This year Oromo are celebrating Irreecha under tight enemy control and at a time when they are suffering from war and famine. Though they may not have funfair as tradition demands for being in deep mourning, life must continue and struggle. However dire the situation may be that thanks to the creator should not be forgotten, they observe Irreecha and wish all good luck, peace, and happiness. This article focuses on problem in Tigray, though also reminding one’s own.
Ethiopia is no more what it was fifty years ago. Peoples’ political consciousness is rising and effect of centuries of brainwashing is expiring. Old Ethiopia is in jeopardy more than ever. Amaaraa and Tigaaruu are at loggerheads. Other peoples like Qimaant and Agawu demanding for right of national self-determination complicates everything. Domestic and foreign friends of empire Ethiopia are all focused on how to make peace between them and show no concern for human sufferings and questions of Oromiyaa and neighbors in the south, which were Abyssinian colonies. Their interests are hinged to survival of Ethiopia which they think is possible only if Northerners were united and in peace. If Southern questions were answered there are no reasons for the North to quarrel, for in the South lie most of everyone’s interests. Without controlling economy of the South, cost of war and source to recruit fighting man power will not be there. And hope of control over southern lucrative resources will vanish. International community may form new relations. Cause of struggle for Oromiyaa and other colonies are loss of, freedom, land, resources and humiliation and contempt by aliens. The oppressed are standing against these by contributing blood, sweat, know-how and finance. Coordinating those contributions with determination and commitment leads to liberation. Liberation fighters alone should not be left as sacrificial lamb. All should have a part of the sacrifice to share. Alien economic exploitation must end and economic cooperation of neighbors must biggin.
The North has lived with whatever problems they had for centuries. They got relative calm and semblance of unity after they colonized the South. They stablished in the South nafxanyaa colonial system different from the North, cruel, oppressive, and dehumanizing administration, and land tenure system. Later, they developed story that Oromo country used to be theirs and Oromo being invaders. Based on that fictitious believe they never thought they will let the colonies free. Even the seemingly progressive TPLF/EPRDF did not want to let the South go. Putting down a provision for secession in the constitution it used to accuse OLF of being secessionist. The provision was to fool public opinion. How many were massacred as a result? Just as colonization created unity among them struggle for decolonization is putting them into jeopardy. Federalism, autonomy, self-determination, and equality of regional states was left on papers of the constitution. Had the path to genuine federalism and rule of law were pursued then, the present devastating and irreconcilable conflicts might have not happened. Empire Ethiopia would have phased out smoothly. We are all African peoples with our own peculiar identity. Let us aim at a bigger picture of uniting Africa as equal and free peoples rather than firing up local skirmish based on imported legend and greed. Changing people who from generation to generation for centuries have come being told lies about itself we understand is difficult. But if we can change ourselves, they will have no choice except following.
Amaaraa want for supremacy of old Ethiopia to continue. On the other hand, Tigaaruu have declared to join others in the struggle for right of nations for national self-determination. Now Amaaraa has the empire state in its hands wearing Oromo mask. Tigaaruu are facing 6: 100 ratio force not considering those of Eritrea and drones and bombs from overseas. It has media monopoly in the empire to lie to the world with policy that seems no one in PP or under it should speak the truth about anything. It is with such disparity that Tigaaruu are standing their ground. They deserve our Hurrah! PP and co know from now on they cannot win a battle let
alone the war; because they are conducting unjust war with evil intentions. If they can order the gun they are not bothered as to how many human beings are butchered before their demise. Old rivalries and old habits of past centuries are not dying. If they have no compassion for suffering of their cousins, the Tigaaruu’s dying children, and women abused and in pain, they are not expected to have a grain of sympathy for Oromo and other aliens. Only in their death would they see resurrection. PP and Amaaraa group it led, are not bothered inviting Eritrea to fight against an Ethiopian region and slaying of Ethiopian subject. In their hallucinating minds Eritrea is still part of the empire. They must get rid of Tigray to have free hand in the empire by suppressing rebellious colonies in alliance with Isaayyaas. Thus, their government in alliance with Eritrean forces have conducted the ugliest war for the last two years and put Tigray under siege.
. Genocidal level war crimes and crimes against humanity are committed on people of Tigray. No essential supplies could reach Tigray for four years. The last two years were the most sealed ones. With lack of food and medicine many are dying as told. No bank, no internet, no electric power, no fuel oil, no maintenance services to choke Tigray to extinction. To make next generation, generation of illiterates and cripples, education and health facilities are destroyed. All wars being conducted by PP are directed against specific groups of human beings. Particularly they focus on, imprisoning, killing, and abusing the intelligentsia, women, and the youth of productive ages. That is what is going on in Oromiyaa, Gumuz and Tigray this very moment. Whether one calls it genocide, crime against humanity or war crimes, the most inhuman act is being committed on human being in Tigray region. The same crimes are being perpetrated against Oromo and Gumuz peoples to mention only the most affected. What makes Tigray different is its being part of the old kingdom and being surrounded by enemy controlled territories. Tigaruu are sacrificing their children and resources to break this siege. So far food did not come and siege is not broken, despite beating enemies at every front and having thousands of captives Even it does not seem they got contraband outlet.
International community is not only slow in responding but also give more weight to own interest and government in power than human suffering. Not only now, we know this from our experience. To assure OLF join transitional government they vowed “No democracy no cooperation” Despite that, during days of TPLD/EPRDF atrocities caused by Command Posts, the imprisonment and tortures, summary killings, the Hora Harsadee massacre, burning of prisons of Oromo speakers etc. were overlooked by them. Every diplomatic door OLF knocked their response was give them time they we shall engage them to improve. But TPLF went from worse to worst and before seeing their engagement positive to Oromo TPLF was over thrown after 27 years. OLF was caused to wear down. Now Oromo freedom fighters may give critical support and stand with TPLF not only because they have common enemy, but it is Oromo culture to stand with the victimized. This may not mean to testify TPLF is intrinsically good but because the good Tigaaruu are under distress it must be helped. When they all are free, they may bring to rest their old differences and be partners voluntarily as equal African neighbors respecting each other’s interests.
According to basic OLF belief, victims are not to blame for using any means to break siege and feed themselves. The rich and the powerful have no moral authority to raise about rule of law when they are not raising a finger to protect it. There are human beings refusing to be molded like machines in shapes they want them. All in Ethiopia and others interested in Ethiopian politics know that there is something wrong in the way PP came to power. That must be first cleared in order to have legitimate body to talk to otherwise, talking to them is absolving them of all crimes. There is no limitation of time to be accountable for crimes done. Therefore, no criminal should think one could escape from sward of justice if one is alive. The OLF believe in independence of Oromiyaa. It was because of principles accepted by Article 39.1 of Ethiopian Federal
Constitution that it joined the Federation. Any resolution of existing conflict must be based on those principles to be resolved. Then the old empire state shall be dismantled and federal or independent states built on its ruins.
Empire Ethiopia can never go back to status quo ante. Amaaraa colonialism has become history with downfall of the Darg. With that a new federal union which members could quit if they are not comfortable with it was formed. It was a compromise to delay independence drive of Oromiyaa by some elites, not based on Oromo consensus because for Oromo have never been asked what they want. In federal system central government has limited authority unlike unitary one of old Ethiopia. But the present PP government deviating from the constitution became all controlling using the decadent empire state. That is concept of government “Mangist” Amharic speakers understand. This shows difference in outlook between PP supporters and true federalists. Federal government is a voluntary union with specific functions entrusted to it, and its continuation depends on continued will of the federated states. But since the North hardly understand this, independence remains the only option left. In this region those that want dominance are creating problems. Any effort to bring about peace and reconciliation between African siblings in the region must take their differences into consideration. For Southern peoples which were Abyssinian colonies the Ethiopian empire state is not legitimate. Rethinking and reconstruction is necessary. As neighbors, North and South are going to live side by side for eternity. They can live without problem if only they respect their mutual interests and live in peace as equals and free people. For now, lift the siege on Tigray let them live first and then talk to stop the war. Withdraw your forces from Oromiyaa. No Amaaraa militia and Faannoo are tolerated in Oromiyaa. No people struggling for freedom will lay down its arms when the government is alien and illegitimate. Victory to all oppressed peoples! 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!