Are you first Oromo or Ethiopian? What question of a naïve?

Oromiyaa is under forced Ethiopian occupation for over a century. For this reason Oromo nationals carry her passport for concerns of international relations. Among the Oromo there are some that are not yet liberated from doubt that Oromiyaa can be a self sustaining entity. For this reason their lives are filled with wavering and lack of commitment. At times they roll on with those determined to establish independent republic of Oromiyaa. At other times they say it would be enough for us if we are granted Ethiopian citizenship as equals. To know where they stand is becoming as baffling as where they are not. It opened the way for contempt of the enemy. Their condition is the result of more than a hundred years of occupation and lack of mental liberation. Observing those types enemies thought they got advantage to divide and attack Oromo. They know if they are asked “are you first Oromo or Ethiopian?” what first come to running dogs lips will be the second one. Such are those Americans call “Uncle Tom” and Oromo call “Galtuu”. The adversary took for granted that all Oromo are like them and ask those they come across, “who are you first Ethiopian or?” with contempt. They wanted to set Oromoo against each other by dividing them into those that say “first Oromo” and “first Ethiopia”. The cacophony heard recently in reactionary Habashaa camp and Oromo camps was the result of the question “are you Oromo or Ethiopian first?” Some days ago we have also seen the barrage of insults and defamations poured over an Oromo from Habashaa camp for saying “I am first an Oromo”.

Another Oromoo nationalist had expressed himself on this issue. In the country he resides the right of expressing oneself is protected by constitution. Habashaa in the Diaspora are seen daily condemning the incumbent Ethiopian Government through mass media and street demonstrations for breach of human rights and the right of self expression. But when it comes to them, in this country where rule of law is supreme and in which they took shelter fleeing from injustice it does not work. They become furious and do not tolerate even a hissing sound from an Oromo. This time they did not stop with fury but kidnapped the Oromo that commented on the issue and were ready to hack him when unexpectedly someone appeared on the scene and they run away before they performed the operation. It is now over two decades since the Oromo started to fly their own colors and activists officially declared that they are not Ethiopians. Habashaa elites are taking Oromo struggle that thousands were sacrificed for, as if nothing happened. Judging from few conformists they have convinced themselves that all Oromo have no objective for independence. They were surprised hearing “I am Oromo first” from their historic serf. Enemy contempt of the feudal days is relapsing. Shying and surrendering cannot make it to rest. Asking questions “Are you Oromo first?” shows only arrogance and ignorance as ever of the interviewer about Oromo struggle.  

Conscious Oromo take violent acts of the enemy for a leaking balloon. It is only one that is unable to stand surrounding pressure and does not have political consciousness that behaves in that manner. An ethnically Oromoo is first Oromo and then after too. One also does not have a competing nationality at the same time. For this reason the slogan is not “I am first Oromo” but will be “I am an Oromo ever”. The Habashaa had pounded and rubbed down for over a hundred years to delete their identity but in vain. They made it crime to use one’s law, culture, religion, tradition and language. Thanks to their peasants they are able to preserve it and save so long under all that happened. Now to expect going back after their children are educated rather than developing more is naked arrogance. Propaganda for defamation and denigrating being advanced by Habashaa elites that fell down from grace is not new; it is continuation of the policy of their fathers that was aimed at denying Oromo viable leadership. If they get a fitting time, they will follow their footsteps and continue assassinations like one tried recently. .

Time has proved that all past policies were unable to stop the wheel of history. However it cannot be said that neighbors cannot form relations based on trust and equality based on free will. At a time when such relations were not formed it is only strangers that ask “What are you first?” But it will be strange for oppressor and the oppressed to behave like one. What makes one rant if an oppressed Oromo tell how he views himself? Seeing that he is awake they wished to tell him “go back to sleep you are us and cannot be yourself”.  It is like the Oromo girl said “One that one abhors his sight even when sited, gets up and asks for a dance”.  The slogan “I am first Oromo” is being chanted in all corners of the glob where Oromo are found. This saying seems to leave an opening to another alternative. If possible it would be better for it to reflect the concept that I am Oromo at all times so that it is not interpreted as having inbuilt lack of determination. Even if there is discrimination against Oromo and the Southern peoples they are considered Ethiopian citizens according to International and law of the empire. Being Ethiopian is not by choice but imposed on them by force against their free will. Therefore that is not to be considered as a second choice by activists. If there are those that advocate keeping that with some face changes, they will be only those that are against kaayyoo of independence.

The Oromo mentioned above though youthful is disciplined. He answered what he was asked politely without squabble. He said only “I am first Oromo” and did not say what should have been replied for such arrogant question “I am not an Ethiopian”. What would have happened had he said so? Nothing, but it would commit him publicly to independence  of Oromiyaa as the only position on his part and on their side that could have made them bray like asinine rather than howl like a dog. By his civility the young Oromo exposed their imperatorial arrogance. Oromo had gone far beyond local verbal skirmishes at this age of globalization and started to think how to compete with nations of the world. Only short time is left before they get rid of the empire’s rule once and for all. It is only the unconscious and one who does not take tomorrow into account that question Oromo identity. Oromo views all neighboring peoples as siblings. Those that take such view as weakness should pause and consider consequences before hand. It is only if we bring peace and stability to our region that we bestow respect on Africa.

Peoples in the region desire peace. The campaign from all directions for plundering and power mongering by Habashaa elites will not have any lasting benefit. They can achieve a life of progress and happiness for their people if only they could reach peaceful understanding with neighboring peoples. For this reason if all expect respect for themselves they should recognize the right of all peoples. They have to cease nostalgia for their past and start to consider their old colonies as their equal partners. Whether they like it or not those peoples are going to force their rights respected by their own efforts. But smooth break can have advantage for all. The must be ready to swallow the bitter pill that those that are proud of their Oromummaa are first and last Oromo. No one can deprive them their Oromummaa as a national and ethnic entity; or for Ethiopian citizenship to continue ad infinitum without their free consent. Oromo will always be only Oromo!!  Oromo struggle shall continue in all dimensions until victory!!!

Ibsaa Guutama
August 2013

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