The Rev. Martin Luther King once said, “Riot is the language of the unheard”.
Looking at the burning cars and destroyed farms, I can’t help it but remember the MLK quote once again. It is very sad to report death and destruction but it looks like the inevitable is happening in Ethiopia. This is what happens when a Government goes crazy and lose all control and respect from its people. Ever since the start of Oromo Protest, we hoped the Government will look into the problem and come up with a reasonable compromise that respects the rights of people while putting reliable effort to secure law and order. Yet, time and again, the government chose to pour gas on the fire to make things even worse. Case in point, look at the way the Oromo protest metastasized to spread every where and get worse by day. Look how a constitutionally guaranteed inquiry about Wolkaite, which can be easily answered by round table discussion, turn into a bloody mess that gave birth to Amhara protest only to join hands with Oromo protest making it the biggest protest the government yet faced.
The government also made the last cool heads powerless, cool heads that used to urge protesters to struggle non-violently, by killing hundreds at Irreechaa and the rest of the country. While the government works day and night to convince Western donors about the reckless killing of Irreecha goers by blaming diaspora activists, Egypt, Eritrea, OLF and my personal favorite the victims themselves for running while a tear gas, live bullets, humvees with hooded soldiers and army helicopters descending on them. Those attended spoke and most of us watch live videos caught the government lying to our face and once again showed us the utter disrespect the government has for the rights of its citizens and culture. Even those that gave the government the benefit of the doubt, now know, not a drop of solution comes from the so-called leaders of EPRDF.
In one of my posts here, I explained how the government is building house of cards by advertising a looted land as a perfect investment opportunity to sometimes unsuspected and sometimes greedy investors. The government opening business pitch always was “cheap land and cheap labor” without explaining how they acquire the land to begin with. Now the same investors are the victims of a failed policy and their businesses kept on burning. “everything is gone, Tens million investment went up in smokes in one day” wrote the owner of Esmeralda farms after his farm burned by the protesters in Amhara region. International media’s that looked the other way when people got killed now report in such an amazing speed to report distraction of properties. Making us to believe the priority is always wealth before the well beings of human beings. It is always a bad day when innocent people whether they are Americans or Ethiopians pay dearly with their life for the stupidity of politicians.
It is time for all Ethiopians to carefully weigh and do a soul searching about what they value the most. The way it is going right now, our country will not stand. It is time to put our differences aside and save our country first. By our country I mean, the core value that binds us together not that make us different. If there is anyone out there that believe the direction of the country is right, I leave them to their fantasy but for the rest of us it is time to buckle up and speak our truth. No western leader will save our country, no western journalist will shine the light to the atrocities as we witnessed it. We are the solution we are waiting for!
Say it loud, It is not OK to kill innocent people. It is not OK to kill children, firing at celebrations, burning prisons, mass imprisonment, torture, creating ethnic clashes, looting land, selling looted land, violating boarders, stealing votes, shutting down oppositions, arresting journalists, enabling fake journalists, making one ethnicity above others, cronyism, nepotism, bad governance, harassing citizens. Spying on citizens, crying foul while doing foul and so on and on ………have to stop and need to be removed!
It is also equally important not to be what we hate by attacking people or properties based on ethnicity or political choice. The past nine months Oromo protesters showed amazing resistance and tolerance towards fellow citizens and that is something that needs to continue even in the face of unspeakable injustice. The government and its supporters are trying to blame the very people they are killing for the very crime they are committing but nothing will be further from the truth. The entire Ethiopian people know and understand the long history that binds us together shall not be distorted by fabricated propaganda of hate mongers.
When all the viable venue to raise concern exhausted, when the land of their ancestors taken from them forcefully, when prisons are full of families, when there is no accountability for crimes against human rights, when the spilled blood of loved ones goes unnoticed, when the last place they considered sacred defiled by the bullets of dictators. What exactly we expect to happen?