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Manifestation of Human Suffering Based on False Narratives : A Summarized  Refutation of the Policy Brief Paper by OSA 

Manifestation of Human Suffering Based on False Narratives: A Summarized  Refutation of the Policy Brief Paper by OSA 

Adefris Belachew

The author of this piece believes that falsified narrations in the current contemporary  politics of Ethiopia are the major causes of the manifested crisis in all corners of the  country. It is, therefore, the actual time to audit and reveal the real situations on the ground  to the international community, as well as to all Ethiopians at large and Oromo elites who  are rational-minded and consider shared Ethiopian history, political dynamics, social  values, economic ties, and human rights protection, in particular. 

The OSA’s paper under the above-mentioned title focuses on portraying Amhara as  invaders, expansionists, attacking the Oromo people on permanent bases (since the  quarter of the 19th century to date), and underlines Amhara as an “existential threat to the  survival of Oromo people and Oromia as a nation.” It draws a conclusion that Oromia  administration should take appropriate measures by evicting and deporting Amhara from  Oromia, denying their human and democratic rights. Furthermore, it recommends  “demolishing the Amhara region,” arguing that it was a wrong decision to form it. 

On the other hand, this policy statement of OSA seems to have already received  consideration by the Oromia regional administration to act as per the advice, resulting in  the eviction of innocent poor people around “Sheger City,” multiplied by a number of  scenarios denying Amhara people from entering Addis Ababa. The massacre, eviction,  and massive displacement of Amharas in the Welega area caused by the so-called OLF shene or OLA is another evidence. Someone can make a conclusion that, given the  Amharas and Orthodox Christians’ killings and displacements on different occasions (for  example, Jawar Mohamed’s security issue and Hacaaulu Hundesa’s killing), they have  been orchestrated based on the OSA’s policy statement advice. 

It is for the historians to discuss in detail the historical occurrences in Ethiopian politics as  well as the social sphere. But it is very important to highlight the falsified narratives that are  visible to any shrewd person. 

Asebe Regassa, OSA president, in his introductory statement of the paper states, “Oromia  is under internal colony” since a quarter of the 19th century to date, and Oromos are still  under attack by Amharas, which is unrealistic and doesn’t reflect the truth on the ground. 

The current state of affairs illustrates that the Amharas have not benefited in any way,  apart from being the most disadvantaged group in their daily lives when compared to other Ethiopians to date. In fact, this circumstance was one of the significant factors that  compelled the Amharas to initiate the 1974 Ethiopian revolution. 

Ezikiel Gebissa (Prof.), in addition to his entirely falsified narrations about the Amhara  people, also accuses the Oromo Qerroo. This group played a crucial role in bringing about  the “change” of 2018. Gebissa suggests that the Qerroo was enticed through government  jobs and financial incentives by the OPDO, as a consequence of their reluctance towards  embracing real change. The writer of this piece holds respect for the democratic rights of  all individuals and groups to support any party. Therefore, it is preferable to leave this  matter to the intellects and minds of the concerned Qerroo group to respond.

Mohammed Hassen (Prof.) presents historical scenarios about the “Wollo Oromo” that  seem to be politically motivated rather than accurate historical accounts. It is best to  reserve this topic for historians to address. However, his claim that states “Oromo  language and the Gedda system were banned by the previous regimes” is fundamentally  flawed and far from the truth. The Oromo language has persisted and will continue to do  so. The decline of the Gedda System might be attributed to different religious practices  and the emergence of kingdoms within the Oromo society, I assume. I invite historians to  contribute their insights to this crucial aspect of Ethiopian history. 

Milkessa Gemechu (As. Prof.) discusses the “Naftegna system,” which has never been a  part of global governance practices. It is well-known that the term “Naftegna” is a loaded  phrase used to criticize the Amharas who reside in various parts of Ethiopia, including the  current Oromia administrative region. Including this term in the educational curriculum is  deeply flawed and inappropriate, especially for teaching the Oromo youth. 

Furthermore, Gemechu asserts that “many garrison towns were established, and existing  market centers were transformed into Amhara-dominated sites through the eviction of  indigenous Oromo farmers in areas such as Finfinnee/Addis Ababa, Adama, Bishoftu,  Mojo, and Fiche, and so on.” 

The writer of this piece understands that, with due respect to Mr. Gemechu, his  perspective showcases a high level of ignorance. This ignorance is evident in his lack of  understanding of how cities are established and populated worldwide. Not limited to  Ethiopian cities, hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians populate areas like Washington DC  and cities in Minnesota, USA, just to name a few examples. By the same analogy, would  we imply that Ethiopians have evicted Americans from such regions? I leave this matter to  the judgment of the readers of this piece and the national as well as international  audience. 

Mr. Gemechu’s viewpoint denies the constitutional rights of Ethiopian citizens for free  movement and property acquisition, rights that are guaranteed under Article 32 and 40. He  goes on to explicitly include my birthplace, “Bulga,” and other areas where Amhara people  reside, as part of Oromia. What else could be the cause for inciting violence among people  other than this? It amounts to a xenophobic call for consequential ethnic cleansing.  Surprisingly, the neighboring or integrated Oromo and Amhara people coexist  harmoniously on the ground. 

Gemechu Adimassu Abeshu (Dr.) in his article “The Guest killing the Host”: Amhara  aggression in East and Horro Guduru Wallaga Zones, emphasizes that “All illegal settlers  should be responsibly removed from the lands they unlawfully occupied, and land should  be redistributed to the dispossessed Oromo farmers.” However, Mr. Abeshu overlooks the  fact that there is no unclaimed land in Ethiopia that could be illegally occupied without the  consent of the local people or administration. Moreover, most people in the mentioned  areas were relocated from drought-affected northern Ethiopia before the establishment of  Oromia as a regional administration. Consequently, they are an integral part of the Oromia  regional administration, where all their human and democratic rights should be upheld. 

Tsega Etefa (Prof), in his article “The Roots of Metekkel Violence in Western Ethiopia,”  discusses the cause of the security crisis in the area. The writer of this piece agrees with  some of his viewpoints and his concluding remark that states, “those displaced should return to their homes and be compensated as soon as possible.” Yes, but this should also  encompass the displaced people from Welega and other affected areas. 

The writer of this article is deeply concerned about the behavior exhibited by the scholars  mentioned above. These scholars possess universal knowledge of the 21st century and  are well aware of the democratic cultures of the countries that have provided them shelter  and citizenship as human beings. They have witnessed how each country respects human  dignity and democratic rights. However, it is distressing to observe that they are now  dedicating their time day and night to exacerbate crises among impoverished Ethiopians. 

The question arises: How is it that these distinguished scholars are preoccupied with  dividing people in Africa and fostering a xenophobic attitude, rather than promoting the  education of human and democratic values to bring harmony? Are they somehow cut off  from the influence of the great Western ideals of freedom, democracy, equality, civility, and  fraternity? 

I have great confidence in my Oromo brothers and sisters who significantly and positively  contribute to Ethiopia’s political, social, and economic development, as well as to the  international community at large. I hope they will effectively counter the OSA’s incendiary  paper and reshape the discourse. Political parties formed around Oromo issues should be  attentive to the situation and take all necessary corrective measures to uphold the human  and democratic rights of citizens. Disregarding basic human rights and freedom for the  sake of political games is not justifiable. 

The essence of the so-called “OSA’s policy paper” and its implications highlight one of the  major causes behind the current unrest among the Amhara people, which could potentially  lead to a significant political crisis and even civil war in Ethiopia. Therefore, it is imperative  to emphasize that whatever political ambitions and aspirations are pursued, they must  align with the minimum requirements outlined in the current constitution’s Chapter Three.  This holds especially true for those who claim to be the “guardians of the constitution”;  they must exhibit a higher level of responsibility and demonstrate whether the constitution  is being upheld or not. 

Both the Oromia regional administration and the Federal government undoubtedly bear the  responsibility of dismantling the flawed narratives based on falsehoods. Pursuing justice  for victims is the way forward, rather than further exacerbating the situation. 

Let us unite our efforts to cultivate genuine self-administration and build a greater Ethiopia  across all spheres. In the spirit of understanding, listening proves more fruitful than defending. 

Adefris Belachew, (Ph.D.) 

Contact : adefrisb@hotmail.com 

Reference: 

“Oromia Under Attack: The Rise of Dystopian Amhara Nationalism & the Privatization of Violence Against the Oromo in Ethiopia” July 2023 _By OSA 

Published on,  

WordPress.com 

https://mylibrarianship.wordpress.com › 2023/08/05

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1 COMMENT

  1. Sir,
    I am not surprised by the names you mentioned in your article except for Professor Mohammed Hassen. I always had high regards for him. The brutality he mentioned that was perpetrated on Oromos in the present day Wello region by the mad man Emperor Tedros and the religious fanatic John in the 1860’s and 70’s was all true. It was mentioned in the history book penned by Obbo Bahru bin Zewde. What Professor Mohammed should have mentioned is the fact both Tedros and John were equally ruthless to Amharas and even Tigres who stood up to or challenged them. He should have also mentioned that the current generation is totally and unequivocally innocent from what took place more than 160 years. But the other three have questionable past. One of them was a committed bootlicker of the demonic Mengistu in the 1970’s and 80’s. From what I gathered they are associated with those who used to be Mengistu’s ‘red cubs’.

    They were organized in and around the Meison group that they thought was led by an Oromo, Haile Fida. They were the cruelest murderers in service of Mengistu. One of their victims was my young cousin from Chiron area. He was about 15 years old and I was planning to bring him here. His father had died many years before 1974 and was raised by his loving mother, my aunt. These brutes had asked him to join them but he turned them down. They started calling him pejorative names like ‘neftegna hugger, feudal dog’ and so on. At some point it was too much for him and ended up exchanging blows with one of those commies at the school yard. The red goon was the one who ended up with a bloody nose.

    So one night they came to my cousin’s home and took him away and was never heard again. When my auntie asked them where his baby was they used to tell her that he was sent to a special academy in the western part of the country or even out of the country. My auntie, his mother died asking and wailing for her baby boy. Who knows, some of those demons could be here among us, Europe and Oceania still spewing around poison. That is why I never believed them. Their sight just make my blood boil. That kid was sharp as a tack and he was gone at 15 years old. I have been trying to find out where they might have buried his body for the last 45 years by asking those who were from that area but to no avail. They might have thrown his Allah Blessed body to the wild predators. They used to do that a lot. In fact at one occasion when members of my Itu clan found out that human remains were thrown in the forested area close to their village, they sent a delegation to the regional governor’s office complaining about it. They told the governor that once the wild predators develop a taste for human flesh their shepherd children would be in grave danger. He told them he knew anything about it but he would address their concerns expeditiously. That is a fact.

    My baby cousin could have been one of those they discarded. For that I don’t know how to forgive them. Who knows some of these could have been in that demonic posse of Mengistu. It did not take too long for Mengistu to turn his guns on them. Some of them are bold faced liars and have the audacity to tell us how Mengistu tortured and poisoned them daily for several months and years but they survived. That is why I have nothing but utter contempt for everyone of them.

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