Abiy Ahmed and Esaias Afeworki: the aspiring monarchs over the Ethiopian Empire
By Jibat B, August 28, 2020
Two years after the peaceful resistance by the Oromo youth forced a change in the Ethiopian political landscape, the group that by virtue of fate stumbled into the helm of power still could not figure out how to move the country forward. Stuck in Arat Killo after hijacking the Qeerroo revolution, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed find himself unprepared to lead a nation of 100 million. His nebulous concept of “Medemer” never made sense to intelligent minds. Medemer or “Addition” is a fundamental mathematical theory which has no application in social and political discourse. If there is any application of Medemer in politics, it simply meant assimilation of the different cultures, languages and aspirations of the people of Ethiopia into one dominant culture and language. This in turn amounts to cultural genocide or ethnic cleansing and hence was absolutely rejected by Ethiopians with thousands of copies of the Medemer book set ablaze in different parts of the country.
The other failure of the prime minister is his inability to gauge public feeling and reckless engagement to garner support of a few by poking into old wounds of majority of Ethiopians. He wasted public resources to immortalize the ancient monarchs that “enslaved” Ethiopians for almost 100 years. The attempt to bring this memory into the minds of the people is the reflection of his utter disregard to the prices Ethiopian have paid to come this far. By his actions, the prime minster has proved his flashy words such as peace, reconciliation, rule of law, free election, etc., were empty promises aimed at juggling some to his crowed which seemed to have worked in his favor, at least temporarily, including earning him the 2019 Nobel Peace Prize. However, because actions speak louder than words, the deceptions did not take long to come to light. Shortly, the Prime Minister began to manifest his true self; he wanted to become the 7th monarch of Ethiopia. To that effect, he scrapped the possibility of having a free and fair election by rounding up and imprisoning leaders and members of contending parties, and indefinitely postponing election using COVID-19 as excuse. Moreover, he plotted and ordered political assassinations and illegally detained tens of thousands of people, committed mass murders in Wollega and Guji zones of Oromia and shut down nearly half of the country by installing military rule (Command Post), condemned communities to total darkness by disrupting internet and telephone connections. Using his proxy in Amhara region, he caused untold sufferings including the massacre of the Kimant community in Gonder and mass killing of the Gumz women and children in Awi zone. Just recently, he repeated the same on the Wolayita people. These atrocities have been reported by international human rights organizations including Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.
When the Prime Minister realized that he ran out of ideas and cannot contain the swelling political problems of the country, he turned to Esaias Afeworki, the president of Eritrea, for advice. Credible evidences both from Asmara and Finfinne indicate that president Afeworki has fully engaged himself in meddling with the internal affairs of Ethiopia at the invitation of the Prime Minster. Mr. Afeworki, who always had a profound desire to put his grip over Ethiopia, is vigorously exploiting the opportunity and will never stop until he makes sure that Ethiopia becomes much like Eritrea – destitute, hopeless and broken. He does not seem to realize that the era of monarchies is gone for good and Ethiopia does not need another one. In particular, his effort to wreak havoc in the ranks of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) leadership is totally rejected by the entire Oromo community, both at home and diaspora. Mr. Afeworki always wanted to manipulate the OLF when its leadership was based in Asmara and it was the firm defense that the OLF leaders applied that spared the front from the fate other organizations met. We would like to remind President Esaias that Oromos will never allow foreign interference into their business on their own soil.
Mr. President, to forget that you and your country were freed by the victory brought by the Oromo youth from twenty years of life in shackles and engage in sabotaging the cause of the Oromo people is simply incomprehensible and defies the essence of humanity. We like to remind you that you put your own country in order and afford Eritreans the freedom they deserved before you involve yourself in the affairs of others.
As of lately, Prime Minister Abiy and President Afeworki are scheming to stir trouble in the ranks of the OLF leadership. Based on Esayas’s prescription, Abiy has rounded up and thrown the top leadership of the front in to prison. The duo is also using their power to pressure the remaining leadership of the front to betray their cause and rebel against their own organization. Just two weeks ago after placing chairman of the OLF under house arrest and raiding the headquarter of the front, the government tried to prop up dissent and use to expedite unlawful takeover of the organization. They both lack human decency, miscalculate facts and their actions are haphazard. It is important to realize that, the OLF is a principled organization established on the firm spirit of Oromummaa, protected and guarded by the same from any internal and external infringements. Moreover, the OLF has grown beyond just an organization and has become an identity and a signifying symbol of pride and freedom for the Oromo people. Therefore, no amount of collusion can break up the OLF and one can draw useful lesson from futile attempts made in the past including the most recent drama staged by Abiy’s OPDO at Sodere.
Therefore, for the sake of the aspirations of the people of both Ethiopia, Eritrea and the region, we would like the leaders of Ethiopia and Eritrea, the Oromo people, the Ethiopian people, the people of Eritrea and friends and enemies of the OLF to note and implement the demands we enumerate below on behalf of the grassroots Oromo community at home and diaspora.
- To Prime Minster Abiy Ahmed: Whether it is by chance or by design, the leadership of Ethiopia at this historical moment has fallen on your shoulder. It is an immense responsibility and also an opportunity. Unfortunately, your collusion with foreign forces and plot to saw discord among nations and nationalities of the country is threatening the very existence of Ethiopia. By inviting foreign agent to take over the affairs of your country including political and military drills, you have committed the grimmest historical blunder and betrayed the country. As a result, Oromia and other nations have once again fallen under siege. Political leaders, activists, artists, business people, students and farmers are victims of your abominable act. You have turned schools in to military barracks and detention centers; Orthodox churches in Oromia region have turned to warehouses for stockpiling machineguns. Mass executions, burning of villages, rape and illegal detentions and tortures have become routine in all corners of Oromia. You have squandered the opportunity you have at your fingertips and walked back on your promises of ending the tyranny and upholding the rule of law in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian people cannot sit back and watch your madness destroy their country. On behalf of the Oromo community we urge you in strongest possible terms that your administration must release all Oromo political prisoners immediately and unconditionally; must stop unwarranted interference into internal affairs of independent political parties; and must lift the unlawful military rule imposed on Oromia immediately and unconditionally.
- To President Esaias Afeworki: The Oromo and Eritrean people have experienced the same fate and suffered under the same brutal regime for years. They both waged liberation struggle together and the Oromo people are pleased with successful conclusion of your struggle that culminated with the creation of the state of Eritrea. We are also thankful to your government for hosting the leadership of our organization and the support you have afforded them for the last 20 years. However, these, in no way, give anybody, including you, the right to interfere with the internal affairs of our organization, the OLF. Hence, we respectfully request you Mr. president to refrain from any act, be it on your own or on behalf of the Ethiopian government, of intruding with the affairs of the OLF. We also request that you hold back your unsolicited military adventure in Oromia as this will obviously hurt the long term relationship between the nations of Oromia and Eritrea.
- To the oppressed nations and nationalities in Ethiopia: All of us, the oppressed peoples in Ethiopia, faced the same fate and survived the last one and half century of marginalization together. We all have toiled for this country, fought for it and paid the ultimate price. However, after one hundred and fifty years, the elites with political monopoly over Ethiopia are not yet ready to recognize us as equals. This has demonstrated itself by the government’s feet dragging over the outcomes of the dignified referendum for Sidama statehood and the deafening silence to the request of the Wolayita people for similar status, and the recent effort to squash the popular question by force. The response to the peaceful demands of the Agewo and Kimant nations in Amhara region has always been a brute force. In the face of all these, the prime Minister of Ethiopia spent millions of dollars on immortalizing the Ethiopian monarchs in whose hands our fates were sealed. All these are a rude awakening to the oppressed people and we need to realize that as we did fell together and we will also rise together. Therefore, on behalf of the entire Oromo people, we plead to all our brothers and sisters from the oppressed nations and nationalities in Ethiopia to stand in solidarity with the Oromo people, and with each other, to put an end to the century old domination and subjugation. We should stand as one and say “NO!” in one voice against any effort to break us apart. We should deny the enemy to use its old divide and conquer ploy on us.
- To all peoples living in Oromia: Oromia is home to members of almost all nations and nationalities in Ethiopia. Although our culture of embracing and accommodation has hurt us in many ways, Oromos find comfort in acceptance and respect towards others and do not regret. Leaders of Ethiopia who are always threatened by solidarity and harmony between people will leave no stone unturned to instigate ethnic violence and saw discord among people. This has been particularly evident since 1991 and took the worst turn in the last two years. The Oromo people have no intention of hurting anyone at any time and place. On behalf of the Oromo people, we like to assure members of all nations and nationalities living in Oromia that Oromos are your brothers and sisters and will treat you as such. We also like to request the parents and youth from these nations and nationalities to not fall trap to the ploys of the Ethiopian dictators who are used to building their power on the graves of innocent people.
- To the people of Eritrea: Firstly, we like to express our sincere appreciations to the people of Eritrea for your hospitality towards our leaders during the past 20-years they have functioned out of Asmara. The Oromo and Eritrean people suffered under the same brutal regime and endured the hurdle of liberation struggle together. Our sisters and brothers have fought side by side and fallen one over the other as a mark of a lasting solidarity between our people. In a move that taints this historical friendship, the Eritrean president Esaias Afeworki, as of lately, has been repeatedly seen colluding with Prime Minister of Ethiopia and chose to stand against the interest of the Oromo people. His actions went as far as inciting descent in the ranks of the OLF leadership and sending the Eritrean armed forces to fight in a battle that is of no relevance to Eritreans. The Oromo and Eritrean people have traveled the same historical journey that we the Oromos are yet to reach our finish line. We believe that the actions of President Esaias don’t represent the interest of the people of Eritrea. For the sake of good neighborliness and in consideration of the long term interests of both our people, we request the people of Eritrea to not support president Esaias’s adventure and shortsightedness. Especially, we request families of the Eritrean army members to advise their children against participating in the reckless war that the Eritrean president and Ethiopian prime minister are plotting against the Oromo people.
- To the Oromo people: You stood against all odds above and beyond anyone’s imagination. You have suffered the worst form of discrimination, organized robbery, ethnic cleansing and yet stood tall, contributed more than your share to make Ethiopia stand as a country. You have your fingerprints in everything Ethiopia boasts about, military, economy, science, you name it. You are the foundation and the pillar on to which Ethiopia is hinging. Practically, Ethiopia is sitting on your shoulders, it feasts on the fruits of your land and your labor. Their elites fill their coffins by looting your resources, your coffee and oil seeds, your livestock, the precious minerals dug out of your land. They live lavishly in sky-scrapers and mansions built on your own land with resources robbed from you. They drink your clean water and spill their waste on to you. Yet, these self-anointed “Ethiopian care takers” have not come to terms with themselves to recognize you as equals and still cast doubt on your quest for liberation and self-rule. They fail to recognize that this is 21st century, it is not the imperial era, it definitely is not the 19th The “care takers” are determined to keep you and your aspirations for self-rule in the check. Their latest effort is to use Oromo counterfeits (the likes of Abiy Ahmed) to mug the global community and innocent Oromos. As your demand for liberation and equality become emboldened, so is the resistance from your enemy. Thanks to your brave children, your demand for freedom is ringing lauder than ever. This is the time to end the 150 years of journey under shadow. You have paid innumerable price to keep Ethiopia alive and going. With a very fraction of the prices you paid to safeguard Ethiopia, you can liberate your land and emancipate your people. Let us wake Up!
Oromo fact checkers can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org