Baga Nagaan dhuftan! Welcome!Herzlich Willkommen!
Oromo Community in Berlin e.V.
c/o Dr. Sufian Weise
Warnitzer Str. 24
Herrn Klaus Bergmann
Leiter Internationale Angelegenheiten
Sehr geehrter Herr Bergmann,
We, members of the Oromo community e.V, herewith express our utter dismay and indignation at what was recently aired on Deutsche Welle: Amharic Service. In a program on December 8, 2013 a defamatory and discriminatory tirade against Oromo as a people was allowed unhindered; indeed encouraged by the host, purportedly as a discussion-program. We are saddened to see the institution of Deutsche Welle, hitherto respected for its democratic and human-right’s values enshrined in the Grundgesetz, being abused and reduced to an instrument of hate-propaganda against a whole people.
Our complaint is about hate-speech in the guise of free discussion and the promotion thereof. To begin with, a balanced representation for each side of the argument-line has not been observed; neither in numbers nor in their field of expertise: - two historians against one economist.
The declared aim of the afore mentioned program was to conduct a fair discussion about Oromo and Emperor Menelik II, a man of whom there is ample historical records about his genocidal war of conquest in late 19th early 20th century. Alone from the Oromo, 5 million were estimated to have been uprooted, ravaged and massacred by Menelik’s colonial army. Menelik was known among Oromos as butcher-of-humans, famous for his brutality, cutting off women’s breasts and smashing children’s heads.
The pervasive tone in this Amhara dominated program was not only about denying the atrocities committed against the Oromo and other conquered peoples, but went further to effectively dehumanize the Oromo, questioning whether Oromos had an identity and history of their own. To mention some of those inflammatory remarks: - one of the participants went to the extent of questioning the very name of “Oromo” and labelled Oromo history as “myth and fiction”. In doing so, he was suggesting the need to revive the derogatory name “Galla” as appropriate. He further arrogantly stated that the “gadaa System” of the Oromos was synonymous with terror and destruction. This is just a blatant anti-Oromo statement. Actually the Gadaa System is known for exactly the opposite reason: - as an egalitarian, open and democratic traditional system of governance.
Lastly we would like to share something only those who are immediately affected are privy to. In recent two or three years, there is a marked upsurge of activity by Amhara elements to regain their lost role as the undisputed masters of the colonial empire of Ethiopia: - at least on the propaganda front here in diaspora. We feel we have reason to believe that the facilities of the respected DW are being misused towards this end.
We demand that the management of the great DW institution:
1. Investigate the point of our complaint and take appropriate measures in case of misconduct.
2. Take appropriate measures to preempt future recurrence.
Dr. Sufian Weise
Oromo Community in Berlin e.V.
Herr Dr. Johannes Hoffmann
Leiter Unternehmenskommunikation und Pressesprecher
Frau Dagmar Engel
Frau Ute Schaeffer
News and Current Affairs