Lesson to Learn from the Past to be Proactive
By Worku Burayu (PhD), December 1, 2018
Why it is important to learn from the past: Dear reader, our past is the best teacher we have. So many things happened in our life and we have accomplished, positive or negative things, where past experience taught us something. As political situation is moving fast in our country, there might be lessons we forgot. Because, not everybody values the past in the same way, those who cannot learn from history are inevitable to repeat it. If we look inside, the past is a wealth of treasury filled with learning opportunities for our present and future. Here are some lessons to comprehend from the past and remember:
Lesson 1. The history of Palestinians-Once evicted no reinstatement. The expulsion of Palestinians from their property in one way or another is similar to the eviction of Oromo from their livelihood. As there is no need to give details on this, our politicians, activists, and political analysts are advised to read the history of Palestinians before confusing and trying to pacify the struggle of Oromo. Have you ever heard the reinstatement of Palestinians once they evicted from their land? Do you have any hesitation that the EPRDF follow similar approach and still executing Melese’s vision? Meles passed away without fully implementing his jam-packed proposal to dismantle the Oromo society and to reduce the Oromo population to the minority in order to eradicate Oromo struggle from its base. The tactic was evicting the active Oromo in Harerghe first, and follow the same procedures in all other zones of Oromiya to meet the long run strategy. This proposal has been widely practiced in Oromia (Hararghe, Wollega, Gujii, Borana, Wollo, etc..). To catch the fish, dry the water is Mele’s principle, the principle that his army rehearses daily on Oromo people.
Lesson 2. The Military is the army of EPRDF. In 27 years, the so-called EPRDF army never fight our enemies such as Al-Shabaab or other terrorists to keep the country safe. Their daily activities bounded in corruption, contraband work, smuggling and selling weapons to Al-Shabaab and other terrorist groups. It has never been an Ethiopian army, it was and is the loyal to the existing Party. Their history is the history of indiscriminate killing, dislocating the population and terrorizing the cities of Ethiopia. Their bad activities increased at alarming rate in Oromia, this time with the knowledge of both the head of Oromia Regional State and the ODP chairman, particularly with the bless of Oromia Regional State’s Head.
Lesson 3. “Jaarssumma” has never worked for the benefit of Oromo after the collapse of the Gadaa System. Getachew Assefa and his crew are spotted hyenas and anti-change. Let’s ODP call a spade a spade, as it is, without beating about the bush.
First, the pleasure-seeking individuals such as Getachew Assefa, the mastermind of the system always creating the problems and assigned killing Mafia to the people.
Second, its grandchild ODP imitating to find the solutions by establishing an ad hoc committee such as “Jarssummaa” by engaging “Jaarsoolii” or “Abbooti Gadaa, and Abbooti Amaantii” etc.., who are actually deprived of their powers themselves by the system so that unable to settle the problems. I wanted to remind you our past painful experiences that Tekle-Hayimanot deceived Abishe Gerba; King Hailessilase betrayed General Tadesse Biru, Colonel Hailu Reggassa and General Waqoo Gutu; and recently Meles Zenawi betrayed the leaders of OLF. These reckless experiences still ongoing in individuals of the ruling party and some of the political organizations. As saying goes by “Children learn by what they see and hear by their parents,” that is exactly what we have learned from our past experiences and we shouldn’t forget for a moment.
Lesson 4. Positive Attitudes: There are many from different backgrounds including religion and cultural upbringings who wanted to see things go smoothly without any problems. Our peace-loving societies are always thinking about peace, love and coexistence. However, we should always remember the tricks of politics, the politics which is the problem and as same time the solution by its nature. There is no politics without human beings. As human beings are the most pathogenic organisms on this earth, there haven’t been and there will not be a phenomenon without a problem. Politics by its nature is “lying good,” so, there are always pathological liars in politics. Let me remind you that Oromo call such type of politics “Bolootikaa.” This time, at present, many speaks “Bolootokaa” anywhere, everywhere.
The coexistence of nature is always disturbed by such politics. Generally, humans are selfish but there are only a few who are selfless. Unfortunately, the selfless once are powerless and victims of the pathological liars in EPRDF, particularly in ODP. In our present condition, the politics of Ethiopia is becoming solely an Oromo politics. ODP and many others speaks “Boolootikaa,” not the real issues in Oromiyaa. They conduct endless futile meeting. They pour words that are cheap and easy to throw around, but they don’t have gut and a righteous person to follow through with actions that back them up. While condemning others they couldn’t create the system to translate their leadership vision into reality as they tried to walk on the old way. They are the one who disarmed the Oromo people all over Oromiyaa. They don’t want to tell the truth to the people that they have no power, capability, moral value and willingness to defend the Oromo people, even to defend themselves. Just like the running dogs, they preferred following their owner, the TPLF or “their foe” friend’s, Gimbot 7. If there is willingness there will be a solution. The problem of politics needs the solution of politics. To do so, we should learn from the past.
Lesson 5. Need to Calm or Pacify the Struggle of Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo? Why now? First, we should know that the Oromo struggle is not spontaneous occurrences, or it is not against any individual, community, religion or region. It is against the system, the consecutive conquering system, and the system that is still existing. The struggle will continue until this system replaced with what is desired by the people. Such type of struggle doesn’t need to be pacified as the situation is there. Let Oromo activists and some of the politicians ashamed of themselves for trying to calm down the revolution while killing innocent people is continuing. Activists and politicians should know that trying to pacify the present Oromo People Struggle is equivalent to committing suicide. As I have stated in my previous articles (October 28, 2018) under the topic “Let ODP listen to the people,” I tried to justify the questions why protest now? And mentioned, the present peaceful protest is seeking to correct some injustices happening right now such as: the continuous killing of hundreds of Oromo and their eviction from their livelihood, the hunting and killing of Oromo Liberation Army aka WBO, the ignoring of the evicted more than two million people, the public media campaign against the political organization, the people intimidation by Military and security forces, and for the thousand’s youths still languishing in prisons. Please refer the website: http://ayyaantuu.org/let-olf-have-its-own-office-and-odp-listen-to-the-people/. But ODP gave deaf hear to the concern of the people.
The Federal government and ODP preferred seeing slaughtered Oromo and wanted to hear the crying Mother and Father like a music on daily basis. Since then more than 300 Oromo killed in Western and Eastern Oromia alone, out of which more than 30 were a uniform wearing Oromian police men. Thirty people murdered at one spot in Limmu district at “Arqumbee”, of which my school friend Sime Dereje Tadesse, who was an investor, is one of them. On the same date more than 10 Oromo killed at “Cinaaksen,” in Eastern Oromia. Most probably, in the Oromia Regional State presidential history, it is during the time of the present one, where millions of Oromo misplaced, dislocated, arrested and even killed. It is the recent record, where more than 37 people killed in one place (November, 2018 in Haroo Limmu) and 670 people killed at a spot in 2016’s Irreecha festivals; and more than one million displaced from Harerghe alone. Coupled with that more than 240,000 misplaced from Western Ethiopia in the last two months alone. With such alarming killing rate, misplacement and genocide, what we as a people couldn’t grasp is, the futile practice of activists and politicians to pacify the revolution of Qeerroo Bilisummaa Oromoo.
Lesson 6. What people want: In any democracy deploying the army to police the community is the bad thing that governing body should be refrained first. I know, the Constitution of Ethiopia make provision for the deployment of the military to support the Regional State when deemed necessary, in the request of the Regional State’s Head. There are strict prerequisites for this. The army may only be deployed by the prime minister, who has to inform Parliament and give detailed directives for the deployment. This includes how many soldiers will be deployed, for how long they will be positioned, when exactly the deployments begin in which areas specifically and what their responsibilities will be. It’s important to understand the constitution that the army can’t replace the police or do their job. Rather, army members should be deployed to bring calm and stability to areas that’s seen high levels of violence and crime. Was that the case in Oromia?
First, there was no situation beyond Oromian police ability that invites national army. Second, there was no any appeal from the communities regarding danger situation before the deployment of the army. Third, the people run their daily activities smoothly and obeying the rule of the law and collaborate with police, before the army deployed. Fourth, the army has no willing to defense the people where it is required to do so. There was amazing peace and stable environment before the deployment of the army in the area. Fifth, the EPRDF army isn’t normally trained to police the citizenry and its doctrine, training and authority structures aren’t suited to the situation. Army members are trained to go to war. Sixth, practically, there is always the danger on the community when soldiers are deployed in societies.
Seventh, army members never trained to apply police rules such as the use of minimum force and following the correct procedure during an arrest. Not only, they don’t receive training on police rules and conduct before they go into a community, but also, they do not have the experience to handle it correctly. They are trained to use machine guns and to kill indiscriminately, so there are no options to avoid a shootout. Eighth, the other danger is that when you deploy an unabridged lot of young men into a community where there are young women, we’ve seen in Oromia that it doesn’t take long for complaints to surface because of many situations including rape and unwelcomed occurrences that practically people experienced daily. This is what is happening in Western Oromia, Southern Oromia and Eastern Oromia. Please watch the OMN video clip aired on November 21, 22, 23, 2018 to conceptualize the desire of the people (Marii Hawaasa Naqamtee, Gimbii, Dambi Dolloo, Nadjoo, Mandii etc..).
Ninth, the EPRDF army is the rapist, corrupted, and unprofessional that kills its own people indiscriminately. Creating untastable environment and psychological war to the people is their daily activity. These are what we have witnessed from the appeal of the people of Western (Ambo, Nekemte, Gimbi, Damidollo, Mandii) and the South (Gujii, Boranaa) and Eastern Oromiya (DireDawa, Haraar, Caalanqoo etc..). It has not been disclosed either by activists or media how many Oromo killed in Eastern Oromiya within these two years by this military and related special police. It is a shame (Godaanissa Seena) for activists, politicians, media personnel’s not to disclose what has happened particularly in Hararghe, Gujii, Borana and Western Oromiya on the timely basis. There justification not to disclose the situation at the right time is nullified. I can’t understand whom they are going to lead after Oromo are wiped out from their livelihood. As it has expressed in the town hall meeting in all cities of Oromia people are requesting: “Stop deploying the killing army in our neighborhoods,” Stop hunting our children, the WBO; We don’t want the honey coated venom (Lamma Afaan Damma, Nuu Aajjeesaa, Alagaaf Dhimma!”) etc. The necessary instruments and logistics Police men in Oromia receive doesn’t meet the State’s requirements.
Oromia police men deprived of bullets while fighting invader in all direction: South Ethiopia (Moyale), Western Ethiopia (Limmu Haroo, Qeebbee, Saasigga etc..), so that let alone to defend the civils in the Oromia, the Oromian Police couldn’t safeguard themselves. Does Oromian Regional State know this situation? Absolutely, the upper levels including the head know very well. Here is the trick. Lemma Megerssa and its cabinet have no confidence on Oromian Police and they don’t want to fulfill their logistics and weapons. Rather they willingly depend on Military who don’t know the people culture, who can’t talk or understand the people language. The government of Oromia Regional State has been doing this deliberately. Members of ODP content themselves with holding endless meetings that never lead to action or to victory, and in doing so, this organization is doomed to shrink. In the history of Oromo, there has been no single organization that disarm Oromo people than the OPDO itself. Though claimed, ODP never learned from its mistakes or the history of that country.
Lesson 7. Be proactive not reactive: In order to reduce loss of life, property and our environment pro-active approach is generally more effective than reactive action. The bad situation in bordering Oromiyaa has been there for long, there was ample time to act, the human resources were available, but there was no willingness to supply material resources to the available human resources. The deprivation of material resources and insufficient training what is happening to Police men in Oromia, right now. Proactive approach helping in averting major damages before they have a chance to appear. Reactive action sometimes costs more to repair the damage or never possible to repair such as loss of life after it has been done. The sad news is ODP never defend Oromo People let alone to take proactive action. Members are suffering inferiority complex syndrome. For the political consumption, the government of Ethiopia preferred reactive action to proactive, after huge human loss happen, particularly if the situation is in and around Oromia and the victim is from the Oromo people. What we have learned from the past two years reflect this reality. Remember always the seven lessons!