By Abdisa Aga
The pro-democracy protests in Ethiopia began in Oromia and spread to other parts of the country. Despite the huge human life sacrifices paid especially by the Oromo, international media coverage is low to none and sympathy for the struggle is invisible. Here is why
Its been three years since the Oromo revolted and The Amhara in the north followed. The regime has killed more than a thousand lives and tens of thousands of people have been arrested. Several dramatic events have happened, including the resignation of the prime minster and here we are. Still the true rulers of the country, the rebel veterans of Tigre liberation front remain in charge and the killings have continued in another state of emergency. Whats more devastating, international attention and media coverage is very very low. This has prolonged the tyranny and the sacrifices especially for the Oromo.
Before I go deep into the piece, I want to make a few things clear about myself in this highly polarized ethnic politics. I consider myself as an urban Oromo and even once I was a member of the OPDO ( the ruling party in the Oromo region). I’m a federalist and even more believe everyone born in the Oromo region is an Oromo. I’m as young as a man born and raised after the TPLF takeover of Addis Ababa in 1991.
now, after all this bloodshed, the pro-democracy struggle is getting very little international attention. And when it got one, its been demonized. Its not been used for the better of the struggle. Sadly, its the Oromo with Oromo names thats diminishing it, undermining it on the face of an international audience. So the international community continues to recognize TPLF’s naked military dictatorship as the legitimate government of Ethiopia trying to quell some internal ethnic matters but not as a brutal totalitarian one party dictatorship that killed democracy for 27 years and continues to do so. And for the international community’s delight, Addis Ababa, the capital is calm and shiny.
The self proclaimed Oromo fighters of facebook and twitter worked so hard that they deserve the few appearances they’re getting on these one or two international language broadcasts. But when one gets on an international language media and tells the world that Amhara was king before 1991 and now Tigre is the king after 1991, so Oromo is revolting to replace them. How would the world perceive this? isn’t this foolish? Not only that, its also very dangerous for the Qeero ( The Oromo youth) shedding their blood on the streets Ambo or Naqamte.
These self proclaimed spokespersons of the Oromo youth in Ethiopia are depicting the Oromo struggle merely as an ages old boring African ethnic clash. So nobody has the appetite to give attention or dares to play a role. Its a real disaster how these fame seeking individuals and demonizing us, diminishing our cause. You can say to a fellow Ethiopian that before 1991, the king was Amhara, the government was Amhara, the language was Amhara, the church was Amhara, the mosque was Amhara and after 1991, everything is Tigre. But if you say this to an international audience, you’re not only distracting the attention on the current issue but you’re also getting yourself ridiculed for misusing or wasting a very precious very short international media coverage. Yes I understand the fight among the facebook or twitter heroes on a non existing power in the Oromo. One tries to pretend as a better Oromo nationalist than the other. So we see these all tongue twisting and I am a better Oromo messages.
The Oromo has always had a just cause. But because it lacked clever politicians, its miserable life has continued and prisons in Ethiopia speak Afaan Oromo. The atrocities against the Oromo has always been recorded. Because we are the big, we always suffer the big. There is no specific attack toward us. I’m simply here to remind concerned oromos how the few self proclaimed social media heros are demonizing the pro-democracy struggle of the oromo of Ethiopia for their own personal fame. These poorly educated and tempered people are diminishing the struggle as a simple ethnic clash so that the international community ignores it.
As leenco lata once said the Oromo struggle has always been a sensitive matter for the international community. It needs well trained and smart people to communicate it. They’re are too far from the heat, the fires and the blood cuz they’re only on facebook and twitter. They dont mind if the bloodshed dont come to an end. As long as it remains like this, they remain famous and “important”. So it seems they want it to continue. Just like an enemy from with in, they benefit from the sufferings of our people.
For the international community, the Oromo has its own region governed by Oromos with afaan Oromo with a local Oromo media and with a regional security force commanded by Oromos. And at the national level, Oromo is the president, Oromo is the foreign secretary, Oromo is the house speaker, Oromo is the deputy commander in chief of the national armed forces.
Its completely different the way we speak to an international audience and to a local one. To a local Ethiopian, you can argue as much as you want how the king was an Amhara until 1991 and now the Tigre after 1991. but to an international audience, thats only diminishing the Oromo and its great history
We need new, better and smart people to tell our stories to the international community so that we can get international support and sympathy, not these greedy dumb men who depict us as an inferior group in Ethiopia and as if we’re fighting to dominate Ethiopia.
This is ridiculous and it needs to stop!!! Our story is simple and simple. We the Oromo as the other Ethiopians are fighting to rule ourselves, to be ruled by the people we elect, to be ruled by the kind of system we vote on and share our deserved place in the center of Ethiopia. And these are very simple fundamental democratic questions. They can be supported by anybody else. And our martyrs get the deserved sympathy in the international community. They’re not about regional territories or they’re not about Tigre or Amhara, they’re universal democratic questions. But because our media platforms are hijacked by these people, Addis ababa youth don’t raise our cause and protest under the eyes of the international community, They keep to demonize us so these all killings as business as usual for the international community and they only remain “ concerned” as they have always been for the last 27 years.