× HomeAbout usAdvertisementContact us
Oromo Activist Jawar’s Bodyguards Now A Social Media Sensation   
Africa

Oromo Activist Jawar’s Bodyguards Now A Social Media Sensation   

A week after an incident at the Addis Ababa residence of Oromo Media entrepreneur and activist Jawar Mohammed that triggered protests across Oromia region, life is slowly returning back to normalcy. Still delegation after delegation come in and out of the residence in the leafy upmarket Bole neighborhood. Ironically for the man who is perceived to be an “ethnic activist” by some the delegations seeking to meet him are drawn from different ethnic and religious groups. Two bodyguards usher in a delegation of 12 Somali men and women from JIgjiga singing the traditional “Dhaanto” folk song in praise of Mohammed. An earlier delegation of supporters from the Afar region leaves the compound. Shied by the Dhaanto song and dance in his honour the outspoken Oromo activist receives the Somali delegation and the gifts they had brought from JIgjiga. “The Oromos and Somalis not only share a common culture and ancestry we have shared a similar struggle from years of non inclusion and segregation by the powers that be.That is why I seek to unite the two to avert any clashes that we experienced in the past. We are both from one” Mohamed who is part of an ongoing reconciliation process between the two ethnic groups tells Dalsan reporter as his bodyguards return to their duties. It has been a busy week for the bodyguards ushering in and out  visitors and getting used to their newly acquired celebrity status. A teen girl and boy come to one of the bodyguards and ask for a selfie. Three of the bodyguards pose with them turning their tough looking bouncer looks into innocent smiles for the children. “I will tag you on Facebook. You are my heroes” the teen boy tells the bodyguards in the Oromo language outside the activists compound.   “I am amazed how the people have shown us so much love and support” Beshir Hussen one of Mohamed’s bodyguards told Dalsan. “We have had to balance between our duties to guard our boss and attending to the attention  given to us by his supporters. We are trying to get used to constant requests for selfies and friend requests on Facebook. I am amazed at seeing my photos everywhere on social media. ” Hussen added. The photos of the bodyguards have been trending on social media. Currently the most popular profile photos is that of Jawar followed by his bodyguards. It all goes back to the night of the 22 October when ,according to Jawar Mohamed, two cars pulled up and told his  security details to pack their stuff and leave the compound “quietly without alerting me. The security asked them why they're asked to leave. They were told it's for training purposes. The security refused” Mohamed said. “Then they got a call from commander of VIP protection services who warned them to leave immediately and quietly or face consequences.As pressure mounted, the security came to my room woke me up and told me what was happening. I called the commander asking for explanation. Initially he said he was just doing the routine change and they will be replaced. I pushed him why he was doing at midnight not day time. The dude broke to tears and admitted he was just following orders. He told me who gave the orders” Mohamed narrated. Jawar Mohamed believes that there was a plan to assassinate him after withdrawing his security details. And his supporters see the act by his bodyguards as heroic. Prime Minister Ahmed Abiy government however downplayed the activist's allegations. His supporters despite the anger it triggered and the anti-PM Abiy protests and counter protests that led to death of  least 67 people Oromos in Ethiopia and the diaspora have come together to  express their appreciation to the loyal bodyguards of the man they see us a hero and architect of the Oromo protests that led to the reforms and transition currently being experienced in the horn of Africa country.   “We need to acknowledge bodyguard Beshir Hussen and his team.They put their career and life on the line for Jawar. It's an exemplary act that very few can do.We the Oromo feel obliged to at least show our appreciation in return ”  Sinqee Adaa told Dalsan from Melbourne Australia. The charismatic Oromo activist is known for pulling crowds. Crowd control squarely relies on his bodyguards and at times as was experienced during the Ireechaa Festival which attracted an estimated 5 million people. Meanwhile back in Addis Ababa the bodyguards are preparing for the duty of the day  protecting the Oromo activist on a trip to meet officials of the Oromia regional government. It’s just another day in the life of these loyal bodyguards.