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Oromo federalists: time to challenge chauvinists and their surrogate OPDO

By Berhane Kahsay
Tigrai Online, Jan. 31, 2019

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Oromo federalists: time to challenge chauvinists and their surrogate OPDO
The next Ethiopian government must be formed by a genuine Oromo party or joint parties in favour of a devolved government.

In 1992, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) committed a critical blunder by pulling out of the interim government that was crafted after the complete defeat of the military junta in 1991. The entire leadership of the OLF left the country and not long after their departure, a schism developed causing the 46 years old outfit to fracture into several entities. After many years in the wilderness, leaders of the innumerable strands of OLF entered Ethiopia in the summer of 2018 to participate in the forthcoming general election scheduled to take place in 2020. 

There are a number of legally registered Oromo organisations and all of them happen to be exponents of federalism as expressed by their respective political programmes. But the accidental supremo of ODP who is currently leading the nation appears to be slanting towards the conception of a unitary state in place of the devolved system of governance that has been in operation since 1994.

Amhara intelligentsia including, Kassa Kebede, Dawit Weldergiorigs, Goshu Welde and Alemayohe Gebremariam to name but a few have been advising the PM to dismantle EPRDF--- dissolve parliament and the constitution by a decree--- and form an interim government until a general election that precludes ethnically based parties is declared.   

Abiy is already preparing the ground as demonstrated by his repeated breaches of the constitution in addition to failing to take stern measures to stop the illegal old national flag which symbolises domination by one ethnic group from being hoisted in prominent public places. Even Ethiopian foreign missions including here in the UK have started displaying it on their cyber spaces without any reservations. Only a couple of days ago, the PM was standing in front of a podium draped with the old flag when addressing artists in a packed hall.   

It is patently obvious that the ultimate objective is to formulate a presidential state that ushers the return of Amhara supremacy that millions of Ethiopians fought and died to abolish. In short, the starless flag has become a rallying point for the Unitarians with Abiy at the centre of it for now. But once their objective is met, they will ditch the clueless and inept PM, and take full control of the country that serves the interests of the chauvinists and the ethnic group they represent.

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The bigots that hanker to re-institute the failed system that made the nation synonymous with famine and destitution have a strong backing from Gedu and Demeke who seem to have a disproportionate influence on the almost defunct party in power. These two objectionable creatures have become so powerful, even the PM is not able to control their belligerent posturing towards their immediate neighbours, Tigrai in particular. Federal arteries linking Tigrai with the capital and beyond have been impeded, but to-date, PM Abiy has failed to act to resolve the banditry instigated by Gedu and Demeke.

A new Boundary and Identity Commission came into being in December last year at the exigency of Gedu and his side kick, Demeke, in flagrant desecration of the authority delegated to the House of Federation by FDRE constitution. This illegal Commission was set up with the sole purpose of incorporating Welkait and Raya into Amhara administration. Amhara zealots armed themselves with a few to invading Tigrian land, but when they realised who they were dealing with, they seem to have opted for the second face saving route which they imprudently believe will deliver them what they want.         

Gedu and Demeke have become so powerful and untouchable; they have not even been brought to book for the on-going genocide against Qemant people. Repeated pleas for federal intervention to stop the massacre have fallen on deaf ears and the extermination of innocent men, women and children is still lingering without respite.

The sons and daughters of the traitor syphilitic Menelik have also been conspiring against Dawud Ibssa after observing the tumultuous reception he received from his ecstatic supporters when he arrived in Finfinnee in August last year. This was a great shock to the chauvinists which sent them into a panic mode as they feared Abbo Ibssa would scupper their grand agenda of establishing ‘one Ethiopia.’

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From there on, they were fully engaged in machinating a rift between PM Abiy and Abbo Dawud hoping to weaken the OLF and diminish its leader’s bartering stance. Difficult but resolvable negotiations were in progress in relation to disarming OLF fighters but the schemers finally had their way ensuing in military confrontations including ariel bombardments of rebel held areas by government forces. By engaging the OLF in unnecessary hostilities, the shrewd Amhara elite are also preventing the organisation from devising strategies and structures in preparation for the next general election. This is intended to give their man Abiy the chance to sweep across the board.

It is pretty clear that since the crowning of ‘King’ Abiy, the Chauvinists of ‘one Ethiopia’ have regained the ascendency they lost 28 years ago. As a result, the impressionable PM has completely come under their wing; and it is regrettable that the ultra-bigots were not cremated soon after the fall of the Derg.

Emboldened by their triumphs, they have even considered rehabilitating the butcher Mengistu in preparation for his imminent pardon and re-settlement in Ethiopia once again. Glorifying a coward who abandoned his country after his army of 430,000 personnel was defeated by the combined forces of the TPLF and EPLF beggars’ belief. Their efforts to restore a killer who levied for the bullets his security forces used to kill innocent demonstrators aptly indicate their utter contempt for the Ethiopian people.

OLF wasted a golden opportunity in 1992; had it remained as part of the interim government, sooner or later it would have formed a government of its making without a shadow of a doubt. Now a second chance has materialised for the Oromo and it is there for taking if they play their cards right. All Oromo parties except OPDO should stand together and confront the chauvinists before they take control of the country. They should also demand for the blatant attack against OLF to stop forthwith.  

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The next government must be formed by a genuine Oromo party or joint parties in favour of a devolved government. OPDO which is led by a mongrel is being used by chauvinists to change the constitution and create a political system anathema to nations, nationalities and peoples’ of Ethiopia. In his recent interview with Addis TV, Dr Merara said there would be a civil war if federalism was to be tampered with; and we all know who is going to suffer the most. Those longing for the return of the old despised system are endangering the lives of 4-5 million Amhara living outside their region, mostly in Oromia.

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