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Stop Lionizing a Demagogue! Jawar Mohammed is neither an entrepreneur nor an opposition leader

Tibebe Samuel on Jawar Mohammed
The writer, Tibebe Samuel Ferenji

My letter to New York Times 
(Tibebe Samuel Ferenji) 10/25/2019

Dear editor:

            On your October 23, 2019 news section, Mr. Simon Marks wrote a report titled “Protests in Ethiopia Threaten to Mar Image of Its Nobel-Winning Leader”. Unfortunately, Mr. Marks has misinformed your readers by stating that “The accusations made by the critic, Jawar Mohammed, founder of an independent media network, fueled simmering political tensions in the landlocked nation of 110 million…” Your paper painted Mr. Jawar Mohammed as an entrepreneur and a leader of the opposition. Mr. Mohammed is neither an entrepreneur nor a leader of any opposition. Your assertion that Jawar Mohammed is the founder of an independent media network is wrong. Mr. Jawar Mohammed is an Executive Director of the Oromia Media Network (OMN) based in the State of Minnesota. OMN was established in 2012 as a nonprofit organization and obtained its tax-exempt status from the IRS in February 2015. When the OMN was established Mr. Mohammed was not a part of it. He was hired by the OMN in April 2015, as the paid Executive Director of the OMN. Although the OMN is supposed to be a tax-exempt nonprofit organization run by a Board of Directors as required by law, for all practical purposes, Mr. Mohammed has “dissolved” the board without any legal authority and he is running the organization as his personal company. The attached tax return filed by the OMN clearly shows how the OMN reported a loss in its 2017 tax return. The OMN tax record shows it reported higher revenue in 2014 and 2015 than its revenue in 2016 and 2017. In fact, the record shows OMN lost more than 50% of its revenue in 2017 compared to its revenue in 2015. Moreover, the tax record shows the OMN lost more than $100,000.00 in its 2017 operation. This should be investigated by the IRS and the Minnesota State authorities how the OMN revenue declined that much at the heights of the Oromo movement in Ethiopia and when most Oromos contributed to the OMN in 2017 than any time in its existence. 

            In addition, Mr. Marks indicated in his report “The supporters, of the Oromo ethnic group, denounced the prime minister….” Such a statement gives a wrong impression regarding the diversity of the Oromo ethnic group itself. Those who denounced the prime minister were the supporters of Mr. Mohammed. His supporters are less than 1% of the Oromo population and do not represent the “Oromo ethnic group” at large. Social Media discussions a day before the protest indicated the plan for the protest and Mr. Mohammed fueled the protest by his false claim that he was surrounded by the police and that the police are planning to attack him. Ironically, Mr. Mohammed is protected by the police force that the government assigned to him. If the police had any plan to attack him, why did not they use those police officers who were protecting Mr. Mohammed 24/7? His claim makes no sense at all. It is not clear why Mr. Mark neglected to report this fact. Mr. Mohammed hijacked the political struggle and peaceful movement of the Oromo students that began in November 2015. He did not lead the movement and he did not initiate the movement. Rather, since the end of 2016, he provided instruction for the youth to be violent using the OMN. Most of those who followed his violent methods are unemployed youth who come from low-income families. There was no support for Mr. Mohammed in Wollega, Showa, and other Oromo areas. I believe accuracy is important to your paper and your reporters should do more objective research before publishing half-baked truth and inaccurate information that lionizes a demagogue who is running a media network supported by the US taxpayers. 

Tibebe Samuel Ferenji,

Takoma Park, MD

Editor’s note: Views reflected in the article reflect views of the writer, not borkena’s view. To publish an article on borkena, please send submissions to

By the same author : Jawar Mohammed and the act of terrorism 

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  1. Great Article to put the Truth on the table…….Some left wing Liberals Cheer every and any protest as a Democratic movement and a postive agent for change……..It can not be any further from the Truth……….No one nation has a Perfect Democratic system neither does Ethiopia………However its a work in progress in the right Direction and its Economic growth and Stability are the prime evidence to that……….Jawar has no aim or Intent of good faith to play a positive role in Ethiopias Democracy but to destabilize the Economy and divide it by tailoring his Narrow-Nationalistic views as a Mass interest to the Poor and Uneducated and Isolated………….He will be Accountable and held responsible for his wreckless Instigation of Violence that claimed many Lives……….Selah

  2. Stop defaming a lion. Jawar Mohammed out speaks many of the current players in Ethiopian politics. he is committed to truth. Rather than challenging him with substantial evidences many other politicians and media outlets waste time defaming him on false grounds. Truth is always the winner and your effort is futile!

  3. His supporters are less than 1% ?????????kkkkkkkkk. What a lie. may be your intention was to say his opponents are less than 1%????

  4. Very articulated article with tangible evidence. All this act as a political candidate is a theater to escape prosecution that he will never escape from. Jawar is nothing but an opportunist predator that ruthlessly exploits the uneducated young. He is turning the peaceful gullible young into violent primitives barbaric criminals that he calculates to be the only way that will take him to the high seat because he is not educated or intelligent to be a political leader.

    His followers are counted to be 1.7 mil that includes the majority to be those who criticize him of being narrow minded with backward Islamic extremist agenda that most Islams or Oromos in Ethiopia do not share.

    He himself has acknowledged to be the public enemy #1 but he lies why he is hated.

    The only reason he is hated is because of the killings of 90 innocents people by his violent supporters following his false allegation and instigation. All the killings were pointed at Churches and innocent lives in places where Jawar is not around but has been instructing hostility against Christians and hitting them in the head with machetes.

  5. What you wrote about Jawar is totally far from the truth. It’s generally naftagna’s view and , in fact not accepted by 40 million oromo people. For oromo and other oppressed ethnic groups, Jawar is our hero. Full stop!

  6. If you ask me to sum up who Jawar is in one word I would say he is a philanthropist. Jawar enabled us to eat meat rather than continuing to wstch others eat meat. It is Oromo’s turn to shine.

  7. Jawars is a monster rat who believe in violence and primitive ways. He does not lead political protesters who want peace and freedom.

    His followers are armed with primitive tools who cut up and dismember bodies of innocent women and old people.

    Jawar is a psychopath who grew up missing social lives with other Ethiopians and that is why he is transferring violence.

  8. Giriti,

    Jawar is in our radar on how he is spreading extremism and exploiting Qero mobs.

    Tell us where and what has Jawar has ever done a philanthropist work other than collecting money from gullible Oromo to self enrich himself? I would love to know!!!!

    He is known to instruct and encourage the extremist Muslim Oromos and uneducated Qeros to kill Christians and loot Christian churches, non-Oromo businesses and homes. Except that he is not known to have positive impact on anything or help/give donation to any Oromo.

    Right now Jawar is in the USA to beg and collect money for himself and for the exploitation of people like you. With his demonic philosophy of demonizing Amharas and the Orthodox Christians he is committing genocide and ethnic cleansing on non-Oromos and Christians by sending people like you.

  9. Tibebe Samuel Ferenji

    Your kind will not stop at anything until your preferred ethnic group gets power.

    You want to take us back to the era of the real demagogues like Menelik and hailesilase. It will never happen.

    I don’t support Jawar but according to you and other writers in this forum all who support individuals who oppose your selfish ethnic ideology either are illiterate or comes from a low income families.
    80% of Ethiopian population comes from a low income families, so does it mean that they can’t make up their own mind, that they must be illiterate and they don’t understand anything.

    You said that wellega and Shawa don’t support Jawar. That may be true but it doesn’t mean anything. For hundred of years your so called “king of kings” have Amharanized ethnic oromo’s from Shewa,generations have lost their identity and their culture due to your absolute culturally and religiously intolerable rule. Considerable population of Oromo Shewa identify themselve as rather Amhara than OROMOO.

    Oromoo has a population of about 50 million people and it would be a disaster to let Naftegna
    Get control of this country.

    Their are five things needs to be done urgently in this country before election.


    Every ethnic group needs needs to be counted so as to allocate the right representatives for them . For years people have been marginalized by false cencors.


    The current constitution is designed to benefit some and marginalize others. Their has to a real constitution agreed by over 60% of the total population.


    This is very important for safe guarding every citizens right and need wIthin the constitution.

    Their has to be trust in our election system for this to happen indipendence of the commission is a core aspect of it. Government can not be allowed to nominate individual of their choice rather the joint group of parliamentarian from different political parties has to have power to nominate.


    This is the most important change for peace to ever prevail in this country. Religion is very important to citizen of this diverse country. Whether orthodox, Muslim, Pentecostal oir traditional ethnic religion, we have always been a very religious country but unfortunately others have used religion to demonize and create conflict between religions. Unnecessary religious attacks should not be tolerated ever.

    The past rulers have used Othordox church to inflict a lot of pain to other religion and this should never be tolerated. This notion of calling individuals extremists and terrorist just because they have different point of view has to stop. Defamation LAWS has to be introduced.

    Peace to all.

  10. The author pointed out his opinion, but lacks facts. For example the author mentioned that Jawar does not have a support of Wallaga, Shawa Oromos etc. I am not sure where the author got his facts. For sure what Jawar wishes and plan to do for his people is no different than what the PM or other Oromos in Wallga or Shawa wants to do for the people they represent. Meaning self governs, developing their culture and language, be able to utilize god given wealth and share with other Ethiopian, Demonizing Jawrar not only helping improving his image and popularity among his fellow Oromos but also among other Federalist like Sidama, Somali, Tigrai etc. The difference between Jawar and his opponents would be Jawra is on the ground closely working with his people. He knows what his people want. On the other hand his opponent either residing in Addis or NA shower him with insult. My advice to Jawars’ opponent being civil and bring your idea debt him. At the moment Jawar is ahead of the game. If things going this way guaranty the party he support will win by land slid in Oromia. I also noticed that how recent protesters demonizing the entire 6 million so Oromo Keros by calling them Kero Korkoro. Please understand Kero in Oromo language means “young”.

  11. tika Jalala,

    Reading this article takes one back to examine what is happening in Ethiopia today. You do not have to be a rocket scientist to understand the current political problems with Jawar.
    I totally agreeing with the author of this article because it exactly represents the fact on the ground .

    Who is there to deny Christian lives including Oromos and Churches were not the subject of destruction by few lawless violent Queerro vigilantes in Arsi instructed by Jawar? The recent mayhem did not happen in Wellega or Shewa and etc.. because they do not agree with Jawar’s extremist political scheme that excludes Christians and decent Suni Islam Oromos.

    When Jawar calls Queerro out, they started destroying lives and properties including blocking roads in various places in Oromo region as having previous instruction, and when he say stop! they stopped!!. Jawar and his barbarians have perceived violence and ethnic cleansing as a means to get wealth from the loot and for Jawar to secure power in a separated Oromo plot.


    I hope you are better than that!!! Don’t go down to the history that did not happened, nonevent, obsolete and fake Woyane invention tale because the whole world knows it is sinister lie planned to create division so that TPLF will be the sole owners of Ethiopia.

    It is by the sacrifice of the Emperors who fought with the mighty European rulers and virtue of being good governments that we are here to talk about Ethiopia.
    Only imagine what would have happened to your forefathers if Woyane was the ruler of politically tense and divided Ethiopia during those invasions instead of those Emperors you despise? Did you think you had a chance of being born?

    If you are smart person you should think about what had happened a year ago instead of gluing to 27 years old TPLF old fake looters tale.

  12. The suggestion that Jawar is a demagogue is laughable. Such lamenting coming from the old guard is not helping the country, my native country. My advice to the wishers of the old feudal system such as the writer of this comment to be realistic and understand time has changed. The late dictator MZ had a phrase for them, “mengedun cherk yargilachehu”. I don’t remember they have done anything other than barking like mad dogs in the comfort of States. Now when the hyenas passed, “yedil atbia arbengoch” are growling form every corner! Please make everyone a favor, the feudal system will never comeback. It departed with the system it represent. If you want to contribute, please free yourself from the past get unstuck from the past! One more thing, bitterness doesn’t help either!

  13. Soba Moorttuu

    You seem to be stuck on 45 years old obsolete classical dictators attacks. Only because you have ulterior motive or does not go with your opinion should not stop you from moving forward with time. Accusing and stereotyping is typical Dictators tactic that has died with the Derg and Meles Zenawi. It was used to grab power through violence and genocide. The author is living in the civilized world where you are also able to read enjoy life. His writing refelects civilization and better life for the people of Ethiopia.

    Where on the other hand Jawar is spreading hate, killings and violence as the recent tragedy he caused to happen in Ethiopia while he is running around collecting money. So feel free to expose yourself as Jawarian,the supporter of Jawar who is accused to have caused mehyam and genocide.


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