Union Oromia (Federal Ethiopia) of Dr. Abiy as Common Home is Win-Win Solution for the Conflict Between Pro-Independence Oromo and Pro-Integration Amhara

Union Oromia (Federal Ethiopia) of Dr. Abiy as Common Home is Win-Win Solution for the Conflict Between Pro-Independence Oromo and Pro-Integration Amhara

This article is based on the discussion among different political groups in the hitherto Tigrean empire, which was ignited by one open letter written by Dr. Fikre Tolassa and directed to Dr. Bayan Asoba. The letter was containing a different, but relatively new, version of Amhara-Oromo “history”. It motivated us to think about the possible win-win solution for the hitherto conflict between elites of the two big nations of Oromia (Ethiopia) – the Amhara and the Oromo, so that they can find a common ground to cooperate against the currently ruling fascist and racist TPLF regime. Because of the short opinion I forwarded as a response to Dr. Fikre’s open letter, I was asked by many readers per e-mail to elaborate a bit more about what I mean by “Union Oromia as common home”. Thus, I try in this piece of essay. First of all, to make clear to my readers, I am not historian, geologist, politician, anthropologist or ethnologist to falsify or verify Dr. Fikre’s version of history. I am simple Oromo individual interested in Oromo cause and try to dig deep about the Oromo. Let me then try to describe the two interesting Oromo perspectives regarding our history as well as our destiny and look at the variety regarding their implication.

As I read and understood till now, there is one perspective, which tries to show us how the Oromo are related to Egypt, to an origin of Cushitic civilization, to the city of Meroe, and it tries to figure out how Oromo destiny should include a possible Oromo (Cush) renaissance. It teaches us how the Oromo-proper is a “stalk” for all Cushitic nations in the North-East Africa. I think Dr. Fikre’s view belongs here. The other perspective seems to be a view of genuine Oromo nationalists striving to achieve freedom of the Oromo, including liberation of Gadaa Oromia (OLF’s Oromia) from the current Tigrean subjugation, whatever history of the Oromo could be, even though it concentrates on the colonial narrative, including the very different origins of Amhara (“Semetic”) and Oromo (Cushitic). The other area of difference between the two perspectives seems to be that the first one is more history-oriented whereas the second one is highly destiny-oriented. The first one is digging into history of the Oromo from different perspectives whereas the second one is doing its best to promote liberation of Gadaa Oromia at any cost.

To me, very interesting is an implication of the two positions: implication of the first perspective is to design our final goal as the desired RENAISSANCE of Great Oromia, defining the Oromo as people to include Oromo-proper (who now identify themselves as the Oromo) and Oromo-progeny (all nations which seem to have emerged from Oromo-proper). That means Oromo is inclusive of all Cushitic nations, even including the Semitized Cush nations – the Habesh, i.e. inclusive of most nations in the empire and some in the neighboring countries. Implication of the second position is that it concentrates on an importance of the imperative LIBERATION of Oromo-proper or an independence of the presently demarcated Gadaa Oromia by any means from the subjugation and suppression it is suffering since the last 3000 years. This time span, which is usually adored by the Ethiopianists as time of Ethiopian freedom, is actually time of Oromia’s gradual shrinkage and Oromo’s continuous assimilation so that a lot of its parts lost their original Oromo identity (Oromummaa) and were Abeshanized, bantunized or Arabanized.

I personally can look at the move of the first perspective as a support for the ongoing liberation movement, and I would like to call its move and its supporters as part of the ODF (Oromo Democratic Front including the ODP of Dr. Abiy), a movement which seems now to fight for Oromo liberation within a union of free peoples, and which then may try to influence the other progeny nations to look at their Oromo roots. Even though this movement strives for a union (true federation), it only needs a simple change of the name Ethiopia to Oromia in order to see the suggested Union Oromia within the United Nations (UN). Very clear is that the political stand of the second perspective seems to be position of the OLF, i.e self-determination per referendum of Oromo public on the issue of an independent Gadaa Oromia (map now demarcated by the OLF). If the ODF will push further for such Union Oromia and this will be accepted by Amhara and other nations, then seeking Gadaa Oromia within the UN is just unnecessary. Surely, Oromo nationals will be satisfied with such union Oromia in the UN, and Amhara as well other patriots just need to swallow this change of the name as a compromise, if they are really interested in territorial integrity of the country they seem to love.

Accepting Oromo’s modern history at face value, which suggests that Oromo is an indigenous nation in the region and it is an origin for most other nations, I can say that the Oromo till now used to exercise self-destruction under the influence of different forces from the Middle-East and from the West. As an example, the Axumite Oromos (Abeshanized ones) destroyed the traditional Oromo of Meroe, and the Amharanized Oromos like Emperors Theodros, Minilik, H/Sillasie and dictator Mengistu as well as the Tigranized Oromo individuals like Emperor Yohannes and tyrant Melles Zenawi destroyed the well preserved cultural identity and attacked the heroic resistance and resilience of the Oromo-proper. Here, it is important to mention that Oromo-proper is the most dissent which resisted an influence from the outside world and kept its indigenous religion and language. Some scholars even tend to say, this is a reason why the name “Gaallaa” is given to this NAY-sayer nation. The word seems to have been driven from an Arab word “Qallaa,” which means “said NO.” I can say that Arabs gave Oromo people this name for they resisted accepting Islam at the cost of Waaqeffaannaa (traditional Oromo religion). Then, Habesha elites (Habeshanized Oromo-progeny) further gave it more negative connotations.

The question to be raised and to be answered now is: how can we, Oromo-proper, who are now fighting for our liberation from domination by the “ignorantly arrogant” TPLF elites, achieve this goal? What is the implication of having these two positions (pro-ODF and pro-OLF perspectives) in Oromo society? Are the two positions irreconcilable? Is position of ODF a prerequisite to promote position of the OLF or vice versa? I write this opinion and ask these question to provoke thinking and to stimulate an action in Oromo community. My political stand here is not necessarily the last well thought and not the most important one.

As far as I am concerned, the two perspectives and positions are complementary, not contradictory, to each other. Fact on the ground is that now Oromo nation (Oromo-proper) is suffering under subjugation by the TPLF, and we have to be liberated unconditionally. To be successful in this struggle, we need both the ODF and the OLF with theirs noble positions on human and national rights of Oromo-proper to self-determination. This ensures our national liberation at any cost without any compromise. As long as there is Habesha domination (mind you Habesha are Oromo progenies) over the Oromo-proper, there will be Oromo liberation movement, and surely, there will be a viable front to fight for freedom. After dismantling the existing empire system and achieving transitional goal for both the ODF and the OLF (Ethiopian union, i.e true federation), we can opt further for either Great Oromia; i.e integrared Ethiopia named as Oromia (if Amhara and other nations agree) or Gadaa Oromia (if Amhara and other nations refuse to live under the name Oromia, but insist on the name Ethiopia).

I think Ethiopian union as transitional solution to independent Gadaa Oromia is a reason for the fact that also the OLF wrote in its programme not only the necessity of independence, but also the possibility of a union. So shortly put, the Oromo do have yet three optional post-freedom goals to achieve, based on the objective realities in the future. The next stop of our liberation journey, which started in Djibouti (colony), passing through Ayisha (status quo of a limited cultural autonomy), will be Diredhawa (true federation); that is why we need to support ODF with all our power. Then, true federation can lead us to either goal of the OLF, i.e. Adama (an independence of Gadaa Oromia) or to the common goal of both fronts – Finfinne (union of free peoples called Union Oromia), which is a necessary step to achieve the required Oromian/Ethiopian (Cush) renaissance.

Sure is that if there will be true freedom and democracy in the future, at last we will achieve final common goal (Great Oromian renaissance), in which both the Oromo-proper and the different Oromo progenies, including the other nations in the Horn (which might not have emerged from the Oromo) will grow together. Here again, without an imperative liberation of Oromo-proper, it is fact on the ground that the whole region will continue to suffer under the present poverty and tyranny. So, the key to prosperity in that cursed region is liberation of Oromo-proper, be it within or without the desired Union Oromia. In short, let’s all Oromo nations (the proper one and the progenies) move now from our hitherto self-destruction to the future self-determination. Let’s continue to be NAY-sayers to subjugation, injustice and tyranny.

To emphasize again, it seems there were always, and there are still today, the above mentioned two views and two perspectives among Oromo nationalists. The cause of these two perspectives seems to be the version of Oromo history we do have in mind and variety of our own individual biography. According to the discussion I had with many fellow Oromo individuals, there are also some who swim and paddle between the two blocks of ideas. What are these blocks and how can we accommodate them in our liberation journey? We can classify our fellow Oromo individuals into two in respect to their view about our history and their wish regarding our destiny:

– Oromo individuals, who seem to accept the history version that we are original Cush nation and even that we are the “stalk” for other Cush nations. The implication of such history is that this group tends to believe and accept the usual demand towards the Oromo people: should stay together with Abyssinians, who are also “our siblings” from the same origin. It is clear, this group tends to advocate for liberated Oromo people within Union Oromia and, if possible, struggle for Oromo renaissance (here Oromo being both Oromo-proper, who now identify themselves as Oromo, and Oromo-progenies, who “lost their Oromummaa gradually in the last 3000 years history”). This is the reason why some Oromo politicians started to speak about necessity of change of philosophy in the Oromo liberation movement, which up to now concentrated only on liberating Gadaa Oromia.

– Oromo nationals, who seem to accept that there can be historical relations between Habesha and Oromo, but believe that the most important is the colonial relation, which started to develop after Habesha rulers invaded and subjugated Gadaa Oromia at the end of the nineteenth century in connection with European colonizers’ movement of the Scramble for Africa. No question, this group thinks that the only destiny of the Oromo is a complete liberation of Gadaa Oromia from the colonization or domination of our neighboring Abyssinia. Of course, this group also sees possibility of a union of nations, after independence of Gadaa Oromia, for possible common benefit of all peoples in the empire.

Some Oromo nationalists wrote to me about the concern they had because of the position like that of Dr. Fikre, which try to tell us that the Oromo are the common origin for most of Ethiopian nations and, as a consequence, the Oromo must take responsibility, not only to liberate Oromo-proper, but also other nations, including the Habeshas. This position, of course, seems to be detrimental to Oromo liberation movement, unless the Habeshas are ready to accept the renaming of Ethiopia as Oromia. That is why also some ODF supporters, who nowadays started to say “we are Ethiopians” need to correct their rhetoric and boldly assert that they do belong to Oromia, so that even Habeshas can start to say “we are Oromians.” Simply put, the concern is that if we believe Abyssinians are Oromos, who lost their Oromummaa in the last 3000 years, it will be difficult to make a radical liberation struggle against our “own.” But this concern is only legitimate if we are ready to be enslaved by “our own” and if we further call the future union of free peoples as Ethiopia. Otherwise, if we agree to rename the union as Oromia and if Afaan Oromo will be the primary working language of the union, no need to have such concern.

I do personally share this concern if we accept to live under colony now and as liberated Ethiopians in the future, disregarding our identity as Oromo and giving up the name of our land – Oromia. The reasons for this concern are firstly, the so called “modern Oromo history” is not yet verified exactly; secondly, Habesha elites, as crooked they always are, try to use this “modern Oromo history” as an instrument against Oromo liberation movement. That is actually what we could observe in the cyberworld in the past many years and in the move of Dr. Fikre. Habesha elites always try to dilute Oromo’s radical step towards freedom and sovereignty by telling us that we, the Oromo people, are part of them as “Ethiopians,” and they actually used such history to try to convince us. They untiredly told us that both Amhara and Tegaru are from the Oromo origin, so liberation of Gadaa Oromia from Habesha subjugators, who also “are Oromo” themselves, is as such “not logical.”

But, let’s leave history for historians. We don’t need either to believe it or deny it. We just start from the status quo. No question that at moment the Oromo are already enslaved by Tegaru elites; so we need to be liberated from this domination unconditionally. Just in front of our eyes, a lot of Oromo nationalists have been killed for they are Oromo nationalists and still a lot are languishing in jails. During this time of tribulations, Habesha elites (“our progeny”) did not look at the Oromo as their own. Why should then the Oromo look at this barbaric tyrants as our own? Let alone the Oromo, even the oppressed Habeshas and other nations should fight against them. To decide our destiny, we need own public verdict; that is why our goal is self-determination. Whatever our history is, we have to stick to this goal.

Disregarding the different versions of our history and our biological origin, we can agree that our nationalism (Oromummaa) depends on the view we do have on our national (Oromo) interest. Those of us, who do support and serve this national interest, are the ones with genuine Oromummaa. Oromummaa is not only about biological origin, but more about psychological make-up and political interest. To that matter, we have seen a lot of biological Oromo individuals who do identify themselves with our foes. I personally think that beyond our origin and beyond the language we do speak, an Oromo with sound mind of Oromummaa is the one who identifies himself (or herself) with being Oromo, Afaan Oromo, our liberation cause and with the Oromo way of life, including Oromo culture. Do the so called Oromo-progeny have such mentality to be part and parcel of the Oromo? Do they in general and Dr. Fikre in particular accept and respect Union (Great) Oromia as suggested here?

In short, I must say that, whatever our history might be or our status quo is, we should push together for our final destiny of freedom and sovereignty, be it in the form of an independent Gadaa Oromia or an integrative Great Oromia. What matters is the Oromo nation we want to build in the future, i.e. an independent and prosperous Oromia, and an emancipated Oromo people (including both the Oromo-proper and the Oromo-progeny). That means, freedom of the Oromo and sovereignty of Oromia, be it within or without a union). Are the Amhara and other nations ready to accept Union Oromia as a means to achieve their highly desired UNITY? If they are really concerned about unity of the country, the better way is to accept and respect our independence in form of this Great Oromia. If they fail to do so, an independent Gadaa Oromia is inevitable. After all, just as the city they called Addisaba is our Finfinne, the country they named Ethiopia is our Oromia. Now, it is up to them to choose either to live in Great Oromia (New Ethiopia) or to be the future good neighbours of an independent Gadaa Oromia. We like it or not, we are leading to Gadaa Oromia of Ob. Galasaa or Union Oromia (true ethnic federation) of Dr. Abiy or Great Oromia (geo-federation) of Ob. Andargachew. May Waaqa give us wisdom to choose the better one!


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Oromo’s three Ideological Models of Galaasa Dilbo, Abiy Ahmed and Andargachew Tsige

Oromo’s three Ideological Models of Galaasa Dilbo, Abiy Ahmed and Andargachew Tsige

Wenn we look at future possible scenario regarding sovereignty of Oromia, there can be three models as already discussed repeatedly:

– achieving an independent Gadaa Oromia as planned by Ob. Galaasa Dilbo et al.

– realization of true multi-national federation of the 9 language based states of the existing federal structure, which is program of Dr. Abiy Ahmed (self-rule of Oromia within shared-rule of democratic Ethiopia, i.e de facto Union Oromia).

– fostering an integrated Ethiopia (Great Oromia) with 20 federal states in a form of multi-regional federation as envisioned by Ob. Andargachew Tsige. Here, we will have the following federal states of Ethiopia: 6 traditional Oromo regional states (Maccaa, Tuulama, Wallo, Baarentu, Arsi and Boorana ); 4 known Amhara states (Shoa, Lasta, Gojjam and Gondar); 4 region-states of the present SNNP (Gibe state of Gurage, Hadiya, Kambata…, Omo state, Sidama state and Kaffa state); 2 Somali states (Isa and Ogaden); and 4 other single states (Tigray, Afar, Benishangul-Gumuz and Gambella).

The three parts of our national liberation movement (OLF, ODP and AG7) are results of the following three approaches we do have towards our history. It seems that we are treating our history in three dimensions: (1) as only common proud history of Oromia and Abyssinia, such as the Adwa battle; (2) as only the conflicting parallel history of Oromia and Abyssinia, such as Minilik 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 the future Oromian sovereignty. If we want to achieve our freedom efficiently, despite these different views, we have to firstly try to fight together for our common agenda of freedom from Abyssinianist elites’ system of domination, and then settle to choose one of the following types of sovereignty based on the version of Oromo history we respectively do have in mind. It is clear that:

– those, who do perceive only the conflicting parallel history, prefer liberation in Russian style. Russian elites dismantled the Soviet union and established Russian federation, which uses Russian national language, the federation which still does have an influence on its neighboring nations, because of its economic and military strength. Does this way of dismantling Ethiopia (Great Oromia) and fostering the highly wished independent Gadaa Oromia to have a further influence over the other liberated neighboring countries more advantageous than the other two types of sovereignty?

– those, who tend to accept both the common proud and the conflicting parallel parts of our history, opt for liberation in English model. English people liberated themselves from the 700-years rule of Roman empire, forged England as an autonomous region and united it with neighboring others to form British United Kingdom; they promoted English to working language of the Kingdom. Can’t Oromia, being autonomous and free from alien forces, be united with the neighboring autonomous regions to forge Ethiopian union, similar to that of British United Kingdom and promote Afan Oromo to working language of the union?

– those, who do believe in only the common proud history, tend to choose liberation of Ethiopia (Great Oromia) of Indian type. Hindi people liberated all nations and nationalities in their region, and named the whole country as India, made Hindi working language of Indian federation and, of course, they divided national area of Hindi into multiple federal regions. Why not Oromo people liberate the whole nations and nationalities in Ethiopia, call the whole country ‘Oromia’ and promote Afan Oromo to working language of the federation, with the historical local Odaa’s of Oromia (Odaa-Bisil, -Bultum, -Gaarres, -Makodi, -Nabee and -Roobaa) being future separate federal regions of the country?

In general, common denominator of the three parts is a struggle for freedom from tyranny of TPLF regime and then fostering democracy, so that the Oromo and other peoples will decide per referendum, which model of sovereignty to be materalized: Galaasa Dilbo’s independent Gadaa Oromia or Abiy Ahmed’s federal Union Oromia or Andargachew Tsige’s integrative Great Oromia? As far as the Oromo are concerned, the first aim (kaayyoo ganamaa) was dominating as we started liberation struggle in the past at our political level of low confidence, the second goal (kaayyoo guyyaa) is now the pragmatic politics of our intermediate confidence at present and the third objective (kaayyoo galgalaa) will be our future politics of high confidence level. May Waaqa help us grow our confidence level slowly to the last version!

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Oromo’s Paradigm Shift: from Gadaa Oromia of Galaasa – through Union Oromia of Abiy – to Great Oromia of Andargachew?

Bildergebnis für andargachew tsige

Oromo’s Paradigm Shift: from Gadaa Oromia of Galaasa – through Union Oromia of Abiy – to Great Oromia of Andargachew?

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 (Gadaa Oromia) is kaayyoo ganama (first version of our vision), which the Oromo raised as we were very insecure. The second (Union Oromia) is kaayyoo guyyaa (second version) we are now prefering after being a bit secured. The third one (Great Oromia; i.e Democratic Ethiopia) 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 (Andargachew’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’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 (Abiy’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. 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 (Gadaa Oromia, Union Oromia and Great Oromia). 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:

– Abiy’s 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 used English as working language of the Kingdom. Can’t Gadaa 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 Gadaa Oromia to have further influence over other liberated neighboring countries more advantageous than the other two types of sovereignty?

– Andargachew’s movement, who believes in only the common proud history, tend to choose liberation of Great Oromia (Democratic Ethiopia) 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 over all the country, 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!


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Andargachew Tsige’s Ethiopia and Galasa Dilbo’s Oromia are Two Sides for Freedom Coin of Abiy Ahmed!

Andargachew Tsige’s Ethiopia and Galasa Dilbo’s Oromia are Two Sides for Freedom Coin of Abiy Ahmed!

Both smart foes and stu’pid friends tried to contradict these two types of post-freedom sovereignty so that Oromo nationalists could fight each other on such pseudo-conflict. In reality, both objectives are two good alternatives, out of which Oromo people will choose in due time or we can have both at a time, as Dr. Abiy is now striving. Both camps need to cooperate on the struggle for common denominator, i.e for freedom. Anti-Oromo TPLFites usually try to atagonize Oromo forces and tell us that the ODP of Dr. Abiy and the OLF are enemies to each other; but where is the contradiction between the two? Both are operating on the same line: achieving ODP’s objective is part and parcel of OLF’s objective and vice versa! As far as I am concerned, there are two political lines now fighting against the currently ruling Tigrean hegemonists: the ODP-OLF line leading to multi-national federation as a very good prelude to free Gadaa Oromoa within federal union (Ethiopia = Great Oromia) and the AG7-CUD line wanting to foster multi-regional federation as a prelude to a integrative Great Oromia (new Ethiopia). I think, at the moment, most of the politicians in both camps (ODP-OLF line and AG7-CUD line) are typical V-minded people, who do antagonize, moralize and emotionalize minor differences between the two lines of thought. I hope they will be transformed to Y-minded constructive personalities in due time.

To make both genuine national independence of Gadaa Oromia and/or a regional integration of Ethiopia (Great Oromia) become a reality and to help the struggle for freedom be successful, certain questions must be answered. For instance: despite the fact that the two groups (ODP-OLF line and the AG7 -CUD line) in Ethiopia are under a very dire situation now, why did they fail not to foster an alliance of liberation forces (alliance of both lines)? One brilliant Oromo intellectual once raised nice question: “how can we overcome mentality of the 19th century?” The answer to this question can be: the only way for us to overcome this mentality is by embracing 21st century mentality of democracy. The 19th century mentality of brute force and mischieve, under which few of Oromo elites and most of Habesha elites are suffering, is backward mentality of dictators (V-minded politicians); whereas the 21st century mentality is that of democrats (Y-minded politicians), who do believe in human and national freedom to self-determination. For what do both letters V and Y stand here? Who are these V- or Y-minded politicians?

To understand V-minded politicians, let’s just imagine big letter V and try to visualize that at bottom junction of the letter are TPLF dictators keeping the status quo of Tigrean hegemony; at left top of the letter are dictatorial ODP-OLF line; and at the right top are dictatorial AG7-CUD line. If we look at the way how these three forces deal with each other, they just do want to achieve their respective goals unconditionally: Tigrean hegemonists want to keep their domination at any cost, dictatorial ODP-OLF line tries to achieve multi-national federation and/or independence at any cost as well as dictatorial AG7-CUD line also wants to achieve multi-regional federation and/or integration at any cost. Especially, unconditional positions of the two lines, i.e that of ODP-OLF line and AG7-CUD line, who are antagonizing each other and continiously barking at each other, is a trillion dollar lottery, which the ruling Tigrean elites are enjoying now by further dividing and polarizing these two opposition camps, because of the fact that both of them as dictators (V-politicians) can not forge a challenging alliance against TPLF!

To see who Y-minded politicians (democrats in the two opposition camps) are, let’s just try to imagine a very big letter Y and try to distinguish four points on the letter (bottom tip, middle junction, left top, and right top). Then, let’s imagine that bottom tip is status-quo of Ethiopian politics, where both ODP-OLF line and AG7-CUD line are under tyranny of TPLF; middle junction is a point for freedom of Ethiopian nations from tyranny (common goal of both lines); left top is point of multi-national federation and/or independence; and right top is point for multi-regional federation and/or integration. Then let’s imagine that this letter Y is a route of liberation journy for both lines from tyranny or from their present common situation, towards their short term goal (common goal of freedom) and their respective long term goals (diverging respective goals of multi-national federation leading to independence of Gadaa Oromia or multi-regional federation leading to integration of Great Oromia). Can we imagine that democrats of these two lines do have a possibility to move from bottom tip (point of tyranny) to middle junction (point of freedom) together? This is our common route for the journey towards this common converging short term goal of freedom. Then after will come two diverging routes towards two different and diverging long term goals of the two lines: left top = multi-national federtion as a prelude to independence (long term goal of ODP-OLF line) and right top = multi-regional federation as a prelude to integration (long term goal of AG7-CUD line).

Now, if we could imagine this letter Y very well, it is not hard to comprehend that we need alliance of the two lines to move from status-quo of tyranny to point of freedom, not to move together to right top or together to left top. After achieving our freedom together, it is upto the public to decide per referendum which direction to move further: to left top or to right top. If the majority will choose to move to right top, then our common long term goal will be similar to that of AG7-CUD line, i.e multi-regional federation as a prelude to an integrated Ethiopia (Great Oromia). Otherwise, if the majority will choose to move to left top, no dictator can hinder the public from achieving multi-national federation, which is a very good prelude to Gadaa Oromia’s independence.

The main thing which irritates some of pro-OLF nationalists and make them suspect the motive of ODPites is the name Ethiopia they use as trade package for their Great Oromia. Actually the name Ethiopia is more appropriate for Cush (Oromo) than for Habesh (who claim to be from Semetic origin). The name Ethiopia, despite its original meaning (land of burnt face), has got positive connotation due to its association with the biblical Cush and due to myths built around the name by Europeans. But, the name is contaminated and spoiled by Abyssinian elites, who stole the name and misused it: they made the name Ethiopia be equivalent to land of Habesh, not that of Cush; they told a fiction that the Oromo are newcomers to Cushland; they systematically marginalized all Cush nations from political center; they demonized Cushitic cultural heritage like Waaqeeffanna, Odaa, Cushitic tricolor (black-red-white) and replaced them with Habesh elements; they made the name Ethiopia be the same to their system of domination in form of monarchy and theocracy; they purposely oppressed Cushitic languages, specially Afaan Oromo and prevented them from being working languages of the whole country; in contrary, they imposed their Semetic languages on all Cushitic nations; today Ethiopiawinet in reallity means Habeshawinet, not Kushawinet as it had to be; …etc

When we look at the above maneuvers from the Habesh side, it is legitimate, when the Oromo in particular and all Cushitic nations in general reject this name Ethiopia and Ethiopiawinet. If Ethiopia should survive in the future, it has to regain its true Ethiopia nature (being Cush) and has to be devoid of Habesh elements (Pseudo-Ethiopia). That means, the future new Ethiopia should be: equivalent to land of Cush (the future True Ethiopia), not land of Habesh (the present Pseudo-Ethiopia); with Oromo as the political center and political majority; with all Cushitic nations be the main participants in the political center; with Cushitic cultural heritage (Waaqeffannaa, brw-flag, …etc) be main elements of true Ethiopia; with no domination of Amharinya and Orthodoxy; with Afaan Oromo and other cushitic languages be primary working languges of the whole country; out citizenship identity will be equivalent to Kushawinet (True Ethiopiawinet), not to Habeshawinet (Pseudo-Ethiopiawinet). If these things may not happen so that the new and true Ethiopia will be de facto Great Oromia, the Oromo will give pseudo-Ethiopia a good-bye kiss and move for our own Gadaa Oromia unconditionally! So, the future alternatives are Gadaa Oromia of the OLF and/or Ethiopia  (Great Oromia) of the ODP. Till this will be clear, Oromo people have got a very legitimate reason to reject Ethiopian citizen identity. Above all, Habesh regimes intentionally targeted Oromo nation and did the worst state terror in the name of Ethiopia on this noble people, so that the name Ethiopia is very negatively associated in hearts and minds of the Oromo.

This reality persuades us to put a priority in fighing our real and potential enemies. Right timing is very important especially for the pro-indepndence Oromo in trying to define our foe and friend regarding who can work when, with whom or against whom. I think especially the pro-independence forces need this logical differentiation and should know the right timing! The pro-independence forces need to look at the three stations in their journey:

– first station is the time-now, where the struggle is between Tigrean Hegemonist force and the three groups of freedom fighters (pro-independence like Galasaa Dilboo, pro-federalism like Abiy Ahimed and pro-integration like Andargachew Tsige)

– second station is the time after freedom from the hegemonist force, when there will be a conflict between Great Oromiansts (pro-integration) and Union Oromianists (pro-federalism) and Gadaa Oromianists (pro-independence). This conflict can be solved through consensus or democracy (referendum) or force.

– third station is the time after getting a victory over Great Oromianists through one of the above three methods, when we will decide on the conflict of objectives betweeen Union Oromianists and Gadaa Oromianists (solution will be hopefully through either concensus or referendum). The decision can be in favour of an independent Gadaa Oromia.

If we just consider this right timing, it is absurd on the side of pro-independence fighters to call or label pro-federalism and pro-integration forces as enemy. The only enemy now is actually the hegemonist TPLF. Pro-integration Great Oromianists like Andargachew can be enemy of pro-independence forces only at the second station, if they refuse consensus or referendum and opt for force to achieve their goal. Pro-federalism forces like Abiy can be enemy to pro-independence forces only at the third station, only if they also refuse consensus or referendum and use force to achieve their objective. So, let’s have right timing to differentiate foe and friend at the respective stations! It is true that we all are trying to get solution for the existing political conflict in Ethiopia. In summary, there are three possible ways:

– consensus of the polity: all stake holder political groups should try to come to consensus on one of the three existing political arrangments (independence or federalism or integration). This is almost impossible as we saw it in alliance building process up to now.

– democracy as rule of political game, so that decision for one of the three arrangements can be done per public verdict (referendum). This is a possible way, if we are mature enough and feel responsible for the future stability.

– force as an option, like what we did till now, which is an irresponsible way of solving conflict for it costs much and brings us back to square zero; unfortunately, it is the still existing way of solving conflicts in Africa in general and in Ethiopia in particular.

We know that there are now four political camps in Ethiopia: 1. hegemonists, who are ruling; 2. integrationists, who want to get rid of the present “ethnic” federation to foster a geography-based federal arrangement; 3. federalists, who try to make the existing federal arrangement be genuine and; 4. independencists, who strive to achieve an independent nation state like republic of Gadaa Oromia. In parallel to the three stations mentioned above, the struggle to solve the conflict also has got three phases:

– in the first phase now, the three freedom camps (pro-independence, pro-federalism and pro-integration) are fighting against hegemonists. The method to be used is force, because of the fact that the ruling hegemonists are not open for either consensus or democracy. Surely the three freedom camps will win.

– in the second phase, the struggle will be: the two national sovereignity camps (pro-independence and pro-federalism) vs the integrationists. The methods to be applied are most probabaly either democracy or force, because of the fact that trying to have a consensus has repeatedly failed. Here, I think the victory will be for the two sovereignty camps.

– in the third phase, there will be a competition between independencists and federalists. The method to be used will surely be democracy (referendum). The result can be, for instance, in Oromo’s case: an independent Gadaa Oromia and/or an integrated Ethiopia (Great Oromia). Who will be the winner can be seen in due time.

So, now, let’s concentrate on fighting against the hegemonist TPLF in unison and solve the existing conflict among freedom fighters phase by phase or step by step. To that end, we have to use all possible methods to help the three camps of freedom fighters come together and cooperate against the common enemy – the ruling fascist and racist TPLF. If we fail to help such alliance of purpose between the three camps of freedom fighters, we have to be ready to bear the consequence of being ruled by hegemonists for the next one century. For now, as I have repeatedly wrote, the best lottery, which the TPLF regime got to rule the country for the coming possible many years is the conflict between national sovereignty bloc (pro-independence and pro-federalism of ODP-OLF line) and pro-integration camp of AG7-CUD line. It is very easy to instigate and inflame any sort of conflict between these groups as seen till now. TPLF cadres (the foot soldiers) were/are very busy to saw discord and to produce conflict also among the different pro-integration organizations themselves and among several pro-independence and pro-federalism groups. They pretend as if they are supporters of one side and curse the other side, especially being camouflaged as pro-independence and/or pro-integration and vilify the opposite side. Unknowingly, some genuine anti-TPLF individuals and organizations already fell into this trap, and indirectly did bidding of TPLF cadres. May Waaqa help these genuine freedom fighters not to do the bidding voluntarily without being paid a penny!

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Unity of Dr. Abiy’s ODP and Ob. Leenco’s ODF on Oromoness for Freedom!

Unity of Dr. Abiy’s ODP and Ob. Leenco’s ODF on Oromoness for Freedom!

The Oromo people as a collective entity are without any question suffering under oppression or tyranny since the end of the nineteenth century. This collective entity is trying to get back its lost freedom since the time of occupation or colonization by the invading warlords of Abyssinians. Oromo fought against the old Amhara elites till 1991, and now these same occupied people are fighting against the new warlords (the TPLF) since 1991. Now, it seems descendants of the old warlords are trying to come back, and the new ones are doing their best to stay in very lucrative power of Finfinne palace. The question to be asked again and again is: what should Oromo people do? Continue fighting each other as our enemies in both the old and the new oppressor camps want us to do?

I do write this short essay after visiting certain websites, where some “leaders of Oromo liberation” do write their articles opposing Oromo unity and after listening audios, in which anti-Oromo individuals are vehemently fighting against the move of Oromo nationalists to bring some of our liberation forces together. I am amazed to hear and read from such “Oromo” individuals. I put here the word Oromo in quotation mark for there is a highest probability that they are Afaan Oromo speaking part of our “smart foes” or misguided ones from our own society. Otherwise, I do not see any logic, why any reasonable Oromo should campaign against unity based on Oromummaa (Oromoness) to achieve liberty at this particular time of our worst condition of subjugation.

I tried to understand these “Oromo” individuals opposing our unity and to find out the reason they do have to be as such anti-unity. I found the following main reasons, which they do repeat daily:

– “unity which dismantles unity is not needed or what is now propagated and going on is a fake unity”;

– “unity suggested and led by Obbo Leenco Lataa is fake”;

– “unity excluding other leaders is not true unity”;

– “the Oromo liberation army must not be exclusively controlled by the Oromo Liberation Front”, etc

Before trying to comment on these points of arguments, let me try to define operationally the concepts unity, Oromummaa (Oromo nationalism) and liberty. I do this simple job, and I will repeat what I already wrote many times till both our “smart foes” and “misguided friends” do comprehend, if they really can or want to understand.

Oromo unity must be able to take our diversity into consideration, and Oromo nationalists should have the future democratic federal Ethiopia in mind. In such sense of a possible federation of the Oromo people from different regions, clans and religions, unity is to be defined from the Latin word foedus meaning covenant. Such unity is a union comprising a number of partially self-governing states or regions united by a central (“federal”) government. In a federation, the self-governing status of the component states is typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of the central government. A covenant, in its most general significanse, means any kind of promise or contract, whether it be made in writing or by parol. In a more technical sense, and the one in which it is here considered, a covenant is an agreement between two or more persons, entered into in writing and under seal, whereby either party stipulates for the truth of certain facts, or promises to perform or give something to the other, or to abstain from the performance of certain things.

In such sense, Oromo individuals or groups (based on region, clan, party and religion) should be able to forge such covenant, promise, agreement or contract in order to build a common purpose of establishing future federal Ethiopia as a union of free nations in the region or have a covenant in order to abstain from any sort of destructive words and works which hinder Oromo from achieving the common purpose. For free Oromia in such federal Union to be realized, the positive Oromo nationalism (patriotism) or Oromummaa must be the common ground for all Oromo individuals and groups. What is this common identity: Oromummaa (Oromo patriotism)?

Patriotism is love and devotion to one’s country. The word comes from the Greek patris, meaning fatherland. Patriotism, however, has had different meanings over time, and its meaning is highly dependent upon context, geography, and philosophy. Although patriotism is used in certain vernaculars as a synonym for nationalism, nationalism is not necessarily considered an inherent part of patriotism. Among the ancient Greeks, patriotism consisted of notions concerning language, religious traditions, ethics, law, and devotion to the common good, rather than pure identification with a nation-state (nationalism is such identification). Some scholars even write that patriotism does not require one to agree with everything that his country does and would actually promote analytical questioning in a quest to make the country the best it possibly can be.

In this sense, let me take the beneficial definition, i.e. patriotism as a devotion to the common good. What is the common good for Oromo at this particular time? No question moving from the hitherto oppression to future liberty is the common good all Oromo individuals and groups need to devote to now. This devotion of Oromo, despite all diversities in the nation, to the common good is what I would call true patriotism. The unity we are now struggling for is the one based on such Oromummaa.

The ultimatum goal of this unity of Oromummaa is freedom in a sense of national self-determination, including individual liberty. Self-determination is a process by which a group of people, usually possessing a degree of political consciousness, form their own state and government. According to the UN charter, certain group of people has the right to form itself into a state or to otherwise determine the form of its association with another state, and every state has the right to choose its own political, economic, social, and cultural systems. Moreover, the administering authorities of dependent territories are to ensure political advancement and the development of self-government in those territories.

It is such freedom of the Oromo (self-determination), which needs to be taken as the common good. Additionally, freedom in a sense of individual liberty is to be pursued in the future federal democratic Ethiopia within or without a union of nations in the Horn. Freedom in a sense of liberty has found philosophical expression in individualism. It is the conception of the individual as having certain natural rights that could not be denied or taken away by society or by any external authority, it includes rights possessed by people living in a “state of nature” and not surrendered, only modified, in the social contract by which they agreed to live together in society. Political scientists point out that even in a “state of nature,” people are subject to the law of nature and that the rights enjoyed by them in society are historically acquired and not natural except in a strictly social sense. Liberties are acquired through the joining of like-minded individuals to gain special privileges for themselves.

So, if we do understand freedom in such individual sense (liberty) and in collective sense (self-determination), no question that Oromo do struggle for freedom in both senses. Freedom based on Oromummaa (respecting our diversities in region, clan, party and religion) is the best means we need to achieve freedom in the above both sense. From this perspective, we just ask who are those individuals against our unity of Oromummaa for liberty? As usual, I do see two types of personalities behind this opposition: our “smart” foes and our misguided friends.

Then, the next question is, who are those Afaan Oromo speaking people in pal-media and those Afaan Oromo writing on the websites, and are vehemently opposing the current move of Oromo nationalists and Oromo people to forge and consolidate the best instrument, unity of Oromummaa for liberty? Are they misguided Oromo with genuine argument for they probably see any sort of danger in this unity or are they a well paid and dispatched TPLF cadres just to disturb Oromo unity for they know that it is the only source of force the Oromo do have? To the cadres, I just say: you are doing good job; regarding the misguided Oromo, I would like to advise them to keep indifferent, if they have a position not supporting the unity for some reason. The misguided Oromo better take heed not to harm their own nation by being instruments of our foes knowingly or unknowingly.

Time will show who these anti-unity individuals really are, but indisputable is the importance of Oromo’s unity for freedom, which we want to achieve by any means necessary. Oromo is enslaved, in addition to the help our colonizers got from their Western friends, because of the fact that we gradually lost the unity we had under Gadaa rule. History shows us that the old dominators could conquer Oromo by dividing and using certain parts of Oromo elites; they also ruled till 1991 by instrumentalizing some Oromo elites. The new hegemonists modernized this trend of using collaborators by organizing them under one “Oromo political party.” So they tried to fool Oromo people by saying: “here you are already liberated, and you are now ruled by an Oromo political party.”

Of course, Oromo people are not as such fools to buy such insulting of our intelligence. We know the Afaan Oromo speaking Habesha rulers and the few privileged Oromo mercenaries in the “Oromo party” ruling Oromia are there just to keep the status quo. They keep the hitherto victories out of fearing Oromo people and inhibit further liberation movement just to benefit their masters who are in Finfinne palace. Further liberation move means lose of the lucrative power for their masters from Tigrai. Now being very rich as they are, the TPLF elites can buy any mercenary Oromo or any Afaan Oromo speaking others to sow discord among Oromo nationalists using media and websites as shown above. No wonder that these new colonizers do anything under the sun to inhibit unity of Oromummaa for freedom.

Are the assertions I heard/read in the media and I listed above legitimate reasons for the opposition by individuals against the necessary unity? What does “unity which dismantles unity” mean? Did the individuals want unity being controlled by TPLF? Is any unity not accepted by Afaan Oromo speaking and Afaan Oromo writing anti-Oromo fake? Who are they to discredit and demonize Ob Leencoo? Did they contribute one hundredth of what he did? Are they really concerned that other leaders are “excluded” or did they now get another way of dividing Oromo nationalists? Why do they cry and try to separate WBO from ABO; is this really healthy approach? Is it again new way of dividing Oromo nationalists: ABO vs. WBO? Let readers answer these questions yourselves; I just leave the questions as such.

Thanks Waaqa, despite these all efforts of our “smarts foes”, Oromo community all over the world is engulfed by the notion of unity, and no power on the earth can hinder it. We have seen unity forged by some of our hitherto mini-liberation forces. Now, we are waiting for the best breakthrough, i.e. re-unification of the factions of OLF. Of course, then can follow the possible unification of OLF with UFIO, the possible cooperation of struggle with OFC and even with the true Oromo face of OPDO, i.e. with genuine and non-criminal Oromo nationalists in OPDO (ignoring the TLF face of OPDO or those serving their master). Such tandem action of Oromo nationalists in OPDO, ODF/OFC, UFIO and OLF is the best thing our enemies, be it those longing for the coming back of the old rulers or those trying to keep the new ones in power, can experience. So no wonder if they do everything to make sure that the Oromo will not be united.

They have tried division by presenting as if there is irreconcilable difference of goal among different liberation forces of the Oromo. I hope now many Oromo nationalists (except few, who still pray the old mantra) have got the fact that there is no conflict of goal per se. I repeat it as often as possible: there is only one Oromo-goal (freedom in a sense of self-determination) with three possible sub-goals: tactical goal (Oromia’s autonomy in Ethiopian context), core goal (Oromia’s independence) and strategical goal (union of free peoples). Is this hard to understand or is it a “secret” not to be revealed to our enemies? I think, both our foes and our friends must understand what we want to achieve. This way or that way, freedom is not free! There is nothing our foes give us because of their benevolence.

We just forge unity of Oromummaa for freedom, and then compel our colonizers in Finfinne palace to give up their subjugating grip on Oromo nation. We advise also the Amhara mass and Tegaru mass to distance themselves from both the old war-lordism and the new one, respectively, and struggle for liberty (self-determination) of their respective nations, so that we can build union of free peoples in the Horn for our common economical benefit. Until the great Oromo nation becomes free from Abyssinian colonization/domination, there will never be peace and stability in the region, for which both the Abyssinians and their Western friends long, as a prerequisite for development. So, liberation of Oromia is good not only for the Oromo, but also for other stakeholders of the area.

Last but not least, the beginning of this regional union is unity of Oromo as a covenant for our national common good. Now, it is a time for Oromo groups from diverse regions, clans, parties and religions to undertake such covenant to move together under the common identity of Oromummaa with the positive Oromo nationalism (patriotism) towards the common good, i.e. freedom. After achieving Oromo freedom, there is nothing under the sky which can prevent the free Oromo nation and the free other neighboring nations from fostering the highly advantageous cultural, economic and political union. I hope both our foes and friends will comprehend this move of the Oromo and then accept as well as respect our legitimate move, which is ultimately advantageous for all stakeholders. That is why I dare to say unity of Oromummaa for liberty is not only the right way for the Oromo, but also a panacea for all economic and political problems in the Horn. Otherwise, I just say, may Waaqa open minds of all the concerned, including the oppressors, so that they understand not only what is good for themselves, but what is the common good for all in the region! That common good is now the goal to be persued by ODF/OFC of Ob. Leenco and ODP of Dr. Abiy.

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The Oromo, who Formed the  Empire, Shall Transform it to a Union, Being led by Dr. Abiy!

Bildergebnis für Oromo fighters at Adwa

The Oromo, who Formed the  Empire, Shall Transform it to a Union, Being led by Dr. Abiy!

No question about the Ethiopian empire being forged by two faces of the Tuulama Oromo (the Habeshanized face led by king Menelik and the non-Habeshanized one led by general Gobana). The alliance of these two groups was a mover and maker of the war in that empire building process at the end of the nineteenth century.

After almost a century rule, this empire was takenover by the Habeshanized Agaw in 1991. The struggle now is not to re-takeover the empire and keep it, but to either transform the empire to a union, which we can further call Ethiopia and/or name it as Great Oromia. If the transformation fails, no question that the empire will disintegrate and independent state-nations will emerg – so an independent state of Gadaa Oromia being one of the emerging nation-states.

But, now it seems that the Oromo led by Dr. Abiy of ODP, being supported by Ob. Leenco of ODF and Dr. Marara of OFC are trying to reclaim, reform and rename the empire to Union Oromia.

Read more: https://unionoromia.wordpress.com/2016/09/10/two-alternative-fates-of-ethiopia-an-independent-gadaa-oromia-or-an-integrative-great-oromia/

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Dr. Abiy Said “Oromo Nationalism Belittles the Great Oromo People”: Fact or Fancy?

Dr. Abiy Said “Oromo Nationalism Belittles the Great Oromo People”: Fact or Fancy?

It is interesting to observe Oromo politics in particular and Ethiopian politics in general nowadays. In one of his speechs recently Dr. Abiy Ahmed said “Oromo Nationalism bellitles the great Oromo people”. Many Oromo nationalists are not happy about this assertion of the Prime Minister. But, is there any grain of fact in the statement? The answer is in our political point of view regarding the questions: 1. who are Oromo and 2. where is the border of Oromia? Are Oromo only those who speak Afaan Oromo and identify ourselves as Oromo or does Oromoness include also the lost Oromo in the Horn of Africa, from Egypt to Tanzania? Is Oromia only the Smaller Oromia now governed by OPDO or Small Oromia of the OLF or Ethiopia itself as Great Oromia or the Horn of Africa as Greater Oromia? If we think Oromia is the small Gadaa Oromia and fight to separate it from other parts of Ethiopia, Dr. Abiy’s statement can offend us. If our vision includes that Ethiopia itself is Great Oromia, which the Oromo can claim and transform, then his speech is encouraging. As far as I am concerned, Cushitic Ethiopia, including the Habeshanized part, is in reality Greater Oromia. Oromo nationalism, which doesn’t take this fact in to consideration really bellitles the great Oromo people.

The Oromo are now at the time to think bigger. I think, Dr. Abiy is not against such bigger thinking Oromo nationalism, which claims the Horn of Africa (Greater Oromia) as our home. His approach seems to be: 1stly free Tulluu Dalatti (Menelik palace), 2ndly free Smaller Oromia of OPDO, thirdly free Great Oromia (new Ethiopia), fourthly work for regional integration of the Horn (Greater Oromia) and fifthly promote formation of African federation with its political capital in Finfinne and of course the Oromo playing centeral role in the process. To be successful in such sense, Oromo nationalists need unity of purpose. I personally used to advocate for Oromo unity and that is exactly happening; I tried to promote Amhara-Oromo alliance and this is emerging, despite TPLF’s divide and destroy machination. Qeerro Oromo went to Bahr-Dar to cleanse our biggest lake carrying the slogan “Xanaan keenya” and Ob. Lammaa Magarsa visited Amhara region to start an Amhara-Oromo dialogue with an intention: “Ethiopiyan keenya”. ANDM and OPDO voted for the integrative personality – Dr. Abiy – as PM of the Country.  I am glad to observe my political position being implemented by the ongoing Oromo movement. Both tokkummaa/unity of the Oromo and tumsa/alliance with the Amhara are best anti-dotes against TPLF’s tyranny. The question is only: what hindered us till now from excercising this solutions? Why couldn’t we try to come together for the sake of overcoming the challenges? One of the reasons is that the Oromo till now hesitated to accept Ethiopia as “biyya keenya = our Country”, whereas the Amhara rejected their ethnic identity in order to save Ethiopia. Now, Amharas starting to struggle for their ethnic right and the Oromo begining to entertain the rhetoric, “Ethiopiyan keenya” are good common grounds to approach each other and fight against the fascist TPLF in unison.

When we look at the mindset of Oromo freedom fighters, we can classify ourselves into three, based on our confidence level as well as our visions regarding the post-freedom kaayyoo (goal) and according to an approach to our rivals. Concerning our level of confidence, I would like to say that we opted for independent Gadaa Oromia (kaayyoo ganama = “morning’s goal”) as we were under worst oppression and had low confidence. Then, after achieving some rights through our bitter struggle, we developed more confidence in ourselves (thus, we now have intermediate confidence) and started to entertain federal union Ethiopia (free Oromia within federal Ethiopia) as kaayyoo guyyaa = “midday’s goal”. Slowly, we are seeing and recognizing our future potential to transform Ethiopia to Oromia, so we will have high confidence in the future in order to envision an integrative Great Oromia (transformed democratic Ethiopia, which can be de facto Oromia), thus we will develop kaayyoo galgalaa = “evening’s goal”. Is this what Dr. Abiy has in mind? Is he a step forward ahead of other Oromo nationalists? Based on our visions and approachs to our rivals, there are the following three political generations of Oromo nationalists:

– the 1st generation are communist oriented, who believe in “my way or the high way” principle of the 1960s. Out of the three known types of post-freedom sovereignty (1. independent Oromia = Gadaa Oromia, 2. federal Union = Union Oromia & 3. integrated Ethiopia = Great Oromia), they choose one and say “that is the only solution”. Thus, they are called “arrab-tokkee” (single tounged). By this generation, Oromo nationals, who opt for the other two types (different from position this group) are considered as enemies to be destroyed. For instance, the pro-independence OLF of Ob Galaasa, the pro federation OFDM of Ob. Bulcha and the pro integration MEISON of Dr. Haile Fida belong here.

– the 2nd generation of 1990s are a bit open minded and entertain two of the three post-freedom visions, but reject one of the three vehemently. As examples, the pro-self-determination OLF of Ob. Dawud entertains referendum on ‘independent Oromia’ vs ‘federal Union’, but vehemnetly opposes those who struggle for ‘integrated Ethiopia’ (geo-federation); and the pro-unity AG7 of Ob. Andargachew (also Oromo) supports referendum on ‘federal Union’ vs ‘integrated Ethiopia’, but vehemently rejects any possible vote for ‘independent Oromia’. These two organizations seem to entertain a limited democracy, but they try to dictate the public not to excercise our full right of choice. Thus, they are refered to as “arrab-lamee” (double tounged)

– the 3rd generation of 2020s is yet to emerge! There is no single organization now, which is ready to accept popular free will to choose one of the three types of sovereignty (independence or federalism or integration). Only Fayyis Oromia is advocating these approach and may be some individual politicians like Dr. Nagaaso Gidaada seem to be open for the three post-freedom eventualities. As an organization, ODF and OFC seem to develop in this direction. Can Dr. Abiy be the starter of Oromo movement in a sense of this generation? Mind you, according to the view of Great Oromians (unlike that of Gadaa Oromians), the Axumites and Gonderians are not biologically less Oromo than the Wellegites and Harerians; of course they are culturally lost.

We hope that the Qubee Generation will be smart enough to be open for the three types of sovereignty and to forge an inclusive alliance of all freedom fighters from these three camps against the fascist TPLF. The common denominator for the three groups can be freedom from TPLF and democracy after TPLF. Such arrab-sadee (tripple tounged) freedom fighters are unique to the Oromo liberation movement, in contrast to single tounged Africans (persuing only the independence version), who fought against European clonizers and double tounged minority at periphery (like Eritrea and South Sudan), who had only two options (independence and federation). The Oromo, as majority over all the country, have three possible types of sovereignty to be realized after our freedom (independence, federalism and integration). As far as future accomodative Ethiopia (in contrast to Derg’s assimilative Ethiopia and Woyane’s apartheid Ethiopia) is concerned, the Oromo with high confidence will be pro-integration, whereas the Amhara with low confidence may start to entertain the pro-independence politics. Is Dr. Abiy such highly confident Oromo? Till now, the two nations played the opposite (Amharas being pro-integration and the Oromo pro-independence), due to their past experience and still being fixed on Amhara’s past assimilative Ethiopia, not yet could see Oromo’s future accomodative Ethiopia. That is why low confident Oromo nationalists seem to oppose the bold statement of Dr. Abiy Ahmed.

Oromo nationalists usually seem to have a bit conflict regarding which land to call “biyya keenya = our country”. Which one is our country? Oromia (Biyya-Oromo)? Ethiopia (Biyya-Kuush)? Africa (Biyya-Haam)? 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 Tulama Empire, not Habesha Empire as usually told. It was formed by an alliance of the Habeshanized Tulama led by Emperor Menilik and the non-Habeshanized Tulama led by General Goobana. 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 empire 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 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 the 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-Haam is inevitably our continent (also country); we can call the three levels Biyya-Keenya. We also can call Biyya-keenya (our country) in only 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 final result of our self-determination per referendum as planned by the OLF. As far as I am concerned, self-rule of Biyya-Oromo within shared rule of Biyya-Kuush is a pragmatic solution for the Oromo at present.

Dr. Abiy seems to persue this option, which is shared by the ODF and OFC. Also the OLF is not far from this, it only wanted to give chance to choose for Oromo public. Having autonomous Oromia within united Ethiopia is a feasible solution, but the Oromo should not necessarily limit ourselves within small Gadaa Oromia instead of owning the big Great Oromia (democratic Ethiopia). Does Dr. Abiy’s statement imply this? Now, Oromophobic Ethiopia, which we vehemently rejected is dying, whereas Oromophilic Ethiopia, which we want to save and keep is growing. I think this second version of Ethiopia can be loved by the Oromo and this love is an Ethiopiawinet which will be an addiction to us (“Ethiopiawinet inde hashish suus new” according to Ob. Lammaa’s recent speech in Bahr-Dar. Oromo politics of 2020 may entertain this re-claiming of Ethiopia by the Oromo and say “Ethiopiyan keenya”. If Ethiopia (Great Oromia) is ours, Gadaa Oromia is not necessarily for what we should struggle unconditionally. At the moment, we can be open for three types of post-freedom sovereignty: 1. only Ethiopia, 2. both Ethiopia & Oromia in a form of federation, 3. only Oromia. Dr. Abiy’s bigger vision can get resistance from Gadaa Oromians, but Great Oromians, who claim Ethiopia as Oromia, need not misunderstand his assertion. May Waaqa help Oromo nationalists to tolerate each other in persuing our common cause of freedom together and then excercise democracy in order to decide for one of the above three post-freedom sovereignty options per public verdict!


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