It is good news that Amharinya-speaking Agaw are slowly waking up and starting to figure out that they are suffering under the repressive regime of the Tigrean Nafxanya (the TN) rule. They have started to talk about a liberation struggle from the colonial rule instead of rehashing about the possible democratization of the present Tigrean empire, which is neither federal nor democratic as the regime tries to make us believe. It seems that they have now started to understand the fact that democratization of the Tigrean empire is a pipe dream, which was already assessed and told by OLF since 1992. Till now, they had been deceived repeatedly, including the last deception through the notorious hand-shake before the 2010 “election.”
I don’t need to be politically correct and name the so called “multinational” parties as “pan-Ethiopianists.” To me, they are Amharinya-speaking Agaw parties as long as they pursue the political interests of the Agaw elites; such interests including the job of keeping Ethiopia with Amharinya as the federal language, into which all nations in the empire are still melting. One recent report I heard on SBO (the OLF radio program) revealed the fact that Oromo students are still required competency in Amharinya to get jobs, specially in the federal structure. This shows how Amharization is still promoted, because of which Amharinya speakers prefer to call their parties as “Ethiopian” instead of “Amhara or Agaw.” Individuals from other nations, who are part of such parties, are those who are both linguistically and mentally Habeshaanized. So, no need of confusion here; let’s Oromo be clear on this issue and seek an alliance with those
forces against the Tigrean regime, including the Agaw forces. Of course, we need to be very careful for it is very easy to be infiltrated by Tigrean-Nafxana agents in the “multinational” parties, in contrast to the ho*mogeneous national parties. That is why I do call for caution whenever we try to work with opposition forces, in which the TN agents are also active. The paralysis of Medrek, which failed to call for a reasonable civil disobedience and public uprising after the rigging of the 2010 “election,” should teach us something.
I once wrote an opinion after observing Agaws’ start of colonization rhetoric: “Oromians: Can We Welcome the Agaw Nation to the Club of the Colonized Nations in the Horn?” A few weeks ago, Dr. Gregory Stanton spoke to his mostly Agaw audience in Washington DC about the current internal colonization under the Tigrean elites. Just a few days ago, a short opinion came from this same Agaw liberation camp regarding this colonization. Such a move by the Agaw liberation camp is encouraging since TN’s main lottery till now has been the discord between the two liberation camps (i.e. the Agaw and the Oromo liberation camps). As far as the Oromo is concerned, no question that all nations in the empire are now under a colonial rule; that is why our struggle is a fight for freedom from this colony.
But Agaws have believed till now that the West is genuinely interested in the democratization of the empire, so that they have succumbed to the pressure of the diplomats from the West. The fact on the ground is that neither TNs nor their Western handlers are interested for democracy. The West knows very well that they can not get a better servant than the TN to serve their influence and interest in the region. Any democratically elected leader, with public support of their own country, is proud enough not to do the bidding of the West; only petty dictators like Meles Zenawi, with no mass support in their own country, can be the marionette of the West at the cost of their own nations. The West only checks whether the dictator is “their dictator” or not; they oppose those who are not theirs like Mugabe of Zimbabwe, but dine and wine with “their dictators,” who do serve their interest. So, expecting any genuine support from Western governments for
any sort of democratization in Africa is just fooling ourselves.
In this short opinion piece, I would like to concentrate on the possible role the Agaw liberation bloc and the Oromo liberation camp can do to get rid of the TN. These two biggest nations will surely be the future power players of the the Horn region; therefore, they should prepare themselves for this role starting from now. They can be the two pillars of the future Union of the Horn, just like France and Germany are now for the European Union. Liberation forces of the other nations in the empire do support either the Agaw liberation camp, which wants to forge a future union in a form of the U.S.A. (a region-based federation with all nations possibly melting into being Amharinya speakers) or the Oromo liberation camp, which does have European Union as a model for the future union in the.
But now these two liberation camps must leave this decision of choosing either the EU model or the U.S.A. model for the public after getting rid of the TN; and they should coordinate their struggles by trying to form an all-inclusive alliance by default or by design, which can be considered as an inclusive Oromian (Ethiopian) liberation force. The recent move towards such an alliance made the TN very nervous, so that it has already dispatched its cadres in order to do its dividing and polarizing activity. The cadres sing on Oromo forums about the importance of the unconditional independent Oromo state and curse any possible Agaw-Oromo alliance; at the same time, they do cry in Agaw forums for unconditional unitary country and denounce any sort of cooperation between the “multinational” organizations and the OLF; of course, their only goal is to hinder the possible all-inclusive alliance against the Tigrean colonization from happening.
This division and polarization move also goes to the extent of sowing a discord inside both camps based on region, party and religion. Unfortunately, some fools from both camps did fall into this trap, and they do now entertain such dividing and polarizing orgy of TN cadres. To counteract such a move of our colonizers, it is not bad if the OLF leaders and activists try to forge first the intra-Oromo solid unity as well as secondarily foster the necessary anti-TN all-inclusive alliance with all liberation forces, including the Agaw liberation movement.
To make such an alliance become a reality, Agaw liberation forces need to wake up from their nostalgia and look forward. Their position till the year 2000 in reclaiming a Derg-style Ethiopia is over, never to come back again; their demand for xeqilaigizat-federation during the “election” 2005 had no acceptance by Oromo and other oppressed nations; their talk about a possible referendum on killil-federation vs. xeqilaigizat-federation during the “election” 2010 was not bad, but impractical. The least common denominator to be accepted by all stakeholders in the region/empire may be a theoretical true killil-federation. But Agaw liberation forces should think beyond killil-federation, just like the Oromo, Sidama, Ogadeni and others are now doing, i.e. they have to wake up and fight for the liberation of Agaw-Midir from the Tigrean colony, instead of still dreaming to rule over all Habeshanized Ethiopia.
When they start to think in terms of Agawland an independent part of the future possible regional union or continental union, then they will be on the same page with the Oromo, Ogadeni and the other liberation forces so that fostering the Oromian liberation force in a form of an all-inclusive alliance is not as such difficult. We like it or not, take it only 1 year or as long as 100 years, all nations in the region will have our both national independence and regional union in a form of “a union of independent nations.” That is why I do wish Agaw liberation forces to give up their nostalgic illusion and start to think, talk and walk a future-oriented mindset. The already-conscious and farsighted Oromo nationalists can take a responsibility to liberate not only Oromo people, but also others in the region, including those with nostalgia.
To take over this leading function, the Oromo polity must stop the foolish quarrel in the endless discussion on the issue: “Union vs Independence.” Both options are still entertained for they are not exclusive to each other, but the final decision will be made by the Oromo public verdict. That is why I do say autonomous Biyya-Oromo within an Oromian (Kushland’s) union can be the common ground to build an alliance of Agaw and Oromo forces against the TN. I must repeat this again and again that Oromian autonomy within Ethiopian union is only a transitional arrangement leading us to the future public verdict, where the Oromo mass will choose between “Biyya-Oromo’s autonomy within such union” and “Biyya-Oromo’s independence within the African union” as a lasting solution. This decision must be left for the Oromo public as an exercise to self-determination after getting rid of TN fascists; it should not be predetermined now by Oromo polity.
As far as I am concerned, the following is the reality of the political development in the empire:
– Unitary Ethiopia is obsolete and belongs to the past;
– TN’s Ethiopia is evil and temporary;
– Ehiopian union (true killil-federation) is a transitional solution;
– Biyya-Oromo’s independence is indispensable and a must;
– Oromian Union of independent nations in the Horn (confederation) is the beneficial and lasting solution!
This is a summary of my hitherto position. So, to take autonomous Biyya-Oromo as a temporary goal of the possible all inclusive alliance against TN fascists doesn’t necessarily mean opposing the future Oromo public decision for an independent Biyya-Oromo. I know this topic of discussion will never end till we settle it per public verdict in the future. Till then, we can express our only individual or organizational positions, but we can not decide for the Oromo people.
Taking this possible political development in the empire, true killil-federation is only a temporary solution for the fact that Oromo and other nations will demand more and will decide for their independence; unless otherwise, the federation is sustained by hegemony of one nation over the others as it is now under TN, which can be replaced by that of the Agaw, Oromo or other elites to rule over the “federation.” To hinder the taking over by the Agaw and Oromo elites, the TN is now Putinizing (following Putin’s model) its rule and to keep the Tigrean colony in the future by instrumentalizing Haile-Mariam Desalegn as a Medvedev of Ethiopia. So, practically there can never be genuinely true killil-federation as a lasting solution; that is why independence of Biyya-Oromo is indispensable and a must; this can be followed by a voluntary union of the free nations, to which direction Africa now seems to move.
The current move of the African Union in transforming the commission to an authority with a final goal of forming African federation shows the importance of “a union of independent nations,” be it regionally or continentally. The past AU summit themed “Africa’s Shared Values: Implementation of a Pan-African Governance Architecture,” showed the direction of the political move in Africa. It is in such federated Africa that both independent Agaw-Midir and independent Biyya-Oromo can play a stabilizing role because of Agaw’s geographical proximity to Finfinne, the capital city of both Oromia and the African Union. It seems that in the future, some new independent nations like South Sudan, Oromia, Ogadenia, Hausaland, etc. as well as some united or merged regions like EAC (East African Community) will emerge, but all being united under the future federated African Union Government (African Union Authority).
As the education and enlightenment of African peoples and nations is going on, the better will be their engagement for their human and national rights, so that the emergence of new states by dismantling the evil colonial borders, which till now have either divided nations or lumped many of them together, will take place. Emergence of new states and redrawing of borders will happen, be it in a near or far future. That is why the liberation struggles of nations in the future will not be like the liberation struggles in the 20th century (only rural guerrilla liberating territories village by village). For that to take place, there is no more Cold War to get the necessary support. What is now important is the combination of all methods, except using terror, as a means of struggle. This all-inclusive method can include civil disobedience, public uprisings and armed struggles (both rural and urban guerrilla). So both liberation camps (the Agaw liberation camp
and the Oromo liberation camp) in the present Tigirean empire should learn to think inclusive and be pragmatic. The best pragmatic approach is that both should first try to unite and consolidate their respective camps before or in parallel to a formation of an all-inclusive alliance. After consolidating their respective camps, the two can build a very effective and efficient inclusive alliance against the Tigirean colonizers.
The development in the Agaw liberation camp is encouraging as we could observe their move from a position of being the archenemy against the OLF to being so friendly as witnessed in their recent report on ESAT-TV: http://www.gadaa.com/oduu/?p=
formed, consolidated and both shall prevail.
Last but not least, I would like to repeat that both camps should take heed of the dividing and polarizing TN infiltrators, who seem to be very busy in both the cyberworld and community life. It is simple to identify them: liberation forces are integrationists, who do try to unite ALL forces against the EVIL colonialists, whereas TN cadres do the opposite, i.e. divide and polarize by sowing discord between parties, ethnies and religions. I do have a difficulty to comprehend few Oromo nationalists, who co-operate with these cadres by considering Agaw elites as our primary enemy, but say no word against the TN, who are currently tormenting us. As far as I am concerned, our present primary enemy is the ruling Tigrean colonialists, under which also the Agaw are suffering. We need to concentrate on fighting this powerful enemy, of course, without being careless about certain nostalgic position of the few backward feudal lords in the Agaw national camp. May
Waaqa help us distinguish between the primary and the secondary enemies of the Oromo nation based on the always changing situation, time and space, i.e. may He help us in our priority setting!