Hama Tuma’s Misplaced Rant

Addisu Mela 

In an article titled “Can Idiots be Useful?” that appeared on the Debteraw website, Hama riles against those who condemn the recent killings at an Ogaden oilfield, and expounds at length whether it is correct to call these “idiots” useful. However, Hama misses the point. Although one may parse to the nth degree whether idiots are in general useful, that should not have preoccupied him given Hama’s life of involvement in Ethiopian politics. 

The bigger issue, and one Hama did partially answer is, what to make of the incident at the oilfield in Ogaden where according to many reports 65 Ethiopians and 9 Chinese lost their lives. His partial answer is in condemning the TPLF regime that certainly is at the root of the problem. But Hama must know that only takes him so far. Secessionist forces such as the ONLF predate the TPLF/EPRDF, and they may likely outlive the regime in power. Their demand for secession is unadulterated and still on their strategy. One of the main reasons Ethiopian democratic and progressive forces faulted the Alliance For Democracy, of which ONLF is a founding member, is its obfuscation and vagueness on the democratic unity of Ethiopia. Does the ONLF want the region it purports to fight for to be part of Ethiopia or not? The clear answer so far is that it does not. That is why many patriotic Ethiopians have been asking for explanations why Ethiopianist organizations like Kinijit did not bat an eyelash when they bedded with the secessionist forces. 

Hama‘s ignoring of this crucial problem in fact is symptomatic of the plague that has afflicted progressive politics in Ethiopia for the last 3 decades. Before TPLF and EPLF came to power, as they were maiming lives and blowing up infrastructure, the progressive forces in Ethiopia were often supporting their actions. They only saw that they were killing “Derg soldiers” and “Derg infrastructures”. Before they knew it, the secessionist forces turned their guns against the progressive forces, and now became the rulers of two nations. The chickens are coming home again to roost. The progressive force IS again caught in a bind – between the rock of secessionist forces and the hard place of TPLF dictatorship. What to do? 

Progressives individuals like Hama Tuma should avoid the temptation of being sidetracked by minor issues, such as whether idiots are useful or not, and rather focus on showing the struggling masses the way out. The way out is not wholesale endorsing of the killings, as that will not bring an iota of solution, and moreover as it also raises fundamental human rights issues of those civilians and non-combatants killed. According to Reuters, there were 37 Chinese and 120 Ethiopian employees stationed at the post. The Ethiopian Human Rights Council reportedly condemned the killings as violations of the rights to life of the dead. 

The TPLF regime might have thought it has quashed opposition to its dictatorial rule by massacring innocent demonstrators and by jailing thousands. No sooner had it committed its atrocity than other trouble spots mushroomed in the rest of the country: Even this year alone, the Afar kidnappings, its quagmire in Somalia, and now the massacre at the Ogaden oilfield. Ethiopian progressive forces should raise their collective voice to show the way out by re-emphasizing the urgency of a National Reconciliation Conference which, the regime has heretofore, ignored. The progressives have to work on a 2-way solution to force the regime’s hands: first, to establish an all-encompassing unity of opposition forces under a minimalist democratic platform, and second to engage the regime in a national negotiation to unburden it from the fetters that are shackling it into more atrocities and dictatorship. These are the questions of the day, and all efforts must be invested there. 

Debating whether idiots are useful pales in comparison and as it should be clear now is a misplaced rant.

Published in: on April 30, 2007 at 11:39 pm  Comments (31)  

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31 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. it is you rant that is useless.try to undestand the difference between backing a regime and criticisng an erroneous stance. The politics of the ONLF is one thing and backing the weyane another.

  2. The ranting against Hama Tuma seems out of place and I do not see why debteraw evven posted it. Hama did not endorse the ONLF whom he called useless idiots. However, the ONLF, whether we back its program or not, gave warning for the Chinese to withdraw but they did not lsiten.From what I hear those killed are soldiers. Even if not, in such wars there are or can be civilians dead. The focus of Hama was on Hodams as it were and not an endorsement of the OLF or any other. Satire consists of taking a thread and spinnin a story or a moral.Leave Hama Tuma alone please

  3. you should be ashemed of your selef addisu knowing the history of tplf onlf olf etc hamma has put it ther very best way .

  4. Do you know that UK and USA keep the Ogaden card alive like they used it in the 1970s Barre agression against Ethiopia?

    Do you also know the reason behind not to recognize the Somaliland as an independent country so that united Somalia which will evolve into Greater Somalia is still the card on the hands of UK and USA will play to control the Horn of Africa?

    Is it Somaliland or Ogaden which has historical evidences which support independance. Yes it is Somaliland as a former colony of England not Ogaden which had been wrestled away by the British colonialists from Ethiopia.

    Are you surprised the British and USA administrations did not denounce the massacare last week by ONLF while the Ethiopian oppositions were asked by the pro-Melese websites to denounce the massacare?

    Ogaden is a game Westerners will play to deny Ethiopia not to become a formidable power in the Horn and in this mission the Arab tyrnats are in the same page with them.

    When Melese is out of power by the popular uprising the West will show us their Ogaden card and will call for their independence what they denied Somaliland now and will send their rigs to dig oil wells.

    The only viable option the oppositions which wanted to see the Ethiopian unity have is to be in the game better by talking with ONLF, OLF and other nationalist movments than avoid dealing with them sooner or later we will talk or fight.

    The good news is that the West has swallowed a bitter pill in Iraq and developing or poor countries are not afraid of fighting for their own interest in a langauage the West respect that armed resistance like our forfathers did.

  5. There are, in fact, good points in Addis Mela’s commentary as there are good points in Hamma’s. When Addis criticizes Hamma, he said “…Before TPLF and EPLF came to power, as they were maiming lives and blowing up infrastructure, the progressive forces in Ethiopia were often supporting their actions”. But the EPRP, Meison, etc. did the same thing, but not mentioned in the short commentary. They killed people, blew up infrastructures, etc. (in Addis, Gonder, Jimma, etc.). I think, we need to grow up and think of some reconciliation with ourselves and everyone who has stake. Most of the so called liberation movements were/are led by sick people.

  6. I have invited myself to an EPRP web page to air my little opinion. The author has mentioned some thing about the thirty years experience and I am part of that experience. I can assure you that EPRP is where it has been for the last thirty years except these days it has cleaned itself of members of the ethnic groups it claims to have a seccesionist agenda. What the EPRP says does not surprise me any more. It can stick around with money obtained in the 1970’s, but will not have a major role in the new Ethiopia. We cannot afford another cycle of mass killings instigated by EPRP and perpetuated by the Derg. They are two faces of the same coin. I am testing whether this would go through. If it does, then we would open a door of communication. Very often you talk to yourselves and miss the larger picture. The larger picture is now out of your grasp.

  7. From Getachew Reda to Tedla’s comment
    “The only viable option the oppositions which wanted to see the Ethiopian unity have is to be in the game better by talking with ONLF, OLF and other nationalist movments than avoid dealing with them sooner or later we will talk or figh”t Why? they are not the decisive agents, they are mercinaries. you just spent all day long telling us the decisive or the determined agents behind are British, the USA and the Arab Tyrants. Why do we have to waste our time dealing with mercinaries/messengers?

  8. I really think Ato Addisu Mela has terribly failed to fully grasp Hama Tuma’s article.
    It is my opinion that it is neither politically clever nor morally righteous to condemn the state, which is the root cause of human suffering, in this case TPLF, and then to turn round and cry foul for the loss of soldiers of the state machinery. This is an age-old phenomenon where rogue and fascist states alike have deliberately confused the public by creating vague moral and political distinction between the state and its military machine. In other words, it is the armed wing of the state that caries out the atrocities and state sponsored terror.

    Ato Addisu’s attempt to draw a parallel between experiences of the progressive
    Past and Hama Tuma’s reading of the present is also far fetched. Because the progressives have indeed drawn the line between fabricated claim of history of colonialism, which was at the core of the secessionist forces, and democratic social transformation they have envisioned. Since he did not mentioned specific infrastructures that were targeted by the separatist forces that gained the support of their progressive counterparts or similar actions by the later, it merely shows failure to substantiate such accusations.
    It is true that ONLF, OLF and ELF/EPLF were in existence before TPLF. But the distinction between LFs is skin deep. Regardless of their chorological order or who comes first, all are vowed to the destruction of Ethiopia. The difference is that
    TPLF has gained absolute state control over resources to further proliferate these same sentiments. Remember, during its second sham election, TPLF rejected all votes by an Ethiopian identity.

  9. From Getachew Reda to Elias Kifle- Did you all read the following notice of advise to the terrorist ONLF from the Ethiopian number one enemy at this time by the name Elias Kifle the chief editor of Ethiopian review? Read the following you will be shocked by it. Visite website for more surprise to all of you patriots. Here is part of his advice to the terrorists.

    “Try to also cut off the roads from Ethiopia to Djibouti and Kenya so that the Woyanne terrorist regime cannot continue to import weapons from North Korea”

    when he advice to the terrorists to do such crime, he is advicing the entire 70,000,000 population to be cut off from outside world, no exports, imports and the nation will be starved and lifless. Is there any other wors enemy who could wish and advice enemy to cut off the life of the entire nation,– knowing there is no other means of imposrting/exposrting Ethiopians continue struggling communicate with outside world? No matter how you hate TPLF/EPRDF, is there any one in his/her normal mind advice the chocking of a the entire nation except the adviceris an enemy of the Ethiopian people? I hope the Meles government follow this issue in the court of law. It is unbeliebale. I have never thought Eias Kifle was going to be as worst enemy to the Ethiopian people as he is advicng and encouraging the ONLF terroists. It is sad! Now, I came to suspect the real Ethiopianess of this fellow reading his advicess to ONLF from time to time. Are you shock as I am?

  10. Adisu seems to be one of those who have sympathy to the TPLF though he is trying to hide it. TPLF is also a cessionist front holding Ethiopia hostage and plundering it to build its future separate state.

    Ato Getachew Reda`s accusations against Elias Kifle are unfair and unjust. Ethiopian review is one of the organs of the repressed Ethiopians and he is doing a good job exposing our internal enemy, the TPLF. The TPLF has cut our vital life line (our seaport) and we are now at the mercy of foreigners. Meles Zenawi hates Ethiopia and has deliberately made her vulnerable in all aspects. The regional destablizing role Meles is playing at the moment can push the players to make us of this vulnerablity and cripple even Meles Himself by cutting or disrupting his military supply lines. This is obvious and Elias Kifle should not be blamed for it. It is all the making of Meles Zenawi, the inborn Enemy of Ethiopia.

  11. Look at Ghtachw Redda!
    He pay money fm Woyane to use Ethiopans Anti Eritra and oromo and ogadn.Ofcourse he is from tigray and most of his think goes to tigray first.He play more ethiopan then others and he help woyane to stay in power by other side.We are so fidup by you and by aiga forum.Like Ilias Kefle siad if we cut road keney and ethipia border it means it will end to woyane and Ghtechw Redda didnt like this

  12. Addisu be clear.Hama Tuma’s messazge has esc

  13. Addisu you have failed to grasp Hama’s message. You sound like a TPLF supporter. Hama wrote about oportunists.Are you one? NO wonder some of you felt bad.

  14. With all respect Ato Adisu, before you “rant” againt Hama Tuma please reread what he wrote. If it is difficult ask for help.But do not write nonsense.What you wrote has little to do with what Hama wrote.If you wish to support Meles or shout misguided nationalist shout please do so by yourself. As for the Dergist who thinks he got the chance to inuslt the EPRP, it is the blood your masters spilt that is making you cry so bad. Thank you Hama and keep it up.

  15. Read getachew Reda in Aigaforum!!!!!!!Advising Meles !!shame shame.

  16. >
    ‘Tesfaye” (one of the people who tried to defend Hama)

    How can any one who clams to struggles for freedom and democracy comes out and blames Debteraw for allowing a free flow of ideas? What kind of blind following is this?
    How is it deferent from the TPLF supporters who want to silence the people from saying anything contrary to Meles’ political stand? Are saying Debteraw has to be like radio Fana, Aiga, Addis Zemen and others like them? Do you see a problem here?
    I was waiting to see Hama himself to come forward and say something to assert the principle of freedom of speech and defend it, but he failed me and he failed himself. Allowing blind defenders insult and intimidate other by calling them TPLF supporters or Dergist just because they have a deferent opinion doesn’t send a good signal the general public. It doesn’t add credibility to your argument either. Most expressed supports to Hama luck substance except of course that of Alebels’.

    As for Ato Alebel , there are three thing need to be clear: first, he clams those who were killed were soldiers, but that is not true; actually, the grate number of them were ‘labaders’ (as we use to call them). This is established fact. The struggle of the progressive’s was/ is for the betterment of the people, therefore, we in the opposition should not trivializing it but condemn the killing of civilians no mater who the predator is.
    Second, when the EP/TP/OLF have killed civilians and destroyed bridges, burn schools and health clinics; it was just normal phenomenon to ignore the issue all together in a name of not creating bad relationship with those group. It is true that the past and the present governments are ultimately responsible for the overall consequence of their political repression but one can’t ignore the killing of our people by these groups purely for anti-Ethiopia purpose. It is therefore essential for the EPRP and the likes to unequivocally condemn this act.

    Third, Ato Alebel thinks that Addisu, Getachew and others who expressed disagreement with Hama, have missed to understand him. If that is indeed true, Hama should have come and express that. To begin with, Hama was trying to communicate with people about a political concept and it is his job to make it clear enough to be understood by all without any ambiguity. He is a political personality and in any communication he does, the message need to be very clear and not to be second-guessed. He has failed in his work, if he has been misunderstood that is.
    I am hopping the party does not have the same belief in this issue as he does.

  17. Ato Gelaw, those who spit upwards get back what they had sent. I am glad Hama has not interfered in the discusion.He has said his piece.Expalining the obvious is not needed.To differ is a right though.

  18. A corrupt witness mocks at justice. ( Proverbs- the holly Bible-)

  19. Ato Getachew, you cannot be posted on aigaforum and also on Debteraw.where do you stand? your quotation shows you wear the Meles badge of medicority.good bye the aigaforum advisor of Meles.

  20. Debteraw.Com- Why do you cancell my comment agaisnt the silly writter of the Zebrik rik politika?

  21. This is for AYAWA DEMOZE : from GETACHEW REDA;

    This was my third time to be posted about you, unfortunately it is been taken of by the website, let me try it in another way of commentary (since my first one seems to not be liked by the debteraw.com people). I read your silly commentary against me your EPRP website (Debteraw.com). You seem to confuse yourself by expecting every nature on this earth to follow what EPRP says and positions. And that was I guessed, what got EPRP to such dormant stage. It is been my struggle as individual who gave you a highlight to rehabilitated you to be heard by many Ethiopians on this internet world, regardless, I was been insulted and disrespected by so many for supporting you, but I never heard none of their advice- now, I it is clear to me who you are –if you think on EPRP’s book I am TPLF. Lord! Lord!

    I can only sorry for those who I think are genuine Ethiopians who still are inside EPRP thinking they are struggling with genuine party. I also think there are few individual EPRP leaders who are genuine, but unfortunately, there are few also still walking the old way of walking and thinking. The leaders and all members of EPRP need to come together one more time to diagnose their deep, really deep problem before again they became deactivated as few years back.

    I read your Anharic article with out mentioning my name- why are you hesitating to mention my name for? If, I could have the Amharic font at hand, believe me I am a good writer in Amharic, I could have given you worst response to your party than your silly labeling me as TPLF. For you to defend the adventurist and childish, irresponsible call of Elias Kifle to destroy roads and national mineral cores and to attack those who guard the mineral core and civilian massacres doesn’t surprise me, for a reason that, your party EPRP had similar history and taking Italian Hostages at ABAY /Nile River Project (may be EPRP think that too benefited the Derg-?), that might be the reason why you are congratulating and ask for more destruction to the nation’s minerals, coffee plants, oil researches, hydro electric dumb reservoirs and extra…. and outside enemies to destroy and murder the Ethiopian soldiers. It is shame. When are you going to see friends? Does ever EPRP try to hold on to friends/supporters, Ethiopian armies? Every one of the soldiers is enemy on your eye; if so can you bring us your army please, if you have one so we can support them? How is that make me TPLF for asking any body inside the Ethiopian government to take action against foreign army and their advocates? I took TPLF as an Ethiopian than OLF, ONLF, EPLF at this moment. If your EPRP could have an army/guerrilla, I could have say EPRP is more Ethiopian than OLF,ONLF,EPLF.. So, for appealing to the government to defend the minerals, the people could be labeled me as TPLF, BOY! EPRP has a long way to go.

    Is not EPRP the one who was appealing to Meles Zenawi for reconciliation? Doesn’t the EUDF members and leaders the one who were appealing for different communications- to release prisoners, oppositions? Then was, okay for EPRP to write and appeal for Meles Zenawi, then was okay for EUDF members and leaders to appeal to Meles Zenawi in any subject they want –including to defend the sovereignty of the country: – Now, is not allowed for no body to appeal in a subject that individual and national concern but to only EPRP? How so? What miracle is EPRP going to show us if it is not going to write or ask Meles and his party future communication? What name can we call EPRP after we read the future reconciliation with TPLF/Meles government, that is now telling its readers on its website by dogma emotionalist under the title “ KEWEYANE GAR ZAREM ERK YITASEBAL? Let us see and wait, if, EPRP’s new government is going to tell Shiek Alamoudi that Ethiopia doesn’t need him? Amazing also EPRP is saying it goes for free marketed capitalism. But then, I have no idea how EPRP is going to deal with Alamoudi’s investment to replace some one from the MOON. Yegermal! EPRP, you are praying every year and every day an enemy? You got one here. You started it, I hope you hash your old mouth of being ANGEL and restricted from attacking everyone. I was the only one left unattached by EPRP

  22. Dear Debteraw.com Editor/s:
    Thansk for removing Demoze’s silly commentary agaisnt me. One more note, that I need to adress to the rest of the others who think they are doing positive contribution by coming with slanderouse poems, but when you look at it, it only damges communication than be patient and persuesive to the rest of the confused elements. Sprinkle salt to the present situation is not wise, when the opposition need more supporter than ever. Thanks Debterwa for heeding the appeale.

  23. Getachew rea, you are hidden Tigre nationalist and convinced anti EPRP.As a Derg man you cannot do otherwise.sorry for you.

  24. i dont care what you all guys said because Without freedom, no one really has a name. as we know ethiopia invaded ogadenia before along time and made the life of civilan of ogadenia misrable and vulnerable to danger and its contenue until now without count. the ogaden people never saw freedom and they prefer their life to die because every body was born free and ginity and if you dont have one of them atleast the death is better than life the only way we have is to die for freedom and to fight it we must struggle untill we find our freedom
    I am not young enough to know everything.I know well what I am fleeing it the all human being have egual no matter his or her relgion or ethic but the reality is that maeles ignore the understand of human being and what human

  25. i dont care what you all guys said because Without freedom, no one really has a name. as we know ethiopia invaded ogadenia before along time and made the life of civilan of ogadenia misrable and vulnerable to danger and its contenue until now without count. the ogaden people never saw freedom and they prefer their life to die because every body was born free and dignity and if you dont have one of them atleast the death is better than life the only way we have is to die for freedom and to fight it we must struggle untill we find our freedom
    I am not young enough to know everything.I know well what I am fleeing it the all human being have egual no matter his or her relgion or ethic but the reality is that maeles ignore the understand of human being and what human is

  26. Birtukan Mideksa is arrogant
    Biruk Kebede is a rat
    Hailu Araya is dormant
    Berhanu Nega is a snake
    Gizachew shiferaw is fake

  27. http://www.blogtalkradio.com/Gucci-Handbag

  28. War is not won but survived
    Deliberately inflicting condition of life calculated to destroy the people of Ogadenia region, including the deliberate deprivation of resources needed for the people’s physical survival such as clean water, food , clothing , shelter or medical services, the deprivation of the mean to sustain life in the Ogaden region , the Ethiopian government imposed through confiscation of harvests, blocked of the foodstuff, and also the thousands of innocent civilians detention in the Ethiopian prisoners. The Ogadenia people are forced to flee into neighbours countries, Somalia and Kenya, those refugees are mostly women and children who are trying to escape the brutal Ethiopian military, they fear that they will be imprisoned, killed, raped or starved to death by the Ethiopian forces. The Ethiopian government are using terrorist tactics including land mines burning down villages and forcible recruiting young men into government militia, the mass indiscriminate killing is collective to punish the entire Ogadenia population. The evidence is crystal clear, look no further than the world media or the world human right watch .
    The genocide denial is among the surest indicators of further genocide , the perpetrators of genocide always try to cover up the evidence and intimidate the witness , they deny that they committed any crimes and often blame what happened on the victims. The Ethiopian dictator regime prohibited all the international media entering the Ogaden region in order to deny the slaughtered of the innocent civilians buried in the mass graves. This blocked of investigation and the crimes against humanity will be carry on until the perpetrators driven from power by force and the Ogadenia reach it’s destiny of freedom and democracy..
    We will bring to justice to those who commit any crime to Ogaden somlis …no matter what it takes and when . some so called Ethiopian think we are going to be breakaway region and keep silence and problem solved….No…. that is not how it will be ….we will be your door step and closest country in the future so be carefully what you do today ….or otherwise it will come back and hunt you letter… that is the only and the best advise that i can give to any Ethiopian regime

  29. Marta Getachew Bekele

    From Ethiopia

  30. Marta Getachew Bekle

    From Ethiopia
    Addis Abeba

    Mobile Number= 0914301025


  31. Today, whiile I wwas at work, my cousin stoloe my apple ipad andd testd
    tto see if iit can survvive a forty foot drop, jjust so she
    cann bee a youtube sensation. My iPad iss nnow broken andd sshe has
    83 views. I kow this iis totally off topic bbut I hhad tto syare itt wifh someone!

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