Jawar’s Anti Abiy/Lemma and Pro Ethiopia Politics: Brilliant and Juvenile

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Jawar is pro-Ethiopia to undermine Abiy and Lemma. And he is anti Abiy and Lemma because he sees them as a threat to his dream of Greater Oromia.  This may seem contradictory and complex. It is basic and juvenile. But it has worked for him like a charm because he has figured out hate like love is blind.

On the one hand he has blinded and hardened his tribal followers with hate against Ethiopia, making it impossible for Team Abiy/Lemma to advance a unionist agenda. He also knows the Amhara and Tigray tribalists hate for Abiy and Lemma.That is one sour cord he plays in every verse by insinuating Abiy and Lemma have failed to bring the country together.

I am not surprised that the Amhara and Tigray tribalists are dancing to his music. Because their hate for each other brings them together against Team Abiy/Lema that is trying to bring them together to live in unity and peace. They know that will lead to compromise. None is ready to accept.

What caused me to write this blog is that the unionists are either warming up to his narrative or writing it off as irrelevant..

Today, Jawar shared with us a revealing blog in which he demolished the ruling party and the opposition. https://www.facebook.com/Jawarmd/posts/10104531537274773

His timing is as interesting as his message. It came soon after the Federal Government’s and the Oromo Regional Government’s strong appeal cum soft warning to political activists and the media to refrain from using hate messages and inciting conflicts between different tribes. Truth be told, the timing also coincides with recent petitions on change.org that blames him of inciting genocide.

………….… Part of Jawar’s blog starts from here ……………….

“After [the current] change is ushered in, I have been advising and pleading with the country’s political elites under the PM leadership to develop a clear and consensus based transition roadmap…

Starting from the day Abiy took office, I don’t think there is any political leader or scholar whom I have not tried to persuade on the need for a transition roadmap based on an all inclusive elite bargain….

When I was aggressively advocating for elite bargain and development of a roadmap, I was the enemy both to the ruling and the opposition politicians because my loud cry was disturbing their euphoric celebration. Today, again I am their enemy because they have to find a scapegoat for their failures and laziness. They are trying to transpose their own guilt to me!

No, it is not media or activism that is primarily destabilizing the country. It is the absence of a clear roadmap and elite bargain at the top that is manifesting itself in the form of tension and communal conflict at the bottom.

Activism and the media are not causing fire, their advocacy and reporting is just fueling a fire lit up by the action and inaction of the political parties and their leaders. Political parties and leaders should ‘lead’ not react to advocacies and reports. In order to lead they need to develop rules of engagement i.e rules for competition, cooperation and conflict resolution.

………………………The Quote Ends Here …………….

Anyone who believes this was targeted primarily at the opposition is fooling herself/ himself. The targets are the Abiy’s and Lemma’s Federal and Regional administrations. After all, the same criticism is shared by all tribe based oppositions. If you peel off the veneer decorated with Oromo flag and emblem, Jawar’s subtle criticism of the Abiy administration springs from the same well that Amhara and Tigray tribalists draw their attacks from.

Let us unpack Jawar’s politics and put it under CT Scan to see what it is made of. First, let us consider the insinuation of the Abiy Administration’s failure “to develop a clear and consensus based transition roadmap” that is “all inclusive.”

In a polarized society, having a clear roadmap up front is a political suicide. The only option available to you is first to create and expand a moderating center that can serve you as a buffer to mitigate the destabilizing tug of war between polarized and irreconcilable parties.

It is not without reason why Ethiopian nationalist parties G7, Arena Tigray for Democracy and Sovereignty (Arena) and Tigray Alliance for National Democracy (TAND) believe the critical task is to defuse the polarizing environment before tackling the thorny issue of building a democratic consensus.

Assume the clear roadmap that the Abiy administration wants to build consensus on is abandoning the current Tribal federation. Assume that in the current situation he called a national conference to start negotiation and ultimately build a consensus how and why it should be done. You know who will be the first to boycott such a national call? Jawar Mohammed. He would not even come to the table much less engage in discussion. He had made this clear in English and Amharic.

Assume on the other hand, Abiy’s roadmap is to maintain the current tribal constitution but improve its implementation. Amhara tribalists will go crazy, as will unionist forces. They will boycott the call for a national consensus.

In a polarized country when political parties call for a roadmap it is a call for reaffirmation of their position by the ruling party. They are cornering the ruling party to take their side. The role of the government is not to pick a side, but to help build a healthy political environment to help a consensus emerge from a democratic consensus.

Jawar knows this well, but he is not open for a democratic consensus. He is not even open for an Oromo consensus. He is about bullying his agenda down the throat of moderate Oromos and Ethiopians.

On July 28, 2018, Jawar tweeted: “Multinational federalism engrained in the current constitution is here to stay. It’s in not up for discussion, let alone negotiation. Anyone caught in some FANTASY should wake up from their hallucination,”

On March 3, 2019, he posted on his website: “በፈደራሊስዝም አልደራደርም !!!“

There is nothing more that Jawar wants than Abiy and Lemma announcing their intentions to abolish the tribalist federation. That will be the time for him to go for a kill, galvanizing his intellectual caddies and Qerro footsoldiers.

His 1.5 million Qerror Facebook followers and 100s of highly educated intellectual cadies echo his “በፈደራሊስዝም አልደራደርም !!!“ line. Once he has made sure that his political dictum is fully embraced as an uncompromisable Oromo position, he then turns around and blames the Abiy Administration for failing to build an all-inclusive consensus and vision for a democratic Ethiopia.

He presents himself as the leader who has been tirelessly nudging and pushing both the ruling and opposition elites to do something for mother Ethiopia and for the region at large.

In his today’s blog, he wrote: “political elites should sit around the table and engage in serious discussion, negotiation and bargain on the transitions roadmap and rules of engagement. Particularly, as I have said time and again for over a decade, the Oromo, Amhara and Tigrean elites must sit for real, perhaps painful, negotiation to lay down the foundation for consensual democracy that can bring lasting stability to the region.”

Here he is presenting himself as a consensus builder to find a common solution to all tribes that may require painful give and take. Anyone who has followed him for one week will know that his statement is contrary to the tribalist and religious fanatic that he is.

He is a man who will polarize anything polarizable. Sadly, tribe and religion happen to be the two most polarizable institutions. See below a screenshot from his FB (December 28, 2019). He wrote: “”The church is such a perfect money laundering establishment.”

A quick glance on his FB also flags statements such as “አማራ የሚባል ህዝብ ህሉናውን ስትዋል ተጋሩዎች ግን በ አኩሪ አተር ሰዎቹን ማኖ ማስነካት ፌይር አይደለም” (February 15, 2019).

Pay attention, he is not talking about a particular Amhara political group or a specific church. He is attacking the entire Amhara people and the worship place of all Christians irrespective of their denomination.

Why does he portray himself as a consensus builder to create a new democratic Ethiopia? His political strategy is a two-edged sword. Both targeting Team Abiy/Lemma.

By presenting them as incapable leaders, he adds his voice to the chorus of criticism against them by the Amhara and Tigray tribal parties. In doing so he helps make their presumed inability to govern the country becomes a universal view within Ethiopia.

By propagating and hardening Oromo hardliner position he makes it hard for them to build a democratic Ethiopia. He is pro-Ethiopia to undermine them. And he is anti Abiy and Lemma because he sees them as a threat against his dream of Greater Oromia.

Jawar cannot live with any Oromo political party that he does not control, even when they agree with his greater Oromia/Finfinne dream. Take for example, OLF. He shares almost all tenets of their political positions, be it on the politics of Finfinne or on tribal federalism. But he has consistently attacked OLF.

On December 31, 2018 he wrote the President of OLF “Dawud Ibsa should have to retire.” On January 21, 2019 he went a step further that he should be arrested. His words: “ዳውድ ኢብሳ መታሰረ ያለበት ይመስለኛል ።” A naive observer may think his statement is related to OLF’s refusal to disarm itself. The fact is that his attack on OLF started long before OLF’s conflict with the Abiy administration began.

Jawar’s politics may be juvenile and understandable. What is not understandable is the Amhara tribalists who bill themselves champions of greater Ethiopia but share Jawars strategy of undermining Abiy and Lemma and in so doing advance his dream of Greater Oromia. We cannot call Amhara tribalists Juvenile. You may ask “”Can their action be considered stupid?” I don’t know. You tell me.