Biyya-Keenya at Three Levels: Biyya-Oromo, Biyya-Kuush & Biyya-Kaam!

Biyya-Keenya at Three Levels: Biyya-Oromo, Biyya-Kuush & Biyya-Kaam!

Oromo nationalists usually seem to have a bit conflict regarding which land to call “our country”. Which one is our country? Oromia (Biyya-Oromo)? Ethiopia (Biyya-Kuush)? Africa (Biyya-Kaam)? Actually, all the three are ours (Biyya-Keenya); it depends only at which level we are talking. The conflict mainly lies on claiming Ethiopia as our country. Some Oromo nationalists vehemently reject this country as their own. In reality, Ethiopia is Tuulama Empire, not Habesha Empire as usually told. It was formed by an alliance of the Habeshanized Tuulama led by Emperor Menilik and the non-Habeshanized Tuulama led by General Goobana Daacee. These two leaders were founders of the present empire and majority of their army were Oromo. We can even call it Oromian Empire and now we need to transform this to Oromian (Ethiopian) union.

The difference between an empire and a union can be summarized as: “an empire is a dictatorial bringing together of nations by force; union is a democratic coming together of nations per free will.” Gadaa Oromian independence as advocated by some nationalists can happen, either if all our neighbours reject such a union by own free will and forge their independent countries or if Oromo people decide for such independence per referendum. ODF prefers the first approach (let other minority nations go from us for we are majority at the center) and OLF opted for the second (let our people decide either for an independence or for a union)! Anyways, Biyya-Oromo is imperatively our country, Biyya-Kuush is optionally our country and Biyya-Kaam is inevitably our continent (also country); we can call the three levels Biyya-Keenya!

We also can call Biyya-keenya (our country) in double sense, considering Africa as our continent: both Biyya-Oromo (Oromia) and Biyya-Kuush (Ethiopia) are Biyya-keenya! Either of them or both of them can be the final result of our self-determination per referendum as planned by both some Oromo forces and the PAFD. As far as I am concerned, self-rule of Biyya-Oromo within shared rule of Biyya-Kuush is a pragmatic solution for the Oromo! May Waaqa help us comprehend this!

Galatooma!

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Hatred of Tegaru, Indifference of Amhara and Love of Oromo for Future Ethiopia

Bildergebnis für Oromo for Ethiopia

Hatred of Tegaru, Indifference of Amhara and Love of Oromo for Future Ethiopia 

The Oromo legitimately hate past Ethiopia, the Tegaru are indifferent and the Amhara love it. Tegarus love present Ethiopia, the Oromo are ambivalent and Amharas hate it. Surely, Tegarus will hate potential (future) Ethiopia, Amharas will be indifferent and the Oromo will love it; because democratic Ethiopia is defacto Oromia! Tegaru elites will try to dismantle Ethiopia, when they lose power in Finfinne palace; the Oromo will benefit by keeping the future democratic Ethiopia (Great Oromia). I don’t think the Amhara elites will be happy to live in such future Ethiopia, where the Oromo will enjoy all our human and national rights; they may opt to leave the union, just like their Tegaru kins! Read more: https://unionoromia.wordpress.com/2018/01/20/democratic-ethiopia-is-de-facto-oromia-2/

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Amhara’s Assimilative Ethiopia is Dead, Tegaru’s Apartheid Ethiopia is Dying and Oromo’s Accomodative Ethiopia is Deal!

Bildergebnis für for deal

Amhara’s Assimilative Ethiopia is Dead, Tegaru’s Apartheid Ethiopia is Dying and Oromo’s Accomodative Ethiopia is Deal!

This is fact on the ground, which all of us should swallow! No turn back, the freedom train is moving on. Ethiopia will either be transformed to de facto Great Oromia of Leencoo Lataa through democratization process, or it will disintegrate and give birth to Gadaa Oromia of Caalaa Lataa! The choice will be made by all stakeholder nations and nationalities in the country!

Habesha elites know this fact that democratizing Ethiopia is tantamount to transforming to Oromia very well and Oromo elites should try to understand it. That is why Habesha elites give only lip service to democracy, for they really can see what that means. Some Oromo elites didn’t yet get it; accordingly they vehemently oppose “democratizatzion of the empire”. But, truth is that democratic Ethiopia is de facto Oromia; i.e bigger Oromia than the one planned by OLF. Since the prompt response I once gave to one ethiopianist Oromo, who tried to persuade Oromo nationalists so that we accept Ethiopia and Ethiopiawinet (in a sense of Ethiopian nationalism = Abesha nationalism) at cost of Oromia and Oromummaa (Oromo nationalism), I recieved several protest and few support letters from Oromo nationals per e-mail. One of the reasons raised by those who oppose the concept of Great Oromia is that the goal of federalist Oromo, i.e ‘democratic genuine federation of Ethiopia’, can not be same as Great Oromia I suggested, but “it will be a continuation of the existing Abyssinian empire”.

I personally do believe that Oromia within womb of Ethiopia, as planned by federalists, is only transitional solution on the way towards either an indispensable transformation of Ethiopia to de jure integrative Great Oromia or natural inevitable birth of an independent Gadaa Oromia. But yet even the future transitional democratic Ethiopia can be considered as de facto Great Oromia, if Oromo community from now on start to call it as such, without waiting for permission and recoginition from any sort of authority as well as if we really succeed in making Afaan Oromo a working language of the future true federation. In this essay, I will try to show how using Afaan Oromo can make democratic Ethiopia be de facto Oromia.

It is clear, only Abyssinian elites and few culturally and linguistically Habeshanized elites from other nations are against such Oromia (future accomodative Ethiopia) with genuine ethnic federalism or internal self-determination of nations. This Oromia is actually the best compromise solution for all nations in the region in order to live together – achieving both national autonomy and regional integration. The position of Abyssinian elites regarding self-determination made them be not suitable to cooperate with elites of other nations against TPLF regime. Abyssinian elites do promote unconditional unitary Ethiopia at cost of self-determination, which they also put as a precondition for possible alliance, especially between Abyssinian democratic forces and Oromian freedom fighters. Some Oromo nationalists tend to accept this precondition, only if Abyssinian elites also may accept one Oromo’s precondition, i.e Afaan Oromo as only working language of the federation, instead of Amharinya. They say: let’s try to persuade Habesha elites to accept Afaan Oromo as working language in a common house, Great Oromia (accomodative Ethiopia), as a test. Will Abyssinian elites then continue as pro unity and anti-ethnicity, even if Amharinya will be demoted to only a local language of Amhara region and if Afaan Oromo will be promoted to the only working language of the federation? I am sure they will not! In case they continue to be pro-unity, also under this situation, as they seem to believe now, let’s then try this new version of democratic Ethiopiawinet = de facto Oromiawinet with only Afaan Oromo, instead of Amharinya.

After observing the imposition of Amharinya at cost of Afaan Oromo in the past more than one century, I just couldn’t help, but think about main mistake some of the empire leaders from Oromo origin like Ob. Qusee Dinagde & Ob. Gobena Daacee, who are adored by Ethiopianists as builders of the empire, did commit. Their worst mistake was the acceptance of Amharinya as only national language of the empire they did forge, of course at cost of Afaan Oromo. Being Oromo, if they could have managed to promote Afaan Oromo to national language of the empire, now Oromos were not the ones, who should fight for self-determination, but 0others. Whole of Finfinne’s “high class society” and other “modern” peoples in the empire would have spoken Afaan Oromo as well as the whole diaspora Ethiopians now would have spoken Afaan Oromo, even all would have claimed to be Ethiopian with the content of Oromummaa (Oromo nationalistm), but not Habeshanet (Abyssinian nationalism); to be an Ethiopian = Oromian in this sense, of course, almost equivalent to be an Oromo, not an Amhara as it is till now.

At present, for Abyssinian elites to come to their sense and comprehend why we did say so, let’s look at the following fact in short. Most Abyssinian elites nowadays think they are pro-Ethiopiawinet and anti-ethnicity and they think that they do have a moral upper-hand over others, who “promote ethnic politics”. For them to develop another view, let’s demote Amharinya to local language of only Amhara region and promote Afaan Oromo to the only federal language. Until now, just based on fact that Amharinya is the only federal language, they used to talk about Ethiopiawinet, which in essence means actually Amharanet (Amhara nationalism) for they know how Amharanization is still going on. If we change role of the two languages, I am sure Oromo nationals will start to value Ethiopiawinet, which will be equivalent to Oromummaa and, of course, they will denounce ethnicity. Then, surely Amhara elites will start to defend themselves from the possible Oromonization and will denounce Ethiopiawinet with only Afaan Oromo as federal language and they surely will automatically be pro-ethnicity. So, we can see how simple it is to be moralist without understanding the mechanism behind all what we do believe.

Oromo nationals in this sense just asked Abyssinian elites to accept Afaan Oromo as only federal language for the sake of neutralizing their attempt of maintaining and talking about Ethiopian unity with Amharinya as only working language of the federation and, Abyssinian elites are making Amharanization process as something normal to be accepted and lived by all nations in the region. Of course, few Abyssinian elites demand the public to decide on the issue: which language should be future federal working language. But, to ask for public decision on the future federal working language, we first need to ask the public what type of sovereignty they want to foster. The future free nations have to either say YES or NO to the possible union. Why doesn’t democracy of Abyssinian elites, which we observed in their rhetoric up to now, include this decision? Some of these Habesha elites accuse the Oromo as if we do have grudge against Minilik. The resentment of Oromo elites against Meles and Minilik is fact, but not only that; unfortunately almost all currently living Abyssinian elites want to perpetuate same policy of Meles or Minilik with a pretext of Ethiopian unity, thus our opposition is against also such modern Melesites and Minilikites.

Furthermore, some Abyssinian elites do cry foul about a possible future Oromo hegemony just because of the fact that Oromo elites are demanding Afaan Oromo be one of the future federal languages. Those Oromo elites, who make such demand, are not actually promoters of Oromo hegemony, but just to show Abyssinian elites how reverse of the effort to dominate Oromos further can be painful to Abyssinian elites, the Oromo elites say: “if Abyssinian elites want Ethiopian unity (one common house), then they should see also what it looks like to be under the theoretical future Oromo domination replacing their own domination”. In general, why do Abyssinina elites talk and preach democracy, whereas at the same time they do exclude right of the public to decide on its destiny per referendum – national self-determination? If they have to think democratically as they usually claim to do, then they need to know that there is no half-baked democracy.

Some Oromo elites do argue that one of the main conflict factors in the empire is language factor. If Abyssinian elites do disagree with this premise, then let’s try it practically: just demote Amharinya to only Amhara region and promote Afaan Oromo to only language of the federation. Surely, the Oromo will then accept unconditional unity with Ethiopiawinet and they will denounce “ethnicity”, as well they may tend to reject right of nations to self-determination. Hopefully, Abyssinian elites will then be ready to influence all their relatives to learn Afaan Oromo without any objection. If so, then Oromo elites will be very happy if Abyssinian elitess would not prefer to fight for their national self-determination, but only struggle for democracy, unity, justice, equality, peace and prosperity. Looking back to history of the empire and trying to judge the status quo, all elites of nations in the empire do have their own interpretation of history. Thus, preferable to such quarell on history is an orientation to the future and ask thope question: what options regarding solution for the language conflict do we have if we want to live together in the future Oromian (Ethiopian) union? Here are five possiblities:

1) Union of free peoplens in Oromia (Ethiopia) based on self-determination, all nations having their own languages in their respective national areas and using English as a common language
2) Union in a new federal Oromia (Ethiopia) with Afaan Oromo as the only federal woking language
3) Union with five major languages (Afaan Oromo, Amharinya, Af Somaal, Tigrinya and English) as the federal working languages
4) Union with two major languages (Afaan Oromo and Amharinya) as the federal languages and
5) Union with Amharinya as the only federal language (similar to the status quo)

When we look at reality on the ground, pro-democracy Abyssinian elites seem to prefer fourth option. Even such Abyssinian elites started to see the fact that fifth option is the already failed project. Several Oromo elites do suggest first option of free nations as the best solution. But, if Abyssinian elites do reject self-determination of nations and persist on having unconditional Ethiopian unity, then let them test the second option so they can understand what it means to be called “ an Ethiopian” in such a condition, which actually means an Oromian, in contrast to the status quo where Ethiopian means Abyssinian. Thus, Ethiopia with Afaan Oromo as a working federal language, despite the possible competition with Amharinya, is same as de facto Oromia because Oromummaa will be main content of the union. If Abyssinian elites reject the second option, it is then expected from them to have an empathy for Oromo elites, who are rejecting the fifth option, instead of vilifying such Oromo elites as “exclusionists”. Why should Oromo elites be considered as exclusionists for the sake of demanding this role exchange of the two languages, whereas Abyssinian elites are seen as inclusive, eventhough they are propagating the exclusive fifth option? To avoid such language conflict, of course, it is also possible to opt for the third option in order to be more inclusive and integrative.

Now, it is natural for us to ask, why did TPLF promote Amharinya at cost of Afaan Oromo in the last 27 years. The answer is clear: TPLF wants that the conflict between the two big nations will continue, so it can rule further easily. The historical conflict between Amharas and the Oromo is highly exploited by TPLF in order to hinder a possible public uprising in unison against their rule. Just because of language privilage they had, Amhara elites are still seen as oppressive by almost all oppressed nations in the empire, including by the Oromo, even though Amharas, nowadays, are as oppressed and exploited as other nations by the ruling regime. TPLF could have solved this language conflict between Amharinya and Afaan Oromo by making both of them working languages of the federation or limiting both of them to their respective regions and using only English as working language of the federation.

When we do choose certain language for common communication between different autonomous nations, we need to consider its economical expediency and its international usage. Till now, all nations in the empire were obliged to learn Amharinya as national language, because of domination by Abyssinians, who accepted Amharinya as the only federal language and still tend to endorse. Actually, clear is why they do this preference; it is simply because of the political and economical advantage they do get. Here is one example to be taken in to consideration: Amhara elites usually try to promote unconditional Ethiopian unity just because they know what an advantage they do have as far as Amharinya is the working language of the empire, i.e melting of all nations in the empire towards being Ethiopian, which is equivalent to an identity change into being Amhara. This process of assimilating people behind the mask of Ethiopiawinet is the main intention behind their manic craving for unitary Ethiopian state. Accordingly, they oppose the suggested future genuine “ethnic” federation just for it undermines their language domination and for the melting process will be stopped.

Then the question to be asked by other nations now is: can pro-democracy Abyssinian forces choose to settle for the alternative of using language of all nations at their respective national areas or should they be compelled to accept this right of other nations as an alternative to the conservative Abyssinian elites’ refusal of recognizing such a union based on self-determination? I know that TPLF will accept even an alternative – separation of nations – to build their own independent states as soon as they sense a possible lose of power in Tulluu Daalattii palace. To compel Abyssinian forces to accept a union based on national self-determination, we just have to demote Amharinya to be used only in Amhara region and promote Afaan Oromo to the only federal language, as I put it above. Through this role exchange between the two languages, they will see that Ethiopiawinet will not be equivalent to Amharanet (as it is now), but it will be same to Oromummaa. In such scenario of Oromummaa being equivalent to Ethiopiawinet (de facto Oromiawinet), Oromo elites will definitely start to be pro-Ethiopiawinet as well as against ethnicity and then Abyssinian elites will surely begin to defend their identity by opting for self-determination of Abyssinian people, so that they will support ethnicity and reject Ethiopiawinet with the content of Oromummaa. In this way, Abyssinian elites can comprehend what it means to struggle for a national independence within or without regional union.

The ongoing attempt of Abyssinian elites to make both Afaan Oromo and Amharinya the working federal languages of future union is disadvantageous for other smaller nations in the empire. Abyssinian elites opted to this alternative just to make Amharinya again the working language of all regions including Gadaa Oromia, the option they don’t have now. As far as the Oromo are concerned, Afaan Oromo being federal working language is not bad, so long Amharinya will not be imposed on Oromo region, but Amharinya should be working language of only Amhara region and, of course it can be that of the federation besides Afaan Oromo. For other nations in the empire, this may mean to learn four languages, instead of the present only three. But, these nations need to learn only two languages: their own mother tongue and an international language – English. Why should their children be obliged to learn Afaan Oromo and Amharinya and be stressed with such additional useless languages, whereas Amhara children learn only Amharinya and English, being free from such stress. So, my suggestion is that all children from all nations in the future union should have this privilege given to Amhara children: learn only their respective national language and English as an international language.

If Abyssinian elites come to their sense and accept the common ground for all nations, i.e the future genuine ethnic federalism, it would have been very easy to forge an effective alliance of Abyssinian democratic forces and Oromo freedom fighters against the dictatorial TPLF regime. Just to clear the confusion produced by the hitherto articles on similar topics, other names used for genuine ethnic federalism are: multi-national federation, new federal democratic country, de jure Ethiopia = de facto Oromia, language-based federalism, internal self-determination, national autonomy with regional union, self rule and shared rule, national self determination with multi-national democracy, unity with liberty, union of autonomous nations, United States of Nations, autonomous nations in federated country, national autonomy in an integrated region (e.g autonomous Oromia in an integrated Ethiopia)… etc. In short, the best instrument to compel Abyssinian elites so they can accept and respect this compromise solution and to make them recognize the right of nations to self-determination, is to demote Amharinya to local language and promote Afaan Oromo to federal language.

Last but not least, such democtratized Ethiopia (de facto Oromia) being a known objective of federalist Oromo nationals, I tend to accept it only as transitional solution for the political arrangement after getting rid of the present Abyssinian empire. This Ethiopia is transition to either de jure, not only de facto, Great Oromia, in case all future free nations of the empire will agree and accept the name change from Ethiopia to Oromia, or else the birth of an independent Gadaa Oromia is inevitable. I think an integrative Great Oromia, where freedom of citizens and nations will be respected, where democracy will be rule of the game, where Afaan Oromo will be primary working language of the union and where Odaa, as symbol of Gadaa democracy will be central part of future federation’s flag, can be very good alternative solution to the noble cause of an independent Gadaa Oromia. May Waaqa help us all accept future accomodative Ethiopia (de facto Oromia) as a transitional solution towards either an independent Gadaa Oromia or an integrative Great Oromia. No turn back to Amhara’s assimilative Ethiopia and no life support for the gasping Tegaru’s apartheid Ethiopia, but we can look forward to realize Oromo’s accomodative Ethiopia.

Galatooma!

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Oromo’s Tandem Activity from Lemma’s ODP to Kamal’s UFIO

Oromo’s Tandem Activity from Lemma’s ODP to Kamal’s UFIO

We, Oromians, have no luxury and time to be divided and fight against each other now. We need to perceive reality on the ground, interpret our perception of the reality, think, believe, wish, feel, move, act, behave and live as a one single entity striving in a good service of our national interest and purpose. We need to have clear view about ourselves as well as about our foes and friends. We need to thank our friends, but fight our foes in unison. We are Oromo as one people, who do struggle for our right to bilisummaa (freedom from TPLF’s system of domination). Every other individual or collective promoting our struggle is our friend, and anyone trying to hinder our move to our goal covertly or overtly as well as directly or indirectly is our foe.

Let’s leave the momentarily “harmless” foes aside and be conscious that our main enemy now is the hegemonist leadership of TPLF. We fought against all our enemies starting from our subjugation at the end of nineteenth century to the end of twentieth century to come to our status quo in 1991. A lot of our heroes have given their precious lives and limbs to achieve this status; a lot are still suffering from the sequel of inflicted injuries. From 1992 on, TPLF leaders are main enemy of Oromo nation hindering us from moving forwards. No question that we are under internal colony of TPLF hegemonists and that there are some Oromo elites, who contributed to our slavery knowingly or unknowingly. Now, the question we need to answer is: how should we deal with our main enemy – the TPLF Leadership , other currently “harmless” enemies, Oromo collaborators, Oromo “neutrals” and with the Oromo doing their best for öur liberation movement, while even overtly working with the enemy?

Let’s look at Oromo nation as one human body. Then, our main enemy (TPLF leadership) and other currently “harmless” foes are not definitely part of this body. But Oromo collaborators, Oromo “neutrals” and Oromo freedom fighters are part and parcel of this one organism. We can designate and put them as gangrenous parts (collaborators), as paralyzed parts (“neutrals”) and as functioning parts (fighters). What should we naturally do with these three parts of our body? The gangrenous parts must be removed before they affect other parts of our body, the paralyzed parts should be reactivated using some methods, such as physiotherapy or regular gymnastic or exercise, and, of course, the functioning parts need to be fed well and trained further to continue with their functions or even to do better.

So we need first to discern these five groups (main enemy, currently “harmless” foes, gangrenous parts of our body as well as paralyzed parts and healthy parts). To put in short, all Habesha parties, excluding TPLF leadership, that have in their programmes an intention to dismantle Oromia are our momentarily “harmless” foes. The gangrenous parts of our body are criminal Oromo nationals working with this TPLF leadership and still covertly or overtly fighting against our liberation struggle. Mind you, not all ODP (Promo Democratic Party = reformed OPDO) Oromo are criminals, but few with proved evidence of atrocities. The paralyzed parts of our body are those not yet politically conscious parts of Oromo nation; they can potentially be activated to play a great role in the liberation movement. The functioning parts of our body include politically conscious and active Oromo in the ruling party – ODP, in the opposition parties like OFC as well as in rebel fronts such as the OLF.

Meles Zenawi has said that if one ‘scratched’ most ODP members (like a scratch-it lottery game), one would reveal that most ODP members supported OLF fully.

No question the appropriate approach towards our main enemy, the TPLF leadership, is that we do fight against it with all our possible means. The “harmless” foes can now be tactical friends for they, too, are suffering under the tyrannic subjugation of the TPLF leadershipi. If they come to their sense and respect our God-given right to self-determination, they even can be our strategical friends. Otherwise, we just check them tactically to certain extent as long as we do have common enemy, the TPLF leadership. It is their stubborn wish to get rid of Oromia by opposing “ethnic” federation in principle, what makes these Habesha forces a potential foe for Oromo nation and this attitude of theirs is an obstacle for a possible strong alliance against the fascist TPLF regime. Even if we get rid of “ethnic” federation, the future unitary Ethiopia will (should) never be the hitherto Abesha dominated assimilative or aüartheid Ethiopia, but the anew Oromo led accomodative Ethiopia.

Now the question we, the Oromo, need to answer is how can we coordinate our own functioning body parts, which are moving at the above mentioned three different levels? Here is where we need tandem activity. Imagine three people pedaling on a tandem cycle which can be ridden by three persons. The synchronized pedaling of the three persons is very necessary for the cycle to move forward and even to move as quickly as possible. If one of the three riders is not synchronized with the other two, there will be a distortion in the forward movement or it slows the speed markedly. That is why I do advocate for the synchronized move of the genuine non-criminal Oromo activists in the ruling party ODP, activists in the opposition parties like OFC and freedom fighters in the rebel fronts, specially those rallying behind OLF and UFIO in order to promote our liberation journey forward and accelerate it to reach our destiny efficiently.

To support such tandem activity, I do advocate for the following measures yet to be taken by our Oromo functioning body parts:

– let’s be reserved from vilifying ODP, in general, but concentrate on the criminal actions of certain individuals in the ODP; we also need to encourage genuine Oromo, who are doing their best being part of this organization and part of the government.

– let’s have an understanding for the rhetoric of the opposition politicians, which may talk against the goal of our liberation movement, i.e against self-determination, for they are in a dire situation and we need to encourage the working together of all Oromo opposition parties under umbrella of the OFC.

– let’s stop foolish propaganda of one faction of the OLF against the other faction, even if it may help to gain more members and supporters for the concerned faction of the liberation front. We should do our best to bring all mini-fronts under one strong structural OLF, behind which we all can rally.

– let’s activate constantly the paralyzed parts of ours using all means of agitation and teaching. It is surprising to observe how little we do use the modern media like internet to reach our people. I would like here to encourage all able Oromo to share what they can to other little informed ones.

– last , but not least, let’s be radical to politically bankrupt gangrenous parts of our body, but be very careful not to include a single functioning cell to the part to be politically exised. In this regard, we need to be very meticulous.

If we take such decisive measures on our foes, friends and on different parts of our own body, I am sure the time we need to achieve our liberation from the current tormentors is not far. Now, it is the high time for all Oromo nationalists in the ruling party – ODP, opposition movement – OFC, pro-federation rebel -ODF, pro-selfdetermination front – OLF and the radical pro-independence force – UFIO to act together in tandem against the only worst enemy – the TPLF leadership! May Waaqa help us ride the fredom cycle in tandem!
Galatooma!

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Is Lemma Magarsa’s ODP Good Enough to Promote Freedom and Democracy in Ethiopia?

Bildergebnis für OPDO Oromo flag

Is Lemma Magarsa’s ODP Good Enough to Promote Freedom and Democracy in Ethiopia?

No question that the already envisioned goal of the Oromo liberation movement can be simply put as national self-determination, including and up to national independence (only Oromia), or up to union of free peoples (federal Union) or up to regional integration (only Ethiopia). Based on this general objective of the Oromo people, there are nowadays different liberation fronts and political parties operating in the name of the Oromo. Even though I believe that one accommodative and inclusive liberation organization is more effective, necessary and even imperative for our struggle towards freedom and sovereignty (type of sovereignty being one of the three: only Oromia, federal Union or only Ethiopia), the currently active different factions and groups of the OLF, and other forces can be empowered separately and encouraged to work together in order to lead us in unison towards our intended destiny.

Thanks to the Oromo nationalist heroines and heroes, who paid great sacrifice to achieve what we do have now in hand, the Oromo liberation movement is already at the irreversible level. Now we do see almost all Oromo nationals being proud of our identity; especially, the new generation is conscious enough about the necessity of our unconditional freedom from the currently tormenting TPLF oppressors. The struggle for freedom from this occupying force is going on in different forms. The only difference we do observe among different Oromo nationalists is based on the diverse views regarding the type of sovereignty we want to realize after achieving freedom: independent Oromia (only Oromia) or union of free nations in Ethiopia (federal Union) or unity of integrated peoples in Ethiopia (only Ethiopia). Yet, these three types of sovereignty are not exclusive to each other, but achieving the first is a good prelude to come to the second, and then to move further to the third. The common denominator for the three is freedom from fascism (power in Tulluu Daalatti)!

Unfortunately, such a stepwise progress of our liberation movement is now inhibited because of the real lack of cooperation and coordination among and between the different Oromo political groups. Our beloved liberation front – the OLF – is already divided into different factions based on the stressing tendency of the factions towards their chosen single type of sovereignty over the others, despite their common denominator – Oromo freedom. These different factions and groups are wasting most of our talent, resource and time fighting against each other, instead of solving our conflict with the Oromo way of discussion (ilaa fi ilaame). Of course, such discord among the Oromo liberation camp weakens the necessary strength we need for the struggle. Additionally, Oromo’s archenemy, the TPLF, also works day and night to make sure that Oromo liberators be so divided, and the Oromo national liberation bloc stay as weak as possible.

Some genuine Oromo nationalists did recognize this weak status quo of our  liberation camp and started to look for an alternative way of doing the liberation business. They worked hard to unify the existing different factions and groups so that we could have one relatively stronger and more efficient liberation front. Despite the efforts, particularly in spite of the hitherto measures taken to re-unify the OLF, which was unsuccessful, even we could observe and register further fragmentization of the vanguard organization. At this time of our desperation, some nationals still try to find a way out of this quagmire.

One of the forwarded solutions was the now functioning #Team Lemma (ODP = Oromo Democrtatic Party). According to the decision of this party, it already issued a call for all concerned Oromo nationals to start a debate and discussion on the current problem of the Oromo people, and on the way how to come up with optimal solution. The different points raised in the statement are crucially important, and indeed it was an inviting message as well as a persuasive assertion.

For some known and unknown reasons, there were certain opposing voices in the Oromo community and in the cyber world against this Democratic Party. Most of the reasons given are based on the controversial prominent Oromo personalities, who are leading the formation of the party. Even one of the OLF factions, which I do consider as the main stream liberation front, expressed its concern regarding this move of some Oromo nationals. The main question raised  was whether the ongoing discussion forum benefits or penalizes the already well established part of the Oromo liberation struggle. I think the concern is legitimate and needs to be addressed, or must be considered by those who organized the forum and by those who are leading the debate. No seasoned Oromo nationalist with sound mind does accept any move which can weaken our present power position. Any move towards disregarding the OLF and disarming the OLA/WBO is surely doomed to fail.

Yet, we have to be open-minded and look at the possible opportunity in the Oromo Democratic Party. It can be the forum for brainstorming regarding our national problem and can be the constructive means to bring Oromo nationals together. It can be the means to consolidate and empower the existing OLF and OLA by bringing a lot of non-organized Oromo nationals under one umbrella. I encourage the participants to move from the present discussion of involving only Oromo individuals to even a dialogue among Oromo institutions and organizations, especially by inviting the different factions and groups of the Oromo  liberation movement to join the dialogue.

One of the reasons raised to oppose the ongoing call is the allegation saying that ODP rejects the goal of an ‘independent Oromia’ in favor of supporting the union of free peoples. Thus, the Democratic Party and its leaders are accused as betrayers, capitulationists, collaborators, defeatists, Ethiopianists, foes, Gobanas, revisionists, etc. Interestingly, we observe a double-standard regarding such labellings. For certain criticizers, the members and supporters of the ODP were Ethiopianists, while those within the Oromo Democratic Front are not; or the vice versa is true, despite the fact that both groups were said to prefer a union to independence. An important question to be answered here should be: are the leaders and partakers of this Democratic Party really Ethiopianists in a negative sense? To answer this basic question, we need to define the two terms, Ethiopia and Ethiopianist, operationally.

The name Ethiopia seems to be defined in two ways according to the Oromo nationalists involved in the hot discussion regarding the merit and demerit of the Democratic Party. One group of the Oromo nationalists defines Ethiopia as the name of a territory, and thus being Ethiopianist is not as such a problem as long as the political conviction of the concerned nationals promotes the goal of an ‘free Oromo region within a union.’ The other group of Oromo nationalists defines Ethiopia as the system of colonization or system of domination, and this group demonizes those Oromo nationals taking part in the entertaining Ethiopia as keepers of this system. Here again, another further question to be answered can be: are the leaders and participants of the Democratic Party really Ethioianists in a sense of one definition or in terms of both definitions?

I personally think that these pro-union Oromo nationalists are not necessarily the die-hard keepers of the domination system, but they are simply in favor of a possible union of free peoples in federal Union. As long as they believe in Oromo freedom and Oromia’s self-rule, be it within a union or without a union, they are part and parcel of the Oromo liberation movement. Those who do believe in an independent Oromia can compete with these unionists when the time for referendum comes, but trying to demonize the unionists as “Ethiopianists” in a sense of keeping the system of colonization is, simply put, unfair. I just want to suggest for the pro-independence Oromo forces to have additionally our own dialogue forum among the different fragmentalized factions and groups, which want to promote independence. Then, there can be a possibility for a necessary cooperation, in the future, between such purely pro-independence forum and the already existing pro-union Democratic Party.

In case the pro-independence and pro-union forces will have their separate dialogue forums as suggested here, yet unity for freedom between the two, having freedom as their common denominator, is mandatory, if we really want to get rid of the TPLF fascists and racists. That is why Oromo people tried to persuade our national liberation organizations to build the imperative unity of Oromo liberation forces. Unfortunately, now it seems that such structural unity is almost impossible. Now, we are demanding, as Plan-B, ‘group of 11’ within one team of the Oromo liberation movement, suggesting the importance of networking eleven organizations to struggle in unison against the archenemy. We mean by this: our different factions and groups of the Oromo liberation movement can be as many as eleven if necessary, but they should learn to play harmoniously together just like eleven individuals in a soccer team do and they have to try to defeat the Abyssinian team of colonization and oppression.

It is only through such unity or alliance of the Oromo liberation movement groups in one national team, that we can come to victory. The Oromo people seem to have already put the solution for our problem in a short saying: “walii galan, alaa galan” (united, we stand). For the Oromo as a bigger collective (as a nation) to be free, there is no alternative to this unity of purpose, if we seriously want to come out of the existing oppression. That is the main reason for the necessity of an imperative dialogue among different Oromo individuals and institutions. Thus, I do see no compelling reason to oppose any sort of dialogue blindly in general, and to vilify the Oromo Democratic Party in particular. Thus #Team Lemma’s call for working with all Oromo organizations to promote Oromo interest should be supported and welcomed. I see that at the moment there is no forum with an intention to prohibit our move to bilisummaa. In general, any sort of coming together of the Oromo liberation groups need to be encouraged for such unity of purpose is necessary for success.

Last, but not least, there are two universal facts, which we as a nation have to recognize, accept and realize: ‘unity is strength’ and ‘might is right.’ Simply put, there is no national right for Oromo without empowering the people to have a might or strength. One way of strengthening the Oromo nation is by fostering unity of purpose among all the fragmented political groups. I think the already started Oromo Democratic Party of Lemma Magarsa can help this be materialized. Despite the concerns and fears expressed up to now, let’s go on and make a constructive dialogue. As one Oromo proverb describes: ‘dubbii baha hin dhowwan, galma dhorku malee’ = it is not good to hinder a beginning of any discussion, but important is to influence its outcome. Whether the already started Oromo Democratic Party is so bad to prohibit or good enough to promote freedom and democracy in Oromia/Ethiopia will be seen in the future process. It is up to us, Oromo nationalists, to determine whether we can use the well performing Democratic Party as an instrument either for negative prohibition or for positive promotion of our national purpose to achieve freedom. Beside our efforts to promote this Oromo cause, may Waaqa help us utilize the Democratic Party in order to promote, but not to prohibit freedom and democracy in Ethiopia!

Galatooma!

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Paradigm Shift: from Independent Oromia – through Federal Union – to Integrated Ethiopia?

Paradigm Shift: from Independent Oromia – through Federal Union – to Integrated Ethiopia?

Actually an independence is what a minority nation at the periphery seeks, federal union is what minority people at the center choose and an integration is vision of majority over all the country. The first one is kaayyoo ganama (first version of our vision), which the Oromo raised as we were very insecure. The second is kaayyoo guyyaa (second version) we are now prefering after being a bit secured. The third one is kaayyoo galgala (third version), which we will opt in the future, when we will be not only secure, but also confident enough never to lose the gains we had! So fighting for an independence was past (white) politics, opting for a union is present (red) movement and striving for an integration will be future (black) politics of Oromo people!

I do now think that Oromo liberation movement has two wings and a backbone as three important positions, from where it is fighting against the enemy. One wing (Haile Fidaa’s wing) wants to transform the whole Ethiopia, name the country as Oromia if necessary and promote Afaan Oromo to a federal language of the country, but disregarding self-rule of the Oromo national area. The backbone (Galaasa Dilbo’s position) wants to establish an independent Gadaa republic of Oromia, which will have an influential position in whole region of the Horn of Africa. Another wing (Leenco Lataa’s) wants to liberate Oromia within Ethiopian union and make it be a leading nation-state of the whole country. These three parts of Oromo national liberation movement are now trying to harmonize their moves against our common current enemy, i.e. the fascist, Abyssinianist and racist TPLF leadership. Accordingly, we do now find Oromo national liberation movement in spectrum of opposition parties and liberation fronts against the oppressive regime. Surprisingly, there is no organization on the ground to represent the whole national liberation movement coordinating and accommodating all the three parts. This reality persuades us to think that Oromo liberation in one of the above mentioned three forms is inevitable, and the possible future three types of our sovereignty are not as such disadvantageous for Oromo people.

The three parts of our liberation movement are results of the three approaches Oromo nationals do have towards our history. As once written on Gadaa.com, it seems that we are treating our history in three dimensions: (1) as only common proud history of Oromia and Abyssinia, such as Adwa battle; (2) as only a conflicting parallel history of Oromia and Abyssinia, such as Minilik’s invasion and the so-called Oromo expansion; (3) as both common proud history and conflicting parallel history of Oromia and Abyssinia. Now, we do see that consequences of the above three approaches are three possible destinies regarding future Oromia’s sovereignty. If we want to achieve our freedom efficiently, despite these different views, we have to firstly try to fight together for our common freedom from Abyssinianist elites’ system of domination, and then settle to choose one of the three types of sovereignty based on the version of Oromo history we respectively do have in mind. It is clear that:

– Leencoo group, who tends to accept both the common proud part and the conflicting parallel part of our history, opt for liberation in Anglican model. The English people liberated themselves from 700 years rule of Roman empire, forged England as an autonomous region and united it with neighboring others to form the United Kingdom; they also used English as working language of the Kingdom. Can’t Oromia, being autonomous and free from alien forces, be united with the neighboring autonomous regions to forge a United Ethiopia, similar to that of the United Kingdom and promote Afaan Oromo to a working language of the union?

– Galaasa front, who perceives only the conflicting parallel history, prefer liberation in Russian style. Russian elites dismantled Soviet union and established Russian federation, which uses Russian national language. The federation still does have influence on its neighboring nations, because of its economic and military strength. Does this way of dismantling Abyssinian empire and fostering the highly wished independent republic of Oromia to have further influence over other liberated neighboring countries more advantageous than the other two types of sovereignty?

– Fidaa movement, who believes in only the common proud history, tend to choose liberation of Oromia in the Indian type. The Hindi people liberated themselves together with all nations and nationalities in their region and named the whole country as India, made Hindi the working language of Indian federation and, of course, divided the national area of Hindi into multiple federal regions. Why not we, Oromo people, liberate whole nations and nationalities in the empire, change the GYR (Green-Yellow-Red) flag to the BRW (Black-Red-White) if we want, promote Afaan Oromo to working language of the federation and call the whole country Oromia, if necessary,  with the historical local Odaa’s (Odaa-Bisil, -Bulluqi, -Bultum, -Gaarres, -Makodi, -Nabee and -Roobaa) being the future separate federal regions of the country?

All Oromo nationals are entitled to choose what we do believe is the best for our nation. What matters, at last, is, of course, voice of Oromo majority. I think Oromia’s self-rule and/or Ethiopia’s shared rule should be agenda of Oromo people, in contrast to the federation or separation goal of Tigrayan elites. Interestingly, the three Abyssinianist groups (elites of Amhara, Tigrai and Eritrea) have got only one dictatorial option respectively in their political struggle: Amhara elites still can only sing about Indian-type for they know that Amharinya has got privilege to be federal language of the empire; Eritrean elites, as a minority at the periphery, were so insecure to live within Ethiopia so they had only the alternative of separation (Russian-style); Tigrayan elites can neither have language privilege to opt for Indian-type nor the capacity to live alone as an independent nation in order to choose Russian-style, so they stick to Anglican-model. But, Oromo people being majority at the center, can play all the three democratic cards (Anglican-model, Russian-style and Indian-type) as long as rule of the game in the country will be freedom and democracy. So, let Oromo people use our advantage and struggle with all pro-freedom and pro-democracy forces of the empire against TPLF to come to position of voting for one of these three options we do have.

As far as I am concerned, all the three ways are not harmful, but the decision must be made by politically-conscious Oromo polity and Oromo public per referendum, when the time comes. This short essay is a bitter pill I wanted to present to Oromo foes, who are nowadays delighted by observing division of Oromo liberation movement into three. For their information, Oromo movement has got in its pocket, from the very beginning, only one goal of freedom, which, at the same time, can be interpreted as three types of post-freedom sovereignty, and it plays with these three cards of sovereignty based on the objective reality it is in, i.e. according to the “here and now” of situations!

Galatooma!

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Ethiopia of Lemma Magarsa’s ODP is Prototype for Future African Federation

Ethiopia of Lemma Magarsa’s ODP is Prototype for Future African Federation

Ethiopia (Great Oromia), a multinational state in Africa (i.e. a state formed based on ethnic regions), in contrast to the mononational states of Europe, is one of the countries still suffering from sequel of an attempt by European colonization in the region and from an impact of the realization of Abyssinian colonization over other nations like the Oromo. We all know that the name Ethiopia is a contaminated and abused name. It has got different meanings: according to the Bible, it is Cushland; according to Greeks, it is land of blacks (burned face); according to Tigreans, it is Axum empire; according to Amharas, it is Abyssinia; and according to Ethiopianists from oppressed nations like those from the southern nations, it is the current geographical state. For Oromo nationalists, it is a symbol for the system of domination. Ethiopia existed as feudal monarchy till the rule of Teferi Mekonnen, as military dictatorship of Mengistu, and as dictatorial revolutionary democracy of Mele and co. Will the next step be forging of democratic federalism by ODP (Oromo Democratic Party of Lemma Magarsa – the transformed OPDO to serve Oromo interest, instead of obeying the hegemonist TPLF) and others? According to program of ODP, it is understandable that the move is towards democratic true ethnic federation in contrast to TPLF’s dictatorial fake ethnic federation.

Regarding ODP’s program on administrative structure, it supports the right of all nations and nationalities to be organized in their territories at community, district, province (zone) and state levels. What a fantastic structure! This can be a good example for the whole of African multinational states. To tackle the problems of nations in Africa and to deal with the present global challenge, Africans are trying to come together and forge USA (Union States of Africa). Till now, we are looking at U.S.America or EU (European Union) as an example. For instance, Amhara democrats, who want to get rid of ethnic federation and want to establish Ethiopia as a melting pot (melting all nations in to Amharic speakers), do look at U.S.America. as a model, whereas Oromo liberation forces, who want to establish an independent democratic republic of different nations, which may further forge union of free peoples based on free will, do like the model of EU. But both US and EU can not be good examples for Africa. US is melting pot for all nations around the world migrating to America and learning English language. EU is union of well developed and independent mononational states, all using their own respective languages.

Africa can be neither melting pot nor union of developed mononational states. The nations in Africa are diverse in development and size. What is good for Africa is to build union (federation) with autonomous national areas for all nations aka “ethnies”. Based on their size and development, some nations can forge mononational state like Oromia region. Others, which are too small to have their own state can forge multinational state like SNNP, with all nations having their own province, district or community as autonomous national areas based on their size. Relatively bigger nations like Sidama can have their own autonomous province, nations smaller like Alaba can have autonomous district, and the smallest nations like Dorze can have their own autonomous community. Based on their geographical position, certain small nations like Agaw and Harari can join the bigger neighbor nations like Amhara or Oromia, but have their own autonomy, be it as province, district or community. Such five tier organization (African federation — mono-/multinational states — mono-/multinational provinces — mono-/multinational districts and mono-/multinational communities) is the best way of administrative arrangement for Africa.

In Short, ODP’s Ethiopia model can be used as a prototype for African future federation, just changing the current ethnic federation’s fake status under TPLF to a very genuine one, for which ODF, ODP and OFC are struggling. Then, we will have not only an integrated Ethiopian union, but also an integrated continent Africa, which will be build on the center called Oromia with Finfinne as a capital. Oromia will be a sovereign state in United States of Africa, so can be Amharaland, Tigrai and other nation-states. The only question we people need to ask ourselves is that, at which administrative level are we thinking, talking and walking when we try to deal with politics? If we are ready to accept and think at level of the above five tiers, then we can look at the fact that ethnic federalism or language-based federalism, rather than geography-based federalism, is a panacea for regional union of Ethiopia and  continental integration of Africa.

In respect to the development in this direction, thanks to CUD and OLF, formation of AFD was the first nightmare TPLF ever experienced. The formation of similar alliance at home (Medrek) by the OFC and UDJ with parties of other nations was the second nightmare. But if and only if parties like the UDJ would accept and respect ethnic federation, then the move of Negasso Gidada to join UDJ instead of OFC was not disappointing for the Oromo. Otherwise, ODP’s vision is a better hope in comparison to TPLF’s fake federation, but not the best hope; PAFD definitely will be the best hope for the nations in the empire. Having Ethiopian union of nations as envisioned by ODP, OFC and ODF is really good, whereas PAFD fortunately will have the same result based on referendum by the concerned public. PAFD’s action will lead to the lasting result and the end-goal (regional union of nations per referendum), whereas that of ODP is only temporary and leads us only to a mid-goal of nations in Ethiop, i.e to union of nations per consensus of the involved parties without taking into consideration the will of the concerned public.

The fulfillment of the above mentioned hope is because of the fact that both ODP and PAFD are on the same middle line (in the political spectrum of the empire) trying to establish union of peoples, on the contrary to the ultra-left liberation fronts needing to achieve only unconditional national independence without a possible union and  the ultra-right political parties striving for unconditional integration in form of assimilating all nations in to Amharinya speakers. Also ODF is sending a shocking wave to TPLF circle. According to its leaders, even AG7 is pursuing to achieve the goal of a union of nations per public verdict in the future union per referendum. If this is true, then ODF cooperating with AG7 and forming an alliance called Ethiopian National Movement (ENM) is almost the same to supporting PAFD. The only difference is that ODF wants to get freedom from TPLF fascists peacefully, whereas PAFD tries all-inclusive method. Then, the future political move in Ethiopia will be from the status quo (position of TPLF with its fake ethnic federation), first to position of ODP forging true ethnic federation (self-administration) and then to position of PAFD to realize the right of nations to self-determination!

According to the recent interview given by leaders of the different Oromo liberation fronts, their organizations are moving towards a united front, then further together to revive AFD (PAFD + ENM), the alliance with democratic forces and freedom fighters of other nations. This will be a very good move to strengthen the struggle against fascist TPLF. I hope this alliance in Diaspora will be reactivated soon and will galvanize the struggle for freedom and democracy at home being cooperated and coordinated with the struggle of  ODP ans Medrek.

As far as other African multinational states formed by colonial powers are concerned, they should learn from ODP’s Ethiopia two things: firstly, they need to accept and respect the God-given right of their nations and nationalities in order to help them have self-administration and self-determination, so that they can use and develop their own respective national languages instead of still worshiping colonial languages. Secondly, they need to foster ethnic federation with different administrative levels of five tiers as described above to promote cultural, economic and political autonomy of all nations and nationalities in Africa, which will be democratic bases for the future United State of Africa, the continent being free from negative influence of both the hitherto colonial borders and colonial languages.

Galatooma!

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