According to Hareri Canadian Jawar Mohamed will never become a prime minister of multiethnic Ethiopia.

Recommended Posts


While we have some meagre knowledge of the Ethiopian internal politics, most of us rely either through the internet, print or other international media. Also, we could be victims of our own biases while always projecting Somali centric agenda.


So, in order to gage the latest Ethiopian political maneuvering, especially the ongoing conflict between the Oromo and Amhara and the power struggle between Abiy Ahmed and Jawar Mohamed, I talked to A Harari friend who is fluent in both Amharic, Afan Oromo and Arabic. Like most people from Diredhaba he is trilingual.  Definitely he has opened my eyes to the internal dynamics of Otomo in particular and in Ethiopia in general.


Yet, like anyone, he might have his own bias. Here is our conversation.


Galbeedi: What is the latest developments in Ethiopia?


Hareri man: Things are calmed down at the moment and there is a lot of reflection from each side.  Certainly everyone probably realized that in multi ethnic Ethiopia of 80 different tribes , no one can  get their way despite having large number of people whether it is Oromo, Amhara or others.


Galbeedi: Is Jawar Mohamed ready to reconcile and join the the race?


Hareri man: Jawar has no chance of winning an election in Ethiopia despite having a large following.


Galbeedi: He has two million facebook followers and tens of millions of Oromo youth. If he combines that support with other groups, couldn't he seriously challenge Abiy and the EPRDF?


Hareri man: First of all, the Oromo despite the Queero youth which showed the ability to quickly organize and sideline cities, the mainstream Oromo are not homogeneous or one single unit. They are probably four groups with totally divergent agenda.


One group is the Wallega western Oromo ---Abiy Ahmed constituents---who are mainly protestant Pentecostal or as the called in Ethiopia ' Pente' . These group are pro Abiy Ahmed and pro Ethiopia just like the Amhara. The second group is OLF rebels who just came from exile and have big presence in the diaspora. I don't know if you heard, but they had huge welcoming party in Calgary, Alberta with Jawar where  women gave jewelry and money to their hero. This group  are mostly Agnostic and Animist and doesn't believe either Islam or Christianity. They might have Muslim or other traditional Oromo names but  are largely  animist. These groups are 100% separatist who do not believe in Ethiopia. In fact, if you look back and see the earlier broadcasts of Jowar until as late as 2017, he never mentioned Ethiopia and  always campaigned as  Oromo nationalist who wanted separate Oromo homeland.


The third group is the large Oromo whose land stretches from Diredhaba all the way to Admo who are farmers. These are the masses that are the victims of the Ethiopian empire who felt being marginalized and oppressed. They are huge , yet on their own they can not win elections or gain power by themselves. The last group is Shawan Oromo who consider themselves more elite than others and are intended to rule Ethiopia while keeping and reviving the Oromo power. So, Mr. Jawar might get one out of three or maximum 2/4 which is not translated electoral victory.


Galbeedi: I thought Jawar campaigned with the Amhara to oust the TPLF prior to 2018. Besides, if the country fragments politically, does those who have one solid block have more chances than others?


Hareri man: Of course. The Amhara own 90% of the radio and Television broadcasting from America and Europe . Other than Facebook, Jawar and Oromo doesn't have loud mouth media. The Amhara had given Jawar platforms and they combined their forces to weaken the TPLF, but as soon as he came to Ethiopia, he targeted them by claiming Addis Ababa and advocating only for Oromo in order to get political traction and try to steal supporters from Abiy. He went sectarian and with what happen last week, he will remain a sectarian politician not a national leader.


In Ethiopia , at the moment the only Oromo who could win national election is Abiy. If Jawar gets the majority or 60% of the Oromo vote he can not win because he will not be getting one single vote from Amhara, Tigray, Gyraghe and others. He has narrowed his appeal to the disgruntled Oromo and the unemployed youth which doesn't have long term plan.


Galbeedi: How about Somalis and Afar? Since we are against everything Amhara we might vote those who are pro autonomy like the Oromo of Jawar?


Hareri man: Have you traveled the Somali countryside? I traveled from Diredhaba to Harar and Jigjiga. There is genuine fear of Oromo among the farmers, villagers and towns about the Oromo mob. People who doesn't live in the region are bused from outside to cause mayhem. You could see people who are drunk and given machete and other weapons to cause senseless crimes. I do not think that Somalis or the Afar would vote for Jowar or the Queero led party.


Galbeedi: isn't the Queero who marched in the streets of Oromia and paid the high price of being shot killed ? Isn't the Queero who brought the freedom everyone enjoying including the corrupt  tribal Somalis?


Hareri man: Yes they did and sacrifice life and limbs , but if they keep this road of total mob , they could lose what they have gained. They can realize their dreams of being free and prosperous through the Abiy led revolution. They must realize that this is a country of 80 tribes. In the Hareri city of Harar and surrounding area, they took over farms and homes at  daylight. They would come to your shop and demand money or the next night night they might  torch your shop. Abiy just came two days ago to Harar and promised people that he will get them back all the property they lost.


Galbeedi: Do you agree with me that this Abiy guy is very slow in reacting with displacement of the innocent people and the insecurity in Ethiopia in general. 


Hareri man: Yes and no. Of course he is slow, but he himself was asked this many times and he answered in sersible way. He doesn't want to be heavy handed  and crackdown dissent especially after winning the Nobel Prize . From what I hear, he is waiting to get elected and have a full legitimacy and power after the election. Remind you that he was appointed now by his own party , but he wants to have full powers and then he might intervene directly to these mobs. 


Galbeedi: Yet, things are getting bad as days go by.


Hareri man: The man has inherited a mess. This nation was oppressed for thousands of years. It is the first time people openly criticize their government . Every ethnic group want their issues be addressed today not tomorrow. You have Amhara and Oromo making life difficult for the prime minister. He can't choose one from the other. You have Tigray waiting  in the wings and indirectly encouraging civil strive. Some of the major mistakes he did was allowing the armed wings like OLF and Ginbot 7 to enter the country from outside and instigate trouble. He should have waited to bring them back until he consolidated power. 


Galbeedi: The Tplf has cordoned and secluded in their region. What is going on? and what can Abiy do about these guys who are almost out of the door?


Hareri man: At the moment he can not do much. The Tigray are waiting and encouraging the chaos to take place. Abiy can't intervene militarily which could exacerbate the whole issue. With Eritrea on the north and whole of Ethiopia in South,  they  will be boxed  if they make a wrong move, and at the moment, they  can not go anywhere. They have all the looted resources and money at the moment but that will not last forever.


Galbeedi: The TPLF are at war with the Amhara, they hate Abiy and Oromo. They pretty much isolated, isn't it?


Hareri man: The whole TPLF and EPRDF system has collapsed after Meles. The former leader has invested billions of infrastructure throughout the regions, but also kept the system and state machine run smoothly. If you visit Southern Nations region like Shamshamne and Hawaash you will be shocked the clean streets with lights and lakes which will remind you the first world. Tourism is thriving in those region , and you can reach their with four lane highway with pristine lakes. During his reign ethnic tensions in the regions were low.


After the death of Meles the Tigray leadership especially the military went rogue and started looting openly. Meles helped the TPLF but in  gradual and organized way without undermining the system. Desalegn was just a puppet. Even Cabdi Illey said that it was the military who put the gun in my head. MOst of the development in the Somali kilil took from 2007-2013. They--TPLF-- somehow felt the end and looted banks and government agencies which were mostly under military. Abiy knew their crimes and gradually he eliminated their influence. 


Galbeedi: so, is Abiy just waiting for the election to take place? also, is Ethiopia ready for election?


Hareri man: Actually Abiy said that he is not afraid of election. Despite the logistic nightmares of holding elections in Ethiopia,  he is ready.  At the moment there is no one who can beat him in election. Also, the Oromo doesn't understand that Abiy was with TPLF for 20 years and he and Lema were insiders who knows their moves. He was the chief architect of the intelligence security. He knows how the TPLF eliminated the Amhara  power gradually from 1991 and eventually finish them off and make them irrelevant. He is probably using the same way to sideline his enemies slowly.


The Tigray are not stupid. If chaos comes to Ethiopia they will have legitimate right to protect their homeland and even try to succeed from Ethiopia. They can convince the international community of their desire to protect their homeland from the Rwanda style chaos. By the way, they have an established and strong relationship with Israel and  many western countries whom they had both security and regional cooperation throughout the years.  Any way, their only hope is chaos. After the election, they will be confronted . They can't keep the large portion of Ethiopian mechanized brigades and other arms for now, but also  Some of the air force has been already moved to Arba Minch and other places.


Galbeedi: How about the Amhara? They are calling Jawar Al-Qaeda or extremist Muslim. Are they still dreaming the long gone Ethiopia?.


Hareri man: Amhara are pushing a civil war among the Oromo, but I do not thing that will take place . When I talk to Amhara , I usually tell them that their old Ethiopia is gone , and it will take long long time before you dream of ruling Ethiopia. The problem is the Amhara consider themselves as the original Ethiopia and everyone else as an immigrant who was  included by  just because of the empire. 


Galbeedi: Yet Abiy is pushing Amhara centric idea and language.


Hareri man: Abiy is Ethiopian nationalist and he believes that having  one common language like Amhara will hold together the 80 tribes of Ethiopia. It will take many years and billions to create and new common language.


Galbeedi: Well English could fill the void easily.


Hareri man: Ethiopians feel to be an old civilization and want to keep these old language  to show the outside world that they were the land of origins where e  Europeans colonizers failed.


Galbeedi: What is next for Jawar?


:Hareri man: Didn't you see the tweet by Trump? He said @ I know Jawar is American citizen but we will not allow incitement and violence.


Galbeedi: That means the clever Amhara had reached the white house.


Hareri man: I think a lot of gruesome pictures were published by the media . Remember , the failure of ten million Somalis in 1991 had affected the whole region and Somali refugees reached the world,  imagine the violent collapse of 100 million? . I think no one will allow chaos in Ethiopia.


Galbeedi: what is the relationship between the Muslim community and Abiy Ahmed?


Hareri man; Abiy has been very good for our community.  He united the fragmented Muslim leadership in Addis as he also united the two branches of the Ethiopian Orthodox leadership. The last Desalegn government has arrested and forced Lebanon based Habasha sect to the Addis Ababa mosques and leadership. After the locals refused they arrested dozens of Imams and kept them in jail for years. Abiy released them and conveined a unity conference and locals elected their leadership. Now Addis has a unified and stable Imams.


Also, in order to avoid the constant congestion of Friday prayers which over floods to main streets and caused traffic nightmares for the locals were resolved after Abiy gave them one of the largest open land in Addis and told them to build a mosque that accomodate tens of thousands. When  some Amhara complained---who else but Amhara-- he told them that their mega churches could accommodate football stadiums and dozen mosques.


He was the first ever  leader in Ethiopia who appointed Muslim women wearing Hijaab to ministerial and ambassadorship. The Addis Muslim community is 100% for Abiy. 


Galbeedi: in your opinion, will Jawar Mohamed run for election and challege Abiy?


Hareri man: Most educated and main stream Oromo knows that any Oromo challenging Abiy is bad news and will indirectly empower the Amhara. Jawar has narrow sectarian support. To rule multiethnic Ethiopia you must have support among the diverse regions. What ever good will the Oromo had few years ago was tarnished by the blind mob  that destroys everything. No other ethnic group will vote or Queero led movement of Jawar.


That is folks. The Hareri mam is voting for Abiy.


Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites


Thank you.

Now that TPLF has left everybody including Abiy guessing, the Hareri for which TPLF was blamed by everyone for making them Kilil of 20,000 are really in dire straights.

I "hate" thank less people. Not about TPLF, but about Jawar. If it wasn't for Jawar the angry Qero would have denied the Hareri drinking water and also place to dump the city garbage since everything comes from Oromia around them.

Now they have no option, but to clap for Abiy. So he is being real.

I know autonomy is not now a priority for Hareri, they just want to be safe alive and not killed by Amxara or Oromo both have more number than Hareri in Harar.

Jawar is fully supported by 3/4 oromo sides and significant even on the 4th one he can share with Abiy.

Tigray and Afar are out of this frakas. They do not want trouble with anyone, even though the Amxara talk about both in their borders and somebody is trying to light fire on Afar Somali border as well at this time.

Sidamas, Afar and even Tigray do not have problems with him either. They are long separated from the situation of last year. In politics is long time, alliances change.

What your Hareri friend missed is how Federalism is the no.1 issue for alliances now and Abiy keeps changing his focus between anti-Federalist Amxara and the rest.


What he stated about Islam and the factions/sects is also not correct.

Generally speaking Islam in Somali, Afar and Tigray is the same. Never influenced by newer or different sects. These three are also the oldest Islam in the horn of Africa if not even middle east. The rest of Ethiopia Muslims are converts between 500 to 100 years ago and some even last decades.

Different groups from Somalia tried in Kililka, but none was successful. Original and tarditional Islam the way it was received is the way it is in these places.

The Hareri are either divided or together but with different countries influence.


The Ahbash sect that is practiced in Lebanon, Syria and some in Jordan is actually started by a Xabeshi from Harer. Only the Oromo and others complained and demonstrated to shut down Axbash and the government TPLF said you are free, they are free, we are not going to ban one sect of Islam or Christian. Our job is for all of you to parctice freely your faith. The Hareri were split on this, but did not demand for Axbash to be shut down and expelled, because the government was TPLF. Except for Somali, Afar and Tigray everybody else wanted Axbash to be shut down and expelled.

Christians also have the same problem. There is maybe 15 million Pente (American religion) now in an Orthodox world. If one starts banning this or that group no end to it.


Your conclusion is correct. The Hareri have to stand with government who ever it is.

Unlike the Somali who can confront anyone and fight, Hareri have no chance.


In the 90s they should have asked the Somali and TPLF to make them a zone in Kililka which would have made Dirdahba case also easier. I guess they got greedy and forgot that the Somali or TPLF or both are not going to be always as powerful as they were then.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Abiy's narrative of creating a "New Ethiopia" might be the most rational one, however,  it will not be the one most people will gravitate to. Amxaara and specifically Oromo are exploring their newfound freedom of expression. As a result, extreme narratives will dominate public interactions and airwaves.

Additionally, Africa is the home of irrational decision making. So the notion of "silent majority" that will hand a mandate to a leader who represents a compromise and not an extreme one, will not happen now nor in the near future. 

So although Abiy's narrative of New Ethiopia has been around for a year, it is clear to see that the country is moving towards another direction. So Guess who will win the elections? 

Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites
On 11/5/2019 at 1:15 PM, Mourad1 said:

Abiy's narrative of creating a "New Ethiopia" might be the most rational one, however,  it will not be the one most people will gravitate to. Amxaara and specifically Oromo are exploring their newfound freedom of expression. As a result, extreme narratives will dominate public interactions and airwaves.

Additionally, Africa is the home of irrational decision making. So the notion of "silent majority" that will hand a mandate to a leader who represents a compromise and not an extreme one, will not happen now nor in the near future. 

So although Abiy's narrative of New Ethiopia has been around for a year, it is clear to see that the country is moving towards another direction. So Guess who will win the elections? 

Abiy's Ethiopia is Menelik Ethiopia, Mengistu Ethiopia, just in face book and Nobel package. Nothing rational about it.

Do you think its possible to tell a Somali in Ethiopia "forget your ID, be Ethiopian. Its going to be "Heaven" on earth and you will be equal citizen if youbecome little Amxara",,,,?

What Abiy is saying is that the Somali must have been st-pid to fight for 100 years and not see the "goodness" of one Ethiopia.



Share this post

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.