By Leenjiso Horo
March 13, 2023
This call on the Oromo elites is to urge them to actively promote, advocate, and campaign for the creation of the Annual Oromo Extermination Memorial Day in Oromia. The Memorial Day that will be created or established is to commemorate the five million Oromo people exterminated, the Oromo men and women whose right arms and breasts respectively mutilated at Anole Hand Cut Breast Cut Aanoles (Harka Muraa Harma Muraa Aanolee) and the Oromo’s massacred in Chalanko or Calii Calanqoo by Menelik II of Abyssinia. These atrocities by Menelik II of Abyssinia during the war of conquest, occupation, and colonization of Oromia are on par with the Holocaust in which six million Jews were murdered by German Nazis and their collaborators across German-occupied Europe and surpass the Armenian genocide of 1915-1916 by Ottoman Turks. Memorial or Remembrance Day for the Jewish Holocaust and the Armenian genocide were long ago established and commemorated annually worldwide wherever the Jews and Armenians live. Likewise, our ancestors: the five million murdered Oromo, those mutilated at Aanole, and those massacred at Chalanko by Menelik II deserve national remembrance. Therefore, creating a Memorial Day for our ancestors in Oromia is long overdue.
Establishing a Memorial Day for our ancestors is essential for two reasons: Remembrance and deterrence. First, it serves us not to forget those who fell victim to the Abyssinian barbarism while protecting their land, their culture, and language, and their independence not only for themselves but also for our generation and our posterity. Commemorating Oromo Extermination Day raises our awareness and knowledge about the despicable crimes Menelik II and Abyssinian committed against our people. Furthermore, our ancestors did not die in vain. And so, we must honor and remember them. Holocaust survivor and human rights advocator and campaigner Elie Wiesel has to write, “To forget a Holocaust is to kill twice.” Thus, to forget our ancestors, the victims of Menelik II of Abyssinia, is to kill them twice. So, let us advocate and campaign for the creation of the Oromo Extermination Memorial Day.
For this envisioned Memorial Day to materialize, the support of Oromo elites for this monumental task is most important. Considering this, the Oromo elites need to be united and active in galvanizing the Oromo people and the Oromo Communities in the diaspora to support the creation of Oromo Extermination Memorial Day while the struggle for independence continues. Here, undertaking this action is vitally needed and is easy to accomplish if the Oromo elites have the courage and determination to do so. Here, the Oromo elites should stand with their people. They should not leave their people alone. And should not abandon them.
History will condemn the Oromo elites forever if they do so. I call on the Oromo elites to speak out against the crimes Abyssinians committed in the past and still committing against your people- the Oromo people. The time is long overdue for relinquishing silence, neutrality, and indifference to join the Oromo people in the fight for the liberation of Oromiyaa and simultaneously to campaign for creating the Oromo Extermination Memorial Dany. Moreover, it is time for those Oromo elites to give up working in a double political position to maintain the Ethiopian colonial empire of Menelik II at the cost of Oromo unity while hiding in the mask of the shadow of Oromoness.
History is summoning upon you, the Oromo elites, to come out of the shadow of the Ethiopian colonial empire to openly and firmly stand with your people. If the Oromo elites do not stand with our people today, the question is, when? I also call on the Oromo elites, the Oromos in the diaspora, and the Oromo people to speak passionately to promote Oromo Extermination Memorial Day by Menelik II of Amhara. Remember, this is the day to remember the extermination of five million Oromo, one-half of the Oromo population of the ten million, the victims of Menelik II.
We need to recognize that the past is present here and now; it is here in our memory. The fact is that the present depends on the past and points to the future. With the absence of the past, there is no present and future. That past is always alive within our memory. The extermination of the Oromo people by Menelik of Abyssinia is fresh in the hearts and minds of the Oromo nation. Indeed, today with this generation of the Oromo people, it is as fresh as it was a century and a half ago with our Oromo ancestors. The horror, crimes of the utmost savagery, and injustice that Menelik II and his Amhara compatriots had committed against the Oromo people.
During the Abyssinian conquest of Oromiyaa and colonization live forever in the hearts and minds of this Oromo generation and the generations after generations yet to come. Menelik’s crimes are so enormous to be forgotten. As the Armenian freedom fighter and intellectual Avedis Aharonian, regarding the genocide committed against the Armenians by the Ottoman Turks, simply put it, ‘’If the evil of this magnitude can be ignored-if our own children forget, then we deserve oblivion and earn the world’s scorn.” Thus, it stands to reason that if we, the Oromo, have failed to create Oromo Extermination Memorial Day in memory of the five million victims of the Oromo extermination perpetrated by the Abyssinians and their king Menelik II in the late 19th century, indeed, we truly deserve the scorn of the world community. Hence, we should not fail to remember the memory of our ancestors. For this, let there be a national annual memorial holiday for our ancestors, the victims of king Menelik II of Amhara.
Second, establishing a Memorial Day for our ancestors serves as a deterrence for such heinous events from happening ever again. Remembering, discussing, and learning about Aanolee and Calii Calanqoo is of great significance not only because they help us gain a better understanding of the past but because they also, at the same time, raise awareness about the contemporary dangers of Amhara extremism or Fanoism. It illustrates how these create the precondition for genocide. Here, the Oromo elites have fallen far behind, while Amharas are fast moving forward for the next wave of extermination of the Oromo people. The Amhara elites are already vociferous in calling for the removal of the Aanolee statue- a vestige of Oromo resistance to Abyssinian colonization and unabatedly calling for the destruction of Oromummaa. Following this, today, Amhara neo-fascist extremist descendants of Menelik have uplifted the name of Menelik to high heaven in praising, exulting, and appreciating the crimes of extermination and genocide he had committed against the Oromo people during the conquest and colonization of Oromiyaa in the late 19th century. These are the harbinger of the impending extermination of the Oromo people.
Therefore, the Oromo people must be ready to defend themselves against the new coming wave of genocide that the Amhara are preparing to commit against this generation; history repeats itself if this Oromo generation of ours fails to learn from what happened to the previous Oromo generations throughout the entire time of the war of colonial conquest of Oromiyaa. Third, with the Oromo Extermination Memorial Day, praising Menelik II, holding his picture, wearing his T-shirts, and other clothes with his photograph in Oromiyaa should be made illegal and punishable; carrying or posting Menelik II’s flag of the Empire of Ethiopia, the flag without the national emblem superimposed at the center of the green, yellow, and red color should be illegal in Oromiyaa. Not only these but also individuals in any region of the empire who admire and adorn the name of Menelik II should not be allowed to enter Oromiyaa territory nor to live in or work.
In addition, the establishment of Oromo Extermination Memorial Day becomes the means to remove the memorial statue of Menelik II from Oromiyaa. So, let us remember and honor our ancestors who perished in the hands of Abyssinian and prevent such a barbaric act from ever happening by establishing Oromo Extermination Memory Day. Here we must recognize that we have already waited far too long. The time to begin is now, and today to establish Oromo Extermination Memorial Day for our ancestors who perished while fighting to defend their independence during the colonial conquest of Oromiyaa by Menelik II, king of Amhara.
Oromiyaa shall be free!