Just a week ago thousands of Oromo unarmed peaceful demonstrators were gunned down, names of forty of them which is supposedly a fraction of the dead were reported on candle light vigil in front of the White House on May 22, 2014. It is heartbreaking for all Oromo to be so helplessly unable to defend their compatriots when they are cut down in masse throughout their land in broad daylight. It is also saddening and boggling when big powers and media are silent exaggerating their national interest at the expense of fellow humans’ sufferings. The Ethiopian regime was disrespectful not only for Oromo rights but even for visiting partners like US Secretary of State and Chinese president when it massacred Oromo nationals within less than 60 miles radius from where they were meeting. Does their not condemning imply their condoning; it is up to them to scratch their brains?
The dead are now at their final rest as martyrs, but for the living dead, the wounded and relatives that are at this time in filthy prisons, where they have no space to rest and are being tortured, raped and physically and psychologically being tortured; the parents and grandparents that are sobbing tears unstopping for they were not given the body reportedly. There are also those that have run away in unknown directions exposed to no less cruel elements and wild animals. That is the price to be paid for freedom. For how long could the Oromo bear such shame? The suffering of the Oromo is not ending unless the nation rises in unison to throw off their burden. It is only the abused people themselves that can bring an end to atrocities of greedy colonizer. Let the blood of their students, elderly and toddlers be a challenge and path finder for their way to freedom. For the colonizer the objective is to gain wealth and grandeur. For the victims it is to gain freedom and all they lost. This episode depicts one of enemy tactics. All tactics are to strengthen hegemony.
The goal of the colonizer is to exploit material and human resources of the colony unhindered. For that it has to subdue the colonized by all technics it could muster. TPLF is playing that role at present. Federal structure is only a façade. Ethiopia is still a colonial empire. In addition to naked force, ethnic cleansing, impoverishing, terror and blackmailing are tactics of the aggressor to carry its will through. Historical accident has made the Oromo to be defeated in unbalanced encounters. The Oromo well know that Habashaa force and in particular the TPLF is not a long distance runner but a hundred meters sprinter, not a leopard but a cheetah. The leopard is yet to rise to force the cheetah surrender its kill. The Colonizers reign of terror and genocide will be around only until Oromo show full determination to take back all they lost. All colonizers have seen to it that Oromiyaa should not develop viable leadership. They hunted down and killed them or murdered in captivity. The rest are exiled or perished in Habashaa mountain prisons. Still others were sold as slaves with millions of their followers. Those were and are their methods of control and subjugation. Oromo has to reverse that, encourage those they have and expose the moles in them.
The ensuing regimes made sure that no Oromo offspring could grow up free of their strict control of mind and body. Every Oromo was subjected to giving up own identity and taking that of the invaders. They lost all they have and forced to give up on their language, culture and religion and even their personal names among other things. Despite the human suffering in front of them, their nationals were indoctrinated that whatever is being done was reflection of their greatness. That is how they remained fixed in that ideology of greatness. Otherwise they will not push for a venture whose ultimate lose would be greater than gain. That type of terror and ethnic cleansing and impoverishment continued unchallenged until the few that by chance escaped through their fingers gained political consciousness. Those started to question legitimacy of the system surprising them all. That helped the overthrow of the aristocracy and the military communist party that was replaced by Tigrawayi national party dictatorship.
Today constitution and laws are proclaimed prophesying equal treatment for all to hoodwink the naive. But the empire state remained one covetous group show, previously Amaaraa and now Tigrawayi. The policy of denying Oromo leadership, equal opportunity to education and access to wealth has continued with more vigor. TPLF has policy to destroy Oromo middle class as shown on its paper “Hizbawii Adaraa”. This policy in particular targets Oromo struggle. They do not want to see any economically strong Oromo national that may by any chance finance Oromo independent movements. That is to deny Oromo basic necessity of growth and survival.
In general the Oromo are being robbed and impoverished through taxation, fund raisings, plundering and evictions all with the intention of depleting their number and strength. Majority of Oromo cannot put enough food on the table for the family. They have no running water for cleaning or drinking. They have no descent shelter that could protect them from elements. Health facility and clothing are luxury items to talk about; their problems are tangible ones. Despite that some development and financial institutions are talking about high rate Ethiopia’s economic growth. How many Oromo should be killed, displaced, go hungry and disease ridden in order for Finfinnee to be awash in sky scrapers? Is it a joke or is growth something intangible that falls beyond human comprehension? What is benefit of growth if it does not positively touch the life of majority? Is that also another tactic of conspirators to cover the hidden genocide that is caused by evictions and dislocations done by the aggressor against the Oromo? Majority population is unemployed and depends on few family relations. Government rather than helping is adding to burden of the few through evictions, sending back war victims, and dismissals from institutions of learning.
Settling non Oromo on land Oromo reserved for their expanding family is another tactic of destabilizing Oromo communities and destroying social harmony. The new settlers are minority and always afraid of the dispossessed majority around them. For this reason they look on the most oppressive regime as their protector and so serve it as agents of doom. Fear of the Oromo is not hammered into such settlers minds alone but also all minorities living in Oromiyaa and its neighborhood. With the numerous agent provocateurs it scattered in the country, TPLF has tried several times to create discord between Oromiyaa and its neighbors. There were times when it was successful. Such tactics of destabilizing Oromiyaa includes setting of one Oromo clan against the other as well. This has come down from generation to generation for a century. But this time it is an open secret.
The regime also dislocates Oromo families from one part of Oromiyaa and settles them in another. That is to create inconvenience and deny them the use of environ they know as protection against the aggressor. The rulers also grabbed lands around towns and evicted productive inhabitants with pretext of development. In reality it is to push away Oromo farther for grand plan they have for Finfinnee and other cities. The evicted are left to their fate many have already turned homeless and beggars. One has only to imagine what could befall Oromo women. It is certain for their lives to be cut short. Oromo has never been known for begging in such numbers and at such age until now. They had never begged. Such tactic has come down from time of occupation leading some evictees and captives into arms of their enemy to serve and live as helping hand, soldiers and other functionaries out of necessity.
The prohibitive urban land leasing system also keeps away most Oromo from settling in Finfinnee. That contributes to making non Oromo speaking majority city dwellers. Since they do not want Finfinnee to remain an island in an Oromo sea they will expand it until more side of it is bordered by other peoples. Thus Finfinnee has continued to become a non-Oromo speaking territory and stranger to its owner. Land means a lot for survival of national spirit. For the Oromo to part with land is a matter of life and death.
The system of education that limits the majority to tenth grade is similar with the “Sector Review” of the emperor, one of the causes that led to his downfall. That has now come back for the same tactical reason. In principle such a curriculum change requires availability of enough technical and vocational schools that can absorb students that are limited to only ten years of schooling. Otherwise the principle of right of children to learn in their first language recognized by the world and whose implementation was achieved with sacrifices of thousands of Oromo heroes and heroines will be defeated. The denial of such right should not be expected to be passed silently for intimidation will no more make Oromo youth to worship alien language. The past is spilt milk.
There are disparities in the way education is managed in the colonial mother land and Oromiyaa. The qualities of teachers and supply of school materials are at variance. Their children are taught to become leaders while those of Oromiyaa are condemned to become manual laborers and penniless lumpen. The Qubee generation is being punished for choosing to learn own language. The biggest employer, the Federal Government and most employers in Finfinnee require proficiency in Amharic and English to get a job at any level without consideration to the rights of Qubee generation if not priority at least to equal opportunity to work in their own country. Because of it Oromo cannot be hired even as office boys or gate guards. Thus of all the towns Finfinnee is becoming off limits for Oromo children. All is aimed at making the Oromo to regret choosing their language as a medium of learning. But that will never happen for the solution is not submission but struggle for freedom and national self -determination. That must never stop. The sacrifice to be made can be immense but the choice is to be free or remain second class citizen forever.
Any person from any part of the empire or the world can live work and develop property in Finfinnee or any other towns of Oromiyaa according to known customs. Towns are centers for manufacturing and commerce. Capital has no nation; it develops and migrates to wherever the environment is conducive for it. From history we learn that change from rural to urban is development that cannot be avoided. Towns are centers for business men, industrialists, service givers and workers. Anyone can settle and work in towns of Oromiyaa but that does not give them the right to undermine Oromiyaa’s sovereignty.
It will be only mutual understanding and respect for each other’s interest and dignity that could produce good neighborliness. In this period of transition, the two prominent outlooks are the right of nations to national self-determination that includes independence and absoluteness of unity of all the peoples under Ethiopian Empire. For this reason, questions about solving the empire’s post-colonial problems are posed from different premises so are antagonistic. It could be solved only by war, which is bad, unless all groups recognize that unity should be based on the will of each people. TPLF’s constitution though insincere has recognized that only the will of each people is what matters. Liberation of Oromiyaa is liberation of all her good intentioned inhabitants. That is what Gadaa dictates.
The Oromo Liberation Front and many opposition parties are branded by TPLF as terrorists. Even big powers are observed giving ears to such false allegation of TPLF and affecting relations with individuals. That is in return to the service it gives them. The source of service is Oromiyaa; if only Oromo could assert themselves there will not be reason for soliciting indirect service. Yet it remains mind boggling to see those that claim to be cradle of democracy sanctioning an autocratic regime carte blanche.
In Oromiyaa any Oromo can be arrested, imprisoned, killed and tortured alleged as OLF or al-Qaida. In most cases no fair hearing is necessary. As a result many Oromo members of legal opposition parties are found behind bars without fair trial. Even some members of the OPDO suspected of being sympathetic to OLF are purged alleged as “Kiraayi Sabsaabii” (rent seekers). That is term used to cover all those that question TPLF’s orders. They also push PDO members to do wrong and set them up for blackmailing when they refuse to do things against their conscience.
It is known that objectives of the occupier are to subdue and plunder Oromiyaa and dehumanize the people for benefit of a group. Its recognition of Oromiyaa state is a tactic to distract Oromo patriots from their push for independence until it is in a position to challenge them. But it can never achieve legitimacy over Oromiyaa for it remains a colonizer now or ever. Many dwellers of most towns are remnants of gun wielders of old colonial days and those that were given favored status by successive regimes. Those still dream of staying at the top of the ladder. They even dare to demand special privilege of reporting to power in Finfinnee bypassing Oromiyaa.
Oromiyaa has no choice except to defend her rights against enemy tactics of naked force, ethnic cleansing, evictions, impoverishment, terrorism and blackmailing. All tactics are to strengthen hegemony over Oromiyaa. Massacres since 1991 have been ignored by those that were able to bring to the attention of world public. Then communication networks were not as accessible by commoners as it is today. The Wayyaanee can no more hide genocide it is committing.
Once a rebel prince said, “Bees that their hives are disturbed and people that lost hope are the same.” The Oromo have lost all hope that the present Ethiopian regime can change its colonial policy of aggression. That was why student protests started recently and the response proved Oromo’s fear. Town plan is only what is called the “last straw that broke the camel’s back”. The bees are out to defend their hives and survival of the swarm. So also is the Oromo, nobody should expect the momentum will cool down for long. The only good solution for the region is to solve the conflict peacefully before arrogance of a group destroys it. All that have stake in the region are required to pay at most attention. Oromiyaa is no more the feudal fief it was and the Oromo no more tenants of pre 1974 era.
Oromiyaa will never forget her martyrs; she will ever keep their deeds above the grave through songs and memorials. The Oromo are asking “Where are you taking our heroes?” There is nothing more humiliating than being killed, kicked, exiled and despised by minority. Unless they are able to discard such humiliation being human comes under question; it would also be not long to be extinct as a nation. If they could coordinate the number and bravery of the Oromo no one could stand against of them. It is the Oromo themselves and no one else is to be waited for the coordination. They will do it. Remember the saying, “The snake said, it is oneself that can roll one up”. This is what should not take time. Social consciousness that is so far gained has to continue. On the political side history has to be renewed and the coming out of Oromo struggle with unified mature leadership is not something that gives time.
What those with nostalgia for the days before 1974 should take to mind is that Oromiyaa has continued to refuse living in the past. Because they are numerous tenants cannot deny the right of land owner and guests cannot deny the right of the host over his house. From wherever the inhabitants came, no amount of tactics and massacres can stop Oromiyaa from getting sovereignty over her towns. Not to note this interest of the Oromo nation and fail to understand the peaceful way of disengagement amounts to choosing the failed way of colonial supremacy. All have something to profit from peace and a lot to lose from violence! But if only violence could bring peace and stability and since life has no meaning without them let it be. Long live the struggle for peace and liberation! Down with human massacre and aggression! Oromiyaa shall be built with sweat and blood of her patriots! Qabsoon itt fufa!!
Honor and glory for the fallen heroines and heroes; liberty equality and freedom for the living and nagaa and araaraa for the Ayyaanaa of our fore parents!