The New Agenda for Oromo Struggle

Oromo youth have created a new agenda that is no more limited to elites but mobilizes the whole population. It is a fluid process that can engulf any impediment on its way. During those days when Oromo were totally suppressed and placed under alien rule and all possible rights were denied no one from the colonizers camp had come out to say “please have compassion for them” When they found no way out from boundless oppression their youth of the sixties were able to find an opening and filled them with hope that liberation was possible. To fulfill that they drew a political program and vowed that they will not turn back until democratic Republic Oromiyaa is found. When they saw this, Ethiopians came out on them from all corners and threw contempt and insults. Even today no one among them has come out to say “they have the truth, wrong is being done on these people in particular, let us correct our policy and find viable solution”. They talk much about unity; its content is for them and is not meant to include non-Ethiopians like the Oromo. One person from among them, student Walalliny Makonnin is being condemned to this day for writing about the right of nations for national self-determination.

To hoodwink the question people have for ownership of their country they started saying all peoples of Ethiopia have questions of class the harm done to Oromo is no different from others and so can be overcome through class struggle. Oromo youth fooled by this rallied to fight their wars. Later they were betrayed and crushed. Some that survived joined those that had held firmly to the question of independence and freedom. Though some dropped out of the struggle by unknown pressure those that newly joined the struggle are numberless. They are still trying to repeat those lies. But there will be no turning back until what is aimed for is achieved. Youth that excel their elders and more proud of their identity are coming forth. The question is not one that can be gaged bay Wayyaanee but one that is feared to bring about her demise. She knows that people’s arms cannot be bent with Agaazii club; that is why the struggle for her is becoming the last birth pang and so catastrophic.

Oromo revolutionaries had taken vow that in Democratic Republic Oromiyaa human rights for all Oromiyaan citizens will be realized equally. In the same manner that it will be a country where universal human rights shall be respected and will not be where they are gagged and humiliated like in Ethiopia was ensured by fathers that built organization for the struggle. To get these rights respected Oromiyaa will not expect permission or suggestion from any one. The youth have asserted that the right of nations to national self-determination is a birth rights not something that someone bestows on a nation. All nations and nationalities that want to befriend them have to accept this truth. Oromiyaa is not a twig of anybody but a self-dependent country. Historically Oromiyaa is known as a country that allows others to live with it its laws not one that pushes away immigrants. With Oromo let alone human beings all living things will not be touched outside the law, it is also safuu (unethical).

Despite that knowledge, there are those that are sneaking around to create discord among Oromiyaans. To fend off these is the duty of all natural and naturalized Oromiyaa citizens. That is only to get own law respected not from fear of anyone. With Oromo anyone refusing to abide by the law is equally accountable for one’s action. If the exclusive right of the Oromo over Oromiyaa is not recognized that life for them has no meaning is already determined. Never again will they live denied the democratic heritage of their forefathers, suppressed by minority and traitors. There are groups that have taken this determination seriously and started to correct therir approaches. This is victory for Oromo youth.

To rally their constituency some Ethiopian elites still repeat what their fathers were bellowing on them that countries occupied during formation of their empire are their exclusive gift from their day of birth. That is why they are lamenting that “a country cannot be created with struggle for identity”. This shows that they are stunned by the coming forth of identity they thought to have suppressed long ago. The Oromo has nothing to fight for more than to get their Oromummaa (Oromoness). Oromummaa means personality, land, history, culture and resources. For what are they expected to fight if not for these? There is no doubt that identity of Oromo is created by Oromiyaans and identity of Ethiopia is created by Ethiopians. The Oromo had never accepted and will not accept formation of Ethiopian identity by crushing that of the Oromo. The colonies have broken their chains. Henceforth their will not be any capable “moderate” Oromo that could help driving the Oromo back to chains.

Agenda of the struggle has now changed from the first phase. The doubt about Oromo unity created between diaspora Oromo has been aborted and its being as strong as steel has been assured by Oromo youth. They have also asserted that the Oromo struggles only for one thing, for realization of being owners of their country and get back the lost right of national self-determination including independence. Oromo youth has never mentioned about secession but independence; they do not even understand what it means. The struggle is not to replay the role of Obbo Goobana Daaccee but to correct his mistakes. That did not benefit even him but rather destroyed him.

Aliens are trying to divide Oromo activists into extremists and moderates similar to the situation in 1998. That is what the Oromo say patriots and galtuu. Then without Oromo notice among them it was heard from foreign diplomats. If they say it will happen it happens. They split apart without delay. For this reason without neglecting, it is advisable to be vigilant and ward of alien hand that could possibly come through galtuu. No one should lend ears for those that say it is only from the Wayyaanee that Oromo have to guard themselves. Oromo nationals have to abstain from all that deny the right Oromo have to independence. All have to know that no one can represent all Oromo until such a time when a common leadership comes out and declare a national policy for alien relations. If they are not those that want to reinstitute Ethiopian dominance over their people, all oppressed nationalities have to worry about liberation of their country from oppression. For that first responsibility is theirs. If all could make efforts on ones part to create a peaceful environment, equality, love and happiness will not be difficult.

Those who want to reload Ethiopianess that was once forcefully imposed over others are nowadays heard groaning. Oromo had served as fountain of oppressor’s power and power of reaction over a long period of time. Now the majority of Oromo have returned to use their power for their own liberation. If there are remnants they are only the sluggish that is only burden not a force for the aliens. Based on this fact it must be known that Oromo have drawn a new political agenda of struggle. To relate to Ethiopia as oppressed and oppressor is no more but as equals. There is no weaponry that the incumbent government did not pile in its arsenal. But that cannot defeat the power of determined people. Hence what is required is to facilitate how peoples of the region could live in peace and tranquility as good African neighbors. If they try to set relations they have with the Oromo just like in the past it could be inviting catastrophe on their own people. Rather than tackling the impossible problem of mounting Oromiyaa as before, it would be better for them to adjust their tactics and strategy to reality.

Even if it was not intentional for the youth, they are able to get attention to the Oromo question by touching soft parts of Western Governments. The recent resolution of European Parliament seems that they are saying “we regret for imposing on you Minilik and Haayila Sillaasee. Had they not been enmeshed in their policy “national interest has priority over all others” and though they pushed aside their moral principle and said they will continue to give help to Ethiopia, they could not hide that situation in Oromiyaa had pricking their conscience. We hope that the condition that may result from that could make it a must for them in the course of time to take similar measures as the Europeans. Both see what is going on from the angle of their interest.

The Oromo people are under disaster. The Wayyaanee has scattered terror in them that they spend day and night with fear. Every home of Oromo mother has become a home of mourning. With pain of wounds in their hiding place and tortures in prisons Oromo youth everywhere are moaning and are subjected to live in nightmares. Families of the imprisoned are suffering from hunger, thirst and lack of necessities. The education system is disrupted and Oromiyaa is being taken back one generation. All nationals are expected to give priority for search of solutions to said problems. Though their rising together has given hope, if warding off with equal force is not started there is a possibility of untimely retreat from the struggle. At his moment what is wanted is one that stands by their side and give encouragement and help in devise strategy together not one that vaunts from a distance. Results may delay but victory for the truthful is inevitable.

Oromo political organizations are still following the old trend. They are just starting beating drums calling for unity when people back home are already fighting in unison. Even then they had never been sincere, for each want to appear as chief on every forum and the ego do not want to be swallowed in unity of decadent organizations. They are unable to pull themselves out of the force of habit of previous years. There is no one among them that clashed in the field of struggle for the cause they claim to stand for. It is like the saying, “Birds fight in the air for meat on the ground”. They think individually as opposed to collecting thinking that the struggle requires. Why did all leave OLF forming miniature Odaa, to sit idle in foreign land? There are those who say OLF lacks democratic practice and compassion. That should worry no body now; it has become history since what happened in the country. The question now must be going back to play own role or pull out of politics? Since they had been spending most of their time in fund raising they may continue with it in case they could be fringe benefit for the nation.

By this time Oromo should have a quarter where they could receive fugitives for protection. Every year, we hear about killing enemy fighters, not about liberation of a land. There were times when false information was fed. For instance, once we were shown fighters slaying camel for food. We believed the camel died to save the struggle. We did not know that she was commercial created to help in collecting alms. Be as it may what happened after that? They showed us some fighters lining up to hand over to the enemy arms supplied by the people. Many strange things not fitting the struggle for liberation were seen since then. Abba Jifaar, Mootii of Jimma is often quoted for saying “Respect starts at home” rising as the little Abba Jobir arrived at a meeting late as planned. Note that no one will remain sitted when he rises. It would be ridiculous to believe organizations that could not handle those nearest to them with due respect are sincere in their call for unity to the far offs. Unity and comradery becomes reliable only if they start at home.

But there was no soul that came out and took responsibility and accountability for all that happened. A political organization requires strict discipline and transparency. If one is not in a surrounding where one can apply own laws it will be difficult to question common member or member of the leadership for good or bad. The lack of consequences for infringement of rules is one of the causes of schism. If they melt (unite) together another episode jarring to our ears is going to be performed otherwise to expect them to bring more benefit for the country than what they did so far, will be lying to and cheating the people. People’s leadership is one that lives in the country, to deserve that they have to go back and reestablish themselves the soonest possible.

As it stands now difference between Oromo diaspora organizations and those of the Habashaa are not visible. Oromo organizations and elites are forming warm relations with Habashaa ones without any preconditions. They are taking the Oromo youth and farmers movement as giving them the opportunity to overthrow the Wayyaanee and strengthen the empire. It should have been the time to dismantle the empire system by keeping the enemy at arm’s length. Blood and sweat of Oromo children is not something to be used as negotiation tool by any one. The Oromo can communicate only with those that recognize their exclusive right over Oromiyaa beforehand.

Organizations having Oromo name and working as opposition parties are having hard time for being Oromo their Ethiopianess having been denied. They are the ones that taste the abuses Oromo people are daily undergoing. They wanted Ethiopia, which has demonstrated enough that it does not want any Oromo as equal partner. Members of legally registered organization like Bekela Gerba, Dejene Tafa, Bekele Nega, Addisu Bullala, Desta Dinka, Derejje Merga, Gurmessaa Ayana (sic) are said to have been added to old list of old prisoners for being Oromo. Baqqalaa Garbaa went back from US after promising in front of the world in mid 2015 to conduct non-violent struggle. He was trying to implement terms of the constitution in collaboration with terrorist like TPLF. It seems they imprisoned him with allegation of inciting the Oromo people’s struggle, and now he is found between life and death. He is an Oromo son whose bravery cannot be denied; it may be said he followed an erroneous policy but no one can belame him for betraying his people. At this juncture when Oromummaa is being looked down with contempt and is being humiliated, it is only Oromiyaans that can make it feared and respected. That is why Oromo children are paying the ultimate sacrifice. It is not the time one can stand aside and let an adversary harm ones own. All Oromo are obliged to rescue Baqqwala and comrades in distress. They like all of us have family and dreams. Whatever befall on him and his comrades have to be a challenge to us all.

Though some elders are stumbling, the principal objective started fifty years ago are being continued by present day youth. At this time when the struggle is heating up there is no visible difference of outlook between revolutionaries. Thanks to Wayyaanee’s push even those in doubt are being dictated by their conscience. The present condition seems that at least theoretically they have drawn a minimum program between them. Since beseeching is not helping for own survival for all to fend off the enemy has become a must. Blood has flown, such a grand people is humiliated, elderlies are slashed together all values Oromo revered are smashed. An alien without safuu or ethical values occupied them. Therefore they refused submit and kneel for inevitable death.

Be it for any cause to allow an alien build its enemy nest in Oromiyaa amounts to putting a noose around ones neck. Oromiyaans that chose to become tools for enemy force are responsible for the danger that befalls them as consequence. Traditionally Oromo respect those that come in peace and give them essential protection. Oromo had never discriminated any one for one’s identity. For this reason, to maintain the respect and benefit provided them is up to the beneficiary. Oromummaa is not a matter of blood; it is independence, equality and democratic Gadaa outlook. Let all who do not know, know and those that knowingly distort will have what they deserve. As a people that have national sovereignty, the Oromo have no alternatives to strengthening their unity more. For them to determine the level of unity they are going to have with Ethiopia and other neighbors, they have to be liberated first. It is only an independent country that can negotiate with other countries on equal terms. Unity that might be created with aliens could be viable only if based on treaty signed properly with free will of participants. Viva Oromo unity! The struggle shall not stop short of victory!!

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 forefathers!

Ibsaa Guutama
February 2016

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