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HomeEthiopian NewsDejawarizing, deolfizing Oromo region and beyond imperative

Dejawarizing, deolfizing Oromo region and beyond imperative

After the massacre of well over three hundred people in six months time, it is time to dejawarize Oromo region, SNNPR and activism in Ethiopian politics.

Jawar _ Oromo region
Jawar Mohammed. Reuters via VOA Amharic

July 13, 2020
Updated on July 14, 2020

This past weekend, Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had a meeting with regional and zone level leaders of what is called “Southern Nations, Nationalities and People’s Region.”

The prime minister has blamed the leadership for failure in ensuring peace in the region. He squarely said, as reported, that the region’s peace and political activity is hijacked by activists. If that is truly the case, it is a matter that should never come as a surprise.

It was not too long ago when Jawar Mohammed and Oromo Liberation Front mobilized ethnic Sidama activists to take the matter of forming an ethnic Sidama State in their own hands. In so doing, what was advocated for was to hijack political and security affairs in the Sidama Zone from government authorities. In consequence, the Sidama zone experienced an unprecedented massacre against ethnic non-Sidamas.

Regrettably, Jawar’s activism has been taken as a model among all ethnic politics activists. Establishing this or that ethnic-based media outlet, radicalizing the youth to the point of dehumanization and then dictating policy measures including on internal security matters, among many others issues, has been the pattern of activism.

For that matter, Abiy Ahmed’s administration has contributed significantly to the success of activism on the basis of radical ethnic politics through inaction to the point that many Ethiopians were confused if Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed had forgotten what he pledged when he took over office. In worst cases, he even came to be understood as a radical ethnic Oromo nationalist with a moderate cover and the aides of Jawar Mohammed and the OLF. Yet, a considerable number of Ethiopians attempted to understand Abiy Ahmed’s inaction within the context of what went wrong in the past twenty-seven years – the entrenchment of ethnic politics in the country at the expense of Ethiopia’s existence.

As it turns out, it became clear that the radicalization of ethnic politics has made Ethiopia vulnerable to foreign powers that are hostile to Ethiopia. Egypt comes to mind. An investigation into the killing of Hachalu is revealing that.

As some people argued, Hachalu was selected for assassination partly because there was an understanding that it can easily trigger ethnic-based violence. It did not trigger ethnic-based violence because there was no ethnic reaction to the ethnic-based massacre( which in fact manifested the hallmarks of genocide). 

Everyone gets it that it takes time to de-radicalize ethnic politics. Yet, in view of the reality that ethnic politics is affecting the very community that supports it raises the hope that Ethiopians could overcome it before it plunges the country into total chaos.

Abiy Ahmed’s government should never back down from forcefully enforcing the rule of law. The idea of leaning to Shimgilena and traditional values is counterproductive when it is clear that the values enshrined in the society are no longer revered due to moral decay.

It is clear that the task of enforcing the law is to face some bumps as some in the federal and regional structure sympathize with the Jawarian structure (he called it the second government). The support could be for ideological reasons. It could also be for financial reasons as Ethiopia’s enemies have found a way to channel the colossal amount of resources to weaken Ethiopia through the agency of a Jawar like enterprise.  The Federal government should be skillful in going about rooting out these elements as it could bring about a fault line in the government structure. Outside of the government structure, engaging the youth ideologically is a task that should never be postponed. In that regard, it is important to make radicalized regions like Oromia accessible to different political parties.

On security matters, organizing the local community in a way to foil planned attacks is crucial.Because the government security apparatus failed time and again to protect the safety of citizens. Circulation of illegal arms and illegal hard currencies has been making news headlines for nearly two years now. The indication is that the security threat is not over. That is why organizing the community, in a kind of support role, to ensure the security of citizens needs to be considered seriously. Small but significant measures like that are very relevant to dejawarize and deolfize the troubled regions like Oromo region and SNNPR.

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  1. some people see, some people look! which one are you dear writer? i think you are one of those nationalist principled with my way or the highway. you are encouraging the death of people my the military, wrong. what you should write and suggest should be for the gov to go down to the farmer and educate from bottom up, you just can’t kill an idea you might kill Jawar or whoever but make no mistake you can’t kill their idea by a bullet. The only way out to better future is education. why is the Ethiopian gov never take the time to educate the people from bottom up? the country is heading to the wrong direction with 100 + million ignorant people.

    • Well, education expanded highly in the last 30 years. The problem – history has been thought in a distorted “Amhara vs Oromo” narrative. That never was the case.

      But the current generation has no idea about the past semi autonomous (non ethnic) states which actually wrote history. Just google – map of Ethiopia before 1991.

      • Abeshaw

        Currently there are more amount of people who can not read or write in Ethiopia than there were a hundred years ago.

        For the first time in history of Ethiopia in the last few decades You find people in Ethiopia who claim to be high school graduates but cannot even write their own names.

        Forged degrees are everywhere from the PM’s office to military to hospitals to airlines … Actually airlines got less forged degrees than other offices .

  2. When Abiy went to the real Oromo farmers and took pictures with them harvesting, that alone gave him much credit against Jawar. Just sitting in an office giving press conferences does not help. Abiy – if you can show that you are with the real Oromo people, they will forget Jawar in a minute.

  3. The past three years have shown deep weaknesses in processing and applying the ‘rule of law’ in Ethiopia. There could be several reasons for that, one of which could be weaknesses in the court system itself, which was understandable given the quality of the educational system to produce legal professionals in adequate numbers. Another reason could be low levels of compensation to attract and retain qualified and incentivized legal professionals, grounded on the low level of economic development in the country. Under those circumstances, it would be understandable if people resort to extrajudicial measures to protect their families and interests. Let me give one example from the United States.

    What is now called the United States was originally composed of immigrants, firstly from Europe and forced labor from Africa, but latter joined by economic migrants from all over the world. As happened, the Italian and Irish immigrants among the white population were looked down by other Europeans (mainly the British) and hence were disadvantaged economically and socially. Because of that societal problem, the Italians resorted to self protection and preservation by transplanting their extrajudicial culture back in the homeland of Sicily called ‘mafioso or mafia’. The Irish quickly learned from the Italians and applied the same techniques in their new American settlement region called Boston. Both ethnic groups took up on themselves to protect their kinds since the law failed them. With time, however, both became maintstream law abiding citizens because laws of the federal, state, and local government became stronger and were able to protect the ethnic groups at par with the rest of white immigrants. Could the ‘Mafioso’ system be right for contemporary Ethiopia, albeit temporarily? My answer is ‘yes, of course’.

    The likes of Ato Geleba and Mohammed have been creating havoc in Ethiopia for many years now. They both stuck their noses on the government so much so they became the law unto themselves. Last time Mohammed was responsible, directly or indirectly, for the loss of over 80 innocent citizens and related destruction of properties and livelihoods. And yet, he was let free to continue his deeds, traveling freely to the USA and raise funds for his criminal enterprise. Ato Geleba worked with him closely, as did TPLF and Egypt in the background providing propaganda and financial support.

    If Ato Geleba and Mohammed are tried in a Kangaroo legal system and released, justice should be handed to them Mafia style. All the businesses that lost their livelihoods and households who lost their loved ones should apply justice on those terrorists (and similar thugs) directly and/or indirectly by financing the private Mafia style justice system. Those types should not let be free to continue creating havoc in the country, and keeping Ethiopians poor, under educated, beggars, and laughing stocks of the world; a premium example of ‘shit hole’ in the words of US President Donald Trump..

    To complement the Mafia system, I think it is time the civil society to rise up defend their own communities, rather than only relying to the government to do that for them. Why should the terrorists roam freely to destroy lives and property, when the silent majority sits and watches? There are probably more young people among the silent majority than from sub groups that are the breeding grounds of thugs. The minute stone throwing and stick displaying thugs are seen, in the open, the opposing youth should groups everywhere should be able to counter them. For that to happen, preparations must be done well before hand, and command systems should be put in place. The Derge did well in that regard by setting up the “Kebele command and control” system. People had (and still may have) bad memories the ‘Kebele” system under the Derge, but what we should learn is its effectiveness in restoring and order in neighborhood across the country.

  4. Keep it on BORKENA.COM. everydog has its day. Abiy will never prevail with his amhara’s master ideology. Beat up the drum and hope someone will sing along. The Neftagna will never assume power and if they do, there wiil be price to pay.

    No goverment can rule with iron fist and perfom its task well.

    To the neftagna why dont you take your share and disappeare the rest of us can coexist peacefully without your TORMENTED ideology.

    Why do you want to stay in union where no one wants you.

    The Tigrai dont want you
    The Somalis dont want you
    The Sidamas dont want you
    The Oromos dont want you.


    We want to teach our kids their languages and one other useful language so as to be competitive in the world.

    Note: take that Amharanized Abiy ahmed with you too.


    • As of July 2020:
      – The Qerro are the ones killing Somali
      – The Qerro are the ones killing Sidama
      – The Qerro are the ones killing Gurage
      – The Qerro are the ones killing Amhara

      They are the ones in union against the above terrorists. Just because some group is a majority in a certain area does not make it native and able to call all the shots. But what is the point of debating with disillusioned people if they have not read one page of factual history.

  5. What history ?

    Solomonic dynasty?. Isn’t that what we have been teaching our chldren for decades.

    Even if as you say qerroo is the problem, the issue with qerroo is only three years old.
    What happend to the other year’s where oromo were marginalized.

    Look at Mekele town now compared to 30 years ago and look at oromo towns in Bale, Harar and even in Ambo. You think the resources of the country have been shared equally.

    Look at religion, where is fairness in that?. The Orthodox church owns lands more than the state. Where does muslims, pentecostal and traditional religion fit in all of this?.

    History ! ! what history ? . History is written by the victors and Amhara people have always been victors.

    For anything to change in that country AMHARIC LANGUAGE NEED TO BE RELEGATED TO AMHARA REGION.

    So please spares us with your history lessons. We are not in the past, we want to.live now and into the future.

    I was really optimistic about the unity of the country but i dont see any hope of that happening. The group like Amharas are not sleeping day and night they want to control the rest of us. All you have to do is read, listen to their media outlets and the comments made by readers.

    Let’s begin the process of disintegrating peacefully before we see ourselves in situations where we cant control it anymore.


    • Anybody who knows Ethiopian history knows there was no such thing as Amhara until recently. There was a powerful nation called Ethiopia ruled by kings from all backgrounds. As mentioned in another comment, there is not enough space to list the kings that were Tigrayans, Shewa Oromos, Yejju Oromos, and more. Amharic was simply a common language they used to communicate on top of their own first language.

      As the country modernized and literature expanded, that common language made its way into media and politics which is natural. Other languages today have the right to develop their own. The problem is when you associate a language with a political group, past grievance, and so on.

      Churches were dominant players not just in Ethiopia. Have you seen the size and space some of the churches take up in US and Europe? That is how it was anywhere in the world before 19th Century. Before pointing your grievances at anyone, make sure you distinguish language, state, and most of all history narratives.

    • Genji

      Abiy is arresting people thinking they were trying to overthrow him because those who he arrested earlier gave him gave him an early advice about the dangerous path he was leading Ethiopia toeards. Abiy continued his chosen path disregarding their advice because he himself along with his PhD and experienced “political” advisors didn’t agree with their predictions . They assured Abiy it was just few power hungry idiots bubbling none sense, but when things they predicted started happening because Abiy did not listen to those who sincerely advised him about the country , then Abiy suspected those who have him an early advice of starting what they predicted . His argument being how did they know ahead of time?

      Abiy read books and had countless scholar advisors he thrusted to be world class knowledgeable but not one of his thrusted advisors gsve him the advice but the MOA Anbesssa Solomonic dynasty did , which shows the truth about the Solomnic Dynasty power of the almighty is still in works guiding the country even though “leaders” keep imprisoning , killing the enlightened ones.

      Bagoresku Tenekesku is the story of the Solomonic Dynasty till this day.


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