Let me begin by saying that I have immense respect for the Oromo martyrs, past and present and all who have over the years unconditionally supported and continue to support the just cause of our people, in one way or another.
For some people, the Oromo Protests that has engulfed Oromia State in Ethiopia over the past four months is the result of social media campaign which started a few years ago by some Oromo activists. For many, the truth is, this sustained OromoProtests and resistance struggle is the result of years of struggle and bitter sacrifices made by generations of Oromo mass.
Each generation made significant contributions that paved the way for the critical self awareness and consciousness which was necessary to put the Oromo peoples cause on the global stage today. The lack of international support and unfavorable geopolitics of Horn Of Africa, the lack of support for any political movement deemed as separatist by the Western Powers had greatly impacted the Oromo struggle negatively over the past two and half decades. The Ethiopian state and the ruling party TPLF and other Ethiopianist Opposition political parties based in and outside Ethiopia have been depicting the Oromo peoples’ struggle as a threat not only to the unity of Ethiopia but also for the peace of the horn of Africa countries.
The Oromo Political forces couldn’t devise a counter narrative to this negative image to defeat such narratives by portraying the Oromo peoples struggle as unifying and indispensable for the future peace and stability in the horn of Africa. Oromo Elite politicians have been trying to appease the West by reassuring them time and again that we Oromo people are peace-loving people and its struggle is a just struggle that is being waged to liberate the Oromo from century long oppression and ensure that the Oromo people are the masters of their own destiny. We have known for years that such strategy won’t bear fruits unless it is supported by sacrifices from the Oromo mass to realize it. The Western politicians and the Oromo people back home and in Diaspora have been calling for a unified opposition political forces which can be considered a better or an equal alternative to the current ruling party, EPRDF. Efforts to create a unified front, which had been tried a few times in the past could not survive long enough as it could not get the popular support, where Oromo people are willing to support such initiatives or help an initiative to thrive by paying the necessary sacrifices on the ground, such as the#OromoProtest we have witnessed recently.
At this juncture when the Oromo mass is ready to pay the ultimate sacrifices to free itself from the yoke of oppression, the disenfranchised and fragmented forces and its leaders could not come up with a sound strategy or initiative to convince the Oromo and its potential supporters beyond reasonable doubt that they have learned a lesson and willing to embrace change and take the struggle to a higher level. some of the initiatives in its primordial stage have not garnered enough support from the political elites and the myriad social media activists who also vie for influence and leadership roles in such initiatives.
There have been calls for these initiatives to rapidly evolve into a movement to force the formation of this much desired unified front or alliance that will stand the test of time and become a commanding force by overcoming all the envisioned and unforeseen challenges. The myriads of global solidarity rallies and outcry from the Diaspora communities have not managed to coalesce into a movement that could give birth to this much desired global unified leadership and raise the necessary material resources to support the Oromo protests and resistance struggle and mitigate the damage that is being done by the occupying forces who continue to forcefully and violently suppress all dissenting forces and cause innumerable suffering and loss of lives on a daily basis.
It is a forgone conclusion that the #Oromoptests will not meet its intended goal of forcing the regime into submission and show willingness and readiness for an all inclusive political system, unless the ruling EPRDF elites and its international alliances see that the movement has matured and reached this stage. It is up to the Oromo political forces and elites to grow up and work in tandem to have a unified vision for Oromo and all oppressed people of Ethiopia.