My perception of and reflection on the “Oromo uprising” By Achamyeleh Tamiru.

December 28th, 2015 Print Print Email Email

I. A reality check

1. A substantial number of OLF inclined Oromos today do not consider themselves as an Ethiopian. OLF supremacists, whom we patronize today, have successfully decoupled a substantial number of Oromos from the rest of Ethiopia. These decoupled Oromos and other Ethiopians, for all practical purpose, are on completely different pages. We do not understand each other anymore. We have no common language or concept of a country. It is no more possible to reason with OLF inclined Oromos (because they do not consider themselves Ethiopian anymore).

You cannot question the rationality of the so-called “Oromo question”. If you do, you are an enemy. We may occupy the same space but we do not live in the same dimension. That was what Eritreans did for decades before they openly said they are not Ethiopians anymore. Many of them lived a double life; few remained Ethiopian until the very end gave in. Even fewer choose to have nothing to do with Eritrean nationalism to the end. And we had no clue (or pretended) about the transformation that was taking place. We choose to patronize. The entire Eritreans people who lived better life compared to the majority of Ethiopians left us long before they throw us out from the territory they claimed as their own. Did it benefit them? No. I don’t think they thought about it that far. In the same manner, OLF inclined Oromos have left Ethiopia for some time now. And they just want to throw out the rest of Ethiopians from “their land” exactly as Eritreans did. It is only a natural progression. The slogan is an “unflinching” manifestation of this. That is not good for the rest of Ethiopians and whether it would be beneficial for the Oromos can only be inferred from previous experience of Eritrea.

2. Whether it is right or wrong, Weyyane’s constitution awards Oromos most of the fertile land and resources of Ethiopia with an option to opt out from the union. Since with the success of a quarter of a century social engineering experiment, OLF inclined Oromos have already left Ethiopia as indicated above. The rest of us who live in “Oromia” are at best irritants at worst invaders and are there illegally. This was the promise OLF inclined Oromos have been living for more than two decades. And they feel they have no need to be Ethiopian. If I have all of the above, I would do the same too. And this present unrest is the wish of OLF inclined Oromos to realize that promise. It is not about the farmers in Burayu who do not exist any more, democracy, freedom, or equality for Ethiopians at large.

3. I have clearly stated before that I have no objection as far as the Addis Master plan is concerned. I support it. But I DON’T support its implementation until before the land policy is changed. As I said, the only viable and permanent solution to save the farmers from displacement and lose of their land is to privatize the land; land should be a private property. Once land is privatized, all iniquities will be rectified; there will no be evacuation of farmers. But the perceived expansion (in reality it is not even an expansion; it is an economic integration that could happen with any foreign country) of Addis Ababa with majority of none Oromo residents is tantamount to invasion of once country for the significant number of OLF inclined Oromos. They did not protest when Woyane is about to give Ethiopian land to Sudan nor when OPDO officials’ literality sell Oromo farmers land in Nathret, Jima and other town in what is called the state of Oromia. They did not come out in mass when we loss our sea outlet either. Because they are convinced that these things have nothing to do with them.

4. As we recall, many unity advocate Oromo politicians and personalities are already abandoning that camp and warming up to the Oromo supremacists. Mr. Bekele Gerba and people like Bulcha Demeksa an early example that saw the inevitable power shift and positioned themselves accordingly even though they are not only an Oromo elite but also part of the very selected Ethiopian elite society. As recently as last month the young politician Yonatan Teresa Regassa of Semayawi party (who changed his middle name from Tesfaye to Teresa) and Tegaye Ararsa are finding out that the Unity camp is not where one can be confidently build once future. I don’t blame them. All this is happening because the rest of Ethiopians are not making any claim of their own and to tell you the truth because of people like you and me. We all want a united Ethiopia where all it’s citizens are free and equal because it is the only condition peace can prevail in the region. As long as ethnic based political discourse is the main driving force, there will be endless conflict that will weaken us all, to become a pry to all kinds of unruly characters within and without the Ethiopian border. The current ongoing protest in Ethiopia is about land. It is about “Oromo land”. We know that because they said so. We know that because all other conditions were there before the protest begun and did not raise so much anger. By the way, even by the standard of Weyyane’s constitution, the notion of “Oromo land” or the slogan of “Oromia belongs to the Oromo” does not hold water. Because, article 40 sub article 3 of the constitution says the following: “The right to own rural and urban land as well as natural resources belongs only to the state and the people. Land is an inalienable common property of the nations, nationalities and peoples of Ethiopia”.

Lets face it. After the fall of TPLF, which we all want (that for all practical purposes can be next month or next week), the probability that Ethiopia will exist is getting close to nil. That is because there is no counter balance for the pressure the Oromo nationalists are putting up. In fact, I would dare to say as of today the existence of Ethiopia as a country is much more appealing to TPLF than the Oromo nationalists. Something that people do not want to contemplate is that if this unrest if succeeds in driving TPLF out of power, it will be the end of Ethiopia. TPLF made sure that Ethiopia would not exist after it. I doubt very much Oromos will win either. There will not be any winner. And the only way to avoid this calamity (if it is not too late already) is by facing the truth. Not by hiding behind nice words and patronizing.

As there were Eritreans who foresaw the danger of succession there is Tigreans who know TPLF is working against the interest of Tigreans. And the most enlightened Oromos know ethnic politics and breaking up of Ethiopia is a dead end road for all of us. These are the people who shoulder most of the burden. I know many Eritreans who were estranged from their community because they would not fallow the craze of Eritrean nationalism. I know an old Eritrean man who did not want to have anything to do with two of his children because they decided not to be Ethiopian. The irony of it is Meles Zenawi shipped him to Eritrea because he did not like his “eye color”. One of the children, a daughter who become super Eritrean overnight and went to Eritrea at the wake of their victory slipped back to Ethiopia and to day she tries to live her life masking her Eritrean identity as much as possible. Of course as true Ethiopian every one in the neighborhood knows that yet pretends not to know allowing her to be part of the community. (At this point I am questioning the wisdom of not reminding her). Her father cried himself to death in Asmara for loosing Ethiopia. For me this are the people I need to fight for as long as there is a drop of strength in me.
II. What is the “take home” lesson we have to learn from the past few weeks?

What needs more analysis is the bigger picture. Why is it that Ethiopia has the largest number of liberation movements in the world? Why is it that we remain stuck in this archaic ideology when the world and Africa have already moved away from this and are on another level? We are not a country with the largest number of ethnic groups nor do we have the most oppressed or loudest ethnic groups anywhere.

Curiously, we are a nation with ethnic groups that are more linked and integrated by blood, history and culture than any country in Africa. Why are we then obsessed with secession and ethnic federation? Nations are built on a history of conquest and rivalry. Today’s powerful countries are the outcomes of such history. But they are beyond it now. They are not stuck in time. Or have we slept 3000 years oblivion of what is around us? Strangely, it is those who know this history that promote secession and ethnic federation. There is no country in the world where ethnic federation is implemented where it is tried it has failed. This subject needs a little deeper study since it has to do with the contemporary history of Ethiopia particularly with the birth of Ethiopian student movement. For me, the Ethiopian student’s movement was a movement used as a Trojan horse to justify the secession of Eritrea. The naive student movement was used, manipulated and eventually made it possible for Eritrea to secede. It did not stop there but the same people who used the fake Leninist slogan of up to including secession, inscribed it in “our” constitution so that we continue fighting each other; as manifested in the Oromo movement of the last few weeks and that of the Ogaden that has been there for years.

Eritrea is in trouble and most regret their decision. Have we learned lessons? Of course NOT! Ethiopian politicians never learn from experience; they want to repeat the same mistakes over and over again. For every ruler, Ethiopia’s history begins in earnest the day he assumes power. But in the midst of all this there are those with sanity and wisdom.

We can win only if we work hard against all odds to make sanity and reason prevail. Our people need leaders. All the struggles we have had in the past have not been used to good terms because we lack leadership. Our people should follow honest leaders. We have to work hard to get those leaders. It might not be an easy task but can be done because there are no options. There are two hopes I can see out there. One is professor Birhanu Nega’s route. His decision to join his forces on the ground has exhilarated many Ethiopians who believe that Weyyane is the scourge of mankind. The struggle under his leadership should be supported by all peace loving Ethiopians. The second hope is the “slight shift” by few nocturnal ethno-centric forces from their long hold extreme left position to the center of the left. This group includes all those racial forces that are now atoning their “sins”. To be more explicit, it seems to me that unlike fanatic Oromo nationalists, few Ethiopianist Oromo intellectuals have learned more (and hence get convinced) that (or know eventually that) it is not feasible to have independent Oromia. I think they have learned that the case of the state of Oromia is quite different from the case of Eritrea. Eritrea had a history without Ethiopia, though short. It had a recognized defined boundary. With Oromia it is NOT! Nonetheless, since they are not the majority to win the minds of secessionist nationalist lords, the eminent disaster that I have explained can’t be thwarted because we have few Rigid Ethio-centric views among the Oromo intellectuals. Even though I believe that it is not the shortage of characters with good causes that is useful to thwart the eminent danger, but lets not forget, eminent danger also lies in the villain individual characters and the consequences of their choices and actions in a situation divulged disingenuously to hoodwinked actualities.

But I believe that there is a better way forward without civil war. While I’m writing this, I sense that there is a far more serious danger lurking than what we see on the surface reminding the tone and form of the recent past protest. I have had this fear in the past too. By the way, I have written a couple of pieces on the same subject in Amharic. I also feel that extremists who are planning to put their agenda in the forefront have diluted the genuine start of Oromo students protest. I feel that it is in the making. I do not doubt it, though I do not have concrete evidence except the malicious deception fanatic speeches by the jihadist/separationist thugs.

I have read books on extremism (such as “Strength in What Remains” book by Tracy kidder, a story of a in search of a new life after surviving a civil war and genocide in Rwanda) and based on what has happened in other places the conditions for such things to happen seem to be fertile in Ethiopia too. So we have to be cautious if we don’t want to play with fire. Once that lawlessness is unleashed there is no way back. We will be like Syria, with a complex conflict of ethnicity, religion and politics and foreign agenda leading to a proxy war. That is why we have to work hard to discuss on what could possibly unite us and remind the leaders what could lie ahead of we don’t.That there is no winner as long as we are divided. We will drain each other only to become a pry to outside forces. It is important to let the Oromo people and the Oromo nationalists that they would never achieve their dream. The fact of the matter is that the unitary state created by our fathers was the natural equilibrium that our society can achieve and the only thing we can add to it is improve it by building democratic and free society. The problem most people are afraid to state the truth.

As I write this, I also feel that the issues I raised and the solutions I suggested above may never be taken as a serious remedy. Different people will have different opinion on why we find ourselves in this predicament. And just as well. Because we may need to raise the questions all the time so that we learn from history but we do not need to answer them fully. We can explore history and debate about it but what the future should look like is being answered as we speak.

Kinijit and the Oromo protest as powerful as they were failed miserably. These are events we can work with to analyze the root cause of the problem in our society. These are our own designs and our failures. So we can have a better insight to the problem. Civilizations and Societies reach their peaks and decline. Probably that is what is happening to us. The geopolitics and proximity to a hostile Arab world play a role. I often ask myself how Eritreans could make such stupid mistake and work against their own interest? Either I have to believe that I am mistaken or accept that an entire society can go banana. Since I know I am right (since there is no convincing argument otherwise at least for me) I have to believe that an entire population can go crazy. The Eritrean “liberators” succeeded to do that by cutting off Eritreans from the rest of Ethiopians through different mechanisms.

And today Oromo nationalists are doing the same thing. As I said above, they have cut off much of the Oromo population and are building psychological, linguistic and physical walls. True OLF and OPDO could not do that without the help of TPLF and EPLF.

Few things that I learned in the last couple of weeks;

1. Ethiopia as a country (prior to TPLF and probably Dergue), which is product of the natural evolution of the society and its interactions with all of the elements in the region, geography, resources, climate, etc., haven’t taken its lesson yet.

2. What we see today, the “destruction” that is being caused by the liberation forces, is an anomaly in the larger context. The same thing has happened in and around Zemene Mesafint. Clearly we did not take lesson from that history.

3. The same natural forces that brought Ethiopia together after almost 3000 years of civil war will bring Ethiopia back to where it was at Meniliks time or latter years. Until that equilibrium reestablished turmoil will ensue.

Probably the time span and the manner by which Ethiopia and probably the entire region will come together will not be the same but at some point as long as there are living and breathing people it will happen. The difference now is that information flows relatively freely and people will have better opportunity to get informed and make choices which should make the job of unity forces easier. A choice, whatever it is, made by an informed people would always lead to that equilibrium. I took a broad time span deliberating with myself and I come to the conclusion that things always have natural pattern. If you could not see the pattern in certain time frame, then you have to widen the scope and from that understanding you can refocus you attention to the time in question. So, the win-win solution is to push a common cause that takes us to the thriving frontier of the natural equilibrium. This is not even enough to stay at the optimum. The ever-lasting solution is to make the natural equilibrium a permanent steady state by building democratic and free society.

  1. Yes democracy is required but….you ask you are a terrorist
    | #1

    Not applying what is written on constitution for the last 21 years says a lot about democracy and capability of our system.
    Personally I agree also on land privatization so that any body would do what ever they want on their land. If the land ownership is amended hope Every Ethiopian feel about its safe future and even don’t want article 39 of constitution.
    But as long as a certain group do what ever they want on our freedom of expression and the land no one cares about other things. This is because of overdue of frustration from different angles.
    By the way look what is happening now students are being killed on the street and blame on “other groups”, in Ethiopian universities students are being harassed tortured and arrested for their thought oh wait students are even asked from where they came and now lying about it.
    What is the point of torturing and harassing citizens? to make them strong believers on Ethiopian-ism? hope you did not know about this but this is the Ethiopia we created where we talk about the problem that will happen in the future but today it is hell for some group and will be for the other tomorrow.We are already in the hell future where you regret having kids in this country.

  2. Sergut Tuffs
    | #2

    Your analysis and comparision is outrages.please come to your sense and be realistic. Do not be baised what said and talk out side ethiopia does not reflect the reality on the ground and at grass root.I am not dening the OLF factor that has been there for years.

  3. lemma
    | #3

    the so called oromia a creation of tplf ethnic apartheid system. olf oriented oromo must face reality, they have to choose to unite with the rest of us for the good of all of us or face the consequences. olfites dissociate themselves from what they call Abyssinian empire. whether they like it or not ormo is Ethiopian and trying to seceed oromo from the rest of Ethiopia is a futile attempt which is not going to benefit anybody.

    olf with its head office still in Egypt and suad arabia is promoting the agenda of arabs to destabilise Ethiopia since the days of the Dergue.

    they are currently lamenting for their dear oromia, annexation of ormomia, bla bla, …… they do not care what happens to the rest of Ethiopia. the so called oromia was in the first place created by tplf fascists to facilitate the ethnic apartheid system they created, to manipulate and control the people. there never has been anything called oromia, befoe 1991., and it should be buried with tplf when tplf is destroyed and buried.

  4. bekele
    | #4

    All the peoples of Ethiopia who want a free, democratic and peaceful coexistence must tackle the menace of ofl ites, who are trying to alienate the oromo from Ethiopians by spreading their poisons of hate and fabricating and distorting history.

    these olf fascists are as venomous as tplf. they are wailing about ‘annexation of so called oromia” ,as if they exist outside of Ethiopia, and they did not have a thing to say when tplf is selling massive chunks of Ethiopian territory to sudan, when our country lost its port of ASSAB TO sudan, or when tplf is spreading tigrai boundary and amhara regions.

    Expansion of the boundary of Abddis abeba could happen under any government. it just happens that the present ‘government’ decided to do it.

    Ethiopians of all races tigres, oromos,amharas, gurage, afar, wolayta,gambella etc, all the 80 or so different ethnic roups within the present boundary of Ethiopia should try to live together in peace and democracy. taking the route of secession , as olf is inclined to do would lead to lots of blood shed.

    the current ethnic boundary drawn by tplf is not acceptable to many Ethiopians and if, olf think that they can run away with it, they got it wrong. we do not accept the ethnic boundary drawn to facilitate ethnic apartheid. tpf is not a representative government. they are unelected bandits who seized power by violence and guns,so any thing they have done is not valid. the system they have created will be buried with them.

  5. bekele
    | #5

    … when tplf is spreading tigrai boundary into amhara and Afar regions.

  6. Garo
    | #6

    I think the Oromos have every right to fight for their freedom and they do not need permission from anybody to do that. Oromos if they do not feel they are part of the greater Ethiopia it only because they were made to feel that way by successive hostile regimes who were bent on destroying anything that is Oromo. Surely one can not blame Oromos for that.

    The idea that the Oromos will not win their freedom on their own is lough able. The writer needs to know that the Oromos can and will make themselves free no matter what. It is not a matter of if, it is a matter of when.Obviously it is clear this person has an anti Oromo agenda and there are many like him who under the disguise of unity want to keep the suppression of the Oromo continue. Well, it is not going to work.

  7. Geldu
    | #7

    What is really the total number of Oromos? Some secrete evidences showed Oromos are much lower in number (below 6 million) than what is used to be told on media.

  8. Tsere Misr
    | #8

    Northern Kenya is the original home of the Oromo people. Migration in the 16th century and occupation of southern Ethiopia is only 400-500 years old. Did the so called Oromia state exist prior to this period?

  9. Alen enilalen enji yelenim
    | #9

    writer please understand only one thing.

    Whether Oromo is supported or not nothing left for them. They live or die. Dying even facilitated by Ethiopian military. To die in honor should be the one to be stressed here.

    Other Ethiopians who are in “asheshe gedame mood” with the government killing policy, wait a little longer and witness if you are going to be spared.

    Killing Oromo, torturing oromo, mass arresting and committing many more crimes done by evil people on earth yet other Ethiopians did not say about it is the final confirmation for self rule and is accepted by every Oromo including OPDO (blood sucking puppets).

  10. Dawi
    | #10

    Abadula once asked a suspicious opponent in an election debate point blank, what made himm think an Oromo will leave the Ethiopia it created?

    The opponent was dump founded. Such kind of thinking/confidence comes from embracing that Modern Ethiopia was created by Oromo/Amara of Shoa.

    I have no doubt of such folks who feel as stake holders of the state will defend the Ethiopian Union to death and we should stop demonizing them. Not only that, such mind set by the largest ethnic group is the ultimate glue that keep Ethiopia together.

    One can never see or shall be a rare incidence to see any where in the globe that a State with a majority group like the Oromo that claim as the creator or stake holder breaking up. As I said before Woyane leading EPRDF today is a historical/coincidental matter; OPDO & other members can’t help coming out of that struggle; regardless, sooner or later the majority ruling a country is inevitable.

  11. Kebede Hunenya
    | #11

    You are obsessed with the hate of Oromo (OLF). Forget about people conquered by Minilik the II. TPLF (Agame) took a massive land from Amhara region to Agame land while you occupied in something non of your real business. Today tplf took walqaite tegede and making a big hole to Amahra Region by the name of Kimant Zone. Tomorrow, whether your like or not, Gonder town will be in Tigray Region. Tplf does not care about Ethiopia, their objective is to create Great Tigray and looting from the southern part of Ethiopian until their last date in Finfinne.

    Down to Tplf(agame) and their supporters!
    Justice will prevail!!!

  12. What if oromo did not protest
    | #12

    All Ethiopians did you ask yourself that what if Oromo did not protest for their right?
    The current tone of admitting mistakes of not discussing with society, incapability of branch of EPRDF bla bla would have been different story.

    Dear writer believe it or not Ethiopia is different today will never go back to the era of ADWA, strength of independent mentality and “the false asheshe gedame we had”.
    The dignity of society is at gun point and nothing worse than living in fear.

    If you ask me why why i don’t care,
    when military is killing future children of Ethiopia and others are more concerned about property damage!
    If you do not want this reality to be posted as a comment at least keep it for yourself.
    Binishenegagel le Ethiopia teb yemililat aynorim kemetelalat ena ke mecherares beker. Saykatel bekitel enkua gizew yalefebet bihonim tekatlo sayalk yebekulachinin eniweta.

  13. kemma
    | #13


    olf is a cancer to the oromo as much as it is to the rest of the people of Ethiopia. They assert that oromo is a colony of Abbysinia. it is absurd and laughable.

    THEIR AGENDA IS VERY MUCH LIKE THAT OF tPLF, i.e the dismemberment of Ethiopia. this is not going to benefit oromo or the rest of the people. slicing up Ethiopia into ethnic enclaves is a recipe for total annhilation. oromo won’t be better off nor any other group.

  14. Aba Biya Warabadi
    | #14

    Mr Ashamyeleh Tamiru, your article is terrible. It horrifies all who read it. You yourself is more racist than the people you accuse. All the problems of ethnic policy is created by the dirty tplf. It is not created by the people of Oromo. You must be bought by the tplf. You are writing what they want. The Oromo people cannot leave Ethiopia. Oromos fought for Ethiopian independence and freedom and succrified their lives more than any body. Ethiopia belongs to the Oromos as well as to the Amharas and others. The people of Oromo loves Ethiopia. You and your tplf masters have to be blamed for all the problems. Whether you like or not Oromos are Ethiopians.Now you and tplf are scared when Oromos and Amhara ar coming closer as before live together socialla and economically.

  15. Aba Biya Warabadi
    | #15

    NO I am not worried. If you want you can publish if not, infact I am not disturbed. I respect all. I am a S democrat.

  16. reda
    | #16

    we all have to come to our senses. every body has grievances. no individual or group can say my grievance is more than every body else.

    Oromo has more grievance than other groups is ludicrous. speak to every ethnic group and they will tell you the same thing, and to a point it is true.

    it does not mean that every tigre is happy because tplf thugs are running the show by declaring that they represent tigres.
    amhara the most persecuted by tplf fascists have as much grievance.

    it is not by attacking each other that we can resolve the issues we all face. oromo cannot do things independently of other ethnic groups, because what the olf may do or hopes to do affects everybody else in the region. similarly what the amhara or tigre or Afar do affects everybody else. whether we like it or not we live together or disappear together.

    we cannot expect a country called Ethiopia , if for example, oromo breaks up , or amhara breaks up or ogaden beaks up from Ethiopia. in the first place , the break up is not going to be clean. there will be blood shed and none ending conflict (see what is happening to eritrea vs Ethiopia, south vs north sudan)and secondly,what remains after the break up is unsustainable. we will end up being slaves to arabs and all kinds of out side forces who will interfer in the affairs of the region.

  17. Dawi
    | #17

    I don’t know what “archaic ideology” you talking about? DDS is the most advanced developmental method, in other words it is the fastest way to reach liberal democracy.

    [[..The irony of it is Meles Zenawi shipped him to Eritrea because he did not like his “eye color”. ..]]

    It is public knowledge that Woyane had lists of those who were paying members of EPLF. I am curious if you can name the old Eritrean Ethiopian who was thrown out and cried himself to death in Asmara?

    I didn’t get what “archaic ideology” you’re talking about? DDS is the most advanced developmental method, in other words, the fastest way to reach liberal democracy.

    Privatization of land is Oxymoron.

    Millions of farmers are going to lose their land. It may look “democratic” to some of you but, farmers will fall prey to swindler “delalas” with powerful interest groups behind them.

    A good example is India where privatization of land resulted in 1/3 of farmer losing their land and created an army of poor urban dwellers.

    We can learn from the experience of South Korea and others that helped more farmers join or establish cooperatives. In S. Korea 90% of farmers are in cooperatives. Privatizing land will not make farming more profitable because as we know here in the US large scale farmers are subsidized.

    If anything, fair compensation will solve our existing situation when need be but, the creation of powerful cooperatives will have farmers voice say in the outcome of land use.

  18. Freedom
    | #18

    Ato Tamiru good article. After reading your piece once, I came up with the following observations.

    1. I agree with you that land should be privatized. All lands, especially rural lands, that continued to be passed on from family to family over decades/centuries should be given back to current family members with a direct lineage. Lands that are not clearly claimed based on historical records/local documents, should be owned by government. The government in turn should sell the land, unless the land has a strategic importance for the whole country, to private Ethiopian and or African investors.

    2. There is no Ethiopia w/o the Oromo people and land. As the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia with a rich heritage, over many centuries, in the history of Ethiopia, they play a very crucial role.
    The author claims that the Oromo people should not aspire to form their own country b/c it is bad for them. He tries to warn them about the Eritreans who aspired and formed a new country but they are not doing well. One of the main reasons that Ethiopian leaders over centuries failed to win the hearts and minds of Eritreans is that they decided to use force, disguise, domination and divide and rule techniques to win Eritrea to Ethio side. Instead, they should have used the power of love, peace, respect, power sharing, cooperation and unity. At the time Eritrea was forced to integrate with Ethiopia in the 1950′s, Ethiopia was a monarchy whereas Eritrea had adapted a democratic system with a regular free election. Some Eritrean were not willing to go from a free and democratic system to an autocratic system ruled by one person, King of Kings Haile Selassie. Likewise, we need to approach the oromo people with love, peace, respect and listen to their wish, complaint and point of view. Only after addressing their concern, fear and integrating their vision and dream into one United Ethiopia we are then able to win the hearts and minds of the Oromo people.

  19. www
    | #19

    The writer should first put his identity in public. To me, he is just another extremist hiding behind the the curtain of “Ethiopia”. To him Ethiopia is only the Amhara with their “3000″ years of history. He is unable to see and deliberate to himself the fact that the Oromo has been pushed to the limits for the last one century, and the #Oromoprotests that he wanted to denigrate is simply a reaction of long years of marginalization, dehumanization, extrajudicial killing, tortures, forced and systematic eviction from their ancestral land etc..

  20. TESH
    | #20


    oromo is pushed to the limit , so what is the solution. so is amhara, so is gambella, so is ogaden. etc

    simply lamenting that oromo wants independence, or fabricating lies about oromo being colonised etc etc is not going to get us anywhere. as one of the bloggers above pointed out if you want to break up Ethiopia along ethnic lines, no body or group is going to benefit. there will be lots of blood shed and conflict. that is what tplf are leading us up to. SAUD ARABIA AND EGYPT ARE THE WINNERS IF ETHIOPIA BREAKS UP.

    please think carefully1 AND SEE REASON.

  21. ali
    | #21

    Those who advocate for unity at all cost.
    Are you ready to accept somali or english as official language in ethiopia.
    Or you want to impose amharic to marginalise the indigenous peopple as usual ?
    Etnic federalism is the best political system we withness since we are under the colonial rule of abyssinia.

  22. yebba
    | #22

    @ali — somali or english as the official language is a good idea if that can help to unite the people. does it make you feel more somali because you speak english.

  23. Wakene Yilma
    | #23

    What is often missing in the various discussions is the reality that Ethiopia has been a melting pot for a long time. History cannot be reversed. Regardless of the various angles and emotions, the large majority of Ethiopians are multi-ethnic. So many of our families are. We have seen in the bible, koran and torah, how brothers from the same family (cain and abel) found division enough to kill one another. Bottom line: if division is what people want, they will find it. If it is unity and integration they want, they will also find it. People of Oromo/Cushitic heritage in east Africa are pushing the integration of Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania, Rwanda, Burundi. The sad truth is that the divisive politics engulfing Ethiopia is promoted from Eritrea and others countries that do not want an emergent Ethiopia with 100 million strong. The current Ethiopian political framework was engineered with the apartheid experiment in mind. It failed in South Africa. The EPLF exported the political ideology of the fascists into Ethiopia, using the TPLF. But thank heavens, even the TPLF realized the mistake, and revolted against the EPLF. We all need to find common ground and prevent Ethiopia from being turned into a Syria or Iraq. Most Eritreans also understand the big mistake. It took several decades to realize that Issayas was not a genius, but a made man who led his people into darkness, and has been haunting Ethiopia with his sectarian bend. Sectarianism is not the way to go. Even in countries where most are Arabic speaking and muslims, those looking for sectarianism found it and very sadly, brother is killing brother. Fellow Ethiopians, resist the madness, and dont allow the seeds of a madman drive us into the abyss. Issayas is a certified madman. The world over knows it. His only value is to the enemies of the people of the horn of Africa, who cannot develop if they always fight each other. Sudan, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and Kenya must unite and resist the demons of sectarianism. Globalization and regional integration is the mega trend for value creation.

  24. aha!
    | #24

    Let me reinforce your statements that read” “We are a nation with ethnic groups (80 ethnic groups) that are more linked and integrated by blood, history & culture than any country in Africa. Why are we then obsessed with (ethnic) secession (secessionism) and ethnic federation (federalism)? in terms of ideological perspectives. The to ideologies are Ethiopian Nationalism: Ethiopia as a one nation state with the goals for unity, territorial integrity, sovereignty of Ethiopia and Ethiopians, where the last item refers to individual freedom, liberty and equality precedes ethnic and secessionist rights in a liberal and/or social democracy with free market capitalism and/or mixed economy in people-oriented than ethnic-oriented government. The second ideology is ethnic federalism, secessionism for the political model and totalitarianism and/or Developmental state capitalism for the economic model, devoid of individual freedom, free market capitalism at least in terms of property ownership anywhere in Ethiopia in a liberal and/or social democracy, where the individual not the ethnic group is the unit for democracy with party alignments along the national agenda, rather than ethnic agenda with the TPLF/eprdf regime and the loyalist opposition parties that had formed a coalition as OPDO/EFDF/Medrek/fdre as a mirror image of the TPLF/eprdf regime with implicit support of the constitution and with direct support of the constitution by the teletafi parties in the TPLF/eprdf regime, with the goals for ethnic rights, “yekilil Mengistats Mebit iqulinet Mekeber”, democracy to be super imposed on to ethnic rule, and human rights, a common denominator to all ethnic groups.

    The second ideology does not only exist as an abstract ideology/ exist in hyperspace has demarcated Ethiopian land mass by settlements, language and identity according to Dr.Tegaye Ararssa (language and major ethnic groups) with individuals carrying identity (gossa) cards and that ideology(ies) is (are) built into the constitution as the Supreme Law of the Land, the major Master plan out of which the anti-terroism Law, the Master Plan for the expansion of Addis Abeba in the surrounding towns of Oromia government (Oromia Killil Astedader) etc. are derived, where the current uprising by the Oromo students changes thedynamics of being a confrontation being between Ethiopian Nationalism versus ethnic federalism to that of Ethnic Nationalism versus Fedreral Repulic of Ethiopia (FDRE), which encompasses the ideology of ethnic federalism, secessionism, secessionism and totalitarianism and/or developmental state capitalism stipulated above supported by crony capitalism of TPLF/Political, TPLF/EFFORT, etc., when ex-appropriation of land in Addis Abeba and eviction of farmers from their lands in terms of land lease, and cession of significant strip of land to Sudan by the TPLF/eprdf regime combined did not arouse protests against the TPLF/eprdf regime, this uprising might make a dent on the TPLF/eprdf regime albeit it is not based on the national agenda of the positive forces of integration.

    Therefore from ideological perspectives, I think it not only an obsession with (ethnic) secession and ethnic federation, built into the constitution that allows them to secede up to independence on the basis of newly ill demarcated ethnic boundaries, which is directly supported by the teletafi parties (two tiers according to Prof. Tecola Hagos) and implicitly by the loyalist opposition party called Medrek, a mirror image of the TPLF/eprdf regime in a new dynamics of confrontation between Ethnic Nationalism and FDRE (Federal Republic of Ethiopia/TPLF/eprdf regime) over Ethnic federalism, a division of Ethiopian Land mass by major languages and ethnic groups), rather than leaving the original provinces with assorted ethnic groups in tact, as provincial governments jut like Addis Abeba today.

  25. Garo
    | #25

    There is only one way to find out. Let all issues be put to a vote and see what people are going to say about it. This claim that the majority of Ethiopians are of mixed ethnicity is not supported by fact. There may be some mixing of ethnic groups in the urban area. The urban population in Ethiopia is very small. So we just don’t have enough evidence of that. And also people with mixed vote on issues like anybody else. I know people with mixed ethnicity who favor one side of their ethnic issue than other. This is based on their experience.One thing is clear. THE OROMO ISSUE IS NOT GOING TO GO AWAY JUST BECAUSE SOME ENEMIES OF OROMO WISH IT DID.

  26. aha!
    | #26

    Ctd. from to the last sentence@ #24: This would create a scenario that nullifies ethnic nationalism, future boundary conflicts, ethnic cleansing etc. by dismantling ethnic federalism, a division of Ethiopians land mass by major languages and ethnic groups, while developing languages and cultures in the hyper space and developing the natural and human resources according to ecological regions with private ownership of land anywhere in Ethiopia.

  27. merssa
    | #27

    awar Mohamad who is not even Ethiopian by his own admission should not be allowed to meddle in Ethiopian politics, he is a hirling of Egypt.

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