Oduu Haaraya

#‎OromoProtests‬ to ‪#‎EthiopiaProtests‬ : Time is of the essence here!!



The protests have reached a critical stage. So has the crackdown. The casualties are mounting. The repression is getting more and more fatal.

Under the circumstances, it is important to make a rational determination of future courses of action. Since there is no central coordinating body, we could not deliberate on the readjustment of strategies and tactics made necessary by the facts on the ground. Spontaneity is crucial at the beginning but leaving it up to individuals and local communities to decide “what needs to happen” has serious drawbacks for the overall success of the protests (even if their effectiveness is incontestable).

Many are asking or hoping “the international community” to do something. In reality, there is no such thing as international community as the global order is made up of states and associations of states. The actions of the latter are driven largely by strategic interests and there is a large lag between the time the international community becomes aware of a problem and takes action, which it rarely does.

Some are asking and hoping that other sections of the Ethiopian population will come to aid the Oromo in this life and death struggle. Honestly speaking, the slogans of #OromoProtests do no resonate strongly with large numbers of members of the other ethnic communities in Ethiopia. Besides, none of the other groups has the long history of civil resistance against the incumbent regime as the Oromo has had, especially the Amhara. Despite our weaknesses, the Oromo is without doubt simply the most politicized community in Ethiopia thanks to the sheer magnitude of the repression vested upon it for decades. Many other communities simply lack the mere experience of fighting back against an oppressive system through a nonviolent means.

Under the circumstances, we have to realize that, while hoping for solidarity from the international community and other Ethiopians and working actively for it, we are alone in this thing. We are alone in it.

The strongest aid we can get is from each other. We just have to do our internal homework, failing which would mean we have failed our people who are doing all they can do while facing grave dangers to their lives on a daily basis. Our brotherly/sisterly nations and nationals have a huge reservoir of resources, skills, and energy to take this struggle to its logical and beneficial end. However, we are limited by internal division in the diaspora and the resultant lack of coordination.

Without bringing thinking heads together under a roof, we cannot adequately respond to the challenges in front and ahead of us and be proactive in our pursuits.

The regime has been on the defensive line both at home and abroad for over a month now. If we let things to continue as they stand, I am afraid that we will be hard pressed to keep the initiative.

Leadership is what stands between our status as subjects of a repressive state and our dream of becoming free and empowered citizens. With divided leadership, I am afraid we will be curtailed in overcoming all the regime will throw against our defenseless people.

The situation calls for a national response and we need to start where we can get together freely to strategize without fear of being molested. National unity is the call of the day.

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