Deutsche Welle (DW) Radio Outperforms Rwanda’s Radio Mille Collines; Disturbing Biased Media (Propaganda) Against the Oromo

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Muddee/December 10, 2013/  Gadaa.com

In a Letter to the Deutsche Welle (DW) Broadcasting Board, Oromo Activist Announced Boycott of DW Amharic Service Over Ethnically-Motivated Biased Program Against the Oromo Nation

The following letter was written by an Oromo human rights activist to the Deutsche Welle (DW) Broadcasting Board, regarding the DW Amharic Service involvement in racial/ethnic attack against the Oromo nation on air.

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Dear Broadcasting Board,

We, the Oromos allover the world, are deeply offended by DW’s Amharic Service racial/ethnic attack aired against the Oromo people of Ethiopia on December 8, 2013. The DW host invited two guests from Amhara ethnic group and one guests from the Oromo of Ethiopia. To make it easy for distorting history, the two Amhara guests were professors of history while the Oromo guest was an economist by profession. The two professors were making inflammatory remarks about the Oromo people. The host journalist, who is also from Amhara ethnic group, clearly took the position against the Oromos and involved in harassing the Oromo guest. What’s more disheartening was the fact that these inflammatory remarks fitted the editor’s one-sided editorial position on praising the controversial king Minilik of Ethiopia who masterminded the chopping off 3000 Oromo women’s breasts and Oromo men’s hands in a single day (Abbas 1995, Hassen, 2002, Jalata 1998 and Bulcha 2006). To put it in relative terms, it is praising Adolf Hitler to Jews community on air.

Dear Broadcasting Board, the Oromo make up a significant portion of the population occupying the Horn of Africa. In the Ethiopian Empire alone, Oromo constitute about ~50% of the population (close to 40 million) of the Ethiopian Empire (CSA 2012 and Zahoric 2011). During their long history, the Oromo developed their own uniquely democratic political and social institution known as the Gadaa system. During the late 19th century, King Menelik of Abyssinia conquered the vast Oromo land that now constitutes most of the landmass of the present day Ethiopia. The conquest was very bloody with an estimated 5 million Oromos either killed as a result of the wars or the aftermath plagues. The survivors were evicted from their ancestral land and turned into serfs with no national right to the Oromo language, culture, history and the Gadaa system – all of which were banned in the Oromo country (Oromia) under the imperial regimes of Menelik and then Haile-Selassie II (Gow 2001 and Jaenen 1956). To make the case more psych, they had been calling the Oromos with derogatory name called“Galla,” which is banned in Ethiopia today. The views reflected on the December 8, 2013 program were from such extremist forces which explicitly stated on air that the name Oromo itself was controversial, implying Oromos should be called ‘Galla’ even today. One of the invited guests, Dr. Haile Larebo, stated that the entire history of the Oromo people, was “myth and fiction” – rejecting numerous scholarly works and firm historical evidences. What’s deeply saddening is, all through this, the DW’s Amharic Service moderator did not stop the inflammatory statements of the guest. This position of tolerating inflammatory statements against the Oromo people was taken by the moderator since the remarks fitted his editorial position.

Dear Broadcasting Board, due to this unfair, unbalanced and unethical racially/ethnically biased report of DW’s Amharic Service against the Oromos, we are deeply saddened and, therefore, we are boycotting the DW’s Amharic Service until it starts to present the facts as they are. We are also campaigning so that all Oromos and friends of the Oromo in Ethiopia and around the world boycott the DW’s Amharic Service. The Oromo people are systematically ridiculed by media owned by the Amharas in Ethiopia. It is utterly unacceptable that one of the free media outlets in the world, DW, is being used by those extremist Amharas praising the ‘Hitler of Oromo people.’ Lastly, we are kindly asking DW to air a balanced program on this issue again and requesting an official apology for the Oromo people for the moral damages the program caused.

With Kind Regards!

http://www.Gadaa.com

Mourning the Departure of Freedom Icon and African Hero Nelson Mandela While Celebrating His Achievements

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HRLHA Fine

Press Release, December 9, 2013 

We, the Board of Directors and Staff members of the Human Rights League of Horn of Africa (HRLHA), would like to express that we are deeply saddened by the passing away of our African hero and freedom icon Mr. Nelson Mandela, also known as Madiba especially among his funs and lovers. It is everyone’s belief that this icon of freedom, although he is peacefully departing, has left behind an everlasting legacies of hope for the better future, perseverance in the struggle for equality, justice and dignity for all human beings as well as forgiveness. We could say that not only the South Africans but also the rest of African and other global communities are better off because of his priceless sacrifices, democratic achievements, spirits of hope, forgiveness, peace, harmony, and overall human dignity. HRLHA believes that those of us at all ages and generations who are staying behind are expected to take lessons from his legacies and carry on the torch of freedom that this freedom icon has ignited from where he has left it, and make Africa a much better place where political differences are settled through roundtable discussions, negotiations, and reconciliations, and policies are framed based on respect for human rights.

As the biography of Madiba clearly shows, he stood firm for the equal rights of all people. For that stance, he stood unyielding and he was charged with treason by the apartheid South African government, spending 27 years of his life in prison. Madiba, among other things, is always remembered for forgiving those who extra-judiciary imprisoned him and inhumanly treated along with other South Africans, despite being forced to spend this many years in harsh prison conditions. Madiba forgave those who not only punished him without a crime, but also who categorized hundreds of thousands of other fellow South Africans as subhuman and condemned them down to destitution and all forms of socio-economic crises by dispossessing and detaching them from natural resources such as land. We the leadership of HRLHA see that Madiba lived and departed as a hero and a great leader. As a hero, he stood up for human dignity and equality; and, as a result, he paid unparalleled sacrifices. When he was elected as a president, he made tremendous efforts to deliver justice for all and as an “angel” he promoted reconciliation between the people who were extremely divided based on racial and colour differences. He forgave those who cruelly treated him and his fellow South Africans for refusing to accept racial discrimination and subordination. Madiba’s achievements during most of his lifetime left a clear message for the people of Africa and the world – that all human beings are equal. In his life and departure, Madiba taught especially the younger generation about the need for perseverance, hope and forgiveness.

The causes of instability in Africa and in the world in most cases have political differences that generate from racial motives. In one of his famous speeches, Mandela said, “no one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.” Promoting racial, cultural, or national superiority or simply advancing a monolithic view is contrary to human rights principles; and always instigates violence and instability. In its turn, violence and instability consume our human and natural resources; and hinder us from achieving our potential. The African and world communities need to follow the lessons from of our hero – Madiba- and focus on teaching our children as to how to unlearn the views that they have learned- and to refute racial, cultural, and/or national superiority theories and practices.

Instability that has been ravaging the Horn of Africa (Ethiopia, Sudan, Kenya, Eritrea, Djibouti, Somalia and Uganda) is driven by theories of racial, cultural, national, and clan superiority. For example, the Ethiopian land leasing policy also referred to as a land-grab, which has evicted thousands of people from their homes, is driven by the longstanding colonial concept of terra-nullius – the land belonging to no one. All political prisoners in Ethiopia and the refugees in the neighboring Horn of African countries who fled that country and, some of them perishing in the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Ocean and the Sahara and Sinai deserts are all those who have been conditioned by the racial superiority theories of the ruling Tigrian regime. All political prisoners who are languishing in torturous prisons of Ethiopia did nothing wrong except that they asked for the respect of their individual and collective rights, and those of others.

In the past and present in darkness in the tropical forests of Africa, people oriented themselves by the “star” in the sky – Venus – Bakalcha. Mandela, the freedom icon, has established the norm by which African and global leaders should function. Just as the planet Venus has shone and given directions for millions of years, the life of this freedom icon should guide present and future African leaders. Democracy, human rights, social justice and reconciliation should be the motto and the leading ideology. Using this opportunity, we call upon the peoples in the Horn of Africa, especially the youth, to harness the ideas and ideologies for which the freedom icon – Madiba stood and challenge ideas and ideologies that are contrary to the principles of human rights, social justice and equality.

We would like to end this note with the wise words of Nelson Mandela, who said, “I detest racialism, because I regard it as a barbaric thing, whether it comes from a black man or a white man”. Let us celebrate the legacy of the freedom icon by detesting all forms of racism – whether or not it is based on skin color, culture or religion; and stand up firmly and strongly for human rights, human dignity, and equality.

Human Rights League of the Horn of Africa (HRLHA)

A big thanks is to those heroes in South Africa

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Fantastic!!!

I was watching the funeral ceremony on the death of Madiba Mandela on TV scrutinizing the flags flying behind Mr. Obama. My soul and mind was searching for OLF/Oromo flag among others. From behind the podium at the left side of the speaker a green Oda tree at center of a shining sun flickered once, the second time it appeared I was not in doubt; it was what I was hungrily looking for! It was there not simply as a beautiful and beloved emblem of the Oromo nation; it conveys a huge message than that. It represented at this celebration the heroes and heroines of the Oromo people among whom are G/Tadassa Birru the once friend and host of Mandela during his military training in Finfinne; Col/ Feqadu Waqkenne his trainer and O/Guta Dinqa one of the guards to Mr. Mandela.

I became emotional while watching our flag behind the leader of the greatest nation in this world and envied to have the right that belongs to us as a rightful nation. On the other hand the appearance of this flag at this particular time, when the Big Man of the world is at the podium is a big blow to those who day and night wish to erase anything Oromummaa from the minds of the Oromo nation; this made me happy. It is really a bone in the throat; where it is difficult to swallow and/or equally difficult to spit it out. Unacceptable to watch the speech of the Big Man with the background of that flag, and difficult to ignore the speech of the Big Boss. After all how on earth they can prevent the general public from watching what is happening at this age of media technology! Garaan dhadhaa nu dhuge!!

A big galataa is to those heroes in South Africa who enabled us watch this event. This is not their first time; and of course would never be their last. What matters is that the others should imitate and emulate these courageous, conscious and committed sons and daughters in South Africa, as our nationalists did in the mountains of Mecca in Saudi Arabia, as an athlete did in Irland and as once done in England when people demonstrated against Capitalism during G8 meeting there.

OM

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