High time to exalt martyrs and reclaim stolen election – Robele Ababya

April 24th, 2010 Print Print Email Email

Peace and reconciliation in sight

The Orange Tree thrown into a notorious filthy jail in December 2008 has multiplied tens of millions times making its mighty presence felt across the globe. Halleluiah! (more…)

Peace and reconciliation in sight

The Orange Tree thrown into a notorious filthy jail in December 2008 has multiplied tens of millions times making its mighty presence felt across the globe. Halleluiah!

Our dream of the rebirth of Ethiopia as a blessed land of liberty, peace and freedom – where there shall be no more political prisoners – is insight giving hope for the present and future generations of Ethiopia.

Amen to no more prisoners of conscience in Ethiopia!

The Orange Tree that was cruelly thrown to a narrow dark cell in solitary confinement for 170 days has truly multiplied to the dismay of those who wanted the Tree to wilt and die.
Glory to God for He protects those of His choice to lead the noble cause of unity, democracy, and justice!

It is time for the Orange Tree to come out of the filthy cell and nurture the trees to grow up, mature and yield fruits exuding sweet scents of love, truth, forgiveness and mutual understanding.

Birtukan Mideksa has enviable record for forgiveness which is all the more reason to demand her immediate release for the sake of peace, truth and reconciliation at this critical time.

Tribute to martyrs

The politically-motivated assassination of Biyansa Daba is another gruesome act of evil by the ruling TPLF Party. The swift denial by the government spokesman, Shimeles Kamal, is another reminder that telling blatant lies is an officially sanctioned modus operandi of the brutal regime. These embarrassing official lies must stop. Independent probe into circumstances leading to the reported death is imperative.

Nothing more is important than express deep gratitude to our fallen martyrs and all those who had suffered in the aftermath of the outbreak of the Ethiopian in 1974. It is time to renew our resolve to advance the cause for which they paid the ultimate sacrifice or suffered in various ways under the leadership of coward Mengistu who fled the country after 17 years of misrule leaving the door wide open to let in Meles to assume power and do much worse than all his of his predecessors in ruining the interests of Ethiopia all and sundry and committing heinous crimes unprecedented in our long history.

Barren tree of Revolutionary Democracy

In the aftermath of the stolen election 2005, it is a matter of indisputable record that hundreds were killed in cold blood, tens of thousands were incarcerated and as many homes were left in grief for the loss of their loved ones. This gruesome act, by security forces under the direct command of Meles, unleashed on peaceful protesters has been roundly condemned by the international community. Even the Carter Center in its capacity as observer of the election belatedly after years of delay, put the blame for the atrocities on the ruling regime.
The point is that the present and future generations of Ethiopia owe a debt of gratitude to fallen heroes and heroines as well as to all those other victims affected in the aftermath of election 2010.

The sun is setting in the serfdom of the Meles regime. The double-digit growth of the economy claimed by Meles in his last annual address to his mediocre converts in parliament has been disproved by the IMF forecast of only 4.7%. To justify shortage and escalating cost of sugar, he credited his regime by saying the peasants are consuming the commodity for the first time, which is a laughable and desperate excuse.

All that glitters is not gold to the unemployed millions of Ethiopians, most of them young. The high-rise buildings lining the streets and the good roads soon to entail enormous maintenance costs mean little to the common man living in abject poverty. These constructions with borrowed money are typical of a dictatorial regime that cares about its own image for survival at the expense of setting aside all-inclusive economic development including especially human capital development.

The regime stands accused for, inter alia: 1) betrayal of vital national interests such as willful collaboration with the Eritrean despot to deny Ethiopia access to the Red Sea frontier which is a lifeline to her economy and essential barrier to her security; 2) massacre of hundreds and incarceration of tens of thousands of peaceful protesters of stole election thus bring grief and agony to as many families and friends; 3) payment of US$ one billion annual rent to Djibouti for the use of its harbor; 4) failure to bring to justice perpetrators of heinous crimes including genocide; 5) naked aggression of Somalia and the resultant heavy burden of compensation in the process of normalization of neighborly relations.

All in all, the TPLF regime has not delivered. Revolutionary Democracy has miserably failed only to be remembered as a reckless experiment.

The TPLF regime is like a proverbial tree that fails to produce fruit; the eventual fate of such a tree is to be cut.

The question now is what options are available to this obstinate TPLF regime:

• Open the political space immediately and set the stage for a fair, free and credible election; to that end release Birtukan Mideksa and all political prisoners.

• Agree to set up an independent commission of peace, truth and reconciliation and bring criminals to justice; and

• Remain adamant with its reckless course of action of open invitation to an all-inclusive confrontation with the opposition; God forbid this catastrophic option for which generous donors of the regime would at least morally be held accountable.

This writer sincerely hopes that the Virginia Declaration: “We call upon all political parties, including the TPLF/EPRDF, to convene an all inclusive National Conference for Peace and Reconciliation, with a view to establishing a Transitional Government of National Unity that prepares the country for an unfettered free and fair election” will be respected by all stakeholders during and in the aftermath of election 2010.

Peace, truth and reconciliation are the only option that will avert catastrophic civil strife in our country and instability in the Horn of Africa.

Inter-ethnic group co-operation

It is time to opt for cooperation between and among all the 83 ethnic groups of Ethiopia on a scale seen during: the famous Battle of Adwa; the short-lived invasion of Ethiopia by Italian Fascist; the Ethiopian -Eritrean war of 1998 – 2000; the numerous military aggressions by external forces including Egypt, Turkey during the Ottoman expansionist Empire, and unfortunately our neighbor Somalia.

The Ethiopian regime in power is illegitimate. It is behaving as an occupying power – not as a government of Ethiopia run by her citizens.

Therefore there is need for all ethnic groups to cooperate at least symbiotically in order to stem the damage done by TPLF and save what is left of the ruins before it is too late.

Medrek as a beacon of hope

Medrek is increasingly seen as the last hope of Ethiopians in quest for peaceful change to democratic order and bloodless transfer of power. Any attack on Medrek such as by Author Tesfaaye Gebreab – suspect secret agent of either Isaias or Meles or both – amounts to subversion of national interests of Ethiopia and contempt for the intelligence of tens of millions of UDJP/Medrek supporters.

Medrek is a true representative of all ethnic groups with the broadest common interest. It is a model of a brilliant political solution for addressing multiple problems of Ethiopia.

The road ahead is rough and tough. But the struggle must go on while watching imposters with sheep’s clothing.

Ethiopians have only God and themselves to reclaim stolen election and determine their future as citizens of independent and democratic nation-state under the rule of law made by them.
In closing, this writer expresses his appreciation to all members of Medrek for their courage to face a tyrant on our home soil in order to advance the cause of peaceful change in a hostile political environment increasingly being exacerbated by TPLF/EPRDF as election 2010 is approaching.

Release Birtukan Mideksa and all political prisoners!

LONG LIVE ETHIOPIA!!!

robele_ababya@yahoo.com

  1. AFDist
    | #1

    Oromo: It Is Clear That OFC Is Better Than OPDO, But Is MEDREK Better Than Weyane’s EPRDF?

    Here I am showing my freedom to contradict my hitherto opinions on MEDREK. I was one of the few Oromo, who were advocates of Medrek vis-à-vis the fascist ruling Weyane. I wrote some articles in support of it. I tried to indicate that Medrek was a way forward only if killil-federation is part of its program. I noted that Dr. Negasso’s move was not backward, but forward, only if the party he joined, UDJ, and the alliance he helped build, Medrek, were the promoters of the genuine language-based federation.

    In one of my articles, I indicated why Medrek could be good for Oromo to achieve a mid-kayyoo (goal) in contrast to AFD, which was good to arrive at the end-kaayyoo, considering Medrek as a promoter of the language-based federation. Even I went further and exalted Medrek’s Ethiopia (Ethiopia with autonomous national areas including Oromian autonomy) as a prototype for the future African federation. I took Medrek as a good compromise alliance, next to AFD, which really acted against the “divide and rule” game of the fascist regime. For that reason, I even recommended Birtukan “Mandela” to be the formal chairperson of Medrek. Were these all “naive” assertions from me? I was also surprised by the reservation of most Oromo nationalists regarding Medrek.

    Oromo nation’s political interest is crystal clear: a move from the status quo of slavery (garbummaa) towards a realization of the full national freedom (bilisummaa). Any measure to be taken in supporting this move should be accepted by Oromo nationalists. The question now important is: can we consider that Medrek’s ambitions and actions do promote this liberation movement? I am now asking this question after following Medrek’s meetings at home and in Diaspora in the past few weeks. As I repeatedly mentioned, the rhetoric of individuals and parties in that empire regarding democracy, individual freedom, justice, development, peace, equality, prosperity, etc. is not important for the Oromo people to judge who these forces are. These values are important, and no one denies them, even the members of the fascist ruling Weyane talk about such moral virtues.

    The only important virtue to be taken by Oromo as a factor to judge these politicians is their position on the right of nations to self-determination, including independence. It is clear Weyane talks this virtue, but walks against it. Unfortunately, Medrek is NOT even talking the virtue, let alone walking it. I know OFC has got clear position on achieving and promoting Oromian autonomy in the Ethiopian context. But, Medrek leaders talked ambiguously in all the meetings they held till now, and then they explicitly told us in a meeting they held in Washington recently that there was no clear agreement between the member parties on the type of federation they wanted to forge, if they took over the government position.

    I personally think that the only major difference among the opposition parties in the empire is the position they do have on the type of federal structure. There are two types of federalists: the killil-federalists, who believe in the right of Oromia and other national areas to be autonomous, and the xeqilaigizat-federalists, who want to dismantle Oromia with a pretext of fostering geography-based federation. Parties like AEUP are clearly xeqilaigizat-federalists. Thanks to Waaqayyoo/Rabbii, these parties do no more brag about bringing back a unitary Ethiopia with only one official language (Amharic). Weyane’s EPRDF is at least ideologically killil-federalist even though it is implementing a revolutionary centralism, through which it is promoting Tigean hegemony.

    According to the explanation given by Medrek leaders in the Washington meeting with its Diaspora supporters, it seems that UDJ still insists on its anti-killil position and with that, the party revealed its desire to dismantle Oromia. Dr. Negasso also showed clearly his backward political development as he tried to describe how bad it was for Oromo from Borana to come to Finfinne, and for Amhara from Debre-berihan to go to Bahir-Dar in order to settle their court cases. His explanation implies that he is ready to accept the division of Oromia into pieces.

    Interesting is also to observe that the known anti-killil Ethiopianist scholars like Robele Ababiya, Ephrem Madebo and Tecola Hagos supporting this move of Medrek. Such scholars do think that with their anti-killil rhetoric they do fight against Weyane. They still do not get the fact that killil-federation is not the will and wish of Weyane, but that of Oromo nationalists and the nationalists of other oppressed peoples. Specially clear is that Amhara nationalists hiding behind Ethiopiawinet do this move against Oromo’s right to self-administration. Trying to discredit killil-federation in favor of their alternative xeqilaigizat-federation is simply put a move against Oromo people’s political will.

    So Medrek seems now not to be an alliance to promote Oromian autonomy in the Ethiopian context, which could be a good compromise solution for the conflict between Amhara nationalists, who hide behind the mask of Ethiopian nationalism and who are advocates for Imiye’s unity, and Oromo nationalists, who fight for Oromian independence. Medrek seems to be an alliance of both killil-federalists like OFC and xeqilaigizat-federalists like UDJ against Weyane just to get rid of the regime without having a common vision regarding federal arrangement. How long can such alliance of the contradictory ideologies hold together is a big challenge they need to overcome.

    Surprisingly, I have seen the young hyper-active Oromo nationalist, Jawar Mohamed, adoring this alliance even though the position of the alliance is not the same to his position on the should-be compromise solution. According to his presentation on the recent “Ethiopian and Horn of African conference”, which took place in Virginia, he is the advocate of a true “ethnic-federation” as a moderate/liberal position between the two extreme poles of the right-extremist “reactionary Ethio-nationalists”, who want to dismantle Oromia and the left-extremist “revolutionary or radical Ethno-nationalists”, who want to dismember Ethiopia. Is now Jawar fooling himself or is he deceived by the referendum rhetoric given by Medrek leaders?

    Medrek leaders said in the Washington meeting that the discussion among member parties on the federal structure would go on and if they would not have any consensus, they would go for verdict of the public. If they are as such democrats to go for referendum to determine the type of federation we want to have, why couldn’t they be so democratic to accept also the right of nations to decide on the type of sovereignty they want to have (e.g Oromian autonomy within the Ethiopian union vs. Oromian independence without a union) per referendum?

    It seems Habesha politicians in UDJ are playing very smart politics. They used the method of elites’ consensus to make Oromo nationalists in OFC accept Ethiopian unity unconditionally (without Oromo public verdict) and now they want to use the instrument, public referendum, to decide on the structure of the federation. It seems Oromo nationalists, as yewah (harmless) as they seem to be, agreed to the game. Fair agreement would have actually been either to use consensus in both decision-making processes or to apply referendum in both cases. Looking at the harmless move of Oromo politicians in Medrek, it is not surprising that we read on Habesha websites how yewah Oromo elites like Dr. Negasso and Obbo Bulcha are.

    When we do observe the drum-beating of the xeqilaigizat-federalists, who are claiming that “Ethiopiawinet has won” and are declaring that “ethno-nationalism is loosing” as Medrek had come forward, we just can say it is a wake-up call for Oromo nationalists to check their position. No wonder that Oromo grass-root is so cautious in supporting the move of Medrek against Article-39 and so skeptical to accept its position against the right of nations to self-determination, including independence. Medrek people should not be surprised if they see Oromo mass voting for OPDO rather than for them in the coming “election”. The principle “yemiyawuqut seyixan kemayawuqut meli’ak yishalal” (a known devil is better than unknown angle) can prevail.

    It would have been better if Medrek leaders came out explicitly supporting true killil-federation and get support of all Oromo, Tigrai, Somali, Afar, Southern, Benishangul and Gambella, even if the majority of Amharas are against such federal arrangement. Now they wanted to appease the anti-killil Amharas and at the same time to appeal to the pro-killil others – an approach which actually may not be helpful and productive. I am afraid that they lose anti-killil voters to AEUP and pro-killil voters to EPRDF.

    As I tried to describe above, the rhetoric about only the buzz words like freedom, democracy and justice is not sufficient. The important issue, which actually most politicians try to evade, is the issue of the federal structure. Oromo federalists in OFC seem to be compelled or convinced to forge Oromian autonomy within Ethiopian unity, whereas specially Amhara elites are doing every thing possible to get rid of Oromia for they fear that Oromo elites are not for Ethiopian unity per se.

    It is fact that the hitherto so called Ethiopian unity was built partly by the sacrifice of known Oromo military men and politicians. Starting from Oromo “migration” in 16th century, through the “democratic” election of Ras Michael-I in Abyssinia in 1877, till the end of Mengistu regime in 1991, Oromo politicians played big roles in forming and maintaining the present shape of the empire. The convinced pro-Ethiopian unity Oromo nationalists believe that even the so called Habeshas (Amharas and Tigarus) are biologically either Oromo or Agew, nothing else, but differ only in speaking a specific other language called Amharinya or Tigrinya. With this theory, they try to justify their pro-unity position. But it is absurd that now at this particular post modern 21st century, Habesha politicians try to dumb Oromo and other oppressed nations by being represented in the politics of the empire as “pan-Ethiopian parties” like AEUP, EPPF, EPRP, G7M, and UDJ, instead of showing themselves honestly as Amharas or Tegarus. Oromo nationalists say: “stop to hide behind the name Ethiopia and come as Habesha (Amhara or Tegaru), then we can make a genuine alliance against the fascist regime.” I hope Habesha elites, in general, and Amhara politicians, in particular, will gradually start to take off their masks, the name Ethiopia, and approach the Oromo people as being who they really are, as Amhara and/or Tigaru so that we can build a common home called Ethiopia/Horn. The current move of Tegaru nationalists like Siye and Gebru to put on the masks, by learning from their Amhara friends, as well as the ever increasing rhetoric and song of Weyane about Ethiopiawinet also do not change the reality.

    In the future political landscape of the empire, either the elites of both Habesha nations, specially Amhara elites, will learn to be honest and come up showing their true nature or the Oromo nationalists will learn to wear the mask called Ethiopia and play the same game played by Habesha elites. The million dollar question is: can Oromo liberation forces learn to wear this mask (name of Ethiopia), which is accepted and adored by the Western world in order to promote the Oromo cause they are fighting for? We have seen how the new nefxenyas (Weyanes) put on the mask and got the huge support of their masters in the West. The choice which the Western protectorates of the Ethiopian empire give to Oromo politicians seems to be either to wear the mask and be promoted, or to stay honest and be “punished” by the power players of the globe.

    Simply put, our preferable next move in the Oromo liberation journey seems to be to change the fake killil-federation under Weyane to the true one, where Oromian autonomy will be respected and consolidated. I know this is the program of OFC, but I have started to doubt if this is the will and wish of Medrek, in general, and, of course, if it is the intention of the partner organization, UDJ, in particular. I know this conflict (OFC vs. UDJ) may help a bit for the cadres of the hegemonist Weyane and the supporters of the xeqilaigizat-federalists like Hailu Shawel and Mesfin W/Mariam to attack Medrek. Nevertheless, the truth should be told.

    I do believe that the only solution for that troubled region is a liberation of the Oromo nation, be it within or without a union of nations in the region. Liberated Oromo people will be the foundation for the liberation of other nations like Ogadenis, Afars, as well as for those in Benishangul, Gambella and Southern region. These liberated nations can build a union for common benefit, which in the long run can include also the non-hegemonic Amhara people and Tegaru people, be it in a form of confederation or federation based on public verdict of the liberated nations in the region. It is clear that the goal of OFC is a mid-point solution, which can be a good prerequisite for the end-point solution envisioned by OLF. Otherwise, the hoya-hoye (chanting) and the rhetoric made by Medrek leaders and supporters about a mythical Ethiopia of 3000 years and their attempt to make Oromo mass to rally behind their “Ethiopiawinet”, disregarding Oromummaa, will surely be doomed to fail.

    So Oromo nationalists, in particular, and the Oromo people, in general, should check if Medrek is really better than Weyane’s EPRDF in promoting Oromo’s cause. As far as I am concerned, any force trying to dismantle Oromia with a pretext of opposing a “division” into “ethnic-killil“, despite the ‘democracy’ rhetoric it might make, is worse than Weyane. If the choice is between this two (anti-killil and pro-killil) movements, disregarding the sermon they always give on democracy, individual freedom, justice, equality, and development, no wonder if the Oromo people will choose the present fake-killil and rally behind OPDO till the better forces than Weyane come to the political arena of non-divided Oromia, in particular, and to that of the empire, in general, to forge and promote true killil-federation.

    Galatooma!

  2. Tulu
    | #2

    Dear Robel,

    Great Message, as you said all Ethiopians should aware abut the double agent of Meles & Essayes the so called author ” Tesfaye Gebreab” this guy is working hard to dismantle Ethiopians unity by cheating innocent Ethiopians. So Tesfaye it is not your business about Ethiopian politics your country Eritrea has many problems so go there. we don’t want to see you.

  3. aha!
    | #3

    If eprdf stands for revolutionary democracy, how diferent is efdr, a conglomerates of loyalist opposion parties with ethnic agenda and approach to democracy as regards medrek(fdd, where both carry ethnic fedralism and seccessionism agenda under their sleeves and equally talk about democracy?

  4. aha!
    | #4

    Addendum: I agree to what your narratives fullheartedly, if you are not speaking from the perspectives of either of these two political models mentioned above.

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