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Ethiopia’s Oromo diaspora uses Web to dissent, debate in absence of press freedom

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04/05/12

  11:20:52 pm, by admin, 193 words  
Categories: Ethiopia

Ethiopia’s Oromo diaspora uses Web to dissent, debate in absence of press freedom

Ethiopia’s Oromo diaspora uses Web to dissent, debate in absence of press freedom

By Emily Wax

There may be at least four different factions with varying viewpoints on whether the Oromo, the largest ethnic group in Ethiopia, should pursue the birth of an independent country or reform the existing Ethiopian state.

But one thing is clear: social media and the Internet have become a powerful tool for debate among the Oromo diaspora, which stretches from Minnesota to Washington D.C. to the Netherlands. Online, the diaspora discusses issues that range from the persecution of the Oromo back in Ethiopia to the infighting among Oromo political factions outside the country. The Oromo number as many as 40 million, according to some estimates.

The Web site conversation comes at a time when the Ethiopian government has been accused of cracking down on and jailing both Oromo leaders and people from its domestic media. Ethiopia is “the second-leading jailer of journalists in Africa,” only after its arch-foe Eritrea, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists. It has one of the largest numbers of exiled journalists in the world, the committee says. ­­

Read More from The Washington Post

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Comment from: Yomiyu oromia [Visitor]
Yomiyu oromia

Unity in today’s ethiopia is unthinkable. we have suffered for too long and the idea of forming the new ethiopia is dead a long time ago. The majority of Oromos want to pursue the birth of an independent country and thousands of Oromos have secrificed their lives for that cause. kamal gentu’s OLF has 0 support from Oromos in Oromia or Diaspora. I believe that the liberation of Oromia is not far and all Oromos must work together to free our Country.

04/06/12 @ 00:53
Comment from: Dejazmach Habesha [Visitor]
Dejazmach Habesha

One must look at reality. This is a dead issue. I dont know why it has gotten this much useless media attention. The most recent media updates on OLF, Oromia struggle etc, what were they?

1.The diaspora oromos on cyberspace
2. A oromo in dc with his buddies sipping coffee after abandoning struggle.
3. OLF abandoned struggle.
4. OLF Kemal joins G7.

What do these reports have in common?

THEY ALL HAPPENED OUTSIDE ETHIOPIA.

While inside Ethiopia, nothing changed, nobody noticed, noone cares. Remember the TPLF had support of 4 million Tigres to start struggle and they rattled the country. If OLF really had the support that Yomiyu above claims of over 30 million ppl their would be no peace ever.

The OLF is dead. It hasnt launched any attacks in the past 5 years. They have no support among the ppl. If they were really imprinted in the hearts and minds of the majority of Oromos trust me the Oromos wouldnt be talking about cyber fighting, they would be fighting civil war. But there is no desire among Oromos for succession.

What will OLF joining G7 do to change this? Both groups have very few fighters based in Eritrea. Both are weak. Both have existed for a long time (OLF 40 years now, G7 since 2000 under name EPPF), both have accomplished nothing. Meeting after meeting leads to more barking and no biting.

I challenge the respected nazret.com opposition commentator named “omo” to give me his thoughts on my views. Being the only coolheaded one among a pack of clowns here, I hope you can see for yourself and let others know that this is a story made out of nothing.

04/06/12 @ 02:25
Comment from: C'est moi senait [Visitor]
C'est moi senait

I have observed and found out that most of these so called olf and what ever they call themselves are a well org. Somalians paid by shabia embassies in the west to act as olf and go out demonstrat in every western cities. 95% are not Ethiopians .

They are all somalians refugees supported by shabians and Al-. Shababa .

Take my word. You do not find any one from Ethiopia south.

04/06/12 @ 06:22
Comment from: Hasan [Visitor]
Hasan

Dear Emly, I appreciate for your swift compromise for your last week biased article Published on the Washington post. Now it gives me some sense, even though some misconceptions are still persisting on your compromise, for example the flag you used in this report neither represent the Oromo people nor even the current Ethiopia. Probably this flag represents the G-7 of Berahanu and his servants like Kemal Galchu and his co. Or it is absolutely the ancient Abyssinian flag. We Oromo people have our own flag.

04/06/12 @ 08:35
Comment from: heny [Visitor]
heny

Emily Wax
Let alone the intricate socio-economic ground of the people of Oromo, you do not seem to know an iota of knowledge about Ethiopia and even when in Africa the great counrry, Ethiopia is located. Just hush up and look for other topics to mess up.

04/06/12 @ 10:20
Comment from: girmay [Visitor]
girmay

What is the problem of living with other Ethiopians? When world is shrinking and becoming a village segregation of this poor country into small pieces doesn’t hold water, doesn’t benefit anyone except TPLF and EPLF. They gave us 100 years assignment, we have lived to their requirement and design over the last 20% years; unless and otherwise OLF re-engineer itself and genuinely stand for the oppressed people and rule of law rein of TPLF anarchism will continue. Don’t forget that divide and conquer is the Game of TPLF and EPLF. OLF without reform is on the wrong side of history and a loveable friend to TPLF and EPLF. It will continue to be instrument for the arrest, torture and killing of thousands of Oromo’s.

God bless Ethiopian and keep its people united.

04/06/12 @ 12:35
Comment from: Guta Hussien [Visitor]
Guta Hussien

Yaa Ilmaa biyya (My country boy)
First General Kemal is a Hero, he is not “Gentu” as you said. Remember General Kemal & others who risen from TPLF govt. and joined the struggle had a lot of benefit and all kind of way to be rich, that is not what makes them happy. Their happiness is the freedom of their country from TPLF. Please Please do not make mistake by simply General Kemal has different idea to bring freedom of Ethiopians from TPLF. Again you can have a different idea, but that does not mean somebody with diffrent idea is “gentu”
Anilee ilmaa biyyattit garu akka amman dura idametti wanti ta’ru hinjiru kanafu akkatta mirga uumatinni keenna argatte kanumma hindhabinne, ammalee haala ba’ina uumata Oromoottin yoo olantumma biyya Itiyyophiyya kessatti argatu ka dandeenu ta’ee mirgii amma argamees ta’ee kan caalulee itti nu dabalam. Ani amma si yaada general kamaal si fudhachiisuuf osuu/otuu hinta’in general kamaal leenchaa yaada kan atti barbaddu wanta hin adeemsifineef “gantu"gechuun kee sirri mitti.
I’m sure you mee you will say me “gantu” as well but I as well as General Kemal are true brother of all Oromo in particular and Ethiopians in general. Their is not wrong to be an Oromo and Ethiopians, we all are the same different language and religion is the richness of Ethiopia, please all group made mistake (be it purposefully or unknoweledge) what is better is let us come together and work together for beter Ethiopia. Leave the past for Hisory let’s look for ward. Think of the direction of world. America is a great country with 50 states united and why not Ethiopia also strong country with all working together.
Mee humna keennalee, akkata aduynaalee, humna TPLF lee rakinna nu kessa jirulee rakko worri birallee nurraa geessanilee haa xinxxaluu. Akkattan dhabinni Oromoon irraa caalan jallattu ABO/OLF kannan dura deemaa ture doggora jechu osuu hin taane yerro amma (based on reality eessayyu nu hingeessu) kanaaf haala qabsoodhaa jijjirudhaan gara tokkommaa Itiyyophiyyattin mirga keenna argachuun barreddadha. Mee ilaali TPLF maqaa jaraa TPLF gara EPRDF jijjirani biyyatti bitta jiru yoo keenna rakkini maalidha ani nu gadhaan sin jedhaa OLF jechuu firri kiyya bayyeetu ajefamman, rakko irraas jiru garo osoo OLF maqaa isalee jijjiree kan Itiyyophiyya ofitti mogasse I have no problem all I need is better life for all Ethiopians, true equality, true democracy. The TPLF system is wrong, even I have a few points to credit TPLF they are the 1 force to bring down derg (for sure with Eritreans), TPLF because of OLF they give a limited right to oppressed people like Oromo, TPLF has done a good amount of development (specially road work, education (but quality is not there) & health. Of course the disaster of TPLF is far beyond their little positive work.
Do not think I’m a confused guy I’m not I know TPLF is the 2nd bad ruler of Ethiopia next to Derg (this is my opinion) and I proud of my oromumma and love to keep my Ethiopian identity as well( in short I’m always an Oromo Ethiopian).
Think local and act global.

04/06/12 @ 13:16
Comment from: abel [Visitor]
abel

What impress me on this article is the phrase Ethiopian oromo.That is what I love to hear and Ethiopian should should start to believe.Let everyone proud to be his identity.It is because he is oromo that he can be Ethiopian .The same is true with all ethnics in Ethiopia.Ethiopia will be stronger with all of us.There is no Ethiopia with out O T A G and all the beautiful race,…what ever you name it.
Ethiopian oromo or oromo Ethiopian I like it.
I respect and love all races in Ethiopia.Be proud of your identity and love your people and your country.Our difference is our beauty.What you have I dont have it ,What I have ,you may not have it.I am ready to share.
God bless Mama Ethiopia

04/06/12 @ 14:20
Comment from: oromo pride [Visitor]
oromo pride

G7 IS A FAKE AHMARA KOMATA ORGANIZATION AND THEIR VERSION OF OLF HAS 3 SUPPORTERS ONLY. I EVEN HEARD THE GUY THEY CALL BIRR AHUN IS NOT AHMARA BUT GURAGA AND PRETEND TO SPEAK FOR AHMARA BUT A TRUE AHMARA STATED OLF IS DEAD AND MUST BE IGNORED. G7 IS A FAKE, CURRUPT ORGANIZATION THAT HAS NO SUPPORT BY OROMO PEOPLE. WE OROMOS WANT AN INDEPENDENT OROMIA. DEATH TO KOMATA AHMARA, EITHER LEAVE OROMIA OR WE WILL WIPE YOU OUT LIKE THE OLD MAN FAMILY WE KILLED HIS WIFE AND CHILDREN AND DUMPED THEIR BODY IN WATER WELL. LEAVE OROMIA NOW KOMATA AHMARAS.

04/06/12 @ 17:08
Comment from: Alarming Time [Visitor]
Alarming Time

Wait. Oromos must come together when it comes to their people and country’s’ welfare. It is the stand of Oromos that extended the life’s of Woyane.

Now Woyane is in the making of ethnic cleansing. Segregating people by their ethnic identity.

What is next and why would any government take on such expensive and difficult task on a poor budget and back breaking event on poor citizens leaving a established life to start a very difficult life somewhere they never been before?

Unless Woyane government is into a much more sinister plot? Genocide!!! That is what Woyane is going to do.

People react and save your people’s life. Let the world know. Alarm the world. Stop Genocide before it takes place. It may already have happened.

04/06/12 @ 17:20
Comment from: john john [Visitor]
john john

Stop right there using one of the great nation name of Ethiopia for your own advantage former Somalia leader try to use our HANGAFA nation to divide and cause but failed.

04/06/12 @ 23:46
Comment from: ft [Visitor]
ft

Emily Wax of Washington Post has run out of any thing worthy to report so what does she do; she is adding fuel to the fire.Persecution of Oromos in Ethiopia? has she been to Ethiopia and witnessed this or is she just echoing the dissatisfied diaspora?…. The journalism of our days!

04/07/12 @ 04:12
Comment from: Ethiopian by blood [Visitor]
Ethiopian by blood

Yomiyu Oromia(aka Sahabian cyber cadre)

It is unlikely that your dream to see a dismembered Ethiopia will materialize before the already ripe Red sea Afar struggle to secede from Eritrea bears fruit..let’s put it this way, It is a simple formula that It is much easier to dismantle an object with 9 pieces as opposed to dismantling 81 pieces.

04/07/12 @ 06:29
Comment from: Barentu Borena [Visitor]
Barentu Borena

EMAILLY WAX,
Eventhoug you released group 7 base or centered idea last week saying ethiopian separatist disarm,….. community,that is really fake by the people who call them self as oromo(if they are really oromo nobody can think to live in ethiopia with other nations,except they are from another planet, or those who do not know the history of ethiopia and oromia,or those who try to fool oromo people weather speaking afan oromo or getting oromo name(fooling oromo is gone in 50s and 60s,we are in 21st century when oromia flourished many intellectuals and scholrs than any nation in ethiopia than any time) to block oromo sruggle for libretion from the so called ethiopia and to rule oromo oppressing politically,culturally,economically and linguistically,those people who are trying to decide the fate of oromo with the rest of oromo have to know that oromos in ethiopia right know are got made and expresing their feeling through social medias that those traitors are hearing, so who they gonna librate?Other nations and nationalities? that is up to them but they are fooling themselves than fooling oromos, until oromo students are living those who knows history uniting the so called republic of ethiopia gonna be left dream!And emalY lastly as you mentioned some trueth between the two on this you expected to to same thing on last week press release,even you mentioned that some oromo natioanls get maad with baseless release 7 people centered ideology rather than 45 million oromo people residing in the horn of africa! thank you to replace that,forward we are waiting from you to relaese the fact of oromo liberation under the leader of OLF than the traitors or faction,we have to talk about majority primarly then the factions because we claim ourself for the progress of democracy!!!

04/07/12 @ 15:08
Comment from: obsaa [Visitor]
obsaa

The limitless reasons which Abysinian (Amhara+Tigrean)colonialists raise to discourage the struggle of Oromia, Ogadenia and others for independence is unacceptable, illogical and rubish. I wanna to explain more.

1. About half-casts:

The fate of those individuals which are born from parents coming from different ethnic groups is addressed in the same way as similar practices across the globe. Ogadenia, Oromia and others are not the only nations to struggle for independence. Many nations have overthrown their collonialists and got their independence. In those cases too, there were inter-ratial or inter-ethnic marriages between colonizers and colonies.

2. Change of Political Program
It is not the first time for Abysinians to form a pseudo political organization for Oromos. They have done it time and again. For example TPLF has formed a pseudo political organization called OPDO . This organization is currently working as a TPLF army residing in Oromia contrary to its name. The so called New OLF is deliberately formed by an Amhara political group called Ginbot 7. But all such deceivings havenot worked and will not work. We, oromos, know very well which political organization is struggling for us and which is not. We donot need any lecture from any body.

3. The Case of South Ethiopia

Another argument neftegnas/habeshas/Abysinians raise to confuse oromos is about the fate of South Ethiopians after independence of Oromia. My answer to this silly question is: the cause for which oromos struggle is also prevalent in Southern Ethiopian People. Neither Abysinians nor oromos have the right to decide on the fate of southern Ethiopians. How Southern Ethiopians continue life after the independence of oromia is decided by Southern Ethiopians themselves, not by Abysinians. On the top of that Abysinians must know that the cause that leads oromia to independence is also prevalent in South Ethiopia.

4. On OLF Achievements So far
Another nonsense argument Abysinians try to use to frustrate oromo nationalists is about the length of time it has taken OLF to achieve its goals. They usually describe that OLF has to stop fighting as it has fought for 40 and so years with no gain. Why Abysinians are worried for the so called failure of OLF while oromos are not? The truth is that they are worried by the achievements of OLF so far, not by the failure. OLF made oromos to be proud of their language, identity, culture, unity. OLF made oromo political problems recognized by the international community. Today young oromo grew up as oromos, not as Abysiniazed oromos. This is a bif psychological achievement. Though, the main goal of OLF is yet to be achieved,OLF has already done a multitude of good things for its people. Whether it takes 40 years or more, we donot accept to live under slavery. We are dtermined to struggle for the freedom and soveigrnity Oromia.The real OLF and the oromo people will never surrender its struggle due to the length of years/time it takes to finish the job. Not only time sacrifice, we are ready to pay any kind of sacrifice to get back our nation which has been occupied some 130 years by Abysinians.

04/07/12 @ 16:16

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