By Dimetros Birku
Germany seem to have a special like relationship with Oromigna speaking parts of Ethiopia. Many of radical politicians associated with the traditional OLF were based in Germany. Negasso Gidada himself, as many of you know, was in Germany and has even established blood relationship which by no means is the only case.
Quite significant portions of Germany’s “altruistic activities” are in this part of Ethiopia.
Two or so years ago, the president of Germany visited Ethiopia. At that time, TPLF had its own exclusive event in Tigray which was attended by some EPRDF officials including HMD. The president of Germany visited other parts of OPDO administered areas and met with officials, as far as I remember.
OPDO, in my opinion, is a legit administrative structure within which neo-radical Oromo activists are advancing the radical agenda ranging from plots to intensive ideological mobilization from the regional structure to deep into the villages.
The media work of the radicals is meticulous by the standards of Ethiopian media production not only in terms of content production but also in terms of agenda setting. Even the “Ethiopian Liberals” who seem to be connected to ‘power center’ and with a witty like online presence are not a match for the neo-radical ethnic elites of Oromos.
Even the way they add voice in international politics is different. On issues the “Ethiopian Liberals” are scared to touch for ideological or other reasons, the radical ethnic politic elites passionately advocates them. (How many Ethiopian radicals added voice to Gaza for instance? What is our relation like with Somali activists for instance? …) I have never seen a radical ethnic politics elites of an Oromo adding voice to “bring back our girls” for instance…you know spend some time in twitter you will figure it out. Whether than pays in the future is something to be seen. But international alliance formation is not just with states like Germany but also with other interest groups and states in the Middle East including Egypt. We have seen protest supporting Egypt’s bid on the Nile.
The point is the radical group is mobilizing locally through the structures of OPDO which is why, I think, they are not so much bothered about OPDO. And they are strategically trying to forge alliance and gain visibility in international scene too. And as I pointed from the very beginning Germany undoubtedly has special interest.
This morning we heard news of Kuma Demeksa’s appointment as Ambassador to Germany. And it reminded me everything.
Shouldn’t I exercise caution in how I approach any thing that comes with the politics of ethnic identity?
Sadly, not only is our activism fragmented but also it does not manifest consciousness apart from the fact that it is not cognizant developments on the ground in most cases. I am not sure if we have a reach to reverses a radicalization scheme on the ground for instance while the radicals have a means to radicalize.