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Identity Politics and Neo-radical Oromo Activism , Dimetros Birku

Neo-radical Oromo activist bloc, if it is a block yet, is in a celebratory mood for its kill of two birds with a single stone.

For one thing, they successfully engaged the politicised section of population – of course including activists who seem to consider themselves or aspire to be “liberal activists” –in the discussion of what looks on the surface like identity politics. Squarely, what that means is agenda setting outside of their radical political opposition quarter.

For the other thing, and concomitantly, they exploited the reactions they caused and social media coverage they managed to create as an input in itself in manufacturing an even stronger radical movement with not so radical name “Oromo first”– which they are, apparently, exploiting both as a means and an end.

TPLF on its part seized the moment to create the impression of commitment to ideological partnership with radical ethnic movement.

Allusion to cancellation of Teddy Afro’s concert as a success story does not make much sense precisely because Teddy’s concert was barely an issue from the perspective of the neo-radical movement, I believe. Whether the concert was an opportunity seized to put neo-radical agenda in the limelight or whether the concert itself is something staged through nexus of radical elements from within the government (including government itself) and Marketing people who could influence Bedele management on the one hand and the neo-radical movement from abroad on the other is something that needs to be investigated.

Whatever the case is, it should be underscored that juvenile like overreactions from young politicised Ethiopians who opposed economic crusade and character assassination against Teddy Afro significantly contributed to the success of the “boycott bedelle campaign.” In most cases, there was no political goal or strategy or even well composed political statements in social media to counter the neo-radical movement which resurged with a very moderate “Oromo first” cover – which I will discuss shortly.

Undesirability of knee jerk resistance and tendency to swing to the habit of driving opposed entity “nuts” – especially a political entity that seeks to consistently provoke emotion rather than thought – is not yet realized. The merit of a strategy to engage an individual dissident should be discerned from that of engaging group dissident. For that matter, even engaging an individual dissident with “driving nuts” strategy needs to be examined as the point of difference is likely to be impersonal.

True, the article which claimed to have discovered a dark side in Teddy’s ‘fortune and fame’ was riddled with untenable assertions and illogical conclusions about Teddy and Menelik II. But I have a feeling that it was deliberate irrational presentation to provoke emotion and many of us fell in the trap. I have not read a single article refuting the article (“The Dark Side of Teddy Afro’s Fame and Fortune”)Because, the article, as mentioned above, didn’t provoke thought. I myself started to write response to the article more than ten days ago but lost my interest in engaging the article as I found it too annoying. For instance, one link in the article presented, apparently, as supporting evidence to the claim that Menelik massacred 5,000,000 Oromos but all you get out of the link is useless short article posted on Aljazeera. (Please continue reading on next page)



  1. I didn’t get what the article about ? is for reconciliation or against oromo struggle? why the habashas always after oromo struggle? if you guys wana reconciliation to work with oromo come up with strait talk DON’T twist things up and down pls.


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