Mathewos Filipos, M.D.
This is a follow-up of my first article entitled ‘Ethiopia at Risk: Radical Islam Harbored in Ethnic Extremism’ In that article I showed how the radical Islamist Jawar Mohammed undermined Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed and his democratization process and put Ethiopia at risk. Jawar and his team members carefully orchestrated a plan to implement the demise of Ethiopia. It was in 2016 Jawar and his team gathered and declared in what they called “Oromia National Charter” that Oromia is colonized by Ethiopia. The atrocities we see now in Ethiopia did not start now, it is carefully planned.
The piece ‘Toxic Propaganda Targeted at Ethiopia and Ethiopian Unity: the Divisive Strategies’ written in 2017 clearly shows these strategies employed to destabilize Ethiopia and establish Islamic State in Ethiopia under the cover of ethnic Oromo state. According to the article and as it has become evident through time, the following are some of the strategies Jawar and his team executing:
- Creating a political movement on the basis of Islam and ethnic lines;
- Fighting Ethiopian Orthodox Christianity;
- Attacking Ethiopian unity, Ethiopian history, and everything that symbolizes Ethiopia;
- Using pseudo-academic discourse and misinforming and misleading the regular people; and
- Opposing any movement that leads to unity among Ethiopians of various backgrounds.
Since the article was written which of these strategies were not implemented? None.
In the previous article, I tried to show how Jawar, OMN, and his team harbored their goal of establishing a radical Islamic state in Oromia and the enormous devastation they caused in Ethiopia.
Despite his rhetoric to safeguard Ethiopian unity, Prime Minister Abiy could not honor his words. As John P. Kotter put it, “Communication comes in both words and deeds, and the latter are often the most powerful form. Nothing undermines change more than behavior by important individuals that is inconsistent with their words.”
Prime Minister Abiy’s timidity and inaction regarding Jawar’s crimes was the major reason for his supporters to lose confidence in his leadership. Jawar created division within the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) itself. Can the Prime Minister restore the public trust after the merger of the EPRDF fronts? Time will tell.
Until Jawar felt that he significantly alienated the Prime Minister from his pro-Ethiopian- unity ardent supporters, Jawar was stating that he did not have ambition for political power. Now he did not only prove that many Ethiopians lost faith in Prime Minister Abiy’s leadership, but also he tested that he can move his clandestinely organized Quero ( Oromo youth group) any time and block roads, mayhem innocent people and burn churches, behead clergies, pastors, and women; dismember fathers, burn down businesses and houses. To polarize Ethiopia’s politics further and to cause further bloodshed, Jawar announced he would give up his US citizenship and run in the 2020 election.
Jawar, at different times, on his OMN, announced to his rampaging Quero to get ready and wait for his call to take any action. He publicly stated he could order Quero and overthrow the Abiy’s government in two days if he wanted. Now he called for action of violence and caused the murder of 86 people in two days.
His Oromia Media Network (OMN) which is established as a not-for-profit organization in Saint Paul, MN, is now seen in Ethiopia as Radio Télévision Libre des Mille Collines (RTLM) of Rwanda that fanned the genocide in Rwanda. Oct 22, the Prime Minister had warned against media owners fomenting unrest. Jawar immediately replied on his Facebook that he had gotten ready for it. (እኛም አዉቀናል ጉድጓድ ምሰናል።) Then Jawar sent messages to his Quro and supporters stating that his security detail would be removed and his life would be endangered. An hour later, hundreds of rioting young people surrounded his home in Addis Ababa. Roads including major highways were blocked by Quero in many areas in Oromia and including the outskirts of Addis Ababa.
Following jawar’s call, the Prime Minister reported, in about two days, 86 people were killed. From these 76 of them were heinously murdered with machete and stone by terrorizing youth. The barbaric Quero carried out what cannot be imagined with a normal mind. Many of the atrocities are too graphic to mention them here. They killed and dismembered a father, killed clergies, burned churches, beheaded pastors. Then Jawar sent a message in public to Quero to open roads and they somewhat complied with his order. Doing so he was proving to the public what he said earlier “In Ethiopia, there are two governments– one is that of Quero and the other that of Abiy Ahmed.” All this murder happened less than two weeks after Abiy Ahmed won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Following the killing of two university students at Woldya University, which should be condemned unequivocally, Jawar’s team members, Dr. Ezekiel Gebissa of Kettering University in Michigan and Dr. Etana Habte appeared on what they recently established Kush Media Network instigated ethnic violence. They had seemingly scholarly discussion but incited further violence. The pompous Dr. Ezekiel Gebissa repeatedly lies on the media and fabricate numbers. He is the shame of his students and the employer. He stated 50% of Ethiopia’s population is Oromo. Cannot Dr. Gabissa research simple facts that Oromo is 34.4% of Ethiopia’s population. Please prove me wrong if you have alternative facts. This is unethical and deliberate misinformation to deepen ethnic conflicts in Ethiopia. This is what he gives back to Ethiopia his country of origin, one of the poorest nations in the world – inciting ethnic strife. They called for action of violence against non-Oromos and Orthodox churches. Ethiopians are deeply religious societies when Christians including university students persecuted they sought shelter in Churches. Dr. Gabissa labeled the Orthodox church as a hiding place for criminals and encouraged Quero to attack Orthodox Christians and those who shelter there. Then the Quero murdered a helpless nursing mother in front of her newborn infant, burned Churches and university students singled by their ethnicity and killed. One university student is thrown out from a dormitory through the window. Many more people killed in the last few weeks. These instigators and criminals like Dr. Ezekiel Gebissa, Dr. Habte, Tsegaye Ararssa, and Jawar Mohammed have been given shelter and live comfortably in the US, Australia, and Europe. This group has also launched campaign working with foreign radical Islamists to wage war against ethnic Amhara and Ethiopian Orthodox Christians. A case in point is their network with Farah Maalim, who used to serve as Deputy Speaker of Kenya National Assembly.
Many Ethiopians were shocked thus far that Prime Minister Abiy and his government did not take any legal action on Jawar and these other masterminds. Can Jawar get away with his crimes both in Ethiopia and the US? What is terrorism if encouraging people to behead Christians is not? What is the number of the death toll that qualifies a person to be a terrorist? In his speech which is available on YouTube, Jawar identified Ethiopian Oromos with Islam and encouraged Oromo Muslims to behead Christians and control political power. His Quero lynched young man. His gruesome atrocities continued day after day. The Ethiopian patriarch was shedding his tears in public that became hapless and the Abiy’s government was not helping. Ethiopia is at risk of becoming another Rwanda. The world community should take action.
According to the US law, ‘Renouncing U.S. citizenship does not allow persons to avoid possible prosecution for crimes which they may have committed or may commit in the future which violate United States law, or escape the repayment of financial obligations including child support payments, previously incurred in the United States or incurred as United States citizens abroad.”
Jawar Mohammed and Dr. Ezekiel Gebissa are enjoying a safe haven in the US while their actions and OMN are causing hundreds of deaths. Should not the US government investigate and try Jawar Mohammed for the crimes he committed? This is what peace-loving Ethiopians around the world demand.