On 9th April 2016, Reuters reported, more than five hundred migrants; 15 from Ethiopian, 190 from Somalia, 80 from Egypt and 85 from Sudan have drowned as an overcrowded Ship ferrying them left Alexandria, Egypt heading to Greek capsized in Mediterranean ocean. Same year in similar incident tens and hundreds of migrants illegally on transit to Europe drown. It’s truly a horrible human disaster! My prayer is with bereaved families and loved ones.
“If this Mass Sinking is not to be thoroughly investigated then three things will continue to happen. One, smugglers will continue to be richer. Second, Europe won’t put pressure on host country like Egypt in this case. Third, more people will drown”, BBC Newsnight reported.
Egyptian authorities, it sounds, have at least now picked interest in tracking and tracing how it – the Mediterranean human trafficking ring is centripitaling migrants from Somali, Eritrea, Sudan and Ethiopia, has kept enriching the traffickers. There should be a serious crackdown on the money-making cobweb.
In explaining why the migrants left their home country, it’s largely asserted; inobservance of, at least core, universal human rights principles, and absence of viable democratic governance from their respective country of origin is listed as a major push-factor.
Ethiopia, much as it’s praised to have hosted almost a million refugees from neighboring countries like South Sudan, Eritrea and Somalia, annually it produces quite good number of refugees crossing Mediterranean.
Each time on a transit these unauthorized migrants from Ethiopia risk massive sinking in Mediterranean, Red Sea and Indian Ocean, and a deadly desert corridor to a destination country – Europe and Middle East in most cases.
Some lucky ones have made through; others (simply many) are either have gone forever or ended up in wrong hands. But for many unregistered brokers – like human traffickers, it’s been a lucrative business. They say; one man’s problem is another man’s solution!
Oromo Media Network (OMN) while it has been trafficking Oromo issues, its branch manager in Cairo is reported to have involved in the Mediterranean Human Trafficking saga. BBC Newsnight reported, Muaz Mahmoud from Ethiopia, one of the victim survivors who lost his wife and two month old child, has narrated a very painful story of the tragic April 2016 shipwreck. Muaz implicated Nasibo Abdalla of Oromia Media Network Cairo branch who later on 1st January 2017 came under arrest in Cairo by Egyptian police. Egypt’s state sponsored investigation is underway and a conclusive report is yet to be made public. Here, an interesting question someone might ask is; ‘whether the said media organization is involved or not’.
Quite controversial with its management assembly, leadership disposition and its true intent; Oromia Media Network (OMN), is a television media outlet broadcasting ethnic Oromo’s exclusive social, political and economic perspective to Ethiopia. Down the road, irrefutably and for subtle end, the Diaspora based television is engaged on a serious business of fishing-out ‘Oromo community’ from its generic and natural setup – Ethiopia.
The rationale behind it sounds clear. The group like its program partner in charge of state power in Ethiopia does simply want to disrupt the age long line – Ethiopian National Identity, to which Oromo has been contributing its best to keep it more natural, vibrant and inclusive. It’s not a far-fetching fact that this media organization, then had slowly but surely involved in trafficking genuine Oromo issues unlinked with the people’s critical demand.
Ethiopia and Egypt are in a delicate relationship. In this heightened diplomatic rift one cannot rule out Egypt’s invisible hand on issues involving refugees from Ethiopia.
Egypt’s irrational Nile insecurity is standing toll than ever as Ethiopia’s retentive hydro-investment, if its self-induced ethnic challenges handled, is touching a probable momentum. But the establishment is no longer in the hands of Egypt; it’s not simply working out. From the backdoor, in order to ride the hydro-diplomacy drift in its favor, then Egypt has to remotely but expertly hold a trigger of an ethnic sling inside Ethiopia.
With its attached demographic, socioeconomic and geopolitical implications more than any other group ‘Oromo’s ethnocentric narrative’ graduates to be a soft target. That shouldn’t be taken for granted. Unlike some extreme leftist ethnic Oromo elites in the Diaspora who have been crafting an ‘ethnic identity’ as an anti-thesis to Ethiopian National Identity, back home substantial number of Ethiopians belonging to this sociolinguistic community are convincingly up to seeing Ethiopia where democratic principles are in full dispensation, human rights are respected, electoral democracy is ensured and economic marginalization is addressed.
Behind all this mess lays Marxist-Leninist oriented Tigray People’s Liberation Front (TPLF) led regime in Addis Ababa who ill-conceived and institutionalized ethnic politics in Ethiopia for the last 25 years.
Oromia Media Network (OMN) beyond its main subject – journalism, strategically bent on exploiting the Tigray First Ethiopia and the Nile Politics – then it ‘Loves Egypt’ more than it does ‘Ethiopia’. Either from Johannesburg or Cairo the love story will be live on its Arabic programming soon.
The writer can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org