Oromo Protesters Burned Down Properties. Should we Condemn or Condone It? Who’s to Blame? Could it Repeated Itself in Other Regions? By Seid Hassan

February 13th, 2016 Print Print Email Email


In addition to the senseless killings of protesters by the ruling party against the Oromos, the latest video clips and news reports also indicate that the same protests in Oromia region have led to the burning/destruction of properties, foundations, etc. There is an ongoing and raging debate among Ethiopians, residing both in and outside of the country, in regards to this debacle. Some members of the diaspora link (and rightly so in this regard) the burnings/destructions to the innumerable atrocities and endemic corruption committed by the ruling party. Their condoning seem to emanate from the fact that a good portion of the destroyed properties are owned by corrupt elites and foreign companies (individuals). The owners of these properties and structures are reaping what they have sown, they argue. Folks who echo these sentiments seem to consider riots as antidotes to unending pillaging and a necessary evil. There are others, particularly those who consider themselves as soldiers of the peaceful struggle, which includes those who participated in and organizing of the protests, who argue against the burning and destruction of properties. The observed destructions and burnings, they say, were perpetrated by saboteurs of peaceful struggle and repercussions of the ruling party’s uncalled for brutalities on peaceful protestors. The burnings and destructions also seem to have put a large portion of Ethiopians in a quandary and deep dilemma. They are really seem to be between a rock and hard place (that is, unable to either condemn or condone the destructions).

As a soldier of non-violent resistance, I also do not condone the observed burnings/destructions. But contrary to our wishes, I acknowledge and fret the fact that burnings and destructions of greater magnitude may be inevitable. In fact, I saw this debacle coming, long ago. And I have raised this possibility, on several occasions, with friends, such as Professors Minga Negash, Messay Kebede and Berhanu Mengistu, every time we discussed the cunning nature of Ethiopian corruption. As we discussed the magnitude of Ethiopian corruption, it seemed as though our heads have become dizzy and our voices trebled, for the unfathomable destructions could reach epic proportions. Why do Ethiopians consider the government supported investment structures and properties as not belonging to them but instead as “foreign” assets and even vehicles of exploitation and oppression?

Now, if you want to understand why the protesters failed to understand that foreign direct investment (FDI) creates wealth (which it does), but they instead consider even the “domestically” (political-party and elite-owned) “investments” as alien/foreign owned, why foreign direct investment is considered as a “fancy word for stealing” and as highly exploitative and accessory to evil, etc. and why they even venture for their destructions, I urge you to read on. If you want to understand the nature of Ethiopian corruption, its ramifications- how it has been and continues to irreparably damage the social and institutional fabrics of the country, and most importantly, if you really want to be thinking of designing strategies for combating it and forestall potentially devastating destructions, please allow me to elaborate.
This commentary is designed to implore you (the reader) understand the intractable nature of Ethiopian corruption and then think about potential “solutions.” This is because designing strategies and finding “solutions” require a good grasp of the type of corruption found in a specific country- in this case, Ethiopia.

State Capture – a Form of Garand Corruption as the Root Cause of the Problem

As I have shown on several occasions before, what we have been witnessing in Ethiopia is the most pernicious and intractable form of corruption known as State Capture. This form of corruption needs to be distinguished from what is known in the corruption literature as Administrative (Bureaucratic) Corruption. It is the type of corruption defined and observed in the traditional manner, almost all countries, save post-communist (transition) countries. In particular, Administrative (Bureaucratic) Corruption deals with the extent in which the bribe payer uses the existing laws, rules, and regulations to tip the balance in his favor. In general, administrative (bureaucratic) corruption is known to take place at the implementation level of the bureaucracy while the political (grand) corruption of it takes place at the highest level of political authority. Examples of variants of administrative corruption may include: impeding the implementation of justice; getting involved in the forgery and/or destruction of documents; delaying and/or procrastinating on executing high level official (assigned) duties; using official hours for personal gains; misrepresenting one’s authority; getting involved in partisan favors (nepotism); misusing public property; engaging in absenteeism; getting involved in kickbacks from developmental programs; pay-offs for legislative support, diversion of public resources for private use; overlooking illegal activities; common theft/embezzlement; overpricing, establishing non-existing projects and tax collection and tax assessment frauds, etc.

Even though it may be difficult to completely eradicate it, fortunately, nations could minimize the damage done by Administrative (Bureaucratic) Corruption by ensuring transparency, accountability and openness in governmental activities. This is done, for example, by (a) Establishing power centers outside the bureaucracy; (b) Establishing independent electoral boards and developing and allowing competitive party politics; (c) Using the independent media, which in turn enables interest groups, members of civic society, NGOs, etc.; (d) Using the investigative powers of the parliament; (e) Setting up of independent anti-corruption boards and commissions; and (f) Using the independent judiciary system.

However, what we have been witnessing in Ethiopia is a different kind of corruption known as State Capture, which is known to have manifested itself in transition (formerly socialist) countries. It is a phenomenon in which powerful groups exert their corrupt and undue influence in order to shape the institutions and policies, laws and regulations of the state for their own benefit rather than for the public good. State capture could arise and be practiced in several ways: it could result from powerful individuals, groups or firms using both non-transparent provisions as well as legitimate and transparent channels to deny competing groups have access to state officials and resources. It could also arise from the exploitation of the “unclear boundaries between the political and business interests of state officials” by specific groups and state officials for their mutual benefits at the expense of the society in question (Hellman: 1998:3). According to Broadman and Recanatini (2001), state capture is harmful corruption that subverts the entire political process designed to ensure that policies and regulations favorable to specific groups and business interests are implemented.

State Capture may differ from country to country. In some countries, state capture could clearly be seen as a variant of a corruptive practice known as crony capitalism in which powerful groups, individuals and oligarchs shape and manipulate the formation of new policies- “rules of the game”- to their own advantages. The phenomenon could be observed whenever state officials pass decrees and/or legislative votes favoring the organized business groups, oligarchs or powerful individuals. It could also be observed by huge “concentration of economic and political power” and economic inequality arising from self-interested actors gaining and controlling over the state and its resources. The State Capture phenomenon could also be observed by the collusive activities of powerful leaders (regional or national), ministers, and legislative and judiciary executives, corporate executives of state institutions/agencies and party-owned companies. In some cases, state capture is a result of weakened legal and political institutions. In some other instances, captors purposely weaken the country’s legal and political institutions so that they would be susceptible to capture and exploitation. It is also manifested by the failure of economic reforms and the stripping of public assets by some powerful individuals or organized groups using the “privatization” process. In some instances, state capture could be observed when organized groups clandestinely create a state within a state (“parallel state”) in order to influence the state structures, including the judiciary, the security apparatus, the military, and even the media. In some countries where state capture has occurred, the line between what is private and what is public, what is official and non-official, what is state and what is market are totally blurred. As you can observe from the above descriptions, under state capture, a country’s laws, regulations, legalities, and ultimately its institutions are part of corrupt transactions. Such corruption features are quite different from the Administrative/Bureaucratic Corruption described above.

In some countries such as Ethiopia (Hassan, 2013) (and to a limited extent, countries such as Uganda and Rwanda), the entire political, economic, legal and military structures are under the control of powerful cliques or ethnically organized groups. Corruption of this type is pernicious because these same organized groups, in collaboration with owners of powerful firms and/or oligarchs, happen to dominate the vital sectors of all institutions (economic, social, legal and military). In some cases, as manifested in countries such as Russia in the 1990s and in some countries in Africa, Ethiopia included, the practice of capture is highly organized and predatory. The captors are known to use, among other things, violence and intimidation. They are known to have created their own monopolies (oligarchies) and cartels in order to monopolize the vital sectors of the economic system while at the same time disabling the ongoing market reforms. In short, this kind of corruption resembles a modern version of organized crime.

Country Specific Characteristics of Captors

The corruptive activities of the captors are largely similar but they may differ by country or origin and type of captors. In post-communist countries, Hellman et al (2000:3) make distinctions between private “captor firms (i.e. firms that make private payments to public officials to affect the rules of the game) and influential firms (i.e. firms that have influence on those rules without recourse to private payments to public officials).” The captors in general are the nomenklatura – a group of former managers and bureaucrats of state-owned enterprises under the old Soviet system and other Eastern Bloc (estimated to be about 1.5 percent of the population) who were “engaged in ceaseless political maneuvering among themselves while maintaining total power, as a privileged class, over all the others.” They could also be public officials who “may use their positions to capture enterprises,” or a group of actors such as the members of parliament, the executive, ministers and judiciary acting in unison (the ruling party leaders acting prosecutor, judge, and jury).While largely similar, state capture in developing countries such as Ethiopia, differ from those in post-communist countries in some important ways: For one, unlike their Russian and East European counter parts, the Ethiopian captors do not exclusively belong to the nomenklatura (higher officials of the communist parties), since a large portion of them were rag tag guerrilla fighters who had marched all the way out from the bushes to seize power and enrich themselves. Secondly, in countries such as Ethiopia, the state capture phenomenon is highly parochial (and quasi-feudal and ethnic-based) in nature. Unfortunately, patronage infested Ethiopian corruption has a strong tendency for both envy and tolerance – such a tolerance for vice emanating from those whose ethnic affiliation with the ruling clique. This tendency known to have permeated the Kenyan society (Michela Wrong, 2009: “It is Our Turn to Eat.”)

One also observes a very strong patron- clientelistic and neo-patrimonialistic nature of corruption in these countries (Ethiopia, in particular). Thirdly, unlike in some post-communist countries such as Eastern Europe, in which some oligarchs were forced out of political power, the Ethiopian captors continue to hold both political and economic power. The Russian oligarchs made their fortunes through wheeling and dealing and by committing all kinds of economic crimes including buying Russian assets at throw away prices (so did their Ethiopian counter-parts). Mr. Putin did not like the political meddling of some of them and hence used his scorched earth tactics to put some of them behind bars and sending some of the others into exile while at the same time stripping of their assets (while leaving alone those who did not venture to politically challenge him). The captors in Eastern and Central Europe gradually lost their political clout partly due to the desires and efforts of those countries to join the European Union and fulfill the EU’s conditions and the latter’s assistance in fighting and eradicating state capture. Fourthly, state capture in countries such as Ethiopia is unparalleled in that it is a stronger form than one finds elsewhere in that it encompasses the seizure of the political apparatus and the commanding heights of the national economy –the seizure extending to the military, security, foreign policy and judicial system and even the media. In Ethiopia, the predatory oligarchs’ appetite for controlling the commanding heights of the country’s economy, misappropriating its resources and accumulating wealth using a network of political power continues unabatedly, thereby exacerbating the gaps between the haves and the have-nots. The elite predation has led to a virtual criminalization of the state to the extent that mafia type of criminal activities pop up occasionally. Another peculiar characteristic of State Capture in Ethiopia is its high level ethnocentric nature. As a result, the lines between what is official and what is private are totally blurred, and the party and the state have become almost indistinguishable. It is for this reason that many are tempted to label the Ethiopian corruptive system as highly kleptocratic. As a result, they say, this captured economy is trapped in a vicious cycle in which any policy reforms designed to improve governance are doomed to fail due to the constant collusions between the powerful groups operating from outside and within the government.

What Has Transpired in Ethiopia?

What is being witnessed in Ethiopia is the establishment of shell companies in contravention of the country’s commercial codes, such as establishing “share companies with only 2-5 “shareholders”, most of these “shareholders” being party leaders. As Gennet Mersha explains, parallel existence of political party-owned businesses has led to “leakage of resources in the form of capital flight, the granting and manipulation of licenses, (c) use of inside information pertaining to privatization, competition for state contracts and bids and awards of project contracts such as road and building and other construction works, (d) lack of competition, and, (e) systematic discrimination of businesses and professionals.”

What we have observed is “favouritism and clique building [which] flourished around the privatization boards (Minga Negash). What the Ethiopian people witnessed were improper handling of the restructuring and privatization process (Mersha: 2010), Young (1998), Vestal (2009), and Negash (2010). What Ethiopians have witnessed is large-scale systemic state capture through the rise of suffocating political-party owned companies (“endowments”), such as EFFORT and the numerous companies subsumed under it. What we know is the refusal of the members of the ruling clique to return the country’s assets that they looted when they were guerrilla fighters. What we know is party hacks presiding “over top-level boards of party-owned businesses and major government enterprises including banks” and their funneling of easy bank loans to regional party-owned companies. What has transpired is the disfranchisement “other” Ethiopians and the stifling of completion through the awarding of contracts to those connected with the ruling party, such high level nepotism being very high in the construction sector (see, World Bank’s Diagnosing Corruption in Ethiopia, Chapter 6, for example.) What we have witnessed on the daily basis, twenty five years and counting, is the currying of favor to these same conglomerates and cadre-owned and favored companies resulting in the distortions of competition and lack of competitive marketplace. What we have witnessed, much like countries which were under the influence of the Soviet Union, is the seizure and control of the financial sector by a specific group. What we are witnessing is suffocation through the use of the so-called new press and anti-terrorism laws. What we observe in Ethiopia is, the passage and adoptions of new laws such as the one prohibiting of opposition parties from receiving funds from abroad, while at the same time the ruling party benefiting immensely from it. What has developed is a culture of zero-sum mentality, a powerful leadership with deaf ears that is “too rigid, arrogant and disconnected” with high level of patronage. What Ethiopians have witnessed is the constant attack and dismantling of opposition political parties, the weakening of the country’s institutions – be they the dismantlement of independent civic organizations, the watering down of the quality of education, constant violation of the rule of law, etc. What is being observed is the creation of toothless anti-corruption commission to hoodwink donors and the hijacking of anti-corruption efforts-to the extent of using it to attack and imprison political opponents. Just like in Russia and elsewhere, the ruling party of Ethiopia has captured the legislature, the executive, the judiciary and practically all regulatory agencies- all distinguishing caricatures of State Capture- the highest form of corruption that is “directed toward extracting rents.
These are just a few.

The Repercussions

State Capture and (mafia type) criminal oligarchy, accompanied with an unbelievable arrogance and repression has resulted in deep disillusionment, cynicism and polarization in the country. It has resulted in once upon a time rag-tag guerrilla fighters and poor taxi drivers, not known for their ingenuity or something else that is good, becoming extremely wealthy, almost overnight. It has led to the setting ablaze of property, in which local businesses happen to bear the brunt of the destructions. Riots do not take place in a vacuum. The causes are the nauseating greed on the part of the ruling party, the eviction of tens of thousands of people from their ancestral lands and the transfer of these same lands, with little or no compensations, to the ruling party owned companies, elites and foreigners. The causes of the riots are, no doubt, outright nepotism and organized crime committed by the ruling elites. Corruption riddled land transfers have resulted in a transfer of resources from the people into the hands of the very few. Those whose lands have forcedly been taken away and displaced and those who have been oppressed seem not to be taking the abuse any more. As an economist, I see the ruling clique’s overreach (of forced displacements, arrogance, insatiable greed and suffocating corruption) having lasting collateral damages. Thanks to the overreaches of the government and criminal activities of party elites, foreign direct investment is now considered a fancy word for deceit and exploitation. Indeed, people-centered and properly compensated urban development projects would have been win-wins for all those involved. Thanks to the land-related rampant corruption, the ruling clique’s dirty tricks have undermined future legitimate development projects. No doubt these overreaches will be big time setbacks to future development.

Allow me to elaborate the fraud infested and predatory land grabs which sparked several unrests, a little more. Just like North Korea and China, land belongs to the Ethiopian government, which in turn created a space for a frenzy of uncompensated land grabbing, rent-seeing and nepotism. Using several endless land proclamations as their tools, Ethiopian officials and land grabbers might have copied Chinese practices of forcefully expropriating land. It appears that land grabbers in Ethiopia have failed to understand the problems associated with such a practice. For one, forced evictions have resulted not only in human rights abuses and the violations of the international covenant forced evictions that China has ratified, but the scheme has contributed to a growing income inequality. Ethiopian authoritarian rulers should have known that growing inequalities have consequences. Secondly, a large portion of the eviction in China was largely done by local officials and against the wishes of the central government. In Ethiopia, both the re-zoning and demolition plans and executions are done by the directives and order of central government authorities, contributing to the rising resentments. Thirdly, both the central and local governments of China were able to create factory jobs which absorbed a significant portion of the evicted peasants, resulting in indirect compensations to the lost properties for those who have been displaced. In Ethiopia, local communities hardly get any benefits from the “investments” despite promises of creating jobs. Fourthly, contrary to what is largely observed in Ethiopia, it appears that Chinese local authorities and developers compensated evictees even though the compensations were nowhere equal to the market value of the properties. Fifthly, in the Ethiopian case, those who benefit from land –related corruption (which includes forced evictions and demolitions) happen to be the top echelons of the ruling party. Sixthly, unlike the Chinese case, the Ethiopian population is highly divided along ethnic lines, such divisions exacerbated by the policies of the regime itself. Last but not least, unlike the Ethiopian land grabbers, the Chinese authorities never use live ammunitions against protesters whose lands have been seized illegally. That must be why other ethnic groups, the Oromos, in particular, consider the so-called federal police (repeatedly observed brutally beating students) and the military only belonging to and used as a killing paramilitary squad of the TPLF. The Ethiopian people have repeatedly witnessed that the ruling party have never been accountable to the atrocities it committed. Witness the tortures, disappearances, mass arrests and massacres the regime committed in 1995, 2005/6, 2014, and now 2015/16, the genocide committed against the Anuak people in 2003, the killing of university students in 2001, just to name a few. The Ethiopian people have been traumatized by the endless atrocities. It is these and numerous other atrocities that have forced the Ethiopian people to think that this is not their government. It the lootings and the extreme corruptive activities which have led the Ethiopian people to think the properties and investment as not belonging to them but to a parasitic group who are not one of them. Consequently, it is not hard to imagine corruption that is committed by “others,” – and in a lot of cases, orchestrated by those who claim to be representing one ethnic group – to be viewed with great envy and anger thereby escalating the polarization. No wonder it results in extreme discontents and riots.

State Capture, together with oppression, arrogance and brutality is leading the country to experience an accelerating socio-politico-economic breakdown and to potentially ethnic/sectarian conflicts- all contributing to the unravelling and possible disintegration of the rotting system. Unfortunately, the collapsing system will have collateral and innocent victims.

“Solutions”: Where do we go from here?

As I indicated above, State Capture is anathema to reforms. In the Ethiopia of today, there is no independent judiciary that can uphold the rule of law since the rule of law gets subverted by top level officials on a constant basis. There are no checks and balances. All we have is a rubber-stamping “parliament. All we have is a toothless anti-corruption agency which is saddled by the lack of resources and incompetence. Nearly all independent and privately owned newspapers have been forcefully shuttered and many of the journalists sent to jail or exiled. These brutal measures have deprived the country (and the ruling clique itself) from using an independent media to expose the rampant corruption. Civil society organizations have been either decimated or captured. What we have is an executive body which fires auditor generals when they expose corruption. In today’s Ethiopia, every regulatory agency is captured, to the extent that Mr. Sibant Nega, the founder, architect and now revered figurehead of the TPLF, boldly and unashamedly admitting the obvious: that corruption in Ethiopia is so bad that it has permeated even the religious institutions. The Ethiopian oligarchy lacks a Vladimir Putin (that is, Meles Zenawi) who could have served as an anti-corruption czar and his unparalleled power and Machiavellian tactics to trap and quell his distractors and possibly extend the political life of the oligarchy. The paranoia riddled and heavy handed measures taken against the Oromos by the ruling clique clearly indicate not only the ruling party has become headless but it also indicates a lack of command and control.

What we are left with is three relatively powerful groups, who could potentially allay the pains inflicted upon the Ethiopian people by rampant corruption – their measure having the potential to extend the political life of the kleptocratic regime. Even though these groups may be able to extend the political life of the regime, they would not save it from eventual collapse since corruption of this magnitude cannot be saved from within. What I am thinking about are (a) Multinational institutions, such as the IMF, World Bank and others; (b) Donor nations, particularly the United State and the EU; and (c) Pressure from stakeholders who are a part of and closer to the regime, that is, ‘custodians of the status quo’ (Berhanu Mnegistu, 2016-“Mediating Political Space…”). The first two are holders of strong arms – capable of putting immense pressure on the clique. For one, these institutions and donors know how aid dependent the regime is- so aid dependent just “[like] a patient addicted to pain killers,” The United States and members of the EU, the U.K. in particular, along with the aid institutions, know the “aid” they provide is the source of corruption, be it via illicit financial outflows, used to recruit and pay millions of cadres, used to fund forced villagization or other means. As I have shown elsewhere, donor nations know that part of the seeds of capital for party-owned conglomerates are the “aid” they provided. Should the wish to do so, donor nations can bring the TPLF leaders to their knees by suing them for their misuse of foreign aid and money laundering. As to the third group, according to Professor Berhanu Mengistu (2016), the effectiveness of the ‘custodians of the status quo’ depends not only on their ability to “convince the narrow stakeholders” that change is in their best interests but also their ability to direct those changes. One may legitimately ask: Would the custodians of the status quo be able to control their own greed and selfishness when in fact the entire ruling party, top-to-bottom, being so repugnantly corrupt? Well, if they failed to do so, then they will lose all that they have amassed!

So, why did Oromo protesters burned down properties and investment structures located within their own neighborhoods? Well, it is because of the resentments which have been running deep against overbearing party elites who scoop up lands that don’t belong to them – the grabbed lands making them to become very wealthy almost overnight. All that the people see is wealth following senseless corruption, party affiliation, bloodlines, but not hard work or original access to one’s ancestral land. The protesters are not only pushed out of their ancestral land but they also do not have jobs, money or even prospects. As the rioters’ selective attack targets indicate, the burnings/destructions and boycotting seem to be directed at those owned by the TPLF and its supporters. Unfortunately, resentments of this kind are harbored by other ethnic groups. Such practices may indeed be repeated in other regions, even though Ethiopia does not really have lots of resources to burn and destroy.

Unfortunately, the Ethiopian people continue to be traumatized by TPLF’s economic gangsterism and government-led violence. Traumatism leads to hopelessness, extreme anger and frustration, to the extent of being self-destructive. The burnings of properties, therefore, are byproducts of the traumas that the Oromos have suffered. I have my deep fears that someday such destructiveness may repeat themselves in the other regions of the country and possibly in a large scale. Let’s pray and hope that appropriate measures, capable of forestalling the looming dangers

  1. Amare
    | #1

    These extremist Oromo protestors remind me of those OLF Oromos who slaughtered genocide hundreds of innocent Amhara individuals and then thrown the bodies in pits of mass grave in the 1990′s. I have no doubt soon these extremist may strike again.

  2. teeka
    | #2

    unfortunately, the kind of violence by tplf gangsters and looters can only breed more violence and murder, we should not forget that tplf are masters of confusion. whilst some people might think that the burning and looting of properties is the work of ormo protesters, tplf also throws its cadres into the mix amongst the protesters to create mayhem and maximum chaos. this confusion and chaos helps tplf gangsters to justify their massacre.

  3. Shmaglae
    | #3

    I don’t want to see destructions in Ethiopia like in Tripoli of Libya, Aleppo of Syria, etc. Anybody that has seen photos of the cities mentioned above before and after their civil wars, wouldn’t wish it to happen even to their arch enemies.The human and capital costs are too much to bear. Hence, the only way to resolve the political quagmire in Ethiopia must be by way of reconciliation as in South Africa.

  4. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #4

    I like this article by this well read man of ours. I like it a lot;

    It is a very sad incidence. Is it not? My heart bleeds with utter sorrow whenever I hear mass killings of citizens especially the youth. When I thought the youth of that country has finally started recovering from the senseless massacre unleashed by the demonic regime of Mengistu in the 1970’s, then came the 2005 killings and now this. The massacre of the 1970’s had left a generation psychologically scarred and scarred for life beyond repair. And now once again, the same violent modus operandi starring use of deadly force! Tear gas, water cannons, and rubber bullets? Where are they? I am not sure the officials over there even know these non-lethal mass control devices exist. They be going ‘Hey! there are about a thousand demonstrators in the street’. ‘Then go after them with AK-47’s, what are you waiting for? It is target practice time!!!’. I can’t even start to imagine how those who pulled the trigger go home that day and sleep well at night. How? How? Nobody should be proud this. Nobody!!! No one including those who incited those young people from their comfy homes here in the West to go out in the streets and hills with uncontrollable rage and cause damage to factories, equipment and modern farm settings. To me in this modern world, factories and modern farms along with their equipments should be considered as third tier temples next to places of worship. Western investment is a must and it has been very reluctant to invest in factories for fear of instability. The much touted Chinese investment has many limitations. All the indication is that things are starting to unravel over there. Majority of its own 100 million internal migratory workers have gone home for the Chinese New Year to never come back to their places of work because factories are shuttering right and left. But the West still has a huge and growing market. Now when they hear this wanton violence on their pioneering factories, they may be forced to look for some where else. Foreign investment and a highly radicalized/politicized population do not mix. The population of that country is highly radicalized/politicized for good or worse with all their 100 million or so in numbers. 100 million powder keg in all just waiting for someone to make the wrong move. I do not condone at all the burning down of trucks and factory. It should be condemned with no reservations. In the meantime, those who went out there and chose to be conduct target practice with human lives should also be condemned. They should be brought to court and answer for what they did. Also, in my book, those loud mouthed individuals and groups who incited the youth to rush into raging fire waiting from their safe hideouts here in the West should be held responsible. They have pushers of hatred and extremism for a lone purpose f starting chaos and mayhem so they can go in there to carve out a territory they will call it their own fiefdom. Some of them are aimlessly roaming the campuses of universities in the West and harems of Cairo, Doha, Riyadh and some forsaken joints in the Middle East. Others are busy scavenging at the dumpsites in Asmara. Wait a minute!!! There are some of them waging an ‘independence’ war in Kenya to liberate my own very proud people of Oromia. And once in a while, they sent their bigoted thugs to kill innocent farmers because they are not like them. They call that a ‘successful raid’ in their Minnesota concocted ‘military communiqués’. Do you remember one such communiqué back in July they put out when they heard President Obama was heading there for an official visit? I think that was intended to scare him. Can you imagine that? To scare the leader of the most powerful nation on earth with their non existent ‘indomitable’ fighters? These individuals have gone mad!!!! Or they are trying to insult the intellect of every one of us. For sure that dog don’t hunt!!!! But they have been able to spew around hatred and utter bigotry against others for too long. They should be held responsible for their actions. The reality back in the old country is that the national question has been amicably addressed. What missing is what has been denied to all; Corruption, lack of transparency, and all the ills of bad governance. The existence of injustice in Oromia can not be eradicated by the lone struggle of the Oromo people. The same goes for the Amharas, Afars, Somalis, Tigrayans and all other ethnic group of people. And the struggle must be conducted in a peaceful manner and the triggers of AK47’s will not further the accord. I say, peaceful, peaceful, peaceful!!!

    Peace y’all!!!!

  5. Anonymous
    | #5

    The writer is so interested in property rather than the poor people who were gunned down in broad day light on the streets of Addis and other towns!!!
    Seidd Hussan care for people instead of property!!!

  6. Demeke Getachew
    | #6



    OLF is an international terrorist organization based in Eritrea, soonn or latter its core terrorist leaders will be capture by gallant Ethiopia’s anti-terrorist agency and they be brought to face justice.

  7. Awassa
    | #7


    ……of course I do not blame Iromos for being suspicious and not trusting authority, after all throughout history starting from The showa’s tribalist King (Menilike) era to Haileselassie era That Oromo citizens not only dehumanized,oppressed and genocided by these two bloody NEFETEGNA Showa kings, but also their land was snatched away and given to Showa Amhara feudals. To add an insult to wound, the Showa NEGETEGNA King (Menilike) also banned Oromos language from being spoken in Oromos regions courts and Oromo municipalities in order to expand Showa Amhara’s socioeconomic,cultural and linguistic domination over Oromos. Many Oromo lands were stolen by Menilike then these stolen Oromos land were given new Amharic names then these lands were forwarded into Showa Amhara domain. It is true, The tribalist Showa Amhara King was oppressive and killer toward all non Showa Amhara tribes, but nothing more cruel and destructive toward Oromos. This also the main reason and understandable today there is no authentic trust between Showa Amhara settlers in Oromo land and Oromos.
    The old SLAVE-MASTER relationship between the Showa Amhara (Master) and Oromos (Slave) relationship still linger in most NEFETEGNAS (Showa Amharas) psyche. This the psychological factor that NEFETEGNA ELITES residing here in North America and Europe totally oppose Oromos self governing Federal system in the hoodwink of political opposition, the NEFETEGNA ELITES insists on CENTRALIZATION ( Like the old NEFETEGNA heydays).

  8. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #8

    Dear Editors:

    Did my last comment found me in the dog house with you? I am a big boy and I ain’t afraid of constructive counter opinion. So, please hit me with it. No worries!!!

  9. Gefersa A.
    | #9

    No wonder why OLF members were attempted to bomb King Minilk’s statue from Addis Abeba/Finfine in the late of 1990′s. I wonder if OLF still interested in destroying Minilk’s statue from Finfine ?

  10. Mezmur
    | #10

    I think it is not fair and just to blame the destruction or loss of property on the protesters. It is a well established fact that the TPLF resorts to and commonly uses such tactics as killings and destructions of property when ever it faces strong opposition and legitimate protests. The TPLF uses these draconian tactics to fabricate accusatios and attack the oppositio figures and divide the public. This is the modus operandi of the TPLF and I urge the writer Professor Seid Hassan and others to exercise caution and verify the culprit before writing such incriminating articles.

  11. Olango
    | #11

    The weyanne using the alias or false name Awassa.
    The widespread protests in the Oromo region have created fear and tension in the brutal and racist TPLF regime. The protests are targetting the looters`regime that is displacing the Oromos and robbing them of their ancestral lands. The Oromos know this well and the distracting propaganda campaigns of the TPLF cadres and beneficiaries such as the one using the false name Awassa are futile and worthlesss. If the TPLF leaders, members and followers still believe that the Oromos can be easly deceived and exploited by narrating to them the past injustices, then it will be regarded as an insult to their intelligence. We know degrading and contempting attitudes of the TPLF leaders towards the Oromos and peoples in the South. The TPLF is ruling us through its local surrogates and controlling and exploiting our resources.

  12. tass
    | #12

    awassa, tplf lapdog. you do not care for oromo or even for your own mother. you will sell your mother for a dime.
    amhara did this , neftegna did that won’t wash with anybody any more.You cannot fool anybody and blame amhara.
    you little brain s terminally sick with the cancer of blaming amhara and you need medical help.

  13. እውነት
    | #13

    አዋሳ = ስለ ነፍጥኛ ሸዋ ስለሚሊሊክ በማውራት ግዚህን ጨርስክ ስለኦሮሞ ህዝብ መጨፍጨፍ መወረር መርዶ አረዳችሁ ሃውልት አሰራችሁ ኦሮሞ ካማራጋ እርም ብሎ እንዳይገኛኝ ከለላችሁ እንደ በርሊን ግብ መገባት ብቻ ነበር የቀራችሁ አሁን የሞተው ነፍጠኛ ሚሊሊክ ተነስቶ እንዳይመጣነው የሰጋችሁት ወይስ 25 አመት ሙሉ ቆልፋችሁ ከትግሪ ወያኒ ጋር ስታስሩት ስትጨፈጭፉት በሃሰት በሪ ወለደ ታሪክ ስትሰብኩት የነበረውን ጊታችሁ አብይ ጸሃዪ ና ጊታቸው እረዳ የሚያዋርዳችሁን የትግሪ ነጻ አውጭ ባሪያ መሆናችሁን ተቀበሉ ብለህ ለማረሳሳት አሁንም መልሰህ ስለነፍጠኛ አምሃራ የምታወራው አታፍርም ስለ ወራሪና ተወራሪ እኮ የታሪክ መዝገብ ይፍረድውው

  14. Zeleke T.
    | #14

    @ Awasa,
    Thank you! For exposing Olf’s genocidal crime, your kind of open minded out spoken personalities we need to stop future killing by criminal organization of OLF.

  15. JOHN
    | #15

    Our intellectuals do please wake up even after 25 years.
    Ethnic politics is just the symptom.
    The main cause is as follows.
    TPLF Is a Zionist agent. The entire social, cultural, economical, and political and finally the spiritual architecture is designed and organized that way. Infiltration, perversion, deception, bribe, blackmail are the main tools to carry out this diabolical scheme. EPRDF is a cover for TPLF. Likewise TPLF is a cover. TPLF at the core is a Zionist agent. Only very few adepts are privy to this diabolical scheme. Ethiopians now tend to understand the general situation in Ethiopia this way.Ethinc politics is just a means to this end.As for addis ababa and oromia case the cause is Ethnic federalism.This is the big picture and we are all pawns in this big game.Addis Abababa master plan is intended to gradually evict non-Tigreans.It is a systematic ethnic cleansing.Greater Ethiopia has gradually diminished and changed in to greater Addis Ababa which is the result of thnic federalism.Ethnic federalism works for TPLF but does not work for Ethiopians.Do not worry to please every body but try to speak the truth and only the truth.

    Additional source TPLF is a Zionist agent

  16. Tola
    | #16

    The TPLG guys have the blood of the innocent Oromos and other Ethiopians and they will be made to pay for it sooner or later. We are living in the age of information and collecting enough evidence to bring the TPLF fascists and killers to justice. The divisive and antagonizing tactics the TPLF rulers are using is proving counter-productive and backfiring.

  17. Anonymous
    | #17

    Hi all,
    First of all, thanks for reading the article and sharing your thoughts with me and the reader;

    Second of all, it appears that a good number of you are responding without reading the article in its entirety and/or have failed to understand the points that I am trying to make.

    Among other things, some of the messages that I have tried get across are that; (a) The kind of corruption that one finds in Ethiopia is unparalleled and it cannot be rectified in a traditional manner. It can only be solved through the dismantling of the entire system. (b) Because of the magnitude of atrocities committed by senseless killings and its relentless pillaging, riots will not be limited to Oromia alone. (c) Implicitly, I indicated to the killers that they would pay high prices by killing innocent children who also are also human beings like their own children.
    As I stated at the outset, I was IMPLORING YOU to think about finding “solutions.” In the process, I shared some potential ones who would allay our suffering even though they may not be solutions.
    The article is written specifically for people who should think about the way out and for the killers in particular.

    It is time to find ways to get rid of this kleptocratic system. But we should be careful not to “throw the baby out with the bathwater” – that is, we all need to strategically think of how to get rid of this cancerous regime without destroying the country and/or massacring of one another. As I indicated on the commentary, the burnings/destructions are understandable BUT such violent reactions will NOT be limited in Oromia region, given the nature of corruption, continuous atrocities and looting committed by the ruling clique! It is a warning for all involved- Ethiopian people, the pillagers and international investors. The ramifications of corruption, accompanied by unimaginable arrogance and atrocities are immense! What will save us not continuous abuse. What will save us all is not anger, etc. It is time to think hard. It is time to come together and search for potential solutions!

    As I indicated in the article, the regime has been getting away with repeated mass murders and we should not let it happen this time around.
    Even though I understand why protests led to burnings/destructions, it is hard for me to condone it. It will just be counter-productive the peaceful struggle. The protests were largely peaceful and, in my view, the Oromos have shown us why peaceful struggle could be so effective. Congratulations are in order here!

    It is time for all of us think strategically and find ways to remove the cancer with limited costs incurred!

    There is no value for human life, period! No person should be killed by any government for any reason! I am not even a believer of death penalty! If this makes some of you feel any better, I would like to let you know that I have some Oromoness in my blood, too. But more than anything else I am a humanist.

    Keep thinking! Keep getting outraged. We should not let them get away with mass murder!

    Seid Hassan (author of the commentary)

  18. Dawi
    | #18

    Mezmur said:

    [[..I think it is not fair and just to blame the destruction or loss of property on the protesters…]]

    What can I do about you Mezmur?

    Here you’re saying the Oromo masses are unlikely to destroy FDI or public ventures; simply put you’re debunking Said’s assertion that such incidents may happen again?

    I will go along with that as long as the government comes true with a future fair compensation for land use. The Chinese called for similar measures for an indistinguishable problem. That is off course regardless of Prof. Said tempting to make the CPC look innocent; it is public knowledge they purposely looked the other way when regional party hacks doing the dirty job.

    Why not accept full heart Abay pointing fingers at OPDO then? :-)

    On another note, it is hard to imagine a claim like Mezmur’s that the government set the whole thing up to shot innocent young people particularly when the action was corroborated in no uncertain terms that the perpetrators were no other but the local security/police.

  19. Shmaglae
    | #19

    Menelik was the king of Ethiopia with governors and generals from all ethnic groups. For instance, Fitawrari Habte Giorgis was his War Minister for the whole of his reign. Of course you know about Ras Gobena. They were one people bound by common goals and aspirations.You see, they were not narrow -minded like the present generation. That was how they were respected and not conquered by enemies like the Dirvish of Sudan.
    I do not deny there were some officials that misused their positions of power and snatched land from the poor peasants. We university students of that time went on strike demanding “Land to the tiller.”
    You should remember that most of the Neftegnas were Amharic speakers Oromos. So please do not beat up the Amharas for all the ills of Ethiopia. If anything, Amharas were at the forefront of defending their country.
    Remember the dictatorial Haile Selassie and Mengistu were great grandsons of Mr Gudissa and Ayana respectively. If there were inequalities those two powerful leaders would have rectified.

  20. Fasiledes
    | #20

    Ooopps! What happened ? what is the fuss all about, seems Mr.Awasa had exposed the truth, and the Nefetegna camp getting restless and scared.

    By the way, Mr.Awasa had forgotten to mention and include that this unthinking idiot bloodless fake King Menilike also had sold Ethiopias most strategic land and ports in order to stay in power, included Somalia to Italy and Brits,Eritrea to Italia,Dejibuti to France.
    Unlike shameful backward lazy bloodless fake kings/King Menilike and King Haileselassie, the Fire tested true hero kings of Ethiopia came from North and they are blood linked to to authentic blood line of kings of Ethiopia and their name if King Tewodros and King Yohanse. They lived for Ethiopia and died for Ethiopia.

  21. Awasaa
    | #21



  22. Dawi
    | #22

    King Menelk’s Statue haters read the following:

    [[Having such statue in the States is something unique and the statue itself is nice. There is also a little stands aside with a flyer telling the story of the statue. It worth the visit.]]

    The above was a comment written regarding a 16-foot (5 m) bronze sculpture of Communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin located in Seattle, Washington. Initially installed in Czechoslovakia in 1988, the sculpture was removed after the Velvet Revolution and later purchased and brought to the United States by an American English teacher.

    It goes to show many nations particularly black nations will be honored & pay big money to take such an art of Great African nationalist worrier out any loser’s hands and display it in the center of their cities. I won’t rule out Italy competing for such treasure wishing to display their former archenemy to the world in their capital Rome. BTW, One of the few Western European towns with a bust of Lenin in a public square is Cavriago, near Bologna Italy.

    Remember, it took Ethiopians 68 years of dispute and pleading with Italy to return the Axum Obelisk.

  23. Mezmur
    | #23

    It is normal for the TPLF masters to blame their local servants be it the OPDO or ANDM for the crises their uprooting and looting politics. The de facto prime minister and TPLF strong man aite Abay Tsehaye has threatened and vowed to crush the protests.In the end an independent investigation into the killings and destructio of property (which the TPLF will not allow),will establish the culprit. The local forces mostly the cadres of the TPLF are under the direct command of aite Abay Tsehaye and go on rampage when ever they receive orders. This is how the TPLF ethnic dictatorship supresses, controls and stifles dissent and legitimtate opposition. Now almost every body is pretty aware of the TPLF`s political joke (federalism) and how it commits atrocities and tries to white wash itself by blaming its local servants (cadres).

  24. tesffa
    | #24

    awassa the tplf dog,

    keep barking about shewa amhara, your brain cancer is getting worse. you urgently need medical help.

  25. Yet neberk
    | #25

    This forum is not a place where people come to learn dis honesty,trickery and cunnings. If you think this is why you are in here you are in the wrong place. this forum is dedicated for the promotion courtesy ,honest civil discussion and human development. If you want you may use this forum for your personal development. What ever you do please leave your bad habit of trying to hide behind some one’s identity some where. This is not the first time you tried this .You have tried it many times at ECADF. You urgently need to nib your bad habit.

  26. Freedom
    | #26

    The young OROMO people who protested against lack of freedom, lack job/opportunity and the looting of their ancestral land, are not only Oromo heroes/heroines but also Ethiopian.
    The saddest thing is TPLF and its supporters are more worried about a damaged property than a human life. To most of us no amount of money can buy a human life. It is so precious and priceless. But for TPLF a human life is worth less than a bus or one house.
    With regards to destruction of property it is the right thing to do. As long us the property is acquired by illegal means, it is fair game to destroy it.

  27. Bona
    | #27

    TPLF likes killing unarmed innocent civilians, even very elderly fathers mothers and children. They do not have the slightest humanity in their heart. They enjoy from the misery of innocent human beings. Their love affair is only with accumulation of money and wealth through day light robbery, looting and cheating. Their economic system is neither free-market, nor developmental-state nor socialism nor any thing good for the society. They are just undertaking racially based mafia style economic fascism relying on blatant robbery and looting. They do not have the essence of what it takes to be a leader of a nation-state in their mind. They have wiped out every human common values and assets. From their very inception they have two missions in their mind. One is dismantling historical Ethiopia and the other one is looting Ethiopia. That is all what they have in mind. In human history no governing power hates its own peoples and the country it rules and yet at the same time likes looting and living in that same country among those same people it hates. For example TPLF preaches Kilil and restricts other Ethiopians to live only in their own Kilil. However, TPLF and their Tigre peoples are not restricted in their own Kilil. They are the only ones to work, to make business and live any where they like in Ethiopia. They get political, economic, military, security and any other types of support and protection from TPLF.TPLF has created its own deep-state with in a state and its own Tigre nation with in another nation.Recently my friend had went to Addis and when he came back what he told me is so alarming. First Addis has been almost occupied in higher percentage by Tigres. Every economic sector has been controlled by Tigres. They are the chosen golden race first class citizens of that country. Second there is a huge migration towards Addis. As some commentators in Abugida have already mentioned it Greater Ethiopia has gradually diminished to Greater Addis Ababa. In my view Greater Addis Ababa is the new version of Ethiopia for TPLF. Had the ethnic federalism of TPLF been a good one for Ethiopians why this very great number of flock of Ethiopians migrate towards Addis? This is very indicative that Ethiopia is not the right direction. Something is wrong with the existing system. Now what we have is fragmented Ethiopia by Kilil. In order to be considered as an Ethiopian one has to work and live in Addis not in Kilil. And the bad thing about Addis is that even the majority of Addis is controlled by Tigres. Addis is gradually changed to another type of Mekele. They have a secret plan of undertaking systemic ethnic cleansing of others and control Addis for the them selves and foreign real estate owners. Specially they want to wipe out Amaharas and Oromos from Addis by the cover of master-plan. They hate Ethiopia and Ethiopians and its history but they still want to have looted wealth and live decent life in Ethiopia.
    TPLF and Tigres intention and move is now clear for every Ethiopian.The other thing is why more that 15 millions Ethiopians are starved if Ethiopia is really economically growing? It is such a very perplexing paradox for outsiders.But not as such a paradox for insider Ethiopians. Why? Because the claimed economic growth is for TPLF, its cronies and Tigres. That is all. Ethiopia is in apartheid style neo-colonialism.Western and their crony Arabs installed TPLF to indirectly colonize Ethiopia. Now they have fulfilled their long awaited colonial ambition. It is so silly to expect decent-life, prosperity, good-governance, harmony, peace, love and Ethiopianity among Ethiopians as long as TPLF is in power. For sure if TPLF stays additional 5 or 10 years we will loose everything. We will loose our identity as Ethiopian and we will loose our Country for ever. TPLF is already on its way for additional huge sell out of Ethiopia under the disguise of FDI. Ethiopia (the geographic land) will grow by FDI economically but Ethiopians shall live under neo-colony style below 3rd class citizens. They shall be taken away their Ethiopianity, dignity and every thing they have in the past. The only beneficiaries from FDI style economic growth will be TPLF, Tigre and its very few cronies loyal to the system. This is the type of economic growth TPLF has as a plan for Ethiopia and Ethiopians. Today’s FDI style economic model in the case of TPLF era is a hit-and-run business scheme. It is a means of looting 3rd world resources. It causes great social, economical, cultural and environmental destruction for the host country. Only corrupt government officials and their business chain affiliates are the main beneficiaries of this type of FDI.
    TPLF has a grand plan of wiping out other Ethiopians step by step and eventually establishing a Tigre hegemony in Ethiopia. May be that is why some Ethiopians make a claim that TPLF is a Zionist Agent. And for sure TPLF does not venture to carry out such sinister plan with out the help of foreign bidders. TPLF has a land policy that enables it to control the country for its self as its own personal property. Any time TPLF can displace urban and rural living Ethiopians. Additionally, for long time and still continuing, secret money is printed and circulated by TPLF and its crony Tigres. This two things have enabled TPLF and Tigres to control the entire Ethiopian Economy and the country as a whole. Look no other country has encountered such a prolonged rampant inflation lasting for a decade. Therefore the main cause of inflation is the mafia style economic fascism of TPLF to control the economy racially by its own cronies and Tigres. It can not be simply explained by the usual economic terms. The inflation has also a political motive to control the economy by a business scam.
    Knowing these all things why Western powers still support TPLF? Because they want social, political, economical ,military and other tensions to escalate until it accidentally irrupts out of control so that the country will be in mess and disintegrate like Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yugoslavia, Somalia and others. Western governments especially CIA,MI6 and Mosad very well know that the country is controlled by a mafia and racial group. But they want Ethiopia to be ruled this way.

  28. BEKELE
    | #28

    Oromos please wake up. Amharas please wake up. And others please wake up. We can not afford childish game of politics. We are paying a huge price for our irresponsibility. Let alone being ethnically fragmented we are not even able to withstand the challenge even by unity. The challenge lurking and a head of us is very complicated and worrisome beyond we can imagine. Appealing for Western governments by the demonstrations we usually do is even futile. They know every thing more than we imagine. Who helped and installed TPLF in the first place? Is it not Western governments and other foreign bidders? They want TPLF to stay in power as long as TPLF serves their interests. They want TPLF to stay in power as long as they hire another similar servant in power. And TPLF also knows this. They know and understand each other. The other thing the intellectuals, politicians and oppositions must know is first they have to be honest for themselves .Either they can stand loyal for their country and their peoples or they can work for TPLF and foreign bidders. But they can not do both things at the same time. Simply blaming the same force time and gain is worthless. We already know what TPLF is and its foreign bidders. Now it is time about us to carry out our own homework. Even every time blaming past regimes far away hundred years does not help us any more. The past monarch regimes protected from foreign occupation and gave us this country. Our forefathers sacrificed their dear life for Ethiopia. But what are we ourselves doing now?
    It is very nonsense to blame every time Haileselassie, Menelik, Yohaness, Tewodros and the likes. Trust me they laugh at us in their grave. Especially the near ones like Haileselassie and Menelik will not only laugh at us they also lament for what we are doing today. They created the very foundation for modern day Ethiopia under so many challenges and pressures. Both rulers faced European colonizers (Italy) and eventually succeeded in securing the territorial integrity of their country by force or by diplomacy.
    Haileselassie even managed to secure Eritrea back again by diplomacy for what Menelik is allegedly condemned to have made a mistake. All these rulers and their elite colleagues worked and sacrificed their dear life for Ethiopia ignoring any sort of ethnic differences. For that matter Haileselassie, Menelik are considered as not a pure Amahara. They are mixed with Oromo and other ethnicity.And yet irrespective of their ethnic identity they managed to form unity as an Ethiopian and established greater Ethiopia. But what are we doing now? We have to be ashamed of ourselves let alone time and again to blame and condemn such rulers. Who are we after all to blame these rulers? Which country in history, including USA, is established by electoral democracy? I think those ethnic thinkers who condemn Menelik as expansionist are living in their own fantasy world. They do not have any idea of what a nation-state is in essence and in practice. A country that was once the hallmark of liberty and dignity for the entire black race is now ethnically fragmented. Shame on us. Is it not the land that Haileselassie, and Menelik secured for so long from occupation of colonialists that TPLF and Tigre peoples are selling out and benefiting economically? Do TPLF and Tigre have the moral conscious to as such hate and condemn Haileselassie, and Menelik?For those Oromo intellectuals you are the main part of Ethiopianity. But it is OLF who teaches you very bad lessons about Ethiopia and Ethiopianity and make you deny your own beloved country which you have a big share of common life and history. Therefore blame OLF and stop blaming and hating Amaharas for every wrong doings. Today there are not existing even a significant number of Amahara elites or rulers of the past monarchs. It is Derg itself who massacred and weakened Amahara elites. And because the satanic TPLF has unwarranted historical rivalry and hatred against Amahars, well we know that TPLF does not want even to see and single Amhara living in Ethiopia or in planet earth let alone those ruling elites of Amahara to live or come back to power.
    TPLF and Tigre elites have hold unwarranted hatred against Amharas. They have become like Cain against Abel.Only poor Amaharas are remaining in today Ethiopia. If Amaharas were the main beneficiary of those past Amhara rulers how comes Amhara as an ethnic group failed to organize and defend itself and finally fall under the mercy of satanic TPLF? If all Amahara were in collusion with Amahara rulers then Haileselassie would not have fallen from power. It is mainly Amharas who revolted against the monarchy. Until recently forced by TPLF, Amaharas never identified themselves as a single localized ethnic group. They have always identified themselves as Ethiopian. And having this mentality in mind the majority of Amharas never felt insecure or have neither inferiority nor superiority complex .Because when you consider yourself or become part of the greater entity you do not feel isolated or insecure and you cherish being part of the greater entity. What makes some ethnically extremist Tigre and Oromo elites so insecure, isolated and confused is just because they failed to make themselves part of the greater Ethiopia.
    They yearn for more of their security in their own ethnic identity that in Ethiopianity. The essence of Nation-State is where you surrender, compromise and contribute more of your ethnic and other identity for the common and collective well-being of the larger entity then in return cherish its benefits more of as a citizenry rather than as an more of as an ethnic identity. It is not that way that the bigger entity Nation-State has to surrender compromise and sacrifice so much of its integrity for the sake of the smaller units of ethnicity. You can not just build unrelated and isolated ethnic rooms with in a Nation-State. There is no such a thing as dual identity, one ethnic and one Ethiopian. If two is allowed why not three adding religion? However, only one main top level identity exists as a citizen of a country and with in this main identity you can have other minor identities you cherish.
    So it is with in an a priori established and legitimized existence of a Nation-State that you claim your other identity rights. No one can claim ethnic identity and its rights if there is no an a priori existence of Nation-State. For example a Tigre can not as such claim its ethnic identity and its rights with its own narrow ethnicity. Therefore, by ridiculing and denying Ethiopianity and then claiming ethnic identity and its rights as the primary goal is the absurdity of all absurdities. A Nation-State is like a cow and if you do not feed and take care of the cow it does not give you the milk. Unlike their forefathers who sacrificed their dear life for Ethiopia some naïve and juvenile oromos claim oromoia only for oromo.They even agitate others to join them under the this motto of oromia for oromo. They do not want to fight for their rights as an Ethiopian but as an oromo but still they expect the support of others.TPLF and EPLF were (I do not know now) the main mentors of OLF and OLF spewed its ethnic hatred against Amahara and denial of Ethiopianity for Oromo elites and other ordinary Oromos. Therefore who denied Ethiopianity for Oromos? No one but OLF and its fanatic supporters.Ethiopia never ever betrayed and denied its children but its children betrayed and denied Ethiopia.

  29. Peter the great
    | #29

    We hear some oromos claim Abune Petros is Oromo. We are happy to hear this good news. And still we hear Haielselasie’s grand father is Oromo.Again ready and very happy to hear such and other good news. But then what? So then? So what? Finally Oromia for Oromo? Is it the end of those good claims? Let any new claims by Oromos or Tigres or others come forth like Menlik is oromo or Taitu is oromo or Haileselasie is oromo or Abune Petros is oromo or any other similar thing. But above all let Ethiopia be saved. We love and respect all those heroes above all just because they were Ethiopians, worked like Ethiopians and died as Ethiopians for one Ethiopia.And we accept if they are oroms or amharas or tigres or guragies origin. No problem we just accept it. And well if such heroes from their grave hear us quarrel over their ethnic origin well what they do is just laugh at us and may be lament for what we do. A very astounding and exemplary historical event to mention.King Menelik of Shoa and King Yohanees of Tigray settled their rivalry for being emperor of Ethiopia diplomatically with out war. However, while the heroic Yohanees died unwisely in Methema the wise Menelik managed to consolidate greater and modern day Ethiopia. The absurdity of all is that Tigray elites who have come to power by force and ruling from Addis at Menilik palace still hates and condemns Menilik and Shoa Amharas. It is these same TPLF and Tigray elites who mostly induce hatemongering in to Oromos psyche.And it is these same TPLF and Tigray elites who are the majority to land garbers of oromo lands. The absurdity of all is that they still hate and condemn Amaharas as Neftegnas. Remember what happens at Bedeno,Arbagugu and recently at Gura Ferda. Any sane human being with sane conscious does not still blame and condemn those same poor Amaharas again and again. Such unwarranted hatred against poor Amaharas needs medical psychiatric attention for both the Tigre and Oromo elites. Well we understand that there are a significant number of parasitic ethnic fans who make their main livelihood existence by spewing ethnic hatred one against the other. They get their payroll from TPLF the same way TPLF gets its payroll from foreign bidders for doing this ethnic politics. They can not live with out such ethnic politics and they need it for their very survival .It is their life support.

  30. Balcha
    | #30

    The reason why 15 million Ethiopians are starved to death is because TPLF and its cronies are busy day and night on looting and spewing ethnic hatred. They have forgotten that they have peoples under their rule to govern and also provide for basic needs and basic protection as a citizen and as a human-being. What they are all the time busy and ready is for total sell out of this country and its peoples under the disguise of FDI.They cooperate with foreign vulture predators and together they prey upon Ethiopia and its poor peoples. That is what they know and are doing all the last 25 years and it is even unabated but continues aggravated. The current ethnic politics in Ethiopia based on language is satanic. It is the work of evil men in secrecy. It is against the interest and common survival of Ethiopians. Ethnic politics is only the interest of TPLF, OLF and other similar foreign supported elites. Look oppositions who truly support Ethiopian unity do not get foreign fund and support. To the contrary those who spread ethnic politics, including TPLF, get foreign fund and support. This indicates that ethnic politics is the work of very few selfish opportunist elites who exploit it as a means of economic income. Such selfish elites do not see tomorrow but they see only today. However, no one is as such immune or protected from the dangers of ethnic politics. Even TPLF and Tigre elites who think they are master mind of ethnic politics are no immune, if not to be the worst victims even though it will be at last. TPLF and Tigre elites must know that they are sitting complacent on a time bomb. Finally it is my hope that some sort of some Godly miraculous Ethiopian force shall some how emerge out of this whole mess and maintain Ethiopia as it was through divine intervention.

    Long live Ethiopia

  31. Freedom
    | #31

    Believe it or not Ethiopia is at war. The war is b/w the elites under the umbrella of EPRDF and WE the FREE and BRAVE people. The free and brave Ethiopians Patriots hail from all regions of Ethiopia and Diaspora but they are FEW. The vast majority of Ethiopians are willing slaves, who are willing to sell there soul for bone handout, timid/impotent and self centered. As long as they are benefiting in one way or another, they don’t give a shit about the oppression/abuse/murder/torture of others.
    The OROMO protesters fit the bill of FREE and BRAVE PATRIOTIC Ethiopian warriors.
    Since we, the free and brave Ehiopians, are at war with TPLF and its gang, the destruction of all property that is owned by them is a means of weakening them morally and financially. There confidence gets shaken and there weapon purchasing fund dwindles. If we pursue, expand and magnify the campaign of destroying TPLF and gang’s properties nationwide, overtime they will be so demoralized and break and they would have no choice but to raise the WHITE FLAG of SURRENDER. So, the heat/beat is on. Let us get the job done all across Ethiopia. Moreover, the campaign will not result in lose of human life.

  32. Anonymous
    | #32

    TPLF pretending to be Orono and blaming Menelik for murders committed by TPLF’S again. @Awassa

  33. Gemechu
    | #33

    when weyane erect stau of womens with half breast you aploud like amhara is enemy
    now you know who is your enemy those minority weyane who never represent the majority tigrai people today if there were constitutional right oromo ethnics could have been the richest rich ethnic in ethiopia but today the oromo brain washed by pro weyane oromos to creat hate b/n amhara and oromo,

    what the hell you ar going to get from you past false history bring the dead back
    who ever have done a mistake in the past he is by now in hell fire god treating him well,

    as the time goes by we are being fooled by wrong history and every day we are loosing the benefit we deserv .

    just today oromo needs freedom stop fooling any one.
    our share in this land is below zero while robing our resource .

  34. Disassaa
    | #34


    You sound more like one those hate filled neftegnas from showa who stolen Oromos land to expand Showa Amharas dominance in expense of Oromos. The era of nefetegna (Menilike and Haileselassie) is DEAD GONE!! You people will never enslave Oromos no more, this time we Oromos will rule their own land and our own social affairs as we see it fit through the resent Federal system.

  35. Disassaa
    | #35


    You sound more like one those hate filled neftegnas from showa who stolen Oromos land to expand Showa Amharas dominance in expense of Oromos. The era of nefetegna (Menilike and Haileselassie) is DEAD GONE!! You people will never enslave Oromos no more, this time we Oromos will rule own land and our own social affairs as we see it fit through the present Federal system.

  36. Ittu Aba Farda
    | #36

    The current protests and killings have their roots in one newly adopted doctrine formulated by the late PM of that country. It was christened as the ‘Democratic Developmental State’. In the doctrine free enterprise as we know it in the west is strongly demonized. The state is the one that has the first dibs in all major projects in all areas. It own 100% of all the available land be it for factories, infrastructures and modern farms. If you are well connected then you will be allowed to share what is in the pot. That opened the door wide open for rent seeking and the whole enchilada of corruption. Conniving brokers were let loose on the small size farmers and small holdings started disappearing and that created new hordes of unemployed and destitute. Small farmers were offered money in the amounts they never experienced during their entire lives. They thought the offer they received would be sufficient to carry them through the transition to be merchants or any other new trade. Before they realized that the amount they received is just a chum change considering the ever galloping inflation, their property would be invaded with bulldozers to erect new villas and luxury homes or factories and sometimes modern farms. They do not have the education to transit themselves into factory workers and now they can’t even feed their families. That is the source of the rage we all see now. Now I am not against taking ownership of a private property by a state or a company for common good as long it is done with proper compensation. We see that every day in the west. They are all done with extensive discussion, negotiations and oversights. That has not been the case over there. There was no third part to do the check and balances. Brokers made their fortunes from the transaction and the poor farmers ended up holding the bag and the empty one. It is a quagmire over there. Oromos are killing each other now like sworn enemies. I hope and pray that the current mayhem will somehow stop. I hope and pray that cool heads will prevail. Otherwise, that country is sitting on 100 million or so powder keg waiting for someone to make the wrong move. Such killings would not help the much feared slaughter. Wicked elements and groups have been waiting for this kind of mayhem and utter chaos from the outside so they can go in their to found their own demesnes and by extension full time working harems.

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