuries in harmony and that will continue. The Finfinne (Addis Ababa) issue can be easily resolved among yourselves, the Oromo people and residents of Addis. You do not need hatemongers such as Eskinder Nega, Ginbot 7 and ESAT ‘journalists’ to self appoint themselves to use you as instruments. Put yourselves in the shoes of the dispossessed and displaced Oromo farmers. The Oromo people also understand the worries of Addis residents and you will all prosper if you compromise and reach mutual agreement; if you create a win, win situation.

    Certainly, the Oromo people who have come long way to overcome untold repression in the hands of Ethiopian rulers have shared all ups and downs with their other Ethiopians and will remain as brothers and sisters as ever. However, it must be Cristal clear that nothing will be capable of reversing the freedom gear, not Ginbot 7, not hatemongers, not hooligans, not even the government which is in charge of the country. While the Oromo people are ready to cooperate with peace loving Ethiopians throughout the country, the hope of Ginbot 7 and old ‘wolves in sheep’s clothes’ has been shattered. Qeerroo and qaree, fano, ejeto, etc., will see off any group aspiring to subjugate the Ethiopian peoples again.

    May justice and truth prevail!

    OA

    Reply
  2. Olansa

    “Halagaa gafa kolfa, Lammii gaafa Golfa”, jedha Oromon yommuu makmaku. “Golfa” is a name for deadly contagious disease, perhaps yellow fever or malaria of sort. I have said it at the very beginning when every so called ‘activists’ and what not declared that they are free, liberated etc not to be fooled once again. Smooth talking poisons Naftenya remnants and their accomplices are setting up a trap, decoy of some sort to distract the Oromo march towards freedom land to either delay or if at all possible prevent it from attaining its ultimate goal-free Oromia and Oromo people from yolk of slavery. I am glad that the so called activists and the ODP government has awaken up to the bitter truth that you can’t wrap a poisonous serpent on your lead like turban and stay alive for so long; it is only a matter of time before it gives you the deadly dose of poison. I am glad that it has downed on our gullible activists and the ODP government that those criminal elements invited in are destabilizing the country to bring back the 1970 style bloodletting that they got way-way with it in the first place. One thing that I appreciate the stance of TPLF regime was its position with regards to Dergists and the Minilik worship, the neftenyas. It is time, high time for Abiy’s government to ‘stop dancing on sneaks head” and stand with the cause of people of Oromia. I appreciate the position the ODP is taking with regard to Finfinne. If they stop talking and walk the walk right now defending Oromia interest, there is nothing that divides us. But, we should not be always in panic or emergency mode to unite. We ought to be able to unite around the interest of Oromia. I ask that the ODP government stop pursuing our brothers and sisters-OLA and instead make a pact for nation building. ODP OLA is not your enemy, it is your iron clad! Think twice. “Gowwaan warra itti dheesse warra se’aa” jedha Oromoon. “Adurreen maaf ija babbaftaa jennan, Eesuman Daggalaa qabaa” jette jedha Oromoon. Essumni Adurree Qeeransa Bosona ykn Daggala jiru dha. ODP fedhii Ummata Oromoo hamma tiksuf hojjatanitti, yomiyyuu isin waliin jirraa kana quba qabaadha. Hiddaa malee, Xannachii hindhiiguum!.

    Reply
  3. Olansa

    “Halagaa gafa kolfa, Lammii gaafa Golfa”, jedha Oromon yommuu makmaku. “Golfa” is a name for deadly contagious disease, perhaps yellow fever or malaria of sort. I have said it at the very beginning when every so called ‘activists’ and what not declared that they are free, liberated etc not to be fooled once again. Smooth talking poisons Naftenya remnants and their accomplices are setting up a trap, decoy of some sort to distract the Oromo march towards freedom land to either delay or if at all possible prevent it from attaining its ultimate goal-free Oromia and Oromo people from yolk of slavery. I am glad that the so called activists and the ODP government has awaken up to the bitter truth that you can’t wrap a poisonous serpent on your head like turban and stay alive for so long; it is only a matter of time before it gives you the deadly dose of poison. I am glad that it has downed on our gullible activists and the ODP government that those criminal elements invited in are destabilizing the country to bring back the 1970 style bloodletting that they got way-way with it in the first place. One thing that I appreciate the stance of TPLF regime was its position with regards to Dergists and the Minilik worship, the neftenyas. It is time, high time for Abiy’s government to ‘stop dancing on sneaks head” and stand with the cause of people of Oromia. I appreciate the position the ODP is taking with regard to Finfinne. If they stop talking and walk the walk right now defending Oromia interest, there is nothing that divides us. But, we should not be always in panic or emergency mode to unite. We ought to be able to unite around the interest of Oromia. I ask that the ODP government stop pursuing our brothers and sisters-OLA and instead make a pact for nation building. ODP OLA is not your enemy, it is your iron clad! Think twice. “Gowwaan warra itti dheesse warra se’aa” jedha Oromoon. “Adurreen maaf ija babbaftaa jennan, Eesuman Daggalaa qabaa” jette jedha Oromoon. Essumni Adurree Qeeransa Bosona ykn Daggala jiru dha. ODP fedhii Ummata Oromoo hamma tiksuf hojjatanitti, yomiyyuu isin waliin jirraa kana quba qabaadha. Hiddaa malee, Xannachii hindhiiguum!.

    Reply
  4. Petros Mahare

    Iskinderii Nega as one of genocide leader.
    Iit appears the term human rights activist is mismanaged or terrorists are now using such name to shield itselves.
    How a meber ag7 and a commander of militia continuing genocides against kimante Agaw and Awi Agaw In Gonder declared homself as human rights or political activist.
    Iskinder Nega have been in command of Amara militia just as Masay Mokkonnen of Ethsat who went to Gonder and stood there to supervise the killings of women and children as well as burning houses and domestic animals .
    What makes fear that the change in ethjiopia might collabse unless such por lives like kimante agaw and Awi Agaw is given protection and perturators and those commited horrible ethnic cleansings are brought to justice including Iskindir Nega an,Masauy Makkonnen and their military Commandors such As Andergachew Tsege,gen.Asamenew Tsege and Gen.Tefera Momo

    Reply

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