Oromo Is The Stem, Others Are Branches: Fact Or Fancy?

By Fayyis Oromia

It is really interesting to hear few Oromo elites and of course a lot of habesha elites telling us about the new “statistical” conclusion regarding the wish of Oromo people. The conclusion declares that Oromo people don’t want “secession”. They also argue that Oromo is the stem for all other nations (the branches) in empire state of Ethiopia. According to their logic, it is the branch that may need to break off or separate, but not the stem. That is well said, very good for habesha elites and I do congratulate them on their new “research finding”.

 Even few Oromo elites are trying to tell us that Oromos are changing their philosophy regarding our liberation movement. According to them, Oromo liberation will be realized only in a united Ethiopia, not in a “separate” and independent Oromia. But I do hear Oromos asking: from whom did this new philosophy basically come? Whoever the source of this theory is, I will try to challenge both the analogy (parable) and the philosophy of these elites.

First of all, we should ask if the analogy is suitable to describe the relationship between nations in the region called Ethiopian empire or in the Horn of Africa. I think the an analogy used to describe and explain the relationship between the nations in the region is mainly based on the version of history that the elites accept and the version they want to apply as an instrument for their political objectives. Yet what is clear is that there are different versions of Oromo and Ethiopian history.


According to some church “historians” we are immigrants who came from Madagascar. Others tell us that we were originally confined only to Mada-Walabu.  And we eventually moved northward after few centuries and occupied the present Oromo land, which was later invaded by our neighbors from the north (Abyssinians).


There are also those who argue that Oromos are indigenous people to the region of North East Africa, originally from Meroe. This group claims that all Cushitic nations in that presently occupy the horn of Africa region are branches of this stem called Oromo – all being descendents of Cush.  Just like their theories the solution these three groups suggest for the political conflicts in the region (especially the Ethiopian empire) differs.


Those who say, Oromos are immigrants suggest that we should leave the empire and go back to where we came from. Those who trace the origin of Oromo to Mada-Walabu and argue the subsequent expansion then after, insist on unconditional independence (separation) of Oromia from Ethiopia. The final groups of elite “historians” who believe Oromos are descendents of Cush and a stem for all other nations advocate for some autonomy within the empire along with “our branches”. They further argue that Oromos can be the dominant force in the future of Ethiopia and thus there is no need for “secession.”

I must say, the last version of Oromo history driven by historians who point the origin of Oromo people to the land of Cush is a post-modern way of thinking that opposes Oromo people’s right to independence and self-determination. Lately, Habesha elites are trying to designate Oromo as the stem from which even the Amhara and Tigre’s originated. Their logic and move is fantastic: the stem (in this case Oromo) can not be separated from its branches. They think that with such simple belief, they can discourage Oromo nationalists from pushing for the creation of independent Oromia within or without the possible union of nations in the region. My question to the Oromo elites who are preaching the same theory is whether they are being fooled by these Habesha elites or they have their own agenda of which the indispensable rights of Oromo nation to self-determination at its heart.

As far as I am concerned, Oromo is not necessarily the “stem” for the “branches” like Amhara and Tigre. Even if these groups had a common ancestry with Oromos, now they are different nations with that occupy different geographic areas with different languages, culture and history. I consider all the nations in the region (big and small) including Amhara, Tigre and Oromos as separate trees in a garden standing as neighbors, sharing common soil, air and water. These trees have their own discrete identities although they share a common environment. They can only live both independently and interdependently sharing the neighboring environmental resources.

Let us imagine the different trees with different nature living as neighbors enjoying a common area which can be considered as a garden. It is really beautiful to see them having different colors and flowers. But what will happen if one or two of them try to encroach over the area controlled by others and destroy the colorful garden in their neighborhood? Such a plant is considered to be invasive and destructive. Few months back, I read about such invading plants (usually foreign plants) aggressively encroaching on to the area of other plants that are considered indigenous to the area.

Aren’t habesha elites like these invading plants? What is the role of Wayane elite’s today in Amhara, Oromia, Ogaden, Afar, Sidama and etc regions? Are they not encroaching onto the native home of other indigenous plants? To keep the garden beautiful and ensure the invading plants will not continue their raids, the keeper of the garden should do everything possible so that all plants are limited only to their own allowed living areas. I think the garden called the Horn of Africa can only be beautiful if Amhara and Tigrean elites can be restricted to their respective areas and live in harmony with their neighbor nations.


However, if they want to continue claims against the areas originally occupies by Oromos and other nations, no question they are the most destructive invading plants with whom we have to deal accordingly. Up until now, they left their own ground and invaded the ground of the neighboring plants. Today it is high time that these destructive elements are controlled with chemicals that would restrict them to their own space and inhibit them from invading neighboring plants. At the moment, Wayyanne is the worst form of destructive plant that invaded the areas of the beautiful and indigenous plants like Oromos and other Oromo neighbors. The Oromo Liberation Movement is nothing other than an attempt to limit the invading plants and compel them to stay in their own territories, where they are known to be as indigenous.

Looking at the empire/region as an animal body, rather than as a garden, the invading habesha elites are the same as cancer cells that multiplies to invade and destroy other tissues and organs of the body. What the elites of the two Abyssinians hitherto did to Oromos and other nations in the region is such a cancerous invasion. It might be true that Oromo is the biological stem of Amhara and Tigreans, just like all our organs came from only one stem cell. But after it is differentiated through a natural process of growth, each organ has its own specialized cells and tissues with peculiar colors, functions, structures and is limited to only one specific part of the body. Brain cells are very different from liver and heart cells, and are limited to have a form and function which is required in a brain. If we find brain cells in a liver or a heart, it could be pathological and lethal.


The above scenario works when we find the non-integrated and authoritative habesha elites like the current ruling regimes, Wayyanne elites in Oromia. They just destroy the social fabric of Oromos. For instance, language is the main parameter that determines the identity of a nation. Habesha elites who didn’t learn how to speak Afan Oromo after living in Oromia for a long period of time are like the invading cancer cells. In due time, they either will be integrated by learning Afan Oromo or they will be ejected as a foreign body or they will kill the host (Oromo language and Oromo culture slowly). This is the law of both nature and culture. Here we need to differentiate the malignant destructive cancer cells like the invading authoritative and oppressive elites from the benign harmless cells, i.e. ordinary individuals who left their homeland seeking better opportunities and freedom else where. That is why the normal, simple Amhara and Tigrean folks living in Oromia, who are integrated and respect the culture, language and other rights of Oromos including the political right to self-determination, are not to be considered cancer cells to be rejected and removed.

In conclusion, I think the healthiest and recommendable solution is to have trees with different forms and flowers beside one another (tree of Amhara, tree of Oromos, tree of Tigreans, etc) with their own distinct living areas, without being allowed to invade others territories like the invading plants do. The empire in which habesha elites invaded other nations and tried to destroy their culture still hinders the realization of the rights of nations to self-determination. These must be transformed in to a UNION, in which all nations with different cultures live independently and interdependently like those well placed and managed plants in a beautiful garden. That is what I mean by a union of independent nations.


Union of independent Amhara, Tigray, Oromia, Ogaden, Afar, etc regions; possibly including even independent countries like Eritrea, Somaliland, Djibouti, Puntland and Somalia with the self-determination of each nation as the optimal thing, we all should strive to achieve. Without the respect of the right of nations to self-determination, there is no power under the sun which can hinder nations from striving to get rid off the invading plants or from trying to be free from the cancer cells.

 - Edited by Oromsis Adula. 



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Collaborative stories written or reported by OPride staff and contributors.

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