Tuesday, July 30, 2013

I am Oromo. We are Oromo. We are so blessed to be Oromos. We are so proud to be Oromos. It is Waaqa/God/Allah who made us Oromos. We respect others. And we don't hate others. But we won't compromise with others on our national identity values. We don't want to loose our identity because of the fake "Ethiopianism". We are Oromo first.

Photo: I am Oromo.
We are Oromo. 
We are so blessed to be Oromos. 
We are so proud to be Oromos. 
It is Waaqa/God/Allah who made us Oromos. 
We respect others. 
And we don't hate others. 
But we won't compromise with others on our national identity values.

yaa ummata aadaan nyaataa isaa bareedu!!!!

Photo: yaa ummata aadaan nyaataa isaa bareedu!!!!

I love Oromia & I am A Proud Oromo


What we Oromo’s can learn from the South Sudan People’s liberation struggle

By Bakalcho Barii | July 29, 2013
Over one point five millions South Sudanese died in the long and protracted civil war with their Northern Arab rulers and millions more were displaced and made refugee around the globe before they finally freed themselves as an independent nation in July of 2011, and stood tall among the one hundred and ninety six independent nations of the world.
One might argue that South Sudanese achieved their independence with all round supports rendered to them by Western countries, particularly the United States and Britain. Many would also argue that Britain provided them material, diplomatic and other needed logistics to compensate for their wrong doing by merging the Southern Sudanese, who have little or no connections with their Northern counter parts during their occupation of the Sudan.
On the other hand, many regional and international political observers of the region argue that  the United States, provided an all-round support to the Southern Sudanese liberation movements to get un-feted access to the huge oil wealth discovered in the south plus to weaken the Northern Arabs, who for a long time harboured Islamist extremisms (Osama Bin Laden used to have a base in Northern Sudan in the 90s), and to weaken the anti-Israel Palestinians Organizations such as Hamas and other pan-Arab movements, who were supported and trained by the Northern Arab Sudanese.
On the contrary, the three regional powers, namely Egypt, Ethiopia and Eritrea supported both South Sudan Liberation Organization and the central Sudanese state for their own strategic goals. For example, the Egyptians supported their then central Sudanese state for fear of dealing alone or with little support in any future deals with the sources of the Nile river countries of the region. The Ethiopians and the Eritreans, on the other hand, gave tacit support to the South Sudanese movements while maintaining some form of good relationship with the North to weaken and eliminate their opponents both in the South and Northern Sudan.
However, the discovery of oil and the geo-politics of the region alone did not bolstered the South Sudanese liberation movements, but their unity, determinations and sustained guerrilla war under the umbrella organization of the South Sudan Liberation Organization changed the power shift in their favour and gain sympathy and support from the International community.
Here, what is incredibly important for the people of the South of the Ethiopian empire, including the Oromo’s is, despite their many tribal differences (more than fifty six tribes exist in current South Sudan), the South Sudanese  put these differences aside and fought as one people against their common enemy, the Northern Sudanese Arabs, who viewed them as sub-human.
We could also mention the case of the Eritrean’s liberation struggle against Ethiopian colonialism, where the Central Tigre speaking Christians stood together with their northern Muslims, the Kunama, and the Afar speaking groups in the South, all of them together viewed Ethiopian colonialism as their strategic enemy that must be defeated and became an independent nation in 1993 by a popular referendum.
As Oromo’s, it is high time to learn from the experiences of the South Sudanese and many nations, and put their minor differences aside for the common good of their nation and  confront and defeat the common enemy, the Abyssinian colonialism, which is doing anything to undermine and destroy the Oromo people and its natural resources.
The Southern Sudanese armed struggle was headed by those who served in the then Central Sudanese army, who attempted to change their people’s livelihood and acceptance as a citizen within one Sudan but realized that such change or acceptance will never happen within the socio-political, economic and power  structure on which the former Sudan was established. The realization of this reality convinced the likes of John Garang and many high and low ranking military officers in the national army to defect and establish a guerrilla army to fight the injustices against their people. Though, at the out-set scattered and uncoordinated due to tribal fault-lines that exists among the many South Sudanese, it did not take them long to come to a conclusion that their common enemy can only be defeated in union than  alone.
There were tens of thousands of intelligent Oromo military officers and civil servants in the Ethiopian empire state, who attempted to tackle the state sanctioned injustices against their nation by successive Abyssinian regimes hoping the Ethiopian empire, will democratize and treats its subjects in the South and the Oromo’s as citizens. The peaceful demands of these Oromo intellectuals and military officers for the equal treatments of their people within the empire made them traitors and enemy of the state, and as a consequence were sent to the gallows.
The fate of many brave and innocent Oromo’s who served the empire with much distinction and dedications were to suffer in the hands of the Abyssinians, who felt threatened by these Oromo’s, their only crime being raising the mistreatment and exploitation of their people. Here, we can mention a few such as, the likes of Mamo Mezemer (who many claim the birth father of Oromo struggle), General Tadesse Biru, who until the Abysinians discovered his Oromo blood and imprisoned him and finally killed, Haile Fida and Senai Liki, who were the intellectual power house of their generations, and many more perished in the hands of Abyssinian rulers.
The Oromo struggle for liberation is at critical juncture. The empire is on its last leg and last breadth. As a result, there are many voices from within and external forces whispering to our ears to abandon our God given rights to be free but rather opt to remain within the Ethiopian empire state. These forces even go as far as trying to convince us that remaining within the union is more beneficial to Oromo’s than separation. When asked how? These forces can not substantiate how living within the Ethiopian empire state favours the Oromo’s. Ethiopian empire is and has been the living hell for Oromo’s over the last on hundred years. Abyssinians never cared or care for the rights of the Oromo’s and the southern peoples but rather they care how much they can exploit their resources.
My message to my Oromo compatriots and those who advocate union with an empire (internal and external), is this; there is no single empire in the history of nations that was democratized and lived in peace with its subjects. The opposite is true in human history, meaning when the subjects were free, the empire itself was also set free from its own shackles.
Oromo’s have to look to their neighbours, which includes the likes of South Sudan, Eritrea and Djibouti as an example. Eritrea and Djibouti with different nationalities have had opted for independence rather than living with the Ethiopian empire.
For example, the population of Djibouti is closer to half a million and that of Eritrea is four million. The Oromo people, on the other hand, coupled with abundant natural resources and with the population size of over 40 million with common history, geography, language, culture, deserve to be free from their Abyssinian colonizers  and live in peace with all its neighbours and practice their democratic Gada system to govern themselves.
In conclusion, like the Southern Sudanese inside and in the diasporas who spoke the freedom of their nation with one voice to the International Community, and to their enemies, Oromo’s inside Oromia and in the diasporas must speak loudly with one voice more than ever and demand the total independence of Oromia and the freedom of their people. Always remember that famous quotes “Power Never Gives up by its own Will but need to be confronted with determination and defeated”.
Finally, Jawar Mohammed, a regional political analyst recently put it in the following way in his recent radio interview, quote “writing or having beautiful political programme will not liberate oneself or a nation but standing together in unity and deeds and speaking with one clear and loud voice to one’s enemy will strengthen and transform a nation’s struggle for peace, democracy and justices”” in that part of East Africa, where Oromia belongs.
May Waqa Bless those who died for the diginity, respect and freedom the Oromo Nation.

Monday, July 29, 2013

History 101: Fiction and Facts on Oromos of Ethiopia

By Prof. Feqadu Lamessa for Salem-News.com
oromiamapJuly 29, 2013, ADAMA, Ethiopia (Salem-News) – Recently, the Qatar-based media al Jazeera has published several articles concerning the Oromo people of Ethiopia. It is the first international media outlet to extensively report on our people and it should be praised for bringing our cause to the world stage.
One of the benefits of this exposure is it forces Ethiopian authorities to address human rights abuses in the country and to let them know that the world is watching. Oromos and other Ethiopians have been struggling for equal rights and democracy for decades. While it is important to report about Oromo people’ background and historical perspectives, it is however vital that we report accurate information. Instead of benefiting us, reporting inaccurate or biased information can actually harm our struggle for democracy. Instead of creating national consensus and peace, it can instigate bitterness and anger.
One of the reasons al Jazeera reported inaccurate information about Oromo history is because it depended on one-sided sources, especially from members or supporters of Oromo groups outside of Ethiopia (diaspora OLF, OFDM etc). But nobody can blame al Jazeera media because most people inside Ethiopia would be too scared to speak or contribute. The only option al Jazeera or any foreign media has is to use diaspora/refugee/external sources outside Ethiopia. This is a dilemma all foreign media outlets face while reporting about third-world countries like Ethiopia.
For educational purposes, some corrections are provided below to fix inaccuracies reported on al Jazeera media regarding Oromo history and our struggle for democracy. The corrections below are supported by non-political scholars, but they might be rejected by biased politicians (both from ruling party and from opposition party) for the obvious reasons. However, they are based on historical textbooks, European authors and scholarly accounts.
Fiction #1:
“Between 1868 and 1900, half of all Oromo were killed, around 5 million people”
Fact #1:
This is one of the most repeated inaccuracies, usually told by Secessionist Oromos, radical ethno-nationalist politicians outside the country or pro-OLF history revisionist websites like gadaa.com et al. However, the undisputed fact is that even the total Ethiopian population (the sum of dozens of ethnic groups) was much less than 5 million in the late 1800s, let alone one ethnic group being 10 million. So claiming that 5 million ethnic Oromos were killed by Emperor Menelik’s forces does not add up. The truth is several thousand Oromos were in fact killed during battles of that era. It was not a “genocide” as some politicians claim but it was a massacre of the ill equipped southern forces defeated by the Shewan military of Emperor Menelik which had more European weapons. Throughout those decades, the truth is more Oromos were killed by other Oromos than by non-Oromos because competing Oromo Clans often traded for weapons to have an upper hand against their local competitors, who were often their fellow Oromo and Sidama neighbors.  And it was not the first lop sided victory of that era in Africa because various communities from all corners of Ethiopia had attacked one another during the “resource battles” and whichever group had more modern weapons had the upper hand. To summarize, Professor Mengistu Paulos of Jimma University said it best when describing right-wing Oromo liberation philosophy:–
“Most fictional accounts of ‘Oromo history’ blindly accepted as facts by some misled people are manufactured by former politicians turned Pseudo-historians  like OLF writer Asafa  Jalata, who is renowned for abuse of paraphrasing, often with out-of-context citations. For example, while quoting the 19th century Russian Alexander Bulatovich (who provided an ‘educated guess’ of annihilation of almost half Ethiopian population by disease, famine and war, including internal conflict between Oromo clans and with Abyssinians), the OLF-writer Asafa Jalata infamously claimed half Oromo population was killed by ‘evil’ Amharas.  This was purposely done by Mr. Jalata to create a foundation for ethnic hatred between Oromos and Amharas. Ironically, even Mr. Bulatovich himself never had the capacity nor the legitimacy to do a reliable census, as he spent just a couple of months walking around Oromia and hunting elephants in 1890s.”
Fiction #2:
“…. largely Muslim Oromo people”
Fact #2:
This is a phrase seen in some media outlets but not most. Oromo people have never been a predominantly muslim people. In fact, both Christianity and Islam is not our ancestral religion because we have practiced an indigenous traditional religion for centuries before. Gradually, Islam and Christianity were both adopted (during Oromo migrations) by us and imposed (during conquest of our lands by Abyssinian/Christians & Somalis/Islam)  on us thru out history. Even today, both the two major religions have equal representation among Oromos. The latest official 2007 census showed that around 48% of Oromos practice Christianity (Both Orthodox & Protestant) while around 47% of Oromos practice Islam. Yet, word on the ground is that the Islam population might soon surpass Christianity among Oromos in the future because Orthodox Christianity is decreasing inside Oromia.
Fiction #3
“Abyssinians labelled Oromos the derogatory word ‘Galla’”
Fact #3:
For many decades, this false statement has been used by Oromo separatists to create emotional resentment among Oromos against Semitic Abyssinians (Amharas, Tigrayans and Gurages).  The fact is the derogatory word “Galla” was first used by Arab and muslim Somalis to describe Oromos as “gal” meaning “outsiders” and “Pagans.” Muslims used this label during Oromo migration because Oromo people had their own religion which the Muslims believed was paganism. Nonetheless, this derogatory word was gradually adopted and used by other Ethiopians.
Fiction #4:
“Oromos were colonized by Emperor Menelik”
Fact: #4
Another popular claim made by secessionist Oromo politicians (and usually repeated by foreign journalists) is the fiction that Oromo people (as a whole ethnic group) were colonized by another ethnic group. Usually, the slogan goes “Abyssinians colonized Oromos” etc. This claim is popular among the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) organization and consequently among some Diaspora Oromo nationalists living in America and Europe.  While a different version or a re-arrangement of the wording might still be true…in general, the Oromo nation as a whole was never colonized by another Ethiopian ethnic group. To start with, even a united one Oromo nation did not exist at those times. All non-political historical textbooks show the existence of battles between multi-ethnic BUT monolingual communities for many centuries through out Ethiopia. Even in northern Ethiopia (traditional “Abyssinia”) Oromos have migrated and mixed so much with Tigrayans, Amharas, Afars etc for centuries that the “Abyssinia” state itself was never a one-ethnic state. In fact, even around the 1700s, Rayya Oromos and Yejju Wallo Oromos conquered and dominated a portion of Amharas and Tigrayans; and thus made Afan Oromo the official language of Abyssinia for that brief period. Meaning: clans and ethnic groups have mixed up in Ethiopia for over a millennium but the dominant ethnic group always imposed its language since it was convenient. This linguistic domination however was not always as exploitive and as vilified as it is today; because many of the ethnic groups living along trade centers and trade routes often spoke the languages of other ethnic groups already, because there was financial or commercial incentive to do so. This is the background of the region. Therefore, when it comes to the Emperor Menelik era, all historians have argued that it is more factual to say a predominantly Amharic language speaking community gradually conquered a predominantly Afan Oromo language speaking community in the 1800s. So this does not mean an Oromo ethnic group was conquered by an Amhara ethnic group. In fact, just like Amharas of the north were divided,Oromos were also divided and in conflict among themselves. The obvious evidence for this comes from the fact that the Amhara Emperor Menelik was imprisoned by other Amhara regional kings when he was younger. And when he was freed, Oromo clans were also in fierce battles amongst each other, so much so that the Tullama Oromo, Limmu and Macha Oromos created an alliance with the Shewan Amharas of Menelik, leading to the infamous battles of 1880s that led to this said alliance easily crushing the non-allied Oromos in various bloody wars. In short, Oromos as a one whole were never colonized by exclusively non-Oromos. In fact, the original founders of the OLF organization themselves never believed it so they did not emphasize the word “colonization” in the beginning. But in the mid-1970s, OLF leaders needed to mobilize Oromos against Emperor Haile Selassie (who was half Oromo himself) and to justify the call for “Oromia independence” from “colonial Ethiopia.” Therefore OLF had to create a bad cop-good cop scenario for their convenience and simplified history for their people to create national resentment. This helped OLF to portray Oromos as suddenly being colonized by this foreign ethnic group (Amhara) that we (Oromos) have never came in contact with before.  This is common tactic used by national liberation movements around the world. The truth that most Ethiopians know is that Shewa based Oromos and Amharas (ethnically mixed Ethiopians) were the main creators of modern Ethiopia. In his book “Who are the Shoans,” the historian and anthropologist, Dr. Gerry Salole once summarized that: ”In terms of descent, the group that became politically dominant in Shewa (and subsequently in Ethiopia) was a mixture of Amhara and Oromo.”
In Conclusion, the above are 4 of the main issues that create confusion for foreign journalists who report on Oromo people and Oromo politics in Ethiopia.  While it is vital that al Jazeera and other media outlets cover the current suffering of Oromos and other Ethiopians, it is necessary to report responsibly. Otherwise, creating confusion and resentment between the younger Ethiopian population causes more problems than solutions. In reality, not just Oromos, but all Ethiopians have suffered under several governments and the only way they can achieve freedom and lasting democracy is when united, not when divided by tribes or not when being polarized by historical lies presented as truth.  It is important that foreign media outlets make corrections or report accurate information to avoid inflammatory statements that are destructive and counter productive against Oromos and all Ethiopian people’ ongoing struggle for democracy, development and justice.
Feqadu Lamessa is a former Adama University professor and writer

Analysts: New Leadership Slow to Bring Change to Ethiopia

By Marthe van der Wolf
Ethiopian Prime Minister and African Union chairperson Hailemariam Desalegn speaks during a joint press conference at the end of the African Union Summit in Abuja, July 16, 2013
Ethiopian Prime Minister and African Union chairperson Hailemariam Desalegn speaks during a joint press conference at the end of the African Union Summit in Abuja, July 16, 2013
July 29, 2013, ADDIS ABABA (VOA News) — It has been almost one year since Hailemariam Desalegn came to power in Ethiopia, following the death of his predecessor Meles Zenawi. Despite recent demonstrations and a cabinet shuffle, little seems to have changed in the East African country.
After weeks of speculation, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s death was announced last year, on the morning of August 21st. The passing of the longtime ruler made way for his deputy Hailemariam Desalegn, to lead the second most populous nation on the African continent.
Ethiopia witnessed several anti-government demonstrations in recent months, a rare sight. And the new prime minister also replaced most of the cabinet.
But a spokesperson for the prime minister, Getachew Redda, said these developments are not part of any fundamental change within the government.
“What Hailemariam is doing at this point is implementing the policies that have been adopted by the ruling party,” Redda explained. “If there were people who were expecting any kind of change in terms of directions and fundamental policies then they will definitely be disappointed because there was neither the intention nor the tendency to bring about any change whatsoever in this regard.”
Collective leadership 
Hailemariam, an engineer by training, was the minister of foreign affairs and deputy prime minister until last August. With the appointment of Hailemariam, a collective leadership was put in place. Although government officials said that a collective leadership was always part of the ruling party’s policy.
Solomon Dersso, a political analyst for the Institute for Security Studies, said that political power is no longer centered in the position of the prime minister. But he doubts whether it will change Ethiopia’s political scene.
“The only thing that it would change is how decision making is negotiated within the ruling party between the different power centers,” Dersso said. “So you have regional governments becoming quite important, you have the members of the coalition, and of course the security apparatus. So on various aspects of the management of the affairs of the country obviously these different centers of power negotiations need to be undertaken.”
Girma Seifu, the only opposition member of parliament in Ethiopia for UDJ (Unity for Democracy and Justice), one of the parties that organized demonstrations in recent weeks, said that Prime Minister Hailemariam behaves differently in parliament from his predecessor.  “In the previous, the prime minister is everything. So he is the law of the country,” Seifu noted. “So at that time the parliament was irrelevant.”
Human Rights 
Despite those differences in character, Seifu feels the Ethiopian government has not changed its position on allowing more freedom for people who hold different opinions.
“They must do something visible to change the human rights situation in this country. They must take this thing seriously and they have to take action to improve these things. Only economic development issues, infrastructure issues will not substitute human rights issue,” Seifu said.
Ethiopia has been ruled by a coalition of four parties, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front, since 1991 with Meles Zenawi as its leader until his death. Current Prime Minister Hailemariam is expected to run for office during the 2015 elections. He hasn’t been very visible in his first year, but spokesperson Getachew said that this will change during his second year in office.  “What you can expect from his leadership is a much closer engagement with the public, much more progressive attitude towards the development of the democratic process,” he remarked. “And a much more economic growth.”
Ethiopian statistics claim the country has had double-digit growth for the last few years, although the World Bank and IMF estimate the growth is around eight percent. The country is halfway through implementing its ambitious five-year Growth and Transformation Plan that is aimed at turning Ethiopia into a middle-income country by 2025.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Telling the Truth Does Not Make One “Anti-Ethiopian”

I was one of the loyal readers of the Nazret.com for I like its lively comments, which are full of conspiracies, suspicions, sarcasms, humors, and which are, in a way, reflective of the reality of the Ethiopian politics. These days, I visit the website sporadically after it recently developed a strong tone ofItyopiyawinnat, and it imposed a blanket sanction on the viewpoints of Oromos. For instance, the website did not post most or all recent issues dealing with the Oromo people in Ethiopia on the Al-Jazeera, including an article “The Oromo and the War on Terror in the Horn of Africa” – written by Ambassador Akbar Ahmed and Frankie Martin of the American University. Their piece became an issue only after a certain Dula Abdu wrote a piece about it, “Anti-Ethiopia article from American University Faculty and Al Jazeera.” Technically, Nazret readers are informed about “The Oromo and the War on Terror in the Horn of Africa” through the piece and the vantage point of Mr. Dula Abdu. A Nazret approach does not enhance a constructive debate on the future of Ethiopia among various actors and stakeholders. In fact, whether we like it or not, the future of Ethiopia belongs to all Ethiopians, those who consider themselves Ethiopian First and Oromo First and whatever first. We have to hear all viewpoints, including the ones we agree and disagree with; the ones we like or dislike; and the ones we praise or castigate. The era of paternalism, we know what is good or bad for all Ethiopians, is over.
That said, let me go to a main issue I want to address, the aforementioned piece of Mr. Dula Abdu. Mr. Dula denies atrocities committed by Emperor Minilik against the Oromo people, and he tries to connect the Oromo issue to the Egypt-Ethiopian row over the Nile River. The assertion that Minilik’s army killed 5 million Oromos is “based on hearsay and lacks credibility.” He tried to provide a proof for that in the form of citing resources from “Wikipedia” about the population of Ethiopia at the time. Convinced that he disproved the fatalities of the Minilik conquest, Mr. Dula contends that the view reflected by Ambassador Akbar Ahmed and Frankie Martin on the Al Jazeera article are “anti-Ethiopia” or “hostile to Ethiopia.” He relates this to “remarks” of Egyptian politicians who want “to destabilize Ethiopia by planting false propaganda and sabotage.” He also mentioned about a clandestine mission of Egyptian and Sudanese governments to attack the Renaissance Dam. However, he hardly made a single evidence to prove the alleged connection between the writers of the piece and the Egyptian government.
Firstly, I believe that Mr. Dula Abdu has the right to be suspicious about anything. This feels like déjà vuall over again. We were indoctrinated in schools that Ethiopia was a Christian Island in the middle of hostile environment, besieged by enemies, and it had nothing to do with the Arabs to the north and the Black Africa to the south. Any group asking for its rights in Ethiopia is always described as an enemy of the country and an agent of foreign interests. I should underline that I do not think that it is right to attach the Oromo issue to the geopolitical fever of the time.
Secondly, I feel Mr. Dula Abdu deficiency on the history of the “Ethiopian peoples.” What we learned about Ethiopian history in schools were not about events in the past, but glories of the kings who fabricated colorful myths to perpetuate their rules. Thus, whereas we were taught about the glories of Minilik, Yohannis, and Tewodros in school, we hardly learned anything about their inhumane violence. If this inhumane violence is discussed, they are presented as a collateral damage to their civilization mission. Therefore, I understand your ignorance about the Oromo people. Of course, let alone about the Oromo people, the same neglect is there in the Ethiopian history about the Amara people. I do not think we learned much about Gojjam to the extent we learned about the legend of the Queen of Sheba.
Therefore, to fill that knowledge vacuum, let me try to provide some sources you may consult about the five-million figure, if you may not like to read, “The Thistle and the Drone: How America’s War on Terror Became a Global War on Tribal Islam.” I suggest to you the work of a Russian Lieutenant (A. K. Bulatovich) — who campaigned with Minilik army in the Oromo land and South Omo — “Ethiopia through Russian Eyes: Country in Transition, 1896-1898.” Perhaps, you might know that Bulatovich played a crucial role in training the Ethiopian army during the Adwa campaign. He described the conquest of Minilik as the “dreadful annihilation of more than half the population” of the Oromo, from ten million to five million. The French missionary Martial de Salviac, who extensively traveled in Ethiopia, also made a similar assessment at the time. You can read his book, “Un Peuple Antique, Ou Une Colonie Gauloise Au Pays De Ménélik: les Galla, Grande Nation Africaine,” which is recently translated to English by Ayalew Kanno. According to de Salviac, the Oromo population would have doubled or tripled had it not been for that brutal conquest. In his words: “Avant ces tristes années, rendues plus lugubres par la sanglante conquête abyssine qui précédait ou suivait le fléau, la population Galla devait atteindre le chiffre respectable de vingt-cinq à trente millions.” Therefore, these historical facts were written by the people who witnessed consequences of the conquest. It is not something that constructed recently to “create tension and mistrust among Ethiopians” as Mr. Dula claims. Of course, the Minilik battles against the Oromo supposed to be an issue a century ago when the Minilik Battle against the Italians became a global issue.
As an Oromo and a person who cares about social justice in Ethiopia, I would like to thank Ambassador Akbar and Frankie for letting the world know these untold atrocities committed against the Oromo people. Mr. Dula Abdu assertion that “Akbar and Frankie piece violated all the tenets of scholarly work and basic research” is baseless assertion to say the least. Instead of rendering this valuable discussion ‘anti-Ethiopian,’ this is the debate we need to encourage if we want to make Ethiopia a better place for all its peoples. Mr. Dula may respond to me that “we have issues that are more pressing on hand.” However, I believe that the issues we have at hand, what he calls, “the ethnocentric and one party dictatorship in Ethiopia,” is a continuation of the legacy of the Imperial Ethiopia. “The egregious human rights violations” under the TPLF rule he is talking about are similar to the Minilik battles that claimed the life of Mr. Dula’s ‘great uncle.’ The oppression and exploitation we are talking about under the TPLF rule is similar to subjugation and humiliation that the Minilik invasion brought to his family as he noted.
Mr. Dula’s silver bullet to the crimes committed by the empire builders is to forget them as the current issue is more pressing than the past. My friend, “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to re-live it.” I know that when you tell us about the death of your uncle, it hurts. The same is true; telling the slaughters of the innocent Oromo are more painful to us than to the Ethiopianists who want to silence us. But, we are tolerating the pain and telling them loudly as a Holocaust survivor noted, “Without memory, there is no culture. Without memory, there would be no civilization, no society, no future.”
My Ethiopian friends, if you are serious about the future of Ethiopian politics, we can deal with its past, present, future at the same time. Please, stop associating the legitimate Oromo issue with the Nile issue and come forward for a meaningful conversation.
Kadiro Elemo is a Chicago based independent researcher and the author of “The United States and Ethiopia: The Tragedy of Human Rights.”

Oduu gammachiisaa !!

Oduu gammachiisaa !! Dilbata Darbe Paartiin “Oromo Federal Congress” Jedhamu Magaalaa Adaamaa Keessatti Walgahii guddaa Uummata gidduutti gageesse. Beeksisa Uummataaf Magaala keessatti godhameen OPDOn Galma walgahii dhorkituyyuu, Galma kan biraa free argachuun walgahii guddaa Dargaggoofi shamarroota waliin gaggeesse jira. Walgahii kanarratti Dargaggootni muuxannoo guddaa horatanne jedhu. Walgahiin guddaan kun Tokkoomsuu fi Muuxannoo Horachiisuu Dargaggoota Oromoo irratti Xiyyeffate Kun Magaaalota Oromiyaa hunda keessatti kan godhamu ta'uusaa Dr Mararaan dubbatan. Kanaafuu Lammiin Oromoo kamiyyuu dargageessa, shamarra,jaarsa,jaartii,Daldala,Qotee bulaa,barataafi Hojjetaa hundi akka irratta argamana labsii haa dabarsinu jedhu Akkasumas, barumsaafi Muxannoo uummataaf kennamu kanarratti nu duukaa akka dhaabattan jedhu. Wal haa qarqaarru; Hojjetaan,daldaalaan fi kanneen biroos qabeenyaan, humnaan fi konkolaata ergisuun waan hundaan duukaa haa dhaabannu. Kanneen biroo immoo uummataaf beeksisa haa dabarsinu. ‘I proud of OFC’ Koottaa keessaaf alaan hundi Walduukaa haa dhaabannu, Wal haa jajjabeessinu. 'Share' please.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Ethiopian Muslims stage a worldwide protest rally on July, 26, 2013

Official Afaan Oromo

By T Tolera | July 26, 2013
I grew up in an area where industry [sugar factory] thrives.  People come to work from all over Ethiopia and my family is no exception. My father had run away from his birth place in West Showa and found his way to this sugar factory establishment. As you can imagine, all kinds of languages are spoken within the sugar factory complex. Following the installment of the current education system that some call ‘mess’ in 1994, who I in turn call idiots, parents had to choose from two instructional languages for their kids: Afaan Oromo or Amharic. Most went on to study in Amharic but I was among some who pioneered to study in Afaan Oromo right from the first cycle and went on for 10 years.
Some of the families were alarmed as there were rumours that Afaan Oromo was going to be the only instructional languages in schools. I always wonder what could have happened if that was true indeed.
I specially taught about our close neighbour of many years. This is a family that does not even get one single word in Afaan Oromo. I remember my brother and I used to deal with the local Oromos to buy firewood and charcoal for them. Then the family had already lived in the area for 10 years. Surprisingly, after additional 20 years, the family still does not know single word. Maybe, if Afaan Oromo was in place as a sole language in schools, this family could have learned some key words and buy itself charcoal and firewood. Let me make one important observation before jumping to another point. Human curiosity dictates people tend to be flexible to adapt to local socioeconomic conditions. An Italian learns some English before he hops-on a plane to London. Same is true for German or Turkish. This makes sense in a lot of ways, be it economic, cultural or just for fun, however one hates to learn language. As a matter of fact, Ethiopians coming to Europe, study European languages even before leaving Ethiopia. On the contrary, it is very distressing to hear about what is happening in Oromia and other member of the federation as we speak. As an official language for the federal government, Amharic stands out as probably the most common language for many people, but to show up somewhere and expect the locals speak it, is condescending and dump. Sometimes people are insulted and humiliated for not knowing Amharic, even these days way away from imperial era. This has to end. If you don’t speak local, just don’t bother! Try to learn some words for your next visit. It is not too late.
Let me tell you an opposite story. We have another neighbour from South of Ethiopia, a non-Oromo family. This family has the same open interaction with the wider world around same way the former family I mentioned earlier. They hear the locals speak, sell livestock and forest products and go among the neighbourhood to drink the local Areke or chew the infamous socializer, Khat. The parents of this family preferred to send their kids to Afaan Oromo classes. They are not prophets but had probably taught about the future. Look now, their son, an acquaintance of mine, not only mastered and speaks the language flawlessly but also leads the bureaucracy being a head of an agriculture desk at a Woreda. This family fascinates me so much. It is an example of thinking beyond the ethnic divide. Oromia enjoys the highest capital flow, investment and employment and it is totally understandable if one decides to learn Oromo language. The bottom line is: language can be an expression of ethnic identity but non-member can perfectly master it for socioeconomic and cultural reasons and this makes assimilation and integration efficient. So if you want to have a job in Oromia, which you blame for not allowing you to work, just learn some Oromo language and serve as an Ethiopian and Oromo-speaker non-Oromo work force.  Same applies if you want to work in Tigray or Somali regions. Yet this linguistic dilemma will continue to bother because its root cause is within the educational policy that lacks rigidity.
A policy statement ‘a child should be taught in his native language’ is very much a blunder. There are not two native languages in Oromia; there is one or there are many.  Urban Oromia is home for as many minority ethnicities as probably in Ethiopia itself. Afaan Oromo is the only native language, by far the largest; or if many then be it all the languages of Ethiopia applying which is a logistic nightmare.  Unless the country wishes to abandon a language as wide and big as Afaan Oromo, its citizens, at least within Oromia, should take it compulsory to learn Afaan Oromo and there is no doubt schools are instrumental tool. Amharic, having less number of native speakers, shall not be an alternative instructional language within Oromia in schools or meant disfavouring Afaan Oromo. It does not absolutely hurt to learn Amharic. As a matter of fact, some of the brightest poets and novel writers such as Baalu Girma and Tsegaye G/Medihin happen to be Oromos who did not have a chance to study Afaan Oromo but Amharic. Amharic has flourished, relative to other languages, because it was exclusively favoured by former policies; it was imposed to be taught all over Ethiopia. Even these days some might presume encouraging the development of Amharic is vital to form united Ethiopia but this is utterly wrong. At a federal level languages shall have perfectly economic and communicative role with no ethnic extension. However, this is not true because Amharic is widely learned with its embedded culture of the Abyssinian people. The media and entertainment is completely skewed to Amharic in an excuse to create ‘unity’ among Ethiopians. An objective value based assessment of the language based on its geographic distribution, number of native speakers and access to professional support base makes it a federal official language or not. This makes Afaan Oromo the perfect candidate to be an official language. This should not alarm anyone because there are healthy and vibrant countries, one third of the world actually, that keep two and more official federal languages and live in harmony.
There has been some development of Afaan Oromo language particularly in public administration, education and mass media, which can be related with the struggle of OLF since 1973 and its role during the transitional government following downfall of Derg in 1991. Still the development of the language is widely politicized and censored. Popular art work in Afaan Oromo remains scares. Print media suffers the most. There are only two state sponsored newspapers [no private at all] in the language with limited readership. Books might be written but don’t get mass-published in the scale of the population and reach readers’ hand. Motion pictures don’t get sponsors and post production suffers from lack of venues.
One might ask, if the private sector is not as active as it should be on developing the language, why not the state of Oromia, based on the power given by the constitution, allocate resource to build some sort of Hollywood of Oromo people? The answer is simple. As art creates and relies on stories and history, which is apparently all about the struggle for freedom and liberty from the hegemony of the Abyssinians, it is considered threats to the existence of Ethiopia. The whole idea ofOrommummaa is frustrating and a threat. The state is unlikely to sponsor a blockbuster motion picture for example about Waaqoo Gutu or Eebbissaa Adugnaa or Bakri Sapalo. The problem of distancing, as it has been, Ethiopiawinet from Afaan Oromo and Oromo people and failing to build Oromummaa on Ethiopiawinet or whichever way, is diverging one from the other. This is hurting Ethiopia as a country because as the Oromos are not heard and their questions not answered, Oromummaa strengths and Ethiopiawinet weakens while in practice both should have fairly equivalent weight.
Let me take you back to my two neighbours. Our first neighbour lack curiosity and ingenuity and tops in ignorance and arrogance. These pair of attributes are at odds. If you fail to learn a language in 28 years, it is a possibility either (1) you are suffering from some serious head injuries or (2) you have preferred not to listen at all. Of course the answer being (1) seek medical attention or (2) please listen to people. If you fail to get medical attention then you will lose your mind and end up marrying your own daughter. If you fail to listen to people then you are officially arrogant. Arrogant people are dangerous. They are rigid and uncompromising. When arrogance meets access and power, it goes against reality and it reinforces inequality and fosters supremacy and oppression over coexistence. The only way to curb it is to neutralize it through curiosity from within and ingenuity of the oppressed.
You can teach the author at toleraat@gmil.com

Semehal Meles Zenawi, the daughter of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, Deposited $5 billion

De Birhan | July 26, 2013
semelSemehal Meles Zenawi, the daughter of the late Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi, has deposited $5 billion in one of the banks in New York, said Dr. Wondimu Mekonnen, an academic and opposition figure, during a recent presentation at the House of Commons in the U.K. The date on the cheque that Wondimu distributed reads the money was lodged on October, 2011.
Wondimu also showed and distributed the copy to the members of the House who attended his presentation.
“Celebrity Net Worth site said Meles Zenawi got a net worth of $3 billion. What a shame! That is wrong guys. Absolutely wrong. I have got a copy of a cheque signed by Semhal Meles Zenawi, the daughter of Meles Zenawi himself, depositing in one of the New York banks $5 billion. I have got and I will give you the copy. Don’t ask me how it came into our possession but that is a fact”.
Wondimu further said ”I think, Celebrity Net Worth, got it entirely all wrong. If that was the case, how come, a check in the name of his elder daughter Semhal Meles Zenawi, for US5 billion was deposited into a bank in New York? We will leave the investigation to Department of Fraud and Money Laundering Investigation of the United States”.
In the 10 minute presentation, also posted on Youtube, Wondimu extensively discussed the prevalent corruption in Ethiopia and how the ruling Front is in the core of the corruption scandal titling it “legally corrupt”.
Concluding his speech, Wondimu said “Ethiopians are determined to get rid of these human rights abusers. All we ask the United Kingdom and United States is not stand on our way, by financing and sustaining it to exist. A regime that terrorises its people cannot be an ally against terrorism. I know that, the Ethiopian Regime is playing the Chinese card. This is black-mailing. Just abandon it. Trust us. It will collapse. If you, particularly the British Government, take the right action now, you will remain with friends and trustworthy allies forever – the people of Ethiopia.”
Image – A cheque of $5 Billion lodged by Semhal Meles in New York, Image Courtesy of Dr. Wondimu

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

በዲያስፖራ ያለውን የወቅቱን የኢትዮጵያ ፖለቲካ በማስመልከት በአውሮፓ የኦሮሞ ወጣቶችና የሴቶች ማህበራት የጋራ መግለጫ

July 24, 2013
በአሁኑ ወቅት የኦሮሞ ፖለቲካዊና ዲፕሎማሲያዊ እድገት እርር ድብን ያደረጋቸው የአጼዎቹ ቡችሎች በአጼዎቹ ልጆች በተፈጠሩ ሚዲያዎች ላይ አንድን ግለሰብ በማስታከክ በኦሮሞ ህዝብ ላይ የቃጡትን ሀሰታዊ የፖለቲካ ዘመቻ ለህመማቸው ፈውስ ሳይሆን ማባባሻ እንደሆነ ልናስጠነቅቃቸው እንወዳለን።
ነጻነት ዲሞክራሲና እኩልነት ስራ ላይ በሚውልበት ሀገር ውስጥ እየኖሩ ስለነጻነት ዲሞክራሲና እኩልነት የማይረዱ ግለሰቦች በምን አይነት መልኩ ሊማሩ እንደሚችሉ መገመት አዳጋች ነው። ለማመን በጣም አስቸጋሪ የሚሆነው ደግሞ እነዚህ ግለሰቦች በትምህርት ደረጃ ማእረጋቸውና በአስተሳሰባቸው መሀከል ያለው ርቀት የሰማይና የመሬት ያህል መሆኑ ነው።
ለመሆኑ ማነው እነሱን የኢትዮጵያ ባለቤትና የኢትዮጵያዊነት ትርጉም ፈቺ ያደረጋቸው? የፈለጉትን ንፁሕ ኢትዮጵያዊ: የፈለጉትን ጠንካራ ኢትዮጵያዊ: እንዲሁም ባንዳ ወይም ከሃዲ እያሉ የሚጠሩበትን መስፈርት ማነው የሰጣቸው? የአጼዎቹ አሊያም የአምባገነኑ የደርግ ስርአት መስፈርት መሆኑ ነው?
አክራሪ ወይም ሽብርተኛ የሚለውስ ከመለስ ዜናዊ ተኮርጆ ነው?
ከሁሉ አስቀድመን እነሱ በሚረዱት የሳባ ፊደል ሀ ብለን ልናስተምራቸው የምንወዳቸው ነጥቦች:
1ኛ፡ አሁን ኢትዮጵያ ተብላ የምትጠራው ኢምፓየር የአጼዎቹ ንብረት ሳትሆን አጼዎቹ በጉልበት የፈጠሯት እንደሆነች፡ ያም ማለት የኢትዮጵያ ወራሾች የአጼዎቹ አመልኪዎች ብቻ ሳይሆኑ የአጼዎቹ ሰለባዎችም መሆናቸውን፡
2ኛ፡ ኢትዮጵያዊነት ነህ፡ነሽ ተብሎ የሚሰጥ ዜግነት ሳይሆን ህዝቦች በፈቃዳቸው ወደው የሚቀበሉት የማንነት መገለጫ መሆን እንዳለበት፡ ያንን ለማምጣት ደግሞ ለምን ቅድሚያ ኦሮሞ ነኝ አልክ እያሉ የጥላቻና የሀሰት ዘመቻ በጀዋር ወይም በሌሎች ኦሮሞዎች ላይ በመክፈት ሳይሆን ውይይቶችን በማካሄድና ነጻ የሃሳብ መድረኮችን በመፍጠር እንደሆነ::
እኛ በአውሮፓ የኦሮሞ ወጣቶችና የሴቶች ማህበራት በአሁኑ ወቅት በአልጀዚራ ላይ ቅድሚያ ኦሮሞ ነኝ በማለቱ ብቻ በፖለቲካ ምሁሩ ጀዋር ላይ የተከፈተውን የሀሰት ዘመቻ ማውገዝ ብቻ ሳይሆን ለመከላከልም በመገደዳችን ይህ አይነቱ አጼያዊ ዘመቻ እስኪያቆም ድረስ ከቅርብ ጊዜ በፊት ከሰላም ወዳድ የአንድነት ሀይሎች ጋር የጀመርነውን የቅርርብ ዲያሎጎችና የሀሳብ ልውውጦች በይበልጥ ልንገመግምው ወስነናል። ምክኒያቱም አንዳንድ ጉዳዩን ሊረዱ የማይችሉ ወይም ሊረዱ የማይፈልጉ ግለሰቦች የኛን የቅን አካሄድ እጅ እንደመስጠት አድርገው ሲሰብኩና የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ትግልንም ውጤት አልባና ውድቅ አድርገውም ሊጽፉ ሲሞክሩ ይታያሉ።
በአጼዎቹና በአምባገነኑ ዘመን የነበረውን የኦሮሞ ህዝብ ፖለቲካዊና ማህበራዊ መልክና ይዘት ከአሁኑ ጋር ሲነጻጸር ያለውን ለውጥ በፊልም ካላሳየናቸው በቀር እንደማይገባቸው አሁን አሁን ተረድተናል።
ከ 15 እስከ 25 ሚሊዮን የሚጠጋው በቋንቋው እየተማረ ያለው የኦሮሞ ልጅ በማን የትግል ውጤት እንደሆነ ምናልባት በእግዚአብሄር መልዕክተኛ ካልተነገራቸው በቀር ሰው የሚነግራቸውንም ሆነ በአይናቸው የሚያዩትን ማመን ተስኗቸዋል።
ያም ሆነ ይህ እነዚህን ትምክህተኞች በወንድማችን ጀዋር ላይ እያደረጉ ያሉትን አጼያዊ ዘመቻ ለራሳቸው ህልውና ሲሉ እንዲያቆሙ እያስጠነቀቅናቸው፡
1ኛ፡ ሌሎች በዲያስፖራና በሀገር ቤት የሚገኙ የነጻነት: የዲሞክራሲና የእኩልነት መብት ታጋዮች ሁሉ ይህንን አጼያዊ ዘመቻ እንዲያወግዙ እንጠይቃለን።
2ኛ፡ በዲያስፖራና በሀገር ቤት የሚገኙ ሁሉም የኦሮሞ ኮሚዩኒቲዎች፡ የባህልና የጥናት አካዳሚዎች፡ የወጣቶችና የሴቶች ማህበራት እንዲሁም የፖለቲካ ድርጅቶች ይህ ዘመቻ የተከፈተው በጀዋር ላይ ብቻ ሳይሆን በኦሮሞ ህዝብ ላይም እንደሆነ አጢነው ተገቢዉን እርምጃ እንዲወስዱ እናሳስባለን።

July 24, 2013
Oromo Youth Association in Europe:
Oromo Women’s Association in Europe:
Contact us: abasuraa@yahoo.com

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Duulli Sabboontota Oromoorratti godhamu, QBO dhaabuu hin danda’u

Abdii Boruutiin | Adoolessa 22, 2013
Erga TV Aljaziraa irratti Sabboontota Oromoo sadi (Dr. Fidoo Eebbaa, Obboo Jawaar Mohaammad fi Obboo Mohaammad Adamoo) waliin waayee saba Oromoorratti mariin godhame fi keessumayuu Sabboonaan Oromoo Obboo Jawaar Mohaammad gaafii isaaf dhiyaatef “Ani dura Oromoo dha…”  jedhee deebii kenne booda, Habashootni gamaa gamanaa wacaa akka jiran hubatamaa jira. Habashootni, dhimma kanarratti maaliif akkanatti maraatanii, hucuu gatuuf akkana ta’u? Jawaar ilma Oromoo akka ta’e duraan otuu hin beekin hafaniitii moo maaliif akkanatti dubbataatu isaan aarse?Sabboontotni Oromoo, nuti dura Oromoo dha akka jedhan har’a itti mul’atee? Moo dhimmi Oromoo yeroo duraatiif sabaa-himaa Addunyaarratti dubbatamuu isaatu garaa isaanii gubee; isa kanaan aaruudhaan Sabboonaa keenya kanarratti abaarsa fi olola akka rooban isaan taasise laata?Sana booda hoo Sabboonaa keenya Dargaggoo Abdii Fiixee akka reeban kan isaan taasise maali? Asirratti gaafiilee baay’eetu ka’uu danda’u. Haa ta’u malee, dhimma kana karaa adda addaatiin ilaaluudhaan, akka yaada kiyyaatitti sababoota adda addaa tilmaamuun yaala.
Akka natti fakkaatutti, Jawaar ani dura Itoophiyaawii dha jechuu dhiisee ani dura Oromoo dha jechuu isaa akka yakkaatti kan fudhataniif sababootni adda addaa jiraachuu danda’anillee, ololli Habashootaa kun kaayyoo gurguddoo afur qaba jedheen yaada.
Tokkoffaa, sochii musiliimota Itoophiyaa kana keessatti, Obboo Jawaar xiinxala bal’aa godhuu birallee dabree akka hogganaa tokkotti ilaalamaa waan jiruuf; jaalala fi kabajas argachaa waan dhufeef, inni kunoo dhiphina qaba; kaayyoo saba tokkootiif (Oromootiif) qofaa dhaabbata; musiliimota Itoophiyaatiif dubbachuu hin danda’u jedhanii akka inni shakkamu fi jibbamu godhuuf, olola wal shakkisiisuu oofu.
Lammaffaa, akkuma dur baran, akkuma yeroo hundaa dubbatan, waayeen dhimma Oromoo yoo ka’u, isa kana akka dhipinaatti waan ilaalaniif; kaayyoo QBOs akka fottoqinsaatti qofaa waan fudhataniif, carraa amma uumame kanatti fayyadamanii; kunoo Oromoon Itoophiyaa hin barbaadu jechuudhaan saba Oromootti diina baay’isuuf olola akkanaa afarsu. Kuni ammoo Oromoo fi Sabaa fi Sab-Lammoota impaayarittii sana keessa jiran jiduutti wal shakkiin uumamee, uummata Oromootti akka diinni heddoomu taasisuufi.
Sadaffaa, akkuma makmaaksi Oromoo “Sa’a abbaan gaafa cabse, ormi ija jaamsa” jedhu, mooraa keenya keessaa namootni ykn gareeleen tokko tokko akka dhuunfaattis ta’ee akka jaarmayaatti gadi bayanii waayee Itoophiyaa diimookraatessuu fi haaraa ijaaruu waan leellisaniif; sababa kanaan ammoo Oromummaarratti dhiibbaa waan fidaniif; Oromoon tokko ani dura Oromoo dha yoo jedhu, projaktii jara kanaa faallessuu akka danda’u olola oofuudhaan ilmaan Oromoo jidduuttillee wal shakkii fi jibbinsi akka uumamu taasisuufi.
Afraffaa, Yeroo ammaa, yoomiyyuu caalaa kaayyoon mooraa Oromoo bakkee lamatti bayee (Itoophiyaa diimookraatessuu fi Oromiyaa walaboomsuu) waan mula’teef, kan Itoophiyaa diimookraatessina jedhan ofitti qabanii; warra kaan achi baasanii dadhabsiisuuf jecha maqaa Itoophiyaa dursuutiin Sabboontota Oromummaaf dursa kennan irratti olola oofu.
Egaa qabxiileen ani armaan olitti gaggabaabsee akka tilmaamaatti kaase kun, uummata ykn saba Oromoo miidhuuf kaayyoo olola Habashootaa haa ta’an malee, sabani isaan akkanatti maraataniif garuu kana qofaa miti. Maaliif Sabboontota keenyarratti akka dhuunfaatti olola oofu? yookaanis lubbuu isaaniillee galaafachuuf isaan adamsu ykn reebu? jennee yoo gaafii kaasne, kunis akkasuma tilmaama gara birattii nu geessuu danda’a. Isa kana keessaayis tokko tokko tuquudhaaf:
A) Oromummaa fi Sabboonummaan Oromoo yeroodhaa gara yerootti babal’achaa fi guddachaa waan dhufeef; keessumaayuu ammoo dhalootni haaraan (Dhalootni Qubee) dhaloota duraanii caalaa sabboonummaan isaanii Habashoota waan sodaachisuuf, Sabboontota akkanaa kanatti xiyyeeffatu
B) Yeroo ammaa jaarmayaan Oromoo ABOllee dabalatee kan humna cimaa fi abdachiisaa qabu fi Habshoota sodaachisu mul’achuullee baatu, gama dammaqinsa fi sochii uummataatiin qabsoon cimaa dhufee; Habashoota waan hirriiba isaan dhoowwuuf (dhoorkuuf) Sabboontota uummata kakaasuu danda’an dafanii mataa gadi qabachiisuuf olola danda’amu hundaa isaanirratti oofu; kana birallee dabranii lubbuu isaanii gaaga’u
C) Obboo Jawaar yoo fudhanne, Habashootni akkuma dur baran fi tooftaa siyaasaa isaanii ta’e, Oromoota ciccimoo fi kan dandeettii addaa qaban ofitti qabanii maqaa Itoophiyaatiin kaayyoo isaanii bakkaan gayachuuf yaalii godhanii; garuu Obboo Jawaar karaa kanaan isaaniif qabamuu dinnaan itti garagalanii duula irratti banu.
Wanti hubatamuu qabu, namni tokko “Ani dura kana…” jedhee eenyummaa ofii ibseef ykn isaaf dursa kenneef yakkamuu hin qabu. Kan Oromoo garuu wanti adda godhamee akkanatti irratti duulamuuf, dhuguma Itoophiyaa tanaaf quuqamanii otuu hin taane, carraa argame kanatti fayyadamanii Oromummaatti xiyyeeffachuu fi qabsoo bilisummaa Oromoos dadhabsiisuuf malee, mee  fakkeenyaaf otuu namni biraa Sabaa fi Sab-Lammiilee impaayara tanaa keessaa ka’ee “Ani dura….” jedhee dubbatee, kun waan akkanatti raajessamu natti hin fakkaatu. Maarree, kan Oromoo maaliif adda ta’e? Deebii gabaabaan gaafii kanaa, Oromoon waan sodaatamaa jiruuf, sababa kanaan uummata kanatti diina heddoomsuuf shira godhama jiruu dha.
Kan ta’es ta’u, warra kompiitara duuba taa’anii wacaa oolan dhiisii yookaanis ammoo cuubee (albee) qabatanii Sabboonota keenya miidhuu yaalan dhiisii; warri meeshaa waraanaa hammayyaa hamma funyaaniitti hidhatanuu (Wayyaanotnuu) uummata keenya sodaachisanis, hidhanis, ajjeesanis garuu qabsoo bilisummaa keenyaa dhaabuu hin dandeenye, dhaabuus hin danda’an. Haa turu haa daddafu malee, qabsoon akka ibiddaa boba’aa jiru kun gaaf tokko diinota keenya gubee akka isaan barbadeessu yookaanis akka galaanaa akka isaanirra garagalee isaan fudhatee deemu mamiin ykn shakkiin hin jiru. Sodaa kanatu har’a isaan maraachaa jira. Haa ta’u malee, “Kan sodaatanis, kan hin hafnes du’a” jedhamaa mitiiree! Hammasitti garuu bakkee hundattuu, biyya keessattis ta’ee biyya alaatti, qabsoo hadhaawaan kun karaa hundaanuu ittifufa. Injifannoon xumuraa kan uummata Oromoo akka ta’u shakkiin hin jiru. Oromummaatu dursa!
Abdii Boruu: aboruu@gmail.com

USCIRF Calls on Ethiopia to Release Religious Freedom Advocates on Trial

USCIFJuly 23, 2013, WASHINGTON D.C. (USCIRF) — On the one-year anniversary of the crackdown on Muslim protestors for peacefully advocating for their religious freedom rights, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) calls on the Ethiopian government to release 29 individuals who have been detained and put on trial.
In July 2012, the government arrested hundreds of Muslims peacefully demanding that it cease interfering in their religious affairs and allow their community to vote freely for representatives on the Ethiopian Islamic Affairs Supreme Council (EIASC).  While most were released, 29 were charged on October 29, 2012 under the government’s Anti-Terror Proclamation, accused of “intending to advance a political, religious or ideological cause” by force and the “planning, preparation, conspiracy, incitement and attempt of terrorist acts.”  It was the first time that Ethiopia’s terrorism law was used in connection with a religious freedom issue.
“We are deeply concerned that Ethiopia’s government is seeking to silence peaceful religious freedom proponents by detaining and trying them in secret under trumped-up terrorism charges.  They should be released now and their trials halted,” said USCIRF Chair Katrina Lantos Swett.  “When USCIRF was in Ethiopia in December 2012, we met with lawyers for the 29 who reported that their clients had been tortured and experienced other ill-treatment in detention.  Since then, the Commission has expressed concern about a February 2013 program, Jihadawi Harekat (Holy War Movement). This program, which the government aired on Ethiopia TV and portrayed the protesters and those arrested as terrorists, could prejudice the outcome of their trial.  The U.S. government must increase its advocacy to ensure that the defendants’ religious freedom and human and due process rights are respected.”
Starting in December 2011, Muslims in Addis Ababa and across Ethiopia held weekly peaceful demonstrations in mosques after Friday prayers to protest efforts by the government and the EIASC to impose al-Ahbash, a foreign interpretation of Islam, on their community.  While officials did not stop the protests for almost six months, as they grew in size, protestors reported that security forces began intimidating them and their families to discourage continued demonstrations.
The first arrests occurred on July 13, 2012, when police raided the Aweliya Mosque as individuals gathered to plan for both a charity event and protests to coincide with an upcoming African Union Summit in Addis Ababa.  Protestors reportedly were beaten and arrested, with some witnesses alleging police use of tear gas and live ammunition.  On July 19-20, the police continued to arrest Muslim community members, including journalists and the 17 members of the Arbitration Committee the protestors had elected to negotiate with the government.  On July 21, police broke up a sit-in protesting the arrests.  According to witnesses, protestors were subjected to beatings, tear gas and arrests.
Those charged include nine members of the Arbitration Committee, the editor-in-chief of the Ye’Muslimoch Guday Yusuf Getachew, and Habiba Mohammed, the wife of the (now former) Minister of Civil Service, Junedin Sado.