By Getachew Reda
I am addressing my commentary in English rather than to use our language in order to be readable for those delusional Arabic or English speaking Liberation Front elite leaders who claim not to understand or refuse to speak and read Amharic, the Ethiopian national language. So here follows my commentary on the Atlanta Conference of the ONLF, OLF and Ginbot 7 ,in the hopes that they can read me.
This commentary is long and I ask readers to bear with me. I am happy that you are all here to read my commentary. I need all of you to focus on the lies and distortion they tried to make you believe, examining them closely to see the deceit, based on what they say, and, on the contrary, what their program says. Listen carefully brothers and sisters, I am not shooting a gun like them at your families or your flag or your country Ethiopia, I am talking to you through my pen, therefore, you are welcome to shoot a response commentary for this paper just as I am doing it, excluding guns and bullets aside.
Last night, while surfing the internet I saw a head line at Ethiomedia.com reading “ONLF, OLF and Ginbot 7 discussing issue in Atlata”. I said, okay, hoping to hear something new never heard. I opened the audio video posted and listened attentively from each speaker. All were hypocrites as usual, either targeting the GOVERNMENT or the PEOPLE/society of ETHIOPIA for not approaching them or not sympathizing with their cause and carefully avoiding all talk of the crimes committed by their own organization.
My observation on the ONLF representative’s speech
I listened to Mr. Abdu Abdul Hakim from the Ogaden Liberation Front what he had to address in relation to his Ogaden people and Ethiopia. Though the fellow is a bit moderate than the right wingers of his group, I found his speech hypocritical in many ways. He seemed to suggest there is a common problem, including with his own organization,for not coming together to form a union with the Ethiopian opposition. In that regard, I applauded him. But, he still seemed to run away quickly from explaining the reason why his organization is fundamentally responsible for not coming together with the Pro-Ethiopian opposition. We need to examine this together. He need also himself examine the weakness of his own organization in detail to tell the public than to dismiss it in one word as described by him “everybody’s fault”.
Surprisingly he did not limit himself there, but also accused others for not coming to ONLF or approaching the OLNF to share its problem! Well, I disagree and before accusing the PEOPLE who he referred to “YOU the PEOPLE” to approach his organization, he need to tell his organization not to run away from Ethiopia and Ethiopian identity before anything else! I will briefly explain this later.
Note: from the editor: –
Here is what Mr. Hakim’s speech addressed to the public during the conference, VERBATIM, I just quoted it the way his addressed to the audience. (I have inserted some “word/s” in some of the sentence to define it better, but no significant change to his word/sentence).
“I am happy to be here, it was tough to organize this conference, and there is something to learn here – give them hand to those made this conference possible. I am from Ethiopia Ogaden. I think some neighbors think Ogaden is in Somalia, what do you think? (The audience clapping their hands or laughing) – …I came here since 1981, never go back. The call keeps coming, my family keep calling, something is wrong…. ” (He is trying to describe the terrible situation in Ogaden under TPLF rule.)
Then he continued his speech in the following quoted speech to describe the disunity of Ethiopian people.
“…this is OLF, this Amhara, this is Ogaden… this State that State… they divide us…if you don’t come to the truth …..this is the invisible war divided us, if you don’t tell yourself the truth, the truth is not going come to you, you have to go to the truth, this is the fact dividing us. I call this invisible wall. Among the Amharas there is a division, you have to admit that! This is Gondere that is Showa…how we challenge the government if we are like this. These are what people have to know. Why are we divided? “OH! THE OGADEN & THE OROMO ARE SECCESIONISTS.” Mr.Hakim continuing saying “we don’t have individual rights, group rights. We don’t have anything. If you don’t have anything at list you have to go one step ahead of yourself. That is what we should do! When we are politician we don’t tell the truth! We do everything makeup. The makeup is what? In this case either we are lying to our selves or we are lying to the public. When we do unusual it backfires. If we don’t tell the truth to each other right now, we will fight each other later and further divide. Because we are lying to each other. …People are hungry from Ogaden to Gojam to Wolle everywhere and they are fighting each other, and they hate each other, WHY? Because it is nonsense! We are not telling the truth. …Because we unite without unity. We talk about ETHIOPIA! ETHIOPIA and none of us … but, you have to see the invisible war at home and here …The Ogaden people are dying by the Weyane /government, we are victims really. If you people really care about Ogaden, they need your advocacy! They need your voice to tell them stop killing the Ogaden people, because they are the people of the future. If I talk about Amhara, the same thing, if I talk about Oromo the same thing, Benshangul the same thing. All people are suffering equal not us alone. We are tribes, we are… but we have common interest. What is the interest? Ethiopia! (Audience applauded/clapping their hand) If somebody comes to their area (and abuse them, kill their family…) what happens? They will fight back! That is what happens to the Ogaden and OLF, whatever you want to call them “secessionist” they have to live their life, because somebody is telling them what to do in their life. This is the fact. ”
Leaving aside his delusional claim that Islam was first appeared as religion in Ogaden before the MEDINA (Mecca) and his other claim that Ahmed Negash (in Tigray) was in Harrar as a king before he goes to Tigray /Axum as a king (?), the claimed to give people of the Ogaden “FREEDOM”- as concluded his speech, saying “we are (Ogaden people the number one Habesha for three thousand years!
Leaving that aside, let us go and inspect the speech in brief what we heard in his speech above in Atlata conference *(such a conference was actually not needed- just to remind Hakim or others preaching us this event is a groundbreaking first of its kind,- it has happened also before when Obang and the rest were involved there, even though Hakim seemed to forget it) . Let us first ask why Mr.Hakim of Ogaden Liberation is asking the Ethiopian people or the opposition to take responsibility for his claim of secession. Here is his general conclusion that I love, (funny). Curiously, he said “YOU HAVE TO SHOW ME …” said Mr. Hakim and I am listening to the audio and I ask back to the computer “what do you want me to show you?” Hakim continued “that you are with the Ogaden people. And I replied “who told you we are not with Ogaden people?” He continued “if you are going to tell them they are secessionist ‘THEY WILL GO TOMORROW’. When the Ogaden people are respected you will see things moved and changed. Go each of you look at the internet and chat room, “WE ARE SECESSIONIST, WE ARE BAD PEOPLE” “GUYS THEY WANT OUR LAND THEY DON”T NEED US!” said brother Mr.Hakim.
Doesn’t the fellow sound like the Eritreans when he said they wanted our land, they do not want us”? Do you remember when I react about this exact slogan on Zega magazine published in Ethiopia/Addis Ababa in regard to Eritreans talking the same slogan to us? I wrote in Amharic saying “When we said they are our brothers, they denied that we are brothers/sisters, when we said, okay, you deny we are blood brothers and sister, but this is also our port and our land, they said , “guys, they do not want the people of Eritrea, but only the land and the port” And I concluded (this was in response to Meles talking on their behalf-) “The hell with you, don’t bother us any more about Eritrea –in the Axum Tigringa “AYWANIN NAN (not our business anymore!) Aite Meles!” I wrote. Yes, now Mr.Hakim is sounding similar to them!!! DÉJÀ VU!!
Mr. Hakim’s main focus seemed to demand an attention and expect a request for forgiveness from THE PEOPLE OF ETHIOPIA or THE OPPOSITION. This is a hypocrite at worst kind. If the OLF and Ogaden Liberation Front are not secessionists what are they? I don’t care what he said in the microphone, his party program reads as clear evidence to be called SECESSIONIST. Not only secessionists but they called themselves ARAB MUSLIM PEOPLE! Here is Ogaden Chairman Admiral Mohamed Omar Osman leader of the ONLF what he has to say about his organization:
“* Ogaden tribe region is “one of the last occupied Arab territories in the 21st century.” – ONLF Chairman said
* “There are no noticeable schools. Moreover, there are no hospitals in the region”
* “If these groups (Shabab) are fighting against Ethiopia, then we have a common enemy. “
* “Tribalism is not among the principles of the ONLF”
* “The Ogaden people are an Arab Muslim people”
Admiral Mohamed Omar Osman, leader of the Ogaden National Liberation Front (ONLF), (Source Somal Swiss Community/Somalida Switzerland “ONLF leader claims Ogaden are “Arab people” under Ethiopian occupation..http: Somaliswisstv.com interview with Asharq Al-swak- source Los Angeles Times).
Let me give one more evidence that Ethiopia is presented as colonialist and occupier and what the Ogaden leader answers to the following question from the interview.
Asharq Al-Awsat- What are the political and military conditions in the Ogaden Region?
[Osman] First of all, the region is in a state of war to liberate it from the Ethiopian occupation. Our struggle has achieved important successes, and our friends are increasing every day. (The entire above interview can be obtained http://somaliswisstv.com/2009/10/17/onlf-leader-claims-ogaden-are-arab-people-under-ethiopian-occupation/)
Ladies and Gentlemen; – there you go! Now how Mr.hakim in Atlanta can accuse us for calling ONLF the secessionist as if they are not secessionist? His leader and its program is calling Ethiopia (not the government, but Ethiopia-mind you readers!) as occupier! And yet, we are to be blamed just because we commented based on their identity and program on which they called themselves not Ethiopian, not Somalia, but ARAB MUSLIM PEOLE!
Are you following me people? Where in the hell is Ogaden in Ethiopia where Arab Muslim People live? Can Mr.Hakim explain to me why in the world his organization calling the Ogaden people not Ethiopians not Somalia, but Arab people? And if someone called these hypocrites “ARABS” who is going to be blamed? Me? I didn’t say it, ONLF said it. How come Hakim didn’t get furious at his leader when he said Ogaden are Arabs while brother Mr, Hakim is furious to get angry at us for calling them secessionists? Isn’t what Ethiopians called it Defar/DerQ or Nerve!
The above picture is the leader of ONLF who stated that Ogadenians are Arabs. Lord have mercy! Allah Wa Akbar! Really! Really, really this is the untold sickness that Hakim and his leaders need treatment for and the treatment is ‘go to the truth than expect the truth to come to him and to his leader’. He even said it on his speech, saying
“When we are politician we don’t tell the truth! We do everything makeup. The makeup is what? In this case either we are lying to our selves or we are lying to the public. When we do unusual it backfires.”
I said “Go straight to God and Dump it right!” as they say. This is hypocrite blaming internet commentators and chat room guests, Ethiopian communities as scapegoat for his secessionist policy. Is this not the fact that Mr. Hakim is repeatedly talking about the meaning of FACT! FACT! FACT in his microphone? Why should Ethiopians be blamed for his claiming and changing identity from being Ethiopian to an Arab? How can Habesha as Mr. Hakim want us to believe while his organization’s leader is calling himself be “Arab”? This is sickness not politics! What is the matter with you! Where is the fact, fact, fact you were talking about? Why would people break off from their own country or deny or change their identity/race just because Meles or Mengistu or the king abused them?
This is exactly why I say the people don’t demand secession, the elite teach secession!!! I hope the ONLF leaders and their supporters come to the truth than to blame anyone for their deluded demand. I am hoping these elements of secession realize that disintegration society can’t guarantee any hope or milk and honey to the hungry people or democracy to the abused.
Regarding the Issue of Changing Flag
People in Ethiopia are suffering. Even Mr. Hakim admitted that it is not only Ogaden but also the entire country is suffering and abused by government. But, I said it is not only the government, but also by the hand of these elites of Liberation Fronts. It is saddening and is also obvious no one is accountable for the pain and suffering of the poor community in Ethiopia in Ogaden and elsewhere that these elites contributed a greater share of abuse. They caused direct or indirect for pain
within the society without any accountably or fear God.
Holding that Microphone in that conference, none of them wanted to admit their share of responsibility in sustaining the suffering. They only target the government as the escape goat to their similar crime, what the so-called government has done or doing.
When you hear the Liberation Fronts such Mr. Hakim of ONLF from Ogaden, literally, blaming you all the Ethiopians for not approaching the ONLF or to the similar OLF (secessionists), for not coming to their rescue, strangely at the same time themselves waving artificial flag by despicably disrespecting the national flag of Ethiopia claiming they are not Ethiopians at the same time orally claiming they are “Ethiopians” but their leaders are telling us they are Arabs. And still YOU the Ethiopian are being blamed because you call them secessionists!!!
They change flag, in reality they are not better than the “flag changer” (name given by EDU while I was in Sudan to TPLF) called GOVERNMENT when they disrespect the national flag for replacing the national flag. If they throw the Ethiopian flag to the ground as if the flag is responsible for their abuse/claim, how do we feel against these elements of “FLAG CHANGERS”?
Flag is the people’s symbol. Who are the people; we are referring them as PEOPLE? “The farmers, mothers, elders, young, old, beggars, even infants and coming generation, Muslim and Christian and animist, in general all citizens”. If we agree with this, and if we agree that flag belongs or owned as a symbol to the citizens of Ethiopia how can the “PEOPLE OF ETHIOPIA” be responsible for their (ONLF/OLF) abuse?
Beggars are proud of Ethiopian flags regardless their misery because they have attachment to her (to the flag) as Ethiopian citizens, as their symbol and identity regardless poor or rich. If that flag was the symbol and identity of all citizens how can the beggars and farmers be blamed for Ogaden or Oromo abuse and get in the way replaced by other artificial (elite made) flag for hate reason?
What else is there except hatred when one changes identity and flag, insulting and trashing the identity of the Ethiopian farmer’s flag that had nothing to do with their abuse? Flag doesn’t abuse, government abuses, government is not flag, because government is not permanent, flag is regardless who stays, comes or goes in power, it is permanent!
One can change his faith or religion, but not the flag. As long as we agree with such basic issues the rest is easy to come out and talk the issue- if talk is what they want. But how can we talk when they hate the property, the life, the pride, identity of the poor (the flag!),? That flag is not owned by Mengistu, Meles or Haileselassie or any one. It is the people- the farmers, beggars, identity for rich and poor of all the citizens of Ethiopia (abused or not abused by governmental system). If so, one has no business to hate farmers and the people for any reason what so ever! Based on what reason was the flag to be disrespected and replaced as if flag to be accountable for abuse perpetrated by blood thirsty tyrannical regime?
This blatant lie that says “Ethiopia flag abuses us” slogan must stop immediately or else you are all criminals not better than the GOVERNMRENT you are all blaming for abuse or for national crime.
My advice to my brothers and sisters in the Ogaden Liberation Front is ‘PLEASE, do not mislead the poor mothers and sisters and elderly community leaders by teaching them they are MUSLIM ARABS knowing you are committing a crime on humanity and identity. Introduce yourself and get familiar yourself to the nation’s flag we will approach and talk- otherwise, you are committing a national crime. If one have interest in Ethiopia and its flag, show me waving it- I will love you, though my love of you as fellow Ethiopians never stop regardless you hate Ethiopia, the beautiful!//-/