By Alemayehu G. Mariam
Author’s Note: The ruling Thugtatorship of the Tigrean People’s Liberation Front (T-TPLF) in Ethiopia is said to be on the verge of passing a “law” protecting “Oromia’s special interest in Addis Ababa” and “giving Oromia extensive rights in the capital city” (hereinafter the T-TPLF Masters’ Addis Ababa Plan B). It is a trial balloon “leaked out” by the T-TPLF to gauge public reaction (hoping the Ethiopian public will be blinded, hoodwinked and bogged down in recrimination about what name to give the capital) while they implement their diabolical Addis Ababa Master Plan B in broad daylight.
It may be recalled that the T-TPLF Master’s Addis Ababa Plan A aimed at incorporating contiguous farmland in Oromiya was “shelved” in January 2016 after the people facing expropriation and eviction from their lands showed stiff resistance to the T-TPLF’s naked land grab.
The T-TPLF is now using a clever gimmick in a futile attempt to re-implement that Master Plan by cloaking it in some bogus law about “Oromia’s special interest in Addis Ababa giving Oromia extensive rights in the capital city.”
The stratagem, the trick to be used to hoodwink everybody, is the creation of an emotional distraction by proposing to rename the capital “Finfine” or “Addis Ababa Finfine”. The T-TPLF hopes that while the people argue and flail their hands at each other about what to call the capital, it will sneakily implement its new and improved Masters’ Plan B and gobble up the lands of struggling Oromo farmers on the periphery of the capital. The T-TPLF pretends that whole “special interest” idea is a response to some urgent Oromo demands.
The only urgent demand the Oromos have ever made is for justice, equality, democracy, rule of law, accountability, human rights and first class citizenship. Nothing else!
But the T-TPLF leaders believe that by giving lip service to alleged Oromo demands for “special interest” in the capital, they can woo and hoodwink them.
The T-TPLF has such deep contempt for Oromos that it believes it can deal with them with the three Ps: Pander, Pacify and Placate. The T-TPLF believes that by throwing crumbs at Oromos in the form of empty and hollow promises about “special interest in the capital” and symbolic concessions about naming the capital as “Addis Ababa/Finfine”, they can buy them off just like someone would give cotton candy to a crying child.
The T-TPLF has such deep contempt for Oromos that it believes they cannot tell the difference between a real and a Trojan horse saddled up for a lightning-fast (6 months to set the boundary of the city after the farmlands have been gobbled up) expropriation of their land in the name of “Oromo special interest in Addis Ababa”.
To add insult to injury, there are reports that the T-TPLF is setting up a forced turnout and public demonstration by Oromos to show their support to the Addis Ababa Master Plan B.
I regret to say much of the debate and discussion in the blogosphere (and I am told in the local bar rooms and public places in the capital) is about the re-naming or double-naming of the capital as “Addis Ababa/Finfine”. They are all barking up the wrong tree. What to name the capital is the T-TPLF magicians’ sleight of hand; it is misdirection and distraction from the real thing. Swift implementation of Addis Ababa Master Plan B.
The T-TPLF has always been clever in its use of disinformation and propaganda to distract and confuse its opposition. The double-naming of the capital is a diabolically calculated distraction by the T-TPLF. By playing up and pressing the emotional issue buttons, the T-TPLF hopes to pit Oromos against Amharas and others as it watches them tearing each other up over what word to use to call the capital. (I don’t think it will work but the T-TPLF will leave no stones unturned to use ethnic divide and conquer to remain in power perpetually.)
Needless to say, everyone who has read my weekly commentaries over the past eleven years knows that I do not believe in and totally condemn ethnic politics.
I declared long ago that for me there is not an Oromo, a Tigrean, an Amhara, a Gambellan, an Ogadeni, a Mursi, a Gurage… Ethiopian. There is only an Ethiopian.
To me, our humanity in our Ethiopianity is infinitely more important than our group identity and ethnicity, nation-ality or Africanity.
Ethiopianity is “EthiopiaWINet”. That is my simple creed. Win.et.
In the same vein, I have totally rejected the Art. 39 blather of the T-TPLF constitution about “self-determination’ and “secession”.
But I do uphold the self-determination provisions of Art. 55 of the U.N charter, and Art. 1 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. Art. 39 was diabolically designed by the T-TPLF to dismember Ethiopia by using the saber of ethnic politics.
In 1995, the T-TPLF wrote its infamous Art. 39 about “self-determination”, “secession” and other such garbage. Those who have illusions about Art. 39 should study apartheid South Africa’s Promotion of Bantu Self-Government Act No 46 (and other laws) which I discussed in my April 2016 commentary, “The Bantustanization (Kililistanization) of Ethiopia”.
Today, the T-TPLF preaches the false gospel of “Oromia’s Special Interest in Addis Ababa with extensive rights in the capital city” as part of its ongoing kililistanization program, the T-TPLF’s ultimate weapon of divide, conquer and rule forever. To sweeten the cotton candy more, the T-TPLF guarantees “Oromo residents of the city” a “right to self-determination” and representation of “25 percent of the city council membership” strictly based on ethnicity.
The only way the T-TPLF gangsters will allow “self-determination” is if they can no longer be the rulers of Ethiopia forever. Until then, they will use the Art. 39 as cotton candy to play games with some and as a boogeyman to scare the hell out of others.
Ethiopia under the T-TPLF is a new and improved collection of Bantustans, the ones they had in apartheid South Africa. Ethiopia has Kililistans, no different in form or function than Bantustans. Art. 39 basically promises the 9 Kililistans full-fledged statehood, just like the Bantu Authorities Act. Regardless, South Africa today is ONE. Ethiopia will forever remain ONE!
The T-TPLF’s justification for the Kililistans is that without T-TPLF guardianship and leadership, Ethiopia will go the way of the former Yugoslavia split into seven nations. The late thugmaster Meles Zenawi repeated the same message in a videotaped interview in 2009. The only guarantor of Ethiopian unity and geographical integrity is the T-TPLF. The only savior of Ethiopia is the T-TPLF.
The only savior of the hens in the henhouse is the wily fox.
On the topic of the T-TPLF’s vaunted “self-determination” article, it is worth noting that Tigrean Peoples’ Liberation Front was organized for the single purpose of “liberating” Tigrai from “Ethiopia” and achieve “self-determination”. That was clearly and unambiguously stated in their ‘Manifesto”. Indeed, the T-TPLF waged an armed “liberation” war to create the “Republic of Greater Tigrai” in a “two-step process: 1) redemarcating Tigray’s borders to expand the region’s borders within Ethiopia, and 2) acquiring coastal lands within Eritrea and seceding as an independent nation.”
When the TPLF became “victorious” in 1991, they did not run to Tigrai to establish their “Greater Republic”. They marched straight into the capital Addis Ababa to claim their prize.
For the past 26 years, Addis Ababa has been the T-TPLF’s cash cow, the goose that lays the golden eggs and platinum dollars and Euros, the gift that keeps on giving.
Addis Ababa is the nerve center of T-TPLF commerce, banking, construction, services and political power.
The T-TPLF has been bleeding the country dry from Addis Ababa since 1991. In the words of Global Financial Integrity, “The people of Ethiopia are being bled dry. No matter how hard they try to fight their way out of absolute destitution and poverty, they will be swimming upstream against the current of illicit capital leakage”.
Willie Sutton, the infamous American bank robber, was once asked why he robbed banks. His answer, which came to be referred as “Sutton’s law”, was simple: “Because that’s where the money is.”
The T-TPLF robbers will never allow “self-determination” in Addis Ababa because that’s where a whole lot of their money, cashola, moolah, bread, dough is at. Straight up!
Anyone who seriously believes the T-TPLF will allow Addis Ababa or Oromiya to exercise “self-determination” is plain stupid. Straight up!
The only self-determination the T-TPLF has supported is for Eritrea because they believed Eritrea was an Ethiopian “colony”. They lobbied the U.N, the U.S. State Department and other Western capitals to ensure recognition of Eritrea as a new nation, leaving Ethiopia landlocked. In the T-TPLF’s two-year war with Eritrea beginning in 1998, 80 thousand people were made cannon fodder.
Beyond the “self-determination” issue, I have also vigorously rejected the T-TPLF’s “national question” and “oppressed nationalities” hogwash and have convincingly demonstrated that these notions were clever and shrewd gimmicks used by the late Zenawi and the T-TPLF to divert public attention from their real agenda of permanent political domination. The whole demonization campaign against the so-called “Ethiopian Empire” is designed as a cover to sneak in, justify and entrench their own T-TPLF Empire.
The fact of the matter is that the central and core mission of the T-TPLF has always been the disintegration and dismemberment of the Ethiopian nation. Their Grand Master Plan has been and remains the complete destruction of the Ethiopian nation.
The Addis Ababa Master Plan is no different. It is a gradual and step-by-step plan for the dismemberment of Oromiya.
They will NEVER, NEVER succeed in their plans.
I wholeheartedly endorse Kwame Nkruma’s poetic prophesy, “Ethiopia Shall Rise.”
Ethiopia shall rise like the Phoenix from the ashes of the T-TPLF. Nkrumah wrote:
Just like the moons and suns,
With the century of tides,
Just like hopes springing high,
Still Ethiopia shall rise..
In an ever so slightly paraphrased verse of Maya Angelou, Ethiopia shall rise like the sun rise, and that shall be no surprise, except for the T-TPLF.
But I do take deep personal offense that the T-TPLF should think that it could offer cotton candy and insult the collective Oromo intelligence by proposing “Oromiya Special Interest Area in Addis Ababa” to sneak in its “Addis Ababa Master Plan B”. I know they believe that no one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the Oromo people.
That is a grave mistake!
I have laid out my views on the T-TPLF’s “Addis Ababa Master Plan A” (bulldoze struggling Oromo farmers and steal their land) aimed at ripping off land from struggling Oromo farmers on the outskirts of the capital in my January 2016 commentary, “Addis Ababa Master Plan? No, the T-TPLF Masters’ Plan!”
Well!!! The T-TPLF is back in July 2017 with its Addis Ababa Master Plan B (steal the land by whispering sweet nothings in the ears of Oromos and putting cotton candy in their mouths) with a vengeance.
In condemning the T-TPLF Addis Ababa Master Plan A, I issued a warning for eternal vigilance against the T-TPLF land snatchers. I also “prophesied” that the T-TPLF will be back to continue in its land grabbing in the foreseeable future with new tricks, gimmicks, bells and whistles:
Those who pushed back the T-TPLF and forced it to declare the Addis Ababa Master Plan null and void after incurring great cost in human life may now feel jubilant and victorious. They may even feel they have “defeated” the T-TPLF.
Such feelings are not only foolish but could ultimately prove to be fatal miscalculations.
As sure as the sun will rise tomorrow, the T-TPLF land-grabbers will be back to grab their land like scared off buzzards picking carrion. Sure, they will step away for a while to let the dust settle, but they will be back with a vengeance!
The T-TPLF land snatching buzzards have returned with a vengeance! Just like I said they would 18 months ago!
In his book “Facing Mount Kilimanjaro”, Jomo Kenyatta wrote, “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”
The T-TPLF today says, “Let’s talk about ‘Oromiya’s special interest in Addis Ababa’ and ‘self-determination’. Here is some cotton candy to chew on while we talk. The Oromos closed their eyes. When they opened them, they had empty words and cotton candy in their mouths and the T-TPLF had their land”.
Fool me twice, shame on me!
That Which We Call Addis Ababa (New Flower) By Any Other Name Would Smell As Sweet, But…
In Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Juliet asks, “What’s in a name?/ That which we call a rose/By any other name would smell as sweet.”
Juliet tells Romeo that a name is an arbitrary designation with no intrinsic meaning and the fact that Romeo carries the rival Montague name means nothing. The only thing that matters is that they should be and stay together as one in love.
What’s Montague? it is nor hand, nor foot,
Nor arm, nor face, nor any other part
Belonging to a man. O! be some other name:
What’s in a name? that which we call a rose
By any other name would smell as sweet;
So Romeo would, were he not Romeo called,
Retain that dear perfection which he owes
Without that title. Romeo, doff thy name,
And for that name, which is no part of thee
Take all myself.
I ask my Ethiopian brothers and sisters: What’s “Addis Ababa”? “Finfine”?
It is neither heart, soul, mind, spirit or conscience belonging to any man or woman.
What’s in the name “Addis Ababa” (New Flower) or Finfine (“gushing spray” of water from hot springs)?
That which we call Addis Ababa or Finfine, by any other name would smell as sweet.
If all people in Addis Ababa could live in equality and justice with their human rights respected, does it matter what name we give the capital?
The great theoretical physicist Richard Feynman observed that knowing the name of a bird in all the languages of the world would add no knowledge about the bird. “You’ll only know about humans in different places, and what they call the bird. So let’s look at the bird and see what it’s doing—that’s what counts.”
What counts is not whether the capital is called “Addis Ababa” or “Finfine” or Addis Ababa/Finfine”. That tells nothing about the life of suffering and hardship of the vast majority of the people in the capital. We need to see what is happening in Addis Ababa and how the people are living there.
What counts is whether there is justice, equality, democracy, accountability and human rights in Addis Ababa or Finfine. What counts is whether all people in the capital enjoy first class citizenship. What counts is whether people in the capital feel secure in personal safety and have their human rights respected. These are the things that count.
What honor or profit is there in being a second class citizen in “Addis Ababa” or “Finfine”?
To live life in “Addis Ababa” or “Finfine” under a draconian state of emergency which inflicts untold suffering, hardship and misery on the people is not much of a life.
To live in the capital of a police state called “Addis Ababa” or “Finfine”, without dignity, without human rights, without due process and without the rule of law and in fear and trepidation is a life of bondage, captivity and slavery.
It is not the name of the city that counts, it is one’s dignity and freedom in that city that counts.
Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city and capital retains its apartheid Afrikaans name as do others cities and towns. I don’t see South Africans bent out of shape over what to call Johannesburg.
It is not about the name; it is about the game. It’s about the T-TPLF zero-sum game.
It’s about the shame of playing the T-TPLF zero-sum name game.
I have warned time and again that playing a zero-sum game with the T-TPLF will always result in a total loss for those foolish enough to play it. Soren Kierkegaard observed, “There are two ways to be fooled. One is to believe what isn’t true; the other is to refuse to believe what is true.” Take your pick about how you want to be fooled about the T-TPLF!
I don’t want to be misunderstood.
I understand the name game for the capital is another one of the T-TPLF’s weapon of mass distraction, confusion, conjuration, polarization and ethno-exploitation.
I do understand that the T-TPLF is using the “Addis Ababa/Finfine” name game is aimed at starting a war between the “House of Oromos” and the House of Amharas”, just like they started the war between the House of the Montagues and Capulets.
All I am saying is, “I don’t play the name game”. In street talk, “Homey don’t play that!”
The “House of Amharas” should know and fully understand that they are ONE with the House of Oromos. United we stand, divided we fall for T-TPLF tricks and gimmicks and zero-sum games!
Lesson learned: In the end, the Houses of Montague and Capulet proved to be gigantic losers.
Let others play the name game contrived by the T-TPLF.
I want to talk about the return of the T-TPLF land snatchers riding a Trojan horse called “Oromiya Special Interest in Addis Ababa”, or the T-TPLF Masters’ Addis Ababa Plan B.
Return of the Land Snatchers: “Leaked copy” of the T-TPLF Masters’ Plan B for Addis Ababa
In my January 2016 commentary, “Addis Ababa Master Plan? No, the T-TPLF Masters’ Plan!”, I declared my opposition to the so-called Addis Ababa Master Plan (purportedly designed to strategically incorporate municipalities and unincorporated areas surrounding the capital in to a rapidly developing metropolitan economy) and discussed its long-term implications.
That “Master Plan” was opposed by struggling farmers in Oromiya in the periphery of the capital as it meant confiscation of their land for handover to T-TPLF bosses and lackeys.
True to form, the T-TPLF responded by massacring and jailing those opposed to the “Master Plan”. Human Rights Watch reported that since mid-November 2015, T-TPLF “security forces [had] shot dozens of protesters in Shewa and Wollega zones, west of Addis Ababa”; and in the town of Walliso security forces fired “into crowds of protesters leaving bodies lying in the street.”
The popular uprising against the “Master Plan” sent shock waves through the T-TPLF leadership, rank and file and the parasitic elites who tail behind the T-TPLF bosses gobbling up land and property from increasing numbers of poor Oromo farmers who are fast becoming landless, hopeless, voiceless and powerless. The T-TPLF brazenly denied the existence of a real “master plan”; they said it was just ideas for “conceptual analysis”.
In my January 2016 commentary, I also “prophesied” that the T-TPLF will lie low for a while and return with a vengeance to continue with its land grab.
Today, the T-TPLF land snatchers have returned with a vengeance carrying Master Plan B or the “Oromia Special Interest in Addis Ababa Plan.”
According to an allegedly “leaked copy” of the T-TPLF’s “Oromiya Special Interest in Addis Ababa” (hereinafter the T-PLF Masters’ Addis Ababa Plan B) “law” obtained by Horn Affairs (the T-TPLF usually sends up a trial balloon to gauge public opinion when preparing to issue one of its diabolical proclamations) there are various elements to that law.
Empty and Hollow Promises about “self-determination”, etc.
The T-TPLF Master Plan B is essentially a desperate move to pacify and neutralize Oromos and pit them against Amharas and others.
Master Plan B promises, “Oromo residents of the city” a “right to self-determination” and guaranteed representation of “25 percent of the city council membership” strictly based on ethnicity.
This is the T-TPLF’s diabolical version of “power sharing” with Oromos in city government.
But the city government is a wholly owned, operated and managed subsidiary of the T-TPLF.
Back in 2005, Dr. Berhanu Nega was elected mayor of Addis Ababa by a landslide and the T-TPLF promptly declared him an enemy of the state and railroaded him to jail. The T-TPLF itself officially admitted, “In a clean sweep, the CUD [Coalition for Unity and Democracy (Kinijit)] won all the seats in Addis Ababa, both for the Parliament as well and for the city council and expected to form its Government in the capital city.”
Instead of forming a government, Dr. Berhanu and the slew of newly elected parliamentary and council representatives were railroaded to T-TPLF prisons.
Who owns and runs Addis Ababa city government today?
The T-TPLF, of course!
T-TPLF power sharing promises in the past have proven to be empty and hollow and dangerous.
In 1991, the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) which was committed to “self-determination” was made a junior partner of the T-TPLF’s front organization, the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF). The OLF was “given” 4 nominal minister-level positions in the T-TPLF transitional government. The OLF got 12 seats in the constitutional drafting and transitional body. Soon enough, the OLF figured out that the T-TPLF was taking it for a ride and left the front organization. The T-TPLF responded by swiftly outlawing the OLF and declaring it a “terrorist” organization.
The fact of the matter is that the T-TPLF has declared a “terrorist group” any movement that opposes it, and lacking no other viable alternative called for “self-determination”, including the “Ogaden National Liberation Front” and “Western Somali Liberation Front”, “Afar Revolutionary Democratic Unity Front” and others.
The T-TPLF constitution under Art. 39 sets 4 conditions for the exercise of “self-determination” (secession) and “statehood” (Art. 47) . But all conditions for “self-determination” and “statehood” require prior approval of the T-TPLF.
Under Art. 39, one or more of the 4 conditions set forth therein must be met: 1) approval by “two-thirds majority of the members of the Legislative Council of the Nation, Nationality or People” (a wholly-owned subsidiary of the T-TPLF, 2) the “Federal Government [will] organize a referendum” (ha ha! The T-TPLF will organize the “referendum” just like it organized the 2015 elections in which it “won” by 100 percent), 3) “when secession is supported by a majority vote” (organized exclusively by the T-TPLF) and 4) when “Federal Government (T-TPLF) will have transferred its powers to the council of the Nation, Nationality or People who has voted to secede” (when the T-TPLF has transferred power to itself through a referendum”. This is the horse manure of Art. 39.
In other words, for any groups to exercise “self-determination”, they need the approval of the T-TPLF. That is how the T-TPLF allowed Eritrea’s “self-determination”.
Such is the T-TPLF’s zero-sum constitutional game. As ALWAYS, they win the self-determination game and those foolish enough to believe in an imaginary right of self-determination lose, as ALWAYS.
If Oromos should exercise “self-determination” (a factual and theoretical impossibility under Art. 39), so will the others.
That means the T-TPLF would have wiped itself out by allowing the “nations, nationalities and peoples” to exercise of “self-determination”. All of the tens of billions of dollars in looted wealth accumulated by the T-TPLF all over Ethiopia in the past 26 years will vanish into thin air by a simple act of “self-determination”.
Let’s deal with the simple truth: The T-TPLF bosses will NEVER, NEVER allow “self-determination” in Addis Ababa or anywhere else because that would mean their END. Period!
The Big Scam- Cotton Candy for Oromos
In its “Oromiya Special Interest in Addis Ababa”, the T-TPLF is offering the Oromos cotton candy. (For my readers who may not be familiar with cotton candy, it is melted sugar spun at high speeds by centrifugal force to produce a fluffy wool-like texture. It looks big but once in the mouth, it is like eating “sugared air”.)
The T-TPLF is desperately trying to entice Oromos to support it by offering them cotton candy in the form of a special interest in Addis Ababa.
How ironic the T-TPLF is trying to pull the (cotton candy) wool over Oromos’ eyes!
The T-TPLF’s Addis Ababa Master Plan B promises the establishment of an “Oromo National Council by residents of the city”. The Council will allegedly have all sorts of powers and responsibilities. It can “enact laws policies and laws to preserve and promote Oromo language, culture and history”, “nominate the Mayor and the representatives of Oromos in the Cabinet” and “implement decisions” . There will also be a “Joint Council consisting 22 representatives of Oromia government or the Oromo National Council and 22 representatives from the City administration” to “supervise implementation of the laws enacted regarding Oromia’s special interest on Addis Ababa.”
The Council is said to have other “supervisory” functions over “education in Oromo language, protection of the rights of Oromos evicted due to development works in the city and monitoring and assisting the proper implementation of this proclamation and subsidiary legislations.”
The T-TPLF “Addis Ababa Master Plan B” will allegedly guarantee Oromos 25 percent membership on the “Addis Ababa City council”, a body that will be handpicked by the T-TPLF from among their Oromo lackeys. All cotton candy.
Anyone who wants to know how the T-TPLF treats Oromo officials, particularly military officers should read my translation of an interview with a former T-TPLF spy, “The T-TPLF Spook Who Sat by the Jailhouse Door in Ethiopia (Part I).” The spy reported that Oromo officers “become generals. There they are (invited to join the circle of corruption) and allowed to engage in corrupt practices. That’s how they (T-TPLF) corrupt Oromo generals and keep them from achieving top military levels. They don’t want them to get to the top levels.”
Making empty gestures and grandstanding has always been the case in T-TPLF government positions. There will be an Oromo front man in every T-TPLF ministry, but the guy exercising real power is a T-TPLF boss.
Am I lying!?
But that is nothing new. The T-TPLF is merely following an old tried and proven technique from the colonial days of Africa called “indirect rule”. English colonial boss Lord Fredrick Lugard perfected this trick in his book “Dual Mandate in British Tropical Africa. He promoted a policy of enforcing British laws through the traditional rulers who only served as intermediaries between the natives and the British government.
All of the Oromo “councils” and the rest of the make-believe organizations are merely intermediaries and convenient mechanisms for T-TPLF indirect rule.
There is even a provision in the Master Plan B which manifestly violates Art. 9 (supremacy of the “federal constitution”) of the T-TPLF constitution: “Any decision by any authority contradicting the decision of the Joint Council regarding Oromia’s special interests shall have no effect.”
Who will create, own, manage and operate the “Oromo National Council” and “Joint Council”?
The T-TPLF, of course!
The whole Council business is a stupid dog and pony show calculated to bamboozle, hoodwink, dupe and flim-flam Oromos and anyone else foolish enough to fall for it.
Here is the proof: The T-TPLF claimed to have “won” 100 percent of the seats in its kangaroo parliament in May 2015; and by 99.6 percent in 2010. In 2008, in “elections for regional parliaments, the T-TPLF won 1,903 of 1,904 seats.
Does it make any sense to believe the T-TPLF will allow anyone to exercise an independent role on the “Addis Ababa City Council”, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the T-TPLF?
If anyone believes that I have the Brooklyn Bridge to sell them at a fire sale price.
As I explained the negotiation strategy of the T-TPLF in my last commentary, “The Zero-Sum Negotiation Games of the T-TPLF in Ethiopia”, the T-TPLF will use ethnic politics, sectarianism, regionalism, etc. to divide and conquer the “opposition” in negotiations, elections or any other competition. They will throw crumbs to the various opposition groups and leaders just to watch them fight and tear each other up. It is like the master throwing a bone to a bunch of hungry dogs. The dogs will kill each other to get a piece of the bone. That is how the T-TPLF plays the opposition game and that is the aim of Master Plan B.
The T-TPLF also promises to restore “historic names of various parts of the city “, commemorated Oromo heroes by naming buildings, roads and facilities”, “allot television and radio airtime for Oromo language programs” and “educate the public to know and acknowledge Oromo’s historic ownership of and forced dispossession from Addis Ababa.” That means it will officially promote the politics of ethnic hate and antagonism.
The T-TPLF is throwing out red meat to Oromos and excite jealousy and unleash enmity against them by offering them “special” and preferred group status.
The T-TPLF promises Oromos “land, free of lease payment” in the capital for construction of public, charitable and cultural buildings and “market places”. “Oromo residents of the capital are to be given “15% priority” to buy or rent condominium housing provided by the City Administration.” Oromos will have “priority right to use public squares, centers, halls, stadiums, etc.” and “establish schools that provide education in Oromo language for Oromo residents of the city.” “implement affirmative actions to attain fair wealth distribution between the indigenous Oromo population and the majority population residing in the city.” prevent or minimize the dumping of waste to Oromia.
The nonsense about a “15% priority” in buying or renting condos is laughable. How would struggling Oromo farmers who have been evicted from their land be able to afford the expensive condos in the capital. Even the cheaper condos in the capital run over one-half million birr.
The truth of the matter is that land for the T-TPLF is BIG BUSINESS. They are drowning in money by evicting Oromo farmers drowning in poverty.
According to one report, “the Addis Ababa City administration, for example, expropriates land from farmers by paying displacement compensation calculated at 18 birr/m2 and subdivides and transfers it by leases to private residents for an average of 8,000 birr. Assuming farmers have an average land size of 1 ha (10,000 m2) one can imagine the size of profit that is collected by the government, while leaving the farmer with insignificant amount of compensation.”
Buy at 18 birr and sell at 8,000 birr. How obscene and sickening to make profits over the backs of poor families. (Excuse me, but I am trying not to vomit!)
Simply stated, 15% of nothing is nothing! That is exactly what the T-TPLF is offering the struggling Oromo farmers in the periphery of the capital.
Land expropriation is BIG business for the T-TPLF.
The T-TPLF believes all of the bogus preferential treatment crap will be the perfect wedge issues for ethnic division.
What will it take for the Amharas, the Gurages, Ogadenis, Afaris, Anuaks… to get special status, privileges, treatment and priority by the T-TPLF?
Who the hell made the T-TPLF the dispenser of special status, privileges, treatment and priority? An old Ethiopian proverb teaches, “A brazen thief will argue with the rightful owner.” The T-TPLF steals the land and now makes itself the landlord to distribute the land back to the rightful owners. What the hell?!
The whole message of the “Oromiya Special Interest” campaign is that Oromos are in training for first class citizenship to become like the T-TPLF members and supporters. T-TPLF members and supporters have a chokehold on the economy, civil service, military and political process. Addis Ababa will be a training ground for Oromos to get used to feeling first class citizenship and do, behave and act like T-TPLFers.
Of course, Oromos will never have real “priority” in anything. That is reserved permanently for the T-TPLF bosses and their supporters.
The Oromo “affirmative action” program promised in the T-TPLF Addis Ababa Master Plan B is the most insulting, degrading, disrespectful and dehumanizing provision. It is also manifestly contrary to Art. 25 of the T-TPLF constitution, “All persons are equal before the law and are entitled without any discrimination to the equal protection of the law… and are guaranteed equal and effective protection without discrimination on grounds of race, nation, nationality, or other social origin…” (See also Art. 42(4), 88(2).
The T-TPLF “proclamation” law reminds me of the proclamation of the pigs who control the government in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm”: “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others”.
By the same token, all members of ethnic groups in Ethiopia are equal, but some ethnic group members are more equal than others.
How life imitates art in the T-TPLF pig sty!
The intended effect is obvious. Non-Oromos will resent Oromos for their “special privileges”. Non-Oromos will associate Oromos as T-TPLF lackeys and allies. Non-Oromos will discriminate against Oromos. Oromos will get little, if anything, out of the “special privileges” and “deals” offered by the T-TPLF. The only thing they will get is T-TPLFers in Oromo faces. It reminds me of Franz Fanon’s book “Black Skin, White Faces” on the psychological games played by the colonial conquerors on the natives. The colonial master believed that allowing the slave to eat at his table was a gift for which the slave should be grateful.
The role of “Oromia government” is limited to “proposing and being consulted on draft policies, plans and legislations pertinent to Oromo residents of the city and the relationship between the city and Oromia.” They have the right “to propose amendments to this proclamation.” The right to propose is for suckers (fools). Anybody can propose anything. End poverty in the world. Equality for all people. Human rights for all humans.
The issue is never who can propose, the issue is always who disposes.
Who has the right to dispose in the Addis Ababa Master Plan B?
The T-TPLF, of course!!!
The Real (Raw) Deal for the Oromos
Hidden deep in the rubbish and garbage of the “Oromiya’s special interest in Addis Ababa proclamation” is the T-TPLF’s crown jewel: The ultimate plan to incorporate and gobble up land in the periphery of the capital so that T-TPLF bosses and businesses could expand their holdings and Oromo farmers become beggars in the street of the capital.
The T-TPLF Master’s Addis Ababa Plan B proclaims:
The [Addis Ababa] city shall provide various services for communities living in the surrounding Oromia districts.
The city shall pay compensation, at market price rate, when it evicts Oromos from lands within the city and resettle them within the same vicinity.
The city boundary shall be determined by a mutual agreement of the city administration and Oromia state government. The demarcation shall be completed within 6 months of the enactment of this proclamation.
What a clever con game to dispossess and expropriate land of struggling Oromo farmers!
Here is the T-TPLF trick.
First, the so-called “surrounding communities” adjacent to the capital will be integrated into the city in the name of providing “various services”.
The city cannot provide services to residents, let alone the “surrounding communities. There are over 100,000 children living in the streets in Addis Ababa. Water supply in the capital is so bad in 2017 that “going through an entire week or even a month without water has become common in many areas of the city.” The capital city (indeed the whole country) “does not have the facilities, equipment and human resource with the essential skills to support a coordinated emergency medical care system and as such lacks the basic infrastructure for delivering emergency care.”
What services could the city provide the “surrounding communities” except eviction and expropriation services?
Second, Oromos in the “surrounding communities” will, without any doubt, be “evicted” from their lands for “resettlement.” That is because the whole Master Plan B is to “integrate” the peripheral areas into the city so that there will be no periphery, just an ever expanding Addis Ababa without limits or boundaries.
How could evicted Oromo farmers be able to afford a condo and living expenses in Addis Ababa?
The cost of living in Addis Ababa is so high that only T-TPLF fat cats, members, supporters and lackeys can afford to live there. The figures are stunning. A four-person family needs nearly USD$2,000 a month (without rent) to live in Addis Ababa. Other reports make similar findings. Power outages and water supply cutoffs are the ugly realities of every day life in the capital. T-TPLF taxes are wiping out non-T-TPLF businesses.
Per capita income in Ethiopia, according to the World Bank is “$590 [which] is substantially lower than the regional average” and the “government aspires to reach lower-middle income status over the next decade.”
What a joke!!!
This business of taking away and giving back Oromo land makes no sense to me; but a lot of sense for the T-TPLF.
If the T-TPLF has so much free land to give away to Oromos in the city of Addis Ababa after evicting them out of the periphery of the capital, why take away their land in the first place? Leave them the hell alone!
Why does the T-TPLF need more land in Oromiya?
There was the scramble for Africa hatched at the Berlin Conference in 1884. Are we witnessing a T-TPLF scramble for Oromo land in 2017?
Third, the “city boundary” is said to be “determined” by “Oromia state government” and the city of Addis Ababa, both T-TPLF lackeys.
This is simply a scam. The entire T-TPLF plan is to encroach on lands adjacent to the city so that T-TPLF can make Addis Ababa a full-fledged independent city-state of business, trade, commerce and politics under the total, complete and exclusive control of the T-TPLF.
That was precisely the aim of the Addis Ababa Master Plan A which sought to strategically incorporate municipalities and unincorporated areas surrounding the capital in to a “rapidly developing metropolitan economy”. But the people of Oromia fought back and temporarily defended their land. Now, they have to do it all over again!
The Addis Ababa Master Plan A was a World Bank/T-TPLF conspiracy calculated to displace struggling Oromo farmers and convert their land into private estates for use by the T-TPLF extended “royal families” and parasitical elites.
In July 2015, The World Bank issued a report entitled, “Addis Ababa, Ethiopia: Enhancing Urban Resilience.”
That report argued Addis Ababa must be a resilient city, and “building a resilient city therefore requires a holistic, multi-sectoral, and flexible approach to urban development.”
How can Addis Ababa become more resilient? The report says the city must take “priority actions” which include first and foremost, “effective implementation of the Integrated Development Plan and related regulations” and investments in infrastructure projects.
“Integrated development plan”, according to the World Bank means “connecting people with rapidly growing regions” and connecting “smaller cities” and regions “by transport and linked to the electricity grid, smaller cities can attract industries for which the more advanced cities have become too expensive.”
In ordinary language, “integrated development plan” for Addis Ababa means disintegrating poor Oromo farmers and their families and scattering them into the wind.
But there is another sinister strategy underlying the T-TPLF Addis Ababa Master Plan B and all of the cozying up to Oromos with empty and hollow promises. They want to make a separate peace with the Oromos so that they can wage a separate war on the Amharas.
It is indeed a brilliantly slick strategy worthy of Sun Tzu’s “Art of War”: 1) Subdue the enemy without fighting. 2) Break the enemy’s resistance without fighting. 3) When two of your enemies are fighting, befriend one to use against the other. 4) When you move against the enemy be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness and soundlessness. In other words, be sneaky and cunning like a fox.
The whole effort to bribe the Oromos with free land, priority in housing, affirmative action, special status and privileges has one singular aim: Pacify, placate, neutralize and befriend them so that the T-TPLF can amass all of its forces against the Amahras.
The T-TPLF declared a state of emergency because both Oromos and Amharas together rose up against its rule. The T-TPLF was losing the war on the Amhara and Oromo front. That’s why it brought back its troops from Somalia in October 2016 to deal with the uprising in Oromiya and Amhara regions. If the state of emergency is lifted, they will all go right back to where they left off in October 2016.
The T-TPLF cannot handle two wars at the same time now.
I will say it again: The T-TPLF believes it can buy off and bribe Oromos with empty and hollow promises and cotton candy to bring them to their side which will give them free rein to lower the hammer (or artillery) on the Amharas with full force.
Once the T-TPLF takes care of the Amhara resistance, they will set in motion their corollary strategy. Hammer the Oromos!
That’s how the T-TPLF almost got away with its scam moving formlessly and soundlessly in its Addis Ababa Master Plan B.
That’s how the T-TPLF land snatchers are riding their Trojan horse in Oromia today. Sun Tzu would have been so proud!
The fact of the matter is that whatever proclamations the T-TPLF Masters of the Zero-Sum game publish, it will not be worth the paper it is written on. It is all a desperate move by the T-TPLF to break out of the trap it set for itself in its state of emergency decree.
Those non-TPLFers who seriously talk about “Oromia Special Interest in Addis Ababa Plan” should ask themselves a simple question: Are the T-TPLF constitution and all of the T-TPLF proclamations over the past 26 years worth the papers they are written on?
All Oromos want are the rights of first class citizenship enjoyed by all free peoples throughout the world—the right to equality, justice, dignity, human rights, vote in a free and fair elections and live peacefully under the rule of law. They don’t need no “priority”, “affirmative action”, special privileges or free land given to them after it is stolen from them.
Oromos are legendary for their equestrianship (horsemanship).
The Oromos, united, locked arm-in arm with all of their Ethiopian brothers and sisters from north to south, from west to east, without regard to ethnicity, religion, language or region, will never be defeated by the T-TPLF’s Trojan horse of the Apocalypse!
In the end, there is a lesson to be learned. The Houses of Montague and Capulet proved to be gigantic losers.
The “House of Oromos” and the “House of Oromos” should know and fully understand that they are ONE.
United we stand, divided we fall for T-TPLF tricks, gimmicks and zero-sum games!
Stop toying with, pandering to, patronizing and scamming Oromos!
First class citizenship for Oromos, not cotton candy!