Seare Mekonnen Replaces Samoora Yenus
By Work Burayu (PhD), June 10, 2018
- Out of the Frying Pan into the Fire
Seare replaces Samora as Ethiopian National Defense Forces while honoring Samora Yenus with the highest military medal is the recent national and international news. Seare was one of the appointed Deputy Chief of Staff by the then PM Hailemariam Desalegn. When lower case “s” replaces upper case “S” it is the matter of size, the content and even shape being the same. It was in 1992, when many of the brilliant, active, determined Oromo youths were chanting slogan “Oromiya Shall be Free” in Haramaya University and in the desert city of Drie Dawa, the beautiful city of Eastern Oromiya. Oromo students and employees in the university were organized as Oromo for the first time in the history of that University. They founded “Oromo Student and Workers Association of Haramaya University (OSWA) and gave me a privilege to serve them as the first President of the Association.” Small but informally organized Oromo youths better known as “China Group” was existed in the town of Drie Dawa in the same year. The main objectives of OSWA was to make awareness among Oromo students, workers and public at large about freedom, democracy and justice; to teach Qubee Afaan Oromoo, coordinate some cultural show events through movies and videos; invite Oromo Political Organization to talk their political program; to ease the gap existed between the Oromo political organization etc… The objectives of the Oromo youth known as “China Group” were to resist the persecution; fight for their right and defend themselves and Oromo at large against the indiscriminate killing, torturing and harassment happened by TPLF military forces. There was intelligible connection between the OSWA and the Youth in Dire Dawa at that time. Oromo youngsters were hunted and gunned down every night in the whole city of Dire Dawa, particularly at Dechatu, Laga Harre, Ashawa, Sabiyans and Addis Ketema areas. TPLF military forces in the University campus was harassing Oromo students, instructors, workers and their families. Teaching and learning process discontinued several times. The time was very horrible, frightening and with full of uncertainty. Several peaceful demonstrations against the camped TPLF military forces in the University were unsuccessful. Such barbaric actions were led by Samora Yenus, the then “Commander of Eastern regional command and his assistant commander Seare Mekonnen. Much has been said about Samora because of his past position, but little has been disclosed about Seare. I came to know both Samora and Seare in 1991. I met Samora on the big comprehensive workshop conducted by our association. We invited three Oromo Political Organizations that were active in the areas, namely OLF, IFLO and OPDO to tackle the four main issues faced our society:
- To stop killings of Oromo youths in Dire Dawa,
- To clear the misunderstanding among Oromo Political Organizations,
- To remove military camp from the campus, and
- To officially announce our teaching Qubee Afaan Oromoo campaign.
The people from the surrounding cities (Haramaya, Harar, Dire Dawa, Awadaay, Addaalle and Baati) were also invited. More than 1000 people gathered in the university hall. OLF was represented by Buruso Boru (OLF CC), IFLO by Sefie (IFLO CC) and OPDO with no representative. Commander Samora refused to send representative from OPDO, and rather wanted to represent the EPRDF by himself. This was the first time many Oromos realized that OPDO is not a free political party. However, the presence of Samora created an opportunity for participant to ask him many questions. Questions were listed from the participant to Samora regarding the indiscriminate killings of youths in Dire Dawa and the harassment happened in the University campus. He was upset and puffed a packet of cigarette within two hours with no satisfying answers for the questions. He was murmuring with meaning less sounds or voices. He rather tried to justify as if OPDO is a genuine Oromo political party. The response from the floor was harsh, unsympathetic and very aggressive to Samora’s justification. At one point almost, it became out of my control to run the meeting because of many of the participants, particularly Oromo mothers who lost their children at the hands of bloody TPLF, were highly agitated, screamed and shouted against Samora’s response. Buruso Boru, a talented, gifted, all rounded champion of that day made extensive speech and acquainted Oromos with what I call it OLF 101. We concluded our workshop successfully. Seife, who first thought that every university student was a member or supporter of OLF expressed his happiness after the workshops and promised to solve problems existing between OLF and IFLO. Following that promise, I established an ad hoc committee and sent to Bisidimo, Hararghe where we met Jarra AbbaaGadaa. We made fruitful discussion with him. From that date onwards killing of each other between OLF and IFLO members stopped; citizens moved from one site to other without frustration. A week after the conference Samora called me at his office in Harar and offered me a ministerial position for Coffee and Tea Authority of Oromiya with one precondition, to be a member and high rank of OPDO. I declined the offer, respectfully. He introduced me to one of the top OPDO authorities although I knew a man before that. But it created an opportunity to go to their camp easily and know who the real OPDO is. With some of my colleagues we managed to convince many of the members of OPDO what the real Oromo struggle means. More than 200 members of OPDO were deserted from their camp and joined OLF at various times and several occasions. The whole process happened with the knowledge and consultation of Buruso Boru. Samora, who lately knew how OPDO members deserted from their camp decided to remove me from the University either by killing or kidnapping. The harassment in the camp aggravated from time to time. There was always clashes between OLA and TPLF army in the campus. One day OLA took serious action against enemy and get rid of them from the campus. This was sustained only for few hours. OLA, after controlling the campus for two hours were departed from the campus. The ordeal began to all Oromos in the campus. More than 250 people flee the campus, most to OLA camps at Kombolcha, others to OLF offices in Harar and Dire Dawa. I was in Kombolcha camp with our hero & heroism, and our leaders such as Gutama Hawas (Jemal Robale) for two weeks. I was transferred to Dire Dawa by the order of Gutama Hawas and met Bilal Waaqqyyoo, OLF office representative there because of critical anemic I had. Gutama was always alert. He was not only a leader but also a hero and a real fighter, prototypical OLA. I spent three months on the escape.
It was in December 1992, when 12 TPLF solders with heavy machine guns surrounded the exam room and took me to the detention center, immediately after I defended my Master of Science Thesis. The intension was to obstruct me from taking the exam. Because of the highly influential, well respected and dignified University’s president, Professor Efirem Mamo Chorqa, I managed to complete my thesis defense. The soldiers took me first to the so-called Cuba camp, then to Mekonnen Palace, and then to the torturing center behind the Dessie hotel in Harar. Once taken to that camp either you will be killed immediately or tortured for several days until your last date. It was there at the torture site when I first met Seare. He is the worst, inhumane, disrespectful, and incompetent of anything I ever seen in my life. He had no clue about the higher education. For him, every educated Oromo is OLA’s commander. He developed deep rooted detestation against Oromo since the war broken between TPLF and OLA in Eastern Oromiya. He is one of the masterminds in the indiscriminate killings of more than 200 Oromos during the 1992 peaceful demonstration against the present regime at “Water” Hararghe, and the massacre of Badeno at Gara Mulata, and killings of hundreds of youths in Dire Dawa. Instigating conflicts between the neighborhoods for example between Oromo and Adare was his major work. He is known in indiscriminate mass killings (child, senior or women). Presently, some Facebook users wanted us to know the presence of some distress between Samora and Seare. I tell you this. Seare is really hand in glove with Samora. Both are corrupt, dishonest, selfish and are on the same page on their main objectives (Superiority of TPLF). Their ambition is on how skyrocketing in wealth through fraud and plundering money. The present substitution of one old never satisfied hyena with another old starving hyena never bring changes if any at all. Substituting Samora with Seare goes by saying: Out of the frying pan into the fire.
- Why substitution?
I think, TPLF is on its Plan “B.” Plan “A” is defeated by OROMO, particularly by QEERROO BILISUMMAA OROMOO. The present mastermind of TPLF/EDPRDF is Getachew Assefa. Plan “B” is masterminded by Getachew Assefa. Getachew’s work is very obscured. It is rarely disclosed to his comrade even. He is highly secretive and has been known to the public as faceless officer. We heard that this most powerful man and longtime Director of Ethiopia’s National Intelligence and Security Agency (NISA) is removed from his position. Is that true? Extrinsically yes. Intrinsically not. The resignation of PM Hailemariam; the coming of Abiy Ahmed into power as a new prime minster; the lifting of state of emergency, the retirement of Samora and substitution with Seare and the retirement of old dogs are the formulas advanced by Getachew Assefa and his collogues (TPLF VIP). His present tactics/strategies are: (1) Allow to talk what they want to hear (such as freedom for Oromo and unity for Amhara) through eloquent talkers such as Lamma Magarsa (for Oromo) and Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (for Ethiopia); (2) Remove all publicly dislike personnel from the public site and replace them with active talking robots that can be run by their sprit from the remote control; (3) Assign people who’s their bark is worse than their bite that make a lot of noise and outcry but don’t have anything to back it up with; (4) Stepdown some TPLF official from their hierarchy and replace them with Oromo or Amhara but surround them with sharp teeth hunting lion; (5) Encourage diaspora to come back home and let them participate in investment or convince the non-coming diaspora to send money for their families at home; (6) attract a few weak and repeal many active; (7) Show some mercy for few political prisoners but not for all; (8) lift the state of emergence for tactical reasons; (9) Imitate as if there is full democracy. In meanwhile: (1) Practically dismantle their (Oromo or Amhara) institution such as Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo; (2) Demoralize the Oromo people by hunting and killing the Oromo Liberation Army; (3) Displace the active resistant societies such as in Hararghe, Borana, Guji and many other places; (4) Restrict Oromo needs through security forces and corruptive individuals; (5) Give them daily assignment such as instigating conflict among Oromo themselves and/or between Oromo and other ethnics; (6) Make them forget the prominent political prisoners still in prison and divert them from their main objectives; (7) Reverse their priorities; (8) Release 10 prisoners but detain 100 others; (9) let the military forces being in and terrorize the society although the state of emergency is lifted. The overall approach is “buy time, kill silently” until the proper time come. Is plan B working? At least one political organization already went back home; another political organization expressed its intension to go back. Above all, some of the “Activist” are encumbered with TPLF/EPRDF cadre work to convince Oromos in diaspora to go back home. If this Plan B works what will happen? Abiy and Lamma will be on their position for sometimes at least until the coming election carried out. That means TPLF will be settled and will continue waging propaganda and aggressive war against Oromo people particularly against OLF and KFO. These will lead to unprecedented consequences for Ethiopian in general. If plan B is not working; they will go for Plan C, Military take over. It would be their last breath.
- What are the plans from the other sides?
Oromos should talk with their political organizations, their communities, activists and among themselves. There would not be noninvolvement now. Belief it or not we are already in. One or more of your families, parents, relatives, friends or communities already sacrificed their time, effort, money and their ultimate life for the cause of Oromos. These are my thought:
- The time is extraordinary not only for Oromos but also for Amharas. The fate of freedom and unity are reinforced when the two nations remove misunderstanding between their elite. Their successes are successes for others. Their failures are failures for all. At present, some of us overexcited and easily forgetting things; some others are straightforwardly agitated, easily disappointed, disillusioned, easily overwhelming. Take deep breath, talk less and listen to each other, and walk a walk.
- Oromo Activist. Take your time, calm down, don’t compete for short sighted gain, and go for big. Think twice even if it is for your interest (economical or to be known as a public figure) or think several times if it is for the interest of your people (Tokkummaa, Bilisummaa, fi Abbaa Biyyummaa). Minimize the maximum damage that has occurred through several outlets such as Facebook that eroded our Tokkumma here in the diaspora. Just remember, you know something better than others and vice versa. But no one knows everything as the same time. Be proactive rather than being reactive. Please don’t confuse your people by being a two-faced body who would mask the real problems by playing political games. You will be regretting one day.
- Oromo People: Don’t give up! Be alert and of sober mind! TPLF scavenges around like a starving hyena looking for someone to consume. Resist them, standing firm in unity like you showed us before. Don’t be confused by your traitors of your own or TPLF propaganda. The greatest trick the TPLF ever jerked is to convince the world that he has changed to get economic assistance. Obviously, the TPLF/EPRDF is politically defeated but hardly changed his behavior. Not to be in vogue, listen to your political organizations and Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo, support your gallant fighter, Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), and be in a stance of active resistance to TPLF. Don’t forget for a minute it is only OLA that you have to your side. Anyone who wants you deprive of your army is an enemy. Don’t give hear to your enemies that want to dismantle your army. No one will give you a freedom. As you know perfectly, our struggle is not against people but against the system, against corrupt powers and against persecution. Stand firm with the belt of truth buckled around your waist. Lamma came, Muktar gone; Abiy installed, HaileMariam became EX. Lamma and Abiy will be gone too. They are all from the same evil, EPRDF. That evil is still there, people are still killed on their land by that evil, persecution is still happening, people are evicted from their land. We shouldn’t be cheated with honey coated venom.
- Political Organization: Time is an essence. You are on the dilemma and your country is on the cross road. Either be vanguard and galvanize your people for the common interest of Oromo or stop showing empty bravado. The time is not to complain. The time is not to give beautiful justification for the failure. Walk a walk with clear vision. Success can talk by itself. In my view, having many political parties are not necessary for Oromos, presently. There are three big opportunities to be involved: (1) Be part of the political organization that fight for Bilisummaa and Walaabummaa (OLF); (2) Or be part of the in-country registered party that peacefully has struggled for greater freedom, democracy and justice (KFO); (3) Or establish NGO’s to advice on economic, political and social issues for our people and political organization. Please don’t be to the wrong side of the history by being part of the present Oromo killing party (OPDO).
Worku Burayu (PhD)