“Our true nationality is mankind.”H.G.

Finfine-Fatigue: The Misfiring of Camp-Jawar

by Mekuria – 


Even the most perfunctory look at what has lately been coming out of Camp-Jawar reveals a litany of missteps and harebrained schemes that would put the Three Stooges to shame. It’s a travesty of justice—indeed an insult— to folks of Oromo descent that, of all the levelheaded, sensible folks in the Oromo community, it is Camp-Jawar that has donned the mantle of leading advocate of the Oromo cause. As recent events clearly show, Camp-Jawar has neither the morality nor the intellectual acumen to speak on behalf of the great Oromo masses.

What Camp-Jawar did in recent weeks was a feeble attempt to completely dominate the scene with an overwhelming barrage of Oromo-centered narratives with the aim of muzzling the Mainstream. With rapid-fire succession came the unabashed claim of outright ownership of Addis Ababa. Then followed Jawar’s “Over-My-Dead-Body” histrionics over the ኮየ ፈጩ fiasco, followed, predictably enough, by a small coterie of like-minded pseudo-intellectuals filling the airwaves with thoughtless gibberish. Same talking points, same cock-eyed reasoning, same fallacies and same fiction, all lifted from the same tired group-think.

Camp-Jawar’s intentions may have been to unleash a campaign of shock and awe but ended up being a spectacular failure in a way that the Camp-Jawar did not anticipate and certainly did not intend. The objective may have been to immobilize the Mainstream and destroy its will to fight by carpet-bombing it with everything but the kitchen sink, but it failed miserably! It failed, because what it ended up doing instead was expose Camp-Jawar for what it was: A circular firing squad that wound up inflicting more damage on itself than it did on its target!

Camp-Jawar was so clueless that it could not even see how the tactic of hastily, greedily and forcefully bringing to the fore a multitude of contentious issues that it knew were anathema to the Mainstream, would backfire badly. And back-fire is exactly what it did! Camp-Jawar’s actions and pronouncements were so openly bigoted, so fanatical, so irresponsible and so self-centered that there was no room left for civil discourse. Consequently, Camp-Jawar’s unforced errors—errors of judgment, tactical errors, strategic errors—had the unintended consequence of handing the Mainstream a wide array of victories on a silver platter. Following is a sampling of Camp-Jawar’s egregious errors:

Error # 1: የጅብ ችኩል ቀንድ ይነክሳል!

Like a bad poker player, Camp-Jawar did not know the difference between a good hand and a bad hand. What it did was overestimate its hand, and instead of waiting for the right time to play it, when odds would be in its favor, it made its move carelessly and prematurely revealing its game-plan, thereby giving the strategic advantage to its opponents. Just like an amateur Poker player, Camp-Jawar also made the deadly error of being greedy and predictable. By not knowing when and where to stop or back off, and by asking for more than it could get, it put itself at risk of losing the whole thing. And so, thanks to the gang’s ineptitude, the whole world now knows what Camp-Jawar is about. The destruction of the established order, xenophobia, racism and unbridled greed all couched in nothing more than a Big Lie!

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Error # 2: Inferiority, Hate and the Race Card

These past few weeks, Camp-Jawar, in its haste to set the agenda, gave itself away as a group of conflicted individuals with troubled souls. Thanks to its መዝረክረክ , Ethiopians now know what makes its members tick. Suffice it to say that, at least, three of Camp-Jawar’s prominent members—Jawar, Ararsa and Bekele—have now shown their true colors in no uncertain terms.

In recent days, Jawar’s inferiority complex reached such disturbing heights that his latent fear of being relegated to a position of a lightweight forced him to assert publically and brazenly that he is a distinguished የተዋጣለት ምሁር”, while his co-conspirator Mr. Fake Ararsa from Down Under continued to spin yarn after yarn of the usual hate that only the mind of a bogus PhD could produce. As for Bekele Gerba, he has now earned the dubious honor of serving as the poster-boy for racism, an Oromo version of the Grand Wizard of the KKK.

As recently as a couple of days ago, Bekele publicly announced his opposition to cross-cultural marriages between Oromo and others. And with that, he joined the ranks of supremacists of the Neo-Nazi movement who, like him stand firm against racial mixing. As Bekele’s primitive attitude runs afoul of universally accepted mores of the 21st century no matter where in the world it manifests itself, in Charlottesville, USA or in Addis Ababa, some members of Camp-Jawar who quietly share Bekele’s views but are ashamed that he let the cat out of the bag, are now on the defensive swearing up and down that they are not racists, an unenviable position to be in.

Error # 3: ሁሉ ኬኛ

ሁሉ ኬኛ was so outlandish that it was met with an uncompromising push-back by Mainstream Ethiopians from all walks of life. This rather childlike assertion of “What’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine too” was so outrageously fanciful that it had the direct effect of bringing Mainstream intellectuals and ordinary citizens together in strong opposition. The inhabitants of Addis Ababa, in particular, do owe Camp-Jawar a debt gratitude for unwittingly setting in motion a grassroots movement that is fast emerging as Camp-Jawar’s worst nightmare. It was, after all Camp-Jawar’s absurdities that were directly responsible for giving rise to a formidable sense of solidarity and unity of purpose among the city’s youth—espri de corps.

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The last thing that Camp-Jawar needed was a well-organized, well-disciplined movement led by capable men and women to keep it in check.

Error # 4: Alienating Moderates

Camp-Jawar’s actions were so bizarre that, even middle-of-the road Mainstream thinkers who were, up to this point, willing to give Jawar and Company the benefit of the doubt, were forced to abandon their approach of treading carefully as Camp-Jawar has left them no choice but to grab the bull by the horn. Thus, Camp-Jawar has alienated even the one group of individuals in the Mainstream that ordinarily would have been willing to cut it some slack. The group’s actions were so alarmingly objectionable that they had the effect of liberating the Mainstream from self-imposed censorship.

It is now becoming obvious that the shackles of political correctness have come off as more and more of the Mainstream elite as well as the man-in-the-street no longer feel constrained by extreme civility. Mainstream intellectuals, once largely quiet and apathetic, are now coming out of the woodworks providing facts and figures that expose Camp-Jawar’s shenanigans for what they are. If Camp-Jawar thought that folks would roll over and play dead, it was gravely mistaken. By crossing any and all boundaries of decency and destroying the rule of engagement by which sane societies operate, Camp-Jawar has unwittingly emboldened the Mainstream to weigh in openly and candidly without fear of being labeled intolerant.

Error # 5: Finfine-Fatigue

Camp-Jawar’s attempt to shove the claim of Oromo ownership of Addis Ababa down the throats of Mainstream Ethiopians had a boomerang effect. Before Camp-Jawar’s latest, in-your-face assertion that Addis Ababa belongs to the Oromo, there were certain Oromo-centric issues that were handled with kid-gloves by polite society. The issue of Addis Ababa vs. Finfine was one of them. It was spoken of in hushed tones as it was considered a contentious issue, albeit one with no merit. For a long time, the word Finfine and all that it entailed evoked a sense of disillusionment and quiet resignation on the part of the general public. Mainstream Ethiopians hoped that folks who subscribed to the Big Lie would someday come to their senses as there was no way to have a meaningful discourse about it.

Finfine was the figment of someone’s imagination. Sure, it made for an amusing story, but it was not a serious story that one would dignify with a serious intellectual treatment. Still, the story of Finfine became entrenched in the minds of impressionable youngsters and reached the point where Camp-Jawar had the temerity to declare open season on the inhabitants of Addis Ababa by assigning them the status of መጤAnd that development has now awakened a sleeping giant: Mainstream intellectuals, historians and opinion-makers of the known world, who are beginning to disprove the story of Finfine with incontrovertible historical and archaeological evidence.

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Thanks to Camp-Jawar biting more than it could chew, it took no time at all to debunk Finfine historically and factually down to the root of the word itself, which has now been shown to be an Amahric word through and through! And so, if Finfine ever had any intimidation factor at all, it has now lost its sting as it has been reduced to an over-used cliché that has become the butt of jokes. So much so that Mainstream Ethiopians have now taken to using the word Finfine playfully, albeit sarcastically, while, ironically enough, the original Finfinites are beginning to backtrack a little on Finfine opting instead for Sheger. Thanks to Camp Jawar’s overreach, Finfine-fatigue has set in big time!

Error # 6: Qerro’s loss of Luster!

There was a time not so long ago that Qerro was thought of as a highly regarded community of Oromo youth that played their part in risking life and limb in the struggle to liberate the nation from a tyrannical regime. In the minds of most Ethiopians, Qerro was a name that stood for the thousands of Oromo youngsters from Ambo to Moyale who, through peaceful means, protested against a deadly government and sacrificed their lives for the cause of freedom.

Thanks to Camp-Jawar’s carry-ons of recent days, however, the image of Qerro as a peaceful movement is fast fading into oblivion. In its place, an unflattering image of a gang of unruly youngsters with a troubling proclivity for violence is emerging. What Ethiopians saw at ኮየ ፈጩ was not a disciplined group of youngsters who could think for themselves, but a rowdy bunch of hotheaded men and women easily spurned into gathering in mob-like fashion to strike fear into the hearts of those who would dare stand in their way.

It was alarming to see how that these youngsters, once thought of as intelligent and self-controlled, were in reality so hopelessly uninformed that they showed up in full force to do the bidding of their handlers no questions asked. The image of Qerro youngsters brandishing machetes and other home-made weapons at ኮየ ፈጩ was a pitiful sight to see. It was reminiscent more of the notorious Boko Haram than of the peaceful youngsters with their arms crossed over their heads in protest that Ethiopians had come to love and appreciate. Qerro youngsters are Ethiopian youngsters. They deserve better than being reduced to doing the dirty work of others and getting tarnished in the process. They have Camp-Jawar to thank for it!


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