Mekelle: 11 May 2024 (Tigray Herald)


Fano lost its momentum for three reasons. Fano  can stand on its head and spin until the proverbial cow comes home. It will not get anywhere until it addresses all three.

The three issues include its failure to: (1) architect a robust political strategy, (2) form a broad-based coalition including non-Amhara tribal forces, and (3) develop a two-pronged PR ecosystem to win confidence and support at home and abroad.

These are issues I raised in my August 2023 draft Fano Manifesto Proposal with the following emphasis.

FIRST, the Fanno movement must present itself as a stabilizing force with a clear political agenda along with a robust strategy, reasonably flexible roadmap, and clear endgame. I stressed this is critical to unite Fano forces. You simply cannot create a united Fano force without a common political strategic platform.

SECOND, Fano must communicate and engage local and international actors to address their concerns, earn their confidence and win their support. In this regard, it needs to pay heed to a time-honored diplomatic decree. In and of itself, truth has no currency unless it is widely heralded both at home and abroad. If Fanno does not frame its movement’s agenda and articulate its narrative, its adversaries will have the honor push their “ስልጣን ልቀቅ-ስልጣን ልንጠቅ” narrative to paint Fanno as outlaw.

THIRD, Fanno must build a broad coalition. The thinking that Amhara can form a broad-based coalition after it takes power is wrongheaded for two reasons. First, the road to success is shorter if a broad coalition is formed. Second, if Amhara is not interested or able to listen to others, address their concerns and build consensus now, how can it be trusted to form a coalition government after it grabbed the levers of power?

A recent document dated May 8, 2024, and signed by Ato Birhanemeskel Nega, Dr. Demissie Alemayehu and Dr. Abraham Bedelu, came to the realization that Fanos primary problem is lack of a political strategy.

• ከትግሉ ባሕሪና ፍጥነት፣ እንዲሁም ከጠላት ውስብስብ ሴራ ጋር ተያይዞ፣ በግንባር የሚፋለሙ የፋኖ ኃይሎች የድሉን ትግል ለማፋጠን በሚያደርጉት ጥረት ላይ አሉታዊ ተፅዕኖ ሊያስከትሉ የሚችሉ አንዳንድ ተግዳሮቶች መታየታቸው አልቀረም። ከእነዚህም ተግዳረቶች መካከል ዋነኛው፣ የተማከለ ድርጅታዊ አመራርና የጠራ የትግል መርሀ-ግብር አለመኖር ነው።

• ደረጃውን የጠበቀ ወታደራዊና ፖለቲካዊ መዋቅር መመሥረት አስፈላጊና አጣዳፊ ተግባር መሆኑ ግልፅ ሆኗል… አንድ ወጥ የፖለቲካ አደረጃጀትና ዝርዝር የመመሪያ ሰነድ ወይም ስትራተጂ አስፈላጊነት አጣዳፊ ሆኖ መምጣቱ በሁሉም ተወያይ ፋኖ መሪዎች ዘንድ ግንዛቤ አግኝቷል።

• ትግሉ ከመከላከል አልፎ ስርዓቱን ጨርሶ በማስወገድ ወደ መጨረሻው ወሳኝ ድልና ግብ ለመድረስ እንዲቻል፣ ደረጃውን የጠበቀ ወታደራዊና ፖለቲካዊ መዋቅር መመሥረት አስፈላጊና አጣዳፊ ተግባር መሆኑ ግልፅ ሆኗል።

It took them 9 months to get this.

Unfortunately, they have a screwed up if not a condescending opinion about winning the confidence and support of other tribal lands. They wrote:

• “በይበልጥም፣ የዐማራው ትግል እንደ ሕወሓትና የኦሮሙማው ስርዓቶች ፀረ -ኢትዮጵያ ሳይሆን፣ ኢትዮጵያዊ ባሕርይ ያለው ነው:: በመሆኑም: የኢትዮጵያን መቀጠል የሚፈልገው ዐማራ ያልሆነው ሌላው የአገሪቱ ሕዝብም እንዲሳካ የሚፈልገውና በጉጉት የሚጠባበቀው አለኝታና የበኩሉንም ድርሻ እንዲወጣ የሚጠበቅበት ነው::”

On the face value this assume the Amhara agenda and strategy is good for all. This is utterly stupid, given the fact that their document acknowledges Fano does not have a clear political strategy. This is tantamount to saying “We do not have a clear strategy, but you will like it when we have it. So, keep following us.” This is why some tribal politicians call tribal Amhara “ትምክህተኛ.”

It took Amhara political elites to acknowledge Fano’s primary problem is lack of political strategy.  How long is it going to take them before realizing Fano will not get anywhere if it fails to build a broad coalition?

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