By Leenjiso Horo
Since the late 19th century the Oromo people have been under Ethiopian colonial occupation, domination, and exploitation. This means, our people have been suffering a century of humiliation and exploitation. It began with Goban Daaccee’s treason in his collaboration with Menelik II in his conquest of Oromiyaa that stretched to the present day OPDO’s collaboration with Meles Zenawi and his the fascist Tigrayan regime of TPLF to maintain Menelik II’s colonial empire. Having created the OPDO, the TPLF has institutionalized a client-patron relationship in Oromiyaa through political and economic devices. Since its creation, the OPDO has been fighting local battles- political and military for its patron. In the prison cells in Oromiyaa, the TPLF has built methods of human destructiveness. It is here, the torturers, concentration camp guards, and death squad members have been undertaking series of brutalizing acts against their Oromo victims to dehumanize them before killing them. The unity of the Oromo Liberation Front (OLF) is the first step in the struggle to end this colonial occupation and its crimes.
The unity of the OLF factions that announced on 28th of June 2014 in Berlin, Germany has ended the split of 2001 that weakened the struggle for independence of our beloved nation. Now, the unity has surely ushered a new beginning in the struggle; it planted a seed of hope in the nation and set in motion the ray of light to shine over Oromiyaa in the struggle for independence. In this unity, the Oromo see a great hope- a hope for a re-birth of new Oromiyaa. As it is oftentimes said, the journey of a thousand mile begins with one step and so the unity of the OLF factions is the first step in the journey to independence. Now, it is time for all the Oromo nationalists to join this unity and take the struggle forward. Here, we must understand that nobody can bring freedom, liberty, justice, peace, and liberation to Oromiyaa but ourselves. So, we either move forward toward unity for the independence of Oromiyaa or we move apart and leave Oromiyaa under the colonial occupation. In this unity, the OLF choose the first one. The second option is a choice of defeatist and cowardice. Defeatism and cowardly are enmity to the Oromo struggle for liberation and independence. Politics of empire federalization is a politics of defeatism and cowardice. In this struggle of national liberation, it is time for the Oromo nationalists to speak with one voice; to stand up together, to unite and fight together against the enemy of Oromiyaa and the Oromo people. If we fail to unite, history will condemn us and it will not absolve us forever.
We are in a people’s war for independence. People’s war means a war against colonial occupation, alien domination and exploitation. In order to win a people’s war, it is imperative to build the broadest possible unity which will ensure the fullest mobilization of the broad masses as well as the unity of all the forces that can be united against colonial occupation. In its unity in Berlin, Germany, the OLF has set a great example. Now, this is the right time for the other Oromo nationalists to follow suit. Unity is strength. And strength lies in unity. Hence, it must be clear that strength lies not in number, but in unity. For instance, our population is sufficiently large in number to repel the forces of colonization, but we could not repel it because we did not turn that large population into organization, into a unity. Hence because of unorganized state of the Oromo population that the Abyssinians colonized Oromiyaa; maintained colonial occupation over it, ruled, dominated, and exploited its people-the Oromo people. It must be clear to us that under present condition of our struggle, we can neither be received nor heard nor listened to by the international community unless we are united and organized into a mighty force to change the balance of force in the struggle. For this, the Anti-TPLF national unity must embrace all the anti-colonial Oromo nationals. It is the unity of those Oromo nationals who share a common interest in fighting Ethiopian colonial regime- an interest that forms the basis of our unity. It must be clear that our fight targets the colonial State machinery- including its bureaucracy, its army, its security, its police force, its judiciary and its modern means of communication. The unity is based on Kaayyoo/objective –the establishment of a free, independent sovereign Democratic Republic of Oromiyaa and in the firmness in fighting the TPLF colonial regime.
It must be understood that our people have been facing the enemy they have never seen or faced before. It is the most savage and vicious enemy. It is the enemy that has engaged in a deliberate and willful strategized physical mass extermination of the Oromo people. It is an enemy that has been and is mowing down the Oromo workers, peasants, students, women and children, and intellectuals, businessmen and women with cruelty. It has brought upon our people untold horrors and sufferings and plundering and plaguing of resources. Along with these, it has been and still is accelerating the destruction of environment, soil, water, air, flora and fauna affecting all the fundamental conditions of life in Oromiyaa. It is, therefore, crystal clear today the Tigrayan regime of TPLF has presented a clear and present danger to the future of Oromiyaa and its people. This has to be combated. For this, it is incumbent upon the Oromo nationalists to unite and fight against this enemy. In this fight, we must promise to ourselves and to the world community that neither we, nor our people will ever reconcile with such a mortal enemy.
In the face of such enemy, the principal form of the Oromo struggle is armed struggle combined where possible with peaceful means. However, as we have seen time and again, the enemy has made peaceful political activities impossible for the Oromo people and has deprived them of all political freedom and democratic rights. For this, the armed struggle remains the only viable means for the colonized people to bring the enemy to its knees.
History shows that when confronted by ruthless colonialist aggression and its monstrous crimes, nationals must hold aloft the national banner and, using the weapon of the unity, rally around itself the masses and the patriotic and anti-colonial people of a country’s population, so as to mobilize all positive factors, unite with all the forces that can be united and isolate to the maximum the common enemy of the whole nation. It is time to uphold national banner-independence from colonial occupation.
Without a people’s army, the people have nothing to defend themselves against. For this, we have to build and strengthen the Oromo Liberation Army (OLA). Every Oromo nationals must join the fighting against the colonial army. It is only the war of national liberation that can end the colonial war. The colonial war reduces the colonized nation to a subject status and to humiliation. It attacks on collective pride, collective identity and collective and individual will of a colonized people. It is only the war of national liberation that changes such situation. Hence, in a colonized country such as Oromiyaa, the liberation army, the civilian population, men and women, old and young must fight; every single village in the country must fight. For this, the entire Oromo society has to be mobilized to throw off the colonial force, to deny its movement inside Oromiyaa, and to denounce its policies and actions through writing and public denouncement.
Oromo have no friends. For this, in this war of liberation struggle we have to rely mainly on our own efforts. Our struggle is based on self-reliance. For this, we depend on our own efforts, on our own resources, on the creative power of the Oromo liberation army and the entire Oromo nation. The Oromo people are a great, heroic people. They do not pin their hopes on the lackeys of the colonial regime for liberation and independence. The time has come to recognize the false prophets of federalization of empire- those the leaders of disunity, rattle shaking, and the political unfit leaders with split tongues. Empire federalization is an ideology of neutralization of the Oromo nationalists and the Oromo people. It is time for those Oromo nationals who have been misled never to walk again in the dishonorable footsteps of those preachers of empire federalization or empire democratization or with whatever their mask is labeled with, for to walk on such dishonorable footsteps of those preachers would be to dishonor the memories of fallen Oromo heroes and heroines in this war of national liberation.
On the contrary, ours is an ideology of liberation, freedom, nationalism, independence, liberty, peace and justice originated in the Oromo Gada socio-political and economic system- a universal model. With these, it must be borne in mind that being a colonized nation, the Oromo people have an inalienable right to self-determination to be independent from Ethiopian empire. To this effect, ours is a war of national liberation. War of national liberation is politico-military assertion of right to self-determination. This right of nation to self-determination has been a political, legal and fundamental basic human rights guaranteed to all colonized peoples by the UN Charter. In this struggle of ours for national liberation, we are guided by national pride and our glorious history.
All in all, our people have the courage, patience, perseverance, and political will to shoulder the heavy burden of combating and scoring glorious victory over the TPLF- the most ferocious enemy of our people. The time has long overdue to end its narcissistic insatiable desire for colonial domination, humiliation and exploitation of the colonized people. With our unity, this fascist TPLF regime will finally be burned to ashes in the blazing fires of the people’s wars of national liberation.
Oromia Shall BE Free!