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Friday, 14 September 2007

Millennium Celebration and the Dissatisfied Majority in Ethiopia

Tedla Asfaw                                                                                                                              September 14, 2007
I read a statement by Oromo Parliamentarian Council dating August 27, 2007 and posted September 14, 2007 on Debteraw site and Debteraw tried to conclude from this statement that Oromo Parliamentarian Council(OPC) is anti "Habesha" and anti-Ethiopia and hence Alliance for Freedom and Democracy(AFD) should be rejected by all of us.
The OPC statement of the millennium celebration  as  "Habeshas" which has nothing to do with the Oromo people is for the individual Oromos to make decision and many holidays celebration in Ethiopia is way before OPC or other Oromo political movements formation and new year celebration in Ethiopia has been a public affair and we should not take it too far like Debteraw  and make it political.
Regrading the persecution of Oromos  by TPLF,  this is not incorrect and Dr. Birhanu Nega and many prominent political leaders who were jailed by TPLF witnessed the young and the old Oromos as old as 90 years suffering severely in jail suspected of OLF and without any exaggeration it can be said that the majority of political prisoners are Oromos and  the OPC has a legitimate grievance about the jailed Oromos while the regime tried to ignore or hide it in the millennium celebration.
TPLF from their early days in the jungle and until they reached  Menelik's palace have used the Oromo and other oppressed nationalities to rise up against the "Amharas" not "Habeshas" using the Oromo militia they recruit and took the lives of many innocent poor Amharas. TPLF's survival depends on pitting Amharas and Oromos and however the ordinary people have realized this long time  and formed alliance and put pressure on squabbling politicians to form the Alliance for Freedom and Democracy(AFD).
We know how Melse Zenawi was upset on the formation of AFD and accused Issayas for mixing "water" and "fire" which are not compatible and send it against TPLF and the truth of the matter is  it is not Issayas who is behind this alliance it is the majority of Oromos and other Ethiopians who forced the formation of  the  alliance after the derailing of the people struggle after May 2005.
Some Oromo military officials like General Kemal Gelchu abandoned TPLF and joined the struggle after the May 2005 stolen election and the killing and jailing of opposition supporters, Oromos and non-Oromos , many of them still in prison and for the record Debteraw did not put the video clip of Kemal Gelchu and other Oromo high military officials call for democracy and freedom to all Ethiopians including Oromos.
These same generals are now leading the military struggle of the OLF and we held them accountable to their own words  and could not speculate what they will or Will not do if their military operation removed TPLF and one thing is sure these generals are not anti-Ethiopia or anti "Habesha" and whether they celebrate Ethiopian millennium this week is their personal decision and I have not heard OLF or ONLF denouncing this holiday as "Habesha's" holiday.
I will alsol not conclude that TPLF by celebrating the Ethiopian millennium with exttravagnaza entertainment will make it pro-Ethiopia or "Habesha" and however  the many jailed Oromos and the majority  "freed Habeshas" or Ethiopians were spectators on this millennium celebration could not even afford simple holiday dish and if you ask me did they care about "Habesha's" holiday I will definitely say many did not care.
We can surely say there is an alliance of dissatisfaction on this millennium celebration and the root cause of this dissatisfaction, economical and political,  will only be overcome if we help to strengthen the alliance and fight for dignity and freedom in Ethiopia and hair splitting of political statements will not help us to move on that direction.