Oduu Haaraya

Kidnaping, jailing and killing will not stop the Oromo people from demanding their rights

Statement of the Oromian National academy (ONA

As the Oromo people are increasingly opposing against the Abyssinians scramble to annex central Oromia into their business district known as Addis Ababa, the Oromo youth struggle to stop this process is also growing by every passing day. In the process, many Oromo artists are exposed to the Tigreans intelligence services abduction and torture.

Obsessed with becoming richer and richer, Ethiopia’s superpower tribe, the Tigre, once again turned it’s attention to land garbing activities and they are in the process of evicting the Oromo people from their lands. To make their robbery look legal and legitimate, the Tigre tribe leaders hold meetings and conferences at their parliament Halls and address their Trojan Horse, the OPDO. Few days after they were into the meeting, artist Jafar Yesuf released new song dedicated to land grab and human rights abuse in Ethiopia. Fearing that his new song will ignite opposition, the Tigre tribe kidnaped Artist Jafar Yesuf following it’s tradition of kidnaping and murdering.

It is clear that the Oromo people do not have the resources and means to expose the ruling tribe’s crimes. But truth being on the side of the Oromo people, we feel the need from time to time to restate the facts plainly, and trust that this will serve the cause of truth and justice. Hence, this statement addresses the fundamental question of the status of Oromia, the invalidity of the Tigre tribe claim to “ownership” of the Oromo land (Oromia), and the Oromo people’s right to self-determination and the negative effect of the Tigre tribe domination in Oromia.

It is very important to understand that the Oromo people’s situation has been insufficiently highlighted in the past, and understand it now in the context of much of what is happening in Oromia today.

Basically, the Tigre tribe sell of the Oromo lands reflects a profoundly colonialist nature of the Tigre rule in Oromia. This being the case however, the world tend to identify colonialism with European colonial expansion in the past two centuries. But colonialism in all its manifestations must be brought to an end, whether perpetrated by another black tribe from north of empire Ethiopia or from the north East.

The Abyssinians themselves view the Oromo people and Oromia in colonial terms: that is, not as a part of the Abyssinian proper, but as a non-Abyssian, culturally, linguistically and traditionally, while beliveing that they have the right to own and exploit the Oromo land on the basis of a relationship that they claim existed one hundred fifty years ago, or, at best, two hundred years ago. This attitude is evident from Tigreans eviction of the Oromo people from their lands and sell it to foreigners. Further more, the very notion of “ownership” of Oromia by the Tigre tribe is both colonialist and imperialist in nature.

Colonialism is characterized by a number of important elements, all of which are abundantly present in the Abyssinians cruel practices in Oromia. The most common characteristics of colonialism are:

  • Domination by an alien power
  • Acquisition of control through military force; unequal treaty
  • Frequent insistence that the colony is an integral part of the “mother” state
  • Maintenance of control through instruments of military or administrative and economic power in the hands of the colonial power
  • Active or passive rejection of alien domination by the colonized people
  • Suppression, by force if necessary, of persons opposing colonial rule
  • Chauvinism and discrimination
  • Imposition of alien cultural, social and ideological values claimed to be “civilizing”
  • Imposition of economic development programmes and the exploitation of natural resources of the colony, primarily for the benefit of the colonial power
  • Promotion of population transfer of citizens of the metropolitan state into the colony and other forms of demographic manipulation
  • Disregard for the natural environment of the colony
  • An obsessive desire to hold on to the colony despite the political and economic cost

All of these characteristics are reflected by the ruling alien tribe in a manner and style which only confirms the tribe’s colonialist and imperialist view of Oromia.
At the time of its invasion by troops of the Tigre People Liberation Front in 1991, the people of Oromia were fighting for their independence. The Tigre military which took over Oromia in 1991 constituted an aggression on a sovereign state and it’s continued occupation of Oromia with the help of several hundred thousand troops represents an ongoing violation of international law and of the fundamental rights of the Oromo people to independence.

The tribe continued to sell the Oromo lands claiming that it has a right to “ownership” of Oromia. It does not claim this right on the basis of similarity with the Oromo people but only based on its military conquest in 1991 and based on the Amhara tribe conquest of Oromia and alleged effective control over Oromia since 1882. Further, the Tigre government of Ethiopia does not base its claim to “ownership” of Oromia on any form of agreement between the Oromo people and the Abyssinians. However, their alleged legal claim is based on the invasion of Oromia by their ancestors and based on the master-slave relationships they’ve established since then.

In general, the Tigre tribe rely on the events that occurred after the height of the Abyssinians imperial expansion, when their emperor known as Minilik extended his political supremacy over Oromia and the southern people. Prior to the Abyssinians invasion of Oromia, the Oromo people exercised power and influence on their neighbors, including the Abyssinia. It would be hard to find any state in the world today that has not been subjected to foreign domination or influence at some era in its history. In Oromos case, the degree and length of the Abyssinians influence was quite limited to the times after 1882. Moreover, the relationship that the Oromo people have with the colonialist tribes from Abyssinian has been poor, insignificant and thus did not at any time imply a union or integration of Oromia with Abyssinia.

However confusing Oromia’s relatioship with the Abyssinians may be, its status at the time of the Abyssinians invasion must, of course, be judged on the basis of its position in modern history, especially its relationship with Tigre tribe invasion since 1991 when they overthrew the Amhara rule and became the masters over the Oromo people.

Rundassa Eshete,

Chairman, Oromian National Academy (ONA)

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