Oduu Haaraya

Accountability in Politics: The case of the Oromo Struggle for Freedom/Liberty

By Qilxuu

Oppression conceives struggle. Struggle needs organization under a common motive, from a simple aggregation in a tea/coffee party to forming a grand political union running for country leadership with far-reaching ideology. Organizations rise up with objectives and set up goals, and may eventually succeed or succumb, depending on how successfully they managed to come to their final endeavors.

The rise and weakening of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) during the past four decades is a milestone in Oromo history. The recognition of an Oromo region with a distinct territorial integrity and map, the acceptance of the Oromo language as official and instructional media in Oromia state are chief among the achievements. However, the principal objective of establishing an independent Oromo Republic is still far from sight. As a result, in the past two/three decades, we witnessed the sprouting of several political groups from the fundamental root, the OLF, denouncing the original agenda as a failure, and declaring themselves as reformists/revolutionists with a better agenda for the Oromos, and even for the rest of the people oppressed by the Ethiopian Regimes, past and present, based on their ethnic/national identity. Prior to their segregation into smaller split groups, they preached the objectives and goals of their parent organization, the OLF, and won the support of their targeted supporters, who contributed immensely to the success of the struggle, up to life sacrifice. The detention, torture and ultimate departure by death of Alemayehu Gerba, and recently, Tesfahun Chemada, is a case of utmost attention. Note that, had it not for our propaganda, these young Oromos, could have made their choices afterwards, to lead the types of life styles we are leading, on their own: we told them to follow us, but we were not there when they arrived.

It is a matter of fact that these various groups who try to establish themselves on the popular demands for freedom/liberty, are well aware of the damages caused by the opponent as well as the proponents of the idea on wealth, life, and many other aspects of life on the Oromos and other peoples living in Oromia. Furthermore, some of the split groups like the ODF (of Lencho Letta) and “the No Name” (of Kemal Galtu), who acknowledged a defeat in the struggle, more or less bluntly, at least in the case of forming an independent/ sovereign Oromo state, tried to announce a new direction, without any apology for their previous wrong plans /at least for being a part and parcel of a wrong endeavor/ in which the precious lives of many innocent people were endangered and lost all together. Let me ask the new gangs of the Oromo struggle, like the ODF: do you really feel pity for the sufferings of the Oromo people which your mere propaganda as members your parent OLF caused during the past several decades? What is your guarantee if your new plan also encounters a similar ending after sometime in the future?

I’m not blaming you for your change of mind. Anybody can take a different course after an initial decision as the circumstances change. The implementations of our plans may face insurmountable challenges at some steps/phases in their course. We may need to make amendments to make to changing conditions and proceed to our goals or we have to stop our plan all together and set up a new one. I believe both are possible, but with regard to the existing case of the Oromo struggle, the latter seems to be more inappropriate, as we are closer to achieving victory than any previous time in the history of the struggle.

Let me ask you once again: who is responsible for the damages that one or the other party inflicted in this struggle? You may say that you don’t think that there should be anybody to assume the responsibility in such political games, whatsoever. We know that political games may end up with disastrous consequences of incalculable magnitude in human life, individually or collectively.

Accountability does not merely mean the punishment of a wrong doer. It should leave a lesson for the culmination of a repetitive wrong doing. My urge is for the latter. In scientific experiments, repletion of an action several times improves our reliability on the outcomes, but if we change a single parameter it will be a quite different experiment with a quite different result, and does not contribute the reliability. Insisting on a well-planned experiment will bring us closer to our goal each time we try it. Vacillators will never know even their own locations, let alone entering the territory of a reality. As for me, there is nothing more shameful to come together for a welfare dinner party for a newly formed party at the “graveyard” of a parent party while its loyalists are languishing in prison and refugee camps all over the world.

Let’s pray to God to give us the wisdom to come to our minds and be our natural selves!

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