Sunday, May 17, 2009

The attack dogs of “Dedebit”

By Ephrem Madebo

Unlike the other eleven months, the month of “Ginbot” is a unique month rich with distinctive cultural and political events. Examples are: “Ginbot-Lideta”, “Ginbot-8”, “Ginbot-20” and “Ginbot-7”. As eventful as “Ginbot” is, it is also a dismally disappointing month. “Ginbot 8” 1990 dawned as a day of hope for millions of Ethiopians, but it quickly turned into unprecedented day of carnage. In Ginbot 2005 [Ginbot 7], Ethiopians saw the sparks of a democratic process, yet as they enthusiastically jumped into the wagons of the democratic process, they were compellingly pulled back to only find themselves far-flung from democracy. I don’t think there is a comparable dictionary word that characterizes the ill-fated day of Ginbot 20, 1992 except calling it a national day of mourning!

I’m not here to offer any explanation on the events of “Ginbot” other than reminding you the depressing occurrences of Ginbot. I’m not even trying to prove or disprove anything anymore, or would I care to. I’m here to tell you about the fear that looms all over Ethiopia, the horror that conquered our very existence, and the voodoo that eluded our longstanding invincibility. Yes, I ‘m here to tell you about the ghosts of “Ginbot”, not the ghosts of “Ginbot Lideta”, but the phantoms of “dedebit” who also are known as - The attack dogs of Dedebit. If you are here to know the truth about the attack dogs of Dedebit, you must be open-minded, fascinated, and as mystical as I am. Enjoy the reading!


Recently, more frequently than any news outlet in their position, “aigaforum” and “The Reporter” have pitilessly attacked the entire Ethiopian opposition camp. In fact, these two websites have been the attack dogs of the TPLF regime for a long time. Aigaforum and “The Reporter” bark when Meles orders them to do so, and wag their tails and look hospitable when Bereket tells them to look friendly. For example, after years of name calling, cursing, and outright character assassination, it is surprising how these two attack dogs and their puppies are so concerned about AEUP party. I wonder where these two pathetic websites were when the president of AEUP [the then CUDP Chairman] was undeservingly suffering in Kality?

Both aigaforum and “The Reporter” love to portray themselves as hard-nosed defenders of democracy and staid challengers of orthodoxy and bad politics. Well, this is what they claim to be, the reality is the opposite. To be honest, there simply is no class of journalists more reverent of the TPLF establishment and more devoted to protecting and defending its prerogatives. If aigaforum and “The Reporter” were part of the free press, and most importantly if the name Ethiopia means anything to them, they shouldn’t have demanded a leader investigated for genocide be treated with the type of profound reverence typically reserved for national heroes, or religious leaders. Had the TPLF political machine had a tiny drop of democratic blood in its vein [as these two websites claim], Meles Zenawi and Bereket Simon wouldn’t have been the most entitled to be safeguarded from any kind of political criticism. The nastiest part of this depressing story is the irony- aigaforum and “The Reporter” have created for themselves. Often, these barefaced propaganda machines offer a shredded content of the full story of political events, totally disregarding the public’s right to know the evolution, development, and maturity of events. Sadly, instead of being faithful for owners of the machine, these dogs of lie stand for the machine that devours its owner.

Here is how the attack dogs mixed gold with gravel in aigaforum:

“Way before the cacophonous singing started though, I vividly remember reading an article written by five assorted PhD holders of various discipline-for what was then a Los Angeles based Ethiopian Mirror- predicting the inevitable journey of Ethiopia into the pitfall of anarchy”

Forget the “cacophonous singing”! Even Luchiano Pavarotti knows that the TPLF bandits have no shortage of harmonious voices, including the “flamboyant” patriarch who was in the millennium Karaoke contest with the planetary popular pop singer Beyonce Knowles. But this is far from the real story! The real story is that Ethiopia is a place where the powerless and the less-connected live at the mercy of the powerful. In Ethiopia, if you don’t belong to the “Golden” group you’re a rat that even a starving cat would ignore. The TPLF regime is a terror regime that terrorizes Ethiopians far more times than Bin Laden terrorized Americans. More than anything else, TPLF is an outlaw regime that has tossed a blanket over its own constitution and declared war on all opposition parties at home and abroad -- all in the name of a spurious- Safeguarding the Constitution! In fact, this is what the good PHD holders predicted. If this is not “anarchy”, then what is…..

Heaven knows what the definition of “anarchy” in the MoFA dictionary is, but I am absolutely sure that for both Meles and Bereket, the denial of chaos is a better definition of anarchy than its acceptance. The TPLF machinery and its ham-fisted system is terminally sick, otherwise, there is no need for the two architects of the system [Meles & Bereket] to repeatedly go public and deny its illness.

I’m not sure what peace means to the editor of aigaforum when a government he praises kills its own people; and I wonder how editor of “The Reporter” values peace when a leader he worships gets investigated for genocide. Yes, Amare Aregawi and Isayas Abay, you heard me right! Your goddess is being investigated for genocide! Do you think peace means the same to you and to the Anguaks who were massacred simply for being Anguak? Is Isayas Abay who lives in San Jose, California, confusing the Silicon Valley with Ethiopia? What about Amare Aregawi? Does he measure economic development by the number of high rises built to satisfy big time gluttons such as the ravenous Azeb Mesfin and the many-headed monster Sibhat Nega? What does economic development mean to these two lackluster pig-heads when the misery index (inflation rate + unemployment rate) of Ethiopia is a large number greater than the age of its octogenerian president? It is high time that Amare Aregawi and Isayas Abay answer these questions, or it is about time for self-flagellation!


Here is another doodle by the same attack dogs in aigaforum :

“Isolating Meles Zenawi and Bereket Simon from the rest of EPRDF leadership is an old trick, utilized to convey the appearance of division within EPRDF and have little bearing if any to the point of contention at hand, which is, the uncovering of a terrorist plot allegedly perpetrated by Ginbot 7-the brain child of Dr. Berhanu Nega”


To be honest, no one spends time trying to isolate things that weren’t meant to be together in the first place. Meles and Bereket have nothing to do with EPRDF. EPRDF is an incompetent amorphous entity created by the two criminals to give TPLF national mandate. Otherwise, Ethiopia is a one party polity, and that party is none than the ethnic conglomerate TPLF party created by the evil seeds of ethnicity. Evidently, there are some people of substance within the EPRDF party who like active volcano are waiting to explode, but for the most part, EPRDF is a ship willfully hijacked by the TPLF pirates.

Unlike what the paid attack dogs try to tell us, Ethiopians are terrorized by Meles Zenawi who is entrusted to lead them. In fact, his words of terror started in day one of his administration. Here is one of the most disdaining phrases belted out to the opposition by a person who vowed to lay the foundation of multi-party politics in Ethiopia: -- "Mengedun Cherk Yargilachehu", which basically means go to hell. Such shameless and despicable inflammatory statements are characteristic of Meles Zenawi’s dismissive ego whose arrogance is just beyond the pale. All in all, Meles Zenawi is a typical symbol of hypocrisy at the helm of the TPLF regime. When he speaks he speaks lies, when he makes a promise he breaks it, and when he is trusted he betrays his trust.

Ginbot 7 is not and has never been a party of individuals, and most importantly, Ginbot 7 is not a party that promises the impossible and tries to attain the in attainable. The promise of Ginbot 7 is freedom and, no matter how often Meles and Berket lie, freedom is attainable! Meles Zenawi is a person who lies to himself; his daily life is filled with denial of what he does, even what he thinks. He does this because he is afraid of what Ginbot-7 can do - Bring an end to his wealth making hierocracy. For Meles and his bandits denial is always the first step in their apparent attempt to prevent the inevitable. Otherwise, Ginbot-7 is everywhere in Ethiopia including at the back yard of Melses Zenawi. His attempt to kill Ginbot-7 is no different than Hercules trying to kill Hydra in the classic Greek mythology. Ginbot-7 is difficult to kill because when you cut off one head anywhere in Ethiopia, two more heads would grow back out of the stump elsewhere. I’m not quite sure about Berket because he has no brain of his own; but, I’m dead sure his master knows the significance of the Hydra, as the Hydra would be the eventual downfall of Hercules.

Here is one more ‘hushed’ bark by the attack dogs:

“Failing to remember that he has unequivocally condemned violence few years back, he is now adhering to dislodge a democratically elected government “by any means necessary.” This is what the world knows and there is no entity in this world able enough to fabricate what Berhanu has argued for to mean anything other than terror”

Dr. Berhanu, and millions of Ethiopians who adore him love peace and adhere to peaceful methods of struggle, but peaceful struggle does not mean bowing to Meles Zenawi and participate in a meaningless election to coronate the same “King” every five years. Peaceful struggle is pointless when a tiny 4% of the Ethiopian population decides on the fate of the other 96%. Yes, indeed, peaceful struggle is disingenuous when one party has roses, and the other has guns and knows no mercy. The only living organism that hates peace & tranquility is the one that needs turmoil for its survival, and that organism is Meles Zenawi. Actually, it is not just Meles Zenawi; essentially, the nature of the TPLF thugs is enmity against peace and democracy. Obviously, the result of such eccentric behavior is a continued warfare against their own constitution and against the society they’re supposed to lead. Let it be heard loud and clear! Given all the available choices, there is no human being that resorts to violence, and when there is no other option left, no human being gives up its freedom for fear of violence.

One other wavy-line in the above statement is: “he [Berhanu] is now adhering to dislodge a democratically elected government “by any means necessary.” Well, this is just a joke, and it’s the only joke that makes Colonel Mengistu chuckle who hasn’t chuckled in 18 years. Ironically, what makes bore-stiff Mengistu laugh is not the joke itself. It is the perception that his nemesis is using the same old election tricks that Mengistu himself used in the 1970s and 80s. If “Democracy” to Meles Zenawi is rising to power “by any means necessary” then what is wrong with Dr. Berhanu’s adherence to bring him down “by any means necessary? Who is the terrorist here? Is it Meles Zenawi who ascended to power by killing his opponents, or is it Dr.Berhanu Nega who has the courage to say no to Zenawi’s senseless arrogance?

Ethiopia’s political and economic future depends on the courage and capacity of its leaders to face the bold truth of the present. Facing the truth is the only thing that sets Meles Zenawi free, otherwise, covering the painful emotions of moms and dads whose children died defending democracy; and blocking the gross images coming from Ogden and Gambela is a senseless denial of reality that diminishes our ability to survive as a society. Evidently, Meles Zenawi and Bereket Simon are pathological liars; therefore, expecting honesty from them is a little more than a bad joke. However, no matter how bad liars they are, they should not swing like a hot wire. Meles Zeanwi has never been loyal to Ethiopia and Ethiopians ever since he and his rag-bag guerilla army set foot in Addis Ababa. His leadership has always been tainted with ethnicization of politics, systematic killing, and human right abuse even at times when many Ethiopians gave him the benefit of the doubt. So much can be said about Meles Zenawi and Berket Semon. These two self-indulgent mortals are liars, killers, crooks, and most importantly they are the ultimate symbols of human inhumanity. Their shallow strength may carry them through today, and may be tomorrow, but these wicked forces of evil will be defeated by the forces of good and excellence!

39 comments:

Eskedar said...

Hi Ephrem,

The problem that we have with Amare's "The Reporter" is that TPLF gives him valuable information, e.g., list of the recent prisoners, and this makes "The Reporter" a valuable source of information whether we like it or not.

One option we have (to be independent of "The Reporter") is to use G7's information sources to get valuable information from TPLF's comp and publish it in the "Ye Ginbot Dimts".

This way it is possible to make "Ye Ginbot Dimts" an effective tool of struggle...creating terror in the TPLF camp and at the same time making the reporter irrelevant/useless.

If G7 does not have such sources, it means it is not capable to wedge the straggle it calls for.

Another point: I know that you are a good and careful writer and I am a little bit disappointed when I read this sentence in your article. "Peaceful struggle is pointless when a tiny 4% of the Ethiopian population decides on the fate of the other 96%". May be I got it wrong...but if by 4% you mean people of Tigray, I don't agree. I know that TPLF is trying to survive on the shoulder's of Tigrians, but it doesn't mean that Tigrians are deciding on our fate...it is just Meles and Bereket...We have to work to detach TPLF and Tigrians, not to bundle them together. I agree that "peaceful struggle is disingenuous when one party has roses, and the other has guns and knows no mercy" and was enough to make your point....

Thanks,

Ephrem Madebo said...

Eskedar,
I respectfully disagree with your model that equates TPLF to Bereket and Meles. It is true that all Tigreans do not support the Meles regime, but the large part of the loyal support to the regime comes for the Tigreans. TPLF is an organization that started its struggle to liberate Tigray from Ethiopia with the support of the Tigreans. Look at the Ethiopian military, civil service, and the different economic sectors, everything is dominated by Tigreans. In Ethiopia, today, the way up is smooth for people of Tigrean origin, but not much for the others. All in all, it is not just few people; it is one ethnic group against the rest. Most Ethiopian school kids go to school until 10 grade, this is not so in Tigray. Look there is a very sophisticated favoritism and nepotism in Ethiopia, and in almost all of the cases, Tigrans are the most favored people. This is what I tried to say in the article.

dessalegn_asfaw said...

Ephrem,

There's no question that the TPLF has strong support in Tigray, and that Tigreans, by virtue of their ethnicity, are somewhat more privileged than other ethnic groups. Further, this is no surprise. This is the nature of politics in a multi-ethnic environment, especially in a context of underdevelopment. Anywhere in the world, a vanguard ethnic party, especially when the ethnic group it represents is a minority, has by definition the general support of its ethnic group and has to carefully cater to that group. Otherwise it would cease to exist.

The question here is how the democracy movement should handle this reality. If I may, I believe Eskedar is saying that it's no use harping on the point that the majority of Tigreans support the TPLF and are privileged.

For two reasons: 1) Given human nature and the nature of politics, it is completely unrealistic to expect a majority of Tigreans to be against the party that, no matter its faults, they see as protecting them from a return to the status of 'oppressed minority', and 2) Pointing the finger at Tigreans is a poor PR strategy for the democracy movement.

I agree with this point of view. There is no benefit, only costs, to talking about Tigray. First, it contributes to the siege mentality that the TPLF cultivates for support in Tigray, increasing their support. Second, and more importantly, it distracts the democracy movement, removing the focus from where it should be - strengthening the movement itself.

There are no benefits to talking about this. It's not as if the people will somehow be motivated by this talk to rise up in ethnic anger to overthrow the TPLF. Decades have shown that the Ethiopian mainstream does not see itself as an oppressed minority, and so is incapable of being moved by ethnic sentiments. Further, as a democracy movement, of course we don't want to be moved by ethnic sentiment. That's what we're fighting against, after all! We want the population to be able to stand up for its democratic rights for the sake of democratic rights, not motivated by ethnic grievance.

I think that by far the major factor in the absence of democracy in Ethiopia is not the TPLF, but the weakness of the democracy movement and its constituents or potential constituents. Were it not for this weakness, there is no way that a party with the support of 8% or so of the population would govern.

A large part of this weakness is the lack of introspection, the tendency to focus on peripheral matters and matters one can do nothing about, such as Tigrean domination. Another is the inability to handle such issues skillfully. The way to weaken the TPLF is to take away their ability to scare their constituents into supporting them. Don't talk about such issues, or better yet, actions such as Birtukan's 'apology to Tigreans' are perfect in this regard. Take away the 'neftegna' crutch from the TPLF, and they'll have little to stand on.

Ephrem Madebo said...

Desalegn,

I totally agree with the first part of your analysis. I also agree that our job must not be focused on talking about Tigreans. My article does not focus on Tigreans. However, totally ignoring the ethnic dominance of Tigreans which gave them the way to economic dominance does not serve our purpose either. There are some in the international community that still believe TPLF is a democratically elected party. We should tell to the world that the TPLF regime is a minority regime that benefits the few, therefore, all efforts to bring it down should be supported. Focusing on many other important issues and telling a story within a story is what we should continue doing. The focus of my article is on the two TPLF sponsored websites that tell Ethiopians to peacefully accept the TPLF regime. In deed we need to tell these two websites that there is no peace when 4% of the population monopolizes the political and economic life of the nation. If this is wrong, I will rather be wrong and continue saying it. Yes, we should respect the Tigrean people for this is not a sin that they triggered, but we cannot hide that they have benefited form this sin on the cost of the majority of Ethiopians. Aren’t a large number of Tigreans as a group fighting the effort of other Ethiopians to bring an end to the ethnic domination of TPLF? [This includes some Tigreans] If so how can we fight such idea without talking about it?

dessalegn_asfaw said...

Ephrem,

Yes, yes, I see the Tigray problem is just a side issue in your post.

But just to continue the conversation and flesh out ideas on the democracy movement's PR strategy...

Do we really need to tell the two web sites, or anyone for that matter, about Tigrean domination? After all, everyone knows it. EPRDF supporters deny it because they think denial is the best PR, but they know it's true, and nobody believes their denials anyway! They also know we know it. So what's the use of bringing it up?

Besides, the main problem we're trying to address is that Ethiopia is being ruled by an autocratic government. The basis of the autocracy, whether it is ethnic-based (EPRDF), ideology-based (Dergue), or just interest-based (both), is irrelevant. Whether its Tigreans, ideologues, rent-seekers, or some combination of thereof fighting to preserve the autocracy doesn't matter. We'll fight whoever restricts our access to freedom and democracy.

All this being said, I do understand your point. A PR strategy is of course multifaceted with different messages for different audiences. Donors (and their constituents - their populations) need to be reminded of the fact that the EPRDF is based on a small ethnic minority and that there is significant resentment because of that, because they need to be reminded that the regime has significantly increased, through its ethnic policies, the country's instability risk. But again, one has to be careful when presenting this story so as not to make the struggle appear to be a primordial ethnic conflict. It's primarily a struggle for democracy - the ethnic element simply serves to illustrate the risks of the status quo.

But as for the Ethiopian audience, including Tigreans, I don't quite see any place for it in the PR campaign.

Ephrem Madebo said...

Desalegn,

Yes, as you noticed, the main purpose of the article was to respond for the large propaganda work of the two websites and to tell them the true cause of our struggle; and at the mean time alert the international community on what is being done in the name of democracy in Ethiopia. This is part of our democratic struggle. There is no one sided struggle, we need to do multiple things. We don’t respond every time they bark, likewise, we don’t always ignore when they bark. Besides, when a regime boasts to have been the first regime to solve ethnic problems in Ethiopia, we should clearly tell the world the true picture of the regime. Ethnic domination is the vital part of this truth. This truth should always be told with no bias. You said:

“But again, one has to be careful when presenting this story so as not to make the struggle appear to be a primordial ethnic conflict. It's primarily a struggle for democracy - the ethnic element simply serves to illustrate the risks of the status quo”

Ethnic conflict is not new to our nation, and the only way out is to build a true democracy. The TPLF regime claims to have built a democratic order that solved ethnic problems in Ethiopia. There are governments and organizations that buy this claim and support the regime. How do we tell them the truth? Yes, we are fighting for democracy against a non-democratic regime, but for those who believe TPLF is a democratic regime, how do we tell them it is otherwise? My piece might not be presented in a way it should, but the intention was to magnify the truth than bashing Tigreans, and trust me bashing any group has not and will never be my focus. I do agree with you that we should be very careful. But no matter what, at the end of the day the truth should be told in a way that it helps our democratic movement. The truth always helps our cause; however, I strongly agree that the way we present the truth may definitely be detrimental to our very cause.

Eskedar said...

I agree with Desalegn on this point...

I personally do not have a problem in pointing out the unfair benefits given to Tigrians and in general showing the fact that people from other ethnic groups are treated as secondary citizens in their own country. Even Tigrians know this and understand it well as the practice goes further and becomes about being from Adewa or Shire or Adigrat/Mekelle etc…

My problem is in the lumping up of Tigrians with TPLF. This simply makes the political struggle an upward hill and un-winnable. It doesn’t give sense or at least a good sense to say “we won over the Tigrians”.

We already have enough of this problem of considering TPLF and Tigrians as one and the same. Unfortunately, many Tigrians do not differentiate between the party (TPLF) and the people. The opposition camp also shares this blame to a greater extent. And I believe that our work should be to break this bond in whatever means possible.

The kebele, Wereda, region leaders in other regions are not all from Tigray. So, unless we considered the Amhara, Oromo, etc puppets as Tigrians, we can not say that we are ruled by Tigrians.

However, Tigrians should start to detest getting unfair benefits and feel that they are surviving under the safeguard of TPLF. They should feel ashamed of supporting this nationally hated government/party/group, in such a large number, knowing what it is doing to the country at large.

The opposition camp should show its openness, I strongly believe that it is, to Tigrians and it should stop antagonizing them together with TPLF. We are not against Tigrinas but with TPLF which can also include Amhara and Oromo puppets.

Finally, Amharas have been (considered as) the ruling class in the country, but they have always been at the fore-front in the opposition camp (in the fight for freedom and equality). Then what is up with our Tigrian brothers and sisters?

Thanks,

Fayyis said...

It is good to read you people talking about DEMOCRACY MOVEMENT instead of about the out dated Unity Forces. Any way never think that you wil solve national problem, which you disqualify as some thing "ethnic" by ignoring it. If your rhetoric about democracy movement doesn't include the participation of LIBERATION MOVEMENTS like that of Oromo, you are doomed to fail. The following is a nice message I would like to leave for you.

We nations in Africa suffer from conflicts based on colonial borders and because of disregarding national rights as some thing "ethnic". This desigantion "ethnic" instead of nation/nationality/people is used by both European colonizers and their puppet African colonizers aka Abyssinians. In reality Africa was borderless, all being called as Ethiopia or Sudan, i.e land of blacks. It is true all of Africa is land of blacks.

To tackle the present global challenge, Africans are trying to come together and forge an AUG (African Union Government). They are looking at USA or EU as an example. But both can not be good examples. USA is the melting pot for all nations around the world migrating to America and learning english. EU is the Union of well developed and independent mono-national-states, all with their own respective languages good developed and used.

Africa can be neither a melting pot nor a union of well developed only mono-national-states. The nations in Africa are diverse in development and size. What is good for Africa is to build a union with autonomous national areas for all nations aka "ethnies"

Based on their size and development, some nations can forge mono-national-state like Oromia. The others, which are too small to have their own state can forge multi-national-state like SNNP of Ethiopia, with all nations having their own Province/Zone, District/Wereda or Community/Qebele as autonomous natonal areas based on their size. Relatively bigger nations like Sidama can have their own autonomous Province/Zone, nations smaller than this like Alaba can have autonomous District/Wereda and the smallest nations like Dorze can have their own Community/Qebele. Based on their geographical position, certain small nations like Agew and Harari can join the bigger neighbour nations like Amhara or Oromia, but have their own autonomy, be it as province, district or community. Such 5 tier organization (African Federation --- Mono-/Multinational States --- Mono-/Multinational Provinces --- Mono-/Multionational Districts and Mono-/Multinational Communities) is the best way of adiministrative Organization for Africa.

In Short Ethiopian model can be used as that of African, just changing its fake status under Weyane to a very genuine one, for which OLF and the likes are struggling!!

Fayyis said...

The very optimal MEDIHANIT against the fascist Weyane is an alliance of democratic movements like G7 and liberation movements like OLF by forging a common ground (purpose), e.g building Union of Independent Nations (UIN) as I tried to describe it above. There will never be Ethiopian democracy at the cost of Oromian national liberty. Freedom comes first to Democracy, Unity or Justice you people seem to cry for!!

Ephrem Madebo said...

TPLF is not a lonely tree that grew in “no man’s land”. It has a fertile place that induced its birth, growth, and ascend to power. That fertile place is Tigray, not just the land, but the people too. All Tigreans? May be not. Had the TPLF has no or little support in its broad base area [which is Tigray], it wouldn’t have stayed in power this long. There is a strong relationship between the TPLF elites and the people of Tigray. If the Tigreans know that they are the most favored people in the TPLF Ethiopia [both Desalegn and Eskedar agree], then why would telling the world this same fact be wrong? Especially to that part of the world that thinks TPLF is democratic. Most importantly, if we should see the TPLF party independently of the people of Tigray [as Eskedar argues], then how did this most favored concept come into being? The TPLF gang needs the people of Tigray for its survival than the vice versa. I would have accepted your argument [Eskedar] had the people of Tigray as a group condemn the TPLF party and deny the support it badly needs. In fact, things are in the contrary, there is a continued support of the Tiran elite and rank and file to perpetuate the TPLF regime. One thing is always true. If the TPLF party looses its support in Tigray, it will continue its abuse of power butchering people from its own mass base [Tigray], but this doesn’t wash the sin that has already been committed in the last 18 years! On the issue of TPLF vs People of Tigray, this is as much as I go! Thank you for your nice and interesting argument.

Ephrem Madebo said...

Fayys,

It is nice to hear from you after a long time. Yes, I strongly agree that breaking the backbone of the TPLF regime needs the collaboration of many stakeholders, OLF being the most visible. I guess, I’m more interesting to hear your take on how OLF, G-7 and other democratic forces forge a common ground. This is what attracts me than spending time in the nomenclature of TPLF vs People of Tigray. Please let me hear your saying! Thank you.

Fayyis said...

Ephrem,
thanks! I am also very much interested in this process of foging a common ground among all anti-Weyane democracy movements. I would say the panacea at the moment is: ALL against the EVIL one!! No question the devil in the Horn of Africa is called Weyane. All nations in the region have this one common enemy. Ethiopian nations like Oromos, Amharas, Gurages, Kambatas, Sidamas, Somalis, Afars, Welayitas...etc and neighbouring nations like Eritrea, Djibouti and Somalia should join the alliance. I think G7 starting to cooperate with OLF is the new version of AFD. This will be the beginning of the END for the devil of the Horn. One of the best sentences said by Dr Berihanu is: Weyanewoch iyekefaafeluun yaalluut, kennesuu bilxinnet yetenessaa sayihon, kenyaa moonyinnet yetenessaa newu!!

The two phases of struggle for freedom and democracy planned by AFD and now propagated by G7 as well by OLF are:
- first phase to achieve our FREEDOM
- second phase to build our DEMOCRACY!!
Now in the first phase, we ALL need to cooperate for freedom and later in the second phase we all can compete for power in a democratic way.

It is time for all opposition democratic parties and liberation fronts including both "legals" and "illegals" to come to their sense, after the past 18 years of foolishness. Let all of them agree on one common ground, i.e common purpose: National INDEPENDENCE with Regional UNION. To Oromos Independence is national issue, whereas Union is regional issue. That is why OLF put in its mission both Oromian Independence and Ethiopian/HoAfrican Union.

There are four groups of politicians regarding this common purpose:

1) EPRDF, who claims to have achieved both national autonomy for all nations in the empire and forged a federalism (UNITY) based on "free will" of these autonomous nations.

2) EPRP and the conservative AEUP rejecting national Independence (Autonomy) and cry only for Unity, by which they actually mean Unitarity.

3) ULFO of Oromo people and some other liberation fronts rejecting regional Union, but cry for only national Independence.

4) AFD and some other moderate organizations like OFDM, UEDF of Prof. Beyene, UDJ and G7 seem to struggle for establishing Regional UNION (Eth. UNION) with National Independence (freedom/autonomy) of all nations in the region. It was the vision of OLF from the very beginnig to achieve both Oromian Independence (national freedom) and if possible based on free will to forge Ethiopian Union (regional integration).

I hope the lying 1st group will be compelled to stop its deception. The 2nd and 3rd groups are loosing their mass base. Specially these two groups need to come to their sense and join the 4th group, for the current momentum is in favour of the 4th group. Those fronts and parties with such common purpose of National Independence with in Regional Union must forge a new all incluse alliance to get rid of the barbaric and fascist Weyane.

Eskedar said...

Fayyis,

What about a common ground (between OLF, G7 and others) that respects the individual and group rights of all? Is independence a must and important? Is it practical?

For me it is very difficult to think about an independent Oromia given the historical, societal and geographical setting. What are you going to do with the half Oromos? Are you going to evict the non-Oromos from Oromia, especially from Finfine? I would say, over my dead body…We can mention a lot of problems on the practicality of this concept of an independent Oromo country.

Lets forget the problems in Ethiopian state formation and work on building a system that is good for peace, development and national unity. Then we can talk about union of the Horn and Africa in general….

Why can’t we design a governance system that pleases all based on (or starting from) a United Ethiopia?

How can a united Ethiopia be a problem for the Oromos? Is it because the union is not formed based on the consent of the Oromos in the first place? Why can’t the current generation agrees on the Union and create a New Ethiopia?

What governance system, apart from the impractical (for me) independence, can we have in Ethiopia? A genuine application of the current Federal system or something different? I will go for an even more disaggregated Federal system that divides Oromia, Amhara and (may be) Tigray regions in to smaller pieces.

There is no end to ethnic politics…If you start with an Independent Oromo, then will come a call for an Independent Gujji, and an independent Arsi, and Welega and Nekemt’e and so on…

By the way, independence does not necessarily mean Freedom as you wanted it to be. Do you think Ertrians get freedom after independence?

Fayyis said...

Eskedar,
respecting individual and group rights in all Independent national areas is a must, but not at the cost of national autonomy of all nations in the empire/region.

I know that it is very difficult for you to think about independent Oromia, but don't forget that it was also very difficult for you to think about that of Eritrea 20 years back. Today you have learned to live with the fact that Eritrea is independent, surely you will also learn to live with Independent Oromia being in Union with its neighbour nations.

Otherwise to answer the questions you raised:
- the half Oromos will have a chance to choose to be Oromian or reject it. The same has happened in almost all HALF-casts in countries who got independence from Soviet Union and Yugoslavia.

- non-Oromos never will be evicted from Oromia/Finfinne, but they will have a chance to live either in free Oromia or leave to the country they want. You saying: "over my body" doesn't hinder Oromos from pushing for Independence, because it will never happen at the free will of you and your likes.

- the government system which can please all in the region is which I described as a Union of Independent Nations (UIN), every nation having its autonomy and then live in Union with other nations based on free will.

- united Ethiopia can not be a problem for Oromos, if it is based on their free will, but not at gun point as it was till now. Of course the new generation can build new Ethiopia, but with new mind and modern way aka based on referendum of all nations in the empire. No unity with out free will of the stake holders.

- you can dream about a federal system which can devide Oromia, but of course on the "dead body of Oromos". "Ethnic federalism" (if it is genuine) is almost the other version of a Union of Autonomous Nations. The only thing that lacks is referendum which helps people to know the free will of the nations concerend.

Last, but not least, there is no much difference between Independence and fredom. Independence is what concerns the collective (nation), whereas freedom is that of individual members of the nation. Eritreans under Ethiopia had neither of the two, whereas now they do have their independence, even if not yet their absolute freedom.

Eskedar said...

Fayyis,

You said, “…don't forget that it was also very difficult for you to think about that of Eritrea [independence] 20 years back”. I thought it was very easy to understand the difference between these two cases…

- the social tie between Eritreans and the rest of Ethiopians was not as strong as the one we have between Oromos and the rest of Ethiopia.
- Eritrean independence can be (to some extent) justified based on history, unlike that of Oromia which has always been part (building block) of Ethiopia.
- the geographical setting is I think obvious especially when you take into account the fact that Eritrean independence didn’t include Ethiopian capital city.

Most of all, we have seen the consequence of Eritrean independence in terms of: family breakdowns, border conflict, economic disadvantages for both nations, and most importantly in its failure to answer the quest for freedom. These consequences will obviously be catastrophic in the case of Oromian’s independence.

You also said “[e]thnic federalism (if it is genuine) is almost the other version of a Union of Autonomous Nations. The only thing that lacks is referendum” and by this I guessed that you are fine with a genuine application of the current system given that there is a referendum on unity vs independence. For me this is not problematic as we are going to start from a united Ethiopia. But some issues that make me curious:

- who is eligible to vote for the referendum? I am born and raised in Addis (I am Addis Abebie not Oromo), can I vote?
(By the way, I want to live in Addis but not as an Oromo but as an Ethiopian. So, for me to live in an Independent Oromia or to leave to a country of my choice is not a choice at all). We will end up being like Israel and Palestine and I think you don’t want that to happen.
- given an Ethiopia where the individual and group rights of all are respected, do you think the majority of Oromos will vote for independence? How will you vote?
- I think independence is not a question of the majority of Oromos. Then why the fuss about it? Why don’t you guys follow a strategy that will be supported by the majority of Oromos and the rest of Ethiopia? That is why OLF’s struggle remained futile!

I still hope for a hope of a common ground! I believe this is very important for the fight against TPLF and for peace, stability and development afterwards.

Fayyis said...

Eskedar,
I think the social tie was more strong between Eritreans and their cousins (Tigarus and Amharas) than the tie between Oromos and Abeshas. Eritrea was part and parcel of your 3000 years old Ethiopia, whereas Oromia became the part only 100 years ago. If Eritreans, the brothers/sisters of Tigarus, got "legitimacy" to be independent, then Oromia should have 100x legitimacy to be free. The fact that Finfinne is the capital of Oromia doesn't make any hinderance to liberation for it is not either Bahirdar or Meqele to be claimed by Amharas or Tigarus. Finfinne was/is land of Oromos and stays to be so.

The consequences seen in Eritrea's independence can not be the reason to compell Oromos give up their God-given right to self-determination. It is better to live in freedom with all "negative" consequences than live under slavery with "prosperity". Freedom comes fist to all other political and social values.

Yes I don't have problem with GENUINE "ethnic" federalism if it is the result of Oromos' free will expressed in referendum. To adress your concerns and to answer your questions:

- it is only the concerned people of specific national area who is eligible to vote in referendum. To put it clearly, self-determination of Oromos is the business of only Oromos. It is not the duty of Amharas, Eritreans or Tigarus to determine/vote on the fate of Oromos.

- you wanting to live in Finfinne as Ethiopian, not as Oromian is your God-given right. Then you live like a foreigner with residence permission as long as Finfinne adminstration allows you. It is just as you can also live in Djibouti as Ethiopian as far as you do have the permission. That is your choice.

- your attempt to intimidate Oromos by just painting the negative senario like that of Israel and Palestine can't hinder us from pushing for our Freedom. If it will be like you described here, then let it be!!

- if you mean Oromos will not vote for independence, given individual and group rights are respected, then why do you afraid to allow Oromos to go for referendum. Just try it and see for what Oromos vote. I know you thinking that the struggle of OLF is futile gives you a compfort and I don't want to take away this illusion from you, just enjoy it. But the fact on the ground is that Oromo Liberation movement being lead by OLF has gone a very long distance towards its END. Your heart knows this very well!

- your hope for a common ground is also my hope! But you and your likes dreaming that Oromos give up our struggle and accept your WAY is not the probable happening! You want the Integration of the empire, and Oromos want the Independence of our nation. Then the common ground is Independent Oromia in an Integrated Ethiopia!! Can you imagine this be realized?? This is the challenge you need to deal with!!

dessalegn_asfaw said...

Eskedar,

If I may...

I think most political theorists would say that ethnic nationalism is mostly a question of _identity_, not practicality. An Oromo nationalist wants an independent Oromia not because it will make him rich, but because it will make him proud of himself and his group (in this case, Oromos).

Why? Imagine that the British colonized Ethiopia in 1880, and by 1960, they were subsidizing the country, had built roads and schools, established institutions, had ended discrimination, provided university education to locals, and were running the country efficiently. You would still want independence, even though independence would probably harm the economy and may even result in political instability. Why? That's what identity is all about.

It's a feeling, not a rational thought. So you can't deal with it by rational arguments only. Telling an Oromo nationalist that independence will be an economic and political disaster to the whole region has little impact! Identity trumps everything. So you have to address the identity issues.

That's how countries like Canada have dealt with their ethnic issues. When the Quebecois nationalist movement was gaining strength, the federal government announced that French would join English as Canada's national (federal) language, even though only 25% (at the time) of the population spoke French. The federal government also granted the province of Quebec autonomy in certain areas that the other provinces did not have, and to this day subsidizes the Quebec provincial government disproportionately! Essentially, it's paying them off.

At the same time, Quebec was allowed to hold referenda on separation, empowering the population of Quebec, allowing them to express their ethnic pride, making them think their destiny was in their own hands, and essentially making them feel better about themselves. This was important - not allowing referenda would have probably made for more Quebec nationalism. Incidentally, if they had voted for independence, they would not have got it automatically since the referenda were not legal binding. However, it would have begun a process of negotiation.

And that's another important aspect of the handling. Canada being a democratic country, people understood that if a sufficiently large group of people wanted to separate, they couldn't be stopped by force. Democracy means freedom, and part of freedom is the freedom to leave. Of course, freedoms can collide, and in this case, they would. For example, if 55% of Quebecers had vote for separation, what about the other 45%? What about their rights? What about the rest of the population of Canada and their rights over Quebec? That's why negotiation is necessary. There is no absolute right to separation on your own terms. It can only be a negotiation. But, there is a relative right, and that has to be absolutely acknowledged. The very acknowledgement reduces ethnic nationalistm.

These strategies have worked so far. By the way, it's also helped that the original Quebecois, descendants of French immigrants, are shrinking in population! So it looks like the problem will slowly go away.

All this to say that we have to learn from the masters when it comes to dealing with ethnic nationalism. Let's acknowledge their rights, such as they are. Acknowledge their identity and feelings, and deal with them tactfully.

Of course, to do so requires a strong centre, cohesive and able to represent the individual rights of the people of Ethiopia. Those representing 'Ethiopia' have to get their act together, for everyone's sake. To me, the weakness of the centre is a far greater threat to everyone than ethnic nationalism will ever be.

Fayyis said...

Dessaleng,
well said! But interesting is that you preach referendum under STRONG centeral government to hinder self-determination of nations! Is it not a saboutage? What makes you more "democrat" than Weyane, who also did the same: it talkes right of nations to self-determination, but walks "revolutionary" centeralism. Is this not a prototype of all Abeshas giving only lip service to Freedom and Democracy? Fact on the ground is that you Abeshas can never be genuine democrats for you fear that Oromos get our independence. If there is genuine freedom and democracy, Oromos have nothing to fear in united Ethiopia. As a majority, we can either opt for our independence or for union in which we do have the leading status. I hope Oromos learn a lot from such attitude of Abesha "democrats" like you!!!

Wro. Akalu said...

“If there is genuine freedom and democracy, Oromos have nothing to fear in united Ethiopia. As a majority”
Majority of Oromos also comprised the likes of Birtukan Medeksa. Let’s not forget that.
It’s just common sense! Hey Fayyis! Use it. It works wonders!

Fayyis said...

Wro. Akalu,
Ok! Then no need of saboutaging the "democracy" by trying to build a strong centeral government to hinder nations like Oromo from deciding for Independence with out Union. Just give the "majority" of Oromos like Birtukan to decide for the Union per referendum!! Just be honest and practice what you preach. Talking democracy and walking dictatorship is what Weyane is doing, and people like Dessaleng want just to replace Weyanes, but continue with the same mechanism. As Dr. Berihanu once said, it is simply a change of Tigaru dictators by Amhara dictators!! Does this make sense???

Wro. Akalu said...

Hey Fayyis Pay attention now. You’ve completely missed me. I did not mention a squat about your Oromo federation, Independence, Union or regional Africa --- GELEMELE? Or central government this that. O! Heck no!
First you need to come down from your LaLa land.
If uncle dessalegn assfaw can't put some sense in you nobody can. That’s all!
Good Luck Buddy!
“mengedun cherq yargeleh”

dessalegn_asfaw said...

Fayyis,

Like I said, I believe in freedom and democracy, and one freedom is the freedom to leave the existing social contract. I think that's clear.

Two points I think you're not clear on:

1. If you believe in democracy, please understand that I have the freedom not to support secession. I support the right to secession, but I don't support secession. Like I support the right of John McCain to run for president, but I don't support him.

2. There are other conflicting rights. Democracy is all about balancing rights. If 51% of Oromia votes for independence, what about the 49%? A real believer in freedom would understand that they in turn have the right to separate and take 49% of Oromia. That's what happens when you just talk about absolute rights only without understanding the mitigating factors. In the end, you have to negotiate. Negotiations differ depending upon the context. For example, most would say that 51% is not really a vote for independence, but just more group rights/privileges under the current system. It would also indicate significant divisions. But if you go up to 80-90%, then that's a strong sign of identity dominating and a really strong mandate for independence. The negotiating positions would be different. It depends on the context.

Eskedar said...

Desalegn, you put it perfectly fine…I agree with what you said and with your historical evidence from Canada you gave the issue a real sense.

As I have said it above, I don’t have a problem with the idea of a referendum as long as we start it from a United Ethiopia where the individual and group rights of all are well respected. This is what, I think, you referred as a “strong center” and Fayyis wrongly took it as a force that stops independence. As I understood you, a strong center is important not in terms of force as such but in terms of respecting the human rights of all which intern makes independence less interesting. Force is also important to discipline the group which looses the vote.

I think the likes of Fayyis are small in number and will diminish dramatically with democratization and most importantly with URBANIZATION.

The colonization staff is I think very hard to swallow. Most countries are formed by application of force. People do not normally make agreements to form a state. The important thing is what you have after the formation of the union. If everybody is treated equal in the union, then the thing is not colonization but simply a state formation.

Fayyis said...

Dessaleng,
thanks! Regarding the 1st point you mentioned, I do agree absolutely with your opinion. As far as the 2nd point is concerned, referendum is where the simple majority (51%) will be the winner and the minority will conform to the majority. Go back and refer to the very simple majority with which some nations in ex Yugoslvia achieved their independence. That is the rule of the game in referendum. It is absurd to suggest that the minority (49%) can demand its own territory. If this was the case, the game REFERENDUM is simply senseless!!

dessalegn_asfaw said...

Eskedar, yes, that's exactly what I meant by a strong centre. The main reason the EPLF succeeded was because of a weak centre - because Ethiopia became such an unpleasant place in which to live.

Fayyis,

Remember, the principle is that people are free to leave. In the 51/49 scenario, you have a situation where 49% of the people do not want secession. That's a large number of people to have who do not agree with the very basis of the new nation. They probably live in smaller areas in which they are the majority. These people may group together and ask for their own secession. As a person who believes in freedom and democracy, you must acknowledge their rights.

By the way, I am not saying this would be the case in Oromia. We have no idea what will happen there. Maybe in Oromia, 90% would vote for secession, which would result in less 're-secession'. But what's important is the principle - that's the basis on which there can be dialogue and mutual understanding.

So I believe that you should ask yourself the question - do I believe in the freedom to secede for everyone, or just for those whom I want. Do I believe in real freedom and democracy, or only so long as it achieves my goals?

habtu said...

It's interesting that Ephrem's piece and the earlier part of the discussion was more about the obvious Tigrean domination, how and how not to talk about it, etc., until Eskedar took Fayis' bait and the two of them hijacked the discussion
in the direction of never-ending topic of secession. Later on Dessalegn joined the fray, and of course, as Dessalegn goes ...

We should all hold a candle to Dessalegn and stand on the sidelines enjoying his informed analysis and precise logic, a la Dr. Spock. But an occasional idea or two from the rest of us should help the discussion forward.

Fayis is like a village idiot who opens his mouth with his ever-ready, inflexible, unquestioned opinions formed a long time ago in a different reality. Before you get worked up, Fayis, you should know that I mean this only as a banter. Not a personal slight or anything like that. I know, I know. Here we
like to keep things civilized, which is as it should be. But go back and read how unreasonable is what you wrote. Suppose the hypothetical referendum discussed above came out 51-49 in favor of unity, do you think secessionist forces should (or would) abandon their ambition for their own unitary ethnic enclave because the 'majority' have rejected them? Of course not. You are clearly a secessionist, what would you do in such cases? Neither would this be a time for the people in the rest of the union to rejoice. For all practical purposes, the vote came right down the middle. As people in the trade say, there
is no significant statistical difference favoring either. A happy day for you would be 80/90 - 20/10 against unity in which case nothing short of separation would resolve the issue. An even more dramatic result would be obtained if the choice is as clear as day and night: slavery v. freedom - and you'll end up
getting both (as in you know who).

By the way, a call for secession pops up in impractical and unexpected places. You might be surprised to learn that even in America there are pockets of black communities who want to withdraw from the Union (imagine a few southern states
of racially pure blacks with a shore on the Atlantic ocean). I remember a few years ago watching on C-SPAN a Newsweek editor, an African American, arguing for a separate nation for blacks. You can imagine indignant calls from both races, contending, I think correctly, that for better or worse history has bonded the two people inseparably, however ugly that history was. So an elite speaks for separation (it's always the elites!), but ordinary folk don't breathe such things every waking day. Incidentally, Fayis, assuming that you live in America or in any other multi-ethnic nation, in the event of separation, would you prefer to move to the "pristine purity" of rigid Sparta leaving the bustling and humane Athens? May be I shouldn't ask this question.

All this is to ask you to be receptive to others, to open up your mind; understand that there are people outside of your world and outside of your mind. Real people, and the good majority of them may identify with the ethnic group
you call your own. To leave you with a quote: "As facts change, I change my opinions. What do you do?"

Fayyis said...

Dessalegn,
thanks again! First of all the word secession you used is wrong! Secession is only to be applied to a territory which was part of the country before and wants to separate lately. Oromia has never been part of the empire based on Oromos will. It was conquered and conolized 100 years back. Now the Oromo people ask for the legitimate LIBERTY from this domination/colonization. As far as I am concerned, I have never advocated for "secession", but for self-dtermination of Oromo nation which can result to Independent Oromia with in Ethiopian Union or with out Ethiopian Union based on the verdict of the public involved. No one can stop this movement for liberty, but you people can only delay the process through all sorts of manipulation, force and saboutage.

Regarding the freedom of the minority (49%) you raised, it depends on the territory they occupy. If it is the people of certain territory who do say no to the independence, they can claim their own way to go. E.g. if it is Wallo Oromos who are against Oromian Independence, they can join Abyssinia or....

To answer the question you raised at last, I do believe in the principle of Self-determination of nations, be it they are big or small. You use the word secession just to give a negative connotation to this God-given right of nations.

Habtu,
just have a patience! This "village idiot" can have some thing to teach you. Your labeling me like that doesn't make you an "intelligent" scholar and make me an "idiot" peasant, but it simply shows who you are and how you think!

As far as the minority/majority vote in referendum is concerned, nothing can block the right of nations to self-determination. You again parrot the word "secession" you just read with out analysing what it means in comparision to self-determination.

Leaving all your blubbers by side, every national group with a territorial continuity it claims to have can demand self-determination be it in America, Africa or Asia. The feasibility, practicallity and techinicality differs from case to case. Other wise, be it you are a canning fox from the north Ethiopia or the programmed mind from the south, I am 100% sure you will learn slowly but surely to accept and respect the right of Oromos to self-determination to live with in or with out the Union you and your likes dare to call NEW Ethiopia.

Fayyis said...

Regarding the common ground/purpose, let's consider the following in to our political calculation.
Oromos' political move against Weyane is to be grouped roughly in to three:
1) the struggle for individual FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY in Ethiopia disregarding the national self-determination of Oromos. People like Ad. Birtukan in UDJ and Dr. Berihanu in G7M belong to this group.
2) the struggle for FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY including INTERNAL self-determination of Oromos in Ethiopian context. Ob. Bulcha of OFDM and Dr. Mararaa of OPC seem to belong to this categorie.
3) the struggle for INDEPENDENT Gadaa Republic of Oromia (EXTERNAL self-determination of Oromos) without any compromise, which is represented by Ob Galaasa of OLF and Ob Jaarra of ULFO.
After many years of struggle, now the trend tends to consolidate in favour of the 2nd option. People in the first group started to recognize that ignoring the right of Oromos to self-determination is no more possible because of the irriversible growth of Oromo nationalism to demand self-rule of Oromia. Politicians in the third group still heisitate to accept the 2nd option, but the feasibility of their goal with in the current international geo-political condition in a near future is minimal, so that many of their supporters also tend to accept the 2nd option as the temporary COMPROMISE solution.

That is why I do dare to say that achieving INDEPENDENT Oromia in an INTEGRATED Ethiopia now is the only feasible option. Therefore the move of G7M and OLF to struggle together for FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY in Ethiopia is very smart and timely. It is a middle way compromise solution to the apparently irreconcilable goals of these two political organizations (OLF struggles for INDEPENDENT Oromia and G7M wants to achieve an INTEGRATED Ethiopia). Any alliance similar to AFD is the best way to internal self-determination of Oromos and to the democratization as well integration of Ethiopia. The result will be INDEPENDENT Oromia in an INTEGRATED Ethiopia. It is not just a fancy, but a fact to be realized. This project is part and parcel of realizing national freedom of all nations aka "ethnies" in Africa with continental UNION of all nations to be independent from both old and neo-colonialists.

Other wise we all need to think which level politician we are? Continental? National? Provincial? District? or Local? Here is the reason why I dare to ask this question:

To tackle the present global challenge, Africans are trying to come together and forge an AUG (African Union Government).
Africa can be neither a melting pot nor a union of well developed only mono-national-states. The nations in Africa are diverse in development and size. What is good for Africa is to build a union with autonomous national areas for all nations aka "ethnies"
The 5 tier organization (African Federation --- Mono-/Multinational States --- Mono-/Multinational Provinces --- Mono-/Multionational Districts and Mono-/Multinational Communities) is the best way of adiministrative Organization for Africa.

In Short Ethiopian model can be used as that of African, just changing its fake status under Weyane to a very genuine one, for which OLF and the likes are struggling!! The only question you people need to ask your self is that, at which level are you thinking, talking and walking??

In short the common ground is every thing which promotes National Liberty of all nations ("ethnies") and regional/continental Unity of all liberated nations in Africa. Is there any sound minded African opposing this???

AyaNayzgi said...

Fayyis said,

"That is why I do dare to say that achieving INDEPENDENT Oromia in an INTEGRATED Ethiopia now is the only feasible option." Now that people and organizations of Obbo Bulcha are at their growing political influence inside Ethiopia.

But back then when the OLF was at its peak people like Fayyis used to say the only and only option is: "the struggle for INDEPENDENT Gadaa Republic of Oromia (EXTERNAL self-determination of Oromos) without any compromise, which is represented by Ob Galaasa of OLF and Ob Jaarra of ULFO."


Before we know it people such as Fayyis will end up being in the first group which is the most logical and viable cause to fight and sacrifice for - "the struggle for individual FREEDOM and DEMOCRACY in Ethiopia disregarding the national self-determination of Oromos. People like Ad. Birtukan in UDJ and Dr. Berihanu in G7M belong to this group."

So to Fayyis and people alike, I say please be consistent I am already getting confused with your ever revolving positions.

Fayyis said...

AyaNayzgi,
it is good that we are confusing you!!That is part of our strategy. At the END we will have what we want, be it this way or that way, slowly but surely!!

Fayyis said...

Hallo Ephrem,
where are you? You asked my take on the possible common ground of ALL oppositions against Weyane, but you showed no response! What about your take?? Can you accept mine or are you against mine and do you have your own???

Ephrem Madebo said...

Fayyis,

I didn’t like your answer. My question was very specific. How do Ginbot 7, OLF, and the other Oromo organizations work together? Working together needs give and take (compromising). What will the Oromos give and what do they expect from Ginbot 7 and other non-Oromo organizations? What each party takes depends on what it’s willing to give. The main idea here is to bring the different organizations to the discussion table and decide on the future of Ethiopia. What are your preconditions for this discussion? All in all, what should each party do to begin the talk and end up forging a coalition? I’m tired of the answer you gave me because this is the same answer you’ve been giving us every time you make a comment. My question is different, I need a different answer. Besides, there are many other topics and issues that we can discuss. Here, I see a trend that what ever the topic is, this forum is always dragged to the same Oromo issue. As important as the Oromo issue is, I don’t see this as a positive development. You have to tell us your opinion on other Ethiopian issues too.

Now to comment on your answer, I do believe there are many options and combinations of options that can solve the current politician impasse in Ethiopia. Menilk’s integration of the Oromos with the rest of Ethiopia is not the cause of the current Oromo independence movement. The movement started because the Oromos were treated second class citizens in Ethiopia. Mind you, if the language, humans’ right, culture and democratic right of the Oromos and other nationalities were equality respected, there would have been no reason to ask for independence, even for the Eritreans who were colonized by the Italians. Big Ethiopia would have given more sense than going it alone. Most countries of the world got their current shape through expansion, including the US. I do believe in the inalienable right of people to determine their fate, I also believe in the people’s right to secede. Though I support this basic right, it doesn’t mean I support each and every instance of secession movement. I see the cause and the reason behind it. I do believe in the limitless freedom of people as long as people limit themselves from harming others while exercising their freedom. Here in the US, I support “gay right” in every aspect of life, but I strongly oppose gay marriage because it is against my Christian values and my definition of marriage. In the Ethiopian condition, I do oppose secession of the Oromos because it is against the interest of my own nationality which currently is included in the map of Oromia. The entire Sidama, Gedeo, Koira, Wolita, Kembata, Hadya, Kefficho, and Yem region is included in the map of Oromia. Besides, the region of Shewa is equally inhabited by the Amharas. In Arsi, the second largest population is Amahara. This brings the people of non-Oromo in Oromia region more than 12 million. How do we deal with this people? The good solution is that the Oromos and non-Oromos have to sit together and design a lasting constitution and write a perpetual contract that makes everyone happy in the Ethiopia that will be equal to all. It is the elite that mobilized the Oromos for independence; can’t these same elite convince the Oromos that integration is a better alternative? Without telling us what the Oromo organizations think about this alterative, you tell us what you think. What is the negative part of this alternative? Whether independence or integration, the ultimate wish of people is peace, freedom, justice, and prosperity. If we can deliver these 4 things to people, people prefer to live together even in hell. After all, isn’t hell the absence of freedom?

Fayyis said...

Ephrem,
thanks for the opinion! I think I have given my idea, not only wrote what Oromo organizations think. In short the difference between you and me is that you talk about Ethiopian INTEGRATION with out Oromian INDEPENDENCE, i.e in short get rid of Oromia. I am not against Ethiopian Integration, but I do say, it should not happen at the cost of Oromian Independence.

As an independent thinking person, I am just curious to see if any Oromo organization, leave alone OLF, will take your (G-7) opinion as a common ground! As far as I am concerned, the least what Oromos can accept is: genuine "ethnic" federalism = national self-rule with regional shared rule = national self-determination with multinational democracy = Union of Independent Nations = Independent Oromia in an Integrated Ethiopia. Any effort to dismantle Oromia, be it in the name of CUD or G-7 will have no chance as far as Oromos are concerned.

I just tried to reason with Abeshas and some of you pro UNITY southerners and I could observe that you people want only the Integration of the IMIYE at any cost. Such far right position of yours leads Oromos to the other side of the extreme, which you actually fear, aka no compromise on the Independent Gadaa Republic of Oromia.

By the way it is interesting to listen to Aite Isayas of Eritrea and Dr. Berihanu of G-7 now a days. Aite Isayas, who vehmently fights against the double standard of the WEST revealed his own double standard position: he talks about his non compromising position on Eritrean sovereignity and at the same time denies Oromia's right to the same fate of soverignity. Dr. Berhanu tells us that his organization has now taken no position on the type of federalism Ethiopia should have, but preachs about the precondition of the alliance he wants to build aka acceptance of Ethiopian Unity unconditionally. I am eager to hear or read from OLF regarding these two politicians of the Horn who just brag to be the most rightous persons morally, but deny the God-given right of Oromos and other oppressed nations to self-determination.

Anyways, I now do have an impression that we can never have the common ground we seek. Only time and power balance will show us which vision of the two views will prevail: your wish to dismantle Oromia or my wish to decolonize Oromia (be it with in Ethiopian UNION or with out the Union)!! Thanks for the discussion!!

Ephrem Madebo said...

Fayyis,

Why would we dismantle Oromia? We don’t get rid off what has already been achieved. We just make it better. There is the Oromia federal state now, but are the Oromos administering themselves? I don’t think so! The Oromos and other nationalities must be able to administer themselves! I stand for the kind of federation where all nations or nationalities take the governing activities of themselves with no interference from the center. The relationship between the federal government and the sates must be defined in the constitution. We just can’t have a federal form of government where the federal government dominates sate activities, no! I don’t care what Esays says for he has no say in the future of Ethiopia. Berhanu said: Ginbot 7 works with any group that agrees in the following two conditions: 1. The people are the source of political power be it at the national, state, or local level (one person one vote). 2. There should be a space for the political order that we are fighting to establish, and that space is nothing else, but Ethiopia. So we have to agree in the sovereignty of Ethiopia. The following phrase is added by you: “acceptance of Ethiopian Unity unconditionally”. The reason Ginbot 7 is trying to reach the Oromo orgs and the Oromo orgs trying to reach Ginbot 7 is that there is something common between us. That common thing is the name and country called ‘Ethiopia’ that currently is the place the Oromos and many other nationalities call home. All Berhanu said is let’s start everything from this home. Please don’t add your own phrase on what he said. Ethiopian sovereignty continues as long as a country called Ethiopia continues to exist. It didn’t cease when Eritrea separated from Ethiopia!

No one is bragging to be most righteous persons morally; I think it is your imagination, or may be it is you who is trying to impose your righteousness on others. Please save it for your own salvation. Let’s just discuss issues without attaching our own adjective on others. Peace!

Fayyis said...

Ephrem,
just tell me the difference between:
"There should be a space for the political order that we are fighting to establish, and that space is nothing else, but Ethiopia"
AND
"acceptance of Ethiopian Unity unconditionally”

Ephrem Madebo said...

Fayyis,

There is much difference. When one says you must accept Ethiopian unity unconditionally, he/ she has already defined the unity and he/she is inviting you to come to this already defined unity, which basically means, all others have no say in the unity. In my opinion, one of the main thing to be decided by the Oromos, Amharas, … is the form of the future unity of Ethiopia. In the other side, when we talk about democracy, federation (with all of its mixes), justice, peace and prosperity we are talking about attributes. As far as I am concerned, attributes are things that describe an entity. In our case, the biggest question comes here! Which entity, and where the entity exits. An entity exists in space and time. Let’s assume time is eternal. If so, then what is the space? To me the entity that you, I and others fight (so that they can have all the attributes mentioned above) is the Ethiopian people which include the Amharas, Oromos, Tigreans, Sidmas….. This collective entity exits in the space called “Ethiopia”, not Sudan, Kenya, or any other undefined thing that you may want to call. How do you discuss about a country without calling the country by its name. You may not like the current form of unity, so do I. Let me bring one of your options: Nation based federalism in the integrated Ethiopian context. If we avoid the space Ethiopia, where does the concept of integration come, or integration with what? Whether we go alone, or together, we need to start from the current Ethiopia, and any one who comes to the table should accept that there is current Ethiopia. Otherwise, there will be no starting point!

Fayyis said...

Ephrem,
thanks! Slowly you are becoming clear:
- you are not for dismantling Oromia
- you are for self-rule of all nations in the "political space called Ethiopia"
- "Whether we go alone, or together, we need to start from the current Ethiopia, and any one who comes to the table should accept that there is current Ethiopia."

Now I can see where our misunderstanding was: you are talking about the present CURRENT Ethiopia as a political space to be accepted to start the dialog. I and may be some others understood that as if you are talking about the coming future NEW Ethiopia to be accepted unconditionally.

Now coming to the two conditions g-7 is talking about, I do have no problem with "The people are the source of political power be it at the national, state, or local level (one person one vote)". Regarding the "there should be a space for the political order that we are fighting to establish, and that space is nothing else, but Ethiopia.", if you mean about the present CURRENT Ethiopia, I do agree.

But if we are talking about the future NEW Ethiopia, I just take in to consideration what you said: "Whether we go alone, or together, we need to start from the current Ethiopia." Did I understand you right that you do accept also the possibility of GOING ALONE, if certain public wants so? If this being open for going alone or going together is your and G-7's position, I think we do have common ground. That common ground is: let's accept the CURRENT Ethiopia as a common political space to start the process and then leave the fate of the future NEW Ethiopia to the verdict of the public in democratic process. Am I right??

Ephrem Madebo said...

Fayyis,

As long as this is clear you and me have agreed on something. My opinion is mine as your is yours. OLF and Ginbot 7 are not involved here. It is our and ours only opinion!

Fayyis said...

Ephrem,
thanks! Of course the opinions are mine and yours. If G-7 and OLF accept the opinions and work accordingly, that will be fine.

Anyways the common ground/purpose for our UNITY must be an attempt of forging Independent Oromia, Independent Tigrai, Independent Amhara...etc in an Integrated Africa. That meanse we need to forge Independent Oromia in an Integrated Africa with Finfinne being the capital of both Oromia and Africa. Oromia being at the center, all languages (nations) in Africa can forge their mononational or multinational states. Africa will be the Language based Federation (Union) of these states with national freedom. Then we can ask the question: which level politician are we? Continental? National? Provincial? District? or Local?

The reason why we dare to ask this question is the following. We nations in Africa suffer from conflicts based on colonial borders and because of disregarding national rights as some thing "ethnic". This desigantion "ethnic" instead of nation/nationality/people is used by both European colonizers and their puppet African colonizers aka Abyssinians. In reality Africa was borderless, all being called as Ethiopia (meanse black faced in Greek) or Sudan (also meanse black faced in Arab), both refer to land of blacks. It is true all of Africa is land of blacks.

To tackle the problems of nations in Africa and to deal with the present global challenge, Africans are trying to come together and forge an AUG (African Union Government). We are looking at USA or EU as an example. But both can not be good examples. USA is the melting pot for all nations around the world migrating to America and learning english. EU is the Union of well developed and independent mono-national-states, all with their own respective languages good developed and used.

Africa can be neither a melting pot nor a union of well developed only mono-national-states. The nations in Africa are diverse in development and size. What is good for Africa is to build a union (federation) with autonomous national areas for all nations aka "ethnies".

Based on their size and development, some nations can forge mono-national-state like Oromia. The others, which are too small to have their own state can forge multi-national-state like SNNP of Ethiopia, with all nations having their own Province/Zone, District/Wereda or Community/Qebele as autonomous natonal areas based on their size. Relatively bigger nations like Sidama can have their own autonomous Province, nations smaller than this like Alaba can have autonomous District and the smallest nations like Dorze can have their own Community. Based on their geographical position, certain small nations like Agew and Harari can join the bigger neighbour nations like Amhara or Oromia, but have their own autonomy, be it as province, district or community. Such 5 tier organization (African Federation --- Mono-/Multinational States --- Mono-/Multinational Provinces --- Mono-/Multionational Districts and Mono-/Multinational Communities) is the best way of adiministrative Organization for Africa.

In Short Ethiopian model can be used as that of African, just changing its fake status under Weyane to a very genuine one, for which OLF and the likes are struggling!! Then we will have not only an Integrated region named Ethiopia/HoAfrica, but also an Integrated continent Africa build on the center called Oromia with Finfinne as a capital. The only question we people need to ask our selves is that, at which level are we thinking, talking and walking when we try to deal with politics?? Language Based Federalism (LBF), rather than Geography Based Federalism (GBF)which you seem to support, is the panacea for regional integration of Ethiopia/HoAfrica and continental integration of Africa.