Thugtatorship: The Highest Stage of African Dictatorship – Alemayehu G. Mariam

February 28th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

Thugogracy in Africa

If democracy is government of the people, by the people and for the people, a thugogracy is a government of thieves, for thieves, by thieves. Simply stated, a thugtatorship is rule by a gang of thieves and robbers (thugs) in designer suits. It is becoming crystal clear that much of Africa today is a thugogracy privately managed and operated for the exclusive benefit of bloodthirsty thugtators.

In a thugtatorship, the purpose of seizing and clinging to political power is solely to accumulate personal wealth for the ruling class by stealing public funds and depriving the broader population scarce resources necessary for basic survival. The English word “thug” comes from the Hindi word “thag” which means “con man”. In India “Thugees”, well-organized criminal gangs, robbed and murdered unsuspecting travelers over a century ago. Africa’s “thugees” today mug, rob, pillage, plunder and rape unsuspecting whole nations and peoples and secrete away their billions in stolen loot in European and American banks.

Today, we see the incredibly extreme lengths Libyan thugtator Muammar Gaddafi is willing to go to preserve his thugocratic empire floating on billions of stolen oil dollars hidden in foreign bank accounts and corporate property holdings. The British Government recently announced that it expects to seize “around £20 billion in liquid assets of the Libyan regime, mostly in London.” The Swiss Government has similarly issued an order for the immediate freeze of assets belonging to Gadhafi and his entourage. The Swiss central bank announced that it will freeze Gaddafi’s 613 million Swiss francs (USD$658 million), with an additional 205 million francs (USD$220 million) in paper or fiduciary operations. In 2008, before a diplomatic incident involving the arrest of one of Gaddafi’s sons for assault in Switzerland, Gadhafi’s Swiss holdings amounted to 5.7 billion in cash and 812 million francs in paper and fiduciary operations. In 2006, the Libyan Sovereign WealthFund had investments of $70 billion. The U.S. closed its Embassy in Triopli and slapped a freeze on all Libyan assets described as “substantial.”

To protect his empire of corruption, Gadhafi has ordered his air force to bomb and strafe unarmed civilian demonstrators demanding an end to his 42-year rule. His son Saif al-Islam threatened to dismember the country and plunge it into a civil war that will last for 30 or 40 years. In a televised speech, the young thug promised a bloodbath: “We will fight to the last minute, until the last bullet. I will fight until the last drop of my blood.” The buffoonish al-Islam contemptuously reassured the world: “Plan A is to live and die in Libya. Plan B is to live and die in Libya. Plan C is to live and die in Libya.” For someone who has no official role in government, it was an astonishing statement to make.

Gadhafi himself has vowed to fight on and die “like a martyr” in the service of his thugogracy. He urged his supporters in Green Square to fight back and “defend the nation.” He exhorted, “Retaliate against them, retaliate against them… Dance, sing and prepare. Prepare to defend Libya, to defend the oil, dignity and independence.” Gadhafi promised: “At the suitable time, we will open the arms depot so all Libyans and tribes become armed, so that Libya becomes red with fire.” It is not enough for Gadhafi and his thugs to have bled the Libyan people dry for 42 years, they now want to burn down the whole country to ashes. Apres moi, le deluge! (After me, the flood!)

The Ivory Coast is on the verge of civil war, according to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. In December 2010, Laurent Gbagbo refused to step down after he was decisively defeated in the presidential election. His own Election Commission said his opponent Alassane Ouattara won the election by a nine-point margin. The African Union, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the United Nations, the United States, the European Union all said Ouattara is the winner. Gbagbo has turned a deaf ear and is preparing to plunge the Ivory Coast into civil war to protect his empire of corruption. In 2000, Gbagbo imposed a curfew and a state of emergency andordered security forces to shoot and kill any demonstrators in the streets: “Police, gendarmes and soldiers from all branches of the armed forces are ordered to use all means throughout the country to oppose troublemakers.” Like Gaddafi’s mercenaries today, Gbagbo’s troops back then went on a killing and beating rampage. The European Union, the Swiss and United States Governments have frozen Gbagbo’s assets in their countries.

In May 2010, Meles Zenawi said he won the parliamentary election by 99.6 percent. The European Union Election Observer Team said the election “lacked a level playing field” and “failed to meet international standards”, a well-known code phrase for a “stolen election”. In its 2005 report, the Observer Team said exactly the same thing. Zenawi’s EPDRF party pretty much owns the Ethiopian economy. “According to the World Bank, roughly half of the rest of the national economy is accounted for by companies held by an EPRDF-affiliated business group called the Endowment Fund for the Rehabilitation of Tigray (EFFORT). EFFORT’s freight transport, construction, pharmaceutical, and cement firms receive lucrative foreign aid contracts and highly favorable terms on loans from government banks.” The regime’s own anti-corruption agency reported in 2008 that “USD$16 million dollars” worth of gold bars simply walked out of the bank in broad daylight. A couple of weeks ago, in an incredible display of arrogance and total lack of accountability, Zenawi publicly stated that 10,000 tons of coffee earmarked for exports had simply vanished from the warehouses. He called a meeting of commodities traders and in avideotaped statement told them he will forgive them because “we all have our hands in the disappearance of the coffee”. He warned them that if anyone should steal coffee in the future, he will “cut off their hands”.

In 2005, Zenawi demonstrated the extremes he will go to protect his empire of corruption. Zenawi’s own Inquiry Commission documented that troops under Zenawi’s direct command and control mowed down 193 documented unarmed protesters in the streets and severely wounded nearly 800. Another 30,000 suspected opponents were jailed. In a meeting with high level U.S. officials in advance of the May 2010 election, Zenawi told them in plain words what he will do to his opposition if they try to “discredit the election”: “If opposition groups resort to violence in an attempt to discredit the election, we will crush them with our full force; they will all vegetate like Birtukan (Midekssa) in jail forever.” If Zenawi will “crush” those who “attempt to discredit an election”, it does not leave much to the imagination to figure out what he will do when the people ask him peacefully to leave power.

In April 2010, Omar al-Bashir of the Sudan claimed victory by winning nearly 70 percent of the vote. The EU EOM declared the “deficiencies in the legal and electoral framework in the campaign environment led the overall process to fall short of a number of international standards for genuine democratic elections.” Another election stolen in broad daylight; but that is not all Bashir has stolen. According to a Wikileaks cablegram, “International Criminal Court [ICC] Prosecutor Luis Moreno-Ocampo told [U.S.] Ambassadors Rice and Wolff on March 20 [2009] that [Ocampo] would put the figure of Sudanese President Bashir’s stash of money at possibly $9 billion.” After the ICC issued an arrest warrant for Bashir on charges of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Darfur, the first warrant of its kind for a sitting head of state, a sneering Bashir flipped his middle finger at the ICC: “They will issue their decision tomorrow, and we are telling them to immerse it in water and drink it”, a common Arabic insult which is the equivalent of “they can shove it up their _ _ _.” Bashir recently he said he will not run for the presidency again. (It is not clear if had decided not to run because he wants to enjoy his stolen billions or because he expects to put on the jail jumpsuit of the ICC.)

In February 2010, a group of soldiers in Niger calling itself the “Supreme Council for the Restoration of Democracy” stormed Niger’s presidential palace and snatched president Mamadou Tandja and his ministers. In 2009, Tandja had dissolved the National Assembly and set up a “Constitutional Court” to pave the way for him to become president-for-life. Niger’s state auditorreported that “at least 64 billion CFA francs [USD$128-million] were stolen from Niger’s state coffers under the government of former president Mamadou Tandja.” Tandja is sitting in jail in southwestern Niger.
In March 2008, Robert Mugabe declared victory in the presidential election after waging a campaign of violence and intimidation on his opponent Morgan Tsvangirai and his supporters. In 2003, Mugabe boasted, “I am still the Hitler of the time. This Hitler has only one objective: justice for his people, sovereignty for his people, recognition of the independence of his people and their rights over their resources. If that is Hitler, then let me be Hitler tenfold. Ten times, that is what we stand for.” No one would disagree with Mugabe’s self-description. In 2010, Mugabe announced his plan to sell “about $1.7 billion of diamonds in storage” (probably rejects of his diamond-crazed wife Grace). According to a Wikileaks cablegram, “a small group of high-ranking Zimbabwean officials (including Grace Mugabe) have been extracting tremendous diamond profits.” Mugabe is so greedy that he stole outright “£4.5 million from [aid] funds meant to help millions of seriously ill people.”

In December 2007, Mwai Kibaki declared himself winner of the presidential election. In 2002, Kibaki, criticizing his predecessor Daniel Arap Moi regime, urged the people to “Remain calm, even when intimidated or provoked by those who are desperately determined to rig the elections and plunge the country into civil war.” In 2007, Kibaki and his thugees unleashed such violence against the civilian population that 1500 Kenyans were killed and some 600 hundred thousand displaced, almost plunging Kenya into civil war. The Kroll Report revealed that Moi stole billions of dollars using a “web of shell companies, secret trusts and frontmen” and secreted the loot in 30 countries. Kibaki stonewalled further action on the report, including prosecution of Moi.

The story of corruption, theft, embezzlement and brazen transfer of the national wealth of African peoples to European and African banks and corporate institutions is repeated elsewhere in the continent. Ex-Nigerian President Sani Abacha, who was judicially determined to be a member of acriminal organization by a Swiss court, stole $500 million. Ben Ali of Tunisia and Hosni Mubarak of Egypt also have their stolen assets in the hundreds of millions of dollars frozen in Switzerland and elsewhere. Other African thugtators who have robbed their people blind (and pretty much have gotten away with it) include Nigeria’s Ibrahim Babangida, Guniea’s Lansana Conte, Togo’s Gnassingbe Eyadema, Gabon’s Omar Bongo, Equatorial Guniea’s Obiang Nguema, Burkina Faso’s Blaise Campore and Congo’s (Brazaville) Denis Sassou Nguesso, among others.

Godfathers and African Thugogracies

In previous commentaries, I have argued that the business of African governments is corruption. African thugtators cling to power to operate sophisticated criminal business enterprises to loot their national treasuries and resources. These African “leaders” are actually “godfathers” or heads of criminal families. Just like any organized criminal enterprise, African thugtators use their party apparatuses, bureaucracies, military and police forces to maintain and perpetuate their corrupt financial empires.

When the U.S. first announced its “kleptocracy asset recovery program” to the world in July 2010, U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder delivered the message, not at some international anti-corruption forum, but at the African Union Summit in Kampala, Uganda. Holder told the gathered African thugtators:

Today, I’m pleased to announce that the U.S. Department of Justice is launching a new Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Initiative aimed at combating large-scale foreign official corruption and recovering public funds for their intended – and proper – use: for the people of our nations. We’re assembling a team of prosecutors who will focus exclusively on this work and build upon efforts already underway to deter corruption, hold offenders accountable, and protect public resources.
Holder’s announcement was nothing short of breathtaking. It was as though he was addressing the national convention of the “Commissione” of all the Mafia families from New York City, Chicago, Detroit, Miami, Atlantic City, Las Vegas, St. Louis, Los Angeles and Philadelphia. In Kampala, Holder was talking directly to the African equivalents of the Godfathers of the Bonnano, Columbo, Gambino, Genovese and Lucchese crime families in one place. Absolutely surreal!

The Political Economy of Thugtatorships

Thugtatorships in Africa thrive in the political economy of kleptocracy. Widespread corruption permeates every corner of society. Oil revenues, diamonds, gold bars, coffee and other commodities and foreign aid are stolen outright and pocketed by the thugtators and their army of thugocrats. Public funds are embezzled and misused and state property misappropriated and converted to private use. Publicly-owned assets are virtually given away to supporters in “privatization programs” or secretly held in illegal transactions. Bank loans are given out to front enterprises owned secretly by the thugtators or their supporters without sufficient or proper collateral. Businessmen must pay huge bribes or kickbacks to participate in public contracting and procurement. Those involved in the import/export business are victimized in shakedowns by thugocrats. The judiciary is thoroughly corrupted through political interference and manipulation.

Armageddon: Thugtators’ Nuclear Option

One of the common tricks used by thugtators to cling to power is to terrorize the people with warnings of an impending Armageddon. They say that if they are removed from power, even after 42 years, the sky will fall and the earth will open up and swallow the people. Thugtators sow fear, uncertainty and doubt in the population and use misinformation and disinformation to psychologically defeat, disorient and neutralize the people. Gaddafi thuggish son warned Libya will “spiral into civil war for the next 30 to 40 years and the country’s infrastructure ruined” without the Gadhafi dynasty. He said Libya will be awash in “rivers of blood”. Gadhafi urged his supporters: “This is an opposition movement, a separatist movement which threatens the unity of Libya. We will take up arms… we will fight to the last bullet. We will destroy seditious elements. If everybody is armed, it is civil war, we will kill each other.”

Zenawi has been talking about “genocide” for years. The 2005 European Union Election Observer Mission in its Final Mission Report strongly chastised Zenawi and his associates for morbid genocide rhetoric:

The end of the campaign became more heated, with parties accusing each other of numerous violations of campaign rules. Campaign rhetoric became insulting. The most extreme example of this came from the Deputy Prime Minister, Addisu Legesse, who, in a public debate on 15 April, compared the opposition parties with the Interhamwe militia, which perpetrated the 1994 Rwandan genocide. The Prime Minister made the same comparison on 5 May in relation to the CUD [Coalition for Unity and Democracy]. The EPRDF [Ethiopian People's Revolutionary Democratic Front] made the same associations during its free slots on radio and TV… Such rhetoric is unacceptable in a democratic election.

Zenawi “is quick to talk up threats to his country, whether from malcontents in the army or disgruntled ethnic groups among Ethiopia’s mosaic of peoples. Radical Oromos, a southern group that makes up about a third of Ethiopia’s people, often fall under suspicion.” Last year, hecompared Voice of America radio broadcasts to Ethiopia with broadcasts of Radio Mille Collines which directed the genocide in Rwanda in 1994.

If Africa’s thugtators plan to use the “nuclear option” and bring Armageddon on their societies, they would be wise to know who is destined to win the final battle between good and evil. Gadhafi’s fate now dangles between what he wants to do to bring this unspeakable tragedy to a swift conclusion, the will of the Libyan people once they vanquish his mercenaries and the International Criminal Court to whom the U.N. Security Council has voted unanimously to refer Moammar Gadhafi and members of his government in Libya for investigation and prosecution for crimes against humanity and war crimes.Like al-Bashir of the Sudan, Gadhafi and members of his thugocratic empire will not escape the long arms of justice. The days of massacring unarmed demonstrators, strafing and bombing civilians and detention of innocent people by the tens of thousands with impunity are gone. Justice may be delayed but when the people open the floodgates of freedom, “justice (not blood) will run down like water, and righteousness like a mighty stream” and wash out the wreckage of thugtatorship into the sea.

Thugtators and Their Business Partners in Africorruption, Inc.

Africa’s thugtatorships have longstanding and profitable partnerships with the West. Through aid and trade, the West has enabled these thugocracies to flourish in Africa and repress Africans. To cover up their hypocrisy and hoodwink the people, the West is now lined up to “freeze” the assets of the thugtators. It is a drama they have perfected since the early days of African independence. The fact of the matter is that the West is interested only in “stability” in Africa. That simply means, in any African country, they want a “guy they can do business with.” The business they want to do in Africa is the oil business, the (blood) diamond business, the arms sales business, the coffee and cocoa export business, the tourism business, the luxury goods export business and the war on terrorism business. They are not interested in the African peoples’ business, the human rights business, the rule of law business, the accountability and transparency business and the fair and free elections business.

Today, the West is witnessing a special kind of revolution it has never seen: A youth-led popular nonviolent revolution against thugtatorships in Africa and the Middle East. Neither the West nor the thugtators know what to do with this kind of revolution or the revolutionaries leading it. President Obama said, “History will end up recording that at every juncture in the situation in Egypt, that we were on the right side of history.” Well, what is good for Egypt is good enough for Ethiopia, Libya, Tunisia, the Sudan, Algeria, Kenya, Bahrain, Djbouti, Somalia…, and Zimbabwe. The decisive question in world history today is: Are we on the right side of history with the victims of oppression or are we on the wrong side with thugtators destined to the dustbin of history?

Power to Youths in Africa and the Middle East!

Sapere Aude!

“Cowardice asks the question: is it safe? Expediency asks the question: is it political? Vanity asks the question: is it popular? But conscience asks the question: is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor political, nor popular – but one must take it simply because it is right.” –Dr. Martin L. King

  1. Sheger
    | #1

    Thank you professor,

    We got to teach them what they need to learn. At least that.
    Thanks again.

  2. Demissie
    | #2

    Here is a best quote it will tell what’s all in my mind:”Not to blame our former rulers, our forefathers may have sang about the river Nile(Abay) and our history in many languages but let us give credit where it is due , it is the EPRDF that is walking the talk by not only singing about Abay but building Dams and recovering stolen and looted artifacts and monuments! That is the new Ethiopian spirit that will serve the nation for the coming generations beyond…history is in the making and our extremists are not part of it!” Amen to that. Your are full of yourself to be any good to any one else.

  3. Meles should be brought to justice
    | #3

    I am grateful for Professor Alemayehu and the likes of him. I wish some how, the well written articles we read on various Ethiopian websites gets read by people around the world to show how dictator Meles abuses his power, loots and massacred innocent Ethiopians.

  4. dick from addis
    | #4

    please tell us what you want,don’t go around the bush.
    you don’t want meles that is fine but do you have some one who can take over or you just want change with no one to lead.what is your plan after you remove meles?

    talking about change with out telling us what you plan is like following a blind man. you write a good english keep on practicing writing a long assay(article )

    nex time you write a——————z .

  5. Remove the butcher!
    | #5

    dick from addis,
    No other Ethiopian will ever be worse than the criminal dictator Meles that has looted, locked up hundreds of thousands innocent Ethiopians, killed tens of thousands Ethiopians, Somalis, Ertreans and given our land to foreigners.

  6. Compromise
    | #6

    The best instrument against the thugtators in Ethiopia is to deal with the Weyane’s didive and rule meathod!

    Is the Amhara-Oromo face-off a hinderance to the possible revolution in Ethiopia?

    Yes, now, it is the time for the revolution against any colonizer, tyrannt or dictator, be it in Ethiopia or some where else. Almost all citizens and nations in the Ethiopian empire are now calling for the revolution as the best instrument to get rid of the fascist regime. Of course that is why Weyane is doing everything under the sky to prevent us from revolting. We know that as long as Weyane is in power, we will suffer not only as refugee in diaspora, but also as slaves at home in Oromia. Unfortunately, the Amhara-Oromo face-off is yet a hinderance to the possible revolution, i.e. it is a hinderance to the necessary change of the tyrannt regime. It seems that the Amhara-Oromo face-off (neutralizing each other) is a very good historical advantage/opportunity, which Weyane got to rule over Ethiopia without any serious challenge and this face-off didn’t get an appropriate solution. Weyane survives and thrives mainly by dividing and polarizing Amhara vs Oromo as well as by sowing fear and mistrust among/between them. We do still hear/read that both camps (the Amhara camp and the Oromo camp) do live under a grave fear and mistrust of each other, so that they seem to prefer Weyane’s further rule to the possibility of allowing each other take over any sort of power.

    But, I think a well co-ordinated FDG (fincila diddaa garbummaa = non-violent popular uprising) of the Oromo people in co-operation with that of the other nations in that cursed empire is still the best way of a struggle to get rid of the fascist Weyane. Actually the Oromo people do have nothing to lose, if the expected revolution comes. One thing, beside many, in favour of the Oromo liberation movement, is the fact that Weyane will leave Finfinne palace, only after securing its goal, i.e after securing an independence of Tigrai. Of course together with such move of Weyane, Oromia’s chance to get its independence is high. Because of this reason, both the Amhara conservative feudal lords and the Western protectors of the Ethiopian empire don’t want to see Weyane being cornered. They surely know that cornering Weyane is almost tantamount to disintegrating the empire. That is why, it is not the Oromo people, but firstly the Weyane itself, secondly the colonial minded Amhara conservative elites and thirdly their Western handlers, who do fear the coming of the revolution to Ethiopia. Thus, the democratic Amhara forces pushing for the revolution are not as such dangerous for the Oromo liberation movement. Even if not Oromian independence per referendum, we can achieve Oromian autonomy through a genuine federalism within an Ethiopian union (achieve the national freedom of the Oromo people) as a result of the possible revolution.

    That is why Weyane cadres are nowadays very busy to hinder the revolution from taking place in the Ethiopian empire by using the fact that the peoples of the empire are not homogeneous, but different (the colonized and the colonizer), as an instrument of division and polarization. If the scare tactics, which they try to use, hinder the revolution, the only option we the colonized people do have is the anti-colonial armed struggle, on which we have to concentrate and invest most, even though it is a very difficult job, given the little support we do have from the international community. For the revolution possibilly not to take place, unfortunately also the pro-independence freedom fighters (the Oromo, Ogaden, Sidama… liberation forces) and the pro-unity freedom fighters (the Amhara, Gurage, Harari… patriotic forces) are still mistrusting each other. Both want to secure the direction of the move after the freedom from Weyane (to secure the result after the revolution). The first bloc wants no reversal of the already achieved victory of a limited cultural autonomy on the way towards national independence (self-determination), whereas the second bloc wants to be sure that the empire stays intact and possiblly the process will be reversed back to the unitary country.

    But, why should these people worry too much about the situation after the revolution? Is the caution regarding the unity of the empire, which is lamented by the pro-unity freedom fighters, different from the scare tactics used by the Weyane cadres? The cadres go to Oromo forums and tell us the “worse will come; Amhara will take over and there will never be the reality of Aayyo Oromia, if you push for the revolution”; and then they go to Amhara forums and tell them “take care, the worse will come; OLF can take over and it will be the end of Imiyee Ethiopia, if you make a revolution”. Both Aayyo Oromia and Imiye Ethiopia are actually taken hostage by the Weyane. Whenever Oromo force is stronger, Weyanes threaten with the possibility of dismantling Oromia; and whenever Amhara force is stronger, they threaten with dismembering Ethiopia.

    Weyanes use the opportunity of such division among the opposition to threaten both camps of the freedom fighters. If the revolution should happen, the two camps of the freedom fighters need to be bold enough to take risk of losing their ideals after the revolution and live with a possible compromise solution: the first bloc should be ready to lose for instance Oromia, Ogadenia… and the second camp should be ready to risk Ethiopia. Otherwise, in short, Weyane is really lucky, there will never be any revolution; and getting rid of Weyane through election is of course minimal, that is why armed struggle then will be the only option left. If both the public uprising and the armed struggle are not effective, shouldn’t we then be ready to be ruled by Weyane for the next one century? In short the scare tactics, which the Weyane cadres nowadays do use are:

    - “if revolution happens, Amharas can take over and dismantle Oromia”
    - “if revolution happens, Oromos will be in power and dismember Ethiopia”
    - “if revolution happens, Weyane army is not like Tunisia’s army, but will massacre the civillians and take over power”
    - “if revolution happens, there can be a mayhem against the Tigreans, like that of Ruanda”
    - “if revolution happens, there will be absolute chaos and civil war among different ethnies”

    Are the freedom fighters from both blocs (pro-independence freedom fighters and pro-unity freedom fightrers) ready to tacle this scare tactics of Weyane? Can they agree on the middle ground: freedom and referendum (on self-determination of citizens and nations)? Those freedom fighters, who just sing about the unconditional independence of nations must cool down and accept the public verdict, as well as those freedom fighters who now cry for the unconditional unity also should learn to be moderates and accept the public verdict. That means both camps must agree on first to get freedom from Weyane fascists and racists, and then democratically decide for either Independence or Unity per referendum; i.e. only democratic independence or democratric unity (independence or unity based on public verdict) can be a lasting solution. We like it or not, all peoples in that region are interdependent, be it they decide for political Independence or for political Union. The political will of the peoples in the empire/region is what matters at the end!

    Unfortunately, there are still some blind nationalists in both the Amhara and the Oromo camps, who yet couldn’t see the common convergent short term goal of the two big nations, i.e. the ‘freedom from Weyane’s fascism’. Such blind nationalists concentrate on only their divergent long term goals: independent Oromia (Oromo’s goal) vs united Ethiopia (Amhara’s goal). But the smart nationalists from both the Amhara and the Oromo camps are trying to forge an alliance to achieve together their convergent common short term goal and then to decide on their respective long term goals through public verdict (by referendum). The blind ones are too far from accepting and respecting the will of their respective public as a final verdict. That means, in short, the blind nationalists do preach democracy, which includes the referendum, but they are not yet ready to practice what they do preach. We hope the few smart and genuinely democratic nationalists in both camps, who try to practice what they do preach, will prevail to cooperate and make Weyane’s fascism be history. Here we also can call the blind nationalists as dictatorial nationalists. Those who want to achieve either ‘Independent Oromia’ or ‘United Ethiopia’ per public referendum are democratic Oromo nationalists and Amhara nationalists respectively. The others who just want to achieve their long term goal without a public verdict are purely dictators, who can talk about freedom and democracy, but know nothing what freedom and democracy really mean.

    Those of us, who do have a cognitive ability to imagine something in abstract way, let’s just try to imagine a very big letter ‘Y’ and try to distinguish four points on the letter (the bottom tip, the middle junction, the left top tip, and the right top tip). Then let’s imagine that the bottom tip is the status-quo of Ethiopian politics, where both the Amhara and the Oromo are under the Tyranny of Weyane; the middle junction is a point for Freedom of both nations from the tyranny; the left top tip is the point of Oromian Independence; and the right top tip is the point for Ethiopian Union. Then let’s imagine that this letter ‘Y’ is a route of the liberation journy for both the Amhara and the Oromo from the tyranny, from their present common situation, towards their short term and long term goals. Can we imagine that these two oppressed nations do have a possibility to move from the bottom tip (point of tyranny) to the middle junction (point of freedom) together? This is our common route of the journey towards the common converging short term goal. Then will come the two diverging routes towards the two different and diverging long term goals of the two nations: the left top tip = Oromian Independence (long term goal of Oromo) and right top tip = Ethiopian Union (long term goal of Amhara).

    Now if we could imagine this well, it is not hard to comprehend that we need the Amhara-Oromo alliance (the all-inclusive alliance) to move from the status-quo of tyranny to the point of Freedom, not to move together to the right top tip (together to the Ethiopian Union, the long term goal of the Amhara elites) or together to the left top tip (together to the Oromian Independence, the long term goal of the Oromo people). After achieving our Freedom together, it is upto the Oromo public to decide through referendum which direction to move further: to the left top tip of Oromian Independence or to the right top tip of Ethiopian Union. If the Oromo majority will choose to move to the right top tip, then our long term Kaayyoo (goal) will be similar to that of the Amhara. Otherwise, if the Oromo majority will choose to move to the left top tip, no Amhara can hinder the Oromo nation from achieving this Oromian Independence. I think there are in general three main possible karaa (ways of struggle) leading us to bilisummaa / to freedom / to netsaannet:

    - Armed Struggle, which was the karaa chosen by the OLF and by the other Oromo liberation fronts,
    - Popular Uprising, which is not yet tried in a well coordinated way, but now seems to be the upcoming option, and
    - Electoral Struggle, which was the karaa chosen by the OFC and by the other Oromo democratic federalists, despite the undemocratic nature of Weyane in particular and that of the Abyssinian rulers of the the empire in general.

    From these three karaa, we have seen that both the armed struggle and the electoral struggle were not yet successful. The armed struggle is too slow because of the limited support from the so called international community and the electoral struggle failed due to the undemocratic nature of the empire and that of its brutal rulers. The option of the popular uprising was tried separately by only the Oromo students during the time span of 2000 – 2007 and by the Amhara urbanites after the “election” 2005.

    Because of such un-coordination and un-cooperation between the different nations in the empire, specially due to the polarization of the Amhara and the Oromo, the hitherto fragmented popular uprisings were not successful. But in the future, it seems that there is a hope for a possible alliance of these nations against the Weyane, which can lead to a successful uprising and also be a quicker way leading us to bilisummaa. I think the combination of the above three karaa in an optimaly calculated and planned manner is the best way towards freedom. That is why Weyane cadres nowadays do their best to hinder this revolution from coming and of course “our smart Afaan Oromo speaking/writing Weyane messangers” are trying to do their job among the Oromo, both in the cyber world and in the real Oromo community. May Waaqa/Igzabiher help us all to understand these moves of both the foes and the friends!

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