Gadaa.com | December 10, 2013
Dear Broadcasting Board
We, the Oromos allover the world, are deeply offended by DW’s Amharic
Service racial/ethnic attack aired against the Oromo people of Ethiopia
on December 8, 2013. The DW host invited two guests from Amhara ethnic
group and one guests from the Oromo of Ethiopia. To make it easy for
distorting history, the two Amhara guests were professors of history
while the Oromo guest was an economist by profession. The two professors
were making inflammatory remarks about the Oromo people. The host
journalist, who is also from Amhara ethnic group, clearly took the
position against the Oromos and involved in harassing the Oromo guest.
What’s more disheartening was the fact that these inflammatory remarks
fitted the editor’s one-sided editorial position on praising the
controversial king Minilik of Ethiopia who masterminded the chopping off
3000 Oromo women’s breasts and Oromo men’s hands in a single day (Abbas
1995, Hassen, 2002, Jalata 1998 and Bulcha 2006). To put it in relative
terms, it is praising Adolf Hitler to Jews community on air.
Dear Broadcasting Board, the Oromo make up a significant portion of
the population occupying the Horn of Africa. In the Ethiopian Empire
alone, Oromo constitute about ~50% of the population (close to 40
million) of the Ethiopian Empire (CSA 2012 and Zahoric 2011). During
their long history, the Oromo developed their own uniquely democratic
political and social institution known as the Gadaa system.
During the late 19th century, King Menelik of Abyssinia conquered the
vast Oromo land that now constitutes most of the landmass of the present
day Ethiopia. The conquest was very bloody with an estimated 5 million
Oromos either killed as a result of the wars or the aftermath plagues.
The survivors were evicted from their ancestral land and turned into
serfs with no national right to the Oromo language, culture, history and
the Gadaa system – all of which were banned in the Oromo
country (Oromia) under the imperial regimes of Menelik and then
Haile-Selassie II (Gow 2001 and Jaenen 1956). To make the case more
psych, they had been calling the Oromos with derogatory name called “Galla,” which
is banned in Ethiopia today. The views reflected on the December 8,
2013 program were from such extremist forces which explicitly stated on
air that the name Oromo itself was controversial, implying Oromos should
be called ‘Galla’ even today. One of the invited guests, Dr. Haile
Larebo, stated that the entire history of the Oromo people, was “myth
and fiction” – rejecting numerous scholarly works and firm historical
evidences. What’s deeply saddening is, all through this, the DW’s
Amharic Service moderator did not stop the inflammatory statements of
the guest. This position of tolerating inflammatory statements against
the Oromo people was taken by the moderator since the remarks fitted his
Dear Broadcasting Board, due to this unfair, unbalanced and unethical
racially/ethnically biased report of DW’s Amharic Service against the
Oromos, we are deeply saddened and, therefore, we are boycotting the
DW’s Amharic Service until it starts to present the facts as they are.
We are also campaigning so that all Oromos and friends of the Oromo in
Ethiopia and around the world boycott the DW’s Amharic Service. The
Oromo people are systematically ridiculed by media owned by the Amharas
in Ethiopia. It is utterly unacceptable that one of the free media
outlets in the world, DW, is being used by those extremist Amharas
praising the ‘Hitler of Oromo people.’ Lastly, we are kindly asking DW
to air a balanced program on this issue again and requesting an official
apology for the Oromo people for the moral damages the program caused.
With Kind Regards!