Concern about the killings of Oromo students in the Amhara Region (Open Letter from OSA)
Dr. Abiy Ahmed Ali, Prime Minister
Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
Office of the Prime Minster
P.O. Box 1031
Dear Mr. Prime Minister:
I am writing this letter on behalf of the Oromo Studies Association (OSA), out of grave concern about the widespread killings and the stranding of thousands of Oromo students in the Amhara region at the hands of the Amhara ultranationalists. I write on behalf of OSA, a scholarly organization for whom the well-being of Oromo students sits squarely within its mission.
We are exceedingly concerned on the notice that the Amhara ultranationalists’ ideas and colonial nostalgia are settled in the minds of the Amhara regional government officials, police forces, university professors, students, and others. The problem is so widespread and deep that we envision no quick fix. For this reason, we ask you help the Oromo students stranded in the Amhara region by pulling them out of this danger zone and bring them back to Oromia and other friendly universities so that they can peacefully pursue their studies in Oromia or elsewhere. We also ask that those who are responsible for the killings and physical, as well as psychological injuries, be brought to justice. It is our hope that your government puts in place a healthy teaching and training program to diffuse and pacify this region where hate crime is becoming the norm to which our young have fallen victims.
What are the motives of hate speech, crimes, and colonial nostalgia? The founding father of the Ethiopian state is emperor Menelik II—an Amhara national. Hence, certain sects of the Amhara society claim special status, and some even boldly say, “as human beings bow to the creator, the Ethiopians need to bow to the founders, i.e., the Amharas. Therefore, the objectives are a) framing the Ethiopian state structure and policies in the Amhara interest; b) legitimizing the ethnic cleansing committed in Finfinnee/Addis Ababa, Dire-Dawa, and other places; c) glorifying the ruthless emperor; d) reversing and stopping the political reform; e) and maintaining and widening the unfair advantage that the Amhara elites are enjoying. This makes colonial nostalgia one of the dangerous social forces in the region. Instead of enhancing collaboration, coordination, and understanding, promoting colonial nostalgia and ignoring the horror committed by the emperor is widening the differences between people and creating a fertile condition for violence.
Violence is predictable and preventable. OSA upholds the view that hate can be detrained, and respect for human rights can be cherished through education. But it defeats the very purpose when learning institutions become the place where hateful crimes are committed. It saddens us when Oromo students are killed, and thousands of them stranded simply because of their identity, being Oromos. It saddens us, even more, when the killings are so savage, i.e., stoning and stabbing the victims. The rise of hate speech dehumanizing a segment of the population and the romanticizing ruthless emperors as universal heroes have all contributed to the worsening situation.
Violence is contagious, and it thrives in the absence of good governance, democracy, and respect for human rights. As I write this letter in several universities, Oromo students are harassed by the Ethiopian security forces. When the government authorities sponsor violence, it makes it acceptable for individuals and groups to instigate violence. Preventing violence necessitates that state-sponsored violence stopped. Universities do not prepare students to be blind followers; instead, make them critical thinkers. We also ask your government to respect the rights of students to question authorities and peacefully protest.
Dear Prime Minister:
An attack on the Oromo students is a hate crime, and it is an attack on the future of the Oromo nation. The emotional scar on young people is long-lasting, affecting their cognitive, emotional, physical, and moral character. This is the time when they develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Exposing young Oromo men and women to violence and a toxic social environment, i.e., psychological terror, anger, and hate, hinders the development of those essential life skills and the overall healthy development of the young. In its turn, it impedes the sustainable development of Oromia and the Horn of Africa. The role of the Federal and Regional governments is to stop hate speech, crime, and create a safe learning environment.
Wittingly or not, the regional government-funded, trained, and armed the ultranationalist group later turned criminal rouges killing and harming Oromo students. They trained them for trench war, sabotage, spying, intelligence gathering, and misinformation. Consistent with their training on regular and social media, the Amhara regional government authorities undermined the seriousness of the savage killings of Oromo students and even hinted that it was just a kind of justifiable “revenge.” Prominent Amhara media personnel twisted the causes of the problem and widely circulated false information. They explained the problems as if the Oromo people and students caused them. Ignoring horror and undermining the demands of the people for social justice is a recipe for conflict. No society benefits from conflict- except criminals.
We understand that the socio-economic problems of Ethiopia are complex. Most of the people live below the poverty line. Hate speech, colonial nostalgia, and hate crimes are part of the problem. Colonial nostalgics have a historical memory of their emperor Menelik II, whom they call “እምዬ ምንልክ” — “Mother Menelik”. They call him mother because he had rescued many hungry Amharas from starvation. He rescued them at the cost of other people. Indeed, the emperor indiscriminately killed Oromo people and others, looted their cattle, grain, sold their children into slavery, and starved them. Private and public media present one side of the story about the emperor and created nostalgics. Violence consumes lives and resources, and it does not offer a solution for social problems.
To summarize, widespread hate speech and violent rhetoric are promoting destruction. The killings of Oromo students in Universities of the Amhara region are excellent examples of hate crime and collective violence perpetrated by organized criminals. The role of the Federal and Regional governments should be protecting innocent people and healing the wounds those affected. The Oromo people and other peoples of Ethiopia expect to transform their regions from a killing ground and a place of fear and imprisonment into a peaceful land of freedom. We call upon you to become swift in bringing about the expected social transformation by being an agent of change. Agents of change drive and create a culture that promotes equity, diversity, and unity. In this spirit, we appeal to you to:
I. Immediately pull all Oromo students from the affected Amhara regions and enroll them in universities in Oromia or other safe regions;
II. Bring to justice those who perpetrated criminal acts against Oromo students; put in place a process which safeguards and protects Oromo students from similar harm in the future;
III. Provide support, counseling, and advise to all affected students who remain within the troubled areas or have managed to escape;
IV. Assure the safety of all students in Oromia, Oromos, and non-Oromos likewise, against any revenge or imposter harm;
V. Help Oromo students who were conditioned to leave the Amara region enrolled in Universities in Oromia;
VI. Criminalize hate speech and [the practice of ] romanticizing king Menelik II and his army Neftegna just as romanticizing Adolf Hitler, Nazi and the Holocaust [denial] are criminalized in the Western World.
Let me end my letter with the wise words of legendary human rights activist and antiapartheid icon, Nelson Mandela, that says, “in many societies, violence is so dominant that it thwarts hopes of economic and social development. We cannot let that continue”
Begna Dugassa, Ph.D.
Yunvarsiitii Waldiyaatti lubbuun barataa tokkoo darbe
Yunvarsitii Waldiyaatti lubbuun barataa waggaa sadaffaa tokko darbuu yunvarsitichi himeera. Yunvarsitichi barataan Abdii Waaqoo jedhamu rakkoo fayyaa mudateen du’e yoo jedhu, barattoonni isa waliin turre jedhan garuu reebiicha waardiyyootaa irraa kan ka’e ta’uu BBC’tti himaniiru.
(bbcafaanoromoo)—Yunvarsitii Waldiyaatti barataa waggaa sadaffaa Peedaagoojii ta’uun isaa kan himame kun rakkina fayyaa isa mudatee lubbuun darbuunsaa kana kan beeksiise fuula feesbuukii isaarratti.
Barattoonni BBC’n dubbisee akka himaniitti, ”barataa Adii Waaqoo kan du’ee miidhaa reebichaan irratti raawwateen” jedhaniiru.
Haata’u malee, Yunivarsitiin Waldiyaa du’a barataa Adii Waaqootti gadda itti dhagahame ibsuun ergaa fuula feesbuukii isaarratti maxxanseen, barataan kun rakkoo fayyaa mudateen ALI Sadaasa 26, 2012’tti kiliniika yunivarsiticha keessatti aragamuutti qorannoon taasifamuufiisaa himeera.
Isaan boodas wallaansa fooyya’aan akka taasifamuuf jecha gara Hospitaala waliigalaa Waldiyaatti ergameera jechuun ibseera.
Haata’u malee, osuma wallaanamaa jiru, Sadaasa 27, 2012 alkan keessaa sa’aatii torba irratti lubbuun barataa kanaa darbuus himeera.
Barattoonni BBC’n dubbise garuu nageenya isaaniif jecha maqaansaanii akka hineeramnee gaafatan akka himaniitti, barataan amma lubbuunsaa darbe kun wayita reebichi irratti raawwatamu isa waliin turuufi ijaan akka argan dubbatu.
Haalli nageenyaa Yuvarsiiticha keessaa ture amansiisaa waan hin taaneef gara maatiitti deebi’uuf yunvarsiiticha gaafatanii eeyyama dhabanii, Roobii darbe galgalaan miliqanii gara maatiitti deebi’uuf yaalaa turuu himti barattuun waggaa tokkooffaa ta’uu himatte tokko.
”[Adiin] nu gaggeessuuf nu wajjin deeme. Achiinis waardiyoota mooraa yunvarsitii kan ta’an namoota afuriitu nu reebe,” jechuun haalli barataan kun ittiin du’ee reebicha irra gaheen ta’uu himti.
Miliqanii gara maatiitti deebii’aa jiraachuun barattoota kanaa waariyyoota kanneen eeruun akka qaqabee kan himtu barattuun kun, erga baajaajii qabataniin booda waardiyyoonni jedhaman kunneen qaqabuun ijollee baajaajii oofan dabalatanii reebicha irratti raawwachuu dubbatti.
Isaan boodas, humnaan qabamanii mooraatti deebiifamuu ibsiti barattuun kun.
“Mooraatti erga deebiine boodaa waaridiyyoonni afur akka maleetti nu reeban,” kan jettu barattuun kun, ”barataa Adii Waaqoo ammoo addaatti dhidhiitaa turan” jetti.
”Ati du’uu qabda, jiraachu hin mallee” jechaanii turan kan jettu barattuun kun, meeshaa waraanaan illee akka dorsifaman himti.
Sa’aatiin reebiichi kun itti raawwatamees guyyaa Roobii galgala keessaa naannoo sa’aatii 12 ta’u kan himte barrattuun maqaashee dhokfattee kun, ”nama mooraa sanaa tokkotu akkamiin ijoollee reebiduu jechuun nurra dhoowwe” jetteetti.
”Sanaan boodas Adiin akka malee dhukkubaa ture; bishaan nu gaafataa ture. Achumaanis kilinika mooraa yunvarsiiticha geessanii qoricha kennaniifi turan. Guyyaa lammaaffaatti barii lafa ka’uu dadhabe.”
Itti dabaluunis, ”Lapheefi kaleekootu na dhukkuba jechaa ture. Akkasumas afuura fudhachuu dadhabaa ture,” jechuun kan arge jettu himti.
Barataan yunvasritichaa BBC’n dubbise kan biraas, yaaduma walfakkaatu hima.
Barataan nageenya isaatiif sodaachuun akka maqaansaa hinhimamnee dubbate kan biraa, Adiin dhiiga tufuusaas akka argee hima.
”Reebamuu isaan booda Adiin of danda’ee dhaabachuufillee rakkachuu isaa argeera,” jedha.
Barataan Adiidhaaf hirriyaa isaa dhiyoo ta’u himu kun, ”Amma ati mooraa kana keessaa baatutti ijoolleen nagaa hin argattu jechuun isa reebuu natti himeera,” jedha.
Haata’u malee, Adiin xabataafi barataa nagaa ta’uun alatti mormiiwwan dallaa keessatti gaggeeffaman kamiyyu keessatti hirmaannaa kan hinqabne ta’uu barattoonni hirriyyoota isaa ta’uu himan kunneen ni himu.
Wayita ammaa kanattis hamilee sirriin barachaa akka hin jirreefi maatii isaanitti deebi’uu akka barbaadan barattoonni kunneen ni dubbatu.
Rakkoo nageenyaa Yunvarsitii Waldiyaa keessatti dhiheenya kana uumameenis, barattoonni lama lubbusaanii dhabuun ni yaadatama.
OMN: ODUU GUYYAA (Mudde 09, 2019)
OMN: Guyyaa Ayyaana Sabaaf Sablammoota (Mudde 09, 2019)
Badhaasni Noobelii kun badhaasa guddaadha. Ilaalcha siyaasaa MM Abiyyi jaalannees jaalachuu baannees, badhaasnii kun bara Oromoon Itoophiyaa bulchutti yeroo jalqabaaf argame. Kun ilmaan Oromoo mataa akka ol qabatan waan goduudha. Akkuma beeknu Afaan Oromoon waltajjii aduunyaa guddaa akkasii irratti hasa’aamee hin beeku. MM Abiyyi waltajjii guddaa kana irratti afaan Oromoo beeksisuuf carraa guddaa argateera. Itti fayadamuu qaba. Oromiyaa keessatti kun injifannoo Oromooti jechaa waltajjii aduunyaa irratti kun akka mul’atu gochuu baannaan seenaan nama gaafata. Namni “badhaasnii kun injifannoo itoophiyaanoota hundaati akkamitti akkas jeetta” jechuu mala. Deebiin kiyya, afaan tokko qofatu Itoophummaa bakka bu’a ilaalchi jedhu darbeera dha. Itoophuummaan afaan ummata biyyattii harka 40 ofiitti hin fudhane Itoophuumaa sirrii miti. Haa xiqqaatu afaan lameenuu wal duraa duuba fayyadamuu qaba.
THE FINFINNE INTERCEPT