February 23, 2010

Oromo: Ignore Unitarists, Fight Hegemonists, but Elect Unionists

Oromo: Ignore Unitarists, Fight Hegemonists, but Elect Unionists

During the time of occupation by Abyssinians for the last about 150 years, the Oromo people were “allowed to elect our leaders” under the aristocracy of Teferi Mekonnen, under the military dictatorship or autocracy of Mengistu Haile-Mariam and now under the ethnocracy of Meles Zenawi. We all know what sort of elections we had till now; there is no need of elaboration about them. Now, we do have few weeks to live before we will be “allowed to elect our next leaders.” What are we, the Oromo people and other oppressed nations, in the empire going to do in the next election? ‘Boycott the election’ – as some people like to advocate and want to convince us? ‘Elect OPDO and the likes’ – who are the servants of the hegemonist Weyane? ‘Run behind few Oromo individuals’ – who are serving the unitarist Amhara elites, i.e. individuals like Yaqob Likie (a brother of the famous Oromo, Senay Likie) of AEUP and the Oromo lady Sofiya Yilma Dheeresaa (a daughter of the famous Yilma Dheeresaa) of EDP? Or should we elect the democratic federalist Oromo nationalists rallying behind the OFC of MEDREK?

We like it or not, the next election will be the struggle mainly among the following trio: the unitarist AEUP, the hegemonist EPRDF and the unionist MEDREK. The question which the Oromo people need to answer is: which of the three does serve best the political interest of the Oromo national liberation? No question, it is Medrek – which at least strives for the genuine ethnic federation and which tries to make Afaan Oromo one of the working languages of the federation. So before we do decide to move for the election, we need additionally to ask ourselves the following question: who should take power from the hegemonist Weyane, if at all successful, the unitarists like AEUP or the unionists like Medrek? It is clear that no Oromo of sound mind will elect the ruling fascists, but we all need to choose from the two camps of the opposition. Nowadays, Ethiopian politics is already crystallizing very well. The opposition camp against the fascist Weyane is well divided into the following two:

- the backward unitarists, who do want to forge a unitary Ethiopia of one language (of course, Amharic), one people, one culture, one religion (of course, Orthodox), one ethnic dominance (of course, Amhara dominance) and one flag under one God. This camp includes parties like AEUP and EDP, which want to dismantle Oromia with the pretext of opposing kilil-federalism, the camp which is now instrumentalized by Weyane to fight against the major pro-genuine-kilil-federalism opposition alliance known as Medrek.

- the forward oriented unionists, who want to form a union of free nations in Ethiopian region in which both individual citizens’ rights and collective nations’ rights will be respected. Parties organized under Medrek stand for this action and that is why they are now vehemently attacked by Weyane and its allies.

Mind you all, the word ‘unity’ has got double meaning. Unitarists want to hide behind the word ‘unity’ even though the true and acceptable ‘unity’ is the free union of all citizens and nations based on their free will, which the unionists like Medrek try to achieve. Major parties which belong to the unitarist camp are parties like that of Ato Hailu and that of Ato Lidetu, whereas major parties which can be categorized in the unionist opposition camp are those in Medrek like OFC, UDJ, UEDF of Prof. Beyene and ATSD (Arena Tigrai). Surely, in the coming election, the backward conservative unitarist group will lose, whereas parties in the progressive and unionist opposition group still need to be smart enough to cooperate and coordinate their efforts more in order to get rid of the fascists from Finfinne palace.

Today, Weyanes are very much terrified because of the second opposition camp, that is why they do now support the unitarist opposition camp and made the quasi-alliance in the form of Shawel-Zenawi Handshake even though their policy differs very much, the goal being to weaken Medrek. At this moment, Ato Hailu and Ato Lidetu are taken by Weyane as the hopeful saviors of Ato Meles Zenawi’s fascist government by trying to neutralize or eliminate the unionist opposition camp of Medrek. So, the Oromo people should move against the unholy handshake; and here are some of the reasons why Oromo should elect the unionists:

- unitarists are the obsolete mindsets – who still think to subjugate Oromo, to dismantle Oromia and to Amharanize the empire. It is mind-boggling to read in the program of UDJ, that it is almost accepted as NORMAL to claim Amharic to be federal language, whereas Oromic (Afaan Oromoo) needs public verdict to have the same status. If the “moderate” Amhara oriented party – UDJ – thinks like this, we can imagine how the very conservative parties like AEUP and EDP think about the equality of languages in the empire like the equal chance of Amharic and Oromic to be the federal working languages.

- hegemonist Weyane leaders do have no healthy political position to let the Oromo people to exercise our God-given right to self-determination for they never want to lose the possibility of exploiting the very rich resource of Oromia in order to build Tigrai further as far as they get chance to be in power and as long as they can.

- the future political move of the region and the globe is in the direction of realizing both national liberation of nations like the self-determination of Oromo nation and regional/continental integration like the necessary future African federation of free nations. So, the unionist parties like Medrek are the parties of the future, whereas the unitarists are parties of the past and the hegemonists are, of course, parties of only the present.

- any election in the empire is not actually a true election per se for the Oromo people, but it can be used as a means of struggle for us; through which we can use to move in our liberation journey a millimeter forward. So, our people should use this opportunity of the next election to start another phase of the FDG (Fincila Diddaa Garbummaa = the peaceful uprising against tyranny).

- we like it or not, despite the setbacks here and there, under the current visionary leadership, OLF has been transformed into a powerful political/military force that even non-Oromos are starting to rely on to help bring change in Ethiopia. With its military wing led by the professional officers’ corps of generals and colonels, and with a matured and highly experienced political leadership, OLF has become a leading player in Ethiopian politics. When the fast-decaying Woyane regime falls apart, the OLF military alone can step in and maintain order, let alone joined by the other opposition parties, such as G-7, ONLF, EPPF, TPDM and others. OLF leaders have played a key role in the hitherto realignment of forces in the Horn of Africa region. Their visionary leadership has contributed significantly to the recent paradigm shift in the Ethiopian politics from the politics of serving the unitary empire to the future fostering of the political union of all free nations in the region.

- the nucleus of all the unionist parties was the AFD; and now it is the Medrek, both of which are the nucleus of the necessary coalition for common good purpose. Medrek’s current objective is to facilitate a demise of fascism and then to promote a national reconciliation dialogue. It is good to believe that one of the routes to a regime change in Ethiopia is the one that is being followed by Medrek. The fact that alliances like AFD and Medrek do exit at all has completely changed the Ethiopian political landscape overnight by bringing the “ethnic-based groups” to the “mainstream Ethiopian politics”.

The ideal remedy against the fascist Weyane would have been the transformation of the unitarists into unionists, so that ALL can cooperate and do fight together against Weyane. That means people in parties like AEUP, EPPF, EPRP and EDP should have stopped dreaming and talking about bringing back the old unitarist Ethiopia and they should have accepted the NEW union of free nations in Ethiopia (NEW Ethiopia). Additionally, I also would like to encourage the oppressed mass of both Amhara and Tegaru nations to fight for their own self-determination of their respective nations and then struggle for a strong union of all free nations in the empire/region. This could have united all the opposition groups under one umbrella to fight and get rid of fascist Weyane. Hopefully, unitarists will come to their sense to do this in a near future so that we can have ALL-inclusive Medrek at home and ALL-inclusive Tibibir in Diaspora against the worst EVIL of the Horn region, Weyane.

So the future politics of the empire/region will be led with the interest to get rid of both the unitarism preferred by few Amhara elites and the hegemonism of Weyane as well as to rally behind the unionists like the parties in Medrek in order to forge the future union of autonomous nations in the empire/region, where all the citizens, individually, and all the nations, collectively, will be free to determine our own fate without being looted and lorded as it is now under Weyane. That is why I do recommend, in short, that our Oromo people, in particular, and all oppressed nations, including the oppressed Amhara and Tegaru masses, in general, should radically ignore the unitarist forces like AEUP, fight against the Weyane hegemonists and, of course, need to elect the unionists in Medrek. Then, to boycott the next election as some people try to advocate is not a solution for the Oromo nation and other oppressed nations even though we do know that the election will never be fair and free under Weyane regime. I just encourage all Oromo and other peoples to be registered for the election and then to start the new phase of uprising against tyranny in order to get rid of the deceptive Weyane forces, including the anti-Oromo individuals in OPDO, in favor of promoting and supporting the democratic forces like those of OFC in Merdek. I do wish us all Oromo people and other oppressed nations at home and in Diaspora to have a good fight against both the unitarism as well as the hegemonism, and I do want here to express my strong wish of success in our struggle!


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