Last updated on March 10, 2020
On International Women’s Day on March 8, the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) party in collaboration with the Oromo Media Network (OMN) organized an event to commemorate the Oromo women who sacrificed during the Oromo struggle.
During the event, one of the speakers, a young lady was given ample time to preach hate and discrimination against a particular ethnic group in Ethiopia.
The lady talked about how the Oromo should separate itself from “Neftegna”, a name tag given to the northern people and from the rest of “Habesha”, a common name of Ethiopians. In her 15 minutes long speech, the laddy said the Oromo should not marry with the Neftegna and Habesha. Those who are married also must divorce and marry from the Oromo ethnic group.
OMN transmitted the full speech live and later distributed it on social media uploading the video on YouTube and Facebook.
Bekele Gerba, a leader of the Oromo Federalist Congress (OFC) was interviewed by Ethio FM radio about the situation. In this interview, why they let the lady continue talking such a hatful speech and why they could not stop the lady at the moment. He said, “It is her right. She has the right to express her feelings. We should not limit her freedom of expression.”
What an embarrassment!
Bekele Gerba does not have the basic knowledge about freedom of speech, media freedom, inciting violence and hate speech.
Actually, the lady followed Bekele’s footsteps. He was the first person to tell the Oromos in order to develop Afan Oromo language, do not buy from a non-Oromo businessman who does not speak the Oromo language so that he bankrupt and leave the region.
That is how he thinks of freedom of speech, spreading hate and discrimination because of language and ethnic background.
This is an embarrassment to the Oromo ethnic group in particular and a failure to Ethiopia’s political system in general: A university lecturer could not identify the line between freedom of expression and hate speech!