The Oromo are people who had lived under fear and threat for over a century. That fear and submitting to threats only accelerates humiliation, abuse and death was realized after a long slow awakening. Self-doubts, lack of political consciousness, treachery and enemy propaganda contributed to Oromo inability to revive from the first below. But an era was reached whereby all oppressed peoples of the world rose against abusive systems. It was then that the Oromo struggle transcended slow movement and burst into a revolution. The Oromo asserted their identity, history, culture and language no more accepting the dictate of their colonizers. They demanded Oromiyaa’s unconditional independence and the establishment of Independent Republic of Oromiyaa. Though the final goal is yet to be reached they were able to get rid of old Nafxanyaa relation to land with all its spells; they have made all to call them Oromo in the way they call themselves; they have revived their language to be public language rather than remaining in the hearth; they have got their country Oromiyaa on the map; they are able for their right to national self-determination up to and including independence recognizing by the colonizer. Afaan Oromo has become working and school language and many other benefits are recorded. The revolutionary struggle is continuing to reach the intended goal. Here revolution means a situation where harsh system is uprooted and replaced by a new one. The aim of Oromo revolution is to uproot the colonial system and create a situation whereby the Oromo gains independence and live in freedom and equality as sovereign over its country and live in happiness and peace with its surrounding.
Oromo revolutionaries are no copycat of any system. They were inspired by their Gadaa heritages and so are Gadaa revolutionaries. They came forward during the period of Pan African movement with their Ethiopian school mates and matured to full blossom internalizing what they heard about Garvey, DuBois and Kwame Nkrumah as well as other revolutionary movements of the time and of centuries past. They were eagerly looking forward for unity of African peoples not unity of mentally enslaved African elites. They believed that a people can talk about its role in a larger society only if it can liberate itself from subjugation. Towards that the Oromo revolutionaries set their goal as anti-colonial and anti-subjugation of all sorts. It is only they believed, as free people that their nation can give their consent to any form of unity or peaceful coexistence with other peoples. This stand had gained momentum over the years and no saboteur can turn it back. As a revolutionary entity Oromo liberation movement is armed with Gadaa principles on human rights and democratic governance and never retires without bringing fundamental positive change to Oromo life.
Oromiyaa is a reality that cannot any more be denied, distorted or dismantled. The Habashaa and those that lobby to be embraced by their movement of Ethiopianization believe that all ethnic groups must be forcefully assimilated into their system. Already there are several “assimilado” helping them towards this end. They abhor ethnic groups claiming nationhood. That is why Habasha and their cohorts distort the meaning of word “ethnic” and reduce it to mean “gosa” clan or tribe in afaan Oromoo. They do not have this term in their language but borrowed from Oromo. For Oromo “gosa” means sub groups of the nation Oromo that over the years formed some particular cohesiveness differentiating them from other groups with whom they share the general national characteristics. For all, the national supreme law overrides all “gosa” laws and practices. Thus Oromo is not “gosa” but trunk for several gosa that call themselves “Ilmaan Oromo” or Oromo. When we refer to ethnic group (Lammii) it depicts common racial and national origin as well as linguistic or cultural heritage. Those characteristics could belong to a nation state or peoples that volunteered to live in a multinational state. Oromiyaans could be of different ethnic groups that voluntarily formed a union for purposes commonly cherished. Therefore it is not necessary to reduce the multi-gosa Oromo nation to “gosa” simply to deny it the right to be independent.
Hence politicians that start with wrong premise about Ethiopia and her colonies only distort the truth and delay creating lasting understanding between peoples of the Ethiopian empire. In particular when Oromo nationals start counselling Habashaa Princes on how to maintain the empire, the credibility of all they lectured so far comes under question. Such overtures reminds one only Machiavelli’s advice to Florentine Prince better to be “feared than respected”. Oromo Machiavellians preferred strong Habashaa ruler against freedom and independence of their own people. They do not see their abandoning the “Kaayyoo”, expression of wishes and aspirations of the people, left their followers in harm’s way. It seems a spell is put on them to regret their past and forced them to revers it.
But what they want to revers has become history; Oromo has started a new chapter with more dynamic and technologically advanced generation that speaks political language of the day. They could have been more useful for the nation had they remained resource persons than trying to remain prime movers. By doing so they only exposed their soft part that might discredit all the suffering they went through assumedly in good faith. Still it will not be too late to change strategy, break the spell, uphold Oromummaa and correct the damage. Starting from OPDO many groups had served the empire state as loyal opposition. Because they failed Oromummaa as a group we cannot say that all are anti-Oromummaa. Before them many had tried to work loyally with Habasha Governments but they all know how those ended up. There were those that returned to people’s camp and cleansed themselves by paying enviable sacrifices. Instead of learning from others experience some others have tried the hard way by going the long beaten road and are clearly failing. Let this be a lesson for all activists to reexamine Oromummaa if there is a way it could be served better. Seeking peace and reconciliation within oneself is also an Oromo tradition.
Oromo forebears have left to their descendants advanced political culture to be proud of. They knew that “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely” thousands of years before Lord Acton uttered it in 1887. They had limited the time an elected party could stay on power and put several mechanisms to control abuses and corruption by the powerful. They have also assigned roles to the elderly. It is failing to accept this principle that sent many Oromo politicians berserk to the extent of running away to check if the enemy could embrace them. But it was commonsense to guess that it will rather embarrass than embrace if not earlier at later stage. The natural development of societal system disrupted a century ago can be put back on track only with revolutionary struggle not by slow locomotion or wavering moves. Feet dragging and indetermination will only buy time for the colonizer and contribute to its refining the oppressive system. The colonizer rejects Oromo activists’ proposal not for their ideas but for who they are. Let alone volunteers, aliens can never believe their own recruits would give up from heart own rights and dignity to work with them. Aliens never relax in their presence for they suspect Oromo have hidden agenda for settling past scores and sabotaging their ambitions. To get accepted as formidable counterpart one has first to have a back up to call up on.
The Oromo have to understand that their sacrifices will have no return unless they have a viable revolutionary organization and a base to defend in their own country. No matter what their objectives had been, patriots like Balayii Zallaqaa, Garasuu Dhukki, Oliiqaa Dingle and many others that made limit to movements of enemy troops during the fascist occupation without having access to neighboring countries and means of information, can serve as examples of self-reliance. “If there is a will there is a way”; with commitment and revolutionary stamina all the material to defend ones right is available in own country. Organizational capability, determination and credibility could attract friends even from among those that were on the side of the enemy.
Revolutionaries are informed persons that listen, read and learn from own mistakes and achievements of others. They are selfless, generous individuals that give up their lives and all that are dear to them to save the nation. They are persons that will never abandon comrades in dire situation. The world has witnessed such patriotic individuals during the English, American, French, Russian and Chinese Revolutions to mention few. Oromo liberation movement is full of such heroic members that had already registered many achievements by their sacrifices. There is no shortage of them in Oromiyaa independence camp to continue the struggle till the finish. The world believes that there are no permanent friends or enemies but permanent interests. That is what an Oromo activist has to learn and understand that Oromo revolution is a process through which they encounter friends and foes keeping on changing sides. To win friends depend not on chance but on ones determined skillful performance and care for human elements among them.
Oromo struggle is a protracted struggle that could take generations. Awareness of this will help to tighten ones belt for the long haul. In particular those scattered all over the world has the obligation to keep in touch with their people and to nurture their own children with similar basic information about their heritage. That may require worldwide Oromo Survival Organization; Oromo organization not infested with rats pretending concerned for the nation. In that way there could always be concern for thriving of Oromummaa and the struggle. As the revolution advances enemy repression is going to be harsher. As a result more Oromiyaans are going to suffer; more are going to be imprisoned, maimed with torture, killed and exiled. Many homes are going to get ruined and communities dislocated. All victims need to be rescued. No one is more positioned than Oromo nationals across the seas to organize such a rescue on a permanent basis. Responding to intermittent provocations cannot be an answer; there must be a continuous flow of help and contact with the homeland. Here too the need for information is paramount.
Oromiyaa is a country that lost its independence. It is only the arrogant and the naïve that dreams to keep it dependent. Peace and reconciliation are known to be among the corner stones of Gadaa’s admired principles. But only free peoples can negotiate on any form of understanding in that region. It is a people whose nationhood is accepted unequivocally by all parties that can sit down as equals and discuss how to live in peace and tranquility as good neighbors or in any manner it wills. Short of that there is no political or moral justification for Oromiyaa to continue subjugated by people they consider aliens. All concerned must know that let alone legitimately occupying Oromiyaa there is no legitimate Habashaa government for the empire. The present one is an imposter that imposed itself with barrel of the gun and maintaining itself with it. Each people of the empire believe that it is sovereign within its territory. It is only the peoples that feel the pain of its rule that can tell the status of its sovereign not one earmarked for it by others. Therefore to brand those that struggle for their Waaq given right terrorists, blessing the one that rules over all peoples with terror is an error of judgement or blind support for one’s interest right or wrong.
To justify their continued occupation of Oromiyaa her colonizers are trying to win sympathy of other nations from the point of Habashaa security, the old reference of Christian island in pagan and Moslem sea and population settlement history. There will be no right minded nation that decides to sacrifice Oromiyaa security for that of Habashaa colonizers for non-existing threat. In reality Oromiyaa poses no danger to anyone. Rather it is the colonizer that is trying to endanger the Oromo hiding under concocted victimization. Already several aspect of the Gadaa system which includes the political, social and economic makeup of the nation is extinct. Those were remarkable heritages of world civilization. Periodical reports of dependable International Human Rights Organizations are witness to current abuses. In this century, in Habashaa land (Abyssinia) there are significant numbers of Moslems and followers of other faiths. It is no more the ancient land of imaginary “Prester John” it is now a multi-religious mainland no more an island. No difference with others parts in that aspect. There is no indigenous exclusive Christian or Moslem country in the Ethiopian empire. It is a pity to see some entertaining such obsolete idea.
Therefore Oromiyaa the land of many believers should not be singled out as a possible ground for extremism. All religions could have fundamentalists and every nation has the responsibility to keep lid on its own. Gadaa political culture is known for direct clash when dire situation of self-defense and when freedom is trampled on. Terrorism of any sort against human beings and the natural environment is “safuu” or taboo. As for history, the Oromo love their heritage which is the foundation of Oromummaa but want to live in the present not in the past thousands of years. If that line of argument is to be pursued the Oromo are among the first settlers from Mediterranean to the equator with all present Kushitic Nilotic, Omotic and Bantu speaking folks. It is only laughable to hear complaint about origin of the Oromo from recent arrivals. They have tried to distort history because they had the power, the means and the exposure to hoodwink the world. Now with all having access to information their thinking and teachings had been laid bare and were all lies and so obsolete. To check their level of understanding one may listen to the chatterboxes but to give attention for such inconsequential bubbling is a waste of time.
The Oromo are resourceful, numerous in numbers, reach in natural endowments and are lovers of peaceful and healthy environment. They had been lagging behind in political consciousness because of historical reasons. At present things are changing however slow they might be. What is required is to regain their lost sovereignty as a nation and dignity as human beings. Their choices are two; one is to pay all that it may cost and free themselves from alien domination and subjugation or continue to live considered as subhuman and looked down upon by Hagos and Tsexaargaachewu. It is only placenta passed for a baby not the baby that picks the second choice as Oromo adage goes. Oromo revolution is for the first choice, empowering the Oromo to make the correct choice by their own free will without fear or threat from any quarter. Nothing could make a people happier than to achieve the right and freedom to choose from alternatives. It requires selfless revolutionaries to reach that goal, the kaayyoo for which millions had fallen. Nowadays the terms “revolution”, “kaayyoo” and “Oromummaa” are shunned by many Oromo activists for they demand self-assertion, determination and commitment of highest standard for the nation’s cause. Revolution gives no room for wavering and changing position at every turn. It requires determination to bring about fundamental change in attitude and practice.
Honor and glory for the fallen heroines and heroes; liberty equality and freedom for the living and nagaa and araaraa for the Ayyaanaa of our fore parents!