“The Prison Speaks Oromiffa” – By Fekade Shewakena

January 17th, 2008 Print Print Email Email

The phrase I used for the title of this article would pass for simple ethnic politicking if it was not spoken by a founder and former political bureau member of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and a former Defense Minister of the regime now ruling Ethiopia with an iron fist. The phrase is a direct quote of Mr. Seye Abraha who recently got out of prison after serving six years at the Qaliti dungeon on trumped up charges that his accuser Mr. Meles Zenawi could not produce any credible evidence for proof. For human rights groups and many among Ethiopians who follow the human rights condition in Ethiopia, the savagery being committed against the Oromo people by Meles Zenawi’s regime is more than a little dirty secret. (more…)

The phrase I used for the title of this article would pass for simple ethnic politicking if it was not spoken by a founder and former political bureau member of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) and a former Defense Minister of the regime now ruling Ethiopia with an iron fist. The phrase is a direct quote of Mr. Seye Abraha who recently got out of prison after serving six years at the Qaliti dungeon on trumped up charges that his accuser Mr. Meles Zenawi could not produce any credible evidence for proof. For human rights groups and many among Ethiopians who follow the human rights condition in Ethiopia, the savagery being committed against the Oromo people by Meles Zenawi’s regime is more than a little dirty secret. I was amazed to see a shockwave and a jolting moment in the packed hall in Virginia on January 5, 2008 when Seye spoke the four word phrase “esir betu Oromogna yinageral”. To the stunned audience Seye added a figure. He said “about 99% of the prisoners in Qaliti are Oromos”. I saw many people shaking their heads in disbelief.

I have no reason to doubt Seye’s assertions and figures or dismiss them as revenge against his former comrades as the apologists of the crimes of the regime try to tell us. In fact, nearly all people who have been at the Qaliti prison tell us the same thing. As he himself alluded to during his long speech, Seye understands that he shares responsibility and has a lot to answer for as one TPLF leader for the plight of the Oromo people. Many of us know that he has been at the forefront in fighting the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) out of the political system in Ethiopia in 1992 when they suspected that it has a widespread support, and the subsequent suffering of countless number of Oromos suspected of sympathizing with the OLF or membership in it. Others who have been to the Qualiti prison that I was able to talk to concur with Seye’s assertion. As a friend who recently came from Addis Ababa told me, this is one dirty public secret of Meles Zenawi that everybody in Addis Ababa talks about when the TPLF spies are not around. I think this is a horrifying human rights abuse that must be disquieting to all of us who value our people, the country and the future of every one of us and our children.

Ato Seye to his credit has shown a sense of shame and atonement in the tone of his expressions as he spoke these words and discussed the prevailing injustice in the country. Whether Seye’s sense of justice has changed because of his own experience of facing injustice and prison personally or through his reevaluation of the system he helped build, does not matter at this point. He should be congratulated for the courage he has shown to speak the truth in public and calling for a solution. Some people vanish into obscurity when they get out of the TPLF/EPRDF system. Some simply keep sucking up to the system and pursue “tranquil” life. Others stand up to undo their misdeeds, speak the truth and keep fighting to undo their wrongs. I have more respect for the later and think Seye is in this category.

The information that gets out of Ethiopia from multiple sources has it that this naked tyranny against the Oromo people is being committed with impunity and complete disregard for human life. Many of these prisoners are victims of suspicion of belonging to the OLF. Many prisoners, I am also told, are family members held hostage to hand in their adult relatives suspected of joining the OLF. Many are students who take the constitution and their rights seriously and demanded some freedom. They are of all age groups including 90 year olds, children being nursed by their prisoner mothers, students, toiling peasant farmers who work hard to feed their families. Many have never seen judges or are languishing in jails for years with punitive long court appointments. DWO (Dissenting While an Oromo) is a dangerous thing in Ethiopia. You will be tagged an OLF. Even some low level security operative or cadre can lock you up and throw the keys away.

For those of us who are not troubled enough by the magnitude of the injustice being perpetrated against the Oromo people, a good way of looking at it may be to look for parallels in history where a group of people identified by their ethnicity are subjected to such inhumanity. I tried to look all over history to find parallels to this kind of a disproportionate imprisonment of ethnic groups in any country. Believe it or not, the only similar parallels in history where you see these kinds of ugly features are only in countries under colonial rule, under Nazi Germany and in systems of apartheid. It is that troubling. An entire people that constitute the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia are prisoners in their own country; in a country their fathers have fought and died defending against multiple foreign aggressions, in a country they literally feed. Oromia is the most fertile region that literally feeds the northern half of Ethiopia much of which is arid. It is very ironic that the Oromia region that produces more than 90% of the cash crops, the export earnings, the mineral wealth and electric power of the nation also feeds 99% of the prison population to the jaws of Meles Zenawi’s filthy prisons. It is a breath taking irony.

I am by no means saying that oppression and human rights abuse being carried out in Ethiopia is limited exclusively against the Oromo alone. No. I have not forgotten the rest of the mass murders in different parts of the country and the suffering in many parts of Ethiopia including the crimes in the Ogaden which goes on as we speak. Even the people of Tigrai in whose name the TPLF commits these crimes take their share of this injustice. There is no regime that oppresses its citizens selectively. Only the intensity and level of ugliness is different. I am only talking about proportions and magnitude of the abuse. The facts and figures we see and hear about the treatment of the Oromo people for a long time now should be disquieting to any conscientious Ethiopian.

Meles Zenawi’s regime is destroying the fabric that ties our people and all indications are there is a developing inter-ethnic hatred in the country. In fact, one other former prisoner who confirmed Seye’s assertions told me another ugly fact. He told me that the most disgusting scene at the Qaliti prison is not only the disproportionate number of Oromo Prisoners. He said that there is also a disproportionate number of ethnic Tigreans manning the prisons as prison officials and guards. He told me that it appears to him not as pure negligence on the part of the officials but as a deliberately work done by Meles and his clique to foment hatred against Tigreans. The Oromo prisoner’s, I was told by another prisoner, often refer to the guards and prison officials as the “Tigrewochu” (the Tigeans). If we deny that all of this will factor into feeding hatred, we are only fooling ourselves and playing dead. If we think what is happening around our neighborhood in East Africa cannot happen to us, we are only cheating ourselves. If you don’t believe me listen to this hint from a young American professor of Law who was teaching Human rights Law at Mekele University. She says:

On a recent trip to the Amhara region, some young men asked me and my friends about our travels in Ethiopia. They were extremely friendly to us until we said that we were not really backpackers, but that we live in Mekelle, at which point one of the men spat on our vehicle and all but one walked off in disgust, yelling that they hate people from Tigrai. Our group was made up entirely of white people and this conversation was being held in English. It goes without saying that we could not possibly be from Tigrai, but so great was their hatred of the Tigraian politicians that the mere fact that we live in Mekelle was enough to taint us. One calmer man stayed to speak to us and told us that in order to be safe and have a better time when we travel, we should tell people, “The Ethiopian government made me work in Mekelle. Of course I never wanted to live in Tigrai.” (Read the entire text here)

Yes, this is sad and I cringe when I hear this coming out from my fellow Ethiopians. But I think we don’t only have to feel sad and hate hatred only sanctimoniously. We need to address the source of hatred with courage and head on instead. In Ethiopia the source of ethnic hatred is the regime of Meles Zenawi and Meles Zenawi himself. We have to understand that a few men in positions of power have the capacity and tools to make hatred a material force. Look at places where hatred destroyed millions of lives. Look at the ugly scene in Kenya that occurred only recently. Nobody can question that the people of Kenya as a whole are good people. The carnage we saw is not the making of the people of Kenya in my view. They were living as neighbors and were even intermarrying. It is the making of Mr. Kibaki and the elite around him who manipulated ethnic differences to help them stay in power. Kibaki and the elite around him never cared for the welfare of all Kenyans as much as they did for themselves. It is a perfect example of what greed for power and wealth by a handful of individuals who want to extend their stranglehold on power can do to a country by unleashing people against people. I think this is what Meles and his clique are working on hard in Ethiopia, particularly after they have found that the people have rejected them in the ballot box.

I think we can save our old, beautiful and historic country from degenerating into deeper divisions and hatred and falling into the traps set by Meles Zenawi and his clique. We can do this by standing up together across ethnicities and rejecting the inhumanity that is being committed by this cruel regime and its elite that is blinded by greed. There is nothing symbolic than rejecting this cruelty and barbarism against the Oromo people together. By so doing, we will all be fighting not for the rights of the Oromo people only but for ourselves and a better posterity too.

I know some apologists of the system would argue that this is the work of the OPDO, the Oromo Organization inside the EPRDF and that Oromos are fully represented. Give me a break. Stop giving me these sham symbols instead of the reality; or give it to unsuspecting foreigners in the embassies in Addis Ababa who seem to care less if we are destroyed as a nation. The symbols and realities are different and the Ethiopian people know it. We all know the real fact that the ethnic federalism being practiced in Ethiopia is only cartographic. All the talk by the TPLF about the rights of nations and nationalities is a modern scam for donor consumption. Ethiopia has never been under centralized rule as it is today. To be honest, Menilik’s Ethiopia is more federal than Meles Zenawi’s. At least the local kings have authority over their subjects while accounting to the king of kings, Menilik. The OPDO as an organization is made of former war prisoners of the TPLF, whose survival depends on serving Meles Zenawi. I have Oromo friends who tell me that some are selected for being downright scumbags who will never hesitate to kill their own children if Meles orders them to do so. The best and brightest Oromos are chased like prey or driven into exile. Many are herded in prisons. We all know that people like Dr. Merera Gudina and Ato Bulcha Demeqsa are subjects of insult and intimidation and abuse by Meles Zenawi not because they are powerful as an organized entity. They are subjected to daily condemnations by Meles for trying to be only a little independent Oromo voices. They are allowed to speak for two minutes a month in parliament.

I think we will all serve a great common purpose if all of us across ethnic groups rise up together and condemn this horrific crime against the Oromo people. This is not a thing to be left to the OLF. The OLF also cannot tell us that this is its exclusively problem and does not concern the rest of us, none Oromos. We do this only at the expense of the suffering of the innocent people.

At least those of us living in Diaspora should join hands across continents and cry at this injustice together and let the world know that this inhumanity is raging in Ethiopia. Can any group, for a starter, rise up to organize a day of prayer and vigil for Oromo prisoners that packed the prisons in Ethiopia? I volunteer to involve in organizing this. It is a shame that we are keeping silent while this crime is being committed against an entire people. If we don’t do this now don’t ask me later to stand against Oromos when they rise to fight back and decide to go out of the Ethiopian union and form their own country. What would I tell them back when they ask me what I have been doing when all this inhumanity was raining on them?

Fekadeshewakena@yahoo.com

  1. koki
    | #1

    It is breathtaking as Fekade Said. I cried while reading this. Please lets join together and reject this barbarianism. I have heard about this crime against the Oromo from many sources. Meles is eating both their products and the people at the same time. this is hard to tolerate. Lets do something before it is too late. Thank you Fekade. and thank you for making me cry, at least it the crying gave me some relief.

  2. kundi
    | #2

    What can I say Fekade … thank you. I have been rediculed for bringing up this discusion in my own right, and people always blamed OLF. I said to them you fools, who gave OLF the full and sole ownership as a freedom fighter for Oromos. I never liked how the OLF handled its politics and I am an Oromo belonged to no party or group. I always felt the suffering of Oromo people and did not know what to do.

  3. Fasika
    | #3

    Well presented. Thank you Fikade.

    Let us join our hands and librate all of us. If we can’t unite we can’t bring a change. Let us organize such occassions as we did for the release of our leaders. Contribute what we can for passing of HR 2003. Weyanes they are making all this because they know they have been rejected by Ethiopians. Ethiopia has never been centralized before as it is now under Zenawi (the vampire/setan). I don’t know how this person come into being. Somebody said, the only human attribute he has is his face. I disagree even his face looks like goat. Ugly face, ugly mind, ugly internally and externally. Rotten both internally and externally.

    May God safe our people

  4. Desta Hagos
    | #4

    Thank Ato Fekade, your article is educational to all Ethiopians. Ato Seeye Abraha has said that courage contains genius and magic. There are not two or three Ethiopia there is only one great Ethiopia, one country and one citizen with many nation and nationalities therefore, we have to have united, strong and great nation called Ethiopia. You are right my brother support for Oromo people means support for all Ethiopians, lets support our people and work together to defeat our enemy. There is an old saying that man only dares use his words for three purposes to heal, bless or prosper. What man says of others will be said of him, and what he wishes for another, he is wishing for himself. God bless you continue the good work. Peace

  5. | #5

    The gullable Ethiopian psedo intellectuals are again taken for a ride as usual. The scum of the Earth Seya is the prime architect of the ethnic cleansing and ethnic aparthied policy of Woyannes. This gutless coward was boasting that he is a pure Tigraway unlike his comrades in crime Meles,Bereket etc..His hands are soaked with the blood of Tigrians,Eritreans and the Oromos.To my surprise I found out that the coward dosent have even the basic elements to be fighter. Some veteran fighters of the Eritrean revolutionary struggle told me that the wimp has second thoughts when he arrived in the field…meda.The coward was so exhausted he was practically crying and was cursing the day he was born.The magnanmous Eritrean fighters has to carry ….it gets interesting…Seye Abraham and Abbay Tsehaie,on thier backs like two small babies,in Dirfo mountains on their way to Shahel which was the EPLF’s base area .For me I couldn’t beleive what I hearing but foe the magnanmous veterans it was just routine basic values of the struggle to help your fellow comrades. The tragedy is that these two cowards,Seye and Abbay,are the most ruthless murderers and prime architects of every thing that goig on in Ethiopia at present.If we think that this blood thirsty maniac has a role to play is delivering Ethiopia from its demons,we are seriouly misinformed.The Dedebit mafia has no human attributes.They can say anything to lure you until the next bidder comes which they will not hesitate to burn you alive.These physcopathes are beyound redemption, the sooner they are thrown in to the dusbin of history the better.The Oromos especially must pay a close attention and with a grain of salt the sudden embrace of a war criminal by the pseudo Ethiopian intellectuals.The Ethio media hero’s place is in the Hague war crimes court and not in the four star hotels in the US.It might not be a bad idea to inquire about the millions of dollars he has hidden in US,Swiss and Malysian banks and the peace keeping money of Ethiopian soldiers in Brundi paid in US dollars.

  6. one ethiopia
    | #6

    #

    Dear fekade,thank you very much for article . YOU are the first ethiopian’s intellectual who became the voice of voiceless people of ethiopia especial for our oromo’s brothers and sisters.God bless you and with high respect.ur oromos brothers and sisters are really very innocent and very greate people.If weyanes are doing these people like this , whom do they stand for?What has to be done? SOLUTION, 1, LET us form one coordinated group from , political parties, religious fathers, civic organizations, students associations and any others, write a letter , collect a petition all over the world and delivere the petition and the letter to ,EU,UN, AU, amnsety organization,huamn rights watch and any other international religious organizations. delivering the petition and the letter is not enough, so we should organize demonstration infront of UN’S AND amnsety organization , demand them to create especial force which can go to ethiopia and investigate the crime against our innocent oromo’s people, 2, religious fathers should organize a praying programms in the name of our oromo’s people and other prisoners of conscience , and we should continue our demand untill weyane release all those innocents. If we do not act now together against weyane’s crime , we should know that we are cooperating with weyane, and weyane will drive us to destruction. now is the time. Please Ato fekade shewakena, take the iniative and start now coordinating ethiopians. the is kinijit’s spirit. You are the first ethiopia’s intellectual who has written the first article in the name of our oromo’s ppl. KINIJIT is fighting against all odds to bring justice , freedom and democracy in ethiopia. every concerned ethiopiawi should be a party of kinijit’s struggle. God bless ethiopia and it’s ppl. amen

    January 17th, 2008 at 4:18 pm
    # Nagaroo says:

    First, I like to thank the writer.This is what we lack as a country;debating based on facts and principles.We shouldn’t sit and wait until each of us is attacked or abused.I know people who think mentioning the name Oromo(when necessary )is not good for the unity of the country;rather, it is the opposite.Remaining silent at the time of a compatriot’s suffering is more dangerous for our country.

    Writing/Speaking the truth about the oromo people doesn’t necessarily means supporting OLF.

    Keep up the good work;the only way we can strengthen our unity (recognizing and respecting the diversity).

    “IF WE CAN BUILD(FIRST) A GOOD SOCIETY,THEN GOOD SOCIETIES CAN BUILD A GOOD COUNTRY.”

    WITH REGARDS !

  7. almaz
    | #7

    God Bless you Ato Fekade.Unlike olf, Bulch Demeksa and the rest who tried to divide us I am proud of your perfect analysis.We should fight the enemies of our country by united ourselves.Instead fighting for the oppressed of Ethiopian people we are fighting each other.Yaltadeln

  8. almaz
    | #8

    to Sorria,what are you talking about?people like you are the one who confuse situations.Everybody knows who Siye is when we talk about apple don’t talk about orange.

  9. Okach O. Kwot
    | #9

    It is a very intresting article but too late and too little. I am not trying to blame the writter but to tell the truth. Where were Ethiopians in the last 17 years when Oromos were being killed right after the transition government established? Now because Seye the leading killer of Oromos speaks, we Ethiopians are going to follow? When was Seye stood up and questioned TPLF before he was jailled? Once again we Ethiopians should not be herded into this slaughter house called Ethiopia simply because those who killed us are now realizing that they are loosing power day by day. They are panicking and wanted to save their people who had been the beneficiaries of the regim’s crimes. Today who are the millionaries of Ethiopia by the expense of other Ethiopians? Please do not open wounds by agreeing to the devil’s second round to come. The damage that was done to Oromos, Anyuaks(Gambella), Sidamas, Ogadenese, Afars, Beneshanguls and others can not simply healed by telling the truth about the crimes against the Oromos or others I mentioned. The damage would take dacades if not century and I assure you some of the nations I mentioned above will never be herded simply into the slaughter house called Ethiopia again.

  10. gemechis
    | #10

    my brother Okach,you are corect than corect.the extreme damage that happned on us wouldnt state as asuch in a simple context.I also wana to thank the writer to tell(axept)that truth what’s going on us.we oromos sufferd many things in the slaughtering home Ethiopia…we then are on the prelude of getting up,our youngsters taking this seriously.

    We have brothers in jail there,our Grand fathers are dying in the name of supporting OLF,alot of crimes are going up there…we have to find solution..God help us my bro.

  11. almaz
    | #11

    this is the problem of few narrow minded people in our country asking where wher you? where where you your self?Ato Fekade came up with his analysis and some of you claming to be oromo are trying to blame the innocent people who have done nothing wrong except wrote the truth.I can’t understand what your motivation is.I am glad I am not a politician.

  12. Biri
    | #12

    Weldone! Fekade Shewakena and welcome to Seye Abraha! Ignore those who leave notes of blames for the crimes of ‘yester-years’ at the expense of continued barbarism by Meles Zenawi’s repressive regime hiding under ‘Tigrean’ nationalism.
    Fekade and Seye are on the right tracks.
    Here are some more positive comments(including mine) from the ER Website(https://www.ethiopianreview.com)

    January 18th, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    BIRI says:
    Fekade Shewakena’s genuine contribution has strengthened the cause of a democratic unity where we take that injustice against one is injustice against everyone!
    This level of maturity means that we have nothing to fear from living under the union where respect for all citizens’ rights are guaranteed by law and breach of those rights are challenged by all of us. It is a welcome input to our cause for brighter future for all Ethiopians.
    We will need to do more on this humane path and use it as the bridge in establishing a common platform for standing together to remove tyranny!
    Many thanks to you brother Fekade and to the ER Editor and others who are promoting the positive trend of uniting all Ethiopians!

    Warm regards

    Biri

    January 18th, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    40 Responses to “”The prison speaks Oromiffa””
    Lemu says:
    I literally cried while I was reading your articles. It looks like the political attitude among Ethiopians is changing for the good. It is one of my dreams to see this kind of articles from non-Oromo writer. In the past, non-Oromo Ethiopian had little cared for human right abuse carried out against the Oromo people. You are now one of us.

    Thank you and God bless.

    January 17th, 2008 at 1:35 pm

    Tokichaw says:
    Thank you Fekade for being a voice of concience.

    January 17th, 2008 at 2:05 pm

    Lemu says:
    Lets do something. I want to be a part of it. If any person or gourp wanted to organize something please contact me at hawiko@gmail.com

    January 17th, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    Belaye Zeleke says:
    Fekade Shewakena
    Keep up the good work , we Ethiopians have great home some day , some day soon TPLF tyranny will be gone for good as a result of strong Ethiopians such as you

    Dawn with TPLF Mafia family

    January 17th, 2008 at 2:11 pm

    overcome the evil says:
    In our generation this crime will end. TPLF is doing great disservice to tgre people. The Oromo people will not see a Tigre in the eye let alone to live with them from now on. After all this is the country of Balacha, Abebe Aregay, Abdisa, Gobena and many other heros who fought to unite Ethiopia and liberate the Tigre from Italian colonial rule. God willing we will end the life of this “banda’ soon.

    January 17th, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    CHALAA says:
    Shewakena,

    I congratulate you for your facts and join in to candle light, to remember genocide against Oromos. If this itself does not unite all Ethiopians, what else would. Truely, Oromo-holocaust is taking place and Shewakena you’re on the money. Ethiopians all regions must come around to denounce the levels of crimes being committed. I am ready to march to White House to appeal to Bush administration who is assisting genocidal regime of Mr Meles Zenaw of Adwa against peaceful people of Ethiopia, particularly the great people of Oromo nation.

    Thank you SHEWAKENA.

    January 17th, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    Ewunetu says:
    This is a test for our commitment to human rights, justice, freedom, democracy, genuine peace and development. Are we all standing together to defend these values thereby defending our country and all its people or turn a deaf ear to those who cry for our help to rescue them from untold and barbaric atrocities of terrorist TPLF. If our choice is the latter one, it simply means we are falling prey to the inhumane ‘divide and rule’ strategy of terrorist TPLF – consciously and/or unconsciously. If our choice is the first one, we are doing a great deal of service not only to the victims of TPLF terrorism but also to our country, its entire citizens and ourselves. Injustice anywhere is injustice everywhere.

    Each of us ought to ask himself/herself if we are truly committed to democracy (like, for instance, one-man-one-vote). Are we just echoing what the others say or emulate what the others do because it is fashionable or are we talking about democracy for selected sections of our people? Remember there was democracy in South Africa before the end of apartheid and there was democracy in the U.S. the enactment of civil rights. If we are committed to democracy and human rights for all our citizens regardless of their ethnic or geographic origins, there is no more demanding time to stand in unison than right now, at this very moment. Right now is always the right time to do the right thing. Each of us is morally obliged to defend these defenseless citizens of our country. If we want selected democracy and human rights for selected sections of our people, we can go about our daily business until such a moment when it is the turn of somebody, some group or some section of our people we care about more than the others to receive the endless and savage atrocities of TPLF.

    January 17th, 2008 at 2:56 pm

    keetii says:
    dear
    Mr. Shewakena, you told us the truth. your articil is heartbreaking, timely and full of humanity.we need sush articles and people like you who feel the pain of the other.if most of the ethiopian politicains and elite have come to such level of understanding i am 100% sure the OLF openly decler to work for the betterment and unity of ethiopia more than any other political organisation in ethiopia or outside. as you said there is no humanbeing that lives under tyrany forever one day time will change.and its natural to have friends and enamy in the times of difficulties. if a freind and brotherhood is not at the bad times when then.

    January 17th, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    Adera says:
    Dear Fekade,

    Thanks for speaking out. We can do a lot to stop woyanne from committing such atrocities by supporting AFD.

    January 17th, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Anonymous says:
    Dear Fekade

    Thanks for voicing for the voiceless,Is time to be united and act holding hand in hand for the better tomorrow.

    January 17th, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Woyanen astelagn says:
    Good job Fekade for standing up and speaking the truth!!

    God bless!

    January 17th, 2008 at 3:54 pm

    ewnetu yeneger says:
    Dear Fekade, many thanks for speaking the truth while the majority of the nation are saying ‘joro daba lebes’ Many of us heared the fact that the tplf regime’s crime against our oromo brothers and sistersb But except a few of us, the majority perefered silence. Dear Fekade, the article you posted realy shows the intencity of the matter. For those of us who have fare mind, it is the time to show our brotherhood and stand with them. One thing what I can be sure is that this situation will not continue forever. Those who are powerful now will come down, and those who are in darkeness will see the light.As you said that is the time to fear!

    January 17th, 2008 at 4:12 pm

    yikerebelen says:
    Dear fekade,thank you very much for article . YOU are the first ethiopian’s intellectual who became the voice of voiceless people of ethiopia especial for our oromo’s brothers and sisters.God bless you and with high respect.ur oromos brothers and sisters are really very innocent and very greate people.If weyanes are doing these people like this , whom do they stand for?What has to be done? SOLUTION, 1, LET us form one coordinated group from , political parties, religious fathers, civic organizations, students associations and any others, write a letter , collect a petition all over the world and delivere the petition and the letter to ,EU,UN, AU, amnsety organization,huamn rights watch and any other international religious organizations. delivering the petition and the letter is not enough, so we should organize demonstration infront of UN’S AND amnsety organization , demand them to create especial force which can go to ethiopia and investigate the crime against our innocent oromo’s people, 2, religious fathers should organize a praying programms in the name of our oromo’s people and other prisoners of conscience , and we should continue our demand untill weyane release all those innocents. If we do not act now together against weyane’s crime , we should know that we are cooperating with weyane, and weyane will drive us to destruction. now is the time. Please Ato fekade shewakena, take the iniative and start now coordinating ethiopians. the is kinijit’s spirit. You are the first ethiopia’s intellectual who has written the first article in the name of our oromo’s ppl. KINIJIT is fighting against all odds to bring justice , freedom and democracy in ethiopia. every concerned ethiopiawi should be a party of kinijit’s struggle. God bless ethiopia and it’s ppl. amen

    January 17th, 2008 at 4:18 pm

    Nagaroo says:
    First, I like to thank the writer.This is what we lack as a country;debating based on facts and principles.We shouldn’t sit and wait until each of us is attacked or abused.I know people who think mentioning the name Oromo(when necessary )is not good for the unity of the country;rather, it is the opposite.Remaining silent at the time of a compatriot’s suffering is more dangerous for our country.

    Writing/Speaking the truth about the oromo people doesn’t necessarily means supporting OLF.

    Keep up the good work;the only way we can strengthen our unity (recognizing and respecting the diversity).

    “IF WE CAN BUILD(FIRST) A GOOD SOCIETY,THEN GOOD SOCIETIES CAN BUILD A GOOD COUNTRY.”

    WITH REGARDS !

    January 17th, 2008 at 4:21 pm

    Kassa says:
    Dear Fekade,Thank you!!
    I entirely agree with you ,it is high time to cry for our brothers and sisters who are under unspeakable atrocities in the hands of hooligans ,i dare not call leaders.
    This is a stark truth.No ethnic group in Ethiopia is on fire as the Oromos.I always wonder what kind of mindlessness those oromos working with this butcher government are experiancing being indifferent and heartless to their own people who are scattered across the country in the dangeans of Meles. One cant really imagine how Oromos are in hell as opposed to those servants of Meles who feed on the bloods and flesh of the dawntrodden.All top officials serving the system are but servants of the most heinous man the country ever brought forth in its thousands of history.They may have reasons of their own, some of them out of fear,some with no choise,still others for the sake of their families but Most know at heart that they lead a worthless existance.Perhaps the same thing was happening if I were there too.A parliamentarian who never airs thegrievances and the sufferrings of the people of his/her copnstituencies didnt realize that the people elected them to speak their sufferings not to enjoy the lexuries of the Capital. It is a shame to often watch the so called parliamentarians cheering whenever Meles and cronoies moke on them and they know they are toothless lions who betrayed their people for the belly and the flesh.

    January 17th, 2008 at 4:48 pm

    Gettu says:
    God bless you Fekade,

    The Agazee Woyanne army that is and was used to quell unrest in all Ethiopia is made exclusively df Tigrigna speaking Woyannes. This quote says it all:
    “one other former prisoner who confirmed Seye’s assertions told me another ugly fact. He told me that the most disgusting scene at the Qaliti prison is not only the disproportionate number of Oromo Prisoners. He said that there is also a disproportionate number of ethnic Tigreans manning the prisons as prison officials and guards.”
    The people who have full right to beat, rape and execute Ethiopian prisoners are entirely made of Tigrigna speaking Woyannes too.

    Gettu

    January 17th, 2008 at 5:32 pm

    Chala says:
    As an Oromo and proud Ethiopian who has first hand experience with Woyane crime – imprisoned for 6 years, tortured by Tigreans in the university and later on persecuted — so I speak….

    Seye and Fekade only touched the tip of the crime committed by the Woyane against the Oromo: In addition to the tens of thousands of Oromos being held in Woyane prisons all over the country, there are also many untold crimes committed by Woyane in the last 18 years .. the list is long

    1) the thousands killed and tortured throughout Oromia every single day
    2) the hundreds of university students throughout the country that are killed, jailed, persecuted, thrown out of school, tortured in woyane dungeons
    3) the untold number of Oromo students killed and thrown on the streets of Makelle
    3) the hundreds of thousands of Oromos persecuted, jailed and maimed
    4) the deliberate use of tens of thousands of Oromos herded as frontline shields (guinea pigs for explosives) during the war against Eritrea
    5) the millions of displaced Oromos as their ancestral land is being auctioned to the highest bidder (so called “Investors” – often woyanes or their collaborators) as part of the the looting of Oromia by Woyane
    6) the thousands of killing of Oromos in Kenya, Djibouti and now in Somalia

    Just to mention a few – I know for certain that OLF is documenting the millions of woyane crime against the Oromo.

    January 17th, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    anonymous says:
    Ato Fekade, you made me cry.
    ” First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist. Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and then I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me” Martin Niemoller, 1946
    In Amarigna…NEG BENEA

    January 17th, 2008 at 6:30 pm

    Minale says:
    Thank you Fekade for speaking out about our weakness. I would like to say few things.

    The injustice the Oromo people have been experiencing was well planned and designed before Woyane’s control of power in Addis; and Siye was one of the architects. For sure prison is not where he learned about the fact. I expect him to tell us more stories.

    Isn’t TPLF an organization for Tigray? Isn’t it supported by the people of Tigray? Whatever TPLF has done to the Oromo people it has done it in the name of Tigray. Getting key government offices under Tigrians should not be presented as what Meles is doing to create conflict between the Oromos and Tigrayans. Rather it is what Woyane, led by the elite of Tigray and backed by the people of Tigray, fought for. Any Tigrian who want’s to argue that TPLF does no more represent the people of Tigray should demonstrate by mobilizing the people of Tigray against Woyane.

    Is the recent move by Siye and others to sympathize with the Oromo people genuine or it is an action to protect the Tigrians from the feared consequences of the wrong doings of their vanguard organization, TPLF?

    How about other Ethiopians? Is their sympathy with the Oromos caused by real understanding of the human right questions of the people or it is driven only by the need to secure unity of the country?

    While I strongly encourage efforts to build ties across the different nations and nationalities of Ethiopia, like the one proposed by Fekade Shewakena, I would like to stress that the issue of Oromos or any other ethnic group should be addressed in its own right. I believe that we have to fight the politics of deceit; and search for the truth that can keep all of us together. Otherwise the gap between ethnic groups can not be bridged. I’m saying this not to discourage the good intention of Fekade, but out of the desire to see genuine and sustainable cooperation among Ethiopians.

    God Bless Ethiopia!

    January 17th, 2008 at 7:41 pm

    abdii bilisaa says:
    ER, thank you for sponsering this article.

    January 17th, 2008 at 7:42 pm

    A friend of Ethiopia says:
    I have been in Ethiopia many times and I love the people of that country. My sympathy goes out to the long suffering people of Ethiopia. My only hope is that the World Court will get Meles Zenawi and his cronies for CRIMES AGAINST HUMANITY. Ethiopia deserve better than those criminals. Best regards.

    Hans Jhansson

    January 17th, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    bulbula says:
    I have never seen such a concrete piece of article from non-Oromo writer. Thank you Shewakena.

    January 17th, 2008 at 8:10 pm

    Ephrem says:
    oromia is Ethiopia and Ethiopia is Oromia,when oromia bleeds so does the whole of Ethiopia.

    January 17th, 2008 at 8:48 pm

    Anonymous says:
    “First they came for the communists, and I did not speak out because I was not a communist. Then they came for the socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a socialist. Then they came for the trade unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and then I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me” Martin Niemoller, 1946

    Regarding Weyane:
    First they demonized OLF (1992) and since then Oromos are suffering as you Fekade put it, all others kept quite. 1995 ONLF is chased and since then Ethiopian Somalis are suffering including the recent genocide they went through, the rest of us kept quite. 1998 our Eritrean brothers and sisters who lived their life long in Eth became the victim as well about 100,000 youngsters cherished, again we did little against it. 2001 our people in Hadiya and Kembata, 2002 our people in Hawwasa and Tepi; 2003 our people in Gambella sufferend the atrocities. Lastly 2005 our CUD supporters mostly from Amhara and Gurage tasted what it meanse to suffer under injustice. We all kept quite till Weyane at last attacked as personally or attacked our ethnic group.

    I am touched by Fekade’s article for it is to me the first kind written by Abyysinian scholar about Oromo suffering, eventhough such suffering is taking place for a very long time. Similar speech was delivered by Dr. Berihanu regarding Ogaden. You people are really making NEW start in Ethiopian politics. We need to feel pain of all peoples regardless of their national origin. Weyane the beast will one day leave, no doubt about it. Nazis left, Apartheid left, there is no reason why Weyane will not leave. We as a people need to learn from our history and from our failure to forge a good common FUTURE!

    January 17th, 2008 at 10:21 pm

    Hiwot says:
    Ato Shewakena you are the genuin son of Ethiopia.I feel sorry for my Ethiopian brothers and sisters suffering in their own country by their own fellow Ethiopians.As you suggested we should get together and lift up our voice to The Lord and the rest of the world.I would like to address something at this time instead fighting by ethnicity let’s fight together as united Ethiopians.The division will help the enemies where as our unity destroy them.God Bless Ethiopia!

    January 17th, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    Realist says:
    The wall that has been built between the Oromo people and other Ethiopians is crumbling. The flame that is burning the Oromo people is being felt by their Ethiopian brethren. WE are coming to an understanding that we are all bound together by a common fate- Ethiopians forever-and need to reach to that promise land- Bilisummaa/Netsanet/Freedom-together as peoples of Waaqa/God.

    January 18th, 2008 at 1:24 am

    Tamirat Gameda says:
    Dear Fekade, thank you so much for your great job you done for oromo people. It is great additional information for those who are spporting criminal wayanes.T

    January 18th, 2008 at 2:21 am

    Naga Tuma says:
    Fekade wrote: “If we don’t do this now don’t ask me later to stand against Oromos when they rise to fight back and decide to go out of the Ethiopian union and form their own country.”

    A genuine new beginning should start from a deep soul searching. The atrocities of the TPLF on the mass started a long time ago. Dr. Berhanu wrote in his book that his imprisonment and experience with the Oromo prisoners he met there contributed to starting a new political party after he came out from the prison. I did not read his writing about it until his book came out while he was in prison. He gave a similar reason as Fekade that he was worried about the future of the country. This is the first time for me to read Fekade write such an article even though the suffering under the TPLF has gone on for as many years as the TPLF has been in power. He seems to have even started to criticize the language that was used against his own party’s leaders by the group he has been supporting, or made to believe to support. If he did this much early on, he would have helped the suffering of the people he seems to be speaking for now.

    January 18th, 2008 at 3:00 am

    AleQa Bru says:
    Thank you Fekade Shewakena,
    Thank you ER,

    Political maturity is IN THE HOUSE. Will we see the most educated Ethiopians getting involved in politics to find lasting solutions and END the suffering of our people? Will the Ethiopian intelligensia come to the fore front of the democratic struggle? Or will it be silent and just watch from the sidelines?

    The time is ticking……

    January 18th, 2008 at 5:17 am

    Ormania says:
    Dear writter,

    Your touched every sense of mine not because an Oromo but I am a good ethiopian, too.
    I an Oromo who grew up in small town and have friends from different ethinic groups of Ethiopia. I live in London now. I have been to different rallies in London. But I haven’t seen any rally organised when several brutual inccidents were inflicted against people in Oromia region.

    Most of the rallies organied by Ethiopian Community focus only on incidents in Addis Abeba. I spoke to most of my friend and asked why rally is not organised when more than 300 Oromo students were expelled from Addis Abeba University, Why Students from the rest of the Ethiopian region specially Northern part refused to help to put off forest fire in Bale,when Oromo students and few from the south went to help their people, and lots? But they fail to convince me. These and other situations trouble my mind where I stand as an Oromo Ethiopian. If we do not get support as poeple of Ethiopia from the rest of Ethiopia why we bother to put up with all troubles during rainy season and welcome others in summer (good times). Please let us stand together to stay together.

    Thank you, for breaking the ice.

    January 18th, 2008 at 8:45 am

    Kumsaa says:
    I am one of those 12000 Oromo victims of the merciless crime of Tigre/TPLF at Dedesa concentration camp in 1992/93. The “living” condition was extremely brutal. What I experienced in that concentration camp was a harsh condition which I later saw in the documentaries of the Nazi concentration camps. In fact, I regard Dedesa as a place where holocaust comparable to Auschwitz is committed.

    Up to 200 people were placed in small rooms -often sleeping on each other. Prisoners in the Dedesa camp received meals two times a day: morning and evening. We were fed worms; I tell you, a piece of bread infested with a worm! As we had no alternative, we have to eat what was available. After several months on such inadequate and unhealthy starvation diet, many prisoners developed physical weakness and diseases.

    The hygienic condition was extremely poor. We all were crawling with lice. We were driven to the river to take shower every two to three weeks. Some of the inmates were suffering from communicable diseases such as tuberculosis. Dedesa is a very hot place where infection spreads widely. There were incidents of epidemics of communicable diseases. Malaria was rampant. Diarrhoea was part of our life in the camp. Meningitis and other serious infections were awfully common. There was no medication for basic diseases, the Tigre deliberately withheld treatment for easily curable diseases like malaria and diarrhoea.

    The inmates represent diverse segment of Oromo community -urban professionals including doctors, teachers, engineers etc, peasants, religious leaders- who came from the various Oromo territories – from Harargee to Wellega, from Nageelle Boorana to Wollo. Though I don’t have exact age of the prisoners, I have seen very old people (one I saw was 84 from Arsi) and children as young as 8 years. Even there were women who were pregnant on arrest and gave birth in that horrendous camp. There were some OLF members, but the majority were innocent Oromo who were regarded “dangerous” by their Tigre neighbours or acquaintances.

    On top of that there was the routine of daily torture -both mental and physical. In addition we were forced to work on different tasks every day. There was systematic murder of those people who said they are supporters of OLF.

    In just six months, at least 2000 Oromo perished in Dedesa camp as a result of starvation, communicable disease epidemics, inhuman living conditions, beatings and torture and executions. To be honest it is a miracle that I had survived that endurable condition. Human spirit is stronger than woyane’s evil. On my release I weighed barely 50 kg, way down from 73 before my arrest.

    After release I have learnt there were six such concentration camps in the country- in Hurso, Tolay, Agarfa, Bir Sheleko and Ambo each holding 10-12,000 Oromo.

    My biggest crime was being an Oromo!

    January 18th, 2008 at 9:48 am

    Arif says:
    Nobody said when we said that long time ago. No body reacted when former President Nagasso Gidada come out and said there are over 25,000 Oromo political prisoners in some cases a whole village.

    http://oromantic.wordpress.com/2008/01/08/oromos-filled-ethiopian-jails/

    But now another TPLF guy admited it is a big news all of a sudden for abeshas. Now you started giving ear to our cries; better late than never. We’ll see what happens next.

    January 18th, 2008 at 11:10 am

    Jaleta says:
    I hope some or closet chauvinists understand why “OLF” has found an ally in “Eritrea” while fellow Ethiopians turned deaf ear to the plight of Oromos. As a one time victim of Woyane’s crime against Oromos (BTW I am a Medical Doctor), I wish to recall one memorable exchange with one Ethiopian Hospital Director who blackmailed me saying that he will report me to the Ethiopian Security as an OLF supporter.

    I am now in exile but ‘ll neither forget nor forgive what Woyane “Tigres” and their collaborators did to me and Oromos at large!!!

    January 18th, 2008 at 12:47 pm

    Afe-Gubae says:
    Recently two articles filled my eyes with tears, Obang Metho’s address to Ethiopians in D.C. and this one. Both made me guilty of silence. In either crime against humanity I partly bought government pretexts. The article made me guilty for having Addis’ manslaughter protest march at CNN head quarter and Carter center condemning but not for the Anguak massacres.

    Fekade’s article reminds me about Andargachew’s, a former detainee of the notorious Dedesa camp and defendant of genocide, testimony to the US congress. He said “Our captors were absolutely Tigrigna speakers while all prisoners were non Tigre. If this is not genocide I do not know what to call it.”

    Whether we like it or not, ethnic cleansing is systematically in progress in our homeland. Therefore, we Ethiopians must coordinate our sporadic struggles. When we raise our voices to condemn all atrocities committed against any ethnic group within our territory regardless of non ending EPRDF’S pretexts then our deep wounds start to heal and absolution draws near.

    January 18th, 2008 at 4:37 pm

    Aiga says:
    Fekade, you are taking the right step when you made a call on behalf of our imprisoned Oromo brothers. Please keep up tickling our silent so-called elite who are no better than the selfish politicians who have messed up this great country of ours, when it comes to speaking up the truth. It is very rare to see a non-Oromo Ethiopian elite to say: ‘no to hunting Oromos’, and I commend you for taking the lead in this very important step of healing the wound suffered by our brothers. While I am at it though, I can’t stop without mentioning that Seye, who is been heralded as a hero these days, was the main culprit in the imprisonment of most of the Oromos he met in the Kaliti Prison. I bet most of them were imprisoned by his own orders when he was at the helm of power. Any ways, your call for standing up on behalf of imprisoned Oromos is welcome – count me on please! Another point I want to make is that we should stand up for AFD. Stop the suspicions and let’s unite. Do you know that Meles and his cronies fear the concept of AFD more than any thing else. I strongly believe that the TPLF cadres fear the idea of AFD more than Kinijit, OLF, ONLF, etc. because they know that when we unite they have no place in Ethiopia. AFD is the answer to TPLF.

    January 18th, 2008 at 6:04 pm

    Assta B. Gettu says:
    The Oromo tribe heading to be counted as “An endangered species” if Meles continues its persecution against this once mighty tribe! Then it will be a great lose for the rest of Ethiopia.

    The worst punishment Meles Zenawi has been using mostly against our Oromo people is when he purposely assigned non-Amharic speakers, the Tigrean guards, to watch over the non-Tigirnga speakers, the Oromo people at Qaliti prison. There may be some Amharic speakers among both the Tigrean guards and the Oromo prisoners, otherwise communication between the two will be difficult if not impossible. For example, when an Oromo prisoner asks for water, the guard may bring him/her bread; then when the prisoner says, “Thank you for the bread” even though he/she has asked for a glass of water, the guard beats up the prisoner because he thinks the prisoner has insulted him.

    Poor communication some times brings confusion. We know what happened to those ancient people who tried to reach heaven by building a high tower; however, God was not interested in their attempt to reach heaven by erecting a tower, so he confused their language, and they were in big trouble; they could not speak the same language any more. Therefore, they stopped building their project, and they were scattered every where (Genesis 11).

    On his part, Meles considers, I think, putting the Tigrean guard to protect the Oromo-filled prison as part of his many cruel punishments. If this is so, then the Oromo prisoners at Qaliti have no any other communication except to use sign languages. Even to use sign language, the Woyanne regime must have first trained the guards before they have been sent to guard the Oromos whose language is strange to them. How bad indeed would be for the Oromo prisoners to live under such difficult circumstances where they could not speak the language of their jailers.

    Communication may not be the only problems the Oromo prisoners are facing at Qaliti; they may also have visitation problems. Are their relatives allowed to visit them at least once a week if not once a day? The question though is do the relatives really know whether the prisoners whom they want to visit are at Alem bekagn, at kerchelie or at Qaliti? Does the Woyanne regime give them enough information as to the whereabouts of these Oromo prisoners? I doubt it, because Woyanne’s main purpose is to perhaps make life miserable for any person associated with Oromo or for any person who happens to speak the Oromo language. Meles is preaching that the Oromo tribe is worthless to be considered Ethiopians. In this way, Meles is creating hatred between the Oromo tribes and the rest of the Ethiopians by inciting one tribe against the other. If he succeeds in his devious scheme, then what happened to Tutsi and Hutu in Rwanda in 1994 would definitely materialize in Ethiopia. To avoid such genocide from happening in our country, we must unit and, we must work hard to save our Oromo brothers and sisters including those other Ethiopian prisoners who are having the same fate as the Oromos. We must strengthen Kinijit, the only hope we have, to defeat the Meles regime and to liberate Ethiopia, which is, in fact, in Qaliti. Since most Ethiopians are not living a happy life, therefore they are either in Alem bekagn or in Qaliti with their Oromo brothers and sisters if not physically at least psychologically.

    January 18th, 2008 at 7:31 pm

    Jimma says:
    I was also detained by the TPLF-OPDO in Dedesa in 1992. Earlier, I was asked to join OPDO and I categorically refused to join any political group. The infamous OPDO regional cadre Kuma, apparently a Tigre in Oromo name, warned me that I would face serious danger if I declined to join OPDO. They purposely wanted my membership as I was a well respected teacher in my locality with more than 40 years of service.

    I vividly remember the two dreadful issues at Dedesa: firstly, the strict savage rules of the Tigrayan wardens who decline to allow somebody with diarrhoea to go to toilet, thus defecating in the extremely crowded room. Secondly, the horrendous political indoctrination attempt that lasts more than 8 solid hours. We were forced to sit on wooden chairs or on a cement floor. This was more than a torture.

    There were in fact more grave human rights violations at Dedesa and I commend Mr. Fekade for raising this issue.

    January 18th, 2008 at 7:50 pm

    Dacota says:
    –OPDO is a TPLF condom used to rape the Oromo people!
    –It is sad to hear that 99% of the prisoners with Seye were Oromos! I wonder if TPLF’s prison systems are Killil based?
    –Seye’s steps towards understanding the ethnic policy of his old party is commending but ha has yet to apologize in public for the crimes he committed and for the hatred he showed towards other Ethiopians /if he has already/ cleaned it! Hope other Tigres might learn from him and be hate free.

    January 18th, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    BIRI says:
    Fekade Shewakena’s genuine contribution has strengthened the cause of a democratic unity where we take that injustice against one is injustice against everyone!
    This level of maturity means that we have nothing to fear from living under the union where respect for all citizens’ rights are guaranteed by law and breach of those rights are challenged by all of us. It is a welcome input to our cause for brighter future for all Ethiopians.
    We will need to do more on this humane path and use it as the bridge in establishing a common platform for standing together to remove tyranny!
    Many thanks to you brother Fekade and to the ER Editor and others who are promoting the positive trend of uniting all Ethiopians!

    Warm regards

    Biri

    January 18th, 2008 at 8:35 pm

    Meraraw says:
    Dear Fekade,
    I lastly got an answer to one question tormenting me since my school life: “Is there any Abesha scholar writing or speaking in favour of Oromo cause i.e Bilisummaa Oromo (freedom of Oromos)?”

    Looking at history there were Germans, who stood against the Nazi atrocity on Jews. In South Africa there were Whites who stood against Apartheid. In America there were Whites who struggled for Blacks’ right…etc

    To most Oromos’ surprise, there was no (as far as I know) Abyssinian who really stood beside Oromos and fought against Abyssinian tyranny in the last 125 years. Don’t tell me the general struggle of Students like Walelign who fought for the general right of Nationalities in Ethiopia. I am looking for specifics.

    Now you brock the “taboo”, at once we started to read many comments to your support. I really congradulate you and I hope Aite siye, Dr. Berihanu and you will set an example for practical support of the victimized, be it our own nationality or that of others:

    Galata guddaa qabda!!

    January 18th, 2008 at 9:37 pm

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  13. G.K
    | #13

    The oromo issue is not just their presence in qality but also their presence in the highland of Ethiopia in general. As we all know after the powerful and beautiful queen Eleni was died in 1520, the barbaric Muslims used her dead as an opportunity and invaded Abyssinia coming from today’s Somalia supported by the ottomans and Arabs. The war took 14 years (1529-1543) and we know what happened to our country. They even reached in Axsum and burned down the Zion mariam church. On the way to reach there, millions of people forced to leave or die and about 4000 churched and many historical documents were destroyed. Their aim was anti Christian and anything has to do with Christianity including believers were destroyed.

    Thanks to the European assistance, the Ethiopians have won the war and it ended in 1543. But the destruction was enormous. Those living in Northern bale, Arusi, Shewa, harar, Sidamo and part of keffa at the time were totally devastated and the place was abandoned.
    This situation became an opportunity to those looking to invade some once territory. About 1550 there appeared through the corner of bale Nomadic people following their grazing animals and they became able to invade the vast territory in the south without resistance as the natural residents of the area were chased away or killed by the Muslim invaders about 7 years a go for 14 years.
    The more the nomadic people reached to north in Arusi, Sidamo and other areas the more they became in contact with the residents and that led to confrontation. Read the history of the Sidama, kembata, Hadiya, Welaita, Harar, the Guragees, the three kingdoms of keffa and others living in the south today and you will know the truth what happened since then. read also about what happened with the Afars, the Amharas and Tigress during 1550-1850 for three hundreds years. Then you will know what was happened between the Nomadic galas and the rest of the people that were living a settlement life except part of the Afars. Read about Qes (Aba) Abraha who was an eyewitness what happened at the time. There are many books about and read them.
    The word gala came to the Anthropologist book since 1919. The word oromo since 1974 thanks to monster Mengistue. The word Oromia since 1991, Thanks to Meles.

    What is next? It is time to talk the truth about the Ethiopian history at least for the last 500 years. Then things will be clear. By the way the vast majority of those claiming are Oromos are not Oromos. Oromos must look like the same like South western Somalis with Negroid face and dark skin. Not the majority of faces we see in Ethiopia and light skin. That light skin with Ethiopian face so called oromos must be either mixed or not oromos but forced to accept the oromo way of life and language after the invasion for 300 years.

    So, The next very important issue must be who is oromo and what is going on in the country at least for the last 500 years including the queen Eleni era. The natives have the right to get their ancestry land back and live and work anywhere they like in the county. The so-called oromia and the likes are just myths that will never ever materialized.

    We have to accept we all are Ethiopians and we need to follow the way how we can live together in peace and harmony as a nation and benefit together. By the way 95% of the oromo people have nothing to do with Oromia, or anything what OLF and others are claiming and as a result causing troubles against the peaceful citizens.

  14. Raza
    | #14

    Hey, Almaz … Please don’t reply for those who are trying to confuse. They are the TPLF cadres them selve pretending as if they are Ethiopians.

    Raza

  15. Kiflay
    | #15

    Just pointing History.
    .
    .
    .
    1365 Atse Dawit became king of Ethiopia
    1370=he established Entoto town
    1370=Entoto Kidist mariam church was established

    After Atse Dawit era, among the others in the 15 -century, Atse yacob(Capital Debre Birhan Twon) visited the town and the church many times while he was visiting the country as far as Down to Harar and other areas. At one visit, Atse Yacob had laid a cross in the church. After his death, Queen Eleni who was his wife ruled the nation and she died 1520EC with a natural death (old age).
    1521EC(1529 Greg) Muslims with ottomans and Arabs direct involvement invaded the Christian Abyssinia.
    As it happened through out the south, east, west, central, and elsewhere, citizens from Entoto town also fled, have been massacred and the church was destroyed as it happened to about 4000 churches all over the country. Then they changed the name of the town. The tabot from Entoto town was taken to Gonder.

    This is just one example out of the thousands describing the entire central, southern, western or any territory where OLF is claiming is a myths never ever been there at all. It is a myths based on the kind of dream and fiction story trying to make a history which is a fool idea.

    Nobody is fool. We know from where we came from and where we are now and where to go. So, stop playing foolish games based on nothing, but act the right way based on the truth. The truth is that learn history that has to be at least a 500-1000 years long. The kind of a 100-year history is too cheap and childish to us. We are very far from that. This is so short less than a single person age in somewhere.

  16. DIREDAWA
    | #16

    G.K and kiflay

    I will not step back when you speak such false prepared talks againest us.do stop attaining as we OROMOS came from abroad unlikewise as you done from Esia.we are indegineous tribes of East Africa.

    in the fact that,after we together lived this long century we might not say get out of here.but,we can say that we have a right to decide every thing what’s going on in Home Oromia-leave it for us.

    by the way K.K, where did you study statistics?
    I amazed when you say 95%of oromos are nothing to do in oromia….have you ever seen a single Oromo living in Gonder or gojjjam? NO NO..the other is, you said oromos are not light skined some thing.. some thing..get the fuck out of here!! who said this-U realy funny.

    any ways I will throw you down from gara batu unless you keep quait.

    telba binchancha bandi mukecha ale?…we will see you then!!

  17. Okach O. Kwot
    | #17

    Some Ethiopians like K.K do not get it. It was not too long ago when Serbs of the former Yogoslavia were saying their country is going to stay intact. K.K look today the only remaining province is Kosovo and its case is on the U.N table. Why don’t stop your day dreaming and try to see things through the victims eye? I mean what part of “NO” you don’t understand? Ethiopia is in the stage where Yogoslavia was in 1995 when Melesovic was trying to hold togehter with iron fist, but today how many countries formed from it? The case of Ethiopia even worser than that of Yogoslavia because, the regime in power is doing the decentegration business easy. Ethiopians are sitting by side wishing the best for their country not doing anything. Folks the so called peaceful struggle don’t cut it and until we are waiting for that golden day when the TPLF turned the power to us, we will be sorry. Day by day the TPLF regime is pouring some amount of gas on the already burning fire but some Ethiopians do not know it. We Ethiopians always had very weak reasonings about our affairs when ever someone rise it up. For example Mr. K.K wrote a pieces of Ethiopian history in his response which has nothing to do with today’s reality. We are today and at the moment talking about the suffering of real people, the Oromos and others so what history has to do with the suffering of the people and please be very informed about Yogoslavia and may be you would find the relationships.

  18. | #18

    For the first time in its history Ethiopia and the Ethiopian people are faced with a ruthless enemy,an enemy which is hell bent in destroying the nation to the point of no return.The ethnic clansing and ethnic aparthied policies are being implemented on a fast trac basis.The discord and confrntation among the different nationalities is beind pushed to the breaking point.The evil scheme of divide and rule is meticloslely followed to lenghten the Woyanne rule until the The Great Tigrai Republic is declared.The tragedy is that the war criminal who was one of the architects of this policy is embraced as a hero and is paraded as an Ethiopian messiah here in the US.After watching this historical revision with horror and dismay, I am more convinced than ever that the end Ethiopia as we know it is over.This shameful act by itself would give the Oromos a clear understanding of where their lies.

  19. ayantuu
    | #19

    whatever every body says whatever he feels,we Oromos don’t care about the false mighty.you call us ignorants that is because we are asking our freedom.

    we will not stop this ever.

  20. Kiflay
    | #20

    Guys:

    Don’t talk the nonsense talk but walk the walk towards the right direction based on the truth.

    Just adding additional truth out of the thousands you don’t about. When the time comes, all the truth will come out. Until then, just chilling with this, which is below. This is the truth comes from respected international scholars and historians and swallow their ideas as they been written and told for centuries.

    Bibliography.

    See G. W. B. Huntingford, The Galla of Ethiopia (1955, repr. 1969); H. S. Lewis, A Galla (1965)

  21. gemoraw
    | #21

    Ababa KIFLAY:

    I don’t know why you habeshans worship history.if history was a food you wouldn’t starved like that.your fathers pull back our country .I have no word how I can explain you and them.

    what we are doing today is not some thing that can hurt you.your problem is your selfishness,your dream to stay at on sombodies head like lice.

    you are brinnging some clueless books copied from your arrognt family.the people whom you call them proffesional historians,they simply wrote the wrong history that heared from your fathers.that means..hey,if history is some thing that is written on book with some body else,I also can write some bodies history in egypt or congo.plz dont make me to have bad attitude againest the subject history.

    we are not discriminant like you.we still respectt you,we love every body,we are willing to live with you,our question is freedom
    our question is to wipe poverty….if you dont like us plz leave us alone.dont try to mention trash books as an evident.

    NEFTEGNOCH,I will see you and your books in world musiems in the near future-oldies!!

  22. Zquala
    | #22

    Because Oromos did not write their language during the migrations, we must refer to Solomonic, Portuguese, and Arabic sources for the reasons behind and history of the migrations. Particularly, a 16th century Tigrayan monk named Bahrey is the foremost source on the migrations. His book (written in Ge’ez), the History of the Galla (Ge’ez ??? ? ??? z?nahu legalla; “Galla” being an older name for “Oromos” that is now pejorative), was written in 1593 and details the migrations from 1522 to his age. In addition to his book, further information can be gleamed from other contemporaries such as from the Ethiopian monk Abba Paulos, Shihab ed-Din’s Futuh al-Habasha (Conquest of Abyssinia), João Bermudes, Francisco de Almeida, Jerónimo Lobo, and various royal chronicles (e.g. those of Gelawdewos, Sarsa Dengel, and Susenyos, though that of Sarsa Dengel may have been written by Bahrey).

    [edit] Early migrations
    The early migrations were characterized by sporadic raids by the Oromo on the frontiers of the Solomonic kingdom. After capturing cattle and other booty, the raiding parties would quickly return back to their homelands. Actual settlement of new territories would not begin until the luba (Ge’ez ?? l?b?, an “appointed” head of one of the five groups of an Oromo clan) of Meslé.[1]

    lubas (meaning – p.301)

    [edit] Mélbah (1522-1530) and Mudena (1530-1538)
    According to Bahrey, the earliest Oromo migratinos occured under the Oromo luba Melbah, during the time of Emperor Lebna Dengel. He states that they invaded the neighboring Bali in the Southeast just before the invasions of Ahmad ibn Ibrihim al-Ghazi of Adal (also known as Ahmed Gragn) in the north. These early incursions (Oromo razzia) were limited, however, as the encroaching groups returned to their homeland near the Shebelle River after each raid. Raids continued under Mudena past the Wabi Shebelle, but these groups also returned home shortly.[2]

    [edit] Kilolé (1538-1546)
    After the death of Ahmed Gragn, Kilolé resumed his predecessors raids, piercing further into Solomonic territory. Aided by the weakening of both the Solomonic dynasty and Adal, he was able to raid as far as the province of Dewaro, north of Bali. Again, however, after each raid, the parties returned to their villages. Bahrey’s dating might, however, be off, however, as Shihab ad-din, who wrote a decade before Ahmed Gragn’s death, notes a locality named Werre Qallu, an Oromo name, in the province of Dewaro. Francisco de Almeida, however, agreed with Bahrey’s dating, affirming that the Galla first began migrating around the time of Ahmed Gragn’s invasion (1527).[3]

    [edit] Bifolé (1546-1554)
    During the time of luba Bifolé, the Oromo migration achieved its first major success. While all previous movements had been minor raids on neighboring provinces, under Bifolé new raids were undertaken that began to weaken Solomonic control. All of Dewaro was pillaged and Fetegar to its north was attacked for the first time.[4] Furthermore, according to Bahrey, the inhabitants of the pillaged areas were enslaved, becoming gebrs (Ge’ez ??? gabr; Amh. gebr, Tgn. gebri), a term referring more precisely to “tax-paying serfs,” similar to the serfs in Ethiopia during feudal times. Emperor Gelawdewos, however, campaigned in the south as a result of thee attacks. According to his chronicle, the Emperor defeated the Oromo incursions and made subject to his rule those he captured, preventing further attacks for some time, with further incursions reduced to skirmishes. The initial attacks were significant, however, on a much larger and more devastating scale to the Solomonic dynasty. Despite his reprisals, Gelawdewos was troubled and was forced to settle refugees in a town of Wej, north of Lake Zway, around 1550-1.[5]

    [edit] Settlement

    [edit] Meslé (1554-1562)
    Meslé’s time represent a fundamental change in the migrations of the Oromo. Not only were newly taken territories permanently settled by Oromos for the first time, but mules and horses began to be ridden by the first time. The adoption of horseback-riding from the north greatly increased the Oromos fighting power, putting them on par with Solomonic troops, who were largely unequipped with firearms.[6]

    In the new phase of migration adopted under Meslé, the Oromos defeated Gelawdewos’s troops in Jan Amora, allowing them to pillage a number of towns. Instead of returning to their homelands, however, they stayed in the new territories. Gelawdewos campaigned against the Oromos as a result, defeating them at ‘Asa Zeneb (yet unidentified), but he was nevertheless unable to drive them from the frontier provinces and continued to build the new town in Wej for new refugees.[7]

    Oromo migration was not restricted to Solomonic territories, however, as activites against Adal were also pursued. The forces of Nur ibn Mujahid (r. 1551/2-1567/8), the Amir of Harar, for instance, were soundly defeated by the Oromos. According to Bahrey, there had been “no such slaughter since the Galla first invaded.” [7]

    [edit] Harmufa (1562-1570) and Robalé (1570-1578)
    During the luba of Harmufa, the Oromos advanced even deeper into Solomonic territory. With the use of horses, they were able to attack the province Amhara, and even get as far as Begemdir and Angot. Further advances were made under Robalé, during whose time Shewa was pillaged and Gojjam attacked. For the first time, Oromo advances were devastating core Solomonic provinces, whereas there earlier incursions were simply against frontier provinces. Despite the deeper attacks, the core provinces remained under Solomonic control, and Emperor Sarsa Dengel carried out reprisals in return. One such reprisal in 1573 involved the engagement of Oromos near Lake Zway in a frontier province, whom he defeated, and taking their cattle and distributing it among his subjects who are described in his chronicle as “bec[oming] rich” as a result.[8]

    [edit] Reprisals under Sarsa Dengel
    Forced to fight the Ottomans in the north of his Empire, Sarsa Dengel turned to curb the spread of Oromos in the south in the 1570s. The first mention of his actions is in his short Royal chronicle, which states that he fought a force of Borana Oromos at Lake Zway under a luba named Ambissa. Learning that, after the 1572 rains, the Oromos had taken Wej, the Emperor gathered his forces from throughout Ethiopia to form an army at Gind Beret. From there, Sarsa Dengel headed south, where he found that the Oromos had also taken Maya.[8] Despite the size of his army, he was able to defeat the Oromos in the area, pushing them back to Fetegar, and capture a large number of cattle. Sarsa Dengel again learned in 1574 of Oromo incursions in Shewa, and the pillaging of cattle in lowland Zéma. The Emperor sent Azzaj Halibo with 50 cavalry to the area, who forced the Oromo to flee sent the heads of 80 to the Emperor as trophies. Sarsa Dengel was again forced to head north with his army to confront the Ottoman-backed Bahr negus Yeshaq, but later returned to Wej in 1577-8 to fend off Oromo advances in the area.[9] As a result of the battle in the Mojjo Valley (just east of modern Addis Ababa) against the Borana Oromo, corpses were strewn all over the surrounding countryside. The Emperor then fended off an attack in Dembiya by the Abati Oromo at a place called Weyne Deg’a and as a result of the battle, according to Bahrey, less than ten Oromo survived.[10]

    [edit] Birmajé (1578-1586)
    Despite Sarsa Dengel’s military campaigns, the Oromo migration continued to spread northward during this time. It was under luba Birmajé that the Oromos first began to use body-length ox-hide shields. These shields allowed the Oromos to resist arrows and therefore successfully defeat the Mayas. During this time period, the Oromo often came into conflict with Daharagot, one of Sarsa Dengel’s commanders, who was often successfuly. Nevertheless, during this time, the Oromo pillaged Ar’ine in Wej, killing Solomonic courtiers in the process. Further advances were made around Lake Tana, Dembiya, and (old) Damot, which was surrounded and some of whose inhabitants were enslaved.[10]

    [edit] Mul’eta (1586-1594)
    Under luba Mul’eta a large raid (Oromo dulaguto) was made on Gojjam south of Lake Tana. With the Ottoman situation in the north largely under control, Sarsa Dengel again took the initiative against the Oromo in the south, where he forced the Dawé (or Jawé) Oromos in Wej to flight. (287) Bahrey praised Sarsa Dengel’s campaign, stating that he “did not act according to the custom of the kings his ancestors, who, when making war were in the habit of sending their troops ahead, remaining themselves in the rear with the pick of their cavalry and infantry, praising those who went forward bravely and punishing those who lagged behind.”[11] Despite Bahrey’s praise, Sarsa Dengel was forced to use coercion to draw troops, decreeing that anyone who failed to heed his call to arms would have his house pillaged and property confiscated.[12]

    [edit] 17th c.

    [edit] Ya’qob

    [edit] Susneyos
    Ras Se’elä Krestos

    [edit] Later Emperors? Up to Iyasu I? Iyasu II? (right before ZM)?

    [edit] Changes in Oromo Customs/Beliefs/Culture

    [edit] Culture at time
    extensive – p.301 brief – p.289

    [edit] Changes
    Use of kosso

    [edit] Consequences
    p. 306

    [edit] References
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard K.P. The Ethiopian Borderlands: Essays in Regional History from Ancient Times to the End of the 18th Century. The Red Sea Press, Inc.: Asmara, Eritrea, 1997, p.301.
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, pp.281-2.
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, p.282.
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, pp.282-3.
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, p.283.
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, pp.283-4.
    ^ a b Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, p.283.
    ^ a b Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, p.285.
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, p.286.
    ^ a b Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, p.287.
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, pp.287-8.
    ^ Pankhurst, Richard Borderlands, p.288.

    [edit] Further reading
    Richard Pankhurst, Ethiopian Borderlands
    Mohammed Hassen, The Oromo of Ethiopia: A History 1570-1860

    [edit] See also

  23. | #23

    Ababa, I dnot have any word to say for you .But I would like to say something.You have to grow up.not physically but mentally.I can understand something about you.You donot have any knowledge about history or you are poor in history.so,I have some advise for you please try to know about the use of history.generally you are ———-everybody can fill it.But you must know something Ethiopian History is our identity.Nobody can not take from us forever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. finfine
    | #24

    yeteret abat ye wore Inat:kkkkkkkkkkkikiki

    this was how the history of Oromo burried in that country.so many atalay kes’s,banch of liers today their son,tried to scold us.

    monk nahusenay bibiibibibi,dejach gobeze bibibibibi,fitawurari anbese bibibibi,lij kooleteee bibibibi….they are died you are dying of their history,no work,no food only talk,hard talk!!

    you can call us GALLA we dont care abut it.we know we are better than you.you are let to envade us again.

    neger bibeza ale amara…in Ethiopia we only heared AMARA ale “amara said”…we never heared AMARA sera(amara worked) yewere silicha.

    bibibibi..tututututututu a lot of horn(turunba)

    any ways we are we what you will do???

    where you can impose 40million people.we can even be one nation.

  25. Okach O. Kwot
    | #25

    My Oromo brothers this is your time, Ethiopia has to honor you to lead it. Everything is to your advatage and based on your population estimate you could produce one million fighters, so what are you waiting for? The regime in power litened only to someone who has an Ak 47 and those who use it effectively. Let us opened fronts from every direction and soon we would have our turn to govern them or else there would not be no more Ethiopia, the slaughter house for Oromos, Anyuaks(Gambella), Sidamas, Afars, Ogadenese and other oppressed people. As we were created free, we must be free and let the killers stay killing themselves.

  26. GEMORAW
    | #26

    …..that was so easy to hunt and destroy the original woyanes.the ahrdest thing for us is our own OPDO.that is this oromo party who is lengthning the age of EDRF.this orommo party has a gun,human power,a lot of sikt in parlama and so many incridible places.indeed once if they them selves ready to ride over the woyanes…for the oromos this is oujr time.we are not waiting OLF as the only means of strugling power.we for our selve we are enough.our people are weathy than usual…we have to destroy the woyanes in the real soon.on that land,folowing the fall of woyane that is we who must rule the country.

    CU THEN

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