By Abbaa Ormaa
ODF forms Alliance with am Amhara group to come up soon.
The following two paragraphs are the basis of the speech given by Mr. Major D. W Giorgis at the recent conference organized by “Vision Ethiopia” in Washington DC titled “The End Game and Transition” (http://www.ethiomedia.com/1000codes/end-game-and-transition.pdf). These two paragraphs say everything you need to know about the true mission of “Vision Ethiopia” and the conference. The significance of this speech is that it is not an opinion of one participant at the conference. This is the view of “Vision Ethiopia” founders.
The rest of the speech is dedicated to making case for preserving “the unity, the culture, and the history of its people”, as presented in these paragraphs.
“The regime in Ethiopia grew out of such evil characters. It engineered an ideology of hate, the supremacy of few and ethnic segregation. It started off by redefining the boundaries for which millions of Ethiopians have fought and died for, destroyed the unity, the culture, the history and the future of its people particularly that of the youth.
It introduced and preached ethnic politics, established fake ethnic federation and launched propaganda of hate among the various ethnic groups. It manufactured and distorted the history of Ethiopia and instituted systems and policies that openly promoted the supremacy of a minority population in Ethiopia. In the most diverse continent, Ethiopia is the only country where one ethnic group, which represents a minority population, dominates the economy, security, and political and social life of the country. ….. “
First, I am not a defender of Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) by any means, but I don’t think that anyone has a quarrel with why TPLF was born. It was born, like many of the other liberation fronts such as The Oromo Liberation Front and The Eritrean People’s Liberation Front in response to the repression, marginalization, and dehumanization spewed towards their people. Not out of any evil characters! Unless confronting repression, hate, and marginalization are evil acts. The problem is what has become of TPLF once it controlled the lever of power in Ethiopia. At the same time, ethnic politics and racism did not start with TPLF. It was championed by Emperor Menelik and perfected by subsequent regimes in Ethiopia. For over a century, Amhara elites of Ethiopia had been targeting different groups for centuries, the Oromo being their ultimate target. If there is any difference today is that those accusing the TPLF are, for the first time in their history, on the receiving end of repression, marginalization, and dehumanization. I know it hurts, but other repressed, marginalized, and dehumanized victims of the Ethiopian Empire are saying welcome to the camp. No one perfected “hate propaganda” and racism more than the Amhara elite that had no qualm in dehumanizing everyone, but particularly the Oromo, where their humanity and culture was denigrated Amahra literature.
Second: When the speaker stated “the regime destroyed the unity, the culture, and the history of its people”, it is clear what kind of unity, which culture, and which history he is referring. Let us remind the gentle man what those words means to an Oromo.
“The unity”: Aannolee Memorial Monument in Arsi is a constant reminder of the kind of unity that Major Dawit Wolde-Giorgis wants to bring back. The unity he is alluding to is one of repression, marginalization, and dehumanization.
“The Culture”: We all know the culture Major Dawit has in mind being that of Ethiopia. The Oromo, the Sidama, the Afar, the Somali, the Benishangul, and the rest of the people also have their own culture that they take pride in. If “the culture” is what the speaker is prescribing to all Ethiopian, then his Ethiopia is more frightening than TPLF’s Ethiopia.
“The History of its people”: “The History” and “its people” are oxymoron in the case of Ethiopia, unless “its people” refers to one group. The Ethiopian history the speaker is referring to is a history of Tigray and Amhara warlords. It is a history that presents the Oromo people as “uncivilized people” who came to Ethiopia from the sea; depicts the rest of the people in Ethiopia as people without history. Again, this begs the question who is included in “its people”.
Third: As the saying goes: “those who live in a glass house must not throw stones”. I am confident that one can find the following paragraph that reads:
“The neftenya manufactured and distorted the history of Oromo and instituted systems and policies that openly promoted the supremacy of Amhara hegemony in Ethiopia. In the most diverse continent, Ethiopia is the only country where one ethnic group, which represents only 23% of the population, dominates the economy, security, and political and social life of the country. Ethiopia is the only country where 23% percent of the population imposes its language and culture on the rest of the people in Ethiopia. “
This is the Ethiopia that ushered in TPLF’s Ethiopia.
I applaud ODF and its leaders for joining hands to preserve “the unity, the culture and the history of its people”. Now I see why the speaker referred to Ginbot 7 and ODF as “the majority of political organizations in Ethiopia”. To be a legitimate political force in his version of Ethiopia, one has to sign on his self-serving misguided notion of “the unity, the culture, and the History”.
I have to give credit where credit is due. The speaker knows when to throw a humor and it was a good one. It made his audiences giggle inside when he said “….This body (ENM) is composed of all the political groups that currently conduct the struggle on the ground, and these are the Oromo (ODF), Amahra (represented by an individual and expecting an organized group representing the Amhara to come up soon)….”
He knows that the Ethiopian National Movement is a joke. So, why not make a light of them.
There are many legitimate and robust political organizations that boast the support of the majority of their people unlike ODF. Oromo Democratic Congress, Oromo Liberation Front, the list goes on.
It is worth mentioning here that ODF’s leaders didn’t even know what they are signing on and with whom they are forming alliances! That was made clear by the speaker:
“…represented by an individual and expecting an organized group representing the Amhara to come up soon”
ODF formed alliances with a generic Amhara group yet to come forward by signing on a blank paper. ODF’s leader is the same person who said he is not ready to run for the premiership in 1992; the same person who signed off the lives of thousands of Oromo Liberation Army and put them in TPLF’s concentration camp. For the Oromo people, ODF is like snake, the poison resides at the head and the rest is a tail.
The ODF leader can be likened to a salesperson you meet at department store when you go to purchase an appliance. You are looking at a refrigerator and he tells you how great the price is at the other store, and says I just got one for myself from there the other day. Is he working for the store or against the store?
“Vision Ethiopia” is the same sugar coated old Amhara elite chauvinism in a new name. The above two paragraphs strips naked the true vision of the so called “Vision Ethiopia”. It makes a mockery of the Ethiopian people’s intelligence.
How in the world are we supposed to hope the future with people who refuse to learn from history and fail to recognize the urgency of the time? People unwilling to learn from their past failures and failed us all? These people try to use the same tricks and demagogue as they did when there was no Viber, FaceTime, Facebook, Satellite TV, or Smartphones. They think that we consume only information they ration for us. Today my uncle in Jarso can reach anyone anywhere on the globe without leaving his house and knows more about Ethiopian politics than these demagogues do.
Major Dawit Wolde-Giorgis’ speech is a good manifestation of the old Amhara elites (neftenya) chauvinism! The good news is his Ethiopia belongs to the dustbin of the history books and a new Ethiopia is on the horizon. One that embraces all her children in their diversity and that gives equal opportunity to all to reach their God given potential. The only vision he has is that of bringing back the failed, repressive, racist Amhara hegemony that has long been rejected by the vast majority of Amhara people who expressed their solidarity with the Oromo youth by declaring “Oromo blood is our blood” after the Ireechaa massacre! Oromo youth in Ambo, Adamaa, and Nekemte responded by shouting “Amhara blood is my blood”.