Political Solidarity and Framework: The Federalist Forces
By: Najat Hamza
The Oromo protest movement from 2014 to 2016 has secured a regime change or a change in power in Ethiopia. The power structure and the remnants of the past regime emerged as a reformed body to carry the country forward into a democracy. There were a significant and promising start initially, but it was short lived. The regime reverted to its old bloody ways and actively started to work against the very movement that made the reform possible.
The Oromo people fought for the change and ushered the change in but sadly have fallen victims’ ones more. Our leaders are imprisoned on bogus charges, our political organizations are paralyzed, our identity is under attack and our people are being hunted daily. This is true for all nations and nationalities in one form or another. The unitary system came back with vengeance to eliminate and eradicate our diverse identity and every gain we achieved in the past five decades. The main goal or reason is to disable the Oromo struggle and squash the aspirations of millions so that Ethiopia can thrive in the image that they want. The Ethiopia that excludes, executes dissident voices and mold ethnicities into one bland identity they call Ethiopiawinet.
There is no doubt that Ethiopia has descended into uncharted territories since Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed came to power. Oromo people is the target of Abiy regime because they are the biggest defenders of federalism. We know that federalism is on trial. That means all nations and nationalities of Ethiopia should stand together not only defend federalism but implement it in its full potential. How? By standing in solidarity with one another in clear and defined way. What does that solidarity look like? How can we move together in securing the future for all federalist forces and chart a better future for all involved? We can answer most of these questions if we look at political solidarity and the framework it requires to deliver the results we want.
Political solidarity for all federalist forces should be defined and structured in a way each individual body can secure a better future for ourselves and collectively as a country. The goal of political solidarity is to effect social, political, and cultural landscape of Ethiopia into an inclusive space. The responsibilities of the federalist forces should be defined and carried out. Our political solidarity is based on the idea of fighting injustice and oppression together as one body. The responsibility of each member is to defend federalism, to be a voice for our people and to curve the future we can see ourselves in. The Oromo protests is a movement created to carry out these core goals of fighting injustice and oppression in Ethiopia. We understand the current Ethiopian media landscape and government supporters across the globe is busy painting the Oromo protests in a negative light. We have shown the world Oromo protests is a peaceful movement fighting to change the fate of Oromo people and other nations and nationalities facing the same treatment.
Therefore, all the federalist forces should come together in a meaningful way to fight for our future together. It is beautiful to show up together in rallies with our beautiful flags to say we stand with one another, but it needs to translate to a tangible solidarity, a political solidarity. A political solidarity of federalist forces means pulling our resources together, to stand together, to participate actively to effort on the ground across Ethiopia and to collectively be a voice here in the diaspora. We have a duty and responsibility to stand together to protect our future, our perspective regions, and our people from harm. When Oromo people are calling for market boycott, protesting across Oromia or they launch a campaign against the government join it for more impact. We do not have to wait until each area is targeted to react. We must work hard to harness a collective support for our efforts to bring the change we desire.
Political solidarity can be an effective model of change when we clearly identify our responsibilities and duties as federalist forces. This is not an era of empty rhetoric or empty promises. It is time to put our words and actions together and breakdown this system of oppression for once and for all. That comes with the understanding the Oromo protest is your protest. It is a protest movement of all subjugated nations and nationalities of Ethiopia. The time to stand together with purpose is now. #OromoProtests #UnitedWeStand #AbiyMustGo #FreeAllPoliticalPrisoners