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Complete Surrender to Strangers’ Threats

  To all AJ audiences we have interviewed Otoli Warachung elder; statesman of the tradition Anyuak society to give us brief discussion on Gambella History and Politics, here is the excerpt.

AJ, there are threats everywhere in our land, were all about land, occupation, aggrandizement by strangers, who came, or brought by from faraway under different circumstances by the successive ruling regimes.  All of them forgot where they were originally belonging or came from; so to speak. We are now on threshold, contesting our native land with them. Why?

Ans,Otoli; the impending phenomenon is a curse on our souls. We must quench the fire, contain it from spreading.
AJ say how come this land that no one wants before all of the sudden have become violence hotpots.

Ans. Otoli Warachung: Traditionally, we are open society, and unlike other savage tribes who kill people as they saw them on their land; ours is an open society with traditional rule of law that governed behavior of our people toward peace, stability and good neighborliness. One cannot dispute the fact, our history shows we have been good in the reception, in the accommodation of the strangers on our land, from all opposite corners, a distinction I could say we are proud of as people, I believe one can’t prevent people from passing or coming by, taking a little break here from difficult situation that forced them to leave their environments in the first place. You see if a frog jumps out of the bush, it must be pursuing after something to eat or it must be running away from danger to safety. So did all the refugees who laded on our land, were welcomed with opened hands, accommodated efficiently. Now after peace was restored, we told them to pack, go back home. But they refused to go home. So what left for us as rights: is force deportation? But the problem we had now is our government intervention in all attempts we tried to correct the wrong political discourses. We have a government who often side with the foreigners whenever there were protest against foreign elements. And that's not right when a government does that to its citizens. It is no good government at all.

AJ Q, again how come those foreigners you are talking about have not been going to where they originally came from, what prevented them from going back?  Ha said the old man how can you prevent bees from sugar? Can you?  AJ, No, but, what do you mean?  Well to prevent bees from reaching, or leaving sugar container first of all you must remove the sugar that magnetized them to the container or spray poison fume around the sugar container to prevent bees from coming around anymore.

AJ, replied, but you can do that with people so what the take? Yea I know we cannot do that with people but we can make force deportation if people are not willing to go to the countries at their will.  If peace was restored than they should go back to their lands instead of giving us headaches.  We see to it that the law of the country is respected held up to standard, that’s not what we are seeing from our government otherwise, those who have broken the law must be held accountable, immediately deported, or make them settle in other countries of their wishes. If a host country they were in do not want them stay any longer, especially violent people must be expel from the country, without delays.

Interesting, AJ concluded,  AJ want state more, but was overrode by interviewee, who had plenty to say about many things, but the whole situation, he reminded AJ how good was in past, AJ said how, where?  Listen very, very carefully to what I am about to say, back in days when his majesty ruled this country the rule of law was up held by the courts in the country, everybody was under equal protection by the law, have you ever heard the word " be heg amlak" No, said AJ. Well it means in the "name of the law" a useful word used to civilizing people about the supremacy of law by all law abiding citizens, to distinguish themselves from hooligans, criminals, savages, that's how the emperor regime was with law. Unfortunately the king was dethroned by a bunch of idiots from the army, called the provisional revolutionary committee, which were nothing but thugs, thieves who rule the country by impunity.

  AJ, Q. What happened then?  Well, in the aftermath of the revolution the role of courts were reduced to oversee certain offences. But the bulk, majority crimes which were not crimes really were run by ad hoc or special committee which wrongfully imprisoned many compatriots to rot in jails. You see in that bygone era there were plenty of crimes leveled against individuals, crimes instigated by supporters of the revolutionaries, who accused most innocent people for political reason, to make it short what we got were so called special revolutionary committees, which held hearing in secrecy. No one knows how they reach decisions after decisions. Ultimately the country was tired of their draconian rule, left for the bush to unset the regime, they did. What came back was again something related to the previous revolution; in fact the second revolution had a blended "revolutionary flavor" like previous one. This time under EPRDF umbrella, federal courts were instated all over the country, so it is better now? AJ interrupted? What better as far as I am concern there no different between revolutionary committee, the EPDRF federal courts, again AJ interrupted, why? Because the EPDRF courts were stashed with cronies, that don’t exercise rule of law in the courts but nepotism.
 AJ, Q. So both regimes were not good for the Anyuak? You see unlike other violent tribes that bordered the Anuyakland, the Anyuak tribe themselves are law abiding people who hate violence in their culture. It is not an exaggeration to say that they are subjects of the rule of law. Previously, in the bygone era his majesty administrations provided, various mechanisms, which held our country, society in a harmonious ways and had allowed traditional rulers to rule according the law of their customs. There was one rule and one law for the country, there was also one rule of law in the traditional sense for all in the Anyuakland, be it for subjects under chiefdom or kingdom. But he said we don’t have our traditional rule of law anymore, neither king nor chief, that's the problem. AJ what was then replaced to balance the law?  All the court institution were gone, destroyed by dictatorial regime of Haile Mariam, who replaced nothing but chaos through revolutionary committees, its  associates such as: peasants associations, women association, youths Association, workers association, urban cooperatives, all were control by party apparatchiks’ from the central government.

The dirge, the current government completely destroyed Anyuak tradition system of ruling themselves through their representatives, without bearing the consequences. Poorly the Anyuak were/are left with no traditional safeguard, protection anymore. It was a mistake by those who destroyed the old system, opening our society future floodgate to destroy the entire society soon. That’s how the Anyuak people see their fate nowadays. Their fates are in the balance. No one should blame them really. What dignity was left for them when their land was/is forcefully snatched, out of their hands given it to some people else who don’t belong to their community. Is this a government of the people, by the people or of the hooligans, by the hooligans? How come a government they called theirs was/is murdering, prosecuting them with impunity. Who supposed to be watching who, who watched the supposed watchers. Can protection of security for all be left in hands of the organized thugs, criminals?  AJ are you dramatizing the situation.

Ans. what kind of question is that? No I am not dramatizing situations. It is real, and I am not amplifying it either.  If we are one, than we should be protected by law of the country. It is imperative that everyone who’s a citizen, including foreigners should be under the equal protection of the law. The law should reign supreme. That's what distinguished civilized people from savage society. Indeed if we are not one, than we should be able the take our security into our own hands. The English philosopher Hobbes 1640 in his treaty leviathan postulates social contracts this way; I am paraphrasing differently: for all individuals to live together as community certain important rights must give up to the body of law for the whole group or community lives in perpetual peace with one another, otherwise one risk losing them all. My point I am posing to you, if a government was not in the protection of the security for all, than we should take our own security into our own hands, it should be clear to everyone that security matters most when all are under equal protection of the state.

  The world have heard enough of the impending calamity hovering over the country, still some of us have unconditional love for the country to do better. But the agony, the brutality still continued in that beautiful land that was once in harmony, in peaceful- coexistence. Nevertheless can the downturn be reversed, AJ injected a Q?  Of course let keeps hope alive.  You know it difficult to subjugate the Ethiopian people for a lengthy time: under any conditions. They may put up with you for a while but not for too long our history shows no tyrant ruled for too long without being deposed 


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