Hate Speech Sparks Anger Among Many Ethiopians

By Staff Reporter

Oromo-Woman-hateMarch 9, 2020 (Ezega.com) -- Anti-ethnic Amhara speech broadcast by the Oromo Media Network (OMN) sparked anger among many Ethiopians, especially with the ethnic Amhara people.

The video that became viral in various social media platforms displayed a young lady speaking in Afan Oromo language sending messages that all ethnic Oromo people must not live with other ethnic people and engaged in any form of social contracts, especially with the Neftegnas (nickname of Amhara).

“Our struggle starts with an Oromo husband who is married to Habesha (nonethnic Oromo) lady. An Oromo husband who is married with Habesha wife or vice versa must divorce even if they have children,” she said during a special event organized by the station itself in connection with March 8 celebrations.

The young lady told the participants “ethnic Oromos must not be married with non-Oromos. Those who already married with a man or woman belonging to other ethnic groups should come to their senses and divorce,”

She went on to say, “Don’t intermingle with others and bring the dirt to the Oromos. The Qeerroo struggle will be on those Oromos who engage themselves with the Neftegnas.”

“Come on, get marry us (ethnic Oromo girls). Those of you who are our beautiful girls who married Nefetegnas get a divorce today,” she added.

The lady, clearly ignorant of the weight and substance of the matter she was talking about, was cheered by the participants including by prominent political figures from Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC), an organization many believed stood for a genuine change in Ethiopia until a couple of years ago.

This is not the first that some of these Oromo political groups have been accused of fanning or condoning hate between Ethiopian nations and nationalities. Recently, almost all of them failed to voice concerns when Dembi Dollo university students were abducted en route to their homes, fourteen of them girls. Their whereabouts of these abductees are still unknown.

In response to hate speech trending in social media outlets, the office of the Prime Minister said the government would take proportional measures on those political parties and media houses which are engaged in the dissemination of hate speeches and hatred among different ethnic people.

Briefing journalists on Monday, Press Secretariat Head of the PM Office Tilahun Nigussu said such kinds of speeches pose serious threats against the unity and harmony of the Ethiopian people.

He said both the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) and the Oromo Media Network will be held accountable for the dissemination of the hate speeches. The controversial Oromo activist Jawar Mohammed owns OMN.

According to Nigussu, the Ethiopian Broadcasting Authority and National Election Board of Ethiopia would be handling the case.

“What was said breached the Ethiopian constitution and did not consider the union of the people of Oromo and Amhara lived through for centuries,” Nigussu added.

It is recalled that the Ethiopian Orthodox Church recently accused OMN of disseminating flawed information about the damage to its church in Addis Ababa and the killing of followers by members of government security forces.

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