Oromo Public Assembly of April 19 2016 at Washington D.C

Oromo living in Washington DC could reach several thousand if they are not hiding under different labels. Through the years of exile they had conducted several peaceful demonstrations to express their grievances. However, more than two digits rarely assembled. Reports of hundreds were mostly exaggerations. That of April 19 was different and remarkable. With conservative estimation 3-4 thousand people had gathered. If one could observe from sidelines it looks like a great flood. The Oromo banner of resistance with two peripheries red, dotted the assembly giving a semblance of stream covered with spring daisy like irreecha season. That this banner belongs to all Oromo not to a particular group is clearly shown. It was carried by fallen Oromo heroes and heroines of half a century and it is not for so and so but all those that identify with the kaayyoo they have fallen for, have claimed as their own and are flying it everywhere in the whole world.

As told, the gathering was initiated in Minnesota. By relations Oromo community there created with representatives of the state, it was arranged to present a briefing about Oromiyaa at Capitol Hill in Washington DC on this day. Because the day was the second working day it was not expected that that many people could come. Oromo issues were heard by the Oromo and alien Oromo friends. It was of great benefit for the cause. Eleven Democratic Senators in addition with Republican Senator Rubio have passed resolutions condemning violations of human rights and gave guidance for follow up. Such action had never been experienced in Oromo struggle. Years of relentless efforts has come out with such a result. This was accelerated by the movement that is going on back home. All have awakened to witness that Oromo are a force to be reckoned with in the region. What happened reflected that reality.

It is obvious that starting to be heard by American politicians is a victory for the Oromo cause. From now on overlooking Wayyaanee atrocities by world powers could only mean complicity with the genocide. That be as it may the more important event is that on this work day so many nationalists came to the rally from all over the US sacrificing their time and money. Realizing the necessity for united action they have come out in full force to make the voice of the nation heard by all interest groups. What is important for the Oromiyaans is their understanding and concern for each other than rare smiles from aliens.

Preparing for the briefing and the rally was not without its own ups and downs. But all were overcome and the target hit. It will be good to retain the positive aspect of it and remember the negative to improve future difficulties. There is no reason why the example of Minnesota will not be repeated in other states. Oromo in Florida have to be recognized for lobbying their Republican Senator to understand the plight of their people. All have to start learning from each other. If there are mistakes, exchanging reports not to repeat them again could bring benefit for Oromiyaa.

When Oromo Communities’ Association in North America (OCA-NA) was created in July 2015, it was with the assumption that it will be instrumental in in helping overall unity of the Oromo people from a non-partisan stand. But from what is observed now, their readiness did not reach that level. Since it is too young, now it will rather be encouraged to get strong rather than being blamed. If there are legal and technical problems this event has to be taken as early warning. Those that lead are our intellectuals of high standard. There is no excuse not to devise means of fulfilling trust placed in them. Community Associations are not expected to be places where differences in world outlook are reflected. For this reason it could serve as a non-aliened agent for such things like public assembly and relations with foreign offices. It has also advantage for those of us that believe in differences be it in faith or counties to keep it that way.

That this day should be on Tuesday was not in Oromo hands. Otherwise had it been on Friday that dawn in Saturday, the number of attendants could have been double. The number of people coming from outside Metropolitan Dc seemed to be greater than those of the surrounding. This shows unity and concern we have for our people are showing progress. At certain level shunning each other had become the norm. Those that keep each other at a distance will have no sincere dialogue. Diaspora has its own mind set that makes speaking in turns a rarity but yelling at each other a norm. That is now becoming a senseless short time phenomenon.

The present rally showed how searching solution together for common concern can be productive. It showed a glimpse of hope that several issues could be tackled through discussions in order to advance the ongoing struggle. To help our people not only to gain political consciousness but also on how to defend themselves and counter attack the enemy is what all have to think about. That requires creativity and different skills. Therefore it is wise to make full effort and widen this opportunity and coordinate Oromo abilities. Oromo struggle is not the first in the world; it is imperative to study techniques all used and inform each other.

It may not mean that Oromo diaspora have overcome their weaknesses with this demonstration. It means they are enabled as a nation to hold small differences that embarrass them and go yonder to see what will be useful for their development. Characters that humiliate us are those that originate from bad habits. Since they do not leave us at once we have to try to shade them slowly with patience. Now Oromo are showing the world that they are maturing in political outlook. That the sacrifices nationals are making back home is yielding result is being realized by all. Those outside are expected to support with all they can so that the struggle at home come out more coordinated. This is only the beginning of mass movement. With experience gained drawing a more robust tactics and strategy has become a possibility.

The world wants a body that could be an alternative to take over the responsibility for security of that region. If they could get organized and present themselves in orderly manner there is no one that can beat the Oromo for it. Even if one is possible to lead only Oromiyaa with peace, discipline and stability half the task could be overcome. If stability is maintained around Oromiyaa it is valuable for its peace and development. Because of this the Oromiyaans will support stability of neighbors for their own sake. But there should first be own strong dependable Organization. For the world of interests what is wanted is not respect for human rights but respect for their interests. The principle of respect for human rights is raised only when those interests are threatened and their client fails to stand internal pressure. The erratic Wayyaanee if left to stay longer is going to be a liability not only for the Horn of Africa but also for those who have interest in it from far beyond. It is provoking unrest everywhere. When everything starts to fall apart because of that no power can fix it.

To keep any terrorist at bay we have to get rid of the internal one. The time is very scary. Wayyaanee is opening the flood gate for evil by poking its finger in internal and external peace. These days in Somalia there is not only Al Shabaab but media are reporting the appearance of a more ruthless organization called ISIS. This we see sprouting all around the empire state. To guard against any infltration, Oromiyaa has to have internal peace and stability. That cannot be ever achieved unless one throws off the colonizer. The world has to know that. There is no one that has better human power and ability than Oromiyaa to keep any terrorist at bay. Wayyaanee is a whirlwind of the dry season it roars momentarily but will fast withers away because it has no deep root.

Generally the gathering of April had shown the consciousness and strength of the Oromo to those that had doubts. Much more has to be shown to win more attention. It is expected that one day they will go out with one slogan in all parts of the world and show to all more strength and solidarity than the present one. If that day comes no diaspora and refugee should remain at home. Let us hope that Oromo community associations in the world will start preparation towards that end and helping the creation of united Oromo body.

Oromo enemy has emaciated and is wobbling. Big competitions are going on to uproot and discard it. One that preempts decides the next step. Our independence is knocking at the door; would we open it or wait until we are locked out? The revolution has to be kept blazing if our destiny has to remain in our hands. Viva Oromo strength! The struggle shall continue till victory.

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 forefathers!

Ibsaa Guutama
May 2016

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