More than enough is written about the past and the future of the currently existing Ethiopian empire. Here is a short repetition from my present point of view. Ethiopia is only a fraction of the so called Cushland (Great Oromia = land of proto-Cush) in the north eastern part of Africa, in which several Cushitic nations are found. Certain part of these nations in the northern part of the empire are already Abyssinized due to the cultural and linguistic influence of the Semites from the Middle East, some in the Southern part are Bantunized due to the contact with certain Bantu nations and the others in the Eastern part are a bit Arabinized due to the cultural and religious contact with the Arab world. But at the core of the empire is a relatively unaffected part now called Oromia still preserving the main values of the proto-Cush, the part which I would like to give the name Golden Oromia, parallel to the original home of the Cushites known as Nubia (land of Gold).
This proto-Cush (the Oromo) has been under immense pressure from all directions since thousands of years. Particulrly the south ward push from the Abyssinized nations of the north was so strong that the Abyssinian kings could occupy most parts of Golden Oromia till the 16th century self-defence and liberation of the country from the Abyssinians of the north and from the others in the east. This liberation movement was wrongly named by the Abyssinian writers and their Western partners as “Oromo migration”. Golden Oromia enjoyed a time of relative peace and stability for about 300 years, till the start of the European scramble for Africa of the ninteenth century, in which emperor Minilik of Abyssinia took part and re-occupied Golden Oromia. It is controversially discussed whether the Oromo are part of the empire builders due to the participation of some Oromo nobles fighting on the side of the emperor or whether this nation is only an imperial subject. Be it the Oromo are part of both the conquerer and the conquered, as Prof Merera Guddina once put it, or we are only the victims but not part of the victors, fact on the ground now is that the Oromo nation is suffering under the very oppressive system of the Abyssinian elites.
Since this time of occupation, the Oromo nation showed a strong resisitance and had a coordinated as well as a sporadic liberation struggle. Leaving the many known examples of such movement aside, it is important to mention the two alternative approach chosen by the Oromo elites, who lead the struggle till now: ‘liberation of Golden Oromia from the empire’ and ‘transformation of the empire to Great Oromia’; the second one usually named as ‘democratization of Ethiopia’. These two visions were followed by the Oromo nationalists being organized in either the same liberation front or in different organizations. Nowadays, organizations persuing the two goals are clearly differntiated, so that some of them fight for an independent Golden Oromia, whereas the others struggle for an integrative de facto Great Oromia (New Ethiopia); of course the common denominator for the two being bilisummaa/freedom of the Oromo nation from alien rule, after which this free nation can choose either of the two goals per referendum. This being the fact on the ground, still some nationalists try to antagonize the two visions and portray one vision as anti-Oromo interest and the other as pro-Oromo interest. These destructive antagonizers are V-minded people in contrast to the constructive integrators – the Y-minded nationalists. Here is what I mean by V-minded and Y-minded thinkers:
To make both a genuine national independence of Oromoland (Golden Oromia) and a regionl union of Cushland (Great Oromia) become a reality and to help the struggle for freedom be successful, certain questions must be answered. For instance, despite the fact that the two Oromo groups (the independencists and the unionists) in the Ethiopian empire are under a very dire situation, why did they fail not to foster an alliance of the Oromo liberation forces (alliance of both the independencists and unionists)? One brilliant Oromo intellectual once raised a nice question: “how can we overcome the mentality of the 19th century?” http://gadaa.com/oduu/9750/201
To understand the V-politicians, let’s just imagine a big letter V and try to visualize that at the bottom junction of the letter are the Abyssinian dictators keeping the status quo of Abyssinian hegemony; at the left top of the letter are the dictatorial independencists; and at the right top are the dictatorial unionists. If we look at the way how these three forces deal with each other, they just do want to achieve their respective goals unconditionally: the Abyssinian hegemonists want to keep their domination at any cost, the dictatorial Oromo independencists try to achieve Oromian independence at any cost and the dictatorial unionists also want to achieve a union at any cost. Especially, the unconditional positions of the two camps, i.e that of the unconditional independencist Oromo and that of the unconditional unionists, who are continuously antagonizing and attacking each other, is a trillion dollar lottery, which the ruling Abyssinian elites are enjoying now by further dividing and polarizing the two Oromo camps, because of the fact that both the independencist dictators and the unionist dictators (the V-politicians of the two Oromo camps) can not forge a challenging alliance against the Woyane. They do consider that the two ways of the independencists and the unionists are diverging from each other, so that they would have no common route and common objective to move together.
To see who the Y-politicians (the democrats in the two Oromo camps) are, let’s just try to imagine a very big letter Y and try to distinguish four points on the letter (the bottom, the middle junction, the left top, and the right top). Then let’s imagine that the bottom is the status-quo of Ethiopian politics, where both the independencist and the unionist Oromo are under the tyranny of the Abyssinian elites; the middle junction is a point for freedom of the Oromo nation from the tyranny (the common goal of both the independencists and the unionists); the left top is the point of independence; and the right top is the point for union. Then let’s imagine that this letter Y is a route of the liberation journy for both the independencists and the unionists from the tyranny, from our present common situation, towards our short term (common goal) and long term goals (diverging respective goals). Can we imagine that the freedom fighters of this oppressed nation do have a possibility to move from the bottom (point of tyranny) to the middle junction (point of freedom) together? This is our common route of the journey towards this common short term goal of freedom. Then after will come, the two diverging routes towards the two different and diverging long term goals of the two camps: the left top = independence (the long term goal of the independencists) and right top = union (the long term goal of the unionists).
Now if we could imagine this letter Y very well, it is not hard to comprehend that we need the alliance of the two camps to move from the status-quo of tyranny to the point of freedom, not necessarily to move together to the right top (together to the union goal) or together to the left top (together to the independence goal). After achieving our freedom together, it is upto the Oromo public to decide per referendum which direction to move further: to the left top of independence or to the right top of union. If the Oromo majority will choose to move to the right top, then our common national long term goal will be similar to that of the unionists, i.e an integrative Great Oromia (New Ethiopia with flourishing Oromummaa/Oromo nationalism). Otherwise, if the Oromo majority will choose to move to the left top, no dictator can hinder the Oromo nation from achieving this Golden Oromian independence. When we look at the wholistic political visions in the organized Oromo community, we do observe two groups:
– those who struggle for a self rule of an independent Golden Oromia without any claim on the other parts of Great Oromia, and
– those who want to forge self rule of golden Oromia with shared rule of de facto an integrative Great Oromia (federal New Ethiopia).
Regarding those Oromo nationalists, who want to achieve self rule of Golden Oromia with shared rule of Great Oromia, I must say that they are very cautious not to call a spade is spade and talk explicitely about Great Oromia, instead of New Ethiopia. They should have asserted this because of the fact that the future rule of the game they want is freedom, democracy and Afaan Oromo as a federal working language and for the whole country will have a potential to be transformed to Oromia and because the only alternative to an independent Golden Oromia can be the possible de jure Great Oromia, not the designation New Ethiopia. If the other nations and nationalities are interested in the future voluntary union of peoples in the empire and in its territorial integrity as they usually tell us, they should make public this demand of re-naming Ethiopia as Oromia themselves or they need to accept the offer of this same arrangement from the pro-union Oromo nationalists.
For the Oromo national liberation struggle to be successful and to achieve one of the two visions given above, be it only self rule of Golden Oromia or with shared rule of Great Oromia (black/future Ethiopia), we need to fight against the Melesites, who want to keep the status quo of red/present Ethiopia and we have to check the Menelikites, who still nostaligically long for the white/past Ethiopia. The future New Ethiopia (defacto Great Oromia) will be the country, in which Afaan Oromo and Oromummaa will flourish without any inhibition and oppression. Even if the name of such country will continue to be Ethiopia, of course based on the voluntary agreement of all involved nations, including the Oromo, it yet will be de facto Great Oromia, so that there is nothing the Oromo nation will lose. But for the sake of durability of the union and political stability, the necessary de jure name change from Ethiopia to Oromia must take place. To come to one of the above two visions, the Oromo nationalists need to build unity of purpose based on common ground, i.e on bilisummaa, and also forge alliance with the organizations of the other oppressed nations against the ruling fascist and racist regime as well as against all the Melesites and the Menelikites.
Unfortunately, we do still observe that few of our leaders, nationalists and scholars are doing the job of antagonizing the two Oromo camps (pro-independence and pro-union), rather than promoting their possible alliance or unity of purpose, that means if they are not DiGa, they surely are FiGo. DiGa is simply Diina Gamna (smart foe), who is doing his job of antagonizing the Oromo liberation camp for the sake of his own advantage intentionally, whereas FiGo is Fira Gowwaa (misguided friend) doing the same job of the foe unintentionally. When we look at the authors and commentators in the Oromo websites, we just do observe two groups of Oromo nationalists: the antagonizers and the integrators. The antagonizers do pray the mantra of “facts and theories”, which can help them in polarizing the Oromo liberation forces in a form of presenting such Oromo nationals as if they are irreconcilable enemies being divided into two camps: pro-union and pro-independence. Usually these antagonizers talk or write as if the pro-union Oromo are collaborators to the Abyssinian camp and or as if the pro-independence nationals are “evil secessionits, who hate to live with other nations”.
On the other hand, the integrators do see the two post-bilisummaa Oromo goals (an independent Golden Oromia and an integrative Great Oromia) of the Oromo people as two sides of the same coin (two sides of bilisummaa). They try to assert that both the pro-independence and the pro-union Oromo nationalists are de facto pro-bilisummaa (freedom fighters), who do have two reconcilable alternative post-bilisummaa objectives. As we usually do observe, Woyanes do camouflage as pro-independent Oromo and curse the pro-union nationalists or vice versa just for the sake of sawing a discord in Oromo liberation camp. Their motive is clear: Oromo should be divided, antagonized and polarized in order to be kept weak and ruled. What is really pity here is that some Oromo nationalists and scholars simply fall in this trap of the Woyanes and do bidding of the enemy. Actually Woyane has a lot of people doing the antagonizing job with the millions of dollars being invested on this project. May Waaqa open the eyes of our misguided antagonizer Oromo nationalists, who are unkowingly still doing this job of the Woyane.
Last, but not least, for every move towards freedom and democracy is a tantamount approach to the realization of the self rule of Golden Oromia with or without shared rule of Great Oromia, there is nothing disadvantageous for the Oromo if we support all groups promoting these values. Eventhough the Abyssinian colonizers seem to get all sorts of support from the regimes of both the Eastern and Western world to keep their hegemony, the political and social development of the globe towards freedom, justice and democracy is in favour of the Oromo national liberation struggle. That is why it is a high time for the Oromo freedom fighters of the two camps (pro-independence and pro-union) to build alliance in this first phase of the liberation struggle (bilisummaa phase) with each other and with the non-Oromo democrats, in order to put pressure on the ruling regime. Be it we achieve our common goal of bilisummaa in a revolutionary way or in an evolutionary way (step by step), the Oromo people will be free and then decide per referendum in the second phase (walabummaa/independence phase) either for only self rule of Golden Oromia without shared rule of Great Oromia (an independent Oromian republic) or for self rule of Golden Oromia with shared rule of Great Oromia (New Ethiopia). May Rabbi/Waaqa help Oromo nationalists work together in bilisummaa phase and help this nation excercise its free will to choose one of these two good alternatives during the walabummaa phase.