Peace Talks 

So far, for more than a hundred years those who are being more harmed by Berlin Conference of 1884-1885 are only Oromiyaa and her neighbors to the south of Abyssinian kingdom. One that occupied them was the only black African country that participated in the scramble for Africa was Abyssinia/Ethiopia. To correct wrongs done by occupying Oromiyaa many efforts were made since its occupation. But it increased the harm by attracting members of those harmed and escalated the oppression rather than correcting past wrongs. To bring peace between Oromiyaa and Ethiopia much was tried by bringing OLF and TPLF around a negotiation table since 1992. Just recently OLA OLF and PP sat for peace talks in Tanzania twice but cut without result. Because all of them take Oromiyaa as their private holding they do not believe that it belongs to the Oromo. To pretend as progressives, they always talk of democracy and equality. They make it rumored that the cut off talks is going to continue. However, there is no official statement. Rather, talks provoking conflict are being narrated from Ethiopian leaders. To add salt to Oromo’s wound PP is using psychic medium to raise ghost of Minilik for advice. It knows how the Oromo abhor Minilik and the nafxanyaa system. Had it had intention of reconciling Oromiyaa and Itophiyaa it could have raised him not for advice but for reparation for genocide. In addition, massive force is being deployed to Oromiyaa. It is also said that Ethiopian army committing crime Oromoo civilians. There is no doubt that Oromo will get their freedom without doubt, the question is in what way? If by armed struggle they are already in it; for the peace they love if a partner is available, they must draw up a clear policy.   

In peace talks with Itophiyaa there will be no limit for issues to be raised except few unnegotiable points essential for survival of the Oromo nation. Preexisting policy that states Peace talks will take place a) in presence of third parties, b) in neutral venue, c) without precondition remaining as it is, it is proper to add to them the following points. An alien had been deciding for Oromiyaa for hundred years. They started liberation struggle so that it would be able to decide for them no more. Their adversary must recognize that and accept it. Oromo were denied their independence and freedom by force. It was more than half a century since they were organized with determination to regain them with what the cost may be. If the alien has the willingness to end it peacefully, no one loves peace than the Oromo. But there cannot be honorable peace for all without equality and freedom.  To bring an end to existing conflict with honorable peace Oromiyaa had shown readiness. To facilitate this the following points were shown as not negotiable.  

1. Priorly conducting free and fair election in Oromiyaa in presence of international observers  

2. Enabling Oromo to express freely what they want   

3, That Oromo will manage their guns according to their will and passing their command to the enemy is unthinkable.  

Since Oromo objective is to bring about equality, one party has no more right to command on guns than the other party. If a new covenant is entered or the federal system is accepted it will be presumptuous for one party to take the rein for common political, social, and economic matters.  All relations must be guided by the law of equal partnership. Therefore, until the right of national self-determination of the Oromo people is realized and Oromiyaans can decide how their guns are to be managed OLA should never lay down its arms. Why had we fought for over fifty years, if we were going to pass our guns over to the enemy? Sovereignty for which they had been fighting for so long includes that. Guns are to be a deterrent to conflicts and should not be used for one party to threaten others with them.  

Oromo question is to be sovereign over Oromiyaa. After this is answered, possible relations with other people can be decided on “the basis of equality, respect for mutual interests, and the principle of voluntary association”. The root of present Ethiopian government is the Abyssinian kingdom. Because that is no longer there it may be a problem for the leadership resolving existing conflict peacefully; it has guns not a country. Peoples that helped forming the empire have denied it cooperation. It being based on nafxanyaa system, it cannot exist when that is absent, unless it could impose its superiority on all by sheer force as usual.   

 Therefore, PP would stand even with those that are trying to overthrow it and restore the Imperial nafxanyaa colonial system rather than positively responding to Oromoo question. The empire is in jeopardy, Oromo wants to decolonize, while Ethiopia and its elites want to recolonize. These are irreconcilable desires. For this reason, a call for peace made by Ethiopian side in particular PP can never be taken seriously. But if it miraculously would come in good faith, not only Oromiyaa’s problem but solutions to be suggested can include that of the region. Before the empire becomes “flour” to come up with genuine solution that serves the future, even if it means its demise would be honor for PP.  The word “flour” is borrowed from PM Abiy’s on TPLF. 

The kingdom that created the empire has now disintegrated. It does not seem those concerned could heal it soon enough. One that is leading the empire in its place is a party called Prosperity (PP). PP is not at peace with groups in the former kingdom. This colonizer had also never had peace with colonies that it had been suppressing by force. It would be difficult to bring peace and stability to a region until all nations rise in good faith for peace, accepting existing reality. All that are fed up with slavery must find their own panacea. The empire is going to be “scattered flour”. She cannot serve as flour any longer.  Those whose forebears created the empire whether they call themselves progressive or are reactionary they have similar opinion on Oromiyaa. They do not accept Oromo question. They are not willing to live in peace interdependently in equality as good neighbors. They want to have full control over Oromiyaa as before. All talk about capturing “Araat Kiiloo”. The presently incumbent government, pp will be the last to be throned in Finfinnee. Finfinnee is Oromiyaa, Oromiyaa will be autonomous country where Oromo alone can make decision about her.   

The colonizers, take it as a right to remain superior in Oromiyaa just like when they occupied it. Their remnants that are in Oromiyaa did not yet awake to know that they are not different from colonizers in Africa and Asia and their destiny is with those they live with, not historical relatives from which they were recruited into the nafxanyaa system.  It was told that Jootee Tulluu after defeating her relatives and massacred her brothers once said to his wife pointing, “If you bite here is a ferrule (sign of absolving oneself); if you want to sit here is a chair; if you prefer to depart here is the road.” Non-Oromo in Oromiyaa because Oromo have democracy in their blood, they should have no doubt that they are legally entitled to equal right with Oromo. If others govern Oromiyaa, they will not get anything better but even worst and losing goodwill they built with the Oromo.  

For now, the Oromo have only their guns and determination and commitment they have for the cause. They are sure to be free erasing all that stands in their way. No power can deter them if only they can hinder an Oromo child from becoming force of reaction. Better guard oneself than humiliating one’s person and one’s nation. Oromo only said let us be equal and determine our future relations and never suggested let us suppress others. They want to take back only what belongs to them. They said that PP is not Oromo and does not represent them; and did not say there are not some members who are genetically Oromo. OLA stood for the Oromo and never aims at them for to kill or plunder is Safuu, except in self-defense. They take Oromo saying “One who abuses the poor never become rich” from heart. The Prosperity Party (PP’s) chief function is to abuse the poor, it does not know Safuu. Its slogan is to drain the Oromo people (sea) and expose OLF OLA (fish) to doom; not to free the Oromo people from OLF.   

When one talks about reconciliation one must see it with the above raised problems. Not only the wish and love we have for peace. Since the time of the emperor’s fall, only superficial changes took place, not fundamental ones. Those that led the revolution were those that wanted to restore old nafxanyaa system. Therefore, they did not dismantle the structure of the empire so that a new order replaced it. Unless that happens, equality remains a dream. Therefore, all that came wanted to rule the empire with false propaganda. When it was expected to bring peace, they took Oromo’s enemy from the grave and made him their hero; and made his ghost speak through medium. Is it not said,” To say bogyman eats someone is to scare the slave?” They are taking one as their past slaves. They are praising to Oromo, war that took place between two colonizers of Horn of Africa; they have built a memorial in Oromiyaa, what a contempt? They are trying Oromo that betrayed their people and those brain washed and joined them to be considered as Oromo heroes. With this they are trying Oromo to forget those colonial war captives who were used as slaves and beast of burden and perished on the road to Adwa and back.  Oromo will never forget their nationals that fall with injustice in the hands of the enemy. Oromo are struggling for the Kaayyoo/objectives those have fallen for; they are awake, organized, and armed. They will no longer be deceived.  

Therefore, either they will dismantle the empire together in peace or the war will continue until one or both sides give up taking the matter to negotiation table.  If the empire is not dismantled everyone that mounts it cannot be able to change the system that it was created with. It will be guided by it. Oromo in general are poor because of being denied using their resources. They all have a cause to fight for. The Ethiopian government have been enriched by plundering Oromo and others’ resources. They are deploying the poor across the border to fight their war with those resources. Theirs is an unjust war and destined to be defeated. Even if the war is concluded with peace, the life of the poor perished by it will not return and mothers of the poor shall remain crying. The time may come to hold the culprits accountable. Therefore, why spill innocent blood and destroy unimaginable wealth when it is possible to save so many lives and wealth before it is too late. Peace talks are a remedy.  

All Oromo must rally behind OLA to force the enemy to the negotiation table for peace and freedom. Nations, nationalities, and peoples in the empire are separate entities most brought together by force only a hundred years ago. Now what is wanted is coming together depending on their own will. Lies and distorting history of each and the empire serves nothing. Only peace talks will bring peace, stability, and development for all. Our history, whether fiction or true, does not serve our present problems for we are not going to relive it. It may be good for history books.  

Ethiopia politicians understand the Oromo question and its righteousness. But greed for wealth and power tempts them to distort the truth. For the Amaaraa masses what was coined by their politicians is taken as the truth; that Oromiyaa belongs to Amaaraa, and they came from outside Africa. Entity called Amaaraa was not created when Oromo roamed this part of Africa.  What sin is there than distorting history? Once upon a time in a country called Sayyoo, it was said that a harsh ruler was removed, and another called Naaqee replaced him. A person sang praising the newcomer Naaqee. Another person in reply said, “You messed and shitted; is Naaqee your father, all are Amaaraa, and all will mount you and loot you.”  That is how Oromo understand Ethiopia. This shows peace talks devoid of falsehood aimed at fundamental change based on truthfulness are required. Dismantling the structure and function of colonial empire must start. Any peace talk that does not take that into consideration and does not take voluntary union of peoples cannot thrive. 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 

February 2024