The taking to court of the Oromo nationalists is not only wrong, but it is contemptible, it is a taboo and unOromo way
The taking to court of the Oromo nationalists is not only wrong, but it is contemptible, it is a
In the height of its conspiracy to undo the Oromo Liberation struggle for independence, the Asmara Group (aka Shanee) took officials and members of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) to the Fourth Judicial District Court of Minnesota, USA, on 19th of July 2007. As one well knows, since its split from the OLF in 2001, Shanee has made every effort to savagely undermine and destroy the OLF, its principle and the objectives it wants to achieve. After its attempts to undermine the OLF had failed and after its hostile ideas toward the Liberation of Oromia were soundly defeated, Shanee begun seeking the alliance of colonialist organizations. Having found them, it made peace, agreements and alliance with them and named the alliance the AFD (Alliance for Freedom and Democracy) to jointly fight the OLF. Again, having failed to achieve its intended goal in the fight, it sought the aid, guidance and advice of its alliance. The alliance advised Shanee to take another channel, the legal action, to incapacitate the OLF and stop its mission of liberating Oromia. That channel is to take the OLF to court. And so Shanee did. In taking the OLF to the courts, Shanee has attempted to change the forms of the Oromo struggle from armed, political and diplomatic to legal form in the courts. Here Shanee’s attempt is to legally restrict and curtail the movements of OLF officials and members in the U.S. and beyond so as to preclude them from informing the American public about the Oromo plight, their cause and their struggle. This is the highest form of betrayal. However, that also turned out a political kiss of death for Shanee.
Well, history is not short of men who are willing and able to betray their country. And it has already registered many such men who by treachery and disloyalty exposed their country to its enemies. If one glances a generation or even a millennia back, one can come across the names of those men who betrayed their country. Of course, one may betray ones friend or ones country. Here are a few such betrayals.
For instance, as individual Julius Caesar had Marcus Brutus; The Holy Man Jesus Christ had Judas Iscariot; and as a country Norway had Vidkun Quisling who surrendered Norway to Nazis; France had Philippe Pertain who surrendered France to Nazis; America had Benedict Arnold who fought on the side of British to keep America in the fold of British Empire during American Revolutionary war for independence and the Oromia had Gobana Daacee who surrendered Oromia to Abyssinia in bloody wars, the wars in which he aided and abetted Abyssinians. Today in the twenty-first-century, Oromia once again have Shanee (the Asmara group), the crop of ideological offspring of Gobana Daacee, who joined Abyssinians to fight to maintain Oromia in the fold of the Ethiopian Empire, in the name of the democratization of the Ethiopian Empire against the wishes and aspiration of our people- - their independence. Today the names of such men are synonymous with traitors and collaborationists. They are traitors, since they betray and surrender their people, their people’s cause and the wishes, aspiration and the trust of their people and they are collaborationists, since they collaborate, cooperate, join and ally with the enemy occupying their country. Hence if these are measures for one to be a traitor and a collaborationist, then Shanee qualifies as traitor as well as collaborationist. Hence, as a collaborationist, and as a traitor, the Asmara group (aka Shanee) stands as the epitome of the shameful betrayal of Oromia, of its people and of its people’s causes, and of its people’s freedom fighters.
Needless to say, what makes Shanee unique in this case is that, to my knowledge, it is the first group in the history of national liberation struggle that took its country’s, liberation front to court to fight it, so as to legally delegitimize it. In the recorded history of liberation movements, no liberation front has ever been taken to a court. Furthermore, no liberation front has ever been presented as a business firm; as a company for profit as Shanee (Asmara group) has portrayed the OLF. Again, no liberation front’s name has ever been presented as a “trade name”- as this group presented the OLF name. And no refugees have ever tried to overtake a legitimate Liberation Front that operates inside its country, as Fido Taddasa Ebba and his coteries have attempted. Fido T. Ebba has done this not without reasons. Fido Taddasa Ebb has been in the inner ring of the conspiratorial group. In the conspiracy of 1998, he signed an agreement with TPLF, accepting the disarming of the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA,) _ the renunciation of armed struggle or the use of force in Oromo national self defense and accepting Ethiopian empire’s colonial constitution in an attempt to undermine the OLF and thwart its struggle. It is ironic; therefore, that Dr. Fido Taddasa Ebba now turned around and claimed to be a representative of the OLF, the OLF that he worked hard to undermine. Dr. Fido Taddasa Ebba, sitting in his echo chamber intriguing along with the former Ethiopian Military Junta’s “communist” party members and cadres as Obbo Bayan Asoba and the Mesfin Abdi and with other Oromo Ethiopianist elements- those elements with Ethiopianist ideological orientation and political persuasion of “one Ethiopia” as Obbo Leenco Baati, Hassen Hussein, Kassim A. Hussein and Tuko Taha who had been hunting down the OLF members and its sympathizers in Oromia as a narrow nationalists, brutalizing, painfully agonizing and traumatizing them in prison cells of the “communist” regime. And now, in a twist of history, they are claiming to represent the OLF, as it guardian - the very OLF they condemned with raising their left-hands making into fists saying “Down with narrow nationalists”; “down with separatists”; “down with secessionists”. The twist is that the collaborators, those who have betrayed and abandoned the core principle and the objective of the OLF- - the independence of Oromia- - presented themselves at the court as the legitimate representative of the OLF, without having any legitimacy.
It was not long ago; Obbo Leenco Baati went on Habasha’s radio in Washington, DC, echoing bravadoes, blustering and boasting to democratize the Ethiopian Empire, the empire that the OLF has been fighting to dismantle and liberate Oromia from. Among many of his statements you find, “OLF will work with Kinijit and other opposition parties to build a democratic, united Ethiopia.” Again few months later, Obbo Hassen Hussein, as the head of AFD, declared in Boston, MA in addressing the Abyssinian gathering in Amharic saying, “Man naw kaman natsah yemiwota? Inya andi hizb nan. Yeminifaligow dimokrasi naw.” This literally means “who is to be liberated from whom? We are one and the same people and we only need democracy.” The Abyssinians gave him a warm standing ovation chanting “patriotic Oromo Ethiopian members” in the _“Onag”_, luring him into saying more and more. He smilingly obliged. The gentleman’s statements neither surprise nor shock the Oromo nationalists. The question one may ask is why Amharas called Shanee a “patriotic Oromo Ethiopians.” This is the jest of the question. In the American political humorist Will Rogers’ word, such “praise” is the art of saying ‘Nice Doggie’ until one can find a rock. For the Amharas, it is a tactical move. It is a tactic of buying time by luring Shanee into their supportive role until they strengthen themselves and weaken the TPLF. Then once TPLF is undoubtedly weakened, Amharas will turn around and eat Shanee up as all Abyssinian rulers before them had done to those Oromo who allied with them. Again the alliance for the Amharas means a tactic of farther creating contradictions and conflicts between Shanee and the nationalists and particularly between Shanee and the OLF and also to foster farther division to the point that Shanee cannot return to the camp of nationalists. They indeed succeeded in that. That is, they influenced Shanee to file lawsuit against the OLF officials and members. And so Shanee did.
Furthermore, one must also understand that Abyssinians are fighting the OLF through Shanee to weaken the Oromo struggle. Again one must clearly understand that national struggle cannot be defeated from without, but from within. Because of this, we must be keenly aware that the enemies the OLF is fighting, the Abyssinian colonial occupation armies are at the gate, meaning not within Oromo socio-cultural and political setup, and so by themselves they are less formidable, for they are known to the Oromo; for their purposes are known and clear and for they carry their banners, their flag, their ideologies and political slogans very openly.
That is, they are visible. And it is easy to defeat them. The invisible are the internal enemies, the traitors that move among the people within the gate freely and openly, in the like of Oromo political defeatists. In this case, the Oromo political defeatist is the Asmara Group that infiltrated the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF). Its purpose has been and is to instill a political defeatism in the name of the OLF in the minds, in the souls and in the hearts of those less informed Oromo nationals to belittle and darken the name of the OLF, in their activities and in their deeds so as to dismantle the OLF and to undermine the Oromo national liberation struggle. The lawsuit filed by the Asmara Group against the officials and members of the OLF is an integral part of this sinister scheming in coordination with its Abyssinian alliance.
Having failed to achieve anything in its collaboration with Abyssinia and ended in failures, complete hopelessness, despair and disappointment, Shanee (Asmara group) finally falsely posed itself as the OLF and so turned to foreign court and filed a lawsuit against the OLF and its members for using the OLF name, its emblems, and its flag. Not only this, Shanee claimed that the Defendants (read as the OLF) are causing the “plaintiff to suffer damages in the form
of lost goodwill, loss of members, loss of potential members and loss of donations.” Shanee went on to claim that Defendants exposed them and inflicted up on them “immediate and irreparable harm” and that these actions by Defendants are in violation of the Uniform Deceptive Trade Practices Act, and constitute interference with Plaintiff’s prospective economic advantage, and are enjoinable by injunctive relief. Claiming irreparable damage, Shanee asked the court to compensate it “for actual and compensatory damages”, it said it suffered, “in an amount in excess of $50,000” and in addition to attorney’s fees and other future costs it may incur.
The Defendants clearly presented the true nature of the dispute to the court. First and foremost, the Defendants reaffirmed that the OLF is one and the only one organization, not two. And that Oromia is a colony of Ethiopia. The OLF was formed in 1973 to struggle for the liberation of Oromia from Ethiopian colonial rule and to establish Democratic Republic of
Oromia. It was under this political platform that the OLF registered as “Agent of a foreign principal” in 1992. This is well known to the U.S Department of Justice. In 2001, a faction formed within the OLF. In the same year, this faction split from the OLF adopting a new political platform. Its new political platform is the democratization of Ethiopia. That faction is now presenting itself as the plaintiff, in this lawsuit. In its split from the OLF (the Defendants), Plaintiff’s (Asmara group) did not adopt a new name that befits its new political platform, but it held onto the name OLF. Here again in its lawsuit, the Asmara group failed to disclose to the court the existence of two groups within the OLF: one with the original political program and the other with a newly adopted political program, a program contrary to the spirit and the letter of the former program and that both group are vying on political and ideological fronts since the split in 2001. In this respect, the Asmara group (plaintiff) failed to tell the court that its political platform is the democratization of Ethiopia and that of the Defendants’ political platform is the original OLF political platform as stated in its political Program of 1973 and amended in 1998, that says the OLF struggles for the independence of Oromia and the formation of the Democratic Republic of Oromia. It also failed to tell the court that the Defendants (the OLF) held its national congress in 2006 and replaced all the leaderships of the Plaintiffs, those who went against the original political program of the OLF. Furthermore, the Plaintiff (Shanee) members and leadership solely live in the diaspora. And that its leadership home base is in Asmara, Eritrea and the Defendants (reads as OLF) operating in Oromia against Ethiopian colonial administration. The Asmara group did not present all these relevant facts to the court. However, the Defendants educated the court on these issues by bringing to light the facts and long-standing truth that the Plaintiffs hide from it. Upon learning these, the court threw out the plaintiff’s case. In going to court Shanee has no legitimate case to present; it has no facts and no truth in what it presented to the court. It only concocted unfounded stories, the stories that are not relevant to our differences. The Shanee’s falsely fabricated stories did not go well with the court. And so when the ruling came down, the plaintiff or Shanee became a walking dead and so it crushed under its own lies and eaten by its own cancer- - its cancer being its fabrications, make-believes, bogus information and its deceptions.
Furthermore, the court was also told that OLF is a political organization, not a business entity for profit as the Plaintiffs’ (Asmara group) portrayed it and want the court to believe. The Defendants explained to the Court that whoever supports the democratization of Ethiopia supports the plaintiff (read as Shanee-Qinijjit). And whoever supports the independence of Oromia and the formation of Democratic Republic of Oromia supports the Defendants (read the OLF). This is logical and clear, no ambiguity. However, Shanee lost this fact; this logic. So one may raise question as to whether the Asmara group betrayed the logic or the logic betrayed it or both. For the court the logical difference between the plaintiff and Defendant was very clear to understand when American Revolutionary war is presented as model for the argument. In American Revolutionary war for independence from British Empire, two political platforms emerged. One was to remain within the British Empire and have representatives in the British parliament, judiciary and other organs of the empire. This position was represented by Benedict Arnold and associates and it was opposed by the independentists. The other position was the position of independence of America from British Empire. This was the position of independentists a la George Washington and associates. The Americans supported this position. The difference was not taken to a court, but taken to public opinion. The public won and America got ist independence. But Benedict Arnold and his associates lost. Finally, they allied with British Empire and fought against the independentist group. Had Shanee done its homework; had it learned historical precedence and historical facts, it would not have gone to Court.
As one may know the former spokesperson of Shanee-Qinijjit, Leenco Baati except dancing in bravado to the drums of Abyssinia on his knees and boasting to democratize Ethiopia to make the Abyssinians happy, he did not opt to go to court and file lawsuit against the officials and members of the OLF. This is, notwithstanding his an unmitigated opportunistic nature, he however, did not harbor to take the OLF to court during his tenure. At least to his credit, it seems he knew it is wrong. The taking to court of the Oromo nationalists is not only wrong,
but it is contemptible, it is a taboo and unOromo way. The interesting turn of event took place with the replacement of Leenco Baati, by Bayan Asoba as spokesperson. Being a new spokesperson of Shanee and a lawyer, Bayan Asoba sought to bring lawsuit against the OLF, laying out his reasons for going to court. He thought court is his best chance where to bring down the OLF. Hence, at his advice and directive Shanee was encouraged to bring a lawsuit against the OLF and its members. Hence he became the architect of this lawsuit against the OLF. He has a long history of working against the OLF, including becoming instrumental for the 2001 split. He has propensity to create factionalism, division and discord within a group. As a matter of fact, he was even very close to bring OSA (Oromo Studies Association) to the verge of split through his illegal activities from 2005 to 2006.
The purpose of taking the OLF to court and bringing lawsuit against it and its members is, to suffocate and cripple the OLF and to stifle its struggle for independence of Oromia and to exact financial benefit from it. The intent and purpose of this lawsuit is to darken the deeds of those Oromo heroes and heroines who had fought and fallen in the fields of Oromia and in the prison cells of Ethiopia and those who preferred to die a glorious death in dignity and pride fighting for their country and people as nationalists and as patriots, than to live on ones knees in disgrace and humiliation as traitors, as collaborationists and as sellouts of ones country, ones nation and ones freedom fighters. The purpose and intention of this lawsuit was also to deligitimize, to intimidate, to disparage the Oromo nationalists and patriots who had immensely suffered mental and physical torture in the prison cell of the Dergue and the EPDRF regimes. It is these nationalists and patriots who made the OLF, what it is and what it has been. The OLF was born and cemented with the blood of the nationalists and patriots, in their sacrifices and in their torture. It is not Johnny Come Latelys’ a la Nuro Dedefo and associates who can use the name the OLF, its emblem and its flag. Nuro Dedefo has no long history as the OLF member and supporter and hence in the Oromo struggle. He was the member of the Dergue regime. As the Dergue collapsed in 1991, he migrated to EPDRF and then from EPDRF a few years later to the OLF. He is a political and ideological migrant; keeps on migrating and changing his political position at his convenience, as he sees it suits his interest. Hence, he lacks moral, legal and political judgment to ask, the long-standing members of the OLF, those who established it, those who were imprisoned and tortured in its name and those who are still fighting in the hills, mountains, valley and villages of Oromia, not to use their name the OLF, their emblem and their flag. It is, therefore, those Oromo nationals who established the OLF, who died, bled and suffered in its name and remain true to its objectives that legitimately own and use the name OLF, its emblem and its Flag. It is they who raised the banner of freedom and rekindled the Oromo nationalism, the love for freedom, justice and independence in the minds, hearts and souls of this Oromo generation. Nuro Dedefo’s attempt is to delegitimize, to insult and belittle the legitimate officials and members of the OLF. One must understand that the collaborators with the enemy of their country, with the occupying forces cannot use the name of the OLF, its emblems and its flag. The Asmara Group is such a collaborationist. Nuro Dedefo in his statement of support for the collaborationists and the traitors turned the truth, the facts, and the logic of argument on their heads. Hence one may wonder as to what political logic and what political facts influenced Nuro Dedefo to go on public radio to give unreserved political support to the political defeatist, Shanee. Though Nuro Dedefo is a lawyer, he appears apolitical and naive from his argument and hence no one can take him for seriousness. One must understand the issues under discussion before passing a judgment or taking a position. In this regard, Shanee filed a lawsuit against the legitimate officials and members of the OLF who have been struggling for the independence of Oromia. Again in this regard, the Oromo people have also spoken in a collective, unified and strong voice for independence. And the OLF has long spoken that the core political demand of the struggle of the Oromo people, the independence of Oromia, is nonnegotiable. Shanee stands in a polar opposite to the core political demand of the Oromo people and therefore of the OLF.
The end of Shanee’s road
Shanee’s democratization of Ethiopian empire is dead. The alliance of Shanee and Kinijit is dead, even before it begun. It is fair to say that Shanee is now on a road to nowhere. And so in a humiliating way, Shanee has come to the end of the road it has begun. It began its ignominious journey on that road in 1998, with the sellout of Oromia. Since then, its journey
took it through many turns and twists. Among these turns and twists through which it
journeyed are: ist split from the OLF in 2001, then the Berger Conference of 2004, and its formation Ethiopian political party with Coalition for Freedom and Democracy (CUD) in 2006, a party known as Alliance for Freedom and Democracy (AFD) to jointly undertake military, diplomatic and political campaign against the OLF to thwart the struggle for the independence of Oromia. In this case, it made deal with the enemy of our people with foreign army which has been ruining our country and people in order to crush the struggle for the liberation of Oromia. Having failed in all these attempts, now as a last resort, it turned to the
courts and brought a lawsuit against our freedom fighter - - the OLF, to stop its activities and to exact financial benefit from it. Again in this too, it has failed. Its lawsuit is thrown out of the court. What is clear is, finally Shanee has come to the dead end of the road, both politically and legally. So, Shanee is on the road to nowhere. That is, it has lost in its political and legal challenge to the Defendants, the OLF. All in all, it has lost the case, in all counts. And in its defeat, Shanee has now turned itself into a walking empty suit. And so, it is now going the way dinosaurs had gone. In order to save itself from that fate, the only option Shanee is now left with is the total abandonment of the idea of democratization of the moribund and obsolescent Ethiopian empire, the dying empire and to get out of AFD and to apologize to the Oromo people and the OLF and to those heroes and heroines who had fallen in this struggle.
In the end, one must recognize that the lawsuit is not a solution to the political and ideological
difference within the Oromo liberation struggle. The OLF did not and will not seek permission from alien courts for the legitimacy of its name – the OLF, for its emblems, and for its flag. The court is the opinion of the Oromo people, not the opinion of alien court. And no liberation front has ever stood in foreign court in front of a judge to defend its legitimacy. Its legitimacy emanates from its people. Time to wake up. It is time to stand for freedom, justice and independence of our country and people. It is time not to be indifferent. And so it is time to defend the fatherland - -Oromia, against all enemies, foreign or domestic. The enemy comes in different forms and disguises with sugarcoated poison words and phrases to confuse the uninformed and wearing sheep’s clothing. Beware!