Towards a Peaceful Transition

Oromo rage that was suppressed for ages started to erupt with thunderous sound from November 2015. Never in the history of Oromo since 16th century had such great number rose together to determine its own destiny. Such a civilians tide was never seen rising at the same time empty handed in the history of the region to challenge an enemy armed to the teeth with modern weapons and police and army commandos highly trained by powerful nations of the world. And never had the nation stood its ground for such a long time without flinching in the face of death, imprisonment and torture like the present one. They have defied the garegox and one for five system of espionage that pervaded each Oromo hearth. The Oromo owes these gallant revolutionaries great thanks and remains grateful for instilling back the pride it lost for over a hundred years. With such revolutionary zeal there shall never be turning back until. Wayyaanee packs back to Tigray leaving behind all it looted. Wayyaanee is a loose tooth there is no remedy except pulling it out. Land of Oromiyaa and everything on it belongs to Oromiyaa Wayyaanee cannot get away with it. No foreign bank shall maintain stolen treasure in its account for TPLF/EPRDF members and its beneficiaries when peoples of the Ethiopian empire are threatened with famine and drought. Woo to them that refused to see Wayyaanee’s clay feet when they started flirting with her. No African leader or families had ever benefitted from such stolen fund after their demise. Wayyaanee has to be chased out to the same fate by hook or crook for peace of the whole region.

The fire of Oromo revolution will go on glowing at times reserved and at times being ignited. It requires digging in one’s hill, persevere the harsh reality and exhaust the enemy. The Wayyaanee is serval cat not a leopard it is trying to imitate. Since it is not made for the long run it should not be given time to rest and recuperate but keep on running until it exhaust out itself. Even now its force is overextended. If determined, Oromo has the capacity for a protracted struggle and a great chance to win. Such struggle can cause great pain and despair but to leave blood of its youth and heroes and heroines unavenged makes it more painful for a proud society. Wayyaanee fighters killing Oromo civilians and returning unharmed ought to stop. Shimala, mancaa and gajaraa may be necessary to replace empty hand.

What is called unarmed and peaceful struggle doesn’t seem to work henceforth. The present united uprising of the Oromo nation is witness for the expiration of fear of death and torture instilled by the enemy for over a century. Oromiyaa has to be free to live without fear and threat any more. War of the enemy does not include only modern weapons but also psychological warfare and creating doubt among nationals with smear campaign. Oromo should not be merciful for nationals that collaborate with the enemy and spy on their people. But they have to distinguish between agents created to serve the enemy and those that the enemy defames to create discord with compatriots. It is advisable to give benefit of the doubt for one’s strong person than give ears to divisive enemy propaganda and rumors.

Oromo compatriots who had fulfilled the entire legal requirement under Ethiopian constitution are being blamed for being Oromo, beaten and dragged to filthy prisons full of bugs, fleas and lice irrespective of age and status. Torture, threats, killings and contemptuous insults there are not to extract information but to cause maximum damage that could express their hatred for the nation. In particular leaders of OFC are now targeted as terrorist collaborators and punishment out of proportion is awaiting them. It will be a surprise if the core group is not totally annihilated. This is not new policy but denying the Oromo capable leadership has come down from time of occupation. Though declared pacifists, as long as they are brilliant Oromo, they cannot be left alone to give leadership to any Oromo group. Opposition parties are there as escorts not rivals to TPLF as the world assumes. Standing by them for Oromo everywhere, irrespective of their differences in political outlook, at this testing period of Oromummaa is a compatriotic duty, even if one disapproves their method of struggle.

Another serious matter facing the struggle is how to tackle the cacophony in the surrounding about solidarity and alliance against the Wayyaanee. Wayyaanee is now committing genocide against the Oromo just like its predecessor regimes. Oromo is already waging a liberation struggle to bring that to an end, delayed partly for failure in leadership. There is no guarantee that those that had come so far with objective of strengthening the colonial empire can have now different thing to offer. The way Oromo view themselves and their country, Oromiyaa, is different from the way Ethiopianists view them. One has to change those views to change the status quo. Oromo has nothing less to negotiate if not more than what is provided of Wayyaanee Ethiopian constitution. Vigilance and to stay collected is required as not to be decieved in earthshaking commotion of our own making.

The same is true for Southern Nations and Nationalities and the Nilotic (SNNN) that fell at the same time with Oromo. They were all free dignified people living in each other’s neighborhood, politically independent and economically interdependent like all peoples of the world. Together they have fallen and together they should rise with more tight relations minus colonial subjugations. Therefore Oromo alliance with those peoples needs no preconditions. They have common burden to get rid of, the burden of colonialism. It is only after that that they consider other human relations with their own free will. In short they have first to regain their rights of national self-determination. If they want to make political union with other peoples it must be on mutual respect for their national interests and rights, not on dictation of any other nation or groups. To overcome that they must be able to form not divided organization with internal bickering seeking external support to cover up internal weakness but strong self-confident front that can win every body’s trust. There can be no alien that can be closer to one more than own compatriot.

Still Ethiopia is that empire formed in 20th century with help of European during the phenomenon known as the Scramble for Africa. The colonial relations established then as what they call “Qiny Gizat” did not change since then as some want us to believe. Still the Habasha dominates the political, economic and social aspects of life of the colonized. Still foreign support is pouring to keep Oromiyaa suppressed as ever.The Oromo are never asked for their consent to be partners for Ethiopia in their long history and not even now; unless running an errand for TPLF for a year, during the transitional period is considered as a big deal. The change in minds of thinkers if not reflected in reality becomes only aberration. Almost all African nations that were colonized by Europeans then had attained their independence but Oromo and SNNN are still struggling to free themselves in their own ways. With introduction of Christianity to Habashaa land, some myths were created by Copts to make the rulers next to God. The legend of Queen of Shebaa was one of those. After occupation those legend were pulled out from archives and with some additions the claim of territory for Ethiopia was extended to the equator with suggestion of foreign advisors. It was those fictions that were fed to Habashaa children since then. All the gobbledygook heard from Habasha elite camps is the result of that brainwashing to inculcate utopic Ethiopia into their minds. Their rulers are stuck in their primitive ideology of strong man rule. A strong man used to come to power by force and gives it up only in the same way. Oromo climbs to power by election and dismount when one’s Gadaa term is over.

These days pretending to change that trend with the help of a Western researcher, one strong party is formed and fake election was designed by a strong ruler that came to power by force. At this stage the strong designer is dead living one party system behind. That strong party is now headed by a transitional Wala’ita mask wearing Tigrawayi until a strong man comes to the open. It will not be easy for Habashaa to break out from the spell of the myth and adapt modern democratic ways. They know it is necessary, but they are not ready to give up on old tradition for democracy, a foreign concept.

Since colonization the Oromo have undergone rigorous brainwashing and extensive propaganda. All meant to make them despise their own ways. The green yellow red colors they flew when massacring them replaced their white, black and red colors, faajjii. They were forced to change their traditional faith, branding it as satanic and uncivilized. Overtime Oromo were pulled into all myths Habasha entertained. However the Oromo struggled to disentangle themselves from those myths, it has taken them longer than expected, being betrayed by their own leaders at every turn. Now the masses have taken over the struggle. If runaway leaders do not get back and provide political leadership for the new movement the Oromo should take away their organization, the OLF and create new leaders from their own ranks. It would be essential to guard oneself at all times against leaders under alien spell with embedded autocratic and opportunistic outlook.

Unless one frees oneself from mindset formed by Habashaa myths to get agreement on any liberation issue will be far off. It is assumed that as human beings most peoples of the Horn of Africa have common interests in peace, freedom and stability. Smooth transfer from that mindset to focusing on mutual interest is to advantage of all in the region. The unprecedented Oromo movement that started in November of 2015 has opened a new chapter in awakening all that things can never continue as usual. So, why the tirade, why the defamation and false claims are necessary if change is clearly inevitable? They cannot stop Oromo revolution but may slow it for no end.

Oromo have two choices, one is to continue the struggle using all available means or coordinate its efforts with all others, get rid of the Wayyaanee and live the outcome to chance; the second is make a prior agreement to sit down with all stake holders for smooth liquidation of the empire and transiting to the second phase. Whatever happens should happen for the good of all stake holders, their peace and tranquility. The present abused people’s spontaneous uprising has exposed Wayyaanee’s weakness. Autocratic and fascistic system has surged from underneath democratic façade. Such a system once shaken had never regained their balance but perished. Concerted action to solve chronic problems of the Horn is now.

The Oromo revolution has shown that no gun can suppress a people’s will forever. If it is crashed now, Waaq forbid, next time it will come back with better insight, led by organized national leadership. When that happens one can imagine what difference it could make. Before further blood shade between African siblings all, small or powerful, weak or strong have to come around a peace table and address each people’s concern and conclude all existing conflicts to avoid chaotic ending. First the army must be taken to the barracks outside the conflict zone. In the meantime a genuine transitional arrangement to liquidate the empire and start anew has to commence. No nation, nationalities and tribes should be left out of such deliberation. The recognition of the right of nations to national self-determination is unnegotiable. It has to be the first conference of peoples of the Horn as equals where no nation will try to impose its will on others. Each people are sovereign, sovereignty could be relinquished only by will of the sovereign peoples. Such a gathering has the chance to come out with a win, win situation and feeling of African brother/sisterhood.

Many Habasha elites have shown verbal solidarity with peoples of their colony in their struggle against brutality of Ethiopian regime for the first time in more than a century. That, if genuine is a right trend. It is beneficial for all peoples to be transparent in any suggested desired relations. What are the objectives, dreams, desires and beliefs of each people? That is what needs to be understood in common. All have seen the process of decolonization on others; as unique as it is, this could take a different trend but will happen. As to the war with Wayyaanee, Oromo and others have different goals. The goal of Oromo is the implementation of Article 39 of the Ethiopian Constitution. For many the fall of Wayyaanee may or may not make the struggle easy and so assumed result should not be taken for granted. For others, the fall of the Wayyaanee in an internal Ethiopian matter. One side wants to get back power usurped from them by Darg’s demise and considers rights guaranteed by Article 39 as divisive and tribal.

Land of Oromiyaa belongs to the people of Oromiyaa not government. Habasha elites have come down enjoying the policy of land belonging to government as source of individual wealth. In the mother land, land belonged to the people; they cannot sell and enrich themselves. It was one major policy that created in them superiority complex and is troubling their outlook to this day. Such recognition for them is the basis of “gosa (tribal) politics”. For every Oromo there is nothing as disgusting as that inference. Oromo is not gosa (tribe). It is a nation with several gosa (tribes). It is doubtful even if Oromo which are Ethiopian lackeys accept that designation. Therefore they are required to reconsider the concept of holding Ethiopia as a holy entity, which could make difficult for them to fully accept the right of nations. Oromo has no problem with the term “Ethiopia” it is an ancient word that all black people can claim. The problem arises when Oromo history is distorted to claim legitimacy of Habashaa over lordship.

The empire is disintegrating. The Habashaa have the problem of keeping their house in order let alone to maintain their tattering empire. They could learn a lot from Qimant phenomenon that no people can be taken for granted for total assimilation. There uniting factor Oromiyaa gone, even to keep Amaaraa regions together is going to be difficult. Concentrating on plundering the colonies they never thought of strengthening their heart land. Their unity so far was thus based on dominating Oromiyaa and SNNN as their common source of lively hood. Now Oromiyaa is refusing to be dominated and demanding for decolonization. The myth created to deny Oromo belonging to this part of Africa has already been demystified. The Wayyaanee also is refusing to share the last spoils with them. That means they have to plan for post-colonial Ethiopia, Ethiopia without an empire. Accepting that can there be any means that Oromo and Amaara are of use for each other? They had thrown baits to attract some Oromo activists but since they have no enough bait to trap all Oromo, they have to try a sincere way of absolving themselves from past evil deeds abandoning sinister approaches. Then only can trust building starts.

Gondor has complaint of human rights abuse as well as territorial questions against the Wayyaanee. Their case is also getting complicated by introduction of another dimension, the Qimant national factor. If that case is resolved peacefully between Qimant and Amaaraa, Gondoree can easily tackle Wayyaanee issue. How democratically they resolve the Qimant case should interest the Oromo. In such cases people to people can resolve conflicts amicably. They are only groups that benefit from suffering of the oppressed that do not want resolution of national conflict peacefully.

The Habasha, as core groups of the occupation army and as privileged persons that had easy access to land and wealth of Oromiyaa, as fortune hunters and as the only ones that speak language of rulers were partners to the abuses and loots. There remnants are now found scattered throughout Oromiyaa and the Southern states. Some of those have never seen their ancestors land except hearing about it. But for lack of information most are not Habasha but offspring of “non Habasha Askaries”. This writer had close acquaintances and peers who learned about their ancestry being Oromo only after retirement. All their years they considered themselves and others also considered them as “pure” (nitsuhi) Amaaraa. A good number of them were brought up indoctrinated at home as Amaaraa (Christians) among alien people and faith and so were told to be on guard against them; with attitude of baseless arrogance, fear and contempt for the colonized peoples. They tie strings around their necks and were warned not to dine with those who do not have them. The fear was still there even among those assimilado. That is inheritance of ignorance, which they are required to shade if they have to live in modern society.

These people have the right to live and work and enjoy all rights of citizens in this rich land of Oromiyaa. They have the right to struggle for their share in it even though they should know that rights come with obligations. Instead of eating what is generously provided why do they call on them hynas from across the river? If they are not Oromo they are Oromiyaans. Despite such possibility it is difficult to understand why they favor a nation far off that had occupied Oromiyaa by force, impoverished, oppressed and dehumanized the indigenous and abandoned them as well. They may be only psychologically better off from the indigenous for being related to a powerful nation, not in other things. Oromo are people that believe in human equality and the rule of law from time immemorial. This is attested even by Habashaa historians. Politicians had tried to instigate some irresponsible individuals like themselves to clash with the indigenous even to the extent of forming unviable gangs known as “Gaallaa Gadaay” and cry about ethnic cleansing when they are counter attacked in self-defense. They keep on hammering on the assumed fear of being attacked as aliens without any historical backing it. It is those they defame that arrive first when they are in trouble not the unknown kin.

Liberation of Oromiyaa is inevitable. Peaceful settlement of conflict is by far preferable to violent ones. Colonial power is now in jeopardy making peaceful settlement difficult. A selfish inhuman and treacherous group occupies Minilik’s palace forcing Oromo and Amaaraa stand against it at the same time. Present political reality shows that Oromo independence movement cannot sit back and wait until they resolve their internal conflicts. The Ethiopian front of Amaaraa and Tigrawayi that broke Oromiyaa has been broken quarter of a century ago. The traditional bond of sharing spoils between them is reneged. Tigrawayi has taken away their colony without compensation. Can they give up their hatred for the right of nations and nationalities and struggle hand in hand with peoples of the Ethiopian colonies against the Wayyaanee to free their own land? It is only then that Ethiopians and Oromo can form an alliance to defeat the Wayyaanee. Otherwise it will be like the Amaaraa saying, “Can one choose beauty from among baboons?” Any Oromo that responds to their alliance or solidarity call unconditionally is out to sell Oromo cause, the national Kaayyoo. Oromo struggle against TPLF/EPRDF is not personal; it is struggle to get rid of subjugation and colonialism from the region. To liberate Oromiyaa means to liberate the empire and the region.

All people under occupation have to be given a chance to decide on their own fate. The unprecedented rising of students and farmers should be taken as a turning point of history of the region that demands a change of mind from those molded by imperial myth. There is no nation or nationality that is not affected by that myth as victors and vanquished. The Amaaraa must realize that it has no especial mandate to save the empire when it cannot even keep historic Habashaa together. Instead of craving to keep Oromiyaa as its “Qiny Gizat” furthermore it has to think of consolidating its own base country and try to mend relations with its neighbors. Oromiyaa is gone, no reason to cry over spilt milk. There may be some old Oromo warriors that have nostalgia for certain imperial relics for which they may be ready to sell their names. With that their names will be canceled from this side for they cannot take the file that made them who they are.

Oromo students and people’s movements may be suppressed today; they shall rebound tomorrow never to be suppressed again. The blood of their peers and the fallen heroes cannot give them rest until they are avenged. The more blood is spilt the more will be their rage. Wayyaanee will pay back all it stole. It is only piling grudge not for itself alone but for its people who are silently watching when Oromo are butchered. It can still repent and bow out, returning all the loot and more to peoples of the Ethiopian empire. Any Ethiopian group that wants close alliance with Oromo has to be made, to publicly declare its acceptance of the right of nations to national self-determination unconditionally. After that how to get rid of the dictators becomes a technical issue.

Any Oromo political group or personality that shows inconsistency in its stand on national struggle does not worth a penny for any one. People judge one by one’s character. Such a group or person has to bear responsibility for all the consequences of changing their minds. Their national resistance movement shall redeem the Oromo from subjugation and so will never stop until it reaches its goal. There should be shown no mercy for Oromo that serve as enemy agents and expose a national to killings and arrests. Finfinnee is the center of Oromiyaa the liberation of one leads to the other. Long live Oromo student movement! Long live independent Oromo Liberation Front. Let our deepest sympathy reach to those that lost their loved ones, death is inevitable, to die for the fatherland in one’s own country is honorable; they will remain people’s heroes and heroines forever.

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