Friday, July 31, 2009

Waging a specter war is marginally insane: the ‘inside rebel territory’ show-off case in point

By Gumaa Guddaa

I watched the clip of video show of the so called ‘inside rebel territory’ with a sense of déjà vu. Then I reminded myself that it is the month of July. It has become a modus operandi for some to parade unsuspecting armed young Oromo men and women in front of the enemy just to collect few thousand dollars in the name of the Oromo struggle from equally unsuspecting Oromo public. On the other hand, it is no brainier understanding that it is a feel day for the Wayanne security services. Why on earth do these mindless so called leaders do not seem to understand or care to understand the reasons why other serious genuine freedom fighters mask their face to protect their true identity?

The security implication is the blindingly obvious consequence of such a futile show-off. The people who invited the journalist to have access to the training base of the fighters did not make an effort to hide the geographical location of the force. An intelligence officer with a rudimentary training in assessing a force can see and read from the clip a great deal of information. For instance, one could clearly see that the force is at an early stage of training. What about their apparent display of jubilant mood? That suggests their lack of awareness of what lies ahead. Lack of patience and excess display of emotion is a trademark of a force that has not seen a day of proper battle. A battle hardened well trained fighting force would have been in a reflective mood mentally and physically much leaner and meaner.

Most of all what about the portrayed abundance of food and water? Any one with the remotest idea of guerrilla warfare would have saved the food and water for rainy days. The first and foremost thing a trainer has to do to prepare a freedom fighter for survival would be to educate his friends to be able to live on minimal amount of food and water – to survive hanger and thrust that will be the norm for the whole life time of the movement.

The bitter reality of the outcome of such an ill thought exercise for what ever reason will be most unfortunate for the people in this video clip. If they will not quickly evaporate the enemy will be on their heel in hot pursuit. Or they will learn the hard way what the reality of war is and those who survive may do it the right way next time round. The other unfortunate consequence of such a disingenuous political choreography for monetary gains of the few will dent once again the hope and aspiration of the Oromo people who yearn for a genuine force that can one day beat Wayyane.

The other challenge is that the clip shows the force is being trained as a conventional army. Is the force being supported by Eritrea? I raise this question because of even a bigger problem that this might cause. Eritrea is being associated rightly or wrongly with the Al Shabab in Somalia as a result of which it has been associated with extremism and even Al Qaeda. It is an open secrete that Eritrean president Afewarki and Zenawi do not like each other anymore and would do anything to undermine each other. So it is highly likely that the so called ‘inside rebel territory’ may have been orchestrated by Eritrea. The military uniform worn by some is a big give away too. Over all, I raise this question because we have seen the similar exercise by Eritrea in and around the border of Sudan and Oromia in 2004 resulting in yet another humiliation for the Oromo people.

Another crucial military tactical question I have would be has the force on display already reached a stage of open confrontation with the Wayyane? If it is a guerrilla force that has reached that stage, by now one would expect them at least to have controlled half of Oromia prior to such bravado.

I am afraid this sort of dram is not the first time or will not be the last either. It is beyond my comprehension how inconsiderate one could be to squander the good will of men and women who are ready to pay the ultimate sacrifice for their freedom and country. The pretence reminded me of what the Human Rights Watch Africa concluded and advised us some time ago. They concluded that the Wayyane regime and those who claim they are waging a war on behalf of the Oromo people well know that there is no proper war. However, both conveniently pretend that there is a war going on to remain in power and not willing to face the reality respectively. The lies on both sides however give an excuse to the Wayyane regime to kill and torture the Oromo people. They advised both to stop acting irresponsibly. Now, do not be surprised if the Wayyane will now unleash a wave of arrest all over Oromia for a drama that has been played out far away for collection of money from the Oromo diaspora. Come on, the Oromo people deserve better.

One final question for those who specialize in drama is this. When will we see video of a real battle? When will we see video of bodies of killed Wayyane soldiers, Wayyane POWs? When will we see liberated towns and villages shown in your videos? Before all these do me a favor and do not post these videos on the internet for all to see for the sake the safety of our brave boys and girls and their families in Oromia.

I look forward to watch all the material when it will be released fully in August as promised. I hope and pray that those who repeat the same mistake over and over again will come to their senses and rationality and start to put the interest of Oromia before their own. If it is totally the work of a third party the collaborators must think and rethink again. In the meanwhile I am eager to hear what people think the pros and cons of the so called ‘inside rebel territory’ video.

Gumaa Guddaa can be reached via e-mail at

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