Formatting the Colonial Question

Until there are Oromo that are totally free from colonized mentality; if Finfinnee do not publicly speak to us in Afaan Oromo; if Oromo land are not totally under Oromo control; if alien body or alien representative do not give us orders without our expressed common will; if the question is not that afaan Oromo become federal language but federal office get consent from Oromiyaa to operate in Finfinnee; until supremacy of the law is established; we cannot claim Oromiyaa is free of colonialism. Those claiming Oromiyaa is free are either in deep sleep or are sell out; let those in deep sleep wake up and witness that Oromoo are being killed shackled in chains everywhere by PP and the sell outs. Pioneers that started pan Oromo organized liberation movement put objective of the struggle as “… realization of national self-determination for the Oromo people and their liberation from oppression and exploitation in all their forms”, by which people’s democratic republic Oromiyaa will be established. Then only can we say Oromiyaa is free.

Colonies of the Empire had never stopped questions of freedom since they fell under Ethiopian rule. The colonizer has relentlessly tried to shape them and hoped such question will never be raised. Brainwashing and carrot and stick method it used was so thorough that all its supporters and patrons thought they were all assimilated and given up their identity totally. That was how they justified their support for territorial integrity and sovereignty over others land, Oromiyaa included. It is saddening to see countries considered as democracies endorsing this enslaving position. Being member of UN is assumedly not unconditional but requires abiding by its Charter. However, that does not seem the case. Rather, once one becomes a member, “our member right or wrong” becomes the norm. Colonialism has violated territorial integrity, freedom, and sovereignty of Oromiyaa. It is to restore that, that they are struggling. They never accept being integral part of other nation,

Ethiopia had been violating all values UN has since it was founded, those of human and peoples’ rights among them. Such rogue behavior is rooted in nature of the empire. It is being blind to these facts that all want to resolve existing conflicts without tackling the root cause. Problems of the region, unless seen in their right context can never be solved. For Tigaaruu, Agawu, Qimaant, Walloo etc. the struggle is not only to resolve current issues but also seven centuries old scores. For Oromiyaa it is the question of total decolonization. Tradition of being under same crown and sheer force have kept the Northern nations and nationalities together willy-nilly. There had been no harmony between them since the fall of Zaaguwee and the rise of Amaaraa under Yekunomlak. The Amaaraa alienated itself from the rest by claiming its origin to be from King Salmon through a legendary illegitimate son Minilik I. The Agaazii/Tigraaway seems to believe of being founders of Abyssinian kingdom and so betrayed. Now, while the Tigray issue is seen as internal Ethiopian issue that of Oromo is considered as that of Habashaa appendage. It is failing to observe this that is keeping Oromo elite apart. Though many say they favor independence they are not able to erase Ethiopianism from their mind. Until majority can think in Oromummaa, viable independence cannot be close.

Ethiopian empire state is formed to serve Amaaraa colonial interest. Its leaders whether coopted from the old kingdom or from the colonies serve the purpose it was built for. In the past origin of such leaders were hidden. Family names of major actors of the empire like Ras Mokonin, Fitiraarii Habtagorgis, Dajaach Baalchaa, Fitiraarii Gabayyoo etc. were suppressed so that their Oromo origin is not traced. TPLF changed the tradition. Ethnicity of its lieutenants were publicly known. It created OPDO and other PDOs from Oromo POW to penetrate the different colonial nations, nationalities, and

peoples to help it compete with OLF in winning Oromo heart for its hidden colonial motive in the federal structure for which understanding was made with OLF. Oromo as a nation nd OLF did not participate in its last construction. Since then, many new bloods are added with power and wealth as a bait. Thus, OPDO in content was Oromiyaan but Ethiopian in objective. Overthrowing TPLF and changing name to PP did not change their being alien tool. That is why Abiy’s and his warlords being Oromo did not change colonial status of Oromiyaa. They rather picked up ideals of the former colonizers and tried to recuperated it. They now entered service of Amaaraa reactionary forces than standing by themselves. With them Ethiopia has cheated the world by wearing Oromo mask on Amaaraa authoritarianism. As far as the Oromo are concerned except change in style of governance there is no difference between the defunct monarchy and the present regime. Ownership over Oromiyaa was taken for granted by all of them. But these days that remains only a dream.

TPLF has made much harm to be committed on the Oromo for three decades. Mostly it used OPDO, the present PP for that. Except for PP it is now far away and not in a position to harm the Oromo. Oromo are subjected to harm more than any time before. Injustice is being done on people of Tigray like the Oromo. Outside its evil deeds, TPLF has entered in its constitution rights denied by its predecessors but agreed with Oromo freedom fighters. Among them the following can be mentioned. that Oromo are separate and self-sustaining people; the present boundary of Oromiyaa state; federal system based on equality of peoples; to work and learn in own language. Those only created hate and war from its former partners not praise. To condemn it with those enemies has no benefit but loss for the Oromo. But for power mongering by individuals in the leadership and their autocratic background TPLF on documents is people’s organization. There are enemies and Oromo naive that want Oromo to discard this and fan only the bad side of TPLF and forget the contempt Amaaraa nafxanyaa had for them. This writer had tasted prison and ill treatment of TPLF he believes that grudge he has should not overshadow benefit of the people. Therefore, he accepts that relations that have advantage for Oromo struggle must be supported. However small that may be, there are no past and present Ethiopian regimes that paid attention to Oromo interest like children of Tigaaruu. For now life of both Oromo and Tigaaruu are in danger; if they survive they will raise together whatever harm or good they committed against each other.

Oromo struggle is against oppressive alien institution that has perched in Oromiyaa. Thus, Oromo are fighting against an enemy that had invaded them without them crossing to anybody’s territory. On their behalf, OLF had been fighting for the last five decades to dismantle this alien institution, the empire state and free Oromiyaa from underneath. That is the only solution that could bring peace to the Horn of Africa. Of the said over eighty language speakers under Ethiopian empire, we are not sure how many have survived so far in tact with own definite territory. Whoever have survived are entitled to the right of nations to national self-determination. No one has rightful authority to decide for them. As far as the empire state is concerned it obligation is to let them free. They must decide to live by themselves or in union with those of their choice. To be small and recognized as a country is not new to the world (Vatican City — 800; Nauru — 10,876; Tuvalu — 11,931; Palau — 18,169; San Marino — 34,017; Liechtenstein — 38,250; Monaco — 39,511; Saint Kitts and Nevis — 53,544). The Ethiopian empire state has no right to deny or allow the right of nations to national self-determination to anyone. To take care of those on the verge of extinction together is humanly duty.

Ethiopian empire politicians and their patrons are concentrating on saving the Abyssinian polity from disintegration. The old state which is already disintegrating is only kept together by thin thread of federalism which is being threatened of severing by nafxanyaa system hopefuls. Friends of the empire state believe solving problems between Ethiopians will automatically solve problem with former colonies. This cannot be taken other than being contemptuous and racist attitude. It will only be strength and determination shown by Oromo Liberation Army (OLA) that could change this attitude of theirs. Otherwise, they could lose what they aim to gain by saving the empire state. Oromo desire to be free does not deny anyone’s freedom or legitimate interest except overlordship of Amaaraa ruling

class. Oromo believe in equality of all human beings, peace, and respect for mutual interest of their neighbors. This is what their political and social culture dictates. They believe no body must define other nations, nationalities, and peoples except themselves. It is only accepting this that political conflicts of the region can be resolved. Oromo though potentially one of the strongest entities in Africa for the time it has remained weak because of historical accident. This is going to change soon. Their democratic background and their cool temperament make good peace makers of the region.

OLF belongs to Oromo of all regions and religions. By cultural orientation Oromo are not extremists. Abyssinians have tried to bias international community for prophesying traditional Waaqeffataa religions and Islam as in the old when they claimed themselves as “Christian islands in Moslem and Heathen Sea”. All is changed; there is no more island, all share the various confessions. If there is suspicion, they must share more of it. From their different statements Tigaaruu are committed to right of nations to national self-determination. That was why they were subjected to inhuman treatments and genocide. Elites of their old senior partners did not want to part from their old nafxanyaa chauvinist way. All nations, nationalities and peoples of ancient Abyssinian kingdom are demanding for identity denied them since the rise of so called Solomonic dynasty. All had established communities before emergence of Amaaraa heterogenous group formed from among them. For this reason, if analyzed Amaaraa become Tigaaruu, Agawu, Qimaant, Argobba, Gaafat, Oromo, Beejjaa etc. Amaaraa emerged as a warrior class that had lived by dominating peoples in the surrounding first, and then republics and kingdoms far off with the help of overseas alliance. And so, could survive only if it maintains dominance over others under unitary autocratic system. Therefore, the right of nations for national self-determination that leads to independence or federalism is their nemesis. Therefore, it is difficult for them to make peace with those that uphold this right. That is why talks with Tigray failed and those with former colonies are refused.

Colonial relations have come changing since 1974. The unitary political system was done away with and a federal structure was created. Though each federated state was headed by speakers of its language, still the Abyssinians were at the helm with favored lieutenants recruited from the old colonies for newly created states. That means, there were still some elements from colonial past lingering. That will be over only if the empire state is dismantled. The empire by nature is anti-people, anti-democracy, anti-rule of law, anti-general peace and ant-freedom. For those that want to ride as it is it gives much promise in wealth and power if they do not show compassion for human beings. The first Ethiopian federation has failed because of greed and misunderstanding of Oromo society by the new rulers. People considered revolutionaries and much were expected from them started turning anti-people. Mistakes done in the morning was to cost them much in the evening.

There are conflicts in the Ethiopian Empire State; One is quasi-internal, the other is with the colonies like Oromiyaa, Gambeela and Benishangul. For now, the internal conflict is being given more attention by the empire state and international communities. There are Oromo individuals and groups that fail to see this and still cling to the empire state as if it were their own. The Amaaraa is confident of forcing Tigray, their former junior partner to submission and get back to colonies that make trouble. The “Idaawu Gabsi” (not worth much effort) adage for aftermath of TPLF defeat emanates from that understanding. Ethiopia for empire state functionaries is the old kingdom from where nafxanyaa invasion was launched. Their speeches, their propaganda materials, their war orders are all based on Amharic and Amaaraa psychology. At their hearts when they talk of Ethiopia, they take the motherland as standard. What is good for her is good for the former colonies. For empire politicians and supporters Oromiyaa is considered estate on which they all must live and Oromo are considered their serfs. However much they labor, the empire state is broken beyond repair. Oromo and others are conscious of their separate identity with those that have named themselves Ethiopians. To be called Ethiopians require their free will. Nothing, henceforth should be taken for granted.

Birth of new era of freedom, independence and peace is inevitable. Exploitation and dominance of one people over the other shall end. Now, the question must be not how to maintain territorial integrity and sovereignty of the decadent empire state but how smoothly to conduct referendum in order to transit to the next peaceful, democratic, and freedom-oriented phase. There, what will have value will be the will of the people. All peace, freedom and justice loving people must cooperate in seeking successful completion of this process for the common good and good neighborliness. The key to this is for all recognizing sincerely the right of each people to national self-determination. Otherwise, no one can stop people determined to be free. Today they may not have the big guns and means of mobility but with commitment for a cause and determination they can make the region ungovernable without the guns. Piecemeal tackling of conflicts in the empire as if no other conflicts existed will never bring peace to the empire and the region. Reactionary effort for restoration of old Ethiopia has already failed at conception.

Ethiopian empire cannot be reconstructed because it has exhausted its time. Its name will remain only on history books like all empires in the world that preceded it. By fall of the empire all nations, nationalities, and peoples under it are set free. There political future is in hands of each of them. All conflicting parties should come around a table and resolve on how to bring peace to the troubled region before things absolutely fall apart. The region had been subjected to oppression and war for more than a century. People need peace to continue existing and leave behind prosperous and happy generation. That can be achieved if all consider each other as equals not as preys irrespective of differences. And if all have mutual respect for each other’s interest and uphold the rule of law. Then only would the consideration for political union can be entertained on principles of voluntary associations. If there is any oppressed people and lack of equality and freedom in any corner of the region others freedom and peace cannot be guaranteed.

Today truth on the ground is that Amaaraa created empire is crumbling. Abiy has taken oath to restore the empire to its ancient assumed glory. For this he galvanized Amaaraa and misguide Oromaaraa support by building Prosperity Party (PP) out of them. For the common Oromo his role in their political life is not different from that of Goobana Daaccee and Tafarii Mokonin in past century. He is Oromo vowing to destroy Oromo and preserve their country for Amaaraa. The recent commotion created in Wallaggaa is a good example. Tigraaway and Amaaraa had been rivals since Amaaraa emerged as a force. Now it seems Amaaraa empire state is determined to make an end to that rivalry. Whoever is the fittest will survive the carnage. The genocidal invasion and siege on Tigray by nafxanyaa system hopefuls in the last two years has shown failure of world solidarity in protecting the weak. Galant Tigraaway have shown the world that disparate and determined minority can do miracles. Amaraa under protection of Abiy who commands huge forces of empire state is campaigning with all forces it can mobilize against all neighbors. International community that always start from own national interest, not sure of outcome of the conflict and not having consensus on the issue is wavering between integrity of empire state of their creation and supporting just causes. Cause of wars that are devastating the region are their misguided policy though directly conducted by Amaaraa with their boy Abiy as its stick. The others, without going out of own country are defending themselves for survival. For them peace has benefit while it could be loss and detriment for Amaaraa and Abiy’s existence. Unitary system in which their autocratic system could flourish and foreign alliance alone, by which their dominance is protected fits them, not federalism. The rest are asking for right of nations for national self-determination to be realized for them and equality of all peoples. They want trust to be built between people and will based opportunities for cooperation facilitated for them. Their question is just, democratic, and peaceful. Therefore, all those that raised arms and standing for their freedom

must coordinate their efforts to overcome forces of evil of the nafxanyaa system hopefuls. If one of them falls it opens opportunity for abuser to easily tackle the others. Therefore, allying and assuring victory for the peoples is a priority. The struggle of all oppressed and those of the Oromo and all nations, nationalities, and peoples they have fallen together shall continue until they rise together. That is how question of colonial and lack of freedom needs to be formatted. Freedom to all oppressed peoples! Oromiyaan haa jiraattu!