Open Letter to Ethiopians and to the International Community RE: Communique of “Concerned Ethiopians

RE: Communique of “Concerned Ethiopians” Issued on July 19, 2019 July 28, 2019

On July 19, 2019, 145 individuals who called themselves “Concerned Ethiopians”, mostly who hail from Amhara ethnic group, issued an alarmist communique titled, “Communique Urging Prevention of Genocide and Balkanization of Ethiopia.

We, the undersigned individuals and national/ethnic based nonprofit and community organizations representing our members, found this Communique to be extremely disingenuous, doom-laden and reflecting a one-sided political narrative that does not represent the view of the vast majority of the peoples of Ethiopia. And hence this response.

Unlike most of the African countries, Ethiopia was not directly created by the European colonialists. The modern Ethiopia was created by Emperor Menilik the II in the 19th century when Abyssinia or the northern part of Ethiopia invaded and occupied the southern part of the current day Ethiopia. Ethiopia was an empire state governed by kings and emperors up to 1974. Since Menilik’s conquest, the peoples in southern Ethiopia comprising of many nations/ethnic groups lived as conquered peoples in their own country. Their lands were by and large expropriated and given mostly to Amharas and their agents during the occupation. The Ethiopian empire dismantled the conquered peoples’ governance systems and rendered them illegal and replaced them mostly by direct or indirect rule through its agents.

Amharic, the language of the Amhara people, became a “national” language. All students in southern Ethiopia were forced to abandon theirs and adopt Amharic as their native language. All government offices, including courts, conducted their services only in Amharic. In order to be real Ethiopian one is directly or indirectly compelled to learn Amharic and adopt the Amhara culture which was institutionalized and became synonymous with Ethiopian culture. The official overt and covert policy of the empire was to assimilate all the southern peoples to the Amhara culture. The languages, cultures and way of lives of the southerners were denigrated, and every policy was devised to homogenize all ethnic groups towards one Ethiopian culture, i.e., the Amhara culture. Due to prevalent discriminatory policies, most of the educated elites, bureaucrats, high and middle class individuals and city dwellers until few decades ago were Amharas.

Whenever such blatant discriminations and oppressions exist in any society, it’s natural that resistance ensues. Ethiopia was not an exception to this. From the very first time they were put under the Abyssinian occupation, the peoples in southern Ethiopia started revolting against it, or opposed it in one form or another. It is the accumulation of all these resistances and rejection of the imperial rule that finally culminated in the 1974 revolution. Even though the 1974 revolution was hijacked by the military, the southern people registered one of their first major victories against conquest during this period. The land proclamation of the 1975 was one of the major acts that liberated the southerners from individual Amhara landlords and their agents.

Even though the land proclamation ended landlordism and individual Amhara dominated rule, the military government continued to rule with an iron hand. It stifled democratic rights of all Ethiopians, specially suppressing the just demands of ethnic groups to exercise their culture, use their languages in schools and have the right to self-administration. While the military government was an equal opportunity killer, the out-and-out suppression against national/ethnic movements was particularly heinous. This resulted in the creation and proliferation of liberation organizations and in the strengthening of organizations that were created during the empire era to fight against feudalism and for liberation.

Contrary to the assertion of the Communique’s signatories, it is very clear and uncontroverted for any objective observer of Ethiopia, that neither Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF), Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) nor the 1995 Constitution created national/ethnic problems in Ethiopia. It is rather the existence and prevalence of severe inequalities and discrimination along ethnic lines that created these organizations. Even with all its limitations, especially in its application, the 1995 Constitution was also not a cause, but rather a mechanism or tool intended to deal with the prevalent serious ethnic problems to rectify historical injustices.

The signatories try to portray the past Ethiopia as a land of peace where all ethnic groups lived in harmony prior to the 1995 constitution. Little do they remember that Eritrea seceded prior to this constitution, and the biggest internal conflicts in the world were transpiring in Ethiopia before the constitution. From their vantage point, Ethiopia may have looked peaceful and a just country, but for the conquered people, Ethiopia had never been peaceful or a just country. The conquered people were suffering violence and inequities every single day.

It defies any logical thinking to assume with the signatories, that one obscure TPLF Manifesto instigated and unleashed ethnic hatred against the Amharas. It is rather the rank the Amhara ruling group held in the social hierarchy, that made them and their system to be a target during the revolution and thereafter. The signatories, with purposeful malice, present as if all Amharas were made a target, but this is a total fabrication. All oppressed nations and their organizations that were created to struggle against domination, have always made it clear that they have no issues with the larger Amhara population who were themselves oppressed by their own ruling group that also oppressed the others. The struggle of the Oromo and other people had always been against the system of domination which for historical reasons was mainly controlled by the Amhara ruling group.

It is mind boggling to imagine how some of these dignitaries felt comfortable affixing their signature to this communique that is full of malicious, exaggerated or unfounded allegations. It is also disingenuous how after meticulously listing what happened in the rest of the country, they conveniently omitted ethnic targeted killing that occurred in Amhara region or in Addis Ababa against others. As a case in point, nothing was mentioned about Oromos who were killed or whose businesses were stoned in Addis Ababa when they came to celebrate the return of the OLF. One of the most barbaric killing in the recent memory occurred, when more than 200 ethnic minorities including children and women were massacred in Metekel by the Amhara state militia. The communique, however, deliberately skipped over this. The killing of many Tigrayan in Gondar, the closing of boarder with Tigray by Amhara youth with the purpose of starving

them are also glossed over. The continuous killing and displacement of the Kimant people in Dembia and Chilga Woreda, Gondar, is disregarded as if they do not count. In the past the application of such double standard between the Amhara and other ethnic groups had been the hallmark of the Amhara elites, and it appears the current elites are also continuing in the same vein.

The hyperboles, exaggerations and misstatement in the Communique not only crosses the line, but it is also revealing how irrational and extreme the Amhara nationalists have become. For example, the preposterous claim that the Amhara population constitute 50 million out of the 110 million Ethiopian population is instructive of who they are. Even more detrimental and alarming is their effort to make an Amhara hero out of General Asaminew, the cold blooded killer. Asaminew is a murderer who tried to take over the regional state by force (by itself a coup d’état), and eventually control the federal government. The series of steps he took in the run up to his final evil act clearly show where he was heading. Within a short period of assuming power, he trained thousands of Amhara partisan paramilitary force and smuggled and amassed arms to Amhara region. Once that’s done, he unleashed his riffraff army on Berta minority group and massacred hundreds in Metekel. He also tried the same on Oromos in Kemise, Wollo, but was rebuffed. Furthermore, he made incendiary speeches all over the place inciting Amharas against Oromos and Tigrayans. His building of rogue militias, amassing arms and his inflammatory speeches were very indicative of what his end game was. It was stark clear that with his buddies in National Movement of Amhara (NaMA) their final goal was to take over the state power and reinstitute the Amhara domination. Herman Cohen, who served as United States Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, perfectly captured this in his Twit of June 24, 2019. Here is what he said;

Failed coup in #Ethiopia’s Amhara state was an attempt by ethnic nationalists to restore Amhara hegemony over all of Ethiopia that existed for several centuries prior to 1991. That dream is now permanently dead.

By attaching their names to this Communique, the signatories have confirmed their allegiance to the right wing Amhara supremacist NaMA. In fact, the dedication of so much space in the communique to the demised general, and the elaborate effort to rehabilitate him through ridiculous conspiracy theory makes one wonder how much extensive the general’s and NaMA’s influence was and how much it was expanding. And this is a great concern that all federalists in Ethiopia should take seriously.

Ethiopia is a multinational country that is coming out of ethnic subjugation and suppression. Most of the previously conquered nations want to belong to Ethiopia only if and when self-rule and shared rule are instituted through multinational democratic federation. Ethiopia that does not recognize the right of self-rule of its constituent nation and equitably represent them on the federal level will no more be acceptable. The choice for Ethiopia is no more between multinational federation and unitary form of government or other types of federation; the choice is between multinational federation and no Ethiopia. If not to bring back the pervious domination, it is not clear why of all the ethnic groups in Ethiopia, only the Amhara elites are vehemently opposed to multinational federation.

Ethiopia is currently facing multiple challenges and opportunities due to changes occurring in the country. All changes, especially transitional changes happening in a complex society like Ethiopia, could not occur without acute challenges and setbacks. In order to discredit the efforts of Prime Minster Abiy’s government, the signatories exaggerate the problems and setbacks and try to depict as if all is doom and gloom. If one listens to their wistful rumbling, one concludes that all is lost for Ethiopia. Even if there are some vulnerabilities and challenges, Ethiopia is not as they claim, on the precipice of civil conflict. In fact, Ethiopia has never come so close in its history to forming a just, peaceful and stable country as today. Except for some remnants remaining, all organizations that were previously engaged in armed conflict have now joined the peaceful march towards building a more perfect union. The no-peace, no-war situation with Eritrea, which could have descended to ugly conflict at any moment, is now more or less resolved. Even though recently there are some concerning developments, including in Sidama, human rights violations is by and large at its lowest ebb in recent memory. Freedom of speech and organization is flourishing at an unprecedented level. Where the Amhara elites who signed the Communique see half empty, we see half full. Where they propagate unfounded fear and despair, we preach hope.

The only potential for civil conflict comes from the mentality that wants to bring back the archaic, “one language”, “one culture”, and “one nation” assimilation project. It is unimaginable to think the oppressed nations of Ethiopia who through their relentless struggles have come so far and have unequivocally rejected rule by others will relinquish their autonomy and self-rule. In fact, the trend is in the other direction. Nations like Sidama are struggling to attain their statehood guaranteed in the constitution. No one is saying the current constitution is perfect and nothing should be changed. However, if change is needed, it’s for all Ethiopians to decide through extensive dialogue at a later time in parliament after the election, and not through unconstitutional way by those who are accustomed or think they are entitled to rule the country.

Ethiopia is on the verge of a new beginning where all its nations for the first time in its history will live together in democratic equality. We understand that there is a great divergence on the idea of what course of action the country should take going forward. We also understand that there is a great anxiety among many who are used to privilege to see that power is shifting. The change that is occurring is making the nations on the periphery to come into the center for the first time. This has the potential of bringing equality and equity between all nations in Ethiopia.

Of all the preposterous allegations and false narratives of the Amhara supremacists, nothing is far from the truth than the so-called Oromo domination by the current Administration. The government driven assimilationist and discriminatory policies of the last 150 years were not inconsequential. They have left behind drastic economic, political and social inequalities between the Amharic speakers on the one hand, and the rest of the excluded population. Just to cite one example, for instance, the Oromos, the population group that constitutes at least 40% of the Ethiopia population, is less than 10% in Amhara elites dominated Ethiopian federal workforce. The entitlement mentality these policies nurtured in the minds of the Amhara elites is even more astounding. The vicious attacks on handful Oromo politicians, activists, professionals and diplomates including the Prime Minister himself partly emanates from this mentality of

entitlement. The vicious attack by the supremacist Amhara elites on all and every Oromo person of power has an unintended consequence of a grave magnitude. By doing this they are not only pushing everyone to their ethnic enclave, but also creating a political environment where no one can dare to transcend such divides and come forward to resolve intricate country wide issues.

We hope the international community understands the communique issued by the signatories is an exceptionally one sided, extremist narrative that has no objective foundation, and does not reflect the sentiment of the vast majority of the Ethiopian peoples. Their recommendations are oblivious to the realities on the ground. They try to suggest solution based on biased and wrongly framed assessment of problems. Even though theirs is a view of the minority, their self-positioning as representing the interest of 110 million Ethiopian, is reprehensible and deeply rooted in imperial legacy of imposing a minority’s will on the majority. Their argument misrepresents or glosses over the imperatives of history and the lessons thereof. Theirs is a futile attempt to envision Ethiopia’s future while neglecting historical and contemporary questions.

Negotiated settlement of pending issues is very important for the future of Ethiopia. However, the signatories’ preposterous and inflated self-image, which is evident throughout the communique, does not provide any room for dialogue and negotiation. Advancing such a supremacist attitude, and calling for actions informed by it, is dangerous for contemporary Ethiopia. Many of their calls are morally bankrupt, politically sloppy, and hopelessly disconnected from prevalent realities. While most people of Ethiopia are calling for the realization of democratic multinational federation that effectively decentralizes decision-making power, the signatories call for further recentralization in pursuit of their reactionary dreams. To heed their call is to commit strategic mistake. To consider their unilateral voice as reasonable and representative, which they claim, is to neglect the voices of reason of the diverse Ethiopians who gave their lives and limbs to see the hope that is dawning in Ethiopia. To support their cause is to engage in swimming upstream, against the tide of the legitimate demands of the diverse peoples of Ethiopia, with potentially disastrous outcomes for Ethiopia, the Horn of Africa, and beyond.

Although the signatories lament about the impending civil conflict, they should be aware that it is their intransigent and out of touch thinking that is contributing towards the possibility of a conflict. Ethiopia is gone way beyond the empire era; and the old system of domination is buried not to be resurrected. It is high time that they come into terms with this fact and adjust their way of thinking. We encourage them to open up their eyes and hearts and discern the reality on the ground. We, in our part, wish the best for our country and work towards genuine federalism and peaceful coexistence of all nations where there is no domination of any type. With multinational democratic federation the future of Ethiopia is bright.

List of Signatories

  1. International Oromo Lawyers Association
  2. Oromo-American Citizens Council
  3. Oromo Community in San Diego
  4. Oromo Cultural Institution of Minnesota
  5. Abbaa Caalaa Lataa
  6. Abdusemed Youssouf, MD
  7. Abraham Dalu, PhD
  8. Alemayehu Bekele, PhD Candidate
  9. Aliye Hussen
  10. Asebe Regassa Debelo, PhD
  11. Asfaw Beyene, PhD
  12. Ayele Galan, PhD
  13. Baisa Wak-Woya
  14. Bayissa Didi
  15. Bekele Geleta
  16. Benti Geleta Buli
  17. Beyan Asoba, JD
  18. Daniel Ayana, PhD
  19. Daniel Degago
  20. Dessalegn Chamada, PhD
  21. Dune Silga
  22. Eshetu Beshada, PhD
  23. Endale Wakjira
  24. Gabisso Halaale
  25. Getachew Woyesa
  26. Girma Gebresenbet, PhD
  27. Girma Hassen
  28. Gutu Olana Wayessa, PhD
  29. Habtamu Awetu
  30. Hedeta Gudeta
  31. Hussien Hamda, PhD
  32. Ibsa Gutema
  33. Israel Gobena, JD
  34. Jamal Mohamed Gamta, MD
  35. Jenet Adem
  36. Mengistu Hika
  37. Mesfin Abdi, PhD
  38. Mesfin Abdisa, MD
  39. Mezgebu Efa, DVM
  40. Mohammed Hassen, PhD
  41. Nasir Kelil
  42. Nuro Dedefo, JD
  43. Qumbi Boro
  44. Redwan Hamza
  45. Solomon Ungashe, PhD
  46. Suffian Mohammed, PhD
  47. Taha Abdi
  48. Tashite Wako
  49. Teferi Margo, PhD
  50. Yadessa Dhaba, Rev.
  51. Yaya Beshir
  52. Zecharias Hailu
  53. Zelalem Abera Tesfa

 

Concerned Ethiopians Across the Globe Communique Urging Prevention of Genocide and Balkanization of Ethiopia

19 COMMENTS

  1. The question to all signatories which most happen to be representing Oromya and they were quasi asking for retribution for what Minilik lead empire has taken their land (as it looks todat they claim that the current Oromya only belongs to Oromos)where was the Oromo land before the Abisininan-Adal war in the 16th century? You all know that was confined well to the South in former Bale province? So why do stop digging history at Minilik and you never talk about the lands you grabed and all the people Oromos did subdue and forced to assimilate in their expansion to the North from Bale? And how come you claim Oromya to be exclusively to Promos when the first expansions are the Oromos during the great Promo migration? If Minilik and the Hailesilasie which was half Oromo whowas was just Amhara rulers who were their generals was not Given a Dachee full Oromo? Was not Michael of Wollo full Oromo? Didi not Minilik trusted these Oromo generals even in wars against another Amhara and Tigrean rulers in the north that were at war with Minilik at the time? How can the signatories be stars in their field but yet they choose to be almost inepts in a straitforward history just to seed discord and hate against one entire population like the Amharas and scapegoat them for all things they have suffered as any other ordinary Ethiopian? What percent of the Amhara living in the so called South and when I say south is deep in Bale and the current southern region or even in Somalia region is decendant of old landowners and what percent of Amharas are actually descends for poor migrant laborers? Even if were descendents of landlords do they actually have to evicted and displaced for what have done their ancestors? Did not land ownership was resolved by DERG in any case? What moral and ethical standing do you have with all your Dr and PhD to fan almost ethnic haters to entire population?. Should we also look with that same lenses all the the attrocities committed by the great Oromo migrations in the past? Should we make accountable all the southern societies that was practicing slavery and, looting and inhuman treatment that their ancestors did in their campaigns?Also DERG did have its own internal fights and yes did highjacked the popular movement but by no means DERG never was the one who initiated the blood letting where the general population was involved. The students movements is another source of big liers and most of the current polititians spreading this lie ad nausium. The first who started the violence are the students themselves EPRP started white terror way before DERG started the red terror that should never be forgotten. Even DERG did a massive crack down afterwards the ones that initiated the blood letting are the opportunist students them selves, sometimes using cowardly poor childs as executors. That is the real history. And most importantly what is the point of having an ethnic constitution in which people’s are living as first and second class cutizens. Why one ethnic group can have per capital more and fertiile land than other ethnic group just by random constitution? Is that even moral and ethical to have these kind of arrangement when they both are supposed to die and give their children for defending their country?

  2. Yes. The Constitution that was brought by TPLF and OLF and their policies for decades are the main preparation for culmination of biblical displacement due to cvil war. Even the late Nigasu Gidada has acknowledge this. The question to all signatories which most happen to be representing Oromya and they were quasi asking for retribution for what Minilik lead empire has taken their land (as it looks today they claim that the current Oromya only belongs to Oromos)where was the Oromo land before the Abisininan-Adal war in the 16th century? You all know that was confined well to the South in former Bale province? So why do stop digging history at Minilik and you never talk about the lands you grabed and all the people Oromos did subdue and forced to assimilate in their expansion to the North from Bale? And how come you claim Oromya to be exclusively to Oromos when the first expansions are the Oromos during the great Oromo migration? If Minilik and the Hailesilasie which was half Oromo who was was just Amhara rulers who were their generals ? Was not Gobena Dachee full Oromo? Was not Michael of Wollo full Oromo? Didi not Minilik trusted these Oromo generals even in wars against another Amhara and Tigrean rulers in the north that were at war with Minilik at the time? How can the signatories be stars in their field but yet they choose to be almost inepts in a straitforward history just to seed discord and hate against one entire population like the Amharas and scapegoat them for all things they have suffered as any other ordinary Ethiopian? What percent of the Amhara living in the so called South and when I say south is deep in Bale and the current southern region or even in Somalia region is decendant of old landowners and what percent of Amharas are actually descends for poor migrant laborers? Even if were descendents of landlords do they actually have to evicted and displaced for what have done their ancestors? Did not land ownership was resolved by DERG in any case? What moral and ethical standing do you have with all your Dr and PhD to fan almost ethnic haters to entire population?. Should we also look with that same lenses all the the attrocities committed by the great Oromo migrations in the past? Should we make accountable all the southern societies that was practicing slavery and, looting and inhuman treatment that their ancestors did in their campaigns?Also DERG did have its own internal fights and yes did highjacked the popular movement but by no means DERG never was the one who initiated the blood letting where the general population was involved. The students movements is another source of big liers and most of the current polititians spreading this lie ad nausium. The first who started the violence are the students themselves EPRP started white terror way before DERG started the red terror that should never be forgotten. Even DERG did a massive crack down afterwards the ones that initiated the blood letting are the opportunist students them selves, sometimes using cowardly poor childs as executors. That is the real history. And most importantly what is the point of having an ethnic constitution in which people’s are living as first and second class cutizens. Why one ethnic group can have per capital more and fertiile land than other ethnic group just by random constitution? Is that even moral and ethical to have these kind of arrangement when they both are supposed to die and give their children for defending their country?

  3. Now adays amhara intellectuals in NAMA have become the cancer of Ethiopia due to jealousy over the hard working people of Tigray.they appreciate the killer & consider killing as a way of heroism.

  4. And I would even challenge you to respond what constitutes improper entitlement. Which one is entitlement to give a few ethnic groups absolute right over land and resources to the point where they are deciding to change demographics to have clean ethnic killils or a language domination as you claim? If the problem was just language domination as land was already solved by DERG nationalization what was the need for ethnic regions with it’s implicit land and resource entitlement unfairly to a few while living most of ethnic groups in limbo? If your issue was language and unfair government representation (by the way gov representation is a wolf cry from the eilite using the mass just to get the post) why you could not solve the issue by giving entitlement to few ethnic groups while disfranchising and desplacing the most? It would not be easy to provide government services in all ethnic languages therefore opening government hi jobs to native speakers.?Would not make more sense to have multiple ethnic languages as the government working languages rather that split people and make make kill each other? Only a dangerous demagogue can not know what are the simple answers to the above questions.

  5. And I would even challenge you to respond what constitutes improper entitlement. Which one is entitlement to give a few ethnic groups absolute right over land and resources to the point where they are deciding to change demographics to have clean ethnic killils or a language domination as you claim? If the problem was just language domination as land was already solved by DERG nationalization what was the need for ethnic regions with it’s implicit land and resource entitlement unfairly to a few while living most of ethnic groups in limbo? If your issue was language and unfair government representation (by the way gov representation is a wolf cry from the eilite using the mass just to get the post) why would solve the issue by giving entitlement to few ethnic groups while disfranchising and desplacing the most? It would not be easy to provide government services in all ethnic languages therefore opening government and jobs to native speakers.?Would not make more sense to have multiple ethnic languages as the government working languages rather that split people and make make kill each other? Only a dangerous demagogue can not know what are the simple answers to the above questions. The only thing I would miss the letter of the concerned citizens is that they forgot to mention other ethnic groups that are also victims in addition to the Amharas.

  6. Who knows bet who these retarded OLF listed as signatories below? Dr Merera Gudina knows who these retarded elites of the Oromo> Here is what Merera said:

    ዶክተር መረራ ይህንን የኦነጋውያንን ማንነት ታሪክ ጽፈው ያሳተሙት በ ጦብያ መጽሔት በጥር 1988 ዓ.ም. ሲሆን የጽሑፋቸው ርዕስ «በመስታወት ቤት ውስጥ የሚኖር በሌሎች ላይ የመጀመሪያውን ድንጋይ ወርዋሪ አይሆንም» የሚል ነው። ዶክተር መረራ ስለ ኦነጋውያን ማንነት ያቀረቡት ጽሑፍ

    የሽግግር መንግሥቱ ሲመሰረት ከፊል አማራ የሆኑት እነ አብዩ ገለታ ወይንም ገላሳ ዲልቦ «አማርኛ አናውቅም» እያሉ በእግሊዝኛ የመናገር ድራማ ሲሰሩ የሚሰሩትን በትክክል የሚያውቁት እነ መለስ ዜናዊ ግን በመንዝ አማርኛ እየተናገሩ የኢሕአዴግን ሠራዊት በሀገሪቱ መከላከያ ሠራዊትነት አስመዝግበው እነሌንጮን አስፈረሙ። ሻዕብያን ከሚያምኑት አምላክ በላይ የሚያመልኩት እነሌንጮ ለታ በሻዕብያ አደራዳሪነት ከኢሕአዴግ ጋር ተነጋግረው በሻዕብያ በሚጠበቅ የኢሕአዴግ ማጎሪያ ውስጥ አስገብተው በማጎር በብዙ ሺህ የሚቆጠር የኦሮሞ ልጆችን ለስቃይና ለሞት ደርገዋል።

    ይህም ብቻ አይደለም። የኦሮሞ ልጆችን በሥነ ሥርዓት ብስበው ካምፕ አስገብተው ለጥቃት ካመቻቹ በኋላ «እኛ ከሽግግር መንግሥቱ ስለወጣን ካምፖችን ሰብራችሁ ውጡ» ብለው ከዕብዶች ወይንም የተደበቀ አላማ ካላቸው ሰዎች ብቻ የሚጠበቅ ትእዛዝ ሰጥተው ሺዎችን አስጨርሰዋል።

    እነዚህ ሰዎች በሒልተንና በጉለሌ መካከል እየተመላለሱ አራት ኪሎ በሚገኘው መንግሥት ላይ ጦርነት እያካሄድን ነው የሚሉ አስቂኝ ሰዎች ናቸው። የኦሮሞን ልጆች ከሚሠሩባቸው መሥሪያ ቤቶች፣ የአዲስ አበባ ዩኒቨርሲቲ ተማሪዎችን ጭምር ወደ ጫካ ሸኝተው ለራሳቸው በቦሌ በኩል በመንግሥት አየር መንገድ በመሹለክ ቀደም ብለው በቤተሰቦቻቸው በኩል ወደአዘጋጁት መነሃሪያ ማለትም ወደ አውሮፓ፣ አሜሪካና ካናዳ የበረሩት ትንግርተኛ ሰዎች ነበሩ። እንደገናም ተመልሰው በየእሥር ቤቱ ለሚማቅቁትና በየጫካው ለሚንከራተቱቱ የኦሮሞ ልጆች ለትንሽ ቀንም ቢሆን ስንቅ ሊሆን የሚችል ብዙ ሺህ ዶላር አውጥተው፣ ውቅያኖስና አሕጉሮችን አቋርጠው እንወጋዋለን ለሚሉት ጠላት እጃቸውን የሚሰጡ አሳፋሪ ሰዎች ናቸው። እጃቸውን ከሰጡ በኋላ በብዙ ሺህ የሚቆጠሩ በየመንግሥት እስር ቤቶች የሚማቅቁ የኦሮሞ ልጆች ሳይፈቱ አንፈታም ብለው ማንገራገር እንኳ ቢቀር እነሱን ለማስፈታት በፍርድ ቤት አካባቢ ተገኝተው የታሰሩት እንዲፈቱ ሳይጠይቁ ማምልከቻ ጽፈው «በሰላማዊ መንገድ እንታገላለን» ብለው ወያኔን በመማጠን እንደተፈቱ ወደ ፈረንጅ ፍርፋሪ ለቀማቸው የሚመለሱ ጉደኞች ናቸው።” Merera Gudina «በመስታወት ቤት ውስጥ የሚኖር በሌሎች ላይ የመጀመሪያውን ድንጋይ ወርዋሪ አይሆንም» ጦብያ መጽሔት በጥር 1988 ዓ.ም.

  7. @SLW; Who said that Oromos were “confined well to the South in former Bale province”? You and theose like you, who write and disseminate fairy tales! You are victim of fake history fabricated by racist and prejudiced Abyssinian politico-storytellers masquerading as historians. Make some search for true history before you get consumed by Amhara extemism ala NAMA.

  8. It is a complete paradox the signatories complain about Amhara past landlordship but they are mute about the current ethnic arrangements that gave to some ethnic groups absolute landlord ship powers never seen in past history of Ethiopian. How you can stand morraly and ethically behind it? The whole federalism drama has been layout to serve the original far reaching dreams of TPLF and OLF to form their own ethnic pure dreamed countries in the ashes of all Ethiopians. For the record DERG never lost the war it just imploded itself. Defeating the bigest army in Africa with rag tag militias is only a pipe dream that you can tell to the incredulous. The main in AchillesHheal of DERG was it’s principles on believing and having multiethnic forces to defend the country. This Achilles Heel was used by Shabia , TPLF and OLF infiltration to weaken it from inside and implode it. When it comes to morality DERG even draconian had higher principles than narrow minded demagogues and cowards that used their population as warfare shield to achieve their own dreamed power hunger.

  9. @Abba Caala

    I can not post a link in this site but there are plenity of sources around the world that talk about the Great Oromo migrations apart from Ethiopian sources. Just search Wikipedia in the matter instead of being brain washed by power hungered unscrupulous self appointed people. All those sources European, Arab and even Gamo native can be writing fiction at the same time to forfeit the future. Only self deceiving mind can reject that. And if you go deeper you will also find more in genetics and in anthropology. If you see the current Oromo speakers body complexity and look a like and genetics is so diverse that the only explanation is an expansion force that have subdued and forced into assimilation to speak the same language and have the same culture. To me we follow blood, genetics and complexion a Selale, Wellega Oromo is more closed to Gojame Amhara than to other Oromos from other zones. The same you can say today of all Amharic speakers. They also are from different genetic pool as they were also under the influence of expansion. So homegeneous ethnic group not affected by assimilation and coming from the same branch can be easily identifiable. But the question to you is if we all are under the influence of past miscreants why we split the hair just to focus on fabricated history like the OLF founders did rely to just meet their ends at any consequence. Why is being used identity to allocate land and resources that belong to all Ethiopians based in fake narrative? Is the new way of the expansion looting and legitimizing it as a nation? Have you ever heard of existing people tlike the Gafat people or about the Damot kingdom? To the current archeological findings support the naratives of OLF crazy dogs? Do even General Tadesse Biru support the injustice that the ethnic mad dogs are doing today? Did not he actually faced discrimination, prejudice and segragation that the current ethnic elites are fanning in all directions?

  10. The Oromo politics landscape is so toxic in demagogue ideas even the wise balanced Mererra Gudina is being drifted toward extreme corners as his space of what is to be am Oromo is being challenged by Promo extremists. Recently Merrera compared the peaceful Baladeras movement to the extremist movement lead by Jawar . Who on the Earth would even believe this is a creadible comparison. In operating mode how is the same a call for violance including use of machetes relative to peaceful dissidents asking for they rights as residents? How the Oromo elites can justify on controlling who governs Addis , and other non binding cities without themselves being residents of Addis? . In democracy these kinds of power grab are unheard of social sciney politics will show you your steep downfall. As for Jawar and other ethnic hate mongers is about time that some one will collect the evidence of direct link between your statements commanding violance and the violance taking innocent life’s to bring you to justice right where you hide in the west. Because the west can tolerate you doing opposition activisim and even armed struggle for justice. But they do not tolerate start call for killing innocents. Almost everyone that was doing the same thing in Ruwanda has been round up from their bidding in the west and served justice. Meanwhile keep broadcasting your hate tirade.

  11. As a historian, I find this letter as the most stupid, despicable and embarrassing. In my view, no intelligent person should dare or think to write this gibberish. Unfortunately it is with immense and profound sadness that among them, I notice the names of one or two individuals, who apparently appear to have a degree in some sort of history and one of them, if he is the same person, has written at least two books on Ethiopian history. In my view, these group do NOT seem to understand one iota of Ethiopian history and reality. Actually, they do not have a clue beyond being arm-chair intellectuals. It is amazing these same so-called learned individuals or professionals dare to accuse the Concerned Ethiopians of being disingenuousness and one-sidedness in their interpretation of Ethiopian history, when the very narrative or interpretation they offer as representative of the correct perspective is nothing but their own delicious concoction of lies, fairy tales, makeups and distortions. The problem starts with their very claim that they speak on behalf of “the vast majority of the peoples of Ethiopia”, but they provide no evidence or support to their claim beyond, of course, their fanciful imagination. It is paradoxical while the Concerned Ethiopians, who are said to represent only the view of the tiny minority of the country’s population, have 145 signatures, the accusers are actually able to muster in the support of such an important letter a pittance, only 53 signatures. Yet they claim to represent the position of the “vast majority of the Ethiopians.”
    I am not here to teach this group Ethiopian history. Genuine students are life-time learners. But the mindset of these group seems already programmed with predisposition to see and understand Ethiopian history only in their own distorted historical lens. Thus, any attempt to offer them a different perspective would be of no use beyond wasting one’s time and patience. However, I would stress a few things especially for those innocent readers who may be willing to learn and educate themselves to spare themselves from being an easy prey for these groups’ sinister propaganda and agenda.
    • It is indeed a fact that Ethiopia is the only country in the world to crush the indomitable arrogance of the white man, who until then roamed around the world pontificating about his unsurpassable inherent superiority and invincibility, and describing the black people, including the present 53 signatories and the “very vast majority of the peoples of Ethiopia,” which they claim to represent, as “monkeys,” and “baboons”. Not only Ethiopians are proud of this incredible superhuman achievement, but the whole black world as well. For it, Ethiopia became synonymous with black pride, power, glory and freedom to the extent that the Africans decided to make Ethiopia’s capital the seat of the African continent and the colors of its flag “pan-African colors.”
    • Ethiopia was not an invention by Emperor Menelik II. It is the most ancient nation-state, whose civilization predates almost every modern nation- state in Africa, Europe and Asia. Emperor Menilek simply completed the long process of re-unification that began long before him with Emperors Tewodros, TekleHaimanot, and Yohannes the IV. These rulers weren’t able to restore the entire Ethiopia historical domain, having lost considerable part to the European colonial conquerors They did neither conquer or acquire new territory or bring new people to the territory.
    • Each of these emperors was supported by admirably able generals, such as Ras Alula from Tegray, Ras Dareso from Gojam, Ras Gobena from Shawa, and Ras Makonnen of Harar.
    • Each of these rulers were of multi-ethnic background, so too were their generals.
    • Unlike most of the nations of the world, where the core group in the central government forcefully imposed its creed and culture by destroying that of the periphery, Ethiopia, throughout its history, has always been a multi-ethnic, and a multi-religious nation-state with a variety of life-styles, ranging from Oromo pastoralists to sedentary population, specializing in diverse professions. Contrary to other civilizations, the central government never attempted to impose its worldview, or one specific ethnic identity, or culture. That is the only reason why in one of the oldest nation-states in the world (Ethiopia), there are still even today so many languages, ethnic groups, religions and professions, and the people are the most tolerant in the world until these crypto-ethnicists showed up.
    • That Emperor Menilek II expropriated lands during the re-unification process and gave them to the Amharas is a gigantic myth, perpetuated by those who are ignorant of Ethiopian social milieu. These ‘educated’ signatories are solidifying this same myth for their own political agenda and for the delight of their western protectors, the same people who call them “monkeys” and “baboons” once they are away from prying eyes or are in a good company. To start with, Menilek’s army was multi-ethnic, the Oromo ethnic groups being its largest component (perhaps over 80%), and its greatest beneficiary too (they filled most of the administrative and military highest ranks). Both of Menilek’s policies, i. e. reunification and administration, have won deep admiration of the world’s renown writers, academics, statesmen, and the Europeans in his court or those who accompanied him in his reunification campaign, and even his own mortal enemies were not an exception. Contrary to the malignant portray by these crypto-ethnicists, these world renown personalities describe Menilek II as personifying the epitome of wisdom, and foresightedness, and as exemplary to any civilized world.
    • Ethiopians spoke and learnt Amharic, not because they were of Amhara ethnic groups (a thing that exists only in the minds of these writers). Amharic has been Ethiopia’s national language since time immemorial and every European traveler or visitor (since the Middle Ages) attest this elementary fact, that Amharic was spoken throughout the Ethiopian nation-state. Though only an elementary knowledge is needed to establish this fact, these writers however, the highest level of their education notwithstanding, seem incapable to tell the difference between ethnicity and the lingua franca of a country. It had become the dominant language not because imposed by the Amhara ruling class (which in reality never existed execpt in the imagination of these confused ethno-nationalists), but because the Ethiopian people found it the best and the ideal. No single ethnic group owns it, as it is a language developed as a result of pidginization and creolization out of several Ethiopian languages and ethnic groups – rich, fluid, elastic and sophisticated with no parallel in Ethiopian languages.
    • The idea that people were forced to abandon their language and culture exists only in the fancy world of these writers’ imagination. If the Ethiopian government did not promote or encourage the study and learning of each ethnic group’s language, history or culture, it does not require great imagination to find out that the problem lies elsewhere: the country’s infant and struggling modern economy (with no potential to fund even the basics) is responsible, and not politics. As someone born in the south, I would advise these writers to stop from pretending to be the spokesperson to, or meddling in the affairs of, other Ethiopians. I am sure none of them want you to be their Moses. Just speak to yourself.

    Ethiopians are known the world over for respecting other people’s culture, and “they are naturally given to justice and equity… of excellent good nature, … endowed with pregnant wit and goodness of disposition, .. not cruel, not bloody, hardly quarrel.” This is the character of the true Ethiopians, as described by the leading early European Ethiopianists, Ludolph Hiob. This is what you should aim for if you believe in your privileged education.

    My final advise to these ‘educated’ individuals is that, instead of fabricating lies for your own political agenda, you should work for the full empowerment of every Ethiopian, immaterial of his/her ethnic origin, religion, or language, birth or background. That is what education is about. The enemies of Ethiopia are poverty, illiteracy, disease and ignorance, and NOT Menilk or your imagined Amhara. Instead of wasting your time in fruitless and useless politicking, dividing people, you should instead invest your time in hard work with aim to alleviating our people’s misery and mortality rate. Whether you appreciate or not, the fact is that Menilek has laid a strong foundation: he has given pride that has allowed each one of us to walk in every corner of the world with head high and irresistible self-confidence. Given his education, background and timeframe, he has done his best. It is for all of us to build up on this strong foundation, a better life for ourselves and our country, and people instead of blaming him. Let us take our educational responsibility seriously and do something useful to the country and people, who educated us without taking side, or asking whether you are this or that ethnic group or religion. Life is too short, and let us do something before we depart to the world of no return. Fighting for, and based on, foreign ideology is good for one thing, and one thing only: mutual destruction and extermination. Let me leave you with an observation, which I consider to be quite constructive, an observation left to us by a woman with no education, but based on her gut-feeling. She told Emperor Susenyos, whose attempt to forcefully impose Catholicism by the royal fiat, has left the entire country in a predicament similar to our own time:
    “Look not one of these men whose bones cover the earth is a foreigner; there is not one of us but has lost a brother or a son or someone bound to us by ties of blood. Whether we are vanquished or whether we vanquish, it is the same, we are the losers. “
    ቸር ይግጠመን፡፡

  12. Dr. Haile- please teach these hate-driven vacant-minded tribals the real history of the country. When Menilik got the chance- he united the country. But look what they are doing when they are given the chance? They want to tear apart the country with fabricated premise and dream-deprived plan for the future- even for the people they claim to have stood for. Look where they are going and bowing low and very low- to the tribal-head-priest TPLF in Mekele- asking for Mercy. The TPLF has so much contempt for them and they have shown their true attitude to Oromos by publicly, to BBC, declaring that the prime minister is weak and ineffectual from the outset.Yet- that is where these pseudo-intellectuals go to ask forgiveness and murmur about their hatred for Menilik. It is a shame these so called Oromo intellectuals never feel anger at millions of atrocities and abuses committed on innocent Oromos by the TPLF for decades.

  13. Dr Haile, thank you for exposing the lies and fabrications of these ignorant individuals. They do not have a single historical evidence or documented references to support their lies. People like you should speak up to stop this madness that will lead to total destruction of our beloved country and peace loving people who lived together in harmony for thousands of years. This is a very dangerous time in our history and we do not need the so-called intellectuals to fan the flames by blaming a certain ethnic group for the misery of other which leads to a civil war which will never stop until it consumes us all.

  14. Now, the Oromos confess that they had been confined to the south. When they say the south, they mean Borena and Guji. So, now it is clear that the Oromo migration to the north can be taken as violence against the indigenous Amhara people who have been there for millennia. The Oromos also admitted that the Oromo appearance in the Ethiopian history is a little older than Minilik II, strengthening the historical fact that the Oromos are only a little over four hundred years old since they arrive in Ethiopia. Thus, the Oromo intellectuals are witnessing the historical displacement, destruction, and dislocation of the native People including the Sidama, Amhara, Wolaita, Gamo, Kaffa, Tigrie, and others who are believed to be the native people of the country.

  15. @Laba

    Oromos are as Ethiopian as any other ethnic group. When we talk about expansion we are talking about language domination and assimilation of people’s administered under both Oromo migration or Minilik’s unification. So let put that clear. Even Minilik”s unification would not be at all possible without the help of Oromo speaking elites at the time. We have to differentiate between Oromo speakers and the original Oromo ethnic/tribe group that speak the language. Specifically narrative like yours have forced General Taddese Biru a decorated general hero to confront the bigots that were at the time in Haile Silasie adminstration. And that is how the Oromo struggle for justice started which today we see the nasty side of it. The bottom line is Oromo did not come from nowhere and is as Ethiopian or more than yourself. It has proven it with it’s children bloods defending the country in both Ethio-Italian wars and also in more wars than you think to keep the independent Ethiopia as we know including Somali war and older wars where they fought along side the kings. The point is that ethnic politics no matter which Oromo, Amhara, Tigrean, Sidama or else is a danageours demagogues play for a few to get power at expense of vast majority. Unification did not hurt the mass in all critical parameters including mobility and freedom. It is also the antidote for the troublesome issue of who owns the land and resources in multiethnic pot like Ethiopia. The only side effect of it was that language and culture preservation issue the same way English for example was impossing in Ethiopia. And today I think we have the resources to bring those other languages apart from Amharic to the mainstream in Ethiopia and be used as government working language as well as also resources should be also available at school level to have a choice for parents to choose their children teaching language. We have to have policies to promote our diversity. And if the government cannot then it has to allow and support community and private efforts towards it. That is what Hailey Silasie with all his wisdom failed to look in supporting General Tadesse Biru aim supporting the Mecha Tulema Oromo self help organization. Eventhough the king did uplifted a large number of people of multiethnic background by providing scholarship and integration on his administration it failed to confront the Amhara bigots that were waging war culturally against non amharas and against the general cause nobel cause which was just to have a self help organization to educate Oromo youths. The final point is that the one who prevail it the one with the truth and the one standing for justice. And current demagogues that use ethnic strife to amass land and wealth by displacing people with fake narrative will be in the wrong side of history and the Ethiopian people will prove them wrong like it did in the past.

  16. @Haile Prof. Larebo states: “That Emperor Menilek II expropriated lands during the re-unification process and gave them to the Amharas is a gigantic myth”.
    Are you really a historian Prof. Larebo?? I better ask, if you know the country called Ethiopia? What do you think, how is the “Gebbar ” system instituted in the conqured South? Or are you saying that the ‘Gebbar’ system too was a myth? Or rather shall I ask how much immorality and an intellectual prostitution would force one to deny glaring facts?? Denying facts has nothing to do with intellectualism. It is shear stupidity! And one can not argue with stupids!

  17. @Abba Caala

    What you call gebar system is what is called today tax. Which state does not do that? If you are under state administration you are supposed to collect tax for the functioning and also protection of the state. We can argue that the feudal system tax collection was brutally unfair to the peasants. But that was the reality of feudal system mostly due to the society productivity levels at the time. Tax payments is different from land usurpation and displacement of people which is close to extermination of the subjects. Tax collaction It also tells you the degree of autonomy regional leaders did have in Minilik time. History of rulers in the different regions like Gobena, Michael of Wollo, Gugsa, Abba Jifar, Tina and others tell you how much autonomy they had and the relationship with Minilik even extended to intermarriage of family members. Tax collection and royal intermarriagehas been in Ethiopia for milenia and is a civil way of ending brutal wars and you have to look into in the continuous movement in Ethiopi a between regionalism (zemene mesafint) and centralized unified government. Even the old kingdoms of Axum, Damot and Ifat also collected taxes. By the way do you know if the Oromo and migration to the North had taxed the kingdoms of Damot and Ifat today in Ethiopian we would have more diversity with additional language and cultural identities like the Gaffat and other groups in Ifat Althgough Ifat and Oromos as wellwere also were affected by Somali expansion.

  18. @Abba Caala Actually the Gebar system was not brought to the south by Emperor Menilik. It was there on it’s cruelest form long before he came. If anything Menilik improved the lots of the Gebars though he did not eliminate all the injustice. In some of the places such as Kaffa the Gebars could be sold if the king wished and one of the reasons why The Kaffa king and Menilik could not get along very well. Two-third of the Kaffa population were under slavery.
    The Oromo conquerers, particularly in the south and south west, were practicing this system. The conquered people after being Oromonized, the Garba became Gebar/salves to the pure Oromos, the reason why most of the slaves that were exported could speak Oromo language and mistaken to be Oromos, such as those that were found by British Anti slave warships.

  19. Mr or Mrs SLW? It doesn’t matter if you are male or not, but I would like to ask you, why first you don’t tell us more about you, to start with your name, family name, and so on like the people who wrote this interesting open letter. In my opinion you don’t deserve any answer.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here