Oromoo Struggle

Under this title some aspects of Oromo struggle which are purposely distorted by political actors will be presented periodically in the simplest possible way and be clarified. Here issues alone will be discussed not personalities or groups. We hope Oromo of different outlooks hammer out their difference through dialogues in order to pave the way for a civilized debate between the peoples of the Horn. That is the only way out of dependency.

Objective of the Struggle
Oromo struggle is against the illegal occupation and domination of Oromiyaa by Ethiopia for over hundred years. The present Ethiopia is name sake of ancient civilization of upper Nile centered in Merowe; it is not that Ethiopia. This one used to be called Habashaa (Absiinia). Oromiyaa fell under Habashaa rule at the end of the nineteenth century, during a phenomenon known in history as Scramble for Africa. Habashaa was the only Black Country that participated in the scramble with European imperialists. The Habashaa then acquired many countries and established an empire. With that, their king started to call himself by the title “Emperor of Ethiopia and the Gaallaa Countries”. The Oromo, a people used to be called Gaallaa derogatively, form a single majority people in the empire and the Horn of Africa. The Oromo language Afaan Oromo is a member of the Cushitic language group. Though suppressed for over a century it has shown great progress in the past decade. Oromiyaa is rich in human and material resources. Historically it was one of the old democracies expressed through a system known as Gadaa. Government was formed through the process of election and its deliberations were all inclusive. There was no authority above the law in old Oromiyaa.

Odaa Nabee was the last central Caffee (Parliament) of Oromiyaa. It was from Odaa Nabee that in the 16th century it dispatched forces under Abbaa Duulaas (campaign masters) in all directions to reclaim lands they lost in ancient times. Alien historians call that campaign “Gaallaa Migration”. All dispatched used to send delegates to Odaa Nabee Assembly as need be. With time passing the Abbaa Duulaas were tempted to form their own replica Caffee wherever they went. That severed relations with the center. It was in the nineteenth century that strong warlords started the reunification of different tribal regions. For example Jootee Tulluu was able to bring all lands to the west of Jawwee Stream like Sayyoo, the kingdom of Anfilloo, Jimmaa Horroo, Leeqaa Qellem and Begii etc. under one rule with Gidaamii as his capital. 

Morodaa Bakaree, consolidated the lands west of the Gibee River, like Leeqaa and Sibuu under his domain with his capital around Guutee.  The Five Gibee States Jimmaa, Limmuu, Gommaa, Geeraa and Gumaa were forming confederation. Buunnoo and the lands beyond Gabbaa were in the process of uniting. Over all the five Gibee States and the present Iluubbaaboor plus Naqamtee and Gidaamii had treaty to unite against alien invaders. Northern Macca and Tuulamaa had understanding and stood together against invaders. The tribes of Barintuma had different level of understanding as was told. The formation of Communauté Mosleman in the East in 1919 and the Western Oromo Confederation in 1936 were continuations of those reunification efforts carried forward to the period of colonial rule.

Thus when Absiinia was divided into principalities (Era of the Prices) Oromiyaa was also divided into domains of tribal Bokkuu and Mootiis. Both nations were trying to reunite their respective countries. The Absiinians completed theirs first. Then they preempted by catching the Oromo at their weakest moment. That was how Oromiyaa was colonized before its reunification was completed. With its fall the whole history of the region was changed. Since then the conquered are under brutal military governance. De Salviac once wrote “the Oromo do not know bowing and prostration; this free people do not bend in front of any one”. But he didn’t live to see the consequences of Habashaa invasion. That free people is yet searching for its way out to regain lost personality.

With colonization came slavery, dislocation and dehumanization. The colonized was subjected to constant physical and mental harassment through out the years to come. Many could bear it no more. Though they knew the enemy was too much for them they wanted to assert their honor and die. So there were several scattered armed uprising and civil movements against that military occupation. But they all were easily suppressed by the occupier. The Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) was born out of those armed uprisings and civil movements. A pan Oromo liberation movement thus came into being for the first time to coordinate liberation struggle of all Oromo. This once free and proud people, were reduced to second class citizens for lose of freedom and independence. That was the cause for the birth of a national liberation movement. That cause still lingers and the Oromo is still subjected to alien dictate.

But issues that clearly propelled the oppressed into rebellion were not unequivocally explained by leading cadres whenever questions arose. That was what raised doubts in the minds of observers as to the ultimate aim of Oromo struggle led by the OLF. Oromiyaa has a defined territory with very few minority enclaves. Its majority inhabitants are Oromo. There are significant number of other peoples who are descendants of the colonizing force and those who came to work and live on their own. Among them are those who were born and brought up there and those who came recently. All are Oromians as long as they are willing to fulfill their obligation in similar way as the indigenous. That means sharing not only the comfort but also the sacrifices for her liberation. The choice is theirs, to stand with the oppressed they were born and brought up with or to join the oppressor that had lived unduly exploiting their labor and never contributed any thing to their wellbeing. It is the question of supporting justice or advancing injustice.

What do Oromo want?
What do the Oromoo want are the usual questions friends and adversaries ask. Such questions arise from the mixed message and lack of clarity of answers given them by the groups or individuals they encountered. This signifies that there were, among members of OLF leadership, those who had problem with the program but not bold enough to leave it at the initial stage like their other buddies. There were also the spineless who have lost self confidence as to their ability to take the Oromoo struggle to the finishing line and preferred to be ambivalent than forthcoming.  We will here try to be as clear as possible so that the cause of this great nation is well understood.

It may put politicians in awkward position denying them to use two cards one for their freedom craving people another for donors who have interest in the status quo. There are numerous members in the OLF and in Oromo communities that believe their organization has only one card, the card of freedom and independence. As long as such individuals exist it would be difficult for one group to solely negotiate for changing its course of struggle. Therefore any effort by a third party to negotiate with or help negotiate a segment not withstanding the real nature of the struggle is doomed to failure.

The first declaration as to the nature of Oromo struggle was made by OLF in its political program of 1974 as amended in 1976. But the movement had begun well ahead of those dates. In the program was enumerated that the land of the Oromo, Oromiyaa, is a colony of Ethiopia for more than a hundred years. It also asserted that the Darg and all other parties in alliance with it are Nafxanyaa (colonial) parties and cannot represent the Oromo. Though revolutionary jargons of the day, which time had made irrelevant, were used the goal of the struggle was clearly declared as the liberation of Oromiyaa and establishment of an independent republic. It has also unequivocally indicated its intentions for liberating the nation’s human and material resources from the grip of aliens. What matters is not what the program included or didn’t include but the contempt and injustice the people is subjected to.

To come out with common objective was a break through from the confused state in the national psychological makeup that subjugation and dependency of over a hundred years created.  It was not easy to extract oneself from trauma created by century of brutal colonial dictatorship. Still the hangover is visible on many nationals. That be as it may the fear that the colonizer had from day one of its conquest had now come to be real. The Oromo had come out with a road map for independence of Oromiyaa. The group though few were composed of determined youth. The urban wing was formed from high school and university students as well us politically conscious urban dwellers; while the armed wing was formed by farmers, veteran soldiers and some intellectuals who had said enough is enough to alien domination. It was a clandestine organization.

The peasant revolution of 1974, which was later hijacked by the imperial army and Absinian elites, forced a change of trend in the colonial system. The new rulers chose the then popular line of socialism to woo the youth. Otherwise they didn’t have idea as to where it could lead them. Later they refined their thoughts through tutorial courses given by returnee refugees and declared themselves communists. That attracted many left wing politicians and opportunists from clandestine movements to come over ground. Many Oromo youth and intellectuals also left the liberation movement to join the Ethiopian left.

The recognition of the right of nations to national self determination was a good excuse to leave the more demanding liberation movement. The Darg proclaimed the “new democratic revolution minimum program” with their pressure. It was taken as a common term of reference for all who spouse ideology of the left. To be on the left was preferred for security reasons than to be left. Very few remained on the right and most moved to the left confusing the real ideological division in society. For this reason both left and right ideologies were concentrated in the same camp, the so called progressive camp.

Thus Oromo that actively participated in politics legal or illegal saw the essence of Oromo struggle in two ways:

  1. The Oromo question can be resolved through democratic struggle within Ethiopian state. This was entertained by groups that joined the socialist revolutionary camp and that of the fallen class.
  2. The Oromo question can be resolved through the struggle for liberation from the colonial yoke establishing independent republic Oromiya. That was the declared goal of the OLF.

The first line was smashed by the Darg and many who espoused it were killed. The group that advanced the second line took to the mountains of Oromiyaa to join the armed wing or flee to foreign land. Those that survived the Darg’s onslaught though not without sacrifices were still able to contribute to its overthrow. After the over throw of the Darg, OLF and other Oromo groups participated in forming the transitional government with other political groups of the empire. The Abyssinian group included non Absiinians groups to buy time until it figures out how best to reinstate the empire state.  The OLF was thrown out first and the rest followed.

What was the difference between the two outlooks?
The first believes that it worth to join hands with Abyssinian groups and democratize Ethiopia through class struggle. National struggle they say is subservient to class struggle and so is not a priority for them. Those who emphasize the need for national liberation were accused and harassed as narrow nationalists. Class struggle was prescribed as a panacea for all ills including national oppression.

Absiinians used the concept of class struggle to diverted attention from national oppression that gave rise to the revolution.  They were careful as not to affect their supremacist status with the must be done shakeup. Their movement was divided into right and left wings. Oromoo that abandoned their own camp were shared by both wings. In the right was EDU and in the left Darg and its allies and EPRP. For both wings the purpose of creating all that confusion was to maintain the empire as it was. The real enemies against this were national movements; imperialism and feudalism were just rhetoric. 

At that time as now the only common basis of Oromiyaa and Ethiopia was being nations in the horn of Africa. They both were and are Africans. Other than this there is no common basis to coordinate their struggle. The Oromo wanted to first assert its right as a nation. Unless they are on equal status as a free people master and slave can have no ground for purposeful dialogue. Working class of oppressor nation doesn’t have similar psychological makeup with that of the oppressed nations. The Habashaa wanted to take advantage again under the guise of class struggle. Previously it was the gun that gave them advantage.

The present day Habashaa does not recognize the Oromo as a separate entity from them. They want to maintain them as their ancestors used to. For their ancestors Oromiya had been the supplier of loyal servants and abundant wealth that helped them to build the empire. Those servants might have also sired or bore some of their rulers in a condition shrouded with secrecy. There are bulls that are not limited to one herd. Otherwise the Oromoo as a people has always remained alien and a constant supplier of manpower and material wealth for their security and comfort. That is the life Oromo Ethiopians wants the Oromo to continue living. For themselves they envisage the life of Goobanaa, Qusee and other great servants and if lucky that of Tafarii Bantee.

The present day Ethiopianists have similar understanding. Only the class struggle factor is absent. Instead there is a tendency of Oromo Tigree and Oromo Amaara in their ranks. Darg’s slogan “Mother Ethiopia or Death” still seems to weigh with them. If the regime declares pluralism they have no problem whether it implements it or not. They are ready to register as loyal opposition and work for consolidating Ethiopia for Habashaa. They want only a small opening to pledge their allegiance to Habashaa supremacy. They want others to believe that if Ethiopia is democratized the Oromo question can easily be solved. For those suffering from dependency syndrome it is more secure than the struggle for independence. To justify their abandoning the independence struggle of their people they raise issues of the changing world.

The world is turning into a global village they say. And globalization makes national struggle out dated. For the others the struggle for human rights and freedom is an ingredient part of humanity. For them it becomes out dated only when human species is also declared so. When their people are still being displaced, imprisoned, mutilated, tortured, killed and their homes and environments are burned down for being Oromo, when they are evicted from their lands and given to greedy investors, to talk of fear of reprimand from global powers is by itself immoral and treacherous cowardice. That was what the others felt.

Great democratic countries in principle abhor subjugation of one people by the other, or a people by dictators. They are often heard advocating respect for peoples’ rights and human dignity.  But in practice it is observed when their national interest makes them overlook the evil doings. Yet they cannot help to support national liberation when it weighs great on their conscience and purse. Kosovo from Serbia now, and the other Yugoslavian dependents yesterday, can serve as an example of a modern day case supported by many world powers. Even the tiny Montenegro had registered much help to secede from Yugoslavia. With that the Serbian empire was buried leaving free Serbia on its own. There was no time in history that the world supported the down trodden on the basis of human rights than the present time. So what are those people talking about is what the others ask?  We are only asking Absiinia to free all and be free herself.

So the same world phenomenon is seen differently by the two national groups. One looks at it as the most positive period for liberation struggle while the other has a negative apprehension. The Oromo has more external forces that agitate against its liberation than those that oppose the tragedy befalling it. The colonizer in conjunction with these forces is always engaged in marginalizing the Oromo cause. Its strategy is to maintain the status quo in intraregional relations. Confused with antinationalist propaganda from so many directions some in the nationalist camp are losing self-confidence. For this reason there are those that have started to reconsider their original position. Thus those who should have defended their cause are turning against it in the name of tactics. A foolish mans tactics can end up fulfilling strategy of the enemy.

Thus the Oromo at this point of time are exposing themselves to relentless attack by those who want to maintain the status quo, instead of standing firm and defending Oromo interest as a solid body. All colonizers pamper the galtuu (quisling) only as long as they serve their purpose.   Behind their smile is a ferocious predator that is ready to devour any opposition in the next available chance. And it is this seeming smile that is wooing the unsuspecting into its snare.

No Oromoo in history that has placed confidence in the colonizer had ended honorably. Nothing would make the present different. They will be used and scrapped when the time comes. The experience during the transitional exercise of 1992, if not the earlier history of TPLF, has shown how unreliable the colonial regime could be.  It is into the hands of that group that some want to replay without showing improvement as to their capabilities. There are so many that are trying to distract the Oromoo struggle from it original goal to the benefit of the colonizers. 

The second group believes that Ethiopia is an empire. In history empires had never been democratized. All western, eastern and African empires of the old are witness. Therefore Ethiopian empire is no different. Given time, like all empires it is destined to fall apart and democratic states sprout from among the ruins. A recent example is the Russian empire. System change by Bolsheviks without changing the fundaments didn’t give it an everlasting life. It has fallen apart though the empire was among the strongest in the world and second to none. Whether you call it Soviet, Federal Republic or by any name it could not camouflage its true nature from the verdict of history. For the second group the enemy is the colonial system and those that uphold it.

In addition to the historical truth the Habashaa have their own records. They had never had the rule of law in their governance. Autocrats ruled at will. They never had smooth transfer of power. One who wields the strongest force becomes a king. In the nineteenth century, two outlaws, Kaasaa and Kahisay, crowned themselves emperors. Minilik the son of a village king that used to call himself king took over power from the fallen emperor Yohannis (Kahisay). Tafarii a distance relative over threw the heir apparent and became emperor. Any one who by force or cunning crowned him/her self claim to have come from a mythical dynastic line.  It was in the ability to claim not blood line that one can build a road to commonly believed legitimate mythic ancestry.

The Darg that over threw Tafarii Makonnin broke that pretension and claimed legitimacy in the force it wielded on behalf of the working class. Thus even their recent history, 1855 to the present, shows the lack of a system of succession to power. Because they all come by violence they guard themselves by it. That is why they can’t entertain democracy. Democracy is the rule of majority. They had always been in the minority and never had experienced the relinquishing of power in a peaceful way. The present regime had tried to act democratic but has its own fears. It could retain the fraudulently amassed wealth only as long as it remained in power. There is also risk of accounting for past abuses, lives and rights it stampeded. That was too scary to abide by the election it promulgated. It scares its compatriots as to what could befall them if it were overthrown. That is why they are rallying behind it with little question.

How does the OLF want to fulfill its goal?
The Oromo is a peace loving people. Be it in internal or external relations it is known to give priority for peaceful coexistence. It is also not known for lack of stamina to fight back. No war waged by the empire state had been won without having Oromo galtuu in the forefront. Oromiyaa had been a source of brilliant mercenaries for the Habashaa court. It is that service given by individuals that they want to cite as a peoples participation in shaping their history. It is such distortions and lack of tradition in peaceful political struggle by the Absinian regime that forced the Oromo to take up arms. The Oromo has a firm belief that it is its birth right to use all available means to liberate itself from colonial oppression.

Had the colonial regime abide by the rule of law and recognize the right of its subjects to freely organize assemble and express themselves without fear of threat to their life and liberty there would have been no need for violent uprising. They could have struggled for what they believe in, like so many nations in the world; for instance like the Quebecois do in Canada and Montenegro in Yugoslavia. It is up to the Ethiopian regime to prove its self democratic and allow independent organizations to operate if civilized political struggle is expected. Love for independence of peoples is even putting Britain’s unity under question. Scotland and Wales are demanding independent existence after hundreds of years. It is now through persuasion not force that the British state is trying to keep them together. Absiinia had something to learn from old tiny mighty Britain.

Much is talked about referendum in settling the question of the right to national self determination. No body denies the need for holding referendum so that the people determine its destiny directly. But referendum is not what is struggled for, Oromo struggle is for freedom; referendum will be a byproduct of their struggle.  It is a means to conclude a phase of the struggle. Even then the OLF will advocate and agitate the people to opt for independence. Those who want to live within Ethiopia have also the right to agitate for what they believe in. The OLF has always stated that it is ready to abide by popular verdict. No democrat should stand against such good will.  

The OLF by its nature cannot be a loyal opposition within the Ethiopian political system. It is a liberation front not a political party. It is not there to change positions with other loyal parties in ruling the empire state. Its aim is to destroy the empire state. After that it may join hands with others to establish democratic entities from underneath its ruins. OLF is a pan Africanist organization. Independent Republic of Oromiyaa can form union with other democratic states within the empire or in the region with unity of Africa in sight. But first it has to be independent to make credible decisions. Interregional peace and development can be achieved if all parties are free and equal. It cannot be an excuse for accepting to stay under subjugation or create unfitting alliance for the sake of others.

The question is can the OLF engage in peaceful political struggle under the colonial regime? Yes why not? But it cannot be a member to the Ethiopian party system. It can compete peacefully for political power in Oromiyaa as an independent organization with no allegiance to the empire state. It has also the option of not struggling for power but to agitate the people for independence in a peaceful setting. The will of the people will be determined by referendum conducted as need be.

But with the Ethiopian regimes that seems far fetched. They, by nature and tradition had never tolerated opposition. The present was the first regime to accept the concept of pluralism with international pressure. When it came to implementing it, it only landed loyal opposition in prison and is threatening their lives. Seen against what happened to loyal opposition liberation organizations should not expect better treatment. All regimes want to maintain the empire setting as was inherited from their ancestors. That is a historical truth. Each regime is present oriented. It works to maximize benefit for itself rather than laying grounds for peaceful life of future generation. Therefore dominance is at the center of its policy.

In airplanes they advise passengers to put oxygen mask for themselves before going to help others. That should serve as good example. Unless one is sure that one can continue to breath independently one could collapse before helping the other or save the other and collapse; when it was possible to save both by assuring ones own survival first. The present trend among some Oromo groups could lead to save the ailing status quo at own expense.

There are Oromo groups that would like to remain within Ethiopia whether others like it or not. They only pray to be tolerated by the Ethiopians. Among these are those with nostalgia for the emperors and the Darg’s era. Others are those promised benefits like land and positions if they join the regime. Still others are those who fraudulently joined the movement with a mission of wrecking it and burying the thought of independence ones and for all. Still others are the confused nationalists who had fallen victims to alien machination. Even if they realize that later, they lack the ability to extract themselves from the quagmire.

All together they are not OLF but its zombie. They lack the soul and flesh of Oromoness. Hence cannot represent the OLF in any dealing.  Above all no group that doesn’t show credibility and consistency of principle can represent its nation. There are those that remained with the kaayyoo and still have more claim of legitimacy than any one. As long as such credible groups exist and the desire for freedom is engraved on the minds, even of a small group, OLF can never phase out before the liberation of the Fatherland. 

So it is only the desire of the Oromoo people for liberation that determines the destiny of the OLF. No group has the right to get up and say struggle is no more necessary. If there is any one who thinks he/she cannot advance any more, it is possible to change ones objective and name to join the Ethiopian opposition. Otherwise trying to hide under the name of Oromoo nation will be considered treachery. A revolutionary knows that the struggle is a protracted one. If it can be concluded during his life time he will be happy. But if it takes generations it will not surprise him/her.

These days knowingly or unknowingly there are movement with intention to weaken the objective of nationalists. All Oromoo associations in the Diaspora are in state of crisis. If a string that goes in and out of that is pulled it could lead to Oromo knowledgeable. Many have abandoned Oromoo tradition of safuu. According to it no Oromo shall expose other Oromo to alien scrutiny for individual or group benefit. But a case where compatriots were exposed to freely extract from them some fifty thousand dollars was observed. In the case against compatriots the OLF was presented as an economic firm. Members were presented as donors. The good will and the trust OLF accumulated over years as a result of the sacrifices comrades made was presented as an effort of the plaintiff group. This exercise by a group has cost both sides a substantial amount of money which could have been used for the struggle against the enemies of the nation. For the group OLF that upholds OLF programs as amended in 1998 are the principal enemy. So no wander if they prefer Ethiopia’s democratization over Oromiyaa’s independence.

In another instance something awful had happened to an Oromo scholarly association for benefit of the same group. With pressure from those knowledgeable, the whole process of election was hijacked in its favor.  Members who opposed that election didn’t get proper response that decency and tradition of the nation and professionalism demand from those concerned. “It has been done so what?” was the answer. In that way a group went away with the association with what since then came to be called “The sham Delaware Street Election” by many. So far there’re no reports that Oromoo had assembly on streets except under shade. But our intellectuals applauded that street election as demonstration of Gadaa in action. It happened on the street. Not election of leaders of such revered knowledgeable but the selection of the qorqarii (leading ass) that used to take place in the streets. 

Had Gadaa been like that there was nothing to be wished let alone to be adopted. To relate something that had cheating and contempt for each other to Gadaa discipline of the Caffees of Gaayyoo, Nabee, Bultum, Bisil etc. reflects the depth of knowledge we have for the Gadaa system. Probably what is intended was to make people shun the Gadaa political aspect presenting it not as decent assembly of adults but street gangisterism operated for cacophonous mob. Gadaa is remembered as being among known disciplined political and social orders. Its deliberations were all inclusive and not blotted with arrogance of a clique.

If there are those who have no information, sitting of Gadaa was so much revered that it was performed in the calmest and disciplined environment from start to end of its deliberations; under the same shade established by law. It must be understood that it is not a system where affairs of a country are discussed running about. In short the essence of Gadaa is disciplined concentration on issues with consistence and ilaa fi ilaamee (dialectic reasoning) method of discussion. Our knowledgeable should not have put their hands in such a mess had they reverence for safuu.  In such a time when evil doers try to divide us down to family level what was expected from our scholars was to guard solidarity of the nation. Unless they have different mission knowledgeable cannot lack the knowledge for this. They should not have inserted their fingers in issues that create conflict among the Oromo but those that can unite them. How great it would have been had they played the role of mediators.

The Oromo have very few nationals who went for higher learning. They were the selected few who were given the chance by their own people at its own expense. They therefore are expected to be even handed. When they side with one segment of the society it will be no less than betrayal for the whole. If they really believe in Oromummaa that they are trying to preach, it is high time for them to reassess their doings before fully getting immersed in Ethiopian quagmire. Otherwise it would seem that their intentions are calculated to wreck the whole pretending to patronize a piece of the OLF. 

Oromoo struggle had cost numerous lives and property to reach this stage. We the living have no right to distort their objectives. In particular those of us who had runaway from our country to spare our lives had to fear safuu. Defect that comes for being done by apprentice hand would shame the coach alone and cannot hinder the beauty of the outcome of peoples struggle. It is sinful to joke at the ghosts of fallen heroes. Sin can hurt one more than ones belly.

With arrogance and selfish attitude of the colonizer the end to Oromo struggle is not yet insight. But the struggle is gaining momentum every passing day. When victory comes it will be sure and dependable. With a group from a people claiming supremacy over all others there cannot be fair and free competition. To bring an end to conflict in the region the attitude of having the right to dominate all others by Habashaa groups must change. Now the Tigrawayi are trying to dictate their term on the majority; yesterday it was the Amaara. On what basis or logic does the world expect the Oromoo, a different people from both these, to submit to their dictate? OLF is the antitheses of such dictates and has legitimate grounds for its demands.

What is expected from nationalists is to go back and work towards getting the answers for questions they raised decades ago. The enemy will push them to concentrate on internal skirmishes. That will have no benefit for the Oromo. Let each go on what ever way one chooses as log as there is common agreement as to who is the enemy. What all are advised is to respect aadaa and seera Oromo they usually claim. Any one who stands with the enemy would get the response prepared for it.

It is only Oromiyaa that knows where it pricks her. To pluck it out she should not ask any ones permission but understanding. If she allows herself to ask it is by giving her right as pawn. For this reason as the snake said, “It is one that coils oneself”. Her salvation could come only through self reliance. There is a denial by her Habashaa rulers that Oromiyaa is an entity with her own rights to freedom and independence. That prompted the Oromo to rise in arms. The struggle led by OLF shall continue until Oromiya is free and independent. Expecting democratic change under the empire state is naiveté or intentionally deceiving. Scared minority cannot relinquish power voluntarily. The colonial system and those that represent it are the enemies of Oromoo kaayyoo.  One who fails to understand that is only inviting disaster to the cause. There could be ebb in the struggle but that doesn’t mean it will never again flow. It will flow and the coming deluge will force the conducting of a referendum. Then all with different outlook will present their case to the people freely. Even then the OLF and all freedom loving movements shall agitate the people for independence. Referendum is a means to the goal not the goal itself. Oromo nationalists should not waste time over internal bickering rather than concentrating on the response they were out to get. The Oromo want no more than freedom and independence from colonial rule. Aspiration of the people may be suppressed for the time but can never be wiped out. Alien court shall not give evidence for our being OLF. OLF was born and registered in the hearts and minds of all Oromoo and its rightful members. It was signed and sealed by those who paid the ultimate sacrifice. The land of Ilmoo Ormaa belongs to all who had labored for its liberation and those who appreciate its values. For those who are in despair we pray strength.

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
July 2007

Ibsaa Guutama is a member of the generation that drew the first Political program of the OLF.
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