Oromo: Ethiopian Repression of Opposition Supporters
October 30, 2006 — In his recent speech in parliament, Prime Minister Meles Zenawi threatened for an increased campaign in
Because of growing protest in the country, in May 2005 he went on the BBC and the Ethiopian Television promising the same people he is incriminating today that his government is ready for a dialogue with the Oromo Liberation Front. That was a piece of rhetoric to disorient and freeze public detest for his fascist system. Some also say that his interest to isolate and talk with OLF, then, was intended to pity OLF and CUD supporters against each other to buy himself more time in power.
The implications of the speech
There is nothing inherently new about this speech by Zenawi. Since 1991 people are used to his threatening and intimidating speeches whenever he faces strong popular uprising. After and in the run up to elections in 2005, for instance, he used some strong words and phrases intending to govern by fear. You may look at such words in the following sentences: “anyone trying to subvert the constitutional order, will be crashed in the buds. Once the red line is crossed, the only option we have is to fight and all that happens in such circumstances will happen”. By ‘red line’ he meant intense protest and demand for freedom. The laws of war, and not civil laws, he asserted, would judge protests crossing his imaginary red line. Amazingly, Meles threatens the people he leads more than
Meles did not just stop at his words. He did kill in hundreds according to the current inquiry into the excessive use of power by government to squash opposition. Thousands are behind the bar because of opposition membership and support as you read. In essence, the pattern in Meles speech suggests some ensuing enhanced persecutions of the Oromo people.
Secondly, deconstructing Meles speeches just reveals his true fascist or nazi nature. When compared to the 1995 constitution that his government drafted, his speeches show how he and his ruling minority elites are above the constitution itself. This is not new too. He has always been above the law. Coming to the point of his threatening the Oromo population with more killings and imprisonings, we see that chapter 4 and 5 of the 1995 Ethiopian constitution provides for the protection of basic human rights and democratic rights. In these rights are included the right to life, movement, association and assembly, inter alia. Whatever good provisions there are in that constitution, none is guaranteed or implemented as the constituion is in reality the personal document for the prime minister and other ruling elites to quote from only to justify that the violations they are carrying out are in line with what they themselves call “the constitutional order”.
Always before the Meles security forces crackdown on the Oromo, and for that matter anyone else, his elites will go into schools and homes and place some hand grenades, false documents plotting to overthrow the government. Later, one of his commanders or himself appear on TV and say that we have searched the houses of this and that group and found weapons and documents that are to be used to subvert ‘the constitutional order’. But when the government subverts ‘the constitutional order’ this is protecting the ‘constitutional order’, not violating it, which it actually is. The regime suffers from cycles of such blatant lies in justifying its own versions of fascism and nazism.
Sometimes the tricks in implementing Meles speeches and plans are so bloody and gruesome that the regime itself explodes bombs on private hotels and blames it on oppositions such as Oromo Liberation Front. Or even it bombs city buses and taxies on highways to terrorise the public at the end of which no perpetrator is traced. Lives of people are dashed for no reason. For people in Oromia sate or in
Reactions from the West
a) The European Union
Through its European Union Election observers like Anna Gomes, it has already discovered the destructive behaviours of Meles Zenawi’s regime to initiating a peaceful democratic transition involving all oppositions. Of course, Gomes and her team deserve applauses for that. They have seen opposition leaders and supporters being jailed and they reacted rightly by having EU to deny monetary aid to the regime that is only a killing machine. Some EU diplomats in
The U.S.A like