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Zenawi’s Ethiopia: Hegemony of TPLF Separatists, TPLF Article-39ers and TPLF Chauvinists

Posted: Ebla/April 22, 2011 · Finfinne Tribune | Gadaa.com | Comments (26)

About a year ago, Gadaa.com unveiled the Ethiopian political spectrum (see the spectrum below). The political spectrum categorizes the political forces along two dimensions:

1) 1st Dimension (from Left to Right) – is based on whether the political force gives more weight to either ‘Group’ or ‘Individual’ rights. ‘Group’ here is defined as the classification as ‘nations, nationalities and peoples’; and ‘Individual’ is one devoid of such diversified linguistic, cultural and political traits, but having one state-sanctioned linguistic, cultural and political trait (in this case, Amhara-centric).

2) 2nd Dimension (from Top to Bottom) – is based on how the political force wishes to accomplish its political objectives (i.e. unconditionally, based on consensus or conditionally). An ‘Unconditional’ political settlement (i.e. re-organization) is defined as one achieved by the will and determination of the few (i.e. achieved and maintained by the use of lethal force). A ‘Consensus’ political settlement is one achieved by the negotiation and deliberation of elites from all dominant political forces. And, a ‘Conditional’ political settlement is one achieved by the will and self-determination of the respective nations, nationalities and peoples (i.e. achieved through referendums and maintained by constitutions).

Fayyis’ Ethiopian Political Spectrum
Ethiopian Political Spectrum

Ethno-nationalism plays a major role in molding the political views of many of the political forces (i.e. all of them are based on identity/linguistic politics) – from the ‘Left’ ethno-nationalist independentists, who seek unconditional independence for their oppressed/colonized nations, to the ‘Right’ unitarists, who are mostly Amhara ethno-nationlists projecting as ‘Ethiopian nationalists’ – all of them are based on ethno-nationalism (identity/linguistic politics). To clarify to those prescribing to Ethiopian nationalism: had the dominant expressions of Ethiopian nationalism come from Oromo ethno-nationalism, one would have gotten more Oromos as Ethiopian nationalists today; therefore, finding more Amhara ethno-nationalists embracing Ethiopian nationalism is just the result of historical events, which have made Ethiopian nationalism become Amhara-centric. Can this, therefore, be about time some stop calling the Left as ‘ethnic/zer politics’ while the Right is also guilty of it?

Since nationalism is based on exclusionary politics, i.e. Oromo politics is for Oromo nationalists, Amhara-centric Ethiopian politics is for Amhara-centric nationalists, etc., it is not easy to find a middle ground for a compromised solution between those in the Left and those in the Right. Because of the lack of such compromised political solution, two large political groups have fallen prey to the tyranny and domination of TPLF leaders (some have started calling this tiny TPLF group as gujile).

This is where the hegemonic TPLF gujile found a political sweet spot. Instead of calling for Tigray’s separation, which they had set out to accomplish as per TPLF’s political program, they switched themselves into Article-39ers (i.e. champions of oppressed nations, nationalities and peoples in Ethiopia) in the late 1980’s by forming EPRDF from captured Derg soldiers. However, when the genuine political forces of oppressed nations and nationalities demanded for real political reforms, the hegemonic TPLF leaders quickly changed their rhetoric to become ardent Ethiopian nationalists (chauvinists) in the mid and late 1990’s. Through this political flip-flopping, they set out to maintain TPLF’s hegemony over the oppressed in Ethiopia.

Therefore, in the way Meles Zenawi governs his kingdom, he swings between the Ethiopia of ‘nations and nationalities’ (Article-39er) and the Ethiopia of ‘one language, one culture’ (chauvinist). If such an Ethiopia, which TPLF calls ‘an Ethiopia of Unity in Diversity,’ does not maintain their hegemonic power over the oppressed, they are willing to secede Tigray as per the original plan. Therefore, their Ethiopia is neither about ‘Unity’ as genuine Ethiopian nationalists would like to believe sometimes nor about ‘Diversity’ as Oromo, Ogaden or other ethno-nationalists would like to believe some other times. Zenawi’s Ethiopia is about maintaining the hegemony of TPLF unconditionally; in other words, they oppose an Ethiopia that’s ‘Unity in Diversity’ without TPLF’s hegemony.

It’s important, therefore, to track how Meles Zenawi swings from one part of the political spectrum to the other to unconditionally maintain TPLF’s hegemony (i.e. to understand the ‘divide and rule’ strategy of Meles Zenawi).

For example, in 2011 Meles Zenawi, who once desecrated the Ethiopian flag as a ‘piece of cloth,’ has become an Ethiopian ultra-nationalist (i.e. a chauvinist) by evoking such agendas as waging war against Eritrea with a likely grab of the Assab Port and the construction of the Abbay Dam – both of which are easy to sell to genuine Ethiopian nationalists. In 2011, while projecting his Ethiopian ultra-nationalism, he has set out to once again turn Oromia into his shooting field to subdue the rising Oromo nationalism. In 2011 Meles is very careful about not calling right-wing Ethiopian nationalists as ‘chauvinists’ since he has become one himself; however, it’s time for his rant against ethno-nationalists, whom he labels as ‘terrorists’ and ‘separatists.’ In 2011 any alliance between Ethiopian nationalists and ethno-nationalists is painted by Meles Zenawi as (for example): “G7 aligning with ‘separatist’ OLF and ONLF” (note that it’s not “OLF aligning with ‘chauvinist’ G7”). This is because Meles Zenawi is projecting himself as the Ethiopian ultra-nationalist (i.e. he’s singing Ethiopia ‘Hagere’ with melodies of Assab and Abbay); his objective now is to become more Ethiopian nationalist than the genuine ones.

In 2005 the reverse was true. To subdue Ethiopian nationalists, who managed to electorally defeat him in urban areas, Meles Zenawi waged his propaganda war against ‘chauvinists’ by making friends with Oromo ethno-nationalists, and he even publicly called for a negotiation with the OLF in 2005. OLF declined the false offer, and later on, OLF formed an alliance (AFD) with Kinijit. This alliance was particularly painted by Meles Zenawi as an alliance of OLF with ‘chauvinists’ since Meles Zenawi was projecting himself as the champion of nations and nationalists (i.e. an Article-39er) in 2005. In 2005 Meles Zenawi was projecting himself (through his stooges in OPDO) as one who’s more Oromo nationalist than the OLF itself.

This is the ‘divide and rule’ strategy of Meles Zenawi; one wonders if he has a 5-year political plan of where he’d like to govern for that period as he tries to make us believe about the existence of 5-year economic plans. For instance, at one of his most recent interviews, he was asked about a statue for the late King Haile Selassie. Knowing this could become a divisive issue that the Left and the Right might not agree on, was he planting the seed of division between the Left and the Right as his 5-year political plan? Time will tell.

Meles Zenawi – the TPLF separatist, the Article-39er and the chauvinist – will he succeed with his ‘divide and oppress’ strategy in 2011? Zenawi is a political con artist; the Left and the Right are genuine nationalists who are easily manipulated by the hegemonic TPLF; will the Left and the Right come to a consensus (i.e. agreement by elites of dominant political forces) to destroy the tyranny and domination of the TPLF gujile? Sure thing is that, unless the Left and the Right reach at a consensus, the hegemonic TPLF has vowed to ‘divide and oppress’ for the next 100 or so years.

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26 Responses in THE COMMENT SECTION

  1. Ajayib

    Apr 23, 11 at 6:02 am

    Gadaa.com,
    what a take! Galatoomi! These days you are just doing a wonderful job in exposing the true way of Woyane’s doing business! Unless the two BIG camps (the Ethiopian-unitarists/ the Amhara and the Oromian-independists) come to their senses and find a middle ground based on common interest to foster an alliance against Woyane, we must prepare ourselves to be ruled by the hegemonists for the coming at least one century! Now, it is the time for these two blocs to come to a compromise and consensus. The only compromise solution is to ‘Save Ethiopia with Sovereign Oromia’ = true Ethnic federation, the position which Woyane formally reserved for itself in order to blame, insult and curse Ethiopian-unitarists as “chauvinists” and Oromian-independists as “secessionists”! Now to tacke this Woyane’s swing between the three positions (between the ‘Tigrean independist’, the ‘Tigrean federalist’ and the ‘Tigrean unitarist’ positions), the upcoming an all-inclusive alliance of the opposition must try to bring the independists, the federalists and the unitarists in the opposition camp together and fight for an Ethiopian UNION in a form of the true killil-federation as a transitional solution till the lasting type of sovereignity will be decided by public verdict of each nation in the would be union! May Rabbi/Waaqa give the leaders of the opposition camp the necessary wisdom!

  2. Clever

    Apr 23, 11 at 6:35 am

    Nice and descriptive picture! Can OLF learn from Meles? If it is smart, OLF can be active in an independist force like ULFO, in a federalist force like OFC and in a unitarist force like UDJ, just to deal with Woyane’s political acrobat! Now, It is not a time for Oromo nationalists to quarell over their ideological differences: independist vs federalist vs unitarist, but it is a time to use all the three cards cleverly to neutralize Meles Zenawi’s “smart” move!

  3. Bilisummaa

    Apr 23, 11 at 7:42 am

    The opposition camp must be smarter than Woyane! Now all the opposition groups (the independists, the federalists and the unitarists) should agree to fight together for FREEDOM from the Woyane fascism! After achieving this freedom, they can compete with/against each other and advocate their respective version of the needed sovereignity during the second phase of the struggle, during the phase of SOVEREIGNITY!

  4. Falmataa

    Apr 23, 11 at 8:20 am

    Hi Gadaa.com,
    thanks! You helped me remember the time when Meles Zenawi went to Adaama after the 2005 election debacle and got a presentation of Oromo bullukkoo and sangaa; where he just wore Oromo’s traditional clothes to be seen as a promoter of Oromo cause, of course being served by his servant Abbaaduulaa, who is now used and discarded! He played this theater to scare the Amhara-unitarists. Now he is wearing Ethiopian ultra-nationalist flag just to make the Amhara-Ethiopianists to rally behind him and the Oromo-Independists to be intimidated and scared! His manipulation seems to work: now Oromo students are revolting and been victimized, while the Other students just sit passively and observe!

  5. koster

    Apr 23, 11 at 10:56 am

    How long is possible to rule/terrorize/loot/cheat Ethiopians. BEQA/GAYE Ethiopian elites should wake up and not be instrumental for the Tigrean gujeles of divide and rule/kill/loot. The elites are harming the people they are claiming to represent by fighting each other and prolonging woyane reign of terror and the suffering of their people. Please always think of the people who are languishing under woyane state terror.

  6. Hafshaala

    Apr 23, 11 at 11:39 am

    Interestingly Zenawi also has already dispatched his cadres in the same three directions in three areas respectively:
    – in Amhara (Ethio-nationalists) forums and paltalks to preach a ‘Unitary Ethiopia’ and to demonize the Ethno-nationalists, specially blame the Oromo liberation forces;
    – in Tegaru forums and paltalks to act as pops of the Ethnic federation (braging about §39) just in order to curse the Amhara unitarists as “chauvinists” and the Oromo independentists as “secessionists”;
    – in Oromo forums and pakltalks to function as hardliner supporters of the ‘Indepnendent Oromia’ just to denigrate and to insult the Ethio-nationalists (the Amhara) camp.

    At the moment, the card of ‘Tigrean independence’ has no value, as long as Woyane is in power; even if the cadres try to use this card, no one is scared of it; even the pro-unity Amharas do say: “go to hell and declare your independence”! This card of course will be important when Woyane starts to see that its power in Finfinne palace is in danger!

    But now the question is: how long will both the Ethio-nationalists camp and the Ethno-nationalists bloc allow Woyane to play with them as such and beat them turn by turn? Are they less intelligent than the Woyane not to outsmart this fascist and racist regime? Time will show us for how long Woyane will play this game of pure political acrobat of presenting itself as either independentists or federalists or unitarists (chauvinists)!

  7. Ittidabal

    Apr 24, 11 at 7:04 am

    Gadaa.com,
    thanks for the nice descriptive diagram! Just to complement your diagram, it would have been better if we use FORCE at the place of ‘unconditional’ and REFERENDUM instead of ‘conditional. Otherwise, the ‘language-based-system’ is simply the so called ‘ethnic federation’; the only difference is that Hegemony of TPLF is the federation per FORCE; the true federation (pre-walabummaa union) is that of MEDREK per polity’s consensus; and a post-walabummaa union of AFD simply is the same sort of federation being legitimized through a public REFERENDUM!

  8. Negede

    Apr 24, 11 at 9:43 am

    I appreciate the writer’s effort to categorize the major political forces in the country. But it is very crude. I wish he only put the different forces in numbered categories without labeling them. The groups and labels are very questionable and it is not an easy task to do it in a better way. A unitarist politics ( one culture, one language) is simply an outdated view and I doubt if there exists any group having such an ideology. The writer is not doing justice to the political forces included in this group as the description do not fit their actual ideology.

    Though I admire the writer’s ambition to classify political groups for the sake of understanding, I will not take this systematics seriously. The objectives and ideologies of all political forces vary in multifarious dimensions that are not amenable to easy classification. It will be a continuum. Therefore, labeling political forces based on such simplistic approach will do more harm than good for our understanding. I would also advise to be objective and avoid stereotypes like only the Amharas are unitarists. Although only the bigger ethnic groups show up in political exchanges, there are more than 80 groups. And we should make sure what the ‘minority’ ethnic groups want before concluding which of them are in which group.

    My main comment on this will be practical politics is more than theorizing, analyzing, and arguing. It is not an artificat which can be built by getting pieces and assembling them in a laboratory. Solutions can not be manufactured by the simple reasoning and calculation of few elite groups. It is a real thing, involves the life of millions of people, and is settled through a long process thereby consuming a huge resource and perhaps people’s lives. Therefore, no solution or proposition (political force) should be considered right, better, or appropriate without the consent of the populace who are the main stakeholders. No ideology is best unless the people decide on their ‘absolute free will’ that it is the best for them. Let’s bring a free environment, and give people sufficient time and conditions to digest what they need, and let the people finaly decide how their future should be. Nowadays, I came to question whether so called ethnic based organizations realy know what their people want. I have started asking whether the grievances, lamentations, and the so called noble causes being uphold by these organization have originated from the people themselves.

    ——————
    Admin’s Response: “A unitarist politics ( one culture, one language) is simply an outdated view and I doubt if there exists any group having such an ideology.” — Such groups do exist; one has to look at the ESAT language-policy as an example. We have publicly called upon ESAT to diversify its programs to reflect the diversified “Ethiopia” if they use the name “Ethiopia” in ESAT. No real action has been taken so far. Any entity serving the public in the name of “Ethiopia,” but entertains a “unitary” view of Ethiopia (in terms of language, culture, politics …) is a unitarist. Anyone using the name “Ethiopia” should take diversity seriously to not be called a unitarist. In other words, ESAT should have at least become bi-lingual entertaining diversified political views before it set up its organization (as a prerequisite).

  9. Hamaanama

    Apr 24, 11 at 11:46 am

    Actually the first picture, which Meles carries, is an OLF-flag with the slogan “Oromia shall be free”! He already has hidden the “Abbay Tigrai” agenda and the “Tigrai shall be free” slogan behind his now Ethiopianist rhetoric! He is happy when the pro-“Oromia shall be free” Oromo nationals and the pro-“Long live Ethiopia” Amhara groups do bark at each other and neutralize each other; that is why he promotes both nationalisms and then control both the emotional communities to be moblized when ever he wants! He mobilized the emotional Amhara nationalists against OLF in the time between 1992 and 2005! He moblized some Oromo nationals during the 2005 election and after that against the CUD of Amhara camp; and now he again tries to mobilize the gullible part of the Amhara using his Ethiopian nationalist slogan of Abbay, of course to hinder them from cooperating with the Oromo during the upcoming REVOLUTION! To some extent he is successful; Oromo students now revolting without any help from other students is the proof!

  10. Hubattuu

    Apr 24, 11 at 12:09 pm

    Hafshaala,

    You hit the nail straight on the head by saying it ALL and I have NOTHING TO ADD. Thank you!

    Proactively moving from all possible directions and at all the possible levels is the essence and objective of a winning 21st century movement. :)

  11. Dhugoomsi

    Apr 25, 11 at 4:37 am

    Gadaa.com,
    you gave a nice reply to Obbo Negede! Not only ESAT, but all the so called Ethiopian websites, radios and paltalks do use ONLY Amharinya, of course some times they make us hear Oromo music or musics of the other nationalisites, just to decorate their own Amharinya program. Derg and H/Sillasie used to do also the same: they gave 99.9% of the public media’s time for the use of Amharinya and only 0.1% of the time was given for the music of other nations and natiuonalities. Obbo Negede wants to tell us that this is not a unitarism.

    But there is certain change in the unitarist camp during the last decade:
    – till the year 2000, all being lead by AAPO were singing their slogan of “one nation, one language, one people under one God”;
    – from 2000 to 2005, they changed their tone under CUD and started to talk about a FEDERATION (geogaphy based = xeqilai-gizat-federation, replacing the killil-federation);
    – after their dabacle during the 2005 “election” till their humiliation during the “2010 election”, they improved their rhetoric, specially in UDJ, to a ‘democratic federation’ = REFERENDUM on: killil-federation vs xeqilaigizat-federation after getting rid of Woyane;
    – since their disaapointment in the 2010 “election” because of the 99.6% “victory” of Woyane, they are entertaining to accept killil-federation as a compromise solution in order to get a support of the Oromo and other oppressed nations.

    So, instead of designating them as unitarists, I would suggest to call them Integrationists, who still possibily want to get rid of Oromia and other national states and to dismabntle the national (ye-biher) political organizations, but not necessarily need to promote the ‘one language & one people’ agenda as they previously wanted!

  12. Negede

    Apr 25, 11 at 6:56 am

    Gadaa.com

    Thank you for the response. I doubt if ESAT is a good instance for our argument. It is a media and can have its own policy. You can have different media outlets with their own language preference and objectives. The name Ethiopia can be taken simply by virtue of being a media setup by Ethiopians for the sole purpose of broadcasting to Ethiopian or Ethiopia-affiliated audiences. However, I support your claim that in principle ESAT should be able to broadcast in at least the major languages in Ethiopia. I remember a similar question was forwarded to ESAT’s PR by a participant in a paltalk discussion. The response from the PR was that ESAT was yet a fledgling organization and need to build its capacity before starting to broadcast multi-language programs. I rememeber the response was a very detailed and professional explanation. I accepted the response as it was very credible considering the limited experience and resource they have at the time. ESAT is still trying hard to pay for its limited activists and journalists. Neverthless, it doesn’t mean that they should give or contract out airtime to political organizations thereby serving as a simple channel to convey specific political propaganda. They should have their own framework of principles and goals in this respect.

    Recently, ESAT has been advertising a kind of ‘News digest’ program that makes a review of radio broadcasts of different organizations including OLF, G7 and other private radios abroad. I think that is commendable. They have also tried to interview leaders of different organizations (liberation fronts) including OLF, ONLF, EPPF, and others. To have specialised multi-language organization require a much sophisticated organization and huge resources.

    My stand is, in view of the crucial need to provide alternative information source and to take the people out of darkness, it is very important to join hands and establish a strong media institution. The frequent jamming of ESAT by the regime is a clear indication of how the Woyanes are overpowering their opponents and the fact that a joint effort is needed to establish a stronger media outlet that serves all the Ethiopian people.

    To Dhugoomsi
    You are a bit pessimistic and cynical. In your opinion all the calls for cooperation or alliance are signs of defeat and weakness. Such calls have always been there all the time. It is only that we were very antagonistic and belligerent against eachother.

    ———————
    Response to Negede: Your stance on diversity (i.e. basis for democracy) when it comes to ESAT doesn’t amount to anything, but lip-service. Anyways, as someone here suggested, Integrationist may be an appropriate term. In addition, ESAT editorializes the aspirations of nations and nationalities as if these were created by Zenawi (ESAT calls it as zer politics, right?). ESAT should accept Oromia, for instance (i.e. inalienable right of the Oromo nation … freedom in other words). Your cunning political stance in separating Oromo and Oromia is reflected in the ESAT editorial (i.e. Oromos are entitled to their language, culture as a matter of civil rights, but not to their homeland, which is the basis for the struggle of the right to self-determination). Therefore, there’s a great opportunity for you and others to come to the middle for a democratic and free language-based system. Right now, you’re below UNITARISTS in the above political spectrum (for acknowledging diversity), but to the right of Medrek FEDERALISTS (for failing to acknowledge Oromia, etc. as part of the language-based system … i.e. your “Ethiopia” will still be based on Xeqlaigizat, whether that Xeqlaigizat structure reflects the past arrangement (as in Wollega, Arsi, etc) or not is immaterial.)

  13. Hafshaala

    Apr 25, 11 at 7:41 am

    We like it or not, the spirit of AFD is resurrecting and reviving, which is really excellent! Meles Zenawi’s political acrobat as well put by Gadaa.com here will never prevent such an all-inclusive alliance from being a reality. Interestingly Zenawi has already dispatched his cadres in three directions (as independentists to Ethno-nationalists’ camp, as federalists in his Woyane camp and as unitarists in Ethio-nationalists’ camp):

    – in Amhara (in Ethio-nationalists’) forums and paltalks to preach a ‘Unitary Ethiopia’ and to demonize the Ethno-nationalists, specially to blame the Ogaden and the Oromo liberation forces;
    – in Tegaru forums and paltalks to act as the popes of Ethnic federation (braging about §39) just in order to curse the Amhara unitarists as “chauvinists” and the Oromo independentists as “secessionists”;
    – in Oromo forums and paltalks to function as hardliner supporters of an ‘Indepnendent Oromia’ just to denigrate and to insult the Ethio-nationalists’ (the Amhara) camp.

    At the moment, the card of the ‘Tigrean independence’, which Zenawi used to preach as he was a rebel, has no more value, as long as Woyane is in power. Even if the Woyane cadres try to use this card, no one is scared of it; even the pro-unity Amharas do say: “go to hell and declare your independence”! This card of course will be important when Woyane starts to see that its power in Finfinne palace is in danger! Till then Woyane purposely advocates an UNCONDITIONAL ‘Independent Oromia’ to the Oromo, so that the Oromo people be cornered only at this position, not to be flexible. Woyane knows very well that this position has got a lot of enemies (not only the unitarist Amhara, but also the Western regimes). With the same logic, Woyane preaches to Amhara nationalists how important a ‘Unitary Ethiopia’ is, for this position produces enemity of all oppressed nations including the Oromo towards the Amhara. That means Woyane’s best cards now are these two diametrically opposite positions: ‘unconditional independent Oromia’ and ‘unconditional unitary Ethiopia’, of course beside its continous song about Woyane’s ethnic federation per force (about its de facto Tigrean hegemony)!

    But now the question is: how long will both the Ethio-nationalists’ camp of the Amhara and the Ethno-nationalists’ bloc of the Oromo allow Woyane to play with them as such and beat them turn by turn? Are they less intelligent than the Woyane not to outsmart this fascist and racist regime? Time will show us for how long Woyane will play this game of pure political acrobat, presenting itself as either radical independentists or as the only federalists or as radical unitarists (chauvinists), actually its ONLY motive being to keep the Tigrean Hegemony at any cost!

  14. Hurrah

    Apr 25, 11 at 12:25 pm

    Hurra!! Both the imperative ‘tokkummaa of Oromo liberation forces’ and the ‘tumsa with other democratic forces are coming to be reality! Enjoy the following video of the meeting in Atlanta here: http://www.ethiotube.net/video/13775/EthioTube–the-Scene–G7-OLF–Ogaden-Community-Meeting-in-Atl-4232011–Opening-Speech-by-Abdul-Hakim

  15. Farrah

    Apr 25, 11 at 1:27 pm

    Wow brilliant analysis. clear understanding of tplf

  16. Hafshaala

    Apr 26, 11 at 11:32 am

    We have to be able to differentiate Woyane political acrobatists, who try to camouflage as one of the opposition groups, from the genuine independentist Oromo, federalist South and unitarist Amhara. To know this difference, what matters is not the position of their guts, but more the direction of their guns. Woyane cadres do direct their guns (verbal bullets) on pro-unitary Amhara nationals and on pro-independence Oromo nationalists, whereas the genuine opposition from these two camps nowadays consequently and consiously try to direct their guns ONLY up on the currently tormenting enemy (the Woyane). Woyane cadres shoot continously at these genuine Amhara and Oromo groups, whereas the genuine pro-independence Oromo and the genuine pro-unitary Amhara nationals do try to tolerate all the opposition political groups with their different tactics and strategies in struggling for FREEDOM from the Woyane’s fascism. So we just need to check the direction of their guns in order to differenitate the camouflaged Woyane cadres talking about an ‘independent Oromia’ and a ‘unitary Ethiopia’ from both the genuine opposition blocs advocating these two same agenda respectively.

  17. Bilisooms

    Apr 27, 11 at 9:22 am

    Hi Gadaa.com
    very good diagnosis regarding the current “smart” political game of Woyane! To counter this Meles Zenawi’s move towards the ‘Right’ just to make Ethio-nationalists to rally behind himself, I think the ongoing cooperation between G-7, ONLF and OLF is smart! They need to foster the necessary all-inclusive alliance based on the common denominators, ‘FREEDOM and democracy’, so that we can build a TRUE killil-federation (Oromian autonomy within Ethiopian union) after the demise of the regime! The independenist wing of the OLF and those in ULFO should be wise enough not to oppose this move! Now the arguement among the Oromo polity on: ‘independence vs union’ must stop! Even we don’t have to oppose the position of the pro-unitary Ethiopian forces as long as they fight against the brutal fascist Woyane!

    So, the best anti-dote against the current Woyane’s move is that we do everything possible to make Woyane be insecure and if possible to lose power. The best instruments to achieve this are the IMPERATIVE ‘tokkummaa of the Oromo liberation forces’ and the IMPORTANT ‘tumsa with the other democratic forces’! I am sure that the Oromo people do have nothing to lose by pushing in this form. Those Oromo nationals, who fear the possible comeback of the Amhara elites with the assimilationist feudal mentality to reverse the partially achieved Oromo’s right to self-adminstration, are simply unrealistic! So let’s fight together with ALL the anti-Woyane forces in order to achieve our national Oromo liberty with regional Ethiopian union!

  18. Walqabaa

    Apr 27, 11 at 10:23 am

    Obbo Negede,
    no need of covering up the unitarist tendency of your bloc, but as the Admin already decided, we better call you INTEGRATIONists! I personally think that now we do have only one ALL-inclusive opposition against Woyane! This opposition camp has got the ‘LEFT’ wing Independenists like the ULFO, the ‘MIDDLE’ body Unionists like those in MEDREK as well as those with the spirit of AFD (the G-7, OLF and ONLF) and the ‘RIGHT’ wing Integrationists like the AEUP and EPRP. Now, we are in the critical phase of the struggle where we need the cooperation and coordination of the move of all these three parts of the opposition against our common enemy (against the fascist and racist Woyane)! That is why we all anti-Woyane political groups should stop our infighitng and start to target only the Woyane, so that we can forge a transitional governement based on the principles of freedom and democracy after the fall of this regime!

  19. Negede

    Apr 28, 11 at 5:55 am

    To Walqabaa

    I had some exchanges with the moderator and some other participants. I stopped the dialogue as I felt the issue is getting much deeper than we can accomodate in this short correspondence.

    In principle I agree on the necessity of standing in unison against a commony enemy. In fact, our division and disagreement have caused more harm than the realy enemy as it made as impotent and ineffective. But postponing problems and focusing on short term solutions is not also a remedy. The agreement between politicaly active elites doesn’t translate to agreement on the ground (among the ordinary people). The parties involved in such agreement do not necessarily represent all the people in the society,,, how much they may claim they represent.

    I am only worried about the overambitious political goals of some organizations which in my opinion are quite detached from the dream of the society or the reality on the ground. I am afraid blind committment and overzealous efforts to implement some political goals (akin to the communists in the late 60’s) might bring another destruction and chaos. But the most important point I would like to raise is that the ordinary people have different understanding and perception (people in all the so called different ‘camps’) than the elites. The ‘revolution’ or change we want to bring about is totally dependent on the participation and sacrifice this group of the society is willing to make. I wonder whether these simple announcements of cooperation in some forums are sufficient to win the committment of this part of the society. In my opinion a lot more needs to be done. All of the elites actively agitating for a political change have to be true to themselves and seriously consider the concern of the ordinary people which they claim to represent and show credible indications that they meant what they say. This is politics not a childs play. It is concerned with the lives of millions of people. It requires a lot of strength, will and hardwork to get it going. Looking only the present and leaving the future for chance is no solution. One can not gamble on people’s life. One shouldn’t cause a stir without being certain, beyond any doubt, that one is also ready to see through to the end. Therefore, I urge all leaders to keep in mind the condition of the stateless Somalia,,, a homogenous people which in principle should be able to trust and understand eachother have somewhow lost the key to peace and stability.

  20. Walaboomi

    Apr 28, 11 at 6:12 am

    Hi Gadaa.com,
    as we saw in the recorded video of the recent Atlanta meeting of G-7, OLF and ONLF, both the representatives of OLF and ONLF tried to assure the integrationist camp that their organizations are for an Ethiopian union, which I think is good; but they also didn’t forget to make it CONDITIONAL. Especially the OLF represnetative used the word IF repeatedly! That means, IF and only IF the future Ethiopia is to assure freedom, democracy and rule of law, then OLF is not against the union! I think this approach is not bad and correspnds to OLF program, which says: “if possible political UNION, if not Independence”. It seems that OLF already gave priority to a possible political union in its program!

    From G-7’s side, Dr. Berihanu failed to give the concession from his “unitarist” side, that his organization is also not against the right of Oromia to exist, but implicitly he also conceded by using the term Oromia in his speech, when discussing about the oppression going on in Oromia. He could have done it explicitly in order to appeace the Oromo constituency. Otherwise the meeting is not a bad start towards the needed all-inclusive TUMSA against the Woyane.

    From my point of view, the issue of ‘Oromian autonomy within Ethiopian union’ is a forgone conclusion never to be reversed back. Dr Berihau and the other Ethiopianists know this very well. I think OLF can push forward with the tumsa just to corner Woyane, even if the Ethiopianists continue to sing about the possibility of a unitary Ethiopia, for the feasibility of this unitary country to be realized in the future is very minimal. Theoretically, if FREEDOM and democracy will really be the rule of the game, Oromo people will lose nothing, be it the type of sovereignity we will have in the future is in a form of ‘independent Oromia’ or ‘killil-federation’ or ‘unitary Ethiopia. But to appeal to the conviction of the Oromo constituency, we need to be sure that our next move is at least to achieve ‘Oromian autonomy within Ethiopian context’, which is a very good prelude to Oromian independence!

  21. Hubattuu

    Apr 28, 11 at 9:51 am

    Hi ALL,
    I think we have to be able to differentiate between the two phases of our struggle:

    – the first ‘BIilisummaa (Freedom) from Garbummaa’ phase, where we do have no other alternative, except to fight together against the colonizers/tyrannts and

    – the second ‘Walabummaa (Sovereignitiy)’ phase, where we do have at least three alternatives to choose from (an ‘independent Oromia’ or an ‘Ethiopian union = killil-federation’ or a ‘unitary Ethiopia’, on which our Oromo public can have a referendum after having Bilisummaa.

    Our enemy, Woyane wants that we now do quarrel on this second phase, so that we will not be able to cooperate on the struggle to achieve the first phase, which is actually the pre-requisite for the second phase! Let’s wake up from our sleep and act reasonablly!

  22. Dinqii

    Apr 28, 11 at 10:10 am

    Interestingly, Woyane cadres are the one who loudly talk and write about the ‘Ethiopia shall be saved’ slogan in Amhara forums and platalks at the same time, as well the ‘Oromia shall be free’ slogan in Oromo forums and paltalks! Amazing!!!

  23. Filaa

    Apr 28, 11 at 10:34 am

    As far as Bilisummaa/Freedom from Garbummaa/Domination is concerned, there is no difference between Oromian people for we all as humans and as a nation need to be free, but when it comes to the type of Walabummaa/Sovereignity, there are three Oromian groups: those who do believe in an ‘independent Oromia’, those who prefer ‘Oromia-Ethiopia = killil federation’ and those who do want to keep ‘integrated Ethiopia’. The solution is thus to achieve together bilisummaa per bullet and then to vote for the type of walabummaa, which we do prefer, in ballot box! Is this difficult to grasp??

  24. Negede

    Apr 29, 11 at 2:51 am

    @Walaboomi,

    May be your problem is lack of trust in the Oromo people, or you are not sure what the Oromo people wants. You appear to give Godly power to the so called ‘unitary forces’. Why should the ‘unitary forces’ be able to impose their interest on the Oromo people? Trust me no force or power can impose anything against the will of the Oromo people. That is what eludes me. A liberation force that claim to stand for the largest ethnic group in the country doesn’t seem to have much presence in the country. The Oromo people was the dominant power, the main force,,, on whose shoulder the country Ethiopia survived and get consolidated. It is a pity that different political groups consider the Oromo people as simple object of political manipulation. The riddle is finding precisely what the Oromo people wants and all political forces should converge to that interest. Then, no force will prevent the Oromo people from getting what it wants. Currently the people is so confused with the different propaganda of rival political groups, woyane is also doing its own part to further add to the confusion, the Oromo people do not know what to do.

    Anyway in the end, the political group that understood the aspiration of all the Oromo people will come out the winner. Nothing can be taken for granted. The trick is in finding the truth!!!!

  25. Sirreessaa

    Apr 29, 11 at 8:48 am

    Obbo Negede,
    thanks! To some extent you make sense! Oromo people have nothing to fear, if the next move of all the stakeholders is towards achieving both freedom and democracy. I don’t think that the majority Oromo loses and the minority Amhara or Gurage takes advantage, if these two virtues (freedom and democracy) are our common and core values!

  26. Siifan

    May 6, 11 at 4:02 pm

    Sure is that Woyane cadres are doing everything under the sun to divide and weaken the opposition. It is up to us, the supporters of the opposition, to act against this move of the cadres. That is why we continously push for the IMPERATIVE unity of those with similar ideology and for the optional alliance of ALL the anti-Woyane democrats. The opposition camp including the Oromo liberation movement should act together against the mafia group in Finfinne palace. For this to happen, the opposition groups need to agree on the rule of the game regarding the future arrangement: referendum or consensus or force.

    The rule of the game against Woyane is clear. Woyane didn’t give any chance for either a referendum or a consensus. What remains then is a force as the only means to deal with Woyane; that means only civil disobedience, armed struggle and public uprising are the choice, not the usual ‘election game’! But the opposition should also find the suitable rule of the game in the post-Woyane future politics: either consensus or referendum, excluding force. Then they do have only the following two options:

    – consensus on a middle ground for ALL; i.e on a ‘Union of Autonomous Nations’ in the region/empire called Ethiopia or

    – referendum on: an ‘independent nation like an independent Oromia’ VS a ‘union of autonomous nations in Ethiopia’ VS an ‘integration of the empire (no autonomous national areas like Oromia)’

    Force is only the last option for the opposition groups to settle the difference between each other, in case we will fail to agree on the above two noble ways (on consensus and referendum). If we must use force, then the result will be an ‘independence by force as in the case of Eritrea’, or a ‘union by force as it is now under Woyane’ or an ‘integration by force as it was under the Amhara rule in the past’. Now, the question to be answered is: are both the Oromo camp and the Amhara camp in a position to achieve their goal respectively by force? If the Oromo camp wants an Oromian independence in such a move by force, it must win not only the ruling Woyane, but also the opposing Amhara camp. If the Amharas want to impose an integration by force, they also need to win not only the ruling Woyane, but also the opposing Oromo camp.

    I don’t think this is feasible for both camps in the near future; that is why both the Amhara camp and the Oromo camp must make a compromise/have a consensus, not to fight each other, but build an alliance to be a stronger force against Woyane to achieve their common goal according to the consensus, i.e to achieve FREEDOM from Woyane’s fascism and a ‘UNION of autonomous nations’ as a compromise solution. Woyane cadres are now sensing that this possibility of an alliance between the Amhara camp and the Oromo bloc against their rule is approaching, that is why they are very busy to polarize, divide and fragmentize both camps.