Oromiyaa Needs Own Independent Organizations

This is Corona period which is going to be registered as one of the unforgettable events that is in process of bringing unexpected change to the world. So far, its devastation is not severe in the Horn of Africa when compared to other parts of the world. It is feared much could be ahead unless Waaqaa interferes. Even if it is mitigated the fear it created might make some positive changes in feelings, peoples have for each other. Peoples in the region can defeat it only together. One cannot be free of Covid-19 unless all are free. We may start thinking to support freedom of others for oneself to be free. It is only love and cooperation that can make us die or live for each other. Corona and regimes will pass soon but neighbors live with each other forever, for the land cannot be moved away. The people cannot stop protecting themselves from passing governments and deceases. Instead of trying to suppress one who is asking for ones rights, calling one “zaranya” (racist?), extremist, narrow etc. it would be better to enquire where it hurts and search for solution that could bring peace.

Because the present government of Ethiopia does have less deep root than its predecessors its fall could be more sudden. It would be preferred if it could realize that and give back power to its owners, nations and nationalities peacefully. If so it can remain praised for ever. To avoid opportunity passing by, Oromo youth must get reorganized based on Oromummaa as the guiding principle for all eventualities. Those before them have defied the untimely proletarian internationalism and formed national liberation movement; It should not be difficult for them to resist untimely imposed Ethiopianism to make sure Oromo national rights and pride are restored. It is over fifty years since the Oromo nation started liberation struggle after more than hundred years of dehumanizing and debilitating treatment in the hands of alien occupiers. Because of their staying apart for long time, ethos and creed they adopted since separation, many thought Oromo cannot overcome those to wield unity. But they failed to understand the power of afaan Oromo as basis of Oromummaa, which is the engine of modern Oromo nationalism. This great people should have been around who others rotate, not satellite to anyone of them. Why did that happen? Oromo revolution occurred in searching for an answer.

Dodging the spell of aliens, with combined armed and armless struggle, pan Oromo movements were almost knocking at the gate of liberation. But it was derailed. The present Ethiopian government was expected to bring about smooth transformation of the EPRDF fake federalism to genuine federal constitutionalism. But it failed. It rather tried to pull Oromiyaa into Ethiopian aristocratic dominion. All aggressors seem to believe Oromo are dumbed by over a century of colonial oppressions and so are vulnerable to bulling. Therefore, are tempted not to ask doing business with them, but dominate and exclude them from use of own land, resources and labor. Some even show contempt; they deny if Oromo had ever had a country to call their own. Article 39 of the constitution recognizes right bestowed on the people since their formation as distinct community. To attack the Oromo and their organizations for it and try to deny them the right of self-determination is racist and demeaning. It has to be condemned by all advocating for human rights and democratic freedom loving peoples. It is up to the Oromo people to prove to the world that they have inalienable rights over Oromiyaa. Peace and calmness are their culture but that does not hinder them from defending their national interests.

Oromiyaa offers great opportunity for investors and aliens that can live with them and contribute to her development. Their aim is to protect their people from hunger and decease, nurture and educate their offspring and advance in technology in peaceful and stable surrounding. Let alone alien, henceforth no Oromo

should be allowed to dictate the Oromo on how to run Oromiyaa without their collective clear mandate. Any friend of the Oromo has to be willing to accept supremacy of the law and respect their culture and tradition.

Simpletons do not understand what it took the Oromo to reach this level. Oromo struggle had played the major role in removing three oppressive rulers after heavy sacrifices. Those that tasted the wealth of Oromiyaa freely, and call themselves “forces of unity” never learned lessons from their failures but cherish their memory of past victories. They are ready to continue dying to relive that memory. That is why sustaining achievements of Oromo struggle are getting precarious making their struggle more protracted than they estimated at first. Fruit of their struggle, the federal system is under attack by “forces of unity” that want to maintain status quo ante. That unity they advocate for is not that of all peoples under Ethiopian empire but only of those Amharic speaking Nafxanyaa system hopefuls; this is clear from the language they use to address their audience. Only unitary system fit their thinking. On the other hand, the oppressed believe in unity of the willing and the equal; only federation of nations and nationalities or independence satisfies their demand. The peoples are now faced with two choices. One is accepting the Nafxanyaa way modeled on past imperial system. The second is supporting the right of nations to national self-determination up to independence. This will create union of equals and the willing from which each is free to move out at will.

Oromo youth had come down supporting the right of nations to national self-determination up to independence, with commitment and determination without wavering for very long time. That was the initial Kaayyoo advanced by independent OLF which had provoked hate for it in enemy camps. This hate still persists even after OLF joined them as opposition abandoning its independence drive. Because they asserted themselves and demand their birth right the Oromo are branded as “Zaranya” by those “forces of unity”. Anything Oromo hence, is seen as such. Speaking afaan Oromo, wearing Oromo cultural dresses, promoting Oromo culture etc. are called “Zaranya” by common people speaking Amharic influenced by propaganda of those so called “forces of unity”. Therefore, for Oromo to abandon the national Kaayyoo of independence i.e. liberation principles laid down by OLF initial program amounts to suicide. It is because of that their existence is recognized, they are feared and that is why they were able to register many victories. It is only as free people that they can deal with others on equal basis. That is why all future relations with Ethiopia and others should be based on negotiated settlement. If Oromo have to continue as a nation, they have to take clear stand on this issue of alien relations. They should not lose sight of their enemies at any moment.

Oromo enemies are those who deny, their sovereignty over Oromiyaa, the right of self-determination, who want rule over them without their expressed consent and deny their being separate, free and different people from them. They are those that deny all atrocities done by their fathers and them on the Oromo in the past more than hundred fifty years. Many independent Oromo organizations found themselves in a condition like political prison without their expectation. Such organizations except for retaining their Oromo names have de facto become Ethiopian organizations. To remain Oromo, they should have negotiated their terms of joining post empire union commensurate with their national program. In absence of that no one of them is different from the other except cherishing their memories of good old days when they were independent. Of course, they have uncorrupted background full of heroic sacrifices for national causes. But that has at present become good only for history books. Now they will be judged by their comparative performance of the moment. They are competing with standard set by Ethiopian laws, with those that had been their enemies and still viewing them with suspicion and contempt. This competition is of no benefit for the people it only leads to change of masters even if they win. In this condition of confusing propaganda, it is difficult for the people to distinguish between individuals and their outlook. They could not understand the complications of their Ethiopianism and its relation with the Oromo question. Therefore, it is possible to be swayed towards kinship instead of

Oromummaa which could end up dividing innocent Oromo people by region and clan. The situation in which Oromo organizations have fallen is denying Oromiyaa independent and neutral organizations. For this reason, there is need to have one.

So far, each Ethiopian regime has nothing to connect it with its predecessors. It brings with it new sets of officials, new code of conduct and new plan for plundering peoples’ resources and labor freely. The last emperor had tried to stop that tradition and constitutionally transfer his rule to his heirs. But tradition became stronger than his constitution and so continued. The present government is not different. Because it was part of the past government the constitution it swore to protect is getting on its way. So, it is trying to create some face-saving device to get back to tradition. A legal excuse will be found for it to continue governing. The opposition similar to calf released from its cage for the first time are all over the ground. This is the regime they hate for its constitution and for the first time in Ethiopian history, it is a government they are challenging on constitutional basis. They all want to unseat the government by hook or crook and so they will cite all available sources to prove it unconstitutional. That is the way Ethiopians are learning to grab power, in modern era. Oromo and others are sweating with a system which will never accept them. Some are suffering from Stockholm’s Syndrome.

In such shaky situation as present-day Ethiopia, Oromummaa needs to be strengthened to save Oromo perishing as a nation. The spirit of OLF has to be evoked to bring back the patriotic stance. Oromo have first to be themselves before being asked to glorify others. There is urgent demand for Oromo youth getting reorganized for all eventualities. Those before them have defied the untimely proletarian internationalism and formed national liberation movement with OLF as a vanguard; it should not be difficult for them to resist untimely imposed Ethiopianism to make sure Oromo national rights and pride are restored. It is over fifty years since the Oromo nation started liberation struggle after hundred years of dehumanizing and debilitating treatment in the hands of alien occupiers. It is their united effort that brought them forward to spotlight as a nation to be reckoned with. The road they travelled to reach here was tortuous. Oromo have paid too much for it that they cannot quit before the finish line. They are in a situation where submission and defiance will not save from humiliation and destruction. Therefore, there should be no turn back until their sovereignty over Oromiyaa is assured. That is the only guarantee for peace and stability of the nation. For their dreams to be realized Oromiyaa needs her own independent organizations. Forward with Oromummaa! Forward with Pan-Africanism! This great people will soon rise and take its proper place among nations of Africa. Oromiyaan haa jiraattu!

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! Oromiyaan haa jiraa

Ibsaa Guutama

May 2020

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