By Dr. Tibebu Abdisa Aga
Why is Ethiopia on the verge of self-destruction and division under the leadership of Abiy Ahmed and his ethnic Oromo elite gangs? This is a million-dollar question. To answer it, one has to understand the history, group and individual psychology, and cultural practices as the roots of these elites. It might need experts in various fields like anthropology, psychology, history, politics, and sociology for a deeper understanding. However, in this short piece, short analysis from different perspectives is provided to pave the way for deeper analysis by the experts in each field.
Historical Perspective. There is considerable debate about the origin of the Oromo people in general. Some say that they came from Madagascar and settled in northern Kenya and southern part of Ethiopia. They later migrated (expanded) towards central and eastern modern Ethiopia during and after the Grange Mohammed time. This expansionist mindset helped them to conquer the area until the river Mereb, on the borders of Eritrea in the past. They claim that the names of places like Mekele, Raya, Werbabu, Were Ilu, Were Hemeno, Bati, and so on have Oromo roots. However, others claim that these places, including Finifine (Addis Ababa), had original names before the expansionists forcefully changed them. The expansionist mindset still exists within the Oromo elites. That is why they are now calming the Red Sea’s and Indian Ocean’s presence. It is important to remark that the majority peace-loving Oromo population does not have such ambition as their political elites, though.
Cultural Perspective. The Oromumma elites complain that they are forced to adapt to a culture of the Semitic group including the Christian and Islam religion. They murmur that they are forced to study the Amharic language without their consent. They complain that the northern people the Semitic people, including the Amhara, Gurage, Tigray people, and others) dominate the culture in the country. They stand against the Orthodox church since most of the clerics are from the Northern people, and the church is perceived as a means for dominance by the Northerners over them. They complain that these people take their land. Even though many famous people, in many respects, in the country come from the Oromo (mixed Oromo) ethnic group (Tilahun Gesese, Abebe Bikila, Abdisa Aga, Tsegaye Gabre-Medhin, Gobena, Mengistu Hailemariyam, …), they complain that these are Ethiopianized people who do not represent the Oromo people. Especially the existing Oromo elites have nostalgia towards Amharic as a national language and school subject while they grow up. They even preferred the flag that was suggested to them by one German missionary over the three colors, green-yellow-red, based flag that symbolizes freedom for many African countries. They seem allergic to the green, yellow, and red flags in general.
Psychological Perspective. The Oromummaa politicians as a group show a common psychological disorder. They all exhibit an inferiority complex with the Semitic groups, especially with their neighbor elites from the Amhara ethnic groups. Hence, through time, they have developed resentment, hatred, and rejection towards the Ethiopians, especially the Amharaized Ethiopia. This shapes their daily actions. This hatred and complexity is seen every day by killing the people from Tigray, Amhara, and other ethnic groups, even if they are children or women. This is a psychological status that needs help before it is too late. They claim that the Oromo culture is inclusive, but their action contradicts their claim.
Cognitive Perspective. The present Oromumma leaders from the OPDO (now PP) and OLF (OLA) use a very low-level strategy that can be defined as a short-sighted, ineffective, inconsistent, and non-rigorous method. For example, they asked the Eritrean govt, Fano, and Afar to join them in fighting TPLF, and in a short period, within a few months, they changed their alliance with TPLF and started to attack FANO. They also ask Eritrea to join their operation against FANO. When they get a negative response, they are now planning to attack Eritrea in the name of getting a port and controlling the Red Sea politics. One day they claim that they are friends of the western bloc, and the next day they brag about their BRICS membership. Such instability, መንቀዥቀዥ, is a result of low-level, non-rigorous, non complex thinking. It seems they are led by emotions (ደመ ነፍስ), void of cognitive complexity. Such instability has cost them trust in the country; almost all the ethnic groups are building momentum against their leadership. It is just a matter of time before enemies surround them and 360 degrees around the region. Even beyond the borders of the country, among the Horn countries, east African countries, African level, and further at the international stage, such void of cognitive complexity is observed, and everyone is detecting/sensing/smelling rats about them.
Political Perspective. In politics, one has to build coalitions to get momentum across the country. They managed to do so when they cooperated with the Amhara elite to overthrow the Tigrean elite from 4-Kilo in Addis Ababa. After they defeated TPLF in the two-year war (with the help of Afar, Amhara, and Eritreans), they abandoned the Amhara PP and planned to create the Oromo hegemony in the country. They blocked the democratic rights of the Amhara people in many ways. When resistance from the people built against such dominance, they used the Pretoria agreement as a basis to destroy the strength of the Amhara people. Remember, they got political power mainly due to the Oromo-Amhara elites’ coalition. They abandoned that coalition to pursue the Oromo empire in eastern Africa. However, they face massive resistance from FANO. The FANO victory is galvanizing the whole country. Even the whole world heard about the discipled freedom fighters. የቆጡን አወርድ ብላ የብ ብቷን ጣለችው አንደሚሉ, they soon are losing their political power due to the massive defeat by FANOs. On top of all these, they are also claiming to get a Port on the Red Sea. They want to go to war with neighboring countries for it. The army is losing its strength day by day, let alone going to war with Eritrea, Djibouti, and Somalia. ትለብሰው የላት ትከናነበው አማራት አንደሚሉ !
Advice for Oromummas. It is good to ask genuine questions for yourselves. What did not work yesterday does not work today or tomorrow. Justice, freedom, and equality are the sustainable way forward. It is good to reconcile with history to act wisely today and shape the future. Please think critically and constructively. Everything you complain that has happened to you, will not be acceptable by others. Prefer the way of fairness. This unstable way of jumping here and there will hurt you much. Come to your senses. Heal your mind and soul. Try to collaborate with other fellow citizens in the country to build a beautiful nation that includes everybody. Sustainable way of life is attained by planning to live together with others via the rule of law and justice. Ethiopia is enough for everyone. The Oromo people will not be a loser if a fair Ethiopia is built for every single Ethiopian in the country.
However, now you are nervous and unstable since you are thinking day and night: “We should not lose this chance,” “This is our time,” “We should not do like TPLF,” “4-kilo is ours, the bank is ours; the tank is ours; the intelligence is ours; the political powers are ours; this chance should not get out of our hand. Overthinking this makes you madder. Please come out of this “Teregnnet” mindset! Abandon this ethnic-based politics and save the people in the country from the next massacre. Repent! Change your course Before it is too late!
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