A ranting and notorious Jawar Mohammed who was painting a picture of a fierce ethnic Oromo revolutionary prominent for his “Ethiopia out of Oromia,” and “mencha” speech , is sounding docile and pacifist
Before ascending to power and shortly afterward, Abiy Ahmed portrayed himself as a competent, pro-Ethiopian, and pacifist leader. Despite garnering unprecedented popular support, barely two years into his tenure, he demonstrated a lack of these values and the ability to effectively lead a country. The worsening political stability, security, and economic conditions in Ethiopia compared to the time before he came to power stand as clear evidence of this. And he shifted from pacifist to war-monger leader. After ending the power-struggle-triggered war against the Tigray People’s Liberation Front, he is now waging a devastating war in the Amhara region.
While Abiy positioned himself as a pro-Ethiopian and pacifist leader, Jawar Mohammed, linked to the massacre of hundreds of ethnic Amharas in Ethiopia’s Oromia region due to security claims he made, presented himself as a powerful ethnic Oromo revolutionary. He was among the Oromo activists advocating for the “Oromo revolution” and wielded considerable influence, even surpassing the ethnic Oromo group in power within the Federal government under Abiy Ahmed’s leadership in 2018. Following Hachalu Hundessa assassination, Jawar was arrested and detained for over a year.
In a recent interview with Dereje Haile, host of Benegerachin Lay, Jawar Mohammed appeared to adopt a more pacifist tone. Asked why he seems to be passive, he said that “he had time to talk to himself when he was in jail.” When asked if he had determined the perpetrator behind Hachalu Hundessa’s assassination based on information he gathered so far, he stated, “I do not want to speculate. It is unjust. I do not have conclusive evidence to attribute it to a group or individual. Even if I do, revealing it now would not be useful. I hope the truth will come out someday.”
Asked how he heard about the assassination, he recounted learning of the incident the same night from a government official who called him to inform him about it. He said the official, whom he declined to disclose, told me “They killed the boy.” Jawar’s immediate reaction was the need for a state funeral for Hachalu. He said “I did not think that his funeral would be the next day.” He called the development traumatizing and does not want to go into detail. Before long, he was arrested but he linked his arrest to the then national election. Public speculation previously suggested Jawar’s possible involvement in Hachalu’s assassination to instigate a crisis for leveraging power against Abiy Ahmed’s faction. This speculation primarily stemmed from Hachalu Hundessa’s appearance on OMN media, owned and founded by Jawar himself, days before his killing, where he spoke against radical ethnic nationalist groups.
In the initial part of the interview, Dereje did not inquire about the massacre of hundreds of ethnic Amharas in the Oromia region, despite Jawar’s social media update claiming that his life was in danger is known to have triggered the situation. However, Dereje did ask if Jawar fears for his life, to which he responded, “security personnel think there is a risk to my life.” He emphasized taking precautions, expressing a desire to prevent any incident related to his security in the country. He called his action “ risk avoidance.”
Primarily in the interview’s first part, Jawar mostly spoke from his academic background as a political scientist, attempting to appear pro-peace without issues with ruling elites, ethnic Tigray and Amhara elites. Yet, he clearly aimed to maintain his political support base as an ethnic Oromo nationalist. Similar to other Ethnic Oromo nationalist politicians, he referred to Addis Ababa as Finfinnee during the interview. His unyielding ambition for power remains evident.
Watch the first part of his interview below.
Join the conversation. Follow us on twitter @zborkena to get the latest Ethiopian News updates regularly. Subscribe to YouTube channel To share information or for submission, send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org