Playing with fire.
At a time when the African Union, under the slogan «Silence the Guns in Africa by 2020», is aiming to achieve its goal of making Africa a continent where peace reigns at last, Ethiopia – whose capital Addis Abeba is the esteemed headquarters of the organisation – was still entangled in 2020 in a murderous anti-citizen (anti-Amhara) campaign. Finally, on the 29th of June 2020, pretexting the treacherous assassination of the singer ሀጫሉ ፡ ሁንዴሳ፟ / Hattchalou Houndéssa, a new wave of barbaric killings took the lives of numerous innocent civilians. The sense of mourning, disgust and shame, beyond the Ethiopian people, is now shared by the whole African people.
While all this destruction was in preparation, unsuspecting, the Ethiopian people were rallying round the F.D.R.E. régime they otherwise loathe, in the face of Egypt’s presumed “threats” against the “Renaissance dam”, and the United States’ mimics of “siding” with Egypt. When the massacres occurred suddenly, lasting three days, the Ethiopian people woke up to the fact that they had just been stabbed in the back.
In the full knowledge of the security services, truck loads of pre-organised killing parties were being transported to the targeted localities in the “Oromya ⁽12⁾ homeland”. Using pre-compiled lists of identities, they killed indiscriminately children, women, elderly persons that were not “native Oromos”. They further looted then burnt their houses, businesses, organisations and institutions. It is still not clear how many people have thus been killed in the few hours of fascistic attacks; local officials have announced that hundreds have been killed, and tens of thousands have been hurt and made homeless. According to these same local officials, more than 10’000 properties, including religious, governmental and private properties, have either been completely destroyed or severely damaged by petrol bomb throwing mobs.
The attacks were not random; they were perpetrated against pre-determined strategic objectives situated in the central part of the so-called “Oromya homeland”. Starting from the district of Mennagesha ⁽13⁾ which cuts in two the “Oromya homeland”, and the outskirts of the country’s capital Addis Abeba situated in the geographical centre of the country, following the main highways south towards Hawasa, south-east towards Asella and Gwebba, east towards Harer, the attacks targeted citizens or Amharas, and towns, organisations and institutions deemed by the attackers or those behind the operations, to be the principal centres that vehicle the citizen culture, the citizen (“national”) language Amharic, and Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Christianity.
As the following maps show, [map 1] the “Oromya homeland” is an excessively extended territory on the southern half of Ethiopia. It has its higher population densities in its medium to high altitude central areas, while the mostly lowland extremities are very sparsely populated. It has an estimated population of some 27.5 million, or 25% of the total population of the country (110 million); however, out of the 176.3 billion Br 2021 budget set aside for the “homelands”, the “Oromya homeland” will receive 59.4 billion Br (or 34%). The “Oromya homeland”, in addition to the “homeland police”, has at its disposal a repression force called “special forces” with 275’000 men, that is to say, one armed militiaman for every 100 inhabitants (men, women and children).
(refer to the PDF) [Map 1] the “Oromya homeland” (in blue), Mennagesha district (in yellow), Addis Abeba (in green).
Some 70% of the inhabitants of the “Oromya homeland” reside in the central area comprising western Shewa, southern Shewa, eastern Shewa, Arousi, northern Balé and northern Harergé [map 2, shown in green].
(refer to the PDF) [Map 2] The central area where 70% of the “Oromya homeland” population are concentrated (in green).
The area has further constituted a peaceful and free melting pot of all communities around the citizen or Amhara culture. The totality of the inhabitants are Amharic speakers; while most also speak the Oromo language. Studies carried out in the area have shown that the “Oromo” community constitute on average no more than 20% of the urban residents, and no more than 40% of the rural residents. When viewed from the ethnic ancestry perspective, less than 5% of the residents can claim “Oromo only” ancestry ⁽14⁾.
On the one hand, like most regions of Ethiopia, the region has seen a great fusion of many communities as a result of their continuous existence within a millennia old Ethiopian State; on the other hand, because the Oromo community are a late comer to most of the now inappropriately called “Oromya homeland”, and their settlement only dates back to two to five centuries, there is not a single district in the country where they constitute a majority.
At the individual level, none of those politicians who claim to «stand for the “Oromos”», starting from the “prime minister”, have hidden the fact that they all are partly and not wholly “Oromos”. However, “more royalists than the king”, they seem to be more caring than the “Oromos” themselves about the “Oromo nationalist agenda”, and are not going to be easily curtailed from establishing, through lies and massacres, their own private power structure over the “republic-to-be homeland”. To that effect, alienating the “Oromo” community from their Ethiopian citizenship has become their priority task.
In truth, in a country like Ethiopia where the idea of citizenship is born, today’s dispute about one’s “ethnicity” is simply retrogressive and extraneous in its inception; as the direct consequence of the western inspired “ethnic federalism”, it shall be ushered out with it.
Under normal circumstances, such fusion of different communities around the idea of citizenship would be seen as an advantage. However, because it has shattered any hope of materialising the foreign powers’ retrograde aim of establishing an ethnically based separate “Oromya Republic”, the separatist forces, in the face of such an unsurmountable obstacle [map 3], are now busy:
- fanning the anti-citizen or anti-Amhara violent campaign and forcing out citizens from the area;
- resettling en masse, over the past two years, “Oromos” allegedly “displaced by ethnic cleansing” from parts of the “Somali homeland” of northern Harergé, in areas of Addis Abeba, central Shewa, eastern Shewa and southern Shewa.
(refer to the PDF) [Map 3] Districts where massacres took place (in red).
As all are Ethiopian citizens, their resettlement anywhere in the country should not be a source of concern as such; but what possible justifications are there for the killings and the persecutions of other citizens? Ethiopia is a country established on the basis of citizenship, over 3000 years ago. What is the meaning, in the 21st century, of the establishment of previously non-existent and ethnically based, and as such retrograde “Oromya Republic”, “Tgray Republic”, “Ogadénya Republic”, … etc., other than the implementation of the “divide and rule” imperialist agenda?
Due to the three weeks shutdown of Internet, following the 30th June 2020 massacres, it has been difficult to ascertain the full extent of the catastrophe that befell the country. Over the past two weeks, an avalanche of upsetting witness reports have been made public. According to these reports, as the unrest started, the civilian population appealed for help to the security forces. The latter failed to respond, pretexting, as usual, that “no orders have been received from above”; in other words, they have confirmed that they have instead received from their superiors orders preventing them from executing their standard duty of enforcing law and order.
Thus, five weeks after the massacres, not a single representative of the régime has visited the victims yet, nor forwarded them any kind of temporary shelter or food. Those officials who shed their crocodile tears on the death of ሀጫሉ ፡ ሁንዴሳ፟ / Hattchalou Houndéssa and called for a golden statue to be erected in his memory, failed to utter a word let alone shed tears for the innocent victims of the massacre. Starting from the “President” to the “Prime Minster” and to the “homeland Presidents”, none of them has gone to the crime scenes nor visited the victims. This complicity in silence is tantamount to non-assistance to a person in danger, and therefore makes them accomplices: they will not escape justice.
Today as ever, the victims’ only rescuer is, thankfully, the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahdo Church. The Church too has lost to the attacks some of Her priests and churches, in addition to Her followers.
The same meaningless expression: «we shall be taking steps against the perpetrators of theses acts» have been heard once again from officials here and there; however:
- a régime that still does not feel obliged to find and liberate the 12 or so female students of Denbidollo university who have been abducted for the past 10 months by these same forces that have sprang out of the E.P.L.F. ⁽15⁾ military camps,
- a régime that still has not brought to justice the T.P.L.F. ⁽16⁾ leadership, responsible for crimes against humanity and corruption on a national scale,
is unlikely to take any meaningful steps in this instance; to expect it would be foolish.
It is to be remembered that the judiciary have been deliberately made incapable so as the current illegitimate leadership may not be pursued in justice for their previous crimes. Only a few days ago, the régime has inaugurated with pomp a luxury apartments complex to be distributed to 274 members of the judiciary.
For the sake of appearances, a “Ministry of Peace” was also set up some two years ago; the only place where we find a ministry with such a name is nowhere else in the world, but in the pages of George Orwell’s (1902-1951) novel “1984”. There is no government in the real world that dare to create such a ministry. In the “double speak” for which George Orwell was recognised, the role of the “Ministry of Peace” was to foment wars …
The Ethiopians’ Citizen Democratic Union (E.C.D.U.):
- expresses its profound sadness for the great loss of life; prays for the souls of the departed, and wishes prompt recovery for the victims;
- once again, condemns in the strongest terms these anti-civilisation acts, and strives for the perpetrators and their sponsors to be brought to justice;
- has now verified that the F.D.R.E. régime has not turned back from its treasonous direction.
In accordance with the expression «to kill two birds with a stone» that was repeatedly heard from the regime’s highest officials lately, unidentified and armed security personnel have mishandled and arrested without warrant opposition leaders such as:
አቶ ፡ እስክንድር ፡ ነጋ / Mr. ‘Skndr Negga,
መሀንድስ ፡ ይልቃል ፡ ጌትነት / Engineer Ylqal Gétnet,
አቶ ፡ ስንታየኹ ፡ ቸኰ፟ል / Mr. Sntayehou Tchekwel,
ወይዘሮ ፡ ቀለብ ፡ ሥዩም / Mrs. Qeleb Syoum,
አቶ ፡ ገናናው ፡ አበራ፟ / Mr. Genanaw Aberra,
and other leading opponents of the F.D.R.E. régime, as well as contenders and critics of the dictatorial E.P.R.D.F.-Prosperity Party, together with members of the media, using the recent massacres as a pretext to arrest them, while it is known that they have nothing to do with them, on the contrary. In fact, some of the arrested leaders, especially አቶ ፡ እስክንድር ፡ ነጋ / Mr. ‘Skndr Negga, by getting to New York in person many months earlier, had given advance warning to the international community and the United Nations that large scale massacres were in preparation in Ethiopia by the régime in place.
With their latest grievous deeds, the regime’s leadership have further aggravated their already sinister criminal records.
The dreaded treachery and devastations have all materialised; nevertheless, in the present chaotic situation where there is not even a “State” worthy of the name, the ancient, the wise, the civilised people of Ethiopia have once again put out the fire of destruction in time. Not a single instance of revenge action has been reported anywhere in the country.
The Covid-19 virus pandemic, which manifested itself in the second half of 2019, is a historical accident, the starting and ending points of which are still unknown. It has completely dislocated the state of the world and the workings of international relations. The world over, “tomorrow” is expected with great anxiety as a state where precariousness will reign. For this reason, and for the sake of their very existence, States should be expected to revise their respective foreign policies. Yet, the imperialist forces that have been implementing their despicable destructive policies aimed at Ethiopia for over a hundred years, have chosen to continue implementing them, without any revision or halting, in their full wretchedness and perfidy, as the recent devastations have demonstrated. This amounts to playing with fire; and fires, small or large, all start equally from minor sparks.
The forces of imperialism and their proxies, by shedding once again the blood of innocent civilians on the African continent, today in the 21st century, to fulfil abominably ravenous geo-political aims, may potentially lead the whole world to a global deflagration. The international community, recognising the existence of these foreboding actions, should scrutinise their authors and bring to an end their covert and concerted destructive activities while there is still time.
To understand the motivations and objectives of these activities, it is essential to re-examine Ethiopian history.
The citizenry of Ethiopia or the Amhara (literally, the ‘Free People’), some 497 years ago, in 1523, had been partly chased away from their ancestral lands of ወለቃ Weleqa, መና፟ገሻ Mennagesha, እንጦጦ ‘Nttotto, በረ፟ኽ Berrekh, የረር Yerer, ጽላሎት Tslalot, ኀሩሲ Harousi, ፈጠ፟ጋር Fettegar, ባሌ Balé, መስኖ Mesno, ወገግ Wegeg, ዳወሮ Dawero, ዘይላ Zeyla, etc., by the ግራኝ፡አሕመድ / Gragn Ahmed invasion which was backed by Ottoman imperialism and lasted some 15 years. The areas correspond partly to the area now given the German inspired name of “Oromya”. Soon after the defeat of Gragn Ahmed, in 1538, the citizenry progressively reclaimed their ancestral lands; today they live a settled life more or less spread over the whole length and breadth of their country.
However, Western imperialism, which soon after dethroned Ottoman imperialism, reappeared in the 19th century along the shores and frontiers of Ethiopia: in the north-east through the Red Sea, in the east through the Indian Ocean, in the south through present day Kenya, in the west through present day Sudan. Even if Ethiopia lost some of her people and territory to the series of invasions and wars that continued until the beginning of the second world war, using whatever remaining people and territory, she managed to push back all the attacks, to finally be in 1941 the first victorious country over both colonialism and fascism, whereby she remains to this day an independent and sovereign country.
Where subjugation of Ethiopia through direct military confrontation failed, the remote-controlled series of disruptive campaigns that exploited the sections of her distraught younger generations (products of the nihilistic education system and ambient propaganda that characterised the post-war era):
- during the Derg dictatorial rule (1975-1991);
- followed by the Weyané dictatorial rule (1991-2018);
- and today, following the Weyané tactical withdrawal and the transfer of dictatorial power between it and the ዐቢይ፡አሕመድ / Abiy Ahmed dictatorial rule, in 2018, where the final stages of the 500 year old process are gaining momentum; are now exposing the whole country to some new difficulties.
There is no lack of evidence in the pronouncements of “prime minister” Abiy Ahmed and those self-proclaimed “representatives of the Oromos”, that show them to be drawn directly from the writings of fascists, remnants of Nazi Germany, and white supremacists whose colonialist ambitions were frustrated by the Amhara (Free People) of Ethiopia (one such typical source is Martial de Salviac’s 1901 book ⁽17⁾): «Oromo civilisation, beyond Ethiopia, suffices for the whole of Africa …», «Prosperity Party is an Oromo party …», «we have broken the back of the Amhara …», «we have prevented the Amhara from leaving or entering our town “Finfinné” (Addis Abeba) ⁽18⁾ …». The Ethiopian people have been listening with patience to these kinds of effrontery; but know too well that these individuals hold their mission from imperialism itself, and certainly not from the Oromo community. Concerning the Oromo community, fascist Italy had, in 1935, the audacity to invite them to fight on her side and against their country Ethiopia; upon which the Oromos told her in no uncertain terms to «go to hell!» and, by joining arms with their brothers and sisters, defeated and chased once and for all the common enemy out of the country. In the same spirit, today, the Ethiopian people have chosen to vanquish evil with good, saying: «we shall not fight each other because of a few ill-intentioned individuals».
The struggle for democracy is peaceful; but when tyranny exceeds the limits, which it has, then the people will have no choice but to decisively put an end to it.
In a word, the objective of the current anti-citizen or anti-Amhara campaign is: the supremacy of imperialism in the region; and to that effect, Ethiopia must be divided and destroyed.
‘Amhara’ is the name of the whole citizenry that made Ethiopia. Contrary to what the “mean”-stream media knowingly and falsely propagate ad nauseam : it is not the name of an ethnic group. The country of the Amhara is the whole of Ethiopia; the “homeland” that fascists have unlawfully tried to impose on them simply does not fit them. As much as each Ethiopian has his/her own identity as an individual, as the free people or as the Amhara, or again as the citizenry, Ethiopia belongs to them, as much as they belong to Ethiopia. That is why, all forces that come with the intention of wresting Ethiopia from her people must first destroy the Amhara.
Ethiopia has put her destiny into the hands of God from her beginnings, many thousands of years ago; she was established, by her Free People, on the basis of her Civilisation of Right: ሥልጡንሕዝብና. She has existed ever since as an independent country and will continue do so in future. All those who came to destroy her, were one by one buried by her; their fate will not be any different in future.
As it is in the nature of imperialism to proliferate its instruments, dictatorships, and to promote corruption, as long as there is imperialism there will also be dictatorship and corruption.
The apartheid system that imperialism has put in place in Ethiopia is based on the US-inspired ethnic federalist “constitution” of the F.D.R.E. régime. According to this “constitution”, the very existence of the Ethiopian people is denied: in it, the Ethiopian people do not exist. The sovereignty that should be the distinctive attribute and right of the sole Ethiopian people, is instead bestowed upon non-existent entities it calls “peoples, nations and nationalities”, thereby claiming Ethiopia to be a country without effective owner. This way, imperialism has succeeded in laying out the contrivance within which the one Ethiopian people are divided up into “peoples” within their own “homelands”, in accordance with “ethnic federalism”; the “homelands” are in turn made to dress against each other over boundaries, over territory; they are also made to compete and contend over communal traditions and communal languages, thereby killing the idea of citizenship, depriving Ethiopia of her rightful owners, before imperialism snatches up the whole country.
In this regard, the Ethiopians’ Citizen Democratic Union (E.C.D.U.) strongly advises those “homeland” officials who, behind the scenes, strive to create their fake “republics” while there is already a properly established country called Ethiopia, that their despicable activities (which the whole world now knows about, as their secrecy is no longer guarded) amount to acts of national treason for which they will have to answer before law courts, and invites them instead to quickly adopt cooperative attitudes towards a political solution, while there is still time.
More importantly, the Ethiopians’ Citizen Democratic Union (E.C.D.U.), believes that the current political crisis in Ethiopia which is aggravated by the recent massacres, can only be remedied by the rapid and determined action of the sovereign Ethiopian people; to that effect the E.C.D.U. declares the following:
1) The E.C.D.U. calls for all those suspected of carrying out or masterminding the killings and massacres of innocent civilians, and the destructions of property, to be apprehended, investigated and brought to justice;
2) The E.C.D.U. calls for the régime to compensate all those people who have lost family members or relatives, or have lost property; it also calls for the régime to bring to justice those officials who ordered the members of the police and the security forces to suspend their law enforcement and public order duties;
3) The E.C.D.U. calls for the principal officials of the régime, including the “prime minister” and the leadership of the “Oromya homeland”, as well as commanders of the Police, the Security and Armed forces, to step down from their positions of responsibility, and be put under house arrest, until the time when a national investigating commission is set up to establish their direct or indirect involvement in the anti-citizen treasonable campaign and their eventual appearance before the courts of justice,
4) The E.C.D.U. calls for those polices forces established at the “homeland” level, including the “homeland special forces”, to be disbanded and their personnel integrated into the national police force;
5) the E.C.D.U. calls for the immediate release of those political party leaders and members of the media, who have been unduly imprisoned by the régime, despite having no involvement with the recent massacres;
6) The E.C.D.U. will shortly be addressing to the Ethiopian people the modalities of its proposals for the creation at the local, district, province, and country levels, of the people’s unity body that will democratically elect their representatives endowed with the authority to establish a Transitional Government; the issue concerns also the inhabitants of the former province of Eritrea which are under the dictatorial rule of the E.P.L.F. régime whose authority the E.C.D.U. does not recognise;
7) The E.C.D.U. asks the officials of the F.D.R.E. régime to agree to determine in common the procedure:
- for the annulment of the foreign-imposed “constitution”, and the abolition of the “homelands”;
- for the handing over of the organs and institutions of power to the authority of the Transitional Government, in a manner that is peaceful and will not endanger the security of the country;
- for their standing down from positions of power;
8) The E.C.D.U. addresses its patriotic appeal to the Ethiopian people not to wait for the F.D.R.E. régime to adequately fulfil the above requirements, instead the people must engage fully in an organised struggle and sacrifice to reassert their sovereignty, so that they take back control over their country’s destiny, and establish their democratic State of Right based on a new Constitution;
9) The E.C.D.U. invites those “opposition” political parties that claim to be «able to win elections and accede to positions of national authority» on the basis of a “constitution” that the Ethiopian people have neither drafted nor enacted, and a “constitution” that does not even recognise the Ethiopian people, to abandon their simple-minded or plainly malevolent ideas, and instead support the Ethiopian people in their legitimate and peaceful struggle to reassert their sovereignty, enact their new Constitution, and re-establish their democratic State of Right.
10) Over the past 29 years, certain foreign governments and international institutions have been providing annual budgetary support to the F.D.R.E. dictatorial régime, thereby allowing it to free enough resources to build up its repressive forces and commit crimes and human rights abuses; in so doing they have directly or indirectly participated in the above crimes and human rights abuses. As this will make them answerable before the law, the E.C.D.U. addresses its appeal to these foreign governments and international institutions to stop any further financial, economic or military aid to the F.D.R.E. dictatorial régime፨
Secretariat of the Provisional Executive Council,
⁽12⁾ The designation “Oromya” is an invention of the 19th century German missionary, Ludwig Krapf. In 1991, the coalition of some western powers led by the United States of America, established in Ethiopia the F.D.R.E. régime on the basis of the foreign inspired “constitution” imposing ethnic federalism over Ethiopia; the “Oromya homeland” was established accordingly. Except for separatist organisations, no request for the establishment of an “Oromo homeland” ever came from any section of the Ethiopian people before that date.
⁽13⁾ The term used in the Amharic version of the F.D.R.E. “constitution” is “ክልል / kl-l” which translates to “restricted area” or “reservation”.
⁽14⁾ Mennagesha: as its name suggests, it is the district that served as the political centre of ancient Ethiopia.
⁽15⁾ According to the “Oromya homeland constitution”, a resident that is not of “Oromo” extraction has little or no rights or warranties; for the sake of enjoying those rights and warranties, it is believed that a significant number of non-Oromo residents have had to resort to applying for “Oromo identity cards”.
⁽16⁾ E.P.L.F. : Eritrean People’s Liberation Front.
⁽17⁾ T.P.L.F. : Tgray People’s Liberation Front.
⁽18⁾ Martial de Salviac, Les Galla, (Paris, 1901).
⁽19⁾ “Finfinné” : it is the name “Oromya” separatist fronts give to the capital city of Ethiopia, Addis Abeba. The name is of G’z and Amharic origin : it means “one which repeatedly springs”. It designates the thermal springs found in the center of the capital traditionally called “ፍል፡ውሃ/Fl w-ha” (literally, “Hot Water”). Another Amharic name, “ቡልቡላ / Boulboula” is also found in historical documents ; it means “one which repeatedly gushes forth”. Years before the founding of the city in 1887, the area was fenced on the orders of Sahle Sllasé king of Shewa (1814-1848 A.D), as a grazing area for cattle ; prior to that, the area was a wasteland. “Oromya” separatists may say what they want ; how is it possible that the Voice of America, which is the mouthpiece of the People and the Government of the United States of America, in its daily broadcasts in the Oromo language, uses the name “Finfinné” instead of the official designation of the capital city of Ethiopia : Addis Abeba, knowing that a city called “Finfinné” never existed in history, and in a clear case of interference in the internal affairs of a sovereign country ? Their unlawful action can thus be characterised as a hostile act inciting extremists for anti-ethiopian campaigns, and as such be recorded for history as evidence of the VOA’s shared responsibility in the recent massacres.