Article 39 Key for Unity

Ethiopia, a little kingdom in Abyssinian mountains was not big enough to participate in Berlin conference of 1884/85. She was neither denied its benefits for being little. Among participating imperialists Britain, France and Italy, did not consider to partition like other African countries but agreed to use her as companion Christian island. To win more favor they each separately provided her with experts and modern weapons of the time. Therefore, she started to colonize independent peoples to her south establishing Nafxanyaa system of governance fitting her ability. Those that had never set foot below the plateau started saying, “you have not yet seen the whole world was ours”. It was then that Oromiyaa was partitioned between three colonizers. It was also then that part under Ethiopia was cut into ten. With that invasion, all people, in particular that Oromo, Wala’ita and Kaficho lost half their population was registered. Now leaving all those behind them they are offering to form a union as free and equal peoples. On the contrary, ancient Nafxanyaa system hopefuls are dreaming to control them. Though they had fallen with peoples’ struggle, helped by treacherous Oromo that have greed for power they are raising their heads and making noise. Though they cannot turn back peoples’ struggle, these losers are setting one people against other and are generating genocide and disturbing the peace. Arms Oromo revolutionaries that are stretched out fifty years ago still remain engaged to bring peace and freedom.

Oromo struggle spearheaded by their vanguard political organization OLF had its objective as breaking colonial system led by the Amaaraa and forming people’s independent democratic republic Oromiyaa. Tigrean interception did not affect their zeal. The possibility of forming a democratic union of the free and the equal was also envisaged. There is consensus on this even with “internationalists”. In the same period there were Marxist Leninist Organizations advocating class struggle to precede national struggle. The later lost and nationalist warriors continued their struggle. It is that struggle which was unofficially halted by formation of the federal system. In 1991 OLF, TPLF and EPLF came back with a Transitional Charter which was deliberated on with all others to agree on a transitional arrangement. EPLF led by Isaayyaas Afwarqii left the group to form independent Eritrea. But he never stopped interfering in the internal affairs of Itophiyaa and Oromiyaa. With that he had even gone for war and bitten. Nothing can be learned from him except, imprisoning, killing, looting and human rights abuses. The charter developed into federal constitution after fallout of OLF.

Oromo struggle did not come out organized and coordinating Oromo abilities in skill and education as expected. For this, conditions may be said to be the cause, but that does not mean there are no individual leaders to share the blame. It is better to leave that for history. We have individuals to praise or condemn; but no strong institution to mention. The one we have is weakened by internal and external campaigns. Qeerroo movement that shook the empire was not consolidated and brought forth as organizational force. That is why borrowed leaders from the enemy camp came, became head to it and sabotaged its journey towards freedom. Oromo intellectuals have to get aside from political cacophony and give it shape. It is worrying that Oromummaa is not being reflected enough in politics,

religion, social and economy. There is no stone unturned to deny Oromo power and institution since Oromiyaa’s occupation. Therefore, coordinating our capabilities is an urgent matter. It will be beneficial if here overseas, aid, information and propaganda are given priority and coordinated. Sameness of source and target makes that relevant. The meager resource we have has to be used wisely and transparently. Scores of fund raisers targeting same pockets, disaster? Continuing with federation or going for independence requires self-reliance and consensus.

The inclusion of article 39, the right of nations to national self-determination in the constitution was a point that later tempted postponement of Oromo demand for direct independence. The TPLF slept on implementation of the federal constitution while plundering Oromiyaa and suppressing Oromo opposition. PP has shown attitude of discarding all Oromo, nations, nationalities and peoples’ aspirations of freedom, equality and justice in favor of old Ethiopianism. Unlike these reactionaries, even the last emperor was expressing his wish to transit to new Ethiopia tired of the decadent old. Eyes of Dr. Abiy were concentrated on becoming a chief and did not pay attention to where those chosen supporters are driving him. He shunned Oromo taking them for weak to consider for supporters despite their taking him to the peak of power.

As Oromo son they trusted, he should not have turned his back on them. It would have been wise of him to remember that EPRDF came to power by faulty and unfair election. Trusting the honey flowing words of his Team Lammaa, his charisma and seeming willingness for change and the fatigue created under TPLF/EPRDF made people to forget the question of legitimacy. He was to lead OPDO/ EPRDF and maintain peace and order and arrange for exit to decolonized free new democratic order through general election in two years. He destroyed base of his legitimacy OPDO and EPRDF and tried to plug himself to autocratic past. PP is an Ethiopian Organization. That means Oromiyaa is run directly by central Ethiopian government after the demise of ODP a make-believe Oromo party. It is there that he parted with his Oromo rear. Just like the autocracy his bureaucracy started to lie on all issues and persecute rivals mercilessly. That is typical character of imperial Ethiopia he worships. It is unfortunate that such a promising young man developed contempt for his own people driven by vain glory. Still it is not too late to repent and get corrected. That is what Waaqaa whose name he always preaches like.

Now Oromo struggle is renewed and set on. Qeerroo has said, no going back until fundamental change is assured. It is either Oromiyaa for Oromo or perishing. It is said, no threat can turnback determined youth. All peoples favoring the federal system have to rise in solidarity with Oromo struggle to end unitarist colonial endeavors. Doing that assures accepting the constitution as recognizing sovereignty of each nation, nationality and peoples. The federal government will have only powers they agree to delegate it from their own. This is based on understanding the principle that peoples are the source of sovereignty. That should bring to an end to ganging up of Amharic speaking Nafxanyaa system hopefuls to usurp power in the name of Amaaraa and Ethiopia. Oromo are given the code name “Shanee”. There is no organization called “Shanee” even if there is, when the enemy did not distinguish between them, they have to keep their unity and move forward. Let all claim it and make enemy machination irrelevant.

Amaaraa people should take unequivocally stand on their relation with other peoples struggling for freedom, equality and justice. The visible problem is the premises of outlook they have for other

peoples. All discussions should start with peace, stability, development, happiness and advantage and disadvantage living together could bring not from culture, tradition, symbols, history and the name Ethiopia. This presumes the recognition of each nation, nationality and people’s rights mentioned above. Otherwise Nafxanyaa colonial relations cannot be taken as changed and all discourses will be adjusted likewise. Non-Oromo living in Oromiyaa in particular descendants of old Nafxanyaa should not give ears to their Finfinnee and Diaspora kin instigating them from afar but continue making peace with their surroundings. Those are their rescuers rain or shine; while Nafxanyaa system hopefuls are intent on freely riding them to power reversing rights registered by peoples so far. If sinister agitation of those persons from far off precipitate misunderstandings, wise men should get together in time and resolve them. They are Oromiyaans and should stand with the Oromo and freedom of Oromiyaa. Nafxanyaa system’s slogans, One Ethiopia, one religion, one crown and one flag has ceased long ago. As Oromiyaans we have first to assure rule of law and democratic governance internally. Then together we go out to negotiate with whom to live. The present constitution could serve as starting point.

They are all the people together that can construct anew or demolish Ethiopia; not Amaaraa or Tigraaway alone. What should be given priority is not the name but rather living together in a peaceful democratic union or as good neighbors with happiness and abundance. The source of all evils so far is the assertion of one group to impose itself over all others by force. To cut short the regeneration of the defunct old Ethiopia Nafxanyaa system, each nations, nationalities and people have to run their own free and fair elections. Then their delegates will meet in Finfinnee to form a new federal government. Technicalities could be discussed in the process. The past is gone never to return; let all try to cleans oneself for present and future harmonious life.

If that fails each nation, nationality and people are free to go their own ways. Respect for article 39 is what could keep all together. If that were erased Oromiyaa will declare its independence according to initial Kaayyoo. However, even if that is forced upon them no one understands better than them that respecting each other’s rights and interests, living together is peace is strength; living together gives better chance for development and realization of our common dreams for strong united Africa and the black race. The whirlwind in a cup should not divert us from our lofty ideals though recognizing each other’s base could build trust. That requires thinking big and dreaming great from all concerned. Respect for human and peoples’ rights should be our priority. Up with solidarity of the oppressed. Down with Nafxanyaa system revival! Let Oromo revolution flourish! 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!

Ibsaa Guutama

Adoolessa 2020

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