By Fayyis Oromia*
When we want to look at Oromo’s history, we just need to consider and ask the question: “who wrote it?” Is it the Abesha elites who used to tell us that we came out of River? Is it some Oromo nationalists who tell us that we are from Mada Walabu and we have been colonized by Abyssinians? Is it some “modern” historians like Prof. Shamsadin who do write that we are related to
But, I am not too naive not to recognize that we Oromos were and are the indigenous people in the Horn of Africa, and we were pushed by christian Europeans and Muslim Arabs as well Turks from different directions and squeezed to our present national area. Additionally, we, being originally Waaqeffataas, tried to resist the BIG religions, and we preserved ourselves as Oromos in our current geographical region.
Let me raise certain questions: are the Christianized and Semetized Amharas and Tigarus biological Oromos or are they other Cushitic nations like Agew? Are the Islamized i.e Arabanized Afars and Somalis also biological Oromos? I do ask these questions for there are certain historians who do consider Oromo as a stem for almost all other Cushitic nations in the Horn.
Unfortunately, all the above groups narrate their versions of the past Oromo history in order to instrumentalize it to justify their versions of future Oromo destiny, i.e what they wish and want to achieve for Oromos in the future:
– Abesha elites narrate that we Oromos are the new comers (immigrants) from somewhere (Madagascar, the River, and so on) just to justify their theory that most parts of Oromia originally belonged to Abyssina, so that it is legitimate to have the future unity of the IMIYE at the cost of Oromo liberation.
– Pro Walabumma (pro independent) Oromia fronts of Oromo people narrate that Oromia was not part of
– Those, who do argue with “post-modern facts” that Oromo is the stem for even Tigrayans and Somalis, who are culturally Semetized, but biological Oromos, try to tell us that we belong to the Cushitic nations, including the Semetized ones like Tigrai, Amhara, Gurage, Silxe, Argoba and Harari – who are originally Oromos or Agews. With this theory, they want to suggest that the Horn of Africa is Cushland, to whose unity Oromos should dedicate ourselves.
As far as I am concerned, I do believe that the third version is a most probable truth. But, considering the development of the various nations into speaking different languages, I would like to accept that all language groups do deserve their national autonomy in the future Union of all
Other very important factors to be given attention in Oromo history are its Gadaa system (indigenous democracy) and its Waaqeffanna religion, which is the preserved representative of all African religions (monotheistic belief in one God). The Gadaa system must be modernized and used in the areas it will be accepted as a home-grown African version of democracy, instead of importing the non-functional Western democracy, which usually is difficult to be exercised in
This way or that way, the reality on the ground now is that Oromos are under the yoke of national occupation/colonization/oppression. We, Oromos, are struggling now to free ourselves from such slavery. Our spiritual organization (Dhaaba) aka OLF, the mindset we all Bilisummaa loving Oromos do have, is moving in every level to realize our emancipation. I think this liberation spirit moves now at three levels:
– at the level of the governing party OPDO to keep the status quo of a limited cultural autonomy i.e to hinder the backward move to the status we were in till 1991, the time there were no Oromia as a state, no use of Afaan Oromo in Oromia, no limited cultural rights which we do have now.
– at the level of OFU (Oromo Federalists Union) in MEDREK, the opposition movement which tries to achieve a genuine autonomy for Oromia in federal Ethiopia, Oromia as the national state being liberated from the current Weyane looting and lording.
– at the level of OLF-proper to lead us to self-determination, be it per ballot or per bullet. I do include all rebel Oromo organizations organized under ULFO to be part and parcel of this level of Oromo liberation movement.
Leaving the study of our history to historians, we need to agree on our future destiny. Our destiny is to be determined by the liberation movement from status quo to freedom of Oromo people and to sovereignty of Oromoland. We need to determine our fate and be Abbaa-biyyaa (owner) in our land. To this end, we need to discern our own wish from the wish of our colonizers. We know that Abesha elites want that we unconditionally accept their mantra about UNITY of the empire. This is the precondition they always put even when forging an alliance with Oromo political organizations against the fascist Weyane. But, we, Oromos, should clearly articulate that our desire is to foster our national self-determination which can result to autonomous Oromia with in the Union of nations in the empire as well in the Horn or to independent Oromia without the aspired union. There will be no compromise on our self-determination which is the key to our destiny.
To forge our End Kaayyoo, we need to synchronize it with the international and continental developments. Now, it is historical fact that Africa is developing gradually towards a federal arrangement aka the
We hope that Abesha elites come to their senses and accept this endeavor so that we will have Tigrai state, Amharai state, Ogadenia state, Oromia state, and so on in a United States of Africa. At the time Abesha elites accept this common Kayyoo, then all of us can be partners to foster it for common benefit. It is the acceptance of this common goal which may help to promote the needed alliance of pro-democracy Abesha forces like G-7 with the pro-liberty Oromo fronts like OLF against the current fascistic regime in the empire.
No question, the optimal Karaa (way) to the above Kaayyoo is the very much desired unity (Tokkummaa) of Oromo people and of the Oromo political organizations for liberation (Bilisummaa). The current main obstacle on the way to our goal is Weyane. To get rid of this fascistic looting force, the following factors are necessary as chronologically put, based on their importance:
– 1st, we need Tokkummaa of all Oromo organizations for Bilisummaa of Oromo people.
– 2nd, we can forge an alliance with all oppressed nations who can move with us till our END.
– 3rd, we can have an alliance with Abesha democratic forces (of course, not with dictatorial forces, such as AEUP and EPRP), that, at least, respect the freedom of Oromo people, even though they do oppose our effort to establish the sovereignty of Oromoland. The dictatorial Abesha forces accept and respect neither freedom of Oromo people nor sovereignty of Oromoland.
We can move with the pro-democracy Abesha froces a half way to our goal. To be clear, this half way can be a United States of Ethiopia (genuine Language Based Federation (LBF) of
The modern and enlightened elites of Amharas, Tigarus, Ogadenis, Afars, Gurages, Welayitas, Hadiyas, Kambatas, Kafas, Sidamas, Oromos, Gambellas, Benishanguls, and so on can come together and transform the status quo of the empire through building United States of Ethiopia as a very good base for the United States of Africa.
* Fayyis Oromia can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.