How to fight the TPLF -Rundaasaa Asheetee Hundee’tiin

How to fight the TPLF

Since the Oromo liberation movement started, about 14 days have passed and the struggle is coordinated in a remarkable manner and it must continue till we are free from the Tigre colonial rule. To do so, the following facts need to be understood by all freedom loving Oromians.

1. According to the information we have from TPLF insiders, the TPLF is going to take the following actions.


A. Kill those student leaders who coordinate the movement
B. Kidnap educated nationalist Oromos. So far, 53 Oromos have been kidnapped from Finfinnee alone
C. If killing student leaders doesn’t help to stop the revolution, kill as many as possible people and scare the mass

2. Military

D. Aside from Ambo, Adaamaa, Bishooftuu and Finfinnee cities, 200 special commandos known as “the Agazi” have been assigned to Haro-Maya, Dirre Dhowaa and similar place all over Oromia’s cities and towns.

E. Because the large number of places that are involved in the revolution, the TPLF federal police and the Agazi xoor have fallen short to cover all areas.

F. Naqamtee, Mandii, part of Horroo, Jalduu, Walisoo, part of Arsi areas are well organized and even formed government structure for self rule. For example, since the people of Jalduu came to control their town, the TPLF have made number of attempts to retake the town but it failed. The people were able to fight the federal police back including the Agazi army.

G. Because of the shortage it suffered, the TPLF have been talking to the American government about the possibility of pulling out it’s army from Somalia. Obviously, pulling soldiers out of Somalia can be a disaster for the TPLF because over 50% of the Alshabab fighters are Oromo nationals.

H. Israeli trained Tigre pilots, intelligence and military experts have returned back to Finfinnee and they are already operating under Mosad’s command. In general, the Tigreans are getting ready to crash the Oromo movement at any cost.

In order to overcome the Tigre colonial ambition, the following actions need to be taken.

1. Understand that the Tigreans are watching every day development so that they could go along the new situation and find simple ways to divide and weaken the movement.
2. Within the past five years, the TPLF have infiltrated the Oromo community organizations at home and abroad and the opportunist spies are not really concerned about the future of Oromo. Men such as Girma Xuruna for example, have been working as double agent. He worked with the TPLF and the OLF and made a fortune out of selling the Oromo land.

3. The TPLF has been holding town meetings every day before and after the Oromo revolution started while killing someone they suspected of being member of the OLF.

4. The TPLF also planted explosive inside Anuwar Mesjid inorder to blame the crime on an individual Oromo or groups but nothing is new about such tactic.

5. The double agents who work for the TPLF are still meeting at night secretly and pass on the information they gather day time. There are also thousands of undercover workers who are floating around towns such as Gudar, Jaldu, Ambo, Roobee, Haro Mayaa etc.

6. The problem that comes with these spies and double agents is that our population don’t know who is a spy and who is not. In fact, the spies appear innocent as they can.

7. These double agents can be relatives of the organizers of the rite.

What to do

A) Locate former military Oromos who live among you
B) Take certain military training from these men or women
C) Perform surveillance on police stations, banks, and military garrison and attack these places and arm yourselves
D) Give each person you know a training very carefully.
E) Learn the Tigreans games and play it back wisely. Be sure to explain this to everyone several times. There is nothing worse than having a spy inside your group.
F) It’s important that no one reveals student leaders identity
G) Never burn cars. Instead use them
H) Do not meet at the same place
I) Know your enemy well. Lack of actual information the enemy has will expose you to troubled future
J) When nominating a leader, make sure that these men or women are determined more than the colonizing Tigrean
K) Do not make to much noise. Make meaningful decision and move on! Understand that all valid defense ideas are always valid.
L) Save your life first. Common decency dictates that everyone should listen respectfully and not make rude comments during discussion.

The Vote

In the order of their nomination, the nominees are voted on. For example, someone says “All in favor of electing Gammachu, raise your hand,”. Count the votes and moves on to the next action. Everyone who is there should vote for someone. Never make an accusation against someone. If someone is right, silently indicate an affirmative

This revolution is about you becoming owner of your country. The Tigreans philosophy is about coming to your house and demanding to share it with you. If you oppose to such demand, they say you are narrow! If that doesn’t work, killing you is killing anti Ethiopian unity.
It is important to not to tolerate betrayal.

Organizational DISCIPLINE

I. Duties of an organization

For you to fulfill your aims and enable the people to resume power, the only weapon available at its disposal is to organize the masses or sectors of the society concerned. At the first, stage this can be done through political propaganda. The purpose of political propaganda and agitation indeed to organize the masses. This is so because only by organizing them one way or another conditions will be created for educating and building up the immense strength of the organization. Thus, as an organization the primary task of any national organization in Ethiopia is to organize the broad masses of the people against Habasha domination. It is the duty of such an organization to make an independent, concrete and deep analysis of the reality to solve major questions and problems arising from different angles. To accomplish such tasks the organization certainly needs able, devoted, disciplined and efficient members; and thus is highly concerned about the lives and difficulties of its members.

II) Primary duties of a conscious member of the organization.

In general, the primary aims and goals of a member is that of the organization (mentioned above) he belongs. However, his mission can only be accomplished if he is aware of the fallowing main points.

He should believe that the people and the people alone are the real heroes, the motive force in making their own history.

He should be the one who has organizational spirit i.e. readiness to sacrifice personal interests, to sacrifice one’s life for the organization. His motto is “the organization first the individual last.
He should be the greatest humanist, the most emotional lover of humanity. But he is not a humanist or pacifist in the abstract sense.

A member of the organization is ready to suffer humiliation, misunderstanding, torture and death for his comrades and the people he is fighting for. All this makes up what is known as organizational spirit and any member of the organization who lacks this can hardly be called a member of the organization.

A member of the organization is opposed to liberalism, for it is extremely harmful to any organization by creating dissension, apathy (indifference) and eroding unity. In this respect it is worthwhile to mention some of the ways in which liberalism manifests itself. One of the ways is to let things slide for the sake of peace and friendship when a person has I clearly done wrong and refrain from principled argument because he is an old acquaintance, a schoolmate, a fellow towns man, a loved one, etc. or to touch on the matter lightly so as to keep in good terms.Another type of liberalism is to indulge in irresponsible criticism, to gossip behind people’s backs, to say nothing at a meeting but to gossip afterwards and to disregard the collective life while following one’s own individual inclinations.

A member of the organization should be sympathetic with the other oppressed peoples in and outside Ethiopia and support their just struggle.
A member of an organization is one who has the finest and highest human virtues i.e. fights against selfishness, limelight seeking, slacking, corruption, cheating, lying, conceit, individualism, opportunism and double dealing. All these are alien to him/her.

To sum up then, the best qualities of a member of any organization are:

a) Discipline – very firm discipline
b) Hard work he should recognize that work is struggle and that if the enemy is to be destroyed one must struggle hard.
c) Theoretical soundness – a member of an organization never ceases learning (studying) and improving himself.
d) Patience is one other quality that must be present in a member. He should be patient in his work among the masses. A member who does not have patience will not achieve much.
e) A member should not only be courageous in facing the enemies of peoples but also in facing himself. He must be ready to criticize himself.
f} Ingenuity is an essential quality of the member. The ability to make maximum use of a given situation, material scope of action is a necessary one.
g) Optimism is more than a quality in a member.
A member can hardly be anything else but an optimist. He is so because he has maximum faith in masses and the justness as well as invincibility of their cause.
h} Honesty, modesty and self-respect: A member is honest otherwise there would have been no ground for him to feel angry and bitter at other’s dishonesty. He has self-respect because he carries himself with dignity and acts accordingly.
III. How do the enemy agents succeed in destroying an organization?

The enemy agents may be able to destroy an organization if they can get adequate information (activities, documents, etc.) on the clandestine organization. How do they get this information?

Generally they gather in two ways.

a) Through the weakness of the members of the organization themselves, i.e. their amateurishness and inability’ to adhere strictly to the rules of secrecy.

b) By infiltrating enemy agents or informers into the organization.

Following are means by which the enemy can get information from a member of a clandestine organization and corresponding precautions to be taken by a member upon followed by the enemy.
1) Shadowing: This is one of the methods the enemy utilizes in trying to identify potential or actual members of a clandestine organization. This means that the enemy will be following day and night
(secretly of course) a suspected member of an organization and try to know whom he contacts, which house he frequents, etc. This may enable them to locate a secret rendezvous place and to make a raid thereby arresting all gathered inside.

So, how does a member of an organization combat this? Primarily consider yourself as always being shadowed or police and never cease to take steps accordingly. Your follower can be anybody (who is not easily distinguishable) worker, chauffeur, priest, shoe shine boy, student, etc. However, you should guard yourself from the tendency taking every passerby as a shadowier. Thus you should make change of transport, utilize backdoor, etc. making it impossible for anybody to follow you to your appointment place.

2) Correspondence and notes

Carelessness in this respect results in destroying the organization as it enables the enemy to get documented evidence. The principle that a member should follow is “do not write or write as little as possible. You are responsible not only for yourself but also for what is written, for the others, for the organization. Thus do not collect letters and addresses neither at home nor in your pockets., Hence making annotations in the margins of newspapers, letters or notes and keeping there is forbidden.

A member should never keep archives of legal or illegal names, biographical information, maps and plans, but work by memory. Thus when you finished reading a letter commit the important points to your memory and burn the letter. Scatter the ashes after doing this as there are devices that make it possible to read from non-scattered ashes.

Do not take notes on delicate subjects. It is better to forget certain things than to write them down.
Devise techniques of remembering names, addresses, telephone number or develop your memory. If you have to write, take unintelligible notes i.e. notes that only you can understand.
In this respect create your own code, give people nicknames ‘only you will know, give streets and bars names only you will know. The principle is never to write names of people, addresses, or places (contact points).
In creating codes, remember that the enemy can break any code using different techniques. So the best guarantee is to change the codes as often as possible and never to use a code that follows a certain pattern or system. The more systematic the code the easier it is to break through.

If you have to write avoid writing in invisible ink as it is easy for the enemy to detect and will only increase suspicion and aggravate things to you. Instead write in a way only you can understand and if you are writing to another person write in such a way that only the receiver can understand. The principle is to make what is written as normal as possible.

Try to disguise your handwriting. Learn to write with both the left and the right hand. Do not receive important letters or documents through your own post office box or at your address. Use other alternatives.

Telephone: It is easy to tap or bug telephone using electronic instruments. Therefore, a telephone conversation of two members can easily be heard and tapped by the enemy. Telephone operators also serve as government agents and report conversations. Thus a member should take extreme caution in using the telephone and follow the following three rules strictly.

a) Use public telephone. It is not easy to trace the and they (the enemy) cannot bug all the public telephones.
b) Speak for a very short period of time which makes tracing of the caller even much more difficult.
c) Speak normally and say things which you can repeat to the enemy. This means that you should speak in such a way that only the receiver will understand the real meaning of what you are saying while if a third person listens he will not think that you are saying anything suspicious or out of the ordinary.

Another aspect where carelessness on the member’s part results a serious danger to the organization concerns meetings. Few meetings should be held and if held must not be longer than 5-10 minutes.
It is better to talk things while walking as there can be many spies in bars or hidden microphones and tape recorders in room. If the issue to be discussed takes more time, another meeting should be held the next day. The aim is to make a shadowier believe that your meeting was only casual and long enough only for the exchange of salutations or few minor things (not relevant to the organization). If a member fails to appear at the contact point (appointment place) do not wait for him and do not go on looking,for him at his home or office. The enemy may have arrested him and may be waiting to arrest anyone who comes looking for him. If you have to meet in a bar sit at a place where you can see most without being seen. Avoid sitting with your back to the door and sit at a place where you can easily escape in case of emergency.

a) Use public telephone. It is not easy to trace the and they (the enemy) cannot bug all the public telephones.
b) Speak for a very short period of time which makes tracing of the caller even much more difficult.
c) Speak normally and say things which you can repeat to the enemy. This means that you should speak in such a way that only the receiver will understand the real meaning of what you are saying while if a third person listens he will not think that you are saying anything suspicious or out of the ordinary.

Talking organizational matters to non-members
The most serious slip up that a member can make is to talk to persons outside the organization about the organization matter and its secret. Even a member within an organization should know only what is relevant to his work. A “noisy” member should not at all be a member of the organization, for the more he gets to know about things that are not relevant to his work, the more he will tell the enemy in case he is arrested and tortured. This will result in the loss of the lives of many members of the organization and its subsequent wakening. Thus to know more than you should is dangerous and that the less we know of things that are not directly relevant to our work, the less we can talk even under torture and this is· good for the organization. Therefore, it is not permissible for everyone to know everybody else and everything else. In many· cases and when evel applicable he should not even know the true names of the other members of his own group.

As such to talk (even in the organization) on organizational matters, except to those comrades directly concerned is prohibited ‘(silence is golden).
On other hand serious (grave) fault is to tell organizational matter and secrets to “reliable” friends who are not members of the organization. This fault must be eradicated early and should be weeded out completely, thoroughly and mercilessly.

The rule that must be strictly followed by all members of the organization is “DO NOT TELL TO A VERY INTIMATE FRIEND OR A SURE COMRADE A SECRET OF THE ORGANIZATION WHICH IS NOT NECESSARY FOR THEM TO KNOW”. This is a crime
against them as they are responsible for what they know and fatal to the organization as its secrets are not kept but are told even to non-members”. Anyone who does not accept and strictly follow this rule cannot be a member of any organization. Such a person is an amateur and a loudmouth funrider who has not understood the dead-seriousness and essence of discipline and organization secrecy.

On the other hand, there are people who are disturbed, shocked or annoyed if a comrade does not tell them things about the organization but rather keeps silent. This is a wrong attitude for one should not be shocked or annoyed by the silence of a comrade as it is not an indication of his lack of confidence in you but more of a fraternal consideration and an awareness or consciousness of disciplinary duty. Because the more you know the more dangerous it is for you, say if you are arrested and interrogated. You may be friends or comrades but that organization is primary as it represents the millions of people and comprises numerous other comrades. In fact it is the DUTY of a member to seriously criticize knowing matters not directly relevant to his work. To sum up then:

Know only things that are related to your role in the organization.
Refuse those things that do not concern your role in the organization.
Do not talk on organizational matters.
Remember that to keep organizational secrets is your Primary duty.

It is also through illegal arrest of suspects that the enemy tries to gather information about the clandestine organization, i.e, by questioning. A member of any organization who has taken the necessary secrecy and caution (vis a vis shadowing, correspondence and notes, telephones, meeting, conversations, etc.) will have nothing to fear. The best thing is to be prepared- for everything from simple questions to brutal torture.
Therefore; Keep absolute calm and say nothing.
Admit only the obvious such as your name and your address Do not forget that questions you are asked are linked with that of other comrades so that the little you say may give the enemy enough documentation.
Do not explain yourself.
Do not get involved in emotional arguments.
Do not believe them (the agents) if they pretend to be sympathetic.
Make no effort to convince them for the justness of your case.
When you deny, deny firmly. Your attitude should be “polite but firm”.

What ever they tell you do not be surprised. As far as possible keep calm so that they may read nothing from your face.
Never give the impression of lying. Never give the impression of cooperation”.
The technique to follow is to use lie and “cooperation” tactfully.
Never respond to their provocation.
Do not sign anything without reading it.
Do not fall victim of their “war of nerves” or “physical torture”
Avoid making efforts to establish “the truth” as there is no absolute truth or justice.
Do not ask the enemy when you will be released as they will take this as a sign of weakness
In short, they do all.possible things to create fear in you (terrorize, feel concerned and isolated.
Thus if a member maintains organizational secrecy, follows discipline and increases his professionalism in combating the enemy, the amount of information that the enemy can gather from the member’s (own) mistake will be reduced to nil. Along with this a struggle must be waged to protect the organization from infiltrators of the enemy and to weed them out if they have managed to get into the organization.
A very good measure to combat enemy infiltration is never accept to the organization any person WITHOUT FIRST knowing all about his past. WE MUST BE CAUTIOUS AND STRICT IN RECRUITMENT. Better to be few than twenty and then ten of them enemy agents or informers.
Therefore, all potential and new members must be studied and observed.
A clandestine organization does not form a counter-acting apparatus to combat enemy infiltration.
The main weapon the organization uses, aside from the strictest selection of members, is intensified political education so that members will become politically conscious and:-
Will not be cheated by anti-organization individuals who are paid enemy agents attempting to sabotage and divide the organization or push it to take up premature action.
Will follow strict discipline and maintain secrecy, will know their task~ against all attempts made by the enemy to destroy the organization. If we are to sum up the fight against the enemy by way of”rules of attention” we shall say:

1. Follow strict organizational discipline
2. Guard organizational secrets with your life
3. Recruit new members into the organization cautiously
4. Intensify political education
5. Know your enemy. To know the enemy means nothing else than persistent and systematic attempts of knowing them and their techniques by reading their literature, making efforts to identify them, to be able to know about them, to get a photo of them, etc. Ultimately they should be pointed out to other peoples for the more people get know an enemy agent, the more ineffective he becomes.

Rundaasaa Asheetee Hundee’tiin

Beekan Guluma Erena
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Beekan Guluma Erena

Beekan is writer, editor, researcher and Afaan Oromoo Instructor at Harvard University.
He wrote more than 30 books in Afaan Oromoo and editing many more Oromo books, magazines and articles. Currently, he writes on his site ( and on current issues of Oromo people, culture, education and politics in Oromo.
Beekan Guluma Erena
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