By Zewdu Woge (PhD)
The pressure Oromo protesters exerted up on TPLF was enormous. It forced Abay
Tsehaye and his ruthless TPLF party to make a complete u-turn to finally accept and
recognize Oromo people’s questions as legitimate and blame and accuse OPDO. We
also learned that his TPLF party has been aware of looting, displacement of Oromo
farmers, injustice and the miscarriage of justices. Why they (TPLF) remain silent when
the people he and his TPLF party handpicked and appointed (the OPDOs) committed
It is important to questions his candidly coated admission of guilt and recognition of
the legitimacy of Oromo protesters questions now and after over 275 people (75 in
2014 and 200 in 2015/16) lost their lives? Is this TPLF political or tactical retreat?
Why he (Abay Tsehaye) tried to drag his ethnic Tigrians into the political quagmire and
crises he found himself in? Why he made 360 degree u-turn to blame and point fingers
on Oromo business personnel’s and OPDO? Why he came out to admit this at the
eleventh hour? What is in Abay and TPLF mind? Will these admissions save him and his
party, TPLF? What he actually tried to convey to the general audiences in general and
to his ethnic Tigrians in particular?
If they (TPLF) really aware of and believe that it was OPDO that looted, displaced and
robbed Oromo farmers, why they (TPLF) remain silent then and told us now? Why the
legitimate questions Oromo protesters have been labeled by Mr. Abay, TPLF officials,
Tigrians and TPLF affiliated and financed Medias as the questions of devils, terrorists
and a few anti-peace and development were accepted and recognized now was
Why Abay Tsehaye and his party unleashed their killing squad, the Agazie, and killed
over 275 innocent Oromos protesters (75 in 2014 and 200 in 2015) and continue to
silence and squash Oromo protesters that raised legitimate questions?
In his recent interview with the Horn Affairs, Abay Tsehaye came up with more divisive
and sinister plan and proposals to defend himself. Abay told us as he, his friends and
ethnic Tigreans, have been singled out and targeted by the Oromos and Oromo
Medias. Sadly Abay couldn’t support and substantiate his claim, where and when
Oromo activists, scholars or Media singled out anyone (including him and Ganelu
Getachew) and targeted them.
So far we have seen and witnessed when Tigrian and TPLF affiliated and financed
medias engaged in passing misleading information to public, inciting violence, targeted
and attacked Oromo people, vilify Oromo scholars and activist.
Most of these vilification and hate speeches are on public records (please visit
infamous Abay Tsehaye’s “Lik enas gebachewalen” speech
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LLrQaOC_xK8; meaning ‘we will fix or squash
them’, plus Ganelu Getachew Reda’s insult of Oromo people “Ganelun yeteraw wegen
ganelun sil meqotateru ergetegna mehon ayechilem… Yehenin Ganel lik masgebat
yemichil yetderaj hizib ena mengist bicha niw”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o3Zcqw6eung; (which roughly translated as, “the
party that invited devils are not sure whether they control it or not. The party that can
fix and control these devils are only organized people and government” were all hate
speeches targeted Oromo people.
In addition to these almost all TPLF officials referred Oromo protesters as “terrorist,
anti-development and mercenaries of foreigners”. All these speeches were not
speeches of love, tolerance or reasons. They were indeed deep rooted hate speeches
and insults. Sadly all these hateful speeches singled out and targeted Oromo people to
induce maximum fear to terrorize Oromo farms, students, scholars and activists.
Unlike Abay Tsehaye we have evidences of their hate speeches, inciting violence and
singling out and targeting the Oromos.
From Abay Tsehaye’s interview on the Horn Affairs
http://hornaffairs.com/am/2016/01/17/abay-tsehaye-oromia-remarks/ and from TPLF
officials statements, press release and their medias, I noticed three important things in
the last two months. Firstly, Abay Tsehaye and his TPLF party has more sinister plan, to
incite ethnic conflicts. To get out and save himself and his TPLF party the growing and
deepening political crisis’s and quagmire, he want to drag and bring in his ethic group
into the crisis and told us as the Oromo targeted the Tigrians.
It seems as he has plan to arm and prepare his already well armed ethnic group, affirm
impunity to the Tigrians Generals that controlled and command the killing of Oromo
nationals. Thus why, TPLF Agazi and Tigrian generals that killed and ordered the
soldiers to kill were not held accountable for the death of over 275 Oromos (including
the 75 people killed last year).
The second unfolding facts I noticed in the last two months has been the roles,
reactions and responses of TPLF and Tigrians owned, run and financed Medias. While
most online and print medias in Ethiopia and around the world reported the facts as it
is/was, reported on the use of excessive forces and heavy handedness of the army,
their media such as Zami FM radio, Radio Fana, the Reporter, the Horn Affairs, Aiga
forum, Tigrians online, Ethiopiafirst and Awrambatimes (Dawit Kebede the editor of
awrambatimes who is currently contemplating to return the awards he received from
CPJ in 2010 to prove his ardent support to TPLF) to mention a few, never reported or
said a word about the over 200 unarmed people murdered by the order of their
Tigrian Generals and Agazi army. Never said a word about the people wounded, close
to ten thousand people incarcerated without due legal process. They tirelessly worked
to defend TPLF and concerned about the tarnished images of Abay Tsehaye and the
implication of TPLF in the process. Shamelessly they widely reported about the broken
windows of ambulances, police cars, OPDO leaders weakness to contain the upraising
and continued dehumanizing and insulting Oromo protesters.
TPLF and Tigrians owned, financed and affiliated media must take precaution and
refrain from inciting violence, targeting, dehumanizing and insulting Oromo protesters.
Ganel Getachew Reda portrayed Oromo people as devils. Nothing is more sinister and
hateful than calling people devils. That is indeed hate speech that incite violence? Will
they remain silent if their darling Tigrian Generals and people are called devils?
Before the Rwanda genocide, a few Hutu financed and affiliates Medias posted Anti-
Tutsis articles, cartoons and hate speeches to foment and incite violence. The anti-
Tutsis hate speeches and resentment spread widely among the Hutus by Mille Collines
Radio in unprecedented level. Mille Collines Radio broadcasters used hate languages
and encouraged people to get ready to go to work, which actually means advising their
Hutu audiences to get and prepare themselves, (their machetes and guns), to kill
Tutsis. TPLF officials, Tigrians and TPLF owned, financed and affiliated media must
stop targeting Oromo people and calling us and our protesters devils, terrorist and
anti-peace and development.
It is true that the Horn Affairs interviewed Abay because they are concern about the
tarnished image and reputation of Abay Tsehaye and TPLF. Sadly, the Horn Affairs
interviewer never asked or said a word about unarmed innocent Oromos protestors
murdered, wounded and incarcerated unlawfully.
The third and very interesting facts we learned from this interview was that in an usual
and unprecedented manner Abay Tsehaye, for the first time admitted as the Oromo
people have been displaced, looted and subjected to abject poverty under his TPLF led
regime. More importantly he admitted as the Oromo people knew who looted,
plundered and displaced them and denied them justices.
The reason why Abay Tsehaye, Tigrians owned and TPLF financed media blamed,
accused and pointed their fingers on OPDO members are clear. They are paving the
way and preparing fertile ground for TPLF to strike. At this very turbulent and
uncertain environment, attacking OPDO will be political suicide for TPLF. Therefore,
TPLF has to patient and remain silent and wait for the right time (the protest to settle)
to revenge by dismissing, jailing and charging OPDO officials on trump up cases of
corruption, terrorism, espionage (working with enemy and terrorist organization and
mercenaries) and lack of good governance.
As I said in my recent article “OPDO-Should Make History or be History”, OPDO let the
Oromo people down to serve TPLF. As a result OPDO brought shame and disrespect to
themselves and their people. They lost the trust and respect of Oromos too. OPDOs
are not immune from attack. TPLF will haunt and revenge OPDO.
OPDO still have time and golden Opportunities to stand up with their people to make
history and rally the unreserved support of over 40 million Oromos behind them to
end this atrocity and restore the pride of their people lost as a result of their complete
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