Monday, April 15, 2024
HomeOpinionAn Amhara-Tigray Coalition is the Answer to the Oromummaa Mass Social Psychosis

An Amhara-Tigray Coalition is the Answer to the Oromummaa Mass Social Psychosis

Yonas _ Amhara-Tigray Coalition
Yonas Biru (File)

Yonas Biru, PhD

This article addresses itself to a multitude of factors ranging the gamut from the war Between the scarecrow Field Marshal & ‘David Without a Sling’ Fano to the source of Tigrayan and Amhara political frame of mind that demands destupidifying and rehabilitating their respective political doctrines. 

Allow me to start this article with comments I have been receiving from friends and foes alike both offline and online to change my tone and most importantly to stop “disparaging individuals.” What is surprising to me is that the comments often come when I write about Ethiopian cum Amhara tribal elites, not when I write about Oromo or Tigray tribal elites.  

For example, one of my articles on Oromummaa contained the following: “Mohammed Hasen, Asafa Jalata and Jawar Mohammed are the co-authors of modern-day Oromo political bloodletting that foments conflict and unleashes Mogassa grade savagery against the people of Amhara. They are not only shameful, but also criminal…” 

Another article stated: “Oromummaa intellectuals are one of the most disgraceful and morally malnourished and ethically devoid souls”. 

The reaction form the Ethiopian cum Amhara camp was you have “aptly captured the Oromummaa evil agenda.” More was demanded of me to keep keeping on, not to tone it down or drop it altogether. 

In the meantime, when I write that Shaleka Dawit and Eskinder Nega are “useful idiots” or Eskinder Nega, as a political leader, is “a random walking and noise making clown,” a large part of the Ethiopian cum Amhara space erupts with anger. 

Anchor Media was dropped from Mereja TV cable distribution, after Messay Mekonnen refused to submit to their imperious request to stop inviting me to discuss current issues, alleging that I am anti-Amhara. One of my recent articles on the futile effort of extremist Amhara forces to highjack the Fano movement stirred up the hornet’s nest of extremist wasps, provoking them to sharpen their fang for a social media sting operation against me and any media that dared to give me a platform. Even Anchor Media stopped calling. 

On their part, Oromo intellectuals refused to appear with me in any social media engagement, labeling me “anti-Oromo” and “Oromo phobic”. The evidence they presented against me was one of my articles titled “Slavery and Terror Were Integral Parts of the Gadaa System.” 

The supporting evidence I presented in my article was from Oromummaa experts. For example, Professor Mohammed Hasen, a renowned Oromo historian and international representative of Oromo-Shene is on the record characterizing Oromo warriors during the Mogassa era. 

“Devils who attack in the evening. Their frenzied determination terrorized the populace. When new areas were attacked, the men were killed, and animals were captured. Probably the killing was intended to spread terror among the resisting population while the taking of cattle booty was to enrich themselves. The conquered people were enslaved who were used as gifts and commodities for sale.” 

No one questioned the veracity of my quotes or the substance of my exposé. It is for presenting the truth using Oromo sources that I was branded as an anti-Oromo. 

I believe my expressions about both Oromo and Amhara tribal elites are right, legitimate, and timely. Politicians who have chosen to be in the public life cannot be shielded from candid and evidence-based exposé be they of Oromummaa or of the hermitized Amhara buffoons. Ethiopia’s political landscape has become monopolized by nefarious extremist protagonists and antagonists. Ethiopia will forever be doomed to live in a never-ending grief until her children muster the courage to call out the demented and stupidified souls from within their ranks.

My apology for the long digression. But sometimes digressions give us more insight into the substance of our substance. I do not want to further digress from the digression. So, let me stop here and move on to the issue of the day. 

The Oromummaa Mass Social Psychosis

Before tackling the challenge of forming Amhara-Tigray coalition, we must understand the social ill that demans their unity. 

The doctrine of Oromummaa that undergirds the social ontology of the Oromo tribal elite draws its political theology from 16th century Gadaa militarism – aka Mogassa. Unlike the 16th century Gadaa militarism that was motivated by territorial expansion through terror and slave mongering, current-day Oromo elites are driven by identity crisis. 

The Oromo political elite is the only largest tribal group of a nation in the world that champions a minority political agenda. It is unprecedented in any country to see the largest tribal group advocating and institutionalizing secession as a Constitutional tool for national governance. 

Have you heard English Speaking Canada demanding secession from French speaking Canadians who account for 22.8 percent of the population? Can you imagine, ethnic Russians who account for 72% of the population being infatuated with the notion of secession as a constitutional order? In Nigeria, it is the Ibo that accounts for 18% of Nigeria’s population that calls for secession, not Hausa the largest ethnic group accounting for 30 percent of the population. 

It was one thing for the Oromo political elite to call for secession when it felt undermined in the nation’s business. It is another to harbor the same sentiment after ascending to the apex of the nation’s political totem pole. Trapped in its victimhood political narrative of 50 years, the Oromo tribal political elite has made itself a psychologically damaged good. This has made it impossible for it to adopt a leader’s mindset after it took over the levers of political power and the mantle of nation building responsibility. 

Further, the identity crisis is amply manifested by the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). The OLF that concocted, curated, and narrated “the colonization of Oromia by Ethiopia” ended up joining the TPLF to draft the Current Ethiopian Constitution that presents the Oromo tribal land as an integral part of Ethiopia. 

No group in Africa or elsewhere in the world has willfully submitted to be assimilated by the very nation that it accuses of committing genocide against it that allegedly wiped-out 50 percent its population. This is not politics. It is a psychological crisis of national identity of mass psychosis proportions.

Though the OLF and TPLF were the joint architects of the current Ethiopian Constitution, Oromo tribalism differs from Tigryan tribalism in fundamental ways. 

First, TPLF had only one target in terms of a socio-political entity: The Amhara. For the rest of tribal lands, its policy was live and let live. Building Tigryan hegemony was a project that did not seek to politically annihilate others barring the Amhara. Oromo tribal political elites are targeting anything and everything that is not of Oromo heritage. Second, the Oromo tribal elite’s inability to see itself as part of the whole, has left it incompetent to solve national problems that require collective effort. 

Simply put, the Oromo tribal political elite has proven intellectually incapable and psychologically unsuitable to hold the mantle of national responsibility.  Ethiopia, as a nation, is facing an existential problem from Oromummaa. The answer is Amhara-Tigray political coalition. But this requires destupidifying and rehabilitating the Amhara and Tigray political elites. Let us start with Tigray.

Tigryan Political Elites are Like Oromo Political Elites in Some Fundamental Way

Tigrayans see anything Tigryan leaders have done in centuries past or recent current is justified and legitimized. If the same thing is done to them, they perpetually lament as victims of injustice. This is what they have in common with Oromo elites. In the 16th century, Oromos lived in small areas in southern part of Ethiopia. During the Mogassa expansion period, they invaded a large part of Ethiopia going as far to the North as Wello and Gonder. Some say even Tigray. 

Mogassa expansionists committed unimaginable atrocities and forcefully assimilated other tribes including the Amhara of Wello into the Oromo tribal empire. They celebrate this as nation building. They insist that all the lands they invaded by force must be considered their legitimate land with inalienable ownership rights. In the meantime, they accuse the Amhara of colonizing Oromo after the expansion of Emperor Menilik’s reign into the Oromo tribal land that was created after the Mogassa expansion.

Tigryan elite’s narratives of the emperors Yohannes (Tigryan) and Menilik (Amhara) echoes the Oromo double standard wholesale. Yohannes became the king of kings of Ethiopia, having defeated Amhara kings and secured their submission. Tigrayans celebrate him as their hero and anoint him as a legitimate king of Ethiopia. After Yohannes’s death, Menilik reclaimed the throne back in the Amhara hand. Tigrayan political elite consider this an unlawful and illegitimate usurpation of power from Tigrayan people. 

The Tigro-Oromo philosophy of “everything I took from you is mine; anything you took from me is unjust and condemnable” is also seen in the Wolkait conflict. 

Let us for now ignore who had ownership right over Wolkait over the last 100 years. Those who are interested in the historical claim and counterclaim of Wolkait between Amhara and Tigray can read my piece titled “The Amhara-Oromo-Tigray Conflict Nexus in Ethiopia: Challenges, Opportunities and a Way Forward.” The article presents both sides of the debate using historical documents going back several centuries.

Focusing on the recent past, Ras Mengesha Seyoum, a Tigrayan and former governor of Tigray (1960-1974), told the Voice of America: “When I was the governor of Tigray, [Wolkait] was under present-day Amhara region. The same was true when I was a child growing up.” This is reiterated by Dr. Aregawi Berhe, the founding chairperson of TPLF: “Wolkait was annexed from current day Amhara during the TPLF gorilla days. The land was critical to get an outlet into Sudan to smuggle weapons and transport food for TPLF fighters. It was unjust for the Amhara.”

There are many TPLF founding members reaffirming this, including Abraham Yayeh who in 1982 confirmed Wolkait was taken from current day Amhara tribal land. He further confirmed the people of Wolkait were Amharic speaking. In 1991, the TPLF officiated what it had annexed by force. After 1991, the TPLF settled tens of thousands of Tigrayans in Wolkait, forced all schools to teach only in Tigrigna, and compelled all government offices to adopt Tigrigna as the official language.

We all know that during the TPLF era, the Wolkait freedom committee was protesting TPLF’s annexation of their homeland. Members of the Committee were arrested in Sululta (outside of Addis Ababa) when they were traveling to file a peaceful appeal to the Ethiopian Parliament. Protesters in Wolkait were delt with harsh and swift punishments, including mass murders and mass graves. Those who were spared extrajudicial murder were forced to flee. 

Current leaders of Tigray know this firsthand because they were the perpetrators. Yet, they want the world to close its eyes to the facts and support them in legitimizing their false narrative. 

In 2020, Amhara took over Wolkait by force. Today, the Amhara administrators of Wolkait are doing what TPLF has done over a span of 27 years in terms of social engineering to change the demography of the land. Tigrayans are exiled and Amharas are ushered in to take their place. Schools are required to teach in Amharic and the official language of government offices has swung back to Amharic.

For Amhara and Tigray political elites Wolkait has become the proverbial tail wagging the proverbial dog. Both populations face an existential threat from Oromummaa, but neither of their political class can see beyond the conflict surrounding Wolkait.

Today, the only hope the people of Tigray have is to run away from Tigray. Wolkait is not on their mind. Sheer survival is what is gripping their body and soul. The number of Tigryan beggars in Addis Ababa and other big cities has increased astronomically. No tribal homeland has suffered from the current political environment more than Tigray. 

Tigryan political elites are yet to accept their share of accountability to the crisis. Tigray accounts for only 5 to 6 percent of the population. It is also a resource barren land. If the current situation drags, the crisis in Tigray will be felt for generations to come. 

Self-preservation demands Tigryans to contemplate their fate, honestly examine the causes of their misery, and chart a way forward. This requires shifting the lens away from blaming others and focusing more onto themselves. There is a need to revisit the tribal constitution they imposed on the nation expecting to rule Ethiopia for many decades. When they lost the levers of power, Tigray became a victim of reality: A minority demography and a resource-barren land.

The transformation from an alpha-tribe to a periphery tribe (አጋር ብሄር) is socially and politically traumatizing. But self-preservation requires gathering cooler heads and seeking new political parameters and paradigm for survival, focusing on a win-win strategy and outcome. The alternative is catastrophic. 

The Need to Emancipate the Amhara Political Elite from the Thorns of Hermitized Politics

The hermitization of Amhara politics is no less damaging to the fabrics of Ethiopia than the tribalization of Oromo and Tigryan politics. To think otherwise is intellectually dishonest. It also reflects the lack of fitness for political life, manifesting an erotic passion for going along to get along with extremist buffoons. 

The problem with the hermitization of Amhara politics is that it brings with it an Orthodox Christian theology that like all other religions sees the universe in right or wrong and a sin or a blessing prism. It sees politics as a binary choice between an ecclesiastical reverence and an untamed demonic alternative, with no middle ground or gray area for compromise. Its adherents see nothing wrong with their side of the political divide or find anything positive in their adversaries. 

Let us look at how the Amhara hermitized political class failed to leverage differences within the Oromo political elite, not only between Ethiopianist and tribalist Oromos but also within the ranks of tribalist Oromos. Allow me to expend some space on this because the Oromo political dynamic depends not only on Oromo’s proactive motives but also on its reactive actions to Amhara’s political positions.  

When Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed took the helm of the nation’s political architecture, there were three distinct Oromo political forces. On the right, there was the extremist Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) along with its Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). The Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) led by Prime Minister Abiy constituted the second group. Oromo tribalists saw the Prime Minister and the ODP as Pan Ethiopianist. On the left, Team Jawar constituted the third political force. 

Sensing the end of OLF’s era and fearing the dawning of a new political season under a young Oromo Prime Minister, Jawar Mohammed tried to seize the middle ground between OLF and ODP with a three-pronged strategy.

The first prong focused on pushing the OLF and its old guards off the cliff. On December 31, 2018, Jawar accused the head of OLF (Dawud Ibsa) of failing to rein in the extremist elements within his organization, most particularly the OLA. On January 21, 2019, he went further on his official Facebook page, stating “ዳውድ ኢብሳ መታሰረ ያለበት ይመስለኛል” (In my opinion Dawud Ibsa needs to be arrested). He also made a public call for the forced disarmament of the OLA.

The second prong focused on undermining the Prime Minister and his party – the ODP. This involved polarizing and unleashing his Qerro foot soldiers to make the Oromo region ungovernable as a bargaining strategy to win political concessions from the Prime Minister.

Jawar’s third-prong strategy aimed at creating a political force between OLF’s liberation theology and ODP’s agenda that it considered to be leaning toward an Ethiopianist agenda. He joined the Oromo People’s Congress (OPC) whose political agenda was hovering between those of ODP and OLF.

On September 13, 2019, Jawar issued a bold video message to the Prime Minister, not to tinker with using constitutional reform as its election strategy. In the same video he announced that the ODP cannot go to the election before it agrees on a power-sharing arrangement with other Oromo parties. 

“We will not allow competition within the various Oromo parties… We must build a consensus and have a united front behind the current ethnic federalist system,” he asserted in the same video message. He further added: “We cannot allow ODP behave like a ship that has lost its compass… They cannot tell us this is their party, and they can do what they choose to do. We will not allow that.”  He told the Prime Minister to do as he said, or else get prepared to get “a calendar with Ethiopia’s expiration date.” 

When the PM ignored the ultimatum, in November 2019, Jawar told the New York Times, “I will challenge him. And I will defeat him, there is no question about it.”

On December 1, 2019, the PM announced the Prosperity Party (PP). All major Ethnic Parties barring TPLF joined the PP. In February 2020, the PP’s introductory tour in Southern People and Oromia tribal homelands attracted far more people than Team Jawar thought possible. Tens of thousands of supporters came out to listen to and cheer the Prime Minister across Wellega, Bale Goba, Bedelie and Harar. A similar PP support rally in Ambo was called off after a “bomb attack” injured 30 people waiting to hear PM Abiy’s speech. 

In the Kembata Tempero zone of  the Southern Peoples region, enthusiastic PP supporters  started to form lines at 3:00 AM to listen to PM Abiy. In Hawaasa, the capital of Southern Peoples region, the city’s stadium was filled to the brim with PP supporters

Having seen the strong support that the Prime Minister was amassing in what the OFC leaders believed their support base, they chose to swing to the left and aligned themselves with the OLF and OLA. 

In January 2020, at a Salaalee-Ficheee political rally, Dr. Merera Gudina, President of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) announced the Oromo “will lay an exclusive claim over the national palace” named after Menilik and erect statutes of Oromo Heroes, removing Menilik’s statue. 

At the same rally, Haile Michaiel Tadese (an Oromo Religious figure), declared only native Oromos will be allowed to lead Oromo Churches. One can be a fourth-generation Ethiopian living in the Oromo ethnic region, and a native speaker of the language, he/she would still be unqualified to lead a sermon. 

Soon enough, their extremist brand lost support from the Oromo people and they realized they had no chance of achieving Jawar’s goal of winning 350 seats for federalist forces. They were aware that whoever won the election would determine the breadth and depth of any constitutional reform. 

They did not want to be a member of a Parliament that they feared was likely to reform the constitution. They withdrew from the planned elections and called for total boycott throughout the Oromo tribal land. Oromo-Shene threw its weight behind them, announcing that anyone who dared to show up at the election stations will be killed. 

Rejecting OFC’s and OLF’s call for boycott and defying Oromo-Shene’s bomb threat, 74 percent of the eligible Oromo voters came out to vote and 98 percent of them casted their votes for PP. 

In the meantime, Jawar’s stars faded, and the viewership of his Oromo Media Network (OMN) went through a free-fall, drying up his source of cash. Before he declared war against the PM, OMN used to get hundreds of thousands of views per news release. Today most of the video clips attract less than 10,000 viewers. Many of them settle in the 4000 to 5000 range. His Qerro foot soldiers dissipated like morning dew.

Apart from losing the prospect of winning majority seats and the dissolution of his Qerro and OMN empire, Jawar lost the confidence of Oromo political leaders. General Kemal Gelchu, Chair of the Oromo National Party (ONP), went on the record stating both the OMN and the Oromo cause will suffer “unless it frees itself from Jawar.” 

Why was Jawar arrested? As BBC reported, “Trouble started when Hachalu’s body was being transported to his native town of Ambo for burial, but Mr. Jawar and his supporters intercepted it and returned it to the capital” contrary to Hachalu’s parent’s wish not to politicize his funeral. Jawar’s intention was to organize a political funeral. According to the Economist, one officer was killed after a scuffle broke out between Jawar’s security detail and the police. 

The fact that Hachalu’s family did not want anything to do with Jawar and OLF was clear at Hachalu’s funeral. When extremist elements wanted to put OLF’s banner on the casket, one of Hachalu’s brother snatched it and threw it on the ground.

The story that the Prime Minister had Jawar arrested fearing that he would lose the election to OFC is bull crap. Jawar was a damaged good having been totally rejected from Christian dominated areas of the Oromo tribal land. The fact that OMN viewership has dwindled from hundreds of thousands per individual program to the current 4,000 to 5,000 whisper the truth loud and clear. 

The fact that Jawar and Bekele Gerba (the second and third leaders of OFC) fled the country and that today OFC is a diminished version of its past witness its eroded social base. Merera Gudina paid dearly for allowing Jawar and Bekele to radicalize the OFC. Today, poor Merera is a sitting duck with only a fading memory of his pre Jawar past.

Sadly, in the hermitized Amhara political landscape, all Oromo political forces are seen as one and the same. Tigray and Oromo forces spend day and night to create cracks between Amhara forces and widen it through propaganda and other methods. Amhara elites spend time and energy denying existing conflicts within Oromo forces. Their political template is chiseled in stone with “You are either 100% with me or 100% against me” edict. Anything less than 100% congruence with their view is put in the enemy column. 

The same political edict has made it impossible to form a consensus within the Amhara forces. Every little difference between them is seen as existential difference and a life and death contention. Eskinder Nega’s recent speech drives this point home. The Patriarch of the hermitized kingdom characterized Amhara Fanos and their diaspora support ecosystem, who do not bow before thee, as “money-driven traders in human blood.” 

This is why I say the hermitized Amhara’s political doctrine manifests a near ecclesiastical reverence or an untamed demonic dread with no middle ground or gray area for compromise. Candor obliges me to say there is no way out of this problem short of telling the hermitized class and its extremist strain in its midst to fuck off. The fate of tens of millions of Amhara and the future of over 120 million Ethiopians depend on it.

As noted above, the Oromo’s political dynamic depends not only on the proactive motives of Oromo parties but also on their reactive actions to Amhara’s political positions. The weakening of moderate forces in Oromo politics and the rise of Oromo extremist elements were partly influenced by rising extremism in Amhara politics.

The War Between the Scarecrow Field Marshal & ‘David Without a Sling’ Fano

Prime Minister Abiy is the most hated leader Ethiopia has seen in modern times. He is hanging onto power on a borrowed time with the help of Field Marshal Berhanu Julla who is a cross between a scarecrow and Baghdad Ali – a scarecrow in a battlefield and Baghdad Ali in front of a camera. 

What do I mean by Fano is a 21st approximation of the proverbial David without a sling? If I were to use a different metaphor, I would say Fano is a 16-wheeler truck rolling down a hill without a transmission or steering wheel. The fact that it is moving, and advancing is not the issue. Where it may end up landing is what makes it both defenseless and potentially dangerous; thus, the metaphor ‘David without a sling’. David had the heart of a heroic warrior. But without his sling he had no chance. 

The sling in the case of Fano epitomizes the lack of a unifying agenda, political strategy, a consensus end goal, and a concomitant roadmap. I have written many pieces on this issue. I do not want to reiterate the issue here. But I invite you to read just a few of my articles, including: “Do Not Let an Extremist Amhara Wing Hijack the Fanno Movement” (July 30, 2023); “The Fano Manifest: A Proposal” (August 15, 2023); “Fano’s Success Depends on Accepting Eskinder Nega is Not the Eleventh Commandment” (November 8, 2023); And “Critical Steps to Jumpstart Fano’s Stalling Momentum” (November 19, 2023).  

In Conclusion

If the current war in the Amhara tribal land drags for years, the region will suffer for a long time. This has direct implication on the fate of not only Amhara but also of the nation and by implication of Tigray. Tigray cannot return to normalcy without a sustained support from the federal government and a peaceful Amhara. Without a prolonged war the federal government will not be able to support Tigray’s reconstruction. Without peace in Amhara, economic reconstruction will be a difficult undertaking in Tigray because of transportation problem and lost trade between the two neighbors. 

In the grand scheme of things, who controls Wolkait today is not relevant. Whoever controls it will not find peace as the other will stay in lay waiting for the right opportunity to strike. It is both in the Tigray and Amhara interests to find it possible to delay the Wolkait issue until after a democratic government is established. A win-win short term strategy requires finding an agreement on temporary terms and conditions to avoid sparking or sustaining further conflicts. There is no point in fighting for Wolkait at the expense of losing Tigray and Amhara to Oromummaa zealots. 

The good thing is that the Amhara public and many Fano leaders are now beginning to see the missing proverbial sling. The bad thing is that Amhara extremist forces remain to be an obstacle. Similarly, there are some undercurrents in Tigray calling for a coalition with Amhara. This cannot be possible until the Tigray political elite abandons its “everything I took from you is mine; anything you took from me is unjust and condemnable” tribal theology.

To reiterate the most important line in this article, there is no way out of this problem short of telling the Amhara hermitized political class and the Tigray tribalized ruling junta to fuck off in the language they understand. This is important for Amhara not only in the war with the scarecrow Field Marshall but also in establishing a coalition with Tigryans.  In the same way, it is important for Tigray because it will silence the perpetrators of Tigryan misery.

Editor’s note : Views in the article do not necessarily reflect the views of borkena.com

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5 COMMENTS

  1. it is a long standing policy of Ethiopian successive dictators, to divide and rule the Ethiopian diverse society and Abiye Ahmed is no deference than previous dictators.

  2. what is frustrating for me is that, the people of Ethiopia doesn’t seem to be learning from past mistake, they go along with the systems of divid and rules and they keep on fighting at one another, which is very sad, and devastating to the families and the regions.

  3. Dr. Yoas writes effectively and presents insightful ideas. However, my concern with him is his tendency to assign blame even to those who are striving under challenging circumstances, such as Eskider and Shaleqa Dawit, without providing any tangible offencse. Instead of offering support, encouragement, and upliftment, his comments often demonize them.

    Furthermore, he overlooks certain facts and realities, frequently drawing comparisons between dissimilar situations. He fails to provide any substantial evidence to compare the actions going on in the Amhara and Oromo communities. There have been no reported cases of Oromo killing or robbing Oromos or any other Ethiopians by Amharas. Even in the heat of battle, Amhara Fanos fighters educate and release captured Oromo combatants. The Amhara governance model is built on principles of law and order, ensuring that no individual faces discrimination based on ethnicity or race in areas such as education, employment, or land distribution since the Derg era, to the best of my knowledge.

    I am unaware of any historical instances where Amharas have encroached upon or unlawfully acquired land or property in the capital city. Upon Oromo leader Abiy Ahmed’s rise to power, the appointment of Takele Uma and Adanech Abebe to oversee Addis Ababa resulted in the improper transfer of much of the city’s vacant land to the Oromo community without following due process or payment, in violation of the master plan.

    Dr. Yonas fails to provide concrete evidence of harm caused by Amharas, while there is ample evidence against Oromo liberation fighters. His attempt to define “Amhara Shene” lacks substance as the ideology does not stand on equal ground with that of “Oromo Shene.”

    The possibility of an Amhara-Tigre alliance in the current context is not viable. It would necessitate the downfall of the TPLF and a shift in the mindset of the Tigrayan elite. The animosity towards Amharas is not limited to the TPLF; the Tigrayan elites harbor even more intense animosity towards Amhara. The presence of Tsegaye Ararsa, Eskiael Gabbissa, and Heok Gabissa at a discussion table alongside Alula Solomon and other Tigrayan elites denouncing the actions of the Amharas makes it challenging to envision an alliance between the two groups. The Oromo elites have labelled Abiy Ahmed as a Neftegna agent and accused his government of being Minilikite, despite the challenges faced by the Amharas in contemporary Ethiopia. They have yet to apologize for using derogatory terms to vilify the Amharas. If they were to gain power and control over the Amharas and Tigray, one can only speculate on their actions. The short-sightedness of the Tigrayan elites is evident, as they think if the OLF would prevail it would likely expel only the Amharas from Addis Ababa and other regions, treating them as privileged individuals.

  4. Dr. Yonas in fact has an ax to grind and he doesn’t seem to be concerned with what’s taking place in the country currently. He seems concerned that there may be a misunderstanding regarding Oromummaa and its role within Ethiopian society the reason why he wants the two ethnic groups to come together to fight it. Let me clarify: Oromummaa primarily concerns the Oromo people and their historical grievances. It’s understandable to assert that may not directly pertain to the broader Ethiopian populace represented by the federal government. The federal government, in turn, isn’t inclined to impose Oromummaa on non-Oromo Ethiopians, echoing past colonial practices that enforced cultural norms.

    Oromummaa holds significance within the Oromo community, addressing grievances against what they perceive as historical colonizers. However, this doesn’t imply that the federal government, particularly those involved in ousting the TPLF, aims to establish an ethnically exclusive regime. It’s worth acknowledging that the Tigrayans themselves were victims, and reconciling with other ethnic groups may be complex. It’s crucial for non-Oromos not to fear Oromummaa as it doesn’t directly concern them. Nevertheless, its principles can offer valuable insights and perspectives that can be adapted and integrated into diverse belief systems. While Oromummaa could serve as a manifesto for the Oromia region, other regions should formulate their own manifestos. The federal government’s role should be to facilitate cooperation and unity among these diverse ethnic manifestos. While native Oromos within the federal government may advocate for Oromummaa’s objectives, it shouldn’t be enforced as a federal doctrine.

  5. Yonas Biru’s recent articles in Borkena present a one-sided view of the complex issues plaguing Ethiopia. Let’s examine the problematic aspects of his arguments:

    Ignoring Historical Tensions: The proposal for an Amhara-Tigray alliance ignores the historical tensions between the two groups including during the genocidal war. Building trust requires acknowledging this past.

    The Current Crisis Demands Accountability: The brutal genocidal war in Tigray and the ongoing forceful and illegal occupation of Tigray have caused immense suffering. Yonas Biru’s narrative of a simple “law enforcement operation” whitewashes the genocide documented against Tigrayans and the ongoing forceful and illegal occupation. There can be no trust without accountability for these atrocities.

    TPLF’s Role and Missed Opportunities: The Tigray People’s Liberation Front’s (TPLF) time in power had its shortcomings. However, their efforts to establish a federal system that recognized ethnic identities were a step towards addressing ethnic grievances.

    Enduring Tigrayan Identity: Yonas Biru downplays the enduring strength of Tigrayan identity and resilience. Throughout history, Tigrayans have fiercely resisted domination. To suggest this identity has vanished disregards our historical struggles.

    Trivializing Oromo Grievances: Biru’s dismissive term “mass psychosis” for the Oromo people’s grievances erases their legitimate struggles for self-determination and equal rights. Ignoring their historical marginalization hinders any chance of lasting peace.

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