By Mohamed Olad
What happened in Hawi Gudina, Daru Lebu, Hawaday and other areas in Oromia Region__the deliberate, systemic and heinously executed operations, are crimes against humanity of ethnic cleansing proportions. You can imagine these kind things happening only in Rwanda or in Myanmar not in Ethiopia were diversity is celebrated and communities proudly coexisted since the beginning of time and certainly not in the year 2017.
This well-orchestrated savagery of the first order was a predictable outcome of months long incitement and vilification against Somalis by painting a caricature of them as all being Liyou Police and hence used by TPLF to kill Oromos, as insinuated by some forces with clandestine political objectives in OPDO camouflage and openly by those so-called activists in the diaspora.
This was the culmination of months-long whipping of the sentiments of the Oromo people by spreading fake news at every opportunity and moment of the day to advance their agenda. This precipitated, as a result, an environment in which these kind atrocities can happen.
A good example of this is how Addisu Arega Kitessa, Oromia Regional Communication Affairs Head and by extension Lemma Meggersa, has spread falsehoods regarding Somali victims of ethnic violence in Oromia Region.
One of those treacherous moves is his recent media engagements, both national and international, in which he even claimed that there were more Oromos who have died in Hawi Gudina. His constant lies about either the score of those perished or the circumstances surrounding the deliberate and coordinated attacks that resulted the loss of so many innocent civilians in an undeserving death, just adds fuel to the fire.
These and other misleading falsehoods that lack both professional integrity and respect for the rule of law will only fuel the current unrest and hasten the march towards mutual quagmire. What has also taken me aback was the fact that the Oromia Regional government will adopt the talking points of those forces that are hell bent on destroying the current Federalist structure word by word and sentence by sentence.
If you think I am just being hysterical here or may be connecting dots that are not even there, closely examine the Oromia Regional Government’s position regarding the reasons behind the #HawiGudina&DaroLebuMassacre and check the rubbish that Jawar Mohammed, OPride and the likes shared on social media in the immediate aftermath of the massacre and two days before even the Oromia Regional Government would acknowledge what happened and see it for yourself.
Addisu’s lies has reached wide and far even to the corridors of respected news organizations like the Routers and Aljazeera English. These lies only add insult to injury if the Oromia Regional government through it is head propagandist is not even acknowledging their death.
The other big ‘fake news’ that was making headlines, though it can be easily traced back those same colluding and contriving forces, is the fact that these events were triggered by a Liyou Police attack on Oromos in Hawi Godina and Daro Lebu. But the truth lies in the simple answer to a basic geographic question __where did this happen? The mighty answer is around 200 km west into Oromia Region. If the Liyou Police can carry attacks in the center of Oromia, it shouldn’t take them that much to conquer Addis Ababa soon.
These sustained and well-coordinated media campaigns conflated border clashes that are due to fraudulent 2004 referendum and other factors __mainly fight over control of grazing land and other natural resources, with premeditated massacres against ethnic Somalis in Oromia Region either under the nose or suspected involvement of Oromia security apparatus.
Sadly, what this incident laid bare is the reality that propaganda and incitement has real consequences. The sad reality is that these so-called activists’ social media pages, opposition media outlets like OPride, OMN as well as OBN and Addisu Arega Kitessa are all working in tandem to cause mayhem.
In an avalanche of propaganda and widespread misinformation, it is even hard to distinguish between two supposedly opposite sides. It is hard to tell where one ends and the other one starts. By now, we should all understand what damage reckless and unfettered propaganda can cause.
The other unfortunate reveal of this tragic event is the fact that both national and local media barely covered this horrendous attacks, notwithstanding the biased media outlets like Addis Standard that have become the voice for the dark forces.
Finally, what happened in Hawi Gudina and Daro Lebu is pure savagery. Hundreds of peaceful, terrified and defenseless civilians were slaughtered using ‘machoo’, the proclaimed weapon of choice for Jawar et al. and dumbed in to a ditch.Those who are using priceless human life as a political chip have blood on their hands.
This is also what break down of law and order and the abdication of the Federal Government’s sacred constitutional duty to uphold its citizens’ unalienable right to live would like.
We shall never forget!
Mohamed Olad is a commentator and writer based in the United States whose works have appeared on different media publications. He is a former Faculty Fellow at Jig-Jiga University.
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