Tilahun Gugsagives an amazing speech about the Oromo people
In spite of its appeal to its patrons who espouse it as “identity politics”, Ethnic politics is a hub of hate and idiocy – not to mention that it is a recipe for devastating conflict as seen in the very recent history of Rwanda.
When the Bale forest was blazing sometime in the year 2000, Oromo students at Addis Ababa University had held a meeting to plan an expedition to the scene to fight the fire. What was bad about it was that they didn’t let AAU students who do not speak Oromo language to be part of the expedition. A fourth-year Political Science student, Daniel, was outraged during a meeting at Ledet cafe in Siddist Kilo main campus and told Oromo student organizers “You do not put the fire off in oromigna language. If the expedition is about fighting the fire, we[non-oromo students] have to be a part of it.” Apparently, OPDO (Oromo People’s Democratic Organization) and “caffee oromiyaa” funded the expedition and they had a hand in excluding non-Oromo speaking students from helping fight a fire in Bale forests.
Now OPDO, which is essentially as ethno nationalist as Oromo Liberation Front when it comes to “Oromo cause” except that it is fighting from within, seem to have a different political tone. Last month, about 200 Oromo youth were sent to Bahir Dar city to help fight water weed over lake Tana in what many Ethiopians considered as a positive political gesture and there was some euphoria about it. Today, about 250 Aba Geda elders and prominent individuals including singers (like Ali Bira, Kemer Yusuf and Tadele Gamachu) are in Bahir Dar in what is said to be a visit to promote “unity and and brotherhood” between Amhara and Oromo. The visit came in the wake of brutal ethnic-based violence in Buno Bedelle Zone and Nekemte that caused the death of innocent civilians and many of whom were killed for being an “alien who do not belong to the region” – in the very region of Ethiopia that they lived for two or more generations as Ethiopians. The Bahir Dar visit is said to be Lemma Megeresa’s project.
“Transformation of OPDO” in terms of relation to TPLF and to Ethiopians is being attributed to Lemma Megeresa and his team (specifically Vice president Dr. Abiy Ahmed and Communication head, Addisu Arega) On the surface, the relation with TPLF has become sour while OPDO is demonstrating interest in working “for the good of Ethiopians” as a whole. These are the first politicians whose words are positively quoted by Ethiopians for the first time in the history of TPLF government.