Over a week ago, while skimming through current news and articles, I read an article titled “Old World Order: How geopolitics fuels endless chaos and old-school conflicts in the 21st Century” on Time Magazine of March 31, 2014 by Robert D. Kaplan., which I thought explains the behaviours past and current Abyssinian regimes land grab in Oromia and the South.
Although, Kaplan’s article much focuses on the geographical struggle between the East-West struggle for control of Ukraine, and the consequent annexation of Crimea by Russia as the mere reality of the 19th century behaviour in the 21st century. According to Kaplan, it is not the international law that defines territory but rather the bonds of blood that go with one’s own territory is central to what defines us human. In other words, the European behaviours of 19th century geographical expansion into different parts of the world for economic and geo-politics of the place is well alive and kicking in different parts of today’s world. Apart from the East-west struggle for control of Ukarine, Kaplan, also demonstrates the fracturing of Middle Eastern states into ethnic and sectarian fiefs or the Sunnis and the Shiites for control more geography and resources, the disputes over territorial claim of the East China sea among the East Asian states as more examples that geo-politics and the control for resources is not negated by technology and globalization. Kaplan, further, argues that “whereas the West has come to think about international relations in terms of laws and multinational agreements, most of the rest of the world still thinks in terms of deserts, mountain ranges, all- weather ports and tracts of land and water. The world is back to the maps of elementary school as a starting point for an understanding of history, culture, religion and ethnicity- not to mention power struggles over trade routes and natural resources”.
The expansion of the Abyssinian Empire since the late 19th century by Menilik with the help of the Europeans and the resulting conquest of the states south of the empire, namely the Oromos, the Sidamas, and the Walaitas, have resulted in massive killings and displacement of the indigenous population and confiscating of their land and appropriating to the Abyssinian army and the new settlers from the North. Furthermore, garrison towns were established in the new colonies, where the invading Abyssinian army enforces the new laws of evicting the indigenous population from their ancestral land or in the case of many places, the new Abyssinian settlers were given the land with the whole population living on it, by making them the properties of the settlers. These policies of dispossessing the indigenous population of their land at will continued under successive Abyssinian regimes by disguising their crime using names such as cooperative farms, state farm, etc. Dispossessing societies of their own ancestral land is not only depriving them of their lively-hood and means of survivals but also depriving them of their culture, history, norms and way of life.
Although, this geographical genocide in the south by successive Abyssinian regimes continued unabated, it reached its climax under the current minority TPLF junta. Since 1991, the TPLF junta has been busy selling Oromia’s land to the highest bidder to his Tigrian cronies and his Arab backers in the name of development. TPLF is not only selling Oromia’s land at the highest speed but also destroying Oromia’s forests deliberately starting fires, and hence destroying the indigenous wildlife, flora and fauna that the Oromos cared for centuries for generations to come.
The recent fake debate by the TPLFities to incorporate towns and villages of Oromia under the Finfine jurisdiction in the name of development is the continuation of a century old Abyssinian expansion to stamp out Oromos footprint from their ancestral land.
One should ask why only towns and cities in Oromia are designated special administrative status under the TPLF so- called Federal system?
Since 1991, the TPLF juntas named two economically significant cities, Finfine and Dire-Dawa as special zones, just merely for the purpose of denying Oromos to have economic, social and political benefits that these two cities generate, rather the social, economic and political benefits generated from these cities goes to fatten the coffers of TPLF cronies and the companies they control.
The lousy argument used by TPLF to grant special status to Finfine and Dire- Dawa, and, thereby under TPLF control was that the two cities are multi-ethnic and cities with heavy industries. On the other hand, the 1994 TPLF constitution and the Oromia State constitution stipulate that the Oromia State shall receive “special” benefits from the two cities, which will be decided by the law. Both the law that define the special benefits the Oromia State should receive from both cities as well were not materialized for over 20 years. This testifies the official claim that OPDO is full of all yes men like trained dogs, and their only mission and purpose is to carry-out tasks given to them by their TPLF masters. It also demonstrates, it is the TPLF that controls every single affair of the Oromia State.
According to secret internal sources, after the next election, the following cities are on TPLF’s hit lists to bring them under TPLF control in the name of development and the industries in these cities. These cities are: Awasa, Jima, Shashemene, Adama cities are on the hit lists of TPLF. The question that needs to be asked is why assigning special status to only cities and towns in Oromia and the South? Why not cities such as Bahir Dar, Kombolcha, Mekele not under Federal control? Because these cities are also have many industries as those cities in Oromia and the South.
So, why is TPLF is pushing hard to expand Finfine to other towns and villages in Oromia under the guise of development?
- The first and most strategic objective of expanding Finfine is to split Oromia into two separate geographies, that is Eastern Oromia and Western Oromia, which will be much easier to govern.
- To de-Oromonize Finfine by settling more Abyssinians
- To appeal to the Amhara groups (inside and outside) that TPLF has not abandoned their project of assimilating the South under the Abyssinian empire.
- There is more resources that can be sold to TPLF cronies and the so-called investors.
A Critique of “Geopolitics and the New World Order” by Robert D. Kaplan (Time magazine)