Today: June 13, 2024

Dr. Yonas Biru’s Cover Note for The Fanno Manifesto (Unedited First Draft for Discussion)

August 15, 2023

This proposal is prepared to address three critical gaps in the Fanno Movement. My hope is that it will encourage further discussion that will lead to subsequent improvements and ultimate adoption by the Fanno movement and its support ecosystem at home and abroad.

First, there is a time-honored diplomatic decree that the Fanno movement needs to pay heed to. In and of itself, truth has no currency unless it is widely heralded both at home and abroad. If Fanno does not frame its movement’s agenda and articulate its narrative, its enemies will have the honor push their “ስልጣን ልቀቅ-ስልጣን ልንጠቅ” narrative to point Fanno as outlaw. Obviously, an effective narrative must be under girded by a legitimate endgame embodied in a robust strategy, a clear road map with sufficient flexibility, and an achievable and adoptable endgame.    ..Read more – Fanno Manifesto



  1. Dr. Yonas,

    Not long ago, you called Fanno Amhara Shenne. Abiy Ahmed came first with this characterization of the resistance and then you picked it from him and promoted it for a while. Now, Fanno is gaining upper hand against neo – Oromo invasion, you want Fanno to sit with Oromos for a talk. Total absurdity approximating nonsense. Sit for what reason? To save Ethiopia for which Amharas were and still are castigated as barbaric colonizers and killed and dispaced in tens of millions and lose their miagre belongings? Don’t forget that Oromos are deeply anchored in Oroommuumma and resolvedto have self determination to decide their future. They can do what they want. How about Amharas? They too have the same right to self determination which Oromos have no right to oppose. The first step towards determining the future of Amhara is to liberate their land and that process is in progress and appears to complete soon. That’s where Fanno appears at the equation. Right now, what Amharas need is a free territory from Oromo control (which is done via prixy organization like PP Amhara) and conduct regional election without the involvement of NEB which is in league with PP, have its own defense and security forces to protect the territory and its resources, establish foreign relations ( to attract direct investment and all those that relate to foreign relations). In brief – confederation within the Ethiopian state and if confederation is not possible separation. As we know it, Ethiopia is a romantic concept that exists only in the mids of people like Dr. Yonas which serves no practical purpose for Amharas and all non – Oromos. If the rest of the country wants to keep Ethipia as a confederate, they have to renegotiate terms with the Amhara as an equal without dictating their preference as TPLF did some decades ago. Saving Ethiopia is the last thing Fanno should worry about at this stage or even later until it comes from the others.

    Here is a suggestion to FANNO to save Amharas and the country.

    Once again in our recent history, Amharas have emerged as the holders of the master key to solve Ethiopia’s multifaceted problems. How? By opting for confederation.

    Amharas have no choice but to move for confederation simply because ethnic federalism in the Ethiopian context or in any other country’s context has not worked except for those who seized state power.

    A multi-ethnic country under ethnic federalism, Ethiopia will not have a fair and free election and govern without the opression of one or another ethnic group. Hence, democracy is an illusion that cannot be realized under ethnic federalism.

    The way Oromo rose to power and now control the entire country through proxy regional governments is the proof. Tigreans have done it for the last thirty years and Oromos have stepped in Tgreans shoes to impose similar one ethnic group rule.
    With their number and the size of their region, Oromo opressive rule will be much worse than Tigrean`s. Give another two years to Oromo rule, Ethiopia will be the tail of the whole world by all standards of measure.

    So, it is time for Amharas to exercise their constitutional right to self-determnation and vote on confederation. If they adopt conederation, it will give them the opportunity to attract direct foreign investment since confederation will enable them to have economic diplomats and even have embasies abroad cutting the Oromo controlled foreign ministry diverting foreign investment to Oromia and other favoured regions. Amharas can also have a defense force which will protect them from foreign invaders including attacks of ethnic Oromo organizations. Full control over the resources in the region without interference from the ethnic fedrealist rule is certain.

    The Belgian model of confederation which appears to hep advance amhara interests is something to explore.

    In any event, Ethiopia needs vast decentralization resembling confederation since the federalism the country has adopted is notheing other than unitarism in disguise. Controlled from the centre, it has miserably failed to develop the country let alone prosper and ensure safety and security of its citizens. The chaos we see in the country right now has much to do with lack of development (in all sectors) and security. Both have proven beyond the capacity of the ethnic federalist government to provide. Change of government at ethnic federal level is not the answer for these problems.

    Tigreans have floated the idea of confederation or separation even if they pretend to remain part of the country for the moment to get federal budget and borrow money from local and international sources in the name of Tigray and obtain direct foreign assitance and aid. They are being treated by the feds as a de facto independent state receiving foreign dignataries and opening diplomatic offices abroad. Tigreans know that they will not be fairly treated under Oromo rule because the federalism in place cannot be reformed to realize equality; as a result, their choice of confederation or separation appears just.

    Amharas must seize the opportunity to decide their destiny via self-determination as well without wasting another year under incompetent Oromo rule. Despite all the atrocities they have committed on theselves, Amharas, Afars and many others, Tgreans are embraced by the Oromo rule since Oromos now feel tobe the only savours of Ethiopia.

    Folks! Don’`t be fooled!. Oromos pretend to be “savours” only if they rule the entire country as one piece. Like any other ethnic group that aspire to oppress and dominate ,they are after resources rather than equality, democracy and respect of human rights.That’s why they are unwilling to drop ethnic federalism which CANNOT be reformed to accept equality of all peoples in the country. Democracy is dead and buried under ethnic federalism.

    If Amharas want to be heard and embraced as Tigreans, they have to go for confederation. Once confederaltion is implemented, talk about non-thnic based federalism and negotiating a new constitution is possible. There is no country that moved from ethnic federalism to non-ethnic federalism directly; the short cut to this long process is recourse to confederation first.

    If confederation is not accepted, Amharas will be better off if they say good bye to the ethiopian state. It is outdated for Amharas to hang on “mama TOBIA” cry since nobody in the country is interested in it any more. What Amharas got from this cry is atrocotoes, redicule and shame. All these on Amhara because they gave Oromos and other ethnic groups a country which they are not ready and willing to let go. If Amhara insist on confederation, Oromos might call the army on it to « protect » the unity of the country! That will make them a laghing stock since they were in the forefront to weaken the unity of the country. Now they cannot be alllowed to reverse gear.

    Amhara! Wake up and smell the cofee. Tell Oromos that you want confederation – if not confederation then separation. Oromo crack down will soften even disappear as it did for Tigreans if Amhara opt for confederation. But the idea is not to see Oromo softening on Amhara, it is to seek real confederation as a wayout from decades long quagmire and pave the way for a talk on a new constitution. Oromo softeneing take Amharas no where.

    Try it! It will work and catapult Amhara development and growth to the sky and ensure your security. It will eventually liberate Oromos too from their bloody distructive path poised to take everybody else down them.

    FANNO – make this BRIEFpoints your motto and win – Amhara economic freedom including control of its natural resources; direct diplomatic relations to attract foreign investment and aid; its own defense and security forces; democracy backed by free and fair elections in the region by regional political parties only; no ethnic federalist party to run for office in the region.

    Slogans : እኛ አማሮች አማሮች ሙሉ የተፈጥሮ ሃብታችንን ለራሳችን ጥቅም እናዉላለን፣ እኛ አማሮች ነጻ ቀጥታ የውጭ ግንኙነት እንመሰርታለን፣ ይህ ለእድገታችን (ዲፕሎማቲክ ቢሮ መክፈትን የሚጨምር ለመዋእለ ንዋይ መሳብና የውጭ እርዳታ ፍሰት) ወሳኝ ነው ፤ እኛ አማሮች የራሳችንን የመከላከያና የደህነነት ተቋሞች እንመሰርታለን፣ እኛ አማሮች ማናቸውንም የፌደራል የፖለቲካ ፓርቲዎች የማይጨምር በክልል ፓርቲዎች መካከል ብቻ በሚካሄድ የሃሳብ ፉክኽር ዲሞክራሲያዊ ነጻና ፍትሃዊ ክልላዊ ምርጫ እናካሂዳለን፤ ከነዚህ በመነሳት በእኩልነት ላይ ለሚመሰረት ነጻ ዲሞክራሲያዊ ፌደራሊዝም እና አዲስ ሀገመንግስት እንሰራለን፥

    “አማሮች ሙሉ ሃብታችንን ለራሳችን ጥቅም እናዉላለን¨

    አባይን ውሰዱ። ምንጩ ጣና ሃይቅ አማራ ክልል ነው። ይህ ማለት ከሃይቁ የሚመነጨው ውሃ እንዲሁም ውሃው የሚፈጥረው ሃይል ንብረትነቱ የአማራ ህዝብ ነው። እየተሰራ ያለው ግድብም በአማራ ክልል መሆን ሲገባው አውጥተውታል። ይህም ቢሆን አንዱ ውሃው የተፈጥሮ ሃብቻችን በመሆኑ ውሃውን ተከትሎ የሚገነባው ግድብም ብንረታችን ነው። ኦሆዴድ የሚመነጨውን የመብራት ሃይል ገቢ ተጠቅሞ እኛንው መልሶ እንዲወጋን ማጎበት የለብንም። ይህ ብቻ አይደለም ፤ ማናቸውም የክልሉ ሃብት ንብረት ለክልሉ ህዝብ ጥቅም ብቻ እንዲውል ማድረግ አለብን። ኦሆዴድን ተረዳድተን እናራቁተው። ሃገር የመሆን ፍላጎታችን አንዱ መገለጫ ይህ ነው። ኦሆዴድ ኦሮሚያ ውስጥ የሚያደርገው ይህን መሆኑን እነረዳ።

    ቀጥታ የውጭ ግንኙነት ካልመሰረትን ክልሉን በኢኮኖሚ በፍጥነትና በተሟላ ሁኔታ ማሳደግ አይቻለንም። አሁን ያለው አሰራር ሁሉም የውጭ መዋዕለ ነዋይ በማዕከል በኦሆድዴ የተያዘና ለኦሮሚያና ጥቂት ለተመረጡ የኦሆድዴ ፕሮጀክቶችና የሚውል ነው። አንድ ወይም ሁለት ክልሎች የኦሆዴድ ኦሮሚያ ትርፍራፊ የሚወረወርላቸው ሲሆን ይህ ደግሞ አማራ ክልልን አይጨምርም። በግል የሚማጣ የውጭ ሆነ የሀገር ውስጥ መዋዕለ ነዋይ አፍሳሽ ክልሉ ጦርነት ውስጥ ስለሆን ባትምክረው ይሻላል በሚል ማስፈራሪያ እንዲተው ወይም ወደሌላ እንዲሄድ ይነገረዋል። የት ቢባል ያው ወደታወቀው ኦሮሚያ። እና ጎበዝ! አማራው በስንቱ ይጠቃ? አማራው ቀጥታ የውጭ ግንኙነት መስርቶ ፣ ኤምባሲዎች ከፍቶ ፣ የመዋዕለ ነዋይ እምባሳደሮች ሰይሞ ክልሉን በኢኮኖሚ ካላስመነደገ ወደባሰ ኢኮኖሚያዊ ፣ ወታስደራዊ፣ ፖለቲካዊና ማህበረዊ ቀውስ መግባቱ እይቀርም። ሁሉንም ለኔ በሚለው ስግብግቡ ኦሆዴድ ኦሮሚያ ስር አማራ ሊያድግ አይችልም። ኦሮማይ!

    It’s not only economic ties wiith foreign governments that Amhara needs, the ties should include political, cultural, military and social issues. This begins with neigbouring states, expand to involve the continent and then beyoond to the whole world. I can’t wiat to see that happen.

    • Dear Tazabi,

      I am more mused by your commentary than Dr Yonas’s manifesto. Great work. I suggest you post some article on the current state of affairs in Amhara and Ethiopia. Weldone!!

  2. Dr. Yonas,

    The title of your cover-note says “Unedited First Draft for Discussion”. My question is “why do you post unedited first draft?” You do not have time to edit it? It’s not even a second or third draft; it’s a first draft. On top of that, you’re not sure the cover-note is a useful paper. It’s for discussion. So, why should anyone read “unedited first draft for discussion” which you wrote in one sitting? I guess you must have been drunk when you wrote it. Thanks for your frankness. As you know, Fanno, in a life and death struggle, has no time for unedited first draft. The so called cover-note is a joke showing that you,ve not taken the Amhara struggle seriously. Time and again, you disgrace yourself in an attempt to trivilaize the Amhara struggle with half-baked ideas. You produce these one-sitting scrubbled papers practically every other day and paste them on this website. How about taking time, thinking and writing sense? “Unedited first draft” is downright rubbish.


  3. Dear PhD holder, yonas biru:
    Academic credentials cannot represent the righteousness of an individual but honesty comes from the heart!
    When you are writing your cover note for fanno manifesto, it would be better to pay more attention but invain! You said” fanno is a voice of justice and peaceful coexistence while you negatively stated some about oromo ethnic group.Partiality is yours!
    Anyhow fanno is a Pipedream based on solomonic dynasty and amhara superiority and their ethnic chauvinism.
    To sum up, centralization will never come back.

    • Ahmed:

      If you are really a muslim and your name is Ahmed, have not you heard that more than 1,000 muslim citizens from Wollo were slaughtered in the hands of the primitive OLF in wollega on a single day for no reason other than being born as Amharas? Will that be the will of ALLAH? As a muslim and a human being, did you say this is wrong and the killers should be brought to justice? You said FANO is fighting to bring back the Solomonic dynasty. If you are really an innocent person, I tell you THIS IS NOT THE CASE. FANO is fighting to stop the killing of Amharas for being Amhara, for the equality of the Amhara people, like any other Ethiopians, for the free movement of Amharas in their own country, including Addis, to enable Amharas to live in any part of Ethiopia, with equality and the right of being elected for political office and for the children of Amharas to get educated in their mother tongue in any part of the country like other Ethiopians. These are the reasons FANO is fighting.
      I AM FANO at last FANO will prevail.

  4. Dr. Yonas,

    In section III entitled “A Way Forward for a Peaceful Resolution”, where you would expect concrete suggestions, denies that the country has been and still is in a civil war from which it is unable to extract itself. . I don’t know your understanding of a civil war, but WIKIPEDIA defines it as ” . . . a war between organized groups within the same state (or country). The aim of one side may be to take control of the country or a region, to achieve independence for a region, or to change government policies.” I hope you don’t contradict this definition. So, the war in the Amhara region being fought against Oromo led and staffed invading army is a civil war. It’s Amhara – Oromo civil war. There is no civil war to avert.

    The Oromo atrocities against Amhara in Oromia and other non – Amhara regions were not civil war simply because Amharas did little or nothing to defend themselves hoping that the federal and Oromia government will carry out their responsibiliies to protect them. What happened were genocide, ethnic cleansing on Amharas and confiscation and destruction of their property which can be seen on equal footing to civil war – if not more seriously. Time permitting, there will be a legal recourse for these atrocities on the two levels of government and the actual perpetraters.

    Accepting what exists in Amhara region is a civil war between Amharas and Oromos is a vital one for seeking a lasting solution. Reducing it to a war between Fanno and the contry’s defense forces is a lie and a deliberate attempt to shy away from an open reality. In fact it is a subtle attempt to keep OPDO/PP in power. You will easily realize this if you see suggestions (7) and (6) about holding vote of confidence on Oromo-PP led government and Amhara PP government and recall members of federal and regional parliament. This cannot happen while PP is breathing.

    Please note that Oromos are seeking self -determination to create their own country. Just two days ago, in an interview, a veteran but moderate Oromo politician confirmed that fact, Self- determination is their mantra for decades. In the same vein, Amharas.have risen to seek self – determination to decide their future. There is no other way to address the civil war issue right now.

    In short, what you, Dr. Yonas calls ” Precondition for a Transformative Change” is non starter.

  5. This is a very interesting thread. Thank you Dr. Y0nas for initiating it.
    There are more than one hundred million Ethiopians out of which roughly ten percent are direct beneficiaries of the tribal system. That is over ten million people. These people will fight tooth and nail to maintain the current system of privilege for a majority of them will be unable to hold their privileged status in a meritocratic system.
    What would make the struggle for a new political system an uphill battle is this cadre force and the network of corrupt business class that it is tied to. When Abiy Ahmed came to power, the great show of support came largely from these groups that were relieved by the thought that a new system that would undermine their undeserved privileged status was not going to come.
    Good point about the need to collaborate with Oromo people that do not support the Nazism of the OLF-PP.
    The confederacy strategy raised above shows deep thinking but raises interesting questions. For example, how would the confederacy handle the issue of the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Amhara outside the Amhara region? Would the confederacy be based on an acceptance of the amputated TPLF-designated Amhara region? If not, upon which geographic region would the Amhara confederacy be based?

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