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Is Federal government allowing radical Oromo forces to take Addis Ababa by force?

Are radical ethnic Oromo forces bringing their fight right to Addis Ababa, the center of Ethiopia, as most of the cleansing in Oromia region seem to be in the final stage? 

Addis Ababa _ Ethiopia
Adanech Abiebei, Addis Ababa Mayor (Photo : Public Domain)

borkena
Editorial 

It has been nearly five years now since Abiy Ahmed took power as Prime Minister of Ethiopia. What has been consistent throughout the five years period is an intensification of ethnic-based attacks, mostly targeting ethnic Amhara, in the Oromo and Benishangul Gumuz region of Ethiopia.

Some members of his government and he himself attempted to portray the massacres in the first two years of the administration as a sort of “normal incidents” that are parts of what they described as “political change.”   Of course, what is described as “change” is the transition from the EPRDF coalition where the TPLF was a dominant force to a supposedly “single party” under the umbrella of the Prosperity Party where the actors are predominantly from the defunct EPRDF coalition. Another exception is that the TPLF did not take a ride in the new party where its former junior partner, the Oromo People’s Democratic Organization (OPDO), emerged as a dominant political actor. 

Some strongly tended to depict the security crisis in the early years as an inevitable mishap given the complexity of the political problems that Prime Minister Abiy inherited. 

Five years after the “change” , security has become a major problem in the country, specifically in the Oromo region of Ethiopia, where a radical militant group, which the Ethiopian government calls as OLF-Shane – has been engaged in what appears like ethnic cleansing in the Oromo region.  

Thousands of innocent civilians have been killed in the past five years when the Oromia regional government has been bluffing that it has weakened the capability of the group to pose a security threat. In reality, the massacre is not far from over and indeed it has all the hallmarks of ethnic cleansing. 

The armed group has been enjoying extensive administrative, political and even military support from authorities within the Oromia and Federal levels of government. And that is what has complicated the matter. Although no statistical data is available at this point, there are views that the ethnic composition of many of the major cities in the Oromo region has been altered in a way that favors total domination of the Oromos. Other ethnic groups in many parts of the Oromia region are said to have been threatened to the point that they feel unsafe to continue to live in the region. 

Now, the radical group that is functioning within the government structure brought the Oromization campaign to the heart of Ethiopia, Addis Ababa.  In fact, in the first two years of the “change” , what used to be the Oromo Democratic Party, whose leader was Abiy Ahmed, made an open claim that Addis Ababa exclusively belongs to ethnic Oromos. 

In the past few weeks, the Oromo radical group within the government is facing resistance as it attempted to make Oromia region flag and anthem practices in schools across Addis Ababa. The strategy to suppress the resistance is manifesting itself in a combination of outright repression and a propaganda stunt to make the rightful demands of residents of Addis Ababa appear as “irrational.” 

Addis Ababa police have announced, last week, that it has arrested 97 students and teachers who were opposing the use of Oromia region flags and anthem in schools in Addis Ababa. However, the victims of the repression were painted as having links to forces who intend to make Addis Ababa a center of violence. 

Adanech Abibie, the Mayor, has been writing updates about having “fruitful” meetings with residents of Addis Ababa.  When it is presented in the media, it is portrayed as if there is an opposition for the use of Oromo language in schools which is not the case. The government also seems to be exploiting individuals from faith groups, primarily from Protestant group, to divert attention at a time when Ethiopians across the country are expressing concern about Addis Ababa. The latest provocative remark from a pastor who is close to Ethiopian Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed (he is himself a protestant) against the Orthodox Church seems to be an exercise into employing that strategy.

The Ethiopian Ombudsman’s early this week released a statement and it clearly said that the city administration is at fault that it should not impose flag and anthem from the Oromia region on schools in Addis Ababa. The organization made it clear that there is no legal or moral ground to do so. At least two major opposition parties in the country have issued a statement on the matter and they both condemned what the city administration did and demanded an immediate release of arrested students and teachers. 

Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed’s administration is not remarking about it at all. And it may be an indication that the radical ethnic Oromo nationalist group within the Federal structure and the regional government structure are too powerful for him or he is just a part of it.  As the Ombudsman said, there is no legal or moral ground to impose a flag and anthem from Oromia on schools in Addis Ababa. For that matter, the introduction of Oromo language itself in schools should have been implemented by following all the legal and administrative procedures, not by bypassing them. 

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13 COMMENTS

  1. Yes, one of two things. Either Abiy’s experiment of preach, teach, sweet-talk everybody to his “Medemer” platform has failed, OR he is the consummate actor spearheading the OLF “convince/confuse” stupid game inadvertently betrayed by Shimelis Abdissa.

    The speculation that he is overwhelmed by OLF extremists in his government has no factual base and actually is preposterous in light of the fact that he still enjoys substantial support of the public and the armed forces. Not harnessing the blatant encroachment of OLF on Addis Ababa ASAP will be his peril and a costly civil strife.

  2. I found this blog purely as the progenocidal crimes being committed in Oromia, where hundreds of thousands are being displace and hundreds are being brutually massacred by the so called ” FANOs” and yet you’re here advocating extermination. this type of action won’t liberate our nation from those disbanded EPDRF groupings.

  3. Very scary if true but the point is – can OR rule over Addis? The city is too complex and there are few querro to do the job, plus you need knowledge an capacity to administer people who may not like you…It is complicated, maybe the querro and OFC goons may loot and rape..but this may lead to reaction..why are OR intellects (if any) going for this thing which will only result in unimaginable massacre on all sides?? why Wisconsin goons are you doing this?

  4. Amhara, Gurage ,Irob, Kimant, Agew, Tegaru, Oromos etc lives matter most and stop genocide on any of these people

    Abiy and rest of PP cadres must step down and stop genocide in Ethiopia

  5. To me this young and visionary PM is getting a bad rap in most cases. I don’t see too much flip flopping. His administrations main shortcoming has been in the diplomacy area. I don’t buy into this groundless accusation that he is a member or supporter of this or that separatist group. I am not also convinced that he harbors hatred to this or that ethnic group. I don’t think he actively plan and execute any one of these barbaric killing we hear a lot these days. No government in modern history has been able to eliminate mass killings. Hateful and deranged individuals exist everywhere. In countries like Ethiopia where centuries old social fabric has been shaken or shattered senseless killings are very common and huge in size. Someone may ask ‘how come such atrocities were not common place during the late emperor’s time?’ Well, social fabric that bound the country was still intact. When the fabric began shattering was after the introduction of the demonic philosophy of Marxism/Leninism at full throttle beginning the late 1960’s and early 70’s. In such devil’s scriptures you are either a friend/ally or lethal enemy. You either have to be organized or eradicated. You are either an oppressor or the oppressed and if you are the oppressed you should not think twice about eliminating your designated oppressor. When you combine this with a legitimate pride you will end up having a lethal concoction of stereotype about others. PM Abiy did not bring and preach this destructive ideology. First these hateful groups will give you derogatory name before they kill you. They call you ‘reactionary landlord, capitalist or any other pejoratives that they dream up in a given day. One poor farmer will be the oppressor of another poor farmer and one wretched urban dweller is now in the camp of oppressors of another equally wretched urban dweller. All Amharas are oppressors, all Oromos are Amhara haters and all Tigres are cruel creatures so on and on. Before was Neftegna and now another name calling Oromummaa is added to the Webster Dictionary of pejoratives of these faceless bigots. The jobless and hapless youth has fallen victims of these smart aleck bigots who are experts in feeding on the raw emotion of the gullible youth. In certain areas of that country the centuries old binding social fabric has been shattered. The youth is being told that when he kills innocent poor peasants he does not commit any crime/sin. In fact he is being told that by committing such heinous crimes he is defending himself and his loved ones/people. Let’s not forget the fact that no one is born a hater or murderer. He acquires that later in life in his adulthood. Nuff said about that.

    In regards to PM Abiy and his administration I have chosen to wait and see what he’s got under his sleeves about these vagabonds wreaking havoc in Oromia. It’s got to stop before it engulfs the whole region. For now I will keep that gem of the colored in my daily prayers and will never give up hope that peace and stability will return sooner if not later. Insha’Allah!!!

  6. yes. what we see right now is a prelude for the coming heinous genocide. but God is with the hard-working innocent Addis Ababa people. if the push comes to shove everyone in Addis will rise up and defend itself from this savaggers or barbarians.

    • ‘alexander warren’,

      What’s your cut in all this? Such poor English from a ‘Warren’? Did you learn English in Dedebit & Mekelle?

  7. Sorry, To be honest , I would never try to argue for Addis Ababa belonging to be part of a charitable metropolitan, enlightenment centre for Ethiopians or belonging to one group or another. It has never been such thing . It has always been an anomaly and creation and corrupt centrev place of Ethiopian empire and later governments seat since Menilik . I don’t think its residences belong to particular one group though ithey mainly speak amharic as their main main language . Theyy came from many different ethnicity and their main affiliation is curruption and self preservation. Ask Lij Eyasu, Col Mengistu who said in his last interview that he missed Harar , but not mention Adddis, and even Melez’s regime depended on support for the rural population . I asked once my late father, who was Hale Salassie’s regional elders in Jijiga why he not interested to visit to Addis ? He said do you mean Ardi sebeba, as most Ethiopian Somalis known it at the time — meaning the land of saboteurs and poltical intrigues.. He said it would take first few nights for someone, who looking for promation or other material gains. Would accuse me something outlandish and I would be dead or in jail for the rest of my life.

  8. Correction
    Sorry to be honest, I would never try to argue for Addis Ababa belonging to be part of a charitable metropolitan, enlightenment centre for Ethiopians or belonging to one group or another. It has never been such thing . It has always been an anomaly and creation and corrupt centre place of Ethiopian empire and later governments seat since Menilik . I don’t think its residences belong to onev particular group though ithey mainly speak amharic as main language . They came from many different ethnicities and their main affiliation is curruption and self-preservation. Ask Lij Eyasu, Col Mengistu who said in his last interview that he missed Harar , but not mention Addis, and even Melez’s regime depended on rural population;for support . I asked once my late father, who was Hale Salassie’s regional elders in Jijigahow come he never interested to visit to Addis ? He said my son do you mean Ardi sebeba, as most Ethiopian Somalis known it at the time — meaning the land of saboteurs and poltical intrigues.. He said it would take first few nights for someone, who is looking for promation or other material gains would accuse him something outlandish and I would be dead or in jail for the rest of my life.

    Reply

  9. Addis Abeba needs to be managed by new muli-ethnic based opposition party. The Prosperity Party should not be the next administrator of the city. Democracy demands participation in governing by diverse political parties with different visions, but maintaining national integrity at all times.

    I am not sure which ‘political party’ would be the best to manage the city following the next election. There are multitude of groups calling themselves opposition parties, but their common agenda seems to be ascendency to power for self aggrandizement and enrichment; they are all complainers rooted in the tradition of ancient immature communist wannabee politicians that called themselves “revolutionaries”, not visionaries based on superior policies. Nevertheless, I believe EZEMA and Andenet parties could be better alternatives to Prosperity Party for managing the federal city next time.
    And those should take the opportunity of current political turmoil, seemingly spearheaded by Adanetch Abebe and Shimeles Abidissa , to start campaigning to replace the Prospeity Party as the next Governor of Addis Abeba, that is truly multi-ethnic and international face of Ethiopia.

  10. Reminder: Abiy was the TPLF-OLF/OLA’s first assassination target at Mesqel Square!

    Flashpoint Addis Ababa [AA]: AA is Ethiopia’s capital; Africa’s capital; and world’s 3rd diplomatic capital. So, AA should be a State or Governorate with its own flag and city limits. Thus, in schools, only AA’s & Ethiopia’s flags fly and the national anthem sung.

    ‘Oromizing AA’: AA’s population is ≈ 6 million. Over half are Amaras! The rest are other ethnics. So, to definitely offset the population dynamics and ‘Oromize AA,’ we need ≈ 3 million Oromos. AA is in housing crisis! Where would you put these 3 million?

    AA City Limits: AA almost doubled in size in the past 20 years by evicting/displacing the Oromo farmers and annexing their farmland with empty promises of compensation. So, aren’t the Oromos evicted/displaced without compensation the real victims in all this?

  11. What are you talking about. What it calls itself the Federal Goverment itself is the radical Oromo. If that was not the case Abiy Ahmed and Adanech Abebae would have called on either Amhara, Somali, Afar, Gambella or other zone special Forces or the Fed. Army and stopped it. Especially when Addis Ababa students, parents and people protested and showed dismay and disapproval of this unjust, undemocratic, and repressive move. .

    That does not happened because Abiy wants the radical Oromos to violate and force Addis Ababas by guns to sing their hate and violent filled Oromia song that they do not want to sing or be around it and while not allowing other zones to do the same.

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