Mankelklot Haile Selassie (PhD)April 6, 2012
2. Which one of the Oromo organizations are the true representatives of the Oromo people?
Responding to this very important question boldly will help one look into the current event critically and take well articulated and measured steps. There are the prominent Oromo organizations who are recognized by the people of Ethiopia in general and by the Oromo people in particular, namely Oromo National Congress-ONC, Oromo Federalist Party (OFP), and Oromo Peoples Democratic Organization (OPDO) and others. I argue that whether one accepts it or not OPDO is a factor now and will be a factor even after the removal of the regime. The removal of the regime is the removal of TPLF. It does not necessarily mean the removal of OPDO. OPDO can immediately declare its independence and form its own independent party. Let us not forget that they have an already established base to launch from. Whether their presence will be strong or weak is totally a different question.
The ones inside Ethiopia, whether we accept it or not including OPDO, have deeply entrenched political structure inside the Oromo masses down to the local level. They have a well established influence on Oromo people in their own way and in their own sphere of influence. They are there daily, weekly, monthly and yearly. Most likely they know them physically and they interact with them. This is undeniable political and social situation taking place inside Ethiopia today.
Now, the follow up question is where do one see OLF, both factions, in this picture? No where. That is why particularly Faction-A latching up on to Ginbot-7, Berhanu Nega at its helm. These are, from their past activities, politically bankrupt, extremely weak, and floating factions. Where were they and what were they doing for the last 32 years? This flirtation Ginbot 7 is temporary because it has no root nor backbone. As Alliance for Freedom and Democracy failed, the end result of this fake alliance will be the same. It will enter into self-perpetuation mode. Ginbot 7, the fake organization itself, and Faction-A, separately, would be potentially irrelevant. Therefore Faction-A and Ginbot 7 had to feed and nourish each other for survival by creating forums all over the places to fool unsuspecting Ethiopian society.
3. Methods of struggle to be applied to remove Meles Zenawi
I raised this issue because none of the prominent political organizations, both inside and out side of Ethiopia, including the Alliance of Ginbot 7 and Faction-A, so far, have raised and stated the specific method they apply to remove Meles Zenawi, which would have been the sign of relevancy and determination.
Every time this issue is raised the response on the part of these political organizations is to use multi-faceted struggle. Given the current political, economic and social situations in Ethiopia the response aught to be specific. The problem have been and still is, particularly when it is an alliance or HIBRET or a body made up of a number of political organizations the specificity issue will not be raised. Because to be specific is to have a target, which is an extremely important step to organize a successful struggle to remove the regime. To have a specific target demands one mindedness. To have a target means to work towards that target with no hesitation or looking back. Unfortunately the moment a body of this nature is formed it has already become dysfunctional. In the Ethiopian HIBRET experience the nature of the composition of the body did not allow one mindedness therefore the lack of targeted struggle.
Further more, they dare not specify because they would be accountable to what they stated. They dare not specify because their commitment is superficial and whatever they plan in relation to the struggle is simply a cover for the survival of their political organizations. Above all they do not have the gut and the determination to commit themselves to a specific target of struggle. Isnt this what we have been witnessing for the last thirty years or more?
To be specific means which one of the following is to be applied. Is it by: a) election, b) armed struggle, c) coup detat, or, d) uprising (revolution).
Given the experiences we have had to think of election or armed struggle cannot be the effective and immediate result oriented methods of struggle to remove Meles Zenawi and his regime. Therefore, in my opinion they are out of the equation. It waste of time to deal with these two methods. The immediate result could mean to be about five years. Sure, why not. As I have repeatedly reminded us, let us not forget that time is the function of political struggle in Ethiopia. The longer the regime is left to rule the greater the damage to the political, economic and social situations of the Ethiopian people. Perhaps for some factors the damage could be irreversible. Have we ever thought about the direct relationship between the rule by the regime and the duration of the time and its impact on Ethiopian society?
The immediate result oriented methods to remove Meles and his regime are coup detat and uprising. I have dealt with these two methods extensively in a number of my previous articles that included armed struggle. In the case of armed struggle I have argued to combine armed struggle and uprising. Unfortunately these armed struggle groups dont have the gut nor the intelligence to handle this combination. To that effect I have personally talked in detail with some of their affiliates about it. To begin with they are inside Ethiopia. I have seen videos when they were in training and holding public type of meeting that followed with questions and answers. Therefore it is a fact that they are inside Ethiopia. It is not like a new opposition force looking for bases from where to launch its armed struggle. Then, my suggestion to them was since they are already inside Ethiopia, wouldnt it be easier for them to engage themselves in both fronts, that is, armed struggle and uprising combined specifically initiated and organized in and around Addis Ababa. Of course it requires meticulous planning and determination to do it and relieve the Ethiopian people from its miseries. By the way I had even suggested to harass the Sudanese army that entered the Ethiopian border with the collaboration of the local peasants to drive them out. Peasants around the area are not simple farmers. They know how to fight and have the gut to fight. It is their second nature to fight. What they needed was leaders. It was not provided by the armed fighters. Had the armed fighters tried it, it would have given them moral and material boost. In addition they would have been well recognized particularly by the Diaspora.
In the case of uprising I have shared about five articles most of them during the uprisings in North Africa, for uprising was the timely instrument to remove Meles Zenawi. There are some who argue that the Arab Spring, particularly of Egypt, cannot be applied in Ethiopia. Why not? Any social uprisings done or going on at any place can be modified and be applied. It is transference of experience(s). What it requires is commitment and of course a little brain work. I still believe and strongly suggest to use uprising for the political, economic and social situations are ripe and the people are ready, in fact, they were ready long before this Arab Spring phenomenon have spread all over the world.
3.1 Coup Detat
If coup took place at all, most likely, it would be by the military. According to Gen. Hailu Gonfa the military, at different levels of the hierarchy, except the TPLF guys, have become very sensitive to the social and economic issues of the society. They are well aware of the political, economic and social situations therefore they have a good feeling of what is going on in the society. He even went further and indicated that there were positive communications between the Oromo and Amara military leaders down the line. My only question for him would be why didnt he coordinate them and take the steps necessary to remove Meles Zenawi by force? By the way I was on my toes to hear this ESAT guy to ask him abut it. He did not. It was a lousy and a disappointing job. Does Gen. Hailu regret now for not doing it then when he had the influence to do it? What he did not do while he was in the middle of everything, with the positions he had and with the relationships he had with the other nationalities in the military and above all with the inevitable support that he would have gotten from the Ethiopian people what gives him the confidence that he would succeed from extremely remote place. He had to come clean and clear about the opportunity he disgracefully misappropriated. I wish he had done it. I will say a little more about him latter.
There is a legitimate concern being raised from the Diaspora that replacing dictators with another dictator is the wrong way to go. I strongly argue on the contrary. In Ethiopia, today, where the regime is literally destroying the fabric and the unity of the society; where literally sucking the blood of the society by amassing billions, if not trillions, of dollars abroad; where the country is invaded by a ruthless regime, ruthless than the Italians; where the country is divisively divided along ethnic and language line; any dictator except the liberation fronts, that comes to power by coup aught to be welcomed. The possibility for any group that takes the power by force is very high to reverse Meless destructive plans and projects. As I have repeatedly argued in most of my previous articles, in Ethiopia, now, the question of democracy, the question of human rights and democratic rights, protection of the rule of law, to be considered as secondary objective. The primary objective aught to be to remove Meles Zenawi and his regime by any means necessary. I have an article, MELES MUST BE REMOVED BY ANY MEANS NECESSRY, that I shared a while ago. Coming back to the main topic at hand, I have specifically argued regarding these primary and secondary issues in my article WHY THE STRUGGLE FAILED, of 5/7/2009. I hope the following part of the article will clarify the difference between the two branches of political struggle. Here is what I said then. It is a bit long please bare with me.
This question, why the struggle failed, has to be answered. Unless we respond to this question truthfully and objectively, there is no guaranty that the future struggle will succeed. Within a short period following the election of May 15, 2005 result, the struggle, instead of vehemently being upheld and defended, it was literally abandoned. The opposition leadership unaware of the reality that the unity of Ethiopia is at stake abandoned the struggle.
In Ethiopia, I argue that, there are two major branches of political struggle. One of them is the struggle for existence (hiliwina) of Ethiopia and the unity of its people combined. One of the major benefit particularly in protecting the unity of Ethiopian people is, as I have indicated in my earlier articles, to protect and stabilize the interests and the aspirations of the Ethiopian minority ethnic groups. This aspect of the struggle is extremely important to move forward together and to develop together, a logical process for long lasting cohesion and stability. I have shared a separate article on this issue namely, GROW TOGETHER, of April 12, 2007. We shouldnt loose sight of this political and social situation in Ethiopia. The second branch of the struggle is, democratic rights, human rights and the rule of law combined. It is very important not to mix these two branches of struggle. I argue that, what lead to this miserable failure of the struggle is because the focus was not on the first branch of the political struggle.
.Given the political and the social conditions being witnessed today, the conditions created by Meles and his mafia group, there is no alternative except selecting the first one as the primary objective to deal with first. The mistake made by the opposition forces from the outset was not taking the struggle for existence (hiliwina) and the unity of Ethiopian as their primary branch of political struggle. Given the unity of Ethiopia is at stake, and once this situation is imbedded inside ones mode of thinking, no one in good conscious will sleep comfortably. As to the secondary branch of the political struggle, the immediate removal of Meles and his mafia group would usher in the protection of democratic rights, human rights and the establishment of the rule of law. In my humble opinion, this secondary branch of the political struggle cannot be as strong as the driving force as the primary one. Because one is dealing with and identified enemy bent to destroy Ethiopia. Therefore, one would not sleep until the enemy is removed .
..Therefore, the reason for primarily focusing on the struggle for existence (hiliwina) and the unity of Ethiopian people, is that, the longer Meles and his mafia group are left to rule, the stronger the impact of the on the unity of Ethiopia and its people. Therefore, to shorten and stop the erosion Meles and his mafia group must be removed immediately. Had the focus of the opposition forces been on this branch of struggle, they would have not allowed Meles to steal the election and get away with it. The urgent solution to the impact of the erosion on the unity of Ethiopia would have forced, unconditionally, to challenge Meles to the end, and to the extent of sacrifices of any nature.
The bottom line of the above argument is to apply coup as one of the two methods to remove Meles and his regime .
TO BE CONTINUED
Mankelklot Haile Selassie (PhD)
April 6, 2012