In defense of Jawar, a brilliant and dedicated agent of change

Jawar Mohammed is Ethiopia’s most influential political figure. Opponents should cooperate with the activist in democratizing Ethiopia’s multinational federation, not demonize him.

On October 22, around midnight, an audio posted on Facebook reported a crisis unfolding in the Bole district of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital. In the audio, a commander in the Ethiopian Federal Police was heard instructing the protective detail assigned to Jawar Mohammed, the Executive Director of the Oromia Media Network (OMN) and a renowned political activist, to vacate their post at their assigned subject’s residence. The security detail who first answered the call refused to accept an order that came at midnight as unlawful. Another told the commander bluntly that they will not abandon Jawar to “nocturnal beasts”, stressing that they are ready to pay the ultimate sacrifice. The incident in the Bole district soon became a conflagration that, according to official estimates, claimed the lives of at least 86 people in the Oromia region.

Five years earlier, a social movement now widely known as the Oromo Protests erupted in the Oromia regional state. The protest started as a resistance against land seizure but it was quickly transformed into sustained opposition against the Ethiopian Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front (EPRDF) government’s stranglehold on the political landscape, discrimination in allocating national resources, and the incessant use of violence to resolve political differences in Ethiopia. It lasted for almost four years, culminating in the fall of EPRDF’s authoritarian regime and ushering in an era of democratic reform. The movement catapulted Jawar Mohammed to prominence as a leading political figure in Ethiopia’s history.

In August 2018, Jawar moved to Ethiopia to participate in the democratization process. Since then, he has been subjected to incessant political attacks. Documentaries, speeches, TV shows, radio programs, social media posts and character assassinations were used to denounce, discredit and debilitate him as a political actor. More recently, the campaign has become increasingly vitriolic, portraying Jawar as a devil incarnate whose reason for existence is the destruction of Ethiopia. The incendiary rhetoric reached a crescendo last week when Jawar was presented as the instigator of mayhem who should be charged with murder. The campaign is so pervasive that some media routinely describe Jawar as “a radical Oromo nationalist” and even The Guardian spoke of him as a “polarising figure … fomenting ethnic divisions.”

For his friends and millions of his supporters, Jawar Mohammed is a political activist who led a sophisticated social movement that toppled one of the most repressive regimes in Africa and ushered in an era of democratic change in Ethiopia. They view him as a brilliant political strategist who has given his young life to the cause of improving the lives of millions. They appreciate his devotion to promoting the cause of the Oromo people, but they also understand that he works assiduously for the near universal values of equality, liberty, justice and dignity for all Ethiopians. In their view, there is nothing in Jawar’s record that leads to the conclusion that he is an agent of mayhem and destruction.

In this short piece, I offer an account that refutes the image projected by his political enemies. My account is admittedly a friend’s testimonial. But it isn’t a sycophantic defense that has no objectivity. I have known Jawar for more than a decade and worked with him on several intellectual, political and community projects.  I know him as a diligent and dedicated agent of positive change who contributed more than anyone else to making possible the ongoing transformation in Ethiopia. It is impossible to win the hearts and mind of the Oromo people by sidestepping Jawar—a fact Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed would do well to note.

The unremitting demonization of a dedicated political activist works at cross purposes with the very goal of uniting Ethiopia that many of Jawar’s detractors hope to achieve. His enormous influence and political acumen is essential to stabilizing the country that now needs it the most. If the urgent need in Ethiopia at this moment is indeed to bring decorum to political competition and stability to the country, the more pragmatic course of action is cooperation with Jawar Mohammed, not confrontation.

Activism, a matter of character  

A person’s character is shaped by minor, often uneventful, experiences in one’s life. Jawar Mohammed is no exception. One of the labels hurled at Jawar is that he is a Muslim fanatic whose goal is to establish an Islamic state in Ethiopia. Born in the small town of Dhummugaa in the Arsi region, Jawar grew learning the importance of religious toleration. For him, it all began at home as a son of a Muslim father and Orthodox Christian mother. That he grew up as a Muslim did not prevent him from choosing a Protestant Christian as a wife and mother of his child. These experiences have instilled in Jawar his now deeply-held belief that there is no social divide that cannot be bridged through negotiations. His rapid rise to prominence is not because of his alleged Islamist predisposition. It is the result of imagination, hard work, perseverance, resilience and a determination to achieve.

Raised in his early years by his grandfather, who is a fascinating Oromo sage, Jawar’s character was shaped in the crucible of his grandfather’s libertarian penchant and his father’s sacrifice in the Oromo nationalist resistance movement. A champion of individual freedom from the depredations of the state, his grandfather inculcated in him deep suspicion for unlimited power. His community instilled in him appreciation of Oromo indigenous history, culture, law and social organization. His father’s generation’s history of struggle, which he learned primarily from the legendary Oromo nationalist guerilla fighter and leader, Abdulkarim Ibrahim Hamid, popularly known as Jarra Abba Gadaa, made him aware of the depth of brutality of the imperial regime and the importance of solidarity with similarly oppressed people. Like many Oromo nationalists, Jawar Mohammed grew up in an Oromo nationalist family, imbibing valuable lessons about the inviolability of the nationalist cause. At the same time, the Oromo egalitarian ethos imparted in him the belief that advocacy for Oromo human rights makes a positive contribution to creating an Ethiopia that respects the rights of all its citizens.

His formal education distinguishes Jawar from his peer activists because his inimitable purpose for pursuing education. He sought college education expressly to learn about social and political change and then use his knowledge to improve the human condition. After attending elementary and secondary schools in Ethiopia, he completed high school at the United World College of South East Asia in Singapore, graduating in 2005.  In Southeast Asia, where he traveled extensively, he discovered his own values and developed an appreciation for human differences. In the United States, he received a degree in political science from Stanford University and graduate degree from Columbia University in human rights in 2013. At these institutions, he grounded his formative experiences in political theories and comparative politics, a combination that made him a politically engaged scholar whose life’s purpose is to bring about positive change to peoples’ lives, regardless of their ethnicity.

In all of his achievements, he had only his industriousness and his perspicacious mind to rely on. Having left his parents’ home when he was only teenager, he was all alone throughout his unique itinerary of life. He is a self-made man who never loses his strategic focus. He is driven by a determination to win any competition he finds himself in.  His difficult young life built a tough personality that now permeates his grown up character, which he deploys effectively against his opponents, whether an individual or a heavily armed regime. An intellectually sophisticated and impressively energetic scholar-activist, Jawar is a life force who has subjected private ambition in favor of a more valuable public service.

Hashtag Oromo Protest

On November 12, 2015, a peaceful demonstration in a small town in central Ethiopia touched off a historic protest movement which quickly became a conflagration in all of Oromia. The protests continued for four more years, spread to some parts of Ethiopia and culminated in the toppling of an authoritarian regime. The protests came to be known as Oromo protest and Jawar Mohammed’s life is intertwined with it.

There are several reasons for this association. First, Jawar knew the trajectory of the protests when political analysts and interested observers expected that the uprising will be put down brutally in a short span of time. If he did not know exactly where the protests were going, he was aware that the moment offered a historic opportunity to bring about regime change in Ethiopia. In this regard, I offer an eye witness account to attest to Jawar’s foresight and insight that enabled him to seize the moment.

In early December 2015, only three weeks into the Oromo protests, Jawar invited me to appear on the Oromia Media Network (OMN) to comment on the ongoing protests in Ethiopia. On December 4, he and I appeared on OMN together to explain in Afaan Oromoo the causes of the protest and demands of the protestors. The next day, we repeated it in Amharic.  I did not recognize the value of TV commentary on the movement convulsing the country at the time. I obliged out of respect for the idea that OMN could become as “the voice and ears of the Oromo people.”

Jawar recognized early on social media’s power

Apparently, Jawar was aware of the significant role television could play in sustaining a social movement. Beginning in 2013, he had worked tirelessly to create the OMN. The TV broadcast center was launched in Minneapolis on March 1, 2014, even though the requirements necessary for satellite TV were not in place.  It was nevertheless launched with a palpable sense of urgency eight months before the start of the Oromo protest. That OMN would be a resistance media was evident in Jawar’s speech at the inauguration ceremony. He said:  “By launching this station, we have liberated Oromia’s airwaves. We will now begin the work of brining that liberty down to the ground in Oromia.” In retrospect, it is evident that Jawar had a plan for how the protest will be conducted and a strategic goal for how it will be concluded.

At the same time, he was assembling other tools to facilitate collective action against authoritarian rule. After we concluded the aforementioned TV appearance, Jawar said to me, with pride on his face and deep sense of satisfaction, “I have 100,000 Facebook followers. We will use this platform to lead a revolution. Thank God for Facebook.” I replied: “that is a good thing,” not quite aware of what Jawar was rhapsodizing about. I never expected that the social media platform could be harnessed to mobilize, organize and guide a social movement.  It seems Jawar recognized early on social media’s power to collect information from volunteer “reporters” on the ground all over Oromia.  Images, written reports and audio recordings streamed into Jawar’s laptop and hand held devices. He collated, crosschecked and verified the information and disseminated it back to Oromia using his Facebook account and via the OMN satellite.

The Oromo people rediscovered their unity

The broadcasts informed and mobilized the Oromo people for the struggle. The effect was momentous. The Oromo people rediscovered their unity as a nation and rallied around clearly articulated political demands. His Facebook posts and other social media distributions informed and organized the protestors on the ground for collective action. The dissemination of information and the operation of a clandestine protest organization rattled the EPRDF regime.

In late June 2016, Jawar’s tech savvy activists hacked into the computers of the Ministry of Education and removed a national examination. Armed with this, Jawar demanded that the national exam date be extended for students in Oromia who, because of the protests, were unable to prepare for a national examination. Officials were caught off guard, eventually giving in to the demand.

More surprises were in store for the regime. On August 6, 2016, the resistance movement staged resistance demonstrations in over 200 urban centers in Oromia. It was an unprecedented feat because the Oromia-wide mobilization occurred without the knowledge of the intelligence and security services. At the end of the month, a well-organized market boycott closed down all businesses and government establishments in the entire Oromia region. The capital, Addis Ababa, was practically shut down, paralyzing commerce. It was clear the regime was no match for the resistance.

These events highlighted here as turning points in the Oromo Protests that lasted four years. Together, they exposed that the image of a leviathan that the regime had been cultivating for itself and its claim to unassailability and invincibility was in fact a mirage By the time of the tragedy at the Ireecha festival of 2016 and ensuing 5 Days of Rage encouraged by Jawar, it had become clear the regime was not just vulnerable but teetering on the edge of collapse.

Social media and social protest

Before the Oromo protest movement, perhaps with the exception of Egyptian activists during the Arab Spring and some in the Black Lives Matter movement, few people in the world understood the power of social media in helping social movements expand and strengthen themselves internally. Activists had little appreciation for the media’s potential role in building connections, amplifying protest narratives and mobilizing participants and resources. Arguably, the Oromo Protests’ greatest and most enduring innovation is the merger of social media with a social movement. And Jawar Mohammed is a leading architect of the merger of these two forces and the consequent revolution.

For the merger to succeed, an Oromo resistance institution for collective action was built (rebuilt) in Oromia, undetected by the reputedly effective Ethiopian security apparatus. This was the Oromo youth organization known as qeerroo. Many describe Jawar as the “father” of the qeerroo, suggesting he is the founder. Jawar himself never claimed the mantle of “father” of the qeerroo organization. Asked by a journalist whether he was the founder and leader of the qeerroo, one coordinator of the organization described Jawar’s role as follows:

[Jawar] gives us political analyses and advice. … He can get access to information even from inside the government, which he shares with the Qeerroos. We evaluate it and then decide whether to act on it. …  The Qeerroos are like a football team. Jawar may be the goalkeeper – helping and advising – but we are the strikers.

Jawar agrees with this description. Asked whether he is indeed the “father” of the qeerroo movement by a Walta TV interviewer, he said, “I am a qeerroo brother. We grew up together.” This suggests that Jawar helped in reorganizing a preexisting group and made it responsive to operation in the digital era. Whatever his precise role, his intimate relationship with the qeerroo organization is not subject to debate. By bringing social media and a social movement organization together, Jawar made incomparable contribution in bringing down the EPRDF regime and authoritarian rule in Ethiopia.

As such, qeerroo was a new kind of resistance movement that took advantage of new communication technologies and artistic expressions that transmitted culturally-coded resistance messages using the ingenuity of tech-savvy activists who creatively employed digital media to mobilize collective action in pursuit of strategic goals. Using the Internet to initiate and organize a broad spectrum of activities, including consumer boycotts, public protests, stay-at-home strikes and demonstrations, activists in the diaspora and the qeerroo on the ground created a transnational resistance movement. Significantly, Ethiopia’s expansive intelligence and security apparatus was unable to detect and the powerful military was unable to stomp on. All of this was done through peaceful resistance that cost many young Oromo lives but spared many more lives of non-Oromo residents of Oromia.

Qeerroo in transition

Since his return to Ethiopia on August 6, 2018, Jawar had been holding back the qeerroo from putting undue pressure on the apparently reformist government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed. His goal was to ensure the success of Ethiopia’s transition to democracy. However, there had been signs that the Oromo qeerroo were impatient with incumbent leadership. The qeerroo had clear and enduring demands: self-rule in the regions and shared rule at the federal level; equitable allocation of benefits of regional resources and growth; and defense of Oromo identity and culture. Under the incumbent, these demands were relegated to the backburner, if not abandoned completely. The prime minister’s conduct in office and his newly-invented philosophy, Medemer, deepened the qeerroo’s and presumably Jawar’s suspicion that their revolution had been hijacked.

The frustration boiled over commencing in the wee hours of October 23, 2019. In the aftermath of the government’s attempted removal of Jawar Mohammed’s protective detail, the qeerroo once again took to the streets to protest what appears to be a politically motivated action orchestrated by the Ethiopian government against Jawar. The qeerroo came out to protect Jawar, their “comrade-in-arms.” All over Oromia, in urban centers and rural areas, demonstrations were held, expressing outrage and exasperation. Angry crowds burned the Medemer book or tore down billboards advertising it, set fire to the prime minister’s images and shouted slogans such as “Down, Down with Abiy Ahmed.”

When Jawar spoke for the first time about incident, he told the protestors “to remove road blocks, clean their mess in the streets, bury the dead and go home.” And they did.  Even so, his detractors are expressing indignation that the government has not apprehended and put him on trial for the death of innocent citizens. It is the topsy-turvy world of contemporary Ethiopian politics where there are calls for the victim to be brought to justice so that the criminals get away.

Notwithstanding the vitriol saturating the media, the qeerroo who returned to the streets are not irrational hooligans who would uncritically accept Jawar’s orders and do his bidding without question. The recent qeerroo protest was spontaneous. It was triggered by the incident at Jawar’s residence. Prior to this, however, coordinators in central and eastern Ethiopia had already announced that the qeerroo will hold demonstrations protesting against the government. The qeerroo have genuine demands, the unanswered old ones and newly created ones. As long as their demands remain unmet, they will come back to the streets. Judging by the prime minister’s track record and his reaction to the death of hundreds last week (129 by some unofficial estimates), it is unlikely the qeerroo demands will be met anytime soon. Jawar is likely to continue urging restraint and qeerroo patience to give chance to democratic transition underway in the country.  But the time when even Jawar is no longer able to hold the qeerroo back is possibly coming to an end. 

Cooperation, not confrontation

Today, Jawar is the most influential political figure in Ethiopia.  His influence is rooted in his quick mind, deep erudition of social movements and political change, mastery of the use of the digital media and dogged pursuit of the goals he set for himself.  He collects enormous amounts of information through his Facebook account and network of contacts within and outside the government, processes it quickly, develops strategies and implements them quickly.  In addition, he uses his incomparable linguistic fluency, carefully constructed persona and uncanny ability to predict how political events may turn to lead his troops. A combination of his personality, the large amounts of data he receives and the wide reach of OMN makes him extremely influential and lethal to his enemies.

As far as I know, Jawar does not have a flair for outdoor games. What I know is that he enjoys playing “political games.” That’s his favorite “sport.” And his singular focus on the game at hand is what made him the leader of the longest-running, sophisticated and successful social movement that overthrew a dictatorship through peaceful protests. In this regard, he has made history in Ethiopia and demonstrated to the world how social media and social movements could be synergized to work together in effecting political change.

As a leader in the Oromo Protest, Jawar Mohammed was demonstrably tenacious, even ruthless in his tactics when he is engaged in a cut throat competition. Once EPRDF decided to commit to reform and embark on a transition to democracy, Jawar changed his political stance from resistance leader to statesman. Upon his return to Ethiopia on August 6, 2018, he declared that the resistance had moved on to governance, and called for democratization, peacebuilding and equality of opportunity. In an interview, he stated:

“I do believe if we democratize the Ethiopian state – allowing people of all ethnicities to participate in the political process and to get a fair share of power and wealth – there is a possibility the next generation will be proud Oromo and proud Ethiopian at the same time. I think that is possible.”

On another occasion, he added: “We fought for a democratic government, not for a popular government. We don’t care who is going to rule this place, but that person has to have the consent our people expressed through the ballots.”

These are not empty words uttered for political expediency but expressions of deep convictions and commitments. They testify to the fact that Jawar is a political pragmatist. He has been calling for a new social contract for the Ethiopian people since he arrived in Ethiopia in August 2018. When resistance flared up recently, he was the first public figure to call for calm and return to normalcy. No amount of defamation can render Jawar politically irrelevant. He is an indispensable political figure in contemporary Ethiopia. Ethiopian politicos will benefit from working with rather than confronting him.

Query or correction? Email us

This is the author’s Viewpoint. However, Ethiopia Insight will correct clear factual errors.

Main photo: Jawar Mohammed with Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed, former Oromia president Lemma Megersa and former Foreign Minister Workneh Gebeyehu

Published under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International licence. Cite Ethiopia Insight and link to this page if republished. 

Related Insight

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February 27, Ethiopian elite lost in electoral maze under Abiy’s gaze

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About the author

Ezekiel Gebissa

Ezekiel Gebissa (Ph.D. Michigan State) is a Professor of History and African Studies at Kettering University. He is the author of Leaf of Allah: Khat and the Transformation of Agriculture in Harerge Ethiopia, 1875–1991. His political commentaries regularly appear in Addis Standard, the influential English monthly magazine in Ethiopia, and international magazines.


  • I am very much impressed with the insight. This should be prepared in book or book chapters. Brilliant work. Jawar is an extraordinary person that could take this country out of mess, but dictators and their families hate without justification.

  • Even though just a profile of a person, this article serves as an example of one-sided or biased reporting. The writer may be happy with himself, but as far as the world outside of him is concerned, and when it comes to finding a solution to the problems in Ethiopia, it is unhelpful. Moreover, speaking of the individual and events related to him in such a one-sided way is a sign of intellectual dishonesty and goes against the demands of justice and fairness.

    Two questions:

    1) The article reads: “The qeerroo had clear and enduring demands: self-rule in the regions and shared rule at the federal level; equitable allocation of benefits of regional resources and growth; and defense of Oromo identity and culture.”
    It would be very enlightening to many people if the writer would explain, even briefly but unambiguously, how these demands have not seen progress in the new administration (and warrant continuing to protest same as before) and how progress in these areas is halted specifically and differently for the Oromos than it is for other ethnicities. Are these maybe nation-wide demands, and therefore a (violent) protest organized by one ethnicity, fueled by a (miseducation) of the relatively uneducated mass youth that the demands are uniquely lacking for the Oromo only, would give rise to division rather than unity, if that is a quality you say you adhere to?

    2)Nothing is indicated in the article about the individual’s financial and economic sources. Makes one naturally curious. How were the TV networks, travels and investment in specialized skills financed? What about if the individual was always free from giving in to the unethical agenda of the financiers, if any?

  • Let them know who we are and support each other the day will come and u will be paid for what ur doing and sacrificed so far
    ….. forget negative comments from those of naturally comes to this world to complain and discarding reality
    ….. ur one of our heroes
    ….. the day will come and u will be paid back for ur good job insha Allah
    ….. wish u all the best

    • I Really proud of professor Izekiel Gabissa for recognition of your brother jawar muhammed of course you guys struggle a lot togather
      We love you Ezekiel
      Sii jallanna professor keenyaa
      Nama Obbollessaa offitti hin hinaafne!!!

  • I am an Ethiopian. i need some explanation from you.You usually oppose people who support for united Ethiopia living in every corner of Ethiopia peacefully with out fearing one day they will be displaced from where they are living.The question is what are
    the points that we should know as the question of the oromo people. please jot down let us know , which are the true questions and
    which are not . so that we can argue on what should not be the question of the oromo and what questions of the oromo should be answered either as fast as possible or step by step through time.

  • You should know better. To glamorize a man who dedicated his life to dismembering Ethiopia is to salute ISIS for every destruction they commit that harms society. This man has no interest in the peace and stability of the Ethiopian people. What you call Queero is nothing more than the Somali version of Al Shabab. I suppose, while you are at it, you should salute them as well. As a Professor of History, I am ashamed for you to even entertain this man as a masterful politician that ever existed in Ethiopia. Do you know the Ethiopian History? Or, are you blined by narrow tribalism? Please, go back and re-read the Ethiopian history!

  • If you are preaching for human rights and your activities leads to the death of 82, then what is the benefit of holding degrees in human rights, activist from elementary level, working for equality, liberty etc ….. the life that lost will written in black mark and it will hunt Mr.Jawar till his end. Speaking peace is simple but making it practical is complex and if some one does that he is the real hero, In that aspect Mr.Jawar is a failure till now, may change in the future. Wishing all the best for his future and not to repeat the faults.

  • Thank you Professor to tell us the truth about activist Jawar and his political directions for all Ethiopians.

    ‘If we love our country, having a fair, justice, democratic, and real thought as Jawar will the way’

  • I wonder whatever happened my two of days ago. Do we have to absorb like a spong everything that the writer has scribbled down without serious reflection or critique ? MMM!

  • Oromo need to calm down and understand that today’s Amharas are not out to get them. The Amhara of today are not the neftegana of yesterday and you know that. The Amhara army of Menelik was an army of medieval old style politics first created to defend Amharas from European aggression and interference. Calm down, we are in the 21st century!

    It is possible to work with Amharas as equals-that is what Abiy is trying to tell you!

    Jawar and Ezekiel knows that Amharas are a strong united cohesive and influential nation, and that they can easily become leaders of Ethiopia again by forming a coalition with other nations who don’t trust the Oromo such as Afars, Somalis, Gurages, Gamo, Woliata, Silte, Agew, Gambella. Even Sidama will work with Amharas once the Sidama get their kilil. These other nations were invaded by Menelik as well, but they have MOVED ON, and look out for their current interest-they are able and willing to live with Amharas as long as there is equality.

    Extreme Oromo nationalists do not want equality with Amharas. Rather, these extremists want Amharas to have weak and meek role in Ethiopian politics. They want other nations to hate Amharas so they will not form a political coalition with Amharas and only Oromos extremists can dominate. Extremists are constantly killing Gamos and other southern peoples, they want to terrify them to not ally with Amharas. Oromo are embarrassed by their past because Amharas defeated them, and especially because many of their grandfathers worked with Menelik closely. This is the root of Oromo nationalists hysteria and hatred. Also, hatred is a glue, and Oromo nationalists need a glue, because they are not as united as they pretend they are. They know Oromo are like Arabs. Arabs cover a large geographic area, and they speak a common language, however, they are not a NATION. Arabs are a divided people who are in constant ware with each other. Just like the Arabs have their imaginary Arab national identity, so Oromo nationalists have their imaginary Oromo national identity. Oromos must stop fooling each other and other nations, and come up with a political identity that is not based on resentment and hatred, but rather pride and open mindedness.

    Amharas are not as strong as you think either. They have weak leadership and don’t understand the needs of other nationalities very well. However, their strength is their peaceful, fair and inclusive approach to politics. The other nations feel safe with Amharas. They never see Amhara mobs attacking or looting Gurages or Gamos or Somalis in Addis Ababa. It took 25 years of oppression between Amharas finally raised their hands against Tigrays. 25 years!

    Oromos I say make your peace with Amharas as equals, and form a united coalition!

    • The line where you say 25 years of oppression by Tigray (TPLF) is a deliberate mischaracterization, quite predictable as the politics of hostility and resentment. When TPLF assumed leadership of EPRDF, Ethiopia was a nation in distress, a nation in danger. After 30 years of war of attrition Eritrea’s secession had become irreversible, the Ogaden region was unstable at that time; and the rise, the awakening of Oromo nationalism was large in demography and geography, and it needed to be addressed and tempered to prevent an endless civil war. The old political order could not hold, and so a federal system was enacted as a pragmatic alternative. After the current political bickering is over, I believe federalism as a system of Ethiopian government will not be undone. Federalism implemented 25 years ago by TPLF and its EPRDF coalition was used to stabilize and hold a distressed Ethiopia together. It was a noble effort, a noble cause.

      • By oppression I mean marginalization of Amharas politically. Like extreme Oromo nationalists, Tigray nationalists (TPLF) want to make sure that Amharas have no meaningful political leadership role in Ethiopia. The federal system was enacted as a way to limit the power of the big two, i.e. Amharas and Oromos, and as mechanism for TPLF to control both, and hence Ethiopia. That is not to say that TPLF did not ideals even noble ones, but it was informed by a hatred and resentment of Amharas. The problem TPLF had is that it’s base is 6%, and to justify their power, they had to justify why Amharas have to be politically marginalized. Hence their ideology of resentment against Amharas, i.e. Amharas are neftegnas, Menelik gave away our homeland to the Italians, Haile Sellassie divided us , and on and on. It took Amharas in Ethiopia 25 years to fully understand this ideology. The diaspora always knew, but they made peace with TPLF because TPLF does after all hail from Tigray, their cousins, and quite frankly, TPLF did a fantastic job with the economy, health, education, infrastructure, law and order. They did stabilize Ethiopia. So the grateful diaspora kept quite, happy to be able to visit their country after two decades of the brutal rule by Mengistu. But the system could not hold, because ultimately, the Oromos and Amharas could not continue to be marginalized forever. It was a matter of time, and the rest is history.

  • Brother, Why is that you are unable to see what Ethnic Politics is doing to us. Can’t you see what 28 years of full-fledged ethnic federalism has already done to us?!

  • Well written truth depicting a young man, activist Jewar Mohammed. Thank
    Professor Eskiel Gabissa. Jewar begun his activism at tender ages of elementary years. Today, Jewar age 33 years old he is a combination of Martin Luther King, Nelsen Mandela combined
    in one package.
    Those who are out to destroy Jewar also equaly have enough ammos similiar to
    those who caged Nelsen Mandela in Robbin Island, or those who killed Martin Luther King Jr.
    One thing must be clear that those who may harm Jewar would drail Ethiopian empire to its final knee! Already there are 50 million strong youth Oromos and many oppressed Ethiopians ready to mount undeslodgeable power! Power
    that gives the oppressed, butcherd, looted, gutted Ethiopians Come to equal footnings to those who blind-folded millions to keep them in slave-hoods for over 150 years.
    The rights of those who are below slave states-hood will come to crumble in due time.

  • If one can Not condemn the violence, then he supports the terrorist attack. There is no guarantee this event to happen again. No sane person allows one group to kill the other people. This proves that you can’t rule the country.

  • Thank you professor,to write the reality about Jawar mohammed and his contribution for great political change that occured in land of ethiopia. Jawar is now not indiviuals ,he is institution for oromia and the rest of kush people. I love both of you.

  • WOOW!!! I got it a deeply objective insight…not just a simple,not biased and not subjective…we Oromos are truth rooted , we have never halted anyone,we are known for our hospitality ,patience. furthermore the #oromo intellectuals have never had under rated contribution for the stability of this country….despite this is a fact, now a days we have been confronted with political fabrication,false critisism tarteting our head politicians and intelectuals,particularly against #jawarmohammed …Oromo is just like an elephant..huge(baldhaa),confident,silent,patient,charismatic and ethinically proud(we call it sabboonaa,,you called it bihertenya)if you are trying to land it down it will fall upon you…just smashed you..crushed you,while survived for finalize what i would like to advice any herd is that all of you nearbye oromo have only one option..respecting the existense of an oromo…accepting the identity of oromo…realising the hugeness,confidence of oromo

  • We didn’t know you guys were following your ego and lastly a hidden agenda that lead the country to violence with in a few months after you came to power that you made a slaughter and ethnic cleansing in oromia. The then activism has now changes into a clear and present form of terrorism that’s why we all are suspicious you and your God(jawar) are the messengers of Egypt ?? and we are witnessing you don’t represent the young fighters of Oromia. Still, your bias and extremism have a huge burden on the country for the near future.
    My suggestion: don’t burn yourself from status anxiety and imagine to live alone without other nation that formed the country.

  • I agree with what you just described about Jawar Mohammed. Jawar is unfairly targeted by many including in the social media. I am from neither Amhara nor Oromo ethnic group. I am Harari and my view about Jawar Mohmmed has drastically changed after he successfully resolved the conflict between Harari society and some members of the Qeerroo youth. Contrary to what some portray him to be, he sounds, talks and acts reasonable to me. I don’t believe Jawar is complicit with the senseless killing of the people and destruction of properties.

  • Why are you always against Jawar and qeerroo? Jawar devoted himself to bring stablity in Ethiopia, though you don’t want to understand because you are suffering from Jawarophoba and Oromo hate. You and your fellow nightmare followers were airing 24/7 through your ESAT TV and other neftegna media as if genocide was committed against “one ethnic group”, whilst as described by the authorities, that the vast majority of those who died was qeerroo. Why do you transmit false news? Why do you crave for the superiority of “one ethnic group” only using the term Ethiopianism as a shield? Why you didn’t speakout when nearly 300 Gumuz people and a lot of Kimant and Agawo people were displaced, and children remaind orphant? You said, “Jawar’s security guards were supposed to obey the command of the security agency bosses”, realy? Did you think what could have happened in Ethio had they had assasinated Jawar? Think out of the box! Foy you, Jawar is nothing but fot the brave Oromo and other oppressed ethnic groups, he is a super hero, just legendary because he helped and guided us in a modern and sophisticated struggle(non violent resistance). Adding to it, it is very foolishness for someone to think that Jawar doesn’t sustain without qeerroo, or viceversa. He has tought, trained and shaped hundreds and thousands of Jawars so far, I advise you not to worry about that. Qeerroo is a young generation who never ever kneels down for any oppressive regime in the future. We grew up our fathers and grand fathers angirly telling us what type of sufferings, tortures, impartiality, isolation, discrimnation unlawful and unfair trials they passed through. Therefore, being cultivated and fed with modern education, qeerroo is considered right hand for oromo and other oppressed ehnic groups- not distructive unlike the way you described. Qeerroo, OMN, Jawar Oromo and other oppressed ethnic groups are unstppable by false propoganda and worthyless naftagna campaign.

    • You said the vast majority killed are Queero, which means that Queero are also causing the death of other Oromos. You justify mob violence and forget to mention the 1 million Gedeo ethnically cleansed by Oromos, Somalis, Dorze, Gamo. This does not even come close to the Gumuz and Kement. Oromo violence is vast, and so vast that it is actually beyond Jawar to control. You like it or not, the Ethiopian peoples are having enough of Oromos, it is not just Oromos who were invaded by Menelik, but the other nationalities do not go about hating and killing Amharas. They want to live peacefully with equality with Amharas. Oromo nationalists know that Amharas are potential political rivals as they are a large and united nation and so you dishonestly use exagerated history to try to grab complete power via violence. No one is fooled.

  • Dear prof. Ezekiel, I would have preferred you than you friend. We need you analytical expertise to build a democratic nations.

    • Yeayte Mesker Denbit says Amhara. Of all people, this narrow ethnic thug is trying to tell us about Jawar the terrorist. You are an embarrassment!

      • Who is terrorist? The Amara ethnic fanatics that killed their own regional high ranking leader and the federal government’s army chief of staff, isn’t it? Amara ethnic extremists who massacre the ethnic minority groups like Gumuz, Kimant, Wollo Oromos, etc in their region are the real terrorists.

  • what about the killing of innocent Ethiopians? What about us who lives in fear?
    How much lives does a democracy costs?
    How many mothers should cry before democracy comes?
    How many childres would be orphane
    Hey dr. please care about those who lost their loving ones

  • ሀሣብህ ፁፉ ሁሉ እጅህና አእምሮህ ሁሉ ወያኔ በምትወረውርል ቁራሽ ሣንቲ የታወርክ ወደል አህያ ወይም የእፉኙቷ ወያኔ hand craft ነህ።ለላኪዎችህ በምትለው መንገድ እኳን የኢትዮጵያን ህዝብ ቀርቶ ግማሽ ትግራይን አታታልል።ወደሉ መሃይም ነህ ሥላልተማርክ አይደለም በምታሥቡት መንድ ሥልጣንም አትይዙም ኢትዮጵያም አትበታተንም።ዉያኔ ና ተላላኪው ሆይ የናንተ ጉዳይ ቴልቄ ማኔ ፋሬሥ ተብሎአል ያኔ ሠውያቹ ሲሞት።ወያኔ ዘመንህ ተፈፅሟል እርምህን አውጣ ጁሃርን ሀውቲን የመን ሄደህ ነፃ አውጣ በለዉ እሺ ክርፋቶ።

  • Thank you Ezekiel, I have a better understanding of Jawar’s background & do not question his brilliance nor commitment to the Oromo movement.

    My dilemma is that I am not able to grasp Jawar’s failure to understand that his effort in advancing one ethnic groups agenda, specifically, this laser focus on not recognizing that other ethnic groups have also been marginalized, will result in a divisive society which eventually will lead to a total break up of the nation;: is that truly his agenda, to separate the people of Oromia from the rest of their brothers who have suffered equally and set up a greater Oromia nation?

    His leadership & commitment ought to be towards focusing on improving the lives of the untold millions of our brothers who live in abject poverty, not instigating ethnic division which will lead to fratricide/genocide as evidenced in Rwanda not too long ago..

    I would have no problem supporting Jawar for a leadership role in Ethiopia if he were to rethink this path of divisiveness: Us vs. Them mentality which will not benefit anyone but lead to a repeat writ large, of what happened in Rwanda, former Yugoslavia etc. where millions were displaced & died.

    Thank you.

  • what a wounderfull reall report over all to make full aware of all struggle that going from assential back ground of activities Jawar his family his experience of religious side of his mom & wife but still shape him not makes him to hate but love live & familiars thank you very much

  • I am both astonished and disturbed by the callous behavior of the author of the piece for not showing any condolences for the loss of life that ensued Jawar’s megalomaniac acts on October 23, 2019. To make this worse, the author is a professor in a US university.

    Now, to my assessment of the piece and my points to the author and readers.

    1) As I understand it, the author, while declaring that he is a professor of History and a political activist, made himself look like an ignorant political buffoon in an effort to aggrandize Jawar. A professor of History and a political activist in this day and age will and must understand the importance and power of media in politics and political activism. The author says, “I did not recognize the value of TV commentary on the movement convulsing the country at the time. ” This statement shows how much biased and desperate the author became to save Jawar’s face. Political activism while becoming professor of History and not recognizing the value of media are exclusive events. So, the author has blinded himself to make others follow him in the darkness he chose to go through.

    2) The author admittedly stated that,”My account is admittedly a friend’s testimonial.” Clearly, the author as a friend of Jawar’s has some contribution to the mayhem that happened in the last week of October 2019 in south eastern Ethiopia. They are together in the crime that caused enormous catastrophe and property damage at the hands of the qeerroo (the hooligan group) that they unleashed because they were unhappy with the current government. So, the author is in part trying to defend himself under the guise of defending his friend. And it is commonsense to take the testimony of a culprit and/or an accomplice with a grain of salt.

    3) The author should have known that his friend Jawar in broad-day light declared war on Christians. The author, a couple of years ago, should and must have known that Jawar requested the Oromo muslims to cut-off the necks of Christians with machetes. It is based on that request that the barbaric qeerroo killed innocent people recently. Even worse, following the most recent mayhem in October 2019, in Arsi, Oromia region, Jawar’s direct reports the so called Abba Geddas, declared war on Christian Amharas and Gammos. Surprisingly, the author didn’t say anything about this evil plan and act. On the contrary, the author blabbered so much trying to portray Jawar a friend of Christians and a moderate peaceful individual. The author stated that the muslim Jawar went so far in his life that he married a protestant wife and had a child by her. This is irrelevant to what Jawar said and did. Jawar has been known to be half Yemeni, half Ethiopian by birth and an American by citizenship. But, all of this is unrelated to his criminal behavior. Jawar is a Christian hater and has declared it in public and his speech is in the public domain.

    4) The megalomaniac Jawar declared that Ethiopia has two governments – one that Abiy Ahmed leads and the other that Qeerroo leads. It is with this understanding that Jawar brags to unleash his qeeerroo troops to destroy anything that they get in front. The author unwittingly admitted that Jawar controls the qeerroo and later tried to make qeerroo as independent of Jawar’s control. The author says, “When Jawar spoke for the first time about incident, he told the protestors “to remove road blocks, clean their mess in the streets, bury the dead and go home.” And they did. ” Here the author tried to show that Jawar is so influencial to the extent that he controls the qeerroo that even the government cannot control and Jawar must be respected and be given whatever he needs. What the author failed to understand is that he is testifying that Jawar actually controls the qeerroo and must be held accountable for the mayhem his qeerroo troops caused. On the other hand, the author says, “Notwithstanding the vitriol saturating the media, the qeerroo who returned to the streets are not irrational hooligans who would uncritically accept Jawar’s orders and do his bidding without question.” The author is confused and is trying to have it both ways. The author must understand that Ethiopians know qeerroo did not and does not exist without Jawar. Even the author himself cannot replace Jawar and make qeerroo continue to exist. Qeerroo’s existence is inextricably tied to Jawar. Jawar has enormous financial and material resource to sustain the qeerroo. The source of those resources that Jawar controls must be investigated and addressed in the due process of the law of the land or international law as found necessary. If the author as friend of Jawar’s is willing to confess, he may tell the whole world where Jawar gets the financial and material resources that he has in his control comes from. The whole world knows OMN does not have any advertising income. So, what is the source of all of this resources under Jawar’s control?

    5) The October 23, 2019 incident is a poorly performed drama by qeerroo and their “savvy” Jawar. Even by the poor standards of EPRDF, who would believe that security guards assigned by the government agency will defy their commissioner’s demand to vacate their guarding posts (towers) and keep their loyalty to a nonentity individual, in this case Mr. Jawar? Who is the author trying to kid? Does author know how government security apparatus works? In case he does not, the security functions in such a way that security guards assigned to protect important persons always have responsibility and duty to report the activities of the persons they protect for the agencies’ purposes. As such, the security guards have zero chance to be more loyal to the protected than their agencies. The security agencies have all kinds of mechanisms to ensure that the assigned security guards are more loyal to the agencies than the protected legal entity. So, for this reason, there is no way that the October 23, 2019 incident was actually orchestrated by the government agency. It was planned and executed by Jawar and his accomplices. The result showed the weakness of the government security agency in that it failed to identify Jawar’s plot. On the other hand, there was no political reason for the government to do what happened on that day. On the contrary, the maniac Jawar was desperate because hen was afraid that his importance was evaporating and so he has every reason to do what he did to stay politically relevant.

    6) Last but not least, the author says, “No amount of defamation can render Jawar politically irrelevant. He is an indispensable political figure in contemporary Ethiopia. Ethiopian politicos will benefit from working with rather than confronting him.” The author appealing that Jawar should be treated like someone with formal political power because Jawar has followers who can cause catastrophe. The author should know better as a professor. The government has a responsibility and accountability to protect the people of Ethiopia. To that effect, the government has been given the power and the resources to execute the laws of the land by the people of Ethiopia. Why would the government benefit working with a megalomaniac political nonentity? I think the days that Jawar will face justice are coming soon and Jawar is heading for the noose himself. The government must do what needs to be done and give justice to the dead and their loved ones.

    • Thank you so much for this. I don’t understand how hard it can be for some people to understand that Jawar may look sweet on the outside, but in the inside he is the devil.

    • Dear Haileab,
      I support your comments, except that we should be very careful to characterize Qeerroo as Hooligans. Some of the Qeerroo’s may be, but just to be respectful to Oromo’s culture, Qeerroo as an Oromo culture, even if we don’t understand well we should be respectful, otherwise Ja-War, is a hero for some but Megalomaniac, delusional and shameless individual who will never stop to achieve his delusional dream whatever that dream is. His speeches are incoherent and violent, he is not for peaceful and respectful coexistence with the rest of Ethiopians unless it is with total Oromo domination over the rest of Ethiopia. I think including his defender Activist Gebisa and many Oromo activists subconsciously feel inferiority complex. Whenever the Oromo activists are on any media the only thing I saw and heard is complaining about the past wrongs. Well, the past is the past, why don’t you focus what can be improved and accomplished ahead? If the usual suspect MinYilik has done something wrong to your community, he is no longer with us, why just focus like Dr. Abiyi and Lemma do and try to live in the 21 Century Ethiopia instead of complaining the past? Absolutely, Ja-War has to face the rule of law. We cannot just leave it as it is, what his poison mouth has caused – so many suffering for many innocent Ethiopians. Justice for these voiceless people, we will be their voice to bring to justice this individual.

    • You fool man, Qeerroo’s existence doesn’t rely on the existence of Jawar. The narrow minded Abyssinians thought killing/eliminating Jawar will bring them back to the time similar to that of Minilik when he and his followers gunmen killed innocent Oromos and other ethnic group for enrichment of the Neftegnas. But this time, eliminating Jawar and other revolutionaries will not bring you any benefit than inciting genocide and dismantling of the Ethiopian Empire which is on the verge of collapse. If you like speeding up the collapse of this miserable Empire, Ethiopia, you can try. However, I will assure you that you will not come to the so called “Golden ages of Abyssinia” but rather its demise.

  • I just don’t understand how a person’s first reaction when their life is threatened is to post on FB. What exactly is he sacrificing for Qeerroo?

    • Better for you first to learn the meaning of qeerroo and what qerroo is. Why don’t you write your right name instead of ‘qeerroo’?

  • Dear Dr Ezekiel,
    Thank you very much for writing this timely article in defending the defender. I don’t disagree with most of your commentaries but there’s more left to be added. For example when almost all opposition political forces were silenced by Meles Zenawi, Jawar bravely come out & tell on his face that 2012 election was 100% is a joke in his debate against Bereket Simone, the then Govt Communication Head on Al-Jazeera. He survived all the bullying in bad Zenawi era. He has never bow down for “nationalists, islamists, extremists…etc” labels rather stayed the course with common ppl on the grounds. He gave his live 100% to the struggle despite his rigidity somehow, somewhat. Respect for Jawar & yourself for your selflessness! -FM.

    • Dear FM,

      I believe no Oromo Activist, including Jawar or Oromo affiliated organization, has done a fraction of what Meles has done for the Oromo people.
      Your comment reminds me the unwritten law in medieval Mali, which states that if a lie persists for 40 years, it is to be regarded as truth.
      That is what we are experiencing in contemporary Ethiopia, a lie is the truth.
      Meles may not have realized all wishes of the Oromos or other Ethiopians, but he has set up a roadmap that advanced the country. It is up to us to continue the journey carefully.
      Some respect for this great Ethiopian would be appropriate.

  • it is very unfortunate to have someone like Eskel Gabissa as reporter . The world may understand how the power of money plays a huge role in giving a wrong view to the world. Someone like Eskel and Jawar who want to squeeze all Ethiopians under their racist view has the money for wrong inhuman purposes. They did divided the country by bringing up their race (oromo) to press others by preaching benefits with out any regard to other Ethiopians. I was ashmed to hear about Ethiopia and Ethiopians in their racist movements. They caused the death of many by igniting divisions and selfish benefits to Oromo Ethiopians through unprecedented power and fights with others. Their unpresented move closed schools of other Ethiopian Ethnic language schools in oromiya region bringing language competition. They invoke divisions of Ethiopian Orthodox church trying to push only Ormigna language to be spoken in oromiya region. I wanted to advise readers of this report to check OMN and find out how this ( Jawars) media is playing a race card to move ôur Oromo Ethiopians selfishly by totally ignoring other tribal needs. Jawar and Eskel are making our people to think majority to play a role by totally ignoring the needs of 65% population of Ethiopia by causing divisions and fights .

    • You are naïve writer. I didn’t see anything that Jawar and Prof. Izkiel made t divid Ethiopia. Your Ethiopia is already divided into various ethnic groups – Tigray, Gumuz, Shinasha, Berta, Anya, Nuer, Kaficho, Hamer, Walaitta, Sidama, Knos, Oromo, Hadiya, Kambata. Silte, Halaba, Somali Affar, etc. Do you mean that all these are the same and there is no difference at all? If you think that there is no difference, why are you always taking about Amhara being massacred in other parts of Ethiopia? Is it not hat they are different from others and targeted because of their perceptions about other people of the country? If not different and all the people are the same, why do you worry about Oromos and other people that the Neftegnas have bias about their existence. Don’t try to fool yourself and come to your mind to peacefully live with other people of the Country without inciting conflict here and there. You should stop dreaming to bring back your Ethiopia of the time of Minilik, Haiale Sillase and Derge. That past will never come and the current generation is more educated aware of the evil things that the Amhara and Tigray group made on them. No way to go back than going forward to liberation, equality, democracy. In absence of equality, democracy and rule of law, you cannot imagine of living together as has been done in the last 150 years of Abyssinian domination and slavery of the other ethnic groups.

  • So impressed by the points of argument and the insider rich information. I 100% support the points and pragmatic presentation. I also feel we have to work on together on containing any such spontaneous en routes to streets any more. We have come to Golden time – for consolidating reforms and resolve for all interests in Ethiopia via dialogue and focused negotiations. In this respect I share that time is elapsing and there is a need for concrete actions and make sure that we are on the right track. Thank you for sharing the insights with us all…

  • Thanks you professor. You came up with the reality that most of us can witness and it’s well articulated. I hope you will further step onwards to come up with fantastic book on ” Oromia, Oromo protest, Jawar Mohammed and the transition in Ethiopia ” soon.

    • I am Oromo and I love ❤️ Jawar Mohammed not because of he is from Oromo tribes, but because his point of view when it comes to Ethiopia politics changes. This what we need to be aware of. Who ever work hard to change their country, they have priority Right to get rewards the pro they have been working hard for. Speaking honestly, if Jawar Mohammed was not involved in Ethiopian politics I can imagine what will happen to the country. However, even though there no thank you for Jawar from foolish people, it my pleasure ? to thanks Jawar Mohammed for all of his hard work through out his life. For those of you who don’t know know who Jawa Mohammed is, I can give you a better explanation about Jawar Mohamed.

      1. Jawar Mohammed is a highly educated people.

      2. He is one of the most Pearson who have done ✅ Enormous work to change Ethiopian from Dictator leading style to the freedom.

      3. He is the foundation of OMN which means Oromo Media Network.

      4. Is media is stand for those who don’t have the right to speak for them self. How ever, Ethiopian government and his administration against Jawar Mohammed for speaking for those whom don’t have the right to speak for them self due to how they are minority’s in the country.

      I am so happy to have Jawar someone who have stand for his country and people.

      I pray for Jawar to have a peaceful life and reach is goals.

  • Thanks professor Ezekiel

    This country needs people like you not because i agree with you but because you articulate your defense of Jawar without demonizing the others.

    i have been reading comments from other social media websites like Borkena,com,,, and many others, but the issue is most of the commentators (Professors and political analyst) have other ethnic agendas on their mind.

    Our people have been so marginalized of the last century that we need to be educated not only how to occupy the highest office on land but most importantly to advance economically and technologically.

    We can have Oromo prime minister or any other important positions but if our people dont improve on other two front then i guarantee we doomed to fail in future.

    I suggest two important front.

    Creation of two separate entities

    1. Oromo Political Entity

    On this front we have people like Jawar, you and many others

    2. Social, Technological and Economical entities (NGO)

    Their are many educated Oromo individuals from diaspora community who are not interested politically but wants to contribute in advancement of their people without any other attachment or personal gain. I personally know many bright young individuals who are not loud enough to be politician but want to really contribute freely to the community without the fear of retribution because of political aligns es.

    We can occupy all the highest office in the land but it wont make any difference at the end. Our people will farm the same way our grandfathers did many years ego, other ethnic group will outgrow us economically and we will be held hostage at the time of their choosing, on technology front they will occupy the airwaves, social media and television stations. this will create insecurity, paranoia and submission to unknown forces to Oromo people. This is only my point of view.

    I have great concern for the Oromo people we have suffered immensely during the past century. The struggle for freedom did not start five years ago it started more than fifty years go and many brave people sacrificed their lifes for a greater good.’ Children were left orphans, wives were left without husbands, mothers and fathers were left without sons and daughters it was a bloody awful struggle. I just hope today’s youth acknowledge what others went through,
    Peace for the country and all other ethnicity

  • Qerro didn’t just protest, they went around killing and beating non-Oromos and those they deemed not Oromo enough heeding the call of their cult leader. How about some truth here.

    • Your bias start with dehumanizing qerroo and Jawar. It is qeerroo who srtfongly found and resisted the EPRF regime and who capacitated your Fanno to say that “we are also with Qerroo” after many years of struggle of qerroo. If the current Fannoo who were killing innocents in Waldiya were brave enough they should have started their struggle with Oromo qeerroos. but due to their opportunist nature, they waited at home and come to the struggle at the end. If bold enough, they should have come to the streets of Amhara towns and asked from woyane to go away. Secondly, as enemies of the Oromo people said, Qeerroos are not brutal as the fannoos. They never initiated killings of other ethnic groups for revenge. If so, they should have killed all the Tigraway people living in Oromia during their struggle. Howeve, what happened now is completely out of the control of the Qeerroos. Mercenaries from other ethnic group starts killing peaceful qeerroos in Addis, Adama, Mojo, Doldola, etc and the unprepared Qeerroos have nothing to do and only defending themselves from such attacks. That is why most of the killed people were unprepared peaceful qeerroos. The ABN and other Amhara affiliated groups were telling us the reverse side of the history to confuse the people who were not on the ground. But due to adequate evidence as to who started the killing, most people out of the country and away from the conflicting areas can easily understand irrespective of the false allegations of the Amhara propagandists hiding themselves under Ethiopianists as if they were the only Ethiopianists.

  • Thank you Professor. I do not know Jawar personally and I’ve never met him but, I follow his FB, listen to almost all of his speeches and interviews. As for me, I can confidently say, he is the most genuine, honest, hard working activists. I admire his boldness and what he stands for.
    May God watch over him and protect him. He is much needed at such a time like this. May God give him a long and healthy life so he can compete what he started.

  • You spoke at the right time. They’re not only devouring Jawar but his ideas that are upheld by millions: all the Federalists. Thank you.

  • You should not waste your time to convince international community that Jawar Mohammed is saint.Your buddy is an architect and strategist for on going ethnic cleansing and genocide that have been committed on non -Eoromo -ethnicity. You have been conspiring to dismantle Ethiopia so as to create great oromoiya empire.You have been using coded words such as Neftegna (settlers ) to mean non-Oromo ethnicity. You have been disseminating false and divisive rethoric by calling Neftegna as oppressor and exploiter of oromo peoples. Creating animosity among various ethnicity groups and executing genocide are not poltical struggle rather it is crime against humanity which is punishable under international laws.No matter how hard you tried to cover up these crime by posting verbosity article ,you would not escape from justice. You have got blood on your hand by organizing behind scene Qiero gangsters.

    • Definition:
      “Neftegna” is an oppressor regime which marginalized and discriminated Oromo and other oppressed tribes by exploiting (sucking) their labor and wealth using the legitmate power it had in hand, and above all, undermined them while tirelessly preached the supremacy(“…this power/authority was given to us by God”) of “one ethnic group” who succeeded to power one after another until the time EPRDF overthrew it. The regime used its power; i.e, weapon, to dismantle the courage and self confidense of other tribes not to be themselves. This strategy includes changing someone’s name and religion forcibly to the naftagna’s tribe name and religion-which implies “one religion, one language”. No diversity at all. It forced people to be ashamed of themselves. Oh my God! What a terrible! It advocated totaly for the superiority of the naftagna’s tribe, not merely settlers. Yet, this foolish, illusive and unfair idea is still evident in Ethiopia which should be condemned, casted away and banned.
      I wanted to make it clear for foreign readers of this script that naftagna literaly means ” naft + gna” which is to mean “the one with gun or weapon”.

      • Naftegna have been gone a long time, 1970 during the revolution led by Amhara students. Are you people ill that you forget that the feudal class has been long gone for 50 years? That Ethiopia was a Communist country for 20 years, and then ruled by Tigrays for 25. You are jumping to the past that is irrelevant so you can justify killing non Oromos who do not agree with Oromo domination. No one is fooled.

  • Is this guy for real and approving what is currently going on in ETHIOPIA , and okay with what Jawar is doing to the innocent blood?? Really? The country needs Amnesty to look what he has done. Thankfully there is evidence in this time and age in black and white. What kind of a Professor is this??

    • kkkk,in defense of neftegna?speaking about killing what about half million oromos killed by the so called ‘neftegna’?and what is the meaning by the way?killer is what i know.

    • Do mean that Jawar killed innocents? Please come to your mind! when did he made such crimes? did he ordered to kill non-oromos? If so, when? Don’t simply dwell on hearsays. You will never be able to lie to oromos. But you can lie to your people who is already filled with biases or Oromophobia.

  • What an article and what a professor!
    I have never seen such a blatant disregard for the loss of lives that took place in Ethiopia. You should at least start by expressing your sentiment (hopefully your sadness) on the tragic event. Instead, you stand in defence of Jawar who is the instigator. You are so pathetic and sycophantic to that you look like angling for a position in jawar’s cabinet. Sorry to disappoint you, there won’t be one. If a professor does not condemn this barbaric act, no wonder if the keeerooo (I cannot be wrong by using more vowels) perpetrate the crime.

    • Mr. Tullu though you are not the real Tullu, the killing you are talking about is the done on innocent Oromos in Adama, Bishoftu, Walatte, etc? Is so, it is done by mercenaries living with Oromo being persuaded and probed by the Neo neftegans. These neo neftegnas has to take the responsibility than Jawar, who was planned to be killed. How can a victim be responsible for what has been done by others without being involved in the crime. Do want Oromos to be responsible for the crime the neftegans did to blackmail Jawar. How bastard you are!

  • Thanks a lot professor Ezekiel for all your kind and scholarly observations.
    Jawar Mohammed is a phenomenon person who took a historical responsibility to advance the cause our forefathers fought and died for. Hope history will capture everything and transcend it to the next generation.

  • A fair analysis, well articulated
    and timely presented, hats off to you professor Gabissa, I have maintained a deep respect for your immense knowledge of Ethiopian politics and your benevolent Intentions for the well being of not only Oromos but to all Ethiopians.
    Thank you,

  • Dear Ezekiel, it’s clear now JAWAR is no more an activist, he is a TERRORIST, and the sad thing is our Oromo brothers are paying the the ultimate price.

    Thank you!

  • The man is nothing but a confused, ego swamped, person with multiple personalities. He is a business man, he thinks only for himself and no one else. Don’t fool yourself. He ain’t none of what you described him.

    What has he done for Oromo people?
    Any school, hospital, clean water?

    He just recently collected about 200K $ and what did he do with it? put it in the back of his pocket, while you were writing all this nonesense.

  • Stay health for telling the truth! This country is just nothing for Us, Qeerroo, without Jawar Mohammed. We are still ready to die or to kill for our real hero!!
    God bless you too!!

  • Prof, you brought this truth only containing book at a very important time. Thank you very much in deed!

  • Wow!! It is an amezing fact, an history in Oromo’s struggle, this fact should be addressed to all nations of Ethiopia and Jawar phobia( who hate Jawar), it is very impressive if it is written in Afaan Oromo and Amharic languages

    Thank you Professor Ezekiel for this great work and Contribution

  • I’m sure the Nazis felt the same way about Hitler. Which ever way you put it he is still responsible for instigating the chaos thet ensued from his Facebook post. And any decent Ethiopian would have condemed the massacre that took place and offered his condolences, but your so-called activist hasnt shown any remorse. So before you heap your praise on him, think about the Nazis and Hitler and their place in history. Any one who preaches hate can never be great, and those who follow are blind, so open your eyes and lets work on uniting Ethiopia, not by dragging the past, in which no one is innocent, but looking towards the future, a so-called activist which talks about one etnicity and not say anything about the others cannot unite Ethiopia but devide it. We are all Ethiopians , we only have one home and this is it. A person can have only one mother and Ethiopia is mine.

    • Think twice before spitting some garbage, Ethiopia is an empire built on oppression, it can only keep existing as a country if nations and nationalities are consented to,
      Please Remember that.

    • This the reality that we see on the ground. Using social media for mass is the modern best way to bring democracy to the oppressed people. As Ezkel Gabissa said Jawar be taken as the fist one to play role in the Ethiopian politics because he is acceptable with majority of people. However, some people who always reflect the ideology of previous Ethiopian politics want to darken Jawar’s name instead of coming to him and discuss the issue. This is not knowledge,but hate. Now good thing is to sit with him and discuss to come to solution.This is easy and cheapest and will be successful also. I

  • Thank you so much prof Ezekiel for your humble highlight of Jawar’s work for for Oromia and Ethiopia. I was wondering how to put his contributions to the political development of Ethiopia and you really put it in a very good framework. I my self have been reading and following the effort of this young man for the last 10 years not as close personally as you have been. The most amazing character I observed from him since he was in his early twenties is that his consistency on his messages. He is boldly, intellectually, humbly defended the Oromo unity and advocated for equal share in Ethiopia with other nations and nationalities.

    • Thank you professor for your meaningful and remarkable note for whom concerned to bring the lasting political solution to the country.

  • Bekkaa Jechuun Waan Uummame Tokko akka Jirutti ibsuun Beekumssa Guddaadha
    Wontii Oromoo Gammachiisu keessaa inni
    Guddaan Hoyyootassaa yeroo wojjiin dhaabatuuf dhugaarrati woliif dhaabatu arguudha

    Pro Ezkel Gebisa
    I appreciate you !

  • Thank you pr Ezkel Gebisa For your Truth Idea and Supporting Our and Horn Of African Hero Jawar Mahhammed . He is not sulfish Activist he takes Only the one his soul for his people Oromoo and for Ethiopian Nation and Nationality. I have one massage for all World wide Leaders and Worth people please Support Jawar Mohammed Because Jawar is abrileant Person Gifty from God. %100 He is Survey and Mahands of Ethiopian Democratic system at this time and Removere Of Auto Cratic monarcy and military dictator ship in Ethiopia .
    As well as He is eye and Eare of aneducated and Victim people In Ethiopian.
    Future:We bleave that When Ethiopian false or fake Democratic system is change to true Democratic system Jawar is start for South Sudan,Ertrea, Sudan, Kongo , Kong Kinshasa, Moroko , and all of African people. Then please support Jawar Mohammad.

  • The Amhara assimilationist fans will never accept the truth. The way out is to dismantle the empire forged by their emiye Menelik. The empire has reached to the stage unrepairable.

    Oromos, Somalis, Tigreans, Sidamas, Wolaitas, Afars, Hadias and all other nationalities must get prepared either to remake Ethiopia or to dismantle it for good.

  • You missed the real point ! People are demanding justice for the dead. You could have done better if you tell us who started the killing (and why the killing started) .I am sure this was no murder . It was an expression of a totally inhuman barbarism.

    • This article is the hard truth God & everyone knows.
      As well God and everyone knows amahara assimilationist fans and neftegna(chauvinist) will not accept it,but u will never ever point out a single evidence about what u are talking

  • May be other country cannot know about activists Jawar Mohammed but we(Oromoo )or other Ethiopia people know more about his talents,ability and his maturity on politics of our country,however all over the world may know everything what this persons do(done) in my life he is the one!!!and i give my soul for him without afraid.

  • The author tried hard to capture every minor detail about Jawar,Qeerroo and Oromo Protest. Nothing wrong have I found in the article. It is simply superb.

  • EI, you have transformed your journal into a testimonial. My late grandfather actually met Mussolini once in Italy, believe it or not. He insists that Mussolini was a “grand soldato” and does not deserve the bad rap he got from Ethiopia and the Allies. I get it that reality is in the eye of the perceiver but what makes journalism slightly different from testimonials are Independence, Impartiality, Humanity, Accountability (only possible through secularism from ethnicity, geography and religion!). EI, this piece does not provide analysis but rather is an apology for Jawar. A pity that you have given up and reduced yourself not to raise the level of discourse in the country but have given in to the fact that Oromo First, Cushitism (the favourite thing of Gabissa) are here to stay. I understand that you want to keep the peace in the country and try to make jawar likeable or even encourage dialogue. But this appeasement is the basis of an even greater conflict tomorrow.

    • Wait a minute, your grandfather claimed Mussolini doesn’t deserve the bad rap, which you seem to agree with. And yet, you have a problem EI entertains a voice from the other side. I think that is where the problem lies. As long as, you try to keep the Oromo and their activists silent, the they will push back with more determination and achieve democracy for all the oppressed people of Ethiopia, including the people of Tigray and Amhara, who by the way, suffered a bad rap, and doesn’t deserve it.

      Also, I wonder how you grandfather met Mussolini and ended up defending him. Was he a “banda”?

      • Kifle, why don’t you read carefully my comments before commenting. My grandfather said Mussolini does not deserve the bad rap, did I say I agree with it, or not? Im just telling you what my grandfather said. As for keeping Oromos and their activists silent, I think anyone who tries to say this country belongs first to him and then to others will eventually face resistance. Thats what the implication of OROMO first means, whether we like itor not. Me first and everyone else second (and we will bring the population and demographic stick to justify our superiority so be quiet!). I wonder what kind of country that is where some are second and some are first. As for grandpa being a Banda, whatever that is,….it takes one to know one, doesn’t it?

    • You said it all. Moreover, where is the remorse and responsibility of Jawar in the massacre that followed after his cowardly call for help? I haven’t heard a word from him showing a regret in what happened after his instigation of the tragic event. A simple word of regret and solace would have saved Jawar’s image and contributed to the positive discourse that was going on in all sides. A biased and opportunistic testimony of Jawar by a close friend, has no relevance and importance to heal the tragic situation that happened in our recent history.

  • I am Amhara and want to believe that Jawar could have been a force for good in Ethiopia, but he has many instances of awful judgement that has delegitimized him to many people. His speech about Christians in Aris and what would happen to them if they offended Muslims was a defining moment for how non-Oromo Christians perceive him. He simply can’t live that speech down-I think that is unfortunate. He campaign against Teddy Afro was awful.
    His problem as is yours Professor, and other many Oromo activists is your inability to see the humanity and vulnerability of Amharas. Jawar sees Amharas thru the prism of medieval history long gone, which is where this hysteria about Menelik comes from. You and he don’t even want to give the concept of Medemer, i.e unity, synergy etc etc , a chance. Amharas want to live with Oromos peacefully, and if it was not from the hostility from Oromo nationalists, , simple issues such as Addis Ababa would be easily resolved . The two most popular politicians for Amharas used to be Lemma Mergessa, and Abiye Ahmed-two independent thinking OROMOS. They chose them over TPLF, and yet Oromo nationalists label Amharas as enemy Abeshas. Are there right wing Amharas out there sure? But the vast majority of Amharas simply want a democratic Ethiopia without this relentless hostility to their history, kings and their very existence. That is why they believed in Lemma and Abiye. There is a video, I have to find it, where Jawar is joking with Ethiopianists in beautiful Amharic a few years back. I remember thinking there is hope there, too bad it died soon after his infamous speech. To be fair to Jawar, there are Amhara activists that are beyond deranged, and they are responsible for driving him to the extreme. Too bad he just was not enough of a statesman to not let him get to him too much. I thought Abiye would be able to bring Oromos and Amharas together, but he is turing out to be an inept leader, not much of a peace maker. I do believe it was highly irresponsible to remove Jawar’s security-what was he thinking? Jawar needs to leave Addis Ababa and go to another city in Oromia for the sake of peace. My concern is if he has a heart attack tomorrow, it will be Amharas who will be accused of killing him.

  • To be real you discribe him in well manner. My concern is you make him absolute perfect. How could you miss the inconsistent commentary on interviews. His, absolute super egoism. Eg there is two gov’t , in ethiopia. Anole mystery is not important he said on amhara meeting. Mean while he goes there to munipulate Abiy’s acceptance in oromia. In short he works a lot he is back bone of this change. Now he is challenging the move to democracy.

  • The author tells us Mr Jawar Mohammed has been unfairly portrayed as being a force of evil in his opening remarks.

    He then proceeds to write the hagiography of an activist saint.

    The holy figure sketched-out here ressembles, word for word, the breathless write-ups of Mr Abiy Ahmed of last year (as well as the fawning characterisations of Mr Meles, from a decade ago).

  • Well articulated as usual. Thank you prof. Ezqel. That is a little dose of truth for those who can swallow the biter truth.

  • It’s not a matter of brilliance or level of dedication nor is it the change that we’re doubting but your utter disregard for the life and dignity of the individual person. You even dared to buy alliance from the TPLF and used the very tool that served to resist the TPLF/ EPRDF dictatorship to enable the new dictator to reign supreme in the region. Your personal elevation to prominence or that of Jawar’s means nothing to me. I’m a single individual fade up of watching the elites getting blinded by power and influence always peddling the cause of poor citizens.

    • Thank you for the info. It’s eye openings by the way if the southward guzo of Ethiopian politics helps to bring the further afreicanization of the nation of nations. Be Somalina endemibalew enemery abo enemery……

      • Except portraying him and the qeero gangs/ vandals as legit do-gooders and parallel system that have right to inflict pain and have an indefinite shockhold on the current regime and public at large, prof Gabissa has a good point. The uncalled character assissinations, innuendos and smear campaign such as Islamic jihadist against him by secterian dark forces are appalling. What they should be doning instead is to put forward credible and constructive argument to challenge him and his game and to convince the public and intetnational alike audience.

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