The Criminal Case Against Jawar Mohammed [By Gemechu  Aba Biya]

The Criminal Case Against Jawar Mohammed

By Gemechu  Aba Biya


Resistance to dictatorships creates the political conditions that are conducive for the emergence of visionary, inspirational, and transformational leaders.  The struggle against apartheid produced Nelson Mandela and the fight against the TPLF dictatorship gave rise to Dr. Abiy. Unfortunately, dictatorships also spawn political crooks, charlatans, and carnival barkers.  One such individual is Jawar Mohammed.

Jawar Mohammed, a man with mediocre intellect, limited education, and no political integrity, is the partial creation of the TPLF.  Because of his propaganda work, the TPLF declared him persona non grata, convicted in him in absentia, and banned his media outlet. The declaration, conviction, and banning turned a political crook into political hero.  Dr. Abiy’s decision to share the stage with Jawar in Minnesota on July 30 elevated his status among his followers, groupies, and worshippers. Sharing a stage with Jawar was a big mistake. The deceitful, unprincipled, and fraudulent Jawar is not in league with the Prime Minister.  Similarly, the red-carpet welcome that he was accorded in the Millennium Hall on August 5 was unworthy of an individual of his low stature. These two events have inflated his already over-sized ego.

Now, this egomaniac demagogue sees himself as “the little Ayatollah”, a title aptly bestowed on him by the OLF. He lords over the Oromo opposition politicians. They must obey his political fatwas or face the risk of forfeiting the financial assistance they receive from him or even worse being barred from the “Jawar fiefdom”.  A result of his over lordship is the incendiary statement written by Jawar that was issued by five Oromo opposition parties last month.

The other factor that has contributed to the manufacturing of Jawar Mohammed is the political objective and political miscalculations of the OLF.  The OLF, a separatist political organization, has made serious political blunders, the gravest of which has been its alliance with the TPLF, currently and in the past.   The vast majority of the Oromo people reject separation and the alliance with the TPLF. The reasons are clear.

The Oromo people realize that they don’t need a separate state to have their collective rights respected.  As a majority ethnic group, they have nothing to fear about their collective rights being violated in a democratic Ethiopia.  Second, they have not forgotten nor forgiven the crimes perpetrated against the Oromo people by the TPLF government. As an exile political operative living comfortably in Minnesota, Jawar used to tell us that in Ethiopia the Oromos account for 90% of the displaced farmers, 95% of the political prisoners, and 99% of the refugees.  And yet, he and the OLF are currently allied with TPLF in a conspiracy to overthrow the Abiy government.

The OLF’s separatist political agenda and miscalculations alienated most of the politically inclined Oromo intellectuals, creating a political vacuum throughout the 1990s and early 2000s. Enter Jawar Mohammed to occupy the political vacuum, as an Oromo nationalist who believes in a united Ethiopia. Once he occupied that vacuum, he started changing his political positions like a chameleon depending on the audience, at one time standing for national unity, at another time supporting separation, and still at another time claiming to support both unity and separation simultaneously.  

In 2016, at a conference held in London, he declared that he would support the destruction of Ethiopia to create an independent Oromia. Only a self-claimed “great tactician” can take such mutually exclusive positions.  Hence was born Jawar, an afterbirth of the marriage between the conditions created by TPLF’s oppression and the political space vacated by the OLF’s ineptitude.

Jawar claims to be Ethiopia’s greatest tactician, greatest strategist, and greatest political thinker.  He is entitled to his delusional beliefs. The issue is not his intellectual shallowness, his psychotic behavior, or his grandstanding, but his criminal activities.  The following is a partial list of his most culpable criminal acts.

Jawar is a religious fundamentalist who once threatened, in a speech he gave to a Muslim audience, to behead Christians who stand up for their rights.  Asked about his statement in a recent TV interview, he responded by saying that he was quoted out of context. There is nothing to contextualize. The video clip is crystal clear. Since he hasn’t apologized for the statement, he should be held accountable for uttering a threat against a religious group.  Such an utterance constitutes a hate crime punishable by law.

Today, he is conspiring with members of the TPLF who have sought refuge in Mekele. They have declared that Dr. Abiy is an enemy whose government must to be overthrown by violence. They are training, financing, and arming terrorists to create instability in Ethiopia, to undermine confidence in the government, and to overflow the Abiy government.  Jawar is plotting with them.

Along with his plot with the Mekele conspirators, his self-incriminating statements strongly suggest that he may be involved in the attempt to assassinate the Prime Minster.  The prosecutor has laid charges against five individuals, all alleged members of the OLF, for the assassination attempt on the Prime Minister on June 23rd. According to prosecutors, the plan to kill the Prime Minister was directed by on OLF operative based in Nairobi. Jawar Mohammed claims to have met with this individual in Nairobi a few weeks before the attempt.  His self-reported meeting with the terrorist ring leader raises all kinds of questions. What was the purpose of his meeting? Was he delivering information, financing, or fake identities to execute the crime? The government ought to investigate.

He may also be implicated in the Burayu massacre. According to Amnesty International 65 people were savagely killed on September 17 by terrorists.  He claims to have known two months in advance that innocent people would be massacred in Burayu. How did he know about the conspiracy? Was he part of the conspiracy? If indeed he had prior knowledge, why didn’t he alert the authorities of the impending crime?  If he knew about the conspiracy and did not report to the authorities, that makes him an accomplice to the crime if not a co-conspirator and therefore liable to a criminal charge.

Over the past couple of weeks, he and his surrogates have been spreading vicious propaganda.  Among the other baseless accusations, they have been saying that there is a political party committed to eradicate the Oromo people, that the Oromo people have been attacked for speaking Afan Oromo and for wearing Oromo national attires in Addis Ababa. No doubt these are the imaginations of a political felon or a mentally deranged individual who once claimed on Aljazeera TV that there is “Oromophopia” in Ethiopia.   The intent of the bogus accusations is clear: to incite ethnic conflict in Addis Ababa and use the turmoil to overthrow the Abiy government.

Of late, in an attempt to create political instability and undermine the legitimacy of Dr. Abiy’s government, the OMN, the media outlets owned by Jawar, has not only engaged in anti-unity, pro-terrorist propaganda but is also fanning ethnic conflicts by reporting biased, distorted, and false news.  The OMN’s pro-terrorist slant in its news and commentaries sanctions terrorism. And as the sole owner of the ONN, Jawar is responsible for its misdeeds. Jawar’s pro-terrorist rhetoric, the OMN’s favorable stance on terrorism, and his refusal to condemn the most recent terrorist acts are further evidence that he is a terrorist sympathizer, facilitator, and enabler.

Jawar Mohammad is a foreign agent working for the governments of Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and other Arab countries.  The main sources of funding for his media outlet are Arab governments, mostly the Egyptian and Saudi Arabian governments.  These governments provide financial support to Jawar not to support a charitable cause but to advance their strategic interests in Ethiopia.  Egypt, as is well known, has always wanted to weaken Ethiopia by supporting all kinds of secessionist organizations, including the OLF.

Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, is interested in Ethiopia, as in elsewhere, to promote its extremist version of Islam.  And Jawar Mohammad is doing their work in Ethiopia. According to people who worked with him in the past, the purpose of his trip to Saudi Arabia in August, disguised as a pilgrimage to Mecca, was in fact a trip to meet with his Egyptian and Saudi masters to receive directives on how best to further their agendas in Ethiopia. The CIA has all the information on his activities. This man should be tried for sedition and put in jail.

All in all, Jawar Mohammad has provided ample self-incriminating evidence to lay criminal charges against him for conspiring with the Mekele plotters, threatening to behead Christians, spreading hate propaganda, aiding and abetting terrorists, and working for foreign governments. The evidence is overwhelming. What is government waiting for?   

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