Oromia Global Forum’s (OGF) response to the article “The Oromo war against Ethiopian nationalists and ethnic Amhara….”. Analysis. By Gregory R. Copley, Editor, GIS/Defense & Foreign Affairs
By Oromia Global Forum | August 22, 2020
Oromia Global Forum (OGF) is a global alliance of Oromo Civic, Professional, and Faith-Based Organizations and individual Human Rights defenders and activists, residing in North America, Europe, Australia, Asia and Africa. Our mission is to enhance Oromo unity, discuss, analyze and respond to man-made and natural disasters as well as human rights abuses plaguing the Oromo nation, and design and deploy strategies and interventions to mitigate the plights of our people.
It is a shame that the authors of the above paper characterized this collection of fictional political propaganda campaign as “Analysis”. Even in today’s world where the lines between facts and alternative facts are increasingly becoming blurry, this article is in a class of its own. As demonstrated with facts and figures below, the claims and allegations are not only vacuous but also venomous rhetoric. Such are the daily generated and disseminated falsehoods by Ethiopia’s current Authoritarian regime in Finfinnee (Addis Ababa) and their henchmen in the diaspora. Before we unpack and expose the lies, bogus allegations, and mischaracterizations, however, we will begin with a brief overview of the root cause of the irreconcilable discourse: the Ethiopia-Oromo conflict. Any serious analysis of such a consequential theme requires intellectual curiosity, a responsible and thorough approach which is clearly lacking in this case. Because it lacks the essential rigor fit for such “analysis”, we find it utterly deplorable. We hope you will take in our reasons with an open mind. Characterizing the quest for freedom to self-govern, be the owner of one’s ancestral land, the right to develop one’s language and religion, and equality with the Amhara doesn’t make the 50 million strong Oromo “radicals”. This can hardly be an honest analysis of the Ethiopian crisis. Rejecting historical injustices and demanding for redress is not radicalism meant to harm the Amhara, as the analysis tried to conclude.
The conflict between Imperial Ethiopia and the State of Oromia began in late 1880s. The king of the northern Christian (predominantly Amhara) minority, Emperor Menelik II, invaded and forcibly annexed the free southern multi religion followers majority of nations and nationalities, between 1883 and 19001,2,3. The occupied nations included the Oromo, Gumuz, Benishangul, Sidama, Kambata, Gurage, Wolaita, Somali, and others. As part of the colonial strategy, the Amhara ruled the empire through 1974 using racist colonial policies to eradicate the identities (culture, language, and religion) of the southern nations that also denied them their rights to own their ancestral lands. The policy legalized Amharic as the sole “national language” and declared Orthodox Christianity as “State religion”. The consecutive imperial regimes then used the two policies as potent weapons to exclude the annexed peoples from economic, education and employment opportunities. This careful social engineering was attempted to form a one-language, one-religion and one culture state to the benefit of the conquerors and perpetual subjugation of the conquered. That state was then rebranded as Ethiopia. This is the root cause of the resentment by the oppressed southern nations and nationalities in Ethiopia including Oromia. The perceived Christian Ethiopia was relentlessly promoted. “Ethiopian Nationalism” was then equated to being a proud Orthodox Christian, with Amharic as its unique “national” language. At its core, to be Ethiopian one has to hide who he is and prescribe to this “Ethiopian Nationalism”.
All the nations and nationalities rose up against this backward and discriminatory system and eventually got rid of it in 1991. Frighteningly, this is exactly what the current regime of Dr. Abiy Ahmed and its neo-Neftegna collaborators are frantically working to reincarnate. But why?
The shared interest of Dr. Abiy regime and the descendants of Imperial Ethiopia’s ruling class.
Since he was appointed Prime Minster, Dr. Abiy, his Prosperity Party (PP) and his ardent supporters, the neo-Neftegnas (extremist Amhara elites), have made their positions very clear -destroy the current multi-national federal system and replace it with a defunct unitary imperial system. To accomplish their goal, the trio overwhelmingly support, encourage and actively participate in extrajudicial killings, torture, incarceration and propagation of political misinformation at home and abroad. Their objective is to transform the TPLF dominated EPRDF authoritarian regime to a neo-Neftegna dominated Prosperity Party authoritarian regime that strives relentlessly to restore the unitary imperial system.
They supported the indefinite postponement of the election scheduled for 2020 under the pretext of COVID-19 pandemic. They misinterpreted the current constitution to grab power for themselves without any consultation with major political parties legally registered to take part in the election. To ensure the current regime gets elected and remains in power if and when they chose to hold an election, they are aggressively obliterating the ability and capability of opposition parties to participate. Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) and Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) that command the overwhelming support of the Oromo public, as demonstrated by the millions of Oromos who flooded the capital to receive the returning previously exiled OLF leaders (https://www.trtworld.com/video/focal-point/ethiopia-welcomes-oromo-liberation-front-olf-back-home/5b9e6f0e58cd863d6876e8d1). OLF and OFC leaders, members and supporters are the primary targets for elimination. They have already destroyed, ransacked or closed most of the two parties’ offices throughout Oromia and shut down independent Oromo affiliated media to cover their crimes against the Oromo people. But why?
Why Dr. Abiy and his team are working with Neo-Neftegnas to destroy the federal system built over the last 30 years in favor of a unitary system?
In 1991, after a long civil war, the then military regime collapsed. The political vacuum it created was subsequently filled by the TPLF-controlled Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). TPLF established EPRDF, supposedly a coalition of TPLF and three other bogus regional parties it established in 1990 as representatives of the Oromo (Oromo Democratic Party ODP), Amhara (Amhara Democratic Party-ADP), and Southern Peoples (Southern Ethiopian People’s Democratic Party-EPRDF). The bogus regional party members were also recruited and assigned by TPLF, not by the people they purportedly represent. Simultaneously, TPLF hunted down and killed or incarcerated the true representatives of the people, such as the OLF for Oromos. The current prime minster is one of the main architects of the spy web during this period.
Over the 27+ years of its rule, TPLF controlled absolute power, looted the national treasury and ruled the country with extreme brutality. As the regime sought to dominate Oromo and Oromia, with full cooperation of the OPDO (later renamed Oromo Democratic Party (ODP)) members that included the current Prime Minister of Ethiopia, the Oromo youth intensified their peaceful struggle, demanding justice, equality, the right to ownership of their ancestral land, and the right to self-determination as enshrined in the current constitution. The regime retaliated by assassinating and incarcerating thousands of Oromo youth, accusing them of being OLF members and supporters. The relentless youth-led civil disobedience eventually forced TPLF to handover Federal power to OPDO (later ODP) and Premiership to Dr. Abiy Ahmed. Ironically, the ODP dominated EPRDF regime (which is now rebranded as the Prosperity Party (PP,), invited OLF and other exiled opposition party leaders back to the country to peacefully participate in a free and fair democratic transition, which is now completely derailed.
So, why is a leader and a party that came to power as a result of the heavy price Oromo youth and public paid, seeking justice, freedom, and self-determinatione suddenly committed to reverse the modest gains the country secured over the last 30years and take the country back to the dark ages of the 1890s?
The speech the president of Tigray Regional State, Dr. Debretsion Gebremedhin of TPLF, gave at the last EPRDF meeting held in Hawassa in 2018 (https://youtu.be/SKdgoSmyiuk) may offer some clue. Among other things, he suggested, all of them (EPRDF members) have committed unforgivable crime and unless they stick together, hang onto power and work collectively towards a more democratic transition, the public will hold all of them, including the current prime minster who was in charge of spying on citizen communications, accountable.
The group certainly did not heed the call. Instead of sticking together, they threw the TPLF members under the bus, and blamed the party for all the crimes EPRDF committed over their 27+ years of joint rule. The strategy worked temporarily as the new regime was welcomed by everyone but the Tigrians. However, having noticed the unprecedent public support for the opposition, especially for OLF and OFC in Oromia, Prime Minster Abiy’s regime and his PP team appear to have concluded the unlikely scenario of retaining power, should they decide to go to the polls. Accordingly, they immediately began eliminating anything or anyone that they perceive may hinder their plan to stay in power.
They also seem to have concluded the “Mother Ethiopia at all cost” pledge and the imperial Ethiopia strategy of appealing to the made up “Ethiopian Nationalism” sentiment as a winning ticket to remain in power for the foreseeable future. This is certainly what earned them the overwhelming support of and unprecedented alliance with the neo-Neftegna constituency. According to the former US Secretary of Defense, Mr. Herman J. Cohen’s tweet of June 24, 2019, the dream of this group is to “restore Amhara Hegemony over all of Ethiopia that existed before 1991”; presumably with all its benefits and privileges that accrued only to the Amhara! With the above evidence based historical perspectives, let us turn to unpacking Mr. Gregory’s pack of lies and put them into perspectives.
Mr. Gregory’s lies and misrepresentations
Myth #1: The dishonest “analyst” begins his paper with a shockingly bogus intro: “The Oromo war against Ethiopian nationalists and ethnic Amhara peoples is driven by small extremist group.”
Contrary to the writer’s assertions, Oromos are not at war with any of the nations or nationalities in Ethiopia. However, since the advent of Abyssinian Empire occupation of Oromia, Oromos have been unapologetically resisting the oppressive system, demanding peace, justice, freedom, equality and self-rule. No amount of bogus propaganda will ever deter them from demanding these legitimate rights. This is nothing more than blaming the victim.
Besides, it is absurd to suggest that there exists Oromo war against anyone when at the same time admitting whatever he is referring to “is driven by a small extremist group”, unless of course he considers 50 million Oromos as a handful bunch of extremists. Second, “a nation is a group of people who share the same culture, language, institutions, religion, and history—usually a group of people larger than a tribe or community.” (https://www.google.com/search?q=definition+of+a+nation&oq=Definition+of+a+nation&aqs=chrome.0.0l6j69i60l2.11025j1j4&sourceid=chrome&ie=UTF-8). By contrast, Ethiopia is a multi-national state, a very diverse population with 80+ different linguistic and cultural groups.
The majority of the population speak Afro-Asiatic languages, mainly of the Cushitic (languages of the peoples incorporated into the Abyssinian Empire in late 1890s, such as Oromo and Somali) and Semitic branches (languages of the peoples of Abyssinian Empire such as Amhara and Tigray.).
Successive imperial rulers from Emperor Menelik II to King Haile Selassie used state security apparatus, education policies, media, international relation, land tenure policies, courts, diplomacy, etc. to eradicate the languages and cultures of the occupied nations with expressed goal of transforming the country into a one language (Amharic) nation, Ethiopia. The project failed spectacularly, so Ethiopia is still a country consisting of nations and nationalities.
Myth #2: “Today, it is (implied ethnic cleansing and genocide) being weaponized and waged by the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) and Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) and other radical movements within Ethiopia but operating with elements from the global diaspora of Oromo peoples. It is supported by other extremist Oromotic and Tigrean groups, as well as by the Egyptian Government as a tool of proxy warfare.”
For readers familiar with Dr. Abiy Regime and its neo-Neftegna supporters’ narratives flooding social media platforms, this is clearly a verse lifted from those narratives and propaganda materials and pasted in Mr. Gregory’s analysis. What makes the allegation absurd is that OLF is an organization established way back early 1970s to defend Oromo interest in Imperial Ethiopia; after over 70 years of resistance by Oromo people against all forms of discrimination, exploitation, state sponsored extrajudicial killings, and cultural and language genocide they endured in Ethiopia. The Front is an internationally recognized political party with legal Offices in US and Germany, and recently in Ethiopia after it returned home to participate in what is believed a peaceful transition democracy. OLF commands the support of nearly 100% of the Oromo people, as seen in this video clip available at https://www.trtworld.com/video/focal-point/ethiopia-welcomes-oromo-liberation-front-olf-back-home/5b9e6f0e58cd863d6876e8d1; seemingly the reason why the Abiy regime has decided to eliminate the party and its supporters before holding a fake election.
Similarly, OFC is an offshoot of ONC (Oromo National Congress), an organization the current chairman of OFC established in 1998. OFC was established following the merger of Oromo Federalist Democratic Movement and Oromo People’s Congress (OPC) in 2012. Up until OLF returned to the country and legally registered in 2020, OFC was “Oromia’s largest independent legally registered political party” with a stated aim “to struggle in a peaceful and lawful manner for the respect of the human, political and democratic rights of our people (Oromo); to struggle for the respect of our peoples’ economic and social rights; to struggle to bring about a genuine democratic system in the country”, according to Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (https://www.refworld.org/docid/589450634.html).
So we believe, what any critical thinking mind would like to ask Mr. Gregory and seemingly his pay master to answer is, why would the only genuine Oromo organization that aims not to dominate or enslave anyone, but defend Oromos right to self-rule, dignity, equality, justice, fairness and freedom from slavery suddenly become an evil committed to ethnic cleansing? Where in Oromo history has this been recorded? More importantly, how come the TPLF that has, according to Amenity international as well as TPLF and OPDO members own admission, murdered thousands and incarcerated hundreds of thousands of Oromos, to the extent now both TPLF and OPDO admitted Oromia became the dominant language of Ethiopia’s prisons, suddenly became OLF and OFC partner in crime to commit the alleged ethnic cleansing?
Equally puzzling is, why would a Front (TPLF) that did not engage in ethnic cleansing with all the military might and state power it commanded for 27 years suddenly partner with two Oromo parties it hunted for 27 years to conduct ethnic cleansing? If there has been any ethnic cleansing carried out in Ethiopia, it was the one carried out by Menilik between 1983 and 1900 that reduced the population of Oromo by half as recorded not one but two of his own western allies and the subsequent state terror and racist policy the imperial regimes that followed him implemented to wipe out traces of anything other than Amhara and Amharic from Ethiopia. How did it escape Mr Gregory’s attention that just a little over a year ago over 400 people, including children women and the elderly were massacred by the Amhara special force in Beneshangul-Gumuz region of Ethiopia? Does that not fit Mr Gregory’s definition of genocide?
Lastly, Oromo resistance has been going on since the occupation occurred in 1900. TPLF and OLF havw been arch enemies for the last 27 years. The suggestion that Oromos and Tigres now jointly receive Egypt’s assistance and collaboratively commit ethnic cleansing against Amhara is the most mindless claim; especially when the allegation is premised on “just thrust me” or “thrust us” and neither the regime nor its proxy writer shared a shred of evidence to back up their allegation. Only small-minded people like the members of the regime in Addis Ababa (Finfinne) and their paid Agent such as Gregory would think repeated lies may become true and stick.
Can Mr. Gregory provide any evidence to back his assertion that the Oromo revolt is supported “by other extremist Oromotic and Tigrean groups, as well as by the Egyptian Government as a tool of proxy warfare”? By the way, we are not aware of the existence of other “Oromotic groups” in that part of the planet. These are fictitious group of people, the creation of Mr. Gregory the “Analyst”.
Myth#3: “Egypt also supports the Oromo extremists in order to break up Ethiopia and therefore eliminate a potential rival for power in the lower Red Sea;”
Where was Mr. Gregory when Eritrea, by far a closer neighbor of Egypt than Oromia, fought for over 30 years and eventually gained independence letting its people free of the Abyssinian colonial rule? How come Tigray has been more or less a free nation for the last 30 or so years and has been only symbolically part of Ethiopia to sustain access to the south resources? Was all these a grand Egypt conspiracy theory to break apart Ethiopia? If it is, what has the Ethiopia-Egypt conflict over GRED project got to do with it? To sum it up, this is the most incoherent argument ever published. The fact of the matter is that the regime is desperate to justify the ongoing repression his regime and supporters are conducting in Oromia to remain in power. This is nothing less or more than an intellectual dishonesty. How can Egypt control the lower Red Sea by helping the landlocked Oromos? Another logic-challenged bizarre analysis from Mr. Gregory.
Myth#4. “Oromo radical nationalist movement presents a unique example of a global, coordinated action which is specifically genocidal and organized with extensive use of coordinated social media technologies and structures which has been undertaken outside the leadership and initiation of an established government.”
Social media platforms and modern ICTs played a critical role in inspiring and empowering entire Arab spring, freeing several nations and nationalities from the soviet grip, and freed most eastern European countries. And the entire world celebrated! Could Mr. Gregory explain to his readers why he chose to refer to Oromo freedom fighters as radical nationalist movements and characterize their uses of these technologies for the same purpose that the others have successfully used to bring about justice, fairness and equality for their people as genocidal? In Mr. Gregory’s analysis, the perpetrators of injustice are the victims and the Oromos are the radical victimizers. He himself has fallen prey of the neo-Naftegna falsehood or handsomely paid for asserting this fake accusation. Can Mr. Gregory use the huge amount of evidence such as that exist in reports by the Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch (including the statistics) to corroborate that a genocide has been committed in Ethiopia by Oromo extremists? Or shall we just take his words for the truth? Mr. Gregory’s difficulty is accepting the fact that Oromos have independent medias and are using technology to fight back the regime and the extremist Amhara elites’ hegemony he is trying to protect.
Myth #5. The OLF/OFC, the OLF’s Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), the Qeerroo movement, the Islamic Front for the Liberation of Oromia (IFLO), and other seemingly innocuous Oromo social organizations in the diaspora, specifically target — with murder, mob incitement, political terror, and other influence operations — the Amhara people who live beside and among the Oromo. They target them specifically for their ethnicity, language, and culture. This brings the OLF/OFC actions to very heart of the definition of genocide.
The OLF, OFC, OLA, and IFLO represent 50 million Oromos and defend Oromo rights to freedom, self-rule and justice. From the first day Abyssinian empire occupied Oromia, their strategy has been to destroy Oromo Organizations, especially the most sophisticated and democratic Gada institutions. After occupation, they prohibited Oromos from establishing any organization of their own, not even social organizations. The reason is obvious, Organization is so cortical to societies’ ability to coordinate their resources and efforts to overcome any challenge or effectively and efficiently achieve their desired outcome. Ethiopian empire rulers were and are fully aware of this scientific fact; the reason why they have been and are committed to destroy any and all Oromo organizations since they set foot in Oromia.
For instance, an Oromo social organization prominent Oromo professionals and elders established in 1960s, the Macha Tulama Self Help Association, was declared illegal and the leaders were incarcerated, killed, or left the country. It was after all peaceful means employed to address Oromo concerns failed that the group who established Macha Tulama eventually left the country and established the OLF. There is no innocuous Oromo organizations. There are several Oromo Organizations that serve Oromos” social, economic, human rights protection, and security needs. No amount of nep-Neftegna propaganda nor their paid agents’ misinformation will ever change that fact. Branding the Oromos as perpetrators of genocide may endear Mr. Gregory and earn him some stipend from the Abiy government agents but doesn’t change the truth. Mr. Gregory just signed to a narrative provided to him and rebranded it as an Analysis of his own.
Myth #6 – deliberate and dubious comparison between Oromo struggle for justice and equality with genocidal deeds of the Nazi and Greater Albania Movement”.
Oromos have never had nor will ever have any rational reason to entertain the notion of greater Oromia. Oromia is already great. Oromos in neighboring democratic countries are very content with where they are; so, we are not sure of where the comparison with the “Greater Albania” rhetoric comes from. On the Nazi comparison, if here is any group that is already engaged in conducting extrajudicial killings of genocidal proportion in Ethiopia in recent years, it is the government of Ethiopia and its supporters (Amnesty 2019, 2020).
A clandestine six-point terror manifesto written in Amharic, allegedly developed and released by Amhara extremist network, clearly suggests the regime supporters are also deeply involved in killing and terrorizing Oromos in Oromia. Their criminal acts such as: 1) the recent Assassination of Haachaaluu Hundeessaa, 2) their false allegation on social media that Oromos killed Amharas during the ensued demonstrations, 3) their use of pictures of violently killed people during riots in neighboring Kenya to support their allegation, 4) the release of a seven months old recorded audio of incriminating Oromoia Region Vice President’s speech, and 5) citing the speech as evidence and released series of fake propaganda campaigns all over social media and other online media platforms, reinforcing the narrative that Oromo organizations and Oromos are massacring Amharas and other nationalities in Oromia are all predicted in advance in the manifesto published in February this year.
The short titles of the six points in the three-page manifesto includes 1. Killing Squad, 2. Media, 3. Reducing 40 million Oromos to 20 million, 4. Opening Amhara Center for Research and Documentation, 5. Clandestine business enterprise and supporting the struggle by opening NGOs. Mr. Gregory’s skewing of facts to paint Oromos as the worst perpetrators of genocide is a testament to his character. Dishonesty.
Myth #7: “Always Blame the Victim What is a fundamental stratagem in most ethnomorphosis, genocidal, or ethnic cleansing campaigns is that the perpetrator blames the victim for the situation. In other words, the perpetrator plays the victim, while the target group is thrown onto the defensive.”
We fully agree with the above assertion. However what we call absurd myth is the author’s suggestion that the victims are those who enslaved Oromos for the last 150 years and unwilling to relinquish the unjust special privilege they enjoyed at the expense of everyone else and consider co-existing with each nation and nationality keeping their respective national identities, languages, the right to self-governance and justice as equals. Mr. Gregory is unwittingly or dishonestly standing with and for the victimizers, not the other way around. Why Mr. Gregory uses such incendiary phrases in his “Analysis” begs for explanation.
Myth #8. “Prime Minister of Ethiopia is himself half Oromo…, and represents the Oromo wing…Party…, Dr Abiy Ahmed Ali is also half-Amhara, and his attempts to bring about a national peace in Ethiopia have been interpreted by the OLF/OFC as a declaration of war against Oromo irredentism.”
First of all, the issue at hand is about what is just and unjust. It has nothing to do with individuals inter-ethnic marriage status. Second, Dr. Abiy is on record for having claimed two different parental heritages at different times, once as both parents being Oromos and at other time as his father being an Oromo and his mother who he claims told him he will be the 7th king of greater Ethiopia, as an Amhara. Like all free nations on earth, Oromos demand justice, freedom, equality, the right to keep and develop their identity, culture, language, and their region or country. No amount of intentional mischaracterization of who they are or what they stand for as “extremist” or “ethnic separatists” will ever change their commitment to defending their rights. If Mr. Gregory is serious about his “Analysis”, he would have checked that more than 10 million non-Oromos live in Oromia, by far more than any other region and we have not seen anything like this until Abiy and his neo-Nafxanyaa collaborators moved into Menelik’s palace.
Myth #9. Much of the international community became aware that the Oromo war against the Amhara was coming to a head when, on the night of June 30, 2020, a group of about 100 Oromo youth — mostly young men — destroyed a stone statue of former Ethiopian Emperor Haile Selassie I in Cannizaro Park in the London suburb of Wimbledon. The activity took place during the cover of a period of international street political activity generated by the US “Black Lives Matter” movement which was a specific byproduct of the US national election year.
When hundreds of thousands of Oromo youth were murdered and incarcerated, relentlessly holding peaceful demonstrations for 3+years and eventually ending EPRDF tyranny and paving the way for Abiy and his party to come to power, all Ethiopians and the rest of the world celebrated them. For a year plus after that, Oromos supported Abiy, believing eventually they will be free to elect leaders of their choice and their historical demands will be met.
Regrettably, that was not Dr. Abiy’s and his supporters’ idea, as they postponed the election, launched extrajudicial killings in Oromia, closed trusted opposition Oromo parties offices, locked up their leaders, assassinated an Oromo Artist, closed the only Oromo media they invited to operate in the country, locked up its leaders and staff, confiscated the media house properties, and the list goes on. It is now very certain the ruling mafia’s plan is to destroy anything that resemble significant challenger to their prospect of winning an election before they hold one.
The Qeeros are simply compelled to go back to street and very likely will remain there until they get what they fought for – free and fair elections in which their preferred political parties will participate! In a civilized country like the United States, demonstrating against symbols of operation is rewarded with the entire nation and international community supporting the demonstrators and removing those symbols of injustice from public places.
The statues in question are symbols of Oromo enslavement. Mr. Gregory is ought to have joined the Qeero to demand Ethiopian Government and the leaders of countries where such symbols have been erected to be removed, not vilify the youth. Their action is far from being characterized as Oromo war against any nation. Why Mr. Gregory chose to stand with oppressors and promotes their venomous propaganda and his motivations to be at the center of this dispute is not clear. According to Mr. Gregory’s logic, demonstrators in London who removed the statue of Robert Milligan are against the English people, protestors who removed Ghand’s statue in Accra are against Indian people. what a pity argument!
Myth #10: “The action in the UK to topple the Haile Selassie statue, and manifestly well-organized demonstrations in various Canadian cities and in Australia, for example, brought the Oromo movement full-blown into prominence.”
So, what is wrong with that? Is the author angry because Oromos are no longer the people Imperial rulers wanted them to remain peasant farmers and allow only handful of Amharanized Oromos and their Amhara peers to be educated and be part of the global community? What is wrong with fighting for justice, equality, and freedom from gaining global prominence? Unfortunately, we are not yet fully organized to afford lobbyist and paid writers to advocate on their behalf yet. Mr. Gregory, on one side says that this is a few radicals’ affairs, then he admits that this is a wide spread and well-organized global action. He failed to see this for what it is, or he did not care for the truth. Mr. Gregory seems to have hard time to comprehend the fact that in this day and age, every citizen has a voice and a means to let it be known. That is what is happening with the Oromo people as well. We just have to learn how to live with it and address and redress the root cause of their grievances.
Myth #11: “Oromo radical movements owe much of their organizational thinking to the conditioning of Soviet-backed Ethiopian marxist rulers after the coup and regicide against Emperor Haile Selassie in 1974.”
Our advice to the author on this topic is to please visit The Habesha web page, the same platform that reprinted his Analysis. And he will find several seemingly carbon copies of his analysis authored by no other than the senior officials (e.g. Dawit Woldemariam) of the same Marxist government he is blaming Oromo youth of being inspired by. Why was the Emperor killed? Mr Gregory doesn’t have the minimum curiosity required to learn the events that brought about this change before delving into the “Analysis”
Myth #12: “Under the Meles stewardship, the Oromo population surged into new territories, including the national capital, Addis Ababa, which had been created in 1886 in essentially virgin land by Emperor Menelik II. Under Meles, it was also accepted that Addis was concurrently the capital of Oromia. For the Tigrean, Meles, this was part of his own anti-Amhara xenophobia.”
Wow; we are not sure from where to begin unpacking this one. When he first arrived in Finfine/Addis Abeba from Mekele, Meles never ventured out of Arat Killo and Piassa before he headed north to Asmara to Establish TPLF with his 4 other Tigran friends. He did not travel out of the two localities because as a kid from Mekele, he was not familiar with the place or the culture; complete stranger. Wouldn’t it be great if Mr. Gregory could inform his readers how a complete stranger all the way from Tigrai ended up owning Addis Ababa 17 years later that he reportedly generously gave it to the alien Oromos to come and reside there; as Mr. Gregory suggests? What an Analyst?
One does not need to be a historian to know Finfinnee/ Addis Abeba is literally the heart land of Oromia, surrounded by hundreds of kilometers radius occupied by the Oromo people. Meles did not give a square mm of land to anyone. He confiscated Oromo land, sold it at a giveaway price to whoever gave him more dollars, and shared the proceeds with his village brothers and sisters. It seems the Analyst is not even aware of what sparked the Queerroo movement. It was the massive sale of Oromo farmlands in and around Finfinnee/Addis Ababa. So, it is surreal that the author claims Meles’ stewardship led to Oromo surge in their own homeland. Let us assume for a minute that that is true; is it a crime for the dispossessed people to reprocess or reclaim what is rightfully their ancestral land? No man created Addis Ababa. God or the process of the formation of the stars did, depending on one’s belief. Menelik changed the Oromo name of places to Amhara names after he concurred Oromia. Please read Ethiopia and Oromo history, Sir. A simple Wikipedia search would have saved the author an embarrassment of this magnitude.
In conclusion, Mr. Gregory never tried to verify his claims (which in fact were fabricated and given to him by the very people the Oromos have been struggling against). He has never shown intellectual curiosity required to get into analysis of such controversial issues. Most of his claims are copies of the materials published by the enemies of the Oromo people. His so-called analysis should be taken for what it is. We can’t believe he published this “Analysis” as a fact with his bias and intellectual dishonesty in a plain view.