Are Aljazeera and other global media implicitly participating in the instigation of genocide in Ethiopia?

religious festival _ Irreechaa _ Aljazeera
Irreecha celebrated in Addis Ababa for the first time in history. Photo credit : EBC

Peace Loving Ethiopians
October 8, 2019

Following the celebration of the Oromo people’s “Irreechaa” festival in the Capital city of Addis Abeba for the very first time in Ethiopian history, Aljazeera English falsely reported to their twelve million Facebook followers that the Oromo people celebrated their festival in Addis Abeba “for the first time in 150 years”, falsely implying that the festival was celebrated there, as Oromo extremists exclaim, before it “was forbidden” by the ruling Amharas who, they fraudulently insist, conquered indigenous Oromos on the land and “massacred millions”. Irreechaa is a pagan religious annual ritual historically celebrated in Bishoftu, a town formerly known as Debre Zeyit. Never in the history of Ethiopia had the festival been celebrated in the Capital. This utterly unfounded claim is one that has a political purpose: to claim the Capital City for Oromos’ ethno-state called “Oromia”.

The Oromo were indigenous to Somaliland and northern Kenya and were totally absent from Abyssinian Territory prior to the late renaissance era. They invaded Shewa, the historical province wherein the Capital, Addis Abeba, lies, in the late 16th century under the leadership of their Lubas (leaders), Robale and Harmufa. At the time, the Amhara people and other Ethiopians – including ones now utterly extinct due to the Oromo invasion and its indiscriminate and brutal slaughter, such as the Semitic Gafat people – defended their kingdom, transferring their political center northward, in Tana and Gondar, to protect their dominion. Ever since, until the advent of Menelik II, Ethiopia’s kingdom has fought perennially against the Oromo forces to restore the lost province of Shewa and the Kingdom’s old Capital, known as “Barara” at the time of the invasion and war, and reclaimed in 1886 by Menelik II with the new name of Addis Abeba. The Oromos who had settled in the destroyed and ruined city of Barara in the 17th century were not the Oromo tribe that celebrated the Irreechaa annual ritual, much less, Oromos being indigenous to the region and celebrating the festival in Addis Abeban territory 150 years ago.

This is without mentioning that Addis Abeba was not even founded 150 years ago in order to “forbid” them from practicing their religion at that time since the city was only founded by Menelik exactly 133 years ago. If Irreechaa is being celebrated in Addis Abeba for the first time in 150 years, who stopped Oromos from celebrating it there for seventeen years from the time they supposedly stopped 150 years ago until Menelik II founded the Capital city in 1886? There is absolutely no evidence in history that Oromos celebrated Irreechaa in Addis Abeban territory 150 years ago, let alone that the Kingdom forbade them to celebrate any longer. Al Jazeera also claimed that Menelik slaughtered 5 million Oromos when invading the southern region of Ethiopia. This was at a time when Ethiopia’s population as a whole did not exceed 5 million. At the time that Menelik reintegrated the southern regions of the nation, the entire Oromo population did not even surpass a million. The claim that Menelik massacred millions of Oromos to expand his empire is therefore purely fictitious and only serves to incite a new round of inter-ethnic conflict and possibly genocidal acts, which Aljazeera and other media are playing their part in.

Furthermore, In reality, Ethiopia’s ethnic federalist system has divided Ethiopia by arbitrary ethnic territories, fueling ethnic wars, mass displacement, ethnic cleansing and an apartheid-like system where citizens who do not belong to the ethnic group of the ethno-state are downtrodden, have no political representation, or are downright targeted and persecuted. Oromo extremists are politicizing Irreechaa to claim the Capital City as part of their ethnostate, Oromia, and instill Oromo supremacy over others based on a fictitious claim that they are indigenous to the land. If they achieve this end, millions of non-Oromos who have lived in Addis Abeba for generations would be subjugated, treated as 2nd-class citizens, or even driven out of their homes and indiscriminately massacred, as has already happened surrounding the Capital city. And Aljazeera English, a foreign Qatari media propagating the utterly unfounded and false claims of Oromo extremists regarding Addis Abeba, is participating in the instigation of genocide in Ethiopia.

All Ethiopians standing by the truth demand an official apology from Al Jazeera English for spreading false information about Irreechaa being celebrated in Addis Abeba for the first time in 150 years, and the unfounded and counterfeit, utterly false claim that Menelik and Amharas slaughtered 5 million Oromos. We request that all other media who oppose oppression, inter-ethnic war, ethnic cleansing, genocide, and apartheid condemn Oromo extremists and Al Jazeera English.

Academic References:

“The Abyssinians” by David Buxton; “Native Peoples of the World: An Encylopedia of Groups, Cultures and Contemporary Issues” by Stephen L. Danver; “Futuh Al Habasha” by Arab Faqih; “The Ethiopian Borderlands: Essays in Regional History from Ancient Times to the End of the 18th Century ” by Richard Pankhurst


Peace-loving Ethiopians who stand for truth

Editor’s note: The writing was first published in the personal facebook page of Tedla Melaku

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