December 07, 2009

Democracy in Ethiopia: Two Wolves And a Lamb Voting On What To Have For Lunch!

Democracy In Ethiopia: Two Wolves And A Lamb Voting On What To Have For Lunch!

By Fayyis Oromia

I just took this nice and wise axpression from Benjamin Franklin who said: "Democracy is two Wolves and a Lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed Lamb contesting the vote!" This wise expresion is really very catchy! A lot of people, specially Ethiopian elites from two groups of "Wolves" (supporters of ex-Nefxenya unitarist Amhara elites and the neo-Nefxenya Weyanes) talk about unity, justice, democracy, stability, peace, etc just to justify their ambition for having the Lamb (resources of oppressed nations, specially that of the Oromo and that of the oppressed part of Habesha people) as their lunch. The cry of unitarist Amhara elites for unity is not different from that of Weyane except the fact that they are just the temporarily de-potentiated Wolves. Both are fighting in Finfinne in the name of democracy on the rich resource of Oromia and others, of course the Lamb (the subjugated people) also votes with the Wolves. This is the true relation between them in the last more than hundred years. But one of the Wolves seems to be powerfull and the other powerless. Till 1991 the powerfull Wolf was the ex-Nefxenya, since 1991 of course the powerfull Wolf is Weyane, the neo-Nefxenya. N.B all oppressed peoples of the empire including those of the two Abyssinian nations are part and parcel of the Lamb.

But now Oromo people (part of the Lamb) just started to demand to have first our LIBERTY, and then to talk about the unity demanded by the two Wolves. Liberty is the only END we should die for, not unity without liberty. Accordingly we do now differentiate between two types of unity: a unity as meanse for achieving liberty (tokkummaa for bilisummaa), which should be fostered among all liberation groups as soon as possible and a union between the concerned independent nations in the region as a result of liberty (based on free will). We prefer to accept and promote unity for liberty (unity as the meanse for liberty) among all Oromo groups of liberation movement and then after achieving our liberty, we can be ready to decide on Yes Vs No to a union with other nations in the region. For Oromo and other oppressed nations, this principle is really productive and interesting, it is worthy to die for our liberty just to save our self from the Wolves. Even Amhara and Tigrai masses should follow this trend and demand their own liberty, before trying to forge a union with Oromia. We should be able to say in unison, no to any sort of unity at the cost of our liberty. Even in unity among individual persons, leave alone among nations (like unity of Oromia with Abyssinia), liberty comes first. When ever Abyssinian elites (the two Wolves) try to prescribe unity as the best remedy from our calamity, we Oromos need to ask: before or after liberty?, which is a similar question to what most patients ask their doctors: should I take the pill of remedy before or after a meal? Somebody (I forgot who) also must have said: "A society that puts unity before liberty will get neither; a society that puts liberty before unity will get a high degree of both."

We may believe it or not, Ethiopian politics is mostly affected by the vision different parties do have for the fate of Oromia in the empire:

1) a vision to dismantled Oromia (a wish of the first, but at the moment powerless Wolf): most of unitarist elites want the non-existence of Oromia, they just want to see dismantled Oromia, the step which they consider as a measure to be taken to safe Ethiopian unity. Most elites rallying behind all Amhara parties (AEUP, EDP, EPPF, EPRP, G-7 and UDJ) do support this move.

2) the present existence of fake autonomous Oromia (an act of the second and powerfull Wolf): Weyanes and their few opportunist allies from both Amhara and Oromo including few from other oppressed nations, who do live only for their own personal interest at the cost of liberty to their respective nations do support the policy of EPRDF and want to keep the status of pseudo-autonomy in order to deceive Oromos and control Oromia dictatorially to loot the resources and build Tigrai further.

3) a vision for Oromian autonomy (a wish of one part of the Lamb): few Ethiopians (probably some in G-7 and UDJ) and some Oromians have understood the necessity and improtance of the genuine right of nations to self-determination in Ethiopian context and they want to realize the genuine autonomy of Oromia. Very few Amharas, some Oromos and those from other nations rallying behind Medrek do have this in mind and it is the most practical and acceptable vision for all sides, at least temporarily.

4) a vision for Oromiain independence (a wish of other part of the Lamb): most Oromos do strive for this end, even though it is very difficult in the context of the current global geo-political situation. The super-powers want to see a strong Ethiopia in the Horn of Africa to instrumentalize the empire for their fight against Arab aggresion or "islamist-terrorists". Liberation of Oromia in a sense of independence without union do have almost no support from international community, but the vision of independent Oromia within a union of nations seems to be tolerated. Inspite of the strong opposition, Oromo people pushes further to achieve our Kaayyoo (end-goal). Take it only 1 year, about 10 years or as long as 100 years, Oromia shall be free.

In general the 1st and the 2nd visions are the actions of the two Wolves and the 4th possibility seems to be compatible with the 3rd vision. The centeralist, chauvinist, uniformist and unitarist group of Amhara elites (the first Wolf) should give up its vision of dismantling Oromia, whereas the Oromo nationalists in the 4th group should join the federalists to come first to the mid-goal together and then move on to their own position as the end-goal. The fascist regime (the second Wolf) will only be dealt with by the well-armed Lamb (all democratic forces and freedom fighters being supported by the mass from all nations in the empire). After achieving Oromian autonomy in federation or after getting our liberty for referendum, there can be a possibility to go for self-determination and vote on the type of sovereignity we want to have.

If Ethiopian democrats and Oromian freedom fighters agree to cooperate in Medrek and AFD, then the struggle will be between the EPRDF (the powerfull Wolf, who want to keep the status quo based on fraudulence as well as by using dictatorship) and the future implicit cooperation of Medrek-AFD (at the moment helpless Lamb, who strives to forge united Ethiopia with liberated Oromia and liberated other national areas based on the principles of freedom and democracy). The Lamb should be promoted to be in a position to contest the vote. For Medrek and AFD to be stronger, the Ethiopian democratic forces who unproductively want to dismantle Oromia and Oromo freedom fighters who want to acheive liberation of Oromia without a possible union need to come together and accept the third version of Oromia's fate, as a common ground. This is the only way imaginable to challenge Weyane together. Otherwise Weyane still do have a political card to play by instigating the polarized Amhara centeralists and Oromo "separatists" against each other and rule further by balancing these two opposite powers. The democrats from each side, who moved to creat such big opposition alliances like Medrek and AFD are on a good truck. This trend must grow to get more support of the rest from each side. Both sides ("centeralists and separatists") need to be pragmatic and come to the third version, they should not live further as rigid puppets to be manipulated by Weyane (the powerfull Wolf).

As far as the current power strugle is concerned, now Ethiopian politics is cristalizing very well. The opposition camp against the fascist Weyane, which wants to take over power is devided in to two: 1) the backward camp of unitarist elites (the powerless Wolf) is the rival to the regime to take over the position of domination and wants to forge unitary Ethiopia of one language, one people, one culture, one religion, one ethnic dominance and one flag under one God and 2) the forward oriented unionist elites and oppressed nations including the oppressed part of Amhara and Tigrai peoples (the camp of the Lamb), who want to form a union of free nations in Ethiopian region in which both individual rights and collective national rights will be respected. Accordingly the word unity also has got double meaning. Unitarists want to hide behind the word unity in order to keep the domination system of the empire, eventhough the true unity is the free union of all citizens and nations based on their free will after dismantling the domination system, what the unionists try to achieve. Surely the backward conservative unitarist group will loose, whereas the elites in the progressive unionist group must still be smart to cooperate and coordinate their efforts in order to get rid of the fascists from Finfinne palace. Now Weyane (the powerfull Wolf) is very much terrified because of the unionist opposition camp in the form of Medrek and AFD, that is why they do now support the camp of the unitarist elites (currently powerless Wolf), eventhough their policy differs very much. Fact is that a Wolf doesn't eat its kind, but kills and eats a Lamb. Therefore, it is not surprising that at the moment Ato Hailu and Ato Lidetu are taken by Weyane as the hopefull saviors of Ato Meles Zenawi's fascist government by trying to neutralize or eliminate the unionist camp (part of the Lamb).
But now it seems that the unitarist elites (the powerless Wolf) are also in helpless situation for they know that they cannot take power again from the powerfull Wolf, so they preferred to be on the side of Weyane the powerfull rival Wolf. That is why nowadays AEUP of Ato Hailu and EDP of Ato Lidetu are sympathising with the regime and fighting against the unionist camp (camp of the Lamb). They are almost becoming second Weyanes. The best solution would have been the transformation of unitarists in to unionists (can the Wolf be transformed in to the Lamb?) in order to have only one opposition camp (Lamb camp) against the regime (Wolf camp). I think the transformation is hard, needs supernatural force. But there is part of the Lamb (Amhara and Tigrai mass and democratic elites) which potentially can serve the Wolf, this part should come back to the camp of the Lamb (people's camp). That meanse people supporting unitarist parties should stop dreaming and talking about bringing back the old unitarist Ethiopia and they should accept the possible NEW union of free nations in Ethiopia (NEW Ethiopia). This could unite all the opposition groups under one umberella to fight against and get rid of fascist Weyane (the mighty Wolf). Hopefully unitarist elites will come to their sense to do this, otherwise they are the dying species in Ethiopian future politics. On the other side, fortunate to Weyane, both unitarist elites and unionists seem to continue doing the same mistake repeatedly. As an example, during election 2005 Weyane was challenged from unitarists aka Kinijit, but was saved being passively supported by unionist elites to some extent. Now in this election 2010, Weyane is under big challenge from unionists aka Medrek and the saving handskake is given from the unitarist elites. The handshake was in fact the agreement of the two Wolves on how to have the Lamb as their lunch. Is Weyane, the powerfull Wolf, not lucky in having such support of its rival?

Actually, the main effect of the Meles-Hailu-handshake is specially a division of Amhara polity in to two. The activity of G-7/UDJ made many Amhara elites to look at Asmara as the focus of the struggle against Weyane. Because of this move some Amhara elites including the two generals (Tefera and Asaminew) are now suffering under prison and torture. Now Hailu Shawel moved to Meqele as a supporter of Weyane instead of going to Asmara, of course taking his supporters with him. Amharas rallying behind G-7/UDJ percieved this as a major betrayal, whereas Amharas supporting Shawel still sing the obsolete song of the old unitarist and amharanized Ethiopia. Specially it is very interesting to observe the very conservative Amharas like Prof. Mesfin and Dr. Taye, who used to despise and insult Weyane, now changed their view and started the "good job" of submission to Weyane. I know the main thing which made them to submit is the struggle of Oromo people to liberate Oromia from the domination system of both Nefxenyas. Because of the division made by Weyane canning fox, even the unitarist elites are devided among themselves, for instance EPRP and AEUP have no more the love they enjoyed to one an other in the last few years. So we can see that in general Weyane's devide and rule method is running specially in three areas:- polarization of Amhara forces and Oromo fronts- disintegration of the Amhara forces- disenfranchisement of the Oromo fronts
In the last few years, both the democratic forces and the liberation fronts did a good job to counter act this devide and rule game of Weyane. Unfortunately now Weyane could fool some of the unitarist elites or they did the cooperation intentionally, so that they could cause further divsion among Amhara elites. Now all Ethiopian unionists in general and Oromians in particular (the whole body of the Lamb) should take the coming election as a meanse of struggle without expecting it to be fair and free. It is clear that Weyane never allow it to be so, but the people should be organized to use it as an opportunity to fight against tyranny this way or that way. Specially for Oromo it is part of our liberation struggle, as a complementary action to our armed struggle. Still the jailing and killing of Oromos is going on, and this can be intensified during the election. To be successfull inspite of the imprisonments and executions, the Lamb must be well armed through an empowering effective organization and unity of Oromo and all oppressed nations (including Amhara and Tigrai mass).This is what Benjamin Franklin described as: "...Liberty is a well-armed Lamb contesting the vote".

I hope in the future not only Oromo, but also other nations (part of the Lamb) will start to accept the value of liberty as a priority to unity. The pan-Africans including Tsegaye G/Medhin, who wrote the anthem of AU (African Union) advocated for both African liberty from colonialism and then African unity to defend the liberty and strive for common prosperity. Tsegaye wrote in the antehm as follows: "...Let us all unite and celebrate together The victories won for our liberation Let us dedicate ourselves to rise together To defend our liberty and unity....." In parallel to this vision for Africa, the problem of the region called Ethiopia can be solved only by achieving LIBERTY of oppressed nations (the Lamb) from Weyane domination (the Wolf) and then forge a union of free nations for a common benefit such as economical prosperity. That is why the so called unity with out liberty of nations has its appropriate name called SLAVERY. The hitherto Ethiopian "unity" from Theodros to Meles is thus slavery of oppressed nations in the empire. The future unity, for which all unionists do fight must be based on liberty of nations. It must be a unity with liberty, not the same "unity" without liberty we hitherto had, which is slavery. To achieve such unity with liberty, the well-armed Lamb must contest the vote, in which the Wolves want it to participate!

1 comment:

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