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Critical Steps to Jumpstart Fano’s Stalling Momentum

Yonas Biru, PhD

Since the Fano uprising, the Boy King’s God-like Omnipotence and Satanic Malevolence have been successfully challenged. Consequently, Oromummaa’s mass eviction and mass murder policies of ethnic cleansing have waned to a significant degree.

The inauguration of Ethiopia’s modern army during emperor Menilik as a national holiday, and the launching of “the Great Ethiopian Narrative” are examples of Oromummaa’s retreat. However, there is no logical reason to assume the Oromummaa cult theology will not resume its 16th century bloodletting enterprise if the Fano movement is halted by choice or force.

A closer examination of current realities reveals painful undercurrents that the government and the Fano enterprise must come to terms with. The government must reconcile itself with the fact that stalling or slowing Fano’s military advances is neither a military victory nor a political solution to the crisis. It must also come to terms that the use of drones and thanks against Fano fighters and civilian targets will certainly not bring the Fano enterprise to its knees. To the contrary, the indiscriminate killings of civilians will galvanize the people and draw even the most reluctant Amhara into the war theatre. Another harsh reality to the government is that the Boy King has lost his trustworthiness, owing to his betrayal of everyone who has trusted him, his pathological tendency to dispense bold lie, and most of all his lack of human sympathy. Any attempt at a negotiated peace accord that does not take these three factors into consideration is akin to a unilateral surrender.

On its part, the Fano ecosystem including its diaspora support base needs to accept two fundamental points. First, in and of itself, having morally, legally, and politically justified cause for an armed uprising does not lead to a political victory. Second, military strength is a necessary condition for political victory, not a sufficient one. Fano needs to come to terms that its military advance is undermined by the lack of an inclusive political architecture with a robust political strategy and a viable endgame along with a flexible roadmap.

In sum, the current war between the government and Fano signifies a grim situation characterized by a glaring mismatch between desired outcomes and hard realities.

On the one hand, the government’s war is not guided by a military strategy or political logic. Rather, it is driven by a narcissist Boy King who relies on fake evangelist prophets who assure him of a divine victory. He feels certain that with an unlimited number of Oromo soldiers and a divine intervention victory is his. On the other hand, the sad reality is that Fano’s Military offensive appears to have stalled or at the very least lost its initial momentum. This is attributable to the fact that the military uprising

is conducted in a political vacuum. This phenomenon can be encapsuled in one line: The hermitized Amhara intellectual class has failed to produce political icons and opinion leaders from its ranks. Sadly, the political leadership vacuum is filled by “ቼ በለው” singing and “እከደከድየ” dancing part revered and part hallucinating comical sidekicks.

Put in the vernacular, the war is fought between a government that is in a cult-like trance sleepwalking into an endless war and an Amhara uprising that lacks political technology and theology to realize its full potential to score a definitive political victory. The consequence of a protracted war between such forces is devastating for the nation.

Fano must come to the realization that dragging a high-intensity war indefinitely is existential to the Amhara tribal land in terms of humanitarian suffering and economic destruction. The worst thing Fano can do is to overestimate its military power and underestimate the need for a political organ. Fano is likely to fall prey to such thoughts if it allows extremist forces to influence its movement.

The dynamics interaction of such a reality in the face of a reckless juvenile king is highly likely to degenerate into a destructive state of entropic chaos from which neither the government nor the Fano enterprise can emerge as a strategic winner.

The Boy king cannot be expected to submit to reason, logic or justice. Getting out of the spiraling crisis is on the shoulders of Fano and carrying this burden requires building it strength and forcing the Boy King to submit to reason. In this regard, Fanos success depends on its ability to fend off political extremists who are hovering inside and outside of its enterprise. The sooner it repulses such characters, the sooner it will achieve its full potential.

The purpose of this article is to help bring Fano’s political and military spheres into an alignment and show a path for a strategic political and military victory.


What Does Political and Military Victory Mean?

The question is: What does political and military victory mean in terms of changing the status quo?

The Fano enterprise needs to define its strategic political and military end goals. Is it a change of government that involves abolishing the Oromo-PP led political leadership? If so, what is involved? Unseating the Prime Minster or also dissolving the Parliament and overhauling the constitution?

Is a change of governance (not a change of government) acceptable, if institutional forces build robust political powerbases to assert their democratic rights and reign in the Boy King’s God-like omnipotence and satanic malevolence? Regardless of the choice of the end goal, what are the guardrails to avoid a civil war or a protracted endless war?

The substance of these questions is not restricted to abstract legal or political parameters.

Above all, these are strategic question that have inherent bearing on the success of achieving

Fano’s desired goal of removing Oromummaa’s savagery from the nation’s political landscape.

In defining its end goal, Fano must be mindful that is has a legitimate right to defend itself and determine how the Amhara tribal land is governed. One thing it does not have is a legitimate authority to unilaterally determine the constitutional and institutional nature of the nation’s governance architecture.


It is time for the Fano enterprise to pause, reflect, retrospect and take a midcourse correction where needed to bring its political end goal and military means into balance. Such a pivot is an absolute necessity to thwart its diminishing chances of success and align its trajectory to its strategic political goal. Why is this an absolute necessity?


There is a mismatch in the forces behind the government and Fano. The government has enormous advantage over firepower, including such weapons as drones, missiles, and tanks. Fano’s power is the people. This means its primary powerbase demands on political support not only in its tribal land but also outside of it locally and internationally. Its military operation cannot exist in a political vacuum. Only a high-octant idiot would argue Fano’s political objective and strategy are known and well developed.

“መነሻችን አማራ መድረሻችን ኢትዮጵያ” is a clever slogan fit for a bumper sticker. It is not a substitute for a strategic political manifesto. I have written several articles on this issue. I will not reiterate the details here. Readers interested in a strategic approach can see two of my articles titled “The Fano Manifesto” and “Fano’s Success Depends on Accepting Eskinder is Not the Eleventh Commandment.”


The Mismatch Between Fano’s Military and Political Parameters

Fano’s military wing has registered phenomenal milestones in a short span of time. Its political challenges are attributable to two factors. First, extremist forces led by Shaleka Dawit, and some diaspora groups represent serious threats to it. Yesterday, I was talking to a prominent Ethiopian journalist who told me many people express different views about the Shaleka group in private discussions and public discourses.

In private, they raise concern and even express aversion toward the Shaleka and his nominal boss Eskinder. But when they are on camera, they change their tone and tenor.

This takes us to the second factors that is saddling the Fano enterprise, namely the Amhara intellectual class that has failed to develop a robust political strategy that can simultaneously serve as a leverage for Fano’s military endeavor and use Fano’s military success as a leverage for its political end goal. The intellectual classes’ failure stems from two sources.

First, it is afraid of an avalanche of ad hominem attacks by extremist groupies of Shaleka Dawit’s clan. I know first-hand what it means to be a victim of Ethio-360’s hoots of disdain. It appears that their intellectual dwarfism is overcompensated by their towering and impressive skill of turning ተራ ስድብ into rhythmic and artistic PR and as a sledgehammer to silence dissenting voices.

For reason only Habtamu Ayalew can understand my wife and children were not spared. I was not affected by his verbal attacks until my wife caught a wind of it and started lamenting about my self-inflicted violation of Ethiopia’s ከብረ ነክ cultural theology. “ፖለቲካ ውስጥ ስትገባ ክብርህን ትራሽ አንደወረወርክ እንዴት አይገባህም። ተሰድበህ አታሰድበን,” she pleaded.

My experience helps understand why the Amhara intellectual class avoids a head on collision with the Amhara extremist idiots. Their power to silence dissenting views cannot be taken lightly. Over the last six or so months the Amhara and Ethiopianist intellectual colony has organized three conferences: (1) making Geez an African language; (2) the need to overhaul the constitution; and (3) the systemic falsification of Ethiopia’s history.

These are all safe topics to delve into without inviting the wrath of Ethio-360, but they do not address the most critical issues of the day. In recent days, one of the topics raised on the Global Ethiopian Discussion Forum was Ethiopian donkeys. The moderator of the global forum posted the following:

“I urge all members of this forum to stand against the slaughter of donkeys for export. We must advocate for sustainable and ethical practices that honor our economic needs, cultural heritage, and religious values. Let us raise our voices to protect these vital members of our society and uphold the principles we cherish.”


A prominent member of the forum found the issue important enough to respond as follows:

“The Ethiopian donkey is beaten mercilessly for not moving fast despite being overloaded, not to mention a shoulder with an open sore. Aside from being a violation of animal rights, this odious practice crosses over into the violation of human rights (like corporal punishment of children). It desensitizes us about gratuitous violence against the weak and the meek. I say the expression exercise of democratic values must begin with the humane treatment of our donkeys!”

Whoever said Ethiopian intellectuals are boring does not know a thing about how rib-tickling funny they are. In their views, the urgent issue at this juncture in Ethiopia’s fast procession to a frightening cliff is first observing the democratic rights and humane treatment of donkeys. To borrow a fitting American political lexicon, this is funny as fuck. Now you know the disconnect between the Fano military and political space. Stay tuned for another safe conference on donkey democracy.

For more discussion see my three articles titled” (1) Ethiopia in an Existential Crisis Without a Leader, But This, Too, Shall Pass; (2) How Long is Amhara to be Betrayed by its Hermitized Intellectual Class; and (3) How Hermitized and Tribalized Ethiopian Intellectual Class Deny Ethiopia Global Opportunities.


Jumpstarting Fano’s Momentum

Fano is the last hope for Ethiopia both in terms of abolishing Oromummaa’s threat and laying a foundation for a transformative change. But this requires stepping up its political game. This, in turn, requires freeing its intellectual colony from the bondage of a hermitized ከብረ ነክ cultural theology and nudging it to stand up against the mighty idiotic extremist clowns. There is no two ways about it. Only then can we uplift our discussions and conferences from the safe havens of donkey and Geez politics to the rough terrines of human rights politics without fear, favor or prejudice.



8 thoughts on “Critical Steps to Jumpstart Fano’s Stalling Momentum”

  1. if you hadn’t tarnished your reputation before, people would be more accepting of, if not willing to read, your excellent suggestions and criticisms in this article.

  2. Commander Assefa Seifu

    ” …Fano needs to come to terms that its military advance is undermined by the lack of an inclusive political architecture with a robust political strategy and a viable endgame along with a flexible roadmap…”
    Selam, to me this assumes that is a well ” ORGANISED!” MOVEMENT or whatever. Not according to my understanding! suffice it to say.

    If you would like to discuss it seriously pse call ” WhatsApp/ Viber ” 7468931189 @ your convenience.

  3. Just for your information. It sounds you have missed a point. Oromummaa has nothing to do with your “Boy king” leadership narcism. To be honest, the Fano uprising doesn’t convince other ethnicities and will be met with a strong suspicion. If they are serious about their political movement they need to convince the rest of Ethiopian brothers to stand with them. It needs a solid trust to be built between the Fano and the rest of Ethiopians. If not no one even the Amhara won’t trust them and throw the needed support behind them.

  4. It’s obvious that the quick disarmament of FANO was a mistake. The big problem is that Amhara is big part of Ethiopian history and culture so fighting them is self-destructive which will create an identity vacuum for the whole country.

  5. Dr. Birru goes again with the same wrong questions, wrong analysis and answers. No need to go through his WRONGS item by item since a lot has been written and said on them. As to me the central question in the Amara movement is “What should be Fanno’s mission?”

    I feel, Fanno will make a grave strategic error if it ventures to realize its expressed wish of taking Addis Abeba which means replacing the federal government. Dr. Birru wants Fanno to take over the entire country. Let alone Ethiopia, I would say Addis should be off limit to Fanno. For one thing, it is seriously doubtful if it can make it to Addis given the huge resource (arms, finance, manpower, etc. ) challenges it will face. Second, even if it takes Addis, keeping it and running the federal government will be another huge challenge. Third, since Fanno is Amara movement, it’s likely that some ethnic groups in the country might immidealy begin tto force it out of office. Simply, put, it might take Addis but face difficulty keeping it. Fourth, the cost that Fanno might incurr to form and maintain a government will defeat its objective as a movement which is to protect Amara people and their interests. Overstreched to govern country wide, it will lose administation of Amara to neo-PP bad elements. Fifth, . . . it will be to repeat TPLF’s mistake of marching on Addis which was aborted without much military effort. A force TPLF could have used to hustle the areas it calls “contesteed” perished in an adventure to show might.

    Suggestion to Fanno: Don’t try to takeover Ethiopia – even march on Addis. The effort to remove the federal government should come from everyone in the country. Forming contacts and alliances with organizations having the same objectives will be essential for the final push to remove PP out of office, but to replce this effort will be suicidal. Ironically, that’s what Dr. Birru want to see happen.

    Back to my original question: “What should be Fanno’s mission?” Based on the above points, my one word for the success of Fanno in the protection of Amara and their interests is “stay in the region.” Force the army out of the region; form a transitional government led by a person with common sence and integrity until election is held; allow temporarily regional parliamnet to pass urgent legislations to restructure and reinstate services in the region; ban activities of Prosperity Party (PP) in the region, shut its offoces and confiscate its property; remove and replace top and mid level PP civil servants and functionaries, detain those who have committed serious crimes, ensure safety and security of everyone in the region.

    Onse the the army is forced out of the region and a transitional government established, the federals in Addis might freeze budget and other vital services to the region. Then the transitional government should create diplomatic relations with foreign governments and international organizations and ask them to provide direct budget supplement to what it collects from the people in forms of tax and other contributions. In the meantime, pressure can be put on the federal government to release the budget. Diaspora can also step in and particiapte as investor or provider of loan and aid to the regional government. This arragement looks like a confederation which some argue essential for the country right now. Most ethnic groups will agree to confederation. As suggested by confederalists, constitution of non-ethnic federalism is only possible if a move is made from confederation and not the opposite.

    One last point. Fanno should force the army out of the region and form transitional government as quickly as possible before it loses momentum. What PP wants is to drag the war as long as possible – at least until the next federal election – to claim it has won the election again. Elections in Baher Dar and Gondar city are enough to make this big claim. As they did during the last election, the legal Oromo opposition parties will withdraw from the lection giving free ride to PP. Elections in other regions are inconsequential. PP takes all for another five years.

    Good luck, folks.

  6. Your politics is based on the hate you have to oromo people. That makes your whole struggle into zero sum game. Oromummaa will florish as long as oromos are there.

  7. Good points, CHACHISSA GONFA. Keep up the good job.

    Dr. Yonas has a serious difficulty to see the larger picture in Ethiopia’s political life.
    His unit of analysis is always the individual rather than the collective. The place of an individual in politics is minimal – if not absolutely nothing- compared to the collective. An individual whose political activites are measured, say, in a good and bad spectrum cannot achieve either to a degree affecting the poltical lives of millions without the backing of a huge force. Ignoring the place of this force is a mistake.

    When Dr. Yonas writes about the Ethiopian government, it’s invariably about Abiy Ahmed. Abiy Ahmed said this and Abiy Ahmed did that. He also calls him funny names as he does to everybody that has different political views from his. I would guess he’s a master in foul language in his private life. In the above piece, he uses similar foul language he used to portray Abiy Ahmed to undermine the roles of Shaleka Dawit , Eskinder Nega and Habtamu Ayalew in the Amhara movement. We’re not aplogists for anything Abiy Ahmed has done or is doing right now. We congradulate the other guys.

    The point here is not to talk about Abiy Ahmed, Shaleka Dawit , Eskinder Nega and Habtamu Ayalew. It’s to question why Dr. Yonas writes ad infinitum ad naueam about Abiy Ahmed as if knocking him off is the end of Ethiopia’s political problems. Saying goes “can’t see the wood for the trees”. He masterfully feeds us with the dettails of Abiy Ahmed’s political activites so that we do not focus on what’s important in the larger scheme of things. As we know it, Abiy Ahmed cleverly projects “l’État, c’est moi” (“I am the state”) mannerism pretending to be everything to the country. He is in the habit of stealing the limelight. Dr. Yonas seems to have fallen to this trickery. He has nothing to say about Abiy Ahmed’s cabinet, the federal parliament, regional heads and their governments and parliaments, chiefs of the defense forces and the foot soldiers, the failing economy and growth and development issues, the territory the country lost to its neighbours, and the absence of safety and security in the country.

    For Dr. Yonas, it is the “Boy King” or nothing. Take him out and our political trouble ends. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong. His dwelling – grossly I would say – on the role of an individual as his unit of analyis and solution to Amhar political problems and the problems of the country for that matter is problematic. The same analytical problem has made him to wrongly to demand a leader for Fanno. Like Abiy Ahmed leads PP, Fanno also needs this one charismatic leader conversant in two three international languages and give interviews to the BBC, CNN and AFP after every military engagement. The Shaleka and E. Nega can’t do all these. How about you, Dr. Yonas? Are you willing and able to do it? If you can, call Fanno.

    As I see it, Fanno is a grssroots movement of every Amara with highly decentralized leadersship but working single- mindedly with absolute unity of objectives and goal. This kind of movement is new and requires fresh thinking out of the box. Old school politicians like Dr. Yonas can’t get it because they aged in politics where organizations with political programs led by central entities like (polite bureau, cental committee, etc) were the order of the day. Political movements of the 1970 all had political programs, organizations and leaders. Despite all these, they have failed to achieve what they aspired. Even political parties that exist now have political programs, organizations and leaders. What do they get in return? Not much. May be prison or harassment.

    Brief. Dr. Yonas, don’t waste your time looking for a one leader for Fanno. The Shaleka and E. Nega are just two. There are many everywhere. Next time, I would like to read your opinion as to how to deal with the entire federal government and its institutions for the betterment of the country rather than what to do with Abiy Ahmed. Ethiopia and its people are “bigger” than an individual no matter what he’s capable of doing.

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