The need for damage control

OLF is a secular political organization. It became a common household name for all citizens of Oromiyaa because of that policy, a policy that rallied them to struggle together for their lost honor and dignity.  That is what made it a symbol of hope for liberation and resistance against injustice. It is to deny this role that anti-Oromummaa forces have come out with their axes to hack it down. Whistle blowers pointed cracks appearing within the leadership of OLF and the looming danger much earlier. Some even went further and requested the National Council (Shanee) to abandon the height it has occupied through conspiracy and call for a balanced Congress that could maintain organizational harmony and unity of purpose and also redirect the way ahead. But they were not listened to until incompetence and system infestation by infiltrators led to its total decay. Its change of strategy from independence to democratization of the empire, the empire that OLF was supposed to dismantle, further created more fissures within the nationalist camp. To save the name OLF from being erased from history, the group took responsibility and tried to uphold the honor of the fallen heroes and the nation. It declared that there is no two but only one OLF with the kaayyoo of liberation and that that was the OLF led by it. But Shanee clung to the name and even tried to prove its legitimacy by taking the other to alien court. But now all pretenses of changing tactics are gone, it is standing bare with its new anti independence and anti Oromo unity strategy.

Those who could not judge the soft heart Shanee developed towards Ethiopia from circumstances, despite warnings by forces of unity and independence, are now looking at it naked in the open. What would they now say when everything has exploded on their face? The Shanee has reached a level at which it cannot be mended let alone playing a role in mending the OLF. The chapter in their book that tells about the right of nation to national self-determination up to and including independence has already been erased. For this reason a measure to salvage the national struggle and unity of the nation from total collapse has to be taken urgently. The dangers hovering over Oromo liberation movement have to be exposed and tackled and the way ahead mapped out immediately. Those who are left from the destruction had to regroup and organize themselves as fast as possible. The way of both groups of Shanee leaders is not one that takes to the goals set by the fallen heroes and heroines but one that belittles and annihilates Oromiyaa.

Groups that sprouted from Shanee are confusing the masses with different tactics. Among them there could be some with a hidden mission. The remaining might have been genuinely focused only on the shortcomings of their organization and could not see the protest being used as a pretext to advance other interests. It did not click any thing in their mind when they try to pull people this way and that way in order to rally them by tribe, region and religion. The way the masses respond to this depends on their source of information. If information they get is only from such a clique they cannot be blamed for inclining towards it. But they must be told repeatedly about the looming danger.

The enemy hullabaloo is all about funning their minor differences in order to divide and crash them one by one. So far there is no tactics it did not apply and wealth it did not sacrifice to paralyze and scatter its vanguard organization the OLF. That was how OLF and all organizations that believe in kaayyoo of liberation and independence are exposed to danger. All leaders of Shanee have hooked their backs to aliens and are defending the empire more than the Ethiopians themselves. Oromiyaa made all that sacrifice for the kaayyoo OLF has upheld, not for these leaders who lack the stamina for a longer haul. The blood of martyrs was to sprout freedom not to be used by individuals to bargain for surrender. The deafening ululation and drum beating we hear from Habashaa camp is the celebration of this surrender.   

How did aliens have information about what happened with in OLF before those who say they found a solution came out to tell the people that wanted change?  Why are those that say they lead the change not able to orderly announce in print what different vision they have from those they claimed to have toppled from power? Is the whole exercise to bring solution to Oromo problems or to satisfy aliens’ desires? Had it been for Oromo interest the conflict that led to this situation should have entered the ears of members who believed and remained with Shanee so far. The issue ought to have been subjected to open debate, as Gadaa tradition demands, not back door meeting of conspirators. The lack of reflection of Oromo interest in the phenomenon starting from the infamous “peace plan” through formation of AFD shows that both functions of Shanee have no better vision for the nation than the groups that had already joined the enemy. For this reason there is no common frame of reference with genuine members of Oromo liberation movement concerning the matter of freedom.

The nation now needs reassurance before it sinks to despair. It is only the hope to victory of its decades old struggle that could uplift its spirit. Finite reactionaries and quitters should not be allowed to detract it from the intended goal. For this reason nationalists have to march forward faster with more determination and commitment than before. Heavens, earth and humans will not like for a number the others can never attain to kneel down in front of a force not more than a tenth of its size. The shame of being kicked around by a minority cannot be washed away from the conscience of one who claims to be a member of over forty million strong population. Shanee groups are in the course of scattering and diminishing that number and force it to kneel for the insignificant force one by one. A wise leader is one who can foresee the consequences of such a course. There is no Oromo that has no region, tribe and religion. No sane person will try to rally support based on such divisions unless the motives are to keep the nation continue under alien subjugation. It has no benefit for any Oromo group except humiliation but sure to lead them all to their doom. A lesson from Gobanaa warns destroying compatriots for benefit of the enemy could lead to own self-destruction.

If they start dividing us into moieties they will never stop until they divide us on family level. Of all religion has international dimension and so delicate. Any implication could amount to opening what is called “Pandora box”. The nation has to be protected if it has to survive as an entity. Any group or individual from any region or religion could lead the nation to independence. What would be wrong is if there is a slight implication that people are being agitated to come for support on those lines. Aliens may woo individuals but its effect should not go beyond them and affect all Oromiyaa. What we talk about and what we do are about objectives and interests of the national movement not about different groups rivalry as to who is better than the other. Lack of transparency could be cause to false alarms. Hence there should be no cover-ups and ambiguity in matters of national interest. There were no rivalry but mutual support between Boorana and Bareentu as far as basics of the national kaayyoo were concerned. Today there is no reason we should insist to go otherwise. That could lead to humiliation and being erased from the list as a people.

 “Change” as a slogan has become a fashion throughout the world. Change could be from good to bad and from bad to good. It is a word that could mean different things for different people. Therefore it is not enough to throw slogan alone. What the supposed change looks like must at least be theoretically explained. Our people are getting fade up of politicians’ lies and propaganda. Now is not the time that it will pass nonsense cacophony with silence. One who promises to bring change should indicate what type of change he/she meant. If it means changing from Daawud Ibsaa it knows starting from his youth to Kamaal Galchuu it heard of recently that can be laughable. Oromo struggle has so far existed not because of them but by the sacrifices its proven heroes/heroines paid and it shall continue relentlessly as it did in the past. It will not cling to foam when there are reeds. Any group that comes to extract Oromiyaa from the deluge must prove that it is not foam but deep-rooted reed on which the nation could cling.

So far OLF believes that Oromiyaa is a colony of Ethiopia and not Ethiopia itself. What does the coming change say about that? If as aliens say it is to democratize the Ethiopian empire it is a different, rotten idea that would take us decades back. That this happened, playing “peek-a boo” would stop and every body will identify each other’s hideouts. The presentation of positions, two, three or more without vacillation will only encourage competition not conflict. It would only mean a hidden force in the disgraced function of the OLF is coming out. That is not new for Oromo movement but only for OLF. Even for OLF it is only what aliens said a decade ago that is being realized now. Those who pushed it out from under the carpet should not be labeled as shameless, but rather deserve appreciation for their boldness.

This change should not be seen easily. Shanee has been muffling it for a long time. Because it was not telling to nationals what it used to tell aliens it has lost trust from both sides. Now it is left with no choice than exposing what it stands for. At this juncture no Oromo can ignore what has happened as a solely Shanee matter. With it an invisible hand is creeping in to divide and destroy Oromummaa. Those who so far have given benefit of the doubt to Shanee have now no excuse not to support those who stand for Oromo struggle for freedom and independence if that was what they really wanted. Otherwise they cannot escape the most humiliating experience their nation had ever seen so far for generations. Many have already started to kowtow for the new situation and started dancing to the tune of “isheshee gadaame”. It is now up to Oromo activists to take measures of damage control by rallying around the objectives of ULFO without vacillation. Their enemy is multifaceted. Therefore their defense should also be multipurpose, political, social and economic. 

OLF stood for freedom and independence. For this reason it only demands that Ethiopia keeps its hand off Oromiyaa not expected to join them in the plunder of Oromo resources. The Shanee, be it of the left or right, stood to democratize Ethiopia, and so will pledge allegiance to the constitution that legitimizes alien rule over Oromiyaa. When we talk of Oromummaa we are talking about the people of Oromiyaa being free, independent and equal. It means having sole authority over the land, the people and resources. It means the rule of law, protection of people’s rights and civil liberties. It means establishing Gadaa principles of freedom of thought and worship. It means fighting injustice committed against it as a people and not hatred for any other race or ethnic group. For Oromummaa all races are equal that is why it does not accept superiority of any race, ethnic group or creed over any other be it international or domestic. Those who are warming up to join the near and far enemies that are intended to control Oromiyaan wealth cannot be viewed differently from them. OLF has raised the consciousness of Oromo to the present level after paying heavy sacrifices. It is not with miracle but that struggle that today we hear on all tongues about equality, liberty, brotherhood and democracy.  It will be a futile exercise for any power to suppress Oromiyaa without affecting its own long-term interest.

All say Oromiyaa shall rise with Oromummaa as it fell with it. This is rooted in the initial OLF thought. Even if they destroy this root it will sprout similar one and will not give chance for a saprophyte. Therefore nationalist should know that getting organized, cleansing from infiltrators and swindlers is not something that time should be given for. Oromo has undertaken armed and political struggle. When the brave follow the armed line our diplomats should carry out diplomatic campaigns. Unless they demonstrate the stamina of struggling for their rights they may not even be considered as existing. Therefore the priority for nationalists would be to gear Oromo with like minds in one direction and assert that Oromo has also strong arm to reckon with. A strong OLF will be a panacea not only for people that look forward for liberation but also for those possessed by enemy magic.

There are talks of reconciling Oromo activists. These may be easier for those who have no difference of principle; those whose quarrel is about competing for Habashaa favor and or those who have difference in tactics of liberation struggle. The first is probably what motivated the counselors. The talk about reconciliation may be only propaganda to buy time for expanding dissension. Oromo culture does not shun araaraa (reconciliation/peace). But those who so far tried lacked understanding of the issue or they might have not approached it in good faith. They may be those who do not want the status quo to be disturbed. Otherwise to help our people distinguish between the message and messenger in the process would be of great benefit. The Oromo must get the chance to compare between different ideas. The jaarsaa (elderly) had the responsibility to resolve conflicts according to the culture, laws and constitution of Oromo fathers. It comes with responsibility to the past, present and future generations and above all to ones conscience.

It may be difficult to find any one free from the scandal that weakened Oromo struggle. But what matters is how many of those are ready to cleanse themselves from the past and see all Oromo with one eye and view interest of the nation differently from other conflicting interests?  To pass for jaarsaa one has to believe in the right of Oromiyaa to exercise its right to national self-determination without fear or threat from a third party. If their aim is solely to mediate between the incumbent Habashaa power and those who are ready to beg for mercy there is no much to talk about Oromo honor and dignity.

Some want us to believe that sacrifices being made by the Oromo as worthless and waist of time and human life.  They intentionally want to overlook the root cause that lead to the resistance and the injustice being perpetrated on the nation by occupying forces. No sensible and just mind would justify the extended occupation of Oromiyaa by alien forces. When this is uttered shamelessly and to the face of the victims it becomes an insult and contempt for human dignity. If this attitude is formulated from the behavior of few bootlickers it will not take another century for them to be proved wrong. Those who want to disseminate this idea are either naïve or good for nothing enemy agents disguised as Oromiyaans.

Be as it may naga and araaraa are the most valued concepts of human relations for the Oromo. Those who want naga and araaraa to come down, must openly present what they think is good for Oromiyaa. The role of jaarsaas will be to create forum where different views are debated up on in a transparent manner. The starting point for the debate will be the political program of the OLF at the time they were together. Those who still believe in independence and those who want to democratize Ethiopia must clearly assert their positions. The name OLF should remain with those who go for independence while the rest have to go under different name. Differences with in independence camp will be more or less technical and can be resolved in good faith. Unless ones mission is to subvert Oromo unity for advantage of aliens the choice between independence and dependence is to be left to the people of Oromiyaa.  But nationalists have to make sure that the choice is made without fear or threat from any party. To bless the outcome would be an honorable act for the jaarsaas.

Oromiyaa is now in a situation where she has become the target of evil machination more than any other time. It is not only the liberation of Oromiyaa but also its continued existence as an entity that is under question from within. Oromo has never been given attention before it came together to form a pan Oromo liberation organization. It will lose that recognition if divisive elements are not corrected in time. A problem in any Oromo group that affects Oromummaa is a problem for all however diametrically opposed they may be in principle. That is why the present problem in Shanee should be a concern for all. Those who call themselves activists have to pull out themselves from alien trap otherwise going down more than this would be a sinking. They had to put aside obstacles in front of them and move to get organized. This movement must be able to distinguish between organizations that are instruments of the enemy and individuals in them. To consider all runaways as traitors and bootlickers and discard them to garbage bin of history would be forgetting the purpose of a liberation struggle. It is tactics of a struggle to sieve those who had intentionally chosen to be quislings and those who had joined to survive for a day and salvage as many as possible. To marginalize those who chose to remain quislings is in order. They are more dangerous enemy than the known ones. At this defining moment of our history unity of activists is indispensable. The door must be open for those who come for naga and araaraa for that are a part of the fabrics of our political tradition. That must lead to the realization of the objectives of ULFO where by the interest of the nation over rides that of groups. Marching together to control damage and salvaging the struggle from destruction is now.

Infiltrators and detractors shall not deceive us! Oromiyaa shall be free!

Ulfinaa fi surraan gootota kufaniif; walabummaa, walqixxummaa fi bilisummaan kan lubbuun jiraniif; nagaa fi araarri Ayyaana abbooliif haa tahu!Ibsaa Guutama

Hagayya 2008
Ibsaa Guutama miseensa dhaloota saganta ABO isa jalqabaa baasan keessaa tokkoo

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