Reasserting Objectives of Oromo struggle

Whom did the Ethiopian ruling class benefit in the past, at expense of Oromiyaa and other colonies? Whose heroes are the Nafxanyaa today? The colonial horde that started marching South under the leadership of Shawaa Amaaraa ruling class had expanded its rank and file by recruiting from nations and nationalities that had fallen in turns. Those were armed with European supplied rifles, which gave them the name “Nafxanyaa”. Todays “forces of unity” are their worshipers. Nafxanyism is a colonial system separate from any nation enriching only its group while the nations by whose name they were deployed relatively got only psychological not material benefit. To get material benefit they had to join the horde physically. There, ranks and wealth awaited them there. They are so eclectic that their connection with the mother land was only religion and language. Today adherents of the Nafxanyaa system are taking cover under Ethiopian unity to attack nations and nationalities, even in Habashaa land as racist and divisive. It is to expose these that reasserting the objectives of Oromo struggle is required.

Today all those that uphold the Nafxanyaa as heroes are enemies of all nations and nationalities in the Ethiopian Empire. Fed-up of living their identity denied, their sovereignty stripped, their land and resources grabbed, by aliens that despised them and abused as subhuman, the Oromo started political and armed struggle with OLF as the vanguard force against the Nafxanyaa system in the 1970s. Alien that occupied Oromiyaa did not spare even the natural environment Oromo protected by law and came caring from time immemorial. In short, Oromo rose against destitution, eviction, assimilation, exploitation and cultural linguistic and environmental genocide. Their goal was to be free and realize their right of nations to national self-determination up to and including independence. The empire system is damaged beyond repair by their struggle and needs transformation. The youth had played leading role in those years in changes brought to Empire Ethiopia and Oromiyaa. Now their struggle has matured; fear of death has vanished and disenfranchisement is no more tolerated. They will no more put their tails between their legs for leer and intimidation of the enemy.

The victims are still being condemned for rising against Nafxanyaa colonial system as “Zaranyaa” (racist). Now the actors and the methods of domination has changed. Nationalist have also changed tactics in the course of the last four years. Keeping armed struggle at low level they have gone out to challenge the occupier with hands crossed. Concerning this engagement names mentioned are that of Qeerroo and Faannoo however the degree of involvement may differ. Qeerroo means the leopard. Oromo call their young who are not married as Qeerroo implying that they have leopard like courage and their being focused. Their female part the Qeerrantii (leopardess) is referred to as Qarree meaning virgin. Faannoo is a determined person who does not submit to abuses and his home is the jungle. They were those that throw down what Wayyaanee has loaded them and brought foreword the question of unity and identity of their people. Not the neo-Nafxanyaa that were laying in ambush and surveying the possibility of mounting the two and bring back the oppressive Nafxanyaa system that brought this country to disaster. The contribution of Oromo Qeerroo and Amaaraa Faannoo in forcing the last occupation force TPLF/EPRDF to bow for peoples’ pressure and exit was immense.

The new rulers have apologized for crimes done against humanity in the last three decades and never condemned agonies their predecessors caused in the last more than one century. But at least they have promised to henceforth abide by supremacy of the law, respect for human rights and right to get organized, assemble, self-expression, fair and free election etc., not withstand their trying to inject their own political outlook. But Oromo right to national self-determination cannot be put off the agenda by anyone except by clearly expressed will of the Oromo people. Be that as it may, the struggle is trying to get transformed from jungle and street protest to dialogue. Though heirs to pan-African thinkers of the 60s, Oromo revolutionaries have first to assure their Oromiyaa before taking higher responsibilities on issues of Pan Africanism. Strong Oromiyaa as a rear is what could give them confidence to march forward. The past for them is history of enslavement they do not want to relive in.

The political change has opened the hope and opportunity for all groups in the empire to advance their political agenda peacefully without fear or threat from any quarter. Judge and jury for all groups will be their respective peoples. The institution they were fighting against is now occupied by liberal democratic thinkers; so, they find it wise to cooperate rather than continue to confront, in order to bring about peaceful transition. Resolving major conflicts has to wait for future genuine peoples’ conventions. This is a transitional period and the government is a transitional government. Leaders of the transitional government lead by Dr. Abiy Ahmad are so far trusted by significant majority. But the selfish, the chauvinists, the tail wagging and forces that have objective of living on enslaving others could push them to unwanted course. Neo-Nafxanyaa are trying to resuscitate failed ideas and practices inviting political turbulence that may put the country out of course. They below misunderstandings as tiny as flea to the size of elephant to discredit genuine question of nations and nationalities. Most propaganda of the so called “Forces of unity” are in particular directed against the Oromo nation. They deny existence of nations and nationalities with their own rights in the empire.

The Oromo which were fighting for independence joined the transitional government of Ethiopia on condition their right of national self-determination is included in Transitional Charter. Losers now want to reverse that. Oromummaa they believe is the nemesis of Nafxanyism. The Horn of Africa is enough for all in the region if only the rights of each nation and nationality is respected. It must be understood that no group or nation can dictate its will on others any more. But that does not deny interdependence of peoples of the region. Nations and nationalities will hold hands by their own free will and negotiate as equals for new relations despite obstacles from those reactionary groups. The neo-Nafxanyaa fake “forces of Unity” have already started campaign of smearing freedom fighters as “Zaranyaa” (racist). Oromo is too big to react to their provocations; if it does Waaqaa forbid! Oromo in colonial forced services have shown great courage and productiveness wherever they are engaged; war, diplomacy or technology. Had they not been there to serve as fighters and means of transporting war materials, winning the battle of Adwa could have been unimaginable. But they never got due recognition. On the other hand, the Nafxanyaa administration in addition to especial honors, had given its Habashaa heroes cover for freely plundering the colonies and even the mother land for more than a century. Neo-Nafxanyaa are crying for similar cover to continue that tradition. Anything that does not reflect their Nafxanyaa ideal, even Oromo sneezing can be a crime.

In history mob is vulnerable for provocation. If those standing in the outer fringe shout “bomb, bomb” it could easily be startled and cause unimaginable damage. For neo-Nafxanyaa that is a bonanza, they will distort and present as if something unthinkable has happened as long as it incriminates Oromo forces. Something bad that can shock anybody had happened in Buraayyuu. But because it cannot include those they want to be condemned for it, they did not tell the whole story but only last shocking part leaving out the cause that led to it and the interest behind it. Earlier death of Oromo youth, for them did not worth reporting. What do they want? Oromo are living matters concerning justice to proper authorities.

It is not because they did not have any one to blame. When provocation passes the restricted line, they are seeing how forcefully matters could turn. Oromo are the best when it comes to defending their rights. That is the living truth. There can be deviants in any society. If there are Oromo deviants in something like that because they obeyed alien order willingly they cannot escape human law and the wrath of Waaq. Oromo have principled objectives; they will not be worried their name will be affected with what deviants do. Not accepting the name Ethiopia is a right for colonized peoples, not manifestation of racism by any standard. To call oneself Ethiopian by own free will and to be ordered to call oneself Ethiopian are two different things. There are those that say there is no Ethiopia devoid of Oromiyaa. Unless it is the Ethiopia that lived by plundering and suppressing neighbors, Ethiopia of Habashaa is claimed to have existed for thousands of years even before it colonized Oromiyaa. Oromiyaa might have served as source of recruiting agents of repression and as means of living for the ruling class. But Ethiopia’s existence did not originate in Oromiyaa. Our problem is denial of our true relations and what we ow each other.

Oromo reached where they are now through bitter struggle. Today at a finished time citing their clerics baseless history they have started making noise to deny Oromo’s ownership over Oromiyaa. A simple glance at their land tenure laws could have told them where Oromo land is. Oromo raised arms to ascertain their sovereignty over Oromiyaa. They have also shown and are showing their willingness to talk if their case could be settled peacefully. The neo-Nafxanyaa has clearly shown that they are not willing to respond to Oromo question. Even Minilik used to call himself emperor of Ethiopia and the Oromo countries. But these ones want to crush all together. When are they going to sound their “Nagaariit” (war drum)? Instead of trying to open old wounds, to respect each other is not naiveite. Peace can come only with dialogue between peoples not by forces that have intention to reinstate oppression of nations and nationalities. Let us go for it. Cacophony cannot destroy Oromiyaa, and Oromo will not be scattered by discordant noises.

This period can be made a historic transitional period. For the first time peoples shackled under the empire system can gather and deliberate for the common good based on own free will. Those that want to bring back yester years have to realize that majority Oromo extracted themselves from submitting to aliens, paying one fourth of their produce, washing feet, grinding grains, cut fodder and being despise and humiliated by the despicable through bitter struggle for which they sacrificed millions. They are now more politically conscious and stronger than then; not as timid and weak as they heard around fire place. They are showing willingness to stoop for peace, not from weakness but strength and not their victories to be stolen. Trying to divide the Oromo or set them against other peoples has to stop before backfiring. The right of self-determination, federalism, voiding partition of Oromiyaa were included in Ethiopian Charter as compromise to live together not by benevolence of any group. There are no peoples suspended in the air; everyone has somewhere to land, birth place or state of choice. That makes claimants of “forces of unity” superfluous and irrelevant. They hate peaceful transition as far as it does not entertain neo-Nafxanyaa thinking. Instead of joining a nation that is federated they want to forge all nations and nationalities into one Ethiopia based on one language and one flag. This is fascistic inclination deep down in their brains of dominating all others. Their suggestion for unity starts from wrong and distorted premise and is unacceptable.

What difference does it make for hard working common people of Amaaraa, Guraagee, Indagany, Kistaanee, Wala’ita, Silxee etc. origin, dwellers of Finfinnee as long as they can live and work in Finfinnee without infringements on their individual resident rights whether the Mayor reports to Oromiyaa or elsewhere? Are we talking about consolidating colonial legacy of Nafxanyaa system or about modern economic relations minus colonialism? The fight for independence of Finfinnee is a part of a grand plan to divide the Oromo into two blocks with Finfinnee as a barrier zone and partitioning them on old Nafxanyaa model. It has nothing to do with interest of city dwellers. They have mobilized hooligans to raise havoc in Oromiyaa starting in Finfinnee by killing people and destroying property. Do they think they could live in peace in the belly button of Oromiyaa while destroying Oromo property and killing Oromo? No city in the world is homogeneous in demography but that doesn’t make them independent from the country of which they are a part. Even the great City of New York is not free from Albany, capital of New York state.

Whether OLF they hate, exists or not, the Oromo nation have taken its affairs into its own hands. The national Kaayyoo is no more left to custody of OLF but written in the bosom of every Oromo. But still OLF is not left alone by compatriots and foes alike. For compatriots it is a competition to win the heart of the nation. For the foe it is to deny Oromo sovereignty over Oromiyaa. The compatriots must be advised that it is no more the name but the deed that could win Oromiyaa’s heart. However more vote may be acquired such act cannot match the damage it could inflict on national interest. For the enemy it has to stop to mobilize innocent non-Oromo masses for hate by distorting history and the Oromo Question, if the peaceful road paved by agents of change has to bring peace and reconciliation to the region. They should not start a war that they can never win and subject themselves, their people and the region to anarchy. There will be no negotiation on integrity, identity, sovereignty, Qubee and language policy of Oromiyaa. But recognizing each other as equals and different may lead to dialogue that will usher a new beginning. It will be only genuine federal system that would delay implementation of the right of nations to national self-determination. Can’t those that want to reinstate the decayed system back realize where the Oromo struggle has reached? Why do they declare war on the Oromo now? It will be cooperation that will save the region from chaos not confrontation. Even for the quislings their rear is Oromiyaa. To be viewed as equal by all for being Oromo, strengthening Oromiyaa has no other alternative. We are all Africans of the black race. To call each other racist or “Zaranyaa” may emanate from denial of who we are or ignorance. Freedom fighters are revolutionaries not racists as reactionaries want to brand them. Oromiyaan Haa jiraattu!

Honor and glory for the fallen heroines and heroes; liberty equality and freedom for the living and nagaa and araara for the Ayyaanaa of our fore parents!

Ibsaa Guutama

September 2018

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