Oromo Press | September 26, 2012 The the conflict in Syria, the tragic murder of the U.S. ambassador in Libya and unrest relating to the anti-Islam video have overshadowed talks about any other conflict issues in sub-Saharan Africa in the 67th United Nations General Assembly. Even if prioritizing conflict resolution is not going to be translated into actions, it is a progress that the UN is trying to be proactive in conflict resolution and preventive diplomacy in some privileged war-ridden regions of the world. Less privileged conflict regions such the Horn and sub-Saharan Africa are not on the agenda explicitly.
Beyond the UNGA’s being the show of government leaders with levers of power, what are the implications of the such broad and appealing agenda for peace for the Oromo people and others in Ethiopia fighting for rights, equality and self-governance?
Bloggers at Oromo Press have tweeted about the travel of the “New” Ethiopian Prime Minster Hailemariam Desalegn to New York to attend the UN plenary meetings and other specific regional meeting focusing on Somalia and the the Horn of Africa. Hash tags targeting “Oromo”, “UN”, “Ethiopia” were used as ways of getting the conversations picked up globally by those who search twitter on the UNGA and Ethiopia. This is not to chronicle the life and travel of Ato Hailemariam Desalegn, as some among us have chronicled the death of Meles Zenawi more than Tigireans themselves have done, but to point out how he does not have an agenda for peace, conflict resolution and preventative diplomacy for the Oromo and the rest in Ethiopia and the Horn.
The EPRDF is trying to sell a line of propaganda that roughly attempts to sell Post-Zenawi Ethiopia as “a New Ethiopia,” meaning no more dictatorship since it has a new PM hailing from the minority Walayita people. “New Ethiopia” is a fabrication because the death of one tyrant just led to the replacement of another in a completely intact Ethiopian state system–still mono-ethnically controlled by Tigirean elites. Hailemariam Desalign is a great opportunity for these all-powerful elites who control the army and the resources of the nation. The idea/plan is to use him as Trojan horse to continue attacking the long disfranchised and abused Oromo and others peoples to the south. The idea is also to deny that it is not the Tigreans who are doing massive rights abuses and genocidal campaigns any more. “Look it is somebody else in power!” kind of responsibility dodging!
Given that the agenda at the UN is mostly focused on the Middle East and South East Asia, neither Hailemariam Desalegn nor sub-Saharan Africa will be featured as important in the debates. However, Desalegn will still have the opportunity to hoodwink the world since he is from the Horn of Africa, a region that obviously receives relatively higher attention compared to the rest of Africa.
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