Ethiopia: Jawar Vs. Abiy – 2 days of fatal demonstrations in Oromia

Yesterday, there was report of ten protesters killed by the authorities in Oromia region and in Addis Ababa. There was also one fallen police officer as well. All because the authorities decided to challenge Mohammed Jawar and plan to arrest him. Whatever they tried to do, it has only created a bloodshed and shown the popularity of Jawar too. But the price of it is not worth it.

If the Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed Ali and his people thinks what is happening now is wise. Because, the state and the authorities has made road-blocks and other activities to close it off. Send the military and police to silence the activists. This all for the battle of two people and their reign.

The FCO Travel Advice: “Since 23 October, protests have taken place in a number of towns across Oromia, in Harar and Dire Dawa. Roads are closed in many places and transport disrupted. A number of main roads in and out of Addis Ababa are closed. If you are in an area of disruption, you should follow the instructions of local authorities and avoid road travel until the situation has calmed” (UK Foreign Travel Advice – Ethiopia, 24.10.2019).

There are indications that this is skirmishes between Mohammed Jawar’s ‘Querro’, which is his group of activists, who has followed him in exile in the Oromia region. They have been known before to demonstrate against the state violence and oppression. His also the man behind the Oromia Media Network (OMN). They are clearly targeting him, but that is not shocking, as he plans to stand as a candidate in the upcoming election in 2020.

Who today came with this statement: “After midnight, there was an attempt by authorities to remove security personnel assigned to Jawar for his safety without Jawar’s knowledge. After a long standoff between Jawar’s security guards and the security personnel trying to dislodge the former through a gravely suspicious procedure, Jawar gave a briefing of the sequence of events in the morning of October 23, 2019, and later that day to various media. There is credible evidence, including a recorded conversation between Jawar’s security guards and their commander, suggesting serious procedural flaws and criminal intents. For now, this situation is partially diffused because the security assigned to Jawar refused to leave their post until their replacements arrived. Shortly after the incident, we have witnessed a widely shared public outrage and protest in various cities and towns. The short press conference given by the Federal Police Commissioner is dishonest and inconsistent with the available evidence. The press release of the President of Oromia Regional State is yet to be confirmed through concrete actions. The implications of such an attack are far beyond Jawar as an individual and OMN as an organization, potentially jeopardizing the anticipated transition to inclusive and participatory democracy. It is highly likely to ignite a constellation of damaging events that are difficult to control” (Oromia Media Network – ‘Statement of the Board of Trustees of the Oromia Media Network (OMN) on the reckless action seriously endangering the life and safety of OMN’s Executive Director Jawar Mohammed’ 24.10.2019).

There are reports of one factory and 23 businesses destroyed in Adama alone. These demonstrations are because the authorities and the Prime Minister is going after Jawar. The man who can mobilize a giant group of people on social media and through his channel OMN.

Now, Prime Minister Abiy Ali Ahmed of the Oromo Democratic Party (ODP) and the Ethiopian People’s Revolutionary Defence Force (EPRDF) should consider their methods in handling dissidents and activism like Jawar. The PM should find other avenues, especially considering his support in Oromia. Because, Jawar got the region into flames, by just twisting the words and doing it now. That should be a warning sign for the PM. He should be able to sit-down with him to and talk. Like he has done with so many others. But then, Jawar isn’t part of the EPRDF or the appointed leadership, which he hails from. 

The government are killing now civilians, as well as the civilians are doing it too. There are reports of other ethnic groups targeted by the Querro. I cannot verify that now, but that wouldn’t be shocking either.

Gadaa Times reports: “Demonstration is continue across the country to opposing Abih Ahimad military junta West and Southern part of Oromia. West and South Oromia were above one year under illegal command post because it was not declared by parliament. It was declared by only Abiy Ahimad” (Gadaa Times, 24.10.2019).

Now, there been 2 days of demonstrations and the EPRDF and Abiy better consider their way. Also, to investigate this and do it properly. Oromia deserves answers to why this happen and the violence, the answer to the destroyed businesses, but the most important. To answer for the all the lives taken over this stand-off. Innocent lives was taken because a battle between Abiy and Jawar. Oromia deserves better. Ethiopia deserve better. Peace.

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