What can nationals do to help the struggle back home?
Finfinnee is founded in Oromiyaa and so is indisputable part of it. Oromiyaa is under occupation for over a century. Finfinnee was turned into headquarters of the occupying force where Oromo was forced to serve with sweat and blood rather than getting benefit out of its formation. After the overthrow of Darg the state of Oromiyaa and the interest it has in Finfinnee was formally recognized by the occupying regime and a sort of administrative structure was created for it.
With what seemed a magic wand the empire was turned into federation. It is assumed that all federal states will have equal contribution in Organizing and running it so that no one state should bear a federal burden alone. Therefore federal state has to lease Finfinnee if Oromiyaa wills or buy land or found a brand new citadel with master plan of its choice. Other than that, trying to expanding Finfinnee will be denying the change in nature of the empire. The alternative is to recant the officially declared federal status and reestablish it as a colonial empire. Then the question becomes not federal but colonial. Be it as it may for an alien force to kill Oromo in their own land for what so ever reason is unjustifiable and so is wanton aggression and criminal.
Now the people of Oromiyaa are showing solidarity to defend their rights more than any other time whatever the cost may be. Students and parents in north, south, west and east Oromiyaa had simultaneously gone out to protest the meddling of the Ethiopian regime in affairs of Oromiyaa. Though they know that the government is not known to respect its own single handedly crafted constitution, they gave it benefit of the doubt and went out to test the truth if the constitution is constitutional. Alas, the government exposed its true self and met them with life bullet; clubs and tear gas, imported from abroad and special force known as “Agaazii”.
Numerous under ages lost their lives and properties were destroyed. The world has witnessed in clear terms the impossibility of peaceful struggle under such an empire and such anti-people regime. Their laws are only fake instruments. Since people cannot give up on their birth rights, it is lamentable that the alternative available to them is going to remain the violent ones alone.
Ethiopia so far has given nothing to Oromiyaa but took away everything valuable, material wealth, human labor as well as brains from her. It is the brain drained that sustained Ethiopian bureaucracy for a long time. It is those brains that they use as masks to cover their dirty face.
The Oromo question is a question of national liberation to end such undue exploitation, while that of the colonizer is question of domination. There is no common premise for negotiation unless the occupation ends. That is what third parties might fail to understand. The demand for the realization of the right to national self-determination is based on historic fact of life of the people. It was realizing this that the present regime included such right in its constitution. That was the right thing to do. To fake it, is hooliganism. Conscientious non Oromo who are born, lived or worked in Oromiyaa are expected to stand with their hosts, friends and Oromo compatriots in resisting occupation and have nothing to fear from being free. Those that have no biases against race and creed of the colonized know that the Oromo are the most peaceful and cultured people. To do harm to innocent human beings is not in the nature of the nation. But the possibility of TPLF committing heinous crimes and putting the blame on others must be watched out.
Even the first colonizer recognized the separate status of the two countries Oromiyaa and Ethiopia when he declared himself as emperor of Ethiopia and Oromo country. Oromo is a nation of many tribes not a tribe (gosa) as some ignorant want to refer to it. The present regime has kept on postponing the question of Oromo liberation. Promulgation of the constitution was only to distract Oromo from their struggle and buy time for the bloody repression it was going to unleash later. Whatever repressive force it may apply the response to such questions cannot be avoided indefinitely for it is a time bomb waiting to explode when the appropriate time comes. Therefore for the benefit of all neighbors and the world they have to be attained the soonest possible.
Recent student uprising is only one out of several issues of concern. Others like the unsustainable “Great Renaissance Dam” (GRD) in which many are fooled into spending their life saving in buying bonds; “Land Grabbing” where Oromiyaa is being sold at the expense of eviction of natives; prohibition of Afaan Oromo from schools and offices in Finfinnee also concern Oromo and could possibly be issues provoking public protest in addition to the overall human rights abuses. The Abbayya River gets most of its water from Oromiyaa and its course touches big swath of Oromo land. No one will object to fair use of the water. But the ways it started is not diplomatically commendable, financially sustainable and the motive is questionable. The consequence affects Oromiyaa no less than the land grab.
Is the “GRD” for momentary individual or group glory or is it really meant for national benefits as stated. Is it meant to manipulate rifts in international relation in favor of one side and has nothing to do with Ethiopia’s interest? From the nature of the regime that is addicted to amassing wealth for small circle of cohorts it is not to take the project to completion but to benefit from possible negotiation to modify or end it. Many harnessed rivers of Oromiyaa did not benefit her but the mother land and foreign business. Abbayya will not be different. As far as the question of land is concerned land still remains property of the alien government. The owner can dispose of it as it liked. That is why the regime is selling to whoever asks at very cheap price; or give to supporter who amass wealth by selling it or give it to galtuu Oromo whom they could blackmail later with crime of “kiraayi sabsaabii” (rent seeking). It is Oromo land, the Oromo cannot accept sell of their land or obliged to respect such contracts. It is unlawful contract that did not take peasant farmers’ interest into consideration. As far as the general Oromo question goes, it seems the regime has signed the end to the right of subjects to peacefully express oneself. Therefore the form of resistance is sure to change otherwise any peaceful demonstration there will be suicidal.
After the massacre, the most outrageous thing is the putting of words in mouths of the vulnerable by the regime to say things against their dead compatriots and their struggle. The case is Federal. They are also the ones that turned their guns against children. But they were the Neo-Goobanaa that had come out to distort the real causes of the uprising and blame culprits their masters are going to create for it later. The Old Goobanaa served the same pacifying role until his dishonorable fall. The Ethiopian peoples have enough experience about allegations. Coined epithets were for the king “foreign hand” For Darg ” CIA hirelings”, and for Wayyaanee they are” terrorists and anti-developments”. The Neo-Goobanaa also tried to deny objective of the Master Plan that is to turn Finfinnee into one metropolitan “Addis Ababa” forgetting the plan is there in black and white.
The Oromo are opposed, of course, to those bodies that are trying to dismantle Oromiyaa in the name of city planning and development that dispossesses them. No amount of malicious propaganda will stop Oromo struggle for liberation and integrity of united Oromiyaa. There cannot be a nation called Oromoo without integrated free Oromiyaa. For lack of formidable political organization students are taking the lead as during the emperor’s days. Just like those days, if old OLF is not ready other organized group will come forward and revitalize the original Kaayyoo of the liberation movement. As long as repression continues Oromo revolution cannot be stopped. The wisest thing for Oromo activists is not to waste time lamenting about what happened yesterday but on what should be done henceforth. Yesterday with its best and worst has gone; to make or break we have today aiming at better tomorrow.
Committing more crimes to silence the Oromo is already in full gears. The tragic events of past weeks cannot be reversed. But it is hoped that all nationals have already started to ponder on how to stop such crime continuing. Domestically the wheels of resistance have already started rolling. People who are feeling the brunt of alien repression will continue to put up resistance against dismantling Oromiyaa and evicting the inhabitants from their ancestral grounds where umbilical cords of generations were buried. They may require only to strengthening their movement as to make it difficult for the enemy to control Oromiyaa. The death of young students and innocent nationals is heart breaking but there is always price to be paid for freedom. The spy networks of “Goox", “Garee” and “Aand Laamist” are broken. The enemy has already started to be frantic; keeping the moment could make it entangled with its own follies and forced to negotiate for own survival. Let us raise issues of concern on how nationals and people in the diaspora, help Oromo struggle back home by assessing areas of sustainable cooperation.
Oromo all over the world are organized into communities as well as faith based and professional associations. But all organizations are infested with active and sleeping cells of infiltrators. To be useful for the national cause they need to cleanse themselves first. What is said of civic entities is also true for political organizations. The functions of a community organization are limited to a surrounding. The Oromo predicament requires global coordination. It needs an in depth assessment of possibilities and thorough understanding of the issue to operate in unison for pan Oromo benefit. Past experiences have lessons to learn from.
Political organization will be effective if they could coordinate their operations. If they fail it must be known that organizations and leaders can be born out of a situation and make them irrelevant. Those that cannot for reasons take part in joining efforts should take necessary care as not to be obstacle to people’s struggle. Refusing to yield to ideas of majority and stubbornness do not serve under the prevailing situation. At home ethnic, religious and tribal differences are among weak links of the Oromo. The enemy pokes there to trigger conflict. So everyone has to be vigilant not to be caught off guard. On has also to beware of gents of colonialists and expansionists disguised as missionaries of religious establishments to take part in creating obstacles for cultural development and peoples’ struggle for freedom. These are also to be countered by nationals from of faiths for they are divisive and anti-peace.
One important thing to remember is that Wayyaanee is using structures created in its embassies and government fund for espionage wherever there are decedents. Among its objectives are creating conflicts among nationals abroad to paralyze opposition against it and also to gathering information on their movements. Where possible they also recruit from among their ranks for their PDOS. For this they use modern technics as well as human spies, infiltrators who act more radical than true nationalists. This is carried out in accordance with permanent guideline given to diplomatic missions. That is why tight organization of trusted members is needed. Oromo nationals are either with national organizations or with the enemy. They cannot serve both camps. Liberal attitudes have to stop in such matters. Safuu serves in Oromo context and only with those that have similar values.
There are peoples neighboring Oromiyaa that had fallen to colonial rule and still face alienation by the same source. Solidarity of struggle with those is indispensable. Those are sovereign peoples with own territory and deserve unequivocal recognition from all nations including Oromo without any precondition. Those that had already joined hands in struggle have to take it to higher level whenever possible. Enemy hand to divide them has to be watched out. Oromo activists have to give benefit of the doubt for such people as not to jeopardize relations by jumping to conclusions on assumptions. Otherwise it will be walking into enemy trap.
Many Oromo living abroad are citizens of respective countries they live in. These, as ethnic groups, may have civic organizations. There are many arenas open to them to influence decision making of their respective countries. As long as they have the votes they will have the voice as well. They have always to keep in memory that the people they left behind are crying to be rescued from dictators. Oromiyaa, a historically free and democratic country should not remain dependent when they are there for her. It has to remain a challenge to their conscience. Therefore they should take on themselves that they have at least a role to play in the peaceful or diplomatic struggle of their people. Their people need knowledgeable and skilled man power as well as material support of all sorts. No Oromo group has more exposure to resources than they do.
People back home are not free to gather and discuss matters of common interest. But when oppressions pass their limits fear of being caught fades away. That is the stage where Oromo is reaching. Whether children demonstrate or not the Wayyaanee will is not stopping incarcerating and killing Oromo. Unless it breaks the morale of the nation it is afraid that Oromo will demand ownership of the land and resources it is plundering. As far as possible it will try to gaga it so that it does not utter a word, produce wealth and it remains uninformed. All that believe being Oromo have to help and devise means this nation release itself from alien entanglement. Those that give their lives and freedom to maintain the name high are doing so believing in their rear.
There is nothing worse than living despised and humiliated in own country. For this reason those that are not living under that scourge have to be strong and dependable rear. Oromummaa demands that. Because when a person is imprisoned or killed, not only the person but the community and family enters into political, social and economic crisis that is why to support from the rear becomes essential.
Those activists that started with carbon copying and have passed through alcohol and stencil duplicators have now reached the electronic printer age. Messenger and copper wire telephone they used are now replaced by computer communication. Many did not get chance to see it but they have traveled tortuous road and passed away contributing to our self-consciousness. We may not realize that the older one is the less comfortable one becomes with computers and modern ideas. Therefore computer suave and better informed younger generation has to be entrusted with that for efficient functioning of the struggle. The old ways have to phase out, be it in communication or administration for they are becoming obsolete. In other words the Gadaa principle of rejuvenation of political process has to be adopted in a way fitting changing times. Wisdom acquired through ages has its proper role to play in Oromo tradition. The Oromo have to gear up for the drive towards liberation in memory of their old and recent martyrs. We cannot help being in tears when our hearts bleed remembering the recent atrocities committed against Oromo youth by Occupation’s special force sent by TPLF/EPRDF butchers.
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!