Dangerous partnership By a patriotic Ethiopian

May 20th, 2011 Print Print Email Email

Nowadays, we hear more often about the new relationship between the armed ethnic groups of Ethiopia and G7 as partners against a common enemy- the TPLF. This article is intended to provide my take on this antiTPLF partnership and its impact on the struggle of the Ethiopian people for unity, freedom and democracy.

What seems to be a cozy relationship now going on between G7, OLF and ONLF (may be some others too??) is a reminder of the political alliance that was formed between TPLF, EPDM (Tamerat Layne, etc.), OLF and other groups about 3 decades ago. This alliance enabled TPLF to assume power in Ethiopia without the will of the Ethiopian people. It enabled Eritrea to secede from its mother land with no appropriate inputs from the people. It caused the country to be divided along ethnic lines and loss its legitimate sea port, fertile lands, national army and many other irreplaceable treasures. The alliance is also a reminder of the formation of FAD, among OLF, ONLF, CUD, SLF, etc., more recently. Many Ethiopians and other nationals, including myself, believe that the formation FDA has contributed to the dismantling of Kinijet (CUD) and to the lack of functional unity among the legitimate (patriotic) Ethiopian opposition. This has been a big blow to the struggle against the mafia regime destroying the country. Given these undeniable facts and in the absence of favorable changes in end game by the armed secessionist groups, it is irresponsible and too risky to accept or even be neutral when aggressive efforts are made to repeat or continue the same power seeking process in a slightly different way at the expense of the Ethiopian people. Unless tangible favorable change of mission is made by those wishing to further dismantle Ethiopia, such an alliance should be rejected openly by all concerned Ethiopians. As a counter to potential problems that may be associated with this alliance and to move the struggle of the people fast forward in the right direction, existing multiethnic proEthiopia armed groups, such as EPPF, need to be supported by the public. From our own experience and those of others there seems to be a need for an armed group to be behind the inevitable people’s revolution, in order to succeed. Although with ill-intentions, that was what TPLF did a few decades ago. The pro-democracy success being witnessed now in Egypt, Tunisia and to some extent in Libya has the support of the military or armed groups.

With this background, let us briefly revise the situations in Egypt, Tunisia and Libya to put things in proper perspective and draw a lesson from that.

As we all know, the revolution spearheaded by the Egyptian youth has been handed over to the army with the promise and hope of fulfilling its intended goal. At the time of the crisis, the army was the best available option left for taking care of the problem. It seems that on balance the Egyptian army is doing what it can towards the fulfillment of promised goal. In its early days of responsibility, it could at least imposed pressure on the ex-President to resign. This is a non-ethnic-based army with a strong love of country and sense of national responsibility. In Tunisia’s case, a new government that emerged upon the demand of the youth following the ousting of the former President has taken the responsibility of governing the country with the promise/hope of transforming the political system and the country for the better. Like Egypt, the new government in power is not affiliated to ethnic ideology but committed to national agenda and interest. In both cases of Egypt and Tunisia, the common factor is a strong leadership with national interest. Although a similar success story cannot be told regarding Libya, the ground work for such an institution has already been achieved. This institution comprises a fighting army which is serving as a nucleus to bring together all Libyans to fight against Gaddaffi in unison. Because of its ability to resist Gaddaffi’s army and its offensive power, it has attracted the attention of the world to the extent of getting international support. No doubt, soon or later it will succeed.

Now back to Ethiopia. How is our situation compared to those of the above countries that are on the road to success? Without a similar kind of support from patriotic armed bodies, can the change or revolution we desire to carry out be feasible? We have to prepare the preconditions to be sure to get what we want. Let us support or establish an armed group to fight tyranny more effectively and remove it for ever from our country, Ethiopia. This should be done now!!

  1. Waqqo
    | #1

    Very sensible piece. You can’t be a friend with a devil though he is groomed to look kind and nice guy. For a partnership with a devil there is only one precondition – when it renounced evil in favor of good.

  2. Behailu
    | #2

    In the first place who are you? Please leave the hard working people alone! Ethiopian unity is endangered by inflexible and uncompromising groups like you who call themselves patriotic Ethiopians. Ethiopia is the undisputed country of the Oromos as it is to the Amharas, Tigreans, Somalis, Sidamas, Kembatas, etc No less no more- so who is patriotic here? Shouldn’t it be everybody? Why do you think you’re patriotic Ethiopian and the folks in G7 are not? Why do you think you are the care taker of Ethiopia and the Folks in G7 are disintegrators? What kind of analysis is this? We are sick and tired of this type ugly patriotism that kills a nation. It is this kind of blind patriotism that alienated itself from reason and contributed for the secession of Eritrea. You are trying to repeat it because you have no brain to learn a lesson. Look, unless we equally share everything in Ethiopia and live with complete freedom and democracy, there will be no peace in that country. To bring peace and build an equally shared nation, we must communicate and to communicate we must include all. Forget your three people EPPF- we need OLF, ONLF, SLF and every group in Ethiopia. We cannot create a united Ethiopia when you speak for me- I must speak for myself and I must represent myself. This is what Ginbot 7 is doing- You are just shedding a crocodile tear because your extremist role in that country is diminishing.

  3. Bilene
    | #3

    Who are you?. you have a bulishet idea and complexity. I think you are from woyane cadere. please stop this pretext fiction. The G7 is doing the real and the most important stratagy for the unity of ethiopia and people to step down a corrupted tyrant Melese government.Thank you

  4. Anonymous
    | #4

    First, thank you Ato Waqoo for your nice words and telling the truth.

    Ato Behailu: Sorry to say, your comment is with no substance. You were not even able to write a single decent word that makes sense. You seem to hate a person who loves his country and people and call himself/herself patriotic. That was what your focus was, instead commenting on the merits of my article. I have no respect for any person who does not love and defend his/her country, my friend. He/she is either a foreigner, a self-centered individual or an animal with no sense of belongingless. It is one thing to hate a government but another to do the same on one’s own country. I doubt you are a G7 but most likely one of those confused and fanatic OLF member or supporter. My family is in part from Oromo ethnic population and I know well about this ethnic group. The Oromo people are part and parcel of the general population and they are equally Ethiopian as any other citizen of the country. There is no need to argue about that unless to justify a hidden, sinister agenda. It is the OLF that creates problem. Through this organization, the name ‘Oromo’ is being used as a tool for the few elites in the leadership who are only interested in grabbing power. As this is an evil intention that can affect many innocent citizens, we will continue to tell the truth and stop it from happening. What TPLF/EPLF did cannot be repeated hereafter by other selfish and out of touch individuals. We have experienced enough misery as a result of the so called liberation fronts. If you are short of ideas and a role model for citizenship, think and act like Egyptians, Kenyans, Tunisians, Americans, Indians, Germans, Japanese, etc. What is the problem of asking to work together as Ethiopians on equal basis? That is the essence of my entire article. If you and your likes agree that there is no problem, then a proof is needed by throwing away the outdated and harmful concept of secession and division. I believe, Ethiopia can be a place to live within a short time if this proposal is implements.

    Thank you.

  5. amazing
    | #5

    G7 must be very cautious. I completely agree sitting down and discussing the issue of Liberation Fronts. My concern is that, how can one group that is bent on disintegrating Ethiopia (which is very much an ideology of TPLF) can bring a solution to Ethiopia’s despot if they don’t have the same agenda as TPLF? Who are OLF and OnlF? That is one issue. Do they really represent the Ethiopians within Ethiopia? How many Oromos and Ogadenis have voted for the OLF and ONLF? G7 can sit down disucss with OLF and ONLF only once they have clear understanding of the Oromos and Ogadenis within Ethiopia, not outside. The ONLF and oLF are very much working with Egypt, Eritrea, Arabs and some Westerners to dismantle Ethiopia. In addition, disucssion should only take place with g7, OLF and ONLF on the issue of what the OLF and ONLF has then, once that is solved then the discussion of ousting the TPLF regime as one voice can happen. As the author described, it will be exactly like the take over of TPLF 20 years ago when OLF and ONLF gave blessing for TPLF to take over and later they were rejected. This time, OLF and ONLF have learned their lesson, their ideologie is the same as G7 and they can just play along with G7 and oust the evil tplf regime and later could reject G7 and take power that could lead to the breaking up of Ethiopia. So, I would heed cautious attention when discussing with ONLF and OLF. Leaving their party in tact is an indication they strongly believe in secession and TPLF’s name has not changed either. It is time we the Ethiopians as a whole without the LFs to do the struggle by ourselves until we are all united and oust the meles regime. Ethiopians must and should sacrifice for this unity to occur. OLF and OLF clearly know by now after 20 years the days of passive aggressive suppression of one ethnic over the other is over, due to what we have gone through the past an dpresent regime. The ONLF and OLF should be struggling with to bring equality and destroy one ethnic rule of Ethiopia instead of disintegration. For a country like Ethiopia, it is not liable. Oromos, Amaras and other ethnic groups have sacrificed themselves for Ethiopia against colonization, this promise and blood should be a promise and plaque and evidence enough Ethiopia is one, strong, united and equal under democracy. There is also no guarantee that like during 2005 election, as TPLF turned to OLF for support, and thus OLF did nothing to support opposition groups, these Liberation Fronts could turn against G7 and support TPLF again, if TPLF as usualy promise them for Oromia. In fact the OLF and ONLF are worse than TPLF who turned blind eye to the rest of Ethiopians and allow the continuance imprisoning and suppression of Ethiopians (including Oromos and Ogaden) so, while their hatred of Amara (who is no longer in power) continue to make them blinded, they are allowing the suppression of their own people by tPLF. So in the past they were blaming Amara, now when TPLF is doing the same thing, they are blaming the whole North region as Abyssinia the fault concoccted by Egypt. They will continue to blame others also unless these few individuals that that happen to be different ethnicity than the NOrth. In fact, they should participate in bringing their own people on stage, empowering them, not by brainwashing them with hate of other ethnic groups. What they should be blaming on is the leadership and as leaders they have failed to bring the rights of their own people, if they are true leaders not create another chaos.

  6. tewbel
    | #6

    Ginbot 7 has declared that it does not seek political power, but only to get rid of the EPRDF and restore democracy in Ethiopia. To this end it has allied itself with some liberation movement who profess democracy and convivial with the rest of the Ethiopian people. Ginbot 7 is an organization that does not represent the Ethiopian people but only its own members. It is free to ally itself with anyone, as long as it does not claim its actions as those of the Ethiopian people.
    After the civic disobbedience it claims to have set up in Ethiopia, by whom (and how) will be responsible for maintaining order for a peaceful transition to democracy is a big question.

  7. Becareful
    | #7

    Thank you patriotic Ethiopian for raising this issue.
    This is a dangerous development and we have to stop it before it becomes a threat to our country. OLF,ONLF and similar forces must dissolve themselves and join patriotic Ethiopians if we should take seriously what their leaders and Berhanu Nega told us before concerning their devotion to Ethiopian unity.
    But if they do not dissolve themselves and not join patriotic Ethiopians we have to assume that what they and Berhanu Nega told us about their respect of Ethiopian unity and territorial integrity was lie !

    In my opinion Berhanu Nega is a questionable figure whom i do not trust.
    Probably he is not a gurage as he told us, but an oromo or even an Eritrean. Most likely he is a cia agent and leader of a group of people in the diaspora also recruited by cia. He has close relations with shabia,he is friend of the shabia agent Tesfaye Gebre Ab.
    So we have to be careful.

  8. Anonymous
    | #8

    The article is useful and we should take it seriously.

    Back in the days of the Ethiopian students movement the people made a devastating strategic mistake when they decided to slove the country’s social,economic and political problems of the time by ethnicizing them (talk of “liberation of nations and nationalities”) instead of working to improve the economic,political and social conditions in the country for Ethiopians as a whole.

    Now we are in the similar situation of making a disastrous strategic mistake if we continue embracing ethnic organizations in the struggle against woyanes.

    A suggestion: frame the struggle against woyanes as a struggle against ethnicism and proxy colonialism and for ethiopianism and freedom.

    Stop talking about ethnic differences now, and condition Ethiopians to view those Ethiopians who now talk about ethnic differences as enemies of Ethiopia(including enemies of the ethnic group they talk in favour) and as agents of foreigners.

    Ethiopia,a model for other countries how different ethnic and religious groups can live together harmoniously,should be the last place to raise this issue of ethnicism, and let alone now in this critical time. Let countries like USA, India, Europe, Egypt, Eritrea, Nigeria, Mali, Morocco, Algeria, and others who have problems with their different ethnic and religious groups talk about that problem first. We have other priorities.

    We have to watch also people like Behailu above,maybe an eritrean,who use this hard to define and unreal word equality to create tensions,conflicts and problems among ethiopia’s different tribes.

  9. aha!
    | #9

    I agree with author on the AFD like approach that was in the works since 2oo5, now attempting to form an alliance on the armed struggle, similar to the previous one sponsored by EPLF/eritrea and lately the declaration of OLF shifting to non-violence struggle where in both cases without changing their agenda/goals to that of unity, territorial integrity, sovereignity of Ethiopia and Ethiopians appears questionable. It is unthinkable to forge a political or business model without having the same goals and or mission, where one faction is engaged for its secessionist right upto self-determination and the other faction for freedom and democracy of all Ethiopians.

  10. ምህረት
    | #10

    Fellow patriotic ethiopians, what is wrong about creating an alligance with liberetion fronts? is it not a LIBRERETION FRONT(TPLF)governing the country for the last two decades? Innocent patriotism leads to the TPLF trap, after confortably sitting in power(tplf) they lable everyone a terrorist organization.

    Ethiopia belongs to all of us “friends & foes” alike. We had diffreces we will continue to have diffrences but we should all remain equall citizens of our poor beloved Ethiopia.

  11. zeleke
    | #11

    Response to comment # 10:

    Don’t you see the contradition between membership in libration fronts and being a citizen. A person who runs or supports a liberation front, by definition, does not want to be part of his own country- he/she wants to be “libtrated” or separate. One means of doing this is to cause destruction of his own the country, as one of the OLF leaders (Ebssa.. ??)wrote recently in his controversial and mean-spirited article. How do you form genuine alliance with this kind of person, who simply wants to destroy what you treasure (with no justifiable resons)? TPLF is not in power to take care of the Ethiopian people but to take all the advantages available to it, as long as possible. If it is not controlled/challenged, TPLF may not hesitate to destroy Ethiopia when it pushed to leave. So it is not a group standing for Ethiopia, and trusting otherwise is utter foolish. Realizing the danger TPLF can cause to the integrity of the country any time, patriotic Ethiopians should form alliance to be ready to defend the country. That is why we are calling for unity of Ethiopians to work together to protect the country. In the midist of all this, we cannot afford to form alliances with liberation fronts because of the poential danger. For an alliance to include them, they should change their misssion and acknowledge and accept the integrity of Ethiopia and the unity of its people for a common fate on equal basis.

    All what I described above are simple common sense issues. It is the selfishness of a few individuals (like Meles, Gaddaffi, Ebssaa…) who want to be in power that creates the problems. These individuals delebrately confuse people by playing with their emotions and lack of information. They do not care how many people suffer and die as long as it helps the to acieve their goals. They do not see outside of this box to be considerate of the realities on the ground which change from time to time. Mentally they are isolated, usually traped in matters that existed decades ago to justify their greedy acts. We should not limit ourselves in the box they traped in, and be their blind followers. If we do so, so many opportnities good for ourselves and our people will be missed every time. This is drugging us behind. The rest of the world is moving forward by solving the problems it faces immediately, honestly and practically. What is wrong with us?

  12. ምህረት
    | #12

    Thanks Ato Zeleke. I have the same question, what is wrong with us? I guess Ethiopia’s century old political problem is a result of uneven distribution of political power, national wealth etc.after a geniune national reconcilation we could set aside our past mistakes, bring on board everyone, pave the way for the coming generation to live together in peace. I am against impunity but I think the only way to get out of this vicious cicle of self distruction is a national reconcilation.
    Inclusiveness,tolerance bieng accomodative to one another is the way forward.
    Few individuals on both sides (ruling/opposition) are behind all this mess, if opportunity is created there is wide chance of reconciling.

  13. Kefyalew
    | #13

    Good article, but let us not be distracted from the “DAY OF RAGE” that is planned for May 28 2011 in Ethiopia.

    G7′s relations with separatist groups should be criticized and their BEKA mobilization efforts should be commended.

    What is now of paramount importance is to control the direction of the Ethiopian masses who will rise up against the Meles Zenawi ethnicist ,dictatorial and anti-Ethiopian regime and to prevent hostile internal and external forces from taking the uprising hostage and lead it in the wrong direction.
    Let us frustrate such attempts.

    The right direction is the way to Ethiopianism(let us remember that the main target of woyanes and their western backers in the last 20 years was ETHIOPIA) as opposed to ethnicism, democracy as opposed to dictatorship and freedom as opposed to oppression.

    Let us be aware that our demands differ from those in the north African countries. First and foremost we want to abolish the ethnic apartheid system and guarantee the country’s unity and territorial integrity.

    P.S. G7 calls woyanes racist but it uses the same vocabulary of the racist system. At least when it has to mention killil names and the likes it should use quotation marks or “so-called” or ተብየው.
    In addition, when G7 reports about woyanes’ inhuman crimes against Ethiopians it is helpful when it tells the audience who the foreign powers are who support them to commit those crimes. If we can not attack those foreign powers physically we should at least tell the audience who they are.

    BEKA to Woyanes !

  14. ለአንድነት
    | #14

    የጻፍከው በጣም ተስማምቶኛል፤፡ቀጥልበት ወገን።በአሁኑ ስ አት በመተባበር ስም ኢትዩዽያዊ አይደለሁም ከሚሎት ጋር ለመተባበር ማሰቡና መሞከሩ ያለማወቅ ወይም አዉቁ ማበድ ነው።ይህን አይነት እብድት ድግሞ ስር ሳይሰድ በእንጪጩ መቀጨት ወይም መመታት ያለበት ጉዳይ ስለሁነ እውነተኛ እትዩጽዊያን ይህን የተሳሳተ አመለካከት በሙልብ መዋጋት አለባቸው።

  15. ምህረት
    | #15

    ውንድሜ ሃገራችን የምትድነው ለሁላችን ስትስማማ ነው,እውነተኛ እትዩጽዊያን? ምርጥ ኢትዮፐያዊ ? የሚል አባባል ምንድነው? እትዩጽያዊንት የዘግነት ምልክት,ኢትዩዽያ የሁላችነም ቤት ናት.በጋራ መስራት ያለብን ሁላችንን የሚችል መርክብ ነው, ይህ ካልሆነ ወያነ ባዘጋጀልን ወጥመድ አንቕጼ 39 መጉዋዛችን አይቀረልንም? Please let us think with a sober mind, the 100 years homework TPLF/EPLF have talked about had already began to take root.

    ስላም እንሁን

  16. Anonymous
    | #16

    ሰላም ምህረት፡

    የቀረበውን ጽሁፍና ደራሲውን አሰመልክተህ ጽፈህ ከሆነ ልመልሰ። አዎን ኢትዮፕያዊ ነኝ ለሚል ሁሉ ኢትዮፕያ የሁሉም አገር ነች። በዚህ ላይ ሁሉም ዓኩል ነው። ኢትዮፕያዊ አይደለሁም የሚለውን ግን እንዲሆን ልታሰገድደው አትችልም። ይህ በልመናም የሚሆ ግዳይ አይደለም። ግማሽ ወይም እውነትኛ የሆነ ወይም ያልሆነ ኢትዮፕያዊ የሚሉት ነገር ያለም አይመሰልኝም። ይህ አገላለጽ በጽሁፉ ላይ አልቀረበም። የነገሮችን አቅጣጫ ለመቀይር አሰበህ ካልሆነ በሰተቀር፡ ልብ ካላልክ ጽሁፉን እንደገና ብታነበው ጥሩ ነው ባይ ነኝ። Patriotic Ethiopian means‘አገር ወዳድ ኢትዮፕያዊ’ ለማለት ነው። ይህ ማንንም ለመለየት ወይም ለመነጠል ተብሎ የቀረብ አይደለም፤ ሊሆንም አእይችልም። አንድ ሰው እራሱን አገር ወዳድ ነኝ ቢል ምን ችግር አለው? ያሰመሰግነዋል እንጂ። ውጪ አገር የምትኖር ከሆንክም አሜሪካኖችም፤ እንግሊዞችም፣ ወዘተ የሚሉትና የሚኮሩበት ጉዳይ ነው። ከታመነበት እኛን ሊያሳፍረን አይገባም። የህንን የማይቀበሉ ሌሎችን ፈርቶ የአገርን ፍቅር አለምግነጽ ወይም መቀነስ አውነተኛነትን የሚያስይ አይመሰለኝም። በዜግነትህ ካመንክ አንተም አንደዚሁ አገር ወዳድ የማትልበት ምክኒያት አይታየኝም። በዚህ ካላመንክ ግን ችግር ያለበህ ይመሰለኛል። አባባልሀም ተቀባይነት የሚኖረው አይሆንም። በውጣ ዉረድ ብዙ ያሳለፍን ሰለሆነ በአሁኑ ጊዜ ነገሮች ገልጽ መሆን የገባቸዋል ባይ ነኝ። በለገራችን ላይ፤ ለኔ አገር መዉደድ ወይም አለመዉደድ ከአገዛዙ ጋር መሚገናኝ ጊዳይ አይደለም።

  17. ምህረት
    | #17

    ለ #16, ኣመስግናለሁ !

    1.”ኢትዮፕያዊ አይደለሁም የሚለውን ግን እንዲሆን ልታሰገድደው አትችልም። ይህ በልመናም የሚሆ ግዳይ አይደለም።”
    2.”በውጣ ዉረድ ብዙ ያሳለፍን ሰለሆነ በአሁኑ ጊዜ ነገሮች ገልጽ መሆን የገባቸዋል ባይ ነኝ።” ክላይ ለተቀመጥው የርስዎ አስተያይት መፍሔው ምንድነው???
    በእነ አመለካከት ብሔራዊ እርቅ ሃገራችንን ያድናል ባይ ነኝ, we are takling about saving our mother land from disintegreting, this is an issue which requiers a great deal of patience.
    Honesly speaking I am not affilated to niether political nor ethinic group whatsoever. I am a concerned citizen & morethan ever, I am forseeing a danger coming against Ethiopia standing united as one nation.
    3. my earlier post was a reaction to # 14.

    መልካም ሁን የሃገሬ ሰው !!!

  18. Anonymous
    | #18

    Thank you.

    I totally agree there should be reconciliation among members of the society who believe in their ‘Ethiopiawinet.’ Every effort should be made for reconciliation. However, you cannot do this with those who declare that they are not Ethiopians. If you otherwise try to accommodate them without any favorable change in their political viewpoint about Ethiopia, there is nothing to gain for the Ethiopian people but only to loss. These are the people I was referring to in my previous message.

    I have no doubt the overwhelming majority of the Ethiopian people love their country and do not deny their ‘Ethiopiawinet.’ Most of them, particularly the younger generation, are of multiethnic breed. Most of those who come from specific ethnic population are not also haters of any others ethnic group of Ethiopia. I believe all of them understand their relationship with each other and the value of living together in harmony as Ethiopians on equal basis. I also believe only a small group of fringe Ethiopians are obsessed with narrow ethnic mentality and hatred. These are followers of a few misguided, narrow-minded selfish individuals who desperately seek power for themselves with no regard to the well fare of the rest. If the rest of Ethiopians form strong alliance among themselves to defend the country and their interests, I am certain that the fringe group will become irrelevant. This is what we should do. Finally, I have 3 suggestions to make by way of answering the questions you asked me.

    1. Ethiopians should come together to work towards reconciliation and form an alliance to formulate a way-out plan for the country. Every Ethiopian- not only politicians- should work hard towards this end.

    2. Ordinarily Ethiopians should be told about the dangers of ethnic politics and the value of multi-ethnicity and be protected from misinformation by narrow-minded predators. In the meantime, they have to be informed about their rights as human beings and citizens of a democratic country, and the roles of political leaders in a democratic society.

    3. There is a need to establish an armed force which can protect the interest of the Ethiopian people. Without this, the successes that can be gained by peoples’ uprisings can be snatched away by those opposing competitors with military power.

    I hope this shades some light.

  19. ምህረት
    | #19

    Thank you once again, no matter how big our diffrences there is always a solution & a wayout. as you pointed every stake holeder be it poititian or an ordinary citizen should be given an opportynity to express their point of views. genuine reconcilation is a lasting remedie, look at the achievments of the South African truth & reconcilation model.

    As an old english saying: ” dont cut off your nose to spite your face”

    United we stand divided we fall.

    Long live Ethiopia.

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