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Why Jawar Mohammed is Responsible for the Unrest in the Southern Region of Ethiopia

Sidama nationalist leaders

By Damo Gotamo
September 13, 2019

Jawar Mohammed couldn’t handle his fifteen-minutes fame. He thinks he is a big shot and above the law. He says anything he wants and gets away with it. Everywhere he goes, he makes controversial statements and agitates the youth to resort to lawlessness. His reckless actions have divided people and caused deaths and destruction in the country. Jawar’s thoughtless speeches and reckless actions are nowhere more apparent than in the SNNPR.

Jawar, the self-appointed Oromo activist and shallow political analyst, has enraged many people in the Southern region. His close personal and business association with Sidama extremists and his support for their illegal activities has caused so much suffering to the people of the region. Jawar’s flirtation with Sidama extremists and his disdain for the rest of the people in the region has made him the most despised man in the region. Talk to anyone in Awassa about Jawar, and you will observe how quickly the expression on the face of the person changes.

In his recent interview with LTV, Jawar has tried to deflect and play down his role in the crimes in Awassa and Sidama zone. He vehemently denied any wrongdoing and downplayed his role in inspiring and supporting the Sidama extremists to resort to violence if they wanted to achieve their political agenda. Instead of answering the question put to him by the interviewer, he tried to rebuke her and blamed the government authorities for the problem in the Southern region. Once again, he has shown no concern about the death and destruction in the region. The ethnic extremist’s contempt for the military and federal forces who have sacrificed their lives to restore law and order in the region was apparent in the interview.

Jawar’s role in supporting the crimes of Sidama youths dates back in his refugee days in the United States. In every illegal activity that has taken place in the SNNPR and lack of peace in the area, Jawar’s fingerprints are all over the place.

Through his OMN (Oromia Media Network), Jawar played a pivotal role in radicalizing the Sidama youth and sowing the seeds of suspicion among the groups. From his base in Minnesota, home of Oromo extremists, Jawar used to invite people of Sidama origin in his programs to disseminate hateful messages against people in the SNNPR. On many occasions, the self-appointed Sidama activists appearing on OMN preached division and tried to undermine the unity of the people in the region. His guests belittled the current regional structure and disseminated hate against groups in the region. The Sidama ethnic entrepreneurs often made bizarre statements to divide the people of the region.

Jawar was responsible for instigating the conflict between the Sidama and Wolita youths in Awassa in 2018. My sources told me Jawar advised his friends, the leaders of the Ejjeetto, to follow Queros tactics to achieve their goals. He told his criminal friends to restore to violence.

Last year’s mayhem claimed the lives of many people and left thousands of people homeless. Jawar didn’t condemn the crimes. Instead, he sided with the Sidama extremists and defended their crimes.

Nothing good happens in places where Jawar sets his foot. After overseeing the horrid lynching of an innocent man by his followers in Shashmene many months ago, Jawar went to Awassa to agitate and give moral support to his extreme Sidama friends in the city. He advised the Sidama extremists to be persistent in causing lawlessness in Awassa to achieve their goals. As soon as he left Awassa, we saw the Sidama extremists wreak havoc in the city that lasted for more than a year. The extremists forced the closure of government institutions, Banks, and hotels. They committed many crimes in the city that reduced Awassa into an economically weak city.

Little did the Sidama extremists know that Jawar had been undermining the interest of the Sidama people and others to achieve his objectives. While the value of land and property in Shashemene and other cities Oromia regions has gone up, the real estate market in Awassa has declined significantly. The slowdown has affected everyone in the region. Because of the reckless acts of the Sidama ethnic entrepreneurs, people have avoided businesses owned by hardworking Sidama businessmen. Many Sidama businesses were forced to close their doors forever.

During the 2019 Chamebella Holiday celebration, Jawar Mohammed made one of his divisive speeches to date. He encouraged the Sidama extremists to put more pressure on the government by resorting to violent tactics regularly. Inspired by the speech of the ethnic thug, the Sidama extremists unleashed a series of crimes in Awassa and cities in Sidama Zones.

The infamous 11-11-11 caused so much suffering to the non-Sidamas in the cities in Sidama zone. Among other crimes, the lynching of an 83-year grandfather; the murder of two brothers in Aleta Wondo; the brutal killing of a father and son that ended in cutting their genital caused anger and uproar among Ethiopias in the country and overseas.

Jawar didn’t condemn the crimes of the Sidama extremists. Rather, he poked fun at the misery of the people in the region and expressed his anger over the arrest of the perpetrators of the crimes. He pointed his finger at the members of SEPDM while praising the Ejjeettos and their criminal leaders. He laughed at the sacrifices of the military and the federal police forces.

Jawar is mentally unstable. He is a repeat offender and easily gets carried away if he is a center of attention. A few years ago, he made an inflammatory statement that angered many people. He made the following statement to a gathering of Oromo Muslims in Saint Paul Minnesota:

“What I say to the Oromos is this: I started talking about Islam after meetingmy friend from Gonder. At the place I live, 99% of the people are Muslims.No one dares speak anything against us. If he does, we hit him with Mencha.’’

Jawar is a violent man. The above statement clearly shows how violent the man is. He won’t shy away from saying anything to instigate violence between different groups. In his speech in Saint Paul, Jawar was advising his fellow Muslims to resort to violence if a Christian said anything against them.

Jawar must know he is just another ethnic extremist. He should stop acting and behaving like the head of the country. His behaviors and actions are unacceptable and are hurting many people. If he doesn’t stop behaving erratically, he will further plunge the country into lawlessness. He reminds people of the first two years of the TPLF regime.

Some Tegdaleyes and their relatives were acting as if they had conquered the world soon after the TPLF took power in the country. They were loud and boastful. However, unlike Jawar and his friends, at least the TPLfies fought the Derg regime tooth and nail. Jawar’s empty bravado is an enigma to many people. Why is Jawar acting like a bigwig? Many believe Jawar’s bizarre behavior is because of the role he played in directing the young Oromo youth to throw dung at Woyane soldiers and instructing his friends in Addis Ababa to steal the 12th grade Ethiopian School Leaving Certificate Examination (ESLCE).

No ethnic group in the Southern region has asked Jawar to be its spokesperson. He should keep his activism to the Oromo cause and stop poking his nose in the affairs of the people in the region. People in the region don’t appreciate his attempt to divide the country’s ethnic group along Kusthtic and Semitic group. They are way far advanced than a narrow ethnic extremists like Jawar. They have lived together for generations and know how to coexist.

If the people of the SNNPR need advice on any matter, Jawar will be the last person they will look for help. There is nothing in common between the people in the region and ethnic lords like Jawar. For the people of the region, Jawar is just another ethnic extremist. They won’t easily fall for a fast talker, ethnic and religious extremist who makes a living by pitting one group of people with another.

Jawar is a friend of ethnic extremists everywhere. By defending the Sidama extremists, he has shown his utter disdain for the 55 ethnic groups of the region. We haven’t heard him talk about Wolitas, Hadiyas, Kemebatta, and others in the region. He only talks about the Sidama extremists who have a business relationship with him. We know that he is nine million birrs richer today after brokering a deal for the acquisition of the SMN (Sidama Media Network).

Carrying an American passport won’t absolve Jawar from his destructive activities. Being an American citizen comes with responsibilities. From his divisive behavior and actions, it doesn’t appear Jawar has changed much even if he lived fifteen years in the United States.

Citizens everywhere are questioning the government why it has tolerated the destructive behavior of Jawar Mohammed. Many people believe the government should do something to stop the extremist from playing a destabilizing role in the country. He is severely undermining the efforts of the PM and his team in restoring peace and security in the country. He belittles government officials and the military. He doesn’t know the limits of his actions. Jailing people who haven’t done anything and leaving an ethnic extremist like Jawar to say anything that destabilizes the country is unacceptable.

Jawar is responsible for the criminal activities of Sidama extremists in the SNNPR. If he doesn’t stop his destructive behavior, he must be forced to join his Ejjeetto friends in jail. He shouldn’t be allowed to continue his reckless behavior. Innocent people and members of the armed forces shouldn’t die because of a dangerous lunatic who doesn’t care about human life. No one is above the law. Jawar must know either his fifteen-minutes fame or the Queros he loves to talk about will not protect him if he tries to break the country.

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