By Lulseged Mitku
January 12, 2020
Ethiopian hopeful politician and a media owner Jawar Mohammed equated President Donald Trump to one of the most monstrous African dictators, Idi Amin Dada of Uganda.
Jawar Mohammed is a controversial figure in Ethiopia. He lived in the United States and held a US passport.While he lived in the United States, he founded a charitable organization called Oromo Media Network (OMN), and raised funds from the Oromo community and broadcast a satellite TV. Now there are unconfirmed reports that he has become a media mogul in Ethiopia turning his non-profit organization into a privately owned business. Jawar recently reported he returned his US passport and running in the 2020 Ethiopia’s election. The Ethiopian government did not confirm Jawar’s claim.
The conceited and attention seeker Jawar immaturely bashed President Donald Trump during his LTV World interview.When Jawar asked about a dictatorship in general, Jawar answered, “if Trump were in Africa, he could have been as dictator as Idi Amin Dada.”
Jawar has become very divisive and provocative in Ethiopia’s politics. His supporters lynched a young man and left him hanging upside down in a public square in the Oromiya town of Shashemene. In October 2019, he sent a message on social media to his supporters and caused the massacre of 86 lives.Earlier he gathered the Sidama youth and told them to use violent means to get an independent Sidama region.Following his direction violence erupted in Sidama and over 50 individuals mainly non-Sidama nationals were murdered. His name is also associated with many other acts of violence including the Burayu massacre that targeted mainly ethnic Dorze and Wolyta. Regardless of his crimes, Jawar gets the Ethiopian government’s protection and treated by Prime Minister Abiy like a statesman.
An Ethiopian who heard Jawar’s LTV interview stated with a surprise that how could Jawar who did not have any reservation when inciting violence say this.Once Jawar’s leading motto was ‘Ethiopia out of Oromya.’Ethiopia is known for Christians and Muslims to live together peacefully. It was a model country in this respect.Despite this historical fact, Jawar stirred his followers to behead others to build mosques. Now to our surprise, he is formally entering into Ethiopia’s party politics and Ethiopians expect further violence to come.It is in this context that Ethiopia is planning to hold an election in the summer of 2020.The future holds the fear of ethnic and religious violence and uncertainties in Ethiopia.Prime Minister Abiy seems to be determined to hold the election at any cost as planned.This is reminiscent of the 1997 post-election violence.Ethiopians waiting for the election with dread. Neither the government nor the political parties are taking this issue at heart.
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