#OromooDammaqqi Hashtag Campaign

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The Oromo struggle for freedom is at the most critical crossroads and the stakes have never been so high. The 50+ years struggle has been getting a global attention it deserves only over the recent one year or so (at the UN Security Council, the AU, the EU, and the US State Department). This credit goes to our gallant freedom fighters of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA), whose main constituents are the Oromo youths (Qeerroo and Qarree) who had already paid dearly, with the sacrifice of 5000+ souls, to bring about the current regime in 2018—the regime that shortly turned enemy number one against the Oromo people after assuming power. That unexpected and unwelcome change of course is taking pace by the government of Abiy Ahmed by gradually heading towards an anti-federalist and decadent one-Ethiopia governance only favored by the Amhara extremist groups.

This Amhara extremist groups are now emboldened by the regime and working hand in glove to achieve their expansionist agenda of territorial gains for enlarging the Amhara region, and at the same time help the regime to bring about the decadent unitary Ethiopia of yesteryears.

Please note that, in our writing, we make a distinction of the Amhara group(s) from the Amhara people or nation. By “Amhara group(s)” or “Amhara extremist group(s)” we identify political, non-political, pseudo-independents, and paramilitary groups that promote the anti-democracy, anti-federalist agenda for unitary Ethiopia, and in so doing promote the supremacist and expansionist agenda for territorial gains of the Amhara region. Right-wing political parties such as the Ethiopian Citizens for Social Justice (ኢዜማ—EZEMA) and National Movement of Amhara (NaMA—አብን) go beyond advocating for anti-federal, pro-unitary Ethiopia, and openly condemn the legitimate demands of Oromo people and similar political movements in the empire without offering alternative political accommodation. Also, notable organisations abroad include Vision Ethiopia, Amhara Association of America (AAA), and several Amhara digital media outlets engaged in fascist propaganda, such as Ethio 360 Media. It must also be said that many of the domestic organizations that bear the name Ethiopia, even those supposedly independent, are as guilty in being selective in their biased reporting, thereby aiding and abetting the Amhara extremist group agenda. These organizations include the Ethiopian Human Rights Commission—EHRC, the Ethiopian Institution of the Ombudsman—EIO (የኢትዮጵያ ሕዝብ ዕንባ ጠባቂ ተቋም), and the state-owned media like ETV, Fana, Walta as well as a state-aligned ESAT media and many others.

The Amhara extremist groups praise the criminal Amhara Fano paramilitary groups as the vanguard for united Ethiopia, and no condemnation for crimes against humanity committed by these paramilitary groups—the recent incident being beheading Oromos and parading severed heads in public, as widely reported over the last three weeks. The Amhara groups are vehemently against the federal constitution, by vilifying it as “ethnic federalism” as if this is the source of all social and political ills for a united Ethiopia. In their political dogma, a united Ethiopia is the only solution for all the political and social problems of the empire, which is more of the dark era of Menelik II, Haile Selassie I, and the military Dergue as the heydays of Amhara political power.

Contrary to what the Amhara extremists advocate, we strongly believe that true democratic federal system that guarantees the rights of all nations, nationalities, and peoples of Ethiopia is the absolute minimum political settlement for lasting peace, economic development, and stability of the Horn Region.

The following are some of the indicators of what we observe with regard to Amhara extremists today and what all the oppressed peoples of the empire should take notice of. We’ll outline noteworthy ones in no particular order.

  • The audacity of Amhara group expansionist agenda went as far as suggesting annexation of Wallaga (of Oromia region) to the Amhara region. This was suggested recently by the chairperson of the AAA based in the USA. Source: YouTube—“ስለተፈጸመው ሁሉ የዶክመንት መረጃ በእጃችን አለ” | ቴዎድሮስ ትርፌ – የአማራ ማኅበር በአሜሪካ ሊቀመንበር
  • The audacity went as far as playing a victim and crying foul by using the most shameful phrase, “ethnic apartheid”, in their narrative (again by the AAA chairperson), perhaps for the first time, when the opposite is true. If “ethnic apartheid” must be used in Ethiopia, it should be by the oppressed majority of the empire and not by Amhara ethnic groups who have disproportionate stronghold on the economy of the country. This point was recently confirmed by the PM in the federal parliament by presenting a statistic of job distribution by ethnicity. A recent report also showed that at least 60% of the workforce in the capital is filled in by Amharas, notably in key civil services, financial services, government agencies, the media, and cultural institutions. So, how to explain “ethnic apartheid” with Amhara victimhood? Source: YouTube—Link as shown for above.
  • The emboldening of Amhara group has gone as far as pushing an agenda for Oromos to give up their three-decade Qubee alphabet in favor of the Amhara Geez script. This suggestion came from one of their jingoists in government advisory capacity, Andargachew Tsige, with no expertise in linguistics but like his extremist political associates Berhanu Nega and Daniel Kibret, excels in hatred for the Oromo people. They just won’t put to rest the Afan Oromo Qubee, which has been an agent of rapid progress over the last three decades for Oromo culture, literature, and education. The Oromo people never sought help from the likes of Andargachew Tsige as to what script to use for their language. If Andargachew Tsige gets a simple logic, his suggestion was as daft as telling the nation of his naturalized country, the United Kingdom, to use Arabic or Greek script for their English writing. Source: YouTube—Andargachew Tsige: “We have to make sure that the language issue is addressed quickly”
  • The audacity of Amhara group is culminating into the criminal paramilitary groups, the Amhara Fano, roaming parts of Oromia, with their gruesome atrocities widely reported over the recent weeks. Source: Numerous reporting on Social Media and sample videos, here [Video Showing Severing of Head…], and here [A TikTok Video Message by Aisha Oromia Ali on Genocide in Oromia…].
  • The audacity of Amhara group in engaging in their expansionist agenda is now in rapid progress by occupying neighbouring areas from west, north and east Oromia lands. A clear testament of this is the ever shrinking (albeit non-official) map of Oromia which is widely used by the media promoting the agenda of the Amhara groups. We find it disappointing that international media like the BBC and Aljazeera are also using such maps in their reporting thereby offering tacit legitimacy for inaccurate map of Oromia. As a useful hint, the Amhara region never borders with the Afar region in the accurate map of Oromia. Source: Evidence in public view by searching for map of Oromia or as shown for various reporting relating to Oromia.
  • The hoisting of Oromia flag and sing its anthem in schools in the capital Finfinnee, aka Addis Ababa, is nowadays being used by the extremist Amhara groups to create well-coordinated provocative controversies and turning the capital as a center for Oromophobia. Finfinnee is the capital of Oromia, the federal capital as well as Africa capital as the seat of the AU. These extremist groups are pushing a narrative as if Finfinnee is a non-Oromo land in the heartland of Oromia—the historical homeland of the Abichu, Eekkaa, Galaan, Gullallee, Sooddoo, etc, clans of the Tulamaa Oromos. In fact, Finfinnee marks the launching place for the Oromo Genocide by Menelik II, when Oromos in and around Finfinnee put up massive resistance to invading Menelik musketeers (equipped with European supplied guns), resulting in heavy massacre of the population with the remaining being pushed out to the outskirts of Finfinnee and to as far afield as the Hararggee, Arsii and Baalee areas of Oromia. The provocative controversies relating to Finfinnee only show the insensitivity of the dark historical facts by the extremist groups. Source: Wide reporting on national broadcast as well as Social Media.

While the above is just some of what are in the public domain, a lot is happening secretly out of the public view. There is credible evidence that the Amhara groups, through their wealthy businesspeople are arming Amharas in Oromia at an alarming rate, as if to prepare them to crush the Oromo people. Although hard to verify, some leaked reports indicate rationing of machine-guns with up to 120 bullets to individual Amharas in Oromia. We have also noted leaked reports of clandestine and in-house training to boost the Amhara Fano paramilitary to as high as 6 million strong over the coming months. Similar reports indicate that the Orthodox churches throughout Oromia are also participating in these sinister plans by storing and hiding military assets on their premises.

We do admit what is outlined above may sound overly alarmist. Based on the tell-tale signs of the brutalities witnessed over the recent weeks by the Amhara Fano paramilitary groups, we choose to err on the side of caution in the hope to avert dangers. Better safe than sorry! To be proven wrong is better than losing human lives! In this regard, our warning goes beyond making our people aware of potential dangers; as important, we also wish to bring this matter to the attention of international communities.

While the above is attributed to the Amhara groups, the federal government sharing many interests and goals of the Amhara groups—noting that politicians such as Andargachew Tsige, Berhanu Nega, and Daniel Kibret are advisors to the PM—the federal government is also engaging in an overarching attack against the interests of Oromo people as demonstrated over the last four years. While official government action goes under the guise of wiping out OLA, this is only a strategy as a precursor to dismantling the federal system. For the federal system to be dismantled, it must start with Oromia which is the largest region and economic hub of the country. The seed is already planted with a War Commission over Oromia only three weeks ago. With the peace treaty with Tigray now seemingly taking pace, the focus is already on Oromia.

We also recognize the impact of the sovereign state of Eritrea, headed by president Isayias Afewerki, which is having detrimental effects in Oromia and beyond in the Horn of Africa. We have witnessed the deployment of Eritrean army as far back as two years and as far south as the Guji-Borana areas of Oromia. We condemn not only the out-sourcing of the military force to Eritrea, but we also condemn even the use of the Ethiopian National Defence Force (ENDF) against any popular movement of political nature, like the Oromo political demands, as well as the many freedom movements in the empire that require political solutions.

What we outline above paints a bleak picture—indeed, dark clouds are gathering over Oromia on many fronts: by the Amhara groups in and around Oromia, by the federal government, and by the foreign force of Eritrea on intent to destabilize the Horn Region. This puts the Oromo struggle at the most critical crossroads, and with potential dangers, the stakes have never been so high.

We are, therefore, minded putting out this hashtag campaign to make people aware of the situation and do all they can to thwart potential dangers.

To The Disunited Diaspora: Abandon your differences and unite your efforts by focusing on The Big Picture. Learn from your past mistakes. It is easy to learn from mistakes—just don’t repeat it but draw hard lessons from your mistakes to achieve better results the next time. Try to practise the Oromo egalitarianism, noting that your contribution in the Oromo struggle is not to be based on your academic qualifications nor your field experience, rather on your interpersonal skills and organizational commitments to achieve the goals of what your role demands. Most importantly, desist egocentrism and regionalism—the two deadly diseases that can cripple any organizational effort. Imagine the trivial quibbles you create, while lives are at risk; while your enemy is raising funds in millions of dollars in USA and elsewhere to “build churches”—the cover name to build paramilitary groups.  Remember the management moto: the longer the time you waste, the quicker your competitors get ahead of you. There has never been so much at risk for so little wasted time.

To Those in Public Offices: You are representing your people (as federal and regional parliamentarians and various public office holders, etc) as their voice, and as a lawmaker on their behalf, and as a spokesperson for them. How much have you discharged your solemn duties in representing your constituency? Do you believe in Majority Rule with Minority Rights, or are you still okay with what, in reality, is a Minority Rule with Majority Injustice, since the over-century old subjugation of the Oromo people?  Did you show your indignation when Oromo students were killed in Amhara region simply for being Oromos? Did you show your indignation when sixteen Karayyuu Abbaa Gadaas were gunned down cold-blooded in December 2021? Did you show any indignation when dwellings were being burnt down with impunity by the regional militia and federal army, and families made homeless up and down in Oromia, as deterrent to ordinary civilians to distance themselves from OLA? And, so on and on. And recently, did you show any outrage when the criminal Amhara Fano paramilitary groups beheaded Oromos and paraded their heads on spikes, burned Oromos alive, skinned Oromos alive, danced and took selfies around the dead Oromos? Did you demand for investigation of the countless criminal acts perpetrated against the Oromo people? Do remember that you are at the forefront of the queue to be judged for failing the Oromo people. Think of your legacy and start to remedy your situation now, and as politicians and administrators in various capacities, you should know better what you need to do.

To The Pacifist Oromos: You cannot sit idly by and watch while lives are endangered and doing nothing is no more an option. We wish we didn’t have to tell you this, but the reality is that we must be all on alert and be aware of impending dangers.

To The Ethiopianist Oromos: The Ethiopian empire is instituted by force of the gun during the European Scramble for Africa by subjugating the Oromo people and other oppressed nations and peoples of the empire. From its inception, this empire favored the mono-culture and language of the Amhara people at the exclusion of all others. Think of who is chanting “one Ethiopia”, “united Ethiopia”, “Fano for one Ethiopia”, etc, and who is also waving the Menelik flag today. Indeed, the name Ethiopia is a sugar-coated name to mean Amhara and that of Amhara. Recent incidents should convince you that the decadent Ethiopia project cannot continue as the Amhara groups would like it to be. Even the Amharas don’t seriously believe for the One Ethiopia to continue—if they do, why on a frantic mission to enlarge the Amhara region? The fact of the matter is that the confusing and abstract Ethiopianism built on history devoid that of non-Abyssinians’ is becoming a clearer Nothing. As an “Oromo Ethiopianist”, ask yourself what that idealism and identity means to you. On the contrary, we do know clearly what being Oromo means.

Important: Under no circumstances are we advocating violence. We Oromos have a long-standing restraint against violence, and this is well attested throughout our history of the Gadaa Republic as well as recent Qeerroo and Qarree social movement. Our #OromooDammaqi is primarily intended to avert the potential danger we believe is in the offing against the Oromo people, by way of exposing coordinated clandestine planning so that everyone makes an informed decision. Our investigations are based on leaked reports of various clandestine plans, both direct and circumstantial evidences, as well as expert analysis in the field.

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