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Oromo Freedom Fighters in Addis Ababa Hail Eritrean President Issias Aferwerki

Posted by: thomas mountain

Date: Thursday, 20 September 2018

Oromo Freedom Fighters in Addis Ababa Hail Eritrean President Issias Aferwerki

This past weekend over 1,500 Oromo freedom fighters made a triumphant
return to Addis Ababa from many decades of exile in Eritrea to a
jubiulant rally of over 100,000 where a giant photo of Eritrean
President Issias Aferwerki graced the stage. Thats right, not the
Oromo Prime Minister of Ethiopia Dr. Ahmed Abi, no sir, Issias picture
was front and center at this victory celebration, for the Oromos, like
the Amhara leadership two days earlier know full well who made
Ethiopia’s Peaceful Revolution possible.

Dr. Abiy so famously stated this at the Unity Music Concert in Addis
on July 8 where he shared the stage with President Issias as he spoke
of the difficulties facing Ethiopia in the days to come, concluding
that don’t worry “Issias [Aferwerki] is leading us.”

For us here in Eritrea the sight of Issias picture taking center stage
at a rally by the Oromo heros in the middle of Addis Ababa is pretty
much a mind blower, for hundreds of thousands of Oromo conscripts
bones lie in to many Eritrean fields to remember, cannon fodder in the
30 year independence war fought against  Eritrea.

Of course the international media made sure most footage of this
monumental photo of Issias was removed from their broadcasts, though
the Oromo satellite channels broadcast it over and over for all of us
to see.

This is a tough one to swallow by those defenders of human rights in
the west who have spent so many years villifying the President of
socialist Eritrea. I mean how is it that Issias is a villian yet the
heros of the Ethiopian freedom struggle lionize the guy, even more
than their own Oromo brother, PM Ahmed Abiy?

Issias, the grizzled veteran of decades of guerilla war followed by
decades of diplomatic and economic warfare, saw to it that Eritrea
spent million$ growing the Ethiopia freedom fighters even when
devastating drought left Eritreans hungry. For years all we heard from
Issias at his annual Independence Day speeches was visions of a future
of peace and cooperation between fraternal neighbors, not the
fratricidal invasions and no war no peace policy being endured by we
Eritreans for decades.

Eritreans used to complain, we are suffering and all we get is pie in
the sky one day from our President? People said we needed water,
electricity and better salaries, not exhortations to stick it out a
little longer, better times were coming by and by…

But damn, didnt Issias get it right, peace is upon us almost to fast
to comprehend and the largest nationality in our traditional enemy
Ethiopia hails our President Issias as their foremost hero?

Not only that but the leadership of the Amhara freedom fighters made a
pilgrimage to what is known here in Eritrea as “Camp David”, the site
of the giant water reservoir outside of Asmara that Issias personally
oversaw construction of, where he has taken up daily residence.
Amharas, some of the fiercest opponents of Eritrean Independence
paying homage to the man that engineered their defeat on the field of
battle, recognizing just what a giant of Ethiopian freedom wedi Afom,
Issias Aferwerki is in their peoples eyes?

This isn’t Eritrean “propaganda”, no, no, no, this is the leadership
of the Oromo and Amhara peoples of Ethiopia making it crystal clear
what their feelings are toward Eritrea and our President Issias
Aferwerki. After decades of comradely care in exile in Eritrea these
freedom fighters know all to well just what went into the sucessful
peaceful overthrow of one of Africa’s if not the worlds most corrupt
and brutal regime, the TPLF  gansters recently removed from power.

Even as the Oromo freedom fighters partied in Addis violence flared up
with ethnic massacres breaking out in Addis and further into the
hinterland, many instigated by the remaining TPLF installed
reactionaries still entrenched in much of the beauracracy bringing
front and center just how much work remains to be done in the
transformation of Ethiopia from a facist, gangster dictatorship to a
modern peoples democracy. But as Dr. Abiy told his people dont worry
“Issias is leading us”. And no honest person can deny just what the
Oromo freedom fighters think about Issias, not if placing a giant
picture of the man center stage at their victory rally is any

Thomas C. Mountain is an independent journalist in Eritrea, living and
reporting from here since 2006. See thomascmountain on Facebook,
thomascmountain on Twitter or best contact him at thomascmountain at g
mail dot com
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