A Feedback to Oromo Activists Summit

“The Oromo Activists’ Summit is a great and transformational initiative. It will help take the Oromo struggle and indeed the struggle of the Ethiopian people as a whole to the next level. Our struggle has reached a level where it needs a mature, deliberative and coordinated leadership to move it forward. It is also imperative to coordinate the disparate patches of struggles and lead them in a strategic and tactful manner. We need to change the dynamics of the struggle in a fundamental way if we really mean defeating the TPLF. Changing the dynamics of the struggle can only be achieved if we form alliances with other stakeholders in the country and beyond. Above all, it is critical that the Oromos and Amharas form an alliance and coordinate their struggles. We don’t have to agree on everything to form alliances or coordinate our struggles. Each of us can hold onto our own views (e.g. our different views on the historical accounts or even the future directions of the country) and still find a common ground to work together. There are lots of crucial things that we can do together to promote the cause of freedom and democracy. Our respective struggles benefit tremendously from what we do together without the need for each of us to compromise on our core principles. We need each other more than we ‘hate or despise’ each other if we mean really defeating the TPLF and usher the era of freedom, justice and democracy in Ethiopia. If our ‘hate’ for each other overrides our thirst for freedom, rest assured that the TPLF will continue to kill, plunder and displace us for the foreseeable future. There is no path to victory for the Oromo people if we cannot coordinate our struggle with the Amhara people. Likewise, there is no path to victory for the Amhara people if they cannot coordinate their struggle with the Oromo people. Until we come up with some form of alliance between the Oromo and the Amhara (however disconcerting that may be to some of us), the TPLF will continue to have a streak of field days. Those of us who understand the breadth and depth of the challenge we are facing today should come together and work towards the formation of an alliance that has teeth to bite. Those of us who are widely removed from the reality on the ground and who don’t grasp the gravity of the challenge in front of us can still keep floundering in our own little fantasy worlds we created for themselves. The dire need to coordinate our struggles cannot be overemphasized.”