Dismal failure of exponents of ‘violent revolution’
By Berhane Kahsay
Ethiopian News, Tigrai Online, December 26, 2015
The Eritrean old dictator wagging his tail surounded by his masters the Arabs.
Genuine grievances against the Addis Ababa and Oromia Special Zones Integrated Master Plan has been hijacked and turned into a destructive protest by anti-government elements intent on securing power by resorting to outright violence. The rally started in limited areas surrounding the metropolis but it rapidly expanded to other parts of the region precipitating loss of lives and damages to properties owned by local and foreign investors.
The instigator’s realised that their grand ‘project’ would not bring the desired effect without a similar upheaval in Addis Ababa and Amhara region as pointed out by Messay Kebede who was a member of the brutal military regime that massacred hundreds and thousands of innocent people during the 17 years of brutal rule. To initiate chaos and mayhem in the AU capital, the Grand Anwar Mosque was attacked by a hand grenade during evening prayers gravely wounding 10 people. The intention was to blame the government for this cowardly act thereby entice the Muslim community to come out to the streets and join the unrest to exacerbate the volatile situation further ; but the Muslim youth refused to be party to the wanton destruction of their own country. Another failure was an attempt by G-7 and Semayawi Party to spread the unrest to Amhara region by creating a collision between the local administration and Agaw-Kemants who are requesting self-rule.
The turmoil in Oromia was primarily led incognito by the closet member of the OLF, Merara Gudena, in collaboration with corrupt and disgruntled members of the OPDO. It appears that the protest that they were desperately hoping to transform into an uprising similar to what took place in Syria, Yemen and Libya has fortunately fizzled-out and mounting death toll and terminal crisis in the country have thankfully been avoided. Extremists at home and in the Diaspora were calling for ‘’ violent revolution’’ as in Syria where 4 million people have fled their country and 250,000 citizens have been killed since the unrest began in 2011. And it was also out of this catastrophe that ISIS, which is in the business of decapitating innocent people, came into being.
It is imperative that the government should undertake a massive and comprehensive campaign to repair the damage done to the country as a result of the unrest to ensure the continuous flow of inward investments in order to persevere the fight against abject poverty which has been in motion for the last 24 years. What was most significant of the whole episode, which the extremists should take note, was that it was the Oromo people themselves who consciously decided to stop the protests from getting out of control by refusing to listen to the destructive instigators and not as a result of brute intervention by the police or the army as we have been led to believe. If force was the answer, dictators like Kaddafi, Ben-Ali of Tunisia and Ali Abdulla Saleh of Yemen who used it to the full would still have in power today.
The patriotic deed of the Oromo people can only be attributed to the fact that they didn’t wish to see the destruction of their country that has become the third/fourth giant economy of Africa under the leadership of the EPRDF. Other regions of the country also firmly refused to be part of the extremists call to bring down the developmental government which happens to be an overwhelming and long standing wish of the arch enemy of Ethiopia, Esayass Afeworki. In any case why would the Oromo not protect the current political system that has enabled them to re-gain their pride, identity and culture that they lost starting from the reign of Menelik and ending when the EPRDF, architect of federalism, assumed power?
It is pretty obvious that if the issues raised by the Oromo people nearly two years ago in relation to the Master Plan were properly addressed, the extremists would not have had the opportunity to cause death and untold destructions for the second time around. For this failure, the leaders of OPDO should be held accountable and this definitely is the perfect moment for the organisation to carry-out a thorough appraisal, and to take a stern action against undesirable elements within it that have been sowing the seeds of animosity and distrust between the people and the regional party/administration. Accountability, transparency, good governance and intolerance to corruption would pull the public towards OPDO and deny any opportunity for its disloyal opponents to destabilise the region which has made significant economic gains from investments on floriculture, garment, mechanised farming ,mining to name but a few. Any other way of silencing worthless elements like Gudena and Bekele Gerba is simply counter-productive and generates adverse publicity that could negatively impact on the inward movement of capital needed to maintain the economic growth that has been in progress since the coming of the EPRDF.
A legitimate protest is very desirable action and keeps the executive branch of government on its toes. It is part and parcel of democracy and this can only turn into a full-fledge uprising if the political climate prohibits genuine dissent. In such a state, external enemies such as Egypt and Eritrea would take advantage of the situation by fuelling the unrest to further their own agendas of precipitating instability and bloodshed. So it is in Ethiopia’s interest to alter the current unhelpful prevailing circumstances in the country in order to elude potential threats that could seriously endanger its stability and cohesion made possible as a result of the colossal sacrifices. Listening to the public and swiftly responding to their concerns as well as maintaining the economic attainments of the last two decades which have benefited the nations, nationalities and people’s of the country would also make Ethiopia withstand external interferences and circumvent the sort of upheavals witnessed in a number of Arab nations. Under such circumstances, Diaspora extremist would be denied the opportunity to use social media to incite unrest far away from the line of fire.
Irrespective of the political climate in Ethiopia, Egypt would not rest from trying to initiate chaos in the country through Esayass simply because it wants to remain as the primary consumer of the Nile Waters. As the Arab Republic would not dare intervene directly, taking out the Eritrean dictator would leave her with no option but to desist from its destructive activities and negotiate in good faith to resolve the impasse in an amicable way. It would have been better to invest time and resources on this instead of Mola Asgedom who would have surrendered to the Ethiopian authorities in the absence of his boss.