Sunday, July 16, 2017


Recent upheaval or mass riots in Ethiopia brought massive deaths of thousands of innocent people. It was the deadliest event in the recent memory of the country. If the Ethiopian state of EPDRF had not resort to force to bring down the developments the obvious would have ensued, gone out of control, we would be talking by now of different thing of Ethiopia. The political chaos was a wakeup call for the elites in power to have hard look to what going in the country. Especially, the threats vibrated from the majority of the political constituencies residing in the periphery who have depended on land as wealth generating resources was a disturbing turbulent situation for the survival of the ruling elites. It was these mass revolts from where the neglected bulk of the majority of the country citizens resides, that have checked on the center power of the regime survival, impacted the elites decision to take a hard look at the country policies, governing mechanism.

Outside Addis Ababa the capital, in the peripheries where the authorities in Addis Ababa do not pay attention there were/are thousands of land disputes, uncompensated confiscated properties, unsettled silly demarcated boundaries, problem of refugees infiltrations, settlements, problems of identifications, ethnic unsettled disputes, unresolved ethical conflicts the regime power have not done well to resolved, the problems culminated by unresponsive leadership had reached the points of watersheds, manifested by riots and tumults and uncontrolled security disorders.

The mass political development protests in Oromia, Amhara, Gambella regions, and other parts of the country have alarmed, raised the eyebrows of the political machine of the ruling party. The political development in these regions has been the central gravity in the challenging the center of politics of the country. It is what I call a tectonic power shift from center to the periphery. It is a dynamic shift of the reorientation in politics whereby the peripheries have now the taken over the national political dynamics.

It has been the very pull, pushes factors for the new course of political development, alas, compelled the government in power to seek rapprochements in politics. What we longed for a very long time: flexibility to politics, the national dialogue with opposition political elements have now happened, if all parties succeeded in hammering out deficiencies the worst could be prevented from happening for now. As we stand, wait, there are political debates going on right now at the national level, all political stakeholders have representation participating at the reconciliation conference except Gambellan political entity representing them.

For reason we do not understand we have been absent in the national political dialogues, second for the reason we do not know we have been misinformed, misinformation has been hovering around in the community, still don’t know what to do. Third, if the information was given earlier than it has not been disseminated in time, the messengers were not trained, equipped enough for the job, fit enough to be entrusted to with the diplomatic mission they have embarked upon, or they were not up to the expectation we all thought about. I believe many questions had to be asked why, what happened?

Shouldn’t we want to know why we were not uninformed earlier at all? As they say, the detail is in the pudding, soon we will hear the outcomes. But for your information, "the beast has already escaped" from our hands. It is too late, too little for the national conference. Hence for the sake of this article, I think it would be wise to look at the conversation that took place at the suburban Minneapolis three weeks ago in regard to the conference that's already taken place: The peaceful message bull horned by messengers of the EPDRF in Diasporas meeting recently was too good to be rejected, though no one was jubilant about it.

The quest for political alternatives, peaceful solutions, resolve national conflicts was good news, has drawn interesting political parties to attended the conference in the suburban city of Minneapolis three weeks ago with hopes, for resolves, to do something. After all, Minneapolis is the center of Diasporas Gambella politics. If nothing agreed here nothing could go on right outside the sphere of their influence, nothing could succeed outside their political trajectory either.

I think everybody came to the meeting thinking of no particular topics in their minds but to listen, there was a general willingness to hear the messenger, to be heard in return. There’s general assertion in the minds of diaspora political groups that they have tried to change the course of political struggle at home via Skypes, phones, media, the internet, through waves of unending protests in the foreign capitals supported by rights groups have not resulted in unseating the regime at home. It is the admission, the acceptance of unfulfilled conditions, that, all the above projects have been toothless tools to bring about regime change, all didn’t go well then as wanted, that instead of sitting idly, they have come to term with the situations, ventured into new paths of accommodating failures, have concluded that they should do something, changed politically to something else, this time around towards socio-economic developments: social-culture, health, literacy, business entrepreneurship zones of activities to alleviate the suffering of our people from mired destitution of ignorance, diseases, poverty hunger and economic crisis, that time wasted would never be gained again.

It is a trend somebody like me have noticed on everybody minds, read on the faces conference attendees, that there's a willingness to talk and to make understanding, to be heard and do something. There's an overall understanding that change is necessary was an atmospheric political seismic shift, a longing for a new alternative by Diasporas politics, a dynamics political breakthrough, the reorientation of the Gambellan people politics into the new direction.

Thus, the new political breakthrough has changed the old political thinking of the diehards, who have viewed politics through the prism of orthodoxy: of no talk, or dialogue, no compromise even for the win-win situation. The old unwavering stand, stiffness for the arm struggle to destroy and replace everything standing, everything stonewalling, everything blocking, or preventing one from seizing power has been set-aside at the moment.

And for them, the old Maoist maxims about obtaining power; through the barrel mouth of the gun” was not reality anymore, valid anymore. Gone is the era of machismo, something they have learned and harbored from the Marxist and Leninist political philosophy, the root of extremism rooted at all the political spectrum of Marxism of the bygone era politics.

Mind you, that this article does not undermine, belittled the armed struggle waged by various political parties of any types. In fact, it is to be understood that various political alternatives have been the contributing factors to shaping the political development we are witnessing at home today.

The conference attended by the Gambella Diasporas political forces was a special one, a unique one because for the first time in three decades here America; the Gambellan of all political parties, of all political beliefs, have sat, and talk to each other like a family. And that in itself was a positive trend of the window of opportunity of the conducive political atmosphere for political matting and encouraging. The gathering has shattered the old taboos of fear-mongering, has broken groups’ silence or has opened up communication between the self-excommunicated forces.

Dr.Gugo Obang, his teammate’s come into the picture, for the group have been working with the home government for a while, called for a meeting, delivered or conveyed the message of peace and reconciliation delegated to them by ruling party at home urging Gambellan of all political persuasions to come home and participate in the national dialogue taking place now in Addis Ababa. The message was feverishly delivered; the group use of certain words of jargon sometimes made everyone nervous, uncomfortable it seems the group has not done their homework properly.

There were plenty of inconsistencies in their presentation, confusion and conflicting messages. But despite those shortcomings, discomfort with preamble or introductory message, everyone agrees to listen and talk, let the messengers do their talking. And later on, the audiences asked questions, lots of questions, the many more bunch of questions.The first persons to launch their views were; Wataajura, who raised the topic or the issues insecurity: as they put it, the security issue is important to talk about, from the perspective safety point of view protection and safety of individuals security matter most, they stressed the importance of security for all individuals in the Diasporas who might want to go home for peace agenda, pointed out that the security of individuals who might one to go home to participate in the conference is crucial, paramount, reminded them to take look, consider their concern.

And they went on to support the idea of national dialogue, reminded everybody that the national dialogue concerned all of us and it is important but we must also realize that the security and the safety of individuals well-being are imperative, crucial, the sine qua non to nothing,and that security and safety guarantees must come first. Thus as far as they are concern "security and safety" the safeguard of individual liberty is important in their book should have been the number one agenda of the group topics. They told Dr. Gugo, this group we have heard you, no one had disputed about how genuine your message is. But we have the concern, our concern is security.

You know that the regime in power has accused some members of Gambellan community in Diasporas of subversion, sedition, for the destabilization of our homeland security. We believe certain individuals in the Diasporas of Gambellan origin have been sanctioned by the regime national security apparatus. They have been barred from entering the country they belonged, so the question is, is the regime giving them pardons, and including amnesty? Does your group have any ideas about the paramount statement we are talking about? If you don’t would you check with the people in the government you have been dealing with and bring the answers? We would like to work for the peace initiatives concerning our people, we know it is important but the safety and security of many Gambellan political exiles are also important as well.
     As of today, the responsibility lies in your hands as messengers between us, the government we would like you to take issues we are concerned about to the authorities in power. Of course, nothing could pass by Skeptic Watarajura’s sons, allies and supporters unchallenged, they have never hesitated to ask tough questions about ‘’security and safety ’’ of the Gambella political people, they were right, they had million dollars points there.

        The two brothers, their allies tried to torpedo the messengers’ message by casting doubts on the overall agenda, approach, and mission of the group, tested the depth of water to see how deep it was, what’s in it, then abandoned it move on to something else. This time they came with conspiracy theory, have thrown in the deep water their version of conspiracy theory about why the government would want to talk opposition political parties around this time, why we must be very careful to deal with the regime.They accused the regime of hypocrisy, said the EPDRF government had lie through their teeth’s before with unfulfilled several peace initiatives in the past, always have dictated the outcomes of peaceful resolutions to their terms.

There were previous peace tables and peace negotiations that failed because the regime was not serious about political settlements. Always the regime in power has cheated the outcomes of peaceful resolutions. But whatever the intentions of the two brothers were, at end of their charges, trials both agreed, urged the audiences that it is imperative we talk to the government, we must accept the regime call for national dialogue, let’s get ourselves ready for dialogue. The two brothers views was followed up by a political tycoon, seasoned politician Obang Urukomo

As one from the Gambellan opposition political parties, I must talk to the political forces in power. It is my duty, a national of responsibility then challenged listeners by saying we must talk if there’s an opened window of opportunity like this one that allows us to redress political issues of importance to our people interests. He said I put it to you in this juncture that the objective reality of country dictates on all of us new approaches to political mappings. He said for a long time we have been waiting for such opportunity, we have it now, let’s get hold of it, take advantage of it.

Obung, stressed, we Ethiopians are not good, wise about civility in politics; our politics have always been dirty. And gave the audience some very illustrative, glowing comparison paralleling, contrasting Ethiopians’ politics versus the Sudanese’ politics for understanding, the way the two countries treated their citizens in terms of political rights and legal rights to mention few, he said the two countries treat their political citizens differently.

He said folks, I don’t know why I am saying this, but for the sake of our conversation, hitherto, now the regimes in power in Ethiopia have never treated other political opponents with dignity and respect let alone the recognition of their political and legal rights. To my recollection, he charged successful Ethiopian regimes in power has never conducted civil political discussions with fellow countrymen who had different political takes; thoughts, differences between the political forces in the country were treated as black and whites, those holders of power considered themselves as right always.

In contrast to all political developments that have happened in Ethiopia, the Sudan, I mean the old Sudan since its independent engulfed in perpetual civil wars of no endings at no time did the regimes in power turned down the challenges from the regimes’ political enemies rather I should say the regimes in power in the old Sudan have frequently treated political opponents, political parties of different persuasions with dignity and respect, have always settled disputed political settlements, we know how nicely they have treated their political citizens, very different from how we were treated by ours. And the Sudanese politics he dramatized have always been civil on the higher level of the political echelons.

Okech Okowya, concurred with Obang first ideas working hard for the interest of the people of Gambella an idea entertained by many more expatriates at the conference, saying we must submit ourselves if need be for the greater good of the community of Gambella, that in order to advance the interest of the community individuals amongst us must reconcile themselves for the greater good of our country.
Okech raised the problem of unemployment, hooliganism the dis-empowerment of our youths, said the conflicts between educated old school folks, who run the institution of government at this moment in our region, the latter universities, college graduates who had no jobs prevented by bureaucratic red tapes of the folks from the old schools, who are afraid of losing their positions to the younger generation is of concern he interjected.

The problem according to him has reached the apogee of concerns that something must be done to redress the unemployment of those young graduates on the line of no hopes. He amplified the tragic conditions those graduates have been enduring problems of unemployment, said they are real, terribly hardship conditions. Yet nothing has been done by the authority who govern our state to redress the problem of unemployment, to eradicate rampant hooliganism. It is shame, he concluded....

John Wara Nuewy reminded everybody that the fear of doing something concern all us. He said certain people have been interjecting fear-mongering in hearts, minds of people not to do something, he stressed the fear not to do something can prevent any persons from the accomplishment of something good for self and the community. He said some people want to stay in the front as leaders but they are incapable of the job they wished to do, they would do nothing but stand still, wanted to stay as figureheads for no apparent reasons, they represented nobody.

They want no help outside their circle, are always isolated, detached, dejected from reality, they are always at the bar tables talking politics of do nothing, are good for nothing. He postulates wouldn’t be good if such people could talk at coffee tables, or around coffee tables, such folks he said could have done many much more things indeed, of course, all civilized politicians discussed politics at coffee places, meetings places, conferences, book reading places, at discussion places, he challenged to learn from the Americans.

He said, people if some of you do not know about what do as leaders try to garnish abled bodies, surround yourselves with smart people to get the jobs done, that's how it has been done in America. Instead, he said some of us are stuck to the point of stonewalling every each us from having accesses to their exclusive realms, as the result making everybody fall with them.

Ojulu Gari, weighed in about the importance of the love for the country, as he puts it, he said we must always put our people, and country first with everything we do love our country and our peoples first. And everything we do must be for the enhancement of the peace, the stability of our regional state security, the country as a whole, he then stressed the importance of peace, security for the people of Gambella.

It is crucial he said for developments programs we have been embarked upon in the country. He reminded the audience that we get involved in the politics, political process, especially representational politics to give us voices, power, leeway to raise fundamental issues concerning Gambella in all the institutions of government of the country. He urged, try to put aside our differences in politics and consider the survival of the community. It is as imperative and as important, concluded his speeches...


As people talked, talked the notion of what to be done prevailed more, becoming the prime prevalent talking point. The loves for the motherland has sunk well in everybody hearts and minds became the breathing air, embolden, strengthened the spirit of solidarity, and belonging among the conference attendees. We are all in this together let's direct our attention solving the dire problems our people have been facing daily. The notion of doing something became the anathema lauded by all the attendees of the conference, I think the sense of collective responsibility for collective resolve has taken shape above everything else. I think it reminded me of that revolutionary era song: ይህ ነው ምኞተ ህነ በሕወተ ከራሰ በፍት ለኢትዮዽያ እናቴ: Above all Ethiopia first!

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