Oduu Haaraya

“A Bad Workman Blames His Tools”


Oromo was not the first nation on earth to submit to operation of foreign elements. It will not also be the

last to fight to regain its inalienable natural rights. Every national oppression exhibits distinctive behavior

that defines the relationship between the subject and the governing body. The repressive regimes

specifically plan the social, political, and economic systems to burden the population with cruel

impositions. The government wages psychological warfare against the oppressed people in such a way to

promote the interest of those controlling the superstructure. Throughout history of humanity, the

methods, strategies, and the tactics used by the oppressed people to dismantle the repressive yoke differs

vastly. Not only the means employed to get to the desired destinations but also the definitions of the

subjugation itself also are at variance. Since the inclusion of the Oromo people into the Ethiopian empire

by force, Oromo has been dissenting continuously for over a century to the rule of the habasha. The form

of resistance ranges from low-level armed struggle to peaceful protest. The history records, despite

amassing military arsenals from the Europeans, the habasha without staunch involvement of the Oromo

figures would have not been able to bring the Oromo under their complete control. In spite of the

westerners financial, institutional, and strategic support, had it not been for strong association of some

Oromo individuals with the habesha rulers, the empire would have not been able to maintain its strong

grip over Oromia for such a long period. This was true then, and it is the reality we are living in today.

The main idea of this message is not to disseminate the inspired utterance of the mistreatment of the

Oromo in the hands of extraneous gangs derived from Amara or Tigre. Nevertheless, it is to pinpoint some

of the major misconception grappling with Oromo politics. Some, for the last ten or so years, has been

zealously advocating for the ideology of only one Oromo Political organization. This group has vehemently

resisted the advent of new organization by every means at their disposal. Among other things, malicious

propaganda smear, and physical attack were the tactics employed by the OLF (shane) group to deter those

with a different vision than theirs. Even if the formation of that organization augments the very goal they

meant to have been struggling for, any new organization is not immune from the shane aggressions. They

never are and will never be willing to share political space with other Oromo citizens. This concept of

imposing on Oromo to identify themselves only with one organization, one institution, or one flag has

been lingering around for so long. These ideologues are not only wrong but also dangerous for the

vigorous struggle Oromo is undertaking at every front to building a democratic Oromia. The Oromo people

by and large are striving to create a country that entertains different political views, outlooks, or beliefs.

Their notion of only one establishment defies the human intelligence, and abrogates the Gada system,

which is inherently genuine democracy. It is therefore, a high time for all Oromo at every walk of life to

Finding a definitive answer to the simple question, “why Oromo failed to be victorious notwithstanding

the century long relentless resistance?” is beyond the scope of this writer. However, it does not take a

genius to blame the lack of visionary leadership and vibrant organization for the Oromo people

perpetually remaining under the painfully degrading habasha rule. It is of paramount significance to

pinpoint the major shortcomings of the political organizations and various matters associated with them

that caused the Oromo people dwell in endless humiliation.

Throughout the history, Oromo has been resisting to the habasha rule sporadically in unorganized fashion.

In the last four or five decades the formation of political organizations with certain goal marks a new

chapter in the struggle for liberation. Among many, suffice only to consider the organization that has

risen to prominence. The Oromo people regarded the OLF as possessing a special power for Oromia’s

salvation. Since 1991 up until 2005, almost all Oromo nationals at home and abroad threw their

unwavering support behind OLF. The organization has missed so many opportunities. In the year 1991,

the OLF gave its consent for TPLF/EPLF to disarm and imprison its army in order of 20,000. The action

remains as the” black hole” in the struggle of Oromo for independence. Millions remember it as one of

the political disgraces on Oromo nation committed by the OLF. As of yet, official explanation of what

exactly convinced the OLF to encamp its troops and later voluntarily withdrew from participating in the

transitional government of Ethiopia has not been delivered. No one can speak with utmost certainty of

the situation whether it was the political ignorance or deliberate sale-out or the shrewd TPLF got the best

After the OLFites deserted the country (Oromia), TPLF penalized the innocent Oromo farmers, teachers,

students, civil servants, merchants, and elders simply for sympathizing with OLF. Thousands killed,

thousands disappeared, thousands languished in awful prisons, thousands displaced, and thousands

forced to flee their fatherland. Many thousands lost their life while en route for safe haven search; others

were resorted to lead arduous life in hostile foreign countries. The enemy (TPLF) continued inflicting

despicable atrocities on innocent Oromo nationals. OLF failed to live up to its expectations. The

Organization has no answer to millions back home paying ultimate price in the pursuit for freedom. OLF

cannot simply deliver its promises. They are still only cooking the recipe for more disasters. The OLF

leaders have been pampering their stomach happily ever in western luxuries. As the saying goes, “A cat

When the regime (TPLF) mercilessly punishes ordinary citizens suspected of supporting OLF, nothing is

more perplexing than the free entry to Ethiopia and exit of some high-ranking OLF leaders. Yohannes Leta

had done it twice. The first time he had not only entered Ethiopia and got out without any encumbrance,

but also freed Mr. Ibsa Gutema. The second time, the insiders confirmed to me that he was deported. The

journalist and author Kadiro Elemo once without success sought for some explanation from Yohannes.

Kadiro asked why Yohannes was not held responsible for the actions of OLF during its participation in

transitional government, when the ordinary Oromo are paying heavy price? Kadiro’s attempt was the vain

attempt to only be scolded by arrogant Yohannes. Yohannes told Kadiro “angrily” to obtain the answer

Since 1991, many years has bygone. The political landscape back home has changed greatly. The OLF still

cannot deliver its promises, cannot live up to its expectations. Once, they were able to garner support

from all Oromo expatriates around the world. The diaspora communities in the western countries fostered

OLF as its only “child” for quite a long time. They were given one chance after the other. Each year, the

Oromo people donated thousands of dollars to strengthen the struggle lead by OLF, and particularly to

bolster Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). Year-in-year-out, we have been shown the recycled OLA video;

many of us broke in tears. Many of us had hoped each year was the last year for the national humiliation.

Each year did not come and pass without expecting OLF will take us all to the utopia. The motto was and

still is “Gadaan Gadaa Bilisummaati.”

The Oromo people were at the brink of taking for granted that OLA resides in every forest and bushes of

Oromia surrounding the enemy; TPLF’s days were numbered. We were fed false information about the

state of the organization. The compatriots back home also imagined OLF was constructing a huge

liberation machine already got in the assembly line somewhere in America or Europe. The young and old

alike were watching for the bearer of good news that break it to them about OLF stricking the enemy.

They dreamed for the OLA army striding towards Dhakaa Araaraa palace with utmost pride.

Redundant, unproductive, and fabricated propaganda finally seems to have frustrated the folks at home

and exile equally. It appears that the group (OLF) has run out of lies. After the year 2004 (General Assembly

held in Asmara), some OLF members began to publicly criticize their organization, which was the enigma

that has given rise to several splinter organizations, not to mention the split into Shane Gumii and Qaama

Ce’umsaa (QC) in 2001. When Adda Walabummaa Oromia (AWO) formed in October of 2005, OLF’s real

identity was unveiled. The AWO group disclosed, the organization (OLF) was marred with hypocrisy and

infightings; it was impossible to bring about change from within.

The coming into being of the Front for Independence of Oromia (AWO=FIO) was met with fierce resistance

from the Shane group. Nonetheless, AWO withstood all the tumult from Shane and was able to set a

precedent; AWO registered a new direction with nascent vision for realizing the sovereign Oromia. AWO,

unlike many other factions that broke away from OLF, it was the first organization to come up with the

flag, emblem, and name that is distinct from the OLF’s. FIO has exposed the OLF as the organization

infested with corrupt, visionless, and coward narrow tribalist leaders. Lately, it is this writer’s

understanding that most Oromo people have realized that OLF delivers only if as Romans had a saying,

“cum mula peperit,” meaning “when a mule foals” – the equivalent of “when hell freezes over.”

In the humble opinion of this writer, OLF is nothing more than the symbol of failure. There was not an

achievement recorded that commensurate with Oromia’s human sacrifice. In fact, the crisis in the

organization was a major setback to our pursuit for freedom that reversed some of the gains in early

1990’s. OLF has been reduced to the level of incubator that only broods factions after factions. The

damage is so severe and the organization is beyond repair to lead the Oromo struggle again. Therefore, it

is incumbent on all of us to strive in search of an alternative.

Dear reader, you may challenge this writer if the time is right for this issue. Rightly, the question is

legitimate in light of the historical movement underway in Oromia. The revolution that has shaken the

enemy but unified the Oromo back home. The Oromo people in Oromia has united their efforts with the

purpose of advancing the Oromo struggle. Hundreds sacrificed their precious life and thousands injured.

Hundreds of thousands incarcerated. To the contrary, the shane are still in the old mindset of “my way or

no way at all!” The shane’s new war front is not fighting TPLF but kallacha Walabummaa Oromiyaa

(KWO). In 2006, they did beat up Aman Kadir (the then deputy head of the FIO) in Denver, CO. Yet, again

they undertook similar heinous act, this time in Cairo. Shane battered about 10 innocent KWO members

including women on March 27, 2016 in Cairo, Egypt.

The rhetoric is still the same as that used against AWO ten years ago. Shane accused KWO members for

treason for flying a unique flag of their own. They applied the members of KWO with parochial mentality

label. Shane despised KWO as the Organization representing only one region. They launched ruthless

assault and called for Oromo people to unite against KWO. Some members and sympathizers on social

media publicly went for more action against KWO. They declared war on free citizens striving to contribute

their part for the achievement of Oromo’s aspiration. The Cairo based Shane affiliated “community

organization” condemn the creation of KWO and vowed to “weed-out” the KWO members.

Hence, this writer strongly believes, the time is always ripe for doing the right thing. The Oromo in

diaspora is unfortunately in total disarray. We need political discourse on this cancerous issue of the

RIGHT TO ORGANIZE and the very essence of FLAG. The problem is not going away just by ignoring it. We

all shall be held responsible for committing historical mistake if we fail to address with all its due urgency

this agenda set for us by Shane. The effect of the divide as the result of wage driven between the Oromo

brothers is far reaching. It may entail irreversible damage to our unity, which affects our relationship today

and in the future. The sole beneficiary of such a self-inflicted wound is the TPLF.

Why always the Shane blames the Oromo people for their own bad work and get away with it? As the

saying goes, “A bad workman blames his tools.” When is the right time for the Shane to re-direct the

Oromo resources that is being wasted on internal fight to challenging the enemy (TPLF)?

The primary step towards the reconciliation process must begin with the Shane group refraining from

tacitly dispatching their members against KWO or any other sovereign Oromo organizations. Second, the

Shane group must come of their hideout and issue a press release condemning their sympathizers for the

barbaric act perpetrated against KWO with the strongest term possible. Third, those committed the crime

of battering the KWO members in Cairo must come out and offer their apology as soon as possible. Fourth,

the so-called “Oromo community in Cairo,” must issue the statement condemning their own statement

condemning KWO, better known as “declaration of war on KWO.” Fifth, the elders in Cairo must involve

in resolving the conflict. Sixth, this writer prays for calmness among the Oromo in diaspora and hope we

are united in purpose and work hand in hand towards the process of realizing the re-birth of an


Behold, those who sacrifice their principles for Personal gain deserve Neither!



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