OMN, Gejera, Swastika & the Case for International Intervention (Part-1)

Filed under: Opinion & Analysis |

By Yimer Muhe – February 20, 2020

In April 2018 when Dr. Abiy Ahmed became Prime Minister of Ethiopia on the foothills of the resignation of PM Hailemariam Desalegn, all of us were engulfed in euphoria. This time around, we sobbed in bliss and relished the victory achieved by the downfall of the TPLF dictatorship. All of a sudden there was a surplus of hope for the future of the country and its people. Most political prisoners and prisoners of conscience, and religious and community leaders were released. The state of emergency was lifted. Exiled political leaders and parties were invited back by the new Prime Minister who was enjoying an amazing support from all corners of the country and the Diaspora. Some of us immediately started packing to travel back home after many years in exile. The new Prime Minister charmed his way into the coffers of wealthy Arab nations who filled the gap in foreign hard currency which was depleted by TPLF – the most corrupt regime in the last 100 years.

As Ethiopians, we were never happy in recent memory as in the first two months of Abiy Ahmed’s leadership. All of us were floating in Aladdin’s flying carpet. The camaraderie among us regardless of ethnicity or religion was very healing and promising. Then, in the middle of our festivity, all hell broke loose. It started on June 23, 2018, with the attempt to assassinate PM Abiy Ahmed at the mass rally in Meskel Adebaby. Around the same time, Gedeos in hundred thousands were expelled from their own land by Guji Oromo thugs. This was followed in September 2018 by the Burayu ethnic cleansing that jolted the nation from its foundation. Simply put, in Burayu, mainly OLF thugs spread a blood carpet to welcome Daud Ibsa and his entourage by targeting Dorzes, Gamos, Wolaytas, Gurages, Siltes, Amharas and other minorities. In February 2019, Habiba Siraj, the Mayor of Legetaffo, spearheaded the demolition of houses belonging to non-Oromos; and Rosa Omar, the Mayor of Sululta, had houses of non-Oromos marked for demolition. At this point there was no escape from the fact that our newfound hope we were hanging on was crumbling like a house of cards, and Ethiopia has been in a downward spiral ever since.

The Burayu Massacre was a watershed moment that betrayed the true color of the ultra-Oromo Nationalists. History will never forget when Bekele Gerba, representing OFC, OLF, and three other Oromo Nationalist groups, read a joint Press Release blaming others for the Burayu Massacre and adding that Addis Ababa/Finfine belonged only to the Oromos and the rest of its residents were just outsiders who might be allowed to stay. He made sure not to say a word about the 65+ Burayu victims that were mercilessly hacked to death with the most primitive weapons: Gejera, Mencha, Sickle, Hammer, Ax, Stone and Clubs. Many did blame Tsegaye Ararsa’s post on Facebook for the massacre. He allegedly gave a cue to the murderers to descend on the victims whom he described as outsiders and settlers. Then Jawar Mohammed shamelessly came out with his own concocted story of 30+ Oromos having been killed in some parts of Addis Ababa around the same time. This ridiculous and brazen attempt to cover up the Burayu Massacre was further dwelt on by OMN’s regular panelists including “Professor” Ezekiel Gebissa.

Ever since the Burayu Massacre, OMN has been at the forefront of the ultra-Oromo Nationalists’ offensive against non-Oromos. Following the demolition of houses in Legetafo, OMN had guests including “Professor” Ezekiel Gebissa unabashedly defending the savage acts and even suggesting that the victims deserved it. OMN, through its pseudo scholars, in its Gadisa Saba Dore and other programs in Amharic, Afaan Oromo, and other languages has continued spreading its venomous hate-filled messages non-stop exacerbating the already tense relationship between Oromos and non-Oromos. As a result, OMN has established itself as Ethiopia’s version of RTLM (Radio Television Libre des Mille Collins) that kindled the 1994 Rwandan genocide that resulted in the massacre of 70% of the Tutsi population.

After the removal of TPLF from power, it didn’t take OMN that long to drive a wedge between Kero and its allies Fano, Zerma and the rest. Moreover, OMN’s relentless brainwashing through its daily barrage of extremist views was responsible for the Gejera weilding Kero to go after its onetime allies with unheard of brutality and deadly consequences. Kero has been so hypnotized by OMN’s hate filled daily broadcast that on October 12, 2019, it slaughtered more than 86 innocent Ethiopians on account of Jawar Mohammed’s Facebook post stating that his personal body-guards were being removed and that his life was  in great danger. The massacre sent a shock wave across the world and exposed Ethiopia and Ethiopians to be seen in a much darker light that we will never be proud of. There should be no denying that the way the bodies of the victims were chopped up with Gejera and Mencha was indeed dangerously very close to cannibalism.

At this point in time, why the ultra-Oromo Nationalists are mainly targeting the Amharas is not as important as how they are trying to get rid of them. It has been obvious for a while that the ultra-Oromo Nationalists don’t entertain dialogue as an option to address their differences with the Amharas. Their deliberate perversion and distortion of our shared history at will over the last sixty years is a solid proof that they care less for a middle of the road solution or a negotiated settlement to save the country. They see the Amharas as existential threats that call for extreme measures with exacting revenge in mind. This frame of mind is indeed worrisome and sickening because it reminds one of Hitler’s “Final Solution” that he implemented against the Jews during the 2nd World War.

There are several mindboggling parallels between the ultra-Oromo Nationalists and the Nazis that will send a chill down ones spine. On and off, Ethiopian bloggers and posts on social media have alluded to the similarity between the most dangerous ultra-Oromo Nationalist Jawar Mohammed and the Nazis. Recently, Dr. Tedla Woldeyohanis suggested the same on a piece he wrote on the interview Jawar Mohammed had with Andrew DeCort. Looking for parallels or similarities between the Nazis and the ultra-Oromo Nationalists is not an exercise in smearing, it is rather a subject that warrants a serious scrutiny to avert an impending atrocity in Ethiopia before it is too late.

Immediately after the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, they took control of the radio stations throughout the country. Soon, under the direction of the Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbles, they began spreading hatred against the Jews and intimidate their fellow citizens into accepting their views. Similarly, the ultra-Oromo Nationalists have been very effectively using OMN to propagate hate against the Amharas with the same zeal they were using it against TPLF two years ago. Take also a note that Jawar Mohammed has recently acquired LTV and the Zami FM Radio Station. The Kush Media Network, which also serves the same purpose of galvanizing the Oromo youth to vent out on the Amharas and other minorities, can be considered as an offshoot of OMN.

The Nazis fabricated outrageous lies about the Jews. They accused them of sabotaging the German war effort during the First World War, and of being immoral in their business dealings, etc. The ultra-Oromo Nationalists have been engaged in the same manner against the Amharas, and Menelik. They have been trying to rewrite Ethiopian History by infusing myths and unfounded allegations such as the Anoli incident. They also claim that they have never been members of the ruling class in Ethiopia despite the fact that Menelik, Haile Selassie, and Mengistu Hailemariam were part Oromos, and that several among the aristocracy who were noted power brokers in the past were Oromos. The ultra-Oromo Nationalists create narratives as they go along as long it serves their purpose. Sometimes, out of the blue, you would hear one of them announcing that Oromos and Amharas have no shared history. The foundation of “Oromo First” is nothing but fabricated narratives. Obviously, credibility is not their favorite subject. When Lencho Batti admitted that deconstructing Ethiopia was the linchpin of their struggle, he did not deny that fabricating narratives was part of the package. He was also kind enough to suggest that approach was outdated and what was needed was converging on a common ground to build a democratic society.

It is not that easy to ignore other commonalities the ultra-Oromo Nationalists share with the Nazis such as deceit, backstabbing, breaching pacts, breaking promises, and betraying trusts. The Nazis, breached the Treaty of Versailles and caused the 2nd World War; they reneged their treaty with the Russians and their non-aggression pact with Poland and invaded both countries, just to name a few. By the same token, the ultra-Oromo Nationalists have reneged their commitment to Oromara, and Jawar Mohammed frequently claims that only Kero removed TPLF from power deliberately ignoring the contributions of Fano, Zerma, the Ethiopian Muslims Peaceful Movement, and the Ethiopian Orthodox Church in Exile, Diaspora, and the rest. Kero not only betrayed its former allies, it has been going after them with incomprehensible vengeance. Dr. Merara Gudina, the most respected among the Oromo Nationalists, recently turned out to be an imposter. He betrayed the trust of non-Oromos as well. Nobody suspected he was carrying the virus of hate all this time until he had it full blown upon embracing and inducting Jawar Mohammed into his party – OFC. We can also mention here the sudden departure of the Oromo Democratic Front (ODF) from the Ethiopian National Movement (ENM) two years ago as a classic case of betrayal and opportunism. However, nowadays, the leaders of ODF are not, at least, openly working with the ultra-Oromo Nationalists (Jawar Mohammed, Ezekeil Gebissa, Tsegaye Ararsa, Bekele Gerba, Daud Ebssa, etc.), and also knowing that Lencho Batti is currently working with the Prime Minister, it appears unfair to bunch them with the ultra-Oromo Nationalists. Regardless, the ultra–Oromo Nationalists have no scruple at all. In fact, looking at the frequency and the ease they fabricate lies, and commit betrayal, and backstabbing, these vices definitely do appear to come natural to them.

(To be continued in Part-2)


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4 Responses to OMN, Gejera, Swastika & the Case for International Intervention (Part-1)

  1. If it rains water, the brave Querro Oromos can travel to various stations in the water rain and vote on behalf of those elders that might choose to stay inside in a dry place.

    Querro walked through bullets raining on us to see this day, no water rain will deter us , so election will not be postponed in Finfine or in Oromia.

    February 21, 2020 at 9:35 pm

  2. There is a statement in this article where facts in history were misplaced and misused. It goes like this:

    ‘Immediately after the Nazis came to power in Germany in 1933, they took control of the radio stations throughout the country. Soon, under the direction of the Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbles, they began spreading hatred against the Jews and intimidate their fellow citizens into accepting their views.’

    There is no parallel to what happened before and after 1933 in Germany and what is taking place now in the old country. Such authors should come out clean and straight forward and tell us who are the Jews, Htler and Goebbles of the 1930’s in the present day Ethiopia? Who? Abiy and Jawar as Hitler and Goebbles respectively and OMN being the Gestapo? Who are the Jews? Amharas? How about those hundreds of thousands of Oromos, Gedeos, Somalis, Afars, Shanguls, Tigrayans who were driven out of their homes where thousands of them were brutally butchered? How about them? They don’t count? During the recent savage mayhem triggered by the fiasco of security detail removal from Jawar and his irresponsible rambling during the wee hours of the night, majority of those murdered were Oromos where most of them died protecting other ethnic groups from the marauding mobs. How about them? They don’t count? What was done to our noble Amhara neighbors in many communities is a disgrace all of should be ashamed of. What was done to our noble citizens of Tigray ethnicity in many communities was low down and dirty shame none of us should be proud of or condone. They don’t count? Come, come dear countrymen/women!!! Hitler, Himmler, Goebbles, Goring, Martin Bormann and their close knit friends did not just pile up machetes but had built a complex industrial outfit for their ‘final solution’. By 1933 Germany had lost all its level heads but the old country still has its level heads. It hasn’t lost it all yet. What happened during the Holocaust has no parallel in history since then. What happened in 1994 in Rwanda may have resemblance just because a minority group of people was targeted and victimized but Holocaust was a different animal altogether and will never, ever take place in the old country. Let’s not make things possible for that but in stead be a voice for all those being victimized.

    Ittu Aba Farda
    February 25, 2020 at 8:27 pm

  3. Ittu Aba Farda, You are really only one of a few wise people who care about Ethiopia. I wish you were a politician representing a party that works to bring unity and peace to innocent and kind people of Ethiopia.
    The whole problem is simply a result of the superiority complex of Gondere and Gojame intellectuals who consider Tigreans second class Ethiopians and the rest of other Ethiopians as subhuman. If these guys have a heart to consider Ethiopians south of Abay River equal to them stop exploiting and humiliating them, all Ethiopia would be peaceful.Gojame and Gondere, Pure, superior Ethiopians who are born North of Abay River don’t want equality in Ethiopia. It is not patriotic to stir up violence to perpetrate inequality among Ethiopians. Superiority Complex is not patriotic, wake up. Digest the truth. Else, all Gojames and Gonderes leave Addis Ababa and go back to Debre Markos and Gonder.

    Don’t ever blame Oromos struggling for equality and justice. Stop blaming Tigreans. Stop messing up Ethiopia. Enough is Enough, humble Ethiopian people need peace. Go away if you don’t like peace and equality.

    Density Nega
    February 26, 2020 at 7:00 am

  4. Goebbels is this author himself and his buddies, Goebbels media are the 90% of the FM an TV stations controlled by extremist Habeshas whinning 24/7 to bring back the long dead Amhara hegemony, and the Jews these neo-Nazis want to anhillate are of course the Oromo!
    These ignorants, blinded by virulent Oromo-phobia, inadvertently expose their motives through such writings.

    Hirko Gamta
    February 28, 2020 at 4:00 pm

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