August 13, 2009

Oppinion: Why was/is it easy for Meles regime to rule over Ethiopia? (By Fayyis Oromia)

Why was/is it easy for Meles regime to rule over Ethiopia?

Fayyis Oromia*

Why was it easy for Meles adminstration to rule over Ethiopians in the last 18 years? Why even will it be easier to rule for further many decades? It is just because of the misguided elites of the two BIG nations aka Amharas and Oromos. Meles regime managed to corner these elites and made them to strive for unconditional unitary Imiye Ethiopia or to sing about unconditional independence of Ayo Oromia respectively. With that the ruling regime could reserve the middle ground aka Union of Autonomous Nations i.e language based federalism as its own position, so that it can accuse Amharas as ceneralists and Oromos as separatists and make them fight each other. Some politicians in the opposition have tried to neutralize this effort of the regime. For example, I do appreciate the position of the visionary leaders like Ob Daud, Ob Bulcha and some Amhara leaders who signed the formation of the alliance called AFD, which took a necessary step to tackle with the regime's tactic of devide and rule.
It was already written that the ruling party's leader, Meles Zenawi, must have said: Amhara-Oromo conflict, i.e the historical face-off between Oromo and Amhara, is a unique historical advantage for Weyane to perpetuate its rule. He also said regarding the dialogue between Amhara forces and Oromo fronts within AFD (Alliance for Freedom and Democracy), seemingly rightly, that it is a marriage between "fire and straw (isat ina ciid)". It is really pity that these two BIG nations do live in a conflict against each other, which is just caused by the hitherto ruling class of the empire and by the sponsors of the ruling class aka the European colonizers, the effect being the fate of both nations to live now under the subjugation by minority group of the Tigrean ruling class.

Disregarding the hitherto Abesha ruling class, actually both the Amhara and Oromo peoples were victims of the European colonizers. The main conflict and imbalance of power between the Amharas and Oromos started at the end of 19th century at which time the Europeans had their programm of scramble for Africa. It is said that the French colonizers used to move horizontal between Dakar and Djibouti, whereas the British colonizers' move was vertical between Cape town and Cairo. These two forces were about to confront each other in the Horn of Africa. To avoid the confrontation the British colonizers had to do their usual manipulation in Africa: choosing one ethnic group as a "superior", and using it to suppress the others which they consider as the "inferiors". They told the Amharas that they are "superior" semitics and christians who had to "civilize" the "inferior animist" Oromos and others in the south. They gave them weapons and helped them by giving military advice. So they controlled indirectly the area without confronting the French army. With such manipulation, both the Amharas and the Oromos became victims, since then both are not free. The Amhara rulers being the ex-servants of the British (as suppressors of the Oromos), both the Amharas as a people and the Oromos as the the suppressed subjects were/are still lacking freedom.

Now a days the Tegarus' ruling class plays similar role as servant of the American imperialists again to suppress the Oromos and of course at the moment the Amharas are as oppressed as the Oromos. Theoretically now there is nothing which can hinder the alliance of the Amhara pro-democracy forces and the Oromo pro-freedom fronts to come together and fight for their freedom and democracy as they attempted in AFD, but still there are practical problems. Both need yet to learn to stop their striving for mere unconditional Ethiopian unity and mere Oromian independence without a union respectively. The Amhara pro-democracy forces pushing for unconditional unity makes the Oromo freedom fighters only to be sceptical for they know what the pro-democracy forces want to achieve with this pretext. At the same time the attempt of some of Oromo freedom fighters to forge independence without giving the possibility for a union and without giving a value for the benefit of a union among neighbouring nations makes the Amhara pro-democracy forces to panic because of their thinking that they will be driven out of Oromia. Such move of certain part of the Oromo freedom fighters seems to be as counter-productive as the vehement wish of the Amhara pro-democracy forces for unconditional unity.

Beside that, the regime do manipulate this "difference" between the two BIG nations to creat more discord and make them fight each other. In order to neutralize such deed of Meles' administration, very important now for the two nations is to concentrate on the common agenda: freedom and democracy. If both of them come to their senses and do rally behind these two ideals, the other two virtues they want to realize aka independent Oromia in an integrated (united) Ethiopia will be fullfilled indirectly. Is this impossible? NO! It is possible if all nations in the empire will be free from tyranny, killing, and looting like what is happening under Weyane now. So our main problem now a days is the lording, killing and looting that all the nations in the empire do suffer under the dictatorial regime. The victims from the two BIG nations need to wake up and say together: NO to fascist regime!

To achieve the durable alliance of the two forces against the regime, the two BIGs need to forge one common ground as a common goal. I do recommend as a common goal: union of independent nations aka independent Oromia in an integrated Ethiopia as a result of a self-determination of each nation. Till now, it was very difficult to get a common purpose on which the Oromo pro-freedom fronts and the Amhara pro-democracy forces could agree. The Oromo freedom fighters argue that Oromos must be free and separated from the domination by any meanse and then build a union based on free will. Very few smart part of the Amhara pro-unity forces argue that Abeshas are the semiticized Oromos and Agews speaking Amharinya and Tigrinya, so that Oromos don't have to separate from their own people, but they should bring the semitized Oromos back to their lost origin and Oromos should have an appropriate role in the politics of the country.

Further more most of Amhara pro-democracy forces do fear the disintegration of the empire they did build. So they seem to do every thing possible so that Oromo freedom fighters never have an upper hand in Ethiopian politics for they fear that these fronts may opt for independence of Oromia. On the contrary, Oromo freedom fighters do all things possible to hinder the come back of Amhara pro-democracy forces to power, for they know what these pro-democracy forces are going to do: amharinization of the whole nations in the empire. The two BIGs simply sabotage each other's succeess. As an example we can look at the political moves during and after election 2005. As CUD which is dominated by the Amhara pro-democracy forces was almost on the verge of coming to power, almost all Oromo freedom fighters didn't give support. As OLF was in its highest point of influence and forged AFD to be an alternative for power in Finfinne, it was the Amhara pro-democracy forces in UEDF and in other similar parties who vehemently opposed the alliance.

This mistrust between the Amhara pro-democracy forces and the Oromo freedom fighters is the God-given opportunity that the regime is using to rule over the country as long as possible. Unless these two groups come to term and cooperate against Meles adminstration, all nations in the empire have to settle for the rule of the regime not only for few years, but for many decades. I think the union of independent nations based on the right of nations to self-determination is a middle ground and can be used as a common purpose on which the two groups aka the two giant nations of the region can agree. Union of independent Amhara, Tigrai, Afar, Oromia, Ogadenia, Sidama, Gurage.....etc as a result of their respective self-determination and even the union including Eritrea, Djibouti, somaliland, Puntland and Somalia (if they agree based on free will) is the noble cause for which all can fight together. Not accepting this model meanse unconditional separation of these independent nations as an alternative.

The question to be asked is: do Amhara pro-unity forces choose to settle for this last alternative or should they be compelled to accept such fact as alternative to their refusal of recognizing a union based on self-determination? I know the members of the regime will accept such alternative of separation as soon as they sense that they may loose power in Finfinne palace. To compell Amhara pro-democracy forces to accept such a union based on national self-determination, we just have to demote Amharinya to be used only in Amhara region and promote Afaan Oromo to be federal language. Then Amharas will see that Ethiopianity will not be equivalent to Amharanet (as it is now), but it will be the same to Oromummaa. In such a scenario of Oromummaa being equivalent to Ethiopianity, the Oromo freedom fighters will definetly start to be pro Ethiopianity against "ethnicity" and the Amhara pro-democracy forces will begin to defend their identity by opting for self-determination of Amhara people, so that they support "ethnicity" and reject Ethiopianity aka Oromummaa. This way, they can comprehend what it meanse to struggle for national independence with or without regional union.

Till now certain steps have been taken by OLF to forge the common ground with Amhara pro-democracy forces and to kill the ruling party, TPLF, in Ethiopian political history. The short sighted TPLFites who are good at winning battles, but can never win the war, think that they are killing OLF by persecuting and massacring Oromos who do support OLF. But these measures of the regime gave OLF even more mass support of Oromos, which it didn't have till 1991. Further more interesting is that OLF killed not supporters of the ruling party, but it took away the existence of Weyane in Ethiopia in a future long run. OLF did this by taking two very important measures. In 1992 OLF denied the regime the legitimacy it needed in Oromia. With this TPLF became the eternal enemy of Oromos. The ruling party could have made OLF its partner and would have enjoyed support of all Oromos, but it formed OPDO and made its self alien to Oromo people. In 2006 OLF formed AFD together with the Amhara pro-democracy parties like CUD and with that it took away the very important instrument TPLF used to rule over Ethiopians: designating Amhara pro-democracy forces as centeralist chauvinists and Oromo freedom fighters as separatists so that these two groups fight each other instead of struggling together against the regime. Now this instrument is dead and Meles' adminstration is under attack from both Amharas and Oromos. Surely take it only 1 year or as long as 10 years, TPLF will die away like Isepa of derg. After loosing power, Meles' adminstration will be remembered in Ethiopia as bad a regime as the Naizi is now remembered in Germany. The coming Tegaru generation will distance its self from TPLF and will be ashamed of this regime`s history just like the new generation of Germany is doing now regarding its forefather's deed.

Actually I do appreciate the effort of the pro-democracy Amhara forces, who are trying to foster the democratic unity of the region called Ethiopia. It is not bad to advocate such unity. As I understood from their hitherto writings, they do use both religious and poletical methods to promote and keep the unity. This is actually very dangerous combination, specially when used by one and the same individual. I advice them as individuals to leave one method and persue the other. The problem is that as a politician, one can persue the interest of the group he/she does support, e.g an interest of the Amhara pro-democracy forces to keep the empire intact against an interest of the Oromo freedom fighters to dismantle the empire and build a union. As a religous person, one is morally obliged to think inclusive, trying to satisfy both the Amhara democracy forces and the Oromo freedom fighters, which will bring him/her in to difficult position. Otherwise in order to know what type of unity the Amhara pro-democracy forces do advocate, they need to see the difference between an empire and a union. The Amhara pro-democracy forces use the euphemy, unity, to mean keeping the empire intact. Just to put the difference in short, empire is "unity per force" and union is "unity per free will". If the Amhara pro-democracy forces are the believers of this second premise, then they also do risk that "the free will" of the people to be expressed in a referendum can lead to independence of nations without a union instead of only to the unconditional unity which they want to achieve.

Other wise, it is good to see that there is also a difference between a unity and a union. The first is pre-modern, whereas the second is post-modern. In summary here is the difference between the pre-modern unity and the post-modern union. I don't remember his name, but certain English scholar classified countries in the world in to three: 1- pre-modern chaotic states like the artificial constructs/countries in Africa, such as the Ethiopian empire, which the Amhara pro-democracy forces seem to love, 2- modern nation-states like some mono-national-states in Asia and Latine America and 3- post-modern union of free nations like those in European union. So, the Amhara pro-democracy forces should see that African nations, including those in the empire, are kept as pre-modern due to the arrangement made by the European colonizers and this is still being perpetuated further by AU-dictators, who are dedicated not to change it. But we Africans need to leave the artificial nations like Eritrea, Ethiopia, Kenya, Nigeria, Djibouti, Somaliland, Somalia and Kenya behind and forge the productive natural nation-states like Tigrai, Amhara, Afar, Oromia, Hausa, Yoruba, Somalia...etc in order to be transformed from our present position (pre-modern), passing through the stage of modern status like an independent Oromia without a union further to the post-modern situation like an independent Oromia in a union with neighbouring independent nations, the most beneficial status which the Europeans them selves are enjoying now.

I hope the Amhara pro-democracy forces do not misunderstand my position by reading my point of view here. I am not a representative of OLF as some accuse me oft, but I am a simple private person who tries to think independently. There can be certain views of mine which may be the same to that of OLF, but not always. Supporting OLF unconditionally and helping it to be on power is not my goal. My goal is self-determination of Oromos which can lead to an independent republic of Oromia with a union of nations in the empire/region or to independence of all nations in the empire without a union. I know few Amhara pro-democracy forces do accept this first option, but many of them do reject the second goal. They do want larger unitary Ethiopia than the "inferior mini states" such as Amharai and Oromia. I am also for the larger Ethiopian union based on the free will of Oromos, which can be the result of a referendum. But I don't agree with the idea of some Amhara pro-democracy forces, who do advocate for the unconditional unity of the empire, which is dictatorial unity. To forge the common goal aka a democratic union based on self-determination, we need the alliance of all Amhara pro-democracy forces and Oromo pro-liberty fronts in the empire against the regime. I hope this is also the status, which some of Amhara pro-democracy forces want to achieve. This form of the alliance between the Amhara pro-democracy forces and the Oromo freedom fighters is the meanse to get rid of the dictator and the alliance can struggle for the union of nations in the empire as an END, i.e. as the goal to fight for.

Some Amhara pro-democracy forces even, at least theoretically, do believe that the destiny of the Oromo people should be decided by only the Oromo people who live in Ethiopia and "who are also Ethiopians". If they really believe in what they some times write, that meanse they are ready to leave the decision on Oromo destiny for Oromos. Then the question to be asked is: what will happen if the very Oromos they do mention as part of Ethiopians do decide against the unity which they want, but opt to build the independent state of Oromia without a union? Do the Amhara pro-democracy forces accept it and move on or do they fight against it? Further more, the pro-democracy forces should be clear on the type of unity they want to forge. Union based on free will or unity based on force? Those who do advocate unity by force have their own arguements. Specially it is interesting to read that some of them are trying to instrumentalize the present American politics in order to push for the success of their own type of unity, which is again an euphemy for keeping the empire. They do say just as American union was saved by force, we will struggle to save Ethiopian union. Can't their "intellectual" mind grasp the difference between the two "unions"? America is the land of immigrants being melted together to take the American identity speaking only English. Do they want all the native "Ethiopian" nationalities be melted to take such uniformity and speak only Amharinya?

As far as I know, even the most liberal movement aka Ginbot-7 advocates unconditional Ethiopian unity, which is not the goal of the Oromo freedom fighters and not the wish of other oppressed people who do fight for self-determination of nations. I am not against Ethiopian union based on free will of all nations, but I am against forced unity of any kind, which disregards the free will of nations like Oromo. If Ginbot-7 wants an alliance of purpose with the Oromo freedom fighters like OLF, I just suggest that it accepts a union based on self-determination of nations as a common denominator, instead of talking about the unconditional unity. I also read that G.-7 is calling for an alliance of all the Amhara pro-democracy forces and the Oromo pro-liberty fronts as a meanse to get rid of the regime. I do accept this attempt, but my concern and the question I would like to ask is: alliance of whom against Meles' administration?

As I understood till now, Ethiopian politics is kept in balance due to a fighting between the following three blocs: 1- the bloc of the governing TPLF domination force; 2- the bloc of the so called "unity forces", who do fight to keep the empire intact. This bloc does use different tactics in the name of democracy, but its message is simple and clear: save the empire from disintegration; 3- the bloc of freedom fighters of all oppressed nations in the empire, who do first want to be liberated from the system of domination before trying to talk about unity. For this group, Ethiopian union must be only the result of self-determination of all nations in the empire. When the Amhara pro-democracy forces do talk about alliance against the regime, do they mean alliance of only political and civic organizations in the second bloc? Or do they also want to include those in the third block? As I understood from the rhetoric of G-7 leaders till now, they already put a precondition for the alliance to be forged against the first bloc aka Weyane: i.e accepting Ethiopian unity unconditionally! With this precondition, they seem to exclude those in the third bloc such as OLF, ONLF SLF...etc, who want to achieve a self-determination for their respective nations. In order to include the third bloc in to the alliance they want to forge against Meles' administration, G-7 people need to change this precondition and they should try to find a common denominator with the third bloc.

I think the only common denominator can be acceptance of a union based on self-determination of nations. If G-7 activists are democrats in practice as they do say always, I hope they will accept this. Nations should decide on their own destiny based on free will, be it for an independence with in a union or for an independence without a union. Does their rhetoric about democracy include such demand of peoples to decide on their destiny? Or are they the smart unitarist foxes in sheep's skin? Or are some of them just naive poleticians, being instrumentalized to fullfill the intention of the extremists, who want to restore their domination at any cost? I hope Amhara pro-democracy people will think and act independently from the hitherto extremist minded chauvinist conservatives.

The two positions, i.e the position of the Amhara pro-democracy forces (unconditional unity) vs the position of the Oromo pro-liberty fronts (union based on free will) should be discussed and debated before attempting to forge an alliance against the ruling party. Even when nations give their vote to independence with in a union, then it is mandatory to decide secondly on which type of federal arrangement to be accepted as suitable. The Amhara pro-democracy forces are advocators of geography based federalism in contrast to a language based federalism ("ethnic federalism"), which is preferred by most of the freedom fighters. As "democrats", all of them can live accepting the winner per public verdict. This is what UDJ wanted to achieve in Medrek (FDD) . Actually UDJ got what it intended to achieve: §39 is rejected and if Medrek wins the next election, the issue of the type of federation will be decided by the public verdict. Here it seems the federalist Oromo parties in Medrek lost in the compromise solution. They didn't insist to achieve the right of Oromo nation to self-determination and even they compromised the further existence of Oromia because of the fact that if geography based federation wins, Oromia will be dismantled.

The acceptance of unconditional Ethiopian unity by federalist Oromo parties in Medrek is like making a compromise on one's own wife, who is being raped daily by a neighbour bully. If a certain bully from a neighbour goes in to some body's hause and rape daily the wife of his helpless neighbour infront of her husband, the helpless man can only beg the bully to reduce the rape action to help his wife get less pain. If the bully agrees to come every other day instead of every day, that is the success for the helpless man. That is what Oromo parties in Medrek did achieve by not insisting on the right of Oromo nation to self-determination, but just only accepting the demand of Abeshas for unconditional Ethiopian unity. They are simply helpless vis a vis the well armoured Abesha domination forces.

Now the question to be directed to the Amhara pro-democracy forces is: can't they extend this philosophy they do apply for deciding on which type of federation, based on public verdit as agreed in Medrek, also to the arguement: independence with in a union vs independence without a union? Doesn't this require self-determination of nations to decide on which type of sovereignity peoples/nations can have? Can't they imagine that the public can also decide on this issue per a referendum (public verdict)? Doesn't their democracy rhetoric include this option? Can't they accept and live, if certain public decides for independence without a union? Or do they go to the forest and fight for the union they want to see? As I heard till now, G.-7 didn't even decide on the issue regarding which type of federation to support.

The Amhara pro-democracy forces should not understand me as if I am against a union. I do support a union, when it is based on free will. My question to them is again just as UDJ accepted the principle of public verdict on the decision regarding geography based federation vs language based federation, can't they just in principle accept that people also should decide regarding the type of sovereignity they want to have aka independence with in a union or independence without a union? Concerning the benefit/cost discussion in cmparing the two types of sovereignities, all the stakeholders of course can try to convince the public so that the majority do accept their respective wish before voting. The Amhara pro-democracy forces can advertise for the advantage of a union and the pro-liberty fronts can talk about the importance of an independence. Of cource the compromise and the common ground for both groups can be national independence with in regional union, which can be advocated by both forces if they make a consensus on it. Then the alliance of both forces can try to convince the public about the importance and benefit of this common goal aka union of independent nations. At last the public should decide which to prefer.

Yet interesting is to read that some of Amhara pro-democracy forces fear that peoples can be brain washed and vote against their own interest. It is simply wrong to think that peoples decide against their own interest. If they do mistakenly vote against their own interset like the Americans elected Mr Bush by mistake, let it be. That is also part of democracy! Do the Amhara pro-democracy people want that certain force should have been raised and prevented this election of Mr Bush or do they want that, just like Meles Zenawi did, certain forcefull person would have taken away the victory and declare himself the winner? During elections, informing the public before making the decision is some thing good, but just taking away this possibility of decision making from the people is undemocratic. So my message to the Amhara pro-democracy forces is that there is no half backed democracy. Either they accept it as it is, including the right of nations to self-determination or they just stop acting like a pope of democracy and they should stop condemning those who are undemocratic, for it is known that they can be also the same or even worse if they get the chance to be in power. If they do reject such simple right of nations being an oppostiion, it is imaginable what they can do if they get power: they may do worse than what Meles is doing now.

That the concerned people may be brain washed by interest groups to vote against their own interest is the reality we have to live with. All nations do have our own interest and each of us want to convince people that our respective position is right. By the way, why should we call it brain washing instead of calling it convincing? It is about influencing people, be it this way or that way. In America, the evangelicals were convinced and were successfull with Mr Bush and now the quasi-socialists are successfull with Mr Obama. Where is brain washing? It is about convincing the majority. The one who won the hearts and minds of the majority was the victor. In the free and fair competition, for the Amhara pro-democracy forces who struggle for unity, there is the same chance to that of the Oromo pro-liberty fronts (advocators of a union as a result of self-determination). Their freedom of choice is mutually respected.

But regarding those dictatorial unifiers who are advocating unconditional unity without the option for a public verdict, it should be known that they do take the freedom of Oromo pro-liberty fronts by advocating such dictatorial position. For example, when they say "be Ethiopia andinet lay anideraderim!", they are sending the message: you either accept this andinet or we will deal with you. They don't say, we advocate for Ethiopian unity and then let the public decide. Their approach is arrogant, dictatorial and uncompromising! To such people, Oromo pro-liberty fronts also should say: "be Oromia netsanet lay anideraderim". Now how can the two groups who do say "anideraderim" deal with each other democratically? The only solution will be a bullet, as it has been till now. Till now the pro-unconditional-unity dictatorial forces won for the last 150 years and they "united" us by force. The Oromo freedom fighters call this as colonization, for it is not a union based on free will. Some people with similar dictatorial ideology (TPLF seems to be so) do now want to continue the status quo at gun point. That is why Oromo freedom fighters dare to say: such forces are not open for the lasting solution, but they are still the causes for the misery in the Horn region.

The question yet to be answered is again: do we see any possibility and any common denominator for an eventual alliance between the above mentioned bloc of the Amhara unity forces and bloc of the Oromo freedom fighters against the ruling party's camp? I suggested that the only common denominator is acceptance of a common strategical goal aka a union based on nations' right to self-determination.

In relation to this common denominator, we can classify the current political organizations in Ethiopia in to the following three roups: 1- on the right side are ethio-nationalists, who want to see Ethiopia with uniformily amharanized one people; they are geogeraphy based federalists who do advocate for democratic federal Ethiopia where there will be no visible danger for future distintegation, they actually plan to get rid of national areas like Oromia; 2- in middle are language based federalists, who are usually known as ethnic federalists. They want to see autonomous nations like Oromia determining their fate in their national area, but this group does exclude pushing for the right of nations to self-determination per a referendum; 3- on the left side are ethno-nationalists, who want to excercise the right of nations to self-determination to forge a sovereign, independent republics of their national areas like independent gadaa republic of Oromia within a union or without a union of nations in the empire/region.

I think the position of OLF is the third one i.e self-determination of Oromo people per a referendum which can lead either to language based federation (a union of independent nations) or to independent gadaa republic of Oromia without a union. Now coming to the call for alliance by G-7, I think it is the alliance of all these three groups, who can agree on establishing federal democratic Ethiopia per public verdict to decide firstly on the type of sovereignity: YES to a union vs NO to a union and then if the choice is YES, secondly to decide on the type of federation: language based federation vs geography based federation. OLF can be part of such alliance for its vision of Oromo's right to self-determination leading to an independence within a union or to an independence without a union based on a referendum among Oromos will be accepted and respected.

Also in the Oromo liberation camp now a days there are three tendencies or directions: 1- ethiopianist Oromos rallying behind UDJ/G-7 seem to claim that Ethiopia belongs to Oromos or Oromos belong to Ethiopia and they say we have to fight for freedom of all Ethiopians from any sort of domination, exploitation and subjugation. They are not against Afaan Oromo beside Amhyarinya to be a working language of federal government as it is a language of the majority. This group of Oromos are smart to claim some of Oromos' right in a diplomatic way. 2- federalist Oromos like those rallying behind OFC (OFDM & OPC) are supporters of the language based federation, they want to see Oromia having its autonomy and its limited sovereignity, but this group don't dare to push for the right of Oromos to self-determination, instead they seem to accept the unconditional unity of the empire. Other wise they say other regions can be devided if they want to forge geography based federalism, but this is not the vision of Oromos and should not be the fate of Oromia. They look at the geography based federalism as a plot to dismantle Oromia. That is why I do ask: can G-7 get support of this group? 3- oromianist national Oromos include all Oromos rallying behind their different liberation fronts, specially behind OLF and they want to achieve a self-determination of Oromo people leading to either an independence of Oromia with in a union or an independence without a union based on the outcome of a referendum among Oromos.

I hope the right oriented ethio-nationalists, who want to stablish Ethiopia with geography based federalism and the middle positioned ethno-federalists, who want to establish a democratic Ethiopia with language based federalism or with the assymetric federalism (having both mononational states like Oromia and multinational states like SNNP at a time) will give up their respective positions and they join the left oriented ethno-nationalists, who want to liberate their respective national area and simultaneously forge a union of independent nations based on free will expressed in their self-determination. To be clear, neither the vision to dismantle Oromia nor the intention to dismember Ethiopia per force can lead to the lasting unity, which the Amhara pro-democracy forces want to see. So I hope we can bring all the stakeholders to rally behind the common goal of building language based federation or a union of independent nations based on self-determination as a compromise solution.

Just as some of the Amhara pro-democracy forces seem to love the name Ethiopia, some Oromos do suspect that this group does hate to see Oromia existing. When I do hear and read the persistent rhetoric of G-7 leaders talking that acceptance of Ethiopian unity is the precondition for the alliance they want to forge, I can just conclude that G-7 is simply an araada version of the notorious chauvinists! They do exhibit the arrogant stand of "my way or high way", which doesn't promot the Ethiopian unity they actually want to realize. I do believe that the only viable Ethiopian unity should come from the free will of nations in the empire through self-determination. Otherwise these people in G-7 can strive as long as they want, they can never win the hearts and minds of Oromos and all other self-concsious oppressed nations (excluding the mental slaves who are already acting to be more Abesha than the native Abeshas).

Good is that G-7 fights against Weyane, but it seems to make no constructive compromise to build an alliance with the Oromo freedom fighters. With that it already made a big obstacle even for unity forces. Intentionally or unintentionally it is against the cause it seems to fight for. Sure is that its bloc of unity forces can not win against both the first (ruling party's forces) and the third blocs (bloc of freedom fighters), who actually do have a potential to build a strategical alliance against the second bloc of unity forces. Those forces in the second bloc should remember that they lost the struggle in 2005 not only because of the action of the regime, but also because of the support they lost from Oromos and other oppressed nations. As an e.g OFDM and UEDF abandoned the alliance at the last minute, as they observed the danger CUD might bring by reversing even the fake language based federation of the regime, in which at least a limited cultural autonomy of nations is respected, if it comes to power.

Now G-7 seems to do the same mistake. That is why I dare to say, these people in G-7 are either naive politicians or implants to sabotage the intention of the Amhara unitiy forces, for their approach at last leads not to Ethiopian unity. If they realy want a lasting Ethiopian unity, they have to agree to accept the verdict of the people. When the time comes, they can advocate for the unity they do believe in, others will advertise the independence of their respective nation, then let us leave the result for the people to decide. That is what we call the right to self-determination. Further more if the parties in the alliance make a consensus to forge a union of independent nations from the very beginning, all can propagate together their common vision and allow the public to either accept or reject it. If this is the view of the Amhara pro-democracy forces, there will be nothing to quarell on with the Oromo freedom fighters. Let the people decide firstly on the type of sovereignity regarding independece within a union vs independence without a union and then secondly after deciding for independece within a union based on free will, people can yet decide on the type of federation we will have: language based federalism vs geography based federalism. If this is the view of the bloc of Amhara unity forces, there is no hinderance for the possible alliance with the bloc of Oromo liberation fronts against the bloc of the ruling party aka fascist regime.

Other names for the language based federalism used by different autors on this topic are: internal self-determination, national independence with regional union, self rule with shared rule, national self determination with multi-national democracy, unity with liberty, union of independent nations, united states of Ethiopia, genuine ethnic federalism, autonomous nations in a federated Ethiopia, independent Oromia in an integrated Ethiopia...etc. Can this independent Oromia in an integrated Ethiopia be fact or it remains to be fancy? To comprehend this, let's look at the following facts.

Concentrating only on Oromo nation, Oromos' political move against Meles' admnistration is to be grouped roughly in to three: 1- the struggle for individual freedom and democracy with in Ethiopian context disregarding the national self-determination of Oromos. Oromos like those rallying behind UDJ/G-7 belong to this group; 2- the struggle for freedom and democracy including internal self-determination of Oromos (autonomous Oromia) in Ethiopian context, i.e accepting the Ethiopian unity unconditionally. Oromos in OFDM and OPC seem to belong to this category; 3- the struggle for independent gadaa republic of Oromia (external self-determination of Oromos) either within a union or without a union of nations, which is represented by Oromos supporting OLF and ULFO. After many years of struggle, now the trend is towards consolidating the struggle in a coordinated move of the three groups. People in the first group started to recognize that ignoring the right of Oromos to self-determination is no more possible because of the irreversible growth of Oromo nationalism to demand self-rule of Oromia. Politicians in the second group started to believe that they can not make elite-determination on the fate of the nation, at last self-determination will be demanded by Oromo people be it this way or that way, what ever time it may take. Those in the third group have learned to look at the importance of the first group in a struggle of Oromo people and to accept the second option as the temporary compromise solution, of course leading lately to self-determination deciding on an independence of Oromia, be it within a union or without a union.

If rightly excercised, the genuine ethnic federalism aka the independent Oromia in an integrated Ethiopia based on free will of nations is the good common ground for both the Amhara pro-democracy forces and the Oromo freedom fighters. Therefore if G-7 gives up its stand of having Ethiopian unity as a precondition for the possible alliance, the move of G-7 and OLF to struggle together for freedom and democracy in Ethiopia is very smart and timely. Yet the two organizations need to build a middle way compromise solution to their apparently irreconcilable goals (OLF struggles for independent Oromia and G-7 wants to achieve an integrated Ethiopia). I think any alliance similar to AFD is the best way to self-determination of Oromos as a nation and to the democratization as well integration of the resulting union of nations in Ethiopia/Horn as a region (a national independence with in a regional union). The result will be independent Oromia in an integrated Ethiopia. This is not just a fancy, but a fact which can be realized

Last but not least, I would like to say: no empire in history has ever changed through reforms. It was only the fall of empires that could set enslaved nations free. For democratic Oromia and union of nations in Ethiopia to be realized, the Ethiopian empire must end and then Ethiopian union can be forged. Sovereignty of Oromians over their country should be recognized. All nations in the empire, big or small, should have equal rights to national self determination. It is only if they are free that they can decide on their destiny. At the end, peoples of the empire and many more can join in a union if they want so. There should be no other nation to decide on the fate of the others, as Abeshas (Amharas and Tegarus) hitherto tended to do. The same is true for all nations in Africa. Then even there will be a possibility for a united sate of Africa to be established based on the free will of its entire nations and peoples. Even the two Abasha nations, that have never had a say in the way they were governed, will get the opportunity to excercise their own self-determination and elect leaders of their own choice freely. As long as national domination persists, the struggle to liberate the dominated nations and peoples of Africa shall continue. Now all nations including the two BIGs in the empire are suffering under the domination of TPLF, just because of the political discord between the two nations. That is why I would like to say the panacea for the current problem in Ethiopia is the co-operation of the two forces having a language based federalism as their common ground and common purpose. In short: the best way to get rid of the dictatorial regime is by forging the co-operation of Amhara pro-democracy forces and Oromo freedom fighters!

The Opinions of The author Do Not Necessarily Reflect The Opinions of OromiaTimes.


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