The Oromo- Amhara alliance /Oromara/ in action : The TPLF weak spot uncovered: After the release of EPRDF’s Executive Committee press release
After the release of EPRDF’s Executive Committee press release, those who expected a certain breakthrough to the current crisis which left the country at standstill were caught by surprise while those knows EPRDF’s congenital disease threw their press release into the trash basket because it is full of the same old rhetoric they are familiar to.
The TPLF once again opted to sail against the wind and dashed the expectations of the entire population of the Ethiopian people. Since the release of this press release, we have seen and read a barrage of outrageous comments one after another and I will not get involved deeply into it to separate the chaff from the wheat of the so-called press release. My aim is only to focus on the reasons what led the TPLF to release such kind of ridiculous press release. I preferred to call it TPLF press release because the meeting has taken place behind the closed door and allowing only the ruling party’s media to report the press release is something, which smells fishy.
The press release in the first place does not sound like a press release prepared by the crème de la crème of the executive members of four vanguard parties in the country. It looks like a hasty and careless hand-scribbled note let alone a press release of country’s ruling party.
Unedited, self-contradictory, full of denial of the reality on the ground, hostile or deliberately frightening the reformist and progressive forces and against free media are an impression that one can get at the first sight. The press release tried to convince us that there is no TPLF supremacy but perfect equality, there is no economic stagnation but fast economy, there is no instability but peace and prosperity, there is no slavery but perfect freedom and equality in the country.
This shows that the current status quo will continue without any reform and that is a recipe for the downfall of all rotten dictators around the world. Above all, the press release uncovered the main policy of the TPLF in general which is the divide and rule or the apartheid policy by building an iron curtain between different ethnic groups or by using scaremongering phrases. The good news is that the Executive Committee took full responsibility for the blunders so far committed and asked the Ethiopian people for forgiveness. When the rule of the law is respected, the criminals will be brought to justice unless it is just an empty promise or to scare the reformist and progressive forces.
The Oromara movement in action:
On December 21, 2017, while the EPRDF Executive Committee was in the middle of tense discussion, I posted on social media a brief writing titled “The intra- and inter-regional movement of the Oromo people”. In this short writing, I deliberately made the focal point of my writing the inter-regional relationship of the Oromo- Amhara movements or the Oromara movement. I received diverse comments ranging from the elitists do’s and don’ts rules, who commented on what to write and not to write and from those who expressed their constructive comments.
Since the TPLF came to power in 1991, it stayed at the helm of power by pitching different ethnic groups against each other mainly the Amhara against the Oromo and vice versa.
When the Oromo Qeeros peaceful protest started in 2014 and 2015, it was expected to be intensified at a national level. However, due to the sowers of discord of the TPLF, which sowed the seed of distrust, suspicion, and hatred among the people, the Oromo protest didn’t come forth with expected results because it was not coordinated with the Amhara Resistance Movement. When the Oromo qeeros were fighting against the brutal regime, other regions were bystanders with suspicion. Others felt discomfort by the Oromo slogans of Buraayyun keenya, Sabbatan keenya, Sulultan keenya, Finfinnen keenya as if it meant to expel the non-Oromos from the these areas. After the Oromo qeeros marched to Bahir Dar with a slogan “Tana Keenya”, the concept of the term is positively accepted. As a result, when the Nekemte Kenema soccer went to Desse they were received with a warm welcome with the slogan “Nekemte Keenya” and the Fasil kenema soccer team was received with the slogan “Fasil keenya” by the Adama residents.
Unlike the student protest of 1967-1974 under the leadership of Tilahun Gizaw, Walelign Mekonen and many others, the Oromo students’ protest of 2014 and 2015 lacked the support of students from other ethnic groups or regions in general. As one distinguished professor said, unless there is some solidarity to the Oromo people grievances, the Oromos will increasingly feel alienated and betrayed to the great delight of dictatorial regime.
To defeat dictator people must join together to resist the power of repression. Civil resistance requires a large number of people with good strategies and planning. It is by this method the world’s most dictators such as Agustino Pinochet of Chile, Wojciech Jaruzeliski of Poland, Slobadan Milosevic of Serbia and P.W. Botha of apartheid South Africa were defeated by peaceful civil resistance. See the link below.
The alienation of the Oromo Revolution began rapidly to diminish when the Gonder people took to the street with the slogan “Our Oromo brothers blood is also our blood”. The response from Adama “Our Amhara brothers demand is also our demand” were the first solidarities between the two regions. The biggest and bold move was the march of 200 Oromo Qeeros under the banner of “Tana Keenya” and President Lamma Magarssa’s team of 250 people to Bahir Dar for people-to-people conference.
The Oromo and Amhara people’s conference at Debre Berhan and the recent friendly relationship in the field of sport and the solidarity between the Oromo and Amhara students in different universities are all the movement that led to Oromara movements, which the TPLF have seen as a threat to its apartheid policy. This has been confirmed in the EPRDF CC press release which they condemned as aimless relationship /Merih Alba Gudignit/
Such kind of inter-regional relationships have already begun even before the Oromo- Amhara inter-regional relationship. When the Bamboo curtain between the Oromo and Amhara began to melt away the TPLF began to look for another alternative and established a Tigrai- Somali relationship to wage a war against the Oromo people and to benefit from the contraband trade. The Somali region donated about 20 million Bir for the displaced Tigrians from Amhara region and similar amount of money from Tigrai region to Somali region to help the Somalis displaced from Eastern Oromia. The Tigrai Online even chose Abdi Mohamud Omar as the man of the year for 2016. In addition, the TPLF regime awarded Abdi Iley a trophy for his leadership par excellence at the 12th Nations, Nationalities and Peoples Day in Afar Regional State, Semera town. The Tigrai region has also held a people-to-people conference of Amhara and Tigrai region in Mekele town.
Therefore, the protest against the people- to- people relationship between Oromo and Amhara people by TPLF as a “Merih Alba Gunignunet” is just a bunch of hypocrisy because if they have the right to make a relationship to the Somali region or any other region, the Oromo or the Amhara are also entitled to the same right.
The EPRDF Executive Committee’s press release made one thing clear to the Ethiopian people. As one Oromo activist said, nothing has unsettled the TPLF in recent years more than the OPDO-ANDM alliance and the gesture of Oromara solidarity, which is confirmed in the EPRDF CC press release. This is a conclusive evidence that strengthening the Oromara movement is proved to be the way forward to undoing TPLF’s dominance and eventually for removing the dictatorial regime from power.
On the Oromo side, some activities have already begun on the ground at grassroots level. Milkessa Miidhaga posted on his fb that the Arsi zone Abba Gadas began to amend the conflict resolution of the Gada laws in favour of the Amhara nationals after they returned from Bahir Dar. According the Gada laws resolving conflict between two Oromo nationals is different from resolving conflict between one Oromo national and non-Oromo national. Now they decided to solve any conflict concerning an Amhara national in the same law that is used to solve the conflict between two Oromo nationals. The Maccaa Gada in Western Oromia also included the Amhara nationals to have their say. The argument that the Gada system is the origin of democracy is not just an empty word but is proved to be true. This kind of solidarity and standing in unison must be strengthened and does not need anybody’s permission.
As I am writing this piece, there are several conspiracies and dramas in the making to stop or destroy such kind of progressive approach by the reactionary forces. The Ethiopian people must be on standby to protect any move that undermine the democratic system in our country.