Few Current Notes on Oromiyaa and Ethiopian Empire
Oromiyaa is still under occupation. Many writers had tried to express the evils of dependency at different times. Over and above the classical atrocities Oromiyaa is facing genocide suppressed by international conspiracy from exposure. At this time unaccounted numbers of nationals are being butchered, wounded and disappearing. There is no hour that passes without hearing hue and cry in Oromoo villages. For local, federal police and Agaazii special force it has become source of lucrative income. Hospitals have no capacity to treat the wounded. Prisons of empire Ethiopia are blotting with Oromo youth, such that we are told, no space to squat or sleep and scarce air to breath. Being Oromo itself is a crime and no one can escape wrath of the rulers whether one believes in freedom of Oromiyaa or not. Thousands of Oromo are fleeing the country only to perish in deserts, seas, oceans and foreign prisons. Their dreams of one day coming back to their families and an independent fatherland are cut short. Draught, famine and government discrimination in rescue efforts s are threatening to wipe out the Oromo over and above TPLF repressions. When one sees the conditions in which the Oromo nation finds itself, the following article seems irrelevant for the time. But, ongoing political activities have effect on the present debacle and may be related to solutions being sought. Many of the current problems need a short term action but the points below, the writer believes, will have short and long term effects that cannot be overlooked.
These days we are hearing that Oromo activists, with the help of peace making elders came together and declared that they are united and not united at the same time. Similar statements were made several times in the past by the same actors but failed and so onlookers cannot be blamed if they have doubts about this one’s success. The revolution being waged by Oromo people is awakening not only those that claim to stand for Oromo cause but also those that hated them. Agreements are essential for Oromo struggle internally and externally, at all levels. Even this one, thrown out with what seems full of doubts will not be without positive and negative influence on friends and enemies alike. If we look at names of these organization the three are the same in all aspects. Even if they are pretending, “independence” is the basis of the struggle they are claiming to wage. It is only one of them that are different in objectives. Even if that one as of recently took “independence to be a dream”, it is not strange for it. All passed through OLF. This name is loved by the people and is hero/heroine name. Nowadays, if not for namesake we see no one of them is truthful to and implementing OLF program.
That they shun each other is known though they do not tell each other openly. Personal character of only me and everything for me; their incapability to impose organizational laws; narrowness in outlook; cronyism and preferring to recruit yes men than comrades; overpassing line of command; lack of nationalism and being marred by infiltrators are found among things that keep persons apart. The coming together will remain a pretention unless they sincerely and transparently deliberate and give an end to it. OLF major objective or Kaayyoo is to pay all sacrifices until the Oromo people are empowered to determine their own fate. It will give all necessary support even beyond the determination, until they are able to build democratic life based on Gadaa principles and live a life endowed with peace, equality, freedom and happiness.
The sacrifices Oromo children paid are not to impose on the people autocrats coming in different forms. The struggle for that also requires unwavering patriotism. How can those that failed to lead an organization with democratic harmony be released on over forty million populations? On the other hand, how internal cleanliness of each of the organizations that came together be tested is of great concern. So far what paralyzed Oromo struggle is inability to fend off infiltrators. Before joining for action, it may be necessary to laydown ways of assuring internal cleanliness of each other. Otherwise their unity could amount to presenting Oromo struggle for the enemy on single silver plate.
Covenant piled in paper alone could not have productivity. To put down how to translate that into action is more important than everything. To summon an open Kora (Congress) that embrace all Oromo in the diaspora and deliberate will give good foundation for the process. For those that say they are leaders, to take oaths where the majority is not there to witness has no value. All these suggestions are relevant only if we assume that the actors have no hidden agenda. Proclamation of agreements cannot be trusted until it is put into practice. Despite how many oaths they took even TA and Shanee (National Council) could not remain united. It seems there are actors among activists who have habits of creating opening between them to let in air. For this reason, trying to come together and go apart had become the basic practice for activists for long. The open Kora may give chance for creation of structure and outlook for action and also controllable organization.
It is not known, rather than doubting everything, like the donkey that could not see differences said, “There is no uphill in which we did not fart” it is better to try all over again; this one may be different. Therefore with what is going on, it is better to put all actors under observing eyes of the people and deny them place to hide. That demands from each of them to present themselves to public criticism and defend themselves against false allegations and getting ready to accept the genuine ones. The true leaders of the Oromo people must not be from outside but from inside Oromiyaa. Those outside are expected to help in its realization and in supplying material and knowledge as well as enabling themselves to help in foreign relations. If they focus on those they can create benefit for the nation. In general unless one values national interest over one’s own in good faith, it would be only a dream for the nation to get back the lost rights and pride. These organizations will also remain naturalized like most of their members in diaspora with divided loyalty.
We have said much and are witnessing that these days the situation in Ethiopia has become worrisome for different interest groups. If not inserting the name “Oromo” in their discussions there is no difference with what they had been saying so long. There are those that say mentioning the name itself is a great change. No one can say that that is a lie, but it is to say that the protest movement Oromo are making should have brought fundamental change to their thinking not limited to mere mentioning of name. On this issue there are those that value Ethiopianess over human rights among those that organize the different discussion forums. First history of Ethiopia that it is never colonized is told. Next how Ethiopia is important for regional security is narrated. The question of identity is raised as if it is not that important but emanates from bad governance. Ethiopianess is something that no one should deny. Land holding system is taken as one of the major causes of Oromo crisis. However that Oromo want independence like all colonized peoples is not yet openly raised and discussed.
It is true that no one colonized Ethiopia directly. But many Western Powers had taken it as their area of influence, making it do whatever they liked for centuries. They had also made it colonize countries to its south like Oromiyaa (Biyya Oromo) with their support and influence. In the world, countries colonizing others freely use their manpower for different functions. Itophiyaa has been doing the same. Such persons had contributed by paying ultimate sacrifice in the process. But their contribution was from position of servitude not from position of equality. Oromo people had produced many braves. It was shame for a person and the nation to be speared from the back while fleeing. Because of this they passed showing gallantry in all wars the colonizer deployed them. But they were not proud of those wars. They did not fight for own cause. On Aduwa, Maycawu, Ogden, Sagalee etc. they had mowed down blacks like them, who were deployed by colonizer on the other side. How many of them the colonizer murdered from the back is only recent memory of Darg and Wayyaanee militia.
The Ethiopia they tell of not been colonized is only Axum and Gondar centered Habasha country and they do not mention that it does not include todays Ethiopian Empire. With this, they try to distort world’s vision. Oromiyaa also was colonized by Habashaa for the first time at the end of the 19th century. Unless the question of colonization of Oromiyaa is made public and discussed to try wrapping it under Habashaa history does not bring solution for the problems in the Horn of Africa. The faranjii says “Call spade, spade”. Unless colony is called colony to give it irrelevant history does not taste good. Unless the Oromo question is answered the economy they are salivating for cannot exist. Development can be realized only in peace. Their resources being plundered, their honor and sovereignty being deprived, humiliated and their identity denied the Oromo have no more the patience and tolerance for the insult.
Those who now conduct public gatherings and try to discuss problem of the country are elites of the colonizing state and those that came down allaying with them from the beginning. Their discussions are based on selfish motives and not one that take the Oromo question into consideration. They have started to list different reasons ignoring Oromo awakening. For instance, in one of the meetings the present Oromo movement was being discussed as originating from conflict within OPDO/EPRDF. This is taken from the desire to prove the assumption that Ethiopia was ruled by collusion of elites from different nations. Whatever conflict there may be it is between the ruling circles of the harmonious Ethiopian empire state. For them conflict between colonies and the colonizer should not exist. Even when they were told that unless it is from being slaves or Askaries no Oromo had taken part in Ethiopian administration as representatives of the Oromo nation, they are not ready to listen. What is disgusting is when such saying is uttered by a professor who is assumed to be neutral, wise social scientist. They have taken Oromo as a donkey that does not respond when heavily pounded. They want to deny that the present Oromo protest is not caused by their surrogate’s oppressive rule but provoked from outside. Such a thought cannot be separately seen from the overall propaganda the colonizer has come trying to make the people doubt themselves and lose confidence in what they are doing. To derail the national Kaayyoo, they say the quisling OPDO/EPRDF is the major actor in the protest for which nationalists have paid tremendous sacrifices. What does this indicate?
They also express their appreciation of double digit growth of Ethiopian economy though they well understand existing poverty level is unprecedented. Propaganda of double digit is only useful for files of international financial institution not for the Oromo and other hungry nations. We are seeing on media many dying from famine but they want to deny that and talk only of draught. They also talk of Tigray beggars in the streets in general not break down of their assignments to say the government is not partial. Can they tell who majority of the novo riche are?
On the part of Oromo activists to stand against this, there is no system devised and relevant policy drawn to match it. If this continues as such Oromo people’s being separate independent entity from the colonizer in language, culture, country and history is put under question and may confuse the unawaken. If that happens it may have temporary effect but will continue coming back with more devastating stance. At this time when the people are fully awakened Oromo elites seem to be in deep sleep. It is their national duty to fast awaken, shake off what they had slept with and present themselves for duty. Unless Oromo intellectuals make more effort than alien intellectuals to study and conduct various discussion sessions, the crucial time could pass by. OSA activity so far is commendable. But one do not see additional extra effort other than that one; and that is good for research, what is missing is political socialization.
The land question cannot be seen separately from the question of sovereignty. Oromiyaa is for the Oromiyaans. Oromiyaans include Oromo and all those properly settled in Oromiyaa. The Oromo have culture and law to handle all that. Be it how land in Oromiyaa is owned, distributed and protected is no one’s concern but that of Oromiyaans. Those that want to make Oromiyaa remain under Habasha rule want to overlook this. It would be disturbing peace to raise any issue concerning interest of Oromiyaa without consulting the Oromo.
For those elites and allies the colonies are also Ethiopia. But we have seen even Minilik called himself king of Ethiopia and the “Gaallaa countries”. Present colonizer generation and allies are not ready even to accept Oromo identity recognized at his level. Let us see again, no one group among them has offered to discuss how to wrap up the past and start relations anew recognizing that we live in the same region. There are among the Oromo that publicly offered that. Though majority Oromo took that as a mistake, colonizing elites did not accept that positively. This shows the contempt or fear they have for the people. The Oromo is showing them that it cannot remain despised forever. If it is from fear, they should know that brutal force is not the alternative but only wise approach to politics can create peace and security with neighbors.
If not from fear of guns and cruelty of the colonizer Oromo had never said “we are Ethiopians” by their own free will. It had been tried much to make them ashamed of their identity. They might have individuals on whom they succeeded. Oromo have culture, social and political life they are proud of. There is civilization they claim if not superior at least not inferior to any ones. When they were occupied if not on higher level to the occupiers they were not lower than them. Civilizations they brag of are Christianity and fidel/ Sabian script. Those destroyed Oromo civilization and harmony and brought no benefit to them. In short those that are out to brainwash the Oromo and distort world public opinion must be reminded that the time those that own the issue pass in silence is already gone. Organized Oromo will reassert this soon.
We hear when security concern is told exaggerated, don’t those that are giving Wayyaanee fire power and training to efficiently use it know that they are helping in poking for more ignition?. Wayyaanee did not give peace to peoples it rules, rather it denied them. If the powers take off their hands, the regional balance could maintain itself. Still today they did not stop putting the issue of Ethiopian Christianity and the problem of Islam in their agendas. That persists for not understanding that there is no clear demarcation of faith population these days. Now there is no Ethiopia they know in ancient times as monopoly of Coptic. The old church is polluted by reformers. Though Oromo and Somalee are related they are not similar in temperament. It will not be easy for those called either Al Shabaab or ISIS to creep into Oromiyaa. But if the colonizer facilitate for them easy entrance to break Oromiyaa, Oromo is not be blame. If Oromo get control over the fatherland they can take responsibility for its peace and security. They know how to handle themselves and aliens.
It is blessed to make effort to bring peace at any level. But to present oneself without deceit and in good faith will be more blessed. Leadership for Oromo struggle has to originate from the home land. From their developmental history the ones in diaspora are fit to give support to them rather than leading. Whatever is broadcasted from outside believing it has positive effect can turn wrong from inability to control from remote. To help Oromo be on one level with the world in tactics and capabilities are the national duty of Oromo intellectuals. The efforts of colonizers and their faranjii allies that have interest in the Horn of Africa would be in vain, if they try to cover up the history of that region. Matters are not those of the past. The matter of land grabbing and imposing alien force over the colonized cannot be passed in silence any more. The Oromo know that it is their right and duty as human beings not to be dictated but consulted in matter of respecting each other’s interest. It will help truthful agreements that avoid wasting energy through frictions and concentrate on national concerns. It is incumbent on all to discard so far developed habits and try to look at each other as siblings and comrades in good faith. The Oromo is a great people. Pretending in public to be proud about it and thinking it will not be exposed to degrade oneself below that in private is insult to others’ intelligence. It is also exposing oneself of being petty in thought. We are more strong, proud and wise as a bundle not pieces. Unity is strength!! The struggle shall continue till victory!!
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!